Tasty Tuesday: Greek Salad Pitas with Feta Spread and Turkey

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Thanks to Sugar and Kol for initiating Tasty Tuesdays, today is our twentieth participating post!

Let’s jump right in.  Can you say cucumbers? CHEESE? TURKEY? Mom outdid herself on this one.  The second of her UMiami Diabetic support class selections might end up on JJ and Jet’s Top Ten of the summer!

When Mom pulled out the long, seedless cucumber, JJ and I, faithfully on QC (quality control) duty, wagged really hard.  We hoped for 1 slice for class, 1 for JJ, 1 for me, repeat… the reality – we each received 3 slices.  Mom said something about not creating a tummy ache.  Pshawww…

CHEESE… Mom bought crumbled for class (buy one, get one free, lucky for her).  At Casa Jet, she usually would buy block feta and rinse a bit to reduce sodium and then give us a few tidbits.  We received what they call BUBKES (nothing!) Hmpf…  Mom used the measly excuse that the containers were closed and would stay that way for class.  She tried to pull the same thing regarding the turkey, saw our sad puppy dog faces and caved!  (She used her personal turkey, roasted, salt free.)

Oh, I guess I should let you know that her class participants loved the dish and made extra sandwiches to take home!

Greek Salad Pitas with Feta Spread and Turkey

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup (4 ounces) feta cheese (Mom doubled recipe for class and used ½ non fat feta and ½ regular)
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
  • Freshly grated zest and freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 lemon (1 teaspoon of zest and 1 tablespoon of juice)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 whole-wheat pitas
  • 4 large leaves romaine lettuce, torn in half
  • 1 medium English (seedless) cucumber, cut into thin half-moon slices
  • 16 to 20 fresh mint leaves (1/4 cup loosely packed) (Mom used the mint from our garden.)
  • 12 ounces thinly sliced roast turkey breast (low-sodium, if desired… Mom DESIRED!)

Directions:

  • Use a fork to combine the feta cheese and yogurt in a medium bowl, mashing any large chunks of cheese. Add the lemon zest and juice, oregano and pepper; mix well to form a spread. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.
  • To make the sandwiches, cut each pita in half to form 2 pockets. Line each pocket with a half of a lettuce leaf. Spread 2 heaping tablespoons of the feta spread into the pocket. Fill each pocket with about 6 cucumber slices, 4 or 5 mint leaves and 2 or 3 slices of turkey. Serve immediately.

Another great, megalos (great in Greek) day!



Monday Mischief – WordPress, Get Ready for the Naughty Speech!

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Hopefully, we will be able to post this. Since Saturday, Mom has been unable to:

  • Approve or Reply to Comments
  • Access Notifications (to see if she could comment there)
  • Access the Electronic ONLY “contact us”

Of course, this guy called Murphy, who has his own law, visited Mom’s computer just when so many thoughtful, kind, wonderful bloggers sent in bunches and bunches of condolences on the loss of our sweet Fluffy. Oh those comments have piled up like sand when you intend to make a big castle. Mom worries that the kind souls will not know how much we appreciate them taking the time to send in their messages of support. Further, she does not know how to fix or alert WordPress to the problem since she has no way to contact them.

I know what you’re thinking and yes, Mom has already tried:

• Restarting Google Chrome (so many times, I wanted to tell her… STOP THE MADNESS!)
• Restarting computer (nicely and something called the hard way…)
• Clicking all buttons known to man and beast…
• Begging, pleading, cajoling (vocab builder), etc…

If you have a WordPress blog (not self-hosted), do you have any ideas??? Mom’s STUCK.

Another great (for other reasons I’ll share later this week), day.

Thanks to Alfie’s BlogSnoopy’s Dog BlogMy Brown Newfies and Luna, A Dog’s Life…for sponsoring the hop!  Click on any of the sponsors to join the hop.

International Animal Rescue Week: Slow Loris

Hey It’s Jet Here.

When Mom and I saw the badge last week for the Extreme Pet Bloggers Blog Hop –  A Week of International Shelter/Rescue Awareness, we grabbed the badge from Two Cavaliers and jumped on board.

Mom and I enjoy research and decided tonight (Friday night) would be perfect to look into this topic.  With the power of Google, Mom typed in International Animal Rescue and the first item led us to the organization carrying that exact name.  On the home page, the first picture we saw mentioned saving the Slow Loris.  You may or may not know this – Mom’s name is Lori, so, naturally, she had to click.

Boy did we learn a lot.  The Slow Loris (night monkey in Latin), live in Indonesia and sit on the precipice of extinction.  The typical story – shrinking habitat and illegal trade; these nocturnal primates need help.  Here are some facts:

  • Omnivorous.
  • Low Reproductive rates.
  • About 4.5 pounds (2 kg).
  • Up to a 20 year lifespan.
  • Covers its head with two arms to protect it.
  • Their bite is toxic and can even be deadly to humans.  Naughty humans remove their teeth with nail clippers.  This mutilation can cause infection, pain (of course) and the inability to return to the wild.

Enter International Animal Rescue.  They currently have a facility set up in West Java caring for 100 slow loris.  Here’s a link to a Youtube video.   Some animals return to the wild with radio collars.  The BBC filmed Jungle Gremlins of Java, a documentary raising awareness.

Mom and I usually associate rescue with felines and K9s and sometimes primates,  big cats and farm animals.  Thank you for helping us expand our knowledge to include the Slow Loris of Indonesia.  The IAR exists on donations only, stop by and see all the worthy work they do.

Another great, let’s raise awareness, day.

Thanks to Life With DogsConfessions of the Plume and Two Little Cavaliers for hosting the Saturday Blog Hop.

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Our First Follow Up Friday…

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Our friend, Miss Jodi, created this great idea to update readers on previous posts.  She created a lovely badge to go with her idea.

Mom, Rachel, Puffy, JJ and I want to thank so many of our blog pals, friends and neighbors for their thoughtful words, texts and calls of love and support yesterday.   Rachel woke Mom up around 3:00 this morning, when she felt a wave of sadness.  JJ, ever the happy soul, encouraged lots of belly rubs while Mom and Rachel reminisced about Fluffy, Koko, Mugs, as well as Puffy, JJ and me.  Amongst the tears and tissues, giggles and laughter reached me as I listened cuddled up in the corner of Mom’s closet.

When speaking with Miss Linda of Savannah’s Paw Tracks and Miss Wendy, our Golden Rescue South Florida friend, Mom marveled at the level and speed of support and caring the pet blogging community provides… and few of us know or knew each other prior to blogging!

BSL opportunity for change fails in Miami.  Here’s a scathing (vocab builder) post about the results and one from our NBC station.

Oops, I did it again… we had another storm yesterday (of course) and Mom returned to a similar version of Mischief Monday.  She quietly fixed the apparatus and let it go because we all felt extra sad yesterday.

Mom spoke to Austin’s Mom on Wednesday and thanked her for her lovely note of appreciation.  Miss Judy said she may ask Mom to stop by and train her and Mr. Andy.  BOL!    Mom told Mr. Andy, (her employer), she misses Austin and might need a visit.  He smiled broadly and said anytime.   He told Mom Austin already misplaced his rope!

Another great, well, at least better than yesterday, day.

Farewell Fluffy…

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Sad day at Casa Jet.  Mom and Rachel took our beloved feline, Fluffy, to Dr. Schaffer this morning to peacefully cross the Rainbow Bridge.  Mom told him how much she loved sharing her world with him and bringing him peace after a terrible beginning.  She asked him to say hello to Mugs and Koko for us.

We thought we would share a few tidbits about Fluffy as a fitting tribute.

Mom and Rachel adopted Puffy and Fluffy from Cat Network in 2003.  They had been in five abusive (let’s just say the stories would make your paws curl) and one allergic house over three years.  Their names were Putter and Gypsy before Rachel dubbed them Puffy and Fluffy at age 9!  After 15 ½ years with Mugs, her tabby, having long haired boys seemed decadent.

Fluffy always exhibited a sweet nature except when wrestling with Puffy, the instigator.  Mom tried all types of treats and toys with no luck.  The best present she ever gave them was a grocery bag.  Fluff spoke to Mom non-stop, he was a regular chatterbox.  Some people told Mom he sounded like he said Maaah-Maaah!  He had different sounds when speaking, making the chatter sound like a meaningful conversation.  Mom spoke back which made for funny observations.

Fluffy appreciated drinking from any human sink; Mom tapped her nail on the basin to orient Fluffy to the water flow.  He also liked to read; and by that I mean, face Mom with his chin in the spine of the open page.  If that didn’t suit Mom, he would sit on her chest and block the page she was on until she adjusted the book’s position side to side.

Mom was fascinated by Fluffy’s care of her midsection.  He took the job of purring water bottle and feline masseuse, kneading the area when called for.

As we bid Fluffy safe passage over the Rainbow Bridge, all of us at Casa Jet offer our gratitude for our time shared with Fluffy, our sweet, gentle boy.

Another… not so great day.

Wordless Wednesday – Sea Horse

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Remember the elephant swimming? Well, Mom has a penchant (vocab building project VBP) for the ocean as well as animals, so, this photograph by Kurt Arrigo posted on PhotoBotos caught her attention.

