Tuesday, March 30, 2010

RV Season is Here!

Just look what drove into our driveway yesterday! Oh yeah, Rich took the winter cover off Saturday and then brought it home yesterday after work.
IMG_1684 During the winter, in addition to all the work he has done with gauges, he made new cabinet doors to replace the roll doors on the cabinet that used to contain the TV. Here are the old roll-type doors.IMG_1664 And here he is installing the doors that he custom made to fit this cabinet.IMG_1673

I think MOAO (My One And Only…and this is the last time I’m going to explain to y’all what MOAO represents ☺) is an amazingly talented guy!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Critters on the Golf Course

It's spring all right...there's a new breed of critter on the golf course behind our house and they are here to stay until late fall. Okay, now I miss the coyotes...never satisfied you think?

In case you couldn't identify the critter in the photo above, here is a closeup. Yeah, the golfers are out in force, even on a cold blustery day.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St Patrick's Day!

One of my favorite recipes is the one I use to bake Irish Soda Bread. It has the traditional buttermilk and caraway seeds but I use Golden Raisins instead of regular ones.

Oh my...we really love this bread and every year I wonder aloud why I don't bake it more often, but then I put the recipe away and don't get it out again until the next year...sigh... 

Here is the recipe; feel free to bake a loaf and invite me over for a slice!

Mary Doyle's Irish Soda Bread

o 2-3/4 cups plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided
o 1/3 cup sugar
o 1 tsp baking powder
o 1/2 tsp baking soda
o 3/4 tsp salt
o 2/3 cup raisins (I use Golden Raisins)
o 1 Tbsp caraway seeds
o 1 cup buttermilk
o 2 large eggs

1. Adjust oven rack to center of oven. Heat oven to 325 degrees (F). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. Whisk together 2-3/4 cups of the flour, the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in raisins and caraway seeds. Whisk together buttermilk and eggs in another bowl. Stir buttermilk-egg mixture into dry ingredients with a wooden spoon just until blended (dough will be very sticky, but that’s okay).
3. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup flour onto a work surface. With lightly floured hands, turn and gently knead dough to incorporate most of the flour. Shape dough into a 6-inch round; transfer to center of prepared cookie sheet (dough will be soft and slightly sticky). Place in center of prepared cookie sheet. With a sharp paring knife, make a 1/2-inch deep "X" across the top of the loaf.
4. Bake about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. With a large spatula, transfer loaf to wire rack; cool completely. To serve, slice with a serrated knife.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spring Fashion Show

Yes, it was time for the girls to get a new Spring wardrobe. Rich went shopping this week and came home with a new look for both of them. Our girls are both 6 years old (their birthdays are exactly two weeks apart) and for their whole lives Dora has worn purple while Bella has worn pink. That’s how most of you could tell them apart, which is why we are hosting this Spring Fashion Show on our blog.

The color selections for the girls’ Spring Fashion Line include a bright red, touched with a pinkish orange hue, and a brilliantly vibrant teal. Both are decorated with multi-colored, shiny embroidered designs. Both of our models enjoyed a spa day recently and were perfectly groomed for their first appearance on the runway.

How many of you can tell from these photos which girl is modeling which new fashion color?
If you answered that Dora is wearing teal and Bella is wearing red this season…you are correct!

Coyote Tracks in the Snow

The last time I posted about the coyotes, I mentioned that we had bought a BB pistol to try to frighten them away from our house. Less than a week later, Bella sounded the alarm one evening and Rich went out with his pistol. There were three coyotes near our yard and they scattered away hurriedly when he popped off a few BBs in their direction.

The two photos below that were taken the following morning show coyote tracks coming to our yard. We can never tell just how close they come to our deck because they mingle with the tracks left by Dora and Bella. You can, however, see coyote tracks coming right to our deck from our next door neighbor's backyard in the last photo.

Now that the snow is gone, we can't tell if they are still coming in close but so far we have not seen them again. More informatively, Bella has not reacted to the presence of them since that evening when Rich fired the BB pistol toward them. Did it have an impact? Have they selected a different route through the golf course? We'll never know...not until next winter that is!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Fury of Spring

Just a few posts ago I wrote wistfully about the coming of Spring. What the hell was I thinking?

Let me be clear...I love winter when everything is covered with a mantle of clean, white, quiet, unspoiled snow. I even enjoy the crisp clarity of cold temps. The only thing I miss in winter is sunshine, because we get little of that here in the Chicago area.

I've felt pangs of loss the last few days as the snow has melted off the brown grass and exposed the bare shrubs! And I especially miss winter this evening. Rich is working late and we are getting one of those terrible, dark (except for the frequent bolts of lightning), noisy spring storms with torrential rain. Spring is not my favorite of the four seasons and it is definitely making a furious entry this evening.

This was the view from our deck less than two weeks ago...I'll hold this pristine memory close until next winter.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pot Roast - Part II

Rereading my first food posting, http://meanderingwithbev.blogspot.com/2010/02/pot-roastthe-chefbev-way.html I may have given the wrong impression so... Lest my reputation as a fairly decent cook become erroneously and permanently sullied , here are photos of a pot roast I actually prepared last week...using pure olive oil, a real beef chuck roast, fresh carrots, and a 12 oz jar of Pepperoncini.

I simply browned the roast on the stovetop in a bit of olive oil, removed it from the roaster while I browned the unpeeled carrot chunks next. After removing the carrots, I poured the juice from the pepperoncinis into the roaster, placed the roast in and topped it with the pepperoncinis and the carrots. I put it in a 275° oven for a few hours until fork tender...yummmmm! We devoured it too quickly for photos!