Sunday, February 28, 2010

Of High Ponies, Supermodels and Brain Sisters

Hey there!   Long time, no bloggy.  But, you see, my Brian Sister arrived, and I felt like this:


The days that followed had lots of food and drink, and talking, and walking, and shopping, and laughing.  You know, living. 

On Friday, I quickly scarfed some oatmeal after washing the dog and showering, then went to the optometrist and grocery store.  By the time we were home, it was time to go to the airport!  After picking M up, we had a little lunch.

Panini Sandwiches of turkey, Provolone, roasted red bell peppers, artichokes, tomatoes, lettuce and red onions.  I had a fruit salad and some marinated veggies on the side.  Yum!

We walked Maple around Lady Bird Lake while we caught up.  Then it was time for dinner.  We took her to our new favorite sushi place

The waitress was nice enough to bring us some edamame.

And we all shard sushi.  First round was salmon rolls, tuna rolls and Red Devil rolls. 

This was delicious.  Then we ordered Dragon rolls and Moonlight rolls and more salmon rolls.  Didn't get photos of it, but we  were FULL.  Then we came back to the house for some chips and guac and a little wine and beer.

Saturday, I made a blueberry coffee cake.  I had it with a yogurt. 

For lunch, we went out to Driftwood Winery and I packed a picnic.

After wine sampling, we found a nice table with a great view.  I made Italian tuna and white bean salad, caprese salad, fruit salad and veggies with lemon aoili.  I also grabbed some crackers.  We had a Viognier with it.  It was sublime.  Much talking, much laughter, much reveling in the moment.

Then we drove on to Fredricksburg and did some window shopping and memory-making.

For dinner, we took her to Enoteca Vespaio, and honestly, I was underwhelmed.  Got the usual calamari and margherita pizza.

Back to the house for more wine and snacks.

Sunday was more coffee cake and coffee.  For lunch, I made roasted Cornish hens with roasted potatoes and onions and asparagus.

All in all, it was a great visit, but was sad to see her go.  I had to buy a Snickers bar to console me.

She is my Brain Sister and I love her.  We laugh alot, we talk about important issues and trivial things.  We went through an important and formative four months together.  I see her every few months, and I tell her basically everything.  She understands me.  She likes my cooking and my husband and my dog.  We are Brain Sisters, and we are both members of the High Pony club and we are supermodel hott!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Brief Note

Here's the deal.  Brain Sister's coming and today was a helluva day.  So I am drinking a glass of red wine.  I just spoke with my Brain Sister, am currently watching the Olympics, and am so excited, I feel like tomorrow is Christmas morn.

So here's a brief run-down of what I ate:

Oatmeal with milk and peanut butter
Hot chocolate
PB&J on whole-wheat, 1 C baby carrots and an apple
1 oz turkey deli meat, 1 oz Provolone cheese, 4 chips and salsa
Black Bean nachos with pepper-jack cheese and salsa
Red Wine

Hope you have a great weekend!  I plan on taking lots of photos of food this weekend.  I'm out!

I'm Not Making Any Promises...

Today has been very, very crazy.  Very.  But guess what?  That matters none.  Because in less than 24 hours, my BRAIN SISTER will touch down on Texas soil!  Can you tell that I am very excited?  Just to give you an idea of why I'm excited about seeing her... she e-mailed me yesterday to ask what we'd be eating as a distraction from a crazy day.  Yes.  That is why we are friends.

I have class tonight, and then will probably be making her bed up, all nice and fluffly.  And I will be cleaning relentless, er, I mean, tidying up.  A bit of dusting, you know.  Small stuff. 

And as of tomorrow, my friends, I will be AWOL from the blog for a few days.  Because I don't get to see my Brain Sister often, and so when I do see her, I savor every second.  We will be laughing and drinking margaritas.  We will be eating, and walking my dog in the sunshine.  No time to blog.  Sorry, people.  You'll have to do without me.

Will try to blog tonight, but can't make ny promises!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Today was a little crazy.  By which I mean, it was sort of zany and then I got stuck with more things for tomorrow that will make tomorrow even zanier.  By which I mean, I got into the office, had to sift through e-mails, had to call lots of people within a small timeframe, be in a meeting, answer questions, etc.  My routine got back to normal this afternoon.  Tomorrow will be totally different.

