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Cinnamon Raisin Baked Apples

Recently...I woke up in the night...thinking about a dessert to make for company the next day...
And this is what I invented.

A cored and partially peeled baked apple filled with cinnamon, brown sugar, raisins, and a pat of butter.


I baked the apples for about 25-35 minutes at 350 degrees.  I used an ovenproof dish and I added a splash of orange juice in the pan.  The orange juice mixed with the juice from the apple mixture to create a glaze.


So serve, I spooned the glaze over the apples and I added a dollop of vanilla bean ice cream with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Not a bad dream come true!

My SWEET Super Bowl Sunday

Some people go to parties on Super Bowl Sunday.
Some people eats lots of food.
Some people drink lots of beer.

I did NONE of the above.

I bet you could NEVER guess what I did.


Do I need to give you a hint?


I didn't think so!

(GO BRONCOS!)

Happy Birthday Peepaw...At BLUE JEAN BLUES!

Tonight was a celebration...
Peepaw earned his Medicare Card!


And it just so happened that we shared our evening with two Iowans...my cousin Sue and our high school friend Nic...

We ended up at Blue Jean Blues...an awesome live Jazz club in our neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale.

Here is their website:
BLUE JEAN BLUES

We shared four great appetizers while we listened to the great music.

A cheese and fruit board with a HUGE pot of honey for dipping...


A cheese quesadilla...


Crab stuffed mushrooms...


And nacho chips with a bacon and Alfredo dipping sauce...


The jazz was lovely...the company was awesome...and the Birthday Boy was happy.

A PERFECT night in Fort Lauderdale...and the blessings of another HEALTHY year on this earth with an entire family who loves him...

(What more could a guy want!)

A Labor Of LOVE...at 400 Degrees!

It's been a LONG day...but one filled with joy.

Yesterday was the mixing...and today was my annual Valentine cookie baking day!

And THIS was the very last cookie to go into the oven.
(Notice how little left-over dough I wasted...)


And that little cookie joined all the rest of them...




So...Let the DECORATING begin...TOMORROW!
(THIS Meemaw is POOPED!)

Company For Dinner...

Sometimes...it's not about what I serve...but it's the people around our table.
And tonight it was cousin Sue and her long time friend Nic who joined us for dinner.

We started with some AWESOME cheese...and bread with my fresh herb butter...


Then we had broiled shrimp with homemade cocktail sauce...


Then chicken with julienned vegetables on a romaine leaf...  (recipe later!)


in Paupiette.,,


And for dessert?


Key Lime Pie. (My specialty!)

It was a WONDERFUL night...

COUSINS (and their friends) RULE!

It Was A FLIP FLOPS Night...

Tonight was "Girls Night Out"...
So where would I choose to take our visitors?
No question about it...
FLIP FLOPS!

I've said it before...The BEST wings in Fort Lauderdale can be found there...


And I got there early to save us the best seats in the house...


It was a BEAUTIFUL evening...and Flip Flops boasts some wonderful spots to enjoy the water...


And its fun to watch all the yacht traffic as the drawbridge raises and lowers...


(Our condo is right across the bridge)

So...after sitting at the bar for an hour...Cousin Sue looked down and noticed the name carved into the wood directly in front of her...


YUP...SUE.  (Apparently she was MEANT to sit there!)

The ladies had a great time...and so did I.



And when we were ready to leave...my dear hubby arrived in our convertible to escort the ladies back to their hotel.

Ahh...Another day in PARADISE...

And thanks Flip Flops...You always know how to make us feel like family!

Welcome To Our Neighborhood!

What a great night!
We spent the evening eating, drinking, and strolling all over our neighborhood here in Fort Lauderdale.



My cousin Sue and her long time pal Nic were happy to take in the sights and sounds...
And we enjoyed being "tour guides" for the evening.

Sometimes it's fun to see our world with first-time eyes!

Cooking And VISITING...And Baking...

Today was a WILD and CRAZY DAY...I was creating and photographing dishes to post on my NEW blog website.

First I made a Potato and Bacon Slow Cooker SOUP...


And before I could turn on my oven to start my next recipe...some welcome visitors showed up at our door.  They had walked to our condo from their hotel.  And while they were walking...we were blessed with a TROPICAL DOWNPOUR!!!  So after drying them off with a stack of towels...we spent several hours laughing and reminiscing about the good old days!

And after they left...I baked a batch of Amish Church Cookies...


I'll eventually share these recipes on my NEW BLOG...but I'm taking my time before the launch.

I LOVE sharing my recipes and stories with all of you...and that will NEVER change.  So keep reading...and cooking...and laughing with me.  On THIS blog...and eventually on my NEW site!  (Stay tuned for details...)

Life is full of twists and turns...and I embrace every one of them!  (Even if they come dripping wet and knocking on my back door!)

IOWA...IT'S ALMOST OVER!

To all my DEAR Iowa Blog Readers...THE END IS IN SIGHT.  THE END IS NEAR!
And for all my readers who are NOT living in Iowa...You have NO IDEA what it's like to be the center of the political universe. REALLY.  NO IDEA!


I snapped this photo on CNN this afternoon...And if the shot was from the OTHER end of Kinnick Stadium you could probably see our house!

I hope you all make your voices heard on February 1st...no matter WHO you choose to support.  And I REALLY hope the caucus duties are wrapped up by the time the BLIZZARD hits the state!

I sincerely believe that all that political HOT AIR that has been circulating over Iowa is the cause for Mother Nature's wrath...so let's get it over with and MOVE ON.

(And GET READY, New Hampshire.  It's YOUR turn next!)

My WINTER Herbs...

Every time I step outside my back door I have to smile...


My herb bed is thriving!


And no matter WHAT dish I plan to cook...These herbs will enhance the flavors...
And THEN some!

Now...Who is ready for a MOJITO???


Herbs...They're what's for dinner...and Happy Hour too!

Sunrise In Fort Lauderdale

A picture IS worth a thousand words...


This beautiful sunrise never gave up...it found a way to peek through the rain clouds.

That's what you call a silver lining...

Company For Lunch!

Hosting friends for lunch makes ALL food taste better...


Sometimes it's more fun to stay home than to go out...Especially when we hope to visit for hours.

It was a great visit...with good friends.

Another Rainy Day...

Apparently we dodged a tornado here in Fort Lauderdale today...and we're grateful for that.

But the rain continues...


And sometimes a cup of Flip Flop's Clam Chowder is just what the doctor ordered to chase away the gray skies...


A Beautiful Night...

Finally...
A BEAUTIFUL night for entertaining at home...and cooking for friends and family...

Grilled Asparagus and Mushrooms With  A Balsamic Glaze

Roasted potatoes, peppers and onions...

Drunken Chicken...

My Kitchen Tonight...
Key Lime Pie...For Dessert...
Great Food...Good Friends...And a Beautiful Night...
What's Not To Love?

Oysters On The Half Shell...

Tonight we met sis-in-law Patricia and her hubby and their guests at the beach for cocktails...


And oysters on the half shell appeared on our table.


As long as there is cocktail sauce and fresh horseradish I am HAPPY to jump onboard...


But the most entertaining part of the evening was watching Patricia devour an oyster...against her will...and against her better judgement...


It was a wonderful night...and the oysters were an added source of entertainment!