Provencal Vegetable Soup
{Stolen from Deb 😊 }

Hot or cold weather makes little difference when we want soup.  It makes a good lunch. This is a vegetarian version with lots of lentils that I will certainly make again.

The inspiration for this version comes from Deb's version  of Eric Ripert's Provencal Vegetable soup. She referred to it as summer in a bowl. So true! Check out her version HERE.


Here's a closeup of the gorgeous fresh vegetables. Easy to make and stores well.


Provencal Vegetable Soup

1 can of lentils (I used the Goya brand)
3 cups of vegetable broth (I used Swanson's brand)
2 chopped tomatoes
5 garlic cloves chopped
a little bit of olive oil
1 small sliced carrot
1 large onion, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
2 large handfuls of green beans, ends snipped and then cut into small pieces
2 ears of fresh corn, off the cob of course
A pinch of thyme, 1 bay leaf, salt and pepper

Basically I sliced up all the veggies and sauteed in olive oil. Then I added the broth and a can of lentils.  Mixed it well, but gently, then added the herbs and salt and pepper.  It's even better the second day after it's sat and marinated all night in the fridge.
Great served with a fresh baguette. 

 Linking up with Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for the Souper Sunday event. Check out her version of Giada's Italian Vichyssoise HERE.  Also linking with I Heart Cooking club.

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Books, movies, music and Souper Sunday offerings

This is a catch-up post as I had been offline recently.  I may take my cue from another blogger who used to post only on Thursdays.  That may be something I can manage, a once or maybe twice a week thing. We'll see.

We've been Reading
Women of the Dunes by Sarah Maine (loved it)
Past Tense by Lee Child (looking forward to more!)
Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl
Force of Nature by Jane Harper (I liked The Dry, the first book, this is also good)

Doug has recently finished all three of the Cormoron Strike series (The Cuckoo's Calling, The Silkworm and Career of Evil) and we are both looking forward to the 4th novel in the series, Lethal White. That comes out in September!

womenDunesPastTenseforcerobert galbraith

Seven Days in Entebbe
Season three of Seinfeld
The Commuter

Well, Gringo wasn't what I thought from the previews and not as funny, although it did have it's moments.  The Commuter was not exciting so, I can't recommend it.  Seinfeld is hilarious and it's about nothing, but there are some memorable moments in this series. Seven Days in Entebbe was inspired by the 1976 hijacking of an Air France flight.  I wanted to see it because of the rescue and it was ok.  I like Rosamunde Pike and she  had a starring role.  Nothing exciting on the movie front these days. Awaiting Mission Impossible and Cormoron Strike to come out on DVD.

Souper Sunday: When Doug travels I usually eat lunch in my office and read. This isn't the best photo and I wish I'd taken a snap prior to mixing it all up so you could see the yummy bits.  We have butter lettuce, fresh tomatoes, red onion, cucumbers, hard boiled egg, blue cheese crumbles, turkey and guacamole.  It's a hearty enough lunch and I can sit and read on my Kindle instead of fielding questions about why I'm eating alone in the break room. 

I'm fortunate enough to work in the same agency as my husband so we ride in, walk and eat lunch together.  If one of us is absent for any reason we always get questions.  Hard to read that way!

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Nothing else much is new.  I am still feeding the foxes but cutting back on the number of days.  We are enjoying the Mustang and hope to get a trip toward the shore this weekend, eat some seafood.  I have rediscovered my love of BBQ so we've been indulging in that for  take-away instead of pizza some nights. 
Sitting in the den with a cocktail or glass of wine is relaxing and we do that roughly 4 nights a week.  Aja loves getting treats and we have gotten some good Blues CDs recently,  Buddy Guy and Eric Clapton have been getting some play lately.

That's it for now!

Linking up with Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for the Souper Sunday event. Check out her Red Curry vegetable and Cauliflower Rice Soup HERE.

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Hybrid Corn, Tomato Seafood Chowder


I tried to copy the corn and tomato chowder recipe Deb had on her blog as it's an absolute masterpiece.  Check it out, click on the link above, and marvel at presentation at Kahakai Kitchen.

She’s evidently the sorceress of soups because her presentation and mine are worlds apart. I know some things I ought to have done differently but hey, trying new techniques is always a learning experience.  Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it does not.  As long as you learn something.

Right.  Did you look at her bowl of soup?  This is what happened to me, looks more like a hilarious Nailed It  meme.  Ha!


