Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Wine Wednesday - La Ferme Julien

La Ferme Julien Rose is a staple at Trader Joe’s store. It’s not my favorite Rose, that honor goes to Marques de Caceres Rose Rioja, but this wine is a great one for patio meals. It’s very light and not overpoweringly fruity at all.


Did you know it was produced by the Perrin Family (also of Beaucastel and Ch√Ęteauneuf du Pape fame), you know….the “chicken wine” folks.

This blend of Granache and Syrah is light and refreshing. We have it quite a bit – one meal we enjoyed with this wine is a roasted chicken dish with feta cheese and grape tomatoes. A bargain at $6.


While the remaining warm evenings remain we will be drinking rose. Recommended.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Reader's Workout


Good day and welcome to my link up with Joy at Joy's Book Blog for her Reader's Workouts series!

Finally we are getting a small taste of Fall weather. This makes it easier to walk in the mornings and afternoons. We are keeping up with walking and I am still climbing stairs, probably more often I actually need to, in an effort to get more exercise. We have three flights up at work and that’s what I do to use the restrooms….well, if I don’t wait too terribly long to get up from my desk.

Cutting back on certain foods and walking has resulted in a small weight loss – 2 pounds – but I will take any improvement!

This week I finished another Peter Robinson book (Cold is the Grave) as well as Paula Hawkins’ book The Girl on the Train. Reviews upcoming on both at my book blog.

I hope you had a great week of exercise and reading!

Friday, October 02, 2015

Riding on the weekend - Marianna Florida

It’s getting to be nicer weather to go for a ride! We took a short ride west to Marianna Florida. It was only about 80 miles directly to Marianna but we skirted around some side roads on the way home. Probably 170 miles total, give or take.


Look at the Chamber of Commerce…..looks like it’s out of the old south (well, I guess it is…duh!) something from Gone with the Wind. Can't you just see Aunt Bea and Sheriff Andy Taylor from Mayberry walking around these parts?


Here is the post office. This building has a style that puts you in mind of St Augustine with orange tiled roof.


This is a gazebo set across from an old hotel. The hotel has been “repurposed” as a facility for elderly people. I didn’t get a photo of it because it was not only a very depressing place, but there were so many older residents sitting out front, just wiling the time away. They didn’t look happy, the building was faded and it just looked …..depressing. The gazebo is walking distance and I’m sure some residents stroll over to sit in the shade some days.


My new hair tie, what do you think? This keeps my tresses from tangling when riding. It may keep me from cutting my hair, now that I have soent money on this little leather contraption. Sometimes the hair is troublesome but I am aiming for a long braid…if I have patience to let it keep growing.


Before a ride we usually research what sort of locally owned restaurants are open. Unfortunately the places we wanted to eat were closed so we stumbled on to this little country place – Bobbie’s Waffle House. This is one that’s privately owned, not a franchise or chain, and they had some good food. My chicken salad was the homemade sort, not from big cans or pre-processed. Very good. We also had some homemade peach cobbler for dessert – just couldn’t resist a homemade batch.

The clientele ranged from young people with razor cut sleeved tank tops, to older couples (maybe in their 70s) wearing what one would call church clothes, pearls and all. And then there’s us.


Hay bales! I like seeing fields of them, they are so pretty to me.

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After a few hours away from home Aja was glad to see us again. BY the way, with the exception of my hair tie photo all others are taken by me on the back of the trike as Doug rides. It isn't always ideal for good shots but sometimes I can capture the moment.

Next ride planned may be Eufalia Alabama, depends on the weather. It’s about a 2 ½ hour ride one-way so we will check the rain percentage first.

Bye for now!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wine Wednesday - Dark Horse Petit Sirah

This is such a deep rich full-bodied wine......I want more in the house for the warming winter dishes I plan. The only flaw is the name - thanks for getting Dark Horse by Katy Perry stuck in my head!


We had this with one of our favorite go-to meals: Chicken wrapped with bacon and baked with a dollop of peach jam. The jam caramelizes the bacon.

This is a reasonably priced wine we picked up at Trader Joe's and for only $12.99, it's a bargain. The deep red fruits, like a dark cherry, is immediately noticed. Beautifully rich, great taste.


I would highly recommend this one.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

I'd vote for this guy.......

He is running for Parliament............Canadian advertisements are much more entertaining than ours.......

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pasta with Eggplant and Tomatoes for
Detective Constable Annie Cabbott

After reading one of my favorite authors recently I was inspired to find a dish that would suit Detective Constable Annie Cabbott ( DCI Alan Banks’ partner in one investigation). Annie is a vegetarian and so pub meals leave much to be desired for her when grabbing lunch out with fellow coppers. I listed some of the food mentioned in Peter Robinson’s In a Dry Season HERE.

