Friday, November 30, 2012

Simple Cheese Danish

Am I actually posting a recipe?!
It feels like forever since I have talked about food.

Lately I have had a hankering for sugar. I think I am getting a little bit of sweet tooth, which is out of the norm for me. Crazy, I know. I am really good at refusing dessert. As of late though, I have been rummaging through the cupboards to find something sweet.
I was surfing the web a little bit ago and came across the recipe. I saved it, to be able to make it later. When I was looking through my recipes later to make us a treat I stumbled across this little gem of a recipe. I had an extra puff pastry in the freezer, a lemon and a block of cream cheese in the fridge, I was set!
After Dave bit into this wonderful pastry, he informed me it was the best Danish he had ever eaten. That will put a smile on your wife's face.

Simple Cheese Danish
*Makes 6 Danish 

8 ounces cream cheese, light or regular, softened to room temperature 
4 tablespoons granulated sugar 
1 teaspoons grated lemon zest 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (9 1/2 by 9-inch) 
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons water 

Adjust an oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, stir together the cream cheese, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla. Set aside. 

Roll the pastry into a 12 by 9-inch rectangle on a lightly floured counter, making sure it doesn't stick to the counter while rolling. Cut the rectangle into six 4 1/2 by 4-inch rectangles (cut it in half the long way and then cut each strip into thirds). Transfer the pastry rectangles to the baking sheet, spacing about 1 inch apart. Using the tip of a paring knife, score a 1/2-inch border around the edge of each pastry, then brush the borders with the egg wash (no fear - if you don't have a pastry brush, using your fingers works just as well!). Prick the pastry with a fork every 1 inch or so within the border (see the picture below for a visual). Place a generous 2-3 tablespoons of filling in the center of each pastry and spread it into an even layer leaving the border uncovered. 

Bake the pastries until fully puffed and golden about 12-14 minutes (watching carefully so they don't over-brown). Serve the pastries warm or at room temperature.

Recipe From: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Train Ride

We got to take a ride on this cool train on October 15th. We rode the famous train ride from Durango, CO to Silverton, CO. It was about a 3 1/2 hour train ride there and about 4 hours back from. It was a wonderful way to spend the day! And it was absolutely gorgeous that day!I thought of my Grandpa Stalder while we were riding the train. He loved trains, he had a collection of model trains with a train track. He would pull it out every so often and we would watch him drive the trains around the track. 
We sure miss him, but we are grateful for the memories we treasure of him.

The row of train cars. All of them were pretty old train cars. I think from the early 1900's or even earlier.

Dave bought a mug that allowed you to get as many refills of soda or hot chocolate on the train as you wanted. 

(I should have used this as our Christmas card picture, but I forgot we took this. Typical.)

Look at how beautiful the day was! 
We even spotted a hot air balloon out and about.

I like him.

You can see the two engines pulling the train cars. They are run off of coal. We got covered with coal ashes while we sat in the observation car.

I'm not sure what happened to the other engine, but here is one of them.

I absolutely love fall, especially fall in the mountains!

Don't you think mountains are amazing?

We made it to Silverton!

We ate at the BBQ place Thee Pitt's Again. 
It was so good!

Look at the size of these onions rings?! 
They were huge and probably some of the best onions rings we have ever had.

I am so glad Dave and I were able to ride on this train ride. 
It was a very neat experience.
If you ever make it out to Durango or Silverton you should definitely take a ride on the train. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Trip to Paradise

Have I mentioned that my husband is kind? Loving? Patient?? Amazing??
Well he is all of those and more! 
He was kind enough to let me travel all the way to Hawaii with my friend, without him. Now that is just down right generous!!

My wonderful friend Meg has an Uncle who made the great decision to move to Hawaii. Meg decided it was time to go visit him, and I was the lucky person who got to tag along! 

Uncle Craig lives in Pahoa, Hawaii. Which is by Hilo, Hawaii on the Big Island. It is the jungle side of the Big Island, full of plants everywhere, lava rock from the volcanoes and active volcanoes. 
Let me tell you, it is paradise!! 
I got to spend 3 wonderful days there at the beginning of October. 

When we got off the plane, we thought we were being serenaded by thousands of birds, Craig informed us that they were actually frogs. Wal Mart apparently imported frogs from Puerto Rico...or was it Costa Rica?? I recorded the sound on my phone, if I figure out how to upload it I will. They are cool to listen to at first, but by the 3rd night I was sick of them.  

Now what you have all been waiting!!

On our way to Craig's house we stopped at the grocery store, we of course had to buy a pineapple!

It was so juicy I had to suck every last drop I could out of that pineapple.

Craig's home, it is surrounded by beautiful foliage.

Craig has an avocado tree, lemon tree, banana tree and he is even growing a pineapple!

Craig and Meg, the lava flow behind them is now the foundation for the houses that were there before the lava came. The houses were moved before the lava hit, and then were placed back once the lava had cooled.

This is on the other side of the road, more dried lava. You could see steam coming out of the lava that was on the mountain in the distance, since the volcano is still active. We didn't get to see any active lava flow though.

This was a fun little spot we hung out at one night. That area becomes full of little vendors, selling food and things they had made. That big tree to the right is an avocado tree.

My delicious blue cheese, potato fritta that I ate for breakfast one morning.

 The cutest pineapple plant!

Meg and lava, lava is so amazing!

Black sand beaches!!
(Yes, my legs don't see the sun much, what about it??)

Look at that ocean behind them!! 

Crazy to see the plants grow out of the cracks of the lava.

I obviously needed to sun bathe, though even all that time in Hawaii I am still white as can be.

This road was so cool to drive on.

Seeing the palm trees with the ocean in the background is so pretty.

Surfers waiting for the good waves.

I love this picture, it reminds me of the movie "Blue Hawaii".


Snorkeling any one??

My legs glow in that water.

At the beginning of a lava tube.

I can't remember what they call this, but it smells worse then the sulfur pots in Yellowstone.

The best my camera could do to capture a picture of the glow of the volcano.

We saw lots of beautiful plants and fruit growing every where!





Noni fruit

Wild Ginger

If you look close enough, you can see the little crab we saw while looking for turtles.

Cute little Meg (Hi Bucket!)

So beautiful!!

This was an interesting plant.

I love how the light comes through this tree.

Yeah, we're pretty talented.

We walked along the river to get to...

this waterfall.

We got eaten alive by mosquitoes! 
It was worth the adventure.

I thought about actually swinging, but I wasn't so sure that vine could hold my weight.

Look at all that bamboo!!
And who knew my legs could stretch that far?

Craig never ceases to impress me!

Akaka Falls

There is a car on fire up ahead that caused all traffic to come to stand still.

These trees were so cool!

This pizza was well worth the 30 minute wait!

This is a shot of the vendors at the little hangout spot in Pahoa. They have it every Wednesday night.

This was at the lava tree park we went to.

What use to be a tree.

This cat followed us around the whole park! She loved Meg.

We tried these raspberries, they were terrible....

Saw some hermit crabs when we went snorkeling again.

Enjoying the sun! 
Craig is holding up our empty Totino pizza container. The worst pizza for you, but so good (for cheap cheap pizza)!

Hello Mr. Turtle!!

He even let me pet him!
I think he was hoping I'd feed him, but I didn't have anything to give him.
We also saw a couple turtles while we were snorkeling in this area.
 It was freezing water!! (At least for Hawaii water it was cold.)

Hawaii is awesome! 
I think next time I use this snorkeling gear I will actually take my Husband with me.