Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I just have to tell you about the trophies that were created for the Tibetan Terrier Club of America's Cut Down Sweepstakes at the National Specialty Show.  First, you are probably wondering what a cut down sweepstakes is.  Well, you see, in normal competition Tibetan Terriers can only be shown in their unaltered coat.  This means that if they have had a nice bob or are sporting bangs they can't strut their stuff in the show ring.  Leave it to the 2012 National Specialty's innovative chairman, Laurel MacMinn, to come up with a special sweepstakes competition for TTs sporting a new 'do.

And you know what they say, if you build it they will come.  And come they did.  Sporting coiffures of all types.  Some sheared like sheep.  One made into a Chinese Crested.  There was a beehive, a bouffant and several bowl cuts.  A chignon and a comb over in honor Donald Trump.  No buns I'm afraid. No cornrows or dreadlocks.  There were pigtails and rattails, a shag and an updo.  What?  No Dorothy Hamel wedge?

Chicago Folk Artist Anne Leuck Feldhaus created original artwork as the awards for Best Cut Down and Best Cut Down of Opposite.   I have written about Anne before, but let me say it again SHE IS AMAZING!

Working out of her Chicago studio, Anne celebrates life with paint. Her simplified forms, sophisticated compositions and vivid color palettes provide a bold mix of contemporary folk and urban pop art.  As a pet adoption advocate, Feldhaus uses her animal-themed art to encourage support of animal welfare and shelter organizations.

Self-taught in painting, Anne retains her childhood aesthetic, which was surely influenced by many Sunday mornings staring at the stained glass windows in a Catholic church. Her color sense was further developed mixing her own frosting colors while baking cutout cookies with her mother. Many of those colors still make up her palette today.

Anne has exhibited nationally in galleries, at fine art fairs, and on-line. Specializing in custom Dog and Pet Portraits, she is also an illustrator and has licensed her designs for stationery and home decor products. Her work has appeared on expressway billboards (in Kansas & Georgia), neighborhood banners, t-shirts, movies (The Number 23 and The Break Up) and even farm fields (an 11 acre field sculpture).  Press includes features in publications such as The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times, Modern Dog and on programs such as Art Beat Chicago and Animal Planet. Anne’s works hang in private collections in over 30 U.S. States, as well as internationally.

Visit to learn more about Anne and to order a portrait of your best friend.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Trophies for Tibetans (Terriers That Is)

So, my dad was the trophy chairman for the Tibetan Terrier Club of America National Specialty Show this year.   The show was held a few weeks ago in St. Louis.

All the trophies were pretty cool, but I have to mention a few that you just might want to know about.

First of all, these two super cool gals from Iowa City, Alisa and Codi, created these amazing stitched portraits for the puppy and veteran sweepstakes.   We were lucky enough to come across Alisa and Codi last fall at the What a Load of Craft craft fair.  What a Load of Craft is what we would call a hipster craft shindig.  When we came across these rad stitched pet portraits we just knew Alisa and Codi had to help us create some atypical trophies.  And to their credit, Alisa and Codi completed 50 pet portraits without killing our dad.  Although I am sure they fantasized about it.  Dad can be quite the picky PITA (PAIN IN THE ASS) at times.  If you want a stitched portrait of your pup you just need to email or send these gals a photo and they will get to stitching.  The portraits are quite amazing, whimsical and beautiful.

Alisa and Codi have a store in Iowa City called Home Ec Workshop where they do all sorts of crafty things.  Knitting, sewing, silk screening.  They sell great fabrics and supplies...and, on Saturday, they serve up brunch.  My dad went one Saturday and was surrounded by a bunch of women (and maybe one other man) knitting and noshing.  What fun!  For contact info check them out on the web at

And, oh yeah, they also made these cool Tibetan Terrier stuffed toys for the National Specialty Show.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Best Basil Pesto Recipe Ever

We started Genovese Basil from a seed seller/spice trader in Toronto.  That was last March or so and now the tiny seeds have become small shrubs growing in tubs out on the back 40.  So much Basil!  What to do?  Pesto of course!

The Best Basil Pesto Ever

2 tightly packed cups of basil leaves
1 cup tightly packed Italian parsley leaves (lends a beautiful green color and freshness)
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup raw pine nuts (roasting, we feel, overwhelms the natural flavor)
1/4 cup parmesan finely grated (use a microplane)
1/4 cup pecorino finely grated
2/3 cup pure olive oil (extra virgin is less desirable as is dominates)
kosher salt and 4 pepper blend (again, from The Spice Trader in Toronto), to taste

Combine the basil, italian parsley, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in cheese.

We serve mixed with Barilla whole wheat spaghetti.  So good!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Roxie is Expecting....

...beautiful pups this summer!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Max on the Farm

So, I think I told you that Rufus and I recently visited Max  and his new family on their farm in Indiana.   Max had just gotten a very short haircut for the summer.  We thought he looked quite FRESH!

Max has quite the life with Stephen and Stephanie.  They all live together in a beautiful spot with a bunch of animal friends.  Including a clutch of chickens, goats, a pony and a llama!

Turns out that one of the hens was actually a rooster and now they have a bunch of chicks running around too.  Max also shares his new home with three cats and a dog named Mickey.   He seems to love it.  I think I would too.

Monday, June 4, 2012

What We're Eating Now

Lasagna With Spicy Roasted Cauliflower

1 1/2 pounds cauliflower (3/4 of a medium head) (we added 5 cloves of garlic sliced thinly to the roast)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (we used 1/2 and would have liked more)
3 cups marinara sauce, preferably homemade from fresh or canned tomatoes (we just used Muir Glenn Fire-Roasted Tomatoes, the big can)
7 to 8 ounces no-boil lasagna
8 ounces ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons water, vegetable stock or chicken stock
Pinch of cinnamon
4 ounces (1 cup) freshly grated Parmesan

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut away the bottom of the cauliflower stem and trim off the leaves. Cut the cauliflower into slices 1/3 inch thick, letting the florets on the edges fall off. Toss all of it, including the bits that have fallen away, with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on the baking sheet in an even layer. Roast for about 15 minutes, stirring and flipping over the big slices after 8 minutes, until the slices are tender when pierced with a paring knife and the small florets are nicely browned. Remove from the oven, toss with the red pepper flakes and set aside. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees.

2. Blend the ricotta cheese, water or stock, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. Oil a rectangular baking dish and spread a spoonful of tomato sauce over the bottom. Top with a layer of lasagna noodles. Spoon a thin layer of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Top with a layer of cauliflower, then a layer of tomato sauce and a layer of Parmesan. Repeat the layers, ending with a layer of lasagna noodles topped with tomato sauce and Parmesan.

4. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and place in the oven. Bake 40 minutes, until the noodles are tender and the mixture is bubbling. Uncover and, if you wish, bake another 10 minutes, until the top begins to brown. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Yield: 6 servings.

Advance preparation: You can assemble this up to a day ahead and refrigerate, or freeze for a month. The lasagna can be baked several hours ahead and reheated in a medium oven.

Nutritional information per serving: 415 calories; 19 grams fat; 7 grams saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 7 grams monounsaturated fat; 32 milligrams cholesterol; 44 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams dietary fiber; 391 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 21 grams protein.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sweet Max

We were passing through Indy over the Memorial Day weekend so we just had to stop and see Max.

After we got back home, his new parents, Stephen and Stephanie, emailed this pic.  You see Max had a summer cut just before our visit and they wanted us to see how gorgeous Max is with all his hair.  We thought he was pretty adorable with his summer cut too.   We hope to stop being so lazy and post some pics of our visit with Max someday soon.