FHE: Canyon Shenanigans and Deep-fried Sushi

March 21, 2017 in Family Room, Out the Door

I miss the old days of blogging when everyone had a blogspot family blog with photos of everyday life, a widget full of their favorite songs that autoplayed when you opened the page, and a blogroll of their friends’ blogs. I loved discovering old friends and catching up on what they were doing through their cute pictures of family adventures. I loved it when blogs were about telling stories and sharing experiences.

Now it seems like blogging is all about pageviews, sponsored posts, affiliate links, and SEO. The family blogs were abandoned for social media. We share snapshots instead of stories, how-tos instead of here is my life, and tweets instead of time together. Can we get back to storytelling and family adventures?

We had a fantastic FHE last night. Beth and Bree are in California with their high school orchestra, so we loaded up Babs, Joy, and Chuck in the truck and headed up the canyon. I had to do some location scouting for a film I’m working on for a school project, so we made it a family affair, exploring the canyon and taking plenty of photos to bring back to my group. (Don’t we all love group projects???)

My lens was so horribly dirty that all of my photos look like this: one central spot in focus and the rest a blur from a lens completely covered in smudges. Also, the canyon is even more dead and brown than I expected. It’s a good thing I don’t have to turn in my location scouting photos.

Steve is one of the only people in the world still playing Pokemon Go, and he’s got our whole family still playing along with him. While I looked for good hammocking trees and fishing bridges with the help of Joy and Chuck, Babs and Steve searched for Bulbasaurs and Magikarps. You know they’ve gotta catch ’em all.

When I had everything I needed and Babs was out of pokeballs, it was time to find a pokestop and some food. We were up Provo Canyon and had a Riverwoods gift card, so we decided it was a great time to introduce our little sweeties to sushi at Happy Sumo. Let’s just say we don’t feel the need to go back anytime soon.

Joy is loving all things Japanese lately, even taking a Japanese class at school and creating her own manga for a class project, and she said the sushi was delicious but she wouldn’t ever order it for herself. She was content with her teriyaki beef bowl. Of course, the veggies were covered in batter and deep fried, so who wouldn’t be content with that?

Chuck tried a tiny corner of a Vegas Roll and could barely get over the idea of eating sushi to even get it to her mouth. We tried to tell her it wasn’t real sushi, but she didn’t really care that it was deep fried and delicious. She was really excited about her teriyaki chicken bowl and dipping everything into any sauce she could find – not so much about sushi.

Babs discovered she loves sweet and sour chicken as much as I do – which is not at all – and we had no idea! She even politely answered the waitress positively when asked if everything was tasting okay. It wasn’t until we were getting ready to leave that she mentioned she never needs to order that again. She was happy to end the night with ice cream to make up for the whole plate of food she ate and hated.

This is obviously not our sushi. I just really love crab won tons and couldn’t pass them up.

Am I the only one who feels like a horrible parent when my kids suffer in silence? We won the gift card that was paying for this meal, so we weren’t even spending any money. For me that’s the perfect time to try new things and not feel bad if I don’t like them, but my sweet girl was along for the ride and too nice to say anything negative. I would have happily ordered Babs something she could actually enjoy.

I’m super proud that she has learned to politely eat whatever is being served, and I really appreciate that when I spend time sweating over a hot stove to make dinner, but I wish she wasn’t silently hating the food she ordered when we were trying to do something special and fun. Even the veggies served with her meal ended up being the few veggies she hates all combined into one horrifying mix!

I keep thinking about it and wondering what I should have done to make her experience better. Pressed more when I asked how it was? Read her mind and ordered her something new? Deterred her from her menu choice because it’s something I don’t like? None of those seems like a very good option. While I don’t believe my job is to rescue her from every unpleasantness in life, I do want her to know it’s okay to speak her mind and that her needs matter.

Overall it was a fantastic night and everyone had a blast. Chuck asked if our next dining out adventure could include Mo’ Bettah’s instead, and I’ve gotta say, I agree. I’m not really a sushi fan either, but Hawaiian-style teriyaki? Yes, please.

