It has been a while again! I am pretty active on Instagram and recently posted this dish from a great cook @halfbakedharvest. I follow her on Instagram and when I saw this dish I knew I had to make it immediately! Its easy to make, is everything you need all in one pot or skillet and is incredibly delicious. I did make a few changes. I used dried sage and thyme on the chicken instead of oregano and paprika, oven roasted tomatoes rather than sun dried and for umami added a generous splash of Worcestershire. I love a one pot or skillet meal and I am a big fan of orzo, all the components spoke to me and it did not disappoint. You can see the original recipe, its hyperlinked above. I will not post her recipe without her permission so please visit her site. You can do as I did and make it your own its very easy to customize and still have excellent results. I am bringing this to Fiesta Friday #306, it’s been a long time since I have participated in the party and figured its about time to get back in the swing of things.
On November 5th my sweet Percy passed away, it was sudden, completely unexpected and has literally torn my heart in half. Percy was the sweetest, most well behaved and amazing boy. I miss him every minute of every day. I would have had Percy for 4 years on February 13th. I have a very difficult time even typing this because my heart is broken. I will post a tribute to my dear Percy soon, but right now I am trying to come to terms with his death. RIP angel boy 06/16/2005 – 11/5/2019
Well so much has been happening I haven’t posted in a while. My new normal has been much harder than I anticipated with regards to Percy and his health issues. The diabetes has ravaged his little body and he is now almost completely blind and very feeble. I can’t leave him unattended for fear he will fall and hurt himself and besides having to give him insulin every day the new challenges to keep him safe have been daunting. Work has also been very busy and I am having to try to arrange my schedule around caring for Percy and when I have to leave for more than an hour I have to hire a pet sitter, it gives me peace of mind knowing he is safe.
I had mentioned in a previous post that my dear friend had passed away suddenly from complications from diabetes. She was one of the founders of our Instagram pug group and had a little pug named Jenna Rose. When Irene passed her husband could not care for Jenna and Irene’s daughter could not take her either, it broke their hearts but for Jenna’s safety she could not have her in her home, you see she has two big German Shepherds that were not fond of Jenna. I was honored that Irene’s family asked me if I would adopt her, Jenna lived with Irene and her husband Pete in Bowler Wisconsin on a big property with lots of acreage and a population of 325 people in the town. Jenna’s adventure began last week when my friends, my pug family, selflessly devised a plan to get Jenna to Brooklyn, NY. It was a labor of love that spanned almost 1400 miles. In a nutshell Irene’s daughter’s (Misty) husband and her daughter loaded Jenna in a truck and drove her to Fairfield Ohio where they met Carrie, Jenna was handed to her and she drove her to Verona Pennsylvania where she met Corrine who took her to New Jersey where she met Mary and she drove Jenna to Brooklyn. Quite an ordeal and a big adventure for this little girl. She is 6 years old and the sweetest little pug you will ever meet. You have to understand how amazing this was, selfless people who gave of their time and all for love. You see we all were close friends of Irene and would do anything for her. We just wish we she were still with us!
Jenna Rose arrived on Saturday evening a country girl now living in the big city. It’s an adjustment for her and for Percy but they are both doing great. Things are starting to fall into place and I am beginning to adjust as well to everything. Jenna loves it here, she loves Percy and Percy is really starting to love her as well.
I have been cooking sporadically but nothing to speak of really. I did make brownies the other day, a recipe from the new cookbook Bravetart by Stella Parks, and they are awesome. I cannot post the recipe without permission, I’m sorry but if you are in the market for an amazing cookbook I highly recommend. I also made a cake and tried my hand at decorating, it’s something I have to work on but the cake turned out great and I think with some practice I could get fairly good at it. The problem with practice is who would eat all that cake, I would be as big as a house.
Percy and Jenna cheek to cheek
chocolate cake with mascarpone buttercream
Once again I have 2 pugs, black and fawn, well apricot really just like Izzy and Nando. More to come….
Well, just when I felt like I was getting back on track the rug kind of got pulled out from under me. It has been a bad few weeks, a very dear friend died suddenly which left me in profound sadness and shock. She is someone I never met personally, we met on Instagram. You are probably saying how can you form a close friendship with someone you have never actually met, well let me tell you it can and did happen. You all know that I am an animal lover and I have a particular slightly obsessive love of pugs. Irene was one of the co founders of our pug group on Instagram and for the last almost 2 years there was not a day that went by that we didn’t chat. We planned events and she was the driving force behind all the charity work that we do, raising money to help pet owners who cannot afford Veterinary care for their pets and sending wheelchairs to pups that are unable to walk. She made a difference and the world was a much better place with her in it. I miss her terribly.
The one two punch came when I noticed Percy was not doing well, he was drinking excessively and his eyes looked infected. Our wonderful doctor made a house call and Percy has infected eyes and a corneal abrasion but he was also diagnosed with Diabetes and ketoacidosis. Diabetes I have had experience with since Nando was diabetic and I treated him for almost 8 years. The ketoacidosis is new to me and it can be deadly if untreated. We are giving him fluids, antibiotics and now he is on insulin.
Torture for Percy!
