Monday, March 31, 2014

Salad a Day: Take 2 Day 13- and 14 and 15

Salad is still going... Best I've done in awhile.  Saturday, John took me to Mexican food. We got this yummy Chicken Fajita salad.  I did need to scrap off the cheese.  We forgot to tell them to leave it off.  but we did remember to trade out the sour cream for guacamole.

I was nice to get the taste of Mexican food with my salad idea.

Sunday we made tow salads.... count them... TWO!

The first salad was Chicken Salad with Cilantro Dressing

    For the balsamic cilantro dressing:
  • 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, adjust based on your preference
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, adjust based on your preference
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For the chicken salad:
  • ~2 cups of your choice of mixed salad greens
  • ½ avocado, diced or sliced
  • 5-6 grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
  • A few slices of red onion
  • 5-6 slices of cucumber
  • ½ cup shredded cooked chicken
  • A few coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
  1. To prepare the salad dressing, place the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk lightly. Can be made ahead of time, refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. To prepare the salad, arrange the mixed salad greens on a large plate, add the diced avocado, tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, shredded chicken, and the chopped cilantro.
  3. Pour the balsamic cilantro dressing over the salad, toss and serve immediately

I was going to take it to the cast party Saturday night, but the dressing dumped all over the car.  Rats!  So we made new dressing Sunday afternoon and ate it for lunch.

For dinner I made Asian Chicken slaw... sort of.

I found this recipe on Pinterest.  but I was tired of chicken and had some salmon in the freezer.  Let me tell you... it was delish!

  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 head Red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 6 green onions, thinly cut on the bias
  • fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • fresh cilantro
  • 2 cups shredded chicken breast
  1. Whisk together the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice, peanut butter and garlic until smooth.
  2. Combine the Napa cabbage, red cabbage, sliced bell peppers. carrot and green onion and toss together. Add in a handful of sliced basil and fresh cilantro along with the shredded chicken.
  3. Pour the liquid mixture over the vegetables and chicken and toss to combine. Season with extra soy sauce if needed and serve immediately.

So tonight I am making Cucumber Tomato Feta Salad

  • about 1 pint of halved or quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 2 medium field cucumbers, halved lengthwise, seeded, and diced to about 1/2-inch
  • 1/2 of a medium red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp  red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp raw sugar or honey
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  1. In a large bowl, combine cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, basil and feta cheese. Toss to mix.
  2. Whisk olive oil, vinegar, sugar or honey, pepper and salt in  small bowl. Taste dressing and adjust seasonings if necessary. Drizzle dressing over salad, toss, taste and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately, or allow to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes for the cucumbers to soften and the flavors to blend.
Serves 4 as a healthy side portion.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Boyack Update

I really should give up calling it the Weekly Update.  I am not good at Weekly.  Maybe I should call it the Weakly Update.  At any rate, here is what we have been up to around here:

Hannah got her Driver's Permit.  This is how the first drive went (thanks Kimber for typing it all out while we were attempting to drive down the road):

Hannah (most of the time): AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! I can't go until this person moves! Oh no! Is that person going park by me!?!?!

Mom: Let go of the break please!

Hannah: Once those people get out of the car I'll move.....Oh no I think I know those people! Don't open the window!

Mom: It's hot! We've been sitting here forever!


Mom and Lillian: Laughing historically.

Hannah: If you laugh when we move I might kill all of us!!! AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! Here we go!

Mom: We've been sitting here for 10 minutes!

Hannah: Okay, only 9 more minutes to go!

Hannah: oh my gosh oh my gosh!!!! ......okay am I straight? ......oh no there is a car moving over there!

Mom: Now you need to use the gas part.

Hannah: Oh no! oh no!!! .......Now I'm on an actual road! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

Lillian: Hannah Blinker!

Hannah: It's going! I can't do it! Crap! Okay! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Mom: Turn the wheel! There are people behind you!

