Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Omelets Have It

The omelet's have it!  Omelets have been on my mind since Sunday when I had one at the Embassy Suites hotel.  I couldn't wait to tell you about my omelet experience from the weekend, but when Rachel Ray had a guest chef making "baggie" omelets today, I got right on it.  So here I am.  Good morning everyone!!!!

Truth time -- I am not a huge fan of omelets.  I have tried some in restaurants and they were either tough or undercooked, i.e. eggs runny (and like my mother, that gags me).  I have tried to make them at home without success.  After a overnight visit to the Embassy Suites this weekend, I decided that I might give them another chance.  So this post is really just for help me remember.

By watching the chef at the Embassy Suites, I now may attempt omelets again.  Here's basically how she did it.  First of all, she had all her ingredients in prep bowls in front of her (that's probably a no brainer for most of you guys).  She also had a bowl of beaten eggs with cream or it could have been milk...probably was just milk.  Her omelet pans were hot, but not scorching hot.  She ladled a bit of melted butter which might have had a little olive oil in it (that's probably the mixture I will use).  After the butter was sizzling just a tad, she added the chopped meat of choice.  After 15 seconds or so the chopped vegetables were added and cooked over a medium-high heat for a couple of minutes just until the veggies were tender-crisp.  No eggs up till this point.  Then she added a couple of ladles of the egg mixture to the meat/veggies.  Do not stir.  That cooked for 30-45 seconds and she gently lifted up one side so that the uncooked eggs could run beneath the already cooked eggs.  After another 30 or so seconds she flipped the entire mixture over in one flip just to make sure the eggs were thoroughly cooked.  She sprinkled cheese over the cooked eggs and gently slid the eggs onto the plate while at the same time folding it in half.  I had requested vegetables only; spinach, onions, tomatoes, pickled jalapenos (which really imparted a lot of flavor).  It was a beautiful presentation and I admit, I ate the entire thing.

Things I learned:  1) have your ingredients prepped and ready, 2) cook your vegetables and meat before adding the egg mixture, 3) watch the heat; the chef adjusted the heat throughout the process, and 4) don't fold your omelet until I you plate it from pan.  And add those jalapenos for me!!!!

Thanks Embassy Suite Chef.

So that is my post today; the omelets have it!

I love you.

A guest chef on Rachel Ray loaded all the uncooked ingredients in a baggie, squished it around, and put the bag in a pot of boiling water and cooked it for 15 minutes.  I am sure this is good; however, the one on TV wasn't all that eye-appealing.     


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Be Kind

End of 2014 and beginning 2015  Audrey's Birthday 358
Recently, the hubby and I were in Canton, TX, for their huge First Monday Trade Day and in a matter of a couple of minutes, I heard two different women talk very ugly to their husbands; very condescending.   We both looked at each other and I whispered to my hubby to not ever let me talk to him the way those two wives did.  With a laugh he told me not to worry because he wouldn’t.

Yesterday, I shared a video of an elderly couple (my age) in quite a funny predicament with a seatbelt.  You could tell the gentleman was getting upset and his wife was trying to help him, frustrating him even more.  But  did you notice how much they respected one another?  Of yes, she was laughing which made him laugh.  Then he got a little loud and she reminded him that he was getting upset.  Did you notice him calming down?   My thought was he respected her….she respected him.  Maybe I am the only one that caught that.

One thing I have to say about my hubby and me.  We respect each other and we are kind.  It makes life, especially these retirement years, a lot more fun.  I hope you are with someone who is kind to you. 

I love you.  Be kind! 
That’s all I got tonight.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

This Nana is Going to Win

End of 2014 and beginning 2015  Audrey's Birthday 126Well........the time has come to talk of many things.........  (anybody know that quote?  A quote my hubby repeated to me many times.)

My oldest grandson is now the proud owner of an Iphone, albeit a hand-me-down.  On the one hand, I am glad he has a phone for emergency purposes and for his nana to get a hold of him.  Oh the other hand, I am so sad.  I fear that he will become like all the millions of other smart phone users; head down, one-finger typing, clueless to the world around them

Has my grandson entered that age?  You other more experienced grandparents know what I am talking about......the age where grandparents are now NOT the entertainment center of their grandchildren's lives.  When my younger grandson asked me yesterday what we were going to do this summer when they come for visits, I was kind of stymied.  What will we do?  How can I compete with texting friends? 

