Foodie Friday…Lemonade, the perfect summer drink!

Here is a great recipe for refreshingly yummy lemonade.  Would be perfect for your next BBQ or backyard get-together.  Have an awesome weekend!


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4 cups fresh lemon juice

3 cups sugar

1 bag frozen raspberries

Ice cubes, for serving


Squeeze the lemons and pour the juice into a pitcher. Mix together the sugar with 3 cups water and stir to dissolve to make a syrup. Add the syrup to the lemon juice and top it up with 8 cups water. Taste to make sure it’s sweet enough for you, and then add the raspberries. Mix the lemonade together and let chill in thefridge. (Keep inmind that the raspberries are tart, so be sure to sweetenenough!)

Fill mason jars with ice cubes and top them off with the lemonade.


Foddie Friday: Foodie Heaven: Remembering Your Hometown Eateries


In the middle of May, we were lucky enough to fly back home for the start of a much needed family staycation. I say staycation because we came back to our home state and families to spend time with them before moving on to our next duty station. While in town we played the local tourist and ate our favorite local grinds. Due to the fact we were without our local favorites for 4 years, I want to share with you all the amazing eateries we have here in case you ever visit. Why would you visit ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI you might ask- because it is home to one of a few VCP locations when you ship you car! So grab a hotel room and read the following places to eat while in town. In no particular order:

Lion’s Choice: It says it right there on the cup! Best thing to eat is their original roast beef sandwich on a wheat bun with cheddar cheese and extra seasoning. I love how their cheese is not just a slice, but like nacho cheese and the seasoning is to die for. I pour it all over everything.


2. Steak n Shake: Num Num Num. Chili 5 way is the only way to go. I also enjoy their frisco burger and shakes!

3. Penn Station: Subway on crack folks. This place is awesomely good.

4. St. Louis Bread Co. aka Panera Bread: Is that, is that really…. a bacon turkey bravo?! You guessed it right! Did you know that only in the St. Louis metropolitan area and a few other cities out side St. Louis is it called the St. Louis Bread Co. Why is it not called Panera bread? For the fact that it orginated in St. Louis (well Kirkwood, Missouri). That’s right all you awesome readers, I come from the home of St. Louis Bread Co. I will blow your mind even more- I worked there for 4 years!



5. Imo’s Pizza: I have a little pet peeve when I order pizza. To many restaurants are confused with the real definition of what Chicago vs New York pizza is. Then when I ask for St. Louis style pizza they are totally and utterly confused. They like to tell me that St. Louis style is Chicago style. Um, no sorry. I worked at Imo’s for two years and I made the pizzas. So here is some education for you all out there in bloggy land. Chicago style is a deep dish, I don’t know and don’t care what New York is and St. Louis style is a thin crust pizza, normally with a sweeter pizza sauce cut into squares; not triangles. Try it just once. The closest we could get on the rock was ordering a thin crust Papa John’s pizza and asking to have it square cut.


So there you go folks; a little run down on some of my favorite places to eat while in town. There are several more, so if  you want to know just ask!

Foodie Friday…Cupboard Casserole!


TGIF, everyone!  Another week in the books!  Okay, so I admit today’s recipe has a bit of a strange name, but I literally was looking for something to make where I wouldn’t have to go buy anything and just use what was in our cupboard.  Hence, the name 🙂  Well, I also used some things from the fridge/ freezer.  I found the original at www.southernplate,com/ and made a few changes (the two I made are in parenthesis), for what was in my inventory.  It was super good, approved by my kids, and even my visiting in-laws.  Have a great weekend!

Country Casserole (or as I named it, Cupboard Casserole)


2 c. small shell pasta, cooked and drained (I used elbow macaroni)

3 c. frozen mixed vegetables, cooked and drained

2 c. shredded cheddar, divided in half

one can French’s fried onions, divided in half (I didn’t have these so I substituted crunched Lay’s potato chips)

2 c. shredded cooked chicken (can use canned chicken or rotisserie)

1 can cream of chicken soup

1/4 c. milk

1 t. pepper

1 t. garlic powder

1/2 t. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl, reserving half of the cheese and fried onions for topping the casserole later.  Once mixed, spoon into a prepared 9X13 casserole dish.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Top with remaining cheese and onions and bake until cheese is melted, about 5 additional minutes.


Foodie Friday: Meal Tips during Hotel Living


So no recipe this week. Why? Because we are still on the move! After one week in the hotel (we are on week 3 of no home) I was already tired of eating out. You always think you’ll love not having to prepare, cook and clean up after a mess. I though I would also love the fact that my picky kids will always get what they want to eat. But put a fork in me because I’m done! If I have to eat one more fatty fried meal my heart will explode. Luckily, we are at a point in our gypsy life that we are staying with family for awhile. But what do you do for meals when you have no kitchen?

Tip 1: crock pot cooking
Did you know you don’t have to just cook roast in a crock pot? I know, it’s amazing! I received one for a wedding gift (9 years ago) and it sat in a box for 5 of those years. The one day my mom educated me. I know, those silly moms. But, she did. Then she sent me a cookbook that is all about meals to cook in the crock pot that is NOT roast.

What I have cooked in my crockpot:

Plus more! It’s not just for roast folks!

Tip 2: microwaveable meals
Yea, it’s not ideal, but it’s food. When we first moved to Hawaii we lived 60 days in one hotel room. It was torture and great birth control. I arrived with a grossly infected wisdom tooth and couldn’t get it fixed until they could actually see it (it was that infected and swollen). I was on a diet of liquids for two weeks which meant a lot of soup. Luckily, we had a microwave and were able to utilize that for soup, easy Mac (maccorii and cheese) and a multitude of other microwaveable meals

Tip 3: coffee pot meals
Yea, I know it sounds strange, but really it isn’t. Think about it. What do you use a coffee pot for? Making hot water that drips into coffee grounds making hot coffee. So if you take away the coffee you have hot water. Therefore, you have hot water to cook with.

You can make:
Instant potatoes
Hot chocolate
Hot tea

Lastly, ask the hotel about their policies regarding cooking elements. The hotel we stay at four years ago, did not allow a griddle. However, the hotel we stayed at when leaving the island did allow it. We didn’t want to pack it and were able to get by without it. But a griddle is another invaluable cooking tool.