Why Dogs and Food?

Why Dogs and Food?

It's simple. Write about what you love. And what is better than dogs and food? If you are anything like me - and millions of other people - you will relate to and understand the unwavering love I have for my dogs and my passion for cooking - and eating - great food. I hope you will enjoy reading about my day to day experiences with good food and a couple of very special dogs.

Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Stuffed Paccheri Pasta with Butternut Squash Sauce

"Life is too short, and I'm Italian.  I'd much rather eat pasta and drink wine than be a size 0." ~ Sophia Bush
(A woman after my own heart....)

Paccheri after being stuffed with Ricotta and Roasted Garlic

I haven't been cooking as much as usual lately.  I miss it.  Tonight, I decided to make a pasta dish as I had purchased some Dave's Gourmet Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce and I wanted to try it.  It is quite yummy.  I may try and make homemade butternut squash sauce next time to see how that turns out.  I bet it will be fun!

Here's how I made the stuffed pasta:

I boiled and drained about 24 Paccheri pastas until al dente and set aside to cool.  These little tubular pastas are like mini Manicotti or jumbo Rigatoni pasta.  In the meantime, I roasted 2 heads of garlic (drizzled with olive oil and wrapped in aluminum foil) in a 350 degree oven for a half hour.  I mixed 15 ounces of ricotta cheese with one beaten egg and about 4 tablespoons of fine bread crumbs and gave the mixture a few dashes of black pepper, dried basil and nutmeg.  I sliced a couple of shallots very thin and added those to the cheese mixture.  Then, when the garlic was roasted all soft and golden, I squeezed the fragrant cloves into the cheese mixture, mashed it in and mixed it well.  Yum!  The smell of roasted garlic is one of my most favorite aromas on earth!

Put it all together:
Stuff the Paccheri tubes with the cheese mixture (I used a small butter knife instead of a spoon) and laid them on top of some sauce in a shallow baking dish (as seen above in the top photo).  Cover the pasta with more sauce and sprinkle with shredded  Mozzarella cheese. You may add as much sauce as you desire. Bake the stuffed pasta for about 20 minutes to a half hour until cheese on top is melted and the sauce is hot and bubbly.  Sprinkle some fresh Parmesan cheese on top and serve with a side salad and your favorite warm bread.  

Out of the oven
The butternut squash sauce added a soft and surprising sweetness to this dish.  It is a simple meal with delicious flavors.   We really enjoyed it and will have leftovers tomorrow for sure (pasta tastes even better the next day).

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Unconditional Love

Unconditional:  without conditions.  absolute.

"To give and not expect return, that is the heart of love." ~ Oscar Wilde

On my walk with Walter and Henry today, we saw lots of seagulls and birds walking on the bay in low tide.  Canadian geese seem to be everywhere we look.  They are always in pairs.  I think I read somewhere that Canadian Geese mate for life and may only take another mate when widowed. I think Orcas do the same. How lovely and romantic to know they are so fiercely loyal.  Again, animals never cease to delight me with their demonstration of unconditional love.

Here's a shot of the little cove at our apartment complex.  Way in the back are two geese.  My iPhone didn't get the best shot, but they were cuddling there, in love, forever.

Henry and Walter stood on the dock and watched intently while I took the photo.  They know love when they see it.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Henry's Feet

I have heard it said by some, that dog feet smell like salty snacks.  
In our house, we refer to it as Frito Feet.

These are Henny's cute little feet.   He crosses them when he sits on the couch.    Looks like he's wearing fluffy slippers.   I call  them his Fancy Feet.
Does anyone else like the smell of their dog's paws?  There's something strangely appealing about it! 

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Walty's back in the Hood....

"Dogs love company....." J.R. Ackerly

Hey, Dude!  Do you dig my Hood?

Walter managed to scratch his face again into a bloody mess.  An ear infection and other allergies seem to get the best of him.  Our lovely Vet, Dr. Lisa, managed to do a great job shaving the area and cleaning his wounds.  She gave us some antibiotics to drop in his ears and  rub on his face.  His face is itchy and he wants to scratch it all the time. He tries to rub his face on the rug.  I have to constantly watch him to ensure he doesn't scratch it open again. A cold compress seems to give him some relief but he is back in the Hood..

Sometimes I get the feeling he may even kinda like the Hood.

Lately, Walter has been climbing into our bed and stays there for hours on end. I guess he feels safe and comfy there.  This is new behavior for Walter as he generally likes to sleep on the floor.  Now he barks for me to come in and help him up the doggie-stairs and into the bed.  The whole point of the doggie-stairs is so the boys are able to climb up on the bed all by themselves!  Henry climbs the stairs on his own; but not goofball Walty.  He only puts his front paws on the first step and I have to lift his 120-pound butt up those stairs.  HA!  Gotta love the Walty.  Now he is in our bed almost all day and night, only to emerge to eat and go potty.  He has even missed a couple of walks because he doesn't want to leave the bed.  Is he just so comfortable or is he depressed?   My poor, sweet guy!

While Walter is in the comfy bed sleeping away his troubles, Henry is alone in the living room.  Usually always cheerful and upbeat, Henry seems a little down in the dumps as well.  Is he feeling bad that Walter is in the Hood again?  Does he know that Walter is uncomfortable and feels bad?  Perhaps.

Henry -  looking a little lonely today :(

I think he just misses his best buddy.