Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Dothan Alabama for BBQ.....
Nice weather, good ride

Sometimes the weather cooperates beautifully on the weekends. One recent weekend was great. Tristan was able to ride with us to Dothan Alabama for BBQ and the temperatures were just warm enough.

My favorite people in the entire world.

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There is a little place called The BBQ Shack that we had been to before. After a good ride we found the place but I suspect it’s under new ownership. The BBQ was good but I remembered it being South Carolina style with the slaw piled on top of the pork.

Maybe the memory of it got bigger and better as time passed. Now, that doesn’t mean we didn’t enjoy a BBQ pork sandwich with fried okra, baked beans and slaw on the side. We also enjoyed homemade peach cobbler.

Gas was unbelievably low at $1.49 per gallon. The guys topped off their tanks at those prices although they needed premium gas, a wee bit higher.

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Round trip was ballpark of 180 miles and what a great ride it was. Tristan was able to join us but his wife was not feeling it for the long ride so she stayed home. Maybe next time she can join us.

Me and Tristan....I am a proud mama.
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Doug and Tristan.....did I mention they are my favorites? :-)

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Hoping to take a very long ride this upcoming weekend as the temperatures are supposed to soar. Shall we ride for oysters, BBQ or country fried chicken? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm......I shall report back.


Hope all is well in your world!




Sunday, February 07, 2016

Meal Planning # 9
{Starring Tortellini and Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Mac}

Has it been a week already? That went fast. Last week we had some fun outings and accomplished a few needed chores. Also, we planted, getting the little garden turned over and planned where to place each plant. It’s still chilly but I am hoping the threat of freezing temperatures are over and the plants will be fine. So far so good. More on that update in another post.

Here’s a week of meals, heavy on the pasta this week. Enjoy!


Chinese Takeaway – one of my favorites! My usual shrimp with vegetables an a Spring roll

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Light Cheesy Chicken Pasta with Broccoli
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Tortellini with homemade sauce, green beans cooked with hock, freshly baked baguette

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Leftover Tortellini meal

Roasted Chicken Thighs with cherry tomatoes, onions and feta cheese

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Leftover chicken with broccoli and cheese sauce

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Breakfast for dinner

I have some recipes I tried from my new Pioneer Woman cookbook I want to share next week. It’s a good cookbook and everything I have tried so far has been excellent.

Hope you had a good week!


Saturday, February 06, 2016

Chicken-Broccoli Mac and Cheese with Bacon

Is it Saturday already? I was home from work yesterday and suddenly inspired to cook, bake and clean. I did get some reading done too. Currently reading The Finest Hours and it's very good. I was plotting my post for the weekly meal planning and here is one that will be included (hopefully I can post tomorrow). It's easy, it's cheesy, it has a vegetable in it and carbs too!


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Chicken-Broccoli Mac and Cheese with Bacon


Ingredients

6 ounces uncooked large or regular elbow macaroni
3 cups chopped broccoli florets
3 bacon slices, coarsely chopped
12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/4 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 cup unsalted chicken stock
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
5 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 1/4 cups)


Preparation

1. Preheat broiler to high.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add broccoli to pan during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain.
3. While pasta cooks, place bacon in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon; reserve 1 1/2 teaspoons drippings in pan. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add chicken to drippings in pan; cook 4 minutes. Sprinkle with garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with turmeric; cook 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
4. Combine remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, milk, stock, and flour, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to pan; bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook 2 minutes or until thickened. Add pasta mixture and 2 ounces cheese; toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining 3 ounces cheese and bacon. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts and just begins to brown.


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.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik

The majority of evenings here we have been sitting in the den, listening to music and talking. After almost 32 years of marriage we still have quite a bit to share, laugh and plot about. That’s something I take for granted sometimes and I shouldn’t. We’ve always had good times since we locked on to each other 33 years ago. I’m fortunate.

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Our taste in music is the same and we’ll go from James McMurtry to Dave Matthews to Pink Floyd to classical. It just depends on what we are in the mood for any particular evening. One evening we decided to start on this enormous collection of Mozart.

It was relaxing, something non demanding so if we chose to read together (or read and crochet) you could concentrate on the book at hand. It was so enjoyable that we decided to see the collection through. Lots and lots of CDS spanning concertos, divertimento, sonatas, symphonies and…we haven’t gotten to it yet – opera. I’m not so sure about the opera.




Here is the box and the bookmark is where we are in this journey. Mozart was a prolific genius. I am loving everything we have heard so far. Ok, the focus on the flute on some of the pieces wasn’t….soothing. I’m not a classical music expert and couldn’t tell you the titles, except Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, but I am gaining an appreciation for Mozart.

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Something else we enjoy in the den while listening to music is indulging in a short toddy. Aja has started moving into the den immediately after dinner because our cocktail time coincides with her getting a few treats. She knows when the cocktail glasses come out, so do her bag of treats. I think she may like the music too. After she gets her treat she settles on a big pillow bed and goes to sleep.

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The few nights we watch a DVD in the living room she doesn’t always join us. She’ll come out for a little bit of time but then she goes up to bed before the movie is over.

I’ll keep posting about the musical journey and let you know what happens when Mozart’s operas are in queue. Willing to give anything a shot….


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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Meal Planning # 8
{Starring Beef Stew and Corn Chowder!}

Before I get to the meal planning I wanted to say – announcement – that I started making bread again. Yea! ( Much rejoicing) When Doug took a break from Prilosec we ate gluten free for over a year. The heartburn he experienced was due to wheat and gluten. Cutting it out of our diet made it possible to him to avoid the daily dose of Prilosec and he didn’t have any problems with heartburn.

