Wednesday, July 29, 2015

In Defense of the Plain Avocado

Avocados are up in arms these days!

There was some frenzy about green pea guacamole, although the recipe has 4 stars with 271 ratings, last I checked. I haven't made it, but I wouldn't rule it out. I've had other things in guac before: corn, beans, even pomegranates.

Then there was fried guacamole.

That should really be called guacamole wontons.

This week it's avocado soup.

I don't know. I'm having enough trouble finding decent avocados lately. I don't want to waste one on an odd recipe.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Handy is on a business trip to Shanghai. Saturday night he had a room on the executive level of a fancy hotel near the Pearl Tower. I believe he was going to observe the tower from below. He does not like heights. 

This was goose pate.

This was pigeon.

He went sightseeing on Sunday at a village which has been turned into a historic park. I did some quick research and it may be Zhujiajiao.

Cat trying to escape people and the heat. 

Fried eggs with shrimp handles. Very clever. 

At this point he had exceeded his data allowance so I have no more pictures. (I had asked him to check on the phone situation before he left but I guess that didn't happen.) But he's done with his one sightseeing day and it's work work work the rest of the week and he's moved to a hotel near the work work work, so there probably wouldn't be many more pictures anyways.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Carrots and Chorizo

Trigger warning. You may want to skip the chorizo part. Here's the carrot part.

I overheard a woman raving about carrot hot dogs at lunch last week. She said they marinated them for a while. I couldn't overhear the rest of the recipe but it sounded delicious and I would definitely try them. Here's one recipe for carrot hot dogs

Here's my happy little carrot.

You were warned - turn back now. TURN BACK NOW! 

OK, now on to my chorizo issue.

I wanted to make something different. Frank asked for chorizo (the Mexican style). I made a chorizo quiche. But I couldn't bring myself to eat it. You'll see why when you read the ingredients. Eeew.

Frank is giving me a hard time because I was squeamish about this. "But you eat hot dogs. There's anus in there." Well, I eat sausage with intestinal casings. But the hot dogs just say "beef."  They don't specify the glands. Also the chorizo had the weirdest texture. Frank should be understanding of that, since he has textural issues with certain slimy vegetables.

The people in the house who ate the chorizo quiche said it was delicious. I also made a southwestern vegetable quiche that was fantastic. I think it had corn, red bell pepper, and green chiles.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Saturday PhotoHunt: Stop

No wonder people don't stop when pulling out of this alley. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Focaccia Pizza

Remember my horrible frozen pizza? Ugh! Now THIS is a lot better. Homemade (except the crust was focaccia from Costco). All the toppings were found in the fridge. Good thing I have more focaccia in the freezer!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Signs of Summer

Summer is full upon us.  One of my neighbors has a fine crop of sunflowers. I inadvertently cropped off the tallest ones, which were past the eaves of his house. I wonder if the stalks will become part of their fantastic Halloween decorations. I knew someone who felt sunflowers were very frightening, with their giant faces looming over you.

I have a meager crop of peaches. It won't be Peach Week, maybe just Peach Day or Peach Afternoon. There might be enough for a very small pie if they stay on the tree long enough. They are still hard, but thanks to the ability to search my blog I can tell that Peach Hour should be coming pretty soon. Or Peach Minute.

We can only water 2 days a week now. Tuesday and Saturday. This is my front lawn. We're trying to keep the hedges alive but that's about it. I hear people calling their brown lawns "golden." Nope, it's just brown. 

Our Fourth of July celebration consisted of hot dogs, since it was the day of Nathan's Famous Hot Dog eating contest. I could only eat two. We stuck with traditional styles. I found an article in a recent Sunday paper (and here is another one with more tasty variations) which had Tijuana, Greek, French, Vietnamese and Californian dogs. They all sound good to me but the guys prefer the classics: chili or mustard/relish. Frank gave me a hard time because I will eat hot dogs but not chorizo. (I thought I had a post about that but I can't find it.)

Speaking of the newspaper, I wonder why I still bother to get it. It's tiny. And I have to hunt for it every morning. Keeps me sharp, I guess. The previous deliverer used to fling it under the back of Frank's car. The new one rubber-bands it into a tight little baton and flings it into the garage door, where it bounces and comes to land who knows where. This morning it was on the hood of Frank's car. I asked Frank, who lives above the garage door, if he hears a noise in the wee hours when the paper is flung, but it is not loud enough to bother him.

