So...it is progressively progressing ever closer to the holidays: Christmas and New Years! And boy oh boy I cannot wait! But, this years holiday season comes with a little bit of bitter news mixed in...my hubby is NOT going to be around for Christmas or New Years...Yes, SAD, sad day indeed.
He is deploying yet again, and this time to Afghanistan. Oh joy! I do not know much about where he is going and what exactly he will be doing, but I know that this time there is much greater risk involved in what he is doing, and communication will be very little. Dang! But, it comes with the job description, and he is fighting for our freedom and for that of our children's as well. So, I am VERY VERY PROUD of him and PROUD to be a military wife and support him in every which way I can!
Well, enough of all this sappy sap...I have some Holiday Themed Recipes! One is for a Kringle that I always remember being made at our family's Christmas morning get together. The other is for a Cinnamon Stick Cookie that my mother says her mother used to make all the time, but she has not had it for ever! I am determined to make both of these recipes at some time this holiday season, and I will have new pictures to prove that I did so! Well, here ya go!
~Myrna's Cinnamon Stick Cookies~
1 c. butter
5 tbsp. sugar
2 1/4 c. AP flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. cinnamon sugar
Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in vanilla and combine. Gradually incorporate the flour. Roll into 3 in. sticks. Bake for 21 min. on an ungreased cookie sheet. Let cool slightly and roll in cinnamon sugar while the sticks are still warm so it will stick. Let cool completely and ENJOY!!
2 c. flour
1 c. butter, divided
1 c. water, plus 1 tbsp.
1/2-1 tbsp. almond extract
1 tbsp. butter
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
4 tbsp. cream or milk
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, combine 1 c. flour, 1/2 c. butter, and 1 tbsp. water. Mix by hand until totally combined and pat onto a greased or tinfoil lined cookie sheet and form into 2 3in. strips. Set aside.
In a med. sauce pan bring 1/2 c. butter and 1 c. water to a boil and stir in 1 c. flour, eggs, one at a time, and almond extract. Spread on the prepared strips. Bake for 60 min. Let cool.
Prepare the glaze by mixing the butter, powdered sugar, almond extract, and cream or milk in a large bowl until combined and smooth. Pour over the Kringle. Cut and ENJOY!!
This is a Chocolate Peppermint Kringle from O&H Danish Bakery in Racine, WI. Racine has one of the largest Danish populations in the U.S. and this Danish Kringle is similar to the Swedish one.
...Family Tradition!! Each nad every year for Thanksgiving since before I can remember my mother, or someone, has ALWAYS made wild rice for the holiday. I like the recipe that my mother uses the best, and I have altered it to make it my own!
I have been in a different state for the past two years for Thanksgiving and I have always offered to make some old school Minnesota Wild Rice to represent!!
Well, consider yourself lucky, here is the recipe that I use most!
To cook the wild rice I use the microwave. Place the wild rice into a microwaveable strainer and place the strainer and rice into a larger bowl. Cover the rice with water. (It is okay if it is not all covered) Cover the bowl with a large plate or plastic wrap. There needs to be an opening so that steam can escape. Set microwave for 45 min. One done, leave in the microwave over night or for several hours. In the morning strain the rice and stir to see if all the kernel have burst. If not, replace water and return to the microwave for another 30 min. (mine usually takes two more 30 min. installments to ensure all the kernels have burst)
While the wild rice is cooking, place a saute pan over med. heat. Coat with olive oil and cook the onions until translucent, add in the garlic and mushrooms and heat until warmed through. Once the wild rice is done, strain it and place in a large serving bowl. Stir in the onion, mushroom, and garlic mixture. (and any other ingredients that are used) Add the butter, and season with the Lawry's, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir to combine. Reheat if needed, server warm and ENJOY!!
This recipe makes a lot of Wild Rice, so there will most likely be leftovers, and the best thing to make with the leftovers is...
~Creamy Wild Rice Soup~
**I thought I had this recipe but I don't. I'll get it to ya though!!
There was a little booklet that came with the package of Wild Rice that I used, and It had some other recipes for the rice that i would someday like to try so I am going to post them here and hopefully be able to update my readers with pictures!
