Hello! So glad to be back. It's been a pretty uneventful week just hanging out at home mostly. Trying to sneak outside for some fresh air when it's not raining, which is most of the time. Some of my plants seem a little bit stunted and my lawn has some brown spots. I think it's just a lack of sun since I truly baby my grass after losing the whole lawn to grubs a few years ago. Not being an expert I can only guess that lack of sun causes problems the same way lack of water does. Thankfully, some of my tried and true flowers are holding on, like these petunias. Very simple and I thought they looked interesting against the brick of my home.
These bloomed a week or so ago. I neglected to add them to my garden journal and so I'm taking a guess that they are Stock. No?
Abigail made a huge container of Sangria for our 4th of July party and it was out of sight. She suggested that I save the cute bottles with their hinged caps for flowers. Aren't they cool? I love that she is starting to think that way. She has started to cook a lot more for her house-mates since she has been on summer break from teaching. She texts me pictures of her dinners and I'm always a bit amazed that she is coming up with some really delicious meals since I've really only seen her do eggs and sandwiches when she lived here. And it's sort of funny, she and Emily now take pictures of food, much the way we do for our blogs. At one time they cackled and giggled when I did that. Hmmm...
I actually had a great day with both of them on Monday. I have probably mentioned before that the two get along like oil and water. Very much opposites. I hoped as they got older they would become closer but that hasn't happened yet and I think it's just a matter of pride and finding it easier to just carry on as usual instead of working it all out. Habit maybe. So we hit a mall together and we honestly had fun. No arguing or drama. I tried to give them both the same amount of attention (and I think this is what the whole problem stems from). I flitted back and forth between them in the stores and as we walked through the mall. It's difficult but I think we are doing better each time it's just the three of us.
I am going for the fitting of my dress for Jeff's wedding next week. I'm not sure how that is going to work-the sleeves are quite slim and very sheer...I don't know if the one will fit over my cast on the left arm. I thought about asking my doctor to take it off just for that one day but I know him. He's sort of a cranky older man and very set in his ways. Thankfully he's just a specialist, I could never have him as a G.P. So I'm really worried. I also have my niece's wedding in Louisville in two weeks. We leave the day I get the cast off given my fracture has healed. Say a prayer for me. I've been fretting over a dress for that wedding as well as a pre-party the night before. You must know me by now--I overthink everything and just maybe have self confidence issues. I have searched shop after shop in the malls and online for the perfect dresses. I think I may have found what I like. What a headache. And men. Wouldn't it be wonderful to just select a suit and tie from the closet and a pair of dress pants and starched shirt and call it a day? Ugh. Can't live with them and can't live with them.
Today was miserable with the heat. Abby came home as she has an event here tomorrow. She was complaining she wanted something cool and refreshing to nosh on. I was ready to do my weekly shopping so once I was at the grocery store I remembered I had a nice English cucumber (seedless). I picked up a package of mini pumpernickel bread slices and some cream cheese. Do you make these? They were so popular years ago as appetizers. Just a nice spread of cream cheese on the bread, a cucumber slice and and a tiny sprinkle of dill. They truly hit the spot between lunch and dinner.
I mentioned we cooked peaches on the grill last week after making our dinner outside. I neglected to get a picture. The other night we did mango and pineapple and both were absolutely delicious. The mango was a bit tough---maybe it needed more time, but the pineapple was spectacular. Look at the charring. It made it even better. I highly recommend you try this. Cut some fruit up in the morning and have it ready. You'll love it.
I have a recipe for you that sounds a bit involved but it really isn't. If I can do it with one arm, so can you, And you won't be sorry! And I've included some ideas for enjoying some of this recipe during the long cold months of winter should you so desire. Here ya go:
GRILLED STEAK TACOS WITH FIRE ROASTED SALSA & VEGGIES
For the marinade:
1 habanero pepper, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 T. chili powder
1 t. each salt & pepper
1 T. olive oil
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 pound skirt steak and roll in the mixture, patting it in as well. Let marinate a minimum of 1 hour.
For the salsa:
2 whole large garlic cloves
I poblano pepper seeded and cut in quarters
1 large beefsteak tomato cut in half
1 large white onion cut in quarters
2 T. lime juice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Pinch of S & P
Fire up the grill. Skewer the first 4 ingredients divided equally on to 2 skewers. Grill on high heat, turning often until charred, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile. mix together the lime juice and cilantro in a medium size bowl. When veggies are cooled, chop coarsely and add to the lime mixture tossing well. Add salt and pepper and set aside.
Remove the steak from the marinade and grill on high heat 5-7 minutes per side. Meanwhile. wrap 8 corn tortillas in parchment paper and then foil and place on the grill with the steak away from direct heat.
Let steak rest 15 minutes. During this time I grilled a few extra vegetables for a full-on meal; slices of red and green pepper, zucchini and red onion. This is an optional side dish but so good.
Slice steak very thinly against the grain. It should be rare to medium rare to maintain it's tenderness. Serve the steak over the corn tortillas topped with the salsa. Add a nice topping of additional cilantro, queso fresco (a Mexican crumbling cheese you can find in almost any grocery store), and a squeeze of lime juice.
Now, the best part is, and I mentioned that just before the recipe, you can relive your warm summer nights enjoying part of this meal by simply making the salsa as directed and then canning or freezing it. You will have that nice charbroiled flavor to serve with any sort of Mexican meal or as snack with chips. Make nachos topped with this incredibly delicious salsa and bring it to a party as an appetizer. Have a few jars on hand to give as holiday gifts along with the recipe. The ideas are endless.
It was 95 degrees in the shade today which happens only occasionally here in Northern Illinois. Same for tomorrow. A slight breeze picked up about 8:00 p.m. tonight and I herded the two hounds outside for some fresh (?) air. I saw the sun setting behind the houses west of us and was able to get a snap. No altering or filters of this photo. I think you can really see the steam coming out of the ground as it hit a bit cooler air. My daylily's that surround my walnut tree are really coming into bloom as well as the Queen Anne Lace. I have ferns tucked in there as well as columbine. I've always called this my Woodland Garden because of the shade.
Thanks to all of you again for your kind well wishes on the broken arm. The pain is much the same but I can deal with that. It's this stupid cast that drives me nuts. I'm trying to visit blogs a bit everyday-if I haven't come to you recently, I will. I was up until midnight last night finishing my newspaper column for the Michigan paper. Leave it to me to wait for a deadline. The other day I came home about 2:00 in the afternoon after going to have my hair and highlights done. I walked past a sink full of dishes, 2 baskets of laundry that needed to be folded, and a bathroom in serious need of cleaning, and climbed into my bed with Layla and Milo. Two hours later I awoke to the late afternoon sun peeking through the blinds. All three of us stretched and I could swear those dogs smiled. Yes! Blondie can do chill once in awhile! :)