On one of the rare occasions you'll see me in hiking boots or running shoes, or a ratty old t-shirt and cargo pants is when I'm on the prowl to find what you see in that image above. This woman is usually dressed up, but I know when to take my hair down and get my hands dirty.
I bet some of you may look at that picture above and think, what the heck are those?!?!? Let me enlighten you. You won't find them on a nice stroll in the city while wearing your high heels or loafers. You won't find them if you're too darn afraid of snakes. You won't find them if you don't like crawling through wooded areas and suffering a few pricks from raspberry bushes. You won't find them if you take your dog with you (sorry Jack) because they'll most likely trample on them. So what are they and why are they the feature of this post?
They are the best darn mushrooms I've ever tasted called MORELS. But, let me be real here. I haven't been the best morel searching partner this season. I've gone on a few excursions with my husband, but I'm afraid of snakes. Those prickly bushes get on my damn nerves. And, I'm sorry, but after a long day of standing at work, those hiking shoes are so unappealing. However, I did find some of the ones in the picture. It's an amazing feeling to find something in the wild you can bring home and cook up. I simply LOVE it!!! Let me tell you though, they aren't that easy to find. See the picture below. Can you spot the morel quickly?
Anyway, the search continues tomorrow for more morels. We're inviting some friends to join us on Easter to do our version of Easter egg hunting. But tonight it's high heels and out on the town with my girlfriend to see John Legend in concert. What a drastic difference in hobbies I have going on this weekend and I'll enjoy every moment, from getting dressed up to the nines to strapping on my hiking gear, sans makeup and head out to the woods.
Only one not happy with the way this weekend will play out is poor, pitiful Jack.
I returned from my short vacation just a couple of days ago and I'm so happy to be home. It was great to see family, but there's nothing like sleeping in your own bed. As for Jack, there's nothing like having the one person you follow around endlessly back home. If I can pack my bed and Jack on every trip we would have no issues.
So, while I was away for 2 short days my husband told me Jack didn't eat at all. Not one single bowl. I'm glad he didn't couple the no-eating with pulling out tuffs of his golden locks. Oh, the separation anxiety. It does break my heart to leave him.
Because I'm that weird dog person like so many other GREAT animal lovers, I had a little chat with Jack before I headed to the airport. I thought it would help settle him, but I think it only made him angry. By the end of our little goodbye chat he was no longer paying attention to me. See the first of an extremely short 2-part video capturing this little chat.
Can't you sense his anxiety in that clip? It's pitiful. Those eyes begging me to scrap this trip and stay home. He always knows that the suitcase is an indication that I won't be returning home that evening to give him a treat. To play. To cuddle. He was getting more and more anxious the longer I talked. And this is what I captured next. A crying golden. You may need to turn your volume up high to really hear him.
Well, despite his little temper-tantrum with Blue, Jack survived my absence. Everything is back to normal now. His morning routine of following me around resumed......
I climb out of bed and here comes Jack.
Take a shower and step out and there's Jack sitting on the rug I need to step on so I don't get water everywhere.
Head downstairs for a glass of water and possibly some breakfast and little golden footsteps following behind me.
Back upstairs to find something to wear to work and Jack is laying in front of the closet watching me. Struggling not to fall back asleep.
Dressed and ready to go make the donuts and where is Jack?
Sitting on his little loveseat ------ content that the suitcase has been stored away and I only have my purse. Phew!!!!
5 Reasons I've Been Driven to Drink......
1. On March 26th, 6 days into Spring, SNOW FLURRIES.
2. Mom found her first Morel Mushroom, so morel FEVER has set in. This means on beautiful days I will not be joining the family on mountain excursions to find an edible mushroom to which I will get none of.
3. I heard that Mom is leaving me for a short vacation in just a week or so. Aren't dogs allowed on planes?
4. Dad has taken up another hobby. In addition to fly fishing, golf, hiking, etc..., he's now playing POOL. None of these hobbies are very dog-friendly.
5. I've been out of treats for a few days now. Only a few broken pieces of peanut butter biscuits that they try to pass off as the treat of the day. Really?!?!? I don't even taste it.
Venting session done!!!!
Disclaimer - The bottle of beer had nothing in it. We do not give Jack beer; however, he most likely did get a slight taste of a drop of Fat Tire. Good for the dog soul!!!!