Always,
Melanie

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

March 17, 2017 in Kitchen

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

We decided to embrace our Irish heritage tonight with some corned beef and cabbage for dinner. I pulled out my pressure cooker to use for the very first time. I’ve had it for about 7 years (it could honestly be more – I don’t remember), so it seemed like maybe it was about time to learn how to use it.

Now that everyone has an Instant Pot, it’s easy to find millions of pressure cooker recipes. I saw one of those mouth-watering videos on Facebook for corned beef and cabbage that looked amazing, so we tried it.

Do people like corned beef and cabbage? I mean really like it. The meat was fine – definitely not something I’ll be craving any time soon, but everyone ate it ok. But the veggies were mush and gush. Flavorless mush and gush. Blech. I’m not someone who particularly likes mush. I can’t even eat a sandwich without chips to add a crunch.

Do you know what crunches? Tacos.

Lettuce is green. Guacamole is green. Salsa verde is green. Next year we’re definitely having St. Patrick’s Day tacos.

It’s Time for Love

March 16, 2017 in Master Suite

I went back to school in January – 20 years after the first time I started college – and it’s a dream come true.

Today in class we were creating websites, and I really loved my site idea. It was a site all about my husband and me – our love story, our adventures and travels, our family life, our service, our struggles and triumphs, how we live, how we love, and all things us. I was ready go out and purchase the domain and start this new blog idea, but then I remembered…

I already have a blog!

Obviously I must have forgotten all about it since posting has been so few and far between. But maybe what I really need is to get excited about it again. I have a whole redesign in mind — for after the semester has ended. I already don’t sleep as it is. And let me tell you — living a college student schedule when you’re twice college age is no cakewalk.

I already have the first three weeks of summer vacation booked:

First week = sleep. All. Week. Long.

Second week = blogger conference (can’t wait!)

Third week = a quick little Vegas getaway for Steve and me. He’s planning the whole thing, booking the hotel tomorrow, getting show tickets, and I just have to pack a few things and hop in the car. Seriously can NOT wait!

Anyway… back to the blog. See how quickly I forget? I was talking about how much I loved writing all the gushy stuff about my favorite lifetime love story, and I really want to do more of that HERE on this site that I already own and love.

It’s really a whole new focus coming your way: Love. Love is what I am passionate about. Love for my hottie husband, love for my fantabulous family, and love of God that guides everything I do. So get ready for a lot more mush and gush. It’s comin’ atcha!

Always,
Melanie

94 Hot Soups for Cold Nights

December 10, 2016 in Kitchen

As a kid I never really liked soup. Maybe it had something to do with growing up in Arizona where there’s no soup weather.

Now that I live somewhere with seasons – most of them cold, I have learned to love soup weather and the comforting soups that go with it.

As soon as fall hits, I'm ready for soup. This one post could last me all winter with all of these fabulous soups!!

I dare you to look through this gorgeousness and not crave a big, hot bowl of soup right now!

 

CHICKEN:

One Pot White Chicken Lasagna Soup • Carlsbad Cravings

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup • Fake Ginger

20-minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup • Gimme Some Oven

Crockpot Green Chicken Chile Enchilada Soup • Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Chicken Pot Pie Soup • Kitchen Dreaming

Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup • Spend with Pennies

Mac and Cheese Soup with Chicken and Bacon • Southern Bite

Crockpot Chicken Wild Rice Soup • Pinch of Yum

White Chicken Chili • Design Wine Dine

Queso Crockpot Chicken Chili with Roasted Corn and Jalapeno • Pinch of Yum

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajita Soup • The Recipe Critic

Easy Crockpot Taco Soup • Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Corn and Chicken Chowder • Buns in My Oven

Chipotle Chicken and Corn Chowder • Brown Eyed Baker

One Pot Pepper Jack Chicken Fajita and Rice Soup • Carlsbad Cravings

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup • Delish

Chicken Parm Soup • Delish

Creamy White Chicken Chili with Cream Cheese • The Cookie Rookie

Easy Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Chili • Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Asian Chicken Noodle Soup • Cooking Classy

Creamy Crockpot White Chicken Chili • Lovely Little Kitchen

Creamy Wild Rice and Chicken Soup • Real Housemoms

Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup • Tornadough Alli

Vegetable Chicken Soup • Forty Eighteen

 

