How to Pack the Perfect Picnic

How to Pack the Perfect Picnic

Are you looking for tips on how to pack the perfect picnic? Once the weather warms up, one of the first things I want to do is eat outside. Although I love sitting on a local restaurant’s patio, a picnic can be just as special and a lot more affordable! Plus, with limited seating at restaurants these days, it’s much easier to ensure a wonderful experience if you do it yourself. Here are my thoughts on what to bring on a picnic. Where to go on your picnic In order to pack the perfect picnic food, you’ll need to decide where you want to go on your picnic. Different venues lend themselves to a different list of picnic food items. Although there is always the traditional state park (which is an excellent option), there are other less common options: Local park. If you don’t want to make a day of it, this is an easy choice.Nearby lake or riverfront. This is especially fun if the lake has a beach or beautiful scenery.Local winery or brewery. Many local wineries and breweries don’t offer food and so you are welcome to bring your own – just make sure to call the location first to check.Park bench downtown. If you have a cute and safe downtown area, sitting on a park bench and people watching while enjoying a simple dinner can be a lovely break in the day.The beach. If you are lucky enough to live near the ocean, you should definitely pack a picnic and enjoy a day at the beach. These are just a few ideas that popped into my...
Save Time and Money on Dinner

Save Time and Money on Dinner

Do you want to save time and money on dinner? Are you looking for new dinner ideas? Who isn’t, right? After all, as I often say, the more we save on time and money, the more time and money we have for taking vacations and finding everyday adventures. One of my favorite ways to save both time and money consistently is by menu planning. I know, I know, everyone who hates to cook and plan probably just groaned. But hear me out … Taking a few minutes early in the week to plan your menu for each day will easily save you 15 to 30 minutes every day. That’s several HOURS a week for a short investment of time. Not to mention all the money you’ll save by only purchasing what you need at the grocery AND only having to go once. Introducing Eat at Home However, even if the benefits of menu planning aren’t worth the effort to you, I’ve got a great resource that will do the work for you. Once you join Eat at Home, you’ll have a weekly menu (with a grocery list) already planned out for you. Not only is the planning work done, but the dinner recipes are also delicious and EASY. 15-minute Chipotle Chicken Nachos from Eat at Home’s Traditional Menu Plan April 2020 Each week, just log on to your membership and select the menu you want for the week. You can pick between four different meal plans: Traditional, Whole Food Plant-Based, Slow Cooker/ Instant Pot (perfect for REALLY busy weeks), and No Flour/No Sugar. Each week contains 5 or 6...
Fun Cocktails for Spring Break

Fun Cocktails for Spring Break

Spring Break is the perfect time to create some fun cocktails! Even if you aren’t actually heading to the beach or somewhere tropical, these are easy and delicious drinks to make at home. Serve them in an interesting glass with a little umbrella and pretend you are on vacation! If the weather is nice and we aren’t on vacation, I like to serve a fun drink before or after dinner on our screened-in porch. Add a little dip in the hot tub and it’s a super relaxing way to enjoy an evening at home. Since all of these drinks are created with travel in mind, they don’t require many ingredients or a lot of hard work. Perfect for those lazy drink makers like me! Tropical Lemonade This drink couldn’t be easier. Start with a glass of ice (crushed is always best), fill the glass 3/4 with sparkling lemonade (we are obsessed with Trader Joe’s Sparkling Pink Lemonade), and then top it off with a shot of Malibu Rum. This is a delicious tropical cocktail with minimal effort. With only two ingredients it’s also perfect to bring along for the next time you are headed on vacation. Not going anywhere? It’s delicious to indulge in a glass while sitting out on the back porch (or if you are lucky in the hot tub!). Insider tip: buy a second bottle of the sparkling lemonade for the kids – they will thank you! Bloody Mary Bar When on vacation (or maybe just a lazy Saturday morning), a bloody mary is the ideal morning drink. If we are on vacation with a group...
Mexican Street Corn

