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Grandma Alice’s Plain Cookies!

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 […]

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Pine Trees in Florida!

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. […]

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The Giver

The Giver….A movie review! The movie stars Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep… with Brenton Thwaites, Katie Holmes, and Taylor Swift (a very brief part) among others. The Captain and I went to see this movie and I have to admit….there […]

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Smoked Salmon From Pike’s Market

Smoked Salmon from Pike’s Market…Seattle! I have always liked salmon.   My Mother made salmon patties almost every Friday night for years and we were not Catholic! Years later, …I discovered smoked salmon and I really do love it! I […]

The Hundred-Foot Journey

The Hundred-Foot Journey

The Captain and I went to the movies yesterday afternoon and the name of the movie is: “The Hundred-Foot Journey”. I absolutely and positively loved this movie!  It is a movie that is purely entertaining with a moral to the […]

 

Grandma Alice’s Plain Cookies!

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Grandma Alice’s Plain Cookies!

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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 Pole Fishing with Grandma!

Anyway…I have been wanting this particular recipe for a long time and the other day I was visiting with my cousin (she lives in Kansas and her name is Charly)…another family member with a special name.    :)

So I asked Charly if she by chance had Grandma Alice’s sugar cookie recipe.

Charly said she was sure she had Grandma’s Plain Cookie Recipe in her recipe box.

And in fact she did, hand written in Grandma’s writing… and with “Charly”‘s name on the top!

I think my error was assuming the cookie was a sugar cookie….but like my wonderful Grandma, this cookie is not pretentious.  

It is a simple plain cookie…and it is so delicious!

Never frosted….just a plain cookie!

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Grandma made these cookies every chance she got….and she had a pink depression glass cookie jar that sat in an old white sideboard with upper cabinets with glass inserts.

Very similar to the picture of the blue sideboard (from E-Bay) below….Grandma’s cookie jar sat right where the plate is sitting in the photo.  :)

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Grandma’s cookie jar did not have a lid…or if it was there, it was not on the jar which made for easy pilfering of the cookies. ;)

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She also had a small pink bowl with a “shower cap” type cover that protected her home made maple syrup that sat to the left of the cookie jar.  But that is another post. ;)

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This is the closest I could get to a picture (from E-Bay) that looked like Grandma’s old white sideboard.

The upper right door of her sideboard remained open all the time, perhaps she knew that her grand-kids would have easier access to the cookie jar. ;)

Plus, living so close to the school, Grandma gave all the kids who passed by her house… a cookie. (in those days, one could do that) :( 

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Grandma’s kerosene stove was similar to this one (also on E-Bay)

Grandma baked her cookies in the oven of a kerosene stove which sat at a right angle next to her other sideboard.

Used for Canning her vegetables and heating wash water for the washing machine.

Used for Canning her vegetables and heating wash water for the washing machine.

Grandpa always kept the kerosene jugs filled for both her stoves…the one for cooking and the one that sat out on the screened in back porch that she used for canning and heating Monday wash water. 

Grandma had her flour and "stuff" in an old sideboard like this one.

Grandma had her flour and “stuff” in an old sideboard like this one.

You know, I don’t ever remember a time when the Pink Lace depression glass cookie jar was ever empty. :)

If you are not familiar with Depression Glass or if you missed my post discussing it with my posted pictures….the link is below!

Depression Glass

I just love Depression Glass….but I digress.

Don’t I always? ;)

 Yesterday, I made these cookies…and Wow! did it bring back memories..

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I don’t have the Pink Lace depression glass, but I do have the Green Cameo….so I put the Plain Cookies in the cookie jar and poured myself a cup of tea.

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I took the cookies out to my Secret Garden where I just wanted to be alone with my thoughts of Grandma!

Perhaps it is just my age that causes me to drift back in time to …not necessarily a better time, but a good time.  A pleasant time!

My younger years were so busy with daily living…one doesn’t seem to have time or take the time for nostalgia.

On this journey I am on….retirement, I am still busy. :)

However, I do try to find the time to sit quietly in my Secret Garden, and let the tropical breezes whisper to the pink hibiscus… to gently move their large, green leaves.

I also hear the twitter of the  mockingbirds as they dart in and out among the Areca Palms.

And I get to watch the most beautiful blue butterflies hovering over the pink pentas!  

And I remember …. I let my thoughts drift.  It is so peaceful.

Do you, my dear readers, … have special memories of your grandmother or a special loved one?

Have a blessed and wonderful Thursday!

Tomorrow, I will share my Grandma Alice’s Plain Cookie Recipe. ;)

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Me

Pine Trees in Florida!

