Friday, February 25, 2011

One or Two or Maybe Seven Things

Well, it's Friday my friends, and I have been completely blinded by a beautiful sunrise happening oh so conveniently right behind my computer screen.

Weegie has strategically corralled all the squirrels over in the neighbors yard, and I have just enjoyed another awesomely tangy container of Fage Greek Yogurt with Strawberry Goji.

We are, as usual, living large.

I think it's only appropriate that Friday serve as a "wrap-up" day, and although as The Chief would say "Lu, to wrap anything up, you need to have started something in the first place..."

I'm taking a shot.


1.  Last night I started reading this:


And I had a hard time putting it down to go to bed.

I have no intention of starting any kind of official book club or anything. I mean a Book Club, I believe, might infer that the leader of such organization had some kind of literary knowledge, and I daresay that is not the case here.  It would probably also infer that there others interested in also reading the book, which I certainly can't presume...

So.  Here's my big announcement.

I started reading this book, and if anyone wants to get themselves a copy and read it too, and maybe at the end of March kind of have a discussion about it, well that would be nifty.

But if no one wants to, and I'm the Lone Ranger here, well, that's OK too, because I'm pretty adept at just having a discussion with myself, as I'm sure you've already guessed.

As a matter of fact, one of The Chief's greatest pleasures is observing me in a deep, self-discussion.

I DO try to keep the man entertained.


But the book does look to be a good one.
Lot's of action and intrigue and maybe a good lesson here and there along the way. I am always excited about anything that allows me to pretend I'm a member of some sort of group like NCIS,  you know, simply for the highly strategic investigative things involved, and well, being with Agents Anthony DiNozzo and Leroy Jethro Gibbs would just be a bonus, and well, that's all I have to say about that.

So buy the book and let me know if you're reading it too!

(And just a disclaimer - it has nothing whatsoever to do with NCIS, I just kind of ramble at times)



2.  Me and the mattress people.  We are on the outs.

I mean, I've never actually spoken to anyone there, but The Chief and I dismantled the bed, took all sorts of professional looking photos and submitted those with the warranty claim, and yesterday I got a message which said basically,

"Thank you for the two thousand photos of your bed. They are lovely.  What we actually need, however,  is just one which shows a ruler of some sort indicating that there is, in fact, an indentation of at least 1 1/2 inches in the mattress."

My reply will be something akin to "Thank you so much for your delightful and informative response.  It would have been ever so helpful for you to provide this information in the original instructions."

"I am currently your biggest fan."

My wrath.  It is formidable.




3.  And finally,  I bought these a few days ago


And I'm on the verge of returning them.

I mean, I really like them, and they would go great with jeans and they're really kind of "me", well, in a footwear-type way at least.

But I need some help in the fashion department:  OH MY AT THE UNDERSTATEMENT.

So feel free to shout out your opinion on the shoes.

And I should probably just mention that if I do end up returning them, I will probably need someone to accompany me for moral support because whenever I return something I feel this overwhelming need to apologize profusely and to provide written verification that the item was never, ever, actually worn (other than being tried on 42 times with "immaculately clean feet" in my closet with freshly vacuumed carpet...) and that I am SO SO sorry that I wasted the salesperson's time in the first place by purchasing them and OH PLEASE TELL ME HE WILL STILL GET THE COMMISSION FROM THE ORIGINAL TRANSACTION!

So, if you would be willing to help out with that whole ordeal, I'll be taking applications.


Now, I feel that you probably need some type of break, so I'll sign off.

Oh, and apparently the number I was shooting for was 3.

Three things.

Lu


P.S.  If anyone mentions to The Chief that I put a picture of my recently purchased shoes (which, OF COURSE, he knows about) on the internet and asked people's opinion of them, I will deny it to my dying day and be really, really, well, just exasperated with you.

Thank You.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Meyer Lemon Pound Cake



My Mom makes the best pound cakes in the world.  No contest.

I have her recipe.  I've made her recipe.

I've watched her make her pound cake recipe countless times.

In the last few years, because of her poor health, I've even helped her make her pound cakes.



I know all the ingredients, all the techniques.

I know my way around a kitchen.


But, as I'm sure you can probably guess, my Mom's pound cake tastes best when SHE makes it.

So, for now, I've decided to give up trying to replicate the taste with her recipe, and simply enjoy it even more when I get a taste of hers.


All that to say, then, this is not my Mom's recipe.

It might be selfish of me, but I don't know if I'll ever share that.

Judge me if you must.


But this makes me all the more interested in coming up with a recipe just as tasty and special as hers, but with my little stamp on it.


You may remember a while back, I pulled the remaining Meyer lemons from my tree for fear they'd be damaged by a hard freeze.

As the lemons have been stored, they've become even more and more juicy.  Several of them have yielded over 1/2 cup of juice!  Each!

I developed this recipe to showcase the mild, lemony taste of the Meyer variety, but it would work well with any lemons, I'm sure.


Here goes!

1.  Beat the butter and shortening until creamy.

 
Creamy looks like this...


Be sure to use a spatula and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Gradually add the sugars, beating at medium high until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating JUST until blended after each addition.


I always use brown eggs, but I think they are really important here.  Brown eggs have brighter yellow yolks than white eggs, and in a pound cake this adds a depth of color to the batter and makes a prettier cake.

Amen.

After adding all the eggs, you'll have something like this.


2.  Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add to the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Beat at low speed, just until blended after each addition.

