Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Salad Days

This past weekend I posted a screen shot of our weather station. It indicated 102 F (39 C) with a heat index of 114 (45 C). I'm glad I didn't know that when we were riding around in the Georgia countryside. There were actually a few minutes when I thought about my head boiling away inside the helmet.


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Since we don't have a pool (poor me, #first world problems) I usually jump right in the shower when we get home from a hot ride. Brutal heat!

It's definitely the season for lighter fare. Salads, seafood, fruit....that lot.

Here is an orzo salad I can recommend that is great hot or cold. Orzo is one of my favorite pastas. It cooks up with texture similar to rice.

orzo salad

Saute a small onion and 3 or more cloves of chopped garlic in a dribble of olive oil. Then add a half cup of orzo and stir it around. That toasts it a bit. Not sure if that makes a difference in the end product.

Add 2 cups of liquid - I use 1 and half cups vegetable or chicken broth and a half cup water. Salt and pepper this mixture and let it simmer for 20 minutes or until the orzo is plump and soft.

Now add a cup of peas and a good half cup of Parmesan cheese. This makes an excellent meal on it's own or a good side. If you'd like protein you can add tofu, shredded chicken or peeled shrimp at the end of the cook time.

Linking up to Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sunday. HERE is link to this week's Souper Sunday

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What light meals do you like when the heat is brutal? I think we might get some oysters soon, nice cold salty oysters.



Monday, June 27, 2016

I hope Sockeye Salmon is magic

Vacation is over. Has been over for a week and I can say that I ate too much, drank too much, spent too much and enjoyed every single second of it! Now it's time to eat a bit better, health wise that is. We usually eat healthy fare but we did overindulge with a few desserts and wine. And gin and tonics. And breakfast at Waffle House. Oh yeah.

Here is a meal that will do the trick to get my tummy in better shape. Sockeye Salmon is magic, right? If you eat grilled fish you'll be thin and feel great and I won't even need to exercise, right? Maybe that's something I read somewhere. Probably not though, probably wishful thinking ...LOL

grill

If you have a grill pan (and I happen to have a very lovely Calphalon grill pan my sweet husband bought me years ago) then this will be easy-peasy. You simply brush olive oil on your fish, sprinkle on some thyme, salt and pepper and any other herb you want. Use sliced lemons for extra tang. Plus the lemons look cool.

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This was excellent paired with buttery peas and a pearled couscous. Curtis Stone's recipe called for orzo but I had a craving for the pearled couscous.

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This is an adaption from Curtis Stone's salmon recipe in his cookbook What's For Dinner

Expect healthy fare to be displayed here in the upcoming weeks.

Check out I ♥ Cooking Club and see what others served up for Potluck. Also linking up to Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Homemade Mahi Mahi Quesadillas

I mentioned in past posts how we have fallen in lust with fish tacos (or quesadillas). We tried Mad Anthony's at the waterfront and Mahi Mahi Tacos at The Riverside in St Marks.

We decided to try our hand at making some at home. Doug grilled fish on the charcoal grill....with some help from Aja.

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We wrapped it in regular tortillas and served cheese grits and avocado. I chopped some avocado onto the tortilla and wrapped the fish in that too.

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For the sauce we used this fantastcially delicious sweet chili sauce. It's sweet with just the right amount of kick, not spicy hot. I think I could use this sauce on sandwiches, burgers, chicken and maybe even biscuits. Funny, I always associated Thai food with intense heat and so I have avoided it.

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Here is a peek at the inside of my quesadilla. You can see the fish, the condiments and avocado. It was wonderful!

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A taco or quesadilla is just like a sandwich to me, loosely defined but there it is. So, I am linking up to Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sunday. HERE is the link to this week's Souper Sunday. Have you made soup? Sandwiches or salad? Link it up with me !!

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Also linking up to Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Tupelo's Bakery in Monticello Florida

We visited Tupelo's Bakery in Monticello this week. That's Monticello Florida, not Virginia. Tupelo's is an organic bakery serving up amazing offerings of freshly baked pastries, breads, sandwiches and quiche. What a place!

It's laid back and you can sit and enjoy lunch or a pastry or just hang out, enjoying small town living with no one bustling about, nobody is in a rush, no shouting. I love it. First I'll tell you about the food but then check out the Full Moon Farm store attached.

Ok, here's lunch, check out the Deluxe Pizza Panini: Ham and pepperoni layered up with sauteed mushrooms, roasted red peppers, olives, mozzarella and parmigiano cheeses, with Italian herbs and our homemade tomato sauce. Leave the meats off for a great veggie option! Whole $8.00 Half $4.50

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Pity I didn't get a clear shot of this sandwich. It was amazing. It honestly did taste like a pizza.

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The quiche is very filling, This one is prosciutto, Gouda and green onion. There are many other varieties available, all freshly baked. This photo doesn't do it justice,it was honestly a huge slice.

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Desserts are plentiful and it's very difficult to make a choice. We opted to split a triple chocolate brownie and oh my, it was rich and moist and everything you could want if you are a brownie lover.

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The Full Moon Farm store is attached to the bakery, it's inside the shop. You can buy honey, candles, crafts and a variety of hand made items.

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Here is a seed exchange.

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Handmade items make great gifts. I love the quality of the things they sell.

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This pottery is gorgeous. I plan to buy some one day and haul it home in the tour pack of the trike. Carefully packed of course.

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This painting is one of many hanging on the walls if the restaurant area. Lots of paintings done by local artists, most are for sale. I was struck by the detail of this one. While we ate I kept glancing up at this one, noticing more detail each time, the brush strokes, the tiny hairs on the steer's chin. Looked better in person.

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More vacation wanderings and eats coming up. Couldn't ride yesterday as it rained off on on all day long. We went out to dinner at Bonefish Grill in Tallahassee for our 32nd wedding anniversary though. Love our vacation week off!


I am linking up to Deb in Hawaii for her Souper Sunday. HERE is this week's link, you don't have to post on Sunday. Also linking up to Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Ouzts Too in St Marks Florida
{Oyster Bar and Grill}

It's vacation time this week. We always take off the week of our anniversary. I want to share some of the places we have visited while riding and what has been going on.

Ouzts Too. We have been meaning to try this place for quite a while. It's off the St Mark's River; a local place with colorful characters.

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The prices are good and the food is excellent. It's very local......complete with a friendly and chatty oyster shucker and lots of southern decor, redneck style that is :-)

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Notice all the dollar bills stapled to the wall, bar, tables and elsewhere in the photo above and this one here? If you have a dollar and want to write a message or just sign your name, the waitress will bring over a cup of colored markers and you can have at it.

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Here is a little history about the place. Very interesting to read. It's a forgotten part of Florida.

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I had a shrimp Po Boy and Doug had the oyster Po Boy sandwich. Both of which I neglected to photograph so I could link up with Deb at Kahakai Kitchen. Next time....

I passed this giant wooden cowboy on the way to the restroom. He had a dollar stapled to him too. Some places along the coast have giant pirates, it was nice to see a cowboy.

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Here's our dollar. We stapled it to the bar and will look for it next time we ride there for oysters and beer. I saw one dollar with "Off to Coast Guard Boot Camp!!" and the date some 3 years back. I wonder if the woman is still in the Coast Guard.

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Can't wait to come back here and eat oysters, mullet dip and more!

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Time to gear up and head home.

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The ride back home was almost punishingly hot. Hot doesn't cover it, especially when you have to sit at a traffic light on that steamy asphalt. The temperature was 100 F but I couldn't get a clear photo.

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By the time we got home we were ready to jump in a cold shower and let me say, that was very welcome. Our rides will mostly be in the early morning while the heat is this excessive. It's still a blast to go riding on vacation though and I look forward to many more trips.

More later!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Slow Cooker Sticky Drumsticks

I saw this recipe quite a while back on Vicki's site, I'd Rather Be at the Beach. Have you ever printed a recipe with intentions to make it the following week or two? Yeah, I do that and then the recipe sits in a folder while I madly hunt for it weeks later. Obviously, I found the recipe.

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The simple process is - make a rub, place on chicken, ball up some aluminum foil and place in the base of the slow cooker and then place chicken legs atop foil. I had leftover homemade cole slaw and black beans and rice mixture to serve along with the legs.

plated chicken

I'm glad I cut back on the number of legs I cooked as it's just the two of us. It would dry out too quickly if I made too much. But these were juicy and the spices weren't overpowering. We enjoyed the drumsticks for a few dinners and leftovers for lunch at work. Thanks Vicki for sharing the recipe!


Slow Cooker Sticky Drumsticks

2 tsp salt
1 TB paprika
2 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp pepper
3 pounds chicken legs
Foil

Combine spices. Rinse the legs and pat them dry. Now rub spice mixture onto the legs. Take a few pieces of foil and ball it up, place in the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the legs on top of the foil.
Turn to low heat and cook for 6 hours or more if needed.

This recipe calls for Low heat for 8 to 12 hours but I can tell you, that would overcook the legs. Mine were done in 6 hours, just as Vicki stated on her blog.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Vacation at last!!!!!

When we walked out of work on Friday we were officially on vacation. What a relaxing feeling, I have been looking forward to this for months. Our anniversary is next week and we were still bantering around ideas about cooking at home and having a nice wine. You know, no driving or worrying about getting home from a restaurant.

We decided on combining things. Go to Bonefish Grille and enjoy a dinner someone else makes. Have food brought to us and stick to one glass of wine of cocktail. Then get home, have another glass of wine and maybe a dessert, listen to music or sit on the patio if the weather is nice. Updates later.

Lots of rides planned, if the weather cooperates. We'd like to go to a local bakery and eatery in Monticello called Tupelo's Bakery. Also ride to The Pearl along Highway 98, maybe Dothan Alabama for BBQ.

For now, I am just chilling out with my little notebook of lists of books to read, what I am reading, movies, meal planning, goals....stuff like that. I hope to catch up on all the posts I want to share, photos I have taken both from the back of the trike and elsewhere.

But right now......no time constraints and that, my friends is a lovely feeling.
Off to have more coffee and will visit soon.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Mad Anthony's Waterfront Grille
{Panacea Florida}

It's official - we are on the hunt for the best fish tacos within riding distance. The Mahi Mahi tacos we had at The Blue Parrot three weeks ago were fantastic. Just enough kick and spice.

I had forgotten we tried Grouper Tacos at The Blue Parrot in 2012. Why hadn't we taken up the quest after that meal, I wonder? We still had the Road King then.

Anyway.......we recently tried the Mahi Mahi Tacos at Mad Anthony's Waterfront Grille and so far - these are the absolute best. Packed into a soft and hard taco shell, loaded with fat chunks of fish and a dollop of sweet chilli sauce. I could hurt myself.

cheese grits

But that's not the only thing special about Mad Anthony's Grille - it's worth the trip just to order the hearty serving of cheese grits. Last time we asked about the cooking method. You can tell they aren't instant grits. The cook simmers them all day long. A Southern classic.

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Did we have enough food? Why yes, yes we did. But the temptress waitress mentioned a Devil's food cheesecake dessert and we had to have it. Fortunately common sense prevailed and we only ordered one piece to split. Lovely display.

Brownie presentation

Look how fat this is. Decadently cheesy and chocolately and iced with a sweet fudge topping.

brownie pie

This trip definitely set the bar high for future taste tests, looking for that perfect fish taco. We will be eating at Mad Anthony's again soon....maybe on vacation. I can't wait!

Hope all is well in your world.

Linking up to Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series.