BEEF:

Beefy Tomato Soup • Mantitlement

Crock Pot Cheeseburger Soup • Life in the Lofthouse

Beef Stroganoff Soup • Chef in Training

Crock Pot Beef Stew • Life in the Lofthouse

Philly Cheesesteak Stew • the Cozy Apron

Slow Cooker Poor Man’s Stew • The Magical Slow Cooker

Easy Crockpot Taco Soup • The Frugal Girls

7-Can Soup • The Pioneer Woman

Swedish Meatball Soup • Carlsbad Cravings

Cheeseburger Soup • Nourishing Bites

Rosemary Garlic Beef Stew • Center Cut Cook

Beef and Bean Soup Recipe • She Wears Many Hats

Cabbage Roll Soup • Cooking Classy

Classic Beef Stew • Loaves and Dishes

Slow Cooker Pasta E Fagioli Soup • The Recipe Critic

Cheesesteak Soup • Spend with Pennies

 

HAM, BACON, AND SAUSAGE:

Loaded Broccoli Cheese Soup • Lil’ Luna

Smokey Ham, Potato, and Corn Chowder • First Home Love Life

Slow Cooker Potato Soup • Gimme Some Oven

Potato Soup • Gimme Some Oven

Cauliflower Chowder • Damn Delicious

Cheese Ham and Potato Soup • Lil’ Luna

Slow Cooker Ham and Potato Soup • Spend with Pennies

Nicole’s Corn Chowder • The Crockin’ Girls

Homemade Bean and Bacon Soup • Taste and Tell

Ham and Potato Cheddar Soup • The Recipe Critic

Summer Corn Chowder • Cooking Classy

Loaded Cheesy, Bacon, Corn, and Potato Chowder • Averie Cooks

Ham and Potato Corn Chowder • Closet Cooking

Summer Fresh Corn and Zucchini Chowder • Little Broken

Slow Cooker Ham and Potato Soup • Dinner, then Dessert

Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Soup • Damn Delicious

Slow-Cooker Sweet Potato Soup with Maple Bacon • Real Food and Ice Cream

One Pot Creamy White Bean and Ham, Tortellini Soup • Carlsbad Cravings

Cheesy Italian Sausage Potato Chowder • A Night Owl

One Pot Creamy White Bean and Ham, Tortellini Soup • Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Loaded Broccoli Cheese and Bacon Soup • Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Creamy White Bean Stew with Smoky Bacon • The Cozy Apron

Slow Cooker Tuscan White Bean and Sausage Soup • Foodie Crush

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Copycat • High Heels and Grills

Bean and Bacon Soup • Cooking Classy

Bacon Potato Corn Chowder • Lil’ Luna

 

FISH AND MEATLESS:

The Best New England Clam Chowder • Wine and Glue

Crab Soup • Pip and Ebby

Broccoli Cheese Soup • Cooking Classy

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder • Cooking Classy

Award Winning Maryland Cream of Crab Soup • Just a Pinch

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Soup • Peas and Crayons

Panera’s Broccoli Cheese Soup • The Girl Who Ate Everything

Roasted Cauliflower White Cheddar Soup • Cooking Classy

Creamy Roasted Tomato Basil Soup • Cafe Delites

Summer Vegetable Stew • Butter with a Side of Bread

Chili Relleno Soup • House of Yumm

Fresh Corn Zucchini Chowder • Little Spice Jar

Panera Bread’s Autumn Squash Soup • Kim’s Cravings

Mom’s Crab and Corn Chowder • Alice and the Mock Turtle

Asiago Broccoli Cheese Soup • Will Cook for Smiles

Creamy Roasted Tomato Basil Soup • One Little Project

Cauliflower Cheddar Soup • Simply Recipes

Bacon, Shrimp, and Corn Chowder • The Blond Cook

Creamy Parmesan Mushroom and Spinach Tortellini Soup • Closet Cooking

Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Basil Soup • The Chunky Chef

Slow Cooker Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Soup • Well Plated

Creamy Cauliflower Soup • Cooking Classy

Maple Cream Sweet Potato Soup • Half Baked Harvest

Slow Cooker Roasted Garlic Baked Potato Soup • Creole Contessa

 

Obviously I believe you can never have too many soup recipes. Mmmmmmm… With so many amazing choices, which soup are you going to try first?

This Homemade Wheat Bread + your soup = HEAVEN. Absolute heaven.

You need some dessert after your heavenly soup. How about this Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake Pie?

 

 

You can find a few more soups and a lot more yumminess in this fabulous roundup of Ham Recipes.

And this one with a whole gaggle of absolutely divine Turkey recipes.

76 Delicious Ways to Devour your Leftover Turkey

November 27, 2016 in Kitchen

I love a turkey dinner, and I love turkey leftovers even more. I got to host Thanksgiving this year, and Chuck and I searched through 2 freezer cases for the biggest turkey we could find. So we are overflowing with fabulous leftovers.

But let’s get real here. You can only have turkey with a side of mashed potatoes and stuffing so many times before you’re sick of it. So I went searching for the best ways to use up my turkey leftovers, and now I’m worried I’ll run out of leftovers before I get to try it all!

Since this treasure hunt of mine took some time, I wanted to save you from having to do the search on your own. So here are 76 leftover turkey recipes that look good enough to eat.

It would take forever to find this many great turkey recipes. Now I know exactly what to make with my leftover turkey!

Click through to the second page to see them all! And if you had a Thanksgiving ham, be sure to check out my 91 ways to make leftover ham amazing again.

turkey-1

Leftover Turkey Noodle Casserole • Who Needs A Cape?

5-Ingredient Turkey Swiss Sliders • Unicorns in the Kitchen

Turkey, Smashed Avocado, Cranberry, Brie, and Mashed Potato Waffle Melts • Half Baked Harvest

Thanksgiving Pizza • The Gunny Sack

turkey-2

Cranberry Asiago Turkey Sliders • Will Cook for Smiles

Creamy Turkey Tetrazzini • The Wicked Noodle

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Shepherd’s Pie • Baked by Rachel

Thanksgiving Stuffed Croissant • Cake and Heels

turkey-3

Turkey Turnovers • Best Foods

Cranberry Pecan Turkey Salad • Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen

Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole • Favorite Family Recipes

Turkey Cranberry Pinwheels • The Wholesome Dish

turkey-4

Turkey Pot Pie Soup • Foodie Crush

Turkey Mushroom Cranberry Risotto • Reluctant Entertainer

Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup • Ready Set Eat

Turkey and Cranberry Quesadillas • Little Dairy on the Prairie

turkey-5

Turkey Mac and Cheese Casserole • My Mommy Style

Turkey and Cranberry Puff Pastry Bites • Art and the Kitchen

Thanksgiving Stuffed Shells • Fun Finds for Families

Turkey Orzo Soup • Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen

turkey-6

Turkey Cranberry and Brie Egg Rolls • Recipe Runner

Creamed Turkey over Biscuits • The Frugal Foodie Mama

Fiesta Turkey Tortilla Soup Recipe • Taste of Home

Cheesy Turkey Pesto Rolls • Bakerita

turkey-7

Turkey, Cranberry, and Brie Crescent Braid • Spicy Southern Kitchen

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Pesto Panini • Damn Delicious

Slow Cooker Turkey and Potato Chowder • Baked by Rachel

Turkey Tetrazzini • Simply Recipes

turkey-9

Turkey, Brie and Cranberry Mustard Panini • Just a Little Bit of Bacon

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Pizza • Baked by Rachel

Savory Crepes with Thanksgiving Turkey and Stuffing • Butter with a Side of Bread

Turkey and Dumplings • Completely Delicious

turkey-8

Thanksgiving Leftovers Stuffed Sandwich Rolls • Betsy Life

Leftover Turkey Enchiladas • Baked by Rachel

Apple Cranberry Turkey Salad • Inside BruCrew Life

Thanksgiving Dinner Casserole • Mess for Less

turkey-10

Turkey Stuffing Dumpling Soup • Town and Country Living

Thanksgiving Leftovers Stromboli • Betsy Life

Turkey Turnovers • Ann’s Entitled Life

Warm Turkey Sliders • Self Proclaimed Foodie

Read the rest of this entry →

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