Monday, December 30, 2019

Coming Soon



Besides 2020 being a Leap Year
Ever Ready begins a new 2020 run January 1 with recently developed recipes, improved old favorites and reinstating Healthy Friday and Thursday Mexican Fiesta Night.

Some offerings include:
Maple Mustard Sheet Pan Salmon with Broccoli and Cauliflower
Cashew Crunchy Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pomegranates
Lemon Olive Cake
Oreo Icebox Cream Cake
 Tex-Mex Overnight Casserole 

Sweet Potato Couscous Moroccan Chicken Stew 

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

DIY Holiday Ideas

This is one of the most creative Christmas trees I've ever seen. It starts as a wine rack with wine bottles arranged in layered rows. Then lights were strung around the bottles and up and around the tree. I lightened the photo below so you could get a better look. 
It was in the front window of a pizza restaurant.  

Last minute craft idea New Year Wishes-Midnight Kisses. These party favors were made for an upcoming New Years brunch. 

You will need 
I found 6 Hershey Kisses fit perfectly in a small bag
DIY New Year's Eve Project
http://makingmemorieswithyourkids.com/2011/12/christmas-candy-bar-wrappers-how-cute/
and an easy to follow youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgCHd7R8n0A


And don't forget to toast in the new year with a Milk and Cookie Toasting Bar.
 https://sockfairies.blogspot.com/2018/12/new-years-eve-holiday-central-part-one.html

As the year closes The Readys find themselves turning the page to the next chapter filled with Arizona adventures. Stay tuned!
Ever Ready will resume January 1 

Wishing you all Peace, Joy and Good Health for 2020

,

Sunday, December 22, 2019

When the Year Grows Old

As the Year Grows Old
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I cannot but remember
When the year grows old—
October—November—
How she disliked the cold!

She used to watch the swallows
Go down across the sky,
And turn from the window
With a little sharp sigh.

And often when the brown leaves
Were brittle on the ground,
And the wind in the chimney
Made a melancholy sound,

She had a look about her
That I wish I could forget—
The look of a scared thing
Sitting in a net!

Oh, beautiful at nightfall
The soft spitting snow!
And beautiful the bare boughs
Rubbing to and fro!

But the roaring of the fire,
And the warmth of fur,
And the boiling of the kettle
Were beautiful to her!

I cannot but remember
When the year grows old—
October—November—
How she disliked the cold!

Looking back at some of my Ever Ready's Favorites 
December
Reindeer Appetizer Bar Part One 
https://sockfairies.blogspot.com/2019/12/reindeer-appetizer-bar-part-one.html



November
Roasted Veggie Tray
https://sockfairies.blogspot.com/2019/11/roasted-brussels-sprouts-and-cinnamon.html
October
The World According to Bella-End of the Line
https://sockfairies.blogspot.com/2019/10/the-world-according-to-bella.html
September
Snicker Brownies
https://sockfairies.blogspot.com/2019/09/snicker-brownies.html


August
Peach Almond Blueberry Crisp
https://sockfairies.blogspot.com/2019/08/peach-blueberry-almond-crisp.html
July 
Avocado Turkey Wrap
https://sockfairies.blogspot.com/2019/07/national-avocado-day.html


June 
Dessert Tacos
https://sockfairies.blogspot.com/2019/06/another-sundae-funday-with-twist.html
May
Hawaiian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
https://sockfairies.blogspot.com/2019/05/hawaiian-chicken-in-lettuce-wraps.html
April 
Old Fashioned Chocolate Buttermilk Cake
https://sockfairies.blogspot.com/2019/04/old-fashioned-dark-cocoa-buttermilk-cake.html
March
Oven Baked Garlic Parmesan Risotto with Asparagus
https://sockfairies.blogspot.com/2019/03/oven-baked-garlic-parmesan-risotto-with.html


February
Healthy Loaded Nacho Chicken Toastado 
https://sockfairies.blogspot.com/2019/02/loaded-nacho-chicken-tostada.html
January
Taco Bar Part Two
https://sockfairies.blogspot.com/2019/01/taco-bar-party-part-two.html

So what were your favorites of 2019?






