Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Sugar (PB's Honey Fritz), b. 2/12/01 d.12/3/13

Sugar's "glamor" shot!
Well, as many of you know from my Facebook posts, I knew the end was near for Sugar as she was declining rapidly by the day.  I had originally made an appointment with Sweet Dreams for Monday but changed it to Thursday and this morning called them again to change it to today. 

She had a very restless evening, tossing and turning, and squealing with pain as she tried to get comfortable, all to no avail.  So I knew it was time.  Her trips to the backyard had become less frequent because it hurt too damn much.  She spent much of her day sleeping.  The cancer had taken its toll and I don't think she could bear anymore.  She also had that look in her eyes - that look of "can't you do something?"  The pain meds were all but useless by this point.  I knew I couldn't bear to watch her in pain any longer.

Sami loves her Sugar!
It seems the others were quite aware something was amiss with Sugar.  One night Lucy slept on the same dog bed with her - all night long.  She has never done that . . . EVER!  It was really sweet and is a memory which I'll cherish.  Then there was last night when I was sitting here at my desk on the computer and I looked around and Sami was cuddling with Sugar, with her arm draped over her as if to hold her in place.  Again, Sami had never done that  . . . EVER!

I do have very sweet pups - always have and they never cease to amaze me!

Back to Sugar - she came to me as a foster first being picked up by the Henry County Humane Society as a stray.  They found her on the side of I-75 rummaging through a garbage can in someone's garage.  They fostered her for a few days, then calling a local Greyhound adoption group for assistance.  That group, who I volunteered for at the time, asked if I would foster her.  I happened to be laid off at the time (funny, I'm laid off now as well) and said I would.  So I met the HCHS volunteer to pick her up. 

We went home and she met my other Greyhound, Remi. They immediately hit it off.  As Forrest Gump would say, they were like "peas and carrots"!  Well, I was in no position to adopt another right then as I was not working as I mentioned.  So, she was adopted to a family south of Atlanta who had a farm. They had all sorts of farm animals including Emus.  But before the Emu story (yes, there is an Emu story), Sugar (she was named Shuggie by HCHS but I renamed her to Sugar) appeared to not like their kids so much.  I think they liked to chase her and she much preferred to do the chasing herself.  So, the family had decided after about a month that having Sugar was not for them.  The day they were to meet me, Sugar escaped the yard and went for the Emus.  I was only told there was an Emu massacre.  From that, I can only surmise that Sugar won and perhaps an Emu or two did not. 

In any event, she appeared unscathed when I did get her back. And once again, we had "peas and carrots".  It was only a day or two later that I called the Greyhound adoption group to let them know I wanted to adopt her.  Whoo hoo - she was then Sugar Peterson!!  That was in September of 2004.  And what a wonderful 9 years we have had.

Sugar coursing in Kentucky - look at that smile!
The Spring of 2005 I began lure coursing with Sugar.  She was an excellent, very fluid runner, who could run 900 yards and come back barely out of breath.  I chalk that up to her being bred and raised in Colorado in the mountains. Living in a high altitude like that definitely made her lungs much stronger - I'm convinced.  She was amazing to watch and it always took my breath away.

It was that June that we went to ASFA's International Invitational.  Sugar ran in the Open class both days.  She didn't place on Saturday but came in first place on Sunday.  I decided to go for the gusto, running her for Best of Breed (where she ran against the winning Field Champion Greyhound and the winning Veteran Greyhound).  And she won!!  Total points earned for that day - a whopping 40!!  To say the least, I was the proudest Greyhound Mom around!  It was that year (2005) that she was the #4 Greyhound in ASFA.  Yes, did I say I was proud?  You betcha I was! 

She was well on her way to achieving her Field Champion title with ASFA!  I can't recall when that happened but it did shortly thereafter, and then the competition was even more intense it seemed but oh so exciting for her and for me! 

