Homemade Holiday Orange Pomander Simmer

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OK, people. If you are like me, you are probably spending a lot of $$$ on room sprays, scented candles and home diffusers. Especially this time of year. Here’s my secret. Try this – and it won’t cost you a dime because you probably have the ingredients in your kitchen already. Only 4, yep, 4, ingredients. It’s not really a pomander, it’s more like a simmering potpourri, if such a thing exists. 🍊 Note: this is not edible. It’s just meant to warm and scent your home during these cold winter nights.

◾1 orange
◾2-3 cinnamon sticks (ideally) or 1 tsp ground cinnamon
◾20 cloves
◾1 tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
◾water

1. Fill a small sauce pan with water. Mine is pretty small.
2. Peel an orange. Throw the peel/rind  into the pot.
3. Add 2 cinnamon sticks or 1 tsp cinnamon powder
4. Add 20 cloves.
5. Add 1 tsp ground nutmeg (powder).
6. Simmer. Not a boil. Just a low simmer.
7. MOST IMPORTANT: WATCH THE POT.   Do not let the water boil away. Add more water when it gets low. Can reuse the mixture for 3-4 days. Mmmmm. Heavenly smell.

Happy Holidays, everyone.

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Curried Turkey Salad Sandwich

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Looking for that perfect Thanksgiving turkey leftover recipe? This is perfect, not to mention that no cooking is required. Super easy.

Curried Turkey Salad Sandwich

◾ Shredded cooked turkey
◾ 1 tablespoon mayo
◾1/4 teaspoon Sun brand Madras curry powder
◾ 1/4 cup diced celery
◾ Major Grey’s mango chutney
◾ rye/pumpernickel swirl bread

1. Shred your leftover cooked turkey. How much turkey all depends on how big you want your sandwich. I shred 1 1/2  cups.
2. Add the diced celery.
3. Add the mayo and curry powder.
4. Mix together.
5. Spread the mango chutney over both pieces of rye bread.6. Top the bread with the turkey salad and close the sandwich. Enjoy.

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Friday Night Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

Friday Night Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

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● 5 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
● 1 whole chicken cut into 8 pieces
● 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
● garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley and paprika

1. In a  bowl, toss the cubed potatoes with olive oil and shake some garlic powder, onion powder and dried parsley over the potatoes. Add pinch of salt, if desired. Mix.
2. Pour potatoes into 9 x 11 baking dish.
3. Place the cut up chicken (on the bone) on top of the potatoes.
4. Sprinkle some garlic powder and paprika onto the chicken.
5. Bake at 450° for 45 minutes until chicken is browned and juices run clear. Check potatoes for doneness with fork.

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Chicken Milanese

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This is really just breaded boneless chicken breast with salad on top. Not too many ingredients involved so its really easy. I use cornflake crumbs, but you could use panko, mashed potato flakes or any kind of crumbs, even crushed pretzels or tortilla chips. But then its not italian. 🙂 As for the salad, make whatever you like. Mine just has tomatoes, cukes and romaine with homemade balsamic-honey-mustard dressing.

For the chicken:

■ 1 pound boness chicken breast
■ 1 large egg
■ 1 cup cornflake crumbs
■ 1 cup flour
■ 1 teaspoon garlic powder
■ 1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. Put the crumbs in a pyrex pie plate.
2. Beat the egg and pour into a second pyrex pie plate. Add the lemon juice and garlic powder to the egg. Stir.

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3. Pound the chicken breast (scallopini style). Butterfly the chicken if its too thick before pounding. I put the chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap, then pound.

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4. Dust the chicken breasts with flour, then dip into the egg and then dip into the bread crumbs. Place chicken on foil lined pan.

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5. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes.

6. While the chicken is baking, prepare the salad.  For the salad:

● romaine lettuce or whatever greens you like, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
● tomatoes (any kind), cubed
● peeled diced cucumber

For the dressing: ( or use your favorite bottled italian dressing)

In a small pitcher or glass, mix together 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar,  1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, a dash of garlic powder and dried oregano each. Dress salad greens.

7. When the chicken is done simply place the chicken on the plate. Then place some salad on top and serve.

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Orchid Extravaganza at Longwood

OK, so this is the winter from hell that will never end. Another snow fall predicted on March 25. Do I need to mention the words polar vortex again? But, we were lucky to have a brief 3-day warming spell of 50° so off we went to Longwood Gardens in PA for some much needed flower therapy. If you’ve never been to Longwood, the old Dupont estate, it is spectacular. Any time of year is beautiful and the gardens are so large that it’s impossible to see it all in one day. Usually, I visit in April for the tulip/spring bulb walk (which is truly a knockout) but this time I couldn’t wait to see some evidence that spring had sprung and went in March, limiting myself mainly to the huge and warm conservatory for the Orchid show and other springlike installations like blue poppies, tulips, lilies and cineraria. The conservatory is so large that you could spend your entire outing there. So without further delay, here’s what’s on show.

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Blue vanda orchid

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Cymbidiums galore.

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Lady slipper

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Miltonia

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Dendrobium

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Others

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Main conservatory display with orchids, cineraria, clivia and others

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Ceiling installations of orchids

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Also seen in the conservatory, lilies with black bamboo

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Blue Poppies with tulips

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I’m not sure this does it justice and there are a ton of flowers I haven’t even mentioned but I hope you enjoyed this picto-diary of my trip. Never too many flower pics for me. Thanks for visiting my blog and happy spring. Hopefully, it will be where you are soon!

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Garlic Lemon Rosemary Chicken

OK. I cheated a little on this one and bought a pre-cooked kosher roasted chicken for Friday night dinner. Then, I just mixed together the sauce, brushed it on the chicken and heated it up.

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1 store-bought roasted chicken
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp dried rosemary

1. Cut up the whole chicken into eight pieces.  Place chicken on a foil-lined pan.
2. Combine the rest of the ingredients together.
3. Brush onto chicken.
4. Roast at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until browned and crispy.

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Easy Beef Bourguignon 1-2-3

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(Note: This is an updated and quicker version of Julia Child’s recipe. The reason I call it BB 1-2-3 is because it only has three key ingredients: red wine, tomato sauce and onion soup. Tastes like it takes hours to make, but really the sauce can be made in minutes.)

  • 2 lb piece of beef (I used chuck) that you can braise. Not a broiling steak.
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce or 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cup onion soup ( 1 tbsp dried onion soup mixed with water  is fine)
  • garlic powder (optional)
  • worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • 1 pinch of dried thyme
  1. In a pan, add some garlic powder and brown the piece of beef on both sides. You can add 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce on top of the beef if you’d like).
  2. When the beef if browned, pour 2 cups of water into pan to deglaze. Cover and simmer beef until tender, usually for me it takes an hour. Check tenderness with fork. Add more water if it boils away.
  3. When the meat is fork tender, drain the pot. (I do this because I like a less fatty sauce. You don’t have to drain it,  but if you don’t then this beef broth would susbstitute the onion soup in the recipe.)
  4. Add the red wine, onion soup mixture or beef broth and the tomato sauce/paste.
  5. Add the dried thyme.
  6. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

Note: I served this with bread to soak up the delicious sauce, but of course, potatoes are a traditional choice. Green beans or peas/carrots for the veggie would be a natural. This recipe is so easy , its ridiculous. Thanks to my mom for teaching me the recipe and  how to cook.

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