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Pensacola Beach & Seafood Rice Casserole

June 14, 2011

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The theme of my Post today is: My Favorite Place In The Entire World!
Santa Rosa Island. Sun, sugar-white sand, clear emerald green water… Ahhh… I love Pensacola Beach! It is hard for me to believe that I have been “blogging” for months yet have never mentioned The Beach! My Beach!

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This thin barrier island protecting Pensacola Bay & Pensacola Naval Air Station from the Gulf of Mexico, this strip of sand is the most beautiful beach in the world. A large portion of this island is part of the U.S. National Seashore: Gulf Islands & it includes Fort Pickens, built in the early 1800’s, manned through World War 2 & a bit of trivia – it housed imprisoned Geronimo; the only way the federal government could keep his tribe from breaking him out of prison…they removed him from the mainland to an island only accessible by train at the time.

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Because of the frequent, destructive hurricanes the road to Fort Pickens was destroyed & access to the park gone for a number of years. DH & I hiked in 3 years ago because I couldn’t stand not seeing my favorite place, Battery Payne. We were told there was 1/2 mile of open sand, the rest was displaced asphalt. Wrong! There was 3 miles of open, soft sand (think dry quicksand) & 5 miles of displaced asphalt! We started at 6am, packed in our water & lunch, had lunch on Battery Payne, walked around the Fort, the pier, the sea wall, then started the 8 miles trip back out. DH developed severe blisters due to sand in his shoes. Ouch! Fortunately workers hired by the National Park Service to rebuild the old ranger station & repair the gift shop were driving past us occasionally. I managed to flag one down & we hitched a ride the final 5 miles, including the open soft sand portion where we had struggled on our way in & the jeep we were riding in almost sank on the way out.

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I’m off to soak up some vitamin D on the beach, then I’ll visit Fort Pickens this afternoon. I wonder if the boys & DIL would like to visit the Naval Aviation Museum on the base tomorrow?

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Seafood Rice Casserole

DH loves shrimp & we cook pounds & pounds of it while at the beach!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 chopped Onion
  • 3 cups cooked Brown Rice
  • 6.5 ounce can chopped Clams, drained
  • 2 pounds cooked Shrimp (I use the 15 – 20 per pound size)
  • 6 ounce can Crab Meat, drained
  • 5 ounce can Evaporated Milk
  • 1/4 cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 cup shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Saute´ onion in olive oil.
  3. In buttered 3 quart baking dish, combine rice & onion.
  4. In a bowl, combine seafood & milk; Pour over rice mixture.
  5. Sprinkle with bread crumbs & cheese.
  6. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.

Non-dairy “milks” can be substituted for the evaporated milk.

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