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Saturday, November 27, 2004

Mount Charleston

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Eventhough we live in Las Vegas, we're about 45 minutes away from Mount Charleston, where we can escape the heat in the hottest days of summer. There is about a 20 degree difference from the valley to the mountain. I also just love the trees there too.

We've been having some rain lately, and naturally, the higher elevation of the mountains got snow. Nancy's friend, a young Marine named Aaron, was in town visiting family for the holidays. Aaron and his brother Brian were thnking of going up to the mountain to check out the snow and invited us along.

We left the house at 9am and loaded the truck up with the dogs. We picked the boys up and continued on to mountain. It was a good thing we got there the time that we did. It was already getting crowded.

I haven't been in snow like that in a long time. It was different, but very pretty. We took a lot of pictures of everyone taking turns sliding down the snow with boogie boards. The dogs had a great time and they totally love snow.

We got back around 3. We were all pretty tired. Walt and I took a nap and we didn't end up having dinner until around 10.

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Friday, November 26, 2004

The day after...

Now that Thanksgiving is over and we've partially recovered, here is what we did yesterday. I am so glad that the desserts were done on Wednesday night, since we had spent most of the day cooking yesterday. Eventhough we have a double oven, I still think we would've been hard pressed for oven space.

Here is a rundown of some of the dishes we made:


Prep work

We started out with some prep work. Walt whipped up a bowl of sage butter, which was used in several of our dishes yesterday.

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Cornbread Stuffing

The cornbread stuffing was made with sage butter, dried corn bread, sausage, celery, italian parsley, apples, onions, shallots, chicken broth, and thyme. All this was done in my trusty wok, since it was big enough to hold everything in it.

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First, we wok'd up the onions, shallots, and celery in some sage butter.

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Then went in the apples and thyme.

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We then added the previously cooked sausage, cornbread stuffing, parsley, and some chicken broth.

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After stuffing the bird, here is the rest of the stuffing to be baked in the oven.

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Maple Roasted Turkey with Bacon

We decided to do a different type of turkey this year. I was trying to figure out which recipe to use until about 2 weeks ago. As luck would have it, the tv was on in my office, tuned to The Food Network. Food 911, with Tyler Florence was on. On that particular episode, he made a Maple Roasted Turkey with Bacon. Upon watching it, I immediately knew that was going to be the turkey we'll be making for Thanksgiving.

We didn't use the stuffing that was part of Tyler's recipe, but used a different cornbread recipe that Walt had chosen a couple weeks ago. Here is the bird, with the sage butter already rubbed underneath the skin and stuffed, and is ready to go into the oven.

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While the turkey was in the oven, we mixed up the maple syrup with the hot water to make the glaze. I actually cut down the amount of maple syrup because I was going to use maple bacon later on in the recipe. I didn't want the recipe to be too "mapley."

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We basted the bird with the maple syrup mixture every half hour.

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After 2 hours of roasting and basting, came the next step. Layering the maple bacon onto the turkey breast.

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We continued roasting and basting every half hour. One thing we found was this turkey was taking a lot longer than 3 hours to roast. We eventually placed some foil on top so that it didn't over brown.

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Honey Glazed Spiral Sliced Ham

We also decided to include a ham with this dinner. We chose a spiral sliced ham. I was originally going to make my own honey glaze and carmelize it with a kitchen torch. It turned out that the ham came with a honey glaze packet mix, so we went with that instead.

Here is the ham, about to go into the oven to bake at a low 275 degrees.

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After the ham was done, we coated it with the mix.

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After we coated the ham with the glaze, we returned it to the oven with the heat cranked up for another 10 minutes. Voila!

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Other good things...

While waiting for the turkey to be done, Walt ran out and took a picture of the sunset.

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Here is the turkey and ham, waiting to be carved.

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Here is the bean dish made with pearl onions, shallots, stewed tomatoes, garlic, roasted red peppers, and wine. It was tastey!

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And here is the table all set with some of the food. We had to put the salad, more sweet potatoes, and desserts on another table, since there was barely any room.

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All in all, the food came out awesome. I made gravy out of the pan drippings and it was very good. I was a little worried about the turkey, since it took 5 hours to cook. The little plastic thing that was in the turkey never popped out, so we decided to test it out with these other plastic testers that Nancy had. They indicated that the turkey was done, so we took it out to rest. I was afraid that the turkey breast would be dry, but much to my surprise, when we finally sliced it, it was very moist and juicy. I guess the sage butter underneath the skin and the bacon draped over the breast were the key to the moist turkey. Tyler Florence, you're my hero!

After we were all stuffed to the gills with food and dessert, Nancy and I had to take a walk after dinner. Our neighbors have already started with the Christmas decorations.

I couldn't have done this dinner if it weren't for Walt. He was my sous chef for the night. He helped do a lot of the prep work, basting, mixing, and cleaning as we went. And most importantly, he was the one responsible for all these pictures. Thank you, baby! :)

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Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Tired...

Walt and I will be doing the cooking for Thanksgiving this year. I deliberately took today off so that I can get in some cleaning as well. My goal today was to get all the desserts taken care of.

Since we have 5 people in the house now, I decided to add more desserts onto the menu. I made the Pumpkin Eggnog Cheesecake, Libby's Pumpkin Roll, 2 pumpkin pies, and a loaf of cranberry orange cornbread.

Needless to say, I'm tired, but am glad that the desserts are done. Now we can just concentrate on the actual meal itself tomorrow.

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Saturday, November 20, 2004

Red Rock

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We took a hike this morning to Red Rock. With the weather cooling down, we didn't really have to worry about leaving really early to beat the heat. We bought the dogs with us and they totally had a blast. It was a really easy hike with hardly any steep areas. I normally don't mind going uphill, but for some reason, going downhill hurts my knees. Perhaps I should look into getting a walking stick to maybe help with that.

Afterwards, we did a Costco run to get some stuff that we're going to make for Thanksgiving.

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Sunday, November 14, 2004

Stats and referrers...

It's pretty interesting how my blog gets pulled up in search engines. Not only does my site get pulled up with keywords "Fuck Me", the latest keyword that's being used is "ass raped."

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

I'm free...I'm free

This is the first post from my untethered laptop. We just got the wireless going. I can get use to this.

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Monday, November 08, 2004

Our new addition to the family...

I've been away for several days and I have a very good reason to be. We are the proud parents of our new baby. Last Tuesday, after we voted, we were waiting anxiously for our new arrival. Actually, I was the one waiting anxiously. I was the one who kept IM'ing Walt at work telling him that she isn't here yet. At about 3:45pm, that's when she arrived.

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I was totally giddy with joy, but I wanted to wait for Walt to get home before we opened her up. After staying up for a while to watch "Queer Eye" and the election results, we finally headed upstairs to check her out.

Here is her unveiling:

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Isn't she beautiful? We've been spending some time getting to know our 15" Powerbook with the Superdrive.

She doesn't have a name yet, but I've determined that "it" is a "she." That much I know.

Can't you just throw up from all this geekiness?

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Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Stats and referrers...

Upon checking out my stats and referrers, I found that my site was pulled up through the Lycos Search Engine in French. And the funny thing is? The keyword search was "FUCK ME." Somehow, the picture of me that's on the sidebar of this blog appears on the fifth page of their search results.

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Get out there!

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For the first time in my life, I actually voted. Walt and I went early this morning. I was actually surprised that we were only in line for about 2 minutes. When Nancy and I were at the mall last week, the line for the early voting was loooong!

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