Friday, November 30, 2012

Halloween Fun!

 Like 2 months late....sorry 'bout that. I've been working like crazy!
Anyway, so really other than Trick-or-Treating, the only thing we were able to do was our favorite
haunted house attraction, Darkwood Manor in Luray, VA. Every year they have a different theme, and it's always AWESOME. I've been taking Bailey, for the last three years. He loves it. He's 11 now, so I guess as far as being "kid-friendly", it depends on how much your own kid can actually handle. There was another 11 y/o with us, his friend Drew, who was scared to go in, but I pulled him in, and he loved it and wanted to go back in! My friend's 11 y/o went, stood in line, and at the last minute wanted no parts of it, and wouldn't go it all depends on the individual.
 So this year while standing in line, we had the good fortune of meeting, BEETLEJUICE! He was awesome, very entertaining. There was also a little (in stature) girl...She was like a doll or zombie or something. She was pretty cool too. They definitely keep you entertained while you're waiting to go in.
They got all hi-tech this year, and had a big projection screen going outside, and a few digital effects inside.
  Here are a few pictures:
Beetlejuice, Drew, Bailey, & two of our cousins in the back.

Drew, Bailey, and the zombie doll girl.

This is my good friend Stacey from school and me!
I made this from ONE trashbag lol.

My pumpkin.

These boys are CRAZY lol. We were in Target waiting for everyone to meet up to go to Darkwood Manor.
The next day I took them to the Alamo drafthouse. They do this super cool Saturday morning cartoon thing. This time is was Halloween themed old cartoons!!! Animaniacs, Bugs Bunny, Ghostbusters, Beetlejuice, etc...for 2 hours, and for $4!! And, they have have all you can eat cereal!! :D

After the Alamo, we met up with my mama and grandparents at he Golden Corral. This isn't really a special place, extactly....I just had to put these crazy boys antics on here lol. They had a cotton candy machine and a chocolate fountain. Which they put the two together.
They had this stuff EVERYWHERE. And it wouldn't come off!!! They had my Papa laughing so hard :D

The more Drew wiped, the worse it got lol

Oh, and after that we went to the Halloween store in Manassas....where a Zombie tried to bite me. I kid.... I kid..... It was a fake bahahahahaha

We had such an awesome weekend!! :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Coke Zero Brownies & 5 Ingredient Banana Bread

Found the diet coke brownies on Pinterest (freakin' love Pinterest!). The recipe was found on this blog:

 Anyway, the recipe calls for Diet Coke, but I used Coke Zero.

 Low-fat Brownie mix
 Coke Zero

 In a bowl, pour coke over brownie mix, stir w/ a fork or whisk. Grease the pan. Pour in the mixture, and bake for about 15-20 (until a knife or toothpick comes out clean when you poke it). The time depends on what type of pan you are using. I used a standard brownie pan (specifically said brownie pan on the label), and a mini-muffin pan. I checked them after 15 minutes. If they're not quite done I let them bake for another 2 minutes at a time....If they're really not done, I'll do 5 minutes at a time.

This is the BEST Banana Bread you'll ever eat!


3 bananas (should be turning brown)
1 box yellow cake mix
walnuts, chopped (like a handful)
chocolate chips (about 1/2 a cup; more or less)
2 eggs

Directions: Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees
 In a large bowl, mash up the bananas (mashed potato masher worked great!). Add in the other ingredients, and mix with a fork. Spray the pan/s with PAM. Pour in the batter. Bake for about 20 min. Do the knife/toothpick trick again like you would for the brownies.

 I made four mini loaves out of this mix.
Original recipe found here:
Hopefully, this weekend I'll make it to one of the Valley's Haunted House attractions!!! That post will be coming on Monday! :)
                                                               All The Best, Candi

Apple Curry Chicken Chili

 Yesterday at work we had a fundraiser lunch. The people had a choice of either a hot dog w/ various sides or a bowl of chili w/ sides. Anyway, I made chili. I didn't want to bring in the same kind of chili as other this is what I came up with. I posted on my Facebook, Apple Curry Chicken Chili, would you eat this? A lot of women said no, it sounded gross...the guys said they would. Well, the first one to knock it before she rocked it, wants the recipe lol. Everybody loved it, and it was the only one to be sold out of.  I got the last bowl, but still lol. Also, I made this over night in the crock-pot.

