Featured

A Little About Me

Hey! Do you like dogs? How about food? 

Stupid questions right?!

If you answered yes to both, then welcome to my world friends. You are going to fit right in. 

Let me start off with introducing myself, my name is Eleni. 

I am 30 years old and I run my own dog walking service called EVK Dog Walking. 

EVK Dog Walking Facebook

EVK Dog Walking Instagram

 Follow links above if you want to see WAY too many pictures of me with dogs. 

I am not here to promote my business, so please don’t leave yet! 

I am simply here to entertain you (hopefully) and to be honest entertain myself. 

Why did I decide to become a full time dog walker you ask? I worked in the family restaurant business for 15 years, you see we are Greek and if there is one thing we are good at it’s nagging, running restaurants and… actually that is all I am going to say about that. That topic on its own deserves its own blog. Long story short, I think that was enough human interaction to last me for the rest of my life. 

I run my business on my own and if you want to know the truth, I am not exactly sure what I am doing but does anyone? Probably, but I am going to keep telling myself they don’t. I have one employee and that is my boyfriend. I am an overly organized person and to be honest I don’t think anyone else could handle my neurotic tendencies as a boss. Lucky him!! 

Okay but back to the point, DOGS! What’s not to like, they come in all colors, shapes and sizes and love their humans that come in all colors, shapes and sizes. No judgments ever from these pure and furry beings! Ta-da! 

So Eleni, where does food tie into all this? Well, though I would consider myself an “active person”, I love eating garbage food. Pizza Rolls are my favorite food group and ranch is my favorite condiment (specifically Ken’s Steakhouse brand, Hidden Valley is trash and that is not up for debate). Taco Bell is my favorite fast food, for now… if they keep removing menu items they are going to have a serious batch of angry letters coming their way from yours truly. 

Clearly a Totino’s Pizza Roll shirt was the right outfit choice for a romantic sunset.

I would never consider myself a skilled cook but since March 2020, when Covid-19 quarantine really hit us I decided to take up a hobby. Cooking my favorite fast food items at home. I think this may have been the best thing I have ever done. My body does not thank me but my boyfriend does. 

If you took the time to read this, then please follow me on my journey while I pet dogs for a living and attempt “copycat” fast food recipes to keep myself sane and certainly not healthy. 

Getting My Self Care On

Happy week one of 2021! Fingers crossed this year is better than the last. Shouldn’t be a difficult task, everyone just keep your hands to yourself for a while 😉

I decided to start out the new year with a week of “self care”. No work and no plans.

I am an over thinker, over organizer and over worker (it’s a Greek thing). Until February 2020, I consistently had two jobs, mostly to make ends meet but keeping busy helps me feel like I have it all together, or that’s what I thought. The downfall of this mentality is that is it exhausting! I found that lifestyle affected my overall outlook on life. To be frank, somedays I was an outright bummer to be around.

Fast forward to 2021. The year I am going to unplug for a few minutes (7 days actually) and reset. Works for my tv, so it should work for me too right?

Dobby: Not a snow dog.

What is self care to you? It is different for everyone. Some people prefer long hot bathes, face masks and napping. I for one am totally at peace when I am cleaning the house, organizing my invoices and rewriting my monthly calendar. Toss in a cocktail we are good to go.

I am on day 4 of my “self care” journey and aside from a necessary grocery run, I haven’t been apart from Dobby for longer than an hour. Walter, Dobby and I took a short family trip to the lake to ring in the new year. Where Walter fell asleep at 12:15am and I was lulled to sleep by his and Dobbys snores at 1am, it was amazing.

As promised I will be sharing recipes more often, I have veered off track a bit from fast food copy cat recipes so bear with me because I promise it is still delicious. Doggone it, let’s eat!

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1-2 jalapeños, chopped (depending on how hot you like it, I like my mouth to be on fire)
  • 2 (10oz) can enchilada sauce
  • 2 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 cups chicken breast, cooked and chopped (I seasoned with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin and paprika)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 12 oz cream cheese (1 1/2 blocks)

Cooking Instructions:

  • Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, jalapeño and cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. The pepper will still have some bite to it but this adds a good texture to the soup.
  • Add enchilada sauce, diced tomatoes, black beans, frozen corn, chopped or shredded chicken and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Turn heat down to low and add in your cream cheese. Adding cream cheese while soup is still boiling can cause it to curdle. Stir until cream cheese is completely melted and your soup is creamy.
  • If soup is a little too thick for you, add in more chicken broth.
  • Remove from heat, make a big ol bowl and add your toppings. I like a dollop of sour cream, avocado and hot sauce DUH!

