Saturday, January 25, 2020

Roasted chicken dinner and The Night of Bad Luck

Recently we purchased a new television.  We don't have cable feed but we still enjoy watching movies and documentaries checked out of the library. The big TV is set up and Doug hooks up the blue ray/4K DVD player.  I'm hopeless with electronics so that's  his area.  
It's connected and wow what a picture!  We tried a 4K movie right away and it was great. We watched The Matrix.

The night of bad luck: So....days later we are all set to watch Gemini Man which we rented from Redbox. He makes a reservation for pick up and that always works.  Nope, couldn't find his reservation so he had to call Redbox.  Fortunately they had a copy and we rented one and weren't charged twice. 

We go pick up a pizza from a local place that is usually fantastic.  Local joint and we like supporting local businesses.  We get home and the pizza is burnt on the crust.  It's barely edible.  Oh well, we will "suffer through it" as we live pretty far from the restaurant and aren't going to head back out.

Pop in the movie and it wouldn't play, the DVD player wouldn't pop up a menu and clearly we had a bad player.  Arrggh!  It would play a 4K movie but not a DVD or Blueray.  Ok, adapting again we put in a brand new copy of Passengers (in 4K as it's the only thing the player will read).  The movie has gaps in the audio!  Every few words would blank out!  
Bottom line is we watched a different movie and had to send the DVD player and that copy of Passengers back to Amazon.  What a night! For what it's worth the restaurant gave us a $25 gift card for the inconvenience.  Just one of those evenings where everything went wrong.

Enough of that story - Let's take dinner plans!


I have a new addiction. Carole's Panko mushrooms. We had these again as an appetizer and yes, I made more than I thought we'd want. And we ate them :-)

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Our main dish was an easy roasted chicken meal with halved cherry tomatoes, onions, olive oil, basil and oregano. 

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Next time I am popping some whole garlic cloves in there.  Roasted garlic is fabulous smeared on fresh bread.

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The chicken dinner lasted for two nights and as this left two smaller chicken thighs, I decided to make the most of it and create a chicken salad.  Very little mayo but lots of the flavors of the olive oil, roasted tomatoes and onions.  Sliced tomato and lettuce made it a hearty enough lunch.  Highly recommended.

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Friday, January 17, 2020

Carnitas sandwiches and Soupy Thai Chicken

Food and Books.  Two things I look forward to very much. I have been getting a bit of reading in while we hang around with Aja, getting her out for short walks to assist her recovery.  From this photo you can barely tell one leg is shaved.


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I'm going to have some offerings for Deb's Souper Sunday this week.





Using up the leftover Carnitas I made last week was easy with buns. We had pulled pork sandwiches, Carnitas style. Recipe here. I also prepared homemade mac and cheese. Extra sharp cheese, please.

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Also last week we tried a new (to us) Thai restaurant in north side Tallahassee. I can tell you we will be back. It was the best Pad Thai Doug ever had and my Chicken Noodle bowl was soupy and delicious.

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The portions are very generous

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Hoping we can eat there again soon and I’ll try and duplicate a few of their offerings.

Coming up I’d like to post some photos of our camping trip at St George Island state park. We had a good time and good food despite the electricity shutting the park down our first night and a campstove breaking. The weather was mostly good there were a few clear nights where the stars were absolutely gorgeous.

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Sunday, January 12, 2020

Cleaning out the fridge with leftovers makes for a good Chicken and Rice soup

It's been eventful around here with my retirement, Aja's  ligament tear and subsequent surgery, my abscessed tooth finally getting pulled (alas, no root canal) and cancelled camping trips.  Even the champagne we bought to celebrate had to wait until this week (more on that later.)

It's all quiet on this front now though and we are ready for some camping trips.  Hence cleaning out the fridge so can make use of leftovers and not return to anything suspect.


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I had a container of brothy short grain rice, a lonely few carrots and mushrooms, fresh corn and leftover roasted chicken.  Do we really need a recipe for this?  Nope!  Add seasoning and spices per taste.  I used salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano. 

Here's a bowl with cheddar cheese as a topping.

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Here is a bowl without.  Let me say we also used onions and fresh garlic.  It was quite good for two large lunches.

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Coming up I will shared that roasted chicken dinner which included roasted balsamic onions and some of my bookish goals for next year.  Here's a parting shot at the library loot I grabbed at the library yesterday.  It's also posted on Instagram.

The Fiona Barton novel is quite good so far and it will ride along to St George Island with us.

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Sharing with Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sunday.  
Check out her Seafood Stew Here.

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Panko Mushrooms

I know some of my blogging friends are not fans of the mushroom but we love ‘em. Hence I finally got around to making a recipe from Carole's Chatter, check out her version HERE. As soon as I saw these breaded mushrooms I knew one day I needed to try them.

