30 September 2007

Yeah October!

It's officially October, so I can pull out the Halloween decorations without shame (ok, I pulled them out on September 30). While bummed about the end of summer, I love fall. I just do. And yeah for almost Halloween! :) Note: I didn't even see Heidi in this shot until I uploaded it. Sneaky camera hog pooch!

To continue the fall celebration, I whipped up a new recipe to make use of the some of the last tomatoes of the season, my bevy of potatoes, and my yet-to-be-tried acorn squash. It was DELICIOUS. I highly recommend it.

Starch Overload Skillet

butter or olive oil
1 small onion
2 cups uncooked rice
1 cup veggie broth
5 to 6 medium potatoes, sliced or diced
1/2 to 1 lb acorn squash, sliced or diced
salt, pepper, red pepper, nutmeg
2 small to medium tomatoes
cook rice
whilst cooking rice...
melt butter or heat olive oil
saute onions for 5 minutes
add potatoes and squash and broth
season with nutmeg, red pepper, salt, and pepper
bring to a boil
cook over medium heat 20 minutes
add tomatoes and mushrooms
reduce heat, cook 5 more minutes
serve over rice (white, of course, because brown is yuck!)

Crafty McCraft

So once I finished my Heidi layout, I really got the scrapbook bug up my butt. I went out Saturday and got a bunch of new supplies -- some diecuts, paper, more letter stencils, a few new pens... And I sat down over the next two days and put together my first random scrapbook layout. Inspired by Sara's never-ending creativity, I decided to do a Sara layout! I'm not super thrilled with it -- the colors ended up being a little bland, but I didn't want to overwhelm it with a patterned background. So here it is!

By the way, I'm really enjoying my new crafting space. It gives me a space to fiddle around and hang out with Brad while he's on the treadmill, and it gives Heidi a chance to play outside because the door is right there, so I just leash her up and she's got full reign of the backyard.

Handy tip: Sara tipped me off to Picasa, free downloadable photo editing software. Dude. It's amazing. I've been using the software that came with my Sony camera, and it sucks. Sucks sucks. Picasa has the coolest functions, and I've already improved my photos tenfold with the "sharpen" and "warmify" auto buttons. Other fun functions are a blur effect, color tinting (pink!), and, well, lots of things I can't remember right now.

Brad Pitt.

Petunia's Big Adventure
Rachel and Don went out of town this weekend, so I was lucky enough to score pig-sitting duty. As always, Petunia and I had a lovely time. Heidi was curious, of course. Sniff sniff! (That's Heidi sniffing Petunia's butt.)
"Oh no! Michael Myers is coming to get me!"

Better call the police!
Don't worry, piggie! Slater will save you!

In other news this weekend....
The humane society is nuts right now. There are hardly ANY dogs - it's awesome! :) What we do have are a TON of pitts and pit mixes. And boy oh boy are they cute!!! Because there were only a few dogs in kennel one, I braved kennel two for the first time, where they keep the bite cases and stray dogs that haven't been checked in yet. Most were off limits, but I did walk two pitts, one of which was the sweetest girl ever. We walked across the yard, found a bench, and spent the next 20 minutes just enjoying the peace and quiet (kennel two is ridiculously loud) -- her laying on my lap, her paws crossed on my leg. After that we were all caught up, so another volunteer and I went to smoosh the pitt puppies in the puppy room. While those little buggers have razor-sharp teeth, they were so cute. Like, disgustingly cute. There are four that are just two months old, and it is so funny to watch them romp around with each other. I didn't even mind when they licked right up my nose and nibbled on my ears. They were that cute. Oh, and one was totally named Bradd Pitt. I don't know how anyone could ever look at one of their sweet faces and train them to fight. What is wrong with people?!?! (Pictured: Kerra and Sonny.)

Speaking of walking dogs, today was so beautiful that Heidi and I went for a long hike at Bird Hills. While slightly treacherous at first (Heidi gets SO worked up that going downhill is a disaster -- I somehow made it out with only falling on my butt once), Heidi eventually tired herself out and we had a fantastic walk.

