Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Dinner

Hi there!  Spent a lazy afternoon in the pool today, it was pretty chilly but we got used to it.  Tomorrow and Tuesday look to be possible swim days and that's probably about it for the season.  I like the fall season the best and I'm looking forward to it again this year.  I don't mind the fall yard cleanup, it get's you outside in the fresh air.  I've got some minor exterior house projects to finish up then too.  I hope you've had a good summer, you've got a couple weeks left.  Let's hope for a nice long Autumn! 

I ran across a recipe for some enchiladas a few weeks ago so that's what we had for dinner tonight.  It's not the usual enchilada but it was mighty tasty.  Here we go.  Using pecan wood, I smoked two pork loin, four tomatoes, an orange bell pepper (red is preferred) and a hot red pepper.  Smoke all of this for 40 minutes, the pork cooks until medium doneness.  Cut the pork into bite size pieces and set aside. Remove the skins and seeds from all the veggies.  Puree them in the blender along with some onion and garlic.  Simmer this sauce for about 15 minutes and give it a shot of salt and some chopped cilantro as you take it off the heat and set it aside. 

Sautee more onion in a large skillet until it's soft and nearly translucent.  Add some garlic and the pork and sautee this for a few minutes.  Then add some cooked drained black beans, chicken broth and chili powder.
Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer it until the liquid is mostly gone.  Prepare the corn tortillas the way you like to eat them. Fried, microwaved or like I do, tossed onto a hot gridle.  Place some filling and some Jack cheese on each tortilla, roll em' up and place in a baking dish.  Cover the whole lot with some of your sauce and top with more cheese.  Bake until the cheese is to your liking.  15-20 minutes.  EAT!!

Have a good week everyone!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Goodbye Sweet Zoey

We had to put Zoey down this morning.  The last couple of weeks have been pretty rough.  The vet said she had congenital heart disease and it was amazing that she lived as long as she did.  We adopted her from the humane society and we think she was 11 or 12 years old.  We promised her that she wouldn't ever suffer again like she had before we adopted her.  I remember her being so emaciated her front legs almost touched when we brought her home.  She must have been beaten because if you touched her anywhere near her tail she would cower from you.  She grew out of that and was quite the specimen!  We knew she had a heart murmur but she was very strong and such a sweet dog to the very end.  She loved being in the front yard where all the neighbor kids would give her attention. 

Williamsburg Vet Clinic was very kind and let us use their special quiet room, we laid on a soft blanket together, Zoey was given the injection and was gone in less than a minute.  My heart said "no" but my head said it was the kindest thing to do.  We stayed with her body for a little while and we'll get her cremated remains in a few days. 

She was a wonderful affectionate gentle dog and I will miss her.  Boxer's are such clowns and Zoey was no exception.  One time she chewed up a stuffed toy and that was it.  Never trouble, loved everyone she ever met. 

Goodbye monkey girl, I love you.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Weekend Eats and Treats

Since the Mai Tai Lounge in Omaha is not a convenient place for me to practice my tiki hobby, we're planning a tiki hut/bar in the backyard next year.  With the house all spruced up now, part of the the plan is to make a little "escape from reality".  We'll build a bigger deck and in one back corner I plan to construct an A-framed hut of sorts and load it up with my tiki treasures.  I've been steadily collecting mugs, artwork, carvings and other Polynesian paraphernalia.  I got two of these cool fish float lights from a fellow member at Tiki Central.  Awesome! 

The Boy had requested bbq ribs the other day so I obliged him Saturday evening for dinner.  What with Ribfest in town the last several days, it seemed the tasty thing to do! I got two fresh racks from Sam's club
Saturday morning, put a sweet/smokey rub on them and rested them in the fridge for several hours.  I have read on several barbeque sites that pecan is the Cadillac of wood to use for smoking so I used that.  The chunks of pecan don't have an in-your-face smell and they don't emit much smoke during the cooking process.  But man does it give the meat an awesome taste.  I smoked them slowly for two hours then mopped on some homemade sauce the last thirty minutes of cook time.  Dem bones was good eatin'!

Tonight was a simple Thai chicken sate and some roasted zuchinni and onions from the garden.  Odd combination but pretty darn tasty! 

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

All Spiffed Up

After replacing the siding, we shot new paint on and brush painted the trim and windows.  It's a damn big yellow house! 

Before:  Polished Oak with Hunter Green Trim

After: Quiet Veranda with Fossil Butte trim and Vanilla Milkshake shutters.

Thanks for stopping by!

The Excuse To Rent Machinery

When we decided that the house needed the rotten siding replaced and a whole house paint job, we thought, "We can do that".  My company owns a nice set of scaffolding but after lugging it home and setting it up we realized it was no where near tall enough for what we were doing.

One of our neighbors said he'd rented a "boom lift" for trimming tree branches at his parents acreage.  I checked it out on the internet and the next day we went to NCS Equipment and rented a Genie Boom Lift. What a great machine it turned out to be and we couldn't have done the work on the house without it.  It has a max height of 55 feet and a reach of 29 feet which allowed me to swing up and around the house while I was doing the siding and while the Missus and I then painted the house.  Being towable, we could change the machines position to reach everywhere we needed, including the 30 feet straight up from the driveway.

Off comes the siding.  I left the Celotex insulation attached and covered it with the Super TUFF insulation which was triple ply.  More insulation is a good thing!  Taped all the joints and hung the new siding. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Well, Hello There!

Hey how's it going?  We're still here at the West A house doing pretty good for the most part. It was a wee bit warm today wasn't it?  I've been asked by a few folks (Steve and Ryan in particular) to get back to posting. 

I'll spare you the boring details but lets just say I have some stuff saved up for future posts.  And I've done a few things in the kitchen/on the grill that you might want to try.  Or not! :)

We've had a busy busy summer and it's pretty amazing to think that school starts again on the 18th.  Not to say that summer will be over, hardly.  The dog days are upon us and maybe a bit early this year.

We've had a wonderful summer of swimming, walking in the mornings and evenings, cruising around town and just generally having a good time as a family.  Except for that 10 day period in June.  Did I mention that this year I deemed "Year of the House"?  Well I did.  The crappy siding we chose when the house was built was rotting.  It wasn't properly sealed/primered at the factory and then not properly caulked by myself after it was painted.  It had to come down.  Fortunately it was just the north side.  The east and west sides are a different material and it appears to be okay.  The south side will last until we put vinyl or steel siding on.

I can post one picture from the start of the project, the rest of the pictures are on film not yet developed.  That will be for another post.  The Missus and I did all the work to save money on labor and it turned out great.  A lot of hard work but it had to be done.  Next time someone else can do it.  All of it was rotten at the bottom of each 4 x 9 foot section, and over twenty feet up to the roof peak.

I want to invite you all to the Mt Fuji's in Omaha on September 25th.  You can read about it here or check out the cool promo that Ryan (see above) made.  I'm excited to get back to Mt Fuji's and hope to see you there!

Time to wrap this up with some tasty weekend treats.  Some grilled shrimp and roasted asparagus, very tasty.  Simple marinade of sweet soy sauce, fish sauce, coriander, garlic and lime juice.  Today I made a stuffing of sautéed artichoke hearts with garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes. To this I added sun dried tomato, goat cheese and fresh basil.  Rolled that up in some chicken breasts that I pounded out to about a quarter inch and then grilled them.  I should have tossed some apple chunks on for this I think.  It was pretty good.  Put some balsamic and more goat cheese on garden tomatoes for a side.  Aren't good tomatoes about the best thing ever? 

Thanks for hanging in there with me, more posts coming soon!
Have a good week and please stay cool.