Ft Worth Texas- Family – Zoo – Botanic Gardens – Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge – Dinosaur Valley State Park – Waco Magnolia At The Silos

Ft Worth Texas

We were was so excited to finally arrive in Ft Worth, to spend the holidays with our daughter, son in law and two grandsons. We arrived just before Thanksgiving and left 3 days after Christmas, we definitely broke our 3 day rule. But we got to be woken up almost every morning by a three year old who would crawl in bed with us, cuddle up and want his grandpa to go hide so he could find him. This was 6 am in the morning Texas  time and 4 am Bend, Oregon time and truly what great memories are made of. Well I could have used some (lots) of coffee and really needed to brush my teeth, but no this little guy just wanted to play, snaky, snaky, hiding rubber snakes all over the house. I will never forget the sound of the boys voices, their feet running on the wooden floors and getting to explore Ft Worth with them.

First thing we did was join the Ft worth Zoo and we visited a lot. Our two grandsons Cole and Bryce know every name of every snake, lizard, alligator, etc. The Ft worth Zoo has won many awards for being one of the best in the nation and for good reason. Founded in 1909 with one lion, two bear cubs, an alligator, a coyote, a peacock and a few rabbits. The zoo now is home to 5,000 native and exotic animals and has been named the top zoo in the nation.

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The holidays were amazing, with an elf appearing every morning in a different location around the house, a Christmas parade downtown Ft Worth and the most beautifully decorated neighborhoods. We even got to attend a TCU versus Baylor football game, thanks to our son in law. To much fun.

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Our next exploration with the boys was The Botanic Gardens a living museum. A beautiful self guided tour of groomed trails, featuring numerous native plants and trees. . This day we were in search of a snapping turtle which makes his home in one of the many streams and beautiful water features and per the boys -loves granola bars. To Funny!!

Next fun adventure with the boys was The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge. A natural area comprised of forests, prairies, and wetlands allowing you to step back in time and experience what the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex was like in the early 20th century. First stop was the visitor center because we just had to see the texas Alligator and numerous snakes on display. The very nice ranger on duty brought out a snake for the boys to touch, well I had to touch also. We then explored the groomed trails and had a fun picnic on the shore of Lake Worth. Now that the boys are fed its off to do some geocaching along the trails and lake. Fun day, lots of special memories.

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Dinosaur Valley State Park-Where Dinosaurs Roamed

Long ago, dinosaurs left footprints in the mud at the edge of an ancient ocean. Today, you can walk in their tracks in the bed of the Paluxy River. This long trip to the past is just a short drive from Fort Worth.

We packed a lunch, lots of water and set off for Dinosaur Valley State park, a meir 58 mile drive from Ft Worth with typical Texas scenery. (SNORE). Ok, sorry for the comment but when you are from Oregon you start to miss the color GREEN. What a fun day, the boys were in heaven trying to catch tiny fish in the Paluxy river overtop dinosaur tracks. If you like dinosaurs, you’ll love the 200 million-year-old fossil trackway. You can spend a whole day exploring the groomed, vista trails.

WACO-Magnolia, Chip and Joanna, need I say more. A 90 mile drive from Ft Worth and you are in Waco eating cinnamon rolls and Joanna’s famous cupcakes at Magnolia. There’s a little something for everyone and another fun day exploring the beautiful grounds and shopping, it’s definitely worth a stop. Everything has been carefully thought out for your comfort and pleasure, from a bite to eat, covered rest areas to a safe large play area for kids.

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Cheers From Just Around The Bend ♥♥♥♥ liz-logo-1

 

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RV Style Che Guevara

I dont know about you, but when we pull away from the house and finally get on the road, I like to have as many meals made ahead as possible.  Meals that freeze well and reheat wonderfully. In addition they must be healthy. This RV friendly recipe ticks all of the boxes, plus it makes a great breakfast, lunch or dinner. Che Guevara also makes a quick burrito, taco or a even healthier rice bowl. Often times when we want to go hiking and not spend a lot of time on a  big breakfast, I reheat the Che Guevara in tin foil, place in the oven to reheat and serve a perfectly cooked egg on top- Yum, it’s truly super food. With these simple ingredients you are on your way to hike, bike, fish, or relax around the campfire.  ♥