Fun tidbit: My fantabulous hubby Brad joined me at the Farmer's Market yesterday for the first time. Saturdays are a little bit like art fair, but he didn't complain. :) Thanks for joining me, babe!

29 September 2007

So Hollywood.

Sara had a layout published in the new issue of Simple Scrapbooks! I could barely contain myself from running around the bookstore shouting, "It's my Sara!!!" You're my favorite scrapper in the world, Sara! Congrats! (Even if they did forget a t! I still know it's you!)

28 September 2007


Good news from Lisa -- Her and Macy just left the puppy cancer doc's office, and Macy got a clean bill of health. PHEW! Smooches to Lisa and Macy!

27 September 2007

Scene of the crime

Clearly, I like to take pictures. I don't think I'm that creative, but sometimes I get lucky based on the 20 photos I've taken of the same scene and get a killer shot. I'm pretty good about keeping everything in order and putting all my photos in albums. For my wedding shower and bachelorette party, Sara gave me the fixings and inspiration to try my hand at scrapbooking for the first time. She even created page templates for me and fun labels to use. With all her help, I got through that album pretty quickly (ok, not quickly, but it wasn't too stressful). Next up I wanted to scrapbook everything from our honeymoon. Thus started my mindset of "scrapbook everything, in order." It's next to impossible for me to deviate from this philosophy. Ultimately, it's what turned me off from scrapbooking. I'm that anal! But recently I've given it some more thought and have gotten the craft bug up my butt. I picked up a magazine, looked at some websites, talked to Sara, got a few supplies. Then lo and behold, Sara sent me a link to a call for layouts from Simple Scrapbooks, requesting special layouts about pets. I was initially intimidated, but Sara helped me come up with a theme (eating!), and I got started. I sat down this evening and tried a few things out and finally got my ideas on paper. It's not great and I know I won't get published or anything, but I went ahead and submitted it just for fun. It's a start to a more open idea about scrapbooking, and once I have some more general supplies, I just might make a few good pages!

25 September 2007

I'm gonna squash you!

It's sunny, nearly 90 degrees... Sounds like a perfect day to make soup, right? Ha! But I've been dying to try out a new recipe and my butt (okay butte) potatoes, so I went for it.

Smooshy Potato and Squash Soup

1 to 1-1/2 lb potatoes
~1 lb cubed butternut squash
5 cups stock (I used 2 of chicken, 3 of vegetable)
1 cup heavy cream
1 small to medium onion, diced
1 tbs unsalted butter (I used light margarine because that's what I had)

1. Peel potatoes and slice into 1/4-inch pieces or smaller
2. If not already cubed, cube squash
3. Melt butter over medium heat
4. Saute onion for 5 minutes
5. Add potatoes and squash, stock, and cream
6. Bring to a boil
7. Simmer for 15 minutes
8. Lightly mash and/or whisk to break up potato pieces and smooth squash
9. Season with sage, nutmeg, salt, and pepper
10. Simmer for 5 more minutes
11. Give one last good whisk and/or mash, depending on how ok you are with chunks (we like chunks)
12. Spoon into bowls and serve with slices of sourdough -- YUM!

I bogarted the basic idea from this book: Vegetable Love. I heart this cookbook.

23 September 2007


This weekend was another Meg-stravaganza, the best kind of weekend, of course! :) We started off the weekend at Rachel's, where we enjoyed a lovely dinner + drinks get-together (including a sexy swing on the hammock!). Rachel and Don have done a lot of work on their house and yard over the past few years, and I just have to give them a shout out for how awesome everything looks. They are quite the inspiration!

