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Tag: Gordon Whann
So happy to have you here!
My name is Julie Lancaster-Whann and welcome to my:
The Pot Thickens… Musings of an Amateur Cook
So, what makes me an ‘Amateur?’ Easy! I don’t get paid!
And, because I don’t get paid you have every right to believe my words as being sincere because no one is paying me to sell you something.
I do not have a degree in the Culinary Arts like my husband, Gordon, but I do have a PHD in Life Experiences. I’ve pretty much been eating for the past 59 years. Well, there was that bout of anorexia that I had in high school where I was drop dead skinny gorgeous! (From lack of food.) But, that only lasted for a year or two. And there was that eating disorder I had that lasted a few decades.
I hope to make this blog post fun and informative and I hope you will tune in occasionally to see what I have to say.
So, kick your shoes off and pull up a chair. Wine is mandatory here btw, so fill that wine glass. If you don’t have a wine glass and are using some regular kitchen glass? OMG! Then go out and buy one! We have standards here, ya know!
Me, with my Easy Bake Oven, age 5
What more proof do you need that I am qualified to blog about food?
I was also a Candy Cane aficionado for obvious reasons.
I have been wanting to start some sort of blog post about food and kitchen related/food related interests that I have. I never knew where to place in my website these things. Which is why I created this post. I am very excited to write about it here. I hope you are too. 🙂
One of my favorite pizza’s I buy from Sprout’s.
It’s an Italian Sausage.
Blog Post Musings Start Here
CURRENTLY MARINATING IN MERLOT
(Myself, not some recipe.)
June 26, 2020
The Baconator, A Love Affair
My Baconator, not it’s real name, was purchased by me last year from an old favorite restaurant of mine in Tennessee through the mail. It is a lovely piece of pottery, handmade by artisan’s from the area of Pigeon Forge. I love it and we use it quite often.
The Old Mill Restaurant
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
The Baconator, and many other pottery and food items can be purchased here. This is one of my most favorite restaurants in the south for good southern cooking. Whenever I go I always order the Corn Chowder with Corn Fritters.
as in Dolly Parton’s, Dollywood
(This is from the mid 90’s when Dollywood wasn’t as grand as it is now and every employee in the park was related to Dolly Parton. I even went to high school in Sevierville with a few Parton’s. It’s a big family.)
Me on the water ride.
We were visiting friends in Sevierville and we went to Dollywood one day.
That is little Veronica and I’m holding little Brodie.
I thought that since I was talking about the pottery and The Old Mill that I would post a few old photos.
I love making bacon in this thing. I just drape the bacon all around it and place it into the microwave. The cooking time depends on your microwave and the thickness of the bacon you are cooking. My pottery also came with no instructions. Typical on the south, we’re just supposed to know these things. Well, I managed and all of us love it!
Potato Skins with Butter, Cheeses, and BACON!
June 5, 2020
Bowls and Platters
These Remind me of St. Augustine, Florida
Gordon Brought ALL of These From Overseas
June 2, 2020
“Is There Something Wrong With Your Food?”
Me: “No. It’s Just How I Eat.”
I suppose that I should have named this post ‘The Pot Thickens…. Musing of an Amateur Cook and Eater, but I didn’t so….. I guess I just won’t worry about it then. However, I would like to share with you something that I have heard quite often throughout my life where my eating is concerned. “Is there something wrong with your food?” And my answer is always, “No. It’s just how I eat.”
I am a picky eater. Not so much in what I eat, but how I eat it.
- I usually don’t like the middle of a sandwich so I tend to eat around it. To me the middle is just too thick with food. I like a nice ratio of bread and filling and not a lot of filling and a little bit of bread.
- I never bite against the grain of a Trisket cracker. (Nothing to do with superstition. I walk under ladders. I open umbrellas in the house, etc. etc. but I will NEVER bite against the grain of that cracker.
3. Although Mackenzie seemed horrified when she saw me spreading peanut butter on potato chips, it is something I do quite often. Peanut butter is my most favorite food in the entire world and I pretty much put it on many things. Not just potato chips. Although my favorite chip flavor that goes with peanut butter, is barbeque. My mother would buy the largest tub of peanut butter when we were growing up. It had to have been a good 5 pound bucket. We would go through that 5 pound bucket in one week. It was the cheapest brand of peanut butter too. JFG was it’s name. But, it was so cheap because it was real peanut butter and not loaded with sugar like all the other brands were.
4. I only like to eat green bananas. I will choke down a yellow one when I have to because I do get foot and leg cramps if I don’t eat one everyday. But I am a happy camper when I sit down to eat my green banana. (I started this habit in Hawaii. I think because we had a banana tree in our backyard and all the bananas would go ripe at once. All 60 of them! So, I would try and eat as many as I could so that none went to waste so I started feasting on the green ones.)
5. If given the choice of having something perfectly prepared for me to eat, or having it be a little charred, I’ll choose the charred one any day of the week. You know, just like Mom used to make.
6. I will NOT eat a runny egg! Because they are gross. When Gordon cooks me eggs if there is the least bit of “creamy” to them then I won’t eat them. I also boil my eggs when making deviled eggs until they are powder. Perfectly delicious powder. 🙂
7. I don’t eat red meat.
8. I mainly eat with a fork because I prefer to slide food into my mouth. I hate using a spoon unless it is for soup. I just don’t like the thought of inserting that spoon into my mouth and grasping it. When I do use a spoon it’s mainly just to pour soup in my mouth and not embrace it the way so many people do.
