September 2014 Archives

Daily Distraction

We Can't Name Our Child THAT!

By Bob on September 30, 2014 4:51 AM | Read More

He'd be the butt of every joke.

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Don't Try This At Home

The Wine Country: Shaken Not Disturbed

By Bob on September 29, 2014 4:38 AM | Read More

Charlotte and I took off for the Wine Country a few weeks back with some of our best friends. We make the grape escape as soon as my liver dries out from the last one every couple of years. 

Each time we go, we see something different. Discover wines we never heard of. And enjoy a respite from the hellish summer weather of our beloved Texas (I'm a native Texan, so I can call it hellish. It's printed right there on my birth certificate). 

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The Wine Country's gotten kind of a bad rap recently due to the Aug. 24th 6.0 earthquake that caused something north of $50 million in damage. The good news is that in spite of the loss, the people are friendly (we single out a couple below who definitely aren't) and they welcome our support of their industry.


If you're planning a trip to the left coast any time soon, here are some recommendations in the Russian River Valley (Healdsburg, CA).

 If the sun's out, you'll probably find them asleep on the front porch.

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Here's the Dish

Spicy Chipotle Chicken Tacos

By Charlotte on September 26, 2014 6:35 AM | Read More

Want a no-fuss weeknight meal with a little kick? Try these chicken-filled tortillas from Brandon Schulz's The Taco Revolution (Skyhorse Publishing, April 2014, $24.95).

These terrific, shredded-chicken tacos get their awesomet flavor from a simple, homemade chipotle-and-tomato salsa.

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Daily Distraction

What's Worse Than Working for Wal-Mart?

By Bob on September 23, 2014 4:47 AM | Read More

I'm guessing, this:

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Guest Room

Simple Lemon Ricotta Cracked Cheesecake

By Charlotte on September 17, 2014 6:36 AM | Read More

By Lei Shishak, author Beach House Baking

I've never understood the paranoia over cracked cheesecakes. In fact, I grew up seeing so many disfigured cheesecakes that I thought they were supposed to have cracks in them. Well, my friends, I'm proud to share with all of you my recipe for lemon ricotta cheesecake that will meet your cracked expectations. This cheesecake has the perfect punch of lemon and a moderately dense texture. Yes, one could bake this cheesecake to be crack-less, but what fun is that? A waterbath for three hours? Who has time for that? I'd much rather be at the beach.

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In the Mirror

In the Mirror: 13 Eye-Opening Treatments Under $100

By Charlotte on September 16, 2014 6:11 AM | Read More

Your eyes never lie. But with the right help, they might at least stretch the truth when it comes to revealing your age.

So it's important to pamper your peepers with smart pick-me-ups like these. They do a number on getting rid of wrinkles, dark circles, thinning lashes and everything in-between. Besides costing under $100, they all tackle several top eye concerns at once. Some are for sensitive types, others are all natural and some are as close as your nearest drugstore

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Daily Distraction

Is There Life After Death?

By Bob on September 16, 2014 4:35 AM | Read More

Easy way to find out...

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Don't Try This At Home

From Cannes to Cranfills Gap - How I Spent My Summer

By Bob on September 15, 2014 4:54 AM | Read More

Now that summer's over (not officially, but over in that Target-is-pulling-out-Halloween-and-Thanksgiving-decorations kind of way), I'm sitting here wondering where the time went. 

It seems like only yesterday we were baking in 102-degree heat and floating in the pool. 

Wait. That was yesterday. 

Before it slips away entirely, let's everyone take out a clean sheet of notebook paper and tell the class what we did this summer. I'll go first.

How I Spent My Summer    

Triple-Threat Cruise
Charlotte and I celebrated our TRIPLE ANNIVERSARY with a cruise. For those of you doing the math, that doesn't mean we've been married three years. Nope. We celebrated: 1) My 10-year anniversary as a cancer survivor; 2) Charlotte's 5-year anniversary as a cancer survivor; and, 3) Our 36th wedding anniversary.

Yes, we Cannes and we did.Cannes-600.jpg

We took our favorite cruise line (Regent) from Athens to Barcelona and celebrated across the Mediterranean. Nobody - and I mean that literally - NOBODY got the whole TRIPLE ANNIVERSARY concept. But that was OK with us. When you're a cancer survivor, you've earned the right to celebrate every milestone like crazy. And that's exactly what we did. In the words of Ricky Bobby, we made that celebration our bitch.

I lean towards never going back to Pisa.Pisa-300.jpg


Every port in the south of France.


Pisa (of Leaning Tower fame). Don't waste your time.


 ...evolve into a mutant species that will take over the earth.

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Comfort Corner

Comfort Corner: Pecan-Topped Peach and Blueberry Crisp

By Charlotte on September 12, 2014 6:06 AM | Read More

Things have been pretty peachy in Colleywood lately. Regular trips to the farmer's market have kept our fridge full of some of the most flavorful Texas beauties ever! We've also picked up some wonderful fresh blueberries there. So last week, I decided to combine these two faves in a delicious new dessert.

The filling for this soul-satisfying sweet includes peaches, blueberries, lemon juice and a little bit of sugar.

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Daily Distraction

Elvis Has Left the Building

By Bob on September 9, 2014 4:30 AM | Read More

Slowly...very slowly.

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Here's the Dish

Favorite Chicken Queso Dip

By Charlotte on September 5, 2014 6:34 AM | Read More

Bob says a dash of hot sauce makes most anything better. He adds it to Chick-fil-A sandwiches, ketchup, even pimento cheese.

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Guest Room

Speedy Chicken with Sweet and Hot Peppers

By Charlotte on September 3, 2014 6:01 AM | Read More

By Nancie McDermott, author 300 Best Stir-Fry Recipes

Bursting with vitamin C and ablaze with color, sweet bell peppers make an ideal ingredient in stir-fry dishes. You could use red, yellow and orange bell peppers, or just green ones from your summer garden. Jalapeños make a hot but not blazing spicy note here. If you want more heat, use fresh green or red serrano chile peppers, and if you want a fiery dish, use tiny Thai chiles instead.

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Daily Distraction

Safe Sex?

By Bob on September 2, 2014 4:26 AM | Read More

This theory has some holes in it...

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

Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

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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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