Weekend Roundup ~ 22 September 2014

Depending on which ever way the wind blows, our days here in the Truckee Meadows either start off looking like this:

Morning smoke from the King Fire in Pollock Pines, CA.

Morning smoke from the King Fire in Pollock Pines, CA.

Or, yesterday’s sunrise pre-settling of smoke:

Canada geese flying by Sunday morning ~ 21 Sept 2014

Canada geese flying by Sunday morning ~ 21 Sept 2014

As of this morning, the King fire has burnt 87,592 acres and is only 18% contained. Come on Mom Nature! Bring them some rain already!

Friday I took 4 hours of annual leave and stopped off for some canning jars as I had mustard seeds soaking in some Sierra Nevada 2014 Beer Camp West Coast Double IPA.

I adapted a recipe I saw using Guinness Stout:

In a glass bowl add the following: 1 cup yellow mustard seed, .5 cup of brown mustard seed, 12 oz IPA or dark beer, 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 2-3 tsp of sea or kosher salt, 1 tsp coarse ground pepper, 1/4 tsp each of cloves, nutmeg and allspice. You can add turmeric for yellow coloring, but I didn’t use it. Let it sit on the counter, covered, for two days. I stirred it before going to work and then when I got home. Plop it all into a blender or food processor and grind away until you get it how you like it…I added a bit more beer to get it the thickness I liked. Pour into your canning jars and hot bath process for 10 minutes. Being at a higher altitude I processed mine for 20 minutes total.

Beer Mustard in the making.

Beer Mustard in the making.

10 4-oz jars of Sierra Nevada Beer Mustard.

10 4-oz jars of Sierra Nevada Beer Mustard.

I also stopped off at the Sparks Windy Moon Quilts shop to buy a yard of white on white fabric to start a wall hanging quilt. While there I bought the September’s Fat 8th to make a Building Blocks To The Moon in support of ovarian cancer research.

You donate $1 and then you receive a Fat 8th of focus fabric (September’s is a multi-colored Autumn leaf fabric). You then make a 12.5″ block using the fabric, a selected colored fabric by the store (brick red this time) and any fabrics from your stash. Turn in the block by noon of the last day of the month. Both stores are participating in the challenge…anyone who made a block will have their names entered into a drawing where one of us will end up with all the blocks.

I had saved a Mini Medallion tutorial and thought the center block of that would make a great block for that fabric.

My entry to Building Blocks To The Moon…September 2014.

My entry to Building Blocks To The Moon…September 2014.

After finishing up the challenge block, I got my Kate Spain’s Solstice layer cake out and Lori Holt’s tutorial for a Scrappy Cross Roads Block.

Then on Saturday morning, after shooshing my husband out the door for his half day of overtime, brewing a cup of chai latte, I settled in with my pretty winter Solstice fabric. I have four blocks all sewn together, now will put a border or two on it.

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Winter Solstice Cross Roads

Winter Solstice Cross Roads

Sneak peak at an upcoming post ~

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A Monday Ramble ~ 18 March 2013

Just a few rambles for this March Monday ~ 18 March 2013

I decided to finish my Denyse Schmidt quilt I started a month ago. Started out with a pile of charms I received from a Denyse Schmidt Charm Swap and with a few cuts from my own stash I went from this:

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To a 60″x72″ quilt top ready to be sandwiched, quilted and bound.

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But first I must wait to spring my new machine out of layaway prison (should anyone have any money burning a hole in their pocket…she’s sitting at Windy Moon Quilts! 😉 ).

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Last week on Facebook I saw this MEYER LEMON LOAF recipe on Mennonite Girls Can Cook.

Oh My Word! It’s very tasty! My husband and I have almost polished off one loaf…I stuck the other on in the freezer.

My loaf isn’t as pretty as theirs…the pan I used was a bit bigger than what they suggested. Use the smaller loaf pan, it’ll look bigger. LOL!

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Over the weekend we went to SWAN LAKE, in Lemmon Valley, to see if we could spy any birds. I walked along the Marsh boardwalk, but it was sorta of disappointing. Besides the sparrows and finches…we saw Mallards, Northern Harriers and Canada Geese. That’s it. I’ve been there before when there were quite a few swans and other water fowl.

Canada Geese

Canada Geese

Such a pretty birdie.

Such a pretty birdie.

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

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Headed up to Frenchman’s Lake too…we like the little day area below the dam.

Creek below Frenchman's Lake.

Creek below Frenchman’s Lake.

Slushy ice behind the dam.

Slushy ice behind the dam.

Older guy fishing.  Looked like everyone was pulling out some fish that day.

Older guy fishing. Looked like everyone was pulling out some fish that day.

Irish Creme Brownies

I made up some brownies for a St. Patrick’s Day luncheon, thought I’d share the recipe. This recipe makes 16 brownies.

Irish Creme Brownies

Ingredients:

4 oz semisweet chocolate (I used one Ghiradelli baking bar)
1/2 cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-3/4 cup flour
3 eggs
1/2 cup Irish Creme (plus some for the glaze)
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar (for glaze)

Preheat your oven to 350F. Spray an 8″x8″ square baking dish with cooking oil spray.

In a medium or large bowl melt chocolate and butter (make-shift double boiler) over medium-high heat.

Once all melted, take off heat, stir in sugar and let it cool down a bit.

In a measuring cup or small bowl beat eggs senseless. Stir in Irish cream and beat again. In another measuring cup/bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

Once your chocolate mixture has cooled a bit add the egg/creme mixture and then beat in the flour mixture until well blended.

Pour batter into the baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.

Cool then slice.

Place your brownies onto a serving dish and then mix 1/2 cup of powdered sugar with enough Irish cream to make a drizzle…take a spoon and drizzle away! Add green sprinkles.

New Recipe to try ~ Stuffed chicken rolls with mushrooms and onions

Ok…originally it was Stuffed VEAL, but I don’t eat veal so I switched to chicken. Pork would be great too! 🙂

The Sunday’s issue of the Reno Gazette Journal has an insert on What’s For Dinner Tonight? Last Sunday, March 4th, had a yummy looking recipe for Stuffed Veal Rolls with mushrooms and onions. But as I said above, I don’t eat veal so changed it to chicken and next time I’ll try pork chops.

First I’ll give the original recipe and then my substitutions.

Ingredients:

4 thin veal cutlets, about 2 ounces each
1 slice of bread, diced small
2 TBSP freshly grated Parmesan
2 TBSP chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, basil or oregano (optional)
1 tsp coarsely ground Italian seasoning
1/2 TBSP butter
1/2 Cup chopped red onion
1 Cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 TBSP olive oil

Place veal between sheets of waxed paper and pound to 1/8-inch thickness. Mix crumbled bread, Parmesan and herbs in a medium bowl. Sprinkle mixture on each cutlet, then roll and secure with toothpicks. Sprinkle with italian seasoning. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and mushrooms; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Move vegetables to the sides. Pour oil in skillet and let heat for about 30 seconds, cook veal rolls, turning often, about 12 minutes or until all sides are evenly browned and rolls register 145 degrees on a meat thermometer. Serves 4.

MY VERSION ~

I used 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts…cut filet style then SMASH SMASH SMASH with a hammer. 🙂 Boy that really feels good.
1 slice of whole wheat bread, crumbled
1/4-1/3 Cup shredded Italian cheese mix (had in frig so used it)
1 tsp EACH of dried oregano, thyme, and Italian flat-leaf parsley (dried from my garden)
1/2 Cup red onion and 1/2 Cup yellow onion
1-1/2 Cup of sliced mushrooms
1/4 Cup plain panko crumbs, plus some for sprinkling over the chicken rolls as they go into the skillet.

I smashed the chicken pieces and then peppered them. In a small bowl I mixed the whole wheat bread, dried herbs, cheese and 1/4 cup panko crumbs…then placed on chicken and rolled, secured.

The rest is the same…only I used 1 TBSP of butter with the veggies as I used more and 1 TBSP olive oil. I cooked the veggies a little longer as I like them caramelized. 🙂 The chicken didn’t take long to cook.

This comes together really fast! Enjoy with a salad or whatever else floats your boat!

Two New Recipes to Try ~

I love trying new recipes…or, just throwing stuff together from the pantry/frig.

Am going to share two of them, one from our local newspaper on 29 January 2012 ~ Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs. I’ll give you their ingredients and then my extras that I added.

1 small (1.5 pounds) spaghetti squash
1/2 cup water
6 ounces lean ground turkey
1 slice whole wheat bread
1 egg
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups marinana sauce
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Chopped fresh oregano

Cut squash in half lengthwise. Place cut side down in microwave safe dish with lid. Add water and seal the lid. Cook on high 8 minutes. Meanwhile, chop bread into tiny dice. In a large bowl, combine turkey, bread crumbs, egg and seasoning. Use your hands to mix well and shape into 2 inch balls. Remove squash from microwave and set aside to cool. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add meatballs and cook, turning often, until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Add sauce and reduce heat to low. When squash is cool enough to handle, remove and discard seeds, then use a fork to scrape out the stringy flesh. Add 3 cups squash to the pan with sauce and meatballs, toss well. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and oregano.

(NO PICTURES – sorry…we dug in and ate it all before I realized I didn’t get any pictures)

MY VERSION of above ~

My squash was pretty dang big. Probably 10″ in length so I cut in quarters, put them flesh down into a pie tin with some water and stuck it in the oven at 450F for 30 minutes. (Not big with microwave)

I mixed 20-oz package of ground turkey with 2 eggs, 1 cup of brown rice (had in the frig from another meal), 3 pieces of Milton’s Multi-grained bread, 1 tsp each of dried oregano, thyme, Italian parsley (from my garden). My mixture made up 20 2″ meatballs…I put them on parchment paper/cookie tin and stuck them in the frig until the squash was done. Scoop the squash into a bowl once cooked.

