Thursday, September 19, 2019

Lemon & Herb Grilled Chicken

This post covers three different meals but it is ultimately about the chicken.  The first meal was a couple of CAB prime rib eyes that I grilled and sided with a baked potato for my BD supper after we got home from our RV Rally on Friday - since I was born on this day I know good things can happen on Friday the 13th. J

As you might expect, this meal was very good.

The next night, I grilled 4lbs of bone-in chicken breasts using the recipe for Lemon & Herb Chicken from Lake Geneva Country Meats which I followed as shown below but doubled for the amount of chicken thighs that I had.  

2 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
4 Lemon ( juiced)
.5 cup Olive Oil
2 clove Garlic ( minced)
2 Tbsp Rosemary
2 Tbsp Sage
1 Tbsp Parsley
1 Tbsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper

1. Combine the lemon juice, herbs, salt, pepper and olive oil in a small bowl and whisk together. Pour the marinade into a large sealable plastic bag and add the chicken thighs. Work the thighs into the marinade until all surfaces of the chicken are covered. Click here to read why we don’t marinate longer!
2. Heat your grill to medium heat and oil the grates so the chicken doesn’t stick to them.
3. Place the chicken thighs onto the grill and cook for 5-6 minutes per side, flipping once until the meat reaches an internal temperature 165°F (Larry cooked to 175F for thighs).
4. Remove from the grill and rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Everyone thought the chicken was very good and wants to have it again – next time I will use boneless, skinless, chicken breasts which I will brine for a few hours prior to the marinade (without salt).  I got no pics of this meal but we had leftovers.

We also had a leftover rib eye from the Friday meal so I grilled it, reheated the chicken thighs, and Bev made a salad to get this meal.

The chicken was even very good as leftovers and of course the prime rib eye went down very easily again.  We definitely recommend the chicken dish - easy and delicious.

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.


9/16/19 event date

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

RV Trip To Georgetown, KY, TTer’s Rally Days 4&5 Then Home

On Thursday with the 96F temps, we elected to pass on a trip to the Kentucky Horse Park and opted to drive the 20 miles down to Lexington and try a restaurant that had been featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives and the Rachael Ray Show.  The Parkette Drive-In opened in 1951 and the sign was erected in 1957. 

Sunday, September 15, 2019

RV Trip To Georgetown, KY, TTer’s Rally Day 3

Day 3 began as usual with coffee at the pavilion then leftover pizza at the coach for our breakfast.  Then the group headed out for the Ark Encounter about 30 miles north of the campground but, once again, I stayed home due to the heavy walking involved – I’ve got to get this hip fixed.  Here are some pics that Pat and the web took.

Friday, September 13, 2019

RV Trip To Georgetown, KY, TTer’s Rally Day 2

Day 2 of the rally began with coffee and donuts at the pavilion then it was off for an 11:30am tour at the nearby giant Toyota Assembly Plant where Camry’s, Avalon’s, and Lexus’ are made using 8000+ employees in the $7 billion factory.  The 8.1 million sq. ft. plant has a capacity to make 550,000 cars and 600,000 engines and is Toyota’s largest plant in the world.  Since I believed it would be a walking tour I elected not to go with my hip situation so I have no shots of it – it turned out to be a riding tour so I could have gone.  Here are a couple of shots from the web and I can only imagine the giant positive impact this facility has had on the local economy.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

RV Trip To Georgetown, KY, TTer’s Rally Day 1

We are back on the road to attend a rally with our Tennessee Travelers RV group and the destination for this trip is Georgetown, KY which is about 15 miles north of Lexington.  Planned events for the rally include a tour of the nearby Toyota assembly plant, and visits to The Ark Encounter, the Kentucky Horse Park, and the Buffalo Trace Distillery as well as meals at several restaurants. 

We rolled into Whispering Hills RV Park a few miles north of downtown Georgetown about 3:15pm and got set up in the 90+F temps.  

