More anticipation

A friend told me that the anticipation had died down since I didn't immediately say what my big news was. Well, that might be the case.  That's OK.  I'm still excited.

And I'm still not going to say.  But I'll give you a few hints - and if you guess correctly, then you can be excited with me!

Hint Number One: There is a giveaway associated with this Big News.

Hint Number Two: Some of you already know what this Big News is.

Hint Number Three: I've talked about this before.  Now it's finally time.

If you automatically jump to "Hooray, there's produce in her garden!" - you are a dear friend, and yes, I will give you some cayenne peppers that have just turned red.  But that's not THE big news.

Keep those drum rolls rolling ...


Food Books

I got burned out on a book this spring.  I read, and read, and read, and it STILL took me six months to finish what I thought was going to be an easy read.  I just wasn't really into it, but I felt so committed that I couldn't give up.  Thankfully, I have a friend who helped to redeem me from the pit by suggesting two awesome books that she had enjoyed.  I highly recommend them if you need something lighter and maybe a little different.

The first is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  It's narrated in letters back and forth between all of the main characters.  I laughed out loud a couple of times, and cried too, and then cheered.  Good vacation reading, indeed.

I just started the second one but I can already tell I'm going to like it.  It is A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg.  I'm way inspired by this one.  Each chapter is about people or things she loves, and ends with a recipe that ties it all together.  I'm inspired, and I'm only three chapters in.
If you're looking for something to try out - and if you need something light and easily digestible - try these out!


Revisiting Oldies - Southwest Pork in Black Bean Sauce

I'm feeling a little nostalgic - family vacation in a location that has seen bits and pieces of my family for about 30 years will do that to me.  We've fit in everything from breakfast in bed to ukulele songs, and it's been a fun new twist on nostalgia.

Everyone's taken a different night to prepare dinner for the rest of the group - so I pulled out a favorite that I posted when I first started blogging, that I still love to make when I need food for a crowd.  Southwest Pork in Black Bean Sauce is tasty, easy, and makes enough for leftovers (very important when you're considering the company).

I've made this with chicken or steak instead of pork, and I've adjusted the amounts of corn, tomatoes, and black beans depending on what I have on hand.  It's a very forgiving, flexible recipe.

So, here goes - SWPiBBS (or, Southwest Pork in Black Bean Sauce)
1 to 1 1/2 lb boneless pork loin chops
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground chili pepper
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. paprika
2 (10-oz) cans mild diced tomatoes with green chilies (I use Rotel or store brand equivalent)
1 (15-oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8-oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 Tbsp. oil
1 small red onion, chopped
2 cups cooked rice
Garnish: grated cheese, chopped fresh cilantro, lime wedges, sour cream, chopped avocado or guacamole, flour tortillas

Cut pork into 1/2 inch cubes.  Combine cumin, chili pepper, garlic salt, and paprika in a large ziploc bag or bowl with lid.  Remove 2 tsp. cumin mixture and reserve.  Add pork to bag or blow, seal, and shake to coat.  Set meat aside.
Stir together reserved cumin mixture, diced tomatoes, black beans, and corn in a large bowl.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add pork and red onion, and saute 6-8 minutes or until pork is browned.  Stir in tomato mixture, bring to a boil, and stir in the cooked rice.  Cover and remove from heat.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with grated cheese and cilantro before serving OR spoon mixture into flour tortillas and have each person garnish as desired.


big news

No, I'm not pregnant.

No, we're not moving.

The Mr. didn't get a new job, I didn't get a job, and we don't have another pet.

But there's a big announcement coming, and I wanted to drum up some excitement.



Quilting Bee - now the fun begins!

Just wanted to post a little update about the quilting bee - I have an awesome, perfect set of nine squares to work with!  Oddly enough, I only got one locally (thanks, Rebekah!) and the rest came from out of state.  Rebekah roped her mom into making two squares (hurrah!), my mom (sweet, dear woman) made two, a teaching buddy made one, and the remaining three are from a mother-daughter-daughter's friend trio I got to catch up with this week.  I am so excited to start putting them together.

I really want to show pictures now.

But I will wait.  You'll get a surprise.  I think August 1 will be the unveiling date.  Does that sound reasonable?