Monday, September 26, 2005

hurricanes and dinner parties

Well we lucked out with Rita. The hurricane turned eastward before landfall so hit around Port Arthur, TX as a Cat 3 around 3 or 4 AM Saturday. Because of the eastward turn before hitting, DFW was spared effects. Where we had been told to expect possible severe thunderstorms, high winds, flash flooding, maybe a random tornado, we got nothing. Not even a cold front as a result. I was hoping we'd at least get some rain as it's been a much drier summer then seems to be usual down here, and definitely drier since I moved here in '03.

It was windier Friday night and Saturday and the sky did cloud up as if it was going to rain, but most of the DFW area got not even a few drops of rain. As I understand, Houston and Galveston were spared severe effects, just getting lots of rain. But the area where it did hit was slammed with rain and such. I haven't watched the news over the weekend so I don't know how bad it was along the coast, and especially in the New Orleans area. I know NO was already flooding Friday morning, I just don't know how severe.

As for dinner parties, I had one Sunday night. I was supposed to last weekend, just a small one, about 4 or 5 people counting me but a few couldn't make it in the end so we didn't do it. Well the recipes I had pulled out to make sounded really good so I decided I was going to make them this weekend anyhow. LOL turns out we had my little dinner party last night instead.

I made this new kind of chicken I'd found a recipe online for. It was grilled chicken with a chili sauce/vinegar marinade, among other ingredients. I also had this different spinach salad recipe I'd found online that sounded good too. It was spinach, oranges, red onions and walnuts (I left out the walnuts though) with a sherry vinaigrette dressing. I couldn't find sherry vinegar anywhere though so I just used red wine vinegar instead. I was worried how it would turn out, especially since the chicken wouldn't thaw for anything and I was afraid I'd be starting cooking and it would be half raw from not thawing right. That happened with some salmon I made a few weeks ago.

Well my fears were for nothing as except for the marinade on the top of the chicken burning some. I cooked it a little longer then I was supposed to, just in case the meat didn't thaw completely. But it turned out really good, not dried out at all, and everyone absolutely loved it. The marinade wasn't as spicy as I'd expected, but it was still really good. Susan, my one neighbor, who is a self declared finicky eater, even loved it! Everyone wanted the recipe and Bill, my one neighbor must have had three helpings of salad as he really loved that too. I offered him some of the left overs to take, but he said no. One of my other neighbors, warren, brought biscuits and brownies with him so we had a nice full meal as a result. I had some frozen rolls in the freezer I was going to pull out, but since it turned out biscuits were coming, I didn't have to.

I'm not one for cooking and actually avoid it at all costs as a rule, but every once in a while I get it in my head to cook something different or special and this weekend was one of those. Usually my domestic mode kicks in on the weekends and I make a nicer Sunday dinner, as a result of years of always having a bigger dinner then usual on Sundays at home. Sometimes my attempts come out dreadful, other times, like this weekend, they turn out really well.

I also was in cleaning mode this weekend, cleaning the living room top to bottom (only thing I ran out of time for was taking the vacuum to the ceiling fans and door frames which are quite dusty. Cat hair does that... It collects on every flat surface it can find. LOL) I also cleaned the one bathroom. I also started packing up all my summery candle holders and pulled out the fall seasonal stuff. I didn't get it all put away and pulled out, but I got most of it. If I hadn't decided to cook last night, I would have gotten it all done.


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