June 19, 2011

Leaving Town OR a Toast -- under barbecue ribs -- to KC

Facing South and the Kansas City skyline.

PHOTO NOTE: My photos aren't too crisp because I've not had a chance to purchase a real camera. There's only so much my iPhone camera can capture. But on my last afternoon in KC, I called my friend Sue -- we'll been good friends since college -- and we met at Lattéland at Briarcliff Village for tea. It wasn't a good-bye tea, but a quick break and it soothed the soul. Atop this plateau, the shopping center has the best views of the city. There's a good Argentinian restaurant there but the two times we dined there they sat us in tall wooden booths in the center without any view of the great skyline. Anyway, I hadn't noticed this statue before and I thought it graced the view of my town.

The problem with slowly chronicling our family adventures is that my prolific and writing machine of a husband has already written posts on this topic for days, weeks, months. I am positive I could find Joe's blog posts from before 2009 foreshadowing this move.

So forgive me if this is old news.... but we've left our comfortable home and dear friends and family in Kansas City, Missouri, to venture out to Charlotte, N.C. Officially in the South where they say 'y'all' --  even though I'd been told that's just a Texas thing -- by a former Texas resident. May I just state that getting further away from all things Texas is not a bad thing. I still slip and call Penn State's home College Station instead of State College. I still automatically yell "You drive too fast" when I see any Texas license plate. I cringe when I hear talk of Texas barbecue. And I hear them Carolinas have that mustard-based stuff. Blasphemy.

March 1, 2011

Start Your Engines, We're In Indiana!

A small amount of snow still sits on the ground, but school is in session, and that's a very good thing on many levels. It allows me to get back to this journey. We last left off when we announced Indiana as our next itinerary.

Thanks to Jay Lemke at Red Gold, an Indiana cannery, who submitted recipes that feature the ever versatile tomato. Jay also sent me a press packet with some of their products, from canned tomatoes to ketchup. (Which I sneak into chili and homemade barbecue sauce when Liz isn't looking.) Which reminds me, if you have unique food products from your state, I'd love to know about them. You can e-mail me at: courseforadventure (at) gmail.com

February 3, 2011

Happy New (Year of the Rabbit)

That blizzard and a third snow day has kept us busy (and a bit stir crazy) at home and kept us from virtually heading to Indiana. But since today is the Chinese New Year, thought we'd toss out a recipe we're planning on having today or tomorrow in honor of the holiday. Happy New Year!

Though we just learned from our neighbors who celebrate the holiday that it's not considered good luck to shower (washes away good luck) or chop anything today. You can find other prohibitions HERE, including avoiding meats.

So technically, this dish makes more sense to fix tomorrow when chopping vegetables isn't considered bad luck. I've got enough problems with my knives that I don't need any more bad vibes. I'm not sure it sounds like good karma to fix rabbit today either. (Though Welsh Rabbit might be okay.)

Here's one of my favorite Chinese-inspired recipes from my friend, Shelly Trenholm in the Asbury United Methodist Church's "Treasured Recipes 2006" cookbook.

Chinese Chicken Bake
2 TABLESPOONS margarine or butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
2 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained well
2 cups cooked chicken or turkey — chopped, though might be better to get canned chicken today
1 (10 3/4 oz) can reduced fat condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 1/4 cup celery, — chopped, use food processor?
2 TABLESPOONS green onions — chopped, food processor?

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine butter and onion powder. Gradually add cereal, stirring until all pieces are evenly coated. Set aside. Place in an ungreased 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cereal mixture. Bake 30 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

January 28, 2011

Making a Food Statement: Arkansas' Finest

Snow is melting, I'm starting a new diet today that's more exercise —  NFL Training Camp for the Wii —  and calorie awareness thanks to MyNetDiary for the iPad — and we're getting back on track with more great, and easy family meals.

As advertised we're headed for Indiana next week, but today's meal features favorites from Arkansas.

This menu is compliments of the Arkansas Governor's Mansion. Thanks to Tiffany Dabbs who consulted the three culinary chefs on staff at the Mansion, as well as First Lady Ginger Beebe to present A Course for Adventure with the ideal Arkansas meal. I don't think you can get more authentic Arkansas flair than that!

January 21, 2011

Dinner for 200

Last Sunday afternoon a semi-artic chill circled through downtown Kansas City and mounds of gray-swirled, week-old snow left the town feeling lonely and eerie. I circled around the desolate block of mainly industrial buildings again, trying to figure out where to park near the shelter.

Katie saw something else. When I opened the automatic side door to our minivan she said: "Mom, I think I saw a castle nearby. Is this a fairy tale place we're going to?"

I didn't want to dash my sweet child's romantic notions. But she also needed to know that we weren't headed into an opulent place. We were meeting three families and a kitchen crew to make dinner for a homeless shelter. We'd not seen any Disney movies about this adventure.

January 19, 2011

Hoops in the Heartland

Too many snow days has caused a lull in our regional cooking but keep checking back. We've got Indiana coming up and with the cold weather here in Missouri, I'm thinking thoughts of Hawaii. I've forgotten what WARM breezes feel like. 

We have more snowflakes falling at a nice clip today so I'm guessing tomorrow will be a snow day with my daughters looking to be entertained. (Read: watching more TV and making some microwave caramel popcorn.) In the meantime, here's an adventure from our weekend.
It sort of pained me to tell people my daughter was giving up dance to concentrate on basketball and spring soccer. Well sort of, and perhaps if I was being totally honest it wouldn't be discomforting to see my little girly girl change into an athlete seemingly overnight. And not that dancers aren't athletes. I think Paula Abdul would make an incredible bodyguard.

Liz is lithe and graceful, fit to be a dancer in my scout's eyes. I loved watching both daughters in their beautiful, classy dance outfits in last May's dance recital. I was gearing up for that again this year. I liked the other parents and it seemed a more civilized way to get exercise without the notion of competition and all that brings out in parents. If you've been to a youth league game recently you know what I mean.

January 7, 2011

Potter's Place, Part One

We've recently returned from out outing at Harry Potter's Wizarding World at Universal's Island of Adventure Theme Park at Orlando, Florida. We went over break, as well as several other gazillion theme park fans.

My husband wrote about the experience here. Really, after that post there's not much more I think I could even add. But I will try to share about my experience standing in line for Butterbeer later. I'm getting ready for a marathon scrapbooking weekend right now.

So in the meantime, I'll leave you with some butterbeer recipes. It's very good even though I'm the only one in the family who seemed to really like it. And I want to experiment and try to see if I can brew a "hot" version.

I'm including some links for recipes that come similar to making your own magical Butterbeer:

Sanda Lee's take

MuggleNet's recipe by Melissa

Huffington Post's version

We'll also be doing some kitchen alchemy soon, and I just ordered Elizabeth this book, which I think she'll really enjoy.