This recipe makes about 8 decent size servings, so make sure to share with your friends. Or hoard for yourself, no ones judging.

This reminded more of a chili than a soup because it was super hearty and comforting! So I hope you are into that kinda thing 🙂

Goodbye for now, I am going to stare at this baby deer for the rest of the day.

Merry Woofmas!

It’s been a while but I wanted to pop in and wish everyone a safe and Merry Christmas!

This is my favorite time of year and refuse to let Covid keep me down. It is the time of year where I gift all the dog lovers I know household items with photos of their dogs on it.

Every year I rack my brain for what I should gift my dog walking clients. I for one love anything with a photo of my pup on it, the bigger the better. My living room and bedroom are decorated in photos of my fur babes and I have no shame about it.

However, I understand not everyone is like me, heck I know some people have photos of their human children they would rather hang above their mantle. Someday, I too will hang photos of my human babies next to my dog babies on the wall.

I love the idea of a personal gift and I will be honest I have to talk myself out of giving out throw blankets or pillows with a dogs face on it. I mean some people actually know how to tastefully decorate a home who am I to clash with their style.

So this year I went with personally written Christmas cards and a fridge magnet. I know it sounds lame but look cute these turned out!

Listen, it was hard to not keep these for myself… but that would be weird Eleni.

This year, more than most my clients have meant more to me than I can even explain. I truly wouldn’t have survived this year mentally without their generosity and understanding. I love my little pack.

That being said, I am going to head to my parents house and hang out with their zoo of animals. I can’t think of a more perfect way to spend the day.

As always, snuggle a dog today.

Love,

Eleni and Dobby!

Crazy dog mom sweatshirt in full force.

Thankful for Quesadillas

Hi! I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving! As amazing as 2020 would allow it to be at least.

Mine was different but beautiful. Takeout food, wine and trash tv with my little family.

I am finding myself in a bit of a lull lately. If you are a living breathing person reading this post right now in 2020 then I know you get where I am coming from.

This year is really something!

Let’s move on to eating because tis the season to wear oversized sweatshirts 🙂

Let me tell you something about quesadillas, these babies are so versatile. For real, if it can be a sandwich it can be a quesadilla. Don’t be shy about your filling. For this week I want to focus on one that I crave most of my days on earth.

Taco Bell Quesadilla

Ingredients:

  • Shredded chicken breast, steak or ground beef (if you prefer a plain ol cheese dilla feel free to leave out the meat).
  • Shredded cheese
  • American cheese (cut into strips)
  • Large (10 in) tortillas
  • Vegetable oil
  • Quesadilla Sauce* (I posted the recipe below if you need a reminder!)

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Cook off your protein with taco seasoning and set aside. I prefer to shred mine but this is totally your preference, if you like larger pieces of meat than get you some.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium. Use enough oil that it coats the bottom of the skillet.
  3. We are going to treat our large tortilla like a pizza crust. On just half add your Quesadilla Sauce*. On the other half a layer of shredded cheese.
  4. Add your protein on top of the shredded cheese (at this point you can add any other quesadilla fixins you prefer. I like to keep it simple). On top of your protein, add your strips of American cheese. I usually add 6-8 strips, depending on how cheesy I am feeling.
  5. Fold the side with the Quesadilla Sauce* over the cheese and meats and pat it down.
  6. Now that your pan is hot, carefully place your quesadilla in the pan so that the side with the sauce is on top.
  7. Cook for about 2-3 min or until golden brown and flip.
  8. Once browned on both sides. Remove from pan, cut into 4ths and eat up.

