Sunday, November 24, 2013

Weekend Recap - Crafting Gifts, A New Dog Park and Two Good Recipes (+ 3 Videos)

I am thankful that I am finally on fall break - I have 9 days off in a row, and my how I need it. I try to sleep in, but I can't seem to stay asleep pasted 6:50 a.m., even though I do not have to be up that early. I get up, let the dog out and go about starting my day. This weekend I worked on a few Christmas related crafts, did a bit of cooking, hung out with the family and took the dog to a new dog park.
Saturday morning was crisp and cold. We found found that we had the entire dog park to ourselves for most of our visit. The dog park is in Golden, near an Open Space park. Walking from the car to the dog park, Remmie discovered a chicken foot and part of its leg, feathers still attached. (The park is in a rural area so I imagine that a fox or coyote helped itself to a fresh chicken dinner the night before.) At first he was not at all sure what to do, but then he decided to taste it. That seemed to set some gears working, tapping into ancient dog knowledge. He chewed on it for a while and then paraded around a bit, oh so proud of his find. Then we entered the dog park, finding it up occupied, he set the leg down and began exploring. Part way through the visit another family began walking towards the entrance. At that same moment a deer found herself between those folks with a puggle (pug & beagle mix), the gate, a fence, Remmie and I. After some quick consideration, the deer hopped over the fence into the baseball diamond in one quick leap, bounded across the diamond and back out. The puggle was barking madly; Remmie, perplexed for a second time in a short while, was all excited, not sure what to do, ran back and forth along the fence. Larr played with Remmie a bit and then we headed back home.

Once home, I dropped off Larr and Remmie, picked up my mother and headed for Boulder to pick up supplies to make a few pajakis for home. We had a nice time, leisurely enjoying wonderful, fancy hot chocolate at Peace Love and Chocolate, before spending some time at Two Hands Paperie.

Later at home I commenced a bit of crafting. I can't really show much since it the gifting season approaches. Here are some glimpses of what I am working on:

I also did a bit of cooking:

Split Pea, Ham, Carrot & Barely Soup.


Better Than Olive Garden Fettuccine Alfredo
via: Cooking Classy

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks
2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp garlic powder (you can add an additional 1/4 tsp for more garlic flavor)
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste Shop
2 oz freshly, finely grated Parmesan Cheese (1/2 cup)
2 oz freshly, finely grated Romano Cheese (1/2 cup), plus more for serving
2 oz freshly, finely grated Mozzarella Cheese (1/2 cup)
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
1 lb Fettuccine Pasta, uncooked

Cook pasta according to directions listed on package, scoop out and reserve 1/4 cup pasta water
into a small bowl before draining.

In a large saucepan combine cream and milk. Scoop out and reserve 1/4 cup cream mixture into a
small mixing bowl. Scoop out and reserve another 1/4 cup cream mixture into a separate small
mixing bowl. Bring cream mixture in saucepan to a simmer over medium heat (a gentle bubble just
below boiling). Reduce heat to medium low. Add 3 egg yolks to one of the small mixing bowls
containing 1/4 cup cream mixture and stir egg yolks until very well blended, about 30 seconds. Add
2 tsp cornstarch to separate small mixing bowl containing remaining 1/4 cup cream mixture, whisk
mixture until well blended and smooth. Add 1/4 cup hot cream mixture from saucepan to egg yolk
mixture and blend, then add 1/4 cup hot cream mixture to cornstarch mixture and blend. Pour both
mixtures into hot cream mixture in saucepan. Cook mixture over medium low heat for 3 - 4 minutes,
stirring constantly until mixture has thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Reduce heat
to low and sprinkle in garlic powder, onion powder, salt and finely grated cheeses. Cook, stirring
constantly until cheese has melted. Thin sauce, if desired with pasta water that was reserved (I only
add 2 Tbsp pasta water, just add to your desired consistency).

Pour Alfredo sauce over drained pasta, toss to evenly coat. Plate and garnish with additional
grated Romano Cheese, optional chopped fresh parsley and sprinkle with fresh cracked black
pepper. Serve immediately.

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken
via: Handle the Heat
YIELD: 4 servings

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (I used chicken breasts)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup canned tomato sauce
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Sesame seeds
Chopped scallions, for garnish

Season both sides of the chicken with lightly with salt and pepper and place in the slow cooker.(I skipped the seasoning and cubed the chicken.)

In a small bowl, combine the honey, soy sauce, onion, tomato sauce, vinegar, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over the chicken. Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours or on high 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, or just until chicken is cooked through and tender.

Remove the chicken from slow cooker, leaving the sauce. Dissolve the cornstarch in 1/3 cup of water and pour into the slow cooker. Add in the sesame oil. Stir to combine with the sauce. Replace the lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened. Shred the chicken into bite size pieces, then return to the pot and toss with the sauce before serving. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and scallions and serve over rice or noodles.


Here are a few videos that we have been enjoying:

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