Hannah: Oh my gosh! I'm moving! AAAAAAAaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh! THAT WAS THE SCARIEST THING OF MY LIFE!!!

Lillian: Hannah you're a scardy cat!

Hannah: Oh I got to move my foot, I got to move my foot!

Lillian: Ahhh I'm scared!

Hannah: I told you you' be scared!

Lillian: I'm going to pee my pants!

Mom: You need to let off the brake! ....Get yourself away from the sidewalk! Stop!

Hannah: I thought I did stop!

Mom: Turn now! 

Hannah: Right now?!?!

Mom: Turn now!!

Hannah: OOOooohhhh OOoooohhhhh!!!! 

Mom: Turn faster! 

Hannah: I actually was pretty smooth..... I told you you'd be scared!

Mom: I wasn't scared, I was humored! 

It took her 10 minutes to get out of the parking lot... her foot on the brake and the the transmission in drive.  Silly girl. Then we stopped at Wal-Mart.  Mind you... she only drove out the parking lot, around the corner and into the parking lot.  I got us out of the parking lot when we left and pulled over on a country road to let her drive later.  This is how that went:

Hannah: OKay okay okay how fast can I go?

Mom: 25

Hannah: AAAAHhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!! Okay okay! ...........go go! .....I can hit the gas.....oh my gosh oh my gosh!

Mom: Stay between the lines!

Hannah: I can't tell! AAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! ..... I'm going straight! aahhhhhhhh!! ......It scared me a little!

Mom: Stay in the lines!

Hannah: I am!

Mom: No you're not. 

Hannah: I'm not!

Mom: Don't swerve!

Hannah: go go go! AAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!

Mom: Stay between the lines!

Hannah: Am I going?

Mom: Relax. You are going to wreck if you aren't relaxed.....keep your glasses on, there are people behind you..

Hannah: I'm going 35.

Mom: It's 55.

Hannah: I thought it was 35!! ....I'm going faster! Oh my gosh! I feel like I'm going really fast!

Mom: You are going fast.

Hannah: Don't talk! It's getting intense!

Mom: You get to go again there is no train.....relax you are going to rip the steering wheel from its're going 55.

Hannah: I don't want to go 55!

Mom: I know you don' need to look where you are going to drive. Look ahead and drive straight. 

Hannah: Okay stop talking everyone!

Mom: Oh my gosh oh my gosh you're hilarious!

Hannah: Don't say that! You aren't allowed to say that!

Mom: I can say it, you're being funny!'re going 25, that's half the speed limit! .....look down there.

Hannah: I am looking down there!

Mom: now we just need to plan an hour to get to Dallas.....get off the shoulder, you're driving on the shoulder.

Hannah: I am! 

Mom: You're going into the gravel.

Hannah: I am? I can't tell!

Mom: Move over!

Hannah: I feel like I'm on the yellow line! ......Oh I can slow down now. slow down!

Mom: keep going.....get on that side.

Hannah: I feel like I am!

Mom: You're're in the middle of the shoulder.

Hannah: No. The road is bumpy! ...... I don't need to slow down! .........AAAAHHHOOOHHHOOOHAAAAHHHHH! Okay okay! ............oh my gosh it wasn't even that bad!

Holy Cow!  She is funny.  I will need to plan an hour to drive with her to Dallas (10 miles) in the future. And maybe we will need crash suits too.  LOL. 

This is what Lilli thought of getting in the car with Hannah at the wheel.

Hannah was a last minute entry for the school/community Talent Show... She won.

McKay and Myles, Kimber, Ray and Ben came for the weekend to see Hannah in Les Miserables.  It was too short of a visit... especially when you consider the fact that we were busy with the show and didn't really get to hang out.  Gr-ma and Gr-pa Mabee came too and they brought Anna.  It really was a big party!  Kimber and Ben stayed for the week.  That was fun.  We were able to find a cute little house form them to move into.  We are super excited they will be moving back in a couple of weeks!

