Saturday, December 31, 2011

Denver eBay Sellers Group at White Fence Farm w/ Griff

The Denver eBay Meetup group met here and "Griff" eBay's 8th employee, eBay radio host, and Dean of Eduction was the guest speaker.  

They are famous for their fried chicken served family style with several sides. 
Each room had a different tree or theme.
This pink tree was in the kids area with a treasure chest for good kids to pick prizes.
"Griff" a very special eBay representative and a strong seller advocate.
Gene, Griff and yours truly!

White Fence Farm is sorta buried in the west side of Denver but well worth a visit. It's one of those kind of places that locals take visitors to.  Then they talk about it back home and friends, who come to Denver, want to go there too.

I wrote more about the restaurant in my blog from August.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Our Manger and Decorations for Christmas

Our upstairs decorations are blue and white snowmen and snowflakes. The out side lights are also blue along with a large plastic manger.  

Downstairs is red and green Western themed. If we have 2 trees - one is real.  This year tho' we did only 1 tree and decorated upstairs.  eBay and all the craft shows kept us very busy!! Please enjoy our decorations.

This guy lights up with different fiber optic lights.
The kneeling Santa was my Mom's favorite decoration.  She always put it in her big bay window.

My collection of toys including the Feliz Navidad Chihuahua and the Chicken who sings and does the chicken dance.

Believe it not - Santa comes to our house every year and fills Sebastian's stocking, hanging in the middle.

Not only the couch but more importantly the view out our front 9' window.  That is Pikes Peak!! We really did have a white Christmas this year.
The little guy all lit up.  The colors constantly change.  Only thing missing is that he doesn't play music!!
I have a photo of me laying on the floor when I was about 10 looking at this manger all set up under the Christmas tree.  

Merry Christmas 2011!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

LUMiNARIA - A New Mexican Tradition to Light the Way for the Christ Child

Walk way up to our front door. Red is a lighted Chile Ristera.
Lumineria = a candle in a brown paper bag. In some areas they are called Farilitos.  

Front walk out to sidewalk.  We are on a corner and the house faces the side street.

Front Sidewalk

Side sidewalk and driveway
Blessed Mother in our backyard.  We put candles every year for my oldest son - Stevie, my Mom and Dad and Gene's Mom & Dad.
Just one bag - It is a plain, brown lunch bag with the top folded down.  We put out 100 bags every year.
There is sand / dirt in the bottom to help hold it open.  The candle is a special votive candle that is alot harder than regular votives. It burns into itself and will burn for at least 10 hours. 

In New Mexico the folks in adobe houses line the edges of the roofs, whole neighborhoods do them, and all the graves in  the cemetery in Gene's hometown -Belen- are edged with the luminerias.  Albuquerque has tours of the Old Town and Country Club areas. Tickets are sold out almost right away.  

We took the tour one year and the parade of buses and cars seemed to be endless.  We sang Christmas carols and drank hot spiced cider.  It was a very memorable event that happens for one night only  - on Christmas Eve just to LIGHT THE WAY FOR THE CHRIST CHILD!!. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011



I posted about this before and it is really worth talking about again.  

Gene has had back surgery and still has back pain.  
Shoveling snow can really irritate his bad back and knees.
A friend recommended this to us a few years ago and it is just amazing.  It was Time magazine's invention of the Year 2006! There is no bending and very little lifting.  No electric or gasoline.  All Manual!!  See the video on their website!!
The idea is to push the scoop and then twist the WOVEL to toss the snow in either direction.  

This is very light weight but sturdy, heavy duty plastic and folds flat for easy storage. No electricity and no gas or oil.  Totally green for those who want to preserve the planet.

So when we need to get to the mailbox to send out our eBay packages, the sidewalk gets done pretty fast because the scoop is huge, with no stress on our backs.   

We are not selling these or involved with them in any way - just love the product and wanted to share the info.  

Monday, December 19, 2011

Denver Christkindl Market 2011

Being German and growing up German these markets fascinate me.  Several years ago we went to one in Chicago on a cold, snowy night.  It was wonderful, so I was looking forward to visiting this one in Denver. 
So OK we went on a Wed. afternoon.  It was cold and there was snow on the ground. Colorado Springs has a large German community and I was disappointed the market was alot smaller than what I expected with a limited variety of things.  I suppose it is larger and busier in the evening and weekends!!

There were a total of maybe 10 of these little buildings selling everything from authentic German ornaments, beer steins and linens to some food & drink, Polish pottery and South American wool clothing and trinkets.   
The market is located in Skyline Park along the 16th Street Mall across from the Daniels & Fisher Clock Tower.   