1.5 cups chopped apples (small cubes)
1/2 cup of (unsweetened) apple sauce
1 lb ground chicken breast
1 tbs minced garlic (I think that equals 1 clove?)
1/2 tbs curry powder
1 small onion
1 big can kidney beans (the double size), drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chili beans, with juice
2 cans tex-mex fire roasted diced tomatoes w/ green chiles, with juice
1 can fire roasted tomatoes, with juice

 Add a little oil to a skillet, and brown the chicken with the garlic. When the chicken is done, remove from the pan (go ahead and put it in the crock pot). Add a little more oil if needed (I actually used bacon grease, b/c I had it sitting there). Saute the onions just  little. Once they start to brown a bit, put them in the crock pot.
 Now put everything else in the crock pot, stir it all up, and put the lid on. I cooked mine on low/10 hrs... You may need to stir it once or twice, but it's not required. You could also slow cook this in a pot on stove too.

Note: The apples.... I didn't use actual applesauce. I took another apple, and "mushed" it up in my Magic Bullet, then poured it in....Same concept basically as apple sauce.

I topped mine with Guacamole, plain Greek yogurt, and a sprinkle of shredded cheddar.

 I do not have a picture of this :( Maybe next time!


Monday, October 1, 2012

Marker Miller Orchards

Happy Monday!!! (Yuck)
  On Saturday we went to the Marker Miller Orchards in Winchester, Va. We go every year, and is one of my favorite little traditions that Bailey (my kid) and I have. It is BEAUTIFUL there, and everyone is so nice. It is a huge PYO (Pick-Your-Own) farm. Depending on the season, they have blackberries, strawberries, raspberries,like 100 kinds of apples, pumpkins, and a few other things.
 They have lots to do and see. Inside of the store, they make their own Apple Cider donuts (and cinnamon buns, apple turnovers, etc). It smells like Heaven. They also have Caramel Apple Cookies, which are so freakin' good. On one side of the market are the baked goods, canned items (stuff in jars for those of you who don't know what canned means lol), an ice cream and fudge parlor, and a little wine tasting area (earned an extra 10pts for that one!).
 The other side of the market is the produce. They have various pumpkins, squashes, peppers, apples, gourds, potatoes, and onions. Also, cookbooks, hams, doggy treats, more stuff in jars, and the bathroom is over there too.
 Outside they have a few playground structures for the kids, a big pavilion with picnic tables, rocking chairs on the porch, and lots of room to run!
 They do have food you can buy also so you can do a picnic type of thing if you want. Saturday in the little cabin looking thing, they had cheeseburgers, hot dogs, Rt11 chips (Valley made!), drinks, and country ham sandwiches. Bailey and I had a cheeseburger, and it was pretty damn good. They're like the ones you get at the fair. And probably like the ones you can buy frozen and patted out already, but they just don't taste as awesome as when you buy them from a vendor and eat it outside :) It's better that way!
Okay, so we went and picked apples (Prices will be listed at the end). Picking apples is fun and relaxing! The fresh air is great!!! They probably used pesticides, but I couldn't help but eat an apple right of the tree....I wiped it off first at least.... :/.... I'm sure the type of apple that was my favorite, but there were only like three of this tree, the apples were pretty small, but they were SO good! I should've grabbed more of those. You can also walk to one of the pumpkin patches with a wagon and pick whichever one (or five) you want.
 One of my favorite things there, is the wagon ride! It's so nice... I could be on there all day long. What a great job that guy has to drive the tractor all day! Aside from the wagon, they also have a cow-train! Kids love that thing. It's a barrel train, painted like cows. It's cute, and fun, and pretty popular.
 All in all, it was another lovely trip to the Marker Miller Orchards!!! I think I picked like 80 lbs of apples lol.
Here are some pictures, and the prices at the bottom (and the link to the MMO website!)
                                                             Stuff in the Market
                                                       (Purple peppers, people!!)
Bailey and Me
                                            Some of the things we saw on the wagon ride

                       Out in the orchards!

