Spring Weekend in Houston

So I know the official first day of spring isn’t until the 20th, but down here in Houston, springtime starts in late February, early March when the temperatures warm back up into the 70s and the pine pollen bursts into the air to kick off our spring allergy season.  Aside from the pollen-laden air, the weather was simply perfect this weekend, with highs around 80 and lows around 70.  That means that it was time to come out from our air-conditioned cocoons and enjoy the outdoors with friends.

Well, first it meant getting some outdoor chores done, then hanging out with friends.  Saturday morning found E.J. and I staining our poor weathered fence, which looks much nicer now that it’s done.

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By 2 pm, our friends arrived just in time to help with the complicated staining around the AC compressors and help clean it all up.

The rest of the afternoon was dedicated to things we all love – sun, water, and food.  Before we started the fence project, E.J. looked up a couple of recipes for paleo wings in the smoker.  He made 2 different kinds, both which marinaded for 4 hours while we worked on the fence, and then went in the smoker for about an hour and a half, and finally finished on the grill for a nice crispy outside.  They were fantastic, and we paired them with some oven roasted asparagus and sweet potato bites. Yum!!

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We enjoyed the rest of the afternoon sitting by the pool (or in the hot tub) and enjoying the gorgeous weather and good company.  Then we headed out to see Whisky Tango Foxtrot at our local movie theater to cap off the day.

Sunday started like my typical cook-day with laundry, 2 lbs of fried bacon, and E.J’s requested Tex Mex Casserole to enjoy for lunches this week.  But we were invited to go over and watch the Vegas NASCAR race at our friend’s place, and I needed to bring a paleo snack to share.

I decided to take inspiration from our recent visit to Corner Table, a fantastic restaurant we found that has special Paleo dishes, including appetizers and desserts.  E.J. and I really enjoy their Beet Root Hummus appetizer, so I decided to see if I could make my own.  I used this Roasted Beet Dip recipe and then made my own savory almond “crackers” to dip in it adapted from a recipe in my Against all Grain cookbook for “chips” for salsa.

The result was very tasty, and while not everyone was with me on the beets (my son wasn’t a fan, but our hosts liked it), everyone liked the crackers.  I think I’ll be playing with that recipe again in the future to see what other varieties I can come up with.

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