Blog Archives

Black Panther In The House

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a big black panther (at least in his mind) in the house to keep it free from a variety of pests. But I do.

This guy:

Every night, while I sleep, he kills me a pile of stuffed animals. I keep a basket of those mini-plushies, most were gifts, in the guest room. Every morning I wake up to a “fresh kill” of each and every one of them. He must work very hard to get all 12 of them from the guest room to the master bedroom. So he gets lots of praise.

It’s nice to know with Jake around, I’ll never starve.

There will be an actual recipe thread later today. No, really. Actual FOOD and actual COOKING.¬† ūüėČ


Bixby and Scout: Is It Possible? 18 Weeks Old

Bixby and his crew.¬† Scout is doing great. She’s outgrown the scale here at home, so I’m not sure¬† her weight this week – she was 42 lbs when the vet weighed her last week. She might almost be 50 lbs now. She got her first nail trim this week and did very well.

The ducks have had a couple of great days Рit rained last night and they enjoyed wandering around playing in it Рand this morning they got to dig around in a very muddy yard.  I am happy to see that all the areas above have grass popping up everywhere. I may need to reseed a couple of areas, but off to a good start.

Scout loves her time outside. Bixby will be in snoozing on the couch and she’s happy to be out in the yard, curled up with a stick and contemplating her place in the universe.¬† Or bothering the ducks.

Sometimes I can get them to sit still long enough to photograph together. But I can’t make them not blink at the same time. The vet and I had a discussion about Bixby’s red eye and it seems to be just allergies and irritation, not severe enough to warrant any additional intervention.

Look Both Ways

The camera we have overlooking a bird feeder on the picnic table always returns lots of photos, most of them are unexceptional but every now and again we see something of note.  Ginger Boy is often close by Рwondering where all the birds have gone.  I was struck by the juxtaposition of these photos and decided to share.


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!

Cats and Dogs Living Together

Our First Egg!

Every morning I check the nesting box, unsure the ducks even know how to use it. There is actually a fake egg in there- the guy who sold me the coop said it was an “encouragement” egg. I tried not to roll my eyes. But, this morning when I opened up the hatch, I was surprised to see another egg there.

I can’t tell you whose egg it is – both Blue Swedish and Rouens have bluish eggs. But good to see someone in this house is earning their keep.

Bonus kitteh:

Zander has been on squirrel patrol all week, here he is scolding the squirrel for daring to come down the tree:


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! ¬† 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.


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.

Is It Soup Yet?

Mrs J brought in a 5-gallon bucket full of tomatoes and then went back out for another half-bucket. ¬†I put the juicer to work and filled a 12 quart pot. ¬†I watched it closely while it simmered because a boil over was likely. ¬†It finally reduced enough to start adding onions and spices and chicken base. ¬†My calculations told me that when the juice was reduced to 3-1/2 inches it would amount to 6 quarts of soup.Ta-Da! ¬†It’s not much compared to the math those ladies did for the Apollo program but it sure impressed the kitteh boys…… not that they’ll admit it.


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.