Eating our way through the checklist

Throughout the last couple weeks, we were able to mark a few more things off of our summer to-do list. We ate at one of big girl’s favorite restaurants: Labriola Cafe. Their mac-n-cheese is her all-time favorite mac-n-cheese. I like their burgers.

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We also made lemonade. Now, this wasn’t fancy homemade lemonade. I wasn’t really in the mood to juice a pile of lemons. But, thankfully, big girl didn’t have a problem with that because she likes to help make lemonade the easy way.

 

 

Yep. Good ol’ Country Time lemonade. Dump the mix, add the water, and stir. Easy and the girls love it.

We also took the easy way out with some cookie baking.

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Cookie dough – already made and already portioned into perfect cookie sizes. Yep. Is it cheating? Maybe. Do I care? Nope. When you’ve had one of those weeks…..and you want cookies…..but you don’t want to have do find ingredients and do dishes……these give you a perfectly yummy cookie. And, that’s one more thing that we can mark off of the summer to-do list.

 

 

The checklist thus far:

  • Make lemonade.
  • Eat at Big Bowl.
  • Go to Millennium Park.
  • Go to Adler Planetarium.
  • Get space ice cream.
  • Go to zoo.
  • Go to Shedd Aquarium.
  • Go bowling.
  • Make banana pudding.
  • Go to the splash pads downtown.
  • Play at Maggie Daley playground.
  • Go to Field Museum.
  • Go to Art Institute and do a JourneyMaker tour.
  • Go swimming.
  • Go to the Children’s Museum.
  • Play at playground.
  • Have a pajama day (with daddy.)
  • See a movie at the movie theater.
  • See a movie outside.
  • Go to the library.
  • Go to the Family Festival downtown Chicago.
  • Make cookies.
  • Read books at home.
  • Ride the train at the mall.
  • Go to the beach.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Go to American Girl Place.
  • Draw pictures and cut them out.
  • Play with legos.
  • Make muffins.
  • Make pasta salad.
  • Play with toys.
  • Go to a festival.
  • Try to go to a water park.
  • Go to the Disney store downtown Chicago.
  • Eat at Rainforest Cafe.
  • Eat at Labriola Cafe.
  • Bake an apple pie.
  • Play games on the iPad.
  • Play Mario game with daddy.
  • Go to the Morton Arboretum.
  • Go to Mimi and Pa’s house.
  • Go to Granny and Pa’s house.
  • Go on a hike.
  • Go to the Museum of Science and Industry.

Summer Checklist – Update #5 – A Busy Yet Low-key Day

We’ve had some busy days in the short time that school has been out but recently we had a day that was the rare busy yet also low-key kind of day. The day started with lots of Legos in the living room and then we got ready to go to storytime at Whole Foods. After storytime, the girls and I picked up some lunch at Whole Foods (since we were conveniently there) and had a picnic near our house with our purchases. That was followed by a trip to library for more Legos and a Father’s Day craft.

 

Now, playing with Legos is actually something that happens almost every day in our house. So, just like some other items on the list, I am crossing it off of the list even though it won’t be the only time that it happens this summer.

 

Doesn’t that look like a yummy spread? Some items were purchased after storytime. Some items we already had at home. But, all in all, it was a yummy lunch.

The summer checklist thus far:

  • Make lemonade.
  • Eat at Big Bowl.
  • Go to Millennium Park.
  • Go to Adler Planetarium.
  • Get space ice cream.
  • Go to zoo.
  • Go to Shedd Aquarium.
  • Go bowling.
  • Make banana pudding.
  • Go to the splash pads downtown.
  • Play at Maggie Daley playground.
  • Go to Field Museum.
  • Go to Art Institute and do a JourneyMaker tour.
  • Go swimming.
  • Go to the Children’s Museum.
  • Play at playground.
  • Have a pajama day (with daddy.)
  • See a movie at the movie theater.
  • See a movie outside.
  • Go to the library.
  • Go to the Family Festival downtown Chicago.
  • Make cookies.
  • Read books at home.
  • Ride the train at the mall.
  • Go to the beach.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Go to American Girl Place.
  • Draw pictures and cut them out.
  • Play with legos.
  • Make muffins.
  • Make pasta salad.
  • Play with toys.
  • Go to a festival.
  • Try to go to a water park.
  • Go to the Disney store downtown Chicago.
  • Eat at Rainforest Cafe.
  • Eat at Labriola Cafe.
  • Bake an apple pie.
  • Play games on the iPad.
  • Play Mario game with daddy.
  • Go to the Morton Arboretum.
  • Go to Mimi and Pa’s house.
  • Go to Granny and Pa’s house.
  • Go on a hike.
  • Go to the Museum of Science and Industry.

 

Summer Checklist – Update #4

We had a pajama day recently. It was much needed since we had been going nonstop for several days. It was good to have a day of just lounging around. It was also a good day to cross off one of our items on the to-do list: making pasta salad.

For this batch of pasta salad, we used our last bag of fun shaped pasta.

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Once it was complete, the girls liked to try to find all of the turtle pastas.

And then, as I do every time I make pasta salad, I just added whatever vegetables we had on hand. And then added a can of beans. This time, it was garbanzo beans.

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Add in some Italian dressing and you’ve got kid tested and approved pasta salad.

