Thursday, September 29, 2011

Another year another Birthday……

My beautiful flowers that were waiting for me when I woke up!!

So I am now officially on the wrong side of 30… half way to 40 really…I celebrated yet another year yesterday! This can’t be happening.. I remember thinking how old that must be and now I am here. Its been downhill all month too.. First it was the eyes, I had to get new glasses, as if I didn’t feel old enough the doc said “ wow your eyesight has definitely changed since your last visit." Thanks Doc..  Are you trying to tell me I’m getting old??? I also had to have hernia surgery two weeks ago and have been walking around like an old hunched over lady.. so of course my friends and family had to rub it in that I was getting old… So because of the surgery and the fact that I am still a hurting unit, we didn’t do anything crazy to celebrate just a nice breakfast and a relaxing drive, the weather was beautiful and I haven't really been to of the house much lol 

We went to breakfast at a local spot and of course I made sure what we ordered we could split, and they were oh so yummy!! 

Baked Apple and Chunky Monkey Pancakes!! 

Oh my these were good!! The Baked Apple is so delicious and was a huge portion so of course what does a birthday girl do? Bring the leftover Baked Apple home and had it for dessert with some ice cream YUMMY!!!

All in all it was a great birthday!! I am also officially counting backwards starting with the next birthday, who's with me??!!??!!??

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Taco Turkey Burger

With the summer winding down, and the colder weather coming in we have been trying to grill as much as possible. This is one of those oh my gosh what are we going to eat for dinner type of recipes, and since I had some turkey on hand it was really a no brainer. Well the burger idea was a no brainer but what kind of burger was another story. We had just had Teriyaki Burgers so that was out, and I was craving Mexican so why not a taco burger. And boy am I glad I made these yummy burgers definitely a keeper recipe. Here's a little secret to getting your burgers seasoned right; test them by making a tini tiny burger and cooking it in a frying pan and tasting it because really how else can you tell if the seasoning is right.. Well besides eating raw meat.. yuck... I do this with meatballs too, I was always under seasoning them and now that I think about it not a bad idea for meatloaf either. After tasting my tini tiny sample I decided it needed a little something.. I decided on two spoonfuls of salsa added to the meat micture. Ah perfect! 

Taco Turkey Burger 

Item Needed
Serves 2
Prep time  5 mins
Cook Time depends on desired doneness  

  • 2-3 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1/2 pkg. ground Turkey
  • salt/pepper
  • Wholly Guacamole,optonal
  • 2 spoonfuls salsa 
  • Salsa Topping,optional
  • Cheese,optional
  • Banana Peppers, optional
  • Sour Cream, optional

  • Season turkey with the taco seasoning, salt and pepper, and two spoonfuls of the salsa then lightly mix it all together and form 2 patties and press a thumb print in the middle (so it doesn't puff up)
  • Now make your tini tiny burger and fry it up.. give a taste, is it ok or does it need more? Add more if it needs if not head out to the grill
  • Grill patties over medium high heat for 5-8 minutes per side, depending on desired doneness  
  • I added a slice of Monteray Jack cheese 1 minute before pulling off the grill
  • Top with your favorite fixin's 

Eat and Enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Potato Au Gratin

I am a big fan of comfort food, as you may have gathered from some of the recipes on this blog. One of my favorite comfort foods is pretty much anything to do with a potato really, because lets be honest they are just so fluffy and creamy and of course yummy! Now as a kid I remember my mother making this dish but mostly for special occasions and I can see why as it is a bit labor intensive. Now if you have mandolin its easy peasy, which I did, so this went by pretty quick. But it is oh so worth it with this creamy, cheesy bubbly goodness. I found this recipe on Food Network and pretty much followed it to a T, except some extra cheese for the top to get that crispy, bubbly, gooey, cheesy top.

Items Needed:
Baking Dish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Prep Time 15
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins

  • 1/3 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 lbs potatoes peeled and sliced, 1/4 in thick ( I used a mandolin)
  • 1/2 c. plus extra for top, grated Gruyere cheese  
  • 1/2 c. plus extra for top,freshly grated Parmesan cheese  
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika 

  1. Grease the baking dish with about 1 tbsp of the softened butter.
  2. Arrange a layer of potatoes in the baking dish and sprinkle the cheeses over them. Continue layering potatoes and cheeses until you've used them all ending with a layer of potatoes.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the cream with the salt and pepper; pour this over the potatoes. Dot the remaining butter over the top and sprinkle with the paprika. Sprinkle some more cheese on top to finish it off.
  4. Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the potatoes are tender and golden brown on top.
  5.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Eat and Enjoy!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Clam Boils, White Water Rafting, Camping oh my….