I should have used more corn, less broth and had fresh basil on hand.  Also, I opted to use my immersion blender instead of the food processor to blend part of the soup.  The food processor would have been the better choice.

It was good, taste wise, so no problems there.  I think a bit of cream or milk would have helped too. Fortunately there was a solution to "fix" this soup.

Before I get to the modified results let me take a detour and share a grilled pompano dinner with fresh slow roasted tomatoes and garlic.  Pretty photo - we have grilled pompano, baked sweet potatoes, green beans, freshly baked baguette and Chardonnay.  The tomatoes were a gift from our friend and co-worker Beth.  She had so many tomatoes from one of those all-you-can-pick farms.  Thanks for sharing!  We used them in the soup as well as slow roasted a few.

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Now we circle back to a leftover fish chowder and how the corn and tomato soup will merge.  When Doug grills we will on occasion have some leftover fish.  I save it, freeze it, until I have enough for chowder.  Since I have posted about fish chowder before HERE I wasn't going to link up again with the same-old-same-old.

But!  Since our corn and tomato soup needed a bump, we decided to combine the two soups.  It worked out very well.  I still had a bit of baguette left so we just packed that with the two versions of soup for our lunch.



This is a hybrid Corn, Tomato Seafood Chowder.  The fish used are Mahi Mahi, Snapper and Pompano.


Fun experimentation in the kitchen can yield new recipes. I'll save this combo for the future.

 Linking up with Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series and Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for the Souper Sunday event. Check out her Provencal Vegetable Soup HERE.

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Greek Chicken and Chickpea Salad

This recipe came from a book I checked out about Power Bowls.  The combo of these ingredients called out as something nice and cool to have during the steamy summer months.  It's actually meant to be combined together, without a carb, but I kept the salad separate from the chicken.  And I served with rice and homemade bread so.......I broke the carb rule straight away.  That was for a dinner.

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The pitch for this salad/power bowl is to help build and repair muscles after a workout.  It's (evidently) rich in amino acids and has fresh nutrient rich vegetables,

That's all well and good but while I'm not a couch potato, I am not a gym rat either.  Something decidedly in between with a penchant to cook and create.

I was going to say the heaviest thing I lift is a book but that's not true.  Aja weighs in around 34 pounds and she needs to be carried out to our field in the mornings so she can do her business.  A Shiba Inu is repelled by the wet grass, as magnets with like poles trying to connect.  Doug and I take turns each morning before we get our walk in. This goes on all summer. C'mon cooler temps!


Anyway, I used extra tomato and feta and just about the entire can of chickpeas.  For lunch the next day we both mixed all the ingredients up as the power bowl idea, except we mixed in the rice too.  Great lunch.  This is fairly quick and easy, transports well if you keep the dressing separate.

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Greek Chicken and Chickpea Power Bowl

For the dressing:
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
pinch of oregano
salt and pepper

For the salad
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1/2 cup diced tomato
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup diced red onions
1/2 cup cooked and shredded rotisserie chicken breast
1/4 cup diced olives
1/2 cup chickpeas
2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese

1. Combine all ingredients for the dressing, whisk and set aside.
2. Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl, mix.
3. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes

 Linking up with Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series  and Deb for the Souper Sunday event at her place.  Check out her Corn and Tomato  Soup with Basil  HERE.  Join in at Kahakai Kitchen!

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St Mark's National Wildlife Refuge

St Mark's National Wildlife Refuge was last weekend's outing. We like walking around and looking at the birds and alligators. We have put it on the calendar to go back in October when it's cooler as the temperatures were extremely high.  It's no fun to walk around in scorching heat but I was determined to get some bird photos.


I like this photo warning you about gators as a dragonfly landed right as I was getting the photo.  See it to the upper left?


A small alligator sunning on a rock.  We saw a few in the water but just as I tried to get a photo they'd duck the heads underneath.




 Lining up looking for fish.  There was a gorgeous red winged blackbird on the way towards the parking area but I wasn't fast enough to get the shot.  Wish I had seen more of that variety.  Hoping to see lots of ducks and more birds out when we return in late Autumn.


 I had to sneak up on this guy. Each time he saw me he'd fly away across to the other beach area.


Hard to see this bird near the water.


We covered up and used sun screen.  It was in the mid 90's and very humid, strong sun.

