Fun Football Food

Ready for the Big Game?

… here is some Fun FOOTBALL Food for any game time!

How fun is this?? A simple ‘football’ shaped meatloaf cleverly decorated with cheese is perfect for any  game day but especially Super Bowl!

Not a meat eater?  This great idea and simple presentation can even be adapted to yummy veggie-based loafs and burgers

Fun Football Food

 

Sleep under the Northern Lights!

More beauty from the North – Aurora Borealis – the Northern Lights

Sleep Under the Northern LightsYou can view the Northern Lights from the comfort of a bed in a rented Glass Igloo at Kakslauttanen, Finland.

The Northern Lights are one of the most magnificent natural phenomena and are visible in the night sky between late August and late April.Sleep Under the Northern Lights

An Arctic Resort in the wilderness of Lapland Finland, Kakslauttanen is a family hotel offers unique accommodations such as the Glass Igloos, as well as Snow Igloos, Log Cabins, Gold Diggers Cabin, a Traditional House and even Santa’s Home!

Sleep Under the Northern Lights

In addition to viewing the Northern Lights at Kakslauttanen, a variety of other experiences include winter and summer activities such as reindeer safaris, husky safaris, ice fishing, gold panning, mountain biking and skiing and snow boarding.

Located about 250 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, Kakslauttanen is easy to reach. It is only a 30 minute bus ride from the nearest airport at Ivalo, Finland  and not far from northern Norway or Murmansk, Russia.

 

 

Images from Kakslauttanen

 

Let there be SUNSHINE!

Let there be SUNSHINE!

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine, almost always, makes me high   (John Denver)

Let there be SUNSHINE!

Sunshine is a precious sight this time of year  - especially in the northern countries!

Celebrating the shorter days and longer nights of winter with festivals of light (St Lucia, Christmas Trees, Chanukkah, New Year’s fireworks), many areas also welcome the brief light of Sunshine!

Soft sunlight contrasts with the snowy white of frosty landscapes creating scenes of peace and serenity!

Let there be Light

Let there be Light

Let there be Light

Let there be SUNSHINE!

Images: M Viukari; Walter Rodriguez; Luka Esenko; Anton Shvain

Happy New Year from Russia

Russians welcome the New Year by saying

“S Novim Godom!”

Happy New Year from Russia

Happy New Year from Russia

 Most Russians consider the New Year as their main holiday of the year 

and celebrate it in a BIG way!

My friend, Lyudmila K., from Moscow, enjoys observing her country’s traditional New Years celebration of late dinners, family fun, and gift giving, with other family members and friends from Russia even after being here in the United States about 15 years.

Family and friends gather for late night dinners, sparkling wine, and fireworks at midnight. Games are played, gifts are exchanged, and toasts are made. Festivities also include decorated fir trees, and visits and gifts from Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost -the Russian equivalent of Santa Claus) who is sometimes accompanied by his granddaughter, Snegurochka (The Snow Girl or Snow Maiden).

Preparations begin early in the day on December 31 for their late night feasts of traditional foods such as Russian salads, herring ,cheese and breads, pickles and marinades. Happy New Year from Russia

Russian salads are significantly different from their European counterparts – many of them are made from the boiled vegetables and mayonnaise. The favorite salad of Russians and the main dish on New Year’s table is, of course, Olivier. This salad is made with boiled beef or chicken, with boiled potatoes, carrots, onions, pickles, boiled egg, green peas and mayonnaise. Sometimes sausage or ham are used in place of meat.

Just before midnight, a speech is given by the President of the Russian Federation in which he briefly sums up the results of the year and congratulates the the country with the holiday. Precisely at midnight, all TV channels broadcast the Kremlin chimes heralding the beginning of the New Year at midnight.  Then come the fireworks and the traditional drink of Champagne at Midnight.

 

This ornate giant Christmas ball is part of the Holiday Season decorations in central  Moscow.

IMG_0267

 

Read more about New Years and Christmas Traditions in Russia

Image Credits: tourspb.com; themoscowtimes.com;

Bûche de Nöel

Let’s Eat CAKE!

Bûche de Nöel

Bûche de Nöel

 Christmas Yule Log Cake — a traditional French Cake for the Holiday Season.

You will see it in many shapes, colors, and flavors. The recipe is quite basic: cake, filling, and frosting… and is fairly simple to make. I’ve seen many variations but only tasted a few.