9. I tend to eat Top Ramen noodle soup uncooked. We picked up that habit in Hawaii. When the local children need a snack their mother’s will just give them one of the noodle packets and they eat it while they play outside. So do I. 🙂
10. Whenever we make mashed potatoes I always make sure we have green peas with them because I love it when they touch and I get peas stuck in my potatoes. But not too many peas. I prefer a ratio of 3/4 potatoes and 1/4 peas. That’s important.
11. I use two coffee mugs every morning. I will not drink my two cups of coffee out of the same mug in the mornings. I prefer a fresh mug.
12. Soda just tastes better when you drink it out of plastic as opposed to glass. Therefore, I won’t drink a soda if I don’t have a plastic glass to drink it out of.
13. I wash my hands about 100 times a day which is why I rarely get sick. (However during a highly contagious pandemic I don’t have as much control over my health right now as I would like.)
14. I only like melted chocolate or creamy chocolate. I don’t like hard chocolate and will pass a hard chocolate bar up in a second.
15. Gordon “alleges” that I am like a roach when eating fried chicken. I just pick all around the outside of it and leave the inside alone.
16. I only drink red wine and I only drink it with a straw. Me, Brodie and Mackenzie do that. That way our teeth stay white and not stained. And I only drink wine from a wine glass. Brodie and Mackenzie aren’t as picky as me. Gordon doesn’t drink much wine. He tends to stick to beer.
17. I LOVE Captain Crunch’s Peanut Butter Cereal and have since I first tasted it when I was about 9.
18. I LOVE SPAM!!!!!! (FRIED, OF COURSE)!
19. I have a love/hate relationship with mayonnaise. I rarely put it on a sandwich because to me it’s gross. But, I do put it in my Deviled Eggs, Potato Salads, Macaroni Salads, etc. (It’s because when we were young my step-brother knew mayonnaise grossed me out so he would put it on a knife and lick it off as if he were some mercenary out in the jungle and had just killed an enemy, then licking their blood off the knife.) So you see, I have no choice but to hate it! He also used to mix Mayonnaise with Peanut Butter. Thank God he didn’t ruin peanut butter for me!
20. I hate cracklin’. My step-father grew up poor in Texas and they would put cracklin’ in cornbread so he would have my mother do it occasionally. And when they did I would not eat it. I don’t like gnawing on food, much less a piece of fat.
21. I LOVE SALTINE CRACKERS!!!
22. If I get hungry during the day but I don’t want to really eat something big then I will eat a fork full of peanut butter and that will satisfy my appetite until dinner.
23. I also chew funny. I found out last year from my dentist that my mouth is deformed. That actually explains a lot. I’ve always had dentists to get frustrated with me when they wanted me to bite down so they could try and fit a crown, or take x-rays, only to get upset with me because things didn’t line up like they should. Therefore they blamed me for not doing it right. Finally, I found a dentist that realized the problem and now works with me instead of against me when these things come up.
Well, I guess this is all for now. If I think of something else I will list it here. If you are just as weird as I am then obviously you are not alone. 🙂
June 1, 2020
Make Ahead To Freeze
When the Coronavirus Pandemic was heading our way and we were entering into a lockdown as a society I worried about what would happen to our food supply. Will there be enough eggs? Milk? Butter? Meats?
It was at that time that I started baking for breakfast!
I just felt that I needed to make ahead breakfast foods to freeze for a later date. Little quiche’s. Perhaps with some sausage, spinach and cheeses. So, I did! I’m still keeping them frozen, for now.
MAY 31, 2020
Our Son Brodie, The Amateur Cook
Brodie Recreating and Even Exceeding Gordon’s Teriyaki Chicken Recipe
Brodie Making Gordon’s Hawaiian Potatoes
Brodie and his Girlfriend Mackenzie Recreated This Ultimate Tots Recipe From one of their Favorite Restaurants.
Brodie and Mackenzie’s Fried Steak
Brodie Making Carbonara
This is probably his most favorite food he likes to eat and cook.
This was so delicious!
Mackenzie and Brodie Recreating a Favorite Pasta Salad Recipe
Brodie in the Kitchen and Me in the Background on my Computer
Brodie Did an Excellent Job on This Pasta Salad
OMG! THE Best Banana Pancakes!
And Lastly, Brodie and Mackenzie’s Italian Chicken
These are but a few of their many delicious recipes!
The reason that I am posting these delicious foods that my son and his girlfriend are making, is because they are so very talented and creative where food is concerned. Their foods are delicious! But, It really is up to them to write down all these recipes. I have enough to do with all that Gordon and I have going on.
But what I wanted to point out to you is that Brodie can watch a video on Youtube on how to cook something and then he can cook it in the exact same way as the chef in the video, Brodie can also expand on that recipe making it into something better, and Brodie can make it look good all at the same time.
Mackenzie has also really grown creatively and the two of them make such a great team. Just like Gordon and I complement each other in our creativity.
These two really do have a food future. I hope they expand on it and do something with it. Perhaps some day I will write down their recipes. But in the meantime, I’ve got plenty to do as it is.
I do love that Brodie seems to understand the importance of carrying on our recipes.
Cascade of Noodles
Just scroll down this post until you come to our noodle recipe. It really is good and you can add whatever you like to it. It is up to your own personal tastes. That’s how all recipe’s should be.
May 30, 2020
My Expired Casserole
Last May, 2019, I was going through our food pantry to try and clean it out and get rid of some expired foods. BTW: They didn’t used to put expiration dates on food. Maybe they did for dairy and butcher products, but not for anything else. It was more of a judgement call by the cooks preparing the foods.