Saturday, after years of uneducated "yuck!"s when discussing Indian food, I was finally feeling adventurous enough and joined Meg and Melissa for my first Indian food buffet at the restaurant Melissa calls the best Indian food in town. I have no idea what I ate, but it was pretty good. Rice, bread, some green lentil thing, and two helpings of some red stuff that had a vaguely Greek taste, with nutmeg perhaps. I left feeling pleased with the outcome -- while not jumping up and down, I felt I could now join friends when they have Indian for dinner. Afterward, we drove over to the Huron River where Melissa introduced us to a new trail at Gallup Park, and we walked for a half-hour or so. Midway through the walk, the Indian food started to kick in, and I now must say I definitely cannot tolerate Indian food. I've felt worse, but I felt all out of whack the rest of the night. While disappointed, I'm proud of myself for giving it a try.

I powered through, though, and came home and kicked our basement's ass. I swept up all the spiders and dead rolly pollys, moved Brad's parents' stuff into one corner, reorganized our workout space, and set up my new craft space. Woohoo! I hope to replace my makeshift desk with real tables, but for now this will do. I'm fully inspired to finish up my Heidi album and start scrapbooking all my old family photos. After cleaning myself up, it was time to pick up Birgit and head downtown to meet our townie friend Shiny Shoes for the Ryan Adams concert.

Just a quick review for fans: He definitely didn't suck -- the music sounded fantastic and it was cool to hear him play his ass off all night long. That being said, it was really mellow. Really mellow. And quiet. There were some moments where it was so quiet you were afraid to even whisper to your neighbor. The fans were also incredibly obnoxious and even rude, shouting song requests out at really quiet moments, and, oddly enough, men kept screaming "you rule, Ryan!" and "that was fing gorgeous, Ryan." Weirdos. After the show, we met up with Meg and Melissa and some other folks at Grizzly Peak. The pink drinks ("cherry poppers") were flowing and good times were had by all (except my belly, of course, who sent Brad and I home a little earlier than everyone else). Us girls enjoyed asking the boys dating brain teasers and were adorably flirted with by a cute old man still carrying his seat cushion from the game. After switching to a bigger table to accommodate our growing party, he came over and said "I know caribou migrate, but I didn't know foxettes do!"

After an epic brunch journey with Meg and Melissa this morning, I finally hit up Trader Joe's. I don't know much about the store, so I definitely want to read up (I will as soon as I finish this!), but from what I could see, it is close to Whole Foods in philosophy. I'm basically in love. It's smaller, less crowded, and holy crap is it ridiculously cheaper. The only downsides: hardly any produce and few premade items (which is fine, I really don't need those). I also hated buying produce I knew I could get at the Farmer's Market, but I just couldn't wait until Wednesday for certain items. I typically don't like to buy pre-sliced, packaged fruits and veggies, but I was excited to find butternut and acorn squash available as such. I want to eat more squash this fall/winter, but I've never had either kind. This is much easier than committing to an entire squash, plus all the work it entails. Overall thoughts: I think I may have found THE place.

My favorite find at Trader Joe's? Real pizza dough! I've looked but was unable to find anything other than rolled-up Pillsbury dough. TJ had a whole line of different doughs, though, and I snatched one right up. Tonight I made my very first homemade pizza (tostada pizza doesn't count). I nearly died when I opened the package of dough -- hello?! Best. Smell. Ever. I made a three-cheese pizza with mozzarella (made from hormone-free cows!), asiago, and light goat cheese. I also threw on some black olives, then mushrooms on my half. It smelled and tasted deeeelicious. Notes for next time: more pizza sauce, roll dough a little thinner. There will definitely be lots of next times.

21 September 2007

Headless horseman.

I guess we know how Heidi feels about me lately... Sheesh!

20 September 2007

Hey! You stepped on my foot! Now sign my petition.

Yesterday was very bipolar. Super ups, super downs. Now that Heidi was finally feeling better, she had to go and get herself in trouble again (not the Dirty Dancing kind of "trouble" har har). I was working in the living room and ran upstairs to take a quick call. When I came down five minutes later, Heidi had worked the baby-proof cap of my Crohn's pills open and was chomping away on my capsules. My heart nearly stopped. I rushed her to the vet where we did some quick, half-assed math determining she ate atleast 4 pills and no more than 8 (I take 8 a day, so it's not like she took a human-lethal dose). I left Heidi at the vet where they spent the next two hours trying to get her to puke -- peroxide, morphine, charcoal. Nothing!!! So they sent her home basically with a "I think she'll be fine" $260+ bill, even though they weren't able to help her at all. The time she was at the vet was the worst -- we basically spend ALL our time together, and it just broke my heart not to have her here with me. How is it possible to love someone so very much that eats all your stuff, poops all over your yard, and barks at you for no reason?

