Showing posts with label National Dairy Month. Show all posts
Showing posts with label National Dairy Month. Show all posts

Road Tripping, Someday

Monday, June 27, 2011

"For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move."                                     Robert Louis Stevenson

We have friends from Alaska visiting us in a few weeks. They are renting an RV in San Francisco and heading to Disneyland, Joshua Tree and Carlsbad Caverns. With three children under 10. They will be our litmus test. Phil has been wanting to rent an RV for awhile. Since I don't camp, this would be the best compromise.

When my family moved here from Illinois, we drove. We stopped at the Grand Canyon, the meteor hole in Arizona and the Petrified Forest. I was a little younger than Tyler. I don't remember all of the trip but I do remember having a good time. I played my handheld video games that were the size of a hardback book, read, napped and stared out the window. I love those memories.

I know it sounds cheesy, but we really want to get out and see our great nation. Aside from that trip across the US, I don't think I've set foot in more than 10 states. Tyler has only been to two. That's just sad. We want him to see Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier National Park, lightning bugs, see what a real fireworks show looks like, snow falling from the sky and the places he sees on the History Channel.

Travel is something I took for granted. I thought I had plenty of time to do it "when I got older." I had friends who took a family vacation every year. I thought that was the greatest thing ever and wished my family were the same. I missed out on the high school trip to Spain and I still kick myself for it. I don't want Tyler to wish we'd taken him more places.

We're trying to find room in our budget to set aside money for travel. We're starting small with a day trip to Catalina. If all goes as planned we'll be taking our first international trip in two years, two months (not that I'm counting). 

So, Alaska friends, if you're reading this (hi!) please keep in mind that your vacation is setting the tone for my future family outings. If things don't go well, don't tell me, tell Phil. 

How do you fit in family travel? What's the best vacation you've taken together?


This is the last in a series of sponsored posts from Safeway Dairy and National Dairy Month. You have a few more days to play at for a chance at a trip to a national park of your choice including airfare, accommodations, transportation, a picnic basket and a $200 gift card. Sweepstakes ends on 6/30/2011.

A Post Full of Cheese-y Puns

Friday, June 24, 2011

I have a confession. Maybe more like a secret to share. I haven't had a glass of milk in almost seven years. I can't. It makes my stomach do funny things. It hasn't always been that way. In fact, during my last trimester, a glass of ice cold milk always hit the spot. Same with when I was nursing. I drank milk all the time. 

Tyler self weaned a little after he turned nine months so we supplemented with formula, gradually increasing the amount of milk over water. Between the three of us, we were going through several gallons of whole milk per week. Phil was in heaven because we'd been drinking 2 percent before I got pregnant.

I remember the first time I poured myself a tall glass of milk and things went sour. I was so surprised. I switched us back to 2 percent thinking it would help but it was the same. Talk about heartbreaking. Since then I've tried soy and almond milk and just can't stomach the taste. The weird thing is, I can have cereal if I keep the milk ratio low, I can drink lattes and mochas, I always use half and half in my coffee and have a yogurt almost every morning. None of that bothers me. 

Now, before you go feeling sorry for me, let me say I have found my work around and it pleases me greatly. Cheese. I can eat cheese until the cows come home with no problems whatsoever. And boy, do I. Our fridge is always full of cheese in various forms: blocks, shredded, string, slices and snack sticks. If we're having a meal I can remotely get away with sprinkling cheese on, I will. My favorite thing to serve when we have guests is a fruit and cheese plate. Give me a hunk of cheese and some crackers and I'm a happy girl.

I should probably make an effort to find out the reasons behind my milk intolerance so I don't go another seven years without it and I'm sure one day I will. But for now, please pass the cheddar. 

This sponsored post is part of the #SafewayDairy National Dairy Month campaign. Visit daily through 6/30/11 for a chance to win a trip to the national park of your choice.

Two Vegetarian Picnic Sandwiches | Saying Goodbye to a Friend

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My very good friend M is moving to the other side of the country. We met training for the 3 day. She's one of those people who totally 'gets' me and we hit it off right away. We have so much in common, we can talk for hours and we have the same taste in shoes. I'm so sad she's leaving. The little kid in me is stomping her foot and saying, “it’s not fair!” over and over again. 

A few weeks ago, I decided I wanted to do something special for her and invited her on a beach picnic. I wanted to take food that would travel well, be easy to serve and would be budget friendly. To me, there’s only one perfect picnic food that meets all those requirements: Cheese!

I love, love, love cheese. Especially now that I have braces. No matter how uncomfortable I am, I can always eat cheese! I put together a great menu centered around cheese and crackers. If you plan to take cheese on a picnic, look for hard cheeses like an aged gouda, cheddar or parmigiano reggiano.

For dessert, I took fresh berries and some frozen whipped topping. I also made parfaits with chocolate pudding, whipped topping and crumbled chocolate chip cookies. They were divine!

M and I didn’t have the whole day to spend at the beach so I kept our meal light. But, if we’d had more time I would have made sandwiches. She’s a vegetarian and I would have needed something both of us could eat. Here are two easy sandwich recipes (with cheese!) that you don’t have to be vegetarian to enjoy that work well for picnics.

Apple Cheddar Panini

Whole grain bread
Low fat honey mustard
2 thinly sliced apples
Thinly sliced cheddar

Lightly and evenly spread honey mustard over bread. Layer apple and cheese slices. Lightly coat a panini press with cooking spray (I’d use my George Forman or cast iron skillet). Grill each sandwich for 3-5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before packing.

Black Bean and Lettuce Cheese Wraps

1 15 oz can black beans
¼ c chopped chives or onions
½ c cooked brown rice
⅓ c Italian salad dressing
½ c crumbled Feta cheese
Boston lettuce leaves, washed and dried

Set beans and chives in separate small bowls. Combine rice, dressing and cheese in a third bowl. Lay the leaves flat and fill with rice mixture and then top with beans and chives. Or, combine the rice mix, beans and chives in one container and the lettuce in another so the wraps can be assembled onsite at your picnic.

The only silver lining about M leaving is that she's moving to Boston and I love that city! I'm sure I'll be able to come up with a reason to visit.

*While we were at the beach I made a short video to toast our friendship. It looks like I'm about to propose because M is trying not to cry! This is part of a series of sponsored posts for National Dairy Month and
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