Archive for January, 2016

Two Little Eaglets!

Two Little Eaglets!

Sound the trumpets! They are hatched and they are sooooo cute! Poor Harriet has covered and fed them for the last 24  hours and it has really rained, very hard at times.  Below is the stat for the current time.  She left the nest briefly to bring a fish and booted “HIM” out so she could feed and continue to keep her babies warm.

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Currently On The Nest:
 

An amazing fact is that while watching these eagles….they look a bit small…when in actuality their foot with claws are about the size of a human hand. I find myself “listening” to the video while I work around the kitchen….and if I hear Harriet screech or the babies chirp, I rush over to take a look and they are so fascinating to watch.

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At this time, Harriet has let M15 take over keeping the little ones warm.  I apologize for the quality of the pics … the top photo is Harriet on the left and M15 on the top right. They are ready to switch out the baby sitting.  The two eaglets named E7 and E8 are in the center.  There is a fish carcass to the right and near the top of the pic.  The second photo is of M15 sitting on the nest. Harriet is currently sitting on a branch above waiting to take off and stretch her wings and of course find more food.  She will come back and she and M15 will switch places again. 

Currently On The Nest:
 

The babies appear to be healthy and if you care to watch…this is the link:

 http://dickpritchettrealestate.com/eagle-feed.html

But I must warn you, it is addictive. 🙂  There are over 1600 viewers watching at this time from all over the world.

Speaking of keeping warm….we had a low temperature this morning of 56 degrees and a cool breeze so other animals are trying to stay warm.  The below pic is of the warm waters of the Power Plant and the numerous manatees that congregate there.  This is a wonderful place for people to get an up close and personal view of these huge creatures.

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There is lots to see and do in Florida….I hope you, my dear readers get a chance to visit sometime.

Have a Blessed day!

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Chalking Isn’t Just For Blackboards Anymore…

Chalking Isn’t Just For Blackboards Anymore…

A couple days ago, I looked at my sweet little Pomeranian, and realized he was overdue for a grooming. If you follow me, you will know that I have the greatest little dog….Jesse James!  His name was decided because he was like a little bandit….he stole our hearts! I love animals and this little guy is definitely a  P.O.M.S…..a piece of my soul. 

I usually have a set schedule for his grooming appointments, but there are times when I forget to make an appointment or we get busy and…well, you know how that goes, right?

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When Jesse’s feet start looking like elf shoes (pointy fur pieces at the ends of his paws),  I realize he is way overdue for a grooming. The pic above and below were taken while Jesse and I were waiting and watching outside for the Captain to come home! His expression seems to say….“so, when is he going to get home”?

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Luckily, I can go online and make his appointments.  I just fill out which groomer I prefer (Susan) and what I want to have done,  BUT….this time I actually started reading all the choices available, including  bath preferences, ear cleaning, nail clipping, teeth brushing, head chalking and…. WHAT? head chalking?? “Whaaaat is Thaaaat?” I said out loud to no one but myself.  I had never heard that term before and I really should have guessed because as I read further, I saw that tail chalking and paw chalking were also choices…along with pastel colors.

Ohhhhhh, now I understood. This is where the groomer uses a special pet chalk mixed with a bit of water and applies the color to your pet.

Below are a few examples of the many choices available for white poms.

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This combination would be a bit like the Kansas City Chiefs Football Team colors.

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And this would certainly work for the Kansas City Royals Baseball team and the Kansas Jayhawks Basketball team colors.

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This paw color would be great for  just that little touch of color without going overboard.

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Or perhaps you might like to have your dog look like a fox?

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If you don’t really want color and your dog likes braids, this is an option!

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Or, your little Pom could have most of his fur removed and he could look like this little bear.

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Color is not restricted to Pomeranian, Only Daughter has cocker spaniels….she could choose to color her dog’s tails…or ears!

Wow!  So many options.  