Sugar in blue - Sweeney in pink.  This was ASFA's first
Greyhound Specialty in March of 2006.
Her favorite running partner was Sweeney who has preceded her in death.  Oh, to watch the two of them on the field!  It was quite a sight to behold!  She had many running partners, many trials through the years, eventually earning her Field Champion title with ASFA.  We were more than halfway through the points and requirements to achieve the Lure Course of Merit title when I decided to retire her from lure coursing.

She had been running in the backyard one day when she hit a tree.  Although nothing wrong medically could ever be found, she limped on her back left leg from then on.  She was okay with retirement.  She enjoyed it as much as anyone would. 

She was great at Meet and Greets, and was one of my therapy dogs in the beginning although I never had her certified. We visited many nursing homes through the years and even some children hospitals.

In September of 2008, Sugar began to get jaundice (yes, she was yellow).  After a thousand and one tests (and about that much money), it was determined she was in liver failure.  She was on several meds including Zeniqauin, Metronidazole, and Denamarin.  Over time, she did recover.  It was in November that she was pink again although her liver values were not within normal range, they had improved dramatically.  We were on our way to a full recovery.  I couldn't have been more estatic!  The biggest battle during that time was getting her to take her pills and eating!! She did recover though, and we never experienced any liver issues thereafter.

After she came home from the hospital.
However, in October of 2009 I made the stupid mistake of letting the pups outside without muzzles.  I religiously muzzled everyone but this one time, just let them out "for a minute".  Well, a fight commenced and Lucy (one of my other Greyhound girls) and Lena (a Greyhound foster) were ripping Sugar from one side to another.  I broke the fight up, put Sugar in the back of the SUV, crated those remaining, and sped off to the vet.  They were closing in 15 minutes so they wrapped her up good so I could get her to the ER vet.  We arrived there around 7 p.m.  They quickly took her back and evaluated her.  She would require lots of surgery, lots of love, and lots of recovery time.  They began her surgery around midnight, finishing around 4:30 a.m.  She was in ICU for several days after that, finally coming home with tons of stitches and 6 drainage tubes.  She recouped from that experience, still loving all her Greyhound sisters, including Lucy which I thought was quite odd.  She was just like that though, she loved everyone all the time, well everyone except children who chased her and Emus!

The last few years have been uneventful until recently.  This summer I was picking her up at Manyhounds Inn and she couldn't jump into the back of the SUV.  I initially chalked that up to her being elderly.  Then in September she began limping on her right front leg.  I feared what the root cause would be as osteosarcoma is pretty prevalent in Greyhounds.  I didn't take her to the vet until the middle of October.  The x-ray confirmed my fear - my dear Sugar had osteosarcoma. 

We began her on a protocol of Gabapentin, Deramaxx, and Tramadol.  In the beginning, all was well.  the cocktail of drugs were doing what they were suppose to do - keep my Sugar pain free.  But the last week and a half to two weeks, that hasn't been the case.  It seemed the meds were not even touching the pain.  And then, this week, she started holding up that leg, not bearing weight on it at all.  She would hobble to the backyard to do her thing and would immediately hobble back in, plopping herself on the nearest dog bed.  A day in the life of Sugar Peterson was, at best, difficult and I'm certain not something she was enjoying.

Sugar sleeping in a hotel at the Moreland field trials.
She always loved to have a pillow for her head!
As I mentioned earlier, I had originally made an appointment with Sweet Dreams for Monday but changed it to Thursday and then this morning called them again to change it to today.  It was the most difficult thing I've ever had to do but I know it was what I could do for Sugar, to let her go so she could be pain free.  Within minutes, I knew in my heart that Remi had met her at the bridge and they were frolicking and running, pain free, enjoying the afterlife - they are like "peas and carrots" again!  And, yes, I truly believe there is an afterlife for dogs, too!

Short of her aversion to having her nails trimmed, she has been the best Greyhound anyone could ever have wanted and I loved her dearly.  I'm so glad that the "farm family" didn't work out for her because I couldn't imagine how the last 9 years of my life would have transpired without her in it.  I've learned so much from her through the years - we've been through so much together and have pulled through it all but this osteo kicked both our butts.  Neither one of us would beat this one! Pin It

The Most Perfect Biscuit!

