Welcome to Le Beau Paon Victorien! I'm so glad you stopped by!

Here you will find a variety of things that might interest you: food, books, house decor, crafty things, random thoughts, dishes, gardening and more!

Spend some time with us and happy reading!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Food: Cinnamon & Sugar Glazed Orange Knots

I had some Rhodes frozen roll dough in my freezer that I was wondering what to do with (besides making just plain rolls)  and just happened to come across this recipe on Pinterest. Yum! They were quite delicious.

                                            12 Rhodes Texas Rolls (thawed, but still cold)
                                            1 medium orange rind, grated
                                            1/2 cup sugar
                                            1 tsp. cinnamon
                                            1/4 cup butter, melted

                                             Citrus Glaze:
                                             1 cup powdered sugar
                                             1 tablespoon butter, melted
                                             3 tablespoons orange juice
                                             1 tsp. vanilla extract.

              Mix grated orange rind with melted butter. Roll each thawed Texas roll into a 9 inch rope and tie in a loose knot. Roll each knot in melted butter, then in cinnamon and sugar mixtures. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap sprayed with Pam and place in a warm area to rise until rolls are double in size.
               Bake at 350 degrees for 15 or 20 minutes until golden brown. Brush with citrus glaze while still slightly warm. I only had about six roll in my freezer, so I did a half-recipe. I also didn't have the Texas rolls, just the regular sized ones but they worked just as well. They were a nice addition to our breakfast table!

                                                        Thanks for stopping by!!!


Update on Astrid

Just wanted to give everyone an update on our new kitty, Astrid!  She is doing very well and is adjusting to her new home wonderfully. After her isolation period was over, we started slow introductions to Olive and E.B. by wedging the door of her room open with door stops so they could look at each other through the crack in the door and smell each other, but not touch.

I was surprised by how mellow and unfazed she seemed to be about the other two cats. I thought there might be more agitation, but she did really well. Olive and E.B. were also well behaved towards her. They were mostly curious about her and anxious check her out.

After a few days of this, we started letting her out of her room for short periods of time so she could have supervised interactions with Olive and E.B. There was no fighting, or hissing or anything of the kind, which was a relief. She was eager to explore the rest of the house as well.

It's now been over a week since she was "let loose" in the house full time and she is doing great. Her first few days she spent a lot of time upstairs in the 'cat room', which is an extra bedroom that has no particular use. It has lots of windows and faces south, so I keep my plants in there in winter. One of the windows faces the back yard where I have the bird feeders and squirrel feeder, so we put a window perch in there for Olive to look at birds and squirrels. I've seen Astrid on it a few times as well, so I'm guessing she'll be an avid bird-watcher too, once spring comes and the birds come back. There is also an old futon in there and a bunch of cat toys and a cat tree, so it's just sort of become the 'cat room'.  After she got more comfortable being out all the time, she now spends most of her time wherever we are, just like Olive and E.B.

Just like Olive, Astrid likes to be where the action is. Here they are "helping" me a couple of days ago when I was putting away Christmas tree ornaments. Yes, my Christmas tree was still up. I had all my other Christmas stuff down and put away three weeks ago, but I got a terrible cold and I had no energy to deal with the big tree until a few days ago.

This is one of Astrid's favorite ways to lay; the " flying frog".  She's a real cuddle bug and loves to sleep on your lap. She does like to play with toys, but she's not as addicted to toys as Olive. With Olive, it's play, play, play all day long. Astrid loves to lounge and nap a little bit more, but she does enjoy playing with Olive. They are the same age and they have fun chasing each other around and stalking each other. E.B, being a stately elderly gent of almost 15 years old now, prefers to watch them most of the time. When he gets feisty and wants to play (which happens occasionally, even for an old guy like him) he prefers to self-play with various toys, rather than participate in chasing games.

Resting after an exhaustive play session with the cat charmer wand and yarn ball toy.

