Snow Daze

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I'll admit that I'm more of a winter person than a summer person. I like the cold weather, because my body temp runs a little warmer than some folks **cue Foreigner singing Hot Blooded**.

When it's 25 outside, my body temp is just about normal. I like that.

Having said that, I've had all the winter I want for 2015. North Texas has had repeated rounds of ice, freezing rain, sleet, snow, THUNDER SNOW, THUNDER ICE and FROZEN FROGS dropping from the sky like a Biblical plague.

This is an "after" photo taken when we removed the millions of frozen amphibians from our pond

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OK, I made up the part about the frogs, but you get the idea. Just know that I'm done with it.

Why? Because - wait for it - Texans SUCK at driving in snow and ice. There, I said it. C'mon, you were thinking it too, weren't you?

Lemme 'splain.

Charlotte hosted her Bunco bunch here at Boomer Brief HQ a few nights ago. Being the smart caring, nurturing husband that I am, I took off for the ranch to give them a testosterone-free house. Hey, that's just how I roll.

Sleet, snow and freezing rain were predicted for the next day, but the forecast said it'd be west and north of us. Colleywood, and its Grey Poupon-loving neighborhoods, would be spared the brunt of the icy blast. You pay a little more...you geta little more...AMIRITE?

 


Snow was piling up faster than Twitter crashes on Interstate 20...

I made it to the ranch without any problem. Took care of my chores...started a fire in the fireplace...poured myself a big ass glass of wine and settled in for the night. 

I need a fire this big to keep the ranch chupacabras away

Ranch House FP - 600.jpg

Next morning I woke up bright an early. It was cold outside - 28 degrees - which meant I could turn off the air conditioner. I got in my Eco-friendly SUV (EPA-rated 2.5 MPG) and took off for Colleywood.

I get better gas mileage when I remove the .50 caliber machine guns from the luggage rack

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My trip was easy while I was in the country. Cowboys driving fully-loaded cattle trailers passed me, and merged into traffic like perfect gentlemen. No problem.

That all changed as I neared downtown Fort Worth.

A Kia SUV decided that if the speed limit was 70 mph, then BY GOD he'd drive 70 mph, just to show the weather gods he wasn't a pussy. Did I mention he passed me in a blizzard while texting. I. AM. NOT. MAKING. THIS. UP.

I think I'll get on Twitter and tell 'em it's snowing

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I'm saving the best part for last.

When I got to the Fort Worth Mixmaster (AKA TXDOT's idea of a joke) and inched my way to the VERY TOP...we STOPPED. I guess it was so everyone could update their Facebook pages with snowy photos of downtown Fort Worth.

I wonder how many "Likes" I'll get when I tell all my Friends I'm stuck up here

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After about a half-hour sitting in a snowstorm, traffic began to move. I can only assume that the guy holding everyone up ran out battery power on his iPhone.

I finally made it back to the land of Lord HubbaBubba, where the snow was piling up faster than Twitter crashes on Interstate 20.

Donner Party of 8...your table's ready

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I know I'll be complaining about the Texas heat in...3-2-1...any day now. But, I've learned my lesson.

I'd rather be hot blooded (admit it, the song's stuck in your head right now) than FROZEN. Then again, maybe I should just Let It Go (see what I did there?).

This is TEXAS after all.

I bet Charlotte and I will be hopping over our backyard fence to crash join Lord and Lady HubbaBubba's Spring Garden Party in a couple of days.

Carson...take these interlopers to the stables and give them a sound thrashing

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Here's the Dish: Sweet Cornbread Muffins

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Just when Bob and I thought Dallas would dodge the snow this year, several surprising arctic blasts closed schools for days and dropped more than four inches of ice, sleet and snow at our doorstep. Brrrr! Sure it was pretty... ...Read More

The List: 3 Sensational Side Dishes

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For some people, Easter lunch is all about smoked honey ham, prime rib or some other mouth-watering cut of meat. But I focus on the vegetables. I'm not talkin' the plain-Jane variety here. I want my holiday sides dressed up with yummy cheeses, sauces and seasonings that'll have guests coming back for more. That's why I adore these three sensational side dishes.

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Classic Broccoli Rice Casserole

We've been enjoying this crowd-pleasing Broccoli Rice Casserole since one of my brother David's girlfriends got us hooked on it many moons ago. My spin on this classic includes water chestnuts for a little crunch and a touch of hot sauce to make things more interesting.

This cheesy concoction complements chicken, ham, fish, most any main dish. And the leftovers (IF there are any) freeze beautifully.

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Classic Broccoli-Rice Casserole

Serves 8 - 10

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  • 2 (10-ounce) boxes frozen chopped bBroccoli Rice - 300.jpgroccoli
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 soup can milk
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 14 ounces Velveeta cheese, cut into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco or your favorite hot sauce
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Thaw broccoli in microwave following package directions; drain.

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add onions and celery, sautéing until soft. Add soup, milk, water chestnuts, Velveeta and tabasco. Simmer until cheese melts, stirring well.

Stir in thawed and drained broccoli, cooked rice, salt and pepper. Pour into a 9" x 13" dish. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 350 degrees 30 minutes or until heated through.

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Best-Ever Scalloped Potatoes

Bob and I enjoyed a great getaway at San Antonio's JW Marriott Resort & Spa a few years ago. While at this drop-dead gorgeous Texas Hill Country haven, we feasted on the best scalloped potatoes, EVER, at the 18 Oaks Steakhouse. Picture luscious layers of sliced potatoes swimming in a goat-cheese-infused sauce that simply melt in your mouth. They were so good I had to have the recipe!

