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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fat Today, I mean Fat Tuesday or Fausnaught Day

Today is the day that the Amish used up all of there excess fat to make donuts, or doughnuts called fausnaughts. Unfortunately, the English as we are called if not Amish, have decided to capitalize on this tradition and you can get a fausnaught at any grocery store or Turkey Hill Mini Market, or bakery.

They range from the traditional bland dough balls to simple sugar coated to a common heavy powdered sugar coated variety. I personally think it is just an excuse to eat donuts! That's ok with me! I can blend in with the culture and eat a few donuts, I mean fausnaughts.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentines Day a day apart

Today is Valentines Day for me, but for the woman that I love so much it was yesterday so forgive me for being a little bit depressed today. Neither of us knew whether we should celebrate it apart yesterday, today or if at all. I chose to consider yesterday Valentines Day since it comes before me in the Philippines and she always will even when we are together.

I wouldn't recommend a long distance relationship to anyone, but for those who doubt whether love can be felt 8,600 miles away, I reassure you that it can be. If love can't be felt from that distance, then neither could the heartache of being apart that I feel right now.

What matters most is that I don't need a holiday to tell her that I love her.
I loved her yesterday, I love her today, and I will love her tomorrow. 

I love you Sunshine, Happy Valentines Day again!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Sausage Loaf

I have been asked to share this recipe for my Sausage Loaf. I wasn't going to, but here it is. Feel free to adjust this recipe to fit your taste. This is far from health food, but I have to admit that it is very tasty. The addition of bacon as a garnish on top of this pork sausage, cheese and potato loaf I think says it all. Enjoy!

1 lb Jimmy Deen Ground sausage
1 cup Pepperidge Farms Whole Grain Seasoned croutons
1 cup Kraft Cheddar & Colby Jack shredded cheese
1 ounce KC Masterpiece Barbecue sauce
1 ounce Heinz ketchup
3 ounces of Hunts tomato paste
2 ounces of diced sweet onions
1 tablespoon powdered ranch dressing mix
1 box Betty Crocker Julienne potatoes (prepared as instructed)
Season to taste with Goya Adobo and/or other seasonings

Preheat oven to 375 deg.
in a small glass or mixing cup combine the barbecue sauce, ketchup and tomato paste to make a thick sauce.
in a large pot combine the sausage, croutons, onions, ranch dressing and most of the sauce above.
Leave enough of the sauce for glazing the loaf later.

Move sausage mixture to 5" x 9" loaf pan and spread evenly.
Bake at 375 deg. for 30 minutes
Drain excess fat and juices and use remainder of sauce to spread over the top of loaf as a glaze.
Return to oven for an additional 15 minutes.
While loaf is baking prepare Julienne potatoes on stove top as indicated on box.
When potatoes start to thicken add most of the Cheddar & Colby Jack shredded cheese to thicken the mix.
After 15 minutes remove the loaf from the oven and drain as needed.

Increase oven temp to 425 degrees
Center the loaf in the pan and pour julienne potatoes mixture over top of loaf.
Return to oven at 425 degrees for roughly 30 minutes or until potatoes start to brown on top.
Sprinkle the remaining Cheddar & Colby jack cheese on top and return to oven long enough to melt and brown the cheese.
Remove from oven.
Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before removing from loaf pan.
Slice to desired thickness and serve hot.

Don't let looks deceive you, I'm told that this is similar to Shepherds Pie, or Cottage Pie, but this is not lamb or beef, it is pork and has a taste all it's own.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Silvermine Park North in the snow

On Saturday morning I decided to go for a hike to get away for a little while. It was so beautiful and peaceful back there in the woods. Normally when there is snow on the ground it is nearly silent in the woods, but the recent ice storm gave this hike an interesting twist, the crunch factor! It was nearly impossible to walk without crunching through the snow and waking every bird and animal for miles.

There was also an odd quiet with an unusual echo at times depending on where you were and the condition of the snow. It ranged from soft snow with a thin coating of ice to just white ice and even solid ice. It was comforting to hear the crunch when walking heal toe to penetrate the crust because there were places where the ice crust was thick enough to support my weight which means sliding instead of walking.

The buzzards and Hawks and even the Blue Birds and the tiny Black Capped Chickadees didn't seem to mind the cold even though it was only about 20 degrees F. I didn't even feel the cold except for when I stood still for too long waiting for nature to present itself. It usually didn't take too long.