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April 2014 Archives

Daily Distraction

A Sign You Need a New Sign

By Bob on April 29, 2014 4:33 AM | Read More

His next sign read: "Going Out of Business."

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Don't Try This At Home

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo with Tequila Herradura

By Bob on April 28, 2014 4:03 AM | Read More

I know a lot of the U.S. celebrates Cinco de Mayo. But down here in Texas it's not as much celebration as it is reason to drink copious amounts of tequila, eat our special brand of Tex-Mex cooking and throw a party. 

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Hmmm...let's see...great tequila, wonderful Tex-Mex food...even a curmudgeon like me will attend a party like that. The folks at Tequila Herradura must've known it when they invited us to a tequila tasting celebration at the Christopher Martin Gallery in Dallas. 

Every Cinco de Mayo celebration should include at least one of theseHerradura Tequila-600.jpg

I was all, "Hell Yeah!" and Charlotte was all, "Use your inside voice, please." 

**hell yeah**

So we went. 


 We partied like it was 1862...

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Playing Favorites

Courtney Barnett

By Bob on April 24, 2014 4:43 AM | Read More

Our son Cole is our music Sherpa. He guides us up through the dreck and dross of pop culture by introducing us to new artists we'd never find on our own. Our most recent mountain-top experience came by way of Charlotte's birthday (yes, she's finally 30, so stop the jokes about me robbing the cradle) when he gave her the new album from Courtney Barnett.

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Guest Room

The Secret to Avoiding Pollen Allergies this Spring

By Charlotte on April 23, 2014 6:35 AM | Read More

By Dr. Susanne Bennett, Natural Allergy Expert

As we get older, it's natural for many of the compounds in our environment--dander, pollen, dust--that didn't affect us when we were younger to have a bigger impact on our allergy health. As our immune systems wear down, it becomes more difficult to process allergens, making a smog-filled day or a visit to a moldy house a nightmare. And since spring is now in full bloom, you're going to want to be especially vigilant of one allergen in particular: pollen.

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Why Weight?

4 Foods to Help You Lose Weight

By Bob on April 23, 2014 4:22 AM | Read More

When I was in my 20's and 30's I could eat ANYTHING and not gain weight. True story - when Charlotte and I were first married, my waistline was so small **How Small Was It** that I bought my clothes in the boy's dept. at Stripling & Cox. BaDaBOOM! Thank you, I'll be here all week. Tip your waitress.

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Daily Distraction

You'd Have to be Nuts to do This

By Bob on April 22, 2014 4:28 AM | Read More

On the positive side, I hear they're giving away free plastic cones with each removal.

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The List

The List: 11 Mom-Pampering Presents under $150

By Charlotte on April 21, 2014 6:08 AM | Read More

My mother Patsy has trouble sitting still. She's always cooking, cleaning or working in her garden. She's known for fussing over my stepfather Ken, fixing goodies for her neighbors (everything from relaxing Bourbon Slushes to three-layer Coconut Cake) and singing in the church choir. So when Mother's Day rolls around, she's often overdue for some tender loving care.

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Here's the Dish

Here's the Dish: Best-Ever Broccoli Rice Casserole

By Charlotte on April 18, 2014 6:59 AM | Read More

If you're looking for a super side dish for your Easter table, this Broccoli Rice Casserole is a crowd pleaser. Most everyone in our family adores this cheesy concoction so it's always a hit on holidays.

We've been enjoying Broccoli Rice Casserole since one of my brother'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. I also like using Success boil-in-bag rice because it's so easy and one bag gives you the perfect amount for this recipe. But you can use any cooked white rice.  

To simplify my life, I usually cook this sensational side the day before, stash it in the fridge and reheat it before everyone arrives. It's wonderful with ham, fish, turkey, most any main dish. And the leftovers (IF there are any) freeze beautifully. 

This cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole includes water chestnuts for crunch and hot sauce for a little zing.

Broccoli Rice - 600.jpg

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Remotely Possible

Hit Me With Your Best (Buck)shot

By Bob on April 17, 2014 2:13 AM | Read More

Now that Spring is here, I've been looking for a good rugged outdoor wireless speaker. If I'm cranking up Tom Petty or Dwight Yoakum down at the ranch, I need a wireless speaker that can bounce around in a 4-wheel-drive jeep and blast out the tunes.

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Daily Distraction

Rangers Fan or Cubs Fan?

By Bob on April 15, 2014 4:23 AM | Read More

I know which way I'm voting.