Mom wondered whether some trickery might be involved until she read how Mr. Arrigo captured the shot.

“This particular assignment was of racing horses getting their training in the sea. Swimming is one of the best exercises for the races horses. Apparently 20 min of swimming is a very good work out for them. Since I have also been shooting underwater for the past 15 yrs, I thought it would be an interesting perspective shooting from below, working win the clear clean waters off the Maltese Islands  – I also took advantage of the good light.

It took a while for the horse to get used to my bubbles from my dive gear and I had to be very careful not to get knocked by one of its hoofs … I was very happy with the results and hope to do more in the near future.”

Another great and artistically inspired day.

Thanks to BlogPaws for sponsoring the Wordless Wednesday Hop.

Tasty Tuesday: Essence of Summer Supper Salad

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Thanks to Sugar and Kol for initiating Tasty Tuesdays, today is our nineteenth  participating post!

I may have eluded (vocab building project VBP) last week to Mom’s major food prep for her classes.  Her UMiami Med School Diabetic Peer Support Group class prepared three items.  One of the class participants put the finishing touches on the platter which wowed the class!

On Prep night #1, JJ and I, Mom’s faithful Kitchen K9s, provide QC (Quality Control) for:

  •  Tomatoes – Mom prepped 12 because of doubled recipe!
  • Chicken – before and after cubind…
  • String beans – before and after steaming…

This recipe arrived in Mom’s inbox via the The Splendid Table’s weekly Weeknight Kitchen newsletter.   Mom’s sharing all the comments, tips and notes since she cannot find a direct link online and did not want you to miss ANYTHING!  

Essence of Summer Supper Salad – Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 quarts hot salted water in a 6-quart pot
  • 1 lb. large to jumbo unshelled raw shrimp, or boneless chicken cut into ½ inch dice or firm tofu (Mom used chicken to stay within budget.)
  • 1 ½ lbs. green beans, trimmed of stem ends

Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup cider or rice vinegar (Mom used cider vinegar.)
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tbs. dark coarse mustard or Dijon (Mom used Dijon.)
  • 1/3 cup (or so) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ medium sweet onion, thinly sliced

Finishing:

  • 4-6 delicious ripe tomatoes, vertically sliced ¼ inch thick (Mom used Roma, which was the least expensive, since this is NOT our tomato season.)
  • 15 leaves fresh basil, torn (budget did not permit and the salad was still yummy.)
  • 3 whole scallions, thinly sliced
  • ½ lemon

Directions:

  • Bring the salted water to just below the boil then drop in the shrimp. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until shells start to turn pink and firm up. Don’t overcook. With a slotted spoon, immediately scoop the shrimp out of the water into a colander.
  • Rinse shrimp with cold water to stop the cooking and cool them. Slip off the shells and season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Set aside. If holding more than 10 minutes, chill in the refrigerator.
  • Rinse shrimp with cold water to stop the cooking and cool them. Slip off the shells and season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Set aside. If holding more than 10 minutes, chill in the refrigerator.
  • Bring the water left in the pot to a full boil. As it heats, take a large bowl and whisk together the vinegar, salt, pepper, mustard, and garlic until well combined. Whisk in the olive oil until mixture comes together and is slightly thickened. Add the onions and toss with the dressing.
  • Once the water in the pot is boiling, drop in the beans. Cook over high heat, uncovered, until just beyond tender crisp, about 3 to 7 minutes depending on size of beans. Taste as you go to check for doneness. Drain beans in a colander, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Add shrimp and beans to bowl and toss until well combined. Taste for seasoning.
  • Arrange the sliced tomatoes around the rim of a serving platter. Sprinkle with salt. Pile the bean salad in the center and spoon on any remaining dressing. Sprinkle basil and scallion on top, then squeeze the half lemon over all.

Comments:

This is a recipe for right now & good tomatoes, new green beans and sweet onions practically trumpet summer, which is why the mustard-garlic dressing is distinctive yet not overwhelming. It’s a supporting player. With tomatoes peaking and heirlooms so popular, you might get your hands on some of the dark varieties with out-of-the-ordinary tastes, like Black Cherry (stunningly rich), Black Krim (tastes like good steak), Black Zebra (more delicate) or Paul Robeson (boldly sweet-tart). Green beans are the tomatoes’ backup along with sweet onions. Cook the beans just beyond tender crisp to open up all their character. Serve the salad with a loaf of rough country bread for sopping up the dressing. End the meal with the luscious Mango Sherbet from cooking teacher and author Bal Arneson. If mangoes aren’t to be had, use peaches or nectarines. If you can, use organic produce; I think you’ll like the results.

