Wednesday, February 29, 2012


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"A leap year (or intercalary or bissextile year) is a year containing one additional day (or, in the case of lunisolar calendars, a month) in order to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year. Because seasons and astronomical events do not repeat in a whole number of days, a calendar that had the same number of days in each year would, over time, drift with respect to the event it was supposed to track. By occasionally inserting (or intercalating) an additional day or month into the year, the drift can be corrected. A year that is not a leap year is called a common year" (Wikipedia).

Sunday, February 26, 2012

okra & tomatoes and jalapeño cornbread

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It's rodeo time around these parts--a huge event for Houston and southeast Texas. And since I've been craving okra for a couple of months now, I figured I'd live up to the stereotype and whip up a batch (along with some jalapeño cornbread). The results very were pleasing on this lazy Sunday afternoon.

The jalapeño cornbread recipe is the standard version. Don't mess with it. It's simple and wonderful, as is. The okra recipe comes from The Lady and Sons, because it most closely reminded me of the okra I ate while growing up (and because I adore Savannah, GA ... almost as much as I adore Texas ... almost).

Jalapeño Cornbread 
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup olive oil
3 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped

In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk, and oil. Add to the dry ingredient, and stir just until moistened.

Stir in jalapeños.

Pour into a greased 9-in square baking pan.

Bake at 400º F for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cut into squares or wedges. Serve warm.

Okra and Tomatoes
5 slices bacon, diced into small pieces
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 15-ozz. cans diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon chicen base [note: I used Swanson's new Chicken Flavor Boost, a concentrated broth that comes in small packets. Worked perfectly.]
1 tablespoon sugar [note: I doubled this to 2 tablespoons]
2 cups fresh okra, cut into 1-inch pieces (may use frozen [note: I used two one-lb. bags of frozen])
Fresh ground black pepper [note: I also added crushed red pepper flakes])


Cook bacon slightly. Saute onion and garlic with bacon until tender. 

Add tomatoes, chicken base, sugar, and pepper. Stir will and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning if needed. 

Meanwhile, if using fresh okra, wash, remove fuzz, and cut into pieces. Add the okra and simmer until okra is done, about 20 more minutes (less time, if using frozen okra).

Saturday, February 18, 2012

play ball!

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Last night, the Texas Aggies christened Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park. The season-openeing inaugural game (vs. University of Illinois-Chicago) in the shiny new park has been a long-time coming ... so wouldn't you know it ... even though we're in the throes of a year+-long drought, College Station was graced yesterday with a much-needed gullywasher. The baseball gods must've been snickering.

Two words: Rain. Out.

I managed to snap a few shots of the park (not nearly as many as I'd hoped [the precip kept me confined to the concourse]); but the good news is that an entire season awaits.

God bless you, Blue Bell Creameries (and the Kruse family). Aggieland thanks you for your generosity (and your damn fine ice cream).

Gig'em, Ags.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

{ ❤ again? }

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I swear we were just sittin' at this very spot on the calendar, weren't we? Well, here's my Red Paper Crap Day tribute to myself :). I jest. Sorta.

I'm the hero of this story. I don't need to be saved.

I'm now going to go pour myself a glass of cab sav and leave you with the sage words of Lily Tomlin: "If love is the answer, could you please rephrase the question?"
Happy week.