Flip Update… Things have been pretty busy around here the last few weeks. Lots of decisions on the “Flip” house, in addition to …well, just regular livin’. As you who follow me regularly know,…I showed you in a previous […]
Italian Market…Con’t! Yesterday, I showed you pictures of one of the Italian Markets here in Cape Coral. Click on the link below, if you missed it! Andiamo al Mercato…! Come To the Italian Market I also said I would show […]
Andiamo al Mercato! Come to the Italian Market. No, I do not speak Italian….but I can say “Besame Mucho”…I just love that Italian song…. And I do love Italian food! I do love shopping for specialty items and we […]
Grandma Alice’s Plain Cookies…Recipe! Yesterday, (see link below) I said I would provide this plain cookie recipe from my Grandmother on my Mother’s side….Grandma Alice. It is a quick recipe that does not require putting the dough in the fridge….you […]
Grandma Alice’s Plain Cookies! Do you remember me telling you about my Grandma Alice? I posted about her … a couple months ago. You may click on the link below if you would like to see the post. Cane […]
School has started and that makes me think of Fall.
It also makes me think of apples and the orchards of the Midwest.
The Captain and I used to take a Saturday and visit Weston’s Wonderful Apple Orchards…you know the kind that you pick your own apples or …
…if you don’t want to go to all that trouble, you can buy apples by the bag or basket in their wonderful country stores. Yummy!
The Weston orchards also have apple cider….so good! caramel apples….really good! and pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns and Indian corn, so festive and Fall-ish!
I don’t know if that is a word, but it is now!
The orchards also had hay wagons that would take you out to the orchards or pumpkin patches which just made the experience so much fun!
We have a few orchards here in Florida…but they are really not the same as “up North” !
The Tossed Apple Feta Salad with Walnuts is sort of a good-bye to summer and hello to Fall….although this salad can be enjoyed anytime of the year!
Mixing apples, grapes, walnuts, feta cheese and salad greens…gives us a winning combination….at least I think so!
I came across this little joke and I had to laugh!
I hope you found this funny…you know me, sometimes I can be weird! Really?
This recipe has greens, grapes, apples, feta cheese, and crispy, sugared walnuts. Of course you can use plain walnuts but I like to “splurge” every once in a while and make sugared walnuts.
If you have a favorite apple, by all means use those apples. The Captain and I favor the Honey Crisp Apples and the Granny Smith Apples….just the right amount of tart and sweetness.
I have also included the dressing recipe (just click on the recipe title above)….however, I also like a raspberry vinaigrette dressing for those times you are in a hurry to get dinner on the table, and don’t have time to drag out the blender for the dressing.
Either way…homemade dressing or store bought….this is a great recipe!
I hope you enjoy making it…as it is a quick recipe and a great way to enjoy Apple Season…or any time of the year!
Have a great Tuesday!
Things have been pretty busy around here the last few weeks.
Lots of decisions on the “Flip” house, in addition to …well, just regular livin’.
As you who follow me regularly know,…I showed you in a previous post the Flip house we bought.
We gutted the complete interior and just basically started from the outside walls in….
Below is the link to that post if you missed it or care to see it.
So many things are happening quickly and yet other things are going slowly …like a snail sometimes!
The marble finally came in for the Master spa/tub…so even though the plastic is still on it…I am glad it is finally in place.
This is a picture of the “before” exterior color of the house…it was a pale yellow with a darker cream trim color.
This is the “after” exterior color of the house…I picked out Sherwin-Williams Colors, Totally Tan base and Biscuit trim!
Do you think it was an improvement?? Of course it is a little late to change it, but the yellow was in need of repainting anyway….:)
The house exterior color turned out to be a small communication error between me, the contractor and the painters.
When I got over to the site…the painters had left for the day and I noticed they had just painted the 3 garage doors the Biscuit color! (the same as the trim was to be painted)…
I had previously sent an email to the contractor with little “markers” explaining in detail just what I preferred!
Alas, I still had to go back and refer to the email….it appears that the contractor quit reading my long-ish email…could it be that I write a book?
It only took two or three visits with the painters to get the colors on the right surface….but hey! now all is good and I am so impressed with the quality of work of the painters!
Hmmm…I always think I am perfectly clear….perhaps there are those who will disagree! Captain, oh my Captain…maybe?
