Thursday, December 31, 2009

Gracie's and a Jigsaw

Bastrop RV Park Miniature Donkeys and Horses
Tuesday, December 29, it is 37 degrees this morning. The rain doesn't start here until 10:30 or so. They get snow/sleet in the Hill Country but the temps are too low here and get to the mid-40's today. I waited too long to walk as the rain started before I got out there. We had a light breakfast and I stretched. Bob starts a 1500-piece puzzle of 'egg art.'

Around 2:00 we go to lunch at Gracie's. Bob has a huge portion of Mahi-Mahi. I try their Penne Rustica (heaven with shrimp, chicken, mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes.) In spite of the late hour and the cold rain there are several tables full of people. We get a paper on the way back, missing the Shell station and stopping in the bright yellow no-name place after that. But at least they had a paper.

I felt bad when the little horse came over for a treat and I had nothing but my camera.

We spend the afternoon alternating between the puzzle, the paper and email. We get a message from Tom and Shirley who say they are enjoying our recommendation of Camp Wood and Cooksey RV Park as a spot to visit on their way to Big Bend. I keep having to takes breaks from the puzzle as my neck is killing me. That same sharp pain like a nerve is back. Hmmm. On one of my breaks I make Broccoli-Chicken Soup for us to enjoy this evening. We open a bottle of Kendall-Jackson Riesling that we've been carrying around with us all year. From 8:00 to 10:00 I watch the Kennedy Center Honors as Bruce Springsteen is one of the honorees. But I also enjoyed Robert De Niro, Dave Brubeck (89 year old jazz great), Grace Bumbry (diva), and Mel Brooks. I got a kick out of Jon Stewart's, a fellow New Jersey guy, comments about Bruce Springsteen. He said when you hear his songs you aren't a loser (even if you're driving an old brown Gremlin); you are a character in an epic poem about a loser!

Miniatures Donkeys at Bastrop RV Park

It's 7:40 p.m. and 42 degrees with 86% humidity.

Broccoli-Chicken Soup

12 chicken thighs, skinned (about 3 pounds)
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 0.6-ounce envelope Italian salad dressing mix
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups water
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup catsup

3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed (3 cups)
2 cups frozen small whole onions (1/2 of a 20-ounce package—I use chopped onions instead ½ to one cup.)
1 10-ounce package frozen cut broccoli (or chopped)
1 medium green pepper, cut into cubes
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (5 ounces)

In 4 ½-quart Dutch oven slowly brown chicken thighs, half at a time in the hot oil. Remove chicken, drain fat from pan. In same Dutch oven combine dry salad dressing mix ad salt. Stir in the 3 cups water, wine, and catsup. Return the browned chicken thighs to pain. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add potatoes and onions. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes longer. Add frozen broccoli, the green pepper and mushrooms. Dover and simmer 5 to 10 minutes longer or till vegetables are tender. You can thicken with flour and water at the end for a stew but we like it more as a soup. I add Tony’s Creole Seasoning or Lawry’s seasoned salt to give it a little zip.

1 comment:

Flat Creek Farm said...

AWwww, love the little horses & donkeys! I have two mini donkeys (Ruby & Gracie). Patti sent me to your blog to see this post... enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing. I may have to visit that park someday. Your soup sounds yummy too. Happy New Year, and nice to "meet" you! -Tammy in MO