Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas, etc

I made a photobook for Greta and you can see it here on Picaboo

We drove to Boston on Thursday, a day earlier than originally planned since the weather wasn't going to be too good on Friday.  I stayed with Laura and Larry stayed with Michael.  Laura worked on Friday so I hung out with Larry in the afternoon and Laura came over to Michael and Doris's after work as did Karen and her family.

On Monday we went to Greta's where we had our annual Christmas Eve dinner at Abis.  Tucker was a star at breaking the egg.

Christmas morning before presents were opened.
One of the pieces from the selection Myles played for us.

We took a long walk around Tod's Point
A lovely dinner at Erin and David's
Back to Greta's and into our traditional Jingle Jams from Laura (slippers from me).

Thursday, December 27, 2012

UPS Overworked???

Just getting back to posting again so I have some catching up to do.

Do you think UPS was a little overworked this holiday.  A package I was supposed to get from Amazon in guaranteed 2 day shipping was in Buffalo but must have wound up in the wrong bin because it took a trip to Latham before returning to Buffalo and making it to our house a day late.  Fortunately we weren't leaving until the day after that.

Champagne Cocktails

Combine equal parts champagne and fresh-squeezed orange juice.

Combine 2 parts champagne or Prosecco with 1 part peach puree.

Kir Royale
Combine a splash of crème de cassis (black currant liqueur) with champagne.

Black Velvet
Combine equal parts champagne and stout or porter beer.

Bubbles 'N' Blue
Combine equal parts champagne and Hpnotiq liqueur.

Midori Sparkle
Pour ¾ oz. Midori liqueur into a glass; fill with champagne.

Blushing Saint
Combine 1 oz. St. Germain liqueur and 1 oz. cranberry juice in glass; fill with bubbly.

Perfect Pear
Fill a shaker with ice and add 1 oz. pear vodka and 1 oz. pear-flavored liqueur. Shake well, strain into a glass, then add a splash of bubbly.

April in Paris
Fill shaker with ice, 1 oz. Creme de Violette liqueur and ½ oz. simple syrup. Shake, strain into a glass and fill with bubbly.

Champagne Julep
Pour ½ oz. ginger syrup (found in the gourmet aisle) into a glass and fill with bubbly. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

French 75
Fill shaker with ice and add 2 oz. gin, 1 tsp. sugar and ½ oz. fresh lemon juice; shake well. Strain into a glass half full of ice and then top with champagne. Garnish with lemon slice.

Champagne Cocktail
Place a sugar cube in the bottom of a flute glass and add a few dashes of Angostura bitters. Fill with champagne and garnish with lemon twist.

Drop a sugar cube into a flute glass and add 1 oz. Hum Liqueur and 1 oz. ruby red or pink grapefruit juice; fill with bubbly.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fisher Event

We went to the most elegant event last night at the Wegman Conference Facility celebrating the success of the Vision 2020 Campaign for St John Fisher College.  The facility was decorated beautifully and from appetizers (they could have been the meal) to dessert everything was delicious.
 This was the entry way into dinner.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Good to follow directions

Clear Care is my favorite contact lens cleaner.  I could do a commerical for them.  You don't have to rub the contacts with the cleaner, just put them in the container and let them sit overnight.  BUT do not put the liquid anywhere near your eye because it contains hydrogen peroxide.  There are warnings all over the bottle and I've been using this for years so

Addicted to Dexter

I heard about the Showtime show Dexter sometime in September before the start of Season 7.  I saw that Showtime on Demand had all of Season 6 available and watched them and was instantly hooked.  I started watching Season 7 weekly.   After we came back from vacation and I caught up on the episodes I missed I decided that I needed to find out the back story to all the references in the current season.
The day before Thanksgiving, I took Season 1 out of the library.  The library only allows 1 week for a DVD but since there are only 12 episodes, unlike 24 which had 24 (DUH!!) it's pretty easy to watch in two days.  I did take off Thanksgiving day and couldn't watch that much while Laura was here but after she left I finished it before my week was up.  That was about a week ago.  I'm now on the 5th and final season.  I took off yesterday and didn't even have a DVD to watch but today I actually drove 14 miles each way to the Greece library to pick up Season 5.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Chicken Curry Pot Pie

