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Peter Piper Packed A Picnic August 1, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Travel & Leisure.
33 comments

It’s August!  Time to plan a picnic before Labor Day comes and goes, heralding winter woes.

Picnics aren’t just for grilling and chilling in the backyard.

Pack a picnic to eat at the beach, in a park, by a waterfall, or in a glade.

Picnics aren’t only for lunch.

Consider a breakfast picnic (muffins, croissants, fresh fruit, granola, yogurt parfaits, juice and a thermos of coffee).

Don’t forget the Bloody Mary’s.

What about packing a cocktail party picnic with finger foods (chilled shrimp, lobster rolls, pinwheel wraps, cheese and crackers, crudités with dip, hummus and pita, fruit or veggie kabobs).

Or plan a desserts only picnic.  Perfect for the cookie monsters in your life.

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To keep things cold:  freeze bottles of water or fruit juice to pack around the food.  Once the food is gone . . . bottoms up.

To assist with clean up:  bring wet wash cloths in snap-top containers or zip-top baggies to wash off sticky fingers and faces.  Keep them cool in the cooler to enjoy chilled cloths for heat relief!

While you’re at it, stash sunscreen in the cooler ~ it will feel cool going on and its active ingredients won’t break down in the heat.

If you’re toting food in a backpack, use a straw to inflate bags holding chips and other crumb-prone items to keep them from being smashed to smithereens.

Don’t forget to bring bags for garbage and recycling.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Cool Jazz, Hot Fries, Prying Eyes June 29, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Food & Drink, Humor.
34 comments

Woodstock-&-Snoopy2Sitting on the beach, listening to cool jazz, we decided a few nibbles were in order.

BFF walked over to order some fries ~ “chips” to Brits.

As BFF carried the plate of fresh fried potatoes back to our chairs in the sand, hungry eyes watched his progress.

By the time he sat down, a crowd of on-lookers had gathered round.

We found ourselves engulfed by forty odd gulls at the Gulf.

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Ignoring their obvious intent, I leaned in, extracted a fragrant fry, dipped it into the Heinz, and lifted it to my mouth.

Fry mid-flight, a gull swooped down with Hitchcock-esque timing, intent on snatching the snack before it made it Down the Hatch.

The gull, scrabbling for purchase on the hot potato, convinced us that these airborne pirates would not be dissuaded.

They were going for the gold!

Some battles are meant to be fought.  At other times, evasive maneuvers are the most promising battle tactic.

While the band of thieves focused beady eyes on the prize, we grabbed the plated fries and ran for cover.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Artwork by Marlane Wurzbach ~ available at Marlane Wurzbach.com.

Penny’s Piggy Bank or Piggy’s Penny Bank? May 31, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Food & Drink, Health & Wellness.
36 comments

Meet Penny the Piggy.  She’s a fundraising mascot for Meals on Wheels.  The pennies collected in her Piggy Bank help to provide food for the elderly and other “shut ins” who can’t get out to shop.

But should we call it Penny’s Piggy Bank or Piggy’s Penny Bank?

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Either way, feeding the bank fills hungry bellies!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Yes . . . We Have Some Tomatoes! May 17, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Home & Garden.
32 comments

Yes . . . we have some tomatoes.  We have some tomatoes today!

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Each year, in May, Hunsader Farms invites folks to come out and pick their own tomatoes before the fields close for the summer.

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The cost for hand-picked juicy red ripe tomatoes that deliver REAL tomato flavor?

$2 for a 5-gallon bucket!

This year, I hand-picked two buckets (approximately 125 tomatoes) in about 40 minutes.

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I picked the second bucket because the weather was gorgeous, I was enjoying the exercise, and I wanted to have enough tomatoes to share with others.

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On Saturday, I got more exercise by hand-delivering tomatoes on my “produce mobile” (a/k/a bike) to neighbors who can’t get out and pick their own because they are less mobile than me.

I also bought a box of 25 butternut squash for $5!

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Plus 6 ears of corn.  Plus an enormous cantaloupe.

How do you spell summertime? ~> D~E~L~I~C~I~O~U~S!

Aah . . . that’s better!

¿Cómo se dice? . . .  May 5, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Travel & Leisure.
39 comments

fotostockchameleonAt the library book sale, I picked up some colorful books on Mexico.

As I flipped through the warm and vibrant photos, I wondered what life might be like in Mexico.

Here, it is easy to fill my days.  I have more than enough to do without juggling languages.

I enjoy being near a supermarket that speaks English (even if I can’t always pronounce all the ingredients).  Shopping for groceries that are yakking at me in French, Spanish, Chinese, or Russian would be a challenge, to say the least.

Food is far too important to our health and well-being to take any chances on mixing up essential ingredients.  Imagine requesting a bar of chocolate and getting stuck with a head of cauliflower.

Quelle Horreur!

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Just in case I get caught on the other side of the looking glass . . .

¿Cómo se dice? . . . chocolate cake?

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¿Cómo se dice? . . . bagels?

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¿Cómo se dice? . . . quesadilla con salsa?

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Oh, right.  Quesadilla con salsa.

Well . . . one out of three ain’t bad.  Good to know I won’t starve, but what about intellectual stimulation?

I enjoy lectures at the library, but if speakers spoke any language other than English, their thoughts would fly right over my head.  I would miss all the lovely nuances.

