Sunday, July 20, 2014

Birds, lots of birds

These photos were taken at Holbrook Recreation and Camping area at Ft Stewart, Georgia.

Look at all these birds. They roost so high up a closeup shot is impossible. Of course, I am using my phone so I didn't expect a great photo.

There is the natural beauty of the swamp and woodland blending.

It makes you realize how this entire area was covered with this flora and gators and live oaks - what a swamp to make your way through. I don't know how anyone settled in the south hundreds of years ago.

You don't have to warn me more than once about alligators. My son said people don't pay attention to the signs and still throw a ball into the water for their dogs to fetch. Many dogs have been eaten in this lake because of that and the people cry out, we didn't know! I can read a sign - and there is more than one sign around this lake.

This is as close I could get to one bird.

I just had to share these pics - it's a pretty area to walk around.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Drick's Savory Chicken Quarters
{Charcoal Grilled}

I want to send a big fat shout out to my friend Drick over at Drick's Rambling Cafe. If you are a fan of southern cuisine by all means, click on his site and you'll find scores of recipes and good stories there.

A recipe he is still tinkering with is a rub for his Savory Chicken Quarters. I don't know why he would change anything in this rub - it's phenomenal. Just the perfect blend of herbs and spices. The final result bursts with plenty of flavor without being overpowering.

Doug grilled over a charcoal fire (of course) and we served with sides of corn and mashed potatoes he first night.

The second night we had Rainbow Swiss Chard as the side. This is our first year trying chard, yes...we were sheltered, but happy to have tried it as we are loving it. It's much more flavorful than I imagined it would be.

A good Pinot Noir goes with soooo many food combos. If in doubt, serve a Pinot!

Here is the recipe below. I didn't write it out, just took the lazy way, showing you a photo :-)

Thanks again to Drick and if anyone grills up a batch of chicken using this rub, please let us all know. Bet you'll love it.

Some of his recipes we have enjoyed so far include:

Creamy Seafood Pasta
Seafood Pasta (again) when combined with Nigella's recipes
Marinated Artichoke Pasta Salad
Green Bean casserole
Bourbon Chicken
Green bean and Artichoke casserole
Southern Style Beef Bourguingnon (with ribs) and many more.

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.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wine Wednesday - Pio Cesare 2011 Barbrera d' Alba

Lots of plum and dark fruits pop at you right off. Nice silky texture and deep ruby coloring, great mouth feel. I like this Italian wine quite a bit and wouldn’t be opposed to stocking more in the wine fridge.

This Italian wine is 13 and half % and under $20. Pretty bottle too :-)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Chevre Stuffed Dates
A fantastic appetizer ...promise

The weekends go by so terribly fast, don’t you think? This past Saturday we did much of our shopping early, partially to beat the heat but also to save some gas by hitting stores and markets in the same area. Shopping isn’t one of our favorite chores but now we are well stocked.

A trip to Jones Country Meats in Climax, Ga. to fill the freezer, a stop at Wine Warehouse in Tallahassee to fill the wine fridge, PAWS and the Tractor Supply store for dog food, a grocery store run and finally gassed up both cars. Done…all in one day.

To celebrate our free day where we can read, nap, take the dogs to the park or whatever we please, we had a very nice dinner and one of our splurge wines. A splurge wine for us is one out of our ordinary rotation.

But I didn’t want to talk about wine – I want to share an amazingly delicious appetizer we scarfed down.

WOW. These are so good you could make a meal out of them! Let cool for a few minutes or you’ll burn your mouth. Yes, that’s hard to do, waiting 5 minutes until they cool but you won’t be sorry.

Here is the recipe - too good not to share!

Chevre Stuffed Dates
From 101 Things to Do with Bacon, Eliza Cross


½ pound sliced bacon
1 pound pitted dates
4 ounces goat cheese (or you could use cream cheese)
1 bunch fresh basil, leaves washed and stems removed


Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut bacon strips in half, set aside. Split dates lengthwise and stuff with a heaping teaspoon of cheese. Press halves together and wrap with a basil leaf and bacon strip.

Secure with a toothpick. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once. Remove from oven and drain on paper towels.

We had a few of these before Doug grilled a rib-eye we’d just purchased from Jones. And the splurge wine. More on that later. I couldn’t wait to share these with you and I do hope you’ll try them one day. Four ingredients, 20 minutes in the oven. Simple stuff. You’re welcome :-)

Coming up will be my contribution to Cook the Books and wine talk. Hope all is well in your world!

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Wine Wednesday - 2013 Cheverny and
Sea Scallops & Salad Nicoise

Cheverny is a French white wine from the Loire Valley. A Kermit Lynch import so you know you can't go wrong. Pretty much anything we see from Kermit Lynch is a winner.

Hoisting my glass I noticed a clarity giving the appearance of pale pear juice. It doesn't taste like pears at all, rather lightly apple to the nose and palate. Nice finish.

This wine is 85% Sauvignon Blanc & 15% Chardonnay. It paired very well with Salad Nicoise and buttery garlic scallops

Never exciting, mostly delicious, always have wine.....

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Bacon Madness: { 101 Things to do with Bacon }

A few weeks ago I won a little cookbook. 101 Things to Do With Bacon by Eliza Cross. The fact that it was so bacon-centric definitely had my attention when I saw it was available on Goodreads. Lucky me, I won the book!

