Wacky Weather in Seattle

This morning at woke up to huge snow flakes coming down pretty heavy in West Snow 004 Seattle.  I'm 99% sure that our pork butts are cursed…let me explain.  Last December, when my husband's co-workers were planning a Christmas pot-luck…he volunteered me to make pulled pork.  You know, the kind that's been smoking for hours and melts in your mouth.  This type of feast takes days to prepare…and we did.  Smoking it for about 10 hours on our Big Green Egg.  We were up in the wee hours in order to have the pork done in time for the festivities only to have that snow storm hit.  Our family had pork butt for breakfast, lunch and dinner!  You can check out the recipe (and my cooking blog) here.

Today, we're planning on having family over to celebrate my birthday.  We're making that same pork butt recipe on the BGE…and what do I wake up to?  SNOW!  I can see it's all ready turning to rain here and I hope elsewhere in King County where my family is driving from, it's safe and dry!  Snow in the middle of March? 

Next weekend, we're going to make pulled pork again.  This time it will be for my husband and his co-workers when they finish doing The Big Climb benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  The team from The Talon Group will climb 69 flights of stairs in the Columbia Tower to honor their co-worker, Dawn Appel who is battling leukemia.  To make a tax deductible donation, supporting the efforts of Dawn's Army click here.

Happy Thanksgiving

There are so many things to be thankful for in this world.  For starters, I have a wonderful family.  At this time, I would also like to thank my many clients, friends and those of you who are reading this blog.  I truly appreciate all of you.  I hope you are surrounded with loved ones this holiday.

Mortgage Master is closed today and tomorrow in observance of Thanksgiving.  We will reopen for business as usual on Monday, December 1, 2008.  Soon I'll be working on the appetizers that we're bringing over to my sister's home…today I'll be enjoying the company of family.  Although my office is closed tomorrow, I will be working on Good Faith Estimates for clients who are interested in our current low rates.

Happy Thanksgiving!  By the way, if you're still trying to figure out how you're going to cook your bird, here's my recipe for smoked Turkey Breast on a Big Green Egg.

The Mortgage Porter Quarterly

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The first issue for 2008 of The Mortgage Porter Quarterly is being mailed starting this weekend. 

This snail-mail newsletter features:

  • Your Credit: Tips to Score Big
  • Last Minute Tax Changes for 2007
  • What’s New with Rhonda (a true read if you’re having troubles falling asleep)
  • My (and my hubby’s) favorite recipe for Huevos Rancheros (pictured above).  YES…I made that. 
  • My Mortgage Adoption Campaign
  • Credit Check Up (this issue, I recommend visiting www.annualcreditreport.com and pulling your free copy from Experian.  (You’re allowed 1 free copy from each bureau annually).
  • And much, much more.

Would you like to be on my snail-mail list and receive The Mortgage Porter Quarterly? 

Confession:  it’s really not a quarterly.  I only mail this out three times a year (currently).  I didn’t want to call my newsletter "The Mortgage Porter Thirdly".

YOU Magazine and MMG Weekly Now Available

January’s issue of YOU Magazine is now available featuring 7 ways to make the New Year great including:

As if this wasn’t enough, this week’s Mortgage Market Guide Weekly is an absolute must read covering what’s going on in the mortgage industry and why if the Fed cuts rates, mortgage rates likely increase.    This issue of MMG Weekly also addresses how to freeze your credit in the event of ID theft and what’s coming up on the economic calendar.   

Mortgage Market Guide and YOU Magazine are just a few examples of the tools I invest in for my mortgage practice as my commitment to you.   It’s very important to me that my clients fully understand mortgages: the largest financial obligation on the most significant investment they may have in their lifetime.

Stuffed Poppers — a tailgating must have

For the first time, I made stuffed poppers and they were delish (if you like spicy food).  They were devoured while we watched the Seahawks beat the Indians yesterday!

I learned through my experiment, that you should wear gloves when cutting the peppers.   Nothing could get the pepper juices from my hands and they burned all night.  I also discovered that the vapor (?) makes me gag and cough.   Appetizing, huh?  Cutting onions produces a stream a tears…so maybe I’m just an overly sensitive cook.  Bonus: you can make these the night before and pop them into the oven Img_6240when you’re ready to serve.

