Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Dog Stew - AKA Poop Soup

Is it wrong to use the word poop in the title of a pseudo recipe post? Asking for a friend.

Gus has been going to acupuncture to address the major sway in his hindquarters. Whatever has caused this (we think a disk problem that is not unusual in pugs) has made him favor his front legs and lose a lot of muscle tone in his back legs. Acupuncture has helped him a lot, but it is fucking expensive. Acupuncture is not just the little needles in you - there's a food therapy component. We operate under the premise that food has energy. Depending on what's going on with your dog, certain foods may benefit them. You can read more here or consult an actual pet acupuncturist. I only play one on this blog and am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. There are other facets to acupuncture and chi that I'm not covering here, but it's quite interesting and I urge you to look into it if you have an aging pet or one that seems to have issues that are not being solved in a traditional vet's office.

Anyway, in order to maximize the in office treatments, I've switched the dogs' diet, taking them off dry food entirely. The acupuncturist suggested Fresh Pet Vital Select grain free for food, to be served with dog stew. They also take a multi-vitamin supplement and get scrambled eggs - the protein is great for them. So they basically eat better than we do.

The burning question on your mind (if one can have burning questions about dog recipes) - why is it also called poop soup? A component of the stew is you - your love and good energy that you're cooking into it. And when I'm cooking it, surrounded by three small eager pugs, I sing to them about poop soup. It rhymes and it makes me laugh and they prance around while I'm singing it and it is a big love fest in the kitchen.

Before you think this is all hocus pocus, this acupuncturist is a certified vet. I sought her out after traditional meds from my vet didn't work. Acupuncture has helped my Gussie tremendously. We were at the vet last night and she couldn't get over the improvement. I love our current vet and I think she's tremendously smart and insightful. I also think there are limits to typical western medicine treatments for animals just like I think there are limits to western medicine treatments for humans. My regular vet agrees - she happens to be calling on my acupuncture vet because she's studying it and will be offering it as a service.

Ingredients would vary if you were using this for medicinal purposes. For straight up good for your dog purposes, this will do fine. You're looking for a 1:1 ratio of meat to veggies/fruit. There is no grain in here because my dogs don't need it, but if you are more comfortable with one you could add some oats. I vary the ingredients, but my basic recipe is...

1-2 pounds organic chicken or beef - cut very small
1/2 sweet potato, peeled and diced very fine
1/2 cup green beans, cut small
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, cut very small
1/2 cup organic blueberries (frozen2 okay)
1/4 cup spinach, cut small
1/4 cup parsley, cut very small
1.5 tbs coconut oil
Water to cover

Cook small pieces of meat in a pan or brown and drain if ground. Add veggies/fruit and coconut oil, then water to cover about half. Cook down until liquid reduces and veggies are cooked - about 20 minutes to a half hour.

I give 2-3 tablespoons of this to the dogs per day.
Poop Soup is catchy...
but not really edible. 
Okay, not at all. 
Did I just post a recipe for dog stew? I did. Indeed. I did. 
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Martinis & Bikinis