Well, this morning I was thinking about what to make for breakfast.  I have become bored with my usual eggs, wheat toast and bacon.  So, I had some buttermilk in the fridge left over from something I made for Thanksgiving so I thought, why not make some buttermilk biscuits?  What else do you use buttermilk for anyway I ask?  So, I decided that is what I would do.  But alas, I didn't have any stick butter.  But I did have some lard in the cupboard from the tortillas I had made a few weeks back.  And well, didn't they always use lard to make biscuits "back in the day"?  What harm could it do I asked?  Lard can't be that much worse for you than butter, right? 

It does have more calories and more fat but considerably less saturated fat which I thought was always the worst for you.  Here are some stats that will interest you:

For the full nutritional breakdown, please visit this link.

So, back to the biscuits.  I did make my usual buttermilk biscuits substituting lard for the butter.  But, oh my, what a delicious beautiful biscuit!  Now I see why lard is used and I can guarantee that the fast food places serving biscuits are using lard as well because butter is much more expensive. And, oh, how delicious these are!

Yields: 18 Servings    posted as 190391
4 cups all-purpose flour (White Lily or cake flour)
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (or lard)
2 cups buttermilk 

Heat oven to 500°. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. With a pastry cutter or two knives, cut butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Pour in buttermilk, and gently mix until just combined. With your hands, gently form the mixture into balls. Place in a round 8-by-2-inch cake pan.

Bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool to the touch, and serve immediately.

Isn't that just beautiful?

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Monday, December 02, 2013

Ranch Flavored Dip

I continue to find and love to make recipes from scratch.  This one is very good and beware - very addictive!  The beauty of the spice mixture is that you can use it for a dip or dressing!  Can't beat that!

 Ranch Flavored Dip    

Yields: 16 Servings

2 tablespoon Parlsey dried
1 teaspoon Garlic powder
1 teaspoon dill dried
1 teaspoon Onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Dried basil
1/2 teaspoon Pepper


Mix together the first six ingredients down to the pepper. Store in an airtight container.

When you are ready to make the dip stir 1 tablespoon of the spice mixture together with ½ cup sour cream. Serve with fresh sliced veggies or whole-wheat pretzels.

Save the remaining dry spice mixture in spice cabinet or pantry for another day.

If you prefer to use the spice mixture to make Ranch dressing, simply whisk together 1/3 cup mayonaisse with 1/4 cup milk (more or less depending on the consistency you want) with 1 Tbsp of the homemade ranch dressing seasoning mix. Season with salt, to taste. Use immediately. You can refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Read more: http://www.5dollardinners.com/homemade-ranch-dressing-mix/#ixzz2mMFwfarP 
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Friday, November 29, 2013

Whiskey Sour

Back to my mantra of making things from scratch, I even do that with my cocktails.  Yep, I make my own simple syrup and sour mix.  It's just better that way, honestly, and is worth the extra few minutes you take to do it.

Here is a simple recipe for a Whiskey Sour.  The sour mix is made by simply combining the lemon juice, sugar and water so you could potentially mix that ahead of time in larger portions, store in your frig, and keep on hand.  If doing that, you would use 4 ounces of mix for this recipe.

 Whiskey Sour   

Yields: 1 Servings
1 1/2 ounce Whiskey
1 ounce Lemon juice
1 ounce Sugar
2 ounce Water
Crushed ice
Maraschino cherry 

Combine the lemon juice, sugar and water to make sour mix. Mix sour mix with whiskey in shaker of crushed ice. Pour into high ball glass, garnishing with cherry. Or strain into martini glass, again garnishing with cherry.
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Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Thanksgiving Feast

I have to say that out of all the meals and holidays throughout the year, Thanksgiving is my most favorite to cook.  I cook it every year and usually it's just me here - no crowd, no family and friends, etc.  No, it's okay because this day was also my most favorite with my family.  I spend the day reminiscing of all those Thanksgivings long ago when Mom was still here and we would all be home cooking or at least helping Mom, watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and then football for my Dad and brother.  I continue the tradition of watching the parade and have to, have to, watch the National Dog Show.  No football here if I can avoid it!! And I use this day also to put up my Christmas tree and decorations so, yes, I have incorporated some traditions of my own.

