Monday, February 25, 2013

Orchid Plants


purchased this pretty orchid plant, along with another one that has darker magenta flowers, at Trader Joe's using a gift card I received for Christmas. Orchids are one of my favorite flowers. They add such drama and a splash of color to any room. This plant spends most of its time in the living room, but since the house is dry from the winter heat, I move the plants into the bathroom every couple of days for some much needed humidity. So far, both orchids seem to be happy. All of this plant's buds have opened since I brought it home a month ago. I've only owned one orchid plant before this and I never could get it to bloom again. Any orchid experts out there? If you have suggestions for getting orchids to re-bloom, please share!


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Lazy Dog

Two of the most endearing things about Henry are his underbite/crooked teeth and his smile. That little mouth of his is so darn cute. I first noticed him smiling soon after we adopted him back in September. I was handing him a treat and I noticed his upper lip curling back a little, almost like a snarl. Not knowing his personality yet, I wasn't sure what it meant. But very soon we realized he's a smiler. He smiles when we come home from work, when it's time for dinner and even sometimes when we just talk to him. His smiles range from subtle (if he's sleepy) to really big, in which he curls his entire lips back and shows off all his teeth. It's the funniest thing ever to see! It quickly led to the nickname Mr. Smiley.

Here's Henry being a lazy dog, relaxing in his nest bed. He loves getting his tummy rubbed and showing off his wonderfully crooked little teeth. He keeps us laughing, this one! And he's such a good "brother" to Phoebe. He's a love, and we are so thrilled that he has joined our pack.



Monday, February 11, 2013

Bulgur Porridge


Have you tried bulgur? Bulgur is a wheat product made from wheat berries that have been steamed, dried and cracked. It comes in fine, medium and coarse grinds; I buy the medium-grind from Arrowhead Mills. Bulgur is used to make tabbouleh, the well-known Middle Eastern dish with tomatoes, cucumber and parsley. I've used it to make these veggie burgers. I recently prepared it as a breakfast porridge (don't you love the word "porridge?"). It was good. If you like oatmeal, you'll probably like bulgur, but I'll be honest, the taste isn't for everyone. My husband, who is not a picky eater at all, calls it "vulgar." He's hilarious. But seriously, I found it to be a tasty, hot breakfast cereal and I like that it provides a healthy start to the day. A 1/4 cup serving of bulgur has 5 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber and a decent amount of iron and niacin. It's virtually fat free and low in sodium. Give it a try and decide for yourself.

Bulgur Porridge (1 serving)

In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup bulgur with 1/2 cup skim milk (or almond or soy milk), 1/2 cup water, 1/8 cup raisins (I used golden raisins) and 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until bulgur is tender and mixture is the consistency of oatmeal, about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve sprinkled with a teaspoon of brown sugar and a little extra milk, if desired.
 


Monday, February 4, 2013

Polka Dot Bowl


One of my favorite things to do is scour antiques stores and fairs for cool and unique things to add to our home. I'm especially drawn to kitchenware. I have several glass refrigerator dishes (which need to be in a glass-fronted refrigerator, don't you think? Oh, how I'd love one!). And I've amassed a nice collection of Bakelite silverware and serving pieces over the years. I also found a couple of polka dot glasses at a shop out in the middle nowhere -- the kind of place you might pass by without giving it a thought. What a surprise to find such cute glasses, and at a really good price.

I do like polka dots, so when I saw this fun polka dot bowl at an antiques festival several years ago, I knew I had to get it. I'm not sure when it was made, but my guess would be in the 1960s -- perhaps earlier?

We eat a lot of Gala apples in this house. I like to have them within easy reach on the counter, and keeping them in the plastic bag they came in just won't do! I usually dump the apples in a plain white bowl, but then I thought they would look prettier and more cheerful in this spotted bowl. It makes a nice display, I think.

What are some things that are adding a bit of color and cheer to your home these days?
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