Rustic Ham and Bean Soup

We had a very mild fall and winter up until New Year’s Eve, then … BAM! We have already had more snow in these first 10 days of January than we have had in the last two Januaries. The good thing about snow here in Colorado though is that it doesn’t stay long at all. Snow today, gone tomorrow. That’s our norm. When we have cold snowy days, it is always the perfect weather for a nice warm bowl of soup to help take the chill off.

I told you that for New Year’s Day we had black-eyed pea salad Black-Eyed Pea Salad and I had made a ham for New Year’s Eve. Due to unforeseen circumstances though, we did not host our planned New Year’s Eve get together, which means we had a lot of both leftover. So I did what comes naturally to me, and I reinvented them. I turned them into soup.

I like making rustic style foods. When I make soups, I like them to be full of “stuff”, but then this is actually true with just about everything I make. I like “stuff in my stuff”. This rustic ham and bean soup was definitely full of stuff too. If you are not a ham person, you can make this same soup with either meatballs or chicken too.

Rustic Ham and Bean Soup

You can use any kinds of beans, but since I had my leftover black-eyed salad, I used black-eyed peas. I used what I had already made ( used the rest of the salad) and then of course, added more of everything. Larry says I have a gift of taking leftovers and recreating them to make even more leftovers than what I started with. This is very true. And I do believe it is a gift. No one will ever starve at my house. 🙂

2- lbs cooked ham, cubed

1 onion, diced

1-2 large carrots, peeled and diced

2 large celery stalks, diced

2-3 bay leaves

1-2 TBSP garlic

2 cups dried beans (I used black-eyed peas) or 1 can of beans, drained and rinsed

6 cups broth, either vegetable, ham or chicken broth (I used a combination of vegetable broth and ham broth I made from the ham bone)

3-4 medium tomatoes or 5-6 smaller tomatoes, diced

3-4 cups fresh baby spinach, stems removed and chopped

salt & pepper to taste

5-6 sprigs fresh thyme

1 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste

olive oil for cooking

Parmigiano or mozzarella cheese for topping, optional

Add the olive oil to a large soup pot and get it nice and hot. Add the carrots, celery, bay leaves, garlic and onions to the oil and saute for about 5-7 minutes, or until tender and the onions are translucent.

Add the ham and black-eyed peas and mix together.

Then add the broth, tomatoes and seasonings. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Add the spinach at the end. Mix it thoroughly into the soup mix, then serve. You can top the soup with either Parmigiano or mozzarella cheese if you like.

We had a delicious meal of soup and the rest of the New year’s pretzel buns Pretzel Buns to warm us up on a cold and snowy night. I served it with a rich, buttery chardonnay on the side.

Stay warm, stay safe and stay healthy. ‘Til next time.

Cherry Linzer Squares

It’s Sunday, which means more goodies for the church coffee cart. Every Sunday I offer something completely different. Sometimes I buy the goodies I serve, but I try to make most everything if I can. The way I look at it, it’s a good way to get to try a lot of new recipes without having a bunch of sweets around for me to eat. This time, one of the selections I made was a delicious batch of cherry Linzer squares that I served along with some mini cinnamon rolls and more of my black chocolate & peppermint cake Black Chocolate and Peppermint Cake. One of the ladies commented that I must really like cherries since I make things that feature cherries quite often. I do. I LOVE cherries. 🙂

The Linzer torte is one of the oldest cakes in the world and has been around since 1696. The Linzer torte is a traditional Austrian pastry, that is a form of shortcake topped with fruit preserves and sliced nuts and is decorated with a latticed design on top.   The recipe was created by using nuts, mostly almonds or hazelnuts, in the crust and the topping because at the time, nuts were more readily available than wheat or flour.

The name Linzer simply means it comes from the town of Linz, Austria. These tortes are usually singled layered tortes or pies. Linzer tortes are a holiday treat in the Austrian, Hungarian, Swiss, German, and Tirolean traditions, often eaten at Christmas. Linzer tortes came to America during the 1850’s as part of the Austrian and German traditions that were brought with the immigrants who came over to the United States at that time.

