Ronan taking mom on an adventure.

Ronan and I (look up and in the middle)  60 feet above terra ferma.

Ronan and I (look up and in the middle) 60 feet above terra ferma.

101 ways to cook zucchini… and counting

Every year I am surprised by the bounty in my garden.  One or two specific items take off, while others whither away.  Last year it was okra and basil.  Every three days we would have a bowlful of okra and our basil grew to a size of a miniature tree.  Luckily okra is a very versatile vegetable.  You can saute it, fry it, boil it, stew it, bake it and pickle it.  Some methods were more popular then others, but okra was well received at our table.

This year we have zucchini.

We get about one every few days, and as you can see they are big, bigger and biggest!!!  So far I have tried sautee, and frying; on the list are stuffed, baked, grated, pickled. Our much anticipated tomatoes are a dud.  The plants are gigantic, but the fruit has been foraged over by the local squirrel population or stays permanently green on the vine.  Corn was also underwhelming, we did get ears, but they were only a few inches tall.

Mother nature has her own rythme and reason when it comes to my garden, and it effects what we eat and how we eat it.  I am used to choosing the menu, and then getting the things I need at the store.  Even the most basic grocery store has rudimentary fruits and veggies.   With my garden things are very much the opposite, yields dictate whats for dinner and there is very little variety.

Creative cooking is must when herbs, eggplant, peppers and zucchini are our everyday garden staples.  And this year zucchini recipes are greatly appreciated.

Praying for rain

I have turned into a weather nut. Each time there is even a slight chance of rain, I have scrutinized the local radar sites, and plotted the trajectory of the oncoming clouds to see if possibly, this time we can get a few sprinkles. Ryan says I have turned into an old woman who is spends her whole time obsessing about the weather. But really you can not blame me, as this is the driest season on record for Central Texas. We have had two tornado watches, and numerous thunderstorm warnings, and untold number of thunderstorm watches issues by the powers that be; but none have produced more than 30 minutes of moderate rainfall. We hear thunder, see lightning, share the humidity, but are lucky to get a token sprinkle.

Until last night, last night we had lightening, thunder and rain!  It started at midnight and lasted until early morning.  Everyone but the kids got up and went outside to watch the storm from the porch.   After a while I went upstairs and fell asleep to the sweet sounds of raindrops striking a metal roof.  Beautiful.

Turn a Polywoven Feed Sack Into a Reusable Shopping Bag from the February/March, 2011 issue of Backyard Poultry

Turn a Polywoven Feed Sack Into a Reusable Shopping Bag from the February/March, 2011 issue of Backyard Poultry.

my next project

Mark Twain said something profund about plans and change of plans

We have decided to stick around the Bay Area for a while longer.  Our long-term plans still involve a out of state move but for now we are going to enjoy the beautiful California weather.

Thank you Boxee, now I can give up cable

Like much of America, we decided to better understand our wants vs. our needs.

– I do not want cable tv; but I need Top Chef, General Hospital, Closer, House, Desperate Housewives, HGTV… well you get the idea.

– I do not want to be a slave to programming, but need to watch my shows late at night when everyone else is asleep.

– I do not want to pay for 400 channels of “nothing to watch,” and I need to not waste my TV time watching reruns and “When good pets go bad.”

With Boxee I can watch almost any shows on the internet, in full screen on my computer or TV, and use its integrated menu to switch between iTunes, Hulu, ABC, etc.  Right now its a sw download only, so having it work on a TV without Apple TV or another media box, requires some cables and hacking, but they will have a moderately priced box out soon (or you can have a geeky husband/wife who can hack something together.)

So good bye cable subscription, two cable box rental with DVR capacity and all those taxes and fees.  Hello Boxee sw, Hulu programming and reasonably priced iTunes episodes/subscriptions.  Even with the AppleTV box, we still come out ahead price wise.

the role of the cheesey realtor will be played by me… wanna buy a wordpress house?

Yes this post is all about cheese and over-the-top salesmanship, but I am enjoying a bottle of great wine and everyone is asleep so here goes.

This is a house where much of the latest releases of WordPress were built.  The patio was made famous by WordPress Texas crew who grilled many a steaks as they were hacking out the code.   So for all of you die hard  wordpress fans, here is a chance to own a bit of  WordPress memorabilia.

Over the river and through the woods to Northern Virginia we go…

Ryan and I have never followed convention, so when we decided to move to a bigger house our target area included all of th US, and we narrowed it down to the Northern Virginia/DC Area.  We have put our house on the the market and will be moving east in the next 30 days.  Joulina has agreed to come with us.

I am very sad to leave the bay area, my family and my friends.  I will miss you terribly!

So stay tuned to see our east coast adventure.  And if you are ever in the DC area, come and visit.

My mother started a blog – and she did it all by herself!

So my mother sends me an email asking to us to check out her cooking blog – she has 3 post now.

WHAT?  My mother – started a blog?  And she did not need my help!??!?!?  (Disclaimer: Both of my parents are very competent engineers, but when I gave her an iPhone as a gift, she could not figure out how to place or receive calls for 4 days.  My father has still not changed the music on the iPod I gave him several months ago, and his gift certificate to iTunes is gathering electronic dust in his inbox.)  Now here is my mother, asking me if I like her writing style, her content and would I help her increase traffic?  Web2.0 has gone mainstreet.

(more…)

okay don’t laugh… but I am getting the hang of the cooking thing

Don’t laugh.. No, I am serious!

Last night I made beer flavored brats with onions and peppers.  Ryan said they were yummy.  No emergency services or home fire safety equipment was needed.

And a few days ago I made pasta primavera.