just yesterday

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The old gray mare,
She ain’t what she used to be
Ain’t what she used to be,
Ain’t what she used to be
The old gray mare,
She ain’t what she used to be
Many long years ago.

Many long years ago,
Many long years ago,
The old gray mare,
She ain’t what she used to be
Many long years ago.

Oh, yeah!  We’ve all had that wonderful little ditty sung to us at one birthday or another.  A childish tune to remind us of our age, our wrinkles and our gray strands of hair.

It’s never an issue when others start to show signs of aging.  When friends “out gray” you or when siblings are first to parade their seniority with age spots and knee creaks.  Nope, it’s never a concern when others display their maturity with saggy boobs, baggy jowls or flabby old-women arms.  In today’s world, all theses aging deficits can be overcome with a little nip n’ tuck, a little botox and a long sleeve sweater.

photo 2-1

matching crows feet

Me?  I’m okay with my beginners set of wrinkles, I’ve always found crows feet attractive.  I call’em laugh lines.  I’m doing okay with the sag, bag and flab trio that comes with sliding past the 50 year marker. I’ve earned those.   I’m even okay with my dyed gray hairs… as long as they stay dyed.  And, I’m okay with my few expanding freckles I found on my wrist and forearm.  Age spots aren’t THAT bad.  Those are badges of experiences and wisdom.  Comes with the territory I tell myself.

What I’m not okay with is seeing these same aging symptoms on the girls.

Just yesterday they were little wiggly puppies with roly-poly tummies and the most precious puppy breath ever.

Photo 6 - Amore and Dolce

Amore and Dolce in their younger days

Just yesterday they were rambunctious young pups with more energy than a power plant on steroids.  And, just yesterday Amore and Dolce were full of piss n’ vinegar, eager to start the morning before the first light of the day, not crossing the finish line until dark.

showing some gray

showing some gray

But just yesterday, I noticed Amore showing some gray in her brows, a little gray in her muzzle.  Just yesterday, I watched Dolce rising up in the mornings a little slower, her back hips reluctant to move as quick.  Just yesterday Malcolm had to lift Amore down from the SUV when he returned from taking the girls for a walk.  The jump too much for her.

Just yesterday I remarked to Malcolm how the girls were sleeping later into the morning, how they were taking longer naps and seeking the sun’s warmth as they curled up on the couch for a snooze.  Just yesterday I observed Amore running slower on our walks, and Dolce lagging further behind.

Just yesterday Amore and Dolce were sumo wrestling in the living room, today they flop down on the sun-warmed bricks for some shut-eye.  Just yesterday, they were destroying books, magazines and newspapers in our absence.  Today they don’t even notice we are gone.

Just yesterday …

fat man gifts

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DSC01384

There is a reason why jolly ol’ Nick is rather rotund – all that Christmas candy and cookies he is served on Christmas eve.  Those many platters of Christmas treats, piled high and plentiful.  All those sweet concoctions made especially for Santa.  And there is a reason why all of us add a little extra tonnage on the ol’ thighs somewhere between Thanksgiving and New Years, between office parties and neighborhood gatherings – all those holiday treats our neighbors and friends gift us, all those tasty nibbles that we swear we will only have one. 

Ha!  One, my ass!  You can never have just one – one cookie, one bite, one taste.  One doesn’t take into account the three cookies you snuck in your mouth while no one was looking.  One doesn’t mean the extra bites and samples you had, “to make sure it was okay”.  One doesn’t explain the chocolate smear on your lips as you exit the bathroom.  Nope, just one does not justify the evidence.  The damming evidence of, dare I say it, tummy tonnage.  GASP!  It can be found anywhere, under your chin, around on your rear, behind your arms.  FAT! 

Hell, weight gain is fine….. on someone else.  So, enjoy helping your family and friends get fat with these wonderful and rich chocolate chubby gifts.  Gifts with good taste!  Gifts that keep giving well after they have all disappeared!

 

PUDGY FUDGEY SAUCE

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. of your favorite liquor such as Amaretto, Bailey’s, or Kahlua (yes, add some more calories!)
  • Small decorative jars with lids

In a medium saucepan, bring the cream and corn syrup to a boil over medium heat.  Remove from the stove-top and whisk in the chopped chocolate until melted.  Stir in the liquor.  Pour into jars and cool completely before covering (otherwise the sauce will become granular).  Once cooled, cap with the lid and refrigerate.  Makes approximate 2 cups and will keep up to 1 month in the refrigerator. 

Now just tag, bag and gift!  Add a small serving spoon to your package to encourage sampling right out of the jar!

 

CHOCOLATE BON BONDS

they will bond smack dab onto your belly!

