Cheddar Cheese Beer Bread and heavenly Christmas in Mexico

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It’s the last day of the year and I am sure all of us can’t wait for this year to be over. Thankfully the Covid vaccine will be available for all of us soon and life can go back to normal and I can finally fly to Germany to see my parents. Since the last entry 2 big events (plus the election debacle) happened.

Allison, Bobby, Mike and I celebrated Mikes birthday in October with our annual Fishlake trip and we spent another Christmas in Mexico with the kids, which we think will become an annual occurrence. No house decoration, gift buying, Christmas eve dinner and Christmas lights take down stress and not to forget – WARMTH, the opposite of the below current state in Washington – heavenly!! Both trips were incredibly relaxing and all of us were so happy to be out and about and not locked up indoors as directed by our governor.

Fishlake was showing off its cold but beautiful side as you can see below, the guys managed to catch fish and the Fireball was flowing to keep us warm….PXL_20201024_160511729~2PXL_20201024_162724967.NIGHT~2PXL_20201024_182117215PXL_20201024_183115655PXL_20201024_193123109PXL_20201024_210936372PXL_20201024_202931941PXL_20201024_194523599.MPThis year we tried out a new place in Mexico, called La Ribera, another small fishing town in Baja’s East Cape region. Our house was right at the beach and we had daily visitors who greeted us in the morning and were waiting for their carrot breakfast.

PXL_20201220_190218954IMG_20201220_170728~2PXL_20201221_174724194~2Mike got a couple days of fishing in and brought back white Bonita which makes for the most amazing Sashimi. We enjoyed the (mostly) warm weather and did lots of beach excursions and Mike, Vanessa and Brittany also went on a whale watching tour.PXL_20201221_221123080Every time I am at the beach here in Baja, I can’t believe that there is no soul claiming a spot on the beach. If you have ever vacationed in Europe you know that the beaches are very crowded and you are lucky to get a tiny little “sardine spot” in between the masses of European vacationers and small beaches. How lucky are we to have miles and miles of beach and ocean just for ourselves – for sure Covid approved!mike sunsetsUnset

Fun with the family…PXL_20201221_214033687.MPPXL_20201221_214108075~3PXL_20201221_230106642._exported_1199_1609218668663PXL_20201220_214818298.MPPXL_20201221_134522808PXL_20201222_195659970PXL_20201222_215646392PXL_20201224_221629228PXL_20201225_214500057~3PXL_20201226_182356889PXL_20201226_225402943.MPwhale 2whaleDunja

I won’t really talk about the 3rd big event – but leave it with this…

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I am counting my blessings that as bad as this year was, my family and friends were mostly spared from Covid and we were the lucky ones where Covid didn’t had a major impact on our lives, at least not on Mike and mine. For our friends with kids that is an entirely different story and they had to change their entire daily routine to accommodate for the kids staying home all day and learning remotely.

As bad as this “Covid year” was I found some silver lining for myself. Here is my top 10 list of things that wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for all this quarantining…

  1. Working from home, saving time driving to work and helping the environment to recoup (at least for a little while)
  2. Being my own Doggie Daycare – the pups for sure loved having me around 24×7PXL_20201019_000930371.NIGHT~2
  3. A LOT Of homemade fancy drinks. When you are stuck at home and can’t visit your fancy coffee shop or bar, you try and make your own drinks – the drink that rose to fame the most during Covid is the Dalgona coffee which has become my absolute favorite (I called it Magic Coffee). I also made homemade Chai, Lavender London Fog, Vietnamese Iced Coffee, Cherimoya Mule, Milktea with Boba and Horchata. dalgona
  4. Wearing leggings, PJs and sweats all day long.
  5. More blog entries – seems like I had more time for cooking, taking pictures and writing blogs than the years prior.
  6. Taking an actual lunch break and walking with the dogs every day for 1 hour, including Jack (the cat)!IMG_20200916_122050PXL_20201107_221751670IMG_20200914_121958
  7. Listening to audio books during my walks – this year I managed to read (listen to) 10 books, my favorite definitely being “where the crawdad’s sing”
  8. As silly as our “virtual fun Friday” at worked seemed in the beginning, it turned out that it indeed was fun to play virtual games with my co-workers and get to know them a little bit better.
  9. Puzzles – my stepdaughter and I really got into puzzling and its amazingly relaxing!
  10. Because of #1 (working from home) and #4 (wearing PJ’s all day long) – having a husband who does most of the grocery shopping.

What did not happen that you think would happen when you have to stay home and can’t go anywhere: 1. Cleaning out the closets and straightening out the garage- nope didn’t happen. 2. Going on a diet and eating better since you have more time to cook healthy food and can’t blame restaurants for gaining weight – no that also didn’t happen. 3. Saving money because – well you don’t go anywhere – guess what..didn’t happen either – way too many opportunities to spend money online shopping.

Closing out my last blog entry…so which recipe will I leave you with in 2020 – another bread recipe you ask? Cheddar beer bread – it’s a quick and simple bread that perfectly goes along with soups and will also make for a great “dish” to bring along to a potluck, party or BBQ once we are starting up to gather again! I rarely see it anywhere, so it makes for a unique contribution to the food buffet, its comforting, savory, and incredibly delicious with a variety of toppings and dips. It tastes great just with a little bit of honey whipped butter. You can also add in some herbs or e.g. make it a mexi cheese jalapeno bread! Doesn’t that look mouth watering? 20170604_194850

Cheddar Cheese Beer Bread: (serves 6-8)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cup flour sifted (not packed)
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 to 1/2 a cup butter melted
  • 12 ounces beer (I think a darker beer gives a better flavor)
  • 5 ounces cheddar cheese freshly shredded20170604_194903

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease loaf pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add sugar, garlic, beer and cheddar. Mix well.
  4. Pour into a greased loaf pan.
  5. Pour melted butter over mixture.
  6. Bake 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Let it cool out and cut with a very sharp knife so that your cuts come out clean.

Guten Appetit!20170604_195001

I wish everybody a good start into the New Year and a healthy, prosperous and content 2021!

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