Friday, June 27, 2008

A Day In The Life Of Molly

Our pugs around here love cardboard boxes from Costco. We put pillows in them & they think it's the best bed ever.

Molly chewing on Zoe...

Molly chewing on Oliver...

I don't think Oliver is winning this one...

Molly chewing on a bone...

Seltzer Water

This is my new favorite replacement for soda. No calories, no fat & no sugar. Soda can add so many empty calories to you daily diet. I try to only have soda once maybe twice a week. I found this seltzer at Sweetbay Supermarket. Another flavor I have tried and really like is cranberry lime.

Homemade Oreos

I found this recipe on the Smitten Kitchen cooking blog. I don't have time to make them this week... maybe in the next weeks to come.

Homemade Oreos

Retro Desserts, Wayne Brachman

Makes 25 to 30 sandwich cookies

For the chocolate wafers:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 to 1 ½ cups sugar*
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg

For the filling:
¼ cup (½ stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
¼ cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375 degrees.
2. In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
3. Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
4. To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2-3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.
5. To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream. Dunk generously in a large glass of milk.

* Let’s talk about the sugar for a minute, shall we? This is a sweet cookie. A good, sweet cookie. Yet, if you think of an actual Oreos, the wafers are fairly un-sweet and actually on the slightly salty side, which contrasts with the super-sweetness of the filling bringing harmony, happiness, yada yada. If you want your cookie closer to that original, you can take out a full half-cup of the sugar. I usually do. If you want to make the cookie by itself go ahead and use the full amount.

The Peanut Butter Granola I made a while ago turned out okay. I really like the taste of peanut butter & this granola just seems to have a hint of the taste. Maybe next time I will try adding more peanut butter to the recipe.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Napping With The Dogs

If you're going to nap around our house, prepare to be overwhelmed with pugs. Nina, the black pug, must lay in the crook of my neck with her head on mine when I lay down to take a nap. Winston, the other black pug, is alway laying on my back. And Zoe, fawn pug on the arm rest of the couch, would prefer a pillow to lay on by my head... and the new one, Molly, is still looking for the perfect place to take a nap too. Seems all the good spots are taken.

Here's our boy Oliver again, rolled over onto his back. Believe it or not, he doesn't mind it a bit. Plus it's the only way to really get him clean underneath. The pugs however do not like getting baths as much as he does.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Long Rough Week

Well it's been a long week for me. Michael was out of town for an insurance seminar & I have been working my butt off. Today is my first day off since last Saturday. So today I am trying a new recipe for peanut butter granola. Mmmmm. I got the recipe from the blog "Everybody Likes Sandwiches".

peanut butter granola
2 1/2 c oats
1/2 c wheat germ
1 t vanilla extract
2 T canola oil
3 T natural peanut butter
2 T brown sugar
3 T chopped chocolate (optional)

In a large bowl, mix oats and wheat germ together. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat up oil, peanut butter, vanilla and brown sugar over medium high heat and let it all get melty together. Pour hot mixture over oats and stir well, so that everything is covered. You may have to use your hands if your peanut butter mixture is extra stiff. Add chocolate, if using, and mix well. Spread mixture on a baking sheet or large glass baking pan and toast in a 325 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, checking on it and stirring it occasionally until mixture is dry. When cool, store in a tightly lidded container.

I'll let you know how I like it... one bit of advise I've learned from making granola. Never over toast it! Burnt granola does not taste good. Also keep stirring the granola while it is in the oven, I like to stir every 5-10 minutes. It's time consuming, but that way your granola will evenly toast.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Let's Have A Spelling Bee

Okay people, today I am hosting a spelling bee for anyone who wants to play. The first word is "feather". Would you like the word in a sentence? Okay, birds of a feather flock together. Now spell feather...

Apparently these folks did not do well in their school's spelling bee. This is a form we have people fill out at the animal hospital when they bring their pet in for treatment. Over the years we have seen some funny things written on the forms.

I'll give them the benefit of the doubt with the word "boa". Not many people ever need to spell the word boa. Sad thing is, there were two people who brought this ferret in and neither one of them was able to spell feather boa. Looks like they also had problems with the word "swallowed" and were a little unsure about the word "none".

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Update on Molly

First I must say a big THANK YOU for everyone that has helped out with Molly's medical expenses and for all the prayers that were said for her. I am happy to report that Molly is doing very well. The only problem we are having right now is her incision is very itchy as it heals. I have been giving her some Benadryl and applying Calandula ointment to help with the itching. She is also wearing a soft e-collar on backwards to help cover the incision. Recently I have been having her wear a little sock on her foot. That way if she does itch, so won't cause any damage to her skin. Nothing seems to bother her. Not the e-collar, not the sock, not even a missing leg... nothing. She is a happy energetic dog.

She still does everything any other dog would do. Including getting into trouble. :-)

She's always looking for something fun to get into.

Yesterday I went to Dog Lover's to get more dog food and some goodies for the kids. While I was there I spotted the cutes dog toy ever. A red lobster. I couldn't resist, had to buy it. It originally was intended for the pugs. When the Bulldog gets soft toys, he rips them apart in less than 10 min. Well the pugs didn't care for it too much. So I let Oliver have some fun with it.

And after 10 minutes of playing Oliver tore the poor lobsters leg off. So I had to hid it from him, he gets very obsessed with toys, until I can sew it back together.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bad Combination

Pug + Laptop + Glass of Water = Computer Doesn't Work!

