Monday, September 1, 2014

Summer Vacation: Lego Fest and Swimming

About a month ago, maybe more, I entered a contest on Penney Lane Kitchen to win tickets to Lego Kids Fest in Dallas. I rarely win anything, but you can’t win if you don’t enter.

We won 2 tickets! We hadn’t planned on taking a vacation this summer but I’m glad we did. With the free tickets we decided to stay overnight in Dallas and make it a fun family trip.

Little Speed Racer had never been on what I call a real vacation. What’s a “real vacation”, you say? Well, to me a real vacation is when you stay in a hotel. To me, if you stay with family, it’s a trip but not a vacation. I totally love to take trips to visit family; I’m just making a distinction.

So, not only did we take Speed Racer on his first vacation, we took him on his first trip outside of our state.

We also stayed in his first hotel. He thought the hotel room was very cool. We could only rest for a little bit (due to the sluggish Dallas traffic) and then it was off to Lego Kids Fest.

Speed Racer is 2 so you might wonder what he could do at Lego Fest. But there was plenty for him. He was perfectly happy to play in the huge pile of Duplo blocks most of the time we were there.

Still, we found time to walk around and take pictures with all of the really cool Lego statues and cruise by the other booths. Truthfully, if Speed Racer were older he could have hit all of the booths and participated in all of the Lego activities. I highly recommend taking older kids, especially if you are going to pay over $60 for a family of three to attend together. I do wish Speed Racer could have participated at more booths, but since we all got in for free it’s not a big deal. I’m happy that he was happy.

We could only drag our little guy away with the promise of swimming in a big swimming pool. It totally worked and there were no tears.

Speed Racer had never been in a real pool before. He’s been in a little kiddie pool in the back yard, but not one we could all get into. So, when booking the hotel I made sure to pick one with an indoor heated pool. If I’m going to swim I want to be comfortable. The indoor pool was perfect and Speed Racer loved it. We swam and swam until it looked like he was going to fall asleep. So we pulled him out and headed to the room. There were a few tears, but we promised to swim again in the morning before leaving. He was cool with that.

My husband and I can still act like kids when we go on vacation. It was late and after all that swimming we were hungry. So…we indulged by ordering pizza. We had Pappa John's delivered at 10 PM. I know; we are totally wild and irresponsible. Speed Racer was not quite as worn out as he had seemed and he thought the late night pizza was great fun.

We had so much fun on our trip; I’ll have to put more in another post. Look for my second Summer Vacation post, soon.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Butter Baked Chicken

Another favorite is gone. I seem to have a knack for liking dishes that restaurants stop serving. It’s happened at Red Lobster, Johnny Carino’s, and at Cracker Barrel to name a few. It’s so disappointing to go in and find my favorite dish off the menu. Sometimes, you can ask for something off menu, but even that ends after a while.

So, what do you do if you get a craving for a favorite (discontinued) meal? Well, I either have to do without or try to make it at home. Some are easier than others.

Butter Baked Chicken was one of my favorites at Cracker Barrel. They only served it on Thursdays at ours. We didn’t make it there very often on the right night, but when we did I always ordered the special. Now, it seems to be gone and I can’t order it off menu. Darn!

Luckily, this recipe is pretty darn close to my memory of Cracker Barrel’s Butter Baked Chicken and it’s a big hit with my family. The best part is that we can have it any night of the week!
Give it a try and tell me what you think.

Butter Baked Chicken


2 lb. chicken tenderloins
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz.)
2/3 cup flour
3 tbsp. plain breadcrumbs
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 can Cream of Chicken soup (10.75 oz.)
2 tbsp. water


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

Melt the stick of butter in a 13x9 pan. 

Mix Flour, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper together in a dish or bowl that you will use for dredging the chicken. 

In a separate bowl, pour a little of the evaporated milk. Use just enough to dip your chicken in.

Dip each chicken tenderloin in the evaporated milk first. Then dredge the each tenderloin in the flour mixture. 

Then lay each prepared chicken tenderloin in the pan of melted butter. 

Bake the chicken in the melted butter for 30 minutes at 425.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the water, can of soup, and what's left (in the can) of the evaporated milk together.

After the first half hour of baking, turn chicken over after 30 minutes and pour the soup mixture on top. Bake for another 30 more minutes or until nice and golden brown.


Serve the butter baked chicken and the gravy over mashed potatoes.

Weekend Recipe Link Up Party

This weekend I am also partying at  WEEKEND POTLUCK so come on over and check it out!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Easy Sunday Morning: Pancake Muffins

I love an easy, quiet Sunday morning with my family. Sunday is the day a most consistently cook some kind of breakfast. Speed Racer loves scrambled eggs and sausage for breakfast but that routine gets a little old after a while. Sometimes, the grownups want something different and interesting. There are lots of Pinterest pins for something like these but most of them only link to a picture and not the actual recipe. I hate it when that happens.

I guessed on the oven temperature but it turned out to be a good guess. I tried to make the recipe as easy as possible. I’m pretty sure you could make this with any pancake mix and use whatever filling you have handy. These were a big hit with the family and it didn’t take much time at all.

Now it’s time to turn off the oven for the day, it already getting hot here. Temps should be in the 90s today. I think we will pile up and watch movies today. What do you like to do on a lazy Sunday?

Pancake Muffins


Prepared Bisquick Pancake Batter
2 tbsp. Granulated Sugar
Fresh Blueberries
Cooked breakfast sausage, cut into small pieces. I used precooked, frozen sausage.  


Preheat oven to 375.
Follow the directions on the Bisquick box to mix up a batch of pancake batter and add 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar to be batter. Spray a 12 count muffin tin with nonstick spray. 

Put fresh blueberries in 6 of the cups and the chopped, cooked sausage in the other six.
Fill each muffin cup with ¼ cup of pancake batter. Bake for 25 minutes. Serve with butter or margarine and syrup. 

My syrup is from Griffin’s, of course, from my home town. Did I ever mention that my great grandmother worked at the Griffin’s plant sometime before I was born? Somehow, that makes the syrup taste even better for me.

I hope you and your family enjoy an easy Sunday morning breakfast with pancake muffins.