Category Archives: Eating Out

Stuffing Casserole Ala Grandma Eva

My Paternal-Grandmother wasn’t too much in to cooking, but man, she made a kick-butt Stuffing Casserole. She ordered her Turkey for the Holidays from a local restaurant, already roasted, so she would make her own Stuffing in a very large Casserole dish, that she baked-off in the oven.

It was unique in that she used Portuguese Sausage or Linguica in it. 
Gram never wrote that recipe down, because she just eyeballed it, so I had to figure this one out on my own.

Usually, I bring my stash of Portuguese Sausage back from Hawaii in my suitcase, but since we could not get there this year, I had to hustle.

I was poking around this past Summer in the supermarket and found this!! Can I tell you guys that I was doing a dance in the aisle … could this be like the ‘real’ stuff?   Let’s try it first.

YUP! That’ll work 

Auntie Doni’s Stuffing Casserole Ala Grandma Eva

serves 8

6 + Tbsp. Butter
1/2 C. Onions, chopped
1/2 C. Celery, chopped
2 pkgs. Garlic & Herb Croutons, crumbled to Pea-size
1 C. Dried Cranberries, chopped
2 Tbsp. Sage (fresh or freeze-dried is fine), minced
1 tsp. fresh Thyme, minced
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
1 tsp. freshly ground Black Pepper
1-2 C. Turkey Stock (I use Trader Joe’s-it’s seasonal, so stock up)
1 Portuguese Sausage (or Linguica), chopped, sautéed and drained well

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
In a medium sized pan, melt the Butter; sauté the Onions and Celery just until tender.
In a large bowl, combine everything but the Stock.
Slowly add in not quite a cup of the Stock, fold gently. At this point is that wet enough for you? If not keep adding more Stock to your liking (we don’t like it too mushy, so I might pour in about a cup).

Butter a 2 quart Casserole dish; add the Stuffing mixture and cover.
Bake for 15 minutes; uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

 

Fluff with a fork and serve.

Now, what to do with all of this leftover Stuffing?

Make Stuffin’ Muffin’s:
Spray a Muffin tin and pack in that leftover goodness. Stash the entire tin in the freezer until firm. Pop out each Muffin’ and place into a zip-top freezer bag. Mark the date and content and back into the deep freeze it goes for later…

This makes my favorite breakfast. Defrost a Muffin’, heat it up in the micro and top one with a fried Egg

Remember now, a recipe is simply someone else’s idea, take it and make it your own.

Cook for your family!

Road Trip ~ Florida Back Home To Arizona ~ Oct-Nov 2019 ~ Part 6

Okay, now we need to put some serious miles in that rearview mirror,

Let’s Motor On!!

 

 

We stopped for the night in Forrest City, AR … it was just an overnighter to eat and sleep.
That, was horrible delivery food! 
We’ve only done this one other time before, that is to order dinner from a delivery service, NEVER again.

 

 

We stopped somewhere, I can’t recall where this was, to re-fuel and look what we found!
Remember when you got a bottle of Coke for a dime? 

 

 

Another overnight pit stop in Yukon, OK. We found a grocery store for just a few essential items and dinner was in our hotel room that night as well, but NOT delivery!

 

 

I always enjoy driving through the State of Texas. I really don’t know why folks saw that it’s just flat and boring.

 

 

Just outside of Amarillo Texas is The Cadillac Ranch, a road-side attraction that I have been dying to stop at.

FINALLY!!!

The wind was wiping so hard that day and it was DANG COLD, but I was determined… DH stayed in the car.
I had my can of Gold Spray Paint and I was going to “Spread Some Aloha” come hell or high water.
It had rained like cats and dogs the day before and the mud was so thick around the Cadillacs to the rear of the row, that you could only get to the first one, but I did it!

One last stop for the night in Tucumcari New Mexico, this time we stayed at the Motel Safari on Route 66 rather than a big chain hotel.
What a really cool place! DH thought that staying at one of these old motels wouldn’t be a good thing, but even he was impressed. I wouldn’t mind doing an Old Route 66 Road Trip some day 

 

 

We had linner or late lunch/early dinner at Del’s Diner. That was delicious, loved the soup and salad bar that came with the meals, but now it was off to bed for us two.

And that was it folks!
From New Mexico it’s just a hop skip and a jump back home.

This entire Road Trip from Arizona to Florida and back again took us five weeks in total. This was our third Cross-Country Road Trip, but surely not our last.

