Catching Up With Peanut

Oh, man.  Peanut hasn’t been on the blog since before Christmas.  Before Christmas!!!  That has to be remedied.  Lucky for us, he was particularly cute this weekend.

Exhibit A: Peanut in the dark

nut in darkExhibit B: Peanut soaking up some sun

nut in sunIs it just me, or does he look extraordinarily lengthy in his sun-soaking posture?

Right after I took that picture, I patted him on his head, which woke him from his sun-stupor.  He was none too happy to be woken up.  But he got back to his busy schedule pretty quickly.  Don’t worry, the prince was only momentarily disturbed for the making of this blog post.

Cooking for One (and Peanut Being Cute)

Back in the single gal days, I didn’t cook a whole lot.  But then I met Scott, and I realized that the man I liked loves to eat good food, so I learned how to cook for him.  Good thing I got motivated, because now that I know how to cook, dinner is a whole lot more fun.

As a modern woman, I should probably be embarrassed about why I learned to cook, but I’m not.  Scott has learned all kinds of things about stuff I like, so what’s wrong with me doing the same?  Nothing, that’s what.

But this whole “cooking for someone else” thing has one significant problem.  What am I supposed to do when he’s out of town?  Now my standards are higher, but cooking for myself still feels like more work than it’s worth.

I usually revert to my single girl bad habits, which start with Hot Pockets and progress to frozen pizza, and sometimes that leads to some grocery store sushi to mix things up. Oh, and cereal.  Lots and lots of cereal.

There comes a time, however, when even I have had my fill of carbs and super processed foods.

What do I do when that happens?  I call it the Single Hannah Gourmet Dinner.  (No, I don’t.  I’ve never ever called it that.  But it should have a name, and that’s the best I can do right now.)

Is it actually gourmet?  No.  Does it taste good?  Yes.  Does it give me an array of protein and vegetables that are missing in my typical alone food?  Thank goodness, it does.

veggie partySingle Hannah Gourmet Dinner

Please keep in mind that this was created before I ever mastered anything in the kitchen–before I could even properly saute onions.  This is just if you find yourself eating cereal every night of the week and need some vegetables and things to make sure you don’t get scurvy.  Don’t let yourself get scurvy.


  • Chicken–about 1.5 lbs or whatever you have around
  • Edamame–1 bag frozen (yes, any size bag is fine)
  • Grape tomatoes–1 container, halved
  • Kalamata olives–as many as you’re willing to part with (between 1/3 and 1/2 a jar in my case)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil, 1-2 tablespoons
  • Whatever you’d like to add in–some wine to make a bit of a sauce, some broth for the same, some capers for extra punch?

How To

  • Start with the chicken.  Cut it into bite-size pieces if you’d like.  I do that because the chicken cooks more quickly, and the small pieces make the leftovers easier to eat straight from Tupperware at work the next day.  Add olive oil to a skillet, heat it to medium or medium-high heat.  Add chicken to warmed oil, then salt and pepper that chicken.  Cook it until it’s more or less done.  It will get some extra cooking time with the veggies, so it doesn’t have to be entirely done.
  • Throw the frozen edamame into the pan to warm it up.  That’s your only goal with the edamame.  If you cook it too much, it loses that great crisp that I love so much.  Once the edamame is getting warmer, add the grape/cherry tomatoes and the olives.  Make sure they get adequately warm, then add anything else your heart desires, and enjoy.

Why does this recipe for one person include such large quantities?  Well, this will also be my lunch the next day and my dinner the next night.  And maybe my lunch again the day after that.  You don’t want to slave over a hot stove for 10-15 minutes for nothing!  Plus, you should probably eat fresh food more than once a week.

Oh, you have no interest in my super simple, not at all gourmet recipe?  How about this cute dog?

Peanut Being DepressedThis is Peanut being too depressed to get off the couch for his breakfast.  He wanted some olives, but I told him that I used too many the night before on my dinner, so he would have to eat the kibbles without olives.

Still DepressedThis is Peanut being so depressed that he won’t even shake off the blanket that I put on top of him.  He was still under the blanket when I left the house.  Poor kid.  He really wanted those olives.

Happy Couch + Window (+Peanut) Reunion

Well, we’re slowly but surely getting a grasp on “normal life” after vacation life.  I think I like jet lag a lot less at 30 than I did at 21.  But you know who’s really really happy?


He was treated like a king while we were gone, so he wasn’t exactly sad for the past few weeks.  But he was sad for the past month or so while we worked on the floors.  Mostly because we moved his favorite couch spot away from his favorite window spot.  What’s a moderately short dog to do when you take away his primary window/sunny spot?  Mope.  And mope he did.

Last night, we moved our large furniture back upstairs onto the new floors (pretty!), amid much pain and smashing of fingers and toes.  Jet lag + moving furniture at night = many small disasters.

Anyway, I woke up this morning to find no Peanut in our bedroom.  That’s strange behavior if ever I heard of strange behavior.  He likes to be close to his people when possible.

