Happy Friday everyone. I am getting ready to head to Norman. I'm taking the roast beef I made yesterday to my son's apartment. I'm hoping he'll like having a home cooked meal.
I hope everyone has a great weekend. :)
Yesterday I was out in the yard with the dogs and I discovered what looked like fuzz everywhere. It was only on one part of the yard though.
Most of it looks like this. It looks like maybe it could be coming from the tree. So I lean down and get a closer look. NO. It is caterpillars except that there is nothing crawling and really I don't see anything alive. I looks like it's molted. So I came inside and looked on the internet to see what I could find out. Should NOT have done that. I found out there are a lot of caterpillars in Oklahoma. And some that prefer oak trees, and a lot of them that sting! It said it can range from slightly irritating to quite painful. I tried going through a caterpillar identifier. But, I can't see it's body. So I am on the hunt now. Got to find out what the heck this is.
This is what the tree looks like. 2 trees are COVERED.
I hope it goes away soon and doesn't kill my tree.
Anyone know what this is? The best I can figure I think it's some sort of moth. ???
I'm scratching and I can't stop.
I feel like fuzzy things are all over me.
I'm heading out to Jane, Mo. this morning. But I wanted to leave you with a cheerful song. I think this song is sweet! I wonder why nobody says Darling anymore? I've wanted to be a darling ever since watching Lady and The Tramp- Jim Dear and Darling. Remember?
Gosh, has it really been 5 days since I've blogged? Time flies! Some of you who read my blog that know me know that I went to Norman this weekend to see my kiddos. I took my computer with me but didn't really have any down time. It seems like there really wasn't enough time with them. We got into town Friday evening and went to Evan's apartment to unload and get the puppies situated. (The puppies are now 8 years old, mind you) They were excited to be a part of our trip. I think Amy was more excited about seeing them than she was us. I can understand that. It's amazing how much we miss our pets.
We had a great night with the kids. We went to BJ's Brewhouse and listened to the kids tell us stories about what's been going on. Half of which is not blog appropriate... but funny. My daughter has some roommate issues and although she doesn't think it's funny right now she will some day.
Saturday was game day! Nothing is more fun that a college town on game day. We got our day started with a little bit of shopping and went to the dorm to deliver a mini fridge. And again.. roommate stories. There couldn't be two girls more different than these two. Hopefully they will be able to change at semester. (fingers crossed) Imagine two girls living together in a small space and they NEVER talk to each other. Zero communication. I.. well, I just couldn't do it. I love to talk. I'd talk to myself! haha
By mid day the kids were both passed out sound asleep on the sofa in Evan's apartment. Not exactly the pre-game tailgating we were expecting. I know they'd both had a lot of school work the week before. I vaguely remember burning the candle at both ends. But I really think that part of the reason for the nap is Evan's sofa. OH MY GOSH, it's like a giant teddy bear. You sit down and immediately you are so comfy and cozy you just want to close your eyes.
We went to Evan's favorite place to eat before the game: Fuzzy's Taco Shop. If you are in Norman it's at Campus Corner. Amy and I ordered their beef tacos. Not knowing what to expect I was very pleasantly surprised when we got 4 flat corn tortillas with shredded beef and lettuce, and cotija cheese. And their taco sauce is in giant bottles on the tables. Turns out.. I could drink the stuff. Amy wasn't as wild about the corn tortillas but man! It was the best tacos I've had in Oklahoma! I can't wait to go back. That will be a regular eating place I'm sure!
Our trip was a blur. After the game we went back and spent a little bit more time with the kids before going to bed. Then we were up and out of there early Sunday! I've had a bridal shower (which was lovely) and a surprise birthday party for a friend. Then had birthday dinner last night with friends to celebrate my husband's birthday and also my sweet friend Elizabeth who couldn't make it! :( We got tickled last night. The staff came out 3 different times singing happy birthday to guests while we were there, and I think they said there were 6 or 7 people that night that had been in with birthdays.
Today I'll be making cowboy cornbread and sharing the recipe. (for tomorrow) and also will be working on perfecting the cheese sticks. :)
Last week I spent a lot of time on Amazon.com and shopping online at Williams-Sonoma (my mother ship). Yesterday was Christmas for me! I got in my 3 cookbooks I ordered. The Homesick Texan Cookbook written by the first food blogger I ever followed Lisa Fain. And then I got in my box set of Thomas Keller books: Ad Hoc, and The French Laundry Cookbook. I tell you, those books are BEAUTIFUL! Works of art. They are more like coffee table books than cookbooks. I'm scared to take them in my kitchen. I'm such a messy cook that I know they'll never be the same.
This morning I've been sitting here sipping coffee, listening to it rain (t.v. off) and snuggling with two puppies that smell like warm fritos. I've been reading the introduction to Lisa Fain's cookbook and listen to her describe how moving to New York City made her homesick for home state. It has just brought a FLOOD of memories back to me. Not only about my time living there but the times in my childhood going to visit my daddy's family in East Texas.
I don't know if you noticed that I changed the video on the front page of the website to Sweet Southern Comfort. It reminds me so much of that time. Stopping at my granddaddy's gas station and watching the old men play dominos. He'd always tell me to take a soda pop out of the machine (it was the kind that in a cooler you opened from the top. It stood about waist high) and my favorite drink bar-none was Peach Nehi. This was during my chunky phase and I knew mom and dad wouldn't have wanted me to drink a sugary pop but I'd look up at dad and he'd nod yes, to go ahead. (Yessssssss!!!) I loved going to visit my East Texas family and I miss them. Why have I not made time to see them?? I have my two uncles that are the spitting image of my daddy. I have the sweetest aunts and cousins. And I miss their sweet East Texas accents.
This morning I got a text message from Joe's sister and she's been after to come up to the north east and come see where they live. Couer D'Aline, Idaho. It is a gorgeous place from the pictures I've seen. I'd really love to go see them too.
Is it too late to make a New Years resolution? Yes, probably so. But I really do want to make time to go see family I haven't seen in so long. I've taken for granted that there will always be time to do that, and in that time I've lost family members like my sweet Aunt Patsy. My dad's sister. She was a treasure.
This week I think I'm especially in touch with these feelings because of the struggles some of my friends are going through. One of my dear friends has been told they think her dad may have leukemia. Another dear friend just lost her papaw. But as if that wasn't sad enough she's also lost in the last 6 months her dad and her husband. I can't imagine the pain she's in.
It's reminded me that we need to get reconnected with our loved ones. I'm going to work on it. I hope all of you will think about it and do the same!
I talked before on my old blog about Jr. League cookbooks.. When I was younger and my kids were little, my husband and I were busy with a growing business. We were also busy accumulating things for our home and we were "feathering our nest". I began to cook a lot more. Mostly out of necessity but also because my love for cooking began to grow. Friends and family began to bring me cookbooks for my kitchen. This was the early 90's.
My friend and neighbor Joyce always brought me "sussies" or surprises from trips she'd go on. I got cookbooks from all over the U.S. and because I loved cookbooks, I began to get a lot of them as gifts. This period of time also seemed to just boom with regional cookbooks. Up until then it seemed like cookbooks were mostly written by distinguished and credentialed chefs. These regional cookbooks made cooking seem a little less intimidating. They were written by regular people and were recipes that were usually just passed around to friends. To me, it's very much what food blogging is about now. Some of the Jr. Leauge cookbooks I collected had some really great recipes!
Fast forward to now. My kitchen isn't very big. I don't have a lot of shelf space for books and so I've kept a few out but have put most of my cookbooks in a storage box. Every now and then I'll go look for a book or a recipe but most of the time it's out of sight, out of mind. The other day I was going to find a recipe so I could give proper credit for a recipe I was blogging about and ended up dragging out several of my old cookbooks. The one that caught my eye this time was "The Best Of The Best From Texas" It's a compilation of recipes that were favorites from all of the local Jr. League cookbooks in Texas. I began to dog ear pages immediately! I don't know why I'd never really used this cookbook very much. One of the first recipes I came across that I really wanted to try was called Chicken Ole'. I turned the page and there was an almost identical recipe except it had a couple of differences- but it was very much the same. The two recipes were from different Jr. League cookbooks. I could just imagine how that whole situation came about. Who's recipe should they choose? Can't make either lady mad... so they published both.
