March 2014 Archives

Don't Try This At Home

Cowtown Abbey

By Bob on March 31, 2014 2:39 AM | Read More

When Charlotte and I moved from the mean streets of Grapevine to Colleywood almost 20 years ago, we pulled a major Movin' On Up (cue Weezy Jefferson). Excuse me. The Sherman Hemsley clause in my blogger contract requires that I wait 'till Weezy's finished with her song.

OK, I'm back.

We expected a certain amount of...what's the word...pretentiousness when we moved.

You should've seen Grapevine before William D. Tate was Mayor...
1-Zombie Apocalypse-600.jpgColleywood is much nicer...that's our place on the right.

2-Boomer Brief Neighborhood-600.jpgIt is COLLEYWOOD after all, but we came prepared.

For example, I always carry a jar of Gray Poupon mustard with me in case one of my neighbors needs it. And I gave up Wal-Mart for Target (to be honest, the knife fights in the Wal-Mart parking lot were getting boring, so it was really just a matter of time). 

After ALL THAT EFFORT, I'm sad to report that Charlotte and I have just been handed the ultimate insult. Our neighbors, Lord and Lady HubbaBubba (not their real names) have decided NOT to invite us to the wedding of their only daughter.

Let's release the hounds on them Mummy. Oh Lord HubbaBubba, I do enjoy a show!Lord & Dowager Countess-600.jpg

These folks really are our neighbors. Our backyard fence backs up to THEIR backyard fence. The only difference being that their backyard is approx. 24 ACRES (this is Colleywood and this is not a joke). 

Their place is freakin' Cowtown Abbey.

Avert your eyes lest ye be horse whipped!

downton-abbey-church-bazaar-600.jpgThe invitation snub I could almost forgive (Lord HubbaBubba has clearly forgotten the time I came to his rescue with a jar of Gray Poupon, but that's mustard under the bridge).

What really burns my biscuits (pardon my French) is that he's erected a PRIVACY WALL to block our commoner eyes from basking in the beauty of the wedding. 

6 Reasons Why Lord & Lady HubbaBubba Should Invite Bob & Charlotte to the Royal Wedding

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Pick Up a Pair of Foster Grant Readers ... FREE

By Charlotte on March 28, 2014 6:18 AM | Read More

I admire my brother David but we're polar opposites. A big DIYer, he's tackled everything from changing tires in the rain to installing hardwood floors to handling our Uncle Buddy's taxes. I didn't get that gene so guess who I call for advice when there's a hiccup around our house. 

David also remembers things from our childhood that I swear he's making up. And he's always had the best vision in the family. At least, that was true until recently. 

Today, like most Boomers except Bob, we both depend on glasses. Without our trusty cheaters, everything from text messages to laundry labels can be as puzzling as a James Patterson mystery. (I'll never figure out why Banana Republic thinks anyone can read white letters on a cream background but that's another post!)  


Sugar Plum with case & cloth[1] 600.jpgYou could pick up a trendy pair of prescription-quality reading glasses ... FREE. The eyewear experts at Foster Grant have joined us to give away 4 pair of their Boomerlicious, new Crystal Vision readers in your choice of men's or women's styles ($29.99 value each). 

Read on for details on how to enter. Contest * ends April 17!

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Remotely Possible

3 Great Apps For The Road

By Bob on March 27, 2014 4:07 AM | Read More

Now that Spring has finally sprung (for most of us...our son Cole is still shivering in the Big Apple), it's time to think vacation. For those of you contemplating your next trip, I've found three apps that'll make your journey easier - and even a lot more fun.

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Guest Room

Splendid Eggplant Parmesan

By Charlotte on March 26, 2014 1:56 AM | Read More

By Kate Gosselin, reality TV personality and author Love Is in the Mix

A few years ago, I went searching for a great eggplant recipe after seeing excessive amounts of the purple stuff at my local vegetable grower's stand. I didn't know what to do with eggplant, so I challenged myself to buy a few and make something yummy.

