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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Duck Face

My friend Ruby took this photo at the Disney Social Media Moms event. I look silly but thought it would be fun to share this so you can make fun of me.





Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Moving Update!

Our move is getting closer and closer. We officially move next Tuesday. That is when the movers come and take our stuff. It has been tough this week because I hurt my knee.

I think it happened last week when we were in the new house in Wilmington. I was on the floor and tried to get up by using my right knee. I felt a little pinch and my knee hurt for a few hours but then it was gone. I didn't think much of it.

This past week, I started packing and was on my feet and running around. I also had a back ache. Yes, I am totally old and demented. I was focused on my back. But my knee had no pain. It wasn't until Thursday that I woke up feeling that my knee was swollen but I had stuff to do so I headed out and ran errands. When I got back home, my jeans felt tight around my knee. When I took them off, I saw my knee was swollen. Really swollen.


I put ice on it and started resting it. The next day I went to the doctor who informed me I have an effusion or water on the knee. She gave me a prescription for an anti-inflammatory and told me to get a cane. She also suggested I rest my knee as much as possible. She did not drain it because she said that is no longer done. And the fluid in my knee would be reabsorbed by my body eventually.




So this weekend, I have been icing, walking with my cane and resting. Poor Tom had to pack everything alone. Luckily, I did a lot this past week but he had to do the rest. My knee is still swollen. There is no pain whatsoever but it is a pain in the butt since I cannot walk right.

We almost have the whole house packed except for our clothes and the kitchen. Once Tom took down the paintings from the walls, I no longer felt like this was our house although it still is. The house had not sold so we will probably rent it. Which is fine by me because I do love this house, It is old and small but it was a good house for us.



But now we move onto the next step of the journey. I am excited because I love new beginnings. Plus, I do love our new house. I cannot wait to make it our own.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Bacon Balsamic Mushrooms!



I just entered a recipe contest where I had to create an original recipe using a Saucy Mama product. Some of you may remember I won the Saucy Mama recipe contest years ago. I always enter and I haven't won since. But I still try.

Anyway, I wanted to share my recipe here because it is actually pretty tasty and easy. I love this recipe because it can be an appetizer or side dish. You can make it vegetarian by omitting the bacon but I wouldn't omit the bacon because it is delish!

Here is how I made it.

Bacon Balsamic Mushrooms

Ingredients

24 oz. sliced Baby Bella mushrooms
3 strips bacon chopped into small pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1 shallot minced
1/4 cup red wine
3 tablespoons Saucy Mama Four Leaf Balsamic Vinaigrette & Marinade
1/4 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon chopped rosemary leaves

Directions

Heat the pan and add the olive oil and 1 table spoon butter. Add the chopped bacon and let it render until crisp. Once the bacon is browned, add the shallot and chopped garlic. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the garlic and shallot become soft. Add the other table spoon of butter and the mushrooms. Saute for 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme and mix. Saute another 3 minutes and add the red wine and the Saucy Four Leaf Balsamic Vinaigrette & Marinade. Mix. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are softened. Serve.


I sliced the mushrooms, shallots and garlic. 



I rendered the bacon in butter and olive oil. 



I added the garlic and shallots.



I added the mushrooms and the rest of the butter. 



I added a splash of wine.



I added the salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary. 



Then the mushrooms were softened, I added Saucy Mama Four Leaf Balsamic sauce and let cook. 




Buen Provecho!  

Monday, May 19, 2014

Gatlinburg, TN

I went to Gatlinburg as part of a blogger event. It was a lot of fun. I have a post written on my other blog, if you want more details about the Westgate Resort I stayed at. I would suggest reading it because it has a lot of details and information about the packages offered by Westgate Events. If you want more info on the resort and packages, go to my review of the resort here.

Anyhow, I only live about 50 miles from Gatlinburg but it took me about 2.5 hours to get there because of the ride there is through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It was a beautiful ride. When I arrived at the resort, the check in was easy because I got VIP check-in! WOO!

