Love and Food in the Big D

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Photo Sneak Peak :)

Seemed only fitting to celebrate Everleigh's FOUR weeks of life by taking a look back at her 8th day of adorable newborn baby goodness :)

Thank you again to Shannon of Shannon Skloss Photography for capturing our little one so perfectly.  These teaser pictures are BETTER than we could've ever hoped for and we can't wait to see the rest!  These are definitely holding us over but we know there are many MORE fabulous photos to come.  Stay tuned for the rest, coming soon.  (Hopefully ;)  

To see behind the scenes pictures of the photo shoot as it happened, check out our blog post HERE.  :)

Happy FOUR WEEKS Little Snuggle Bear
We couldn't love you more, you've been such a blessing in our lives :)

Chef Chad's little Mini Me ;)

Soon after this photo shoot was over, we took off Everleigh's hospital bracelet (that matched ours) fearing it would be a little too tight on her growing wrist.  Chad and I however, have chosen to keep ours on for now.  :)  Can't seem to find the heart to cut them off quite yet.  ;)  

Love my sweet girl.. She's growing so fast!

Newborn baby bits - LOVE!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Everleigh - 3 weeks down, a lifetime to go :)

Dear sweet snuggle bear,

In the weeks and even months leading up to your arrival, so many mothers had told me (in passing and seemingly non chalantly) how wonderful having a baby would be and how my life would ultimately change after your birth.  Not realizing or understanding the shear depth of their statements, I obviously agreed.. Rationalizing the inevitable change that was about to take place in our lives.  We, (well I) was growing a tiny, little HUMAN BEING in my belly for crying out loud.. OF COURSE life was about to change! 

But nothing in this world could've adequately prepared me, or my heart for you.  Or the overwhelming emotions I've felt since you were born.  Or how incredibly amazing you'd be.  Or the incredible LOVE that I now understand.  It is beyond measure.  Beyond explanation.  The change that has taken place in me, in the last 3 weeks since you've joined our family was nothing I could've prepared myself for. No matter who I talked to or what any mother tried to explain to me.  Before September 25, 2012, I had absolutely no idea what being a mother would really, truly feel like.  

The morning after your first night at home :) 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

To be honest, in the dorkiest way possible, I almost felt like I had joined this "not so secret society" of women that were bonded by this common understanding that took place once you became a mother.  All the mothers before me that had felt what I felt.. Had experienced child birth like I had just experienced and loved their children like I was loving you.  It was all of a sudden very clear what (I didn't even realize before) that my life had been missing.. YOU!  

It was almost instantaneous really.  The moment I heard your cry when you were pulled out of me in that operating room, I couldn't control my tears.  You were real.  You were present in our lives now... And most importantly you were OURS.  I loved you in my belly.  For nine months I carried you safely in there.. But from the moment you came out, I was completely and utterly overwhelmed with a love I've never known before.  A love so unconditional and so powerful.. No words could adequately do it justice.   
You slept so well that first night at home :)  

These last 3 weeks have been the best weeks of my life.  Despite the exhaustion.. Despite the upheaval of life as we had once known it before.  Life has become exponentially sweeter.. and I wouldn't change a thing.    

Every day I fall in love with you more and more...
- I love your sweet sideways smile..that I'm sure is just a reflex right now..but I like to think it's just for me and daddy cause we're so funny and you're so happy to be ours.. :)
- I love your sweet baby smell, even though you're definitely due for another sponge bath :)
- I love your little baby sounds, and the way you grunt and groan when you're "filling your diaper" :)
- I love how you're obviously already having dreams (even at two days old!! What do babies dream about at 2 days old?!)
- I love your sweet down turned mouth as you cry when we change your diaper (you HATE those mean old cold wipies on your tushy :(
- I love how since the beginning you've been such a good eater and you took to a feeding schedule with no problem at all.. 
- I love how you can put yourself to sleep, without being rocked or bounced or without me having to carry you around the room til you fall asleep.  Please don't change.  This is one of my FAVORITE things about you....
- I love your sweet little (well HUGE) feet and long skinny toes that look so much like your dads
- I love your BIG, ROUND eyes that follow me when I talk to you... and that can still go a little wonky when you're trying to focus right after you wake up from a nap.  ;) 
- I love how you have yet to figure out your arms and legs.. and take any chance to kick and squirm your way out of a swaddle.
-  I love your little ears and how they are exactly the size of your daddy's thumb.
-  I love how your toots sometimes scare you... or how you can toot and sneeze at the same time
-  I love that even though it make take a while to come out.. you can make your dad jealous with how loud your burps are
-  I love your long lashes and light brown hair.. (and your baby mullet...  longer hair coming in the back.. short on top.  ;) 

Monday, October 1, 2012 
Morning of your first visit to the Pediatrician

Car ride to your check up :)

Mommy...swollen, exhausted but oh so in love with YOU!! 

