Second Chance, Birdeye

Friday, December 28, 2012

Chance has a weird ear that doesn't stand up

He's camera shy, you can see the stain from a collar around
his neck

This one looks like he's cross eyed but he's not!



January 20, 2013

Chance is going to Maine in February!! He actually weighs 24 lbs. and is so sweet.  Yay for Chance and PAWS of Marion! :)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Well Chloe and I (and of course Jackie) are in the fostering business again, Happy New Year to us!  lol!  This 6 month old mix was brought to the vet clinic last Wednesday by some people who saw him on Interstate 55.  They weren't our clients but thought the pup would be killed on the highway.  They surrendered him and now Chloe and I have the little guy.   When we gave him a bath, we did his nails first and I noticed he didn't have a rear toe nail which then led me to noticing his stomach was bare and had a bunch of scabs on it.  It looks like he's been hit by a car, he has a shoulder abrasion too.  Both stomach and shoulder are healing fine.  He's been vaccinated, dewormed and is heartworm negative and on heartgard and advantix, just fyi.

Name: Second "Chance"
Age: 6 months give or take
Weight: around 15 lbs. and with the size of his feet probably won't get that much bigger
Personality: shy but does warm up with time
Barker: no, he's very laid back, doesn't want a lot of attention, just love
Other dogs: shy but will warm up
Cats: does fine
Crate trained: yes
Leash trained: in training by our expert Chloe
Medical: Heartworm negative, 1st vaccinated 12/28 DHPP Rabies, on Heartgard and Advantix.  He's healing from what looks like a hit by car injury on his shoulder and stomach

Let me know if you're interested in giving Second Chance a permanent home!

Cherry Pie and Christmas, Birdeye

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Birdeye Christmas Party at Martin and Kara's a few weeks ago
These are the cousins: Back row: Stephen Shanks, Martin,
Benton Smith, Beth Huff, Matt Boone, Jeff Renfro; Third
row: Kara, Alexis Smith, Sam Stacy, Lee Quessenberry,
Kristie Renfro; Second Row: Julie Boone, me, Cade Martin,
Sarah Jane Martin, Michael Quessenberry, Catherine Dalton;
Front row: Counts Louise Shanks, me, Jessica Stacy, Beth
Bradshaw and Lee's wife

Oh la la...the deliciousness...Homemade Cherry Pie

You can see the different cherries I had...2 cans pie
filling with a cup of frozen sweet cherries (the dark ones)

Christmas at Memaw and Grandad's was a ton of fun...

Here are the cousins at Jimmy and Beth Huff's
Christmas Eve party....August, Eli Boone, Austin Boone (behind)
Whit, Trevor Boone (front), CoCo and Stella

Biscuit sure did enjoy did Gumball...

Mother and Gary sent Chloe a ton of
white boards and dry erase markers...she loves them!

The Zipper had a good Christmas he is about
to pounce on a remote controlled mouse....

Chloe wrapped up a ton of stuff for our four legged family

Santa brought Chloe a wagon to haul her dogs
in behind her bike...Gumball hopped right in

The white boards were a hit....

Santa also brought CoCo some cats that she

And we got 3 inches of snow at midnight...

Crazy are some of the girls at Kara and I's party...
Sara Burrow, Emily Neller, Counts Louise, me, Kara, Alexis
Beth Huff and shoe winner Cecelia Killough
Merry Christmas from Birdeye and Happy Boxing Day!

Man it's been a busy month!  I thought I'd share this really good recipe for cherry pie I found!  I must confess here, on this here blog, that in the past, the past I tell you, I have opened up canned
cherries and thrown them into the dough, baked the pie and called it a cherry pie.  Well ya'll know that's no way to make a cherry pie right?  And I've found a great, super easy way to make pie that is not out of a can, so to speak.  I made this for Jeanie and Harmon's annual Christmas dinner where we exchange gifts before Kara and my parents arrive.  I think it was deliciousness for sure.  I've added some Birdeye Christmas Party pics, Christmas Eve and Day pics to show where we've been!

Cherry Pie from the

Pie Crust (I bought the dough, yes, yes I did, I didn't have time to do the homemade dough because Kara, Beth and I went on a bike ride Saturday, then Kara and I went to Memphis to see Becca and Neall's new, precious baby boy Dean on his birthday and then on to Christmas at Memaw and Grandad's, whew, a busy day for sure!) I used refrigerated dough, you need 2 doughs for this pie.

