Thursday, July 29, 2010

You can't do any of the things that I can do in St. Louis!
Tootie Smith, Meet Me in St. Louis

Two questions for you:

1. Do you have a blog?

2. Do you live in St. Louis?

If you answered yes to the questions above then, dingdingding, you're a winner!

Email me at happyforthismoment [at] gmail [dot] com for more information about our STL Blogger Get Together on August 13.

Hi from St. Louis!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

With the exception of women, there is nothing on earth so agreeable or necessary to the comfort of man as the dog.
Edward Jesse

Winnie has a dog bed. A lovely soft one that is actually perched on top of a very nice arm chair in the living room. She really has been good about sleeping out it but recently found other, fluffier alternatives.

Anyone who knows me, knows my bed has to be made everyday. So what the heck happened to the pillows?

Oh, a little Beagle stowaway.


And now I'm constantly shooing her from the bedroom. Goodness, who wouldn't want to spend the day in four feather pillows?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Chicago, Chicago, that toddlin' town.
Fred Fisher, Chicago

This past weekend, Nick and I took advantage of his one weekend off this summer and headed to Chicago. We spent two nights in Evanston and then headed west to spend some time with his old golf friend, Aaron.

It was a great trip to see some sights and also enjoy spending time with my husband (I'm a golf widow this time of year)!

Downtown Evanston, our home for two days.

Waiting for the L to Wrigley

Outside Wrigley Field for Friday's game vs. the Cardinals

Nick and his two old Iowa friends who now live in Chicago.

Go Cards (even though they lost!)

Met Al Hrabosky at the Fox Sports after party.

Tri Delta house at Northwestern.

Visited Arlington Park in the afternoon on Saturday.

View from our seats, Nick matches the awning!

Dinner with Aaron and his fiance in Sugar Grove.

Our warm St. Louis welcome home!

Friday, July 23, 2010

What you call love was invented by guys like me to sell nylons.
Don Draper, Mad Men

My DVR is set and I'm ready to go - are you excited for the season premier of Mad Men on Sunday night?

You bet your Don Draper I am!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The only time to eat diet food is while you are waiting for the steak to cook.
Julia Child

Who really wants to be in a hot kitchen during the summer? Not I, that's for sure.

So I make Nick drag out his grill and get to work. This recipe was easy, beautiful and delicious. We grilled enough of the marinated steak to have plenty of leftover which I used in salads and Nick had on a few sandwiches throughout the week. The marinade was so good, I'll just use that again for other recipes.

Sliced Grilled Steak on Blue Cheese Biscuits
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons McCormick grill seasoning
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon to taste salt
1 tablespoon to taste fresh ground pepper
3 tablespoon tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 lbs flank steak
8 ounces buttermilk biscuit mix
1/2 cup blue cheese
1 tomato
1 bunch watercress
4 tablespoons sour cream

Preheat the oven to 450.

Preheat a grill pan or outdoor grill to high heat.

Mix together the garlic, grill seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the extra-virgin olive oil. Pour into a glass dish.

Add the flank steak and coat it evenly in the marinade. Let it stand for 10 minutes.

While the steak is marinating, prepare the biscuits. Place the biscuit mix in a bowl, add the blue cheese crumbles, and mix with a fork to distribute.

Add water, according to the package directions. Once combined, dump the biscuit mix out on a cutting board (I added flour to the board before hand so it wouldn't stick).

Using your fingertips, press out the mix into a 1-inch-thick square. Divide the square with a knife into 4 squares.

Arrange the biscuits on a foil-lined cookie sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the biscuits are cooked through and the bottoms are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Grill the flank steak for 6 to 7 minutes on each side or to your preferred doneness.

Remove the flank steak from the grill and let the juices redistribute before slicing.

Thinly slice the tomato and coarsely chop the watercress; reserve.

To serve, thinly slice the rested meat on an angle, cutting against the grain. To make easy work of the slicing, use a sharp knife. Split each of the four biscuits in half.

Arrange a slice or two of tomato on the bottom of each biscuit. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper. Top the tomatoes with some of the sliced steak.

Top that with a dollop of sour cream and a little of the chopped watercress. Set the biscuit top in place or slightly to the side.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car, in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing right in your ear.
Dave Barry

One of Winnie's favorite things is riding the car. So much to see, smell and take in from that small space out of the back window. I can't help but wonder what's going on in her little head.

Off we go...

I smell rabbits. Do you smell rabbits? Definitely rabbits.

Alright, Nick, what's the plan.


Back to the backseat. Let's get the wind in our ears.

Ahhh, this car ride was an ear flapping success.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

They were always sayin' cool air was on its way from Canada.
Meg Boyd, Damn Yankees

On Sunday night, Nick snagged two free tickets to The Muny, the country's largest and oldest outdoor theater, to see "Damn Yankees." I had a chance to have my first visit to The Muny last summer and it really is such a unique experience. The show was great (I love Fosse) and all about baseball so even though Nick has never been one for musicals, it was a nice (and free!) way to spend a summer evening.

Notice how foggy the photos look? That's because it was so humid and hot my poor camera lens was covered in condensation. Ah, just adds to the experience!

Rocking the monogrammed boat bag with style.

Amazing seats, just a few rows back from the stage.

Melting but enjoying The Muny!

Monday, July 19, 2010

You can't possibly ask me to go without having some dinner. It's absurd. I never go without my dinner. No one ever does, except vegetarians and people like that.
Oscar Wilde

My father was a very picky eater. Born and raised in southern Ohio he certainly loved his meat and potatoes but his palate did have an appreciation for soup beans and fried potatoes. Canned peaches for dessert of course.

Needless to say, adventurous dishes were not relished at his kitchen table.

