Category Archives: Home & Household

Æbelskiver!!!

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Also spelled æbleskiver, if you’ve never heard of this, it’s a Danish/Scandinavian treat mostly made for breakfast and is popular around Christmas. It’s pronounced  A-bell-skii-ver and IT IS DELICIOUS! It’s sort of like a cross between a pancake and a popover.

Most Americans have never heard of it unless you live in the upper Midwest where loads of Scandinavians settled. My Nashville native husband had certainly never heard of them. I was usually only able to have them when we visited my Grandparents in Minnesota as you must have a special pan in which to cook them. They don’t sell a lot of these pans anywhere, but especially not in the South. My mom found a cast iron one in a country store several years ago and they didn’t even know what it was. 

Well, for my birthday this year, I finally got my own pan! I’m so excited to use it, especially since it’s Christmastime. I was going to make them this morning but, alas, no milk and only 1 egg. You can be assured we’ll be going to the store today so I can finally prepare them myself! Therefore, I leave you with pictures we took and the recipe we used when we last visited my MN Grandmother in May…

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Here’s the tried and true, super easy, recipe my Grandmother uses (created by her sister, My Great-Aunt Norma):

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Here’s how to turn them in the special pan (thanks for modeling the technique, mom):

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Note, you can use a bamboo skewer, a knitting needle as mentioned in the recipe above, or a fondue fork (like she’s using in the picture) worked perfectly for us.

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Trust me – they are wonderfully, light, little balls of deliciousness! You MUST give them a try, if you can find a pan or, you know, go to Denmark 🙂

Enjoy!

Jennifer

A new post…

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Laundry Post

Yes, there really is a new post. It’s just not on this blog. Well, technically this is a new post but since I’m just directing you to another blog I don’t think it really counts all that much.

However, if you’ve ever hated laundry and felt like it was stalking you and trying to make you crazy, I invite you to click on that little ol’ link above to read a “highlarious” post from one of my favorite bloggers, April the chicken doctor.

You’re welcome 🙂

Jennifer

 

New Recipe (for the dogs)

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This may look like the beginning of another recipe post. There are ingredients above with which you are likely very familiar – KFC gravy and lunch meat for example. Looking past those – things may appear to diverge into the weird with things like fish oil and jack mackerel.

What you are seeing is not something I’m preparing for my lunch. It is for dinner, however. It’s the hullabaloo we have to go through to feed our three dogs. Each of them need something slightly different – “real meat” frozen kibble for the little one (in the small reusable container on the left), prescription intestinal diet canned dog food for the big one and puppy chow kibble for the middle dog. The big one also gets the fish oil (for her joints), the arthritis medication and the pain medication (which helps her get around in the winter).

You would think all of the above would be enticing to the dogs and they would come running to eat. On the contrary, apparently our dogs get bored and we have to change things up in order to keep their interest. That’s where the gravy and the canned fish come into play. If you’ve never had the pleasure (blech) of being confronted with jack mackerel in person, let me explain what it’s like. It’s sort of like tuna but funkier. They leave the fish in large chunks with part of the skin still on and the odor – oh my the odor! It will permeate the entire room and the refrigerator and anything else with which it may come into contact. The dogs LOVE it. However, they will eventually get bored with this combination as well. Therefore, we will often mix things up with eggs (raw and cooked), canned pumpkin (for the fiber), baby food and various left over meats that I bring home if we eat dinner out some place.

Doesn’t this look yummy?

 

Beer Cheese Soup

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There used to be a restaurant near me that served beer cheese soup in these little pewter bowls with handles. That soup was amazing. The place is closed now and I hadn’t had it in a couple years so I decided to alter my mom’s potato cheese soup recipe and see if I could make it just like 101st Airborne used to make it. I’ll take a bow now because I DID IT!!! If you ever  had the pleasure to eat their version and have missed it, I invite you to try mine and compare:

First assemble your ingredients:

* 1 stick real butter
* 2 cans chicken broth or 1 small box
* 1 small or 1/2 large sweet onion (only cut in half)
* 1 cup milk
* 3 tbs cornstarch
* 1 regular jar Cheez Whiz (yes really) (not the tiny or the tall one)
* 1/2 bottle pale beer (I like Heineken)
* salt & pepper

One thing about the Cheez Whiz. You may be tempted to get all fancy and use actual real cheese. DON’T! The Cheez Whiz melts nicely and adds a tangy zing (not “zip” – this ain’t no miracle whip commercial!) that really adds to the soup. Try it the way it’s written first and then you can change it up if you feel so inclined. But you’re a noodle head if you mess with this recipe so you’re forwarned!
Directions:

First, resist the urge to just drink the beer straight out of the bottle. You really do need it for the soup 🙂

In large stock pot (I use an enamel covered dutch oven), melt butter and add onion. Leave onion whole as you will remove it later. You can finely dice the onion and leave it in there but I don’t like the texture. Don’t skip the onion though as it adds a dimension of flavor that’s needed.

