Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

Another year has come to a close and we are at the doorstep of 2015.

For me, 2015 marks 30 consecutive years of owning a Labrador Retriever!  And later this year, I plan to bring home another Lab puppy.  Since Molly died in March, I really miss the craziness of having two dogs in the house. 

First there was Teri.  She was a very loving dog.  I had other dogs in past years, most were mixed breeds and one was a purebred from champion lines.  With Teri, I knew that a Labrador Retriever was the only dog for me. When she was about 5 years old, I got Cash, a yellow Lab from the same breeder that Teri came from, Gladys Rodgers over in central New York.  Cash had a mind of her own and there was never a dull moment with her around.

Next came Molly.  Cash was getting on in age and by this time, I knew my life was not complete without a Labrador Retriever in the house.  And most recently, Morgan came into my life in 2012.

I really feel sorry for people that don't know the joy of owning a Lab.  Yes, they are hyperactive, rambunctious puppies that can test your stamina.  But somewhere about the two year mark, they turn into wonderful, loving members of the household.

Morgan and I look forward to bringing home a new yellow Lab puppy sometime in late summer to early fall this year.  I found a very good breeder in Cobleskill, NY, Four Seasons Labradors, where Lab #5 will come from!  Still tossing around names for the puppy, but that is normal for me!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Kale Chips

Okay, so you think you don't like kale.  Not only is it a highly nutritious food that I include in smoothies and soup recipes, but if I blindfolded you and gave you kale chips to eat, you would swear you were eating seasoned potato chips.

There are dozens of kale chip recipes out there.  I like this one.

4 or 5 handfuls of fresh kale

1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Rinse the kale leaves under water and then dry very well, using paper towels.

Tear them into bite size pieces, eliminating the stems.

In a large bowl, combine the salt, paprika, and garlic powder.  Using your hands, carefully mix the kale into the salt mixture.

Place on a cookie sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil.  Bake in a 350 degree oven.  Check at the 9 to 10 minute point.  They should be crunchy and still green. In my oven, 9 minutes was adequate.  If baked too long, they turn brown and develop a bitter taste.

Remove from oven and cool slightly before eating.

These are not good the second day, so only make enough for one time.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

A kid in a candy shop!

I had heard of a restaurant supply store recently that sells to the public.  Hhhmmm. . . anyone who has ever been in my kitchen knows I am a kitchen junkie and spend a lot of time there.  I enjoy all kinds of cooking, whether it is a simple bacon and egg breakfast, a crock pot delight, stir fry, baking, grilling, using my Weber smoker, and more.

Today I ventured inside to take a look.  Wow!

"May I help you?" the friendly sales lady asked.

Already I was deeply absorbed in looking at all the "toys."  "Oh! I just want to look for now.  My daughter-in-law told me about your store and said I should come in."

"Would you like a basket?" she asked.

"Oh, no, thank you.  Don't think I'll buy that much!"

It was a fun half hour or so and I bought a few small kitchen tools and a large cutting board.  While a lot of their merchandise is geared to the restaurant industry, there are a lot of things for the home kitchen too.

If you live in the Rochester area, it is called Innovative Restaurant Supply and it is in the Regional Market on Jefferson Road.  Check it out!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

A wonderful day

My daughter in law posted on facebook today, "If you value your sanity, do not go to Pittsford Plaza today."

Sometimes it is good to hibernate, away from the crowds, away from the craziness of the world. . . and that is just what I have done today.  I have been reading a good book, The Shop on Blossom Street, by Debbie Macomber, and I wanted to finish it today.  And that is just what I did, with Morgan laying beside me on the couch for most of that time.  Morgan was two years old in July and is shedding much of her wild puppy ways and turning into a very loving companion.

I have always been an avid reader.  But too often in recent years, I have shoved that aside because there is always work that needs to be done and never enough time to do it.  Fortunately, I have learned that sometimes you need to step off the non-stop treadmill of life and do something just for yourself.

Do something nice for yourself today.  It will work wonders for you!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Early winter morning

I took this picture this morning while Morgan was running around the backyard.  She loves running in the snow!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


As I lay awake in my bed this morning before the alarm went off, I knew the snow had arrived.  The room was lighter than normal for this time of morning and I could hear the wind.  The weather forecasts were accurate!  Snow had arrived.

I was surprised that there is only a dusting of snow, for now.  Barely enough to cover the ground.  By Friday, we are forecast to have close to a foot of snow.

Morgan loves the snow.  She loves to run in it.

Chances are good Rochester will have a white Christmas!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

A couple of people asked in e-mail and facebook posts for my new recipe for Chicken Pot Pie this weekend.  This one is a winner!  Here it is.  I found it needed more salt than the recipe calls for.

1 lb chicken breast, cubed
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup celery
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp celery seed
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 9" pie crusts

Preheat oven to 425.

Combine chicken, carrots, peas and celery.  Add water to cover.  Cook over medium heat until meat and vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

In a saucepan, cook onion in butter.  Stir in flour, salt and pepper and celery seed.  Stir in broth and milk.  Simmer until thick.

Remove from heat and set aside.  Using a slotted spoon, place chicken and vegetable mixture in bottom pie crust.  Pour hot mixture over the top.  Place top crust over and seal edges.  Cut 2 or more slits in the top.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until top crust is brown and filling is bubbly.  Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

MMM-mmm good!  Good enough for company.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Citizens Police Academy

My town police department is offering a Citizen's Police Academy in February and March, one night a week.  I'm proud to have been accepted into it.  You have to pass a criminal background check, but I wasn't concerned about that!

Over 8 weeks we will learn the inner workings of the police department, the K9 corps, the criminal justice system and more.

In my area, I have a Rochester, NY address, but the suburbs are organized into towns.

I have always been a strong supporter of the police and those who protect the public - this includes the military and fire fighters.  These people put their life on the line many times for the welfare of the communities and country they serve.  They deserve our respect and support.