Monday, November 30, 2015

TWTW - the one with Thanksgiving

Early dismissal on Wednesday made me dance like there were ants in my pants. I came home, made stuffing, roasted my turkey Bruce, hit the Dollar Store for some toiletries for the homeless and glasses for the shore, did my Christmas cards, and was attacked by dogs. 
Thanksgiving was a little different for us this year. We volunteered with my Mom to feed those in need. MFD and Dan ended up taking a bunch of the leftover food down to Kensington to feed people down there. In between our initial volunteering and going back to clean up and take food out for delivery, we stopped by Diane & Mike's for some coffee and I made my favorite sweet potato dish and some pan gravy and we ate.
I went over to see my inlaws after I cleaned up the two bags of rice the wicked dogs got from the pantry and spread all over the main floor, including their bed. We walked in to find Mae napping on a bed of rice. Animals! Other dog things: Snuggly Geege and Mae getting a tick removed. Happy Thanksgiving pugs. 
I headed to the shore, chasing the most beautiful light down 95 towards Center City. At the shore I took the dogs for a long walk, went to see the huge moon over the ocean, read magazines and watched much of season one of 90210. MFD arrived around midnight. A different Thanksgiving but not a bad one!
The Friday morning sunrise was insane. The ocean was roaring. 
It was incredibly nice on Friday. I spent the morning on the porch with the dogs, drinking coffee and giving MFD projects. 
Small projects: I sanded a table from the bathroom that has been painted to within an inch of its life and painted it a little more, then covered it with contact paper. I got the menu/house info thing and chalkboard hung in the kitchen, and my Dad re-hung the stuff by the door which was hung last week and no longer suited me. LOL
Favorite sign and new folding chairs in bright yellow and lavender (I know it looks gray) from my dad & Carol and the Great Boat Debate 2015 happened this weekend. 
We strolled through the downtown district where they were having their Old Fashioned Christmas. There were carolers and some creep in stilts who was everywhere. MFD was in his glory in the thrift shop, buying Christmas decor. He even left early to decorate in peace. 
My Dad, Carol, and I stayed for the rest of the festivities. Ocean City's downtown Christmas was pretty cool. They put Santa on the freaking roof of City Hall and brought him down on a ladder. 
We came home to a house decorated by MFD and played some games of Decor Wars. Well, he and I did. Carol and my Dad just laughed at us.
Saturday sunrise:
After my parents completed their shore chores, I gave them some free time because I am a benevolent boss. We hit the boardwalk for Small Business Saturday. 
We all took an afternoon rest, and then headed to Stone Harbor for their parade since MFD was in it. After we went to Cape May, which was not decked for Christmas like I thought it would be. Congress Hall looked beautiful and had a nice little winter carnival set up on their lawn.
The food at Della's was good as always. They were even playing Dirty Dancing on their TV. They must've known I was coming.
We got home at 10 and were all pooped. Sunday dawned cold and rainy and I was on the road home by 8:30. I did laundry and Christmas'd up the place. It's the same stuff every year, you get the picture. Decorating is exhausting - moving stuff all over and running up and down the stairs eleventy billion times. And outside to the spider house shed. Kill me.
Against my better judgement, I went to the store Sunday. I had to get another valance at Marburn Curtain and I decided to go to Marshalls after. That was the experience straight from hell with a kid tossing a football in the breakables section and taking out three shelves.The shattering glass was deafening. I did get some things I needed and a few Christmas gifts.
Weekly food prep: egg muffins with green onions and mozzarella for breakfast; turkey soup from the carcass for lunch and dinner; roasted multi colored carrots for dinner side; dog stew; and celery/carrots/orange bell pepper and granny smith apples for snacks.

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24 days until Christmas. Gird your loins, my friends. 

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Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for Weekending

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thankful for...

Every night of the year before I go to sleep I do a quick five things I'm grateful for list in my head, on good days and bad days...especially on the bad days. I truly believe it is not happy people who are thankful, but rather thankful people who are happy. In my mind there's no other way to explain how I've gotten through some terrible times without losing my soul to them. What happens to us is what happens to us. How we react to it is our choice. I also believe being grateful for what you have, see, experience, etc. - the big things and the small things - brings even more good into your life. 

For more thoughts on gratitude and attitude, check out this NY Times article on choosing to be grateful my friend Jen Z shared on the facespace.

Some things I'm thankful for...
Kohr Bros mint julep ice cream - my wonderful family, most especially my niece Lola Jean this year - the right to vote - Gus, Geege, and Mae - living on the outskirts and working in the center of Philadelphia - Reading and books and the Show Us Your Books linkup (next one is Tuesday, December 8) - a dream realized: owning a shore house - the ability to recognize that letting shit go lets ME be at peace, it doesn't let other people get away with anything - fall - people who protect my freedoms - food on the table every day - lounge attire and flip flops - my delightful coffee mug collection - my framily from all stages and areas of my life, I would truly be nowhere without my tribe. The best thing about my life is the people in it - fresh flowers and inner peace - Magic Hour - America - the ability to travel and see things I've always wanted to see - Totes clear umbrella - technology for enabling me to talk to my best friends every day without having to actually call them - Thanksgiving at Lori & Jack's in the woods, which I'm missing this year for the first time in many. Back next year! - DD - a clean house and our awesome cleaning lady Linda who is a great person and really nice to our dogs - The Boss - MFD and all the shit he says that makes me laugh, his daily commitment to sobriety, his ability to see the big picture, and his pursuit of making dreams a reality.

