Friday we headed out in a caravan with Teenager’s troop towards Gatlingburg for a weekend of ice skating, snow tubing, skiing and more fun. We got in around 1am, handed out keys More »
I know y’all have all seen the ALS Bucket Challenge. Many of you probably participated in it and I’m so grateful. I’m grateful that something so silly as dumping ice water on your head is what leads to the awareness of one of the most horrible diseases out there. I am thankful for so many people giving money. Can you believe as of yesterday $41.8 Million has been raised? That is something to be thankful for. I’m hopeful that this will get researchers closer to a cure.
My Dad, who passed over into God’s arms, just 40 days after his diagnosis. He had had ALS for years, but due to some medications he was on, the symptoms were masked. He described to me that he was having a hard time walking from the living room to the bathroom, opening bottles, and his breathing was quite labored from just a quick phone conversation.
I’ve never heard fear in my Dad’s voice like the day he called me to tell me. I’ve never heard my dad say that he was terrified. Then, to hear him say that he did not want tubes, medication, monitors, or to even go to the hospital. He knew his fate and he prayed that God would have mercy.
God has a plan for all of us and God’s timing is perfect. My Dad didn’t die alone in his house like we’d all feared. He died in his sleep in the comfort of brother’s house, where the day before they had celebrated Christmas together opening presents and sharing memories. Although, I was on my way to see my Dad flying from Atlanta to DFW when he died and didn’t out till after we’d landed. As badly as it hurt knowing that my plans to see my dad were not going to happen, I had to stop and thank God, because he had answered all of our prayers.
When I start to feel sorry for myself, all I have to do is think about those that are suffering and dying from ALS. I sit there and picture being trapped in my own body unable to talk, move, eat, or breath on my own. It’s quite sobering. Next time you’re thinking that you’ve got all the problems of the world sitting on your shoulders, just stop and imagine life like that…
I’ve listed below some other posts I’ve written about my Dad’s fight with ALS and the aftermath…
The saddest post I’ve ever had to write
Emergency Trip to Texas
The Day After Christmas
New Year’s Eve 2013
Memories in a Bottle
Peach season is dawning its near, so I decided to finally give Peach Salsa a try. I was pleasantly surprised how good this was. I will definitely be making this again next summer!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 0 minutes
4 diced peaches
1/2 diced onion
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 diced jalapeño
hand full of cilantro, finely chopped
1. Add everything into a bowl and toss.
2. Cover and place in fridge for a couple of hours.
3. Serve chilled with torilla chips.
I recently put together a blog notebook just to help me keep things straight and organized. I used to use a spiral notebook where I had my schedules and notes, but it just became a jumbled mess. I needed more organization. I thought I’d share the first 3 pages from my notebook with you today.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup of milk
1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 tbs. garlic powder
1 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup season all
2 cups of canola oil
2 sticks of butter
2 tbs. garlic powder
2 tsp. cajun seasoning or season all
1/3 cup of white wine
1/3 cup of flour
1. Butterfly chicken. Click here to see how.
2. Use a meat hammer to flatten the chicken even more. Depending on how large the chicken breasts are now, I usually cut them half.
3. Pour canola oil into large pan. Turn to medium heat.
4. Break the egg into a wide bowl and scramble. Add in 1/2 cup of milk and Tabasco. Stir.
5. Mix together flour, garlic, pepper, and season all.
6. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture, making sure entire chicken gets wet. This will allow the breading to stick nicely to the chicken.
7. Drudge the chicken through the flour mixture. Do this will all the chicken breasts.
8. Check the heat of the oil by dip corner of meat into the oil to see if it sizzles. If doesn’t, give it more time. If it does, go ahead and add in chicken in a single layer.
9. Cook for about 3 minutes and then flip. Cook until chicken is cooked all the way through.
10. Put the oven on warming temp (200 degrees), place chicken in the oven to keep warm while you make the sauce.
11. Melt butter in sauce pan.
12. Once the butter is melted, bring to a simmer.
13. Slowly pour in wine and whisk together with flour.
14. Whisk in seasonings.
14. Allow to simmer for a minute or 2 while whisking.
Another item on our to do list in Atlanta was the zoo. We’ve never been to Zoo Atlanta, well Rob has, but it’s been years ago. We thoroughly enjoyed it. Here’s some highlights from our afternoon there.