So, I did what any fur baby mother would do…..I picked Jesse up in my arms and showed him the pictures to see which one he liked the best.

And this is what he chose…..

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His usual cut for our warm Florida weather….nothing special, no frills and certainly no colors…  and that is just fine with me.

My dear readers, what are your thoughts on chalking?  Is it just me or do some of those “chalked” dogs look a bit sad?

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Steaming Tea, Warm Donuts and Me!

Steaming Tea, Warm Donuts and Me!

My friends…..there is nothing better on a cold, snowy, Winter day OR……. a sunny, relaxing day by the pool! Contradiction?  Not really!

I mean it just doesn’t get any better, does it?

Picture this:  Take a deep breath and close your eyes and imagine a plate of warm, maple-spice donuts and that wonderful maple glaze with just a hint of maple syrup oozing down the rounded sides of the donuts.  Come On Now!!!!!…..and your favorite drink cradled in your hands.

Yep! these are simple delicious and you can make them in just a few minutes. 

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I have to admit that when I bought my donut pan several years ago, I hesitated….I was hearing the adage…..do not buy any gadget, if it can only be used for one purpose.  And that really does make sense….  to most people……, but not to me.   No, I can convince myself that I will use it for numerous other things and so I made the purchase and took the plunge. Granted, I do not use my donut pan every day…but it was relatively in-expensive, and I have used it quite a few times….mostly for donuts, but I have used it as a jello mold, and to make little donut shaped cakes and once I used it for donut shaped ice cubes in a punch bowl….a long story for another time.

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Back to donuts….you must make these donuts if you want to have a snack just a little bit different and very quick to whip up.  Actually, I made several batches of the easy to make cake donuts (each batch makes 6 donuts)….I put thinner and thicker glazes before deciding that I like the thinner glaze.  I added a bit more maple syrup to thin the glaze a bit more….but your choice.

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The handy dandy printable recipe is below….try it or make it your own with the addition of ingredients you love.

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I’m sorry if you are shoveling snow or chopping wood for the fire or…..perhaps you are sitting by the pool in Florida…and no, sitting by the pool in Florida isn’t something to be sorry for. 🙂  But take a break and have yourself a home made cake donut!  I am sure you already have the ingredients in your pantry.

What is that?  Oh, got to go!  There is another maple donut calling my name, and my tea kettle is singing to me, telling me my water is ready for that cup of steaming hot tea!  

ummmmmmm…nothing better!

Enjoy your Wednesday!

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Glazed Maple-Spice Donuts
Serves 6
I have gone for a long time without donuts in my life....but suddenly, I want donuts! I love maple donuts and long johns and donuts and cinnamon rolls and donuts and....well, you get the picture and these donuts are so easy and taste delicious.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup butter
  2. 1 cup cake flour
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  6. 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  7. 1/2 cup sour cream
  8. 1/8 cup of milk
  9. 1 large egg
  10. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Glaze
  1. 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  2. 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  3. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and apply cooking spray to your donut pan.
  2. Melt the butter, set aside to cool.
  3. In a bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice and salt and set aside. (I use my measuring cup and a fork)
  4. In a small bowl, add the melted butter, sour cream, milk, egg, vanilla and sugar. (I used another of my measuring cups) Mix until smooth.
  5. At this point, you will add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until well combined.
  6. Spoon the mixture (it will be a bit stiff) into a quart sized plastic bag. Cut the tip off the corner, and pipe the batter carefully into each donut mold. (It is easier to put your plastic bag in a bowl first (or large measuring cup) and pour/spoon the batter from your bowl into your bag.
  7. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the top springs back from the touch. (do not over bake or they will be dry) The sides should be just starting to turn color.
  8. Remove from oven to cooling rack and glaze immediately.
For the glaze
  1. In a flat bowl or deep plate...combine the butter, maple syrup and powdered sugar, gently mixing until smooth
  2. Dip the donuts (or spread with a knife) into the glaze going half way up the donut....unless you want to drop the whole donut in the glaze....your call.
  3. Grab a cup of hot tea or coffee and enjoy
Notes
  1. The trick to not spilling donut batter all over your donut baking pan is to use a plastic bag with the end cut off....it makes the perfect pouring spout and you pan won't have little round mints of dough or streaks of really brown donut. You know what I am talking about here my friends. 🙂
  2. If you prefer not to have your donut taste of spice....just omit the pumpkin pie spice and nutmeg, then the donut will be more like a vanilla cake donut...also substitute milk and vanilla for the maple syrup if you prefer a vanilla glaze
  3. I like a thinner glaze so I added a bit more maple syrup to the glaze mixture and put it on the donuts as they came from the oven.
Me and My Captain http://www.meandmycaptain.com/