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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!

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Tall, Tall pines….just around the corner from me

I say almost, because apparently, the Hawaiian archipelago lacks native pine trees…and that makes sense to me.

Tropics!  Palms!

Cold Weather! Pines! :)

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Royal Palms

I guess I thought tropical states such as Hawaii and Florida would have palm trees …and they do…plenty of them.

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When we first moved to Florida almost 4 years ago….I focused mainly on the beautiful tropical palm trees.  Not Pine trees!

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Bismark Palms

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.

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Pineapple Palm

Still,… my itty, bitty, little brain did not comprehend that it was so named because of the Pine Trees. :)

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Foxtail Palm centered between two cypress 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. 

Duh!!!!!

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Christmas Tree Palms….so named because of the bright red clusters of seed pods that sprout often…most people pull them down before they can turn red.

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.

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Washingtonian Palm

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. :(

Our Pygmy Date Palm near my front door

Our Pygmy Date Palm near our front door

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! :)

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native pine

 I have since learned (after living here awhile) that there are seven species of native pine trees in Florida!

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Native Pine

And three other commonly planted non-native species that grow very well in this environment.

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Native pine

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!

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Me 

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/facts_7882841_state-would-not-pine-trees.html

The Giver

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The Giver….A movie review!

The movie stars Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep… with Brenton Thwaites, Katie Holmes, and Taylor Swift (a very brief part) among others.

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The Captain and I went to see this movie and I have to admit….there is a bit of irony here.

Perhaps you have read the book, “The Giver” by Lois Lowry, published in 1993.  

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I understand the book was a required reading for many in their high school years, though that was long after I left school. :) 

The book and movie is all about a government who controls every aspect of one’s life….there are NO choices.

This includes who to marry, what to eat, where to work, how to speak (example: please and thank you’s…which is a good thing :))…and what children to raise. (Not so good)

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Everything is literally black and white….the film has no color until the young boy, Jonas, starts to see what life used to be like for their group of communities. 

Jonas sees parties, feels happiness…love, sees sunsets, good things, bad things…but most importantly he sees “choices”. 

In this sort of Utopia, there are no choices made by each individual. Choices are made for them by their governing powers.

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Jonas (who has been chosen to be the “receiver” )… is able to see the past through the teachings of  the “Giver”….played by Jeff Bridges.

“The Giver”… reminds me of the old medicine man in a tribe…or the older matriarch or patriarch of a family who holds all the memories of days past.

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Below are a few quotes from the book, “The Giver” by Lois Lowry.

“Well…,” Jonas had to stop and think it through. “If everything’s the same, then there are no choices! I want to wake up in the morning and DECIDE things! A blue tunic, or a red one?” 

― Lois LowryThe Giver

“Our people made that choice, the choice to go to Sameness. Before my time, before the previous time, back and back and back. We relinquished color when we relinquished sunshine and did away with difference. We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others.” 
― Lois LowryThe Giver

“…how could you describe a hill and snow to someone who had never felt height or wind or that feathery, magical cold?” 
― Lois LowryThe Giver

The author, Lois Lowry sums the movie (and life) up perfectly…forgive my pun! ;)

“Submitting to censorship is to enter the seductive world of ‘The Giver’: the world where there are no bad words and no bad deeds. But it is also the world where choice has been taken away and reality distorted. And that is the most dangerous world of all.” 
― Lois LowryThe Giver

I have to admit that in the beginning, …..when God gave all of us a “free choice”…..He certainly made and knew us well. :)

Have you seen the movie “The Giver”?

What are your thoughts?

Have a great Monday!

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Me

Smoked Salmon From Pike’s Market

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Smoked Salmon from Pike’s Market…Seattle!

I have always liked salmon.  

My Mother made salmon patties almost every Friday night for years and we were not Catholic! ;)

Years later, …I discovered smoked salmon and I really do love it!

I can eat smoked salmon and salad crackers and make it a meal. :)

I made a fresh Smoked Salmon Dip yesterday…which is adapted from a recipe I found in Seattle years ago.

And you can’t get fresher smoked salmon than from Pike Place Fish Company in downtown Seattle, altho I used the salmon from my local fish monger!

I really do miss Seattle’s Public Market Center!  

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Pike Place Fish Co

When we lived in Seattle….the Captain and I would go down town on many a Saturday morning.

We would stop off and have fresh blueberry bagels and coffee at one of our favorite little outdoor restaurants.

And then….we would walk the market enjoying all the fresh produce and fish.

Of course we enjoyed the fish tossing!

