Sunday, May 3, 2015

PCB With Patricia, Lauren and Keith












I had a lovely 10 days on the beach.  Last Thursday, my pal Patricia arrived.  We feasted on lobster tails Friday night.

We were joined by dear friends Lauren and Keith on Saturday.  Played on the beach all day and had a pizza delivered for dinner.

Went over to Beach Package (now called "The LIQ") for happy hour and stocked up on 30 packs of beer.  Only $15 each.  At that price, I couldn't afford NOT to stock up!

When we headed back to the condo, Keith made me a "Throne".  Too funny!

In the morning, we had a good breakfast and hit the beach at 9:30 in the morning.  Drank beer, played "ladder golf", and had great fun.

Lauren and Keith left late afternoon, Patricia headed out Monday morning.  (She remains my FAVORITE roommate. We're extremely compatible and I'm so happy that we've become dear friends!)

For the rest of the week, I cleaned up the condo, spent time on the beach and just "chillaxed" as my niece says.

I've got something GREAT to report-  I've been bitching and whining about the beach service chairs taking up all of the prime shoreline spots for a couple of years.  Apparently I'm not the only one.  The rental service now must move BACK to open up spots for guests.  (I'm feeling kind of smug right now).

Headed back a week from today for a couple of weeks.  Dear high school pal is flying in on Monday for a week.  Can't wait to see her!

Friday, April 17, 2015

The National WWII Museum

During Christine and Troy's visit, we spent a few hours at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.

It was quite impressive, spanning over several buildings with more planned in the next year.

I enjoyed it, but can't say that I'll go back.  It was kind of rough for me.  My dad, who was a stroke victim served in WW2.  HE would have loved it.  Throughout the day, I had a mental image of pushing him around in his wheelchair and picturing his delight at some of the exhibits. So, it was kind of bitter-sweet for me.














Thursday, April 16, 2015

Fun With Christine and Troy in the French Quarter

Our Christine and her Troy came for a fun visit last month.  Unfortunately, dummy (ME) left her camera in my hotel room in the French Quarter.  Much to my delight, the cleaning lady had turned it in to the front desk.

Just got it back yesterday.

As always, we stayed at The Prince Conti



We went to our usual joints...... The Deja Vu, Johnny Whites, Harry's Corner.  We also went into Richard Fiske's Martini Bar in the Chateau LeMoyne Hotel....the same folks that originally had the Bombay Club.  Lovely place...felt like home.  Another neat place whose name escapes me.  **Just found out it was http://801royal.com/   Thought you guys would like to see a picture...the hanging light was GORGEOUS!


Check out the light!




















Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Easter Sunday






Easter Sunday was very pleasant.  Had a nice relaxing day....just the two of us.

For breakfast, I made Creamy Baked Eggs with Asparagus and Pecorino:

Butter for ramekins
6 thin asparagus spears, ends trimmed
4 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup lightly packed shredded pecorino
Pinch of sea salt or kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 275°. Lightly butter two 4-oz. (1/2-cup) ramekins or ovenproof bowls and set in a baking pan just big enough to hold ramekins.

2. Slice asparagus thinly on the diagonal. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add asparagus; cook until just tender-crisp, 1 to 2 minutes, and scoop out into a colander. Keep water boiling, covered.

3. In a bowl, beat eggs with milk until smooth. Stir in cheese and salt. Divide mixture between prepared ramekins. Top each with half the asparagus and sprinkle with pepper.

4. Set ramekins in baking pan and put in oven. With oven door open, carefully pour hot water into baking pan up to the level of the eggs in ramekins. Bake until eggs are set in centers (touch to test), about 45 minutes. To remove ramekins, carefully pull oven rack out partway; lift ramekins from pan with tongs and set aside. Push rack with pan back into the oven to cool. Serve eggs immediately.

Dinner consisted of a 7 pound semi-boneless Leg of Lamb, Balsamic Pearl Onions and Gratin Dauphinois.

Roast Leg of Lamb

1 leg of lamb (about 5 lbs)
3 garlic cloves, slivered
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary or 1 1/2 teaspoons some fresh sprigs rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper, coarsely ground
coarse salt

Directions:

Remove lamb from refrigerator 1 hour before roasting
Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C/Gas 6.


Make small slits just large enough for garlic slivers evenly in the leg of lamb, and insert the garlic slivers.


Rub all over with lemon juice, then pat the rosemary and black pepper evenly over the surface. Sprinkle with salt to taste. If you're using fresh rosemary, just insert the sprigs with the garlic slivers into the cuts you made.


Place lamb, fat side up on a rack in an uncovered pan.


Roast 30 minutes to a pound or until the internal temperature reaches 175-180°F, for meat well done. If you prefer slightly rare lamb, roast until 160-165°F.


When done, remove from oven, cover the roast in foil and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before carving.


If you also want delicious rich gravy, place a 1 1/2 cups of lamb or beef stock in the bottom of the pan before you put the lamb in the oven, making sure that the rack sits above the liquid and the meat doesn't touch it. You can also add a sprig or two of rosemary to it and if you want baste the lamb a couple of times while it's roasting. Just before serving bring the liquid to a simmer on the stove top, making sure you whisk it well and scrape all the bits from the sides and the bottom of the pan. If you want more gravy you can add some extra stock or some of the water you have cooked your vegetables inches Mix 1tbsp of cornflour with 2tbsp of water and whisk it into the stock. Simmer until thickened and you have a wonderful gravy.

Gratin Dauphinois

4 large potatoes (about three pounds), peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 large cloves garlic
8 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 pint whipping cream
2 egg yolks
White pepper
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and drop the potatoes into it. Cook for five minutes. Drain and cool.

2. Crush the garlic cloves, and use them to wipe the inside of a 12-by-8-inch glass baking dish. Discard what’s left of the garlic.

3. Layer the potato slices all the way across the bottom of the dish, sprinkling the cheeses and a little salt and white pepper between the layers.

4. Beat the egg yolks and mix them into the whipping cream. Pour the mixture over the potatoes. It should come up about two-third of the way to the top. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake in the oven for an hour.

5. Remove the foil. Combine the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese, and sprinkle in a thin layer over the top of the potatoes. Return, uncovered, to the oven. Continue baking until the crust browns. (If you have a convection oven, set it to convect.)  (I omitted the bread crumbs, as this was fattening enough!)

6. Remove from the oven and allow to rest and cool for at least fifteen minutes before serving.

Makes about twelve generous side portions.