I'm a lucky blogger because I have a personal Geek Squad in my friend, Janice. The new look of my blog is all thanks to several hours work on her part last night. Don't you just love the new header? Very understated and tasteful, don't you think? This is Janice's original design. Not only is she a computer geek--she talks the secret languages of HTMLs, pixels, and widgets--but she's also a great scrapbooker. I get all the benefits of her geekiness. She leaves me with a steno pad full of step by step directions for using all these little embellishments for a more lively blog--adding photos, sidebars, etc. Regretfully, I can't give her a full blown bravo until she figures out how to change that Shelfari bookshelf to walnut--that mahogany color is just not right with my blog background and fine new header. . .
I thanked her last night by cooking dinner for us. This Taco Soup recipe has an interesting
origin. I first had it from a lunch buffet set up on a flatbed truck in the middle of an Arkansas rice field during September harvest. At that time I was working in leadership training for a large farm organization. A couple of colleagues and I took about 15 young farmers on a tour of some major farming operations in southeastern U.S. We saw cat fish farming in Mississippi, cotton and beef operations in Tennessee, and rice production in Arkansas. Our Kentucky farmers were hosted by a group of rice farmers out in their fields at harvest time. Taco soup was on the menu. If you like all things taco, you'll like this soup. Here's the recipe:
In a large saucepan, brown 1/2 lb. ground beef and 1 medium chopped onion. Add the following,undrained: 15 oz. can chili beans(or ranch style), 16 oz. can dark red kidney beans, 11 oz. can shoepeg corn, 10 oz. can tomatoes and green chiles, 1 oz. pkg. dry ranch style dressing mix, 1.25 oz. pkg. dry taco seasoning mix, 6 cups of water, and 1 cup cooked brown or white rice. Bring to boil and then turn down to a simmer. Simmer on low for about 45 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips. And, if you want to gild the lily, add a dollop of sour cream and chopped avocado. Yum!
So, I hope the Geek Squad felt that taco soup was a good trade for a blog makeover. I'm already plotting our next consultation. . .
- Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.