This recipe could be tossed together without a recipe, it’s a natural for us kitchen scroungers, trying to use up bits of everything in the fridge. As it happened, I checked the cookbook Good and Cheap: Eat well on $4 a day by Leanne Brown.

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This is a good recipe that may be tweaked according to your taste. Great for Meatless Monday and easy to put on the table if pressed for time!

Pasta with eggplant and tomatoes

8 ounces of rigatoni ( or pasta of your choice)
2 TB olive oil
1 large eggplant, cubed
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups finely diced canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes
Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil

Cook pasta. Heat oil and add eggplant. Salt eggplant. Once eggplant is soft add the garlic, tomatoes and stir.
Add water if the mixture is too dry.

Top the pasta with eggplant mixture and Parmesan. One evening I mixed it all up, placed mozzarella cheese on it and popped it in the oven for 15 minutes. It got all melty and gooey – perfect.


I will certainly be making this one again. Easy, healthy and full of flavor.

Coming up I will resume Wine Wednesdays and update the I ♥ Wine tab above. There are a few trike excursions to share as well. Hope all is well with you in your world!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Reader's Workout


Good day and welcome to my link up with Joy at Joy's Book Blog for her Reader's Workouts series!

This is my first post, yapping about exercise, where I am fully and totally on the weight loss band wagon. It's not just the over indulging during the birthday celebrations last week. Oh, no no's about getting my body back into a healthier condition.

Normally we eat very well and keep it on the healthy side. But I think those little stops at Starbucks for sinfully delicious iced coffee and sometimes a muffin have taken a toll. I'm not blaming Starbucks, nope I take full responsibility, but we have both gained some weight.

See this contraption below? Don't get on one - it will make you cry. Stepping on the scale 2 weeks ago was a serious wake-up call for me. I am at the heaviest I have ever been. Ever.


This isn't diet post, it's about exercise. But with health concerns the two go hand-in-hand nicely. Our walking slacked off a bit this month - mainly on the weekends when we take Aja to the park and then don't do our faster paced walk. After that we get on the trike and ride far away. Then lunch becomes an issue because we are far from home and let me tell you - if you have never had the fried chicken and homemade peach cobbler at the Apalachee restaurant in Bristol, you won't know how very difficult it is to order healthier fare from the menu. Nope, I am going to eat that fried chicken.

So, I post this to publicly hold myself responsible to shed pounds. I have a 2 month starter goal. The carrot at the end of the stick here is another bread machine. Yeah, I know, that sounds crazy :-) Modification, folks!!

Anyway, there it is. Next time I write for Reader's Workout I sincerely hope to share that our walking has picked up and I have lost a pound or two.

So, it's Reader's Workout - what are you reading now? I am deep into another Peter Robinson mystery, DCI Banks in Cold as the Grave.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Spaghetti Pie for Weekend Cooking

It was just payday (whoop whoop) and there happened to be food still in the fridge and freezer. Don’t you love when that happens? I have already started my grocery planning list and hope the weather changes enough so I can have “cold weather food” again. C’mon….I want to wear my sweaters, cowgirl boots, have a fire out back…you get the idea.


No matter what the weather, I’m a sucker for simplistic food and recipes. Don’t get me wrong, I love, love, love the French cookbooks I hoard and use them quite frequently (and those books have simplistic recipes too. )

This one here – Spaghetti Pie – is more of a home cooking, toss together, comfort food, kid friendly kinda meal. Nothing fancy but it’s hearty enough and pretty enough to grace the center of the table. Make sure a white table cloth isn’t under it if you are actually serving from the table. It’s good in any weather but it would be a heavy for hot summer days. Right now we are on the cusp.


Ground beef, ground turkey or a vegetarian textured vegetable protein (TVP) may be used to make this dish. The ground beef at Jones Country Meats I Climax Georgia can’t be beat for freshness and good quality so I use their beef.

Yuck, the color settings for this photo could have been better!

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Spaghetti Pie

1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 ounces spaghetti, cooked and drained
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup (8 ounces) fat-free cottage cheese
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1. In a nonstick skillet, cook the beef, onion and green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Now drain off fat. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, salt, garlic powder, sugar and pepper; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the spaghetti, butter, egg whites and Parmesan cheese. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-in. deep-dish pie plate coated with cooking spray. Top with cottage cheese and beef mixture.

3. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and filling is heated through. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

I am sharing this with Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series.

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.


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