This is my version of Nadine's recipe that I didn't have a chance to make with the turkey because there just wasn't enough so today I made it with chicken.
2 pound(s) roasted skinless boneless chicken breast, cooked and cut into chunks 
1 pound(s) uncooked baby carrots, sliced
1 large uncooked onion, diced  
1 cup fat-free, chicken broth  
6 oz cooked, portabella mushrooms 
2 Tbsp butter  
4 Tbsp all-purpose flour  
1/2 cup(s) fat-free skim milk
2 teaspoons curry powder or to taste
2 teaspoons dried dill or to taste   
1 package of 10 Homestyle Biscuits - 100 cal for 2  

Preheat oven to 350º.
In a large glass bowl, covered with plastic wrap, no water added,  microwave the carrots and onions on high for 4 minutes, stir, then microwave for an additional 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and microwave for 4-6 more minutes.

To make the roux put the flour and butter in a pot over medium heat, and using a whisk,  stir until you end up with a thick paste. With a whisk, add the chicken broth and stir until you have a thick sauce. Add the milk and continue stirring.  Add the curry powder and dill to taste and to get a nice golden yellow colored sauce.

Mix the cooked veggies and gravy with the cooked chicken, and pour mixture into a casserole dish.  Cook 1/2 hour then
place biscuits on top and cook for another 15 minutes or until golden brown.

10 servings @ 6PP

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Tree is up

While I was at Yoga, and cooking and out for coffee with the girls Larry decorated our tree and the mantle.  I did help with fixing the lights on the first day but he did all the rest and a really great job.  This year is a white and red year.
I did the table a few days later.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

I'm glad it's over but in retrospect it was a great day.  Why is Thanksgiving such a project?  I can whip up a meal for Larry and I in 15 minutes but Thanksgiving is like a 4 day project and I only made a couple of the side dishes.
We only needed two tables this year since we were down 10 people from the last time - Greta & Kris and their families.  I took some pictures during the dinner but realized I never took pictures of the table before everyone came.  When I was downloading the pictures from the cameras we used I found that Larry had taken some and without my even asking!!  He is WONDERFUL!! (I hope he reads this.)
  The main table had a fresh fruit centerpiece
The other table had the pineapple turkey for a centerpiece

Michael, Kim, Larry, Karen, Margie (missing:  Kris)
 A kitchen group - Me, Doris, Sarah, Meg, Laura, Tim, Andy
 Katie and Ben
 Andy did a great job carving the turkey and making Peanut Butter Pie
Parker - the youngest member of the family
 John, Connor and Darren
 Larry and I got our break time for a picture
Laura and I wore bracelets for Melonie.
She posted this picture on Facebook in support of her cancer battle
 And the food
Top to bottom, left to right
Green Bean Casserole, Peanut Butter Pie, Rolls, Applesauce
 Squash Casserole, TURKEY, Mashed Potatoes,
Roasted Vegetables, Cranberry Jello Salad, Stuffing
 missing - Pecan Pie and
Cranberry Horseradish Relish that I forgot to put out

Reference for next time - this year I added turnips and parsnips to the roasted vegetables with carrots, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, broccoli, rutabaga, and red onion.

Greta was in New York City Thanksgiving Eve with Charles and the boys watching  them blow up the floats for the parade

and Nadine and Gerry went to Aunt Harrie's bringing Thanksgiving dinner and were joined by Em, Jon and Luke
 and I found this picture of Aunt Harrie and Uncle Mac from a long ago Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sweet Potato Bisque with Clementines and Sage

Now that Thanksgiving is over and I can see my refrigerator shelves again, I see that I still have a lot of Clementines.  I found this soup recipe and made it today.  I added cinnamon to mine and it tasted like a dessert.  Larry put pepper in his for a different taste but I didn't try his and he didn't tell me what it tasted like.

Sweet Potato Bisque with Clementines and Sage
Serves 8

This delicious bisque is thick and hearty enough to serve as a main course. Offer hot, crusty bread and a tossed green salad to complement this dish. Makes about two quarts.

