Gabe and Emma Making Frien…Well Not Enemies

Gabe has taken to just being wherever Emma is. If she snarls or hisses, he stays all Zen, then curls up and snuggles down. It seems to be working.

This morning he tried the same thing with Zander.  Zander remains unconvinced.

I’ve let him roam the house and do his thing, but at night I put him back in his room because I would like a good night’s sleep without any cat kurfuffles.

The dogs are another story…

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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.

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef

It’s just like crockpot Italian beef, only faster.  I’m liking my Instapot cooker more and more.  It’s the only way I make stock these days – just pile in the bones and odds and ends of celery and carrots and what-not with water and give it an hour on the timer and you’re golden.

Anyway back to the beef – sear a good chunk of that on sale chuck or what have you, cover it with some of your stock, add a couple of coarsely chopped onions, a handful of garlic, Italian seasonings (basil, thyme, oregano, parsley), and a jar of pickled pepperoncini.  The peppers are not as important as the juice.  You can add some red pepper flake to spice it up.  I set the timer for 75 minutes – it was easily shreddable when done,I baked some rolls to go with the beef.  I’ve been using the reliable KA bun recipe for several years now.  My hamburger buns usually turn out better looking than these hoagie type rolls but I’m working on that.Bonus Bea pic!

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.

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

This is one of the Texas hurricane rescues, she was brought back in an effort to save her and her litter.  She is heartworm positive with some other maladies and her prognosis is uncertain.  She and her puppies would already have been put down had she stayed.Mmm… red beans and rice.  TaMara mentioned the dish in one of her posts and it reminded me that we haven’t had any lately.  This one was cooked with a ham hock.  I added the andouille late because it will get tough if it simmers a long time.Here’s a kitteh!  Not a hurricane rescue, he is a local kitty boy.Our fig trees/bushes exploded this year.  We put rooted cuttings in the ground spring of ’16 and reaped a scant harvest but this year we should do better.There are a lot of figs coming on and they are getting to a size they couldn’t match last year.This one-eyed kitteh has been adopted since the photo was taken.  I don’t have any more info than that.Cheesesteak!  This was tasty – I did the flat iron steak sous vide, it was in the water bath 6 hours @140 degrees.  For service, it was sliced and added to a pan of caramelized onions and tossed to mix and rewarm then covered with a nice cheese sauce of American and cheddar.Tommy is a tuxedo kitteh born in March this year.  He’s a good kitteh, Brent.