Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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It’s the Little Things That Make Me Happy!

This may sound silly, but I am really excited about the prospect of having some new restaurants in town. Don’t you already have enough? you say. Well, of course we do! We have our own ‘Restaurant Row’ just like they do in Dallas. Literally dozens of restaurants all within rock throwing distance of one another. Oddly enough they all seem to fit into a very few categories: Burgers, Mexican, steakhouse, Chinese buffet.

So, wanna know what I”m all wound up over? More burgers, in the potential form of In N Out. They haven’t even opened the patty processing plant in Dallas yet (a requirement) and I’m ready for a burger! If you haven’t heard of In N Out, it’s a West coast chain. Started way back in the day and they still only have a few things on the menu: burger, fries, milkshake, soda. What’s the big deal? You can watch them cut the potatoes for the fries. And the burgers. OMG they are so good. I can’t begin to explain. And if you’ve had In N Out, you know why I”m so excited!

La Madeleine is another regional chain that will hopefully be making an appearance here in the not-so-distant future. I know, I know. Aren’t there enough chain restaurants already? Well, I don’t think so! Especially when it’s something totally different, like La Madeleine. It’s a country French themed place with counter service food. It’s very cozy and quaint and they have amazing fresh pastries and bread. Not to mention the potato galette! I can taste it already. Along with a fresh quiche, a cup of amazing coffee and a fireplace, I’m a happy girl.

Beer? Oh yes, I’ll have a pint. The Flying Saucer is the other one that’s got me excited. Once again, regional chain. These people come up with these fantastic ideas for new restaurants but it always seems to be in Dallas or LA! The Flying Saucer is one of those funky, eclectic places. They’ve got German food, bratwurst, knackwurst, hot potato salad and about 100 beers on tap. Yes. An entire WALL dedicated to beers from around the world. the place is decorated with plates. On the walls. On the ceiling. On the posts. Saucers, get it. Small plates. They’re all different, probably collected from hundreds of garage sales. Anyway, during the day, it’s a cool restaurant. But at night, it becomes an even cooler bar with live music. You can’t go wrong!

I’m the geek who emails her favorite places, begging them to come to my town.  I sat here one night last week and emailed all of these places and actually got responses, which not only made me happy b/c someone answered my email. But also at the thought of getting some of them here! My suggestion to you, if you go to a restaurant that you like in a different city, send them a note and let them know how much  you like their establishment and they should come to your town! Who knows, it may work! I’ll keep you posted on when/if they make it!

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Happy eat-til-you-can’t-see-day!

Hello my friends! I just wanted to post a note and tell you all to have a happy Thanksgiving. Even if you’re one of my UK/European friends, I hope you have a fabulous day. I am thankful for all of you who keep me going. You make me think about things that I hadn’t thought of for a while, give me a laugh, or a helpful tip and I thank you for it. 

I hope your day is blessed with good health, friends, family, and no accidents in the kitchen! Oh, ok, since I said that, I guess I”ll just have to share a story of a Thanksgiving we had about 13 years ago.

We were living in Dallas at the time and I was in college. I had classmates from all over the country and you know poor college students don’t have the funds to fly home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so they normally save their cash for the big one.

Two of my best friends were from New York and going home was out of the question. My husband is a retail manager, so going back home to Oklahoma for me was out of the question as well, that whole black Friday thing and all. So we decided we would have our own little Thanksgiving celebration, just the four of us. Great!

So, I got a ham and our friend Joey, was going to smoke a turkey. MMMM! Joey set up the smoker at the foot of the stairs to our apartment, got it all ready and was going to let it smoke over night. Joey, and his girlfriend Charlanne (one of my BFF’s) stayed in our guest room so Joey could tend the turkey early in the morning, and they wouldn’t have to worry about transporting it an hour away.

