Nothing better with good fresh corn. I like this recipe that we made recently with some local Ohio Corn
4ears of corn(or 4 cups / 750g / 1.5 lb frozen or canned corn, drained)
250 g / 8 oz bacon, chopped
2 tbsp / 30 g butter(use 3 tbsp if bacon is lean)
1garlic clove, minced
1small onion, diced (or half large onion) (yellow, brown or white)
5 tbsp / 60gflour
2cupschicken broth, low sodium preferred
3cupsmilk(I used skim milk and it was fine)
600 g / 1.2 lb potatoes, cut into 1 cm / 2/5″ cubes (about 2 large)
2sprigs of thyme OR 1 tsp dried thyme
3/4 cup / 185 mlcream
3/4 cupshallots, green part finely sliced (green onions / scallions)
Salt and finely ground pepper to taste
Cut the corn off the cob. Place a small ramekin in a large bowl. Place corn on the ramekin then cut the corn off. Keep naked cobs.
Place 1 tsp butter in a large pot over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until golden. Use a slotted spoon to remove onto a paper towel lined plate. Leave fat in pot.
Lower heat to medium high. Add 2 tbsp butter, once melted, add garlic and onion. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes until onion is translucent.
Add flour and mix it in. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add broth, milk, potatoes, thyme and bay leaf. Break naked cobs into 2 or 3 and add into the liquid. Put the lid on and simmer for 25 minutes (adjust heat so it’s simmering energetically but not bubbling like crazy or super gently).
Remove lid, remove corn cobs. Add corn and cook for 5 minutes or until cooked to your taste.
Stir through cream and 3/4 of the bacon and shallots. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and garnish with remaining bacon and shallots.
Grace is doing a twelve week internship at Boyd Gaming in Las Vegas so Courtney and I went to visit her for a long weekend of fun and frivolity. We worked all day and caught the rapid to the airport to take an early evening flight. We got to Vegas with no problems and Grace picked us up and drove us to our hotel, the Mirage. We forced ourselves to stay up to 11:00PM Pacific time by walking around for a bit and having a drink in one of the many bars in the hotel.
Thursday, July 12th, 2018
We slept pretty well and didn’t end up getting up too early. We hit the Mirage buffet around 8:00AM as it was included in the good deal we got for the weekend. We don’t have much experience with buffets but this one sure seems awfully nice. Everything we had was great – except the coffee,(No it was really bad-cbh) but I’m a snob. I had fruit, cinnamon rolls, banana Nutella pancakes, bacon, pork belly, tamales on and on. Just a little bit of each but it was a great meal. We then took to the strip for a nice morning stroll taking in the sites: north past Treasure Island and then walked around inside the Wynn. Went back to the hotel and were at the pool by 10:30. The pool was awesome with lots of palm trees, waterfalls and Pina coladas. We had a lunch reservation at a place we wanted to go to but bagged it as we were enjoying lazing by the pool. We opted for a mid day happy hour meal later on instead. After a short siesta we hit the pavement again walking through the humongous Caesar’s palace and then looped back to the Venetian where we were meeting Grace. We had drinks and really good food at Canonita where Grace and her friend Julie eventually met us. We took off for the Mirage afterwards as we had tickets for Cirque De Soleil’s LOVE. I have been wanting to go to this show for years and years and was so excited to finally be able to go. It was great. The staging, acrobatics, lighting, music and everything was amazing. After the show we grabbed a daiquiri for the road and joined the throngs on the strip. We walked through the Bellagio, watched the fountains a couple of times and ended up back at the Mirage having pancakes for a late night meal. We said goodbye to Grace who lyfted back to her place and quickly crashed after a long day.
Friday, July 13th, 2018
We slept really well and were quickly getting acclimated to west coast time. We hit the buffet again for another breakfast feast and then walked some it off checking out other spots. We liked the Linq Promenade which was pretty new and found a nice store where we bought a few things. We ubered out to the Orleans – a casino off the strip- where Grace’s office was. Grace showed us around, introduced us to her colleagues and we had lunch at a place there with Grace and Julie. Grace was able to get the afternoon off so we went back to the UNLV dorm where she was living to get a few things and then headed back to the Mirage to spend the afternoon at the pool like good Las Vegas tourists. The pool was hopping but we managed to get a spot and had a good time cooling off in the pool, people watching and drinking too many pool drinks. We ubered over to Fremont street. We had tickets to see magician Mike Hammer at the Four Queens. It was fun. 50% magic and 50% comedian. He was really good though. Grace got pulled up to the stage for one of the tricks. After the show, we took in the crazy sights on Fremont street– people zip lining overhead, street performers, classy tourists… We checked out the Container Park, an area with repurposed containers turned into small shops, restaurants and bars. We sat outside at one of the bars. I had a very good Manhattan while we listened to a good Indigo Girls sort of band. We then went a couple blocks down town and had dinner at Carson Kitchen and a great late night meal. We sat on their roof top patio with the rest of the hipsters and split tempura green beans, gyro tacos, a butter burger and tater tots. We walked back down Fremont Street and each headed back to our separate places after a fun night.
Saturday, July 14th, 2018
We slept in past 8:00AM Vegas time. We got our stuff packed up and then headed down to the breakfast buffet which turned out to be a brunch buffet since it was Saturday and ended up having even more food… shrimp, prime rib, Chinese food, good desserts… can get used to this life. We checked out around 10:30 and rented a car to go exploring. We picked up Grace and headed to Mount Charleston – state park about an hour drive west of Las Vegas. It was interesting to see how built out Las Vegas is getting and then it abruptly ends at the mountains. The mountains were beautiful. The elevation was pretty up there. We stopped at the welcome center in the park and soaked in the views and then went on about an hour hike up up up the mountain that was supposed to end at a waterfall but we never were able to find the waterfall. It was fun to see something different – and so different than Las Vegas. The elevation made the hike tougher than we expected. We drove back to Las Vegas and went to Town Square Park – an outdoor mall place – and had late lunch/early dinner at Yard House – a sports bar with lots of beer choices. It was nice to get out of the heat as it was super hot out.–it felt like we were standing in front of an open oven. We still had some time to kill before we had to get to the airport so we did the Vegas thing and went to the Hooter’s casino and played blackjack for an hour. The only gambling we did all weekend except for 15 minutes before the show on Friday. Grace and I started with $20 each playing the cheap blackjack table and ended with a total of $100. It was fun. We said goodbye to Grace dropping her off at the nail salon to spend our $60 winnings and then headed to the airport to drop the car off and head back home on the red eye. The red eye is as bad as it sounds, as usual, but we made it back to CLE at 4:00AM, ubered home and were happy to be home after a fun long weekend.
Courtney went out to dinner with colleagues and I met Ellen and Wally downtown at Central. We had a nice dinner – had hanger steak et frites – and caught up with them which was great. I also stopped in for a peak at Trump Hotel in the old Post Office building that he RUINED. More security than actual guests and just as tacky as you would imagine.
Friday, June 1st, 2018
Saturday, June 2nd, 2018
Saturday, June 2nd 2018
We had a mid morning flight back to CLE and made it home with no troubles. Another great trip.
We haven’t been down to Miami to visit Grace all year so we planned a weekend getaway and it turned into a great party. Courtney and I, my Mom and Dad and Emily Jane took off from Euclid at 10:00AM with a car packed full of food and toys. We stopped at Wolf Ridge Brewery in Downtown Columbus for lunch. We had a great lunch: my Mom and I had the vanilla coffee cream ale -the reason to stop there, and Dad had the Heferweisen. Courtney and I split celery root soup and a salmon burger, Dad had an Italian sub and EJG and Mom had the chicken sandwich. A great place. It was just about a 2 hour drive to Oxford from Columbus and we checked into our two cabins at Hueston Woods. We each had a 2 BR family cabin and the Purcell’s also had one – we had our own cul de sac – perfect spot. We unloaded and drove to Miami to meet up with Grace. It was a perfect sunny Friday afternoon and all the coeds were out sunning and enjoying life. We took a nice tour of the amazingly beautiful campus and headed back to Hueston Woods. Claire, Corey, Jack and Sophie arrived about 5 minutes after we got back and we quickly settled in to cocktail hour, enjoying the beautiful sunny afternoon. Seamus, JP and pals all came over and Dennis and Penny who also rented a cabin for the weekend all came over for cocktails and a great dinner of Mom’s sloppy joes. We started the bonfire that stayed going for most of the weekend and relaxed in front of the fire. Jim, Patty P, Colin and Owen arrived around 8:00 or so. All the older kids took off for the bars around 10:00 and us old folks hung out around the campfire. Kathryn didn’t arrive until after 11:00 as she was with Shea at volleyball in Columbus.