I was given a map and then I headed to my room. The resort is huge! The resort even has a shuttle and trolley to take people to the lodge from the rooms. There are different type of buildings. They have Cabins and then they have condo style buildings as well. I was in the condo style building.

My room was huge! It was a whole apartment. It had a full kitchen, dining room, living room, a bedroom with a giant tub and a huge bathroom. It was great. The bed was super comfy and there were 2 TV's in the room. We even received a yummy fruit basket. That came in handy the following days when I needed a snack.






After resting and unpacking, I had to get ready to go to our VIP dinner as part of the Westgate Event package. I met the other bloggers on the trip and we headed to dinner. Dinner was nice. There was good food, music, games and dancing. This is the DJ clogging for us. He was pretty amazing.


The next day we all met early and headed out to Gatlinburg. Gatlinburg is really cute. It has tons of shops, restaurants and attractions. We went to the Ripley's Aquarium. It was great. It was a great place. We saw tons of cool fish and sharks. I even saw penguins! If you are ever in Gatlinburg, visit the Ripley's Aquarium.












After the aquarium, we headed out to lunch. We went to Dick's Last Resort. I am not sure what to say about Dick's except that it is an experience. The servers abuse you. They put funny hats with rude sayings on your head and throw napkins and straw at you. They shut you up and make you laugh. It was a blast. Plus, the food was really good. I even ate alligator.






We then headed back tot he resort so we could get ready for the Loretta Lynn concert. We had transportation to the concert which as great. We all met and then got on our bus. The concert was in Pigeon Forge which was about 30 minutes from the resort.

I have to tell you that I cannot believe that I was able to see Loretta Lynn, the Queen of Country Music, live in concert. She was fantastic. Her voice sounded like it did years ago. I was surprised how many of her songs I recognized. I had a blast.








When we returned to the resort we all deiced to hang out and talk. We ended up staying up until 3:30 am just talking. It was great. The bloggers who where on my trip were wonderful. I am glad I got to know them and it was fun. Of course, since I am old, staying up until 3:30 am was crazy. But luckily, I was able to sleep in a little and then go back home.

The drive was beautiful and it was great to be home after a really fun weekend!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe


I never thought I would make pizza dough from scratch. But in my continuing effort to eat better, I decided that I had to do it.  So I looked for a simple recipe. I found one on FoodNetwork.com. It is pretty basic and not bad to follow. Here are the ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup room temperature water
1/2 envelope dry yeast (the yeast packet will give you instructions on how to make it)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, (2 for dough, 1 for bowl)
a pinch of salt



Here is how I made the pizza dough.




First take the yeast and add it to warm water. The yeast packet will tell you exactly how much and how much sugar might be needed. 




Oil up a bowl with the olive oil. Make sure it is fully covered. 



Add the flour to a food processor. Or you can do it by hand but why? 



Add the yeast mixture, water and oil, pinch of salt and process.



Mix the dough until it can be rolled into a ball. If it is too sticky, add more flour. 



Find a clean surface and flour it and then knead the dough ball until it forms a smooth ball. 



Pop the dough into the oiled bowl.



Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for about an hour. 



The dough will double in size. 



Flour a surface and cut the dough ball into 2 pieces. Then form into 2 balls. 



Cover the balls in plastic wrap. If you are going to use the dough right away, let it rest for about 10-15 minutes. You can store the other in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 



Flour a clean surface and then roll the dough out. 



I use a pizza stone because it is easier and it makes the crust crispier. But you can use a sheet pan or grill the dough. If you do use a pizza stone, make sure to warm it up in the oven before using it. In any case, put some cornmeal or flour on the pizza stone. 


Put your dough on the pizza stone. Add your toppings and then bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees. You can lower the temperature or leave it in longer depending on your toppings. 


That's all folks. Easy and delish pizza dough. Yeah, it takes some time and effort but it was well worth it.