Monday, September 21, 2009

Still Running Around Like Crazy...... Phew!!!!

Sorry for not checking in sooner but the return back to the Las Vegas Valley has been challenging to say the least..... haven't had a moment to breathe..... but I knew that I would have to hit the ground running if I was to make it in this town, and even though it's known as the #1 "Start Over Place" ever, it's got to be up there among the hardest places to get situated too.

Since so many people come to "Twilight Zone", employers and locals are used to it and don't hold it against you (I've got all my local id's so I'm still considered a local until they find out I spent so much time in Mexico.....) except they know "newbies" come to town full of hope and enthusiasm and once they learn how hard this town is, decide to either tough it out or go back home.... so, unless you can really take it, everything will be "on hold" until you've been here a while....

Fortunately, I've still got some friends here and have made some great new friends already and I'm almost all set too! Found an apartment the following day I got here, got it rented and moved in on the third day. The services were working too! Returned to my favorite furniture place (they sell to designers and model homes) and got it all set up and delivered the very same day! Had a rental car for a week but when I returned it, I already had a car lined up to buy and got the paperwork, insurance, plates and everything done and ready in a couple of days (even the trip to the DMV! and the DMV here is a nightmare!).....

Living in the tropics as most of you know means your wardrobe looks like something out of "Margaritaville" or "Gillingan's Island", with a prevalence of flip-flops, shorts, colorful shirts and light colorful pieces of clothing which if worn anywhere else means "TOURIST".... except for Las Vegas where most people dress funny anyway.... BUT, if you're job hunting this is not the best "look" and so a shopping trip was done. Check!

Got "regular" shoes too.... which I hadn't worn in years.... yes, years! Oh well, they're comfortable but it's strange wearing hose and closed toe shoes, in dark colors even! Been interviewing, sending out resumes and been plying my paralegal trade from home taking private clients while I decide which way to go. It's looking promising and once again, my bilingual skills are being valuable too.

The downside to all this reorganization is that since my husband and son aren't with us yet (they'll join us next week) I've been able to cook or hardly cook for a couple of weeks. My daughter and I aren't as fussy as the guys and we've been having lighter, quicker fare of late, savin me lots of time and effort when I come in from the very bright sun outside into the dark cool of the apartment. Drinking lots and lots of water, I'm always thirsty and the weather is still warm and will continue for another month of so, but come Halloween (we're having Halloween again!) fall and winter temps will be with us and we might even get some snow for Xmas.... YAY! I love the cold!

Anyway, here are a couple of quick and dirty "ditty's" I like to remind you I'm still here and will be on a regular schedule pretty soon too. Missing everyone......

Grilled Avocado on Toast.- It might sound funny but take my word, try it. You'll be glad you did!

1/2 avocado (peeled and pitted)
Lime juice
Olive oil
1 slice of bread (great bread, ok? Not weird loaf bread....)

Brush 1/2 avocado with fresh lime juice and olive oil. Grill, cut side down, for 1 to 2 min, make grill marks. Turn to create crosshatch marks, and grill for 1 min more. Meanwhile, brush 1 side of a slice of bread with olive oil, and grill, about 30 seconds per side. Top bread with thin slices of parmesan and the grilled avocado. Mash with a fork, brush with olive oil and salt.
NOTE: You can also top with tomato (slices or chopped), onion, cilantro and chilies too!

Avocado and Mango Salsa.- Always popular and beloved at my house....Mmmmm!
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced
1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 small red onion, diced small
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 to 1 habanero chile (stem and seeds removed), minced very fine
2 tbl fresh lime juice
1 tbl extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp coarse salt

In a bowl, combine all ingredients when you're almost ready to serve. Feel free to add more ingredients too like tomatoes (grape tomatoes are great), almonds or you name it..... If you add chopped chicken, crab, turkey, steak strips or tuna, place on top of lettuce and you've got a great salad. Add the meat right after grilling and "wilted" salad..... just great!

Steak Quesadillas Topped with Cilantro Sour Cream.- Quick and tasty, satisfying too!

4 flour tortillas or fresh corn ones....
1 cup shredded Manchego cheese
1 cup mushrooms
1 cup steak, thinly sliced against the grain (use leftovers or grill 1 steak quickly)
1 cup corn kernels, can be frozen or canned, but grilled is best
4 scallions, thinly sliced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
2 tbl fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for garnish

(You can do these out on the grill) or Preheat oven to 475. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place tortillas on sheet, sprinkle with cheese. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss together steak, mushrooms, corn, and scallions; season with salt and pepper. Top tortillas with steak mixture. Bake until cheese is melting, 8-10 min.
In a small bowl, stir together sour cream, cilantro, and lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with cilantro sour cream and garnished with cilantro and lime wedges. If you love hot, then use your favorite salsa too!
There you have it some quick ideas for you to still eat well and healthy but don't take a long time to serve. I'm sending everyone good wishes and hope to keep in touch! Talk soon............

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