Then I had to be on campus, get my transcripts sent to my grad school choice, do some studying and be in class.  Class was fun.  We talked about Ambien.  Amen.

But that's not what I want to talk about.  I want to talk about FOOD.

Would a morning be a morning without oatmeal?  Probably not.  Had some with milk and peanut butter.  Then I had a coffee DISASTER. 

After getting dressed, I came down to eat (I had 10 minutes) and get out the door to work.  I thought the coffee had been taken care of.  I thought my husband, barista-extraordinaire, had made some.  But he hadn't.  Dangit!  I was flapping around like a chicken in an ice bath.  I was making oatmeal, washing apples for lunches and making coffee.  I thought all was at peace when I sat down to eat, but when I got up to pour my coffee and leave, I saw that there was no coffee in the carafe.  Because the carafe was not properly in the machine.  So I pushed it in... and the coffee came rushing out of the filter basket.  Most of it landed in the carafe, but some also got on the counter.  And I wiped and cleaned and cursed.  Then I poured my coffee, tasted it, cursed that it tasted burnt, and scuddled out the door.

[Insert work craziness here.]

Lunch was a bowl of black beans with some salsa, 1 C of baby carrots, and 2 C of cantaloupe cubes.  For a snack before class, I had a cinnamon roll.

[Insert fun class talking about Ambien... and alkenes, but WHATEVER, that-is-boring-stuff.]

DINNER!  Nachos.  Heavenly food.

Black beans on chips and some salsa.  Warm.  Crispy.  Salty.  Dadgum delicious.  I am happily home, happily cozy and happily relaxing. 

Good night!

Hump Day

Oh good lord. Today feels as if it will never, ever end. Currently, I am waiting for Organic chemistry to start with baited breath. Be still my beating gag reflex.

Oh yes, there is food to talk about and talk about it I will. But for now, I will leave you with a photo of my dog's backside while she pokes around the snow. The snow is all since melted.

There! May that bring you peace on this zaniest of hump days....

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Snow Day!

Good thing I had today off from work, because I did NOT want to drive this morning.  It snowed!  I stayed under the covers for as long as possible, then got up and made a warm breakfast and some hot coffee.

Which was oatmeal, cantaloupe, and coffee.

Did I mention that it was PB&J oatmeal? 

I spent most of the morning working on my grad school application.  I got most of it and just have to tweak my essay before sending it in tomorrow.

I had a dentist appointment this afternoon, so I wanted to eat some solid food.

I made a sandwich with turkey, provolone and lettuce, some baby carrots and juice.

I had been sucking down coffee all morning as I worked and was really paranoid about nasty coffee breath at the dentist, so I switched to herbal tea... peach ginger to be exact.  I heard ginger was good for bad breath, so I gave it a go.  And I brushed my teeth.  I'm sure both were effective...

My appointment was good, but expensive!  I had an extra cavity that they discovered while filling my other one.  I was also fitted for my nightguard, which was gross.  The molding substance they use is like clay.  It's so thick, I felt like I was going to choke on it and it makes this awful suction sound when they take the molding tray out of your mouth.  But it's over with and I should get my guard in 2 weeks, so then my jaw won't be so tired from clamping down my teeth in  my sleep!

Back at the ranch, I was happy to see that my evening class was cancelled due to weather.  "Class cancelled."  Is there another sound in the English language as sweet?  So I sat down for dinner and I had a nice bowl of black beans with homemade salsa, some cheese and a red pepper tortilla.

Seriously, who could say no?

I'm so grateful to the advances in science that lets us eat solid food immediately after getting fillings.

I'm also grateful for SmartWool socks, my dog being funny during her first snow and my cuddling partner, Kendall.  These things make me happy during cold weather.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday is over

Todayvwas a day of repeats. This morning I had some oatmeal with milk and peanut butter. For lunch, chicken and veggies with an apple and cinnamon roll.

Work then class. Then I came home and made something scrumptous...

A cheese quesadilla with this awesome pepper tortilla and a salad on the side. So yummy!

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

I Love Sundays

I slept in this morning, then woke up and started baking.  I decided to try my hand at cinnamon rolls.  Why?  Because they're delicious, that's why!  Also, they are one of Kendall's favorite foods. 

My first attempt wasn't too bad.

Here's what was left.

We spent most of the morning relaxing, baking, studying, grocery shopping and doing laundry.

Kendall made some pasta salad for lunch, but I forgot to take a picture.  It was whole-wheat penne with alfredo sauce, broccoli, red onions, and tomatoes.  It was delicious.

The weather was beautiful; it was clear, sunny and about 75 degrees.  We had to walk!  We took Maple on a nice long one.  Then I folded clothes, cut Kendall's hair and we washed the car.

Here's some exciting news: one of my dreams came true today.  I made extra pizza dough.  Then I baked it and will freeze it.

So while I was letting the dough rise, I made some snacks, like guacamole and pulled out some leftover popcorn.

Kendall is a master popcorn-maker.

And I made a salad.  I drizzled a little Ranch dressing on some lettuce, and then added some apple cider vinegar and a bit of olive oil.

It was fresh and it was green.  I love that.  Know what else is fresh and green?

Springtime is budding.

That's my pear trea in the backyard.  It's budding.  I love that too.

She brings joy to my life.

And I love my cute dog.  If I had a tail, I would wag it because of her.  But I don't.  So I just say that she brings joy to my life. 

So does this.

Pizza.  Homemade.  Why haven't I been doing this recently?  Am I having an existential crisis?  This is what I stand for, this is what gives me life breadth.  Fresh, made-from-scratch, perfect-sauce pizza.

I need to go ponder my behavior.  After eating some of this.  With an IPA.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

New Place

This morning, I slept in!  It felt so good to get some rest.  I haven't been sleeping well this past week, so I took a Tylenol PM and it worked.  I cuddled on the couch with the dog and made coffee.  Kendall got up and we cleaned.  I didn't get hungry until 11 am, so we just had lunch at about 11:30 am.

Kendall made pasta and white sauce with tomatoes and onions.

It was yummy, but the onions were pretty strong!

Then we took Maple out for a walk.  We had a nice one, but noticed she has really been pulling during her walks and ends up wheezing and coughing.  We've tried to teach her "heel" since we got her, but she gets so excited, she pulls ahead.

After her walk, we dropped her off and were ready for a snack.  We thought we'd go find a new fried ice cream joint.  We went to Sushi Niichi by campus, but found that they didn't have fried ice cream.

They did, however, have sushi happy hour starting at 4 pm.  Lord have mercy.

We got an 8-piece plate of the tuna roll and an 8-piece plate of the salmon rolls.  Both were delicious, but the salmon was our favorite.  We decided to turn into an early dinner and split another plate of salmon rolls!

Blissful.  We noticed the next door was a cute gift shop and they served bubble tea.  That's all we needed to know.

I got an almond milk tea with less sugar.  It was really good, but pricey.  Then we returned a phone car charger and got Maple a harness and new leash.  We had to return the harness for another size, but we got it figured out. 

Then we took Maple for a little walk and were very pleased with the result!  It acts like a pause button on the walk, so when she pulls ahead, we can hold the leash tight and we won't pull harder against it-- it just stops her in her tracks. 

I've affectionately named her new item the "vest."  Yes, I wish it was denim and yes, I wish I could embroider it and add some flare buttons.  But nylon will have to do for now.

Now we're watching the Olympics, drinking some wine and perhaps having some popcorn and cookies.

Friday, February 19, 2010

So Happy it's the weekend...

Sorry for the lack of post yesterday...  I ate a lot more of the same.  For Thursday's breakfast, oatmeal with milk and peanut butter.  For lunch, chicken and roasted veggies with an apple.  For dinner, the last of the lasagna and a bit of red wine.

Today, I had more oatmeal and peanut butter, more chicken and veggies with an apple and for dinner, cheese pizza, some salad and a beer.  For snacks, I've had granola bars.

The food has been good, but mainly, I've been focused on how happy I am for the weekend.  Work has been a little nutty, school has been busy, and I'm getting my grad school application together.  I'm so excited to finally be applying!

This weekend will be spent running errands, getting things ready for when my brain sister comes to town, and hopefully seeing some friends from high school tomorrow.

Good night all!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I haven't felt awesome all day so I didn't take photos.

Breakfast: oatmeal without milk
Lunch: turkey and muenster on wheat and an apple
Snacks: granola bars


Spinach and pepper-Jack quesadilla! My stomach finally settled down.

Still tired though. Good might!

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fat Tuesday

It's Fat Tuesday, folks, and that can only mean one thing... Yummy food!

Luckily, my food wasn't that fat. I had a granola bar for a snack.

It was yummy in flavor but really, really chewy. My jaw got tired.

For lunch, some of that slow-cooker chicken meal I made on Sunday.

It was good but not salty enough. I also had an apple.

In between work and class, I ha some Goldfish crackers and a diet soda.

Then for dinner, some more lasagna and red wine. Maybe in honor of Fat Tuesday, I'll have some dessert.

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Gone to the Dog

Good Morning!

Maple woke me up at 5:50 am, so I took her out, cuddled on the couch with her for a minute, and then took a nice shower.  Kendall is working from home today, so I just threw together my lunch for work.

Then I got to work on breakfast...

Oatmeal, of course!  I repeated the half of a grapefruit again, because I loved it.  Also, this oatmeal is pre-stir.  I always stir all the peanut butter into the oatmeal.  Always.  But I wanted to give you an idea of how much add.

I also had a big glass of water.  I've been SO thirsty first thing in the morning.  It makes sense; I haven't had any hydration in over 8 hours.  But still.  I gulp down water like there's no tomorrow.

Last night, I stayed late to finish out a lab, instead of waiting until next week to finish it.  This means I have no lab next week!  I'm so excited about it.  It's really made my day.  When I got home, I found the cutest Valentine's Day gifts from my in-laws.  They brought them over today.  A big washable tote bag that is all cute with red, pink, orange, dark green and gray stripes.  It's HUGE!  Also, some granola bars, teddy bear and a bar of dark chocolate.  Kendall got some pistachios, granola bars, and Goldfish.  Yum!  I settled in with a quesadilla and glass of wine.  I was hungry after all that lab work!  We got to bed a little late, so I'm sort of dragging this morning.

Also, I think it's time for an update on Maple.  She's found a spot that she likes to rest her weary bones after days of sleeping, eating, and chasing the neighbor dogs through the fence.

Yep.  Our couch.  We did not mean for this to happen.  We never intended this.  When we got the dog, we swore she could dominate our weekend plans, but she would not take over the furniture.  Maple had other ideas.  Ideas about cozying up with her bones and chew toys, being near us, but not on us.  Ideas about finding her own quiet solitude to dream of meeting other doggy friends while still feeling like a human on the big people sofas.  We have covered our white sofa with a cheap blanket.  She chews on it and through it.  I have discussed this with her.  She pays me no mind.  She does what she pleases.

It's because she knows I'm helpless.  When I go to pick her up at night, to carry her upstairs to bed, she's already cozy and warm and sleepy on our her couch.  She looks at me dreamingly, and licks at my face, as if to say, "I love you.  Let's cuddle up on my couch.  Come cuddle me."  And then, I'm a goner.  Total goner.  Give her the couch and the house.  That dog's won my heart.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Modest Dinner

Dinner was served in the car and without much fanfare.

A PB&J sandwich with an apple. The jelly was blackberry, a possible new favorite!

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Lasagna Lunch

Today has been nice and slow, due to the holiday.  I love it!  Lunch was warm and filling.

There it is in the bowl!  Lots of tomatoes and spinach.  But some of spinach didn't get totally washed, so there's a bit of grit.  :(

Along with that lasagna, I had some salad with Italian dressing and a tangelo.
That's my orange water bottle, refilled!  I've had a good 4 C already, and since lunch, I've had another 12 oz, so I'm up to 5.5 C now.  Yay! 

Slow-Cooker Lasagna

Here's the slow-cooker lasagna recipe I made this weekend. I got it from Real Simple. What I liked about it was that it was easy, easy to control the fat and salt, it taste fresh, is meatless AND is pretty cheap! I subbed fresh spinach for the chard, because I couldn't find any in our grocery store.