So, as I was tossing all these food products into the trash and looking at all that money we spent on food being thrown away and wasted, I decided to try and cook with some of them just to see. After all, how does anyone know the exact date that the food product is no good? Do they consult a crystal ball?
I had some leftover rotisserie chicken and some steamed broccoli so I decided to throw together a casserole using some of my expired foods. Not anything that had been expired for longer than a few days and even a few months.
Although you cannot see in the photo above, I cooked a box of Stove Top Stuffing and then when it was done I placed it in the bottom of the greased casserole dish above. I then tore my leftover Rotisserie Chicken into pieces and placed on top of the stuffing mixture. I then placed the broccoli flowerettes on top of the chicken. In the meantime, I cooked up two expired Pasta Dinner’s in cheese sauce and when done I poured them over the top of my casserole.
It Looks Good, Huh?
I baked the casserole for about 25 minutes in a 350F oven.
Then I sprinkled some expired Durkee Onions over top and placed the casserole back into the oven for an additional 5 minutes just to brown the topping.
It was actually quite delicious!
Perhaps we should just use our own judgement when it comes to the foods in our pantry and when it’s time to throw them out and not just rely on some dated stamp.
(P.S. In this era of Covid 19 I’m not so sure we should be throwing food out willy nilly. No one knows when they may lose their job and thus their income. Perhaps eating something expired is better than eating nothing at all.)
Because I believe my computer spy’s on me……
I heard my son tossing items into the trash can from the pantry and I immediately asked, “Whadyah doing?” He replied, “It’s expired.” I then asked, “What’s expired?” Brodie: “These cans of soup.” Me: “Put them back.” Brodie: “But they are expired!” Me: “Put them back anyway.”
The very next day this article pops up on my computer for me to read.
THE FOOD EXPIRATION DATES YOU SHOULD ACTUALLY FOLLOW
Don’t tell me someone’s not listening!
Just think twice before you start throwing food away. Especially in this climate. I don’t want anyone to be hungry.
UNDER EMPIRE CONSTRUCTION ————————————————————- ————————————————— ——————————————————– ————————————————— May The Force Be With You, Always. …
Welcome to our Backyard Lanai
This is where we spend a lot of our time in the spring, summer, and autumn. It is a nice big area where we can spread out and entertain, even if it is just for us.
Sparky Doodle Dandy 🙂
This particular feast is for our son’s girlfriend, Mackenzie. It’s her birthday and we get the honor of her celebrating it with us this year while we are in lockdown due to the Coronavirus.
Mackenzie’s birthday is April 19th. She kind of looks like Marsha Brady, doesn’t she? 🙂
We all set about planning a menu that she would like to eat for her birthday, and that we could cook out on the grill. Also, her parents were very generous in sending us all a nice meaty care package. It included various steaks and twice baked potatoes.
Here is Mackenzie’s Birthday Menu
Grilled Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto
Grilled Seasoned Salmon with Dill Butter
Roasted Curry Cauliflower
Twice Baked Potatoes
(Compliments of Mackenzie’s Parents)
(Compliments of Mackenzie’s Parents)
Happy Birthday, Mackenzie
Gordon and Brodie Ready to do Some Serious Grillin’
Sparky and Spooky with their boy, Brodie
Gordon Creating Mackenzie a Birthday Cocktail
2 shots Dragon Berry Rum
1 shot Blood Orange Margarita Mix
1 shot Aperol
1 Tbsp. Grenadine Syrup
2 shots Welche’s Sparkling Rose’ Grape Juice
Makes 1 drink
We decided to have an all red cocktail with some fruit flavors. These flavors of orange, blood orange, dragon berry and grenadine all tasted very well together.
In a medium sized shaker, add at least 4-5 ice cubes.
Now, add your Dragon Berry Bacardi and then the Blood Orange mix.
Add your Aperol and the Grenadine.
Shake! Shake! Shake! until its too cold to hold!
Now, add your Sparkling Rose (Not Pictured), because you don’t want the carbonation to escape from the drink. It might also make a huge mess as it explodes out of your shaker.
Mackenzie’s Birthday Cocktail
Now, Anyone up for a game of IT CLUE? 🙂
Making Dill Butter
Start by using a good butter brand and set out to soften.
Remove the fragile thin dill sprig ends from thicker stems and add them to your butter.
Add as much as you like!
Using a fork, mix the dill sprigs with the softened butter.
Place the dill butter back into the refrigerator to become firm.
Grilled Seasoned Salmon with Dill Butter
2 Lbs. Salmon Fillets – skin on
3 Tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning
4 Tbsp. Dill Butter – (See recipe above)
We purchased about 2 Lbs. of Salmon which came to us in various thicknesses and cuts.
During these Coronavirus times, (2020) you get what the delivery person brings you and you make due with what you have.
I cut the fillets according to their thickness. I blackened the thinner pieces of fillet, and grill the thicker fillets. Brodie used some of the really thin cuts for breakfast the next morning.
During the cooking process, the fillets uneven thicknesses would cook the fish too much or too little, if I left them as is. Having the fillets all the same thickness makes for even cooking which ultimately makes them taste better!
Here are the fillet cuts I started with.
Pictured are the thicker cuts, which I cooked on the grill.
Salmon Ready for Grillin’
Pictured is our Dill Butter!
I turned the gill on High to get the heat started in order to make slight grill marks on the fillets.
Because fish gets flaky once cooked, I placed the fillets into this metal basket which carefully holds them in place, while allowing them to be seasoned and cooked.
