Staycation Day 11

I made it!  Last day of staycation and it went pretty great – who knew I could fall into lazy life so easily?   As you saw, we did manage to tackle some key projects around the house, but we did also manage to rarely get out of bed before 10:00am (lesson learned:  it takes about a week to sleep train the cats…)

Today consisted of eating some leftovers while watching football,


taking down the Xmas tree


and watching it snow.  WHAT?  yep, it started snowing, leaving us all with dreams of a snow day to continue staycation, but alas it didn’t accumulate…

One last fancy meal at home, and then back to the real world.  It’s been fun house…



Staycation Day 10

Almost last day of projects around the house, focused on my office and craft corner, still not great but way better than it was:


In the evening, my mighty Sun Devils were playing in the last bowl game of the season, the Cactus Bowl, so we had a few folks over for Fajitas, margaritas and Mexican Mules – mmmm.  Food and friends were great, losing to West Virginia by one point was not so awesome…


Staycation Day 6

started off pretty great with breakfast in bed – thanks BK!


then we tackled another organizing project, a new shelf in the basement for kitchen appliances, yay!

BK played with his new sous vide machine and torch for dinner, yum:


and capped off the night with wine & desserts with the neighbors (yay for awesome neighbors!)

Staycation Day 5

Actual project day – clean and organize the garage.


First stop Costco to buy a new industrial strength shelving unit:


Next, clean everything out of the way and assemble the new shelf:


Lastly, put everything back nicely and make a dump run:


Oh yeah, and then go celebrate all your hard work with a yummy dinner at Harvest Vine, mmmm…

11 days at home…

My office decided to close for the week between Christmas & New Years, and with the Huskies playing the morning after Christmas that means no travels and no work for 11 days.  I’m pretty sure I’ve never had a staycation this long – what can happen in those 11 days?  First things first, a Joy-ful kick-off…


Grilled Zucchini & Leeks with Walnuts

In our next installment of cooking with walnuts, we have this side dish I tried out during for a dinner party a couple weeks ago.  Overall tasty, but the leeks were a little chewy and could have spent more time on the grill.

•1/3 cup walnuts
•1 garlic clove, finely grated
•2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
•5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
•Kosher salt
•Freshly ground black pepper
•2 large leeks, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise with some root attached
•2 large zucchini (about 1 pound), halved lengthwise
•1/2 cup (lightly packed) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves with tender stems

Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Toast walnuts in a dry small skillet over medium heat, tossing often, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Chop very coarsely. Toss warm walnuts with garlic, lemon juice, and 3 tablespoons oil in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Brush leeks and zucchini with remaining 2 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill vegetables, turning often, until tender and charred in spots, 5-8 minutes for leeks, 8-10 minutes for zucchini.

Transfer vegetables to a cutting board. Trim roots from leeks and cut leeks and zucchini into bite-size pieces. Add vegetables and parsley to bowl with walnuts and toss to combine; season vegetables with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.



Cookin’ with Walnuts

Tom has been busy on the Eastside shelling all the walnuts, so I’ve been busy trying new recipes out with them.

First experiment was Thanksgiving, Honey Walnut Pie – tasted liked Baklava, didn’t need the double crust:


Next at my birthday party I made two appetizers with walnuts:  Roasted Red Pepper Walnut Dip & Pear, Walnut & Ricotta Crostini – both were delish:



and finally for snack break at work I made Flu Fighter Cookies – I feel healthier already!



O Christmas Tree

We have a tree! We decided to go the artificial route, and after scouring all the logical spots settled on a 7.5′ “Spruce” from Lowes – and minus discounts and gift cards it only cost us $17!

We weren’t sure how the cats would react – unsurprisingly Marion couldn’t care less and Shamus immediately was intrigued. So far though he has yet to knock it over, phew…