Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How to give a cat a shot

So, November has been an interesting month.

After having some "issues" with the litter box. We come to find out that my sweet lovable Rover has diabetes. Yes, for those of you that don't know, cats, and dogs, can get diabetes.

How could I have diabetes?

Now, I know some of you are thinking, duh Zilla, you have a 22lb cat, of course he can get diabetes! While this is true, he is now under 20 lbs (19.8 lbs thank you very much!). We still have to deal with the fact that he has diabetes.

So, how do you deal with a diabetic cat?

1) monitor his food intake.
For us this means trying to determine what Rover eats vs what Fido eats. Ummm...that's not going to happen, so we are monitoring what both cats are eating. We split 2/3 of a cup of food between them morning and night.

2) watch his behavior. Watch for more litter "issues"

3) give him shots!
Now, if I wanted to pick which of my "kids" I'd want to give a shot to, it would be Rover, he is the easiest going of the bunch. But, it doesn't really mean that I want to have to give him shots.

the necessary equipment

So, for all those who have ever wondered "How do you give a cat a shot?" Here is your tutorial:
(And it is easier then you think)

1) distract the dog, food usually works. you can skip this step if you don't have a dog

and he looks so innocent here

2) get the insulin out of the fridge and roll it gently on the counter to mix.

3) measure out 2 units. This is accomplished by sticking the needle into the top of the vial of insulin. Turning the whole contraption upside down. Pulling the plunger past 2 units and the moving the plunger up to 2 units and forcing out all of the air. uff-da, say that all in one breath

2 units

4) Give the shot to the cat. We do this by putting the cat and his food on the counter, food is a good distraction for cats too. And then while he is distracted, slide the needle under his skin on the outside of his hip. Here is the demo:

Putting the cat on the counter also prevents the dog from nosing you in the eye, because by now he has finished his food and really thinks he want a shot too!

5) reward the cat for behaving well by giving him a pinch of fish flakes. yummy!

And that is all there is to it! Any questions?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!
Originally uploaded by frannylue
Happy Halloween all!

I hope you enjoy good times tonight and stuff yourselves sick with candy!

I had to post a pic of the first pumpkin I have carved in years, unfortunately it didn't quite make it to Halloween. The booger on its nose turned out to be mold :( So, the Amos and I went an buried it in the community garden compost pile yesterday.

Next year...carve the pumpkin 1 week before Halloween instead of two!

May there be much merriment tonight and few belly-aches tomorrow!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Gluten-free going mainstream

I saw the Betty Crocker mixes in the store this summer. Tried the brownies and they were pretty awesome.

While searching on line this morning, for a good sugar cookie recipe, I found that Land O' Lakes has a GF website too.

It's nice to see that there is more awareness about gluten issues in the mainstream. Oh, and now everyone can make me brownies...no more excuses!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A weekend to myself

M has been crazy busy at work, and with a deadline approaching has gotten even busier. So, this weekend besides going to a stellar concert with M and friends on Friday, and church followed by Ria's of course, I basically had the house and weekend to myself...

Did I clean? nah.

Did I paint the walls that needed touch ups? no.

How about finish my counter tops? nope.

Did I cook?
Of course.

I started Saturday morning off with a great breakfast of homemade biscuits and eggs. Yum! Kate from Gluten Free Gobsmacked has a great biscuit recipe. I also made a huge batch of chili and some corn muffins, since the weather is starting to get cooler, at least cooler for GA.

After that great breakfast, which occurred at about noon or so, I pulled out my trusty 1960's era Kenmore sewing machine, handed down to me from my Grandma H, and got to work.

My mom had given me this great felted bag for my birthday. I had just one issue with it, stuff. I stuff all my purses full of necessary "stuff", especially when I travel. I had taken that bag with me out west, only to have it hanging around my knees when I finished the trip.

Knowing that it would happen again, I decided to line it. (you can see the lining in the handle)

I then decided what good is a lined bag without pockets. So, I added some of them too.

It now fits all my necessary stuff.

