A little Greek

Missing the breakfasts I used to eat in Athens at the Plaka Hotel close to Monastiraki station, I was inspired to have a similar breakfast.

Greek olives, lemon juice, tomatoes, English cucumbers, a pinch of salt and pepper, and (this is key) Greek olive oil. Tossed together in a bowl.

Next to rustic bread, a slice of bacon and breakfast is served. Feta cheese could be added, but I wasn’t sure if there were any good ones here. The feta cheese that came with this in Athens did not have that gamey taste. Leaving it out was fine. It is healthier.

Sipping tea after breakfast was perfectly acceptable since a cappuccino machine wasn’t available.

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Garlic Shrimp with a Healthy Twist

Dinner tonight is a bit well… experimental. I acquired the recipe for Aloha Market Garlic Shrimp long time ago in Honolulu. It’s a simple recipe. Garlic in a little oil, butter, shrimp, sea salt and pepper. Toss all together and put over a bed of steaming white rice.

And it is delicious! But I need to eat a bit healthier. So garlic (lots!! Chopped in to tiny pieces… minced), olive oil, salt pepper, shrimp, baby bella mushrooms, some kale…. And yum!!! Over a bed of rice….

Join me?

Two Beaches

A cruise stop in Sint Maarten led me to googling where to go. A 15 minute walk to Phillipsburg, a 30 minute $3 bus ride later, we were in Mullet Bay. The water was crystal blue, the sand soft and white. It had sprinkled a little in the morning, but it was soon gone.

We spent hours lounging in the sea while the baggage spent time lounging on our $15 loungers (2 of them) under the umbrella. (Note: someone paid $10 for the same set up, but that was because they were only staying 1 hour 45 minutes. )

The tours started coming in after 30 minutes of almost no one there. Catamaran, sailboat, water taxi, yacht… buses… but nonetheless, the water was clear, beautiful and warm. And the people we encountered (since I had to ask where we can take the bus to Mullet Bay) were quite nice on the Dutch side. We never made it to the French side.

However, 15 minutes away…(yes! We walked it!) is the famous Maho Beach. Here is what I saw under a grass shack lunch place…

There were bodies on every inch of sand. It was crowded and noisy. But if you like that, hey! This is your place.

We ate at Driftwood, that’s that grass hut shanty bar.

The wings were delicious. The iced tea was a cold Arizona tea. Couldn’t believe I drank it all! Needed the sugar, I suppose. The wings were bbq wings. They had just a tad bit of heat. It was enough for me. Thank God I didn’t order the spicy. Whew! We were sweating already from the heat. The wings made us sweat more.

We took a $4 per person ride back to the cruise ship terminal. Some didn’t want to pay the extra $2 so they got off at Front Street in Phillipsburg. They were in for a hot 20 to 30 minute walk. My darling SO was too tired. Yes!

Goal!

Last year, I was looking for battered and fried conch. SO wouldn’t let me get it last year. This year, stopped at Nassau and I went on my own to Sharkeez…

Also had some conch chowdah! Yum!

Of course, it came with the requisite frozen mango and rum treat! It ain’t the Bahamas if it ain’t got rum in it! Pretty pricey lunch for one… it’s a treat, okay?

Yard long beans

My brother and his wife gave me a bundle of yard long beans from his garden. And, of course, that’s dinner tonight.

Cut the yard long beans or if there are no yard long beans, green beans will do as well. About the length of a finger is good. Remove the tips and the ends. Slice onions and garlic. Heat up oil in a pan on high heat. Throw in the onions and garlic and stir fry until fragrant. Then throw in the washed beans. Stir fry for about five minutes until beans are tender. Splash a dash of soy sauce and stir fry one more minute. Add a gauging pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Stir fry for another minute. Serve with rice!

Asian or Garlic Chives

Bought the Asian chive flower heads from the Asian store. And I was planning on cooking then with eggs. However, some shiitake mushrooms beckoned. And a stir fry was born. 

Stir fry a bit of pork in a hot pan with oil, garlic salt and black pepper. Then add a can of sliced bamboo mushrooms. Then add sliced fresh shiitake and the chives. Stir fry until shiitake is done. Add oyster sauce and crushed cayenne peppers. 

A little note. Shiitake, the fresh mushrooms, work better in stir fries whereas the dried ones work better in soups. Their consistency has changed, you see, once they are dried. Yes, you do have to soak them in water. 

Not only that, but shiitake has a distinct smell to them. Earthy, sort of nutty… It’s not like the button, enoki or oyster mushrooms. 

So, if you do not like the shiitake smell, substitute them for oyster mushrooms instead.

Delicious! Serve with a side of brown rice. 

Garden and Food

I bought something like these during the holidays last year.

These are Japanese garnet yams. Inside are bright yellow yummies. Well, when they’re cooked. Unfortunately, I didn’t cook a few.

And over the winter, they sprouted. So, in the spring, I tosses them into a pot outside my kitchen.

And they grew into these. Well, instant veggies! I take the tender tops and some of the young leaves and wash them.

See, those pretty greens? They’re just like spinach! Today this is lunch. Yam leaves and oyster mushrooms cooked with instant bowl ramen. 

Ah! Completely satisfying!

So, if the yams you bought from Thanksgiving starts to sprout, plant them in a pot and harvest the tender tops and some leaves! 

You can also toss them into pasta!