Don't beat the life out of the batter - if you do, it will rise really high while baking, then collapse...


Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts, the lemon zest, and the lemon juice.


Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan.




3.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Cool in pan for 20 minutes before inverting cake onto serving plate.


and... drizzle lemon glaze on top.







Let me know what you think!

And FYI, I love to serve mine with a little bit of sour cream!!



Meyer Lemon Pound Cake 
 Lu
1 cup butter, softened
 ½ c. shortening
2 ¾ c. sugar
¼ c. brown sugar
6 large brown eggs
3 c. flour
½ tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
¾ c. milk
¼ c. heavy cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp. almond extract
1 T. Meyer lemon zest
¼ c. Meyer lemon juice

1.  Preheat oven to 325.  Beat butter and shortening until creamy.  Gradually add sugars, beating until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, until just blended after each addition.
2.  Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add to butter mixture alternately with milk and cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Beat on low speed until just blended after each addition.  Stir in vanilla, almond extract, zest, and juice.  Pour  batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan.
3.  Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool in pan for 20 minutes.  Invert to serving plate.
4.  Mix together 1 ½ c. of powdered sugar and enough lemon juice to make a glaze.  Pour or brush over cake.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It's Weird, But It's My Name, OK?


Yo y'all.  The Weege here.

Look, I just barely made it back from the farm.  We came home on Monday (Thank You former Presidents and your respective Birthdays), and I'm still pooped.

Pooped.  I do love that word.

But Mom told me I needed to post something so she wouldn't get "disappointed reader mail" and other such stuff.  So here goes.

Today I shall once again, for the uninformed, clear up the story of my name.

Five years ago, The Chief was working for a month at a time in the West African country of Equatorial Guinea.  And just so you know, the pronunciation of Guinea is not like the bird, it's rhymes with bidet.

Say it with me:  Guinea, Bidet.

And mercy sakes, surely all you Texans know how to pronounce that and even know what it's for.

But don't let me wander that road today.

So, the youngest biological son left for college, The Chief left for Africa, and Mom was officially a "basket case".  

Was, Is, whatever.

Anyway Mom needed someone to keep her company, and that's where I came in.

Now today, because of naptime constraints, I'm only reviewing the origins of my name.  I will devote an entire post in the future to the dramatic twists and turns that changed me forever from "Mom's dog" to "The Chief's Biggest Fan".

Amen and Amen.

Anyhoo, in a fit of forced creativity Mom decided to name me E.G. because The Chief was in Equatorial Guinea, and those in the know, the INTERNATIONALLY SAAVY, they refer to Equatorial Guinea as
just E.G.

So officially, on my birth certificate, my Driver's License, and my Passport, my name is E.G. although, ironically, I was born just a little outside of Conroe.

In my extreme puppy (and current) CUTENESS, it was difficult for E.G. to stick.  (And can I just mention the girl at the Vet's office that STILL calls me Egg??)

It morphed into Eegie.

Then Eegie, Weegie, Squeegie (yes, all three said together).

And then, blessedly, just Weegie.


So, as a matter of record, I'm E.G.

However, if you slip me some chicken, let me ride in your Mule, or if you're a fellow fan of The Chief,

you are welcome to call me Weegie.

The Weege.

Even Squeegums.

So there you have it.

The Name.  It is what it is.


 I am more fascinating than you even suspected.

Peace Out,

Weege

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Definite Case of Overshare

Hey there, Hi, and Hello.

I greet you from the Land of Non-Sickness, and I can't begin to tell you what a relief that is.

Last night, before going to bed, I was convinced that I was was getting sick.  Stomach sick.  Bad, yucky, sick.  So I was more than thrilled when I woke up this morning at the crack of  5:15 Dark-Thirty to discover that I was fine. Except, mind you,  for the excessive sweating caused by the thermal blanket/ Texas seasonal night-time low temperature of 70, AND THE AWFUL PURPLE NIGHTGOWN.

I mean there's nothing worse than thinking you're coming down with some kind of wicked gastrointestinal virus, and THEN PLEASE just combine that with the fact that I discovered after my bath that I left my very favorite nightgown at the farm, and well, it's just a wonder that I have LIVED to overshare about the whole, awful sequence of events.

I'm sure you are all understandably relieved for me.

I mean, there are just some GENERAL PREMISES involved here.

First, if you feel like you are getting sick, you immediately think back over everything you've eaten in that last few hours (including the large portion of leftover El Rancho de la Reina Casserole that you ate for dinner although you weren't really hungry) and OH YES the 42 Special K Candy Bars (a homemade wonder) that seem to be missing from the container that you are ABSOLUTELY SURE were not eaten by The Chief or anyone else beside yourself.

I mean you can get really remorseful about your food choices when you think you're on the verge of something gastrointestinally unpleasant...

And secondly, I believe it is considered a universal truth that  if you are, in fact, going to get sick you should be able to do so while properly outfitted in your very favorite nightgown, not some awful, purple, reject thing that you keep way at the bottom of the drawer.

And have I mentioned that I really dislike purple?

So, I guess you will find it ABSOLUTELY NO WONDER AT ALL that I was regaled all night long with a constantly looping dream about having to chaperone a NEVER-ENDING Junior High Dance.

We, I suppose, must pay for our food transgressions.

And I applaud you, REALLY, if you've even read this far, because I feel sure that right about now you might be having a few regrets of your very own... :)




I do apologize.