I had a little scare this morning. My pug Winston in an effort to drink out of a glass next to my laptop tipped it over. The laptop screen was black and the computer was not on when I found it. Nor would it turn on. In a panic I shook the laptop upside down, nothing came out. So I propped it up next to a fan and left to do a little shopping. When I returned I cautiously pressed the button to turn it back on & to my surprise it turned back on. I've learned my lesson. Keep drinks away from the laptop.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Things I Want To Try

I found this recipe on the "A Cookie A Day" blog.

Here is the recipe:

Key Lime Coconut Cupcakes:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Key Lime zest and 1/4 cup juice
3/4 cup canned coconut milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup mild honey
2 large eggs
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped


1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons key lime juice
2 tablespoons mild honey, preferably clover
4 to 5 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside. Combine Key lime zest and juice, and coconut milk; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter until fluffy; scraping sides of bowl, as necessary. Add honey; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl after each addition.

Add half of the reserved dry ingredients to the butter mixture; mix on low until just combined. With mixer running on low, slowly add the lime mixture. Add remaining dry ingredients until just combined. Stir in macadamia nuts. Fill paper-lined muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove to wire rack; cool.

Lime Cream Cheese Frosting: In a mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add lime juice and honey; mix well. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until desired spreading consistency. Frost cupcakes and top with coconut.

I spotted this recipe on the Sugar Plum blog:

Peanut Butter-Banana Cupcakes with Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting

1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons creamy natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup finely mashed ripe banana
1/2 cup milk

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup marshmallow cream

1/3 cup milk chocolate chips, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with wrappers.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together peanut butter, butter and brown sugar until creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in vanilla, eggs and banana until well combined, about 1 minute. Beat in flour mixture gradually, alternating with milk, until well combined (Don't forget to scrape down sides of bowl!).

Divide batter evenly into muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees F, for 20-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool for 15 minutes before transferring cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, in a medium sized mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese until creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in butter until well combined. Beat in marshmallow cream until well combined. Spread frosting on cupcakes. Drizzle with melted milk chocolate chips.

I found this idea on The Hyper Homemaker. Frozen banana slices. A perfect idea for all those bananas that go ripe before you have time to eat them. You could use the frozen banana slices for smoothies, banana bread or dog snacks. I know my dogs love bananas & I bet they would love them frozen to.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Afternoon Naps

This is what the pugs do most of the time... sleep.

Is there any room on the couch for the people?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Making Herself At Home

Looks like Molly is fitting in just fine at our house. Even with only three legs she has learned to jump up on the couch and hang out with the rest of the pugs.

She likes to rest her chin on my lap/leg while she's on the couch. Such a sweet little pug.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fun Color Game

I found this game on the How About Orange blog. You go through some steps that determine your color personality. It doesn't take long, and it's fun to see the results. Here are mine...

You can try this game yourself by going to The Voice of Color website.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Happy Pug Update

This was Molly (AKA Dakota) Sunday afternoon after her surgery. Resting comfortably with her pain medication.

And this is Molly today. This is why I am a part of Pug Rescue. Saturday she had no quality of life and today she is running around playing with my other pugs. She is such a joy to have around. I am so happy we were able to save her precious life.

Here the other pugs are checking her out.

Thank you to each and everyone of you who have or are going to donate to Pug Rescue of Florida. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. The pugs and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts. :-)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Saving One Pug at a Time

Warning... graphic photos of dog abuse/neglect to follow in this post. At one time I was very active with Pug Rescue of Florida. Since being a full time nursing student I have not had the time to volunteer with them as I once did. You always hear people who donate their time or money for various causes saying that they feel as if they get more in return than they give. I can honestly say that I have experienced this feeling, a feeling that nothing else will give you. As sad as I am tonight thinking about this particular pug that was surrendered to us tonight. Sad that she has had to endure such inhuman abuse and neglect. A part of me is rejoicing that Pug Rescue is helping give her a second chance to see that life is good, that people can be kind.

The story we were given about this precious pug was that she was hit by a car a week ago crushing her left front leg. She was not given any medical treatment. No pain medication, no antibiotics, NOTHING! How could anyone be so cruel! I completely understand that not everyone can afford emergency medical treatment for their pets. For heavens sake though put your selfish feelings aside and take your pet somewhere and surrender them. They do not need to suffer just because you don't want to give them up. As a result of not getting the medical treatment she needed her leg has begun to rot off her body. Gangrene set in which has started to eat away at her leg. Leaving the bones of her paw visible for everyone to see. As the infection progressed it has spread up to her shoulder.

Graphic photos to follow....

With the help of Pug Rescue of Florida this little angel will live to see better days ahead. Tonight she underwent a leg amputation to save her life. The leg was left untreated to long to be saved at any level. This precious pug is a young female, maybe 1 or 2 years at the most. She will recover from this and live a happier life. Because of the severity of her injuries her surgery was not cheap. Pug Rescue of Florida has graciously stepped up to pay for her medical bills and help her find a new forever loving home.

If you can spare even a $1 or $2 PLEASE visit the web site for Pug Rescue of Florida and donate to help cover her medical bills. Her original name is Dakota, that's what you'll see on the website. I've changed her name to Molly since then. I do not want her name to have any bad memories attached to it. With your donation Pug Rescue of Florida will be able to continue helping other pugs that need their help. Pug Rescue of Florida also known as PROoF, is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible.

I will be fostering this little angel once she is well enough to leave the hospital. Even though she no longer has her rotting leg, she is still at risk for becoming septic and very ill. Please keep her in your prayers as she recovers.