January 5, 2009

Random

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , at 4:47 pm by Jenn

Baku is often called the windy city and today is a perfect example of why.  I am sitting in my office and I can hear the wind whipping around outside.  These apartments are not “air tight” so it’s a bit cold and drafty in here.  I was dreading heading out to the store and desperately thinking of ways to avoid heading out in to the wind, but somehow I don’t think the egg substitution would work so well in Mrs. Nixon’s Chicken Casserole so I braved it.  By the way, my recipe doesn’t say let stand overnight…

Thankfully on my way to the market there was a tail wind.  I was there in no time.  I mean, I literally was pushed all the way to the store.  I almost lost my footing a few times when the “gusts” came.  The wind is crazy here.  According to the Weather Underground it’s blowing at 44 km an hour which is about 28 miles an hour…steady, I don’t even know what they are gusting to, but it’s a lot higher than that.  Unfortunately since the winds pushed me there the return trip was a little harder.  Thankfully everything here is still snow and/or wet so I didn’t have debris blowing into my eyes (I forgot my glasses).

I’m still playing Mousehunt (Apprentice 11% now – that’s level 2).  In fact, it may be time for an intervention.  I burned hard boiled eggs today.  Yep, you read that correctly…hard boiled eggs.  I put them on to boil and the next thing you know I smell hard boiled eggs…hmm, OH SHIT!  Yep, I’m hooked.  Needless to say, I haven’t been doing much of anything else.  I am working on finishing up that baby surprise jacket today though.  I’m down to 5 more rows so it looks promising!  Maybe I’ll even be able to post some pictures!

December 23, 2007

In Keeping with Tradition

Posted in Journal, Max's World, Purls of Wisdom, What's for Dinner tagged , , , , , , , at 11:54 pm by Jenn

Prior to moving from Maryland it was my Christmas Eve tradition to gather with close friends, eat tacos and exchange gifts.  When I moved to North Carolina I really missed that tradition.  Scott and I met good friends in North Carolina and started a new tradition…egg nog.  Christmas Eve, Christmas music, good friends and a few glasses of egg nog. 

This year we are in Belarus away from the Maryland tradition, away from the North Carolina tradition and decided not to feel sorry for ourselves.  We decided to carry on both traditions and to share them with our friends here in Belarus.  We firmly believe that everyone should eat tacos and drink egg nog on Christmas Eve.

Of course I planned before I thought.  Where was I going to find taco shells and where was I going to buy egg nog in BELARUS?  The taco shells were ordered online from Netgrocer and arrived last week so that was easy.  The egg nog on the other hand presented more of a challenge.   It was out of stock from all my ordering sources, or needed to be refrigerated and I didn’t trust that it would make it here in a timely fashion.  So that left me with one choice.  I was going to have to make my egg nog this year.  That presented me with even more of a challenge.  I needed to find a recipe that called for cooking the eggs….hmm.  Surprisingly I found this recipe for Amazingly Good EggNog.  I made the first batch to day and I must say it was AMAZINGLY GOOD!  I’d even go out on a limb and say it’s better than Larry’s Egg Nog, and that’s saying something (trust me on this Larry). 

Egg Nog Step 1

Egg Nog Step 2

Egg Nog Step 3

Egg Nog Step 4

The egg nog cooking must have inspired something in Scott because he decided out of the blue, that today was the day he was going to make Monkey Bread.  He also decided that we needed to make cookies for the party tomorrow night.  We spent the day in the kitchen needless to say, but we were very productive.  Snickerdoodles, Gingersnaps (sorry, family recipe), Cranberry Hootycreeks, cupcakes,  a cake, monkey bread and egg nog.  After all that it was time for a well deserved break.

