Birthday eve

Hello! I’m having a pretty good day 🙂

Today is the one day between my two summer classes, so I got a full hour-long lunch break and got to leave at 4:00!

And even better, I got flowers at work! The flower company screwed up, they were supposed to come tomorrow (on my actual birthday), but they really, really brightened my day! I haven’t ever gotten flowers at work and I don’t think my coworkers have ever seen my smile so big 🙂 A huge thank you to ma famille! I left them at work so that I can have a smile when I get there tomorrow too, but I’ll take a picture of them sometime soon.

I have to admit that I was seriously thrown off by the flowers. I received a birthday card that said to wait until the third to open and when the flowers came I started to think I might be going a little crazy. I haven’t really known what day of the week it is all week, and then everyone thinking today was my birthday, well…. I’m not going to complain about a two day birthday!

To continue the birthday fun Hubs decided to give me my gift tonight as well. I said he could give it to me at breakfast and his response was “but then you won’t have time to prepare, you’ll already be dressed.” That raised an eyebrow 🙂 The box was too small for any of the possibilities I thought of though.


He did good! And now I get to wear them tomorrow without going through several outfit changes first! I really love them, and they aren’t actually a set, either. They’re from a shop in town that sells a lot of local artists work, but this is buy a man called Kit Heath who is actually British. Love! I might be following in my mother’s footsteps and be a bit of an anglophile. Love British history… but that’s another story.

Seriously though, how pretty is that? 🙂

He also stopped by Earthfare on his way home from work and bought salad makings and cod for dinner. While he cooked, Ollie and I played


And Hubs and Gypsy read


And then he served me a delightful dinner of spinach salad with sliced walnuts and dried blueberries with balsamic vinegar, honey, and lemon juice.


And cod marinated in white wine and mustard, served over mushroom and herb couscous, with sauteed garlic and onions on top.


He’s one of those people who can come up with combinations of spices off the top of his head, so there’s no recipe for this. I have leftovers for tomorrow though!

I’m also very excited for dinner tomorrow night. Hubs is taking me to Farm 255! I posted about my love for Farm’s food philosophy here, how they have their own farm and grown their vegetables organically while raising their animals on pasture without hormones or antibiotics. Their menu can change daily depending on the day’s harvest, but this is one place that I might actually order meat from because I trust them to raise their animals humanely. In any case, I’m in love with the idea of them but have yet to actually eat from them 🙂 Tomorrow’s my chance! I am so, so excited.

Tomorrow my basic psyc class starts, so I’m back to no lunches and working from open to close, but I at least have dinner to look forward to. Goodnight y’all!


Dude looks like a lady

Hello! (I sound like Mrs. Doubtfire in my head…)

I can’t even remember when I last left off… Sunday morning, was it? Well Sunday evening was absolutely wonderful. I swear, I laugh harder when we see Ann and Brian than any other time. I ate a ton of guacamole, slurped some fabulous daiquiri and margarita, ate some absolutely delicious barbecue chicken, and had some lovely strawberry shortcake for dessert. I was quite full and it was all amazing. I don’t regret a moment of it.

Monday was supposed to be spent studying for my final, but instead I had the pleasure of watching the boys mount a 50 inch plasma screen over a fireplace (not ours!), furniture browsed, and watched the Braves whoop some bootay. Also grocery shopped with my bff, which allowed a bit of girl talk, which we don’t get enough of. We also watched Up in the Air (“I said it was good, I didn’t say it wasn’t depressing” – Terry) and had tacos for dinner. Yum!

So yesterday I finally got down to that studying thing (ignore the laptop and textbook in the background of the next photo) and Hubs made me an omelet for dinner! It had mushrooms, spinach, fresh basil, and onions in it, and after I took the picture I topped it with some nooch. The salsa I ate with some chips.


I actually had half the omelet for dinner and the other half for breakfast this morning, Hubs just sort of threw in the last 5 eggs 🙂

After a little bit of extra study time I think the test went pretty well. Of course, I felt that way about the last one and did not the great I was hoping for. We’ll find out when grades are posted tomorrow.