Waiting to get your measurements and weight
This visit you weighed 7lbs 5 oz and had grown a 1/4 of an inch, making you 20 1/4" long! 

All tuckered out after being out and about

October 2, 2012

October 4, 2012

Friday, October 5, 2012 after our second visit to the pediatrician 
You scared us with these crazy wheezing and gasping sounds when you'd eat and sleep.  
We didn't want to wait for our 2 week scheduled visit so we changed it to make sure you were ok.  

We couldn't believe how much you'd grown in just a few days since our last visit to the pediatrician.  
In just four days you'd gained 8oz and had grown ANOTHER 1/4"!  
7lbs 13oz and now 20 1/2"

October 6, 2012

Oooooo.... Love my pretty girl.  :)

Happy 2 weeks Baby Bear and Cheers to your original 10/9th due date :)  
Can't believe how fast time flying by!

Little Miss Everleigh at 16 days old :) 

Gig Em Aggies :) 
Showing school pride for mommy's school!  

In the onesie that you came home from the hospital in exactly 3 weeks ago.
It's just about too short for you and will surely be packed away in your memory box soon.  :)  

Happy 3 weeks Sweet Baby Bear.. Can't wait to see what the next 3 weeks has in store for us.  :)
Have I told you that Grandma and Grandpa Maldonado are coming to visit soon!! 
Can't wait! 

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Chef Chad Kelley - New Executive Chef at Cafe Pacific

As some of you may or may not know.. (from reading our blog or just by being in our lives for more than a MINUTE ;).. you'll know that Mr. Kelley, my better half and partner in a damn fine chef.  One of Dallas' finest actually... and for the better part of the six years that we've both lived in Dallas, he's worked his butt off to try and make a name for himself.  As Executive Chef of the Oceanaire Seafood Room for over three years and as Executive Chef of the Meddlesome Moth for just over 2, he continuously gave his all to make each restaurant a success.  His ambition, creativity and constant need to recreate his craft is amazing.  Unwavering actually.  He never stops researching, he never stops trying new things... focused on food and the strong desire to create new and exciting dishes for the masses.  

So it's really no surprise that one of Dallas' most established and well known restaurants would seek out one of the best in the industry. (Biased??.. sure, why not!? ;) But now that the cat is officially out of the bag... press releases have gone out and Dallas food blogs have made their announcements across the internet world, we can finally say, (after a few weeks of keeping mum) that Chef Chad Kelley is the NEW Executive Chef of Cafe Pacific in Highland Park Village.. a Dallas landmark for over 32 years!  

Right on the heels of the birth of our daughter, Chad stepped into his new role just yesterday..  narrowly escaping the onslaught of poopie diapers and night time feedings.  Lucky dad.. not so lucky, super tired mommy... lol.  

Regardless, we're ALL proud of you Love...Congratulations!  Hope you have a great first week of work.  We miss you already :)  (And you can bet Little Miss Everleigh will have a nice "surprise" waiting for you when you get home tonight ;)  

Read more from just some of the blogs that have come out in the last two days.. 

For the original posting on Guide Live's Eats Blog, click here... (or read below)

Can new chef Chad Kelley bring luster to Cafe Pacific?