I have made made many versions of Linzer tarts or tortes or cookies over the years. I love them. They are so tasty and festive. This time, I made them as bite-sized bars which are easier to serve when serving a lot of people. Usually I make them with raspberries, but this time I used cherries instead. Both are favorites of mine.

Cherry Linzer Squares

Preheat the oven to 350* F or 175* C.

1/2 cup dried tart cherries

2 TBSP water

1 3/4 cups flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup almonds or hazelnuts

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup or 1 1/2 sticks softened butter

1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 tsp lemon peel

1 egg

1 12-oz jar cherry jam or preserves

powdered sugar for dusting

Add the water to the cherries and place in the microwave to cook on high for 1 minute. Then let sit for a few minutes before using.

Combine the flour, cinnamon, nuts, sugars and lemon peel in a food processor and blend until the nuts are finely ground and it resembles a fine sand.

Add the egg and the butter and blend again until it all forms together as a dough. Divide the dough into two. Firmly press about 2/3 of the dough into a 9×13 baking pan to completely layer the bottom of the pan.

Mix the cherries with the cherry jam and spread evenly over the crust layer on the bottom.

With he remaining dough break off small balls of the dough and gently roll them out into long ropes. Add the dough ropes to the top of the fruit preserves in a lattice design.

Bake for about 35 minutes or until the dough rope are lightly browned.

Allow the bars to cool then slice and allow to cool completely again before dusting with powdered sugar.

Whether you make these as a tart or a torte or as cookies or as a bar, with either cherries or raspberries, or another fruit of your choice, these are going to be a bit hit with everyone. Mine all disappeared this morning. There were none left to bring home. I take this a s a very good indicator that they were enjoyed by all.

Enjoy your days and make the most out of everything that you do. Stay safe and stay well. ‘Til next time.

Andalusian Lamb

Andalusia is a province on the Iberian Peninsula that occupies mostly the Southern tips of Spain, Portugal, as well as some parts of Southern France, Andorra and Gibraltar, which is actually British though located at the tip of Southern Spain. The Iberian Peninsula is the westernmost part of Eurasia. This area has been inhabited by humans for at least 1.2 million years, so it has a very rich and diverse culture, from many lands and many people. And it still flourishes today.

Life on the Iberian Peninsula, and especially the Andalusian areas, are heavily influenced from the early Romans and Greeks, the Spanish and Portuguese, as well as the Muslims of North Africa. These multi-cultural influences are found in everything from their architecture to their music and to their foods. I find all of that truly fascinating, since I love history and learning new languages and learning about different cultures, but I especially love these influences on all of the foods of the area. I do love food, just in case you hadn’t noticed. 🙂

I love all foods, from most parts of the world, but one of my favorites types or styles of food is Mediterranean food. It is also one of the healthiest diets around as well. When I last cooked lamb An Indian Curried Lamb I only cooked half of the lamb. It was time to cook the rest of it. Since I prepared it Indian style last time, this time I chose to prepare it differently, and made it Andalusian style. The recipe I chose, and semi-followed, goes back about 700 years, getting its flavors from both the Moors and the Spanish inhabitants of the area. I’d say this recipe has aged very well and has stood the test of the times. It was delicious and full of different and flavorful layers of goodness.

Andalusian Lamb

5 lbs lamb (I used a roast, but the recipe calls for shanks)

olive oil

2 onions, diced fine

1/2 yellow bell pepper, 1/2 green bell pepper, diced fine

2 TBSP garlic

1 1/2 tsp either saffron threads dissolved in water, or dried saffron or turmeric – I used the turmeric

1 TBSP paprika

1 1/3 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup brandy

salt & pepper to taste

4 tomatoes, diced

1 can cannellini or white beans, drained and rinsed

1 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro

I marinated the lamb in the sauce and then grilled it, but you can also slow cook it in a Dutch oven too. For the sauce, combine the brandy, wine, turmeric and paprika together. Add the lamb and marinate for at least 3-4 hours before cooking. This made the lamb very tender and full of flavor. If you prefer, especially if you are using shanks instead of a roast, you can skip the marinating portion and cook everything together.

Saute the onions and peppers together in the olive oil for about 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and they are soft.

