Tuesday, March 29, 2011

More Christmas Halloween Costumes

Still looking at costumes and how fun would it be to dress as 
Buddy and Jovie from Elf, for Halloween. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Will Work for Halloween Prop...

Yes, it's a little early for Halloween, but The Horror Dome put out their ad for this great Ghost of Madam Sonia piece today and I'm thinking if anyone is wanting to buy me an early birthday gift, I'd be more then willing to accept.

Here's Madam Sonia in action...

Speaking of ghost, while I was on the website I looked at some costumes. They have one that's a favorite of mine. It's the Victorian Ghost themed costume I've been eying for a long time. Making an investment in a costume like that, means wearing it for 10 years though! Guess I better think about it for a bit longer. 

I'm coming back for a quick note. I was just reading a review from someone that bought this dress and they used it for a "Ghost of Christmas Past" costume. Now I love it even more! All I have to do now is talk my husband into being the "Ghost of Christmas, Yet To Come". LOVE IT!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Stuffed Pepper Casserole Recipe

I also tried a new recipe tonight. It took a bit of time in between each step, but it turned out yummy. I'm not a huge fan of Green Peppers, so I used Red Peppers for a milder taste. Here's a link to a printable version: Stuffed Pepper Casserole

Stuffed Peppers Casserole

Submitted By: Heather Freeman
Prep. Time: 1:15
Serves: 4

1 lb. ground beef OR turkey
2 Tbls. chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup cooked rice
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. garlic salt
(2) 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
3 med. green peppers - sliced lengthwise
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


-Brown meat, onion, and chopped peppers in skillet, stirring occasionally.
-Drain off fat.
-Stir in rice, salt, garlic salt, and 1 can of tomato sauce; heat through.
-Spray a 9" X 9" X 3" baking pan with cooking spray and line with 1/2 the sliced peppers.
-Pour half of meat mixture over peppers.
-Layer remaining sliced peppers on top of meat mixture.
-Pour remaining meat mixture on top.
-Pour remaining tomato sauce over meat mixture.
-Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
-Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.
-Sprinkle with cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes.

Finished my Button Egg!

I wasn't able to start working on my Button Egg till this afternoon, but it didn't take long at all. I really like Easter colors that include Brown and Light Blue. I used a Tan felt, instead of burlap and painted a frame I picked up at a garage sale  yesterday for .50 cents. Overall, I like how it turned out and it cost me less then $5.00 to make. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

On my crafting agenda for the weekend: A Button Egg

I've bought my supplies and will accomplish at least one craft this weekend!  This button egg project I found at Auntie Lolo Crafts is a quick weekend project and very inexpensive. Exactly what I'm looking to give me some immediate crafting gratification.

If I'm really productive, I'll get this piece of "SPRING SUBWAY ART" from Simple Crafters printed and framed as well. 

I'll be back tomorrow night with my results!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I love my friends!!

You know, Tammy's sent me flowers 3 years in a row now and every year, it surprises me when I least expect it. It might cross my mind at some point, but it never stays long. I look up and there the guy stands outside my door, holding a beautiful green bouquet. 


I  kind of look forward to St. Patrick's Day in my own personal, selfish way. It's the one time of year I don't have to share my friends or family with anyone else. Not every year is perfect, sometimes some miss dinner, but everyone knows...come St. Patrick's Day...they are MINE!!! 

Videos to Help Boost the Irish Sprit

I was looking for a Bing Crosby video of Danny Boy and found this instead. As with most of these songs, they make me pretty sentimental, but this one in particular is pretty special. I use to play this song on CD every night, as I put Ciara to bed when she was a baby.  She might remember, since she remembers 10x more then I do, but I doubt it. Here's Bing singing

"TOO-RA-LOO-RA-LOO-RA"  an Irish Lullaby

This video is in honor of my mom. If their is one thing that connects me with my mom each year, it's St. Patrick's Day.I couldn't find the Irish Tenor version streamed online, but this is fairly close. 

