Monday, February 27, 2012

The story of our Rusti Nell....

I'm sure some people think I'm crazy for loving our furbabies the way I do but, until I have human babies of my own to love - my furbabies will just have to "suffer" with all the kisses and snuggles I can give them. 

We got Rusti just over a year ago just a couple months after my Puddy girl aka Sassy passed away after 16 years of being my bestfriend which was also shortly after our happy bubble had burst when our adoption plans shattered so Hubby and I were both in a very dark place.

My sister in law knew that we had talked about trying to find another red dachshund to maybe fill our hearts a little. She had saw a post on a Facebook group page from back home with Rusti's picture seeking a forever home for her. I saw her picture and knew right away she was going to become a part of our little family. We made plans to pick her up the day after Christmas from the sweet lady who had rescued her from a bad situation. I don't think my sister in law or this sweet lady Kathy realize what a gift they had given us when the ball was set in motion for us to bring Rusti home.

The first time I saw her in the arms of Kathy from across the parking lot - my eyes glassed over with tears because she looked so much like my Puddy girl.
We couldn't wait to get her home to meet her new sisters - we drove the 2 hours home most of which she was in my lap with a horrid case of doggy farts so bad we had to roll the windows down several times to keep from gagging!

We aren't sure what kind of life she had before we got her but we know she was chained up outside all the time even in the heat and cold. We also imagine she was abused and pretty sure by a man because she was scared of my husband Dan, wouldn't go anywhere near him and stuck to me like glue for quite awhile. She is scared to death of loud noises and for the longest time acted like she was scared of the dark and refused to go outside at night. My guess is she was afraid we would leave her out there. When we first brought her home she didn't make a peep for two whole days - not a whimper, not a whine and certainly not a bark.
Her eyes were so sad and she was leery of us but that first night she hopped up in bed with us and our 2 other girls but still wouldn't go near Dan and slept on the other side of me.

At first she would not sleep at all during the day and right as the sun would start to set she would crash hard. After day 2 it was as if something came alive in her - she started jumping like she had springs in her feet and doing this little tap dance with her front feet and finally we heard a soft bark!

Her Daddy gave her the middle name of Nell and sometimes we call her Nelly, Russ, Russy or Russel. She now sleeps in between us and her favorite thing in the world is to nap with Daddy's arms wrapped tightly around her. She never lets Daddy out of her sight and he is now her favorite person. She now trusts us enough to know that we won't ever leave her outside for long. She makes this odd sound that mimics a pigeon and she barks in the house only when she wants attention or to alert us that the dog food pan is empty. This girl doesn't miss a meal for sure! She loves her squeaky toys and doesn't mind when I dress her up. We tell her every day that we love her and that she is beautiful because we know she probably never heard those words before. She can't raise or wag her tail very well because unfortunately at some point in her former life her tail had been broken and I try not to think of how that occurred but she still manages to give us a slight little wag.

I look in her big brown eyes and try my hardest not to think about what kind of life she had before she came into our family because it breaks my heart to know that anybody would ever be mean to her. You can tell by the look in her eyes that she is grateful for the life she now has. She along with her sisters Ginny, Sophie Mae and her naughty kitty brother MoonPie bring a lot of joy to our lives and while we can never manage to leave the house without traces of dog hair attached to our clothing - we wouldn't have it any other way.

Mama & Daddy love you Rusti Nell, you are beautiful.


I know a lot of people are afraid of adopting an adult dog because of "an old dog can't learn new tricks" and bad habits. We've had a few moments with Rusti but nothing that a little patience and a lot of love couldn't fix. So open your hearts and minds to the possibility of adopting an adult dog , you will be a hero in their eyes and the result is rewarding beyond measure

Friday, February 17, 2012

Chicken, Broccoli & Cheese Stuffed Bread

This was a total experiment that turned out to be fantastic! 
 Who can say no to cheesy broccoli & grilled chicken encased in Herb, Garlic & Parmesan seasoned bread? 
Oh my! 


  • 2 cups steamed broccoli florets 
  • 2 cups cubed grilled chicken breasts
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste 

  • 1 pkg active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (105*-115*)
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk (scalded then cooled)
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons Italian Seasoning blend
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. 
  • 3 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in milk, sugar, shortening, salt and 2 cups of the flour. Beat with wire wisk or mixer until smooth. Mix in remaining flour. 

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place 1 tablespoon vegetable oil into bottom of mixing bowl, place dough into; turn greased side up. 
Cover with towel and allow to rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. 

Punch dough down re-cover and allow to rise again for 30 minutes. 

While allowing dough to rise again - Steam broccoli florets and allow to drain onto paper towels to get rid of excess moisture. Grill and cube 2 large chicken breasts equaling about 2 cups. In a bowl combine broccoli, chicken & shredded cheese with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Heat oven to 425*.
Turn dough out onto large cookie sheet and roll out evenly reaching all 4 corners of the pan (14x20-18x26)

Place chicken mixture onto center of rolled out dough bring up the ends of the dough forming a pocket and pinch the edges together. 

Wash the top with egg whites and place loaf on low rack. Bake until loaf is a deep golden brown about 20 minutes. Allow to rest for 20 minutes before cutting. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Breakfast Hole in One's

When heart-shaped pancakes are out of the question.. heart-shaped hole in-one's are the answer!
Super easy and quick to make! 

  • 1 slice of bread white, wheat or whole grain
  • 1 egg
  • butter
  • salt & pepper to taste
Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter or for just a round shape you can use a biscuit cutter or a glass to press/poke out a hole in the middle of your bread.
Then put some butter in your frying pan, place bread in pan, pour in the egg either you can even scramble it if you like. Fry egg/bread long enough to toast and achieve a golden brown color than flip the whole thing over and continue to cook the other side the same until egg yolk is cooked to your desired level of doneness. 

Red Velvet Pancakes

I made these for my Valentine this morning and they were a big hit!
These are very simple to make and chocolately yummy!


  • 2 cups buttermilk pancake mix
  • 1 & 1/2 cups cold water
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp red food coloring
  • Maple syrup
  • powdered sugar to sprinkle
  • Butter for griddle & to top the pancakes

Mix pancake mix, water, cocoa powder and food coloring in mixing bowl with a whisk making sure there are no lumps.

Heat your griddle or skillet with just enough butter to coat the  cooking surface. And when heated and butter is melted place 1/3 cup of mixture onto cooking surface making circular pancake shapes. Cook until bubbles stop forming and is browned enough to flip, allow to finish cooking through. This will yield about 6-7 nice sized pancakes. Top with butter, syrup & powdered sugar and enjoy!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Chocolate Snow Ice Cream

This winter has been especially mild so we were shocked that we actually got a little snow last night! We got about 4 inches so this morning when we woke up I decided to send the hubby outside to gather snow for Chocolate Snow Ice Cream! And, my husband wanted to make sure that I told all my blog readers to beware of yellow snow! This recipe makes 1 gallon of Snow Ice Cream! 


  • 2 & 1/2 gallons of loose clean snow
  • 4 14 oz cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 hot chocolate mix packets
  • 2 tbsp cocoa 
  • 1 cup milk
Mix all ingredients in large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer or hand blender. 
Can adjust amount of cocoa or hot chocolate to taste. Store in air-tight plastic container and freeze immediately. Allow to freeze for several hours before eating.