Nachos! Sometimes I have a little ground beef left over, not enough for burgers, but plenty for something like this. I make my own seasoning for taco style meat.Mrs J thought Boston cream pie would be nice. It ended up tasting much better than it looked before the hot ganache covered covered a few errors. This is as close a look as I dare to show. Why is it not called Boston cream cake? Mystery!Puppies! Momma dog came to the shelter pregnant and dropped this healthy litter of six.This pup is named Spicy, and is one of several that were removed from a hoarder. She seems to be OK but some of her sibs are still shy.Hard to beat bbq’d chicken and grilled corn on the cob.Not as classic a combo as with grilled cheese but the tuna salad sammy went quite well with the tomato soup.
St Francis Open House
Last Friday the staff at the shelter hosted an open house to celebrate their new building. Most of the staff and several volunteers were posing for an official photo when I walked in so I managed this picture.New momma dog! I have no info on the breeds that went into this happy mix but the momma has some terrier in her and maybe a smidgen of bird dog?A kitten room with a view of the woods in back of the site. This is a Siamese mix female that has been adopted since this picture was taken.Here are a couple of kittens that are new arrivals. We are in pre-op here, they are slated for their surgery later in the week.Here’s a real cutie. He’s a shepherd mix, one of a litter of four.Another from the same bunch. Mrs J says they are four weeks old as of this photo.This is “Snickers”, a male cat that’s one of Mrs J’s favorites. She says she has mixed feelings about the cats that cycle through the shelter – she misses the ones that are adopted out but happy that they have a new family. I guess that’s only natural.They’ve named this one “Suzy”. I put the scare quotes around the names that staff give the residents when I think about it because their new families can, and usually do, rename them upon adoption.
We have a couple of freezers jammed full of items that may not be labeled with all the info you might wish for but usually enough if you have a good memory. I pulled one crusted zip lock bag with “brisket” scribbled on it and the sammich here is what came of a portion of it. I smoked a brisket some time ago and this is part of that, there may be more – I dunno. It made a decent lunch. On top is some ancient giardiniera that I added some olives to because of reasons. The sauce is a new to me item from Texas Pete they are calling sriracha-cha. Works for me.And a puppy! I have no info at all on this one, nor the ones to follow in this post. I ordered a battery powered LED light so Mrs J could have a portable source she could use while at the shelter. I mounted it on a tiny tripod meant for tabletop photography but it can be easily hand held. Results so far are encouraging.I used some of that duck fat to roast these potatoes, they were pretty good but I’m sure I’ll do better the next time. The chicken was fried in some of it as well. The breast came pre-sliced to about 1/4″, I dusted it with seasoned flour and plopped it directly into the hot fat. I parboiled the potatoes, then tossed them with the duck fat, rosemary, and kosher salt and roasted them on a tray in the oven. They needed more time to brown but everything else was ready to go so I went with them as they were.Moar puppeh! I think the new light is bright enough to bounce off the ceiling there at the shelter. It does have a frosted plastic diffuser mounted to soften the light, and it can be dialed down if needed.Mmm… brisket and egg burritos from this morning. The last of the thawed brisket with scrambled eggs and cheese. I like that new sauce, it has more of a cooked taste compared to basic sriracha – the brand with the rooster on the label.One last puppy to wind this post up. Remember to look at the shelter’s Facebook page for more info on adoptable pets and (hint hint) contribution links.
