Saturday, October 29, 2011

What to cook when the fridge is empty...

Wow, food was expensive this month. As it is the end of the month, our budget for food refills on the first of November. So this weekend, I used my creativity in order to feed our stomachs.

1. I purposely bought these ingredients earlier this month, as there are no fresh items needed besides onion and half-and-half, both of which last a long time. The hardest part about this recipe is I cooked it at 8am today, since the apartment complex was turning off our water at 9am.

Corn Chowder Soup
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp margarine
1 tsp Italian Spices (parsley, oregano, basil)
salt
ground pepper
3 cups chicken broth (I used 3 bouillon cubes and 3 cups of water)
1 can diced white potatoes, drained
2 cans corn, cream style
1/2 cup cream/half-and-half (I used fat-free)

Melt margarine, add onion and sautee until soft. Add spices, salt and pepper to taste, chicken broth, potatoes, corn. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Add cream, bring to just under a boil.


2. I have made crepes probably 4 times in the past few months. They have tastes delicious, and use basic ingredients. Besides that, they are slightly time-consuming, but totally worth it!

Crepes
1.5 cups milk
4 eggs (beaten)
1 cup flour
1.5 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
margarine (for the pan)

Beat the eggs in a medium sized bowl. Add milk, mix together. Add in flour, sugar, salt and mix until most of the lumps are out. Place in fridge for an hour. Heat pan, melt a small dollop of margarine. Once hot, add 2 Tbsp of mixture at a time to the pan. Tilt the pan so your crepe is nice and thin. Cook around 30 seconds on the first side, and 15 seconds on the second side.
- I love these with a little margarine rolled in the middle. Also great with cream cheese, or anything else you can think of!

Pray for Kelby

We received some unfortunate news regarding Kelby's knee this past week. A surgeon told us that Kelby needs exploratory surgery on his left knee, as the MRI and X-rays showed a severe lateral torn meniscus. During the surgery, the doctor will decide if it can be fixed, or just cut out the torn pieces. The doctor was not very promising on the odds of being able to fix this kind of injury. The life-long implications are overwhelming, as many of our goals and dreams may need to be rewritten, depending on the outcome of the surgery.

Please pray that Kelby's surgery goes smoothly, and that the knee can be fully fixed. That his pain is minimal. That his recovery time will be short. A long recovery means that much more time off from work. Pray that Kelby is spared from having "old man knees" for the rest of his life.

His surgery is on November 17th.

Thank you!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Crockpot Recipe

I made this for dinner the other night, and it was great coming home to a house that smelled so good. This is similar to Italian sauce, but one that doesn't need stirring all day long :)

Italian CrockPot Stew

1 clove garlic/1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage (we used hot, and chicken sausage)
28 oz can of whole tomatoes
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 tsp basil
red pepper flakes (optional)
salt
pepper
pasta

In a pan, cook sausage. Place into Crockpot. Place garlic and onion in the pan, sautee until soft. Add to Crockpot. Cut up tomatoes, place into Crockpot. Add basil, salt and pepper to taste, along with red pepper flakes. If preparing the night before, save the peppers to add in the morning so they don't become too soft. Add peppers, and 1 cup water. Cook on low for 10-12 hours, or however long you are at work. Serve with pasta, top with parmesan cheese.

Enjoy. We have!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sophie-ism's

I've been wanting to spend time writing down funny or interesting stories about Sophie, before she gets too big. These will be random, but hopefully entertaining.

Sophie loves to be outside. She has started to bark at dogs or people if she can't go and meet them. She is learning how to fix her leash if it is caught underneath her. She has not yet learned to stay away from Skipper while he pees or poops... she has almost gotten dirty more than once! She also does not know to stay away from other dog's poop. She has almost walked on it before. Yuck! Sophie loves to pick things up, and chew them. She will chew anything from leaves to rocks, to trash. If she grabs something with her mouth as we are walking, she will prance as she carries it. If she is jumping down from a wall, she hasn't yet figured out how to land on her feet; she will typically land on her head and back feet. Sophie gives kisses, but also likes to bite ears, noses and fingers. One day, she fell asleep with my finger still in her mouth. When she sleeps, she is so tired, that I can move her legs around and she doesn't wake up. When she is tired, Sophie digs to try and make her bed more comfortable. However, her bed can be on my stomach, legs, or doggie beds.

