Spike William is our new kitten and he was born January 30th, 2013.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

For Sher

Last April when Sher's cousins came for dinner she made some stuffed shells with lamb, feta and spinach. I thought that they sounded delicious and planned on making them. Well, time passed and I hadn't made them yet so today I made them in memory of Sher. I brought home the groceries and while I was unloading them, Willow apparently wanted to make sure that she was involved in WCB this weekend. She jumped up on the table and dashed into the grocery bag. I know that she likes bags but she has never jumped on the kitchen table to get in one before! Plus, it's Weekend Cat Blogging so I should have a cat picture posted. Thank you, Willow! Anyway, the shells really were delicious! Per Sher's comment on that post, I did add some golden raisins and she was right - they added a sweetness that was "great with the richness of the lamb and the tangy feta cheese." Thank you, Sher, for another wonderful recipe!

Pasta Shells Stuffed With Lamb, Feta Cheese, And Spinach

(Williams-Sonoma Complete Pasta Book)

1-1/4 pound ground lamb
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
8 ounces spinach stemmed and coarsely chopped (or use defrosted chopped spinach squeezed dry)
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
3-1/2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
18 jumbo pasta shells
3 Tablespoons roasted pine nuts

Cook the lamb in a skillet over medium heat, breaking it up until it's no longer pink. Drain off excess fat and add garlic and spinach and cook until spinach is wilted--about 2 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Then add the lemon zest and feta cheese and toss to mix. Add salt and pepper if necessary.

Cook the shells according to package direction in well salted water until almost al dente. Drain carefully and run cold water over them.Fill each pasta shell with the filling and place in a baking pan. You can keep it in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap, until you're reading to bake it. When ready to bake, top with half of the spiced red sauce and the pine nuts. Bake until heated through, but not browned. Serve on individual plates and top with more sauce.

Spiced Red Sauce

1 cup canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients and bring to a boil. stir and set aside until ready to use it on the shells.

For all the other cat activities this weekend, be sure to check out:

The Friday Ark at The Modulator


Weekend Cat Blogging is being hosted by Kashim & Othello

at Momma Astrid's Food Blog


Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos is at Pet's Garden Blog

Carnival of the Cats is being hosted by Amar and Luna at Catsynth

Saturday, July 26, 2008

PhotoHunt Theme: Hanging

The theme this week is "hanging" and this morning we went to the Thies Farm Samplefest. I knew that there would be lots of people hanging around as this is a popular event. They had samples of roasted corn, watermelon, cantelope, berries, cucumber salad, muffins, salsas and more than I can think of right now! I'll have to post some of the samples and the farm stand produce tomorrow! But on to hanging... The first area that we came to had "hanging baskets" for sale - all different prices. In the tent, where they had all of their samples displayed,
I found two Mexican hats decorated with peppers hanging in the corner.
The ceiling of the farm stand is full of hanging baskets
and festive hanging flags - there is also an American Flag hanging in the back .
They even had peppers hanging from the awning of the farm stand. These bees were all hanging around making honey. My mother-in-law considered buying this beautiful hanging basket. As we left, you can see there were even more people
who wanted to be hanging around sampling farm fresh produce.
When we got back home,
I found Willow was just hanging around waiting for lunch!

As always, you can find more Photohunters here!
And here

Monday, July 21, 2008

Farewell, my Friend, for now...

It was with great sadness that I found out that Sher of What Did You Eat? passed away suddenly this morning.

Her blog was one of the very first food blogs I started reading a few years ago. She always had wonderful recipes, beautiful pictures and stories. Of course, I always looked forward to seeing what her dear cat Upsie was doing in each edition of Weekend Cat Blogging, which they hosted many times. Also, there was sweet Sundance, Pumpkin and the squirrels, and later mischievous Laura, who all graced the posts of her blog. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and all of us who will miss her so much.
'til we meet again...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Easy Like Sunday Morning

It's terribly humid out already this morning and expected to get up to about 95 degrees. Both cats generally go out in the screened-in porch after breakfast until the air conditioner turns on and we shut the porch door. While inside China Cat has been using my rocking chair in the living room as her favorite morning nap spot for the past week.
Willow usually naps under the dining room table every morning but this morning I found her on the foot stool by China Cat.
It occurred to me that I probably had another picture of the two of them in that same spot.
When Willow was little she used to sleep in the chair with China Cat,
but I was surprised to find this picture of them in almost the same positions!

