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Monday, January 28, 2013

Busy Breakfast Burritos

By: Vicky Kulig

I am sure that many of you are very busy, like me. I have to keep a calendar for all of my various activities - between dog training, helping to run my dog club, exercise, and maintaining some semblance of a social life.

That leaves very little time for me to do that other fairly domestic duty we all love so much: cooking.

I eat out way too much because I am too busy to cook. I've seen all the pins lately about making meals in advance to freeze so you can grab them and cook them as you need them... so I decided I'd give it a try with breakfast.

So I made breakfast burritos!

This is probably one of the easiest meals ever and will either be enough for two work weeks of breakfast, or one week for two people - as is my case.


  • One dozen eggs
  • A splash of milk (I don't measure...)
  • 2 rolls of breakfast sausage (I like Jimmy Dean)
  • 10 tortillas (I use the 10 inch)
  • Shredded cheese
  • Tin foil


  1. Cook the sausage. Once it's done, set it to the side. I place mine on a paper towel to help absorb some of the grease.
  2. Scramble eggs with a bit of milk in them to make them fluffy. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Lay out 10 squares of tin foil, with a tortilla in each one.
  4. Dish out sausage, eggs, and cheese into each one.
  5. Roll into a burrito, wrap in the tin foil, and pop in the freezer.
  6. When you are ready to eat one, just take it out of the tin foil and wrap in a paper towel. Cook it for about 2.5 - 3 minutes, and it's good to go!

It's a super cheap, super easy breakfast packed full of protein. My estimates set this meal at about 600 calories, though, so I wouldn't eat more than one!

Monday, January 21, 2013

"Purple Stuff" Canine Ear Cleaner

By: Courtney Patach

I have an American Bulldog with super sensitive ears that react to his food allergies! I can ALWAYS tells when he gets a hold of something that he is allergic to. You physically see his ears start to droop, his head starts to tilt, and the uncontrollable itching and scratching at his ears begins.

After numerous ear infections, several vet visits with rather large bills, countless medications, and all sorts of foods I felt as if I was at my wit’s end. It seemed we tried it all and were failing miserably; we’d even discussed ear docking as a medical necessity. However, the tables have turned and we seem to have found a happy balance with his current food (Nutrisca - Salmon & Chickpea formula) and the “Purple Stuff” ear cleaner regimen.


    16 oz. Witch Hazel
    4 Tablespoons Boric Acid Powder
    16 Drops Gentian Violet Solution 1%

It was a little difficult to mix everything together in the Witch Hazel bottle, like I was told. So, I just mixed everything in a large bowl and funneled the mixture back into the Witch Hazel bottle. You’ll also need to shake the solution every time before you use it!

To easily squirt solution into affected ear canals, you’ll want to purchase a bottle with a small tip.

TREATMENT: Evaluate condition of ears before treating and if very inflamed or sore do not attempt to pull hair or clean out ear at all. Wait until inflammation has subsided which will be about 2 days. Remember to shake the bottle each time before using. Flood the ear with solution (gently squirt bottle), massage gently to the count of 30, wipe with a cotton ball. Flood again on first treatment, wipe with a cotton ball, and leave alone without massage. The dog will shake out the excess, which can be wiped with a tissue. The Gentian Violet DOES stain fabrics!


    Treat 2 x per day for the first week to two weeks depending upon severity of ears.
    Treat 1 x per day for the next 1-2 weeks.
    Treat 1 x per month to maintain (or even less frequently, depending on the dog).

All of these ingredients should be available at your local pharmacy. If the dog is okay with having his/her ears touched and cleaned, the dog should not object to this treatment. The Boric Acid Powder soothes the ears and the Gentian Violet Solution is an anti infection agent.

You should start to see a noticeable difference in a short time. I noticed a difference in the inflammation, head tilting/scratching reduced, and the overall attitude of my puppy seemed to drastically improve within the first week alone!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Extra Crispy, No Mess Bacon

I love eating bacon, but the mess of cooking it on the stove top stops me from making it as frequently as I would like.  I discovered a few years ago this way of cooking bacon.  You cook it in the oven, which prevents a mess all over the kitchen when you want bacon.  Also, when you cook it this way, the bacon doesn't sit in the fat while it cooks which stops it from getting soggy.  

You will need:
  • a baking sheet
  • aluminum foil
  • a wire cooling rack slightly smaller than your pan

Preheat your oven to 400.  The first thing you'll do is cover a baking sheet in aluminum foil.  If you don't want to wash the baking sheet after, I suggest doubling up on foil.  Once the foil is completely covering the pan, place the wire rack on the pan resting snugly so it won't slide.  If you need to, adjust the foil on the side of the pan to keep the rack in place.

