Two Down; Fourteen To Go

Two Down; Fourteen To Go

After his second week of infusion with the new cancer drug, we celebrated by whisking ourselves off to the Reid Park Zoo where we found this charming little Squirrel Monkey.

There were lots of them swinging around in their enclosure, but this guy has the run of the place.  As it turns out, he is made of plaster, but so life like that we were nearly fooled.  He makes a good interest piece.

Midday is not the optimum time to visit a zoo in warm weather as many of the inhabitants are wisely observing siesta time, but we enjoyed seeing the animals that were out and about.  The giraffes were particularly stately, and huge!  The rhino favored my camera with his south end as he headed north, so that was interesting!  Otherwise, he was just snoozing away in the sun.

The attraction was very clean and the staff had a happy air about them.  It seemed like everyone there really cared about what they were doing, and had a happy workplace.  There were many families with children of all ages, as well as groups of children on outings, and it was a pleasure to see so many people having a good time.

It was a very pleasant experience!  ;->

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Our Cherished Friend, the Bee

    Taken with an ancient iPhone 6+ (8MP).

He and I played peekaboo for quite a while the other day.  He would come up from the depths to take this view of “the creature who watches me”, and then scurry back down into the depths to gather his nectar and cover his fuzzy little body with pollen.

At some point, his body became loaded with pollen and he took off for home, tipping his wing to me as he left!  ;->

It was a beautiful blue sky morning, and it was lovely to see nature at work.  We cherish our bees and hope they will somehow recover from the blight that is affecting them.  We need every one of these darlings.

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Chocolate Milk Worth Drinking

There are no sponsored posts here, mostly because I don’t use a lot of commercial products.  But I was intrigued by the glass bottles provided by a local supplier, Danzeisen Dairy.

Safeway was out of the Shamrock half and half that DH prefers, so I splurged on a pint-sized bottle of half and half by Danzeisen to tide him over.  He said it was quite nice, and put in a request for that to be the permanent product!  Done!!!

With that in mind, I thought maybe I would try their regular milk to make our yogurt.  It is about three to four times the cost of the store brand milk, and twice that of Shamrock, but still way less expensive than commercial yogurt, which, after all is said and done, is simply milk!

To that end, I was happily surprised to see that their chocolate milk was on sale, so I scooped up half a gallon to do some experimenting.  I had thought to make our fave tapioca pudding directly with the chocolate milk instead of adding cocoa to the regular recipe.  I also added a big scoop of instant coffee granules, and this pudding was so rich!

I am happy to report that this was a fabulous find!  I didn’t put any sugar at all into the pudding (I usually use only 25% of the called-for amount) and it was perfect!

As for my own coffee addition, I usually put regular whole milk in my coffee, but this week I have been using the chocolate milk, and must admit that it makes the coffee a deliciously different and very smooth “mocha” beverage.  Since I don’t ordinarily use sugar in my coffee, it is a bit sweeter than I would choose, but am willing to overlook that small factor in favor of the delicious beverage that now fills my mug!

Interestingly there is a $2.00 deposit charge on any bottle, no matter the size.  I haven’t tried to reclaim this amount yet, so it should be interesting to see how that works out.

All in all, I can heartily recommend this brand, or probably any local brand near you that is proffered in glass, as a small way to help with decreasing the amount of plastic used in hauling milk home from the grocery store, and then throwing that plastic into our landfills.  We are able to recycle those plastic milk containers here, but I know that isn’t the case everywhere.

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Tide You Over Sandwich

Need just a bit of delicious food to tide you over until the next meal . . . and with fab flavor, no skimping on nutrition, and very satisfying to boot?

Look no further than a quick cut-in-half bolillo roll toasted on the cut side in the Cuisinart Oven Central, flipped over, and then topped with goodies.

Here we have the roll with a slab of pepper cheese and a smidge of leftover BBQ pork bits with pasilla peppers.  Let that heat through, and then add whatever toppings may be lurking about to either eat cold, or heat a bit more – as you like it.

The additions here consisted of a little batch of leftover tostada toppings from the day before, i.e. avocado, chopped tomato, scallions, and grilled mini peppers.

Fresh salsa was added at table by DH!  I contemplated a big mound of sour cream, but in the end, restrained myself.

Olives would not have gone amiss – embedded in the cheese at the beginning.  I seem to think of these things as I am writing instead of when I am piling on the goodies!  ;->

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Eggplant Parm – Day 2

Add some greenery and some baby yellow peppers, and we are both smiling at the treat soon to be enjoyed.

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Eggplant Parm

Even though it says “Parm” at the top of the page, there is no Parmesan cheese in this eggplant dish.  A generous sprinkle of grated Parmesan would add greatly to the dish, but we didn’t have any.

So I used ricotta and mozzarella instead.  And yes, this is a result of using “planned overs”.  In this case, it was about two cups of heavy meat pasta sauce.  I frequently use this bit of leftover sauce to make chili by adding beans and Mexican spices, and serving over rice.  But we were going to watch a segment of “Rick Steves in Europe” shot in Italy, so the natural choice was to “Go Italian”!

This is deceptively easy to provide to expectant diners.  If you use some parchment paper under it when baking, the clean up is non-existent.

I peeled, and then sliced the eggplant into quarters the long way, and arranged them on the parchment paper on the pan, preheating the oven to 500° at the same time.  For some extra zing, next there was a layer of Mexican fresh salsa swirled onto the eggplant slices.  I reasoned it would work its way into the eggplant itself during the baking and give it an extra punch.

Then came a layer of the meaty pasta sauce, followed by ricotta cheese sprinkled with Penzey’s dried Italian herbs, which has a smidge of garlic, and then a generous layer of mozzarella cheese slabs.

This baked up in about twenty or so minutes, whilst I cooked some Angel Hair pasta and mixed in a small amount of avocado oil and Penzey’s herbs that are supposed to be used to make Green Goddess dressing.  Now THAT is a combination made in heaven.  It was light and delicious; the perfect foil for the heavier eggplant.

Clearly we should have had a green vegetable with this, but we still had three ears of fresh corn that DH was hoping would appear on the table, so it did.  Since there are two of these eggplant beauties left for another no-fuss meal, the broccoli that is waiting its turn will accompany the next round.

It will be our “Saturday Night Special” meal tonight.  May pair it with “Saturday Night at the Movies” on our local PBS station – “As Good As It Gets” with Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt.  We’ve seen it – 22 years ago – but how can we turn down a Jack Nicholson comedy?  Roger Ebert liked it!


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Georges Seurat : Updated

It’s not really “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”,

but modern-day Paris has its own panache.

I was shocked to read in his bio that M. Seurat was with us for barely 31 years.

Clearly I did not take this photo myself; I stole it off the screen of our 12-year old television.  Rick Steves has a series of travelogues that we are working our way through, and this was from his tour of Paris.

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