Taking a short break thanks to influenza

I had my tea brack post scheduled for yesterday to participate in Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking event. We went camping earlier in the week and I had that post scheduled and plans to share camping photos.

Then I got sick, thought it was a cold. Great way to end a camping trip, right? Once home things continued to decline and I actually passed out. Scary stuff, so we went to the hospital yesterday and after a variety of scans and tests, I was diagnosed with influenza A.

Now Doug has picked up a bad cold so we are a real pair, hacking and listless. I hope he doesn’t get my flu on top of all that, it’s wicked.

So we are in self imposed quarantine as I’m contagious and who knows if my poor husband has been infected. Meh.

See you later. I’ll answer any emails later on.


Tea Brack from The Pie Patch

I'm sharing something delicious from The Pie Patch - thank you Lucy!  When I saw this Tea Brack on Lucy's Instagram site I thought I may want to try it.  She kindly sent me the recipe and it was a big success.  To be honest, I never heard of Tea Brack before but once I Googled a few recipes I found some good ideas.

This was a treat to have with coffee in the afternoons or when I got to work in the morning.  Smear with butter - so good.


This is a copy of the book page, complete with recipe, and I plan to make this again soon.


I also found a good recipe on King Arthur's website with suggestions for using different dried fruits.
Simply brew some tea and let dried fruits soak in the tea overnight.  Next morning add the flour, sugar and egg then bake in a loaf pan.

There will be more tea breads posted in the future with different combos of fruit.  One person suggested substituting 2 tablespoons of tea with rum or whiskey.  So many possibilities.
Much thanks to Lucy for sharing her recipe and sending me in search of other combos.

Sharing with Joy's Book Blog for her British Isles Friday event. and Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series.


Grilled Potato Salad, inspired from Zoe's Kitchen

I try some copycat recipes sometimes and this one is inspired from Zoe's Kitchen.  Potato salad can make a nice side dish but I don't like the ones that have too much mayonnaise.  I saw this grilled version on the menu and thought I had to try it.


Looking and tasting the version I was served at Zoe's resulted in a fairly good version, but not an identical knockoff.  I sauteed onions and garlic then added cubed cooked Yukon Gold potatoes.  A little bit of salt, pepper and rosemary mixed in gently.  Then I tossed in 2 fat tablespoons of butter.

We served this hot potato salad with Bacon Wrapped Peach Chicken and I ought to have placed the meat on top of the potatoes, as it was served at Zoe's.  It may have made a difference if it were boneless chicken but still....a nice accompaniment.   Next time I need to add green onions, that would be pretty and I love the taste of those onions.


As I have been doing a few copycat recipes over the years I am thinking of making a tab at the top dedicated to those recipes. 

Linking up with Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sunday this week.  Check out her yummy Chickpea and Pasta soup post HERE.

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January Update
{watching, reading, creating and listenng}

📢     My first update post for 2019.   📣

This year I set some goals to get back to my monthly update, participate more frequently with Souper Sunday and Wordless Wednesday.  So far I am doing well, such as it is in the new year when I stay on top of things.  It's chilly here for Florida with freezing temperatures plaguing us right now.  So much for eating outside again for awhile.  Considering what others are dealing with this winter I'm not complaining.  Our son woke up to minus 14 one morning! Yikes.

A Simple Favor with Blake Lively (eh, it was ok)
The House with a Clock in the Wall (it wasn't good)
Alpha (we liked it - completely subtitled)
The Magnificent Seven - the original version with Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen.

We also are enjoying one of the Great Courses lecture series about Hubble. Dr. David Meyer is the presenter and he does a wonderful job explaining in plain terms.  Dr. Meyer is a professor of physics and astronomy at Northwestern University and we are very much enjoying his lectures.  This one has two disks and 12 lectures. Over the last 25+ years my amateur astronomer husband has talked about some of the astronomical wonders presented in this series.  It's quite cool to see the images and explanations in this series.

This has been so informative and enjoyable that I hope to find more of these lecture series DVDs at our library.  Check out the Great Courses HERE.


The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
Scrublands by Chris Hammer
Into the Night by Sarah Bailey (book 2 in the DS Gemma Woodstock series)
The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian
Almost finished with Turbulance by David Szalay.


February Plans: We have a camping trip planned in Fargo, Georgia. It's a designated dark sky sight so Doug will bring a telescope and/or night vision. Hoping it's clear as we've had so much rain. It certainly would be nice to see some clear skies and stars!

Creating/ Still crocheting, working on a blanket for my granddaughter who will turn 5 in February. I've been using the Bella Coco crochet videos when I need help with directions.

Listening and Sipping/ We procured an orphan barrel bourbon called Rheteric.  Also found the lately scarce bourbon Blanton's and are well pleased with that. Musical choices have ranged from The Earls of Leicester and Alison Krauss, David Gilmore, B.B. King and Eric Clapton.

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

Arroz Con Pollo in the Instant Pot
{a Martha Stewart recipe}

Can you go wrong with The Martha? I just don’t think you can. Her recipes are tested and always come out the way you would expect.

This version of her Arroz con Pollo was prepared in the Instant Pot. I have made Martha’s version of Arroz con Pollo from her book One Pot and it came out well. This is even better cooked in the Instant Pot seems to tenderize the chicken.


This is another one I will link to the Instant Pot tab above.  For the record, I haven't prepared any of the Instant Pot meals.  Much thanks to my husband for being the chef!

Martha Stewart's Arroz Con Pollo
Instant Pot recipe

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks and thighs
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons turmeric
Coarse salt
3 cups water
1 ¼ cups long grain rice
¼ cup pitted olives (we like more than ¼ cup)


Heat oil in Instant Pot, set to sauté. Add chicken skin side down and cook until golden brown, flipping halfway through. About 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.

Add onion, green and red bell peppers and garlic to the cooker. Cook, stirring until softened, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add turmeric and 1 ½ teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring, then add chicken to cooker along with any accumulated juice. Turn to coat vegetables. Stir in water and bring to a boil. Stir in rice and olives. We added extra olives, love ‘em.

Manually set cooker to 12 minutes, let come to pressure. Once time is complete quickly release pressure and remove lid. If rice isn’t fully tender, close lid, let rice continue to steam for 5 to 10 minutes.

We were fortunate enough to dine outdoors, something you can't count on too much in winter, therefore the photos are a bit dim.  We had Maduras (plantains), salad and a plate of tomatoes and avocado.  A cold Chardonnay went a treat with this meal.


Giada's Corn Soup

I don't know about anyone else but I am continually clipping or copying new recipes I want to try.  Unfortunately that leads to an overstuffed file folder with all sorts of recipes, just waiting to get on the kitchen agenda.

To clean up my messy cookbook shelf/folders I decided I would pick one each week.  Sometimes I thumb through them and wonder why I would even want to try it.  Those get tossed.

This week I thought I would try Giada's Corn Soup.  Way back in July of last year Deb at Kahakai Kitchen made her version of this soup.  Here post may be found HERE.


This was good but I doubt I will keep the recipe.  Maybe it was timing - we had just driven back from Quincy, after some shopping, and realized we were ravenous the closer we got to home.  Nothing else was available for a quick lunch and we didn't want to avail ourselves of our only choice, the truck stop Denny's restaurant. (Not that I don't enjoy a Grand Slam now and then!)

Giada's recipe may be found on Food Network HERE.  It's basic enough so I can wing it here.

Chop a small onion or two little shallots.  Mince two garlic cloves.  Toss in a pan with a dollop of olive oil. Slice fresh corn off the cob.  Once the onions are soft add the corn.
Add salt and pepper to taste.  I also added smoked paprika and some red pepper flakes.
Add 3 cups chicken broth and let it come to a boil.  Simmer now for about 15 minutes.

When it's done add chunked pieces of tomato.  I did not have any fresh basil to place on top, make it pretty.  We had this as a quick toss together lunch with fresh bread.

Linking up with Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sunday/  Check out her Creamy Tomato and Gnoccki Soup.  Also linking with I Heart Cooking Club for Potluck.

Taking a short break thanks to influenza

I had my tea brack post scheduled for yesterday to participate in Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking event. We went camping earlier in the week...