Thursday, March 31, 2011

Nests that are not empty, need watching…

Hey? Can you do me a favor?

As you may know, I’m moving to DC next week and tomorrow is the day they’re turning off my internet. I know!

So, until I can catch up with you at rest stops and Starbucks, as I make my way across the country, could you do me a large?

Can you keep an eye on my nest?

Well, it’s not really my nest, as I didn’t lay any eggs in it. It is the nest of a pair of bald eagles, you know...our national bird. They are so awesome. Anyway, the Raptor Resource Project has been watching this pair of bald eagles for the last couple of years. They come back to the same nest in Iowa and here they are again, making a family. There are three eggs. The parents take turns sitting on them, although right now, since it’s close to hatching time, the mom has been on them the most.

The eaglets are due to hatch any time now and I am in suspense. I can’t believe I’m going to miss it! I will still have my iPhone (thank Jobs for that!) so hopefully I will get to see them, too.








Live TV : Ustream

But in the meantime, if you could just keep an eye on them and maybe shoot me an email if you see hatchling activity.

Don’t you even laugh at me. I know which of you have farms in Farmville and cottages in the English Countryside. I think this qualifies as a little more significant than if you get your blueberries harvested on time. 

While the packers are here, I will drive the neighborhood looking for free internet check in when I can. I’m ready to start this new chapter. It’s going to be a fun road trip. At the end of it, I’ll be back together with my darling and my dogs. Who could ask for more?

 

Here’s to my next adventure! Take care and don’t forget to look after the birds.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday… Cell phone edition

 

IMG_0841
Get out of jail car…

IMG_0823[1]
Co-pilot always at the ready…

IMG_0853[1]
This can’t be good…

photo
See Zadge? Your next boyfriend could be right there on the side of the road.
You just gotta be looking!

 

What’s on your cell phone?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Appetizers are those little things you eat until you lose your appetite…

Having lived in Texas now for almost five years, I have come to love the jalapeno. I also love the chili pepper and the hatch peppers that come in the fall. Today, though, we’re going to talk jalapenos.

IMG_0522

Specifically, jalapenos stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon. YUM. As we all know, anything wrapped in bacon has to be good.

These little appetizers are so easy to make and are always a hit.

Choose jalapenos that are firm and not too big. Slice your jalapenos in half and take out the seeds. I highly recommend wearing gloves for this because jalapeno juice stings the eyes. You may think you don’t have any on your hands when you touch your face, but you will be wrong. Not that it has happened to me once or twice.

IMG_0508

Your next ingredients are bacon and cream cheese. Let the cheese sit out while you’re slicing and seeding the jalapenos, so it can soften up a little bit. Then put it in a heavy zip lock bag and cut off a corner.

IMG_0510  IMG_0512

Putting the cheese in the bag makes it easier to spread on the jalapenos, and keeps mess to a minimum. Just squeeze a line of cheese into the hull of the jalapeno. Before you wrap the bacon around them, sprinkle a little bread crumbs over the top. This makes a little crust and keeps the cheese from going all over in the oven.

IMG_0514 IMG_0515

Thick cut bacon works the best. Cut the bacon slices in half and use one piece for each jalapeno. Place on foil covered cookie sheet.

IMG_0517IMG_0518

These are a nice make-ahead appetizer, because at this point, you can keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them. They taste best when they’re still warm. When you’re ready to cook them, preheat the oven to 425°. Cook for 25 minutes, uncovered, until bacon is crispy.

IMG_0520 IMG_0521

Your kitchen will smell like bacony goodness. Who doesn’t love the smell of bacon?

Ta-da! Yummy appetizers, Texas style!

IMG_0522

I have made these twice in the last week and have brought home an empty plate, every time.

Enjoy!

Monday, March 28, 2011

A true friend is one who thinks you are a good egg even when you are half cracked…

Last year, when CGMan and I got inked (listen to me, I have one tattoo, all of a sudden, I’m Kat Von D) of all my friends, one squealed with delight. The others thought maybe I had taken leave of my senses, premature senility, if you will.

When we were getting them, the talk around the shop was that once you get one, you’ll want another. That has turned out to be a true statement. I do want another one, but I don’t know what I want. For now, I just needed a little touch up on the one I already have. I told my bestie I was going to Moms (you know, where Moms go to get tattoos)…

…and who decided that just because Dawn jumped off a cliff, she needed to, as well?