New Mexico Green Chile Empanadas!

New Mexico Green Chile Empanadas!

I was talking to my sister-in-law last week about Empanadas. She makes some of the best Mexican food ever!  Seriously!

I always tease her that her fridge looks better than any produce stand because she seems to have everything she needs for making just about any Mexican dish.  It also helps that she grew up in New Mexico. She and her family are Spanish and well, that should tell you that when I lived in New Mexico….I sat at her kitchen table and took it all in as I watched her deftly make all kinds of Mexican food.  I have shared some of her recipes here on this Blog and all I can say is Thank you Sis…..and even though my late husband is no longer with us….my brother-in-law’s wife will always be my Sis.

But let’s talk Empanadas!

The origin of the Empanada is said to be a valley in Spain! But Empanadas can be found in Portugal, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Philippines, and are essentially a stuffed pastry.  The name comes from the Spanish verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread.  Usually the Empanada is made by folding a thin circular-shaped dough over on itself after filling with a mixture of choice….thus, creating its typical semicircular shape. An Italian Calzone is similar to the Spanish Empanada and there are many, many forms of this filled pastry.  Some have said that the Argentinian Empanadas,  are the best in the world. I have not been to Argentina so I can not speak for their Empanadas but I can speak for the New Mexico Empanada….and they are delish no matter what filling you use. I just like these little hand held, light and fluffy pastries loaded with green chiles, meat and cheese!

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I have made Empanadas using only fresh spices and pulled beef,  but for these quick pastries, I used a taco seasoning mix, ground turkey and a refrigerated pie crust as well as the Empanada wrappers.

So let’s get started making Empanadas ….after all, it is almost Super Bowl time and even if my team did not make the cut….the Captain and I will be glued to the Television on Super Bowl Sunday.  I mean it is super bowl 50!  How amazing is that? 

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I have to tell you that I saw the cutest football shaped cakes at my favorite bakery and I thought football shapes are so easy to do, so why not do a football shaped Empanada?  So  just for grins and giggles, I used my easter egg cookie cutter to get the football shape going.  Then I stretched the pie dough on one end to assimilate a football.  

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I have to confess that I preferred the conventional half moon shape of the Empanada with the actual wrapper.  The Empanada wrappers can be bought in the freezer section of your supermarket and you only take out what you need.  The plus for me was the bigger shape of the Empanada wrappers, as I was able to fill them a bit fuller than my “egg shaped football”.  If I had more time, I would have taken the time to actually use a cardboard template or a regular football cookie cutter, but they definitely needed to be a bit larger than the ones I made. A larger version would be great for Super Bowl Sunday. 

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The recipe below is simple and easy.  I started out with ground turkey, onions and garlic.  I took a shortcut and used a package of taco seasoning but I prefer to use the cumin, cilantro etc from my spice cabinet. I added a can of green enchilada sauce and chopped green chiles. At the end I added in about a cup of grated cheese and that was my filling for the Empanadas.  A nice, green chile based filling.

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Below is the handy dandy printable recipe and it is for you to decide your preference for fillings.  Some suggestions would be beef roast, pork roast, ground beef, chicken or a strictly veggie filling. What ever floats your boat. 😉

Have a great week!

