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Sunday Summary

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Monday:  Another day in paradise.  I mean another day off from work.  And this time I got out of Phoebe’s dermatologist appointment for under 100 bucks.  That’s a win, for sure.

I made Easy-Street Oven Fried Okra from The Complete Southern Cookbook.  I had some asparagus hanging around; so I threw it in there too.

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Tuesday:  I spent the afternoon in Magistrate Court.  I hope you never have to utter that sentence.

The doctor said Phoebe can go back to her homemade diet.  I was a little reticent at first; it’s so much easier to scoop out some kibble.  But since I try to stay away from processed food for myself I suppose that’s the least I can do for her.  So, once again, I am the crazy-lady-that-cooks-for-her-dog.

She can’t have much variety because we’re in the testing phase of her alleged food allergies.  I opted for Beef and Bulgur from the Feed Your Best Friend Better book.

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Zuchinni, a can of diced tomato, and half a leftover orange pepper that I probably wouldn’t have used anyway.

Wednesday:  I love my job.  I had to make two trips to Buckhead for two no-shows.  I love my job.

I treated myself to a trip to the Ballard Design store.  Well, I guess the real treat was this new mat.

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Let’s call it an early birthday present.

Thursday:  Look what came in the mail today.

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My mom sent me her old canning books.  This one is from 1977.

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And this one is from 1974.  Notice the $1.00 price tag.

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This is the back cover.  This one made me smile.  I guess my mom didn’t follow this.  My parents got divorced in the ’80s.

Friday:  We had Malted Chocolate Milkshakes from Cooking Light’s Crave! for dessert.  When I was growing up we used to have popcorn and milkshakes every Friday night while watching Dukes of Hazzard.  Those were the days.

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Saturday:  I didn’t do any work today and we didn’t run any errands.  We did go for a nice long walk along the Chattahoochee.  We saw a warning sign for alligators.  I’m glad we didn’t run in to one.  I don’t think Phoebe would have handled it well.

Drink of the Week:  Strawberry Daiquiri.  Thanks to my hard work with the Strawberry-Watermelon Rum.

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We had Chicken Pasta with Pesto Cream Sauce for dinner.  Again, thanks to my hard work with the Basil-Pecan Freezer Pesto from Southern Living’s Little Jars, Big Flavors.

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Sunday:  Do you know what today is?  It’s my birthday!

We went to brunch at Canoe.  I had the Fried Green Eggs Benedict.  Delish.  I took a picture for you, but for some reason I can’t get it off of my phone at the moment.

I made Double Chocolate-Oatmeal Bars from Woman’s Day, circa September 2003.

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My mom used to make M&M cookies for me to take to school for my birthday; so this seemed like a good choice.

This was a low-key year for me.  At the moment we are watching Gone With the Wind.  It’s always been a favorite of mine.  I read the book for the first time last year and bought the DVD too.

If it weren’t for the new patio install I would be in Ireland right now.  My cousin tried to make me feel better by saying that the patio will last longer than the vacation memories.  Of course she’s right, but of course I had to mention this year’s excessive rainfall.  Next year:  Hawaii.

Good Deed of the Week:  Add money to an expired meter.  I’m just a few weeks out and I’ve had my first fail.  In my defense, there aren’t a lot of meters in Atlanta, at least not where I park.

Eat Well and Savor.

 

 

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Sunday Summary

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Monday:  There’s nothing like starting the week with a 1:00 job.  I love having the time to peruse the Web and make my latte in the morning.  It’s especially nice when the job is over by 2:00.  I did do some work from the couch, though.

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Tuesday:  Off today.  I never really want to work, but I have to.  You know what I mean?   You have to support the shopping habit . . . and the grocery bill.  Today was nice because I did have to do some editing.

I am also proud to say that I renewed my library card today.  It expired a year ago.  Obviously I have gotten out of the habit of visiting the library.  I need to stop spending money at the book store; so this will work out nicely.

Wednesday:  The good thing about freelancing is you have time during the week to go shopping when you don’t have a job.  The bad thing about freelancing is if you don’t work you can’t afford to shop.

Apparently that didn’t stop me.  I picked up this beautiful book at Anthropologie.  I’ve looked at it several times before.  I told myself I didn’t need it because I already do a lot of the stuff in there.  Insert pat on back here.

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I don’t want to be too much of an overachiever; so I’m going to try to make sure to hit one a week.

I also made Braised Red Cabbage with Apples, Onions, and Raisins from the Weight Watchers 50th Anniversary Cookbook.  Here’s  a secret:  I used currants instead.  No big diff.

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I may be not so thrilled when it comes to radishes, but I do love cabbage.  My mom used to make green cabbage with ham and lots of black pepper.

Thursday:  I think we know each other well enough; so I don’t mind telling you that I had a hot dog for breakfast.  I’m sure I’ve established that I’m not really a morning person; so by the time I got up and woke up and actually had breakfast it was close to 11:00.  Besides, my job was at 1:30, which means I had to be there at 1:00, which means I had to leave at 12:30, and it was easier to pack my cereal.

I’d like to say the hot dog was the highlight of my day, and it kind of was.  I had to stop at Williams-Sonoma to pick up some Olio Santo aka Best Olive Oil Ever.  There’s a new Michael’s next door; so I stopped in.  I couldn’t have been in there more than ten minutes, including a stop in the bathroom, and I had at least 8 different salespeople ask me if I needed anything.  Two of them offered twice!  One even approached me from behind; so I ignored him, and then he still cornered me by a display case.   By the third time I was approached I actually stopped making eye contact.  By the seventh I started getting testy.  In my book, it was tantamount to harassment.  All of this for a lousy tube of super glue.

Friday:  After a nice morning at home with my latte I went off to Van Michael for a cut and color.  And when I say cut, I mean cut . . . I think my hair is five inches shorter.

My friend Lily came over for dinner, which consisted of Tex-Mex Beef and Bean Dip from Cooking Light’s Crave!

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We also had a Southern Pimm’s Cup from Garden & Gun for the Drink of the Week:

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Saturday:  I was in heaven for the afternoon:  AJC Decatur Book Festival.

I discovered Mirabelle the Boston Terrier.  She looks just like my Phoebe, and there are books, clothes, and greeting cards!

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On top of that, Decatur is home to my favorite little book store:  Books Again.  Let’s just say they were having a sale.

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Uh, only two of those belong to Jake.

Afterwards we went to The Iberian Pig for dinner.  I didn’t love my cocktail, the Aviation, but everything else was superb.  Don’t ya just love tapas?  You can sample so many dishes.  Variety is the spice of life.  We had Bacon Wrapped Dates, Albondingas, Veal Ravioli, and Croquetas de Queso.

Sunday:  What. A. Day.  It started out slow, but then we went to Costo, Pike’s Nursery, and Whole Foods.  Then we came home and planted our new blueberry bush and did yard work.  I. Am. Pooped.  But here’s hoping we are blessed with many blueberry muffins, cheesecakes, pies, and jams.

We haven’t had much luck with fruit in the past.  We have an apple tree that self-pollinates, but we didn’t realize that; so we bought another one to go with it.  Well, let’s just say that someone, not me, didn’t drill holes in the pot and the poor thing drowned with all the rain we’ve been having.  Then, just a week or so ago, I bought a patio peach tree that apparently produces inedible peaches.  Just my luck.  That has since been returned.  Thank you very much.  I have had a little success with the lemon true, although no lemons have actually turned yellow yet.

Good Deed of the Week:  Smile at a Stranger.   How easy is that?  I do this every day.  I see a lot of strangers when I’m walking the dog and in and out of office buildings.  I’m not perfect, though.  I’m only going to smile (and I say hi) if they’re looking up and willing to make eye contact.  I’m not into accosting strangers for the sake of being friendly.  See above remarks about the Michael’s employees.

