December 16, 2013
by Chars Jargon
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Regroup time

Regroup

I thought I would pop on and touch base as it’s been quite some time since my last post.

With many things going on I’ve had to step back, refocus, regroup and re-energize.  I hope to be back up and at it really soon and thank you so much for your blog inquiries and for checking in.   Please do come back and stay tuned in.

In the meantime over this crazy busy time of year please take time to breathe.  ;)

 

Charlene

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No Yolks Gluten Free dish

November 11, 2013
by Chars Jargon
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Gluten Free (or not) No Yolks dish

This is one of those open the fridge, pull things out and hope for the best.   And if I do say so myself this was seriously tasty!

Although I would’ve like a few more ingredients such as maybe some peas and tomatoes, I figured what I had was a good jump off point.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Onions
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 box baby spinach
  • Veggie Chicken substitute (obviously you can use regular chicken)
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVO) or butter
  • 4 cups No Yolk Noodles

Directions:

  1.  Chop/cube carrots and cook for 10 minutes.

  2.  Remove and put in a large bowl and set asideDiced carrots  3.  In large pot steam spinach.  I used the entire packaged because as you can see once cooked it equals about 2 cups.

Spinach

  4.  In another frying pan saute the onions in the EVO (or butter) and once they begin to soften add the Veggie Chicken.  If oyu are using regular chicken I would start cooking it first and add the onions to saute 15 minutes before you feel the chicken would be done.  Or you can cook them separately but I as a rule like the cooking flavors to mesh.

5.  Add all the spices at the same time as the veggie chicken, cover and cook on med heat.  Be sure to mix up periodically as to prevent sticking.  With using a lid the dish will cook in the minimal butt/oil used as we’ll as it’s own juices.

6.  While thats cooking cook noodles according to package directions.Sauteed onions and veggie chicken  6.  When cooked remove from heat and cut chicken into bite size pieces

  7.  Once all ingredients are cooked place in the bowl with the carrots, mix well and serve.

DinnerEnjoy!

Charlene

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October 28, 2013
by Chars Jargon
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Dog blog….you knew this was inevitable! :)

Ok so you knew this was coming sooner or later…more of the dog blogs :) 

As many of you know I have always loved dogs and been a fan of this breed and prior to having my current 2 Weims Pip and Savannah I had Miss Chelsea.

When I first got Chelsea I took some flack because I wasn’t training her to hunt, I didn’t want to breed her, nor did I want to show her.  To many of those in the purebred Weim world this was as much as sacrilegious.   But that wasn’t important to me; what was important was to give a long healthy life to a buddy; and she had just that.  Bless her wee heart she made it to 15 yrs old and up to the end she would walk up to 7 km a day and not miss a beat.  She was a traveled, brilliant, funny, playful dog for 15 years. OmaAs time went by Pip came to live with Chelsea and I and then after Chelsea passed Savannah joined our fold.  I thought adding to the brood would be good and that Chelsea could teach and have a house/playmate.  Just like any pet Chelsea could never be replaced and had a personality all her own.  She gave me all she could and I loved her dearly, and she spoiled me into thinking all would be as fabulous as her!  I think we make the mistake of assuming that when you know a breed; you know a breed and it’s all good.  All that goes out the window and “knowing “a breed doesn’t mean a thing when you bring in a rescue of that breed or any other.  I highly underestimated and was not prepared for what was coming my way in doing rescue:  Pip gave me a wake up call to that very quickly!  Here I was with this fabulous, placid, stoic, brilliant beautiful old gal and in comes “Pip” a.k.a. Cujo.

It was a whole new world I had embarked on and yet it’s interesting because in keeping in touch with the rescues and foster parent I don’t get that she was problematic at all.  I very quickly became a trigger for Pip and she would try to dominate me and if she felt threatened by Chelsea she would go at her.  When that happened so may people said to me that she was a write off.  A very prominent local dog trainer told me she “couldn’t be fixed” and “needed to be put down”.  Ive heard similar opinions along the way because it took awhile to work with her and she had issues to say the least.  I would never visit the notion of relinquishing her or worse yet putting her down.  When I rescued I was in for the long haul; barring injury to a child or adult, she wasn’t going anywhere.  Before I brought her home I knew in doing so I was a making a commitment and it just turned out to be a challenging one.

Savanahh wasn’t quite as volatile but she had her own stuff going on.  I remember on the way home she snapped at my friend “S” who was in the backseat with her.  And “S” had been bitten years before so needless to say I wound up in the back seat and she drove home; all 14 plus hours.  All the while Im thinking…..”oh Lordy Lordy Lordy….here we go again: but this one is actually snarling and snapping at people”! There were a lot of issues she came with and there are still some residual problems like her fear of storms or even flickering TV’s.  But she has come so far from the chewing Weim with separation anxiety, terrified, spoiled and stubborn to still stubborn (but that Im sure is the Weim thing), afraid of storms, trainable, cuddly and socialized.Bark in the parkThe motley crew of agility ;)

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People are quick to assume Pip and Savannahs problems lie from their deafness and I am here to tell you that’s not true.  On the contrary as you can see they are still just as capable as a hearing dog, learning everything from ringing a bell to go out to running agility courses. Clearly being deaf adds elements and learning curves that you wouldn’t otherwise have with a hearing dog.    But it doesn’t make them fearful to the core, it doesn’t make them vicious, and it certainly doesn’t make them “less”.   These attributes are part of their history and experiences that brought them to rescue.  Lotsa love, patience, training, consistency and commitment to them will help them turn around and see life in a new light.  You can only hope that one day they will be happy, and I now believe they are.

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My hope in my pipe dream world would be for others to have just even a molecule of understanding and acceptance for dogs (much like people) that you believe are different.  Show them the same love and kindness you would with your own whether they are from a breeder or rescue.

I no longer question (nor have I for a very long time) my decision to bring these gals home.  When I see where they have been and where they are now with the bounce in their steps and the wags of the tails…it makes me smile and I like to think they do to.

Pip and SavannahPip and Savannah I would do it all over again in a heart beat!

A big shout out of thanks to all the ladies in rescue that helped me in so many ways along this journey!  (Chris and Jean Michigan Weimaraner Rescue and Liette of Weimaraner Association of Canada )

Charlene

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C C DONE

October 21, 2013
by CharsJargon
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Vegetarian Cabbage Casserole with Quinoa

 “Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all” ~ Harriet Van Horne

Rainy, cool, dark days like this I find myself seeking these creature comfort foods.  But then with my European upbringing any excuse is a good one for cooking.  :)

 Ive done regular cabbage rolls which are pretty much the same as this but as everyone knows it’s quite a tedious undertaking to make them.  And really of course the casserole tastes just as great and is the same thing with a whole lot less fuss and muss.

 You can easily modify this to not be the vegetarian version if you prefer; however I certainly can’t advise how to do a gluten-free option.  As a rule I eat gluten-free as much as possible just simply because I can and I feel so much better.  However I had the ingredients for this in the house and didn’t even think until after the fact I should’ve maybe looked up a gluten-free option on-line.  Note to self to do so.  lol

  None the less I’ve made this dish several times before and love it as I hope you will!  The Quinoa really adds a great taste to it and it’s so much lighter than using rice.  And I love the fact that it freezes really well if there are leftovers and I actually did this recipe as an over sized batch so that I could freeze it.  It was done in a larger oval roaster. (15 pound one) Keep in mind as well when you choose your roasting pan that you need it large enough to accommodate all the cabbage that goes in last.

 The ingredients below are what I prefer but you can certainly mix it up and play with it.  Also I apologize a not all ingredients are in the picture ( I got multi-tasking…imagine that!)  So please refer more to the list than the picture.

C C INGREDIENTS

 So here we go….

