Saturday, July 06, 2019

In My Kitchen July

Let's take a look at what is in our kitchens this month.  I love that Sherry hosts this event and we get a peek into kitchens around the world.  Some items/foods I can't get in Florida but it's interesting to see the variety of Australian goodies presented.
New knives
This purchase was long overdue.  We had ancient steak knives, the serrated sort.  These are smooth blades and very nice.  Doug found them on Amazon, decently priced. 

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A trip to Trader Joe's store and we scored these cookies.  They are better than Oreos, in my opinion.  No high fructose corn syrup and less expensive than Oreos too.


More deals that made it to our kitchen

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A new wireless mouse which I use when I sit in the kitchen and use the laptop.  Isn't it cute?  A little pink fox.  There were other varieties such as koala bear, birds, hamster, lion, panda and American flag. 


Easy chicken dinner:  This is a toss together meal from the fridge and pantry.  We had a jar of green olives, tomatoes, onions and feta cheese hanging about.  The chicken thighs baked for 45 minutes, glazed with olive oil and paprika.

The relish is a cold one.  I combined the above mentioned ingredients (Except the Feta) with a dollop of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Once the chicken baked we spooned some relish on top then sprinkled with feta cheese.


Sharing with Sherry's In My Kitchen July edition and Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking series.


Wednesday, July 03, 2019

🎵 I can see clearly now 🎵

July.  Can't believe half the year has passed.  I have had a lot going on these past few weeks so the planned June update just didn't happen. 

Something New:  The cataract surgery finally happened.  What a miraculous change. Honestly, I was so anxious about the surgery because it's my eye 😬 ! But all went well.  For what it's worth, if you are extremely nearsighted as I am, it's a life changer.  The left eye was done first making me farsighted.  Knocking a lens out of my old glasses didn't work for me though.  Being farsighted in one eye and nearsighted in the other made me non-functional. I couldn't drive, read, use a computer or crochet.  #sadface

I could watch a movie from across the room, letting my new eye take over for clarity.  That's it.  I missed reading very much and am about to start back soon.  They scheduled the right eye surgery the following week as I was a sorry case.  Now I am healing and taking it slowly using a computer so I don't strain my new eyes.  So if you haven't heard from me and I haven't linked up with you - this is why.

Pet News: Last month Aja was stricken with Vestibular syndrome and needed medical treatment.  That was a bit of anguish to our nerves and wallet.  But she is well now, thankfully.

Sharing recipes: A shout out to Carole at Carole's Chatter for trying the Oregano Lemon Chicken.  Glad you enjoyed it!
Prior to my surgery I posted about Hawaiian Chicken and was planning to link up with Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking series.  But I couldn't see or use the computer linkup.  If you want the recipe it's HERE.  It's good!  Soon I will be linking with Sherry's In My Kitchen for July.  That's coming up/

Watching:  We had more TV time this past month. We watched Everest and it was excellent.  It's the second time we have watched it and this lead to Doug and I both reading Into Thin Air by Jon Kraukauer. 
Disappointments were The Kidd with Chris Pratt Captain Marvel.  We had looked forward to those and they were just Meh
Cold Pursuit with Liam Neeson was surprisingly good with some dark humor.  We almost sent it back to the library without watching it as I thought it would be a rerun of his other movies. 
We also watched Master and Commander and an interesting documentary about The Egg with David Attenborough.

Reading:  I finished Kate Morton's The Distant Hours but I had started that one in May.  In June, prior to surgery Doug and I read Into Thin Air and I read Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce and The Tuscan Secret.

That's was June and now we move on to hot, hot July.  
I'll be visiting around here and there in the near future.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Hawaiian Chicken

I think this was dubbed Hawaiian Chicken because it has pineapple in it. You know how that goes - if something uses olive oil and/or olives it's considered Mediterranean.

This is one of those recipes in the overloaded folder that we have tried, and forgot about for years.  It looks a mess cooking but it's very good.  It's a one pan dish except for the rice you will want to serve along with it.  There is so much sauce and it's very good on the rice.


Hawaiian Chicken

4 legs and 2 thighs (but I use 6 thighs)
a little bit of vegetable oil 1 cup BBQ sauce
2 tbs cornstarch
6 ounces crushed pineapple
1/3 cup water
salt and pepper

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet. Eventually you'll need to cover the skillet so select one with a lid. Brown the chicken pieces. Mix the other ingredients into a bowl or 2 cup measuring cup.

  Warning - it will look seriously unappealing and you'll give a thought about eating such a concoction. Sally forth and pour this over the chicken. Let it simmer, cover the skillet but check on it now and then so it doesn't burn. While this is simmering make your rice and side dish.