Eat Well and Savor.

Sunday Summary

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Monday:  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  I hate when my job gets in the way of my cooking.  I spent about 9 hours in the car last week over a two-day period.  I’m really sorry if you have to do this on a regular basis.  I think I’ve finally recovered.  Fortunately I had an easy day today because the witnesses decided they didn’t want to appear.

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I made these Mango Coconut Striped Popsicles from Pastry Affair.  I recently saw some popsicles somewhere on the Inter Webs (Jake will be so glad I said it that way) that used mango (one of my favorites these days) and coconut milk (a can of which I have leftover in the fridge), but I don’t think these were the ones I saw.  I think I’m going to stop right there and apologize for not making any sense.

Tuesday:   I finally made it to the nail salon today for a much awaited pedicure.  I took my new snazzy clutch that I got from Butter.  It was only $18 and I convinced myself that I could use it as a clutch for going out.   The reality is that my cell phone doesn’t even fit inside.  It does hold the base, the color, and the top coat, and now I don’t have to rummage through my purse.

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I also made from this 2-Ingredient Pineapple Bliss Cake from Hungry Girl.  It’s just 1.75 cups of yellow cake mix and one 8-ounce can of crushed pineapple with juice.  Bake at 350 for 18 to 20 minutes.   Seriously, y’all, anyone can cook.

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It doesn’t look like much, but it is moist as all get-out, whatever that means.  And if you put a thin layer of Nutella “frosting” on there it becomes a divine little treat.

Wednesday:  Sometimes I just don’t know where the day goes.  I mean, I only worked until noon, and then what?  Chat on the phone, check.  Run to the grocery store, check.  Work for an hour or so on the couch, check.  Make Dark Chocolate and Marzipan Ice Cream, check.

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I wasn’t too sure about the ice cream.  There’s five egg yolks in there.  I’m no ice cream expert, but I’ve made quite a few amazing ice creams without them, so I’m beginning to wonder if they’re really necessary.  Any doubts I had were assuaged by the incredible fudge ripple sauce.  I think this must be Hershey’s top-secret chocolate sauce recipe.  Remember the one in the can?  Do they still make that?

Thursday :   Marnie and I had a nice little lunch at Café Intermezzo.  I guess technically we both had breakfast since there were eggs and croissants involved.   I hope you’re lucky enough to be able to have a 3-hour lunch with your BFF once in a while.

Friday:  I may have had to work today, but I was still able to make these awesome Philly Cheesesteaks from Cooking Light’s Crave!

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The cheese sauce was perfectly creamy and very flavorful, but even I had to add an extra slice of provolone on there.

Saturday:  Can you believe I had a deposition this morning?  Of course it was a doctor.  I desperately needed a drink after. . . of course it was a foreign doctor.

Drink of the Week:  The Royal Warrant.

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I wish I could say that this was in honor of the royal baby, but it was actually from Garden & Gun.  Shake an egg white with 3/4 ounces lemon juice, 3/4 ounces honey, and 2 ounces of gin.

Sunday:  I had a lot of work today but I had enough energy left to make this Whole-Wheat Bread from Williams-Sonoma’s Bread.

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Oh, yeah, I will be eating toast and jam every morning this week with my latte.

Eat Well and Savor.

Potato-Peanut Cakes

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I’m going to try to really focus and tell you about these little patties, but the truth is the memory of the prep is a little fuzzy, thanks to the sangria and the presence of my Lovely Assistant, Lily.  Not to mention I’m very distracted by the coverage of The Royal Baby.

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This recipe is from Cooking Light’s Annual Recipes 2003.  I always find it amazing that I can keep a piece of paper around for ten years.  Even though I do have this book, I actually pulled the recipe out of the July 2012 issue of the magazine.

You should know that there’s a very important word missing from the title.

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It’s also missing from this picture:  bacon.  First you crisp up a slice of bacon and then you sauté all of the above in the grease.