 Ingredients

  •  I large head of white cabbage (5 lb)
  • 2 large sweet onions – chopped
  • 2 dozen cap mushrooms
  • 2 packages textured vegetable protein (meatless hamburg)
  • 2 28 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 zucchini sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa (uncooked)
  • 1 box vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • Garlic (to taste)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp crushed caraway seeds
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bag small carrots – (or 4 regular garden carrots)

Prep Directions:

 Cook 1 ½ cups quinoa as directed and when done set aside to cool.

 Also if you are using real hamburger cook it and set aside as well.  The vegetable protein is pre cooked so it does not require further prep for recipe.

 Chop up head of cabbage in 1-2 inch cubes and rinse in colander and set aside.

.Preheat oven to 350 degrees (175 degrees C)

Cooking  Directions:

- In a Dutch oven or the roasting pan heat on medium setting 2 tbsp oil.

- Add sliced onions and cook until golden brown

- Add garlic and cook about 3 minutes

- Add sliced/diced carrots and zucchini until tender (about 15 minutes depending on size of batch you are making).

- Add thyme, caraway, oregano, salt and pepper

- Add mushrooms and continue to cook covered for 10 minutes.

- Add the vegetable protein and stir to mix ingredients up well.

- Pour in 1 can of the diced tomatoes and water and again mix well.  (keep other can as you’ll use it later)C C INGREDIENTS 2Now stir in the quinoa you had set aside:  Should be about 5-6 cups of cooked quinoa.C C INGREDIENTS 3 If you have been doing this on the stove in a deep fry pan or haven’t already done this is the roasting pan now is the time to transfer the over to your oven ready dish.

Once transferred to your oven safe dish put the cabbage chunks on top of the mixture.C C IN DISHIn a separate bowl mix the vegetable broth with the other can of diced tomatoes.  Once you’ve mixed that up a bit you want to pour it over the entire dish but do not stir again. 

If you find you like it less dense than just add more water or tomatoes.  Just be careful not to water down.

Cover and cook at 350 for about an hour and a half; until cooked through and cabbage is tender.

Remove from oven and let cool for 15ish minutes.

C C DONE

Just a guesstimate, this makes about the equivalent of 24 cabbage rolls.  As I say freeze them and you’re good to go for dinner for another evening or 2 or 3.

Enjoy and let me know what you think.!

Charlene

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PEANUT BUTTER BANANA

October 17, 2013
by Chars Jargon
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Peanut butter and banana smoothie

Like many others I have gone on a smoothie kick and as much as much as I have cringed from time to time when adding ingredients I have to say that so far (operative words here…”so far” ;) ) they have all tasted amazing!!

I am a huge proponent of smoothies as a snack for your little ones as it gives them all that good stuff they often don’t want to otherwise eat.  And if they like Peanut butter and bananas….you’re in like flint with this one!

One thing I like to do because I like thicker smoothies and not watered down ones; instead of using ice I freeze the yogurt in ice-cube trays and pop them out as I need them.  And maybe keep one aside to just drop in at the end if I want that added chill.  You can use whatever yogurt you like but after trying a few different ones I find that I prefer Greek yogurt 0%.

I also chop up the banana ahead of time and on a parchment lined cookie sheet I slice them up and freeze them.  Once frozen I transfer them to zip bags in the freezer.  It is by far the easiest way to get to the banana for smoothies.

I almost feel like Im cheating a bit when I make this one because it is so tasty!

PEANUT BUTTER BANANA

This recipe makes one smoothie – adult size as in the picture.  For your little ones you’d be good to separate it.

  • 5 frozen yogurt cubes ( or 1/2 Greek yogurt)
  • 1 small sliced frozen banana
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 packed cup of baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter

Directions: Add all ingredients to your blender and blend like mad!!  I personally don’t like is a lumpy smoothie so in order to break up the banana and the frozen yogurt I realllllly blend it.  :)

Enjoy and I’d love to hear what you and/or your family think!

Charlene

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