Smoked Salmon Breakfast Casserole

Rise and shine start the day with a power boosting dish perfect for bunch and even beyond. Pair the Smoked Salmon Breakfast Casserole with a refreshing jicama salad (recipe previously posted).
https://sockfairies.blogspot.com/2019/12/jicama-salad-with-citrus-vinaigrette.html
Cook's Notes: When you're looking for a breakfast that is both elegant and easy for company, this multilayered casserole is just the ticket. It's loaded with  potatoes, smoked salmon, and a smattering of fresh herbs. Cottage cheese naturally melds into the eggs, creating pillowy lightness throughout the mixture, while goat cheese creates dense pockets of creaminess.
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light and serves 6 and under 400 calories a serving. Use a 9 x 9 glass baking dish or a glass 9 inch pie pan. 

Cooking Tips: Bok choy substitutes for spinach. Peppers, onions, cheese, potatoes and salmon can all be prepared ahead ready for sauteing.   

Ingredients:
  • 2-1/2 cups red or Yukon potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-in. cubes
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup plain small curd whole-milk cottage cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or 1 teaspoon dried chives 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes  
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup diced sweet onions
  • 2 cups bok choy, chopped  or spinach, torn leaves and stems removed
  • 1 cup sweet mini peppers, red and yellow diced
  • 8 ounces smoked salmon, flaked
  • Goat cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup) or shredded white cheddar cheese 
  • Dash red pepper flakes
Directions:
  • Bring a pan of salted water to a boil. Add in potatoes, cook uncovered 10 minutes or until potatoes are al dente. Drain. 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Place eggs, egg whites, milk,, chives, dill, parsley flakes, mustard, and pepper in a large bowl; whisk to combine or in a blender on low. Whisk in cottage cheese and set aside. Lightly grease baking dish. 
  • Saute peppers, spinach or bok choy and onions in olive oil until spinach or bok choy is wilted. Place in bottom of baking dish. Scatter potatoes, cheese and crumbled smoked salmon over pepper/onion mixture. 
  • Pour milk mixture over potato and salmon mixture. Bake dish at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when inserted in center. 


    by Sue Ready

    Winter came like a whisper
    during the early morning hours
    gently covered the barren land
    freezing fingers held it in a grasp.

    The warmth of the morning sun
    pushed heavy clouds aside
    and opened up
    a clear blue sky.

    Icicles cling tightly to the roof.
    Cars slosh through melting snow.
    Animals leave snowy tracks behind.

    Late dawn-
    Early sunset-
    Slipping sun-
    Short days-
    Long nights-

    Countdown
    till Spring 
         Can’t wait! 

Friday, December 20, 2019

Jicama Salad with Honey Clementine Vinaigrette


Jicama

Jicama (pronounced hee-cama) is a low-carb, low-calorie root vegetable native to Mexico that can be eaten raw or cooked! It shares the same color and shape as a turnip, but is about 2-3 times the size. The texture of jicama’s root is likened to a potato, and is firm as a pear. Its flesh is juicy and crunchy, with a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. Some think it tastes like a cross between a potato and a pear. Others compare it to a water chestnut. Other names for jicama include yam bean, Mexican potato, Mexican water chestnut and Chinese turnip.

Jicama contains many important vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, folate, potassium and magnesium. It’s low in calories and high in fiber and water. It also contains antioxidants, including vitamins C and E and beta-carotene.

