Love and Food in the Big D

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

One Single Solitary Day..

It’s strange how one single solitary day can change so much in a person’s life. For nearly 29 years, I’ve been Yvette Maldonado, plain and simple. No middle name, nothing fancy, I was always just Yvette Maldonado.. daughter, sister and friend…. But on November 14, 2009, I will add new descriptors to the list… WIFE. MRS. Yvette M. Kelley. How Bizarre. From that day on, I will not only have ONE family, the one I have known and loved for my entire 28 and half years … but TWO, the family I have met in the last year who I’ve come to know, love and accept as my own. Extended families from an entirely different part of the country. States away, I gain a lifetime of connections. Generations to come will now know family I didn’t have before this ONE, single, solitary day. It’s amazing to think of the extended family tree that is created when two people meet and marry. It’s like magic. A blessing. A new life. A new family. I couldn’t feel more blessed and as we both wait patiently for this ONE day to present itself, I’m thankful for everyone who has seen this relationship grow from the very beginning….because they are our witnesses to this magical adventure…because for us, it still feels like a dream.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Wedding Shower- Valley Style

It hasn't taken much to get us excited about our wedding.. The entire process has been fun and challenging, giving both Chad and I the ability to put our creative minds together to plan a wonderful day for everyone.  On September 26th though, all I had to do was show up.  I didn't have to plan anything, I didn't have to organize the food or the ideas or the decorations, all I had to do was BE THERE!  What a concept!!  My first bridal shower and to be honest, I was a ball of nerves.  What was I supposed to do?  What was I supposed to say?  Months earlier, the prep work began back home by my mom who chose the location, started her guest list, (that turned out to be over SEVENTY ladies), and began buying all the necessary decorations to make my first and only valley shower a success!  And a success it WAS!!  It was a great shower with great people, great food, super YUMMY cake and memories to last a lifetime. 

Thanks mom for planning such a great party!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Just like her mama... :)

After a very long day of running around preparing for the next days shower festivities, we made it back to my brothers house just in time to catch little Miss Addison wandering the house in Christi's shoes!  Out of nowhere she appeared with not just ONE shoe, but TWO! 

She's such a cutie pie... How could you NOT love that FACE!!???!?!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Jason & The Special Sauce

As a mini celebration to Chad's great food tasting earlier that day, (and because we had already had this planned for at least a month :)  we made our way to Grand Prairie that night for a very special date night with my love and Mr. Jason Mraz!  Opening for Jason was G Love and his "Special Sauce"... lol.. don't ask... I don't even know... It was a great night though, and that concert was honestly the best one I've been to in a LOOOOONNNG time...

Making it even MORE special is the fact that, Chad and I will be dancing our very first dance as Husband and Wife to the Spanish/English version of "Lucky"! :)

Nerves of Steel

As the world was spinning around us... people preparing for their normal day.. kids getting ready for school and their parents heading to work, my day with Chad began with butterflies involved....or at least for me it did.  My stomach was a flutter with nervous energy that made my nights sleep virtually non-existent.  Chad on the other hand, seemed calm as a cucumber, or however that saying goes.  If he was nervous, he didn't show it.  Chad woke up early and began his descent into the kitchen, ready to load his homemade goodies into the car, eager and ready to make a name for himself.  7am and he was getting ready to head to Shannon's own private home to complete his lunch time cooking demo... and ultimately seal his fate as Executive Chef of the Moth and Corporate Chef for 8.0 Management.

It wasn't until about an hour later that I learned of Chad's amazing ability to put on a damn good "poker face".  He woke up fine.  Got ready fine.  He left the house seemingly confident and I thought everything was fine.... until the buzz of my phone, signaling a text message, told me otherwise.  Chad:  "I feel like I'm going to throw up."  (Butterflies begin to do their little dance in my stomach again) As I tried my best  to calm his nerves I said a little prayer that he would find his element and get into his comfort zone....then came silence. 

Hours passed and the nerves lingered as I gave a solid attempt at staying productive at work, trying my best to keep my thoughts and nervous energy from reaching Chad, miles away.  Finally, at about 3pm, I received the text I had been waiting for.  Chad: "It went GREAT!"  (Butterflies kick up once again...but this time with nervous excitement)  I was beyond RELIEVED!!  Big stuff down, only anticipation for the final verdict lay ahead.  Loving everything that Chad had prepared, Shannon asked Chad to meet with them the next day to discuss kitchen layouts and a potential OFFER for a permanent position!  YEAH!  He nailed it..

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Prep Work

As if a regular interview with a scary bossman glaring over your neatly printed resume wasn't nerve racking enough, the culinary field took it to the next level.  For the past two weeks Mr. Kelley has successfully charmed his way through a bazillion and one "interviews" for one single, solitary position.  As the process unfolded throughout the course of two weeks, Chad was asked to prepare sample menus, produce labor and food costs, and even prepare kitchen and equipment layouts for a new concept restaurant set to open March 2010 in the Design District.  His potential employer, Shannon Wynne with 8.0 Management, had lived the better part of his life creating and opening extremely successful restaurants throughout the southern states.   Knowing this, it didn't take long for Chad to realize the great opportunity that lie ahead.  Shannon owned and created Flying Fish, Flying Saucer and Restaurant 8.0, all very successful bars and restaurants in their own right.  This time, the concept was a bit more refined.  A bit more "chef driven"... Bar food, with a fancy "done up" twist... and Chad began the entire process as a candidate for its Executive Chef position. 

What began as a single Executive Chef position quickly turned into something MUCH more than we had ever expected or anticipated.  In one single swoop of the hand, Shannon had taken the position to a corporate level....where Chad would not only be the Executive Chef for the new restaurant "The Moth", but he would also be responsible for any and all food flavors that came out of the Flying Fish, Flying Saucer AND 8.0.  ALL OF THEM!!  It was a dream come true... and the next step in his interview process is what Chad had been waiting two weeks for.  Finally, a COOKING interview, a tasting, a sampling of specific items chosen by Shannon himself from the menu Chad had submitted.  Here's what made the cut..

Lunch Menu: 
Roasted Beet Salad
Oxtail Stuffed Calamari
Shrimp and Grits with Jalapeno Bacon Gravy
Steamed Mussels in White Wine
Chicken Fried Rabbit with Purple Hulled Peas and Mustard Greens
Brussel Sprout Leaves with Bacon and Parmesan
Culotte Steak Bourginone
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

The date was set and the prep work began the weekend before the big event.  Our kitchen became a "ground zero" of sorts where anything that could be done ahead of time, was.