Cherry Filling:

4 C. pitted, sweet or tart frozen cherries (can also use 4 C. canned or bottled cherries, drained with 1/3 c. juice reserved) I used 1 C. sweet frozen cherries thawed with 3 C. canned, drained cherries
3/4 C. white sugar
2-1/2 T. quick cooking tapioca (I only had regular so I used cornstarch as a substitute and it worked beautifully)
1/8 t. salt
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. Kirsch or 1/4 t. almond extract, I used almond
2 T. butter, diced

Make the Cherry Filling:  Place the cherries in a large bowl add the sugar, tapioca (corn starch), salt, lemon juice, vanilla and almond extract and gently toss to combine.  Let sit for 10-15 minutes (if using bottled cherries, add the juice but I used canned so it's not really separable) and then pour into the pastry shell.  Lightly brush rim of the pastry shell unbaked with egg wash (egg wash is an egg and 1-2 T. water whisked).  Top with the second refrigerated dough that has been sliced thinly with a knife over the pie like a lattice (the original recipe on the website says to make 20 stars out of the dough but I didn't have the time).  Sprinkle with granulated sugar.  Bake the pie for 15 minutes at 425 then reduce the temperature to 350 for about 25-30 minutes or until the pie bubbles.  If the edges are browning too much, cover with a foil ring (I did this from the beginning and it took 35 minutes to bake, bubble and brown).  Let the pie cool for several hours and store 2-3 days at room temperature.

That was such a good, stinking cherry pie.  I tell ya it's the extract, the vanilla and the frozen cherries.  Next year I'll try and mix the cherries up 3 ways for fun. I also served this here pie with ice cream, I forgot mine and thankfully Memaw had some to share.

Hug and kiss those babies tonight, be thankful for each and every loved one (the crazy ones too) and it's Jesus who's the reason for the season.  I am thankful for our health, Coco & Jackie, friends, family, a job I love, a wonderful loving church, a love of cooking, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, insulin and a roof over our head.  And I'm thankful for many, many more things I cannot think of at this moment, aren't you?

Peppermint Bark, Birdeye

Thursday, December 13, 2012

This was my first attempt to make Peppermint Bark....I was a
total dork buying 4 different types of chocolate....(not
pictured is semi-sweet).  And not one of my 2 recipes for
peppermint bark called for bittersweet chips, I bought that
by mistake.  I realized it after pouring the white chocolate
on top...once cooled I think they taste great with bittersweet
chocolate, we'll see on Saturday...

After the base layer of chocolate cools, you
pour the white chocolate on top

Paula Deen's recipe has you put the peppermint in the
chocolate not on top.  I think the peppermint on top is
more colorful though!

You'll want to put it back in the fridge after adding the
white chocolate and peppermints on top.  Let it come
to room temperature and then break apart into random chunks

Thankfully Kara suggested that I take back the candy canes
that the recipes called for and buy the ones already broken up
 and I think it was a good move because I snacked on the
Andes chips and they were creamy and delicious!

Our Wynne Presbyterian Church had the Christmas program are our precious angels, Stella, Maggie Neller,
Julia Shepherd and Katie Bradshaw
Sunday, December 16, 2012

For the record, I think it was great bark...delicious!  Thanks to Ashley King for saying so too, thanks Ashley! :)

Chloe's there as a cow with August who was her sheep
(and yes, that's a doll as the baby Jesus, thank goodness!)
 Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Kara wanted to make Peppermint Bark for our annual Birdeye Christmas Party and I wanted to do it since I thought our menu was heavy on her side.  So after research, I picked two different recipes for the easy, easy treat.  I did buy the wrong candy for one of the recipes and after I realized it, I made it again with the right chips (the correct one was semisweet instead of bittersweet) since I had enough white chocolate.

I found this recipe on the web at the

Peppermint Bark

Line the bottom and sides of an 8 inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, smoothing out wrinkles. (I saw the Food Network's video using jelly roll pans with parchment paper and it worked beautifully)

6 oz. semi sweet chocolate, chopped (I used chips)
2 t. vegetable oil
6 oz. white chocolate, chopped (I used Baker's White Chocolate squares and it melted beautifully)
1/3-1/2 C. crushed candy canes (I used 1/2 C. Andes Peppermint Crunch)
(I added a few drops of Peppermint Extract like the Food Network did)

Melt the semi sweet chips with 1 t. vegetable oil in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water (I had it over the heat way to hot, so keep stirring and get it off that heat quick).  Immediately pour the melted chocolate into the prepared pan and tilt the pan so the chocolate makes an even layer.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until the chocolate has set.

Melt the white chocolate with 1 t. vegetable oil in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water.  Immediately pour the white chocolate over the dark chocolate and tilt the pan so the chocolate is in an even layer.  Sprinkle the crushed candy cans over the top (I do think it's prettier this way but you can certainly mix them in with the white chocolate and pour over the top)  Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until the chocolate has set.  (It takes about 2 hours)

Remove the Peppermint Bark from the pan by lifting the edges of the foil (you don't have to do that with parchment paper, it comes right off).  Peel back and break or cut the bark into small irregular pieces.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Makes about 25 pieces.  (I did triple the recipe since I have jelly roll pans which is really a cookie sheet with sides).