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Roasting Pan I Use

4 Cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks

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Love this roasted corn

1 large onion, diced  (approx. 2 cups)

1 plantain, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks (optional)

1 1/2 Cups of brown rice (I use leftover brown rice or Seeds of Change Quinoa & Brown Rice already cooked) Best buy is at Costco 

1/2 cups cilantro chopped and divided

1 15 ounce can of organic black beans ( drained and rinsed)

1 1/2 Cups of corn I prefer Trader Joe’s frozen Blackened corn

1 to 1 1/2 Cups of cooked broccoli, cut into tiny pieces eliminating the stems (drained and dried well)

1 Tablespoons olive oil (divided)

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This is a great option

1/2 Cup of your favorite barbeque sauce

1 teaspoon vindaloo (savory spice) or chili powder

salt and pepper (to taste)

Beware this makes a large batch, approximately 6 cups

What’s nice about this recipe is it can all be made in one pan.
Preheat the oven to 400°
Peel the chunked sweet potatoes, adding them into a large roasting pan. Drizzle with half of the olive oil and sprinkle with Vindaloo or chili powder.  Season with salt and pepper. Mix well.

Spread potatoes  out evenly into one layer – this is important, as you want them to roast, not steam as they will if you have them all on top of each other. Roast for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Roast an additional 5 minutes, adding the plantains and onion, continuing roasting until all potatoes and vegetables are  golden and crisp, an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Test to make sure the sweet potatoes have softened yet crispy on the outside.  When the roasting is complete, remove from the oven and add all of the remaining ingredients. Stirring gently to mix. Serve with Liz’s Greek Yogurt Topping and sprinkle with the remaining chopped cilantro.

Liz’s Greek Yogurt Topping
1 cup nonfat greek  yogurt , 1 Tablespoon diced fresh cilantro and 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice, mix all together and use as a topping.

Che Guevara makes a great burrito , taco or bowl, the possibilities are endless. Also liz-logo-1wonderful with corn or flour tortillas, chips and a nice cold beer..

 

 

 
Next week I am featuring Joshua’s Celery Soup
Disclaimer: The first time I experienced Che Guevara was at a wonderful restaurant in Portland, Oregon named Laughing Planet. Then lucky Bend, Oregon they opened up a Laughing Planet. I was in heaven. My neighbor Jen and I decided we could go home and duplicate this recipe and we believe the above recipe is pretty darn close.  Try  the recipe out and see what you think, its worth it. If you are ever lucky enough to find a laughing plant near you, all of their creations are wonderful .

Palate A Coffee Bar-Bend Oregon

Upon  entering Palate you just feel at home, with help full friendly baristas and a warm fire glowing in the fireplace. Not to mention their amazing coffee in which they use Stumptown Roasted Beans. Ok I am a coffee snob, along with most of our family and to us it really makes a difference. They also have on hand almond, coconut, soy and hemp milks, also important for people with dietary concerns. So put this all together and you have the most delicious and satisfying cup of coffee, made personally for you.

LOCATIONimg_9752
643 NW Colorado Ave
just south of downtown in Bend, Oregon

BEHIND THE BREW
Jason and  Jodi Groteboer of Palate

The comfortable feeling you get as you enter is from the renovating the owners did to this unique 100-year-old building, using pallet boards on the walls and tables, a play on words presented itself. The  coffee bar, Palate, opened in March of 2013.

The most popular drinks Palate serves are americanos and macchiatos, a shot of espresso with a little foamy milk added. Other items offered include teas and “foamy lattes” — Jodi’s term for large cappuccinos — plus a variety of coffee and espresso drinks, local kombucha, beer, baked goods and a daily soup.

“We know coffee,” Jodi Groteboer said. “We try to just focus on that.”

So if you are visiting Bend, Oregon, or lucky enough to live in this paradise like we do, it’s a must stop and well worth your time. As Jeff and I travel the country, we certainly love to find gems like Palate.

Until our next adventure FROM JUST AROUND THE BEND

liz-logo-1

SAGE

Bringing you your daily dose of travel and adventure and sometimes some good stuff to eat!!!

