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Random Wildlife

Mrs J took some kitty beds down to the old dog house outside because there has been the occasional stray kitteh down there.  She checked in this afternoon and found this ugly ass kitteh in there.  Cute ears, though!

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Picnicking Birds

Random Wildlife

I bundled up and hopped on the 4-wheeler to make a run to the mailbox because I was expecting a Netflix movie.  I noticed these two ducks, wasn’t sure what they were so I stalked towards them with my cellphone camera ready, taking shots as I approached.  They were not going to let me get too close, they flushed off the open patch of water.  I thought they were leaving but they circled right back and lit, sliding to a stop on the thin ice at the edge.  I decided to go get the better camera.They definitely aren’t ducks that are commonly seen hereabouts.  The elongated bill made them easy to ID, they are Northern Shovelers.  That one shook water from itself and I managed, purely by luck, to catch him mid-shake.  The distinctive bill really stands out in this shot.

Breakfast Pr0n

Bixby and Scout: The First Week

Things are going well. Scout holds her own and antagonizes Bixby until he plays with her. It’s exactly what he needed.

 

He was reluctant at first, but now he’s happy to engage her.

Scout is now 14 lbs (she was 12.2 when she arrived last Thursday). She’s 14″ at her shoulders and 20″ from head to butt. It’s been fun comparing her to Bixby at that age ( 24.2 lbs and 14″ at the shoulders).

She had pretty much mastered potty training by Monday night, when she began to run to the mudroom and ask to go outside. Once she has full bowel and bladder control (about 10 weeks) she should be a champ at it. I am grateful it’s been this easy so far. There are more photos….
But wait, there’s more! Click to read

Glazed Meatloaf

JeffreyW linked to this recipe originally. When I went to make it, I adapted it to what I had on hand.

Glazed Meatloaf

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 stalk celery, rough chopped
  • 1 small carrot, rough chopped
  • 1/2 onion, rough chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1-1/2 lb 80/20 ground beef
  • 1/2 lb Italian sausage (pork or ground beef can be substituted)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper

Glaze:

  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a skillet, melt butter and saute celery, carrots, onion and garlic until soft. Remove from heat and cool slightly. In a blender, add crushed tomatoes, soy sauce and chopped vegetables. Blend until smooth.

In a bowl, combine oats, beef, sausage, vegetable mixture, spices and eggs, and mix until well combined. You’re probably going to have to use your hands to get it done properly. I don’t have an issue with that, but if you do, kitchen latex-free disposable gloves are a lifesaver (I use them for chopping chiles and such).

You want this to be somewhat firm, but it’s not going to stand up on its own (that would lead to dry meatloaf)

Cover a baking sheet with foil and then top with a sheet of parchment paper. In a loaf pan, form the loaf, tap it on the counter to remove any air pockets. Refrigerate until oven preheats to 350 degrees F. Next put the parchment paper over the top, then place the baking sheet over the top and invert everything. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and gently remove the loaf pan.  It helps to use a thin spatula. Put the meatloaf back in the oven and bake uncovered until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F. About 40 minutes.

While it’s baking, whisk together the glaze ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a low boil, stirring constantly until it has thickened.

Remove the meatloaf from the oven, turn heat up to 450 degrees F, baste the meatloaf with the glaze, return to the oven and bake for 3 minutes, glaze again, bake for an additional 3 minutes. Then a third time and remove from the oven when the glaze is bubbly and brown.  Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes so that you can cut it evenly.

The vegetable mixture really gives this meatloaf a silky texture and it is full of flavor.

I think serving it with mashed potatoes should be mandatory. YMMV.



 

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Black Coffee

Tidbits

One of the best things about meatloaf dinners is that you can make sammiches from the leftovers.I piled hot giardiniera on this one and served it with sides of slaw and baked beans.  Tasty!Here’s a capture from the new trail camera.  It has enough resolution that I can crop the photo and not lose too much detail.  This coyote is sniffing a frozen pile of table scraps.  Looks a bit like Little Orphan Annie with those huge blank eyes.It hasn’t been all sammiches all the time!  This roast chicken went great with mashed potatoes and gravy.  I love broccoli – this batch was steamed and served with a pat of butter.Breakfast Pr0n!  I made a batch of biscuits and sausage gravy.  I used dry milk in this one because it has been in the cupboard for a long time – my bread machine standard white loaf recipe call for 2 tablespoons.  I bought a smaller box to replace it.  There was just enough left in the old box  to make the biscuits plus one quart of milk.We made a bunch of tomato soup from last summer’s tomato crop, I think Mrs J counted 40 quarts of soup and stewed tomatoes.  This is one of the all time best lunch combos.  It’s hard to tell from the photo but that’s an inside-out grilled cheese – there’s a layer of shredded cheddar on the outside that has toasted into the bread.Mmm… bacon cornbread.  I’ve been varying the basic cornbread recipe with little tweaks to the recipe.  I fried some bacon to render a little bacon fat, then chopped it up to sprinkle on the top.  The batter went into the hot grease to help put a crust on the bottom.  I added 2 eggs and a half stick of melted butter to the batter.  The extra egg helps it a lot.Pork BBQ with slaw and a side of baked beans.  Another classic sammich combo.

Critter Cam

Like the rest of the country, we’ve been whipsawed with wildly swinging temperatures.  Sixty degrees one day and 10 degrees with sleet and snow the next.  Mrs J makes a daily trek down to the back pond with a bucket of corn and sunflower seeds.  Here she approaches one of the cameras, accompanied by her posse.

These two does are regulars, they really appreciate Mrs J’s efforts.