I'll have to report back after our party on Saturday.  I'll take this down if it's terrible.  I tried it and loved it by the way! :)
We had plenty of shepherds...Eli Boone, Hunter Prince, Whit,
Trevor Boone, Austin Boone and Seth Poindexter

Our Three Kings, Linton Bradshaw, Cole and Grey Westbrook

Chloe and I had a busy day, we had a tea at BFF Maggie
Miller's house after church

Then after that, Stella, August and Whit came over while
Kara and Martin went to her Christmas's always so
fun having them over!

Red Fish Grill, New Orleans

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

This maybe dark, but under that bright light is the sign for
the Red Fish Grill on Bourbon between Canal and Iberville

Holy Smokes...the BBQ Oysters are a must at the Red Fish

A shot of Jackson Square

After the Red Fish, Jackie and I went to Old Absinthe House
and there was a parade down Bourbon Street

I cannot believe I got a photo of the actual Absinthe drink
being made at Old Absinthe's made by lighting
a sugar cube over a glass while pouring Absinthe.  NO
we did NOT order one of these but Jackie has before and
it tastes like licorice...totally nasty!  Old Absinthe House
is one of Jackie's favorite bars on Bourbon since we met
Mom and Gary down there for the 2004 Sugar Bowl where
LSU whooped the Sooners 21-7.  And I have to comment
here that I have never, I mean, never seen college football
fans act as badly as the LSU Tiger fans.  They were a
bunch of drunks and they were rude, crude and
socially unacceptable.period.
Friday, December 7,2012

Jackie and I have been to the Red Fish Grill now for about 5 years.  It's an easy walk from the Westin Hotel on Canal.  This year we had lunch and a late night snack at the Fred Brennan's restaurant.  The Red Fish always delivers great friendly service which we had at both visits to the bar.  For lunch, I had the Salmon Club over homemade wheat bread with arugula and bacon.  It was so good and served with penne pasta salad with capers.  Jackie had a dozen oysters that were huge, the biggest oysters we've ever seen.ever.  When we made it back to Red Fish Grill after the reception for the levee board, we had the most delicious BBQ oysters with Crystal Hot Sauce and homemade blue cheese dressing.  I have to admit I don't like to do repeaters while in the Big Easy, but we were not interested at all in waiting in the 25 person line at either Acme or Felix's at that hour on Bourbon Street.  The oysters were crunchy and perfectly fried.  Jackie had his traditional Abita Christmas Ale and I enjoyed a class of Louis Martini Cab.

Make a reservation for dinner at the Red Fish Grill if you want a table.  Jackie and I enjoy the casualness of the bar and attentive waitstaff and you can seat yourself in there.  And the ladies room was in perfect shape.  Check out their website!

Red Fish Grill, 115 Bourbon Street, New Orleans 504-598-1200

Central BBQ, Memphis

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It's said that Central BBQ is rated #1 on the
pork sandwich year after year...

Jackie ordered the BBQ plate with greens and beans...Delish!

I had the famous pork BBQ sandwich with their homemade
chips...look at that one next to that sandwich...delicious
with the Ghost River IPA...yum!
Sunday, December 2, 2012

Well it's official...I love some Sunday afternoon barbecue.  We were heading through Memphis today at lunchtime and after I offered up 4 ideas for lunch, Jackie suggested Central BBQ.  Well, I'm hooked.  When we arrived it was noonish and the place was filling up, in fact it was packed inside and the patio was getting there.  I was thankful for the long line in front of us, which is not often, so I had time to really weigh the menu options.  Jackie ordered the BBQ plate which comes with Texas toast and 2 sides, he picked beans and greens, no pun intended.  Thankfully he shared those sides and lemme tell you those greens with the homemade vinegar barbecue sauce, were delish I tell you and I could have had a bowl instead of a 2 oz. cup like he had.  It inspires me to make up some kale that I have this week....hmmm...

I was back and forth on the chicken or pork and decided on the pork since the menu said it was rated #1 again...and it was perfection.  We sat at a nice table outside on the deck which faces Central Ave.  I thought the traffic would be a noise maker but it wasn't at all.  In fact, there were lots of people walking up and down Central during the noon hour.  Jackie got the silverware and drinks from inside, he also brought back 3 sides of the hot bbq sauce and I used all three for my pork (I scooted the bun off to the side since I knew the sugar in the sauce and fat in the meat would send my blood sugar reading off the chart) and it was smoky and hot but not off the charts.  I added their homemade chips as my side to the sandwich that are seasoned to perfection. I looked online but couldn't find the recipe, it seemed like course salt with some of their BBQ seasoning but I'm not sure.  For the record, there was nothing left on my plate but the bun.seriously.

I am sad that I have driven past this Memphis original restaurant for 15 years now.  It's right on the way to the Cooper Young area as well as the Liberty Bowl and on the way to Midtown.  I'm hooked on Central Barbecue.  Keep in mind that they have catering and an online store where you can have any of their family packs or seasoning shipped to anywhere in the United States (but PO Boxes, duh!).  I think it's a great holiday gift, just saying.  Check out Central Barbecue next time you're in the neighborhood, don't drive by, stop in, you won't be disappointed!

PS Central BBQ is also a Certified Green Fork Project too! :)

Central Barbeque, 2249 Central, Memphis 901-272-9377 (this is just one of three locations in Memphis)
Someone abandoned 4 kittens and 2 momma cats on the
front porch of the clinic last week....

We let Chloe pick one out and Whit and Stella did too...
he is very, very playful and should (should) make a good

This is we have a B (biscuit), a G (gumball) and
now a Z....

Mushroom Enchiladas with Avocado/Tomatillo Salsa, Birdeye

I substitued green tomatoes for tomatillos

Before the blender...

After the blending....:)

I warm tortillas in damp paper towels in the microwave

Keep the salsa to top on the enchiladas after they are cooked...

Oh my that Zipper....Chloe adopted this new
kitten that was left on the front porch at the
clinic last week....

He's spoiled already...just sayin....
Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Chloe was home sick yesterday with a fever and sore throat and she has an AP English paper due Friday...she didn't want to miss a day ...all you momma's out there know you can't send kids to school with fever cause then the whole school would be we stayed home, worked on her AP English paper and I looked around and saw that I had the ingredients to make this recipe.

You saw all the leftover green tomatoes we had from a week ago and I researched that you can use them just like tomatillos and since I had avocados and cilantro, it made sense to make one of my favorite, easy, classy enchilada recipes from Fresh, Lake Austin Spa, Terry Conlan, a genius I want to meet and worship his southwest cooking someday...even though he's retired.

Here's how it goes:

Mushroom Enchiladas with Avacado/Tomatillo Salsa

"Believe it or not, mushrooms are very much a part of Mexican cuisine, and a very tasty filling for enchiladas too.  Topped with a cool and creamy sala and finished with a crunchy, colorful salad, they are just the boleta (ticket)  for your next summer fiesta".

The Salsa

1-1/2 cups fresh husked tomatillos, I used green tomatoes (no need to core or chop)
1/2 c. chopped onion, I used a leftover half red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced, I used 4
1 serrano chile, chopped, I used 3 jalapenos out of the garden
1/2 C. packed fresh cilantro
1/2 medium avocado peeled and seeded, I used the whole dang thang
1/4 t. salt, I accidentally put in 1 t. it was SALTY!
1/4 t. sugar
1/4 t. fresh lime juice

Combine the tomatillos, onion and garlic with enough water to cover in a large saucepan over medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Drain, reserving the liquid.  Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth thicken with the liquid if needed.  Chill the salsa until ready to serve.

The Enchiladas

1 t. olive oil
6 C. chopped fresh mushrooms, I used 3 large chicken breasts uncooked instead
1/2 C. diced onion
2 garlic cloves minced, I used 4
1 poblano chile, roasted, peeled and seeded, I used the 2 I had cause they needed to be used
2 T. cilantro
salt and pepper
3/4 C. shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese, I used colby jack regular
8 corn tortillas softened, I made 14 enchiladas
1 C. Avocado salsa
1/4 C. feta or queso fresco

The garnish
Thinly sliced onion
Thinly sliced radish
Shredded lettuce

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet.  Add mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes then add the onion and garlic 2 minutes and mix well (I used 3 chopped chicken breasts and cooked in the onion and garlic till done) Then add the chile, cilantro, salt and pepper mix well.  Add the cheese and place equal amounts on each tortilla and roll enclosing the mixture seam side down in a covered baking dish (I spray with nonstick cooking spray).  Bake covered at 375 for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and place 2 enchiladas on each plate and top with salsa, 1 T. feta and garnish with sliced onion, radish and lettuce (I didn't have these toppings but I did add black beans topped with minced green onions).

Dang it I love these Enchiladas...I'm just sayin....:)

Nutrients for the mushroom enchiladas per serving: Cal 339, Prot 19 gr, Carbs 49 gr, Fat 15 gr.