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New Mexico Green Chile Empanadas
This is a wonderful way to have pastries filled with your favorite filling. They are light and flaky and super easy to make.... and when you bite down into the tasty filling....Yummy!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  2. 1 # lb ground turkey or chicken
  3. 1 cup diced onion
  4. 2 large minced garlic cloves
  5. 1 package of taco seasoning
  6. 1 small can (4 oz) chopped green chiles
  7. 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  8. 1 can (10oz) Green Enchilada Sauce
  9. 1 cup shredded Cheddar or your favorite cheese
  10. 1 package of Empanada Wrappers (or you can use pie crust)
  11. 1 beaten egg with 1 tsp water to use for sealing the little pastries
Instructions
  1. In a heavy skillet, brown the ground turkey with the onions and garlic (be sure to stir frequently to break up the turkey)
  2. Add the package of taco seasoning and the green chiles
  3. Mix well, cooking for about 5 minutes
  4. Add the can of green enchilada sauce and when it is incorporated, add the grated cheese
  5. Set aside
  6. Lay out the circular Empanada wrappers and fill the centers with about a tablespoon of filling (I used an ice cream scoop for exact amounts)
  7. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the outer edges of the circle
  8. Using your fingers, fold over the inner edge to meet the outer edge and press with a fork to seal
  9. Place the Empanadas on a lightly greased cookie sheet or parchment paper and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned
  10. Remove to a cooling rack until ready to serve
Notes
  1. You can make Guacamole, pica de gallo or a sour cream based sauce if desired. Or you can just pick them up and eat like a cookie.
Me and My Captain http://www.meandmycaptain.com/

Harriet and….HIM!

Harriet and….HIM!

My dear readers….it is time to talk about HIM! If you have followed the world famous Eagles, Ozzie and Harriet on my Blog, or in the news…you will know that Ozzie died a few months ago. 

You can catch up with the links below if you missed any of the drama leading up to this event….The Circle of Life explaining the death of this beautiful Eagle.

The Circle of Life….

He’s Baaaaack! Ozzie That Is!!!

Latest Bits and Pieces….

Eagle Cam and Ozzie and Harriet

They Are Certainly Faithful!

 This N’ That

 Sunsets VS Snow

Read more »

Grandma’s Biscuits

My dear readers,…I do love biscuits.  I love them so much that I have several recipes right on this blog with different variations.  But I have to confess, that I love my Grandma’s Biscuits most of all….and I believe one of the reasons they are so good is because they are so easy.  There are recipes similar to Grandma’s….and I imagine there are many grandmothers who have adapted recipes much like this one.

I do like the Brookville Hotel Biscuit mixture using flour and shortening and the easy breezy 7-up Biscuits which incorporates 7-up into the batter…But it is Grandma’s Biscuits that I make at my house.  My Twins love Biscuits and Gravy and when they are here…they want Grandma’s Biscuits too….altho now they call them Mom’s Biscuits!

The ingredients are simple and I used to watch Grandma make these just before she started frying the bacon and cutting up the hash brown potatoes in the early morning hours. Her kitchen was the warmest room in the house and the aromas coming from that small room on the back of her house, set the wheels in place for my love of cooking and baking. The wonderful memories that I have are a treasure that is stored in my memory chest.

You see, my Grandma made a big breakfast every single day and made sure that Grandpa was off to work with plenty of energy to ward off the cold winter air.  If and when my Grandpa had his favorite Grape Nuts cereal for breakfast…the cereal was in addition to the eggs, bacon or sausage or ham, potatoes and of course biscuits or home made bread.  And juice.  I loved that she always had grape juice or apple juice…. as well as orange and grapefruit juice. As I have said in previous posts….both of my grandmothers canned e-v-e-r-y t-h-i-n-g!

