Thursday, December 31, 2009

Chipotle Rice

Patrick has been making this rice the last few times we have had chicken and rice, including our Christmas Eve dinner. For New Year's Eve we are having a Chipotle style potluck for the Murder Mystery event. Patrick and I volunteered to provide the chicken, beef and rice and everyone else brought the toppings. Here is the recipe for the Chipotle rice.

Chipotle Rice

Chipotle Rice

1 teaspoon vegetable oil or butter
2 tsp. fresh cilantro
2/3 cup white basmati rice
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Lime

In a 2-quart heavy saucepan, heat oil or butter over low heat, stirring occasionally until melted. Add rice and lime juice, stir for 1 minute. Add water and salt, bring to a full rolling boil. At boiling, cover, turn down to simmer over low heat until rice is tender and the water is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork.

Source: Chipotle Fan

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Spicy Chili

Since we are still recovering from all the food and sweets over the various Christmas celebrations it was good to eat a meal at home. The chili was a perfect solution. We had some Christmas returns to make, so we put it in the crockpot before we left and when we got home supper was ready. Oh and doesn't the chili look good in the new bowls Patrick got me for Christmas.

Spicy Chili

Spicy Chili

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground turkey breast
2 cans chili beans in medium chili sauce
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 can tomato paste
½ yellow onion, chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped
2 T. chili powder
1 ½ t. soy sauce
1 ½ t. minced garlic
1 ½ t. dried oregano
1 t. cumin
½ t. basil
½ t. salt
½ t. black pepper
½ t. cayenne pepper
½ t. white sugar
shredded cheese

Directions: Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Crumble the turkey into the hot pan and cook evenly until brown. Add all ingredients except shredded cheese. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. You can also a crockpot to simmer the chili for 2-4 hours on low. Remove from heat, ladle into bowls and serve topped with cheese.

Adapted from: Annie's Eats

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Adventures at Mom & Dad's

After our night of Mario, we were ready to explore the new fallen snow. My mom was insistent that we take the snowmobile for a ride on Saturday morning, so Patrick and I geared up in old Carhartts, oversized boots and mismatched mittens. Luke had already taken a few spins around by the time we got outside, so he just handed us the snowmobile and we were off. Well we got about halfway up a hill with knee deep snow and we were stuck. We ended up spending the next 15 minutes trying to get it unstuck. Lucky for us, Luke was shoveling off the roof and saw our struggles and made the trek through the field to rescue us. He got us out, but we decided the snowmobile probably wasn't powerful enough for two people in the deep snow. After Patrick dropped Luke off at the house, I got a ride back as well and decided I would rather take pictures than ride the snowmobile. Here are some pictures from the day.

Snowy Barn

Snowy Tree

Snow at Mom & Dad's

Snow Shoes

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Day Dinner

After Patrick shoveled us out we headed to Mankato for the Haefner Christmas at my aunt Karen's. The ride wasn't too bad until Belle Plaine, but then the snow started coming down like crazy and the roads were only plowed on one side so we decided to get off in Le Sueur and skip going to Karen's and just go to my parents' house instead.

Here are a couple pictures that we took our on detour through Le Sueur. It was pretty crazy how big the snow flakes were and how fast they were coming down.

Le Sueur

Bridge in Le Sueur

That night we had our family Christmas at my parents' house. Mom & Luke made the Christmas tree table decorations the night before. For dinner we had salad, crab legs, ham & roasted potatoes. Mom and Dad also made homemade Bailey's Irish Cream. It was pretty tasty, much better than our glogg we had the night before.

After dinner we opened presents. Nathan and Nickie got the new Super Mario game for the Wii for Christmas so after the presents Nathan, Luke and Patrick played the game until one in the morning. The game is pretty fun, but I am not sure it is fun enough to play for five hours straight.

Christmas Dinner

Salad

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Day Snow

We woke up Christmas morning to more snow. I haven't seen this much snow since I was a kid. Patrick worked on shoveling the wet heavy snow, while I made the salad we planned to bring to my aunt Karen's for lunch. After I was done making the salad, Patrick was still shoveling. It ended up taking him close to an hour and a half to shovel the driveway and the deck. Here is our backyard covered in snow.

Snowy Backyard

Our pine tree weighted down in snow and the garden trellis covered in snow.

Christmas Tree & Garden Arch

Backyard

The tree in the front yard and a garden pot covered in at least a foot of snow.

Front Yard Tree & Garden Pot

Maple Tree

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was pretty uneventful at our house. Neither of us had to work, so it was nice to just take a day to relax. When we left for church it was still snowing outside, so we weren't sure how long it would take to get there. It didn't end up taking too long, most of the roads were just wet. Here is our church all covered in snow.

Church on Christmas Eve

After church, we went home and made chicken and rice for dinner. We have made this Chipotle rice a couple times now and tastes very similar to the stuff from the restaurant. I will share the recipe in a seperate post.

Chipotle Rice & Chicken

We also attempted to make glogg a warm Scandinavian drink. When Patrick was in college he went with his friend Rickard to Sweden over Christmas and Rickard and his family drank glogg after dinner. The drink is red wine and brandy with almonds and raisins in it. We almost burned the house down making it, as the you were supposed to light the brandy and sugar on fire. To extinguish the flame you were supposed to put the cover on the pot, I forgot about this important step in the recipe for a minute or so and the flames were almost out of control at this point. Luckily, we got the cover on the pot and extinguished the flame just in time.

