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 :-)

  sal1 sal2

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.


sal3

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 this....it'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.

coffeemaker
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.

tropical

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.

martini

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.


cod

Cauliflower and potatoes here.......

cod1


The homemade dill and lemons were an a nice accompaniment.

cod3

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

WeekendCooking

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.

mush1


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.

mush2

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.



  FullSizeRender (5)

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.

IMG_1062

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.

IMG_1064

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.



  FullSizeRender (5)

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.

veg1

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.

veg2

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 :-)



  FullSizeRender (5)

When your son moves away..........

It's a bittersweet time here as our son Tristan and family has moved away to settle in the Midwest. When he was in the Army it was a little different as he was stationed at Ft. Stewart in Georgia.  We could visit a bit then.  Now he's moved across the country and while we will miss him, we are excited about his "escape" from this part of Florida.

Doug and I have wanted to move and talked about it many, many times over the 35 years we have been together. In our 30's we wanted colder weather and looked toward Maine, Minnesota and...we even had fingerprint cards sent from Alaska as we thought we would teach there.  Obviously years passed and we stayed put.  My Pennsylvanian roots have beckoned more than once and that state had also been considered.

But - the big news is - the kids made the big jump and are now relocated.  I'm envious and happy for them.  They will be missed but what a great chance to start over.

While my daughter-in-law went ahead to get settled, we had our son over for visits and dinner many times these past two months.  One memorable (and particularly tasty) dinner featured crab cakes.
As usual we paired it with cheddar cheese grits, fresh bread and openned a Chardonnay. It was so filling we could only eat two of the crab cakes but this worked out for a second meal.

I packed Tristan a to-go container with leftovers and Doug and I took the same to work the next day.  Now that's a way relieve the Monday blues - an excellent lunch!

.crab

Another good meal was Spinach Chicken Lasagna. I will post that recipe coming up soon but wanted to share the photo. This is a hearty meal leaving enough leftovers so I could send some home with Tristan.

las1

We are all seafood lovers here so fish and shrimp make the appearance frequently.  A few weeks ago Doug grilled fish and we all sat on the patio looking out for foxes and sipping wine.

Sunday, our last evening together, we had Greek Scampi.

scampi

We've had some great vacations together, fun motorcycle rides, played hours of board games and have been a close family.  We'll miss you but we are also happy for you too!

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

WeekendCooking

Mexican Jalapeno Cornbread

This was a good effort.  I experimented with this recipe using Tristan and Doug as taste testers. They are usually willing participants when it comes to kitchen experiments.  ♥ 

The goal was to find a copy cat recipe for 4 Rivers BBQ style cornbread.  I did not nail it as I couldn't find one that truly looked like the 4 Rivers creation.  But, I will say this was very good and I would make it again.

It only took 15 minutes prep time and it came out very moist.  This would go well with any BBQ or chili.  My heat tolerance isn't as great as the guys so next time I will put more of the jalapeno on one side of the pan.  I like some jalapeno but this was just a wee bit too much for me.

cornbread1cornbread2

Mexican Jalapeno Cornbread

Ingredients

2 eggs 
1/4 cup corn oil 
1 cup buttermilk 
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (8 ounce) can cream-style corn
1 large onion, chopped
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda


Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square baking dish or a cast iron skillet.
  2. In a small bowl, beat eggs. Mix in corn oil and buttermilk. Stir in 1 cup shredded cheese, creamed corn, onion, and jalapenos.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Stir the egg mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix well. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top.
  4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until center is set and top is golden brown.
  5. I am sharing this with Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series.















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 se...