Then I heard a dog jump off the couch and scramble towards the bedroom.  He was definitely sleeping in his reunited favorite spot(s).  It was pretty cute.  All this morning he sat there, just soaking up the happiness.

sunny spot 1So much happiness:

sunny spot 2I wish I had such a great reaction to every furniture move we make.  But hey, one out of every thousand times we move a piece of furniture, the crowd rejoices.  I’ll accept that.

(You know what else is nice?  I put up curtains last night just so enjoy the newly installed curtain rods, planning to iron said curtains later.  Only when I looked at them this morning, the combo of open windows and humid Virginia air had taken out almost all of the offending wrinkles.  Victory for the impatient decorator!)

Sad Birthday

You know how I mentioned Peanut’s birthday/anniversary/birthiversary?  Well, the poor little guy had a pretty terrible day-o’-celebration.

It started innocently enough with frolics in the woods, etc.  He came inside when I got home from work, and he was happy as could be.  Then about an hour later, there was blood dripping onto the floor, and it wasn’t from Scott or from me.  That only left one bleeder in our house, and it was indeed Peanut.

We think it was a cyst that popped, and that sucker was gross.  I will spare you the details, but it ended up with Peanut bleeding for hours and a pencil-sized hole in his skin.  Yuck.

Scott provided compression for about 2 and a half hours while I scurried back and forth trying to make dinner and do laundry and help with the unwilling patient.  It was quite a family birthday adventure.

dog on apronThis is Peanut moping on my apron-clad lap.  He was so tired from struggling to get away from Scott and compression of wound that he just flopped onto my lap for an hour.  Poor bleeder.

photo-1Sure, it’s hard to see what this is, but I’ll fill you in.  It’s Peanut’s back left leg and his awesome homemade bandage.  What are you supposed to do with old curtains from the last owner of your house?  Cut them into nice, bright bandages, of course!  Preferably after you’ve used them as drop cloths for multiple painting projects (and washed them after that). 

The good news is that at the end of Peanut’s ordeal (or the end of the major bleeding), he had beef birthday treats to enjoy.  And he did enjoy them.  I think we all felt a lot better after he ate his beef treats.

Happy Birthiversary, Peanut!

Today is Peanut’s 9th birthiversary.  By that, I mean that it’s our anniversary of Peanut ownership, and we think he’s approximately 9 years old.  It has been an epic 7 years of cuddles and adventures. 

This is what he looked like when we met:

panting peanutHe seemed so much taller in his profile picture.  Online dating, you know?  (No really.  Now he’s a bit salt and pepper (mostly pepper), and I think he’s held up well. 

The sad thing about this 9th birthiversary?  When I got Peanut, the vet said he was between 1 and 4 years old.  Which wasn’t a big deal at the time.  He was somewhere in the “adolescent” category either way.  The problem is that 7 years later, he is somewhere between 9 and 12 years old.  I really hope he’s 9.  We’re planning at least 5 more years of frolics through the woods with Peanut (who is an avid hiker and explorer, by the by). 

But back to the happy side of the birthiversary.  The birthday boy will be receiving a portion of dog ice cream today–haven’t decided between peanut butter or chicken flavor yet.  Big choice, you know?!  If he knew about said ice cream, he would probably be moderately excited until he saw a rabbit in the yard.  He’s easily distracted. 

If he’s a really really lucky dog, we’re going to move his favorite couch back into his favorite sunny spot in front of his favorite window tonight.  That’s the plan.  He’s been moping under the window the past few days–dreaming of sunny window-watching sessions past and days when our main living area wasn’t covered in wood shavings.  Hopefully he’ll be able to relax on a throne of couch again tomorrow.

Happy birthiversary, Peanut!

(Oh, you think this is too much for a dog’s birthday?  At least I’m not the person who posted this link on Pinterest: “How to keep your pet party below $100.”  We accomplish that by only inviting Peanut to his birthday party and giving him scratches as his present.  No complaints from Peanut yet.)

Long-distance Peanut

We’re on a short mid-week trip today, and the morning included some reading time at a cute coffee shop. (Color me happy.) The real prize was that they had a painting of Peanut on the wall. True, they got his snout all wrong, but they got the spirit of the tail-chasing very right.


There are few things I enjoy more than quality time with a small mountain town (and a book) on a day off. Throw a painting of Peanut into the mix, and I’m in hog heaven.

Take Your Dog to Work Day!

Peanut isn’t allowed into the library (unless he suddenly learns how to be a service dog and acquires a blind or otherwise in-need-of-a-service-dog owner), but his heart was in the right place for Take Your Dog to Work Day.


I think he thought if he had his hockey tie on, nobody would notice that he’s a dog.

“Hi, Bob.  Nice tie today!”

Unfortunately for him, I knew Bob doesn’t usually carpool with me to work.  We also might need to get him a tie that’s more appropriate for his neck size.  Good try, Peanut.  Maybe next year we can sneak you in.