Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day

While many have served, thankfully, our family has not lost anyone to a war, but many have and I am thankful for those sacrifices that have protected this great country in which we have the privilege of living.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Reece Graduates – Three Down

This past week, we made the six hour drive down to Sumter, SC to attend the high school graduation of Reece Walker, our son Rhett’s middle child.  There were two events involved with the first one being an awards ceremony where Reece received several honors but a very special one – a four year ROTC scholarship to the University of Tennessee.  After spending most of her life in a military family, she has decided she wants to be a physical therapist in the US Army.

Needless to say, her parents were beyond happy with the size of that check.

The next night was the actual graduation ceremony and here she is with her mom’s parents – didn’t get any with us.

I believe her dad is very pleased that she wants to follow in his footsteps with a hitch in the army and also attend is alma mater for college plus it will be good for her to have us only 40 miles away from UT.

We are now one third of the way through the grands graduations and the next one will be in Texas in 2019.

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.


5/20 - 5/23/18 Trip Dates

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Another Bratwurst Meal – Yeah I Know

Bev has been doing some serious freezer diving lately and came up with another package of brats and this time from Kamps Meat Market in OKC, OK.  She suggested our usual of brats with peppers and onions on a roll but I wanted to do something a little different so I made a dish that included some potatoes and cheese as follows:

4 bratwurst links (six would have been better)
5 medium red potatoes – par boiled and medium dice
1 green bell pepper, ¾” squares
1 ripe bell pepper (we used red), ¾” squares
1 large onion or two medium, 3/8” slice and halved
8 cheese slices (5 hot pepper jack and 3 American for us)
Lawrey’s Season Salt (to taste) & pepper

1. Simmer the brats in water seasoned with Lawrey’s and black pepper for about 25 minutes, cool a little, then slice into ½” thick rounds.
2. Coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil, heat to shimmering, add potatoes, and cook until browned on several sides.
3. Remove potatoes to a dish, add brats and brown on both flat sides.  Remove and add to potatoes.
4. Add peppers and onions to skillet along with more oil as needed.  Cook until just getting soft and return potatoes and brats to pan along with cheese – stir well.
5. Cook for a few minutes until cheese is completely melted, vegetables are cooked as desired, and everything is evenly distributed.
6. Plate and enjoy

I thought this meal was delicious especially for a quick throw together.  It could have used two more brats and, of course, you can use your favorite cheeses – I just used what we had on hand that would melt easily.  And to make it even better, the leftovers were reheated and topped with eggs for breakfast.

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.


5/17/18 Meal Date

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sprouts, Taters, & Steak

Bev had some Brussels sprouts that she wanted to grill along with some par boiled potatoes and we opted to side them with a piece of beef.  While we have a couple of pans for grilling smaller food pieces, they were not quite large enough for this as I wanted them in a single layer.  So I went looking through our collection of flat pans and discovered a pizza pan that we only used a time or two and should have been trashed.  The reason we rarely used it was because it was full of holes and very difficult to slide off a pizza.

However, it worked great for this application and has now been repurposed as a grill pan and being aluminum, it distributes the heat pretty well and the oil dripping trough the holes created some nice flavor enhancing flare-ups – here it is in action.

We also grilled up a piece of beef steak that had been marinating in The Best Steak Marinade In Existence most of the day.

These two components made up our entire dinner and with protein, starch, and green vegetable, it was pretty well balanced.  We have realized lately that rather than having several dishes, we like to have just one or two we really want then we fill up of them – we had nothing but chicken wings one night and only salmon for another meal.

And while the food was good, this post is not about food but rather about finding a new role for an unused kitchen device – perhaps you also have a couple of these around and I have to believe this isn’t our only one.

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.


5/17/18 Meal Date

Thursday, May 17, 2018

It’s Grilling Season – Brat’s

Let me begin by saying that my grilling season is 365 days long and while my blog may make it sound like I plan all of the meals and do all of the cooking, this is definitely not the case – I am the full time kitchen cleaner though.  Bev had purchased several sweet peppers that she decided we needed to use and her favorite use for them is brats.  She went freezer diving and came back with a package of four Jalapeno Cheddar Brats from Yoder Meats in Shipshewana, IN that we had picked up during the Thor Rally last October.  We really enjoyed Yoder's and their large selection - 12 brat flavors - so we loaded up the RV freezer before heading home.

Since I do most of the grilling and Bev worked out in her flowers much of the day I was the cook for this meal.  I cooked the brats in water with onion and some white wine – boxed Chablis – until they were done then headed for the grill.  I cooked the brats to get a crust on them and used the side burner to sauté the peppers and onion to get some caramelization and keep them slightly crisp – so high heat and frequent tossing – I love that I learned how to do that.

I plated mine on a slice of French bread to get this.

They were delicious with just the right amount of heat.  Grilled good brats with peppers and onions is just plain hard to beat and we have this way more often than I post about.  Want an easy week night meal that doesn’t heat up the kitchen, this is it or if you live in the Denver area and need an excuse to brush the snow off the grill in January for a quick grilled meal, this is it.

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. 


5/14/18 Meal Date

Monday, May 14, 2018

Mother’s Day At Almost Heaven South

We had a little MD get together at our place that included our newest mother Wende, her daughter Eliza, her friend Ralph, SIL Pat, Bev, and me as chief cook and bottle washer for the day.  Wende and Bev both thought that grilled shrimp should be the meal for the day and I added some par-boiled and smashed potatoes, and some fresh picked asparagus that the neighbors had given us the previous day.  And since we didn’t have enough shrimp to go around, I added a piece of Swordfish that we had bought fresh from Skip One Seafood’s in Fort Myers during our winter trip.  We considered having a salad but decided we had plenty to eat without it or dessert.

First, I got everything ready throughout the day as follows:

Shrimp – We had thirty Royal Red Shrimp that we bought from Joe Patti’s Seafood during our winter trip.  Look at that tuna and swordfish in the bottom pic.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Parmesan Fish Ala Pam

When I saw Pam’s post and recipe for Parmesan Halibut on her For The Love Of Cooking blog, I knew it had to be tried but with the grouper I had in the freezer, rather than halibut.  However, when we went to get it out all we could find was red snapper but I thought Pam’s recipe would work with any white fish.

Here's a finished shot of Pam's Halibut but please visit her site for more how-to pics.  

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Thai Beef With Peppers

Bev saw The Pioneer Woman make this dish on TV and really wanted to try it so we bought the steak, fresh ginger, and some Thai Stir Fry Rice Noodles – we had everything else on hand.  Bev was tired from a day in her flower bed so I made the dish by Ree's recipe.  This is a shot of her dish from the web.