Dinner

chicken and rice soup with homemade stock

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you can’t tell me that won’t make an amazing stock

How are you holding up? We are doing well though this morning made me “think” a little differently than my norm. I was about to make french toast and grabbed the dozen of eggs from the fridge and immediately thought; wow that’s going to use a lot of my eggs we should have something else. I put the bacon back and looked around and had 3 English muffins left in a package, some left over hollandaise sauce from last week and a few slices of lunch meat ham. Waste not want not mode kicked in.
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this make me 8 cups of what I call liquid gold

I am sure we are all in that mode these days with trying to stay home but still maintain some semblance of normalcy. I do struggle with wanting to support my local restaurants that we used to frequent before a month ago and we do order out at least once a week. I am having a hard time finding balance with spending money as normal; dinner out, Amazon, grocery stores etc. I want to support them but I also want their staff safe and not have to go out for me. I hope that make sense!
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I am frugal by nature; I save leftovers, I will take stale bread and make breadcrumbs. I freeze Parmesan cheese rinds for later use. I will make up a dinner using whatever fresh veggie is about to expire. I will make a soup out of almost anything. If it’s good I’ll make it again.  I made risotto the other night and made extra so I can make up rice cakes because the last time I made the “extra” into arancini (Italian rice balls) and already have a bag of those in the freezer.
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I have implored you numerous times to make your own stock; now is the time to make it happen! If the stove top method freaks you out; use your slow cooker. A five pound roast will make several meals for your family. I dare you to test me!

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These trays are awesome, 2 cup portion size so each tray is 8 cups. I got them on Amazon

Sorry the recipe card wont work

5 pound roaster chicken – Bell and Evans or Misty Knolls are the best in my opinion
1 medium onion, small dice, or if you are not a fan grate the onion so they disappear but add flavor
3 carrots, peeled and diced into similar sizes
2 stalks celery, cleaned and diced into similar sizes
1/2 cup Jasmati or similar rice.
8 cups chicken stock
Stock:
chicken carcass, couple of carrots, couple of celery, sliced onion. garlic clove or two smashed, season with salt and pepper

Soup:

in a stock pot add a little olive oil and the onions, carrots and celery. saute for about 5 minutes. Add the rice and let it barely brown. It adds a little more flavor. Cover with the stock and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. remove from the heat and add the leftover chicken. I prefer to shred the chicken versus dicing it. Your choice.

If not using leftover chicken, use a couple of boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into chunks and seasoned liberally with salt and pepper. Saute the pieces in the stock pot before you start this recipe. set the chicken aside, add the veggies and scrape up all the bits from the pan. That will add even more flavor.  

Stock: 

After removing all of the meat from the chicken add the carcass to your slow cooker. top with roughly chopped veggies and cover with water. put on low for the night. when you wake up in the morning. I let my stock cool on the counter in a container, then I put it in the fridge overnight or until it completely cools. I want all the fat to solidify on top so I can remove it.

After having dinner with your roasted chicken, remove all of the meat and use some in leftovers or chicken salad, save some for the soup.

Stay safe –  Stay healthy and Stay home as much as you possibly can. Stay in touch using Facetime, Zoom, Skype or whatever else is available to you. We have been having virtual happy hour with some of our friends with IPhones, and last night a bunch of us used Facetime while a couple of friends played piano and the rest of us sang or listened. We are going to try zoom next week

Chicken Chili in the slow cooker

I hope you are able to keep in good spirits during this trying time in our world. I know the local government in every state are having to make a lot of decisions they have never had to make in their lifetime as well as us as citizens. So the topic of conversations we have had all start with what’s going on. I am OK with discussing the world but my hope is there are other things that come up so we don’t wallow in it and able to keep some normalcy to our lives.  I am still going to be making food to feed my family and if it’s worth sharing I will. 

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I had some chicken breast I took out of the freezer and needed to use them up. There were four chicken breasts so I took three of them and put them in the crockpot and the last one I sliced up, seasoned and pan seared it for chicken salad. This chili has a lot of ingredients I keep in my pantry pretty much at all times.  When canned goods are on sale I load up on them and save them for a rainy day. In comparison to other states I feel NH is only misting right now. If you get my reference.  