This pretty girl has been at the shelter for a while now. She was a surrender – the owner became unable to care for her due to infirmity. Mrs J hoped to promote her adoption prospects by placing her prominently in the shelter’s Facebook page but no luck so far despite going home with a prospect for a visit, and some inquiries. The last batch of cayennes I picked went into my fermenting jar, the same rig that works so well for counter top sauerkraut. It’s pretty easy to make your own hot sauces and you can tailor the recipe to your own tastes by using different peppers or liquids. Not that I have any great expertise since this is my first batch. I forget exactly which recipe I used but this one seems very close to it. The ratio of salt to peppers is the same, I used a white wine to cover them in the jar. Cayennes aren’t the hottest peppers out there but they do have some heat. I don’t remember now how long these spent in the jar but going on two months seems close. I didn’t use any whey or starter to hurry the fermenting.This is Jack, a bashful sort. He has since been adopted.It’s been a long time since we’ve had pork chops for dinner. These simmered in mushroom cream for a good hour. The potatoes were mashed with garlic and sour cream, the broccoli were steamed and treated to a lemon butter sauce made with white wine and thickened a little with cornstarch to help it cling to the veggies.This is Toby, a terrier mix. Mrs J thinks he’s gone on to a new home.I’ll close this out with a stir fry, this one is chicken and various veggies in a brown sauce with a batch of fried rice. “Brown sauce” is a generic term and there are tons of recipes out there. I generally use a little of this and a little of that in mine – IIRC this one has soy sauce, black vinegar, Chinese cooking wine, chicken broth, sesame oil, Hoisin sauce, garlic chili paste, cornstarch, and a dash of Maggi branded seasoning sauce. The chicken marinated for an hour in similarly seasoned marinade – heavier on the cornstarch.
Homer has been an outside kitty lately because of his ongoing battle with Toby. He does come in everyday to spend time but gets ousted if he acts up. I think he may be mellowing a bit – the cuddle on the sofa with Bitsy was rare enough that I thought a photo was warranted.I picked all the remaining jalapenos so Mrs J could take the pot away and dump the old potting soil. I sliced and froze these.A couple of tacos with guac and sour cream and a few of the last peppers. I think these were ground beef cooked in a mole made from dried ancho peppers. More of that sauce is on top, covering the lettuce, tomatoes, and cheddar.Here are those pups from the other day that were smiling for the camera. Mrs J says they are terrier poodle crosses.They are really rocking their little doggie sweaters.I think she said they were eight weeks old and would be released for adoption pretty soon. I bet they go fast.Here’s a sammich I made the other day. I had a chunk of hot coppa in the freezer that I thawed and sliced thin. It also has traditional ham, a slice of roast pork, provolone, and various veggies in a vinaigrette made with dijon and balsamic vinegar.This looks like spaghetti and meatballs but the meat is just sliced link Italian sausage. The sauce was from this year’s tomatoes and has a lot of Parmesan in it. Good stuff.It’s been ages since I made bread in my machine. This loaf really puffed up when it baked, I thought it might raise the lid before it quit growing. The soup is a basic chicken noodle made with wide egg noodles and various veggies. I always add too many noodles to the pot.
Bixby and Tater
On a food blog, when isn’t Tater an ingredient? When she’s a dog. Friends of blog, Larilyn and Alton (not that one) adopted a dog this last week. And when I say adopted, I mean flew her over several states to get her to Colorado, because that’s the kind of people they are. She showed up while they were on vacation and a month later no one had claimed her, so she’s now officially a Coloradoan.
And Bixby is completely charmed.
That’s about all I could get of them, the rest of the time they were just a blur through the yard.
Variations on a (Chili) Theme
Mmm… chorizo chili. This one also has ground beef, an onion, a can of tomato bits, and pinto beans. It’s a basic chili made with a sauce of dried chilis that had been simmered and soaked then pureed in a blender with a few cloves of garlic. Push the puree through a strainer with a spatula and discard the last little bit. Plenty of chili leftovers, but I have a plan…Mmm… chili dogs! I have these garnished with minced onions, green jalapenos, and red ripe Anaheim peppers – some of the last we will get from our container garden out on the front patio.Mmm… not quite Cincinnati chili. This has everything that the five way chili has but isn’t distributed the same way. The Cincinnati chili is seasoned differently, too. Theirs has cinnamon, allspice, chocolate and other stuff I won’t try to replicate.Mmm… chili cheese fries! This dish is finished with a couple dashes of hot sauce. Mrs J had tater tots instead of fries but she scarfed them down before I could get a picture. Here are a couple of puppies instead: