Eat, Uncategorized

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

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Easy 3 Ingredient Chicken Tacos

I’m always looking for quick but tasty ideas for dinner during the busy work week.  This taco recipe is hands down the easiest one I have in my dinner rotations.  There are literally only three ingredients.  Not only is is simple and inexpensive, it’s one of my boys’ favorites!  I will usually double the recipe so that we will have great leftovers, a lot of times I’ll use the leftover chicken to make chicken tortilla soup the next night.  I simply put all the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning before I leave for work.  When I get home later in the afternoon, the house smells so good!!!  Serve the chicken tacos with all your favorite fixings, guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, cilantro and refried beans.  Add some chips and salsa and it’s a great family meal!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 (1.25-ounce) packet taco seasoning
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar of your favorite salsa, (I like to use Herdez mild Salsa)

Directions

  1. Place chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Sprinkle taco seasoning over chicken.
  3. Pour salsa on top.
  4. Cook on low (for 6-8 hours) or high (for 4 hours).
  5. Just before serving, use two forks to shred the chicken.
  6. Stir to evenly distribute salsa throughout chicken.
  7. Serve immediately favorite toppings.

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Travel, Uncategorized

Big Cedar Lodge – Truman’s Cafe

 

When we stay at the beautiful and historic Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri, I’m always excited to rise early in the morning with my husband.  I can’t wait for our lovely and peaceful walk, just the two of us, from our room within the quaint rustic lodge at the top of the hill down to Truman’s Cafe for breakfast. Our fresh country air stroll takes us down the side of the hill, past an array of wild flowers along a perfectly landscaped walking trail complete with glistening waterfalls. Most of our journey includes alluring vistas of Table Rock Lake as it shimmers in the morning sunlight off in the distance. There is a stunning little white chapel that sits proudly on the property which marks about the half way point to our final destination. This place really is that gorgeous!

IMG_6650Truman’s Cafe is one of the original structures on the property, it’s an absolute charming 1920’s tudor style home that’s been lovingly restored and expanded to provide guests with comfortable seating. As you walk the inviting little brick pathway to the front entrance, you are welcomed by a sweet cottage garden area filled with colorful flowers and a white picket fence. I seriously can’t think of a better entrance to a cafe… the entrance alone is worth the morning jaunt.IMG_6646

Truman’s Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch. Their menu is not necessarily extensive, but it is delicious and has everything you need to start the day. Whether its coffee and a pastry, a hearty breakfast with eggs, biscuits and gravy or one of their healthy parfait or smoothy options, I’m sure you will find something to get you fueled for the day. My order is usually the green superfood smoothie and a piece of their yummy veggie quiche and of course coffee! The lunch menu features panini’s, soups, sandwiches and fresh salads. For those of you that have a sweet tooth, there’s a custard and sweets menu as well as a great children’s menu.big-cedar-exterior

The cute little cafe is oozing with so much rustic country charm from the entrance all the way through to the back outdoor patio area. That is my favorite place to settle in and relax once we’ve placed our order. It sits up on a gentle hill overlooking the gorgeous lake and views of the many other historical buildings that make up Big Cedar Lodge. Just about every time we eat lunch there, we see couples or families enjoying a leisurely horse drawn carriage ride through the resort grounds, there is something here for everyone of all ages. Once finished with our delightful breakfast (or in some cases lunch) it is time to continue our walk on the endless trails that wind their way around this special place. We are happy, our tummy’s are full and it is time to plan out the rest of our day!

IMG_6636There is so much to see and do at Big Cedar. The lodge is a historical and meticulously cared for resort nestled in the Ozark hills that is owned by Johnnie Morris (Bass Pro Shop). This place has a grandness to it but still maintains a magical serenity and absolute charming family atmosphere from a forgotten time that keeps us coming back again and again!

Please check out their great website, bigcedar.com and plan your trip today!!!

Travel

Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World is a fabulous place to visit over the Thanksgiving holiday but can get very crowded, so make sure to plan ahead. There are no Thanksgiving activities to speak of, but the Christmas celebration is in full swing and the parks are bustling with Christmas cheer! Although there is not much going on for Thanksgiving, you can still enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal with all the yummy fixings. I love it this time of the year and don’t even mind the crowds.

pexels-photo-265393
Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

We have visited Disney twice over the years during the Thanksgiving holiday. On both occasions we ate dinner within the WDW resort. The first time we were there on Thanksgiving Day we were traveling with our own family as well as with extended family and we ate at Jiko located at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. They provided a full traditional Thanksgiving dinner as well as everything on their regular menu. I opted for the traditional Thanksgiving feast and the food was outstanding, I was very pleased! We had a large group, but were all able to sit together at a comfortable table and the service was exceptional. I would recommend this restaurant not only for Thanksgiving but for any time of the year. The Animal Kingdom Lodge is a great place to explore after dinner and check out the animals right on the property, it’s a beautiful resort.

The second time we visited Disney on Thanksgiving was with a large group of friends and we ate at the Rose and Crown Pub at the England Pavilion in Epcot. It seemed a little ironic to eat at the British themed Rose and Crown but it really was a great experience! They also had the traditional Thanksgiving option as well as their main menu items. I enjoyed their Thanksgiving fare and was very pleased with my meal. We had late dinner reservations which worked out well, it gave us more time to enjoy a nice evening in the park, then finish the day with a delicious meal and great memories with friends.

My NUMBER ONE TIP is to Make sure to make reservations as soon as you can!!! If you haven’t then you may need to have alternative plans. If you are unable to make reservations, try visiting lounges within some of the resort restaurants that provide full menu options. You will have a wait time but it’s a great way to eat at a nice restaurant opposed to quick service dining on Thanksgiving Day.