It was a great idea. The problem: at some time during the night, the sprinklers came on and put out the coals in the smoker, so when we woke up all excited about this delicious bird that was waiting for us, well, it was only cooked about halfway through. Blech, can you say food poisoning? My husband and Joey tasted some of the meat on the outside and said they thought it was fine, but me? Well, I said thanks but no thanks, I prefer to keep my insides right where they are and don’t care to spend the rest of the weekend praying to that porcelain god for forgiveness for being so daft as to think I could eat something like that!

The bird went straight to the dumpster outside, it was too big for my garbage can.

Guess what! It doesn’t end there. Nope, not quite. So Joey, oh I love Joey, he was just the greatest guy, insisted that we have sweet potatoes. I never liked them, the taste, texture, smell, everything about them repulsed me, but they are tradition for many people and who am I to buck a tradition like that  for such a good friend? Joey bought I think 4 of the biggest sweet potatoes he could find and prepared them in a foil loaf pan. Have you ever seen big sweet potatoes live and in person? those suckers can be heavy, a pound each at least! Joey made his gooey sweet potato creation with maple syrup and marshmallows on top and put it in the oven to bake. When the timer went off, I opened the oven and attempted to remove it from the oven. Did you notice I said attempted? Those foil loaf pans are not designed to accommodate that much weight and as I was taking it out of the oven, the sides buckled and created a spout for this hot, sticky, nasty mess to spill all over my legs (thank God I was wearing jeans) and the floor! Amazingly, I managed to get the pan to the counter before I spilled the whole damn thing and made a mad dash for the shower and jumped in clothes and all! All I could think of was burns from that sticky stuff! When i returned, in clean clothes, I found everyone standing there looking at the mess wide-eyed and in complete disbelief at what had happened. I’m sure I was quite a sight running from the kitchen to the bathroom as if I had something up my, well, you know what I mean. We cleaned up the mess and had a lovely dinner. But I must say, if I never liked sweet potatoes before, I absolutely detested them after!

We moved out of the apartment about a year later and I was still finding sticky spots on the under sides of drawers and cabinet doors! Sheesh, what a mess! I can honestly say, I have not had any other Thanksgiving fiascos quite like that since. Unless you count the time that my grandmother and great aunt were going to come to our house for the very first time and I turned up with strep two days before. But that wasn’t my fault, and they just went to my brother’s house.

Anyway, all that to say, I hope you don’t wear hot, sticky sweet potatoes, or have your bird only half done and get food poisoning!

I am thankful for all the blessings of my life, even the ones I don’t necessarily want!

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Garlic overload chicken

If you’ve been along for my ride into domestic goddessness, you’re familiar with my love of garlic. If you’re new to my world, garlic is a food group in my house!. This recipe totally takes into an all new direction! Basically, it is a chicken version of my thought ‘too much garlic is just right’! If you love roasted garlic and an easy recipe, this one is definitely for you! Just be sure you’re not eating it alone b/c you won’t be getting any lip action if  the only one indulging is you!

I just  thought of something, if you’re like my sister-in-law, who doesn’t like really powerful garlic flavor, but you do like the roasted garlic, this is a good recipe. Cooking the chicken in the same pan as the garlic, you get a bit of the garlic flavor, but it’s not like you’re eating raw garlic. The chicken is very juicy and flavorful.

Garlic Overload Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts flattened to 1/4″ to 1/2″ thickness and cut in half

1tbsp Italian seasoning

2tsp rosemary

1tsp salt

fresh ground black pepper

2 heads of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled

2tbsp olive oil

1 pkg chicken flavor Rice-a-Roni

In a large skillet heat the oil on medium  and add the whole garlic cloves, still in their paper shells. Cook over med heat for 5 to 8 minutes until the cloves are soft. (they may brown a bit, but don’t let them scorch.)

mix the seasonings, salt and pepper and sprinkle on top of the chicken, and don’t be shy with it!

Push the garlic to the sides of the skillet and put in  the chicken seasoned side up.

As chicken is cooking, prepare the rice according to package instructions.

Carefully turn the chicken after about 5 to 6 minutes and continue cooking on the other side on med/low heat, until chicken is done and juices are clear.

If the garlic looks like it’s getting overdone, take it out and put it in a bowl for later.

Serve the chicken over the rice and you can either squeeze the garlic over the chicken, or just put the cloves in a bowl (like we do) and eat it with the chicken. The garlic comes right out of the shell, it’s soft and nutty like roasted garlic. My 7 yo daughter can’t get enough of the garlic!

I have also served this with Rachael Ray’s  Garlic and Parmesan Orzo for a super duper dose of garlic! when I did, my friends down the street could smell it! You can’t get much easier than that! Enjoy and let me know how you like it!

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I AM the sneakiest mom EVER!

Yes, that’s my new title! I’m feeling very proud of myself today and I may just break my arm patting myself on the back! Why, you ask? Well, here’s the deal.  Last week I bought a spaghetti squash just because I wanted to try something new. I do that, try new things, more recipes than actually foods, but hey, I’m adventurous so why not?

Yesterday while my children were at school, I cooked the spaghetti squash in the microwave, cut it open and strung it out, then I put it in a bowl and in the fridge, so they didn’t see where the ‘pasta’ came from! I made a delicious spaghetti sauce and meatballs to go with it. I will say, the ‘pasta’ had a different texture, a bit of a crunch that I wasn’t expecting. It wasn’t bad, but it had more of a texture than the pasta I normally use. Before putting the food on the table, I tossed the ‘pasta’ with the sauce and put meatballs on top with some shredded parmesan.

When I put the ‘pasta’ on the table I told my children that it was a special Italian pasta that’s very expensive and I found it on sale and wanted to give it a try. We sat down and dug in.  The kids were a bit hesitant at first, but they actually ate it! My daughter ate several bites and then complained that she didn’t like it. But she managed to get it all down! My son held up one bite and said, ‘This looks like pumpkin guts!’ You know, the stringy stuff you pull out of a pumpkin when you’re carving it? yeah, with the sauce on it, the ‘pasta’ had an orange tint to it. It was all I could do to not spew sauce and noodles all over him! He was closer to truth than he thought he was, but hey, who am I to tell him he’s eating the pumpkin’s cousin?

Will I serve it again? I would definitely, if I thought I could get away with it twice, but you know what they say about lightning. I’ll do it again maybe when they are a bit older. will i tell them what it is? Hmm, good question? I dunno. My  10 yo son still believes in Santa and the Tooth Fairy, I don’t know that I”m ready to burst that bubble just yet!

So….what veggies  have you slipped into your food lately?

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Pepperoni Pizza Paninis!

You try saying that three times fast!  I found, and knowing me, later altered, this recipe several years ago and we all just love it. You can easily change it to your tastes. If you don’t like pictures, well, stop here. This recipe is basically done with photos.

For each sandwich you will need:

2 slices Texas Toast

6 slices mozzarella

1tbsp shredded parmesan

9 slices pepperoni

butter

garlic salt

pizza sauce

While you are assembling sandwiches, heat grill pan to med/hi

lay three slices of mozzarella on each slice of bread

arrange pepperoni in three rows, overlapping a bit, sprinkle with garlic salt and shredded parmesan

lay the last three slices of mozzarella over the parmesan, top with second slice of bread, butter and put butter side down on grill pan

now butter the side that is up and put grill weight on top

cut the sandwich and serve with warmed pizza sauce for dipping

Here's my boy enjoying his dinner. YUM-O-RAMA!

I also made a lower fat/calorie version for myself using only 5 slices of pepperoni and three slices of mozzarella. Still tastes great, but with alot less guilt!

This can also be done on a skillet or griddle, I just like the grill marks/panini style sandwich.

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Delish pasta for one!

I was hungry and I was solo. Something that doesn’t happen often in my world. Hmmm, what should I have for dinner? I am free! Free to eat things that are green, or sauteed, or steamed or spicy, without hearing, ‘eeewww I don’t like thaaaat!’ I opened my fridge looked around and had the usual, ‘there’s nothing in here’ moment. I wanted some simple pasta and remembered that I had blanched some fresh asparagus and put it in the freezer. Ok, now we’re talking. Here’s what I came up with.