Mexican Street Corn

Thanks to the Indiana sweet corn we picked up last week while searching for covered bridges in Rush County, we’ve been well-stocked for our current summer addiction – Mexican Street Corn. Every time we go somewhere that has Elotes (or as it’s often called Mexican Street Corn), we purchase it and gobble it up. Since we like to eat seasonally and sweet corn is delicious and plentiful during summer months in Indiana, this year we decided to figure out how to make one of our favorite dishes ourselves. Ingredients for Mexican Street Corn Turns out it is SUPER simple. This recipe is a conglomeration of multiple Pinterest recipes we found and the simplicity and flavors are ideal for our family – and now hopefully yours! I’m 100% sure it’s not authentic, but it is delicious! Recipe for Mexican Street Corn: Ingredients: Sweet corn – the fresher the better 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1-2 t. Chipotle Chili Powder grated parmesan or cotija to taste chopped up parsley or cilantro to taste Step one: The first step seems a little weird, but trust me, it works. Wrap your sweet corn (without husking it) in a paper towel and microwave for 2 minutes. If it’s good fresh corn, it will come out perfectly cooked. Step two: While your corn is cooking, mix the mayonnaise with the chili powder – add more or less chili powder according to your taste. Step three: Peel back the husk and coat the corn with the chili/mayo mixture. Step four: Sprinkle on cheese and cilantro and enjoy! Use up the leftover Mexican Street Corn topping! Whatever mayo mixture...
The Best Hidden Resource!

The Best Hidden Resource!

Today I’m singing praises about a resource most of us have access to, and few people ever use.  It makes my life easier, brings me daily enjoyment and costs NOTHING.  What is it? The local library. Seriously – if you don’t use your local library, you really need to check it out.  Libraries are so much more than dusty old shelves of books (although if you love to read, you’ll appreciate that too).  Ready for some examples of why the library is such a great resource? It’s free.  Unless you habitually forget to turn in your books, the library will cost you nothing. The library contains more than books.  Most libraries have DVD’s, audio books, music and magazines.  Mine also has board games and get this –  museum passes!  Yep, on our recent Spring Break we were able to check out family passes for two state museums and visit them for free.  This easily saved us $100. If your library doesn’t carry what you want, you can request it.  The library doesn’t have a book you want to read?  Ask them to purchase it or see if they can get it on loan from another library.  Most libraries are continually buying new material and they appreciate it when members tell them what they’d like to see. The programs can be terrific.  When my kids were little, we were regulars at story time – it was a fun, free activity we could do together.  Now they always enjoy participating in the summer reading program. Our library offers a program or two almost every day of the week – truly something...

Color for your Thanksgiving Table

It’s the time of year most of us think about cranberries.  Even if you don’t normally enjoy them, you might consume some cranberry sauce this week while enjoying your Thanksgiving dinner. However, we really should be eating cranberries much more often than once a year!  Cranberries are chock full of antioxidants, vitamin C AND they are great for your digestive system. If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection, you may have been advised to drink cranberry juice.  That’s because cranberries contain proanthocyanidins.  This helps prevent E.coli bacteria from sticking to the walls of your bladder. Thanks to all those antioxidants, they also help our body get rid of toxins that can cause our immune system to weaken – and a weakened immune system makes us more likely to pick up an icky bug. If you’ve never had real cranberry sauce – this is the year to start.  Here is my favorite recipe – it’s incredibly simple, delicious and can even be made a few days before you want to serve it. Other ways to add more cranberries to your life include drinking them (make sure it’s real cranberry juice and not a bit of juice with tons of additional ingredients), adding fresh ones to baked goods, or dried cranberries to your salads.  Or just snack on them raw – yum! This is also the time of year to stock up on cranberries – they can be pretty hard to find at the grocery after December.  Buy an extra bag or two and stick it in your freezer.  They’ll even keep in an airtight container in your refrigerator’s crisper...

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