After a nice, short day at work (again, excuse the perpetual mess that is known as our coffee table), Hubs and I came home to some chips and salsa and later had macaroni and cheese (the broccoli meant to accompany it was older than I thought so got tossed) and a variety of our farmers market squash with a caramelized farmers market onion. Hubs cooked the squash in evoo, nutmeg, curry, cloves, and I don’t know what else (he can chime in in the comments, hint hint). It was pretty awesome. And I have more to eat on my salad tomorrow 🙂


My back is still not 100% and I’m sort of waiting on clearance before I start exercising again. I may even start with swimming! I can’t wait.

But my allergies are starting to act up again and it is burning up in this apartment (hot laptop on lap doesn’t help), so I’m signing off!

Summer salad, anyone?


We’ve had a couple of breakthroughs around here lately!

Unfortunately I’m still walking around like a hunchbacked old lady, but I’m better than yesterday and I’m going to head upstairs in a bit to try an epsom salt bath. (Think I might have done slightly better on this polisci test than on the last too, but that’s neither here nor there)

But, Michael Pollan news picked up my post about the farmers market and retweeted it! I know the man himself doesn’t read all the links they post, but I still feel special!

And Hubs has learned that he can eat raw peppers and squash! I kind of, somehow, missed the title of the post I took this recipe from (“Want to Eat Raw, But Don’t Like Raw Food?” Yeah, don’t ask) and he was a bit concerned when I told him that the cooked pasta was to be mixed in with the uncooked veggies but said he’d try it. Guess what? No problems!!!

Welcome to the Summer Squash Orzo Salad Matt posted recently.

orzo salad

This is one of the many recipes that has gotten starred in my google reader recently to try (so much good food, so little time!)

We, of course, had to be us and make a few substitutions. Gotta make it your own, right? Well we used one yellow squash and one zucchini and subbed in our remaining clarimore squash and golden zucchini (from the farmer’s market!) for the rest. We also used the two remaining, tiny red onions from the market, left out the tomatoes (for Hubs’ sake), subbed a tsp of dried parsley for a tbs fresh, and made it vegan (sshh, don’t tell hubs) by leaving off the feta and salami. No olives, but we ended up adding a dash of red wine vinegar.

Orzo salad

This was delicious! So light and fresh with the lemon juice. I’d definitely prefer a higher veggie to pasta ratio, but I certainly went back for seconds! I’m definitely keeping this recipe in mind for summer cookouts.

I have to say, I’m starting to get a bit frustrated after taking a week and a half off exercise due to injuries. I’d really like to do Gina’s Summer Shape Up, but there’s no way I’m going to risk anything and hurting myself again (not that I mind lounging on the couch all day instead of working…). I think I’ll probably try to avoid helping Dan and Alex move this weekend… Hopefully my back will be feeling better by then, but it just seems too soon.

Off to continue babying myself with that epsom bath!


Hello! I’ve been at home, hanging out with my little buddy today.

Photo on 2010-05-24 at 14.34

He’s been keeping me company while I’ve been couch and ice pack bound.

Sometime between dinner and feeding the dogs last night I seem to have hurt my back. If it’s not one thing, it’s another right?

Now, I’ve hurt my back before, in fact it was sore all of last week, if I twisted wrong it would send out a shoot of pain but I thought it was getting better.

I honestly can’t pin point what I did last night that did it, but I’ve managed to hurt it so badly that I can’t even stand up straight. I’ve been either crawling or hobbling (depending on who’s around to see) all day. Looks like I’m getting another rest week.

I somehow managed to get out of bed, shower (mostly seated), open the office, ‘run’ to answer to phone calls in the back, and get back out to the car in one piece though. I took two naps this morning, made an abortive attempt at studying for my test tomorrow, and have basically been catching up with my Google Reader ever since.

I also went ahead and called my supervisor and offered to open again tomorrow since I have to be on campus for the test anyway, but she said she’d do it (thank god!). I could only find two positions to sleep in that would leave me with just a mild ache instead of stabbing pain, and as soon as my hip fell asleep and my body wanted to shift I’d be woken up with said stabbing pain again. I’m going to go to bed at my usual time and set my alarm for about 3 hours later than usual to hopefully be fairly well rested for the test.

So a major thanks to Hubs who has been taking care of the dogs, dropping me off in front of the library steps (you’re not really supposed to drive there) and picking me up again an hour later. He also brought me Arby’s for lunch, went to the grocery store by himself (not in a “what a big boy” way, in a we-had-planned-to-go-together way), and made me dinner.

Since grilling season is here we’d been meaning to start experimenting with recipes for portobello burgers so he bought some caps at the store today. He used this recipe to marinate and baste them, but cooked them for 30 minutes or so in the oven at 425*.

portobello burger

I’d never had a portobello burger before and I quite liked it, but Hubs said it was too vinegary for his taste. The rest of my tomatoes are not quite ripe, so I had mine on toasted bread with a lettuce leaf and corn and tots on the side.

My little buddy is back, so I’m going to surrender my lap to him and read over my notes before bed. Goodnight!

Salmon salad

Good evening lads and ladies! I’ve had a quiet day filled mostly with reading, some for pleasure, some for homework.

I had my usual toast with Smart Balance and coconut oil for breakfast. (The oil mixes with the Smart Balance and creates this completely melt-in-your-mouth texture. I adore it, plus it provides lots of healthy fats!) After my toast I was craving something sweet so I made some peach black tea (loose-leaf, from the Dekalb Internationl Farmer’s Market) and drank it with some orange blossom honey. Yum!

Isn’t our teapot pretty?


She’s not very big (single serving) but I love how delicate the glass is and the pretty blue handles. Hubs and I got her about a year and a half ago on clearance at Teavana (my one and only trip, sadly). There’s a spiral of metal that hooks into the spout to strain the leaves out. I need to use it more often! It’s just so easy to toss my leaves in the huge strainer from Hubs’ old teapot which fits in the mouth of a mug. I’m not big on dirtying multiple dishes if just one will do. I’m going to make a point of using this teapot more often though.


Hubs went to Stone Mountain today to see his dad so the pups were left pretty bored. Luckily we still had a Busy Bone left, it kept Ollie (who tends to get into trouble if left un-entertained) occupied for over two hours. Awesome! Gypsy munches through hers in all of three minutes, of course. (Here he is with his last one)


Since Hubs would be out of town for two meals today, I decided it would only be fair for me to get a meal out as well. After polishing off a box of Wheat Thins and the last of my red pepper hummus for lunch I decided that a balsamic grilled salmon salad from De Palmas Italian Cafe was just what I wanted for dinner: a 4 oz filet over field greens with red onion, sweet red peppers, capers & hard boiled egg. After thinking about it for awhile I realized that I could pretty much make it for myself at home for half the price (it’s a big salad, but still hard for me to justify paying $11 for). I looked up a balsamic marinade online and headed to Earthfare to buy my salmon. When I got there they had raspberry marinated filets ready for sale and that sound just as tasty! 


I cooked the filet for about 12 minutes at 350* and it came out perfect! The one time I’ve gotten the salad at De Palmas the salmon was overcooked but this came out perfectly tender! I’m not a big fish eater (any time I would try it at the beach as a kid I’d wake up horribly nauseous later that night, but now I’m learning to like it) so I was very pleased that I got this right my first try.

I actually split the filet in half (which came out to about 2.5 oz each) and put the other half away to eat on tomorrow’s salad at lunch. My salmon was served on a bed of butter lettuce (tossed in the balsamic dressing I made last night) with fresh basil, craisins, and a sliced tomato.


It was a very tasty meal and I’m looking forward to having it again for lunch tomorrow! I’m not feeling totally satisfied though, so I may go back for the last lonely apple in the fridge (since everything else in this house requires cooking). Or maybe some more toast 🙂 Back to my homework!

Farmer love

Happy Saturday! I finally have pictures for you!

I managed not to sleep till 10:30 today (actually woke up soon after 8) and after rousing Hubs and a shower, we headed out for many adventures.

First off, breakfast, was Dunkin Donuts. I know Tina loves their iced coffee, and it was only 99 cents, so I figured I’d try one, without milk (you know, being lactose intolerant and all). As you can see, I got some sugar though! It was pretty good! The first few sips definitely had some crunch to them… I haven’t consumed raw sugar in awhile, so it was a bit surprising, but I got over it 🙂


(Athenians, hazard a guess as to which intersection this is?)