8oz fresh asparagus, steamed and cut into 1″ pieces

3 slices bacon, cut into 1/4″ pieces

1tbsp olive oil

1/2 tbsp butter

1 clove garlic

4 to 6oz whole wheat spaghetti

In a skillet, cook the bacon until it’s crisp, drain on paper towels.

In a large pot, cook the pasta until it’s tender

Put asparagus in skillet with bacon pieces, add butter, cook on low heat for just a minute or so to bring everything to temp. Press garlic into skillet and stir. Add a pinch of salt if desired.

Drain pasta and toss with asparagus/bacon mixture. Top with shavings of parmesan and/or asiago. Mmmm it’s nice and light, but packed with flavor and yummy goodness! Enjoy! This can easily be doubled to serve more, or altered to your tastes with more or less of the asparagus and bacon. This and a glass of wine and I was a happy girl!

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The Great Cheesecake Experiment

Something you may not know about me from my posts is that I love to bake. And I mean serious love! I would bake something sweet and decadent, or maybe not so decadent, but just yum, every single day if I could. Alas, summer has me avoiding the on switch of my oven as if it’s poison ivy. It just gets too hot in my little part of the world to add insult to mother nature’s injury!

There are occasional circumstances when temperatures be damned, I’m turning it on anyway! Like today. My husband’s boss has invited several other managers over to her house for dinner. And being the friendly, neighborhood domestic goddess, I volunteered to bring dessert, hence the title for this post.

I have only baked a cheesecake one other time, but I almost never burn anything anymore and my oven is my cooler weather BFF, so I’m not intimidated by many recipes. My friend posted a recipe for a key lime cheesecake. OMG, did I read that right? The marriage of two of my favorite things! I’ll eat just about anything that’s cheesecake! Would you like a slice of our cardboard cheesecake the chef has prepared today? Sure! Needless to say, I was up for the challenge. I broke out my trusty springform pan, dusted the cobwebs and dust bunnies out of it and went to work.

I have a theory on baking especially, but cooking in general. If you’re not making a mess, you’re not doing it right!

See what I mean? And this is a fairly mild mess, compared to some, it’s only on one counter! I followed the instructions, the graham cracker crust was lovely. I poured in the batter and popped it into the oven and set the timer.

About ten minutes before the timer went off, I checked my beautiful cake. Ruh roh Raggy! It had bubbled up the sides of the pan, there was a huge bubble in the center and when I moved the rack, I could tell it was still liquid under the dome. GRRR So I grabbed my phone and called Cheesecake 911, AKA my friend Anuschka, whom I”d gotten the recipe from. She walked me through the rescue of my cheesecake. I’m totally hoping it’s not terrible. It’s a bit scorchy on top, and the sides where it bubbled up above the crust, it had scorched. So not pretty. Oh yeah, and where the bubble had been, well, you can see for yourself.

Would you eat that?

Looks almost more like a pizza than a cheesecake. The brown part is all wrinkly and pruny. I”m debating whether I should cut that part off and just top it with lime jello like she suggested.

I need some suggestions from my baking friends! Has this ever happened to you? How did you recover? Did you give it cosmetic surgery or scrap it all together? I need help people, this dinner is tonite!

I think I may have figured out what to do. I’ll post pix and let you know later how it turns out. If nothing else, I can pick up a cheesecake at the grocery! Or use my standard new recipe disclaimer: It’s a new recipe, if it sucks it’s not my fault!

***UPDATE****

My BFF here suggested I use a star tip and decorate the top of the cake with whipped cream. Hmmm, that sounds like a good idea. I didn’t have time, dinner was the same day I made it. I was scrambling to make it appealing.

It looks much better now, don't you think?

You can’t even tell it was scorched! Everyone at dinner said it was delicious and that made me happy.