I don't have my receipt with me right now, but I remember some prices off the top of my head...
Lasagna noodles: about $1.50
Diced Tomatoes: $2.15
Ricotta: $1.99
Spinach: $1.69
Mozzarella: $1.77

That's a total of $9.10! Not bad. I think it will be about 8 meals, which comes to $1.14 a meal. Steal!

What a Day for a Grapefruit!

Woke up this morning to freezing temps (I live in TX, people. It's an oddity here)! Sounds like a great morning for some oatmeal! Kendall has the day off, so Maple and I had a leisurely morning getting my lunch and dinner together, making coffee, getting dressed and eating breakfast.

Maple-brown sugar oats with milk and peanut butter. And grapefruit! I had a good 20 minutes, so I had half, and put the other half out for Kendall.

Yum! Hit the spot! I'm going to try to squeeze in more fruit today (I have an apple and a tangelo packed today) because I had none this weekend!
The coffee was hot, which was so comforting on the ride to work this morning! I also enjoyed the Diane Rehm podcast from Friday's News Round-Up. This weekend, I realized how behind I was on the news! Kendall told me it's because of school, but I'm going to try to be better about it.
I have work, then class and then lab tonight. Yuck! But it's good to get it all over on Mondays. The rest of the week is downhill from there!

Valentine's Day Weekend

Another beautiful weekend in Austin, TX!

Saturday evening, Kendall and I went out for our Valentine's dinner. We went to Enoteca Vespaio, one of our favorite spots. We really splurged on our calories and fat... We always order the fried calamari sandwich with lemon aioli. It's so good! Seriously some of the best calamari I've ever had. It's always fresh, not rubbery or chewy and the batter isn't too heavy for the fish. The lemon aioli is a perfect compliment, not too thick!

Then we decided it was a good night for pizza, so we had the arriabiata. It was good, but not as good as the margherita looked at the next table. Wish we would have gone with that! The crust is really thin and the dough is almost sweet. It's really lovely! But there wasn't enough sauce for my taste, and the cheese didn't really "pop" on this pizza. Oh well! It was still pretty good!

We headed home and split a Guinness beer. Then we brewed some decaf and snacked on a few Girl Scout cookies while watching the Olympics.

I think the short track skating competition is my new favorite! I love how methodical it is, and at times, everyone moves in sync, but when someone tries to break ahead, there is definitely some good drama! It's like chess on ice!

Sunday started with me peeling potatoes, carrots and chopping onions, celery and green bell peppers and throwing them in the slow-cooker. I threw in some chicken and a bit of cream of celery soup thinned with broth. Then I made some oatmeal for breakfast, which was great.

We brewed some coffee and hit the road for my parents' house! We listened to "This American Life" on the way home... I love that podcast! It's always good.

The weather was beautiful! We had a blueberry scone for a snack. For lunch, I had a baked chicken breast, about 3/4 C green beans, a baked potato with some cheddar cheese, sour cream and LOTS of salsa, along with a bit of minestrone soup, and a salad. I was so full! Lots o veggies, so I felt good about that, but couldn't finish my soup's broth or all the lettuce from my salad (left behind mostly the iceberg). We skipped dessert due to being SO FULL.

We went around, did a little shopping and outdoor play time at a park. Around 4 pm, a front blew in. We were actually outside when in blew in! The wind picked up and it got really cloudy. I think the cold set me in the mood for some comfort food. We went to a diner for dinner and I ordered a smoked chicken melt on potato bread with hash browns. When it arrived, I regretted the hash browns. They weren't that good! Kendall ordered fresh fruit and I REALLY wanted that. The sandwich was delish, but greasy. So this week, I need to lay off the greasy fats.

On the ride home, we stopped and got some coffees (I had decaf) and once home, I packaged up our slow-cooker chicken for the week. I snuck a bite of potato, and it was good. That thing had cooked for 12 hours, and the flavors really melded. I told Kendall that the potatoes reminded me of pot roast flavors-- but without the beef!

We split a beer and then headed off to bed.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

That's Amore!

Saturday has been lovely thus far, and it'sonly getting better!

