Friday, December 28, 2012


I am amazed at times what my seven year old yellow lab will get into or do.  He is a happy go lucky guy, always smiling and up for adventures.  Late summer we took him for a walk along a creek system close to our house.  You can always count on Shane to find goose poop, mud or dead critters.  On this excursion he found mud.  He trotted into a dry mud bed that had bull rushes and I am sure had a lot of good smells.  When he bounded out of that dry mud med and we saw his legs and feet, we knew that some bathing was going to happen.  The following pictures show the before and after results.

Prior to washing his feet and legs. 

Soap and water.

The end result = clean legs and feet.
I never leave shoes lying around the house as Shane can't be trusted to leave then alone.  The most recent shoe sampling occurred by accident.  One of the cats got into the coat closet that also has shoes. The door was left slightly ajar and the DH forgot about closing the door after the cat wandered out of the closet.  Voila, the dog decided to sample one of my shoes.  These were not new shoes nor inexpensive and I was still wearing them on a frequent basis.  I know that Shane will continue to have a shoe fetish for as long as he lives.  We do have several things in common - we both LOVE shoes.

For all of the things he can get into, he is a beloved dog, always happy to see us, loyal and always ready for doing things and being involved.  This past fall Shane had a health issue.  He has glaucoma which we didn't know beforehand and within two months of being diagnosed, he had to have his eye removed.  We got it diagnosed early but the medication did not slow down the damages that glaucoma creates.  He is doing really well and the removal of his eye was harder on us than him. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012


There are a number of ways you can make potato pancakes.  Some people like the potatoes to be grated while others prefer them to be pureed.  I like them to be finely grated or minced, they still have texture but they are not chunky or appear to be long and stringy.   I used a small food processor which allowed me to get the texture I wanted by not having to deal with large batches.  I doubled this recipe, used about 10 potatoes and had three frying pans going at once.  I found that if I skimped on the canola oil for frying, they took longer to cook and didn't brown as nicely as those cooked in oil.  I like to eat the pancakes with both applesauce and sour cream.  I served these pancakes to a group of 10 people as part of a meal and everyone enjoyed them.

Pancakes cooking in the pan.

Ready for the table.

1 medium onion, cut into chunks
3 eggs
4 large baking potatoes, peeled or scrubbed, cut thin small chunks
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup flour
canola oil
applesauce and sour cream


Place onions in a food processor and chop until it is minced.  Empty into a large mixing bowl.  Add the eggs to the processor and blend.  Add eggs to the mixing bowl.  Depending on the size of your food processor chop the potatoes in batches.  Don't overchop them as you don't want them to be pureed.  Add the potato batches to the mixing bowl.  Add salt and pepper and the flour to the mixing bowl and combine well.  

Heat about 1/4 cup of oil in a nonstick pan.  On medium high heat, add the batter by the tablespoonful. Flatten them with the back of the spoon. Cook until brown and crisp, turn over and cook the other side. Place the cooked pancakes on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.  Cook the batter in batches.  You may need to add additional oil in between the batches.  Makes 16 to 20 pancakes.

Friday, December 14, 2012


This recipe is simple as it requires not many ingredients, you can add different vegetables and just requires a baking dish to cook the food.  I used cod but other fish could be used including salmon, red snapper or halibut.   I also used minimal herbs and spices and you could add other herbs based on your preferences.  Both the DH and I enjoyed this meal.


1 pound red potatoes, unpeeled, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 glove garlic, minced
handful of fresh dill, chopped or 1 tsp dried dill
1 pound, cod, snapper or other firm fish cut into 2 inch chunks


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Combine the potatoes, onions, oil and salt and pepper in a medium size baking dish.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Stir mixture once while baking.

Stir the tomato, garlic and dill into the potato mixture.  Top with the fish.  Increase the heat to 400 degrees F and bake, covered with aluminum foil for 25 minutes.   If the fish is not cooked, cook for additional time.  Serve the fish and vegetables with the juice from the baking dish.  Serves 4.

Adapted from

Friday, December 7, 2012


After listening to a friend talk about a stew she made one night, I decided I needed to cook a stew on a recent weekend.  The end result was a tender and delicious stew.  The stew didn't contain any potatoes.  I made some mashed potatoes as a side dish and the mashed potatoes were a good accompaniment to the stew.   The DH enjoyed this meal.


1 tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 lbs beef stewing meat, cubed
3 carrots, chopped into small pieces
2 stalks celery, chopped into small pieces
1 medium size rutabaga, peeled, chopped into small pieces
2 parsnips, peeled and chopped into small pieces
1 glass red wine or cooking wine
1 cup beef bouillon
 salt and pepper to taste


In a medium size frying pan, heat the oil and add the meat, onions and garlic. Brown on medium heat.  To a large soup pot add the browned meat and onions, the vegetables, wine and bouillon.  Heat to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for two hours.  Serves 6.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Instead of making soup one sunday afternoon for weekday lunches,  I decided to make a cauliflower and carrot puree.   To the puree I added sauteed onions and mushrooms.  I enjoyed having it as part of my lunch during the week.   When reheating your serving it in the microwave, you could add grated cheese to it.


1/2 cauliflower cut into small chunks
2 carrots, sliced into pieces
1 tbsp oil
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
6 mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper to taste


In a medium size pot, add the cauliflower and carrots to water, bring to a boil and cook on medium high  until tender.  In a separate frying pan, heat the oil and add the garlic, onions and mushrooms.  Cook on medium low until the onions and mushrooms are soft.  Set aside.

Drain the cauliflower and carrots and mash using a potato masher, food processor or hand held blender.  Puree until smooth.  Add the onions and mushrooms to the puree.  Season with salt and pepper. Combine.  Serves 4.