Friday, September 29, 2017

Friday Friend Recipe #168 - Spring Shrimp Garden Salad



My Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown #168!
(#willreallyfinishthissomeday)
Georgann's Spring Shrimp Garden Salad

and you know all the whys and wherefores of this countdown, right? Homemade cookbook, friends contributed, Handyman said I couldn't/wouldn't do it, I'll show him, yadda yadda yadda....
...and the rest is cookbook history!



I thought this one would be weird with the pineapple in it, but it wasn't weird at all.  It was really good.
I have lost my ability to describe these recipes as anything but Good. ( It seems that way sometimes! )
This combination of ingredients was really tasty.







Another new Friday Friend!  New to the cookbook countdown anyway.
I won't be able to finish the countdown this year (or maybe even next) BUT I do hope to finally introduce everyone this year.

This is Georgann!
Georgann was technically my boss I guess, but we became friends ๐Ÿ˜Š. 
So it was more like co-workers. Except I had to do what she told me.  Just kidding! Except no, no... I really did.
She was the head librarian at Miano Elementary School in Los Banos, CA, and I was the assistant Librarian.
We worked very well together--so well that it was like 2 friends just chatting away and shelving books, helping kids find books, reading books, talking books, books, books, books.
You can see why we became friends!

Way back in the day---24 years ago, coffee/espresso shops on every corner was a trend just beginning, but Georgann and I loved coffee, so we would experiment with our own in the back of the library.  She introduced me to chicory and also cream.  I had always been a black coffee drinker, but now most times I have cream. No sugar tho.
I miss those old library days!  Books and coffee and a good friend!


These photos are about 22 or 23 years old--the time when we did the Bay to Breakers 12k in San Francisco.
Georgann has long since retired and I, of course moved away, but we keep in touch.


Georgann and Bob



Georgann was the president of the (I forget what you call it, but the 'non' teachers association) employee association for the district.  People would come talk to her if they had issues with work related things, etc.
I was privy to a lot more personnel issues than I should have been, because of proximity.
Like serious, private stuff.

Let me backtrack just a little bit--because that's what I do best--- One year the Handyman had to let an employee go because of theft. 
Fast forward---she got a job as an aide at the elementary school I was at.
I will change her name now to protect the innocent--I will call her Ronalda.

One day Ronalda came into the library when I was all alone and I could tell she was really upset.  She wanted to talk to Georgann.  I told her to sit and wait a few minutes, so she did.  I continued to shelf books and then I heard a big sob. Ronalda was crying.  I said,  "let me go find Georgann".
I went and found her in the teachers lounge.  I said,  'somethings really wrong--she's sobbing.  It has something to do with her job."
Georgann without batting an eye said,  "maybe she stole a kid."  (because she knew the history---but would only make that kind of joke to me)
(This was a lot funnier at the time--I guess you had to be there)
Anyway,  Georgann, being good and kind and fair, helped Ronalda out with her job problem---in her favor, and it all worked out.
Georgann is good and kind and fair in all things--except sometimes she has a little bit of a black humor....stole a kid! Now that's funny!




And that's my Georgann Story!
Also recipe #168.
Only 126 left to go.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things





Okay...  I don't know what to say.  I really liked this book!
But it comes with really serious 'ewwww-iness"
How's that for an opinion?

The general thought at book club was the same as mine. We all liked it--but we all felt guilty for liking it as much as we did.
What does that say about the author, when you can write about a despicable thing and make the reader sympathetic?
That she's pretty good.

It was a really good story with very complicated situations.
During book club we read  (not sure if was on the jacket or of the internet) that the author did have a inappropriate age relationship as well as the main characters in the book did.
Interesting, right?

As you know, I don't write 'reviews' this is more of a way for me to keep track of what I've read for the year and what book club has read which book. (whew)


But Keeli made a great tart for dessert!

Here is what Goodreads said about it:
As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible "adult" around. She finds peace in the starry Midwestern night sky above the fields behind her house. One night everything changes when she witnesses one of her father's thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold, wreck his motorcycle. What follows is a powerful and shocking love story between two unlikely people that asks tough questions, reminding us of all the ugly and wonderful things that life has to offer.


It's Outdoor Wednesday in my big backyard


Because I'm a nerd, I want to see how my backyard changes throughout the year.
So! I'm going to take a few pictures of it each Wednesday to share.

