Basil Pup

minty banana dog treats

For those of you who polish up your DIY skills to make handmade gifts during the holidays, I have one for all the four legged friends in your life. Even if you have zero DIY skills – these are easy easy easy to make. A doggie cookie, if you will, with only five ingredients. Mint and banana – fresh breath and my dogs favorite snack? The dachshunds in this house are crazy for these.


Please come visit me at Attune today, where I share this easy recipe!

…there is also the cutest photo of Basil and Rosemary over there…

Minty Banana Dog Treats

mint dog treats



spinach and mushroom tofu scramble

I enjoyed this quick and easy lunch earlier this week, and it was so tasty I wanted to share it with you, even though all I did was instagram it.

The photos look all olden style, and I like that. I also like to make up words, like olden.

Old timey, you know.

I started this scramble with a spoonful of coconut oil in a pan – then sauteed mushrooms and spinach.

vegan veggie scramble

For the “scramble” portion, I make my scrambles one of two ways, depending on what I have on hand. I use extra firm tofu, like my Cuban breakfast scramble, and I use whipped silken tofu, like my Baileys and black tea French toast. This time I used silken – I like it.

Topped with requisite buffalo sauce:

buffalo tofu scramble

spinach and mushroom tofu scramble

dairy, egg, gluten free, vegan

serves one

1 tablespoon coconut oil
5-6 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 large handful fresh spinach
1/2 package Silken tofu
2 tablespoons coconut milk (So Delicious carton)
2 teaspoons turmeric
salt, pepper, buffalo sauce

In blender on high speed, blend tofu with milk and turmeric into a “sauce” consistency.

Saute mushrooms and spinach in coconut oil until spinach wilts, mushrooms begin to crisp at edge. Pour blended tofu into pan, stir to combine with spinach and mushrooms. As it cooks, break it up with spatula as you would a ‘normal’ scramble, into pieces.

Season with salt, pepper, toppings / sauce of choice.

As you all know, my current choice is buffalo.

spinach mushroom tofu scramble

This was SO good, and SO easy. Five seconds whipped in the Vita-mix is almost faster than cracking eggs and beating them. I think it is faster.

…and because many of you are asking about Rosemary, and how she is getting along with us, how Basil is welcoming her. Everything is clearly just fine:

Basil and Rosemary

Happy Thursday.



Yesterday was another big day – for Basil.

Basil was dropped off at the vet in the morning, he had a minor surgery and a teeth cleaning. Poor sweet puppers was so dopey and sleepy when I picked him up last night… but his teeth are squeaky clean and his surgery went well.

So, can I show you the cutest thing ever?

Basil in his 2012 Halloween costume (um, Halloweenie costume…). Isn’t he just so dang cute?? I can’t get over the “pants”. <– How cute is that?? We have been calling him Pants. It’s his new nickname.

This actually was perfect timing – the vet told me if we had a small tee he could wear, it would work better than a cone. So he gets to wear his Skeleton Pajama Pants all the time now! His recovery will be 14 days before the sutures come out, I may have to go find a couple more costumes like this…

chai-spiked pumpkin shake

dairy, egg, soy and gluten free, vegan

serves two

2 scoops pumpkin ice cream*
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup coconut milk (carton)
2 tablespoons chai tea powder (Natures Flavors)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

In blender, combine ice cream, pumpkin puree, coconut milk – blend until smooth. Add chai, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, pulse blender to combine. Pour into glasses and garnish with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon. 

*For a smoothie rather than a dessert, replace the ice cream with two scoops of vanilla protein powder and another cup of coconut milk.

I’m playing Puppy Nurse today – he’s wagging his tail right now so I know he’s feeling a little better – we are spending the morning making more pumpkin ice cream…



You want to know what is simultaneously exciting and heart wrenching at once? Searching Oregon Dachshund Rescue to find my little Basil – basa a sister.

The little kielbasa has a birthday tomorrow, he turns nine. Given that Basil was a birthday gift for me when we adopted him, why not find Basil a little sister for his birthday?

Hence the excitement. The heart wrenching roller coaster comes when I see all of these little sweetie long dogs, so many needing extra love and care, all of them needing real homes. I just want to adopt them all, make up for their sad past and help them heal and trust.

There has to be a sweet little girl pup that will fit in perfectly with Basil and our family. I hope she finds us soon, just as I hope all of these pups find their perfect place soon.

We had another Happy Hour at Home recently, featuring one of my favorite easy summer appetizers – bruschetta. At the market, I cannot pass by the heirloom tomatoes stands without choosing a few, and they really make a bright and fresh bruschetta. Basil provided by mom’s garden, thanks mom!

heirloom tomato bruschetta

1 (gluten free) sourdough baguette
olive oil
2-3 heirloom tomatoes (depending on size)
bunch fresh basil (chiffonaded)
sea salt, pepper
balsamic reduction*

Slice baguette, arrange on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil. Toast breads in 325 degree oven for 5-7 minutes or until crisp. Chop tomatoes and chiffonade basil, add to a bowl. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange toasts on serving plate, spoon tomato basil mixture onto each toast. Drizzle balsamic over each toast. 