Add the tomatoes and the marinade (more of my own additions) and the salt & pepper. Combine thoroughly, cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and continue to cook for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the beans and the cilantro around the last 5-7 minutes of the cooking process.

When everything was done, I served it all over some pearled couscous. I layered it all, like I usually do, with the couscous first, a little sauce next, then the grilled lamb, and then topped it all with more sauce. To accompany the meal and make it complete, I served it with some warmed pita bread and a smooth velvety Portuguese red wine. !Delicioso!

Explore the world and travel to far off exotic lands, even if only through the foods we eat. Life is short; live life to the fullest with everything you do. Stay safe and stay well. ‘Til next time.

Breaded Chicken with Wine, Roasted Pepper and Garlic Sauce

If you have ever worked in restaurants, you would know that there are always little tricks of the trade to ensure the food is full of flavor. You would also know that “waste not want not” is a motto that is firmly adhered to in every restaurant, particularly all the good ones. So how can you get the most bang for your buck while bringing out the best flavors too? One simple little trick is to make a fond from the meat leftovers in the pan that naturally occur when browning meats.

Fond is the delicious caramelized bits of meat found on the bottom of the pan or skillet after browning or searing meats. One of the best ways to use this fond is to add a liquid broth or wine to deglaze the pan. Juices are also used. Usually you want something with some acidity, that’s why both wine and lemon juice are so prominently used for this purpose. The fond, combined with the liquids and spices are the basis for most sauces that are used to accompany meats.

What makes the fond so tasty? It is a chemical reaction known as the Maillard reaction, named after the French chemist who first described this reaction over 100 years ago. The Maillard reaction occurs when the amino acids in the meat proteins break down and the naturally occurring sugars are released when exposed to intense heat. This produces new flavor compounds which are then incorporated into the sauce once the fond has been dissolved. This flavorful sauce is then added as an accompaniment to the meats when served.

I am a saucy kind of girl, applicable in all ways, so I am always deglazing my pans and skillets to make sauces for my meats. Meat by itself is good, but meat when served with a sauce is always better. My latest saucy meat was breaded and pan-fried chicken with a wine, roasted pepper and garlic sauce. No surprise there though. I use wine and garlic for just about everything. I also use roasted peppers quite often too. I served it over penne pasta with some warmed ciabiatta on the side and of course, more white wine to help wet my whistle.

Breaded Chicken with Wine, Roasted Pepper and Garlic Sauce

1- 1 1/2b lbs chicken breast

butter and olive oil for cooking

1/3-1/2 cup flour

salt & pepper to taste

1 tsp paprika

1 egg

dash heavy whipping cream

1 TBSP garlic

1 onion, medium dice

1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and diced medium

1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms

3/4 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup dry white wine

1-2 TBSP sherry

fresh thyme

2-3 TBSP butter

Combine the flour and salt & pepper. In a separate bowl, combine the egg and and cream. Wrap the chicken in plastic wrap, then with a meat tenderizer, pound the chicken into a thin piece, to about 1/4 inch in thickness. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, then coat it in the egg mixture. Shake off the excess liquid and dip the chicken into the flour mixture and coat it completely. Get a skillet very hot, add the olive oil and some butter and cook the chicken for about 5 minutes per side, or until crispy and golden brown. Once the chicken is done, remove it from the heat and set aside.

The fond for the sauce is next. Add the mushrooms, garlic, onions and paprika. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. I also added some of the flour mixture to thicken up the sauce a bit. This is optional.

Add the wine, chicken broth and roasted peppers and combine thoroughly. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the butter and the fresh thyme as a finish to the sauce.

When the sauce is ready, reheat the chicken by adding it to the sauce and let it heat thoroughly. Remove the chicken and slice it into thin strips. I served it over cooked penne pasta, but rice would work as well. I like to add a little sauce to the pasta first, then the chicken, and lastly I finish it with more sauce on top. I hate dry foods. Like I said, I like things saucy.

Life is much more fun when you make it saucy. Foods always taste better this way too. 🙂 May the new year keep you safe and keep you well. ‘Til next time.

Black Chocolate and Peppermint Cake

Julia http://retirementrvdream.wordpress.com/ gave me a fun selection of goodies from King Arthur Flour Company for as a Christmas gift. King Arthur has some fantastic products. I am quite familiar with a lot of them, but the things Julia selected were all very new to me. I had never heard of cinnamon nibs, which now I am wondering how I have gone so long without knowing about. The other fun goodies were a bag of black chocolate cocoa powder, as well as a bag of Bensdorp cocoa powder, which I still have yet to use. Again, I had never heard of black cocoa powder before. This is all new to me too. I just love learning about new products and learning how to use them. It just makes my day. I know, I am a geek when it comes to the kitchen. 🙂

If your curiosity is peaked like mine was about black cocoa powder, then here are some fun facts. Black cocoa powder is an “ultra Dutched” process to make cocoa powder. Dutched cocoa powder (this also includes black cocoa powder) is cocoa powder that has been treated with an alkaline solution to neutralize the acidity. Alkalizing cocoa makes it darker in color, milder in flavor, and dissolves easily into liquids. Dutched cocoa powder is neutral and because of that, it does not react with baking soda, so it’s often used in recipes that call for baking powder. The darker or blacker the cocoa powder means more alkalizing processes have occurred. This also makes for a very smooth chocolate taste, and removes some of the bitterness of the dark chocolate.

Regular processed cocoa powder and Dutched black cocoa powder.

The black chocolate does not react with baking soda, so if a recipe calls for baking soda, add some baking powder if using the black chocolate. The black chocolate is almost completely fat free as well, so in order to keep your finished products moist, you might want to mix the black cocoa with a normal or non-Dutched cocoa powder as well.

The first thing I made with my new black cocoa powder was a black chocolate and peppermint cake. Peppermint and dark chocolate are a perfect fit and so was the black chocolate and peppermint.

Black Chocolate and Peppermint Cake

Preheat the oven to 350* F or 180*C .

butter and lightly flour a bundt cake pan.

3 cups flour

1 cup black cocoa powder, or 1/2 cup of black coca powder and 1/2 cup regular cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 cups or 3 sticks of softened butter

2 3/4 cups sugar

2 tsp peppermint extract for a strong peppermint flavor or 1 tsp peppermint extract and 1 tsp vanilla for a milder flavor

5 eggs

1 1/2 cups milk

powdered sugar icing

crushed candy canes, optional

Mix the flour and dry ingredients together and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar together, then add the eggs and mix in between each addition. Add the vanilla and/or peppermint extract and mix together again.

Alternate between the flour additions and the milk, adding 1/2 at each time and mixing after each addition.

The batter will be a dark black in color. Carefully spoon or pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean when entered into the center of the cake.

Allow the cake to cool before removing it from the pan, and then cool completely before adding the icing.

When we helped Janet with her Christmas gingerbread cookies, It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas – 17 Janet gave me all her leftover icings from the day, knowing I would find a good use for them. I did too. I used the red and the white icings to top my cake. First I added a layer of the red icing, then added a layer of the white. Before the icings set, I crushed some candy canes and sprinkled them on top of the icings to make my cake really fun and festive.

I am always learning about new things. Never stop learning. Never be afraid to experiment. That’s what keep life fun and interesting. Thank you Julia for always introducing me to so many new and fun products and ideas. I am always learning new things from you. I am glad we have so much fun together, both in and out of the kitchen.

Happy New Year to all. May the new year keep keep you safe and well. ‘Til next time.

Nature Walks – Ducks of the Day

We are so fortunate to have such a wide variety of wildlife literally in our backyard. Some have their seasons, while others are residents who call our lakes home. We have many different types of water fowl we see see on a regular basis too.

Our mallards are residents whom we see on most days.

Aside from our beautiful mallards, we also have many other kinds of ducks too. Sometimes we see them, sometimes we don’t. Often they are all together and other times they like to be by themselves.

Some of our other ducks include Common Golden-eyes;

Wood Ducks;

Hooded Merganzers;

and sometimes we see Northern Shovelers too.

These are just a small sampling of the beautiful ducks and water fowl we see here on our lakes. I always have my camera ready because I just never know who I am going to see.

Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Black-eyed peas. What are they? Are they peas or are they beans? Well, both are part of the legume family, but what is the difference? Legumes technically refers to the whole plant package (leaves, stems, and pods), whereas the terms beans or peas refer to the seed found within the pods of a legume plant. So black-eyed peas, as are all peas, are actually the seeds found within the legume plant, and are really beans.

Black-eyed peas have been around for a very long time; since pre-historic times, dating back over 5000 years. They were originally grown in China and India. From China and India, they made their way through Africa and Europe and were a favorite of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. They were food for both livestock as well as the enslaved peoples brought to the West Indies. During the American Civil War, the black-eyed pea crops were spared from destruction because “they were food crops for the slaves”, however, when the South was ravaged by war, these spared crops became a life saving food source for all. Today, as they have been for hundreds of years, black- eyed peas are considered to be a lucky food for those who are from the South, especially when eaten on New Year’s Day and when eaten with collard greens and pork. The peas symbolize coins and the greens symbolize paper money.

As you know, I have very Southern roots. And I still adhere to these Southern traditions for good luck on New Year’s Day, although I do not count out my black-eyed peas to a serving of exactly 365, as is also part of the traditional way of eating them. Triple Good Luck For The New Year I made my black-eyed peas in a salad this year, that I served along side my ham and pretzel bun sliders. Pretzel Buns I did not have collard greens, but I did enjoy my black-eyed peas with ham.

Black-Eyed Pea Salad

This is an easy, quick salad to make that is very full of flavor. I soaked my black-eyed peas for 24 hours before cooking them. When in doubt on how to prepare them, just follow the instructions on the bag.

2-3 cups cooked black-eyed peas, cooled and drained

2 carrots, diced fine

2 celery ribs, dicd fine

1/2 red bell pepper, diced fine

1/2 red onion, diced fine

1-2 TBSP Peruvian peppers, optional

1 TBSP garlic

1/2 cup olive oil

3 TBSP lemon balsamic vinegar, optional

1-2 TBSP lemon juice

salt & pepper to taste

4-5 sprigs fresh thyme

Once the peas are completely cooked and cooled, combine them with the vegetables and toss well.

Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing and add to the beans and vegetable mixture, using only as much as needed. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. the beans will soak up the dressing, so if you need to add more before serving, that’s fine.

This delicious salad is perfect anytime. It is NOT only for special occasions or for New Year’s Day. It can be lucky for you anytime you want to eat it, especially since it is a very healthy salad that is high in protein and low in calories. You can also add either ham, bacon, or chicken to this colorful and tasty salad too to make it more of a meal.

Start the new year off lucky by staying well and staying safe. ‘Til next time.

Nature Walks – The Northern Flickers

Larry is still off from work for the holidays, so it was nice to go out for a walk together. The weather was cool and brisk, but other than that, pleasant. We did not see much since the lakes were very quiet, but we did see a couple of Northern Flickers having fun up high in the tree. We have so many beautiful birds in our area. I just love seeing them all and capturing as many as I can with my camera.

Enjoy all yours days. Tomorrow is never guaranteed, yesterday is gone, and today is the present, which is a precious gift that we have been given. Seize the day. Carpe diem.

Pretzel Buns

Pretzels, especially soft pretzels, are a food that Germans, and the Bavarian Germans of the south in particular, have been enjoying for at least 1500 years. They were eaten by themselves, or as a side dish to the main meal or even as dessert. They also go very well with beer, and beer is very popular in the German culture. It doesn’t get more German than pretzels and beer or Brezeln und Bier.

Pretzels were brought to America when the German and Dutch immigrants began to immigrate to the US in the late 18th century, and were mostly found in the Midwest, or in the largely German populated areas of the country. The pretzels started off as soft pretzels, but if they were not eaten quickly they would go bad, so hard pretzels were invented by adding less water, in order to preserve them for longer. Traditionally, it is the soft pretzels that are eaten at New Year’s celebrations though.

How did pretzels become part of the German New Year’s tradition? Germans ring in the New Year with a Grosse Neujahrs-Breze, or Big New Year’s Pretzel. This braided sweet yeast bread shaped like a pretzel is the first thing many Germans put into their mouth when the clock strikes 12 on New Year’s Eve because it is thought to bring good luck, and the German-Americans continued this tradition when they immigrated to America too.

