Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Taking A Page From The Bunny Lounge Cookbook

 If you have not been to The Bunny Lounge, you have not only missed a chance to see the adorable Hef and his canine roommates, Shadow and Bandit, but you have missed out on Hef's Mom's cooking. She loves to cook and is always happy to share her recipes with her readers. I gain weight just looking at her food.

Recently, she shared a recipe for slow-cooking pork tenderloin in the crock pot with BBQ sauce until it became like pulled pork. Now, I luvs me some pulled pork, but I'm not a big BBQ sauce fan; I like to taste meat before sauce, so I decided to take the recipe and experiment using tomato sauce instead. I ended up adding diced tomatoes because it didn't look like I had enough liquid (and running to the store on the day before Thanksgiving was NOT an option) and using Italian seasoning as well.

The results were AWESOME! Hubby loved it so much, he had thirds. The pork was tender and juicy, the broth was tomato-ey, yet not overpowering. Hubby and I had it over bread, but you could just as easily serve it over pasta. I'm calling "Italian Pulled Pork", and here is the recipe:

Italian Pulled Pork for Crock Pot

2 ¾ - 3 lbs. pork tenderloin (I used two tenderloins, about 1 ½ lbs. each, since they were Buy One, Get One Free at my local grocery store)
1 small can Contadina tomato sauce with Onion and Garlic (tossed the can before I realized that I would need the size for a recipe--it's the smallest can they have)
2 14.5 oz. cans Contadina diced tomatoes
Mrs. Dash Italian Medley spice blend to taste (I really loaded it on, probably used a tablespoonful in total)

Pour tomato sauce in bottom of crock pot.
Add tenderloin, turn over in sauce a few times until well-coated.
Liberally shake Italian Medley over tenderloin and sauce.
Top with diced tomatoes.
Sprinkle a little more Italian Medley over the top.
Place lid on crock pot and cook on low for a minimum of 8 hours, opening it once or twice to turn the tenderloin.
Take a fork and rake it over the tenderloin to shred it, then mix it with the broth.
Serve on bread or pasta.

Serves 4 to 6.

We'll definitely be having this one again for sure.  Thanks again to Hef's Mom for the original recipe.

To my fellow Americans, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. To everyone else, I suggest making tomorrow Italian Pulled Pork Day, and enjoy! :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I was SO excited to get this in the mail on Monday:


A notecard set, magnet and a sweet card from Sue and Clovis of Clovie Boy! Sue is a wonderful artist, and if you have not checked out her blog or her Etsy store yet, you should.

Now. No, seriously, NOW.

It's ok, I'll wait until you come back...

*hums happy tune while she waits*

There you are. Isn't it awesome? And Clovis is just the handsomest boy, I want to squeeze him every time I see him. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Sue and Clovis!

This is how happy I am with this gift; I squeezed the last drop out of my dying camera battery just so I could get that pic to show everybody. When I checked the memory card, I had a few pics of Mickey still on there, so I thought I would show those as well.

Please ignore the mess, it's been cleaned since.

This is Mickey's latest toy: a cardboard tunnel from . It can be stretched out, curved or straight, and folds like an accordion for storage.

So far, it has the Mickey seal of approval; he likes to bop in and out of it, and it's great for hiding from or escaping the boy...

...because if you don't escape the boy, this is what happens:

The "pillow on the bunny" trick does NOT get the Mickey seal of approval.

And now, I will be hunting for that fershlugginer battery charger. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

For Malcolm: The Joy of Loaf

My last post mentioned that Mickey is a practitioner of bunny yoga, specifically the "loaf" position. Allow me to expand on this:

"Loaf" is a position of being and doing, of verb and noun; the bunny is involved in the act of loafing while actually looking like a loaf of something. Above, Mickey performs the "fresh-baked bread" variation. The paws are thoroughly tucked in, the head and body are also tucked in, yet the pose is one of complete relaxation. Sometimes, a bunny even gets so relaxed that they transition from "loaf" straight into all-out "flop", but that is often accidental and not a desired occurrence.

Behold the ultra-rare "carrier loaf". "Loaf" is best achieved in one's cage, under a chair or table, or in any sheltered area so as to avoid interruption or in case a full-fledged nap is called for.

The "loaf" position is a time to reflect upon one's state of bunnyhood; to contemplate ways in which one can achieve all that is desired--a few more treats, an extra ear rub, world domination, whatever--or review past actions and their success or failure.

"Loaf" is not a position to be taken lightly; it requires great concentration, and any interruption of the process is guaranteed to result in some serious disapproval, if not some retaliatory poop in your shoes. I was lucky to escape with only minor snubbing after taking the photo above. If you happen to see your rabbit in the "loaf" position, it is recommended that you maintain your distance, but observe them carefully until you are certain that it is safe to approach before attempting any kind of communication.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Assorted Stuff

There are some things that cannot be shown, and yet words do not adequately describe them.

For example, Mickey and I have developed a nighttime ritual recently. Because of his massive amounts of shedding, I have been unable to snuggle him as often as I used to for fear of killing my washing machine and dryer with fur lint. This has resulted in him spending more hours a night out and about for exercise in the dining room, where shedded fur on a rug is easier to remove. His normal routine involves a lot of what I call "under-chair bunny yoga"; find a chair, crawl under it, assume the "loaf" position and meditate, then find another chair, repeat process, and so on. This is occasionally broken up by trips to the litterbox, which he seems to have decided is the best place for any photo opportunites that may be considered as he will sit up and prop his paws on the rim of the litterbox in a pose worthy of any ingenue on the red carpet. Afterwards, he will hop down, leave a few poops outside the box (souvenirs for the fans, perhaps?) and go back to meditating.