img_4700This is a great meal to set it and forget it. I do wish it wasn’t so cold outside I would love to get out into the garden and turn the soil and start my list of what we are going to grow for the season.  I also hope the garlic I planted last fall will bring me joy. Every year is different for me, some years I hit the mother load and others is utterly disappointing.  Stay tuned I am sure I’ll share with you the results.
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Chicken Chili in the slow cooker
quick throw together warm comforting meal that also freezes well
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
8 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
8 min
Ingredients
  1. Boneless skinless chicken breast
  2. 1 onion diced
  3. 2 cloves of garlic
  4. 2 cans of beans - great northern, navy pea beans, black beans Or any combination
  5. 1 can hominy
  6. 1 envelope taco seasoning
  7. 1 can chopped green chilis
  8. 1 can Rotel
  9. 1 can cream of chicken soup
  10. Chicken broth
Instructions
  1. Place chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker
  2. saute onions and garlic till they are soft
  3. Top with beans
  4. In a medium bowl combine taco seasoning, Chilis, Rotel, soup and broth. Pour over beans
  5. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours
  6. Before serving shred chicken to your liking.
  7. Top with shredded cheese, sour cream and chives or green onions
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/
 

Pantry and Freezer time

I started writing this morning about how I opt to play Switzerland and play nice in the sandbox on social media and mostly in “real” life. I learned that behavior very early on in my life. I had three paragraphs written and then deleted the whole thing. I am at a loss to what we are seeing in our world today. I don’t understand the whole TP buyout debacle of 2020.

 

I am going to keep my blog light and as positive as I can. We have a enough doom and gloom going on in the world today so I even though I didn’t make anything special this past week to share. I did meet up with a few girlfriends yesterday for a nice and pleasant visit and they thought I should share some tips and tricks to help get people through the next few weeks and hopefully not months. Time to put those packets of Ramen noodles to good use.

When I see what I use on sale I tend to buy several of them at that moment. My pantry is full of different kinds of pasta, several different kinds of beans and rice options. pasta sauce and San Marzano tomatoes to name a few. I feel we are in pretty good shape.

When I make meatballs I more than double the batch and freeze what we don’t eat. I do the same with chili and some soups. Frozen shrimp is so easy to make into a quick dinner. Butterball turkey burgers are in the freezer section and delicious. If you have never froze bread you are missing out. I will buy sliced bread on sale and freeze a loaf. When I am in Montreal I buy several loafs of there fresh baked bread and freeze all but one loaf to eat that night for dinner.

I do know personally quite a few of the people who read my blog and they have on occasion reached out to me to ask a food related question and I do not have all the answers but if you have a few things in your home that you are not sure what to do with; give me a shout out and I will try to help with suggestions if I can. Stay safe and strong!

Chicken cutlets in a sun-dried tomato cream sauce

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So today is already starting out by losing an hour; lets hope it gets better from here. I have never been a fan of daylight savings; it totally messes with my whole being. I have a hard enough time sleeping and twice a year having to jolt the system to a new schedule for what is now not really necessary seems to me we really don’t need to do this to ourselves anymore. Plus now I get to run around the house changing close to a dozen clocks.
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Since I love history and trivia I wanted to know a little more of the who and whys of daylight savings. We all know it was Benjamin Franklin; I learned that in school many years ago but I was surprised to read that he only mentioned the idea in a published essay in 1784. I was also surprised that the first country to adopt this was Germany but not until 1916 which was 132 years later. I will admit I thought it was only a US thing, that shows a little of my ignorance. The US didn’t start using it until 1918 and bully for Arizona to be the only contiguous state to stop observing daylight savings. Hopefully that was some fun facts for your morning reading now back to some food.
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I have been noticing a huge difference in the chicken I have been getting; to the point where I will not buy just any kind. I am sure some of you might not find this as such a surprise but I have been buying a certain brand for as long as I can remember and also store brand chicken when something strikes me. I don’t know if it is me or if they changed whats happening with the chicken but if I can’t find a Bell and Evans or a Misty Knoll roaster chicken, we won’t be having our usual Sunday roaster it has come to that.
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I made this recipe with store brand chicken cutlets and while the recipe I will make again as we all loved the flavor but I won’t be making it unless I can find the better chicken at the store.
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chicken cutlets with a sun dried tomato cream sauce
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pound chicken cutlets
  2. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  3. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  4. 1/2 cupr slivered oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, plus 1 tablespoon oil from the jar
  5. 1.2 cup finely chopped shallots
  6. 1/2 cup dry white wine
  7. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  8. 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley - I didn't have any
Instructions
  1. season chicken cutlets with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the sun dried tomato oil in a large enough skillet over medium hot heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until browned and cooked through, use an instant-read thermometer and insert it into the fattest part and it should read 165'F. roughly 6 minutes. transfer chicken to a plate.
  2. Add the sun dried tomatoes and the shallots to the pan. Cook stirring for a minute or so, increase the heat to high and add the white wine. Cook, scraping up and browned bits, until the liquid has mostly evaporated. about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and stir in the cream, and any juices from the chicken plate. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 2 minutes. Return the chicken back to the sauce; turn to coat with the sauce. Serve chicken topped with sauce.
Adapted from Eating Well
Adapted from Eating Well
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/

