LIQUID ASSETS (LA) IN OCEAN CITY

Well, as I said before, it’s home show season for my husband. This weekend was no exception. He was at the home show in Ocean City at the Convention Center this past weekend. With a prime spot at the entrance, he had a very productive, busy weekend. After the show it’s time to relax and we have the perfect spot, Liquid Assets, or LA.

It’s a pretty cool place. It’s a package store that sells liquor, beer, and wine. There is a sizeable bar in the center of the store, with tables and couches and various places to sit and eat. The walls, lined with bottles, coolers of beer, old wine barrels and crates, make up the decor to create an eclectic atmosphere. But, the food is the star of this place. You must go! Be prepared to wait, they do not take reservations and the place is always packed. The drinks flow freely, and the staff could not be more attentive.

The menu includes items such as house made Pate’, various varieties of oysters, seafood potpie, steaks, sandwiches, fresh salads, and homemade doughnuts. Their bread puddings change with the season and are fantastic. There are a vast array of cheeses to choose from and meats so that you can indulge in a Charcuterie’ board. It’s great to pick out your favorites and share over cocktails. But these are just a few items, their menu is on line.

We went with our friends Jennifer, and Kevin who also participate in the Spring home shows. We introduced them to LA after realizing they loved food as much as we do. We actually went there twice this trip. They became fast fans and like us, know they are going to get good food and great service.

Our meals were great! Both Jennifer and I love roasted brussel sprouts. They prepare Buffalo Brussel Sprouts with Blue Cheese dressing on the side as a starter. Honestly, I could have made that my meal. It’s more than an ample portion and huge on flavor. Of course my Vodka Martini with Blue Cheese olives didn’t hurt my feelings either. 

I am proud to say that I duplicated the recipe and it was just as satisfying. I roasted my brussel sprouts, halved, tossed in olive oil and salt and pepper. I cooked them until they started browning and were al dente. Then they were finished under the broiler so they were extra crispy. Out of the oven, with a toss in my favorite buffalo sauce and a side of blue cheese for dipping. They turned out great. 

My Buffalo Brussel Sprouts will keep me happy until I can dine there again! When your in Ocean City, stop by there and try them out. I guarantee it will become a fast favorite for you too.

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

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Yasso Frozen Yogurt Bars

Woop woop……you have got to try these! They are in the freezer section where you do your shopping. I found mine at Walmart.

My biggest downfall when trying to lose weight is sweets. Seems the older I get the worse it gets. There is a scientific fact to support this. As time marches on and we mature, sweet is the most prevalent tastebud. Great!!!! 

Anyway, I decided to make some yogurt pops. So off to the store I went in search of ingredients and happened to see these babies. I quickly whipped out my bar code scanner from Weight Watchers.  Much to my surprise…….3 Smart Points. What!!!!????? So I abandoned making them and in my cart they went. 

I bought the Sea Salt and Caramel, and the Coffee flavored ones. Both 3 points a pop. There were two other varieties, Cookie Dough, and Mint Chocolate Chip coming in at 4 Smart Points. Still not bad!!!

I had one last night and am in love. If you like ice cream and you like sweets you definitely don’t want to miss this one. I feel like I discovered the new world….hahaha. Give them a try! I would love to hear your thoughts and which one is your favorite.

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

Grandmom Minnie’s Yeast Rolls

It’s March 13th! There are threats of a huge snow storm for the eastern states. My husband thinks I talked this one up…haha! Truly, I am ready for Spring and flowers and some sunshine. Whatever the weather brings, we will deal with it and move on.

In my last post I mentioned my Grandmother Minnie’s yeast rolls and was asked by a reader if I would give them the recipe. I can still smell her kitchen every time these are made or served somewhere. She was a wonderful woman and cooked every day of her life. She made enough to feed an army, and most times had that many at her table.

A big pot of stew or soup are the perfect vehicle for these rolls. They will become a quick favorite. Be careful though, it’s hard to eat just one. Serve warm and with plenty of good butter. Enjoy!

