Menu Monday: CANDIED ORANGE

Zach and I went on a day trip--well, afternoon trip--to Eureka Springs this weekend. We had planned to go on the Saturday before Valentine's Day, but the area's two feet of snow kept us, well, snowed in. Just like Arkansas weather, a week later it was in the 70s or so. It was a beautiful day, not overly sunny, which I don't like. (I like slightly sunny, overcast, cloudy, and/or downright gloomy days. *lol*)









We parked uphill and walked to the downtown area, snapping pictures (see above) and stopping into interesting shops. I was starving, so we got a soft pretzel because our favorite funnel cake place is closed for the season. :( We also went into Two Dumb Dames, one of the fudge and taffy shops.

Last time we came to Eureka, we learned that we should stick to more traditional flavors of fudge in smaller amounts because, the last time we came to Eureka, we got a pound of fudge with such flavors as pumpkin and mint chocolate--the last of which sounds good in theory, but the mint flavor was overpowering and somewhat artificial tasting. We threw most of it out. Of course, we had been to Eureka already three weeks prior to that trip and had just polished off the half-pound of fudge we bought then. You win some, you lose some.

So we got some tiger butter fudge for Zach and some dark chocolate and raspberry cream fudge for me. Then we saw CANDIED ORANGE slices dipped in dark chocolate.

Two of my favorite candies in the world are these:

This is one of my favorite candy bars, which I first discovered at Whole Foods. Then I found them at the Target in Conway. Now I can't find them at any Target. :( I love to take a small bite and let it melt in my mouth down to the orange peel. I love orange peel, especially in some biscotti.
[photo from here]

This Christmas we got three of these on clearance. That was amazing to us because sometimes you can't find them anywhere before Christmas. I got one of these several years ago, and l-o-v-e-d it. Then, as I mentioned, I couldn't find them again for awhile. What's not to love? You get to whack your candy to break it! This year I used one to make some decadent homemade ice cream.
[photo from here]

Zach loves these:
This is a British KitKat that we have been unable to find stateside. Zach brought back a ton when he went on his English trip, and I restocked on mine. Thankfully we have a family friend who keeps us supplied when she travels home to Scotland. (Thanks, Fiona!) I don't like KitKats, but I love these....though not as much as the husby. ;)
[photo from here]

So we knew we had to try a slice. For over a $1.
It. was. wonderful. We both went on and on about how sweet and fruity and chocolatey it was. Definitely worth the $1 unless...we could make our own.

CANDIED ORANGE
1 orange
1 1/2 c. water
1/2 sugar
chocolate for dipping (optional)

-Slice in the orange lengthwise (through the ends), then lay the cut sides down. Slice the orange into 1/4-inch wide slices, discarding the end pieces. Be careful to not cut them too thick or too thin.
-In a flat-bottomed skillet, mix water and sugar together and bring to a boil. Add the orange slices.

-Boil for 6-8 minutes, turning once or twice. Reduce to medium heat and continue simmering for 30 minutes, turning the slices occasionally.
-As the liquid thickens and becomes syrupy, reduce to low heat and continue cooking and turning until the oranges are translucent and the liquid is thick.
-Cool oranges in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to wax paper to cool completely.

-If desired, melt your choice of chocolate in which to dip the orange slices once cool. Lay on a clean sheet of wax paper to harden.

[1 orange]

I think these would be beautiful on a cake! Mine did not photograph so well above, not to mention the poor baby that got scorched. But they do look nice and pretty in person...and once you get them dolled up in chocolate!
What do you think? Have you ever had candied fruits before?

Friday Finds: CAMEOS

I've wanted a cameo for-e-ver. Zach has looked for one to give me at holidays and birthdays in the past, but he says most look too cheap. He wants to get an authentic vintage one.

I know what he means. But here are some pretties I found on Etsy:

'Cameo Cameos' by ashes2448

in jewel tones and such


Forest Green Cameo Wirewrapp...
$24.00

Vintage Lady cameo pendant ...
$45.00

Necklace, Vintage Blue Flora...
$26.00

3D HANDPAINTED VICTORIAN LAD...
$20.00

Blue Flower Brooch
$15.00

True Love Cameo Necklace - 1...
$30.00

Vintage Rose Locket Necklace...
$23.50

VERY VINTAGE 1930s PURPLE FL...
$9.00

Sage Green Victorian Style C...
$20.00

ROSE AND ROSE BUD FLOWERS BO...
$32.99

Unrepentant Widow dove gray ...
$42.06

Autumn Love - Necklace
$29.00

Antiqued Light Blue Cameo Ne...
$5.99

Large Mint and Teal Rose Cam...
$16.00

Stunning Beautiful Red Rose ...
$30.00

Greek Goddess Cameo Pendant ...
$28.00

Treasury tool is sponsored by Lazzia.com A/B image testing.


It's not the prettiest treasury, but it's my first, and I'm excited to make some more!

Menu Monday: ZACH'S FAVORITE CHICKEN POT PIE

Well...I'm a little behind. *hehe*
Because we've been snowed in twice this month, it has really thrown off our weekly menus. We would wake up late and have brunch and then graze all day on junk food. I would cook dinner, planning to have leftovers the next day (either for lunch or dinner), but when tomorrow became the present, it just didn't sound very good. We ate a lot of breakfast foods...and cookies, ice cream, and cupcakes.
Now we are getting back on schedule, but it's been a rough week. It's so strange that a week ago we were buried in up to two feet of snow--and now it's 60 degrees at 9 o'clock in the morning and all of my beautiful snow is gone. I don't think we will have anymore this year. :( But who knows? :)

I did try to make some cabbage rolls last Friday, but I didn't have full leaves, so it became a bit of a cabbage casserole. (I had halved the cabbage head, thus splitting the large leaves that should have been used to in the rolls.) Also, the cabbage had browned a bit on the outside and where it had been cut, so I had to remove those spots, which didn't leave me with much to use. (Cabbage can last for a l-o-n-g time if properly stored.) Whatever I rigged up was actually rather tasty--cooked cabbage topped with rice mixed with onion, green bell pepper, garlic, tomato paste, and spices and baked in chicken broth in the oven. However, as the snow finally melted and it was Valentine's weekend, we didn't dine much at home, and all the leftovers got tossed out.

We're trying not to waste food, especially since I'm not working and we are on a tight budget ($65 or so a week)--and even if we weren't on a budget, I would feel excessive and wasteful. I've found you can actually get quite a lot for your money, especially if you shop with coupons, plan your menu around sales and what's in season, cut out/down on meat, poultry & seafood, and eat breakfast as much as we do. *lol* We only have meat on special occasions--typically when we have company--or if we are craving something specific. For example, I've been wanting some Mexican chicken because it used to be my favorite and I haven't had it in for-e-ver, so we're having that this weekend. Besides I get so tired of meat, unless it's in small doses. On another note, I've also had a hankering for some cheesy potato soup, so I've scheduled that for Sunday night. :)

One of the times we do have poultry is when I make CHICKEN POT PIE, which is ZACH'S FAVORITE. I mean he is just crazy for it! He requests this about every week, and I must admit, it is tasty, easy to make, and relatively cheap. Until I invented this recipe (by combining the parts of others before I had even tried to make any of them *lol*), I never liked CHICKEN POT PIE. I didn't like the broth/soup/liquid in it, the veggies were usually cooked to death (well...*duh*...but you know what I mean), the chicken wasn't savory, and the crust left much to be desired. This CHICKEN POT PIE is something of which I don't think I can ever tire. Usually I get a rotisserie chicken from Walmart, skin it, debone it, and divide it into one-cup portions, freezing the leftovers for future dishes. I have used canned chicken, but that kinda freaks me out. (Like SPAM. *ugh* *shudder*) Passing on the cabbage rolls recipe, I thought about sharing pictures of the cupcakes I decorated for Valentine's Day with what decorating tips I used and whatnot, but for this week, I've decided to share this much loved recipe instead.

