Thursday, August 23, 2012

Labor Day Low Country Boil!!

Well, I had to leave Paradise this morning, but fortunately I will be heading back on September 1st for a week! YAY!  Monday was rainy, but Tuesday and Wednesday were absolutely gorgeous!  The air was fresh and clean, there was a glorious breeze and the clouds were outstanding.  Of course, the emerald green waves were wonderful too.  We had rougher surf than usual with red flags on a couple of days, but the surfers had a great time.  We got to see our neighborhood dolphins swimming by and the pelicans....golly I love watching the wildlife at the shore.

Roberta and I had lunch at Mulhollows Bistro 215 on Monday when we first arrived in town, and as usual it was great!  They never disappoint, and those warm chocolate chip cookies after lunch.....well, what can I say nothing could be better!  We will be there again on the First Tracey!

We also had breakfast at Harbor Docks in Destin.  They have a great breakfast special which includes fresh mini banana muffins, biscuits, scrambled eggs, your choice of bacon or (fabulous) sausage, plain or cheese grits and coffee, all for SEVEN dollars!  You can't beat it!!!  And the view, are sitting on the inner harbor watching the boaters and the view ... so relaxing.  Service is great and they are such wonderful people.  The owners of Harbor Docks are so community minded and do so much for the community that I love supporting their efforts.  We had Thanksgiving Dinner there last year (donations go to Second Harvest and Habitat for Humanity - over 200 volunteers serve it!) and they raise thousands for these two local charities.  They also have an event which sponsors under privileged children to a fishing trip each year!  Love it!

Another great place (little more upscale) is Marina Cafe.  Great gourmet foods, sushi, unbelievably magnificent seafood and freshly made pizzas!  The entire back of the restaurant is glass and faces the harbor...again a wonderful view...especially at sunset!  WOW!

If it sounds like I did nothing but eat, that is not quite true.  We usually had one meal out every day, and then sat on the balcony in the late evening having some fresh fruit, assorted cheeses and a little wine...aaaaahhhhh...what a life!  Spoiled?  Yes, I am!  Loving every minute of it too!

Okaloosa Island is only six miles from Destin, so you are on this quiet, peaceful strip of land which is almost completely residential, but just minutes from anything you can want/dream of just up the road.
It is a great place for a quiet escape or a marvelous adventure!

We tried a couple new foods on our trip this time.  Roberta had never had Grouper Cheeks (believe me, they are wonderful), so we had an order of them, and they were wonderful.  I had never had fried Mullet, and found it much less "fishy" than I would have expected.  It was light, flaky and delicious.

We are excited about Jackie coming down next week and will share our paradise with her.  I will probably be doing some cooking.  Jackie always brags on it.  I will probably do a Low Country Boil because that Gulf Shrimp is totally fabulous!  What goes into a Low Country Boil you ask?

First you need a LARGE type of stock pot..

Add water, about 1/8 to 1/4 cup Old Bay Seasoning and about 1/8 cup salt
Depending on the size of your crowd
  1 fresh Lemon, quartered
   1-2 pounds of new potatoes (you can quarter red potatoes or yukons, but the tiny new potatoes
              are actually the best)
   1 Large Onion quartered
   COOK potatoes until they begin to soften, then Add
  1-2 pounds of Andouille or other sausage (polska kielbasa or other sausage) cut in 2-3 inch pcs
   goes in next for 3-5 minutes before adding
1-2 ears Freshly shucked corn on the cob per person
    allowing another 3-4 minutes
FINALLY add the shrimp and just cook until it becomes pink! DO NOT OVERCOOK!

Quickly remove all from water and serve immediately!  It is great!

Have a wonderful Labor Day Holiday, and always remember

GOD BLESS!  Peace, Love and Joy!!!

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