Thursday, September 29, 2011

Soup and sandwich

After all the low-carbing and calorie counting and treadmill'ing, sometimes, you just need a hot, gooey sandwich with a creamy soup chaser....especially in the fall. Thus, my review copy request for these two new cookbooks (Andrews McMeel Publishing): Grilled Cheese, Please by Laura Werlin and 50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker by Lynn Alley.  Now, there's nothing wrong with the classic grilled cheddar and cream of tomato soup combo. But, what about "Brie, Mozzarella and Pears with Blue Cheese Butter" and "Garnet Yam Soup with Coconut Cream" for a nice change of pace? And the best thing is, with your soup simmering slowly in the Crock Pot, you'll have plenty of time to give that masterpiece on the griddle your undivided attention. Mm, mm, good!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Farewell to a friend

Sometimes, life turns on a dime. So it did Sunday evening for my former longtime cameraman and friend, John Weldon, who collapsed and died while lovingly tending his mother's garden. He was 51. John's death jarred me far beyond the expected "life's too short" reaction to such untimely tragedies. When someone dies, we pay plenty of lip service to the notion of making every minute of every day count. I think that goal, taken literally, is too lofty for most of us to fathom, so we slip back into our routines changing neither attitudes nor actions. I wonder what would happen if - every evening around sunset - we challenged ourselves to come up with one thing we did that day to make someone's life better. I don't know but I'm going to give it a try, as a small way of honoring the memory of a kind and generous friend.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Subversive, satirical and enviably successful

In case you missed it on "60 Minutes" last night, here's the story on the show I am dying to see before the first touring company is cast. 'Gonna take a miracle...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Want to get things done? Throw a party.

That's why I haven't been hanging around the old blog lately: Too busy preparing for a wedding shower we're throwing tomorrow night. Thanks to "party pressure," the family room got painted and redecorated, ceiling fans were replaced, the hot tub got a new lid (the old one was literally in shreds), window boxes will (hopefully) be replanted with ornamental kale, wicker porch furniture's been mended, and strings of Italianesque globe lights have been added to the deck. We even dragged this antique copper washing machine from the bowels of the attic to the bar area, to hold the iced beer and white wine.
I completely forgot we had this thing! Parties are hard work, but the pay-off can be great.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mayan Quinoa

My assignment for a pot luck birthday party last night was to bring a side dish for a traditional Mexican dinner with enchiladas, chili rellenos and all the fixings. I found this recipe for Mayan Couscous online and it looked so good - and relatively healthy - I gave it a shot, replacing couscous with quinoa, since I had a surplus of it in my pantry. I served it at room temperature last night and put the leftovers in the fridge for a salad today. Deeee-licious! Highly recommended.

"Decisions should never be made impulsively...."

and other famous last words. My column today explains.
No photo available. But, this will give you the idea.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Missoni at Target - Score!

By the time I sat down in front of the boob tube last night, it was almost 9. When a "Missoni for Target" spot came on,  I leapt to my feet and screamed, "Is today the 13th?!" It was, of course. The first day of the much-anticipated debut of the Italian designer at Tar-jhay. Quickly, I steered my laptop to, only to get this ominous message
Argh! The website was all but crashed by Missoni missionaries, each one looking for her own holy grail. Mine was a bowl I've wanted ever since it appeared on Oprah's "O List." A fabulous glass bowl I lusted after for weeks and had visualized on my bar holding lemons and limes for smart cocktails.
By the time I got onto the website, over fifty percent of the Missoni items were OUT OF STOCK. My bowl was nowhere to be found. Finally, I found something that resembled the item I coveted, but it was called a platter and it came with the stand. Confusione!!

The price ($40) was the same, and since it was one of the few items still available, I purchased one for me and one for a young bride I know. This morning, I'm off to the brick-and-mortar store to see what else I can find. I haven't seen a gold rush like this since the Cabbage Patch Kid days.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Orthaheel = Happy feet

If feet could smile, my dogs would be grinning from pinkie toe to pinkie toe.
When the makers of Orthaheel shoes offered to send me a complimentary review pair from their new fall line, I said - and this is an exact quote - "Land a Goshen. Not another line of old lady shoes!" It was the name. Orthaheel. Not very sexy, is it? ("Hey, baby. Let me kick off these Orthaheels and slip into something more comfortable.") Then, I realized my days of wearing sexy shoes - at least, for any period of time - were over. I had to deal. And, if a company called Orthaheel wanted to send the BoomerGirl a free pair of shoes, the least I could do was give them a test walk. Was I ever glad I did!
First of all, the Mary Jane style is pretty darn cute, as orthotically-correct shoes go. Secondly, the removable "biomechanical" footbed is incredibly comfortable and makes my 55-year-old arches feel bearable at the end of the day. It took a little time to get used to them so I broke them in slowly. But, I highly recommend these shoes. So much, in fact, I plan to actually purchase my second pair myself!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Boogying down with my bad self

Thank you for not mentioning how Tom Cruise's legs are better than mine.
    My husband and daughter are leaving tomorrow for a 5-day road trip to Colorado. I am so overjoyed to be alone (except for the dog), I'm going to come home from work, kick off my pants, put some Bob Segar on the stereo and have myself a sock-footed foyer dance. I wonder how much risky business I can get into at my age?
   On a related note, here's another study suggesting moderate drinking is good for women's health. Cheers!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

How much things cost in 1973

I found this on my now-defunct high school's website this morning while waiting for the sun to come up so I could go for a walk. As a graduating senior in '73, I was oblivious to most of these costs of living, except the price of gas. Yet, I still remember paying 29 cents at the pump (on the corner of 75th & State Line, for you Kansas City readers). Did they have gas wars in those days? And what the heck was an AMC Javelin? Was that like a Gremlin?
She looks so happy to be driving such a plug-ugly car.
 Yearly Inflation Rate USA 6.16%
Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 850
Average Cost of new house $32,500.00
Average Income per year $12,900.00
Average Monthly Rent $175.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas 40 cents
AMC Javelin car $2,900.00
A Dozen Eggs 45 cents

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

My column today gives a nod to Labor Day and my first real job at Hickory Farms where I actually broke a commandment to get hired. My plans for the rest of the weekend involve laboring over the summer's last batch of pesto and the selection of new ceiling fans. (And I may have to pick up some Beef Stick and Sweet Hot Mustard, while I'm at it.)

Boomer Girl Review: Ultimate Oriole Feeder

I've still got a way to go before I'm feeding pigeons on the steps of St. Paul's (which I never thought was a bad thing to do ...