Friday, December 30, 2011

Crown Roast

Merry Christmas!

We just returned from a trip north to my mom's where we celebrated Christmas in style with a huge hunk of pig, also known as a "crown roast". Photos of food always look a bit disgusting unless they were taken by a professional (which I am not), but this gives you an idea of the magnificent roast beast we dined on. Unfortunately I was too busy sipping my vodka-muddled to remember to take a photo before the roast went into the oven. The roast was fabulous, and Mom made a cranberry and pear chutney that added loads of flavor. The pork reminded me somewhat of prime rib: it was tender, juicy, silky and not at all stringy. Yum! I think we all decided that it will be our new tradition. (PS: overlook the poor quality of the photos -- remember the vodka-muddleds!)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cranberry Relish Recipe

Today's sermon tied together the preparation of Advent with the preparation of a complicated recipe for a cranberry treat that our priest thought he might like. This got me thinking about theee best cranberry recipe ever - the cranberry relish recipe I started making for Thanksgiving a few years back. It is fresh, simple, and fabulous.

Cranberry Relish
1 lime
1 (12-oz) bag fresh cranberries (3 cups)
1 medium red onion, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh serrano chile, including seeds

Finely grate 1 teaspoon zest from lime, then squeeze enough juice to measure 2 tablespoons.

Pulse cranberries with zest, juice, onion, sugar, and chile to taste in a food processor until finely chopped. Chill relish, covered, stirring occasionally, at least 2 hours (to allow flavors to develop) and up to 1 week. 

My notes: I substitute 2 jalapenos (minus the seeds) in place of the serrano pepper. Also, I find the flavor to be perfect on day 2, but then the onion becomes too strong for my liking by day 4. This is AWESOME on your turkey sandwich, too. Enjoy!

This photo is from a NY Times article from 2008 about the cranberry industry.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Animals Singing Jingle Bells

Why do I love these singing animals so much?? I can't help myself. Enjoy!

from this channel:

Kodiak Dog Coat

Bumble has been wearing his new dog coat, and he seems to like it. I ordered it from Doctors Foster and Smith, and it appears to be really high quality. The description of the coat from their site:

This quilt-lined coat has full belly coverage! Wind, rain, and cold are no match for this waterproof dog coat. Quality-made coat boasts three-layer warmth and features a special nylon outer fabric that's waterproof, windproof, and breathable. Gives pets superior protection from the elements. Hip tape on all seams ensures moisture won't seep through the seams, either.

Two-tone dog coat features a stand-up collar and poly/cottonlining for warmth. Features include a leash opening, wraparound belt, and decorative, reflective ribbon on belt and collar boost safety. Self-fastening closure on belt and back leg straps hold coat in place. Owner identification label on inside. Machine wash and tumble dry low.

Bum looks a little silly when he's wearing it, but this coat will keep him warm and dry this winter as he plays outside in the snow.

~ Bum is next to me on the couch as I write this, happily snuggled in his couch-bed ~

~  this is the color of his snazzy new coat ~

~ and I just like the composition of this pic :) ~