But one of "his" recipes that he always made and loved to eat was Sicilian Supper. Our family is not Italian, not even a little bit. But even French and Irish taste buds can't deny the classic goodness of this easy dish.

He died in 2002, when I was 19, but each and every time I make or share the Sicilian Supper recipe I can see him sitting at the table in our kitchen. Piece of garlic bread in one hand, fork digging into this picky-eater-friendly dish.

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup chopping onion
3/4 cup water
6 oz. tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
½ bag of egg noodles
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
8 oz. cream cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook egg noodles as package directs. Drain and set aside.

Brown ground beef and drain excess fat. Add in chopped onions to ground beef and saute until tender. Stir in tomato paste, water, garlic powder, salt. Let simmer until nicely combined.

In a separate sauce pan combine milk, Parmesan cheese and cream cheese. Over low heat stir until melted and combined.

Add in cooked egg noodles to cheese mixture. Stir to combine.

Spray a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Start on one end and spoon the ground beef mixture into a straight line. Then, make a line of the noodle mixture. Continue alternating lines of the mixtures until dish is filled. The final result will look like the stripes of the American flag.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Serve a large scoop of baked Sicilian Supper that includes both meat and noodles. Goes great with a salad and garlic bread.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern

Sunday gratitude:
  • not having to pay to go to a pool.
  • shopping at Target at 9 a.m. on a Saturday.
  • Beagles that sleep until 7:30 a.m.
  • hot pink and green beach towels.
  • an upcoming four day week at work!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Everything starts as somebody's daydream.
Larry Niven

Are Nick and I the only ones who play the "if I could pick whatever I want of [insert item here], what would I get?"

My items rarely change and all they aren't too exciting, it is still fun to daydream.

If you could have any car?
A 1966 Ford Mustang Convertible. Red with white interior and a white top.

If you could pick any new piece of furniture?
A big new wood bed from Pottery Barn.

If you could take any trip?
China with my mom (sorry Nick!).

If you could have any piece of jewelry?
A diamond tennis bracelet.

If I could pick any house?
I suppose it doesn't really matter where, but I'd love a big Craftsman style home with porches, plantation shutters and wood floors.

What are some of your picks?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

If your dog is fat, you're not getting enough exercise.

It is known that Beagles in general are high energy dogs. Not yippy-yappy high energy but rather need to get lots of exercise.

I take Winnie on a good morning walk everyday and she also gets a walk in the afternoon/evening most days too. After the walks or whenever I think she needs a little fresh air, she also has a tie-out in the back yard that lets her sniff to her heart's content. She really is better behaved during the day and sleeps better at night with regular exercise. Isn't that true for most of us?

Anyway, Nick's new purpose in life is Operation Wear Out Winnie. He is great about talking her on long walks especially on his days off. His newest technique only takes a few laps around the block and is very effective in resulting in a dog snoring on the couch by 7 p.m.

Note: that's not Winnie barking in the background

Monday, July 12, 2010

A garden is never so good as it will be next year.
Thomas Cooper

I had taken all of these lovely photos a few weeks ago of my garden and outdoor areas at home. Beautiful blooms on the Hostas, bright green ferns, fresh herbs, flowering Hydrangea and ripening tomatoes.

With the recent killer heat in St. Louis everything is literally smoked. My rosemary is merely a skeleton of twigs, the ferns are curling, my hostas are wilted and the poor hydrangea flowers are no longer pink but rather an unsightly shade of burnt orange.

Needless to say, it looks rough. I won't even mention the unfortunate demise of my happy little tomatoes at the hands of sneaky, stealing squirrels. Fantasies of fresh summer tomatoes on salads dashed from my head.

So I'll leave you with the pretty, lush photos of early June and spare you the cremated garden remains of mid-July.

Is it fall yet?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern

Sunday gratitude:
  • rye toast with butter.
  • Bethenny Getting Married? on Bravo - love her!
  • meeting new, smart St. Louis women.
  • a freshly washed Beagle.
  • a Saturday afternoon chicken salad sandwich and a lemonade.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Everything in the world exists in order to end up as a book.
Stephane Mallarme

The summer atmosphere certainly puts me in the mood for a stack of great books. Maybe it is the long time college/grad student still in my soul, but summer time means read-whatever-I-want time!

I do have my favorite authors whose many titles I cycle through continuously - Sue Miller, Anne Rivers Siddons, Dorothea Benton Frank -but the similar stories were beginning to meld together.

I had been itching for something different.

Although I'm not one for book "trends" (ahem, Twilight) I finally succumbed to two books that I'd heard a lot of raves about.

Thankfully, the did not disappoint. In fact, I'd say both are in the top five books I've ever read. They were that good.

So put down the vapid pool-side paperbacks and pick up Water for Elephants and The Help.

In fact, both books are set to be movies (Water for Elephants is already filming). And just like my old favorite Eat, Pray, Love make sure to get the joy of reading the book first because as we all know, it is always better than the movie!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

She's a Delta, Tri Delta, you can tell her from the start.
By her walk and her talk and her uh-huh, sets a Delta girl apart.
She's a Delta

I had a wonderful five days in Orlando with my mom and 750 Tri Delta sisters. Here are some highlights of all the fun we had!

Our home for five days, the JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando

With Florida Gulf Coast University Tri Deltas - current and alums

Walking a 5K for St. Jude (we raised $10,000!)

Listened to a wonderful speech from Tri Delta Deborah Norville, met her and had my book signed too.

A fun night exploring Sea World

Met a real Sea Lion (he smelled like fish!).

Celebrated at the final banquet.

Florida Gulf Coast University Tri Deltas at the chapter roll call.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern

Sunday gratitude:
  • my wonderful Tri Delta experiences!
At Tri Delta 2010 Convention in Orlando
June 30 - July 4
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