Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Blue Moose


The Blue Moose
3030 Wanamaker
Topeka, KS

Friday, April 27th, Paul & I were craving a new restaurant. Something in Topeka that we haven't tried yet...which these days that list is getting narrow. After a post on Facebook for any recommendations, we went with The Blue Moose. Even the name is catchy! However, as soon as we were ready to head out the tornado sirens went off. After 20 minutes of watching the news & waiting for the big red blob on the radar to pass over us we were out, no rain will stop us.
After arriving, the atmosphere was nice, very large place with lots of seating. I even noticed a room for private parties. They also have a bar area.
Price was reasonable for a nice sit-down place. Not cheap by any means. Prices ranged from a small salad for $3.99 to a pasta dish at $12.99 to Filet Mignon at $26.99.
Service was great! Very timely, checked on us but didn't hover & answered our questions.
The menu was large & had something for everybody. They have an after 10pm menu & nightly drink specials (10 bottles of wine for $10 each, $1.50 beer/draft & last nights: $3.50 Moose-ritas). I taste tested the Moose-rita -YUM!!! It looked like a blue margarita. Two things I always have to get when trying a new place: 1. Fried pickles 2. Spinach artichoke dip. This time I went with the pickles (above picture). They were horizontal slices (a first for Paul & I), the breading stuck nicely to the pickle, & the ranch dip was fabulous! Thick & a hint of garlic. Then onto our entrees. Paul & I had a hard time deciding (guess we'll have to return). Paul ended up going with a Chicken Madeira Pasta: "Sauteed chicken & mushrooms in a rich Madeira wine cream sauce. Tossed with tender Campanella pasta & Parmesan cheese." It was amazing! I, being the cheese lover I am, went with the build your own Mac & Cheese (picture below): "Cavatappi pasta tossed in our rich six-cheese sauce. Topped with garlic buttered bread crumbs." I added Pit-Smoked Ham. The sauce was delicious! The ham on the other hand, there was nothing special to it. I will add Sauteed Mushrooms & another meat next time.

For dessert, Paul went with a cheesecake & I did a trio sampler (creme brulee, peach cobbler, chocolate peanut butter parfait). The cheesecake was the more cream cheesy type, not the rich, small kind. The peach cobbler Paul liked, too many oats for my taste. The parfait was rich, but good. The creme brulee, awww-mazing!

We left with full bellies, empty pockets, leftovers, & as couple satisfied critics ;) 

If you're in the mood to try something different I would highly recommend The Blue Moose, because their menu changes up those 'regular' dishes.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Red Dirt & Racing

Last weekend I got out of the house for the first time in a long time!

Southeast, Kansas & Oklahoma City
Saturday, we met up with the others in OKC for lunch at a little Mexican restaurant in Brick town. We found the place in a round about way, between the guys' "I know my way" directions & girls' "well the map says here" left it  for a good sight seeing trip around Brick town. Food was pretty good, loved the sopapillas! On our way back to the truck we caught the end of a flash mop.... later on we busted our on flash mob moves! Waaaaay better!
Next stop, drive by rustic furniture stores where we got our dreams on. Second stops: Tener's & Langston's western stores, which didn't leave us empty handed ;) Last stop prior to the hotel, was a very classy, stalkerish liquor store, in an area where white was rare. Nice people just a little to "can I help you?" for my liking.
 That evening we got our glitz on for the races!
Watched & betted on some quarter horses. Good thing there isn't a track near Topeka, this could be my addiction. After all thanks to my skills we went home about $22,000 richer.....
 HA! I wish! I'm still learning the lingo.
After the last horse crossed the finish line we were off to Brick town to see what all the hype is about.
Ended up havin a couple brews at Coyote Ugly. Not a bad bar; cold beers, good tunes, would be better if there were more people & if you're just passing through (the coyote's repeat their sayings quite often). When Eric Church's 'Smoke a Little Smoke' played out we of coarse had to get on the bar. A pretty big deal for me! I'm not one to get on bars... or tables... heck I have a hard time walkin as it is :)

 Sunday, we were back at the track for some people watching. Oh I mean horses and....
 Ostriches and.....
 The winner: G.R, a pretty good jockey. He was reining first not only on a camel, but an ostrich & multiple horse races that weekend.

 Relaxation on a Monday evening
Yep, Classy I know. However,  it was a little too early for me to meet Bert.
A little store in Burlington, KS where we stopped on our way back to Topeka. 
I scored my first Tervis cup here... aka: adult sippy cup. Stay tuned for the Tervis travels ;)

All-in-All a great first weekend out.

