Sunday, August 31, 2008

Our Labor Day Weekend

Since the weather was not at all boat friendly over Labor Day weekend, I decided to paint the entry and hallway of our house. (The weather on Monday wasn't so bad; it was actually gorgeous but I had already bit off more than I could chew with this

Gloomy weather usually is a little depressing for all of us.

Sunday evening, we were invited to my husband's parents' home for dinner.

There's always fun to be had. Mom and son had a hoola hoop showdown! Johnny had the talent (I think sticking out a tongue must help) but Maggie won in "Who's the Cutest" category.

We lounged in the living room and caught up on our week.

Bindy Sue and Yazzie entertained us with their Bunny Hop dance across the living room.

For dinner we had Caesar salad (I've never had a better dressing), stuffed bell peppers (oh-so YUM!!) and homemade peach cobbler with ice cream.

Note to self: must ask for recipes!

Then it was back to painting. These girls won't let me forget about that!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Labor Day Saturday

The weather was gawd awful today. Dark looming clouds with winds so we decided not to go to the lake and work around the house. John went riding in the morning and after breakfast he worked on his bike in the garage while I cured some turkey to make jerky and hung out with my favorite girls, Havi and Elgy. They're always the innocent and unsuspecting photo subjects of my stalking.

If life was a bowl of KIX

This morning I had a bowl of KIX for breakfast. Kay I ex--KIX!! I can't remember the last time I had KIX for breakfast (most of the time I prefer to eat them them dry). This and Corn POPS have to be my two favorite cereals. There's something about the crispy corn puffs that I like with a hint of sweetness (KIX that is. Corn POPS are for when I want a sweet cereal).

When I bite down on each puff, it reminds me of when I was in Kindergarten. My teacher rewarded us with a Fruit Loop for every point we earned in class. Fruit Loops are too sweet for my taste

Nutritionally KIX aren't that bad with only 110 calories and 3 grams of sugar per serving. All I know is this kid could have a bowl of it every day!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Grilling at Home

My husband and I stayed home Friday night to take things easy for the start of our Labor Day weekend. With the songs from our favorite Gypsy Kings album playing, we drank margaritas and taurino cerveza (tastes slightly better than Corona), and cooked while we danced away (we can get silly sometimes...LOL!!).

We grilled some split chicken breast halves that were soaked in brine for hours (a tip I got from a friend to keep turkey moist--and it works!). The result is moist and flavorful chicken breast meat.

I had purchased the brining blend but I bet you could make your own.
  • 1 cup sea salt minus 3 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning (marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, sage, oregano, and basil) or a combination of as many of these spices
  • 2 tablespoons Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1 rounded tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • zest from half an orange
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (optional)

    One cup of this blend should be enough for 2 or 3 pounds of chicken breast halves. In a large bowl, combine brining blend with 2 cups of boiling water to dissolve salt. Add 3 cups ice to completely cool brine mixture before adding meat. Add enough cold water to cover meat. Refrigerate for 24 hours; 48 hours is even better because the flavor goes through the meat to the bone.

Havi was very comfortable by the patio door. When John went in and out of the house, she ran her little paws along the glass door as if she was running on her side...LOL.

Hot off the grill, the chicken was perfect to shred for the tacos we had for dinner. Cilantro, green onions, radishes, fresh tomatoes and salsa...YUM-YUM!! I forgot to shred the cabbage and slice up some fresh jalapeƱos but it was still good without any more stuff--not even cheese.

The leftover fixings, if kept fresh, makes a great salad using salsa, seasoned rice vinegar, a little olive oil and freshly ground black pepper for the dressing and the grilled chicken for cheesy quesadillas.

I love our quiet evenings at home and spending time with our girls.

Dancing Havi

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Dirty Pigeon

I saw this odd colored pigeon this morning. It looked nothing like the rest of the gray ones that it hung around it. Certainly nothing like these prettier pigeons.

(Click on photo for larger view)
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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cats in Cardboard Box

Something about cardboard boxes attracts our feline house mates, especially Havi who found the cardboard container my husband brought home simply irresistible.

It didn't take her long before she knocked it down from its upright position and got into it. The box was like a big playhouse for her...LOL.

Eventually the box peaked Elgy's curiosity (though she's usually half interested in boxes as Havi is) and she sauntered by to investigate what all the hoopla was all about.

"Hmm...don't know where Havi could be." Elgy said as she smacked her lips from dinner.

Elgy seemed oblivious to Havi's presence in the box (either that or she was very good at pretending to be clueless as Havi pushed back against Elgy's weight).

Finally Havi abandoned the box after she unsuccessfully lured Elgy into a game of hide-and-seek.

All this time it was Elgy's perfect plan to take over the box and have the entire thing all to herself!

"(S)he that can have patience can have what (s)he will." --Benjamin Franklin

Mediterrranean Salad with Edamame

I love salads and enjoy discovering recipes to change it up. I found this recipe off a package of edamame. It's a perfect lunch salad for me; a nice alternative to salad with meat. Easy to make and delicious!

  • 2 qts. torn romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cooked, shelled, cooled Edamame
  • 1/2 cup red onion slivers

  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Toss dressing with salad and serve. Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 202 calories, 10 g. protein, 13 g. total fat, 13 g carbohydrate, 271 mg sodium, 10 mg cholesterol. (The fat, in my opinion is a little high per serving (for me) though mostly from healthier sources (soy and olive); I'd cut down the amount of olive oil in the dressing or feta cheese and you won't even miss a thing in flavor). YUM-YUM!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Lake Mead Sunday

Sometimes it's nice to go out for breakfast rather than cooking so we met my husband's parents for breakfast. I ordered Swedish Crepes with ham, sausages and egg over medium. I know I'm one sick girl to put ketchup and Tabasco on my savory sides.

After that we decided to take our boat out on Lake Mead since the day was absolutely beautiful and sunny. The last time we were out on the lake, was when our friends Eric and Rob were visiting on August 3rd.

We decided to launch at Callville Bay Marina because the ramp is closer to Sandy Cove where we like to beach. They have widened the launch ramp to make more lanes but some people have no clue when it comes to allowing space for others to back their trailers in to. I realize we don't own the marina or lake so I try to be courteous and not hog the launch ramp.

Once we were out on the lake, we could finally relax and enjoy the rest of our day.

When we got to Sandy Cove, a familiar face called to us. It was our friend, Mark, who moved to Los Angeles and decided he wanted to move back to Vegas so he can be closer to his friends (awe, we missed you too Mark). There were quite a few people parked along the sand that we knew.

My husband took Mark and another friend for a ride. They absolutely loved the speed and all came back with hair blown back like the Tekken video game character, Kazuya Mishima.

There was barely a breeze to cool off my sweat so I swam around to cool off from the hot sun.

We spent the afternoon catching up with our friends...

...until it was time to leave.

We were home in no time and relaxed the rest of the evening with Havi and Elgy. We watched a movie, Kingdom, which was good but not exactly a peaceful movie...LOL.

Photos from Lake Mead (August 24, 2008) Flickr album.