Breakfast brought a fun new oat experience: maple brown sugar with peanut butter! Loved the flavor combo.

We cleaned and tidied and bathed the dog. I put lunch in the slow cooker. Two hours later and presto!

Lasagna! It was pretty yummy, required no boiling and was easy. I paired with a salad.

We took the dog for a walk around the lake. Now we're off for our Valentines dinner! Can't wait! Will try to the photos if I can rub the love dust out of my eyes to focus (yuk yuk)!

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Let the games begin!

First post from my phone so let's see how this goes...

Yesterday I ate some junk! They bought pizza at work and people brought sweets!

Yep, that's a donut and a cookie . Pre-lunch.

And veggie pizza!! It was so yummy. Oh and some cookies!

Got home and played with my doggie. Then Kendall and I went out to dinner for some chicken tostadas, which were delicious!

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Friday!

Good morning, everybody!

Yesterday was packed full of excitement. I had my oatmeal and my coffee and carpooled with a co-worker. The weather was icky, which meant people were driving like idiots. Luckily, we arrived at work in one piece.

The day flew by, but I was lucky enough to have some yummy lunch. Behold:

I loved that soup I made on Wednesday night so much, I had another round. Chicken, black beans, rice and veggies in broth. Plus a tangerine. The fruit was really, really juicy. But so good!
After work, I had a few pecans and then went to take another test for my biology class. It wasn't bad at all!
I hurried home in the nasty weather for some hearty dinner....

More rice, chicken and veggies in broth. No beans, as Kendall finished those for his dinner.

He did make some mac 'n' cheese, so I had that on the side. I can't complain; the man is nice to me.
Then I played with the dog and settled in for a new episode of "The Office." So funny!

Maple's taken to cozying up on our white couch. It's definitely her "chill" spot. She takes her toys up there to play with them, or curls up and sleeps there. It's pretty dang cute.

So now that we've finished our pot of beans, let's talk about it! I pay $0.98 for a pound of black beans, which I soak and throw in the slow cooker with 6 C water and some salt. That's it. We yielded 7 meals out of that pot! That's $0.14 a meal. Can't beat that with a stick. We did add some yummy things, like chips, avocado, salsa, rice and veggies. A lot of that we had around the house. The salsa probably ended up costing us about $1.50, the avocado was probably about $0.40 and the veggies were probably around the $0.75 mark. Rice was negligible (1 C out of a pound bag that cost $0.99). Chips we had on hand and finished them. Not shabby!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Hill of Beans

Wednesday was hump day. And it felt like it. It feels so much better to be on the downward slide now.

For starters, the weather was yucky. Rainy and cold. People in Austin cannot drive in this weather. We are too freaked out. Mock us if you must, but when it comes to people being idiotic behind the wheel, I have to put my foot down.

In the morning, I had oatmeal. It was divine. It was hot and stuck to my ribs, and I poured my hot coffee and bundled up for the cold outside. And then I drove to work.

Work was productive and the morning went by quickly. I love it when that happens. Soon enough, it was lunch time!

I had this:

Black beans with salsa, some buffalo chicken, two pieces of whole-wheat toast and a tangelo. It was warm and filled me up. It was sort of messy, but that's okay.

After work, I stopped by the post office to buy stamps. The line wasn't too long and I considered it my lucky day!

I ate an apple in my car before my class. I was so happy it was just a lecture and not a test or a lab. I just had to sit and listen while the nice man made different rings with his molecular models and talked about electrical charges and configurations. It actually made sense to me, so I was grateful. Then class let out early! I was SO grateful. I was also grateful that I stuffed some gloves in my pocket.

I listened to "This American Life" on the way home and realized how much I love that program. I highly, highly recommend it.

When home, after driving in the dark, cold rain, I made this:

A soup of sorts. Black beans, a bit of shredded buffalo chicken, rice and some veggies simmered in broth. The veggies were still a bit crunchy and the chicken lent a bit of spice. I plopped some salsa on top, naturally. It was warm and hearty. I loved it.

And I love this. My husband playing Scrabble on his phone while our puppy helps him. This also warms me. I would normally consider it cheating, but it's so cute, I'll let it slide.
Have a great Thursday, people!