Next week back to healthy eating featuring Che Guevara RV Style

Sour Dough Pancakes

Bringing you your daily dose of travel and adventure and sometimes some good stuff to eat!! Hope You Enjoy ♥

Making sourdough pancakes is not instant, pour ingredients you can’t pronounce out of a box and in 5 minutes everyone is fed. Its a little work and planning but well worth it in every step and a healthier option for sure. In our family it’s a tradition, like driving through a tunnel, you always  honk your horn-Right, doesn’t everyone? Another family tradition  is when anyone comes to Bend, Oregon to visit us, we make homemade cinnamon rolls. Everyone expects them especially my son in law Dan as it has become a tradition. So keeping my sourdough starter alive for many years so I can create The Best pancakes ever is a huge TRADITION. Besides the healthy and yummy sourdough breads I make with this simple starter. So if you brave it and decide to make your own Sourdough starter the directions are below the pancakes, you won’t be sorry, it’s worth it.

SOURDOUGH PANCAKES

The night before prepare sponge mixture

1. Sponge: : Warm water 85 degrees, evaporated milk, starter and flour in a large glass               bowl, mix well . Cover sponge mixture with plastic wrap and leave on counter   overnight            .

1 Cup Water, warm
1 Cup Evaporated Milk1/2 Cup Sour Dough Starter
1 Cup Flour  (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill)    www.bobsredmill.com

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Sponge

2. Next morning: add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Get your grill out and make        pancakes.

2 Large Eggs
2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt

Yield: 8  Large servings, 24 pancakes using a 1/4 cup scoop

Notes: Can add to pancake mixture 1/2 to 1 cups of blueberries. Very Yummy-E.

Adapted From the Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 131 Calories; 4g Fat (26.3% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 19g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 62mg Cholesterol; 373 mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 Non-Fat Milk; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

How To Make Your Own Sourdough Starter

Makes 4 cups

What You Need

Ingredients
All-purpose flour (or a mix of all-purpose and whole grain flour)
Water, preferably filtered

Equipment
2-quart glass or plastic container (not metal)
Scale (highly recommended) or measuring cups
Mixing spoon
Plastic wrap or clean kitchen towel

Instructions

Making sourdough starter takes about 5 days. Each day you “feed” the starter with equal amounts of fresh flour and water. As the wild yeast grows stronger, the starter will become more frothy and sour-smelling. On average, this process takes about 5 days, but it can take longer depending on the conditions in your kitchen. As long as you see bubbles and sings of yeast activity, continue feeding it regularly. If you see zero signs of bubbles after three days, take a look at the Troubleshooting section below.

Day 1: Make the Initial Starter

4 ounces (3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
4 ounces (1/2 cup) water

Weigh the flour and water, and combine them in the container. Stir vigorously until combined into a smooth batter. It will look like a sticky, thick dough. Scrape down the sides and loosely cover the container with plastic wrap or the or with a clean kitchen towel secured with a rubber band

Put the container somewhere with a consistent room temperature of 70°F to 75°F (like the top of the refrigerator) and let sit for 24 hours.

Day 2: Feed the Starter

4 ounces (3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
4 ounces (1/2 cup) water

Take down your starter and give it a look. You may see a few small bubbles here and there. This is good! The bubbles mean that wild yeast have started making themselves at home in your starter. They will eat the sugars in the the flour and release carbon dioxide (the bubbles) and alcohol. They will also increase the acidity of the mixture, which helps fend off any bad bacterias. At this point, the starter should smell fresh, mildly sweet, and yeasty.

If you don’t see any bubbles yet, don’t panic — depending on the conditions in your kitchen, the average room temperature, and other factors, your starter might just be slow to get going.

Weigh the flour and water for today, and combine them in the container. Stir vigorously until combined into a smooth batter. It will look like a sticky, thick dough. Scrape down the sides and loosely cover the container with plastic wrap or with a clean kitchen towel secured with a rubber band. Put the container somewhere with a consistent room temperature of 70°F to 75°F (like the top of the refrigerator) and let sit for 24 hours.

