Harmo Houdini

So far, I’ve had 3 days of work since my parents left, leaving Sheff and Harmony on their own all day.

Day 1 – I rushed straight home from work. Harmo was in the crate, all is good in the world.

Day 2 – Harmo was waiting at the garage door for me. wait! How did Harmo get out of the crate?? I assumed that I didn’t latch the crate door properly.

Day 3 – Harmo again greeted me at the garage door. I had paid special attention this morning to make sure I latched the door firmly shut when I crated her.

Conclusion = Harmony can open the crate door. The only good news to come from this is that she didn’t get into any trouble while free – nothing had been knocked over, chewed, peed on, or messed with. So I guess that lets me know that I can leave her loose. But she’s been here a month today, and has been crated numerous times (although for shorter spans of time) and never busted out before. Maybe she’s been working on this trick the whole time, and yesterday finally pulled it off. Oh Harmo… what will we do with you??


Tonight’s Homegrown Dinner: Spaghetti Squash

Yes, tonight I’m having the spaghetti squash casserole that I shared with you earlier. And yes, I did use a pyrex mixing bowl :)



Quiche and Easy

Dinner tonight used up some vegetables hanging around – leeks (from our garden!), broccoli (grocery store) and corn (frozen) – as well as the last few eggs in the fridge, the rest of our cheddar block, and a frozen pie crust.

Enter.. Cooking Light’s Southwestern Broccoli Quiche


My recipe: (adapted from Cooking Light)

  1. Bake thawed pie crust at 400 degrees for 10 minutes
  2. Sautee in olive oil:
    1. 1/2 cup sliced leeks
    2. 2 garlic cloves, smashed/crushed/whatever
  3. Then add:
    1. 1 cup frozen corn
    2. 1-2 cups broccoli, lightly steamed
    3. 1/2 tsp each cumin and oregano (dried)
  4. Cool mixture.
  5. Spread 3/4 cup shredded cheddar on pie crust
  6. Add veggie mixture on top
  7. Mix 1 cup evaporated, fat-free milk and 2 eggs, salt/pepper in bowl. Pour on top of veggies
  8. Bake at 350 for ~45 minutes.
  9. Cool before cutting, and enjoy!

A Tale of Two Tarts


Dinner last night: A tomato tart (on pie crust) and a mushroom tart (on puff pastry)

DSCN0369 Pie crust topped with provolone cheese, sliced tomato, a little olive oil, salt + pepper


Puff pastry, brushed with egg washed, topped with seasoned ricotta cheese, sautéed mushrooms and green onions, salt + pepper + parmesan

Both were fabulous, vegetarian options. Always exciting when my dad eats a  meatless meal without grumbling! Oh and yes, we did have a side salad. You didn’t think we’d just eat pie crust and cheese for dinner!? haha…..

After dinner = DVR catch-up + embroidery.


OK OK… it was intended to be an “I love coffee” kind of thing. But I think it’s now looking a lot more like “I love my green watering can”. The green color didn’t help, nor the wonky-shaped coffee mug. Better luck next time. I need to actually start on a real project, rather than sewing random designs on the same piece of cloth.


Today’s been off to a good start – my parents got up early with me, and my dad cooked belgian waffles! It’s also Secretary/Admin Assistant day, which = boxes of Dunkin Donuts all over :)

Today’s creations

A creative day – both in nutrition and needlework

(haha, I know I’ve been killin’ it with the recent alliterations. They’re too much fun!)

E is for Embroidery

I took my newly purchased embroidery supplies to work today, and practiced some of the basic stitches today at work while patients were in group therapy. I’ve enjoyed the beginning stitching tutorials from sublime stitching, peptogirl, and early bird special. Thanks guys – saves me from having to buy a book!

This afternoon I decided to try out an actual design – copying a free pattern of a cupcake (what else do you expect from me?) from peptogirl. After having some difficulties threading needles (it’s been a long time) and getting the right number of strands figured out (6 works better than 8), I ended up with this!


Close up:


Not bad for my first project! And really didn’t take more than 20 minutes – part of which were spent out on the hammock with the border collie (dangerous, I know), while the rest were inside on the couch while watching last night’s Big Bang Theory (love that show!)

S is for Super Salad

Another project based on a purchase from this weekend in Nashville :)

While in Whole Foods (to buy my squash seeds) I picked up the whole-wheat naan that I love so dearly.

image I used it tonight in a flatbread cobb salad that I haven’t made for at least a year. I discovered the recipe from tastespotting (I think) when I was living in Nashville – and loved the salad! For a vegetarian, a lot of people are surprised at my lack of salad-eating, but I’d honestly rather have my vegetables cooked than raw.