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Fridge Finds

Fridge Finds: 2 Fun-tastic, Zero-Calorie Ways to Boost Water's Flavor

By Charlotte on March 25, 2014 12:33 PM | Read More

I know I need to drink water. Besides supporting your immune system, water can help you lose weight, smooth your skin (there's no easier anti-aging treatment!) even encourage your hair to grow faster.

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Daily Distraction

Or, I Guess You Could Just Scream

By Bob on March 25, 2014 4:13 AM | Read More

It's good to have options.

3-25- Yell-385.jpg

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Here's the Dish

Twice Baked Potatoes for 1 or 2

By Charlotte on March 21, 2014 6:19 AM | Read More

Bob and I have been hooked on twice baked potatoes since year 1 of our marriage. That was 1978, we lived in Aggie land (otherwise known as College Station, TX), and going out for steak and stuffed potatoes was one of our favorite rituals.

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Playing Favorites

John Hiatt

By Bob on March 20, 2014 4:37 AM | Read More

I know that many of you have been fans of singer/songwriter John Hiatt for a long time. I'm a new convert to the certifiable American legend, thanks to "discovering" him through Pandora.

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Daily Distraction

One Letter Makes ALL the Difference

By Bob on March 18, 2014 4:05 AM | Read More

I bet she loves her baby brothel, too.

3-18 - Whore Family-469.jpg


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Guest Room

Try Meatless Mondays this Month

By Charlotte on March 17, 2014 11:15 AM | Read More

By Cynthia Ramnarace for Healthy Starts Made Simple

What if, just one day a week, you cut out the beef, chicken and pork that are usually the centerpiece of your plate? According to the Meatless Monday campaign, run in association with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, reducing your meat intake has a host of health benefits. If you eat less saturated fat (the type found in meat) and more polyunsaturated fat (found in nuts and vegetable oils), you'll reduce your risk of heart disease. Cutting back on meat may also reduce your risk of diabetes, could help you lose weight and help you live longer overall. So, why not give it a try? Here are ways to cut the meat out of all three meals of the day.

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Don't Try This At Home

An Offer We Couldn't Refuse

By Bob on March 17, 2014 4:59 AM | Read More

Since we started this blog four years ago, Charlotte and I have been invited to some pretty cool events. It's understandable, really. People who make things want us to share them with our reader millions of fans. So, we (sometimes) participate. 

I know what you're saying, "Bob...don't you just love the glamor and pageantry of hobnobbing with celebrities?" I have two answers to that question: 1) I've never hobbed a nob, and if I did Charlotte would never let me write about it on this blog; and 2) Where'd you hide the remote? 

Seriously, I'll take a TCM movie, box of Triscuit, some Cracker Barrel Vermont Cheddar and a bottle of wine over just about anything I've been invited to in the last 15 years. That includes most weddings, ALL showers (baby/wedding/house/rain) and 9 out of 10 family functions. Relax, I'm not 100% curmudgeon. There have been a couple of funerals I've enjoyed for reasons we'll cover later in the semester.

Bob, Francis Ford Coppola, Charlotte II - 600.jpgCharlotte and I with the Godfather his own self. I kid you not, after this picture was snapped he held my bearded face in his hands, looked deep in my eyes and said: "Some day, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, consider this photograph a gift on my daughter's wedding day."

So, what's it take to blast me outta my bean bag chair?

An offer I can't refuse.

Like the one we received from our friends at Francis Ford Coppola Winery. The Coppola folks were in town promoting their wines and invited us to the Lakewood Theater in Dallas to check 'em out. As an added bonus, The Godfather Himself, Francis Ford Coppola, would be talking about his wines and his career.

Lakewood Theater-500.jpgIs that a marquee in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me? 

That offer hit The Boomer Brief Trifecta: Wine, Film & Film Legend. What's not to like? The five-time Academy Award winner told the story of his career from filmmaker to winemaker and back again for almost 90 minutes.

Here are some things he told us that you may not know:

I bring to my life a certain amount of mess.

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Why Weight?