Depending on the brand of BBQ sauce you use this can have a slight kick. It's easy, fast for those workday evenings and reheats well too.

Sharing with Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking Series. 


Sunday, June 16, 2019

Aja, a BLT and June events

Have you ever made plans for hooking up with other foodie blog events, camping, celebrations and such then have things go spectacularly awry due to unforeseen circumstances? June is one of those months that it will happen to us. And it did. Ugh.

Here is a lovely photo of Aja taken June 7, enjoying some music and sucking down biscuits, hanging out with her mom & dad (us).  We had been planning a camping trip to Stephen Foster state park for our anniversary weekend. Today is actually our 35th anniversary and we were meant to be sitting under a canopy, enjoying the wildlife and anticipating a grill steak dinner.

Thursday evening Aja stumbled as a drunk person would, her hind legs going a different direction than her front legs. She crashed into the fridge, the safe and stumbled down the hall into my arms. Then 5 minutes later she was walking fine. WTF?!

Cutting to the chase here, Aja developed Vestibular Syndrome which is treatable but what a scare it gave us all. Just a little over 800 dollars later we learned she would regain her balance and behave normally within 3 days to 2 weeks. She has quite a few medicines to ingest over the next few weeks. The diagnosis was given on Friday.  We were meant to pack and head out camping on Saturday but had to cancel. No one was sleeping well, Aja couldn't`walk without swaying and her eyes were twitching back and forth as if she were watching a fast paced tennis match.  It`s called nystagmus - the constant twitching of the eyes, back and forth.  Obviously this would make one dizzy and nauseous.

By the way, this happens to people too and we have met someone who suffers from it.  Bam, it just comes on and you need to sit down.

As I mentioned earlier I wanted to hook up with a few cooking events but laid plans. One of the days we were home watching over Aja we made simple BLT sandwiches. It wasn't a cool and unique offering for Deb`s Souper Sunday event but I think I will bring it to the party after all.

Obviously you don`t need a recipe for a BLT. I like to load them with fat tomato slices and use the Trader Joe`s bread. That makes such good toast!

I see that Deb had her own health issues with her cat Max so I am sending sympathy your way, my friend. These furry children really tear us up ♥
It seems like we have been on the same wavelength with a few meals in the recent past such as the gnocchi in soup and curry...crazy that our pets had issues the same time. Yikes. Anyway, I hope everyone is well.

Sharing with Deb for Souper Sunday - go check out her Peanut Ramen Soup!

Friday, June 07, 2019

In My Kitchen - June Edition

Happy Friday!  I am pleased the weekend is about to kick off.  Long week......
We've had good food prepared and consumed in our kitchen and off the grill this month so let's see what photos I have to share. 

We are fans of Trader Joe's store and picked up some good deals there recently.  The produce is so fresh and the prices are very good.  Can't beat the deal on Beaujolais or cheeses so we stock up on those when we can shop.


 Balsamic onions - these are very good roasted along side a chicken. Recipe may be found HERE.  You can spend a fortune on balsamic vinegar (I don't).  I don't buy the cheapest brand but wait until a nice one is on sale.


The center of a roasted onion is so tender, I highly recommend it.  This one also has Dijon and lemon butter base brushed on it, then drops of balsamic.


 A few posts back I shared the grilled asparagus.  Can't see as I can eat asparagus now any other way. Ok, maybe in quiche - but grilled asparagus in quiche would be good too.

Anyway, Jama made a comment about "rafting" the asparagus with skewers so they wouldn't fall through the grill slots.  Brilliant!  Shout out to Jama Rattigan for a great idea.


The outside kitchen is the big Weber grill. I celebrated a birthday recently and that means I get to pick the meal. I had been wanting kebabs for a bit so, Doug skewered the asparagus and tossed the kebabs on the grill together.


 Just what I wanted!


Here is the actual kitchen where we eat most of the time. Weather permitting we like to sit outside but it's been so very steamy lately.  We haven't reached official summer yet so hope this isn't a sign of a long blazingly hot summer.  You can see Aja snuffling around near the oven area.


That's a wrap for In My Kitchen.  Thank you for hosting, Sherry.

Sharing with Beth Fish Reads for the Weekend Cooking series.

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Sunday, June 02, 2019

Lemon, Oregano, Bacon, Mushroom Chicken Soup for Souper Sunday

Just last Wednesday I posted about an easy chicken meal - Lemon Oregano Chicken.  With leftovers I made a lovely soup. But I am getting ahead of myself here.  This is a combo of leftovers from two very different meals that blended into a tasty soup.

The day before Doug grilled rib eye for dinner.  There happened to be a bit of bacon and a carton of white button mushrooms in the fridge so while Doug was outside in heat, grilling, I fried up some bacon.  


