Book Club Caviar

January 30, 2012

Book club is fun.  Not only because it is interesting to all read the same book and then come together to discuss what you thought of it, but also because the hostess always has snacks and a dessert.  Interesting discussion and good food — a winning combination.

One snack that has been served numerous times is called Texas Caviar.  And it seems like everyone has a slightly different recipe, but they are all good.

So being the “sheep” I am, I made the “caviar” when I had the club here in November.  Mine was copied from one of the others’ recipes and was delicious.  And I served it with both tortilla chips and thin slices of garlic bread.  I liked it on the bread best.

In case you would like to try this yourself, here is the recipe I used.

Book Club Caviar

1/2 large white onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

6 green onions, chopped (AHA!  I can use my home-grown green onions next time!)

1 T. minced garlic (from a jar)

2 average-size jalapeno peppers, with seeds removed, diced

1 pint cherry tomatoes, diced

15 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed

15 oz. black eyed peas, drained

1/2 t. ground coriander

8 oz. zesty italian dressing

1 bunch fresh chopped cilantro (amount to taste)

Mix, cover, chill.  Best if made a day ahead so that flavors can blend.


Window Garden for a Black Thumb!

January 28, 2012

I read about doing this somewhere and couldn’t resist giving it a try.

After using the top of a bunch of green onions, put the white bulbs in water and grow your next bunch!

This was taken two days after I put them in the water, and you can already see new growth.

And this is two weeks after I started it!

Hmmm.  I’m not sure what to do now.  I have fresh green onions, but I don’t need green onions very often.  I guess I should have thought of that before I started this project.

But I’m still thrilled with my “window garden”.  I actually grew green onions!

Old Prayer Book: For A Nation In Crisis

January 25, 2012

I told you in this post about the old prayer books we re-discovered in the attic.  The red one has especially become a favorite of ours. There are prayers for so many situations, even for every morning and evening of the week, and the words are so eloquent.

So, today I’m sharing the prayer for a country in crisis.  I think that fits us, don’t you?


a painted sky

January 23, 2012

As we headed home from Tula early in the morning, I tried some shots of the sunrise.  As sometimes happens, I didn’t get the pictures I thought I wanted, but I got some different ones that I liked.  I liked the way the blurred trees in the foreground suggest brushstrokes.

a hot spot and rivers on a far off planet?

January 21, 2012

No, just some color adjustment and cropping of a picture of my eye that was taken when I last got glasses.

By the way, Hubby asked me how in the world I ended up with a copy of the picture the technician took of my eye.  My answer — once again, an interesting photo opportunity captured because of having a camera in my purse.


More Art by Alex: Caricatures

January 20, 2012

I probably won’t post all the art lessons that Alex puts on line (although I might, because the ones so far are great), but I tried this one this morning and enjoyed it enough that I thought you might be inspired to try it yourself after seeing how my attempt came out.  If I can do it, anybody can do it!

In Alex’ lesson, she did a caricature of herself.  But I didn’t know how to draw wrinkles, so instead of doing one of myself I looked for a face-forward picture of one of my loved ones to use, and the first one I came across was of DD.  So here is the caricature I drew of her. Because she coaches volleyball, I put her in that setting.

If you are intrigued at all by learning how to draw a caricature, I recommend that you watch Alex’ video (actually it’s in two parts, I and II) and then give it a try yourself.  This was really fun.

Take a Line for a Walk

January 17, 2012

My brother and Page (Call Me Nana tells about my memories of her) have a very talented granddaughter named Alex.  She is a wonderful photographer and artist and is a grade school art teacher.  Unfortunately she grew up on the other side of the country from us, so I haven’t seen her since she was a little girl.  And now she is married and has an adorable little boy, but still lives in the same area … so still far away.  But this is one of the nice things about Facebook — because of it, I’ve gotten to know Alex and her art and have become a fan.

Well, now Alex has started putting videos on her blog, Sabot Studio, which are geared to children, but I enjoy them too.  And I look forward to introducing DD’s daughters to her videos.  I’m sure they will enjoy them too.

Here is the first one of her videos I watched.  I was just totally charmed, so I wanted to share it with you.

I gave this a shot today and it’s no accident that I’m not showing you how my “walk with a line” turned out.  But even though mine didn’t turn out quite as well (ahem) as Alex’, I enjoyed it.  So I’ll try it again with the girls.

Hope you and any children in your life have fun with it too!  And if you go to her blog, you can see her others.

“Like trying to put ten pounds of sugar in a five pound bag! …

January 15, 2012

… that’s a saying my mother had for a tight squeeze.

And that’s what I think of when I look at this picture of Jay (17 years old and about 6′ tall) in the third row seat of Hubby’s new SUV.  When we were visiting them in Tulsa recently it was the first time anyone has ridden back there and it’s now obvious that it is a seat best suited for small children.  Jay didn’t mind riding back there for the short trip to and from a restaurant, but I’m sure much longer would have been uncomfortable.

If it isn’t obvious, his head is against the ceiling.

We really like the new SUV, but it’s good to recognize this limitation early on!

Sometimes it’s fun to try something new …

January 10, 2012

… especially if you can eat your mistakes.

When we were at DD’s house before Christmas, I asked her what I could do to help get ready for the dinner she was preparing for company that evening.  She looked around and said, well you could finish that gingerbread house the girls lost interest in.  Obviously she had things pretty well under control and was searching for something for me to do.  I got that and I didn’t mind.

I had never had any experience with making a gingerbread house, but not knowing what I’m doing doesn’t necessarily keep me from doing something anyway, so I dug in.

Luckily I had brought a very large container of red and green juju’s that were each topped with a white cap.  We had used some to decorate cookies, but there were lots left.  And it’s a good thing, because much of the candy that had come with the gingerbread house kit was nowhere to be found.  Possibly the reason the previous contractors had lost interest?  They had eaten enough of their building materials that they realized they couldn’t finish, is my guess.

It took me a while, but I finished the house by just using frosting to glue pieces of candy in every available space.  That was a little trickier than it might seem because the pieces that were already in place weren’t always in straight lines and they were stuck fast, so I had to work around them.  But, even then, I was surprised at how much fun it was!

So I’ve decided that next year I’ll try making a gingerbread house from scratch.

You may want to tune in for that.  It may be a disaster, but I’ve certainly learned that sometimes the best stories come from disasters.

Where’s Mr. Wizard When You Need Him?

January 4, 2012

When I was growing up and television was in its early days, there was a show on Saturday mornings called Mr. Wizard.  Frankly, it wasn’t one of my favorite shows because it was all about Mr. Wizard doing experiments with everyday items and then explaining the science of why it worked.  One I remember was putting a burning match in a glass bottle and then putting a hard boiled egg on top of the bottle. As the fire on the match used up the air in the bottle, the egg (without its shell, of course) was sucked into the bottle.  Some of the experiments were interesting, but I was not a very scientifically minded kid, so I was more interested in cartoons.

But when Hubby and I were at a restaurant recently, something that happened made me think of Mr. Wizard.

When Hubby poured his root beer into the frosted mug, we watched in amazement as a thin cylinder of ice began rising up from the mug.

We don’t know why this happened, but assume it had something to do with the temperature of the root beer when it was poured in in contrast to the temperature of the frosted glass.

Even though we didn’t know why it happened, it was fun to see it.  And I was a little sorry when it melted a short time later.

Mr. Wizard, if you’re still out there, have your people call my people and let’s do lunch so we can talk about this, okay?