Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Drum roll please...poached pears

poached pears, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Here is my favorite dessert of all time: poached pears with Greek yogurt and ginger dark chocolate shavings"
To poach the pears:
1 bottle Champagne
1 cup sugar
zest or peal of 1 lemon
& 1 orange
1 inch of ginger, sliced or grated
juice of 1/2 lemon
3-4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil, then simmer about 5 minutes
4 pears peeled with stems on
Add the pears and submerge under liquid. Simmer about 20 minutes or until pears are tender.
Strain liquid and place in fridge until all is cool....at least 4 hours
To serve"
Cut pears in half. Core out seed area with melon baller. Fill hole with a dollop of Greek yogurt (plain) or sour cream. Shave a good chocolate over top.
Save unused syrup for topping of other fruit. After all it does have Champagne in it.
Yes it is a pear shaped bowl. Had to have it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving secret:

Roast turkey, lots of herbs, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Roast your turkey on Wednesday night!
Why? Your bird is done
The drippings are collected and the gravy made
The carcass has been rendered down to make yummy stock for the stuffing and other side dishes
and best of all:
The roasting pan has already been put away and the kitchen is clean.
Try it!

stuffed turkey breast

stuffed turkey breast, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

This was new for me and I must say it is my OWN recipe. The second turkey was a stuffed breast....not so unusual but the stuffing and the coating was different and delicious:
fresh figs (6), quartered
goat cheese (2" log), crumbled
walnuts (1/3 cup), roughly chopped
fresh sage leaves (4), finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
just mix together
Paint the inside of the breast with:
Raspberry Chipotle sauce
Place the stuffing on one side of the open breast
Bundle the breast back up and tie with lots of kitchen twine
Place on a rack in a roasting pan and top with
Pancetta (1/2 pound), thinly sliced
Oven: 400 deg for about 20 minutes to crisp the pancetta then drop to"
375 deg until the internal temp of the meat reads 160 on the thermometer ..My 4.5 lb breast took 1.5 hours.
Let rest for about 15 minutes and then slice.
Gobble gobble!

and for dessert

IMG_1309, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

We had 3 desserts, pecan pie (with a little orange zest), poached pears in champagne syrup, and this lovely cake: Apple Spice cake with cream cheese icing. This recipe came from Anne Burrell from the Food Network. It was fabulous. Try it! Poached pears still is my favorite all time holiday dessert but this one is heart warming.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Oh what fun!

Thanksgiving in Seattle, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Last weekend I went to Seattle for an early Thanksgiving: something I've done since Reina was born. We all really like to celebrate together the weekend before because #1 it isn't as crazy as the real weekend, #2 the stores are less crowded, the fares are cheaper and #3 it allows us all to do a dress rehearsal for the following Thursday.....sometimes with an alternative flare. I do love alternative flares.
But most of the visit is spent playing with my Seattle girls: Reina is 3 and her baby sister, Gabriela is 10 months. Both are absolutely adorable.
I hope all of you have as much fun, good food and love this Thanksgiving as I did.

We started Friday by making cookies

IMG_1287, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

We had lots of good food

dinner was good, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

We had time for a little painting

IMG_1288, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

It was a fun weekend

sock monkey,, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

This is how I feel when I am with my Seattle girls

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Domestic Divas, in training

tooth fairy pillow, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Today was the very first class of Domestic Divas, in training (DDIT). I have wanted to start a little girls sewing class for months now and the time arrived today. Ella and 3 of her friends met at my home to learn how to sew. Our first project is this cute little tooth fairy pillow.......very appropriate for 6-8 year olds who seem to have wiggly teeth ready to exfoliate at any time. We started out with making a pattern for the tooth and then practicing basic embroidery stitches: running stitch and French knots. At times it was a challenge just to keep the thread on the needle much less wrap it around the needle and head back to the original hole in the fabric but the girls did really well. We had plenty of giggles, some frustration and lots of fun.

tooth pillow set up, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

All set up for the new little Divas to arrive after school

Diva, Ella

Domestic Divas, in training, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Domestic Divas, in training, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Domestic Divas, in training, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Domestic Divas, in training, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Domestic Divas, in training, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

After 45 minutes of our first lesson the divas deserved a little hot spiced cider and a cookie. Good work girls!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sunflower in the snow

Sunflower in the snow, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Tuesday we saw our first snow in Denver for the year. I still had one sunflower in bloom and it was so refreshing to see it's sunny cheery bloom on a very gloomy day.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fridays with Kate

emergency responder, Kate, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

On Fridays Kate and I spend the day together playing and exploring. Today we went to the Denver Children's museum where there was a fire engine (one of Kate's favorite vehicles) and an emergency 9-1-1- calling zone. I was pleased when the emergency dispatcher asked Kate her name, address and phone number that she had all the right answers and when all of the important information was collected Kate said "hurry, it's an emergency." Then she put on her fire coat and hat and climbed up to the fire truck diver's seat.....

driving the fire engine

driving the fire engine, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

And then Kate was completely prepared to drive the fire truck and sound the sirens.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fall leaves

Fall leaves, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

I have been collecting leaves and stuff the last couple of weeks when I take Sophie out for a walk. It has been so fun to pick up leaves the color of limes, lemons, chocolate and all shades of reds and golds. Today I found a cool tutorial on Alisa Burke's blog that inspired me to sketch directly with pen and change a bit of my watercolor technique as well. Very helpful!!! So while it was snowing outside I sat by the fire and sketched and painted. Who can complain about that?

Sophie's first snow

Sophie's first snow, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

What the heck is this??? Sophie just thought she was going out for a walk but her feet feel funny and "what is this stuff on my ears?"

sunflower in the snow

sunflower in the snow, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Ok I planted my sunflowers late but it sort of describes us Californians in our first Colorado snow

first snow on elm street

IMG_1241, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.