This was the first time I ever made this recipe (about a year ago).

ZACH'S FAVORITE CHICKEN POT PIE
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1/2 c. milk
1 c. chicken broth
1 c. cooked chikcen
1 carrot, peeled and sliced (or you can use an equal amount of baby carrots, chopped)
1/4 c. onion, diced (or 3 stalks of green onion)
1/4 c. frozen peas
1/4 c. frozen green beans
1/4 c. frozen corn
salt and pepper, to taste
oregano and basil, to taste
2 pie crusts (homemade or store)
pat of butter (to dot top of pie crust)

-Heat cheddar cheese soup, milk, and chicken broth on medium heat. Add chicken and vegetables until all is heated. Be careful that nothing sticks to the bottom of your pan and scorches.
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out and smooth one pie crust in a pie place.
-Add seasonings to pot pie mixture and pour into crust. Roll second pie curst on top, smoothing and crimping edges and trimming excess dough.
-Dot top of the crust with butter and, using a fork or knife, poke holes or make slits across top to let steam escape. (I like to use a fork and make a pretty pattern.) Bake for 45-55 minutes.

[serves 4]

I can't wait to make the next one. You're gonna love it!

things I'm loving this week: RED Edition

Here are some things I'm loving around our house this week--
all red in honor of Valentine's Day:

the candy dish Zach painted when he worked for housing (and the sweets inside)
It was some lovey-dovey, emotional, let's-hold-hands, bonding kind of thing. But he really does love candy!

our Lego Tudor house Zach built

the red teapot Brian and Whitney gave us as a housewarming gift to add to my growing collection in our china cabinet

this Old Navy sweatshirt I got on clearance and wore all over the British Isles that keeps me warm during these snowy days

freshly painted toenails
(Nonetheless, feet are so awkward. I apologize for my monkey toes.;)

the microwave that is older than Methusaleh and runs wonderfully and was Zach's parents that ended up at his work when they got a new one and was branded with an Entergy logo that glows when you take a picture of it using my Kodak

how we keep Hobie in line when he is being bad (i.e. sitting on our computer keyboards, ripping up carpet, chewing on plants)

the kimono-esque robe Zach got me for Christmas in 2009--I hate furry, fuzzy robes.
(Some days this year, however, I think I could have appreciated a furry, fuzzy robe.)

What would we do without our tea kettle??

I love my pointy kitten heels, even if they are not high quality. The American Eagle line at Payless releases new styles of them every few months, and I always buy them up...before wearing down all the heels. As much as I love the snow, I can't wait to get out of these boots and tennis shoes and into my casual heels!

Every kitchen needs a fire extinguisher and an apron!

Hobie's hideaway

pretty Valentine's cupcakes (chocolate with Queen Anne cordial cherries) :)

my Old Spice loofah *haha*
(After Christmas, Zach got a lot of Old Spice gift sets on clearance because he uses their deodorant. They came with red loofahs, so I am all set for several months!

our overflowing recycling box in the kitchen
(Since we've been stuck at home, we've been consuming everything in the pantry...and we haven't been able to put out the recycling bin in three weeks because of the snow!)

the red gate on John Ruskin's property in the Lake District
I have pictures from travels hanging in my bathroom. They inspire me every day, and I can't wait to get some more frames to hang even more. More importantly, I can't wait for our next trip...Cleveland!

our Alice's Adventures in Wonderland collection in the library

These red candle holders on our mantel--my cousin Erin gave them to me for Christmas a few years ago, and they go so well with our decor.

cookbooks

Delicious Red wine
(I LOVE this picture!)

the fruit bowl Zach's mom Beverly crafted for us and the citrusy fruits within
(I've been on an orange kick lately. Thank goodness for citruses and bananas this time of year.)

getting dressed up in my red cardigan to go celebrate with my Valentine :)

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you!
What are you loving this week?