I noticed yesterday that both methods of dredging the chicken were the same. They used butter first then dipped it in the dry mixture. Butter? I can honestly say I've never used butter before for coating chicken. I just couldn't do it. I ended up making an egg wash. The recipe was delicious and I'm going to share it with you today. We could call this a "high carb" recipe. haha! It's not something you would want to make every week but it was delicious and definitely worth trying! I have lots of other recipes in this book picked out, and I can't wait to make them. Meanwhile, I'm going to heat up some Chicken Ole' for some breakfast. ;)
I haven't blogged in four whole days. I've been burning up the roads! We were supposed to have friends come in Saturday so they could have a play day on the lake with their kids but it became obvious mid-week that our weather wasn't going to cooperate. It was rainy and cold. And it wouldn't be much fun for them to drag the family up here to sit indoors, so we scrapped our plans and they stayed home and did their own thing. This left my husband and I with a clean house and free time! I got an amazing recipe for lasagna from a friend and so we set off for the big city (Tulsa) in search of the finest organic vegetables, and imported cheeses, and fresh ground meat. 3 stores later, we had our goods! I even had the pleasant surprise of running into my big sister in the grocery store! We came home and made an amazing lasagna and watched my favorite team play football!!! I was biting my nails... I really wanted this win for them! There had been lots of smack talk while we were in Florida this summer and I really don't like talking smack and then losing. The game was great! Nothing better than 2 great teams playing their best. And of course, I didn't have to eat crow. We had a great night seeing friends and neighbors.
Sunday, it was still raining. My husband and I decided to head out in the other direction and go to north west Arkansas. It was a beautiful drive. I love seeing the fog in the valleys. The water falls were trickling. Our mission? Look at furniture. We've decided to update our daughter's room. We walked into "The largest furniture showroom in Arkansas" and immediately we both looked at a sofa in the front of the store. It was pretty. And it was cheap. We both would really love to have a different sofa. But replacing it never seemed like something we could do. But my husband claimed that for THAT price he'd throw our sofa in the lake! The only problem with that particular sofa was the faux crocodile material on the arms. We decided that wasn't "the one" but the seed was planted. We now have 2 missions. Redo our daughter's room and buy a new sofa. We are a furniture store's dream customers. Easily influenced! Their marketing people should be proud of themselves.
A trip to Joplin, Missouri followed by another trip to Tulsa and I think we've found furniture we like! :) Now I just need to work on selling our old furniture.
I walked out front yesterday and I saw a dragonfly on one of my plants. It was pretty big. I ran back in and got my camera.
It was really hard to get his whole body in focus. The leaves would get in the way. I was afraid to try to move them for fear it would fly off. But, as I was staring through my lens I realized that this is one of the strangest bugs I've ever seen. Even more than stick bugs praying mantises, or grass hoppers. This head looked like it was on a swivel. It seemed like he had a big helmet head. I realized he (?) wasn't just perched there he was actually eating my plant. So I ran back in and got my husband so he could see how bizarre this bug was.
The camera sounds seem to get his attention. As my camera was auto focusing he would turn and look at me. He was a big bug!! His body was longer than a finger. So I'm leaned in getting closer and closer and closer......... and you can guess what happened. He buzzed really loud and flew! And it scared the bejesus out of me! I screamed. It's a miracle I didn't drop my camera. Maybe bug photography is not for me.
It got me to thinking though about all the people who love dragonflies and think they are beautiful. Some people even have dragonfly tattoos. I wonder if they could have seen this bug in action if they would still feel that way. It was straight out of an alien movie.
Oh my gosh. Where did everyone go yesterday? I had not one response to either the blogroll or the recipe. Did everyone have a busy day?? Luckily (?) I'm not a person who is easily put off. I'm like a yellow labrador puppy. I'm blonde, pudgy, and irrepressibly happy.
I spent the whole day in the kitchen yesterday listening to Classic Rewind. I made my first attempt to make mozzarella cheese sticks. I couldn't find a recipe I just loved so I sort of combined all the ideas and made my own. But On Giada's Food Network recipe she emphasized freezing them. My cheese had actually been in the freezer, so I let it thaw long enough to cut through it and then did the dredge process and then re-froze it. My cheese sticks were delicious but they were also frozen in the middle. YUCK. So, it's back to the drawing board with that. I think if I'll just do smaller cheese slices it will do the trick. I'll have to get back to you on that one!
Then dinner was a complete flop! We ended up dumping it. But there are days like that! And I always tell myself that if you don't ever try you'll never end up with great food.
But considering that I was less than successful yesterday I'm going to stick to something safe for dinner tonight. PW's grilled ribeyes with blue cheese and onion sauce sounds Heavenly. And fattening. But that doesn't scare me. See, yellow lab puppy...
Got to run for now! Hitting the road!
Have a great day!!!
I'm a wife and mom! That about sums me up! I am blessed to be married to my best friend for 28 years now. I have 2 great kids that are grown! My hobbies include: Cooking, photography, gardening, reading, painting, and pottery, and feathering my nest!
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