Monday, October 24, 2011

Backyard Excitement

Last evening I had a bit of excitement in the backyard. I let the Greyhounds out to potty after I arrived home from the Smyrna Jonquil Festival. All were muzzled as is my customary procedure. My four girls plus three foster boys - yes seven Greyhounds!!

Well, in the middle of changing clothes, I (for some reason) decided they had been outside long enough to do their business or maybe I heard something that made me go to the backdoor but nonetheless, I get there and holler for everyone to come in. Remi, Sugar, Foster Lefty and Foster Indy all came running to the back door. I promptly undid muzzles as they each came inside. But where was Lucy, Sami, and Foster Fonzy? I stuck my head out the door only to see Foster Fonzy on the ground doing something - I couldn't tell exactly what - with Lucy and Sami standing over him watching. My first thought was Fonzy had hurt himself running around the backyard.

I ran inside to change into something more appropriate then ran back to the back door and then out to the yard out to where Fonzy was sitting down in the grass. Upon closer examination, I found he had tackled a squirrel. Well, it actually appeared to be lodged onto his muzzle but Fonzy definitely had a death grip on the critter. And, yes, they can grab things through the muzzle if a poop guard is not attached.

My first instinct was to get the other two, who weren't participants at that moment but who sure wanted to be, inside and safe from said squirrel. Now catching them all was quite a task as you can imagine. They wanted to stay RIGHT there with said squirrel. Everyone had their eye on the prize!!

After some maneuvering, I was able to grab Sami first. I drug her unwillingly into the house. Then, I was able to get to Fonzy who was still wrestling with said squirrel. He dropped it when I told him to drop it (after some coaxing) and then I drug him inside while Lucy then commenced to chasing the poor thing who then thought he was free. After getting him in, I went back to get Lucy who then had the squirrel cornered in the flowerbed. I grabbed her and drug her inside.

You could tell everyone's adrenaline had kicked in - everyone wanted a piece of that poor squirrel. I checked the flowerbed when I returned home from work and didn't find him there so I am assuming he ran off. He wasn't maimed but probably was scared half to death.

The sad thing about the entire incident is that the whole time they were chasing said squirrel, there was another up in the tree screaming his head off. It was probably his/her mate who witnessed the entire event. I felt so bad but thank goodness he/she did survive.

Last night when I let everyone out to potty after coming home from work, no one seemed to have remembered the squirrel last seen in the flowerbed. As Martha might say, that's a good thing!
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Sunday, October 02, 2011

Taco Soup

Wow, my sister gave me this recipe that she got from an old neighborhood friend. It is so delicious. Sort of like chili but with a kick to it. Definitely a keeper!! Try it, you're family will love it, too!!

Taco Soup

2 pounds ground beef
2 cups diced onions
2 (15 1/2 oz) cans pinto beans
1 (15 1/2 oz) can kidney beans
1 (15 1/2 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14 1/2 oz) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (14 1/2 oz) can tomatoes with chiles
2 (4 1/2 oz) cans diced green chiles
1 (4.6 oz) can black olives, drained and sliced, optional
1/2 cup green olives, sliced, optional
1 (1 1/4 oz) package taco seasoning mix
1 (1 oz) package ranch salad dressing mix

For serving:
sour cream, for garnish
grated cheese, for garnish
chopped green onions, for garnish
pickled jalapenos, for garnish

Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet; drain and transfer to a large slow cooker or stockpot. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, black olives (if using), green olives (if using), taco seasoning mix, and ranch dressing mix. Cook in the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours or simmer over low heat for about one hour in the stockpot.

To serve, place in a bowl and top with garnishes. Serve with tortilla chips! Pin It

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Shrimp and Grits

As Southerners, we all love Shrimp and Grits, right? Well, if you're a Southerner and you don't I think you should try this recipe as I'm certain it will change your mind. This is a most delicious recipe I found on I tried it for one of my lunches at work. As a charter member of the "Lunch Club", I am responsible for bringing lunch on Mondays and Wednesdays and my cubemate brings it on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It works out really well as we always get something really yummy and two days out of the week we don't have to worry about lunch!!

And this recipe was quite a hit! It is definitely a keeper and will now be my standard Shrimp and Grits recipe!! Try it as I'm sure it will also become your favorite

-Seared Shrimp and Grits Soufflé with Corn, Chives and Peppers

1-1/2 pounds (12 to 15 count) shrimp
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
garlic powder, for seasoning
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more for ramekins
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1-3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
1/4 cup quick-cooking grits
1/4 cup cooked ham, diced
1/3 cup corn
2 tablespoons well-drained and chopped roasted red peppers
2 tablespoons chopped chives
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails attached. Rinse under cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Place the shrimp in a single layer on a baking sheet and season both sides of each shrimp with a little salt, pepper and a sprinkle of garlic powder. Refrigerate uncovered for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter four 4-ounce ramekins and set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds. Add in 1 cup of the cream, some salt, a few grinds of pepper and bring to a boil. Add the grits, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until thick, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat to cool slightly. Stir in the ham, corn, peppers and chives. In a large bowl, combine the remaining 3/4 cup cream, the eggs, nutmeg and Parmesan. Season with a little salt and pepper. Gently fold the grits mixture into the egg mixture until combined and evenly divide among prepared ramekins. Place the ramekins in a roasting pan, place in the oven and pour enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until a toothpick or skewer comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the ramekin and invert onto a serving plate.
  3. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, bring the olive oil to shimmering. Add the shrimp and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the shrimp and cook until shrimp are rosy pink and firm to the touch, about 2 minutes more. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the hot pan, add the shrimp and toss to coat. Remove the pan from the heat and serve immediately.
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