Thursday, August 30, 2007

Big Sister Is Such a Good Helper

Landrie is such a good big sister. She really does love Karsyn to death. When she isn't taking toys away from her or pushing her, she really does help her.

This morning I walked into the living room and they were sitting together watching TV. Karsyn was so still, and that is very RARE. They are so precious! (I can say that since I am the grandmother.)

This weekend, they are going to visit their Gigi in Salado and are so excited.


Last night, Justin and I went to a new place for me, Saviano's Italian Restaurant in Euless. I was pleasantly surprised when I walked in the door because it was much nicer on the inside than it appeared from the outside. It is in an old strip shopping center on Main Street.

The complimentary garlic bread "knots" are really good. They are brushed with garlic butter that has fresh roasted garlic slices. The house salad had lots of different vegetables and a really unique dressing. It was an Italian balsamic vinaigrette with a slightly sweet taste.

I had the Pasta Italiano which was way too good. My original intention was to eat half and take the rest home. It was so good, I ended up nibbling away until it was all gone. It is a penne pasta with a spicy pink sauce, chicken, shrimp, sundried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and green onions. It was very good and I will definitely be back.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Busy Weekend - Lots of Different Food

We have been out of town or had church or work commitments for the past 5 Friday nights. We were finally free this past Friday, so we decided to try some place different. We have read several reviews about Olenjack's Grille in Arlington, so we went there. I was a little surprised that it was not very crowded. I started out with the Spinach Salad with balsamic blue cheese dressing. Pops had the Shrimp and Grits and I had the Pork Tenderloin Special. The salad was good and the entrees were okay, but nothing to get too excited about. I also had the roasted creamed corn, and it was probably the best corn that I have had in a very long time. The corn was worth the trip, but the rest of the food was about a 5 on a 1-10 scale.

Saturday we headed to Abilene to move Janelle into her apartment. The apartments are new and were supposed to be finished by August 15. On the 10th, they let everyone know that they were not ready and postponed the move in date until the 25th. They still were not completely finished. It was totally chaotic having 300+ people moving in at the same time along with the workers trying to finish up their work.

We went to Joe Allen's BBQ for lunch. It was as good as always. They have some of the best potato salad and the bread is so good.

For dinner, we went to Perini Ranch. The food at Perrini is good, but the atmosphere is where it is at. It is located in Buffalo Gap, way out in the country. You follow the dirt road to the log cabin style building. Tom Perini is well known in West Texas. He has catered for many big functions, including dinners at the White House.

The best part of the meal was the Strawberry Shortcake. It is a warm biscuit, served with warm sweetened strawberries and they serve it with a pitcher of cream. Very different, but very good.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Breakfast Burritos

18 eggs
1 lb. hot sausage or chorizo
1 heaping teaspoon salt
1 heaping teaspoon dried minced onion
fresh ground pepper
fresh tortillas (I like to get mine from Rosa's)

Cook sausage or chorizo until browned. Set aside. Beat eggs with seasonings. Scramble in skillet until almost done. Add sausage/chorizo. Place egg mixture in tortilla and top with cheese. Roll up and wrap individually in aluminum foil. Freeze. When ready to eat, place burrito on paper plate and cook in microwave on 60% power for 4 minutes.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

King Ranch Casserole

2 C. chopped chicken (I buy a rotisserie chicken in the deli section for a quick meal)
1 small bag Nacho Doritos (You can use the baked Doritos for less fat)
1 small chopped onion
1 4 oz. can green chilies
1 10 oz. can enchilada sauce
1 10 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
2 C. Monterrey jack or Mexican blend cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Line 9 x 13 pan with Doritos. Mix together remaining ingredients except cheese. Pour on top of Doritos. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Top with cheese and continue cooking until cheese is melted.

Last Birthday Celebration for Pops

Okay, I know you are looking at the picture and salivating. Don't. It really didn't look like the picture, and it was not near as good as it looks.

For Pops final birthday celebration for this year, we went to Bob's Steakhouse in Grapevine. I have had a few friends go and say it was good, so I was really looking forward to a great meal.

Upon sitting down, we were served some warm bread with really good butter. Things were looking pretty good.

In the center of all of the tables is a really pretty jar of pickles and peppers, with tongs. It appears that you are supposed to help yourself to them. I knew better. I had been forewarned. The minute you open the jar, the waiter will quickly remove it. I didn't even try to eat them, but I did ask the waiter about it, for my friends of course. He said you could eat them if you wanted to but they were really for "color for the table." I looked around and no one else was eating them. They definitely don't want you eating them, but if that is the case, why have the tongs next to it? ?????? I wonder if they are poisonous?

We ordered the blue cheese salad. It was chopped lettuce with blue cheese dressing, blue cheese crumbles, chopped egg and pecans. It was okay, but nothing to get real excited about. Pops ordered the rib eye and I had the fried shrimp. The shrimp was really good, but the rib eye was bland. I just don't get why a restaurant thinks that a steak is great with no other seasoning than salt. I like to eat my steak with steak sauce, and I am always shocked when the only sauce they have it Heinze 57 or A1. I think they should have their own signature sauce. After all, they claim to be a top steak restaurant.

We had the signature skillet potatoes and they were okay. The waiter brought us a piece of chocolate cake and it was just your average bakery cake.

I have been hungry for a good steak for a while. I guess I just need to fire up our grill or go to Saltgrass. I would never choose to go back to Bob's on my own, but if we are invited to go with someone else, I would give it another try.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Keg

The Keg in Las Colinas has a preferred customer list that you can register online for. One of the benefits is that on your birthday, you receive a FREE steak and lobster dinner ($29.95). We have been "members" for a while, but we always forget to use our gift card. We remembered this year.

We started out with our version of the wedge salad. Instead of blue cheese dressing, we always get thousand island with blue cheese crumbles and bacon. Pops had the terriyaki sirloin, which is our favorite, and I had the steak and lobster dinner, even though it wasn't my birthday. The lobster was small, but good. I had the twice baked potato, which was wonderful.

For dessert, we got our usual, the Billy Miner's pie. It is a chocolate crust, with coffee ice cream, topped with almond and chocolate syrup. Great ending to a great meal.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Birthday Dinner #1 - Reata

We had Pop's family birthday dinner at Reata on Tuesday night. It was a real disappointment. Since we go out to eat all of time, we were trying to go some place different, but not to expensive since there were 10 of us. We still spent a fortune and it was just not that great.

We started off with one of our favorites, the signature "tenderloin tamales." I don't know what was missing, but they were just okay. They are very different with "pecan mash" on top of them. They tasted like they needed more salt and seasoning because they were bland.

Pops had the tenderloin and shrimp special. It was okay, but not great. I tasted the Caesar salad, jalapeno cheese grits and chicken fried steak, and they were all okay.

The best part was dessert. We had the apple cobbler, creme brulee, fried cheesecake and the chocolate bread pudding tamale. The tamale was really good. Thank goodness for good desserts.

We still have one more birthday dinner at Bob's Chop House and I am hoping that it is much better.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Pops - The Big 50

Today, Pops starts the next half of his life. He plans to live to be 100, so he is halfway there.

He is the absolute best husband, father and grandfather. He is so good to all of us and loves us more than life itself. He works so hard and is well respected by everyone he comes in contact with. I am so bless to be his wife.

Happy Birthday!

Gigi - We Are Trying

Landrie and Karsyn's Gigi lives in Salado. She misses the girls so much, so I like to post pictures of them so she can see how cute they are! As hard as we try, they don't like to cooperate. They want to do their own thing. Karsyn is better at posing for pictures than Landrie is.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Daddy

Today, my Dad turned 80. That sounds so old, but he is so young!

He is one of the Godliest men that I have ever known. I am so blessed to have him as my father.

I lived the "Beaver Cleaver" life. My Dad worked as an Aeronautical Engineer for the same company until he retired in 1989. He now has his own business designing foundations for prominent builders in the area. He gets up in the wee hours of the morning and works 7 days a week.

He has always been so disciplined and stubborn. Unfortunately, I did not get his discipline, but did get a strong dose of stubbornness.

For as long as I can remember, he was a very strong Christian and very involved in church. He has always been part of the leadership of the church that he is a part of, and I don't ever remember missing a Sunday of going to church as a family. It was not an option. I remember traveling, and we would attend churches in the city that we were in. This sounds like "religion", but it was really about his relationship.

I don't ever remember him saying a negative word about anyone. He has always been so respectful of others and so polite, and to this day, he adores my Mother.

When I was around 10, he turned into a health nut. He became a vegetarian and began running and riding his bike daily. Nothing would keep him from exercising. If he was on a business trip and didn't get home until 10:00 p.m., he would get his run in before he went to bed. He couldn't go to bed until it was done. He is well know in the community as the man who rides his bike and runs in blue jeans. He has never worn shorts or sweats and rides in the middle of the afternoon in 100 degree weather. He is always friendly and waves at everyone. He still runs 2 1/2 miles a day and rides his bike over 8 miles each day. He said he has had to cut down his distance because he just doesn't have time with all of his work.

