This is Dexter watching us paint yesterday. Look at that face–so innocent, sweet, and cute.
But don’t let all this adorableness fool you, behind that face lies a little monster. Dexter and Steve, my Yorkie, apparently didn’t enjoy our family paint fest as much as we humans did because they quickly became bored and started to pester us for attention.
So I gave Dexter a little reading material to keep him occupied while we painted.
This is the aftermath of his little play session.
Here’s Steve, my Yorkie, perched on the back of the couch so he can watch us paint. Note the innocent look on his face as well.
But check out how his expression changed when I asked him about his involvement in making the mess. Think he’s guilty?
Even the dogs are getting into the holiday spirit. Pictured from the left, Luna the Labrador mix, Marty the Corgi mix, and Steve the Yorkshire Terrier–from big to small and good to bad (Steve is quite a little stinker, but oh-so-cute). There will be plenty of toys and treats for them under the tree tomorrow morning. Keeping Marty from finding the toys has been quite challenging. He kept trying to sneak into my closet to root through the bags.
There’s nothing my daughter loves more than spending time at the barn with her beloved horses. So I thought I’d share some photos of Thanksgiving at the farm. Simple pleasures are the best. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.
The drive to the barn:
View of the pastures:
Greta’s horse, Abbott:
Greta’s horse, Erin:
Greta riding Erin:
Katie, the mule:
Napoleon, the miniature horse:
Greta’s new horse trailer (just delivered this week):
Steve at the barn:
What a wonderful way to spend the day. It’s easy to see why my daughter spends so much time here.
Piggy sporting a turtleneck.
Dexter in a hoodie.
Steve in a baseball jersey.
Mary doesn’t like sweaters.
And neither does our old gal, Luna. Time to wash her bed covers. Yikes!
I worked on my morning glory painting last weekend but wasn’t happy with the results. I was beginning to get frustrated so I set my painting aside and whipped up this apple praline bread instead. The cake is moist and dense and the caramel praline topping is absolutely decadent. I’ve been making this recipe for years. I found the original recipe in Better Homes and Gardens magazine, but made a few changes over the years to suit my taste. Specifically, I increased the amount of apples in the batter and doubled the pecans and caramel sauce on top. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this treat:
1 cup sugar
1 8-oz. container sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped, peeled tart apples (I used Jonna Gold)
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
In a large mixing bowl beat sugar, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla until combined. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; add to the sour cream mixture, beating on low speed until combined. Stir in apples and 1/2 cup of pecans. Turn into a greased 9 x 5 x 3″ pan. Sprinkle remaining cup of pecans on top; press lightly into batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile in a small sauce pan combine the brown sugar and butter. Cook and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 1 minute. Remove bread from pan. Drizzle top with brown sugar mixture.
Here’s a photo of my pal, Dexter, waiting for something yummy to drop off of the counter while I work:
He usually scores several treats this way. Afterwards, he’s more than willing to help me with dish duty.
What a good helper.
Little Stevie, who was named after rock star Steven Tyler, really rocked his Halloween costume this year. He wore his favorite grunge t-shirt, donned some cool shades (called “doggles”), and my daughter spiked his hair with a bit of mousse. He’s one cool little dude.
He won first place (a free week of doggie daycare) in the Halloween contest at Dogtopia. It’s a great place for active young dogs to run and play and socialize and expend their boundless energy.
The puppies’ palette–primary colors by Winsor Newton. I thought it was best to keep things simple–and to take this project outside–but it didn’t take long for these cheery colors to turn into a muddy mess.
Dexter tried to use a paintbrush but decided that paw painting was a better solution.
So he jumped in with all four feet and got down to work.
He’s a regular Vincent Van Go-Doggie, Go-Doggie!
Little Stevie waiting for his turn to paint.
The long hair on his feet created a canine mop brush and a big mess to clean up. Catching him to wipe his feet proved to be a bit challenging. Yorkies try their hardest to be uncooperative; it’s what they do best.
The completed painting. I actually like the end result and plan on framing this painting and hanging it above their dog beds. Family activities are always more fun when you include every member of the family.
Who doesn’t love macaroni and cheese? It’s comfort food at its best. But when you throw in some bite-sized sausages, colorful peas, and heavy cream, it’s not just macaroni and cheese, it’s way, way over the top macaroni and cheese. And it’s my most requested recipe. So here I am at 10:00 pm whipping up a batch for a pot luck I’ll be attending tomorrow. Instead of passing out the recipe in person (folks always ask me for it), this time I’m sharing it with all my friends online. This recipe is just too good to keep to myself.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this dish:
1 lb. elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 of a 14-oz. package of ‘Lil Smokey cocktail sausages, cut into thirds
1/2 cup frozen peas
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
2 cups cream
8 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
In a large saucepan, combine the hot cooked macaroni and butter. Stir to allow the butter to melt completely. Add cream, eggs, 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, Velveeta cheese cubes, sausage, peas, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Spoon into a large, ungreased baking dish. Top with remaining 2 cups of cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbling around the edges and the cheese is lightly browned. Serve with a salad and iced tea. Enjoy.
Here’s a picture of Dexter watching me chop the sausage and praying to the canine God that bits of sausage will fall on the floor (his prayer was answered–several times):
Folks, what we have here is a dog with changeable ears. Sometimes Dexter’s ears are down:
Sometimes they’re upright:
Sometimes, one ear is up and the other is down:
And sometimes his ears are all over the place: