...because home doesn't happen overnight.

sesame asparagus 6

Today I thought I’d share my favorite way to prep (and eat!) asparagus. It’s quick, super easy and deceptively flavorful…three must-haves for my ideal recipes. Enjoy!

sesame asparagus 2


1 bunch asparagus (I prefer thinner spears for ease of cooking and better flavor.)*

1-2 T. sesame oil*

salt to taste

¼ c. mayonnaise*

juice of ¼ of a lemon*

*preferably organic

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Warm the sesame oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Cut ~1″ off the thicker, bottom ends of the asparagus spears and add to the pan. Season with salt.

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Sauté, mixing periodically, until the spears are bright green and tender but not mushy. (About 5 minutes.)

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While the asparagus cooks, add the mayonnaise to a small dipping bowl. Squeeze in the juice of one quarter slice of a lemon. Stir well until smooth.

sesame asparagus 1

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For an appetizer, serve the asparagus on a small platter with the lemon mayo on the side as a dip. For a side dish, serve the asparagus on a plate with your entrée and drizzle the lemon mayo over the spears. (This dish pairs well with fish as seen here.) There’s something about the salty sesame and creamy lemon that just does it for me. It’s soooo tasty!

Do you have a favorite way to prepare asparagus? It’s such an easy, go-to veggie when you’re looking for something simple.

P.S. – More easy recipes: harvest salad, quick fall beans, I can’t believe it’s not apple pie!, chicken marbella, ham & pesto hot sandwich.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

clean floor 1

I hope you don’t mind if I stick with the organizing / cleaning theme for one more post. Another housekeeping-related question that pops up in my inbox frequently (even more so than the globe light question) is “How do you clean your floors?” I try to clean them thoroughly every week but sometimes it’s more like every other week. Here’s what I do…

clean floor 2

1 – First I vacuum up loose dirt, dust and debris. I use a Shark Navigator that I bought 2+ years ago when our horrible ten-year-old vacuum finally died. At the time, I was *this close* to splurging on a Dyson. Then I found the Shark. It was affordable and had stellar reviews so I gave it a try. I LOVE this vacuum. It does what it’s supposed to do and is versatile & super easy to maneuver. I use it with the brush turned off on the wood floors. I also use it on all the rugs in our home. For shorter pile rugs, I turn the brush on. For the shag and jute rugs, I turn the brush off. The attachments are great for upholstery and reaching dust bunnies up high, in corners and under furniture. If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly vacuum that works well on hard and soft surfaces, I can’t say enough good things about this one.

2 – After all the crumbs and dust bunnies are cleared, I use a Bona spray mop to condition the wood and give it that clean floor sheen. A hand trigger makes mopping quick & painless. For our medium toned floors, I prefer the shaggier dusting pad. It does a better job of attracting dust and cat hair than the lower pile cleaning pad. I just throw the dusting pad in the wash (no fabric softener!) and let it air dry. The cartridge is refillable. I keep a large jug of Bona cleaner on hand for refills. It’s odorless, non-toxic and doesn’t leave any residue. Our floors have a satin-like finish (as opposed to a high gloss finish) and this cleaner is perfect for them. *BONUS* – I also use the Bona cleaner in a spray bottle to dust the lower wood cabinets in the kitchen. So many uses!

3 – I use a smaller Eureka handheld vacuum for quick cleanups in between the more thorough cleanings. I’ve only owned this vacuum a month (it was a Christmas gift and had been on my wish list forever) but I’m really happy with it so far. It’s great for the inevitable crumb messes after every meal and for Cheetah’s fur balls. Before, I was dragging out the upright a few times a day. It did the job well but the handheld is much more convenient. We don’t have stairs but I’ve heard it’s great for that application, too.

So there’s everything you’ve (n)ever wanted to know about my floor cleaning routine. We take our shoes off at the door which helps keep dirt to a minimum. And I’ve noticed a HUGE difference since the new driveway was installed. One more thing to keep in mind…my floors always look cleaner in photographs ;) If you were visiting right now you would notice stray popcorn pieces under the stools at the kitchen island. That area is my nemesis.

Any floor cleaning products you swear by?

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking