Vineyard Chicken and Corn Chowder

One thinks of chowder as being made exclusively with seafood but that's not always the case.  Since getting this cool book from Thrift Books I have been planning lots of soup and chowders for our work week lunches.

I don't especially like running out for lunch.  The heat index has been miserable lately so getting in the car isn't enjoyable.  Yesterday on the way home the heat index was 105 F - yikes!  Eating a hearty chowder in the A/C is fine with me.


This was very easy to prepare and gave us a couple of lunches and one starter course.


Vineyard Chicken and Corn Chowder 

4 ounces of bacon, chopped (I didn't use it) 
1 large onion, chopped 
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced 
3 cups water 
1 1/2 pounds chicken (I used rotisserie) 
salt, to your taste 
about 4 cups chopped peeled potatoes 
3 cups fresh corn, or frozen corn. (I used fresh) 
1 1/2 cups half-n-half 
2 teaspoons sage 

 Cook bacon in large heavy pot or Dutch Oven for about 15 minutes. Drain and reserve drippings in the pot. I just skipped to melting butter and then adding the onion and celery. 

If you are using raw chicken add it to the pot with the celery and onion, then add the water and salt. Cook 30 minutes until the chicken is done. 

Add potatoes, cover and cook over medium heat until tender, about 15 minutes. If you are using rotisserie chicken just toss the chopped pieces in the pot. (If you have cooked a chicken then start shredding it and add in the pot.)

 Add corn, half-n-half and sage. Stir in reserved bacon if you used it. 

 Linking up with  Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series and Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sunday. Check out her Cold Cucumber Soup with Yogurt HERE

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Anniversary week - #34

Anniversary week.  Celebrating 34 years married so we took a few days off work.

One of the fun things we did was rent this beauty. A 2018 Mustang Convertible!  It was so much fun.  More fun than the Harley as we could put the top up when the sun was blistering our skin.  It has air conditioned seats too so that was another neat feature.


The first good ride was to St. George Island.  We ate at the Blue Parrot.  It was quite a thrill going over the bridge with the convertible top down. Gorgeous day for this outing.


I absolutely love this photo of Doug.  We are going over the bridge to the island here.


Heading into Apalachicola over yet another bridge - big storm coming in.

This is on the ride home.  So many birds to see and wouldn't you know it, I couldn't get a good shot of the pelicans as we sped past.


The next day we drove through Cuthbert Georgia and stopped to stretch before heading north to Eufaula Alabama for a BBQ lunch.

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In Eufaula we ate at Phil's BBQ, a place we had ridden to a few times on the bike.  Afterwards we rode around, looked at some of the old stately homes, some in perfect condition and others the faded version of the grandeur it once was.   This Episcopal church was very beautiful.  Reminds us of churches we saw in England

do2   church

Doug had read that Donut King was a very good hole in the wall for an excellent doughnut in Eufaula and we managed to find it. Indeed, not a very large operation but oh my - those were the best doughnuts we've had. Seriously.


For our actual anniversary we had some champagne and homemade crab cakes.

champ2    chanp1

It's been a great mini vacation and we certainly enjoyed ourselves.  Being away from work, riding around in a convertible, eating and imbibing yummy things.....Now the Mustang fever has settled in so we'll see about that coming up. :-)

Happy  Summer Solstice!

 Linking up with  Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series since I shared crab cakes, champagne and doughnuts!

Greek Salad - better late than never #SouperSunday

Does anyone actually say Happy Monday? Probably not.

Well, I am happy to have the morning part over and knowing the alarm will only be set three more mornings. Then we have a mini holiday.

See the Greek salad below?  This was meant to hook up with Deb's Souper Sunday but I was  supremely unmotivated and thick-headed on Sunday so.........yeah.   Didn't happen.

I'm not saying we did sit on the patio until late drinking Chardonnay, talking and listening to the rain patter on the metal roof......but it would explain why a perfectly good post with photos already uploaded didn't make the linkup :-)

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Better late than never.  Having salad with pizza presumably enables me to eat less pizza.  A big fat salad and two slices of tomato, mushroom and spinach pizza was enough.  Otherwise, I eat three slices.  Every time. Heavy on the feta cheese, red onion, lots of black olives for me and fewer for Doug, banana peppers and tomato is such a great accompaniment for pizza night.


Last night I made another seafood chowder but I have shared that with Deb before so I didn't want to link that one up.  Exciting news for me is the delivery of a new cookbook called Chowderland.  I am looking forward to that, it was supposed to be delivered today.  There will be much inspiration in that book as it has soups, chowders and salads.

 Linking up with Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sunday. Check out her post HERE. Can't go wrong with her Sweet Corn Chowder.

Rolling into June with celebrations

I had a wonderful birthday weekend eating and drinking my favorites. On Friday evening we started the pre-birthday celebration with sushi, bagels and Nova Scotia lox and fruit.

