Coyotes and Sausage Cream Sauce (Or A Gluten Free Fall Recipe)

It was finally cool enough to take the Bubba hiking today. It felt great to get back out on our old trail and sit on our rock to be contemplative for a few seconds.

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Okay, I was contemplative. Albus was looking for coyotes.

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He wants to play with them.

I’ve tried to explain that they’re not dogs, but he doesn’t speak English except for the word, “chicken.” (This is why he is not allowed off-leash.)

ANYWAY, because it almost felt like fall today, I made a spicy Italian sausage tomato sauce with cream.

I try not to consume gluten (exceptions include: cookie dough and sausage pizza from Mozza), so I served it on roasted spaghetti squash instead of pasta.

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Ugly but delicious.

I added a little vodka to the sauce because renters left some in my freezer and because vodka cream sauces are from God.

If you want to make it, here’s the recipe.

Spicy Sausage in Vodka Cream Sauce

2 T Olive oil
1 lb Spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
1 Medium onion, chopped
3 Garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp Red pepper flakes
28 oz Can of plum tomatoes in juice
1/4 C Vodka
1/2 C Whipping cream
Salt to taste

1 Spaghetti squash
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 375. Slice the squash into quarters. Remove the seeds. Drizzle with olive oil. Place on baking sheet and roast until tender and the insides can be removed easily with a fork.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium pot. Add sausage and cook until brown. Add onions and cook until translucent.

Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and vodka. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add whipping cream and salt to taste.

Serve over spaghetti squash.

Garnish with shaved parmesan if desired.

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All Roads Lead to Bacon (Or Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Onions)

You know that scene in Dirty Dancing when Dr. Houseman tells Johnny he knows he’s not the one who got Penny pregnant?

He’s all, “When I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong.”

(The moment is at 4:28, in case you’re interested — or in case you just wanna watch pretty people dirty dance.)

ANYWAY, when I’M wrong, I say I’m wrong too.

So, here’s one of the ways I’ve been wrong lately: I think I may have been too hard on the Spicy Calabrian Pork Ribs.

They’ve been sitting in my fridge since I made them on Monday and I’ve been snacking on them all week. I’m liking them more now than I did initially. I think maybe the marinade needs to be made a few days in advance so the flavors have time to marry. I might try this experiment another time. (If I do, I’ll totally get back to you.)

The other experiment I want to try?

Involves the maple chile glaze from this pork chop recipe. I think I want to put THAT on pork ribs as well. This brings me to another thought….

It’s possible my pig obsession is getting out of control.

I keep telling myself at least it’s not as bad as this guy’s:

I mean I haven't declared my love on my car yet….

I mean I haven’t declared my love on my car yet….

But I probably would wear one of these to work out.

If you're as nuts as I am about bacon, you can buy these shirts here.

If you suffer from the same affliction, you can buy these shirts here.

An intervention may be necessary.

Even if things ARE a little out of control, I’m not ready to stop the obsession yet, so let’s just keep oinking, K?

Yesterday I promised you the recipe for Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Onions, so here it is.

Spence the Spinosaurus is trying to control himself around this goodness.

They were a huge hit with Spence the Spinosaurus.

I had some bacon leftover after I made the dish, so I decided to candy it with spices and maple syrup. (Recipe here.) Then I cranked up the Kygo, and danced in my kitchen while I waited for my candied bacon to cook because that’s what lunatics people do.

Just try to listen to this track and not do a little dirty dancing of your own.

I dare you.

I double bacon candy dare you.

So Good I Eat ‘Em With a Spoon (Or Low Carb Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes)

This morning I’m munching on my delicious cookie dough breakfast balls, sipping my whole milk latte, and listening to Tritonal’s “Seraphic” absolutely on repeat. If you don’t know it, you should.

The song is helping me write my script. It’s also perfect for dancing alone in my living room because nothing unlocks me — or the emotions I’m usually not in touch with — like music.

ANYWAY, enough about Tritonal, my emotional retardation, and my addiction to cookie dough breakfast balls. It’s time to talk about cauliflower mash.

Cauliflower mash is SO FREAKING GOOD I can eat it by itself. Cold. With a spoon.

