My Mermaid Lagoon Christmas in the Nook
A Happy Mer-Morning to You!
Christmas Message in a Bottle
A Jellyfish Floating By……
My Mermaid Lagoon Christmas in the Nook
It’s funny that all the women that saw my mermaid loved her, but the men were creeped out by her. 🙂
Julie’s Personal Christmas
With my husband working overseas this Christmas, 2018, it was really just me and my son Brodie here at home, and most of the time he was gone. I wanted to fashion something very “girly” just for me! I also wanted it in my Kitchen Nook because I spend so much time here.
Ariel, The Little Mermaid
(The fork Ariel used to comb her hair.)
“Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat? Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete? Wouldn’t you think I’m the girl, the girl who has everything?”
I did base this on Ariel, The Little Mermaid
(Which by the way was my daughter Veronica’s first movie she ever saw.
She was 2 and we were living in Honolulu, Hawaii.)
Mermaid Brand Oysters
(A vintage inspired tin sign.)
Candles, Sea Shells, an Hour Glass, Blue Sugar in a Jar, Vintage Avon Sea Perfume Bottles…
Oh, and a beautiful mirrored tray I found on sale.
My mermaid is a dress form where I placed one of my bikini tops and my shell bra onto. (Yes, they are mine!) 🙂 I bought the “head” at a craft store and painted her face with bright makeup I purchased from The Dollar Tree. I bought the wigs at The Dollar Tree as well, for $1.00 each. I have them draped underneath her neck to hide the fact that you can see that the neck and chest don’t match.
The mermaid tail is a crocheted sweater type where you can insert your legs to keep them warm in the winter months while you lounge around your home. I bought it online.
I set up an old end table and draped this blue posh blanket over it, and to drape it down as if it were the ocean waters. Star Fish lights I pined to the blanket and draped around the “water.” Some of my bottles and conch shells, etc.
Happy in my Mermaid Lagoon Nook
(And in my mermaid dress.) 🙂
Various Sea Treasures
My Mini Mermaid Garden in a large Clam Shell
I draped battery operated lights all around it to glow as if it were florescent.
My Giant LED PEARL
This was Monk’s last Christmas, 2018. Monk was THE canine love of my life! Thank you Monk for tolerating all my website themes. Dressing you up in so many costumes. Thank you for wearing that Mermaid Tail. 🙂 Thank you for loving me and believing that I was the best person in the world even though I’m not.
I will miss you forever!
I love the Betta Fish. They have such nice personalities. And yes, fish do have personalities. You can see my sweet Miranda in her cute little clam shell where she is resting.
I do love all the bright colors that I created for my sweet Miranda.
We spent a lovely weekend at Weeki Wachee State Park in Spring Hill, Florida. (2019)
One of our favorite things to do was not only to kayak the springs, but to visit the Weeki Wachee Mermaids…..
They are a Florida Tradition and a Favorite Attraction from my Youth.
This year for their Christmas program they did Hans Christian Andersen’s, The Little Mermaid.
We also had a lovely “Mermaid” picnic to finish out our day. 🙂
To visit our weekend just click on the Weeki Wachee Weekend for Christmas link above.
I also had mermaids that I purchased at The Dollar Tree swimming throughout my Christmas Tree, left. And some glass vintage mermaids that I purchased from Ebay, right.
I think my Mermaid, and My Underwater Tree are Beautiful!
My Undersea Christmas Garden
I purchased the resin Giant Clam Shell from Home Depot. (Actually, I purchased several of them for our backyard.) But here I just used one of them. I also purchased these colorful cactus that kind of reminded me of some undersea garden. They were already spray painted those colors.
So, I planted them into the shell. But, I didn’t like the soil that was exposed. That’s when I used some sand that I had picked up from the beach and covered the soil with that sand. Even sprinkling some on top of the plants as if the ocean did it. I love the results! You can also buy sand at pet stores that sell fish for aquariums.
Mermaid Undersea Garden
Just a few little undersea cheeses and crackers with mustard and sausages to snack on as I decorate my Mermaid Nook for Christmas.
A Sushi Dinner for my son Brodie
(I picked this up at the grocery store from their sushi chef.)
Mermaid Rum from the Weeki Wachee Area Distillery
My Lobster Mac and Cheese from Bahama Breeze
The entire month of December, 2018 was all about Sea Food.
(Up until Christmas Day, that is.)
