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More Bixby and Scout (Bonus Ducks)

I love this one, they look so cute together, watching the neighborhood kids.

Bixby sure knows how to relax, doesn’t he?

Scout is no slouch at napping, herself.

That head and chest.

Power napping together. And as promised, bonus ducks, on a warmer day:



 

 

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Tidbits

Cookies!  These are those very tasty chocolate chip oatmeal coconut raisin cookies, the recipe does not say raisins but I like them so I added a handful.  And nobody does chocolate chunks anymore, all the cool kids are into the very retro and hip chips.I tried this the other day, wanting to get some more use out of that heavy tortilla press.  It really makes some thin hamburger patties!  I backed off on the ones I actually cooked because nobody has an 8 inch burger bun.  They do fry up fast fast fast.  LOL  I love my griddle.

I splurged on this ultrawide monitor.  It’s a 34 incher and it’s wide enough to fit 2 web pages in without squeezing them too hard.  It came with a couple of software drivers – one that purports to add a settings screen to Windows (adjust brightness and contrast and so on), plus something they call a Dual Monitor Something or Another.  I think the DM driver is meant to fool the computer into believing there are actually 2 monitors hooked up but I didn’t get that far because one or both of those drivers made my computer go insane.  I managed to do a system restore and got back to normalcy.  The Nvidia graphics card handls the monitor just fine.Cats and dogs living together!  The cameras in cell phones are getting really good, but I sent this through a photo editor to brighten it up and correct the colors.

More cookies!  These are from a recipe put out by the Splenda sweetener people.  They are quick and easy and really are delicious with a nice crisp texture.

More kittehs!  Ollie and Toby like to hang about on top the the couch.  Ginger Boy is usually up there, too.

Soup!  This is that Hungarian recipe mushroom soup we’ve been making lately.  It’s full of paprika and sour cream and dill.  It’s easy to make and delicious.  Even better the next day.  I used brown buttons this time, and I ran out of tamari soy sauce so I subbed in a shot of mushroom soy – it’s a very thick and dark soy sauce that works very well in this recipe, I think it’s going to be in mine from now on.

Tidbits

How is  it that I have so many leftovers?  We picked up this jumbo Butterball the day before Thanksgiving where they were on sale for cheap because they were frozen solid.  There was no way these would thaw in time to cook for the holiday meal and they needed the freezer space.  Twenty one pounder!This is a real cutie!Same kitteh in another pose.Here’s a nice pair, I think this is a good shot of them.This one is a real stunner – those eyes!I bought a big tin of crab meat the other day, I had a choice of either lump or claw meat.  I wanted whichever had the largest pieces, I chose the lump on a guess.  It wasn’t a small as I’ve seen crab in a can but I will go the claw meat if I ever make the choice again.  Anyway I made crab cakes because it has been forever since I ate the last one.  Not bad – I used a recipe from the NY Times, cut down to make 3 cakes.  That’s a creamy horseradish sauce on top of this one.Homer would rather be a dog.  He rests for a spell with Gabe by the back door, filling him in on how bad those other kittehs treat him.

Tidbits

This poor thing was brought in with two broken legs, the one appears to be less of a problem than the other, going strictly by the casts.  I have no other info but he is in good hands at St Francis.Made some mayo from scratch.  The other day I roasted a bunch of garlic cloves in olive oil and used a 1/4 c of that oil in this.  The recipe for the basic mayo is easy – put an egg with 1/4 c oil in the bowl of a processor, add a pinch of salt and 1/4 tsp of dry mustard and give it a spin.  Start drizzling in more oil until you’ve used about a cup, total, or until it gets to the consistency you are going for.  I added canola oil for the drizzle.  This turned out very garlicky.I used it on this sammich – very good!  I assembled it after the photo, and went sans lettuce.  That’s more of my maple pepper bacon.  Yum!Now here comes Bitsy, slowly, a step at a time.  Head on a swivel, looking for threats.  She finally made it all of the way in.  Yay!This was Taco Tuesday for us.  I’m torn between piling on the goodies or going sparingly with them for a better picture.  These white corn tortillas are smeared with refried beans, layered with smoked pork, cheddar, shredded cabbage, and pico de gallo.This looks like a short loaf of banana bread but it’s actually made with figs.  We had a fairly good batch we weren’t quite sure what to do with.I quartered them and stuck them in the dehydrator overnight – too long, alas.  They were barely pliable and too tough.  We dropped them into a stout blender and whirled them with water to break them up.  The result looked much like bananas that had been pureed so they went into a banana bread recipe.This is one of those soups that come from what I think of as a “bottomless” soup pot – I keep adding to it as we eat out of it.  Those diced potatoes were not in there yesterday and I added more carrots.  The beef will get scarce after a few iterations, but right now there’s still plenty.I’ll wind this up with another shelter kitteh.  This one looks like our own Ginger Boy.

Cats and Dogs Living Together

Tidbits

Mrs J says these are the last of the tomatoes by which she means these are the last she is going to pick.  They have pulled out of their doldrums and have really come on.  Might have been the heat.I skinned them all, crushed them, added green peppers and onions, and boiled them down just a little…ending up with 15-1/2 quarts total in quart and pint jars.  Took the best part of a day – peeling the skins was the hardest part.  It didn’t take all that long to cook them, nothing like as long as it takes to cook the juice down when making soup.  It did take three pressure cooker loads to finish them, with the ramp up to pressure and the cool-down included it took over an hour per load.I hoisted down the big enameled cast iron pot from its usual spot atop one of the cabinets for cabbage and sausages.  (And carrots, potatoes, and onions.)Made enough for lunch the next day.  The sausages were particularly good – some were ordered up from Louisiana through the Cajun Grocer, and there were a couple left over from the package that I broke open for breakfast the other day.Sous vide is the killer app for steaks.  These were cooked to 138 degrees for half the day and were as tender as you would expect.Chili dogs!  Yay!  I keep cans of chili in the cupboard for those days when I’m just about covered up with other chores (canning tomatoes).I’ll wind up this one with Gabe keeping watch over the back yard.  There is often something to bark at and he doesn’t want to miss out.  Homer is keeping him company though his vigil.