*balsamic reduction – how to

In a well ventilated area, in a saucepan over high heat, bring balsamic vinegar to a boil (the amount you begin with will reduce to about one quarter that amount – 1 cup balsamic vinegar = 1/4 reduction). Reduce heat to simmer, stirring continually. Vinegar will thicken within several minutes, remove from heat. Allow to cool, transfer to container (preferably a squeeze bottle) and store in refrigerator. 

Are you a bruschetta fan? What is your favorite easy summertime appetizer?

Have you ever adopted a pet from a shelter or rescue?




by Kristina Sloggett

in Basil Pup,travel

we are baaaack!

We have been “backpacking” in Mexico since I was here last – and oh, how I have missed you all!

Landing in Puerto Vallarta with only one night booked, we traveled through Nayarit and landed in several different places. I have just started to go through the 900 photos I took – I will share more about our travels in the coming days.

Our first night included this view on our balcony:

I really thought Jason might sleep out there. Our next home? Needs one of these. So very therapeutic for my water loving Jason.

This was our view for many days.

We celebrated the holidays.

We celebrated our anniversary.

We spent days and days on the beach.

We enjoyed tequila.

On the beach.


I love hammocks.

This was my view.

A lot.

Another hammock perspective:

Now this little sweetie is my view:

We are all back home, and all is right in our world. Plus, we have a checked bag full of tequila. The vacation continues…

Basil had his own adventures while we were gone – I’ll share all of those too!

Happy Wednesday, and Happy Holidays to you all.



Isn’t Basil sweet? In this photo, he was watching the side door for Jason to come walking through it.

Basil is a rescue pup, we adopted him a few years ago, when he was 5. He has a few nervous quirks left over from a life not so happy. One is a heart-wrenching separation anxiety.

Much like you swaddle a newborn for that calming sense of security (or like Temple Grandin’s squeezer!), there is a product especially for dogs that helps calm them – Thundershirt! It is a high quality thick knit with a few velcro closures, you wrap tightly around your pup and it hugs them. It is supposed to help with all kinds of anxiety, like dogs who freak out during thunder or fireworks.

It does have a calming effect on Basil.

He chose the one with rugby stripes…

I promise this is not a sponsored post – Thundershirt does not know who I am (or sadly, who Basil is), and I happily paid for this myself. I know I have many readers who have dogs (many of them dachshunds!) and whenever I talk about this, nobody has heard of it.

If you don’t have a dog, just enjoy the photos of a cute dachshund.

Do you have a dog?

Have you seen the (awesome) film about Temple Grandin? 



…or should it be Phonetic Photography Friday?

Is it still alliteration if it’s phonetic?

I don’t know, but I do know this post is for the birds.

I recently realized I like birds, both feathered and friends. and friends.

Okay, this is where the alliteration ends.

I had parakeets in high school – Floyd (who had a pink cage) and Clayton. Jason had a bird he named Derek Smalls on bass.

I also lived with Jericho the parrot in college, and I’ve been bitten by a goose!

My bird fascination is mainly photographical, I think. Capturing them is the challenge I like – they don’t generally sit still long.

These photos so far were all from our recent trip to Seattle – they liked to share our balcony.

The fascination goes back a ways, though.

Remember the birds on the roof, all over our yard and peeking into the skylight? Yikes.

and the sweet seagull at the shore.

And that HUGE bird in our area that I finally got a photo of:

Twice the size of Basil and… in our back yard.

My little Basil loves his sunshine. His second love is chasing birds through the yard. He usually goes for the smaller birds, though.

Do you like birds, or are you like many who have a fear of them? 



Happy Monday! I hope everyone is enjoying an extended holiday weekend, I know we are. This morning I am organizing and rearranging my photography room, preparing for the differences in daylight that will soon be upon us. I have a West facing window I will be utilizing for morning shots in addition to the East facing window I currently use. I can’t wait to get in there and move things around, take photos and test the lighting.

As soon as I finish first breakfast – this smoothie.

I like my smoothies ice cold. I don’t like to water down the flavor with ice, preferring to use frozen fruit. Jason wanted a smoothie this morning instead of fresh juice, and this impromptu smoothie was created entirely of what I found in the freezer. Well, with the exception of protein powder.

protein berry smoothie

vegan, gluten free, dairy free

serves two

1/2 cup frozen organic apple juice concentrate
1 cup frozen blackberries
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1 frozen banana, sliced
1 1/2 cup coconut water
juice of 1 lemon
2 scoops vanilla protein powder 

Combine coconut water, lemon and protein powder in blender. Add juice concentrate, berries and banana, blend on high until smooth.

This smoothie is full flavored, an icy cool blend of tart and sweet. The protein adds the oomph to last through a workout, until second breakfast.

Speaking of photography, this morning I had some help with editing:

Is today a holiday for you? Doing anything fun?