Friday, July 31, 2009

Playing with Summer Nail Colors

Maranda and I were playing around with some summer colors for our nails. We've had them all summer so they are not brand new today. I've worn the Orly on my toenails for awhile and really like how long it lasts.

Maranda is wearing Piggy Polish in Dancing With Daisies. She liked the name. Of course the picture doesn't do it justice. This was taken outside in the shade, with flash. It has an iridescence that I can't photograph well.

Maranda's nails used to be so long. I really have to teach her how to file them properly, instead of just clipping them off. She has such long fingers, toes and legs. One of her past teachers said she should be a hand model. hehe

Mom and daughter toes!

This is Orly in Terracotta, I love the bright coral color which is perfect for me for summer nails and toenails. The cream polish has staying power. We will definitely work on our swatching skills, or lack there of. Thanks for bearing with us.
What are some of your favorite colors for toenails in the summer?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Greek Orzo Pasta Salad

I originally got something like this at the Granary in their deli area. All I had was a list of ingredients, but I liked it because it had lemon juice instead of vinegar. It was a really nice pasta salad so I added a few other ingredients and tweaked it a bit the way I liked it. I do make a similar salad using Quinoa I sometimes add tomatoes to that. So feel free to do the same thing add what you like.
It's nice for a light summer lunch or a side dish. Again I had to measure when I made it, usually I just dump. So here it goes.

Greek Orzo Pasta Salad

1 C orzo (uncooked) cooked per package directions
1/4 C Greek Olive Oil (you don't have to use Greek olive oil, but you should try it. it's great).
2 T lemon juice (I didn't have a lemon on hand so I used limes, lemons better)
1 1/2 tsp marjoram (you can use oregano, but I have a lb of organic marjoram so I use it)
1/2 tsp mint
1 clove garlic minced (or granulated garlic)
1/2 cup spinach leaves chiffonade
1 2.25oz can sliced black olives (or 2oz Greek olives, sliced)
4 oz Feta Cheese
sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Set cooked orzo aside and let it cool some. In another bowl whisk olive oil, lemon juice and herbs. Toss with remaining ingredients, end with salt and pepper. Let cool in refrigerator for about 2 hours.

Quick, easy and tasty!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Parmesan Chicken Tenders

This is a healthier version of chicken tenders, since they are baked not fried. Of course you can pan fry them and they turn out just as good. I usually get the chicken tenders when on sale and the is usually in the bonus size. With a family of three that leaves a lot of leftovers. Which these work great for, to make a wrap for lunch. I will go ahead a make all of them and freeze them in meal size packages. Them warm them on my stoneware with some fries and Maranda's all set to go for a quick meal. It is a quick , tasty, and economical (if you get them on sale). I usually dust them in flour first, but this time I didn't and I think the breading stayed on better. It makes them easier to dip.

Get two flat shaped bowls or pie tins and lightly beat 1 egg with about 1 Tablespoon deli mustard (you can use Dijon). In the other bowl or pie tin, I used half and half bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese (sometimes more parm). Season the bread crumbs with salt and pepper and whatever seasoning you like. I used grill seasoning on mine. Dip the chicken in the egg/mustard mixture then lay it into the Parmesan mix lightly pressing into the crumbs. Use one hand in the egg so the other will stay dry. Place the breaded tender onto a baking sheet. I always use my stoneware for this. I have a large bar pan that works great. With the stoneware you don't have to grease it or turn the tenders to brown them. Spray the tops with cooking spray or I sprinkled with a little olive oil over each one (just a touch). Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes until chicken is done and it's golden brown.

Okay you are making this so hard having to write all this down, but for you guys I do (almost) anything! Please let me know if you have any questions! Or requests! Thanks!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Jet Skiing (sort of)

I wanted to take a break and get off the computer and enjoy the beautiful area we live in. Wade was out with friends at Bird Key. He is trying to get over an injury, so he wanted to take it easy. Jeanne is trying to get back into the swing of things after her knee surgery last summer (was it really a year ago?) So she was taking it easy first time riding since her recovery. Yay, Jeanne and without pain! Gary wanted to make sure he would be stranded on his ski, that's when it's nice to bring Wade along.
Sarasota Bay the clouds were spectacular

We even saw dolphins, but I can never catch them in a good photo.
Jeanne and Gary riding

Maranda and I joined them at the Bay and it was a little late for us to ride, but it would of been a perfect day for it, so calm. Maranda still has to complete the Florida Boating Safety Course before she can take one out by herself. So I thought I would share with you what we saw and enjoyed.

The bayJeanne and Gary can't see Wade
Ringling Bridge
The Ringling Bridge
This is near down town and the purple building is the Van Weisel Preforming Arts.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Chicken Tacos

This is what we had for lunch today. I used some leftover Za' atar Chicken. Robyn a friend of mine wanted some different seasonings, so I sent her some za' atar that I had blended. She used it on chicken the day she got it and told me that it was a big hit with her family. I like to cook a lot of chicken up for sandwiches, wraps or quesadillas. I had the za' atar seasoning on my mind. So that is what I used, and it tasted pretty good in the tacos.

I like soft corn tortillas. I soften them with a touch of canola oil in a small frying pan. I love Parmesan cheese added for just long enough to stick to it without burning. Fill your taco shell with the chicken, white Mexican cheese, lettuce and verde sauce. (recipe to follow) Maranda like s to make hers with the flour tortillas, and she adds tomatoes. So Robyn, here is one for you! Thanks for all your help!

Salsa Verde

1 1/2 lbs tomatillos (boiled or roasted)

1/2 C chopped onions

1/2 C cilantro

2 cloves garlic

1 T fresh lime juice

2 serrano peppers (stemmed, seeded, and chopped)

1/4 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

Remove the husks from tomatillos and rinse well. Place in sauce pan and cover with water and boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Remove and let cool enough to handle. Place tomatillos, with remaining ingredients in food processor or blender and pulse until mixed and chopped well. If you like a thinner consistency add a little water. Cool in refigerator. Can serve with chips too.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Time for the San Pedro Cacti to bloom

When we moved into our house 15 years ago the cactus stood up straight one single stem. It was not quite the as tall as the house. On the other side of the driveway we had a cactus garden that also had Prickly Pear, and century plant. We had to move it when we put in our new heavy duty carport and driveway. Anything new has to be up to hurricane standards.

Soon it became taller than the house and we were going to take it down. It was leaning and was right next to the driveway. The flowers stopped us from doing this, they are so awesome. They bloom at night and the blossom will close in the morning and that's it.I the summer months if we get up early enough we might get to see the unexpected flowers.

In 2001 when just about "hurricane" Gabrielle (she was about 2mph slower than a hurricane) the eye came through Sarasota and our yard looked like a war zone. She was on us for some time and one of our big Oak trees came down. People that walked by would laugh because our cactus still stood tall.