8/31/16

The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today DVD Giveaway


As the mother of three daughters; there have certainly been days when I wondered if we were raising princesses or pirates--and realized that I was happy with the random mixture of the two personalities!  So, if you are facing a housefull of your own pirate princesses--the latest animated, Swan Princess movie may be right up your alley! The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today releases on DVD September 6 from Sony Home Entertainment--and I am sharing a fun quiz app and a chance for you to win a copy of the movie for your favorite princess/pirate!


Disclosure:  Sony Home Video provided me with some of the materials I used in this Blog Post/Giveaway. The opinions I share are my own.

About  The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today
In the brand new original animated film, Princess Alise is training to be the perfect royal but in her heart all she wants to do is sail the seven seas as a swashbuckling pirate! After setting sail, Princess Alise is shipwrecked and washes ashore on an island where she meets Lucas, a young boy who has been living there by herself. They have to work together to survive and get back to civilization!
Enter to Win 
The Swan Princess:  Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today 
on DVD 
 
Take The Swan Princess Are you a Princess or a Pirate Quiz--and share your results to enter the contest to win a The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate DVD!  Enter via the Rafflecopter entry form below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Contest Notes:  In addition to our usual contest rules, each household is only eligible to win The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today! DVD via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.  The prize will be sent via FedEx or USPS. No P.O. Boxes please


8/30/16

Meatless Recipe Idea: Loaded Black Bean & Veggie Burger Recipe


While we originally created this loaded black bean recipe for Meatless Monday and posted it a few years ago, we have since eaten it many, many times throughout many weeks.  I had always wanted to try to create my own black bean burgers—but, couldn’t find one recipe that I felt would build the perfect, black bean burger.  I have tweaked both our original black bean burger recipe and the process over the past couple of years and I wanted to share our updated black bean & veggie burger recipe!


 

Ingredients for our Loaded Black Bean & Veggie Burger Recipe
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Tsp. Butter
1 can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
¼ c. Carrots, finely chopped
¼ c. Celery, finely chopped
¼ c.  Green Bell Pepper, finely diced
¼ c. Yellow Onion, finely diced
½ tsp. Garlic Powder
1 tsp. Ground Cumin
1 tsp. Chili Powder
1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
1/8 tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Frank’s RedHot Sauce
1 Egg, beaten
½ c. plus 2-3 Tbsp. Plain Bread Crumbs
Shredded Cheddar Cheese or Sliced Colby Jack Cheese
4 Whole Wheat Buns, Split and lightly toasted
Light Mayonnaise
Suggested Veggie Toppings as shown:  Sliced yellow onion rings, shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced black olives, mild banana peppers


Instructions for Loaded Black Bean Veggie Burgers:

Prepare the black bean burgers.  I used to mash up the black beans and practically pulverize the other vegetable by hand--but, then I realized that putting the ingredients into a food processor did make the black bean mixture a little more liquid-y.  But.  It is okay.  You really don't need to shape these things into patties.  You can simply drop the "batter" onto a hot pan and fry the bean burger just like that!  (Like pancakes or corn fritters...the black bean "batter" will fry to a moist, even consistency!)  So--these days, I simply place the beans, chopped peppers, onions, carrots, celery, hot sauce and spices into a blender or food processor and combine until smooth. Dump the mixture into a large mixing bowl.  Add the egg to the black bean mixture and mix well to combine.  Mix in the bread crumbs by hand.  Add ½ c. of the bread crumbs first, and add the additional crumbs until the mixture holds together enough to be dropped from a spoon onto a hot oiled pan.


Cook the black bean veggie burgers.  Preheat the butter and oil in a grill pan over medium heat until hot.  Divide the black bean burger mixture into 4 equal parts and spoon each burger onto the skillet.  Spread the mixture into circular/burger-like shapes and  fry on each side until browned and slightly crispy.  These may also be prepared without oil/butter by spraying cooking spray onto the grill pan and carefully browning burgers on both sides.  Top each cooked burger with 1-2 Tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese and allow the cheese to melt.

Build the black bean burgers and enjoy.  


I like to spread mayonnaise onto a toasted bun top and load these black bean burgers with lettuce, tomato, onions, black olives, and banana peppers.  I serve these with sweet potato fries and fruit salad or my favorite cole slaw recipe

Wordless Wednesday Link-Up: Larry the Fox


It has been a long time since we hosted a Wordless Wednesday link up!  It's actually been a long time since we have even managed to share a Wordless Wednesday post!  I miss making my Wednesday rounds to so many of our blog friends!  It's time to get back into the Wordless Wednesday habit!  This week, I thought I would share some pictures from late spring/early summer when we had a red fox move into the neighborhood for a few weeks.  Enjoy meeting "Larry"--as the girls named him (or her)--and don't forget to link up your own Wordless Wednesday posts at the end!

Larry (or Laura) the Fox 


We tried not to get too close to him (or her)--but, he visited every morning for several weeks--and I could not resist trying to get a picture to two!


Fluffy D'Tail was Not Impressed with Larry the Fox
 

Fluff was standing between Larry the Fox and a family of ducks that had also moved into the neighborhood during those last weeks of spring.  The fox seemed much more intimidated by the cat than the cat was by the fox!  (And--this is why the great Fluffsy became more of a housecat than he preferred for a few weeks!)  Larry cleaned up the street of the groundhogs and the gang of skunks--and moved on.  The ducks moved on.  Fluffy D'Tail regained access to the great outdoors.  But, we all miss seeing "Larry" just a little. 

Do you have a Wordless Wednesday post to share?  (Or a not-so-wordless post as my posts always seem to become!)  Link up your posts!  We can't wait to see them!

Join the Wordless Wednesday Link Up!


8/26/16

Restaurant Review: El Zarape in Bowling Green, Ohio


We seem to eat a lot of Italian and a lot of Mexican food when we travel as a family. We have a picky eater in our midst--but, she loves Mexican restaurants. So, when we are in the mood for something a little spicy; we can usually find a well-recommended Mexican restaurant near most of our travel destinations. On a recent road trip through Northwest Ohio, we discovered El Zarape in Bowling Green, Ohio. What was our family's review of El Zarape?

El Zarape is located near Bowling Green State University. We found the restaurant in a little shopping strip on the edge of the Bowling Green State University. We visited during the summer and El Zarape became quite busy during the dinner rush. I am sure that it would be even busier on the weekends during the school year! As it is situated in a shopping center, there is plenty of parking and it is also an easy walk from nearby hotels. We actually opted to walk there for dinner from our hotel.

El Zarape offers a casual atmosphere and an affordable menu. El Zarape is small and lively--but, not loud nor uncomfortable. There is a nice division between the booths and tables and the servers are able to navigate the restaurant without issue. The restaurant offers a kids menu with a variety of food choices. During our visit, the kids meals were priced at $4.75 and offered plenty of food for our 10/12 aged daughters. Other dinner selections were typically priced in the $8-$14 range. There is a full bar and complimentary chips and salsa.

Okay. So how was the food at El Zarape in Bowling Green, Ohio?

 The Chips and Salsa
 

I am really bad to judge a Mexican restaurant (at least initially) by my first taste of the offered chips and salsa. I will admit that I was a little disapoointed in the salsa. It was a little blah and bland--and didn't really give much of a "homemade" taste. As I dumped the table hot sauces into the restaurant's salsa, I worried that we had made an unfortunate dinner choice--but, we ordered our meals anyway.

The Casuelada 


Oh. Wow. This dish was priced at $24--but, the menu noted that this dish was intended to serve 2.  With a couple of extra foils of tortillas, I am pretty sure that all four of us could have been quite full from this one meal! It was a huge dish! 

The meal consisted of a large skillet dish filled with steak, chicken, shrimp, chorizo and grilled peppers, tomatoes and onions.


It was also served with double portions of rice, cheesy, refried beans, lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream and six flour tortillas.  It wasn't spicy--but, did have a nice smoky, grilled flavor.

The Enchilada, Rice and Beans Kids Meal 


Both girls opted for the enchiladas from the kids menu. The dish came with rice and beans--but, they were more than willing to give our bean-hating, middle daughter a double portion of rice instead of the beans. There were no complaints from the girls as their dinners disappeared.

We skipped dessert--but, stole a few glimpses of the fried ice cream as it made its way to a nearby table and agreed that it looked great. We also skipped the bar this time and the girls ventured only to lemonade and chocolate milk.  

Would we recommend El Zarape? We really liked it--and judging from the waiting list as we left; the local crowd enjoys it as well. The chips and salsa were not all that great--but, the Casuelada was wonderful and HUGE. We spent less than $40 for our family of 4--and we were all stuffed. I would definitely eat there again if we are in the area. If you visit, I would expect a wait for both lunch and dinner--especially during the regular school year. I am sure that it is probably a popular restaurant for families visiting BGSU students. We did notice that they also offer online ordering for carryout as well.

Learn More about the Restaurant Featured:
El Zarape
1616 E Wooster St.
Ste 1 
Bowling Green, OH 43402

Website | Facebook

El Zarape Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Disclosure:  We were not compensated for this review.  We simply wanted to share a recent restaurant find with our readers.  All opinions are our own.

Tuning In by Chris Neal Book Blast


Sharing a blast of information for Tuning In, a new book from Chris Neal this morning.  Not only does it sound like a book that I can't wait to read--it's only .99 at the moment on Amazon! 

Quick Summary of Tuning In by Chris Neal.  How would you like to be twelve and be able to hear the unadulterated thoughts of every confused adult around you? Not every memory, but a person’s active thoughts. It makes for an interesting childhood. Now trained as a con artist, by his family, Michael is all grown up and spreading his wings out in the real world, but there is a problem. Whether pulling small scams, impersonating a rich brat or playing poker with the mob, Michael is utterly unsatisfied with life. He questions his purpose and talents. Chance smiles upon Michael, and he gets a job helping to steal a jewel collection with a sorted past. Jewels rumored to be the property of royalty, used to fund wars and even stolen once by the Nazi’s. Stealing that which has already been stolen is too tempting an opportunity to pass up. He must infiltrate the high-powered New York law firm of Bishop, Adams, and Davenport. The smart and ruthless senior partners know where the bodies and the jewels are hidden. Michael must walk among them undiscovered as he and his team search for the jewels. As a con artist this is a dream job but who is conning who, and what is that darkness he senses?

Buy for $.99 on Amazon (free Kindle Unlimited) / Smashwords 

About the Author:

Chris Neal is the author of the Tuning In Series. He is a fan of all things urban fantasy including The Dresden Files and shows like The Originals, and Constantine. His love of reading and his children are his inspiration to write his stories and share his humor. The Tuning In series is his first foray into writing about the paranormal con artist Michael Cheffied.

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