Friday, April 30, 2010

Mr Thumper chucks a sickie.

Mr Thumper has not been well this week.

He's been chucking up both ends and is now on a fast for the 3rd day in a row.

Sometimes, even when he's well,  Mr Thumper will go for days without eating just because he doesn't feel like it.

I think this is quite strange but it's been going on for years and Dr Dog says it's OK.
The night before last, Mr Thumper was especially sick and my humans were very worried.

They cuddled and patted and talked to Mr Thumper all night and put a big towel on him even though he's never cold.
Mr Thumper is very old now [he's going to be 10 next week] and I guess they thought maybe he wouldn't make it.
I knew Mr Thumper was not well because he let me snuggle next to his tummy which he NEVER lets me do.
The next morning, when he woke up, Mr Thumper was feeling better. 

I could tell because he growled at me when I tried to climb onto his bed.

But I did it anyway. 

I like Mr Thumper much better when he's sick but I hope he gets well soon so everyone can be happy again.

UPDATE Saturday 1st May:
Mr Thumper went to see Dr Dog last night and was diagnosed with A Very Bad Gut Infection. He's taking lots of pills now and will soon be super-grumpy again, I'm sure.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Fashion Tuesday.

Yesterday, my stay-at-home human decided to make me a fleecy coat to keep me warm.

This was wonderful news since I am A Dog Of Little Hair.

She used some leftover material she'd bought on sale to make my winter bed.

It was very pink, VERY bright and had lots of flowers on it.

I felt all girly just looking at it.
My stay-at-home human toyed with the idea of a cape design.

 She considered something that would keep my ears warm.
She attempted to put some ruffles on the coat.

My stay-at-home human is not very good at sewing. So 2 hours later, this is what I got.
I was mortified. 
I chewed a big hole in it the moment she left me alone.

I also chewed my pirate jammie for the 3rd time. It may be beyond saving now.

There's no denying I'm being A Very Bad Girl this week.

My stay-at-home human decided right there and then that she's not going to waste any more money buying nice coats for me.

She's decided that this winter, old T-shirts will have to do.

This one was a floor rug last week and if you laugh at me, I'll get very upset.

Here's the coat I really, really want. Isn't it beoootiful?

This picture was taken from the online catalogue of my favourite store:

Friday, April 23, 2010

I'm having a sad day.

I'm really missing my out-at-work human today. 
My stay-at-home human calls me a Daddy's Girl.
                 I don't know where she gets that idea from and I think she's quite mean to call me names.
I thought if I kept a really close eye on my out-at-work human,
he wouldn't leave me today. 

But he did.
And my stay-at-home-human is mad at me because I just tried to eat my pirate jammie and blankie.

 So now, I'm not allowed upstairs on my own.

I'm afraid I might not have anything warm to wear this winter if she doesn't fix my jammie [again].

And who knows when my Dog Howling At The Moon jammie will finally arrive.

I don't think anyone loves me. Boo-hoo.

My stay-at-home human thinks this recipe will cheer me up but I'm not sure how that might work if I don't get to eat it.

 Ann Makes A 10-Minute Spinach Dip

1 packet frozen spinach
1 packet spring vegetable soup
1 onion-grated
1 small can of water chestnuts -chopped fine
1 container of sour cream
1 cup of mayonnaise
A cob of fresh bread

Combine all above in a bowl. Set aside to let the flavour develop a little.

Meanwhile, gently slice the top off the cob of bread.

Remove the insides, leaving about 1-2 inches of bread all round.

Spoon the dip into the hollowed out bread.

Serve with your choice of raw vegetables, crackers or bread.

And that concludes our Foodie Week. We hope you get to try some of the recipes. And if you find them YUM!... let us know : )

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sambal, essential oils, and I have a Britney moment.

My stay-at-home human has a lot of a.r.o.m.a.t.h.e.r.a.p.y essential oils and floral waters.

They sit in a cool dark corner of an old cupboard. The cupboard smells very nice every time she opens it.

Sometimes, she uses her floral waters on Mr Thumper and me. She washes our cuts and scratches and bites with lavender and lemon tea tree floral water.

Every day, my stay-at-home human burns a little pot of essential oils. She especially likes the ones that say: "calming and relaxing" and "cleansing and disinfecting".

Maybe that's why I'm such a calm, relaxed and clean dog.

My stay-at-home human has one essential oil she uses ONLY FOR ME!

Chilli oil. Someone in the dog park advised her that this was exactly what she needed to spray on things to stop me chewing them. EXACTLY what she needed!

When she sprayed the oil, my stay-at-home human coughed! and coughed! and COUGHED! until she heaved and tears ran down her cheeks. It looked very painful and not at all calm and relaxing.

I gave everything she sprayed a good long sniff and couldn't see what the problem might be.

This only made her more agitated.

My stay-at-home human doesn't use my special chilli oil anymore.