Luckily we haven't seen any of the "watch for" symptoms and she's mostly back to normal today. Last night was so sad, though, because she was all hopped up on morphine and looked like a little crackhead with glassy eyes, falling asleep standing up. She sure does make our lives interesting.

On the upper side of yesterday, Rachel and I worked our first event as members of Planned Parenthood Young Leaders -- the 9th annual beer tasting. With over 100 attendees, the event was a grand success and everyone seemed to have a great time. Rachel got to use her charm for "tips for choice" whilst pouring everyone's favorite dougie-style beer. I worked the room gathering signatures on our Prevention First petition. I even met the man that performed PP's first vasectomy 40 years ago! It was great to meet so many like-minded people, and I can't wait until our next event in January.

18 September 2007

Busy beaver.

Pooch update: Heidi is feeling much better. While still a little more lethargic than normal, she's mostly back to herself, and the eye infection even seems to be going away, despite the fact that we've hardly been able to get her eye drops in (you'd think we were trying to kill her!). I bought her a little get well present, so I'm sure that helped, too. :) Also, everyone say a little pooch prayer for Lisa's pup, Macy. She's recovering from surgery and may have to go in for some follow-up tests next week. Love you, Macy! XOXO

It's been a lovely week so far -- sunny and warm. The perfect fall days! And something about the fall makes me feel homemakery, and my mind is buzzing with STUFF to do. I finally sat down yesterday and started work on my Heidi album. I've mostly come to terms with the fact that I'm just not creative enough to be a full-fledged scrapbooker. I've decided I'm an "album-er" -- ha ha. So the Heidi album is mostly just a photo album, but it has other fun stuff, too. Then I can be a little crafty, but there's not so much pressure. I ran out of pages last night, so after a mad search all over town for filler pages (arghh!!!), I ended up making do with recipe book page fillers I found at Hallmark. I'm about 75% done now, and I'm actually pretty pleased with how it's turning out.

While on my mad search for filler pages (and a new planner!), I discovered how awesome Westgate Plaza, right down the street from my house, is. Seriously, there's everything. A Staples, TJ Maxx, bagels, cafe, shoe store, pet store, scrapbook store. And I made a really cool find -- Nicola's Books. I've seen it a hundred times but never went in, kind of assuming it was a second-run book store or something. But I finally went in today and it's great! It has all the new stuff that usually takes me over to Borders, was cozy and inviting (I refuse to even go to Barnes and Noble because it's not cozy) and seemed like the kind of place you could just go hang out and browse forever. They also have stationary and photo albums, cards, and a lot of cool little gifts. I'll definitely be going back here (and just couldn't leave empty handed -- I picked up the Halloween issue of Martha Stewart Living, Simple Scrapbooks magazine, and a ghost keychain that boos). I wish I had known about this place earlier today because...

The new Wally Lamb book is out!!! I went and picked up my copy this morning, and I can't wait to get started!

Anyway, back to this whole productive spirit of late. Because I fell in love with the chocolate cookies at Whole Foods, and they're so damn expensive, I decided to make my own today (I posted the recipe a few weeks ago). I made two dozen, and while definitely not the same, they're pretty good. I think I bought the wrong cocoa powder, though, so they taste more like, well, pure cocoa rather than chocolate. I'll know for the next batch! Tomorrow I plan on picking up some leeks to take a stab at potato leek soup. Lots of projects in the works (well, in my head). I want to redecorate my office (paint it orange, perhaps?), "album" my Germany/Prague pictures from last year... I've decided I need to create a craft corner in the basement. Hmm... how much would a few tables cost??