  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 16 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

       Optional:  add 1 tbsp: peppermint oil; coconut oil; Kahlua, Grand Marnier or a flavor of your choice

In the top pan of a double-boiler, bring the heavy cream to a gentle simmer.  Remove from the stove-top  and stir in the chocolate pieces and butter.  In the bottom double-boiler, bring 1/2 ” water to a slow simmer over low heat.  Set the top pan on the bottom double-boiler stirring continuously until completely melted.  Remove from the heat.  Pour the chocolate mixture into a shallow bowl.  Cool completely, cover and refrigerate until the firm, at least two hours. 

Pour the cocoa in a glass pie pan.  Line an airtight container with wax paper.  Using a melon scooper, dip into a glass of warm water then quickly dip into the chilled chocolate mixture to form a 1” ball.  Drop and roll the chocolate Bon Bon in the cocoa powder until covered and place in the prepared container.  Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks or the freezer up to 3 months. 

Makes approximately 30 Bon Bons if you don’t eat any.  Ah, screw it, keep these for yourself!

 

CHOCOLATE SHORTBREAD

make two batches and hide one for later!

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp. unsweetened dark cocoa
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 5 tbsp. softened butter – pliable but not easily spreadable
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • cooking spray

Combine flour, cocoa and salt in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Place Sugar, butter and oil in a medium bowl and mix with your CLEAN hands until combined.  Add the flour mixture, again, mixing with your hands until blended.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Place dough on a baking sheet that is coated with cooking spray.  press dough into an 8″ x 5″ rectangle about 3/8″ thick.  Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork. 

Bake for 30 minutes or until just set.  Cut shortbread into 24 pieces (one less and we’ll know you ate one!)  Cool.  Gift box and deliver all those calories with a smile on your face!

 

PrintFor delicious recipes and tails of the dogs, purchase If it falls on the floor, it’s mine! cookbook at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0615869823

Canine cuddles

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Nothing says “romance” better than a dozen long-stemmed red roses.  Nothing says “love” better than a sparkling diamond.  And nothing says “sex” better than chocolate!

Unless you are a dog!

canine cuddles

canine cuddles

Dolce has always been our little cuddle-bug, our little sweetheart, our little lover.  She’ll sidle up besides you, nudging your hand to get her ears idly scratched, she’ll sit next to me (or rather on me) in the passenger seat for some extra pets and pats.  She’ll roll over in front of you, stopping you in your tracks, for a belly rub, kicking her back feet in happiness that she got you to stop and rub her.

But her favorite is to cuddle on the couch….

She’ll stretch and slowly crawl up on the leather lounge, keeping to the south end of the couch, patiently waiting for you to get settled in and comfortable.  She’ll then snuggle up against your side, burrowing in, pushing aside pillows, newspapers and blankets to make way for her.   Little-by-little, between her wiggling and leaning, pushing and tugging, she’ll end up with her furry frame wedged between the back of the sofa cushions and your own stretched out body.  Less than five minutes later, she’ll be draped across your torso, her soft head tucked up under your chin.  Instinctively, your arms will reach around her, holding her to you  as you automatically start rubbing and massaging her shoulders.  In due course, her gentle brown eyes will lower in ecstasy, savoring the moment.

There are moments when Dolce will lift her big head and gaze at you, softly starring with pure love in her eyes.  Sometimes gentle, sometimes intense, always with loving sentiment shinning through.  She’ll tenderly drop her head back down to rest on your collar, nuzzling closer, so content.

Nothing says “I love you” from a dog better than a couch cuddle.

CHOCOLATE ADULTERESS

Nothing says ‘sex’ like a taste of chocolate!  Serve with a port or Cognac.

CAKE MIXTURE

  • 1 lb. sweet chocolate
  • 6 oz. unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. flour

Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.  Line an 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper.

In a saucepan, melt the chocolate and butter over low heat.  Meanwhile, place the un-cracked eggs in a bowl of hot water for 5 minutes.  Crack and combine the eggs and sugar in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer on high-speed for 8 to 10 minutes, or, until tripled in volume.  Sift the flour on top.  Fold into the eggs.  Stir 1/4 of the egg mixture into the chocolate.  Carefully fold the chocolate into the remaining eggs until thoroughly combined.

Pour into the prepared cake pan.  Bake for 2o minutes.  The cake will still be slightly soft int he middle.  cool completely in the pan.  Cover and refrigerate in the pan overnight.  May be frozen for up to two weeks.

RASPBERRY SAUCE

  • 8 oz. raspberries, fresh
  • Superfine sugar to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. Mexican vanilla
  • Fresh raspberries for garnish
  • Mint sprigs for garnish

Puree the raspberries and strain.  Add just enough sugar to sweeten.  Pour the cream and vanilla  in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer until firm.  Invert the cake onto a serving platter.  Cut into wedges and place on a pool of raspberry sauce, garnish with fresh raspberries and mint leaves.  Top with a dollop of whipped cream.