roasted chicken breast acorn squash sheet pan

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Most of the time I go to the grocery store with a plan of what I need to pick up based on what we want to eat for the week. Or more like what I feel like making for the week. I do ask; sometimes what the house wants but really it’s mostly up to me.
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I also mostly go to the store alone but this time my daughter was with me and instead of a spaghetti squash we came home with an acorn squash instead. Guess she is not a fan of spaghetti squash I do try to have on hand a few fresh veggies for a quick side. Usually broccoli, cauliflower always carrots and I guess now acorn squash. It was easy, a great side and we all loved it. So much so my husband stated we will be adding it to the garden this year.
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Quick during the week meals are a must in everyone I personally knows world. We all work and time is tight and dinner needs to be easy to make, which means few ingredients and mostly hands off. This meal was just that and very satisfying. 

A few chicken breasts, an acorn squash, some seasonings, a sheet pan and your oven. You will be enjoying a nice warm meal in an hour.

roasted chicken breast acorn squash sheet pan
A quick, delicious, satisfying meal
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Ingredients
  1. Chicken Breast bone in, skin on a piece or two per person
  2. 1 acorn squash,
  3. kosher salt
  4. freshly cracked black pepper
  5. maple syrup
  6. crop dust or your favorite all purpose seasoning
Instructions
  1. Spray your sheet pan with cooking spray or line with tinfoil
  2. Preheat oven to 375'F
  3. dry each chicken breast with a paper towel
  4. season each breast on both sides with salt, pepper and your all purpose seasoning
  5. wash and slice the acorn squash, scoop out the seeds.
  6. place everything on the sheet pan, season the squash with the same seasonings
  7. drizzle the squash with a little maple syrup
  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/
 

 

Portuguese Braised Pork and Clams

 

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I will be making this again – Soon!

Last weekend I made up for the lack of spending time in the kitchen. I almost made too many things if that is possible. We had leftovers all week long which for us is not a bad thing. I know so many people that do not like leftovers. I wonder why that is. Do they make things that don’t reheat well? What they ate didn’t taste good the first time around? Do they not know how to reheat things? Is it a childhood “thing” meaning there parents didn’t eat leftovers so they won’t eat them? With that being said there are some things that do not reheat well.

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I improvised with paprika and pimento peppers – use what you have on hand I say!

IMG_4946IMG_4947While I was making this I kept thinking about my friends SF and BF plus their family; the ones they share with us every Labor Day weekend when we become honorary Portuguese family members. SF you are going to want to make this; it is so good and reheats perfectly minus the clams; which we finished split those up before packing up the leftovers.

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I found it easier to put a strainer over a bowl and just pour the pork out of the bag 

IMG_4964 - CopyIMG_4965IMG_4967I will give you a heads up the pork needs to marinate overnight; I know some of you will stop reading and won’t even try this recipe but you can do this I promise; before you put the pork away after buying it slice it up and throw it in the marinade for tomorrow nights dinner. You got this!

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San Marzano whole tomatoes is my go to and I always hand crush them into my pot!

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Now it’s time for a confession. There is an ingredient I didn’t know what it was and I didn’t look it up before I went to the store. SO I made up my own version of what I thought it might be. I thought I might just stumble upon it at the store; I did not. I did look it up when I got home and now it makes sense so I will tell the ones who do not know what it is it might be in the spice section of your grocery store; if not substitute it with a smoked paprika that you can find and like. Not the pickle, olive mustard aisle. Pimenton de la Vera dulce.  I figured it was something to do with Pimento peppers obviously I don’t speak the language. It is actually a Spanish smoked sweet paprika yeah I know not even close!
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They used Cilantro for garnish – I didn’t have any so I chopped celery tops for added color