This was taken in August of 2004 when Willow was about 6 months old.
Since then China Cat's belly fur grew back and Willow just grew!
And here is how they used to fit in the chair together. For all the other cat activities this weekend, check out the following:
The 200th Friday Ark has boarded at The Modulator
Weekend Cat Blogging is being hosted by Amar and Luna over at Catsynth
and July 19th was the 2nd Anniversary of Catsynth!
Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos is being hosted by
Samantha & Mr. Tigger at Life From A Cat's Perspective
They have an optional theme of Christmas in July!
Carnival of the Cats is being hosted by
Rocky, Fracas and all the rest at Artsy Catsy

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Pork Chops with Country Gravy

adapted from Cooking Light
When I want to try something different than the meals we usually eat I like to look at Cooking Light magazines or their website, cookinglight.com. I had been planning on cooking chicken but when I found this recipe I knew that the chicken would have to wait. The recipe sounded very easy to make and we both love pork chops and best of all, gravy! I love gravy! We already had some green beans that we bought from a roadside stand on our way back from visiting our favorite winery, Sugar Creek. So when I went to the store to get the pork chops I also picked up some new potatoes. I boiled the potatoes until they were soft and placed them in a serving dish. Then I tossed the green beans into the water for a few minutes to soften them a little bit. It was quite a tasty meal. And, yes, I put the gravy on the pork chops, potatoes and the green beans!

adapted from Cooking Light

1/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about 3/4 inch thick)
1 tablespoon butter
Cooking spray
1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour, salt, marjoram, thyme and sage in a shallow dish. Dredge pork in flour mixture, turning to coat; shake off excess. Reserve remaining flour mixture.

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add pork to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Reduce heat, and cook for 10 minutes or until done, turning pork once. Remove pork from pan; keep warm.

Combine reserved flour mixture and milk in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until blended. Add milk mixture to pan; place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Serve with chops.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chop and 1/2 cup gravy)

CALORIES 252 (34% from fat; FAT 9.6g (sat 4.4g,mono3.6g,poly0.8g); IRON 1.5 mg; CHOLESTEROL 83mg; CALCIUM 142mg; CARBOHYDRATE10.6g; SODIUM 584mg; PROTEIN 28g; FIBER 0.3g

Cooking Light, June 2006

PhotoHunt Theme: What IS that??

The theme this week is "What IS that??"
I went to the Butterfly House a while ago
and before you got to the butt
erfly area
there were all kinds of bugs.
I'm sure I did think, "Ewwww, what IS that??"

This is the description of that bug.
Future generations may wonder what is in the green case,
and ask "What IS it??"
Willow thought the green case looked interesting...

And here is what Willow found inside that case...
lots of 45's - yes, I had some great taste in music back then!

Or how about some LP records...
As always, you can find more Photohunters here!
And here

Saturday, July 12, 2008

PhotoHunt Theme: Support

The theme this week is "support" and I always love the way
that the morning glories use anything for support to climb and spread out.
My parents have another cat by the name of Cosmo that lives by them,
the brother of Orion who was pictured here for PhotoHunt: Water,
and his support is the fence that goes between the yards.

I had lots of pictures for support
but we went out to our favorite winery today,
Sugar Creek Winery, and there were all of those grape vines
being supported by all sorts of wood and plastic
... ...So I thought that they would fit in perfectly
for the theme of support today!

As always, you can find more Photohunters here!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

PhotoHunt Theme: Pointed

The theme this week is "pointed"
and I was reading about pointed arches which are somewhat gothic. I l
ooked to see if I had anything like that, and I'm not sure what type of architecture I found, but these are lovely buildings with lots of pointed areas. One of the definitions of "pointed" is as follows: Noun 1. pointed arch - an arch with a pointed apex; characteristic of Gothic architecture. I don't know if my architecture is what they are talking about but I like it and think it might work for the theme of "pointed" this week.
Last month we went to Art&Air, which was a one-of-kind fine arts fair. It was held on the grounds of Eden Theological Seminary. There were over 90 juried artists that participated. Unfortunately, it was extremely hot and humid that weekend, however the park-like setting was wonderful. I would have liked to have stayed and taken more pictures of the buildings
but it was way too hot.
Eden Theological Seminary was established in 1850 in Marthasville, Missouri. According to their history, it was established because a European education was not adequate to prepare pastors for Evangelical churches on the North American frontier. In 1883, the Seminary moved to Wellston, Missouri and then in 1924 they moved to their present location in Webster Groves. I think that the buildings are absolutely beautiful - with lots of pointed areas!
The tents where they were selling the food were pointed on the top.

This is a close-up of the Eden Theological Seminary window... The top of the towers have many pointed areas... ~~~~~
Here is a full view of the main building,
which even has pointed water fountains in front of it!
This is the Holy Redeemer Catholic Parish,
across the street from Eden Theological Seminary,
which also has their steeple pointed upwards.

As always, you can find more Photohunters here!