"Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which all loveliness arises." -Pedro Calderon de la Barca.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Hot Fun in the Summertime

*FTC DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by Wild River Country. All opinions are my very own.


Let’s face it.
Keeping kids happy when it’s hot outside can be difficult.
With the age ranges in my kids- early twenties to pre-school age- it’s almost impossible!
We were very happy to participate in a blogging event by Wild River Country as a family
 to see what they had to offer.

Did you know that Wild River Country is the largest water park in Arkansas?
With twenty-six acres including thirteen slides, three pools (including a great wave pool)
and plans for an amazing kiddie pool improvement in the next few years
Wild River Country offers something for everyone.
View from top of slide of wave pool
Wild River Country from top of Slide


We were treated to a cabana, which is so worth it to have a place to meet that’s in the shade.
You have access to a private cabana right on the wave pool, a nice footlocker to lock up
any valuables, beach chairs, bottled water and some packages even include meals which
makes things easy!
I think the next time we go we will choose the cabana party, which is admission for six plus
the cabana, meals, and more for a great price!

Table in cabana at Wild River Country with food and towels
Homebase at Wild River Country
My youngest is four and she loved the “tad pool” and the lazy river.
She especially liked that there was a special slide just for her age called the “Sidewinder.”
Tad Pool at WRC


The older kids loved everything! (The “Thrilling Three” were especially scary and on the top of
their list for best rides.) They also really enjoyed the “Pipeline” and the lazy river. In this age of technology, it’s great to see kids loving time outdoors!


The staff at Wild River Country is amazing. They employ over three hundred local people for the summer. The management prides themselves on the training they provide and it really shows. I noticed the lifeguards were extremely attentive and asked the management about it. They explained that their 62 lifeguards were among the top 3% in the nation with perfect audit scores for the past three years. All lifeguards are trained in-house with special intensive training and daily drills.
Makes a mom very happy to know her kids are so safe! I am seriously considering season passes for the older kids because it's so close to home.
Wild River Country Lifeguards
Lifeguards Ready to Train at Closing Time

The final verdict?
My entire family had fun and asked when we’d be going back again!
Soon I hope.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Scarborough Fair Dressing

Sage from my garden
Dressing is something that defines a family. A simple comfort food made from leftover bread to stretch an expensive meal (typically using what type of bread you had available so in the south- cornbread, in the north- wheat bread.) You can almost guess where someone’s grandma hails from by what type they serve you. (Dressing, stuffing, cornbread, white bread, fruits, nuts, oysters, chicken, chestnuts…)


My maternal grandmother was Canadian. She moved to the deep south in the 1940’s, marrying into a family of Scarborough’s where her mother-in-law had been a true southern debutante and did NOT appreciate her son marrying a “Yankee.” So my southern mother learned to make a white bread stuffing (not dressing) usually studded with fresh pecans.  


My husband’s grandmother was from the south and made a traditional cornbread dressing.


When we started hosting our family holidays we had an unexpected conflict on what we would serve- an all white bread dressing with nuts like my Canadian grandma made or a total traditional cornbread dressing like my husband’s grandmother made? Everyone wanted their personal favorite and so a compromise was needed. Thus, I came up with a yin-yang combination dressing that seems to please everyone!


Scarborough Fair Dressing

*14 ounces of cornbread (or a large cast iron skillet full.) I use fresh homemade but you can use any mix or recipe.
*14 ounces of dried bread cubes or stuffing mix
*½ of a medium onion, chopped
*4 stalks of celery, chopped
*7 ounces of melted butter (olive oil can be subbed)
*Fresh Sage (approximately 8 fresh leaves or 2-3 Tablespoons finely chopped)
*Fresh Italian Parsley (2 Tablespoons finely chopped)
*Fresh Rosemary (1 6” branch of rosemary, take leaves off of branch and chop)
*Fresh Thyme (about 1 Tablespoon fresh finely chopped)
*4 cups of stock or bouillon (I use vegetable but chicken is also good and homemade is best!)
*1 cup Milk or Half & Half
*Salt & Pepper to taste

*Nuts and raisins or apricots (optional)

1-In a large bowl put bread and cornbread and mix together.
Yin & Yang of Bread waiting to be mixed!

2-In a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, saute onions and celery in olive oil or butter until translucent. Add fresh herbs and cook approximately 1-2 minutes more.

Time-saving tip: I make my cornbread a day or two before the holidays. I like to saute the onions, celery, and herbs then add to the cornbread before baking. Then when I go to make the dressing I can skip step 2 all together. This is especially helpful when you have all the burners cooking for other dishes!

3- Add about ½ cup stock to the pan with vegetables to deglaze the juices and add all of this to the bowl with bread. Add your melted butter also at this point.
Veggie Stock

4- Mix and slowly add the rest of the stock and milk. The amount needed may vary depending on how dry ingredients are, humidity etc. You want the mixture to be sticking together and pretty wet (not total mush, but til it’s VERY wet so it doesn’t dry out too much when baking.) Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper to taste and more herbs if necessary.
Last stirs

5- Put in a large buttered baking pan (12x24) and bake at 375 for 45 minutes to an hour.  You want it to be golden brown on top and edges.
Ready to bake

Remember that dressing is something that you can easily give your own family touch by simply adding local ingredients or that mean something special to you!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Sweet Pairing (Recipe & Giveaway!)

*Disclosure: I am required by the FTC to tell you that this post is sponsored by the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company  and Josh Cellars Wine for their #asweetpairing campaign.  Of course, I always keep a stash of Ghirardelli chocolate and my hubby is loving the Josh Cellars wine so all opinions are expressly ours. Company has also sponsored a great give-away at the end of this post! 


Josh Cellars wine and Ghirardelli sugar cookies!
Is there anything sweeter than wine and chocolate? 

Valentine's Day is fast approaching.  
We always like to make a sweet treat to celebrate and this year we've made rolled sugar cookies decorated with Ghirardelli chocolates!  



     My little helper liked to sample the dough!

Ready to decorate cookies!
I melted the 60% Cocoa Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips in the microwave, gently on half power at small intervals and stirring frequently.  The white chocolate I melted on the double boiler.  I put both melted chocolates in piping bags and bowls and we just had fun!  Be prepared to get messy! 

NOW ENTER!  
(P.S. I have a chance for another $75 card on my INSTAGRAM account ending on 2/8/16!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now to deliver some wine and cookies! 
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