Here’s the best part — and I never thought it would work, but you cook the whole potato for 15 minutes, and then you shred it with a cheese grater.  I really was surprised that the whole potato cooked so well.  Seriously, it shredded like butter.  It really makes me wonder why I spent all of my teenage years cutting up the potatoes for my mom to make mashed.

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Toss in the peanuts and some scallions, and an egg to keep it all together.  Next time I make these I will actually form them into nice little patties.  I used the ice cream scoop and the second batch kind of fell apart a little.

You should also know that these are only 110 calories each.   That’s a Happy Ending.

Eat Well and Savor.

Sunday Summary

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Monday:   I made these Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars to take to the office today to celebrate my three-year anniversary.

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I saw these on Brown Eyed Baker and I had to have them.   I will note that the recipe said to cut the 9×13 pan into 24 bars.  I actually cut them into 36, and when I got to the office my manager cut those in half because they were so rich she didn’t want people getting lethargic, i.e., slowing them down.  I’ve been eating a sliver every day since then and highly recommend you give them a try.

Tuesday:  I didn’t have to work until 5:00 p.m. today, so I made a nice little brunch:  Bacon-Banana Pancakes with Buttery Bourbon Maple Syrup.

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These are basically pancakes that you put a little bacon on after you pour the batter on the griddle.  Seriously?  Is this the most amazing idea?  Where has it been all my life?  Actually, I’ve seen it done with fruit, but I plan to try it with sausage some day.

Wednesday:  Another easy day; 3:00 to 5:00.  I can’t complain.  I had time to make these Steamed Green Beans with Tomato-Garlic Vinaigrette from Cooking Light’s The Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook.  Man, that is a mouthful.

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This picture was actually taken when I made these back in February for Jake; they totally passed his test.  This week I made them with beans from my garden and it was a much smaller serving.

I also finished reading The Things I Do For You by Mary Carter.  Her books are always so much fun.  This one left me wanting more, which made me realize that I just didn’t want it to end.

Thursday:  I  made these Red, White and ‘Ol Blue treats for Phoebe from The Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook.  They have strawberries, and blueberries, and cinnamon in them and smell way better than they look.   Full disclosure:   by Saturday we were at the vet with an allergic reaction.  I’m not convinced it’s the treats, but, as the vet said, it’s suspicious.  She’s been off her amazing homemade diet since January and in the last few weeks I’ve incorporated a few different treats.   Live and learn.

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btw – my witness today was a female plumber.  I was very impressed.   She started as a file clerk and worked her way up.  She now owns the firm with 42 employees.

Friday:   I had to work again today!  It was a pretty easy doctor, which is unusual,  but it lasted until 3:00 p.m.  I tossed together this little shrimp and pasta with pesto and an heirloom tomato.  The only thing missing is some toasted pine nuts.

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Saturday:  Marnie came over for lunch today!  I sent her packing with some leftovers:

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I am so proud of my retro Tupperware.  I feel like my Gramma.  You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see what’s inside.

That evening I went for the old appetizer for dinner:  Blueberry Chutney over Brie from the Fresh Market’s Cooking in Season.  Yeah,  I’ve looked at it 100 times and finally had to buy it.  I’m a sucker for a seasonal cookbook.  What can I say?

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Sunday:  I made this Puffed Peach Omelet from Kelly Alexander’s Peaches.

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I’m here to tell you that this picture doesn’t do it justice.  In my opinion, it’s more like a soufflé.  Just one peach and a couple of eggs, so good.

Today was my favorite kind of Sunday:  I did some work and some laundry and treated myself to a second glass of wine, which means Phoebe got a second treat, hypoallergenic, of course.

Eat Well and Savor.

Baked Couscous

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With Summer Squash and Herbs.

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No, that’s not a lemon.  When I saw that this recipe called for fresh oregano I knew I had to try it.   The cheese doesn’t hurt either.

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I decided to go crazy and throw a zucchini into the mix.  The recipe specifically said yellow squash.