I have to smile because I really don’t know how Grandma did it with such a small work space. Her kitchen table doubled as a counter top and she could make the biscuits, clear the mess (which wasn’t really anything but a wooden bowl and a pie pan) and have the table set up for breakfast quicker than I could even think about it. 🙂

I miss my Grandma and I think of her every time I make something that came from her kitchen.  I know these ingredients by memory….soooooo good and fool proof.

Grandma's Biscuits

Below is the biscuit recipe that I am sure you will want in your recipe file because it is so much better than the canned biscuits from the super market.  

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There are just 4 ingredients….well, five if you count the all purpose flour.  

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You see you start out with self-rising flour and add a bit of sugar and then you grate frozen (or very cold )butter….and stir that in well….using only a wooden spoon.  

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And then, you add the buttermilk and mix until all the flour is incorporated.  Place golf ball size (or the size you prefer) into a all purpose flour to just coat (lightly) and then place each biscuit into a buttered baking pan or dish.

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Bake for 20-25 minutes at 425 degrees, remove from oven and top with melted butter and transfer to the oven again for about 5 more minutes until golden.  Now, you can smooth the tops of the biscuits if you pat them a bit more to smooth, but I like them like Grandma made hers…..very rustic looking and very delicious, light and fluffy.

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Now how simple is that? Are you making biscuits this morning for breakfast? 😉

Below is the handy dandy printable recipe.

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Grandma's...Now Mom's Biscuits
I have made this recipe so many times that I have memorized each step. It is quick and really easy....no kneading or rolling or cutting of the biscuits.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 1/3 cup of self rising flour
  2. 7-8 teaspoons of sugar
  3. 1 stick of frozen or very cold butter
  4. 1 1/3 cup of buttermilk
  5. about a cup of all purpose flour for "dusting"
  6. melted butter
Instructions
  1. Place self-rising flour in a large bowl (grandma always used a wooden bowl)
  2. Add the sugar and mix well
  3. Add the butter by using a food grater...grating into the bowl.
  4. mix well before adding the buttermilk
  5. Mix the buttermilk into the flour and butter mixture until the dough doesn't cling to the side of the bowl
  6. Sprinkle the all purpose flour in a pie pan or other plate or bowl and scoop out the sticky dough and lay on the flour. Pick up the dough and lightly coat with the flour and place each biscuit into a well buttered baking pan or iron skillet.
  7. Bake in a 425 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and brush the tops with melted butter being sure to let the butter ooze down the sides of the biscuits.
  9. Place in the oven for about 5 minutes more.
  10. Remove from oven and cover with a kitchen towel until ready to serve
Notes
  1. If you don't have buttermilk, you can put 1 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice into whole milk and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
  2. You can make the biscuits any size you like....and as close as you like in your pan. If you like crispy edges....place each biscuit about 1/2 inch apart. I like to squeeze my biscuits into the pan touching each other because I like light and flaky and soft rather than crispy edges.
Me and My Captain http://www.meandmycaptain.com/

Crock Pot Magic

My dear readers, I don’t know what I would do without my slow cooker or crockpot….I love to throw ingredients in the pot and smell the magic as the food cooks.

It just smells so good and every one who enters my home….comments on how good it smells and I think they usually hint around for an invitation…altho all those who know me….know one does not need an invitation to any meal cooked on these premises. 

Example: this Teriyaki Beef…..you see, it is raining today and kind of cool outside….actually, a cold front is moving in…but I digress. Back to the smells of food…..a contractor came in to give me an estimate on a glass partition for one of the guest baths. …and he asked what I was cooking and then he commented (at least 3 other times) as to how good this slow cooking flank steak  smelled.  He mentioned the cold sandwich he had in his lunch bag…. and so I offered to make him a care package to take with him.  He politely declined, but I know he left here, kicking himself for not taking me up on my offer.  I know you know just what I am talking about.  The slow cooker foods smell delicious for the longest time as they simmer and soak up the liquids in the pot.