Our Fish Basket
I seasoned both sides of the salmon fillets with some Old Bay Seasoning. I am grilling the skin side down first, so it will become a little crispy. As you can see, I also grilled some lemon pepper seasoned Asparagus! Using some thick gloves or tongs, hold the basket ends together and flip it over to cook the other side. You hold the basket on the sides, so the clip holding it together won’t come loose.
Grill some lemon halves to put onto the salmon fillets. If you look on the side of the salmon, you can see it change color as it cooks. Fish cooks on the grill at about 10 min. per inch thickness or which you would grill your fish 5 min. per each side. Correct/adjust the time with the thickness of your fillet.
Grilled lemons are Especially Juicy
Here, I unhinged the top of the basket to reveal the grilled fillets.
Grilling the skin side first, makes the fish easy to remove from the basket grating as it is crispy.
We placed the salmon fillets on a bed of dill sprigs then immediately topped them with some dill butter!
We Think So 🙂
The Twice Baked Potatoes
These, and the Steaks, were gifts from Mackenzie’s parents to all of us as a lovely thank you for taking care of Mackenzie during our lockdown. Which has been no trouble because she is wonderful!
Although I do not eat red meat, and neither does Gordon, he did make an exception as the cow’s were grass fed. I, however, love these potatoes! I didn’t eat any steak but I did gobble up a potato!
Brodie and Mackenzie Manning the Grill
For our table setting, Gordon and I set up one of our portable tables, and I just got out a few table clothes and several of our platters to hold this lovely spring, birthday feast. And we did feast! Celebrating a birthday in lockdown is just as important as celebrating a birthday any other time. If you can, that is.
The Food Was Delicious
It was very nice that we 4 were together on this very special day.
Roasted Curry Cauliflower
4-5 Tbsp. Olive Oil
4-5 Tbsp. Madras Curry Powder
Roasted to Perfection
First, slice away the leaves and core of the cauliflower using short diagonal cuts.
Carefully slice away some of the longer stems if wanted.
Now, slice the individual heads away from the main head. Do NOT slice the small cauliflower heads totally in half. Simply, slice the stem in half down to the flowerettes, then pull the stems apart revealing a natural halving of the head. If you slice the head in two, you will have a lot of small flowerettes pieces causing a mess and waste. Once the flowerettes are halved, place them into a large zip lock bag.
Here is the curry seasoning we used. I love using the authentic spices.
Place just enough extra virgin olive oil in with the halved flowerettes to coat them. Close the bag and toss lightly to evenly coat the flowerettes.
Now, add the curry powder to the bag of flowerettes, close the bag and toss again.
Here is what they looked like when seasoned properly.
Using an aluminum foil lined large baking sheet, place the cauliflower flowerettes cut side down evenly on the pan as shown. Bake the cauliflower at 400’F for ~20-25 minutes until the cut side of the flowerettes are brown and caramelized.
Grilled Asparagus wrapped in Prosciutto
1/2 Lb. Prosciutto
2 Lbs. Asparagus
Olive Oil Spray
Wash your asparagus well and remove the tough woody end of the stalk using a sharp knife.
Tear the Prosciutto into strips as shown above and wrap the individual asparagus stalks with the Prosciutto.
Place the wrapped asparagus onto a grill basket and close to hold the asparagus in place.
Spray the asparagus with olive oil, and place the basket on a medium heated grill.
Once the Prosciutto starts to brown and become crispy, turn the basket over and cook the other side… about 8 minutes. Watch for hot spots on your grill and move the basket accordingly to not overcook the asparagus.
Unclamp the grill basket and remove the wrapped asparagus.
Here, we made some asparagus that was dressed with olive oil and dusted with some lemon pepper seasoning.
Clamp the basket together and cook the same way you did the Prosciutto wrapped ones.
Spray with olive oil and re-season with more lemon pepper if needed. Cut three lemons in half and place the cut side down on the grill. Leave in place for about six minutes to obtain nice grill marks. Remove and use the lemon cuts to decorate your fish or asparagus platter. Squeeze the lemon juice over the salmon and asparagus for a great fresh citrus taste.
Brodie manning the grill!!!
I am so proud of how well he is using his immense skills to cook very challenging foods.
TIP: If you don’t have a grilling basket, you can use a cookie drying rack instead. The cookie racks wire mesh won’t allow the asparagus to fall through the grill grates.
Here are the grilled lemon halves with nice grill marks!
1 Lb. of Salmon Fillets
8 Tbsp. butter- melted
3-4 Tbsp. Blackened Seasoning – We used both Old Bay’s and Cajun’s Choice brand of blackened seasoning.
I melted the butter in a large pan on the side burner on my grill.
Here are the thin salmon fillets, which work best when blackened.
Brodie is removing some scales he found.
Remove the butter to slightly cool before placing the fillets in it. This is because you don’t want the butter to cook the salmon.
Place the meat side of the fillet in the just warm butter first, then flip the fillet over as shown.
Heavily season the fillet with the blackened seasoning and use a brush to push it onto the fillet.
Place an ungreased cast iron skillet onto your grill and turn on the flame all the way up on all burners and close the lid. Let the grill heat to its highest temperature… about 10 minutes. Place your salmon fillet meat side down onto the cast iron skillet for about 2 minutes.
Close the lid and let the burners, still set on high, cook the fillet.
Sprinkle the skin side of the fillet with your blackened seasoning.
After about two minutes, using tongs, turn the salmon fillet over onto a new hot spot of your skillet and close the lid.
Just look how great that seasons adhered to the fish!
After another minute or two, remove the fillet from the pan and repeat the butter and cooking steps with your other fillets.