On a lighter note,


I don't know if I've ever mentioned here that The Weegster loves to chew. We discovered way back as a puppy that he particularly enjoyed chewing up (in this order) 1.  The Chief's dress socks  2.  towels  and 3.  sheets.  Pretty much for the first year of his life we had to know where he was every second of the day because he was THE MASTER OF SOCK THIEVERY.  I really can't begin to describe how expert he was.  And while he would simply lay down with the sock, roll his eyes back in his head, and quickly gnaw a huge hole in the toe area, it was with the towels and sheets that he really excelled.

He's a shredder.  He loves to shred his towels and sheets into long, thin, strips.  He LOVES the ripping sound.
Please don't think that he still does this on a regular basis.  We took all the necessary measures to keep these items away from him when he was in the THROES of this ripping obsession.  And frankly, it just got to be a pain because, well, if he shreds a sheet, he also EATS the sheet...    He could eat an entire queen-sized shredded sheet in one sitting.  But since, of course, we know there are some real health issues involved here, along with, may I add just some really bad gastrointestinal side effects (I am so sorry, I promise I will not mention this word again) we were always careful about the whole thing.

But, at the farm this weekend, as a special treat, The Chief gave Weegie a pair of his old jeans.

And The Weege was nothing if not delighted.

He seems to have learned from his past mistakes though, because now, as he chews, he simply spits out little chunks of the fabric into a neat pile.


And I really don't know what else to say.


Except, maybe, that I hope this post made you feel ever so much better about yourself and just your life in general.

Please feel free to forget you ever knew me.

Lu

Friday, February 18, 2011

Threes! We're Rollin' for Threes!

I'm coming down off a gambling high y'all.

Last night I played Bunko. And for those of you unacquainted with the game, it involves DICE and the rolling thereof, and absolutely no strategy at all, so really, I'm just all over it. I hadn't played in years and was a little nervous that I might not be very proficient, but after we practiced and I remembered that it's so easy a three year old could play, and that you can eat and talk and basically give yourself a complete pedicure during the game and not miss a beat, well, I'll tell you, BIG WEIGHT OFF MY SHOULDERS.

It reminded me of a game that I played several times when we lived in South Louisiana that I believe involved both DICE and some type of BINGO-esque card. I was only invited a couple of times as a substitute for some long-standing ladies club, and apparently I didn't turn out to be what they considered  a  RINGER so I was never asked to actually join the club, go through hazing week, and get fitted for the uniform.

It also reminded me of how I just barely avoided a serious fascination with slot machines which started lo so many years ago on a cruise ship.  I was pretty excited to get dressed up and go into the "casino" area, because I rarely IF EVER wear anything with a shimmer, a sequin, or glitter, and I tell you, those people were sporting some seriously flashy fashions. Well, the concensus was, that since game-playing strategy has never been my forte', the slots just might be right up my alley.

And they WERE y'all.

You could choose whether or not you played by just pushing a button or PULLING DOWN THAT ARM THINGIE, and heaven help me I don't know who in their right mind wouldn't choose the arm thingie because, I mean HOW MUCH FUN IS THAT!

I think I played about 6 quarters (I believe the term you're looking for is HIGH-ROLLER) and I won 3 times.  I CANNOT TELL YOU how I enjoyed all those quarters falling out of that machine.  But because I try to avoid making a scene if at all possible, I didn't yell or scream.  I did however, turn bright red, start shaking uncontrollably, and I may or may not have cried just a little.  After I crawled around on the floor to gather up a couple of errant coins, I decided to "cash out", which, in case, unlike me, you're not a professional gambler and don't understand our lingo, means I got to trade in my Bucket O' Coins for SOME REAL PAPER MONEY!

And it was actually not difficult for me to stop playing, y'all.  I mean, you'd think I'd have been hooked.  But I was convinced that I had probably won enough money so that The Chief nor I would ever have to work  EVER AGAIN IN OUR WHOLE ENTIRE LIVES.  And I was proud of that.  Well, as proud as a LIFE-LONG BAPTIST can possibly be about winning money, you know, in a casino.

But the whole gambling issue kind of worked itself out when I discovered that making a phone call from the ship to tell The Chief about the excitement ate up approximately half my winnings, and then a couple of souvenir T-shirts for the boys that I purchased the next day took care of the other half.

It's also helped, I suppose, to avoid any type of serious dependency, that I've never actually been in the presence of another slot machine since that fateful day, oh so many years ago.

But people.  There are SOME KIND of machines at this convenience store where I occasionally stop to get a Diet Coke (because, of course, NO ONE SEES FIT TO CARRY TAB as a "fountain-type" beverage), and these machines, well, frankly,they INTRIGUE ME.   And no, this is not the same convenience store in which I spilled a good portion of my Large Diet Coke on a police officers shoes.

I don't go there anymore.

This is another store located quite inconveniently just down the street from my church.  I'm not sure how I'll ever figure out a way to strategically check out these machines without being, you know,SEEN.

Although I do believe I may still have the very large trench coat, sunglasses, wig, and moustache I wore when I had to go into the liquor store to buy some whiskey for some Christmas candy I was making.

I'm pretty sure I was a complete 'undercover' success, because when the owner politely asked me how much I needed , I responded  "Just a third of a cup, Thank You, and by by the way we would love to have you visit us DOWN AT THE METHODIST CHURCH."