My review of the cheesecake: sadly the crust was soggy and I’m not quite sure why, which is kind of disappointing. The cheesecake filling was very tart and limey, not very cheesecake-ish, other than the texture, I really couldn’t taste the cream cheese, the lime was almost too overpowering. Will I make it again? Probably not, to me it was not my best work, but next time I know a cheesecake needs a water bath. Anybody want some, I’ve got a bit left over!

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I’m a sneaky, sneaky mom!

I have a problem that I think most moms can relate to: my children don’t like their veggies. My daughter, she’s good about trying new things and will eat many different vegetables. My son used to be this way, but after about age 5, he decided he had free will and he would use it to not eat the veggies on his plate! I encourage them to try new things, but ya know, it’s kinda difficult when the mere sight of some things, Brussels sprouts for example, trigger a gag attack!

So, today I took their dinner into my own hands, literally. Last night I made soft tacos and black beans. I love black beans, cooked on the plate as a side, or cold in a salad, pretty much anyway they come, I’ll eat them. However, my children are a different story. EEEEWWWW!!!  Was the response i got when I asked if anyone would have some last night. This evening, my husband is working late and I didn’t want to cook, so I offered leftovers. The black beans and taco beef went into the same container last night GASP! The horror! I know, i know. Big deal, right? Well, to you and me, maybe not, but to kids who don’t want things touching on their plates, it’s tantamount to cooties! As I was trying desperately to figure out how I was going to separate them, I decided, if you can’t beat them, join them! I mashed the black beans until the were well blended, made their soft tacos and waited for their reactions. My son said they tasted even better than last night! Huh. really? I wonder why honey, I said as I am giving him the ‘surprised’ look. All the while I’m secretly smirking, HA! I got you to eat veggies! YAY ME!!!

I know, there are lots of sneaky ways to get their veggies in. I have the book, but it looks like way too much work for me, so I do it when I can. I have finely grated yellow squash into spaghetti sauce, I use applesauce in my baking instead of oil and kill two fat birds with one stone. And I can’t forget about the chocolate zucchini bread. My children know exactly what is in it, my son even made it for a class project, and yet they love it! They eat it until they get sick every time I make it!

And then there’s Aunt Nellie. She was the first sneaky chef I’d ever met. My mother’s aunt, which makes her my great aunt. Anyway, I was 9 and my brother 6 when we stayed with them for a month. Aunt Nellie made mashed potatoes one evening and put shredded carrots in them. My brother being the veggie-phobic he was, asked what was in his potatoes. He, like most children, adored his smashed taters. Aunt Nellie told him that in Seattle, they have orange butter and he ate them like there was no tomorrow! Of course after dinner, someone had to spoil it, but it got him to eat carrots. Poor Aunt Nellie, he never forgave her and wet the bed in protest! To this day he won’t touch a carrot. And he may still wet the bed for all I know, he’s married so I hope not!

If you have sneaky ways of getting veggies into your food, please share! I’d love to have more tricks in my arsenal!

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10 Things That Make Me Happy

One of my friends wrote a post on her blog and I thought I’d give it a shot. You can read hers here http://www.bridgetmcguiresfillingstation.blogspot.com/

I don’t know that I can put these in any specific order, I don’t want anyone to get their feeling hurt, so I’ll just write them as they come to me.

10. Cooking. it’s so funny, I have become what I call your friendly neighborhood Betty Crocker. Ten years ago, I was a newly minted chiropractor out to save the world and cooking was the last thing on my mind. In fact, I was very pregnant and looking forward to becoming a mother, not a chef. I have found a love of cooking and especially trying new recipes. dinner in my house is never boring, I can tell you that for certain. My kids, well, they will say otherwise. They don’t love everything I make. I dont’ love everything I make, but that’s how you learn.

