Friday, August 28, 2015


When we first moved to the Charlotte area, we were told this is Nascar country. Well, the Nascar Hall of Fame is located in Charlotte. So, we decided we should check it out. We thought it would be something fun to do with the kids. Are we Nascar fans? No. Do we ever watch it? No. Did we like the museum? Yes. The kids especially liked the simulator. After watching our daughter crash several times and take out several other cars during her simulator ride, we believe it is best for her to wait awhile for her license. Our son placed third in the simulator ride. So, he will have to wait for his license too since he likes speed and is good at it.
The outside of the Nascar Hall of Fame shaped like a track.
The museum has a chronological display of cars from the past to the present.
Do you know who's car this is? If you guessed Richard Petty, then you are a Nascar fan.
This is my favorite photo for the day. My daughter took it. Besides the cars, the museum has displays about many of the drivers, trophies, and other items. There is a simulator and a short film.

Did you already know....................
-The beginnings of Nascar began with the bootleggers building fast cars to outrun the police.
-Nascar was formed because  William "Bill" France Sr. noticed how the rules varied depending on the event so he formed a committee. 
-In 1949, the Charlotte Speedway held the first Nascar Strictly Stock race.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Chicken a la king

I really like easy meals. This is an easy meal. I have been making different versions of Chicken a la king for years. At my house, it is a dish that we all will eat. Now, you can make homemade biscuits or just bake up some biscuits from a can. I have used biscuits either way. My family prefers the homemade biscuits. This dish really is versatile. If you don't like mushrooms, leave them out. If you love mushrooms, add more. If you are vegetarian, leave out the chicken and use vegetable broth. If you are gluten free, well then use gluten free flour. My family likes this dish since it is chicken in a gravy sauce over biscuits.
Chicken a la king
2 tsp olive oil 
1 lb. chicken breast, diced
2 Tbsp butter
1 portabella mushroom, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped fine
1 carrot, diced
2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup half and half

4 freshly baked biscuits

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. 
  2. Add the chicken and saute for 2 minutes. 
  3. Add the butter to the pan and allow to melt.
  4. Add the mushroom, celery, and carrot. Saute for 3 minutes. 
  5. Sprinkle the dried thyme, salt, and pepper. Saute for a minute.
  6. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and mix.
  7. Add the chicken broth, wine, and bay leaf. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes. 
  8. Mix in the half and half. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
  9. Continue to allow the mixture to thicken until the chicken is cooked through. 
  10. Serve the chicken with the thicken sauce over the biscuits.
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris.

One year ago................................I made Eggplant Parmesan.
Two years ago..............................I made Ravoli in White Sauce.
Three years ago............................I made American Beauty PB Cake.
Did you already know.......................
-The origin of Chicken a la king is unknown.
-From several different claims, Chicken a la king was created as early as in the 1880s.
-Chicken a la king was very popular in the 1950s.

Monday, August 24, 2015


It has been a crazy summer. We have traveled all the way down to Mississippi and all the way up to Maine. As you can imagine, I haven't been cooking as much as usual. Since we have been in the South, my daughter requests biscuits. She doesn't care if we have them with breakfast or dinner. I've tried different biscuit recipes. This recipe is one of the biscuits we really liked. Do I think they taste like Hardees? We didn't think so but they are good and easy.
Hardees Biscuits copy cat
5 & 1/2 cups self rising flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder 
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup vegetable shortening, melted and cooled
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup water
Butter, for brushing the tops 

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. 
  3. In a large bowl, combine the 5 cups flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
  4. Cut in the vegetable oil with a pastry cutter or with your fingers. 
  5. Slowly add the buttermilk and the water. 
  6. Mix until the dough comes together. 
  7. Lightly flour a clean surface. 
  8. Roll out the dough and dust top with flour.
  9. Knead a couple of times while dusting with flour.
  10. Roll the dough to 1 inch thickness. 
  11. With an inch cutter or a glass, dust the edge with a little flour.
  12. Press the cutter straight down into the dough and gently lift out.
  13. Place the biscuits onto the prepared baking sheet.
  14. Allow the biscuits to rest for 5 minutes.
  15. Bake the biscuits for 12 minutes or until golden brown. 
  16. Brush the top of the biscuits with butter and serve warm.
Recipe adapted from

