Thursday, December 31, 2009

Armedillo Eggs

Back in the beginning of December I got on a kick of making Jalapeno appetizers.

My family does not take these little creative jaunts of mine lightly. I will NOT stop until I have found perfection (in my eyes, gauged only by my mind,scary I know !!! hahaha)
In Southern California we have a yummy treat we call Jalapeno Poppers. You can buy them in the freezer section of Costco or your regular grocer. I however, like mine with cheddar and so never enjoy them as much as I knew I could if only they would make the darn things with cheddar (preferably extra sharp) I decided to begin..............
First batch I cut the jalapeno in half and took out the seeds . Filled each half with a cheddar/cream cheese mixture, then wrapped each pepper in half slice of bacon and baked till the bacon seemed done.
While these were very good they were a big, FAT, mess. The cheese melted everywhere and the bacon was still blubbery in spots. For me no good.

Sooooooooooo next I took an entire pepper. Cut of the stem end and cleaned out the seeds and membranes. ( by the way, wear gloves or keep your hands away from all mucous membranes after doing this little step, especially your precious eyes) Then I stuffed each pepper with a mixture of extra sharp cheddar, grated and some cream cheese. I added just a tad of flour to help it stick together and some minced onions.

Then I dipped each pepper in flour, paprika and Panko (Japanese) bread crumb mixture,
Then into a milk and egg mixture and then back into the flour mixture. I did this until it looked well coated.=, making sure that the cut end was especially sealed.

Then I fried in HOT olive oil until lightly browned, turning until I liked the color. Drained well on paper towels.

Oh My Gosh!!!!! We served them with ranch dressing. These little buggers are GOOD.

I'm sure there are about a million ways to make these. In fact I was googling Paula Dean and found out she makes something really similar and calls them Armadillo Eggs. I guess you would be from the south if you recognised that name. All I really know is that these are really good.
If you do decide to make them, just make sure you make enough. They go fast..... really fast.

Blessings, Sue Oh yeah, you can call them anything you want!!!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

After Christmas Outing

We had a quiet and peace filled Christmas. A nice relaxed day filled with good food and great company.

On Sunday we took a drive up to Julian. The weather was crisp, with just the right chill in the air for a jacket and scarf. We stopped buy Dudley's for some yummy fruit bars and then had a picnic at our favorite place.

On up to Julian, where even though quite a few other folks had the same idea, It was worth the trip for the delicious cup of hot cider alone. I"ll savor the memory of smelling warm, cinnamony, steam, mixed with chilled, pine scented air for probably....ever..... yummmmmmmmmmm!!! This is a glimpse of the peak of Iron Mountain, peeking from the trees.

And.... the remnants of the storm we had a few days before. This reminded me of the stone and mortar on an old chimney.. Sorta homey and all.
The grasses are so beautiful. Wind blown and laying down from their recent burden of snow. The color is amazing. Darker golden yellow with a hallow of pale yellow white. I will be dying this in a yarn soon.

And even though we were thoroughly warned by our beloved Forest Service about yet another one of the impending hazards of walking alone in the woods....... We were able to see not only lots of wild turkeys.....

But quite a few of these happy little fellows out and about as well. In fact they didn't seem the least bit concerned about anything at all. These are California Quail. Fast little buggers, they can really run!!!!!

I wanted to let you all know that I have started an account on Facebook so I can share more of my photos. I haven't figured how to link my blog and it together yet and I'm just starting to download pictures but I would like to invite you to stop by and visit me over there as well.
Until later then......... Many Blessings, Sue

After Christmas Outing

Hopefully this works! According to my resources and the mecca of a geographical knowledge, ie. Seth. This is Stonewall peak not Iron Mountain. My apologies to all you geographic specialists out there.. But let it be known , that when I asked "Which peak is this Seth?" I was told " Huhhhh (not really paying attention and to shut me up) Its Iron Mountain" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHHAHA I love you Seth!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Evolution of Gingerbread Houses.....

If you have been reading my blog for awhile you may remember past Christmas Gingerbread houses. Well its that time again......... I'm having a rough time this year. Things change. And this is the very first year that my oldest daughter will not be home on Christmas day. Before you break out the Kleenex box, let me tell you that she and my new son are coming in February for a long visit and so we will do all our celebrating then. but for now....... this sucks................................

I decided to go through our Christmases of past pictures, and had a really good laugh when I came across this set. This is Allison's " I love dinosaurs" phase. This was a really longgggggg phase.It started around 2 years old and lasted for just about ever. She can still do a heck of a dinosaur sound for daddy, ( that's another story) She was also allowed to watch Forest Gump that year which is why... if you click on the picture..... you'll notice...... that the dinosaurs have actually attacked the poor little gingerbread man in the lower left corner and eaten his legs. She nicknamed him lieutenant Dan. If you look really close you can also see one going down the chimney.
We are not demented... really... but sometimes when you have kids........ you just gotta laugh....

So back to the present... And the Gingerbread house evolution theory.

Things have become a bit more complex. We have grown ...... We notice a bit more details......

I LOVE the lacy rooftop.......

The pine tree is exceptional.... Things take a bit longer to work through ... Some details are more important than others....

Trying not to pick it to pieces however......

Will just never change....... Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Lest you think........

That all we do around here is eat.............

Look who I found on my bed. She knows shes not supposed to be there. Please believe me that our pets, as well as our family members, are all pretty spoiled around here....... That said I do not like them to be on the bed with out invitation.

I couldn't find these two anywhere...... This is Lily's " BUSTED" look. This is Sassy's " Shut the door, your letting in a draft look" This is how they responded to my scolding. So what could I do.... I gently closed the door and let them snooze awhile longer. Aren't they CUTE!!!!!!!!!!
Buster was snoozing on the hearth the entire time. Gus, Bailey and Thomas were busy sawing logs........ Soooo I made a cup of coffee and enjoyed a bit of reading. Then back to Christmas gift making.......... It was a nice afternoon.

This is the mantle this year. If you click the picture you can see it better. I am keeping it simple this year.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Run, run as fast as you can........

You can't catch me........ I'm the Gingerbread man !!! Yes it's that time again....... Gingerbread men

1/2 cup butter 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup sugar 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup molasses 1 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg 1/2 tsp. cloves
2 cups all purpose flour 1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Cream sugar and butter til smooth. Add molasses and egg. Beat well. Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then blend into molasses mixture.
Wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate at least an hour. I refrigerate overnight so I can start fresh the next day.

The trick for me when rolling out my dough is to A. keep the dough really, really cold. and B. Use LOTS of powdered sugar. Cut your dough blob in half and keep the one your not rolling in the fridge. Same with the left over bits that are left around your cut out. Change them out and keep what your using COLD.

I don't use extra flour, that seems to make my cookies dry, Lay out a fresh piece of wax paper and sprinkle away. Go ahead, don't be shy, liberally sprinkle the white stuff all over the wax paper.

Then plop down your dough and liberally sprinkle that too. It's the closest thing to looking like snow around here. Cover your rolling pen too. Trust me it only makes the cookies sweeter and it it keeps it from sticking to the pen.

Roll out your dough to about 1/4 inch. I like my cookies a bit thicker and not to crispy.

Dip your cutter into........ yep ...... powdered sugar and cut away.

Gently, gently, gently, while still cold.... place your little men on a parchment lined cookie sheet, Space them nicely, they will rise while baking.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Just until the cookie no longer looks wet, towards the middle. I baked mine for 9 minutes.

You can remove the entire piece of paper from the pan to cool or let them sit on the pan for a minute then remove them to a cooling rack to cool.
I seal mine in plastic bags and freeze until ready to frost.
I like to start each step fresh so I wait to frost. You can frost right away if you like.
Enjoy and remember the real reason for this season!!!!!!!!