Weekend Guests!

“Good grief, there is a houseful this weekend,” Jabber observed.  “Poppy thinks it’s her job to keep ’em ALL entertained.”

And she’s doing a good job of it, too!  She taught CCQ’s husband to lie down so she could jump over his head….

Teaching CCQ’s husband to lie down so she could jump on/over his head.

Gave CCQ LOTS of loves and kisses and hugs….

     

Instructed 5-year-old Kylee how to pet her properly….

and how to play ‘chase’…..in the house….

discussed household management issues with CCQ….

and listened carefully as the bride and maid of honor discussed wedding and shower plans in the kitchen…

 

Maid of honor on left, bride on right.

There is much to plan and to do before the big day! (June wedding).  We are all excited.  This is such a very happy time for all the household and extended families.  Poppy is hoping to get everything just exactly right as she assists in the preparations.  The shower will be held HERE!  We are honored to have it here and excited!

 

Spring Fever?

“There is snow everywhere, half the USA is covered in snow and ice and cold, and YOU have spring fever?” Jabberwocky asked, rather perplexed.

Yep.  Do.  We’re all tired of winter.  And guess what I saw in my side garden?

See?  There are still leaves scattered in the bed from last fall, but the Daffodils are up!  Even a flower and a couple of buds are on the plants.  Made me perk right up to spy them as I looked over the deck.  So, of course, I had to take a picture.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in our yard, snow and ice are still around:

But the little plants poking through promise that spring is coming.

My thoughts immediately turned to having a garden of some sort this year–I always THINK that, seldom actually do much in the way of gardening.  However, this year I actually might plant a few vegetables along with some flowers in pots.  If you are interested in that too, you might enjoy this website I stumbled across yesterday:

http://kgi.org

With food prices increasing, it’s a good time to give some thought to growing some food of your own, isn’t it?  This can be done if you plan ahead and do a little bit of work right now, when you are stuck inside due to the snow.  Those little ‘k cups’ which so many of us use can be excellent seed starter pots, so can egg cartons.  It’s close to March, about the right time to start many early-spring seeds so they’ll be ready to plant in pots or in the garden a bit later.

And even if you don’t follow through with your plans, it’s still kind of fun to dream of spring.

Poppy dreaming of spring!

Flash

What goes on around here when the Grandkids and Poppy see each other (about every night):

 

Poppy often will change directions when playing chase–suddenly she is doing the chasing.  Pretty smart Puppy (we think).

A Happy Poodle getting her tummy rubbed.

She likes to hide under the kitchen chairs, then scoot out to surprise people.  Sometimes all we see is the nose or the tail.  She likes to play hide and seek.

So far, her security training is nil.  She just loves to have people come for a visit.  Why would she want to scare them by barking?

We will work on this.  Maybe.

Maybe not.

 

 

Walk a Mile in My Paws

“What?  You don’ have paws!” Jabber exclaimed.

This is true, I don’t.  But Poppy has paws and she walked a whole mile this morning–all the way ’round the block with TMWLH!  He reported she stopped about 2 houses from us and just sat down.  After a brief rest, Poppy continued and was very proud of her very own self for taking her man person for the long, long, long walk to the far-far-far away places!

For this, of course, we had a brief celebration–a treat for Poppy and a nice nap!

Last night, Racer Daughter and family came by for a visit with Poppy–to tell you the truth, they all are enjoying her.  Here she is greeting the I. T. guy (my son-in-law):

So so so happy to see you!

Tonight we will finally celebrate his birthday–a couple weeks late, but the weather hasn’t been cooperative!

Last night, however, was only a brief visit with lots of licks and chasing of Poppy’s favorite cousins and her favorite sister and brother in law.  (Always the favorite if one is here to visit!)

                 

After they left, we ate our dinner of chicken piccata, rice and brussels sprouts.  Yummy!

Chicken Piccata is so very easy to make and so yummy….go here for the recipe:

http://harpethview.com/2014/09/10/lemon-chicken-piccata/

This time, I simply made rice and cooked brussels sprouts to complete the supper.

Delicious for a cold winter’s night.

Meanwhile, Miss Poppy decided it was time to take a rest, get some petting from her people (obviously they’d been ignoring her for all of two minutes), and call it a day.

Poppy resting and smiling as she gets some much needed attention from her People.

Poppy’s At-Home Adventures

“When One is a small poodle and there is ice outside in ‘far away’ where One is SUPPOSED to sniff and relieve oneself, what else is there to do but entertain Oneself and guests with whatever is available?” Jabber mused this morning, thinking of the very fun time Poppy had with her cousins….

Snuggling with One’s cousin is very nice in this weather.

And so Racer Daughter and her two off-spring (Poppy’s cousins and yes, my Grandchildren) came by for a visit late yesterday afternoon–this before we had more snow and sleet and rain.

The ‘boy’ arrived too!

Miss Poppy had a date at the Vet’s today which we put off for several days due to road conditions.  She now weighs 18.6 pounds.  She’s gained about 10 pounds in a month.  She is going to be a big girl we think!

There is this minor issue with shoes.   What I mean is that it’s a minor issue if it isn’t YOUR shoes (or shoelaces).  She really loves shoes and pant legs.  If it is your shoe or pants, you will be walking with an 18 pound poodle attached to you for a while.  She hangs on!

I hope you are finding your own entertainment INSIDE, staying warm and cozy and well-fed!

 

Cheeseburger Casserole

“Always nice to have visitors,” Jabber observed, “But Poppy seemed to enjoy the visit especially.”

Yes, Bob The Painter came by just to make sure we had not frozen or starved to death, which was very thoughtful of him.  We hadn’t, so he sat and visited a spell, allowing Poppy to chew on his shoelaces.  He is a very tolerant man.

 

Very.  Tolerant…..

 

He also delivered some bad news:  while we expect another ice/snow storm today and tonight, another one is likely on its way next week.  On top of this, we were running low on provisions and there was a cheeseburger casserole I wanted to make for supper and I needed some cheese among other things.

Off TMWLH and I went–you know, over the river and through the woods and ice and all that.  We took the car rather than the sleigh, although a sleigh might have been interesting.  We only went to the store, Weeders, not really over the woods, and returned home with provisions not only for supper but for the rest of the week.  And some more treats for Miss Poppy.

What?

Oh, you want to know if I made the casserole.

Did.

It was good.

Oh.  Okay, I’ll share it with you…..

Cheeseburger casserole with spinach soufflé

Ingredients:  (find this recipe on the Pillsbury website–Cheeseburger Casserole–I adapted it a little)

1 lb of  hamburger, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1/2 cup catsup, 1/2 cup water, 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard, 1/4 cup chopped dill pickle, pepper, either shredded or sliced American cheese, a can of Pillsbury Crescent rolls.  (Hint:  if you have some pureed veggies, you can add some as part of the liquid–maybe 1/4 cup and 1/4 cup water.  I had used all mine up!)

Cook up the hamburger and onion until done and drain well.  Add the catsup, mustard, water and pepper and mix well.  Put in a casserole dish–if you have a 7 X 11 that’s great, but if not, a slightly larger one will do.  On top of the mixture, place American cheese slices or about 1 1/2 cups shredded American cheese.  (Yes, you can use other types of cheese if you prefer).

Mixture topped with American cheese slices

Top with the Crescent rolls, then brush on 1 wisked egg, top with some seeds–I used both Poppy seeds and Sesame seeds.

“Well, of course you’d use Poppy seeds!” Jabber wryly interjected.  

She’s a bit jealous of Poppy, I think.  Not getting all the attention in the blog here lately.

  

 

Ready to go into the oven

Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes–check after 20 minutes so the top doesn’t get too brown.

Looks good enough to eat, doesn’t it?

Cut into serving pieces and eat!  This should serve about 6 people.