Her new favourites are ones that say "strengthens and fortifies the spirit".

My out-at-work human also likes chilli a lot:

Mr Tang's Homemade Chilli-Garlic Sauce
*1 kilo of large and small [bird's eye] red chillies. [If you can tolerate only a little heat, use only large chillies. If you really, REALLY can't tolerate heat, skip this post.]
*Approx 1 whole garlic to 500g of chillies [assuming you like garlic a lot. If not, use less.]

Clean chillies, remove green bits.
Peel garlic.
Combine in blender with a little water and salt to taste.
Blend till fine.
Store in jars in fridge. Good to freeze.

*Chilli-garlic sauce
*Shallots or onions [preferably red]
*Garlic - to your taste
*Belacan/shrimp paste - to your taste [available at Asian food stores - looks nasty, tastes brilliant]
*Optional - har-mei/dried shrimp

Blend shallots with garlic till fine.

If using har-mei, blend that separately.

There should be about an equal amount of blended onion/garlic to chilli-garlic sauce.

Heat wok/pan with a good quantity of oil. Fry the blended shallot/garlic mixture till fragrant. Stir frequently. It might take some time.

If you're using har-mei, add that in now and continue frying.

Once fragrant, add chilli-garlic sauce, stir well and continue frying.

Add fish sauce, light soy, salt, A LOT of sugar, belacan. Stir well and continue frying. How much seasoning? To suit your tastebuds.
WATCH IT! Stir frequently to prevent burning and sticking.

Once it's very fragrant and quite dark, it's ready. Store in jars in fridge. Good to freeze.

Ginger-Vinegar Chilli Sauce
*Chilli-garlic sauce
*A piece of ginger - thinly sliced and julienned
*White vinegar

Combine all above.
Make when needed [this goes with Hainanese Chicken Rice - previous post].

Ooops! I did it again!

These days, my humans trust me enough to leave me in the house when they're out.

This is what they came home to yesterday afternoon.
This is one of my Naughty Corners. I have many.
I had to help clean up and didn't get to go out to play with my friends.

Are those my cushions?

p.s. After my stay-at-home human stopped screaming and cleaning, I noticed her knee didn't smell funny anymore. "It's A Miracle!" she said.
She's still crabby when I push her though.

!!! We dogs don't mind a little holistic healing, but if you're going to use a.r.o.m.a.t.h.e.r.a.p.y on us, please be careful and check with Dr Dog first!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Boiled white rice. Yuk.

I unexpectedly met Zarny, Hector and Rocky this morning. We played roll-in-the-mud which ended up with me having an unexpected bath.

It was COLD.

That's all the update I'm allowed.

Rachel J loves Hainanese Chicken Rice

The Chicken
*1 whole chicken

The Easy Way - clean, remove funny bits and excess fat. Smash a piece of ginger. Cook whole chicken with ginger in pot of boiling water.

Once the water boils, turn down heat and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes or until cooked. Turn heat off, Leave chicken in pot, with lid on.

The Easier Way - buy a CHINESE style steamed/roast chicken from any CHINESE BBQ shop. They come either white or brown. Both work just as well.

The Gravy
*Oyster sauce
*Light soy/tamari
*Sesame oil

To make the gravy, mix the oil and sauces with some of the chicken stock. How much? Depends on how much gravy you like. I haven't indicated amounts because you should trust your own tastebuds.

The Rice
*About 1 cup per person of white Jasmine rice
*A piece of ginger -crushed and chopped
*A few cloves of garlic -chopped
*A few pieces of bacon rind [a very long time ago, a good friend told me this added a lovely flavour to the dish - and he was right!]

Rinse rice well and leave to drain dry in a strainer.
Fry bacon rind until oil runs. Throw away the rind.
Add a little sesame oil to the bacon oil.
When it starts to smoke, add the chopped garlic and ginger. Fry till fragrant.
Turn the heat down.
Add the rice. Mix well. Fry till a little brown.
Transfer the rice to a rice cooker.
Add in chicken stock, enough to cover the rice and a little over [about 1/2 inch over should do].
Cook the rice.

The Extras
*Garnishing - eschallots and coriander - chopped
*Chilli sauce - slice some ginger and add to plain chilli-garlic sauce with a dash of vinegar. Homemade chilli-garlic sauce recipe coming up soon : )
*Cucumber - sliced [Other traditional vegies you can serve with Hainanese Chicken Rice are scalded oyster sauce beansprouts or kai lan.]

While rice is cooking, start chopping the chicken up into pieces [as they would in a Chinese BBQ shop].

If you took The Easier Way - you're already there! [Assuming you got them to chop the chicken up at the shop.]

Once the rice is cooked, spoon a portion out onto a plate. Put some chicken pieces on top. Pour a little gravy over. Add garnishing. Serve with vegies and chilli sauce.

p.s. will add some RELEVANT pictures the next time I cook it!