Ornaments and Presents

After our glogg adventure, we opened presents. We both got some fun new things. We decided to go practical this year and buy things that we both would end up buying soon anyway. Patrick got a new skiing helmet and some new shirts. I got a set of white square plates and dishes and some new tennis shoes.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Fudge

While I was making cookies, Patrick was at home making fudge. We were having Rickard & Melissa over for dinner on Saturday night and we had to bring something to our church get together on Sunday. He ended up making 2 pans of fudge, one for each occasion.

Since we cooked up a huge meal of beef tenderloin, spuds, green beans, salad and bread for Rickard & Melissa there wasn't much more room for fudge. We ended up taking the rest of that pan to the church party. We still had another pan left, but luckily I had volunteered to make something for the bake sale at my work on Tuesday. That worked out perfect since we had our last volleyball game of the season on Monday night and ended up going out to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings afterward.

Fudge

Fudge

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine
1 small can (5 oz.) evaporated milk (about 2/3 cup) (Do not use sweetened condensed milk.)
1-1/2 pkg. (12 squares) Semi-Sweet Chocolate, chopped
1 jar (7 oz.) Marshmallow Creme
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp. vanilla

Instructions:
Line 9-inch square pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan; set aside. Place sugar, butter and evaporated milk in large heavy saucepan. Bring to full rolling boil on medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil 4 min. or until candy thermometer reaches 234°F, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat.

Add chocolate and marshmallow creme; stir until completely melted. Add walnuts and vanilla; mix well.

Pour immediately into prepared pan; spread to form even layer in pan. Let stand at room temperature 4 hours or until completely cooled; cut into 1-inch squares. Store in tightly covered container at room temperature.

Source: Kraft Foods

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Cookie Baking

On Saturday morning, I went to my aunt Rosie's house to bake cookies with my cousins Frannie and Jolene and my aunt Jean and her granddaughter Allie. We have been getting together to make Christmas cookies for the last few years. It is a great way to get a ton cookies baked in a short period of time. We ended up making chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles, Reese's pretzels, peanut butter stars and spritz.

Snickerdoodles

Peanut Butter Stars

Peanut Butter Pretzels

Spritz

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Halibut with Lemon Shallot Butter

We still have a couple packages of halibut left from our Alaskan adventure, so we figured it was time to use some of it. I saw this recipe for the lemon shallot butter sauce and I knew it would be a great compliment to the fish. We served the fish with steamed carrots and broccoli, which was a great addition.

Halibut with Lemon Butter Sauce

Halibut with Lemon Shallot Butter

6 ounces, weight (to 7 Ounces) Piece Of Halibut, With Or Without The Skin On
3 Tablespoons Butter
1 whole Medium-sized Shallot, Minced
1 whole Lemon, Zested And Juiced
3 Tablespoons Canola Oil
Kosher Salt And Fresh Ground Pepper (to Taste)

Heat the over to 375 degrees. Bake the fish in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile make the lemon shallot butter sauce. Melting the butter over a medium-high heat. Add in the minced shallot and lemon zest. Cook over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes.

When the shallots have become a little softer, squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon. Whisk together and reduce the heat to medium until you’ve got an incredible-smelling sauce. (Skipping the shallots in this process will make a super-simple lemon butter sauce.)

Add the sauce to the fish before serving.

Source: The Pioneer Woman

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow Storm

Last night was the first annoying drive home of the winter. My commute is normally 20-30 minutes and last night it took an hour and a half to drive 17 miles. As you can see I was a little bored staring at the tail lights in front of my so I took a couple pictures with my iPhone.

Snowy Ride Home

Today, Patrick worked from home and I took the day off to work on my photography website. I had another day to use before the end of the year so I figured I would save some time sitting in traffic by taking the day off. Patrick went out to shovel and I got a few fun pictures.

Patrick Shoveling

Patrick Shoveling 2

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Turkey Pot Pies

Although we ate most of the turkey in burritos and on sandwiches we still had some left. Patrick has been talking about making pot pies for awhile now so I decided this was a great way to use up the rest of the turkey. We really enjoyed this and it is sure to become and after Thanksgiving tradition in our house.

Turkey Pot Pie

Turkey (or Chicken) Pot Pies

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or, if you have it, homemade turkey (or chicken) stock)
3 cups cooked turkey (or chicken), cut or shredded into bite-sized pieces
1 cup frozen peas
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 large egg yolk

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium. Add onion and carrot and cook until onion softens, about 6 minutes. Add flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is pale golden, has a slightly nutty aroma and is the texture of cooked oatmeal, about 5 minutes.

Whisking constantly, add broth. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens, about 8 minutes. Reduce to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. Stir in turkey (or chicken), peas and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Divide mixture among four 12-ounce baking dishes; refrigerate until room temperature, about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll pastry to a 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into four equal squares, one inch larger than dishes; with the tip of a sharp knife, cut vents into pastry. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water; top pot pies with pastry and brush with egg wash. Refrigerate 15 minutes.

Bake until pastry is deep golden and juices are bubbling, about 35 minutes.

Source: The Kitchen Sink

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wild Game

My cousin Frannie and her husband Will have season tickets to the Wild and before the season started they sold the games we weren't able to use. We bought tickets for tonight. It was a lot of fun. We went to Cossetta's for dinner before hand and then headed over to the game. During the game there was at least one good fight and the Wild ended up winning in overtime 5-4.

Cossetta's

Wild Game 2009

Wild Game