Heidi’s Healthy Home – Introducing Our New Series With The Recipe: Roasted Tomatoes

Heidi Speasmaker Heidis Healthy Home Your Local Color.ComI’d like to share a great roasted tomatoes recipe that is one of our family favorites. I really enjoy the deep, sweet, smoky flavor of these tomatoes right out of the oven or even the refrigerator! They are great on salads, sandwiches, wraps, pizzas or anything where you need a pop of flavor.

I use the broiler pan from my oven to roast the tomatoes. It is a big pan and has the sides needed to contain any juice that comes out of the tomatoes as they cook. Also, it is coated with enamel, which is a safe cooking surface for acidic foods. [Read more…]

Peace Through Pie: Beginning A New Culinary Tradition To Remember Martin Luther King, Jr.

Peace Through Pie A New Tradition Your Local Color.ComWhen I think about pie, I think about chess pie. When I think about chess pie, I think about my mom. When I think about mom, it makes me happy. Chess pie was just one of many pies she would make for us at the holidays but it was, and still is. my favorite.

My parents had just moved to Waco in 1963. and mom and dad were having dinner at a truck stop on the Old Dallas Highway. Their waitress suggested they try the house dessert specialty – chess pie. Mom was raised in England and dad was from Ohio, so chess pie was new to them. Mom was always the adventurous type, so she ordered a slice and loved it. [Read more…]

Round Rock Celebrates The Life Of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

27th Annual Commemorative Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Walk & Celebration on Your Local Color.ComPeople my age remember those years. Back in the days when there were only three television networks, the evening news and the morning paper were our only connection to what was going on. Dad’s favorite was NBC’s Huntley and Brinkley, so I got to watch the world turn upside down during the sixties while Chet Huntley and David Brinkley provided the narration. There was a lot going on, and a lot to watch. A face that was frequently on the evening news in those years belonged to Martin Luther King, Jr. and the nation hung on his every word.

I lived in Waco during those years. My family arrived there in the early sixties as Jim Crow was gasping out his last breath. We got there in December of 1963, and although I don’t recall seeing them myself, my parents often spoke about the small black and white signs out in public view all over downtown that indicated that black folks were not welcomed in certain areas, or not allowed to use certain facilities. [Read more…]

Grown, Raised and Made By Your Neighbors: Organic Foods From Greenling.com

greenlinglogoMy first memories of what the future might promise for us was watching The Jetsons. I would sit glued in front of our black and white TV watching George and Jane Jetson zip around in their futuristic flying version of today’s minivan, dropping off the kids, going shopping or heading off to work. They lived in this crazy apartment building up in the clouds and they had a robot maid named Rosie, or was it Roomba?

We’ve all seen the show, right? If you have, you might remember prepackaged meals the Jetsons enjoyed that came in a pill or popped out of a slot in the wall. It was all very simple and quick, and in those days it seemed rather farfetched. If we look around today, almost 50 years later, you might not think The Jetsons is all that futuristic, but for a five year old kid in the early sixties it sure was. [Read more…]

Round Rock Arts Council Hosts Its Fourth Annual Chalk Walk

rra-logoI know a lot about sidewalk chalk. We used to buy it by the bucket full – literally. Both my kids were constantly outside in front of our house grinding the powder out of each piece of colored chalk, and coming back in the house looking like they had been a part of some pastel inspired explosion. We still have a butcher block in our kitchen with my daughter’s yellow sidewalk chalk drawings on its side. It will never be cleaned off.

Because of the fond memories of my son and my daughter pouring out their creative energies onto our sidewalk with chalk, I was not going to miss this year’s Round Rock Chalk Walk. As I understand it, this whole event was inspired by European style street fairs where artists draw with pastels and chalk on the pavement and sidewalks. I have seen video and pictures of such fairs, but this was my first – it won’t be my last.

This past weekend I went to the 4th Annual Chalk Walk sponsored by the Round Rock Arts Council, and I had a blast. Even the weather contributed to my “happy.” I was concerned because there was a small chance of rain in the forecast – water and chalk don’t play well together. Sure enough the morning was a little nippy and the sky was a little cloudy, but soon the sun came out, the air warmed up, and it all turned out perfectly. [Read more…]

Home Staging: Dorothy Featherling Shares Her Ideas And Tips To Get Your Living Room Ready For A Sale

Dorothy Featherling - EntrywayThe living room used to be the center of family life in the American home. It certainly was for me while I was growing up. I can still see my mom and dad in their easy chairs watching TV, snacking on salted peanuts or M&Ms, and a cat on a lap or two. Memories of me and my pets curled up by the fire place watching Little Joe and Ben Cartwright tame the old west are as clear today as if they just happened.

The people who lived in our house before mom and dad bought it must have been very interesting. The living room had a red brick fireplace with a beautiful oak mantle, the rest of the room was decorated with a western theme. Tan, horse-head covered wall paper and a huge wagon wheel chandelier were two features that stand out. Dark knotty pine wainscoting surrounded the room, and, of course, my dad’s gun cabinet along the back wall. I think the wagon wheel chandelier might even still be there.

I can remember every detail about that room and all of the changes. Over time mom and dad – mainly mom – tweaked it, changing the carpet a time or two, getting rid of the horse-head wall paper, adding built in bookshelves, and creating a large opening to the dinging room. I think my memories are so strong because we shared so much life there. Warts and all, in that room we were a family. [Read more…]

Home Staging: Dorothy Featherling of Stage & Sell Walks You Through Your Entryway

Dorothy Featherling - EntrywayMy kids still do it, and I bet yours do to. It’s not as frequent now that they are grown and on their own, but when they come by for a visit, it’s still the same. All the way from first grade through High School, the second they walked in the door they would start shedding the stuff they were carrying like a pair of lobsters shedding their shells.

