Note: Today’s photos were taken and provided by a professional photographer, Chris Kelly, whom we met in Tuscany during our three-month stay. We were impressed by his skills and excited to share his photos. See the post from ten years ago for more details.
This morning, as I began to prepare this post, when I looked at the date on my laptop, I realized that we are leaving two weeks from today. We’ll be back in the US in about seven weeks from now and will be staying to see family for about six weeks, and then we’ll be on our way to South America for an extended stay. How long that will be is yet to be determined.
We decided to make our stay in South America for only as long as it appeals to us. It will be for at least three months, maybe six or more months, depending on what we plan after the Galapagos cruise. While in the US, we’ll book a holiday home in Ecuador to round out the 90 days we’re allowed to stay, visa-wise. From there, we shall see.
All we know for sure after the South America stay is that we’ll be returning to Marloth Park, South Africa, on June 15, 2024—eleven months from now. We’re unsure at this point how long we’ll stay there either. The visa situation is always an issue we must address within 90 days in most countries.
This morning, I got busy preparing the dish below for tonight’s dinner for our guests, Karen and Rich. It’s our favorite dish that we haven’t made in over a year. So, I made a triple batch using two large baking pans, having plenty for tonight with leftovers for Sunday. I’ll freeze the second pan for some time in the next two weeks, enough to get us through another three nights. We don’t mind delicious leftovers several nights in a row.
When I mention a delicious dish in a post, I often get countless requests for the recipe. To be proactive, I posted it below. Today, so we’d have plenty of leftovers. This recipe is sufficient for four people, and depending on portion size may have some left for the next dinner or lunch.
Jess’s Low Carb Sausage, Mushroom, and Chicken Casserole
This hearty and delicious dish tastes similar to chicken and dressing. I am sure that this would be terrific with turkey, also.
- 3 -4 cups diced cooked chicken
- 1 lb cheesy sausages
- 1 stalk celery, chopped fine
- 1 tablespoon onion, chopped
- 1/2 lb mushroom, sliced
- 8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
- 16 ounces frozen cauliflower, cooked well and drained
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup parmesan cheese shredded
- salt (for the top)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- paprika (optional)
- Brown the sausage with the celery, onion, and mushrooms.
- Stir the softened cream cheese into the sausage mixture until well blended.
- Coarsely chop the cooked frozen cauliflower.
- Mix all ingredients and spread in a greased 9″x13″ baking dish.
- Cover with Parmesan cheese
- If desired, dust the top with paprika.
- Bake, covered with foil, at 350º for about 30 minutes.
- Uncover and bake until hot and bubbly, and the top is lightly browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Also, this morning I also made a huge salad with colorful baby bell peppers, red onion, celery, tomato, carrots, and romaine lettuce in bite-sized pieces. Ever go to a restaurant and are served a salad with huge pieces, hard to handle? This frustrates me since cutting the lettuce isn’t always easy if the salad is on a small plate or in a bowl.
I didn’t make a dessert this time since our guests have to leave right after dinner to return to their home, two hours from here. No doubt, as always, we’ll have a great evening, although it will be short. This will be the last time we see them until the next time we return to Florida or, if down the road, they’ll visit us in South Africa. In the interim, surely we’ll stay in touch, as we always do.
That’s it for today, folks. Our guests will be here in about three hours, and we’re all looking forward to being together once again.
Photo from ten years ago today, July 14, 2013: