Healthy Homemade Doggie Ice Cream


Ice cream for dogs can be bought from retail stores, but have you ever looked at the ingredients in that stuff? Here are the ingredients for a popular brand sold in the big box stores:

water, whey, soy flour, coconut oil, polydextrose, peanut butter syrup (peanuts, corn oil, salt), maltodextrin, sorbitol, monoglycerides, microcrystalline cellulose, dicalcium phosphate, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, dipotassium phosphate, ascorbic acid (vitamin c), ferrous fumarate, natural flavor, salt, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin

Now we are the kind of dog parents that like to try and watch what our girl eats, just like we do for ourselves. This wasn’t going to work for us, so we went looking for a healthy homemade alternative, and found one we love that I wanted to share. Our ingredients:

Banana, plain yogurt, peanut butter

Better?

This super simple and easy recipe took about 5 minutes to make, and is like crack for our dog. We poured ours into a big bowl to freeze, and just scoop out what we want her to have and put it into her food bowl, but you can freeze it in individual cups, or even ice cube trays. You can also put it into a bag and “pipe” it onto a tray covered in parchment paper or baking mats, and freeze into little frozen doggo treats.

The recipe would be 1 ¼ cup of plain yogurt, ⅓ cup of peanut butter, and 1 ripe banana (very ripe, needs to be mushy). Mix all together in a food processor (we used a SELRES_884d2dd8-f321-48d8-b816-2ab64da3e479SELRES_5555e124-4139-4c69-857e-b3976b597d0cSELRES_be971b44-589b-4702-baef-d81e714c108eSELRES_0062358c-bea8-43a5-a3e4-fb2f88e47984SELRES_c9c1c0e3-cca4-4200-b94d-961f7c3587f7Magic BulletSELRES_c9c1c0e3-cca4-4200-b94d-961f7c3587f7SELRES_0062358c-bea8-43a5-a3e4-fb2f88e47984SELRES_be971b44-589b-4702-baef-d81e714c108eSELRES_5555e124-4139-4c69-857e-b3976b597d0cSELRES_884d2dd8-f321-48d8-b816-2ab64da3e479) and pop into the freezer to freeze. Done. Serve as desired.

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Instant Pot Lives Up To The Hype


 There has been so many kitchen gadgets come and go that were promised to revolutionize the way we cook, that I don’t even pay attention anymore. Sadly, I couldn’t even tell you what is on the market now a days.

This is why when my wife started talking about an Instant Pot , I had no clue what the thing was. I did a search and of course, same old hype. I filed the thought under the “whatever” tab and that was that.

Well we got one for Christmas this year, and decided to try it out. It worked. OK, so we tried it again, and it worked again. Holy crap, does this thing really cook the same food in half the time? Yep. Does it let you throw a bunch of ingredients in a pot and somehow create dinner? Yep. Everything we threw at it seemed to work great. Now, it has a permanent home on the counter top and we use it 3-4 times a week.

So why is this different? Well people have been cooking for a long damn time. We have pretty much figured out how to do most things. So trying to come up with a new gadget to do this totally awesome new thing, probably ain’t gonna work. The Instant Pot however, is not a new thing. It is a vast improvement on an old thing.

Pressure cooking has been around since 1679 when  French physicist Denis Papin, better known for his studies on steam, invented the steam digester in an attempt to reduce the cooking time of food. In 1939 at the New York’s Work Fair, the National Pressure Cooker Company (now Presto) introduced the modern age pressure cooker with the “jiggler” valve. So, nothing new there. What it does do, it take the often finicky pressure cooker, and slip it into a nice digital sleeve, and add a rather automatic and worry free (read idiot proof) valve. This means you press the button, and the machine worry about pressure and timing. It also builds in a ton of safety features which means you can mess around with pressure cooking and not blow up your kitchen.

I am not going to go out on a limb and say that this is going to do everything they claim it will and change your life forever, but I will tell you we have spent a month cranking out different recipes and it has performed flawlessly. It is definitely work checking out.