Boxes dropped and shoes kicked off right by the door. Next to hit the ground were the jackets, book bags, athletic gear, purses and computer bags. This stuff usually made it past the door, but never past the bottom of the stairs. I can still see them both wiggling and writhing from the front door into the kitchen, dropping stuff with each step. At the end of the day the door and the stairs would look like a turned over clothing drop box for a thrift store. Sound familiar?

Here we are with the third installment in our series on home staging. In this post, a local Home Staging Professional and a familiar face, Dorothy Featherling, owner of Staging The EntrywayStage & Sell in Georgetown, shares her ideas on how to get your home’s interior, specifically the inside entryway, in shape for a sale. In the last post, Dorothy shared her ideas on getting the outside ready. Well, it’s time to get the buyer to walk through the door. If your entryway is as inviting as “a pair of warm, loving arms,” you’re not only going to draw them into the home, you’re going tempt them to explore the rest of the house. [Read more…]

Another Round Rock Hidden Treasure – Lorilee’s Gourmet – The Best Brittle EVER!!

Lorilee's Gourmet Brittle

Lorilee’s Gourmet Brittle

I can’t hear about peanut brittle without thinking about my father. He loved it and wouldn’t pass by an opportunity to try some out. In his opinion, his mother made the best peanut brittle and nobody could quite match up. My mom tried for years to measure up to grandma Bess’s peanut brittle but, in dad’s opinion, mom’s peanut brittle was close but no cigar. He tried it all and he had strong opinions about what was the best. It couldn’t be too hard or soft. He would know if the sugar had been cooked too long or not enough.

When he came to Texas in the early 60’s he got his first taste of peanut brittle with pecans. Well, of course he turned his nose up at pecan brittle because the only real brittle was made with peanuts. Still, he would eat all he was given and then some. I really think his peanut brittle chauvinism had more to do with his hard head and not as much to do with how good it really was. Like I said, he would try it all, and usually licked his fingers when he was done.

Lorilee's Gourmet BrittleI think he would have gone “nuts” over Lorilee’s Gourmet brittle. LoriLee’s Gourmet is a fantastic place to explore if you are looking for a local Round Rock business to try out and support. They have eight types of brittle to nosh on, and dad’s opinion not withstanding, they are all amazing. I am totally serious. My favorite was the Nuttin’ But Coconut brittle. It was coconut heaven. Coconut fans won’t be able to stop with just one bite. My second favorite was the Original Peanut – a tip of the hat to dear old dad. I think grandma Bess’s brittle would have to be pretty darned good to beat this brittle. Both of these two brittles were “melt in your mouth” amazing. Not too hard and just soft enough for a good crunch. My next favorite was the Texas Snake Bite. Snake Bite is out of this world good.  It is a brittle made with pecans and jalapeños, and I loved it. It had just the right combination of sweet and heat to make it perfect. I tried all of Lorilee’s brittle and loved them all, but you really have to drop by and taste for yourself. [Read more…]

Seton Williamson’s Ignite Women’s Health Program Offering Women’s Cycling Wellness Program

Ignite Women's Health Seton Medical Center Williamson is offering a cycling class through its Ignite Women’s Health program. This class is called the On the Trail to Wellness Cycling Program, and it is a twelve week program designed to meet the needs of anybody who wants to learn how to get the most out of your bicycle. You don’t have to be a star athlete to enroll, and although the program has already started, you are not too late to sign up.

I spoke with the coach for the program, Andy Oestrick, and she gave me a lot of details on the program. The class is designed for all fitness levels and can be tailored to your own individual needs. The class starts out with simple bicycle maintenance instruction, basic cycling skills, and some good advice about how to avoid injuries while you are on your bike. Along with that, you will get some basic riding instructions and coaching to make sure all of the cyclists are on the same page. This is all done as a group and in the safety of a parking lot.

Ignite Women's Health The class is designed to teach the cyclist true bicycling skills so that the rider can get the most benefit from this form of exercise. There will be road work, but Andy has designed the class so you can set and meet your exercise goals at your own pace. The program is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and Andy promises to be available for one-on-one attention if that is necessary. [Read more…]

Blue Dog Rescue Gives You a Chance to Meet Their Blue Dogs

Blue Dog RescueHere is a follow up on a post I did recently on Blue Dog Rescue. I was invited to drop by one of Blue Dog “meet and greets” where I would get a chance to get to know a few more of the amazing Blue Dog volunteers and some of their foster dogs. It was a lot of fun. I had the chance to catch up with Liz Garcia and Hannah again (Liz and Hannah were featured in a previous post and video) but I also got to meet Mara and her foster dog Mario Lopez, Pat and her foster dog Jim, and Kathleen and her foster dog Kia. I had a great time. One big surprise I had that day was that I was also able to meet one of Hannah’s puppies, Jack. Jack dropped by with his adoptive mom and it was a great family reunion. Watch the video and you can see Hannah playing with her little pup, Jack. Also in the video, you’ll get to meet the other foster dogs that were there.

Blue Dog Rescue has a “meet and greet” once per month where the public has a chance to drop by and meet these little guys. They are held at the Petco at Great Hills, but check their events calendar to make sure about dates and times. You can do that by clicking here. Check the calendar and make plans to visit with and get to know these good people and their amazing foster pups.

Blue Dog Rescue


I fell in love with all of these little guys, but I am such a sucker for animals in need of help. I would take them all home if I could, but that would keep you folks from having the chance to adopt one. Blue Dog foster volunteers take a lot of time to learn about the dogs they foster so you would really get a lot of great information from them about the dog. That is a great way to find out if you and your prospective dog are a good match. [Read more…]