Saturday, March 17, 2018

St. Patrick's Day Dinner Different

Corned beef and cabbage is the norm, but Rich decided to make something different on this St. Patrick's Day 2018. He chose a recipe called Bangers and Mash. Bangers, an English term and not Irish, means sausage.

Bangers & Mash with Stout (Guinness) Bacon and Onion Gravy
This St. Patrick's Day, serve up some delicious Bangers & Mash with Stout Onion Gravy for a quick and easy dinner the entire family will love.
Prep Time  20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Yields        3-4

·      1 pound chicken sausage (I used bratwurst)
·      1 tablespoon olive oil
·      3 ounces stout (Guinness)
Mashed potatoes
·      3-4 russet potatoes, peeled and sliced
·      2 tablespoons butter
·      1/2 cup buttermilk
Stout onion gravy
·      ½ lb. turkey bacon crisped and chopped
·      2 tablespoons butter
·      1 medium sized onion, sliced thin
·      2 tablespoons flour
·      1 cup stout (I used Guinness)
·      1 cup beef broth
·      salt & pepper to taste
    Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausages and stout. Cover with lid and crack just to allow enough steam to escape. Cook covered for about 10 minutes, turning halfway through. After they've cooked for 10 minutes, remove the lid and allow the liquid to reduce a bit and coat the sausages. When the liquid is almost gone, lower heat to medium-low and continue cooking with the lid on, rotating occasionally, until evenly browned and cooked through, about another 10 minutes.
In a separate pot, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions and cook until slightly brown and fragrant, 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and allow to cook 2-3 minutes. Add stout and bacon and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Add beef broth and allow to simmer until no longer foamy, 10-15 minutes.


   In large pot cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil.           Cook until soft. Drain and add butter and buttermilk.
   Mash to your preferred consistency. To serve, top potatoes
   with sausage(s)
and top with as much gravy as your heart
What did you enjoy for food and drink this St. Patricks Day?  Hope it was a fun day for you and your family. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

#Bombogenesis Bullseye

127 got socked with snow yesterday. No quilts, no crafts, and no kitchen delights on these days. This noteworthy storm is one of the biggest snowstorms  I can remember in recent years: 28+ inches. I live in the pink area to the north in the Schoharie Valley. Neighboring villages and towns had almost 40 inches. Friends and family were without power for hours.
The following pictures tell the story of a full day snowstorm in which it snowed ALL day long. I truly figured I would have to travel an hour to work in the snow on Friday; I had no idea it would be this bad. A nice surprise of a snow day? No way. Not when the snow is so wet and heavy and needs to be cleared from land, decks, and roofs. My muscles, bones, and mental state will take at least the weekend to bounce back.  I would rather have been in school celebrating Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss' birthday.

Trees and bushes all over the neighborhood will hopefully survive the weight of the snow.

Many branches, some huge, broke from trees all over the valley. 
Yes, it looks pretty, but only for a while.  
Charlie loved the snow and everything about it. He thought the shovels, falling snow from the trees, and noise from branches cracking were all a part of the "snow games"  of which he was determined to win.

This was the second round of snow after the first removal.
Heavy branches I'm hoping won't break.

At the end of the day on Friday, it was exhausting and just too much on the body.
Saturday morning the roof snow removal began. Can't let it melt and freeze here in upstate NY or you would have a mess of leaks down the wall in your house.

 These pines sure do look pretty though.
Hopefully, there will be no more snow storms like this around 127.
What was the weather like where you were on Mar. 2, 2018?

Lessons Learned:
1. Check the generator weeks before the winter season. Ours bit the dust on Mar. 1.
2. Try to keep up with snow blowing and shoveling if you don't have a plow or someone to do it for you. I heard of many who burnt out their snowblowers because the snow was just too heavy.
3. Remember, in the great northeast: IT IS WHAT IT IS. :)

A Preview of Things to Come
Riley Blake Lost In Love Quilt: One for Me
and one for a Special Friend

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Holidays 2017

Happy Holidays Everyone!

This post may come a little bit late (as always), but the past holiday sentiment is the same. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.

If you haven't already guessed, I'd rather make gifts for my family than buy them. I  believe they mean much more than a store-bought gift.  Not sure why because it increases my stress factor X a million.

This year I chose to make ornaments for my whole extended family. Do any of you remember Tom and Alice Horton's Christmas specials on the soap, "Day's of Our Lives"? I'm kind of embarrassed to say that I watched that; but yes, before my teaching position at SCSD, I did give into the soaps while my kids were napping.

I particularly was fond of the holiday episodes when the elder couple put ornaments for their entire family on the tree.  (What a sap I am).

So here I was in Nov. 2017, trying to get the birthstones of all of my extended family from my sister. Her hobby is to check the genealogy of our family.  She sent me what she could and I created ornaments for everyone with their name and the color of their birthstone.
These ornaments are for Mary, Peter, Val, Steve, Nick, (I can't make out the rest), except for Amanda and Eddie's grandbaby, Madalyn.

I gave this ornament to my Mom in remembrance of my brother, Frankie, who passed away, way to young.

This ornament is for Shannon's and Austin's cousin, Amanda.

And these are for my fur babies of the past and present: our first pup: Spaarkee; our current pup, Charlie. Another current pup, Howie; and a special therapy pup at MPMS: Rose Merry.  And yes, Beasley is in there somewhere. 

Kim, Tom, Tommy, Kristina, Amanda, and Eddy each received ornaments. 

They were packaged up and sent with my Sis to take on her way down to NC.

I was happy to see a special friend of mine did the same to honor her family. 

Here are a couple more pictures to celebrate the personalized ornaments and the season.

And here are a few more additions to the 2017 holiday season:

I recently purchased a Cricut Maker and a Cricut Heat Press. Both are exceptional products meant to entice us "crafties" to make handmade projects, and a conspiracy to get us to purchase more items to make. :)

These are all the rage of heat press vinyl on Walmart bags. I couldn't help myself and wanted to try it out. One for my "sister in law" and one for my mother.

I made one of these for my mother in law for her birthday in January.

These are just a few of the creations for Christmas 2017.

Lessons learned:
1. Start your handmade Christmas gifts, very, very early.
2. Plan on how you will transport your gifts early as well. I don't
    trust the post office. I sent the ornaments with my sister.
3. Do it the best you can, and plan accordingly.

Did you create any handmade Christmas gifts in 2017? Would love to hear what you made. Post them in the comments for this blog.