Fishing in the Dark

One of the perks of living this close to the Gulf is the abundance of fishing we get to do. We are horrible fisher people. We can’t catch anything really work keeping when we fish from the marina or piers, but the boys love it and I enjoy watching the sunset. So it’s a win-win for all of us.

One night we took my Grams out to the Panama City Marina so the men/boys could fish and we could get her out of the house. Miraculously, for Florida, it was not very humid and very nice. We didn’t die sitting outside for once. And the sunset made it worth it. If you look closely, those tiny little buildings is actually Panama City Beach. 

Okay, so this one does not include a sunset or even the Gulf, but dang I love these three. (This is Deerpoint Lake, still no luck fishing fresh water.)

Father’s Day weekend we took the family and Grams out to Mexico Beach Pier to do some fishing and relaxing. It was pretty busy that night, and Grams got to see a few little sharks up close and personal. We still didn’t catch anything worth keeping, even with all the junk we brought to fish. But any night with my crew is a night well spent.

We were even treated with a little visitor..Hello Mr. Sea Turtle.

 

And another beautiful Florida sunset. 

Sometimes the best memories are right outside your front door. You don’t need a lot of money or have to travel far if you know where to look. With a family of 5, we are always looking for free fun. Get outside, get some fresh air, and make some memories. Those are the ones they won’t forget.

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Bubble Up Breakfast Bake

I love Sunday mornings. It’s the one day out of the week we all sit down to a family breakfast. Without fail, we always have a Sunday breakfast. So, I am challenged to find new recipes to cook for our family.

This Sunday we are having a simple breakfast casserole that takes minimal prep time but max flavor. This Bubble Up Breakfast Bake is so tasty and so easy to put together.

Ingredients:

1 package of breakfast sausage

1 jumbo container of refrigerator biscuits

6 eggs

1-1/2 cups of cheese

1 small can of diced chilies

1/4 cup of milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Cut each biscuit into 8 pieces. Layer the bottom of the pan.

Cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink. Top biscuits with sausage. Add cheese and green chilies.

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour over the sausage mix.

Cook for 30 minutes or until knife comes out clean. We topped ours with salsa. For a family of five (three of them are teenagers!) there was more than enough.

Enjoy your Sunday!!

A bouquet of beauty in Florida Humidity

I love peonies. Just head over heels in love. They are beautiful, big blooms and soft and sweet. They can survive hard winters and make amazing bouquets.

Sadly, I live in Florida and we don’t have cold enough winters to keep peonies thriving. So what’s a girl to do?

We plant Ranunculus instead! Deemed the Southern Peonies, they can survive in colder winters, but thrive in the mild winters and spring. Just as pretty and feminine as peonies, just more suitable to Florida’s climate.

Hydrangeas will make an appearance along side my azaleas and Ranunculus. I can’t wait to get planting! Now if these thunderstorms would move on out, I can sweat my booty off while gardening!

Crunchy French Toast

Dang it’s been cold here in Florida! Today was a dreary, cold day. After all the Saturday chores were done, breakfast for dinner sounded like a fantastic idea.

I love breakfast food, just not always at breakfast time! French toast is one of those easy meals that can look so fancy. I took The Pioneer Woman’s French toast recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It and modified it according to the ingredients I had at home and the timeframe I had to cook.

Ingredients:

12 slices of bread (any kind of bread you want works)

1/2 cup of milk

6 eggs

1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/3 cup of sugar

1-1/2 cup of Honey Nut Cheerios

Directions:

Heat a skillet on medium heat.

Scramble eggs in a pie plate. Add the milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix well.

Slice bread into three sticks per slice.

While the skillet is heating up, pulse the cereal until it is ground up but not too fine. Place in a different pie plate. Mix in the sugar.

Soak break in the egg mixture, then coat in the cereal.

Coat the skillet in butter. Add the bread and cook until both sides are golden.

Serve with sprinkled powdered sugar and top with your favorite syrup. 🙂

Breakfast is good any time of the day!

Chilaquiles

Starting off the week with a bang! The first recipe I tackled from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It! was breakfast. We love Mexican food and it’s good anytime of day.

I took the recipe from pages 8-9 and modified it for our family.

Ingredients:

Corn tortillas (cut into triangles)

Coconut oil (for frying)

Ground breakfast sausage

1 chopped green bell pepper

Eggs

Taco Seasoned Shredded Cheese

Salsa for toppings

Directions:

Heat enough coconut oil in a pan to fry the tortilla triangles. You can cut as many as you want for each plate. Fry in the oil about a minute on each side, just until almost brown. Season with salt and set aside.

Use the remaining coconut oil to sauté the peppers until soft. Set aside.

Brown sausage. When no longer pink, toss in the peppers to mix. Set aside.

Using the leftover oil from the sausage, fry your eggs. I like the flavor the eggs get from the sausage pieces leftover.

How to assemble:

Place tortillas on a plate. Top with meat mixture then your eggs. Sprinkle cheese.