The fillets look burnt, but that is really the seasoning cooking giving the salmon that great blackened taste! Let the salmon rest for a few minutes to allow the juices to return to the center of the meat. These fillets were better than any restaurant could make.
(Compliments of Mackenzie’s Parents)
Bring the steaks to room temperature before grilling.
Following the steps below, cook the steaks to Medium Well!
Top the steaks with your favorite steak grilling seasoning. We like to use McCormick’s Montreal Seasoning, Weber’s Chicago Steak, and Weber’s Roasted Garlic and Herb.
Heat the grill to a very high heat and close the lid. Let the grill sit for about 5 minutes.
Once the grill grates are highly heated, turn down the temperature slightly and place the steaks onto the grates.
After two minutes, turn the steaks at a 45 degree angle and place them on a new hot section of the grill. This makes great grill marks. After another two minutes turn the steaks over and place them onto a new section on the grill and let them cook for another two minutes. You place the steaks on new sections of the grill grates, as they are very hot and will make those grill marks everybody likes. After those two minutes are up, turn the steaks at a 45 degree angle and place them on another hot section of the grill. Grill for another two minutes then remove the steaks from the grill and let them rest for at least 10 minutes to let the juices return to the center of the meat. This will make the steaks nice and juicy.
These steaks tuned out Medium Well and very tender as planned!
NOTE: I told Gordon that I wish that he had grilled a bunch of grape tomatoes to place all around the meat and I believe that would have made a nice presentation and even added a nice flavor.
Mackenzie’s Birthday Cake
Julie and Gordon and Brodie, of course. 🙂
UNDER CONSTRUCTION MUSTARD ————————————————————- ——————————————————– Day 2 ————————————————– Day 5 ————————————————————— ———————————————————- ———————————————————— Making Our Almost Yellow Mustard ———————————————————–
Good Morning Welcome to Breakfast with Brodie and Mackenzie We have a few menu items you might enjoy. ———————————————————- Bagel and Lox Ingredients: One Bagel (I use the Everything or Egg style bagels.) Smoked Salmon (I use Fresh Market’s Nova…
I made a Fruit Salad yesterday and I was just fixing to spoon some over a nice Pound Cake I bought.
Would you care to join me?
There is nothing prettier to me in the Spring and Summer than Fruit.
All the pretty bright colors, tastes, and textures. I also love nothing more than to create some delicious Fruit Salad to either eat by itself, or spooned over some Pound Cake or Angel Food Cake. It makes an excellent light lunch, or a nice dessert for a hot and humid Southern evening. It’s cool, refreshing, sweet and nourishing.
Here is something I whipped up that I would like to share with you.
I wasn’t going for some stunning presentation.
I just wanted to use the fruits and flavors that I loved best.
Here are my Ingredients for this delicious Fruit Salad:
Green Seedless Grapes
Red Seedless Grapes
Yellow Dragon Fruit
(NOTE: The dark berries such as the Blueberry’s and Blackberry’s tend to stain and take over the salad with it’s dark color. If you want your fruit salad to show it’s natural colors then I would eliminate those berry’s.)
Of course the first thing that you want to do is to wash all of your fruits and allow them to dry.
Removing the stems from my Strawberries and slicing them lengthwise.
I wanted them to look like hearts.
Washing my Berries
(Washing Raspberries can cause them to go soggy but I did anyway. But you can use a wet paper towel and wipe each individual berry if you like.)
Peeling My Kiwi
Ready to Slice and Add to Bowl
A leftover fruit salad that I had in the refrigerator I decided to add to this salad.
I’m also squeezing some lime juice in as well.
Adding the Green Grapes
Yellow Dragon Fruit
I just sliced the fruit in half and scooped out the seeds and pulp.
You can eat the seeds the fruit is quite tasty.
Now it’s time to add the Chia Seeds, Honey and some Mango Juice.
I just eyeballed how many of the Chia Seeds and Fresh Mint that I wanted and then stirred together.
I then placed all of my fruit into a jar and refrigerated overnight just so all the flavors could meld together.
The next day I removed my jar of fruit from the refrigerator and I poured the juice from the jar into a small saucepan to heat up on the stove top to thicken. It was convenient to have the two holes at the top of my jar, it made for easy pouring.
I kept the juice on a medium heat just to get it boiling a bit so it would thicken up and made a nice syrup.
I bought a plain Pound Cake from the grocery store and sliced it…..
I then drizzled some of the syrupy juice over a few slices of the Pound Cake…..
I then spooned over the delicious fruits.
Beautiful and Delicious
Have a sweet day!
Good Morning! Rise and Shine! Is Everybody Hungry? Juice? Coffee? Oh, I know, how about our: Whole Wheat Heaven and Heat Breakfast Muffins? Don’t they smell absolutely delicious? If you’d like the recipe scroll down the post. —————————————————– Our Rise and…
Me, Taking a Kayak Photo
Making Plans for our Mermazing Kayaking Trip to Weeki Wachee Springs
Me, Taking a Kayak Selfie
Rise and Shine Kayaker’s Breakfast
Today we will be spending our day kayaking Weeki Wachee Springs in Central Florida. It is a 6 mile trip by kayak. We need to start our day with a good breakfast.
Let’s start by slicing green, red, and yellow bell peppers into thick rings.
Add some olive oil to a sauce pan on a medium-high heat and then place a few of the rings to soften.
Once they have softened a little bit, crack an egg into each ring.
Place a lid onto the pan for just a few minutes so that the steam cooks the eggs and they don’t run when you try and flip them.
Gordon Flipping Our Bell Pepper Eggs
Just Top With Some Salt and Pepper 🙂
Grab and Go!