Back to the Thanksgiving feast, we ALWAYS had lunch later than we wanted.  You see, every year we had to wait on my Dad and brother to return from deer hunting.  It seems that no matter what time Mom would tell them to be home for lunch, they'd always wander in the door 2-3 hours later.  Meanwhile, my sister, Mom, and myself would already be full from munching on everything while we waited and waited.  It was a yearly ritual that we all tolerated!

My Mom included all the usual things for Thanksgiving including the turkey, of course, simply roasted.  No brine, no dry rubs, just salt and pepper and oil on the outside skin.  It was always fabulous.  It would roast in the oven for hours and hours or so it seemed .  She would make the usual sweet potato casserole (burning the marshmallows every year), green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, shoepeg white corn, giblet gravy, and the best ever cornbread dressing you ever tasted. We'd also always have deviled eggs and chicken and dumplings. 

Toward her later years, she made these most delightful yeast rolls that were to die for.  These were the rolls you need "starter" for which she always had on hand.  On our table were all the trimmings as well including the cranberry sauce from the can.  You know the sauce I speak of, that which resembles cranberry flavored jello!  Regardless, my Dad loved it!

So, with all those memories of fabulous dishes, I try to incorporate some with new ones every year.  I have since ditched the green bean casserole (although I love it) and the sweet potato casserole and the canned cranberry sauce.  Instead of corn out of the can, I opt now to make Corn Pudding with fresh corn.  It is so delicious that I look forward to it, the most, every Thanksgiving.  And, funny enough, that's the only time I make it!!

But the thing that I always try to incorporate and let's also say I try to "recreate" is Mom's Cornbread dressing.  She had no recipe that was written anywhere - well, none that we ever found after her death.  Like most Mom's she just mixed a little of this and a little of that and wha la, you'd have this most delicious concoction of cornbread dressing that you had ever eaten.  We'd eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner for days after Thanksgiving.  She'd make pans of it, just so we'd have lots of leftovers. Yes, it was that good.

It's funny - my sister also tries to recreate Mom's dressing.  I've come close a few years but neither recipe actually hit the nail on the head.  So, we continue to try and try.  This year, I am trying again and have found a recipe from Southern Living that is simple yet has the major components needed to duplicate Moms.  I think this one might be THE ONE!  We shall see. It's only 7 a.m. and thus far I've only made the cornbread itself for the dressing while working on the other components of the feast.  It will be later today before the truth is known about the dressing but I will certainly report back my findings!

So, to start the preparations as I mentioned, I've made the cornbread for the dressing. That recipe will follow.  I also have made the Cranberry Relish (see below).  This is so delicious, I could just sit and eat it straight from the bowl.  I'd probably have a sugar coma afterwards but it would be well worth it.  So yummy!!

For the turkey, I'm trying this recipe from McCormick.  I usually use a rub of some sort and thought this one worth a try.

For sides, I'll be making Carmelized Brussel Sprouts (minus the anchovies), Mimi's Cornbread Dressing, Tee's Corn Pudding, Creamy Garlic and Herb Mashed Potatoes, and for dessert, Miniature Pecan Tarts.  These recipes are all below.

Yes, I'll be in the kitchen all morning but I wouldn't have it any other way.  Now to get that turkey ready to go into the oven!! 

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and family!  I'll be sure to post back about the dressing!

 Cranberry Relish    

Yields: 15 Servings
4 cups cranberries
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups sugar
13 ounces orange marmalade
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup walnuts

Mix sugar, cinnamon, and cranberries in a lightly greased pan. Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Mix in remainder of ingredients and serve hot or cold.

