Sunday, June 22, 2014

Steak Diane

Bev had gotten a couple of rib eyes out of the freezer and decided she wanted Steak Diane (because of the flambé I suspect) so we began looking at recipes and settled on the one from  Per Wikipedia - “Steak Diane is an American dish of a pan-fried beefsteak with a sauce made from the seasoned pan juices, generally prepared in restaurants tableside, and flambéed. It was popular in the middle of the 20th century, but was considered dated by 1980.”

Bev’s favorite steak is a filet and her least favorite is ribeye because of the amount of fat in them so I decided to see if I could help this by trimming the outside and removing the big fat layer between the two muscles.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Smothered Pork Chops

We made this dish once before but I apparently didn’t blog about it, as it was nowhere I could find it.  Since we considered it one of the best we’ve ever eaten, I wanted to be sure I documented it this time.  The recipe comes from Tyler Florence and is reproduced here.

Monday, June 16, 2014

2014 Blogger Party – Antipasto Salad

This will be my last post from our blogger party and I’m only doing it because it ended up so differently from my original plan and I had a learning experience.  The plan was for me to make the antipasto on Saturday morning using a recipe from Epicurious.

I had already made the vinaigrette and assembled the other ingredients:

2 medium red onions (which I ended up forgetting to use)
4 hearts of romaine, torn or chopped
2 (8-oz) jars roasted red peppers, julienned
4 (6-oz) jars marinated artichoke hearts
2 cups pepperoncini
2 jars brine-cured olives, different kinds
1 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
2 lbs provolone, 1/4" julienne
1 lb pecorino, shaved
2 lbs salami, 1/4' julienne
1 ½ lb cappicola, sliced thin, rolled and sliced
1 ½ lb prosciutto, sliced thin, rolled
1 container anchovies, served on the side

Friday, June 13, 2014

Post-Blogger Party Breakfast

As in the past, we provided lodging for the blogger party attendees who traveled too far for it to be a one day event and in this case three couples stayed with us and one stayed with Bev’s sister, Pat.

For this trip the Hofer’s had asked, via email, if they could provide breakfast for the overnight guests.  Once before they had stayed two nights and laid out a delicious gourmet dinner so I nearly injured my two typing fingers trying to reply so quickly with a resounding yes to the breakfast offer. 

The menu was:

Mimosa’s of orange juice and Prosesca
Triple Cinnamon Scones (provided by Penny the scone queen)
Oven fried bacon, imported from Nueskes in Wittenberg, WI
Corn cakes (a Hofer family tradition)
Blueberry maple syrup and homemade butter (yep, they made it on site)
Scrambled eggs with mushrooms
Mixed fruit of strawberries and blue berries
Lots of coffee

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Blogger Party 2014 – Let’s Eat

The 2014 version of our blogger party is now in the books and it seemed to be a big hit – I’m sure I had a good time.  This year’s event took place on June 7, 2014 at our "Almost Heaven South" dock on Tellico Lake with 23 folks attending.  With the theme of an East Tennessee Italian Fest and the menu built around a pasta bar, we decided to also eat it European style with several courses spread out over the afternoon. 

I didn’t even take my camera to the dock so I’m in hopes that those who did will do a post on the event and the dishes they provided.  David & Laurie sent me their shots so I’ll use them here.

We began visiting and eating a little after 1pm with appetizers of Frutta di Mare - Cold Seafood Salad (Stu & Sandy Hoffer), pizzas cooked on a ceramic cooker (John & Anna Mae Makela), and antipasto salad (Dave Scott & Larry - mostly Dave with a separate post coming).

Monday, June 9, 2014

Blogger Party 2014 - Bolognese Sauce

As you may recall, the theme for this years party was an East Tennessee Italian Fest and the menu was built around a pasta bar thanks to the suggestion from Dave Scott.  My primary contribution to this effort was a Bolonese Sauce using the recipe from Ann Burrell, which I had last made four years ago.

The sauce takes about five hours to make and is based on a philosophy of slowly enriching it with layers of flavor.

Bolonese Ala Ann Burrell

Friday, June 6, 2014

Fixing A Steep Bank

We have a small area beside the house that is steep and shady making it hard to grow grass and mow, so we decided to do something else.  Since Bev is always looking for new places to put plants (she can’t control herself at a plant sale), we decided to terrace it using the common wall stones in use today.  I forgot to get a shot before we began, but this is what it looked like early on.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Madison Attends The Prom

Most of my regular readers likely know that our 16 year old granddaughter has lived with us now for 20 months and you may also recall that she has a boyfriend (Anthony) in the Los Angeles area who she met online.  He and his dad made a trip here last fall and she went out there for this past Christmas.

While here in the fall, Anthony asked if Madison could come to his prom this year and, after spending several days with him and his dad, we agreed it would be okay.  While we were RVing in South Carolina and she was staying with her parents, they bought her a dress then when we returned, Madison and Bev went shopping for the rest of the ensemble.

The six days between our return from SC and her flight to LA were a whirlwind of activity including hair color, pedicure, spray tan, etc. to get her as ready as she could be when she left.  And this is the result.

I have to believe Anthony was very happy to have this beauty on his arm at his prom.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

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


5/31/14 event date

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Simple Yet Delicious Potato Dish

This very easy potato dish is a must try for all potato lovers or even just potato likers.  But before I get into the dish, let us first have a little potato discussion, specifically little potatoes – I apologize if I’ve posted this before.

When potatoes grow the plant puts on several potatoes but one at a time, so when they are dug there will be everything from fully grown to pea sized tubers on the root system and commercial growers harvest them all at the same time.  Therefore, when you see them in the grocery store and the small ones are labeled as new potatoes, they almost never are and are likely the same age as the big ones setting beside them.  These are larger than I like for the dish but all I had on hand - note the places where the skin was damaged during harvesting but healed over (yellowish places).