Lilli is making great friends with the Les Miserable kids.  It is fun that Les Miserables has been a bit of a family affair.  I am glad that my two little girls share my love for theater.  Too bad it won't be forever. 

I started working on You're A Good Man Charlie Brown.  Auditions are coming up.  I've met with the costumer and the choreographer. I talk with my Assistant Director all the time. I will be ready! It will be nice to work with  a small cast for a change.  

I also turned in my proposals for the 2015 Pentacle Season.  It turns out I got another show.  I get to direct The Addams Family the Musical, performing in October 2015. I am pretty excited, although there is a small piece of me that has lost the excitement because everyone in my life isn't as excited about my theater opportunities as I am.  Oh well.  I can't win for trying.  At least I get to direct a few shows that I've always wanted to direct.  

I love having this creative outlet.  I spend most of my days by myself... even on spring break.  For spring break, the kids have stayed up late and sleep in until past noon.  John goes to work.  As a result, I spend most of my days by myself... cleaning up after everyone else.  Then I head to the show around 5.  Without the theater to go to I'd live a fairly lonely life.  LOL.

Last night my perch was sold to audience members (we have so many people wanting to get in that we have a wait list every night and last night we sold "standing-room-only").  The crew did fine without me.  Truth be told, I did my job well and I really don't need to be there anymore. LOL.  Besides, it's a Robert Salberg production.  He can sovle the problems now.  LOL. However, I'll show up and open the doors tonight and tomorrow, since they are the final two shows.  I might as well.  But I bet my seat is sold again and I will be sitting on the deck.

I also started up my Salad A Day thing again.  So far so good.  I've done better this time... so far.  I think it helps that I've been posting recipes and stuff.

So that is the report.  Tow more days of Les Miserable and we put that show to bed.  Then it's on full swing with Into the Woods and Charlie Brown

A Salad a Day: Take 2 Day 10, 11, and 12

To tell the truth.... time kept getting away from me so I ended up eating bag salad with dressing on Wednesday and coleslaw on Thursday... the kind where I got a bag of coleslaw mix at the store and a jar of coleslaw dressing.  I know.  In a way it is cheating.  But at least I still had salad in a day.  Today I have already started making my salad of the day to ensure I don't have to take the cheating way out.  LOL.

Today's salad is:

Chicken and Avocado Salad with Lime and Cilantro

2 cups cooked chicken, shredded into large pieces
2 medium avocados, diced
1 T + 1 T fresh squeezed lime juice
salt, to taste (I didn’t use too much salt because you can always add more at the table.)
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (or chop it more coarsely if you prefer)
2 T mayo or light mayo

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Salad A Day: Take 2 Day 8 and Day 9

I've had the same salad both days.  Hey... I didn't want to go to the store and these things were in the house.  At least it's tasty.  :)

Simple avocado and tomato salad
Easy and simple avocado and tomato salad made with ripe tomatoes, avocado, onion, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, and salt.
  • 1-2 ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 ripe and firm avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • ¼ white (or red) onion, sliced or diced
  • Cilantro leaves, whole or coarsely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  1. Arrange the tomato slices on a large plate, next add the diced or sliced onions, and avocado slices.
  2. Drizzle with the lime juice and the olive oil.
  3. Sprinkle with cilantro and salt to taste.
  4. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Salad a Day: Take 2 Day 6 and Day 7

Yesterday turned out to be a busy day... hours of shopping for maternity clothes with Kimber.  I didn't have time to make a meal for anyone. (in fact, I think I only ate chocolate until 5:30 when I got out to the theater... silly me). Before I left for the show I stopped by Waremart and got the family cheap sub sandwiches and chips for dinner.  I was lucky enough to find a pre-made salad in the deli section... a cobb salad of sorts.  It wasn't all that to look at.... and it might not have been the healthiest choice... but it was a salad all the same.  It was even better because I got to enjoy it on the sunny deck of the theater.

