Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bring On the Puppy

I love puppies.

I don't love puppy teeth.

Those suckers hurt!

The extreme cuteness makes up for it.

As does snoring.

Sunday was beautiful, so we spent a lot of time on the patio. His entire little head turns pink when he runs around a lot. I hope he doesn't sunburn in the future.

Roland wore a shirt I found in the dollar bins at Target. I think he looks like a lifeguard.

 The turkeys came to visit.
Ayla looked beleagured, having to deal with the new little holy terror. Luckily she gets a steak (toy) to use as a pillow.

Gretel mused upon the meaning of life.

Psst... its 42.
Roland snuggled with his favorite person.

And he showed off his polka-dotty mouth and toes.

There was more napping inside too.

I guess we'll keep him.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Introducing Roland

Meet the newest member of our family, Roland. He's an almost-nine-week-old English Bulldog puppy, and he already rules the household. Here are some pictures from our drive home yesterday morning.

He's pretty much a land shark, all teeth and fury like any good puppy. But sometimes he sleeps.

But his favorite thing is play of course. And if he feels he's getting less than 110% of your attention, he'll let you know with a frustrated whine or a bark that's surprisingly loud.

He's twelve pounds of rolly-polly insanity.

So prepare for the puppy invasion!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Fun on the Hill

Nothing much new going on right now. Ayla and I went for a walk on the hill yesterday.

Maybe if she flaps her ears hard enough she could fly.

We have lift off!

If only for a moment.

Love the smile.

Chasing a ground squirrel.

Yes, she is this narrow. Seriously, she looks like a bobble head from the front.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Another Macaroni and Cheese

But can you ever really have too many mac & cheese recipes? I think not.

I was checking out Recipe Girl's site a while back and came upon her recipe for stuffed manicotti, and a light suddenly went on in my head. I've tried manicotti and stuff shells a few times in the past and always struggled with the boiled pasta splitting when I tried to fill it. She leaves the pasta uncooked, which makes it supremely easy to fill, and then covers it with a good amount of sauce so that everything cooks through. Brilliant! I followed her lead and made stuffed shells, and it worked like a charm.

And then I started thinking about other pasta dishes, and thought, why precook the pasta for macaroni and cheese? And why not throw in a generous amount of wine while I'm at it? The method is simple: make up your cheese sauce, toss with dry pasta, and bake. They key is to have a very saucy sauce that covers all of the pasta. And the end result is a perfectly al dente macaroni and cheese, with a nice strong wine flavor if you do it my way.

I also tossed in some chopped broccoli to add a veggie to the dish, and pretend its healthy despite the generous amounts of cheese I used. And I love BBQ alongside my macaroni and cheese, so I baked up some tofu slathered with BBQ sauce alongside it.

I'm still smitten with my large red ramekins, so I made individual servings of mac & cheese. Large individual servings, that is.

Here's the recipe!

Easy Baked Macaroni and Cheese
for two hungry people

1 cup dry pasta
1 cup broccoli, chopped 
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup milk
3/4 cup white wine
Salt and pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, or your favorite/mix

Preheat the oven to 375F. 

To make the cheese sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan of medium low heat. Add the flour and whisk constantly until the mixture turns golden brown. Then add the milk and stir occasionally until the mixture thickens. Add the wine (use more milk and less wine if you don't want it too wine-y), seasonings (salt and pepper as desired, garlic, red pepper flakes, or whatever else tickles your pickle), and cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted into the sauce.

Add the dry pasta and broccoli and toss until coated. Divide between to large ramekins, or one large oven-safe dish. Top with more shredded cheese if desired. Cover with foil and bake for about 45 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through, removing the foil for the last 10 minutes or so to crisp up the top.


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