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Pat’s Birthday On The Dock

Pat’s (SIL) BD was on Sept 1 and after several days of deliberating Bev's "what would you like do do for your birthday" question, she requested we invite a few of her friends over for burgers and potato salad at the dock, followed by a boat ride.  Even though we couldn't invite them until the day before, all but one were all able to make it.

This is the girls enjoying some beverages while the guys without bad backs gas up the boat – I cannot even imagine why they had to check a smart phone prior to beginning, but I sure appreciate them doing it.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Chile Colorado Ala Pam

I don’t know if I’d ordered this dish at a restaurant but I know I’ve never made it but have wanted to, so when I saw Pam’s pretty easy recipe on her For The Joy Of Cooking Blog, I had to give it a try.  Rather than republish her recipe here, you can just click on this link and get it along with her pics.  I followed Pam’s recipe except I omitted the Arbol chile for fear of too much heat for Bev but I will include it next time as the dish was pretty mild.  My other change was to cut the meat into 1” pieces vs. her ½“ size.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Kicked-Up Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches

Cindy had major back surgery on Friday and her sister Nancy (ex nurse) came up from Florida to tend to her during her early recuperation, so we had dinner ready for them when Nancy got in on Wednesday evening.  We decided on our version of a Kentucky Hot Brown using Chris’ (Nibble Me This) kicked up Mornay Sauce which I doubled to get this one – also added country ham.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Katelyn and Tyler Come To Visit

When Kathy and her clan visited us in June from San Antonio, her oldest daughter, Katelyn, was taking a summer class at Texas A&M, but when it was over, she and boyfriend, Tyler decided to make a trip on their own stopping first at her aunt Wende’s in Oak Ridge then coming to Almost Heaven South.

Our old jet ski had finally died so they went paddle boarding a couple of times instead, but she did come with a wish list for food and activities.  Capt Big Dude and his first mate.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Dave and Laurie Visit - Galette

Our friends Dave and Laurie came over for an afternoon visit and since I’d seen, Pam’s blog post for a tomato galette, we decided to serve it as a little snack but then Bev, the non-recipe follower, engaged her memory to say “remember those individual tomato pies we made several years ago?  I think the stuffing for them was great so we should use it in this recipe.”  I looked it up and since we raved about the pies, I decided she was right.  So we opted to make one by her inspiration and one from Pam’s recipe and have a taste test.  This is our version of her recipe.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

A Visit From The Walkers

The whole Walker clan came in for a weekend visit and this is the first time in at least a year they’ve all been here.  Of course, one of our high priorities was providing meals using this plan.

Fri. Evening – Fried okra, boiled corn, and green beans (as I made them recently).
Sat. Morning – Sausage and pancakes with choice of blueberries, banana, and chopped pecans (it was all three for us smart ones).
Sat. Evening – Million Dollar Spaghetti Pie
Sun Lunch – BLT with Benton’s bacon and delicious local tomatoes.

I thought sure that I had blogged about making the spaghetti pie but could not find it anywhere so here it is (again).  The Million Dollar Spaghetti Pie recipe is from Spend With Pennies – I followed the ingredients list (except the butter) but assembled it differently.  Check out Holly’s blog for the original recipe and some great how-to shots – here is one of her shots and mine looked the same except I don't like the cheese to be this brown so I added it toward the end of cooking.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Lemon and Dill Salmon with Sautéed Tomato, Spinach, and Feta Orzo Ala Pam

Good buddy Joe called to say he’d provide the salmon if we’d cook it and provide the sides to which we quickly agreed.  Rather than use our normal cooking method, I decided to try something different and went to one of my go-to sources for good recipes who just happens to live in the Pacific Northwest – salmon country.  Pam had several salmon recipes on her For The Love Of Cooking Blog and the one that appealed to me this day was Lemon and Dill Salmon with Sauteed Tomato,Spinach, and Feta Orzo.  Check her blog for the original recipe and here’s a shot of her dish from the website.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Scalloped Potato Roll