A few posts ago, I showed you how I choose a paint color for projects in and around the house.  This goes along with my  planning a small make-over for the guest bath and I will share my step processes with you as I go along….but today we are talking the best tasting beef smothered in a most wonderful ginger sauce.  All you have to do is whip up a little rice and a salad and this lunch or dinner is complete.

The ingredients are simple and by using a cut of beef that can sometimes be tough….this recipe makes it buttery tender. I just love the smell of freshly grated ginger and the sauce is perfect as is but you can certainly tailor it to your liking. 

On days such as today…if one is still feeling a bit under the weather….(see yesterday’s post) and the rain is pelting against the windows….this is a perfect meal.

I love Slow Cookers…..don’t you?

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Teriyaki Beef Over Rice
Throw all the ingredients into the crock pot or slow cooker and dinner is served. Yummy!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 pounds of flank steak, cut into thin strips
  2. ¼ cup cornstarch
  3. 2 tablespoons sesame oil or peanut oil or olive oil, your choice
  4. 1 tablespoons minced garlic
  5. 1 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger
  6. 1/2 teaspoon of red chili flakes (more if you like spicy)
  7. 1 cup of low sodium soy sauce
  8. 1/2 cup of water
  9. 3/4 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
  10. 1 cup grated carrot
  11. sesame seeds and/or green onions for garnish
Instructions
  1. Make sure you cut across the grain as this will make the flank steak more tender.
  2. Place cornstarch in a plastic baggie and add the strips of flank steak.
  3. Seal and shake to evenly coat each strip (you can also use a small paper bag).
  4. To the Slow Cooker, add the oil, garlic, ginger, chili flakes, soy sauce, water, brown sugar and carrots stirring to combine and then add the flank steak, being sure to coat all the steak slices with the sauce.
  5. Cover the crock pot with the lid and allow to cook on low for about 4 hours (high for 2 hours)...meat should be tender and cooked through.
  6. To serve, use cooked rice or noodles of your choice.
  7. Garnish with sesame seeds if desired and thinly sliced scallions or green onions
Notes
  1. You can use the boil in a bag rice if you don't want to cook the rice. This makes it a quick meal once you are home from shopping or work. Add a green salad....yummers!
Me and My Captain http://www.meandmycaptain.com/

Under the Weather….

Isn’t that a funny phrase?  We all know what it means….but I wanted to know why we use that phrase…..and by the way, I am a bit under the weather today…So without further ado….lets examine this phraseology…. and below is what I found. 

This phrase possibly has nautical or seafaring origins. Commenting on the origins of this expression, a website called The Phrase Finder mentions that in the old days, when a sailor was feeling seasick, “he was sent down below to help his recovery, under the deck and away from the weather.”

According to another source, a book called Salty Dog Talk: The Natuical Origins of Everyday Expressions, by Bill Beavis (Author) and Micahel Howorth (Author), it says the following regarding this phrase: “To feel ill. Originally it meant to feel seasick or to be adversely affected by bad weather.” It goes on to say: “The term is correctly ‘under the weather bow’ which is a gloomy prospect; the weather bow is the side upon which all the rotten weather is blowing.”
 
The earliest recording that I could find of the idiom is from the newspaper Jeffersonville Daily Evening News, 1835, and it says:
‘I own Jessica is somewhat under the weather to-day, figuratively and literally,’ said the gentleman, amusedly, giving a glance at the lady over in the corner.”
 
 
Apparently, A phrase’s origins are unclear a lot of the time….well, most of the time I am finding….so it is difficult to actually find the origin for every phrase or idiom. 
 
Also, remember that just because you see a saying in an old book or newspaper, let’s say from the year 1893, it does not mean the saying originates from that source. If this phrase has already found a place in a book or newspaper….chances are the phrase is a lot older and is commonly known.  
 