Now we’re coming up on Christmas 2019 and we’re pooped, so let’s just hang out for now, because there’s more fun on the road ahead.

ALOHA!!!

Road Trip ~ Florida Back Home To Arizona ~ Oct-Nov 2019 ~ Part 5

Why don’t we continue with more American History and head to Natchez Mississippi.

Here is another locale that DH has been trying to get to, the Natchez Trace Parkway and Vicksburg.

Our plan was to start off on the Parkway in Natchez and take it North as far as Tupelo, MS. From there we planned on making a bee-line for home.

But for now, let’s take a down day, have something nice to eat and just rest up.

 

 

I had found Roux 61 Seafood & Grill long before this road trip started and it was delicious!

On the table was a Club Salad for DH and for myself, the Grilled Gulf Shrimp with Dirty Rice and Seasonal Vegetable, which was Sautéed Squash.
I’d never had Dirty Rice before, it was quit nice.

It’s been a very long day and we need to get some shut eye.
Tomorrow is another city.

Bright and early the next morning, we started this section of our road trip at the Vicksburg National Military Park.

 

 

I wasn’t the only little Hawaiian Gal that visited this Park today. “Tita” in Hawaiian is Sister 

 

 

I must say, this National Park is beautiful! You can walk or drive it, we chose to do both.

Yet again, we spent the entire day here and by now we were pretty hungry.

 

 

The nice Park Ranger gave us a wonderful lunch suggestion that was down on the River front and what a find it was!

Rusty’s River Front Grill

We made it there within 30 minutes of them closing.

THAT was fantastic!

Each of our meals included a salad that was heavenly, I’d never had Pickled Okra before, YUM!

My husband ordered the Fried Oysters and his side was the Veggie of the day, Southern Style Green Beans.
OH MY!!!

I went with the Two-Way Combo of Gulf Shrimp and a Crab Cake, my side was their Pasta Salad, very different.

We needed to have a piece of Key Lime Pie, so we took it back to the hotel room for later.

Now, I did make mention that we had planned on driving the Natchez Trace Parkway, but Mother Nature had other ideas the next day.

 

 

It was so foggy, nasty cold and raining like mad, that we decided that we’d give that part of the Road Trip up and turn our wagon train towards home.

So we spent that morning re-arranging our accommodations for different cities on a different route than expected.
But ya know, that’s what’s great about Road Trips, you can change plans when ever you like.

Road Trip ~ Florida Back Home To Arizona ~ Oct-Nov 2019 ~ Part 4

Next Up …

Civil War history.

My husband is a huge history buff and he has been trying to figure out how we could fit this site into our itinerary for a number of years.

Andersonville National Historic Site.

This is bit off the beaten path, with the closet city being Americus Georgia, where?
It wasn’t far from our last stop, so let’s go!

Well, thank goodness there’s a Walmart close to the hotel we chose. Almost all of the hotel/motels that we’ve stayed, for all of these years of our traveling, have had a mini-fridge and microwave oven, that does me just fine.

So let’s begin our tour.

 

 

This is a very solemn place and you could hear a pin drop. We spent the majority of a full day here.

Phew! Let’s look for lunch.

 

 

We walked around the downtown area of Americus to this gorgeous old building that now houses a hotel. There’s a sandwich shop in the lobby area that I thought would be okay, not!  A half cold sandwich and small bowl of cold soup (both were suppose to be hot) was something $12 USD, not good.

It’s been a day and we need to get some shut eye, so it’ll be dinner in our hotel room. Tomorrow is another city.

Road Trip ~ Florida Back Home To Arizona ~ Oct-Nov 2019 ~ Part 3

Well, let’s spend another day in St. Augustine Florida …

There’s so much to see and do here, so we’ll just scratch the surface. It’s been so hot and humid whenever we’ve been away from the beach, but let’s brave it. We decided that it would behoove us to start this day as early as possible.

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument opened at 9am and I’d say that we parked the car shortly thereafter. Way back when, we purchased an America The Beautiful Lifetime Senior Pass for just $10 USD, such a deal. We can go to these National Treasures at no additional cost to us.

 

 

What a fascinating place!

 

 

The “bricks” are made of Shells. This was well worth it.

 

 

Ponce de Leone smack in the center of town, just over the Bridge Of Lions… wish I got a picture of that!

We had loaded the parking meter for several hours, that way we could walk around the Downtown area and have some lunch too.

 

 

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine was jaw dropping gorgeous. The oldest Catholic Parish in America, in the oldest city in America. We just sat there in awe, taking it all in, while others scurried about, we simply sat … well, truth be told, it was air conditioned and we kinda didn’t want to leave. 

 

 

Ponce de Leone Hotel slash Flagler College. I can’t imagine actually trying to study in such a famous, architecturally beautiful site. We decided not to take the tour, mainly because we had seen it on You Tube.

We walked all of the “Square” in the Downtown area and it was getting on to lunchtime and we were HOT!

 

 

As I’ve said in most of my posts, I research places to eat long before we even leave for a trip, anywhere and this was no different.
I found PizzAlley and Chianti Room. We went in through the “Alley” on the historic St. George Street and decided that we wanted table service and AC, so we toddled to The Chianti Room in the back, much better choice!

Did you look at the time? Our parking meter was about to expire and we should head back to the hotel for the day… our pool and hot tub awaits!

Road Trip ~ Florida Back Home To Arizona ~ Oct-Nov 2019 ~ Part 2

Next Stop …

St. Augustine Beach Florida

I say, I say, BEACH!!
We found a great hotel right across the street 

 

 

Believe it or not, we actually own beach chairs and a huge umbrella, which of course we brought with us on this Road Trip.
That was heaven!
We spent our first day just sitting on the beach and this is what we saw …

 

 

Kite Surfers, just like we’d see back home in Hawaii …

 

 

… and some person in a blow-up Dinosaur suit … I have no idea why, but I saw it walking towards us from down the beach, coming towards us and kept on walking far past us.

Dinner time!

 

 

Kingfish Grill
What a beautiful spot for a restaurant, right on the Camachee Cove Boat Harbor.

I had this restaurant on my “list” prior to coming here and this place did not disappoint, at all!

 

 

DH ordered ala carte, Fresh Water Eel Sushi, Oysters and the Catch of the Day, as I recall it was Mahi-Mahi, and a side Green Salad.

 

 

I ordered the Chef’s Special which was local Snapper atop a bed of Baby Bok Choy and steamed White Rice, YUM!

 

 

To finish off our fantastic meal sitting by the waters edge was another piece of Key Lime Pie, that we shared it as a take-out, back in our hotel room.
What a great day!

Arizona To Florida Road Trip October 2019 ~ Part 10

Another day has dawned in Key West Florida and we’ve got places to go and people to see, but let’s have breakfast first.

 

 

On my excursions across the street from the hotel to Publix, I found Goldman’s Bagel Deli, oh_my_gawd!
I only wish that I had discovered this small little joint when we first got here!
I haven’t had that good of a bagel in a very, very long time.
We decided to share a Bagel Breakfast Sandwich and a full brekkie plate, MMM! We ate every scrape! 

But like I said, places to go!

 

 

Truman’s Little White House.
We found a metered stall were we thought would be pretty close, NOPE!
We must have walked something like 8 blocks in this sweltering heat and humidity.
Poor DH was soaked by the time we got there and wished he had brought an extra shirt to change into.
Anyways, the tour was all indoors and AIR CONDITIONED!!!
That was pretty nifty!

 

 

We found our car and headed out in search of lunch.
I had been wanting to go to Eaton Street Seafood Market for Stone Crab Claws… well, we were one day too early.
The nice gal behind the counter said that they’d be getting theirs that evening, if I wanted to come back.
Well, we’re here now, let’s have a Lobster Roll instead.
That was wonderful and the Plantain Chips were something that I had never had before.

It had been a long, hot day, let’s go back to the hotel, cool off and live to fight another day.

We decided to head out early the next day to beat the heat and were off for Hemingway’s Home Tour. I was excited!
I had heard so much about this place and really wanted to see it for myself.

 

 

What an interesting home with such history to it.
And the cats, oh, they’re everywhere, even on the roof!

We had skipped breakfast in leu of a huge highlight for both of us:
Duval Street and Margaritaville!

 

 

It was early and they had just opened when we got there.
When in Rome … I just had to have a Margarita, The Perfect Margarita!
We decided to share a Club House Sandwich and Fries, mostly because we were going back to get me some Stone Crabs for dinner in the hotel room!!!!

 

 

Before we headed back to the hotel, we made our stop into Eaton Street Seafood Market again.
YUM! I was in heaven, let me tell you friends and neighbors!

 

 

We got another ready-made meal in the refrigerator section at Publix for DH, and bought a slice of Key Lime Pie from Eaton Street, again different.

What a great end to another wonderful day in Key West Florida.
But alas, this is our last day.

Tomorrow we leave and head back to the mainland.

