Saturday, July 12, 2014


I write cookbooks. I develop every recipe and test them over and over again until I get them right. I prepare the dish, design the food on the plate, and take all my own photographs for my books. I self publish in e-book format so that readers can have all the recipes to save on their computers and print out when they need them....AND on their phones and tablets to take with them to the store to buy the ingredients. I also publish beautiful full color print cook books in both soft cover and hardback for those of who collect cookbooks.

Each book takes me months to finish. I spend long hours, sometimes way into the middle of the night, getting them ready for and iTunes. There are many nights that I am completely exhausted from doing this work.

So why do I do it? If you are new to Welcome Home you should know......

About 12 years ago, I read this quote somewhere on the Internet. It said...

"I looked at all the caged animals in the shelter...the cast offs of human society. I saw in their eyes love and hope, fear and dread, sadness and betrayal and I was angry. "God," I said, "This is terrible! Why don't you do something?" God was silent for a moment and then He spoke softly. "I have done something," he replied. "I created you."

It was on that very day, I walked into the local animal shelter in my county and asked if I could volunteer. I asked if there was anything I could do that day until I might be assigned something to do that might make a difference. It was a day that changed my life forever.

The woman at the desk said there was so much work to be done but if I really wanted to do something right away that would make a difference in my life and the life of another, then I needed to listen carefully. So many people volunteer and then can't handle it and walk away. She said if I needed something to give me the conviction and the strength to follow through with my commitment, then I should come with her.

I followed her back to the area where they kept the dogs. She took me to a pen that was large enough to hold 10 huge dogs and pointed to the far back corner where a little dog weighing every bit of 15 pounds was curled up in a little ball, shaking on the cold concrete floor. The little dog looked up at me and wagged her tail for a second and then laid her head back down.

The lady grabbed a folding chair and opened the cage. She said that this would be the last day that this little one would be spending time there at the shelter and it would be wonderful if she could feel some human love and comfort one last time. She had been there for 5 days and no one had come to claim her and so her time had come. I went over and picked up the little dog and held her close to me as I held back tears. The woman began to tell me stories of how people just drop off their pets and walk away. I am going to share something she said to me that day ...a view from the inside, if you will.

She said, maybe if some of these people could see the life drain from a few sad, lost, confused eyes, they would change their mind about "dropping" their dog off at the local shelter. Maybe people might think twice about buying from a breeder or from a pet shop and adopt a dog from a shelter before it's too late. She went on to say that there is a 95% chance that a dog will never walk out of the shelter he or she was dropped off at. The most common excuses people give are: "We're moving and we can't take our dog." Or, "he got bigger than we thought he would." And then the classic: "We just don't have time for her." They usually say, “We just don't want to face the stress about finding a home for her. We know she'll get adopted - she’s a good dog. Some nice family will adopt her."

She told me the odds are against that dog ever getting adopted. She asked if I could imagine how stressful it is for a dog in a shelter until she dies? She said the dog has 72 hours to find a new family from the moment a person drops her off. Sometimes she can live a little longer if the shelter isn't full and the dog manages to stay completely healthy. If she even starts to sniffle, she will be killed sooner than 72 hours.

She will be confined to a cage and have to hear the loud noise of other barking or crying animals. She will be so frightened and lonely and depressed because the family she loves with all her heart is missing. She will have no other choice but to relieve herself where she eats and sleeps. She will cry constantly for the family that abandoned her. It doesn't matter if she is a 90 pound German Shepard or a tiny 5 pound Chihuahua, they all cry for their family.

She will stay there for those long hours and no one will talk to her because no one wants to get involved or attached before the inevitable happens. She won't get any attention besides having a bowl of food slid under the kennel door and the waste sprayed out of her pen with a high-powered hose. If she is a big black dog or any of the “bully” breeds (Pit Bull, Rottweiler, Doberman, etc) her life was pretty much over when she walked through the front door.

If she shows any signs of aggression she will be destroyed sooner. She said that even the sweetest dogs show aggression after a day or two in this place because they are so confused and frightened. If she makes it over all of the hurdles, there is still a strong chance that she will get kennel cough or an upper respiratory infection and will be destroyed right away. And then she stood up and looked me in the eye and said...

"And when that horrible day comes and they open that cage, she will go willingly...all excited... with her tail wagging and her body wiggling because someone is finally coming to play with her or maybe they have brought her family back. She will then be led to her death never knowing what was about to happen."

And with that she walked away. I held that little dog and cried for a solid hour and begged God to let her live just one more day until I could find someone to love her. I prayed that God would help me by touching someone's heart before it was too late. I didn't want to let go of her and was trying to figure out a way to bring in another dog when I was only allowed one where I lived at the time. I thought of everyone I knew and decided to go call them and tell them where I was and how they had to help.

And then it happened. Someone came. He was a tall gentleman maybe in his late 30's and he wore a jacket with the words NO KILL written on the back. I looked up at him and he told me I could stop crying and let her go now and that she would be okay. He took her from my arms and wrapped her in a soft blanket and whispered in her ear that no one was going to hurt her. She looked up at him and licked his face. He then told me the story about a group that he belonged to and how they randomly come to county shelters to save the lives of dogs and cats that are killed unnecessarily while waiting for their forever home. He said she was about to go to temporary loving home until her forever family came along.

As I watched him take her that day, I knew that I had found my calling. I knew I had to do something to save these lost souls. In that cage that day, I found the strength and courage to never give up and to do whatever I could to help this wonderful group of people across the country who work so hard to save these lives.

As he drove away with that little dog that day, I closed my eyes thanked God for answering my prayer ......

"Dear God, if I could do one great thing in my life, it would be to rescue every dog that someone has left on the side of the road to starve and die.

If I could have power for one day, I would use it to make it as illegal and punishable to abandon a dog as it would be to abandon a child.

If I could have one wish, I would use it to find a home for every abandoned dog and cat in the world.

If I were rich, I would fund every animal shelter in the nation so they wouldn't have to end the lives of healthy dogs and cats.

If I could hope for anything in my lifetime, I would hope that all people can see a dog or cat as a living soul that has the ability to love unconditionally for a lifetime.

And God, if you are listening right now, I pray that you will touch the heart of someone out there right now, and motivate them to go look and find this tiny soul that needs them so badly before it is too late. And I pray that you will bring them together for a lifetime."

And that my friends is why I write books. I am dedicated to raising money to save these lives and I will never let up. Over 6 million dogs and cats are killed unnecessarily each year in this country and I know we can make a difference. We can be the voice for these precious souls that cannot speak. We can stand up for animal rights and bring change.

Will you help me? My books are on sale this weekend for only $9.99 per ebook and there is a 15% off sale on print books when you use the discount code PRINTBOOKS15% .... You can preview each book on the right side of the margin here at Welcome Home and purchase from there as well.
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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Cilantro Lime Shrimp with Capers over Tagliatelle Pasta

I created  this recipe  a few days ago and it turned out even better than I imagined.  I wanted to create a new dish using fresh shrimp and pasta but it needed too be and not  so heavy and rich with cream sauce as most are. I wanted a light dish with all the fresh flavors of summer.  So I added lime and cilantro and it was good! But it needed something...some  oomph...some pizzazz...something that would add some sharpness too my new savory dish.  I decided to add some capers and that was the  perfect touch!.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp with Capers over Tagliatelle Pasta

1 pound medium-size (30 count) raw shrimp, cleaned and de-veined
1 tablespoon STAR Fine Foods Butter Flavored Olive Oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon or a pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice from one line
2 teaspoons Star Fine Food Capers
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 16 oz package of Tagliatelle or Linguine style pasta

Prepare pasta as directed. Drain well and toss with a tablespoon of butter and set aside.

Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Saute the shrimp in hot oil until just pink and add salt and pepper. Do not overcook.  Remove from skillet and set aside.

Reduce the heat slightly and add the minced garlic to the same skillet. Cook the garlic for about 30 seconds until transparent and then add the lime juice. Add red pepper flakes if using and cook for about a minute. Remove skillet from heat.

Next add the cilantro and butter to the skillet and stir until it’s melted. Add the shrimp back into the skillet with the capers and toss to coat.  Add pasta and toss well. Serve warm or  chilled.

Photographs are owned and copyrighted by ©Welcome Home.

Star Fine Food Capers can be purchased at the following locations:  

Costco, Stater Brothers Markets, Smart & Final, Bashas, Albertsons (So. Cal) and 

online at:

Disclaimer: I have an ongoing relationship with STAR Fine Foods for my recipes and photography using their wonderful products. This post is sponsored by STAR. I am compensated for my time and work and I am sent products as I request them. However, all opinions of the product stated in this post are 100% my own. I truly love their products!
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Monday, July 07, 2014

Tortellini with Grilled Chicken and Artichoke Hearts

I use a lot of  Star Fine Food products when it comes to making pasta salads.  Why? Because it makes an otherwise complicated recipe so much easier and the flavors are just perfect.  Like this recent pasta salad I made using Cara Mia grilled Artichoke hearts....already chopped and grilled and no work at all!  You'll love the smokey grilled flavors from the chicken too! 

Tortellini with Grilled Chicken and Artichoke Hearts


3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


1 16 ounce package of fresh refrigerated Cheese Tortellini 
1 tablespoon of sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped 
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated (and more to taste)

Light the grill. Coat the chicken with olive oil and season with 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp garlic powder and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Grill or broil until just done, 4-5 minutes per side. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes and then cut into bite sized pieces and set aside.  

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the tortellini for about 6 minutes and then drain and rinse with cool water. In a large bowl, toss the pasta with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Make sure to coat all the pasta thoroughly, so it won't stick together.  Add the chicken, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, another 1/4 cup of olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and the Parmesan to pasta and toss well.  Serve chilled or warm.

Cara Mia Artichoke Hearts can be found atWalmart stores, Stater Bros. and online at

Photography is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home 2014

Disclaimer: I have an ongoing relationship with STAR Fine Foods for my recipes and photography using their wonderful products. This post is sponsored by STAR. I am compensated for my time and work and I am sent products as I request them. However, all opinions of the product stated in this post are 100% my own. I truly love their products!

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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

♥ Grilled Chicken with Rotini Pasta Salad

I felt like pasta salad today for lunch. So I put together some ingredients I had on hand and came up with a good one!  Tender strips of moist chicken on a bed of wonderful pasta drizzled with a tasty buttermilk ranch dressing.  This was a great combo. 

Grilled Chicken with Rotini Pasta Salad 

1 package of Rotini Pasta 
1/2 cup of Mayonnaise 
1/2 cup buttermilk 
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives 
1/4 cup julienne carrots or thinly sliced 
salt and pepper 
1/2 cup of cherry or grape tomatoes 
1 cup Tyson Grilled Chicken Strips, cut into pieces 

Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente (about 2 minutes less than the label says), Drain the pasta and rinse under cool water; shake off the excess and set aside. 

Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente (about 2 minutes less than the label says), Drain the pasta and rinse under cool water; shake off the excess and set aside. 

Whisk the mayonnaise, buttermilk, 1/4 cup chives, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Toss in the pasta and mix well. Toss in the grilled chicken, carrots and tomatoes and season with salt to taste. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon chives and cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving. 

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of  ©Welcome Home. 
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Monday, June 30, 2014

Orecchiette Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Asparagus

This was lunch could something so easy to make be so delicious! If you enjoy pasta, you'll love this recipe. I use orecchiette pasta with roasted vegetables...then mix it with a basil infused olive oil that brings it all together. You get a robust flavor that you will enjoy even more the next day! This is a keeper my friends!

Orecchiette Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Asparagus

16 ounce box of orecchiette pasta
a handful grape or cherry tomatoes
one bunch of fresh asparagus
1/4 cup STAR Fine Foods Italian Cuisine Cooking Oil, divided

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare pasta as directed to al dente. Drain well and set aside. 

Toss the tomatoes lightly with the cooking oil on a sheet pan. Spread them out into one layer and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft.

Break off the tough ends of the asparagus and place them on a baking sheet, drizzle with the cooking olive oil, then toss to coat the asparagus completely. Spread the asparagus in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the asparagus for 20 minutes, until tender but still crisp.

Toss the roasted tomatoes and asparagus with the pasta and drizzle with additional cooking oil. Sprinkle with fresh basil and parsley if desired.