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Lily pads, flowers and deep blue waters.  Probably a gator hiding in there as we heard one making noise in that area.  Sounds like a big bull frog.



It started clouding up, still hot, but we were going to get caught in rain so Doug put the top up. It was nice to get back to A/C anyway.

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It's still too hot to eat outside on the porch - looking forward to that weather in a few months.  So we had dinner inside again.  A cool low cal dinner too.  I tried a new recipe for a Greek Chicken and Chickpea salad.  It was supposed to be a Power Bowl and combine all the ingredients but, as usual, I changed things and deconstructed it.  I'll be posting about that in a few days.

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That's it for now.  Happy Wednesday!

Tropical Trader and Mashes Sands #SouperSunday

Last weekend we drove down Highway 98 toward Tropical Trader located in Panacea Florida. We had been there back in March but on the Harley. This time we had the convertible and glad we were of it when the unexpected rain started pounded down. The forecast did not call for rain. Ha.

Last time we both tried grilled grouper sandwiches but this time I tried the shrimp tacos. Wow, they are very filling and I would certainly get them again.  The standard order includes two tacos but you could order a third taco for a small price.  Two was plenty for me.  Served with Greek potatoes.


Doug had the shrimp and grits and I may try that next time. Popcorn shrimp, bacon, andouille sausage sauteed in green chili pepper sauce, served over cheese grits.


After lunch we drove to Mashes Sands beach, a very short drive from the restaurant.  It has changed so much since we were there about 36 years ago.  Back then it was so deserted and we went to look at the water.  But now....they actually charge to go toward the boat ramp and shore line.  It's not a great beach as St George Island is but the view was decent.  Packed with people too.


The storm clouds were swirling so I couldn't resist a few photos of those.



Looking forward to more coastal drives soon. And with retirement looming in the many long distance trips to plan. Ah, anticipation.

Doug Mashes Sand

 Linking up with Deb for the Souper Sunday event at her place since tacos are a sort of sandwich, right? Check out her Cold Tomato Cucumber Soup HERE.  A cooling soup at Kahakai Kitchen!

Linguine Pompeii inspired from a menu description

Linguine Pompeii is a dish I had been meaning to try for a while.  I didn't have a recipe, I saw it on the menu at Tour of Italy restaurant in Tallahassee.  When I go in and wait on a take-away pizza for our movie night I usually look over the menu.


This is a blurry photo (sorry) but you can see the ingredients listed.  This was my inspiration.  Without knowing measurements or quantities I just winged it last night.


I chopped up about 8 ounces of fresh spinach, 8 cloves of garlic, 3 fat Roma Tomatoes and 4 tablespoons butter. A squirt of olive oil too.


Saute in a pan, add chopped marinated artichokes and roughly 1/2 cup of white wine.  I also tossed in a bit of salt, oregano and basil.  Oh my - the aroma was heavenly.  Is there anything like garlic cooking to get your whet your appetite?


We had thin spaghetti rather than linguine and once this sauce was tossed on, it was marvelous.  Oh, I also put in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.  That was good.


We have decided this can make a regular appearance on the meal rotations but I don't want to make it too much, don't want to get tired of it.  I have no idea how this is served at the restaurant but this version has made it on our favorites list.

Served with homemade French bread and a cold Chardonnay - it hit the spot in this hot weather.  Easy and I'd say fairly inexpensive.

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


A Blue Beauty

Well, news from this front is that we bought a fun car! We had such a great time when we rented a convertible in June for our anniversary that Doug sold his Harley and purchased this blue beauty.

About two weeks ago on a Saturday we drove up to Valdosta Georgia and brought it home. It's been great for evening rides, riding in to work and we have some of the same excursions planned that we did with the Harley.

Doesn't he look happy?  We are both happy.
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It's caused me to buy more hats than I need.  This snap is taken at home in our field.


We had many years of fun rides but this has it's benefits for sure.  Such as when it rained, he stopped and put the top up. When the temperatures and heat index are killer we have the benefit of A/C.  We both this car.

Lots of excursions and exploration planned. We hope to get back to Tropical Trader for shrimp and head toward the Gulf, also go to Dothan one weekend and Eufaula Alabama.  Lots of planning!


Provencal Vegetable Soup <br> {Stolen from Deb 😊 } </br>

Hot or cold weather makes little difference when we want soup.  It makes a good lunch. This is a vegetarian version with lots of lentils tha...