Friday, 27 July 2012

The Visit

What an eventful few weeks I’ve had.  I’m now all of six weeks old and my breeder has started weaning me onto puppy food.  I’m liking this development very much!

I’ve started exploring outside, what an interesting place this seems to be.  My brothers and sisters and I have lots of fun scampering around in the sunshine, although Mum seems to do a disappearing act from time to time, looking for what she calls peace and quiet.

I had some visitors last weekend when my new Mum & Dad came to visit me.  We had just had our lunch and were enjoying a little snooze in the garden when they arrived to see us all.  It was very exciting.  I had lots of cuddles and kisses and got to show off all the new things I’ve been doing.  My brothers and sisters enjoyed the excitement too.  I was quite glad to have a sleep after all of that.

I see things on the home front are improving.  My toy collection has grown since I last looked.  I have lovely new water and food bowls, and a smashing new red collar and leash.  I’m looking forward to debuting that when we go on our walks.

I am quite perturbed to see that Mum has installed a baby gate across the bedroom door.  I was hoping to spend my days lounging on the big bed – it looks very comfortable up there.  Oh well, I’m sure if I practice my pitiful look she’ll crumble and let me have a lie on there.

I only have just over three more weeks left here now before I go to live in my new home.  I’m quite looking forward to seeing my new home and all the exciting things to explore there.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Green Olive & Lemon Tapenade Stuffed Chicken Breasts

This is simply a twist on the sun dried tomato tapenade stuffed chicken breast recipe I gave earlier. 

I made a green olive and lemon tapenade, based on Delia Smith’s tapenade recipe from the Summer Collection and used that to stuff the chicken breasts.

For two people I used: 

2 chicken breasts
4 slices parma ham
2dsp green olive and lemon tapenade
2 or 3 basil leaves
Freshly milled black pepper to taste 

For the tapenade : 

14oz (400g) green olives, drained and rinsed
3oz (75g) capers, drained and rinsed
2oz (50g) anchovy fillets
2 big cloves of garlic
1tsp Dijon mustard
2tb extra virgin olive oil
Zest of a lemon and the juice of half a lemon
2tb fresh basil
Freshly milled black pepper 

To make the tapenade you simply place all the above ingredients into a food processor and pulse so that you get a coarse mixture.   

(The quantities given above will give you far more than you need for this recipe, but it is such a versatile paste that it never goes to waste.  Stir some into cooked linquine, tagliatelle or spaghetti; spread some on toasted rustic bread, smear some onto a crust as you pass the fridge etc etc!  In theory, this should keep in a jar in the fridge for up to two weeks, but I find it gets used up well before that!) 

To stuff the chicken, simply butterfly the chicken breasts, season with pepper and spread each with a dessertspoon of tapenade.  Add 1 or 2 torn basil leaves and fold over the top flap of the breasts.  Wrap in the parma ham and place in a baking dish.  Drizzle them with a little olive oil and give another seasoning of ground black pepper. 

Bake in a hot oven (190oC / 375oF / Gas Mark 5) for 30 minutes or so, until the chicken is cooked through. 

You can serve this with pasta, buttery boiled new potatoes or over rice.  A crisp salad alongside is always nice too.  Ditto some crusty bread and a bowl of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

The New Arrival

My name is Holly and I was born a few weeks ago.  This week my new Mum & Dad came down and chose me out of the whole litter to go and live with them.  I’m too young to leave my real Mum yet, so for the next few weeks I’ll still be living here with all my brothers and sisters. 

My new Mum probably hasn’t realised it yet but I chose her, I cleverly clung to her arm so that she would know I wanted to stay with her and my new Dad.  Humans are so gullible like that! 

Clearly, my new Mum & Dad are book parents; just look at all the books they have on puppy care and living with a Golden Retriever.  I’ll teach them all they need to know about looking after me in the first few days!! 

Mum seems to be very taken with this particular book, it even seems to have taken over from her go-to book – Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course.  She is taking this very seriously.  Perhaps I should humour her when I join the household so that she doesn’t think she’s wasted her time. 

This seems to be my toy basket.  It’s looking very lean; just a satanic looking teddy bear, a ball and a raggy bone looking thing.  They’ll do to be going on with but I hope that they are going to give me a better selection of toys ....... or look out furniture!! 

This looks like Mum’s best moose-fur slipper – I bet a chew on this will get me some attention.  I must bear that in mind if she seems tardy to respond to me! 

I’m going to have a sleep now because I am only a very little girl.  You’ll be hearing some more from me in the coming weeks as I join my new family and find my feet.