So the gauntlet is thrown!  Me against the cell phone!!!  It is on!!!  Now to search the internet {wink wink} to find cool summer activities for a soon to be eleven year old and an eight year old. 

I promise THIS nana is going to WIN!

I love you.

P.S.  I may not have all the activities lined out, but I am stocking up on the treats.  I got a case of root beer and a case of cream sodas yesterday.  I am ready to spend a few nights on the floor of the sunroom--almost like a tent--my boys' favorite thing to do at Nana's and Grandpa's.  Ready for summer!!! 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

We're getting a Trader Joe's. We're getting a Trader Joe's. We're getting a Trader Joe's.

There is a certain store of the grocery store type that I love.  TRADER JOE'S  I first discovered this little store in Santa Monica way back when I was doing quite a bit of traveling for work.  My traveling partner loved to pick up a few bottles of wine, like a suitcase full, and since I am not a wine aficionado she'd fill my suitcase, too.  I was a good friend, huh?  I was always in awe as my friend would heft her wine laden bag over her head to the carry on bins, and then grab mine.  I never have had any upper body strength. 

Then Trader Joe's started expanding their brand and putting them in other states.  Now that they have hit Texas, every visit to Dallas warrants a trip to my favorite little store. 

Now Oklahoma City is getting their own Trader Joe's.  I am really excited--yippee!  Our Oklahoma laws are not going to allow wine on TJs shelves, but since wine isn't usually on my shopping list, I am still going to be in some sort of 'grocery store heaven' when I float through their doors especially that first visit.

If you're going to make your way to my store (I like to call it mine since I discovered it back in 2000), here are a couple of pastas that you should try.  By the way, almost everything in the store has the Trader Joe's label so just head for the pasta need to look for a specific brand, just the type.

Egg Pappardelle Pasta.  I talked about Grandma Dawkins' Noodles a couple days ago and these really remind me of hers.  When cooked they are approximately 1 inches strips of noodle ribbons.  I have used these with Mushroom Meatballs with mushroom gravy and also with Pork Chops with onion sauce. 

Lemon Pepper Pappardelle Pasta - Just as the name says, this pasta has a nice lemon flavor and the same size as the egg pasta above.  This noodle taste great with a lemon pasta sauce.  Anything that has lemon, wine, butter, and capers would be great.  Yesterday, I used these noodles with my favorite Basil Pesto Sauce (thank you Teresa).  

We're getting a Trader Joe's.  We're getting a Trader Joe's.  We're getting a Trader Joe's.  Thank you Trader Joe's.  Thank you.

I love you.  Now, what excuse am I going to need to go to Dallas?  Oh, I think I will find something.  Like maybe the Nebraska Furniture Mart - soon to open in The Colony.  And I am sure we will find our way to TJs for some wine, huh, Toni?????  

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Grandma Dawkins Noodle Recipe

Grandma Dawkins' Noodles

2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 beaten eggs
4 Tablespoons milk or cream

Beat eggs in bowl.  Add milk.  Mix well.  Add flour and salt, mixing well.
Knead on floured board until smooth.  Roll very thin and set 20 minutes.
Sprinkle with flour and roll up like a jelly roll.  Cut rolls in thin strips.
Unroll and dry.
Cook 10 to 20 minutes in hot chicken broth.

If you ever visited grandma the week before Easter, you'd always find these noodles
drying on tea towels on the bed of the front bedroom or draped over tea
towels on the kitchen chairs.  Once they were dry, she'd store them
in containers until time to put them in the broth. 

Maybe this will be my contribution to Easter dinner rather than my dumplings this year. 
My dumpling recipe is found here.  My family always requests these for any holiday.

Grandma Dawkins - oh the memories.  I am sure all of her grandchildren have the best memories of this remarkably kind woman.  To me she will always and always be my favorite grandma.  She's been gone now for 43 years, but I still think of her often, and, other than my own mother, I feel her influence in my life more than any other woman I've ever known.  I so wish my own children could have known her.  

I love you.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Stay Safe. Stay Prepared.

With the tornado still fresh on my mind, I thought I'd jot down a few things for you and me to remember.  We here in Oklahoma usually have days to prepare for a tornado.  They don't know for sure if a tornado will actually form, but the weather predictors can foresee favorable conditions for the possibility of tornadoes.  Here are a few things to think about in preparation for an upcoming tornado event.