GRANDMOM MINNIE’S YEAST ROLLS

  • 1 C warm water
  • 2 pkgs, active dry yeast
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 t salt
  • 4 1/2 C all purpose flour
  1. Combine the warm water and the yeast in a large bowl; let stand for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to bloom. (if your yeast does not bubble on the surface, it’s no good. Get some new yeast. Also remember if the water is too hot it will kill your yeast.)
  2. Stir in the butter, sugar, eggs, and salt and 1 C of the flour.
  3. Continue to add flour a 1/2 C at a time until the dough is too stiff to mix. (you may or may not need all of the 4 1/2 C of flour. It varies when I make these dependent on the weather. So if it all won’t fit, don’t add it.)
  4. Cover the dough (I use plastic wrap) and refrigerate 2 hours.
  5. Grease a 13×9 pan.
  6. Turn the chilled dough out onto a lightly floured board.
  7. Divide into 24 pieces and roll each piece into a smooth round ball. Place in even rows in the greased pan.
  8. Cover with a lint free towel and let rise about 1 hour or until doubled in a warm place. (The oven is a great place with just the oven light on to let them rise.)
  9. Remove from the oven when risen. Pre-heat the oven to 375 and bake 15-20 minutes.
  10. Brush with melted butter and break apart to serve.

Yield: 2 dozen rolls

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

OLD SALTY’S BAKED PINEAPPLE

What a great meal and a great night at Old Salty’s Restaurant. If you haven’t been you need to take the trip. A day trip would be great if you haven’t been there. Located in Fishing Creek, Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay, the view is nothing less than spectacular.

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We went to dinner with our friends the Fleming’s and their daughter last night. I had one of the best meals I have had in a long time. We all had an appetizer of Honga River oysters, raw, on the half shell. Salty, sweet, fat, and plenty of taste. You don’t get any fresher than that. I got the crab cake with kale, and beets, best crab cake I have had in a long time. It was nothing but chunks of fresh crab meat, no filler there. Our friends had the stuffed flounder. It was a beautiful piece of moist white meat with a mound of crab imperial under it that rivals any stuffed flounder I have ever seen. Joe got the shrimp and scallop combo and a side of collard greens and the baked pineapple. After dinner we all looked at each other and said “we need to come back here more often”. Everything is homemade and fresh and pleasing on the palate. By the way, if you like stewed tomatoes do not miss ordering them here. Made in true Eastern Shore fashion, sweet enough to eat for dessert. I had a nostalgic moment when I tasted the yeast roll, which reminded me of my Grandmom, Minnie Bloodsworth.

Our waitress, Mary, was fantastic as well as entertaining. She made sure everything was just the way we wanted it. My friend Rhonda, asked her; “have you ever seen any ghosts?” With a little gleam in her eye she said “I sure have.” We were told about the lady that is seen from time to time in the far back booth. Apparently she comes in and sits down, when the staff go to get her a menu and come back she is no longer there. There are also two women that have been seen by people passing by. They come into the restaurant looking for the two women that wave to them only to find out, they were never there. The owner, Jay, came out with a historical book and showed us a picture of two women. He said when he showed the customers the picture they pointed to them, saying “that’s them”. The picture was taken many years ago when the school was in use, so the two school girls in the picture passed away many years ag0.  Have cold chills yet? There was a tale of butter flying across the room and of a water pitcher being poured in mid air. All in all, we really got our moneys worth!

Mary could tell I was beside myself over the baked pineapple. Out she comes with the recipe and an explanation of exactly how it is made. I am going to share it with you but honestly, you just need to go there and try it for yourself. Ask for Mary and make sure you meet Jay. You will also say, “we need to come here more often.”

BAKED PINEAPPLE FROM OLD SALTY'S

  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 can of crushed pineapple with the juice
  • 2 slices of bread, cubed in large chunks
  • 1/4-1/2 C melted butter
  1. Butter an 8×8 baking dish
  2. Mix the eggs, sugar, flour, and pineapple together and put in the greased baking dish
  3. Put the cubed bread on top and pour the melted butter over it
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Served hot or cold it is to die for!

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

TWICE BAKED STUFFED POTATO

Okay…..so the weight is coming off but slowly. As I was once told, “it didn’t go on over night, it’s not going to come off over night.” Truth is, it goes on a lot faster than it comes off! So the price is still hard work, portion control, and knowing when to say “no thank you”.

I am a Weight Watchers believer and know first hand that it works. I don’t deny myself anything! I know if I follow their plan come this Spring, I am going to be a happy camper and not feel like a slug. As I have matured however, taking off the pounds ain’t as easy as it used to be. So I am in high gear, and wearing my activity tracker so that I can challenge my activity. No problem at work! I rack up as high as 8 miles a day. When I’m home, it’s a little more difficult but I manage by going up and down the stairs and vacumming, a lot!  Joe also drags me out for walks even when I resist. Whatever works….right?

