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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Recipe: Stuff Mushroom Caps

I don't know about you but if you are a woman that cooks you know the old saying....I want to cook something different.  We get stuck cooking the same things and it seems like I'm always trying to find new and improved recipes to liven up my week night meals.  While at Sam's in October I saw these big luscious mushroom caps and thought I'm buying those and going to come up with an awesome new recipe with them!  

Later that week after searching Pinterest for the perfect stuffed mushroom cap recipe...that I never found I put together my own ingredients and hoped for success.  

What you'll need:
  • Spinach leaf
  • Cream cheese
  • Italian sausage
  • Lipton soup mix in the herb flavor
  • Mushroom caps
  • Sliced cheese...flavor of your choice

What to do:

Brown your sausage and once fully cooked add in Lipton soup mix and a mix of water to get it coated on the sausage evenly.

In a large mixing bowl mix cream cheese, cooked sausage, and spinach leaf.

Once the mixture is well blended divide evenly among your large mushroom caps.  You will really have to mound it up to use entire mixture. 

Lay sliced cheese over the top of now stuffed mushrooms.  I used two slices per cap to fully cover.  

Bake at 350 to fully melt and slightly toast cheese.  

Serve hot!

Now this recipe is completely made up by me and this is the only time I have made it.  I would definitely make it again but make 1 major change.  I won't use sausage because it is heavily salted and made the entire dish really salty...almost too salty and I love salt.  Next time I will use lean ground beef.  This isn't a dish that is for all the time as with all the cheese it is very rich but it is a nice recipe to have in your cookbook to switch up the regular.  

If you try it let me know what adaptations you make and how it turns out!

Hiking in Oklahoma

I had been talking about going hiking in Oklahoma for months and hiking is always a bucket list item on my...well bucket lists LOL but we always find ourselves too busy or occupied with other activities.  We had an endless Summer this year and the weekend of November 4th was still warm but the Fall colors were finally showing themselves.  I really had a ton of to dos to do and a messy house but I left it all to another day.  Lesly and I loaded up and headed to Beaver Bend State Park in Oklahoma for a day of outdoor fun.  

We checked into the visitor center and put our names on the list for the longest and hardest hike in the park... the Skyline Trail.  6 + miles of rough terrain and it warned that experienced hikers should only proceed.  HA We are body builders and workout daily we thought.  I get punched in the face for the love of hiking...we can for sure do this.  Its OKLAHOMA how hard can it be!!!??? We parked the car at the entrance and started our hike on the Cedar Bluff trail that was filled with beautiful over looks and scenery of all the fall foliage before merging into the Skyline trail.  

After the pretty look out points the scenery was still so relaxing and pretty to look at but the hike got increasingly harder.  We had to really pay attention to the trail markers as we were on a trail that wasn't as heavily trafficked and so the path wasn't as beat down.  We didn't talk much just got lost in our own heads and enjoyed the outdoors and the challenge.  

All we had was our backpacks with water, toilet paper, and our park map so there was really no way to find out how far we had hiked but when we came across this STOP sign we learned that we had JUST BEGAN even though we had more than likely already hiked 2 miles.  And this is where all the thoughts on "how hard could it be"...gets thrown in our face and crammed down our throats.  

This rest of the hike was literally the most physically challenging and mentally challenging thing I have probably EVER done!  The unknowns killed you...how far have you been, how far do you have to go, where are you, and what if we can't finish.  

At the half way point, the power line road, we were enjoying being in the open and out of the woods and were taking a small breather.  We were about to head back into the the woods when I started back on the trail and almost stepped on this HUGE spider...OMG I jumped back...Lesly had walked right over it not even paying attention.  It was so fury and just gross omg I couldn't imagine having this thing crawling on me...we paid close attention to our steps and our surroundings back in the woods but didn't encounter any more spiders only a million daddy long legs.

Because of the unknowns we had to keep pushing forward and when we finished we were so glad to see people and get to the water fall.  But we weren't really finished...this trail doesn't loop so we had to walk over a mile back on the highway along the damn of the lake back to our car.  We were out of water, drenched in sweat, and so hungry.  We stunk, had blisters, and every part of our lower body from the belly button down was so sore and achy.  I felt like Reese Witherspoon in WILD!!!! LOL  We were so proud of the accomplishment!  Once we got back in the car we had more water and guzzled it down.

