Sunday, November 29, 2009

For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.

Six years ago yesterday, Phil and I got married.  Today we celebrated our anniversary by spending the day together, shopping, and eating out in Grand Forks.  I am so lucky that this wonderful, loving man fell in love with me and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.  I still can hardly believe it.

This past week was all about Thanksgiving, of course.

Buying the food, preparing the food – it really is one of my favorite holidays, and Phil’s also!

Tuesday, Debra and I went to this charming teahouse in town that had tasty croissant sandwiches and the best turtle cheesecake I’ve ever had.

We then drove out to the State Park.  The lake is freezing slowly, just a thin film of ice around the edges, not enough to bother the geese yet.

There had to have been over two hundred geese on the lake!

geese

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We went inside the park building that they had all decorated for Christmas.  They had many different types of Christmas trees, but this bird one was my favorite.

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Thursday morning I got up at 6:30 and started cooking.

We had invited Jack and O. B. for dinner.

I fixed all of our old favorites and a couple of new dishes.  Debra had told me how to make cranberry relish and, since I don’t like the cranberry out of the can, I gave it a try.

Fresh cranberries, pineapple and nuts.  Yum!

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I also made a new sweet potato casserole that turned out to be really tasty.

The only wrinkle in the day is that Phil told the guys that dinner was at 3:00 PM, but Jack showed up at 10:00 in the morning!

When we finally sat down to eat, the food was delicious, and we had a great time with our company.

I avoided the crowds on Black Friday and did some shopping online.

I then went to work and shared some of the Thanksgiving bounty with the girls.  Penny loved my dip and my dressing.  I was having to pass out recipes to several people.  That is something that always makes me happy.

The dip is one I learned to make when I was working at Costco.  People always rave about it and ask for the recipe.  It is so simple that I’m almost embarrassed to tell people how to make it.

Holiday Dip

1 cup mayo

1 cup sour cream

1 can diced tomatoes

1 package real bacon pieces.

Mix it up and let chill several hours before serving.

The dressing recipe came from my good friend, Heather Madden, from Louisiana.  I could hug her to pieces every year when I fix it; it is the best dressing ever!

Phil had a good week watching mats and final cleanup.   Mainline welding finished up this week, so those guys got to go home.

Mike, our roommate, has been working on the crew that Phil’s been watching this week.  Here he is running a backhoe.

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This is rough cleanup.  The subsoil has been returned across the working right of way and chisel plowed.  It’s now ready for the topsoil to be spread.

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A D6R XL dozer spreading topsoil

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The final step in finished clean up on this project is disking the topsoil.  Normally the next step would be seeding, but because it’s so late in the fall and so cold, the contractor will only do a bit of temporary seeding.  Final seeding will be deferred until spring.

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Phil took another sunrise picture for me.

sunrise

The recipe I want to share with you this week is my Lemon Blueberry bread.

Lemon Blueberry bread

Lemon-Blueberry Mini Loaves

makes 4 mini loaves

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Lemon Glaze:
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees for dark-finish pans) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven.  Butter (or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray) the bottom and sides of four mini loaf pans (5.75"´3.25"´2.25").  Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until softened (about 1 minute).  Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.  With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture (in three additions) and milk (in two additions) alternately, starting and ending with the flour.  Mix only until combined.  Gently fold in the blueberries.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the 1/3 cup of sugar and the 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

When the bread is done, remove from oven and place on a wire rack.  Pierce the hot loaves all over with a wooden skewer or toothpick, and then brush the tops of the loaves with the hot lemon glaze.  Cool the loaves in the pans for about 30 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.

So that was our week. Every week brings something new and exciting to us!

God Bless!