9. Traveling. I have always enjoyed traveling to new places that we haven’t visited before and seeing the architecture and learning about the history and culture of the places we’re visiting. We have been some really interesting places, like Bermuda, Bahamas, Mexico, Napa, US Virgin Islands, Hawaii. I still have a rather long bucket list of places I want to see before I die. At the top of my bucket list is Italy. My friend, ‘Bridget McGuire’ just returned from 10 days in Italy and the pictures she’s shared are simply amazing!

8. My children. I have been blessed with two beautiful and amazing children who have changed me immeasurably. You know they say you will never truly understand what it is to be a parent until you are one, and it’s true. I am so proud of these little people. They are adorable, precious, and maddening all at the same time. They fight and bicker with one another, but I love them more than I can ever begin to express. They are so much fun to be around, they make me laugh, cry, and scream every single day! Watching them grow is such a joy and privilege. I just hope that I can do a good job helping them grow into productive, respectful, intelligent people. My son is so handsome and sweet. He’s a very caring child who wants to make people laugh. When he was younger, he never had baby talk, he was very articulate at a very early age. People were amazed at how well he spoke as a two year old. My daughter is a beautiful, blue-eyed girl. She was the sweetest, most laid-back baby ever. But when she hit 22 months, it was as if someone told her ‘you’re almost 2, you’d better act like it’ and since then all bets are off! She’s very strong-willed and knows what she wants. She’s a princess one minute, and a tomboy the next.  She loves to perform, dancing and singing are what she really enjoys.

7. Writing. Writing in some way, shape, or form has been a part of me since high school, maybe earlier. I remember keeping a journal when I was younger. In my 20’s, my journal was my best friend as I was going through a particularly hurtful breakup. It was my therapist and my catharsis. I still journal, just not as often as I used to, I blog instead! I’m also working on a novel about a 20 something young lady who moves from the midwest to LA. She’s been languishing on my hard drive for years, and I’m determined to finish her story, if for nothing else, for myself and the knowledge that I’ve completed it. That and I’ve got another story in mind that comes from my friend’s incredible life.

6. Learning. I feel like the perpetual student, but I really enjoy learning new things. I can’t say that I learn something new every day, but I do enjoy reading and studying and discovering things that I didn’t know. My son is going into the 5th grade and last year in helping him with some projects, I learned things that I had no clue about prior, and it was really fun. I like to exercise my brain through learning. I keep telling my children that they don’t know everything, and neither do I, but we can find it out. The internet is such a wonderful resource. I really wish it had been around when I was growing up, it would have made researching topics for projects so much easier!

5. The beach. My friend wrote that Notre Dame is her happy place. Mine is the beach, any beach as long as it’s on an ocean. Although at this specific point in time, I’m very sad to know that many of the beautiful Gulf beaches are being polluted by the oil spill and it’s a real tragedy and a travesty. Anyway, maybe it’s because I’m a cancer, the crab, a water sign, that I find the beach so soothing. To have my toes in the sand, smell the salty sea air, hear the waves crashing on the beach, to me, that is heaven right there. If I get my way, we’ll retire to a beach condo. That’s a while off still, but I’ve put in my order!

4. My friends. I have been blessed with some really good friends that I’ve met in some really interesting ways. My friend Bridget McGuire, we met while on a cruise 10 years ago and have kept in touch with. My BFF and I have been friends for over 10 years, my husband met her at a bank while he was opening an account. Another friend, well, this one is pretty wild, she was the girlfriend of a boyfriend of mine (LOOONG story). He was a POS and neither of us knew it, but the best revenge we could’ve gotten on him was becoming friends. Facebook has helped me reconnect with so many people from my past that I would not be in touch with otherwise.

3.  My love. My husband and I have been together for 14 years now and it feels like the blink of an eye. He is my best friend, he still makes me laugh and tells me he loves me every night before we go to sleep and in the morning as he’s leaving for work. He was my willing guinea pig while I was in chiropractic school and my taste tester for my new recipe concoctions. We started off as co-workers and friends at Bed Bath and Beyond. Musci trivia was how we really got to know each other. I tried to set him up with my friends. He was a really good guy and I was planning on moving out-of-state to go to college. None of them were interested and I don’t know why. One night, we were going to a movie, as friends, and I looked at him and thought, ‘Boy, he’s really cute, why am I trying to set him up with my friends?” And that was it. He gave me a good night kiss that night and we’ve been inseparable ever since! funny how things work out.