I wanted a lunch of Shrimp, Octopus, and Squid
The Napkins are nothing more than teeny ballerina skirts I purchased from The Dollar Tree. 🙂
A Red Snapper for Brodie and his new girlfriend Mackenzie.
I have to explain….. My son Brodie is very hard to buy for. He really doesn’t want anything materialistic. He doesn’t care about clothing. He does like car parts for his car, but that is hard for me to buy for him, unless he is specific about something that he wants. But then again, what is the fun in that? Asking for something that you want and knowing exactly what your gift will be? Where is the surprise? So, this particular Christmas, I bought him the one thing I knew he would love.
The one thing I knew that would surprise him…….
Therefore, I bought him this nice Red Snapper to cook for himself and his new girlfriend, which was their first date at our house.
Preparing the Red Snapper…
First, remove the scales if not done already by your fish monger. Then slice three 1/4 inch slices as shown into the Red Snapper on each side of the fish as shown. Inside the cavity of the fish, place some three to four slices of lemon and sprigs of fresh dill. Season the outside of the fish with some paprika.
Place the Snapper directly on the grill grate and cook over medium heat for about 7 min. or until the fish unsticks (becomes free from the grill). Carefully flip the fish to the other side and cook for another 7 min. When the fish is done, it should reach an internal temperature of 145 or cook until flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork.
I also bought Brodie and Mackenzie some oysters to grill.
Oysters are easy to cook and don’t take much time at all on the grill. Have your fish monger open the oysters, or begin to cook them in the shell on the grill until the shells open on their own. When they open they are done. However, I opened these myself and melted some butter and minced garlic in a saucepan on the stove to cook the garlic. Add some lemon juice too.
Their first date. On me! 🙂 Mom!
Brodie and Mackenzie 🙂
(She is special.)
Lobster Tales (Tails)
More Christmas Food for Brodie and Mackenzie
Again, I surprised him with this meal of Lobster Tails.
All he had to do was to prepare them.
Brodie Preparing the Tails
Using food scissors, cut the top of the lobster tails as shown.
Be sure to cut the tails as close to the end as possible.
Now, pull up on the lobster meat in a way that the cut shell is just under the tail meat.
Here you can see the tail meat is being held up by the shell giving a nice presentation.
Brush the tail meat with some melted butter, then top with a pinch of paprika. Place the lobster meat under the broiler until the meat turns white. This will take a few minutes pending on your broiler temperature. Our oven has one that is infrared, which cooks things at an extremely high temperature very quickly.
Here is what they look like when done!
The Cutest Couple Ever!
This was my contribution to their meal.
I wanted the egg noodles to look like a bed of seaweed to place the lobsters onto.
All that I did was to put some chicken broth into a pot and bring to a boil. Then I added the egg noodles and some green food coloring. Cook until Al Dente.
Drain the liquid and then place onto a serving plate or platter.
Add your lobster and voila!
Their Beautiful Dinner
Sand Dollar Cookies
The ones above I made to resemble the black sand beaches of Hawaii and their sand dollars.
These cookies I did with simple white granulated sugar and I threw in some rock candy to resemble beach glass.
Julie’s Sand Dollar Cookies, and Coffee
(With Crystallized Rock Candy)
All that I did here was to buy the ready made sugar cookie dough and place each little blob onto a cookie sheet.
I then cooked them for about 5 minutes as they started to spread out onto the cookie sheet as they cooked,
I removed them from the oven and added some slivered almonds to the cookie to make it look as if it were a Star Fish….
I then sprinkled some colorful sugars onto them and placed them back into the oven to cook until they were ready to eat, an additional 3-5 minutes cooking time.
They look beautiful!
These cookies made excellent Edible Gifts to take home for my little mermaids that came by to visit.
Of course I wanted to give gifts that were very feminine and fun. 🙂
These are gifts to all my little mermaids in my life.
A shell change purse, fresh water pearl bracelets, mermaid tail make up brushes…..
We knew that we would be having a big party at our house the day after our daughter Veronica’s wedding. Her wedding was January 19, 2019, and our party was January 20th. Gordon had been working overseas and came home for 3 weeks in January. I deliberately kept all the Christmas decorations up for when he came home and for when we would be having our party on January 20th.
Therefore our January party guests received their Christmas from us at that time.
Something of a belated Christmas Gifts
The Blue Vodka was a Gift to Me from my Daughter, Veronica
Perfect! As always!
This was something of a little make up party for me and few others. I gave out 3 Estee Lauder Christmas make up bags that contained these lovely gold fish scale looking make make up sets. This one is mine but I gifted the others.