We have lived a blessed life. My parents have been married for over 50 years. They have three children, 11 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. We all live close by and get together often.
He has been such an awesome example of what a great husband and father should be. He has had a huge impact in Pops life. I can still remember back in our high school days. He would help Pops with his homework, explaining calculus and trig formulas on the little chalkboard in the kitchen.

5 years ago, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer that has spread. He had surgery and decided to forgo any further treatment because he was most concerned with his quality of life. This has not slowed him down and he is still going strong.

We are having a surprise party for him tonight and the entire family is going to be there. Happy Birthday to the greatest Dad I could have ever had.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Strawberry Pie

Kaye asked me to post one of my favorite recipes, so here it is:

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust
1 C. Sugar
1 C. Water
3 T. Cornstarch
1 Small Pkg. Strawberry Jello
1 Quart Fresh Strawberries

Bake crust according to directions. I always cook it a little bit longer to make it extra crisp. Cool completely.

Wash and remove stems from strawberries. Let drain on paper towel.

Combine sugar, Jello and cornstarch. Slowly add water while mixing. Microwave for 4 minutes on high. Stir. Cook and additional 1 - 2 minutes more until thick. Let cook completely.

You can either arrange whole strawberries, cut side down on crust and top with glaze; or you can slice strawberries and mix with glaze.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Top with Whipped Cream.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Last, and Definitely Least - Philadelphia

Our last stop was Philadelphia. I have to say, it will not go down in history as one of my favorite places. It was hot and dirty and I am not a big history fan. We didn't have any food that stood out as too great.

When we travel, we like to eat at places that we can't go to at Home. We like to try the local favorites. The first night we ate at a famous place called DiNardo's. It was supposed to be wonderful. All I can say is that Red Lobster is better than DiNardo's. Since we struck out so bad, we ended up eating at two of our old time favorites, Smith and Wollensky and Maggiano's. They were both good.

There was a really neat place we ate lunch at call the Reading Terminal Market. It was at the bottom of the old train station and it had about 100 booths with everything from farmers markets, ice cream, bakeries, Philly Steak sandwiches and so forth. One deli we ate at was Herschel's. They served pastrami, roast beef, corned beef and turkey. The big difference was that it was freshly baked right there, not your typical deli meat. They piled the meat on the sandwich.

Monday was the most interesting day of my trip.

San Diego/La Jolla

We stayed at the San Diego Doubletree Golf Resort. The outside of the hotel is really neat because it is intermingled with the golf course. I am probably their most hated patron because I hate mildew. For my last couple of visits, I have had to call the front desk to come clean the mildew out of the shower. (Just typing this makes me sick!) I was pleasantly surprised when I came back after a day at the beach and discovered that they had re-caulked the shower. It was better, but could have used some more work.

While Pops was working, this was my hangout. Every morning, I would drop him off at work and head to Girard's to pick up lunch. Then I would head to the beach. I felt like I was in heaven with my book, Ipod, 75 degree breeze and the sound of the Pacific Ocean in the background.

We ate at one of our favorite Italian restaurants in San Diego, Cafe Luna. It has been a couple of years since I have eaten there and it was even better than I remembered.

San Jose/San Francisco/Sausalito

The first night, we spent the night in San Jose so that we could eat at one of our favorite restaurants in Los Gatos, Forbes Mill Steakhouse. This was by far one of our best meals. When we were at Forbes in May, we met Dean, one of the owners and we really enjoyed talking to him.

Dean was not working on Saturday night, but he got called in due to a mechanical problem in the kitchen. It was great to see him again, and we really appreciated the dessert sampler that he sent out to us, especially the Coffee Creme Brulee. Thanks Dean!

We decided to go to Scoma's in San Francisco for lunch on Sunday and have the Crab Louis Salad. It was almost dinner time by the time we made it because we got stuck in the traffic for the San Diego baseball game. Everyone was trying to see Barry Bonds hit the big one.

The next couple of nights, we stayed in Sausalito at Casa Madrona. Sausalito was beautiful. It didn't hurt that when we woke up in the mornings it was 54 degrees.

It Is Great To Be Home!!!

Whenever I travel, I always schedule to be gone only 3 nights. I love to travel, but I am usually ready for my own bed after 3 nights, and I am definitely ready for my own bathroom and shower. I stretched it this past month, but I survived. I got home last night from an 11 day stretch. (For those of you that don't know me well, I HATE public bathrooms and that includes hotel bathrooms, no matter how many stars they hold).

I am very thankful that we have had the opportunity to visit these great places. The greatest blessing is that all of it is related to Pops work so these vacations are practically free.