Throw a Great Last Minute New Year’s Eve Party

Not everyone plans parties weeks in advance. Sometimes you’re just sure you’re going to have a quiet evening at home when you suddenly decide you just have to host a party. There’s still time to pull together a shindig everyone will love with these tips on how to throw a great last minute New Year’s Eve Party!

Throw a Great Last Minute New Year's Eve Party!

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Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Bread

Everyone I know loves Buffalo chicken wings. They’re always perfect for parties and I’ve made them even when there isn’t a party. I think they’re great! But I don’t always want to have to stand over the fryer to make them. So, when I’m craving Buffalo chicken I make my Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Bread.

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Bread is perfect for parties or a meal for the family!

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Bam’s Salmon Pattie Sliders with Lemon Aioli

I saw a recipe for Salmon Pattie Sliders at This Happy Mommy and, since I’m trying to eat more fish I wanted to try it. Of course I had to add a couple of ingredients because I didn’t really want to taste the salmon that’s the way I roll. This is my version: Bam’s Salmon Pattie Sliders with Lemon Aioli. If you like salmon I think you’d like either version!

Salmon Pattie Sliders with Lemon Aioli

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Christmas Etiquette

This will probably offend a great many people but if even a few take this advice to heart it will be worth it. For many people you know Christmas is not a time of joy. It is a time of sadness, loss, and loneliness. If you are enjoying the season please be aware that many are not and employ a little Christmas etiquette.

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Puff Pastries with Peg

My dear friend, Peg saw the Tasty’s puff pastries 4 ways video and wanted the two of us to try making them. I was a little intimidated when I watched the video. After all, what would I do if they didn’t turn out absolutely perfect? After giving it a little thought I realized that, when things go wrong in baking, you get to eat the mistakes! Then I realized when things go right in baking you get to eat those ones, too! Win, win! So here is my adventure in making Puff Pastries with Peg.

These puff pastries are easy to make and so delicious!

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Peas with Caramelized Red Onions & Balsamic Vinegar

Entrees would be nothing (well, not as good) without delicious side dishes. I grow a lot of peas each summer and we eat them all winter long. But peas with salt and butter are pretty plain so I like to jazz things up from time to time. Peas with caramelized red onions & balsamic vinegar are a great way to serve peas in a new way.

Peas with Caramelized Red Onions & Balsamic Vinegar

 

This recipe is super easy and fast. Just cut thin slices of red onion (for the two of use I use about 6 slices) and melt butter in a skillet. Toss the onions in with the butter over medium high heat and let the onions caramelize. I use my cast iron skillet and it doesn’t take more than about 10 minutes to cook them. I like some pieces pretty dark and others just a nice caramel color.

Peas with Caramelized Red Onions & Balsamic Vinegar

Next I add in a couple of teaspoons of balsamic vinegar and stir it to coat the onions.

Finally I add the peas right in the skillet and stir them gently to coat them. I only cook them for a couple of minutes; just enough to get the peas nice and hot.

Peas with Caramelized Red Onions & Balsamic Vinegar

I season them with a little salt and pepper and they’re ready to serve! Easy peasy, right? Get it?

Peas with Caramelized Red Onions & Balsamic Vinegar

Peas with Caramelized Red Onions & Balsamic Vinegar

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced thin and then cut in half
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons butter (I start with 1 and add the second if I need it)
  • 3 – 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cups peas (fresh or frozen)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add sliced onions and cook until caramelized (10 – 12 minutes).
  3. Add balsamic vinegar and stir to coat onions.
  4. Add peas and gently stir to coat with vinegar.
  5. Cook until peas are hot (2 minutes).

 

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Garden Things to do in Winter

I originally posted this last March and it’s amazing how accurate it is today! Just like in March, we’ve had two snowstorms very close together. And I’m still not able to escape winter with a quick trip to the Bahamas so I’m back to dreaming about summer and doing what I can to be ready when garden season comes around again.

Garden things you can do in winter

We’ve had two snowstorms about a week apart and another couple of inches fell right after the second storm. I need to get away from winter! Unfortunately, a trip to the Bahamas isn’t possible so I just have to think of hot summer days and long summer evenings. One way I mentally remove myself from thoughts of snow and cold is to work on garden things to do in winter.

  • Buying vegetable seeds – I tested my saved seeds and know which ones I need to replace. I’ve made a list of new vegetables I want to try, too. So it’s time to order my seeds.
  • Buying growing equipment – Some of my seed flats are no longer useable. I’m out of peat pellets and I need containers. It’s time to head to the garden store!
  • Inspecting fencing for winter damage – This one is a little tricky here. It’s been snowing like crazy lately but in a couple of days it’s going to be in the low 60’s. I’ll take one of the upcoming warm days to walk around my garden and make notes on any winter (or critter) damage to the fencing. I’ll also inspect the various poles, cages, and trellises.
  • Planning the garden – Since I’m adding vegetables I’m making a plan on the computer. I don’t use the planning software since it’s expensive and I can do it myself in Excel. I simply make a grid for every foot of garden space and then type in which plants will go where. I merge cells for plants that take up more than a single foot and I color the backgrounds so I have a quick visual of where each vegetable will be in the garden.
  • Research – I’ll do research on each of the new vegetables I’m adding so I know their best companion plants and their requirements for nutrition, soil, and space. I’ll also look for new information on deterring garden pests that want to ravage my vegetables.
  • Build – I’m going to have my husband build some trellises for my pickling cucumbers, zucchini, and Sugar Baby watermelons.
  • Make garden markers – So that I know where everything is in my garden I’ll make markets to put in the soil where I plant seeds or transplant vegetables started indoors.
  • Start the indoor seeds – Since some plants (bell peppers spring to mind) need a lot of time I’ll plant seeds indoors for later transplant. There are guides to starting dates by zone available on the Internet.
  • Check the bird houses for needed repairs – Bluebirds, Chickadees, Sparrows, Swallows, and Wrens are my best allies for ridding the garden of unwanted insects. I want to make sure they’re very happy in my garden.

If you put your mind to it you can come up with a lot of ways to escape winter…or at least start remembering spring is only a few weeks away!

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Steak Sandwiches with Roasted Tomato Jam

I know a lot of people think that steak sandwiches should be a summertime meal but I’m not one to say no to steak no matter what the season. I’m an unrepentant carnivore and free beef is right in my price range. So when I got a couple of free ribeye steaks I decided to go all in and make Steak Sandwiches with Roasted Tomato Jam.

Steak Sandwiches with Roasted Tomato Jam are delicious and filling

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