February 26, 2009
But Frank comes a close a second. I was introduced to Frank many years ago as a young girl by my Grama Boo. She is the hippest woman. Not only did she love Frank, she also loved Elvis and was right along with the girls and me in 2000 when Ricky Martin hit the scene.
GramaBoo loves her some pretty boys that can sing.
Anyway, about 15 years ago, I went to a wedding and the song of the night was "Fly me to the Moon" by Sinatra and Count Basie. I instantly fell in love with the song and had to have it. The next day I called Grama to see if she had that record album. She checked, didn't have it and proceeded to call Columbia Records. There was a CD delivered to my door within weeks.
How awesome is that?
The CD has finally worn out from overplay. Because we played this CD every time we ate Italian food for dinner which must have been at least 2000 times since 1995. What I think is amazing, is that I raised two girls to love and appreciate music from all genres. And today the girls know to just load up this classic CD for dinner. If you like to check out some good Swing music, find this record/CD/Itunes download. You won't be sorryEnjoy!
I just loved all the eye-popping reds coming for the peppers and tomatoes in the salad. I topped them off with toasted almonds, parsley, parmesan and red onions.
The main course was shrimp sauteed with garlic, red onion, basil and mushrooms, dashed with white wine and served over portobella and ricotta stuffed rigatoni shells. I actually found these in the freezer from one of my infrequent Trader Joe runs.
Nice little mid-week dinner and a good send-off for Todd and Raine who are heading to Taos, NM tonight for a long ski weekend.
February 24, 2009
Wow! A focused kid!
Happy b-day my dear! Momma loves.
February 22, 2009
February 21, 2009
February 20, 2009
Now, I’ll admit, I’m not perfect. My nose can lead me into some excitement. I love to track down the smell of squirrels and other wild animals that live around me and I could use some refinement of my manners (or obedience training as humans like to say). Why you ask? Because I get so happy in the moment, sometimes, I forget what I’m supposed to do. But come on, I am just a dog…..right? However, I will come when you call and I will sit and even lay down when you ask me.
Okay, here are some other things you need to know about me: I was one sick girl a couple of months ago. Diagnosed heartworm positive, at Thanksgiving, when my previous owners surrender me to a local shelter, I have, under good care from my foster family, sailed through the treatment. Today I am in great health and am ready to embrace my forever people. Because I had heartworms, the doctors say I will need to be on heartworm medication year around and will need a couple of more checkups to make sure they got all the heartworms. Other than that, I’m up to date on all my shots, microchipped, and I’m in great physical condition.
I get along well with big dogs and small dogs. I like them and want to play all day! I can sleep in a crate, but would be much happier being closer to you. I walk very nicely on a leash, though I will see all squirrels and rabbits on our walks- way before you do. So letting me off leash is probably not a good idea until further notice. I will love to curl up by you and sleep for hours. And food is one of my FAVORITE things in the world! I’ll do just about anything for a treat! Oh yeah, I’m housebroken as well.
Really, I just love to be.
A note from me, the foster mom: This is a hard thing to do...Paris has been such a great foster dog and we love her dearly. She is high energy at times, but is also a total couch potato. Her desire to please knows no bounds. She is the type of dog that makes many foster parents failures, meaning they decide to keep her. But in our hearts, we know she’ll be even happier with another family who can give her more undivided attention than we can. She should do well in a one-dog only house but has always had a large male companion.
If you are interested at all in adopting Paris - you can fill out an online application at the German Shepherd Rescue Alliance of Wisconsin - www.gsraw.com
February 16, 2009
And I quote,
"Hi Ry, Nice pics of your Valentine dinner. Its nice to spend a quiet dinner at home, huh? We had sweetheart steaks, they take a thick boneless rib steak and butterfly it, then it looks like a heart when opened up , plenty for two. Also we had potato cheese soup,twice baked potato, and asparagus with hollandaise sauce. For desert we had homemade Brandy Alexanders with a chocolate truffle that Marlene had made. She 's a cheap date. It was the 39th anniversary of our first date and I married her seven months later. Who said that short courtships don't last. Have a great week, Love Uncle Bear"
I responded to Uncle Bear's email by saying I was totally in awe of their cooking expertise and years of marriage, and threw in...that Todd and I celebrated our 23rd Valentines... this year.
Uncle Bear came back with ..."And Marlene has the valentine's card I gave her in the 6th grade, signed, Jackie...."
Wow, Can't beat that. I've been bested by the master.
It's one of a thousand reasons why I love my Uncle Bear
February 15, 2009
For tonight's meal, there were several steps. Cut up the chicken, prepare the stuffing, wrap the rolled chicken in its skin, make chicken stock, and for good luck, feed raw chicken wings to the dogs.
First we chopped all the ingredients needed for the stuffing which included; chopped mushrooms and leeks, fresh garlic, parsley and thyme and some lemon juice. This was sauteed for a few minutes, removed and then the pan was deglazed with champagne (our suggestion - hey it was Valentines day!) to be used later in the sauce.
After cutting the chicken meat from the bones, Todd set aside the breast and thigh meat. The thigh meat was chopped and added to the stuffing mix. The rest of the chicken went into a pot to make chicken stock. (Except the wings-a spur of the moment treat for the pups. I tried to get a photo, but they ate them too fast.) By using a whole chicken Todd has the freedom to make his own cuts and the price is much more reasonable. A good cleaver is a great kitchen tool.
After butterflying the breasts and flattening them, Todd placed the mushroom, leek and chopped thigh meat mixture on top of the breasts. He then rolled them tightly. Next he took the extra step to wrapped the breasts back into the skin that was pulled whole from the original chicken.
This step really keeps the chicken moist during the heating process. After tying them off, the chicken was pan-fried for 2 minutes per side and finished in the oven.
While the chicken was finishing off in the oven, Todd made a really nice sauce from the deglazed pan of the fried mushrooms and leek mixture. To it, he added course-ground mustard, wine and chicken stock. Reducing the liquids created a very nice and flavorful sauce. Served with couscous and freshly steamed broccoli, the french-styled stuff chicken breasts were divine. While a more labor-intensive dinner than most, it was a joy spending Valentine's cooking with Todd.
Like we always say, "The family that cooks together, stays together"
February 13, 2009
We had a little ritual where we'd stop in front of each plant, I would say the name of the plant and Raine would say "Good Morning!" Raine always spent the most time with the Rudbeckias, sometimes saying greetings to each individual flower.
That was a life-learning experience where I learned to slow down, because mornings could be really hectic if you let them. I learned to enjoy the moment.
Today, Raine might not walk with me every morning to say good morning to the flowers, but I still do. For me, I will always have Rudbeckia growing in my garden. Because this flower above all others makes me think of those precious morning moments with Raine, saying "Good Morning"
February 11, 2009
I yell at her to "drop" it. Umm...that doesn't work.
I then, stupidly called her to me. And guess what, she comes. So now I have this very proud German Shepherd chasing me all around the back yard with the damn rabbit in her mouth with me screaming "Don't touch me!, Aus!, Out! Drop it!"
I get Teiko and Cita in the house, and finally calm down and say to Paris, "All right, I'm going in the house, wanna come? She is so proud of herself. Still prancing with the rabbit in her mouth, she finally drops it about one foot from me, spits out some extra rabbit fur and saunters into the house.
I quickly shut the door and turned back to see a very stunned rabbit, who finally came out of its daze, took a quick look and ran for the trees.
I'm not thinking I'll have many problems with rabbits eating my spring flowers this year.
So this is my foster dog, Paris. The dog who was so sick two months ago that she had scary things coming out of every hole in her body about 23 hours a day. She was diagnosed Heartworm positive and would receive some harsh treatment to kill the worms. I knew that she would need some time to heal but I didn't really know for how long.
Well, today I got my answer. She is finally healthy enough to hunt and catch the damn rabbits. This dog is is going to be just fine. She is a fighter and a hunter. This is one of the good ones.
It's awesome to be a foster mom. Umm...I'm keeping her.
February 10, 2009
February 9, 2009
February 8, 2009
The sky was just a beautiful blue and I wanted to see how it would contrast with the faded reds of the rusted metals of the theater's marquis. It didn't turn out too bad - still working on the photography and editing side of things.
Another DIY project we'll attempt, is adding a second kitchen to the house. Using recycled kitchen cabinets and relatively new appliances we think this feature will be a nice addition to the downstairs and relatively inexpensive. This room leads right to the pool area outside and will make summer grilling and entertaining more easy.