You could just cook and mix the hamburger and ingredients, serve on buns or on top of baked potato, too–that would be delish!

Thanks to CCQ Daughter for sending this recipe to me–and Granddaughter for making it first and reporting about it!

*******

The Poppy or Sesame seeds are optional, of course.  I mean, who has these in her spice cabinet(s)?

Hmmmm, well I do.  The family joke is, ‘shop at Mom’s’ for about anything.  Including sometimes cooking supplies.  Here–I’ll show you:

 

They are alphabetized in the white trays.  Of course they are you say.

I use these for fresh spices from the garden, harvested and dried. Yes. Yard sale finds.

The wine rack also holds some spices.

 

Meanwhile, Miss Poppy enjoyed her dinner, thinking about Bob’s shoelaces and hoping he’d return soon.

 

Stuffed French Toast

“It’s 10:30 and I’m getting hungry again,” Jabber said.  “We still have ‘nuf food around here?”

Yes, we do.  I hope you have enough food in the house–here around the Harpeth we’re expecting yet another round of sleet and snow and we haven’t dug out from the last one.  It was close to zero overnight!  But most of the main roads are clear.

Being 111, however, I am not venturing out on the ice.  Ergo, gotta’ see what’s available for breakfast/brunch today.

I have eggs, milk, some store-bought bread, cream cheese, butter, and jam.  I will make stuffed French Toast this morning!

Simple to make, but does take time to cook–you want this to cook slowly.

Use semi-frozen slices of bread, spreading cream cheese on both sides of the sandwich.  Then put a layer of jam on one side.

  

Make a sandwich and gently and carefully dip into an egg/milk mixture in a large bowl.  (I used two eggs and a splash of milk to make it–you can add vanilla or cinnamon or almond flavoring or whatever you wish to the batter.  This time, I didn’t, but such additions give the sandwiches extra flavor.) Pierce the top side of the sandwich as you dip a couple of times.

Heat butter in a large fry pan on low heat and gently place the sandwiches in the pan.  Pour any leftover egg/milk mixture over the top of the sandwiches.

These have been cooked on one side and flipped over.

At the very end, when you think the cheese is beginning to melt inside the sandwich, turn up the heat a bit and add maybe a bit more butter to give it a good crust on both sides.  Remove from pan, add powdered sugar.  Serve with meat if you have any (bacon, ham, sausage), and/or fruit.  Syrup likely optional–this is already sweet, but if you like, you could add syrup.

Stuffed French toast with turkey bacon

Enjoy!

Entertainment on a Cold Day

She’s 3 months old.  Poppy, our Spicy Royal Red Paprika Standard Poodle.

She likes to watch herself on the iPhone too!

Soup’s On

 

Vegetable/meat soup with cheese

“What kind of soup is this?” Jabber inquired before devouring it.

I don’t really know what to call it.  Lots of vegetables, some meats, chicken broth topped with two types of cheeses make it very delicious.  You may call it whatever you like.  It’s one of my varieties of leftover soup.  Here is how it was made yesterday late afternoon:

I searched through the refrigerator and freezer and came up with a variety of vegetables to include–already chopped celery, onions, peppers, a frozen box of chopped spinach, some chicken broth.

(Remember to look through your vegetable drawer in the fridge every week or so.  If you find some vegetables which are not going to last much longer and you’re not going to use up, by all means chop them and place in freezer bags.  Label.  Do this also with any cooked vegetables leftover which you won’t use up.  You will have vegetables ready when you want to make this soup–both thrifty and healthy alternatives to letting them go bad.)

Prepackaged vegetables from the freezer

Vegetable puree–mixture good in soups and sauces, made from mostly peppers, onions and tomatoes. I added this, too, to the soup.

So I began with a little bit of olive oil and sautéed the frozen vegetables a little until they were warm.

I put all that into the big pot and added some vegetable puree, frozen, chopped turkey (left over from a prior meal) and then about 2 cups of roast pork loin which we had last weekend.  (Use chicken if you like or beef–the milder meats take on the flavors in the soup.)  Pour in some chicken broth if you have it, or you might like vegetable broth or beef broth–or even just water.