So, I say all that to say this. I had to go to the dentist a few days ago because of a tooth that had broken off while eating toast!  Yep! a simple piece of toast.
 
My dentist recommended me to an oral surgeon for removal ….as it was now a two sided tooth with an expensive crown missing.  We don’t even want to discuss the outcome of the crown!  At the time of the toast, all I remember was a chunk of something in my mouth (besides toast)….and I politely wiped my mouth “holdings”out and into my napkin….as we were dining out with guests!  I did not want to open the napkin to reveal ground up toast or whatever else was there, so I tucked it away onto my plate.
 
Hence….the removal of the tooth and insertion of a titanium implant (I feel like the Bionic Woman) and many stitches later and I am definitely under the weather. All I want to do is sleep and pop pills. That is probably the result of no food….well, I can have cold food such as jello or pudding….and I am to drink icy things, BUT not through a straw for at least 7 days!   Are you kidding me?  
 
AND, no strenuous exercise!  What a bummer! 🙂  I am sure if I was able to eat hot food I would have the energy for strenuous exercise….or not!!!!!. 😉
 
Given a few days, I am sure I will be fine….but until then…..I am a bit under the weather!
 
The sun and rain! Weather!
I hope you are not under the weather….but if you are, hurry and get well soon.
Hugs
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http://www.knowyourphrase.com/phrase-meanings/Under-the-Weather.html
 

Desk Organizing and Soup!

You might ask what desk organizing and soup have in common?  well, not really anything unless you make soup while you are organizing your desk which is what I began early this morning. 

Yes, it is the new year and one thinks of better ways to get organized….but that is not the reason I am organizing my desk or why I am making soup!

You see, my dear readers…after my zero dark thirty quiet time this morning….I decided to make Lemon Chicken Soup for lunch, mostly because it was 48 degrees with a bit of wind…..and that is cold for Florida!  Secondly, I had chicken thighs in my fridge that needed to be used.  And thirdly, I had lemons and limes left over from a couple other recipes that I have been working on this past week. And lastly, I love soup!

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The organizational part was unintentional….I had opened my desk drawer to seek my stapler that had gotten “lodged” in the back of my desk drawer.  Have you ever had that happen or are you better organized than I? 

I usually have a system for purging or cleaning out “things”!  I set up separate piles of items I intend to keep, giveaway, and trash… but my desk looked like a dumping ground for things that obviously belonged elsewhere in my home and if you really think about it….who wants my half used office supplies?  Soooooo I decided to change the name of my “piles” of stuff to items to keep, items to move where they belong and items to toss out (which is probably what I should have done when my little hands touched the items in the first place.  After, I completed that task….I really didn’t have many items to put in my drawers!  Imagine that?? I now have orderly drawers and my hair clips and pins and nail polish or where they belown.  Whoopee!  I am functional again.

I had a couple of drawer dividers that I inserted, but a silverware tray would work just as good. I now have a certain place for paper clips etc….all I have to do is always put everything back where it belongs. 🙂

Soooooo time for soup!

Below is the handy dandy printable for a very easy and quick, great tasting soup. 

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Steps are simple….cook the chicken, add the saute’d onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cut up the chicken and add to the broth along with the rice.  Add the lemon and lime zest and juices. Add the veggies and seasonings and you Soup’s On!

Enjoy!

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Lemon Chicken Soup
A hot nourishing and great tasting soup! Grab a cozy blanket and curl up by the fire and let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  2. 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  3. 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 medium onion, chopped
  6. 1 carton chicken broth
  7. 4 sprigs fresh thyme, stripped from stems
  8. 2 chicken breasts, bone-in, skin on (I use thighs)
  9. 1 cup rice
  10. Zest of 2 lemons and 1 lime
  11. 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  12. 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  13. Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook chicken in heavy pot in water to cover, about 10-15 minutes
  2. Meanwhile, saute onion, celery, carrots and garlic in butter until translucent
  3. Remove chicken and cut or shred when cool to the touch
  4. Add the cooked veggies to the broth in the heavy pot and add the rice, broth and thyme
  5. After chopping the chicken add it to the heavy pot along with the lemon and lime zest and juices Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
  6. Season with salt and pepper
  7. Taste for seasonings and add more salt and pepper if desired.
  8. Garnish with Lemon and lime wedges and serve with crackers, or buttery Ritz, for garnishing
Me and My Captain http://www.meandmycaptain.com/

 

 

Quick Fix With Ground Beef ….

