Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wing Wednesday: Garlic Parmesan Wings with Dipping Sauce

 These wings were labeled "party wings" and I could see why once I got home and opened the package! They were large, but were still tender and juicy after baking. I made a garlic parmesan dipping sauce to along with the wings and, trust me, we have nothing to fear from vampires anytime soon! If you love garlic, here's the wings for you. And, even though I always tell you to grate your own parmesan cheese, for this recipe, the green jar variety is perfect.

1 1/2 - 2 lbs. chicken wings, tips removed
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. granulated garlic
1 t. salt
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
3 T. butter, melted
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, place wings and sprinkle with next four ingredients. Toss to coat completely.

Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Place wings in a single layer and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and turn the wings. Return to oven and bake for another 30 minutes. 

Combine melted butter and Parmesan in a small bowl and stir to combine. Carefully spoon the mixture evenly over wings.

Set broiler to high. Return the wings to the oven and watch carefully as they brown. Let broil for 3 - 4 minutes until cheese browns and begins to bubble. Remove from oven.

While wings are baking, make the dipping sauce.

This sauce was so good! You could thin it with a little milk and have a wonderful salad dressing. As it is, use it for dipping wings, vegetables or crackers.

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 T. minced garlic
1 t. olive oil
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. white balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t. dried thyme
1/4 t. dried marjoram
1/2 t. dried red pepper flakes

In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Kids' Patriotic Table 2017

This table would be perfect for Memorial Day, 4th of July, Flag Day, etc. Red, white, and blue are one of my favorite color combinations.

These cute plates and the tablecloth are from Wal-Mart.

The other items on the table are a compilation of years of buying just one or two things for a table. It's amazing over time how little things add up to make a very special table for even your youngest diners!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Dining Out Gulf Coast: 40th Street Pizza & Seafood, Mexico Beach, FL

One of the easiest meals to have while you're at the beach is pizza. You don't have to clean up from the beach, you don't have to drive to get your food, a phone call, and lunch (or dinner) is delivered right to you to enjoy either while sitting on the beach or on a balcony enjoying the sand and surf.

After a morning of collecting shells, we made a phone call to 40th Street Pizza. Instead of waiting for delivery, we drove the short distance to the restaurant. They have a wide variety of pizzas to choose from and we decided a Margherita Pizza sounded delicious. This was a medium ($14.95). The crust was thin and chewy, the sauce was thick and tomatoey.  Notice how much garlic is on this pizza! We didn't have to worry about vampires! Very good pizza.

Just for the fun of it, we decided to try one of their seafood offerings. Of course, regular readers of the blog know that Sweet Harold would choose grouper in some form. Do you see the size of this piece of fish? Perfectly cooked, dressed with tartar sauce, lettuce, onion, and tomato. We shared, but I'll be honest, I should have arm wrestled him for the whole sandwich!

Check them out on Facebook and look at their great menu.

Dining Out Gulf Coast: Shipwreck Bar and Grill, St. Joe Beach, FL

We've passed by Shipwreck Raw Bar many times while traveling down Highway 98. There's always a full parking lot. That's always a good sign. Last week, we decided that we might as well see what all the fuss was about. I highly recommend their oysters! We were immediately seated and drink orders were taken right away. And if you're at a raw bar, you must enjoy some oysters on the half shell, right?

These were some of the "cleanest" oysters I've ever had. No grit, no shell, just ice cold, briny oysters served with lemon and a full cup of horseradish to mix up with ketchup for a lovely topping if you wanted.

Sweet Harold gave his approval.

I chose the crab cake which, as the menu says, is "Crabmeat with very little else." $6.95 Delicious, served with Sriracha Mayo Sauce. 

Harold had the "Grouper Treasure" which was a seared piece of grouper served over rosemary garlic potatoes, cheddar and bacon, topped with crab bisque. $17.95 The grouper was perfectly cooked, the rosemary potatoes were nicely seasoned, and the cole slaw was lightly dressed and crisp.

I finished up with a big bowl of crab bisque $8.95. This dish was literally full of crab meat. No skimping here! Served piping hot with garlic bread.

The menu is extensive with a dozen choices for shrimp and oyster preparation steamed, baked, etc. There are sandwich options, low country boil, many seafood dishes as well. Extremely generous portions.  

I'm very glad we finally decided to see what all the fuss was about! The service was attentive, but not hovering. We dined near closing time, but never felt rushed to finish our meal.  