IMG_0847

This wouldn’t be the first time someone’s mother thought I might be a less than stellar influence. Sharon had been talking of getting a tattoo since the day I come home with mine. One of her kids even has a couple (and no, neither say Mom – what’s up with these kids??)

I tried to get her to get a tramp stamp (hey? what’s the fun of being a bad influence, if I don’t help her make some bad choices?) but she had something else in mind.

IMG_0846  photo

She had looked at 873467523465 frogs before we got there and then a couple hundred more once we had the artist at our mercy. She finally picked this little fellow and I have to say, he’s a cutie.

She told me afterward, that I lied to her, that I said it wouldn’t hurt. I had to remind her that she asked me if it would “hurt really, really bad”. It does hurt, don’t get me wrong. Having a baby hurts really, really bad. This just hurts a lot.

I did not get another tattoo, but I did look through a gazillion pictures, thinking about it. That’s the thing, you know when the time is right. It was the right time for Sharon.

For me, I just wanted to make the one I have, a little more special. The time was right.

IMG_0525

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Some like carrots, others like cabbage…

I happen to like both carrots and cabbage. There aren’t too many vegetables I don’t like. Today we’re going to talk about cabbage and how I cooked it on the grill. Oh. Yum.

I didn’t want you to think I really had potato chips and wine for dinner last night. Although, potato chip = potato = vegetable. Win! Except I don’t have any potato chips. I did happen to have 3/4 of a head of cabbage left over from when I made fresh vegetable soup last week.

As I was sitting in the chair, contemplating a run to the store for potato chips something suitable for dinner, I remembered I had the cabbage in the fridge. I mentioned before that I can’t cook cabbage in the house because, well, some people just don’t appreciate the aroma of cooking cabbage. But I can cook it on the grill!

If you want to try something so easy and out of this world, give this a try. Take about a half head of cabbage, cut into fourths, then cut into thick shreds and place on four pieces of heavy duty foil.

IMG_0486

Pour about 2 tablespoons of soy sauce (I always use low sodium) over the top, grind some fresh pepper all over and then add a tablespoon of butter on top. Fold the sides over the cabbage to form a little package.

IMG_0488

While it’s perfectly okay to have just cabbage for dinner, I thought I might throw something else out there on the grill.

IMG_0491

If you have never had Queso Poblano Chicken Sausage, you haven’t lived. These are so wonderful. HEB makes them fresh. Of course, there is no HEB in DC, but I have found some chicken, spinach and feta sausages there. I haven’t tried them yet, but I’ll let you know.

Once the grill gets nice and hot, place your cabbage pouches on one side over med/low heat. Put your sausages on the other side over med/high heat. Cook sausages 10 minutes on each side, then pull everything off at the same time. In case you didn’t figure that out – cook pouches for about 20 minutes over med heat.

Be careful opening the pouches because of the steam, but this is what it will look like:

IMG_0495

I forgot to take a picture once I had everything plated, because it just smelled so good, I had to dig right in. Trust me when I say it looked fabulous and tasted even better.

I offered the other pouch to Scottish Woman, because I know she loves cabbage. She couldn’t come down because she wasn’t feeling well. So I, being a good friend, ate the other pouch. Sorry, Scottish Woman! I am weak willed and it was that good.

 

IMG_0494

 

 

  Oh, I had wine, too.

     Duh.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday musings…

1. Last week, before I left for the airport, I put on my best bra and a little dab of the good perfume, along with the rest of my clothes. If there was any possibility of someone getting intimate, I might as well wear the good undies, right? It would be just my luck that I didn’t get felt up by the TSA. I didn’t even get to go through the naked x-ray machine. I lost those 2 pounds for nothing! I’m not sure whether to be bummed that no one wanted to feel between my ta-tas or be happy that I appear to be such a stand up citizen. I never could pull off the bad girl look.

2. I made some cookies for the open house we had on Sunday. They were butterscotch chip cookies. The recipe called for corn flakes, but I didn’t have any (am I the only one who pictures Frosted Flakes as being the only corn flake out there?) so I used grape nut flakes, because I’m a grown up. Well, I think I just invented the next hit breakfast food! They are SO good! If it has grape nuts in it, it has to be good for you, right? In fact, the recipe called for one cup of the butterscotch chips and 2 cups of the flakes. There you have it, twice as much healthy-for-you ingredients than the thing that makes it a cookie. You’re welcome.