Someone once said…”why do they toss the fish?”

It is really simple….the fish monger would stroll around in front of his fish..trying to entice a customer to buy a fish.

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When the customer chose a fish…the fish monger would toss that same fish to another fish monger behind the counter…who would then wrap it up for the customer.

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Of course, the monger could have carried the fish to the back of the glass cabinets…..but they really enjoyed putting on a show!  

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There was always beautiful produce….and I filled my wicker basket full each time we went.

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I loved the fresh flowers at the market….so many to choose from …

 

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especially the tulips, when they were “in season”. 

The tulips were usually from Skagit County which is a little North of Seattle.

 There were fields and fields of tulips in Skagit county and they were just beautiful.

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Skagit County Tulip Festival

Loved the tulip festivals held there each year……so many tulips…so many colors! :)

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Flower Market at Pike’s Market 

While living in Seattle…our families always knew that their Christmas presents would be fish from Pike’s Place Fish Market.  

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We would order the fish/shrimp/lobster at the counter (or on-line) and it would be sent, boxed with dry ice…directly to their doors in the Midwest! 

But I digress…..(what else is new?) :) I want to talk smoked salmon dip.

I am attaching the smoked salmon dip recipe which I adapted from a recipe I found in Seattle years ago…at one of the supermarkets.  

I believe it was Safeway…believe it or not!

The original recipe called for mayonnaise, but I use Miracle Whip…it gives a little bit of sweetness. 

I think you will love this quick and easy dip.

I serve this dip (or a variation of) at our Christmas Open House each year and I am always asked for the recipe.

Sometimes, the thought of capers will cause some to want to think twice…I believe they add to the flavor, but you can certainly omit them if  desired.

Try this simple dip at your next Fish Fry…or any fish dinner…

And you don’t have to go to Seattle’s Pike’s Market to get your smoked salmon…or you don’t have to wait until Christmas to have it. :)

You can find smoked salmon anywhere these days…add this dip to your recipe box!

Yummy! 

Enjoy!

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Me 

Smoked Salmon Dip
This dip is so versatile, many substitutions can be made. Crab meat for salmon...parsley for dill. This dip is always at my Christmas Open House, but can be enjoyed anytime.
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Total Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup mayonnaise (I use Miracle Whip)
  2. 4 ounces softened cream cheese
  3. 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
  4. 1 tablespoon finely diced red onion
  5. 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  6. 1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  7. 2 ounces plus 2 more ounces thinly sliced and coarsely chopped smoked salmon
  8. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Instructions
  1. Using your food processor, combine the mayonnaise, cream cheese, capers, red onion, lemon juice, horseradish.
  2. Add 2 ounces of the smoked salmon and process until smooth which will take about 20 seconds.
  3. Remove the dip mixture to a small bowl and add in the remainder of the fresh salmon, gently blending
  4. You can either leave the dip in the mixing bowl or transfer it to a pretty dipping bowl and top with the fresh dill.
Notes
  1. Fresh parsley can be substituted for the fresh dill, altho I really like the dill flavor paired with the salmon.
  2. You could also substitute the crab for the salmon.
  3. Serve with Pita Chips or Pretzel Chips for a really good appetizer.
Me and My Captain http://www.meandmycaptain.com/

The Hundred-Foot Journey

The Hundred-Foot Journey

The Captain and I went to the movies yesterday afternoon and the name of the movie is: “The Hundred-Foot Journey”.

I absolutely and positively loved this movie! 

It is a movie that is purely entertaining with a moral to the story.

AND since it involves food and cooking…well, you know it was a must see for me! :)

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Helen Mirren as Madame Mallory in front of her classy French restaurant

“The Hundred-Foot Journey” is the story of a family who are all cooks, chefs and sous chefs …who previously owned their own restaurant in India…but due to circumstances beyond their control, have decided to move to a new country to open a restaurant.

The family led by the Father (Papa) decide to settle in the village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, which is in the south of France.

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Papa…standing in front of his future restaurant

There are beautiful valleys and hills and produce stands… just brimming with delicious home grown vegetables and fresh meats and fish.

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Hassan, the young Indian chef

It seems the perfect place to open an Indian restaurant…the Maison Mumbai!

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Unfortunately, in this beautiful picturesque French countryside… the site of the new Maison Mumbai ….is just across the road from an elegant French restaurant run my Madame Mallory!

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Needless to say, Madame Mallory is not happy that her prestigious clientele…will be subject to loud music and the aroma of curry and other spices emanating from just a hundred feet from the front door of  her French restaurant. 

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As the two cultures clash….the all out war begins between the two restaurants.

