Sunday, May 29, 2016

3 Crazy Bakers in Moultrie Georgia

This post is really about a ride we took north into Moultrie Georgia....but I also have to share a bit about the place we went to eat. For us it's usually ride to eat expeditions. Usually long rides but this one was only about 3 hours round trip.

Three Crazy Bakers is located in the heart of downtown Moultrie near the courthouse. They have been open for years and have quite a good business going. The previous time we ate there it was great. This time I had a better lunch than Doug as they disappointed us on the quiche.



They have a large menu featuring 6 salads, loads of sandwiches and dinner casseroles. Check out the menu HERE - they are very reasonable

Here is my Santa Fe Chicken Salad. If you want a packed salad, this is one of those offered and I liked it very much. Doug ordered Quiche which came with a mini muffin and fruit. Unfortunately, the quiche portion was very small so, I don't think he will ever get that again. I wouldn't.

salad

Ok, ready for a ride? Here are some photos I snapped from my seat on the back of the bike. Thus, some are fuzzy photos but I still wanted to share.

A cool looking country home. We were riding along and I saw several homes I liked.

another house

Double silo

FullSizeRender


One of the many barns we saw on this road. Truly country living.

barn


This house has to be very old but I see much appeal in living way out here. I can imagine us spending many hours sitting on the porch in the evenings, listening to the night wildlife, enjoying a glass of wine and dreaming.

cool country house


Lots of farm land and pasture.....

fields

One of my favorite sights - cows.

cows

And here's the map..........



Linking up to Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sunday.
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SouperSundays


Friday, May 27, 2016

Spicy Salami Rigatoni with Olives and Capers

It's Potluck at I ♥ Cooking Club this week. This means we may choose any featured chef from the past or our current chef in residence. Normally my thoughts turn to Nigella, Jamie or Nigel but Curtis Stone has me hooked. His recipes have been amazing (with one exception) so here I am, turning to his cookbook Relaxed Cooking.

rigatoni 3rd

This is a cookbook I checked out of the library but I may buy it, I have been using it so much.

closeup

While I made a minor adjustment to the recipe using black olives instead Kalamata and Penne pasta instead of rigatoni, everything else is in line with the recipe. Another one which is super easy to prepare so, if you are in a hurry to get dinner on the table, this is your go-to recipe.

prep

I saw several other participants at I ♥ Cooking Club prepared this dish weeks back - I knew then I wanted to make it too. We served this with a small wedge of fresh tuna. The tuna was lightly olive oiled and cooked on the grill pan. Made for a great accompaniment to this pasta dish.

pasta1

This is definitely going on our meal rotation, It's wonderful.


Spicy Salami Rigatoni with Olives and Capers

Ingredients
20 cherry tomatoes
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces rigatoni pasta
8 ounces spicy salami (preferably Sopressa Vicentina or soppressata), casing removed, salami thinly sliced into half-moon pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup extra-fine capers
1/4 cup kalamata olives (I used black olives)
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

To roast the tomatoes:

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Place the tomatoes on a small non-reactive baking sheet and drizzle with 2 teaspoons of oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until they begin to split. Remove from oven and set aside.
To prepare the pasta:

Add the rigatoni to a large pot of boiling salted water over high heat, and cook, stirring often to ensure the rigatoni doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot or to each other, until al dente, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a large heavy sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, and then add the salami and cook until light golden in color, about 30 seconds on each side. Transfer the salami to a plate and reserve.

Return the pan to the heat. Add the garlic and sauté in the drippings remaining from the salami until tender, about 1 minute. If the salami does not render enough oil, add just enough olive oil to sauté the garlic. Add the capers and olives to the hot pan and toss. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by about half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and parsley and toss gently. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Remove the pan from the heat.

Strain the rigatoni, and then toss the rigatoni and salami in the pan with the sauce. Season to taste with pepper.

Transfer the pasta to plates, spooning any salami and tomato mixture from the pan over the pasta, and serve.

Curtis Stone Badge Resized

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

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

St George Island
{A little ride along the coast}

This looks like a fake back drop, doesn't it? There is a bridge that we try and stop on when we travel to St. George Island. There are wonderful views and we have managed to get photos of all bikes, with the exception of the Sportster, on this bridge.

doug on the bridge

Here is a view of us going over the bridge at St George Island. It's fun taking photos from the back of the bike while it's moving. I never know if they will come out as I am wearing a helmet and that makes it hard to see what I am snapping.

riding over bridge

The destination this day was The Blue Parrot restaurant. They are right on the water and it's so lovely to sit in shade, enjoying a view of the beach and blue Gulf waters. Usually we get a grouper sandwich but this day we both ordered the fish tacos. These are two grilled Mahi tacos with homemade salsa (a bit of kick to it) and cole slaw. So. Good. We are now on a quest for the best fish tacos we can find.