Saturday, December 17, 2011

How We Reheat Leftovers - even in the RV

The simple explanation is Bamboo Steamers.  They come is all different sizes.  We use the larger ones and kept them under the flip up bed in the RV.  Now they store on the top of our hanging pot rack.

I use a large wok but any pan they will fit over with some water will work just fine.  They have to sit in the pan (not even on the sides), otherwise the bamboo will scorch.

Thanksgiving leftovers and a dish ready to go. 

That is one of our shallow soup plates that fits into the bamboo tray.  Sometimes the food gets juicy and would overflow off a flat plate.
Usually we both fix our plate like a TV dinner and heat for about 20 minutes. That plate is for the 2 of us. Sometimes we will do each item separately.

Check the water level 1/2 way through the heating process and add more as necessary.
I am an old fashioned cook and rarely use a microwave.  This method will also make the food so much more moist and very hot without burning it or drying it out. 

We even lay tortillas, rolls or bread on the lid with a little foil lightly over them, to warm them too. Only do the breads during the last few minutes of warming, otherwise they will just make a mess. 

We have several sizes and when we heat individual things we can stack it as high as we need to. 

Hope you try this method of reheating your leftovers. 

If this blog was helpful please like it or leave a comment.  Thanks.   

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Homemade Worcestershire Sauce Recipe

2 Tbs Olive oil
2 large Onions - roughly chopped
1/2 C Tamarind Paste
2 Tbs minced Garlic
2 Tbs minced Ginger
2 Jalapenos - seeds removed and minced (I don't use them)
3 Tbs chopped Anchovies (they melt in and you never know they are there.  I suspect they are used for flavor instead of using salt)
3 Tbs Tomato Paste
2 whole Cloves
2 Tbs Black Pepper (I thought 2 Tbs was too much)
1/2 C dark Corn Syrup
1 C Molasses
3 C White Vinegar
1 C Dark Beer
1/2 C Orange Juice
2 C Water
1 Lemon thinly sliced, seeds removed
1 Lime thinly sliced, seeds removed

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and saute until soft - about 5-7 minutes.  

Stir in tamarind paste, garlic, ginger, and jalapenos.  Cook 5 minutes more.  Add anchovies, tomato paste, cloves, pepper, corn syrup, molasses, white vinegar, dark beer, orange juice, water, lemon and lime. 

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer stirring occasionally for 2 -3 hours or until it naps the back of a spoon.  

(I don't like it chunky so I used a blender to make it smooth.)  

Makes 6 Cups.  

Notes - Tamarind Paste - I bought it in 2 different forms.  One was very pasty and the other a hardish block.  I used the block on the 1st batch yesterday and it was chunky so I tried using the stick blender to smooth it, but the blender keep hitting really hard stuff and I couldn't figure out why. I ended up using a regular blender and straining it all.

Then I did a second batch using the really soft paste and discovered the tamarind seeds where still in there.  So I heated the 2 cups of water and put in about 2/3 C of the paste and let it melt in the water, then strained it.  Found lots of big hard seeds and some skin too.  

I think trying to remove the seeds any other way would be next to impossible because it is so sticky and then there is the issue of the skin too.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Leaf Grabber Rake - No Stooping or Bending

When we lived in NY I bought this rake for Gene.  With his bad back it is very hard for him to bend over to pick up the leaves.  This rake does it all.  I checked the internet for one like it and didn't find one, but there are several versions.l  Using a rake like this one can sure make a tedious job get done fast. 

Just bury the rake prongs in the leaf pile;
slide the handle down so the prongs close and grab the leaves;

move the rake into the bag, release the handle, the prongs open and the leaves drop into the bag all at one time.
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Chicago White Castle - Home of the originasl Slider Hamburger

Growing up in NY we had White Castle nearby, way before McDonald's and all the other fast food carry out restaurants,. Now when we travel we make it a point to find a White Castle in states where they are.  There are none in NM and CO so we have to go east!!
The buildings are very distinctive and have looked basically the same forever.
The onions are put onto the grill first then the square patties are laid on top.  Notice the holes in the meat to allow for even, fast cooking.

Then the bun 1/2's are put onto of the burger to heat them alittle.
This is our lunch tray for 3 people.  The yellow carton is a cheeseburger.  There are 12 burgers there.

When we would go to NY to visit we always got a huge sack of White Castle and would build things with those cardboard boxes.  Now they even have trivia on them.  

White Castle hamburgers are probably not the healthiest of food but once in awhile they are yummy and a throwback to many great memories. Try them, you may like them.