Friday, June 22, 2018

Grilled Burgers with Radish Cream

Kita of Girl Carnivore and queen of  Burger Month has invited those of us that want to join her in a burger challenge each month.  She provides a list of ingredients and, if we choose to join in the fun, we create a burger using said ingredients.



This months ingredients were Radishes, Spinach, Lemon and Cream...…..


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Turneric Shrimp with Mango Salsa #CrazyIngredientChallenge #FantasticalFoodFight

Succulent, tender shrimp lightly spiced with turmeric and cumin are quickly stir fried and served with a flavorful, bright mango salsa in a Crazy Ingredient Challenge collision with a Fantastical Food Fight...…..


Join me as we see what happens when two exciting cooking  challenges meet up on the same day.....

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Corn and Avocado Salad #KitchenMatrixCookingProject

Tender fresh corn kernels tossed with avocado and fresh herbs in a light lime vinaigrette makes a perfect side dish for whatever is on the grill.


Bring this salad on your next picnic or get together with family and friends.  It is sure to be a big hit!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happy Father's Day and The Weekly Menu

Happy Father's Day to all of you out there that take on the important role of "Dad" each and every day.  You are the unsung heroes.  You are the men that embrace your role and take serious your responsibility of supporting, directing and forming these precious lives for whom you are responsible.  Many of you are not even the "biological" father but take pride in being "Daddy". Some of you are uncles and grandpas who step in to fill the void of a father who cannot or will not be in their child's life.  Some of you are women, trying to "do it all" because you have no other choice.


My Pops with Me and my sister, Dawn.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Alsace Rocks the Summer Grilling Scene #Winophiles

Welcome to the June 2018 Edition of the French Winophiles.  This month we are visiting (virtually) the Alsace region and the wines that it has to offer.  Our tour guide for this trip is Jeff of Food Wine Click.  You will learn so much about this area if you take a look at his information post.


I am sharing four different food and wine pairings with you today.  I am excited to tell you what I learned about these wines through the pairings.  Plus, I am sharing a great recipe for Mussels that you can prepare right on your outdoor grill.

Smoked Salmon Chowder #SoupSaturdaySwappers

Tender, flaky, smoked salmon in a lightly creamed broth flavored with onions, garlic and celery with just enough potato to make it the first course or light lunch.


Friday, June 15, 2018

Tropical Mahi-Mahi Salad #FishFridayFoodies

This gorgeous salad full of the flavors of the Tropics and topped with perfectly grilled Mahi-Mahi is the perfect summertime meal enjoyed al fresco poolside.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Red White and Blue Tart #ImprovCookingChallenge

This quick, simple and delicious tart is perfect for your Independence Day celebration.


Welcome to Improv Cooking Challenge where our host Nichole of Cookaholic Wife, invites us to create a dish based on the theme or ingredient she chooses.  This month she asked us to create a Red White and Blue dish in honor of our Nation's birthday.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Leftover Steak and Pasta #FoodnFlix

Our FoodnFlix film this month was the original "The Incredibles", a fun animated Disney film about a "different" family that is doing their best to conform to societies norms.


Monday, June 11, 2018

Taco Pockets #BakingBloggers

Traditional taco seasoned ground beef, mixed with salsa and topped with cheese is wrapped in a puff pastry pocket and baked to a golden, crispy brown.  This is the perfect Mexican Monday or Taco Tuesday treat...…



Sunday, June 10, 2018

Rabarberpaj (Rhubarb Crumble) #EattheWorld

Tender, tart morsels of rhubarb, sweetened with sugar and seasoned with ginger is topped with a hazelnut crumble for a taste of Sweden as we #EattheWorld.


Rubarberpaj technically translates to rhubarb pie but is actually more of a crumble baked in a pie plate.

Grenadian Chocolate Iced Tea #NationalIcedTeaDay


Last month we went to Grenada for a Scuba Diving trip.  One of the activities offered at our resort was a chocolate and rum tasting.