3. Even if you aren’t married, I know each and every one of you knows a man (or are one, Hi Ron!). Can someone tell me why men point with their middle finger? They don’t do it if they’re pointing down the road or anything. Or maybe they do and that’s what CGMan is doing in the car, giving that guy directions. Anyway, they do it when they’re pointing to something on a piece of paper. Or a map. It is just weird when CGMan points out the entire route on the map with his bird finger. I find myself staring at it, wondering why he isn’t using his pointer finger. Isn’t that what that first finger is supposed to do? POINT?

4. I’ve buried the saint in the flower bed, I’ve baked cookies (and breakfast food) for prospective buyers. I haven’t had Brussels sprouts or cabbage for over two months now, just keeping the inside smelling nice. I have even moved Farty McFarterson and Gassy Gasgirl to Virginia to remove the dog smells, hair and footprints. And yet, no one has bought my house. Is there some magic potion, lotion or incantation that I can spread around? I would even do some funky dance, but with my moves, I’d probably bring about a hurricane or something.

5. I’m not liking being here by myself. When the dogs were here, I would make dinner with them in mind, because I did share. A little bit. But now that I’m here alone, I’m thinking potato chips and wine sounds like a well balanced meal.

 

So what’s been going on with you?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Traveling Tuesday…

Maybe if there was mood music or something, it wouldn’t be so bad. How about offering up a box of chocolate? I’d take my shirt off for chocolate. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Home is the most popular, and will be the most enduring of all earthly establishments…

It is true that home is where the heart is. Home is where you hang your hat. Home is the place where you can scratch where it itches even though your wife would prefer you didn’t. Home is also where the house is.

Yeah, we have two of those.

One house has the dogs and my husband, which all have my heart. That would be home, right? But, BUT, it has no stuff in it. One bamboo slotted spoon and a Paula Deen saucepan does not a kitchen make. And isn’t the kitchen the heart of the home?

We have another house that has ALL of our stuff (and my shoes) but no husband, heart or dogs. But it has the pacemaker for the heart of any good home, the Kitchen Aid mixer.

I’m sure you’re wondering “what is a gal to do?!” Well, I’m going to tell you. This gal is going back to Texas and getting her stuff! Mixer, aprons, pot & pans and spices, too, I’m bringing it all.

I can live with two LaZboys, two lazy dogs and a TV, as long as I have my Kitchen Aid. That will be the first step to making this house the home it wants to be.

Once I get all my kitchen stuff loaded up, I’ll think about what else to bring, like oh, I don’t know, clothes and shoes. When I left, I thought I was only going to be gone for a week. Yeah, I’m pretty sick of those three outfits! The dogs want their toy box, too. They have already killed the “welcome to your new home” toys.

IMG_0824[1]

There are other things I’ll be taking care of while I’m back in Texas (notice I didn’t say “home?- even though Kitchen Aid, hello?) like the annual boobie squish. I know I’ve reminded you in the past, and I’m not going to forget this year – Take care of the Ta-tas! (not you, Ron)

Breast cancer is most treatable when it is found early – when it is small and has not spread. There is no way to predict who will develop breast cancer and who will not. For these reasons, routine early detection tests (checking for breast cancer when there are no symptoms present) are recommended. – American Cancer Society

I am also going to have my hair cut and colored because who likes having to find a new hairdresser in a new town when it’s been almost two months since your last visit? Trying to explain what your hair is supposed to look like when it’s not overgrown, shaggy and various shades of grey is not something you want to attempt with a stranger.

CGMan thinks I should just take this picture in:

 IMG_0822[1]

*sigh* This is why he’s not allowed in the beauty salon with me.

Anyway, tomorrow is when I head back to the Republic of Texas and all its warmth and good Mexican food. Oh and my Skater! I’ve missed him!

Let me know if I’ve forgotten any essentials for the new home!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Did you know…?

…there are 40,000 toilet-related injuries annually in the U.S.?

…there are more than 120 Boy Scout merit badges, including one for dentistry?

…in medieval times, it was believed that owning a cat could help cure insanity?

…12% of men say they never use their turn signals?

