In My Life, I've Loved Them All

Playing in the Kitchen: Dog Food Cookies

Today in Texas, the forecast says partly cloudy, with a high of 90 degrees. 90. Yes. And it’s still March! With heat like that, the though of turning on the oven is less than desirable. To the rescue: Dog Food Cookies!

Don’t let the name scare you. Dog food cookies are a great NO-BAKE chocolate cookie option. Easy to prepare, and great for days that are unbearably hot outside (and you’re trying to keep it cool inside).

Chocolate No-Bake (aka Dog Food) Cookies

Dog Food Cookies
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1 Stick of butter

Stir all together and bring to a rolling boil, cook for about 1 minute

Remove and add 1 teaspoon on vanilla, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 3 cups oats

Drop onto wax paper. Cool completely. Enjoy!

WARNING: This recipe involves boiling sugar, which gets SUPER hot. Keep small children at a safe distance. Little hands can come help after the oats and peanut butter have been added and the mixture has cooled down a bit.

Boiling Sugar for Dog Food Cookies

Stay safe, and enjoy some Dog Food Cookies!

Don’t Forget to Sign Your Quilt!

This may seem small, but I think it is a critical step in the Quilting process. Yet all too often, it is overlooked. Don’t forget to sign (and date) your Quilt!

You’ve most likely put a lot of time into your quilted project. It’s a beautiful work of art, and quilts are made to last. Adding your name and date completed will be VERY helpful to quilt historians centuries from now. Ok, maybe mine won’t last that long. But they’ll be passed on to family members or friends. They’d be appreciative too to know whose hands made the quilt, and how long it has lasted.

There are several methods you can use to sign your Quilt. The most obvious: with a pen. Ideally a permanent marker. But even Sharpies fade or bleed over time, especially if your quilt is being used/washed. A neighbor suggested making a pocket in the quilt backing that would fit an index card w/ you information on it. But again, with washings/use, the card could get lost. You can find many places that can make custom tags and labels for you, so at least your name would stand the test of time.

For the few quilts I have made, I’ve chosen to embroider my signature and the date. Using a disappearing ink pen, I wrote my name and the date on a coordinating swatch of fabric. Then I used fusible web (Wonder-Under) to adhere it to the backing piece of my quilt. Just to be sure it’d stay put, I machine stitched around the patch. (MAKE SURE you do these steps BEFORE you assemble your quilt sandwich.) That’s it!

All artists should sign their work. Quilters are no exception :D

Playing in the Kitchen: Mimi’s Cafe Corn Chowder

For those who haven’t heard of it: Mimi’s Cafe is a French style chain restaurant that seemed to be everywhere when I lived in the Southwestern part of the US, nowhere when I lived on the East Coast, and hour+ drive away here in Texas. So my trips there have been rare since living in California. I miss their good food, especially the corn chowder. Mimi’s is synonymous with Corn Chowder. You order it 99% of the time (like Coffee is to Duncan Donuts… not the only thing they sell, but a big deal).

Mimi's Cafe Corn Chowder

My family considered going to the nearest Mimi’s for a special occasion (a.k.a Thanksgiving)... but after referencing the website we realized it was a bit too far to drive (money and gas wise) just for corn chowder (and other food they serve). Sad.

BUT. Not to fear! The recipe for their corn chowder was actually listed on the website! So I promptly printed it out… and stuck it in our recipe drawer were is sat for the last 3 months. Last week I finally decided to make it.

Oh. My. Goodness
It is good. Very good.
Just like I remember it tasting like on our trips to Mimi’s Cafe back in the day.

Mimi’s Cafe Corn Chowder
¼-cup butter, (½-stick)
6 tablespoons chopped onion
¾-cup diced celery
2-½ cups water
2 cups cubed peeled red or russet potatoes, (½-inch)
2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 can creamed corn (14 oz)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 dash of white pepper
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups half and half cream


Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.

Add in the flour and whisk until smooth and a roux forms (2 minutes).

Add onions and celery and sautée 5 minutes until soft but not brown.

Add water, potatoes, corn kernels, creamed corn, sugar, salt and pepper. Using a wire whisk, whisk until smooth.

Cover and simmer until potatoes are barely tender, about 30 minutes.

Add half and half and simmer uncovered until soup has thickened to a creamy consistency, about 15 minutes.

Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if needed.

I’m am by no means a chef. Many times, when I am trying to cook something new, 1/2 way through I think “This is not going to work.” But I press on. And it does work out in the end. I had nervousness while making this, but it worked out beautiful! I will definitely be making this again. Next time, I’ll probably add some extra corn/potato/celery to bulk it up a little more… but the recipe is fine as is!

I hope you have success as well making this fabulous (and surprisingly filling!) soup at home!

Penguin Cam! Live from Sea World, San Diego

I. Love. Penguins.

This is live video of the “Penguin Encounter” at SeaWorld San Diego. Watch for feedings throughout the day!

“In celebration of Frozen Planet, premiering Sunday, March 18, at 8PM e/p, Penguin Cam will be live 24 hours a day throughout March and April — plenty of time to get to know SeaWorld San Diego’s nearly 300 penguins, representing all five Antarctic species: emperors, kings, Adélies, gentoos and macaronis.”


Live streaming by Ustream

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