NEW ENGLAND STYLE BAKED STUFFED CLAMS

One of the wonderful things about living near the coast is FRESH seafood!!  Start with steamed clams and mix them with the veggies and seasoned crumbs. They bake to perfection every time!

NEW ENGLAND STYLE BAKED STUFFED CLAMS
8 LARGE quahogs or cherry stone clams
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 Vidalia onion, finely diced
1 LARGE clove garlic, minced
1/4 red pepper, finely diced
1 cup FRESH seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons finely minced FRESH parsley
Juice of 2 lemons, divided
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/8 teaspoon sweet Paprika

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Wash the clams free of any grit.
  • Steam clams in around 1 inch of boiling water until they open up, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove clams from the water (reserve a couple tablespoons of clam water).
  • Allow the clams to cool before taking them out of the shell – if the “foot” gets stuck, don’t worry about it since it’s not as tender anyway.
  • Split the shells open and keep 8 of them for stuffing.

 

  • Heat the butter in a skillet over medium high heat until onion is soft.
  • Add the garlic and peppers cooking another minute before adding the breadcrumbs.
Add the bread crumbs and blend well.
  • Add parsley, 1/2 of the lemon juice, Parmesan and paprika mixing well.
  • Add a tablespoon or two of the clam water to bind the mixture.
Divide the mixture between the 8 shells you held back and press it so it holds together.
  • Put them in a baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes until they gently brown on top.
  • Drizzle with lemon juice just before serving.

NOTES:

  • If clams don’t open on steaming, don’t use them, this means they were already dead.
  • When I make the bread crumbs I start with 2-3 slices of buttered sourdough sprinkled with lemon pepper, baked to toast in the oven and then ground in a food processor.

BLOGMAS 2018 – DAY 5 – WINTER MUSTS

What I CANNOT live without in winter is many many things, but these are my top items! The one thing I am absolutely sure of is that if I have a sore throat, dry skin, cold feet or hands, cold food or catch a cold I am NOT happy.

I drink a cup of green tea every night and try to make very balanced comfort food meals to warm up my family from the inside out.  Here are a few of our favorite soups and stews links for you.

Split Pea Soup  

Red Chicken Chili

Black Eyed Pea Chili

Tomato Spinach Soup  

Navy Bean & Ham Soup

Chicken & Sausage Gumbo  



BBQ APRICOT PINEAPPLE CHICKEN

BBQ APRICOT PINEAPPLE  CHICKEN adapted from Carrie at Northwoods Scrapbook

BBQ SAUCE
Avocado oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion (1 small onion)
1 tablespoon minced Fresno chile, seeds removed (1 chile)
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
13 ounce jar apricot-pineapple jam
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (1 large orange)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup jalapeño ketchup
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • Heat 1 tablespoon avocado oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the onions and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the chile and garlic; cook an additional 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the jam; cooking until the jam melts, 3 to 4 minutes more.
  • Add the orange juice and cider vinegar, bring to a simmer.
  • Add the ketchup, honey and Worcestershire.
  • Adjust the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until thickened, 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the sauce to a blender and puree until smooth.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Remove 1 cup for basting the chicken; reserve the rest for serving.

CHICKEN
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon each FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
16 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Avocado oil
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

  • Preheat the oven to 375°.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.
  • Pat dry chicken breasts.
  • Coat chicken breasts on both sides with avocado oil.
  • Generously sprinkle both sides with seasoning mix.
  • Place the chicken thighs on two foil-lined baking sheets.
  • Bake until the chicken is cooked through, 35 minutes.
  • Turn the oven to broil.
  • Generously baste the chicken pieces with BBQ sauce and broil until the sauce has caramelized and chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove to a platter, let rest for 5 minutes
  • Sprinkle the chicken with parsley.
  • Serve with the reserved BBQ sauce.

BLOGMAS 2018 – DAY 4 – CHRISTMAS MOVIES

Today’s category is an easy one for me.  I start taping Christmas movies on Lifetime, Hallmark and INSP as soon as they air so I can watch all year long.  I’m a sucker for a happy ending and let’s face it, Christmas movies have happy endings.

So this list could be reallllllllllly long, but I will just keep it to the top 5 MUST watch each and every year movies.