…44% tailgate to try to speed up the car in front of them?
    (this is not news to me)

…an average Facebook user has 130 “friends”?

…sauerkraut was invented by the Chinese?

…since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, the US dollar’s value has fallen 98%?

…on a typical day, 34% of American adults take a nap?

…doctors don’t know what causes canker sores?

…every year, about 8 million pounds of sugar are used to make Twinkies?

…that Chef Sue turned ordinary Twinkies into a very glamorous dessert? You can read about it here.

…it is raining today, here DC?

…the likelihood of Dawn taking a nap that lasts most of the day is pretty good?

Monday, March 7, 2011

It’s been two years and they still call me Heiferyung…

I cannot believe it is the second anniversary of my little blog! For a gal who had trouble writing a grocery list, I believe I’ve come a long way. Of course, it helps to have good blog fodder.

 IMG_0521 IMG_0736IMG_3427IMG_0603

In honor of my blog’s anniversary, I thought about a give away, but I live in an empty house and the bean bag does not belong to me. Instead, I’ll share with you five of my favorite posts.

Adventures in Suburbia – this gave my readers a first peek into my life in suburbia. It is ever so exciting here.

That's my favorite! – When I started this one, I had planned on using just a couple of pictures and one verse. The more I worked on it, the more I was challenged to find enough for the most of the song. I giggled away a whole afternoon. BTW, those are all  my pictures. None of them were hijacked borrowed from google.

I'd rather be a lightning rod than a seismograph… – the subject of lightning is always a good conversation starter and this is no exception.

Can I get a tongue roll, please?... I’m amazed at how many people will stick out their tongue if you ask them to (and sometimes when you don’t)

Every wiener is a winner... because sometimes you just can’t get enough wiener.

I will admit, it was hard to pick just five of my favorites and not include one of the scorpion ones. If you are new to my blog and are just dying to know about my scorpion woes, you can read about it here and then a month later, this happened. So there you go, scary scorpion stories.


Have I tickled your funny bone or caused you to ponder the profound? If so, I would love to hear about it.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Few Word Friday…

I was going to call this post “Wordless Wednesday…on Friday” but as soon as I typed it in, I realized I did have a few things to say, so it wouldn’t be totally wordless and it isn’t Wednesday. So now I have spent over 5 minutes just picking out a title for today’s post. Which really isn’t a post, per se, because I don’t have all that much to talk about, but I do have some pictures to share.

For those of you who have offered additional bean bags, thank you, but the new La-Z-Boys are on their way. Yahoo! I think Phoebe is the most excited.

IMG_0742

 

 

Zoe learned to love the bean bag, especially when she’s in it all by herself, but Phoebe never could manage it. Trust me, I feel her pain.

 

 

 

 

IMG_0761

 

One of the bad things about living Bohemian style is having your bed on the floor. This leads to all kinds of misperceptions about who is allowed on the bed. And who is allowed to put their head on my pillow (answer: only me!) Having her breathe heavily in my ear was one thing, but when the snoring started, it was all over for us.

And yes, her lips are touching me!

 

 

 

My brother and his sweet family are coming for a visit this weekend. That means I’ll have some pictures of our beautiful Ella to share next week.

IMG_0732

 

We all know babies are fond of shiny things. This time, they happen to be on Skater’s face. She ever so gently touched them, then reached in and gave him a big sloppy kiss. I love babies! (Psst, don’t tell anyone, but so does Skater!)

 

 

 

 

Speaking of Skater, it was his 21st birthday last week. While it was a very sad time for all of us, when we are all together as a family, we have a good time as we share memories and make new ones. We did celebrate the Skater’s birthday in style, at the only Mexican joint in town. It was surprisingly good, this coming from someone who lives lived in Texas.

IMG_0717

 

It’s a shame all he got was fried ice cream, because it was a dry county. No margarita for you, senor!

Don’t worry Skater, Mom is coming to Austin and we’ll do it up right.

 

 

 

 

That’s right, I’m going back to Austin for a couple of weeks to pack up some things to make life more bearable and bring my truck back here. I’ll fly back when we sell, to close and organize the movers. Until then, at least I’ll have something more than one bamboo spatula and a sauce pan.

It’s one thing for CGMan to live here with nothing, but quite another for me. I can do without a chair in front of the TV, but I have to have stuff in my kitchen!

Well, lookit there, I had enough stuff/opinions/pictures/thoughts to make a post after all! It’s amazing what you’ll sit here and read what I can come up with if I try hard enough.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

…and liddle lamsey divey…

I haven’t been here all that long, but something happened the other night that made me believe I’ll be staying for a long while.

You may remember our friend the photographer, Craig. He worked in Abu Dhabi with CGMan. It was with he and his lovely wife, Sue, that we took the hot air balloon ride and saw our first camel race. If you don’t have fun with these people, there is something wrong with you.

Well, Craig and Sue recently took a trip to Napa Valley. They were there long enough to take in a few cooking classes and wine pairing classes. You know, I try not to be envious, but those two looked like they were having such a great time, I wanted to be there, too.

They have now come home with a new found love of cooking and wine pairing. Craig bought a book called “Decanting Napa Valley” and has been inspired to make the recipes in it. Like that girl did with Julia Childs’ cookbook, only better. I saw the Julia Child cooking show a couple of weeks ago and I’m sorry, but her dish didn’t look appetizing at all. French or no French. This is so way better. And like that gal (geez but I can’t remember her name, other than Julie) he has started a blog about his grape adventures in Napa. You can check it out right here.

Every cook wants to share his creation with others. That’s where we come in! Lucky for us, we get to be his taste testers! Life is good.

We went to their house for dinner and immediately as we walked in the door, the aromas set my tummy to growling. I am no food critic, so I can’t even describe what I was smelling, only that I couldn’t wait to try whatever it was.

It was lamb.

I am not a lover of lamb. We have lived in countries where lamb is a huge staple, so I have tried it prepared every which way from Sunday. Then there are my good friends far and wide, who have said, “But you’ve not had lamb the way I cook it” or “You’ll love my mom’s recipe for lamb”. Each and every time I tried it, I just did not care for it. I have even had it served to me not knowing what it was (you know how fancy restaurants can’t just say lamb, they have to get all fancy schmancy about it – Agneau Champvallo is still lamb and potatoes) and still didn’t care for it.

It’s not because I think they’re cute and fluffy…

1278909_67786399

…they totally are. Just remember, I think cows are cute, too, but have absolutely no problem on steak night. So it isn’t that. I just don’t care for the taste or texture of lamb.

 

Lamb and Cauliflower Puree-1

When I walked into the kitchen and saw this lamb roast, my heart sank. As beautiful as it was,I wasn’t holding out a lot of hope. I have had many a lamb that just didn’t do it for me. But it smelled so. good.

After some wine and cheese and good conversation, it was time for our host to plate up our dinner. I tell you, if looks were everything, this dish would win first prize…

Lamb and Cauliflower Puree

It was almost too pretty to eat. Which is why the two photographers in attendance took several pictures of it!

With a bit of nervousness, I took my first bite.

Oh! Em! Gee! Holy Lamby, batman! It was heavenly! So very, very good. I literally squealed with delight and started dancing in my chair, making mmmmMMM nummy noises. I felt like one of the judges on Iron Chef – Oh, this dish is amazing. I can taste the fennel and the puree cauliflower adds an amazing dimension, blah blah blah.

As for the real Dawn, who doesn’t know from fancy food, all I can tell you is that she had seconds! My grandma used to say that was the greatest form of flattery to a cook. I think Craig is on his way to becoming the chef that his wife is.

Oh yes, that gal is a big time foodie as well, and usually does the cooking. It was rather entertaining to watch Craig cook and watch Sue watching Craig cook. Speaking from experience, it’s hard to give up the ladle sometimes.

Let’s not forget the wine that was chosen for this dish. In case you don’t already know, I have never met a wine I didn’t like. I have no reservations about wine. At. All.

2006 Ghost Block Cabernet Sauvignon

It was a 2006 Ghost Block Cabernet Sauvignon. It was almost as delicious as the lamb. They were a beautiful couple.

Given that the recipe was in a published book, Craig chose not to share it online. However, he did give it to me so that I would have ONE lamb recipe in my recipe box and I do plan to make it. When I do, we’ll do a step by step. He tells me it is ever so easy.

I would like to thank Craig and Sue for yet another amazing adventure. This time into the world of food. Like I said, with these two people, there is always a good time to be had and now there is dinner to go with it!