I'm a wily one, you know.


Lu

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

So, Here's All I've Got


First of all, let me apologize for not being Weegie.

I mean I know I'm gonna get slammed again.

I hope the above picture somewhat satisfies the Weegie Legion out there, and that you can somehow get over the fact that it is Wednesday.

Let's just call this one Wordless Weegie Wednesday shall we?

You understand, I hope, that it is difficult TO SAY THE VERY,VERY LEAST, to force The Weege to do anything, much less to ask him to blog when he doesn't feel like it.

And he quite clearly has indicated that he has no interest today.

So, please no hate mail.


The really scary thing is, I don't particularly have much of interest to say myself.  Not, of course, that you click over here to read things of interest, mind you, because of you know, well...

I believe the banality of that last sentence just speaks for itself, NOW DOESN'T IT?


Anyhoo, I did go get the highlights done in my hair yesterday.

I know that the pure ANTICIPATION elicited by that statement just makes you want to STAND UP, but contain yourself, I have MORE.

I reached the "bad hair point" last week and called to get an appointment for a haircut and highlights (and of course, I have to get two appointments because everyone now is so specialized that the same person who cuts your hair cannot possibly do your highlights too, OH NO MA'AM THEY CAN'T.)

So, I was able to get an appointment for highlights yesterday and one for a haircut on Friday.

So, no need to start a prayer chain, because I'm good.

Anyway, I spent the first 15 minutes of the appointment trying to explain to the sweet colorist Gayla that I WAS THE ONE who had hacked my bangs all up, and that it wasn't Dennis, my talented haircut guy, AS IF SHE COULDN'T FIGURE THAT OUT HERSELF.

And then I settled back for the next 45 minutes or so to just enjoy the removal of the gray...

And I made some observations, as I am wont to do.



-Not one single other person in the colorist area beside myself was over the age of, let's say 25.

-Not one single other person in the colorist area had less than, let's say 4 strange, non-natural, colors in their hair.

-I clocked in with a total of zero tattoos, while the rest of them varied from having anywhere from seventeen to oh, let's say, a million.

-I simply had to give up counting the piercings, because, well I wasn't wearing my glasses, and this required some serious STARING and I try, of course, to be as inconspicuous as possible in making my observations.

-Everyone was simply delightful and kind (as they always are) and I left there (as I always do) thinking of maybe getting tattooed and pierced, and brightly colored one day JUST TO MIX THINGS UP A BIT.



But I decided that perhaps it might be JUST CRAZY ENOUGH for me to maybe consider getting a new hairstyle that isn't EXACTLY like how my hair has been cut since the 4th grade.



Just call me a trendsetter, people, a trendsetter.


I believe I'm done here.

Please have yourself a lovely day.

Lu

(and, oh my gosh, we were ROCKIN' THOSE KNEE SOCKS, NOW WEREN'T WE?)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Retro Cafeteria Rolls


So.

Remember the yeast rolls that the lunch ladies used to make in the school cafeteria?  They were big, soft and yeasty, and I'm sure the calorie count was high.

They tasted good.  Oh so good.

Of course, this was back when lunch ladies actually cooked.  They used pots and pans.  They mixed ingredients together.  They stirred.  THEY TURNED ON OVENS.

Not that lunch ladies don't cook now.  I mean I know a lot of effort goes into microwaving all those plastic wrapped burritos and OH YES, the pizza slices.

So I certainly mean no ill will toward the modern-day lunch lady.  BLESS THEIR HEARTS.

I mean things have changed, you know.

I went almost a whole year when I was a freshman in high school not eating ANY LUNCH AT ALL because my boyfriend had the same lunch period as me, and OH MY WORD what would I do if I got some kind of FOOD PRODUCT STUCK IN MY BRACES?

Well, I would have just died, that's what.


And do I feel the same way now when I eat in front of The Chief?

MOUNTAIN, MOVE OUT OF MY WAY, and let me at my lunch.

So you see, I realize things change.

But sometimes it's good to think of the way things were.  To hail back to the times when you would sacrifice eating FOOD to insure that you would never be seen with lettuce between your two front teeth, for PETE'S SAKE.

Back to the times when Lunch Ladies Cooked.

I made these last night for The Chief, and I will admit they were so good I even poked around between my teeth with my tongue just to make sure everything was OK.

Let's do it.

(Condensed Recipe at end)

First, get out your MOST FAVORITE Texas Ware bowl.  In it whisk together the sugar, salt, some of the flour and the yeast.


I know this picture isn't very necessary but I DO like my bowl.

Next, cut in the shortening.


Then add the eggs.



Spend a minute or two appreciating the sheer beauty of the color of the eggs and how it complements the yellow specks in your bowl.



Now, dump in the rest of the flour, the melted butter, and the warm water.  Stir it up.


And don't be concerned, my little baking buddy, it's supposed to look awful and lumpy, so we're good!

Cover with a dish towel, sit it in a warm place, and let it rise for a while - Oh, about 30 minutes, or however long it takes you to drag your OUT-OF-SHAPE self back from a walk.

Sorry, that was me.

Now,  dump it out of the bowl onto a floured surface and knead a couple of times, then roll it out.  Cut into rolls, and place in a greased 9x13 baking dish.


Messy is good.

Cover and let rise for another 30 minutes.

Then bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

See how yeasty?

The Lunch Ladies would be proud.

Serve with butter and honey.  (You do have 9-1-1 on speed dial don't you?)


