Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Celebrate, celebrate!

We are celebrating at our house big time! What are we celebrating? This:
Mano O is OFF blood thinners. After six months of no dark green veggies, he can eat them again without worrying it would affect his medication. I've never seen a man miss broccoli so much!

So how do we celebrate? With a dish full of broccoli, kale and spinach. We are trying to reduce our meat consumption so steak is out. We are also reducing carbs. And I had a hankering for pizza, lasagna, etc. All those good Italian things.

So Italian Veggie Bake it is.

1) Saute your choice of three cups green veggies in an oven-proof skillet in a little bit of olive oil, just until tender.  I used broccoli, spinach, and kale. Adding zucchini or summer squash is a great addition or substitution for the broccoli. You want the base of this dish to have some heft.    

2) Add a cup and a half of spaghetti sauce, stirring over medium heat until heated through.

3) Take dish off the skillet and lay slabs of a cut fresh mozzarella ball across the top. Note: Shredded mozzarella or even thin slices just doesn't do it for this dish.

4) Place in the oven under the broiler until the cheese starts to bubble and turn golden brown. Safety note: Be sure to use an oven mitt to take it out! Don't ask me how I know.

5) Serve using a slotted spatula or spoon so most of the moisture is removed from the dish. 

Now ManO loved it. And for a guy who is a meat eater at heart, that's saying something. The slab of  pseudo-meat sealed the deal without being tofu!

Now I had something else to celebrate.  At RWA, I received two requests for my manuscript. So I figured I best reward myself for putting on my big girl panties and pitching. What to do, what to do? It hit me. After San Antonio, I had to retire my favorite tote bag.  It continually snagged all my new knit dresses. Not a happy camper.

Now I am a purse fanatic. It isn't about having  a bunch of purses but about having one that will last forever and meet my very picky specifications.  Leather. Always leather. Now that alone was a difficult requirement. I would have had an easier time if I was a vegan.

My dream tote also had to be big enough to carry my favorite notepad folder of all time. Zipped, sleek and perfect for holding pitches, schedules, and a legal pad. So a large bag was in my future.

But it still had to be stylish, in a color that would pop against my new standard wardrobe of black, gray, brown or white.

I stalked TJ Maxx, Steinmart, and all the on-line outlets with no success. I may want to spend hundreds on a leather bag but I sure wasn't going to do it.  I wanted a purse with out the baggage of guilt at blowing our budget.

I stopped into our small local Belks on a whim. There it was. The fossil bag I'd seen on sale earlier in the week and still too expensive just marked down another thirty percent. SOLD. The purse fairies were so kind!

The color is  called "orchid" but it's actually a dark raspberry red.

So what about you? Are you celebrating back to school? A weight loss? Just summer coming to a close? What have you rewarded yourself with lately?



  1. Replies
    1. Not with all that cheese, that's true! He loves broccoli, but isn't fond of cheese.

  2. Yum, a recipe I can try. This is a great recipe to use up an over abundance of fresh veggies. When I go to the farmer's market nobody sells just one zucchini. I have to buy a bunch and usually end up grating the extras and putting them in the freezer for future bread making but this is a good alternative. I bet I could freeze the sauce part and just thaw it out and add the cheese for a healthy frozen dinner. Cool.

    Congrats on the requests and being brave enough to pitch in the first place! Love the red bag. Very classy while being serviceable. Something every good bag should be.

    I'm kind of celebrating back to school but not really. :-) I'm anxious to organize my school library -- not so keen on unpacking all those boxes. (A carpet was installed over the holidays so I had to box up all the books.) I'm hoping the unpacking won't be as physically challenging as the packing was. And I do love to organize. Plus we got brand new shelving...what bibliophile doesn't swoon over new bookshelves?! And I have an awesome hitlist of storytime books I'm just dying to read to the kids. So that's what I'm looking forward to.

    1. That would work perfectly.

      You get new bookshelves? How great is that!

  3. LOVE the bag, Julie! Especially the color. Very chic.

    So glad ManO is off the blood thinners. We went through that same thing with Richard. The first thing he wanted? A salad. :)

    We're still waiting for school to start. But come the 25th, hubby and are going out for a celebratory lunch.

    1. It is going to be a month of celebration for folks across FB, Twitter and Instangram with school starts.

      Men don't want salad until they can't have it!

  4. That dish looks fabulous! Of course, around here we'd have to add some meat somewhere...maybe a grilled London Broil :)

    Woo hoo on the pitching and the requests! I'm so proud of you! I know how stinkin' hard it is to sit across the table from those editors, but you did it!

    And yay for Man-O! There's nothing like being able to pull back on the meds.

    Around here we're celebrating my new contract. We had to push back the celebration because of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally (you don't want to go anywhere in the Hills when there are thousands of bikers who are inexperienced riding on our winding roads up there). But sometime this week, hubby and I will head up to our favorite restaurant in Hill City and celebrate in style.

    1. So excited about your new contract. And a calm fall for you!

  5. I'm celebrating having my middle son home after the summer away. He's been raving about the fresh mozzarella he had in Italy, so I think I'll try making this for him! Thanks for sharing!

    I love your new tote bag! Love the color.

    1. Thanks Missy. That boy must have had a grand time. Know you are glad to have him back.

  6. Congratulations to hubby for his progress. And to you for your chutzpah. The meal looks DELISH!!

    Just attending two conferences this year is celebration enough for me :)