Wagon Ride: $2 (4 & under are free)
Cow Train - FREE!

1/2 peck - $7
Peck - $10
Bushel - $14
The bushel is your BEST option! The apples are HUGE.

.59 Per pound

All The Best, Candi

Friday, September 28, 2012

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Whipped these babies up for dinner the other night :)

4 BELL PEPPERS (cut of the tops, and hollow them out)
1 lb HAMBURGER (I used Extra Lean)
1 small ONION, diced
1 CELERY stalk, diced
1/4 cp MANGO, diced
1 pkg frozen BROWN RICE (it's the only way I can cook rice lol)
2 cans Campbell's TOMATO SOUP
SLAP YO' MAMA seasoning or simular CAJUN  seasoning

*Pre-heat oven to 350.*
 Microwave your rice according to package directions. While that's cooking start the other stuff.
  Put a little oil in the pan (I used coconut), and saute the onion and celery. Once the onions start 'sweating', add the hamburger,and season to taste with the cajun seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook until done (the hamburger will be brown).
 In a large bowl, stir the cooked mixture, 1 can of soup, mango,a big squirt of ketchup and rice together. Spoon the mixture into the peppers. Stuff 'em full! Now in your baking dish (I used a loaf pan for bread), pour half of the second can of soup in the bottom of the pan. Set the peppers into the pan, they will more than likely fall over which is why I used the loaf pan (they still fell :/). Now pour the rest of the soup over the peppers. Sprinkle the tops with breadcrumbs and parmesean cheese.
 Cook in the oven for 45-50 minutes at 350.
Before you eat it, spoon some of what's on the bottom of the pan, over your peppers, and sprinkle a little more cheese on top :)
 Happy Eating!

Edinburg Ole Time Festival

 Last weekend in Edinburg, VA  was the 'Ole Time Festival. Edinburg is a teeny tiny town in Shenandoah County. It's pretty much two streets (of main road). Route 11 runs right through it. It's located between Woodstock and Mount Jackson.
  I love Shenandoah County. It's just a few small towns, but there it seems like every month, there is something community driven to do. Last month we had the Rt11 Yard Sale Crawl and the fair. This month we had the Edinburg 'Ole Time Festival.
 'Ole Time-y Day (as my mom and I call it), is on the two main streets. They're lined with tables full of crafts, and food trucks. Usually, at the old elementary school there are bands playing and dancers (like cloggers), and food vendors and craft tables set up on the lawn, but  didn't see any of that when I drove past.
  I always park at the top of the hill, and make my way down. If you go down Rt 11 and cross the river, there are vendors set up at the Edinburg Mill. The Mill is open for tours (Free!). It's pretty cool inside. There's food down there too (There is stuff to eat everywhere).
 There is also a rubber ducky race, and a parade! The parade....hhmm....there is really no point to most of what is in the parade....there were a couple of guys on tractors....a couple on four-wheelers....a few cars.... I think the only few things that had purpose were the people and beds that were in the annual bed races, the Massanutten Military Academy marching band (they were great and led the parade), and the Central High School marching band and Flag Corp (they were awesome and closed the parade). My biggest complaint about the parade is that THEY ALLOW TRAFFIC TO GO THROUGH IT!! They need to find an alternate route or something. We couldn't see half of what was going on, because of the traffic. That is so annoying.
 On a more positive note, Thank you to the people who live at the big huge pink house on the corner for letting us sit on your lawn for the parade :)
 Here's the link for more info on the Edinburg 'Ole Time Festival (wear comfy shoes, and sunblock!)
All The Best, Candi

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pumpkin Chili

I freaking LOVE pumpkins!! I just moved into my house last week, and needed to make dinner, but most of everything was still packed up. So, I had to use what I had handy! Pumpkin Chili is what I came up with :)

1 lb Hamburger (I used extra lean)
Corn (small can, drained)
Sour Cream
Tortilla Chips
Oil (if using lean meat; I used Coconut oil)
Shredded Cheese
And these, one can EACH.

