March 2020 Calendar Download - Mongolian Khatags

It's not quite March since today is Leap Day! But it is time for a new photo calendar. This should look familiar as I've used a portion of this photo for my blog banner. I guess it is time for a new banner!



I took this photo while traveling in China last year for work. These ceremonial Mongolian scarves or Khatags are often draped as a symbol of respect.
If you want to read a little more of my travels to Inner Mongolia and Shanghai, click here: China 2019

To download March's calendar, click on this link from Box.com
Link --> March Calendar 2020 - Mongolian Khatags

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20 Recipes in 2020 - Stuffed Jalapeños

My Second Recipe post for 2020 - Stuffed jalapeños, aka jalapeño poppers, perfect as an appetizer or snack.
No need to buy the ones in the frozen food section - these are easy and don't have the coated breading on the outside.

Jalapeno Poppers
Ingredients:
6 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1 green onion minced
1/2 C shredded cheese. I use Mexican blend
8 oz bag of whole jalapeños
8 slices bacon cut in half

Oven at 350 degF

Mix cream cheese, green onion and shredded cheese together

Halve each jalapeños lengthwise and remove the seeds and membranes. Be careful when handling jalapeños. Wear gloves and even consider safety glasses. Don’t touch you face after being in contact with the jalapeños. Wash hands in cold water. Learn from my experiences of burning lips and eyes! The last time I made these, some juice squirted into my eyes (hence the recommendation for safety glasses).

Stuff the halved peppers with the cream cheese mixture then wrap with the bacon.

Line a metal baking sheet with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 350 then increase the oven temperature to 425 degF to crisp bacon. Bake another 8-10 minutes. Filling should be golden brown.

Notes - I buy many of the ingredients for these from Aldi. A bag of jalapeños costs $0.55 and the cream cheese costs $0.79.
Enjoy!

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Sticking Around

Another week, another snowfall! This time, instead of melting away quickly, the snow stuck around for four days, and more impressively, adorned the tree branches for three full days. That is an anomaly for this area - normally we receive a snowfall, the wind picks up and the snow is blown off every branch and horizontal surface. This time, the snow started off wet, stuck to everything and then the temperatures fell precipitously to the single digits, flash-freezing the snow to everything.

The icy snow - Defying gravity on day one (Thursday)
Shower Down

From the pine trees in the back yard:
Ornaments

Flocked

Friday morning greeted us with brilliant sunshine but sub-zero temperatures without the windchill. I took this from the kitchen, looking at those same pines.
#chambana #nofilter #wintersbeauty

Saturday morning I headed to the forest preserve with friends, hopeful for a winter wonderland. I wasn't disappointed.

Doesn’t Get Much Better #outinthewoods #snowglobe #champaignforests #shirleyhikes #winterwonderland

We hiked through the powdery snow, caught some wildlife and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings.
Couples Who Hike

Well Camouflaged

It's all so fleeting - on Sunday, warmer air coupled with the sun melted the snow off the trees. Today the rain is washing away the remnants. My philosophy - get out and enjoy it while you still can.



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Unexpected Snow

Past performance drives future expectations and this year's mild winter has lulled us into forgetting that snow normally falls in February. Too often, the media plays up snow's impending arrival with panicked fervor, creating undue hype. Why must every inch of snow require a winter storm warning? It's only snow and not much snow. So when big flakes started falling Friday evening, unannounced, it was met with delight that often accompanies a surprise.
That sense of delight spilled over into Saturday morning, when awaking to the white and bright landscape. Fluffy, flocked branches flanked the roads.
February Snow #shirleylemay

I had to be in town to set up Saturday's scheduled club run and since I'm not running, I walked while the runners ran. I headed to the trails that follow the water ways, nestled away from the main streets. Here, pristine paths begged to be explored.

February Snow #shirleylemay



The only disappointment of the weekend - thick cloud cover precluded the viewing of the full Snow moon Saturday night. Had clear skies prevailed, I planned to venture to the forest preserve for a night hike lit by moonlight. Hopefully next month...

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