Oh, and we did end up running by McDonald’s for our favorite sausage biscuits and hash browns, and Egg McMuffins while on our way out to Weeki Wachee Springs. Hey, we aren’t perfect here! 🙂
We always take food with us everywhere we go. It is very nice to eat out occasionally, and we do, but a lot of times we take food with us. It is more affordable and this way we do control our intake of food. When you create your own menu then you control the calories, and the health of what you are eating.
Here we did bring with us some Key Limeade (made with an artificial sweetener), and some Key Lime Cookies for a little sweet treat.
(A nice little snack in the kayak.)
And Always Take Plenty of Water With You!
I also made a Fruit Salad to take with us.
AND, Some Lime Zest Bread…..
Here, Surrounded By My Fruit Salad,
and, Ke Ke Key Lime Liquor to Drizzle over top.
I had intended this as our dessert after dinner at the restaurant.
(Recipes Down Below)
Highlights of our Trip
March 1, 2020
Kayaking Weeki Wachee Springs, Spring Hill, Florida
Gordon and I wanted to take our children and their partner’s kayaking Weeki Wachee, but we had to literally coordinate 6 people’s schedules. We had wanted to do this in January of this year but kept putting it off until we all finally agreed on March 1st. But sadly, there was a death in our son-in-law’s family, his grandfather, so he and Veronica bowed out of our trip and it ended up just being myself, Gordon, our son Brodie, and his girlfriend Mackenzie.
Julie and Mackenzie
I do wish that Veronica and Brian had joined us this day in spite of their sadness. Although they would have been sad, getting out into nature just makes you feel better.
Also, families are not just for laughter and happiness. We are also for tears and sadness. We would have understood and accepted their tears and pain with hugs and warmth. We just wanted all of us to be together.
So, it ended up being just the 4 of us.
Gordon and Julie
Mackenzie, Gordon, and Brodie
Brodie did have a hard time at first maneuvering the kayak as his center of gravity is higher than most because he is so tall. Gordon initially had the same problem his first time out because he is very tall as well. But it does take some practice.
Mackenzie was a Pro!
Manatee’s! The very highlight of our adventure!
I Believe That They Loved Mackenzie!
If You Would Like to Check out our other Mermaid Themed Posts:
I love the Betta Fish. They have such nice personalities. And yes, fish do have personalities. You can see my sweet Miranda in her cute little clam shell where she is resting.
I do love all the bright colors that I created for my sweet Miranda.
Weeki Wachee Springs is also famous for it’s mermaid show.
This is probably my most favorite Girly Christmas EVER!
This kayak rental is located on the same property as the Weeki Wachee Mermaid Park. It is very convenient parking with bathrooms and changing rooms where you check in. It really is ideal!
Here is their address:
6131 Commercial Way
Spring Hill, Florida 34606
At The End Of The Day…..
The Upper Deck
(Our view of The Upper Deck from our Kayaks. After paddling 6 miles.)
The Upper Deck
(Our view of The Upper Deck from their parking lot.)
All of us extremely hungry from paddling 6 miles!
We Do Love The View
Mackenzie and Brodie
Clams, Shrimp Pizza, Grouper Cheeks…..
We were so hungry I believe we inhaled all the food. 🙂
Gordon and Brodie both ordered Shrimp Taco’s while Mackenzie and I ordered Fried Grouper with Slaw and Fries.
It Truly was a Perfect Ending to a Perfect Day!
But, now for the START of our Day!
The Four of Us in the Car on our Way to Weeki Wachee
I did bring along a Snake Bite Kit, just in case.
Great! We are HERE!
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
This is where we park to go kayaking. It is on the same property as the mermaid show. You just drive down this road to get to the area where you can go kayaking.
There is plenty of parking.
In the building you see here, there are bathrooms and changing rooms.
You also check in here for your kayaking adventure.
Here, Gordon and Brodie and Mackenzie have checked in and are selecting their paddle for the kayak’s.
Here they are walking to the launch area.
As the family photographer, I tend to trail behind everyone taking photos of the signs of wildlife to look out for.
(I think we saw everything but a deer.)
Gordon, Brodie and Mackenzie choosing their kayak’s.
NOTE: When choosing a kayak it is important to choose one with a higher back seat. That way you will have a more pleasant trip than one with a lower seat.
Mackenzie has Launched!
Brodie is Launching!
The morning started off a bit cool.
Which is why Mackenzie is so covered up.
Right when I launched I saw this beautiful duck.
The Day Was Beautiful!
A Nice Sunny Warm Day
Mackenzie and Brodie
A Cormorant Swimming By
I do love the relationship of Brodie and Mackenzie.
They are very cute together.
That would be ME, taking photos of Gordon.
That would be Gordon, taking photos of ME!
Brodie with the Manatee Sign.
The Cute Couple
This would be me, flowing backwards down the spring.
Everything is just so peaceful.
Brodie getting tangled into a tree. 🙂
Coming Across a Manatee!
This was so exciting! Right underneath us!
One of the Beautiful Birds! An Egret!
Looking Out For Manatee’s
Julie and Mackenzie Kayaking Ahead
Me, in my very peaceful kayak.
This Embankment is Truly Beautiful!
There were times when we were so isolated and tranquil, but then we would suddenly come across many houses along the embankment. I did so love their docks. Sometimes they had rope swings where you know they would use to swing out into the springs and then jump in for a nice swim.
I do envy all these homeowner’s along the springs embankment.
How I would love that life along the waterside.
Brodie Looks Peaceful Here
Mackenzie Right Behind Him
I always love trailing behind. Going at my own pace.