Shipwreck is definitely on our list for a repeat visit!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wing Wednesday: Tuscan Herb Baked Chicken Wings

We are really enjoying the baked version of wings. With no batter, no frying, and a long bake time to render out the fat, these wings are deliciously flavored with Tuscan Herb Olive Oil and dry seasonings.

3 - 3 1/2 lbs. chicken wings, separated and tips removed
3 T. Tuscan Herb Olive Oil
1 T. dried Italian Seasoning
1 T. Tuscan Herb Seasoning Blend
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, seasoning blends, and salt and pepper. Add wings and toss to coat.

Spray a large baking pan with non-stick spray. Place wings in a single layer on baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and turn wings.  Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F.

Return to oven for 30 -35 minutes. Serve immediately.

Slow Cooker Ham with Black Mission Fig Balsamic Vinegar

Well, this week Publix had lovely hams on sale. This 5 lb. bone-in ham was about $8.00. I decided to try the slow cooker method of cooking this one. I have used Black Mission Fig Balsamic Vinegar in the past with pork and knew this would be an excellent pairing.

Remove all outward wrapping and the plastic covering of the bone from the ham.

Place cut side down in a slow cooker. Drizzle 1/3 - 1/2 cup of Black Mission Fig Balsamic Vinegar over the ham.

Cover and cook on low for 8 - 10 hours.

Remove lid and you should easily be able to remove the bone from the ham. The ham will be fall apart tender. You're ready to eat!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad with Tuscan Herb / Sicilian Lemon Dressing

Roasting vegetables brings out their sweetness and richness. I decided for this batch of pasta salad to roast the veggies before adding to the cooked pasta. Dice your choice of vegetables as close to the same size as possible so that they will roast evenly and look gorgeous in your salad. I used a chopper like this one. It made quick work of the chopping and I had a consistent size for the vegetables.

1 small zucchini, ends trimmed and diced
1/4 cup diced yellow onion
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes
Salt and pepper
2 cups uncooked elbow pasta (cook according to package directions and drain)
4 T. Tuscan Herb Olive Oil (divided)
2 t. Tuscan Herb Seasoning (divided)
2 t. Italian seasoning (divided)
1/4 t. dried red pepper flakes
1/4 t. minced garlic
juice of one lemon
2 t. capers, drained
1 small zucchini, ends trimmed and diced
1/4 cup diced yellow onion
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place zucchini, onion, peppers, tomatoes in a small bowl. Drizzle with one tablespoon of the Tuscan Herb olive oil and season with 1 t. each of the Tuscan Herb Blend and Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat the vegetables completely.  Place on a sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes or just until the vegetables begin to brown.

Before roasting....

After roasting...

While vegetables are roasting, cook the pasta and drain.

For the dressing, in a medium bowl, whisk together the Tuscan Herb olive oil and vinegar. Add the remaining seasoning blend, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, garlic, and lemon juice. Whisk to incorporate. Add capers.

Add cooked pasta to large bowl and pour dressing over and toss to coat. When vegetables are cooked, add to the pasta salad and stir to combine. 

Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Serve room temperature or chilled.

Dining Out Gulf Coast: Indian Pass Raw Bar, Port St. Joe, FL

Last week while vacationing in Mexico Beach, FL for a few days, we took a road trip down 30-A. This area just east of Port St. Joe, FL is referred to as the "Forgotten Coast."  Around 1903, turpentine mills were prevalent around these parts. This trading post was used as a commissary/company store. Soon, noon meals were being served and through the years it transitioned to being the Indian Pass Raw Bar.

If you're searching for an extremely casual, friendly spot to eat delicious oysters and spend a fine afternoon enjoying your vacation, head over here.

You walk in the front door to see a large cooler display against the back wall. To the left is where the magic (food prep) happens. To the right, you'll just need to choose a table. Select a beverage from the cooler in the back, head to a table and have a seat. You'll notice two sheets of paper on the table. One sheet has all the drink selections listed. Simply mark the selection you have...keep the sheet and continuing marking your selection as the afternoon progresses. It's all on the honor system here!

The other sheet has the menu items which you'll mark and note your name at the top. The server will pick up your order and return with your food in a very timely fashion!

I started out with the gumbo. I love trying gumbos during our travels because each one is unique. This bowl was rich and thick with shrimp and okra. Sleeves of crackers are on the table ready to be opened and enjoyed with your oysters or, in this case, my gumbo. There are various hot sauces ready to be tried as well.

