Tuesday, October 17, 2017


These are two more photos from Gregg's sister, who spent time recently with this little sweetie.  She was helping her with the latest puzzle.

"Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen."
~Orhan Pamuk~

Monday, October 16, 2017


Viennese Sausages with Cheesy Mashed Sweet Potatoes 

We have been enjoying our Blue Apron meals for several months now.  They are excellent but we do have our favorites.  Those favorites end up on my blog.

We made a couple of changes.  Gregg does not like sweet potatoes, so we fixed two kinds of mash today (made this for the first time on 10-4-17), the sweet plus regular.  I am not sure what kind they were as we had them already in the vegetable bin, just a white potato.

Where the original ingredient list calls for a bunch of kale, neither of us like it so we substituted a quarter of a cabbage, and prepared it as directed.

You can find the original recipe here.

Viennese Beef Sausages with Cheesy Mashed Sweet Potato

Time from prep to finish: 30 to 40 minutes.
Serves: 2

2 Viennese Beef Sausages made with natural pork casings (if you can't find Viennese use your personal favorite)
4 ounces of Sweet Peppers
2 cloves of Garlic
1 bunch of kale (this is where we changed it to a 1/4 of a whole cabbage)
1 Sweet Potato and/or 1 white potato
1 bunch of Parsley
1 Shallot
1 tablespoon of Red Wine Vinegar
2 ounces of Monterey Jack Cheese

Step-by-step instructions:

Prepare the ingredients:

Heat a small pot of salted water to boiling on high.  Wash and dry the fresh produce.

Peel and large dice the sweet/white potato.  

Medium dice the cheese.

Peel and thinly slice the shallot.

Remove and discard the kale stems; roughly chop the leaves (or do as we did and use a quarter of a whole cabbage, take the core out and roughly chop the leaves).

Peel and roughly chop the garlic.

Cut off and discard the pepper stems.  Quarter the peppers lengthwise, then remove and discard the ribs and seeds.

Roughly chop the parsley leaves and stems.

Cut the sausages on an angle into 2-inch pieces.

Cook and mash the sweet/white potato:

Add the sweet/white potato to the pot of boiling water. use two small pots for each if cooking both.  Cook 12 to 14 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork.  Turn off the heat.  Drain thoroughly and return to the pot.  Add the cheese and season with salt and pepper.  Using a fork, mash to your desired consistency.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Brown the sausages:

While the potato cooks, in a medium pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot.  Add the sausages and cook, turning occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Leaving any brown bits (fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate.  Set aside in a warm place.

Start the vegetables:

While the potato continues to cook, add the
shallot to the pan of reserved fond; season with salt and pepper.  (If the pan seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil.)  Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly browned and slightly softened.  Add the kale (or cabbage if using), garlic and peppers; season with salt and pepper.  Cook stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the kale (or cabbage) has wilted.

Finish the vegetables and sausages:

Add the browned sausages and 1/2 cup of water to the pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until the water has cooked off.  Add the vinegar (be careful as the vinegar may splatter), and cook stirring constantly 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined.  Turn off the heat; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Plaste your dish:

Divide the mashed potato and finished vegetables and sausages between 2 dishes.  Garnish with the parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.


The only Viennese anything we have ever had are those little Viennese cocktail sausages you get in a can, back in the day.  These Viennese sausages were very good, a different consistency to what we have eaten before.  They are made by a company who sell specifically to Blue Apron, and I am not sure you can buy them elsewhere.  We will probably be using a different sausage at another time, that is if we can't get the Viennese Beef Sausage variety.

The dark green of the kale does add a pretty look to the final appearance of the dish.  Due to our own personal taste and even though the colors were more subdued, we felt the cabbage was an excellent substitute and one we preferred.

Use the addition of salt at your own discretion.  We don't add as much as is called for in the original recipe.

Friday, October 13, 2017


I have a doozy of a cold so if your comment is late in appearing, it is because I have the pace of a snail 🐌 right now. Thank you all for visiting and thank you everyone who leaves a comment.  I probably won’t be posting again until Monday. 

The Elizabethan Gardens' website can be found here.

Right outside the gift shop/entrance there was a very large selection of garden ornaments.  I would have enjoyed taking a few of these home but managed to keep myself in check.  We are downsizing and trying not to add anything else right now.

They were fun to look at though.

So, I tore myself away from all the garden goodies and started to explore.

These beautiful gardens can be found within the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, on 10 acres next to the  Roanoke Sound.  There are hundreds of native plants, and many others from around the world.  We didn't see any wildlife apart from a few squirrels, but it is home to a variety of birds and animals.

The Elizabethan Gardens are only yards away from the original homes of the 1580's Lost Colonists.  In the photo below is the building that contains the gift shop where we bought our tickets.

The following photo showing the iron gates were once placed at the French Embassy in Washington DC, and they gave them to the garden as a gift. 

We came across a statue of Virginia Dare.  The original sculptor's vision carved her as an adult, with fishing nets draped around her waist.  He saw in his mind-eye, what he believed she would look like had she grown up on Roanoke Island.  

Virginia Dare was the first baby born to the colonists in the New World, and was only an infant when she and the other colonists disappeared.  (There is a very interesting history here.  And there is also an urban legend of Virginia Dare and the White Doe here.  As legends often are, it is a rather sad and fanciful tale.)

This statue itself has an interesting history as it was carved in 1859 in Rome and was eventually donated to the gardens.  First, however, it survived a Spanish shipwreck, was a controversial display in the Raleigh State Hall of History, and then had a long stay with the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, and original author of the Lost Colony play, Paul Green.  There is a popular belief that Virginia Dare survived and was assimilated into the local Native American culture, that maybe others were too.

The Garden itself was officially opened to the public on August 18th, 1960, on what would have been Virginia Dare's 373rd birthday.

There were a lot of nooks and crannies to find, and more flowers to share, but I will leave those until next time.

If you would like to see my other posts from the garden, you can click on the label below this post that reads, "The Elizabethan Garden_Manteo_NC.”

I have also included two maps of the area and where it can be located.