*Quesadilla Sauce

Ingredients: 

  • 1 tsp garlic granules 
  • 1 tsp onion powder 
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder 
  • 2 tsp paprika 
  • 2 tsp cumin 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 6 tbsp pickled jalapeño 
  • 1/2 cup mayo 
  • 1/2 cup sour cream 

Mixing Instructions: 

  1. Grab yourself a medium size mixing bowl or a Tupperware container. I prefer something that has a lid because this will make a good amount of sauce and it stays really well in the fridge for a few days. 
  2. Literally dump every ingredient besides the jalapeños in the bowl and mix her up! 
  3. Mince up your jalapeños. I like larger pieces for a little crunch, so cut them to your liking. 
  4. Add jalapeños to the bowl and mix that baby up. If you like your sauce a little thinner, add a few tablespoons of the jalapeño juice to the mixture. 
  5. Toss that bad boy in the fridge and that’s it. All done. Easy Peasy.

So that recipe is super simple but totally hits the spot when you don’t feel like leaving the house or paying a food delivery service $99 for a $4 menu item. Don’t get me wrong, I have done it.

This year is hard enough, let’s make eating simple.

In the spirit of keeping things simple I want you to meet a dog that simply knows nothing else in life except happiness.

Meet Sis. Look at this gal, she is SMILING. She is amazing. She was a bit shy when we first met but once she warmed up she has shown nothing but love.

Isn’t weird that this lil furry thing reminds me weekly that life could be worse.

She loves walking and sniffing but her favorite thing is reminding me that she knows I am here. She pumps the brakes, plops down for a sit and just smiles at me. It is the purest thing I have ever encountered in a dog.

I have said this before and I will say it a million more times. Humans truly do not deserve these amazing babes.

2020 is hard you guys, let’s take a lesson from Sis. Smile on and hang in there it could be worse.

Dog Photos: Cause we need that right now

Spoiler Alert! There is not a single recipe in this post.

To be completely transparent here, I just don’t have the energy, my brain is in overdrive this week and it is only Monday.

I sense heaping piles of pizza rolls and ranch in my future. Let’s call it self care 🙂

What I have for you this week are some of my favorite dog photos! Small dogs, big dogs, happy dogs, serious dogs, smooshy face dogs.

Now to end on a more serious note.

Everyone has been impacted by Covid whether it is physically, mentally or financially.

We are fortunate enough to live in a time where reaching out to a loved one is always at our fingertips. Send a text. Make a call. Set up a virtual hangout so they can see your dirty hair and tequila shot in hand (no shame). Check in often.

Wear a mask.

Social distance.

Stay home.

SELFCARE.

If there is one positive thing I can pull out of 2020 it is that all the dogs with work from home parents are happy as ever! Now if we could just get them to help pay the bills.

My security blanket is very boney.

Wear your mask! You look cute in it and have beautiful eyes.

Remembrance (Mexican Pizza)

How ya’ll doin!? I am snuggled under a fleece Christmas blanket with Dobby next to the Christmas tree and I am feeling all kinds of cozy right now.

This week I want to take the time to remember some things in my life that were very special to me.

First…

Taco Bell Mexican Pizza. Now this is still a tender subject because this item was officially removed from the menu on November 5th 2020. Gone too soon. I have been eating these crispy lil pizzas since I was a kid. I am talking back when Taco Bell used to give you sporks to eat your food. I love a good spork. I had my last one a few weeks back and I wish so badly that I knew it would be my last. I miss you Mexican Pizza. On November 4th I called around to a few locations to see if they were still offering them. No luck. My boyfriend drove me to one and to no surprise there was a big “SOLD OUT” sticker over the item on the menu board. I was crushed.

Have you ever had a Mexican pizza? They are crunchy but also kinda soft… does that make any sense? It wasn’t just that they tasted delicious it was the consistency.

So why did they remove the item from the menu? Taco Bell claims because they want to provide items with more eco-friendly packaging. So what? The box? Get rid of it! Serve it to me straight outta your hand. They could request that anyone who orders one to bring their own plate. I’d keep a stack in my car. Boom! Problem solved.

I have attempted this recipe a handful of times. There are some copycat recipes out there that claim you should use tostada shells. So fried corn tortillas.They could not be more wrong. They are way too hard. What I have learned is that the shells are fried flour tortillas, not corn.

Though this recipe is delicious it will never compare to the original item but it will get us close. We just have to accept our fate.