Really, I should just choose one photo, in the same spot and take that and share it every Wednesday, but I get carried away.  I over explain things, over do things, compare and contrast things (that really don't need comparison and contrasting)-- when one dessert will do, I will make three (just in case... what if somebody doesn't like something or is allergic or??)
So please, just bear with me.
Or just look at the first two photographs and ignore the rest.


This one was taken on Sept 6th
in the morning so the shadows come from the left or east



And this one  on Sept 26th.
in the late afternoon, so the shadows are different 



Really nothing much has changed.  No color in the leaves, BUT we are in Nevada, sometimes things just turn brown.
Seriously.


And of course, all the other directions of my backyard from my patio--and one of my front yard.
I told you--overkill!  






Monday, September 25, 2017

It's Monday




It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile!



I read all the books I said I was going to last week, plus this!


It's a hot item right now, as everyone who reads her blog and belongs to her book club is reading it.
I do have to say I liked it--it was interesting and now I'm trying to decide who, what the Handyman and I are. 
๐Ÿ˜Š

This week, I'll be doing some reading for my 
R.I.P  Challenge.
It's that time of year!  Fall-ish, creepyish, ghoulish.
I don't like flat out horror books, so I tend to stay with creepy and gothic and.... well, there is this one fantasy series, that's so off the wall, (but I love it) I consider it to be included in the challenge.
It's category is "para-normal' so that's kind of in the creepy group, right?
It's just a really fun read.

Changeling Vaughn D'Angelo can take the form of either man or jaguar,


And also

On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell—of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; and two spinster sisters, with a bond even stronger than blood, desperate for their independence.

What are you reading this week?








Friday Friend Recipe #167 - Best Burrito Meat




Making my way thru my Friday Friend Cookbook, one recipe at a time.




What is the Friday Friend cookbook: I have about 50 of my closest friends and family on an e-mail forum which I called the Friday Friends (from all over the county). At first, most of them didn't know each other, (they knew me) but over the past 18 years, we've answered and shared silly--and serious---questions, exchanged Secret Santa Christmas gifts, had a dieting contest in which we paid a $1 a week and that money went to a scholarship fund for a Friday Friends son's memorial scholarship, and we went on a great vacation for my 52 birthday.

AND, we contributed recipes for a cookbook.
I was looking at the cookbook the other night and I said, "I should make every recipe in here for my blog."
The Handyman--who knows me better than I know myself (this happened to be a question on the Friday Friend forum once---does your spouse/partner know you better than you know yourself?)--said,  "you'll never, EVER do that."

WELL---maybe I'll show him!  Maybe I will.

Which brings me to this... recipe #167

Cherrie Lou Who's
Best Burrito Meat



It really is a great burrito meat!
Just sayin'. 




I'm making this simple today.  My Cherrie Lou Who story is-- short.  ๐Ÿ˜‰
After second thought, maybe not.

Once upon a time, her brother, The Handyman ran for Mayor of our little town.
During Labor Day Weekend there is a  parade, a rodeo, a fair, a buckaroo breakfast (hosted by the Methodist Men, which the Handyman is one of).
Since he was running for office, and Labor Day Weekend is a big political weekend in rural communities,  we invited friends and family from near and far to come join in the festivities.  His sister, Cherrie Lou Who and her husband Mike, , from Washington State, are the only ones who came down.
(from out of town that is)

*let me meander a moment here-- Mike is my favorite brother in law.  WHAT? Well, it's true--all of my favorite brother-in-laws, are named Mike (except for Greg and Scott and Ron and Dennis and Pete) but 3 of my brother-in-laws are named Mike!  And I thought I was being funny, until I remembered Greg and Scott and Ron and Dennis, etc...
Oh well Mike is still GREAT!

For the parade we made T-shirts printed with  "Rich Stone for Mayor" and we made banners for the truck

Look! It was right where I thought it would be. I've used it for a paint shirt and sometimes a night shirt.

The Handyman drove the truck and waved and a bunch of us, our grandson (we only had one at the time) and a friend or two of his,  myself, Cherrie Lou Who and Mike rode in the back and threw candy.  (My favorite Mikey accidentally hit someone in the head with a smartee and got kidded the whole weekend about "that's not the way to win votes".)
Then after the parade, we had  lots of people to our house for a BBQ.
The next morning we went to the Buckaroo Breakfast with Cherrie Lou Who and Mikey and our Friday Night Friend, John Milton.  They serve pancakes and sausage and eggs.  You know the usual 'insert anything (fair event-fund raiser) here' breakfast.
We were campaigning. 
As were a bunch of other politicians. 
Nevada is a large state, small population.  If you run for a state office, you need the support of the rural communities, so on our Labor Day weekend, we see tons of people who are running for State offices.
One was Danny Tarkanian.
He was running for Secretary of State.
Of course he's in the parade, of course he's at the Buckaroo Breakfast. (He shook many more hands than the Handyman, who was more concerned about his eggs being cold).