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Portuguese Braised Pork and Clams
Serves 8
A warm and savory soup
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Ingredients
  1. 2 lb boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes. (I used pork butt)
  2. 2 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt (divided)
  3. 3/4 teaspoon black pepper (divided)
  4. 6 garlic cloves (divided)
  5. 1 cup dry white wine
  6. 2 bay leaves
  7. 1 tablespoon Pimenton de la Vera dulce (smoked sweet paprika)
  8. 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (divided)
  9. 1 medium sized yellow onion diced
  10. 1 28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand - recommend San Marzano
  11. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  12. 2 cups chicken stock or broth (divided)
  13. 2 lb baby Yukon Gold potatoes, halved
  14. 2 lb Manila clams or cockies, scrubbed - I used clams I could find at my store
  15. scalions diced for garnish - or they had fresh cilantro on theirs
  16. serve with crusty bread for sopping up all the goodness
Instructions
  1. Season pork all over with 1 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. In a large ziploc bag add the pork. Smash 3 cloves of garlic, add to the bag along with the wine, bay leaves and Pimenton. Seal and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350'F
  3. Remove pork from marinade saving the marinade, pat the pork dry with a paper towel. Remove and discard the garlic and bay leaves. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add pork and cook until lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to pork to a plate continue with the rest of the pork.
  4. Chop remaining garlic cloves. Add the onions and the remaining oil cook for a minute then add the chopped garlic continue cooking for another minute or two. You want them to be slightly browned but not burned stirring often. Add the tomatoes, red pepper and the reserved marinade.
  5. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer stirring often for about 3 minutes. Return cooked pork to the pot. Stir in 1 cup of stock until pork is mostly submerged. Cover and bake in oven until pork is fork-tender. 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  6. Stir in potatoes and remaining 1 cup of stock, Cover and bake until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.
  7. Transfer Dutch oven to the stovetop over high add the cleaned clams. Cover and cook until clams open. 3 to 5 minutes. (remove and discard any unopened clams) Season with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Garnish with diced scallions
Adapted from Food and Wine Magazine
Adapted from Food and Wine Magazine
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/
 

Pasta Sausage Squash and Swiss Chard

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This is the first meal this year that was something we haven’t already had a million times over the years. I guess I just haven’t been interested in cooking yet. We have been very busy but we are always busy so that’s no excuse. It might also have something to do with my stupid cough that is better but not completely gone. I start the day with a list of things I want/need to do then I get home from work and am exhausted and end up doing nothing. It’s getting pretty old.

IMG_4948So I am going to thank you for getting me back in the kitchen. I made a list of things I want to make and last night started two of them. I wanted to make something new to share with you all. According to my family we had a keeper for dinner last night. The first question my husband asks me is if I wrote it down so I can recreate it. How rude of him to think I didn’t; he knows I tend to make things even from a recipe more to our tastes mostly out of necessity. Sometimes I can’t find what the recipe puts in their dishes so I improvise with what I have on hand. I hope you all do that; though through some of my experiences at a few of my cooking classes I hold at my home this is not always the case. In his defense he and my son keep bringing up a Mahi Mahi recipe I didn’t keep track of and have never been able to replicate it again. I don’t even try anymore.
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Last night I gave my fam an option of a couple of meals; my daughter said past and sausage two things we love. So that was it and here it is for you.

Pasta Sausage Squash and Swiss Chard
Serves 6
This would be a great weeknight meal, it comes together pretty quickly
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Total Time
35 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 box of penne pasta
  2. 2 cups diced butternut squash (1/2 inch pieces) mine was larger than this
  3. 4 cups lightly packed chopped swiss chard
  4. 3 links sweet italian sausage casing removed and broken up (diced for a chunk works too)
  5. 1/2 cup finely chopped shallot
  6. 2-3 cloves garlic
  7. 2 tablespoon butter
  8. 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  9. 2 tablespoon flour
  10. 2 1/2 cups milk
  11. 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  12. kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  13. pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 2 minutes. Add the squash and cook for 6 minutes. add the chard and cook until the pasta is tender. 1 to 2 minutes longer. Drain and return to the pot.
  2. Combine sausage, shallot and butter to a large saute pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is soft about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the thyme and cook another minute. Sprinkle with flour cook stirring for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook whisking occasionally until the sauce starts to thicken. About 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese season with salt and pepper to taste. sprinkle with a little crushed red pepper to your liking. Cook until the cheese melts and the sauce is thick.
  3. Pour the sauce mixture over the pasta mixing to coat, serve with extra grated cheese.
Notes
  1. You can find butternut squash generally peeled and diced in large supermarkets to make it easier
Adapted from Eating Well
Adapted from Eating Well
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/
 

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Pork Belly Ramen is what’s for dinner

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The countdown to Claus is coming quick! I know it is because the calendar says so and I have an enormous tree in my bay window with presents under it. But I am still not really feeling a whole lot like Christmas. Last weekend was our annual Christmas party where we all sang Christmas carols and that usually does the trick for me but I’m really not into it this year! 