Scott watched the football game and I, well of course I worked on my poncho.  Here is a picture of the progress (Row 56 of 72).  When this is finished I knit an identical piece and then join them together to make an L and then again at the open ends to close it in and make the poncho.

poncho-progress.jpg

This picture was requested by my mom.  The stockings and Max’s goodies have not been put out yet.  We are trying to decide whether to open gifts on Christmas Eve after the party or wait until Christmas morning.

christmas-tree-07.jpg

Last but not least, here is a picture of the bad dog Max, sitting on the naughty stool.  The little sucker bit me last night.  I guess I got too close to his “boney” when trying to retrieve the napkin from his mouth.  Ok, this really isn’t the naughty stool (but he really did bite me), but I made you wonder didn’t I?  This is Scott practicing the “table” agility command with him. 

max-table.jpg

December 5, 2007

Pork Chops and Applesauce from November 13, 2007

Posted in Journal, What's for Dinner tagged , , at 2:10 pm by Jenn

Orginally posted on this site by me on
November 13, 2007 at 4:39 pm 

Well as usual I’m home trying to figure out what to do and I get a craving for none other than Pork Chops and Applesauce. Well you guessed it there is no applesauce in Belarus, but there is plenty of pork. So here’s what we are having:

Curried Apple Pork Chop Bake

INGREDIENTS
4 (1 inch thick) boneless pork chops (I used two – Me, Scott, no leftovers)
vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 large onion, food choppered
3 large apple, cored, peeled and food choppered
2 cups Russian mixed fruit juice w/kiwi, pineapple, banana, grape and apple (you can use apple juice)
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoons ground curry powder, or to taste
**salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F or (200 degrees C).

Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Brown in skillet over medium-high heat, in a small amount of oil, flip to brown both sides. Arrange chops in a 9×13 inch baking dish. (I’m using my Pampered Chef 12″ skillet….LOVE IT! It’s oven proof so why dirty another dish…..especially now that I am officially the “dishwasher”.

In the same skillet, melt margarine over medium heat. Cook and stir onions and apples in margarine until caramelized. Stir in apple juice, chicken bouillon, garlic, and curry powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over chops, and cover dish with foil.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until pork chops are cooked through.

Enjoy with baked sweet potato, broccoli, beer bread and a glass of your favorite wine.

December 1, 2007

Great minds think alike

Posted in Journal, Purls of Wisdom, What's for Dinner tagged , , , , , , , at 12:29 am by Jenn

Tonight Scott and I had an old favorite for dinner…Cranberry Chicken.  I got this recipe from my mom.  It’s a favorite in her house as well.  I serve with rice and green-beans or broccoli

2 Tbsp oil

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 medium onion, chopped

2/3 cup ketchup

1 tsp dry mustard

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 Tbsp vinegar (I use Worcestershire sauce instead)

1 can of whole berry, cranberry sauce 

Preheat oven to 350F.  Heat oil in a skillet and brown chick breast (golden on both sides) transfer to 13×9 pan  Add onion to skillet and saute until tender.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Pour over chicken and bake at 350F for about 30 minutes.

We are 7 hours ahead of the East Coast here in Belarus.  I sat down to the computer tonight and opened an email from my mom….they are having Cranberry Chicken too!  I’m telling you the stuff is GOOD!   Scott went back for seconds.

Max had another haircut this evening.  He looks very handsome and is ready for his annual holiday pictures.  We start decorating for Christmas tomorrow. 

I’ve joined a yarn swap to occupy my time and to get me even more excited about the Wednesday mail.  If you are interested in joining this or other swaps go to Swap-Bot.  There are a ton of different swaps on there not just yarn related (music, books, food, games, etc.).

Off to bed, I’m reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

November 27, 2007

Sweetened Condensed Milk Substitute

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , at 1:13 pm by Jenn

Thanksgiving dinner was a huge success!  We had 10 guests and 4 “to go” plates, including one for “old guy” who came out of his booth to kiss me he was so excited.

I am so glad I managed to pull that whole dinner off on my own.  It was a lot of work, but well worth it.  Everyone really seemed to enjoy the meal.  I think the thing I am most proud of is pulling off Pumpkin Pie without Sweetened Condensed Milk (SCM).  Here is the recipe for Sweetened Condensed Milk Substitute…it WORKED!  I was a little nervous so Scott and I sampled the pie the night before and I was amazed how good it was.  I will use this instead of SCM for all my future pumpkin pies.

I also ventured off the “safe” path and tried this Pecan Pie.  No Karo syrup and it was FABULOUS!

So with that said, soups on!  Today is turkey soup day.  Scott is sick so it is perfect timing!

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