Chappell Hill Cafe – (***)

Posted on January 2nd, 2007 in Brenham,Restaurant Reviews by EngineerBoy

8966 Highway 290 E

Chappell Hill, TX 77426

Phone: (979) 836-0850

We recently moved to Brenham, and today (Sunday) we decided to follow one of our old Houston traditions of going out for a big Sunday breakfast. The only problem is we couldn’t find a single restaurant in Brenham that was open for breakfast on Sunday morning! We drove around to several likely candidates, but Mynagirl had already suggested the contigency of heading to the Chappell Hill Diner if we couldn’t find anything open. See, we have learned in our few months here in Brenham that almost nothing local is open on Sundays. Sure, the normal chain restaurants and retail outlets are open, but just about anything owned and run by locals is closed (which is strange for a town that is such a weekend tourist destination, but oh well).

Also, note that we have heard rumors of an IHOP being built in Brenham next door to the new Walgreen’s that’s being built across the street from HEB. We CANNOT wait for both of them!!
Anyway, back to the Chappell Hill Cafe. True to its roots as a highway crossroads establishment, the diner was in fact open, and was busy but not crowded and there were no delays with seating or food. We were extremely surprised and happy to find that there was no smoking allowed, as the place has the rustic feel of a die-hard, countrified, don’t-tell-me-what-to-do, smoker’s last-gasp stronghold. But it wasn’t…yay!

The place was clean but not fancy, the wait staff was pleasant and efficient, and the patrons were a mix of farmers, local townies, transplants (like us), and highway voyagers. We both ordered indulgent breakfasts including eggs, grits, hash browns, bacon, sausage, hotcakes, and french toast (we didn’t each get all of these things, but we purposely ordered more than we could eat in order to sample a broad swath of the bill of fare). The food was served quickly and was hot and fresh (the skillet sausage could have been a titch warmer for my tastes, but I ate it anyway). The only thing I didn’t at least take a sample of was the coffee, and Mynagirl said it was good diner coffee.

Everything was delicious. We both ate more than we intended, but less than we could have given how tasty everything was. Overall this was a great place and we’re defintely going to keep it in our rotation.

Okay, now for our one minor quibble. When we were about 3/4 of the way done with our meals the waitress comes over and cleaned the tables on either side of us by spritzing Fantastic on the table tops!!!!!!! The acrid, chemical stench was overwhelming and we each had to stop eating/drinking and cover our mouths to keep from gagging. She spritzed and spritzed enormous clouds of the stuff out into the air like Tinkerbell spreading magical pixie dust!! It was dis-gus-ting! If we hadn’t already

Golden Globes 2007 Fashion Report

Posted on January 1st, 2007 in Fashion by mynagirl

Am I just getting old and crabby? Maybe the chardonnay is making me more catty than normal. Either way, enjoy.

Likes!

Kyra Sedgwick’s asymmetrical goddess gown was a delight

Kyra Sedgwick Kyra Sedgwick

The Clothes-er
Living well is the best revenge — Reese Witherspoon is radiant (if a bit thin) in kicky yellow satin with some fiery red shoes

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon

These Laboutins are made for walkin’
24’s Mary Lynn Rajskub was adorable in her white column and shoulder duster earrings

Mary Lynn Rajskub

Satellite uplink achieved!
Renee Zellweger, despite looking like she always has a pillbug in her mouth, was indeed beautiful in emerald satin

Renee Zellweger

Mmmbllhdbblldlds… blech
What all the Grecian cheerleaders are wearing!!

Hayden Panettiere Hayden Panettiere

Hayden Pannettiere’s Grecian Monique L’Huillier frock and fall are lovely and young
The always adorable and fresh Kate Winslet in Ungaro

Kate Winslet

Wull Hullo Darling!
America Ferrera was lovely in Lapis-colored Brian Reyes

America Ferrera

Georgeous America
Sienna Miller’s messy Grecian ‘do with simply lined but busily printed Marchesa gown was quite radiant on her slender frame

Sienna Miller

Sienna Miller

I will be laying down some Law of my own
This breaks all my rules — low cut, etc, but damn… she just pulls it off!! Beyonce shimmers with straight hair and a curvy gold-clad body

Beyonce

Ok, so the Golden Globe joke is too easy, right?
The Arquettes let their freak flag fly in leather and lace