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It is soon discovered that the young Indian boy…knows his “stuff” and has a talent for being a 2 star Chef!

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Helen Mirren

I have always liked the British actress Helen Mirren….she seems to play women of substance in her movies.  

She has played Queens, aristocrats and who can forget her performance in “Calendar Girls”  which was based on a true story!

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In “The Hundred-Foot Journey” (which was produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey),  this story is just …for lack of a better term…a feel-good movie. 

Have you seen this movie?

Do you plan to see this movie?

If you have or will have….please let me know your thoughts.

Enjoy the remainder of your week-end….I am in sports heaven!

The KC Royals are playing (and are ahead of the Minnesota Twins) as I write this … and the KC Chiefs play the Carolina Panthers this evening!  

I have my blue sports shirt on,… and the red shirt ready and waiting! :) 

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Me

I will be posting my recipe for Madeleines in the near future! ;0

The recipe below is for Madeleines…and the recipe is not mine….it actually came from the movie! :)

Madelines-Recipe

 

The Big Four of 2004

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The Big Four…and this will surprise you, … but this is not about Sports and The final Four! :)

Yesterday, I wrote about Hurricane Charley which hit the Florida Coastline 10 years ago Wednesday, the 13th of August 2004.

Of course, there was devastation everywhere, but Mother Nature wasn’t through with Florida…yet!

Many long time residents of Florida were hoping that Charley would be the Hurricane Season’s “biggie”..or finale, but the heart of hurricane season was just beginning.

Altho, hurricanes can strike from May through December, hurricane Season is typically the most active between mid-August through October.

The actual “height” of hurricane season is mid-September.

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In the United States, hurricanes can strike anywhere along the Atlantic Seaboard, the Gulf of Mexico coast, Caribbean Sea islands and Pacific Ocean islands and coasts. 

Yesterday, I told you about Hurricane Charley, which was considered Hurricane Number One for 2004.

Charley left Florida briefly and made a second landfall south of Myrtle Beach, SC, and tracked into southeast Virginia before fading away around the 15th of August.  

Then on September 5th, 2004…Hurricane Frances appeared.

Hurricane Frances

Hurricane Frances

Hurricane Frances was a category 4 hurricane as it hop-scotched across the Atlantic east of the Bahamas.  

However, Frances slowed down a bit to a category 2 when it made landfall on the Eastern coast of Florida near Jupiter and Jensen Beach.  

Frances brought heavy, heavy rains all the way from Florida to upstate New York, causing major flooding all along the East coast.  

Frances also spawned over 101 tornadoes in five days over a four day span.  

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None-the-less, Frances caused roughly $9 billion (2004 dollars) damage, which included $100 million in damage to Cape Canaveral, Florida and 6 deaths.

However, as Frances was nearing landfall, a new threat appeared and was taking shape in the Atlantic Ocean.

On September 16th, 2004...Hurricane Ivan, a category 3 hurricane…. roared into the coastline of Gulf Shores, Alabama and surrounding areas such as the panhandle of Florida.

Hurricane Ivan

Hurricane Ivan

Damage was extensive along the Alabama and western Florida Panhandle coasts.  Perdido Key Florida was essentially wiped out.  

Simply put, Ivan was the most destructive hurricane to affect this area in over 100 years!  

Hurricane Ivan spawned 117 tornadoes in five states over three days, besting Hurricane Frances’ totals.  

Ivan pensacola panhandle

The damage from Ivan was estimated just over $14 billion (2004 dollars), making Ivan the third most costly U.S. hurricane, jumping ahead of Hurricane Frances just less than 2 weeks prior.

Sooooo, we always hear that things happen in three’s.  Hurricane Ivan was the last of the three hurricane strikes on Florida in just over a month. 

Hopefully, Floridians thought….this could not happen again…certainly not in this same 2004 season, …or could it? 

Unfortunately, just as before, while Ivan was wrecking havoc along the Gulf coastline, sending winds and rain and flooding into the Midwest…there was another storm forming in the Caribbean…. as Ivan roared ashore.  

Sept 26, 2004….Hurricane Jeanne, having devastated the islands in the Caribbean, looped around growing and diminishing in strength, finally fed by the high pressure system to the North, began her track to the Eastern Coastline of Florida. She intensified to a category 3 by the time she came ashore in the almost identical location as Hurricane Frances…around Stuart, Florida.

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Total estimated U.S. damage from Hurricane Jeanne amounted to just under $7 billion (2004 dollars).