Graffiti Bridge 


So in the middle of no where Madison Co we came across a very interesting bridge. The bridge, known to locals as “Graffiti Bridge” is covered 100% in multiple layers of graffiti. Names, symbols, phrases, etc.

The bridge crosses Silver Creek on Hagan Mill Rd. This tiny country road is a really nice drive, and exploring the bridge is completely worth the trip. Silver Creek itself is gorgeous and we found a large crane hanging out fishing.

It’s readily obvious that it’s not some rowdy gang marking their territory, but kids taking part in a tradition. Names and Greek symbols make it appear that a lot of sorority and fraternity kids from the local colleges make the trip to paint something onto the already well covered bridge.

If your out for a drive around the county this is definitely something neat to check out.

Halloween Hoedown 2017 Richmond, Ky


Richmond’s annual Halloween Hoedown event was held on October 26, 2017 in downtown Richmond. The annual event draws thousands across the city and surrounding areas for a night of candy and activities.

This year’s event was a huge success with candy lines forming well before the start time, and an hour and a half into the event was still the length of the event area. I did note that it appeared less vendors were set up this year compared to years before.

The kids had fun and the businesses showed community support all while getting some free advertising. An all in all wholesome event. The only downside is that unless the organizers come up with a better system of line control, to help prevent people circumventing the line altogether, we can all expect long wait times again next year.

First Bed and Breakfast Experience


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Recently we stayed at a bed a breakfast for the first time. We had won the trip during an event a year before, and now would be staying at the B&B for the event this year. Now I have stayed in many different accommodations over the years, but never a B&B, and I have to admit I was very skeptical and had a ton of questions.

The thought of staying in a stranger’s house, eating with them and sharing living spaces was just simply not in top ten list of things to do. But, the stay was free, and the place seemed nice, so I was along for the ride.

I still had questions like, how much interaction we would have with our hosts? Would we have to share a bathroom? Would the whole family be there at breakfast? Would there be other guests? Did we have to check in and check out like a hotel? Was breakfast served at a certain time, or would it be like a buffet? I honest didn’t know what to expect.

Our host, Rene’, was an amazingly friendly person, not to mention an astounding cook. She greeted us as we arrived and showed us to our room. She made small talk and explained the general layout of the beautiful farm the B&B was located on, and about the house itself. She made it clear from the start that she was there to make us comfortable and handle any issues we might have, which was comforting. She even took Tracy and our little on a trip to feed the animals and to see the barn, which he had wanted to do.

We were in the “Blue” room which was very nicely, but efficiently decorated and in the lower level of the home. The room had a private bath and king size bed. She gave us several options for our little one’s sleeping arraignments, and after we left for the evenings events came in and set up his little cot, which was far nicer than any roll away bed. She asked up what time we wanted our breakfast and offered to serve us in the lower level’s common area. She also told us that we would be the only guest on that level for the weekend, which was also very comforting.

After the events that night we returned and the house was gorgeous at night. Sitting on top of a ridge, and well lit, it was welcoming even though we appeared to be the only ones awake. We entered through the private entrance to the lower level and headed to bed for the night. The only downside we ran into was the temperature of the room, as we like to sleep like penguins. While I am sure Rene’ would have gladly adjusted it to suit us had we made her aware, it was easily placated by opening a screened window and enjoying the cool fresh fall air.

The next morning as we were showering and preparing for the day I got a text from Rene’ that said our breakfast was placed and ready. I was expecting slightly more than a continental breakfast, but surprised to find a well decorated place setting with country style ham, fresh chopped pineapple, orange juice, and the best scrambled eggs I have ever eaten. It was delicious and fulfilling. Perfect before our busy day ahead. As we were enjoying our meal Rene’ came downstairs to check on everything and made small talk as we ate, while also playing with our little and our dog.

