Sunday, June 14, 2009

An Inpromptu Vacation....Finally!! Oh, Yeah, and Today is also my Birthday...

If you have been reading my other blog, you know that I haven't been posting because I've been too busy to do anything but throw tantrums. To soothe the savage beast within, I am taking a vacation to Yellowstone National Park. I will be gone at least two weeks and when we get back, we turn right around and are again off to Memphis for our season's last performance, Wicked. So this will be my last post until after the 4th of July holiday weekend.

I apologize for the lack of posts lately, especially photos outside my kitchen window, but I have been completely uninspired and grumpy. It has been hot, extremely humid and raining intermittently for almost two weeks. The only descriptive word that comes to mind is YUK!! Tom has crawled into a cocoon and, consequently, cannot seem to communicate. And, consequently, I am feeling lonely and ignored. We have pretty much resolved the latter, but there is little I can do about the weather except to escape. Hence, vacation...Yellowstone...where is it cool, mostly dry and, hopefully, awe inspiring!

However, we have been cooking some. Tom made the Burp! Barbecued Shrimp @ Burp! Where Food Happens. The only thing he changed in this recipe is substituting the cayenne pepper with crushed red pepper. I have to admit, we liked it better than Tom's recipe!

Tom also made an awesome Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Potato pizza! I think he got the recipe from Bon Appetit magazine.

And, for the last two nights, we've had Carol's Southwestern Chicken and Rice Casserole @ Bunny's Warm Oven. We've had it two nights in a row because...(a) it was delicious, (b) it made enough for two nights and then some and (c) I've been too busy packing to cook.

The only thing I did different from Carol's recipe is I seasoned my chicken breasts with a fajita seasoning that I put together (2 Tbsp onion powder, 1 Tbsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp dried oregano, 1 Tbsp white pepper, 1 Tbsp cumin, 1 Tbsp Tone's Southwest Chipotle seasoning and 1 tsp salt - mix together and store in a jar). This is a really good casserole. We served it with some sliced avocado and a little sour cream. Even after the chicken was gone, we still had rice, beans and corn on the bottom of the casserole dish. At another time, I would have saved it for breakfast burritos (scrambled eggs, cooked Mexican chorizo, the rice-beans-corn mixture and some cheese rolled up in a big flour tortilla - Yum!), but since we are discarding everything perishable, it went in the trash. :(

And after I saw Bunny's guest post for Retro Banana Cream Pie @ Megan's Munchies, I knew I had to try it. Since moving to the south, I have seen tons of recipes for Banana Cream Pie, but I couldn't bring myself to make any of them since they all call for adding vanilla wafers to the pudding. The thought of biting into a soggy vanilla wafer covered with a packaged pudding mix makes me gag. But, this recipe is different. I didn't have enough whipping cream for the topping (I made this on the spur of the moment and didn't feel like going to the store for more whipping cream), so I just made do with the little I had. The pie did not last long.

And, last but not least, I have taken a couple of photos of my backyard. This is our newest resident. Tom has a thing about frogs and toads, so we have them everywhere. At least their not gnomes or concrete burros....

We've had squash from the garden (with the Southwest Chicken and Rice Casserole) and the flowers are doing well. But you can tell it's been raining because they all have lovely raindrops on them.

Tom picked our first ripe blackberries already...

so when we get back, if the birds, rabbits and squirrels have left any for us, a blackberry cobbler is in order.

And, yes, today is my birthday. Happy Birthday To Me!!


Susan said...

Happy Birthday to you....
Your photos and your food and your gardens are gorgeous.
I had a birthday party yesterday too- for my mom and brother.
Cooked a bunch and ate so fast I forget to take pictures : (
Next time.
Is the Wednesday kitchen window an event that you do or is it a group event?

altadenahiker said...

Happy Birthday. I love Yellowstone.

Lo said...

Thanks so much for the shout-out! We're glad you enjoyed the Barbequed shrimp! After all, it helped us to find your blog! Will definitely have to check out more of what you've written!

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