Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Westie Wednesday

Quite a few years ago, a dear friend gave me this print.  I put it in a very special place (read: place where it would not get lost), and then proceeded to lose it!  This print was given to me before Louis came to live with me, and for that reason is even more special. :)  I finally had it framed, and it is on the fire place mantle in my living room. 

Louis spent most of the Thanksgiving Holiday resting his eyes.  And his paws.  And his belly.  He pretty much rested everything on various part of the couch....for 6 days. He is an excellent rest-er.

Well, until he found that mouse under my woodpile.  Then was quite alert!

I fear he's a wee bit out of shape though.  There is still a mouse in my woodpile :-o

Westie Licks,

T & Louis

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Oh The Places You'll Go!

I have been in the mood to cook a lot lately. 

I think it's the change of seasons, and the general desire to "hunker down" for the winter that finds me at home with the time to do so.  Even though it's still an average of 70 degrees or something here in Smalltown, VA....the days are shorter, and the leaves have fallen.  It's time to cook!

I found a recipe that I had tucked into an old notebook.  I remember the day I pulled the recipe out from my Real Simple Magazine.  I remember thinking that the presentation was lovely, but that the recipe sounded too "hard" for me.  I pulled the recipe out anyway.  That was probably 4 years ago :)

Last week I found myself chuckling at the memory.  Too hard?  Could I have been serious?  And I stood there in the kitchen having one of those "flashback" moments that take us by surprise sometimes.  You know the ones.  A certain smell, or a song on the radio...and you're gone.  Back to the 8th grade.  Or Senior Prom.  Or whatever.  So anyway, I'm standing in my kitchen and I remember standing right there and thinking "maybe if my mother comes to visit sometime I could make this.  it looks impressive, and it's healthy.  nahhhh...i'd mess it up.  it's too hard."  And I tucked it into a notebook.

What a silly girl I was!  Too hard?  Psshhht!  But, I hadn't been practicing back then!  I hadn't given myself the chance.  And I'm just so glad that I kept that recipe in the old notebook.  And that I found it just the other day.  And that I cooked it.  And that it was a success :)

1 pound new potatoes, halved or quartered
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1 14.5-ounce can chicken broth
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

I don't mean to sound arrogant, or as if I am some sort of fancy pants chef, but that I was intimidated by this recipe really makes me giggle.  Now :)

First, you take 2 pounds of new potatoes and you put them into a roasting pan in the oven.  Season with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 tsp of black pepper, and toss. Roast for 30 minutes, shaking the pan once.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring 14.5oz chicken broth & 1 cup balsamic vinegar to a boil. (SIDE NOTE - be sure to have windows open, fans on, etc, before you start boiling this vinegar.  We followed this suggestion and didn't have a terrible smell.  I have heard it can be horrid if you don't take precautions!)  Add the chicken and, if necessary, enough water (up to 1/2 cup) to cover it. Simmer for 1 minute. Cover, remove from heat, and set aside until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Add 1lb asparagus to the pan with the potatoes, season with the remaining salt, and toss. Roast until the asparagus is tender, 12 to 15 minutes.


After removing the chicken, continue to reduce the chicken broth/vinegar mixture for about 10 minutes.  You are looking for a thickening in the mixture to drizzle over the finished product.

And then......

Could it be any easier?

The potatoes and asparagus were divine!  The chicken was good too, but we were wondering if perhaps marinating it for a bit in the chicken broth/vinegar mixture and then grilling it may be even better?  Or, perhaps it would be too overpowered with vinegar that way? 

Regardless, I'm sure we will try this recipe (in one form or another) again!

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

by Dr. Seuss


Today is your day.

You're off to Great Places!

You're off and away!

Feeling Bold & Sassy in the Kitchen,


Gullah Gullah Gumbo from Charleston, SC

When we were visiting Charleston, SC earlier this fall, we picked up a few of these little starter packets for different types of low country food from Gullah Gourmet.  We had yet to make any of them, so on a cold and rainy evening we decided it was time for the Gullah Gullah Gumbo!

Inside the bag were two pouches.  One with rice, and the other with all of the spices.

The directions told us to bring the spices to a boil.

And in the meantime to cook the shrimp/chicken/spicy sausage/etc.  I had chicken & spicy sausage on hand, so that is what we used.

Then, we added the chicken and sausage into the boiling mixture (which had really thickened over the last 20 minutes), and we couldn't wait to try it!

We boiled the rice, and filled our plates.

It hit the spot for a cold and rainy night.  *HOWEVER* if we were ever to make this again, we would need to add MORE spice.  Yes, you heard it here friends.  I really am becoming a spice-a-holic.  MORE, MORE, MORE!  Even TEN agreed that it was delish, but could have used some spicy peppers to give it a bit of a kick.

Have you ever made one of these Gullah Gourmet meals in a bag?  If so, did you like it?  Which one was it?