Labor Day comes, Labor Day goes. 
I am having my Tuesday morning 6am coffee at my BFF' house.  (I have many BFF's, but she's an awesome one!)
this is what we look like on Tuesday mornings:

This  at 6am in our jammies. But we're celebrating the fact that we are having our 8th grandchild!!  Her's due in Feb, mine in March. Yay!

When all of the sudden I look down at her table and notice  a campaign flyer

Not her real address---but what prompted me to turn it over?
and what prompted me to save it all these years?
Why did I not get a flyer?  



from Danny Tarkanian sent to people in our county.  And guess who is prominent on the front picture?
Cherrie Lou Who and Mike!!
And of course, our church friends serving the breakfast!

The Handyman tries in vain to get in the photo, but, no such luck.  I am looking that way and smiling, but our Friday Night friend, John?  Not at all.


So cute!  And so very supportive of her brother's campaign.
We find it hysterical that our Washington State Relatives, who are not political at all, end up on a Nevada State campaign flyer!
We amuse ourselves quite well, the Handyman and I.


For the record---
The Handyman lost the race.
As did Danny.

But you can rest assured that Cherrie Lou Who's Best Burrito Meat is truly THE BEST!

Recipe #167 is posted!
only 127 left to go!

(my fear is that I've mis-counted and when I get down to the end I'll have to fess up to being dumb at math and everyone will groan that there is more to come!)



Friday, September 22, 2017

Friday Friend Recipe #166 -- Cornbread Salad



Come with me as I continue to countdown my Friday Friend Cookbook!

What is it, you may ask?

In a nutshell...
About 18 years ago, 50 of my closest friends and family, who had been on an e-mail forum with me, sent in recipes in different categories and we compiled a cookbook.
I decided to count those down!
Why?

Because  one night I was looking thru the cookbook and I said, "I should make every recipe in here for my blog"
The Handyman--who thinks he knows me better than I know myself, said,  "you'll never EVER do that."
Well,  maybe I will!  Maybe I'll show him!

Which brings me to recipes #166
 Barb's Cornbread Salad




At first I thought, seriously? Corn bread?  In a salad? It'll be soggy and gross.
But this is so good!  
So good!  So good!
Just give it a try.
Trust me.







This is Barb's gazillionth and one recipe.
We met up for a nice little visit last weekend. The Handyman and I crashed their family time at Lake Tahoe.


(Shelly is going to kill me! This is a long post and I promised her I wouldn't do so many long ones, because she is awesome and is making me a hardback cookbook from all my posts.  Thanks awesome Shelly!!)

This is part 3 of the story of our football league.

I am assuming you've read parts 1 and 2.
Because if you haven't this really won't make any sense.

We last left our football league with the Mongloids sending threatening letters to the football commissioner.
When that didn't work, they began to sending threatening notes to the Rottens themselves.
Please take note there is foul language in the letter. Read at your own risk.
(this is a family friendly blog and I have no recollection of the Rottons telling male anatomy jokes, but then he/they might not have in mixed company.  Also take note that foul language doesn't appear again in any of the football league correspondence or ransom notes)


The Rottens received no more threatening letters during the football season on 1994.

But when the 1995 season rolled around.....
We noticed that Annie was missing.  She no longer sat on a shelf in the playroom! What happened?
We were soon to find out.
Those nasty Mongloids!







The Rottens must have won the 1994 season!

We finally got Annie back, but she sits naked on the shelf to this day! She doesn't seem to be worse for the wear tho--always kept that smile on her face during the incident. She's a trooper.



That was the end of our football league. Or at least the end of the  threats and violence and poor sportsmanship.
Or at least the end of what I saved.

Altho, Football league never really ends, does it?... because during our visit last weekend we had to pay $10 each to go in a pool and then choose teams in order of how/who we'd think would win.
(seesh that's even hard for me to understand)


It was a weird point thing on how you won.  I could have won.  I don't know.  Maybe I did??

Only this man knows for sure!


A Mongloid!
Maybe there is a part 4 to this story after all.

So anyway---
Cornbread Salad is good and it is #166 in the Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown!

128 left to go!



