Tag Archives: On The Road

Our Great Western Adventure ~ September 2013 ~ Installment #14 ~ Onward!

It’s eight o’clock in the morning and we’re already headed down the the road before us. We wanted to get a good head start to the day as we made our way towards the Badlands National Park.

A~MAZ~ING!

I found it fascinating all the different colors of the rock formations. We stopped at one of the overlooks, walked up to the rail and here’s these two Big Horn Sheep, MAN! And the Prairie Dogs here, I’ve never seen so many in one place, and fat !   We had a picnic lunch at the Visitor’s Center and then motored on to…

Wall South Dakota

What, you’ve never heard of Wall Drug and the free ice water? It was a blast, I didn’t know that it was so big. We decided on a snack after walking and shopping.

Their doughnuts were outstanding, so were the pies, we tried our slice ala mode along with some free ice water, that’s what they’re known for.

our hotel in Wall South Dakota

We found our hotel, not that difficult, Wall South Dakota is not very big. We only stayed one night, so we made supper just a simple salad in our room and it was to bed early, so that we would be fresh for our next stop.

Advertisements

Our Great Western Adventure ~ September 2013 ~ Installment #13 ~ Next Up Is Keystone South Dakota

On our way out of Sundance Wyoming we went through Deadwood South Dakota, interesting place for a morning visit.

On to the main event: Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

I know that I’ve said WOW! quite a few times already in sharing our Great Western Adventure with everyone, but WOW!

As we walked towards the granite faces of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln, I stopped in my tracks, tears welling up and rolling down my cheeks.

I spotted Hawaii’s State flag in the breeze, which reminded me what a lucky little girl from Kaneohe Oahu I am. My husband was so excited, he plowed ahead, getting as close as he could to this National Treasure. This was a place we both had been waiting all of our lives to see…

So let’s not waste any more time dilly-dallying around.

We didn’t bother with our hotel until later that afternoon. We stayed at the park for the majority of the day, got a quick bite in the cafeteria and then found a good spot to watch the Evening Lighting Ceremony.  I don’t have one of those fancy cameras that can take a good night-time photo, but was really awesome to see!

The next day we had breakfast in our hotel, which was once again the usual “continental-plus” fare and then back to the park for the day. Surprisingly, there is a lot to see and do. We had decided that we would end our day early and have dinner at the Powder House Restaurant. You wouldn’t know that this is a restaurant, it looks like a log cabin, but man, what great food. In my research prior to leaving on this trek, I found that the Powder House specializes in local grass fed beef, bison and game.

My husband and I shared an appetizer of game kebabs-venison, bison and elk, wonderful. My supper was the special game of the day, pheasant with a fresh apple relish if you will and steamed veggies. My DH ordered the Prime Rib and the steamed veg as well. It seems that we had just enough room leftover to share a chocolate mousse.

We found a small grocery store in the next town over and replenished our supplies the next day and spent one more day at Mount Rushmore. We both just sat, in silence, looking up at the four faces that helped to forge America.

WOW, just WOW!

My Obsession Is Perpetuated

That’s right, my apron collection has been added to by my chef friend, Joey. She knew how much I adore aprons and wear them every day.

Along our month long adventure through the West, DH and I stopped in to visit with Joey. She had made mention to me a few months back that she had been going through some of her things and found two aprons that she wanted to give to me. Little did I know that those two aprons were from her Mother and Grandmother.

I feel so honored to now be the caretaker of these treasured heirlooms.

Mahalo, thank you Joey.

Talking About Cake

A few weeks ago, DH took me to the greater Phoenix area for a mini vacation (I’ll catch you up to speed on that later). One of the places that we went to was Scottsdale Fashion Square, and I found Caketini. We had our very first Cake Pop, well, they call them truffles.

Caketini Coconut Truffle or Cake Pop

This is Coconut flavored cake mixed with buttercream and then dipped in chocolate ganache, WOW!  I mean WOW!