 Saturday we dropped the Forester off at Subaru to get gussied up for a sale. Tristan couldn't take the Forester with him when he moved (long story) and since the SUV is in my name, I am going to sell it. But, first the blinking check engine and cruise lights need to be dealt with. A while back I learned that if you screw your gas cap on crooked the Check Engine light will eventually come on. This in turn shuts down the ability to use cruise control. I didn't know's written on the gas cap. That lesson and the acquisition of the vehicle was posted HERE.

After the Forester was dropped off we went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and bought a beautiful new Cuisinart coffee maker in umber. That's what it's called - gorgeous color and looks great in our kitchen with the wooden walls. Our previous coffee maker was still hanging in there but after 7 years we upgraded. It even has a feature for bold making the coffee a bit stronger.

After that we went for a cheeseburger at Cabo's, a locally owned restaurant- perfect. They have homemade fries and it was just the ticket.

 Dinner was grilled grouper, a baked sweet potato and broccoli. Aja got her share of treats too, of course. Since it's been so muggy we decided to eat inside and took our wine out to the den to listen to music. What a nice day!

birth1 birth2 birth3

I finished reading an apocalyptic themed book, The Road to Winter by Mark Smith, for my Australian Book challenge and used the Paperwhite.  I don't mind physical books but it was nice to tuck the little Kindle into my purse.  Recently I joined NetGalley so I could get digital books - free.  Who doesn't love free books?!

 In between reading I am getting into the crocheting again as I have a nice new hook. The blanket I am working on looks great, if I may pat myself on the back :-)   Not that anyone needs a blanket this time of year in North Florida. Man, it's been steamy and hot.

The next celebration is anniversary #34.  Very much looking forward to time off and playing.  Let's hope the weather cooperates so we get good use out of that convertible.

Bye for now!

The end of May. What we've been up to lately.

May is basically over  - can you believe it? This entire year seems to have gone by so fast.  Now here we are jumping right into sweltering summer temperatures...even though it's not officially summer. But North Florida is like that - sticky and humid.

 The memorial day weekend was spent indoors as we had a tropical storm moving in. Fortunately no damages for us but I felt sorry for the people at St George Island. Mandatory evacuation on one of the most popular beach holidays. Ugh.


We've watched a few movies:  I can highly recommend 12 Strong with Chris Hemsworth.  It's a true story about the first Special Forces team to be deployed to Afghanistan.  Excellent.

Den of Thieves starring Gerard Butler is an action movie about a heist on the Federal Reserve.  We are big fans of action movies but this one was just so-so.  Lots action, gun fights and of course you have the dishy Gerard Butler in the lead role.......but it was hard to find anyone to like and support.

12   den

Shackelton, another true story, we found to be mostly interesting.  The parts about the fundraising could have been cut shorter but that trip to Antarctica was amazing.  Recently learned Tom Hardy is going to play Shackleton and wish we had seen that version.  We loved him in Taboo.

Game Night started off a bit too silly for us but then delivered big time with comedy.  Depends on your sense of humor for sure but there is a scene with McAdams and Bateman trying to remove a bullet that had us howling.  It's a movie for pizza night.

game   shack

Reading:    I have been trying to finish up the Frieda Klein series and have made it through the Thursday book.  When we get to the library this weekend I am going to grab the Friday and Saturday books because - drumroll - I won a copy of the last book in the series!  So. excited!

Some other books I have enjoyed recently are The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen, The Lost Family by Jenna Blum and The Secret of the Irish Castle by Santa Montefiore.  The Irish book is the last in a trilogy so I have officially caught up with the Deverill, Doyle and O'Leary family sagas.  Great ending.
Looking forward to some time with the Kindle coming up instead of print books.

irsh castle   lostFamily cover  thursday   tuscan

June Plans:  Also I am looking forward to June as I will celebrate a birthday and we will also celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary. Doug has a reservation for a convertible for the long anniversary weekend, I hope we get a Mustang.  I'm thinking we'll have a few trips to the shore and maybe to Eufaula Alabama for a long ride.  Weather permitting, of course. Lots of photos!

Creating/ Very slowly I am making another baby blanket.  Just acquired nice soft yarn that is so fat it requires a N size hook.  Huge.  But I think it will assist in making this blanket faster as the stitching is so large..

Listening & Sipping/  Enjoying a gin and tonic or martini in the evening and listening to Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Etta James, various blues artists and occasionally some Tom Petty.


That's it for now.  End of May, over and out!

Crispy Panko Baked Cod

Last February I read a review of Cooking that Counts on Beth fish Reads and thought, I need to check that book out of the library.  The post at Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking series may be found HERE.  Then I saw this cookbook highlighted again at Vicki's blog I'd Rather be at the Beach.

Finally I am getting around to posting a meal from that book.  There are loads of great recipes but if you are into a mostly plant based diet, you ought to check this out of the library. All of the recipes are low calorie and look delicious.  We decided to try the oven baked cod first.

The first evening we had a mixture of potatoes and cauliflower.  The second evening we had asparagus and baked sweet potatoes.  Love the sweet potatoes, I could eat those several times a week and they are so good for you.


Cauliflower and potatoes here.......


The homemade dill and lemons were an a nice accompaniment.


