My dog has nuts everywhere, except on him.

The Last WalnutA long time ago, early December 1997, an addition came into our new marriage and new house.  Ralph.  With $10, Mike went deep into the hood to purchase a puppy.  Earlier in the year, Mike’s elderly Big Black Dog, Chester, had passed.  So I was getting a new puppy for Christmas.  It was quite a surprise when Chester’s twin walked in.  Another Big Black Dog….who had “ralphed” in Mike’s immaculate truck on his way home.

For those of you who know Ralph, you would agree, he’s a very loving dog.  He also talks.  It’s quite easy to understand what he is saying to you.  But there’s only a select few of you who truly know Ralph’s best talent.  He can, with precision, crack  a walnut and eat every speck of meat from it.  Never….I mean NEVER….eating a shell.

This morning, my 12 year old senior citizen was in a tizzy.  The nut bowl had plenty of hazelnuts, almonds and brazilnuts.  Where did the walnuts go?  I handed him an almond.  He hesitantly took it.  Later I discovered it on the carpet….uncracked.  Not good enough.

Mornings are nap time for Ralph.  I found him later over on his bed, surrounded by walnut shells.  Under the couch was a lone uncracked walnut.  I handed it to him.  He took it gently.  Ralph’s day was now perfect.  Connecting to Nutso.


Connecting to Thanksgiving….a whirlwind of afternoon cooking

I feel like I’m making headway on this Thanksgiving Cooking Journey.  I must say, as of this evening, I’m having a good time.  Today’s list has everything checked off of it, except the steak part of tonights dinner.  Seems to me that might be a manly dish for Mike to make. 

It was quite a busy kitchen day.  It started with Banana Nut Bread and Cookies.  A couple of yummy fish tacos at Rubios, the purchase of almost what I wanted wine glasses at Home Goods (but they had five of them and that’s the number I needed), a second round of grocery shopping at Raleys, and I was back at home to spark up the kitchen again.

I’m pleased to say, my Pie Dough is in the refrigerator ready to be filled and baked tomorrow morning. 

And at this very moment, the Turkey Stock is simmering on the stove.

Mike isn’t very fond of turkey.  He’ll eat it, but would rather have ham.  So tomorrow night, upon Big D’s arrival, I’m going to serve a ham.  It’s pretty easy, and we can serve it again on Thanksgiving along with the Turkey.  Tonight I’m making Mac and Two Cheeses with Carmelized Shallots .   There’s so much, I think there’ll be enought to make it through Thursday evening.

And now time for a glass of wine.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Thanksgiving Connections…Big D arrives on Wednesday.

Big D arrives on Wednesday afternoon.  Mike has spent the last twenty bazillion Thanksgivings with Dino.  Our lovable Big D is Kevin’s Godfather and Mike’s BFF.  It is a well-known fact that Big D loves sweets….especially minty sweets.  From an early age, Kevin knew to remind me to pick up Oreos every time Big D was coming.  We always try to have thin mints in the cabinet for him. You should see the ice cream supply in the freezer.   What would a weekend be like if we didn’t have sweets when Big D was here?  Connected to our Friends.

This Thanksgiving, I’ve decided to try a new twist to an old cookie.  The only chocolate chip cookies I make are Nestles’ Toll House.  Sorry to all the fancy, dancy recipes out there.  I love the Toll House cookies because I don’t have to go searching for the recipe, and they always turn out great!  Last week, I found that Nestle has Dark Chocolate and Mint Morsels.  The recipe is identical to their traditional Toll House cookies.  The last batch is about to come out of the oven.  They smell delicious.  Connected to Cookies.


Thanksgiving Connections…Banana Nut Bread

A couple of year ago I found a great recipe for Banana Nut Bread on  Although the recipe was good, there was a MUCH better recipe down in the comments section.  My bread is in the oven.  Your turn.  Baking and Connected.

Let me give you a GOOD recipe for banana bread. I’ve been searching for years for the perfect recipe and I think I have found it at a bed and breakfast in Louisville,Ky. BEST EVER BANANA BREAD 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup butter 3 very ripe bananas 2 eggs 1 1/4 cups flour 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda 1 cup crushed walnuts Preheat oven to 350 degrees,Cream sugar and butter. Add bananas and eggs beaten. Sift flour,salt and baking soda 3 times. Blend and add to banana mixture. Pour patter into a 9×5 loaf pan. Bake for 55 min. Cool on rack. If this is not the tastiest and moistest bread you’ve ever eaten, I will eat your peels.

Connecting with my Kid

I just got out of the shower and am standing in my upstairs bathroom in my warm robe.  Through the wall I can hear Kevin singing  Hello, Goodbye  by the Beetles on his Wii.  Wow it brings me back to a time when I was his age, 10.  Pretty Cool.  Connecting with my kid.

He’s a little off key.  But the hey na hey na na hey na are so perfectly timed.    And then comes the WOOO HOOOO  ala Paul Mc Cartney. I can visualize him dancing in there, wiggling around.  WOOO HOOOO.  I am smiling.  Totally Connected.

 Should I go in there and surprise and/or embarrass him?  Or should I just let him be and listen?

I think I’ll Let It Be


My Bouquet of Roses Connecting the Day

Mike went into the backyard today and picked the last of the roses for 2009.  He’s about to prune my beautiful bushes back, only to make them more beautiful for next year.  Connecting

My beautiful bouquet is in a clear, perfectly sized, beer glass on the kitchen island.  It makes me smile.  As I wander around my home, I want the flowers to be with me.  That’s why the beer glass is so perfect!  Connecting

I go upstairs.  I can bring them with me.  Back into my bedroom to put away the laundry and I can glance at my roses.  Wandering downstairs, I stop to pet Sadie on the landing.  I can place the glass of flowers on her perch, enjoying their scent and Sadie’s purr.  Connecting

Back downstairs and back they go on the island.  Football game on the TV.  Warm Fire.  Colorful Roses.  Mike’s cooking Sunday dinner in the kitchen.  Full Circle.