A Happy Ending...And A New Beginning!

Today is truly a milestone for me....a 65 year old Grandma, also known as Meemaw.

As some of you know...I have been working on an exciting new project with my daughter in law Sarah.  Together, we have turned The Epicurean Explorer into a brand new blog called Meemaw Eats!  We've improved and updated the site, and the changes we've made will provide easy access to my past blog posts as well as future ones.  Finally, all of my recipes from the past six years as well as all of my travel posts will be at your fingertips in an easy-to-find format.  (I HATE spending time looking for ANYTHING...whether it's a recipe...or my glasses that I usually find perched on top of my head!)

I was recently filling out some paperwork, and one question asked how long I had been writing my blog.  It's hard to believe...but I created The Epicurean Explorer in 2010...almost exactly six years ago!  And about three years ago I started blogging every single day.  And I've loved every single minute of it.

When I reflect back on these past six years, I'm happy to say I've stuck closely to my original goal of leaving a recipe and story legacy for our seven grandchildren.  And here is one of my
Earliest Blog Posts for proof!
Thanks to Sarah, my Meemaw Eats blog sports a whole new look...and we'll be adding some amazing new features over time.  The new features we've already added are amazing to me...and I bet they will be to YOU, too!

This project has opened up a whole new world of possibilities to Sarah and to me, and now we're ready to share it with you, my Dear and Loyal Readers.

And while I have to admit a few butterflies in my stomach...I'm feeling extremely excited about the NEW adventure I'm beginning today.  So out with the OLD (except me!) and in with the NEW...


So once again...THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart, Dear Readers.  You have made (and continue to make) this blogging journey a priceless adventure for me.

And I dedicate my new blog Meemaw Eats to our seven precious grandchildren.
It's a labor of love, and it's my gift to ALL of them.

And also to my Mom...
The best cook I've ever known.

Chef Lolo!

Imagine how proud I felt  when I received these pictures in a text today...on Valentines Day.

Our 8 year old grand daughter stirred up the batter for this batch of beignets...all by herself!  I was also VERY glad to hear that her Daddy did ALL of the cooking, since hot oil and children do NOT mix!

And here are the results of their joint venture...

A Dad and his daughter...creating memories together in their kitchen...

That's a Valentines Day recipe made with LOVE..

(It warmed MY heart too.)

From Morning...To Night....

From Morning...

To Evening...

This was a BEAUTIFUL Winter day in Fort Lauderdale...

Life is GOOD.
And we are grateful.


Roasted Broccoli With Garlic and Balsamic Glaze

Tonight I invented a new way to "doctor up"  broccoli...

Here is how I made it...
I preheated the oven to 400 degrees.

I lined a cookie sheet with tin foil and threw on a bunch of broccoli florets and I tossed them in some Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

I chopped several cloves of garlic and tossed them in too.

Then I mixed a teaspoon of whole grain Dijon mustard with some Balsamic glaze and tossed it with the broccoli.

I roasted the mixture for about 15-20 minutes...

Not fantastic...but good.
And I'm always looking for new ways to Eat A Rainbow...every day!

Wearing TWO HATS...

My Dear Readers...
Many of you know I am currently working on TWO BLOGS instead of just one.

And I thought you might want a few "hints" of some posts and recipes you can expect in the near future...on my NEW blog.  (And will ALL be connected to that one too!)

So here are some clues about posts I am working on right now...No details today...stay tuned for that!!!

I'm SO EXCITED about the FUTURE!  (And for a Medicare card-carrying Meemaw, that is a REALLY GOOD THING!!!)

Stay tuned...The FUTURE is coming SOON!

A Bird's Eye View

A picture IS worth a thousand I'll just use three.

Our Winter Home.

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!


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 cousin Sue and our high school friend Nic...

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

Here is their website:

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 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...'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...

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 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!)


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 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 let's get it over with and MOVE ON.

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