Nature Walks – More Goslings

Our goslings are already growing up.  I am seeing big changes in them everyday.  It won’t be long before they will be teenagers, then soon, they will be out of the nest and on their own.  It is fun to capture their progress and growth though, while I can.  Although, We are getting a second round of both goslings and ducklings.  I am seeing so many at various different stages of growth, from the tiny babies to the “tweeners”.

These are different sets of gosling on different lakes.

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Look.  He’s smiling at everyone.  🙂

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Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til next time.

 

 

London Calling

Yet another puzzle is now in the books.  This one was a picture of the busy streets and double decker buses of London.  One of the benefits of this lockdown is that we are becoming quite the puzzle masters.  For my next edition of the puzzle and dinner series, I had to come up with a traditional British meal to go with our London puzzle.  I could have easily gone with the standards like fish & chips, bangers & mash or shepherd’s pie.  Don’t get me wrong, I love all of those, and yes, we actually do eat them on a fairly regular basis too, but where’s the fun in that?!  I wanted to do something different and less familiar to everyone.  I did my research and came up with a good dish AND got to use some leftovers as well.  I was in 7th Heaven.  🙂

London

My British meal that coincided with out London puzzle was a variation of a Lancashire Hotpot.  Instead of using lamb, I used my leftovers from my Dijon beef.  Slow Cooked Dijon Beef with Mushrooms  I had just enough beef, but added more mushrooms and onions.  As for the kidneys, NEVER!  I am NOT a kidney or offal fan.  But if you like them, feel free to add them.  For all my British friends, don’t be to mad at me for making this dish “Jeanne style”.  That’s just what I do.  You all should know that by now.  🙂

Lancashire Hotpot

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1 1/2-2 lbs or 900g beef or lamb, cubed

3-4 lamb kidneys, fat removed – optional

2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced thick

1 onion, diced medium

2 cups or 500ml beef broth

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/3 or 25g cup flour

1-2 cups potatoes or 900g, sliced very thin

salt & pepper to taste

olive oil

butter

 

Preheat the oven to 350* F or 160*C

Cook the meat in a combination of butter and olive oil until browned.  Once the meat is cooked, remove it from the pan and set it aside.  My meat was already cooked, so I omitted this part.

Cook the mushrooms, carrots and onions in the same pan, for about 5 minutes.

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Add the flour, beef broth and seasonings and mix together well.  Bring to a boil, then turn it off.  This will cook the flour so you do not get a big clump of flour when you eat it as well as thicken the sauce.

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Then add the meat and combine well.  Pour the mixture into a casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Reserve some of the sauce to top the potatoes.

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Arrange the sliced potatoes evenly over the top of the dish.  Add a few dollops of butter on top of the potatoes, then add the reserved sauce on top of the potatoes as well.

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Cover the dish and bake for about 1 1/2 hours.  Then uncover the dish and continue to bake for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes brown and crisp up.  make sure you have a pan underneath because this is a messy one.  It does spill out over the baking dish, but it oh so tasty.  It’s worth the mess.

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Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til next time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nature Walks – Magpies, Turtles and More

In my little neck of the woods, I have a wide variety of landscapes all in one, which means there is a wide variety of wildlife as well.  I have the lakes, which gives us all the ducks, geese, and various other aquatic birds, turtles and fish.  After the 4th lake, depending on what direction we go, we either venture into the open space, giving us the prairie dogs and non-aquatic birds or back around through the marshy areas and more lakes.  The open space flows directly into open “prairie land”, that then takes us into the creeks, giving us more ducks and geese.  And all of this is right in my backyard too.  All of this makes it sound like we live out in the “whoop whoops” as my dad used to say, but we are really right off a major street that is a heavily traveled route, taking people north and south.

Today, I give you some of the other critters that also call our beautiful area home.

The Magpies.  Magpies are seen everywhere here in Colorado.  I think they are just so beautiful.  They are beautiful scavengers.

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I have seen two types of turtles in our lakes.  We have seen more turtles this year than ever before.  Yesterday, I saw at least 5.  In years past, we were lucky to see 5 all season.

This is the smaller of our two turtles.  It is a red-eared slider.

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Our other turtle is a common snapping turtle.  He is a lot larger than the red-eared slider.  Our snapping turtles seem to be a lot more camera shy too.  I have had a difficult time getting good shots of our snapping turtles.  Most of the time, just as I am about ready to click the camera, they dive deeper underwater, making it very difficult to get good shots.  But every now and then I get lucky.

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And of course we have tons of rabbits and squirrels too.  Although, this year I haven’t seen near as many rabbits as usual.  I haven’t seen any of the baby bunnies this year either.  The tiny babies are so darn cute.  We used to have a nest right under our house, so we would see the babies all the time, but once we had our cement and paths redone, we lost that nest.

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We have lots of squirrels too.  They love driving the dogs nuts.

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Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til next time.

Nominated Again

I have been nominated once again for the Vincent Ehindero Award by James A. Best, over at myplace3187.  Thank you, thank  you.  I am always so grateful for all the love that comes with each nomination.  To me it says that what I do and what I write about helps brighten someone else’s day.  That makes it all worthwhile.  🙂  We are all here to help and support one another.

 

Vincent Ehindero – Welcome to my big family! I make posts about ...

Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til next time.

 

Nature Walks – The Cormorant

We did another long walk today, once again crossing the border from Westminster into Broomfield.  Today we ventured even further down the Broomfield path than we did before.  Our walk today was about 6 miles.  Once again, we saw a ton of things.  Life was busy around the lakes and into the open spaces.  Yes, we saw plenty more prairie dogs, ducklings, goslings, and egrets, and yes, you will get to see them all again too.  But today, I liked the double crested cormorant who was just having fun swimming and showing off.

 

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Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til next time.

Spicy Shrimp and Andouille Sausage Skewers

The warmer weather is here, which means less time cooking and more time outside, doing other things.  We went on a long 6-mile walk and when we got home, I just didn’t really feel like cooking a lot.  No worries though.  I still made a simple, yet delicious dinner.  Often times, simple things are the best things.  I made some spicy garlic and chili shrimp and Andouille sausage skewers that just seemed to really hit the spot.

Spicy Shrimp and Andouille Skewers

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2 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2-3/4 lb Andouille sausage links

1 red bell pepper, cut in large chunks

1 green bell pepper cut in large chunks

1/4 red onion, cut in large chunks

1-2 TBSP garlic

2 tsp salt

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp aji amarillo chili powder (yellow garlic), optional

1/4 cup olive oil

 

Brown the sausage on all sides, cooking for about 3 minutes per side.  Let the sausages cool for just a bit, then cut them in large chunks.  You are only par cooking the sausages, since they will cook more on the grill.

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Mix everything together and let marinate for at least 1/2 hour before putting it on the skewers.  Once skewered, you can put them in the refrigerator until you are ready to put them on the grill to cook.  Reserve the extra marinade for later.

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Once you are ready, put the skewers on a hot grill and grill them up.

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When everything is done, heat up the sauce and pour over the skewers, then serve over rice.  I used my leftover arroz verde, which was a perfect match.  I also had some of my lemon pepper cornbread I served to complete the meal Lemon and Pepper Cornbread  My wine choice was a cool, crisp, citrusy chardonnay.  A perfect meal for a perfect day.   Of course, we enjoyed it outside on the deck.

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Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til next time.

 

 

Nature Walks – The Prairie Pups

Out latest “Nature Walk” was full of life.  We saw all kinds of life going on today.  We did a long walk too, through one open space and into the next open space.  We literally walked from one city to the next.  It sounds like it was very long walk, but in reality, we live in North Westminster, which is only about 1 1/2 miles from Broomfield.  When we walked under the bridge we left Westminster and entered Broomfield.  But it was a new route for us.

We saw “everyone”, but the prairie dogs were the most fun today.  We saw so many.  They were running around everywhere.

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This lady is VERY pregnant.  She looks really uncomfortable too.  The soon-to-be dad had a look of total bewilderment.  He is definitely NOT ready for what the future holds in store for him.

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Curiosity is calling.

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The young pups were out in force today.

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On the lookout.

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Stay safe and stay well everyone.  ‘Til next time.