Now a scene from one of the best romantic movies ever....Titanic. My favorite Irish Rock band Gaelic Storm, was the band behind the music in the famous dance scene in 3rd class. Again, doesn't it make you just wanna get up and dance!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

2 Days and Counting....

I just realized I didn't get my St. Patrick's Day cards made this year. Ooopps!! Maybe it will be a digital version this year. But regardless, the banner above with the Basset Hound cuties is perfect! 2 days and counting and my Corned Beef is purchases. I also made a quick batch of  Green Oreo balls tonight for the Activity Day girls tomorrow. Oreo balls are a favorite and I've been waiting for St. Patrick's Day to make the mint flavor. I hope the girls enjoy them. If you haven't made Oreo balls, the Obsessive Compulsive Blog has a great entry on making them for St. Patrick's Day.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My First St. Patricks Day Card...Love it!

I don't think Shari could of found a more fitting 
St. Patrick's Day card. For all you Christmas 
freaks like me, you'll get it. Others who fall behind in their Christmas spirit might just say huhh???? 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cooking School - A St. Patricks Day Feast

My St. Patty’s Day Workshop at the Seasoned Chef Cooking School was an absolute great evening.  Since my sister in law Jodi asked me, I’ve been patiently waiting to see what the school was all about. Overall, it was a fun night with lots of great food. Let me give you a small picture tour of our prep. I was the only one there with a camera, so I was trying to be not so obvious when time allowed. That meant I didn’t get very many pictures, but you’ll get the idea by the time I’m done with my mini tour. 

First I was surprised at how quant the place was and I loved the red, black and white kitchen. Having a red stove would be rather fun I think. Once the chef introduced himself, did a quick walk through of the menu and gave us some safety rules, he assigned us to teams. It didn’t take long for Jodi and I to get into trouble. When he was showing us the giant RICER (aka: hand potato masher) I couldn’t help but pull Jodi in with an inside joke. The problem was, the teacher thought we were laughing at him. Being the “trouble makers in class” we were assigned to the bread. Yes…THE BREAD!! Apparently in cooking class world, that’s where they send people like us! Too funny! On a positive note, I do have a bit of experience with Irish Soda Bread, on the downside we didn’t get to be in charge of one of the other new dishes we would be trying. 

On the menu was:
  1. Beer -Cheddar Soup (My husband’s favorite soup)
  2. Irish Stew with Herbed Dumpling (After the Christmas dumpling disaster I needed this one)
  3. Corned Beef and Cabbage “Shepherd’s Pie” with Hearty Mustard  (Super Yummy)
  4. Colcannon (Mashed potatoes and cooked cabbage mashed together)
  5. Irish Soda Bread (Found out what a current was with this one..kind of like a raisin if you don’t know)
  6. Apple-Oatmeal Crumble with Irish Cream Sauce (aka: Whiskey and whip cream)

Once we were at our stations, all of us would proceed until we came to an important point in our demonstration and then we’d gather in one particular cooking area to see what was happening and listen to the chef tell us what was particularly important with that recipe. As an experienced cook, I was amazed at how many little things I learned in 3 hours. 

First up was our Irish Soda bread. After making it 3 times now at home and making it at the school, I realize my problem at home is not having a large enough bowl to work with. With most bread, less is more. The less you work it, the lighter it is. I was a bit embarrassed to ask exactly what a current was, but I did and found out, it’s just a very small type of berry they dry like a grape.  I like this recipe because it used both white and wheat flour, but I really do prefer the recipe I have a home. Someone on the Christmas boards gave it to me and it’s very, very yummy. I’m excited to try the new technique next week and see what Ciara and I come up with. 

Next was the Beer Cheese Soup. I don’t drink beer, but I do enjoy the scent and flavor it add when cooking. What I liked about this recipe was the use of leeks, instead of green onions and learning how to make a wet rue to thicken soups.  If you’re not familiar with leeks, give them a try and when using cheese in a soup recipe, always add it last once the heat has been turned off.  (Sorry, no picture of this cooking station) 

Then came the Irish Stew with Herbed Dumplings. As with most Irish Stews, this recipe used Lamb stew meat. I don't prefer to eat lamb by itself as a cutlet, but I do like it in stews. This recipe was super easy and Chef Witherspoon emphasized how to use cheaper cuts of meat by quickly browning and then braising (aka: simmering" the meat slowly till tender. I also learned that cooking in a crockpot is a form of "braising". Again, with breads the less you handle them the more tender and less dense they become. Once these dumplings were added to the stew, we didn't touch them again until they were done and ready to eat. 

