Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you and yours a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

Cecilia & Leaves

Cat Question

Categories: home | No Comments

I’ve had cats my entire life. I love cats. In fact, I had one until I moved in with Chris, and then I had to give her away because he’s deathly allergic. (It was a very hard decision - my kitty or my boyfriend. Ridiculously hard.) Then today we have this adorable stray show up on our back porch.  She’s super friendly, even to Chris, and the baby loves her.  Pretty kitty loves Cecilia too.  The only thing is, if we keep her, she must to be an outdoor cat - for Chris’s health and my sanity. I just couldn’t add to the chaos, not to mention the pet hair.

However, it makes me wonder. I’ve never really been a big fan of outdoor only cats. I guess she would end up being more of a neighborhood cat. Our street already has lots of hobo kitties, which is alarming.  If I don’t find her picture on a flyer or on the side of a milk carton, I’m going to take her into a cheap vet for a once over and spay.  I’ll make sure to get her shots up to date, including her rabies vaccination, but that leaves me with a question.  Do I get her a collar for her rabies tag?  It would be registered in my name.  Do I go one step further and get her a pet id?  I don’t want her picked up by Animal Control, but I’m hesitant to be financial responsible (beyond preventative care) for a vagrant feline.

Here’s her picture (shot with my phone).  I’ve named her Roxy.  (All my children, human or beast, have a song with their name in the title. Do you know which one is hers?)  She’s mostly white with some muted calico markings.  She’s got blue eyes that are a little crossed, and I think she might have six toes on her right front paw.   Also, her meow is almost completely silent.  My neighbor, Jimbo, offered to help watch out for her and feed her.  What do you think? What would you do? Do you think outdoor only cats are okay or cruel?


Black Bean Burrito Bake Nutrition & Cost

Categories: cooking | No Comments

This really is a jackpot of a recipe.  You can make it ahead, it’s delicious, and it’s inexpensive. Here’s the cost & nutritional information.

Cost (4 servings)

  • 1 (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (one pepper from can) $0.50
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream$0.35
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed, drained, and divided$1.00
  • 1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed$1.00
  • 4 (8-inch) flour tortillas$1.50
  • 1 cup bottled salsa$1.00
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese$0.50

I usually serve vegetables with the burritos. Kroger has a Mexican vegetable blend that’s usually $1.25 or less. It serves about 2 hungry folks so we’ll double that for the four servings.

Burrito Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 365 (29% from fat)
  • Fat: 11.7g (sat 5.8g,mono 2.8g,poly 0.8g)
  • Protein: 15.7g
  • Carbohydrate: 55.3g
  • Fiber: 7.2g
  • Cholesterol: 28mg
  • Iron: 3.5mg
  • Sodium: 893mg
  • Calcium: 311mg

The Mexican vegetable blend has 90 calories and 0 grams of fat for 1 1/2 cups. (We like our veggies and eat BIG portions.)

Totals: $8.35, or $2.09 per person. 455 calories & 11 grams of fat per plate.

FRS - Cooking Light Weeknight - Black Bean Burrito Bake

Categories: cooking , FRS | No Comments

I found this old post as I was editing and writing some newer ones. It’s leftover from my Favorite Recipe Search (which is currently on hold). I’ll update with nutritional info & cost soon. In the mean time, ENJOY! This is a regular recipe in our rotation.

When my sister sent me an Amazon gift card for my birthday last August, I took the opportunity to buy several Cooking Light cookbooks, including Weeknights. This recipe, along with all the recipes in their cookbooks, is available on their site, myrecipes.com. (Please be aware that it includes recipes from their other publications and are not all healthy choices!) Even though I could view their site for free, there is something about holding a cookbook. Plus there is a lot fewer options to dig through.

Since it’s published on the internet, I’m going to post the recipe on my site. It’s also available here. They even have a pretty video of someone making it, which makes my post about it seem that much sillier….

* 1 (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
* 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
* 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
* 1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
* 4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
* Cooking spray
* 1 cup bottled salsa
* 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese


Clearly I have a couple of substitutions. First, the cheese. I always buy 2%, and it’s not available in Monterey Jack. The Mexican four cheese includes the Monterey, but it also has some milder cheeses. Second, wheat tortillas. If I can up the fiber content of something, I do it. Of course, since there’s beans in this recipe, it’s not really necessary. It’s just my knee-jerk reaction when standing at the tortilla section in the store.

If you guys hop over to the original recipe, you can follow along with the directions.

Here’s the chopped pepper, adobo sauce, and sour cream melding into deliciousness.


Speaking of the adobo sauce, what are you supposed to do with it? The recipe only calls for one pepper, but there are several in the can. It’s too expensive to throw away. Simple. Chop up the remainder and freeze them in tablespoon portions. I actually used some leftovers for this recipe.


Here’s the bean and corn mixture. I actually chopped more than the recipe calls for. I like my burrito guts extra sticky. If you prefer more texture, follow their recommendations.


The guts. I don’t have anything to say about it, except YUM!


Back to those wheat tortillas. In my experience, the wheat ones tend to tear more than their white flour counterparts. One way to counteract this is to nuke them in a wet towel in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. They’ll come out nice and pliable and much more accommodating.


Before baking. This is usually the time that Chris comes in and says, “Oooh!”


And after.


Final verdict: My favorite recipe. Period. It’s my favorite from this book, my favorite of my reviews, my favorite. Amen.

I’m going to continue trying others from Weeknights, but this has already made it into our regular rotation. Basically, I make it anytime I forget to thaw meat. (You see, if you buy your meat in bulk and put it your deep freezer, you have to plan your meals in advance. If you don’t, you’ll have rock hard meat-sicles, and you’ll be forced to order pizza or make a vegetarian meal.) However, both Chris and I love it. Plus, as an added bonus, skipping meat for a day is great for the environment. I never thought I’d get Chris behind that cause, but I think he’s willing to join as long as the burritos are involved.

The Chair

Categories: Photography | 6 Comments

I love Craigslist.  I’ve bought and sold lots of stuff on that site, and I think it’s wonderful.  For the most part, Chris does all the pick-ups and deliveries.  (It’s just safer.)  Today I sent him to pick up one of my best finds ever - a $25 retro chair.

When I originally found the listing, he thought it was ugly, but when he picked it up, he was convinced that it was hideous.  I, on the other hand, saw great potential.  Not only do I think it’s perfect for our home, I think it would be great for my not-quite-a-reality photography business.  (There are some great examples by other photographers here, here, and here.)  The color is great (brown with bronze undertones), and the lines and shape is fantastic.

awesome chair

So, what do you think of the chair?  I think it will be great in pictures, but would you use it in your home too?

Preaching to the Masses

Categories: video , Cecilia | No Comments

This is part of Cecilia’s daily afternoon routine.  I’m not sure if she’s yelling at the cars that speed down our street or if she’s singing Indian folk music.