I found it interesting that the paths of the three hurricanes… Charley, Frances, and Jeanne all crossed through Polk County in less than two months.  Polk County folk had to feel “singled out” as it had been 44 years since that county suffered any major damage from a hurricanes.

There is a reason that I titled this post “The Big Four”.

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Taken together, the “Big Four” Hurricanes of 2004, cost an estimated $45 billion, easily one of the costliest U.S. hurricane seasons. 

And when a storm is so destructive,  its name is no longer used in the routine six-year rotation of hurricane names.

Their names were retired by the World Meteorological Organization for reasons of sensitivity….Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne will no longer be names to identify new hurricanes.  

I hope you found the above enlightening and interesting.  

I know I learned a lot about hurricanes in my research.

Oh, you may ask me why we live in a place that is prone to hurricanes…..and my answer is:  There are hazards no matter where one lives. 

Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Mud Slides, Ice Storms, Snow Blizzards, Volcano Eruptions, Forest Fires, Dry Deserts, Rain Forests, Dust Bowls, Daily Wind and more Wind…I could go on, but I will just say this:

We live in a tropical paradise all year long…. and we usually can count on at least a week’s notice of  a hurricane!! 

That leaves me plenty of time to fly up and stay with one of you until the storm passes!  ;) 

Me and my Captain, Jesse James our dog, Kitty Kitty our kitten, and numerous tropical fish…and…and…and…:)

Have a great week-end my dear readers!

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Me

Source: http://www.weather.com/outlook/weather-news/news/articles/hurricanes

The Winds of Change….

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The Winds of Change….!

Ten years ago, on the 13th of August, 2004… Hurricane Charley hit SW Florida.

Luckily, the Captain and I were living in Kansas City….living in Paradise was not even a glint in our eyes at that time. 

First Georgia, then Tampa… was the target… according to numerous meteorologists tracking the path of this monstrous storm. 

However, there were two local meteorologists who warned that this hurricane looked like it could take a sharp right turn and slam into SW Florida.

And they were right.

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On Tuesday, August 10th, 2004, The National Hurricane Center forecast the projected path Charley would take.

Charley, coming up from the Caribbean, would most likely make his swing into the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, eventually making landfall around the panhandle of Florida..particularly the Big Bend Area. 

Later, the projected path would be declared to be Tampa, Florida. 

On Wednesday, August 11th, a strong cold front and the associated low pressure trough, began diving down into the Gulf of Mexico.

This trough would most likely turn the hurricane Northward, causing tropical storm-like conditions for SW Florida and the Orlando area, but the eye of the hurricane would cross over further north, closer to Tampa.  

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As if this were not enough concern for west coast Floridians, there was another tropical storm named Bonnie, dancing around in the Gulf with predictions that she would most likely hit the Florida panhandle also!  (Some meteorologists called it a one-two punch, with both the tropical storm and the hurricane hitting the panhandle area).

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SW Florida…the dividing line is generally considered well below Tampa and St. Petersburg.

On Thursday, August 12th…the computer models began showing Charley shifting right, predicting landfall near the Tampa area (which is about 150 miles north of Cape Coral where we live)  and then taking on a NE turn across Florida and towards Jacksonville, on the East Coast of Florida.

The early, dawn hours of Friday, August 13th….yes, it was Friday the 13th, 2004…..Charley began strengthening.  

According to the 11 a.m. reconnaissance aircraft, Charley was a small hurricane,  but powerful… with strong winds of 110 mph.

However, the National Weather Center held to it’s predicted Tampa Landfall, …  

BUT… those two local meterologists on the local Television stations, warned that the hurricane was making a sharper right turn and would go right over SW Florida, Punta Gorda, Cape Coral, Fort Myers and up through the Orlando area by around 9 pm.

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The 1 p.m. reconnaissance aircraft noted that Charley was now sustaining winds of 125 mph, making him a category  3 hurricane.

By 2 p.m., Charley became a category 4 hurricane, with roaring winds of 145 mph.  

The National Hurricane Center now issued a special advisory and shifted the original predicted path from Tampa …. to SW Florida and the Charlotte Harbor area of Punta Gorda….about 18-20 miles (as the crow flies)  from where our home sits in Cape Coral.  

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The first of the outer bands of rain began to fall about 2:30 p.m., then stopped.

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The second, stronger rainband moved into the area around 6 p.m., bringing strong winds. This continued as the weather conditions began deteriorating fast. 

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Charley hit Cayo Costa Island (one of a chain of  barrier islands that shelter Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island Sound) a little before 8 p.m. on Friday, the 13th of August.

By 8:45 p.m., with winds of 150 mph, Charley went through Punta Gorda and Charlotte Harbor.