mahi tacos

A panoramic view from the restaurant. Taken with Doug's iPhone.

pano

Looking at the beach from our dining table.

view from the parrot

Ready to roll now. I love our outings on this trike.

blue

We stopped in Carrabelle in hopes of getting an ice cream and also to let me get a snap of the Police phone booth. As it was Sunday, the ice cream place was closed. See the little dogs in the doorway? It was so funny, they walked together, at a good trot actually, and went right up to the door. It was as if they were there for ice cream too. Once looking in the door they trotted back the way they had come in.

carrabelle junction

Here I am at the world's smallest police station. Read about it HERE.

phone box

"In the early 1960's, Carrabelle's police phone was located in a call box that was bolted to a building at the corner of U.S. Highway 98 and Tallahassee Street. During this time, the city had problems with people making unauthorized long distance calls on its police phone. Johnnie Mirabella, the only St. Joe Telephone Company employee in Carrabelle at the time, moved the phone to another location, but the illegal calls continued."

Riding over bridges is fun! It's cooler temperature wise and the views are amazing.

bridge near angelos


We rode down on Highway 65 to get to SGI but came back via Crawfordville.

map

One way is 1 h 40 min (76.3 mi) via US-319 S but we always meander back a different way. That's my coastal ride report!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Baby Spinach Salad with Crispy Bacon and Cherry Tomatoes

This photo pretty much sums it up. Honestly, with a salad like this, do I need to say more?

another

This has been a crazy week at work and thus....my time for blogging, visiting and sharing has been at a minimum. When we get home and the focus is on Aja, prepping dinner, maybe walking in the park and reading.

We have taken some great rides on the trike this past weekend, and I want to share photos about that, but first...let me share this amazing salad. Then I will post about our jaunts to St George Island and a local bakery in Monticello Florida.

salad wine

The Curtis Stone recipes we have tried so far have been great. Only one screw up (that was a roast pork dinner that was tossed for the foxes) but the other recipes - delicious! This particular salad we have had a few times. As you can see from the photo above we served it with a seared scallops, fresh bread and a cold Rose. Definitely a keeper.

salad

I have a notebook with places we have visited, meals enjoyed and movies watched lately, all of which I would love to share soon. Finally updated my book site and will forge ahead here to catch up with everyone.

So...here is the recipe for this fantastic salad. Not for vegetarians because the bacon (and tomatoes cooked in bacon) are stars of this salad.

Baby Spinach Salad with Crispy Bacon and Cherry Tomatoes

To make the vinaigrette:

Place the vinegar in a medium bowl. Slowly add the oil while constantly whisking to blend. Season the vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.
To prepare the salad:

Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or until nice and crisp. Transfer the bacon to paper towels.

In a large bowl, toss the spinach leaves, tomatoes, and pine nuts with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide the salad among 4 serving plates. Place the bacon over the salads and serve.

Vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
6 tablespoons grapeseed oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Salad:
8 bacon slices
8 cups fresh baby spinach, stemmed
12 cherry tomatoes, halved (I used almost double that amount)
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted (I did not add pine nuts)

If anyone else made soup, sandwiches or salads don't forget Deb in Hawaii has a linkup for her Souper Sunday. HERE is this week's link, you don't have to post on Sunday.


Also linking up to I ♥ Cooking Club, Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sunday and with Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series.

SouperSundaysCurtis Stone Badge Resized


Friday, May 13, 2016

Quesadillas and Mojitos

Warmer temperatures means sitting on the patio, enjoying a meal and a couple of drinks. That's the way it is with us. Truth be told I needed to stop at one Mojito but common sense just didn't prevail here. They are so tasty. And yeah......I kinda paid for it the next day.

Quesadilla1

I am counting this quesadilla as a sandwich of sorts because I really and truly want to link up with Deb at Kahakai Kitchen. Don't you just love food you can eat with your hands? I love a relaxed and messy meal like this. It's just.....fun. Served with fresh avocados and black beans and rice - great flavor combos.

The cool thing about quesadillas is the number of ingredients you can use. So many different combinations of veggies, cheese and meat if you'd like it. For these I used a tiny bit of leftover shredded chicken, mozzarella cheese, sauteed onion, garlic and bell peppers.

Quesadilla


Let's not forget the liquid refreshment. Doug uses the Bonefish Grill recipe for Mojitos and they are wonderful.

Quesadilla2

Mojitos
5 pieces of fresh Mint
1 ounces Simple Syrup
2 ounces Bacardi White Rum
Soda Water
Squeeze of Lime
Lime slices

The only problem with Mojitos is they are too easy to tip back. Very refreshing and tasty so I get a false sense of where to draw the line. One was enough. But I had two. That's rum soaked decision making there. If you work around quiet people that's a blessing. I don't. So...Mojitos will be a weekend thing in the future.

If anyone else made soup, sandwich or salad don't forget Deb in Hawaii has a linkup for her Souper Sunday. You don't have to post on Sunday, link is HERE.

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

SouperSundays



Saturday, May 07, 2016

Farm-Stand Pasta salad

It’s Farmer’s Market Pasta salad. It’s also a pasta bowl meal. It’s also a casserole. Depends how you serve it up.

This is definitely a bowl meal.......

IMG_0235

I have to admit this dish had me skeptical about a promising end result. Usually Martha Stewart’s recipes have turned out very well for me but this one didn’t look like it would work.

I admit it – I was wrong. As I was cooking I told Doug, “I don’t think this one is going to work, I just don’t see how it will come out well,” because the direction seemed….just wrong.

And I was worried because I didn’t have anything else in the house, or out of the freezer, that could be prepared quickly….just in case. I saw another evening of running off to Waffle House for the All-Star breakfast! (Yes, we are rural enough that it’s WH fare for us if we don’t want to drive more than a 10 minutes)

So……you start by boiling the pasta of your choice. Something small like Gemelli or shell pasta. Just before you drain the pasta you scoop out 1 cup of that starchy pasta water. Put aside. Drain the pasta and put that aside too.

In another pan brown the chopped onions, garlic, green bell pepper and green onions in a tablespoon of olive oil.
Cut cherry tomatoes in half and toss those into the pan after the onion mixture has softened. They will get ooey and release the juices. Toss in shredded zucchini strips.

Martha says to use a box shredded, grating the zucchini on the side with the large holes. I said to heck with that and used the food processor. Same result just quicker.

Add corn and pasta and some of that pasta water you set aside. Salt and pepper and any other ingredient you think will enhance per your personal taste.

As I was adding the pasta water and it thickened up I realized my misgivings about the end result were unfounded. I should have trusted The Martha.

We had enough leftover that it was a main meal the first night, a pasta salad side dish the next and just enough to go along for lunch at work the next day. It stores well too. We didn’t eat it three days in a row but it stayed very fresh in a sealed container.

I tossed some in a casserole dish and added more cheese.

IMG_0233

Definitely having this one again! You can vary the ingredients and add more pepper if you are fan or double the tomatoes (which I will do next time) or add steamed broccoli. I guess that’s why it’s called Farmer’s Market Pasta.

linking up to Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sunday!


SouperSundays

Monday, May 02, 2016

19/98 Grill Restaurant in Fanning Springs
{An all day ride on a hot day}

I'm ready to go.
The GPS probably wasn't needed as it's a pretty much a straight shot down HWY 27. But we'd never been before and you know how some little places can be tucked away, just off the main drag.

GPS

Doug found great reviews about this place so we had to ride down and try it. This is a long ride south of where we live and we were gone all day. After 2 hours we arrived to this unique little restaurant at the junction of Highway 19 and Highway 98.

1998 sign

The menu is huge and I had a hard time deciding what to eat. They had salads, BBQ, pressed sandwiches, cold subs and burgers. They had homemade desserts and crafts and great service. (Menu is here)

I was curious about something on the menu called Cinnamon Arrows. Here they are. They were so good, served hot and dusted with cinnamon and sugar. I wish I had not ordered them because our lunch portions were large.

Cinnamon arrows

I ordered an eggplant Parmesan sandwich. I have to show you the sandwich as it sits in the basket, deceptively normal looking size-wise.

Eggplant closed

As I lift the bread you can appreciate how large the sandwich is....it had to be a pound of eggplant. Seriously. This is why I was sorry I ate so many Cinnamon Arrows.

eggplant open

Here is the Reuben Doug ordered. Again, it looks like a normal sized sandwich, don't you think?

Reuben cvlosed

Look at how packed it was! We certainly didn't leave hungry.

Reuben open

We walked around a little bit after we ate just to let things settle before climbing back on the trike. There are many decorations made with wood....see the snowman.

snow

And the deer........

deeraa

We passed Fanning Springs State Park on the way down and I was thinking how wonderful it would have been if we brought bathing suits. A cool dip in the spring would have been refreshing. It was hot that day. Years back when we camped at Manatee Springs, which is just a bit farther south, we enjoyed the cold spring water then would sit around outside the camper, reading and chillin' out. I miss that.

Fanning Springs

As usual I fell asleep while we were riding. If I have a full tummy and it's a warm day, I will get a nap on the back of the trike. I have fallen asleep on all three motorcycles Doug has had before and it's certainly no different now. Hey, at least I haven't fallen off yet!

Here is the route we took.

directions


2 h 23 minutes one way - 146 miles via I-10 E and US-27 S. We were gone all day and it was a hot ride. One day we will go again but it won't be anytime soon.

Linking up with Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series.