 

Arizona To Florida Road Trip October 2019 ~ Part 9

Whenever we travel to a new city, we look for the “Hop-On/Hop-Off” trolley tours.
This is great way to orient ourselves with the area, get some local inside information from the guide/driver, while all the time, I’m taking notes.
We’ll make one circuit, decided where we’d like to go back to and see more. This trip was no different.
It took us all around the island or “key”, where we pasted by the hotel that we WERE going to stay.

Remember I made mention of an email I received just prior to leaving for Florida, that the hotel’s pool would be closed… WELL!
The entire hotel was closed down for a major face-lift and re-branding, to a totally different chain all together. Oh my gosh!

Anyways …

 

 

We dis-embarked the trolley for a rest stop and a re-grouping meeting.
DH waited back at the car in the AC and saw this.
What the heck!
I didn’t see it, but as he showed me the photo on his phone,
I squealed “That’s one of those big Iguanas they have here.”
DH confirmed, it was big alright!

Well, by now it’s time for lunch!

We had wondered around Mallory Square and in each shop we went into, I asked “where would YOU eat lunch?”.
One of the proprietors handed me a fistful of coupons for free this or that.
I quickly looked through them and made an executive decision:
Red Fish Blue Fish

 

 

This restaurant was on my radar, but best of all, they offered a free Beer AND piece of Key Lime Pie!

SCORE!

 

DH’s fresh local Oysters on the half shell …

 

 

… followed by a Chef Salad … I like the presentation!

 

 

… and my lunch of a half pound of the local Pink Shrimp  and a side of Coleslaw, perfect!

I missed a snapshot of the pie, which we did as a take-out for later, but I’ll tell ya, that was good. Each restaurant has their own way of making/serving their slice.
Oh, and did you see the chicken? There everywhere!  Key West is a Wildlife Sanctuary, so there you go.

Well, it’s hot & humid and we needed a dunk in the hotel pool. We’ll end the day here and tackle another one tomorrow …

Arizona To Florida Road Trip October 2019 ~ Part 7

One More Day In Key Largo Florida …

 

 

After a hardy FREE breakfast at our hotel, we took a ride around the area and went over to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.
We soooo wanted to get in the water, but can you see the vegetation? I can’t recall what they called it, but we were told that it typically happens in early October, boo hiss! The water was so murky from all that rain, that the Glass Bottom Boat tours were cancelled. Oh well, it was a nice Park.

 

 

Our last night’s dinner in Key Largo was at The Fish House.
THAT, was spectacular!
DH started with the Smoked Fish Chunks, he absolutely loved it.
Then he moved on to Mussels Marinara, which he also loved.
I had the house specialty Snapper “Matecumbe” topped with fresh tomatoes, shallots, fresh basil, capers, olive oil and lemon juice, then baked.
This Fish House favorite has been featured on the Food Network with Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives!
We ended our meal by sharing a slice of Key Lime Pie. I was told that when in The Keys, have a piece at each place that you eat, they’re all different … we’ll see.

 

 

Our last night. We sat out back of our hotel and watched the sun go down once more.

Next stop … KEY WEST FLORIDA!!!!

Arizona To Florida Road Trip October 2019 ~ Part 6

Onward!

From PCB we motored South to spend a few days with our Nephew and his family, outside of Tampa Florida.

 

 

Our first night with them was High School Football night, so it was a quick supper and off to the game.

 

 

This is why we wanted to stop here, not just to see family, but to watch our Grand-Nephew play football, YAY 

 

 

While here, our Niece-In-Law took me on my first adventure in a Publix Supermarket, WOW! What a fabulous place. I just wish we had these where we live. As she shopped, I just looked around and found this, something I had heard about but had never seen. Pre-sliced Taylor’s Ham or Pork Roll. 
We didn’t stay long, `cuz we wanted to get to

Key Largo, FL

On our way down, we hit a bit a weather. A Hurricane (I forget which one, they have so many) skirted by Southern portion of Florida, but hit PCB right where we had been! But we made it to our hotel, just a little shaken and wet.

 

 

What the heck is that right outside our hotel room? Dunno, but they stayed over there in all of the water, it got pretty flooded, so …

 

 

It cleared up enough that we went out back to the waters edge and what did I find, but a Tiki Bar, and they were serving, CHEERS y’all!

 

 

 

That was a long and tedious drive South, so we called it a night in our room with a warm cup-o-Ramen. I keep these sorts of easy-microwavable meals in my traveling kitchen just for this type of night