Tuesday, November 4, 2014

bits and pieces from comfy house

More of a random, mish-mosh of a post today. I've been on the run a lot lately and
haven't gotten much accomplished at home. I've also been dealing with a medical problem
(not the rotator cuff tear, but something else) that kinda of got swept under the rug this past 
year, but now came to light again. I received a ton of info today and will be going for a 
test and some treatments all within the next few weeks, so I'm feeling a little overwhelmed
by it all. I don't want to put too much personal information out here on my blog, but if you
want to know any of the details (and I'll warn you ahead of time: it's long), just send me a
private email (link to my email is in my profile) and I will share with you.

This past weekend, a friend of ours had a Halloween party and one of the games
we played was Bingo. On this round we were playing the coverall version, where you had
to cover every square. We ran out of official tokens, so we started looking around for what
we could use as tokens. At first we were using M&Ms, but everyone ended up
 eating them! Then we got desperate and used leftover candy corn, the white tops of the
 candy corn (which look like teeth!), and then we got really desperate and my friend 
found leftover party mints from her daughter's baby shower back in January.

Tim told me he needed a new pair of glittens - that the ones he bought last year got
chewed up by Mojo - one of his roommate's cute but naughty dog. I stopped at the store
where he got his pair last year and they had tons. I'm talking baskets and baskets full. They
had regular and fleece-lined and were very reasonably priced. I think I'm going to go back
and buy a pair for myself, too. This is just one of the times I'm glad I have a smartphone. I
picked out a few pairs that I thought he would like, took a photo and sent it to him via text
 so he could choose, and got his reply. He chose the red, black, and green ones. 

I filled up the bird feeder with seed now that weather is cold. It attracts mostly sparrows
and juncos, but this gorgeous red-bellied woodpecker has been visiting everyday, too.
I grabbed my DSLR camera and was able to get a decent photo through my living room
window. I love how he has a seed in his long beak.

I made a big pan of roasted vegetables the other day. I used broccoli, cauliflower,
turnips, butternut squash, red and white onion, fennel, red and orange peppers,
carrots and parsnips, and even a few pieces of leftover celery. It's a great way to use
 up any bits of leftover veggies. I tossed them all with a little bit of extra-virgin olive oil,
salt and pepper and popped in the oven at 350 degrees F. for about 40 minutes. I
opened the oven and stirred a couple of times while the veggies were roasting. The
great thing about this is that the veggies are so versatile. You can eat as is, make a
frittata (which I did the first night for dinner), make a rice or quinoa bowl, toss with
pasta or make veggie lasagna, put in a wrap, make veggie soup, veggie enchiladas,
or vegetarian pizzas.

 For a little something sweet, I baked this delicious pumpkin and dark chocolate cake
from Better Homes and Gardens magazine. When I bake, I indulge in just a little bit, then
either freeze the rest of send with Brian to work. This bread was delicious - and not
overly sweet because I cut back on the sugar in the recipe. The recipe calls for 1-1/4 
cups - way too much. I used 3/4 cup. Unfortunately, I only had regular white sugar in my
cabinet (poison, I know). I ran out of organic coconut sugar, which I had been using in
my baking. Shoot, who am I kidding...I just need to cut way back on sugar - period!
Well, if baking urge hits you and you're looking for a good recipe, here it is:

Thanks for your visit!


  1. Oh the food looks delicious! I love roasting vegetables, too, but never thought of using them for enchiladas...I have to try it!
    I hope your health problems will be better soon, Melanie! xo

  2. Hi Mel, that pumpkin and dark choc cake looks yum. I do exactly the same with my veggies. They are versatile, healthy and tasty.
    Hope your health improves, sending prayers your way.


  3. Bless your heart, hope your condition improves! I just love woodpeckers; they're so fun.

  4. The veggies and cake look so yummy!!! Love the woodpecker picture. I learned something new from you today as well, glittens. I have never heard them called that before. I suppose they could be called mloves as well :)

  5. Praying that your medical issues will soon be over and that you can once again enjoy your life.
    Love forever.....

    1. I AM enjoying my life, mom. I'm trying not to worry (ha!) until I know anything definite. xoxo

  6. Hi Melanie,

    Hope that you attend to that health issue and all goes well. We had a health scare yesterday, when my husband, who has very high blood pressure, and some heart sensitivities, fainted. After 10 hours in the ER, stroke, the thing we had feared, was ruled out, thank God. It was all very frightening, but I'm glad he's doing better.

    Your roasted veggies look scrumptious! I love when they caramelize - they just melt in your mouth, perfect comfort food for these chilly days.

    Happy Wednesday,


    1. Had some testing today, Poppy, which turned out to be good news. I have some procedures/therapy coming up soon. I think all shall be well. :-) Very scary about your husband! I'm so glad he's OK.

  7. Ha! I am laughing at your Bingo game! I used to teach kindergarten and grade one and we would always lose markers to the perpetual snacking during holiday parties. I thought for sure that it was only due to their age. Looks like we're all kids when it comes to candy!! ;) I hope you are feeling well very, very soon.

    1. Play Bingo with M&Ms as markers at your next family of friends get-together and see what happens. ;-) Thank you so much for your get well wishes and for your visit.

  8. Glittens are a new word to me so I looked them up. I like the color combo Tim picked out best too. Maybe since TIm and I share a birthday, we have the same color preferences.
    I am sorry about your health situation and hope it is resolved soon.

    1. I never knew what glittens were before either until I heard it from Tim! I forgot that you share a birthday with him. :-) Working on the health issues, thanks.

  9. You captured a gorgeous photo of the woodpecker. And those vegetables and that choc. pumpkin swirl cake...they look out of this world!
    Mary Alice

    1. Thank you, Mary Alice. And thanks for your private email, too.

  10. You are such a good cook. The cake looks wonderful and those veggies must have been so good, a perfect fall dish. I love the Bingo markers, how funny. I enjoy bingo, luckily my daughter will play with me. :) I'm sorry to hear you're having a medical problem. I hope everything is okay. Thinking of you.

  11. I love the glittens!! Lots of fun for sure. I hope that all will be well with your medical problems. Take care of yourself my dear. xx

  12. I do hope you'll feel better after the tests and treatements. The veggies look yummy!

  13. I hope you'll feel better / what a wonderful capture of the sweet little woodpecker! :)

  14. Good Morning Melanie, what an interesting post! That photo of the woodpecker is incredibly, especial knowing that you took it through your window, Great shot.
    I am adding you to my prayers and sending you love . . . Your blogging sister, Connie


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