We started out with the chocolate tasting.  One of the items they showed us piqued my interest right away.  As soon as the representative told us what this item was used for, I immediately remembered that I had signed up to celebrate National Iced Tea Day.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Taking a Second Voyage with Burgers on the Barbie

We eat a lot of burgers in the summer.  There is nothing that I love throwing on the grill, or Barbie, as it is called Down Under, more than a hamburger. It is the first thing we grill when the weather warms up, having waited all year long for the opportunity.  We probably enjoy burgers, of some sort, at least once a week during the grilling season.

Why am I talking about what a grill is called Down Under?  Well, you see, this month our Wine Pairing Weekend Group is heading to Australia, thanks to our host Gwendolyn of Wine Predator.  Gwendolyn chose OZ because they are hosting the National Wine Bloggers Conference this year.  She tells more about it in her Preview Post.

Since we are not all lucky enough to hop on a plane and head to the other side of the world, Gwendolyn thought we should at least get together, virtually, to visit and share some food and wine pairings.  She asked us to throw something on the Barbie to pair with one of the many Australian Wines that are exploding here on top of the world.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Progress Happening here on the Farm and the Weekly Menu

The Remodel:  The room is coming along nicely.  The floor is down and should be grouted today.  The tile should also be installed on the fireplace today.  Frank has started working on the wood for the trim around the windows, ceiling and floors.  It will be ready to install as soon as the grout is dry.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Grilled Ratatouille #FoodieExtravaganza

This month our Foodie Extravaganza group is celebrating National Fruits and Veggies month.  This party is being hosted by Ellen of Family Around the Table.


I decided to make one of my favorite vegetable dishes, Ratatouille. Ratatouille is normally stewed but for today's event I decided to grill it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Shrimp Spring Rolls #KitchenMatrixCookingProject

Our friend, Karen of Karen's Kitchen Stories, is picking the themes for this month's Kitchen Matrix Cooking Project.

This week she chose the Spring Rolls recipe generator from the Cookbook written by Mark Bittman.


I normally am enamored with the fact that Bittmann shares ideas more than he shares recipes.  I always just use recipes as a guideline, so Bittman's cookbook is right up my alley.  

However, this week, I could have used some more help...…

Monday, June 4, 2018

Blessed are the Cheesemakers; A Book Review and Philly Cheese Steak Burgers

My friend Cam, of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, sent me two boxes filled with books.  I took one of them, Blessed are the Cheesemakers, on vacation with me last month.



I read this novel on the flight home, people were looking at me as if I were a weirdo.  I laughed out loud numerous times during this touching story about family (the good and the bad), love and learning to trust again.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Lost Family; A Book Review and the Recipe it Inspired

I was provided an advanced release copy of The Lost Family by Jenna Blum.  This book will be available to the public on June 5th of this year.  This book was sent to me by my friends at the Book Club Cookbook free of charge in return for my honest review on this blog and a recipe created that was inspired while reading this book.  I received no monetary compensation.  All opinions are strictly my own.


Saturday, June 2, 2018

Here I am Lord......

Sometimes, even when you are trying to ignore Him, the Lord keeps knocking.

Sometimes that knocking becomes more of a pounding on your door.

Such is the case with us that lead us to a life changing decision this past February when we applied to adopt 2 young ladies, ages 13 and 11, from the foster care system in our state.




I guess I really should start at the beginning...…..

Friday, June 1, 2018

The First Week of June and the Weekly Menu

I can't believe that it is already June.  The year is half over.  People say that the years fly by and the days crawl.  I don't know....all of my time seems to fly by in the blink of an eye.

The rebuilding of the back room is complete.  The outside is short a few strips of siding as they had to be special ordered and will be in next week.  Yesterday we primed the walls and ceiling and Frank got the ceiling painted while I was at a meeting.


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Grenada~~Island Tour

It ended all too soon.  It seems like I have been home much longer than a couple of days.  We have gotten a lot accomplished since we got home.

The pool is opened and should be ready for us by the end of the week.  The laundry is done, the lawn is mowed.  We've spent each day with our Little Miss and we went out and got all the supplies to start painting the renovated back room.

I found a few minutes to go through the photos from our Island Tour on the last day of our vacation.  I will share those with you now.  We loved our time in Grenada.  Most of our time was spent at True Blue Bay Resort.  They say their mission is to keep their guests happy and they certainly do.  Very friendly and accommodating staff.

Our mornings were spent diving with Aquanuts.  This is, without a doubt, one of the best dive teams we have had the pleasure of spending a week with.  They pampered us completely.  We didn't even have to take care of our own wetsuits.  They did it all.  Each morning we would get to the boat and our gear would be all set up, ready and waiting to go.  Bugsy, Bruce, Crispin and Dennis couldn't have done anything that would have made this dive experience any better.


Friday morning, our last full day, there was no diving.  We slept in, had a leisurely breakfast and then met in the lobby at 9 am to tour the Island.  Grenada is 12 miles wide by 21 miles long but you would think it was much larger.  It is very mountainous so there is a lot of land above sea level in that short distance.


There are 6 Parishes on the Island.  We visited 5 of them.  Each little town we drove through has their Farmer's Market going on Fridays and Saturdays.  St. George is the largest city on the Island. Their Farmer's Market rivaled our Eastern Market here in Detroit.


Much of the roadside is decorated with the Grenadian colors of red/green/yellow.  There are handwritten signs of goodwill and charity everywhere you look.  The USA is well loved by Grenadians and they made it very clear that our tourism is appreciated and needed.


Our first stop was a beautiful waterfall where we cooled off a bit and stretched our legs after the trek out of St. Georges which was very heavily congested with traffic.


Our next stop was the Spice House.  This plantation used to employ over 300 people.  In a four year period, the owner, worried that he was going to lose the business due to political uprisings, let the plantation go and it now only has 20 employees.

Grenada is known as the Spice Island.  It used to be the 2nd largest exporter of nutmeg in the world but a hurricane took out many of it trees, knocking it down to #8.  They also export cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon, turmeric, and allspice.


This was followed by a stop at the Chocolate Factory. Cocoa is also a huge crop for Grenada and is imported to other countries.  The picture on the bottom left shows a cocoa fruit from which the beans are taken.  They are then placed in drawers and covered with banana leaves being turned and stirred each day until they turn a golden brown.  Then they are machine sorted for size before being hand sorted for any imperfections before being roasted and becoming the products that we know and love.


Lunch was enjoyed at a mountain top restaurant at this rum distillery.  After lunch we enjoyed a tour of the distillery, which is the only distillery on the Island that still presses and makes rum in the same manner as when it first opened in the 1800's.  This was followed up by a rum tasting.


The ride back took us past this fort where the USA battled with Grenada.  We called this an invasion.  93% of the Grenadians called this a rescue mission for which they are very grateful, celebrating it each year with a day they call Thanksgiving.

It was a very long, full day.  Dinner was ready upon our return to the resort and then we headed to the room to pack up and get ready for our return home the following day.  







Monday, May 28, 2018

Red White and Blue Muffins #MuffinMonday

May you all enjoy this Memorial Holiday and may we all take a moment today to think about the sacrifices made to make the USA the Home of the Brave and the Land of the Free.  May we never lose sight of the cost of being the greatest country in the world.

We got home in the wee hours yesterday morning.  It was a wonderful trip and I will be sharing our last day when we toured the Island later this week.  But today?  Today is Muffin Monday as well as Memorial Day so I am sharing with you some Red White and Blue Muffins that are quick, easy to make and will provide a festive treat for you today.


Muffin Monday occurs the last Monday of each month when Stacy of Food Lust People Love invites bloggers to post a muffin recipe of their choice.  There is no theme but your muffins must be made in the "muffin" fashion.  That is mixing together the dry ingredients.  Whisking together the wet ingredients and then combining the two.


I adapted this recipe from one found at Taste of Home.  I liked it not only because it was perfect for Memorial Day but also because it only makes 6 Muffins which is perfect for the 2 of us.