Just as I with trying new gumbos, Sweet Harold always wants to taste the cole slaws. This one passed his test with flying colors. He rated it as the best one of the entire week. That's saying something. He description? "The perfect ratio of cabbage to dressing, with a crisp, fresh taste."

There are several options for oysters here. We tried both baked and raw. This order was topped with LOTS of butter and Parmesan and placed under the broiler. Yum.  

A dozen raw on the half shell was next up. Served with a generous portion of horseradish, ketchup, and lemons for mixing up your own concoction for topping these beauties if you so desire.

Imagine my surprise when I noticed that Sweet Harold had also marked the box next to the "corn dog basket." I questioned why on earth at a raw bar no less he would order a corn dog basket. His response, "I like corn dogs." That being said, he was very pleased with his order.

The next time you're in this neck of the woods, take a little road trip and enjoy an afternoon spent at the Indian Pass Raw Bar.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Dining Out Gulf Coast: Peppers, Port St. Joe, FL

Upon a recommendation from a fellow vacationer, last night's dinner was courtesy of Peppers Mexican Grill and Cantina located in downtown Port St. Joe, Florida. The restaurant is brightly decorated with your typical Mexican Restaurant vibe and there were numerous TVs located around the exterior walls with various sports programs playing. We were immediately greeted and shown to our table with no waiting. We were ahead of the crowd!

We started with margaritas!

Mine is on the left and is the Guadalajara Margarita $8.99.  The menu description states:  Made with our homemade sweet and sour mix, Don Julio tequila, Grand Marnier, Triple Sec served chilled and straight up. 

It was sooooooo smooth with none of that syrupy, overly sweet taste that you sometimes get. Sweet Harold's version was the regular margarita $6.99. I gave him a blind taste test and he preferred mine over his.  

Chips and Salsa were almost immediately placed on the table when we were seated. The chips were served HOT and were very fresh. The salsa had the taste and texture of tomatoes which had recently been peeled and crushed. There was just enough heat and cilantro, neither were overdone.

Sweet Harold's favorite Mexican dishes are tamales and chimichangas. When presented the menu option of having three chimis, beef, chicken, and shrimp, he immediately placed his order. These were served with a choice of side dishes which included a salad option. However, he went with his standby sides of rice and beans. Each of the chimichangas was STUFFED with fillings. Of the three, he said he liked the beef version the best. Not ground beef, but chunks of tender shredded beef. Side note, we both agreed that the beans were the best Mexican restaurant refried beans we've ever had. $12.99

Now it's my turn. There were two options on the menu that caught my eye. But after discussing them with our server, I chose something entirely different and I'm so glad I did! He told me loosely translated this dish was Shrimp with Garlic. $12.99.  The sauce with rich with olive oil and garlic. There were a dozen shrimp with this order. The were cooked perfectly.

We enjoyed our dinner very much at Peppers and would certainly return on our next visit to the Gulf Coast.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Dining out Gulf Coast: Killer Seafood, Mexico Beach, FL

We're enjoying a few day's from the grind at home to enjoy the Gulf Coast.  Specifically, Mexico Beach, Florida. Arriving today a little before check in at the motel allowed us to enjoy our first seafood meal of the trip. We chose Killer Seafood. 

Some may say this is a "hole in the wall" dining establishment, and by most accounts, it probably is, but isn't that where some of the best food you've ever had came from? 

It's located directly across U.S. Highway 98 from the Gulf, so we chose to sit outside at the picnic area and enjoy the ocean breeze.

Service was prompt even with a full house inside the restaurant. 

I noticed fish tacos on the menu: a grilled tuna or lightly breaded "fish of the day" which luckily for me was grouper. For $11.99 the order consists of two tacos (your choice of corn or flour tortillas) filled with lightly breaded grouper, topped with lettuce, tomato, cheese and their Killer Taco Sauce. Served with a side of Killer Koleslaw. Even though it's difficult to find the grouper underneath the toppings, it was a nice sized portion and, as the menu stated, lightly breaded. The slaw was a little dry for my taste, but that is a personal preference.

Sweet Harold chose the lightly breaded fried shrimp basket with fries and hushpuppies $12.99. As we always do, we shared portions so we could get a double sampling of goodness. The shrimp were large and perfectly fried with no greasy aftertaste. The fries were ordinary, nothing exceptional, fries. Hushpuppies were a little dense for my taste, but again, that's a personal preference. As a side order or as an appetizer, there are four to an order.

