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Friday, March 28, 2014

New spot...

Our new view...

We have "rotated" again and we are now by the river in spot #8. The Banana River that is. The view is awesome, we see dolphins nearly every day and I also saw a manatee last week. Pretty cool. The only downside is the wind is a bit more ferocious when it's really blowing but there is always a little drawback somewhere! The sunsets are really pretty and we don't have to walk anywhere just step right out our door! Not too shabby!

 View from the bedroom window

Enjoy the view friends! Always try to take a little time to enjoy the view it's ever changing and you may regret it if you don't!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Caldo Verde - Portuguese Green Soup

Portuguese Green Soup

8 oz linguica sausage (see note below on sausage)
1 T bacon grease
1 med onion diced small, nearly minced
4 Cups cubed potatoes
4 Cups chicken stock more or less (see note below)
2 t minced garlic
6 Cups kale sliced thin (I use my kitchen shears, remove the hard middle spine)
1/2 t ground black pepper
Healthy dash of Italian Seasoning
Healthy dash of red pepper flakes
1 C 2% milk 

In dutch over over medium heat, render sausage in bacon drippings with onion. Remove only the sausage to drain on paper towels. Leave drippings in the pan, add potatoes, garlic, 2 cups of chicken stock bringing to a gentle boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender (about 12-17 minutes). Stir as needed to assure they do not scorch. Turn off heat and fork mash 2/3 of the potatoes right in the pan without draining. Add remaining chicken stock, cooked sausage, pepper, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes return to a boil, and add the kale simmering gently for 10-17 minutes, until kale is tender. Reduce heat to low, add milk, stir to combine and serve. I do not increase heat after adding the milk it tends to separate. If it seems to thick add more stock.

KEEP READING for a bit of dialogue on the recipe itself with pointers and tips...and I not responsible for errors, I am not a professional; you are taking your life in your own hands following my words. LOL

Waaaaay back when we lived in the Azores, Portugal we love, love, loved green soup. We have such fond memories of living there and someday hope to return on a Space A flight! We'll see! Anyway, one of the things we enjoyed was eating on the economy. It was pretty reasonably priced and the food was really awesome. I don't think we ever missed ordering "green soup" when we ate out. It was something we really, really liked. It never occurred to me to try and make this soup until I had the good fortune of having a Portuguese neighbor when we lived in Italy. She made it for me and told me how easy it was. I told her it was just easier to eat it when she made it for me! When we moved on, I missed that soup! That's when I decided I needed to learn to make it myself. 

I have tried several different recipes before finally loving this one which is really just a compilation of many of the others I have tried minus a few things here and there and additions of a few things here and there! I didn't realize I would blog it or I would have taken more photos! It's a really forgiving soup, so make it your own. We are not big meat eaters but there is something about putting the sausage (can be linguiƧa, chorizo, kielbasa, Italian whatever you prefer/like) in it that just makes it so much more flavorful that I kind of miss it when I don't use it. So we definitely prefer it with! 

And on the chicken stock, I use powered chicken stock with water. If you haven't tried this or don't use this, it is a lovely addition to any kitchen. I much prefer it to those bouillon cubes! The powder in the Hispanic markets (or that section of your favorite grocery store) is cheapest and the most flavorful in my opinion! It comes in a jar and keeps for a long time. A jar last me 3-4 months. They have it in beef and tomato too! I also use a little more then the directions say on the ratio to water because we like it rich and flavorful. AND and this is a BIG and so please don't miss it...the measurements in the recipe below are really loose in respect to the chicken stock since I don't measure anymore and I am going on memory. You may need more chicken stock to cook your potatoes, don't be afraid to add, just add more chicken stock flavoring to match whatever amount of water you add withing reason!  I just put the potatoes in and then add water to cover them and dump in the stock powder!