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Cafe Pacific's dining room (staff file)
Back in July, I wrote a Critic’s Notebook column about a string of terrible experiences I had dining in the Bubble. One of the experiences I mentioned in the essay was at Cafe Pacific, where I suffered through a ceviche comprised of “rubbery bay scallops interspersed with unidentifiable bits of crustacean (shrimp? crab?), all soaked in lime and decorated with pallid, out-of-season diced tomato,” lemon sole amandine drowned in butter, and halibut with a terrible texture that made me think it had been poorly frozen. There were serious service issues, to boot. The chef had left since I dined there, I mentioned in the story, and the restaurant was seeking his replacement.
A couple weeks after the story ran, I received an email from Cafe Pacific’s owner, Jack Knox, who wrote that in regards to the criticism,  ”I always take it to heart. I believe that it is meant to be constructive criticism , and we will try to fix the problems.” He also mentioned that after my story was published, he received a “‘Niagara Falls’ of resumes, including about twelve currently employed executive chefs and two from your Top Chefs list!”
Chad Kelley, in 2008 when he was chef at the Oceanaire Seafood Room (staff file)
Well, Knox has brought a new chef on board: Chad Kelley. He started yesterday. A little background: Kelley opened the Meddlesome Moth as executive chef; prior to that, he headed the kitchen at the Oceanaire Seafood Room. When I reviewed the Moth (awarding it two stars), I loved a couple of his dishes — a rabbit pot pie with beech mushrooms and mustard greens and an appetizer of cornmeal pancakes topped with shredded 5-spice pork belly, cilantro and pickled carrots. I never had the opportunity to taste his cooking at Oceanaire, but no doubt that seafood experience will pay off in his new gig.
Over the weekend, Knox shared with me (and others) an email exchange between him and Kelley, which provides an interesting inside glimpse of the restaurant’s inner workings. This is a note from the chef to Knox:
Jack, we are all set for Monday.  I will check in with David or Vincent when I arrive around 9 am to chat with them before heading into the kitchen. I will gather the cooks and introduce myself and let them know what my expectations are.  Once set up I will walk the kitchen with the sous chef on that day.  Tasting sauces, asking questions and getting acclimated. I will make sure to be a part of the pre shift with the service staff as well.  I will make myself open for comments, during appropriate times, and let them know our plan to get things back on track. My first few days will be observing, making changes as needed and ensuring consistent plates leave the kitchen.  I will also perform a facility audit, review previous health inspections and start getting acquainted with vendors.
One request I will have for David and Vincent is to gather contact information for regulars they have not seen in a while or who have had some complaints lately. Once we get some things back to were we want them I would like to call them personally and invite them back in as well as solicit some feedback.
Lastly, when would you like to sit down with Anne to review menu changes and get this Steakhouse style implemented?
A couple things to note. First, Knox tells me he did not make any management changes, and here the chef is taking it upon himself to address complaints from diners. And second,  Kelley refers to a new “steakhouse style.” I asked Knox about this, and he responded: “People still love steaks, and our signature pepper steak has been a very big seller for twenty or more years, so we intend to give our customers more steak options and buy the necessary equipment to do the steaks properly.” He also mentioned that it will probably take Kelley a couple of months “before he can reshape the kitchen to his standards.” Anne McCann Greer worked with the prior executive chef, Bill Trevino, to revamp the menu, and Kelley will continue to work with Greer as well.
Or head over to D Magazine's Side Dish Blog here (or again.. read below)

Chad Kelley Named Executive Chef at Cafe Pacific in Dallas

Some folks believe the sweet potato fry was invented at Cafe Pacific. Others do not care.
Today, chef Chad Kelley begins his new job: executive chef at the 32-year old Café Pacific in Highland Park Village. Kelley was at the helm years at The Oceanaire Seafood Room at the Galleria for six years before leaving in November 2009 to open the kitchen for Meddlesome Moth. He left that post in December 2011 and has been very busy: he is a new father to his just-born daughter, Everleigh.
Kelley takes over an established kitchen with a new menu developed by  Gang of Fivechef/consultant  Anne Greer McCann and CP’s former chef Bill Trevino, who departed for Austin. Kelley’s got the seafood touch, but we’ll have wait and see how he fits with the  Texas twists, including steaks, on the new menu.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Behind the Scenes - Everleigh's Photo Shoot

If there was one major thing on our list of "Things to Do" once our Little Bear was to enlist a professional to capture all of her many, super adorable tiny bits.. (while her little baby bits were still oh sooooo tiny!).  Knowing she'd grow like a weed right before our very eyes, it was so incredibly important to me to capture her sweet newborn-ness as soon as humanly possible.  (By an actual professional...not just by me with my little handheld and my iPhone ;)  

Enter Miss Shannon Skloss of Shannon Skloss Photography.  I had actually gone to school with Shannon waaaaaaaaaayyyyy back in the day, so when I saw she lived in Dallas when we reconnected on Facebook years and years later and I saw how amazing her work was, I knew exactly who we'd be calling right after we got home from the hospital.  :)  

Eight days after Everleigh was born, we had an awesome afternoon of props and swaddling and cute baby faces.  Little Miss Everleigh was QUITE the trooper, staying up throughout the ENTIRE THREE hour session.. never fussing and  never letting out as much of a sleepy whimper.  According to Shannon, she was one of the best babies she'd ever worked with... and by how lucky we've been with how incredibly RELAXED she's been since she's been home, I actually believe her!  Talk about one PROUD MAMA!  :)  

Just as a teaser, Shannon wasted no time in sending over two pictures to tide us over until she could get us more edited photos in the coming weeks.  We ABSOLUTELY LOVE THEM!! Stay tuned for more, coming soon!  :)

We seriously CAN NOT wait to see how the others turn out... until then, here's a little behind the scenes action as it played out during the shoot.  :)  But first.  BATH TIME!  Gotta get pretty, you know... ;)  

Everleigh and Macie giving each other the stare down.. :)

And just so Miss Macie wouldn't feel neglected while Little Miss Everleigh stole the show... Papa Bear made sure she got a little love too :)

Oh yes... You KNOW we HAD to.. Chef hat and mixing bowl.  :)

Sweet Daddy-Daughter Time 


Sweet little girl did so well!  :)