Oh, and don't forget the toothpicks!

Enjoy!



Retro Cafeteria Rolls
½ c. sugar
1 ½ t. salt
5 c. flour (plus a little more)
2 pkg. yeast
½ c. shortening
2 eggs (slightly beaten)
1 stick butter, melted
1 ½ c. warm water


Whisk the sugar, 2 cups of the flour, and the yeast together in a large bowl.  Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender (or a couple of forks).  Add the slightly beaten eggs, and the rest of the flour (3 cups), the melted butter, and the warm water.  Stir well.  Don’t be disturbed if it looks really lumpy with blobs of  shortening - this is good.
Cover with a dish towel, let it rise in warm place for about 30 minutes.  (I went walking here and let mine rise for about an hour and they were fine).
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead 2 or 3 times.  Roll or pat it out into a rectangle about the size of a 9x13 baking pan.
Cut into rolls with a pastry or pizza cutter (anywhere from about 16 HUGE rolls to 24 regular size ones).  Place in greased 9x13 baking dish.  Cover again and let rise about 30 minutes.  While the rolls are rising preheat the oven to 350.
Bake for 30 minutes or until tops are lightly browned, remove from oven and brush with a little melted butter.

Amen.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hail to The Chief


Happy Valentine's Day!
It's time to get mushy and sentimental.

It's time for a list. 

*  I've edited this about 5 times and cut back on all my wordiness and rabbit trails in The Chief's honor.  

Today it's all about the facts.

Just like The Chief likes it.


Things I Love About The Chief
 by Lu

(In no particular order)

1.  He has put up with me for almost 29 years.

2.  His integrity.

3.  His "Engineery" ways.

4.  His love for our sons.

5.  His work ethic.

6.  He makes me laugh (a lot!)

7.  He puts up with me.

8.  He loves The Weege.

9.  His willingness to help absolutely everyone.

10.  The godly example he sets as a husband, father, son, and son-in-law.

11.  He's funny when he thinks he's funny but he's not.

12.  The careful way he has always handled our finances.

13.  The way he cares for my parents.

14.  He can fix absolutely anything, and then it works better than before it broke.

15.  He's really, really smart.

16.  He's generous.

17.  Did I mention he puts up with me, and he loves me?

18.  He's really cute.

19.  He makes me want to be better wife.

20.  He's my best friend.


I Love You Chief!


Happy Valentine's Day to Everyone!

(Oh, and PS, since The Chief never reads the blog, some of you might give him a shout-out that you read something about him!)

Lu






Thursday, February 10, 2011

I Look Really Bad in Horizontal Stripes

I've struggled the last few hours trying to decide whether or not I had anything to report that y'all wouldn't consider a complete waste of your time.

And even though I came up with "no I most probably do not", I figured I would give it a go and see what happened.

But once again a Pre-Apology is probably in order on my part.

Sorry, sorry, sorry.

I'm doing this for the SCADS of you who cannot bear to go a day without hearing something profound from me - those of you that might be labeled "ODD", so to speak.

And by SCADS and those, I mean absolutely no one at all.

So here we go, hold on to yer hats and let's let 'er rip, you're in for quite the letdown.

Really.  Please don't hold today against me. Figuratively or literally, or any other way that a person might be able to actually hold a Thursday up against a body or any other whathaveyou.

Please do not pay any attention to me whatsoever.

Thank you.


1.  I had to get up early to go have some medical tests done.  I wasn't able to eat or drink anything after midnight.  Let's just say I was QUITE THE JOY to be around this morning without my caffeine.  And although there was absolutely no one here except me (and The Weege, of course) I  personally thought I was pretty rude, sarcastic and just a downright pain.  But I finally got over it I suppose, and went on about myself.

2.  Since I was generally so unpleasant, I thought I would celebrate the completion of the medical tests with a Large Diet Coke  and a mixed topping bagel, toasted, with cream cheese.  I won't tell you where I go to get this bagel delight because occasionally I go and SOMEONE has already taken the very last mixed topping bagel and I am determined to find out who it is, hunt them down, and give them a tidy little  piece of my mind.

So you see, of course, I just don't need any more BAGEL COMPETITION.

I feel sure you understand.


3.  While eating my bagel (SOMEONE dodged the bullet this morning)  I was reminded of how much I love New York City.  I've been numerous times.  A couple of times I was there by myself, and spent most of my free time going into every deli I passed to see how irritated the deli guy would get when he realized

a) that I was from Texas (and no I never had to actually tell anyone up there where I was from - it seemed somehow obvious to everyone).  GO. FIGURE.

and

b) that I had absolutely NO IDEA WHATSOEVER how to order a bagel with cream cheese in an authentic New York deli.

Except for the three or four times the deli guys made me cry, I really enjoyed the whole experience.


4.  I cannot for the life of me decorate a cupcake.  I thought that I would make some King Cake Cupcakes for The Chief since I weeseled  out and didn't make an actual, authentic King Cake this week like I announced to the whole universe over this internet thing I was going to do.
But they were not too attractive.



And I cried during most of the whole awful decorating process, because I AM NOT A DECORATOR OF ANYTHING.

But they did taste good and The Chief did eat one and he said he liked it.

But then he once again politely accused me of trying to kill him with high fat foods.

And I later overheard him calling the Life Insurance guy on the phone, so I'm kind of second-guessing what I was planning to make for him for Valentine's Day.

