Sunday, January 29, 2012

International Shopping in Colorado Springs, CO

A friend was talking one day that she had not been to the Mexican or Asian grocery stores. One day last week we took the grand tour.  

We started off with our fantastic Herb & Spice store that has been featured on a few Food Network shows.   
Next stop was the Mexican market.  Their attention to detail in the produce department always awes me.
Yams, Nopals (Nopalitios - Cactus leaves), Avocados and red Chiles.
Long stalks of Sugar Cane.
On to the Asian market.  Wish I knew how to cook and use alot of those ingredients.
Love baby Bok Choy in stir fry.
3 tanks of Talipia

Roasted Ducks and BBQ ribs on the left

After looking at all that food we had to stop for lunch.  There are 2 of these restaurants here now and they have become one of our favorites.

Last stop was a German Deli.  Lots of authentic cold cuts and cheeses.  Had to get Liverwurst for me and Bloodwurst for Gene. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cornish Hen Dinner

Valentine's Day is coming and nothing says a special dinner like Cornish Hens.  Back in the day we would serve 1 whole hen per person and there was tons of leftovers (But it was so dramatic to carry out a platter loaded with these little chickens!) 

 To help them roast faster I butterflied them (cut part of the back bone out and laid them flat) and served them quartered. We basted them with an orange sauce (but anything is good especially apricot).
 Deviled eggs, cooked carrots, and the the same basting sauce (I separated the sauce into 2 bowls so the one I basted with did not contaminate the dinner table sauce.)
 Stuffing (with apricots, orange, celery) and laid in the roasting pan 1st.  The Cornish hens laid on top of the stuffing with any excess tucked in under the hens.  Also pan roasted fingerling potatoes and braised fennel / anise in butter and orange juice.
That platter was my grandmothers and is over 100 years old.
This was actually our New Year's Day dinner but Cornish Hens can make a simple dinner look especially fancy. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Kite Store, Door County, Wisconsin

When I was in Door County so many years ago, we stopped in this quaint - chock full of kites - store.  I just had to take my husband to see it when we were there again in Oct. 2011.

As you pull into the parking lot the yard is full of wind socks and moving lawn ornaments.  I wanted to start choosing right away :)
Oh my, and then you walk in and the walls are covered as is the ceiling like in the 1st photo.  The floor space is full of bins and containers with all sorts of kites, banners, flags and related items.  The guy with the big eyes is the one we bought for our grandson.  

The Fish Creek Kite Company is located on the eastern side of Door County, on Rt. 42 right alongside Lake Michigan. 

If you are ever are lucky enough to tour Door County, be sure and stop and visit this cute store.  It is just one of those places that make you smile everyplace you look.    

Sunday, January 15, 2012

German Saurbraten (Sour Beef)

They say smell is the quickest trigger of memories.  Well when I smell this cooking it reminds me of growing up in NY and early afternoon Sunday dinners after church. 

Any cut of beef that is used for pot roast. Cover with 1/2 water - 1/2 apple cider vinegar.  If it is a big roast I will use more water. Add cut up onion and pickling spices which are broken bay leaf, mustard seed, coriander seed and black peppercorns. (some use cinnamon to - I don't!)

Let is marinate for 3 -4 days turning every 12 or 24 hours. Pat dry or it will splatter during the browning step. I brown it well in alittle bacon fat or oil or crisco.  I tell my  myself 'think almost burn' when I am browning so it gets a dark rich color and 'bark'.
I finish cooking in the pressure cooker anywhere from 30 - 45 minutes depending on the size of the roast.

Finished plate served with Spaetzel, red cabbage and sweet and sour green beans.  For the gravy I use browned flour and some of the marinade - how much depends on how sour you want it.  Some  add gingersnaps but I don't do that either. 
 The only thing that makes this more complicated than a pot roast is the time it takes to marinade.  The measurements I use are approximate but there are plenty of recipes out there with exact measurements.

Hope you try this delicious meat dish and add it too your repertoire of recipes.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Flowers in Jars have Many Uses

First I have to say that these flower photos are from a blog called  Ramblings on Simplicity and Flowers. (The jar photos are mine!)

When my daughter was married last July in the mountains of Colorado she adapted this idea to identify where folks would sit.  Each bottle/ jar had local - native flowers in them with a tag attached with the guests name.  

Most of the guests flew in from the bride and groom's home city of Chicago and were not able to take their little vintage bottle. As a result we have several we are selling in all sorts of shapes and sizes.  They are all clear glass and most are antique.
This has a Giraffe and says Tonsiline on the side. 
Fly Tox is embossed on the neck.

Just another idea of what to do with a collection of different shapes and size bottles.  (Not my photo).
We have many bottles & jars available for sale on eBay and are willing to discount for a purchase of several. Some of these were never used for the wedding so many still look like the antique they are.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Halfway to the North Pole - Door County, WI

We were driving on the Lake Michigan (east) side of Door County and saw a sign for a highway marker.  We pulled in and saw this sign.

We were 1/2 way between the Equator and the North Pole @ 45 degree north latitude.  Pretty impressive, I thought!
This is a Limestone outcropping with a thin layer of soil on top of the rock so roots have no place to go. In a previous blog I showed trees toppled over (just before we got there) due to high winds.  
Because of so much rock, the water table is protected as well as other being other environmental impacts.  This rock layer runs from Minnesota to Niagra Falls, NY. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Ebelskiver / Aebleskiver - Danish Pancake Balls

I have been making these for our family for over 30 years.  Not all the time but occasionally and when I do they consider them a real treat.
The special pan is the secret.  I use just any pancake mix or recipe and let a small dab of butter melt in each depression before adding the batter.
We like fruit in the middle.  This day I did mandarin orange sections cut into 1/3rds.  Sometimes I will add cinnamon to the batter too, depending what filling I am using 
They have to be turned at least once during the cooking process.  I found using a 2 prong meat fork in one hand and 1 chop stick in the other, flips them pretty easily. 
They can be served with powered sugar (I use vanilla sugar) or syrup.  They don't really need more butter since they were 'fried' in the butter. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Spring Holiday Rubber Ducks

Now that the 'winter holidays' are over it is time to start thinking about the spring holidays.  What better way to brighten up a desk, work space, home, room, hot tub or whatever than with a duck for all the different occasions?

Valentine's Day Feb. 14, 2012
Valentine's Day Feb. 14, 2012 or anytime to someone you love in American Sign Language
St. Patrick's Day - March 17, 2012
St. Patrick's Day - March 17, 2012 or for any Irish person at any time to bring Good Luck
Mardi Gras -  Fat Tuesday - Feb. 21, 2012
Mardi Gras -  Fat Tuesday - Feb. 21, 2012 or for anytime to remember the good times.
Easter - April 8, 2012
Easter - April 8, 2012 or great for someone who raises rabbits like a 4H-er!.

We have lots more ducks in our eBay store for all occasions with many different themes.