Cookies, veggies, and someone better than Santa Claus

Work has been really busy this week, but somehow I managed to take this picture of Baxter at work.  I’m not entirely sure how this situation arose.  But the important thing is having a camera there ready to snap a picture when such a situation does arise.

Baxter... and long-lost corgi siblings??

Baxter… and long-lost corgi siblings??

It has been a very eventful week aside from work too.  Unfortunately much of this has had to do with Piper peeing repeatedly on our bed.  I took her to the vet on Friday, and it turns out she has a bad UTI again.  This definitely seems to be a recurring theme with her… poor thing.  I’m now giving her antibiotics and pain killers and she seems to be feeling much, much better (although she winks crossly at me whenever I give her either of the medications and always makes a run for it when I pull the antibiotics out of the refrigerator).  She puts up with the pain med a lot better than the antibiotic med, mostly because it’s a tenth of the dosage so there’s much less liquid involved that she has to swallow.  And because it doesn’t get stored in the fridge so she has less warning that it’s coming.

Because of all these accidents on the bed, on Friday Mike and I stripped down the bed, poured Nature’s Miracle on the bed, and put a fan on it to let it dry.  Fortunately, because she’s had this problem a couple times in the past we were reasonably prepared and have a waterproof mat on the bed under the sheets.  This meant that although a little urine seeped through to the mattress, it was very little.  So the mattress is fine.  We also washed the comforter and sheets multiple times but still weren’t able to get the smell out of them.  I found a comforter on sale at Kohl’s and we found some nice sheets at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  We also drove to Ikea to get new pillows (yes, unfortunately those were casualties of these incidents as well).  We decided to sleep on a sleeping bag in the bedroom for a couple of days to give the Nature’s Miracle time to fully dry, and we also decided to lock Piper out of the bedroom for a few days completely and since then we’ve only been letting her in the bedroom at night to sleep with us (since none of the incidents occurred while we were with her in the room, we feel pretty confident she won’t have any more accidents while we’re in there with her.)

On the 4th of July I inadvertently had some Ocean Spray cranberry juice that was ‘lite’ (i.e. 50% sugar and 50% splenda) and that did not go over well with my stomach.  Definitely based on my food allergies I should stay far away from sugar and far, FAR away from splenda.  Suffice it to say that my stomach was determined it wasn’t going to accept any of that juice and I was pretty much out of commission for the following six hours until I fell into bed at 2am (Actually I fell onto the sleeping bag since Mike and I were still waiting for the Nature’s Miracle to dry on the bed).  The upside is that Mike was very sweet and, ever the teacher, offered me tips on how to vomit to prevent a sore throat the next day (I couldn’t bring myself to care about how my throat was going to feel the following day though… I figured I was going to focus on the here-and-now and my throat could fend for itself) and Piper was concerned about me and ran after me when I made my way to the bathroom each time.

On to other, happier themes beyond Piper’s and my sicknesses.  🙂

Last Wednesday night around 9pm, Mike emerged from his computer room and asked if we had any homemade cookies.  This was a purely rhetorical question since he knew I hadn’t made any cookies.

“No.”

“Didn’t you buy Andes mints awhile ago?  Weren’t those for cookies?”

“Yes, we were going to take them to the BBQ last week, but I ended up taking hummus instead so I never made the cookies.”

“Oh.”

<Silence>

“Would you like me to make cookies?”

This was how I ended up making a half batch of chocolate mint cookies at 9:30pm.  🙂  I mixed up the dough pretty quickly and put it in the freezer to chill for about ten minutes before baking.  Mike came out of his room again during this time and was surprised to see cookie sheets and an empty mixing bowl sitting out.

“Did you already make up the dough?”

“Yes… why?”

“When my mom used to make me cookies I always helped.”

“Really?” I was appropriately charmed at the thought of ten-year-old Mike in the kitchen dumping flour from a measuring cup into a bowl that was too big for him to hold while helping his mom.  “Which parts did you help with?”

Mike’s brow furrowed as he tried to remember.  “I don’t know… maybe I mixed.”  He paused.  “Or I might have just hung out in the kitchen and stolen pieces of cookie dough.  I don’t really remember.”

