Saturday, January 30, 2016

2016 Louisiana Trip – Day 6 - What A Rig - You Gotta See This

Henderson, LA temps – 63/36, home temps – 28/13. 

It was pretty on Tuesday but we needed a down day so we did very little except take a few walks, but the big event was watching our neighbors load up to leave.  I’ll let the photos tell the story - he winches the car on and off.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

2016 Louisiana Trip – Days 5 - New Iberia, Great Food

Henderson, LA temps – 58/34, Home temps - 31/16 - I really like it being nearly 30 degrees warmer.

After a really busy Sunday, Monday was supposed to only be in the mid 50”s so we decided to make a drive along a scenic trail called the Louisiana Bayou Byway which goes through the back roads from Lafayette (laugh-fay-ette) to NOLA.  We were expecting to see lots of Cajun culture, and backwoods scenery but on the part we traveled it was just normal homes and harvested sugar cane fields.  We did pass through the small town of St. Martinsville where we stopped at La Petite Paris Café advertising hot beignets and got six for the road.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

2016 Louisiana Trip - Day 4 Continued - Whiskey River and Pat's Seafood

Henderson, LA temps – 55/38, home temps – 37/30. 

After a little research, we soon discovered that most of the local action is on the weekends and especially on Sunday so we had a pretty full day, beginning with the visit to Hebert's (previous post) and the ladies shopping next door.

A couple of hours later we headed a few miles to Henderson and Whiskey River Landing where Jamie Bergeron & the Kickin' Cajuns were playing.  I don’t know what I was expecting but for sure it was a larger, fancier place than we found.  Here are a few outside shots and as you can see parking is at a premium but folks found a way – the first one is from the web and the second is the entrance to the club.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

2016 Louisiana Trip – Days 3 & 4 (Partial) - Crawfish Town and Hebert's

Henderson, LA temps – 65/43 & 55/38, home temps – 47/35 & 37/30, I like it being 18 degrees warmer during the day.

After driving for two days, I’m usually pretty tired (especially after yesterday) so all we did our first day was get the coach all set up, get the car washed, and drive around the area to get our bearings and see what was what – we had stayed at Cajun Palms RV Resort on Dec 12, 2011, but didn’t even unhook the car so our only familiarity was with Crawfish Town USA which is adjacent to the campground and before our drive Bev wanted to go there for a late lunch.

Friday, January 22, 2016

2016 Louisiana Trip - Let’s Head South – Days 1&2

If you live in the East, you remember the beautiful warm weather we had in late December, before the new year and winter rolled in.  So I was sitting here with the much cooler temperatures, thinking how well my knee was doing and that I could pretty much do what I wanted, when I looked out the front door.  There sat the RV, also enduring the cold, having been sitting for three months and likely looking at three more months of sitting idly out there in the cold.  Then it occurred to me that for the next several weeks, we would likely be just sitting in the house looking out at the cold when an idea struck. 

While we don’t have time to do like the last couple of years and head to Florida for a month or so, we did have the remainder of January with no commitments.  A few of years ago, we had stayed overnight at a place called Cajun Palms, in Henderson, LA and really liked it so when I presented the idea to my ladies they believed that while it would not be as warm as south Florida, it would be warmer than home and should be an interesting place to visit for a couple of weeks.

Since I don’t winterize the coach and keep it plugged in with the various systems running, all we had to do was line up the house sitter, load in our clothes, stock the fridge, add some water to the tank, and hit the road, which we did on Jan. 14.  Our first day ended in Meridian, MS and since I could not find an acceptable campground, we decided to try our first Walmart parking lot and we quickly discovered that neither we nor our coach are designed for that lifestyle.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Chicken Braised in Wine and Rosemary

I’m not really a food blogger and I’m certainly not a very good food photographer so if you want to see great shots of this dish, head on over to My Carolina Kitchen, where Sam and her professional photographer husband, Meakin, put together a great presentation of this dish and took some excellent shots of it.  As soon as I saw it on Sam’s site, I knew we had to make it and I was not disappointed. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Huevos Avocado Ala Tricia

When Tricia posted this dish on her Saving Room For Dessert blog, I knew it had to be tried soon here at Almost Heaven South. The previous night we had fajitas so we had the avocado and Bev had made quacamole and Pico De Gallo – or so we thought.  For some reason, I decided to do a web search on this popular salsa and discovered it generally contains tomatoes, onion, chiles, cilantro, lime juice, spices.  

Bev had been making it for years after eating it in a Mexican restaurant, but hers contains cucumbers and after more web searching, it appears that she has been making cucumber salsa which she makes with the Pico De Gallo ingredients but adds about the same amount of cukes as the tomatoes and onion combined.  If you know the Spanish name for what she makes, please let us know and what ever it's called, we really like it.

Now back to breakfast.  Never one to pass up a taste-test opportunity, I decided to make one as Tricia had, with sliced avocado, and another with guacamole – since it would be hard to spread both the guac and the sour cream, I just mixed them in equal parts.  The other thing I did different was fry the eggs in a ring rather than poach them as mine rarely turn out well.  I forgot and put the cheese on top and while it took away from the shot of the egg, I'm sure it didn't affect the taste.