Back in July my hubby and I went up to Maine for a wonderful weekend of camping , filled with good food, great new and old friends, and lots of adventure. My bff and her hubby had invited us to a weekend at the New England Outdoor Center in Millinocket, Maine, never heard of it… its a tiny town 5000 strong, with beautiful mountains, lovely lakes, and some pretty amazing white water rafting.

 The drive up...
The drive there was half the fun, lots of scenic views along the way, we started out early on a Friday morning and managed to get there in the early afternoon. We set up camp.. we actually stayed in shack/cabins..explained in the brochure as four wood walls, tin roof, steel door you get my drift, and boy were they spot on in description. 

While the boys set up camp the girls went exploring, and found this little cove at the lake..

Then onto the clam boil, a New England tradition and one we do every summer. We got some amazing clams and of course some chorizo ( a staple where we are  from) potatoes, onions and sausage. Luckily we had a propane fueled burner to put a big ole pot of boil up. 

After fueling up on food and having some nice campfire talk, it was time to go to bed and get a good nights sleep for our adventure the next day. I will not lie, I was nervous about the white water rafting, first off I wear glasses, never contacts, and I had to wear contacts that day so that was a lot to get used to on a fast moving raft. We woke up that morning to some rain, well more like sporadic downpours, but we realized we were going to get wet anyway so did it really matter?? We went thru the "rafting talk " with the instructors and were then brought by school bus, ( haven't ridden in a big ole yellow bus in quite some time) to the Penobscot River and met our instructor and carried our raft into the water. Once we hit the water the skies opened up and it turned into a beautiful sunny day!! They don't waste any time once your it in the water, this picture below was oh about 3 minutes after we hit the water..

Holy Smokes...

That is our guide "Rabbit" in the back and then me with the look of shear terror on the left and my hubby on the right. In front of us our our friends Amy in front of me ( who stated she wasn't going to paddle when we first got in the raft lol) and Karen ( you can only see her helmet) on the right, oh and their husbands in front of them, well you can't really see them  you can only see the hand of Zack on the right....But I swear they are there...

There they are... after we popped up...

and now calmer seas...

This was probably one of the most exhilarating things I have ever done, oh yeah and the girl that said she wasn't going to paddle( too nervous she said) had an amazing time and after our first Class V could not wait to do it again!!! I am so glad that I did it and we are already planning our next trip for next summer! 

I guess you guys are waiting for a recipe huh.. ok here ya go 

New England Clam Boil
Serves 15

Items needed:

Big ole pot.. or Steamer Pot (like this one)
Long tongs
Red clam boil bags, seafood nets?? Not sure what they are called

  • 15 quarts Steamer Clams, cleaned**** see below
  • 30 sausages links
  • 30 hot dogs
  • 30 chorizo links
  • 3 lbs potatoes, whole
  • 2 lbs onions, peeled
  • 2 bottles beer
  • water 
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled left whole
  • salt and pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • Butter 
  • We placed each item in its own red bag, and then placed in order potatoes, onions, chorizo, hot dogs, then sausage in the pot.
  • Add the 2 beers, and extra water to cover the potatoes and onions, garlic, salt,  pepper ,and pepper flakes 
  • Let boil/steam for about 40 minutes, sticking a knife or long wooden skewer into the potatoes to check for doneness 
  • Add the clams after about 40 minutes and continue cooking for another 20 minutes until the clams start to open
  • Remove the bags and dig in!!!
  • Put 1 tbs of butter each into small bowls or cups and pour the broth from the pot over to melt and dunk the clams in before eating YUMMY!!!  

 ***** Cleaning Clams: Here is a link  to explain how to clean them, this is pretty much what we did. As it says you can use pepper which we did, the clams don't like pepper (remember they are still alive) and it makes them spit out the pepper and sand.*****

Eat and Enjoy!!


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