Remember when I told you on the 'about' page how Jack dislikes when we leave him in the evenings for any reason at all. Several months ago we left to get a pizza from a local hole in the wall called I Love New York Pizza. I needed something green too, so I ordered their warm bacon spinach salad. Needless to say, I didn't eat the salad at the restaurant and I should have. It was too cold and unsatisfactory by the time we returned home. Of course, me, always trying to figure out how I can make something better; I thought......hmmmmm......let me take a shot at making my own Warm Bacon Spinach Salad. Jack agreed this was a great idea. For selfish reasons, of course. Mom.....cooking....AT......HOME.....YES!!!!!!!
This was dinner on this amazing Spring Forward day. Scrumptious. I'll share the recipe in a follow up post. In the meantime, wrap your head around marinated chicken, feta, mushrooms, spinach, balsamic vinaigrette, honey, and tomatoes. Now, doesn't that all sound wonderful? If you can, between the time you read this post and Wednesday when I upload the recipe, grab a bottle of GARLIC EXPRESSIONS Vinaigrette from your local grocery store. Order it on Amazon if you have to. You won't regret it.
Just thought you may want a picture of the bottle so it's easily identifiable the next time you're at the grocery store.
PROMISE!!!!! Recipe coming soon.
Extra hours of daylight mean.................
Longer games of Frisbee.
Longer time spent outdoors watching the lizards and the butterflies.
SPRING. FORWARD. The beginning to Jack's favorite time of year.
Let me start out by telling you exactly how I felt about being dressed up for that dog parade mom mentioned to you in her previous post. See, I'm a little bit like my mom. She loves playing dress up. Sometimes I sit and watch her go through a gazillion different outfit changes before she decides on "the one." Back to the point, though. I love getting dressed up too; when I know I'm going somewhere. However, unlike her, I have two choices. Bandana Red. Or, Bandana Blue. Not on this day.
First, it was the bow tie. Pretty snazzy, huh? I liked it until mom took down my collar which is left by the front door. And, typically only retrieved when it's time to go outside for a walk. But, nooooooooo. She had a different idea in mind. I thought it was time to load up in the truck. You know what she did? She sits down at the kitchen table and begins affixing this goofy bowtie to my collar. I whined and whined, but she didn't care. She just kept repeating "Jack, hush" and torturing me with the sound of the buckle hitting the table as she wrapped and wrapped to secure the bowtie. The torture didn't end there. She proceeds to put it on me. But, we don't go outside. She stares at me holding a pile of sweater vests and shirts. Then, like she does for herself - one vest on. Pause. Stare. Mumbles. Vest off. Different sweater vest on. Pause. Stare. Mumbles. 2nd Vest off. Shirt on. And that continues until she ultimately decide on this beige woven I'm wearing in the picture. All of this the night before the dog parade. I barely slept. I mean what the hell was going on? I thought I was going for a simple walk.
The next day, to my chagrin, this is what I saw..........................
Hundreds of dogs in froo froo costumes. I was in shock. Partially because I knew this wasn't going to be the normal downtown stroll, but also because I couldn't believe these outfits. But, because my mom was thrilled to be enjoying the company of her friends who came to tag along; I sucked it up and went with the flow. But let me tell you one thing. I'll be DAMNED if she dresses me up next year for this. Just let me walk the darn thing and YOU dress up, crazy woman. My goodness gracious; what do they do to us?!?!?!
On a side note, I'm so glad we could contribute to the Young-Williams Animal Center. But, we'll happily contribute from the sidelines next year, mom. From the sidelines. You got that?!?!? I'll be perched up on a bench watching the parade go by. Happy that I don't have to keep my eye out for dog poop. Ugh!!!
This Saturday the city of Knoxville is hosting its annual Mardi Growl costume parade. And, I've been debating whether or not to be that dog owner. You know, the one who dresses up their beloved pet and prance around town. I think it could be fun. Maybe a little stressful for Jack, though. He's under the impression that he isn't a hairy, four-legged creature. So, not really sure how he'll do around hundreds of dogs. The last time I took him to the dog park with a friend Jack didn't even interact with the other dogs. I mean he started off somewhat interested, but I took my eyes off of him for a second and guess where he was? Sitting ON A BENCH beside this lady while she scratches his chest. Away from his own kind. What have I done to this animal? Who knows.
I think I'm going to go for it. I'm an animal lover and the fact that all proceeds go to Young-Williams Animal Center, Jack's going to have to suck it up and work with me. We've got costume decisions to make. I'll be posting pictures I'm sure.
But, if Jack decides he doesn't want to hang with the boxers, labs, fellow goldens, beagles, poodles, etc.... you'll find him just sitting on a bench watching the parade go by.
This is absolutely my all-time favorite picture of Jack. Before the white hairs. Before the grumpiness. Before the constant whining. Before the obsession with stuffed animals.
At 2 years-old, Jack was showing his true color; GREEN with ENVY. That sounds harsh, right? Well, allow me to explain....
I was working from home, which in my line of work can rarely be done. But, it was review season so I was typing feverously and not paying him ANY attention. I had a deadline to meet and I wasn't going to be distracted by anything. Or so I thought.
I'm not sure my eyes had left my laptop for quite some time. But, you know how you can feel the heat of someone's gaze piercing through your head? Well, when I did finally come up for air this is how he was GLARING at me. As usual, the camera was close by so I snapped a quick picture because I'd NEVER seen him do this. 2 tennis balls in his mouth as if he was storing away nuts for the winter. I was a little baffled how he got them to stay. But even more baffled when I lifted his snout.
3 TENNIS BALLS!!!! Wow!!!! Impressive!!! See, this is my first golden, so at the time I knew nothing about this circus ability to juggle multiple tennis balls in their mouth without losing them in a matter of seconds. I'm not sure how long he was there holding them and chanting --- "Mom look what I can do..... Mom.... Mom.....MOMMY!!!!!" But as soon as I did, his eyes lit up. What a show off. Really, he just wanted my ATTENTION. My TIME. The only time he's GREEN with ENVY is when something or someone takes the attention away from him. Well, this past Sunday it was a BEAUTIFUL Tennessee day and it was spent with him. Well, for the most part. I had to whip up my favorite snack, amongst other things like Sunday chores and such. Jack just one foot off my heel at all times. However, get me in the kitchen and he knows how to shed that ENVY. Why? Well, my TIME spent shuffling around in his favorite area of the house filled with wonderful scents and even better occasional treats that may find their way to the floor is just what he craves. He considers this TIME well-spent with Mommy even though I may not be paying him any attention as I shuffle about gathering ingredients.
So, I think I'll share this simple recipe. (Sister, you've been asking for it. Hope you enjoy).
ROASTED LEMON WHITE-BEAN HUMMUS
I make this roughly once every couple of weeks. It's wonderfully fresh and spicy. Sometimes EXTREMELY spicy if I'm feeling saucy. Very few ingredients are needed. But one thing you must OWN that will make this dish extra creamy is a great food processer. I love my Cuisinart and he loves me. Let me tell you how we make great music together.
Oops... Interrupted by Jack. He mentioned that I didn't share a picture of him downtown today. So, here you go. Now let's get back to this easy recipe.
2 cans of Northern White Beans; drained
2 Tablespoons of Tahini
2 Tablespoons of Grapeseed oil - best type of oil to use with this particular hummus
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper - If you're brave add a little more
Cilantro - chopped; the more the merrier
1 clove garlic; minced
1 lemon; roasted
You have it all?
Heat oven to 400. Slice lemon in half and cut off ends so it sits up nicely on a baking dish. Roast for 15 minutes or so. I do this because I don't care for the acidic taste of freshly squeezed lemon in this dish. I learned from a food blogger that roasting helps, so that's just what I do. Try it.
While the lemons are roasting get ready for your dance with Mr. Cuisinart. Simply throw all the rest of the ingredients into the food processor.
After the lemons are roasted and have had a minute or two to cool, squeeze the juice of half the lemon into all the other ingredients awaiting their last friend to join the party.
Now, tighten up your apron. Hit the 'blend' button and do a little dance with Mr. Cuisinart for 2-3 minutes. Blending until it is super creamy.
Pour into a dish and add more CILANTRO. Oh, don't forget the other half of the lemon. Add it too.
Done!!! Devour with blue chips, pita bread, or roll in a wrap with turkey, tomatoes, & lettuce!!! Scrumptious!!!!