We Came Across a Turtle…
So Very Sweet
DANGER! WATER MOCCASIN BREEDING AREA!
What a lot of people don’t realize is that Water Moccasin’s are very aggressive snakes. They do tend to skim across the water in search of their prey. The old adage that if you stay away from them they will stay away from you is not true. The Water Moccasin is a very aggressive snake and you need to steer well clear of. Also, snakes have been known to fall into boats as they sail past. That rule also applies to kayaks and row boats as well. Remember that as you kayak down the springs under branches.
Smooth Sailing Ahead
Taking a Break
Another Lovely Duck
Mackenzie Going Underneath the Log
Approaching More Homes….
This Particular House is a Favorite of Mine!
It Just Looks Like Some Barbie Dream Swamp House. 🙂
I love the mural paintings and the steps leading up to the house from the spring.
The Mermaids and the Manatee’s are Perfect!
I also love the Swimming Pool Ladder Here.
It looks like I am behind now. Everyone is ahead of me. 🙂
I do tend to lag behind when I am enjoying something special.
Approaching Hospital Hole
This area goes down 142 feet deep. It’s called Hospital Hole due to the sulfur that helps fish and manatee’s to rid themselves of parasites. This spot is frequented by divers and kayaker’s alike due to the frequent sightings of manatee’s.
It was so remarkable to see manatee’s here.
They are such friendly animals that will come right up to you.
We came across two manatee’s that had a long gash along their backs. Probably from a motorboat. So sad, they are such gentle creatures.
Look at that sweet face!
I believe these manatees adore Mackenzie.
Gordon is Taking These Photos
Just Look at the Gashes From Motor Boats on their Backs
They Truly are Sweet
Now we are approaching the end of our journey.
Here you can see our restaurant where we have reservation’s, in the distance.
Once We Did Make It To Shore…..
There was a bus to pick us up and take us back here……
….where we started from.
So, while we change clothing and get settled….
Brodie and Mackenzie doing their thing.
The Upper Deck
5386 Darlene Street
Weeki Wachee, Florida 34607
You can even pull right up to the restaurant in your kayak.
There is also a kayak rental right next door as well.
Mermaids and Manatees
Can’t Wait to go Back!
Lime Zest Cupcakes
Lime Zest Bread
(I had some extra batter so I made some cupcakes.)
3 Cups All Purpose Flour
2/3 Cup Butter/Margarine
1 3/4 Cups Sugar
3/4 t. Salt
2 1/2 t. Baking Powder
1/2 t. Vanilla
1 Cup Milk
3 Limes, Zest and Juice
Here I am allowing my eggs and butter/margarine to come to room temperature.
You will need an electric mixer for this.
So, in a large bowl cream the butter/margarine and the sugar together.
Then you add all 4 of your eggs to the sugar and butter mixture.
Also add your vanilla.
Now you want to zest your limes/key limes into the bowl. I love lots of zest so add as much or as little as you like. I did 3 limes here.
Stir and Blend Together
In a separate bowl combine your all purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together.
Now it’s time to add the dry ingredients to the wet. But, you want to alternate between the dry and the 1 cup of milk. So, add a little bit of the dry, then a little bit of milk, mixing the whole time with your mixer on a low setting and scraping the bowl with your spatula all at the same time. 🙂
Look at that beautiful batter!
And it tastes delicious just as it is!
Now it’s time to preheat the oven on 350F and time to grease your loaf pans with Crisco.
Just Pour Into Loaf Pan and Bake for 45-55 minutes.
Be sure to test with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.
Then you know it is ready.
Let thoroughly cool before removing from loaf pan.
I ended up doubling the recipe and made a few to give away as gifts.
This was one of those breads that I kept for us to eat here at home with some leftover fruit salad.
Drizzled with some Key Lime Liquor was perfect! I just wish that I had some zest leftover, that would have been the icing on the bread. 🙂
Melon and Papaya Fruit Salad
1 Honey Dew Melon
5 Kiwi Fruit
1 Bunch of Grapes
3 Limes, Zest and Juice
1 Sugar Free Orange Marmalade with Zest
Some Lime Margarita Mix to Taste
The first thing that I did was to slice the melon’s in half and remove the seeds. I then used a melon baller to scoop out the melon’s into round balls and placed into a bowl.
I also added a bunch of green grapes.
Next comes the Kiwi Fruit
I peeled it and then sliced it into small pieces.
I then sliced a Papaya in half and scooped out those seeds and used my melon baller to scoop out the fruit.
Sugar Free Orange Marmalade
I added some to a mixing bowl along with some lime zest, lime juice, and some lime margarita mix.
Just a few teaspoons.
Now it’s time to add your fruit.
I let this sit overnight as kind of a marinade.
Then the next morning I drained some of the liquid out of it so that it wasn’t so swamped.
I placed some into containers to take with us on our kayaking adventure.
And I set aside one to keep here at home for us to enjoy.
Puts a Peach and Green smile on my face!
Everything is always better on the water.
(Especially while wearing my new water shoes.) 🙂
Happy Valentine’s Day I have always loved Valentine’s Day. Probably because my birthday is the day before and I’ve always had these two great days together. I had many birthday’s that had Valentine themes with Cupids and Red Roses, Hearts…
Birthday Sweet Beignets ——————————————————- A Birthday “Cake” of Crab Stuffed Beignets With My Magnolia Tree ——————————————————- Welcome to My Southern Birthday Low Country Favorites This year for my birthday my husband asked me what I wanted? You see, we don’t normally eat…
Shoo Fly Pies (Literally and Figuratively) Gordon was born in Pennsylvania in 1965. The Whann family grew up around the food and cultures of Pennsylvania. Germantown, The Amish, The Pennsylvania Dutch, The Mennonites…. They had friends that had a restaurant…
From The Kitchen Of……. UNDER CONSTRUCTION ———————————————————- ———————————————————– ———————————————————— ——————————————————————- ————————————————————— Roasting Pearls on the Grill ——————————————————— ——————————————————– Clutching My Pearls!!!! (Pearl Onions, that is.) 🙂
(Getting Back to my Roots.)
