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Showing posts from January, 2012

Trip Report: Colorado Springs

On May 13, 2010, NoVA Travelers dashed off to Colorado Springs for an active weekend of  outdoor activities. We flew into Denver and rented a car for the jaunt to Colorado Springs where we bunked down for the night. In the daylight of morning, the city revealed its beauty. Pike’s Peak overshadows the entire city and provides a scenic backdrop for the everyday goings-on of its residents. Views of Pike’s Peak as seen from Colorado Springs We treated ourselves to breakfast at Crepe Francaise downtown. Great little gem nestled among an otherwise run down avenue. Everyone had a little free time to explore on their own before we headed out as a group to Garden of the Gods for hiking. The land was donated to the public in 1909 by the family a local landowner and exhibits several unique geological structures. We took several pictures and tackled a few trails (such as the Siamese Twins) before the rain began to come down and forced an early exit from the park. Panoramic vista of Ga

Announcement: Technical Difficulties

Because I had to migrate the google user account associated with my blog, all pictures uploaded under the old user account were erased from google servers during the migration. To correct the corrupted entries, I have to repost (a quick one button sort of job) all my posts to the server. While I am republishing them with the original date so that they stay in sequence on the server and on the blog view, it *may* force a copy of each repost to be sent to the subscribers - I’m really not sure. So this is a public service announcement within which I advise that copious amounts of picture laden emails may be en route to your mailbox if you are a blog subscriber and within which I beg for your patience and understanding (feel free to delete instantly without reading, unless you’d like a good reread or missed an entry the first go-around).

Do These Kind of Things Happen to Other People Too?

  Here is your entertaining story for the weekend. Hubby and I LOVE Village Inn pies, having been introduced to them while living in Las Cruces. My craving for the caramel pecan silk supreme pie has escalated after returning from a visit to NM (where I saw VI as we passed by but did not have time to stop).  According to google there is a Village Inn in Annapolis (76 miles away). VI pie is ALWAYS worth it, so this morning I convinced husband and friends to piled into a car and make the trip just for pie. Turns out the VI we drove to is a seedy bedbug infested hotel in no way affiliated with the famous pie making Village Inn. Reality: there are no Village Inn restaurants within 150 miles of us, according to the website. We laughed. We laughed a lot. And inside I cried just a little bit, feeling sorry about being deprived pie after working myself into an excited anticipatory frenzy over it. Oh I'd do anything for a slice of caramel pecan silk supreme pie.....

My Tamale Recipe

  This is an adaptation of a Bobby Flay recipe that I integrated with the recipe from the side of my masa mix bag. Makes perfect, moist, delicious tamales every time. Foulproof! Recipe doubles easily to make 32 tamales. Make extra and freeze the leftovers- you’ll be glad you did. Recipe: 2 cups instant masa 2 cups chicken broth 1 t baking powder ½ t salt 2/3 cup Crisco 2 T butter 1 medium onion 1 cup corn kernels 1.5 t sugar Salt and pepper 36 corn husks 5 or 6 Hatch green chiles, finely diced 1/2 bag shredded Mexican cheese 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded or finely chopped Clean and soak the corn husks in hot water for at least an hour before you begin the tamales. Puree the corn, onion, and broth together in blender. Transfer to mixing bowl and cut in butter and shortening. Using your fingers mix in the masa, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix until there are no more visible lumps of shortening and dough comes together- DO NOT OVERMIX. Remove the corn husks from wat

Best Chicken and Dumplings Ever

  Jonathan and I made chicken and dumplings tonight. As I grew up in New York, we make the dumplings in the northern U.S. style (round and biscuit-y) in contrast with southern U.S. style (flat and noodle-y). It was undoubtedly the best rendition of the dish we’ve ever constructed.  We started with an recipe as our guideline but modified it significantly. Our perfected version is below. A great winter comfort dish… Chicken and Dumplings For the soup/stew 2 T olive oil 1 T butter 2 pounds chicken, cut into pieces 1/4 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into large chunks 3 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks 2 stalks celery, cut into large chunks 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 cup white wine 1 bay leaf 1 T poultry seasoning  1/4 teaspoon turmeric Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth Fresh parsley For the dumplings 2 cups flour 3 teaspoons baking powder