1.  Make sure you have a plan of shelter.  You might have to take shelter away from your home or you might even need to take shelter in your closet or in your bathtub.  You might have your own shelter at home or your neighbor might take you in.  If your neighbor has offered their shelter, then find out in advance where the key is in case they aren't home.  It is tornado season right now so make sure your shelter is not filled with junk and that the door can be easily opened.

If watches are in your area, then make sure your children are within shouting distance.  As we saw the other evening, some tornadoes happen very suddenly.  Make sure your children, too, know your shelter location.

2.  If you have a shelter, make sure the city knows it in case they have to rescue you.

3.  Keep your phone charged.  Don't head to your shelter and find that your phone is at 18%.  Have it in your pocket at all times during alerts.  You don't want to be hunting for it on your way to your shelter.

4.  Flashlight.  Have a charged flashlight at the ready or in your safe spot.  If you have a metal room, maybe you can find a magnetic flashlight and put it just inside the door.  It wouldn't hurt to have a small LED light in your pocket as well as a larger one.  You might even stock your shelter with a hand crank flashlight just in case your batteries run out.  Same goes for a radio.

5.  Water.  Make sure you have fresh drinking water in your shelter just in case you, God forbid, are sheltered in place for quite some time.  Same goes for a candy bar.  I'm not saying stock it for the millennium, but a couple of candy bars might calm the kids.  If you're going to a neighbors house for safety take them a case of water for their shelter at the beginning of tornado season. 

6.  Make sure you have on clothes that are comfortable in case the weather suddenly gets colder and it always does after a tornado.  Think ahead.  Prepare yourself for the possibility of a disaster.  Do you want to be sifting through rubble in a pair of short shorts and flip flops? 

It just makes sense to me to change into fairly decent jeans, shirt, and shoes when the alerts are in my area.  You might think this is a bit silly, but I also put on some of my nicer pieces of jewelry--those I know I would never replace.  So what if I have on 8 pendants tucked under my blouse?  It would be better than trying to dig through the rubble for your mom's wedding ring.  Just put it on.  Monday evening knowing the storms were coming, I just changed into my nicer jeans and tennis shoes.    

7.  Shoes.  This mom is going to suggest tennis shoes or hard sole shoes for the exact reason as number 6.  Do you want to be running in flip flops?  And if you have children, make sure they have their shoes on and laced.  No last minute "I can't find my shoes."

8.  Purse or wallet.  Make sure you know exactly where your purse is.  If you have extra cash around the house, you might want to, temporarily at least, put it in your wallet.  If your place is destroyed, that extra cash might come in handy until the insurance comes through.

The other night the weather alerts told us the storm was near Tinker so we then started to wonder if we should run to safety at one of our neighbors.  It was at that point that I put my crossbody handbag over my head just in case we made a dash for safety.  I wore it in the house for probably 30 minutes, but I would have it if we needed to leave immediately.

9.  Dog and leash.  If you are taking your dog to your shelter, prepare ahead of time.  Get the leash handy.

10.  Meds.  If you have meds you cannot live without, why not stash a couple doses in your pocket.

11.  Kids --  Now I know those kids will be number one on your list, but you also might want to have ready anything that will make them a little less anxious.  I am specifically thinking of their favorite blanket or their go to doll or stuff animal.  Shelters, cellars, etc, can be scary places especially when you add in all the TV weatherman dramatics.

This is just a list of things that have crossed my mind lately.  Your list might be a short one.  Just be prepared in a common sense sort of way.  If you don't have a shelter and events are stacking up for the big disaster event like Moore, 2013, you might consider leaving town for a night...somewhere out of the "watch" area.  In that case, gas up your car prior to actually needing to leave and leave in plenty of time to avoid the traffic of those doing the same as you.

Advice from your over protective mom.

I love you.  Stay safe.  Stay prepared. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sometimes You Just Want to Be in Bed Asleep

End of 2014 and beginning 2015  Audrey's Birthday 091"I just want to be in my bed asleep", this little boy cried.  I think we all wanted to be in our beds asleep last night.  Yes, the Oklahoma tornado season began last night with a vengeance right in good old Moore, Oklahoma; got to be known as the tornado capital of the world.  Moore -- the town where my daughter, her husband, and my three darling grandchildren live.  It was almost more than this grandmother could take hearing the weatherman declare a tornado on the ground on my daughter's street.  Hurriedly I called, no time for texting, and got no answer.  I called again, still the same.  Finally, in a few seconds my phone rang and all I said was "Get in your shelter now!"  And then the waiting began......................