You apparently might see my name on the FBI's Most Wanted List, because, you know I'm just criminal.


Me and my baked goods.

WE. ARE. DOWNRIGHT. SCARY.


Lu

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Doggie Feet:They Were Cold

Yo my webby friends, The Weege here.

I have a few pictures to share from my weekend at the farm.  We encountered this stuff called "snow" and a sensation called "cold", and honestly I was all over both of them.

The "stuff" and the "sensation".  You can call me a fan.


I particularly appreciated the view from the front porch looking down toward the lake.  The snow was of the 'powdery' type and so I felt like it made me look pretty dramatic when I ran through it and it made a dusty and ethereal cloud around me.

I do love me some etherealness.

The only real problem I encountered was that the snow covered up all of my usual landmarks, which most of you know simply as piles of cow poop.  They are my map.  My compass.  Without them I had a hard time finding my way around.


The Chief and I went out first thing in the morning to check out the whole cold/ice/snow situation.



I really kind of felt sorry for the cows, you know.  They looked pretty darn miserable.


It's hard to tell, but the poor donkey had icicles hanging all over him.  He really seemed irritated about the ones hanging from his ears.

I almost caved in and gave him my ski cap.

It's not like the cows can just go inside, eat some chicken, and lay upside down on the couch when they've had enough, you know.


I spent some time helping The Chief with a frozen well problem, while Mom wimped out, stayed inside, and pretended to be doing something.

I mean seriously, you would think she'd be smart enough to know that everyone is on to her games...

It's sad, I tell you.



We drove in the truck to see if the water tanks (some of you may know them as ponds) were frozen over.



Tank #1.  Frozen.


Tank #2.  Also frozen.


Fortunately the lake still had some non-frozen areas.  The winds had been really strong, and the movement of the water helps to keep it from freezing.

The whole farm looked particularly serene with it's blanket of snow.


By the time we left to come home on Sunday, the snow was gone and the cows were feeling a bit more relaxed.

I for one enjoyed the whole wintry mix!

Maybe someday all of you can come for a tour of the farm.  

I'll be your guide.

You won't forget what you see.  Guaranteed.

Peace Out!

Weege

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Did What Was Necessary to Survive

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

We were at the farm.  There was all manner of snow and cold. 


The Chief was risking his life in the frigid temperatures to thaw out the water well.

It was, as you can understand, in my very best interest to look URGENTLY BUSY INSIDE THE HOUSE.

So I logically and sacrificially decided to make muffins.

Sustenance!  The Chief needs Sustenance to stay alive.

I had found my calling.

I pulled out my recipe (well, I actually just tried to remember it, because pulling it out would have required me to actually PLAN something, and that's just normally not how I roll) for Apple-Oatmeal Muffins.

It uses common ingredients!

I have everything I need!

Aces!



At this point I was feeling helpful. Justified. Like a trooper.

Most importantly I was WARM.

And inside.

And very strategically, NOT OUTSIDE.

I love it when a devious plan works.


I started to mix the wet ingredients together.

And took personal pride in the fact that I had plentiful white raisins at the farm.  And sour cream.  DE- LIGHTFUL.  Things were good.


And then I looked for the oatmeal.  And then I think it's possible that I MAY have said 'crap'.

I'm sorry.

I know I shocked you all a year or so ago by reporting that I also said this word in the midst of a HORRIBLE INCIDENT WITH THE MULE.

I am without proper excuse.

No oatmeal.  Anywhere.

I contemplated using grits as a substitute.  Maybe cornmeal.  Malt-O-Meal?  Ground Beef?

And then I saw these.


Well, not these exact ones, because I was smart enough not to be photographing this whole thing lest The Chief figure out that I was not SUFFERING RIGHT ALONG WITH HIM.

These are some I had here at home.

I've never eaten any of this.  The Chief likes to have some of them on hand in case he ever wants a hot breakfast and I am, let's say, dying of bubonic plague and unable to drag myself into the kitchen at FIVE DARK THIRTY A.M. O'CLOCK to make him and the rest of the chickens some breakfast.

It's rarely necessary.  We've already determined that I AM A TROOPER.

Anyway, in my desperation I dumped three of these bags into the batter (I think one was Apple-Cinnamon flavor, one was Maple something, and one was Brown Sugar something.)

I doubt seriously that there is any actual oatmeal in the bag.

And because from the looks of it, I was dumping in mostly sugar, I cut down on the amount of brown sugar I added to the recipe.


And can I just say they were very, very nice.

Surprisingly nice.

I did slip in this one photograph before The Chief came in the house to thaw out.

I had even expertly managed to make a nice, big mess in the kitchen which is always an excellent sign that I have been TOILING AWAY.

Of course, in this case, the whole lack of water thing made the big mess kind of more of a pain.

Try these yourself!

Even without the suffering and dramatics I think you might like them!

Lu



Apple-Oatmeal Muffins
2 eggs
6 T. softened butter or margarine (please, for me... No.)
1 c. sour cream
¾ c. raisins (I like white)
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. oats or (3 little bags of pretend oatmeal)
1 ½ c. peeled, cored, and chopped apples
2 c. flour
2 t. cinnamon
½ t. nutmeg
1 ½ t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt

1.  Preheat oven to 350.

2.  Grease or spray a muffin pan (12)

3.  In a large bowl mix the eggs, butter, sour cream, raisins, brown sugar, oats and apples.  In a smaller bowl combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until just blended.  Spoon into muffin pan filling all the way to the top (and over!)  Bake 25 minutes.