I made it to go with my maple chili pork chops, but I made extra and I’ve been eating it all week — with almost everything. Or by itself. Cold. With a spoon. (Are you picking up on my obsession yet?)

Wanna see the mash in all its glory?

Fluffy. Creamy. Beyond.

Fluffy. Creamy. Beyond.

I ate the maple chili pork chop two nights in a row. Why not? (There were two in the package, and I live alone, so…)

The second night I added a little of the maple glaze to the mashed potatoes and they went from amazing to EXTRA amazing. Another time I added a little sour cream to them at lunch to make them a full meal.

Whatever turns you on, right?

Here’s the recipe.

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

1 head of steamed cauliflower
3 small red skinned potatoes, steamed, skin-on
1 T cream cheese
Approximately 1/3 C of chicken broth, or to desired consistency
Sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste.

Steam the cauliflower and potatoes in separate pots, and then combine into one. (They have separate cooking times.)

Add cream cheese while the vegetables are still warm. Add chicken broth and blend everything together. I used an immersion blender to puree because I’m in love with mine. I’m sure a mixer would work too.

*If you want to make them more Paleo-friendly you could skip the creamed cheese and the three red skinned potatoes, but it’s up to you. 

Blend. Devour.

That is all.

Maple Chili Pork Chops (Or Sweet, Sweet Meaty Sin!)

I made things. Meaty things. With maple syrup.

It was such sweet, sweet sin.

See?

This bone-in business is beyond.

This bone-in business is beyond.

I live for spicy, and while the recipe for maple chili pork chops didn’t push my spicy envelope, it had a nice kick. The maple adds a sweet zing without overpowering the meat or the heat. It’s also not crazy on the glycemic index if you’re concerned with that sort of thing. (So actually not so sinful after all….)

My only confusion is that the recipe calls for ground red pepper AND cayenne, and all of my research indicates they’re one in the same. I opted for 1 tsp of cayenne, but I’m sure it would be fine with 1 1/2 tsp of cayenne. I also used kosher salt instead of table salt because it seemed like a lot of salt otherwise.

It was delicious. The recipe is here in case you want to make it yourself. It’s another PaleOMG recipe because I just can’t stop when it comes to that site. I’m like this with her recipes.

I’ll hook you up with my cauliflower mash recipe later. You’re welcome for that. In advance.

In other news, the bubba seems to be feeling better, and he’s finally ready for yoga.

You want me to do WHAT with this block?

You want me to do WHAT with this block?

OK, maybe he isn’t ready for yoga, but I am.

I’m off to CorePower now.

Kisses. Cauliflower mash later. I promise.

XOXO

2014 and I Are Going to be Friends (Or Will You Still be My Blog Friend?)

I was reading through old posts this week and realized my credibility is pretty shaky here in the blogosphere. I promised not to be all philosophical and sad, I said I’d write a post about meyer lemon budino fluffiness, and I failed on both fronts. If I’m being really honest, I probably still owe you a proper wrap up from Finn’s baby shower… and the child is practically walking, faux hawk and all.

Dogs and Babies on Dogs Dishes and Decor

I mean look at him! He’s going to be hiking with Woodley soon.

It seems a little inauthentic to resurrect all that now.

SO… here’s what I’m gonna do instead:

I’m going to stop making promises I can’t keep. Seriously. I’m not going to promise posts I don’t really feel like writing, I’m going to say sorry for not publishing those half written drafts, and I’m going to keep moving forward. I’m going to trust that those of you who have stuck by me through the highs and lows of the last year will do continue to do so, and those who really just want sprinkles, sparkles, and puff pastries have found all that glitters and oozes with butter somewhere else.

So this is Dogs Dishes and Decor these days. It’s the good with the bad. The highs with the lows. Life with a side of glitter.

Cool?

Cool. Now let’s talk about 2014. It started off pretty solid.

I mean, I found this on a rock while hiking with Albus on New Year’s Day.

New Year's Day Hike on Dogs Dishes and Decor

I’d love to know how this actually ended up on a rock in the Hollywood Hills, but I’m not asking questions. I’m just wearing my crown like a boss.

And now that the year is well underway, I’m helping Finnie’s mommy plan a baby shower for someone in our (now defunct) supper club, I’m prepping for a massive shoot at work, and I’m doing my best to navigate the new rules of nutrition outlined by my Ayurvedic doctor without stabbing someone on set because I haven’t had any pickled ginger or dark chocolate in days.

Here’s a preview of the baby shower brain child I’m creating.

100 Layer Cake Baby Shower Ideas on Dogs Dishes and Decor

Photo courtesy of 100 Layer Cake.

Baby Shower Cake from 100 Layer Cake on Dogs Dishes and Decor

Photo courtesy of 100 Layer Cake.

You can check out my Pinterest Board for the shower here.

And just for good measure, here’s the meyer lemon budino I made last spring when my long lost Gillian returned from producing DIVERGENT in Chicago.

Meyer Lemon Budino from Bon Appetit on Dogs Dishes and Decor

Bon Appetit knows what’s up with budino.

You can find the recipe here.

Happy 2014!

Let’s still be blog friends. K?

Blast the Billy Ocean and Create (Or Carrot Cupcakes for Noah)

Guys, it’s time for my Billy Ocean Pandora station. I can’t wallow anymore. I’m no good to anyone — particularly myself — if I’m wallowing.

Sure it’s important to feel your feelings. And yeah we need to acknowledge loss and embrace the sadness, but we also have to pick ourselves up and do our damn dishes… get off our couches and dance in our kitchens.

Tuesday and Wednesday seriously sucked. I’m not going to lie. I cried. So much. I still made myself go to yoga, church, business meetings and whatnot. But between those things? I cried. So much, in fact, that I could hardly wear my contacts because I screwed up the ph of my eyes. So I decided to start Thursday by hiking with my long lost Suzie who is finally back from Iran. Determined to stay in a good place, I’m now blasting Billy Ocean and blogging.

See, Billy Ocean makes me smile — and Suzie inspired me to create. Because she’s brilliant, she pointed out the importance of creating instead of consuming. (Creating has transformative potential for our souls and stuff.) So I’m doing that. I’m creating… this blog post.

Ta da!

And in this blog post? I’m giving you the inspiration to create carrot cupcakes. I made them for Noah’s memorial because my mom couldn’t find cupcakes she liked anywhere in East Lansing.

People loved them and stuff.

Carrot cupcakes from Dogs Dishes and Decor #carrot #cupcakes #fall

Oh, and for further inspiration, here’s the Billy Ocean song that’s making me smile today.

Crank it up and bake yourself some carrot cupcakes. Put frosting all over the pain and then give it all away. And by “all” I mean the pain and the baked goods; there’s no sense in getting fat because bad things are happening.

Just saying…

Noah’s Carrot Cupcakes

2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 C sugar
1 1/2 C vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 C crushed pineapple, drained
2 C finely grated carrots
1 C shredded coconut
1 C chopped walnuts
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350.

Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a mixing bowl. Set aside. Beat the sugar, oil, and eggs together in a mixing bowl. Gradually add the flour mixture. Fold in the pineapple, carrots, coconut, and walnuts. Stir in the vanilla.  Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely and top them with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8-oz package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 C butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 C confectioners’ sugar (or to desired consistency)

Beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth.

The recipe makes about 24 cupcakes, so you’ll have a lot to give away.

Another Ordinary Cookie (Or I Try ANOTHER Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe)

I’m in search of the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. And I still haven’t found it. I really haven’t. And I’m tired of eating things that are only average. This is probably some sort of metaphor for my life, but whatever. I’m not in the mood to think that deeply right now.

The cookies I made last night are pretty good. They’re all light and fluffy and stuff. Plus the recipe recommends a tip for dissolving the baking soda in water before adding it to the batter. It’s supposed to prevent the cookies from spreading on the pan. And it sort of works. Mostly. I mean, the cookies are kinda fluffy and they’re not super flat. So there’s that.

Chocolate Chip Cookies from Dogs Dishes and Decor

See? Kinda fluffy.

Maybe I need to drop my need for perfection, embrace my inner Cookie Monster, and just say “COOOOOOKIE!”

So far the only time I really wanted to stick my face in the pan like that? Was when I made cookies from this mix.

So I think the best thing to do is try this recipe from Ghirardelli next.

Some day I’ll get it right. I’m not giving up. Because cookies? Are important.

You can check out some of my past experiments here and here.