Note: You can buy this oil at:    Albertsons (So. Cal), select Safeway and Vons stores and online at:

Photo and recipe are copyrighted and owned by Welcome Home ©2014.

Disclaimer: I have an ongoing relationship with STAR Fine Foods for my recipes and photography using their wonderful products. This post is sponsored by STAR. I am compensated for my time and work and I am sent products as I request them. However, all opinions of the product stated in this post are 100% my own. I truly love their products!
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Butter Rum Muffins with Cinnamon Chips

Butter Rum Muffins with Cinnamon Chips

1 1/2 cups sugar
3 extra-large eggs
1 teaspoon butter flavoring extract
1 1/2 teaspoons rum flavoring extract
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup whole milk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 oz. bag Cinnamon chips
2-3 tablespoons coarse sugar for topping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place paper liners in muffin pans and lightly spray with butter flavored non-stick cooking spray.

With an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the rum and butter extracts, sour cream, and milk.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed add the flour mixture to the batter and beat until just mixed. Fold in the butterscotch chips with a spatula and be sure the batter is completely mixed.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pans (using an ice cream or cookie scoop works well), filling each cup about 3/4 full. Then sprinkle with generous amount of coarse sugar and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the muffins are lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm right out of the oven!

NOTE: If you use regular muffin tins, this will make about 2 dozen small (not mini) muffins. But if you want big fluffy more impressive muffins like mine, go with the jumbo muffin tins as I did and you'll get a dozen from this recipe.

Star Fine Foods Butter Flavored Olive Oil can be found at  Raley’s, Walmart, Stater Bros., Food Maxx and online at

Disclaimer: I have an ongoing relationship with STAR Fine Foods for my recipes and photography using their wonderful products. This post is sponsored by STAR. I am compensated for my time and work and I am sent products as I request them. However, all opinions of the product stated in this post are 100% my own. I truly love their products!
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Sunday the weather was just delightful and I had family and friends over to celebrate my Dad's 80th birthday. Wow! It doesn't even sound right to say he is 80 years old. He just doesn't seem that age to me. He is still the same Dad I've know since he came into my life when I was 8 years old. It was at a time when I was still suffering a broken heart and serious trauma from seeing a drunk driver hit and kill my biological Dad as he crossed the street.

Back then, a loss so significant and so traumatic in a child's life was handled only with time and patience. There was no money for psychologists or therapy. They just hoped time would heal and I would grow out of the problems with reading and learning at school. They thought time would make me stop clinging to my Mother and never wanting to leave her side. Time would heal the horrific nightmares every night, my refusing to eat, crying everyday and night and asking when he was coming home. My Mother was left with nothing and had to go to work to save our home and feed her two kids. That left more feelings of abandonment and fear.

But 18 months later, God chose the very man who would come into our lives and make us all who we are today. I like to say that my Dad was hand picked by God to come into my Mother's life. She had lived such a hard life and God wanted her to live out the rest of her life with someone who truly loved her with all his heart and would always take care of her. He was younger than her and at only 25 years old, he had no plans of becoming an instant father to two kids who were both a psychologically challenged by the events that had taken place less than two years earlier.

I can remember asking my Mom if I had to call him Daddy and before she could answer, he stepped in and picked me up and told me he would never take the place of my Daddy but he would love me just as much. He told me to call him whatever I wanted to call him. I decided to call him Gene because I didn't want to ever call anyone Dad again for the rest of my life. That was then....that was the very first day he become my new step-father.

He stole my heart soon after that. He became the Dad that I was supposed to have and spend the rest of my life with. There's no doubt in my mind that God intended it that way. He became my hero and I wanted to follow him everywhere! He became the teacher in my life who said I was so special and could do anything I chose to do in life. He believed in me and soon called me "Baby Girl" and I called him Dad.

Yesterday was his 80th birthday. He is a young and active 80 years old...still playing 18 holes of golf three times a week. He is so funny and witty and makes me laugh all the time. He hugs me when I need a hug and seems to have all the right words to say when I am sad. He prays for me every single day and there's no place I would rather be than in those prayers and in his heart. He is so active in his church and loves to read his bible and teach anyone who wants to learn God's word. He sings all the time. He enjoys music and leads the choir in his church. He has an intense love for God and doesn't hesitate to let anyone who will listen know how much.