The pink “tablecloth” is a shimmering pink top of mine that resembles fish scales as well. I thought it perfect here. Especially since I used to sell cosmetics back in the day. Estee Lauder, Germaine Monteil, and Lancome.
The Make Up, the Shells, The Eye Shadows, Blushes, the Brushes….. Perfect!
And the Sweet Octopus Gummies
Life just doesn’t get any more “Girly” than this!
King Crab Legs and Claws for Brodie and Mackenzie
Yet another dinner from me to them for Christmas.
Here Brodie did a Boil/Steam on these King Crab Legs for about 5 minutes in boiling water.
I also bought them a Claw Platter.
Mackenzie and Brodie
Mackenzie is a Cutie!! 🙂
Gifts From Mackenzie
Maryland Crab Cakes
Recipe: Sarajane (Tutu) Alderfer Whann
(Tutu means Grandmother in Hawaiian)
This is THE Whann Family Crab Cake Recipe!
(Except they use LIVE crabs, and I didn’t.)
My In-Laws, Milton and Sarajane Whann live in Chesapeake, Virginia. But when I first met and started dating Gordon they were living in Charlotte, North Carolina. Milton and Sarajane always loved the sea, and sea food. Actually ANY food! They were the first “foodies” that I ever met. Whenever they would travel, and they traveled extensively, they would send you a post card detailing everything they ate while never even mentioning anything they may have seen. I used to ask Gordon if they do anything besides eating on their vacations?
Their recipes are amazing! Hopefully Gordon will inherit some of them before they pass. We do have a few of them that they have shared with us. One of them is this……..
Maryland Crab Cakes
(Write Up Per Her Words)
3-4 Slices of Bread, Crusts Removed
1 T. Mayo or a little more….
(She also added: Add Moistened Onion Flakes or Mince some Onion to add.) Gordon and I have No clue????
1 T. Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 t. Salt
1 Egg Beaten
1 T. Parsley Flakes
1 T. Baking Powder
2 t. Old Bay
1 LB. Well Inspected Crab Meat- Clean hands, take small amounts and feel for shell and cartilage. Then do another feel through to be sure.
Break bread in small pieces and moisten in milk.
Add the rest of ingredients and shape into cakes.
Next: Shape into Cakes and either Fry in Vegetable Oil, or Broil until Golden Brown. Turn and Brown other side.
If you fry put on a lid (which we didn’t do :() Stand and watch these.
I just fried until Golden Brown in color and then placed onto a plate with paper towels on it to absorb the excess oil.
I also added some Bread Crumbs, Panko, to my Crab Cakes to give them a nice Crunch. Just sprinkle some into a small bowl and dip your crab cakes into the Panko before frying.
Add a few Limes and you have a nice Appetizer.
Julie Hearts Shrimp
Sauteed Shrimp and Biscuits
This was a very nice easy dinner. I just sauteed up some Shrimp and made some drop Cheddar Biscuits and I was in Heaven!
These are just drop biscuits from a mix that is a favorite of ours.
Quick and easy to make. So, while they are cooling….
First up, I melted some butter/margarine in a saucepan with some chopped garlic and a sprinkling of Old Bay Seasoning on a medium heat.
Old Bay Seasoning is a favorite of ours and when added to the butter here while cooking, will give it a different taste from just using it as a seasoning to apply to food after the food is finished cooking. Here I am doing both. Using Old Bay while cooking and then I’ll use a nice sprinkling of it when it is done.
I just sauteed the shrimp for a few minutes cooking time. It doesn’t take long.
This Argentinian Shrimp is raw but it does have a pink color naturally.
Our raw shrimp is a gray color and turns pink when we cook it. This shrimp is pink raw, and cooked. So, when buying shrimp frozen at the grocery store be sure to read labels.
Wasabi Paste and Ketchup make a great Cocktail Sauce.
You can adjust the heat yourself. Just add about 3 parts ketchup to 1 part Wasabi.
What an excellent weekend treat!
NOTE: When Gordon came home in early January for our daughter’s wedding I still had all the Christmas decorations still up and he cooked the next 2 dishes himself for us to enjoy. We pretty much extended our Christmas into late January. It was wonderful!
I lb. Can Lump Crab Meat
1-2 Celery Stalks – diced (About 3/4 Cup)
2 Eggs – hard boiled, chopped
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1 Cup Bread Crumbs, dry
2 t. Grey Poupon Mustard
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 t. Red Pepper
1 Tbs Sweet Paprika
2 Tbs Melted Butter
Enough Unmelted Butter to coat baking dish
1/4 Cup Bread Crumbs for topping casserole
(Although you can use less if you like.)
