Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

It's time for our annual Halloween at Krissy's.  This year her family is dressing up as the characters from Adventure Time.  I think it's on Nick.  Or maybe it's Cartoon Network.   I don't really "get" the show, but it's a favorite of Ryan and Austin.

Here are the characters:

Ryan is the middle character with the white ears.  Aus is the dog like character.  I'm guessing Krissy is the Princess thing and Jay is the King guy.  Breslyn is the purple blob thing.

Please note that the purple thing has a star on it's forehead.  My task was to make the star for Breslyn's costume.  Here is the finished result.

Maybe tonight I'll remember all the character's names.

Happy Halloween everyone and I hope all the children on the East Coast can find a way to enjoy the day.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Wathcing Baby B

I watched Breslyn for the week-end while Daddy and Mommy went up to Mackinac Island for a half marathon.  So great to see Aunt Kelly who was visiting from Oregon too.

"B" is just a peach and such a joy although I have to say, motherhood is best saved for younger women.  (I slept so well on Sunday night which is kind of a miracle in it's self.)

She reminds me so much of her mother and I think I even see the start of that right side dimple.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

It's Freakin' 78 Degrees

It's October 25 and it's 78 degrees outside. The sun is shining and the sky is that brilliant blue you only see in Autumn.

Decided to take a walk around the yard to see what colors I could still capture.  These are all straight out of the camera.

I just did some bokeh...I just did some bokeh (mambo style).

Also managed to get 9 holes of golf in.  Yes!!  All and all, another good day in the neighborhood.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Shrimp Risotto

I made Shrimp Risotto last night for the family.  This is officially the fourth recipe from the Cuisine at Home magazine that I received in the mail.

I apologize for the mediocre photo.  I didn't bring my camera and so this is off my phone.

It was really delicious and I don't even like rice.  It was voted "make again" by all.  Only downside was that is was listed as an easy to prepare "midweek meal".  It wasn't difficult to make, but it was time consuming with multiple steps.  Might be a Friday or Saturday night dinner in the future, although if I made the Chive Gremolata that is sprinkled on top, ahead of time, it would have made things a little quicker and easier.

You will notice in the photo above that I used green beans instead of the peas listed in the recipe below.  Now while peas are probably my favorite vegetable, Krissy hates them and has been know to pick peas out of tuna noodle casserole one by one, ringing her plate with a circle of peas.  So for her...I switched it up.

Also, please note that I doubled the recipe since I was feeding 5 adults (Luke at it too!)

Shrimp Risotto
with Chive Gremolata

Shrimp Stock
1 lb medium shrimp
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup chopped leek (green portion)
9 black peppercorns
4 fresh parsley sprigs
2 bay leaves

Peel and devein shrimp, set shrimp aside.  Place shrimp shells and remaining stock ingredients in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer stock for 10 minutes.  Strain stock through a colander into a bowl; discard solids.  Return stock to pan over low heat.

1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup chopped leeks (white portion)
1 cup dry arborio rice
3/4 cup dry sherry
1 cup frozen peas
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan

Melt 2 Tbsp butter in large saute pan over medium heat.  Add leek whites, sauté 2 minutes. Stir in rice and sauté for 2 more minutes.  Do not allow rice or leeks to brown.

Deglaze pan with sherry, stirring until liquid evaporates.  Add 1/2 cup of warm stock; stir until absorbed.  Continue adding stock 1/2 cup at a time until all the stock is used and rice is tender, 20-25 minutes.

Stir in peas and shrimp, cook until shrimp are pink and firm, about 5 minutes.  Season risotto with salt, cayenne and nutmeg.  Off heat add 2 Tbsp butter and Parmesan.  Garnish with Chive Gremotla.

Chive Gremolata
3 strips thick slice bacon, diced
2 Tbsp minced chives
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp minced garlic
Salt to taste

Cook bacon in skillet until crisp.  Drain and cool.  Combine bacon with chives, parsley, zest, garlic and salt.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Homemade Caramel Sauce

I have been into making homemade caramel sauce.  I think it might be my new thing.