*You can add enchilada sauce (like the cookbook recipe does) or any other toppings you like. You can also add more veggies and omit the meat for a vegetarian style breakfast.

My picky boyfriend and kids loved it! We will definitely be cooking this one again.

Find me on Instagram for pics not featured on the blog! Roadtripkitchenblog

Cooking like The Pioneer Woman

I got the Ree Drummond cookbook from my honey for our anniversary. I love cooking and and The Pioneer Woman products. So, of course I must try all the recipes!

This year I’m going to attempt her recipes with some variations of my own. I plan on spending more time talking about travel and tips when traveling with kids and the best and worse of Panama City Spring Break travel.

So please join me weekly for new attempts of cooking like The Pioneer Woman, getting out into the world some and how to sane while doing it!

A Victorian Christmas

Every year we go camping and see the Christmas lights. This year we went to Tifton, GA to the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historical Museum for a Victorian Christmas.

We spent the day exploring the museum and learning about the agriculture of the 1800s. At night we took the Polar Express to the North Pole to see Santa.

We slept in a tent (and boy was it cold!) which gave my kids the same experiences that I had as a kid. I love taking my kids on new adventures.

Tifton, GA is about three hours from home. The Museum is really neat and there are some great guides to explain all the buildings. My kids even learned how they made corn meal.

The gift shop offered turpentine, local honey and canned goods. Totally with the trip and the cold nights.

Where’s your favorite place to see Christmas lights? Any family traditions that you are passing down to your kids?

Homemade Chicken and Dumplings

It’s actually cold enough for frost to cover the ground here in the panhandle of Florida. And between work and Christmas shopping and baking, this family needed some good ole southern comfort food. My boyfriend loves chicken and Dumplings. He found a video on Facebook (Suzy Shirey Tidwell: Hoyt Tidwells Chicken and Dumplings video) and we followed that recipe. If you can’t find it on Facebook it is below. It’s simmering on the stove right now and I can’t wait to dig in.

The few things we did differently is we took 4 split chicken breasts and one large container of chicken broth and slow cooked them in the crock pot overnight. Leave the skin on the meat to make the broth richer.

Save the broth from the chicken to use as the base for the chicken and Dumplings.

Set aside the deboned, shredded chicken and save until ready.

Add 10 chicken bullion cubes to the broth and bring to a bowl.

Mix up: (by hand. DO NOT USE A SPOON)

3 cups of flour

1 egg

1/4 cup of shortening

1 cup of water

Add more flour as needed to make a stiff ball of dough.

Sprinkle flour on a pastry sheet and roll each ball out until thin. Using a pizza cutter, cut dough into long strips lengthwise and width wise. When the broth is boiling, add the Dumplings one mound at a time. Add pepper to taste.

Each time you add a mound of dough, shake the pot. Do not use spoons.

After all dough is added, shake one more time, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Add chicken and stir with a wooden spoon. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve with your favorite bread and enjoy!!

Garden of Eden Trail, Florida

It’s been just beautiful here in Florida. Warm days and cool nights make for some great hiking weather. Today my family and I hiked through the Garden of Eden Trail in the Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve. It was an amazing hike but not for the faint of heart.


3.75 miles round trip showcasing some of Florida’s natural foliage and wildlife. This hike is strenuous and I would not recommend for small children. 

*This novice hiker nearly puked on some of the inclines but I pushed through and feel amazing for it. And the River Loop is definitely worth it.


Check out the National Conservancy website for more information on Florida hikes. 

While I miss the mountains, this was an excellent hike and worth the trip. 

Garden of Eden is north of Bristol, Florida (one hour west of Tallahassee)

For more Florida travels and recipes, please click the follow button! 

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I love fall. I love the crisp cool air, the rustling of the leaves and all the all actitivies; like going to the pumpkin patch. Last weekend we went and picked out pumpkins. One of the best things about fresh pumpkins is the seeds. Each year I try a few different varieties of spices. Usually one sweet and one salty. And this year we had plenty to roast. 

Before you add any flavors to your seeds, you want to dry them out. You can either set them out for about 24 hours on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, or roast them in the oven for about 350 degrees for an hour. 


After they are dried out, then you can add the different spices. 

Pumpkin Pie Spice Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients:

1/4 cup of brown sugar

1tsp cinnamon 

1/2tsp nutmeg

1/2tsp ground cloves 

2 Tbsp olive oil 

Directions:

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with partchment paper. Mix spices and brown sugar in a small bowl. Toss pumpkin seeds in oil. Add sugar mixture to the seeds. Stir. Add seeds to cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Store in an airtight container. 


Traditional Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and Pepper

1tsp garlic salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Toss seeds with olive oil. Add garlic salt, dash of salt, and pepper to taste. With this recipe you can add as much as you want depending on your preferences. Roast for 20 minutes. Stir halfway through. Store in an airtight container. 
Happy Halloween! 🍁🎃👻🍂