There are quite a few other recipes I would like to try and it's a bit funny I settled on this one first.  When I saw the photo I thought, I don't need fried food and skipped past this one.  Even though I love fish and can occasionally enjoy it fried, that wasn't the way I wanted to go.

On second look, I saw it was "oven fried" using Panko.  It was great!

Crispy Fish with Lemon-Dill Sauce
Hands on is 25 minutes, serves 4

2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 cup Panko
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon each of onion power and garlic powder 
4 (6 ounce) skinless cod fillets
1 teaspoon ground pepper
a little bit of salt
cooking spray
1/4 cup canola mayonnaise (such as Hellmanns)
2 tablespoons finely chopped dill pickle
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh chopped dill
4 lemon wedges

Preheat broiler to high.
Place egg whites in shallow dish.  In a separate dish place Panko, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder.  Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper.  Dip each fillet in the egg whites then dredge in Panko mixture; place on broiler pan coated with cooking spray.  

Broil 4 minutes on each side or until done.
Combine mayonnaise, pickles, lemon and dill.  Serve with the fish along with lemon wedges.

It's very good!

This won't be the last recipe I share from this book.  Lots of goodies in there, healthy too.

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


Creamy Mushroom Soup for Souper Sunday

It's May and it's hot around these parts but that doesn't usually deter me from making soup.  This particular soup has been on my radar for a while but I kept putting it off.  After reading a Nicci French book (Frieda Klein series) I started thinking about a mushroom garlic soup again.  It was one of the culinary items mentioned in that book and I actually planned to make it the representative dish.

But I get sidetracked easily.

You could use all sorts of mushrooms such as shiitake, portabello or white button - any sort you like. I used the white button mushrooms, not very adventurous this time but was good.


This would be a good starter with the Tortellini dinner we had. I also made fresh Italian bread!  While all that was a good meal I could do with not seeing a Tortellini for a long, long time. Two dinners and a lunch.


Here is the simple recipe if you want to try it, tweaking the recipe to your own taste.  I would recommend this as a dinner starter or to be served with something else hearty for a lunch.

Mushroom Soup

1 pound of mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
5 chopped garlic cloves
1 chopped onion
a few tablespoons AP flour
1 cup broth (I used vegetable)
1 cup milk (adjust that as you like for thickness of soup)
sprinkle of ground thyme
salt and pepper

In Dutch oven saute onions, mushrooms and garlic. Add butter and when it melts, sprinkle in some flour.  Now slowly add milk and broth to your taste.

I'm linking up with Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sunday series.  Click HERE to see Deb's Red Pepper, Chickpea and Couscous soup.

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Conch Chowder for a light meal

It's getting very hot here in north Florida and so what do we have for dinner?  Hot chowder!  Why not.  It's a nice light meal after a hearty lunch so we were satisfied.  This chowder was prepared in Marathon Florida.

We were at Southern Seafood purchasiing some red fish for the grill and I happened to notice they had soups and chowders.  Our freezer has a bit of Mangrove Snapper and Cod awaiting their turn to become a milk based chowder but this tomato based conch caught my eye.


Check out the large pieces of conch - this was hearty enough yet light enough for a dinner.  We had a fresh loaf of French bread I had made eralier in the day.  Also enjoyed some cheese and Chardonnay.


While I can't take credit for making this chowder I think I would be willing to do so in the future.  It's packed with fresh conch, roma tomatoes, celery, potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, broth, sherry, turmeric  and a healthy dose of red pepper.  Gives it the kick that Chardonnay soothes after a few spoonfuls.

I found a recipe online that I will try next time, you can view that here is you are inspired to make some for yourself.

I'm linking up with Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sunday series.  Click HERE to see Deb's Rosemary and White Bean soup.  Definitely a keeper.

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Veggie burgers with an unconventional topping

Veggie burgers with unconventional topping - cheese grits. 

So I mentioned before that when Doug was out of town I used to eat eggplant, something he didn't care for.  Now he likes it so I have veggie burgers.  I love these things!

Trouble was, I forgot we were out of conventional bread so I adapted by using a French loaf I'd baked earlier in the week.  I just toasted the bread and that came out well.  Then I discovered I was out of cheese.  Hmmmmmm.........obviously I did not plan well.

As luck would have it there was a container with leftover cheese grits.  Why not.


Just layer up the toppings I like, loads of tomato.  Oh yeah, we didn't have lettuce either.  We need to go grocery shopping!  the plus side is, it was economical and I cleaned out the fridge.


It's not often I am out of so many key ingredients for a dish but I have to say, once I am home, I don't like running back out unless it's absolutely necessary!  I missed linking up with Deb last Sunday but I wanted to be sure to join in for this week.  Hoping to have a more elegant offering next week :-)

I'm linking up my weird dinner with Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sunday series.  Click HERE to see Deb's Asparagus Soup with Herbed Goat Cheese.  Definitely a classier headliner :-)

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Vineyard Chicken and Corn Chowder

One thinks of chowder as being made exclusively with seafood but that's not always the case.  Since getting this cool book from Thrift B...