Sunday, January 14, 2018

Chicken Soup From Dog Food

I’ll bet this title got your attention but it’s not as bad ad it sounds.  Bev makes food for our four legged children and this time by cooking chicken, carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach in water – sometimes she roasts them.  While different than the usual, chicken and veggies cooked in water is how stock is made so we decided to give this broth a try as soup even though it was a little sweet.  The recipe we decided to use was Steph’s recently posted Crack Chicken Noodle Soup from her Plain Chicken Blog – check it out for some great pics.

For the soup, we cooked a couple more large breasts in the broth to get the cooked chicken we needed then adjusted her recipe for our eight cups of broth (hers is for 6 cups).

Chicken Noodle Soup - Adapted from Plain Chicken

4 cups chopped cooked chicken
10.75-oz can condensed cheese soup
8 cups chicken broth
1¼ cup milk
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, thinly sliced
1 oz Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
2.8 oz package Hormel Real Bacon Bits (or your favorite)
1¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
12-oz dried fine egg noodles, uncooked (we broke angel hair into 1½“ pieces)
Couple handfuls of frozen peas – we think they belong in chicken noodle soup

1. In a large pot, combine cooked chicken, cheese soup, chicken broth, milk, chopped celery, sliced carrots, Ranch Dressing Mix and Bacon Bits.
2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until vegetables are soft.
3. Stir in dried noodles, peas, and shredded cheddar cheese. Cook until noodles are soft.

Despite the slightly off color (due to the spinach) and the sweetness, I thought it was very good and would make it again.  Thanks Steph.

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.


1/13/18 Meal Date

Monday, January 8, 2018

Low Country Boil For Eight

I’ve posted about Low Country Boil (Frogmore Stew) before but it has always been cooked outside in a giant pot and dumped on a paper covered table for eating but this time, at 20F outside, it was all done inside.  Mostly I’m posting this to document this recipe for one of our favorite meals.  We were originally planning for 10 diners but ended up with six, so the food I had was too much and the numbers in ( ) are what I would cook for eight.

8 quarts water
½ cup Zatarain’s Pro Boil (or your favorite shrimp flavoring)
3 lb small potatoes (2 lb. enough for non-big eaters)
36 oz Kielbasa, cut into 1½ inch pieces (24 oz enough for non-big eaters)
8 ears corn - husked, cleaned and halved
3 pounds large shrimp

Bring water and seasoning to boil in a large stockpot.  Add potatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add sausage and cook for 10 minutes more. Add corn and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off heat, stir in the shrimp, and cover pot until shrimp are pink, 3-4 minutes. Drain immediately and serve.

Rather than dump on paper and eat without plates, we poured it onto a serving tray that we could slide up and down the table for serving then ate from paper plates so very little clean up needed for this one pot meal.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Oh-My, Grits Breakfasts

Breakfast 1
If you enjoy grits but have never had the real deal, stone ground, whole kernel variety, you are missing out on a real treat.  We have a few bags of them in the freezer (these came from White's Mill in Abington, VA) but rarely make them due to the 60-90 minutes of near constant stirring required to cook them properly.  Bev said she wanted some and suggested the crock pot so I went online and surprisingly found this recipe that cooks them all night to be hot and ready by breakfast time.

Crock Pot Grits from Spicy Southern Kitchen 

1½ cups stone ground grits
6 cups water
1½ -2 teaspoons salt (2 t. of Kosher salt made ours a little too salty)
4-6 tablespoons butter, cut into 1 tablespoon-sized pieces
½ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Lightly spray inside of a 6-quart crock pot with cooking spray.*
2. Stir together grits, salt and water in the crock pot. Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours.
3. Remove lid. Scatter butter on top. Use a whisk to stir the grits until they are an even consistency and the butter has melted.
4. Sprinkle cheese on top and add pepper to taste.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2017 Florida RV Trip, Days 34-35, The Trip Home & Wrap-Up

Our original plan was to start home on Jan 3, but after two days of cold and rainy with more to come and nothing else we really wanted to do, see, or eat, we decided that rather than hang around waiting to go home, we’d just hit the road. 

So we pulled out around 10am on Saturday and headed for Gadsden, AL for the night at Cove RV Resort and Campground.  The Cove is a little over a year old and has a ways to go to be a good campground, much less a resort but it was adequate for an overnight stay.  They have a good location, some nice facilities, and a good WiFi but their sites need a lot of work to be level and a little wider.

We traveled FL-87, US-31, I-65, I-459, and I-59, I-24 and I-75 - the road surfaces were all good but I-59 which was a little rough due to the cracks above the old concrete joints.

We got home about 2pm on New Year’s Eve, and as my hands were freezing while I topped off the fuel tanks, I could only ask “what were we thinking leaving FL for this weather – it was 11 overnight and expected to be this way all week.  Rather than come home four days early, we should have extended for four days – what was I thinking (or not).

I thought it was a very good trip and I would not hesitate to stay in the same locations again in Ft. Myers, Dunnellen, East Point, and Navarre – I really enjoyed the less crowded parts of Florida and the plain ole country folks (their words) in the East Point/ Apalachicola area. 

The campgrounds were all good, we saw some interesting sites, and ate some excellent seafood – I could have eaten it every day and I didn’t miss many.  We came home with a freezer full of shrimp, oysters, and fish and already have a plan for a good portion of it.

Thanks for following us along on our journey.

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.


12/30-12/31/17 Event Dates

Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 Florida RV Trip, Days 32-33, Johnny Huston’s & Visit With Friends (Chet’s Seafood)

Happy New Year 

Thursday turned out gray and rainy so we didn’t plan much but eating out for lunch and based upon the recommendation of fellow campers, we opted for Johnny Huston’s Grille & Bar.

It looks more like a sports bar on the inside with many TV’s tuned to various sporting events.