Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sprouts, Taters, & Steak

Bev had some Brussels sprouts that she wanted to grill along with some par boiled potatoes and we opted to side them with a piece of beef.  While we have a couple of pans for grilling smaller food pieces, they were not quite large enough for this as I wanted them in a single layer.  So I went looking through our collection of flat pans and discovered a pizza pan that we only used a time or two and should have been trashed.  The reason we rarely used it was because it was full of holes and very difficult to slide off a pizza.

However, it worked great for this application and has now been repurposed as a grill pan and being aluminum, it distributes the heat pretty well and the oil dripping trough the holes created some nice flavor enhancing flare-ups – here it is in action.

We also grilled up a piece of beef steak that had been marinating in The Best Steak Marinade In Existence most of the day.

These two components made up our entire dinner and with protein, starch, and green vegetable, it was pretty well balanced.  We have realized lately that rather than having several dishes, we like to have just one or two we really want then we fill up of them – we had nothing but chicken wings one night and only salmon for another meal.

And while the food was good, this post is not about food but rather about finding a new role for an unused kitchen device – perhaps you also have a couple of these around and I have to believe this isn’t our only one.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

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


5/17/18 Meal Date

Thursday, May 17, 2018

It’s Grilling Season – Brat’s

Let me begin by saying that my grilling season is 365 days long and while my blog may make it sound like I plan all of the meals and do all of the cooking, this is definitely not the case – I am the full time kitchen cleaner though.  Bev had purchased several sweet peppers that she decided we needed to use and her favorite use for them is brats.  She went freezer diving and came back with a package of four Jalapeno Cheddar Brats from Yoder Meats in Shipshewana, IN that we had picked up during the Thor Rally last October.  We really enjoyed Yoder's and their large selection - 12 brat flavors - so we loaded up the RV freezer before heading home.

Since I do most of the grilling and Bev worked out in her flowers much of the day I was the cook for this meal.  I cooked the brats in water with onion and some white wine – boxed Chablis – until they were done then headed for the grill.  I cooked the brats to get a crust on them and used the side burner to sauté the peppers and onion to get some caramelization and keep them slightly crisp – so high heat and frequent tossing – I love that I learned how to do that.

I plated mine on a slice of French bread to get this.

They were delicious with just the right amount of heat.  Grilled good brats with peppers and onions is just plain hard to beat and we have this way more often than I post about.  Want an easy week night meal that doesn’t heat up the kitchen, this is it or if you live in the Denver area and need an excuse to brush the snow off the grill in January for a quick grilled meal, this is it.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

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


5/14/18 Meal Date

Monday, May 14, 2018

Mother’s Day At Almost Heaven South

We had a little MD get together at our place that included our newest mother Wende, her daughter Eliza, her friend Ralph, SIL Pat, Bev, and me as chief cook and bottle washer for the day.  Wende and Bev both thought that grilled shrimp should be the meal for the day and I added some par-boiled and smashed potatoes, and some fresh picked asparagus that the neighbors had given us the previous day.  And since we didn’t have enough shrimp to go around, I added a piece of Swordfish that we had bought fresh from Skip One Seafood’s in Fort Myers during our winter trip.  We considered having a salad but decided we had plenty to eat without it or dessert.

First, I got everything ready throughout the day as follows:

Shrimp – We had thirty Royal Red Shrimp that we bought from Joe Patti’s Seafood during our winter trip.  Look at that tuna and swordfish in the bottom pic.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Parmesan Fish Ala Pam

When I saw Pam’s post and recipe for Parmesan Halibut on her For The Love Of Cooking blog, I knew it had to be tried but with the grouper I had in the freezer, rather than halibut.  However, when we went to get it out all we could find was red snapper but I thought Pam’s recipe would work with any white fish.

Here's a finished shot of Pam's Halibut but please visit her site for more how-to pics.  

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Thai Beef With Peppers

Bev saw The Pioneer Woman make this dish on TV and really wanted to try it so we bought the steak, fresh ginger, and some Thai Stir Fry Rice Noodles – we had everything else on hand.  Bev was tired from a day in her flower bed so I made the dish by Ree's recipe.  This is a shot of her dish from the web.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Chicken & Andouille Spanish Rice Soup

When I saw this recipe from Kelly on her Wildflour Kitchen blog, I knew I wanted to try it and Monday’s all day rain seemed like an ideal soup day.  I adjusted the recipe for our taste and to use on-hand ingredients as neither of us wanted to make a trip to the store.  Please check out Kelly’s blog for the original recipe and plenty of pics I borrowed this first one from her blog.

Chicken & Andouille Spanish Rice Soup Adapted from Wildflour Kitchen

4 Tbl. real butter
6 oz carrots, ½“ dice
1 large rib celery, sliced
1 medium-large onion, chopped
2 roasted red peppers from jar, medium dice
3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, ¾“ dice
12 oz andouille, sliced - we used Usinger’s 
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. coarse ground black pepper
3-4 large cloves garlic, finely minced
5 cups chicken broth, homemade
20 oz Rotel Original with liquid
1 Tbl. Chicken base
1 large bay leaf
1 (6.9 oz.) box Zatarain's® Spanish Rice mix
3 Tbl. cornstarch mixed with 3 Tbl. cold water

1. In stock pot, add butter and melt over medium/medium-low heat. Stir in celery, onions, peppers, chicken, sausage, chili powder and pepper. Sauté, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes. *Add minced garlic during last 5 minutes.
2. Add rest of ingredients except rice and seasoning packet (and cornstarch/cold water), bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
3. Add rice and seasoning packet, stir well, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 25 minutes until rice is tender. Remove lid and stir, keep at a simmer over low heat.
4. In mug, add cornstarch. Add cold water and stir until well mixed. While soup is still simmering, add slurry mixture. Stir in well and let thicken for one minute. Remove pot of soup from heat, and let rest for at least 15 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally.
5. Stir, ladle into bowls, and serve piping hot.  

My Bowl not such a good shot.

We thought it was very good and just the right spice for me but a little too hot for Pat and Bev.  I left out the Slap Ya Mama and chipotle powder but the Rotel made up for it heat wise.  Next time, I’ll use the recipe as written and see which we prefer.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

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


4/23/18 Meal Date

Friday, April 27, 2018

Tennessee Travelers Rally – Hiawassee, GA – Part 3

The original Thursday plan was to go to Bell Mountain and Brasstown Bald (BB) but since we were passing near the bald on the way back from Helen on Wednesday, we decided to stop on the pretty day.  BB is part of the Chattahoochee National Forest and we therefore got in for free with our Senior Passes – one of the very few good things about being old.  

The road up the bald rises 2700 feet from the valley floor to an elevation of 4783 feet making it the highest point in Georgia – the road is pretty steep and curvy but easily doable in a car.  The first stop is at the parking lot from which a shuttle takes you up to the top where there is an exhibit hall, a theater, and 360 degree viewing platform – it is uniquely built from wood rather than the normal stone in most Federal Park structures.  Shots from the parking lot.