Thursday, June 30, 2011

Farmhouse Cheddar Bow Tie Pasta

This time of year I usually have lots of fresh tomatoes and basil.  I also made my Farmhouse Cheddar in January so now it is sharp, delicious and ready to eat!  Go to for supplies and recipes on how to make your own fresh cheeses.

1/2 box of bow tie pasta (or any pasta of your choice)
8 fresh basil leaves
1 cup grated Farmhouse cheddar cheese
2 roughly chopped fresh tomatoes (skin on)
2 tbsp salted butter
salt and pepper to taste
2tsp minced garlic

Cook pasta according to package instructions and drain.
In a medium sauce pan melt butter over medium heat, add garlic and cook for two minutes while stirring.
Chiffonade cut the basil.  Here's how to:
Reduce heat to simmer and add the pasta and the other remaining ingredients.  Mix well and remove from heat after just barely melting the cheese (about two minutes).  Can serve warm or chilled.  Enjoy!

Friday, June 24, 2011



Hi everyone and Happy Friday,

I wanted to introduce you to our new and beautiful pup Bella! 

She is a cute little Pomeranian who was rescued from a "Backyard Breeder" (puppy mill) in February by a very concerned family here in Virginia.  They answered an add on Craig's List from some woman posing as a legitimate breeder and drove down to NC to take a look at her.  They were very shocked to see tons of dogs all lined up in cages in their backyard (Bella had four dogs in her little cage) with no protection from the elements.  With the money that they had, they were able to buy/rescue her and two other dogs; they plan on going back for more when they have the cash and have reported her to the authorities.  We brought her home only FIVE DAYS after she was rescued so you can just imagine that she had a few "issues".  She is only 2 or 3 years old but is just like a puppy since she's never been trained to do anything (not house trained, played with toys, walked on a leash, worn a collar, chewed on chew toys, groomed, had her own food dish, you name it!).  Fast foward 4 months, with some training by us and now she's doing great!  She is a very playful and loving dog and now has very few accidents in the house. 

I encourage everyone to seek out rescue sites online for your new pup and PLEASE do not purchase any animals from pet stores because most of their animals come from puppy mills, like the one that I just decribed.  Also, due to their poor living conditions, over breeding and lack of nutrition they can also have major health issues.  You can search online by pet type, breed and your area for local rescue societies and animal shelters.
Adopt a Pet Today!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mexican Lasagna

This recipe is soooo yummy!

Mexican Lasagna

This recipe makes two 12''-14” pies

Six 12” soft tortillas
1 medium onion minced
1 green pepper medium chop
1tsp minced garlic
¼ tsp dried garlic
½ cup white cheddar cheese
3 cups yellow cheddar cheese
1 package taco seasoning mix
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb hamburger
1 can refried beans
Chili powder to taste (I used 3 dashes per pie)
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes per pie (like the ones you get from your local pizza place)
1 can corn
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 tbsp flour
½ tsp butter
1 cup milk
1 cup medium salsa
1 14oz can crushed tomatoes (or blanched fresh tomatoes with skin removed)
1 sliced jalapeno pepper (optional)

Brown hamburger, onion and green pepper in a large sauce pan.  Drain fat and add half of the red pepper flakes, taco seasoning, minced garlic, tomato sauce, ½ cup salsa and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir and simmer covered for 15 minutes; remove from heat and cover.

Transfer hamburger mixture to a mixing bowl.  In the same sauce pan, at low simmer heat, add 1 tbsp flour and 1 tbsp butter.  Stir well with spatula and cook for one minute to make a rue and remove from heat.

White cheese sauce:
In another bowl, whisk in 1 can cream mushroom soup, ½ cup salsa, ¼ cup white cheddar cheese, 1 cup milk, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, 2 dashes of salt and pepper.  Slowly pour this mixture into the rue and quickly wisk in and cook over medium/low heat until smooth.  Cover and cook for 15 minutes on low and remove from heat.

In a 14” ceramic casserole dish, spray bottom and sides with butter cooking spray.  Add one layer of hamburger mixture, 1 tortilla, 1 layer of white sauce, ½ can of refried beans, 1 layer of cheddar cheese and repeat (you only need 1/2 can refried beans for each lasagna pie).  Top layer will be the the 3rd tortilla and topped with the last half of the cheddar cheese.  Can also top with a few sliced jalapenos for more spiciness.

