I did a little vignette on a table in my family room, something to capture the essence of outside the window right now. A big lack of color, bare trees and shadows on the snow. Maybe I should spread some bright reds and yellows and blues around to brighten up the place. I think February is one of the harder months for many to deal with, that sort of halfway point between the start and end of winter. I really don't mind cold weather, I sort of roll with it. And gloomy days are taken in stride, I think of them as days to just cozy up inside and have a good excuse to be lazy. But lately it gets a bit lonely around here; busyness keeps me occupied and I am running out of ideas for busyness!
When the girls were young we made handmade valentine's with the usual construction paper, lacy white doilies and lots of glitter. We hung drugstore hearts on the windows and baked cookies with pink frosting. I really don't decorate at all for the occasion now. I lean towards pink and red flowers and candles, and I have cute little XOXO decoration on my front door, but that's it. It's probably good that I cut back from December until spring! lol! I usually find one or two bunnies to add to my collection then, and I have already seen the critter Pier 1 has out this year. Oh, my. I think it's more hare than rabbit. I can't wait to grab him up!
Good old Tulo came to visit yesterday and brought his owner, my son. This dog is always panting, 24/7, no matter the time of year. When he's not slurping down Milo and Layla's water, he cries to go out. This was probably his third trip out to my backyard, and he would just lie in the snow chewing on sticks he managed to find buried. He's a big, lovable polar bear.
Little Layla developed some complications from the ear infection she had a few weeks ago. She was scratching at the left ear and shaking her head a lot, the way we do when we get water in our ears. So off we went to the vet this afternoon and it turns out she has a lot of debris in the ear left over from the infection. He put some sort of oil plug way down in it and this dissolves everything. She has it taken out in two weeks. I think she has a crush on Dr. Bauer. I've been going back to him instead of our original vet, who is a female, as he treated her from the start of this infection. She used to nip at the other doctor but lately, when cute Dr. Bauer walks in, her tail wags, her ears go back and I swear she bats her eyelashes. Did I mention he was cute? Oh yeah, I did. ;-)
Do any of you eat when you're bored? We start off in January with such good intentions and before you know it, the refrigerator is a constant source of entertainment. My addiction to sweets has gone down drastically lately, I'm not sure why, hormones? I'm not going to question it, that's for sure. But I like something small between meals, usually something salty, and almonds just don't thrill me all the time. The other day I made a little spread to eat with veggies. I pretty much followed the holiday appetizer my mother always made, stuffed celery.
She simply mixed softened cream cheese with chopped green olives (with the pimento), and spread it on whole stalks of celery. We loved crunching on these while we waited for the ham or turkey to be ready. So here is simply 8 ounces of softened cream cheese, a 6 ounce jar of drained and chopped olives, and a pinch each of garlic and onion powder. I kept it covered in the fridge for a few days with a plastic container of cut up celery next to it. Oh yum...creamy, salty and tart. The perfect snack.
And I made the most fabulous dinner the other night as well. It's a variation of a recipe I found in a new cookbook of mine, Skinnytaste. This is a fantastic book filled with recipes that have been trimmed down of fats, sugar and processed ingredients. I really only changed it because I didn't have some of the ingredients and it wasn't going to stop me. In a nutshell, I made a dry rub of:
1 t. garlic powder
3/4 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. paprika
1/4 t. oregano
1/4 t. chipotle chili powder or cayenne pepper
*Tip...I really don't measure much anymore when it comes to herbs and spices. Measure a teaspoon of salt or pepper in your palm. You will then get a future idea as to what that amounts to just by looking at it. And if you want more or less of something...go for it.
I used the rub on a 1.5 pound piece of flank steak, which is super lean. I really think you could use boneless chicken breasts or even a nice piece of salmon. Let the meat sit for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make your vinaigrette:
3 T. fresh lemon juice (the recipe suggests 2 T. lime and 1 lemon)
2 T. olive oil
1 T. minced scallions
1 T. minced fresh cilantro
S & P
Shake or stir.
I used a grill pan to cook the steak over medium to high heat. Use a thermometer because the thickness of your meat will vary from mine. I cooked each side for 10 minutes to have a medium rare temp. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes and then cut it against the grain in to strips.
While the steak is cooking, assemble your salad. I made 2 plates that started with a layer of romaine. I then added some minced shallots and halved cherry tomatoes. I think you can do what you want with this part. I then spooned some of the vinaigrette over the greens, laid a few slices of steak over that, and then topped it off with the remaining dressing. As I said, I divided this over two plates for The Husband and I, and I had a lot of extra meat which I'll use in one way or the other.
I'm still working on a Pinterest button. Feel free to cut and paste or come back next week when I hopefully have it.
I just caught Layla going to town on a rawhide bone, she must be feeling better. The little monster.
And I'll end with really exciting news. Tomorrow morning Mary Clare's labor is going to be induced. I am beyond excited, the whole family is. A new generation of B's! Say a prayer and the next time I come back I'll have a few snaps of this long awaited miracle!