I also finally got to try their veggie egg white flat bread and definitely should have asked for no cheese (it all melted to the back end and I definitely didn’t miss it). It was actually pretty tasty, if a bit disconcerting to have this perfectly formed triangle with bits of color mixed in. I could still taste some of the vegetables though, I like me some veggies though.


Yes, I drive a stick, and yes, the gear shift comes horizontally out of the center consol. I ❤ my car.

Next stop was the Farmer’s Market! We slept through it last weekend but made a point of going to day. It was busy!!! And there were some new farmers who weren’t there last fall. (I have no idea who any of these people are, but I bought from both of the vendors pictured, tomatoes and basil from the guy on the right edge and squash from the left most man (in the background). Both were very friendly, helpful, knowledgeable. There’s one guy that I won’t buy from because he spoke to me like I was an idiot at some point last year…


We came home with spring onions, baby potatoes, tomatoes, a bunch of basil, red butter lettuce (a huge head!), squash, and sugar snap peas for $19.


Funny story about the sugar snap peas… Hubs and I were talking while still scouting out the selection, he about how last time he had some they didn’t sit well with him and I was just saying how I don’t like them when one of the farmers that we like a lot came around his table and offered us a sample of some. These are so sweet! I’ve only ever bought them from the grocery store before and they never have any flavor. Now I see where they get their name… We continued our walk and then went right back to him, he asked whether he sold me and I said yup! (also bought the lettuce from him). See kids? It pays to buy local and organic, the flavor is so much richer!

The green squash is called clarimore and I’ve forgotten what he called the yellow zucchini. I can’t seem to find the name online.

IMG_2968 IMG_2969 IMG_2970 IMG_2971

Each tomato is a different variety, which to some extent is a shame because I won’t know what to look for next week.

Everything but the lettuce is smaller than you would find at the grocery store but the flavor is so much more intense because it hasn’t been dulled with super plant food or pesticides, it all has the chance to soak up the real flavor of the earth. And the smaller, the sweeter, as the tomato guy and various websites as I was trying to find the squash names. You want them young and sweet. Seriously guys, check out your local farmers market. The food probably won’t officially be labeled organic because the certification is often too expensive for small farmers to obtain, but just talk to them. The guy who sold me the sugar snap peas told me last year that everything is definitely organic at ours. Plus once something has come into season, the prices will be comparable to your big chain grocery store but the flavors will be twice as intense. You won’t be disappointed.

*steps down from soapbox*

Later, after Hubs cleaned the bathroom and I wrestled with trying to connect my computer to the cable modem (our wireless hub seems to have died), I bribed Hubs with lunch at Chickfila (not my best decision) because he had a coupon for a free sandwich (last time we went my wrap took forever to be made so the manager offered us two free sandwiches). The desire for better contact solution at the nearby CVS might have played a part in his willingness.

We’ve kind of been go-go-go all day. We came straight home and took the dogs on a walk! We kept it a lot shorter (still a good half hour probably) so other than getting tired, Gypsy stayed healthy (she’s the grey one). I never realize how small she is until I see her in photos or am around other dogs.


Ignore my pointy hair, when I wear my bangs down I part it on the side it’s not used to (does that make sense?) to hide a cowlick on the right side of my forehead (my right). I guess I didn’t specifically smooth it down while I was blow drying it this morning.

Ollie! So excited! (Sorry about the camera string, blame Hubs!)


(As a side note, the little bugger peed on me twice today. The first time I happened to be sitting on the floor when he was let out of the crate so it was an unfortunately typical I’ve-been-locked-up-and-I’m-so-excited-to-see-you sprinkle. We usually rush him straight out the door to avoid this. The second time he was quietly resting on my lap when he shifted and it suddenly got very warm. That one was unusual. Good news is, most of my jeans are now clean.)

A Gypsy glare (a nice change from her typical depressed though!)


After the walk, I got in touch with my mom and she tried to help me with the internet, to no avail. We ended up driving up to Best Buy to buy a new router (which works sooooo much better than the old one, hello streaming video!) and stopped by Target to buy Ollie a new leash. His old one was once Rose’s (sigh) and technically pink. The clasp was also broken so he could wriggle away from me at times. Now he has a nice, manly blue.