Pretty soon I'll be taking Astrid for her first visit with our vet so they can meet her and check her over. She seems to be pretty much over her URI, but she still seems a little stuffy in the nose and occasionally sneezes, so we might need to get her some antibiotic nose drops.

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Meet Astrid

We decided to add a new furry child to our household just after the holidays:

We adopted her from the Wisconsin Humane Society. She is two years old, a domestic long hair calico.

I don't know much about her background; she was a transfer from another shelter and though tame and socialized and very friendly, she was apparently brought in as a stray and was unclaimed. She was not declawed or spayed, but the WHS spayed her.

We have named her Astrid.

Right now she is in her "isolation" room ( our guest bedroom) with her own food, litter, toys, bedding etc. Because we did not know what kind of environment she came from, we don't know if she lived in a home with other companion pets, so we wanted to introuduce her to Olive and E.B. slowly. She is a little more shy and less gregarious than Olive, who is a total social butterfly and adjusted so quickly to our home that it was quite amazing, but we know that Astrid's personality is little more cautious and that she would need more time and much slower approach than Olive.

The folks at WHS have different personality categories that they use to determine how easy it will be for a cat to adjust to a new home and how they will interact with people, based on their own personality. Astrid was placed in a category that was in the middle; the "Sidekick". She's very friendly and social, and loves to sit in laps, but she needs to be comfortable with that person first. She won't just walk up to anybody and be their instant best friend, like Olive does, but she's not fearful, like E.B., who is very shy and will only come out from hiding if there are no strange people in the house.

Both Olive and E.B. know there's a new cat in the "secret" room; they often sit outside the door hoping for a glimpse when we go in and out. Olive's curiosity is much more rapacious and she'll sit outside the door for hours on end. After Astrid had been with us about three or four days, we started opening the door a few inches and held it in place with rubber doorstops on either side so that she could look out through the crack at Olive and E.B. and they could smell each other and look at each other without being able to touch. Olive is, of course, totally unfazed. E.B. gets a little weirded out. Astrid seems to be pretty unruffled so far.

I had hoped to continue the slow introductions with letting Astrid out for short, supervised durations to let her explore the rest of the house and see the other cats, but she started sneezing on Thursday night and had a little bit of a cough. Because we had only brought her home five days earlier, it sounded like feline upper respiratory infection, which is very prevalent in shelters. Olive also had it when we adopted her. So now I have to hold off continuing introductions while Astrid gets her antibiotics and gets over her infection. Feline URIs are very contagious, so I don't want Olive and E.B. to get it. I don't know if I can handle giving liquid antibiotics twice a day to three cats!!!

Thanks for stopping by!


Food: Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

Well, it's 2012!   I can hardly believe another year has sped by!

We had a very busy holiday season and also some other things that came up which made for some stressful days and a not entirely pleasant holiday....but more on that later.

Winter seems to have finally "arrived" here in Wisconsin. We had a few light snowfalls in early December, flurries really, but it was unusually warm all through November and December and we had no snow on the ground.

The snow finally came last week Thursday.....and colder weather. We spent a day or two clearing snow and shoveling out and I also looked through recipes for hot and hearty meals to warm our tummies!

I found this winner on Pinterest:

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken "Chili"

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, undrained
1 can RoTel, undrained
1 pkg ranch dressing mix
1 tsp. cumin
1 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 -8oz. pkg light cream cheese
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Drain and rinse black beans. Place chicken breasts at bottom of slow cooker pot, then pour out whole can of corn (undrained), Rotel (undrained) and black beans. Top with seasonings and ranch dressing mix. Stir together. Place cream cheese on top. Cover with lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Just before serving, stir cream cheese into chili. Use two forks to shred the chicken and stir all together. Serve.

I actually had three chicken breast halves, so I put all three into the crock pot. If you don't have the brand RoTel available in your area, it's just diced tomatoes with green chilies.

I served ours in large soup bowls with a demi-baguette with a little butter. YUM!

Thanks for stopping by!