We made it back to the car around 4:30 and after catching our breath a minute headed back to the visitor center to let them know we were off the trail and to use the restroom to try and clean ourselves up a bit.  Our shirts were soaked in sweat so we decided to grab a souvenir in the form of a baseball-tee from the gift shop.  I changed into mine as I couldn't stand the smell of my current shirt or the cold sweat that clung to it.  We asked the ladies running the office how long does the Skyline Trail usually take and they said 5-6 hours.  Lesly and I completed it in 4 hours!!!!  This made us even more proud of ourselves.  

We left the park and immediately found somewhere to refuel...we stopped at a neat spot called Burgers and Blues right outside the park and the food was really good.  I would definitely go back and recommend this place if you are in the area.  The weather was still so nice and we still had daylight so we enjoyed our early supper outside and just couldn't get over the day we had.

Lesly and I were so proud of ourselves and felt so accomplished and emotionally energized after completing the grueling hike.  We definitely respect the statement that that hike is for experienced hikers and we pity the fools who are really not athletic people who decide to embark on that trek....it is killer for real.  We talked about it for the next week but not much on the way home as we were so exhausted.  We could barley stay away as our bodies were spent and all our energy was completely gone.  We got home around 7:30 that night and my bed was calling my name after a hot shower!  

More info on the state park and to plan your own visit check out there website HERE!  I will be getting some hiking shoes before our next trip!

State Fair Fun

The great state fair of Texas is one of those cultural events that so many trek miles and miles to see and enjoy.  I haven't been to the fair in several years and my mom hadn't been since she was PREGNANT WITH ME...that was over 31 years ago!  My mom thought it would be fun for the members of the family that could make it to all go together.  We worked it out so we all went on a Sunday, October 15th,  so Hendrik and Colby were sure to be off work and able to attend the fiery hot fair fun!  

We made our way through all the ag barns inspecting all the animals and Case even got assaulted by an ostrich trying to nab his hat!!! It was fantastic and terrifying all in one and I love Lara got it on her phone!

After the animal attach we headed to the rides and Case rode all the kid rides there were to ride especially anything car, boat, or tractor related.  He cried every time it was over and took the people and the heat like a champ.  We got there pretty early in the day, about an hour into the fair being open so 10 am and the people at this time were very manageable, not over crowded at all.

We all got a little fair food...some turkey legs and not so grand corn dogs before Lara and I rode two rides.  The first one was a warm up of the slingshot that we got on later.  I am definitely not as young or as steel stomached as I used to be.  I was pretty finished after two rides and we all got our bearings back by finishing up the day with some games.  Hendrik and Colby fought with the carnies on how all the games are rigged and we tried doing Leann's carnival tricks (from Real Housewives of Dallas).  By this time it was nearing 4 o'clock our pockets were empty, the 2 year old was DONE, and the people omg the people.  Get me the hell out of here!

We no more got in the car and had the AC rolling and poor little Case was OUT.  All the twirling and sugar had worn off and he was down for the count.  He even slept through dinner in Rockwall at Salt Grass.

It was a great way to spend some time with family on a Sunday and I can see this becoming a yearly tradition every time the fair is in town.  

Christmas Fun with Case

Christmas through a child's eyes is wonderful and anything we do with Case is always more fun than doing it as just adults because everything to him is a learning experience.  Christmastime is no different.  

This year Case really understands more and more and one thing he loves, like most boys, are trucks, tractors, and all construction equipment.  When I saw this rechargeable kid size bulldozer I couldn't get checked out at Amazon fast enough.  Once it arrived and I put it together I also couldn't wait to give it to him.

He's not too sure on operating it yet because it is pretty powerful for a toy and has several levers that have to be pushed together to get it to go but he loves dumping and raising the blade.  He will get tons of use out of this for the next couple years...unless he wears his tracks out!

Hendrik's Dad has been wanting to take Case to The North Pole of Texas since the beginning of the month and it just so worked out the Thursday before Christmas I had him and we loaded up and went.  Hendrik, Henk, me, and Case stood in line for around 45 minutes and sipped hot chocolate as we made our way to the front for our train ride around the grounds. 

He never got impatient with the wait because there was so many people and so much to look at.  This place is so neat and if you're in the area during Christmas time should really swing by.  It's ran by donation only and just such a neat place for family time. The weather also worked in our favor, it was chilly but not cold so perfect to be outside.  

He LOVED the train ride and I loved watching him just soak it all in.  He's still not friendly with Santa or Mrs. Clause but was happy to take their candy. 

I'm thankful for family that I can make these special memories with and for my brother and Lara for allowing us to spoil Case and do with him as we please.  He has a GREAT life!!!!  Merry Christmas!

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