The next morning we were showering and packing and again I get a text that our food is placed and ready. This spread was even better than the morning before. She had prepared a delicious, homemade “French Toast Casserole”, sausage links, fresh strawberries and bananas, orange juice, and more of her amazing scrambled eggs. This was one of the best breakfasts I have had, and again, protein packed and perfect for our crazy busy day.  Rene’ again came down to check on everything, and even brought us fresh baked cookies to take with us. Truly could not have asked for a more caring and friendly host.

Overall our stay was fantastic. The extra care Rene’ took to make sure our family was taken care of, the amazing food, the gorgeous house and property, and the comfortable, spacious, and clean room and common area was exactly was we needed for our stay. I would have no issues about returning, and will gladly refer family and friends.

 

If you are in the Berea, KY area and want to stay with Rene’, her business is Goose Hill Downs Bed and Breakfast. It is located at 1250 Pilot Knob Cemetery Road in Berea, KY and she can be reached at (859) 404-1230. You can also check out her website below.

 

https://www.goosehilldowns.com/

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5 years later…


It’s amazing how much can happen in 5 years. 
I decided I wanted to start blogging again, and when I installed the software it opened this old blog. I had intended to start a new one, but after reading the old posts, I decided to keep this one.

Since that last post in 2012 so much has happened in our lives. Trips, tragedy, death, births, happiness, sadness… It’s crazy to think about it.

Well since the last post, we now have a young son, and a dog, to add to our adventures. This should definitely provide some depth to my post material. I am excited to do this now. 

I will probably be focusing on more outdoor and photography type material going forward, but I guess we will see where this takes me.

Trapping: Different than I expected


I have long been interested in the art of trapping. There is something about the fur trade and the rough mountain men that collect pelts each winter that astonishes me. I began my research years ago when I was just a boy. I would see trappers walking out of the woods when I was hunting and fishing, carrying the daily kills over the shoulders or on the racks of an ATV. I began my research, but with the wrong information.

A lot of people dislike trapping very much; so much in fact, that there are specific laws that protect trappers and their sets from the heckling and menacing of anti trappers. When you began reading the anti articles the first thing that comes at you are the bloody stories of domestic pets being killed or maimed. Then came the stories about the poor animals stuck for hours on end with the broken leg caught in a trap and trying to chew their own leg off to get away. False.

It turns out that most of the traps used today are actually very humane. They do not harm or hurt the animal in any way. It turns out, if you have an animal that you are not targeting get in your trap, you simply let it go, perfectly unharmed. This is not even the live traps, but the actual foot hold traps everyone shivers at the sight of. This information came as a very large shock to me, and Youtube (www.youtube.com) has several videos depicting this very act.

Another fact that always pawed at my heart was the though of a stray dog accidentally finding itself into a trap. It turns out that the companies that make traps, such as Duke Traps, actually make a “dog proof” trap that is used for targeting raccoon. These traps require the coon to reach in a tube for the bait, and skill dogs simply cannot perform. The trap closes and holds the coon by the hand.

Trapping has a very long and rich heritage with many of our states, with Kentucky being a prime example. It turns out that most of the towns that were first settles in Kentucky were originally trading posts for the fur trade as well as others. Today, most trappers are not in the sport for financial gain. Though you o get paid for pelts, it is often not enough to cover expenses. Trapping today is a labor of love and passion. It is done by men and women who are truly passionate about the art, and love to be in the woods. Trapping helps control populations by both removing the animals and preventing overpopulation, and by removing predators allowing other populations, such as quail and turkey, to thrive. Trapping helps to control density related diseases, and depredation of crops and livestock, and controls nuisance animals.

With all this new information my wife and I have decided that we are going to begin trapping some late this year. We will be starting with the “dog proof” coon traps and targeting raccoon. I am sure we will not break and records with our few traps, but it will be yet another adventure into the outdoors.

The fur will be preserved and sold to a fur trader for use in the manufacture of clothing and such items. The raccoons we will be targeting will be nuisance coons that would normally be killed and discarded. This way, I can insure something useful can come from their hides, and that they were killed humanely. Hopefully it will be a positive experience and lead into a lifelong tradition for my family. Regardless, it will be an exciting adventure, and I am sure more articles will come of it!