Friday, December 19, 2008

Let it Snow and Snow and Snow...

They never close the schools in Madison. Last year it happened for the first time in about 10 years. This year they've already closed twice! It started last night around midnight and it's still going as of 9 am this morning. They say it's snowing between 1-3 inches per hour and we should accumulate about 12 inches before it's all done. The photos are out the back door of our the bottom one you can see at least one foot of snow on top of the crock on the deck. The Farmer's Almanac predicts 20% more snow this winter than last winter, which was an all time record for us, so we've got the shovels ready and we're bundled up watching it snow and blow. The holiday packages are mailed and the cards addressed and ready to go out, so I guess we'll bake today. Beast is already in the kitchen eagerly awaiting the next project. I think it will be fresh baked soft pretzels today, with a post to come with photos, details and a recipe on the next Blog.
In the meanwhile, Happy Holidays and Let It Snow!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Santa Beast Says...

Ho Ho Ho...I found the cookies! Mom thought she hid the ones that didn't go out in the mail, but I found them and boy are they good! Patience really is a virtue--tee hee
We've been busy in the kitchen for the last week baking cookies (eating crumbs that drop of the floor and I'm the first kitty there); making cranberry chutney (the things humans eat!) and baking pizza and bread and cooking lamb--that smells like some real food-meow! Here's a picture of our Cranberry Chutney (before and after cooking) and a recipe too. It goes great with poultry or pork, but is also good as a side condiment or slathered on a sandwich for a sweet-savory taste. Or, try it with baked brie and crackers...lip smacking good! And, this recipe has no sugar so it's safe for people with diabetes or other sugar concerns.

Lisa's Cranberry Chutney
2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
4 oz fresh or dried figs, chopped coarsely
1 navel orange, zested, peeled and chopped coarsely
zest from orange
1-1/2 cups Agave Nectar (you can use sugar if preferred)
5 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/8 cup sherry
1/8 cup port wine
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger (I keep grated ginger in the freezer
so it's always on hand when I need some for a recipe)
1/8 tsp allspice
Combine ingredients in a large stainless-steel or other non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook at a low boil for about 30-40 minutes or until the mixture is very thick and the liquid is syrupy. If you are going to process for storing, then proceed with processing, otherwise, cool and store in refrigerator. Makes about 2-1/2 cups.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

That's Isaac Laughing--he's 1!

My how time flies...the past few weeks have been busy, which is why I haven't been in Beast's Kitchen. And he's a little crazy about it too--every time I open the doors to the kitchen he flies into the room and jumps immediately on top of the dishwasher to watch what's going on.
For Thanksgiving weekend we went to visit Tim's Grandson, Isaac, who turned 1 year old on the 21st of November. We had fun playing with him and making him laugh, and wearing him out too. It won't be long and Isaac will have a little sister to burn up energy with. Of course it will take her a while to be fun for him, but I suspect that he'll be charmed with her. Best wishes with the pregnancy, Angela and Rich!