~Wild Rice Pancakes~
1 c. AP flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 c. milk, plus extra
2 tbsp. sour cream
2 tbsp. butter, melted to room temp
Cooked Wild Rice
Sift the dry ingredients. Beat egg, milk, and sour cream in another bowl; pour into dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Add butter and wild rice. Add more milk until the consistency is right. Drop batter by tbsp. onto a preheated, lightly-greased griddle. Cook until golden brown. ENJOY!!
I have some Thanksgiving recipes for ya'll! And some photos to go with them!
First is a NEW Apple Pie Recipe!
~Easy Pie Crust~
(Courtesy of Food Network Magazine)
12 tbsp. very cold unsalted butter
3 c. AP flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
1/3 c. very cold vegetable shortening
6-8 tbsp. ice water
Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl and mix to combine. Place the butter and shortening into the same bowl. Using a knife and fork, cut the butter and shortening into the flour mixture. This took me about 30 to 45 min. You can also use a pastry cutter or do this in a food processor. The dough should come together into little pea sized balls. Add the water a tbsp. at time and mix to combine. Turn out onto a floured counter and roll into a ball. Cover in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 30 min.
When ready to form a crust, take the dough out of the refrigerator and cut in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured counter into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn't stick to the board. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan and unfold to fit the pan. Repeat with the top crust.
~Deep Dish Apple Pie~
(Courtesy of Food Network Magazine)
4 lbs. Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. orange juice
1/2 c. sugar, plus more
1/4 c. AP flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. allspice
1 egg beaten w/ water to brush on top
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the peeled, cored, and sliced apples into a large bowl and combine with the zests, juices, 1/2 c. sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Combine until all of the apples are coated with the mixture. Pour into prepared bottom pie crust. Top with prepared top pie crust. (I latticed my crust) If not latticed, then cut 2-3 slits on the top to release steam. Brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg mixture and sprinkle with sugar. Place the pie onto a sheet pan and bake for 1 to 1.5 hours or until the crust is browned and the juices begin to bubble out. Serve warm and ENJOY!!
(Note: I covered mine with tin foil about half way through because the crust was getting a little too brown)
The apple pie mixture
I would have to say that this is by far my favorite pie crust mixture so far, I used to use my grandmothers recipe, but hers does not call for sugar, and I think that I am a fan of the extra sweetness.
As for the filling...I have mixed feelings on that. When I tasted it, it was very citrusy, because of the lemon and orange zest and juice. I am used to apple pies being very apply and/or cinnamon-y. This new flavor was not bad, just different. I think that next time I will keep the citrus, just back off on it a little bit and add more cinnamon. I might try a different type of apple as well, until I get it right!! hahahaha!!
The next morning we had plain and chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast
Wow, what a day...wait, what day is today? Oh yeah, it's THANKSGIVING!!! Sure don't feel like it, at least to me. It was such an odd day. Started out that the hubby and I had plans to go to a family friends for Turkey day dinner, but those plans got changed, okay no problem...lets just roll with the flow. Well, we woke up, went to the gym...came home and hard core cleaned the house with the expectation of my In-laws spending the weekend. Okay, what's next? Right, I need to go to the grocery store to pick up some last minute items...okay, in the car over there and when I get there found out that they had closed up for the day...dang! Its the towns only grocery store, you would think they would stay open later that 3:00. Oh well, went to CVS that was open...didn't get everything that I needed, but made due... So, in the car on the way home and I get a call from my hubby who says that he has to go into work earlier than expected, okay...dang! Can't have a mini Thanksgiving with just the two of us in the afternoon! I tell him that I will have food for him when he gets home, but im hungry! I tell him I might eat, and I do...I made Turkey Meatballs (Yummy!) and stovetop stuffing. I also made some spicy turkey sausage when my hubby got home cuz I ate a good deal of the meatballs...I had more of them and less of the stuffing.
~Easy Turkey Meatballs~
1.25 lbs. Ground Turkey
1 c. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 tbsp. ketchup
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. parsley
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. garlic salt
Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine. Roll into golfball sized balls and place onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 min. or until the meatballs register 180 degrees on a thermometer.