Just flipping through it you think "I want that, oh yes, I want that, I am definitely making that!"

The first dishes I made were Bacon-Wrapped Orange Chicken and No-Stir Risotto with peas and bacon. Super easy, completely mouth wateringly delicious aromas and taste. Husband says, Oh yes, this is certainly going on the rotation!

Would you like the recipe? I tell you, make this in any bacon loving household and you will hear many compliments. The sweetness of the marmalade and the smoky bacon are naturals together.

Bacon-wrapped Orange Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used thighs with skin and bones intact)
¼ teaspoon dried sage
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper
4 strips of bacon
¼ cup butter
¼ cup orange marmalade

OK, I adapted this recipe because we just aren’t fans of chicken breast. These probably wouldn’t be dry because of the bacon but I opted for thighs. Because we like thighs. I also omitted the butter because I felt it would be juicy and greased up enough with the skin attached to the thighs.

Preheat oven to 350 F and line shallow dish with foil or use a non-stick spray.
Sprinkle each piece of chicken with sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Wrap each piece of chicken with a slice of bacon and arrange in pan with bacon ends tucked under.

Melt together the butter and marmalade in a saucepan until combined. Pour over the bacon-wrapped chicken and back uncovered for 45 to 50 minutes.

*Note: Since I didn’t use the butter I simply plopped a spoonful of marmalade over the bacon wrapped chicken without heating. I also bumped the heat up to 375 F since I was using the thighs.

Oh. My. This is a scrumptious moist marriage of ingredients made in heaven. We were so hungry even before I started dinner so it was difficult when the wafting aroma of sweet marmalade and bacon filled the kitchen.

No-Stir Risotto with Peas and Bacon

2 TB olive oil
1 TB butter or margarine
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cups Arborio or short grain rice
4 cups chicken stock or broth
1 cup frozen peas
6 strips of bacon, cooked and finely crumbled
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until lightly browned. This will take about 5 minutes.
Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring so the rice is coated with the oil and butter.

Add broth and bring to a boil. Stir well, reduce heat and cook covered for 15 or 20 minutes or until rice is tender.

Stir in peas, bacon, salt and pepper, cook for about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

I will certainly be preparing more from this book. This is a duplicate post from my review at Novel Meals. The bacony goodness just demanded I present it in more than one forum, I don't usually cross post. :-)

Coming up are some wine and book reviews. Hopefully a garden update too. Hope you all are well!

Never exciting, mostly delicious, always have wine.....

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Rambling about books, movies and a link to Bloglovin

I was wandering around on the web, visiting sites I usually go to when I have some free time, and saw Lucy at The Pie Patch is on Bloglovin. So I check it out and discovered I actually had an account. It was dormant because, I forgot about it. is the link if you are interested:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

So what else is new here......well, it's horrifically hot and humid. Yeah, that's not news but we actually had a heat index of 108 so it's unbearable to sit outside and have a nice dinner. Fortunately that hasn't deterred us on preparing some very good meals. Probably drinking too much wine because we've had a cheese course here and there...appetizers on other nights. {too much wine.....LOL}

I have neglected my book blog a bit. Pure laziness on my part. Once I would finish one book I didn’t take the time to note what I liked and post it before delving into another mystery or foodie memoir. I did finish The Winter People (it’s was just ok…eh), Divergent and Innocent Graves.

Recently I started Jacques Pepin’s book The Apprentice and I am loving this book. It's one of the better memoirs I have read in ages. It's also the featured book over at Cook the Books Club for July. Check that out if you like to read and pair up food with a group of like-minded folks. It's fun and one of the friendlier online cooking groups I have had pleasure to interact with.

Looking forward to Walking Dead, season four, to be released from Netflix. Ok, that's an itty bitty drawback of not having any television have to wait a long time to catch up with a series. We'll probably buy this season when it comes out for sale - Just. Can't. Wait. Season five has concluded so it's always challenging trying to avoid spoilers.
We are only through with season 3.

Otherwise it's same ol', same ol' here. Cooking, wining and dining, scratching our heads while figuring out gardening issues and reading.

What's new in your world? Are you off for summer vacations? Whatever you are doing I hope it's fun and you are well.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Maddios vs Mellow Mushroom;
Yes, we have found gluten free pizza!

One of the things I miss from our wheat eating days is a good pizza. You can find a pizza mix from Red Mills, Pamela's and the pre-made crusts from Udi's or Rustic Crust. But there is nothing like going out for a pizza and bringing it home for movie night.

Well...we found some gluten free pizzas in Tallahassee which in't too far a drive for us.

This pizza was recommended by our friend Branch. She said try Mellow Mushroom because they have a very good GF pizza. Thank you, Branch!

Here is a close up so you can see the fresh ingredients they load on the pizza.

Someone else told us we could get a GF pizza at Uncle Maddios. Here is a snap of that one.

Of the two, I have to say Mellow Mushroom is the better one. It was very good, especially paired with a Greek salad. We haven't tried getting as take-away yet since they are a bit of a drive. For a Saturday afternoon pizza fix, it's worth stopping by.

Anyone else know of a decent pizza crust mix or pre-made crust for the evenings we want to chill at home? I welcome all suggestions. Really.


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