 Tee's Corn Pudding    

Yields: 8 Servings

1/4 cup Sugar
3 tablespoon All purpose flour
2 teaspoon Baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
6 large Eggs
2 cups Whipping cream
1/2 cup Butter melted
6 cups Fresh corn kernels (about 12 ears)

Combine first 4 ingredients. Whisk together eggs, whipping cream, and butter. Gradually add sugar mixture, whisking until smooth. Stir in corn. Pour mixture into a lightly greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown and set. Let stand 5 minutes.

(For Southwestern Corn Pudding, stir in one 4.5 ounce can drained and chopped green chilies and 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin.)

 Creamy Garlic and Herb Mashed Potatoes    

Yields: 8 Servings

8 Russet potatoes
8 ounce Rondele Garlic and Herb Spreadable Cheese
2 tablespoon Butter
Milk as required
Salt to taste

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and boil for 20 minutes or until tender.

Drain potatoes and mash. Mix in the cheese, butter, and enough milk to reach desired consistency.

 Minature Pecan Tarts    

Yields: 40 Servings

1 1/2 sticks butter softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour sifted

1 cup sugar
8 teaspoons flour
4 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 cup pecan chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter and sugar. Add flour a little at a time and blend. Form small balls and place in ungreased muffin tins. Press the dough to cover bottom and side of tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or more until pastry is slightly brown around edges.

Next, combine sugar, flour, butter, milk, pecans and vanilla in saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until bubbly and thick. Spoon one teaspoon in each pastry. DO NOT FILL TO TOP. Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Garnish with whipped cream when cool.
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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

From Scratch

As everyone knows, I much prefer to make things from scratch as opposed to using a box, can, or package.  The reason is simple - anything made from scratch tastes so much better and more importantly, it is so much better for you!

With all that being said and with all this time off from work, I've decided to pursue this very idea with a few different items.  First up - making tortillas from scratch!  Whoo hoo!!  Yes, I first made some corn
tortillas using the recipe (which is simply the masa flour and warm water) on the back of the bag of masa harina flour bag and I most definitely was hooked.  They were hands down, the absolute best tortillas I had ever eaten.  And from my own kitchen!!

Obviously rolling them by hand was not ideal (I have since read that adding 1/4 teaspoon baking soda will give them more "lift") and very time consuming but the end result was so much worth it. 

So worth it, that I decided to get a tortilla press.  I opted for the cast iron version.  And with the new press, I was compelled to try the flour tortilla.  I sought the best possible recipe and decided on this one from Pioneer Woman.  (hint - do use lard instead of shortening)

Her tips are dead on so read them and heed her advice.  Mine were so delicious!  I put the remaining tortillas in a zip loc bag in the freezer so I can pull them out, as needed.  My only advice, in addition to Ree's, is to be sure you roll them into ping pong size balls.  Obviously, if you don't, you'll have pretty small tortillas. 

I loved having the tortilla press as it does make it so much easier to flatten the tortillas.  It had been suggested to use plastic sheets between the presses but I found flouring each side of the press seemed to work better.  I would definitely suggest kneading them as in the recipe as that will make a huge difference in their pliability or lack thereof.

Good luck and if you do decide to make these (or the corn version), be sure to post your results in the comments.  I'll be interested to hear how your's turned out and how your family like them!


  • 2-1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 cup Lard Or Vegetable Shortening
  • 2 Tablespoons (additional) Lard Or Vegetable Shortening
  • 1 cup Hot Water

Preparation Instructions

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large wooden bowl. Stir together. Add spoonfuls of lard or shortening (use 1/2 cup PLUS 2 tablespoons), then use a pastry cutter to combine the ingredients. Cut mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. 

Slowly pour in hot water, stirring to bring mixture together. Lightly knead dough 30 to 40 times, or until it becomes a cohesive ball of dough and is less sticky. Cover with a tea towel and allow dough to rest for at least an hour.