The hubbs got home and started eating, and then he started to feel a little sick...must have been the lack of food all day and then quickly eating really dense food...and the energy drinks that he said he had at work. Bummer man! I don't want him to be sick! So we waited a while and then had dessert! (I was going to make apple pie, but I couldn't get some ingredients due to the grocery store being closed) I made Special K Bars or Scotcheroos as they are also known by. Then I baked up one pie crust that I prepared the other day, and made Mom's Chocolate Pie that is now firming up in the fridge! I also stared some Wild Rice in the microwave that will cook for a while, then sit and steam overnight...can't wait for Thanksgiving Round II tomorrow!! Sans turkey, but hey, thats fine with me!!
(aka Special K Bars)
1 c. light corn syrup
1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. creamy peanut butter
6 c. rice krispies cereal (or Special K)
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. butterscotch chips
In a medium sauce pan (large enough to hold all 6 c. of cereal and be able to stir) combine the corn syrup and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium high heat stirring occasionally to prevent burning. When the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat and stir in peanut butter. Once the peanut butter has melted and combined, add in the cereal. Stir to coat completely. Spread mixture into a 9in x 10in baking dish spayed with cooking spray. Let sit. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips over LOW heat stirring constantly to prevent burning. Once melted and combined, pour over peanut butter cereal mixture and spread to cover. Let cool. Cut into bite sized bars and ENJOY!!
On the docket for tomorrow:
1. Finish Wild Rice
2. Finish and Bake Apple Pie
3. Do whatever else that may need to be done...
In the time being, here are some picture and some recipes that I am sure everyone is waiting for!
So, yet again, as the hubby and I do on the weekends, we treat ourselves with a new restaurant to eat at on a Friday night! This time we went to Fox & Hound Restaurant in Wilmington, NC. Its in the Mayfair Town Center so it right next to a movie theater, which of course is playing Twilight New Moon this weekend, so there was Twilight trivia. They asked one question while we were there, and we never heard the answer, odd...
But anywho, on to the food! When I look at a restaurant menu, I like to look at the salads first, to see if there is anything that spikes my mood to be healthy! lol, I really am healthy when I go out, and I workout pretty much everyday, so I deserve a treat! Well, I saw a salad that was right up my alley! It was the Napa Valley Spinach Salad, and boy was it just what I was looking for! Light, yet filling and it had a lot of different and complementing flavors in it! It contained grilled chicken, bacon, granny smith apples, red onions, mushrooms, feta cheese, cranberries, pecans, and all topped with a "Pinot Noir shallot vinaigrette" which was a little too creamy for my taste, but they did not over-dress the salad.
This salad was a find, but what my hubby had, he said, was pretty bland. The steak fries tasted like bland potatoes, fried, not very good. The service was okay, our waitress was friendly, but a little scatter-brained. It did not take long to get our food, which was good, and there were a lot of people in the place, but it is right next to a movie theater = convenient for peckish movie-goers. The overall atmosphere in the place was lacking something...it was just missing some character...like it needs to "grow up" so to speak...I was hard to put my finger on it.
Oh, yeah, they had a HUGE beer list! Lots of drafts, bottles and whatnot...
Overall I would give it 2.5 out of 5 Yums. (Basically because the salad satisfied all my cravings!)
I was looking at Cake Wrecks where they specialize in displaying various "butchered" cakes and poor grocery store bakery cakes. I looked through a lot of them, and these two made me laugh the best, as well as stand back and think..."what was this person thinking?"
These guys are a new band from Minneapolis, MN. I had the pleasure to meet one of the members and a friend of his while I was at college in a bar late one evening after an Art Major Fiesta Party. He and his friend were both very nice and very insightful. I would qualify them as true gentlemen, even though I have met them only a handful of times...
So, here are some of the things that I have baked/cooked in the past month that I actually took time to take some pictures of...due mostly to the lack of lighting in the kitchen! Note to self: in future when looking at kitchen, look at photo potential... Anywho...I have cooked so many meals for both myself and my hubby but here are some that I have photographed!
1 lb. ground turkey
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. italian bread crumbs
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/3 c. ketchup
1 tbsp. brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl combine the turkey, onion, garlic powder, garlic salt, egg, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Mix together thoroughly and pat into a loaf pan. Bake for 50 min. In a small bowl, mix together the ketchup and brown sugar. Coat over the meat loaf and bake for another 5 - 10 min. Enjoy!