Ways to Enjoy Jicama

  • The best way is to to just peel the outer part of jicama, cut in half and into julienne sticks. Enjoy it raw with your favorite dip. It’s very good when refrigerated for a little extra coolness too. 
  • Add jicama in spring or summer rolls.
  • Make a salad adding in cubed jicama.
  • Bake jicama sticks as fries.
  • Stir-fry jicama as its flesh stays crisp when cooked briefly, adding a refreshing crunch to any stir-fry. Try it with broccoli, garlic, ginger, scallions, and toasted sesame seeds or cashews.
Jicama Salad with Honey Clementine Vinaigrette
Cook's Notes: Looking for a healthy side for your holiday meal or as a side to a Mexican dish?  This vegan salad bursts with healthy veggies and a splash of a citrus vinaigrette. Rejoice-some larger grocery stores carry jicama already peeled and cut into julienne strips! 
Recipe serves 4. 
  • 2 cups  jicama, cubed 
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup yellow bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup cucumber, seeded, chopped
  • 2-3 clementines, peeled into sections
  • Mixed greens 
  • Optional: 2 avocados, diced 
  • Optional: fresh cilantro 1/4 cup 
Honey Clementine Vinaigrette Ingredients:
  • Juice of three clementines to equal 1/3 cup or substitute with fresh orange juice
  • 6 TB. extra-virgin olive oil or Blood Orange Olive Oil
  • 2 TB. honey (add more to taste)
  • 3 tsp. white balsamic vinegar, Cranberry Pear White Balsamic or Pomegranate Quince Balsamic
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
  • To make the vinaigrette, add all the ingredients together in a blender or pour into a small mason jar, shake to combine. If you use a mason jar, you can keep the leftover vinaigrette in the jar and store in the refrigerator.
    Mix salad ingredients except greens and toss lightly with citrus vinaigrette. Let set 10 minutes. 
  • Serve salad mixture over a bed of greens.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

A Christmas Carol

Original cover 1843  " A Christmas Carol" a classic tale by Charles Dickens. 

It was on this day in 1843 that Charles Dickens' “A Christmas Carol" was published.. Dickens wrote "A Christmas Carol" in six intense weeks. He was struggling for money — he had a large mortgage payment, his parents and siblings were asking for money, his wife was expecting their fifth child, and sales from his most recent novel, "Martin Chuzzlewit", were disappointing. He rushed through "A Christmas Carol" in time to get it printed for the holiday season, finished it in early December, wrote "The End" in huge letters and underlined it three times.

Dickens was angry with his publisher over how little money he had made from "Martin Chuzzlewit", so he refused the lump-sum payment that his publisher offered for "A Christmas Carol". Instead, he decided to publish it himself. He oversaw every detail of the publication, and he had a very specific vision for the book: he wanted a gold-stamped cover, woodcuts and four hand-colored etchings, a fancy binding, gilt-edged pages, title pages in red and green, and hand-colored green endpapers. He examined the first copies and decided that he didn't like them after all — the green on the title pages was not bright enough, and the endpapers smudged. So he demanded a new version: red and blue title pages, and yellow endpapers. All the changes were made to Dickens' satisfaction by December 17th, two days before the book was to go on sale.

Dickens wanted as many people as possible to purchase the book, so he charged five shillings, and sure enough, it was a huge best-seller — the first edition of 6,000 copies sold out by Christmas Eve. By the following spring, the book had run through seven editions.


Information from Writer's Almanac

Eggnog French Toast puts a festive twist on classic french toast for a simple, yet decadent holiday breakfast.

Eggnog French Toast
Cook's Notes: Be sure to use a hearty bread like sourdough, challah or brioche as it soaks up the eggnog batter without falling apart.
Recipe adapted from ourlifetastesgood.com and makes 6 large slices or 8-10 smaller sized pieces. It can easily be doubled. Be sure to use real warmed maple syrup as it makes a difference in the flavor. Add fresh fruit with a meat side and you'll be off to a great start for the day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf hearty bread
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cups eggnog
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. Saigon Cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 1 TB. melted butter
  • Real maple syrup
Directions:
  • Cut loaf into thick slices.
  • Preheat griddle and grease with butter or PAM.
  • Beat eggs, eggnog, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon until well combined. Place eggnog mixture in a shallow bowl. Soak each bread slice and toast on the griddle until golden brown on both sides.

Cinnamon Apple Muffins

GET TO KNOW YOUR APPLES Pink Lady , great balance of sweet and tart. Granny Smith , maybe the most popular baking apple. A little more tart ...