Monday, February 20, 2017

Dogs At Play

While Cindy now lives with us, she continues in her job as house/pet sitter and recently brought one of her charges over here to meet our pups.  He is a really big Golden Doodle named Barley and is roughly middle aged so still playful.

After a period of adjustment to the new dog, it was playtime and Pat’s dog, Frankie, who believes everything on the planet is a toy for him was soon on the attack, trying to jump up to Barley’s face and do what dogs usually do mouth-to-mouth, but he was just too short.

But Barley eventually laid down and all four of them engaged in serious play time – it was a little like watching Gulliver and the Lilliputins.

The funniest part of all, we didn’t get on camera, but it was the giant Barley standing over and behind Frankie and trying to hump him – a sure winner on America’s Funniest Home Videos.  They all loved the visit and I’m sure Barley will miss them and want to come back.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


2/17/17 Event Date

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Stromboli Numero Uno

Bev had bought some refrigerator pizza dough and suggested calzones for supper to which I counter-suggested Stromboli which I had been wanting to make – basically the same thing in a different shape.  Bev had frozen some homemade meatballs so we opted to use them along with some pepperoni, onions, peppers, tomato sauce, and fresh mozzarella.  Here it is before baking and before braiding the top.

And hear it is from the oven.

It was very good, but I knew there was a problem when I heard Bev laughing in the kitchen when she removed it from the oven.

Here are the lessons learned for this first try.

1. For your first attempt, just fold one half over the other rather than do the braid
2. Either don’t over-stuff or roll the dough bigger
3. Be sure the braids are well stuck together – maybe an egg wash vs. just water
4. And if you do the braid, be sure to cut the same number on each side - duh.

Or just believe you’ve created a new kind of Italian dish and blog about it to be sure you can make it again.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


2/7/17 Meal Date

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Pizza Sandwich Ala Mom

When I was a kid, my mom made these sandwiches for us at lunch (we came home from the neighborhood school for lunch) and they were always a hit.  After I made them for Bev and me several years ago, she also became a fan.

Since we had some ham, bread, and tomatoes needing to be used, this was a good excuse to make another round.  The ingredients for each of these sandwiches was:

One slice of sour dough bread from a round loaf
One 1/4” slice of Kentucky Legend Ham 
Shredded cheese of your choice (or slices)
Sliced Roma tomatoes
Diced onion
Italian spices (mom used just oregano)

1. Nuke the ham slice to warm it a little then build the sandwich – bread, ham, cheese, tomato, onion, seasonings.  
2. Bake in the toaster oven at 350 for about 10 minutes or until cheese begins to melt, then run it trough one toast cycle to finish cooking.

Note:  The stacking order is important to ensure the onions and tomatoes cook some.  If you want the cheese on top, just wait and add it after the toast cycle then broil it until melted.

The sandwiches were delicious and, of course, would be even better with tomatoes right off the vine.  My next one will have a couple of ever easy eggs on top.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


2/5/17 Meal Date

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Ham and Potato Soup

We had some ham in the fridge that needed to be used and, again, opted for ham and potato soup using the recipe from Allrecipes.  The first time we made it, I didn’t think it had enough goodies, so we added more ham and potatoes this time.

Ham and potato Soup – Adapted from Allrecipes

7 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
2 cup diced cooked ham (Kentucky Legend)
2 1/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk

1. Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.
2. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. 

Serve immediately topped with your favorite garnish.

We all thought this was a very good version of a pretty basic and easy soup.  

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


2/2/17 Meal Date

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Grilled Steak & Veggies

I once again completed the never ending re-organization of the freezer the other day and came across a couple of nice beef filets that were dying to be grilled and Bev wanted one of her favorites – grilled veggies.  We didn’t have room in the grill pan for everything so the potatoes just went on the grill grates.

The steaks got a nice coating of Montreal Steak Seasoning, the potatoes were tossed with oil and dusted with Cajun Seasoning, and the remaining veggies were tossed with Good Seasons Italian Dressing.  I'd tell you more about the Cajun Seasoning but it was the secret recipe from Angelle's Ice Cream Shoppe & Grille in Breaux Bridge, LA and while they sold it, their labels had not yet arrived - so I don't know it's name nor ingredients, but it has a kick.

Here is the platter after arriving in the kitchen and Bev's plate - I like my steak more rare but this was perfect for her.

Cindy is not a cook and not used to eating like we do, so after trying the veggies, she said OMG several times.  She doesn’t eat much red meat but said the steak was delicious as well.  We all thought it was very good and Bev got her grilled veggie fix - hard to beat good ole basic grilled fare, especially when you have a 60 degree January day to cook it.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


1/31/17 Meal Date

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Family Is Complete Again

After the loss of Coco back in November, I really wanted to be dog-less for awhile but Bev was having none of it and she spent a large part of each day online looking at dogs.  As I reported earlier, we got Romeo in December via someone who had found a stray and I hoped this would satisfy Bev but he did not seem to meet all of her needs and the search continued.

Last week on Craigslist she found a dog that needed a home as the owners could not take it into a new rental home and she fell in love with the picture and told the owners that he was just what she was looking for.  We got Teddy on Jan 22 and he is a mix of Maltese and something that could be poodle and he looks like a smaller, brown version of Bodie
(Madison’s dog who lived with us).

He got his first grooming and cleaned up great.  He is friendly, loving, and gets along well with Romeo and Frankie (Pat’s dog).  So I think the family is now complete and we’ll be about helping them settle in and learn how to live out here in the country.  Here are a few more shots of the three of them playing.

One of Bev's justifications for a second dog was so that Romeo would have a playmate and boy was she successful - Teddy is about all the other two can handle.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Chicken Pot Pie

Bev had a whole chicken and some refrigerator pie crust that she wanted to use and I’d just seen pictures of a delicious looking version from a blogger buddy, so we opted for pot pie.  While it is usually made with leftover poultry, we decided there was no reason not to start with raw chicken and I found a recipe from Taste of Home that would give use the proportions we needed and included potatoes.  Bev usually makes pot pie without a recipe and it is sometimes too runny or too dry, so I was hopeful a recipe would help with that and we’ve always like recipes from Taste Of Home.

Since the recipe called for three cups of chicken broth and I wanted all of the chicken flavor to end up in the pot pie, I cut up the bird, and added it to a pot along with three cups of water and some S&P– this was in lieu of roasting the chicken and then using a separate broth.