Friday, May 22, 2015


Last week Mr. H and I spent the week with his mom/dad/sisters/brothers-in-law....  We took a 4 hour drive from home to the mountains in MO/AR!

We stopped here on the trip there for a little lunch.
 A really pretty place with nice "hiking" trails.  We didn't hike much because we still had a 2+ hour drive ahead of us.... The picnic grounds are also well taken care of and very nice to look at.

 I found this funny.  "Deer Cafeteria".
We're getting closer!
We rented this house from VRBO.  (This is the second time Mr. H. and I have used VRBO and it is so much better than hotels!)  We all enjoyed the quietness of the house and enjoyed that we didn't have to go anywhere!  We sat on the great deck or laid in the amazing hammock and took naps or read books or watched the river flow by!

 The great hammock made for two!
 Back of the house where we could read and watch the river flow by or take a nap in a comfy lounge chair!
 Beautiful grounds with interesting flowers and trees.  They had a tulip tree that was really cool but I forgot to take a picture.
 Welcoming front door.
 A fun place for family pictures.  Yes, we took some serious ones but also some fun ones!
Oh and a little fishing fun.  This is the only fish we caught but that's okay it was something fun to do.  And I had to take a pic to send to my daddy!  I knew he'd be proud!  (I love my daddy, maybe I'll do a Father's day post about him)

Each couple took a day and fixed meals for the day so that everyone had a day off from cooking.  It worked really well and the family is full of good cooks so it was much better than eating out!

We also took one day to do something as a "couple". We are not an exciting couple so our day, to most was probably boring, but we enjoyed out time together!  It helps if your husband is your best friend!
We went here for a tour of the distillery.  We were a bit disappointing in the tour, we were the first tour for this "guide" and she didn't know anything except what was wrote on her paper.  So, she couldn't answer any questions about the process.  "We put stuff in this thing and then do this and then it goes into that thing that looks like a giant saxophone......" Yeah, not a lot of help in telling what the equipment was and how the process worked. 

After a visit to the distillery we stopped in Branson, MO to find a place for lunch.  We ended up walking the board walk looking for a place to eat on the lake.  We found White River Fish House, that is owned by Bass Pro.  It wasn't terrible but it wasn't amazing either, but the location with an outside deck over the water was worth it.  I had Blackened Catfish with Shrimp Etouffee and John had Walleye fingers and fries.
After our walk through the boardwalk, which by the way was a very nice walk and a very nice boardwalk, we headed back to the house.  We did get side tracked *several* times by different things making our drive back 3+ hours instead of 1.... This is the dam for Table Rock Lake.
I find it really disturbing that the sign before you go over the bridges says "Wear Your Life Jacket".  Am I the only one that is disturbed by that?
 I love the sound of water flowing and they were letting a lot out and it was pretty loud!
 Mr. H. being a tourist!
 Cool older bridge.  I wish they would quit putting signs up so that my pictures are better.
We finished the day with a nap and a little fishing. 

We headed home Friday with a couple stops on the way....
 This was my first visit to the Precious Moments Chapel and it was way better than I expected.  If you ever get to stop make sure and be there for the hourly "tour".  The history is amazing.  I loved it and would stop anytime I was going to be close.
 The paintings are amazing and all done by hand by the founder.
 This is the "play house" he built for his grandkids.  Beautiful grounds around the whole chapel.
 So powerful.  Way back you can see the "tomb" with an angel sitting there to tell people that it is empty.  He is Risen!

Welcome to the best state in the world!  HOME!  We did make 2 stops in the Great State of Oklahoma.  One at Grand Lake to look at the dam there, we were disappointing because there was no where you could actually stand and watch the water come out of the dam.  And we stopped at the Amish Cheese House, that is a must if we are ever close!  Mr. H. thinks cheese is a food group all on its own!

All in all we had a great week but as always "There's No Place Like Home", and we were glad to be back!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Dark Chocolate Muffins

Well, it's been a really really long time since I've posted on here, but things have changed and I think this will be a good place to do a little experimenting and venting and rambling and a place for some pintrest pins to point to....So, here's the first one.
 PS, I'm on a journey to becoming healthier so most recipes will be leaning that direction. But I'm also teaching some at the local vo-tech so there will be recipes that are full on fat and butter and all the goodness that goes with it!

These muffins have a little texture from the rolled oats (if you don't like that texture then leave the rolled oats out and add a 1/4 cup more old fashion oats) and are very chocolaty (if you use the chocolate chips) and rich and really took a bite out of my chocolate sweet tooth!!!  There is a hint of banana flavor but don't let it turn you off, it's not strong!

Dark Chocolate Muffins 
 2 banana
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup plain Greek yogurt (You could use vanilla Greek yogurt and leave out the vanilla)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons hazelnut oil (or) coconut oil
2 cups old fashioned oats(process in food processor to make into a flour texture)
1/2 cup steel cut oats
1/2 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips (optional) (I use SunSpire brand)
I think some walnuts would be a nice added crunch probably 1/2 to 1 cup...

Mix all dry ingredients and set aside, mix all wet ingredients, then add dry to wet and mix until combined. Divide into 12 muffin tins, sprinkle with additional chocolate chips if you want. Bake 400 about 15 minutes.