Bottom line, would we go there again? Definitely. I'd just choose a different side dish to try next time.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Lolly's Alabama White BBQ Sauce Wings

Here's the wing recipe you've been waiting for! I mixed up a batch of my Award Winning White BBQ sauce for this week's wing recipe. If you're not familiar with Alabama White BBQ sauce, you definitely need to try my version. Instead of a tomato base (think ketchup), the base for this sauce is mayonnaise. Duke's mayonnaise in particular. A healthy dose of vinegar, garlic, and black pepper make this sauce very unique and especially well suited for chicken whether it's grilled, smoked, or baked.

Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.

cup apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 T. white balsamic vinegar
¼ t. granulated garlic
½ t. salt
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
2 ½ t. prepared horseradish
1 t. ground mustard powder
¼ t. paprika
¼ t. ground cayenne pepper
½ t. white sugar
1 t. Worcestershire sauce

Additional black pepper to taste

2 - 2 1/2 lbs. of chicken wings, separated and tips removed
Olive Oil
Granulated Garlic

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.

Place wings in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic. Place on prepared baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and turn wings over. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Return to oven for an additional 30 minutes baking time.

While wings are baking, was the large bowl you used earlier. You're going to need it now!

Remove wings from oven and place in large bowl. Add about half of the Lolly's Alabama White BBQ Sauce. Toss to coat. Add more sauce until thoroughly coated. Serve immediately with additional sauce on the side if desired.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Slow Cooker Rosemary Dijon Turkey Breast Tenderloin

As are there want, Mondays are by nature, hectic, stressful, and long. I always try to plan an easy meal or a slow-cooker meal for Mondays. Dinner is ready when I walk through the door and all we have to do is EAT.

Publix had Jennie-O Turkey Breast Tenderloins on sale this week: 24 oz. for $6.99! What a deal, right?

I mixed up a very flavorful, thick marinade and left in the refrigerator overnight. This morning, all I had to do was cut up an onion, a few potatoes, and carrots, and leave for work. 

The Dijon and Rosemary Olive oil are a match made in heaven.

3 T. Dijon mustard
2 t. chopped garlic
1 t. salt
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup + 2 T. Rosemary Olive Oil  
1 - 1 1/2 lb. turkey breast tenderloin
1 large yellow onion, cut into wedges
3 - 4 large carrots, cut into 2" pieces
3 - 4 potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
2 - 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/4 cup water

In a small bowl, whisk together Dijon, garlic, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup rosemary olive oil. Remove turkey tenderloin from packaging and coat with the Dijon mixture. Place in a large Ziploc bag and refrigerate for 2 - 3 hours or overnight.

Place onion, carrots, and potatoes into slow cooker. Lightly salt and pepper and drizzle with a couple of tablespoons of the rosemary olive oil. Place the rosemary sprigs on top of vegetables.

Place turkey breast tenderloin on top of the rosemary sprigs. Add water to slow cooker, cover and set on low heat. Cook for 8 - 10 hours on low or 4 - 6 hours on high.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Serrano Honey Chicken

Serrano Honey Vinegar is a sweet, tart, spicy balsamic made from 100% honey. Paired with either Blood Orange, Persian Lime, Garlic, Green Chili or Chipotle extra virgin olive oils it adds the perfect sweet/heat to chicken, seafood, or salsas.

You can either grill or bake the chicken. I chose to bake. Baking at a lower temperature for half the baking time, then increasing the temperature for the last half of baking, gives a deliciously crispy skin.

1/4 cup Serrano Honey Vinegar
1/4 cup Garlic Olive Oil
1 t. Chipotle Olive Oil
1 t. salt
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground coriander
1 t. chicken thighs

In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the marinade ingredients.  Place chicken in marinade and return to refrigerator for 30 minutes - 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly spray a 7 x 9 baking dish with non-stick spray. Place chicken in baking dish and let cook for 30 minutes.

Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Pour marinade evenly over chicken. Return to oven and bake for an additional 25 - 30 minutes (or until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees), basting with pan juices halfway through cooking time.

Serve with yellow rice and/or black beans.

Caesar Coleslaw with Garlic Infused Croutons

We've all tried Caesar Salad, but how about a Caesar Coleslaw? Don't skip the few minutes it takes to make the croutons, they add the perfect crunch and extra flavor. The Garlic Olive Oil makes the croutons so tasty.

4 cups diced Italian bread
4 T. Garlic Olive Oil, divided
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 t. minced fresh garlic
2 t. anchovy paste
3/4 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. black pepper
1 bag coleslaw mix (16 oz.)