Now comes one of my two favorites. Corned Beef and Cabbage Shepards Pie. The best part of this, is being able to use thick sliced corn beef from the deli. I can tell you, this is going to become a staple in our house for Ciara and I. Since Doug doesn't eat cabbage, it will be one of those treats we make when he's away or working late. The team making the shepards pie, ran out of time, so we made the Hearty Mustard Sauce. I normally don't serve a sauce with my corned beef, but I can tell you the mustard sauce added the perfect finishing touches. The chef forgot to add the cornstarch at some point, so they tried to add it after they had already added the potatoes. Didn't work to well, was a bit runny, but still tasted AWESOME! When making Shepards Pie, remember...you can never have to many mashed potatoes on top!

Colcannon ended up being one of my favorite dishes. It's a side dish, but the flavor of mashed potatoes, cabbage and green onions together was to die for. This I can get by with at home, because I'll just added the cabbage after Doug gets his serving of taters! For both mashed potato recipes, we used the ricer. It makes the perfect texture for mashed potatoes. The key to a good mashed potato is not beating them into a mushy starch blob. Ask my friend Lesley, she tells me she'd marry me if I could supply her with a life time of mashed potatoes. I love Lesley, but not that much! 

Last, but not least was the Apple-Oatmeal Crumble with Irish Cream Sauce. I love all things apple, but this recipe can really be made with any fruit. We also used Irish Steel Cut Oatmeal, which can be found in most stores now. I didn't get my dessert on the first go around, so when I went back I'm unhappy to say it was all gone, except one little apple slice and one spoonful of Irish Cream Sauce. For those of you who don't use alcohol in your cooking, you can leave the Whiskey out of the sauce, but it tasted sooooooooooo good with the crumble. Almost as good as Whiskey Caramel Sauce. 

When the evening was over, Jodi and I had decided we want to go back for the Bread class. Both of us love to cook and make desserts, but neither of us can bake bread. I've tackled my fear of cooking beef, now I need to learn to make yeast bread. I've already made this post into a novel, so if you are interested in recipes, let me know and I'll share them over the next week. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lord of the Dance in 3D....I'm so excited!!!

It's been 10+ years since I've seen Lord of the Dance, 2 years since I've seen Riverdance, so running across this trailer for Lord of the Dance 3D was super exciting. I know what I'll be doing mid march. I better go do some research on theaters and dates here in the Denver area. I also read about a tour going on right now, so I'm going to go check that out as well. It's nice to see Michael Flatley recovered and in good health again. I had no doubt, he'd be back!

The tour dates for Lord of the Dance are pretty limited in the US, but some will be lucky enough. Denver is not one of the lucky cities, so the movie will have to do! I also just read that they will appear on The View on St. Patrick's Day. That's exciting!

Here is a complete list of movie theaters showing the film. US Cities

For a smile, here's a future member of the dance troop.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Denvers St. Patricks Day Parade

For those of you who want to be Irish, here's a great way to feel green for a day !

This year's Denver St. Patrick's Day Parade presented by Bellco Credit Union steps off at 10 a.m., Saturday, March 12, filling the streets of LoDo with lots of green and good Irish cheer. Our theme, "Forever Green 2011" salutes the beauty of the Centennial State and also gives a tip o' the hat to this year's featured nonprofit organization, the award-winning Alpine Rescue Team. Our grand marshal, Roz Brown, is a long-time member of the Team.

The Mile High City is home to one of the largest St. Patrick's Day Parades in the nation with 10,000 marchers, more than 240 entries, and nearly 250,000 spectators! On behalf of the hundreds of volunteers who work diligently year-round to bring this parade to the streets of lower downtown Denver, the Denver St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee is honored to invite you to join us   
Saturday, March 12, 2011 at 10 a.m.


Remember: everybody's Irish on St. Patrick's Day . 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

We have a date...for the Colorado Irish Festival 2011

July 8,9,10th are the official dates for this years Colorado Irish Festival.  As usual, I'm super excited to see who will be announced on this years stages. Will it be Gaelic Storm or Young Dubliners?
Will The Elders make an appearance or will I totally do a jig to a new band I've never seen before like the Wild Colonial Bhoys ?
Last year we took the year off, but this year our 7th Anniversary will be spent doing what we love doing together the most. Eating Irish food, buying Celtic jewelry and  listening to music that absolutely makes you HAVE to get out of your seat and move!