So as a parting note to this post, and to the summer... Now that I've accepted that it's fall, we took Heidi for her evening stroll, and a rogue mosquito came and bit me right on the neck! As Larry would say, "Ain't that a kick in the ole gazebos?"

17 September 2007

I wanna be a supermodel.

So Heidi did not win the Rachael Ray pet of the month contest last month. But she is definitely cuter than any of these pooches, so I shall try a second time. Keep your fingers crossed for our little Cindy Crawford. Hopefully the winning pic:

PS Awwwwww. Rufus.

15 September 2007

Pukey pooch.

Yesterday I had my first brush with mommy panic. Our poor baby pooch was a pukey, sullen mess, and it threw me into a massive fit. She seemed mostly fine throughout the day, but around 3 pm she commenced pukefest 07. Poor thing. Luckily after two calls to the vet, they got us in just before closing to check Heidi out. She just wasn't herself, laying quiet and calmly in the office, letting the vet check her out. Luckily the vet wasn't too horribly concerned, so we assume she just ate something weird (what could possibly be weird for a dog that loves toilet paper, post-it notes, and leaves?). Turns out she also has an eye infection. Our little medical disaster. So off we went with our many meds, Heidi leaving a parting puke all over the reception area. We came home and started her on her medicine, and she proceeded to sleep for the next 12 hours. She slept with me (Brad was out of town), and didn't fidget or fuss all night. While normally a quiet and calm Heidi is much appreciated, I know it's because she's feeling crappy, so it was so sad. She's been puke free since the vet incident, so I think she's on her way to feeling better. For now, we'll just spend the day cuddling, enjoying this pretty fall day.

13 September 2007

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood...

I originally sat down to write a quick, "wow, today was beautiful note," but I've since then spent an hour and a half trying to figure out the damn external hard I bought to back up my iTunes files. I appear to have some missing files (all my ABBA files!) and it is driving me batty. That being said... It really was a beautiful afternoon.

Heidi sure wanted to go to the dog park. I thought it was a better walk-through-the-woods day, so we headed out toward the trails. It took me an entire block to get her to walk willingly. Such a princess. Luckily, despite several tromps through the weeds, there are no snake sightings to report. The sunny weather also inspired me to hit up the Thursday Zingerman's market for a few more treats -- I'd been regretting not buying the goat cheese for 24 hours, and today the cheese guy introduced me to the yummiest cheese ever. Goat cheese rolled in rosemary. So simple, but so delicious. And let me tell you, my fridge? It smells heavenly.

Although it was so incredibly lovely today, yesterday's cooler weather has definitely put me into the fall mindframe. I went to the library looking for fall-recipe cookbooks, and I couldn't resist... I picked up the Halloween handbook. :) So after walking and running errands, it was finally time for dinner. It was Brad's last night at golf league, so I whipped up myself the best sandwich ever. My new goat cheese, fresh Zingerman's bread, and farmer's market tomato, onion, and pepper (possibly the reddest tomato ever)... MMM.

Finally, puppy prayers go out to our Annie and Mike. Annie was Rachel's sweetie -- an energetic husky that kept getting adopted out then returned. I believe she was a wanderer. Mike was also put down today, but we're not sure of the details. May these pooches rest in peace and finally heal after their short, tough lives. I'm thankful every day that our humane society is a low-kill shelter because even losing two pups breaks our hearts.

12 September 2007

Fall frenzy!

Fall is here, my friends. It came out of nowhere and bit us on the ass, but I think I'm okay with it. Especially after seeing all the goodies at the Farmer's Market today. Lisa was down for the afternoon, so we met up with Krissy and Bava to benefit from the fall harvest. I got the usual suspects -- green beans for Heidi, tomatoes (I'm dreading the day these disappear for the season...), Zingerman's cheese -- but also loaded up on some true fall goodies, like squash, potatoes, apples, and a bucket of cutie pants gourds. Time for the fall centerpiece! I'm also feeling some more love for peppers, so I grabbed a few to throw in tonight's pasta primavera. I love the colorful ones -- so pretty! I need to find some good recipes to make use of all the different kinds of squashes available now, too, and pumpkins. Yum!