I still like my recipe the best! Besides coming from a dear friend in Provence, France (so it is quite authentic) I think it has the best flavor and texture. The frosting is a rich French Butter Cream (Lots of butter!). Since we have a family member who doesn’t eat chocolate (yes – there are a few  non-chocoholics around!!), we make a vanilla version for both the cake and butter cream filling adding a touch of coffee flavor to the frosting to give it a little darker color.

Assembling is easy: once the rolled cake is filled and re-rolled, a simple diagonal slice off one (or both) ends provides a ‘branch’ (or two). With the diagonal cut tucked against the main ‘log’ and a second piece perched on top, the Bûche de Nöel takes shape looking like a branch of a tree. A simple squigle through the frosting with a fork and … voila! you have the look of bark. Further adoration of greenery (either pine twigs, rosemary sprigs or even plastic representations,) and other Christmas-y ornamentation (mini balls, figurines, or try edible sugared cranberries) followed by a light dusting of powdered sugar and you have the proper Yule Log – a Bûche de Nöel.

Bûche de Nöel

Ingredients

    CAKE
  • 6 eggs - separated
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 c flour (sift 2x)
  • BUTTER CREAM for Frosting and Filling
    chocolate:
  • 1/2 pound butter
  • 1 1/4 c sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3 1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 2 tsp rum or vanilla extract

Instructions

    Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Prepare a jelly roll pan with buttered waxed or parchment paper
  3. In mixer, beat egg yolks & sugar until foamy and light colored
  4. With mixer on low, add flour and baking powder (sprinkling)
  5. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until firm.
  6. Gently fold beaten egg white with flower & egg mixture
  7. Pour into prepared pan and gently spread evenly over pan
  8. Bake 10 minutes
  9. Lay a towel on the counter and dust lightly w/sugar. As soon as the cake is ready invert on the towel.
  10. Roll up the cake loosely rolling the towel with it
  11. Cool 10 min
  12. Meanwhile prepare butter cream
  13. Butter Cream Filling & Frosting
  14. Cream butter and sugar until smooth
  15. Add egg yolks one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each
  16. Add melted choc and rum or vanilla extract
  17. Assemble Log
  18. Unroll cake & spread with about half the butter cream
  19. Re-roll cake very carefully (without towel this time!)
  20. Cut ends of the cake on a diagonal slice and set the small piece on top of the cake or on the side for desired effect.
  21. Spread the rest of the frosting over the cake
  22. Decorate by simulating bark or wood designed with the tip of a fork
  23. Add 'greenery', ornaments, berries, figurines as desired
  24. Dust lightly over all with powdered sugar
http://greatfoodfunplaces.com/2014/12/25/buche-de-noel/

 

 

Authentic French Provincial Recipe and photo by Great Food Fun Places

 

 

 

Holiday High Tea

High Tea is fun any time  - and any where.  During the Holidays? Perfect timing! But in the western town of Cheyenne, Wyoming, of all places?  Quite a surprise!!

Holiday High Tea

The location is a fascinating historical site — the Nagle-Warren Mansion — in the Wyoming capital of Cheyenne.

Holiday High Tea

Holiday High Tea

One of the few homes still standing in Cheyenne from the 1880′s, the mansion is located on the edge of Cheyenne’s historic downtown sections on Cattle Baron’s Row. It is currently a bed and breakfast (B&B) with 12 guest rooms decorated in Victorian West style.

Originally the residence of Erasmus Nagle in 1888, the mansion was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and became it’s current position as a B&B in 1997.

 

Holiday High Tea

 Gorgeous on the inside, the mansion is especially elegant with the added Holiday decorations

 

Holiday High TeaHigh tea was as elegant as you can get. The food was very gourmet, and all you-can-eat!  I’ve Never had that at a High Tea!Holiday High Tea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday High Tea

Holiday High TeaHere are is a sampling of the generous 18 items on the menu:

Cream Currant Scones with Lemon Curd Spread

Raspberry Almond Tea Bread with Amaretto Butter
Smoked Trout and Roasted Red Pepper Open-Faced Tea Sandwich
and
- Sugar Plums!
 A Holiday High Tea in the western town of Cheyenne, Wyoming – the home of the Cheyenne Frontier Days - is a delightfully grand affair. The Nagle-Warren Mansion B&B is a perfect venue for taking a step back into history and experiencing an elegant English High Tea!

 

 

 

Chihuly in Denver

Glass Sculptures grace the Denver Botanical Gardens.

A lovely display of exquisite glass sculptures by world renowned artist Dale Chihuly are dramatic and yet peaceful in Denver exhibition.

Vibrant colors, whimsical shapes — some flamboyant, some subtle — entertain, amuse, and impress visitors. The exhibition just closed, but the effect lingers in the minds, memories and photos of those fortunate enough to experience it.

It is fun to see some different sculptures in the Denver Botanical Gardens that were not in Desert Botanical Gardens exhibit in Phoenix. It is equally fun seeing familiar shapes from the Phoenix gardens in the Denver setting.

ENJOY!

Chihuly in Denver

Chihuly in Denver

 

Chihuly in Denver

Chihuly in DenverChihuly in DenverChihuly in Denver

Chihuly in DenverChihuly in DenverChihuly in Denver
Chihuly in Denver Chihuly in Denver
Chihuly in Denver

 

 

Chihuly in Denver Chihuly in Denver Chihuly in Denver

Chihuly in Denver

Chihuly in Denver

Chihuly in Denver

Chihuly in Denver Chihuly in DenverChihuly in Denver

Chihuly in DenverChihuly in DenverChihuly in Denver

Chihuly in Denver

Chihuly in Denver

 

Chihuly in Denver Chihuly in Denver

 

 

 

 

 

Chihuly in Denver

Chihuly in Denver Chihuly in Denver

Chihuly in Denver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Credits: Darian J, Devon J, Bradley P, Tyler P

Easy & Fun Egg Muffins

Easy…& Fun…to Make   Easy…& Fun…to Eat

Healthy TOO!

 

EGG MUFFIINS

A Great Breakfast-by-the-Hand Recipe

Easy & Fun Egg Muffins

Delicious and healthy egg muffins are a great alternative to the usual breakfast-by-the-hand options that we often grab as we head out the door (think muffins, bagels, donuts, and other carb and sugar filled choices here) .  Great to throw in your bag to take to school or work or even headed out for fun excursion, Egg Muffins are a healthy and hearty snack for anytime and can be made in advance – ready to go!

The variations are endless.  Any combination of omelet, scramble or quiche fillings, meat, cheese and vegetables. I’m thinking Chili Rellenos s bake (green chilis & cheese), Spinach Ricotta Pie, (with a tasty salami added), Quiche Lorraine (Swiss Cheese & Bacon); Or the iconic Denver Omelet (ham, bell peppers, & cheese)

Easy Fun Egg Muffins

Ingredients

  • Green onions
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Bell peppers
  • Cheese
  • Green chillies
  • Fresh cilantro
  • You can add chicken or other lean meats, spinach, ricotta cheese, bell peppers, and lots more as per your taste.
  • Eggs 6 beaten with 2 tbsp milk, black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven at 400ºF
  2. Grease your muffin tin
  3. Add vegetables of your choice along with cheese (if you choose), pour beaten egg mixture on it.
  4. Place muffin pan on the center rack of a preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until muffins are light brown, puffy, and the eggs are set.
  5. Let muffins cool for a few minutes before removing from the muffin pan or cups. Loosen gently with knife if they seem to be sticking. Eat immediately or let cool completely and store in plastic bag in refrigerator or freezer. The Egg Muffins can be reheated in the microwave.
http://greatfoodfunplaces.com/2014/12/13/easy-fun-egg-muffins/

Adapted from SignatureWeddings

‘Christmas Tree’ Salad

Christmas is Coming!

 

Welcome to December – Christmas is just around the corner!  Here is a colorful Christmas Tree salad to add to your festivities

 

Christmas Tree Salad

'Christmas Tree' Salad

A healthy delicious salad filled with colorful ingredients becomes a healthy, delicious and colorful Holiday salad topped with a toasted Star!

From Healthy. Happy. Life.

I had no intentions of making this raw chard ribbon salad a “Christmas Tree” Salad. It was just going to be a holiday salad. Until I piled it into my bowl and watched as it formed a peaked tower that resembled a decked out holiday tree. 

Complete with shiny red pomegranate “lights” – glossy grape bulbs – twinkly satsuma ornaments – and then I needed a star on top…

 ..sprouted grain toast star it was!

 So my holiday salad turned into an edible tree..

 

Read the full post and get the recipe here:  Happy. Healthy. Life. from lunchboxbunch.com

 

Turkey Treat?

Turkey Treat?

For the non-Turkey lovers and others who might want an alternative, this is an interesting option!

Turkey Treat?

Then again, could it just be considered Edible Food Art?

 

Rice Crispy Treats, artfully formed into a turkey roasted turkey shape and stuffed with M&Ms providing a sweet alternative to the real deal or at least a turkey-themed dessert.

Tag this to use next Thanksgiving or for those who like turkey for Christmas dinner- use it this year!