So, I am going to start a new project. I need some insparation and I think that this well help! Here are some potential ideas/things I am going to do:
1. Start drawing more
2. 365 photo
3. A day in my life photo
4. Things/Places I like photos
5. Locational people watching
6. B&W life photos
7. HAND photos
8. Daily Anatomy Lesson
These are just some ideas and some are more professional. Others are just as something to do to build up my portfolio and keep me occupied...hahaha! Well, if any one wishes, you can comment on these ideas or suggest others! I am open to most things!
Funny I say this, because right now at my Alma Mater it is really, Homecoming! But, I am celebrating my own "homecoming" and it is that of my Hubby's!!! He is finally coming home after about 7 months over seas in Iraq. I CAN NOT WAIT!!! Soon, the time will come! I just...need....to keep....myself....occupied for....a few....hours!! I can do it! I can do it!
So, In memorandum, I am going to post a few old pictures that I have of my Grandfather "Ace" who was also in the USMC and served time in the So. Pacific. I hope that you enjoy them! Soon I am going to make a scrapbook of all of his old photos...He was an arial photographer so that explains all the photos that were taken! hahaha!! Love it!
In his flyers uniform
In the stereotypical flyers jacket
With his group...he is standing on the far left
My Grandfather and my Grandmother
Hanging out with the guys! Standing far left
I get statements that say that he looks like Clark Gable in this photo!
I am broadcasting to you from a new location...Sneads Ferry North Carolina. I am going to be here for the next couple of months...my Hubby is coming home and will be stationed there. I finished the drive today. I left on Saturday at 8:00 am and stopped at about 10:30 in Shelbyville KY, just out side of Louisville. I started at 8:30 on Sunday and made it to Sneads Ferry at about 7:15 pm! I am drived-out for a while! haha!
After a day at the Minnesota State Fair with a friend, I was riding back to my car on the bus and we drove by this little dinky fish and chips stand in Roseville, MN. I leaned over and said, "I wonder if that place is any good?" My friend and I agreed that it most likely was because it always seems to go that the little hole-in-the-wall places are the best. Well, some time passed and my friend and I were sitting in a Barnes & Noble store and I was looking at Mpls/St. Paul Magazine. It had this "Best Of" section...and lo and behold, what was voted "Best Cheap Eats" none other than Mac's Fish & Chips which was the place that we passed on that fateful day. So, right then and there we decided that sooner or later we would go and eat there one day after work. Well, we made it, and let me tell you this, it is really a dive, but it is good, at least in the fish department. They also serve shrimp, scallops and clams.
What I had: Fish sandwich with tarter sauce, ketchup, and fries. My friend had the basic fish and chips basket with two rather large pieces of fish, coleslaw, and fries.
What I thought: The fish was good. It was a little on the greasy side, but we all need a little vitamin G every now and then! The tartar sauce was WONDERFUL! The coleslaw was very good. A little on the thick side, the the overall flavor was good. The chips were classic fried potatoes. Not much flavor unless you add the malt vinegar, and or salt. Or you can dip them in extra tartar sauce! On the whole I would give this place 4 out of 5 Yums. The service was quick and nice, and the prices were not bad, about 6 or so bucks for my whole meal and I was more than I could finish! The one downside is that I didn't get an lemons with the meal.
I would reccomend it just for the fish and tartar sauce!
My mother and I saw this on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives one weekend...and we decided to go right then and there! So, we made our way down to Mpls...and once we got there it was PAKCED!! It is a "seat yourself" type of establishment and they have both indoor and outdoor seating...and on a nice Saturday night...it was crowded...but eventually we did find a spot and hunkered down. Soon enough a waiter came around and we got menus and ordered some drinks (which are served in really cool tiki mugs or coconuts) After perusing the menu...we decided to get some Tatter Tots as an appetizer...and a sandwich and a salad for dinner. The tatter tots were awesome, nice and crisp and fresh with a nice seasoning...the salad was awesome as well. The sandwich was okay...nothing crazy special. The chips that came with it, kettle style, these were awesome...they had this amazing seasoning on them that made them so much more! They were yummy and addicting!