Cindy saw this recipe on line at, volunteered to make it for us and we quickly agreed – even without seeing the recipe, I was sure I would like it just from the name of the dish.  If you look at the website, it even had a short step-by-step video which you should watch before making the dish.  Here's a web shot of how it should look.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Delicious Green Beans and Grilled PorkTenderloin

The spectrum of green beans runs from haricots to pole beans or from slim green pods with tiny beans to pole beans with large pods and large beans and everywhere in between.  When Kathy was here this summer, she said she liked the smaller beans sauteed in a little olive oil and I thought yuck – more raw veggies like the restaurants serve as steamed vegetables – my mom cooked veggies done and I still prefer them that way.

If Kathy's version is the only way you will eat green beans you might want to quit reading here.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Poblanos Stuffed With Cheddar Cheese And Chicken

I had been wanting to cook something southwestern that was not overly fattening so when Debbie published the recipe for Stuffed Poblanos with Cheddar &Chicken on her A Feast For The Eyes blog, it quickly got my attention as we had some poblanos ready to pick.  I saved the link but when I returned to her post, it wouldn’t bring up the recipe card so I went to the Fine Cooking recipe as it was Debbie’s starting point.  Check out Debbie's blog for some great how to shots.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Dragon, Tapoco, & Fontana

I had posted about our lunch trip to Tapoco Lodge last month during our Tennessee Travelers rally and last week we were discussing it with our friend, Joe.  After he went home, Bev and I decided we should invite him and wife, Carol, to make a trip up to the lodge for lunch as they had not been there.  As it turned out, Carol had never been up that way at all so she had not seen the Alcoa lakes and dams or ridden on the famous “Dragon” and neither of them had seen Fontana Dam - shot from web while spilling water.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Some Recent Meals At The Ranch

Following our kids leaving and an Independence Day party, we had enough leftovers to eat for a week, so no much cooking happened and following that we made no meals worthy of a standalone blog post.  We have had a few that made for some good eats though, such as a favorite summer meal of fried okra, fried corn, cottage cheese and our home grown tomatoes – the corn and okra came from a local vegetable farmer.

It was very good, as always.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Annual Visit From Kids and Grands

Happy Birthday America

Kathy, plus daughters Lauren and Jennafer and boy friend, Evan, came in from San Antonio for their annual summer visit from 6/24-7/1 then Eric, Ann, Matthew, and Sophia joined us from Napierville, IL 6/27-30, and Wende, Ralph, and Eliza came down from Oak Ridge, TN for the day on 6/29 so all of my kids were here for at least one day.  Kathy always comes prepared with her list of special supper meals (*) to eat while here and we filled in the blanks for the following:

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Walland Rally – Day 2-5 - Tuesday Thru Friday

On Tuesday, we drove the newly finished section of the Foothills Parkway called the "missing link" which was authorized by Congress in 1944 and completed in 2018.  It rises less than other completed sections as it makes it’s curvy 16 mile route into Wears Valley and while the sky wasn’t real clear, we could see pretty good with the developed area in the second shot being Townsend, TN.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Walland Rally - Day 1 Monday - Heritage Center and Cades Cove

We began Monday morning with a continental breakfast of pastries, bagels, fruit and drinks then headed to Townsend to see the sights beginning with the Smokey Mtn Heritage Center.

The center is a history of the early settlers to the area and the native Americans who preceded them by several thousand years.  The center includes several Cades Cove buildings.  Compared to our easy modern lives, these folks just existed, working daylight to dark to eek out a meager living.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Walland Rally – Preparation Days & Campground

Once again, we are camping with our Tennessee Travelers Chapter of the FMCA and this time Bev and I are the rally hosts.  Since we went as far as Savannah, GA for the previous rally, we opted to stay closer to home for this one and go to Walland, TN, which was where we first participated with this group.  We returned to the same campground except it now has new ownership and a new name – Whispering River Resort. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Pan Fried Italian Halibut With Lemon Cream And Caper Sauce

