Thursday, January 28, 2010

A peek in the past, post 3: The Greatest Halloween Costumes Ever!


My dad, in addition to being a champion gymnast as seen in this post, is an engineer by education who can build and fix anything and who worked for the Coca-Cola Company for more than 25 years. He created these costumes for my brother (the Coke can) and my sister (the Coke Machine) to wear on Halloween in the early 70's. He made himself a large Coke machine with buttons that actually pushed and wore it to trick-or-treat with my brother and sister that year, but I don't have a picture of his costume, unfortunately.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A peek in the past, post 2.


Here are my sister Marian, my cousin Cathy and me in a tree in my grandparents' backyard in South Georgia, circa 1970. Clearly, someone has posed us here for a picture, but my poor sister! I can almost hear the person behind the camera chuckling as he or she decides to snap the photo before rescuing Marian!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A peek in the past, post 1.

I mentioned that my dad had converted over 2000 old slides into digital format and loaded them onto a digital frame that was displayed between our kitchen and den while we were in Jackson Hole. This frame provided hours of entertainment and laughs for us over Christmas. With that many pictures it didn't matter how many times you looked at the frame, you'd see new photos every time.

I downloaded the pictures onto my hard drive and have been sorting through them to share some on Facebook. I plan to post a series of the more amusing ones here.

This is one of me as a baby that we found quite funny. Clearly car seats of the mid-60's were designed with something other than safety in mind!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

What's for dinner: Buffalo Three-Bean Chili


My mother cooked wonderful meals every night while we were in Wyoming over Christmas, and since I've been home, all I have made are things I we had while we were there! Hands down, the favorite at my house is my mom's Buffalo Three-Bean Chili. It makes a ton, but I've made it twice and Hockey Boy and Taylor (the hockey player living with us this school year) and their friends have devoured the leftovers in no time. Coming from my mother, it's a given that this recipe is also pretty healthy.

My friend Kim from 3 Peanuts wrote a post a week ago titled Got Soup? that requested that her readers post their favorite soup recipes and link them on her blog. Well, family, volunteer obligations, generic errands and Valentine Luncheon planning unexpectedly consumed my week, so better late than never, here is my contribution to Kim's collection of soup recipes:

Biba's Buffalo Three-Bean Chili

2 pounds ground bison
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 4-oz. cans chopped green chilies
1 envelope fajita seasoning (Central Market had this in their bulk spice section; I used about an ounce and a half of it)
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 can chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

chopped cilantro
sour cream
grated cheddar cheese

Sauté bison, onions and garlic until cooked. Drain off fat. Stir in other ingredients except lime juice and simmer 25-30 minutes or until ready to serve. Stir in lime juice. Serve toppings on the side.

Should serve at least 12 unless you are feeding very hungry teenage boys!


My mother also fixed this slaw which Robert and I thought was fabulous.

Blue Cheese Slaw

Mix the following 1 hour before dressing:
2 pounds shredded cabbage
4 large carrots, shredded
8 oz. blue cheese crumbles
1 bag Craisins

Dressing (whisk together)

⅓ cup cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon celery seed
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
¾ cup canola oil

Here are my mother's notes: I have never used the Craisins in this recipe. I have no idea how much is 2# shredded cabbage! I buy a head of green and a head of purple cabbage. I then cut up the cabbage, add shredded carrots and refrigerate in a large baggie, using only what I need. The cut up cabbage keeps a long time in the refrigerator. I at least double the dressing recipe - it will keep forever in the refrigerator and is ready when you need it. I don't use as much of the oil either. I double the recipe except for the oil.

Eloise's note: I used the Craisins and loved them! Being the unorganized cook that I am, I did not mix the main ingredients an hour ahead but rather just before I tossed them with the dressing.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Snapshots from Christmas 2009, part III.

A few last pictures from our time at my parents' house in Jackson Hole, Wyoming over Christmas:

More elk! This time we saw a group of females and a few juveniles in our backyard in the middle of the afternoon

Close-up of the elk as they saw us and began to retreat (notice the juvenile with his small antlers in the middle)

We climbed the hill and realized they were part of a huge herd of elk (I really need new lenses for my camera that can accommodate wide angles and close-ups better, seeing as how I come across opportunities for shots like these so often in my regular life - ha!)


I hope you can get an idea of how many elk there were!

Robert and I had fun pulling Vivian around our track on the sled (notice that Baby Sarah came along for the ride)

Amid cries of "Slow down! Too fast!" I think Vivian enjoyed riding on the sled

View of the Grand Tetons from behind the house

My mom's sister also has a home in Jackson Hole. She and some of her family came for dinner one night (left to right: my sister-in-law Megan, me, my Aunt Judy, my mom, my cousin Nancy)

Will, Robert and my Uncle Frank catch a little football

Dinner (Wine bottles are among the elite few containers that are acceptable on the dinner table. My dad's contraption that keeps his cans cold is also exempt)

Nancy's son Spencer and Dots joined us for our dessert of peppermint ice cream pie . Lucky for Dots the Container Police didn't see that Coke can...

My mom and my niece and nephews partook in a spirited game of Bottle Tops

I had fun helping my nephew Matt with the new Harry Potter game he got for his DS

I love my cute little niece! (She is also my goddaughter.)

As you can tell, we had a wonderful Christmas in Wyoming with my parents and my brother and his family. My sister and her family arrived from Georgia the afternoon before we came home, but sadly I neglected to get any pictures with them.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snapshots from Christmas 2009, part II.

Christmas morning 2009
Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Santa has been here!

My 6-year-old nephews had everyone up at 6:00!

Their excitement was contagious to all except an 18-year-old boy who hadn't seen this time of day in quite some time

My brother, armed with his camcorder, documents Christmas morning for posterity

Vivian loves her new *phone* (iPod Touch) and her new copy of her favorite book,
Good Night, Gorilla

Will helps Vivian find a "Dora" video on her *phone*

My mom and I pose with our hot cups of wassail by the tree

Dots likes her new Juicy jacket

Robert and my mom check out the elk in our backyard Christmas morning (one is visible through the door) ***See this post for pictures of the elk***

Matt & Mary Grace play with her new microphone and vacuum cleaner

Will contemplates whether any gift justifies being up at this hour

My sister-in-law Megan and my nephew Jed. Is there anything better than Christmas when you're six?

Vivian LOVED the Zhu Zhu pets that Santa brought Mary Grace

And Mary Grace liked Vivian's phone!

My mom fixed a wonderful beef tenderloin for Christmas dinner (bottles of wine only containers acceptable on the table)

Hope your Christmas was merry too!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Snapshots from Christmas 2009

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

View from the driveway, Christmas Eve

My mom's mantle - guess whose love of Rudolph was the inspiration!

Looking out the front window

Our Christmas tree

The dining room wall

Table set for dinner

Entry hall (apologies already to my mother for not closing the door to the utility room before I took this picture!)

World's cutest girl! My niece Mary Grace on the back deck

Dots with her snowboard

Will (plaid jacket) on the ski lift with friends

Mary Grace & Vivian

Will with my nephew Matt

Kids dinner (oh, horrors - a ketchup bottle and a Coke can on the table! Sorry again, Mom!)

Matt & Will chill out

My brother Jonathan, Robert and Will ready to cheer on the Mustangs in the Hawaii Bowl. SMU won - hooray!

My mother holds court with the grandchildren on Christmas Eve

My mom & dad help Jed and Dots hang their stockings

Mary Grace & my mom

Vivian & me - yes, occasionally I make it out from behind the camera!

My brother & his kids with Dots

Coming up next... Christmas morning!