Sep 25, 2012

Mouse has moved

New URL!  If you get any kicks outta my quirks, you can follow me HERE.

Sep 23, 2012

2 Things Challenge: Eyes/Many

Sleepy EYES.

MANY dogs and their people were at the bark park this evening.

Sep 18, 2012

"Hearty Herdbeast Stew"

Fall is in the air and the wind coming down off the Rockies makes us crave comfort food.  I came across this stew recipe in The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern, any Anne McCaffrey fans out there?  The hubs is eating it up (and Romeo has had some and drools on himself when he smells it cooking.)  A double batch fits just right in my dutch oven.  I had about 2 and a half pounds of stew meat, so I used a handful of garlic cloves, a whole onion, 2 bay leaves, and added a few extra chopped veggies.  I also skipped the last three spices and it turned out fine.  You can easily make this vegetarian by substituting seitan or TVP chunks for the beef.  If you can, it's best to let it sit in the fridge for a day or so, to let the gravy thicken and the flavors develop.  The book also includes recipes for "Klah"- a cinnamony chocolate drink, "Benden Baklava", and "Bubbly Pies".  The following is quoted from page 74-75 of the book, written by Jody Lynn Nye with Anne McCaffrey.

Hearty Herdbeast Stew

For tastiest results, use either the meat of mature bovine or young ovine.  To serve four, assemble the following ingredients:

1 to 1 1/2 pounds herdbeast, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 garlic clove (if desired)
1/2 large onion, cut into bite size pieces
1 pound peeled tomatoes (or 1 16-ounce can of tomatoes in their own juice)
2 cups water
4 small or 2 medium potatoes, peeling optional
2-4 small carrots, sliced
2 ribs celery, sliced into 1 inch pieces
bay leaf
1 cup corn kernels or baby corn cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard or cracked mustard seeds
garlic salt

-Dredge the pieces of meat in flour.  Melt the butter in a saucepan.  When bubbly, add the meat.  Brown the pieces on all sides.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add the onion and garlic; cook until transparent.  Then add the tomatoes and two cups of water.  Break up the tomatoes with a spoon.  Add potatoes, bay leaf carrots, and celery.  Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, reduce to a simmer, and let cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
-Add corn, spices to taste.  Bring the stew to a boil again, cover and return to simmer.  Cook for 15-30 minutes stirring occasionally until corn, potatoes, and meat are all tender.  Uncover and cook for 15 or so minutes until stew is slightly thickened.

Sep 17, 2012

High Altitude Banana Bread

Hurray!  Finally, a quick bread recipe that turns out perfectly at mile high altitude.  The trick is to add less leavening and more moisture.  I also used a half a teaspoon of pumpkin spice, instead of just straight cinnamon.  Even my husband, who doesn't like sweet things, ate this up.  I found the recipe HERE, many thanks to The Wallaces for sharing!

Sep 16, 2012

2 Things Challenge: Local/Hot

These are some photos I took back in June while visiting The Wild Animal Sanctuary, in Keenesburg, Colorado.  Pretty local, it's about a half hour drive from me.  Please check out their website by clicking the highlighted name, they're doing amazing things for endangered, abused, and abandoned larger predators.

It was a hot, dry day with hardly any breeze. Everyone was trying to snooze in the shade.  This was one of the wolf dens.  I wasn't anywhere near close to any of these animals, my camera has an awesome zoom feature.

Almost everyone made it to the shade before siesta time kicked in.

Some decided to go for a dip.

...or to catch what little breeze there was.

And others decided to snooze belly up.

Sep 9, 2012

2 Things Challenge: Day/Ends

DAY/ENDS: The day ends peacefully on the high desert plain.

(This photo was taken in Erie, Colorado.)

Sep 2, 2012

2 Things Challenge: Portrait/Round

Well, the photo I first had in mind for this week's challenge no longer exists.  Oops.  It was a pic of an oval framed portrait of Elizabeth I, that I took at the Denver Art Museum.  Wish I could remember the artist's name.  Word to the wise, back up your data to an external hard drive AND online somewhere, because external hard drives will break down on you.  This is probably a very obvious thing to do, to those who are more plugged in than I am.

Oh well, I learn from my mistakes.  For this week's challenge, I'd like to share a family photo taken back in late April while I was in Ohio.  I got to be in town for my da's birthday celebration, which included dinner at the Pufferbelly and a Leon Redbone concert.

I'm my father's child.  Can you tell?

Aug 22, 2012

More Puppy Romps

Romeo, Teddy, Katie and I at the Union Reservoir a few weekends ago.  Romeo is no water dog and mostly just wanted to wade, but after watching Teddy for a while he went swimming!  Video is at the end of the post.

Aug 21, 2012

Gluten Pups: Meatless Hotdogs/Sausages

If you are a vegetarian or vegan who isn't a fan of the faux meat available on the shelves but wants to be eating hot dogs from the grill, then this recipe is for you.  It sounds daunting, but it's super easy!  Just takes a little prep work.  I first heard of this recipe from The Vegan Ronin, check out what she has to say about it HERE.  (She found the recipe from Vegan Dad, who I believe found it from someone named Isa?)  I always end up with more than the recipe says it makes, about 8 hot dogs or about 15-20 breakfast links.  And I like to leave the dogs in the steamer for closer to an hour.

I've tried this recipe a few times now and my advice is this: it's crucial that the sausages are wrapped up all snug or you'll end up with seitan lumps that are yummy, but not visually appealing.  And here's how to make sure they're all snuggy:

Take a good handful of dough...

...and make a little log.

Now tuck the tinfoil snuggly around and underneath the dough and roll it up.

Twist the ends of the foil into a tootsie roll shape until it's tightly wrapped and fold the ends up.  Now it's ready for the steamer.

I don't own a steamer and to be honest, my kitchen is so full I'm not interested in getting one.  So I jerry-rigged my own using a frying pan and my lil veggie steamer basket held up by an aluminum pan that I poked full of holes, and I used the lid from my dutch oven.  Ta da!  The only drawback to this design is that I can only fit about four regular sized dogs in it at a time.




So now your gluten pups are steamed and ready to eat.  At this stage they can be baked, grilled, or pan fried for extra crispiness but this is a matter of preference.  YuuuuuMEE!

Aug 19, 2012

2 Things Challenge: Flat/Flagpole

FLAT (and yummy!): This is a piece of paper thin roasted Korean seaweed snack I got at the Natural Grocer's, comes in a little pack like a bag of potato chips. The type of seaweed itself is called 'kim' in Korean and 'nori' in Japanese. Seaweed chips! I had some in miso soup for lunch and ate the rest as is. They remind me of kale chips my mom makes.

FLAGPOLE: This is the always empty flagpole in the parking lot of the next door K-Mart. Always empty, even on patriotic occasions.