Caturday

It’s the weekend.  Yay weekend!  Except this is the month that Hubby works Thursday – Sunday night.  So it’s really not the weekend at all.  😦  Thus, instead of Saturday, I give you Caturday…because at some level, everyone wants to be a kat!

So for your viewing pleasure…my wacky katz!

Hey Mom!  Where’s the noms?

Aargh!  The frustration!  Must. Scratch. Must. Claw!

Perhaps I’ll just have a nap in the most uncomfortable looking position evah…unless your spine has been snapped.


Napping.  It’s how I roll.

Y’all have a great Caturday, and enjoy your afternoon nap.  Because we all have a bit of nap kitteh in us!  😀

Basil Basil Everywhere

or so Hubby has started to think.  He asked the other day, “Are you going to put basil in everything now?’  Good idea, I thought.  But the continuing heat has me SO lethargic (along with the frequent trips back and forth across Texas lately)!

Yesterday was a good day to not turn on the stove…again.  So we did dinner a la snack!

Veggie goodness, with a bit of cheese and hummus for protein.  I happen to LOVE blood oranges, though I can’t get them all the time here.

Hummus is actually the Arabic word for chickpea.  They’re also called garbanzo beans, which is Spanish, or cece, which is Italian.

To make the hummus, which is much less expensive than getting it from the market (and really not much effort either), you’ll need 1 can of chickpeas (about 2 cups if using rehydrated beans), 1/4 cup liquid from the chickpeas,  3 tbsp garlic, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp parsley, and 1  1/2 tbsp tahini (optional).  Mix together until smooth in food processor or blender, adding liquid as needed.  Add spinach, red pepper,  roasted garlic, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, or pine nuts…or basil, whatever flavor floats your boat.  About 1/4 to 1/2 cup will do, depending on how much flavor you like.  Mix to incorporate.  You can also drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top to serve as it looks pretty!  🙂

I like to serve hummus with naan for dipping.  It’s kind of Indian flatbread.  Dots, not feathers.  You can also go with pita, which is almost as good.  Heat it in the oven, or toaster oven if you are practicing oven avoidance.  It’s even better still warm!

And no, I didn’t take this picture last night.  Because the memory card was in the pc upstairs, and I forgot it wasn’t in the camera…again. 😛  Last night we has pineapple instead of blood oranges, and sugar snap peas.  And the hummus was tomato and basil (go figure).  Hummus in the photo is spinach.  But the idea is a winner no matter the season!  😀

Beer of the Week

I’ve run out of new beers to try at the local market!  So, I stopped in the liquor store to peruse their selection and found…

I couldn’t get to the house and pop the top on one of these quickly enough.  Of course, I was a little impaired by the tears of laughter streaming down my face and random bursts of giggling, but did manage to reach the homestead safely.  My patience was fianlly rewarded as I settled on the porch to enjoy the evening’s sultry humidity and this fine brew.

It’s great!  Must be the tempering over witches process.  Since we all know by now that witches are made of wood and weigh the same as a duck (which obviously accounts for their uncanny floating abilities), it seems that it was only a matter of time before some genius of beer brewing put them to use in creating a masterpiece.

This week’s beer offering is a good, sturdy British type ale with a light nutty flavor, not too hoppy, not too bitter, pleasantly middle of the road….well, ale.  Being a big fan of the British ale, I was not a bit disappointed by the taste, and expected smoothness.  Heavier than the summer brews and hefes, this still makes for a great summer beer since it’s not really what I’d call “heavy”.  A better description is well-rounded.  It’s great alone or with food, or while you’re still out in the heat grilling the food.

The bonus, if you’re a Monty Python fan, is the extra guffaws of laughter you’ll get every time you pick up the bottle to take a sip.  And be sure to prominently display the carton, as the print is larger so you’ll still be able to read it after a pint or two the bottles are gone!

I want more.  😀

Peanut Butter Cookies

Hubby has been after me to make him some cookies, even though I’ve been avoiding turning on the oven because of the heat.  Peanut butter cookies at that.  I don’t like or eat peanut butter cookies, which I’m sure must be odd for someone who LOVES peanut butter.

But Hubby asks, and I comply…eventually.   🙂

Combine 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt and set aside.

Cream together 2 sticks butter, 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup granulated sugar, and 2 eggs until fluffy.  Mix in dry ingredients, stir until just combined.

Use a teaspoon to scoop out batter, and roll into about 1 inch balls.  Then, roll the balls in granulated sugar until covered.

Use a fork to press the cookies flat with an attractive cross hatch pattern.  I find this is a lot easier if you sugar the fork between each cookie to reduce the peanut butter stickiness factor.  Action shot goodness follows.  😛  (You should have seen me trying to use the camera with my left hand while forking the cookies and trying to avoid blocking the light.  Kitchen Kat was rolling on the floor laughing.  Next time, I’m going to strap the camera to his back and use him for a tripod!)

Bake at 375F for 10 minutes until lightly brown.

This recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies! 🙂

I was doing this about 10 p.m. so the pictures all have fluorescent lighting weirdness.  At least it was a bit cooler then, even with the oven on!  Hubby says they are delicious.  I’ll take his word for it, as I have no intention of actually eating one.  Peanut butter belongs on bagels.  😛

Kidnapped!

Yesterday, as I settled in with my pint jar of iced coffee (awesome idea and recipe at Pioneer Woman), preparing to send all three of the boys off to the Galleria and a day of ice skating so that I could share the deliciousness of Peanut Butter Cookies, there was a knock at the door.  Of course, it was Mum, here to get said boys for the day’s adventure.

Hubby, upon learning that ice skating was on the schedule, had earlier catapulted himself out of bed to dig his ice skates out of the garage.  Because all Texans own ice skates.  That’s just how we roll. 😛

She said, “Oh, why don’t you come with us?  We’re lunching at Brennon’s.”  No arm twisting necessary!  Brennan’s???  FREE???  So I threw on a relatively presentable outfit, hair still in ponytail (unbrushed), no makeup (a.k.a. warpaint), and off we went.

Lunch was fabulous, and was accompanied by mimosas, my current favorite girly drink.  Mum had Grilled Shrimp with Cheesy Grits, Hubby had the Pecan Crusted fish, and the boys and I all had the Filet with Lump Crab.  Excuse me while I get a tissue…I’m drooling again.   😛  We finished up with Lemon Meringue Pie with Blueberry Coulis, Bananas Foster, and of course, coffee.

Mum wouldn’t let me take pictures of the food.  😦

Then we headed to the Galleria for some icy goodness, which turned out to be considerable warmer than usual.

Is it just me, or have you noticed that the malls, movie theaters, etc. seem to be warmer this year?  Like, I can watch a movie and don’t need a parka to be comfortable, warm?  Maybe I’m having hot flashes…

A great time was had by all involved.

Now, a picture of Kitchen Kat, because it’s so much more fun to type when you’re in front of the monitor!

He doesn’t like the flash.  😦  But he does seem to like iced coffee.  😛

Rain!!!!!

Today, the boys are going fishing.  Not just any old Tom Sawyer-with -a-cane-fishing-pole-fishing, but fishing in a boat with a private guide fishing.  They’d better come back with some edible fish.  😀

My plan for the morning was to hop on the motorcycles and catch an early bird movie with Hubby. Been dying to see the new installment of Transformers.  And yes, I did watch the cartoon.  Stop judging me!!!

Instead, I looked around the bedroom when the alarm went off and thought, “Wow!  It’s kinda dark.  Wonder if I set the alarm correctly?”.  Indeed I had, so I ventured forth onto the porch and saw a miraculous sight…rain.  Real rain, with overcast skies reaching from horizon to horizon!  Beautiful, soothing, dripping from the eaves rain.

 

See!  The grass actually looks green…at the moment.

 

 

Even the birds  look happy for a change.

 

Yellow-Crowned Night Heron, in case you care.  🙂

Altogether a beautiful day…since we’re having a drought.  And rain is great for fishing.  Especially when it’s not me.

Home Again

We arrived home in good order last evening, after trekking back across Texas much faster this trip, as the other drivers apparently had shaken off their Friday lethargy and had returned to SOP (driving 85 to 90) so we made good time…Rat Boy and my nephew ensconced in the back seat.  Started out with a quick trip to Starbuck’s for driving coffee.

Nephew is visiting for a week so that Grandma can take the boys out to enjoy every activity that she could think of which could be enjoyed by adolescent boys.  They had to get up at 9.  🙂

Kitchen Kat was happy to see us.  He didn’t even hide under the bed!