The zoo covers 40+ acres of which most of it is has nice shaded areas with lots of trees. I enjoyed the fact that many of the exhibits could be viewed from several different angles. That’s always important when you’re trying to find where some of the animals may be hiding.
The panda exhibit is like nothing I’ve seen before. There are 7 pandas that live their; 3 of which were on exhibit for us to see the day we were there. They were so entertaining. Here you see my boys standing in front of the exhibit where these 2 pandas played and put on quite a show for all those watching.
Here’s the 3rd panda that we watched. He was very busy eating some delicious bamboo.
And you know I love tigers!
Lots of fun photo op boards all around the zoo.
I adore giraffe every time we see them at a zoo.
Lots of super cool birds. Zoo Atlanta is the home to 50 bird species, including the world’s largest bird species. Anyone know what that is?
Willie B was the face of zoo Atlanta for nearly 40 years. Here’s the tribute they have for him near the gorilla exhibit.
Lots of really cool amphibians and reptiles. They are currently raising money to build a new indoor/outdoor Amphibian & Reptile Complex, which will be really awesome.
The boys had fun climbing the rock wall and the canopy climber. As a family we also enjoyed the train and the carrousel.
Zoo Atlanta is a little on the high side as far as admission prices go. However, our tickets were included on the City Pass. Regardless, its a great zoo!
Although, I’m not a huge fan of sweet and sour entrés at Chinese restaurants usually, this one caught my attention while I was looking for new recipes the other day. I wanted to give it a try, because it’s very different from my normal meals.
I’m not always a fan of pre-made sauces, but I wanted something easy that didn’t need a ton of different ingredients just for the sauce. I was happy with the way it turned out.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
2 lbs. of pork (or you could use chicken if you’re not a fan of pork); cut in bite size pieces
2 tbs. of olive oil
1/2 green bell pepper; diced
1/2 red bell pepper; diced
1 onion; diced
1 small can of bamboo shoots
1 small can of water chestnuts
1 can of pineapple chunks (10 oz.)
1 bottle of sweet and sour sauce
1 cup of uncooked rice (4 cups of cooked rice)
1. Heat olive oil in pan or wok.
2. Cook rice, which will take about 25 minutes. Just follow normal directions.
3. Add in meat and onions.
4. Cook on medium high until meat has begun to cook on the outside.
5. Add in peppers, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts.
6. Continue to cook until meat is cooked all the way through.
7. Add in pineapple and sweet and sour sauce.
8. Stir and allow to cook for about more minutes.
9. Serve meat/veggie mixture over rice.
~Adapted from 4 Ingredient Cookbook
This is one of the best burgers I’ve ever had/made! This meatball burger is to die for. The basil, cheese, and sauce gives this burger so much flavor.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 tbs. garlic powder
2 tbs. EVOO
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup of finely chopped bell pepper
2 heaping tbs. dried basil
2/3 cup of shredded parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1/3 cup of powdered parmesan cheese
1 bottle of spaghetti sauce (I use Classico or homemade)
4 hamburger or ciabatta rolls
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Take EVOO and pour into large skillet.
3. Turn heat to medium.
4. When the oil is warm, throw in onions and pepper. Allow these to carmelize. About 5 minutes.
5. While those are carmelizing, in a large bowl add in beef, basil, powdered parm, 1/2 the spaghetti sauce, 1/3 cup of parmigiano-reggiano cheese.
6. Mix all that together well and when onions and peppers are done remove those from the oil and add into meat mixture (do not include oil). Be careful, they’re hot!
7. Divide the meat into 4 or 5 burgers depending on how large you want them. Pat them into nice round burgers and place them on a broiler pan.
8. Place in the oven for about 30 minutes.
9. When the burgers are cooked all the way through, remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple minutes.
10. Place burger on bun with warmed spaghetti sauce, and parmigiano-reggiano sprinkled on top.