Popular Disney restaurants that usually provide Thanksgiving dinner:

Magic Kingdom
LIbery Tree Tavern

Disney’s Contemporary Resort
The Wave
Chef Mickey’s
California Grill

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
Narcoossee’s

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Whispering Canyon Cafe

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
Mickey’s backyard BBQ
Trails End

Epcot
Le Cellier
Rose and Crown
Biergarten Restaurant
Akershus Royal Banquet

Hollywood Studios
Brown Derby

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Jiko
Sanaa

Be sure to check the Walt Disney World website, disneyworld.disney.go.com to get all their updated information for the Thanksgiving Day Dining options and to make your reservations!

Disney World Vacation And Savings Travel Guide.

Eat

Grandma’s Thanksgiving Cranberry Bread

Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende Devlin

Unknown-1-1.jpegThis is the time of year when I would read one of my favorite books, Cranberry Thanksgiving, to my boys when they were little. I love this 1971 vintage book from my childhood, it’s a fun story with some lovable characters. Grandmother’s cranberry bread recipe is included at the end of the book and has become a Thanksgiving staple at our table every year. I love making this bread and it is absolutely delicious with just the right sweetness of the orange and slight tart flavor of the fresh cranberries. It’s the perfect buttery Thanksgiving bread!

Grandmother and Maggie live at the edge of the cold and windy cranberry bog. The story begins as Grandmother is baking her delightful cranberry bread and preparing for Thanksgiving dinner. Grandmother’s cranberry bread recipe was so famous and special that bakers from all over the countryside were trying to get her secret recipe, even offering money. Grandmother kept the recipe safe and hidden behind a loose brick in her dining room fireplace.

Maggie and Grandmother were excited to each invite a guest to their home for imagesThanksgiving dinner. Grandmother is not happy to find out that Maggie has invited Mr. Whiskers, a scruffy old sea captain that Grandmother is sure is trying to steal her secret recipe. Grandmother’s guest, Mr. Horace is much more refined, well dressed and smells of lavender. Grandmother is much more pleased with her guest and welcomes him in.

After enjoying a delightful Thanksgiving feast complete with turkey, corn pudding, turnips, peas, pumpkin pie and of course the coveted cranberry bread, there is a tussle between Mr. Whiskers and Mr. Horace. Surprisingly it was the well mannered Mr. Horace who was trying to get his hands on Grandmother’s hidden secret recipe. Mr. Whiskers catches Mr. Horace trying to steal the recipe and saves Thanksgiving.

Here is Grandmother’s wonderful secret recipe….wink wink!!

2 cups flour, sifted
1 cup sugar
1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 cup butter
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon orange rind, grated
3⁄4 cup orange juice
1 1⁄2 cups raisins, (optional)
2 cups fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped

DIRECTIONS
Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda together.
Cut in 1/4 cup butter until mixture is crumbly.
Add egg, orange peel, and orange juice and mix until mixture is evenly moist.
Fold in raisins and cranberries.
Spoon into a greased 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan.
Bake at 350°F for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean.
Cool out of pan on a wire rack. keep stored in aluminum foil.

You can get your own copy of this children’s classic, Cranberry Thanksgiving at Amazon.com

Travel

My Favorite Quick Service Restaurants in Magic Kingdom

  • Columbia harbor house: located in Liberty Square across from the Haunted Mansion. This is a New England themed restaurant with fish n chips, lobster rolls and clam chowder on the menu. They provide a salmon option for those wanting something a bit more healthy as well as veggie chili and salads. Of course there is a great kids menu for the little ones. I really like this restaurant because of it’s menu but I also feel like it’s off the beaten path (even though it’s not) once I’m inside. I like the salmon but we are fans of the fried fish also. There is also plenty of seating available, with two stories of seating as well as an elevated area over the walkway between Liberty Square and Fantasyland with great views. I feel like I can find a little area upstairs to sit and relax away from some of the hustle and bustle of the crowd, get some great food and feel refreshed to continue our day in the park. It’s American seafood cuisine and offers the mobile orders option if you have the Disney App which can save you valuable time in the park!
  • Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe: My main reason I love this quick service restaurant so much is simply because of the location, it’s in Tomorrowland and located not far from Cinderella’s Castle. I enjoy dining here in the evening for dinner and getting a table where I can see the castle and enjoy the nighttime ambiance. They have American cuisine with hamburgers, BBQ sandwiches, chicken and a full kids menu. They offer a Caesar salad option and an extensive menu for those with various food allergies. My boys enjoy their Angus cheeseburger and the toppings bar with onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, lettuce and all the regular condiments located in the restaurant. I do not eat red meat so I would order the veggie burger however they no longer have it on their menu so if you are looking for a good veggie burger head over to Peco’s Bill Cafe in Frontierland. Because of it’s popular location the lines can get long and the restaurant gets crowded. Try eating at an off time to avoid some of the long lines and wait time. You can also order using your mobile Disney app.
  • Main Street Bakery: I love coffee, I love baked goods and I love Disney so it’s only natural that I would love main street bakery! The bakery is right on main street in a cute turn of the century themed cafe close to the parks entrance. This is a good option to start the day with a Starbucks coffee and pastry or breakfast sandwich. Or take some time out for a much needed afternoon coffee pick me up. Grab a cookie or cupcake and settle in to watch the parade on main street. In addition to all the wonderful Starbuck coffee and specialty drink options, there are all the favorite seasonal drinks available during certain times of the year!

For more information on Disney Dining options check out disneyworld.disney.go.com

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