Well…..there are the occasional slip ups because we didn’t know a salad dressing had wheat or something cross contaminates. It was good to clear the body of daily medicine. But then he missed pizza. And good bread. And a cheeseburger on a good bun. While I am totally supportive on eating gluten free to avoid medicines I am also going with the flow. If he wants bread – I will be baking bread. I’ll be sharing my bread recipes again and putting a tab on the sidebar for bread posts.

Ok, here is a week of meals at our house!

Sunday: Beef Crescent Bake with green beans

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Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday: Corn Chowder and Country Chicken

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Country Chicken photo below

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Wednesday: Bamboo House’s Hot and Sour Soup, Leftover Country Chicken

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Thursday: Beef Stew, Tuscan loaf

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Friday: Pizza!

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Saturday: Leftover beef stew

My photos are way larger than I wanted but I am having issues with the edit feature so....hopefully week 9 of meal planning will be better, visually.

I hope you are having a good week, eating well, enjoying good temperatures and good company!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Corn Chowder to keep you warm


It’s soup weather, wouldn’t you agree? I like making soup and it’s been a nice treat for this chilly weather. We’ve enjoyed this corn chowder with dinner and also took it to work for lunch two days. This is a Jamie Oliver recipe for Corn Chowder that was planned for his themed week at I Heart cooking Club.


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I didn’t get it together in time so I will just join in for Potluck. It’s an easy one and all fresh ingredients. Couldn’t ask for more than that! Perfect for veggie lovers and this awful weather we've been having.

Corn Chowder

Ingredients
· 1 tablespoon butter
· 12 slices pancetta , chopped, plus extra for garnish
· 1 onion , peeled or chopped
· 2 sticks celery , trimmed or chopped
· ½ gallon organic chicken or vegetable stock
· 4 corn on the cob
· 2 medium potatoes , peeled and chopped
· sea salt
· freshly ground black pepper
· 3 ounces (75 ml ) double cream
· fresh parsley , to serve



Method

This corn chowder is lovely and thick and filling, and you can always leave out the pancetta if you’re cooking for a vegetarian.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the pancetta, onion and celery, place a lid on top and sweat gently until soft. Add the stock and bring to the boil.

Remove the outer leaves off the corn on the cobs, then cut the kernels off with a sharp knife. The best way to do this is to stand the corn on its end and slice down the sides – but mind your fingers! Leaving the kernels to the side for a moment, add the cobs and potato to the saucepan and bring the stock back to the boil, then simmer for about 10–15 minutes until the potato is cooked.

Lift out the cobs with a pair of tongs and throw them away. Add the kernels and simmer for another 5 minutes. Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper if necessary, then whiz the soup with a hand-held blender until smooth. Stir in the cream and bring almost back to boil. Ladle into bowls, garnish with parsley if you like.

Read more at Jamie's site


Linking up to I Heart Cooking Club.

Also 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.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Meal Planning #7
{Picadilla, Wings & Honey Roasted Chicken}


Last week was so cold! I know I won’t get sympathy from you folks in South Dakota or Oklahoma or Toronto but damn….I’m in Florida!! When I was growing up in Pennsylvania the change of seasons meant four distinct types of weather.

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Here it’s unbelievably hot 80% percent of the time and then BAM – it’s freezing. If we are lucky we get a week of open window weather. Now don’t get me wrong, I love when I can wear boots, sweaters and sit by a bonfire. The problem is, they aren’t giving us much heat at work. Yes, I work indoors – I am a government drone and I work inside a building. In an office. My office temperature is 64 F / 17 C and I can tell you – when you sit at a desk for a good portion of the day the chill sets in hard. Right, enough complaining.

Here is a week of meals.

Sunday: Grilled Wings with roasted sweet potato, turnips and parsnips.

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Roasted vegetables
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Monday: Picadilla, maduras, rice and black beans, Cuban bread and Key lime pie

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Tuesday: Leftover picadilla meal

Wednesday: Roasted honeyed chicken thighs, carrots and green beans

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Thursday: Leftover chicken for dinner

Friday: Split pea soup, Bratwurst with potatoes, red peppers, garlic, celery, onions and mushrooms

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Saturday: Lunch at Wing Stop and leftover brats for dinner

(Yucky blurry photo)
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Next week I have a few good meals planned that I haven't made in a long while. Go-to meals in the past that I am reviving.

Hope your week was great!

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

A few weeks back we cooked a big fat ham. An amazing thing and I loved every bit of it. I also discovered ham hocks and have been using them frequently when cooking green beans. Yes, I have mentioned it before, and yes, I am still very enamored with this smoked hock and it’s magical cooking powers.

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With some of the leftover ham we decided it would be nice to use up a bag of split peas and make soup. Brilliant soup, this is lovely in color and fabulously delicious. Lots of flavor, super easy. The slow cooker did all the work except the chopping. I am happy about all of it.



Here it s all stacked in the slow cooker. Pretty.

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Note: this wonderfully delicious soup may be adapted for vegetarians by using vegetable broth (in case you use chicken broth in your version) and leaving out the ham. Textured vegetable protein may be added if you like that extra substance.


Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

7 cups water
1(16 ounce) package dried split peas, rinsed and sorted (2 1/4 Cups)
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped smoked ham

DIRECTIONS

1. Mix all ingredients except ham in 5 quart slow cooker.

2. Cover and cook on low heat 8 hours or until peas are tender.

I'm linking up with Deb At Kahakai Kitchen (who is in Hawaii and I'm extremely jealous) for her Souper Sunday.

SouperSundays


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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