I got to thinking, why does it have to have a stick and can I freeze them (for quantity control, otherwise we’d eat them all in a single go) ?

Ginger Bread-Cake, too dry

I had made my great grandmother’s old fashion ginger bread, using cake flour that I had left in the cupboard, instead of AP flour. It came out way too dry, so I thought, HMMM, this would make a great Cakeball.

the kit

I had been at our local supermarket, and I saw they had a Cake Pop kit for sale, cheap.

So here we go…

I crumbled the cake into a bowl; added 2 heaping tablespoons of canned, yes I said prepared buttercream frosting and gave it a good mix.

I didn’t want it too mushy, I wanted that truffle-like quality. I used a 1 ½ tablespoon disher to create even cakeballs and then into the freezer for about a half hour. There was my first mistake I found later after watching some You Tube ‘how-to-s’, they should have gone into the `fridge over night instead, oh well.

dipped and ready to chill

I melted some chocolate flavored Candy Melts in a double boiler, but it was awfully thick, but hard headed as I am, I plowed forward and dipped the icy cold balls into the candy and placed them onto a sheet pan covered in plastic wrap.

differest sprinkles

Some of them got some assorted sprinkles, cute. Then back into the chill box to firm up.

the finished product, YUM!

Not bad, though the candy coating is a bit thick. That was the second mistake. On the video that I watched AFTER I was done, you’re suppose to thin out the candy melts with some vegetable oil, did it say that on the box the kit came in? NO! Now I know for the next time. I got 14 little darlings to munch on later.

Another Rethink, Repurpose And Reuse Thought

This past weekend, DH and I went to visit with our friends in Prescott. They both have been kind enough to be my guinea pigs and taste the cakes that I test run for my shop etsy.com/shop/CakeInACan

Cake In A Can, Really!

I mail my cakes out in old fashion cookies tins to ensure that they do not arrive at your home as a box full of crumbs.

My grandmother use to make us cookies and give them to us in a coffee can and tell us that if we brought the can back to her she would fill it up again. Well, that’s exactly what I told Missus DF, gimme back your cake tin and I’ll filler up! As soon as I walked in the door she jumps up, gives me a big kiss and a hug along with a can! I did bring her another cake, just not in a can.

Another Rethink, Repurpose And Reuse Thought

As we left, DF filled the cookie tin with some of her chickens fresh eggs, laid that same morning! Now THAT is recycling at its best.

ALOHA!

Escaping The Heat

Living in the middle of the desert, you try to find ways to truly escape the heat when the mercury starts to rise beyond your comfort level. My husband and I are very fortunate to have good friends that we have known forever that live up North from us, in the high, cool desert of Prescott Arizona, the states territorial capitol. Sitting at some points over 5000 feet above sea level, with oodles of beautiful pines, it’s so much cooler than my hot kitchen, plus I don’t have to cook when we go here!

The food scene in Prescott has grown with the number of tourist it sees. There are so many different, unique and familiar types of cuisines available. On this trip we went to our two favorite places, Prescott Station on Gurley street in the heart of Prescott and Bonn-Fire, over in Chino Valley only a five minute drive away.

We started our trek North early, so I knew that we’d have breakfast on the road. AHA!

Spam Musubi

I had Spam Musubi in the deep freeze outside. A few days before we left, I put the little bundles of my joy  in the `fridge to defrost slowly. Then just as we were about to go out the door, I nuked `em to just barely warm and tossed them into a paper sack for the journey.

We met Mister DF at Prescott Station for lunch. Love this place! The menu hits all of the right notes. Whatever you think you might like to eat, they make it, or they’ll try their darndest to make you happy. We like to sit in the bar area, mainly so that the guys can watch the sports and news while they chat, and yes, men chit-chat just as much as women do, don’t let them fool ya’.