I snacked on some hummus and Wheat Thins at some point (if you must know) and then Hubs and I made a farmers market dinner! Seriously, everything but the salad dressing, hummus, craisins, and the okra were bought this morning, meaning it was all picked within the last 48 hours. So, so fresh and flavorful!


For the dressing I made Ange’s Better Than Bottled Balsamic vinaigrette but you know, I had to work with what we had, so I used red wine vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar, yellow mustard, and (I’m ashamed to say) Eggo syrup instead of real maple. It was still really good though! I doubled the recipe so I can have it on salads at lunch this week.

My salad had butter lettuce, a few pieces of onion, some sliced basil (this added so much!) a wonderfully fresh tomato, some red pepper hummus, and craisins. Basil is definitely my favorite herb. Please expect to see a vegan caprese salad sometime this week!


Hubs also roasted up two of our potatoes, one yellow zucchini, one clarimore squash, two onions, and some frozen okra (what can I say, he’s obsessed). Seasoned with salt and oregano, I believe. The potatoes were softer and almost creamier than any I’ve had before (and free of pesticides! Very important as anyone who’s read In Defense of Food will agree). The texture was smoother… I don’t think of potatoes as being grainy, but they almost seem so in comparison with these.


Look at that beautiful yellow ring of flesh in the zucchini! Hubs and I both agreed that the flavor reminded us of tea! It was interesting, in a good way!


The squash was sweeter, and maybe just slightly nuttier? than regular squash. I couldn’t quite decide what was different. I absolutely love summer squash though and I’m so excited that the season is arriving!


One disappointment was finding a much better option for breakfast when we arrived. There’s a restaurant called Farm 255 who’s mission statement begins with the lines:  Farm 255 is a restaurant that seeks to reconnect food to its roots & people to their food. We serve local, seasonal, & sustainable food for supper nightly. In addition to the Farm we manage Full Moon Farms, an organic/biodynamic animal and vegetable production farm in Athens.

Their menu changes daily, depending on what crops they are able to bring in from the farm. I love, love, love their food philosophy but they are quite out of our price range so I have yet to eat there. Maybe for my birthday! Hubs asked me what I wanted and I told him a nice dinner out…

But to get on with the story… at lunch time they have a small cart (called Farm Cart, of course) out of which they serve sandwiches (haven’t had one of those either). As we were walking up to the farmer’s market today I squealed with excitement “Farm Cart is here!”, which quickly turned to disappointment when I realized that we’d just eaten (as in, had to sit for an extra minute in the car for me to finish eating). They weren’t ever there last fall when we went, but I found them on Twitter and hopefully they will make it a regular thing. They had a good line today!

Okay, I know this has been a monster of a post, but I want to add one more thing. I can’t wait until we move! Currently our options for walking the dogs is a 3/4 mile loop around the block or having to walk them under the highway. Neither of which is very appealing for anyone involved so we walk them a lot less than we should. Jack Russells are known for being hyper dogs, but Ollie has been so much better behaved today. He never sleeps in the middle of the day anymore, but he sat with me for a good half hour while I read (before watering my lap) and now he’s lying on the couch beside me, hiding under a pillow (they’re also diggers):


But once we move across town at the end of July we’ll have sidewalks galore and new neighborhoods to explore. Plus the apartment complex has a dog play area, which will hopefully be fenced in by the time we move!

Today has been a really good day and I just had to share it with you! I know this has been terribly long, but I hope you enjoyed it!

Day late, a dollar short

Morning guys! I’m a little off schedule, our internet is out at the apartment, so I’m posting… from… class… Sshhh, I won’t tell if you don’t tell. But in any case, this will be another quick one.

For dinner I wanted veggies. We don’t really have veggies, so Hubs sauteed up some red onion and a frozen gumbo mix, added some fire roasted red pepper and tomato sauce, and served it over pasta. Topped with lots and lots of nooch!


Aside from the few bites of celery which kind of threw off my tastebuds, it was really good! I love okra though. I like having a big mound of veggies and a slightly smaller heap of pasta.


Otherwise breakfasts have been a smoothie with two pieces of toast, lunches have been leftover couscous (today is the last). Shoulder still hurts, still avoiding exercise… I’m boring! And I should probably pay attention now 🙂