Doesn't hang down to my knees

And has a handy cell phone pocket to boot!

And my sewing escapades didn't end there. Today I attempted my first slip cover. While, I am still deciding if I like the slipcover. It will no longer fall off from various animals taking naps on the couch.

I thought the pillow was a nice little add

Lastly, as soon as I finish hiding the ends, some cold little boy in MN will be getting a blanket.
It took a little while to work out the "knitting on the bias" but I think the end result made it totally worth the effort.

Oh, and for those inquiring minds, the stellar concert was Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers and Abigail Washburn opening. A great banjo playing night was had by all. We followed this up with a trip to the local for chicken and hushpuppies. Unfortunately, I think the hushpuppies may be off my list from now on, as I suspect there was a little wheat mixed in with the cornmeal. Either that or in my old age I have become a supreme lightweight, ugh.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


My Budder, his buddy M, and girlfriend C are working their way through all of the eggs benedict breakfasts in SLC. This is a very scientific process, including a rubric. While I was visiting I got to join in the fun...

The Restaurant: The Blue Plate
(you may remember it from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives if you are a Food Network junkie like I am)

The Mission: Find the best Eggs Benedict in Salt Lake City

So we began by perusing the menu. They had 5 types of eggs benedict, plus a benedict omelet (yay for me!) and a special. They also were really good about sustitutions and add-ins, making the possibilities endless.

Bud chose the traditional - poached egg, canadian bacon, and a grilled tomato slice on an english muffin smothered in hollandaise sauce. Home fries served on the side.

M chose the greek and modified it a little - poached egg, spinach, tomatoes, avocado* and feta on an english muffin smothered in hollandaise sauce, again with home fries on the side.
*On the menu it was mushrooms instead of the avocado

I went with the benedict omelet - a bacon and cheese omelet, smothered again in hollandaise sauce. I did add some broccoli, to make sure my arteries didn't close on the spot.

The service was good, although a little slow. The atmosphere was excellent, great pop art on the walls, a jukebox in the corner playing great tunes. The coffee, not bad, but not Ria's either.

The verdict:

hmm... M's not too sure, although his plate is clean

And Bud gives The Blue Pate a 40/50...not too shabby!

After that Bud and I went back to his place, watched a little football (or napped), and then went on a hike to enjoy the beginning of the color change.

It was a great way to spend a Saturday!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy Baby Stella!! and Peanut butter chocolate pillows

So yesterday, we had a shower for Stella. Who is very cute and very pregnant right now. It was a great time, made even better by the friends who came into town.

Now, while the boys swear they had a better time at the Sweetwater Brewery tour, we had a pretty good time ourselves at Stella's shower.

For the shower, believe it or not, I was asked to make some desserts. I began looking online for some gluten free, nut free, vegan desserts, to try to accommodate all of our various diets and ran across these:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows

Totally SWIPED from Post Punk Kitchen and de-veganized by yours truly, since the peanut butter kind of put an ixnay on the veganay, and the nut free for that matter.
besides, I can only have so much vegan in my life

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows
makes 2 dozen cookies

Chocolate dough:

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup honey

3 tablespoons half and half

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour with xanthan gum

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt


3/4 cup peanut butter

2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar

2 tablespoons half and half

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl combine oil, sugar, maple syrup, non-dairy milk and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Sift in flour, cocoa powder baking soda and salt. Mix to form a moist dough. Chill for an hour.

Make the filling. In another mixing bowl beat together peanut butter, confectioner’s sugar, half and half and vanilla to form a moist but firm dough. If peanut butter dough is too dry add a little more half and half. If dough is too wet knead in a little extra powdered sugar.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line bakings sheet with parchment paper.

Shape the cookies. Create the centers of the cookies by rolling the peanut butter dough into 24 balls, my small cookie scoop worked well for this. Scoop a generous tablespoon of chocolate dough, I used my bigger cookie scoop, flatten into a disc in the palm of your hand and place a peanut butter ball in the center. Fold the sides of the chocolate dough up and around the peanut butter center and roll the chocolate ball into an smooth ball between your palms. Place on a sheet of waxed paper and repeat with remaining doughs.