Day 3: Feed the Starter

4 ounces (3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
4 ounces (1/2 cup) water

Check your starter. By now, the surface of your starter should look dotted with bubbles and your starter should look visibly larger in volume. If you stir the starter, it will still feel thick and batter-like, but you’ll hear bubbles popping. It should also start smelling a little sour and musty.

Again, if your starter doesn’t look quite like mine in the photo, don’t worry. Give it a few more days. My starter happened to be particularly vigorous!

Weigh the flour and water for today, and combine them in the container. Stir vigorously until combined into a smooth batter. It will look like a sticky, thick dough. Scrape down the sides and loosely cover the container with plastic wrap or with a clean kitchen towel secured with a rubber band. Put the container somewhere with a consistent room temperature of 70°F to 75°F (like the top of the refrigerator) and let sit for 24 hours.

Day 4: Feed the Starter

4 ounces (3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
4 ounces (1/2 cup) water

Check your starter. By now, the starter should be looking very bubbly with large and small bubbles, and it will have doubled in volume. If you stir the starter, it will feel looser than yesterday and honeycombed with bubbles. It should also be smelling quite sour and pungent. You can taste a little too! It should taste sour and somewhat vinegary.

When I made my starter here, I didn’t notice much visual change from Day 3 to Day 4, but could tell things had progress by the looseness of the starter and the sourness of the aroma.

Weigh the flour and water for today, and combine them in the container. Stir vigorously until combined into a smooth batter. It will look like a sticky, thick dough. Scrape down the sides and loosely cover the container with plastic wrap or with a clean kitchen towel secured with a rubber band. Put the container somewhere with a consistent room temperature of 70°F to 75°F (like the top of the refrigerator) and let sit for 24 hours.

Day 5: Starter is Ready to Use

Check your starter. It should have doubled in bulk since yesterday. By now, the starter should also be looking very bubbly — even frothy. If you stir the starter, it will feel looser than yesterday and be completely webbed with bubbles. It should also be smelling quite sour and pungent. You can taste a little too! It should taste even more sour and vinegary.

If everything is looking, smelling, and tasting good, you can consider your starter ripe and ready to use! If your starter is lagging behind a bit, continue on with the Day 5 and Beyond instructions.

Day 5 and Beyond: Maintaining Your Starter

4 ounces (3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
4 ounces (1/2 cup) water

Once your starter is ripe (or even if it’s not quite ripe yet), you no longer need to bulk it up. To maintain the starter, discard (or use) about half of the starter and then “feed” it with new flour and water: weigh the flour and water, and combine them in the container with the starter. Stir vigorously until combined into a smooth batter.

If you’re using the starter within the next few days, leave it out on the counter and continue discarding half and “feeding” it daily. If it will be longer before you use your starter, cover it tightly and place it in the fridge. Remember to take it out and feed it at least once a week — I also usually let the starter sit out overnight to give the yeast time to recuperate before putting it back in the fridge.

How to Reduce the Amount of Starter:

Maybe you don’t need all the starter we’ve made here on an ongoing basis. That’s fine! Discard half the starter as usual, but feed it with half the amount of flour and water. Continue until you have whatever amount of starter works for your baking habits.

How to Take a Long Break from Your Starter:

If you’re taking a break from baking, but want to keep your starter, you can do two things:

  1. Make a Thick Starter: Feed your starter double the amount of flour to make a thicker dough-like starter. This thicker batter will maintain the yeast better over long periods of inactivity in the fridge.
  2. Dry the Starter: Smear your starter on a Silpat and let it dry. Once completely dry, break it into flakes and store it in an airtight container. Dried sourdough can be stored for months. To re-start it, dissolve a 1/4 cup of the flakes in 4 ounces of water, and stir in 4 ounces of flour. Continue feeding the starter until it is active again.
  3. Adapted from The Kitchn

Let it sit out for a few hours, covered, to become active before using in your baking.  Do not place your sourdough starter in an airtight container!  As a general rule of thumb, the amount you feed your sourdough starter depends on how much starter you have.  When practical, you want to approximately double the amount of starter you have each time you feed it.

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CHEERS FROM JUST AROUND THE BEND  ♥