*** If you use the pretend stuff, make sure to use only about ¾ c. brown sugar, and cut out a little of the salt also…

Monday, February 7, 2011

I Believe We've Had an Event

Thursday afternoon The Chief and I decided we'd better high-tail it out of Dodge.

It was our weekend for the farm, and all indications were some dicey weather was headed our way.  The Chief was concerned that if we waited until Friday to leave, we'd never make it up there.

I was immediately on board with the idea because well, Leona TX, Leona General Store, Thursday Night All-You-Can-Eat Fried Catfish.  Amen.
(If you've never been, or don't know where the heck Leona is, let me know and I can HOOK. YOU. UP.)

Aside from the delightful culinary experience in Leona, we made it north to the farm without incident.  Other than the real COLD, there wasn't much weather going on.

It was almost dark by the time we arrived, and after a quick reconnaissance, The Chief determined that although the small tanks (ponds) seemed to be frozen over, the lake had yet to freeze-up around the shoreline. So the cows still had a drinkable water source.

This was a HUGE relief.  If you've ever had to break ice on a large body of water with an axe in frigid temperatures you'd understand.

Or if you, like me, have been forced to come up with an endless string of excuses for why you should not be one of those actually doing the ice-breaking, well, DISASTER AVERTED.

I believe we watched two NCIS re-runs, a couple of House Hunters, and then



since we were all understandably exhausted from all the, you know, CRAZINESS,  The Chief decided to head off to bed, and I decided to take a nice hot bath..

Y'all.

There was very little water pressure.
I ran the water in the tub for about 15 minutes, and well, without going into great bathing detail, let's just say when the disposable razor fell in the tub and lay on  the bottom, the water didn't cover it.

But I like to think of myself as a trooper, and kind of Laura Ingalls-ish, so I made do, people.

I made do.


The next morning we woke to this.


and this



And absolutely no water at all.

And it was really cold..

So The Chief spent the next couple of hours trying to thaw out the water well, and I spent the next couple of hours trying to look busy in the house. I did try to be as helpful as possible by yelling encouragement from the door, and flipping a breaker now and then when instructed.
I mean I had a real vested interest in seeing that water come on - I REALLY NEEDED TO WASH MY HAIR.

And since I was all about support for The Chief, I did make him some tasty Apple-Oatmeal muffins.


And in my Frontier Girl, Make-Do kind of way, I made the Apple-Oatmeal Muffins even after discovering halfway through that I well, had no oatmeal.


It was simply a cold-weather miracle.

They were so good I plan to share the recipe with you tomorrow.

Get out your apron and bonnet.



And because The Chief can fix anything, and I do mean anything, he had that water up and flowing in no time at all.




I proudly salute The Engineer.


We have a plethora of photographs of the winter weather, but Weegie insists that I let him use most of them in his upcoming Wednesday Photo Essay entitled  My Doggie Feet: They Were Cold.


I hope you were all safe and warm over the weekend.

Did you have your own Events?

I missed everyone!

Lu

Thursday, February 3, 2011

You Say Holey, I Say Moley

It's a tad on the chilly side.

(Every time I use the word "tad', which The Chief would vow is entirely too much, I am reminded. Years, years, and years ago when I was still able to pull off the low-rise jean look,  wore baby blue eyeshadow both above and below my eyes, and gasoline was approximately .32 cents a gallon,  I used to watch All My Children.  I KNOW!  Can anyone tell me if Tad is still on the show?  and Dixie? and oh my gosh, if they are they must be REALLY. OLD.)

But let's get back to the chilly.

I fear the randomness of this post may have you all scrambling for The Chief's cell number and politely suggesting to him he might want to cough up the cash for a refill of my meds...

Anyhoo.

I simply cannot tell you how proud I am of the fact that when God sends a Category 4 Hurricane our way we're all " Oh, Oh, let's risk our lives and drive down to Galveston and watch the waves come in, and buy a surfboard and see if we can like get on TV or something!"

But let Him present even the slightest possibility of a dusting of snow and we categorically state "We simply cannot leave our homes under fear of death for at least 72 hours MINIMUM!"

YOU. HAVE. GOT. TO. LOVE. IT.

We're the best, aren't we?  It just tickles me to no end that we practically refuse to drive in the cold, lose complete track of our driveways if even one or two flakes fall from the sky, and run to the store and buy 8 6-packs of TAB just to get through the weekend.

Now, do not misunderstand.  I am NOT being sarcastic or making fun.  I think it's a wonderful demonstration of who we are as Texans.  We're determined. We're planners.

We're easily! excited!

And I, for one am proud to be your brothers and sisters!  Or you're proud to be mine.  Or something that makes sense.

Kum bah Yah.

So because I must spend most of the day inventorying my fuzzy socks, and standing in line at HEB, and OH YES making and photographing my Rosemary -Orange cake which has now become a Rosemary-Lemon cake, you know, because of my recent cold-induced lemon harvest, I really can't dally any longer.

And if memory serves , "dally" can also refer to some type of "cattle-roping manuever" which I would not want to confuse you with.  Although the spelling is probably different, in which case, let's just go with NEVERMIND.


