Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dr. Jekyll (and Mr. Hyde)

As some of you know, my Greyhound Sami loves to "play bite" me - no one else, but me, it seems (thank God). Well, sometimes the play biting gets downright aggressive to the point that her eye's glaze over and fire spits out of them, all the while she is nipping me to the point of leaving bruises on me. And I'm usually laughing so hard because the look in her eyes is so intense and it's a clear deviation from her normal sweet self! And, of course, me laughing just antagonizes her into biting me harder!

I call it her "Dr Jekyll" episode. She is getting better about it and doesn't do it nearly as often as she did. I adopted her when she was not quite 2 years old (she's about to be 4) so I've always chalked it up to puppy behavior.

I follow Cesar Millan on Twitter and on Facebook. He recently had a suggestion on this topic that I'd like to share with you. He said to diffuse this type of behavior in puppies, try to divert their attention to performing a command ie "sit" or whatever else they might know.

None of mine are prison trained Greyhounds but I have been able to teach them all to "sit" and some to do the "down" command. Sami learned to "sit" last summer, I believe. Anyway, the last time her "Dr. Jekyll" came out, I remembered what Cesar had suggested and I immediately put my closed hand in the air and said "sit" and lo and behold, the little villain did it which then was enough to distract her and end the episode. Yeah, no bruises!!

I've done it several times since and it has worked every time. This may be old news to some of you who are actually "trainers" but to me, it is a wonderful revelation. I imagine this will work for anything your Greyhound might be doing that they shouldn't be doing. It's quite a distraction and if it can get "Dr. Jekyll" out of her trance, I imagine it will work for your Greyhound too!
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Friday, May 20, 2011

The Birthday Dinner

A few weeks back I hosted a special birthday dinner celebration for my good friend, Hank and his wife, Susan.

On the menu - Crab Crostini (appetizer), Lettuce Wedges with Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing, Grilled Lobster Tails, Baked Potatoes with all the fixin's, Steamed Asparagus, and Homemade Vanilla, Chocolate, and Strawberry ice creams.

Much to my surprise and delight, they walked in with a chilled bottle of Dom Perignon which was perfect for our planned feast! We also had Margaritas before dinner and a German white wine with dinner. All wonderfully paired with our lobster!

The recipe for the Crab Crostini follows:

Crab Crostini

Servings: 8 crostini


8 slices French bread, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/2 pound fresh crab meat, or 6 and 1/2-ounces canned meat
3 tablespoons minced green onion
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Ground white pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
1 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated
Fresh chives, for garnish (optional)


1. Preheat the broiler on your oven.
2. On a baking sheet, line the French bread pieces about 1-inch apart.
3. In a large bowl, combine the crab meat, green onions, lemon juice, mayonnaise, garlic, mustard, cayenne pepper, white pepper, and salt. Mix well.
4. Lightly toast the bread slices under the broiler until lightly golden, about 4-5 minutes.
5. Remove the bread from the oven, and flip all the bread slices over to the other side.
6. Top each bread slice with about 1-2 tablespoons of the crab mixture (your desired amount).
7. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of each crostini evenly.
8. Broil the crostinis until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes (depending on your broiler temperature).
9. Garnish with fresh chives and serve immediately.

Other recipes used include the Blue Cheese Dressing recipe I previously posted and blogged about, This is the Trisha Yearwood recipe and it is to die for!!

The lobster were cut in half, generously sprayed with drawn butter then sprinkled with garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, Old Bay Seafood seasoning, fresh cracked black pepper and fresh ground sea salt. Then on the grill they went for approximately 10-12 minutes. Of course, once ready, they were served with drawn butter.

The ice creams were normal ice cream recipes except the strawberry was a Buttermilk Strawberry ice cream recipe. I'll post that one shortly with a picture. It well deserves the spotlight in its own post!

Overall, the dinner was quite a culinary success and I dare say that Hank had a wonderful birthday week!!
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