Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!

Here is our little RV Christmas tree. Isn't it cute - not even 2 feet from the base to the tippy top of the star!! I got the tree and the teeny ornaments from Michaels (my new favorite place to shop)!

And here are three of the little paper ornaments I did just to add that "homemade" touch!! I like the little snowman best!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


One of the new hobbies that I've been pursuing is paper crafting. I've done some scrapbooking, but never made any cards until I decided to take a class here at Palm Creek in Casa Grande, AZ. The only problem with the card class is that they provide everything and have most things cut to size and everyone makes the same set of cards. I'm learning techniques and getting some good ideas, but there is little room for creativity. I've been spending a lot of time on the internet researching the subject. There are a lot of sites to peruse and I've been getting some good ideas from that limitless source. I've also been collecting tools and doing some experimenting!! : )

We are going to a local (and very good) Mexican restaurant tonight to celebrate the birthdays of some new friends and here are a couple of cards that I made for the occasion.

The cupcake card with it's Happy Birthday message.

I love this turtle and the cute stamp I found at Michaels on the clearance rack (remember we're retired!!).

Then I found a site that showed how to take inexpensive junior legal pads and make really cute binders for them. This is my interpretation.
This is really a lot of fun but very addictive. I'll see you later - I have to go get more tools and stamps and inks and STUFF!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tucson Tamale Co.

You know we LOVE tamales. Really, really, really love tamales. But - well, you know, they use lard in the masa. I've always said that a really good tamale HAS to have lard in it to make the masa light and tender and melt in your mouth good!! Well, not anymore!!

Just look at that succulent beauty!! It is melt in your mouth goodness AND it is lard and gluten free.

We were in Tucson recently and I had checked out for a good place to eat and they raved about this place. I'm thinking, "Yeah, right, can't be as good as El Charro!" Always up for a challenge, we decided to try it out. This is a small "mom and pop" business and above you can see their three man production line!!

Jalapenos roasting on the grill.

These are really good tamales and they do a mail order business. If you have to have a periodic tamale "fix" like we do, order some of these and check out the incredible varieties that they have. We tried several and the green corn and Sante Fe were the best, but we haven't tried the Thanksgiving one yet. As you can imagine, there are several taking up my precious, limited freezer space! Here's the website:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Quiche Perfected

I've been making quiches for years - pretty haphazardly, I must admit. I think I've finally got it right. This is a basic recipe and you can make any type quiche that you want from seafood to vegetarian. What makes it "perfected" is the custard recipe - I think I've finally got that egg/milk combination nailed!! Don't leave out the freshly grated nutmeg. It's critical.

I made this quiche for a brunch potluck here at Palm Creek in Casa Grande, AZ. Not a crumb left!!

Quiche Perfected

1 9 inch pie crust (I use Pillsbury refrigerated)

6 slices bacon, fried and crumbled

1/3 C. diced onion

½ C . sliced mushroom

1 C. grated swiss cheese

2 green onions, diced

3 eggs

1 C. half and half

½ C. skim milk

freshly grated nutmeg (eyeball ¼ to ½ tsp.)

salt and pepper

Saute onion in small amount of bacon grease until translucent. Add mushrooms and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms give up their moisture.

Combine eggs, half and half, skim milk, nutmeg, scant ¼ tsp. table salt, and generous grinding of pepper.

In the prepared 9 inch pie crust, scatter ½ C. cheese, bacon, mushroom/onion mixture, remaining cheese, and the green onion. Pour the milk/egg mixture over all.

Cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 - 40 minutes until set. Oven temperatures vary so check to be sure center has set before removing from oven.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Terrific Tucson Tamales

Forgive the alliteration - my English teacher background gets the better of me sometimes.
We rolled in to Tucson this afternoon for a short stay to get the coach washed and waxed. We love Tucson and here is one of the reason's why:
Tamales at El Charro!!! These are the best tamales anywhere and we have eaten a LOT of tamales.
We have tried these beauties several times and they are consistently good. The vegetable ones are the best followed closely by the pork carnitas ones. If you are a tamale afficionado like we are, you must try these if you are ever in Tucson - heck, just plan a trip - they are that good!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Haute Cuisine - Arkansas Style

Several years ago I took my parents on a road trip to see our daughters and my brother and his family with a brief stop in the spa to see JC's little brother T.

T suggested we have lunch at a little place that was on our route. I couldn't remember the name of the place so I called Mom and she couldn't remember, but she was sure it was in Mt. Ida because Daddy always like to go through that little town. For once it was a beautiful day in Hot Springs so JC and I hopped in the car and went on a culinary adventure.

This was some gooooood eatin' - so hot and crisp that you had to wave it around and blow on it and you still couldn't wait to get that crunchy goodness in your mouth!!

Fried catfish at the Dairyette in Mount Ida, AR. I'm sure the other food is tasty, and they stay busy, but order the catfish - it is sooooo goooood!!!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Big Feed!

We had dinner at Mom's today and all three of my siblings and numerous nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews were there. Mexican was the theme and I didn't take pictures, but I'm telling you it was a feast. Mom had cooked for days and there were several kinds of enchiladas and her famous chili and yummy rice and my foodie nephew J made two salsas and guac to die for. There were several dips and my sis-n-law's stuffed jalepenos (peppers grown by my nephew S). The list goes on and on . . . Ok I didn't take pictures . . . I'm old - I forget and I was way too busy holding babies to take pictures of food!