Cindy has a client who regularly gives her fish fillets when they go fishing in Alaska so we had three nice pieces of Halibut in the freezer.  When I recently saw the recipe for Grilled Italian Swordfish With Lemon Cream And Caper Sauce on Roz’s  La Bella Vita Cucina blog, which uses our favorite fish sauce, I had to wonder how it would go with our Halibut.  Cindy and Bev agreed that we should give it a try but I decided to pan-fry rather than grill it.  I changed the ingredient amounts for our three pieces and changed the fish cooking directions so check please Roz’s blog for her original recipe and some great shots of her pretty presentation.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Grilled Chicken Thighs With Mango Salsa

Cindy recently returned from a family visit in Florida and brought us a gift of three salsas, one of which was Mango, and I decided to give it a try on grilled chicken thighs.  We had six thighs and I decided to use BBQ sauce on three and mango salsa on the others – since it was chunky, I blended up some for brushing. 

Friday, June 14, 2019

Open Faced Sloppy Joe’s Ala Pam

Bev had bought some ground chuck on sale about the same time that Pam posted the recipe for Open Faced Italian Sloppy Joe’s on her "For The Love Of Cooking" blog so I decided to give it a try.  Bev has said that a friends Sloppy Joe’s are the only ones she’s ever liked so this was a little bit of a risk to make.  I followed the recipe except I salted at each step, added a good shake of Italian Seasoning after tasting the assembled mixture, and changed the garlic toast as noted.  Check Pam’s blog for her original recipe and photo’s like this one below of her dish.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Baked White Fish

After getting both knees replaced, I believed I was good to go for the rest of my life until I developed a left hip issue late last year and when a steroid shot in March only relieved the pain for three weeks I knew what I had to do.  I had hobbled around for a couple of years before dealing with my knees and have learned not to wait for a miracle cure and just get things replaced so I went to see the surgeon this week.  It was confirmed that my hip was indeed in bad shape and needed replacement but I needed to lose 40 pounds before the surgery could be done.  Since I need to lose more than that anyway this will hopefully provide the incentive I’ve needed.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Beer Can Chicken Ala Brenda

I’d been wanting to make beer can chicken and I was unable to find where I had posted about it on my blog so I went in search of a recipe.  I found one I liked on Brenda’s “A Farmgirl’sDabbles” blog that got my attention with two statements - “This easy beer can chicken recipe guarantees moist, fall-off-the-bone meat and crispy, ultra flavorful skin” and “WE’VE PERFECTED THE BEER CAN CHICKEN.”  Here is a pic from her blog which I suggest you pay a visit to for more pics and comments.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Ham, Asparagus, And Mushroom Frittata

Our neighbors had given us some fresh asparagus and Bev suggested we make a frittata from it and the mushrooms we had on hand.  Since we also had some Kentucky Legends ham in the fridge, I went in search of a recipe that used all three ingredients and liked the one from Marcie’s Flavor The Moment blog.   Please check out her site for comments, the original recipe, and more pics like this one that I borrowed from her.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Homemade Southern Red Beans and Rice Ala Mary

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may recall my commenting often about reducing the amount of food in our freezer and I’m happy to report that I’ve made some significant progress and actually now know what’s in there.  I’ve had a package of andouille in there for a while and decided it needed to be used with the first half going to a shrimp dish.  When I discovered some red beans in the pantry, I decided that I’d make red beans and rice.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Pepperoni Rolls

Pepperoni rolls were invented in 1927 by the Country Club Bakery in my home town of Fairmont, WV as a food that coal miners could buy in the morning or previous evening and take in their lunch for a ready to eat meal.  Later on, a beer joint (Colaessano’s), about a half mile from my house, took them to the next level by splitting the baked rolls, adding peppers, pizza sauce, and cheese then re-warming to melt the cheese before serving – they were famous throughout northern WV.  Colaessano’s has long since changed from a beer joint to a carry-out/eat-in restaurant and the family is no longer involved.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Carne Adovada Ala Chef Lea Ann

When we were in Las Cruces, NM this past winter, I tried my first ever Carne Adovada and really enjoyed it, thinking I would make it when we got home but hadn’t gotten around to it.  So while at a Mexican restaurant in Ashville, NC during our recent RV Club rally, I ordered it and what I got looked nothing like what I was expecting.