Today I made this salad... Yummy!  Ginger Sesame Chicken Salad.... MARINADE AND DRESSING

  • 1/4 C soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 1/4 C canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 C red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 C finely chopped green onions
  • 1 lb. Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 C of baby spinach
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced (green and white part)
  • 1/2 cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 C sliced toasted almonds
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • Mix together soy sauce, ginger, oil, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sriracha and salt.
  • Using a meat pounder or a heavy pan pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness (about 1/2 - 3/4 inch thick)
  • Put chicken in zip to bag and add in 4 Tbsp marinade.
  • Reserve rest of the marinade for dressing. PLEASE be sure it does not come in contact with the raw chicken.
  • To reserved marinade add 1/4 C red wine vinegar, sugar and green onions.
  • Grill marinated chicken breasts in a grill pan or on outdoor grill. Grill until cooked through.
  • Allow chicken to rest for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • In a large bowl combine cabbage, carrots, green onions, cilantro, half of sesame seeds and almonds.
  • Add desired amount of dressing and chicken and mix together.
  • Garnish with remaining sesame seeds and almonds.

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Salad a Day: Take 2, Day 4 and Day 5

Yesterday, Day 4, I ate left over salad from the day before.  It was a busy day, and there was plenty left over, so I didn't bother making a new salad.  Today, Day 5, I make a new salad... oh... and the most yummy Curry Slit Pea Soup.

Cucumber salad with lime and cilantro
Easy and delicious cucumber salad recipe made with sliced cucumbers and red onions marinated with a lime cilantro dressing.
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled or not – based on your preference, sliced
  • 2-3 medium sized limes, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro (can also use parsley if you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  1. To remove some of the bitterness/spiciness from the onions, place the onion slices in a bowl, sprinkle about ½ tablespoon of salt over the onions. Rub the salt in and then cover with water for a few minutes. Then drain and rinse the onions well.
  2. Place the sliced cucumbers, sliced onions, lime juice, chopped cilantro, and olive oil in a bowl.
  3. Mix well, taste and add salt as needed.
  4. Serve immediately or let rest refrigerated for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Salad a Day: Take 2 Day 3

Chicken Power Bowls with Crispy Baked Garbanzo Beans

Serves 4
15oz can garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas)
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 chicken breasts (12-14oz,) pounded to an even thickness
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
4 eggs
9oz baby spinach
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
1/2 cup dried cranberries
4oz chevre (goat cheese)
For the Lemon-Honey Vinaigrette:
Juice of 2 lemons
6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons honey
1 garlic clove, microplaned or minced
salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain garbanzo beans then rinse and pat dry with a towel (the dryer the better!) Pour onto a baking sheet then add extra virgin olive oil and toss with your hands to coat. Bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until caramel in color (beans will continue crisping as they cool.) Sprinkle with salt then set aside to cool completely. (Can be done ahead of time. Bake then cool completely before storing in an airtight container.)
  2. Place eggs in a saucepan then cover with cold water 1″ above the tops. Bring to a boil, place a lid on top, then remove pan from heat and let sit for 12 minutes. Drain then plunge eggs into ice water or run under cold water for a few minutes. Peel eggs when cool enough to handle then slice. (Can be done ahead of time. Cook then peel eggs and store in the refrigerator, and then slice before serving.)
  3. Brush chicken breasts on both sides with extra virgin olive oil then season with salt and pepper. Saute in a skillet over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes a side, or until no longer pink in the center. Cool for 10 minutes, then thinly slice. (Can be done ahead of time. Cook then cool and refrigerate, and then slice before serving.)
  4. Divide spinach between four bowls then top each bowl with 1/4 cup crispy baked garbanzo beans, 1/4 of the cooked chicken, 1 sliced hard-boiled egg, 2 Tablespoons each pistachios and dried cranberries, and 1oz crumbled goat cheese.
  5. For the Lemon-Honey Vinaigrette: combine all ingredients in a jar or bowl then shake or whisk to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary then pour over salads and serve.
So here is today's salad.  Are you going to give it a try?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Salad a Day: Take 2 Day 2

Day one of Salad day was a success.  The salad was yummy!  I used rice noodles.  They cooked up larger than I thought, so I made more than I should have.  I also used Braag's Vinaigrette.  It was yummy and I ended up eating the salad for breakfast and lunch too.  LOL.

