Friday, June 27, 2008

Operation Grow Garden: 8(ish) Weeks In

Both of our tomato plants are doing great. The regular tomato (left) is about 3 1/2 feet tall and has 3 tomatoes on it - although it's getting to a point where we find new tomatoes have sprouted each day. The cherry tomato (right) is about 2 feet tall and has at least a dozen tomatoes on it. The japanese beetles have descended upon us again this year, although they don't seem as bad as they've been in the past and don't appear to have discovered the tomatoes. *fingers crossed* The cucumbers that we planted at the same time as the tomatoes are officially on the Kip Will Eat This list and didn't survive long enough to produce any fruit. We will try them again next year with more Kip-proofing in place.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tales of the Tail: The One with the Spa Day

Kip had an appointment on Saturday at the LA & BD day spa where he indulged in the following procedures:

~water hose wet-down~

~sudsy scrub~

~fresh air fluff~

Monday, June 23, 2008

Two Cooks in the Kitchen

BD and I spend the majority of our free time with each other and enjoy doing a variety of things together. However, cooking is not one of the things we can share - anytime we try it, it almost always ends in an argument. We both have our own ways of doing things in the kitchen and it works just fine for each of us, I-don't-need-you-to-tell-me-how-to-do-it-thankyouverymuch.

The division of labor at our house is usually that he does the daily cooking, and I clean up after the meal. I like to bake, so I take on most of the dessert-y/bread-ish type stuff, and he happily eats most everything I bake. Somehow, I still end up doing the dishes when I bake. *ahem* But I digress.

One of the baking basics I had never tackled was making a meringue for a pie. Usually, if the recipe calls for meringue, I slap some Cool-Whip on top and call it a day. I don't know why I've never tried to make it; the process seems so simple - throw some egg whites in a bowl and beat - but I didn't know stiff peaks from soft peaks, when to add the sugar, etc. BD has successfully made meringues in the past, so in the name of marital partnership, I invited him into the kitchen to give me a lesson. And then we got a divorce. The end.

KIDDING! I'm just kidding. After a few dirty looks adjustments, everything worked out just fine, and the pie (and our kitchen sharing) was a complete success.

Behold, a homemade chocolate pie with meringue:

We might not share a kitchen well, but we have no problems sharing dessert - we ate half of the pie on the same day we made it! My food photography skills leave a lot to be desired, so you'll just have to take my word that it is more delicious than it looks in these pictures.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Best Ever Chicken Salad

This is the perfect recipe for a light but filling summer meal. Best of all, it's quick and easy to throw together, and it makes a lot. This recipe is courtesy of my mom - originally from a Southern Living magazine many years ago, I think.

-5 cups chopped, cooked chicken
-2 Tbsp salad oil
-2 Tbsp orange juice
-2 Tbsp white vinegar
-1 tsp salt
-3 cups cooked rice
-1 1/2 cups small, seedless grapes
-1 1/2 cups sliced celery
-1 (15 oz) can pineapple chunks, drained
-1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
-1 cup toasted, slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup mayo

Combine first five ingredients in a large bowl; let stand 30 min to allow flavors to blend. Add remaining ingredients and toss gently. Serve immediately or let cool in fridge. Store covered in fridge; makes 10-12 servings.

I have no idea what "salad oil" is - I just use extra virgin olive oil. And, unless I happen to have orange juice or an orange on hand, I just use 2T of the juice from the can of mandarin oranges. I like to make this salad to bring for lunch at work, and I make it the night before, so I don't bother with the 30-minute flavor blending part - I figure it will blend in the fridge overnight. Also, I don't put in the almonds.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tales of the Tail: The One with Clean Teeth

Kip had his teeth cleaned today and a couple of other minor procedures while he was asleep. He's still a little loopy from the drugs, but everything looked fine, and he should be back to his normal, happy self tomorrow.

In the meantime, he would like to show off his big, scary gleaming, white teeth:

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday Stitches: A Series (Part 11 of X)

(Part 10 of the series is here.)

I haven't worked on this in a while due to busy weekends. Except for a wide, square border around the whole piece, the actual stitching is done. Now I'm working on the detailing - the dogs' faces, outlining, etc.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Flora and Fauna

Flora: We have teeny-tiny baby tomatoes on both of our tomato plants! And the roses in the new flowerbed have finally recovered and are starting to bloom again!

Fauna: There has been a strange stink in the garage the past couple of days; BD said it was probably a mouse or bird that had gotten trapped in there and died. Tonight he completely pulled everything away from the walls and searched for the origin of the offending smell and found...nothing. On the upside, the garage is now swept and tidy. And the smell is mysteriously gone...very strange.

(This is everything pulled away from the walls - I didn't want you to think I consider this "tidy" - HA! Also: the tower of paint cans you may can see in the center of the picture is going to the recycling center this weekend. I had no idea that we have accumulated so many! And some of them are about 4 years old!!)

View from an Airplane

This was taken somewhere between Mobile, AL and Memphis, TN on Sunday night. It didn't photograph as pretty as it looked in real life.

A side note: we missed our connection in Memphis because we sat on the tarmac in Mobile for an hour and a half. Luckily, there was a flight leaving Memphis going to Greensboro, NC (which is about 85 miles from our house but a better choice than spending the night in Memphis). The catch was that the flight to Greensboro was boarding from gate C44 as we talked to the agent at gate B30-something. We had to sprint - carrying baggage - down the entire length of both terminals to make the flight. Even wearing cute wedge heels, I have never run so fast in my entire life.

Wedding Bells

Congratulations to a dear friend and her new husband! As I said at the rehearsal dinner, we wish you guys a lifetime of happiness.
Love, LA & BD