Oh and lastly, I buy my kale in the bag; it is cheaper and already chopped up! You will need to remove the tough spine though. It's good in salads, on pizza or just steamed alone. And you could even make kale chips! I did and blogged about it here! They are tasty, I have heard you can do it in the microwave too, but I've read mixed reviews so haven't given it a try yet! I can get a huge bag of kale for less then 3 bucks at the commissary, you can't beat that!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wednesday Words - Pavese

“If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears.”
 – Cesare Pavese

I wouldn't say I am trying to travel fast, but far and light, sure why not? And I like the the part of leaving off those things mentioned. They weigh a person down; sometimes though they are easy to pick back up without even realizing it!

Friday, March 21, 2014

kEY wEST, fL

This week we are in Key West. It's a new place on the map for me. MiRV traveled through here on his way to Cuba but didn't get to really enjoy it so we are here this week taking in the sights and checking out the area. It's quite eclectic. It's got a little undercurrent of New Orleans to it with a bit of mixed in with Eureka Springs, AR. I know strange combo but definitely the feel I got!

 Of course we did the traditional touristy things!

The water is gorgeous to look at, the beach is not so much a draw for me, it's rocky, very rocky and just drops off once you just a few feet in. We tried to snorkel from shore, pretty murky, I am sure if you took a boat ride out farther it is beautiful just not something we were planning to do. 

Gorgeous banyon tree

The Cuban food has not disappointed, YUM! Kim's Cuban was super good, the road construction made it a pain to get to but it was worth it, it was super tasty! There is also a GREAT French Bakery that has 1/2 price pastries in the afternoon and the coconut croissant it to die for! We may have popped in once, twice or even three times, it's possible, just sayin'!

 Our first morning sunrise

This is a NARCOsub that was "captured" off the Costa RIcan coast as it was trying to smuggle in 10 TONS of cocaine to the USA, yes 10 TONS... I was in total disbelief, that's unreal! This was in 2006 and from what I'm told the drug runners are still at it today.

Sunset from Mallory Square...we were there with many of our closest friends! LOL

Our friends...

Oh and the sunsets that are so talked about are quite nice. Very gorgeous for sure but I have to be honest and say that they are no more incredible then the ones we saw in Destin and there were waaaaaay less people. Again, just sayin'! But if you are there you should go to Mallory Square for a real people watching fest, it's incredible. Take in the street performers too, they are quite the entertainers.

We have really enjoyed our visit to Key West, not sure when or if we would ever come back but we thought it would be fun to visit and start at the bottom of the east coast and work our way up all the way along the eastern seaboard. We hope to make it the other end at Fort Kent, Maine to complete this journey!


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday Words - Chesterton

“The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.” 
– G.K. Chesterton 

A good thought to is a great thing to be able to travel. It is also fun to be a tourist sometimes! We are enjoying our travels!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wednesday Words - Addison

Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.
Joseph Addison

I have ALWAYS enjoyed reading, always. It has been pretty awesome that I have had so much more time to read these past months of our retirement. I didn't start keeping track of how many books I had been reading until 2014 began. So far the count is 21 plus as of 28 February. Most have been fiction, some are non fiction, once in a while a biography is in them mix too. Even MiRV has started reading more! It's been nice. I love to read at the beach, but anywhere outside is good for me on any given nice day. With both of us reading we are always popping in the laundry room to check the latest book exchange corner and shopping the freebie take one shelf at the library. We have both amassed quite a to read pile!

If you are a reader good on you, if not, go find a book to read and become a reader you will not regret it! Books are awesome!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wednesday Words - Wright

I was reading the dictionary, I thought it was a poem about everything.
                                               Steven Wright

This quote just made me laugh a little. When I was younger, much much younger I loved to read the dictionary. I thought it was fun; I also loved to look at and read the set of encyclopedias we had. They were so full of things, things I didn't know and things I had never seen, it was nothing for me to spend hours looking at them pulling out one volume at a time and just pouring over the articles and pictures. I loved doing that! So this quote reminded me of that time. Random I know...have a great one!