August 2014 Archives

Just Desserts

Just Desserts: Skinny Lemon Cream Pie

By Charlotte on August 26, 2014 12:18 PM | Read More

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.

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Daily Distraction

Best Teacher Ever

By Bob on August 26, 2014 4:23 AM | Read More

Or not...maybe not...screw it, who am I kidding?

8-26 - Best teacher ever-600.jpg

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Don't Try This At Home

Jurassic Classic

By Bob on August 25, 2014 4:46 AM | Read More

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.

Dinosaur Valley State Park on the Paluxy RiverDino Valley State Park-600.jpg

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.



Take this job and shove it. 

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Why Weight?

5 Things Keeping You From Losing Weight

By Bob on August 25, 2014 4:44 AM | Read More

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?"

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You Could Go Grill Crazy with this Hot Freebee from T-Fal

By Charlotte on August 22, 2014 1:01 AM | Read More

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.)

You can close the lid on this steak and not check it again until T-Fal's OptiGrill indicates the beef has reached the desired degree of doneness. Make mine well done, please!

Steak Ready to Cook-600.jpgWe 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.

OptiGrill New Image 350.jpgYou 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.


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Guest Room

4-Ingredient Beer Can Chicken

By Charlotte on August 20, 2014 6:10 AM | Read More

By Arthur Aguirre, author America's Best Barbeque

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.

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Daily Distraction

And Then One of Them Went to Broadway

By Bob on August 19, 2014 4:18 AM | Read More

Guess which one...

8-19 - And One of Them Went to  Broadway-600.jpg

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In the Mirror

15 Must-Try Beauty Multitaskers under $120

By Charlotte on August 15, 2014 6:01 AM | Read More

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.

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Daily Distraction

Safety First

By Bob on August 12, 2014 4:16 AM | Read More

Or maybe it's last...I forget.

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Playing Favorites

Aperol Spritz

By Bob on August 11, 2014 4:10 AM | Read More

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.

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Don't Try This At Home

Just Beachy

By Bob on August 11, 2014 3:13 AM | Read More

Beach Time Painting - 600.jpgCharlotte 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...

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Guest Room

Grab-and-Go Couscous Salad Stuffed Shells

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

By Dan Whalen, author Stuffed: The Ultimate Comfort Food Cookbook

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!

Couscous Salad Stuffed Shells make a great side dish for a barbecue.

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Daily Distraction

This Restaurant Will Never Make It

By Bob on August 5, 2014 4:12 AM | Read More

'cause they serve too many carbs.

8-5 - Too Many Carbs-446.jpg

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Just Desserts

Just Desserts: Prize-Winning Blueberry-Raspberry Pie

By Charlotte on August 5, 2014 1:58 AM | Read More

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.

This two-crust treat features eight cups of fruit surrounded by an oh-so-flakey homemade crust.

Pie - Best One - 600.jpgAlthough it's not difficult, you do need to think ahead when making this family-pleasing dessert. For me, it was a three-day dance because you do a little, wait and then do a little more.

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Remotely Possible

Price Check!

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

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.

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Comfort Corner

Easiest-Ever Barbecue and Baked Beans

By Charlotte on August 1, 2014 1:59 AM | Read More

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.

Stubb's six new, frozen, heat-and-eat meats and sides have real, made-in-Texas taste.

Frozen Line Group shot 600.jpg

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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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