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baked with a little olive oil Prosciutto wrapped asparagus for an appetizer – YUM

I proposed to my family that instead of a ton of presents under the tree there will be a few and then we will do something together as a family. Here are a few things I proposed that we do together. Take a cooking class, dance lessons, attend a Broadway show or concert. Maybe find a restaurant that has at least one Michelin star and have dinner there since we are all foodies. My husband suggested going up North and ski/snowshoe. We haven’t decided what we are going to do yet but will make a plan over the Holiday!

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a bunch of swiss chard

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Stems removed – you can eat them but they take longer to cook down

 

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use up those packages of ramen noodles – I throw away the salt flavor packet they include

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A box of stock as well as some of my homemade stock from the freezer

IMG_4930IMG_4931What is a Michelin star?
Michelin Stars are given out on a scale of one to three, and only the top establishments in the world qualify for this designation. To earn one star, a restaurant must be considered “a very good restaurant in its category.” For two stars, the criteria is “excellent cooking, worth a detour.” To qualify for the elusive three stars, a restaurant must serve up “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.”

People have taken vacations centered solely around visiting restaurants that have earned Michelin Stars. Because of this, it is easy to see why chefs are so eager to earn this recognition; having at least one Michelin Star can do wonders for a restaurant. Having three stars solidifies a restaurant as undeniably one of the best in the world. My daughter is looking into it for her 30th birthday this coming year!

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salted, peppered and sugar mixture all over the pork belly – let it sit over night in the fridge.

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thinly sliced and browned on both sides in a frying pan

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makes my mouth water – just saying!

Since we had our party last weekend we had family up and I had a large piece of Pork Belly in the freezer so I thawed it out, seasoned it, baked it and brought it out for dinner for a crowd. Ramen is delicious and can be time consuming; if made the traditional way. Mine here is crazy quick and crazy good; mind you having homemade chicken stock on hand is key. And starting the pork belly a day or so ahead of time. But the hands on time is nothing.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with all family and friends!

Pork Belly Ramen
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Ingredients
  1. 1 - 3 pound Pork Belly
  2. 1 Ramen packet per person
  3. 1-2 teaspoon grated ginger
  4. 1-2 tablespoon soy sauce
  5. 2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  6. 2 32 ounce chicken stock roughly for 4 people - adjust to how many people you are serving
  7. bunch of swiss chard or bok choy chopped - I made it both ways this week - bok choy add a little more punch
  8. scallions, sliced thinly - sprinkle on top
  9. basil, chopped - sprinkle on top (optional)
  10. cilantro, chopped - sprinkle on top (optional)
  11. eggs - 1 soft boiled egg per person
Instructions
  1. Pork belly;
  2. 1 pound = 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons sugar and 1 teaspoon black pepper. adjust for what you have
  3. season generously on all sides with kosher salt, black pepper and white sugar. cover and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 450'F. roast fat side up for 30 minutes. Lower oven to 275'F for an hour.
  5. Let it cool to room temperature, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or more, up to 2 days.
  6. Soft boiled eggs;
  7. bring a pot of water, enough to cover all of your eggs to boil, lower each egg gently into the water and cook for 6 minutes. Remove from the boiling water to an ice bath to stop them from cooking. Peel and slice when you assemble your bowls.
  8. Ramen;
  9. In a stock pot add the broth bring to a boil, add the ramen and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the bok choy or swiss chard cook for another minute or so. Remove from the heat and add the ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil to taste.
  10. Divide ramen and some broth between the bowls. Add the sliced egg, a few pieces of browned and crisped pork belly and the scallions. Also add the basil and cilantro if you are using.
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/
 

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easy and so tasty – try it! baked for 15 minutes at 350’F

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Anguilla vacation lunch and dinner

I mentioned last week that I was heading out for vacation and will be sharing some of the food we had. We arrived home last late night well actually we landed around 7:30 then had to go through immigration and then customs.

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Snapper lunch on Sandy Island

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BBQ chicken lunch on Sandy Island – cole slaw, rice and pasta – very good! 

Pictures of Sandy Island off the coast of Anguilla

We are no strangers to going through our international airport over the years. Our first time was back in 1988. Every year has been a little different; this one was a little odd to me. They have automated it a bit by having a machine read your passport and you answering a few questions on screen before you see an customs agent.  In the past we had always had to go through two check points one before you get your luggage and then another after you get your luggage. This time around there were 5 or 6 customs agents standing together and let us all just walk through with our bags and didn’t even look at us. Totally took me off guard. Not complaining that just meant that no one was going to pull us aside and go through our luggage looking for things we didn’t claim; which was also weird we never filled out customs forms; going into our destination and coming home. Very different!