Everyone's Talkin Enchiladas

Everyday when I log-on to Pinterest someone has pinned...

 Including me.
Every week I try a new Pinterest recipe & last week it was this one.
Originally, this recipe came from Budget Savvy Diva's Blog (click for recipe). In it she calls for 2 cups shredded chicken only she doesn't mention how she got to the shredded stage. Luckily, I new how or I would've had to Google that too. For those of you who don't know, just throw some chicken (breasts, thighs, etc) into the crock pot with seasoning of your choice. I used a bullion cube, pepper, chili powder, garlic & onion seasoning. Then I put it on low & left it for the day. When you get home from work the chicken will fall apart with a fork & be ready to be cheesed & rolled.
I grew up with canned red sauce (which I love), so I wasn't used to this home made white stuff.
After stirring it up on the stove-top it wasn't hard to make at all!

25 minutes later.....
Delicious, white sauce & all! I will definitely be watching & trying those popular pins. These enchiladas will make our 'regular dinner menu' for sure.
And, kudos to Budget Savvy Diva for spreading this excellent & easy recipe for all of us to enjoy!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

04.24.12 National Pigs in a Blanket Day!!!

As soon as I read this I was excited!!
 I LOVE pigs in a blanket & they always take me back to a much more simple time in my life.
Plus, they're easy to make!
I hope all of you go out & celebrate by fixin' up your favorite piggy in a blanket. 

There are many varieties here in the States from Oscar Mayer to Kielbasa to adding cheese & jam to turning it healthy with a turkey dog.

Across the world there are many styles of  the 'Pig in a Blanket'
  • United Kingdom: little sausages wrapped in bacon (um...YUM!).  
  • German style: Wieners wrapped in a puff pastry (like a pancake) accompanied by cheese & bacon. 
  • Czech style: Kolache (pasty with dough edges that hold in the filling) filled with sausage & ham slices. 
  • Polish style: Ground meat & rice wrapped in cabbage leaves and braised, usually in a tomato sauce.
  • Israel style: Hot dog rolled in a ketchup-covered sheet phyllo dough (paper thin sheets of flour dough). 
  • Netherlands style:  Puff pastry dough that's made with shortening then filled with a pork sausage.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Get The Blog Out!

Not one of my favorite 4-Letter words but I think the following ideas will help get my blog out of my mind & onto the page. One of my 'by 12/31/13' goals is to come up with a weekly consistent blog post. For instance: Crystal Cattle has Turquoise Thursdays; Home On The Range has Menu Monday & Thrifty Thursday.

For mine I have a couple ideas that I'm pretty excited about:

- The Rambling Post: short & sweet posts of completely random ideas, facts, items, quotes, etc
- WIP-it Wednesday... 'Week-In-Photos' That's right I'm starting over my Project 365! No sickness will stop me this time. I have gone through & deleted the old 'project 365' links, so now when you click on them it will only show the new project.
- Four Legged Friday: daily post dedicated to my dogs & my love of animals.

This will also help me increase my blogging per week.


DIY: W is for Wittkop

Finally finished my jute 'W.' This idea came from Pinterest & Crystal Cattle's blog. I loved the idea of twine & burlap flowers!
It is super easy to make, it just takes time wrapping the twine. All you need is jute twine, a styrofoam letter, burlap, & a hot glue gun. You can find pre cut letters at for a great price. I found a huge roll of twine at This site is my go to burlap shopping source for my wedding decorations. They are excellent priced & everything has arrived in a timely manner.
Since 'W' has ends on it unlike a 'D' or 'O' I had to wrap in a couple different steps to cover the ends. First, I cut pieces that would go over & have a little extra room to be glued on the sides. It also gave the letter a little more of a blocky look that I like. Once the ends were covered I started at the top wrapping around the ended making sure to get it tight & covered. Then I wrapped down the line. The creases also took a little more time because I would wrap, cut, & alternate sides so it would give a weaving pattern. Note: you have to pull it pretty tight to squeeze the twine in to cover the styrofoam without giving it a boldgy look. When wrapping I used quite a bit of glue in the back & on the edges, which my fingers felt the wrath of hot glue most the time.
You may notice as your wrapping it will may curve. When it would start this I would cut a piece with tapered edges & glued it in to fill the space & continued wrapping so the lines would be straight.
Once the 'W' was completely wrapped I made my first burlap flowers! They're supper long as you don't accidentally drop one with a bulldog roaming the house. I had a red flower causality. Then I made sure to get those puppies glued on & wallah!
Now I have my first wedding decoration & after the wedding I plan on hanging it in the house.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Greek Pot Zucchini

Nope not all together...
...Greek in the yogurt for the chicken, Pot of the crock pork chops, & zucchini flavored boats!

