Category Archives: TaMara

Debate Night Moment Of Zen

Here, this might help:

Bixby and Bailey, Sittin’ On Me



I was trying to watch the news. It’s a little hazy because cell phone. They are doing well on day 2. Bailey weighs 92 lbs. She had her first bath this morning and I took them out for their first joint walk. It all went pretty well.

For reference, Bixby was about 110 lbs at 9 months.


The Bixby and Bailey Diaries: Day One


Whirlwind day. Bailey is settling in like she’s always been here. She and Bixby have been playing non-stop since we got home last night.


They did take a break to sleep through the night. Well except when Emma went full on Exorcist on a fully asleep Bailey. Poor thing. Both of them actually.

Then this morning, Bailey has a bad habit (as most puppies do) of biting at me. We are working on it, but because she’s had so much negative feedback training, I’m walking a tightrope of stern but gentle redirection. She nipped a little to hard and wouldn’t let go, so I raised my voice and the next thing I know, Emma burst out of the closet and  she went after Bailey like she was taking on a home intruder. Now you know who my real protector is here. Unfortunately, she snagged her nail (nicely trimmed, I might add) on the carpet and ripped it out. So there was blood. Lots of blood.


I believe she’s just making her presence known right away, letting Bailey know who actually runs this house. Fairly certain Bailey has gotten the message, as much as a puppy can.


Bixby is loving the playmate, not so much the sharing. He’s got a full on food aggression going on, which I’m working on, he’s always been so easy going with other dogs, I was taken by surprise. He also doesn’t like sharing his toys, bed or anything else Bailey might show interest in. It’s only been a day, I believe we will work it out.

Bailey has shown herself to be a talker! I love Bixby to pieces, but always a bit disappointed he wasn’t a talker. Bailey is finding her voice and using it to express herself. It’s adorable.


She’s having some potty issues, but I think it’s a matter of just not knowing who and how to ask at the new house. We’ll get her bell trained in no time.

One day down….

Meet Bailey


She’s 9 months old. Mantle Dane. She won’t be as big as Bixby, but she’s going to be taller, for sure. I don’t think he’s ready for that.



Had a very interesting time driving an hour with two Danes in the car, who had just met. But they were angels and settled right down. Home has been another story. Already one full bowl of water dumped on my floor.

Interesting times ahead. Wish me luck!


Might Have To Give These A Try


Friday Recipe Exchange: Got Soup?


Well it’s been a whirlwind of activity here and I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress with the house and garden. Lots of cooking going on for friends and family because I love working in my new kitchen. It hasn’t left a lot of time for blogging. But dinner is in the slow-cooker and I have a moment before it’s time to walk Bixby, so tonight there is a recipe exchange.

JeffreyW and I once again had a mind-meld moment and both made a batch of Beef and Barley Soup this week. His yummy photo is pictured above.  My recipe is here and JeffreyW’s recipe is here, accompanied by great photos.

Chuck roasts were on sale this week, so I stocked up. I love a good pot roast and have a few recipe variations. I have a recipe for a Tangy Pot Roast here.  For a more traditional take on a yummy Slow-Cooker Pot Roast  including a full menu and recipes, click here. My new favorite ingredient is a dash of good whisky to deepen the flavors.  One of the roasts will be cut up and frozen for soup or stew.

The garden is still producing an abundance of ripe tomatoes, so I made a batch of Tomato-Spinach Soup, recipe here. For a vegetarian version, just omit ground beef. I make it both ways depending on my mood. Serve with grilled cheese sandwich on Easy Slow Rise Crusty Bread, pictured below and recipe here.


Another batch of tomatoes, along with zucchini, green peppers and eggplant (all garden fresh) went into a fresh dinner for guests this week, Garden Fresh Pasta, recipe here.

What’s on the menu tonight? Any fun plans for this first weekend of October?

Turkey Bean Soup1

Tonight’s featured recipe is what we’re having as part of a get-together tomorrow night. It’s simple, hearty soup that we can put together earlier in the day for a quick dinner. Then we’ll be heading out to the local historical farm for Wildlife Night. There will be owls.

Cranberry beans are usually easy to find, but if not, substitute cannellini white kidney beans – you can use dry or canned.

Turkey Bean Soup

  • 1 lb smoked turkey sausage, diced (or ground turkey, browned)
  • 1 lb dried cranberry beans (soaked overnight, drained)cranberry-beans-close-up
  • 8 cups of water (or 6 cups water, 2 cups chicken broth)
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 tsp dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Add all ingredients to the slow-cooker and cook for 6 to 8 hours on low. Serve with fresh hot bread and salad for a complete dinner.

That’s it for this week. I’m heading out to buy paint…starting on the living room this weekend. Have a great weekend – TaMara

Turkey Bean Soup1

“Nobody Wins Unless Everybody Wins” – Bruce Springsteen

Happy birthday to the performer who gave me my life philosophy:

In case you don’t know the story – during the Born in the USA tour, Springsteen often repeated that phrase and asked everyone to bring canned goods to his concerts to be distributed to the local food banks. In 1984, that was novel. His charity is well documented.

I had many his albums, but haven’t converted to digital – well except Born To  Run, because it’s a necessity – so it’s been a long time since I’ve listened in-depth. But now he has a book out, so I’m finding myself searching out songs I haven’t heard in years.




A Chill In The Air

Beyond Easy Recipe For Fresh, Hot Bread


I love this recipe, it is so easy. I was looking for a slow rise bread – they are thought to be easier to digest for people who have trouble with yeast or gluten sensitivities. And it has the added advantage of being super easy and almost fool-proof to make. Instant yeast is a must here, because the idea behind the slow rise is that the yeast has time fully flavor the bread and become more easily digestible.

Crusty Slow-Rise Bread

  • 5 ½ cups unbleached flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 ¼ tsp instant yeast (instant is important)
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons lukewarm water (about 95 degrees F)

Add yeast to water and allow to proof for about 1 minute. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl until well blended and smooth, about 1 minute. Let rest uncovered for 5 minutes.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead for two minutes. The dough should be smooth, tacky, not dry or sticky. Adjust by adding flour and water as needed.

Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to four days.

It makes two loaves. If you’d like to make loaves separately, you can divide into to equal pieces, cover and refrigerate separately.

To bake:

Two hours before baking, remove from the refrigerator. Shape into desired loaf, spray lightly with oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise about 90 minutes until it’s increased 1 ½ times its original size.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and remove plastic from bread. Just before baking, score with three slices across the bread with a sharp knife. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and place in hot oven. I add sesame seeds on the baking sheet and place the loaf on that so it doesn’t stick and has a nice sesame seed crust.

Add a tray of ice to a baking sheet and place on the rack underneath the bread to create a steam bath for the bread.  This will give you a crispy, chewy crust.

Bake for 15 minutes, rotate pan and bake an additional 15 minutes, or until the bread reaches and internal temperature of 200 degrees F.  For crisper crust, turn off the oven and leave the bread in an additional 5 minutes.

Remove to a bread board and let cool for 45 minutes (ok, seriously, if you can wait that long, you’re a better person than I – I’ve scorched my fingers more than once sneaking a fresh hot slice).


Moody Day Up In The Mountains


Banner day for me, I saw a moose with a full rack running at a quick clip through a meadow. And a bear cub just sitting around in the tall grass. The aspen were in full color, too. So it was a nice evening up in the mountains.