Signs of spring are appearing slowly but winter just won't let us be. I looked at the 10-day forecast today and almost cried. A few days in the 60s then rain and cold temps return just in time for my next few days off. Ugh!!! Highs in the 40s in late March is so UNEXCEPTABLE. But, instead of being anxious for the pending cold days, I took advantage of the warm weather today. Well, sort of. A few Frisbee games with Jack until I noticed the forsythia bushes and got the urge to take a few photos.
I love these bushes although the yellow buds don't last very long. I think they maybe stay bright yellow for about 2 weeks. I'm always happy to see them bloom though. They bring back memories of when I first moved to east TN. I was obsessed with all the different plants I don't remember seeing back in my home state of Texas. And, by far, the forsythia bushes are my favorite. I even have a framed picture of them on my computer desk. Something about them just make me smile. I suppose it's because they bloom so early and give me hope that this god-awful winter weather will soon be a thing of the past.
So, back to the day I was having. Well, I'll turn this part of this post over to Jack................
"I really wanted to just hang outside, but mommy pulls out her NIKON and I knew my time with the Frisbee was going to be short-lived. What is with her and this constant picture taking? I mean, I know I'm handsome and all, but don't you think she has enough photos of me? After being cooped up in the house on one of her rare lazy days, I was ready to play. But, OH NO!!!! I get dragged over to these yellow bushes where Mommy gets in all these weird positions to capture pictures of me. First, she's laying on the ground directing me to SIT, LOOK UP, LAY DOWN, STAY. I laughed when she tried to position herself in another way and lost her footing and almost fell down the hillside. Oh, mommy. The things she does to capture me turning white around my face. Y'all do remember that's why she started this blog? You know, capturing me growing old gracefully. Well, I noticed a couple of post about food that have nothing to do with me. I'm a little concerned she's losing sight of her priorities here. This evening she's wrapped in her apron with that darn NIKON camera AGAIN draped over her neck as she cooks. What's up with that? Oh she's something else. I'm sure you can guess there's another recipe to come soon. I'd give you a hint if they had shared some table scraps, but they didn't so forget about it. I'm sure a picture of the food will be the star of her next post. Ugh!!!! I thought this was about ME."
The first paragraph in the picture to the left speaks of the changes in our style of cooking "as we emerge from the long, often dark winter months, we yearn for simple, uncomplicated dishes." So, as I promised I'm going to share the recipe I spoke of in my post on Sunday. I actually just devoured the leftovers for lunch. Thought I'd take another picture to go along with this post, but this woman was FAMISHED. Sorry, no additional picture. Need inspiration, simply scroll down to the picture I posted earlier. I have to get this typed up so Jack can get some outdoor time before the predicted rain showers begin to fall.
Warm Chicken/Bacon Spinach Salad (opted to give you one more picture...Ha!!!) One day I'll be good at prepping my dinner and having my camera handy to take a picture of each step. However, half the time I'm cooking I'm way too hungry to set up photo shoots for the active ingredients. Plus, not sure the hubby would be happy that a meal which normally takes 30-40 min to prepare now takes up to two hours. Jack also said he wouldn't stand for it---takes away play time.
1 lb chicken; diced
1/2 cup of Garlic Expressions Vinaigrette
1 package of sliced portabella mushrooms
1 large bag of spinach
1 tomato; chopped (I usually use cherry tomatoes and slice in half, but didn't have them for this dish)
1/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon of honey
4 slices of thick smoked bacon; crumbled into bits
1. Marinate diced chicken in Garlic Expressions; overnight if possible. If not possible, let it marinate for up to an hour or more. Cook chicken on high heat and fast to retain moisture. Drizzle a little more garlic expressions on cooked chicken if you so desire. Set aside.
2. Cook bacon strips. If you want to be really bad, save a little bacon fat to add to the dressing later. I try not to do this, but occasionally it just slips in somehow.
3. While bacon is cooking, heat grapeseed oil (or whichever oil you prefer) in a small skillet and sauté mushrooms until golden brown.
4. Heat balsamic vinaigrette and honey in a large skillet on low heat. Throw in spinach and toss until some of the spinach is slightly wilted. If you prefer, you can just heat the vinaigrette and honey and toss all ingredients at the end. I like for my spinach to be cooked a little bit more so I take half of the spinach I wish to use and cook it and then add more uncooked spinach at the end.
5. Combine chicken, spinach, mushrooms, bacon, tomatoes, and feta in large bowl. Drizzle the warm vinaigrette on top and toss.
This is a wonderful recipe that's quick and easy. And, amazingly enough, it's good as leftovers. Well, as long as you leave all ingredients in their own containers and just heat as needed the following day and toss. Viola!