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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Tues. dinner

Well I wish I could say that last night our little dinner for two was spectacular but am afraid it was more of a disaster.


I made a new meat loaf recipe which was good with a variety of roasted veg. and a macaroni salad. The problem? I cooked the meat loaf and veg. in a new convection toaster oven I bought and the meatloaf was more than done on the edges and raw in the middle and the veg. looked overcooked but were hard.


I bought the new toaster oven because the one I had was really old and did not appear to be heating right. All the new ones are now convection and I guess they cook differently. I was happy to try a few new recipes but to learn to cook all over again?  To say I was disappointed is to put it mild. Anyone out there that knows the tricks of cooking with convection? I have done a little research and it seems that maybe lower temperature and longing cooking time may be the answer?


I did get Netflex to work and we watched a pretty good movie.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Schedule

I don't know about you but the hubby and I pretty much follow a schedule to a tee. In fact at one of the restaurant's we go to they tease us because they say they know it is 5:00 on Sunday when they look up and see us. We normally eat out every night and have a pattern we follow but recently our Tues. night at Chili's was disrupted by a server change that we didn't like so I made the decision that on the Tues. we would eat at home and I would cook! We will see just how long this lasts but I do love to try new recipes and  miss things you can't get in the restaurants like good meatloaf and casseroles and etc.
I have been thinking about doing this for a while so went through my pantry and cleaned out all outdated things and also bought this food saver


I used it for the first time with some leftover pork tenderloin which I froze and it worked great! Also discovered that I could create the same principal with a zip lock bag and a straw.....

Of course this was just to go in the refrigerator but I have come to understand the thing that ruins food is air so I just put this in the bag and zipped it up to a inserted straw in the corner then sucked the air out and quickly closed it.


As I said I wanted our dinner at home to be either something new or something we don't normally have available so I chose this recipe
to try. It was GREAT! even though I forgot the spinach. It is a bit of work and I had all the ingredients ready ahead of time. I re-heated the left over pork tenderloin in the toaster over and made a special dressing that normally goes over a pasta salad and instead but it over sliced grape tomato's, cubed cucumbers and cut up avocado for a salad. It was all yummy.

 I even bought a little dollar miniature peach pie which I forgot so we had it for a pre-breakfast treat.

Well, it was a good start now if I can only get Netflix to cooperate I think our Tues. nights might be a hit.
ps. I had never eaten the Gruyere cheese before.......loved it.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Saquaro Cactus

Since the Saquaro cactus lives here where I am and in fact the largest ever recorded lived in Cave Creek, Az  at 78 feet before it was toppled in 1986 by a windstorm; I thought I would give you some interesting facts about this plant.




It is very slow growing and in fact a 10 year old plant might only be 1.5 inches tall.
The reason it is able to survive in the desert is because it retains water and then uses it when needed.  A fully hydrated cactus can weigh between 3200-4800 pounds.
Most of the saguaros roots are only 4-6 inches deep and radiate out as far from the plant as it is tall. There is one deep root, or tap root that extends
down into the ground more than 2 feet.







They get their first flower at 35 years old











 and their first arm at 60 years old. They can live up to 150 years +








The elf owl has been known to like to nest in them as well as sparrows and other creatures.
















The spines of the cactus expand as it retains water, much like an accordion.....






The Saquaro only grows in the Saquaro desert and perhaps the reason that this is such a famous picture for the my state of Arizona



Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Watch out!

Last week my daughter and I decided to find a pond with some ducks and sit and visit and feed the ducks like when she was little. We found a nice place close to her house and several ducks but first we had to endure the geese!!
Never have I seen such a bully group and they just dared you do pass them and etc. Even bit at my daughter.  Here they are walking across the road as we were leaving....
Not in any hurry and honking all the way! Even the ducks weren't getting along the mallards didn't like the white ones and here I thought all was well in the animal kingdom!