Showing posts from November, 2013

A Vegetarian's Thanksgiving

Yesterday was Thanksgiving here in the US, and I thought I'd share what I ate. (I usually get a lot of comments from meat eaters about what I can actually eat at Thanksgiving.) As an appetizer, we had tortilla chips with salsa and corn dip . I was little worried making the dip because it looked nothing like the recipe picture, but it turned out just fine. Everyone ate it so fast I didn't even think to take a picture. For dinner, I had carrots, vegetarian stuffing , basmati rice, mashed potatoes, corn, vegetable soup (not pictured - but it had vegetable broth, peas, lentils, carrots, and barley), a roll with butter, and cookie dough truffles . My truffles also turned out nothing like the pictures, haha. At least they tasted good :) Yum! I definitely didn't feel deprived by not eating turkey. I had plenty! And probably too much starch now that I look back over the pictures . .  How was your Thanksgiving? Anyone going out today for Black Friday shopping? My husban

Stubborn Leaves

I snapped this shot on a walk last week and couldn't help but wonder why this particular tree still has its leaves (as a comparison, take a look at the bare ones in the background). Hmmm. Have all the leaves come down in your neck of the woods? linking up to wordless Wednesday

Houlihan's Asian Chop Chop Salad

Happy Friday! I'm so ready to sleep in tomorrow :) Have anything fun planned? Mr. Giraffe and I recently had a date night and went out to dinner. My appetizer was nothing to write home about, but my salad? Amazing! Houlihan's bills it as the Asian Chicken Chop Chop Salad, so I used one of my vegetarian eating-out tricks and asked for the chicken on a separate plate. (Mr. G gave the chicken two thumbs up.) Unfortunately, at $15, it wasn't the most affordable meal, but I plan to make it at home for much cheaper.  It's lettuce, cabbage, carrots, snow peas, bell pepper, jicama, peanuts, sesame seeds, and wonton strips or tortilla strips. All fairly normal (except the jicama - this was my first time trying it, tastes like a raw potato), but I never would've thought to combine them myself. (The asparagus was part of my husband's meal that he kindly gifted to me.)  I didn't sample the salad dressing - see more of my weird food aversions  here  - but it was se


My brother emailed me this song over the weekend and I'm pretty sure I've listened to it at least 27 times since then. Love it! :) Any one else have a song stuck in their head? Oh, and I wouldn't say this video is explicit , but there is a woman in her underwear . . linking up for wordless Wednesday

What spices do you keep on hand?

At the grocery store, I buy mariana sauce rather than traditional pasta sauce because usually the pasta sauce is flavored with meat or added cheeses and I can't be sure it's vegetarian. To compensate, when I'm heating the sauce, I add an Italian seasoning blend to give it a little more flavor. No complaints yet ;)   So when I ran out of Italian seasoning the other day, I didn't want to run to the store in the middle of heating my sauce. I starting wondering if I had to buy more or if I already had all the spices on hand to make my own (found a recipe here  if you're interested). I was close! (no basil or rosemary)  It got me thinking, what spices do you keep on hand? We go through Italian seasoning, black pepper, parsley, onion powder and Old Bay easily, but what about all those other spices in the pantry? I usually buy specifically with a recipe or dish in mind, but the Garam Masala and Montreal Chicken seasoning were gifts from my parents. (I love edible gift

November Garden Update & 30x30 Thoughts

This'll be my last garden update for 2013! Can you believe we only have two months left in the year?  We had a few overnight frosts last week, so everything was looking cool when I took this photo around 6:30 in the morning. (Pretty soon it'll be time for  hot chocolate for breakfast !) Mr. G and I trimmed all the Black-Eyed Susan stems right before Halloween (they grow into the path and we didn't want any issues with trick-or-treaters) so they're resting in the garden now until the spring. Then we'll put some in the compost and some out in the woods house to decompose.  And the 30x30 update. Just to refresh your memory, this was a challenge I'd read about on RA's blog back in October, and I decided to join in. The basic premise is to pick 30 things to wear (clothing and shoes) for an entire month. You can read her thoughts for October  here . Here's what I decided to wear: This challenge turned out to be extremely difficult for me - and I'

mmm Moscato

Mr. G and I aren't big wine drinkers. But when a restaurant offers you a half glass for 50¢ to raise money for charity, you don't say no. We were pleasantly surprised when we tried it - light, sweet, and delicious! So we found this bottle at a local store, not the same brand but the same type: Moscato. Here's hoping it's good! linking up with wordless Wednesday (although I haven't had a truly wordless post in quite some time ;) )

Veteran's Day

In many parts of the world, today is Veteran's Day or Remembrance Day. My husband is in the military and returned from a deployment earlier this year , so this day is one where I try to spoil him a little and do something nice for others who still aren't home yet. I'm donating to Club 9 , a cookie club program that sends deployed soldiers a dozen cookies for free. It was one of my husband's favorite care packages and the other guys in his group enjoyed them too :) We're also going out to dinner, courtesy of one of these companies , who provide a free meal to thank service members. We are so grateful for the support.

Do you gamble?

As I was driving home yesterday, I noticed a new billboard for a casino about a half hour away and it got me thinking. My first gambling encounter was at a horse track when I was about 8. I was spending a Saturday afternoon at a friend's house when her mom was called in to work. Her dad had promised to meet a friend at the race track, so he brought us along.  We went into a smoky room with lots of people and he gave us each $2. We bet on the horses whose names we liked best. My horse did well and I made $6! I remember being so excited. My friend earned $1 from her bet. She picked a horse for the next round and then asked for my pick.  I was so confused. I had just won $6! C'mon, I could buy SIX packs of Lisa Frank stickers with that money! But my friend was betting again, so I did too. And kept betting, until neither of us had any money left. Bummer.  My second go round was when my husband took me to a casino the week after my 21st birthday. We played some penny

Kitchen Help

Dottie apparently wanted to help us make spinach dip - I only turned for a second! haha linking up for Wordless Wednesday

Travel Dreams

Travel seems to be in the air. Thanksgiving is the end of this month in the US, so tons of people are heading home or visiting family. There seem to be a lot of trips in the blogging world, too: Dar's  in Toronto, while  Sarah just returned from Vietnam and Erica from Zanzibar. It got me thinking about places that I definitely want to visit. My husband and I usually plan one "big" (weeklong) trip per year, with other day trips or weekend getaways thrown in. (This year, we spent a weekend in New York for a wedding and a week in Daytona for our anniversary . Plus we usually plan a day trip to NYC every fall.) These are some of my loftiest (and most expensive) travel wishes, and would hopefully be a weeklong venture. San Francisco: I've never been to the West Coast and this seems like a perfect place to start! I also want to see Alcatraz. London: I'd spend a month here if I could. There's just so much to see! We consider buildings old when they'

October's Over: Goals Update

Happy Friday! Since August, I've been challenging myself to put extra toward the mortgage every month, so here's visual look at my progress: I think this graph was the best thing I ever did in terms of encouraging myself to put a little extra down each month. The goal's always been in mind, but I felt like I did it more often than it was actually happening. I started tracking it in July, and I'm very happy with my consistency since then. :) And now for November: Attend yoga classes : Yoga is my kind of exercise - methodical, doesn't require anything too fancy, can be done solo or in a group. I used to only do yoga with my Wii , until I was spoiled by a yoga instructor coming to my work to teach a class. Sadly, she has moved on to other opportunities, and now I'm looking for a new class. I've found a few leads. My plan is to attend four local classes this month and figure out which one I prefer. Internet-free days : Everyone needs an internet br