It’s a toss up for me about whether White Christmas with Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Vera Ellen and Danny Kaye or It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart, Lionel Barrymore and Donna Reed is my absolute favorite, but I think I’m leaning towards It’s a Wonderful life!
Which Miracle on 34th street version (the original with Natalie Wood or the remake with Richard Attenborough) is the best?  BOTH versions of course!
The Santa Clause with Tim Allen quickly became a favorite – who could resist visiting the North Pole every year?
 Now Home Alone is just silly, but it never fails to make me laugh!



HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 49 of 2018

GOOD MORNING Let me start with the BIG question. ARE YOU READY FOR CHRISTMAS, let alone December? I’m actually ready.  I had a productive week inside and out.  Hubby and I decorated outside on the 1 day we had no rain and the tree went up the day after Thanksgiving while we had family here to help decorate.

I might actually be getting my MOJO back.  The Christmas cards are done and mailed.  I have the last of the shipping boxes ready to take to the post office later this morning.  It will just be the 2 of us for the actual holiday so that makes things a bit easier too.  I ordered the prime rib from the butcher and will do my major shopping for the sides the week of the 17th.  Once again with just 2 of us I’m making smaller portions and less food all around.

Be sure to link up with
Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday

and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING – Last week was EXTREMELY wet and cold.  This week they’re predicting colder, but dryer at least.  We’re supposed to be in the mid 40’s all week with lows at night to the mid 20’s – definitely hot tea or cocoa weather. I’m off early to an appointment out of town (an hour away and 10 degrees colder) so I’m wearing layers!  Levis with warm socks and boots, a long sleeve thermal, flannel shirt and lightweight sweatshirt.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE – Honey and oats granola with a banana and green tea

CRAFTS / PROJECTS – I won’t be starting anything new until after the New Year but will share with you my “Christmas Wreath”.  I had seen the idea on Pinterest originally and then found this awesome antique frame.  With the slatted area it has allowed me to make seasonal ribbons and decorations that can be laced in and tied and then easily unlaced to change to the next holiday or season.

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY -My nephew, Wyatt Douglas was born healthy on Saturday and my niece is recuperating nicely after a last minute C-section.  He’s an adorable cutie (not that I’m biased or anything).  My niece and her twin are both extremely private and not even on social media so I will not be sharing unauthorized photos no matter how much I want to show you how cute he is.  I’m actually thrilled that they take social media privacy so seriously.  I know a few that don’t and their kids are going to hate them when they are old enough to realize what was shared throughout their life.

I started BLOGMAS 2018 on Saturday and hope you’re joining me.  It’s never too late to join in! There will be some form of a linky (I’m not happy with the initial ones and will probably be changing) on each post and they will be open ALL month long so join in when you can 😀

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA – It’s #ElfOnTheShelf time for the munchkins.  Meet our new elfette, AnnaBelle.  Her buddy, Alvin will be arriving on Wednesday.

INSPIRATION

SOMETHING INTERESTING I WATCHED – My munchkins loaned me the Elf On The Shelf movie – LOL 😀 I had never seen it.  Pretty cute, just wish I had come up with it!

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE / WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS /  APPOINTMENTS

  • LAUNDRY… just a couple loads of clothing and towels
  • LIVING AREAS… really clean, vacuumed yesterday
  • KITCHEN… also really clean
  • YARD… the moss deterrent was put on the rook last week before the serious rain – other than that nothing much
  • BLOG… BLOGMAS 2018 & some recipe updating
  • PROJECTS… a couple of secret gifts being built 😀
  • APPOINTMENTS… nothing this week

I’M READING – not much this week, just too tired by the time I fall into bed

WHAT IS ON THE DVR OR LIST TO WATCH – Christmas movies of course.  Most everything else has been cleaned out over the Thanksgiving weekend.