While these are not the most beautiful muffins I have ever made, they were certainly right up at the top in the taste department.



You will find links to all the other muffins being shared today at the bottom of this post.


Have a Blessed and Safe Memorial Day Celebration.  



#muffinmonday, #muffins, #MemorialDay, #4thofJuly, #Redwhiteandblue
Muffins, Snacks, Breakfast, Breads, Brunch
American
Yield: 6 muffins

Pin it

Red White and Blue Muffins

Celebrate Memorial Day, Fourth of July or just your love of the USA with these delicious and tender muffins studded with strawberries, blueberries and white chocolate chips.
prep time: 10 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 30 mins

ingredients:

3/4 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 t. baking soda
1/8 t. nutmeg
1 egg
1/4 c. olive oil
2 T. milk
1/3 c. chopped strawberries
1/4 c. blueberries
3 T. white chocolate chips

instructions

Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and nutmeg in a bowl.  Set aside.  Whisk together the egg, oil and milk.   Make a well in the dry ingredients.  Pour the wet ingredients into the well and stir just until combined.  Stir in the strawberries, blueberries and white chocolate chips.  

Divide the batter between 6 muffin tins that have been treated with baking spray or lined with paper cups.  Bake in a preheated 375* oven for 18-22 minutes, until a skewer inserted removes cleanly.  

Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.

NOTES:

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

Recipe can be doubled.
Created using The Recipes Generator






More Magnificent Muffins on this Monday

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Home from Vacation and the Weekly Menu

We arrived home about 2 am this morning.  It was a wonderful vacation and I will be sharing more about it with you later in the week.  I am, as always, very happy to be home.

We were still up early this morning. The dogs had no sympathy with us over our lack of sleep so 6 am was still feeding time.  We unpacked, started laundry and visited with Jessica for a bit before she left Melody with us to spend the day.  We sure did miss that Angel Face.

We went to Mass, came home, had lunch and then Little Miss Melody and I took a 2 hr. nap while Grampy mowed the lawn.  After our nap we played in the wading pool for a while, started the process to open up the big pool, grilled dinner, ate and now we are watching Cinderella.

No big plans for tomorrow but the new room is ready to be painted now so we will probably go and pick out the paint as well as get the rest of the stuff needed to finish opening the pool.

The builders will be back to finish up the roof and siding on Tuesday and our carpenter will put the shelving in for the pantry.  As soon as we are done painting we can have the tile guy come and put in the floor.  Then we will just have to wait for the cupboards to be completed.  Hopefully we will be done in another couple of weeks.

So here is the Weekly Menu.  Please stop by each day as I post photos and recipes.

Sunday
Grilled Pork Chops
Roasted Baby Potatoes
Grilled Corn on the Cob

Monday-Memorial Day
Philly Cheese Steak Burgers
Tuna Macaroni Salad
Broccoli Slaw

Tuesday
Carry out at Aunt Irene's

Wednesday
Grilled Chicken Breast
Grilled Ratatouille

Thursday
Taco Pockets

Fish Friday
Shrimp Spring Rolls
Asian Grilled Salmon
Rice Mingle Salad



Saturday, May 26, 2018

Grenada~~Last Day of Diving and a Cooking Class

Thursday we went to the Marine Preserve Park for our last two morning dives.  The first stop was a sunken schooner followed by the sculpture park.


The current took us around the hull of the schooner.


And the we had to fight the current to see the top of the schooner.

We then swam into the shallower waters and visited the Underwater Sculpture Park.  This Park was designed by a local artist using models from the Island to make the faces on the statues.  The Park is in pretty good shape except for one area that was damaged by a storm.  The bodies were ripped from the stand and now lie in the sand....this is now called the graveyard.



The second dive was another part of the reef system, I can't remember the name of the site.  It was a beautiful, vibrant reef with an abundance of sealife, mostly fans, coral heads, and small fish.


After lunch we attended a cooking class where the chef from the resort shared her recipe for Creole Sauce.  The Creole sauce here is very different from what I have made.