Sorry to be a Debby downer but things have not been great. Hoping next week will be better and I will start cooking again. Thank you all for sticking with me through good times and bad. Thank you all!
Over baked pumpkin spice bundt cakes with cream cheese glaze made for Thanksgiving meal for Senior Citizens at our local church sponsored by the 88th Precinct Community Affairs division
I realized I haven’t posted anything since November 3, OMG, time has completely slipped away. I have to catch up and reply to comments as well. Several things have gotten in the way of blogging, no excuse really. First of all work has been so busy, I haven’t had time to cook or at least cook anything new. The other problem is that my oven is barely working. I swore after the last time it broke and I had to replace the mother board (for the 3rd time) I had a DNR in place. Only half of the oven heats, the door won’t close all the way and everything I’ve attempted to bake hasn’t really turned out very well. Stovetop works but I have been so incredibly busy I have barely cooked or really cooked anything noteworthy. I had committed to bake for a very special Thanksgiving meal for Senior’s sponsored by our local police dept. The cake was over baked which is why I put the glaze on it hoping it wouldn’t choke a senior. The pies actually turned out pretty well, was so happy about that.
I have a new stove coming in the next few weeks. I chose the Samsung 30″ slide in with convection and 5 burners, also getting a new hood and putting in a new backsplash. I have so much baking to do for the holidays, the stove better get here soon.
Samsung gas stove photo from the internet
So until I have my new stove I’m afraid that posts will be few and far between. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I know you are all getting ready for the holiday season, decorating, planning, cooking. This is my favorite time of year. Say a little prayer my stove gets here soon so I can get cooking again!
See what my oven does, made rolls for Thanksgiving, some cooked some didn’t, but I tried.
Baked a pumpkin pie, had to leave it in longer than I should have, rotating the pie was hard. It cracked so I made some little leaves and pumpkins and covered the crack.
Percy looking freaked out in black and white on Halloween.
Riding in style
Look what my friend made for Percy he has an Etsy shop @custompetpawtraits.etsy.com
The farmers market in my neighborhood is absolutely brimming with a fabulous variety of beautiful fruits and vegetables. I love going there and am always inspired by what I see and feel and smell and taste. The wheels are turning and I am so excited to announce that I will be doing another guest post with Teagan, her latest story is amazing and magickal. She brilliantly involves her readers in the stories, remember the Three Ingredients series?
What you see in the photo are pink gooseberries, sour cherries and plums. This guest post has been cooking for a while and I specifically shopped with that in mind. The fruit is so fresh and delicious and I am really looking forward to sharing the recipes with you, but that has to wait.
In the meantime I am going to share a recipe that I saw on Instagram, Zucchini Fritters with Feta and Dill. The recipe comes from Chef Michael Symon, some of you may have seen him on “The Chew”, Food Network or maybe you have eaten in one of his restaurants, well he is a wonderful chef and these fritters are so easy to make and really delicious.
They were delicious for breakfast with a 5 minute egg and salad. A light and satisfying meal.
I am happy that my tomatoes are growing and it looks like they may just be turning from green to red soon. But in the meantime it’s great that the Farmers market has some beautiful tomatoes and the bounty this summer is phenomenal. I went again this morning and as usual my eyes are bigger than my stomach and I bought a lot, every year I plant basil and almost every year it dies, this year was no different. I was lucky to find a huge bunch of fresh basil and I plan on making some pesto with it.
Perfect summer dinner, fresh salad, simple vinaigrette and Rosé
I will leave you with a photo of Percy, he recently had dental surgery, 6 teeth pulled and he lost 3 or 4 while they were cleaning his teeth. It was a rough day post surgery and the day after, he was pretty sick. Percy can’t tolerate the heat and boy has it been hot out, my poor boy is miserable so we limit our time outside and I walk him very early in the morning between 5:30-6AM when it’s a little cooler out.
Yesterday was Pi Day, to celebrate Pi we cooks and food lovers take just a little liberty and make it all about Pie. Now I just love pies, fruit pies, cream pies, tarts, galettes, savory tarts and pies. They are all good. I love making pastry crust, I always have frozen pie dough in the freezer in case I need it.
I was busy, lots going on with work. I didn’t check my spam folder as I normally do every day until later in the afternoon and when I did I saw an email from Kate at Food52, she wondered if I would be home today between 1-5PM, they wanted to deliver a surprise. Honestly, I was flabbergasted and intrigued. I love surprises and rarely get one. At 5PM on the dot one of the Food 52 staff hand delivered this pie in this amazing pie box (which I have been meaning to order and now I need to get another one or 2), how cool is that? It made me feel really really good, they thanked me for being a long time member, it made me feel so special. Thank you Food52 for making my day!! Oh and I can’t forget to mention the pie was a salted honey pie, with an amazing flaky buttery crust. SO DELICIOUS!! I ate way too much pie!!
Pi Day Surprise
I also want to update everyone on sweet Percy, he is doing really really good. He was a little under the weather yesterday, I think it was the rain and cool temps but today he is doing great. He is very happy in Brooklyn and has adjusted to his new life, made lots of doggie friends and is getting to know his neighborhood.
Rolling in the grass