Now it was time to make it using Chef Lea Ann’s recipe from her Cooking On The Ranch blog – I doubled her recipe to get the one below and after cooking the meat and the sauce I froze half (meat and sauce in separate bags) and cooked half per the directions for this meal.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Three Stop RV Rally – Days 16-18 – Grove Park Inn, Moose Café & Trip Home

We had visited the Grove Park Inn during a rally a couple of years ago but this time we decided to eat at the Sunset Terrace Restaurant looking out over the mountains.  I could almost see the wealthy southern ladies and gents in their fine clothing in this same setting 100 years ago sipping their beverages and discussing the topics of the day.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Three Stop RV Rally – Days 13-15 – Oak Plantation And Moving To Asheville, NC, Trolley

Before I discuss our move, a few comments about Oak Plantation Campground on John’s Island, SC (Charleston).  I believe this is just a campground and not up to an RV Park or Resort, but it is a nice campground and we would stay there again.  I base my ratings on their sites being just gravel or grass and gravel although their roads were paved.  We didn’t use any of fixed facilities, but the WiFi was very good, the water pressure was a little low, and everything else was normal.  Check in was friendly and efficient. Depending upon traffic and how many red lights you hit, it’s 15-30 minutes into downtown.  A big negative was the traffic that backs up in front of the entrance due to the nearby traffic light and heavy traffic.  Since it is for sale for $31 million, there seem to be no improvements being made.  

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Three Stop RV Rally – Days 11& 12 – Downtown Charleston, Harbor Cruise, and Pages

On Thursday, I drove the ladies downtown so they could shop at the HistoricCharleston City Market then I came back to the campground to check on the dogs and when I picked the ladies up later we drove to the Maritime Center for a harbor cruise on the CarolinaBelle.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Three Stop RV Rally – Days 9 -11 – Onward to Charleston, Gilligan's, Angel Oak, Old Friend

We closed up shop and got on the road about 10:15 for 105 mile run from Savannah up to the Charleston area but first some thoughts on Savannah's Creek Fire Motor Ranch.  They refer to themselves as a resort but they have a way to go to get there but I believe they will.  The place has only been open for about 18 months and they mostly concrete pads with all good utilities except for a terrible WiFi.  Check in was friendly and efficient and they provided a nice packet of information.  The pool area was nice but the hot tub was nearly unusable due to the chlorine amount in the water.  They don’t offer cable TV but some sites have a Direct TV dish that requires using a box provided by them – not an issue since we have our own dish.  It’s about a 25 minute drive into downtown via I-95 and I-16 but there are many stores and restaurants near the resort - if ever again in the area I would stay there.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Three Stop RV Rally – Day 7&8 – Savannah Historic Area and 8th AF Museum

Warning - Lot's of photos.

Saturday was a pretty laid back day with lunch at the Pirate House being the major event.  The front part of the restaurant was established in 1753 and is in the oldest building in Georgia. A large brick addition was built in the mid 1900’s but the inside was built to match the old original part of the restaurant.  

Monday, May 6, 2019

Three Stop RV Rally – Day 6 – Savannah - Melody's

Our plan for the first day with our club was to go back to Pauls Deen’s Creekhouse Seafood & Grill then drive on out to Tybee Island but with a couple of events happening on the island, there was lots of traffic clear back to the campground so I knew it would take a long time to get to the restaurant and nearly impossible to get to the island.  So we made a u-turn and headed south to the town of Richmond Hill and Melody’s Coastal Café.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Three Stop RV Rally – Day 5 - Savannah - Tubby's

Our neighbors had to return home on Thursday but since they were not in a big hurry to leave, we decided to head back down to E. River St. for another fish meal at Tubby’sSeafood which we picked due to the big line to get in the other day we were there.  No waiting today so we were escorted upstairs thru the outside dining area and into the dining room. 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