Thursday, September 21, 2017

Friday Friend Recipe #165 - Mandarin Almond Salad




My Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown #165!
(#willreallyfinishthissomeday)
My Mandarin Almond Salad

and you know all the whys and wherefores of this countdown, right? Homemade cookbook, friends contributed, Handyman said I couldn't/wouldn't do it, I'll show him, yadda yadda yadda....
...and the rest is cookbook history!




Mandarin Almond Salad
Debbie Stone
Winnemucca, NV

Torn Romaine & leaf lettuce and torn spinach
1 11oz can drained mandarin oranges
1/2 c. sliced almonds
water
2T sugar
1/2 t salt
dash pepper
2 T sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil

Mix a combo of 8 cups of greens. Arrange oranges on top. 
Spread almonds on baking sheet; sprinkle with water and 2T sugar. Broil till golden.  Sprinkle over salad.
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a jar and shake well.
Pour on salad and toss to coat.






Our Easter dinner last year consisted of the past few FF recipes I've posted in the countdown! 
There's that Red Top Jello and the Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes.
Thank goodness my family put up with me and my countdown.


If you remember....

Whenever it's my turn, a recipe I've turned in, instead of talking about myself AGAIN,  I've decided to tell a story about each and every Friday Friend who didn't turn in a recipe for the cookbook.  There are a handful or two of them and they either came to the Friday Friend Forum late (this cookbook was made 18 years ago) or they think they are not cooks or something silly like that.

My friend Jolina came to the Friday Friends late, and the cookbook was over and done by the time she started answering questions. 

This morning I grabbed a notebook/set of questions, dated 2010,  from the Friday Friend Forum (yes, I kept notebooks and notebooks full of answers.  I need to toss them, but it's hard)
Big notebook, but only two questions which Jolina answered. One was a question about Sesame Street  and breast feeding (one of these things is not like the other? )   and the other one was about - if you had been in Girl Scouts or Camp Fire Girls when you were younger.

(it continued--- United States, it's good enough for me!)


Jolina's answers were:


She never did get around to answering  what she thought of breast feeding in public, but at least we know she liked the Muppets and was never allowed to be a Girl Scout. ๐Ÿ˜ž

So...Jolina.
I lived across the street from Jolina  when our kids were little--still in elementary school.  Our children played in the neighborhood together.  Back when you could still play outside and it was okay.
They spent hours and hours outside doing all kinds of kid stuff,  but Jolina and I barely waved at each other. 
For 3  years, we only waved.
Then we moved away to California for 5 years, then moved back and all of the sudden we became FRIENDS!

NOW
We're in book clubs together (2 of them)



 I've never been to a birding weekend without her.

She drew this California Quail for the Bird Nerd Herd (that's what we call ourselves. We love the California Quail and they run thru our yards during the summer and fall. They travel in extended families, a bevy, and many times have 12 or more babies following along behind them.
I have this drawing hanging on a wall in my house. I love it.
If you look closely you can see the proper collective noun for each of our favorite birds and of course, us; a gambol of Nevadans)



 I am showing our logo (Bird Nerd Herd) not showing off Mitzi's breast. ( it's okay if I say breasts--it's good enough for Sesame Street, it's good enough for me, remember?)


Jolina and Mitzi look at birds.

Once on a birding weekend, we took a class on Lamas and Alpacas.  We fell in love with them.




 She's an important part of Weinerfest!
(my summer hotdog party)



We just got back from a trip to Minnesota together to visit our good friend Mitzi.  Shelly and April joined in the fun!



One of my favorite memories tho is during one of my Soup Suppers (in the bleak midwinter--inviting friends over and they bring a soup. We get to taste 10 different soups!)  when we played a game called "Battle of the Sexes".  
Jolina drew the card  "Empire Waistline" and while trying to get us to guess it,  she put her hands under her breasts (Notice how the theme keeps coming back around to breasts?) to give a more visual clue.  No one could figure it out, no matter how many  verbal OR visual clues she gave, so then it was the guys turn to try and guess --steal our card, if you will -- and none of them had a clue, EXCEPT the Handyman!
He knew what an Empire Waistline was!


He's the man!
The man who worked in retail for 26 years!

Jolina and I now wonder why we wasted so much time only waving at each other?!
We could have been having all this fun so much earlier.
Go figure.

Jolina did give me one recipe for my soup supper. The same one where she and the Handyman are showcasing their chests:


Mandarin  Almond Salad is 
Recipe # 165.

Only 129 left to go!



Friday Friend Recipe #209 - Sneaky Pete

Come with me as I continue to countdown my Friday Friend Cookbook! What is it, you may ask? In a nutshell... ...