2. Trying new things. I’m always up for something new, be it food, activities, places.  To me, that’s what makes things interesting. Some things I like, Cabernet franc anyone? Others not so much, like Alice in Wonderland. I really enjoy going to a restaurant and trying a dish I’ve never had before. Once we were in Cozumel, I ordered ceviche. I’ve had ceviche before, but this had octopus in it! that was pretty wild. And yes, I did eat it. It completely grossed out my husband, but he tried it too!

1.  Introducing my children to new things. Every time we travel with our kids, I encourage them to do or eat things they never have before. On our vacation last year, my daughter tried Brussels sprouts (gag).  My son tried them on our Disney vacation this year. I have been very happy with them at least taking one bite of something new before deciding if they like it or not.  Taking them places they’ve never been and showing them fun new things, or to help them appreciate all that we have is really amazing. We went on a cruise last year and one of the stops was Grand Bahama Island. We rode a bus from the ship to a beach and to get to the beach, we passed some really sad and run-down neighborhoods. It was such a contrast, you have the gorgeous beaches and people living in poverty. it really made me appreciate what we have and I try to help our children understand that every chance I get as well.

Now I challenge some of my blogging friends to do the same!

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I’m back with new recipe ideas!

Wow! Talk about a hair-on-fire week! We just got back from a week+ at Disneyworld in Orlando and I never thought I’d be so happy to sleep in my own bed! I can tell you that at least the hotel beds were very comfortable, pillow-top in fact and plenty big enough for my 6’4″ hubby and myself to sleep comfortably.

We went full-tilt for 7 full days, and a little of the evening we first arrived. I wore a pedometer, just for grins and giggles and got quite a shock! The first full day we were there, we walked 7 miles! i forgot how many steps that was, but we were all wiped out!  It was a good time, lots of rides, meeting characters, including many that we didn’t get to see on our last visit, good food, and, well, standing in line! We were able to avoid too much standing in line by hitting the parks early, but it’s inevitable when 20,000 people want to be in the same place at the same time, there’s going to be a line where you want to be! My husband and I made jokes about the ‘line simulation ride’ because there was alot of that. We refused to stand in a line that was longer than 20 minutes, 30 minutes was max that we would try. Normally they would move faster than was posted, but still….

We ate lots of good food, and many things I’m going to attempt to replicate. At Ohana at the Polynesian resort they have pineapple bread that is just to die for! It’s not overly sweet or frosted, but it was amazing!  Oh, that and the skewers of grilled steak, pork, turkey and shrimp! All you can eat can be a bad thing sometimes! I would loved to make the Dole whip, but I don’t have the frozen smoothie machine, but I bet I could make a sorbet or ice. Then there were the parmesan rolls at the Rose & Crown. They were warm and soft and I love the taste of the browned parm sprinkled on top.  Oh, and I can’t forget the Oreo bon bons! They were fantastic! Oreo’s topped with some kind of cookies and cream creation then sprinkled with cocoa powder and a dollop of chocolate mousse.

We ate at a drive-in theater that was an indoor restaurant made to look like a drive-in. Very cool! You sit in little cars to eat while watching B movies from the 50’s and 60’s. The walls are painted to look like night. Very unique and fun. We ate at a Biergarten in Germany at Epcot. We were very lucky to be able to have dinner with princesses at Cinderella’s castle. And for the end of our trip, we ate at an English pub called the Rose and Crown in the UK pavilion at Epcot. I can’t forget about the Mickey bars!

We were very lucky to go on this vacation and eat at some of the restaurants we did, they are difficult to get reservations at. I’ll keep you posted on my quest to replicate some of the recipes and share if I have any success!

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