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



You all know I have a soft spot for dogs.

I am partial to dachshunds at my house, and we currently have two rescues – sweeties Basil and Rosemary. They came to us with limited background story, but enough quirks to know they had not been given the best life before coming to our home.

I cannot imagine the horrors so many animals face, and I wish I could help them all.

Right now, there is a dog in desperate need of our help – whenever I hear details of Muffin’s story, I go hug my two pups close. They wiggle away and wonder what’s up. Muffin was found, neglected and severely abused, and is currently in the care of a rescue organization.


My friend Kita from Pass the Sushi will be adopting Muffin as soon as this sweet pup is ready. Kita has already spent time with Muffin, and says she is a sweetie:

“As you all know, we are rooting on Lil Miss Muffin, a pup found neglected and abused. She is with the wonderful people at Response-A-Bull rescue as they continue her treatment and long road to recovery. Muffin is amazingly, one of the sweetest dogs I have ever met, even after all she has been through. Her personality is soft and affectionate. She loves to snuggle on the sofa, and with that big cone, it can be quite the entertainment to watch her settle into your lap. But worth it. Very very worth it. With such a long road ahead of her, we are hoping to help raise some awareness and help with the cost of the increasing medical expense for Muffin.”

Today a large group of bloggers are coming together to help Muffin with a bake sale. I am contributing Basil’s favorite, apple peanut butter dog treats.


There are many tasty treats up for bid, and bids get you raffle tickets for a Le Creuset French oven! Please visit the auction today and help this sweet pup!



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.



Basil and Rosemary

Meet Rosemary.

Basil finally got a sister, just in time for the holidays. 

We have been spending time bonding over the last few days, and today we are having the whole family over - with two more dachshunds, Jake and Elwood! Tomorrow is little Rosie’s fifth birthday – we adopted her from the local rescue over the weekend.


happy holidays from all four of us.



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?



♪ ♫ ”Back to school. Back to school, to prove to Dad that I’m not a fool. I got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight, I hope I don’t get in a fight. Ohhhh, back to school. Back to school. Back to school…”  ♪ ♫

Please tell me you know what that is from? and then please accept my apology for the fact that it may be in your head for a bit.

Longtime readers know of my near obsession with pens and paper. Journals, writing pads, pens ranging from bold ballpoints to collectible fountains. When Jason and I met, one of the strange coincidences was that we both love pens. and paper. and pens.

So it is only natural that when we are in most any store, if there is a stationery or office supply section we will find it (if we lose each other while shopping, I either call him or find the pen aisle).

This time of year especially, we are interested in what might be new and interesting? The other day, on a random and fun Target visit, we saw Back to School signs, leading us to pens and papers.

Without a need or a plan for it, I came home with this:

Just so cute, right?

A dachshund. Doing yoga.

It is the (second) cutest thing I have ever seen, and it makes me smile each time I see it.

Even though my cherry supply is dwindling fast, this ice cream also makes me smile.

The fact that I found gluten free cake cones? Bigger smile.

I used a fun ingredient in this recipe – making an incredibly creamy ice cream. This one is a keeper – sweet chocolate and tart cherries are a good combination.

double chocolate cherry ice cream

dairy, egg and gluten free, vegan

4 cups fresh cherries, pitted
1 can coconut milk (canned)
1/2 cup whipped cream (Soyatoo rice whip)
1/3 cup agave (or sugar of choice)

1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup chocolate chunks (chips)

In high powered blender, combine cherries and coconut milk until smooth. Continue to blend and add whipped cream, agave, and cocoa powder. Transfer to ice cream maker and prepare according to manufacturer directions (this recipe took me 20 minutes). Remove bowl from ice cream machine, fold in chocolate chunks. Transfer to a freezer safe container, cover and store in freezer.

♪ ♫ ”Back to school. Back to school…”  ♪ ♫ ♪



Summertime is upon us, and summertime means pool parties.

The house we just moved from had a pool, and we had many a fun summer there. We basically lived in our back yard for three months. Jason did a great job of keeping the pH levels perfect and the pool sparkly blue. I did a great job of blending margaritas, inviting people over, and keeping air in Basil’s floaty cactus.

From years of my pool party past, I bring you the Guide To The Ultimate Pool Party.

Invite Your Friends.

Friends love the house with a pool. Especially on really hot days… it’s surprising how fast they are able to show up to an impromptu invite, almost as if they were already driving over…

Have extra towels handy for your guests.

Stack them by doors, in case people need to dry off before entering the house. Towels close to the pool (but not too close they get wet) are a good idea also.

Designate food and drink area, pool and play area, sitting and relaxing area.

Your guests will want a place to sit or lay in the sun once they get out of the pool:

Invest in plastic plates and drinkware, keeping glass away from the pool.

this margarita was dachshund – supervised.

Plan games and have pool accessories / toys available.

Basil is surprisingly good at the ring toss.

Provide the ultimate in pool party food and drink:

grilled pineapple bacon sandwiches


seven layer dip with noocho cheese


reuben rolls with thousand island dip


spicy stuffed sweet peppers


lightened up Piña Coladas


strawberry habanero margaritas


My advice with hosting any party – prepare as much as you can ahead of time, make a timeline so you have stress free planning, and have decor double as useful – pinatas, beach balls, pool toys…

Most of all, remember to relax, enjoy the sun, and have fun!


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Basil got a new tee shirt yesterday.

My recent schedule has me staying up late nights, where Basil and I have been enjoying Andy Cohen and Watch What Happens Live. I love this show, I love Andy – and a good amount of levity is brought to my day. Laughing feels good.

The other night while watching, I now admit to some impulse shopping.

Basil was the lucky recipient of my impulse shopping this time.

Basil now understands black outfits show every little thing. Darn dog hair.

Today’s word of the day?

Mazel Dog!