Ah.  🙂

Last week in the CSA, I got carrots, garlic scapes, peas, several kinds of lettuce, and dill.  I used the carrots, dill, and lettuce in salads.  Over the weekend I made an Four Cheese Italian with Garlic Basil Sauce.  I made some modifications to the recipe.  Since I had a lot of peas from the CSA, I put in a full cup instead of 3/4 of a cup.  Also instead of putting in garlic cloves, I added 7 or 8 garlic scapes chopped into quarter inch pieces.  I also only used 14oz of chicken sausage instead of 20oz of Johnsonville 4-cheese sausages.  Technically my version of the recipe probably can’t be called “Four Cheese Italian” as a result.  However I did sprinkle parmesan cheese on at the end, so maybe my version can be called “One Cheese Italian”.  Doesn’t really have the same ring to it.  Mike really liked it though, probably in great part because of the fresh basil and fresh peas.  Fresh ingredients really make all the difference!

I still had a bunch of garlic scapes and some carrots left, so I also made a Lentil Soup with Lemon.  Although I actually just looked up the recipe so that I could provide a link to it, and I realized that I forgot to add the lemon.  So maybe my version can just be called “Lentil Soup”.  Again, not quite the same ring to it.  However, the soup itself is phenomenal!  I made some modifications (besides forgetting the lemon, that is).  I added three stalks of celery because I had them.  I also added two carrots instead of one and tripled the cumin and probably quintupled the chili powder (I definitely like my spices).  Once again, instead of garlic cloves, I added 7 or 8 garlic scapes.  Garlic scapes have a much milder flavor than garlic, so you need more if you want the same kick.  Although, honestly chefs use garlic scapes in light, summery dishes and they’re considered a very delicate vegetable (according to the internet articles I read last week when I had no idea what garlic scapes were anyway).  Given that, I felt a little guilty throwing them in a soup pot and letting them simmer away for an hour rather than roasting them delicately or something.  But this is what happens when you sign up for a CSA.  You become creative about using ingredients outside of their intended purposes because you live in fear that the veggies in your fridge will start to get soft/moldy/slimy/smelly before you get around to using them and then you’ll have to waste food.  If it’s not ingrained in your head that wasting food is akin to kicking puppies, CSAs probably aren’t for you.  They operate very strongly off of the fear of food-wasting principle.

I have almost all of last week’s vegetables used up, but I just picked up a fresh load today that’s bigger than last week’s and contains (among other things) chiogga beets, kohlrabi, broccoli, and two heads of lettuce that are both significantly bigger than my own head.  We’ll see how things go this week!

Additionally it got really hot (85 degrees!) over the weekend, so I went up to the roof and picked some of my produce.  Kale, lettuce, arugula, and garlic!  🙂

Karen gardening

Pulling up my first bulb of garlic… EVER!

On Saturday Mike and I had a cleaning frenzy, which felt SO good!  Our apartment had been getting cluttered and messy, but now it’s back to being much cleaner.

I also tried out a new yoga studio on Saturday morning, and I really liked it.  I went back for another class tonight after work and I liked that class even better.  This might become my new “regular” yoga studio.  My previous “regular” yoga studio started cutting some of my favorite classes, so I was looking for a new yoga home studio.

Mike and I also stopped by Moon Photo Lab in Seattle over the weekend.  It’s a charming small photo lab that only deals with hand-developing film and printing pictures developed from film.  Only two people work there.  One is the owner, an older man with a long white beard who looks a little (actually a lot) like Santa Claus.  From Mike’s perspective, he probably is a lot closer to Santa Claus than the real thing.  Mike gives him rolls of 35mm film and gets back printed pictures on high-quality paper with high-quality ink.  Or he gets them back in digitized version on a CD.  In Mike’s book hand-developing 35mm film is far more magical than driving a sleigh through the clouds randomly dropping down chimneys with sacks full of toys.  Mike’s perspective is a little different than the rest of the world’s.  😉

This week has been busy for Mike and me at work, but we’re looking forward to a relaxing weekend!

Mike and Piper taking a well-deserved rest last weekend

Mike and Piper taking a well-deserved rest last weekend!

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2 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Dogs + Cats, Gardening, Pictures

2 responses to “Cookies, veggies, and someone better than Santa Claus

  1. Love the photo – it is hysterical!! 🙂 I pulled my first garlic ever too this past week!

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