This is the face of a dog who doesn’t really like to pee in the cold and would rather cuddle upside down in daddy’s chair.
This is also the face of a dog that could care less that he isn’t supposed to be in said chair. “Busted! But look how cute I am mom!” – Renly
Winter came to South Carolina this week, whether or not it’s actually here to stay remains to be seen. It has not been abnormal to have the temperature fluctuate from 40-70 from one day to the next this year. For now, I’m happy to finally be able to wear sweaters and boots without sweating…whether or not that attitude will last also remains to be seen.
One undeniable winter positive is the fact that I can now make as many stews, roasts and “hearty” dishes as my little heart desires. One of my first orders of business is this delicious roasted vegetable lasagna.
Last year was the first Christmas I spent with Robert’s family and although it was wonderful, nearly everyone got the stomach bug leading up to the holiday. Since no one felt well enough to cook, his aunt’s sweet best friend brought over some delicious vegetable lasagnas for our Christmas Eve meal. They were warm and cheesy and full of healthy veggies so of course everyone was instantly cured!
Ok, so maybe they weren’t miracle medicinal lasagnas, but they sure were yummy and since I magically avoided the bug, I helped myself to seconds and thirds 🙂
And just like that it’s Monday again. They always come back around so quickly don’t they? Robert and I had a great, full weekend. We went on a dinner date Friday night, spent Saturday on the boat with friends and spent Sunday at the beach celebrating the first birthday of a friend’s darling daughter. It doesn’t get much cuter than a baby at the beach. Except maybe a baby Renly at the beach
On a serious note, I realized today that summer break is half way over Four weeks down, four to go. Most of last summer was so full of wedding craziness that this one has seemed so much more laid back and relaxing. A girl could really get used to this! I am always ready and excited to start the new school year when it is time, but I will definitely miss all the sleeping in extra time in the kitchen.
During the school year I typically go to the gym in the morning on my way to work. This means waking up VERY early and packing my breakfast to eat at school. I relish weekend breakfasts during the school year because I actually get to take my time making something a little more laborious, and enjoy it with my husband!
Baked oatmeal is a great dish to enjoy slowly on the weekend, fresh out of the oven, BUT it is also perfect for the work week because it re-heats beautifully. Mangoes can be tricky to cut, so if you are struggling (and haven’t youtube’d it yet) let me show you how I do it. The easiest way I have found to cut a mango is to basically slice it into thirds. The pit of a mango is flat and in the middle. You will want to place the mango upright on the cutting board and cut along the sides of the pit (from top to bottom) so you are left with three pieces. The middle piece which contains the pit, and the two outside halves.
These halves are where you will get your fruit. I then like to score the halves, vertically and horizontally, taking care not to cut all the way through the peel.
Happy Tuesday! They announced that school was cancelled last night due to forecasts of “freezing rain” this morning. It has rained most of the day, but it certainly doesn’t appear to be freezing and my drive to the gym this morning was perfectly safe and uneventful (thankfully). I guess the district would rather be safe than sorry and hey, I’m ALWAYS up for a (faux) snow day, especially when it’s announced the night before so I can prepare to sleep in appropriately
I’m not the only one who was excited to have the day off, Renly also enjoys any and every excuse to sleep in. Especially if he is lucky enough to do it in our bed.
In addition to cuddling with Renly since it’s too cold to play outside, I’ve spent my day at home packing, finishing laundry and preparing for the rest of the week. I also FINALLY uploaded our California pictures so those recaps will be coming soon! I leave tomorrow after work for the South Carolina Speech and Hearing Conference in Myrtle Beach. Although the prospect of a solo road trip is not the most heartening, I am excited to learn something new during the sessions and even MORE excited to catch up with my girlfriends from graduate school who will be in attendance. I will return from the conference late Friday evening only to turn around and leave again on Saturday for a wedding. Whew, I’m a little tired just thinking about all that driving!