After the market, I did some work while Lisa and the pooches hung out and rested up for an exciting afternoon at the.... DOG PARK!
Today was a great day for pooches. The park was full, the weather was cool, and there was a puppy! A few weeks ago I met a really cool woman at the park who has a lab that looks just like Heidi. She said they were about to get a second lab puppy, and today was finally the day -- all three of them were there, and I smooshed the heck out of that little pooch. Her name is Ellie. Ellie's sister is Hanna, and her and Heidi are pooch twins. So sweet.
The three of them are the gate keepers. "There is no Dana. Only Zool."

PS For Rachel:

09 September 2007

I vant to suck your blood!

Despite a late start to the day (due to a late night, of course! Ladies + Ryan night. Wahoo!), I made it out to do my dogwalking this afternoon. It was such a sweet afternoon, filled with nothing but love. Seriously, the pooches were overflowing with loving (and probably hot as hell, so they just wanted to relax more than anything) and I just couldn't get enough. Unfortunately, none of them have pics online, but trust me, they were all cute.

I started out walking Garcia, a leopard-looking pup with lots of energy, and he delivered kisses all over my face. Next, I couldn't resist catching up with Olive (last week's sweetie), and I'm happy to report she had an "I've been adopted!" note on her cage. She's grown in the past week, but she hasn't changed -- we spent the entire 20 minutes on the grass, me rubbing her belly. Trudy was my next pooch, and what a surprise she was. I'm so bad with dog breeds, and her form wasn't filled out, but she looked a little pit-ish and a little jack russell. She pulled me out into the yard and we walked for a few, and then we had a seat on a bench (really, it was hot!), and she stood in front of me and threw her paws up and rested her head in my lap. Then she jumped up and sat next to me. Then she was in my lap, sitting, then laying down. Then she was gback up giving me kisses. I know they all need their exercise, but it's such a treat when you have someone that just wants to cuddle. Also new this week was a St. Bernard mix named Achilles. What a sweetie!!!! It always amazes me how gentle big dogs like that are. But he was so calm and soft and furry. I loved every second, except for when he randomly stopped and pooped mid-parking lot! Ha! I guess when you have to go, you have to go. Oh, and I briefly got to manhandle a teeeeeny jack russell puppy! Two people were waiting to visit with her, so I'm sure she'll be adopted in no time.

The only downfall of the day was that all the rain and humidity have made it mosquito haven EVERYWHERE, especially out near the woods. I was eaten alive the whole time I was dogwalking, but I guess it was worth it. :)

Anyway, friends, I've made it through my first weekend home alone without Brad. It was tough, I missed him a lot, but I spent two nights in a row home alone by myself -- a first. I slept without the tv on all night. I'm a big girl now! Thanks to everyone who kept me company this weekend. XOXO

PS. More evidence that I'm growing up... Trudy and I saw a snake and I only mildly freaked out! Ugh. Shiver.

08 September 2007

With an oink oink here...

What an awesome afternoon! Melissa took me out to SASHA Farm, where she is a new volunteer. What a cool place -- the largest farmed animal sanctuary in the Midwest. And who knew -- it's out in Manchester, and has been since the early '80s. How did I never hear of this place all this time? Mom and Larry haven't even heard about it. This seems like exactly the type of place my old boss at the Manchester Chronicle would have assigned me a story about.

The first stop was with the pot-bellied pigs. There were a few little cuties scooting around (who knew pigs eat dirt?), then out of the barn came these huge "little" pigs. So funny. Then Melissa thought I should meet the real pigs. Boy, was I in for a surprise. In this little unassuming dark and dusty barn slept a bunch of the BIGGEST pigs I've ever even seen on TV! They were the size of cars! They were all just laying happily in the dirt, snoring and snorting away. While I would be scared to death if one of those guys came charging at me, they looked so sweet and peaceful snoozing the afternoon away.