There are a few different theories about the origins of the German New Years Pretzel. One is that they were first baked by monks in Southern Germany as a reward for children who learned their prayers. Thus they were shaped to represent the crossed arms of a child praying. Another story is that the circular shape of the symbolic loaf is derived from the old calendar sign for the winter solstice, which was a circle with a dot in its center. The central cross was added to represent the four seasons. Yet another story tells of German citizens parading through the streets with pretzels piled onto long sticks, and groups of people would go calling on friends and relatives and exchange pretzels instead of greetings. No one really knows for sure, but they are all fun theories.

Larry is 100% German American. His great-grandparents immigrated first from Germany to the Volga River area of Russia, and from there his grandparents came to America, landing in Hays, KS, which is a mostly German area even today. They eat a lot of traditional German foods, and my mother-in-law Ollie cooks some great German foods. Ironically though, they did not know about the New Year’s tradition of the soft pretzels. It was only years after, once Larry and I got married and I started delving into the history of foods in general that we learned about this tradition. We have been eating soft pretzels for New Year’s Day ever since. This year, we had our pretzels as pretzel buns, rather than in the normal twisted fashion. Triple Good Luck For The New Year

Soft Pretzel Buns

As with so many things I like to cook, these pretzel buns require simple, basic ingredients that most of us have in our house at all times.

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1/4 cup or 4 TBSP melted butter, divided

1 tsp salt

1 TBSP brown sugar

3 3/4 cup flour

coarse salt for sprinkling on top

1/2 cup baking soda

9 cups water

Mix the yeast with the water and let set for a minute. Then add 1 TBSP of melted butter, salt and the brown sugar and whisk together. Slowly add the flour and mix in. You will have a very soft dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 3 minutes to form into a ball. Slowly add more flour if needed. Grease a bowl with olive oil and place the dough in the prepared bowl. I like to coat my dough with olive oil as well, to make sure it doesn’t dry out. Cover and let rise for a hour or until the dough doubles in size. You can also freeze the dough at this point too if you like.

When the dough is ready, cut the dough ball into 3, and then divide each 1/3 into 4 and roll it into twelve dough balls. Roll them lightly in your hands until they form into a ball.

Preheat the oven to 400* F or 200* C.

Bring the water and baking soda to a full, rapid boil, then add about 1-3 dough balls into the boiling water and boil for 30 seconds or until the dough balls rise to the surface. Continue until all the dough balls are boiled. If they boil any longer, the buns will have a metallic taste.

Place them very close together in a 9×13 baking sheet lined with parchment paper. With a sharp serrated knife, slice a cross on the top of each bun. Brush the tops and sides of each pretzel with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle with the coarse salt.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the buns are a deep golden brown on all sides. If you want to, you can brush another coat of melted butter on top of the buns as soon as they come out of the oven to give them more flavor and to make them shiny. I learned this from my mother-in-law Ollie.

You can eat these buns as is, or you can use them as sliders. We ate them as sliders with the ham I prepared for New Year’s Eve and some honey mustard along with my black-eyed pea salad and some crisp golden steak fries.

Frohes neues Jahr und das Gluck liegt vor uns or Happy New Year and good fortune lies ahead.

Juneau Is Healing

Aside from her stitches and her her cone, you would never know that just last week we were saying a lot of prayers for Juneau. She is almost back to normal. We still have her on her meds, and she is still wearing her cone, and she would definitely be running all around and wrestling with her big brother if we would let her. She is acting as though nothing happened to her at all. But she still has to lay low and wear her cone for at least one more week. We have to make sure all her stitches heal.

She is still playing with her ball.

Being a malamute, she LOVES the cold weather and the snow. She was born for the snow. We had about 7 inches of snow fall from the skies on New Year’s Eve and Juneau was loving every minute of it. We called her our snow cone.

She is still healing and has to rest as much as she can, as much as she hates it. Vinnie decided he would watch over her, so they rested together. Vinnie is such a good big brother. He loves his little sister.

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