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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dog Days of Summer (Almost)

I think from the moment we woke this morning, Hunter knew something was up.  There was just too much activity and whenever the signs point to both Michael and I leaving, Hunter springs into action, knowing that basically there are only two options in front of him:
  1. We are about to leave and he is not going.  That's always stressful for a dog who is used to being with his people, or
  2. We are about to leave and he gets to go and that prospect always sends him into a tizzy
As Michael hurried to get ready for a day of golf with the guys I set out to prepare for an hour of kick(butt) boxing with Hunter following from room to room, making sure his presence was known just in case option #2 was even a remote possibility.

Finally, he was too much to ignore and I had to take time out to practice our new "kiss" trick.  Whenever I reach for the cabinet with the treats, Hunter knows its time to perform some type of task and sits at attention.

I've been working with him for months to touch noses, like an Eskimo Kiss.  Now that he knows what I want him to do, his excitement over getting a treat has a tendency to get the best of him.  Instead of a nose bump I seem to be getting gigantic slobbery kisses instead.  I've learned to brace for it and find it best if I don't see it coming.  Today he did it right though, on the third try.

After the lesson, I downed a quick breakfast of Fage, blueberries, blackberries, Flax Oil, a tiny bit of Agave and Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Cereal.

I'm not sure why this new round of kickboxing is such a killer.  It may be the 6-minutes of Turbo or the wicked ab and core routine at the end.  Either way, I know I'm going to feel it tomorrow.  On my way home, I stopped and picked up peaches and plums to grill and take over to Ken and Jolee's barbecue.

The Grilled Stone Fruit with Balsamic Glaze recipe from Cooking Light was really easy to make and grilling the fruit brought out a great flavor.  Grill for one minute on each side with a little bit of EVOO.  In the pan, I brought 1 cup of balsamic and two tbsp of brown sugar to a boil and reduced to make a glaze.

The dish called for manchego cheese and since I did not have any I thought I'd substitute with a bit of parma.  Except, I forgot that at home and failed to ask Jolee for any.  Instead I served it with a bit of mint.  It was light, tasty and easy and will be great heated up for dessert the rest of the week.

It did not take long for Hunter to make his way into the pool once we were up to Ken and Jolee's.  We kept bracing for Hunter to splash Bella.

Our friends Kelly, Stephanie, Kevin and Steve helped to celebrate the three-day weekend.  You may remember Kevin and Steve from our lunch the other day at Harry's. 

And Ken, mastered the grill.

We had beautiful shark fillet that K&J picked up from Chesapeake Fish Company.  Ken adding a pinch of this.

And John's Chimichurri sauce (I'm still loving the garlic) on El Indio Chips

The fresh, grilled corn I made yesterday with lime juice, cayenne, salt and pepper

Beet Salad

The taco line with all the fixings:  cabbage, cilantro, white sauce, shark, chicken, yum.

Jolee and the magic pinchers

Mark on the tortilla station

And the dogs.  In total I think there was a dog for each person.  Well, almost.  And they each could not help but ask politely for a little scrap here and there.

Ah, dessert.  Sally's pound cake was heaven.

But Jolee's Dulce de Leche cheesecake bars were the show stopper.  It took every ounce of will power to only have one. 

Indulgent without going overboard, our first barbecue of the season was filled with fresh protein and produce, friends and dogs.  Lots and lots of dogs.

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