We just have to go see The Mutts at the Yacht Club. We just have to.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
We just have to go see The Mutts at the Yacht Club. We just have to.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
And they have the best frosted-pink-sugar cookies in the world. We always go across the street to the bakery run by Joe's daughter, Esperanza, to get these. They sell Esperanza's cookies at Joe's, but they are cheaper at Esperanza's. And boy are they yummy.
But, wait, there something else I want to share with you. I met a woman wearing a skirt that was made up of her husband's old neck ties. We went to see a stage production of To Kill a Mockingbird at the new Wiley theater in Dallas and there she was sitting right next to us in that necktie skirt. Not really in the same league as the Galleon headband designed by Monsieur Gaultier. But, I would categorize both as conversation pieces. Wouldn't you?
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
Well, we are in Dallas for the opening of the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art. You know, he is the guy that designed those cone-bra-bustiers for Madonna. It is an amazing exhibition with hundreds of outfits on display. And the mannequins have animatronic faces that move and blink and twitch and burp. I don't know if they burp, but they might. The moving faces are actually video projections on the faces of the mannequins from tiny video cameras suspended from the ceiling. It was a fun show, but the real reason we always visit DFW is to visit Joe T. Garcia's.
Before I go any further, I want to let you know we were walking on the Katy Trail yesterday when we met what we thought was a very nice rangy Tibetan Terrier named Izzie along with her owner Rhea Ann and friend Darcy. Rhea Ann, herself, thought Izzie was a Tibetan Terrier when she first brought her home. That's what the folks at the animal shelter told her. It turns out that Izzie is actually a Pug! Well....a pug and a Belgian Malinois and two other breeds that look nothing like Tibetan Terriers. You see, Rhea Ann had one of those genetic tests done that told her exactly what breeds Izzie is made up of.
Friday, November 11, 2011
So we took a little trip to the mile high city, Denver, this past weekend. We met a very nice service dog named Jazz, a small labradoodle, and his very cute friend Mylae at The Edge, the restaurant at the Four Seasons hotel. Very nice hotel by the way. We had a two bedroom suite and THREE BATHROOMS. I love to sleep on the cool tile floor in the bathroom.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Now, you probably didn't know that my dad is from the Cereal City, Battle Creek, along with the Kellogg's and the CW Post's.I know this doesn't seem to have anything to do with dogs. But, then, neither does Mushroom Lasagna.
Although we haven't seen Ellen is quite a while, Dad used to be on an advisory group at Hillwood and they once spent a very fine day touring some beautiful DC area gardens together. The last time we saw Ellen was in New Jersey, of all places. Dad, Angus and I and Ellen and her poodles were all out for an early morning promenade in front of our hotel before a dog show. I don't remember much about the conversation, but I do remember Ellen remarked about how fine Angus is. I never forget things like that.
Monday, November 7, 2011
For the mushrooms:
1 ounce (about 1 cup) dried porcini or shiitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup fruity red wine, such as a Côtes du Rhône or Syrah
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Freshly ground pepper
For the béchamel:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallot or onion
2 tablespoons sifted all-purpose flour
2 cups milk (may use low-fat milk)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
For the lasagna:
1/2 pound no-boil lasagna noodles
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 cup)
A few leaves of fresh sage (optional)
1. Place the dried mushrooms in a glass measuring cup and pour 2 cups boiling water over them. Let soak 30 minutes, while you prepare the other ingredients. Place a strainer over a bowl, line it with cheesecloth or paper towels, and drain the mushrooms. Squeeze the mushrooms over the strainer to extract all the flavorful juices. If using shiitakes, cut away and discard the stems. Then rinse the mushrooms, away from the bowl with the soaking liquid, until they are free of sand. Squeeze dry and set aside. Chop coarsely. Measure out 1 1/2 cups of the soaking liquid and set aside.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and add the shallots or onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir together for about 30 seconds, then add the fresh and reconstituted mushrooms and salt to taste. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms begin to soften and to sweat, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and turn the heat to high. Cook, stirring, until the liquid boils down and glazes the mushrooms, 5 to 10 minutes. Add thyme and stir in the mushroom soaking liquid. Bring to a simmer, add salt, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the mushrooms are thoroughly tender and fragrant and the surrounding broth has reduced by a little more than half, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in some freshly ground pepper, taste and adjust salt.