Added these:

   

To this mixture, I added a bit of salt and pepper and then about 2 Tablespoons of this–

Essence of Emeril

Has a lot of flavor and a bit of heat.  This mixture was found on a website (Emeril’s?) at some point in the past and we like it on grilled meats, but it’s also good in soups.  I mix it up and keep it in a tightly sealed container.

Heat until bubbly and you can let this simmer on the stove until supper, stirring once in a while.  Be sure to TASTE IT and add salt and pepper or whatever other flavor you’d like.  I did put some hot sauce in the soup, but not very much (you can add that in your own bowl when you eat it).

Then, right before serving, put some cheese in the bottom of the bowl–I had some cheddar and Monterey Jack leftover in the fridge–

 

Layer on your soup and top with more cheese.  The cheese will melt into the soup and give it an additional richness.  You need add nothing but a good corn muffin or crusty piece of bread–there are meat and vegetables in the soup.

You can feel good about yourself, too–you have used up your leftovers and been very frugal.  And you’ve made yourself (and your family) a delicious, hearty and healthy supper.  (This made a lot of soup, so either eat more the next few days or freeze it for later.)

Poppy observed the process but didn’t taste.

 

How cold is it?

“Cold ‘nuf for you to have some really strange nightmares!” Jabber stated.

“Like last night, You was dreamin’ was so cold that the Big Bad Wolf AND Lil’ Red Riding Hood came in to warm up!”

 

Big Bad Wolf!!

And his paws! (I think he and Lil’ Red got married–he’s got on a wedding band. Now there is some news for Mother Goose.)

And here is Lil’ Red her very own self!

“Wait a min’ here!” Jabber interrupted, “She’s got a cell phone!  Is she callin’ Grandma’ to tell her that they’re on their way?”

No, Jabber.  She’s checking the weather–in my dreams, anyway.  Then, who else do you think showed up?

It’s a beautiful witch and the P man!

They were cold, too–the beautiful witch and the “P” man.

Turns out that the “P” stood for procrastinating, but they didn’t!  It was so cold they came right on in……

“Good grief you have strange dreams!” Jabber stated matter of faculty–err, with her faculties–oh whatever………

“So who else appeared in your dream?” Jabber, now curious, asked….

Well, Bobby Jones, the great golfer.  It was too cold to golf!

An’ then, he brought along some lady in pajamas……

She kept saying, “What did the Fox say?” and none of us knew what the Fox said–so we asked the wolf…

The Wolf didn’t know what the Fox said….so the mystery continues….

Some beautiful Gypsy showed up, too–she didn’t seem to care if there was already a wolf and a fox and Lil’ Red and a Great Golfer in the house–she came on in….

“So, then, was that all?” Jabber was no flabbergasted!

Nope.  Pretty soon, who do you think came to the front door?  VANNA WHITE! and a tool man–can you believe it?

Vanna White brought her Board, too–in case she needed to turn some letters. The Tool Man was there to fix things, I think. But I’m not sure.

Nobody was sure what this guy was–we think maybe a Bat outta’ H-E-double hockey sticks?, but we’re not sure–he had on bat wings.  On the other hand, he had on a very Patriotic Helmet?  It was a dream, people, a dream!  Okay.  It was a nightmare.

We don’t know how to caption this

“Alrighty,” Jabber said very very slowly as in “al…..righ……ty” “You’ve gone daft!”

Likely.  It’s cold, there is ice everywhere and good grief, The Earl and Lady Grantham showed up, too–and here I am without supper prepared.

 

However, Mr. Peroit, the Head Foodman Footman did lay the table, so at least that’s done!

Turned out that they all brought food, they all shared (including the Wolf), so we ate hearty.  What a dream!  I can only wonder what tonight will hold–it’s supposed to get down to VERY cold as in around 10 degrees.

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