musical dogs

It’s Wildcard Wednesday! It’s a magical day when anything can show up here. This week, it’s just a video of what my dogs do when I start warming up my voice at home.

It can be a little disheartening, particularly when I have auditions coming up, but Carl is convinced they just want to help.

 

a productive weekend

So I accomplished quite a bit this weekend. Figured out how to sew with Ultrex (a Gore-tex type material), got the guest room ready for a friend (quite a feat, I assure you, as it is also my sewing room), and did a fair amount of cooking. So here it is, in order of increasing good-ness:

salsa: I had a lot of tomatillos and cherry tomatoes from the garden, so I decided to make salsa. I put in about a half-dozen tomatillos, four handfuls of cherry tomatoes, a shallot, two cloves of garlic, a jalapeno, and some lime juice. It is definitely spicy, a little watery (I probably just processed it too long though), but it is okay. I think it will be really good with chicken or fish, so we’ll try that tomorrow night. Mmm.

dog treats: My husband made me breakfast on Saturday, and we had some leftover bacon. I made dog treats with bacon, peanut butter, shredded carrot, honey, and a mixture of oat flour and brown rice flour. I had to make my own oat flour using GF rolled oats (seriously, make sure the oats are GF), which I put in the blender until they turned to powder. The dogs seem to love them. I found the recipe at http://tidymom.net/2011/homemade-dog-treats/. I followed the recipe exactly, and it turned out well.

bread: Sad news – my sourdough starter died. Good news – I got to make beer bread instead. I used this recipe, though I cut out the dill. I used Green beer, partly because we had it around the house and my husband won’t drink it, but also because it is a nice dark beer (even if it doesn’t taste great). It made the bread really delicious. My husband said he liked it even better than the sourdough. Because it isn’t a yeast bread, though, it didn’t rise, and so it was just a really really flat loaf. However, like I said, delicious. If you know the beer is there, you can taste it, but it just tastes good. The texture was really light and the beer makes nice holes in the bread the way yeast does in yeast bread.

and the best thing this weekend:

chocolate chip cookies: I didn’t even try the recipe I have in a book, because my experimentation worked out so well. I adapted an old Toll House recipe that my grandmother had altered years and years ago. I wanted to try millet flour, and I’m glad I did. I think it added a flavor that just tasted substantial, if that makes sense. One thing I have done in the past that I wish I had done here is add some cinnamon. But anyway, here is my GF chocolate chip cookie recipe:

  • 3/4 c millet flour
  • 1/4 c tapioca flour (tapioca starch)
  • 1/2 c white rice flour
  • 4 T potato flour (not potato starch)
  • 2 t xantham gum
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t hot water
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 1 pkg chocolate chips
  • 2 c oatmeal
  • 1 c shortening
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 t cinnamon (optional)

Sift flours with soda and salt (and cinnamon). Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Add hot water and vanilla. Add sifted dry ingredients. Mix well. Add chocolate chips and oatmeal and mix only until blended. Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes (my grandma said 8, I think it’s closer to 10, just keep an eye on them).

So there’s my follow-up from yesterday. Now it’s time for another busy week – week 2 of my new job!

Disjointed matters

I’m sure I will have many posts on disjointed matters, but here is the first in my recent posts.

First, the sweet potato chips were a huge hit with the dogs. I think I may make more tomorrow for them.

Second, I’m rather frustrated with my orchestra right now. I really miss playing in my college orchestra where people practiced and the conductor encouraged players to be better. One derisive comment the conductor made at practice tonight really made me think seriously about not going back. But I can’t leave the orchestra without a bass player…

Third, I’m struggling with sewing ultrex, which is a goretex type material. My stitches are really close together no matter what stitch length I set them at, and the feed dogs push the fabric through faster than the needle, so it puckers. I fiddled with the tension and thought I had it figured out, but no. I’ve ripped out about seven inches of very close stitches, and I have another two to go, so if anyone has any suggestions, please share them. I definitely learned my lesson about practicing on scraps instead of the actual project.

And fourth, I will be starting a new job in two weeks at another firm here in Kansas City. I will be doing e-discovery and data privacy consulting, as far as I understand it, but everyone knows you don’t really know what your job entails until a month into it. I am so grateful for the experience I’ve gained at my current firm, but it is time to go somewhere else, and I am excited about this next chapter in my career.

That’s it for now. Mulling over a few other things that I might post, but we’ll just have to see.

Gluten free dogs

We have two dogs – a maltipoo (Maltese poodle mix), and a cockachon (cocker spaniel, bichon frise mix) – and they are terrifically adorable. Zoe and Wash have been part of our family for over a year now. Wash had all sorts of problems when we first got him. He had parasites and bronchitis and a high susceptibility to fleas. We took care of everything, except that he was really itchy. He scratched so much that he broke skin a few times. It was horrible. We didn’t know what to do, but we decided to change food. They were on Science Diet, and first we tried Avoderm, but they didn’t like it too much, so we settled on Blue Buffalo, which is a high quality, grain free food. His skin got a lot better, but he was still scratching. We had him on an antihistamine, and if he didn’t get it for a day, he would start scratching a lot. We finally decided to cut out all grains, including from treats, thinking that maybe it was more than just going to a higher quality food that had helped him. And it has been great! Wash no longer scratches, and we haven’t given him a pill in over a week. Blue Buffalo makes some grain free treats, and so do some other brands. We also discovered that Wash (but not Zoe) LOVES raw carrots cut into thin slices. Crazy, right? Both of the dogs also love duck jerky. So now everyone in our house is gluten free, except that I keep a loaf of bread and some crackers around. I will need to make GF dog treats now, beyond raw carrots. Liver treats, perhaps?

If you have pets, and if you are feeding them Science Diet, do some research. I think we went to dogfoodadvisor.com.com when we were looking for a new food. We were surprised at what goes into dog food.