2 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
1 medium-sized parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
4 to 6 clementines
6 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 Tbs. dry white vermouth or white wine
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
5 cups vegetable stock or water
3 Tbs. heavy cream, optional

Heat butter in large pot over medium heat. Add celery, sage, onion, parsnip and carrot, and cook, stirring, until onion has softened and is just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, squeeze clementines to make 3/4 cup juice; set aside. Grate zest from clementines; set aside.
Add sweet potatoes, and cook 2 minutes. Add vermouth and bring to a boil, scraping up brown bits on bottom of pot. Add clementine juice, nutmeg and ginger. Add vegetable stock, reduce heat to low and cook 25 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender.
Working in batches, purée mixture in food processor or blender. Add zest and cream to soup. Heat through, and pour into warm bowls.

This recipe is from the Vegetarian Times and made the rounds in January 2005

Monday, November 26, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

I refuse to make another Thanksgiving leftover dinner, especially since our only leftover now is turkey.  Tonight we finished the mashed potatoes, cranberry relish, cornbread casserole and any other containers I found in the refrigerator.

I remembered Nadine had a recipe that I made before for a chicken pot pie with curry and this is going to be the fate of the remaining turkey.  I will probably make some changes since I know I won't make the crusts but for now here is the recipe so I won't lose it.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Two years ago I made these potatoes for Thanksgiving but never posted the recipe.  I found it today and am going to make it again only this time I'm going to use 5 pounds of potatoes instead of 10.  We're only having 18 for dinner instead of 28 plus I had so many potatoes left over last time this should work out much better.
The original recipe came from this site

Friday, November 9, 2012

Hilton Head

On our way to Hilton Head we stopped at Wadmalaw to see how the new house looks. Jacqui was in the middle of unpacking and organizing so I didn't take any indoor pictures, mainly because you couldn't see the indoors. I don't envy her the work she has to do but she thought she would have it done this week. I'll have to follow up with her and see how she did. Click on the picture to the right for a link to the pictures I took and ones that Gerry sent to me before all the things were moved back into the house.

Marriott Grande Ocean is the resort we're staying at and rather than post all the pictures here click on the picture below to view them.

It's our last day here and I haven't posted anything so here goes a  review of the week as best I can remember. It's been pretty cold here this week and we only walked on the beach two times but went in the hottub three times.  We'll probably do another walk today.
The first thing we did after checking in was go to Bi-Lo and get some supplies.

Monday morning they had a welcoming breakfast but we didn't win anything this trip. It was after the breakfast that we took our first walk. It's a great beach for walking and riding bikes. I would like to be here when the weather is warmer. I don't know if it's the time of year or if it's always like this but there weren't any shells on the beach and barely any birds, just those little tiny ones and these don't even play with the waves.

Once again an empty beach

The hottub was right outside our window and was nice and warm and cozy.  We took some self portraits and the second one is the way it came out.  Not photoshopped as it looks to me.  Probably could never get a shot like that again if I tried.

For lunch we had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  I can't remember the last time I had one of these and with a glass of milk.  It was good but I really would have liked to have had 2 pieces of bread and a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter instead of one, but I don't dare.  After all I have to save those points for wine and ice cream!
We woke up to heavy rain on Tuesday, as predicted and spent most of the day indoors.  It did clear up so that the Wine and Cheese welcome could take place at 4:00.  We went over early and took a walk on the beach, this time toward the south.
Wednesday was our trip to Savannah.  It's only about an hour from here and we went on the Old Towne Trolley tour of the historic district.
We rode with our driver Diva through most of the stops and then got off near the water to walk around a little.  She was really funny and made the tour more interesting because of her personality.  We got back on another trolley for one stop and got off for lunch.
We ate at Moon River Brewing Company and had their Slo-vannah (American Pale Ale) along with their lunch special.  I didn't eat all the fries :)
We didn't take another trolley but walked the rest of the route back to the car because we were able to go to the Market area.  There was a cookie store where you could sample all their varieties.
On the way back to Hilton Head we stopped at the outlet mall because I was going to get another UA cold weather shirt since I was wearing the one I brought almost every day.  I went into a bunch of stores and now Larry and I both agree on why it's a better idea for me to go shopping by myself.  I never did get the top or anything else but could really have a good time if I went back by myself.

On Thursday we went into Harbour Town to walk around and of course get something to eat.  We went to the Crazy Crab and got some She-Crab soup.  While walking around we picked out our next boat!
A little cut and paste to get the whole lighthouse in the picture.