Tips:

  • With the shrimp and beans cooked and the dressing made a day ahead and refrigerated, the next evening you merely slice the tomatoes and assemble all on a big platter. Supper is ready in 10 minutes.
  • This recipe is a perfect showcase for heirloom tomatoes. Every year seems to bring a greater variety at farmers’ markets and roadside stands. Try some that are new to you.

Author Notes:

  • Shrimp Alternatives: Shrimp are spendy and not essential here. Tofu, cooked poultry, or any other protein you would like will work. You could even skip the protein; the salad will still be good. In fact, you get a complete protein if you have the salad with whole grain bread, which when eaten with the green beans becomes the nutritional equivalent of shrimp or chicken.
  • Working Ahead: The shrimp, green beans and dressing could be made a day ahead and refrigerated.

Another great QC day!



Mischief Monday: I Couldn’t Help It…

Hey It’s Jet Here.

On Saturday, Rachel and Mom left JJ, Pluffy and me to our own devices for a few hours.  While they gallivanted (vocab building project VBP) around town (Jetty, we ran mundane errands…), we stayed home.  Ok, we took long, comfy snoozes, but still…

Mom dropped Rachel off at a meeting and went to meet a friend while doing more errands.  During this part, the sky turned black and sent streaky lights, booms and pouring water down.  When Mom walked in with a bag of groceries, she found me like this:

  • She said I MUST ask you to see where my back paw is… yes, it’s stuck in the gate.  You see, I tried to squish my handsome self out of the laundry room through the feline door.  Yes, I know this is beneath me.  The call of the litter box during storms sounds like a symphony I tell you!
  • She said I MUST ask you to note that I disengaged the gate from the walls.  What can I say, I’m strong!
  • Mom said I MUST also ask you to notice that spot on my nose.  Yes, that’s what you think it is from the litter box.  How humiliating!
  • Mom said I MUST ask you to look at the 3 bowls I knocked over leaving general chaos on the floor.
  • She said I MUST accept the title of Mischief Maker this week.  (hanging my head, pitifully…)

Another, got stuck in the gate, sort of great day.

Thanks to Alfie’s BlogSnoopy’s Dog BlogMy Brown Newfies and Luna, A Dog’s Life…for sponsoring the hop!  Click on any of the sponsors to join the hop.

Our friend, Miss Deanna, posted detailed info on our BSL legislation up for a vote this week. Please vote if you live in our county.

For The Love of My Dogs

On August 14th, Miami-Dade voters will take to the polls for the Primary Election, with a very important question on the ballot: “Shall the ordinance repealing the county’s 23 year old law prohibiting ownership of pit bulls as a dangerous breed of dog become effective?

Read: Repealing Miami’s Pit Bull Ban: Voters Will Decide

Pit Bull enthusiasts and dog lovers everywhere are sure to turn out to the polls in numbers, hoping to overturn the archaic law that murders dogs based on what they look like. As the county counts down days to the election, here are a few important tips for voters to know.

end BSL!

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Avian Avalanche

Hey It’s Jet Here.

When Mom grew up in Northern New Jersey, the birds that most commonly crossed her path had names like: sparrows, blue jays, cardinals, orioles and robins.  Cute specimens with brown, blue, red, black and gold, brown and red feathers, these birds measured about one to two adult female fists side by side.

Flip the calendar a couple decades and Mom finds herself living in the tropics.  She becomes more mindful of her neighborhood species first as a result of taking baby Rachel around in her stroller, then while walking Koko, (may she be frolicking over the Rainbow Bridge), then Koko and me, then me, and now JJ and me.

As Mom named some of our local avian varieties aloud this morning, she noted that wingspans ranges from cute to mini-pterodactyl!  Here goes:

The morning whisper-quiet whir of the ibis fly-by and lawn landing.

The cacophony of squawking/chirping green parrots at sunset.

A solitary great blue heron taking flight.

The vibrant macaw high in the sky.  (We are pleased and relieved to share that after quite some time of only seeing one (they mate for life), we’ve seen our couple reunited this week.)

The repetitive pecking from the red headed woodpecker on our telephone poles.

The circling turkey vultures, notifying us that a creature has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Chatty crows flying in large flocks, then settling on yards to feast.

Evidence of golden eagles via their huge nests resting on telephone poles.

Screech owls justifying their name with their calls.

And of course, our arrogant uh, I mean handsome peacock, who Miss Mary Ann named Winchester, after the character from the TV show M*A*S*H.

Another great, bird watching, day.

Thanks to Life With DogsConfessions of the Plume and Two Little Cavaliers for hosting the Saturday Blog Hop.