Once onion starts becoming translucent remove it and add chicken broth.

Next add the corn starch.

Make sure to whisk the cornstarch in well. Bring to a boil. This mixture will become thick.

Once thickened, add entire jar of Cheez whiz, milk and beer. Mix thoroughly. Pepper liberally – taste before adding any salt I don’t add much if any at all most times.

Simmer for 15 minutes.

Enjoy with a panini pressed sandwich and the rest of the beer 🙂

You can change this recipe slightly and turn it into Potato Bacon soup easily by decreasing the butter to 2 tbsp, finely dice the onion, add 4 medium potatoes peeled and diced small and add 2 oz. bacon pieces or 2 slices bacon.

Saute’ onion and bacon in butter. Add potatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in milk, Cheez Whiz and pepper. Simmer over low heat until soup is melted completely.

This is really a lovely easy dinner for a cold winter’s day. enjoy!

Stupid Dog Shoes

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No, this post isn’t about dogs so stupid that they require shoes.  It is about stupid looking dog shoes. Upon further thought, is there a possibility of a dog shoe that doesn’t look stupid? I digress…

We have a very old Golden Retriever. She has arthritis and has a hard time getting around on the floors in our house because they are slick and we have no carpet.  We really struggled with what to do about it until we found these gems:

 

They’re actually made for dogs to wear in the snow to protect the pads of their feet from de-icing agents and from snow getting packed into their paws. They’re made of this stuff that’s sort of like a wetsuit.

This is our dog wearing them and wondering why I’m taking her picture. They work GREAT! They give her traction on the floor to prevent falling and they enable her to get up from a laying position without help. Oh, and one more thing…

they look really stupid.

 

Fireplace Too Hot To Hang a TV?

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How do you tell if it’s safe to hang a tv over your fireplace? Well, you could try doing this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will admit, I didn’t come up with the ingenious idea of hanging a thermometer over your fireplace (where the bottom of the tv will be) and then build a ROARING fire and see how hot the temperature actually gets. Make sure to let the coals get nice and hot as well – that raised the temperature way more than how big the flames got. And it took several hours to reach maximum heat so make sure you keep it going long enough to get an accurate read out.  Then, get the owner’s manual of the tv and look up the maximum safe operating temperature. If you’re under that, you’re golden! Well, that is if your wires will be exposed like ours will. If your wires will be hidden in the wall – I have no idea 🙂

Also, please check back over the next couple weeks.  There’s a MAJOR renovation project underway at my house and I’m taking before and after shots because you’ve got to see this one to believe it. We’re almost done so be sure to come back and check it out!

No more 60lb tumor?!?!

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I think I’ve mentioned before my adoration, addiction, love, etc of the Discovery Health Channel. Their programming speaks to my idiosyncratic obscure mindset. I can’t tell you how many programs I have been sucked into watching and have come away with an awe of what people can live with and through. Some of the shows that have amazed me have been:

(apologies as I’m sure these are not the titles)…

Lady with the 60-lb tumor

Man with half a body

Lady with half a body who had a baby

Living with proteus syndrome

Intersexed (formerly hermaphroditism)

My unborn twin

Conjoined twins

Children with Progeria

Children who’s skin sloughs off

Mermaid Girl

Treeman

Paralyzed and pregnant

These are all stories of people who make the most out of life and keep their chin up and keep on living despite their prognosis. Shows like this make me so thankful for the healthy blessed life I’ve been given and makes you not take things for granted.

WELL…

The new Oprah Winfrey network (OWN) has taken over the Discovery Health Channel!!!! Aaarrrrgggg!!!!! What am I going to do without this programming? Nobody else carries stuff like this! Where will I get my obscure health anomaly education? I’m going to give OWN a chance and hope that they’re going to keep this amazing programming but I’m not holding my breath!

Jennifer