Friday, October 15, 2010

Pumpkin Pie, Oh My!

Pumpkin pie for breakfast - what a treat! I've been thinking about pumpkin pie but also thinking about the calories. We don't often do desserts, but every now and again I have a craving for one. Odd that we never think of pumpkin pie the rest of the year, but in the fall it's a different story. Perhaps it's because of all the pumpkins stacked up in the stores and laying the the fields, and all the Pumpkin Festivals they seem to advertise this time of the year.

Making a traditional pumpkin pie without the crust seemed like a way to cut at least the fat calories, but I did a search on the Internet for a Crustless Pumpkin Pie and found one that sounded good. It went together easily, although I made a few changes. I ALWAYS make changes to recipes, and if they don't turn out I can just blame the recipe rather than my changes. This time I substituted half brown sugar for the cup of white sugar, fat free condensed milk for the cup of whole milk, and extra pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon. Could have used egg substitute too, but it was frozen so I used the real deal. The recipe includes 1/4 flour and is supposed to make it's own crust. It was easy to put together, was just the right amount for the rarely-used glass pie plate and appeared to be done when the timer went off after 60 minutes.

Wow! It was very good!  Doesn't really make a "crust" although I guess you could call the cake-like edge a crust. Rich, moist, spicy and very pumpkin-y. Definitely a keeper of a recipe. We both enjoyed a piece before bedtime, and later I had a dream about pumpkins. Wonder if I could have a piece for breakfast?  Hey, I'm adult and I can eat what I want to eat. I can tell myself pie for breakfast is healthy too, and it certainly is no less healthy than a sweet roll or bagel with cream cheese. Maybe I'll even have a second piece!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Eyes Have It!

"Silly question for you. I was reading an earlier post about eye color and it brought a question to mind. Are green eyes acceptable in Dals? I have a liver pup and her eyes were bright blue two weeks ago when I brought her home but it appears as though they are now taking on a greenish tint. The standard says brown or blue eyes so if they turn green, will she be disqualified from showing?
Thanks so much!"
Argus's mother Olivia has beautiful eyes!

Although the genes that allow Dalmatians to be either black or liver (and we will leave a discussion of lemon, orange, brindle, blue & tri-color for another time) also affect the color of the eyes, there are modifiers that affect the shade of that color. The eye color on black dogs may range from virtually black to very pale yellow, while the eyes on liver dogs range from deep brown to the same pale yellow, or virtually colorless. In general, black dogs have brown eyes while liver dogs have gold or light brown eyes. (Both blacks and livers may have blue eyes of course, but that’s a separate issue.)

In general, black dogs with dark eyes can produce liver dogs with dark (for a liver) eyes, while liver dogs with the dark eyes may produce blacks with very dark eyes. Light eyed blacks are often blamed on the fact that there may be liver in the pedigree, but that is only because breeders tend to accept light eyes on livers. While livers can not have near-black eyes, they can have dark eyes. By accepting pale eyed livers, we will also get light-eyed blacks. Many liver Dals have darker eyes than blacks.

Guessing eye color on Dal pups can be difficult, but my experience has been that the eyes on black spotted dogs will only get lighter (never darker) while the eyes on liver dogs often will darken with age. If the eyes on a liver pup show a narrow rim of dark gold around the pupil, or if they appear green at 8-10 weeks of age, they will normally be darker liver eyes. If the eyes are a light hazy bluish gold, they will generally be lighter, but they will normally darken somewhat by maturity.  People are often concerned when they see a distinct green color in the eyes of a liver spotted Dal.  Although greenish eyes do happen in a few breeds, I have never seen or heard of it in a Dalmatian.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Last Day Of Summer, All Over Again

Forecast for today, 77 and sunny.  It's been an amazing month with temperatures 20 degrees above normal and several record-setting days.  Tomorrow it cools down to the mid-60s, still well above normal.  We've had no rain since the 3+ inches several weeks ago, which is perfect for the farmers who are harvesting crops, but the trees, lawns, and perennials need fall moisture to get them through the winter.  We watered everything last week and will pay particular attention to the flower beds, trees & shrubs this week.  The Tiger Eye Sumac is in prime color right now, redder than it was when I took that picture, but the leaves drop quickly and it will be bare in a week.

Tess placing in the Group as a youngster.
Waiting to hear from Paula about Tess.  Because Tess is older, fertility will be a bit more of an issue, but she should be showing by now.  Hopefully I will hear from Paula today with the affirmative. She said Tess sure acted pregnant, right from the beginning.

One of my Facebook friends is a Dal owning photographer in Florida, and she will be going over to Janey's to take pictures of Tess's pups.  Can't wait to see what she gets.  The pups are a month old and it's a perfect time for them to have visitors too.  Wish I lived close enough to drop it!

Argus has a Vet appointment this afternoon for a follow up and some chiropractic work.  I'll stop at Jess's office on my way over so she can gait him and I can see how he is moving.  Unfortunately, I don't think he is improving.  I still see the same issues, a stiffness in one stifle and a tendency to let his topline drop when he gaits.  Something is still not right with him.  He hasn't been as wild and crazy the past two days either, which tells me that he is hurting.  Somewhere.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Nice Day For A Picnic!

Josie & Penny are Cousins, and certainly look it!

 Jess & Don invited us out for a picnic on Sunday. We picked up my mother who made her famous potato salad & a home made apple pie, and included Josie in the group as well, so she could chase her Frisbee and play with her cousin Penny. Josie rarely goes anywhere, and although she does not love riding in the car, she sure had a good time at Jess's.

My mother enjoys picnics and really seemed to have a good time.   I think it's very cool that she still makes The Best potato salad & apple pie at the age of 85+.  We brought several bottles of wine, but the best wine was a bottle of French that Don had gotten as a gift.  It had been sitting around for years, and was outstanding.  Ron copied down all the information off the label, but doubt we will ever find it again.

The Tiger Eye Sumac is gorgeous!
My Tiger Eye Sumacs look fabulous right now.  When they color they put on an outstanding show, but it only lasts for a few days and then the leaves drop.  This year I actually got some pictures before that happened.  It's been in the lower 80s the past few days, amazing weather for Minnesota in mid-October.  We need some rain, but the weather is perfect for harvesting.   Ron watered the lawn on Friday, and we'll give the flower beds another dose today as it's important the shrubs & perennials be well hydrated going into winter.

A number of puppy inquiries this past week.  Just waiting to hear from Paula that Tess is definitely pregnant.  Hope Janey sends some updated pictures of Sugar's pups today!