Posts Tagged With: food

Quick Food Gift: Christmas Crunch Recipe

THE COUNTDOWN IS ON | I’ve wrote how I am not  in the mood for the holidays this year. I am not a Grinch, I am just not feeling it.

I know I am not alone. Right? Anybody?

I have given myself a hall pass this year. I don’t have to host a cookie decorating party. I don’t have to over-decorate my house and take pictures that are Pin-worthy.

I think Pin-worthy should be added to the dictionary.

The same goes for baking, Advent calendar gifts, books creatively and neatly wrapped under the tree (’cause they’ll get peed on), or custom designed Christmas cards which involve an ill-planned photo shoot, matching envelopes and a trip to the USPS for decorative stamps. Nope. I’ve done none of it.

I am cool with it. So, stop calling me a Grinch.

But, if I  feel up to it I will make another batch of this Christmas Crunch to hand out to neighbors this weekend. If I don’t, I won’t beat myself up about it.

Christmas Crunch recipe

Christmas Crunch

QUICKIE HOW TO | Pop a large bowl of plain popcorn. I use the popcorn that comes in a jar, pour some in a brown paper lunch bag, close bag and use the “popcorn” setting in the microwave until you don’t hear popping noise. Melt some Almond Bark. (I used vanilla flavor, but chocolate would be yummy too.) Pour Almond Bar over popped popcorn and stir. Work quickly to keep the Almond Bark from setting up. Sprinkle in some festive sprinkles and red/green M&Ms, stir. Spread out on wax paper to let it set up. Once set, gently break apart, then package in cute bags. Hand out to friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors. Sit back and enjoy the oohs and aahs.

Categories: Food, Holidays | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Turning 34…again!

Yeah, it was my birthday last week. Birthdays are a good thing. The more you have the more you should celebrate.

I chose Greek for my birthday dinner. Axios Estiatorio in Denver’s neighborhood known as Berkeley. (If you are want to kill some time you can read the complete restaurant review I posted here.) Hint: I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

The basic run down is this: The Mezze (Starter) was Keftedes Meatballs (Lamb-Tomato Sauce, Kefalotiri Cheese, Pita $9).

greek meatballs

Keftedes Meatballs

Hubby’s one and only Greek food experience has been with a Gyros. I love Greek, but never get to eat it. It makes me very happy that hubby went on a little food adventure with me to Axios. This is going to become my favorite restaurant!

halibut

Halibut

It was a tough choice but hubby surprised me and ordered the Halibut. He never orders fish unless it’s fried.

kreopita

Kreopita

I had my mouth ready for Spanakopita (my favorite Greek dish), but was talked into Kreopita (Spanakopita’s Lamb cousin). Kreopita is my new favorite dish, although the Rabbit Stifado and the Lamb Giouvetsi will need to be tasted before I can give my final verdict.

chocolate cream pie

Chocolate cream pie

The Baklava was calling my name, but we opted for saving desert for birthday pie later in the evening with friends. See, the candles say I am 34. The candles don’t lie!

may  snow

May 1st snow

The next morning, May 1st, there was snow on the ground in Colorado. And, May 2nd it was melted away.

Categories: Joy, Life | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Crock Pot Red Beans and Rice

red beans recipe

Crock pot red beans and rice

Glenn talks fondly of his years spent growing up in Slidell, Louisiana. Mostly it’s about the crazy things he did as a kid, but also he misses the red beans and rice served in the South. Apparently, Colorado don’t know nothing about red beans and rice. This is the only recipe that passes his taste test:

Louisiana-style Red Beans and Rice

  • 1 lb. red kidney beans
  • 8 cups boiling water
  • 1 large meaty ham bone
  • 1 lb. hot sausage (fried & drained)
  • 2 stalks chopped celery
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp garlic salt
  • large pinch of dried thyme
  • 4 bay leaves (removed before serving)
  • salt, pepper & cayenne pepper to taste.

Layer in crock pot and cook at least 8-10 hours on high. The longer it cooks, the better it gets! About 45 minutes before serving, mash about 1/4 of the beans to help thicken. Serve over rice (optional). Could serve with crusty bread or cornbread…yum!

I said the rice is optional because I don’t eat the rice. I guess it’s just me. It’s so good you don’t need the rice!

The best things I ate this weekend:

atkins diet salad

Spinach, arugula, feta, Roma tomatoes, leftover prime rib and Greek vinaigrette salad

Ham greek salad-blog

Spinach, cucumber, tomato, avocado, green olives, ham, feta with Greek Vinaigrette

Both salads are Atkins Diet (Phase 1) friendly; the red beans, not so much. So, 3 months of serious cardio and calorie counting and I only lost 5 pounds. Very frustrating. After careful evaluating of my food log it was clear: too many carbs and not enough protein is my problem. Hopefully, Atkins will get the scale moving in the right direction…

Categories: Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Easter blessings.

Yeah, I know Easter was a week ago. So sue me.

easter blessings

Picnic.

bird's nest treats

My little baker.

bird's nest treats

Bird’s Nest Treats place setting (made with Cheerios).

portrait photography

Easter portrait in the backyard.

She wants to be called Alexandra instead of Alex now. But I am old and I forget.

portrait photography

Easter portrait.

She had an Easter picnic with her stuffed animals in the backyard. She served chocolate covered Peeps, Nerds, and bubble gum. Um, sounds delish!

ice skates

Goodbye to ice skating.

I listed Alex’s Alexandra’s very expensive competitive ice skates with the special blades for sale on Craigslist. I didn’t even get a bite. I took the skates to Play it Again Sports. They offered me $35. I think I feel sick…

Categories: Joy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

December Daily | Ten, Traditions

When you think of your childhood during Christmas time, what comes to mind?

When we were growing up, our mom always filled a glass jar with this mixture: peanuts, M&M’s and raisins. This glass jar always sat on the coffee table for a quick grab treat. I don’t know why but this simple thing sticks in my mind, and speaks December to me. This year I decided to make the mixture and load in recycled frappuccino bottles for a quick gift for neighbors and friends.

december daily

december dailySo, how I did it: Drink and enjoy the Frappaccinos. Then, wash the frappaccino bottles and lids really, really well. You can use Starbucks® Frappaccino bottles but I found the sticker labels are hard to get off cleanly. So, I used Target Archer Farms® Frappaccino bottles. Their labels are more of a shrink-wrap kind. All you have to do is cut the label off the bottle. Easy-peasy.

Spray paint the lids red; don’t spray paint the inside of the lids. Once dry, add a round sticker label to the top of the lid (also bought at Target in the Christmas stationary isle). In a large bowl mix a bag of red and green M&M’s, cocktail peanuts (you could use dry roasted instead) and raisins. I didn’t measure it out, I just eyeballed it. Fill the jars, add ribbon and viola!

Happy snacking!

Categories: Christmas, December Daily, Food | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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