Not pictured but thought of off hand:
-the opportunity and ability to help those in need
-people who help others
-marriage equality
-heated seats
-Brother's Pizza
-Amazon Prime, Peapod, Boxed.com, and everywhere else with free shipping that makes my life easier. I get a shit ton delivered because time is money.
-Good knives

I'm thankful for those things and a million other things large (job, health, home) and small (nail polish, sunglasses, clean sheets). I'm especially thankful to those of you who spend a few minutes of your day with me in this space.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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Linking up with Kristin and Joey for Stuff & Things

Stuff, Things, etc.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

November Recommendations

Skimmers, you know the drill. Recommendations are in bold and if it's a different color, you can click on it. Aside from me, this month you get recs from my long time friend Gwen at Confessions of a Gila Monster - today is Gwensday and she did just celebrate her birthday on Monday. Please check her out at her blog and on her other social media channels.

1. Gingerbread Oreos: I’ve seen some strange limited edition Oreos, but I’m addicted to these! Obviously, if you’re not a gingerbread fan, you won’t like them, but otherwise…OMG. 

2. Perfectly Posh products: The daughter of a friend of mine (and Steph’s) sells these pampering products made of natural ingredients and essential oils. I love the Big Fat Yummy hand creams – thick but non-greasy. My favorite scent is Some Like it Hot. I’m obsessed.

3. Carpool Karaoke on The Late Late Show with James Corden: Don’t get me wrong, I do not stay up late enough to watch this show live, but luckily God made YouTube. Warning: don’t start watching these if you have something else you should be doing. I think the best one is with Stevie Wonder, but there are quite a few that are pretty hilarious!

4. Step outside your comfort zone: Get a funky new haircut (see: my asymmetrical cut that I adore). It’s hair; it will grow back, although I do suggest using a stylist you know and trust. Too drastic? How about a fun piece of clothing? This time of year tunics and leggings are staples for me and I recently acquired some patterned leggings. Still too much? How about a nail color that you thought you’d never try? Totally temporary and inexpensive. Give it a try!


1. Daily gratitude 365 days a year. You don't have to post it anywhere or share it with anyone, but at the very least take a few seconds to reflect on what you're grateful for every day of the year, not just this month.

2. Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2x Paint + Primer. The coverage of this stuff is amazing.
3. Rust-Oleum High Performance Comfort Spray Grip Accessory. This is the freaking bomb. At only $7, it saves you from trigger finger and makes large jobs a breeze.
4. Tightvac Coffee Sealed Storage Container. It's $16, holds up to a pound, and has a vacuum seal system that lets coffee beans vent CO2 while keeping oxygen out. Food grade BPA plastic. I bought one for the shore and want one for home too. It comes in a bunch of colors and would be a nice gift for the coffee lover. 

5. African black soap. Heather from My Little HEA kindly sent this to me to try after talking about it in her September Favorites post, and I freaking love it. I've been using it on my face and body. It's amazing. It made me break out at first - it literally drew all the crap out of the skin on my face and chest - but it's been awesome ever since. 

Thanks to Queen Gween for joining me this month. What are you recommending?

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Slowing our fat rolls - It's All Greek to Me Salad

Here we sit, poised on the precipice of a big weekend of shoving our faces. I'm already gleefully thinking of succulent turkey and pie pie pie. I figured a salad recipe might be good for today since we might collectively need to slow our rolls after this weekend. So my Mom is here today with this recipe for her It's All Greek to Me Salad.

It's All Greek to Me Salad
We had this salad at a friend's house and I made a few tweaks and made up the name, because of the Feta cheese. It is a salty/sweet combo.You can add chicken, too, if you choose to make it a main course.

Baby Greens (I get these from Sam's Club)
Pecans (could use walnuts)
Sunflower seeds
Feta Cheese
Balsamic Vinegar
Sea Salt in a grinder - I love this salt. It tastes great & does not bloat me up like a balloon! A miracle.
The base is baby greens- using the entire container pictured would serve 6 good sized side salads.

I then add the craisins, the nuts and seeds, the feta (use the amounts you desire) and then the EVOO and Balsamic and the salt as desired.

I only use a tiny bit (maybe 3-4 shakes) of the Balsamic and I have my EVOO in a dispenser and use 5-6 drops of EVOO.

I am now toasting my nuts and sunflower seeds in a little saute pan with a few drops of EVOO, since it really brings out the flavor of the nuts.

I used to say now I "toss the salad" but Steph told me never to say that again and then told me why- who makes up this stuff? So "mix" the salad  and enjoy!

Please don't make me explain it.
Google carefully.

Thanks to my mom for the recipe - how do you slow your holiday eating roll between Thanksgiving and Christmas?
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Martinis & Bikinis
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