Winter Scenes from Naples Florida

Here is a photo gallery of Naples Florida in late February 2020. Pictures taken at The Naples Pier Beach and the Naples Botanical Garden.

Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup & fresh Italian bread

This is a great easy to make hearty soup for a cold winter day or a Meatless Monday!

This would also be an awesome meal to prepare for St. Patrick’s Day, which is just around the corner!

Cook / Prep Time – about an hour

Servings – 4


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes (I used the baby ones)
  • 1 1/2 lb leeks (white and pale green parts) washed and sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the onions, celery, leeks and the shallot. Cover and and cook from 7 to 10 minutes, stirring often. Do not brown them. Add the stock, potatoes, bay leaf and half of the chopped chives. Cover and reduce to low heat and cook for another 30 – 40 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

Remove and discard the bay leaf. Turn the heat off and add the milk ,half and half and nutmeg.Using a blender or an immersion blender, and process until smooth. Put it back on the heat to heat it back up and serve. Top with the remaining chopped chives. That’s it!

Suggested music to listen to while preparing the soup….

Since the very talented singer / songwriter Carole King had a birthday this week, how about “Tapestry” her classic album released in 1971?

Air Fried Beef Jerky

Beef Jerky is very easy to make, and you can customize the flavor you want by simply manipulating the marinade ingredients!

This is a basic recipe for regular beef jerky that I made, but you can make it more sweet or more spicy by having fun and being creative with the marinade.

I used an air fryer that has a dehydrate function. If you use a dehydrator, temperatures may vary.

Cook / Prep Time – overnight plus three hours

Yield – plan on losing about 60 % of the original weight of the beef due to moisture loss.


  • 1/2 lb thin sliced eye of round
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1 tbsp smoked sea salt
  • 1/8 cup sugar (I used maple sugar, but you can use white or brown)
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp granulated onion
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 drops liquid smoke

As long as you start with a soy sauce base, you can add more or less sugar, pepper, garlic, liquid smoke, and seasonings. You can use crushed red pepper flakes, honey, hot sauce or wine. You can add onions or jalapeños to the marinade. Teriyaki flavor? Add ginger and pineapple juice. It all depends what kind of flavor profile you’re looking for.

* Our local Publix grocery store stocks thin sliced eye of round, but you may need to ask your butcher to slice some for you.

Mix the marinade ingredients together and add the sliced beef strips. Place in a ziplock bag and place it in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, drain and discard the marinade, squeezing the liquid out of the beef. Place the strips, sides not touching, on the air fryer baskets. Set at dehydrate at 160 degrees for one hour and turn the strips after 30 minutes. After one hour, turn the dehydrate temperate down to 120 degrees for two hours, again turning the strips around every 30 minutes. That’s it! Happy jerking!


Suggested music to listen to while preparing the jerky…..

“Walls and Bridges” a John Lennon album released in 1974 featuring the songs “Whatever Gets You Thtu the Night” , #9 Dream, and of course “Beef Jerky”