Cats and Cooking

The day was warm yesterday, as it has been all week. Yesterday, however, gave us a delightful downpour, lasting approximately 30 seconds (no exaggeration...or minimization). It rained hard...enough to raise the humidity, but not enough to do much good for growing things. The kitties spent a good part of the day outside. Smitty likes to sit in his corner spot on our deck, under the shade of the Japanese maple tree.

Sadie likes to expose as much of her tummy as possible on the cool deck. Later in the afternoon, both these areas are in the sun, and they become less popular as kitty hang-outs.

I did my slow stitching, and then I got curious about an app I've had on my phone for many years. It's one of the many apps I download, open once, and then never open ever again. I've been looking for a way to plan our trips that doesn't involve page after page of Google maps. Google maps only allows me to load ten destinations per page. For a longer trip, such as the one we're taking, it isn't particularly helpful, except to determine distances. I'd noticed people were using RV Parky online. Looking at the app on my phone, it didn't make a lot of sense, and so I went to my computer and brought up the website. Wow! Where have you been all my life, RV Parky? What's that you say? Right there on my phone? Who ever looks at the apps on their phone? Silly you.

Well, anyway, I routed the whole trip and now I have a map with our entire route! Yay! And I got so excited, I posted this to Facebook.

One of my Facebook friends suggested we check out the Union Pacific Bailey Yard in North Platte, Nebraska. It's the largest railroad classification yard in the world. Well, I'd never heard of this place, and it looked like something Mike would love. It's just the sort of nerdy travel destination that I love too. It was just a short jaunt off the route already in place, and so I added it to the map...easy as pie. You can see it there...stop #27.

The app also gives an itinerary on the left side of the screen that is printable. It has a search tool that helps to find places to stay, including the free stops at places like Walmart, Cracker Barrel, and Flying J, and it is searchable. It also allows me to make notes of things we might want to do at each stop. I'm telling you...it's a navigator's dream tool. I can't wait to start planning our next trip. 

Okay, so that only kept me entertained for about an hour. After that, I went to work making this recipe for Awesome Apple Fritter Bread. I've given you the link there, but only for reference. I can't really recommend this. 

You can't tell in the image above, but the upper left corner broke off when I took it out of the pan. I stuck it back together with toothpicks for its picture. It tastes good enough, but it has a little problem with "structural integrity." When we've tried cutting off a slice, it just falls apart. Too many apples, I think...or maybe the apples I used were too wet. I used one Granny Smith and one Envy apple. Granny Smiths tend to be more dry, while I suspect the Envy apple added too much moisture. It's nicely moist, and it has good flavor, but it won't hold together. It might work better with two Granny Smiths, and therefore, less moisture. If you're looking for a tasty bread, you might like it. On the other hand, if you're looking for a bread that could replace an apple fritter, you will be disappointed...as I was.

Okay, and by then Smitty was 'zhausted. You can't expect a cat to spend his morning outside in the sunshine and then to come in and bake bread. If you do, you'll end up with a puddle of cat on your couch.

There was plenty of cooking going on yesterday. It's all that's left to me without my sewing room. The kitchen has become my refuge. For dinner, I tried this recipe for Crispy Tortellini with Peas and Prosciutto. This is a recipe from Smitten Kitchen, and it was delicious.

It was so easy, even a child could make it. It's definitely going on our camping dinner list. It's made with a very short list of ingredients, including frozen peas and frozen tortellini. It's all done in a single skillet, and so it doesn't even make much of a mess. So tasty. We enjoyed that.

It left me with a half container of mascarpone. With peaches in season, I decided to make this dessert for Grilled Peaches Cinnamon Mascarpone. I've made this before, but this is the first time I've made it with peaches that were actually ripe. I saw the recipe on the Traeger Grill site when Mike first got his Traeger grill. Our Traeger is buried behind our furniture currently, and so I did mine on the stove top, using my grill pan, which actually makes a lot more sense than firing up the Trager.