3 Heart-Healthy Foods You'll Love

By Bob on March 12, 2014 4:05 AM | Read More

As cancer survivors Charlotte and I try to watch our diet, so we maintain a pretty low-fat plan around our house (except for pizza and the occasional bean dip night). I have to watch my cholesterol, because I have a family history (grandfather) of heart disease.

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Daily Distraction

Nothing to See Here

By Bob on March 11, 2014 4:02 AM | Read More

Move along...

3-11 - Property Not For Sale-500.jpg

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Comfort Corner

Comfort Corner: Simple Sliced Meatball Panini

By Charlotte on March 7, 2014 6:48 AM | Read More

Many weekends, Bob and I live on Italian food (pizza, pizza!). We're also wild about hot sandwiches and anything quick and easy.

So it was love-at-first-bite with these great grilled subs from Tiffany Collins' 200 Best Panini Recipes (Robert Rose Inc., Oct. 15, 2013, $24.95).

This easy, 3-cheese Panini recipe is perfect for 2.

SlicedMeatballPanini 600.jpg

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Remotely Possible

3 Fantastic Photo Apps

By Bob on March 6, 2014 4:42 AM | Read More

I've been taking photos since I got my first box camera circa 1960. Back then, photography was infinitely more complicated and the results were often less than memorable.

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Guest Room

Home-Style Pork Cabbage Rolls

By Charlotte on March 5, 2014 1:00 AM | Read More

By Sanford D'Amato, Chef and author of Good Stock

This recipe is inspired by an incredible stuffed cabbage dish that my wife Angie and I had a few years back at Le Florimond in Paris. It is stuffed with seasoned pork forcemeat braised to a rustic turn, and served with a slightly tart broth that melds right into the cabbage. And if someone in the house should complain about the smell when you cook the rolls, send them out for dinner and you'll have more for yourself.

Pork-stuffed cabbage rolls with slightly tart tomato-bacon sauce. (Photo © Kevin J. Miyazaki)

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Daily Distraction

He's Just Lucky His First Name's Not Sonic

By Bob on March 4, 2014 3:50 AM | Read More

Poor guy just got tired of having to trim off the extra.

3-4 - Idendity Crisis-478.jpg


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Don't Try This At Home

Easy English Muffin Pizza

By Bob on March 3, 2014 11:42 AM | Read More

One of the things you learn after almost 36 years of marriage is the delicate ballet of who-does-what. The dance has changed with Charlotte and me over the years, but the one thing that's been a constant is that Friday and Sunday night dinners are my territory. 

That doesn't mean I channel my inner Bobby Flay (couldn't even if I tried) but it does mean I'm responsible for the meal. Charlotte's OK with me calling our favorite neighborhood pizza guys iFratelli or taking her out to a neighborhood restaurant. But, when I don't choose either of those options, I fall back on the handful of tried-and-true recipes that we love.

Easy English Muffin Pizza

English Muffin Pizza - 600.jpg

We love pizza, so I came up with this recipe during the early days of our marriage. We liked it back then because all you really need to pull it off is English muffins, pizza sauce and provolone cheese.

Over the years I've tweaked it, spiced it up and perfected it into the recipe below. Yes, it is spicy, but it doesn't have to be. If you don't want it "Texas style" then pardner, just omit the jalapenos and green chilies. We'll keep it our little secret, OK? 



Easy English Muffin Pizza Recipe


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In the Mirror

In the Mirror: Terrific Treatments for Toughening Your Tresses

By Charlotte on March 2, 2014 1:54 AM | Read More

Going gray is the least of my worries. At 56 (practically 57, yikes!), my once-blonde hair has gotten darker with no trace of silver just yet. It came back brown after a life-saving double mastectomy and 6 rounds of chemotherapy in 2009 ... but that's another story.

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Red Thong Strong: Girlfriends Little Secrets to Smoothing Lifes Panty Lines
Guest Room

Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

ChickenBurritoBowlEverydayDiabetes 600.jpg

By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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Playing Favorites

Windy City

It's been almost 18 years since Alison Krauss gave us a solo album, but the wait is over with Windy City. The release (her fifth solo studio album) features ten covers of classic songs (and some bonus tracks) she picked with producer Buddy Cannon.

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