Thursday, April 29, 2010

Perfect Corgi Day!

I have found my bliss. It's sitting on our porch in the sun with my bone and some water and the sun. The sun just comes right into my space, and I can lounge about all day if I want. I come in for walks, Daddy takes me to play in the park every few days, and I get to put dog hair all over Momma's work clothes when she comes home!

Now, this doesn't have very much to do with dinner, but it is important to understand how awesome my life is, and that's relevant to every one's interests.

Daddy surprised Momma with dinner tonight, he didn't tell her anything about it other than the ingredients, and let her take some pictures. But from the list he gave her, I think she knew it was gonna be nummy! 

First off was garlic, onions and and herb mix:

The garlic is so pretty, all translucent and lovely. Garlic smells so good when it starts to cook, the whole house smells like Italy. Momma loves Italy, Daddy does too, so it make sense their house would smell like the Old Country. The next step was zucchini:
Zucchini is so pretty too! This was a very pretty dish. Daddy peeled them and it made it all the more soft and sweet in the dish. The final step was the sausage! This is Hot Italian Sausage. I put it in all caps cause it sounds better:
Italian sausage is so delicious, and it gives off so much flavor when you cook it with vegetables. The zucchini soaked up the juices, and the garlic sunk into the sausage, and the herbs just went everywhere! It was like an orgy!
All in all, it was a fantastic dinner, and a recipe Daddy will definitely make again!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Old Home Week

Like I mentioned yesterday, Momma and Daddy had friends visiting this week, and it was awesome. They played Rock Band til Momma lost her voice, and ate at favorite eatery. To continue the nostalgia, Momma made her Cajun Chicken with Brown Rice tonight. This, along with great pasta sauce and garlic shrimp, is one of Momma's signature dishes. It's moist, spicy, and filling, and has a flavor punch.

It starts out like this in raw form:

On the chicken is creole seasoning, garlic salt, onion powder, savory seasoning, pepper, and salt. Then it goes into a covered skillet with olive oil and butter to cook on medium for about 20 minutes. It can be cooked on high, but Momma usually does it this way so the rice can finish while the chicken is cooking. Momma is excellent at multi-tasking! The advantage to covering it and cooking on medium is that a nice crust forms on the chicken, making it crispyish and super flavorful.

Once the rice and the chicken are done they look like this:

It's best with some sort of rice or pasta, but I guess it could be good with a vegetable like peas or green beans. 

Today I got to play frisbee! We went to the apartment complex's dog park and I got played for about 10 minutes. There were dandelions, and when I ran through them they all puffed up! It was cute, according to Daddy.

And for those of us keeping score at home, check out the number of protein based meals Momma and Daddy have made!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Being Gluten Free Outside the Kitchen

Perhaps the most frustrating thing for Momma now that she's GF again is eating out with friends. While she can always find something on a menu that she can eat, often times she feels frustrated and left out in restaurants.

Take tonight for example, she and Daddy gave me a new rawhide, and I curled up in my room while they went to O'Charley's with friends. I was content to gnaw all night, and Momma ate a really good meal. The nice thing about being GF is that she's eating protein every night, whether it be in quinoa and shrimp, chicken, or tonight's steak. That wasn't the problem. The issue came when the waiter dropped the "unslicebly soft" rolls off at the table and everyone dug in like hyenas. Those are the  moments where Momma sighs and sits on her hands. Eating gluten free isn't tough, it's resisting temptation in public places. Daddy does a really good job of keeping her on track, but I know it does make her sad not to be able to join in during bread courses. Those used to be her favorite, just ask Gma!

Thursday she has a lunch with her coworkers, and they're going to a pizza joint. Her coworkers offered to change locations when they realized, but Momma knows they don't need to, she can find something. In fact, other than feeling left out at the bread course, she's eating a lot healthier! Like I said, more protein, more green veggies. all in all a good thing! It's too bad about the bread though. It was super soft.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Daddy is a Jerk (Chicken)

But before I get to Daddy's awesome Jerk Chicken, this is why Momma shouldn't be allowed to arrange stuff. These cookies were for kids at a ReadUP celebration:
That's right, she arranged them by flavor and cookie type. It was hilarious when the kids grabbed them without rhyme or reason. When she described it to Daddy, I thought her head was gonna pop off!

Tonight's dinner came courtesy of the islands... Jerk Chicken with rice! Daddy marinated chicken in jerk seasoning while Momma was at work, and it made it so tasty. Jerk tastes like a nice mix of sweet and spicy and savory. Add in the brown rice, and Momma and Daddy were very happy humans. The rice was buttery and soft and salty, and then the chicken mixed with the rice so well. Momma has eaten more protein since she and Daddy started cooking then almost every other point in her life. 
See how pretty it looks! Momma has found that the natural light coming through the blinds at about the time she and Daddy make dinner is perfect for taking pictures of food. The blinds are white, so it allows the light to bounce around and really illuminate the food and the plate. She's becoming very good at this process, really starting to rock the macro setting. 
Chicken wasn't the only meat on Daddy's plate this week though, they went to Trader Joe's last night and Daddy acquired a whole lamb roast. It took two and and a half hours to cook, and it was gone when Momma got back today. Lamb was a success!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Steaky Steaky Steak!

This is not steak. This is chicken. Specifically the chicken Daddy used to make chicken salad on Sunday. I like how chicken looks when it's cut. Momma thinks it looks like the striations on mountains. She and Daddy drive past one every time they drive to McLean, and it looks so cool. The park is never open when both of them are there though, so she's never seen it up close.

These are the hardboiled eggs that went into the chicken salad. These were the first hardboiled eggs Daddy ever made. It was super exciting for him, since he'd succeeded without adult supervision! Cooking is fun and awesome! I wish I had thumbs, I bet I could make a mean rawhide omelet.

This is a post about steak though, specifically the mushroom and onion smothered steak Daddy made for dinner tonight. It was a big braising steak, and it did the coolest thing ever in the pan! Take a look at it. That's a meat bubble! Meat bubble people, MEAT BUBBLE. Isn't that awesome? The steak was really good too, but what made it awesome was the mushroom and onion smothery thing concoction Daddy made. It was soft and smooth and mmmmm. Momma like....

It looks so pretty, all smothered and mmmm and smothered... There is something about the mixture of steak and onions and mushrooms that calls to something primal in humans. I think it's kinda like how we dogs always go nuts for bacon. It's instinct. Dogs love bacon, humans love meat and especially smothered meat.

As it stands, dinner was yummy and full of vitamins and proteins! And best of all, I got stay in the kitchen! Usually I have to go hang out on my patio while Momma and Daddy cook cause I have a habit of getting underfoot, look!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Random Momma Interlude!

So, I know most of you read this to hear about what Momma and Daddy are cooking, but since there's been a lull in cooking of recent (due to finalizing moving things and corporate retreats), Momma wanted to interject with some meta-commentary. So, without further ado, my awesome Momma!

Burke has done a great job of chronicling the day to day life we're leading here now when it comes to cooking, but since I can't bring Da Butt into work with me, he hasn't been able to talk about what I do at work! I figured, since the work is partly an after effect of deciding to eat healthier. After I started putting al my ducks in a row food-wise, I applied to Americorps to see if I couldn't finagle a way to avoid paying for my student loans for another few months, if not longer! That's not true, I actually joined to finally give back, perform Mitzvot. I landed in a program called Harmony-Corps, and at the United Way of Central Indiana, or UWCI. 

My job here is to coordinate volunteers and work with schools on a program called ReadUP, which is perhaps the most worthwhile thing I've ever been involved in outside of the home. ReadUP is a tutoring program with a single focus, to take 4th and 5th graders who are not reading at their grade level, and over 30 weeks or so, bring them up to speed. The graduation rate in Indianapolis is so low, less than 1/2 of 9th graders end up graduating. Current studies show that if a student falls behind in reading in elementary school are far more likely to drop out. 

ReadUP is possibly the perfect place for me, it engages my teacher side with my desire to help a wider group of people. I can be a teacher without a classroom, I can use what I know to reach more kids than I ever could in a school. It's rewarding without burning me out, and I'll acquire skills I hadn't previously had, like learning how to manage volunteers and soliciting companies. It's going to be the experience of a lifetime. I will be, as our message says, LIVE UNITED.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chicken Tikka Burke!

Tonight, Momma and Daddy had a rare boxed meal. Usually, Momma likes to make sauces from scratch, or enhance pre-made jarred sauce, but this stuff is different. It's all ready to go, comes with rice, and is truly tasty. The best thing about Indian food, in Momma's opinion, is that it doesn't lose flavor when it sits. All the spices and herbs in a typical Indian sauce spend their downtime meshing together and basically just getting more and more flavorful as the time  in the bag drags on and on and on ad infinitum.

This is Chicken Tikka Masala, a truly lovely and buttery soft Indian dish which both Momma and Daddy love. It has lots of depth of flavor, but not a lot of spice, which is good for Daddy. He's lost a lot of spice tolerance in the years at Earlham. He blames Saga meals for that, Momma blames Saga for her metabolic issues and current weight annoyances. If you ask around, Saga is at the root of many many problems. Yech. I'm glad I never had to eat there! I like my food tasty!

Anywho, this stuff is really great, cause it comes with precooked rice and the premade sauce. All Daddy had to do was cook the chicken on the stove, and pour the sauce over it, and voila! Doesn't the sauce look pretty! You can see the oil and the juice from the chicken mixing together, and it wonderful. Chicken should soak up sauces, and this one is just made for soaking into the meat. Chicken Tikka Masala has a light flavor, with some yogurty undertones, bits of cumin, and an overall smooth finish. It isn't hot, but it is very flavorful, which is why Momma is such a fan. Momma like to eat food with flavor, she can be a bit MEEEEEEHHHH about how her food tastes.

Overall, dinner was a great success. Momma and Daddy were happy, the food was tasty, and they are now out of chicken! Indeed, a great success overall.

I hung out on the porch again, I'm almost done with my big bone, which means that soon it will be time for another!

I will leave you again with tiny me!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Limey And Spicy!

Evening corgi readers! It's been a few days, but dinner tonight was super fantastic!

Chicken is a versatile food, one I actually have personal experience with, for once. A lot of my super tasty food is made from chicken, and I think I like it, though my food looks like little round pellets. It's weird watching Momma and Daddy eat stuff that isn't round and pellety. Take a look! This is the chicken with lime and Italian seasoning marinating in the olive oil:

The chicken got all infused with the lovely flavor of the limes and the basils and the oreganos and it all came together so wonderfully. Daddy marinated the chicken at room temperature for about 20 minutes, which gave the raw chicken time to soak up all the flavors

The chicken cooking made the whole house smell of lime and basil, and it drifted out all the way to the patio where I was maxin and relaxin all cool, shootin some b-ball out by the pool. I could see a couple of guys who were up to no good, and they started makin trouble in my... oh wait, that's the Fresh Prince. I was just gnawing on my bone. 

Once the chicken was done Momma and Daddy mixed it with brown rice, and it was divine! The chicken was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. It was tart and savory, and all in all an A+.
Momma got to go to her first ReadUP school today, and it was a really interesting experience. She saw how the tutoring works, and is now even more excited to start tutoring! And hey! It's tiny me! Look how small I used to be when I was a baby puppy!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Magical Trader Joe's

The last few days have been busy for Momma and Daddy. Momma is working late hours, and Daddy is busy unpacking the apartment, so dinner has been a lot of leftovers and frozen pizza for the two of them. Momma's made her shrimp/Quinoa dish 2 nights in a row, so that should give you a sense of how busy they've been lately. I don't know why they need so much variety, I eat the same 2 1/2 cups of food every day! Add in some snacks and a few rawhides, and I think I have a balanced diet.

But what Momma's really been raving about recently has been lunch. She and Daddy went to their local Trader Joe's, and it was almost a religious experience for Momma. They label everything that is even remotely GF as such, which means she can run through the store and look for a G* on a label, and be thrilled to put it in her cart. In short, Trader Joe's is perfection.

She and Daddy are total converts to their Indian food in particular. Momma has long had a love affair with Indian food, Gma used to make it all the time when she was a kid, and her Godmother is from Pakistan, so Momma is all about the flavors of that particular region. Trader Joe's carries 5 frozen Indian meals, all with easily tastable and identifiable meals. Everything is labeled, everything is clear, and everything is amazing. This is their Curried Lentils on Cumin Flavored Basmati Rice:
The carton is designed so the eater can fold the lentils into the rice, which is great! When Momma first saw the lentils she was confused by how watery the lentils were, but it took a second and then she went "oooooh". Momma can be a bit slow. Here are the lentils, don't they look tasty?
The rice was really lovely long grain basmati mixed with little cumin seeds. Real cumin seeds! This is a frozen meal people! Momma had the best lunch ever, and she doesn't bestow that title lightly:
But that isn't where the story ends, it isn't even close! Momma's most missed glutenated food is mac and cheese, Kraft Mac and Cheese in particular. The pasta can be subbed for brown rice pasta, but the cheese in most GF mac and cheese isn't even close to right. It's never quite cheesy or buttery or mac and cheesy enough. This was different though, this was Trader Joe's GF Mac and Cheese, and this is what it looks like:
Momma made such a loud happy squeal, I heard it out on the patio! I was happily chewing my bone, and then WHAM! And she yells at me for being loud... all I do is bark to get her attention, bark cause I'm bored, bark cause I saw something, bark cause I heard something. You get the picture. 

Anyway, it tasted cheesy, and buttery, and milky, and just... Krafty. Yeah, that's the word Momma used. 

Daddy also had a culinary triumph last night. He made his own Corned Beef! I'll get back to you guys once he makes a sammich, but it tasted really good! For now, I will leave you with a picture of me and Mr. Sheep, my first toy I got after my big operation! Mr. Sheep enjoys long walks on the beach, getting his stuffing ripped out, and being thrown in the air by me!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Leftover Night!

Most nights, both Momma and Daddy are up for a nice rounded dinner, but some nights they just want leftovers, simple food. 

For Momma, that was making the quinoa and shrimp dish she made a few weeks ago, and for Daddy it was the perfect omelette!