[photo to follow once I bake up today's batch...they were consumed too quickly yesterday for me to snap a picture]

Since we’re in the heat of football playoffs, I thought I’d share my recipe with you for stuffed poppers.   They’re kind of like nacho’s; the recipe is very flexible and you can add what ever you want.

Soak 1-2 wooden toothpicks in water before you begin (to prevent flamage).

Softened Cream Cheese – one package works for about 6 peppers.

I blended chopped garlic, fresh chopped basil (dry would work too) and sun-dried tomatoes with a little salt and pepper.

I make the cream cheese mixture first and then prepare the peppers so the flavors have a chance to blend.

Fresh jalapeno peppers (my sister in law uses another pepper that she says is not as spicy and is slightly larger.   I’ll let you know if we can narrow down which one it is).  I would figure 1-2 peppers per serving.

Slice a small wedge down the length of the pepper.  You want it to be narrow enough to keep the pepper closed when cooking yet large enough to stuff with the goodies.   Remove the seeds and ribs from the pepper.   Stuff the peppers.

Wrap thin sliced bacon around each stuffed pepper and secure with a soaked wooden toothpick.  Wrap the bacon in a criss-cross to cover the cheesy opening of the pepper.  If your pepper is larger, you may need two slices.  Darn!

Secure the bacon with a wooden toothpick.

Broil (or BBQ) the poppers until the bacon is cooked.  I broiled my poppers with the cheese side down first and then flipped them once the bacon was cooked to finish with the cheese side up.  This was out of concern that I may loose my stuffing if the cheese became melted and gooey by heating up the cheesy side and then flipping over.

Enjoy!

Other ideas I may try the next  time I make poppers are stuffing with:

  • Brie
  • Sausage and rice (like a mini stuffed bell pepper)
  • Crab and cream cheese

What are your favorite popper stuffings?

December’s YOU Magazine Now Available

This month’s issue of YOU Magazine features the following articles that I highly recommend you check out:

Like Mortgage Market Guide, this is a service that I subscribe to for the benefit of clients.   (I did notice the person who stole my post also copies Mortgage Market Guide and post it as his own…this is a huge no-no and could be a costly one.  If I notice my MMG and YOU Magazine being plagiarized, I may have no other choice than to provide the articles I pay for to those who subscribe only and to remove the links from Mortgage Porter). 

Anyhow…there are other articles available with this month’s YOU Magazine including those for recipes and health tips.   You can read them all by clicking here.

Roasted Asparagus with Pancetta

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This is the dish I’m requested to make for just about any family gathering…including Thanksgiving.   It works year round and you can easily substitute various ingredients (for example, bacon instead of pancetta or Gouda instead of goat cheese).  It’s quick, easy to make and very versatile.   This Thanksgiving, I’m going to try adding julienned sun dried tomatoes.  This is also commuter friendly if you need a dish to pack and go to a relative or friends house for the holidays.    And its delicious for any meal from brunch to dinner. 

The only down side for me is that it’s the only dish that I’m requested to bring to my husbands family (I love to cook).   

Grill 1 lb. pancetta until crisp.  Drain on paper towel and chop/crumble.  Set aside.

Wash and trim ends off of 2 pounds of asparagus (medium thickness).   Drizzle with olive oil and add generous amounts of sea salt and pepper (I prefer sea salt with herbs, such as Sale Alle Erbe della Marlunghe which you can find at stores like Metropolitan Market).   You can either roast the asparagus in a hot oven (450 degrees) or you can pan roast until they are crisp tender.  The asparagus should just begin to turn color and sweat.

Arrange asparagus on a platter.  (Typically, I use a round platter and point the spears outwards working my way inward with layers of the asparagus (layering some bacon and goat cheese between layers).   I top the center with lemon slices which creates a visual of a flower).    Sprinkle with 3 1/2 oz. fresh goat cheese and then pancetta.    Drizzle with 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1 tsp. grated lemon peel.   

Serve at room temperature.

Enjoy!

Get your free issue of YOU Magazine

September’s issue of YOU Magazine is now available and features the following articles:

And so much more!   

I’m still working on my latest issue of e-Mortgage Porter, an emailed monthly newsletter.   If you would like to receive an issue in your email in-box, just let me know.