Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My wife wants a teardrop...

I had the blessing of cooking tonight for my sweetie and myself at the end of a long day. We had chicken  breasts marinated for a while that I fried in olive oil on the stove, we had yellow squash and green pepper from brother-in-laws garden fried with olive oil and just a hint of garlic, AND we had whipped potatoes with milk, ground black pepper, butter; boiled with garlic. Ohmygoodness we had the house smelling so good!!

Together, we are listening to Kenny Chesney thanks to the wonders of Youtube. I have Kelly Clarkson ready to spin when the hit 'Come Over' is over.

Father, thank You for this time tonight with my beautiful bride. Thank You for bringing us together over 18 years ago, thank You for keeping us together through all messes we have created individually and together; thank You for loving us so much.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


To-day, something special and wonderful will happen.
I have already informed my wife of this and she's a believer...

I am still looking for a job here close to home so I don't have to go up north next week and be away from my soul-mate for another nine months. We have reached an emergency level of household debt and only our faith in an almighty, all-loving Creator God has gotten us through together. Medicines for both animals and us, vehicle break-downs, our main truck being stolen, ... it doesn't sound like much when I look at the list (and to our Heavenly Father it is certainly not much) but nonetheless we seem to be buried with few options. The loss of health insurance when I was cut to part-time last year was huge, my quite inexpensive rental room i don't think will be an option any more as a result of landlords' romantic entanglements.
We pray for guidance and deliverance from this pile of debt. It's our fault; I'm not complaining nor do I shirk responsibility - this is our cross as we head into fall and 'back to school' time. God help us please.

My diversions at this time of year have always been the Tigers (not really always: there was a time - actually the entire decade of the '90s when I couldn't have named four or five guys on the team), football for sure - mostly college and most recently the Michigan State Spartan Footballers. See, we up in Big 10 country sure love our football. And I grew up root, root, rooting (along with the rest of metro Detroit, it seemed) for the leaders and the best: U-M. And the rooting did not seem so out-of-touch with what should have been: When I was a kid, the basketball teams were really good. The footballers seemed perennially (i know how to spell that word, now) locked in a fight to go to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl (back when there were like four good bowl games on New Years Day, and few others). But I've switched affinities of late and root, root, root for the Spartans now. Go Green!
When I was younger I followed the NFL but I've really grown tired of what I am made to watch between the plays - and I don't mean the commercials! Fast, large, strong men getting up from the ground and going back to their huddle while flailing arms, pointing to themselves, pointing downfield toward the opponents endzone, nodding thier heads violently, and joining others with the similarly-colored shirts and pantaloons in doing all these things in a congratulatory manner...
"LOOK WHAT I DID!!!!!!!",
pathetic little big men...

Almost can't stand it but I do enjoy monday morning small talk so I partake a bit.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Recipe #5: Dad's Bruschetta

My dad has told me about these snacks so often I finally decided to try making them myself....I used a loaf of Kroger French Bread but he prefers some good baguette.

In addition to the bread, you will need
some extra virgin olive oil
2 or 3 garden tomatoes
1/2 c. fresh basil
1 clove garlic
2 c. shredded mozzarella

Slice the bread and toast each slice. When the toast pops out, rub a clove of garlic all over each one. Just rub, dearheart, rub like there is no tomorrow. Then paint both sides with extra virgin olive oil, cover one side liberally with shredded mozzarella and let rest on a non-stick cookie sheet.
Meanwhile, gather about 15 basil leaves from the garden and two or three plum tomatoes and dice these up fine together. Dad uses a food processor but I don't have one so I use my sharp chef's knife. Mix well.
Broil the bread so that the cheese melts golden brown, about 6-8 minutes, then add tomato mixture to the top of each slice. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Thanks, Dad!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saturday Zucchini Bake

To-day we're using fresh basil from the garden (actually it's in a pot with my rosemary and Italian parsley right on our deck outside the kitchen - how convenient is that?!!??) to make two dishes. The first is a modification of a recipe I found on Kalyn Denny's web ( and it looks pretty good!

I started with a humungous zucchini we got from Eastern Market downtown, sliced it, and cut each slice into 8 pizza slice shapes. This goes in a big bowl with:

2 tbsp fresh basil chopped coarse
A pinch of fresh thyme
1/2 of a red onion diced
1/3 of a green pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Toss together in the bowl to get a good mix. Spray the bottom of a 10x10 baking dish with Meijer 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil Nonstick Cooking Spray and add ingredients.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, add a layer of mozzarella on top and bake again until the cheese is golden brown.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Recipe #173: Leftovers on the Grill

Tonight we are using our charcoal grill to cook potatoes, green beens, salmon and Kroger Beer Brats.

I set up the charcoal such that I'd have some room for indirect cooking.