Anyway, I decided to make a cheese dip and combined what I had in the fridge and pantry - turned out pretty good:

Clog Your Arteries Mexican Dip:

1 lb breakfast sausage crumbled, browned and drained
1 8 0z block cream cheese
Hot (habanero) Rotel tomatoes, drained - juice reserved if needed to thin dip
1 lb block Velveeta cheese, cut into cubes

Place all ingredients in a small crock pot on high, stirring occasionally until melted and then turn to low and serve with corn chips.

I also made PW's Spanish Green Beans. Click here for the recipe.

It was a memorable day because of the people and the food and Mom who brought us all together and for whom we give thanks.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Phil's Country Fare

We are visiting my mom on our way to JC's 40th high school reunion. After settling in at a local state park, we spent the afternoon with Mom and decided to go to Phil's for dinner. Phil's is something of an anomaly - it is a very successful cafe in a very small Oklahoma farm town. It's success is due to how great the food is and Phil's hands on approach to the food in his restaurant. He even has a meat shop adjacent to the cafe. His reputation is such that people drive from miles around to eat there.

These are his hand battered and fried LARGE button mushrooms with a tangy ranch/french dressing.

A fresh/basic salad with tasty tomatoes and home made blue cheese dressing.

It's Friday and that means fried catfish. Mom and I split the regular order and couldn't eat it all after the mushroom orgy. JC ordered the "all you can eat" special . . . and it was!!

Phil's Country Fare is a delightful hidden little secret that everyone for 100 miles around knows about! It's on the main drag in Westville, OK. Shhh - don't tell anyone.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Kansas City Barbecue

OK, this really is more "Road Food" and this is amazing and authentic. We were talking to a fellow RVer today and he was adamant about how good this place is. We know good barbecue and we were skeptical but decided to give it a try.

I don't think you get any more authentic calling this "road food" as it was in a GAS STATION!!!!

This was the long line we encountered when we arrived. It moved pretty quickly and we decided to split a combo plate and order onion rings. One of the advantages of having to wait is that you get to see what others are ordering and salivate as they walk by with their food.

Here is one reason this place is so popular. It was touted by Anthony Bourdain as one of the "13 places to eat before you die"!

We had already split the plate before I remembered to take pictures.

Ribs and pulled pork . . .

Onion rings and beans . . .

The t-shirt on the person cleaning tables!

Oklahoma Joe's Barbecue, 3002 W. 47th Ave, Kansas City, KS 66103 - A MUST when you are in the area - trust us - we know barbecue!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

TexMex (or dirty mexican as my girls call it)

We love "mexican" food. (We also love New Mexican cuisine, but that is totally different and a blog for another day!) We are often disappointed when we eat mexican and you just never know about the quality, so I decided to make it at home from now on. I'm ambitious that way sometimes!
The first attempt was ok, but I need to work on the rice for sure. The beans were canned great northerns that I rinsed and smashed into a small amount of sauteed bacon and onions and added some spices. The enchiladas were good, but needed more sauce on them. I used PW's recipe for the meat and maybe if I had followed the rest of her recipe they would have been better. I did doctor her meat recipe and made some great meat pies - will blog on those later.
More to come . . . . .

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Yummy, Yummy . . . NOMS!!!!!

Any one who knows me at all knows that I love small plate/appetizer dishes!!
I have to tell you that these babies are some of the best NOMS (Hiya, Bo) you will ever taste!
These are Pioneer Woman's Bacon Wrapped Jalepeno Thingies (click on the name to go to the recipe). And they are unbelievably yummy!! A word of warning, get some food safe gloves for cleaning the peppers and make more than you think you and your guests could possibly eat - they are that good!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Road Food Again - Sorta!

Yesterday we took a day trip to Jackson, WY, through the Grand Tetons. Jackson is a ski resort town sort of a cross between Santa Fe, NM and Whislter, BC.
There were four of these antlered archways at each corner of the downtown plaza.
We encountered this family moose unit on our way through the park.
But, of course, it's all about the food! JC emailed a friend of his whose son used to live in Jackson and he recommended a place for lunch. It was a BBQ restaurant that is a favorite of the locals and the prices weren't bad for a ski resort town. We both had the pulled pork lunch plate with a choice of sides.
Bubba's (515 W. Broadway, Jackson, WY 83001) good barbeque and sides with prices that won't break the bank - don't miss it if you are in the area!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Road Food Again!

We met some people in Glacier who we knew were going to be here in Yellowstone when we arrived. We looked them up and they suggested having dinner tonight at an interesting steak house they had discovered some years past on a previous trip.

It was certainly "interesting"! You order at the counter when you walk in and you are presented with your uncooked steak and told to go to the back of the restaurant and cook it yourself. Quite a novel approach and actually a lot of fun. We split the above steak and ordered an extra salad (it comes with a really good salad and bread).
You go to the grill area, season your steak and grill it and your bread if you want.
You can also saute your own onions.
Man, that was a good steak. JC cooked it a little too rare at first, so he just went back to the grill and fine tuned it!
I'm not sure why, but there are dollar bills with messages all over the place - and hats - and t-shirts - and underwear!!
Yes - that is the neon sign in a satellite dish from the dark ages!!
Eino's Tavern, 9 miles N of West Yellowstone on US Hwy 191.

Friday, September 4, 2009


These are my hiking boots.
These are my hiking socks and I love my hiking socks . . .
But not as much as I LOVE my hiking boots - if I ever have to go "formal" again, I'm painting these babies "patent leather black" and gluing sequins to them - I love them that much!!
These are my hiking poles.
I love them almost as much as my hiking boots!
And this is my new camera - don't know where my other one is - blonde or senior moment has claimed it. I may love my new camera as much as my hiking boots - we'll see!!