Here are some pics:
Fresh, crispy Tatter Tots
Salad w/ cheeses
Beef, peppers, and cheese sandwich
Seasoned kettle chips
Overall Impression: Although the place was crowded, it was fun, and lets face it...those people were there for a reason...good drinks, good food, and a good atmosphere...which it had, I just prefer a little less people...
The service was good, considering how busy it was, the waiter did what she could. She even suggested some drinks and what not. We got our food in a timely manner and it was good! I strongly recommend this restaurant! Nothing fancy...just a good ol' time!
I made them this last weekend for two purposes...1) my mother wanted some for a dinner she was going to, and 2) I had a post-wedding brunch that I was going to bring some to. I have seen this recipe many many times and was very excited to have an occasion to make them for! They are very easy...except for the dipping part...but I enlisted the help of a grill fork (ya know...the one with the two long prongs...) It worked quite nicely!
(From Mixing Bowl Magazine)
1 pkg. Oreo cookies, finely crushed
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 lb. + 2 oz. white baking chocolate
Crush the Oreo's in a ziplock bag. Place them in a large mixing bowl along with the softened cream cheese. Mix with an electric mixer until well combined. Roll into 1 in. balls and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Melt the white chocolate, in a deep container, according to the package directions. Dip the rolled balls into the chocolate by setting them in the chocolate and submerging them with the grill fork as an assister. Scoop out with the fork and set on the parchment paper. Repeat until all the balls are coated in the white chocolate. With remaining chocolate, drizzle over the truffles using a regular fork. Place in refrigerator for a couple of hours, until set. Enjoy!!
Let me tell you, these are quite rich and yummy! I was struggling with the dipping part...but it is trial and error...and they taste good regardless of what they look like! I hope you like them as much as I did!
There are so many ways to make/prepare Macaroni and Cheese. Being the post graduate (about 4 months out) I am still a fan of the original Kraft Mac & Cheese, but this is only because I have yet to experiment with the dish and/or travel to various locations to sample up-scale M&C.
I would like to note that I am a fan of the Kraft M&C because you can control how much of the various ingredients go into the final product. Take, for instance, my friend K. She likes to make M&C where there is more milk, ie, a more soupy M&C. I, on the other hand, like a more creamy M&C so I add less milk and a moderate amount of butter (but still less than what the box calls for).
I am not a fan of the M&C that are overly thick...it just grosses me out...but I do like M&C that are made with various cheeses...and one of them HAS to be cheddar...I am not a fan of white sauce M&C because it reminds me too much of an Alfredo sauce and I do not like most Alfredo sauces...its a childhood old memory...Anywho...
My family did try a new recipe one weekend at the cabin and it was a hit! I liked it, but it was not my favorite, but it is totally worth sharing because it is very good and very different from the classic M&C. We got it from Giada on the the Food Network and slightly modified it...but not too much!
Here it is!
~Mac & ChChChCheese~
(From Giada on Food Network)
12 oz. wide egg noodles
2 c. heavy whipping cream
2 1/2 c. whole milk
2 tsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt + more for water
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 c. packed grated fontina
3/4 c. packed grater parmesan
3/4 c. packed grated mozzarella
4 oz. cooked ham, diced
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
Preheat the oven to 450F. Bring a large pot of water to boil on stovetop, liberaly salt the boiling water and cook noodles until tender but still firm to bite, stirring, about 5 min. Drain well but do not rinse. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the cream, milk, flour, salt and pepper. Stir in 1 c. of the fontina, 1/2 c. of the parmesan, 1/2 c. of the mozzarella, ham, and parsley. Add the noodles and toss to coat. Spray a 13 x 9 in. pan with non-stick spray and transfer the noodle mixture to the dish. Toss the remaining cheeses together and sprinkle evenly over the noodles. Bake for 20 min. or until the sauce bubbles and the cheese melts and begins to brown on top. Let stand for about 10 min. before serving. Enjoy!
For this recipe I just went to the meat counter and got the thickest slices of deli ham that I could get. It worked wonderful! I have also done this recipe with skim milk instead of the whole milk. It was okay, but the whole is much more thick and yummy...and more rich! I hope that you enjoy this recipe as a deviation from the basic blue box!