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Success! As an appetizer they were excellent and we scarfed down the entire batch. Wish I’d made more. Next time I am taking Carole’s suggestion and adding a bit of cayenne pepper for a boost.

Here is a photo where I dipped it in blue cheese dressing as a dip. Honestly, if you like mushrooms you will love these bad boys. Thank you, Carole!

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Simply place Panko in a bowl, beat an egg with sour cream, salt and pepper in another bowl. Add any spice to boost it if you please.
Destalk white button mushrooms and rinse to clean. Pat dry. Dip in egg mixture then roll in Panko. Fry them up!

Make twice as many as you think you’d like to eat. Trust me.


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Saturday, January 04, 2020

The first 2020 edition of In My Kitchen

I haven't participated in the In Your Kitchen event for a few months.  So maybe this new year will get me motivated to do so more often.

My husband makes the best French toast!

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Our son Tristan gave me a beautiful cutting board for Christmas. It's already gotten a workout.

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This is a slow cooker recipe I have been wanting to try. Stay tuned for that one in January

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Potato soup with sausage. This isn't the best photo but you can see it simmering.

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Sharing with Sherry's In Your Kitchen event & Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking.

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Happy New Year! Let’s start with Jambalaya !

Happy New Year to all. We have certainly had a hectic end to 2019. There has been some good and bad. Actually the bad is more of an unfortunate circumstance because we will all recover from Aja’s torn cruciate ligament. Wallet included! Her surgery went well and her recovery is great for a 17 year old dog.



I haven’t made any resolutions this year, enjoying being newly retired and feeling like a bum with income. Doug heard that phrase recently from another retired guy....it fits the bill :-).
I have some reading goals, maybe try the family history research again and hoping we can travel more.

This year I’d like to hook up with more online cooking events so I’ll start by sharing a Jambalaya for I Heart Cooking Club. I saw a Jamie Oliver recipe for it and just adapted it to our tastes.


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This is a variation of a Jamie Oliver recipe I found online HERE.

My version is to cook sausage and  then set aside. Add chicken thighs and cook about 5 minutes each side, then remove. Now sauté onion, garlic, bell pepper until softened. Tip in a cup and a half of long grain rice and stir through. Add a little more than 3 cups of chicken broth and stir. Add a can of chopped tomatoes with the juice. Nestle the sausage and chicken into the rice mixture.

Cover your Dutch oven and simmer on a low heat, stirring occasionally so the rice doesn’t stick. After 15 minutes toss some cut okra in the pot. Oh, I also used oregano, 2 bay leaves, smoked paprika & Old Bay.

Sharing with I Heart Cooking Club And Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking event.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

A Portuguese Soup: Caldo Verde

I just happened to stop by Food ‘n Flix a few days ago to see which holiday movie they selected this year. It’s a version of Potluck, you may select your favorite and come up with a corresponding dish.

Personally I like the old staple of Its a Wonderful Life as well as Love, Actually and A Christmas Carol with Alistair Sims. We also watched a non traditional “Christmas “ movie Die Hard. Yippe Ki-Ya!

Over a year ago Debra at Eliot’s Eats hosted for Love, Actually and I participated with my favorite storyline, Jamie & Aurelia’s. Without looking at my offering then I laughed once I chose to make a Portuguese soup. Again. Ha!

This time it’s not a  Fish Chowder but a Portuguese classic called Caldo Verde, a pantry soup for hard times. I found the recipe at The Guardian in Nigel Slater’s column. Check out the article and recipe HERE. A British cook inspired a Portuguese Soup for a London based Christmas movie. Brilliant.


Photo credit as mine is awaiting final preparations & I wanted to link up early. More photos to be added later. Hot soup is perfect when you are dealing with dental Issues!

Basic  ingredients of chopped potatoes, garlic, kale (I’ll use spinach), broth, salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Since it’s a soup made in hard times the original uses water but broth makes it richer. Also a few chunks of sausage.


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Thursday, December 19, 2019

Simple Roasted Chicken.....so you can read or play with the dog while dinner cooks


This week has been a little different.  I've been having tooth pain and long story short is, I have an abscessed tooth.  With this being late in the month and Christmas coming up the dental practice will be closing up shop for a two week period.  So I need to hustle and try and get a root canal or decide to have the offending tooth pulled. Decisions....

This brings me to the reason we all need that easy meal prep so you get the big return on a great dinner with minimal effort. You can concentrate on other things, ideas or whatever you need.

I can never have enough chicken on the menu, so it seems. There is just so much you can do with a whole chicken and I chose to do the simplest thing - roast it surrounded by veggies.  Just rub it down with olive oil and salt and pepper it.  I also used roasted garlic powder.

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The reason I thought of a roasted chicken verses so many other quickie meals is I read about it in my last book. It was presented as an excellent homey dinner and I knew I wanted that comfort food as soon as possible.  This was from The Missing Years.
Obviously pick your own veggies & method.
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I’ve made soup with the remainder and that hits the spot for lunch on a cold day. It’s 33 degrees here as I type in north Florida. Next year we will be somewhere warmer ...I hope.