Arquettes

Arque-a-licious
Hilary Swank was put together and precious as the Black Dahlia

Hilary Swank

Hilary Swank

Finally, back together again
Penelope Cruz is gorgeous and classic in Chanel Couture

Penelope Cruz Penelope Cruz

Volver-ilicious

LOLs

Angelina Jolie did her best Sunny Von Bulow impression

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

Oh, You Have No Idea
Annette Bening looks pained in an awkwardly tailored gown/blouse/top/thingy

Annette Bening and Warren Beatty

Wow, I forgot about the award show… good thing I had my old Christening pinafore!
Evangeline Lilly and the Amazing Technicolor Speedo Gown (by Versace)

Evangeline Lilly

Dammit, I told my stylist I wanted a mermaid gown!
Always good for a laugh is Sharon Stone, here shown sucking the life force out of a much younger man

Sharon Stone

Hmmm… Cruella de Ville or Gloria Swanson? You decide!!

Ennh.

Sarah Paulson’s too-safe, not-really-there, not-really-doing-anything-for-me strapless champagne left me… bored

Sarah Paulson

Did I take “Sunset Strip” a little too literally, maybe?
Michelle Williams looked beautiful but she stuck with her knack of picking the wrong color for her skin

Michelle Williams

Yes it’s quite a warm shoulder
Cate Blanchett was flashing back to the 80’s in lace Alexander McQueen. We could’ve stayed in the present, but she is nevertheless radiant and adorable.

Cate Blanchett

Oh Ryan, You’re so Fine!
Jennifer Love Hewitt sports a Dangerous Liaisons bodice green gold gown

Jennifer Love Hewitt

Iron-clad, baby
J-Lo was not dispelling any pregnancy rumors

Homemade Cat Food

Posted on January 1st, 2007 in Commentary by mynagirl

The Disclaimer

I am not a vet. Nor a doctor. Nor a pet nutrionist of any kind. So… this is just my experience. I am not advocating anything or recommending that you do anything.

The History

Our one-eared tabby Tigger has been a bag of bones for a while. After our calico Scout died of Feline AIDS we knew that similar complications might develop in our other two cats, and when Tigger started getting thin and throwing up a lot we knew it was time to take her to the vet. She’s hyperthyroidal (read: the hungriest, yowliest, unsatisfiable cat on the planet) and has some heart problems, and constant hairball issues (thus the throwing up). So far she hasn’t tested FIV positive but she doesn’t have any white blood cells either so clearly something is happening here.

After even the meds weren’t putting any weight on her, we went through a series of canned cat food, trying in vain to find her something she would eat. $.77 / can at Wal-Mart Fancy Feast Gourmet Selections Whipped Salmon and Egg Mousse was rejected with a feline sniff and a yowl. Science Diet a/d (the weight gain kind) was liked somewhat, but not consistently. Nothing “stuck”. She wouldn’t eat, she was always hungry, and she was so thin and listless. Eventually we started feeding her pure tuna and salmon, which was doing so-so but she had a hard time eating the big chunks. The one thing she would wolf down was any spare scraps of beef I ever gave her as a treat.

So, I decided I would make her homemade food to try and come up with something that she would actually eat. I started with mostly beef and decided to throw in salmon and some oilier whole fish (sardines / kippers). I went for the fattiest cuts, mostly because Tigger was so undernourished and didn’t keep much down. (Our other cat Bouncie, once a giant fluffball, had lost weight in later years as well, so luckily this was probably okay for both animals). I prepared it all (as below) and threw it in the food processor. Our house smelled like a Norwegian fishing shack for two days, but it was worth it.

The Recipe

Proportions aren’t super important.

Basic Ingredients:

Pan-sauteed ground beef (I used the cheapest highest-fat beef I could find)
Kippers or sardines
Canned salmon (I got the big cans)
Cooked corn grits from scratch, no salt or butter
Light cream or half-and-half if desired

The Mixture

In a nice food processor, throw in a couple scoops of the beef (grease and all), a spoonful or two of grits, 3/4 of a can of salmon, one can of kippers or sardines, and a dash of half-and-half or light cream. Blend well into a nice mash. Scoop into tiny Glad containers and freeze, unfreezing as necessary (they will unfreeze overnight in the fridge).

The Result

Tigger is like a changed animal. The change into a