Saturday, February 27, 2010

Major Updates After a Long Hiatus

Things have been crazy around here lately! We have been so busy working around the house and doing stuff with the dogs, that I have been a bad blogger. So here is what we have been up to....

I should start by saying that we are having a baby girl...in 7 weeks! Havent posted much about that yet, but wanted to share a few photos. Some things have become more difficult for me, but overall being pregnant has not slowed me down much. I passed my dietitian exam, still teaching flyball classes and getting lots and lots of projects done around the house.


Here I am hanging out with the dogs on 2/8


And again on 2/24

Here is the newly painted baby room....we went bright!

Our first experience at refinishing furniture. This will be her dresser/changing table. I wish I had before photos, because it seriously looks amazing compared to when we got it. It was only $20 and totally falling apart from Craigslist.



We also remodeled our family room to make it a multipurpose room (office, play room, family room). Its looking great. I will post photos of both the baby room and family room when they are finished. Also I will try to start posting weekly or so photos of me!

We are still getting a CSA and have been trying to come up with ways to use all the interesting produce. The one thing that I havent used is the burdock, but everything else seems to make its way into our recipes.

White Bean and Kale Minestrone with Sausage

Adapted from a recipe by Cynthia Lair

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Italian Sausages
1 1/2 - 2 cups finely chopped kale
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 large cloves of garlic
3 cups cooked white beans (from dried beans is the best)
2 ½ cups stock 1 tablespoon tomato paste
4-6 fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Freshly grated pecorino cheese

Slice sausages and sautee in olive oil until browned and cooked through, set aside. Wash kale and remove the stems from the leaves. Rollup kale leaves and cut into thin ribbons. Set aside. In a 4-quart soup pot, heat olive oil and sauté onion until carmelized, add garlic and continue to cook briefly over medium heat. Add about half of the cooked beans and part of the stock. Puree the rest of the beans and stock in the blender along with the tomato paste and sage. Stir the pureed beans into the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix the kale and sausage into the soup and simmer until kale has wilted (about 10 minutes). Add the lemon juice and enough water to make the soup a desirable thick consistency. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust seasonings. Serve the soup topped with pecorino.


Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad
Adapted from a recipe by Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 medium beets, cubed
  • 6 cups salad greens
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries, cranberries or currants
  • 3 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled
Other optional ingredient: sliced avocado

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Whisk the vinegar, shallots, and honey in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with salt and pepper. Toss the beets in a small bowl with enough dressing to coat. Place the beets on a baking sheet and roast until the beets are slightly caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Set aside and cool.

Toss the salad greens, walnuts, and dried fruit in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad, to taste, with salt and pepper. Arrange the beets around the salad. Sprinkle with the avocado and goat cheese, and serve.


Dogs

The dogs have been great and little do they know, we have been preparing them for the baby in some ways. We are working really hard to get the border collies to walk nicely on leash. Its going really well. They are doing awesome. Ari doesnt use a leash, so it should be manageable to walk the 3 of them along with the baby.

Indy is officially retired after her short career in sheep herding. The best I could have hoped for was going to be obedience type training and possibly some day a novice trial (possibly). Also it seemed to stress her out and she was always putting herself and the sheep in danger of injury when she ran full speed directly at the sheep. This is fine with us because she has taken up agility more seriously and is doing great with our new instructor. Ben will be her handler.

This leaves me without a herding dog for now, we will see what happens with that!

Epic has become both a solid herding and flyball dog. He has been very reliable in flyball and his speed amazes us, considering he started training at over a year old has only been racing for a few months. He will be going away for herding instruction when the baby is born for a month or so. We are hoping he comes back almost ready to enter a trial with Ben.

Ari is trucking along, slowing down and still enjoying life and his two border collie buddies. He goes for a nice leisurely walk around the neighborhood every night and goes for car rides whenever he has the chance. He is a good boy!


Indy and Epic are doing some conditioning with weighted back packs



Indy and Ben learning the teeter

Indys Boston Terrier buddy Boomer


We have been fostering dogs and although we are taking a break now, two of our fosters found homes since January. Below are Scout and Dina with their new families! I talk more about our fostering experiences in one of my other blogs. http://fosteroster.blogspot.com/

3 comments:

Kate Kurtz said...

Your baby belly is so cute! Love it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the pictures. Great to see. Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

Any new updates? Love, Mom