Thursday, August 7, 2014

Key Largo-Lost in a Hunter S. Thompson Novel

"The Edge...there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over ".       Hunter S. Thompson

From the moment we arrived at this RV Park we felt like we had stepped into a Hunter S. Thompson novel.  Everyone had a story-the blond from Cuba; the Mickey Spillane type taxi driver from Brooklyn; the long haired surfer looking owner; the lovers who came out of their room at sunset every night.  Spend a few weeks here and you can write the great American novel..or at least a few really good short stories.  Seriously-everyone was very cool and laid back and our time camping here kind of grew on us.

When we first pulled in we thought oh oh ,it's really a trailer park where people live and work and not an rv resort.  Turns out it's a weekend type resort-most of the spots are occupied by permanent residents who live and work in Miami and come down to Key Largo for the week-end.  They keep their campers and boats here and have a really sweet little place to stay and it's on the on the water.

It's clean,only 1 bathroom though for 30 plus sites; the owners are doing what they can a little at a time to upgrade. They take good  care of it and their guests. While staying at private parks is usually not our thing we definitely would come back here-the people are very interesting and very real-no fake personalities-what you see is what you get.

Our little friend catching some rays on the dock

We spent most of our time sitting here under the shade with the fans and breeze off the water cooling us.

Hailey got her Key Largo groove on !

Heading for a dive off the patio to catch her Wubba in the water.

This dog appears to be the captain taking his owners out for a spin !

For the short time we were here, 3 days, we witnessed some gorgeous sunsets-everyone heads down to the docks at sunset time with their drink and partner of choice-very laid back.

On the morning we left, the bay was eerily calm and glass like-so pretty and the water was so still that you could look straight down and see the fish-like being in a glass bottom boat.

We haven't been to the Keys since the early 80's, so I don't know why we were so surprised at how much it has grown, but we were surprised.  Guess we expected the quiet mellow life that we remembered-but everything changes.  People are still really nice and very welcoming everywhere we went and oh so willing to share their life story with you. And we heard them all !

We are driving down to Key West and enjoying the gorgeous scenery as we go.  Hailey is dreaming of manatees and swimming with dolphins-what a life.

 I started baking again on the road !  But let me tell you about this cool product I found at Target to make pizza with.  Usually I make my own pizza dough but just didn't have the energy or time to wait for the rise. So I spotted this Flatout Artisan Thin pizza crust and grabbed it immediately.  It's perfect for those of us on the road who like good cooking but don't want to spend so much time in the little Roadtrek kitchen. The directions suggest you prebake the crust to crisp it for about 4 minutes-next time I will crisp it for about 6-8 minutes.  Then add the sauce,seasoning,toppings and cheese-pop it in the oven or on the grill and voila in about 30 minutes total prep and cook time you have a pretty good tasting pizza.  Yes, I know it's not homemade but it's pretty darn close ! Their website lists all their products and some great recipe ideas.  Try it and let me know what you think.

This was before I baked it-sorry no after pictures-it was so good we scarfed it down before I had a chance to take pictures !

Flourless Chocolate Raspberry Cakes

I know it's crazy that I got back into the mood for baking in 90 degree heat and 99% humidity-what can I say ?  When the mood strikes, I go with it !

These are great for the "on the road" life style.  Easy to make,minimal ingredients and they stay so delicious and moist for days-if they aren't all devoured immediately after baking them.

Flourless Chocolate Raspberry Cakes
from the Kitchen McCabe
Serves 12
Serve these little raspberry chocolate cakes with a dollop of whipped cream or a side of fresh raspberries or both !
8 oz. Chocolate Chips, 60% cacao content or higher
14 T. (1 3/4 sticks) Butter, diced
2 T. Seedless Raspberry Jam(or I  use just fresh raspberries crushed in a sieve to strain the seeds out-reduces a little bit of the sugar)
4 large Eggs
1/4 c. Sugar
1 T. Vanilla Extract
Powdered sugar, for dusting
12 Raspberries, for garnishing
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a non-stick mini bundt cake pan(12 mini bundts).
Place the chocolate, butter, and jam in a saucepan. Melt over medium/low heat, stirring well, until chocolate is melted and the mixture is well combined. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm, stirring often, about 10 minutes.
While the chocolate mixture is cooling, whisk the eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the cooled chocolate mixture.
Divide the batter among prepared dishes. Bake cakes until a tester inserted into the center comes out with some moist batter still attached, about 20 minutes.
Let cool slightly and then invert the cakes onto a sheet of parchment.
Dust cakes with powdered sugar and top each with a raspberry.
Serve cakes warm, room temperature, or cold.

Bon Appetit and Happy Trails to you my little road warriors,chefs and bakers !  Safe travels.

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