Friday, March 23, 2007

dropping by for a quick visit

It seems odd to say I'm dropping by for a quick visit to my own blog, but gee, it's been a while since I stopped by, and I can't stay long! Have you missed me? I've been so doggone busy, but I do have good Simba news --- he's feeling much better! --- and the murder mystery weekend has come & gone with some photos that are dying to be shown, so I wanted to at least share that much with you.

Especially the part about Simba. He suffered through several weeks of illness about a month ago, with high white blood cell counts, inability to eat, and other intestinal distresses too nasty to mention but which entailed getting me up in the night for help. Whenever I gave him his meds he became desperately clingy, so I'm certain they bothered his stomach terribly ... and they didn't help. So, after several weeks of this, I took him off all his meds, quit giving him the boiled hamburger and rice that the vet recommended and put him back on good ol' Iams dry dog food, and I'm not sure what did it but he's OK now. I have my happy little guy back! With a few bad habits from all the pampering he got while he was so sick, but hey! He's still my little guy.

It's been 4 months now since his spinal cord injury, and he's doing well. He still doesn't have as much strength in his hind end as he used to, and he slips & slides more when on the wooden floors, but he's not complaining and neither am I. If you didn't watch him verrrry carefully, you'd never know there was anything wrong. So I am more than willing to label this his happy "end"ing (sorry) and put this story to rest.

So this is my little shout "Hello" to my blogging pals who haven't heard from me in a while and, truthfully, I haven't been checking in with you, either, but life is slowing down a tad and I'm hopeful I'll be able to get back in touch with the goings-on in your lives now. Spring is coming! I hope you're loving it!

P.S. The MMW story will have to wait for another day ...

Our little dog Simba suffered a spinal cord injury in December. If you'd like to follow the story sequentially, start here. To see beautiful photos of him before the incident, go here.

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

loves me dem sprouts!

There are lots of folks out there who don't like brussels sprouts, and even though I'm not one of them, I can understand why, especially if we're talking frozen sprouts here. Fresh are definitely better. The Huz has always been among that number, so for years now I've limited myself to having them when he's not around for the meal.

Usually I roast my sprouts, either whole, halved, or quartered, often eating them with a healthy (read: big!) sprinkling of salt and some balsamic vinegar. I like to keep some already cooked in the fridge and eat them cold as a snack or pop them in the microwave to warm them up. To prep them I always used to cut off a teeny slice of the stem end of the sprout, which is usually dried and hardened, to expose fresh sprout flesh. In the process of slicing off the stem, you'll get some loose sprout leaves, and I've usually discarded them but not worried too much about it if they got in the roasting pan with the sprouts. And that's how I discovered that I really loved the separated outer leaves, roasted.

So the next time I made them, the slice off the bottom of the sprout was not so teeny, so as to liberate more outer leaves from the sprout for roasting. And the next thing you know, I was aiming for lots of leaves and leaving only tiny bits of sprout core for roasting. I sprayed the leaves with Mazola Pure spray canola oil (no point in using those aerosols with the extra chemicals, I figure) and spread them evenly on the bottom of the roasting pan. They roasted beautifully in under 20 minutes in a 425-degree oven, and then I salted them quite a bit and ate them like potato chips. Yum!

And would you believe it, The Huz likes them too. We're both delighted. Brussels sprouts are one of those cruciferous veggies that we've all been encouraged to eat lots of because of their cancer-fighting properties. Research shows they contain phytochemicals that strengthen the liver's ability to detoxify cancer-causing toxins. It's always nice to find out that you like something that's good for you!

If brussels sprouts still seem like too much of a stretch for you, check this article on the Diet Channel for lists of other, perhaps less challenging antioxidant-rich veggies like arugula, watercress, and radishes and see if you can find a few that you might be willing to add to your diet.

This is my first entry in a long, long time to Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging. Check out her roundup of posts about herbs, veggies, fruits, and even flowers this Sunday evening!

P.S. Anonymous asked what kind of camera I use to take my pics. It's just a Canon PowerShot S1 IS, which I chose because it had a 10x optical zoom, never noticing that it didn't have a macro mode! So I don't recommend it for food bloggers. I'm looking for a smaller camera that does have macro mode ... anyone have any recommendations?

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