Today's salad is Tuna Salad:

2 cans tuna, drained
3 ribs celery, finely diced
2 T. fresh dill
1/4 red onion finely diced
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1/2 t yellow mustard
1/2 t lemon zest

Put all that in a gluten free pita and we are set for dinner.  mmmmm.....

Willie Wonka

I am finally getting around to blogging about the latest set I designed.  I worked on Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at Central High School.

This was a hard set... first, because I am not all that excited about the script... and second, because there are so many different scene changes.  I wasn't sure how I was going to accomplish them all.

There are my solutions:

I wanted the Bucket house and the town to look gray, cold and lifeless.

I put the bucket house on two 8x8 foot rolling platforms.I usually use 1x4 to frame flats, but this time I used 2x4.  I was able to get a hold of corrugated tin for the walls. That was a major stroke of luck.  I asked parents of actors what junk they might have lying around.  Lucky me!  One parent happened to bring me 3 pieces of tin that were 20 feet long... and a rusty broken motorcycle and other rusty junk.  We cut the long pieces into smaller pieces and attached them to the wall frames.
I had the helped put them at odd angles because I wanted the house to look like it was a shanty town house.  It worked!

Then we hung junk all over the outside wall.  I was doing my best to make a junk pile on the outside.

Originally, I wanted them to move around more to change from inside the house to outside the house, but I was vetoed.  And sadly, the pictures don't do them justice. They really did turn out to be one of my favorite pieces of all time!

My next favorite piece from this show was the boat.  I found some crazy picture of a paper fold boat on Pinterest and wanted to give it a try.  I had a small platform we put on castors.  Then we attached cardboard (not my favorite medium, but it works).  We painted it white and then attached text (a nice parent owned a vinyl printer and made vinyl letters).  Once again, I was vetoed.  The choreographer was really bothered that the boat wasn't pink... even if it looked super pink in the lighting.  We ended up "pink" washing it.

We did have a few issues getting it to roll nice.  Let's face it.  1000 pounds of kid is hard on small castors. More than once we needed to turn it on it's side to work on the wheels.  In the end we got some industrial castors... and changed 2 of them to non-swivel castors.  It made it harder to turn, but it did the trick.

And this is how we moved it.  The audience never saw the black rope stretched across the floor.  My friend Scot PULLED that 1000 pounds of boat and teens across the floor.  LOL... Ahh!  The magic of theater.

My next tricky thing was the chocolate factory.  Somehow I needed to make a colorful environment that transformed into rooms.  I started with a turn table.  The turn table we build 4 years ago was a mess.  People did not build it my way.  They did it a weird way.  I had the help take it all apart and start over... my way.  

I had to lube the pin.  So the thing worked smoothly!

Then we added the bridge...

covered the walls...

added a slide... ;)

Added some great color...

added an escape slide backstage... oh.. and it was removed for rotating the turn table.

made some giant 16 foot candy jars...

and we got Wonka Land!

We also made a gate that we flew in and out for entering the factory...

We made nuts out of footballs and duct tape.  I'm surprised that worked.

We had glow-in-the-dark bubbles for the floating room... and we had the stars sit on the shoulders of kids dressed in black to make them look like they were floating.

Lilli learned to do spot light too.

And these are my favorite kids... the tech kids.  Sure wish tech kids got more credit.  Let's face it... people on stage may have tons of talent, but without the tech kids who would ever know?