Weekend Recap: Family, Naps, and Chocolate

Weekend Recap: Family, Naps, and Chocolate

We had a good weekend. My half-sister Paula was in town to spend the weekend with our dad (it was his 80th birthday!), so we had a little fun.

Friday evening, we went to ClueMasters, a local escape room. Oh my goodness, it was SO fun!  There were interesting puzzles to solve, twists and turns…and a fantastic finish.  We had a GREAT time.  Local friends, TRUST ME- go spend an evening there. 

After ClueMasters, we went to Bricktown Brewery for dinner.  We had a fun meal and enjoyed each other’s company.

Saturday, mom, me, and Paula spent the day together.  We did a little shopping downtown, visited with dad, and had lunch with Tyler.

I came home in the afternoon to nap, but I had a sweet treat first. I LOVE this Ghirardelli 72% dark chocolate.  A square is the perfect indulgence.

Saturday night, we all had dinner at mom’s followed by a movie.  I brought over the ice cream maker and make wine and chocolate ice cream! I used the Josh Cellars Legacy wine and we shaved the Ghirardelli 72% to mix into it.  It was sweet and wonderful! I used this recipe if you want to try it.


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Sunday was church, grocery shopping, nap time, and watching Grease Live!  Did you watch it?  It was SO good.  The best of the live musicals so far, for sure.

So…that was the weekend. Like most of them, they are gone in a flash! Here’s to a great week!


Cookbook Challenge: Mesa Grill Cornbread

Cookbook Challenge: Mesa Grill Cornbread

When we were in Vegas, we ate at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill.  The entire meal was amazing, but one of the highlights was the bread basket.  Yes, that’s correct.  The bread basket.  There was the most amazing blue corn cornbread in the basket.  It was spicy, chunky, cheesy, and wonderful.

Well, after we got home, Tyler was STILL talking about that cornbread, so I ordered the Mesa Grill cookbook. I was thrilled to try the recipe for the cornbread.

I actually tried it over Thanksgiving.

This was a half-success.  We liked it, but it wasn’t the same as we had previously.  The ones we ate had cheese in them (or so we thought!)- this recipe does not.  I also thought they were quite salty- so next time I will cut the salt back.  And the recipe says you can use all yellow corn meal without changing the taste, but I disagree.  Next time, I will splurge for some blue corn meal.

The recipe I used can be found in the Mesa Grill Cookbook, but there’s another recipe on FoodNetwork.com that differs quite a bit.  Next time I will try that one.  The salt is MUCH less (the cookbook called for 4 tsp salt!) and also includes some sugar (where the cookbook does not).

We had them at Thanksgiving and they were yummy with pepper jelly! I would suggest trying the Food Network recipe though- it seems to be a bit more on the balanced side. I also think next time I will throw in some shredded cheddar too, since Tyler thinks the muffins we ate were cheesy.

So not exactly a cookbook fail, but not a bulls-eye either. And neither was the blurry pic I captured before eating one. ha!

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I’m not finished with this cookbook.  I’ve got several more recipes marked to try- including the AMAZING steak we had for dinner and a green pea risotto. Stay tuned. 🙂



Cookbook Challenge: Pecan Praline Wafers

Cookbook Challenge: Pecan Praline Wafers

One night I had a hankering for cookies.

We didn’t have any chocolate chips, so that was out of the question.

What could I make?  Well, I turned to the Southern Living Christmas Cookbook that’s been sitting in my cookbook stand for FAR too long without me cooking out of it.

I found a simple recipe that didn’t take too much time or too many ingredients. I had everything on hand for it, too.

Praline wafers.   Can’t beat a 7 minute prep time and 8 minute cook time.  I would have cookies in 20 minutes.

Adapted from Southern Living Christmas Cookbook (2005).

Praline Wafers:

  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans (I didn’t toast mine first, I didn’t want them to taste too nutty…and toasting increases the nuttiness)
  • I added 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

This is an interesting recipe.  You start by melting the butter in a skillet over medium heat, and then adding the sugar.  Cook that for 3 minutes, stirring the whole time.

Remove it from heat and let it cook, then add egg and vanilla.

Lastly, add in the salt, flour, cinnamon, and nuts.  Then scoop it on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 8 minutes or so until the edges start to brown.

Let them cool and enjoy!

Tyler LOVED these cookies.  The entire batch was gone in less than 24 hours!

Cookbook challenge success!

Cookbook Challenge: Los Cabos Carnitas

Cookbook Challenge: Los Cabos Carnitas

We love eating at Los Cabos in Tulsa. It’s wonderful Mexican food.

So a couple of years ago, when I saw they had a cookbook on Amazon, I asked for it for Christmas. And mom delivered.

I haven’t done any cooking out of it, until now. I was browsing through the recipes for one I had the ingredients on hand for.

Enter their carnitas.

Super simple and easy- and I had everything in my pantry already.

Adapted from Los Cabos Oklahoma.

My pork roast was half the size, so I adjusted as follows:

  • 8 ounces water
  • 2 pound pork roast
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 diced onion
  • 2 cloves diced garlic
  • 1 bottle dark beer (I actually used alcoholic rootbeer since that’s what I had)

I combined it all in the crockpot and cooked it on low for 8 hours.

It was unbelievably tender.  It had a sweet and savory flavor, without overpowering the pork flavor.

We put it in tacos.

I toasted the corn tortillas, used verde salsa, jalepenos, and cheese with the pork.  And it was GOOD.

First cookbook challenge: success!  Tyler loved them too!