Prescott Station White Sangria

We had a different person serving us at the bar this time, Dave we found out is the local bee-keeper and only works at the restaurant seasonally. Shadow afforded us libations and suggests white sangria, WHAT? I’ll try that. They make theirs with their own recipe of Chardonnay, Muscat, pear brandy, triple sec, apple, peach and pear nectars, YUM-O-LICIOUS! It was so refreshing, and had to grab a hold of myself and not chug it down.

Prescott Station Ahi Salad

DH had the Ahi Salad Oriental with wasabi soy vinaigrette, the large size please.

Prescott Station Shrimo Taco Plate

Both Mister DF and I had the single shrimp taco plate, served with our choice of refried black beans and Mexican rice (which I actually ate, it was very good). The shrimp taco is grilled with Sonoran spices, topped with shredded cabbage, pico de gallo and papaya-mango aioli, that I requested they swap out for the smoked jalapeño aioli, very good!

After lunch, we went to check into our hotel, but our room wasn’t ready yet, so we cruised on over to the Court House were they had a bunch of vendors selling all kinds of goodies. As the heat of the day increased, we found ourselves at Frozen Frannie’s.  We had been there not so long ago with our nephews and really enjoyed it. Love this kind of frozen yogurt shop, serve yourselves, get it weighed and pay by the ounce, perfect on a hot day.

Once we got all settled in to the hotel, we moseyed on over to our friend’s home for a cocktail and then headed out for dinner.

Bonn-Fire in Chico Valley Arizona

Bonn-Fire in Chino Valley is wonderful. And HEH! Guy Fieri, we all sent the Triple D emails saying how you should check out this joint, DON’T!   We don’t want the world coming in, we had a heck of a time this past weekend getting a table! It was just as delicious as ever. We topped off our meals by sharing a piece of Carrot Cake, Oh My GAWD GOOD! As Missus DF said, it has visible vegetables in it; it can’t be bad, right?

Okay! Sunday Brunch, my favorite, especially back at Prescott Station.

As DH and I drove South, back towards the middle of the desert, we both commented on how odd we thought it was that we live in the “Big City” and yet inky-dinky Prescott was it ALL over us for places to eat.

Another Check Off The Bucket List

 

MAN, let me tell you! That was the best way to kick off Summer! My wonderful husband got us tickets WAY back in December of last year through American Express pre-sales for, wait for it, Fleetwood Mac, Live, in Concert at the US Airways Center in Phoenix last night!

I was SO excited! We made a mini-vaca out of it and spent the night, you know, we did it up right.

We left early-ish and stopped at Babbo Italian Eatery (sorry no pics, I was just plain too excited) and had a scrumptious late lunch of Spaghetti and Meatballs for DH and Chicken limone for me. We shared appetizer of Mushrooms and Asparagus with loads of garlic and shaved parm, delizioso.

We proceeded to the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Phoenix to relax for a bit. Then we went out for a pre-concert drink at the Network Bar & Grill within the hotel and up the block to the venue.

The group was stylishly late (about 20 minutes), but I’m sure that was because Stevie had to make certain she looked stunning and she did! Do you know old she is? She just celebrated her 65th birthday a few days ago, beautiful! Us old, I mean mature gals ROCK IT BABY!

Fleetwood Mac Live in Concert at the US Airways Center

DH got us fabulous seats, the only problem as that there was a group of younger folk (maybe in their 40’s) who decided to stand and dance along to each song; I’m just to dang too old to do that anymore. Most people around us felt the same way and remained seated. I was surprised that as we walked out after the almost THREE HOUR LONG SHOW with NO intermission, we could still hear. Lindsey was on FIRE!! What a concert, DH said that he felt that was better than any other show he’d seen, and we’ve seen a lot, so coming from him that is high praise indeed.

Home again, home again, jiggity jig. We had a bountiful buffet breakfast at the Terrace Café in the hotel and made our way home.

Thank you again my dearest husband!