Using a sharp knife, dice your celery as seen below.
In a large mixing bowl, add your crab meat.
Then add your diced celery to the crab meat.
Mix the celery and crab meat together.
Use an egg chopping tool or chop the two eggs by hand and place them in with the egg mixture.
Add your lemon juice to the bowl.
Then add your salt.
Now measure out your Mayonnaise,
and place it into the bowl with the rest of the crab mixture.
Mix all the ingredients together well.
Measure out your bread crumbs…
Add them to the crab mixture along with your Grey Poupon mustard.
Now, add your Worcestershire Sauce
Then add in your Red Pepper, Sweet Paprika, and your melted butter to the mixture.
Mix all the contents of the bowl to incorporate everything well.
Butter your baking dish as shown below.
Now place the crab mixture into your baking dish.
Spread the mixture evenly within the baking dish.
Top with Bread Crumbs
Bake the dish in a preheated 350’F oven for ~30 min. or until the top gets golden brown.
Enjoy! (We Did!)
Stuffed Scallop Shells
3 Tbsp. Butter
3 Tbsp Flour
~1 1/2 Cups Milk
1/2 Cup Half and Half
1/2 Tbsp Garlic Salt
1 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 Cup Grated Pecorino-Romano and Asiago (1/2 Cup each. Although you can use any of your favorite Italian cheeses.)
Instant Potato Mix
1 Bag Small Frozen Shrimp – Thawed
6 Large Scallop Shells
( You can buy these at specialty stores or as Julie did, at beach souvenir stores.)
Old Bay Seasoning to taste
The shrimp that we use is either from Argentina or Indonesia. We don’t buy local even though we live in Florida because seafood from our Gulf of Mexico is toxic and we don’t take chances with our foods. Here I bought the shrimp already frozen at our commissary and thawed it out.
First, add your water as directed to a sauce pot to make 3 Cups instant mashed potatoes.
In a saute pan, add your butter and begin to melt over medium heat to start your roux.
When your butter has melted, add your flour to the saucepan stirring constantly. Cook until browned as shown. Then add your Milk and Half and Half and stir to combine… making your brown gravy.
As you stir in the milk, the gravy will thicken.
Pour in your instant potatoes to the pot of boiling water… make a directed.
Pouring in the Half and Half to the Gravy
Turn down the heat and if needed, use a whisk to better incorporate the ingredients to the roux… add garlic salt and fresh ground black pepper (Not Shown) to taste.
Although not shown I grated in the cheeses here and used the whisk to incorporate into the gravy.
Using a whisk, mix your instant potatoes together.
A whisk or fork will help to keep them fluffy.
Add ~8-10 thawed shrimp to each of your scallop shells.
Just place them onto a baking sheet as shown.
Spoon enough of your “gravy” to just cover the shrimp.
Add your mashed potatoes to a piping bag with a star tip.
Pipe your mashed potatoes decoratively around the edge of the scallop shell as shown.
If you do not have a piping bag then you can use a ziplock baggie and just cut the tip off one end of it. Just be creative and don’t worry about it being perfect. 🙂
Do this for each shell as shown and top each with a sprinkling of Old Bay Seasoning.
Broil each filled shell until lightly browned…
A Pretty Mermaid Meal for our Mermaid Lagoon
My Mermaid Mermess
Just Getting Ready for an Under the Sea Christmas
Julie’s Christmas Ham and Baked Beans
Seeing as how it was just me by myself for this Christmas, I bought a ham to cook in the oven mainly for all the leftover fried ham that would follow. 🙂
I just used a baking pan with a rack, sliced the ham all around and spread out my mixture of Honey, Brown Sugar, Dijon Mustard, Grainy Mustard, and that is it!
I baked according to the package instruction and even covered it with foil towards the end so that it didn’t burn.
It actually turned out beautiful and delicious!
My Baked Beans
These are a specialty of mine and a great accompaniment to the Ham.
Happy New Year Foods
These were my Happy New Year’s foods that I ate on January 1, 2019. It is a southern tradition to eat Black Eyed Peas for good luck, and Collard Greens for money all year long. Let’s hope! 🙂
Our Backyard Christmas Cactus looks a bit Under the Sea
Merry Christmas to all of those that live, and love, under the sea,
My Mermaid’s Tail