Friday, November 29, 2013

Homemade Holiday Ornaments

From the second year that I made ornaments.  The cat was the proto-type used to learn the pattern and the Holiday Faeries were the execution of the concept.  I made lots and gave many away.  But kept one of each for my own use.  That would have been 1997 or 98?...  Wow, time flies!

Cream of Asparagus Bacon Soup

Repurposed the remaining bundles of Bacon-wrapped roasted Asparagus.  I'm a food genius!

Holiday Front Door Tricked Out

Official Greeter at the ready!

Here Comes The Suns!

From my Pre-K'ers at school!

Romeo Loves His Bone

Frank Frazetta

Grew up gay in a small midwestern town and I loved the art of Frank Frazetta, 1928 - 2010
 The Destroyer, 1971
 Conan the Usurper, 1974
 Silver Warrior, 1972
 John Carter, 1970
 Predators, 1987
Birdman, 1972

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Me And My Shadow!

How thankful I am!

Thanksgiving Dinner 2013

A solo affair, but no less pampered!
The Breakdown!

SOUP: Chicken stock with Butternut Squash, Onion, Granny Smith Apples and Nutmeg.  Pureed, and served with Sour Cream and fresh Chives.
 MEAT/STUFFING: Roasted Cornish Hen stuffed with a Lemon.  Stuffing made with dried bread, spices: sage, thyme, oregano, parsley, marjoram, rosemary; Granny Smith Apple, dried Cranberries, Celery, Vadalia Onions.
VEGETABLE #1: Cauliflower (au gratin): blanched Cauliflower, dehydrated Red Pepper, heavy whipping Creme, condenced Cream of Onion Soup, Caraway Seeds, smoked Paprika, sharp Cheddar Cheese.
 VEGETABLE #2:  Spinach a Al Jaleo: Spinach, Olive oil, Water, Kosher Salt, dried Cranberries, Pine Nuts, Garlic.
 DESSERT: Pumpkin Pie with Cured Walnuts in Maple Syrup.

Thanksgiving Cartoon

Everyone be thankful!

Pre-Thanksgiving Commemoration: Howard Johnson's!

My Wednesday evening meal harkened back to family Holidays when we travelled from our home near Detroit to visit my paternal grandparents who lived in the panhandle of Maryland.  We always took the Ohio and Pennsylvania Turnpikes for the bulk of the journey, and we always stopped at a Howard Johnson's rest stop to eat.

So while countless millions of Americans are on the road, and I am warm a cozy in my home, I made my best attempt at Howard Johnson's Hot Dog's for dinner.
To make these I did the following:  1) Toasted the buns, 2) Grilled the Hot Dogs (Hebrew National Kosher Dogs), 3) Dressed the buns with a spice mustard before adding the Hot Dog, and 4) Topped them with sweet pickle relish and diced onions (Vadalia).

I know I can never go back to the original, but this was pretty damn close!

November/December Light

I do not like the light of November/December.  The shadows are too long, the quality of the light, too metallic.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pre-trimming Holiday Tree Prep

The assembling and the lighting -- Done!
 Romeo--all tuckered out!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Outside, Pansies and Violas Rule!

Inside Geraniums Bloom

Changes to Lego City

 Finished the final new road.
 And the pedestrian overpass!
 The present main street.
Preparing to raze the school...change is good, right?

Romeo Love The Woods!

Aw...who am I kidding?  So do I!
 Pretending to be Leonardo DeCaprio in "Titanic"--I'm King of the Woods!
 Hey, My Guy, what's over here?

 Winter Hawthorne!
 Marking our territory....
...Mother nature has the last word!

Potatoes Au Gratin

I think there are a gazillion ways to make this dish.  My mom called them "Scalloped Potatoes"--there was nothing pretentious in her kitchen!  The nomenclature dirives from the fact that the potatoes are cooked with grated cheese and in some recipes bread (crumbs).

For this version, I assembled four things:

1) a platter full of thinly sliced small russet potatoes
2) a mixture of finely diced onion, celery, and fresh sage (6 leaves) with a little kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3) Finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
4) 1.25 cup of half and half combined with 1 C of chicken stock

After buttering the dish, I layers the first three four times beginning with the potatoes and ending with the cheese.  Then I slowly pouring over it the liquid mixture.

I covered it and baked it for 60 minutes @ 350˚, and then 15 minutes more uncovered.

Pride Birthdays and Memorials for the Week ~ November 24th to November 30th

More Leaf Collecting, part 4

 Burning Bush, Euonymous atropurpureus
 Chestnut Oak, Quercus prinus
 Silver Maple, Acer saccharinum
 Pin Oak, Quercus palustris
 Oakleaf Hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia
Maple-leaf Viburnum, Viburnum acerifolium
White Oak, Quercus alba