Quick Fix With Ground Beef ….

My dear readers, My Mother was a magician with using hamburger in recipes.  Years ago, ground beef was about the cheapest meat around and believe me when I tell you that I have had Hamburger in everything from plain ole hamburgers to pizza, meat loaf, soup, spaghetti, cabbage rolls, bierocks, sloppy joes, tacos, casseroles, dips, nachos …well, you can name it and I would almost be 100 percent sure that I have eaten your hamburger recipe at one time or another while growing up…or into my adult life.

Don’t get me wrong….there is absolutely nothing wrong with using ground beef….it is so versatile and preparing it usually takes just a few minutes out of your busy day.  So it is a great “go-to”, quick fix for Dinner.

I decided to use ground beef (or hamburger as we have always called it) to make dinner over the week-end.  I needed a quick fix because there were sports games on the tube….and I didn’t want to miss a minute of any game. (There were 4 football play off games and a basketball game). So I made Smothered Steak as we used to call it…now-a-days, one will refer to it as Smothered Hamburger Steak. It is a lot like Salisbury Steak…so it just depends on what you want to call it and what ingredients you want to put in.  It is that simple.

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Speaking of ingredients…these vary with the cook.  I like to add mushrooms whereas many cooks like to add mushroom soup.  I like to spice it up with red chili flakes….some cooks might find that too spicy. I have added chopped cilantro or chopped parsley or sometimes if I feel a bit adventurous, I will add Asian flavors like ginger or pineapple or both…..you can’t go wrong with any ingredients I don’t believe.  I also like to serve my hamburger steak with mashed potatoes and a salad, but I have a dear friend who serves hers on a bun with just a small amount of “sauce” ….as she calls the gravy.

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How do you make your Smothered Hamburger Steak, my dear readers?  I am sure you have a variation.

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Smothered Steak or Smothered Hamburger Steak!
A wonderful, tasty, quick fix using the good old favorite hamburger or ground beef. We had this on our table as I was growing up at least twice a month. Comfort food at its best.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pound of lean ground beef
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  4. 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  7. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  8. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  9. 1 tablespoon oil
  10. 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  11. 1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
  12. 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  13. 2 tablespoons butter
  14. 1 cup beef broth
  15. 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
  16. salt and pepper to taste for the "gravy" or "sauce"
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, pepper, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Form into patties and flatten (do not overwork the meat or your hamburger patties will be tough and dry)
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the patties and after turning once...add the onion and mushroom slices cooking for at least 3 minutes per side. Remove the patties only from the skillet and set aside.Cover with foil to keep them warm while making the gravy or sauce.
  3. Turn the heat to low and add the butter to the drippings, stirring to combine. Add the flour and stir to incorporate the onions and mushrooms. Add the beef broth and de-glaze the skillet by scrapping the cooked bits with a wooden spoon. Increase the heat to thicken the gravy
  4. Add salt and pepper and chili flakes and continue stirring until the gravy is a consistency you like.
  5. Lower the heat and add the hamburger patties back into the skillet. Cover with a lid and simmer for about 10 minutes before serving with mashed potatoes or veggies of your choice.
Notes
  1. I really love fresh mushrooms, but my Mother would use a can of mushroom soup.
  2. I like to give my "gravy" or sauce a bit of zing so I add red chili flakes but this is optional.
Me and My Captain http://www.meandmycaptain.com/
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