Brilliant Summer Eating (and a Puppy Gang!)

First things first, I ran into an adorable little puppy gang on my way to the main road this morning.  We live on a gravel road, and there’s a train track that crosses the road at one point.  I was making my way down the road, as normal, slowing down for the train tracks, when I saw a short little furry critter on the tracks.  I wasn’t sure what it was at first (checking for train, driving, trying to ignore the smell of the trash in my trunk), but after a second glance, I realized it was an adorable black and brown dachshund with a red collar.  And next to it, there was a little brown puppy (non-dachshund).  And across the tracks, tramping along with its buddies, behold, another puppy!  They were scampering down the tracks together, just as happy as could be.  I loved it.  

I didn’t take a picture, however, due to the trash in the trunk thing.  It was a trip to the dump, and we have a fruit fly/maggot situation with the trash, so I just wanted to get to the dump ASAP.  

Anyway, here are some puppies that are 1/3 as cute as our local puppy gang: 

photo from


Now, before you turn me in to the animal police, I should add a few details.  The dogs all had bright, shiny collars.  They all looked recently washed and/or bathed, and not at all mangy, and they looked like their tummies were full of kibbles.  I think they were just wandering happily around their house.  An afternoon of exploring.

What about that brilliant summer eating, you ask?  I used a recipe today that I think is pretty genius.  The real recipe has details about cooking times and lots of things, but here’s the gist of it… get some summer veggies.  I used asparagus, mushrooms, summer squash, zucchini, and red onion.  Slice them up and put them on a grill (in a vessel that’s grill-proof) or a grill pan or even a large pan.  I used our faithful grill pan.  Leave them there for a few minutes.  Cook up some meat, if you want more than veggies for your meal.  I used shrimp, but I think chicken or steak would be equally delicious.  Combine veggies and meat in a bowl, throw in some salad dressing (I used a vinaigrette), add a little bit of cheese (feta for us), and enjoy!

There was some olive oil in the cooking process and a bit of salt and pepper, but how simple is that?!  Grill some veggies and meat, mix with dressing and cheese, and presto.  It took almost no time, it tasted really fresh, and the dressing had just enough spice and flavor to liven up the already great ingredients.  Mmm.

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