Sunday, July 9, 2017

My Great Virginia Beach Trip: Beach Fun, Climate Change and Food!




My Great Virginia Beach Trip:
Beach Fun, Climate Change and Food!

Early in June, I took a six hour flight to Virginia Beach to visit my dear friend, Morgan. When I stepped off the plane into the portal, I was shocked by the warmth (at 12:45am) and at the humidity. The day after, we had lunch at one of Guy Fieri's restaurants, which was excellent, by-the-way, and then toured the USS Wisconsin, a battleship, and oh my lord, I was soaking with sweat!  Mind you, I am used to California's relative "dry heat", just like they say in Arizona.  92 degrees f with 88% humidity was quite a climate change for me!  Later in the week, however, a series of thunderstorms made their way through, as they are today, and the lightning and thunder and downpours reminded me of Arizona's monsoons.  Very warm, very humid but great fun to watch and listen! 




While I was there, Morgan took me to a couple of different beaches.  One was a very popular beach and I enjoyed taking my photo with the iconic bronze statue of Poseidon.  




In addition, Morgan took me to another beach where I swam in Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic all at once.  I think, anyway.  The water was like bath water and we witnessed a small, beautiful wedding on the beach.  I swam and played in the water like a little kid.  



Those who know me well, know that I love the beach, which is my happy place. And now you know, too!

Now, as a daily Thank You to my hosts, I made dinner for my hosts each night.  I seared steaks and oven roasted potatoes the first night. Delightful, filling and we had leftovers for another night.  Simply seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried rosemary and thyme and tossed in extra virgin olive oil, I oven roasted the potatoes (baby new potatoes cut in wedges) for 25 minutes at 400 degrees until crisp and golden.   


Isn't this the cleanest oven you have Ever seen?


I simply seasoned the ribeye steaks with salt and pepper and let them come to room temperature. I seared them and plated them with the potatoes after they had rested a few minutes and served. 

But first, I seasoned the oil in the skillet over low heat with crushed garlic cloves. 

The seared steaks resting.


And Served!  

Next, Seasoned, Seared and Oven Finished Chicken Breasts with Mrs. M's rice pilaf and southern green beans. 



I only have two photos of this dish. I lost the photo of the plated dish.  So sorry!  I halved and quartered chicken breasts and seasoned them with evoo (extra virgin olive oil), salt, pepper, Italian dried seasonings and a little extra dried rosemary. I seasoned the evoo in the skillet with crushed garlic cloves over low heat, removed the garlic and raised the heat to medium-high.   I gave each piece of chicken a good sear until golden brown on both sides, then oven finished.  Tender and juicy interior and flavorful exterior crust is the delicious result. 



This was a tag team meal.  Mrs. M made rice pilaf (above, which smelled insanely delicious and tasted just as awesome!) along with green beans sauteed in butter and garlic. The aroma was just like My Grandma P made.  Simply amazing. 

I wish I had a plated photo for you.  I took one but seem to have lost that.  My apologies.  I am sure you can imagine how beautiful the plating was, chicken resting atop the pilaf and the beans cascading down the other side of the pilaf.  

Finally, my crowning dish!  

Steak Fajitas!




This dish, too, was a bit of a team effort.  Morgan and I purchased an onion, guacamole and salsa.  We already had the steak, leftovers from Wednesday night and, Mrs. M had halved red and green bell peppers left over from a recent meal.  Incredible pantry and team meal!

While I sliced the onion and steaks, Morgan sliced the peppers expertly. I added some evoo to mister skillet, the same skillet I'd been using all week, Thanks, Mrs. M, over medium-high heat and added the onions and peppers seasoned simply with salt and pepper. I sauteed those for three minutes to allow the onions to sweat their sweet juices and then I added the thinly slivered steaks. I added dried oregano, thyme, paprika and cayenne powder, just a half teaspoon of each.  We were going for mild that night, not on fire.  


I'd added the onions and slivered peppers first with salt and pepper.  Sauteed for three minutes over medium-high heat. 



Next, I'd added the slivered steaks and sauteed the mix until the onions were getting translucent, the peppers starting to soften and the steaks just a little pink.  



We'd added some of the fajita mixture to a flour tortilla (that was my choice, btw) with a dollop of guacamole and a couple of drops of salsa. All of this was put together in 30 minutes.  A true thirty minute meal!  

I hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane.  I had a great time and loved cooking for my hosts. Y'all know me, I cannot go Anywhere without cooking!



As always, Thank You for your time, viewer/readership and consideration.  

Now! Go cook for someone you love!  


*Note: Coca Cola Company is not a sponsor of my humble blog.  This big chair was on the beach sidewalk.