Monday, June 18, 2012

April Has Run Away With May and June Is Back Again

My Favorite Husband liked this card so much he had it framed
Where do I go when I'm not here sharing cooking and crafting stuff?

Good question ...

Here is the truth. Many days I am still here but ... my energy level is not ... my creative process is unreliable ... my ability to organize is non-existent ... my follow-through is hit-and-miss ... and I'm not good for much of anything.

It comes and goes though, and thanks to some serious short term meds I've been taking for a springtime allergy-induced upper respiratory infection, I've had the most welcome side-effect of feeling good  ... thinking more clearly ... working more efficiently ... and ... whatever else I could squeeze into a few serendipitous fatigue and pain free days. The cloud with the silver lining. Well, except I still have the coughing and wheezing of a lifelong smoker - which I am NOT! I expect the mild winter and the resulting early blooming season have taken a heavy toll on spring allergy sufferers.

Still, it is so nice to be able to pull it all together again ... even for a few days ... and a very pleasant reminder of how good it feels to feel good ... and how nice it is to be able to get a lot done for a change.

Enough about that though.

Sometimes when I'm away from here, it's because I am ... actually away on a trip -- like in Atlanta, having a long anticipated visit with our friends, Dixie and her husband, Jack. I fell completely in love with their "rustic, woodsy, campy" lake house! The gardens and setting are beautiful and Dixie tells me she has worked on the gardens even more since we were there. And the inside is filled with so many beautiful things, including this charming miniature saddle Dixie's grandfather made long ago from parts of a hand-tooled leather handbag -- so authentically detailed and well done! It was inspiring to see all the treasures Dixie has collected to make their home so cozy and inviting. I made tons of mental notes and took a few pictures - some I'll be sharing a little later.

April in Atlanta - This is the little saddle made from an old hand-tooled leather purse and them turned into a lamp.
Sometimes when I'm away from my computer and this blog, I'm really just in the back yard -- like I was when we had a special birthday party for my friend Nancy. We gathered a few friends and enjoyed an evening of making individual pizzas in the brick oven. That brick oven makes great pizzas and is a real party magnet!  Nancy is older than I am, by the way, but I won't say which birthday she was celebrating -- because mine is just around the corner! Look closely at the second picture below and you might be able to figure it out!

Still April - Happy Birthday Nancy!




And since almost everyone in our high school graduating class is having the same big birthday this year -- funny how that works -- a bunch of us threw ourselves a big birthday party over Memorial Day weekend. The temperatures were hellish, but we sat around in the shade, ate barbecue and talked all afternoon and into the night -- and the next day too. If you look closely at the group shot, you will see that Sue will never be too old to pass up a bunny-ears-photo-op. Gotta love her for staying so young at heart!

May -  Happy Birthday CCHS Class of '70!

There is always something going on around here, some planned and some unexpected. And before you know it, April has run away with May and June is back again.

We had really great food at Dixie's house, but this dip was one of my favorites. Not only is it E-A-S-Y, but avocado lovers won't be able to get enough of it! The recipe says to add the avocados right before serving, but I was going to let it sit in the refrigerator for about 2 hours before serving, so I added them to the bowl with all the other ingredients and pressed plastic wrap over the surface of the dip -- not the bowl! -- so air would not cause the avocados to brown while the flavors blended together. Worked perfectly! I've added notes to Dixie's recipe indicating changes that I made. Enjoy!


BLACK BEAN AND AVOCADO DIP
1 package Good Seasons Italian dressing mix
¼ cup white wine vinegar
¼ cup light olive oil
2 tomatoes, chopped (I used 2 medium tomatoes)
¼ cup red onion, diced (I used ¾ cup)
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1 can Mexicorn, drained (optional – good with or without)
2 avocados, diced and added just before serving (I used 4 small Haas avocados)
tortilla chips (I like Scoops)

In a medium size bowl, mix olive oil, vinegar and dressing mix. Add the tomatoes, red onion beans and corn to the dressing mixture bowl. Cover and place the bowl in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to allow flavors to blend. Dice and add avocados just before serving with tortilla chips. Note: I added the avocados when I made the dip, pressed plastic wrap over the dip and sealed it against the inside edge of the bowl and placed it in the refrigerator to marinate for a couple of hours. Looked fine (avocados still respectably green and delicious steeped the oil and vinegar marinade. Makes enough to serve 12 or more people.
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1 comment:

Patty said...

I have missed seeing your posts...take care and hopefully you will feel better soon!