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During this time, another of the barrier islands….which is a little southwest of our home…. Captiva Island on the North and Sanabel Island on the South became two completely separate islands as the hurricane ripped through the middle.  

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There is now a bridge connecting the two islands.

 

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Captiva Island after the Hurricane

 

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All this week, marking the anniversary, there have been many reports of heroism and strength prevailing !

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The outer bands of wind and rain stopped the clock, but not the spirit of the people, as the worst was yet to be.

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Isn’t it great how people respond to a crisis and they all pull together….. 

The storm left 10 people dead and 2 million people without power. Property damage was estimated at $5.4 billion and agriculture damage was estimated at $285 million.

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The devastation was extensive, but thanks to being prepared for the worst…many lives were spared.

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A Mobile Home park in Punta Gorda …..

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And of course the signs started appearing…for those who made it through one of the worst hurricanes in US history.

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There are always stories of houses sitting side by side…one leveled and one remaining standing….

By the way….the builder who built our home and lived in it until we bought it almost four years ago….reported no damage.

But the Captain says that is because our house is built like a fortress!  

Re-bar and Cement walls…just ask him whenever he tries to drill through them! :)

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There is an old hymn I love to sing….”It’s always darkest before the dawn…don’t be discouraged…but carry on”

Since we have been in Florida…there have been no hurricanes close to us. 

However, shortly after moving to Florida, our home in Kansas City. Missouri had a huge tree fall on the roof, taking out the Utility Room, the Deck and part of the Garage during a middle-of-the-night Thunderstorm! :(

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The back of our house…and the 60 foot tree that crashed into our home during a thunderstorm!

We thank God that the people leasing the house were sleeping in the left side bedrooms…the upper and lower bedroom windows can be seen on the left in this pic.

My dear readers, thank you for reading…as SW Florida marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Charley! 

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Me 

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Easy Breezy 7-Up Biscuits

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Easy Breezy 7-Up Biscuits!

And I do mean easy…..just three ingredients: Bisquick, Sour Cream and 7-Up!

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Oops! pretend you see the 7-Up Bottle beside the other ingredients. You would think with only 3 ingredients, I would not leave one out of the pic! :(

This recipe was given to me by a friend I worked with in Kansas City….she retired several years before I took the plunge, but we have kept in touch.

You know that I give special names to the people in my life…I don’t know if it is to protect the innocent or just easier for me to remember!  But it is all done in love. ;)

Anyway, Deedee… sent me this recipe a while back and once I made them, they have become my go-to favorite!

Biscuits and gravy

Especially on mornings when the Captain would like Biscuits and Gravy for breakfast!

 Bonne Maman Preserves

uh huh…that is what I’m talkin’ bout! :)

Or have a snack of home made biscuits with Bonne Maman’ French Preserves and Hot Tea!!

Or have with fried chicken, mashed potatoes and cream gravy, cream corn, cole slaw and…well, you get the idea! :) 

Below are the easy steps to making this wonderful, flaky, delicious biscuit.

Easy Breezy 7-Up Biscuits

Easy Breezy 7-Up Biscuits

 3 ingredients….ok, there is butter too, but it is for melting in the baking pan.

7-Up Biscuits

Melt the butter in the pan you are going to bake the biscuits….I like to use my favorite cast iron skillet.

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Add the sour cream to the Bisquick mix.

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Cut in the sour cream to the biscuit dough using a pastry cutter….Hey! there is that pesky bottle of 7-Up! I’m glad I decided to have it in this pic! :)

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Dough should look crumbly about the size of peas…sticky peas! ;)

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Add the 7-Up to the dough.

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Look!  it is bubbly! ;)

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Dough will be very soft….and that is a good thing! 

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Next, add the dough to a floured (with Bisquick) counter or board

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Knead the biscuit dough just a bit….add in more of the biscuit mix from your board if necessary.  (Note the Kansas City Royal Blue nail polish)!

Did I mention the KC Royals are in first place in their division?  Oh, sorry…I digress! Back to the biscuits! ;)

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Don’t work with the dough for too long or the biscuits will be tough.  Pat out the dough in a circle…it is very workable at this point. 

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Cut out the biscuits using either a cookie/biscuit cutter or a small glass or use a souffle cup as I did above.  It really doesn’t matter what you use.

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Lay the biscuits carefully into the melted butter in your baking pan. They are very soft.  I use a spatula to lift them …then use my finger to help slide the biscuit into the skillet. 

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Bake at 425 degrees if using a dark colored baking pan…450 degrees if using a shiny pan!  