Taco Bell Mexican Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Taco seasoning (store bought or homemade)
  • Flour tortillas
  • 1 (16 oz) can refried beans
  • 1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
  • Shredded cheese (Taco Bell uses a 4 cheese blend of mozzarella, cheddar, Monterey Jack and American)
  • Tomato, diced
  • Vegetable oil

Cooking Instructions:

  • In a large skillet cook your ground beef on medium-high breaking it into small pieces. You can use a whisk or a potato masher, if that helps.
  • Drain the grease, add your taco seasoning and cook according to package instructions. If using homemade, add a little water to you pan and simmer until it thickens.
  • In large skillet heat up your oil on medium-high. Just enough to coat the pan. When your oil is hot add in one tortilla at a time frying for about 1 minute each side until crispy. You can do this without oil if you prefer but I think the oil adds to the authentic consistency. Without oil, fry about 2 minutes each side.
  • Place your tortillas on a paper towel to soak up excess oil and prevent them from getting soggy.
  • While your tortillas are cooking, turn the oven on broil.
  • Heat your refried beans in the microwave or the stove top. When heated they will be much easier to spread.
  • Grab yourself 1 tortilla and spread about 3 tablespoons of refried beans. Next add about 3 tablespoons of seasoned ground beef. Add you second tortilla and press lightly.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of enchilada sauce, shredded cheese and diced tomatoes.
  • Place your completed pizzas on a baking sheet and place in the broiler for about 1 minute, until cheese is melted.
  • Remove from the oven. At this point they are finished but you can top them with whatever other taco fixins you like. I like to keep it original and use a little Taco Bell hot sauce but my boyfriend likes onion, jalapeño and sour cream.
  • Cut into quarters, like a pizza duh!

You will absolutely have leftover ingredients with this recipe, so you may only want to cook off 1/2 pound of ground beef. I like the leftovers for throwing together tacos or nachos quickly when I am busy.

So that recipe isn’t difficult but if you need your fix, it gets the job done.

So dogs!

Professional photo done by
Lynn Terry Photography
Check her out she is amazing!

https://www.lynnterry.com

The little man I want to talk about this week is one I will never forget. I guess you could say the post was inspired by him. Today is the two year anniversary of his passing and I think about his tiny little boopable nose everyday. Okay, but seriously I am not here to be a downer so let’s talk about how great he was!

This is Ace, he was a long haired Chihuahua. Isn’t he ADORABLE. Chihuahuas aren’t for everyone. Like he was a feisty little guy. In his day he may have been known to snip at an ankle or two, he was kind of judgmental and protective of his loved ones. On the other hand if you were his kind of people he was the greatest little nap buddy. Odd thing about our relationship was that Ace was originally my sisters dog but as the years went on and we were both still living at our parents I unofficially adopted him from her because I was basically obsessed with him.

Lynn Terry Photography

We spent 13 amazing years together and him and Dobby were actually great buddies. Combined they weighed less than 20 pounds and were two little pees in a pod. Ace was a quirky little guy. He followed me everywhere, I always had those little paws tapping behind me. He had this tendency to follow me while I swept the house and ALWAYS walked through the pile of dirt dragging it all behind him with his little floof tail. It never failed. He also had an amazing little voice. We called it singing but I guess he was “awooing”. It was such a tiny little raspy sound.

It wasn’t a secret that I loved this little guy. I posted pictures of him constantly on social media. My sister totally understands my love for dogs, she had a custom shirt mad for me. Like shouldn’t every dog mom have a shirt with a picture of their dog on it? I still rock that bad boy to this day.

Losing a dog is one of the hardest things to go through I think. How can something that doesn’t ever speak a word mean so much? There is nothing like the bond between a dog and its owner. Curses to the man who decided that pets don’t live as long as humans. The important thing is to give them an amazing life while they around. Talk in your doggy voice. Give them as many snuggles as you can. Buy them all the treats. Celebrate their birthdays. Buy them festive sweaters. Play outside. Dogs are excited by the simplest things, isn’t that so pure!

Days before Ace passed I had finally taken the plunge and gotten a tattoo I had been wanting for years. I was sort of going through a transitional phase in my life and I had been wanting it for a long time. I am so happy I got it when I did. It meant so much more to me to get it done while he was still around. It was never my intention to get the work done in remembrance of him but now it means that much more.

Love that my artwork was done by a man who also owns a chihuahua. He gets it.