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Lobster lunch at the Sunshine Shack

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Best french fries we had on the island at the Straw Hat

Enough about that I have a few pictures from my phone so some of the pictures are not that great but I will try to explain a little about what you are seeing. We ate out quite a bit and some restaurants stand out better than others and there was probably one that we probably wouldn’t go back to but it might have been either what we ordered or just not there night so I am not going to mention them.

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Steak dinner we made back at the house – I brought the steak from home!

Jacala on Meads Bay is a must but make sure to make a reservation, they can be crazy busy at times. This is an authentic French restaurant with the Co owner Jacques Borderon walking or rather talking you through taking your order and making sure you know exactly what your are going to be eating was a real treat.

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Asparagus soup amuse bouche at Jacala with my cosmo!

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Appetizer of a “shepherds pie” believe it or not. It was excellent

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bouillabaisse – said best he had ever eaten!

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Pan roasted pork tenderloin over risotto

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Grilled snapper – this was mine and was excellent! Seasoned and cooked to perfection!

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Grilled crayfish – also well seasoned and tender

Ember on Lower South Hill is another must try. Everything is cooked on an open wood fire. Nothing was too smoky and Chef owner Marc Alvarez knows exactly what he is doing!  Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos it was our anniversary dinner but was probably the best fish I had on the island – melted in your mouth. I pretty much ate Snapper and Mahi Mahi the entire week whether it be a sandwich or a fillet or even in a taco.

Both are open air with water views though at night there really isn’t much you can see unless a boat goes by. If you visit the island of Anguilla I would make these a must eat!
A few others were visited and enjoyed a meal. Blanchards on Meads Bay, Madearman on Shoal Bay had no power but we had a very nice lunch and Ocean Echo also on Meads Bay

 

Thanksgiving debate – Stuff or not to stuff

The great Thanksgiving Day food debate has started; does it ever really end?

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Spatchcock Turkey

The Thanksgiving Day debate I have overheard at work and the grocery stores even at the butcher just yesterday. Turkey, Ham, Lamb, Beef or even lasagna? I have never not had Turkey so the others don’t even cross my mind. To brine or not to brine. I’ve done both and prefer not! Stuffing or Dressing and is it a bread stuffing or meat stuffing? I haven’t stuffed a bird with anything except apples, garlic, herbs and onions in years! Bread or meat I grew up on meat but I have gone back and forth for many years but the last 20 or so has been bread. It took me a few years to decide what “my” go to stuffing; actually dressing was going to be. I tried several over the years and asked all in attendance their opinions. We have all agreed to what I now make.

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Fried Turkey

And now for the sides, is there such a thing of too many sides? I used to think so but I am over that now. I think even last year I said OK we are not going to do so many. That didn’t work at all; I argued with myself why each veggie needed to be on the table. Whether it was someone’s favorite,  my favorite or even for color. You eat with your eyes first! My sides are always and will always be carrots, butternut squash, rutabaga aka turnip, and peas. I know I will add sweet potatoes in some form because that was always on my in-laws table.

A couple of more debates that I find quite funny is; the frozen or canned pea debate. I can’t even believe that one exists because canned peas are super mushy and not even a nice green color, no thank you! Hey Mom did you serve canned peas when I was a kid? I am sure I just didn’t like them because they were green; just checking!  Green bean casserole, homemade or the Campbell soup recipe one with the french’s fried onions on top? I have never made nor will ever try either way. I don’t care for green beans, they taste very bitter and too green for me. Kind of like I am eating grass so they are totally out!
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turkey rice soup – tis the season

And last but not least the Cranberry sauce debate some want the canned and others want freshly homemade sauce. I grew up on; the canned and have made fresh several times over the last few years. I personally don’t add it to my plate but I am all over it for the leftovers. Adding it to a sandwich or the Egg rolls I made last year; I am all in! I am already thinking about what I am going to do with the leftovers!    

The only thing I am debating at my house is whether or not I will be making or buying my rolls. I would love to hear what you are debating about for your menu; maybe it is cooking or going out?

Here are a couple of ideas for your leftovers. See the links for Turkey Rice soup, Leftover Thanksgiving egg roll’s and

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Leftover Thanksgiving Egg Roll

 

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