Monday, November 28, 2011

Monte My Cristo, S'il Vous Plaît

Two weeks ago, or something like that, we had PJ Brunch Club.  It was at my house, and we decided to make the following menu:

Monte Cristo Sandwiches
Scrambled Eggs
Sausage Links
Fruit Salad w/Marshmallows
Mini Eclairs

I have always wanted to make a Monte Cristo Sandwich.  And now I have. I am a fan :)

Everyone arrived at 1pm, and TEN and I were sporting our Vineyard Vines westie PJ pants :-o

I invited all pups to this gathering of the PJ Brunch Club, and so we had some additional guests this time!

(Frosty Paws for the pups!)

PJ Brunch Club lasted until 8pm.  I think everyone had a good time :)


I Am Thankful For...

I started this post over the Thanksgiving Holiday.  And I am so very thankful for so many things.

But some of the not so thankful things are overwhelming me right now.  I'm reeling from things I am not thankful for.  And things I am afraid of.  And people who are not nice.

So we'll skip this post for today.  Perhaps I'll feel more thankful this evening.  Or tomorrow. 

For now I'm focusing on these two guys....

....both of whom I am very thankful for :)


Friday, November 18, 2011


I have been wanting to do one of those "I am Thankful For" posts for a while, but thing I have NOT been thankful for is free time.  I have made a pact with myself.  Next week, over the holiday, I am going to catch up with all of my blog loves (I miss you so!), and I am going to do that "I am Thankful For" post.

I have just now gotten 3 messages in a row filled with the most wonderful news.  I mean wonderful.  My life is going to become much easier as a result of one piece of news.  A friend's mother has localized, operable, cancer.  It has not metastasized, as we feared it could have.  And another friend just posted a series of photos on my Facebook wall.

Mind you...the first and second messages are great gifts for which I am SO thankful for.  But this last message made me cry.  In a happy way :) 

When I see these photos I imagine that the guy probably thinks nothing of jumping in to help.  What a small thing he did to save a puppy's life!  I wonder if he realizes how grand his small kindness seems to the woman?   Her face in the next to the last photo is what brought me to tears.

epic win photos - Dog Rescue WIN
see more WIN - Epic Win Photos and Videos

I think the world could do with a few more people willing to drop their pants and jump in.  Don't you?

Thanks for the smile Gini.

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Westie Wednesday

I'm still trying to dig myself out of the weeds here in the land of Seersucker.  Travel and clients who need attention do not make for an easy return. 

You know the drill.  I know you have all been there :)

So alas, I'll be back to chat once I get myself together.

Louis is feeling a bit worn out himself.  Although I can't for the life of me determine why.  The life of a West Highland White Terrier seems pretty relaxing to me.  Expecially when you have your very own westie/scottie throw and a soft spot on the couch.


Monday, November 14, 2011

I Don't Know How to Spell Empanada

The Friday before I left for my travels I wanted to relax.  We decided to make Sweet Corn & Bacon Empanadas from a recipe I found on Just a Taste.  There was some grilling of a chili pepper involved, and some crimping with a fork, and then..........there was bacon.  I didn't think we could go wrong there :)


2 large chili peppers (of desired heat)
3 strips bacon
2 cups frozen yellow sweet corn
1½ cups shredded Cheddar cheese
½ cup chopped scallions
1 package pie dough (two 15-oz. sheets)
1 egg yolk
1 Tablespoon water
Pinch of smoked paprika


Roast the chili peppers by holding them over an open flame until the skin is completely charred. (Alternate method: Preheat the oven to 400ºF and roast the peppers on a baking sheet for 20 minutes, flipping them over once while roasting).

Place the roasted chilies in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Sweat the peppers for 10 minutes.

Peel the chilies then slice them in half, scraping out the seeds and removing the stem.

Dice the chilies and place them in a bowl.

Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove the cooked bacon and reserve 1 Tablespoon of the grease.

Chop the cooked bacon and add it to the bowl with the diced chilies.

Add the corn, along with the reserved bacon grease, into the pan and saute for 8-10 minutes until it begins to brown slightly.

Add the diced chilies, chopped bacon, shredded Cheddar cheese and chopped scallions into the pan with the corn. Toss to combine.

(we didn't have any scallions to chop, so TEN went to town on a white onion)

Refrigerate the corn mixture until it has completely cooled.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Unroll one sheet of the pie dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Use a cookie cutter (or trace around a large drinking glass) to cut out 3½" circles.

Arrange the dough circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Add 1 Tablespoon of the corn filling in the center of each dough round then fold the rounds in half. Use a fork to crimp the edges and seal the empanada closed.

Beat the egg yolk with the water. Brush the tops of the empanadas with the egg wash then sprinkle with a pinch of smoked paprika.

Bake until golden, about 15-18 minutes.

These little guys were pretty darn good!  I will say that the whole smoking of the chilies, and sweating them, etc. made for a bit of prep time.  And then the filling of the empanadas was time consuming until we got the hang of it. 

I suspect this could become one of those "quick weeknight meals" if made a few times for practice.  Of course we added some low fat sour cream.  Because that's how we roll at Seersucker Central ;)

I'm playing catch up for the next few days, but I'm getting there!