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So you sauté the vegetables and cook the couscous.  Then you mix them together and put more broth in there.  I was a little skeptical that it was too much liquid, but it ended well, and cheesy.

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On the scale of likelihood that your vegetable-hating kid/husband/dog will eat this I give it a 6.  Jake was only willing to go for one serving, and no leftovers.  That makes it edible, but not worth repeating.  On the other hand, I’m eating leftovers two servings at a time.  There’s just no accounting for taste.

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Eat Well and Savor.

 

 

 

Sunday Summary

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Monday:  Thankfully, I had today off.  I decided to take a trip to IKEA.  Am I the only one who finds that place overwhelming?  I was looking for some rectangular planters and they didn’t have them.  Of course that didn’t stop me from picking up a few bargains.  And when I say bargains you should know that I bought five items and my total bill was $8.91.

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I also made some Peach Iced Tea.  In case you’re wondering, the peach has currently replaced cherries in my house.  I got the recipe from Kelly Alexander’s book, Peaches.  Honestly, the tea flavor wasn’t very strong and neither was the peach flavor.

Tuesday:  I was home from work by 1:00 today.  I didn’t really accomplish too much, unless you count this ice cream.

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Peach Cobbler Ice Cream from Cooking Light:  Cool Whip, sweetened condensed milk, and peach schnapps?  Count me in.  Don’t forget the Bourbon-Caramel Sauce.

Wednesday:  I had to do some top-secret transcription this morning and then I was lucky enough to drive home in the pouring rain.  I did manage to snag this awesome tray at Williams-Sonoma, though.   On sale and another 20% off.

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And I made these Butter-Roasted Carrots from Cooking Light’s Pick Fresh Cookbook.

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Just roast in the oven for 15 minutes at 425.

Thursday:  Happy Independence Day!  Jake wanted me to make sure to pass along that the 4th of July is just the date.  And he recommends that you read the Declaration of Independence.

I recommend that you make your own Barbecue Potato Chips.

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I followed the recipe in Edible DIY by Lucy Baker.  I’ve made baked chips before and been unimpressed.   These were deep-fried, amazing, and worth every minute of prep, but it’s something I won’t repeat on a regular basis; frying in batches is time-consuming.  Still, two potatoes made a lot.  And I had some of the barbecue mixture leftover, so I coated a strip steak with it for Jake’s dinner.  I think the little bit of brown sugar in it made a nice caramelization resulting in a crust that Jake was over the moon about.

Friday:  Look what came today.

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That’s right.  I got a dehydrator with the Amazon card I won from Pioneer Woman.  Thanks again, PW.  I haven’t used it yet.  Honestly, I’m a little intimidated.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Cooking Light’s Crave! is quickly becoming a Friday night fave.  Hmm, I feel like I’ve made this rhyme before.

Anyway, Apricot and Prosciutto Thin-Crust Pizza was a hit with my non-fruit-loving husband.  I suppose the prosciutto had a little something to do with it.

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Saturday:  Jake and I were going to go to the movies today.  He was unmotivated by my choice of the Lone Ranger and I was unmotivated by the extremely rainy weather.   We went to Costco instead.  I can’t help but think that the movie would have been cheaper.

Here’s the Drink of the Week:

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Cherry Pucker:  2 ounces cherry brandy, 1 ounce vodka, 1 ounce amaretto, and 2 ounces of cranberry juice.  I’m so happy I found something tasty to use up those little jars of cherry brandy leftover from my Brandied Cherries.

Sunday:  I made whoopie pies today.  What’s the occasion you ask.  Well, me, of course.  I love to celebrate me.  Today is my three-year anniversary at my job and I’m going to take treats to the office tomorrow.  I made the Classic Chocolate Whoopie and the Coconut Cream filling from Whoopie Pies by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell.

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They’re not so pretty once they’re wrapped up, but it is necessary to keep the obscene amount of filling that I put in there from oozing out.

Eat Well and Savor.