Welcome to Julie 2020 Blogging
I sincerely hope that this year will be a good year for all of us.
If you are a regular reader of my blogs then welcome back. I will do away with any introduction as you know me already, and my opinions. If you are new then welcome! The game has started so just pull up a chair and join in. 🙂
Seeing as how I am right of the dealer then it’s my turn to roll the dice……counter clockwise but I have a feeling that will be 2020 in a nutshell.
So, here goes!
Me, with Sparky the Chug, and Spooky the Chihuahua
Let’s Get This Blogging Started!
p.s. I really do like my new pajamas and I will be wearing them a lot from now on. 🙂
Sadly, they do require hand washing. 🙁 The price we pay for beauty and comfort……
If you would like to read my history of my blogs, here is:
We have been having lots of fun on Twitter if you would like to follow us:
(My Twitter Account)
BLOG ENTRIES START HERE
With the Coronavirus ravaging our country and the entire world, everyday that I wake up feeling good I thank my lucky stars that I have one more day of good health. I remember hearing as a child that ‘if you have your health then you have everything.’ I used to scoff at that as being ridiculous but now I get it. Everyday that I am healthy is a good day. I am just going to enjoy my life and appreciate every day until my days run out. We come into this world crying and I hope to leave it laughing. (That’s the plan anyway.) 🙂
For those interested in what I am currently working on in the website…….
June 30, 2020
The 4th. of July
Every year we usually do something very nice for our Independence Day. A nice big spread of BBQ/Brunswick Stew/ Corn on the Cob/ etc. And this year will be no different. Only because we do themes. 🙂
I am however, very curious as to see how our average American tends to “celebrate” the 4th.
Will there even be a celebration? I know that we have not been feeling very patriotic for decades. Oh, we love our country, just not the politicians that run it and ruin it. The idea of America is what we celebrate. We celebrate the patriotism of our past. When we were proud to be American’s. Although those days are past, we do live in the past, therefore this July 4th. will be special to us.
Here are a few clues as to the theme of our July 4th.
Do you understand now? Great!
Then we are on the same page. See you on the 4th.!
Star Spangled Kisses!
p.s. What’s with the additional coffee pot on the counter underneath the paper towels? I don’t get that?
June 28, 2020
My Thoughts on Gone With The Wind
I want to first state that I am pro Black Lives Matter. I did grow up in the south, Georgia, to be exact. I was born in 1961. I can remember the commercials on T.V. where someone by the name of J.B. Stoner was running for some office and would talk about how he would get rid of the N*****’s. Even though I was just a girl I disliked that man on T.V. I grew up in a kind household. At least where my mother’s family was concerned. My biological father’s family were very racist. My bloodline does put me in The Daughter’s of the American Revolution, DAR, by my biological father. I have that bloodline yet I do not honor that heritage. I have the DNA to be in that exclusive club but I do not join it.
I suppose that my fried chicken above and the cotton would seem a racist statement. I don’t mean it to. I adore fried chicken and I love the cotton. I also can’t live without Watermelon!
I am so happy that most people are starting to realize all that our black American’s go through and are helping to end their suffering. I’m sure that if I were to take a DNA test that my heritage would be African/Scotch-Irish/ and Greek. And I would be just as proud to be all of them! I have black characteristics/Scotch-Irish characteristics, and Greek. 🙂
But, Gone With The Wind is one of my most favorite movies of all time. Not because it depicts slavery. But because of Scarlett O’Hara.
When I first saw Gone With The Wind I hated Scarlett. I thought she was so mean! But I came to realize that although she was mean, she made sure that her family and friends survived. She sacrificed her happiness and married men that she didn’t love so that her family had a roof over themselves, and so that she could control the money and keep Tara alive and well, and her family members. She was also caring for Ashley and Melanie when they needed help. Melanie and Beau are only alive because of Scarlett.
In the old south some families did own slaves. Some of my family members owned slaves. I cannot do anything about the past. That wasn’t my past. But, I can do something right now. I can support Black Lives Matter and I do!
Gone With The Wind is just a movie, It is not a documentary on slavery. I can very easily imagine the horrors of slavery just as I can image the horrors the Jews endured in the concentration camps. I just happen to love the movie GWTW because it takes place not far from where I was born. And it depicts an era of grandeur and then hardship, and war. It depicts change and a new future. To me Mammie is the smartest person in the entire movie. I also love that Rhett wants the respect of Mammie more than anyone else.
I say put all those Confederate statues in a museum where they belong. That is our history, for good or for bad. We shouldn’t erase our history. But it also shouldn’t be flaunted. I grew up in Rome, GA. where the Rome Re-enactor’s re-enact the Civil War. My parent’s said decades ago that there will be another Civil War. It’s as if they keep re-enacting it in the hopes they will eventually win.
I can’t do anything about my country’s past, I can’t also do anything about my families past, but I can do something right now. I support Black Lives Matter because they do! I am with you. But, I also like to occasionally watch Gone With The Wind. Not because I love slavery, I don’t! But, I do love Scarlett. I always will.
June 26, 2020
Memories and Musings