Planned to post this yesterday, but somehow my computer was immediately hijacked upon our arrival, so I just read a good book and patiently waited for the boys to switch to X-box.  Waited, and waited…then went to bed.

Today, I’ll get to the market and stock up to feed 2 teenaged boys…and Hubby.  You’d think they were out actually doing work all day the way they eat!  So there should be lots of fun food to share this week.  And I’m heading out to the pool for daily laps (which haven’t been daily lately) before it actually reaches 100!

Road Trip

Today is a special day.  My niece turned 16 today!  Thus, I was forced, coerced, enticed to drive across Texas in the heat…well, really only halfway! 🙂  It seemed that every person in the state who doesn’t understand that the speed limit on the freeway is really just a suggestion and that it’s courteous to move out of the way so that faster traveling traffic can go past,  OR they simply weren’t reading the signs that say “slow traffic keep right” were on the road with us today.  It took us almost 5 hours to make a 3 hour trip…average speed 65…speed limit 70. 😦

Enough said about that.  Hubby has to work (another sad face) so Rat Boy and I loaded up the vehicle this morning and headed west.  Made it in time for a quick trip to the Trollbead store…their motto should be welcome to your new addiction…and then on to a really nice birthday dinner at TGIFriday’s.  All six of us ordered the potstickers, weirdly, which were actually pretty good.  Then, my favorite part, dessert!  Being pretty stuffed already, I snuck a couple of bites of the vanilla bean cheesecake, and woo hoo!!!  Dance party in my mouth!

I’m hooked on skinny margaritas.  TGIFriday’s has a blackberry ‘rita that I’d heard was great.  Now I can attest that it is fabulous!  And after that drive I really needed a nice cool adult beverage (or two).  Wish I’d taken a picture.  Sadly, though I did bring the camera so I could catch Rat Boy in front of every Starbucks on I-10, I forgot to get the memory card out of the pc at home and replace it in the camera.  EPIC FAIL!!!  Hey, at least I noticed after the first Starbucks, so Rat Boy didn’t have to pose more than once. 😛

Heading home tomorrow.  Have a memory card now, so who knows what trouble we can find on the way.  Whatever it is, I’ll be sure to share it!

Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes

I awoke feeling ambitious this morning, so I grabbed a recipe for blueberry sour cream pancakes that I’ve been wanting to try.  Recently, a friend of mine was sharing about her hubby’s fabulous pancakes or I’d never have thought to put sour cream in a pancake.  My hubby, always a fan, exclaimed, “You know how to make pancakes?”.  I just smiled sweetly.  Luckily for him, right then I had a cup of hot coffee in one hand and a ladle in the other.

Combine 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 large egg, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp melted butter, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, and a dash of salt.  Stir until well mixed, then gently add 1 cup blueberries (or a whole pint if you love them like I do!).  This is easily accomplished with a fork.


Heat pan/griddle until drops of water will sizzle.  If not non-stick, you’ll want to grease lightly with butter (or spray) and drop about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake, wait until bubbles form in the top, and flip…should take about 2 to 3 minutes.

Cook on side #2 about another 1 to 2 minutes, and serve with butter, syrup, whipped cream…whatever tickles your fancy!  I suppose you could add blueberry compote too.  😛  MMMMMMMM…blueberries….

Actually, I like mine plain.  With plenty of blueberries, of course!

If you’re not a blueberry person, you can add to the batter 1/3 cup chopped pecans or 1/2 cup mashed banana and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts instead.  Enjoy!

Continued…Hot and Sunny

Still hot.  Ridiculously hot…day after day with no relief in sight, never mind I don’t see as far as I used to!  And SO weird, with the lack of rain, it manages to remain incredibly humid.  And I know that I complained about our month of gale force winds, but could we pleeze have just a little breeze back?  Actually the gale force winds would be fine too!  😛

Salad then.  Cool crunchy green stuff…ripe roma tomatoes, crispy cool cucumber, a sprinkle half a package of crumbled feta, and kalmata olives (mmmm…my favorite) so LOTS of them.  No basil, but I guess I don’t actually have to put it in everything!

I like to drizzle a bit of garlic olive oil over it, and will sometimes add strawberries or blueberries, as apparently I did when I took this picture.  And no, I don’t have a picture of the one today.  I’m eating it!  Honestly, I think anything seasonal goes well in a salad, even though I’m really fond of the Greek-y flavor…and it’s cool.  So cheers to not turning on the oven today!

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