It seemed like an eternity before the weatherman reported the Moore tornado intensity was decreasing.  This time, luckily for my daughter, the weatherman missed the location of the tornado and they were spared any damage (except the emotional toll).  This time the tornado was on top of Moore before anyone realized what was happening, including the weatherman!  This time not even the National Weather Service had time to issue a warning.  It was quick without warning until it was on the ground, but thankfully it was not as strong as other tornadoes that have haunted Moore in the past although the 30 or so house that were destroyed might disagree with me.  Anytime ones house is flattened, it really doesn't matter what the EF rating is.

My daughter called later to tell me they were safe, but not without crying children and mom's anxiety.  Our little 7 year old grandson told his mom through tears that he wanted to be in his bed asleep.  I shed a tear myself thinking of him being so scared.  I, too, just wanted to be in my bed asleep.  Sometimes you just don't want to deal with all the excitement of a tornado.  Sometimes you just want to be in bed asleep.

I love you. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Throw Them Out or Keep Them

I've been cleaning out drawers today and ran across an old pair of pantyhose.  What am I going to do with those?  Throw them out or keep them?

I don't wear pantyhose anymore, do you?  Styles have changed over the years, but gee, I wish that pantyhose were still popular.  Who decided that pantyhose were to be cast aside for bare legs?  My legs just don't look like they did in 1970.  They need a little help with a cover-up just as my body needs a little cover-up when I dare wear a swimsuit.  (And yes, I really do wear a swimsuit........even at my age.)

Here it is dead of winter, 33 burr degrees.  These days what do women do when they have an event where a knee-length dress is worn?  Do they go bare-legged or do they don hose?  I know what you're going to tell me.........wear dress pants............or wear tights, but DON'T wear the pantyhose. 

Still you haven't convinced me that I should throw them out.  So I will put these sheer lovelies back in the drawer and I can decide later when and if I actually need them.  My criteria will probably be whether my need to be stylish outweighs my need for comfort.  Not many women my age are considered fashionistas anyway.

Throw them out or keep them?

I love you.

I'm going to tell you a little story about pantyhose and how we girls saved money.  Back in my day (back in the sexy Mad Men days--ha ha) pantyhose were pretty expensive.  If one leg got a runner, then the pantyhose was ruined.....or was it?  Nope, and here is how we saved them.  Cut off the leg with the runner and discard, but save the remainder.  When you get a runner in another pair hose, do the same thing.  Assuming the runners were on opposite legs, you would then have another pair with two panties.  Get it????  Just a tiny bit uncomfortable, but hey............saved money when I was a single gal.  By the way I was told about this little secret by someone who really was a fashionista back in the Mad Men days.


Hamburgers and Memories

Have you ever had one of those sensory moments where you are taken back in time?  Sight, sound, touch, smell, and tastes.  Smell...........I had one of those sensory moments tonight with the smell of pickles.  Pickles!!!  Hamburgers were on the menu and when I opened that jar of pickles, I was immediately a little girl again.  So much so that a tear fell and the hubby asked what was wrong.  I looked up and he immediately said "You had one of those moments, didn't you?" and gave me a sweet hug.  He knows me all too well.

I have written about our Saturday night hamburger suppers several times, but for me the memory never gets old.  Saturday nights were the "party" time for my family; pop to drink, hamburgers on the stove with that wonderful odor............hamburgers frying in the cast iron skillets, freshly diced onions (not sliced), thinly, thinly sliced lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and mom's dill pickles-----just up from the cold cellar.  All those odors came together to almost make me weep tonight.  It wasn't the hamburgers so much as it was the gathering of those seven people.  The shuffling of seven chairs, the girls with rollers in their hair, the chatter, the faces........oh the faces.  Seven people who knew nothing of the future............just living in the moment............a family.

Those faces came back to me tonight......young faces........and two faces now gone, but never, ever forgotten.

Here's to my favorite meal at home.........hamburgers and memories of a wonderful childhood

I love you.

If you come to visit, I will gladly make you a hamburger, but you won't have this emotion for the faces have changed.  I would hope, however, that you would leave with a happy memory of being in my home.  I might even tell you a story about my life on the farm.