I had my mom up recently and was planning on making a pie for desert only to remember that oven doesn't work.  Duh!

That made for a quick dessert change.  Something that can me made on the stovetop.  I ended up making caramel.  I am working on perfecting a sauce.  So each time I make it, I try a different recipe.  Hopefully, some day soon I can post the perfect caramel sauce recipe.

This is the water and sugar boiling away.  A key to making caramel is to not touch it too much.  It doesn't need to be constantly stirred like many other sauces.

This is the finished sauce and I also made a raspberry coulis (coo-lee).  Which is basically a strained raspberry sauce.  Very smooth and very yummy.

BW just had raspberry sauce over his ice cream.  Mom just had caramel.  I had both.  Raspberry and caramel are so good together.  I think raspberry caramel is a product in my future.

I promise to share the best of the caramel recipes when I get it find tuned.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Card of the Week

Made this card for my cousin's new baby girl.  I didn't follow any inspiration, just went with it.  I'm pleased with the final product and the welcome for baby Sam.

Happy week-end everyone.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Classic Pot Roast requested here is the Pot Roast recipe.

As I mentioned recently, I received a copy of Cuisine at Home.  I wanted to evaluate a few of the recipes before making the decision to subscribe or not. I've already made the BLT Pasta.

For the second recipe I decided to make the Classic Pot Roast.  It was very good and very easy as you cook it in a slow cooker.  I guess you don't call them crock pots anymore.

(Currently, I am oven-less, so the slow cooker has become very important around here.)

My variations and comment are in italics.

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 boneless chuck roast trimmed and seasoned with salt and pepper (3-4 lbs) (I think you can use a variety of beef roasts)
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup white wine (I used red wine as I like red with beef)
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cups sliced onions
6 medium carrots peeled and cut into 2-3 inch pieces
3 large celery ribs, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme (tie to together with cooking string for easy removal)
2 bay leaves

Heat oil in large sauté pan over medium high heat.  Sear roast on all sides, about 10 minutes total.  Transfer roast to 4-6 qt slow cooker.
Stir flour into sauté pan, cook 1 minute.  (IMPORTANT:  Make sure you have enough oil/juice in the pan for the flour or it will just get lumpy.  If you need more liquid, add more oil or melt some butter in saute pan first. You need to be able to make a roux with the flour. For a 1/4 cup of flour, you will need about 1/4 cup of liquid in the pan.)
Add tomato paste and cook 1 minute.
Deglaze saute pan with wine and cook until liquid evaporates to half.  Stir in broth and Worcestershire, bringing mixture to a simmer and scraping up any brown bits.
Transfer broth mixture to the slow cooker.  Add onions, carrots, celery garlic, thyme and bay leaves.  Cover and cook until meat is fork-tender.  High setting 4-5 hours.  Low setting, 8-9 hours.  Discard thyme and bay leaves before serving.

Serve with Mashed Potatoes as the gravy is yummy.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

All I Want for Christmas...

I think I know what Ryan is going to need for Christmas.  At this rate, it will be 2 front teeth.

He also just ran the mile in 12:44.  Not bad for a 6 year old.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Welcome FALL

I completed a little fall project this week-end.  I'm so glad I was able to get something DONE.

I made a decoration for my front door to welcome FALL.

Here's how it turned out:

I'd love to show you my whole front porch fall decorations, but this is as far as I got.  Unfortunately, I have to wait until pay-day to get my mums and pumpkins.

I got the idea for this from another blog.  I swear I pinned it on Pinterest, but now I can't find it.  I would love to give credit to the originator, so if any of my regular readers recall seeing this somewhere, please let me know in the comments.

I can tell you that the original was far better than mine and she had the ribbons going over the top of the door and securing somehow on the other side.  It was a very cool look, but I couldn't figure out how adhere the ribbons to the door without putting holes in the door.  I came up with the idea to hang the ribbon from a wooden bar instead.

I very happy with how it turned out and both the girls noticed it right away when the stopped over.

So...Happy Fall