Anytime I know I will be out of town for a few days, I go on a mission to empty our fridge to the best of my ability. This means I bought limited groceries this week and am making good use of our freezer contents. Robert tends to eat out when I am away unless I leave him leftovers. Since I hate the thought of him eating a sad fast food burger three nights in a row I decided to thaw out some lentil and sausage soup I made a few weeks ago. A few years ago Robert would have turned his nose up at the mere mention of lentils, probably because he wouldn’t have had a clue what they were. Thanks to his green food loving wife (ahem me) his tastes have broadened considerably and he raved about this soup when I made it. This recipe was a “throw everything in the fridge into a pot” experiment that turned out very very right. Fortunately, I jotted down the ingredients after tasting it, unfortunately, I didn’t take any step by step photos because I wasn’t sure it would be share-worthy. But I’m not sure you really need any pictures of diced onions or chopped carrots, those should be pretty self explanatory. If you REALLY need a visual for torn kale, Google image search has some nice options
I DID take a picture of the final product…tada!
Happy Valentine’s Day week! Robert and I have tried a variety of Valentine’s Day traditions over the years, fancy dinners out, homemade dinners in and of course the memorable year I tried to make Robert’s favorite cheesecake from scratch in my ancient apartment oven which turned out decently tasty but horribly cracked and ugly. This year we will be volunteering at a charity gala for a local foundation that raises money for children with disabilities. The Heart Ball is a black tie affair with dinner, dancing and several auctions. I’m excited to help with such a worthy cause, and seeing my handsome husband in a tuxedo is always an added bonus
If I was a good blogger I would have a heart shaped recipe to share with you right now…or at the very least something pink/chocolate/covered in sprinkles. Instead I have a yummy veggie centric dinner recipe that is not Valentine’s related in the slightest…although it is red so maybe I can get partial credit?
This recipe can easily be made meat free and is delicious that way, but Robert prefers his with a little extra protein. I have done it with grilled chicken, sausage and even my favorite easy meatballs, which is how we have been enjoying it lately. If you aren’t of the carnivore variety, I suggest beefing up the extra vegetables, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant and onion would be a great combination. Like my zucchini noodles, this is another non-recipe type recipe. It is slightly more prep intensive but doesn’t require a spiralizer. So if you are in the neighborhood for a pasta substitute without purchasing any additional gadgets, this recipe may be the one for you.
Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! I am excited to have the day off from work to write, cook, catch up on chores and perhaps run a few errands. Before my trip to the gym this morning I took a few minutes to read a few articles and reflect on the day. I love reading all of Dr. King’s quotes that circulate the internet this time of year. What an eloquent, articulate and truly inspirational human being. This morning I found an article that listed some of Dr. King’s lesser known quotes, and I found this one particularly meaningful,
“ True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring”.
This quote resonates with me on many levels right now, both personally, professionally and even with memories of our recent trip to San Francisco where despite the beautiful landscapes, bright tourist attractions and thriving city life, we encountered SO many homeless individuals. Several times, I caught myself thinking, Wow, what can they do to help these people? Why don’t they seem to be doing more? And then, as we explored the city I would see the lines of men, women and children winding around blocks to get into the shelters and think, How do you fix a problem this big?
I think Dr. King was trying to express that putting a band aid on a problem is not enough, and to be truly compassionate, you must consider what you can do to eliminate the problem from the ground up. I think about this often at work as I encounter children with ever widening gaps in their knowledge. Do I use the quick fix and teach them the meaning of an unknown word? Or try something a bit more difficult and instead teach them how to use a dictionary? Or better still, do I try to teach them the importance of reading something new each day to continually expand both their vocabulary and their minds? This type of thinking is not the easy route and is definitely the road less traveled, but it is necessary to fix the broken parts of our education system, and our society as a whole.
So there is my 2 cents In exchange for reading I will also provide you with a yummy, easy and very versatile meatball recipe. And a close up picture of my dog looking rather forlorn. You’re welcome.