I leave you with this shot of The Weege in the recovery phase.  He took his last Anti-Inflammatory today, and things are looking pretty good with his leg.  We could have some issues with keeping him calm and rested at the farm this weekend, because, you know, well THE MULE! and the  COWS! and the POOP!, but I assure you we'll do our best.





And before I run off to battle over the last 6-pack of TAB, I ask you to please say a special prayer for all of those less fortunate than most of us who do not have a warm house, fuzzy socks, or even the means to stay comfortable and safe over the next few days.  If you have some extra coats in your closet that never get worn, a blanket or two that you can spare, or just some money you feel led to share, I'm sure you'll have no problem finding the proper outlet for it today.

I feel truly blessed today, and you, my webby friends, are all a huge part of that!

Lu

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Don't TELL ME I'm not an Accomplisher

I have a to-do list y'all.

I'm a little ashamed/proud/excited to make the announcement.

Evidently, my body has been occupied by someone who is at least attempting to be organized.

Here's what it currently looks like:

1.  Bring in/cover outdoor plants - It is cold here people, and the plants are probably currently feelin' it.  But I did my part in covering them. May God have Mercy on them all.

2.  Ephesians 3: 14-20 - I am supposed to be memorizing this.  Here's what I have so far:

AHEM.

"Ephesians 3:14-20"...

 I should probably work on this some later.

3.  Take pictures of the bed- Now that just sounds weird doesn't it?  But it's all about the horrible bed issues we've been having here and the requirements of the mattress manufacturer to uphold our warranty.  So I have to take the bed all apart and take pictures of the unevenness.  I think I will include a testimonial picture of me actually sprawled cold and broken on the floor beside the bed.  I doubt it will help.  The mattress companies, THEY ARE A TOUGH LOT.

4.  Moravian Sugar Cake Recipe - I'm trying to locate a recipe I KNOW I HAVE SOMEWHERE to share with all of you (my fellow Moravians).

5.  King Cake - In honor of Mardi Gras next week (I think) I'm going to make a King Cake.  I've made a couple of them before, and the best part is, since I'm not a real "decorator/care what the cake looks like" type, everything is OK because most King Cakes look pretty darn tacky to tell the truth.  And I will actually put the little baby IN the cake like you're supposed to, not some little bean.  Nor will I attach some kind of disclaimer to the top of the cake saying "you're taking your life in your own hands if you eat this cake and choke on a little plastic baby".  That's what the King Cake IS ALL ABOUT PEOPLE.

6.  Rosemary Vinaigrette Recipe - this follows...

7.  License Plates - I don't have any.  Well, I have some, but they are in the back seat of the car.  I still have the dealer plates on.  My intention is to take the plates I was issued and trade them in for some "Keep Texas Wild" plates.  They feature the "Texas Horned Lizard" or what I've always called the Horny Toad (although people always snicker...)  Anyhoo.  I've always liked them and as a kid I used to see them all the time at the farm, and now they're gone...at least from the farm.  And well, I just want to support them, and show them some love by sporting their plates.  Thank you.


So let's talk about #6.  This is the best Vinaigrette ever.  Honest.  It is not my recipe, but rather (HA!) one from Rebecca Rather (aka The Pastry Queen).

You don't even need a salad to put it on.

Just eat it with a spoon.  Or off your finger.  It's that good.


And the whole (easy to copy) recipe is after the Step-by-Step.

Here's what you need:


I forgot to put the red onion in the picture. (I'm nothing if not a slacker.)

This is really so easy you're just gonna laugh.  The only thing that requires a tiny effort is removing the Rosemary leaves from the stems.  If you've never done this before, just run your fingers backwards (against the grain, so to speak) of the stems and gently strip off all the leaves.

Like this.


You'll just put all the ingredients (the rosemary, garlic, red onion, Dijon mustard, Balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and pepper) into the bowl of a food processor.



Just a note:  Spray your measuring cup with cooking spray before putting the honey in.  It will all flow out nicely.

Uh, and don't forget to remove your spiffy apple green colored measuring spoon from the bowl of the food processor before you turn it on... just sayin'.

And in case you've never used White Balsamic vinegar before, note that it's not completely white, but much, much lighter than regular Balsamic.

The taste is significantly different as well.  Don't try to substitute.  Not only will it taste much different, the dressing comes out a really nasty color that looks highly yucky on your salad if you use the dark stuff.

After you blend those ingredients for a few seconds, you'll stream in the olive oil.

I usually use a little over the 1/2 cup, but if you'd like to stretch the recipe a bit, you can add up to 1 cup.




 We used it last night on a salad of mixed greens, thinly sliced apples, toasted walnuts, and queso fresco, and by golly it was good.

I think I might eat the rest for lunch today with a spoon.



Rosemary Vinaigrette
**Rebecca Rather aka The Pastry Queen


1/3 cup fresh rosemary leaves
2 cloves garlic
¼ medium-size red onion
1 T. Dijon mustard
¼ cup honey
½ cup white balsamic vinegar
1 ½ t. salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup to 1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Blend the rosemary, garlic, onion, mustard, honey, vinegar, salt, and papper about 15-20 seconds in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.  Pour ½ cup olive oil through the feed tube in a slow stream and blend until the mixture emulsifies.  (It won’t take much longer than it takes to pour the oil in.)  Taste and add more oil, if desired.


Hope you like it - let me know.

And please, today, for me, wear your fuzzy socks.

Lu

P.S.  I will proudly accept any praise/congrats you want to throw my way regarding my to-do list.