Look at that butter underneath those biscuits. That is what makes them crispy on the bottom.

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And the finished, golden brown biscuits almost look to good to eat…but I will “force” myself to eat one…or maybe two!  Yummy!

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Oh, my gosh!  Sooooo good! Add honey or preserves or just plain butter….or, they can be eaten plain. They are that good!

Easy Breezy 7-Up Biscuits

Easy Breezy 7-Up Biscuits

Thanks again Deedee…send along your favorite recipes anytime.  

Our recipe boxes can never be too full, can they? ;)

Excuse me, I have a biscuit with french fruity preserves calling my name! Yum!

Enjoy! 

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Me

Easy Breezy 7-Up Biscuits
These biscuits are wonderful and quick and easy to make. Just 3 ingredients: Bisquick, Sour Cream, & 7-Up carbonated soda. The butter melts in the baking pan and you place the biscuits right on top of the butter and bake. Yummy with honey or peach preserves which is one of my favorite ways. These can bake in the oven while you are preparing breakfast or Fried Chicken. This recipe is definitely a winner to be added to your recipe box! :)
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups baking mix (I used Bisquick)
  2. 1/2 cup sour cream
  3. 1/2 cup 7-Up soda
  4. 1/4 cup butter
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in either a baking dish or cast iron skillet...whichever pan you are going to bake your biscuits.
  2. Using a medium sized bowl, *cut the sour cream into the baking mix by using a pastry cutter or two forks...whichever is easier.
  3. Add the 7-Up...(actually any clear carbonated soda would work) At this point, the dough will be very soft, which is a good thing
  4. Turn the dough (scrape it out of the bowl) onto a counter or board that has been sprinkled with about 1/2 cup more of the baking mix....or you can use flour (I use the baking mix)
  5. Now comes the sticky part as you knead and work the dough adding in a small amount of baking mix as you fold the dough over and over (do not over work or the biscuits will be tough)
  6. With dry baking mix on your fingers...pat the dough into a round circle (about 1/2 inch to 1 inch....depending on how thick you want your biscuits) and cut the biscuits using a round cookie cutter...or a glass in the size you want your biscuits (I use a souffle cup)
  7. Place the biscuits (you might have to use a spatula to slide them into your pan) onto the melted butter and bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees. If you are using a shiny pan, the oven should be at 450 degrees, Since I use a black cast iron skillet, 425 degrees works well.
  8. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown
Notes
  1. This recipe can be doubled easily making about 10 biscuits...depending on how thick you like your biscuits.
  2. Just as an FYI...*Cutting in... is simply incorporating wet into dry without using a mixer, which would make the dough tough. Two forks work just as well if you don't have a pastry cutter. Some bakers use two knives...or use your fingers....the idea is to get the finished dough to look crumbled, about the size of peas.
Me and My Captain http://www.meandmycaptain.com/
 

Italian Stromboli

Italian Stromboli!!!

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So easy to make and so good!

This recipe was adapted from a friend of mine who owned a small Italian restaurant.

Unfortunately, they are not in business anymore.

However, she was the real deal…if you know what I mean.

She made the best Calzones and Stromboli …and they are basically the same, although some Italians might disagree with me. :)

In fact a Stromboli is simply a pizza rolled into a cylinder. 

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Yep….it is.  So you can add any toppings of your choice.

Red peppers,, green peppers, hot peppers, Italian sausage, pepperoni…just what ever your little ole’ heart desires! 

Below is a recipe that can be made with a prepared pizza dough…either from your favorite pizza shop (yes, they will usually sell you their pizza dough) or you can purchase prepared pizza dough at your supermarket.  OR…you can make your own dough.  

I have a Home Made Pizza Dough recipe if you would like to use it instead of purchasing one already made.  click on the below link for that recipe:

Home Made Pizza Dough

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However, you make your stromboli…add a garden salad, a glass of wine and sit back and eat at your leisure….literally drawing out the eating experience for a  couple hours…just as they do in Italy.

And why not? ;)

Just sayin’

Enjoy!

