Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Good things

I have some good things to share. But first, Alex wants to say hi:

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.

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Blogger Zen Master said...

Awww, Alex is adorable.

On the shoe front you are soooo lucky.

I saw the neti pot on Oprah. I've thought about it but I think I'll wait for your review. lol

10:31 AM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

Hmm. Let me know if that neti pot works out!

And Alex is cute as always :)

10:39 AM  
Blogger His suzy said...

I also saw the neti pot on Oprah and it looks like a decent idea. I'll be waiting to hear what you think of it.

Hi Alex!! :)

2:02 PM  
Blogger bdogg_mcgee said...

I bought a neti pot and was full of high expectations that it would work magic on my sinus cavities, but in the end it just made me more congested and the saline burned my nose. That was just my experience, though. I'm weird like that.

Belly scratches to Alex!!

2:38 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hi Alex! *Belly Scratch*

Love, love, love the boots!

Yummy recipe. I think I may need to try that one.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Due to popular demand, I will do a review of the neti pot. :D

Bdogg- my allergist has me using a prescription saline spray to wash my nose out before I use another prescription spray, so I figure this will be cheaper in the long run. I agree- the saline does burn a bit.

Lisa- the crostini is soooo good. Sometimes I fantasize about making and eating the entire batch in one sitting. I'll bet I could do it, too.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Betsy said...

Love the neti pot. Go easy at first, tho. Do NOT use an entire packet of salt! It will burn like mad.
I even recommended it to one of my students when she had a miserable cold. She came in the following Monday. And she was able to breathe through her nose.
But you must be consistent. If you want it to work, you really do have to use it every day.

7:18 PM  
Blogger R U Serious?? said...


OK!! I'm composed now! Alex is VERY cute!! I have three dogs!! A Carirn Terrier, a Miniature Dachshund and a shelter rescue dog. The 'rescue dog' busted a few disk's in his back, so for $4000 we got him a new teflon spine!! He seems to be grateful!!

Alex is VERY cute!!

I like the boots, especially at a discount!

If you'd like to see my dogs, and my main space, it's at:

I actually posted a recipe tonight but it involves ground turkey! Is that OK??? Just not sure.

This is MUCH better than stalking! LOL!

I LOVE your posts!! Take care!

3:58 AM  
Blogger Caffeinated Librarian said...

Let me second Betsy's comment. I too use the neti pot and it works well, just don't use the whole salt packet and don't do it without it either...with all the fluoride, etc. in our water, that too will burn. I've also found that using slightly warm water works best.

As for the photo essay, it's already been done! Go visit Ninja Poodle's entry on the topic...if you dare. *cue ominous music*

Love the concept of "shoe porn." *giggle*

7:34 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Wow, I'm the last to know about the neti pot! No wonder I've been suffering so.

Serious- your dogs are very cute. Do they make allergy-proof teflon sinuses? Actually, maybe I should just replace my entire head.

9:39 AM  
Blogger kj said...

i can't picture that net pot. how does it get from one nostril to the other? is that right?!! wow!!

i on to your recipe. i'm printing it even. thanks, liz!

9:15 PM  
Anonymous bethydiane said...

i saw that netti pot thing on Grey's anatomy and i thought 'what in the world?' hope it works for you. and just reading that recipe is exhausting; i could never make anything that takes more effort than 'turn oven on, throw in oven'

9:26 PM  

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