Tuesday, July 17, 2018

What's All that NOISE? - An Abby Lab Post

Hey Dad, where's Mom?

Abby Lab here.  Today was crazy noisy around our house.  Mom was working from home and there was a construction crew jackhammering up a whole bunch of our street as part of a widening and repaving project.  It went on for HOURS.  Even the Evil Squirrel cartel didn't show up for their free food.

Then behind the house, there was a huge thing sticking up into the sky and a man upon it was cutting off dead branches of a HUGE tree behind a house that just sold and then ran all that through a wood chipper.

Mom did chill a whole bunch of bottled waters and took them out to the workers mid-day for which they were grateful but the noise was really LOUD.  I retreated to my crate that has a blanket over it to deaden noise and Mom sat and typed and muttered HBO words.

Mom made homemade orange chicken for Dad but now says she has a headache and has retired to a bubble bath with a "Mommy Juice Box" which I think is the Pinot Noir kind.


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sunday Black and White - A Prayer

Lord -
No one but you and I 
understands what faithfulness is.
Do not let me die until, for them, 
all danger is driven away. 

Carmon Bernos de Gaesztold, The Prayer for the Dog

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Saturday Eats (for your Sunday Morning)

I have cut way back on bread, being gluten sensitive not Celiac.  I have found though that I can eat sourdough made from scratch (not the grocery store sourdough, which often has added yeast and chemicals and doesn't digest differently than most white bread) a few times a week with no tummy upset.  My favorite sourdough recipe is from Zingerman's Bakehouse Cookbook - a 4-day ferment and proof time but hands-on actually not that much time (most of the time is just sitting and fermenting in 24-hour cycles) and the most digestible bread I've ever made. Even grain-free dog can have a nibble.  If you don't like to bake, they actually have an online bakery and you can order. 

With the last of the last loaf baked getting a little stale, time for French Toast.  4 BIG thick slices of bread some cut in half to fit into the griddle, 3 eggs, a splash of vanilla, 1 tsp of sugar, a splash of vanilla and a dash of Cinnamon mixed up and it was on the grill. The nice part about using a heartier bread is that the bread doesn't absorb a ton of the egg custard mixture, so while they have a great flavor they still stay a bit firm and crisp around the edges.
You left the salt out of the custard mix, that means I'm getting a French Toast!

While my husband cooked those it was time for the syrup.

Bourbon Vanilla Maple Syrup (serves 2, easily doubles)

• 2 Tablespoons salt-free Butter
• 1/3 cup Pure Maple Syrup
• 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
• Pinch of Salt (omit if using salted butter)
• 1 tablespoon Bourbon (I use Bullett Bourbon)
• To make the syrup, melt the 2 Tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour in the syrup and let it cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla, salt, and bourbon. (Dog doesn't get syrup).

In his Dr. Who themed  Gallifrey University T-shirt, my husband scarfed up a big plate.  Abby Lab and I shared the remaining pieces.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Flower Friday

Today we join our three friends at

for Flower Friday, assorted photos from our home as Winter gave way to Spring, and then Summer.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Thankful Thursday

This Thursday we join our friend

for Thankful Thursday. Today, while Abby snoozes in the sunlight, I'm thankful to be feeling better after a few days of summer head cold, for treats from the Brits store in Lawrence Kansas to go with my afternoon tea time  Colds are never fun, but in the hot weather they just seem that much worse.

Thankful Abby Lab kept me company until I felt better.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Angel Barkley At his Best

Dog - The Bounty Hunter

I laid the paper towel down on the guest bed for like 5 minutes, while I prepared to clean the second bathroom for a friend visiting.  I think he was looking for the squeaker.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Monday Eats - Meatballs Mac and Cheese

This is NOT low cal or low fat, but it's super duper comfort food.  If you're going to share the meatballs with your dog, leave out the onion!  If you are cooking for a smaller household, it's easy to cut in half, just use an 8 x 8 pan and reduce oven bake time by 5 minutes.

            1 pound ground sirloin or turkey
            1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
            1/3 cup grated Romano cheese
            1 large egg
            1/3 onion, finely chopped (optional)
            A pinch of ground nutmeg
            1/4 teaspoon allspice
            Pinch of crushed red pepper
            1/4 teaspoon sea salt
            1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
            Splash of milk (2-3 Tablespoons)

            2 teaspoons flour
            1 cup bone broth (or beef broth)
            1 pint of heavy cream
            1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
            ¼ tsp black pepper, salt to taste

            2 and 1/4 cups uncooked pasta
            1 and 1/4 cup freshly grated gruyere cheese   
            2 pinches of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and lightly spray a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs. Using your hands lightly mix, JUST until mixed, do not overdo.

Using a large spoon, scoop out meat and roll into balls and place on a plate or cookie sheet.

Cook your pasta in salted water, 2 minutes less than the instructions, drain and set aside.

In a cast iron skillet heat a tablespoon of oil until hot, and add the meatballs a third at a time so they aren’t crowded, browning on all sides.  They don’t have to be cooked through, as they will finish in the oven. Remove from pan to large bowl. leaving browned bits.

Add flour to the skillet on medium heat, stirring until you have a paste that's slightly nutty and brown, adding a bit more oil if needed.  Stir in bone or beef broth, heavy cream, and Worcestershire sauce and stir to scrape the brown bits at the bottom of the skillet.  Simmer the sauce on medium heat for 10 minutes while whisking constantly.

Add the drained pasta to the bowl with the meatballs, stirring to distribute the meatballs. Place in pan.  Pour the sauce over the top and sprinkle with cheese and nutmeg. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through and cheese is melted.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Bath Day!

 I love rolling in the grass on a summer day.
What's that Dad,  you want to put me on the zip line. Am I going to hang out with you in the driveway?
 I don't see the barbecue, what are we going out on the line for?
What a minute?  What's that bucket for?  AND the bottle that has a doggie on the label?
 I don't like the looks of this.
 Oh NOSE!  It's a BATH!
 I HATE baths and water.
I LIKE being Abby the Land-Locked Lab and staying out of the water.
 Sigh.  Just get this over with Dad.

Mom, don't just take photos.  You need to rescue me.

I'm going to smell like clean air and daisies.  
That dog that just walked past out house is laughing at me.
 Why can't they make dog shampoo in deaded possum scent?
 It doesn't even taste good.

Get off of me water!
 OK, this part is OK.

 If I stand still will I get a treat?

Resistance is futile.  No kidding Dad!

I guess it was worth it for a shiny coat and extra treats.