Oatmeal and PB2 Dog Biscuits

As you might have read, we’ve adopted a new puppy, a German Shorthaired Pointer a few weeks ago. He came down with a little cold. We took him to the vet and we had to start him on an antibiotic, which we wrapped in peanut butter. Man, let me tell you, HE LOVES peanut butter.

I decided to make him some dog biscuits. Here’s how I made them.

P1010295 A total of six ingredients, all natural, low sodium, low fat.

P1010297 Mix all of the ingredients until they are very crumbly but moist enough to stick together.

P1010298 Roll out the dough to about 1/2″ thick.

P1010300 I have a medium sized dog biscuit cutter.

P1010302 I got 18 biscuits out of this batch of dough.

1 3/4c whole wheat flour

3/4c quick oats

1 tsp. sea salt

2 Tbsp PB2 (powdered peanut butter)

1 large egg

3/4c + 2 Tbsp water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper.

Mix all of the ingredients until it’s moist and crumbly mixture, roll it into a ball and knead it for about three minutes.

Roll the dough out to about 1/2″ thickness and start cutting.

Bake the biscuits for about 30 minutes.

20141130_162541 20141130_162546 20141130_162539

Hope your four legged friend likes them as much as ours did~Bam

The 7 Irrational Behaviors of Black Friday


Great post.

Originally posted on Center for Advanced Hindsight:

Every day of the year, American shoppers act irrationally. On Black Friday, however, shoppers’ irrationality and wildness climb to dangerously high levels. Why does Black Friday lead shoppers to grab and fight, especially when the stakes are often as low as fifty percent off toasters?

Over the last few decades, social scientists have cataloged the many different factors that lead to irrational consumer behavior, and Black Friday touches on nearly that entire list.

Luckily though, if shoppers stay aware of how Black Friday is designed to make them irrational—and if they take breaks, eat snacks, plan ahead, and keep a clear mind—then they can avoid falling victim to the “holiday.”

Here are seven reasons shoppers become so irrational and committed to deals on Black Friday, as well as a few ways you can protect yourself.

Black Friday is like a hazing ritual

Black Friday shoppers are dedicated—they sacrifice sleep…

View original 834 more words

Thanksgiving Day Shopping

No! I truly do not understand where our sentiment has gone when ‘retail America’ thinks it is okay to shop on Thanksgiving Day.

This bothers me in so many ways. Here are just a couple. Firstly – what about the people who have to work for all of these stores that decide to open on Thanksgiving Day? I don’t know, I just feel it’s kind of selfish. If I worked retail I’m sure I would be really upset about not being able to spend a national holiday with my family. Secondly – Is there any Christmas gift that’s needed that badly? We should ask ourselves…”am I going die if I don’t get that perfect pair of shoes, great purse, shiny jewelry, or whatever it is that one MUST have??”

I understand that this is mainly an answer to consumer demand. Black Friday pandemonium has caused broken bones and even death from being trampled upon. All for the best Christmas gift at the best price. Well, what’s the true meaning of Christmas here?

I would love to start a survey of how long these well sought out, and fought for items even lasted. Did the recipient like it as much as the giver or what it a big let down?

‘Black Friday’ comes from an accounting term. Typically this is the one day of the year when retail stores are “in the black”, meaning their profit is higher than their expenditures. Thanksgiving Day is now referred to as ‘Gray Thursday’. I wonder how this effects profitability? One would have to believe also that with internet shopping open everyday, and accessibility to stores from all over the world would be affecting local store profits.

Even with all of this early shopping available, it’s still known that ‘Cyber Monday’ is where one will find the best deals on clothing, accessories and shoes.

I love being with family on Thanksgiving Day, eating a wonderful meal, hanging out and just catching up with everyone and watching football. It’s what I’ve done all of my life. Sure, as I’ve gotten older, lost grandparents, married, had a child, the family we’re with has changed slightly, but, the tradition has never changed. I guess I’m just a little sentimental that way.

I did do some early shopping on-line yesterday, but, even now that I’m home in my pajamas, watching football and relaxing on the couch, I will not be shopping. It’s a day to be with my family.

Just something to chew on – Happy Thanksgiving!~Bam

Spaghetti Squash

I’m at the grocery and I see all of these beautiful fall squash and I’m thinking about Spaghetti Squash. It’s great tasting, a healthy alternative to pasta, and it’s so easy to make.

P1010284 This is a Spaghetti Squash. Put the whole thing in the microwave for about 90-120 seconds.

P1010285  P1010286 Carefully cut it in half. Then scoop out the seeds and soft fibers and discard them.

P1010287 Turn the halves upside down on a microwavable dish and then place about 1/4″ to 1/2″ of water in the dish and microwave for at least 12 minutes. (I cooked ours for 12 minutes, but it was still quite crunchy.) If you want it closer to the texture of cooked noodles you’ll need to cook it for closer to 20-25 minutes. Be careful when you pull it out of the microwave…it’s really hot and steamy.

P1010291 When it’s cooked to the tenderness you’re looking for, take a fork and pick the strands apart. It looks just spaghetti.

P1010290 I browned some butter.

P1010289 Then made a mixture of Parmesan cheese, Myzithra cheese, oregano, garlic powder, basil and a little salt and pepper.

P1010294 Seriously delicious, and healthy. One half of the squash filled this large plate.

Here’s the recipe:

1 medium spaghetti squash

4T butter

1/4 c. Myzithra cheese

1/4 c. Parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried basil

salt and pepper to taste


Meet the newest member of our family

I knew it wouldn’t last long. Being a family without a dog, I mean. It’s been about five months since we had to put our beloved Keidi (a mini-dachshund) down. She had severe kidney failure and the vet said even with treatment there was no hope of a complete recovery and she was pretty miserable. At that point we knew what we had to do.

My husband’s been very mopey for that last several weeks. I knew it was time for another dog. We went to several rescue’s last Saturday. Man, that was difficult. I wanted to take them all home with me, but, we didn’t see anything that we thought might fit our family; so we thought we’d be going home alone again. At the last minute we ended up at the local Petsmart store. On Saturday’s they have various Humane Society and other shelters in for a few hours for pet adoptions and there he was…

Meet Brownie…BROWNIE…He’s such a cute little guy. He’s a German Short haired Pointer. (Awe…look how happy my husband is to be getting a dog)

IMG_20141103_220920_139 He’s already fitting in with the rest of the family. At first they didn’t know what to think of each other. I had a feeling that with both of them being rescue animals and around other animals they would be fine together, and after a couple of rounds of growling and hissing at each other, they decided to calm down and be friends.

I just keep looking at these wonderful little animals and can’t get over how many there are to be rescued still. It really bothers me to think about them locked up in crates all day. Only to be let out briefly enough for a volunteer to walk them or let them out for a bit and then back they go.

If you’re thinking about bringing a loving cat or dog into your family I really hope you would check out your local Humane Society or Animal shelter. You never know, you may find the perfect pet for your family!~Bam

The Best Meatloaf

I love meatloaf. Pretty much anyway it’s made, but my favorite meatloaf is made with ground beef and ground turkey. It just seems more substantial and doesn’t fall apart as easy.

Making it with turkey also makes me feel like I’m at least eating a little healthier too and there definitely isn’t near as much grease.

P1010273 I begin by getting everything out that I will need and then cube up some day (really a couple of days) old French loaf. Just cut them up in small little pieces.

P1010278 Mix the wet ingredients so it’s easier to mix with the meat and bread mixture.

P1010279 I pat the loaf out onto a cookie sheet lined with heavy duty aluminum foil and it goes into the oven.

P1010282 When I have about ten-minutes left I brush ketchup on it and let it bake just a bit longer.