So from the ground up, it was toasted English muffin half, sour cream and sliced avocado (or the sour cream and guacamole mixture), cucumber salsa, egg, shredded cheddar.

Bev and I both thought it was delicious as the flavors went very well together and while I loved them both I believe I liked the kicked-up guacamole version a little better.  I urge you to pop over to Tricia’s site (LINK) and check out her great photos and then give this dish a try.

The oranges had been brought to us by a friend from her friend's tree in Florida and they were awesome.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

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


1/10/16 meal date

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Fajita Night

We marinated and lightly grilled (still rare) a London broil a couple of nights ago so it could just be reheated for fajitas.  On fajita night, I cooked the onions and peppers until they were nearly done and removed them to a plate.  I added the thin sliced meat to the pan just long enough to get it warm, added back the veggies, mixed to get everything hot and put on a platter for fajita assembly.

Bev had made some guacamole and some cucumber salsa, shredded cheddar cheese, and warmed the flour tortillas.  These are my two before wrapping them up.

They were delicious and grilling then reheating this thicker piece of meat worked very well and I don’t believe I could tell any difference verses fresh cooked, although I believe other meat cuts work better for fajitas (Bev had bought some flat iron steak on sale for $1.99 and I told her she should have bought a freezer full at that price).  

Why do this pre-grill thing you asked and the answer is.  I only had to make a little more marinade, the outside temp was in the 50's and due to be in the 30's the next few days, and the grill was already hot.  I would not try it with a thinner cut, such as flat iron or skirt steak as I believe they would be too easy to overcook when reheated but this was still pink and moist so it worked fine.

And just like that, the college football season is over, but after not ding so well in the pairings for the other games, the CFP committee sure seemed to get it right with Clemson and Bama.  Even though I pulling slightly toward Clemson (I tend to favor the underdog over the dynasty) it was a good game to watch.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

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


1/09/16 meal date

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Flatiron Steak and Chris’ Hash

I am married to an unabashed carnivore and while I can eat many meals without meat, it doesn’t take more than a meal or two before Bev says she needs some meat and recently it was “I need some beef.”  We had a flat iron steak in the fridge and Chris had just posted his recipe for Poblano and Portabella Hash which looked outstanding to me – he also served it with steak.  I’m sure Chris would be fine with me reproducing the recipe here and even copying his photo, but since you also need to see the shots of his awesome steak, I’ll just let you click on the link to his site and check it all out.

We soaked our steak in The Best Marinade In Existence for about four hours then tossed it on the 500 degree grill for a few minutes on each side to get a very nice crust and medium rare inside.  I cooked one piece a little more done for my ladies as they like theirs closer to medium - we've moved Pat to there from medium well.  We also had a London Broil, which we marinated and grilled for the same amount of time to develop the grill flavor – it was still rare and will be reheated for fajitas.

This is my plate and as you can see, the beef was perfect but my hash was cooked longer than Chris’ – no change in the flavor but not as good of a shot.

We thought the steak was as good as we’d had in a long time and we loved the hash with one caution – I decided it needed more pepper so I used two Anaheims and even though they were seeded the hash was pretty warm – I liked it but for a milder version, I’ll substitute one sweet pepper next time and also use a couple more potatoes – we love taters around here.  

As you can imagine, the leftover hash was nuked and topped with a couple of fried eggs for breakfast – it was outstanding.  Thanks Chris for two delicious meals.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

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


1/07/16 meal date

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Carrabba's Champagne Chicken

When I saw this dish on Steph’s site (Plain Chicken) it looked like one we would really enjoy.  I decided to do a search on it just to see if there were more variations and discovered there is a site devoted to Carraba’s copycat recipes - and I’m looking forward to trying others.  Below is the recipe from the copycat site. 

Carrabba's Champagne Chicken
Copycat Recipe - Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 chicken cutlets
1/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup champagne (Dry)
2/3 cup heavy cream
pinch kosher Salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon tarragon
6 oz angel hair pasta, cooked and drained

Mix together the flour, salt, pepper, and grated Parmesan. Rinse the chicken pieces in water. Dredge them thoroughly in the flour mixture, until well coated.

Heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add half of the chicken pieces, do not crowd the pan. Brown well on each side, about 3 minutes per side. 

Remove the chicken from the pan and reserve to a plate. Cook the other breasts in the same manner, remove from pan. Cover with aluminum foil and keep warm in the oven while you prepare the sauce.

Sauce: Add the champagne and mushrooms to the pan. Use a spatula to scrape up the browned bits. Reduce the sauce by half. 

Whisk in cream, kosher salt,  black pepper, red pepper flakes and tarragon.  Heat until sauce thickens to a creamy consistency.  Serve chicken and sauce over angel hair pasta (we topped with fresh grated Parmesan).

This is my shot and the one from the site.

We thought the dish was very good and a definite keeper with one caution – we like sauce and would make at least 50 percent more sauce than the recipe for four servings.  We made a double sauce recipe with even more mushrooms and used about half of it for the two of us - I added more to mine after the photo.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

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


1/5/16 meal date