The new ritual begins with a tug on my pants leg, or if I am not wearing pants, a nose bump against my ankle and possibly a pawing at my shin. That has always guaranteed him some petting (and still does) and sometimes that's enough to make Mr. Mick happy and he'll scamper off to do some more bunny-yoga. Sometimes, though, he will move over to the blue rug in front of my husband's desk next to where I am at the computer and lounge. That is now my signal to get up and go lie down next to him so he can come over for the exchange of kisses. Sometimes, I will lie down on the rug first and he will immediately leave whatever he is doing in order to stick his face up against mine and give my face a good licking while I scratch behind his ears, give him an ear rub or pluck as many tufts of loose fur as he will tolerate before he goes dancing away with a happy little ear and tail wiggle.

He will only do this if we are alone, so it is impossible to capture video or photographic evidence of the ritual, but it is the sweetest of moments. No matter what kind of day I've had, it is always much cheerier afterwards.

The candle party I mentioned in my last post went quite well. Mr. Mick was the star of the show and was brought out by popular demand after the candle stuff was over for much petting and oohing and aahing. Many of the guests had only seen him in pictures and were absolutely overwhelmed with the in-person cute. His Majesty tolerated the adoration of his subjects quite well, content to snuggle against me while everyone petted him and told him what a gorgeous boy he was. He even allowed a couple of the guests to feed him some treats before he was returned to his cage for his afternoon nap.

In other news, my work on the Milo's Bunny square has been put on hold until after the holidays. I have finished one square and it came out lovely, but there's still one or two spots where the execution needs to be tweaked before I'm happy with it, and right now, I've got some other projects that need to be worked on for holiday gifts. I will be picking it up again as soon as the holidays are done, though; I just found out that one of my friends and his wife are expecting their first child in May, and I want to make a Milo's Bunny blanket for them.

A few more bits of PaintShopPro fun for you (since I still can't find my darn charger): these pics are all done with an effect called Time Machine, which will render an image in the style of different photography techniques; from the early days of Daguerrotype--

(click on these to view them larger, the effects are awesome)

to the Cyanotype of the late 19th-early 20th century--

to the look achieved with the box cameras of the early-to-mid 20th century--

to a more modern developing technique known as "cross-process" achieved by processing color film with chemicals designed for processing a different kind of film (for example, the effect shown is achieved by using chemicals for processing photo film on slide film)

Hmmm, I should try putting a bunch of these together and making an Andy Warhol-style Mickey poster or something...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Confession

This past Thursday, I was the awfullest bunny-mom ever.

Let me say that this has been one of those weeks. I'm hosting a candle party this Sunday and I've been trying to find the time to get the house cleaned and ready, but distractions of one kind or another have been putting me off-track all week. Wednesday, I was supposed to get my nails done (I am seriously vain about my nails, having been a reformed nail-biter for many years, so when they start to look rough, I freak), but had to put it off until Thursday. I also had a hair appointment scheduled for Thursday afternoon at 3:30pm.

Of course, it was a miserable, gray rainy day Thursday, and having not slept well the past few nights, I ended up sleeping far longer than intended, so by the time I was up, fed, showered and dressed, it was already going into afternoon. By the time I got to the nail salon for my manicure, it was already about 2:00pm. I was finished in time to grab a late lunch before the hair appointment, got that done, got home, sat on the computer for a bit, watched some TV, took a brief catnap, and was just about to sit down at 10:30pm to do the weekly payroll when I suddenly realized:

I hadn't fed Mickey all day.

(I know, how bad is that?!)

Now, this is not to say that Mr. Mick had no food. On the contrary, he had a pile of hay and a dish of pellets leftover from the day before, so he hadn't been starved, but he had not received his usual daytime fresh greens and treats, and from the way he carried on as I immediately went to the fridge to remedy the error, you'd think he hadn't eaten in a week. (of course, if he'd made that kind of stink earlier in the day, I would have remembered far sooner). He was trying to open the cage door as fast as I could get the latch open, and immediately climbed all over me as I was opening his dried bananas container to try to snag what he could get. Once he had a piece of banana to chew on, all was well with the world and he was amenable to much petting and apologies. He even gave me a few licks to let me know I was forgiven--even if he wasn't going to get an extra banana slice for his pain and suffering. I still feel bad about completely forgetting, though--that is not good bunny-mom behavior.

In other news, I have been unable to take new pictures of Mickey because I cannot remember where I put the battery charger for my camera, so I have been playing around with some of his old ones. Karen M. of Rabbits Eat Quilts has been posting about her Photoshop lessons (and putting up some lovely pics), so I was inspired to open up my trusty PaintShopPro and have some fun. This is the picture of Mickey that appears in the 2010 Bunspace calendar:

I edited out the plastic container in the background as best I could, using Object Remover:

This is going to be the base for a bunch of effects, but here's two for now. Here is Mickey in Enamel:

And here he is in Colored Foil:

Isn't that awesome? Wait until you see some of the other effects. Thanks to Karen for the inspiration!