Friday, November 11, 2016

Good Meals While Bev Travels

I’d had a continuing-to-get-worse issue with the first two toes on my left foot growing further away from my big toe which resulted in pain when I walked.  So after getting two new knees last winter, I had this, hopefully final, problem fixed the end of October which means I’ll be in a boot for several weeks.  Since Bev was heading off to Florida for two weeks in mid-November, she cooked me up several dishes to tide me over until she returns.

For each of them, we made enough to eat and enough to freeze often doubling the recipes which can be found via the links.

First up was a big pot of her normal chili - this is an old shot but it still looks just the same and as always we really enjoyed it – especially over some of her Mexican cornbread.

Next up was Southern Style Meatloaf from Mary’s blog Deep South Dish.  Unfortunately, we ate one and the other one got into the freezer before I got a shot of it, so check out Mary’s blog for the recipe and lots of pics.  As expected it was a good version of this classic dish and we all enjoyed it.

The third meal was Southwestern Chicken Spaghetti using the recipe from Steph’s Plain Chicken blog - check her site for the recipe and more photos.  We made it per the recipe using boneless, skinless chicken breasts that we marinated in Italian dressing then grilled to an internal temp of 160F. 

Steph said in her blog that it was an all new favorite and we can see why as we all thought the dish was outstanding.  Before making it Bev commented a couple of times that the French fried onions didn’t seem to go with it but after eating it she thought we should have used more.  I’m looking forward to baking and enjoying the one we put in the freezer (froze it with everything but the onion rings).

The next meal was Manhattan Clam Chowder using a recipe from my dad’s second wife and while I prefer the New England version, I really like this healthier version as well and I opted for it in lieu of Bev’s suggested vegetable soup.

Makes 2 3/4 – 3 quarts

¼ lb bacon fried and chopped
1 large chopped onion
2 thinly sliced carrots
3 stalks sliced celery
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 ½ teaspoon salt (or salt to taste)
4 cans (8 oz) minced clams with liquid
2 whole pepper corns
1 large garlic clove minced
½ small can tomato paste
1 ½ bay leaves
1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
3 medium potatoes diced
1 can Rotel (added by us)

Add all the ingredients to cock pot, cover and cook on low 8-10 hours.

We served the soup as a warm up dish for the crappie in lemon/butter/caper sauce to our friend Russ and his daughter, Cynthia, before he heads to the Florida Keys for the winter.  I owe him big time for rewiring my RV surge protector and hopefully this meal along with some margaritas will make a good down payment.

The final meal was Glazed Bacon Wrapped Tenderloin slightly adapted from the Closet Cooking recipe and baked NC sweet potatoes from the Asheville Farmers Market.  Check out Kevin's site for great shots of the tenderloin and the original recipe. 

1½ pound pork tenderloin
1 tablespoon Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning
2 tablespoon light brown sugar
6 strips bacon
3 tablespoons apricot/ peach preserves
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1. Rub the pork tenderloin with the mixture of the Cajun seasoning and brown sugar and wrap it up in the bacon – I butted the slices together and used tooth picks to hold them in place.
2. Heat an oven safe skillet over medium heat, add the bacon wrapped pork tenderloin and cook until it is browned on all sides, about 10-15 minutes.

3. Transfer the pan to a preheated 400F/200C oven, roast until the pork reaches 130F internal temperature, remove from the oven and brush on the preserve mixture.  I used a remote probe thermometer to monitor the meat temp.
4. Return to the oven and cook to a 140F internal temp, remove, and brush again with any remaining preserves, rest for 5 minutes, slice and serve.

My three girls (Bev, SIL Pat, new roomate Cindy) and I all thought it was delicious and a definite keeper recipe.  I like my pork just slightly pink and still very juicy so this was just right.

With two soups, two casseroles, a pork tenderloin, and a meat loaf, along with plenty of eggs and English muffins, I should be good-to-go food-wise while Bev and her friends pile up at the Marco Island beach for a couple of weeks.  Does she take great care of me or what?

PS - After two weeks, toes are doing well and I can get around fine in the boot.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

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



  1. Looks like you have good eating there and thanks for sharing the recipes.

  2. Larry, Bev sure insured that you won't have a chance to starve to death! From one 'hobbled' blogger to another... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  3. I want that baked sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are my weakness in the starch world. Glad to see you're not starving while Bev frolics in the sunshine.

  4. Well Larry, you most certainly are eating good while Bev is gone. I have to head over and take a look at that chicken spaghetti. That sounds good grief good.

  5. That glazed bacon wrapped tenderloin looks fantastic.....take care of yourself!

  6. Glad to hear your toes are on the mend! Bev takes good care of you and you of her! The meals all look and sound terrific.

  7. All of the meals look delicious Larry. Glad you have lots to eat while the gals are gone.

  8. Larry, I know you have property in the Gatlinburg area. Have the fires affected you? I knew Bev was traveling and jumped here to see where and how she was. Thank God she's in Florida, rather than Tennessee. Thinking of you both. Hugs and blessings...Mary

  9. Bev does indeed take good care of you. Glad your toes are healing well.


I appreciate and enjoy your comments