Friday, February 22, 2013

Instant fence

Mr. Cool ventured further into the world of newly fallen snow today.

I usually put a leash on him since he can be such a speed demon; but today a leash isn't necessary.

Seems we own a fence now. :)

It's not 100% Mr. Cool proof, but our new snow wall slows him down considerably!

Do you have a new snow fence at your house, too?

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013


And just where have I been, you may be wondering? Or not. But I'll tell you anyway.

I have been in Chicago!

The above photo is of Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio when he was a very young (very young) architect in Oak Park, Illinois. We took the tour. Quite interesting.

Regarding the city of Chicago...let's just say I'm a country mouse. 

And very glad to be home.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Spicy pizza

Stumbled onto this pizza combination when my oldest was sick and requested something spicy. It's become a regular on pizza night Fridays!

If you already have a standard homemade pizza recipe, I'll sum up by saying I just doctored up our usual "everything" pizza by using pepper jack cheese in addition to mozzarella. Before baking, I topped it with red pepper flakes and hot peppers

You could add even more red pepper flakes after it comes out of the oven.

Here's my full recipe, in case you're interested. :)


2 cups warm water
1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast
2 Tablespoons sugar (more or less)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix the above ingredients and let sit about 5 minutes in a warm place--until it gets a little foamy.

Then add:

1/3 cup olive oil
4 - 5 cups flour

Mix well until a dough forms. If it's not firm enough, add more flour. If it's too firm, add more oil. 

Knead it a little bit, but don't go out of your way too much.

It is probably a good idea to let this rise, but I never do.

I divide the dough among three oiled and floured pizza pans: 2 medium sized and one large.

I pre-bake these for about 6 minutes each in a 425 degree oven.

Cheater Sauce:
This is even less hassle than my baked ziti cheater sauce

I just take a can of tomato paste and add enough water to make a spaghetti sauce consistency. Then I add some sugar, a tablespoon at a time and taste. I also add a little salt and some Italian seasonings. Just keep tasting until you're happy.

Spread sauce on the pre-baked pizza crusts.

Add whatever toppings are desired. We usually have a cheese and black olive pizza; a cheese, pepperoni and black olive pizza and an "everything" pizza.

You could also add some oregano and Parmesan cheese before putting in the oven.

Bake each until the cheese turns golden and sizzles a little bit--about 15 to 20 minutes at 425.

Here are photos of the other pizzas:

Cheese and black olive pizza
Cheese, pepperoni and black olive pizza

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Baked ziti with cheater sauce

FIVE MINUTES of prep. That's it.

If you want lasagna night cheers and accolades without pesky lasagna night hubbub, this recipe is for you!



1 jar of spaghetti sauce (read below for my cheater "sauce" recipe)*
1 1/2 cups water
3 teaspoons garlic powder 
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese --  
   reserve 1 1/2 cups mozzarella for topping
12 oz. cottage cheese
4 cups of ziti or penne pasta


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix ingredients together in a big bowl.** 
Grease a 9 x 13 pan.
Dump everything into the 9 x 13 pan.
Cover with foil.
Bake for 55 minutes.
Remove foil and top with the reserved mozzarella.
Bake uncovered for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.


I mix 1 can of diced tomatoes with 2 cans of tomato paste in a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup. Then I fill with water to the 4 cup line. I add Italian spices, a few tablespoons of sugar and some salt and pepper. I sometimes microwave for 45 seconds so I can claim I cooked it.

**The uncooked pasta clicks on the side of the bowl when mixing. You can pretend you're making shellfish. That's what I do.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Shoes of the day--SOTD

Every time I see bloggers posting photos of their shoes--so cute and pigeon-toed--I think, "if only they could see MY shoes."

Well, internet world, here are my super-fab shoes of the day. 

In all fairness, though, these are the shoes I wear to take the dogs out, put trash cans to the curb and get the mail. 

I don't really wear these anywhere "out."

My black flats are bedazzled with dried dirt and feature a "pop" of white tube sock at the right foot pinky toe.

Pants: I don't remember. Had them forever.
Socks: My husband's.
Shoes: Can't remember. Had them longer than the pants.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

My Superb Owl Contribution

I see that #Superb Owl is trending right now. Ha. Love it.

Here is my contribution. It is from an article I wrote a while back about a local owl who was hit by a fire truck (the firemen say the owl hit them...ha). 

The owl was rehabilitated and finally set free.

Here is the article and video link:

Recovered Owl Set Free

Happy Superb Owl Sunday!

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Tales from Trish

Taco dip for you and me

Thought I'd share my favorite taco dip recipe.



2 cans of refried beans
1 pound of shredded cheddar or taco-flavored cheese
Sour cream
Chopped black olives
Chopped onions
Tortilla chips
Guacamole (if I had my way...but my family violently protests)


  • Spread the refried beans in a 9 x 13 microwaveable dish.
  • Microwave according to bean directions.
  • On top of the beans, spread some sour cream.
  • Then spread some salsa.
  • On top of the salsa, sprinkle most of the shredded cheese (save a little).
  • Top the dish with chopped lettuce.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
  • Decorate with dainty dollops of sour cream, salsa and...
         GUACAMOLE (living vicariously through you if you don't mind) 
  • Add black olives and onions.
  • Place a bowl of tortilla chips nearby to accompany your masterpiece. 
Is this recipe similar to your favorite taco dip??