Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Teddy's Year

Last January Teddy was frolicking in the snow.
In February, Teddy enjoyed some milder temps.
March brought heavy snow which knocked down Teddy's umbrella.  She was not happy.
In April, Teddy killed the Easter bunny.
Teddy's pool was opened in May.
Serious 'bad kitty' hunting went on in June.
Teddy gardened each day in July.
Teddy spent lots of time indoors in August chillin' with the A/C.
Teddy hung with the pumpkins on the porch in September.
She got her 'witch' on in October.
She had her last drink from the pond in November.

In December she slept in the snow.

And now she is disappearing into 2014.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Cream Cheese Igloo and Olive Penguins

The Blog Tech has a holiday party to go to today so I made him some food to take to it. One of the things I made is this cheese ball.  People always get such a kick out of these.
 Plus, they are really good though no one ever seems to want to be the first one to dig into it. Make the cheese ball 1 day ahead.  Then, remove it from the refrigerator, flip it over and frost it with cream cheese.  Here is the recipe for the cheese ball:

The recipe:

  • 2 - 8 oz.packages cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup chutney (Major Grey)
  • 1/4 cup onion diced
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 cup Colby cheese shredded
  • 1/2 cup Monterrey Jack cheese shredded


  1. Mix together the cream cheese, chutney , onion, garlic, salt and pepper.
  2. Fold in the Colby and Monterrey Jack cheeses.
  3. Line a small bowl with plastic wrap and press the cheese into the bowl.
  4. Chill overnight.
  5. Turn the cheese mixture out onto a serving plate.
  6. Spread cream cheese around the cheese ball and then cover the cheese in a layer of cream cheese too.
  7. Score the cheese ball with a toothpick to resemble an igloo.

 Slice the front of a pitted black olive open and stuff it with cream cheese.  Smooth it to look like a tuxedo.  Slice a thin round of carrot, cut a wedge in it and place the stuffed olive on it.  Take another olive and cut a small slit in it and place the carrot wedge in it to look like a beak. Push a frilly toothpick through the head and down to the carrot feet to hold each penguin together.

A slice of carrot serves as the igloo's flag.  Place a few sprigs of rosemary on either side of the igloo's entrance.  I was out of rosemary so I used parsley instead.  I don't think The Blog Tech's friends will notice the difference.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Wet and Dreary Day

 If only it was cold, this would all be snow.

 A wet witch.

 It has been raining since very early this morning.

 The gardens are damp and dreary.

 The Green Man is not very happy.

 Even my wind chimes are dripping.

 Grumpy cat.

Does anyone have a tissue?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Another Day of Cooking

 A short post today because I am heading to the shelter.  I made them some loaves of fruit and nut bread.

 Some regular sandwich bread.

 Bean soup using the ham bones from the ham I made them for Christmas.

And Teddy helped!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Mushroom Soup

 Mmmmmm...mushroom soup.  Ever since I was a little girl I have loved it.  I can even eat the canned kind.

 I prefer homemade though and it is so easy to make.  Just slice up a pound or so of mushrooms.

 Put them in  a pot with 6 cups of chicken stock and a sliced onion. I can get mushroom powder here so I add a couple teaspoons of it for a richer flavor.  I also had mushroom bouillon and added 3 tablespoons of it to the pot.

 Bring it to a boil and then simmer it until the mushrooms and onions are cooked. Remove it to a blender and blend until smooth.

 In the same pot, melt a few tablespoons of butter.

 Add 1/4 cup of flour.

 Some salt and pepper.

 Whisk over medium high heat to make a roux.

 Add 1 cup of cream.

 And 1 cup of milk.

 Whisk in the pureed mushroom and warm over medium low heat.  Taste and adjust for seasoning.

Serve with a drizzle of truffle oil.  Mushroom heaven.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Coconut Curry Shrimp and Scallops Over Island Rice

This is the new recipe I made for our Christmas dinner this year.
 For the rice, I toasted 1 C. of sliced almonds in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes then set them aside to cool.

 Next, I made the curry sauce by cooking 1/2 of a diced Spanish onion and 4 diced garlic cloves in 2 T. of butter.

 Add 1 tsp. chipotle pepper, 1/2 tsp. Spanish paprika, 1/2 tsp. curry powder and cook for 1 minute.  Then add 1/3 C. of chicken broth, 2 C. coconut milk and 1/2 tsp of salt.  Cook for 15 minutes at a low boil.  Puree in a blender.

 Keep warm until ready to serve.

 You can make any kind of rice you want to.  I sauteed 1 C. of diced onion and 1 T. diced garlic in 2 T. olive oil.  Add 2 C. basmati rice and cook stirring for 1 minute. Add 3 C. of chicken stock and 2 C. of coconut milk.  Cover the pot and place in a 350 degree oven for about 50 minutes.  Remove from the oven and stir in 1/2 tsp. salt, the toasted almonds and 4 T. butter.  Stir until the butter melts.

 Season the shrimp and scallops with pepper and sea salt and brown them on one side in a bit of olive oil in a heavy skillet. Turn them over and pop the pan in the 350 degree oven for 3 minutes.  Remove them from the oven and serve them with the rice and the curry sauce.  I plated them using a ring mold and poured the sauce around the rice and then placed the seafood on top and added a bit of arugula.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Santas From Around The World

 Merry Christmas to everyone!  And in case you have yet to get your Christmas on, I give you Santas from around the world.  Enjoy!  (click on any to enlarge)