Another really freakin' busy weekend that is. One of these days we are going to have to slow down and relax.
Okay, no we won't, but I think we secretly like it that way.
So Friday was the 4th of July. During the day Brian and I cleaned the house (yes, Brian helped this time, your eyes weren't deceiving you), and we took Taigan to Penn Valley Dog Park for a little bit.
I guess the big dogs really enjoy the fresh young pups, because this kept happening to him:
One of these days Taigan is going to get them all back.
We had fun there for a while but had to get back to prepare a fruit salad and garden salad to take to our neighbors house for a 4th of July celebration. The only picture I got of my two salads happens to have an obnoxious picture of our obnoxious neighbor Mike in it. Fruit salad on the right, garden salad on the left.
We also had brats and baked beans courtesy of Mike and Sarah, corn on the cob courtesy of Stephen and Becky, and lots of yummy appetizers (sausage wonton wraps, 3-2-1 dip, and rotel dip) courtesy of the hosts, Niki and Dusty. After dinner we played on the swing set, lit off some fireworks, and tried to kill Ozzy (N and D's dog).
As it was getting dark we all piled into the mini van and headed over to World's of Fun to see the big show. It wasn't as good as I thought it would be because they left the parking lot lights on, there were no port-a-potties (very bad when you are drinking beer) and too many security people trying to pump up their egos by using bullhorns and yelling at people not to park on the grass. But we got a few good pictures with our new camera. Here's a good one:
After the show we went back to Niki and Dusty's and hung out and drank more. I had to get up the next day to go to work, so we ended up leaving around 1:30am.
On Saturday I got up for work (at nine) and Brian got up (at noon) and weed-eated, edged the lawn and cleaned the garage. When I got home from work I mowed. All of this was done before we had to get ready and leave for our separate engagements (mine was for my friend Heather's bachelorette party and Brian for a T-Bones game with Tony and Krista).
Here are a few pics from the bach party. We rented a party bus and headed downtown to the Power and Light District (via a visit with hot men at the fire department).
Party Bus (similar to the Magic Bus for those of us that rode that):
Heather posing for the firemen:
Power and Light District. I considered this area not crowded since I actually had space around me. Sorry for the blurry picture, I didn't want to blind everyone with my flash.
I got home around 1:30am and Brian was still up watching the end of the NASCAR race so I joined in only to see Kyle Bush win again! Dammit!
On Sunday we met my parents at The Yardhouse for lunch and then came back to have a second birthday celebration for me. They even brought me presents and cake. Awesome!
The rest of the evening I played Martha Stewart (laundry, dishes, dinner, yard work) while Brian napped. We watched the movie Black Snake Moan which was pretty good, but also very, very odd. Brian said the movie was turned up to eleven (reference from This Is Spinal Tap). Let's just say Justin Timberlake= hot, Samuel L. Jackson= hot hot, and Christina Ricci= fuckin' a hot (in a molested by your step-dad kinda way).
Monday was the same as always- clean up the house, yard work, and Wal-Mart. Then I cooked another foil packet dinner from one of Rachael Ray's cookbooks. Here is the recipe:
Sea Bass with Puttanesca and Potatoes
1 T anchovy paste
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup EVOO
1 lb Yukon gold potatoes
4 garlic cloves, crushed
16-20 cherry tomatoes
Generous handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
4 T capers, drained
1/2 to 1 t rd pepper flakes
2 sea bass fillets, 6-8 oz. each (I used fresh marlin steaks)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Rip off 4 pieces of foil, each 18 inches long, and make 2 double-thick stacks. In a bowl, combine the anchovy paste with the lemon juice, then stream in the 1/4 cup of EVOO. Cut the potatoes into wedges and add them to a second bowl with the garlic. Halve the tomatoes and add them to the bowl.
Add the parsley, olives, capers, and red pepper flakes to the potatoes; drizzle with the anchovy and oil dressing; toss to combine. Divide the potatoes and tomatoes evenly between the two foil slabs. Drizzle some oil over the fish and season with salt and pepper. Place the fish atop the potatoes and tomatoes and seal the packets up. Bake the pouches at 400 degrees for 20 minutes without turning, or until the fish is opaque.
Comments about this recipe: I think you really need to use sea bass. I know nothing about fish, but the marlin ended up being really dried out and chewy, while the potatoes were barely done. I am not really sure what went wrong here, except maybe the foil packets weren't sealed tight enough. The flavor was still excellent.
Next weekend (and the weekend after that, and maybe the weekend after that) we are going to be putting in a 12'x16' paver stone patio next to our deck. You will step onto it right through this opening:
It's going to be awesome!