A Beautiful Reminder

Chevrolet Commercial 2014 – “Maddie” from The Herd on Vimeo.

Congratulations Chevrolet, you have made me cry. This is, however, a sweet reminder to hug your fur-babies daily, smother them with kisses and give them the love and attention they deserve. As for my Xena, I hope that she lives forever! Dogs truly are our best friends. Perhaps if more advertising focused on heart-focused types of messages, the world would be a better place.

St. Patricks Day Leprechaun Parfait

Leprechaun ParfaitFor those of us who want a healthy and naturally green treat for St. Patty’s day, I present to you the leprechaun parfait. This would make a wonderful breakfast or dessert for this special day in March.

Filling:
2 avocados
1/2 cup coconut cream
1/8 cup lemon juice
1 orange
3 tbsp vanilla extract
4 packets stevia

Topping:
4 kiwis, sliced
1 cup pistachios, crushed

Place a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for a half hour or so to allow the liquid and “cream” to separate. After it has separated, remove only the thick white “cream” from the top and set aside the liquid for use in a smoothie or other recipe later. Place the coconut cream into the food processor along with the meat from two medium sized avocadoes, 1/8 cup of lemon juice and 4 packets of stevia. Mix until smooth. Peel an orange and add to the mix along with 3 tbsp of vanilla extract. Process again until smooth.

Pour a small amount of filling into the bottom of the wine glasses. Top with a layer of pistachios and a layer of sliced kiwi. Add the remainder of the filling to each glass before adding a final layer of topping.

Kombucha Tea Recipe

Kombucha RecipeToday was the day for our new scoby to begin its life as a kombucha maker. Since I didn’t have a 1 gallon container, the little guy had to be split in two to fit into two half gallon batches. Hopefully that won’t hurt anything.

The tea for each of the half gallon batches contained the following ingredients:

1/2 gallon water
3 organic green tea bags
1 inch piece of ginger
1/2 cup organic palm sugar

I let this mixture steep for 1 hour and cool completely before removing the tea bags and ginger. It was at this point that I added the scoby and existing kombucha juice that it was living in to the two jars. I saved the ginger in the freezer to add back to the kombucha post fermentation for additional flavoring. Fermentation should take 1-2 weeks.  I will post an update once we get there!  Test your Kombucha with a ph strip or meter before your first taste,  it should be at a ph of 3.0 when complete.

See our post on Making a Kombucha Scoby for information on how to make your own scoby from store-bought raw Kombucha.

Raising Awareness – The Yellow Dog Project

The Yellow Dog ProjectAnyone who has ever had a furry friend in their life knows as well as I do that dogs can be unpredictable. When I take our Boxer baby Xena for walks it never ceases to amaze me how many people let their children or pets run up to an unfamiliar dog without asking. Xena is typically great with kids, but I would much rather not have unfamiliar children sticking their hands in her face or “hugging” her around the neck.

The same is true with other animals. You can never tell just how two unfamiliar dogs will interact. Sometimes they like one another and sometimes they don’t. Dogs of different sizes can also be interesting to handle. I once had a lady let her two toy dogs out to “play” with Xena as we walked past her house. As the two little guys ran toward us she asked “is she friendly?” in a happy-go-lucky tone. I quickly had to pick Xena up to prevent disaster in that situation (not an easy task with a 60 pound dog, cheers to adrenaline). Xena has squeak toys bigger than those two pups. Not wise. I didn’t want to take a chance, particularly with the smaller dogs charging at her. We prefer to introduce her to other dogs in a safe and controlled manner.

The Yellow Dog Project is a brilliant cause. They championed the idea of placing a yellow ribbon, collar or scarf on dogs who need their space as a sign for others to keep their distance. In addition, they are helping to raise awareness that people should approach an unfamiliar dog with caution and ask permission from their humans before interacting with them, or allowing their children or pets to interact with them. Raising awareness and educating the public and our children about how to interact with animals can save the lives of many beloved dogs. Many thanks to the creators of this group, my hat’s off to you!

If you have a dog, please spread the word about the Yellow Dog Project to everyone you know and ask them to do the same.