The Sun! Oh How I Missed You, You Sparkly Orb of Warmth!

The sun! Oh how I missed you, you sparkly orb of warmth!

We’re supposed to hit a balmy 33 degrees today! Melt snow, melt! We ended up with an additional 25 inches of snow with this storm for a total of 53 since Friday. More snow is forecast for Sunday night in to Monday. And there is buzz about an ice storm in 10 days.

*Head.

On.

Desk!*

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a few days to figure out how to become independently wealthy so I can hop the next plane to Hawaii before this stuff hits again! ;oP

Originally posted on Daffodil Lane.

We Got How Much Snow??

What 28.25 Inches Of Snow Looks Like

We had a little storm this weekend. Not much snow mind you, just around 28.25 inches. But that’s not the kicker! The kicker is that we are supposed to get additional snow tomorrow in to Wednesday. How much snow? Depending on who you listen to anywhere from 8 to 16 additional inches of snow.

That’s a lot of snow Bob!

Don’t get me wrong I love snow, but when you’ve got this much snow there isn’t much you can do with it. You can’t really play in it, unless you like being sunk in to snow and basically once it starts drifting around you’ve got snow taller than your child.

Oh well. At least it’s pretty. And the icicles are always fun to look at.

Sparkle

Sparkle on little icicles. Sparkle on!

Originally posted at Daffodil Lane.

Quick and Easy Hot Chocolate

Quick and Easy Hot Chocolate

Snow makes me think of hot chocolate. You got out and play in the snow, then come in, get warm and enjoy a big cup of steaming hot chocolate! The thought takes me back to my childhood. It was just the way we did things.

There are many ways to make hot chocolate, and yes there is always instant, but really it’s so much better when you make it yourself! With a few simple ingredients, you have a really fabulous hot chocolate in no time that really hits the spot on those cold winter days!

What You’ll Need:
4 cups of milk (Note: I used skim, but you can use whatever variety you like, you could even use half and half or heavy cream if you just wanted to go all out.)
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 cup of unsweetened cocoa, sifted

In a medium sized pan add milk, sugar and sifted cocoa and whip to mix. (Note: This is one of the few times you’ll see me sift anything, but you really want your cocoa powder to be fine and not in lumps!)

Quick and Easy Hot Chocolate: Ready to Simmer

Bring mixture to a simmer and then pour into cups.

Quick and Easy Hot Chocolate: Ready to Top

Top with marshmallows or whipped cream and you’ve got the perfect cup of hot chocolate!

See how easy that was?

Notes: You can store leftovers in the fridge for several days and reheat when wanted. To make an adult version add a shot of whiskey or Irish Cream.

Snowy Day Chili

Snowy Day Chili: With Toppings

It started snowing last night again and we ended up getting four more inches of snow on top of what we already had on the ground. We may get more snow this weekend too, I’ve heard everything form a dusting, to perhaps up to ten inches!

Snow makes me think of soups and stews and yesterday I really had a taste for chili! I had soaked beans on Monday and planned to make pinto beans for dinner last night so that’s what Alexis and I had, but no one says you can’t take the left overs and make a little chili! ;oP

This morning I put together a pot and Alexis and I had chili for lunch. There is just nothing like a hearty bowl of chili on a cold winter day!

What You’ll Need:
Extra virgin olive oil
1 red onions, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of cherry tomatoes (Note: I used some I had frozen this summer. Just throw them in whole.)
1 pound of ground beef
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 teaspoons of black pepper
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of paprika
2 tablespoons of chili powder
1/2 tablespoon of ground chipolte chili powder
1/4 to 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (Note: Again more if you like it spicy, less if you don’t.)
2-3 cups of pinto beans (Note: More if you like beans, less if you don’t.)
1 quart of diced tomatoes (Note: I used some I canned this summer. You can use a large can from the store instead.)
1-2 cups of water (Note: Just to thin things out a bit, but you don’t want it too thin.)

Add some olive oil to a large stock pot and saute onions, peppers and garlic until just tender. Add cherry tomatoes, ground beef and seasonings:

Snowy Day Chili: Ready to Cook Meat

Cook for 3-5 minutes until meat is mostly browned and the add beans:

Snowy Day Chili: Ready for Diced Tomatoes

Next add diced tomatoes and water:

Snowy Day Chili: Ready to Simmer

Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer. Simmer covered for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Make sure the cherry tomatoes have cooked through:

Snowy Day Chili: Done!

Serve plain, or with cheese and sour cream. Chives or scallions are good too!

Snowy Day Chili

Notes: This is one of the rare time I actually used ground beef in my chili. Most of the time I make a vegetarian version, or my recent foray into ground chicken. I really just had a taste for a more “traditional” chili today.

Where To Eat: The Lobster Barn, York, Maine

The Lobster Barn, York, Maine

Today I’m going to finally share with you the restaurant we ate at when we did our Maine day trip in October. You probably thought I had forgotten all about that didn’t you? 😉 I’ll hopefully have some new recipes for you soon. I’m kind of in a cooking repeat stuff mode right now and haven’t really done anything new. Soon though!

For now though, let’s talk some lobster!

The Lobster Barn, York, Maine

When you think of Maine you often think of lobsters! Kind of like you think of crabs and/or oysters if you think of Maryland. And one of the signature dishes that comes to mind when Maine enters your thoughts are lobster rolls, so I knew I wanted to try an authentic Maine lobster roll!

When we ventured in to Maine I wanted to go see the Cape Neddick Lighthouse. I had done a painting of the lighthouse years ago (A very bad painting at that!) and I wanted to see it in person. In case you didn’t know I have a thing for lighthouses. My favorite being a tie between the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and the Currituck Lighthouse both located out on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Normally if there is a lighthouse to be seen I’ll find it. I even plan to see a few when I finally make it to Ireland, but that is neither here nor there for the moment.

Back to the story at hand….

Cape Neddick Lighthouse Maine

So the first place we headed in Maine was to the lighthouse. It’s gorgeous! The coast line around it is beautiful too, so rocky and rustic! Alexis and I spent about a half hour just standing next to the ocean, taking in the view. It was heavenly! My first glimpse of ocean in over 2 years. That’s way too long between ocean views!

After we finished up at the lighthouse we headed back toward New Hampshire, but before we left Maine I wanted to eat lunch. We came across The Lobster Barn and we were set!

The Lobster Barn, York, Maine: Clam Chowder

The food was fabulous! Jamison’s order came with a cup of clam chowder, and of course that isn’t anything he would ever eat so I got to enjoy that too! It was delicious! Rich and creamy and the clams were just right.

The Lobster Barn, York, Maine: Lobster Roll

For the main course I obviously got the lobster roll and it was great too! Their homecut fries were also fabulous and if I’m not mistaken there was a hint of dill in their coleslaw, which was unexpected, but I found that I really liked the overall flavor!

Maine Welcome Sign

The staff was really great and our waitress was just fabulous! We ended up having a conversation about foods indicative of our states, or in other words lobster rolls and crab cakes! It was a very nice lunch and when we go back to Maine (And believe me I plan on going back!) I definitely will stop in at The Lobster Barn again!