Build your 2nd pie or freeze the left over ingredients in freezer bags and make it fresh again later but with no work!
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes until the cheese on top is nice and bubbly.  ENJOY! J


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Homemade Pork Sausage

I use my Kitchen Aid mixer's food grinder attachment to make all of my sausages but you can use any electric brand or a hand food grinder.
There are 100's of sausage recipes out there and this one that I've made isn't too mild or too hot, but just right!

2lbs boneless pork sirlion chops or porb rib meat (fat included)
1/4tsp red pepper flakes
3 dashes chili powder
1 egg
1 dash ginger
2 tbsp milk
1 dash dry mustard
1tbsp minced garlic
1tsp garlic powder
1/2 medium minced onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp parsley
1tsp butter

In a small skillet, melt butter over medium heat, add minced onion and cover for about 5 minutes.  When onion is translucent add minced garlic, stir for a minute and remove pan from heat.  Cool for 15 minutes before adding to sausage mixture.

Cut up pork into about 2 inch cubes and put into a ziplock bag.  Put into freezer for 20 minutes.  This firms up the meat and helps to keep the fat in the pork from binding up your food grinder.  Remove from freezer and grind pork in mixer on setting #4.  Add all ingredients into pork mixture in the same mixing bowl.  Mix on setting #2 for 3 minutes or until all ingredients are well combined.

In the same small skillet that you used to cook the onion and garlic add a couple of tsps of the sausage mixture and cook until browned.  Taste to see if you need to add more salt (you can always add more salt but you can't take it away!).  If you are in a spicier mood you can add more chili powder too.

Put sausage back into the ziplock bag and remove all air.  Place in fridge for 24hrs so all ingredients can combine well and become really yummy. 

You can make sausage patties, use in cassaroles or stuff into natural casings and cook them on the grill.  There are many manufacturers online that sell sausage casings if you would like to grill your sausage and/or smoke them.

Rest in Peace Beautiful Coco

It still makes me cry just to type this and it's been a few months now since we lost our beloved Coco.  She passed suddenly in late February; Jeff and I were devistated and it hurt like I've never felt before.  We knew that she was a really old dog when we adopted her a few years ago and it was comforting when all of our friends told us that we gave her the best last three years of her life.  Coco was a beautiful toy Pomeranian that was used for years for breeding in a puppy mill in the sticks of Georgia and pretty much left for dead when she could no longer breed.  She passed away suddenly, most likely of a heart problem.  She will be missed by us everyday but happy that she is now able to roam free in Doggie Heaven and we will see her again someday...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Homemade & Healthy Doggie Food

Angelique's Own Recipe for Homemade Doggie Food

1/2 cup dry long grain brown or white rice
2 cups chicken stock or broth (you can make your own or use canned stock)
1 cup whey left over from mozzarella (or 1 more cup of chicken stock)
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
2 eggs
1 Tbsp milk or half & half
1 Tbsp cream cheese
1/4 Granny Smith or Red Delicious apple

For chicken version add the following:
2 chicken quarters (legs and thighs)
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp lemon herb seasoning (no salt)
1/2 tsp garlic and herb dried seasoning (no salt)

In a medium sauce pan add the rice, chicken stalk, whey and cream cheese.  Cook over high heat until it boils and then reduce to simmer and partially cover. 
Defrost veggies in a microwave safe bowl in 2 tbsp of water for 3 minutes, grind up in food processor and add to rice mixture.
With the skin on, cut up apple into small, bite sized pieces and add to rice mixture.  One of my two pups is a rescue so she has no teeth, therefore I cut up her food into tiny pieces.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and milk or half & half together and mix into the rice mixture.  Cook for about an hour stirring periodically until rice is tender.
For the chicken:
Season both sides of chicken with the herbs.  Spray a sheet tray lined with foil with butter cooking spray.  Place the chicken on the tray and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until juices run clear.  Let chicken rest on a wooden cutting board for 10 minutes.  Cut up chicken into small pieces and add to the rice mixture.
Your pups will enjoy much better than their old processed food and you'll be happy knowing that you're feeding food that is much healthier for them!