FUNNY FOR THE SEASON

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

BREAKFAST

LUNCH

DINNER

DESSERT

MONDAY – FRIDAY

GREEN TEA,

BANANA & YOGURT

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

MONDAY

CHICKEN CONTINENTAL

TUESDAY

BBQ CHICKEN MACARONI & CHEESE

WEDNESDAY

BUFFALO MACARONI & CHEESE BITES

THURSDAY

TOMATO BASIL SOUP

FRIDAY

BROCCOLI CHEDDAR SOUP

SATURDAY

C.O.R.N. clean out refrigerator night

SUNDAY

C.O.R.N. clean out refrigerator night

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

BLOGMAS 2018 – DAY 3 – CHRISTMAS MUSIC LIST

I’m all over the place with Christmas music – depends on the day, the occasion, my mood, what food we’re eating – just sooooooooo many factors! BUT, I do like it to wait until at least the day after Thanksgiving!
I love the old standards, but I also love country Christmas and Mannheim Steamroller.  I love Christmas carolers, not that you see many these days.  I was even part of the handbell choir at church for Christmas programs.
As for favorite songs I have a few that top the list:
  • Silent Night
  • White Christmas
  • Jingle Bell Rock
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • Little Drummer Boy
  • The twelve days of Christmas
  • Deck the Halls
  • Come All Ye Faithful
  • It Came upon a Midnight Clear
  • We three Kings of Orient
  • Joy to the World
  • Rudolph the Reindeer
  • Do You Hear What I Hear
  • The Most Wonderful Time of Year
  • It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas
  • Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

All this aside, I’m really ticked off that so many people are creating issues where they shouldn’t exist to begin with.  The banning of BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE this year is ABSOLUTELY ridiculous! When the song was written in 1944, it was a different era. The world we live in is extra sensitive now, and people get easily offended, and in my opinion reading too much into something that at the time was innocent enough.

Here are the lyrics.  You decide for yourself and remember the song was written 74 years ago! The song was written by Frank Loesser as a duet for him to sing with his wife at parties.

I really can’t stay (Baby it’s cold outside)
I gotta go away (Baby it’s cold outside)
This evening has been (Been hoping that you’d dropped in)
So very nice (I’ll hold your hands they’re just like ice)
My mother will start to worry (Beautiful what’s your hurry?)
My father will be pacing the floor (Listen to the fireplace roar)
So really I’d better scurry (Beautiful please don’t hurry)
Well maybe just a half a drink more (I’ll put some records on while I pour)
The neighbors might think (Baby it’s bad out there)
Say what’s in this drink? (No cabs to be had out there)
I wish I knew how (Your eyes are like starlight now)
To break this spell (I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell) (Why thank you)
I ought to say no, no, no sir (Mind if move in closer?)
At least I’m gonna say that I tried (What’s the sense of hurtin’ my pride?)
I really can’t stay (Baby don’t hold out)
Baby it’s cold outside
Ah, you’re very pushy you know?
I like to think of it as opportunistic
I simply must go (Baby it’s cold outside)
The answer is no (But baby it’s cold outside)
The welcome has been (How lucky that you dropped in)
So nice and warm (Look out the window at that storm)
My sister will be suspicious (Gosh your lips look delicious!)
My brother will be there at the door (Waves upon a tropical shore)
My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious (Gosh your lips are delicious!)
Well maybe just a cigarette more (Never such a blizzard before) (And I don’t even smoke)
I’ve got to get home (Baby you’ll freeze out there)
Say lend me a coat? (It’s up to your knees out there!)
You’ve really been grand, (I feel when I touch your hand)
But don’t you see? (How can you do this thing to me?)
There’s bound to be talk tomorrow (Think of my life long sorrow!)
At least there will be plenty implied (If you caught pneumonia and died!)
I really can’t stay (Get over that old out)
Baby it’s cold
Baby it’s cold outside
Okay fine, just another drink then
That took a lot of convincing!



PINEAPPLE RUM PUNCH

“CHRISTMAS” PINEAPPLE RUM PUNCH
4 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
4 cups cran-pomegranate juice
1/4 cup red hots
2 cinnamon sticks + 1 stick per glass for serving
1 cup cherry spiced rum OR pineapple rum
FRESH cranberries
FRESH pineapple chunks, FROZEN (optional)

  • In a 3 quart slow cooker, combine the pineapple juice, cran-pomegranate juice, red hots and cinnamon sticks.
  • Cook covered on low until heated through and red hots are melted.
  • Add rum.
  • Serve with FRESH cranberries and a cinnamon stick. Can be served warm or over frozen pineapple chunks.

NOTES: This can also be made on the stove, but use very low heat and watch that the candies don’t burn.