So if you didn’t already think I was a crazy dog lady then I hope this post changed your mind. On that note, hold those puppies tight and spoil them to no end. They love you unconditionally and that there is frickin beautiful.

That’s What Cheese Said…

I was a little lazy this past week, maybe it was all the rain. Did you know today is already Tuesday? Thankfully, this week is all sunshine, I thrive on sunshine! So this has me feeling extra cheesy. I may have started decorating my house for Christmas already, it’s 2020 and I no longer have a concept of time. It’s still March right? Anyway, all this thinking about the holidays has me in the mood for the ultimate comfort food.

MAC AND CHEESE!

Chick Fil A has some pretty good chicken but the real star on their menu debuted in August of 2019, macaroni and cheese. If you haven’t tried it you should. My only complaint would have to be the portion size. I could probably eat an catering size portion but I just can’t justify that to myself. So, I opted to make it at home where the only people here to judge my heaping pile of cheesy noodles are my dog and my boyfriend.

Now, I made this recipe exactly as it says, though it was oozy, creamy and cheezy it could stand to take on a little more spice. So taste that cheese sauce and play around with it!

Chick Fil A Mac and Cheese Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups water
  • 8 tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 8 slices of American cheese (cut into pieces)
  • 1 1/2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated BellaVitano Gold Cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • pinch turmeric
  • pinch annatto

Cooking Instructions:

  1. In large pot bring water to a boil, once boiling add in some salt and macaroni noodles. Cook for 20 minutes. I know seems like a long time but the theory here is that the longer the noodles cook the more water they will absorb and the less cheese they will absorb. This will keep your mac from drying out
  2. Drain your noodles and toss them into a casserole dish. If your noodles are finished before the cheese sauce, toss them in a little olive oil to keep them from sticking.
  3. While your noodles are cooking lets make the cheese sauce!
  4. Grab yourself a small bowl and mix together water and nonfat dry milk powder and set aside.
  5. In large pot melt your butter over medium heat until it begins to bubble.
  6. Add in your flour stirring continuously for 2-3 minutes, creating a roux.
  7. Once your roux is finished, slowly add your milk mixture into the roux. Bring it to a simmer over low-medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. In a medium bowl add your egg yolk and whisk. At this point we are going to add the hot milk/roux mixture to the egg. SLOWLY! Add just a little at a time and keep that whisk moving, this will temper the egg and prevent it from scrambling.
  9. Once all your hot milk is added, pour the mixture back into the pot and take it off the heat.
  10. Now let’s fold in the cheese. We are going to add just a handful of cheese at a time. Start with the American cheese, add a few pieces at a time and whisk until smooth. Continue with the rest of the cheese until all the cheese is melted.
  11. Add salt, paprika, turmeric and annatto. These are more so for coloring rather than flavor so if you don’t have them all in the pantry that’s okay!
  12. Pour the cheese sauce over your noodles and mix!
  13. At this point your mac is ready to eat but I added a little extra cheddar on top and threw in the in the oven on broil for about 3 minutes. You can also use a food torch if you have one of those on hand. Don’t keep it in the oven too long, the noodles are cooked to their full capacity and this can cause your mac to dry out.
  14. Eat and then take a nap.

Just a warning, after all that whisking your arm is going to be incredibly buff.

Fold In The Cheese GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY
If you are not sure how to fold in the cheese, here are some instructions.

Big Fluffy Dog Time!

Look at this gigantic fluff! His name is Coto and he is a Goldendoodle. Well that’s what his human parents told me but I am not convinced. Like this is some sort of crossbreed between a bear and a poodle right? To be honest I have a hard time finding a photo that even shows how large this boy is.

Coto is another one of the laid back guys in my pack. Our appointments are almost always an hour but it all depends on his mood. I mean he has A LOT of hair so he pretty much despises STL summertime heat. He was made for snowman making weather.

Here are some of Cotos favorite things:

  1. Bunnies – he could care less about squirrels, birds and other dogs. He wants to eat all the bunnies. No I do not let him.
  2. Starbucks – I didn’t learn this about him until his mom tossed me some cash and asked me to grab him a croissant one morning. I’m not kidding.
  3. Naps – To be honest I am not certain he even likes going on walks, sometimes he just plops down in the nearest grass patch and stares at me. I respect it though, I mean you trying nudging a 135 pound dog to get up when he doesn’t want to.
  4. Treats – Coto isn’t a super affectionate dog, which kind of hurts my feelings but he will do anything for a treat. He gives a mean handshake.

