Wednesday, August 12, 2009


This little hummingbird (about 1 1/2" tall) sat on a branch for several minutes today outside of our office window.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Fabulous Salsas & the Perfect French Omelet

Fire-Roasted Tomato Chipotle Salsa

¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp. virgin olive oil
½ onion, peeled and chopped
2 pounds Roma tomatoes, blackened
4 tsp. finely minced roasted garlic
½ cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
4-6 chipotle chiles en adobo, chopped
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar

1. To blacken the tomatoes, remove the stems and place on a rack under a broiler until the skins blister, crack, and blacken. Do not over-blacken, or a bitter taste will result.
2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat until lightly smoking, add the onion, and sauté until caramelized, about 10 minutes.
3. Transfer the onion, half the blackened tomatoes, and garlic to a food processor or blender, and pulse until finely chopped but not pureed.
4. Add the cilantro and chipotle chiles, and pulse again to mix.
5. Peel, seed, and chop the remaining pound of tomatoes, and fold in together with the remaining ¼ cup olive oil, vinegar, salt, and sugar.

To Roast Garlic:
1. Cut the top off of one head of garlic, so garlic cloves are barely exposed.
2. Place in a small baking container, with cut edges facing up.
3. Pour 1/2 inch of water in the baking dish.
4. Drizzle olive oil over the cut open garlic.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
6. Use any extra cloves to spread over French bread with some butter!

Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa

1 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and roughly chopped
1 or 2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and roughly chopped
1 or 2 serrano chiles, with seeds (depending on desired spice level)
¾ cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. salt

Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender, and purée until smooth. Serve with tortilla chips.

Delicious breakfast idea - Serve as a garnish with a cheddar cheese omelet, with black beans and sour cream on the side.

The Perfect French Omelet

2 eggs
1 Tbsp water
Dash pepper
1 Tbsp butter
  • In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, water, salt and pepper. Using a fork, beat til combined but not frothy. In an 8- or 10-inch skillet with flared sides, heat butter on medium. Lift and tilt pan to coat sides.
  • Add egg mixture to skillet; cook over medium heat. As eggs set, run a spatula around the edge of the skillet, lifting eggs and letting the uncooked portion flow underneath. Be careful not to 'mix' the eggs in the skillet, or they will become scrambled eggs. When the eggs are set but still shiny, remove from heat. Fold unfilled omelet in half.

To prepare a cheese omelet, omit the salt. For filling, sprinkle 1/4 cup cheddar, Swiss, or Monterey Jack across center of omelet. Fold sides over. Top with additional shredded cheese.

Best Ever Banana Cake

Oddly enough, a good food memory I have was from a school cafeteria. I remember the delicious, moist banana cake with cream cheese icing. I've been trying different recipes, looking for just the right one. I think I've found it - this was delicious!

3 ripe bananas
3 Tbsp sour cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 1/8 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice, plus enough milk to make 1 1/2 cups total. Stir and let stand 5 minutes before using.)

6 Tbsp butter, softened
6 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 2/3 cups powdered sugar

chopped walnuts
  • Preheat oven to 275° (yes, that low!).
  • Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan.
  • In blender, mix bananas with sour cream. Add lemon juice and blend a bit more; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter and 2 1/8 cups sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in 2 tsp vanilla.
  • Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk.
  • Stir in banana mixture.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for one hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (may take 15-30 minutes longer, depending on your oven).
  • Remove from oven and place directly into the freezer for 45 minutes. This will make the cake very moist.
  • For the frosting, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  • Beat in 3/4 teaspoon vanilla.
  • Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high speed until frosting is smooth.
  • Spread on cooled cake.
  • Sprinkle chopped walnuts over top of the frosting, if desired.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tim Tebow Leaving Reporters Speechless

Thursday July 30, 2009

Florida Quarterback Tebow Leaves Reporters Speechless: "Yes I am" Saving Myself for Marriage
Also says he is grateful that his mother's story has helped women choose not to have an abortion

By John Jalsevac

Last week Florida Gators Quarterback Tim Tebow's photo may have graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, the same magazine that is best known for its annual "swimsuit issue," but the contrast between the two cover stories couldn't have been more glaring.

At 21 years of age and graced with boyish good looks, Tebow is one of the most talked about rising stars of the NCAA; but the football superstar literally left reporters speechless last week when he answered a question during a press conference about whether or not he is "saving himself" for marriage.

"Yes I am," said Tebow briefly, who then indicated he was ready for the next question. However, in the video of the press conference, a reporter is heard stumbling over his words in the background as he tries to ask a follow-up question. Tebow then laughs, obviously reacting to the reactions of the reporters in the room.

"I think y'all were stunned by that," he says. "Y'all can't even ask a question. Wow. I mean, I was ready for that question. I don't think y'all were."

It wasn't the only controversial remark that Tebow made that day. In response to another question about whether or not people may be tired of the volume of coverage devoted to the young football star, Tebow, a devout Christian, said that the level of exposure he receives is a mixed blessing. However, he said, he looks at the positive side that, thanks to his fame, he has been able to share his Christian faith with so many people.

In addition, the football star told the reporters that he believes that the publicity given to his mother's story has helped other women choose not to abort their unborn children. Tebow's mother, who serves as a Christian missionary together with her husband, was pressured to abort Tebow following a life-threatening infection she suffered while pregnant with him. Doctors pressured her to abort her son to save her own life, but she ultimately resisted the pressure and both mother and child survived the birth.

"There has been a lot of people that have been encouraged not to have an abortion because they heard the story of my mom, or they have been encouraged because they have heard me give my faith on TV or in a report or something," said Tebow.

"You know what, although there has been a backlash, oh, well. You know what, I'll deal with it if I have to. It's not a big deal to me because of the kids and people that have been encouraged by the stories we have tried to tell and by the life that I've tried to live."

Growing up Tebow would often help his parents with their Christian mission work in the Philippines. He was homeschooled by his mother, who instilled in her children strong Christian values.

Tebow was the first home-schooled athlete to be nominated for the Heisman Trophy. "That's really cool," he said at the time. "A lot of times people have this stereotype of homeschoolers as not very athletic - it's like, go win a spelling bee or something like that - it's an honor for me to be the first one to do that."

Monday, August 3, 2009

SlingEZee in Greece

It's been fun to work with a really neat family from Greece who are distributors for SlingEZee in their part of the world. Recently, they sent us some photos - I especially love the dads slinging their babies while playing chess!