Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend

Greta, Charles and the boys arrived before everyone else on Thanksgiving Day.  They drove in that day, went straight to the Hampton Inn and let the boys swim for awhile after being cooped up in the car for 6 hours.  When they got to the house there was some piano playing

then some drawing before it was time to set up.
Myles slept over and decided he needed a snack at 10:45 PM after he was already in bed.

On Friday I worked in the morning and Laura went to visit Chris.  Larry took a walk with Michael and Doris and later went to Karen's "cottage" to watch the Auburn game.  Greta, Charles and the boys went to the Planetarium to see the Christmas Laser Light show and Laura and I met them for lunch at Hogan's Hideaway.  Tucker took this picture.
After lunch we took a ride to the U of Rochester where Charles went to college. 
Tucker fell asleep in the car on the way over and slept until we got home so I stayed in the car with him.  After making a few stops on the campus it was off to the House of Guitars where everyone thought they were rock stars.

Hunter stayed there with Charles and the rest of us drove home by way of Thornton Rd and Myles took a picture of us in front of our original house which was grey when we lived there.
Next was a stop at home to get bathing suits and then over to the Hampton Inn for a swim and hot tub for Laura and the boys. 
Back at the house we got to hear the new guitar along with the new amplifier and microphone which are an early Christmas present for Hunter.
A little quiet time the next morning and a quick game on the iPad
Greta showed me how her piano lessons as a child paid off :-)

 and the boys got in a little Mario Kart time
 Then we were off to paint some pottery

 and back home again for lunch
a group photo with grandma and Aunt Laura

and Charles wanted a recreation of our picture from 1992
Then it was quiet as everyone but Laura got in the car to go home.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day

The day befoe Thanksgiving I spent 45 minutes ricing 10 pounds of potatoes.
Then I made the absolutely best mashed potatoes. 

I also cut up and prepared the vegetables to be roasted on Thanksgiving.  I love the color of the vegetables all mixed in together.  They look good enough to eat.  I used brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, carrots, rutabagas, brocolli and purple onion.

This is the edible centerpiece on the main table that I did Thanksgiving morning.

Here's a view of our set up from the kitchen.

And here's the view from the living room. 
It almost looks like an institution but it was nice to have everyone eat in one area.

The pinepple turkeys were centerpieces for the two other tables.
Larry and I enjoying a quiet moment

"Charles in Charge" - doing a fine job carving the turkey

Dinner is served.

The Boudens sisters

Relaxing between dinner and dessert

Tucker made this decoration at school

And Hunter made this one

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish

 I made this today and although I link to it on the NPR site from a previous post, I want to make sure I have the recipe here in case they ever delete it.
So, Mama Stamberg got the recipe from Craig Claiborne and I got the recipe from my sister who listens to NPR.  It first became a family tradition back in the 90s and some of us really love it!

Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish

This relish has a tangy taste that cuts through and perks up the turkey and gravy. It's also good on next-day turkey sandwiches and with roast beef.


* 2 cups whole raw cranberries, washed
* 1 small onion
* 3/4 cup sour cream
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 2 tablespoons horseradish from a jar ("red is a bit milder than white")


Grind the raw berries and onion together. ("I use an old-fashioned meat grinder," says Stamberg. "I'm sure there's a setting on the food processor that will give you a chunky grind — not a puree.")

Add everything else and mix.

Put in a plastic container and freeze.

Early Thanksgiving morning, move it from freezer to refrigerator compartment to thaw. ("It should still have some little icy slivers left.")

The relish will be thick, creamy and shocking pink. ("OK, Pepto Bismol pink.")

Makes 1 1/2 pints.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The MOHs Factory

A year ago we were looking at a bandage from cataract surgery and I thought that facility was like a factory and this year, here we are at another place that is just as busy.  Mohs micrographic surgery has the highest cure rate for basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas*.  We went for a 10:00 AM appointment with Dr. Marc Brown so Larry could have the surgery done on his nose.  We walked into the waiting area where people were sitting with bandages on their eyes, nose or somewhere else on their face.  There were 23 chairs and practically all were taken.  We sat in the outer area until their was room for us inside.  Larry was taken at 10:30 and when he came out said that the numbing of his nose took longer than the actual surgery. 
Mohs surgery is unique in its precision.  Instead of removing the whole clinically visible tumor and a large area of normal-appearing skin around it, the Mohs surgeon removes the minimum amount of healthy tissue and totally removes the cancer.  Thin layers of tissue are systematically excised and examined under a microscope for malignant cells.  When all areas of tissue are tumor-free, surgery is complete.*

Before Stitches
After a half hour (an hour shorter than expected) he was told that he was "all clear" - GOOD NEWS! and that he would be getting stitiches and then could go home.  Two hours later, he was called for his stitiches. 

After stitches - bigger bandage

No bending or exercise for a week.  It was a good experience because it all came out OK.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Beer-baked mac 'n' cheese

This recipe sounds like it might be really good, good to serve when there is company, because there are 13 Weight Watcher PointsPlus per serving but a taste would work.

Beer-Baked Mac 'n' Cheese

adapted from Rackhouse Pub in Denver

October 07, 2010|By Noelle Carter, Los Angeles Times

Total time: 1 1/2 hours
Servings: 12 to 16

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup amber beer

2 cups half and half

1/2 pound Brie

16 ounces (2 packages) cream cheese

1 1/2 cups crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1 (16-ounce) box penne pasta, cooked and drained

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup panko or bread crumbs

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a medium, heavy-bottom pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour to form a light roux. Slowly whisk in the beer and half and half.

3. Add the Brie and cream cheese to the sauce, stirring until the cheeses are melted and incorporated. Stir in the Gorgonzola, cheddar and 1 cup Parmesan cheese.

4. Stir in the pasta, taste and adjust the seasonings as desired with salt and pepper (some of the cheese will be salty and the mixture may need only a little salt, if any).

5. Pour the mixture into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Top the mixture by sprinkling over the remaining Parmesan cheese and panko crumbs. Place the dish in the oven and bake until the sauce is bubbly and the toppings are crisp and golden, about 1 hour.
6. Cool slightly before serving.

Each of 16 servings: 566 calories; 20 grams protein; 29 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 41 grams fat; 25 grams saturated fat; 123 mg. cholesterol; 2 grams sugar; 611 mg. sodium.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cook and Clean

Today I cooked up a storm, or maybe a breeze this morning.  Then I had to clean up some of the rooms so that the cleaning lady that's coming tomorrow can find what needs to be cleaned.  I made a batch of oatmeal cookies, the recipe is here
 and then made the roasted red peppers using the peppers I bought the other day.

Roasted Red Peppers from Closet Cooking

1. Cut the red peppers in half, remove the stem and seeds.
2. Place the red peppers on a baking sheet with the cut side facing down.
3. Preheat the oven to 450F and then change it to broil.
4. Place the baking sheet on the top shelf in the oven and broil until the outer layer of the skin has blackened, about 10-20 minutes.
5. Place the peppers in a zip-lock bag or other sealable container, seal and let them cool until you can handle them, about 20 minutes.
6. Remove the skins from the peppers. The skins should easily "pinch" off.

For dinner we had a salad and spaghetti squash.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sunny and 50s

Today was my day to be energetic.  I went to Yoga in the morning and then we played golf in the afternoon.  It was a beautiful Fall day and felt so good to be out in the fresh air with the turning color of the trees and clear blue sky.

When we came home, we made a delicious salad for dinner using canned salmon, goat cheese, raspberries and sunflower seeds in addition to all the other veggies.
 After dinner I made a cranberry apple compote.  It's part of my ongoing creation of healthy, non-sugar fruit desserts.  I like it with some ice cream, or on oatmeal in the morning, or just by itself.
Cranberry Apple Compote
12 oz bag cranberries
8-10 or more Assortment of apples
1 cup water
Rinse cranberries
Bring water to boil and add cranberries.
Simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel, core and slice apples.  Microwave covered for 10 minutes
Combine cranberries and apples with 1 cup Splenda or sugar (if you prefer)
Put in dish or container and refrigerate.

- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Red Pepper Pesto Pasta

When I was at Wegmans yesterday I walked by a bag of red peppers and it reminded me that I wanted to make red pepper pesto from a recipe that I saw in the paper this morning. So I bought the peppers and when I got home and looked at the recipe I saw that it used jarred roasted red peppers. Guess I just added another level of time into the recipe. But that's OK. I love fresh roasted red peppers and I have a lot of good books on CD to listen to. I can cook forever when I have good books to listen to.

The past 3 days I got hooked on Season 1 of Damages. I always wanted to watch the show but never really knew when it was on. It was so compelling. Like watching 24, every episode left you hungry for the next one. I think I'll take a break before I get Season 2. Larry didn't watch it with me, he missed a good thing. Maybe I can catch him up and he'll do Season 2 with me.

This is the recipe that was in the D&C and came from the Kansas City Star.

Red Pepper Pesto Pasta
Makes 6 servings

1 cup drained, jarred, roasted red peppers (2 (9-ounce) jars)
2 cloves garlic, cut in half
1/4 cup fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted (see cooking tip)
1 (12-ounce) box multigrain or whole-wheat pasta, such as fusilli, fettuccine or other favorite shape
1/2 cup fresh basil, cut into chiffonade (see cooking tip)

Place peppers, garlic, chicken broth, 2  1/2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, olive oil and walnuts in work bowl of food processor. Process, stopping to scrape down the sides, until mixture is smooth; set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Toss pesto with hot pasta. Divide between 6 bowls and garnish with remaining Parmesan and basil chiffonade.

Per serving: 259 calories (20 percent from fat), 6 grams total fat (1 gram saturated), 2 milligrams cholesterol, 45 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams protein, 49 milligrams sodium, 5 grams dietary fiber.

and this is the recipe that I used for the Roasted Red Peppers

Roasted Red Peppers from Closet Cooking

red peppers

1. Cut the red peppers in half, remove the stem and seeds.
2. Place the red peppers on a baking sheet with the cut side facing down.
3. Preheat the oven to 450F and then change it to broil.
4. Place the baking sheet on the top shelf in the oven and broil until the outer layer of the skin has blackened, about 10-20 minutes.
5. Place the peppers in a zip-lock bag or other sealable container, seal and let them cool until you can handle them, about 20 minutes.
6. Remove the skins from the peppers. The skins should easily "pinch" off.