Keeping peoples dogs safe, active and happy is part of my job. So when we are out and about I do my best to avoid contact with other people and strange dogs but I think Coto might be famous. People constantly stop me for a photo of him or to just get some pets in. He is irresistible. I can’t say I blame them, I wish I could pet all the dogs!

Coto is amazing no doubt but one thing that stands out to me about this guy are his owners. They are an incredibly kind older couple. I actually met them while working at my restaurant job. Remember at the beginning of the pandemic when the entire city shut down? Everyone was struggling, my business included. All of my clients dropped my services in what seemed like a single day and I was no longer working evenings. I was a little afraid I was going to lose it, I mean how many times a day can you vacuum your house? You know what kept me sane, Cotos parents. They upped their appointments from 3 days a week to 7 days a week. Sure, it was only an hour a day but it gave me a reason to go outside and feel somewhat normal. Masked up of course! (PLEASE WEAR A MASK!) I am so thankful for them!

That being said, dogs are THE BEST. Even better is creating a friendship with their dog loving humans. This post has me all up in my feelings so I think that’s my cue.

Have a great week friends and go snuggle a dog!

I’m Chilly Let’s Eat Chili

Forecast in the STL this week is gloomy and cold. To me that just screams chili! Not just any chili, Wendys chili. Now, I did some serious research on this. I am talking reading recipe after recipe until I came across one written by someone with such a passion for Wendys I knew I had to try this out. The post was long but honestly super informative and entertaining. I now know very much about Wendys. I’ll just lock that info up just incase I end up at a bar with a Wendys themed trivia night.

Rosie from the Wedding Singer. Rest in peace Rosie.

Why Wendys chili? Simple, my boyfriend loves it and I love him. Being Greek it is in my blood to feed the ones I love the foods that they love. I might be 30 on the outside but on the inside I am a 75 year old Yiayia (that’s grandma in Greek). Think of it like this, have you ever seen the movie The Wedding Singer? Ya know the one with Adam Sandler? Theres that adorable little old lady, Rosie that he is teaching to sing. Well she makes Robbie some meatballs and insists he takes a bite in front of her so she can watch him enjoy the food. THATS ME. I AM THIS OLD LADY.

Anyway, when it comes to chili I prefer it to be a bit sweet, lots of tomato and A LOT of heat. This is not a recipe for that but it’s fine I will just add an unhealthy amount of hot sauce to my bowl.

Here we go!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 (15oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5oz) can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 (16oz) can kidney beans
  • 1 (15oz) can pinto beans
  • 1 (4oz) can chopped green chilis
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Shredded cheese, sour cream and green onion for garnish

Canned ingredient ounces may vary, use your best judgement 🙂

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Add your ground beef to a pot on high heat. Flatten it out and brown it about 3-5 minutes per side until the middle is no longer pink. DO NOT BREAK IT IN PIECES. Essentially what you are doing here is cooking a very large burger patty. When both sides are browned then it is time to break the meat into small pieces and drain off excess grease. This is an important step and here’s why! Wendys uses unused burger patties in their chili. The sear on the meat gives their chili a caramelized flavor and this is important!
  2. Add all of your remaining ingredients to the pot. Everything but the butter!
  3. Bring ingredients to a boil, then drop it down to a simmer.
  4. Simmer for 2-3 hours uncovered. Stirring every 30 minutes. This will allow the chili to reduce.
  5. After simmering, your chili is almost ready to eat. One last thing! Add your butter and stir until it is melted. This will create a nice texture and richness.
  6. Garnish and eat!

Fun Fact! My boyfriend seems to always crave Wendys chili on road trips. Aren’t I lucky!

Time for puppos!

Don’t forget your mask!

Would you look at this mug! So sweet right!

