My mom Patsy often snacked on fresh lemons as a girl. Although we've never tried that, Bob and I share her love of their tangy citrus taste.
Or not...maybe not...screw it, who am I kidding?
I've been a part of the American workforce since I was 15.
Like most Baby Boomers, I've had jobs I've loved and plenty I've hated. My freshman year in college I worked as a "litter critter" picking up trash and doing odd jobs at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas.
Every park has a "hook" - something that brings tourists in the gate. It may be a beautiful lake or steaming geyser, but there's something that makes that park stand out.
At Dinosaur Valley State Park, that hook is dinosaurs.
Not actual real, live dinosaurs. Dinosaur Valley isn't a wealthy Texas oilman's version of Jurassic Park. Its main attraction is dinosaur tracks deposited in the soft limestone 113 million years ago by Tyrannosaurus Rex and his closest friends.
That summer I joined some of my closest friends as we picked up 50-gallon steel trash cans filled with watermelon rinds and dirty diapers in the 100-degree Texas heat. The smell was so powerful I learned to apply Vicks VapoRub beneath my nose before heading out on trash duty twice a day. It was the only way I could stomach the stench.
When we weren't hauling trash, mowing grass or scouring bathrooms until they sparkled like the Hope Diamond, we cleaned dinosaur tracks.
We've all been there. There's nothing more frustrating than working out and not seeing any results. How many times have you wanted to yell at your body, "How many effin' miles do I have to walk on this treadmill before I see a difference?"
Grilling can mean you need two cooks. Around our house, Bob takes charge of the chicken, steak or other entree-of-the-day in the backyard while I fuss over sides and sweets in the kitchen.
But wouldn't it be nice to have a simple way to get grilled goodness indoors? The folks at T-Fal want to give one lucky reader a chance to do just that. They've joined us to give away their new, portable grilling sensation, OptiGrill. It automatically grills food to the desired degree of doneness, from rare to well-done, so you get perfect results every time. (Check the end of this post for details on how to enter the contest.)
We tried this countertop hero along with T-Fal's recipe for Montreal Grilled Steak and Potatoes last week. But before we talk about that Texas perfect-pairing, I've got to tell you more about our Boomer-licious prize.
Stainless steel with two black, die-cast aluminum grilling plates, OptiGrill is large enough to cook about four sandwiches at once. I know I promised you steak but I normally save my indoor grill for grilled cheese, Paninis and other bread-based delights so that's important.
You could go grill crazy with T-Fal's new OptiGrill. This smart indoor grilling sensation automatically cooks food to the desired degree of doneness, from rare to well done, so you get perfect results every time.
Click "Read More" for details on how you can win this hot freebee ($179.99 value). Contest* ends Sept. 11.
Beer can chicken is probably the easiest of recipes, but turns out great flavors every time. The key to beer can chicken is to make sure that the skin turns out crispy.
Guess which one...
My sister Pam is the queen of multitasking. She often handles email, grocery shops and cooks dinner while on the phone with me, never missing a beat in the conversation.
Or maybe it's last...I forget.
I discovered a new cocktail when Charlotte and I were in Italy: Aperol Spritz. I'd never heard of Aperol until we were in Europe, but it's the most popular liquor you've never heard of.
Charlotte and I have been spending a little time at the beach this summer and enjoying every minute of it. This is what our beach hangout looks like to me when I get nuclear-strength Bullfrog SPF 50 suntan lotion in my eyes. Here's what the beach wildlife looks like under the same influence...
I've been making this couscous pasta salad for years, but it was only after I began putting it into shells that people started asking for the recipe. I didn't change a thing about the salad itself, but the presentation caused people to really be impressed by it! I think what's great about serving it this way is that people at a cookout can just grab their pre-portioned amount and dig in. You can even eat it with your hands if you forgot to grab a fork!
'cause they serve too many carbs.
With berries in season, Bob and I keep our fridge filled with fresh blueberries. Besides tasting great, they're loaded with antioxidants and fiber, are belly friendly (1 cup has only about 85 calories) and can even help keep your memory sharp. Bonus!
Bob mixes them with Greek yogurt for breakfast. I munch on 'em at lunch. And we both enjoy blueberry sweets like this prize-winning pie after dinner.
Want to bake like a champ? It's simple with this berry-licious recipe from America's Best Harvest Pies (Skyhorse Publishing, Inc., Oct. 1, 2013, $11.95). This two-crust treat puts a tart-but-sweet blueberry-raspberry filling with eight cups fruit in a made-from-scratch crust that cries "HOMEMADE" with every bite.
Charlotte's the shopper at Boomer Brief HQ. She never leaves the house without her trusty coupons and she can smell a deal before they even put out the sign. She's GREAT at shopping. Me? Not so much.
Like most Texans, Bob and I need a regular barbecue fix. Make it chopped beef or pulled pork sandwiches with baked beans and a spicy sauce (extra for me, please!) and we're happy campers.
I've been known to spend all day slow roasting pork to perfection. But who has that kind of time during the week? That's why the folks at Stubb's Legendary Bar-B-Q want to give one lucky reader a quick and easy route to smokehouse flavor ... FREE. From Texas (of course!), these Austin-based barbecue gurus have joined us to give away a $30-value coupon bundle good for an assortment of fast, cookout-inspired favorites.
You could enjoy delicious smokehouse flavor at home FREE thanks to Stubb's Legendary Bar-B-Q. They've joined us to give away a $30-value coupon bundle good for any:
Click "Read More" for details on this appetizing prize package and information on how to enter. Contest* ends Aug. 21.