We wandered some more, saw the horses and donkeys running around in the distance, visited with Max, a sweetie pie doberman offering up kisses. Then onto the goats and sheep! So much fun. They were all out in the field, but they saw something they liked and all came charging at us. It was very Black Sheep. We made a few special goat friends who joined us for a walk through the field. Once we got back to the barn, the goats found Melissa's pants very tasty.

Next we chatted with the farm owners (one, a George Carlin twin, the other, a Buffy fan) while giving love to some more pooches (one a Katrina rescue dog). Both are very nice and friendly, so if anyone wants to take a visit to the farm, be sure to check out the website and get in touch with them. Our last stop was the cat barn, where we met this very interesting, growling cat:


While Heidi was HIGHLY suspicious of me when I came home smelling like an entire barnyard, I can't wait to go back!

06 September 2007

I Heart Squash

Last night Rachel and I had our "let's get ready for the event!" meeting of our PPYL group -- only two more weeks until the beer tasting! Sign on up, everybody (notice link on left)! Because I was over on that side of town, and desperately in need of milk and bread, I ran into Whole Foods.

My expectations were much different this time, and I found I enjoyed it much more. Without expecting a life-changing event, I was better able to appreciate the store for what it was. I picked up some humanely treated shrimps, some more overpriced avacados, and spent about 30 minutes choosing from the premade food section. Here we come to my favorite and most appreciated aspect of the store: ingredient lists. All the goodies tell you what's in 'em, so I can better avoid gut-rot garlic. Turns out tabouleh = no garlic, and it's super tasty. For lunch today I gobbled up the spinach pie, and it might be the best I've had. It was much less dense than the spinach pie you usually find at resturaunts. And, of course, the most wonderful cookies ever, the WF low-fat chocolate chewies (and score, I found a recipe!). Anyway, my point being, I appreciate the efforts to not only tell you what's in stuff, but to also offer alternatives, seeing as how we're not 100% certain I don't also have wheat and/or gluten intolerances (I know I know... I'll go get my blood tests soon).

Now here it is almost the weekend, and Brad is gone to Vegas for hopefully the last of the bachelor's parties. Enough Vegas, already! I already miss him, but I must confess my eagerness to watch a bevy of movies this weekend, sports free! I went to the library (yeah free movies) and can't wait to get my movie on: American Werewolf in London (collector's edition! extras!); Clerks II (pillowpants!); Hustle and Flow (cause I'm a gangsta); Notes on a Scandal; and The Notorious Bettie Page. For my first night as a bachelorette, Amy came and joined me for dinner and a lovely visit. I'd picked up a spaghetti squash at the market last week, and I finally had a chance to use it. Here's my simple squash pasta recipe (stolen in part from Low-Carb and Loving It).

Fake-Out Pasta

1 spaghetti squash
1/2 lb shrimp (or more, whatevs!)
Grated cheese (I used romano because that's what I have; I've also used asiago)
Splat of butter
White wine
2 avacadoes

1. Cook spaghetti squash; I was short on time, so I boiled it whole in a pot for 25 minutes. Once done, slice in half, pull goop and seeds out, and "spaghetti" with a fork into a large bowl.
2. Melt a splat of butter in a saute pan (2-3 tbs).
3. Pour in a few turns of the pan of white wine -- depending on how much sauce you want.
4. Once that boils, drop shrimp in and cook 2 or 3 minutes until warm through.
5. Chunk avacado into mix and stir; warm for a few minutes.
6. Pour sauce over "pasta."
7. Top with a few handfuls of cheese and mix.
8. Voila! Yum!

Note: If you're feeding a few people, get a big squash, more shrimp, and maybe a third avacado. Amy and I basically killed the entire bowl.

I'm looking forward to squash and pumpkin season. So yummy. Speaking of, I've been thinking about my pumpkin tortellini in Boston for two weeks now. I want more NOW.

Anyway, now it's getting late, it's dark, I'm alone. And what do I do? Watch Seven. Yes, I'm a tool. Luckily I have my guard pooch to protect me from the boogeyman!

