ME! Look at ME! Still cute! Scratch my belly!
There's something about Alex's face that makes him look very young. He's only four, not an old dog by any means, but every time we walk him someone inevitably asks, "Aww! Is he a puppy?"
And we say no, he's four, actually; he just looks like a baby. And then the person cooes and loves him up and Alex grins and looks at me as if to say, "See? I bet this lady would let me steal Kleenex from the trash."
On with the other good things.
See these boots?
Cute, huh? I saw them in a catalog a few months ago and was immediately smitten. But alas, they were too expensive, and even though I've been known to be generous in my support of the shoe industry, that's a thing of the past. So I ripped the page out and kept it hidden in a drawer so I could sneak lusty peeks at them every so often.
Think of it as my shoe porn.
Fast-forward to two weeks ago, when Mike and I were driving down to Georgia with Mike's sister. She was talking about the discounts she gets through her job, and when she mentioned the maker of my dream boots, I gasped and dropped my ten-pound novel on my flip-flopped foot.
Turns out she could get them for me wholesale, plus her employee discount.
Can you believe it? Some of Mike's relatives can get incredible discounts without breaking any kneecaps. I'm already fantasizing about pulling them on in the morning before I walk through the dewey grass to feed my Pygmy goats, my five dogs bounding alongside me.
The next thing may be good, but I won't know until I try it.
Have you ever heard of a neti pot? It works like this:
Picture from this website.
I know! That made you laugh, didn't it? But supposedly it can be really helpful for people who suffer from assorted allergies, sinus, and respiratory problems (neon sign flashes LIZ! LIZ! LIZ!) and because it's all-natural, I'm willing to try it.
You fill it with a warm saline solution, then pour it in one nostril and let the water flow through the nasal passages and out the other side. I heard about it after it was featured on an Oprah show and I'll soon be a hopeful owner. If you're lucky, I'll do a photo essay. Except that I'm just kidding about the photo essay.
I think we have time for one more good thing. It's a crostini recipe from my beloved At Home With Magnolia cookbook. I've made them as an appetizer for the last four dinner parties we've hosted, and everyone loves them.
Guess what you're getting if you come to my house?
Crostini with Goat Cheese, Beefsteak Tomatoes, & Red Onion
tomato and red onion topping:
2 cups diced, seeded beefsteak tomatoes (I often used canned petite diced)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or more if you're a basil junkie like me)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
24 or so 1/3-inch-thick slices of French-bread baguette
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 1/2 ounces soft fresh plain goat cheese, at room temperature
Place all of the topping ingredients in a small bowl and mix together until well-blended. Let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (I skip the foil for less waste). In a small bowl, combine the olive oil with the garlic (I like to heat it in the microwave for about 30 seconds). Brush the top side of each baguette with the oil and garlic mixture. Bake until crisp but just lightly golden, about 12 minutes.
Remove from oven and transfer baguette slices to a large platter. Spread about one teaspoon of the goat cheese onto each slice and them top with about a tablespoon of the tomato-onion topping.
Serve immediately while warm.