Skipper nudges Sophie to try and get her to play. When he is tired, he jumps up on the couch. Sophie puts her front paws on the couch, but isn't big enough to join him. Sophie and Skipper will play tug-and-war with different toys. I've watched Skipper go after a toy Sophie is playing with, just because she has it. Sophie plays fetch with any toy. But it is super cute to watch with her little tennis balls. We're still working on the release part of fetch. I tied a rope toy to the leg of the coffee table. Sophie will chew and pull on the toy. It helps to keep her self-entertained. Sophie has a very strong jaw - we can pick up a toy she has in her mouth, and she will continue to hold on to the toy, in the air.

Sophie wants to eat Skipper's food, and Skipper wants to eat Sophie's food. For the first week we had Sophie, I mixed their food together, and they ate out of the same bowl. But then the vet told me that Skipper gained a pound, so that ended that idea. They now each have their own bowl, and they only eat if Kelby or I are watching them. Skipper is eating so much food since Sophie has been here. I wonder if it is because he doesn't want Sophie to get it. We've taken Sophie to different events, in order to expose her to lots of people and situations. My goal is for her to become a therapy dog once she is old enough (she has to be over a year to take the tests). So for now, she is getting lots of socialization. Skipper is never happy when he watches us leave without him.

Sophie is small enough that when Skipper is standing, she can walk underneath him. I made Sophie a small fleece jacket. It is super cute. I'll make more as she keeps growing. Unfortunately, Sophie has stinky farts. I mean, clear the room, or hold your nose stinky. We've tried having her eat slower, and not giving her rawhide bones for now. Hopefully this improves shortly! We are working on commands. Sometimes she does 'sit', unless she is distracted. We have started having her learn 'down' and 'stay.' Also, I don't want her to jump up on people, so we will be working on that.

Pictures will come later!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

Yumminess

I have been wanting Peach Cobbler for a long time. Yesterday, I decided to conduct some internet research to find a recipe that sounded good. Instead of just using one recipe, I combined a few different recipes, in order to meet flavor expectations, semi-healthy, and easy ingredients. Some recipe's called for buttermilk, unsalted butter, or tons of sugar. Here is the end ingredient list I compiled.

Peach Cobbler
1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
4 cups sliced peaches
1 tsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp shortening
1 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c milk
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat over to 400 degrees F.

Combine 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, peaches, lemon juice in a pot. Cook until bubbling, then cook for 1 more minute (to thicken the juice). Pour into ungreased 9 x 9 pan.

In a bowl, place shortening, flour, 3 Tbsp sugar, baking powder, salt. Mix with a fork until everything is blended and there are tiny balls of dough. Add in milk and vanilla. Mix until the batter is even, but don't over mix (it will become too dense). Drop onto peach mixture.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until topping is lightly browned. Good with vanilla ice cream, or as is.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Baby Shower Gift

Kelby's younger sister and brother-in-law are expecting their first child in November. I wasn't able to make it to the baby shower, but wanted to give them something personalized. So this is what I came up with. A Taggie Blanket with the baby's name (Aubrey) embroidered on one side. And three home-made balls to play with. I am really pleased with how the balls came out!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Meet our new family member

It started with just Kelby in one house, and Kristin in another.

Kristin added Skipper.





Kristin and Skipper added Kelby.

Kelby, Kristin, and Skipper added.... Sophie!



Sophie is a 4 month old Schnauser, weighing around 2 pounds for now. We are not sure if she is a Miniature or Standard. A friend of a friend bought/rescued her from a pet store. Our friend asked if we wanted a puppy, and how could we say no to this adorable face?



She met parts of what we were wanting in a second dog - non-shedding, female, and someone who Skipper will tolerate. Skipper is doing well so far, he even allowed her in his bed once. Can you just imagine what is going through his mind in this picture "fine, I will let her be here for a minute, but come-on, really? Do I have to?" Other times, she is playing with all his (now to be their) toys, as he sleeps on his blanket on the couch.



I, Kristin, was folding laundry this afternoon. Sophie decided to help, by climbing into a pair of pants. 


She is definitely in the chewing phase. Sophie will put everything and anything in her mouth. We are working on her just chewing appropriate things like toys, and not her leash. Sophie plays hard, and then sleeps soundly. Sometimes she is so tired we can move her and she doesn't wake up. She has learned in just a few days to go up and down the stairs to our place. We are practicing the command "sit" and her name.