Now I have the secret ingredient and will be replicating it at home so stay tuned for that recipe coming up soon.





Following the Cooking Class was a night dive of the wreck we did the first dive of the first day.  This wreck is in a protected area so there is no current to deal with negating the need for a drift dive.  


The cup coral was very vibrant, we saw a couple of spiny sea urchin but were disappointed that none of the "thugs" were out.  Normally night dives are where you get to see your octopus, sharks, eels, etc.

Back to the resort for a late dinner and then crashed.  Yesterday was spent touring the Island.....learned so much and have a lot to share with you....coming up next on the blog....see you soon.





Thursday, May 24, 2018

Grenada~~Day 4

I did not dive yesterday morning.  I awoke in the middle of the night with a terrible migraine and was still in pain and nauseous when it was time to leave in the morning.  Frank went and visited our dive friends, Brad and Sherry, who happen to be an ER Doctor and Trauma Nurse.  He came back with medication.  I was then able to fall asleep while Frank went diving.  I awoke around 11 am and felt much better with just the lingering residual effects of the migraine remaining.

Frank said that the visibility was not very good on the dives.  However, he did get some nice photos that he shared with me and I am sharing with you today.


I'm sorry I missed this guy.


Peek a Boo


I wish we didn't see so many of these guys.

After lunch I went back to the room and rested a bit more, read for a while and  went for a massage. By late afternoon I was feeling right back to normal.



The resort hosted a cocktail party for all of the guests.  We met the owners of the resort and mingled for a bit before heading over to the restaurant and bar area that had been taken over by locals for an evening of street food.


This was a lot of fun.  They had different stations with all kinds of local specialties.  We were given tickets and were able to pick and choose what we wished to try.  The only unusual thing that I tried was the curried goat stew which was absolutely delicious.

I got a lot of ideas for what to serve at our after dive party we will be hosting at the end of the month.

Off for our last day of diving.  See you all tomorrow.







Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Diving Grenada~~Day 3

Day 3 of diving was very nice but it started getting a little rough in the afternoon with high winds expected in the evening, canceling our scheduled night dive.

Our first stop of the morning was a site called Windmill Shallows. It contains neither a windmill nor shallows so we are unsure where the name originated. What it does contain is a Catamaran that was used for taking tourists out for rum cruises.  One morning the crew came into work and the Catamaran had disappeared.  Some time later it was discovered lying on the bottom of the ocean at the dive site.


There was an entire colony of Lionfish living on this Catamaran.  All stationed right over this feeding hole which is probably why we didn't see much else.


We did see this guy....Who's not afraid of no stinkin' lionfish.


And this spider crab who was oblivious to it all.

Our second dive was Kohanee, another section of the miles long reef system.  This was a beautiful site with a lot of marine life and gorgeous corals of all kinds.


We hung out by the pool after lunch.  We had spa services provided with our all inclusive package so Frank went for a back massage and I had a facial.  It was so wonderful that I scheduled a massage for today.



After our spa treatments we attended a chocolate and rum tasting.  We tried many different chocolates from 100% cocoa to 60% cocoa.  Some were plain, others were flavored with sea salt, nutmeg and ginger.  This is, after all, the Spice Island.   My favorite was the nutmeg flavored bar with 60% cocoa.  My most exciting find were cocoa tea balls.  I picked some up and got the recipe for cocoa tea….we have National Tea Day in June!



There were 3 different rums that we tried.  The first was 150 proof.  It was like taking a sip of lighter fluid.  The second was a Plantation Rum to be enjoyed on the rocks, with a sweeter honey flavor to it.  The last was a 10XO aged in Bourbon barrels from Tennessee and meant to be enjoyed neat.  This last was my personal favorite.


Cocktails and laughter before dinner.


Music and Dancing during Dinner.


Delicious Cajun Shrimp for dinner, that tasted more sweet and spicy than Cajun.

And then back to the room for a good night's sleep before diving the next day.  This is when my vacation went awry but more about that in tomorrows post.  See you then.