In a large fry pan I heated up 1 TBSP olive oil and cooked all 20 meatballs (covered)…definitely took longer than 7 minutes. 🙂 Once browned and cooked through I put them on a paper plate and added 1/2 of the spaghetti squash (freeze the other half). Then I made a ring and put 8 meatballs (I froze the rest to use later…even 8 was too many for two of us) into the middle of the squash and poured about 1 cup of my own tomato-basil based sauce over the meatballs, covered to let heat throughout.

Serve with a nice salad…with shaved parmesan over it ALL. 🙂

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Thai Chicken Pizza (at least my version of it)

I use Pioneer Woman’s basic pizza dough…1/2 teaspoon of yeast over 3/4 cup warm water (in a measuring cup). Mix 2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Pour in water/yeast and mix. Put in an oiled bowl, cover and let rest for 1-3 hours (if you don’t use it that day it can be kept in the frig for 3 days)

I cut up 2 chicken breasts and put them in a fry pan with a couple of teaspoons of peanut oil and a few splashes of sesame oil…with some fresh ground pepper. Once cooked through I put chicken in a bowl and added about 1/4 cup of Peanut Satay Sauce, set aside.

I shredded 2 carrots, sliced 3 green onions, sliced about 1/2 cup of mushrooms, 1/4 cup of red pepper.

Chopped up about 4 TBSP of unsalted peanuts.

Shredded 1 cup of Pepper Jack cheese and 1 cup Mozzarella.

Heat oven to 500F. Spray a large cookie tin with oil (unless you have a pizza stone)…roll out the dough nice and thin and plop on the cookie tin.

Spread out the rest of the jar of Peanut sauce, then add 1/2 of cheese. Next layer on the chicken, veggies, rest of cheese and top with peanuts.

Stick in oven for 10-15 minutes, slice and serve. I like to shake on crushed red peppers.

Thanksgiving Quiche and Winter Squash Bisque Recipes

I’m in a group of twelve women, at work, that meet once a month for a potluck lunch. It was my turn as the ring-leader today. I did some searching online to find a few different items that I could make to add with a salad, rolls and dessert. I found a Thanksgiving Quiche from Hillbilly Housewife (is that a cool name or what?) that uses stuffing for the crust of the Quiche! It was a HUGE hit! Also great for all those leftovers from Thanksgiving.

I pretty much followed her recipe and used the following:

3 cups cornbread stuffing with one egg for crust
layered 1 cup of chopped cooked turkey breast
1.5 cups of shredded swiss, cheddar and Monterrey cheese
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup of sliced green onions
then mixed up 4 eggs with 1 cup of non-fat half and half

I wanted to make a soup/bisque to add with the Quiche. Couldn’t really find one that sounded “great” so I combined a few recipes with some ingredients I had on-hand. This recipe served 16 people with small bowls…so if you have nice size bowls at home, 8-10 people would be a good guess.

Winter Squash Bisque

1 Butternut squash, quartered and seeded
1 Acorn squash, halved and seeded
1 large Sweet Potato, halved and wrapped in foil
4 large carrots, chopped (leave skin on)

Place squash upside down in a roasting pan with water in it…throw in the potato and carrots too. Roast in a 425F oven for 45 minutes.

In a stock pot saute, in 1/4-1/2 cup of butter, the following:

2-3 green apples, peeled cored and chopped
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
4-5 stocks celery, chopped
Fresh Ginger, shredded (I used one the size of my thumb…2″ long?)

Add scooped out squash meat, carrots and sweet potato. Cover with 6+ cups of either veggie or chicken stock. Bring to boil then simmer for 30 minutes.

I don’t have a large food processor nor an immersion blender…so the whole kit n’ kaboodle went into my blender, which took me a bit longer to smash everything together. Once I got it all smooth I added my spices:

1-2 teaspoons of Cayenne Pepper
1 teaspoon of Nutmeg
1 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
LOTS of Fresh ground pepper

It all goes back into the pot to simmer until it’s time to eat. You can add more stock until it’s as thin or thick as you want it to be. This is pretty creamy without cream or milk…but you could add some Almond Milk if you’d like.

Jalapeno Popper Egg Rolls

At Wooster High School’s all-class reunion earlier this month I had a jalapeno popper in wonton skins…they were delish! Didn’t have any wonton skins at home, but I did have egg roll wraps, jalapenos and Neufchatel cheese.

First I roasted the peppers under the broiler, skinned, de-ribbed and seed, then diced them. Mix the peppers with one package of Neufchatel cheese.

Take a spoonful of the mixture and put it in the center of the skin, fold up and tug snug, then flip over the two sides. Add water or egg to the top part and roll up.

Put them on a a cookie tin lined with parchment paper…stick them in the freezer for about 20 minutes to set up.

Brush lightly with olive oil and place in a 400F oven for 10 minutes. Or you can fry them.

I used 9 big ole fat jalapenos…me thinks I should have used two packages of cheese with all of those peppers! Mouth is a bit warm. 🙂