Toss the bread with 2 T. olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add bread and cook until toasted, stirring often, 5 minutes.

Whisk together mayonnaise, Parmesan, parsley, lemon juice, remaining 2 T. olive oil, garlic, anchovy paste, 3/4 t. salt, and 1/2 t. pepper for the dressing.

Combine coleslaw mix with dressing. Serve coleslaw with croutons.

Adapted from Cuisine at Home Issue 123, June 2017

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Cantaloupe Strawberry Salad with Burrata and Prosciutto

It's that time of year! The season for cantaloupe and strawberries. By using Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar paired with Basil Olive Oil the flavors of the fruit salad are enhanced. This is a perfect Spring/Summer dessert.

4 cups cubed cantaloupe
2 cups hulled and sliced fresh strawberries
2 T. fresh lemon juice 
salt and black pepper to taste
1 ball burrata or fresh mozzarella (8 oz.)
3 oz. sliced prosciutto
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

Toss the cantaloupe and strawberries with lemon juice and Basil Olive Oil; season with salt and pepper.

Arrange burrata in center of a serving platter, then arrange cantaloupe and strawberries around burrata.

Nestle prosciutto among fruit, then garnish with basil. Drizzle with the Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar.

Adapted from Cuisine at Home, Issue 123

Italian Steak Sandwich with Pesto and Grilled Red Peppers

Steak sandwiches are always a hit with my family and this one knocked it out of the park. Next time you're invited to (or hosting) a potluck, remember this recipe. With juicy grilled red peppers and flavorful sirloin, the provolone adds the perfect touch of cheesiness!

2 large red bell peppers
1 - 1 1/2 lb. top sirloin steak, trimmed
olive oil
salt and black pepper
1 loaf Ciabatta or Italian bread, sliced lengthwise
1 cup purchased refrigerated basil pesto
8 oz. sliced provolone cheese

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Brush grill grate with oil.

Grill peppers, covered, until charred on all sides, about 10 minutes.

Transfer peppers to a bowl and let cool.  Remove and discard skins and seeds, then slice peppers into strips.

Coat steak with oil, then season with salt and pepper.

Grill steak to desired doneness, 5 - 7 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steak to a plate, tent with foil, and let rest 5 - 7 minutes; slice into thin strips.

Brush cut sides of bread with oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill bread, cut sides down, covered until toasted, 1 - 2 minutes. Spread pesto on grilled sides of bread and top with provolone. Grill bread on foil, cheese side up, covered, until cheese melts, about 4 minutes.

To serve, arrange peppers and steak on bottom half of bread, then top with remaining bread half and cut into 6 - 8 servings.

From Cuisine at Home Issue 123, June 2017

Monday, May 1, 2017

Tuscan Herb Lemon Pasta Salad

Instead of a heavy mayo loaded pasta salad, or a prepackaged version that is full of ingredients you can't pronounce, how about a healthy version made with flavor packed olive oil and vinegar?

The flavors for this salad come from Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar and Tuscan Herb Olive Oil.

2 T. Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar
4 T. Tuscan Herb Olive Oil
8 oz. bow tie pasta, cooked according to package directions, rinsed with cool water, and drained
2 t. Tuscan Herb Seasoning Blend
2 T. finely diced onion
2 T. finely diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup diced sun dried tomatoes
1 T. drained capers
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t. dried red pepper flakes

In a medium bowl, add vinegar. Slowly add olive oil, whisking constantly. 

Add cooked pasta to a large bowl and slowly pour oil/vinegar mixture over pasta. Stir to combine.

Add remaining ingredients and carefully fold into the pasta. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Top with grated Parmesan, if desired.

Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Turkey Burgers

I've made many, many burgers in my lifetime. Many burgers. Tonight we may have reached an entirely new level for burgers. With basil infused olive oil and a few other ingredients, these turkey burgers in no way resemble the dried out boring turkey burgers you may have had in the past. After the burgers are cooked through, top with a slice of provolone or mozzarella if you'd like.

1/4 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped 
1/2 cup semi-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 lbs. ground turkey or chicken
6 whole-wheat or multi-grained buns

Saute onions and garlic in Basil Olive Oil until translucent, 4 - 6 minutes.

Add tomatoes and parsley, stirring until incorporated. Remove from heat. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.

Fold mixture into the ground turkey. Form 6 patties and refrigerate until ready to cook. Look at the tomatoes, onions, and parsley! I used the same skillet I sauteed the vegetables in earlier.

Grill, broil, or pan fry until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.