Place bacon strips on the rack bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.  I like my bacon really crispy, so I usually cook mine for 20 or more minutes.  While the bacon cooks, the grease will drip down onto the foil.  If you want to save it, you can easily funnel the grease into a container with the foil.  If you usually throw the grease away, you can leave the pan out to cool, then once the grease has hardened enough, you can just roll the foil up and trash it.

And there you have it! Tasty, crispy, mess-free bacon.  Just throw them on a plate (no paper-towel required) and enjoy!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Steering Wheel and Seat Covers

By Victoria Kulig

Recently, I purchased a new car: Idriss. Well, new to me anyway, and yes, I name my things. I purchased her (She’s a beautiful, blue car named Idriss. Of course she’s female) because I have a lot of things I need to transport - mainly related to my dogs. My old car is absolutely covered in dog hair. It is embedded into the seats and even the almighty duct tape isn’t removing all of it.

So while my new car is going to be used to cart around dogs, there is no reason for her to be bathed in dog hair. I’m doing all I can to create seat covers and cargo mats to prevent her from getting as hairy as my previous car.

I started with something simple: the steering wheel. I actually like the steering wheel she has since it’s very comfortable for me to hold and to drive. However, it’s also a dark grey and I live in Central Florida. After a few hours baking in the sun, that thing will scald your hands!

Enter the steering wheel cover. To start with, you’ll need a pattern. I like to make all my patterns out of freezer paper; they can be ironed onto fabric if need be to keep them still, and they’re a bit sturdier than tissue paper. Additionally, if you wipe it off soon enough, you can even use dry erase markers!

To begin, measure your steering wheel. Take a piece of measuring tape, hold it on the wheel, and measure it out. Mine was 40 inches, so I used 43 inches to allow for seams. I honestly couldn’t figure out the best way to measure the width, so I searched until I found someone who had made a similar tutorial (which you can see here), and I used their measurement of 4.5”. Knowing what I do now, I wish I’d given it 5.5”. The finished one is just a bit too thin and kind of slides around on the wheel.

I used a simple strip of fabric, some thread, and a bit of elastic. I think mine was ⅜ of an inch thick - it was just what I had on hand.

Once I cut out the strip of fabric, the first step is to press the sides in. You’ll be making a casing for your elastic to slip into later, but by pressing in the seams - it will make the fabric lay nicely and be easier to sew later.

I pressed mine in half an inch. Be sure to press both sides of the fabric.

Once both sides are pressed, you will need to sew the ends together to create the circle. Take the two ends and pin them right-side together.

With the fabric I used, I had to be careful with how I closed my seams or it will fray. It’s a canvas type material, and you can see in the images how the edges are already fraying. So on my end seam, I used a french seam.

Your end result will be a bit like the above image. No open edges to keep fraying, just a nice seam with two lines of thread.

The next step is to finish the casing for the elastic. This is where pressing the seams will come in handy, as the fabric will want to fold in nicely on its own. Again, since my fabric frays, I rolled the edges under a bit to keep them inside the seam and not exposed. Pin a lot, then sew down close to the edge to create the casing. Be sure to leave a hole near the seam so that you can thread your elastic through later.

Once you’ve sewn the casing, repeat on the other side, and be sure to leave a hole on both sides of the seam for the elastic.

Now that the casings are sewn, you need to thread the elastic.

I always attach a safety pin to the end of the elastic to make it easier to thread. As you work it through the casing, I suggest pinning the other end to the entry hole of the casing to make sure that it doesn’t disappear inside the casing altogether.

Once you pull the elastic all the way through, sew the two ends together.

Repeat this for the other side. Once you have threaded the elastic and sewn the ends together, you need to close up the holes on both sides. Again, just roll the edges under to keep the unfinished side covered up, and sew closely to the edge. If you hit the elastic, don’t worry about it. As long as the rest of it can stretch it will still work fine.

Your end product will look a bit like a giant hair scrunchie. Now that it’s all said and done, go out and put it on your steering wheel.

I also made matching seat covers. For the covers, I used a McCall’s pattern, M5902. It contains several car organizers, bucket seat covers, and the back seat hammock. I decided to use the bucket seat covers, and using the same fabric I used on the steering wheel covers, get to work.

The pattern was very easy to work with, and I also elected to use dark grey fleece as a contrasting color to the pale fabric. The directions in this pattern were extremely easy to follow - but I will note that the seats in my car are a bit wider than the covers allow for. The fleece I used had a bit of stretch in it, so it still fit over the seat, but when I make them again I’ll be sure to leave some additional allowance.

These covers are incredibly cheap to make, and easy to replace if they wear out or rip. You can wash them pretty easily, and change them out as often as you see fit. The next time I make a set, I’m going to splurge on custom fabric from Spoonflower, or maybe even some faux fur for texture.

Then again, I may skip the fur. Fur is the reason I’m making covers for the car!