Thursday, March 31, 2016

Easter Dogs

So, I might as well post pictures of Tank and Adventure Beagle visiting for Easter weekend.  It is Thorsday, after all!
 This is what Tank did for several hours while his Jeffrey was off at the movies with the brothers.  What a good, loyal dog!

 Lily stole a rhino from Tank and chewed on it until Tank walked away to play with something else.  Just like human children.

Happy Thorsday, everyone!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

My Family, As Requested by Sue

Sue asked me to itemize the family in order, and GMarie seconded that request.  So, in age order, this is my family:

Mike, married 2 years to Ashleigh, proud parents to new baby girl Madeline.  I babysat for their cats for 2 months while they were honeymooning and finding a place to live.

Second son: Patrick. He is probably my lifelong bachelor.  One dog, Thatcher, an Australian Cattle Dog (who has never been here, since they live in Arizona).

(Pictured, left to right: Mark, Dan, Ryan, Jeff, Patrick)

Third, Dan. No wife, no kids, probably not happening soon.

Next, Shannon, the beautiful October bride. Husband, Chris.  Dog Natasha, the Ovcharka. Beautiful dog with a nasty disposition who hates everyone except Shannon. Kids in a few years or so.

Jeffrey is fifth. Dog Tank, the German Shepherd.  Current girlfriend owns Adventure Beagle, AKA Lily and an orange cat, Moe.

Next is Cass, my dark haired beauty.  She travels with Bebop, her Christmas present from Jeffrey.  Boyfriends come and go; none has been smart enough to keep her.

Seventh is Kellie. She and her boyfriend of 18 months are coming to visit next month and tour NYC and DC (he's never been North).

Then come my little boys: Ryan (who took a year off from college to find himself, and instead found himself amidst a house fire; I don't know how we'd have survived it without him), and Mark (high school junior, football player).

Thanks for letting me brag about my wonderful, brilliant, gorgeous family!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy Easter!

Only Dan and Jeff came home for Easter, so I only had 7 people to feed.  Yes, I know that most people think 7 hungry people, mostly men, is a lot, but around here, that's sort of "Oh, well, it's Tuesday."

 Table looks rather empty, doesn't it?  Lamb, heart-attack potatoes, sauteed asparagus and glazed carrots were on the menul
 Of course, Ryan and Dan were the first to arrive and want to be fed.
 Tank said he was a good boy, wearing his Easter bandana, and hoped someone would share.

 Seriously, people, share!  What, are you all afraid of the Fierce Midget, who says dogs can't be fed from the table?  Really?  She's way down there!

 Both dogs came to see Ryan.  He must smell like a sucker.
 Both dogs visited the Great Red Protector, too.  He definitely smells like a sucker.  I do have to say that even though Tank's head was on the table, he is afraid to touch anything on the table.  Jeff has that dog superbly trained.
Hope you all had a good Easter, filled with family, friends and good memories.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Announcing the Arrival...

of my oldest son's baby girl at 3 today.  9-1/2 pounds!

They went to the hospital at 2AM, so of course they are exhausted.

Pictures will follow, when I have some!

Edited to add: This picture just in from the proud Daddy!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Lemon Chess Pie for Pi Day

The second pie I made for Pi Day was a Lemon Chess Pie.  But I altered it to be lower in sugar and cholesterol, and, of course, it's low in sodium as well.  This is about as healthy as pie can get to be and still be called dessert, I think.


Unbaked pie crust
1 cup egg beaters
4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup nonfat milk
 1 cup sugar
1 cup Stevia
3 tbsp flour
2 tbsp cornmeal
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp lemon extract

Grease and line a pie plate with a crust (use your favorite or try my Best Ever), or use store bought already in a pan for a really fast result.  Beat together all of the other ingredients, pour into the pie crust, and bake at 375F for 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

The original recipe called for a 9" pie plate, but I use a 10" plate so it won't rise and spill over.  I just hate scraping crap out of the bottom of the oven.  This pie lasted a little longer than the apple pie, but only, I think, because the apple pie sold first.

So, Pi Day was a resounding success; Ryan is already campaigning for me to repeat it every week.

And a Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all; I hope nice, festive foods and desserts find you today!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

In Celebration of Pi Day!

So, Monday was Ma
rch 14, sometimes written as 3.14.  Math geeks and engineers everywhere refer to it as Pi Day; it's silly, or, as my son in law commented, "It's an irrational day."  Math is fun, really, it is.  So, with that mantra in mind, several years ago I began celebrating Pi Day with the little boys (since they are both at least 6'5" now, is it irrational that I still call them "little boys"?).

I made not one, but two pies for Pi Day.  Today, the apple pie, which had large requirements to fulfill: Must be delicious, reduced sugar, low cholesterol, low sodium, low potassium.  That's a big order for one pie.


1 crust (your favorite or my "Best Ever ---->)
3 to 4 large Granny Smith Apples
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup stevia (or white sugar)
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 nutmeg, grated (about 1/2 tsp)
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp butter, melted
4 tbsp butter, not melted
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup nuts (I used walnuts)

Preheat the oven to 375F.  Grease your pie plate and lay the crust in it (or use a store crust to make things really easy).  I used a 10" pie plate.  Remove the cores from the apples and slice thin (no, I didn't peel them and no one noticed: score one for roughage).  Place the apples in a large bowl, add the 1/4 cup flour, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, sugar and stevia (or white sugar), and stir to coat.  Add the vanilla and melted butter, and stir to coat evenly.  Spread the apple slices in the pie plate.  Chop the remaining butter in pieces, place in your food processor with the chopper blade, add the 1/2 cup flour, oats and nuts, and pulse until grainy.  Sprinkle atop the pie and bake for about an hour, until the filling bubbles.  Cool and serve with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

My pie lasted a good 24 hours, and my menfolk made happy noises while eating it.  Now they want to know when the next apple pie will be arriving.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Chicken Stew

It was chilly and damp the other night, and soup seemed to be the order of the day.  Ryan wanted cream of chicken soup, but I had something a bit less caloric in mind.


2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken
2 onions, cut in 1/4" cubes
5 ribs celery, cut in 1/2" slices
1/2 pound carrots, cut in 1/4" slices
2 tsp vegetable base
4 tsp chicken base
6 allspice, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 cup barley or rice
10 cups water

Cut the chicken into bite sized chunks (about 1/2" to 3/4" cubes).  Saute in a stockpot with the diced onions until they are browned.  Rinse 2 or 3 times in cold water to remove any fat, then return to the stove.  Stir in the vegetable base and chicken base, then add the water, allspice and bay leaves.  Cook 20 minutes, add the carrots and celery, cook another 10 minutes, then add the barley or rice and cook about 30 minutes.  Optional: if you like a thicker broth, stir 1/4 cup cornstarch into 1/4 cup cold water, then stir that into the soup 5 minutes before serving.  Remove the bay leaves before serving (or maybe just tell the recipients of the bay leaves that bay leaves bring good luck).

I served this with baking powder biscuits, and there was nothing left.  Ryan even whined a little that he wouldn't have anything to eat for lunch the next day.  I guess that means this was a good effort.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Another Happy Day

37 years ago, this man decided he wanted to put up with a pretty girl with a hair trigger temper and rather foul disposition.

He has given me the happiest years of my life, and I wake up every day grateful that he's beside me again today, for better and for worse, for as long as we both shall live.

(His favorite cake, Lemon Sponge Cake, will magically appear tonight to remind him that I still love him.)

Happy Anniversary, my dearly beloved.