Saturday, April 28th, 2018
Jack and I were both up early and got the fire going as it was really cold. It dropped about 20 degrees overnight. Everyone was really slow getting up and we didn’t really eat breakfast until around 10:00. The Purcell’s took off to campus to walk around and we went for a nice hike through the woods towards the lodge. We hung out at the lodge for awhile, played some ping pong and found out we could get $50 off per night because grace had A’s last semester. What a deal. Early afternoon we went to downtown Oxford and went to Steinkeller and had some great German beer, potato pancakes and pretzels. Dennis, Penny and Seamus met us there as well. Claire, Corey, Jack, Grace and I continued our day drinking expedition and went to Brick Street where hundreds of Miami faithful were having a fun Saturday afternoon. We met up with Rachel’s parents there as well and the Meaney’s were there too. We headed back to the cottages and got the fire going and happy hour under way. We ended up with about 30 people for dinner – grilling hot dogs, brats, hamburgers, salads, macaroni and cheese. Nice spread. Celebrated Mike’s birthday. Fun time. We stayed up too late enjoying the fire and good cheer.
Sunday, April 29th, 2018
We roused everyone up and gathered everything up. We had some breakfast casseroles, Penny brought bacon and sausage and we had a good breakfast on a sunny morning. We were all packed up and hit the road around 10:00 for the long ride back to CLE. Great weekend. We scored big time earlier this week and were able to reserve three cabins for graduation in May 2019. Apparently everything sells out in less than an hour so we were really lucky to get through.
Courtney, Sophia and myself left home at 6:30AM happy to be going back to the beach. We arrived at Decatur AL at 5:30PM. It rained the entire drive but wasn’t too bad. We stayed at the same Doubletree on the river as last year – in a nice big suite. We had dinner at Big Bob Gibson’s – our favorite north Alabama BBQ spot. I had Brunswick stew, pulled pork, greens and baked beans. Courtney and Sophie each had good platters and all was great. I had iced box lemon pie and Sophia had peanut butter pie and bought three bottle of their white BBQ sauce. I was asleep by 8:30PM.
Friday, March 30
We left the hotel at 7:30AM and arrived in Grayton Beach around 1:30PM. We headed directly to Red Bar as we had a couple of hours to kill, and the place was hopping. We had a few beers at the bar waiting for a table which is just fine! I had fish and chips for lunch, Courtney had some delicious smoked tuna salad and Sophia had a chicken sandwich. We stopped at house to drop off some stuff and then went to Publix to stock up for the week and checked into our house right at 4:00PM. They were very particular about check in time. We liked the house. Perfect. We moved stuff in and then I took of to pick up Claire and Corey at Panama City Beach Airport – 35 minute drive. Their flight was on time and made it back in no time and had late dinner of pan fried burgers, tater tots and key lime pie – of course.
Saturday, March 31, 2018
Claire, Corey and Courtney went to the bakery that we like around the corner as well as stopping at the grocery store again. We had cinnamon rolls, scones and some GF goodies for breakfast. We headed down to the beach where it was sunny and nice and started our daily routine: beach, lunch, beach. Tough life. Courtney and went to Goosefeathers during lunch break and got some nice looking grouper for dinner as well as shrimp and smoked tuna dip. The kids headed to Seaside for pickles pre-dinner which was super crowded and taken over by teenagers. It stayed that way unfortunately all week. Our house had a great patio looking over the state park land looking west so we got the late afternoon sun and sunset – excellent cocktail hour spot that we enjoyed all week. We had grilled grouper for dinner that was fabulous. We played dominoes after dinner to finish a great first day.