Place dough balls on lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart and bake for 10 minutes. Remove sheet from oven and let cookies for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to complete cooling. Store cookies in tightly covered container.

Very stellar, if I do say so myself. Now back to my mission for a gluten free, nut free, vegan dessert, preferably chocolate. I am currently experimenting with brownies and will post soon about my adventures.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Recipe contest!!!

So, we are having an open house in a few weeks and I'm looking for yummy gluten free goodies to make and serve to my guests. And since we are in the good ol' USA I decided to request your help in the form of a....


(Oh and for you wheat eaters out there...send those recipes in too, I can convert them to what I have available in my kitchen.)

Both savory and sweet dishes will qualify for the fabulous prizes**

To give you some ideas, my random thoughts for the smorgasbord include:
feel free to build on these ideas or go a completely different route
  • marshmallows (homemade, of course)
  • ghetto petit fours (essentially any cake I can cut into small pieces and pour icing over)
  • cookies (M specifically requested lime sugar cookies)
  • hummus
  • veggies
  • fruit
  • salsa
  • guac(?)
  • cheese dip (midwest style)
  • tortilla chips
  • Cheese chunks
  • spinach dip
  • beverages (of course, and we'll even have non-alcoholic for the kiddies)

Submitted recipes will be reviewed by my very prestigious advisory panel of Kitchen Goddesses*, who will help me select the final entries to be included on the smorgasbord.

If your recipes ends up on the smorgasbord you will win a fabulous prize**

So enter early and often, remember you can't win unless you enter!!!

Here are the contest rules:
Entries must be received by August 26th. Entries can be submitted by emailing them to zilla.ctw@gmail.com or by posting a link, or recipe, in the comment section of this post. If you post a recipe as part of you blog, please supply a link to the contest in your post. If you actually make the dish, please send me a picture, pixel size dose not matter, but please try to keep all pictures under 1MB. Posts that involve childhood memories or sappy stories my influence the expert panel*, we are human after all, however, the true quality of your dish is what really matters. Use of processed foods is permitted, after all "tater sluts" happen to contain all sorts of processed goodness and are a particular favorite of the expert panel*. If you are really nice to us, we may even share the recipe. All entries will be reviewed by the said expert panel*. If your entry is not selected, no pouting is allowed, although bribing of the judges may be allowed. Prizes** will be awarded to the winners. Honorable mentions may also be included in the round up post. Any questions can be submitted to zilla.ctw@gmail.com or posted in the comment section of this post. Contest void and prohibited in states and countries where this kind of thing is void and prohibited. This contest is not affiliated with anything, besides my housewarming. The Kitchen Goddesses* are not receiving any compensation from acting as the expert panel in this contest,unless you bribe them. They do, however, get to eat the fruits of their labor, as do all the guests.

In other words, just post it in the comments or send it to me in an email. zilla.ctw@gmail.com

*AKA MB and Ash

**My undying love and devotion, but if that is not enough, I'll also post a round up of the smorgasbord*** after I put the house back in order.

***if you don't know what a smorgasbord is you obviously are not Scandinavian, or did not grow up in the Midwest, a link is provided at the top of the post.

Friday, August 7, 2009

where did the summer go?

A month without internet (at home), madly finishing the house, a new position at the mothership, and suddenly I turn around and realize school starts on Monday. What a crazy month July has been.

So in brief summary here is the last month (or so) of my life:

June 25th. - We can move our stuff in, but cannot stay at the house since we do not have a C/O (certificate of occupancy, in case all of you who are not crazy enough to build a house don't know that). So, M and I are left at the loft with the futon and a few odds and ends.

June 26th. - M's birthday and his sister K arrives to celebrate with us and see the house before she heads home to Hawaii. Oops. No place for her to stay. Thank God for Ash, who says "come and stay with me at MB & D's while they are out of town". This will for ever more be know as the weekend of Poop and Moving. For Ash, who is an awesome friend, not only helped me with the movers the day before, is house sitting for MB & D, and also watch about 50 of other friends and neighbors animals.

Oh, and did I happen to mention that I was holding a surprise party for M at the house that night? Amazingly, we were able to pull it off without him knowing. Surprising him with about 40 people, including A&T who popped into town to stay with us at the urban refugee camp (AKA MB & D's).

M blowing out the candles on his cake, I have MB & D to thank for the use of their kitchen, M's birthday would not have been the same without Jello Cake.

The "weekend of Poop and Moving" turned out to be fabulous fun. The party was a success, we had a great visit with K and A&T, and we all had a fabulous time at MB & D's. (wish you guys could have been there, but I'm not sure where you would have slept!)

July 1st. - We get the C/O...kind of. We get a temporary C/O and are able to move in, but there are a few things to fix before the city will sign off on it. The main one being having a certified letter from our structural engineer that our decks are sound. Should be easy, right? More on that later.

July 2nd. - Just as the Kitties are settling into the new place, we disrupt their lives even more by getting a DOG!!!! We found Amos at Lifeline in Avondale Estates and welcomed him into our new home. While, we all are still adjusting (Amos included), he is a great addition to our four-legged crew.


Most of July. - THE DECK SAGA
The whole deck saga stems from an incident that happened days before our C/O inspection. You see, a fine establishment about two miles south of us had a deck collapse. My Sister's Room had decided that the back deck off there bar would be a fine place for wrestling. While, according to the reports, they were not wrestling that night, M had witnessed it from an adjacent restaurant days earlier...hmmm.... Lets just say, we aren't planning on wrestling on our decks.

In essence, the impetus doesn't matter, the fact is we had to get that certified letter. Unfortunately for us, our structural engineer never review the deck plans. So, after reviewing them, he determined that they needed a few "minor" tweaks. Let's just say these "minor" tweaks involved things like cutting into our finished ceilings to add more bolts and further securing the supports to the decks and the house. M with help from me and some friends ended up getting the work done, but I am still trying to recover from all the drywall dust that is strewn and has yet to be strewn throughout my new house. And as everyone knows, I LOVE drywall dust. Now, although the decks seemed fine before, they now feel like you are standing on the ground. Wrestling anyone??

M working on the lower deck

The deck repairs continue throughout most of the month, and truthfully, there is still a little drywall patching that needs to be done.

July 30th. - We head to the beach for a much needed weekend. A&W invite a few couples to A's family beach house for a bit of a reunion. It was awesome. We went crabbing and shrimping, swam and walked the beach, M tried his hand at stunt kites and all in all had a fantastic time.

M castnetting shrimp at the beach. I have to say that those shrimp and the crabs that were caught along with them were awesomely delicious.

This leads to August 6th ---- we got the FINAL C/O!!!!! And we close on Monday. After over a year of preparing and building we are finally going to home owners.

FINISHED!!! Well, kind of, but definitely livable. See Amos keeping watch through the front window

Things not mentioned, my battle with Comcast and the decision to go with Clear and forgo cable TV, for a while. My new job, me a papermaker, is now going to be developing soaps, lotions, and potions!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Getting close!

I am working on scheduling movers for Thursday. Hopefully we will have our C/O on Tuesday...

here is a couple of pics for you:

Standing in the dining room looking at the front door. I think I am going to love all the light!

The fan in the family room

Walking up to the roof

The front deck

the kitchen...we must be getting close, see I have a dish washer!

I'm sure I'll have plenty of stories with the move. Now, back to packing!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How much does M love me...

As he said to me last night, "If you had any doubt that I love you, this week should prove it."
And I believed him.

So, I'm sure you're asking, what on earth happened this week??

Well, he literally moved the earth for me.

No, not all of it, but about 12 cubic yards of it up 66 stairs on his back two buckets at a time. Yes, the poor man has been going through back breaking labor to make the roofs of our new house green for me. (or so he says, I think he may want green roofs too, but please don't ask him for a few weeks!)