The digging of the pool was an exciting time….now it is a hurry up and wait process. The Captain and I were both on site for this one.
The framework of the pool
The gravel going into the bottom of the pool…
The rebar going around and in the bottom of the pool….also plumbing, electrical etc.
This pic is of the deep end of the pool!
Now to the interior and I have a favor to ask.
So now, my dear readers…today I am off to look at faucet fixtures for all the baths, showers and tubs and I am asking for your input.
I am debating between brushed nickel or bronze….thoughts on your preferences? (Luckily, I don’t have to make a decision for a few days).
Of course this would also be for towel racks etc….AND door knobs. (which should be for all the doors throughout the house)
Right now, there is a mish-mash of knob colors until we get the final knobs in place.
Plus a decision has to be made on whether to add “panels” to the flat side panels of the kitchen cabinets or to add a trim down the sides of the end panels….
I would like to give the cabinets a little “pizzazz” ! So a meeting with the cabinet maker is also on the agenda.
I have to keep reminding myself that this is a “flip” house and that I won’t be living in it….so cost is always an issue, but I still want it to be good for whoever we sell it to.
But the Captain has to write out all the checks, soooooooo
Have a great day and please tell me your thoughts on faucets!
- 6 Bell Peppers...I chose 2 red, 2 yellow and 2 green
- 1 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Diced tops of bell peppers (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil
- 2 teaspoons salt, (1 teaspoon for veggies and 1 teaspoon for meats)
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (1/2 teaspoon for veggies and 1 teaspoon for meats)
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 pound lean ground beef (or chuck)
- 1/2 pound of ground veal
- 1/2 pound of ground pork
- 1 cup cooked Arborio rice
- Chili Sauce (optional) I use Heinz
- shredded mild Cheddar cheese, about 1/2 cup optional
- Cut off the tops of the bell peppers and clean the inside membranes out. Place the peppers in salted boiling water; reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, covered. Drain and set aside. Chop the edible tops of the peppers into a small dice.
- In a skillet, melt the butter along with olive oil. Add celery, onion, diced bell peppers and saute for about 5 minutes. Add oregano, garlic, basil, water, salt, pepper and tomato paste. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Put the meats in a medium size bowl, add the egg, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, rice and half the tomato mixture from the skillet. Mix with your hands, trying not to over-mix, or the meat will become tough.
- Fill the bell peppers with the meat mixture and place in a 3 quart baking dish. Add 1 teaspoon of chili sauce to the top of each pepper. Add the other half of the tomato mixture from the skillet and pour around the peppers in the bottom of the dish. This assists in "steaming" the peppers from the bottom up...plus gives a nice sauce to use on the side for serving.
- Bake for 55-65 minutes at 350 degrees... until the tops of the peppers start to caramelize.
- If using grated cheese, add 3 minutes before the peppers are done.
- If you prefer to use ground beef rather than the three meats...please do so.
- You may also use white rice in place of the Arborio, I just happen to have Arborio on hand and it is a "creamy" rice when added to the meats.
- The number of peppers really depends on the size of them...larger peppers would of course require fewer peppers.
- You may also cut your peppers in half and fill as pepper boats, as some may not prefer so much bell pepper ! ;)
Pork Chop Tropicale’ is a great way to serve one of my favorite meats!
You know pork is the other white meat….we have been hearing that for years!
Also years ago, we were told to cook the heck out of pork…to assure food safety.
The result was a dry, tough pork chop ….which resembled shoe leather, both in looks and taste.
However, in May of 2011, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) determined a new guideline for cooking pork chops, pork roasts and pork steaks.
The USDA did explain that the change does not apply to ground meats, including beef, veal, lamb and pork…which should be cooked to 160 degrees.
Please note that the safe cooking temperature for all poultry products, including chicken and turkey remains at 165 degrees.
The USDA goes on to say that there should always be a “rest time” after cooking…and for pork chops, the rest time should be at least 3 minutes.
To quote the USDA, http://www.fsis.usda.gov/ :
“A “rest time” is the amount of time the product remains at the final temperature, after it has been removed from a grill, oven, or other heat source. During the three minutes after meat is removed from the heat source, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys pathogens. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has determined that it is just as safe to cook cuts of pork to 145 °F with a three minute rest time as it is to cook them to 160 °F, the previously recommended temperature, with no rest time. The new cooking suggestions reflect the same standards that the agency uses for cooked meat products produced in federally inspected meat establishments, which rely on the rest time of three minutes to achieve safe pathogen reduction.”
Gosh! it takes me 3 minutes to get the rest of the meal served up in dishes!
The USDA’s… FSIS goes on to discuss the appearance of cooked pork……
“The new cooking recommendations clarify long-held perceptions about cooking pork. Historically, consumers have viewed the color pink in pork to be a sign of undercooked meat. If raw pork is cooked to 145 °F and allowed to rest for three minutes, it may still be pink but is safe to eat. The pink color can be due to the cooking method, added ingredients, or other factors. As always, cured pork (e.g., cured ham and cured pork chops) will remain pink after cooking. Appearance in meat is not a reliable indicator of safety or risk. Only by using a food thermometer can consumers determine if meat has reached a sufficient temperature to destroy pathogens of public health concern. Any cooked, uncured red meats – including pork – can be pink, even when the meat has reached a safe internal temperature.”
I suggest using a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chop …or any pork roast or pork steak.
Any further questions or issues with cooking pork can be found in a Q&A at the below link.
Simple ingredients you most likely have in your pantry.
So simple to mix together in a large plastic bag….just “mush” with your fingers…through the bag of course! ):
Refrigerate overnight or at least for 8 hours…..use a large bowl or baking dish just in case of “leaks”…and toss on the grill!
I like to go into the fridge and “mush” up the marinade every so often, although it is not necessary.
Hey, it makes me feel that I worked extra hard on these chops!
Meanwhile….Enjoy these pork chops!
The glazing caramelizes on the chops… not only tastes good, it looks good too!
They will soon become your “go to” recipe for chops!
Oh, and if you want to add a few extra pineapple slices to the grill….please do! I love pineapple almost as much as I love pork chops!
Below is the handy-dandy printable recipe.
- 4 pork chops
- 1 small can pineapple rings, (8 ounce) drained, reserving the juice
- 1 small can crushed pineapple (8 ounce)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup Teriyaki sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger (or 1/2 inch of fresh)
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (optional)
- For the marinade, add pineapple juice and crushed pineapple, brown sugar,Teriyaki sauce, ginger, black pepper and garlic powder in a large zip lock bag. I like to put the plastic bag in a bowl to insure no spills...but that is just me...I tend to spill a lot :) AND it also allows for mixing the marinade either with a spoon or zipping the bag and shaking to dissolve the sugar.
- Add the pork chops into the marinade, squeezing out any air in the bag as you seal. Refrigerate overnight. (I also like to keep my sealed bag in a bowl in the fridge for the same reason I pour ingredients into a "bowled bag" (I think I just made up that term...;0 )
- Place the pineapple rings in another baggie and put in the fridge.
- Preheat your grill for a medium heat, lightly oiling the grates.
- Remove the pork chops from the marinade, shaking off excess, and grill about 5-7 minutes per side.
- Brush the pork chops a few times with your pineapple juice marinade, which will allow the juices to penetrate the chops and give a lovely grilled appearance.
- Discard excess marinade.
- As the meat is grilling, place 4 pineapple rings onto the grill, and allow to brown slightly and the slices show grill marks.
- Top each pork chop with a grilled pineapple ring and let "rest" for at least 3 minutes before serving.
- When brushing the pork chops...I don't mind if some of the crushed pineapple remains on the chops...it just makes the glaze adhere...if that makes sense! :)
- I have used the ground ginger and the fresh ginger and they still taste great!
- Serve the Pork Chop Tropicale' with a light tomato-couscous salad, or baked potato or your favorite side.
- Did you know that you can keep a "claw" of fresh ginger in the freezer and just break off what you need? Great tip!
Yesterday, I showed you pictures of one of the Italian Markets here in Cape Coral. Click on the link below, if you missed it!
I also said I would show you more pics today… and so, if you would like to see more…here they are!
As I said earlier, I love shopping in specialty markets!
Of course, I love shopping for food anytime and anyplace. I also like to visit all the local supermarkets of one chain.
You never know what little surprises that one store will stock, while another of the same chain does not.
OK…I am weird…but you already knew that didn’t you?
