Wow, it's been a nice couple of days here... Sure, I'm swamped at work, swamped with freelance, still doing some tidy up after my folks visited this past Fri-Mon, and have a To Do list that feels like it's growing faster than shrinking, even with things getting checked off daily. OH, and now it's dreary, humid and chilly out - here's a shot out the living room window (you can't see it, but it's raining - I'm not complaining though, as we DESPERATELY need the rain!). But it's just not feeling "ideal" right now. I'd like nothing more than to just go take a nap.


Then again, it's hard to complain when Brett showed up after work with something new for me to try. I LOOOOOVE artificial banana-flavored candy, cookies, etc. MMMM Just so good! And now? Banana creme flavored Oreos!? Whoa!! I gotta tell you - these suckers are pretty darn good! I want to make some ice cream with them I think!?


And what are they lying on? Well, to be honest, I don't know. It's a square piece of fabrice with strings on it. Perhaps a chef's apron? A funky tablecloth? I don't know! But it came in a box from Peter today - with THESE:


Mmmmmmm good! Total surprise - no special occasion. Just cookies. Because I'm a wonderful person and deserved them for being me, I'm sure. ;-) (Does my ego even fit in this blog anymore?!) LOL

And what ELSE showed up today? This!


Dad was talking about how he'd just gotten one of these and loves it - and I'm sure he checked around while here to see if maybe we'd aleady gotten a leaf blower. Since we didn't have one - look what he had shipped from Amazon - cool! I guess, more than anything, it's GREAT for cleaning out the garage. (Ok, so yeah, it's been a few weeks since I'd swept out the garage, AND I'd opened up a couple bags of mulch in there and needed to sweep out the little bit that spilled...) LOL But seriously - thanks! I haven't read the manual/box yet, but it sounds like it's a wonderful new gadget...and come fall, even though we don't really have any big trees on our lot, we ARE surrounded by them - so it'll come in handy then as well.

And EVEN THOUGH I swore I was too tired to do any real cooking, I was IMing with Sharon this afternoon, saying I wasn't sure what I'd be making for dinner. Gee, more smoked pork in bbq pork sandwiches? (I'll be posting shortly about how, after mom and dad's visit, we'll be doing a LOT of meat smoking!) Maybe not ANOTHER one so soon. Sharon suggested I try making Pioneer Woman's Mexican Lasagna, which Sharon recently made and "sharonized" it. "No no," was my response, "I really don't want to make something that involved - even if I went with the scaled down Sharon-version. Seriously. I didn't want to. But she keeps talking about how yummy it is, and I've seen all the pics.

Damn you Sharon! So here's some of what I came home with:



(Sharon, you'll note there's no 'salsa verde' to be found at our dinky Rootstown Giant Eagle. I DID get some green tomatillo salsa, which I believe is basically the same thing as a salsa verde - it's certainly verde!)

I also ran out in the rain to pick some veggies for the recipe, and to keep the squash plants under control (gotta show them who's boss):


Trust me - there's plenty more tomatoes, but I'm trying to leave them on the vine a bit longer - I want to a) try my Aunt Nadine's salsa for canning, which uses A LOT of tomatoes all at once, and/or b) just freeze a ton of tomatoes for use later. I'm not up for either of those messes in the kitchen this week. Maybe this weekend. We'll see.

And while picking up some of the salsa etc, I came across this. I'm sure it's no where near as good as Dave's Mexican Corn Cake when made from scratch, but I AM curious to see how this turns out. It'll sorta be a two-casserole dinner, PLUS lots of corn (I also bought fresh corn on the cob from one of the local farms), but I'm sure it'll be tasty


Anyhow - that's all I have to babble on about right now... It's still raining out. This is good because I fertilized the yard yesterday. It's not good because this cold wet weather, and the shorter days (I'm driving to work with my LIGHTS ON!), implies fall is just about here. (Sorry Finny!) I'm just saying I need a little more summer....that's all.

7 Responses so far.

  1. Peter says:

    1. You ARE a wonderful person, and you deserve them just for being you. In addition, you post photos of Brett's butt, so that makes you EVEN more wonderful.

    2. It's a four-way apron. I've used them for years and LOVE them. I'm not at all fond of those full body aprons you hang around your neck.

    3. I hope the cookies were good. feedback to my e-mail appreciated. As I keep mowing through the Martha book, more cookies may come your way.

    4. Please please please tell me all the canned products are for a food bank...

  2. Jeph says:

    I have to confess I've rarely used an apron, but the funny thing is the subject has come up more than once lately! So maybe it's time for me to give this a try... I'll have to look online and see if there's a fancy way to use/tie on the four-way apron. Or is it just four-way because there's four different sides you can have facing forward, depending on how much of a mess you've made?

    Nope, almost all of those canned goods went into a really good mexican lasagna casserole for dinner, courtesy of Pioneer Woman's site (and Sharon's recommendation). What - you've never used canned black beans!?

  3. Peter says:

    I cook everything from scratch. NOT.

    Yes, I use canned beans, sometimes. You had a heck of a lot more than that in that photo, though.

    LOL

    And yes, it's four sided because you can simply turn it around or flip it over, giving you four clean sides. Fold it in half and tie around your waist - simple as that. The string is long enough to go around you and tie up in front.

  4. Dave E. says:

    What, the salsa verde wasn't worth the l-o-n-g drive into "the city?"

    There's something desperately wrong when I can feel good about living "in town," so near to the "big" Giant Eagle, while you & Brett and Randy & Larry have to decide whether you can make do with the staples available at your little local stores, or if you really need to make a trip "into town" ... and that we're talking about Ravenna -- well, that's just sad for all of us.

    We should organize caravans to West Point Market or Whole Paycheck (Foods) ...

  5. Jeph says:

    LOL... Sharon was certain we'd have plenty of salsa verde options at our little tiny Giant Eagle, but nope, not the case. And it IS a bit of a drive just to go to the Ravenna Giant Eagle for some salsa. I DO have to go there, or Super Walmart, just to get my Lactaid milk without all the added calcium crap they add to some versions of it. Gross.

    Whole Foods is nice, but you're right - expensive. Trader Joe's is fun too, with cool options - but also not close.

  6. You just answered my favorite "getting to know you question": What is your favorite fake flavor?

    In your case, it appears to be banana, which in all my years of asking the question, is the first time anyone has ever said banana.

    So, technically, *I* didn't ask you, but still. Banana? Really? You're weirdly cool.

    Mine? (As though you're asking) Fake orange. Bubba's is fake green apple.

    OK, enough of that - nice tomatoes and stop saying Fall.

  7. Jeph says:

    Mmmmm - I do like fake orange stuff with chocolate (like the orange creme in a box of Whitman's Sampler!?), and I remember LOVING sour apple gum when I was a kid. Do they even still make sour apple stuff? And where do you get artificial orange stuff?