Neighbors’ Night Out: Great Success! / Jalapeño Dip Recipe

Last night was the neighbors’ night out party on my block. It was awesome. Everybody who’s anybody was there. Ronda and Vincent threw a great party, complete with burgers, dogs, and a pot luck of accoutrement.

I brought some of my (in)famous jalapeño dip, based on Chuy’s creamy jalapeño ranch dressing. According to Ronda, who worked at Chuy’s back in the day, the “secret” ingredient in theirs is tomatillo! There are no tomatillos in mine (too much work), but it was a total hit anyways. I got a ton of email addresses to send the recipe out, but I decided to direct people to my blog instead in the hopes they might become regular readers. (Hi neighbors.) Check out the recipes page!

I really enjoyed myself last night. I think the interaction between neighbors might actually bump up our property value. Besides: who doesn’t like having friends close enough by that you can just walk over? I hope someone comes and visits us soon… Don’t let our spiderweb lights scare you away!

I’ll be the first to volunteer a wintery neighbors’ night out in January. Everyone can come over to our place for chili and a good laugh. 🙂 Until then, don’t be strangers.

P.S. – Lauren, here is the website of my contractor, Scott. He put up a privacy fence for us to keep Betty from jumping the chain link. He is very easy to work with and worked fast. Did I mention that he beat out the estimates of all the major fencing companies I called by at least $600? Here is a link to his website, and his phone number is 281-667-8140.

Welcome / Green Chile Week+ / Etc.

I’m very glad this blog is finally up and running. Welcome, readers! In other words: Welcome, Mom and Rod and Zsazsa!

About two weeks ago I stopped at Whole Foods to pick up dinner. Upon entering I found a 1.9 bushel box of HOT green chiles. In other words, it was a ten pound box of heat, spice, and wonder for less than a Hamilton. So I purchased it and brought it home. Then the chiles sat there while I went out of town for a week. Then I came home and started playing with them. I had to throw some away as they had gotten mushy, but it was ok. I had roughly 8 lbs. left. In about ten days, green chiles were a major ingredient in six dinners. List as follows.

1. The first night, Justin and I had green chile and shrimp enchiladas. They were quite tasty.

2. Two nights later, Nikki came over and we had green chile and chicken enchiladas. She wasn’t a huge fan of the roasted chile I made her try. Apparently she got a “hot” one, and had to down a glass of milk to keep from spontaneously combusting. Thank heaven she remembered her Lactaid or the night would have been a disaster.

3. On Monday, with our new friend Rochel over, we were supposed to have chiles rellenos. Instead, we had shrimp wrapped in green chiles, battered, fried, and smothered in cheese, green salsa, and yummy sauce. In other words, we had “WhyDidn’tYouTellMeYourFriendWasComingAt7-BecauseNowIts6-AndYouKnewAt3!-IAmBeyondFrazzled-TheChilesHaveShreddedUnderTheBroiler-NoChilesRellenosTonightSeñor-IWillHaveToCallForPIzzaIfICan’tThinkOfSomethingElseSoon-IHopeThisPoorGuyIsAGoodEater-Whatever-WhenInDoubtDeepFryItAndWalkAway.” It was good fun. Rochel was a good sport about everything, and despite my initial misgivings, the little shrimp and chile poppers turned out well. I ate several. The evening itself was a great success. I liked Rochel a lot. We all had a frank discussion about spirituality, which is interesting with a first-time dinner guest. We watched professional wrestling, and then Rochel went home with the advice to check out either Second Baptist or First UU on Sunday morning. We went to UU and listened to a hilarious sermon that included a hot pink cast, QT gas stations, and Precious Moments figurines. Rochel’s GPS failed him on his way to Second. I am going to volunteer to go with him next weekend so he won’t have to go alone.

4. Steak Smothered in green chiles with rice and salad.

5. Jambalaya and green chile vegetable medley.

6. Green Chile Meatloaf.

7.  Coming Soon: Green Chile Macaroni and Cheese, Chicken Stuffed with Green Chiles, Some Tasty Main Dish and Green Chile Cornbread

For your viewing pleasure, I thought I would post a picture from my recent trip to the northern states.

Nebraska Pic

Welcome to Nebraska, My Texan Friend!

I had a marvelous time up there. Really I did. Everyone was really nice, and the weather was perfect. High eighties, sunny, slight breeze… I had a great time. 🙂

Recipes are going to go up somewhere else. I don’t know where yet. I also have not figured out how exactly to write them down. I am not a measure-er, and I don’t want anyone to come down on me for posting useless recipes that say things like, “Add some cumin.” The last thing I want in my email are hostile notes asking, “Just how much is ‘some’ cumin? That’s not an accepted measurement.” I think some is roughly a teaspoon. A bunch, for spices anyways, is usually around a tablespoon, and a little bit is usually less than a half teaspoon. I think. My family doesn’t really measure, either. I mean, we do if it needs to be measured, or if trying something new and we are having guests that night. Well, unless you’re me. The hostess-with-the-mostess gene seems to have died out with me. See above story about our poor guinea pig guest for proof.

I shall sign off now. It is getting very close to day time. The only reason I was up at all was because I woke up for no reason, and when I stepped across the hall to the ladies’ room SoCo came flying by out of nowhere and scared me into a state of wired frustration. Quite the productive vanishing hour.