Monday, January 25, 2016

By the Light

Saturday was our wedding anniversary.  We spent the day in Dubuque, Iowa.  It was our second quick visit to Dubuque, and I have to say, I really like that town -- the bluffs, the river, the architecture.  I need a third visit, an overnight, where I can explore more fully.  I'd like to check out the Shot Tower and ride the Elevator (closed in winter), which is a terrifyingly steep railroad up to a scenic view.  While we didn't get to do much, we were lucky enough to find a terrific place for lunch downtown.  A local recommended a darling little cafe/pub called First and Main.  She also specifically recommended their cheese curds.  She acknowledged that it sounded kind of weird to suggest something so ordinary, but, oh, they were not ordinary at all.  They were the absolutely most amazing, lightly beer-battered, melt-in-your-mouth cheese curds I have ever eaten.  If you're ever in Dubuque . . . .

On the drive home, there was a beautiful sunset.  This is what it looked like at sixty miles an hour.

Then the moon rose.  Many of you saw that moon on Saturday.  I couldn't take my eyes off it; I think I really was a little moonstruck.  Luckily I wasn't driving.  I tried to get a photo of the moon at sixty miles an hour too, but that wasn't working out too well, so finally the husband careened into a side road, and I snapped a quick shot.

More time and camera adjustments would have been better, but we knew Alfie was at home, eagerly awaiting his dinner.  And anyway, this picture is enough to remind me of that enormous moon hitting my eye like a big cheese curd in the sky (or something like that).

Monday, January 11, 2016

Warming Up a Cold Evening

Brrr! Where's that El Nino they promised us this winter? It was four degrees yesterday, so I made a spicy skillet jambalaya to warm us up. I got the recipe from the January issue of Country Living magazine, but I'm sure there are lots of others online. I used chicken andouille sausage, which lowered the fat a little, and added a bit of smoked paprika to up the smokiness of the dish.  It was flavorful, but not too hot.  A warming bowl of jambalaya and later an episode of Downton Abbey -- not bad for a cold, winter evening.

P.S. A digital stove tip: Recently the digital control on my gas stove goofed up. It would not go above 287 degrees. I called the repairman, who came out, unplugged my stove and plugged it back in. Problem solved. Only $76 to unplug the stove. I hope this tip can save someone else a service call charge.