Once the bacon was crispy I removed it from the pan and added a tablespoon of butter and garlic.  Now tip those mushrooms into the pan.  After they soften crumble the bacon and toss in.
I never said it was heart healthy and I wouldn't recommend having it frequently .....but it was so delicious and perfect on those grilled steaks.


Back to the chicken - the Lemon Oregano Chicken leftovers consisted of two thighs and an abundance of the lemony juice.  There was a tub of cooked white potatoes in the fridge too.  Simply carve the chicken into pieces, tip the juices into a pan with the leftover potatoes and heat.

Once hot, I used my immersion blender to smooth some of the potatoes, then toss the chicken in along with the leftover bacon and mushrooms. I added a bit of broth to this to thin slightly but it was treat as a thicker soup.  What does Rachel Ray call this consistency?  I think she says Stoup.

This was definitely stoup.


Love, love, love leftovers and the resulting soups are never the same twice.

Sharing with Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sunday.

(And yes, that's my blue lunch bowl at work)

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Lemon Oregano Chicken and Grilled Brussel Sprouts

This was the first time grilling Brussel sprouts and I know it won't be the last.  Doug has found several recipes to try and this was the first one, not a recipe actually.  He brushed them with olive oil and garlic powder.

Thread them on a skewer - they look pretty.

Then pop them on the grill.


These were paired with Lemon Oregano Chicken (a recipe from taste of Home and Velva) and mashed potatoes.  Easy meal, big return on taste and we also had leftovers.


The outside leaves of the sprouts charred a little but they pulled off easily.  Taste wise they had a good smokey grilled blend.  I'd have them this way again but Doug has two other recipes to try soon.  One has honey and smoked paprika, that sounds very good.  Stay tuned.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Grilling Chicken and Asparagus

This new Weber grill has taken the heat out of the kitchen and outside on the porch. Perfect when the temperatures are reaching the upper 90's already. Honestly I thought we'd have more time before being plunged into the high summer heat.


We aren't missing charcoal, especially with the quick set up and no mess of the charcoal dust. Yes, I know there is a fierce debate whether charcoal or gas is better but after decades of the charcoal, Doug and I are loving this gas grill.

This was our first time trying grilled asparagus.  I rolled the stalks in a bit of olive oil and salt.


Doug brushed the grill with more olive oil, grilled those for about 10 minutes and turning them at the 4 minute mark.


Nothing like a platter of grilled chicken.  The aroma always gets my tummy rumbling.


This was an excellent meal and we plan grilling more veggies soon.  Doug has found a recipe for grilled Brussels sprouts with Dijon and honey that sounds amazing.


I never thought getting this grill would open us up to trying so many new things.  I mean things grilled.  He's going to try a pizza soon too, as soon as we buy a pizza peel.  We are inspired by this post at Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking Series.

Coming up will be our trip to Kolomoki Mounds State Park in Georgia.

Sharing with Beth Fish Reads for the Weekend Cooking event

Thursday, May 16, 2019

St George Island State Park - RV Camping

This post is heavily laden with photos. It was our first time back to St George Island State Park since Hurricane Michael. It devastated the dunes near the gulf waters but eventually they will come back.

Me and Aja waiting for Doug to get us checked in at the ranger's station.



This was snapped from inside the moving camper so you can barely see the water.  If you've ever been before you'll remember the dunes were so high you couldn't see to the beach.


This is the opposite side of the road, the dunes will come back!


The queen of the campsite

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Cooking outside, love grilled food.



Wings, homemade coleslaw (Nigella's recipe), baked beans.


This is the kitchen inside the camper but I haven't cooked inside at all. We have a Coleman camp stove that is set up outside.


There were beautiful birds all over the campground.  This fellow checked out our table and grill, hopped along the palms and watched us.  Doug saw a towhee a few times too but I don't have a photo.

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This water moccasin was determined to get under trucks and into campsites.  He was chased away but ultimately run over when he returned.


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Next time we are going in January and the temperatures won't be so awfully high.  Hopefully the insects will be dormant then.   I have to say, the mosquitoes and no-see-ums/midges were unbelievably fierce this trip.  They attacked me like it was their job and I actually looked like I had measles by the time we came home. Doug brought his night vision scope but we never ventured far from the thermacell to see the night sky.

If we sat outside too long Aja would just go to bed.  Nice of her to warm up Doug's side.


Headed home along the coastal road 98. 


Someone was needy and had to sit on me.  She is 16 so, she needs babying sometimes.


We will be at Kolomoki in Georgia next week and we're looking forward to that trip.  Coming up will be more grilling posts, hoping for those. 

In My Kitchen July

Let's take a look at what is in our kitchens this month.  I love that Sherry hosts this event and we get a peek into kitchens around th...