This salad looked something like this:


  • 1 roma tomato, chopped
  • 1 hard-cooked egg, chopped
  • 1/4 avocado, chopped
  • couple handfuls of mixed salad greens
  • tossed with 2 tsp of honey mustard dressing

All those delicious toppings are mixed in a bowl, and then plopped on a toasted naan (who had a little EVOO and italian seasonings on before going in the toaster oven).

Soooo good! Nice mix of food groups, carbs, fat and protein.

If only all salads tasted like this….



Wow – world of weather!

Look at this weather forecast for later in the week!


Oh so perfect-sounding! Plus it’s Easter weekend. No big plans around here, although I think I’m going to plan an Easter Egg Hunt for the dogs. I bought some plastic eggs today to fill with treats and hide around the yard. I think it will be a laughable experience, to say the least.

Also on the dog front, today was Bess’s first day loose in the house while I was at work. She actually did great! I was so worried at work that she’d be clawing the door down, or getting into trouble somewhere, but everything was fine. Such a relief! And yet, still no recent applications on the sweet little girl. She says she doesn’t mind staying here a little longer :)

Dinner tonight: Pillowy sweet potatoes (thick slices, cooked low and slow for 50 minutes) and homemade black bean burgers. Yum central

Back to the grind…

It’s been great to not have to return to work the day after a vacation – today has been great for catching up on housework, groceries, gym, and getting ready for the week ahead!

Unfortunately, East Tennessee hasn’t welcomed us back with sunny weather. Here’s what’s coming our way:


With this line of storms, some serious winds have hung around all day, which has prompted Sheff to hide in all sorts of corner spaces and tremble with fear (including the bathtub, closet, under tables, and most recently in my bed of cabbages outside). I had to take him with me to Kroger and the gym today; I couldn’t get out the door without him running to the car. Poor boy :(

Dinner was a new recipe, inspired by Dorie Greenspan’s recipe in today’s Parade magazine:  Cornbread Chili Casserole (triple Cs! haha). I modified it with no ground beef (of course), instead using a mix of kidney beans, diced tomatoes, celery, carrots and bell pepper. I found a box of Jiffy Cornbread mix in the pantry (yes, I know it has lard in it…) and threw the dish together quickly.

A really great and easy meal! Now I have a couple more dinners waiting for me. Gotta love leftovers!



Belated Happy RD Day!

I wasn’t feelin’ the blog posting yesterday, so I failed to write a lovely RD Day-related post.

But I did have a delicious, colorful and nutritious dinner in honor of my profession:

DSCN0197 I roasted some butternut squash and asparagus, cooked up the rest of my Trader Joe’s Israeli Couscous, and then topped it all with a small amount of real-deal parm. Nutritiouslicious!

My boss is also treating me to lunch tomorrow in honor of RD Day. I’m pretty excited to return to The Tomato Head. yay for veg-friendly local restaurants!! :)

Boot camp Blues:

Yesterday I worked a little later than usual, so I wasn’t able to stop at the gym on my way home. Instead, I took advantage of the wonderful weather outside and made up my own circuit training –type workout in the front yard while the dogs ran around (good exercise for everyone!).

I brought my yoga mat, 5lb weights, water bottle and ipod outside, and spent the next 20 minutes sweating it out!

And… let’s just say that the walking lunges are killing me today. Sitting on the toilet is becoming a very painful task.

Maybe if I do this more regularly it won’t be so difficult? probably a good idea :)

In domestic news:

I spent the afternoon earlier this week on my Easter Wreath project.

DSCN0192 Here it is after gluing the first round of candy. I ended up choosing the cheapest pastel-colored chocolate eggs that Kroger carried.


And this is what it looks like after I emptied both bags of chocolate eggs. Basically the front of the wreath is covered, but the back is still exposed. I think I’ll leave it like this because (a) it’s getting pretty heavy! and (b) I’m cheap and lazy.

So now I just need to find a ribbon and a place to hang it for Easter! Hard to believe that April isn’t too far away. I already have some things lined up:

  • Easter festivities – unfortunately no fun social activities planned like last year, but hopefully the dogs and I can have fun
  • An enviro-friendly (and walker friendly!) 5K: Run For Clean Air 2010
  • Earth Day Festival
  • My parents’ arrival + Neuman the beagle and Annie the hyper mini-lab
  • Possible trip to Nashville to hang out with The Boy and his visiting Mom + Aunt

Fun fun! Now time to get back to my Netflix of Flight of the Conchords. Unfortunately, their song during the opening credits involves a brief blow of the whistle, which of course has led Sheff to hide in the kitchen. Oh my neurotic boy….