Two years ago...................................I made Ladybug cupcakes.
Three years ago.................................I made Peanut Butter and Yogurt dip.
Did you already know....................
-In 1960, Wilber Hardee opened his first Hardees. 
-The first store was opened in Greenville, North Carolina.
-Within 5 months, Mr. Hardee had his first franchisee.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Tiger World

Since it is Summer time again, we have been spending time as a family. Every Friday, we have been trying to do something new. One of first trips was to check out Tiger World. My son recommended this trip. I didn't show a lot of tiger photos since I would be showing a lot of protective fence. We had an entertaining monkey which my husband seemed to carry on an enthusiastic conversation. The monkey was pretty entertaining. Since it was mid day, the majority of the tigers were resting. There were a few other animals to see like emu and wolves. Also, there were plenty of birds walking around viewing the different animals habitats too.
My family graciously allowing me to take their photo. This statute is at the entrance of the park.
One of the many peacocks. This peacock decided he had enough of a conversation with my husband and had to be on his way.
When my husband offered him food, they became friends again.
A white loin greeted us. The kids really liked this exhibit. We stayed here awhile and visited. He allowed this kids to take lots of photos of him. He even put his forehead on the glass so my son took a photo.

There were swans, ducks, and turtles in the pond. It was a pretty cool day. The kids feed many ducks. We saw a white lion and a black swan. It was a very nice family day. 

Did you already know...............................
-White lions are not albinos.
-Due to the recessive gene, two tawny parents can give birth to a white lion.
- In 1938, the earliest recording of a white lion in the Timbavati region.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Salisbury Steak

Did you eat TV dinners as a kid? On occasion, we did. One of my favorite TV dinners was the Salisbury steak meal. So, the other day I figured I would make Salisbury steak for the family. I could have made some TV dinners but I elected to make the meal from scratch. I figured it would be better for us. My daughter requested some creamed spinach which I thought was the perfect side dish. My husband loved the Salisbury Steak. He told me it was one of his favorite meals I have made. He didn't care for the creamed spinach even if the kids and I did. If you are feeling you would like a retro meal, then this is a great meal to make.
Salisbury Steak
1 lb. of ground beef
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 egg
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
2 Tbsp butter
1 large onion, sliced
8 oz. white mushrooms
2 Tbsp flour
2 cups chicken broth

  1. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, bread crumbs, and one egg. Mix until incorporated.
  2. Divide the mixture into 4 equal sections. Shape into patties.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Melt the butter and cook the meat patties on each side for 4 minutes. 
  5. Flip the patties and cook for another 4 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside on a plate. Cover.
  6. Add the onion into the skillet. 
  7. Reduce the heat to medium low. Cook the onions for 20 minutes. 
  8. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes. 
  9. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and mushrooms. Saute for 2 minutes.
  10. Add 1 cup of the chicken broth. Stir well. Raise the heat to medium.
  11. Add the meat patties into the skillet. 
  12. Add one more cup of the chicken broth to the pan. 
  13. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and allow the meat to cook for 15 minutes.
  14. Serve the patties with spoonfuls of the onion, mushrooms, and gravy over the patties.  
Recipe adapted from Taste of Southern
One year ago.............................I made Pineapple Syrup.
Two years ago..........................I made Pie Filling.
Three years ago........................I made Pineapple Kolaches.
Did you already know.........................
-Salisbury steak is named after Dr. Salisbury. 
-During the Civil War, Dr. Salisbury tested his food theories on ailing soldiers.
-Dr. Salisbury recommended a diet of hamburgers three times a week.