Sunday, April 1st, 2018
We had chocolate and jelly beans for breakfast to celebrate Easter – and a few other things. Sophie and I biked into Seaside after breakfast. The bike path between Grayton and Blue Mountain was under construction which forced us onto the road in that section which was a pain. But it wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be. Amavida line was way too long so we just walked around enjoying the sunshine. The rest of the day was all beach on a beautiful Easter Sunday. We steamed shrimp and grilled chicken for dinner enjoying the patio in the evening and not eating until late. We caught the second half of Jesus Christ Superstar on TV that I thought was really well done.
Monday, April 2nd, 2018
Courtney and I biked to Seaside early morning. Stopped at Amavida and walked around. We biked all around Watercolor. Claire and Corey biked later in the morning and went out to lunch at the Oyster bar. Otherwise it was another beautiful day on the beach. We went to the burger bar for dinner which was packed. We were waiting at the bar for a table and ended up just ordering food and ate at the bar which was fun.
Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018
It was a foggy morning but cleared up pretty quickly and turned into another beautiful day. The previous days sand castle was still there so we added on for another good showing. Just another perfect beach day and stayed down until 6:00. We had tacos for dinner and tried to go out for ice cream but everywhere was too crowded.
Wednesday, April 4th, 2018
A strong storm blew through early morning and it rained pretty steady all morning. We decided to go to the Destin outlets around 10:00. So did everybody else. Big mistake. The traffic was horrendous and the outlets were packed. We tried to stop for lunch at Stinky’s and Perfect Pig but both were too crowded. We ended up at Black Bear, a new place in Grayton Beach which was very good. Courtney and I split carrot soup with shaved beets et un sandwich du jambon. Sophie’s friend from school whose family was staying a few miles down the road met us at lunch and spend the day and night with us. Miraculously it cleared up in the early afternoon and lo and behold it was a great afternoon on beach. We had a great dinner of grilled rib eyes, baked potatoes and more key lime pie.
Thursday, April 5th, 2018
It was a chilly morning. Courtney and I went for bike ride around Watercolor, through the back ending up at Publix and going back through a crazy busy Seaside. Way too crowded. We didn’t go down to beach until 11:30 or so. Another nice day. Super calm and hot even though it was in low 70s. We stayed down beach until 4 and then went to Seaside for shrimp, oysters and fried pickles. We had late night dinner of boboli pizzas and then played cards against humanity.
Friday, April 6th, 2018
Courtney and I went on an early walk on the beach. It was a beautiful morning once again. Clear water and blue sky. We spent the whole day down the beach with a quick break for lunch. We drove Claire and Corey to the airport around 4:00. We ended up going to dinner at a place called Boon Docks off the bridge by the airport just following a sign that was there. It turned out to be nice – on the harbor with nice view and lots of seafood. We had fried shrimp, oysters, grouper and more fried pickles. It was a good find. We got home and packed everything up as we were planning to leave at 3:00AM for the long drive home.
Saturday, April 7th, 2018
We left Grayton Beach at 3:00 AM and drove all the way. 16 hours. Harsh but we did it with no troubles. It was another great stay in FLA.
Biographical Fiction (is that a genre?) of the story of Christina in Andrew Wyeth’s iconic painting “Christina’s World”. Going back and forth from the time Wyeth painted the painting to the back story of Christina’s family. Original, intriguing and hard to put down.
A good take on french toast casserole. We just used skim milk with a little whole milk we had leftover, a loaf of Italian bread that was getting stale and we didn’t have any blueberries …and it was great.
Cinnamon Baked French Toast; Ree Drummond
Butter, for greasing
1 loaf crusty sourdough or French bread
8 whole eggs
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup whipping (heavy) cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces, plus more for serving
Warm pancake syrup, for serving
1 cup fresh blueberries, for serving
For the French toast: Grease the baking pan with butter. Tear the bread into chunks, or cut into cubes, and evenly distribute in the pan. Crack the eggs in a big bowl. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover the pan tightly and store in the fridge until needed (overnight preferably).
For the topping: Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and some nutmeg in a separate bowl. Stir together using a fork. Add the butter and with a pastry cutter, and mix it all together until the mixture resembles fine pebbles. Store in a re-sealable plastic bag in the fridge.
When you’re ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the casserole from the fridge and sprinkle the topping over the top. Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture or for 1 hour or more for a firmer, crisper texture.
Scoop out individual portions. Top with butter and drizzle with warm pancake syrup and sprinkle with blueberries.