Tuesday, July 17, 2012


This is why I wear an apron when I cook

stroganoff explosion
It was all worth it though, the new stroganoff recipe I found was delicious!

Monday, July 16, 2012


I really don't like phones - don't like making calls, talking to people, answering them. Yuck. I avoid them at all costs even though sometimes they're necessary. But I really do like retro-looking stuff. If I see something that is similar to something I've seen in a 1940s movie, especially if it's a little kitschy, I go wild. So perfect solution - disguise something I hate (phone) with something retro (handset) and suddenly I'm looking for people to call. Make it pink and I'm in retro heaven.

my new handset

Besides being super cute, it actually makes me enjoy talking on the phone...at least for a few minutes. The sound is pretty good and it keeps the screen from getting dirty plus it keeps the cell phone away from my head in case they eventually discover it really does cause health problems.

If you want one for yourself (it comes in several colors although why someone wouldn't want pink is beyond me) then skedaddle on over here and pick one up for yourself!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


always in my heart

Friday, July 6, 2012


Today it's been exactly 6 months since we met a scared little dog at the vet's office and brought him home with us. Of course it was only supposed to be temporary while he recovered from kennel cough and couldn't be around other dogs. I think that temporary thing lasted all of one day, maybe not even that. We both knew when we saw the intelligence and concern in his eyes that he was going to spend the rest of his life with us. I don't think there's been one day since we brought him home that he hasn't made us laugh with his antics, he's a little goofball and so sweet and loving. It's been fun to watch him blossom, to see the fear leave his eyes to be replaced with love...especially when we have pizza.

Happy 6 month dogiversary Shifu Peanut, you've found a forever home and yes, we're having pizza for dinner to celebrate.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I scream, you scream

We all scream for ice cream!

What's a national holiday without homemade ice cream? I wouldn't know because freshly churned homemade ice cream has been a part of every summer holiday since before I was born and I'm not about to break the tradition now so we had to have ice cream today as part of our 4th of July celebration.

 Of course, all traditions can be improved upon so I'm very glad that today's ice cream makers are so much easier than the old wooden bucket with the ice and salt.

my adorable Mickey ice cream maker
 Another modern invention that makes ice cream making super easy these days is the pre-packaged ice cream starter. Yes, I know that it's probably better to make everything from scratch but bite me, it's easier to buy a package and get all sorts of fun flavors without the extra work. Today's flavor was salted caramel...yum!

You just need 3 ingredients - starter mix, whole milk and heavy cream. Actually you can do it with just milk and starter but it's creamier if you substitute half of the milk with cream. Mix it all together, pour it into the container (which has been sitting in the freezer overnight) and press the start button. The hardest part is waiting the 25 minutes.

Don't forget to set the timer

yes, I have a Mickey timer too
 The top of the ice cream maker is clear so you can tell when it's done, no more big surprises when you pop the top off. Of course the best part of ice cream making is the soft stage when you can clean up the paddle.

 And then the hardest part of the day, putting all that salted caramel goodness into the freezer and waiting until it's ready to eat.

Happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy 100th

It's a big day here at Jasper's Cottage, the 100th post! Hard to imagine I've been doing this since 2008; it's been an interesting few years. The last two years have not been my favorites but I have high hopes for the future.
Today is also our 26th wedding anniversary and in honor of that we took a little trip over the weekend to a favorite spot where we used to go often with Jasper. As you can imagine, it was a little bittersweet to be back there but it turned out to be very relaxing and we had a fantastic time. Shifu (who is also known as Peanut these days) is shaping up to be a good traveler. He was a little subdued when we first got to the hotel because it was a scary new experience but he was soon walking around as if he owned the place. Just like any good adventurer, he has his own suitcase.

Peanut's suitcase has little airplanes on it
 No trip would be complete without some great food and we got to visit two favorites Wild Ginger Cafe and The Tea Cozy. Enjoy the food porn from the Tea Cozy. (Wild Ginger pictures later this week.)

tea in the garden

Corn chowder with a unique presentation

British pasty

the fruit and cheese plate was not only delicious, it was a work of art

Peanut enjoyed tea in the garden