Potatoes: slice into each one, smear with butter and fresh chives and wrap in foil. These go on the grill first and will take the longest to cook.
Beans: wash and snap; place in foil pouch and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to cover and add a couple of minced garlic cloves and a tablespoon of water. I closed the pouch and put these on the top level at the same time I started the potatoes.
Salmon: marinade for about a half hour in: 3 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp Dijon mustard, 3 tbsp soy sauce, and a clove of garlic minced. Grill for about 8 minutes (a thin fillet) on the skin side and about 2 after it's flipped. I am not a huge fan of soy sauce but I found this marinade recipe tonight and decided to try it. The flavor of that fish is unbelievable! Oh my goodness!!! Tender, moist, tasty. I will do this again.
To a 4 quart sauce pan I added 16 ounces of beer and my brats. I cooked them in a slow boil for about 20 minutes - poke little holes in each. These I put on the indirect side of the grill after I spread the coals out.
Timing was not much of an issue as my beautiful bride is not here but everything was indeed done at pretty much the same time.

Thank you, LORD, for this food. Thank you for the cool evenings and for loving us so much. Thank you for Jesus.

Charcoal tonight...

We have brats soaking up some beer right now and a slab of salmon to throw on the grill, thanks be to God!
Cooler and cloudy but it still seems so humid in the house...
No Tigers tonight; even they deserve a rest now and again...
Clothes are drying, the pets have eaten and all is well in the world.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday in the middle of August
Where has the summer gone?
There is a fly in the kitchen I must dispatch (it quickly submitted to the Clorox green works natural glass & surface cleaner we got for US$.75 at Lowe's in the spring)
The ants have found the hummingbird feeder no matter were I put it.
Our Morning Glory annuals are stunning this year.

Two suit spider statistics this summer: 12-30 with a high score of 1184. Most wins: 3, most losses: 6.
Four suit spider statistics: 1-15.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I love cheez-its and pretzels...

33 was my number when I played softball on the glass-littered diamonds at Detroit's Rouge Park, wearing the gaudy maroon and yellow uniforms of Greenfield Peace Lutheran Church mens coached by my dad.
Steve Kemp of the Tigers (1977 - 81, the same years I was in high school) wore #33.
Steve Kemp hit a triple and an inside the park home run in the same game on September 4, 1977.
Last night, Austin Jackson accomplished the same feat.
The last inside the park homer for the Tigers came off the bat of Curtis Granderson on August 26, 2007.
Curtis Granderson now plays for the New York Yankees.
Justin Verlander, in his most recent outing, struck out Curtis Granderson three times.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Recipe # 7843

This was what I made earlier to-day trying to be creative and use up some fresh stuff...

In a 9x13 baking pan i combined:

4 medium potatoes sliced
1 huge zucchini from Donahee farms sliced
1 sweet red pepper sliced
2 garlic cloves minced (may have been a bit much for this dish)
1 box Rice A Roni Broccoli Au Gratin Flavor Rice and Pasta
1 can chicken broth
a couple turns of ground black pepper
a couple of tablespoons of butter on top

and threw it in the oven at 350. Stirred it a bit after 15 minutes or so and let it go a total of 40 minutes. Made the house smell great and tasted pretty darn good.  My wife gave it a thumbs up when she got home from work!

oh so quiet...

Rain has moved through and the temps are in the mid 70s at 4:53 pm! We just set a record for the hottest July in the lower 48 since 1933; this is quite welcome. The air conditioners are off! The fans are off! The windows are open and the birds are singing but there is no other sound save my fingers on the keyboard (a dull thud-thud, not the ridiculous clackety-clack-clack that hollywood uses.)

Praise God in the quiet of the day!!
Praise Him from Whom all blessings flow!!

I was just looking at our utility bills...cable is the same every month but the electric bill, which is quite minimal in the winter, rises with the use of air-cooling devices. Our gas, which heats the house and runs the range and dryer, is high in the winter and goes down to minimal during the summer. It all works out!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

LETS go TI-gers; clap, clap, clapclapclap!

Meet, again, Sierra the Wonderdog. I am drinking coffee again to-day. Douglas Wildes Fister pitched a complete game gem last night for our Tigers. You're supposed to be able to water the spot where your dog pees immediately after and it won't turn brown.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Recipe #11

Dear LORD, thank You for the many provisions You always supply us with; thank You for this meal tonight, please bless it to our bodies. And we love You, too! Amen

Today, boys and girls, I'm making my spaghetti with  garlic bread. I start early afternoon frying up the pound of ground chuck, five garlic cloves diced, and about half a large red onion diced in EV olive oil.
I add a couple turns of fresh black pepper and about a quarter cup total of fresh oregano and basil diced up pretty fine. As the meat gets almost all cooked, I transfer the whole mixture to the crock pot and crank it up to high.
To this I add 32 oz (1 jar) of Tomato and Basil Classico red sauce, about a third of a green pepper diced up, a can of Hunts diced tomatoes, a can of Meijer diced tomatoes, a can of Meijer stewing tomatoes flavoured with garlic and oregano, and a couple of leftover tomatoes from my wife's road trip to Maryland. A few stirs and let it alone all afternoon, stirring occasionally.

I serve this over angel hair noodles with a good fresh salad on the side and some fresh garlic bread (meijer french loaf, tons of real butter, and garlic powder sprinkled on before broiling about 6 or 7 minutes. (-8


Hot Patootie, bless my soul, I really love that rock n roll!

When Eddie said he didn't like his teddy you knew he was a no-good kid