Daddy and Momma watched Anthony Bourdain last night, his whole show was on techniques in cooking really good food. He showed how to make good beef bourgignon, Thomas Keller demonstrated his roast chicken, the head chef at Les Halles showed a perfect steak and fries, and Jacques Pepin demonstrated the perfect omelette. It was at this point that Momma and Daddy really started to pay attention. They usually make omelettes by just letting them sit and cook, but Pepin was moving the yolk around, waiting for the edge to crust up, moving it around, etc, so on, ad infinitum. It made a lovely and bright omelette.

Daddy just had to try it as soon as possible, so for dinner tonight he made this:
It bubbled and the cheese and chives inside melted all over the plate and Daddy was so happy and Momma was super impressed and excited for Daddy!
Doesn't that look amazing!
Momma had her Americorps meeting today, and while they were discussing stuff, she decided to take pictures of the things around her, so here is a Peep and her keychain Burke!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Chicky Brocy Stiry Fry!

Momma hasn't been cooking for the past few weeks, cause of how long she works all day, but today she just needed to unwind. Cooking Momma's Valium, it makes her all calm and centered. She loves when Daddy cooks, but some days just call for some relaxation. 

She and Daddy had a bunch of broccoli they bought before the move, and Momma wanted to use them up, so she had the idea of doing stir fry! I spent most of the day in my room gnawing on a pig's ear. We had a ton of rain and hail and lightening and it was really scary and I ran inside and got all freaked out so Daddy gave me a pig's ear and I've been hanging out in my room! So there, we're all caught up.

Anyway, back to dinner. Momma had a new wok she wanted to try out, chicken, and broccoli. It was blind inspiration! She mixed up the chicken and broccoli, and then stir fried them in Tamari soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and some chicken broth. 
It bubbled up all pretty and stuff, and the chicken and broccoli smelled so good. The broccoli got all crispy and tasted just the way Momma's mom used to make it, which is Momma's favorite way to eat broccoli. She and Daddy paired the stir fry with brown rice, which is rapidly becoming one of Momma and Daddy's preferred side dishes.
The chicken broth added a really nice layer of flavor, and the brown rice holds up really well against the broth. Overall, they declared this dinner a success. I personally didn't care, til Momma told me all my favorite bones are soaked in chicken broth. I guess there is something to that after all!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Tonight's dinner was Scallops Provencale. I do not know what that means, but Momma said it meant that it was a French dish, and I guess she'd know. Momma has an encyclopedic knowledge of food and cultures. She seems to know the origin of most of the dishes and ingredients  she and Daddy interact with on a daily basis. Me, I know rawhides. I can tell you the make, flavor, and age of every rawhide I chew. I like to let them age like a good wine. Momma always stops me though, she tosses my rawhides out when they get covered in hair and dirt. I keep insisting that only heightens the flavor!

Anyway, tonight's dinner included brown rice, zucchini, scallops, and a lot of other tastiness! Daddy has been making dinner lately cause Momma works so late. She's done almost 100 hours since she started two weeks ago, which is great considering she only needs 900 hours before August 31st. My Momma's an overachiever!

Take a look at dinner though, doesn't that look amazing!
Mountains of butter brown rice, soft and sweet scallops, tomatoes, the tang of white wine, and bits of garlic made dinner not only super flavorful, but also nice and deep. There were lots of layers of flavors lurking in the rice and the broth. Overall, A+ for Daddy!

I've been hanging out on the porch recently, but on Friday I got to go into PetSmart! They allow leashed dogs, and I made some friends and got to pick out my own bone! Momma and Daddy barely see me anymore. I wake up, do my business, eat breakfast and have my Greenie, and then BOOM! Outside I go! 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Meaty Meaty Meatballs!

Momma has two rules for dinner, it must be enough for seconds, and it must be tasty. Tonight's dinner fit both those requirements. Daddy made creamed spinach, pasta, sauce, and meatballs!

The creamed spinach had cream of chicken soup, milk, and some more tasty spices. It started out looking like that, and ended up looking like this:
It was super tasty, if not a little peppery. Momma tastes stuff that isn't there all the time! She's all "Mmmm, I can taste stuff you can't!" and Daddy's all "Really Dana? Really" and Momma's all "Shut up! I'm smart and brunette". That's what I like to think they say, at least. It just sounds like "Mwhahamamamamama" to me. 

Daddy also made meatballs, which were really nice and spicy and really tasty!
Momma really likes spicy, but isn't a big fan of ground meat, but this was super tasty!

Dinner was a success, and I waited for Momma and Daddy to take a bite, and then I raced back to my porch. I'm there every day now when Momma gets home. She parks her car, looks up, and BOOM! Itty Bitty Corgi Greeting Committee! She laughs, checks the mail, and is patient when I pee on her leg in joy.