Tidbits

Gabe waits for his dog mama, she won’t be gone long because she misses her dog boy.We eat some of the tomatoes fresh!  I set a few aside when we are processing for soup or stewed for canning.  I try to get the best ones – no marks or splits or spots.  This sammich started out wanting to be a BELT but I didn’t have the lettuce so it just gets billing as a breakfast sammich.  Brunch, actually, we don’t get up early enough…I used up some odds and ends of pasta for this one.  I still have plenty of parsley, the caterpillars that were eating it have gone away.  Still have a hornworm or two – they seem to be specializing on my hot peppers now that  the patio tomatoes are gone. We love these upside down cakes.  I cut them into single serving squares and freeze them in plastic containers.  They really hit the spot for late night snacks while watching videos.More cookies!  These are my current favorites.  I’ve been leaving out the almonds and adding raisins.  I’ve made these often enough that I can do them without looking at the recipe.Mmm… French toast and garlic pepper sausages.  The sausages are from that processing plant we travel to a few time a year to stock up.  They have the best ham hocks, and they are the closest place I know that has fresh pork bellies.  I buy a couple, cut them in two, and vacuum seal the halves for the big freezer.Mrs J said we have plenty of tomato soup canned.  I think she mentioned 40 quarts.  Well, we better get busy with it!  I used a veggie peeler to shave Parmesan for a garnish.Mmm… smoked pork makes a fine sammich.  The sides are potato salad in the back and bacon, tomato, and basil pasta salad.I’ll wind this one up with a few cute kittehs.

Tidbits

French toast and those teeny breakfast sausages are a big hit around here, Mrs J is up for this anytime.  Me, too!This is another Harvey rescue.  Cute as a button and already adopted.  SQUEEE!Kroger has these chicken quarters on sale pretty often.  I think they are asking about $1/lb.  I usually buy several packages and put them away in vacuum bags.Crinkle fries and baked beans with the chicken are just perfect.  Mrs J is the crinkle fries fan, but I’m no slouch at putting them away.More of that crockpot Italian beef, this one on a deli bought roll.This is a really hopeful looking kitteh.  It’s not a Harvey rescue but don’t let that stop you!  http://www.stfrancis-care.org/One moar!I just pulled this lasagna from the oven.  It’s made with those no boil noodles.  We are going to have it for dinner tonight and I’ll have more photos later.

Tidbits

St Francis sent a crew down to Texas with pet food and bedding to help out with the Harvey effort.  They brought back some cats and dogs to help make space for the influx the shelters down there were experiencing.  These were animals that were in the shelters pre-Harvey.  This is one of those – he has since been adopted out to a family with two boys who seem thrilled to have him.Sliders-to-be!  I’ve had the best luck by starting these on a bed of thin sliced onions.  A mandoline is perfect for this.  I add a wee splash of olive oil to the onion pile before laying the on the patty.  Cook on med-low until the onion browns a little then flip it over.  Give it a minute then add cheese and a pickle slice or two.

The swallowtail caterpillars are busy on the parsley.  I framed this shot to get the most caterpillars I could in it, there were a few more on the plant.  I don’t begrudge the loss of the parsley because I like the butterflies they turn into.Random chicken noodle soup.  I add a little sesame oil and a dash of Chinese five spice to give it a little Asian flavor.  I love love love to dip the grilled cheese into the broth – Heaven!Random shelter kitteh – this is not one of the Harvey rescues – they were still in quarantine due to a treatable but highly contagious skin condition.  This handsome boy is named Netsi, he was born in June and is available, hint hint.This is Riley, a girl born in May.  Like Netsi, she is waiting for a human to call her own.Random ribeye.  Classic steak and potato dinner with a side of roasted sprouts.  The steak was cooked sous vide and finished in a smoking hot cast iron pan.

Tidbits

Mmm… sloppy joe with giardiniera and a side of chips.  Those are Utz salt ‘n vinegar flavored chips.  Amazon had a deal on them for Prime members, alas the deal has moved on. [ETA:  They’re back in stock!]Mrs J sent me this pic of Toby at the vet’s office.  He tangled with a feral cat and got a bite on his tail that abcessed.  He’s fine now.Gabe waits by the door with Homer keeping him company.  Mrs J has just left for the vet with Toby.  She told Gabe he wasn’t going but he hoped she would change her mind.Franks with beans on the side.Franks with beans on the top.Mmm… gumbo!  This recipe came up first with a Google search and it looked pretty good.  I took my usual liberties with the ingredients, crawdads for the shrimp, and chicken because I like chicken.  I used a small can of tomato paste and added four fresh ripe tomatoes sans their skins.  It does have andouille sausage.Ribs and fries.  I need to work on my presentation – the half slab doesn’t look “ribby” enough.Here’s a fresh loaf in a plastic bag.  Do you tie?  I often use small office binder clips if the loaf is going into the freezer but the twist and tuck under is the way I go if the bread is going to be used that day.Gabe likes to climb on my lap to be reassured Mrs J will come back home.