On The Road For A Three Stop RV Club Rally – Day 4 - Paula Deen's

On of Cindy’s desires while in Savannah was to eat at a Paula Deen restaurant and we opted for Paula Deen’s Creekhouse Seafood & Grill which was Uncle Bubba’s (owned by Paula and her brother) when we ate there many years ago.  It's located on the way to Tybee so it doesn't get any drop in business and it was pretty empty for this visit.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

On The Road For A Three Stop RV Club Rally – Day 3 - Trolley

On Tuesday, we decided to learn about Savannah by hopping aboard the Old Town Trolley for the very informative tour around the historic downtown areas.  Savannah (and the GA colony) was founded by General James Oglethorpe in 1733 and the city was laid out to contain 24 green area squares with houses and buildings around them (22 squares still remain).

Sunday, April 28, 2019

On The Road For A Three Stop RV Club Rally – Days 1-2

After just a five week down period, during which we had to get a seal replaced on the coach engine, we are back on the road and headed for our first of three stops in Savannah, GA – followed by Charleston, SC and Asheville, NC.  Pat, Cindy, Bev, three dogs, and I departed about 11:30 am for the 260 mile drive to the Forsythe, GA. KOA – the 450 mile trip all the way to Savannah is more than I want to drive in one day. 

About two hours into the trip the low engine coolant alarm came on so I stopped at a truck stop and made sure everything was full but it shortly came on again when I got up to 63 mph followed by the stop engine light.  So I pulled over to the side of the road, stopped the engine for a few minutes then started it back up and ran the remainder of the days trip at 58 mph without incident – but not sure why the speed made a difference but very happy that it did.  I spoke with my diesel mechanic at home and he suggested it was likely a failing sensor since the engine temperature was running fine.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Grilled Sausage Again – So Simple And Easy

We had some peppers we needed to use and some sausages is the freezer so we whipped up a normal sausage, pepper, and onion dish and we decided to grill everything.

The main reason for this post is to brag about these sausages from our favorite Wurst Kitchen in Aurora, IL.  Up to now our favorites have been the white brats and the Lithuanian sausages but we now have a third one to add to the list – it’s called T.P.O. which stands for Tomato, Pepper, and Onion and it worked very well with the veggies.  This is one of our favorite meals and a good one for quick and easy.

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.


4/13/19 event date

Monday, April 22, 2019

Pam’s French Onion Smothered Pork Chops

When I saw this recipe on Pam’s For The Love Of Cooking blog and knowing I really enjoy both pork chops and French Onion Soup, I knew this recipe had to be tried soon before it got lost in my recipe files.  I changed it up a little for our three chops but you can go to her website for the original recipe and great pics.

French Onion Smothered Pork Chops – Adapted from For The Love Of Cooking

3 thick boneless pork chops
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Garlic powder, to taste
Dried thyme, to taste
2 tbsp butter
1½ yellow onions, sliced (Red onion is what we had on hand)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
¾ tsp fresh thyme leaves
 tbsp flour
¼ cup red wine
1¼ cups beef (or chicken) broth
¾ tsp Worcestershire sauce
¾ tsp Dijon mustard
¾ cup Gruyere cheese, shredded (more if desired)
Fresh thyme sprigs, garnish
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped, garnish

1. Pat the pork chops dry then season them with sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, garlic powder, and fresh thyme, to taste, on both sides; set aside.
2. Heat the butter in a large oven proof cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, for 20 minutes, until softened and golden brown and caramelized.

Side Note: If the skillet gets dry while cooking and the onions are getting burned add a bit of water, you want them to cook slowly, not get charred.

3. Remove the caramelized onions from the skillet and set aside.
4. Drizzle the olive oil in the skillet and heat over high heat. Add the seasoned pork chops and cook for about for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown then flip over and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown; remove from the skillet and set on a plate. At this point, the pork is not cooked through.