I've been on a new recipe kick this week, which also helps out the 'By 12/31/13' list.

The first night was salad, zucchini boats, & Melt in your Mouth Chicken. Of coarse I got the ideas from Pinterest but the Zucchini boats originally came from Proud Italian Cook blog. & the Melt in you Mouth Chicken came from I re-posted their recipes in my De-lish Dishes page because they are both ones that I plan on visiting again!

Another new dinner I tried was 3 ingredient crock pot pork chops. I first heard about this idea from Lori but I have also seen it's caught onto the Pinterest world as well. It is super easy!
All you need is:
- Pork chops
- Can of Cream of Mushroom (could use any 'cream of' soup)
- Packet of Ranch seasoning
Toss it the crock pot for the day, and by 6 add a veggie to the plate and whalla! yummy tender pork!

I think Paul is loving me & this 'cooking Alicia' character....

..... haha we'll see how long it lasts :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Naked, No Roads & Eggy

For those of you who haven't heard already... I'M FREE!!! (oh shit, better cross my fingers so it lasts). On Thursday, April 5th, 2012, my liver tubes were taken out. They said everything was flowing fabulously so there was no need to keep them in. I was pretty out of it, I just remember crying... I believe out of happiness & a little worry some (because my luck hasn't had been too great). I just have to have faith in my KU team & continue with my blood work. Then at the end of the month I will find out at my follow-up how everything is really coming along.

On Friday, Paul & I started our 'Date Night' events. I made a 'Date Jar' with all kinds of day, noon, evening activity ideas in it. I pulled ideas from Pinterest, blogs, & Googling, then twice a month we'll shake it up & do what that little paper says. This way we don't end up in that dinner & movie rut (which I will always love). Anyways, this last Friday's date was the drive in movie theater. Drive in's are far & few between. I had been to one in Sterling, CO & this was Paul's very first experience so luckily I found one in KC, Boulevard Drive In. This weekend was their opening fan weekend, if you had the coupon your carload was free. They were also debuting their new sound & digital systems - which are supposed to be the best out there in the drive-in world. The movie menu included Indiana Jones - Raiders of the Lost Arch & Back to the Future. Two very awesome movies & especially to see on the big screen. They even had a couple Delorians their for people to check out while waiting for the sun to go down. Another treat we enjoyed were funnel cakes, yep they had someone one there frying up those delicious powder sugar covered desserts! YUMM! In the end, we finally were back home by 2am-ish & it was well worth it.

If you have any date ideas or would like to share your awesome time, please do! 
Or look up your nearest drive in & take your own trip back in time....
"Where we're going, we don't need roads."

Lastly, Easter Sunday. Paul & I headed West to my good friend Lori's house. Her family was very welcoming, & I thank them very much for the invite & great food. Not to mention the good stories by 'grandma' & 'grandpa' & the nail biting Taboo game.... WE WON! hahaha. The fresh air fishing was also nice, I enjoyed my catch of moss almost as much as Lori's trophy fish.

New Restaurant #2

KC Smoke Burgers
1610 West 39th St.
Kansas City, MO 64111

March 22nd, after leaving KU Medical hospital, Paul & I followed another restaurant recommendation... KC SMOKE BURGERS. Their location was great, in an area by other little shops, restaurants, business' & down the road from KU Med. When entering, you can either sit-down order or walk up to the counter for to-gos. After reading their menu I was over whelmed with all the burger options. They also had other choices, gyros, salads, and challenges. Paul is normally not one to turn down a challenge, but he decided with the hour drive home wouldn't be good with a meat coma that usually follows the scarfing.
This picture shows the list of challenge options:

Paul & I both ordered burgers, well I wanted an gyro, but thought since this is a burger joint better go with what they know. So, I got the lamb/beef gyro burger! Amazing & HUGE!!!

The burgers came out on their own little grill thingy & branded, I love these little unique touches!

If you're ever in this area & craving some good ole smokey, grilled, meat, we recommend this little joint! 
Depending on the day you're there, they also have great daily specials!