This posting is a short amalgamation of miscellaneous happenings, photos, food and critters from the past 2 months that really didn’t fit into any other blog that I’ve written…
A snow storm in Ohio prevented our usual trip to the eastern suburbs of Cleveland and a visit with our son David II, his wife Amy and our 2 grandsons, David III and Emmett Lee. So, at the last minute, what to do for Thanksgiving dinner?
We found our answer at Costco…with this unfrozen pre-prepped turkey breast and stuffing. We were unsure if we’d like the stuffing and since it was just a breast, we thought that the finished product might be a bit dry. No worries though! The meat was tender and moist. The stuffing was decent…not spicy with sausage like we prefer…but pretty good!
We ended up with a lot of leftover turkey and stuffing, never a problem for a guy who really likes turkey and stuffing sandwiches. But, I’d noticed a recipe for a Cheddar-Bacon Breakfast Casserole posted by Mary Bergfeld from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite. (http://oneperfectbite.blogspot.com/)
I did take ‘just a few liberties’ with the recipe that Mary had posted. I used turkey…a lot of turkey…instead of 4 slices of bacon or a cup of diced cooked ham. In addition, I didn’t have any dry French bread around, but what the heck…I had a lot of stuffing! Add 1 ¾ cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 2 cups of milk, 4 beaten eggs, 2 tablespoons of fresh Italian parsley, ½ teaspoon mustard, a bit more than ¼ teaspoon of black pepper and 1/8 teaspoon of onion powder.
The big problem was that the stuffing was already moist and there was just too much liquid… The good news is that the problem was solved by just leaving it in the oven well past the suggested 25 – 30 minutes. The resulting casserole was pretty good…I liked it better than Laurie did…and after the leftover casserole sat for another day or two, it was even more flavorful. The stuffing actually added flavor and texture…
A few days later, we were out running errands and we stopped for lunch. We had a 2 for 1 lunch coupon for the China Pearl Restaurant in Farragut Tennessee. It is now operating under new ownership and we thought this would be a good time to try it out. We weren’t sorry! It was all good… Laurie ordered the chicken curry with carrots, peppers, etc.? She can’t really recall everything but she loved whatever she had!
I ordered the chicken with broccoli… Both of our lunches came with our choice of 3 different soups and an egg roll. They even got the spice levels right with just enough heat in my sauce to make my head sweat!
Our cost for lunch with, taxes included but not including the tip, came to a grand total of $10.08! If you’re in the area, give the ‘new’ China Pearl a try. This restaurant is located in the same center as the Farragut Kroger Store at 11248 Kingston Pike (US Hwy. 11), in Farragut Tennessee. Phone: 865-966-6937.
Dawn Marie once again joined us for Christmas in East Tennessee… Here we are decorating the Christmas cookies that Laurie made up. Given my minimalistic artistic skills, I limited myself to about 3 cookies. We each really enjoyed decorating these cookies & of course, had to sample them to see if they were fit to consume! Ha-ha J
Dawn was meticulous with her decorations. She and Laurie decorated most of them. They were the best Christmas cookies I’ve had in 5 years! The recipe Laurie used for the dough was from The Pioneer Woman, with a simple powdered sugar frosting with a bit more butter added. She and Dawn like a butter cream frosting!
The recipe for the dough is as follows:1 1/3 c. butter
- · 1 ½ c. sugar
- 1 1/3 c. butter
- · 1 t. orange zest
- · 1 t. vanilla extract
- · 2 whole eggs
- · 3 T. whole milk
- · 4 c. all- purpose flour
- · 3 t. baking powder
- · ½ t. salt
- · Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- · In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, orange zest and vanilla thoroughly.
- · Add in the eggs and beat until light and fluffy.
- · Add in the milk & mix.
- · In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) Then blend this into the creamed mixture.
- · Wrap in plastic wrap and flatten into a disc shape and refrigerate for 1 or 2 hours or freeze for 20 minutes.
- · Roll out dough and use cookie cutters of your choice to cut out shapes.
- · Bake on parchment paper lined cookie sheets until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow them to cool before frosting.
(Laurie wanted me to point out that the pan the cookies are on is not what she baked them on. This pan is only used “normally” with foil lining it and we just grab it quickly to place the decorated cookies on to sit till they could be packed in tins. They were only on the cookie sheet till she took the photo)
Here’s yours truly cooking a big breakfast for us on Christmas Eve morning. Laurie’s only complaint about my efforts to cook is that I am really messy! On the other hand, she doesn’t fry anything…that’s my job…so she’s stuck with me if she wants a basic breakfast at home!
Here’s our breakfast spread…minus the English muffins. Lots of cheese eggs made with sharp cheddar cheese, a touch of milk and lots of pepper; thick cut bacon from Costco; sausage patties…also from Costco; hash brown potatoes fried with butter, pepper, onion flakes and a touch of garlic powder. The little plate at the top contained the remnants of Dawn’s Mexican meal from a couple of nights earlier. She ate it with her eggs. This was a very good breakfast!
We and 11 other friends were at Karen and Charlie’s for Christmas Day dinner. It was excellent and we all had a great time! Laurie tried to take a good photo of one of their cats, a Devon Rex named Ali. What’s not to love about that face?! Seeing as Devon Rex cats have no fur, Ali loves the heat. The fireplace, a blanket or the top of any electronic device that is powered up are all popular spots for her this time of the year!
Our cat J.D. loves heat too… He searches the house for sunshine but if that isn’t available, he’ll go for the fireplace or a nice bright table lamp. He does run our house! He tells us when to feed him, to let him out on the porch, to place a blanket on a lap for his comfort, etc. He even tells us when it’s time to go to bed. This latter habit ‘may’ stem from the fact that when its bedtime, he gets a snack, he’s played with one last time and he receives his evening massage. (No, I’m not kidding! Laurie gives him a massage every night…)
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit! I hope that it isn’t too cold where you are…
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave