Monday, December 22, 2014

Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Fun!

As many of you know, my husband and I recently adopted a 9-year-old cat named Jovie from a shelter. She had been one of the longest residents at the shelter.  I am still saddened and baffled as to why no one would want to adopt this cute, tubby, stumpy-pawed, love muffin, but I am so happy that we found her!

Snuggling up on her Christmas scarf 

For the past couple of years my husband and I have done an annual ugly Christmas sweater photo, so this year, we had to get our boo bear, Jovie, involved! I hope you enjoy! Oh, and please view with a light heart and sense of humor! 

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Finished product...

Update - The message below was posted on the Facebook page of the MSPCA where we adopted Jovie from.  As silly as it may sound, I got teary-eyed reading the message because there are still so many animals that need to be adopted! Due to my asthma and allergies, it is honestly a push just having the one cat, but if I could, I'd adopt many more! Don't be afraid to adopt a senior pet - they need a loving home to call their own too!

Question: What's better than hearing that a cat that struggled with life at the shelter is doing beautifully in an adoptive home?
Answer: Receiving the news via a family holiday card, featuring said cat in a festive holiday sweater.
Jovie had a longer than average stay at Nevins Farm because she was overwhelmed by the shelter environment. Her stress levels were much improved when she was moved into staff offices and she found her home during our Fall in Love fee waived cat adoption event.
It's clear that Jovie has settled in perfectly as a family member, as evidenced by their coordinating outfits. We can't wait to see what other getups the family has planned for her for other holidays!

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Kartoffelpuffer: German Potato Pancakes

The holidays are in full swing and I may have already gained a few pounds from all of the eggnog and cookies.  The cookies I was not supposed to eat, but rather gift.  Oops.

To take a break from all of the sweets, I decided that for this weeks FN Dish post, that I would go back to my German roots (okay, I'm not German) and make Kartoffelpuffer! Say it with me now... Kartoffelpuffer! Such a fun word, huh? Kartoffelpuffer (also known as Reibekuchen and Kartoffelpfannkuchen - more fun words) are potato pancakes.  

Although I may not be German and I will not pretend to be a German food connoisseur, I did have a student from Germany live with me for a year.  He would always try his hand in our kitchen, and although he was not a very good cook, his potato pancakes were great! I don't know why, but I just love potato pancakes! Maybe it's all the carbs and oil!? Oh well! 

This recipe is from my former exchange students family, so it is a more traditional and basic recipe. Although there are variations to this recipe, I like to keep it simple and stick to my so-called German roots! The pancakes can be served as a snack or appetizer, but they are more traditionally served as a side during the holiday season. 

Kartoffelpuffer - Potato Pancakes

-3 russet potatoes (roughly 2 - 2.5lbs)
-1 large onion
-3 eggs, beaten
-1 teaspoon salt
-Optional: 1/3 cup flour or potato starch 
-Canola oil 

Peel and grate the potatoes and onion and place in a strainer since they will be very watery.  Let them sit for about 10 minutes. You could also ring them out in a paper towel if you are in a rush.  It is okay if they are still watery.  I have skipped this step all together a couple of times when I was in a real rush. 

Transfer the potato and onion mixture to a bowl and mix in the salt and eggs.  If using the flour, mix that in too. Set aside. 

Heat a skillet with oil (roughly 1/4 cup).  Take a scoop of the mixture (I just use my hands) and form a little disk, roughly 2 - 3 inches in diameter, and flatten.  Plop 3 - 4 of the pancakes at a time into the oil. Cook for a few minutes until golden brown and then flip to cook the other side.  Each side will take roughly 3 minutes.  Continue until all of the mixture is gone.  You may need to add a little more oil in between batches. 

Remove the pancakes from the skillet and let dry on a paper towel lined baking sheet to help drain some of the oil.  Serve warm with applesauce, or enjoy plain! Happy holidays!

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