The list thus far:

  • Make lemonade.
  • Eat at Big Bowl.
  • Go to Millennium Park.
  • Go to Adler Planetarium.
  • Get space ice cream.
  • Go to zoo.
  • Go to Shedd Aquarium.
  • Go bowling.
  • Make banana pudding.
  • Go to the splash pads downtown.
  • Play at Maggie Daley playground.
  • Go to Field Museum.
  • Go to Art Institute and do a JourneyMaker tour.
  • Go swimming.
  • Go to the Children’s Museum.
  • Play at playground.
  • Have a pajama day (with daddy.)
  • See a movie at the movie theater.
  • See a movie outside.
  • Go to the library.
  • Go to the Family Festival downtown Chicago.
  • Make cookies.
  • Read books at home.
  • Ride the train at the mall.
  • Go to the beach.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Go to American Girl Place.
  • Draw pictures and cut them out.
  • Play with legos.
  • Make muffins.
  • Make pasta salad.
  • Play with toys.
  • Go to a festival.
  • Try to go to a water park.
  • Go to the Disney store downtown Chicago.
  • Eat at Rainforest Cafe.
  • Eat at Labriola Cafe.
  • Bake an apple pie.
  • Play games on the iPad.
  • Play Mario game with daddy.
  • Go to the Morton Arboretum.
  • Go to Mimi and Pa’s house.
  • Go to Granny and Pa’s house.
  • Go on a hike.
  • Go to the Museum of Science and Industry.

 

Peeps Taste Test – Last One

We had two more flavors to try: strawberry, and cherry limeade. Now the strawberry, I thought would be pretty good. The cherry limeade, I thought that that one would be pretty weird.

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The strawberry ones were ok. They tasted very similar to strawberry Nestle Quik. So, as long as you are ready for that sort-of-strawberry flavor, it’s actually ok. I liked the dipped part, too. The girls were both big fans of this one.

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The cherry limeade one was, well, weird. It was sour and just….well, it was weird. The girls liked it (big girl asked if it was watermelon because it looked like a watermelon and kept referring to it as watermelon even though it definitely did not taste like watermelon). But, this one was just too weird tasting for me…..but it does look pretty cool.

Has Anyone Ever Been Excited to Eat a Salad?

I am fairly certain that no one has ever been excited to eat a salad. I know for sure that I never have. Well, let me specify. The only salad I’ve ever been excited to eat was the Waldorf salad that my grandpa made. Although, it wasn’t until I was much older that I learned that it was called a Waldorf salad. We always called it apple salad. His was not a typical Waldorf salad. That salad taught me that marshmallows could and should be a salad ingredient.

But…..I have been trying to eat better. Grad school and other stresses have led to some (or a lot) of stress eating so I’ve been trying to eat more veggies and more salad. I have found a salad that I don’t mind eating. Fresh Express bag salads (specifically the chopped kits) are pretty good.  There are greens but also extra crunchy things and the included dressings are pretty good.

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But really…..the reason that I am trying to eat more salad? It’s so that I can eat more of the stuff that I want to eat. I tell myself that if I eat some veggies, then I can have some dessert.

Why do I eat salad?

So that I can eat a donut.

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Peeps Taste Test – Number 3

For this next round of Peeps taste testing, we had two of the more non-traditional flavors. Or at least one was really non-traditional (in my opinion).

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First up was the vanilla one.

I like the way it looks. The sprinkles give it a bit of a funfetti look.

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Now, in the last taste test, I mentioned that I was really beginning to enjoy the addition of the “dipped” element on the new Peeps. This one, however, I didn’t like very much. I thought that the dipped part had a weird taste to it. My girls, however, liked this one a lot. I think I was looking for a vanilla flavor and I didn’t really get it.

Next up, the raspberry one. I had high hopes for this one because I love all things raspberry.

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This one wasn’t bad. Although, my girls and I were not in agreement on this one. I liked it, big girl liked it (I think…at least….she ate it), little girl didn’t like it so much.

The taste is a sort-of-raspberry-sort-of-berry taste. So, not full-on raspberry but still yummy.

Results: Mixed. Stay tuned for the final taste test to be posted soon……

Peeps Taste Test – Number 2

IMG_5262For this next Peeps taste test, we went for the new filled varieties. I will go ahead and say that I was prepared to not like these at all. A filled Peep? It just sounds kinda gross. However, I was pleasantly surprised.

Now, the girls and I are already fans of the Peeps with the chocolate coating on the bottom. And these two varieties both have that crunchy chocolate part.

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The taste? Everyone, including Ryan, liked the Triple Chocolate ones. They are chocolatey but not too chocolatey. And the chocolate filling is actually kind of light.

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(please excuse my nails…..I will be repainting them soon…..)

Now, the Vanilla Caramel Brownie ones we were all a little split about. I liked them. I thought that they tasted like some kind of Starbucks Frappuccino that had been solidified into a Peeps shape. Not bad. Big girl liked this one, too. Baby girl and Ryan – not so much.

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I don’t really understand the “Brownie” part of the name. But, it’s definitely got a caramel taste and that’s the main taste in the filling.

The verdict? I liked them both. I’m becoming a big fan of the chocolate on the bottom of the Peeps. The crunch is a nice addition to the soft texture of the marshmallow.