Sunday, October 12, 2014

Vegan Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins: Ta-Da! (Skip the trip to DD and just make some of these. . . and "The Puppy Kindergarten Nail-Biter")


I couldn't help myself. I craved the damn doughnuts from "that place". It got so bad we literally almost abandoned all rational thinking and drove there in our PJs last night. That's just crazy. We're old. We could get killed doing something like that at all hours of the night! I woke up this morning and thought about those doughnuts again then threw the gauntlet down on myself at five a.m. (up at the gawdawful hour for what else?--the obvious reason: Puppy Frankenstein demanded it). To hell with it, I'm baking, I thought. So. Happy. I. Did. The Pumpkin Doughnut madness is now tamed and all is right with the world.
 (Yes, I realize this is the second "pumpkin recipe" in a row. I. Love. Pumpkin.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Vegan Spicy Pumpkin Bread with Ground Pepper Topping (Super Moist, Super Easy . . . and Puppy "Frankenstein" Update)

I baked pumpkin bread with one hand tied behind my back and a teething, nipping, "crazy-town" puppy rolling around at my feet. I wouldn't recommend this, but it was how my bread came together. Simple is what I'm about in the kitchen these days. Pumpkin is like my favorite veggie of all time. The ginormous display of pumpkins I nearly ran smack into at the grocery store the other day (as I navigated the aisles in a sleepy haze of hunger and loyal duty to keep the home stocked with food stuffs not related to canines) gave me the inspiration to run home and FOR ONCE bake. This bread turned out to be one of my best yet. (Of course I say that every year I bake pumpkin bread.) Lo the pumpkin bread gods were shining down on me. I love a spicy pumpkin bread--nothing too wimpy or too cake-y. I want to taste fall: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger and new this year: fresh ground pepper on top. We shared a slice this morning over coffee as I was screaming at "Frankenstein" to stop it making breakfast. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Like A Bridge over Water with Trouble

Week two. Today Frankie and I and her sister went to the park. And Frankie saw her very first bridge, and her very first creek. Will the wonders never cease? She was absorbed by this bubbling brook and this wooden structure prohibiting her from cascading head first into that funny looking clear stuff. It was precious. However, last night, anything but "precious" came to mind. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bringing Our Great Pyrenees Puppy Home! (Dear Sleep . . . Please Come Back)

World, meet Francine, aka "Frankie". Frankie, meet world. It's day four and eight hours of sleep later--TOTAL hours, just to be clear. Who needs sleep when you have this little precious soul totally dependent upon you. Oh the love we have poured into this hellion, sweet, sweet baby girl is beyond words. Well, there probably are words, I just haven't the brain cells right now to convey them. We picked Frankie up on Saturday. As you can see, she slept most of the way home. We made formal introductions to the pack, and from the get-go two things were abundantly clear. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Here She Grows! (. . . this is the story of how we keep ourselves sane during August in Missouri)

Two weeks left before the "baby" comes home. We can hardly wait. The anticipation is made even more maddening (though we have no complaints) by the puppy updates we receive from our new girl's human mommy (because canine mommy doesn't have opposable thumbs, she can't send photos). The photo from the top is from this past Friday. The one below is from the week before. We can see every week the weight she's gaining--how big her paws are getting and how much her head has grown. 

Pyrenees puppy-ness is getting me through these miserable days of this summer. While I type, the temperature outside is at a chilly ninety-nine degrees with a heat index of 110! Not real keen on cooking at all here lately, I do have a pot of my homemade marinara filling the air conditioned tomb we're relegated to with yummy Italian aroma. So at least I was able to throw that together, or else we may starve. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

We're Expecting A New Member of The Family Soon So I'll Share Something Happy for A Change (and a reflection: My St. Louis, Missouri Today . . . My Gary, Indiana circa 1970s)

Well, we're preparing for the arrival of our newest member of the family in three weeks. My heart is melting over this. As you all know, Dr. Thyme and I have suffered several losses of our most cherished pets. And with each loss, we felt an emptiness that was difficult to overcome. Very. Difficult. Lots of tears. The last loss, Merlin, was perhaps the tipping point. The point at which we both looked at each other and said, Gee, it'd be great to have a dog for its entire life: from puppyhood to adulthood. Because truth be told, the time we have to share a life with a dog is never long enough.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Vegan Heirloom Tomato Devil's Food Cake with Fluffy White Buttercream Frosting (Yup, it's chocolate and tomatoes . . . and my rollerblading/knitting escapades)

If you think you're a purist with chocolate, like I am, you may very well look askance at the very idea of tomatoes and chocolate and tsk-tsk this recipe away. Well don't. It's rich, decadent, moist, chocolate-y and has a to-die-for crumb. Top it off with a luscious vegan buttercream frosting and you'll be sooo happy your kitchen has become tomato central--you'll keep this cake in your weekly rotation. . . because the world would be a much better place if we all sat down and had a piece of cake at least once a week. Right now, we're on the "daily" piece of cake ration plan.
 Happiness ensues. 

The tomatoes starting rolling in about three weeks ago. And they haven't stopped. Something had to be done. And with tomatoes coming in by the bucketfuls, I've made every iteration of pasta you can imagine. No. Seriously. I have. Basil's the same way--coming in by the bunches! Normally, I would never in a million years complain about eating pasta. Ever. It's in my DNA to love it: Croatian/Italian--we LOVE our pasta. But a woman has her limits.

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