The return of The Mystery Box.

To celebrate MasterChef season 2 back on air last night, my stay-at-home human [who's in denial that she's a reality TV addict] is dedicating this whole week to her home recipes.

This is quite ambitious for a person who fried her first egg at 18 and didn't make her first cup of coffee until her [early] 20s.

Don't say I didn't warn you, but since I have no opposable thumbs or typing skills to speak of and depend solely on her goodwill for getting my blog out, I must, reluctantly, let her have her way.

Her first recipe is specially for The Talented Mr Prab who dropped by on Sunday when I was down at London having beer-on-the-floor and soggy chips.

I'm definitely not allowed this one because it has chocolate, but I love bananas! And figs and strawberries are OK too.

Mr Prab's Patience Please! Chocolate Fruit

*Firm strawberries, figs or segments of banana - keep cool in fridge.
*Large block of plain good quality EATING chocolate [variants like chili or coffee chocolate are nice too]. How much? Approx one piece per strawberry.
*If you like - roughly chopped nuts, liqueur like cointreau or kahlua, spices like powdered cardamom, chilli, or ginger

You will also need:   
*a couple wooden satay/kebab sticks
*1 or 2 metal trays, depending on how  many you're making

STEP 1    Before you do anything else - put the metal trays into the freezer!

Heat up a pan/wok of water. It doesn't need to boil. [Water about a third to half the height of the bowl/mug that you'll be using is plenty].

Break the chocolate into pieces.

Put the pieces into the bowl or mug. Mugs are excellent because the handle will help in the dipping process. If you're using a bowl, make sure it's a deep one.
Once the water is simmering, place the bowl/mug of chocolate pieces into the pan/wok.

[Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave at a very low setting, a minute or 2 at a time - opening to stir before reheating.]

WATCH the chocolate as it slowly melts, giving it a stir now and then. DO NOT let it overheat and get oily. PATIENCE Mr Prab!

Once the chocolate has MOSTLY melted, turn off the heat. Residual heat from the water will finish melting the chocolate. If it's cold weather and the chocolate starts to solidify, you can always turn the heat back on.

If you're using liqueur, nuts or spices, now would be a good time to mix them in.

While chocolate is melting, prepare the fruit. Hopefully, your strawberries aren't grape sized because that would make them quite hard to handle. Clean the fruit by wiping rather than washing. if you're determind to wash, pat them dry before using. Leave the green bits on the strawberries because they're pretty. If you're using bananas, cut them into 2-3inch segments.


Time to get 1 tray out of the freezer.

Skewer the fruit GENTLY. No need to poke it all the way through, just enough for you to be able to handle the fruit without it slipping off.

Dip the fruit in the chocolate. Give it a little twirl and very VERY quickly, place the chocolate-dipped fruit onto the cold tray. Because the tray and fruit are cold, the chocolate will set pretty quickly i.e. with less mess!

GENTLY ease the skewer out, and start working on the next fruit. Give each one enough space on the tray to allow for a litle settling of the chocolate.

Once the 1st tray is full, put it IMMEDIATELY into the fridge and start with the 2nd metal tray. I'm assuming you're making LOTS here!

By the time the 2nd tray is done, the 1st should be ready to place into containers or onto your serving plate.

STORAGE: Doesn't really keep well. Maybe a day or 2 in fridge, if the fruit is very fresh and firm. Bananas - forget it! Eat or chuck!


p.s. If you have leftover melted chocolate and, by chance, some leftover cream in the fridge, you might want to make yummy truffles! [Recipe in March post] : )


Hmmm...WHY can't I eat chocolate?

The Talented Mr Prab takes real pictures of me, unlike my stay-at-home-human who takes pictures of me on her mobile phone. You can see Mr Prab's work at:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

C is for Cat.

This is a C-A-T.
  Although she's black, her name is Vanilla.
Vanilla has lived on my street for a very long time. She's much older than me. Whoever lives in her house gets her. She's lived with at least 3 families.

Vanilla is the only cat I've ever kissed. I did it when my humans looked away for 5 seconds.

She kept very still so I got a really good kiss. I think she was quite surprised.

She didn't taste at all like the vanilla icecream at Centennial.

Cats can be scary.

There are many other cats on my street. 
They sleep on steps, on the kerb, on the road, on top of cars, under cars and on rooftops.

I've never seen a cat on a leash.

The cats on my street are very impertinent.

They don't move away for humans, cars or dogs, and ignore you even when you say, "Excuse me please arr-arRw-aaARwWWWh!H!H!H! -WOW-wOW-WOW!!!!?*^!*!"

I'm not sure if this one's dead. Just between you and me, I think he may be a little strange.

Recently, I saw something even more scary than a cat.
My humans think they're dogs.
*duh* My humans can be pretty silly.


This post is dedicated to Clet, Flocon,

and in memory of Marquesa and Moorea.