Monday, April 30, 2018

Chicken & Andouille Spanish Rice Soup

When I saw this recipe from Kelly on her Wildflour Kitchen blog, I knew I wanted to try it and Monday’s all day rain seemed like an ideal soup day.  I adjusted the recipe for our taste and to use on-hand ingredients as neither of us wanted to make a trip to the store.  Please check out Kelly’s blog for the original recipe and plenty of pics I borrowed this first one from her blog.

Chicken & Andouille Spanish Rice Soup Adapted from Wildflour Kitchen

4 Tbl. real butter
6 oz carrots, ½“ dice
1 large rib celery, sliced
1 medium-large onion, chopped
2 roasted red peppers from jar, medium dice
3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, ¾“ dice
12 oz andouille, sliced - we used Usinger’s 
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. coarse ground black pepper
3-4 large cloves garlic, finely minced
5 cups chicken broth, homemade
20 oz Rotel Original with liquid
1 Tbl. Chicken base
1 large bay leaf
1 (6.9 oz.) box Zatarain's® Spanish Rice mix
3 Tbl. cornstarch mixed with 3 Tbl. cold water

1. In stock pot, add butter and melt over medium/medium-low heat. Stir in celery, onions, peppers, chicken, sausage, chili powder and pepper. Sauté, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes. *Add minced garlic during last 5 minutes.
2. Add rest of ingredients except rice and seasoning packet (and cornstarch/cold water), bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
3. Add rice and seasoning packet, stir well, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 25 minutes until rice is tender. Remove lid and stir, keep at a simmer over low heat.
4. In mug, add cornstarch. Add cold water and stir until well mixed. While soup is still simmering, add slurry mixture. Stir in well and let thicken for one minute. Remove pot of soup from heat, and let rest for at least 15 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally.
5. Stir, ladle into bowls, and serve piping hot.  

My Bowl not such a good shot.

We thought it was very good and just the right spice for me but a little too hot for Pat and Bev.  I left out the Slap Ya Mama and chipotle powder but the Rotel made up for it heat wise.  Next time, I’ll use the recipe as written and see which we prefer.

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.


4/23/18 Meal Date

Friday, April 27, 2018

Tennessee Travelers Rally – Hiawassee, GA – Part 3

The original Thursday plan was to go to Bell Mountain and Brasstown Bald (BB) but since we were passing near the bald on the way back from Helen on Wednesday, we decided to stop on the pretty day.  BB is part of the Chattahoochee National Forest and we therefore got in for free with our Senior Passes – one of the very few good things about being old.  

The road up the bald rises 2700 feet from the valley floor to an elevation of 4783 feet making it the highest point in Georgia – the road is pretty steep and curvy but easily doable in a car.  The first stop is at the parking lot from which a shuttle takes you up to the top where there is an exhibit hall, a theater, and 360 degree viewing platform – it is uniquely built from wood rather than the normal stone in most Federal Park structures.  Shots from the parking lot.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tennessee Travelers Rally – Hiawassee, GA – Part 2

We began Tuesday with breakfast at Mary’s Southern Grill and it was another hit with the group.  So we enjoyed both Mary’s and Sundance Grill for breakfast but chose Sundance for a return trip later in the week.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Tennessee Travelers Rally – Hiawassee, GA - Part 1

After the brief camping trip with our kids in Sevierville, TN, we made the four hour drive into the north Georgia mountains and passed within 3½ miles of home.  Going to Sevierville, I went thru Maryville and took US-411 to Seymour where I got on US-441 to Sevierville.  I didn’t like going thru Maryville nor the curvy US-411 so I came back by going from US-441 over to US-129 via John Sevier Highway (TN-168).  While this route was a little longer, it was a much easier drive, by-passed Maryville, and was about 15 minutes quicker so it will be my go-to route from now on.

Getting from Maryville to Hiawassee, GA, we took US-411 south to Ocoee, TN where we picked up US-64/US-74 east.  This route runs thru the Ocoee River Gorge to get through the mountains and it is pretty curvy for about 20 miles, but fortunately there was little traffic that I had to get over and let pass and we didn’t meet a single big truck heading the opposite way.  From Murphy, we took US-64 to Hayesville, then NC-69 to US-76 into Hiawassee.  A nice, uneventful trip and the road surfaces were all in good condition.

We got in to Riverbend Campground just south of Hiawassee, GA on Saturday afternoon, got set up, and went out to look around town and go to the store. 

This is our nice site by the Hiawassee River, which is pretty small at this point.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

RVing With Our Kids – Sevierville

We were headed to a club rally on April 14 and as it turned out our son, Rhett, and his family (less college student Madison) were headed to Sevier County for their annual participation in an ROTC fundraising 13K walk.  Since we see very little of our kids who live away, we decided it would be a good opportunity for a meet up and to camp together for the first time, so we just left a few days early for the rally, then we passed within three miles of home to get to the rally from Sevierville. 

Rather than the Walkers usual Gatlinburg campground (too tight for us), we agreed to meet at one of our favorite spots, River Plantation RV Resort between Sevierville and Pigeon Forge, and were able to get sites on the river – I heroed with Bev here.  While they bill themselves as a resort, the gravel sites, lack of full campground wifi, general grounds condition, etc get River Plantation a rating of a nice RV park from me, but it is still our go-to place in the area.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Free Stuff

Hi blogger buddies – I’ve been trying to find homes for items we no longer use and all of these are like new.  Since they are food items, thought I would offer them to you first for free if you’ll pay the shipping.

First is a food grinder and stuffing tips that attaches to a Kitchen Aid mixer.

Second is a grain mill that attaches to a Kitchen Aid mixer and it also includes a counter mounted stand that allows it to be used manually.

If you are interested in them for your own use (not resale), send me an email with your name and shipping address and we’ll work out the shipping cost.


Friday, April 6, 2018

Easter At Almost Heaven South

Bev decided she wanted to cook turkey breasts for Easter dinner and as we discussed cooking and serving options she said “ let’s have Kentucky Hot Browns” to which I heartily agreed – not quite your classic holiday meal.  If you are not familiar, a hot brown is basically an open faced, hot turkey sandwich with cheese sauce rather than gravy plus some other stuff.  We’ve made them several times but opted for a little difference this time, especially after seeing the original made at the Brown Hotel (on TV), reading several recipes on line, and trying a different version at a restaurant.  The biggest difference in the various versions appears to be in how they are assembled.  Here is a shot from the Brown Hotel’s version where they were invented.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Southwestern Night At Our Place

We had a couple of friends over for supper and since I have been wanting to make Tex-Mex we offered them that option and they readily agreed with a menu of fajitas.  My thought was this would be simple as all we needed to do was grill some meat and vegetables but boy was I wrong and in hindsight I wish we had gone with a pan of enchiladas or similar one pan dish.

Bev and table before any arrivals - note the amaryllis on the table.  The wooden holders are for the cast iron plates