Happy Anniversary Georgia

March 12, 2014

Ten years ago today, March 12, 2004, Georgia and I became a family. While it’s been a little rocky at times and a little exasperating at times and many of those exploits have been chronicled here in this blog, it’s also been filled with joy and beauty and satisfaction.  My life is infinitely better with Georgia. Love you girl!

I dug up a few photos from 2004, which is harder than you think because that was before the smartphone camera was always in my pocket.

1 year old Georgia, 2004

1 year old Georgia, 2004

1 year old Georgia being coy. 2004

1 year old Georgia being coy, 2004

cath_georgia

A Dog and her Girl, 2004

Georgia2014

11 year old Georgia, 2014

I take many more pictures of Georgia these days and most of them end up on my Instagram account. Please follow me there to continue sharing the joy. :-)  http://instagram.com/catherine_delia#


Fettuccine ricche alla emiliana

December 29, 2013

Fettuccine with Cream and Tomato Sauce

My Dad makes this delicious pasta dish some time between Christmas and New Year every year. Over the years my Dad has modified it quite a bit as a concession to the heart, because he wants it to make your heart happy, your stomach happy and in turn that makes for a happy Dad. Also, who uses 5 eggs in pasta anymore or 3 sticks of butter or whole cream? It’s a wonderful holiday tradition and it wouldn’t be a holiday visit without this scrumptious meal.

Fettuccine dish

Finished Fettuccine dish

This is the original recipe with the modifications [noted].

Dough

1 pound sifted flour

5 eggs [2-3 eggs]

1 teaspoon oil

pinch of salt

Or substitute a similar dry egg pasta.

Sauce

1 1/2 cups butter [1/2 cup or 1 stick]

6 ounce peeled tomatoes, drained [if whole, broken up or canned diced tomatoes]

Salt and pepper

2 ounces green peas, boiled [1/2 cup]

2 ounces sweet pepper, roasted, peeled, cut in strips [from a jar work just as well]

1/4 pound prosciutto (fat and lean), chopped

1/2 cup cream [half and half rather than whole cream]

1 cup of grated Parmesan [or combination of asiago, romano, parmesan]

Preparation:

Dough:

Heap 1 pound of sifted flour on a suitable work surface. Whip 2-3 eggs with a few drops of oil and a teaspoon of salt. Pour the mixture into a well, scooped out of the mound of sifted flour. Kneading manually, bring the flour to the center and continue until the dough reaches a fairly consistent texture. [Add small amounts of warm water as the dough gets dry during the kneading process, this makes up for the extra 2 eggs that we left out.] Dampen a white kitchen towel with warm water , wrap the dough in it and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Roll and cut the dough into 1/2 inch wide strips. [This can be done ahead of time. We use a pasta maker which makes this a fairly efficient process.]

pasta maker

The pasta maker at work

Pasta drying

Pasta drying

Sauce:

Melt half the butter in a pan, add the tomatoes seasoned with a little salt and pepper, and simmer for 8 minutes. Add the peas, the sweet pepper strips, and the ham, and cook together for two minutes; remove from heat and keep warm.

Putting it all together

Cook the pasta in lightly salted boiling water, drain when al dente and transfer to a warmed serving dish. Then, in layers, pour over the cream, half the Parmesan, the remaining butter in softened lumps, and, finally, the tomato sauce. Allow to stand a few moments, mix, and serve on warmed plates; pass the remaining Parmesan at the table.

Layer cheese, butter, sauce on fettuccine

Layer cheese, butter, sauce on fettuccine

Serves 6-8

Copyright © 1972, Luigi Carnacina Presents: Italian Home Cooking

Georgia waiting and watching underfoot

Georgia waiting and watching underfoot


Take me with you!

October 19, 2013

I’m sure my attempt to leave the house yesterday would have been fit for a sitcom, if it was about a spunky dog and her girl. Sometimes Georgia lulls me into complacency, she watches me leave for 10 days straight and on day 11, springs into action and sneaks through the door before I can get it closed. So she escaped into the garage, where she kept running around the car and away from me. I opened the car door to corral her and she hopped in very nicely, in the hopes of an adventure. All car adventures usually lead to the park. I went to fetch the leash so I could get her out of the car, but she jumped from the back deck area into the back seat. So, then I open the door to the back seat and she jumps back into the back deck of the car. We did this dance about 3 or 4 times. I went away for a few minutes and left all the doors open. This did not convince her to hop out. I came back determined and finally caught her in the back seat and pulled her out of the car. I nearly had to lift 55 lbs of wriggly dog out of the car, that certainly wouldn’t have been good for my back.

20131019-114358.jpg

The moral of the story: your dog loves you and wants to be with you all the time.


The Overloaded Burger

May 19, 2013

In the last few weeks I’ve read a multitude of blogs and articles and posts and heard comments about being busy or overloaded or allowing things to distract us from our every day life. Where people complain about overload or offer tips to combat it or say it’s all about how you choose to set up your life. On the other hand there often is a reason for that busyness or overload and you might not have a lot of control.  Sometimes you read that stuff and you’re like, “yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever, same old story, I know”.  But then some every day thing happens to you and suddenly, BINGO, it brings that point home for you personally. Because unless you can really see it in yourself, it doesn’t make much sense to you.

That happened to me the other day.

I went to Five Guys Burgers and Fries for lunch. If you order a burger with everything you get like 10 things on it and it is really good. But all that stuff doesn’t really fit inside the bun, so it falls out and it’s messy and if that’s what you want it’s great. Here is where I saw all those things I read come home to me. I could have an everything burger where things fall out and get really messy or I could choose just a few toppings and still have a really great burger, but it wouldn’t be so messy and I’d be able to handle it. I know there are times when I will have to eat that everything burger, but there will be other times when I can choose to not put so much on so that I can handle it better. I’ll be able to know that if I do have everything on my burger, I’ll be able to pick up the pieces individually at the end.

Now I’m hungry.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

Flickr Photo by Kingstonist.com


I Love You Mom!

May 12, 2013

It doesn’t get said every day, but it is felt always. I Love You Mom! Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Happy Mother’s Day!


Delinquent blogger confession

March 27, 2013

Yes, I know I’ve been a delinquent blogger. As an interim entertainment option for my family: Someone’s always watching to see what will happen. Stay tuned.

Georgia

Georgia is watching you!


Chili con Carne

September 19, 2012

This slow cooker Chili con Carne* recipe has been popular, so time to post it. I’ve made a number of modifications and it’s a little different every time I make it. I usually cut things in half because I have a smaller slow cooker. [I'll add my own comments along the way.]

Chili con Carne

Chili con Carne

Works in slow cookers from 3 1/2 to 6 quarts

Ingredients

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

2 lbs trimmed stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes [Or 1 lb for a smaller recipe]

2 onions, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp dried oregano leaves, crumbled [Substitute basil if you don't like oregano]

1  cinnamon stick [First time I made this I didn't have cinnamon sticks so I used nutmeg]

1 tsp cracked black peppercorns

2 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted [I don't usually have cumin seeds, so I add powdered cumin]

1 cup beef stock

1 cup lager or pilsner beer [Just use the whole bottle]

2 cans red kidney beans, rinsed, drained [1 can works for my smaller recipe]

1 tbsp ancho chili powder or 1/2 tsp cayenne dissolved in 2 tbsp lime juice [I use juice of a whole lime]

1 jalapeno pepper or chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced [I'm not a fan of really spicy, so I may just leave these out]

2 poblano or Anaheim chiles or green bell peppers, diced [I like Hungarian or Red peppers, not Green]

Garnishes [I rarely have these around]

Finely chopped cilantro

Sour Cream

Chopped red onion

Roasted red pepper strips

Preparation

1. In a resealable plastic bag, combine flour and salt. Add beef and toss until evenly coated, discarding excess flour mixture. In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add beef, in batches, and cook, stirring, adding more oil as necessary, until browned, about 4 minutes per batch. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.

2. Reduce heat to medium. Add onions to pan and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, cinnamon stick, peppercorns and toasted cumin and cook stirring, for 1 minute. Add stock and bring to a boil. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Add beer and beans and stir well.

3. Cover and cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours or on  High for 4 to 5 hours, until beef is tender. Add chili powder solution, jalapeno pepper and poblano peppers and stir well. Cover and cook on High for 20-30 minutes, until fresh peppers are tender. Discard cinnamon stick. Serve with garnishes of your choice.

* From “The Healthy Slow Cooker” by Judith Finlayson © 2006 Judith Finlayson


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