Monday, April 27, 2009

April Showers...May Flowers?

So alas as I'm sure you've noticed, we've been a bit re-miss in the blog-o-sphere as of late. Work demands have kept us quite busy, and I am usually playing catch up with house chores in the few hours we get to wind down in the evenings. NM -- this post is for you! (:

We've recently "moved" outdoors. After weeks of looking, we succumbed to buying some patio furniture. We bought a long table and some benches. We bought a few chairs as well, but put these on the lower patio with the BBQ. Speaking of...we've been out grilling already this year. Burgers, salmon (see my "trick" below...yum!), shrimp, and flank steak. The deep freeze has been raided in recent weeks for some easy dinners on the grill. As to my trick -

Rachel's So Easy You Can't Not Make This Salmon
Marinade (From Cooking Light)
-1:1 Sesame oil and light sodium soy
-splash of something citrusy (I like OJ -- if you fresh squeeze juice - save little bits of pulp)
-crystallized works just fine

Place a fresh fillet in a gallon freezer bag. Add the marinade (enough to more than cover the fillet). Seal bag. Here's the trick....Place in another freezer bag (helps with freshness -- if you had a food sealer/seal-a-meal even better!). Freeze. When you're ready to have your salmon, take out of the freezer and let thaw for ~2 days. This allows time for the marinade to soak into the fish. Take out and grill. So easy and so tender and flaky. Your friends will think you're an amazing gourmet!

ES has been doing a great job around the house lately. He's been pruning the hedges and getting all the beds in order for planting. We put flowers in our large planters a few weeks ago as well as in some smaller pots around the yard. It's really starting to look like spring. Our Pink Star Magnolia flowered, as has our Dogwood. ES is especially proud of the Dogwood. He has nursed it back to health from it's almost death days of last summer (scaly and pretty much on it's last legs) to its full and really vibrant blooms of this year.

I'm anxious to get out in the garden this weekend and plant some vegetable seedlings. We prior owners had tomatoes (we inherited when we moved in). Lots of lots of them. 10 to be exact. We made friends with all the neighbors by taking everyone we could find some vegetables. I think I'm going to diversify this year. Perhaps some lettuce. Pole beans. And yes, tomatoes -- but just 1.


We've also recently been our own version of the economic stimulus plan and purchased a Canon Rebel Xsi. Although we love the little point and shoot camera that we have, the shutter can take up to 10 sec to fire (and we've missed countless shots) and we don't have too much freedom to adjust the picture. We've been looking (and researching) for a long time and finally decided on the Canon. I love it! Very easy to use. I'm still working on the "fancier" modes, but the point and shoot works great. No waiting for the shutter to fire. It goes when you push the button...

Unfortunately, we've run out of hard drive space. In order to get the software for the camera installed, I'd have to pull something off and I haven't decided what that something is going to be. Photos to be updated soon.


We're making plans to head to Banff in several weeks. Off to take our new "toy" out for it's first trip. It's a lot bigger than my point and shoot, so I'm going to have to get used to carrying it around versus putting it in my pocket (the one nice thing about a mini digital point and shoot). We've heard that it's amazing and we're looking forward to seeing it in person. We found a stellar deal on a discount travel site for the hotels (we're in Banff a few nights then Lake Louise for the last two) and the hotel itself matched it. I've been looking at things to do and frankly I'm just excited to take a few days off and enjoy spending some time with ES, given we've both been so busy lately.

Hope to have pictures soon!