3. Meanwhile, make the béchamel. Heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy saucepan. Add the shallot or onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, until smooth and bubbling, but not browned. It should have the texture of wet sand. Whisk in the milk all at once and bring to a simmer, whisking all the while, until the mixture begins to thicken. Turn the heat to very low and simmer, stirring often with a whisk and scraping the bottom and edges of the pan with a rubber spatula, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the sauce is thick and has lost its raw-flour taste. Season with salt and pepper. Strain while hot into the pan with the mushrooms.
4. Assemble the lasagna. Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Oil or butter a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Spoon a thin layer of béchamel and mushrooms over the bottom of the dish. Top with a layer of noodles. Spread a ladleful of the mushroom/béchamel mixture over the noodles and top with a layer of Parmesan. Continue to repeat the layers (I get three layers in my pan), ending with a layer of the mushroom/béchamel mixture topped with Parmesan. Cover with foil and place in the oven. Bake 30 minutes. Remove the foil, and if you want the edges of the noodles crispy and the top lightly browned, continue to bake uncovered for another 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot or warm.
Advance preparation: The mushrooms can be cooked up to 4 days before the lasagna is assembled and baked. The béchamel can be made a day ahead. Whisk well and reheat gently before straining into the mushrooms and assembling the lasagna. The assembled lasagna can be tightly covered and refrigerated for a day before baking. Leftovers will keep for 3 or 4 days. Reheat in a low oven or in a microwave.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Well, we are usually pretty good with recipes, but Dad kinda messed up this amazing Clementine Bundt Cake from Ms. Bunkycooks. We love clementines and we love cake. How could we go wrong?
Well, the recipe called for a 6-cup mini-Bundt cake pan. Dad saw a 9-inch one at the local TJ Maxx and thought that must be a mini one. Come on Dad! Did you think a regular size Bundt pan is like 18 inches?
clementine and spiced rum bundt cake
Yield: 1 6-cup bundt cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
This perfectly sized 6-cup bundt cake is great for smaller families of parties. The subtle citrus and rum flavors make it perfect for fall and winter gatherings.
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, organic if possible, at room temperature
1 teaspoons finely grated clementine peel
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons spiced rum (I used Captain Morgan)
1 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 teaspoons fresh clementine juice, maybe more until desired cocnsistency
3 teaspoons spiced rum (I used Captain Morgan), maybe more until desired consistency
1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy; beat in the eggs, clementine peel, vanilla and rum. Combine flour and baking powder; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.
2. Pour into a greased and floured 6-cup bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. (* Be sure to check the cake at 40 minutes. The cake does not need to be brown to be done.) Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool.
1. Combine the confectioners' sugar, juice and rum until smooth. (* I had to add a bit more liquid to get the desired consistency.) Drizzle over the cake.
And....guess what arrived in the mail today? A 6-cup mini-Bundt pan from Ms. Bunky. We love you Ms. Bunky and Mr. Beamer too!!
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Salt (we like Sea Salt)
6 TBLSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 Box Pomi Chopped Tomatoes
(If you haven't tried Pomi tomatoes, you must. Pure tomato package in a waxed box, not a noxious can. DELICIOUS!!)
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and fresh basil leaves for serving.
Bring 6 quarts of water to boil in a large pot. Add 3 tablespoons of salt.
Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in another large pot over medium heat until hot. Add the garlic and cook until lightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and remove from the heat.
Drop the pasta nests into the boiling water and cook until just al dente. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
Add the pasta and about 1/4 of the reserved pasta water to the tomatoes and stir and toss over medium heat until the pasta is well coated (add a splash or two of the pasta water if necessary to loosen the sauce). Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and serve immediately, garnish with grated Parmigiano and basil.