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Guest Room

Perfect Prime Rib

By Charlotte on April 14, 2014 6:40 AM | Read More

By Andrew Schloss, author of Cooking Slow

Although pretty much any beef rib roast is referred to informally as prime rib, less than 1 percent of the beef that is produced in the United States is actually officially graded "Prime," and most of that never reaches the retail market. In fact, the "prime" rib you purchase is usually "Choice" grade, which is fine; but if you know a butcher who deals in true Prime meat, this recipe might be an occasion where you want the real thing. The combination of opulent marbling from Prime-level husbandry and lithe tenderness that is the hallmark of slow-roasted meats is hard to top.

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Don't Try This At Home

Snakes On A Plain

By Bob on April 14, 2014 4:41 AM | Read More

Charlotte and I have been redoing the Ranch House now for about a year. It's a definite work in progress, but she's done a great job decorating on a budget and we've even hung curtains without filing divorce papers. 

So, it's all good. 

The biggest challenge we've faced has been letting the various critters in our neck o' the woods know that we're here and we mean bidness. They're welcome to share our little slice of Cranfills Gap paradise so long as they obey The 5 Critter Commandments. 

The 5 Critter Commandments

1. Thou shalt not scare the shit out of me by jumping out of the darkness

2. Thou art not welcome in my house - EVER

3. Thou knows that even if I look cute and cartoon-like, I may be killed if I break commandments #1, #2 and especially #4  

4. Thou shalt not frighten Charlotte

5. Thou knows that if thou art a SNAKE and there is a weapon handy - shotgun, rock, hoe, rocket-propelled grenade launcher - thou will die a very unpleasant death accompanied by the sound of something resembling a three-year-old girl screaming 

I'll take a pair of boots, belt and a nice handbag for Charlotte, please
Snake-533.jpgThe Rattlesnake Whisperer and the reason why we no longer go barefoot at the ranch

The Commandments are non-negotiable, so I was more than a little happy to get a phone call the other day that went something like this: 

Caller: "Mr. Hill, I'm (name redacted to protect the innocent) I was wondering if you'd let me come on to your place and do some rattlesnake huntin'" 

Me: "You want to do WHAT?" 

Caller: "Snakes. I'd like to come on your place with a couple of my friends and hunt rattlesnakes." 

Me: "This some kind of a ranch joke?" 

Caller: "Nope, we like huntin' rattlesnakes. Took over 100 last year and I think we might get some on your place, if you'll let us."

 


Samuel L. Jackson and I share the same thoughts about snakes

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Just Desserts

5-Ingredient, Light Key Lime Pie

By Charlotte on April 11, 2014 11:11 AM | Read More

Key Lime Pie is a spring, summer ... make that every season staple around our house. But some versions pack a meal's worth of calories in one little slice.

 

This Southern Living dish delivers to-die-for Key Lime taste at about half the calories of standard recipes.

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Daily Distraction

A Warning Sign You Can Believe

By Bob on April 8, 2014 4:20 AM | Read More

The things they DON'T teach you in health class.

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Out of the Closet

Out of the Closet: 3 Fab, Feet-Saving Summer Sandals With Style

By Charlotte on April 7, 2014 3:02 PM | Read More

Warmer weather means it's time for new sandals, especially if you're a shoe-aholic like me. (Hello, my name is Charlotte and I can't resist shoes.) I'm lovin' these three, super cute new looks because, besides being right on trend, they're incredibly comfortable.

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Playing Favorites

Mad Men Season 7

By Bob on April 3, 2014 4:12 AM | Read More

If you're late to the Mad Men party like I was to House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, then it's time to catch up. Season 7 of this Emmy-winning series kicks off for its final season April 13th on AMC.

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Why Weight?

5 MORE Diet Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

By Bob on April 2, 2014 4:05 AM | Read More

There are a million ways to sabotage your diet, but there are some easy steps you can take to stay on track. Here are five easy-to-use tips that'll keep you focused.

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Daily Distraction

I've Been Directed Here Many Times

By Bob on April 1, 2014 4:16 AM | Read More

...and you thought I was going to say Hell.

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Red Thong Strong: Girlfriends Little Secrets to Smoothing Lifes Panty Lines
In the Mirror

IT Cosmetics Travel Essentials

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Next weekend, I'm flying to Florida to visit my sister Pam. My mom Patsy is also making the trip but she's driving. That means she has the luxury of taking four suitcases on last count compared to my one. (No, she's not moving in!)

For a split second, I was jealous of all that packing room. Just think how many pairs of shoes I could bring. But no worries, thanks to the anti-aging skincare and beauty pros at IT Cosmetics, I won't need anywhere near that much space. They've come out with convenient, grab-and-go sizes of some of their best sellers.

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Playing Favorites

Bloodline Season 3

If you're a fan of the sensational Netflix series Bloodline, I've got good news and bad news for you. First the bad: Season 3 will be the last of the acclaimed series. The good: You can binge watch it May 26.

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