Handy has the week off and we are on a staycation. We thought about going to San Francisco but adding up the cost for just a few days came to about $2000 so I'd rather save that towards the massive tuition payment that is coming due right quick. And in 2 weeks he is going to Shanghai on business. Shanghaied to Shanghai.

[shang-hahy, shang-hahy

verb (used with object)shanghaied, shanghaiing. Nautical
to enroll or obtain (a sailor) for the crew of a ship by unscrupulousmeans, as by force or the use of liquor or drugs.

Monday, July 13, 2015

He Doesn't Listen to Me

I've been saying Ernest needs new shoes. 

But you know young people, they always think they know best.

I rest my case.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Nuts or Not?

I wanted to make some brownies to take to my m-i-l, but they get so messy when you cut them up and I always have the problem of the center of the pan being goopy while the edges are rock hard.

In fact, once I refused to make brownies for Ernest for that very reason, and made a chocolate sheet cake instead.

So I had the bright idea of making the brownies in cupcake papers. Of course there are no new ideas under the sun and there were many recipes on the internet.

I used the Hershey's cocoa Brownie Cupcakes recipe and it was good, so I'm sticking with it. It says it makes 18 but I only got 15 the first time and they seemed skimpy. I made 12 the next time and I'm satisfied.

The only issue I have is nuts or no nuts. Some of us prefer nuts, but the younger generation prefers their chocolate pure. My solution was to make two batches. 

Now everyone was happy. Until they were all gone.

Friday, July 10, 2015

"Why does 'crazy cat lady' pop into my head.... ;)"

Well, if that wasn't the most appropriate comment I ever received. Gary hit the nail on the head.

I kept seeing a picture of this beauty in the newspaper and on line. Her name was Buffy Buffay.

She looked like a mash-up of Homer and Fifi. No, I didn't bring her home but I was sorely tempted. Frank was wise and thinks three cats are enough, but Ernest and Handy seemed to want to enable my addiction so we went and petted her the Saturday Ernest returned from Boston. She didn't want to come out of her tube but greatly enjoyed some petting, purring, and finger licking.

While we were there, this little cutie wanted to play. Cadillac was a new mommy, although she looked like a kitten herself. Oh, that face.

Happily, both of these delightful cats have been adopted since our visit.

I'm going to have to control myself. I hope that the cat petting will hold me. It's like when you have the baby lust, sometimes cuddling and cheek-pinching will satisfy you so you don't have to have another one for the next 18 years.  Wish me luck.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Critters 4 (Or I'm Not Dead Yet)

Once again, I must warn the squeamish. You may not want to proceed with this post.

OK, fine.

There was a situation in our house. I walked in to find this blue bellied thing lying in the hall.

Avoiding the dead-lizard-issue while I ate my lunch, I went back to it a few minutes later and found it had flipped over. Were there signs of life, or had a cat just prodded it?

No cats had been in the area, so it was not-dead-yet. The Small Town Forensic Team got to work. You may embiggen the photos to see the detailed crime scene notes.  Like "Blood." And "It was here."

Then it moved again.  This time I had personal visual confirmation of reanimated movement. (I saw it jump.)

The emergency dustpan ambulance was called into action. The minute the lizard hit the ground outside arrived at emergency services, it awkwardly scurried under the hedge had a miraculous recovery.

My assistant surveyed the crime scene.  (I know she is not the guilty party because she does not go outside.) There was insufficient evidence to make an arrest. 

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Cats on Things

I'll just ease back into the blog with, what else, cat pictures.  Tiny is always up on top of something, but the other two not so much. So these were a little surprising.

Handy caught Homer in the act of eating Fifi's food one morning.  Homer used to never attempt to get up on her perch, that's why we started putting her food up there. But since he's been dieting, he has gotten very clever and resourceful. It helps that he's a svelte 14.96 pounds right now. Doesn't that seem so much less than 15? It's better than 18!

Which reminds me that Handy and Ernest were watching the Banecat videos this morning. So funny, but that poor cat is so fat! 

And Fifi: truthfully she is not actually sitting on my stack of unread books. She's on the windowsill, but the magnificence of the tail overflows onto the books.