I have a love/hate relationship with moving. Moving is one of the perks/disadvantages of being a military family. This move in particular has been very hard on me. As anyone close to me knows (and is probably sick of hearing about it), I LOVED living in Korea. I loved how easy it was to make friends; I loved how close friendships grew. In Korea, when you moved into our neighborhood, you were family. A family that sticks together and helps each other out in good and bad times. We celebrated holidays, birthdays, promotions & new babies together. Together we cried, laughed, sang (noribong), pushed each other to do better, mentored, babysat, went on date nights together, had our feet nibbled by Dr. Fish & shopped more than we should! For our personal family, we had so much more family time. We had dinner together most every night (and those in the military know this is no small feat), we went on hikes, explored, explored, and then explored Asia even more! We had vacations we never thought possible! Our time in Korea was so much more relaxed and carefree than in any other place we have lived. I will always cherish my time & the friends I made there.
Now we are in Texas & have been for (gasp) 4 months now! Texas is my birth state ~ two of our four of our children born in this state as well. We have already made some great new friends and reconnected with friends from post past (notice I didn't say OLD :). Texas may not be the easiest place to get around ~ there is very little public transportation and forget about biking anywhere, if you try it will take you at least a day and you better make sure you have plenty of water with you to stay hydrated in the hot Texas sun. (The picture in my head is of me riding down the road on my bike, with a cooler on wheels attached to the back of my bike.) In fact in these first 4 months of living here I have put 6,000 miles on my van. I only put 8,500 on it the 2 years living in Korea. The one thing Texas does have is family. Even though I haven't seen all nine of my siblings yet, (yes, you read that correctly ~ I have NINE siblings and no, we are not Catholic) it has been great spending time with my mom, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews and other folks (that is the Texan in me coming out....watch out I might start saying ya'll, fixin' and over yonder if you leave me here too long) in my family. It has also been great reconnecting with so many friends I have made over the years as well as a few childhood friends.
So now the boxes are unpacked, the house is finally done, friends & family trickle in and out for dinners, games and fun times. Finally, I’m starting to feel settled for at least another 16 months…
This past week we went to the Belton Rodeo. It was nice, we were VIP's. We got the 'royal' treatment ~ dinner before the rodeo, a couple of people spoke (briefly), then it was off to our reserved seats to watch the rodeo! This is my second rodeo since I have been back in Texas. At both rodeo's we have gone on military appreciation night & the 1st CAV horse detachment has preformed. (Just a side note, the horse detachment is in Hubby's battalion.) I have always loved watching the horse detachment, but even more so now that we have an even closer attachment to the detachment.
The first Rodeo we went to was out doors, it was hot and late. The natives were getting restless, so we left early to put them to bed. The second rodeo we went to, the one this past week was indoors and we didn't take all the natives so we could stay till the end. First of all rodeos are LONG....3 hours! Holy cow...no pun intended. Secondly, I decided I don't really like rodeos. Now, if you are a rodeo fan, don't send me hate email, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Although I appreciate the military appreciation nights and the kindness shown by the community, I don't know if I will ever be able to attend another rodeo. I just feel bad for those poor animals. When they rope the little cows ~ you know one rope to the legs and one to the neck & stretch that poor little guy like a Stretch Armstrong doll (yes, I'm showing my age), I just want to run out and save him. Oh, and what about when they jump off the horse and wrestle a little calf to the ground by twisting his poor little neck. I just don't have the heart for it. It makes me cringe in pain. Another thing, the bucking horse & bull events, OK, first off that is just insane.....how would you like to have your balls strapped so tight you can't breathe and then have a dude jump on your back & ride you? OUCH. Not to mention the dude on the back of the bucking horse or bull...NEWSFLASH, you can get REALLY hurt!! I sat in my chair curled up in a ball for most of the night because I was having twinges of pain for all you crazy guys out there, I just knew a horse or a bull was going to step on your head cracking your skull wide open while myself and my children sat and watched. If you aren't thinking about yourself, think about all the therapy all the poor little children (I'm really talking about myself) in the audience are going to need after witnessing such an event.
So, needless to say, most likely I will not be attending any more rodeos, oh sure I will go for the begining, to watch the 1st CAV Horse Detachment preform, but then I will take the 3 of us in our family that don't really care for the rodeo part of it out for ice cream, while the other 3 stay and cheer on the participants in the rodeo.
Oh, and doesn't it figure...Girl wants to participate in the 'Mutton Busting' event in the next rodeo. God help me.
I have a confession to make....I don't 'test' dishes ~ even for dinner parties, no testing going on in this kitchen. Seriously. If I read the recipe and it sounds good to me, I make it for the party and I don't have a back up plan. Most of the time it works out for me. I have cooking luck on my side.
These potatoes were one of those 'no test' recipes, however I knew from the moment I read the recipe with few adaption's, these bad boys would make anyone come running for seconds. (OK, maybe not the kids because they are chalked full of onions, but anyone over the age of 18.)
I got this recipe from a magazine I have held onto for 2 years! (No, I'm not a hoarder; this is the only magazine in my house that is outdated, well other than magazines that my kids are in.) Better Homes and Gardens Grill it, 2008.
Here's what you need:
Nonstick cooking spray
1.5 pounds small red potatoes cut into wedges
1 large red onion cut into wedges
6 cloves garlic (peeled)
1/2 tsp thyme (or just sprinkle as much as you like)
1/4 cup butter cut in to pieces
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese (give or take a little)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (give or take a little)
Boil potatoes for about 5-7 minutes or until slightly soft. Drain
Using heavy duty foil (or 2 pieces of regular foil - I didn't have heavy duty) make an 18 inch (approximately, don't pull the ruler out) square. Spray with cooking spray. Place potatoes, garlic & onion in center of foil square. Sprinkle with salt, pepper & thyme, top with butter pieces, then Swiss & Parmesan cheeses....
Close the foil packet like this.....
If using a gas grill like I was, place pouch on top rack & grill on low heat for about 30 minutes. Devour!!
A few weeks ago we had a few folks over for dinner (about 20). I cooked a traditional Texas dinner (even though this recipe came from Colorado). This brisket is marinated for 12 hours and is slow cooked in the oven for about 6 hours so make sure you have enough time when you get ready to make this bad boy.
I got this recipe from my mother-in-law, see a trend? MIL is a good cook. I love this brisket and every time I serve it people ask for the recipe, so here it is folks...enjoy! Oh, and did I mention how EASY it is?!
4 pound trimmed beef brisket
2.5 liquid smoke
2.5 oz worcestershire sauce
BBQ sauce ~ your favorite bottle, or feel free to make your own ;)
Place brisket in a baking dish, pour liquid smoke over brisket and then sprinkle generously with garlic salt, onion salt & celery salt. Cover tightly with foil & marinate in the fride for 12-24 hours. If you remember flip the brisket once while marinating.
When ready to cook, preheat oven to 275. Line another baking dish with foil, place brisket on foil, pour marinade & worcestershire sauce over it, seal foil & bake for 5 hours. After 5 hours pour BBQ sauce over brisket, recover with foil & bake for 1 more hour.
When you remove the brisket it should be falling apart..cut against the grain for slices, or chop up like I did for sandwiches.....ummmm good!