Sunday, September 12, 2010

A restful Sunday

I was up and down last night (ill) so today was a good day to rest and enjoy the quietness of home, and the beauty outside. We look out onto several hundred acres of native grasses, flowers and cottonwoods, and when the wind blows (as it does about 90% of the time) it looks as if the world is dancing. No storms today, just sunlight that is beginning to soften in the autumn season. In the winter the light in the north becomes almost brittle and shallow, not the mellow richness of the summer sun or the awakening bounty of the spring.

I watched part of the PBS series on our National Parks today and wondered why so many Americans are in such a hurry to go explore other places before they've bothered to spend the time to visit the wonders which can only be found within our country's boundaries. We have more natural wonders, better preserved and protected, than anywhere else in the world. So when planning your next trip, look for what you might have missed close to home. I know that as much of the west as I have seen, there are so many places in the midwest and eastern US that I've not gotten the chance to explore, cultures I am alien to, foods I've not yet tasted, people waiting to be met.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

chili colorado soft tacos

chili colorado soft tacos


2 -3 lbs beef shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes

Prep Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 1 3/4 hrs

  1. 1 Spread the flour out on a plate and coat the beef cubes one by one in it, dusting off the excess. Don't skip this step because the flower also helps to thicken the sauce at the end.
  2. 2 Brown the beef in a heavy-bottomed pot in the oil over medium-high heat. You want a lot of color on them because color equals flavor.
  3. 3 Pour in all the spices, the tomato paste, and the water. Bring this to a simmer, season with salt and pepper, and cook low and slow for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the beef is tender and falling apart. A good test is to take a piece and try to mash it on your cutting board with a fork. If it falls apart, you are golden.
  4. 4 Serve it just by itself with mexican rice and refried beans or use it as a burrito filling.

Friday, September 10, 2010

last pics of furkids for now

Monty and Murphy
Gideon and Daniel
Monty who'd put his head in the sprinkler

Butter Poached Italian Style Tilapia

I've been feeling iffy this week, especially today, so we had dinner later. It had to be quick, pretty easy, and for health reasons, a seafood dinner.

What I came up with was really nice, got good raves for Charles, and is definitely a repeat dinner.

In a skillet:
Cook diced bacon with some onions- when half done, add a stick of butter to the skillet. (I didn't say it was a healthy dinner)
Add a cup of water.
Put in the tilapia (or another white fish) fillets, season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and italian seasoning.
When the water is half reduced, put in 6 to 10 halved cherry tomatoes. Baste the fish throughout the cooking process. When the fish is almost done, put in some shrimp, and 1 tablespoon worth of capers (without the liquid).
When fish is done, remove fish and cooked shrimp from the skillet, plate. Turn up the stove to highest heat, add some fresh parsley to the sauce, and spritz with lemon. Pour over fish. Serve immediately.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


A big front of steel blue and black clouds has moved in, heavy winds, et all. The rain has not started yet, but when it does, the forecaster is predicting inches worth, over a day and a half, two days. (Thank the Lord we're not on a flood plain) We've had unusually large amounts of rain here this summer, I am told, and I wonder now if fall is to be the same. Since it's cooled off there isn't the tornado warning (again, Thank the Lord) just a cold blustery storm front filled with rain.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I love this little cat. I mean, I love our other two as well, Gideon our old boy and Daniel, but this little cat is something else. I got him at three weeks old, when his mother had stopped feeding him. I am fairly sure he thinks I am the mother cat. He's a one person cat, though he has his moments of trying to get closer to Charles. Wherever I go in the house, look for him there. And when I call him, he comes running, with a small "merrrr" sound. Finn is our mouser, and is quite the hunter. He is also so funny with food, he attacks it and "grrrrrs" at anyone who comes near...but best of all he's a lap cat and cuddler :)