I tend to stay away from items that are high in points. I know I can have whatever I want, so planning is essential for me. Joe decided to join my crusade and is also following the plan. We go out to dinner with a goal in mind. We have cocktails with friends and socialize.  If I want a piece of cake, I eat it! All is well in the Kingdom!

Sadly, too many carbohydrates can wreak havoc on the point count. I recently concocted a 5 Smart Points Twice Baked Potato. It is so good it makes you feel like your cheating. They are great left over and the additions are limitless. Vegetables are freebies so they add no extra points. I neglected to take a picture of them because we were so excited about eating them!! Sorry…you will have to trust me on this one and just try them. You can thank me later.

TWICE BAKED STUFFED POTATO

Ingredients:

  • 3 large, baking potatoes
  • 1/2 C reduced fat, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 C 2% sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
  • 1/3 C thinly sliced, green onion
  • 2 C precooked, Broccoli, Spinach, Kale (or any vegetable you like) Optional
  • 1/4 C light sour cream
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Wash and pierce the potatoes in several places with the tip of a sharp knife. Bake 1-1 1/2 hours or until tender when pierced . Immediately cut the potatoes lengthwise in half; scoop out the centers, leaving a 1/4 inch thick shells. Discard 1/2 of the pulp and save in the refrigerator for another use.
  3. Beat the potato pulp, broth, 1/2 C cheese, onions, sour cream, and mustard with a mixer til well blended, fold in the vegies if you decided to use them, season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon mixture into the shells; top with the remaining cheese and sprinkle with paprika.
  4. Bake 20 minutes or until heated through.

Makes 6 servings at 5 points for one half……..not bad!!!  You can add one piece of center cut bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled on top. That will add 1 additional point.

Oh, and the leftover potato pulp! Potato pancakes come to mind. But that’s another blog.

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

CHICKEN VEGETABLE CASSEROLE

We have had some pretty mild temperatures in Maryland since we returned from Aruba. My husband loves it, me; not so much! I love the seasons and love a good snow storm. The only good one we had was in January and I was away. This past week has been all that winter promises and the temperatures have plummeted to freezing, reminding us it is not yet Spring. St Patrick’s and Easter are upon us however, and soon enough the natural order of things will take place as before.

My husband owns a window and door business, Eastern Shore Windows and Doors. Spring also brings a time to renew and replace. It also brings the “Home Shows”. In the event you have no idea what that is I will enlighten you. Multiple vendors and purveyors of things congregate to help you make your homes and yards beautiful again. The Timonium home show in Baltimore has begun and runs for two weekends. You can find things like, windows and doors. You can also find, storage systems for your garage. Gutter systems, flooring, you name it, you can find it. So for the next few weekends I will be a “Home Show Widow”, for lack of a better description. Finding myself alone on the weekends, I turn to what I love, cooking, and rearranging my home for Spring.

After putting away all of the rememberances of winter I turned to my cookbooks and recipes. I made a wonderful chicken casserole yesterday that I want to share with you. It makes particularly good use of the crock pot chicken recipe that I shared with you. It’s very light, and healthy. It is also very filling. Those of you watching your weight for bathing suit season will love it. It makes six large portions and each serving is only 9 Smart Points if you are a Weight Watcher.

 

CHICKEN VEGETABLE CASSEROLE

  • 12 oz cooked, diced, chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 10 oz skim milk
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • 2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 wedge laughing cow white cheddar cheese
  • 7 oz Penne pasta (I used wheat)
  • 2 peppers, 1 red, 1 yellow, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 12 oz broccoli, chopped
  • 1/3 C grated 2% sharp cheddar
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350
  2. Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with PAM (I use olive oil PAM)
  3. Chop all the vegies, and gather all the other ingredients and measure them out. It makes this much easier to assemble.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to boiling.
  5. To prepare the sauce: Pre-heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter and as soon as it foams add the flour and stir for one minute; try not to let it brown. Add the milk and continue stirring until it starts to bubble. Add the pepper, poultry seasoning, and wedge of Laughing Cow cheese, stirring to combine. Simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
  6. In the boiling water cook the pasta for 8 minutes then add the broccoli and continue to cook for 1 min. Drain and return to the hot pot. (This allows the excess moisture to evaporate)
  7. Add the rest of the chopped vegetables and the chicken, stirring to combine.
  8. Pour into the greased casserole dish and top with the white sauce. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top and cover with non-stick aluminum foil.
  9. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, remove the foil and continue to cook an additional 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo