Decorating Started

I have been slowly decorating inside the house.  Here is a couple of pictures of the bathroom. You will notice that the main colors (yellow, rust, gray & white) are still there but accented with black, purple and orange.

 

Next to the kitchen. I don’t like the way the valance is hanging so I’m trying to decide on either a curtain rod or maybe just a better piece of twine.

Here are my pot holders.

And just to make you feel welcome:

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Creamsicle Smoothie

One of my favorite store bought ice creams when I was growing up was the orange creamsicle. I loved the vanilla inside the orange sherbet like shell. Whenever I see anything that sounds like this flavor, I have to try it. Here is a great smoothie recipe for this Creamsicle Day. Enjoy!

1 peeled & frozen navel orange
½ c. orange juice
1 c. plain yogurt
1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. Honey
1 c. ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

Grand Marnier Day

I don’t know if you’ve priced Grand Marnier lately but it is pretty expensive. I found a small bottle at my grocery on sale for $19.99. I have purchased it before but couldn’t bring myself this week.  It is a tasty orange liqueur. In honor of Grand Marnier, I made an orange liquor by juicing some oranges and mixing with an equal amount of Absolute vodka.

Not quite the same since first off mine is orange in color while Grand Marnier is clear. This would only make a difference if you were making a drink like the B52 shot which layers of Irish Cream, Kahlua, and Grand Marnier. Also Grand Marnier is a Cognac where as my mix is a liquor. What ever your choice: orange vodka or Grand Marnier, make yourself a drink and enjoy today.

Steak & Shrimp Fajitas

Have you ever had a craving for something? That’s what happened this weekend. For some reason I wanted fajitas. Even though we don’t eat tortillas, the meat & vegetables in the fajitas will suffice. So I picked up some top sirloin that was on sale, and red, orange and yellow sweet peppers. I was going to get a fajita seasoning packet but decided that I already had the main seasonings (cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and oregano) at the house. I had purchased a small package of shrimp a couple of days before so I included them in this meal.

When it was time to eat, I cut the top sirloin, peppers and an onion into strips. Using the same amount of cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and oregano I seasoned the meat and placed a skillet. Then seasoned the peppers and onions and added them to the skillet with the steak. I threw the shrimp in just a minute before the veggies were tender-crisp, . The fajitas were served over a bed of cauliflower rice and garnished with cilantro.

It was delicious. Next time you get a craving, I strongly suggest you act upon it and enjoy!

Fennel-Roasted Olives

I do like stuffed olives. We have found a double stuffed olive at Costco. The garlic and jalapeno go very well together. I’ve been trying some recipes that I can use as gifts. This recipe is for Fennel-Roasted Olives. They are easy to make and can be colorful depending on the olives you choose. I used the regular black olives and Manzanilla. If you have a favorite olive that would work as well.  Before serving, your may want to let the olives sit on the counter to warm up a bit.  Otherwise the oil is almost solid like a vinaigrette and it gives the olives a weird texture.

3 c. assorted olives
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. Orange zest
1 tsp. Lemon zest
1 Tbsp. Olive oil plus more to fill the jars
¼ tsp. Black pepper
2 tsp. Fennel seeds
sherry vinegar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a rimmed baking dish  toss olive, garlic, zests, black pepper and 1 tablespoon oil. Spread evenly and roast 30 minutes, stirring once. Divide olives into jars, add 1 teaspoon of fennel to each then pour even amounts of sherry vinegar and oil over olives to cover. Store in refrigerator up to 1 month.

 

Mandarin Champagne Splash

This is a great start to Valentine’s Day.

mandarin-splash

 

4 oz. Sparkling wine or champagne
2 tbsp. Mandarin orange juice (from a can of Mandarin oranges)
5-6 Mandarin orange pieces, canned

 

Add the Mandarin juice to a champagne flue. Then spoon in the oranges, Next top off with a heavy pour of sparkling wine or champagne. Serve immediately.

Hot Mulled Port

On these rainy cool days in Southern California, I like a warm beverage.  Give this one a try to warm your bones.

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2 oranges
1 grapefruit
1/4 c. sugar
1 cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
1 tsp. ground mace (optional)
1 bottle ruby port

 

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Peel rinds from oranges & grapefruit (try to avoid as much white pith as possible) and muddle them with sugar in a large bowl.  Allow to sit at least 30 minutes, to release oils in rinds.

 

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In a large pot, boil 2 cups of water. Add muddled rind mixture, then spices.

 

 

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Juice oranges & grapefruit; add juice to pot. Simmer over medium heat 10 minutes.

 

 

 

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Remove from heat; strain out the solids. Turn heat down to very low and return liquid to pot. Add port. Heat mixture until hot; but not boiling, garnish with cinnamon sticks & cloves, and serve.

National Margarita Day

Some of these “13 Margarita Recipes That Have Us Dreaming of Warmer Weather” look yummy.  If you try them, let us know if they taste as good as they look. The last margarita I made was in 2012 for my anniversary.  Below is a recipe for a Champagne Margarita if you would like to give it a try.

 

Grated zest from 1 lime
1 c. fresh lime juice
½ c. Contreau or orange liquor
½ c. silver tequila
Superfine sugar, if needed for added sweetness
1 lime, cut in half, for serving
Coarse (Kosher) salt, for serving
1 bottle Champagne or other sparkling wine

 

 

In a pitcher, combine lime zest, lime juice, Contreau, tequila and sugar. Cover and refrigerate until old, at least 1 hour. Just before serving, strain the mixture to remove the zest and pour enough salt into a saucer to cover the bottom. Rub a lime half over the rim of each champagne glass and upend into the salt to crust it lightly. Pout about 3 ounces of the tequila mixture into each glass, fill the rest of the way with Champagne or sparkling wine and hand to one of your lucky guests.

Note: If serving all at once, just pour champagne or sparkling wine directly into pitcher with lime mixture and serve in prepared glasses.

 

natl_margarita_day** Today is National Margarita Day! Send a free Margarita Day eCard to friends and family! The margarita cocktail – a famous concoction of tequila, Cointreau or Triple Sec, and lime juice – has been around since the 1940s. Every bartender in the world has put a unique spin on this classic, but no one knows who created the original.

Dozens of people claim that they invented the margarita, including a bartender named Willie from Mexico City. He said that in 1934 he created and named the drink for his friend Marguerite Hemery. Another popular legend is that Carlos “Danny” Herrera developed the drink at his restaurant in Tijuana in 1938. He invented it for Marjorie King, a customer who was allergic to all hard alcohol except tequila, and didn’t like its sour taste. Another story is that the Dallas socialite Margarita Sames mixed up the drink in 1948 for a house full of guests. One of them was Tommy Hilton who later added the drink to the bar menu at his hotels.

While the true identity of the tequila master may never be known, the margarita will go down in history as one of the most popular mixed drinks of all time. To celebrate National Margarita Day, invite some friends over and enjoy a pitcher of homemade margaritas!

 

 

** http://www.punchbowl.com/holidays/national-margarita-day

“Life’s A Beach” Cross Stitch Shirt

This is a * Golden Bee Stitchery pattern that I purchased on sale at WalMart. I decided to use this pattern on a child’s tank top for the summer. Just seemed like the best choice. When you purchase this type of pattern it comes with the waste canvas, embroidery thread, a needle, and instructions with the design.

Cross Stitch Shirts (3)

This was a pretty simple pattern and took about a week to complete while I was watching television at night. You could probably complete it in less than 4 hours if you wanted.

Cross Stitch Shirts (1)

 

 

 

* Golden Bee Stitchery is located in LaHabra CA. When I searched on line, I found quite a few cross stitch patterns on Amazon and at Etsy. I only found a Yellow Page entry for Golden Bee themselves so I don’t know if you can purchase these kits directly.

Citrus Marinated Poultry

Citrus-Marinated Turkey Breast1

 

1 c. orange juice
¼ c. lime juice
¼ c. olive oil
3 Tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pepper
2 tsp. Dried oregano

 

 

Combine all ingredients in a jar; close tightly and shake vigorously. Set ½ cup marinade aside for basting.

Place boneless, skinless chicken or turkey in a heavy-duty, zip-top plastic bag and pour in marinade. Marinade in refrigerator 8 hours, turning bag occasionally. Place meat in oven on a rack in a roasting pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until meat thermometer registers 170 degrees, brushing occasionally with reserved marinade.

 

 

From Barbara Dryden, Pollock, LA