You can find me at the gym… RIBBON DANCING YAY!
Ricotta gnocchi is my latest culinary obsession. Unlike the traditional potato, flour, and egg gnocchi recipes, ricotta gnocchi is really easy and also not very hard to mess up. Since gluten immediately causes nausea for me, I decided to search for a gluten-free flour that would work for this recipe. I found a white rice flour by Bob’s Red Mill that kicks ass for this purpose and makes a really nice light and fluffy gluten-free gnocchi. Another plus, the ricotta adds some protein to an otherwise all-carb dish. Finally, I would like to give Gar a shoutout because he is the one who came up with the method I use for shaping the gnocchi. So here it goes:
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 and 1/4 cup white rice flour
Semolina flour for dusting work surfaces
Stitch & Rowan
Stitch and Rowan have a special bond. Firstly, Stitch is the most dog-like cat I’ve ever known. He greets you at the door like the dogs, he begs with the dogs, and he plays with the dogs. Stitch and Rowan, however, share a propensity for trouble-making that greatly surpasses that of the average pet. Stitch is the reason I have child-locked all my cabinets. One morning I found Stitch and Rowan in the kitchen. Stitch was eating gluten free pasta and Rowan was eating uncooked rice. Rowan crapped rice craps for two days. What happened last month was, well, I can’t even think of an adjective to describe it. Loki woke up one unsuspecting Monday morning and was limping. Not only that, he cried when he got out of bed which really tugged at my heartstrings. We played ball a lot the day before and after feeling all of his joints I decided to give him a dog-specific NSAID. They are chewable tablets. After I gave Loki his dose I put the bottle back in the Tupperware container that holds all of my pet medications of a certain kind and walked from the kitchen to the bathroom. Stitch was pissed. The moment I put one foot in the bathroom I heard a loud crash and briskly walked back into the kitchen. Stitch had knocked off the Tupperware from the kitchen counter (I’m suspecting out of jealousy that Loki got a special treat offered to no one else) and all of the medications had fallen out. Not thinking too much of this and cursing at Stitch under my breath, I put all of the meds back into the box and this time, stuffed the box where it belongs in a hall storage area. It wasn’t until, on one of my innumerable wtf are you doing Rowan morning checks, I saw him licking the inside of the now empty medicine bottle and realized what happened about 20 min. earlier. Rowan had eaten 32 times a dose appropriate for his size.
Lets just stop for a moment and consider what this means. Like I already alluded to earlier, Stitch Murphy definitely wanted what Loki was given that morning or at least wanted to check it out. This also means that within about a five second period Rowan was able to steal the bottle without me seeing him near the incident at all. Similarly, Rowan was able to identify the bottle from which Loki’s supposed “treat” came from amongst many other bottles on the floor. Even more impressive, Rowan was able to seemingly distinguish the bottle from which Loki’s supposed “treat” came from, from a bottle that was visually identical to it. Yes, I had another unopened bottle that was identical to the one I used earlier but I suppose it wouldn’t smell as appealing as the other one. Dogs do have amazing sniffers. My angel of a Labrador can distinguish his particular tennis ball amongst many others. Hmmmmm, I wish this story was about him. It would end with “…and I ribbon danced while he sloshed around gayly in the waves crashing on the soft, sandy beach until the sunlight was no more.”
Anyways, after IV fluids, charcoal, liver supplements, and 5 blood tests in one month the good news is that Rowan’s liver has made a full recovery! What a happy thing.
Bacon Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Yes, bacon pineapple upside down cake. It’s really, really good. I got the idea for this from last year’s Food Network bacon magazine. I deviated from their cake recipe and made a butter cake and also did not mix bacon bits in the batter like it suggested. The pineapple bacon effect is so easy to create just butter your pan, apply a single layer of brown sugar, put down your pineapple rings, and fill the non-pineapple space with homemade bacon bits. It’s that simple. It’s that good.
I look at this dog and pure love just radiates from me. “Loki, stay!” (I pry open his jaw and shove this toy inside his mouth) “Loki, stay!” (I hold his muzzle shut) “Loki, stay!” (Holding my breath for a moment, I slowly back away with one hand in the stay command and one hand calmly yet frantically opening the camera on my phone.) “Loki, stay!” This was the first picture I took. Gotta love it, and of course, gotta love him.
Chinese Hot Pot
Have you ever heard of Chinese hot pot? Gar explained what this was to me a few months ago and we’ve done our version of it twice since then. There are variations of this style of meal depending upon the geographical location but, basically, it’s a sort of Chinese fondue involving a hot broth, meat, sauces, and various vegetables. I read that there are traditional bowls for the broth that are sometimes heated with very hot stones. Well, I suppose the next best alternative to kick-ass traditional Chinese bowls is Sunbeam’s hot pot express for $9.99 at Target. The hot pot can boil water faster than anything and it actually works out so great for a hot pot dinner. It is not cordless, however, so you might need to run an extension cord to your table. But, hey, that’s the fun of doing something different for dinner!
The origin of Squid Dog is little known. Some say he is an accidental product of a chemical spill, but I’m not buying it. No, I think Squid Dog was created by a secretive government organization in order to infiltrate various locations with his unaffected cuteness then extract information of all sorts with his incredible mind powers. I’ll tell you I won’t have any of that in my household, absolutely not.