Here’s the recipe: Turn the oven on to 375 and line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. (or you could use three loaf pans)

1 pound ground turkey

2 1/2 pounds ground beef (I used 85% lean)

1/2 loaf of French bread – cubed into small pieces

1 large onion – diced

1 Tbsp ground mustard

1 Tbsp ground black pepper

1 tsp. ground garlic powder

1 tsp, sea salt

1 tsp. dried parsley flakes

1/2 tsp. ground sage

1 cup whole milk

3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 eggs

1/2 cup ketchup

In a large bowl mix both meats, bread and onion with all of the seasonings really well.

In a smaller bowl mix the milk, and Worcestershire sauce with the eggs. Once beaten well add to the meat mixture and mix really well (wash your hands and just go for it – it’s much easier than trying to use a spoon).

Once everything is mixed well place it on the baking pan. Bake in the oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until well done (remember there is some turkey in there so it needs to be cooked well). I always serve this with a side bowl of ketchup, because even though I don’t like mine smothered in it, my son and dad can’t get enough of it.

There were seven of us and we all had plenty to eat with a few pieces left over for a cold meatloaf sandwich for my lunch the next day.

There’s nothing meatloaf for comfort food~Bam

Give me air…conditining

Shortly after our sons semi accident our air conditioner stopped working, the pipes just starts over freezing, and it’s only eight years old. I’m like “seriously”!!!! I never want to think “what else could happen” but, I was thinking it. It just seems that sometimes life is full of thorns. A series of unfortunate events can really get you down sometimes.

My husband and I are thinking we just need some freon or whatever that chemical is that they are using now. Oh no…it couldn’t be that simple. The “A” coil under the furnace was rusted out and leaking. We already knew we had to have a new furnace before winter –  it was twenty-five years old (I’m telling you the truth it really was 25 years old – we had a beast of a furnace, a Rheem). We had even already had two HVAC companies scheduled to come out in September for furnace estimates. We had a few choices to make now.

1) Just replace the ‘A’ coil under the furnace, but it would have to “match” the current air conditioning system that wouldn’t be exchangeable when it completely breaks down in the next few years, because of the new Government laws regarding freon. We were told by more than one company that when that happens we would need a new ‘A’ coil to match the new air conditioner that we would be getting then. Ugh!!

2) Just replace everything now. The new air conditioner and matching ‘A’ coil would all be in line with the new Government regulations. If they replaced both air and furnace they would “match”. They would have a ten-year service warranty and a two-year parts warranty.

We ended up going with a completely new HVAC system for a few reasons.

1) It will cheaper to do it all at once and we would have “matching” system.

2) They have to replace some of the vent system – more Government regulations regarding higher efficient heating systems.

3) The ‘A’ coil sits under our furnace so when it needs to be replaced again they would have to take the furnace out to get to it…we would endure extra labor costs with that.

In the last couple of weeks I’d say I’ve learned a lot more about HVAC systems than I ever wanted to know. Then again, knowledge is power. My husband and I got on-line checked out reviews for Trane vs. Carrier systems (those were our choices here in our area). We had four different estimates, so we also compared all of the different model numbers of each system.

We ended up going with a local company called Masters, Van Valer. They offered the models we wanted for the best price, changed out the breakers and replaced the flue system to it would be up to the new code. They’ve been in business for a long time and we just felt good about they way they worked when they came to give us the estimates.

We went with the Trane system and I’m here to tell you, I don’t remember our house EVER being this cold, especially in the upstairs rooms. We are so happy to know that when winter comes along we aren’t going to have to worry about our furnace going out either (last year we had two blizzards and extremely cold temperatures – let me tell you we had our fireplace running all winter long and praying our furnace wouldn’t go out).

Here are pictures…everything is s quiet and clean. (I just love it)

20140830_084058 Trane XV95         20140830_085114 Trane XR17

So the moral of this story is…if you need an HVAC system do your research and get a lot of estimates. Don’t leave out the local companies, they usually offer better prices and are a lot more friendly to work with.~Bam