And, speaking of talking, I enjoy chatting with people I meet on the street, in stores, and around town without peppering every other sentence with ¿Cómo se dice? . . .

IMGP3167bI expect I would feel cut off and disconnected from reality if every conversation around me took place in a language foreign to my ears.

¿Cómo se dice? . . . mad as a hatter?

Even flipping through channels to find something to watch on TV would be far different.

Of course, watching TV is one way to learn a foreign language.

A contestant on Jeopardy this season moved to the U.S. from Russia as a child.  He learned impeccable English watching MacGyver.

He also learned how to make a bomb out of vinegar, baking soda, and duct tape.

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Spanakopita Redux April 25, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Less IS More, Vegetarian Recipes.
26 comments

We recently revisited and revised a classic ~ Spanakopita.

To make the classic Greek dish, layer tedious layer upon tedious layer of phyllo dough to make the crust . . . AFTER slathering each tissue-paper-thin-sheet with a gallon of butter.

To save time and calories, make Spanakopita Quesadillas using fat-free tortillas in place of the phyllo/butter crust.

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On Superbowl Sunday, we served Spanakopita Quesadillas with Hummus, Tabbouli, Kalamata Olives, Peppers, and Black Bean Salsa.

Here’s an EASY recipe for Black Bean Salsa:

Combine 2-3 diced tomatoes with a 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed.  Add a few dashes of dried onion, dried garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.  Stir and chill.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Here’s an even EASIER recipe for Black Bean Salsa:

Combine a can of Ro*Tel Tomatoes and Chile Peppers (drained) with a 15 oz. can of black beans (drained and rinsed).

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Spanakopita Filling for Quesadillas

Saute an onion in 2 tsp. olive oil.  Add a bag of chopped spinach or kale.  Once the onions and greens are wilted, add 2 oz. feta cheese, 2 Tbsp. grated parmeson, 1 1/2 tsp oregano (or dill), 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. lemon pepper, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper.

Spanakopita filling is also delicious mixed with rice or pasta or used as a topping for a Spinach Pizza or in Spinach Crescent Rolls (spread 2 tsp. of filling on crescent rolls before rolling and baking).

Aah . . . that’s YUMMY!

“Hunger Never Saw Bad Bread.” April 11, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Vegetarian Recipes.
28 comments

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“Hunger never saw bad bread.” ~ Benjamin Franklin.

Ben was so right!  Man cannot live by bread alone . . . but it’s a start!  Here’s two quick breads ~> Ben Franklin’s Beer Bread and Irish Soda Bread.

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Eat all you want . . . then make more!

Aah . . . that’s better!

It’s Not Delivery! April 7, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Happiness, Health & Wellness, Humor.
48 comments

2015-03-21 13-06-16_0002The Pizza Project is still going strong.

So are we.

That got me thinking . . .

Would it even be possible to O.D. on pizza?

I doubt it, but let’s ask Luigi!

“Hey, Luigi!”

“Hey, my little pizza paisano . . . que pasa?”

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“Luigi, have you ever met anyone who ate too much pizza?”

“No.  Datsa, how you say . . .  an oxymoron.”

“Thanks, Luigi!”

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So, there you go . . . there’s no such thing as too much pizza.  Mangia!

Aah . . . that’s better!

The “Eh” Team March 23, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Music & Dance.
41 comments

The Canadian contingency threw a Ceileidh (pronounced Kay-Lee) for our street this month.

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A Ceileidh is a “kitchen party” full of food, fun, frivolity, and music.

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After a slide show of the Maritime Provinces, Dino took the stage for a sing-a-long . . . complete with a fiddler fiddling-a-long.

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Then Harry Chapin and Todd Rundgren took the stage to sing a few bawdy tunes for us.

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The funniest part of the evening came at the end when the Canadian contingency (a/k/a The “EH” Team) gathered for a group shot.

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It took some time to get everyone on board ~> “Let’s see, who’s missing?” . . . “Are my glasses on straight?” . . . “Where’s Louise?”

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“Hey Cam, c’mon . . . the camera’s waiting for you!”

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“So, do we have everyone?”

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“Hey . . . no photo bombing us with a full moon shot!”

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“Seriously?!  Stop talking and start smiling!”

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“OK!  That’s a Ceileidh keeper!”

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Aah . . . that’s better, eh?

Happy St. Paddy’s Day March 17, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Joke.
44 comments

170px-At&tPhoneAfter digging to a depth of 10 feet last year, American scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 200 years and came to the conclusion that Americans had a telephone network more than 150 years ago.

In the weeks that followed, a Canadian archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet, and the Toronto Times reported:

“Canadian archaeologists, finding traces of 250-year-old copper wire, have concluded that their ancestors had an advanced high-tech communications network 50 years earlier than the Americans.”

Frog-CircusOne week later, Irish Dept. Of Mines and Resources in Dublin reported the following:

“After digging as deep as 30 feet in Limerick, Jack Lucknow, a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely nothing.

From that, he concluded that 250 years ago . . . Ireland had already gone wireless.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  E-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

If you want to get your Irish on . . . here’s a recipe for Irish Soda Bread that’ll have you dancing an Irish Jig.  It mixes up faster than a leprechaun guarding his pot of gold can sing, “Erin Go Bragh.”

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