Yes, I have been blog-neglectful. I fully admit this. Why, you ask? Well, I have been so STINKING BUSY! Sometimes I love being busy, but most of the time I just get worn out and forget to do things like blog and wash dishes. Gah.
So, let's see what I've been doing . . . well, summer camp started and that sucked the life-force out of me the first week. Then, 4th of July weekend was crazy fun. Thursday night, Ann and I discovered a wonderful restaurant in my neighborhood -- Salsa a la Salsa. It's on about 14th and Nicollet, tasty, and relatively inexpensive! Fantastic veggie tacos. Mmmm. Then, Friday night Ann and I hung out again -- we went to the grocery store (wah-hoo?) and then hung out at her house and watched cooking shows she had TiVoed for me. Saturday, we went to taste of MN and saw Epic Hero and the Honeydogs perform, (we also had dinner at Cosetta's -- yum!) then went and hung out with Michelle, watched Fox news, and made fun of all the drama the newscasters tried to create. Sunday was supposed to be a quiet, calm day, but Ann called me at about 6:30 and strongly encouraged me to come over to Nye's and watch Epic Hero perform (again. Yes. Twice in one weekend! Feast or famine with that band.) So, I went. They were great, but the best part of the evening came later. After 10:00 the music moved into the basement at Nye's (city noise ordinances and all,) so we got to see Tim Mahoney do a mini-set in what felt like someone's parents' basement -- you know, bad carpet, low ceilings, crappy lighting, bar in the corner. People were just standing and sitting around with their beers, Tim did a lot of requests/covers, and played one of my all-time favorite U2 songs: "MLK." It was a little surreal, but what a night! Monday, I read all afternoon, then we aimed for Nicollet Island to see Shakespeare in the Park, then stick around for the fireworks. But . . . no Shakespeare in the Park! Very odd. So I camped out with Ann's and my chairs while she went home to get a book (I had brought a book with me.) Two hours later, she and Michelle arrived. (I was more than a little worried at that point!) Anyhow, the fireworks were a little lackluster, I thought. THEN, after working all day Tuesday, Ann, Michelle, and two of Michelle's friends went to Psycho Suzi's for her birthday. We ordered tater tots as an appetizer. :) (We also had pizza. Very, very tasty pizza. And they make a fine cuppa joe, too.) Last night, I watched a movie and went to bed at 9:00. And I will be going to bed similarly early tonight as well. ;-) I need to regain my strength -- I have four more year-end reports to write, and I WANT to finish them soon! Hopefully this weekend -- other than a party at Michelle's friend's house, I don't have much to do.
I recently finished "Angels and Demons" by Dan Brown. The story was fantastic and very exciting, but his writing style bugs me. I still haven't read "The DaVinci Code." I think I'm going to read the latest Sue Monk Kidd first.
I will now share two awesome recipes I've made up as of late.
Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. Lightly brush a number of your favorite brand of corn tortillas with olive oil, or alternately, spray with cooking spray. Cut into wedges. Arrange wedges on cookie sheet(s) and sprinkle with kosher salt. (Alternately, you could sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar for dessert wedges. Would be mighty tasty with vanilla ice cream, methinks.)
3. Bake chips for about 5 minutes or until they are light golden brown. Cool chips slightly (they will crisp up more as they cool,) and then dig into a big jar of Muir Glen salsa. Mmmmm......
Marinated Veg Salad
1. Smash up a few cloves of garlic. Simmer in about a quarter cup of extra-virgin olive oil for a few minutes. Cool. Remove garlic and mince.
2. Roast and peel a red pepper. Roughly chop half an onion and roast this, too.
3. Combine the garlic with salt and pepper to taste, a handfull of basil leaves, minced, the juice of half a large lemon, and couple tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Whisk in the olive oil you simmered the garlic in.
4. Toss the dressing with the roasted red pepper and onion, a cucumber, seeded and sliced, a green pepper, chopped, a can of chopped tomatoes, drained, and a can of quartered artichoke hearts, drained.
5. Allow the salad to sit in the fridge for a few hours before serving.
(You could obviously make this with whatever veggies you have on hand, but this combo was particularly tasty!)
I hope that the second one will help artichokes become your new best friend. Because they certainly are mine.