Roll into ping pong size balls, place on a tray, cover with a tea towel, and allow to rest for another 20 to 30 minutes.

When you're ready to make the tortillas, heat a dark or cast iron griddle to medium/medium-high heat. One by one, roll out balls of dough until very, very thin. Throw tortillas (one by one) onto the griddle. Cook on each side for 20 to 30 seconds, removing while tortillas are still soft but slightly brown in spots. Remove and stack tortillas, and cover with a towel to keep warm. Serve immediately or allow to cool before storing tortillas in a container. To warm, nuke tortillas in the microwave, or wrap in foil and warm in the oven.

Helpful tips:
* Make sure the water you pour in is very warm.
* Allow the dough to rest, both after kneading and after forming into balls.
* Roll out very thin.
* Get the heat right on your stove: Too hot, and the tortilla will burn in spots. Not hot enough, and the tortilla will begin to crisp before you can get it to brown. I get my stove between medium and medium high heat; that seems to do the trick.
* Use a dark griddle or cast iron skillet to brown the tortillas.
* Cook just long enough to lightly brown the tortilla in spots; don't cook too long or tortillas will crisp. You want them to be soft and pliable when you serve them.
* Finally: Have fun! And enjoy them. They're absolutely scrumptious.

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

OMG, This is Sinful . . .

My cubemate passed on this recipe to me the other day.  Of course, I had to try it and I have to say this is just sinful, orgasmically (is that even a word?) so, and the recipe should never have appeared in my inbox.  But, alas, it did (and I stupidly opened said email) and now I have to suffer the consequences.

One Minute Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Mug
I used a ramekin which worked just as well, providing a much better presentation (as if that was needed)


1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon (pinch) salt
1 egg yolk
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-2 Tablespoons chocolate chips


Microwave butter in a mug (or ramekin) until melted, 30 seconds to 1 minute. With a spoon, mix in sugars, vanilla extract and salt until well-combined. Mix in egg yolk until no traces of the yolk are seen. Mix in flour. Fold in chocolate chips.

Microwave on high for 40 seconds, or a maximum of 50 seconds. Serve warm (maybe even with a dollop of ice cream).

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Apple Spice Pecans

These are very good tossed in a salad or plain from the bowl as a snack!  I plan to next try them in chicken salad!!   Yum yum!!


  • 1 1/2 cups apple juice
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Pour apple juice over pecan halves in a small bowl. Let stand 15 minutes; drain. Stir together sugar, apple pie spice, table salt, and, if desired, ground red pepper in a medium bowl; add pecans, tossing to coat. Spread in a single layer in a lightly greased, aluminum foil-lined 15- x 10-inch pan. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring once. Cool in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes; separate pecans with a fork.
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Saturday, June 08, 2013

Coconut Bread

6 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbs honey

3 cups coconut (unsweetened)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp coconut oil (for oiling the pan)

Preheat your oven to 350°F. 

Beat the eggs with the vanilla and honey with an electric mixer.Place the coconut flakes in food processor or coffee grinder and grind it until it’s flour like (max 1 min or it will become coconut butter). (In case you do not have a food processor or do not want to waste time with the coffee grinder, you can skip this step.)

Mix the coconut flakes with the baking powder and add to the egg mixture.Oil your pan with the coconut oil (if it is nonstick) or use parchment paper (if it’s not nonstick).

Bake your bread on the preheated temperature for 20 minutes, then open the oven door and turn the temperature down to 300°F (close the door again) and bake it for about another 15-20 minutes, until the toothpick comes out clean.

It is bread just in itself, or with homemade jam/marmalade, nut butter spreads, Nutella or whatever you fancy.

I made cranberry relish using some leftover cranberries I had in the freezer along with some Triple Sec and some Muscovado Sugar.  I just combined all those ingredients in a small saucepan, heating until the cranberries burst.

