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.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Myrtle Beach - Day 6

Today was a movie day and it wasn't even bad weather.  We watched two movies in the morning, just sort of got hooked into them, one after the other.
  • House of D - David Duchovny & Tea Leoni
  • Sister Mary Explains it All - Diane Keaton
and at night it was a Katherine Heigl double feature
  • Knocked up
  • The Ugly Truth
I think it was just a break from attending all the planned activities during the week.
Of course we did our daily walk on the beach.  The Saturday beach crowd was out full force and there were even 2 people in the water.  It was even warm enough for me to go barefoot.  And of course we went in the hottub and were going to try the pool again so I could document it but by the time we went it was too cold for me.

On our first walk on the beach my natural instinct was to bend down and pick up shells.  Then I remembered I wasn't going to collect shells this trip since I still had shells in a bag at home.  OK - I didn pocket 6 of them and then today I added 3 more - oh well!  Lucky for me there weren't many shells this year.

Then we packed and ate our leftover restaurant food.  It was a mellow day as we got ready for our trip down to Hilton Head with a stop at Wadmalaw to see Jacqui and the new house.  Gerry has an early flight tomorrow.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Myrtle Beach - Day 5

This morning it was warmer at home than here but that was at 7:20 AM!
Later in the afternoon it was a different story.
Today was a real lazy day.  We didn't go to water aerobics, in fact we never left the room until after noon.  I worked on updating my blog and Larry read.

We went out for a walk on the beach around 1:00. and it was still windy as you can see from the flags on this house along the beach
but it was sunny and a lot warmer than it's been all week.  What was surprising was how the birdlife changed.  Instead of all the pelicans there were some other birds.

The tide wasn't low enough for us to walk down to the dock that we were trying to get to, maybe tomorrow.  There were more people out on the beach today
 and it was the first time we saw an advertising plane.  Probably because of the high winds or because there weren't any people on the beach to see what he was selling.
but heading back the beach looked deserted again.
We went back to our room to try and decide where to go for dinner.  After an hour we decided to either go to Tommy Bahamas or Nacho Hippo both of which are located in Market Commons which is our favorite area in Myrtle Beach with its cobbled streets, upscale stores, good restaurants and a nice Piggly Wiggly.  We had a hotel voucher to use so we were limitied as to where to eat.  After finally making the decision we decided to go down to the outdoor hottub.  It was beautiful out, it felt a lot warmer than when we went upstairs.  After being in the hottub and absorbing all that warmth we took the plunge in the Serenity Pool which had just opened this past week.  The only problem was could we take the walk over and back and survive.  Well, we did it and with no problem.  The temperature had gotten even warmer, it felt like it was in the 70s and sure enough, when we checked it was 72.
           (These pictures were taken before our trip down to the hottub.  I didn't take my camera
             or phone with me down that time so I have no proof of our actually being in the pool.)

When we got to Market Commons we walked all around the area enjoying the summer like weather for the first, and according to the forecast, the only day of our vacation. We walked by Tommy Bahama and it looked empty, although the restaurant next door was doing well with a lot of people sitting outside.  We eventually walked our way around to Nacho Hippo.  We went in and started with Margaritas, which were only and always $3 and made us think of Mexico.  We were going to start with the *!#(Bleep) Hole Nachos - Jerk chicken, mango salsa, shredded cheese, black beans, cilantro and then have a Quesadilla but the very smart waiter suggested he just start us with the nachos.  When we saw the size of the serving we could understand his suggestion. 
We took back half of it, although we did have seconds on the Margaritas.
We walked around some more and saw a beautiful sunset.  From our resort we've only been seeing the sunrises.

These are now our two favorite restaurants in Market Commons.