- If you're using lean burger, put a little oil in the skillet (I used coconut oil). Brown the hamburger.
-Add in about a cup of (drained) corn. Cook for about 2 min.
-Drain the beans, add them to the mixture. -Add the tomatoes, and 1/2 can of pumpkin. Stir it up good.  
-Let this simmer (heat on med/lo) for about 10-15 min.
- Now put it in a bowl, and top with guacamole, sour cream, cheese, salsa, chips, whatever :)
***NOTE: The pumpkin is pumpkin ONLY. Do NOT use the one for PUMPKIN PIE***

 Enjoy, Candi

Strasburg Emporium

  I love going to the Strasburg (VA) Emporium and just walking around looking at everything. The place is HUGE. There is so much stuff to see...Lots of antiques and vintage items, books, vintage clothes and jewelry, quilts...You name it, it is probably in there! The prices on a lot of the stuff is pretty high, but those items are generally priced about right considering what it is. There are bargains to be found though! They have a Clearance/As Is room!! If you enjoy re-doing furniture like I do, this is a great room to rummage around in.
 Inside the Emporium, is a little cafe (It also has outside access). I haven't eatin there since the new owners took over, but I hear it's pretty good!! The smell of coffee wafts through the air inside the building. It's pretty nice.
 I take my son with me, a lot when I go (lack of a sitter, plus he likes the old stuff too). He isn't rowdy,running around, loud, or anything. He's well behaved, and knows his limits. The only gripe I have really about this place, is that I've noticed that when he's with me, we get followed. Once the man who was working the register in front, followed my family (myself, son, grandma, mother, aunt, and another child), around the store for a good 30 min. Then two or three weeks ago, a lady who owns one of the booths was watching my son like a hawk. I don't appreciate that. I understand you don't want your items stolen or broken, but you don't have to be so blatantly obvious that you have targeted my kid who wasn't doing anything wrong. Everything else about the Strasburg Emporium, I LOVE.
 So next door to the Emporium, is the Indoor Flea Market. It's a great little place if you're looking for Star Wars, wrestling (WWE?), and comic book items. The rest of the stuff is iffy. I always feel the urgent need to wash my hands once I leave. My greatest find was a stack of reprints of Vintage WWII "Join The Army" posters. My boy is weirdly interested in WWII for a young kid, so I knew he would love them!Plus, on the back they had an address sticker that had my little brother's childhood friend's grandfather's name, address, and phone number! That was kindof cool :)
 Across the parking lot is this quaint little shabby chic shop, with the nicest lady inside. She is just so sweet. She has lots of lady-like items inside, and lawn decor sitting out front.
Here are some pictures from the trip!

 All The Best, Candi

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Shenandoah County, VA Fair

 Hello World! This is my first post....I'm excited! I live and work in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. This blog will be about places to visit (Roadtrip!!), Places to eat, local Valley- resident owned businesses, and there will be recipes scattered throughout too. I hope ya'll enjoy!!

 The Shenandoah County Fair is something my 11 y/o son looks forward to (even though it means school starts as soon as the fair ends). They always seem to have the best musical line-up too!! This year they had the legendary George Jones and Travis Tritt!!! I took my son, Bailey, and his friend, Austin this year. We always go on Kids Night (usually a Tuesday), because I can save $2 as there is no children's entrance fee that day. Unless you only plan on your child riding one ride (like that ever happens), you're much better off buying an All-Night/Unlimited ride bracelet. They're $18. I remember when I was a kid (I'm 30 now), the bracelets were $10. So, I walked in with $70.  I left with $2. That I then spent on two tacos at Taco Bell for Austin. That $70 included a 3 teas, 2 bottled sodas, 1.5 bracelets (paid the difference for Austin), 2 BBQ sandwich meals, 2 funnel cakes, and my entrance fee. Wow. It is not cheap at all to take the family to the fair. It's like you have to save up for it like you would a vacation! But, the kids had fun, I got some great pictures, and I actually saw the cows this time!! There was a cow there, that was a big as a VW Bug....He was a massive fella.
                  Well, here are a few pictures :)

This is Bailey and me

All The Best, Candi