This is Shea. She is one of my most cherished clients. She has taught me so much, most importantly patience! Shea is an unbelievably nervous pup. The first few weeks of sessions she would run away and cower in the nearest corner, closet and even one time the shower. She ended up peeing in the shower which made for an easy clean up for Eleni! We have made some great progress though. Most days now she greets me at the door. Only recently has it been with a wagging tail. I haven’t determined what exactly sets her off but I know for a fact she hates anyone on a bicycle or a skateboard. It hurts my soul to know that she is afraid of her surroundings. She literally shakes in fear, although I do have to admit the fact that she looks to me for comfort and security gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

So much patience has gone into this girl, patience I didn’t even know I had. It took her a few weeks to even accept a treat from me and we are still working on eye contact. On that note, dogs do not like direct eye contact, if they are nervous or aggressive this is actually very threatening. Don’t force it!

So day by day we make progress. Some days are certainly better than others of course and in the beginning I was a little discouraged. I am not a dog trainer and do not claim to be whatsoever. I have grown up with dogs, met plenty and have done my homework after meeting a client that seems they might need a bit more work than your average pup. Let me just tell you, seeing the progress is an amazing feeling.

So I will leave you with this. If you find yourself with a nervous pup, DON’T RUSH IT! It will take work and time. Do not raise your voice. Do not chase the dog around. Do not make direct eye contact. Do not tower over the dog in a way to show your dominance. Do not get frustrated. Sit down, relax and remember what it is like to be afraid. Show compassion and talk in that oh so horrible doggy voice that we all have. They like it I promise.

Have a great week friends!

Just A Little Reminder

I want to warn you. This post has nothing to do with food (I know disappointing) but I figure I have an hour or so to kill here so I want to bring some awareness to a situation since the pandemic has began.

Your dogs health is so important from their nose all the way down to their adorable little hineys. I can’t be the only dog parent who gets stressed when I find a new bump or spot on their pup and want to get into the vet as soon as possible. Both my pups, one who is no longer with us (RIP Ace) have had a few issues. Every time I freak. They have always been fine after a procedure and along we go with our lives. The vets have always been amazing! ELENI RELAX!

So here’s my point.

Just like hospitals and doctors offices, vet offices are packed to brim with appointments, phones ringing off the hook and Veterinarians are working countless amounts of hours. All for us and our fur babies. They care! It’s their job and they are awesome! As patients we must be kind and show patience. Everyone is doing the best they can out here and let’s be honest were all tired.

So here Dobby and I sit, waiting for our turn. Keeping each other company and keeping calm. Your fur child feeds off your energy so please don’t get angry. We’re all in this together and we’re all doing our part for the community. Whatever that may be just remember to be kind.

Okay! Now back to playing Patty Cake with my dog (just kidding!)

Kind of…

Forget Party Time, It’s Quesarito Time

One of the hardest decisions in life has got to be choosing between a Taco Bell quesadilla or a burrito. Right? Okay maybe not but we all have our priorities.

Thank you Taco Bell for creating a concoction that brings these two beauties together. So cheesy, so messy, so worth it. As you may know, Taco Bell removed this from their dine in menu. You can no longer order it in the drive thru but rumor has it you can order it through their website or the app. Social suicide if you ask me. So let’s cook this bad boy at home.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Taco seasoning (preferably Taco Bell brand)
  • 8in flour tortilla
  • 10in flour tortilla
  • Shredded cheese
  • Cilantro lime rice or Spanish rice (I use instant cause I am lazy like that)
  • Queso
  • Sour cream OR that oh so delicious quesadilla sauce we made last week
  • Vegetable oil

Cooking Instructions:

  1. In a medium pan cook the ground beef and drain the grease (don’t forget your foil in the drain trick). Add taco seasoning and cook according to package instructions.
  2. While beef is simmering cook your rice.
  3. Now to make the “quesadilla”. Top your larger tortilla with shredded cheese, just enough that the smaller tortilla will cover it. Toss that sucker in the microwave for 20-30 seconds until cheese is slightly melted. You can use two large tortillas for this but using the different sizes will make rolling your burrito much easier!
  4. Now it’s time to layer. I have found it’s better to put the wet ingredients down first. Sour cream or quesadilla sauce OR BOTH! Plop some queso down. Next is your rice and ground beef. Do not over fill or you will literally be covered in cheese, unless you are into that kind of thing.
  5. Time to roll it up! Fold the sides in first and rolllll.
  6. Last but very important final step. Let’s make them crispy! Add some vegetable oil to a large skillet and place each “burrito” in the pan seam side down. Cook until brown and then flip.
  7. Eat!