Lots of plans for upcoming the new year, hoping for travel, hook up with a few foodie events, reading challenges and getting fit.
Wishing you and yours a lovey holiday if I don’t manage to get back on line to post.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Baked Ziti

I've been inspired recently by Beth Fish Reads weekend cooking event when she made a simple baked Ziti.  It's been a while since I made that dish, pure comfort food, so it's been rectified.  Behold........easy, filling and the heck with calories!


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When our son lived at home I made a much bigger pan but as it's the two of us I found the smaller corning ware dish did the trick.  I don't have a true recipe but toss in some of our favorites such as extra mushrooms (I know not everyone likes mushrooms) and cottage cheese to make it creamier.


I like using the Tuttorosso brand tomatoes, either the crushed or the diced.  Crushed are my favorite.

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On this version I sauteed chopped onion and garlic in olive oil.  Then I added roughly 10 ounces of sliced mushrooms and one large chopped tomato.  Once everything is softened I tip in the 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes and let it simmer.

Boil Ziti then drain.  Alternate layers of sauce, ziti, spoons of cottage cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese. Top generously with mozzarella.  Bake and enjoy with garlic toast or homemade bread.  We had salad and a bottle of red.

It's usually cold this time of year but we haven't had many days under 50 degrees.  Still this was nice comfort food.

Sharing with Beth Fish Reads for the Weekend Cooking Series with all the foodie events.  

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Thanksgiving at Manatee Springs State Park

Last week we enjoyed Thanksgiving at Manatee Springs State Park.  It's been a long time since we camped there but it was so enjoyable that we will be going back again soon.  We'd forgotten the deer walk right up to your campsites.  

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We also saw a group of 11 manatees slowly moving down the river.  There is a long wooden bridge and dock that goes from the kayak and boat ramp on the spring to the river.  At the end of the dock you can view the river and luckily for us, there was a large group floating along.  The baby was sticking close by it's mother, there was also a large older one with propeller scars on it's flanks.  Do manatees have flanks?

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Lots of birds.
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Lots of good meals too.  For Thanksgiving day Doug grilled fillets and asparagus while I did the easy stuff like making stuffing and opening a can of cranberry sauce.  Long time past I had made fresh cranberries and carved little crowns out of oranges, placing the hot berries inside.  Pretty presentation.  But turns out we like the canned stuff better :-)

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Another night we had pecan crusted trout and I'll tell you, that was very good.  Light meal to prepare for feasting.

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The concession stand offered good BBQ so we treated ourselves to that for lunch one day.  You can sit and look at the spring while you eat.  Some folks were brave enough to go in the water (which is a steady 72 F) but we didn't swim this trip. 


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The concession stand is also the only place you can connect to WiFi so we'd walk down there twice a day to see if we had any texts. There wasn't any phone service but you could connect to the WiFi for a bit.  It was rather nice to be disconnected for the most part and we spent our time reading, enjoying walks and eating. 

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We had a fire every evening.  So nice.

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Sharing with Beth Fish Reads for the Weekend Cooking Series with all the foodie events.  

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Skink Soup
{ not the lizard!}

Somewhere I managed to pick up a head cold.  Yikes!  It's almost Thanksgiving and we have plans to travel so I need to heal and NOT be contagious pronto.  I am combating this with the best method I  know.  Stay warm, get rest and eat soup.

This lovely book called The Complete Irish Pub cookbook has many good recipes as well as photos of the Irish countryside.  It's fun just to look through and will make you wish for a trip to the Emerald Isles.


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 The photo in the book looks better than mine but it's taste that counts!

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 It's a quick soup to make if you have some chicken already cooked. We happened to have leftover rotisserie so I shredded two thighs for the soup. 


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Skink Soup

"Skink" is an old Irish Scots term meaning broth. This version, sometimes called Irish Chicken Soup, is made with diced chicken and colorful vegetables.

2 celery stalks, diced
4 small carrots, thinly sliced
1 small leek, halved lengthwise and sliced
3 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 cup cooked chicken
1/2 cup peas
4 small scallions, sliced
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup cream (I used 2% milk)
salt and pepper

Put celery, carrots and leeks in saucepan with stock, bay leaf and salt and pepper.  Cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes until veggies are tender.

Add chicken, peas and scallions.  Simmer about 8 minutes.
Remove pan from heat.  Lightly beat the egg yolk and cream together, stir into soup.

I can recommend this as a healthy, hearty soup for those who need a warm meal.  Serve with warm bread and that's a nice meal.

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Roasted chicken dinner and The Night of Bad Luck

Recently we purchased a new television.  We don't have cable feed but we still enjoy watching movies and documentaries checked out of th...