The cut sides of the peaches are first brushed with a mixture of butter, honey, and peach schnapps. Then they're grilled, and then topped with a mixture of mascarpone, cinnamon, cream, and brown sugar. It's very tasty. I almost forgot to take a picture.

Okay, so the focus was on food yesterday. Today it will be on packing. But first...do you want to see what a bad cat looks like?

This little girl was such a stinker yesterday. She refused to come inside the whole live-long day. I was worried we wouldn't be able to get her in before nightfall. She finally came inside after we'd finished dinner. Sadie is just this side of feral, and she regresses when she's been stressed. It's unfortunate she didn't get any breathing room after coming home from the vet on Thursday. The workers were already here, and then they were here all day the next day. She was, understandably, if frustratingly, tweaked by all of that. Today she's grounded. I took this picture just before I came upstairs. She's been yipping and yapping, wanting to go outside right away this morning. Even on a good day, however, we don't let them out this early. She would really like to just go off on her own and leave all human-generated activity behind. Today she'll be confined to the house. I don't want her to go missing with us leaving on a trip tomorrow.

As for our trip, the kitties will be staying home. We're just gone for a couple of nights, and they'll be much happier staying home. (It'll also be less stressful for Sadie.) They have automatic food and treat dispensers and a Litter Robot to keep their "powder room" tidy. The Litter Robot is an expensive device, but worth every single penny. Mike also recently discovered a handy mat that contains the kitty litter that accumulates on the floor when they leave the box at Mach speed. It's the Pieviev Cat Litter Mat. We got the super-size one for inside the house. We also got a smaller one to use in the RV. It makes the whole litter mess a thing of the past.

We'll be at the beach riding ATV's for the next few days. It'll be good to get a break from the heat, and its our understanding the heat will subside in the coming week. So, I'll be taking a blogging break for the next few days. You can look for the reveal of my "Animal Kingdom" art quilt tomorrow, but then I'll be MIA until Friday at the earliest. I'm really hoping I can come back Friday and tell you that carpeting is being laid in the basement. Let's all cross our fingers and make it happen.


Barbara said...

My cats, the ones that I have, were feral when I found them so the relationship that I have with them 10 years in is very mutual, earned, and evolved over time. It was never an easy thing. I like that they have a certain distance and have their own sense of selves. ~ Marc Maron

Auntiepatch said...

Oh, Sadie isn't a bad cat. She just didn't want anything to do with the MANS and their noise! I am surprised that she didn't stay close to Smitty though. Cats can be frustrating when you want them to do something and they want to do something else!
My son came home for a visit and brought his 3 female cats. My old lady cat couldn't care less but my male cat is following them around trying to herd them. He really would like them to all be in the same room so that he can keep an eye on them. Fat chance!

Auntiepatch said...

Enjoy your trip!

piecefulwendy said...

What fun to find a handy app! I'm going to email you some other North Platte ideas, in case you don't know about them yet. Sadie! We don't want to lose you!

Sara said...

The tortellini looks so delicious! The app does sound like a winner. The North Platte rail yard is definitely worth the time. It’s very interesting. I had been there several years ago while working with an evaluation team there for a week. So we stayed in North Platte on our way to our nephew’s wedding in Denver back in May. I kind of bullied my husband into going out there in the morning before we left - and he found it fascinating as well.

Katie said...

That tortellini dish looks delicious and something Mr. PickyPants might actually eat. Might put that on the list for this week since tomorrow is grocery day. Poor Sadie, but she sure can give a good stink-eye! It's hard to not be able to explain about the scary mans and all that. I'm excited for the quilt reveal tomorrow! Have a safe and fun trip!

Lyndsey said...

That App looks really useful and definitely better than google. I recently purged my phone of apps I don't use so I can add some new ones that friends had recommended.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I can understand Sadie not wanting to be inside with all that ruckus going on. I'm sure you're happy to escape it for awhile too.
Seeing your grill pan has given me an idea for a gift for Resident Chef. Perhaps he'd like to add one to his arsenal.