Doggo time!

Say hello to Vance!

Vance is a special case. He spent some time in a shelter where he was constantly stressed out to the max. He currently lives with his foster family and is treated like the king he is. It is amazing to hear about the transformation he has made!

Here’s where I come in! A dog walker is not always a necessity of course but this boy has some serious energy and it is my job to tire him out. He is so curious about all the smells the world has to offer and I love that I get to be the person to help him find them.

When I first met his foster mom she told me she was happy to find someone who would work with Pitbulls and other similar breeds. This really took me by surprise, going into this job the thought of turning someone away because of their breed NEVER even crossed my mind! It breaks my heart that Pitbulls are given such a seriously bad rap. As the former owner of a Chihuahua I can promise you that they are far more moody and dangerous than pretty much any large breed dog I have ever met. On that note, ALL dog breeds are amazing and deserve the chance to show you just how much love they can offer.

Vance is on his journey to find his forever home and I am so grateful for our time and learning together, although it may only be temporary 😦

No two days are alike with a job like this. The weather, the dog and the people you meet (some wonderful… some could work on their attitudes haha!) Everyday I am learning new things and I will continue to say thank you universe for bringing dogs into our lives to keep us grounded.

Talk to ya later friends!

Quesadilla Sauce is Life

This weeks recipe is a fun one because it requires zero cooking but it is so very important to me. I am a firm believer that every dish deserves some sort of sauce, everything from fish, steak, pork, chicken, vegetables, tacos and sandwiches. Sandwiches are also very important to me.

Taco Bell Quesadillas are so good right? right. I once knew a guy who ordered them without quesadilla sauce, luckily we don’t speak anymore. Not my kinda people.

Okay so here we go.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp pickled jalapeño
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Grab yourself a medium size mixing bowl or a Tupperware container. I prefer something that has a lid because this will make a good amount of sauce and it stays really well in the fridge for a few days.
  2. Literally dump every ingredient besides the jalapeños in the bowl and mix her up!
  3. Mince up your jalapeños. I like larger pieces for a little crunch, so cut them to your liking.
  4. Add jalapeños to the bowl and mix that baby up. If you like your sauce a little thinner, add a few tablespoons of the jalapeño juice to the mixture.
  5. Toss that bad boy in the fridge and that’s it. All done. Easy Peasy.

This is definitely something that will be more flavorful the longer it sits and the flavors can meld together.

This sauce can be used for so much than quesadillas. Dip some French fries in it, I DARE YA! I am totally open to suggestions of new ways to shovel this sauce into my mouth, so if you come up with something please let me know!

Time for Dogs!

Let’s talk about doodles. Like the dogs, not drawings.

I am not sure if you are hip to this but there are like a ridiculous amount of cross breed poodles. Every doodle breed I have met and I am more convinced that these are just humans wearing fluffy dog suits. I don’t know what it is about them but they have real human emotions. I swear, I am not as crazy as I sound.

Hi, I’m Weasley and I am a Springerdoodle. That is a cross between an English Springer Spaniel and Poodle.

“Hey human just checking up on ya, put er there.”

I first met this fluff face in May of 2018. He was actually one of my very first clients. So I guess you could say we are best friends. He is honestly one of the most hilarious people I know and a great poser for photos. When I get to see him we do two sessions a day and he is very strict about his routine. Our morning session are always a walk, where he stops frequently to make sure I am still behind him and to toss me a quick handshake. He isn’t too adventurous and is pretty much scared of everything, so I gotta watch my shoes for that quick nervous pee release. Leaves falling from trees can be quite startling ya know!

I am ready to play!

Session two is all about that fetch game. I mean it when I say he has a routine, as soon as that kennel door is open he runs straight outside and grabs a toy. No chance of getting that harness on him now he is ready to roll.

This job isn’t always easy and I have come in contact with my fair share of clients who are not nearly as laid back as this guy. If it were up to him we would sit around and hold paws all day.

I am so grateful Weasley is a part of the EVK Dog Walking family. Let’s not forget about the humans that trust me with their dog child while they are away, I am grateful for them too!

Welp! Thanks for stopping by friends! See ya next week!