Thing #4 – Congratulations…it’s a tan dog!

“What a handsome dog! What is he?” We were sick of not having an answer, so we invested in the Wisdom Panel dog DNA test. About three weeks after Charlie reluctantly let us swab the inside of his cheeks with bristly little wands and sent them to get analyzed, we got the results delivered to our email inbox.

We always assumed he was a mastiff because of his coloring, wrinkly head and constantly underwhelmed expression, but we knew he must be mixed with something else. When I got the “The results are in,” email, we hunkered down and opened the report. We were shocked to learn that Charlie Chooch had SO many breeds mixed into his 115-pound body, including Chow and Husky. Most shockingly, we learned he’s only 12.5 percent Mastiff.

To celebrate the eclectic hodge-podge of canine that lives in our house, we decided to throw our dog a Breed Reveal Party. We figured he’d be excited to hear about his genealogy, and it would give me an excuse to cook stuff. To make … Read the rest

When Italy gives you lemons

Fresh lemons everywhere

When I think of lemon pastries, the image of sticky, fluorescent yellow bars comes to mind. You usually find them at a church-basement potluck or your grandma’s house. I never liked them. I vote them “Least Satisfying” in the bar category, with the Seven-Layer Bar coming in close behind.

I love lemons, but prefer them mostly in my cocktails and over my calamari – not so much in my desserts. But when you are in the land of lemon groves, you damn well better eat all the lemons you can.

The streets of Sorrento are an endless advertisement for lemons. Lemon soap, lemon-decorated souvenirs, Limoncello tastings. The buildings are a sunny yellow and the tang of citrus floats through the air. I popped into Pasticceria Don Peppe to peek at their treats and the most precious dome-shaped lemon cakes caught my eye. If I’m going to eat a lemon dessert it should be here, right?Yummy cake

In broken Italian, I asked the young man what they were called, thinking it would be something fancy, and he Read the rest

Recipe for a happy marriage

Crater Lake

What’s the secret to a happy marriage? Everyone has an opinion. Honesty or communication? Perhaps trust, compromise and patience? These are foundational – the flour, butter and baking soda in the good-marriage recipe. If you’re married, you’ve concocted your own special recipe, and I suspect it’s gone through various iterations with different ingredients over time.

Love from IcelandHuzzbot and I just spent our third anniversary in Iceland. Though we’re still rookies in the marriage game, we’ve whipped up a pretty dope recipe so far. Our key ingredients include adventure and exploration. These two work together like yeast – giving rise to our marriage, expanding our boundaries and widening our ability to tackle the world together. Each adventure creates nooks and crannies for us to put all the stuff life throws our way. We are endlessly curious and eager to see the world and try new things – not only together, but independently. Losing sight of your personal growth and solo adventuring is a sure-fire way to destroy your recipe.

Happy marriage cake

I learned the Icelandic people have a recipe … Read the rest