Thursday, January 05, 2012

Book Recommendations

I just finished reading At Home by Bill Bryson, who both hilarious and highly inquisitive. I'm amazed by the depth of curious, offbeat detail he weaves from his research into the topic he's writing about. I learned quite a bit about the evolution of that thing we call a house and how our current lifestyle evolved, and was reminded yet again about how wonderful it is to live in the 21st century with indoor plumbing, hot water, heat, reliable electricity, a comfy bed, refrigeration and all that other good stuff. It's a good read but you might want to alternate with Us Weekly as it can be a bit dense.

I also recently read Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan. An amazing true life story (as they say) about a man, a remarkable little dog and a mountain range. I was in the White Mountains while I read the book which added to the drama and couldn't put it down. This spring and summer I am inspired to do some grand trekking, including climbing a 4000 footer!! Plus I spied the *real* Tom and Atticus outside the Conway, NH Starbucks right after I finished the book so I was wicked thrilled. Way better than seeing Michelle Bachman and her mammoth tour bus pull up at Zeb's.

Monday, February 28, 2011

A Fiesta!

Well, a fiesta for your mouth I guess. I made this over the weekend and it turned out great so I thought I'd share. I took a note from Ina Garten and used roasted chicken instead of poached - more flavor! Moister! Yummier!

Chicken Fiesta

1 large onion, chopped

1 T olive oil

3 chicken breasts, roasted and chopped into bite sized pieces (or an equal amount of various leftover rotisserie chicken)

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 bag frozen corn, thawed

2-14 oz cans diced tomatoes, drained

1 8-oz block neufchatel, room temperature

1 tsp dried cilantro (or to taste)

1 tsp cayenne (or to taste)

4 oz shredded cheddar (more if you want)

You could also add chopped spinach or any other favorite veggie. Or salt, but I usually let the diner add their own.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy-bottomed pan, and add the onions. Saute until translucent. Add the chicken and cook until warmed through. Add in the black beans, corn and tomatoes. Cook through til warm, about 5 minutes. Add in the neufchatel, cilantro and cayenne then stir, stir, stir until it all melts. This is the sauce for the whole shebang, and its really luscious.

Once the cheese is melted, pour all into a 13x9" baking pan and cover with shredded cheese. Bake for 30 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Note: this can be used for enchilada or soft taco filling if you don't want to do the baking step. If you do bake it, you can serve alongside a nice salad or just dip into it with tortilla chips.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Yes they are beautiful. And they are insidious. I vowed not to introduce the Disney princesses to Rose, but if they found her and she was interested then that would be OK. Well, thanks to the marketing machine that is Disney, this girl who watches no TV was still accosted. And LOVES them! We now have Princess...

several shirts
a lovely velour hoodie and pants ensemble
books (many)
hair clips
electric toothbrush
lunch box
tiny little dolls
coloring books
rubber stamps

And an Ariel Halloween costume (the one from when she has given up her mermaid identity and all that she knows and loves to become a princess). I tried to convince Rose that fairies were much more interesting because they can fly and do magic. She appreciates that but nothing compares with the glamour.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Favorite

Lilacs remind me of two things...the long, full row of trees loaded with blooms of all shades that grew along and behind Gramarie's garage. You would just float along, buoyed by the scent...and visits to the Reiners in their old farmhouse. Lots and lots of gnarled old lilacs that perfumed every inch of that fascinating yard, barn and house...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Etiquette Explained

"Do you want me to lick your cheese?"

"Well, its actually not all that nice to lick someone else's cheese...but you can lick your own if you want."

"Oh. OK."

Monday, August 18, 2008


this is my favorite part of our construction project. well, at least in the top 5 along with the frame around the spigot for the hose, the pendant light, the pergola and the wide stairs leading to the yard in the back...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hey Y'all

So as you can tell, not too much new is shakin' around here. And I'm thinking no news is good news.

We're desperately trying to wrap up those last dangling items on our home improvement project. I called the builder and warped the truth a bit to get our going-upstairs railing installed, and then politely nagged him to get the electrician to come and put in an outlet and rewire a light fixture/switch. On the landscaper issue...I took that one into my own hands and called the guy our neighbors use to mow their lawn to give us a price on dirt & grass seed since the builder was nowhere on that one. I also respectfully reminded said builder abotu 10 days ago that we were supposed to get a price for a fence on the side of the house and from the siding guy to do a couple of more little spots -- "...oh yeah, let me check on that...." Must be still checking. I might ask the landscaper if he can do the fence. The builder has actually done a beautiful job but our challenge all along has been getting on and then staying on his radar. In the grand scheme, we're a small job to him but it feels a huge project to us.

I've taken to wearing some reading glasses. You know, those sort of matronly ones you see at gift stores that are supposed to make visually challenged middle aged and beyond women look funky. I have my coke bottle glasses that scream late '80s, my polka dot funkies and two other very questionable ones. And the fact of the matter is, they help so much that I don't really care how ridiculous I look. Hey baby, my magnification is +1.25....what's yours?

At this point, we have no plans for the Fourth of July weekend. I'm kinda surprised its here already. I'm sure we'll be doing lots of splashing in Rose's ankle pool and that we'll find something or other to occupy our time quite nicely. Maybe a late afternoon beach visit? Love that.