Spooned over a piece of the warmed Coconut Bread and you have heaven!!
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Monday, March 25, 2013

A New Venture

It was bound to happen that my love for using handmade soaps would eventually result in my learning how to made my own soap, which has now developed into my own Etsy store selling those homemade soaps!!

I don't suspect I'll become rich doing this but if I can just make enough to support this soap habit I've developed, that would be just grand.  That's all I ask!!

Check out my Etsy store and see if anything interests you!  Prices are reasonable and the soap is to die for!  Very rich in lather and very subtle in scent!

Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/pages/Soap-Simply-Made/322961154473561.  Join us! Pin It

Friday, January 04, 2013

Lure Coursing

Some of you who've known me for years know my interest and love for lure coursing.  I've been sort of out of the loop and out of competition for a few years, mainly because I've been so busy starting Second Chance Greyhounds AND I didn't really have anybody young to run.  Sami was the last one I took coursing and she ended up with two partial amputations on the same toes on both front feet. So, she has been retired since she was 4!!

Lucy has faired well and made it to obtain her Field Champion title and I could, truly, still run her in Veteran's if I would get her out a bit more and exercise her a bit more!  She does still love to course, even at 8 years old, and yes, they can still compete at that age and beyond, providing they are fit and sound (and Lucy is both).  I've seen 11 year olds out there on the field! 

My second Greyhound, Sugar, actually is the one I began my love affair with coursing back in 2004.  She was such a beautiful, fluid runner who always took your breath away.  She would come in from a 900 yard run and just stand there looking at me as if it were entirely effortless on her part.  Not even breathless.  I credit that to her being raised in the high altitude of Colorado which I am convinced, even to this day, had a great positive effect on her lung capacity
.  Nonetheless, she was a remarkable runner who, unfortunately, had a mishap in the backyard with the cherry tree, which subsequently ended her coursing career several years later.

Here is Sugar loving the lure!

But before that happened she took the BOB (Beast of Breed) trophy on the Sunday of the International Invitational held in 2005.  I was so proud of her.  Oh, the International Invitational or II, for short, is the "Olympics" for lure coursing around the country.  There are typically hundreds (400+) of sighthound entries and close to 25-30 Greyhound entries.  I was very proud of her.  At the end of that year, she was the #4 Greyhound in the country.  Obviously, I was hooked and have been coursing off and on ever since.

Which brings me back to 2012.  In November I took Gwyneth to GANG Park in Calhoun for a practice run which actually certified her to run in a real trial.  She did fabulously.  The first 90-degree turn she pivoted and pulled it off without mishap.  The entire gallery lost their breath, including me!  It was quite spectacular.  Here is a picture of that run.  She was running with a Whippet.

I then entered her in the National Greyhound Specialty where she took 5th place in Open.  There were only 5 entries in that category!!  Ha ha!!  She had a wardrobe malfunction on her 2nd run of the day which caused her score to plummet.  But thankfully, no one was hurt and she didn't trip over her jacket which broke on her!

Then I took her to a local club's field trial and let her do a practice run.  Here are pictures of that (and yes, she is running in her bling):


Then last weekend, she was entered in GANG's Winter Challenge trials.  She ran on Sunday, the 30th, in Open with a field of six Greyhounds.  She came in FIRST!!  Then I let her run for BOB (Best of Breed).  The Field Champion dog had forfeited so she ran against the lone Veteran dog and she won, hands down!  So, her first BOB win to her credit.  She did fabulously, even after loosing her footing during the Breed run on the first turn and tumbling.  She hopped right up and continued on with chasing the bunny!  She was a bit stiff that night so I scratched her from running the next day (better safe than sorry).  We were happy with our weekend's efforts.  Here she is with her ribbon! I couldn't be more proud of my little Gwyneth.

So, the moral to this story is there is always something to do with your Greyhound after they've retired from the track.  Whether it be lure coursing, READing Paws, Agility, Fly Ball, Obedience, Rally, etc.  There is always something to help keep your Greyhound and you active! Pin It