Tuesday, December 24, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS/HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

 

For those of us who are celebrating Christmas you can view your card here.  Please click on the Northern Lights to start your card.

And for my friends of different faiths you can view your card here.  Please click on the little bird to start your card.

I am taking some time off from blogging but will be back in the New Year.  

Food Post - Egg Nog French Toast


Growing up in England we would only have Eggnog at Christmas time, just like they do in the States.  Mum always made it from scratch and each glass would have a small drop of sherry poured on the top.  They didn't have this delicious concoction already made up at the supermarket like they do now, and drinking Eggnog at Christmas was such a traditional drink in our house.  Seeing Mum get out all the ingredients in preparation was enough to make us smile.  There were only rare times that I ever saw Mum drink alcohol.  When it was inside the chocolates of the huge box of liqueur chocolates she would buy each Christmas, her yearly glass of Eggnog with the spot of sherry on top, and a tot of brandy before she got on an airplane, "Purely for medicinal purposes" she would say, as she was scared of flying.  

This recipe shows another way to use Eggnog.  Maybe I should have thrown a dash of sherry over the top.  I found the original here at Jackie's 'Domestic Fits' blog.  

Eggnog French Toast Bake

1 lb. loaf of French bread
4 cups Eggnog
6 eggs
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Slice and cube your French bread and put into a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

In a separate bowl whisk together remaining ingredients, and pour over the bread.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 24 (refrigerating overnight is recommended).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake Eggnog French Toast uncovered for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve warm and, I forgot to do this, but sprinkle with powdered sugar.  It looks real pretty.

What did we think?  

It was great being able to make this up the evening before, and super easy to take out and pop it in the oven.  

I served it up for breakfast when son came over the other morning.  I had intended to make it for Christmas morning originally.  It wasn't Gregg's favorite because it had cinnamon and he isn't a fan.  It also had a bread pudding consistency and again, he isn't a fan of bread pudding.  He also said it was too sweet for him.  But he was a sweety for letting me try the recipe as I loved it and so did son.  

The three of us agreed a small piece went a long way as it was very rich.  There are plenty of leftovers which I will cut into small portions and freeze for another day (for me or if son comes over).  

We served it with bacon on the side, and I had some fresh pineapple in the fridge.  Son also arrived with my favorite latte from Starbucks and a coke for his Dad.  He knows us so well!  He also took the photo above.

If you like bread pudding Jackie also has a delicious looking recipe for Strawberries and Cream Breakfast Bread Pudding right here.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Lights at the Norfolk Botanical Garden, Norfolk, Virginia

Norfolk Botanical Garden, Norfolk, Virginia, link here.

From Thanksgiving until December 31st, 2013, the garden holds their Dominion Garden of Lights.  It is a two-mile car drive through a million lights.  My photos don't do it justice, much better to see these pretty creations with our own eyes.














 
























Friday, December 20, 2013

CAMERA CRITTERS and SATURDAY'S CRITTERS

Not everyone's cup of tea but the Prairie Dog is one of my favorite little animals.  These were found in a Prairie Dog town near Devil's Tower in Wyoming.























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Today I am linking with Misty's Camera Critters and Eileen's Saturday's Critters.  Thank you for hosting these great memes ladies.

SKYWATCH FRIDAY

These are again from our road trip last September.


Hi Tom, whoever you are.


 Below is a photo of Devil's Tower.  You can read about it here.  Any sci-fi fans out there will recognize this famous landmark when it was shown in the 1977 movie, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind".  You can see a partial clip from the movie here.


And just as a matter of interest, here is a photo of the model used in the movie.  We found it at the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum, and their website is here.





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My thanks to the SkyWatch Team for hosting this wonderful meme.
YogiSandy and Sylvia are our hosts at SkyWatch Friday.

Please click here to visit other sky watchers.


Happy SkyWatch Friday!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Random Photo


Every now and again I thought I would share a random photo from my archives.  This one was taken in Wyoming on our summer road trip, so what other title can I give it but, "GOT MILK?"

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Celebration



Thank you to all my blogging friends who have left us so many lovely comments today.  I am very, very thankful to have met you over the years.

If you ever missed the reason why I started this blog, you can read the explanation here.  And if you missed the story of how Gregg and I met and think you might be interested, you can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.  We both read it every once in a while and it always brings us a smile, especially on each anniversary.  Pour yourself a cuppa and pull up a chair.   

Monday, December 16, 2013

Food Post - Pineapple Pork Rice

Happy Monday to you all.  We have had a quieter weekend than normal, as the weather was very iffy.  We enjoyed our time, however.  There is always plenty of things to do and to enjoy just staying at home, as you well know.  A friend popped by and brought us holiday fudge!  Yum and thank you to that friend for such a delicious treat. We shall be enjoying it from here til Christmas.

A warning for you, our Credit Card Company phoned to let us know that there were two suspicious transactions on our card.  One for $600 at Walmart and another for $800 at Best Buy.  These two companies were on the ball, as they refused to accept each transaction.  I am very thankful not only to our Credit Card Company, but also to Walmart and Best Buy for denying the purchases.  I have no idea how someone got our credit card number as we are both very careful about such things, but will be even more diligent from now on.  Our old card was immediately cancelled and new ones are on the way.  So, word to the wise, please be careful out there and if you have any advice, please let me know in the comment section.  I'm sure we would all like to read what you have to say.

I put this post together a couple of weeks ago.


I found today's meal here at Ashley's Cookie Monster Cookies blog. There are some delicious recipes on there for you to look through.

Pineapple Pork Rice

Yield: about 4 to 5 servings.

1 pound (about 3 to 4) boneless pork chops, trimmed and cut into half-inch chunks
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided
1 tablespoon Asian Chili-Garlic Sauce
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 green onions, thinly sliced
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon peanut oil
1/4 cup Hoisin Sauce
2 cups cubed fresh pineapple
6 cups cold cooked brown rice
1/2 cup cashew halves

In a small bowl add the pork, 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce and the chili-garlic sauce.  Toss to combine.

Set a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.  When hot add the pork mixture.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 to 5 minutes, until cooked through.  Transfer the pork to a clean medium-sized bowl and set aside.

Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet.  Add in the green onions and cook for 1 minutes.  Next, add the eggs. Cook, stirring constantly, until scrambled.  Transfer the green onion/egg mixture to the bowl with the pork.

Add the peanut oil, hoisin sauce, pineapple and remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce to the skillet.  Cook for 30 to 45 seconds.  Add in the cold rice, breaking up any clumps, and cook until the rice is heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Add in the pork mixture and cashews, stirring to combine.  Cook for 1 additional minute, until heated through.

What we thought of this dish?  Delicious!  It has already been added to our favorites folder and we will be making it again and again.   Thanks Ashley!

Added note: I have been thinking about this dish and thought instead of meat next time, I will try firm tofu.  I bet it goes great with this recipe.  


Sunday, December 15, 2013

A little humor....


This really tickled my funny-bone.  

I have seen versions of the three wise monkeys for years but never really thought how they originated.  Apparently they date back to 17th Century Japanese carvings.  The three are Mizaru (see no evil) covering his eyes, Kikazaru (hear no evil) covering his ears, and Iwazaru (speak no evil) covering his mouth.  Sometimes there is a fourth monkey, Shizaru (do no evil) crossing his arms, but as in the cartoon above, he seems to have taken up blogging!

Here is a poem I found online.

Three small monkeys on my table
Each as good as he is able,

Not to see or hear or say
Things unpleasant through the day.

One with hands across his eyes,
Careful that he never spies,

Does not see the faults of others,
Neither playmates nor his brother.

One with fingers in his ears
That he's sure he never lies,

Now the third with fingertips
Gently placed upon the lips,

That he may not speak unkind
Thoughts that enter his mind,

Now without the fingertips
Pressing closely on the lips,

He should guard the tongue as well,
And be cautious what we tell.

May the conscience be our guide
Telling what to see or hide;

Let us learn without delay
What to see or hear or say.

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The Three wise Monkeys
~Author Unknown~


I wonder what pearls of wisdom this wise monkey is teaching its little one.
(photo taken at Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, Virginia - November 2013)

Our blogging friend Adam from "Neko Random" which you can find here, gave me some additional information.  His comment read, "Zaru is actually the Japanese word for monkey (though the proper noun is Saru), and their names are literally seemonkey, hearmonkey and saymonkey."  Very interesting, thanks Adam!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

SATURDAY CRITTERS, CAMERA CRITTERS AND ANNI'S BIRD D'POT

I found these birds at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, Virginia.  


The White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) is a large wading bird in the stork family Ciconidae, breeding in the warmer parts of Europe (north to Estonia), northwest Africa and southwest Asia (east to southern Kazakhstan).  It is a strong migrant, wintering mainly in tropical Africa, down to the south of South Africa and also in the Indian subcontinent.



It is a huge bird 40-50 inches (100-125 cm) tall, with a 61-79 inch (155-200 cm) wingspan and a weight of 5 to 10 pounds (2.3-4.5 kg).  It is completely white except for the black wing flight feathers, and its red bill and legs, which are black on juveniles.

I look forward to seeing them in the wild one day.

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Today I am linking with Misty's Camera CrittersEileen's Saturday's Critters and Anni's Bird D'Pot.  Thank you for hosting these great memes ladies.

TODAY'S FLOWERS #277

The link to Today's Flowers on the home page opens at 12.15 a.m. every Saturday, Eastern Time (US).  The old link will close the previous Thursday at 11.30 P.M.

To see beautiful blooms from around the world you can click here.  My grateful thanks to last week's participants.



















Today's Flowers was created by our good friend Luiz Santilli, Jr.




TF teamPupo - Sandy Carlson - Denise

If anyone would like to be a guest and share photos on our home page, details can be found at the top of Today's Flowers web site, which you will find here.
           
As time allows I will be linking up with Laura's I Heart Macro found here.

Shine the Divine