Friday, July 22, 2016

The Week in Excitement!

Well, words aren't really needed here.  We had Madeline from Sunday through Thursday, because her Mommy and Daddy had to go on a business trip.

 Guess who thinks she can feed herself, even though she can't even hold up the bottle?
 She does love her Grandpa, and it warms my heart to see him smiling so much. (Full disclosure: I was the one who got up at 7AM with her.  But I trained her to sleep until 9 within 2 days.)

On another note, I found a gauze sale.  So look what came in yesterday:

There are 10 yards of the Kelly Green, and 4 to 6 yards each of the other colors, for a net of about 50 yards.  I suddenly feel the need for new summer dresses.  I wonder which color I should chop into first?  The salmon, or the green?

Happy weekending, everyone!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Hot Fudge Sundaes!

A couple of weeks back, the Wall Street Journal ran a big article about ice cream sundaes.  You know The Wall Street Journal, right?  That iconic publication which tells you everything you want to know about the financial news, with a healthy dollop of food thrown in for good measure?  OK, so I'm probably a little off kilter looking for the food news in the WSJ.  Tell me something new.

Back to ice cream.  This article said that the perfect sundae should have texture, ice cream, sauce, maybe some fruit and maybe whipped cream and sprinkles.  Terrific!  Gotcha!  And they had a recipe for your texture: Shortcake Crumbles!


2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
6 tbsp cold butter
1 egg
1/2 c. buttermilk or sour milk
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract.

Stir together the flour, powder, soda and salt.  Cut the butter in 1/2" cubes and cut into the dry ingredients, or pulse together in a food processor.  Stir in the egg, buttermilk, brown sugar and vanilla with a fork.  Line a big baking sheet with parchment and drop the shortcake onto the parchment in 1" to 2" diameter crumbles.  Bake at 400F for 12 to 15 minutes.  Cool on the baking sheet, break into bite sized crumbles and serve dessert!  (These would also be an excellent base for strawberry shortcake.)

And from my 365 Great Chocolate Desserts cookbook, I give you the perfect topping for your ice cream sundae:


1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
3/4 cup heavy cream*
3 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Stir together the sugars, cocoa powder and salt in a large microwavable bowl.  Stir in the cream.  Microwave on high for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, or until well mixed, stirring once.  Cook another 1 to 2 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and all the sugar is dissolved.  Stir in the butter and vanilla extract and serve hot.  Can be refrigerated and reheated. 

*Note that I had to use about a cup of cream to get the sugars and cocoa powder to form anything other than an ugly gloppy ball of brown.  So don't worry if that happens to you; it's not fatal.

Ryan loved his sundaes with the shortcake crumbles; Mark grumbled that they were just weird.  But you all know and love Mark by now for the grumbler that he is.

Hope you all have a great weekend!  The baby granddaughter is coming on Sunday to spend a week with us, so you know everything around here will be happy!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Independence Day Vacation

Dan came home for 10 days during vacation, and Jeff came up to visit.  He had a foster dog in tow.  I took one look at this face, and said, "That's not a dog; he's a puppy."

So, this is Quincy, the foster.  He was rescued from North Philly, and declared "dangerous" because he guarded his food.  (More on that later.)

 It looks like this is the first time Quincy has seen acres of grass where he can romp and play.  He gave Tank a run for his money, but Tank was very gentle with the little guy.

Of course, Quincy immediately determined that the Great Red Protector is the guy to sit near, because he is a sucker and shares his food.

Jeff went off on an adventure at one point, and left Quincy and Tank to wait with Ryan, who was working in the porch. Quincy stayed within 10 feet of Ryan, making a nest out of a couple of tarps on the porch. Jeff's dogs don't stray when they know that their person is missing.
This is where Jeff went: He and Dan determined that we should have a picnic table.  So, we now have one.  It was a good place to play a board game while surrounded by romping and playing dogs.

As for Quincy guarding his food?  Well, Jeff had been fostering him 2 days by the time they arrived, and he already had Quincy trained to sit in a line and wait for treats.  Jeff has a similar act for when he's preparing doggy dinners; they all sit and wait.  What you can't see in the pictures is that Lilly (a.k.a. Adventure Beagle) dances with her front legs every time there's any food to be had.  It's a funny act.

And, by the end of the weekend, Jeff had decided that Quincy is a great little brother for Tank, so after 4 days with Jeff and Mara as fosters, Quincy found his forever home with them.

Hope you all had a great holiday weekend, too!  Happy Monday!