Friday, March 15, 2013

Good Eats

My oldest sister Miriam lives in Texas and my mom has been wanting to go visit her and her family for the past several years, but it's never worked out. Mom is my main caregiver and it's not easy for her to get away for extended periods of time since she is the one that does the lion's share of my care. I know it's important for Mom to have time to herself so that she doesn't get caregiver fatigue, so it was important for me that she be able to go. I rely on Mom for so much, so I don't want her getting burnt out!

In January I got the bright idea to ask my sister Sharon to come stay with me for a few days so that she could help our sister Chandra care for me so that Mom could get away for a few days. It was a win-win situation all around; Mom could go to Texas and visit Miriam's family and Sharon, Chandra and I could have a fun girls weekend.

Mom went to Texas last Friday and came back on Monday evening. Sharon and her three youngest kids came last Wednesday and stayed for a week. We had so much fun talking, eating yummy food, watching movies, visiting and laughing. Although I always miss Sharon when she leaves, it's always the best thing for my waistline!

The day Sharon arrived we had orange chicken for dinner (a copycat recipe of Panda Express' orange chicken) and frozen samoa cake for dessert (I found the recipes for both of these on Pinterest.) Both were so good! I've had homemade orange chicken before and it wasn't all that great, but I really liked this recipe. I still prefer the orange chicken from Panda Express' restaurant, but this was really good for homemade. The frozen samoa cake was absolutely amazing! It had the same flavor of samoa Girl Scout cookies, except it was way better!
On Friday Chandra made club quesadillas. This was a recipe from a cookbook that Chandra got for her birthday a few months ago called Hungry Girl to the Max. It has recipes that are healthier variations of normal meals. These quesadillas were amazing! They tasted like something you would get from a restaurant like Applebee's or Chili's. That evening we had raspberry flavored brownies for dessert .
(A few weeks ago we got some snow and my mom helped my neighbor shovel his driveway since he's in his 70's and has had a quadruple bypass. A few days later his wife made some delicious brownies for us. They were so good and so moist and we knew we had to get the recipe. We left a note in the neighbor's mailbox saying that we would love the brownie recipe as long as it wasn't a family secret. A few days later my neighbor came over with a huge box of Ghirardelli brownie mix and a bottle of raspberry syrup (that you can use to flavor different things, like coffee). She said to just make the brownies as usual, but to use the raspberry syrup in place of the water.) There are tons of these different flavored syrups at the store, so we knew we would have fun trying different kinds of flavored brownies!
On Saturday we got Imo's pizza for dinner. Imo's is flat crust pizza that is unique to St. Louis. Even though Sharon grew up here she's never had Imo's pizza before, so we decided to get it so that she could try it. The pizza also came with toasted ravioli, which is also something that is unique to St. Louis. (I've always assumed that everyone knows what toasted ravioli is, but I guess not!) Sharon liked the pizza and her kids especially liked the toasted ravioli. For that evening's dessert we tried another small batch of brownies, but this time we used caramel flavored syrup in them. These brownies were really good, too, although I think I prefer the raspberry.
Sunday's dinner was veggie pizza. This is an appetizer that I recently tried for the first time and I loved it, so I thought it would be fun to have it again and it was just as good as I remembered! I've never had gooey butter cake before and I've always wondered what it's like, so I asked Sharon to make it since she has a GBC recipe that she really likes. I know I sound like a broken record, but this was also really good! The recipe calls for a yellow cake mix, but Sharon said you can make the recipe with any cake mix. I'm a chocolate lover, so I think trying a chocolate gooey butter cake would be youmy.
I love soft pretzels and have always thought it would be fun to try and make homemade pretzels, so I found a soft pretzel recipe on Pinterest that I thought looked promising. I was a little skeptical at how the pretzels would turn out since I thought it might be hard to make a soft pretzel that compares to the ones that you get at places like the movie theater, but I thought they were worth a try. They were so good! The recipe makes eight pretzels, so we made half of them with salt and half of them with cinnamon. I really liked both of them and can't say which one I liked better.
Tuesday afternoon Sharon made sugar dipped butter cookies which were so good. I had one a few minutes after it came out of the oven and it just melted in my mouth! They were little buttery drops of goodness! They actually tasted very similar to the gooey butter cake, so I think you could call them gooey butter cookies. That night my mom made a new hot sandwich made with Kings Hawaiian sweet rolls. Those little sandwiches were so good, but horrible for you; pretty much like most of the things we made while Mom was away! :) Now that she's home I'm back to eating more healthily!

In my next post I'll write more about my fun weekend with my sisters.

2 comments:

Laura said...

I LOVE that you guys made all this delicious food together! It sounds like a wonderful sisters weekend! I'm pretty sure calories don't count if it is a "vacation." Thanks for all the tips! If you see these recipes over on my blog with my kiddos, you know you have made our day! Have a great weekend Heather! Tell my favorite seminary teacher hello!
~Laur

Dara Collins said...

My mouth is watering!!! I will have to try some of these soon!

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