Love the produce…
I like the baskets…..it is all in the presentation isn’t it?
It just makes shopping an experience….
I really like the sign beside the eggs…..
Lots of fresh fennel….
And of course…potatoes and more potatoes….in baskets!
Isn’t this quaint?
Oh, yesssssss and more fresh cheese….hmmmm? is there such a thing as fresh cheese? Think about it.
Any kind of cheese you might want!
Huge cans of Pasta Sauce al dente! :):):)
and the rest of the meat counters!
Mouth watering super thick cuts!
And large packaged meats for large families….
Isn’t this a typical small market with all the signs? Love it!
Lots of bread baked daily…salads too! They have just about everything our large Super Markets have!
These are spices….
Up close and personal!
I love visiting with the shoppers.
One little Italian lady gave me her recipe for bizcotti…she just started talking and I was using the microphone on my IPhone…..what fun!
My purchases included a ball of “Homemade fresh mozzarella cheese ball”….oh so good with my Summer Caprese recipe! Click on the link below for the recipe!
Store bought mozzarella just can’t compare with homemade, can it?
I hope you enjoyed shopping with me at our local Italian Market!
Have a great Tuesday!
Andiamo al Mercato! Come to the Italian Market.
No, I do not speak Italian….but I can say “Besame Mucho”…I just love that Italian song….
And I do love Italian food!
I do love shopping for specialty items and we have a wonderful Italian Market right here in Cape Coral.
It is run (and owned) by a family of Italians and they stock the best food stuffs…many things are imported from Italy.
So come along with me and I will show you a few of the items in this fantastic market.:)
The aisles are brimming with fresh produce, meats and specialty items.
Of course there has to be tomatoes….fresh and canned…these are all tomatoes.
Wait til I show you the homemade dessert counter!
Wines…of course there are!
You name it….they stock it!
Yummy hot Italian sausages….
Gluten free pasta…..
Of course Olive oil…
Home made sauces….just in case you don’t want to make your own.
Cute little carts loaded with nuts and you name it….:)
What kind do you prefer?
This picture is for my “dancing friend across the pond” who will be visiting me next month…
And since she is Italian, we will definitely make a trip to Paesano’s for her!
I have so many more pictures…that I will share with you, tomorrow…
and then we will visit this wonderful little Italian restaurant serving some of the best Italian food around.
Enjoy your day….and have fun doing whatever you want to do.
Pine Trees in Florida!
I guess I never really gave it much thought….there are Native Pine Trees in almost every state….including tropical Florida!
I say almost, because apparently, the Hawaiian archipelago lacks native pine trees…and that makes sense to me.
Cold Weather! Pines!
I guess I thought tropical states such as Hawaii and Florida would have palm trees …and they do…plenty of them.
When we first moved to Florida almost 4 years ago….I focused mainly on the beautiful tropical palm trees. Not Pine trees!
I did notice however, that there was/is a main thoroughfare sporting the name “Pine Island Road”, which runs through our little city of Cape Coral.
Still,… my itty, bitty, little brain did not comprehend that it was so named because of the Pine Trees.
I just thought they called it “Pine Island Road” because it led to….well, to Pine Island...one of the barrier islands very close to our home.
Anyway, I thought or surmised that the pine trees I would see interspersed among the stately palm trees…. were planted by Northerners (now Southerners) …wanting reminders of their pine trees up North.
Kind of like I would love to be able to plant Lilacs and Peonies….from my Midwest upbringing….but alas, they will not grow down here. I am too far South.
There are not a lot of pine trees in Kansas, where I was born and raised…and some say that Kansas has no native pine trees.
Lots of native cedar trees, but no pine trees.
However, according to the source below….some of the central Great Plains states, like North Dakota and Kansas, have very low pine diversity, but none-the-less they do have a few native pines.
Many of the introduced species become disease prone and eventually turn brown and die.
Perhaps that is why I don’t remember that many!
I have since learned (after living here awhile) that there are seven species of native pine trees in Florida!
And three other commonly planted non-native species that grow very well in this environment.
Pine trees are not necessarily for mountains and cold, cold temperatures!
They can flourish in sub-tropical climates too!
Do you have native pine trees near you?
Or were they planted?
Inquiring minds want to know!
Have a great day!