Happy Birthday Dad....thank you for giving me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, you believed in me. You've never told me how to live; you lived and let me watch you do it. You are one of the most knowledgeable men I've ever known and your wisdom and knowledge has guided me through life. You taught me the value of education. You taught me the value of hard work and dedication to my goals. Through your example, you taught me the value of honesty and integrity.

Most importantly, you taught me that God loves me and hears my prayers. You taught me to trust that he will always be there to help me overcome any hardship. You are, and always will be, the best and most enduring teacher and mentor in my life. I love you more than words can say and I thank you for coming into my life when you did. Thank you for the profound love you had for Mom while she lived with us here on earth and while she waits for us at her new home in Heaven. 
Happy Birthday Dad.  From your Baby Girl.
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Wednesday, June 04, 2014

♥ Chocolate Meringue Pie

My Mom could make incredible meringue pies. She made lemon meringue pies, chocolate meringue and coconut custard meringue pies to die for. I learned very young how to make a meringue that stood firm and tall on any kind of pie and now I will share those tips with you at the end of this recipe. This one is a keeper my friends!

My Mom's Chocolate Meringue Pie

Pie Shell:

1 1/3 cups sifted all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, chilled, cut in small cubes or slices
1/4 cup Shortening (I use Crisco)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons ice water


3 eggs
3 cups milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla


1/2 cup water
1 cup super fine sugar
4 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Crust: In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Cut in the butter, lard and zest until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle the ice water and toss with a fork to blend. Gather the dough into a ball. If excess flour remains, add a few drops more ice water. Shape into a disk and wrap in plastic. Chill for 1 hour in refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out pastry into a 12 inch circle. Fit into a 9 inch pie pan and fold edge under. Then line the pastry shell with a sheet of foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Set pie pan on baking sheet and bake 10 minutes. Remove weights and foil and bake another 5 minutes until bottom firm and light golden, Cool on a rack. I usually brush my unbaked crust with an egg white and a little water before I put it in the oven to keep it from getting soggy.

Filling: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring 2-1/2 cups of the milk almost to simmering but make sure you watch it so that your milk doesn't boil. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, with a 12-inch or larger whisk, stir remaining 1/2 cup milk into the 3 egg yolks. In a second bowl combine 1 cup sugar, the flour, cocoa powder, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt; whisk in egg yolk mixture until smooth. Gradually whisk in hot milk; return the mixture to saucepan.

Over medium-high heat cook and stir mixture until it comes to a full boil. Boil for 30 seconds and remove from heat. Whisk in chocolate and butter until melted and smooth. Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla. Strain mixture through a sieve, pushing it through with a spatula as needed. Pour in baked cooled pie shell and cover just the filling with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before adding meringue.

Meringue: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine water and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to vigorous boil over medium-high heat. Once syrup comes to rolling boil, cook 4 minutes (mixture will become slightly thickened and syrupy). Remove from heat and set aside.

With electric mixer, beat egg whites in large bowl at medium-low speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Add salt and cream of tartar and beat, gradually increasing speed to medium-high, until whites hold soft peaks, about 2 minutes. With mixer running, slowly pour hot syrup into egg whites. Add vanilla and beat until meringue has cooled and becomes very thick and shiny, 5 to 9 minutes.

Using rubber spatula, mound meringue over filling, making sure meringue touches edges of crust. That's an important step so that meringue does not begin to shrink and pull away from crust, leaving a gap. 

Use spatula to create peaks all over meringue. Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes or until peaks turn golden brown. Transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature. YUM!

♥♥ Tips for making the perfect tall meringue

Always make sure your bowl and beaters are free of any grease or oil. The tiniest speck of oil causes great volume loss.

Always use eggs that are a few days old and make sure they are at room temperature before you use them. If you have to start with cold eggs, put them in a bowl of warm water to bring their temperature.

Don’t use your hands to separate the egg yolk from the whites. I know its the most convenient way for most of us, but oil can wreck a good meringue too! Just use the shells, transferring the yolk back and forth between the two and letting the whites fall into one bowl and the yolks into another.

