Thursday, August 26, 2010

Boatyard Stack-Up

Nope- not a bunch of pancakes or a really big sandwich...this is our marina during hurricane season! We are in the Caribbean, and those of us with boats take extra precautions. Many people like to haul out (take the boat out of the water) for the season, and our marina is a popular and safe spot. Is is very strange to see layers and layers of boats stacked up on the jack stands, with the masts towering above. Just doesn't seem right to see boats like this out of the water! We do not haul our sailboat or our power boat...we stay in a lagoon that is a very safe spot ( not a lot of wind, not a lot of storm surge)...but if a big storm comes we will get off the boat and stay with friends.

Normally this time of year on the island is quiet, but husband and I have both been very busy...I just opened a store for my glass art, and T has been busy doing adventure charters on our powerboat...I regret that dinners have suffered a bit! We came in a little over budget this week ($110, should be $105), and this is what we had to eat!:

Thursday: NO DINNER! We were both so tired from long days and opted for liquid dinners (never a good idea when those liquids are beer and wine!)

Friday: T took me out to Randy's restaurant...we split fried mozzarella, caesar salads, linguine with a creamy pesto, and a reuben...we spent all afternoon boating and we were so hungry we had a bit of everything!

Saturday: Sweet and sour salmon with fried rice...really good!

Sunday: The island's annual Chili Cook-Off! About 50 booths set up on the beach and compete for the title of best chili...we definitely sampled them all, though I think T's Cranberry Chili is still the best I have ever had.

Monday: Lemon pepper pasta (from newest Vegetarian Times mag) with chicken soup

Tuesday: Green chile pork stew...all day in the slow cooker= yum!

Wednesday: Leftover stew with grilled cheese sandwiches

Thursday: Black bean and sweet potato enchiladas with a raspberry chipotle sauce (my invention...T was skeptical but loved it!)

Oh, also this week I tried my first star fruit! Our neighbor gave us one off of his need to peel, just slice it like a star. Tasted like a cross between a pear and a kiwi, with a little crunch. T served it over eggs with hash and!

Hope everyone has a great week, and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Lobster Obsession

Is there anything better than fresh-caught dinner? Especially when it's Caribbean lobster and crab!? The Sea was generous with husband yesterday when he set out to catch huge crab, 4 Slipper lobsters, and 8 Caribbean lobsters!

He gave some to friends to chill until Sunday when we'll have a big lobster boil, and kept some for dinner- crab and lobster gumbo!

Let me tell you- as someone who used to live in New Orleans, his was the best gumbo I have ever tasted. He made the stock by boiling the crab and lobster shells, and that alone smelled delicious...I'm not sure what all he added because he was like a crazy man in the kitchen. Chopping veggies, cooking sausage, making roux. Oh, he must have been taking notes in the cooking class that we took in New Orleans on our last vacation! The color of the roux was a deep carmel with a nutty smell and was perfect with the sweet lobster and crab and spicy andouille sausage. Yum!

He set aside some meat from the legs that he cooked in the Lobster Popcorn method (see older post) and that went into omlettes this morning with spinach, cream cheese, onions, and peppers. Topped with a splash of Crystal hot sauce- perfect!

Aren't these gorgeous? The name of our power boat is Obsession, and here some of his catch rests on the dockbox. He does lobstering, freediving, and spearfishing charters with this boat, so if you'll be in the islands...

Came under budget this week, spent $97 of the $105 budget, and this is what we ate:

Thursday: Burgers

Friday: Mini grilled cheeses with leftover white borscht

Saturday: Minestrone (here I used the first of sister's dried zucchini)

Sunday: Roasted pork tenderloin with rice and broccoli

Monday: Girls night out- cocktails and movie. Also boys night out-Hooters

Tuesday: Pasta Primavera (here I used the last of sister's dried zucchini)
I just added it to the sauce and let it cook for a while.

Wednesday: Pizza

And the week ended with the gumbo!

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great week!

Friday, August 6, 2010

My Sister's Garden

I received the best surprise in the mail earlier in the week...a box full of good stuff from my sister's garden! She lives in North Carolina, and sent all kinds of things that I wouldn't even try to grow on the boat! There was a bunch of Chiogga beets (?), a bag of dried zucchini, and containers of ground red pepper and coriander seeds.

We used the red pepper first, adding it to a corn side dish that we had with chicken and mashed potatoes. She warned that it was hot, and it was! It tasted great, but both husband and I just love to smell it- so fresh and earthy.

There were a bunch of beets, so I decided to make borscht in the slow cooker. I had never heard of this particular beet, and was surprised when I began peeling them and they seemed pink. Once I cut them though- wow! Perfect stripes of red and white. Would the borscht be red, or pink, or white?

Turns out it was white, which was weird because it tasted just like borscht (beet soup) which should be red and which we make quite a bit. I added some sliced potatoes, onions, and sausage, and smoothed it all with the immersion blender then topped it with sour cream. Delicious!

The dried zucchini is also something new to me. She said we could freeze it (no freezer) so we will be adding it to some soup tomorrow. It tasted good as -is though!

We will have no trouble using all the crushed red pepper...but the corriander seeds will be an adventure. Have never bought them, and sister suggested Mexican or Indian dishes, so we will try that on the menu this week!

For the budget this week, we spent $108, which is three dollars over budget. Incase you are new, our budget is $105 for the week, and that includes breakfast and dinner (lunch is leftovers), food and drink. If we go under budget, it goes into Vacation Fund. Those few dollars really can add up...this year we spent 2 weeks doing a New Orleans vacation/Caribbean cruise, and last year we did a week in Paris and a week in Barcelona.

Anyway, this is what we ate this week:

Thursday: Homemade pizza

Friday: Fish and chips at the Toad and Tart restaurant. Friends were visiting and they graciously took us out (Thanks Deb and Mike!)

Saturday: Homemade veggie burgers (see last post)

Sunday: Grilled Kabobs (our neighbors have a grill and we joined them for dinner)

Monday: Chicken, mashed potatoes and corn (with sister's hot peppers)

Tuesday: Frozen Pot Stickers with steamed veggies and rice. I was tired and uninspired this day! But they were OK.

Wednesday: White Borscht with Polish pizzas. (Polish pizza is a thing our mom used to make for special occasions...we are Polish and from the midwest so make of this what you rye breads toasted and topped with cooked ground beef that has been mixed with processed cheese and then toasted again. I still love it.)

Thanks for stopping by, and hope everyone has a great week! (And call your sister!)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Veggie Burger: FAIL

I am always looking for new recipes to make the perfect homemade veggie burger, so I was so excited to see the cover of my latest Vegetarian Times magazine promise "the best homemade veggie burger". Inside, they revealed the secret glue that holds the burgers together for even grilling!
I have tried many recipes, and have yet to find the perfect consistency that holds together even just for pan frying. So- their secret ingredient? Overcooked pasta! Ok, never tried that, but did have some leftover pasta that was to be pureed. I added leftover rice, a can of white beans, and the veggies that I had: sauteed mushrooms and onion, red peppers, kalamata olives, cayenne pepper. Salt and pepper, balsamic, and some grill seasoning. I chilled them for a while, but they still didn't seem like they'd stick together, so I floured them a bit before adding them to a pan with hot oil. I wish I could say success, but they were a FAIL. The flavor was great, but did not hold together. Anyway, we used the leftovers in wraps the next day.

Husband took a few days in the kitchen this week, and I have to say there were some weird dishes...sorry husband! First night was mac and cheese with an assortment of leftover cheeses and mushroom gravy in the bottom, served with toast points and tomatoes. Next night was pineapple meatballs served with hard boiled eggs and marinated beets. Everything really was great, but I never would have thought of the flavor combos! I had to work late, but he very sweetly texted me a photo of his menu board!

We went a little over budget for the week ($112, so we were $7 over) and this is what we had:

Thursday: Pork tacos

Friday: Salmon, rice and veggies

Saturday: Meatball pizza

Sunday: Big Salad

Monday: BLT's on rye

Tuesday: Mushroom mac and cheese

Wednesday: Meatballs, beets, and eggs

One last photo for those who have never seen a fresh-caught octopus!

Hope everyone has a great week!