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Me

 

Italian Stromboli
I can just smell it now....hot fresh bread with salami and ham and cheese just oozing in the middle of this roll. The grated Parmesan over the top is the topping on the cake...so to speak! Add a glass of wine and garden salad to an outdoor setting and sit back and smell the roses....;) (or in this case the aroma of home made pizza bread!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 lb of pizza dough (I like to buy it already made in the bread department)
  2. 1/2 cup pizza sauce (you can buy it already made or make it yourself)
  3. 1 1/2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese
  4. 6 slices hard salami
  5. 4 slices deli honey ham
  6. 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water to make an egg wash
  7. Dried parsley
  8. Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees while laying parchment paper on a cookie sheet.(lightly sprayed with cooking spray and lightly dusted with cornmeal)
  2. Place the dough on the parchment paper and roll dough into a 10X16 rectangle
  3. Spread pizza sauce over about 2/3rds of the dough, leaving an inch where the sauce starts
  4. Add half the grated cheese, salami and ham to the top of the sauce. Add the remaining cheese to the top.
  5. Brush the plain strip of dough (without the sauce mixture) and the inch around the sauce...with the egg wash to allow the dough to stick to itself.
  6. Start to roll, like a jelly roll, tucking in the edges... adding more egg wash if needed.
  7. When finished with the roll, pinch the top together and turn the roll over
  8. Brush the entire roll with the egg wash and cut a few slits about every 2 inches (be careful it might open more than you would like while it is baking)
  9. Bake for about 10 minutes until top is starting to brown and crisp
  10. Sprinkle parsley and finely grated Parmesan cheese over the top and bake about 10 minutes more or until golden brown Remove from oven, cool and slice into pieces.
  11. Serve with more pizza sauce if desired.
Notes
  1. This is where using parchment paper is really handy because you can pick it up to help roll the dough. The cornmeal also helps and I think it gives the Stromboli an additional crunch.
  2. This is sooooo yummy!
Me and My Captain http://www.meandmycaptain.com/

Egg Centered…..

Egg Centered…..in a piece of toast!

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These have been called anything and everything…well, not literally anything and everything…

Not those words specifically. :)

However, many years ago, I started making this as a way to get my kids to eat eggs.

And you know what?

It worked….they do like and eat eggs for breakfast!

Although Twin #1 would still prefer a Waffle loaded with Syrup and Butter….and Twin # 2 would still prefer Biscuits, loaded down with Sausage Gravy.

If they were given a choice, that is.  

If no choice is available, they like egg centered in a piece of toast.

It is also a quick way to make eggs and toast.

The egg can be whole or scrambled.  Hard or Soft…. 

The skillet doesn’t care! ;)

I made these the other day and the Captain thought it was a special occasion as I added a couple strips of crisp, hickory smoked bacon and a few strawberries, a sprig of mint from my herb garden and lots of coffee….hot tea for me!

I said it was special….;)

Actually, it was quick and easy to prepare.  

One of those breakfasts that are a snap to make when you don’t have a lot of time.

These can also be made for an on-the-go egg sandwich.

Just cook the egg to the hard stage (or not) and wrap in aluminum foil, grab a cup of coffee and you are good to go. :) 

Below are the simple steps….it is a piece of cake!

OK…it is not cake…but you get my meaning! :)

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Using a cookie cutter, cut the “hole” out of the piece of bread of choice.  (Save the circles for crust-less sandwiches or for croutons)

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In a non stick skillet, spray with cooking spray or brush the underside of the “holed” bread.

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Brown lightly on one side.

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Flip the bread over and add a egg to the center.

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Spice it up with salt and pepper and a little cayenne pepper.

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Cook until the desired doneness of the egg….hard, soft, over medium or sunny side up.

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Sunny Side Up…Captain’s Choice!

 

Serve with crisp bacon, orange juice and black coffee and you have a “special breakfast” that was so easy it almost cooks itself. :)

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Over medium…my choice! ;)

Now, how simple was that? :)

Enjoy!

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Me 

Egg Centered.....
Yields 4
This is a quick breakfast with the toast and egg made at the same time. So simple and yet it can be a special breakfast. Add hickory smoked Bacon and a sprig of mint, a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice, black coffee and enjoy!
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Prep Time
1 min
Total Time
3 min
Prep Time
1 min
Total Time
3 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 fresh eggs
  2. 4 slices of bread...your choice
  3. butter or cooking spray
  4. salt and pepper to taste
  5. cayenne pepper (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cut center out of bread with a cookie cutter.
  2. Spray a large non stick skillet with cooking spray or butter the bread.
  3. Brown one side of each slice of bread over medium heat. (If making a sunny side up egg, brown the other sides too)
  4. Carefully break an egg into each hole in the bread (toast now)
  5. Season and cook to desired done-ness.
  6. Serve with bacon. orange juice, and coffee.
Notes
  1. If you want your eggs over medium...carefully flip the toast and egg at the same time.
  2. Yummy! And it doesn't hurt that it is a clever way to have your toast and egg too...:)
Me and My Captain http://www.meandmycaptain.com/
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