Use glass or metal bowls and keep your hands out of the bowls and away from any surface that would touch the egg whites. You want no oil whatsoever. Plastic bowls often retain oils from foods and the slightest oil from your hands will not help your meringue.

Add the sugar after the whites have reached the soft peak stage when they're fluffy and when you lift the beater the peaks fold over the beater edge). Superfine sugar works the best when making meringues. (Don’t worry if you don't have this in the pantry because you can make your own using your food processor or blender by pulsing your sugar a few times to break the crystals up into smaller ones).

Your meringue is done when you lift the beater out and the whites stand at attention! Don't stop and take a break during the beating process, start it and work it through and you'll have the perfect mile high meringue for your pies!

By the way, don't put a meringue pie in the refrigerator. Store at room temp under a glass or metal bowl. If you store in the fridge, you'll have leaky, weepy meringue. Enjoy!

Photographs are the property of and copyrighted to Welcome Home 

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Friday, May 30, 2014


Good morning friends. Do you believe in miracles? I do. Mostly because I have seen so many in my own life. I am absolutely sure that God hears and answers prayers. Whether it's a whisper of a prayer from one or a gathering of prayers from many, I am certain beyond any doubt that he hears them all.

And he heard them yesterday when so many of you were praying for my little fur-baby Katie who was suffering in pain from some mysterious thing that hurt her paw last week. She came in from a quick run in the back yard and was in obvious pain. She had become lame since last week and could not bear to put any weight on her paw. It was swollen and so tender and painful and she had obviously just given up. She would not eat and slept most of the day, whimpering while she slept. Even as late as the day before yesterday, after the second visit to the Veterinarian, we had no answers.

So Tuesday morning, when the doctor still had no clue what it was or what to do for her, I reached out to all of you to ask your advice. It was breaking my heart to watch her suffer and many of you offered prayer for us both. I want you to know your prayers were heard.

Yesterday afternoon, Katie just stood up on her own and walked over to me and tapped me on the leg with her injured paw. I had to do a double take. She wanted my attention to let me know she had to go out to take a bathroom break and when I turned my chair she was walking again as if nothing was wrong. Not even a limp. She was not only walking on all fours, she was running around and wanted to play with my other fur-baby Cooper who was just as excited as I was to have her back.

Cooper has also been very worried about his best friend Kate and has tried everything to get her attention so she would get up and play with him. He has nudged her and brought her toys to play with but nothing worked. So he had also been very sad all week. But now he was so excited and running all around the house to find her toys to play with.

I tried to keep her calm and pick her up to get her off that foot, but she would have no part of it. She wanted to run and play again and I couldn't even catch her. She came back from her quick run outside and went right to her food bowl and ate her breakfast from earlier that morning. She had been so sick all week and was barely eating at all and now she was famished and ate every bite. Last night she ate her dinner and wanted more. Katie has a little pink ball that she never parts with...she carries it wherever she goes. She had given it up when she got so sick. Cooper found it and brought it to her last night.

Katie is back. There is no swelling whatsoever in her paw. There is no sign of pain. What was different in the treatment I had been giving her all last week and what the doctor prescribed on Tuesday? Nothing much...I had only given her one dose of the new anti-inflammatory medicine that replaced the one that was making her sick. That's it. So I doubt that one dose did the trick.

Her recovery was as instant and mysterious as the instant and mysterious injury that had everyone so puzzled. We will never be sure what it was that caused this injury, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God heard your prayers loud and clear yesterday and ended her pain and suffering.

Suddenly I realize that Welcome Home has more power than I could ever imagine. It has the power of love. The power of prayer. There is a source of energy here...a force so positive and so comforting that we seem to be drawn together. We come here for comfort. Whether it's food for the appetite or food for the soul, I understand why over half a million followers come here now. Welcome Home has the power of love.

Thank you all for loving me enough to pray. You have brought me great comfort and peace.....and I will always remember it.
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Strawberry Caprese Bruschetta

Strawberry Caprese Bruschetta

baguette, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons Star Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup diced strawberries
tablespoon STAR Raspberry Creamy Balsamic Glaze
¼ cup basil leaves chiffonade

See the recipe here:

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