A not so fun morning.

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We hate cutting Coco’s nails.  So much that we pay the vet to do it, and due to her squirmy don’t-cut-my-nails-or-I’ll-pretend-I’m-going-to-bite-you persona, she usually does not get the good doggy discount.

This morning, we got ambitious.

My husband started to cut her nails, and I stuffed treats down her throat in a repetitive fashion so that she forgot what we were doing.

And then we saw it.

The blood.

Apparently he’d cut below the quick (that line is impossible to see, mind you), and no matter how hard we tried, we could not get the blood to stop.

He was calm (of course), and I was holding back my panic as best I could, although the amount of blood that comes out of that toe nail is horrific.

We tried that special powder that came with the clippers. We took her outside to limit the amount of blood that was in our family room. We googled and tried a remedy of dabbing in flour, flour that I was wearing 5 minutes later.

She did not seem to be in pain, which was good, although I couldn’t help but wonder how when the next time when she gets her nails cut (ahem, during her yearly vet visit next week), she’d be traumatized and may actually bite the vet, rather than fake-bite.

A flour-y deck, robe, and Coco foot later, it finally stopped, and I got 5 minutes to get ready for my 9:30 a.m. call.

Now she is barking at the mailman. All is normal again.

Taco Salad

I wasn’t a huge lover of cafeteria school lunches in school, but I do remember taco salad day.  There was a big bowl, sometimes made of a crunchy shell, and the taco meat was addicting.  Apparently I was eating pink slime smothered in taco seasoning, but I was not aware of this at age 10, and I thought is was magnificent.

I’ve held on to my love for taco salad throughout the years, whether it was at Owens at Virginia Tech, when I was trying to be healthy at a Mexican restaurant, or in my own kitchen as a side to my guacamole.

And so I’d like to share my taco salad recipe.

The secret is making homemade taco shells so that every bite can have a crunchy sensation if you so desire.  And an easy way to do so, is by molding a large taco tortilla into the backside of a large muffin pan.

Bake it at 400 for 5-10 minutes or until firm, and golden.

And then just fill with goodies!

Brown taco meat and add taco seasoning according to package instructions.

Cut up red onion, jalapeno if you fancy a kick, lettuce, avocado, and cheese.

And make a cilantro lime dressing to finish it off.

Cilantro Lime Dressing

3 T dried cilantro
3/4 c ranch dressing
1 lime, juiced

Mix all ingredients and add to salad

I assembled my salad as such.

In shell:

1. Lettuce
2. Dressing
3. Meat
4. Tomatoes, Onion, Jalapeno, Avocado, Cheese

Can I get a margarita?

Honey Glazed Salmon with Mango Cilantro Relish

Last night for dinner, I kicked off summer with a great side of (easy) corn on the cob. Oh, and there was a main course, too. I’m trying to eat healthy (isn’t everyone always trying to eat healthy?) and salmon is one of the foods that I’m constantly hearing is so good for you, such great side effects, you’ll live longer, it’s good for your skin. Yes, I know it’s good for you. It’s tasty, yes, but sometimes it can get a little boring if you don’t try different salmon recipes.

So, here’s another one for you to add to your rotation of omega-3-happy entrees.

Honey Glazed Salmon with Mango Cilantro Relish

Serves 2:

2 pieces of salmon (I buy frozen and thaw in a  bowl of cold water for 15 minutes)
2 T honey
3 T soy sauce
1/4 t ground pepper
1 T olive oli

Sprinkle salmon with pepper, put the rest of the ingredients in a plastic bag and marinate for 30 minutes while you make the mango relish.
Saute in pan for 3-4 minutes each side or until salmon is easily flaked with a fork.
Serve with Mango Cilantro Relish (recipe below).

Mango Cilantro Relish

2 cups chopped mango
1/4 cup cilantro (more or less to taste)
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 lime, juiced
1/2 t sea salt

Combine all ingredients and serve with Honey Glazed Salmon or eat with chips!

(Easy) Corn on the Cob

Summer means warm days, long nights, fresh food, and tasty cocktails. Summer means guacamole, homemade salsas, potlucks, and star-filled nights on the patio. Summer means backyard campfires, s’mores, and lingering conversations. Summer is bliss, and it’s my fave.

I adore summer not only for all of the above, but for the fresh produce that lines the farmers markets, and even the local (good) grocery stores. One of my summer pleasures is fresh, sweet corn. So, when I saw it last week, I said no to my inner-self who said April was too early a month for the corn to be good, and bought 4 ears.

Tonight I made a honey-glazed salmon with a mango cilantro relish and wanted a fresh accompaniment. Out came the corn, but with the salmon being almost done, I didn’t want to go to the grill.

So I went to the microwave.

4 minutes later, out came this delicious, string free, corn.

It’s not as good as in-season corn, but it was tasty, and I’ll be turning to my microwave again next time I’m in a time pinch.

Easy Corn on the Cob

Put ears on corn in the microwave, on a damp paper towel.

For two ears, I put in for about 4 1/2 minutes.

Hit Start (and ignore the much-needed manicure).

Flip them halfway through cooking.

Then, remove and once cool enough to handle, cut one edge and slide out the corn.

And then, they look like this.

And, you’re done.

A relaxing getaway

Earlier this week I spent a few days in Nags Head, NC, one of the towns in the OBX, with my mom to kick off her spring break. You see, she is a teacher, and apparently teachers like to enjoy their spring break just as much (maybe more!) than their students. When she asked last week if I would have any interest in getting away for a few days, I immediately said yes, and so we began planning a little R&R in the OBX.

We ended up renting a house right on the soundside, and made sure to get home every night to enjoy the lovely sunsets. It was a tad bit chilly, but you can’t tell from these gorgeous pictures of the sunsets, right?

Can you tell I like sunsets??

We tried fabulous food recommendations, ate all of the foods you usually don’t indulge in (yum, Duck Donuts, High Cotton BBQ), tried to burn off some of our gluttony hiking the sand dunes and kayaking, and window shopped in the quaint town of Duck.

We also walked a cute strip of houses known as the Nags Head Cottages, where the socialites of the 1920s summered. Clearly I would have been one of them if I lived in the 1920s. (One can dream, right?)

A fabulous, relaxing trip to kick off the summer. I returned with the same pale skin as which I departed with, but had a great time nonetheless. There’s always the upcoming San Diego trip to look to for some color!

A few words of encouragement can really help!

Yesterday my sister called with great news – she passed the bar!  You may recall I helped to organize a  send-off, asking her friends and family to write some words of encouragement that she would read right before heading off to take the bar exam.  I divided up half the letters for the first day, and half the letters for the second day, so she’d have some inspiration on both days. 

Of course, I’m sure she passed because of her hard work and dedication, and not the pretty boxes of letters, but just so proud of her, and hoping the letters were just what she needed to head out the door with confidence.

Congrats, K!

Weekly meatballs

Every weekend, I try to make a batch of turkey meatballs, to keep in the refrigerator as a quick (healthy) snack, or to consume for lunch (3 or 4 makes a great high protein meal). They are quick to make, super healthy, and delicious.

My weekly batch is usually doubled or tripled, and I’ve morphed recipes from friends, and those found online to create the below take.

They’re a “clean food” if you follow that craze, and never stay for long in the fridge. I’ve heard from friends that you can also freeze them, but ours never get that far.

Turkey Meatballs 

Makes 12

1lb ground turkey
2 T olive oil
1 egg
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
2 T fresh basil, chopped
2 T fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
1 small onion, diced
1 1/2 t sea salt
1 t pepper
1/2 t ground coriander
1/2 paprika
2 slices Ezekiel (or low carb) bread, or breadcrumbs, crumbled

Mix all ingredients together until ingredients are fully blended. Using large scoop, scoop into muffin pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes, flipping halfway.