While, no photos were taken of the yoke system he set up to carry the buckets. (you can picture two 5 gallon pails tied together by a moving strap. The strap was then stretched over a length of 2x4. He then lifted that contraption onto his shoulders and hefted it up the stairs)

this is M filling his contraption with dirt

I did, however, take pictures when I helped out on Sunday.

Here is us covering the lower roof with dirt:

Step 1: Build a pulley system. We used an extension ladder and counterbalanced it with our decking panels for the upper roof and a bag of cement

Step 2: M fills a 5 gallon pail with dirt

Step 3: He attaches it to the pulley system

Step 4: he uses the pulley to haul the bucket up to me.

Step 5: I catch the bucket, take it off the pulley system and attach an empty bucket. (the bucket here is waiting for its trip down)

Proof it was actually me on the roof.

Step 6: repeat, repeat, repeat.

So, in the course of a Sunday, our lower roof went from:


to this

to this

and finally this

Along the way it was not all fun and games, but we really pulled through and worked as a team. The only lasting effects are the dirt covered roof and my bruised thighs, from catching the buckets.

BTW, I truly think M had the tough end of the stick on Sunday and he is still hauling dirt tonight. While, he had been behind on his friendship dues...I think this might have caught him up and then some. I happen to see a massage, or two, and some jello cake in his future!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sugar High Friday "Sweet without the Wheat" Round-up

Yes it is time for the "Sweet Without The Wheat" Round up. To be fair I am posting them in order of arrival in my inbox...

Nicisme, from Cherrapeno, began with Chocolate and banana ice cream served in chocolate cups. Yum!

This was followed by my college roomate, Jess P. and her chocolate flourless cake. I am going to have to make this one soon!

Then Sarah from, What Smells So Good? followed up with Awesomely Delicious GF Brownies. These brownies with peanuts and chocolate chips look decadent.

In the middle of the month, I took a break from traveling and house building and whipped up these "Special K" bars without the "Special K" I really need to find a new name for them, maybe chocolatey, crispy, peanutty goodness?? I made them as a send off for my co-op as he returned to Tennessee, there was much rejoicing at the mothership.

Muneeba from An Edible Symphony, brought us Beetroot Halwa an intriguing dessert that she claims is good for you. Now, if only I could get M to eat beets!

Cheri, of Snippets, then sent in her take on Tartlette's "The Transatlantic" this one I am going to have to try, salted carmel, chocolate mousse, ganache. What's not to like? Let's just say...ummm...yum.
Renato, of Sugar Nut, turned in Queijadinhas, que-j-what? luckily for us it came with a pronouciation key Queijadinha (Kay-jah-dee-ña). Now, that we have that figured out, this coconut goodness needs to be tried. Besides, these sweet creations contain cheese and as every good Wisconsinite knows, cheese is always good.

Next is Friedl, all the way from Europe, now as her blog Kitchen Fun is gluten free, she had an advantage over the rest. But, I think she still out did herself with these Chocolate Crinkles. I don't think anyone would even suspect they are made with rice flour!

Next up is Kitty from Fahrenheit 350. With her Simple Scratchmade Lemon Ice Cream. This looks like the perfect treat for those hot summer days in Georgia.

Following up with another deliciously lemon dish is Kris from The Back of the Cupboard with her Honey-Lemon Tea sorbet. It looks light and refreshing, not only gluten free it is also dairy and egg free!

Anna, from Life's too Short for Mediocre Chocolate, brings in a summery twist to her Vanilla Bean Risotto Rice Pudding by adding a fresh strawberry compote.

And last but definitely not least is my very own Mum. With her Oatmeal Fruit bars. Made with the very rhubarb I have been trying to find time to play with.

So, thanks for tuning into this month's Sugar High Friday! I want to thank Jennifer, from the Domestic Goddess for letting me host. Find out next month's theme from Mansi at the Fun & Food Cafe!