Thursday, July 7, 2011


 .....and the living is easy...... are jumping......
We need rain so badly. The lake is drying up.
 ........and the cotton is high.....
 Wednesday I took the kids along for the 176 mile round trip drive to Lake Texana State Park.  That's about 4 hours on the road, in case you're wondering.

It was hot again. This time 97* but somehow it felt warmer.

We arrive at the trailhead.
 Despite the scorching sun most of us were in a good mood. Maybe all of us. It's hard to tell with teens. :)
 Oh, deer! We got to see some venison roasting in the sun.  She's still a little rare for my taste. Leave her out there a few more minutes.
 Somewhere out in the middle of nowhere, I lose cell signal which means I lose my geocache map which means I'm clueless.  I finally found a place that looked like it might be a trail and we head off into the woods. Inside those woods are swarms of mosquitoes. It was literally a cloud of them. Charlie spots the geocache and I drop the backpack and dig frantically for the Off. Ah, salvation. Take that, you bloodsuckers!! 
 We quickly signed the log, stamped our "passport", and got out of there. It was my intention to pick up some more caches while we were there but no cell signal made it impossible. Plus we were tired from sweating and hiking for 1.5 miles. Doesn't seem like much but in that heat and the sun it really sucks the life out of you. Kind of like mosquitoes sucking blood except it's heat sucking life.

Before we left I bought a tee shirt at the park store. Yeah, I got the kids shirts too but they're not as cool as mine. :)
 Time for the 2 hour trip home.  We had to stop at Buc-ee's for snacks and restroom break. The cleanest restrooms around. As one of their signs says, "You have to pee it to believe it." I kid you not. That's how they advertised it.
It's a beaver.
 I grabbed some Propel water for the electrolytes and some low carb goodness.
Don't judge me. Hot 'n Spicy pork rinds are crispity goodness.
 Refreshed and feeling good in the AC of the miniature van, we cranked up the radio to Hair Nation 80's rock tunes.
 Hark! Behold! Dark clouds! Could it be? Yes, the sky is leaking!!!! Fat clouds spilled their watery gifts upon the land once again. Zeus tossed lightning bolts to the ground. Rusty windshield wipers got to dance once again. It rained!!!!
And then it's over and no more rain in the forecast for another week.
 We got home and a very wet cardboard box was on the front porch. My Quest bar order! I love these things. I have to keep them away from Charlie because they're like candy bars to him. Sooo good. Have you tried these? I've only seen them available online but so worth it.
 That evening I had to finish up a recipe that I was testing for America's Test Kitchen. Yes, I signed up a year ago to test recipes for them and they finally sent me one.

It's called the Paris-Brest Cake. At first I was thinking that was a terrible name for a cake. Brest?  Oh, it's in honor of a 1200Km bike ride from Paris to Brest and the cake represents a bike tire. Now it's a super cool name!

It's a 3 part recipe. Everything made from scratch, of course. A praline paste, two pastry rings, and pastry cream that incorporates the toasted almond praline paste.  It took me a couple of days to make this thing but it tasted and looked beautiful. It wasn't difficult, just time consuming.

In case you're wondering, I do not get paid to test recipes. It's just a fun thing that anyone can sign up to do at their web site.

It was a busy day and I slept like a rock though I did have a strange dream that I went to Paris but forgot my passport so I couldn't ride the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Instead I had to stay at the hotel/condo/house and do laundry while everyone else got to ride the elevator. Weird.


  1. Hi Kelly. LOVE the photos (and cracked up when you spoke of rare venison roasting! :) ) Have a great day.

  2. Hurrah for rain!

    Two hours ride each way? The Helen that gets car sick says, 'no way!'

  3. Beautiful! That 'rest stop' looks awfully close to Chucky Cheese!

    I want that pastry ring. Like now...

  4. Fun times - you rock, Kelly!

  5. What is your fav Quest bar? I am considering buying some and woried about taste and most protein bars I have tried taste like s@*#. Glad you got rain, if only a little.

  6. That pastry ring is a single serving, right? ;)

    The rain was wonderful...just hope is doesn't become a too distant memory!

  7. Love the song!

    Great pictures! It sure does get hot hiking...even in the shade.

    Jerky and pork rinds...sounds like heaven!

  8. Looks like lots of fun! That cake looks delish.

  9. Awesome road trip - thank goodness for Off! We had so much rain this spring the misquitos are relentless.

    Happy Friday Kelly - have a great weekend!

  10. Being from Texas my temperature rose this whole blog. However, we have pretty good heat wave going here.

    Tje recipe looked delicious and seemingly easy.

    Stay cool.


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