Saturday, July 30, 2011

Summer Stock Sunday

One of the fun things about the slower pace of summer is that we have time to try new recipes AND we have yummy fresh things from the market to try them with.  I tried this recipe a couple of weeks ago and it was very good. It's from Cooks Illustrated

Let me know if you want the recipe!

And here are two summer photos of the kids.

This pose is called "indulging your mother"
At the Air Force Academy

Friday, July 29, 2011

Yummy Yak

When I was a pre-teen, we lived in Japan. Every middle school day that I could get away with it and afford it, I took the base shuttle bus after school to the BX. Next to the BX was a place we called the "Yak Shak". It was a Yakitori stand that served up the most delicious seasoned beef for what was an affordable price.

The memories of that beef yakitori have carried me a long way, so when daily recipe dropped one for my childhood memory into my box, I had to try it.

The guys have been out in Colorado this past week so I haven't felt much like cooking, and my husband is the grill-meister anyway, so I planned it for yesterday evening.

I wish I had a photo of it but we ate it too fast. I made Japanese rice and heaped it in the middle of an oval platter, and then stripped the meat from the skewers on top of it.  It was heavenly.

So, the photo above is not mine, and the recipe below is not original, but if you make this, I guarantee you will enjoy the result (if you're a beef eater!).  Yummy Yak.  The things I would change are in red.


First, double it if you have two men at the table! You don't need to double the sesame seeds, but everything else.
·         1/2 cup soy sauce
·         2 tablespoons vegetable oil
·         2 tablespoons lemon juice
·         1 tablespoon sesame seeds
·         2 tablespoons white sugar
·         2 green onions, thinly sliced
·         1 clove garlic, minced
·         1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
·         1 pound sirloin steak, cubed

1.     In a glass or plastic bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, oil, lemon juice, sesame seeds, sugar, green onions, garlic, and ginger.
2.     Thread the meat onto skewers. (If you are using wooden skewers, soak them 30 minutes first.) Don't use wooden skewers.  Walmart has 4 metal skewers for $1.97.  Place the skewers in a plastic or glass container just large enough to hold them, and pour the marinade over the meat, turning to coat well. Cover, and chill for a minimum of 4 hours. They're not kidding about the minimum.  The longer they marinate, the better they are.
3.     Preheat grill for high heat, and position grate 5 inches from coals.
4.     Brush grate with oil, and place skewers on grill. Grill for 10 to 15 minutes, occasionally turning kabobs to ensure even cooking.

NEXT TIME -- I will cut 5-7 crisp green onions in inch long pieces and thread them perpendicular to the skewers, in between the beef. It's the authentic touch from the old days that was missing.

Serve with a nice light, crisp salad.  I also had grapes and pluots (that's another post tomorrow), with the latter sliced up in wedges.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


I am so sad about what happened in Norway yesterday. No, I have no connections with Norway. It's just very sad.

And I really dislike the alleged perpetrator being called a right-wing Christian.  Right-wing, fine. But no one who kills other people in this fashion is Christian. No one who spouts hate and fear mongering is Christian.

In Matthew 22:36-40, the Bible says:

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

 If we could REALLY do the first, the second, and all other commandments would naturally follow.

And in case you wondered, yes, it makes me sad when there is killing anywhere. Unfortunately, there are some parts of the world where it's not a surprise or a shock when it occurs. Norway is the last place one expects it so it is jarring.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

College Visits

Yesterday we went down the road a bit to James Madison University.  Daughter came back from an amazing Youth trip to Daytona Beach (Louie Giglio and Chris Tomlin) with some new goals and observations. Now she has decided she wants to go far away enough from home that she can't be dropping in and making a mess here (hooray) but close enough that if she needs us, we can get there without too much delay. I'm not sure what all is going on inside her head, but at least she's thinking instead of running!

So ... JMU.  All I can say is that it has come a LONG WAY from when I was contemplating a university education in Virginia. I absolutely endorse her choosing this one if it's the way she wants to go.  Next Wednesday we'll visit another.

Here's a photo from JMU followed by a Louie Giglio clip that is fascinating.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summer Stock Sunday

Thank you, Robin at Around the Island, for encouraging me to "see" the summer around me!

And my Summer Stock Photo:

This is a cool house I saw on the lake when we were in the canoe. It has an octagonal shaped end that takes full advantage of the view they have.  Lovely!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Canoe Canoe?

With the days without children slipping away, we decided to take the canoe out Thursday afternoon.  It was an absolutely perfect day (this was the same afternoon of the marvelous bike ride).  Our community has a few (small) man-made lakes that were created years ago to manage the stormwater system.  Two are pretty hard to get into (can you say portage?).  I think that was deliberate -- the more expensive homes are on the shores of those.  One of the great things about our lakes is that only electric power motors are allowed on them, so the wakes are small and the speeds are low.  One of the mixed blessings is that there's no swimming allowed (except during the Triathlon).

At any rate, this is Lake Audubon and some of the views from the water.

Biggie this!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Perfect Weather

We had a gullywasher, thunderboomer of a storm yesterday afternoon. During a lull I went up to get the mail. As I was standing there, I heard one of those cracks of thunder that sounds like the sky is ripping open. I sort of half expected to see Jesus descending on a cloud, but I didn't hear trumpets, so I scurried back inside.

This morning the storm detritus is everywhere, but the air is clean and cool, and I took advantage of it. I rode up to the post office to mail a package (the backpack was a lot more fun AFTER I mailed it!). Then I found three caches on the way back home. It was about 10 miles round trip.

One of them was in the lovely little garden where I met the snake last month.  Today, no snake, but gorgeous scenery. My skills (and the iPhone camera) do not do justice to the beauty and tranquility of this little slice of our town.  Enjoy!

This was a very cool bridge -- it had glass blocks
at child's eye level. One was engraved with this
poem, Water, by Emerson

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summer Stock Sunday

It's been a busy week getting the kids ready for the mission trip.  They're gone now, so we had some time to sit down and work on my book together.

While we were sitting there, we noticed a squirrel perched on my son's bicycle seat.  He is a squirrel with great ambition and no firm grasp of the realities of the situation.

So this is my summer stock Sunday photo/video.  Thanks, Robin, for hosting.  Hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Illuminate Me!

Finally!  It's finished!  Well, the first draft is finished.  Yep, my novel is ready for readers. Critical readers who will be kind but constructive.  The title is "Nothing Yet" and it's about a girl from a family with traditional values who is anything but passive and weak. (And it's not pretty like this one)

If you're interested, let me know. I probably ought to limit this to people in the US unless you want it sent via e-mail.  People in the US will get it USPS unless you ask otherwise.

Wow, now I can exhale again.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Summer Stock Sunday

Robin, at Around the Island, hosts Summer Stock Sunday.  I'm almost too late to call it Sunday, but I will anyway.

This is my summer photo from this week.  Seen on a car in the parking lot at our favorite Thai restaurant.  We couldn't figure out just what it might mean.  If it had been on a Jaguar or a Cougar, we would have understood, but it was on a Suzuki!

It's a Friends of Tibet license plate, so Kathmandu is out ...


Friday, July 1, 2011

The Wild Blue Yonder?

These are the photos I meant to post yesterday with this title.  They are from the Udvar-Hazy Center, the annex for the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum on the Mall in Washington, DC.  Udvar-Hazy is near Dulles airport (about 10 minutes from my house).  Admission is free, but parking is $15.  If you're stuck at Dulles with a long time frame, take the shuttle for .50 cents each way to visit this museum. It's well worth it.

First, the SR-71.  Featured in the new Transformers movie.  They filmed here.

Next, the P-47 dressed for the D-Day Invasion.
My son tells me the markings were large and bright to avoid
friendly fire incidences.

An FW-190
The Nazis' fighter, scourge of the Russians.

For some reason, I don't retain the detail my son does about all these planes.  Two hours in here and he's a happy camper for two days.  Of course, he did try to hit me up for money for a snack.  Usually he tries to get money for the simulators as well.  The answer was: NO.

Mean mom.

By the way, there was a cache nearby. ha ha