PS. Speaking of my brave pooch -- Heidi and I took our nightly walk a bit ago and encountered mr. big fat toad. Given my mortal fear of snakes, you might be surprised to know I like frogs. So down I went to scoop him up, and Heidi just stared at it like it was an alien. For a pooch that wants to put EVERYTHING in her mouth, she sure didn't know what to make of that toad. I set him down and he started hopping around, and she went nuts! She was like an olympic sprinter running circles around him. If only I'd of had my video camera with me. Classic.

03 September 2007

Weekend Wrap Up!

If this post mysteriously ends mid-sentence and I disappear forever, it's because I have succumbed to grease and cheese death. Oh Hungry Howie's subs how I love thee.

I discovered this weekend that my love affair with peppers may have come to an end. I thought it was just post-sickness association that had kept me away for a few weeks, but I may have OD'd for the season. I was so excited about the mini peppers I picked up Wednesday, and Thursday I popped into the Zingerman's farmer's market and got a huge Anaheim pepper and two red/green peppers -- couldn't wait to taste 'em. Saturday night we stayed in and I made quesedillas and my much-anticipated pepper poppers. They looked lovely, so they should naturally taste lovely, right? I couldn't do it! What is wrong with me? I took a bite of the little pepper, and I couldn't even finish one, not even with goat cheese. And I ended up picking out most of the peppers in my quesedilla. WTF? I've just recently entered the world of peppers -- do I have to leave it so soon? I stopped at the little farmer's cart across the street from the dog park on Saturday and picked up a watermelon, though, and luckily I still love that!

It was such a lovely (long) weekend, and Brad and I took advantage of it, finally making a trip out to the beach ("beach" ha ha -- Independence Lake). We also finally broke in the awesome picnic basket Meg got us for our wedding. We dined on our Whole Foods goodies and splashed around in the water for a while. We got home just in time for a surprise visit from Aunt Sandy and her best friend, Bev. Up next, a trip to Border's where I sadly discovered that even though the new Wally Lamb book was released on Saturday, Border's won't have it until Tuesday or Wednesday. Speaking of books, I finished Organic, Inc. I must confess, a lot of it was more businessy than my brain was interested in so I did skim quite a bit, but overall, lots of interesting stories and tidbits. Makes me darn glad I'm not a farmer -- I can't even wrap my brains around the craziness of farming itself, let alone trying to stay in business. I have the utmost respect for those guys, especially the ones willing to take a chance and go organic.

Speaking of plants... My babies are all flourishing. I had a close call there with my marigolds, but they seem to have bounced back. I haven't even killed my porch plants yet, and a shiny little green bug has found one of them to be the perfect home. Here's hoping my indoor plants can survive the impending repotting into new, bigger homes -- fingers crossed. My basil smells heavenly, and it's not too long until I can start cooking with it!

Last but not least, Meg was in town AGAIN! That's twice in a two-week period. :) Sunday, Meg and Melissa came over here to meet Brad and me, then the four of us headed to Red Hawk to meet up with Doug, Steve, and Allison. I must interject that it's been great these past few weeks meeting Steve and Allison, and Melissa, all recent Ann Arbor transplants. Welcome to town, kiddies! Anyway, after we closed down Red Hawk, we walked over to the new Bar Louie to have a few drinks. Let's just say that Meg + Melissa + Stephanie = Trouble (of the good kind, of course). It was a late night, and a good time was had by all.

Needless to say, today was a lazy day, and even Heidi was pooped, but looking cute as always, of course.

P.S. I finally watched Little Miss Sunshine today, which I dvr'd recently. If you haven't seen it yet, rent it now. I love love loved it. It was so sweet and touching, and I was just dying for the whole last half hour. That horn! That dance! One of the best movies I've watched in a long time, fo sho. And I just loved Steve Carell in this. I think he's so hilarious and he was just so perfectly understated here, which was a surprise because I've never seen him in a drama role.... Definitely will watch again.