Friday, November 11, 2011

Trip Down Memory Lane

Hi there!  Happy Friday :)

I hope you enjoyed my little trip down:

Sometimes it's good to take a step back, and to remember how you got from here.  Don't you agree?

Of course, TEN and I broken up after a year.  BUT...we got back together after a few months.  I didn't feel that it was necessary to re-post all of that nonsense.  I know you understand :)


Gather Round.....I Have an Announcement! - RePost

I've decided to come clean. Well, perhaps that's a bit dramatic. I've kindove been trying to tell you about it all along...but I don't think my hints were strong enough. (sigh)

Do you remember my post entitled So I Met a Guy....But He Doesn't Count? And the one entitled So Then I Met a Guy....And He DOES Count? Of course you do! You don't read 300 blogs a day or anything :) No worries. I've linked back so you can refresh your memory, and then you can come back to today's post and I can say.....................

Ummm...yea. Turns out I got it backwards.

Yep. That's it folks. The one that did count ended up not really counting very much at all. AND...the one that didn't count ended up being..........

Well, he ended up being exactly what I was looking for...I just didn't know it. Life is funny that way sometimes.

He's still TEN, but I've realized that doesn't really matter:) He makes me laugh until I cry. He takes care of me when I hurt myself being a klutz...which is pretty much daily. He makes me want to relax and do nothing but watch movies and be lazy...which is really cool because I'm type A and can't relax. Ever. He makes me want to learn how to cook, so I can cook for him. AND THAT, my friends, is amazing in and of itself.


TEN meet my blog. Blog, meet TEN:

WHEW! Now I feel like I can actually blog again. I was having the hardest time telling stories without talking about him :)


Thursday, November 10, 2011

So I've Got Some Explaining to Do... - RePost

I know I've been lazy about posting lately. There is a reason for that. I cancelled my MDC subscription. Here's the thing....I went out with countless people and they were all terrible. I know I shouldn't have given up, but I did. I never even e-mailed Normal Guy back. I just couldn't bare to go on yet another date with another person that I was pretty sure I wasn't going to like. Just call me Nellie Negative. It's okay. I admit it...I am :)

It's summer time and I need a break. I'm kindove sad though, because what silly stories will I have to blog about? My life really isn't that exciting. I've read countless blogs by other single girls out there who either give up the search, or find what they are looking for. Their blogs just stop because they really don't have much to talk about. I was thinking that would probably be the case for me.

Then I remembered this blog idea that I told MK about a while ago. It seems that every time I walk out of the door of my office something bizarre happens. Every time I walk back into the office I walk to MK's office door and say "you are never going to believe what just happened". Seriously. This happens at least 2 times a day. I then proceed to tell her the bizarreness that has just occurred and she says " should totally blog that". We decided I should start a second blog and call it "Crazy Shit That Happens to Me Every Time I Walk Out of the Door" or some such thing. I never started that blog. Perhaps it's time? Because seriously, there is some crazy stuff that happens. WIMP experienced an example of this last week when she dropped by for a visit.

So, I'm not sure exactly how I will go about this. There is always the chance that I will sign back on to MDC, so I don't really want to scrap this blog and I kindove like the name. But honestly, I'm not really trying to meet anyone new right now. I kindove like what I've got :)


Men Are Like Shoes - RePost

The Voice of Reason and I had a mani/pedi last night, and then went for drinks. We came to the conclusion that men are like shoes. I've thought this often, but assumed I was probably nuts for using the analogy, so I kept my mouth shut. The Voice of Reason sees things the same way, so I guess I'm not crazy after all.

I want Monolo Blahniks. Because really...who doesn't? They are all (well, almost all) beautiful. That's a given. The best part about them is that somehow, as tall and spiky as they may be, they are comfortable. Always. I can dance all night in them, and my feet don't hurt. I guess that's why you have to pay $400 to $600 a pair for them. They are gorgeous AND comfortable.

When I shoe shop the thing that draws me to a shoe is whether it's cute or not. Let's be honest...that is how it is for most of us. Then I try the shoe on. Some shoes are uncomfortable, or not so cute, upon closer inspection. Others I have to wear around the store for a while to determine whether or not they will do. Even then, sometimes I purchase a pair and wear them out only to realize they are awful. You know the feeling? When you know you look cute, because your shoes are fabulous, but you are miserable all night because they are uncomfortable. I usually keep these shoes, and wear them out for dinner and things where I know I will be sitting down most of the night. They are worth keeping, but certainly can't be worn on a regular basis.

So....back to real life. I have about 5 e-mails in my MDC inbox that look promising. Normal Guy has sent a lovely e-mail, and I really need to reply. I'm just kindove taking a little vacation. Not because I don't still want to find my Monolos, but more because it's summer. I think that all of this shoe shopping is wearing me out, and perhaps I should just enjoy a pair of flip flops for now. Flip flops are awesome. They are cute, comfortable and can be dressed up or dressed down. Even if they don't look exactly right with your outfit, they still work. And, sometimes you find yourself picking them over your Manolos. Sometimes :)

Have a wonderful weekend friends. I hope the weather where you are is as lovely as it is in Smalltown, VA.