April 30, 2013


Posted by Ethne~

Friends, the snow has finally melted (though we’re supposed to get more on Thursday, I affirm that it will not stay) and I’ve got my pep back.  I made homemade tortillas this weekend, got myself a pedicure (the girls, Thrifty Nana and Whit too), went swimming, put on sunless tanner, shaved my legs and we flew kites in our backyard park! 

She's a beauty!

While I was at it, I figured I better sip on one of Shaun’s super delicious Bloody Mary’s.  He was busy grilling, so I had to make it myself!  Here’s what you do:

In a large glass, filled with ¾ full with ice, add in 1 shot of vodka.  Put in 2 spoonfuls of dill pickle juice; a dash of salt, pepper and celery salt; 1-3 shakes of Tabasco sauce; and a dill pickle spear and a few green olives.  Top the rest of the glass off with your Bloody Mary mix (like Zing Zang or Mrs. T’s).  Stir well and enjoy!

That's what my shot looked like once in the glass.
Pickle juice

Always on hand.
I use about 2 shakes; plus the salt (kosher) and fresh cracked pepper
This was the mix I had on hand.

As to variations, there are many.  My dad once read that the best-ever Bloody Mary was made with Sacramento tomato juice (the rest of the recipe being pretty much the same, but minus the pickle and olives); or you can make a Bloody Caesar and use Clamato juice instead of tomato juice/mix (ie Zing Zang).  I love a Bloody Caesar best of all, but we didn’t have any Clamato on hand this weekend.  If you want to get fancy like they do at some bars, you can add those pickled yellow peppers (pepperoncini), slices of pepperoni, mozzarella cheese balls and so on.  If you ask me, though, that takes up so much room, you’re not actually getting much cocktail in your glass. 

April 28, 2013


Posted by Lori~

Steve and I just got back from the badlands of SD, including Mount Rushmore State Historical Site and Crazy Horse.  Steve was at a conference, and I got to go along for the trip. It was a fabulous and coincidently Ethne spent a summer as a Park Ranger at Mount Rushmore.  She re-lived her summer through my texts and photos.  

I had to take this photo--the amphitheater where Ethne had to wing it, and sing
The Star Spangled Banner in front of a live audience (because there was a microphone glitch).
She literally did not prepare, had no plans to sing, and had to do it acapella.

At the end of the trip, we drove through Dickinson, ND and got to crash Kirsti and Michael's house from Lovely La La Land.  Kirsti recently took a break from blogging, but her style is AMAZING!

Kirsti and Michael from Lovely La La Land!  Aren't they cute!
And there house is AWESOME!
Their fabulous entry area complete with a black wall (very dramatic),
cardboard moose, and mirrors.  I LOVE IT!

Check-out their modern and vintage living room.  The chairs are antique
and the couch is from IKEA.  Kirsti LOVES Scandanavian style!

A view of their dining room.  Kirsti made a deal with Michael that they
WOULD NOT PAINT the cabinets.  I think it works well with the gray walls,
white trim, and white table.
I love the guest room with the bright hand-made quilt
and retro light fixtures.

April 26, 2013

{A Recipe} Grizz's Grandma's Meatloaf

Posted by Ethne~

I sent out an important request to the best friends last week and, within minutes, had my response and recipe (all via text):

me: (to Grizz, Steph & Slags, 7:52 a.m.) Ladies do u have a good meatloaf recipe?  Mine always get too dense and dry.

Grizz: (instant response, 7:54 a.m. – Grizz is on time for everything)  Mines my grandmas…and is prob as basic as they come.  Burger, milk, egg, onion (opt), crackers.  Bake at 350 for 40 min.

me: Ketchup on top?

Grizz: No ketchup.  SnP to taste.  I never use salt but we’re fans of pepper.

So I thought I’d try it out.  I love meatloaf, but have never found the perfect recipe.  And when it comes to these classics, sometimes the most basic are the best of all.

It occurred to me, too, that a contributor to my dry meatloaf problem could be that Shaun and I buy lean burger, usually the 93% lean.  If you buy the 85% lean, with a little more fat in it to add moisture and flavor while baking as a meatloaf, that might be a very good thing when it comes to any recipe for making meat into a brick.

Tips:  I used two eggs, since I was worried about moisture; I probably used about 10-12 soda crackers, smashed up, and maybe a ½ cup-1 cup splash of milk; I had 1 pound of ground beef.

I poked a bunch of holes in mine and didn't make it in a loaf.  I don't suggest either of these things.  I go off the grid frequently.

The outcome was delicious!  I used salt and pepper to season, since we’re lovers of both in the Denham house; and I used ketchup on half of the top of mine, since I love my meatloaf with ketchup.  [I didn’t do minced onions since KD’s particular about onions when she can pick them out of things; it’s weird.]  That’s the nice thing about a straightforward, basic recipe like this one, though, is you can doll it up any way you like and make it your own.  Shaun’s family always puts a can of cream of mushroom soup on their meatloaf instead of ketchup.  I could do that to this meatloaf since it doesn’t have other seasonings that would conflict!

Your eyes aren't deceiving you: I did eat more mashed potatoes than meatloaf.  While I love meatloaf, I love homemade mashed potatoes even more and I made both on the same day - what?!?

Thanks Grizz and Grandma A!

This is Grizz from GT last summer - I'll need to get a "stock photo" of her with her sweet little L
Update: I just talked to my sis, Mel, and she said she uses this same recipe, but also adds a 1/4 cup sour cream (for moisture) and 1 pack Lipton's onion soup mix (for flavor)!  Yum!  Thanks Mel!