Now a favorite around our house, Chef Jeffery Surprise's comforting potato casserole makes a standout side dish that's remarkably easy to put together. The first time I tried this recipe, I did a double take when I saw the amount of butter recommended ... 1/4 pound seemed too much for greasing the pan. So I checked with Chef Jeffery. He said 1/4 pound was correct but I might not need all of it. Since then, I've found about 1/4 to 1/3 stick is plenty.**

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Best-Ever Scalloped Potatoes

Serves 4 - 6

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  • 2 pounds Russet potatoesFinished Dish 600.jpg
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) butter (see ** above)
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) goat cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • Fresh thyme from 6 sprigs, chopped

Preheat oven to 350˚.

Combine heavy cream and thyme in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.

Whisk in the goat cheese. Remove from heat and let cool.

Butter the bottom of a 9x12-inch baking pan and set aside. Slice potatoes thinly and put in a large mixing bowl. Add cream mixture to the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Check seasoning and adjust.

Add to baking dish in an even layer and bake covered for 25-35 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove cover and brown during last 10 minutes of cooking. Remove and cool.

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Simple Barbeque Baked Beans

Like most Texans, Bob and I have a thing for barbecue. Chili powder and brown sugar give these beans that spicy-sweet flavor we adore.

You can have this super side dish on the table in about an hour. Or prepare it ahead of time, stash it in the fridge and reheat when time to serve. It's wonderful with grilled meats and chicken as well as ham.

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Simple Barbeque Baked Beans

Serves 8

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  • 4 slices baconPork & Beans - 350.jpg
  • 2/3 cup finely diced onion
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans pork and beans with tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
  • 6 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook bacon in a medium skillet until browned and crisp. Move bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, saving drippings. Sauté onion in drippings until soft and golden colored. Remove pan from heat. Drain excess drippings.

Add remaining ingredients, excluding cooked bacon. Stir well. Pour into a casserole dish which has been spritzed with baking spray. Bake, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Remove from oven and top with crumbled bacon.

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Win a $40 Prize Package to Put You on the Path to Better Health

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Bob and I have stepped up our fitness routine lately. Eating right and exercising have always been important. But those healthy habits become an obsession when you've survived both prostate and breast cancer, see the big 6-0 marker looming ahead and have a 40-year high school reunion on the calendar. (I've got to get in shape before July!).

That's why we're eating more vegetables and trying to walk at least 10,000 steps daily. I aiso strive to climb 50 flights of stairs every day. Whew!

RB Cran Picture 200.jpgWant to join us in our drive to get fit? We've teamed up with the folks at Kellogg's to put one lucky reader on the path to better health. We're giving away a $40 prize package filled with good-for-you options, including: 

  • 1 box Kellogg's Raisin Bran with Cranberries cereal
  • A red bowl to try your cereal in
  • A pedometer to encourage you to keep moving

I'm wild about dried cranberries. I adore them in cookies, salads, quick breads or straight from the package. So I couldn't wait to try the new cranberry-infused version of my long-time favorite cereal. It blends crispy bran flakes made from whole grain wheat with two scoops of delicious raisons and cranberries for a flavor that's both tart and sweet. Yum!

Besides tasting great, this breakfast delight is packed with nutrition. Every serving of Kellogg's Raisin Bran with Cranberries contains five grams of fiber and an excellent source of vitamin E. I like eating it dry because the crunch is addictive. But add a half cup of skim milk and you also get vitamin D, 15 percent of your daily value of calcium and 8 grams of protein.

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You could step up your fitness routine FREE thanks to the folks at Kellogg's. They've joined us to give away a $40 prize package to put you on the path to better health, including: 

  • 1 box Kellogg's Raisin Bran with Cranberries cereal - Makes a delicious way to start your day and provides an excellent source of fiber and antioxidant vitamin E. 
  • A bright red bowl - Says it's smart to eat a healthy breakfast.
  • A Sportline Snapshot Pedometer - Measures your steps, speed, distance walked, calories burned and active time, encouraging you to keep moving. 

Rasin Bran - 600.jpgTo enter the contest, email your name, mailing address (no PO Boxes please) and phone number to Enter@BoomerBrief.com by April 9 and put "Kellogg's Raisin Bran with Cranberries Blogger Giveaway" in the subject line. Click "Read More" for the official rules.


 

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Know someone battling cancer? Baylor Health Care System's Sammons Says... cancer blog is a great place to go for help. Here, you'll find information, resources, physicians, support groups and just about everything you need to help you navigate your way through this illness.

  


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Senior Forums is a great place to get the news and share views on everything from hobbies and healthcare, to food, family & travel. 

3CouponCode is home to thousands of the latest money-saving coupons and deals.

Matt Drudge gets the goods and his site ain't bad either. 

The Huffington Post is the gold standard of political blogs.

You don't have to live in Dallas to enjoy D Magazine.

If The Onion doesn't make you laugh, you're already dead.

It's a Daily Beast and Tina Brown knows how to tame it.

If you're a Mom, or even thinking about it, check out Heather Armstrong's blog.

Dog is man's best friend, but Dr. Marty Becker and Gina Spadafori are dog's best friends. Their pet blog is the best on the net. 

A Baby Boomer Woman's Life After 50 always makes us laugh and think.

The Women On the Web have some terrific contributors.

If you love old films, Turner Classic Movies should be your home page.

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