Ever Need A Break? We did!

Need a Break ?

Hey there! Every now and then, we all need a break? Right? We’re all about living our best life, and part of that means recognizing when we need some quiet time. We started our relationship in a 200 sq ft rolling home, and we realized it was important to take some time for just the two of us.

How did we know that we need a break?

We were moving so quickly! Walking fast, talking fast – it felt like everything was happening in a rush! I found myself needing to slow Zach down when we were shopping.  It felt like we were in a race, and that’s not the kind of pace we want for our lives.

So we’re taking a little break from posting while we spruce up our bus. We’ve got plans to change the transmission, remodel the kitchen, and revamp how we share on our blog and in the Knit Knuts shop. Making time for ourselves and our pets is super important, so that’s our focus right now. Don’t worry, though – I still plan to share our travels, just in a much easier format! 
Need a break?

Open post

Michigan Bound Road Trip Pitstops

We were on a Michigan Bound Road Trip!

Now that we are back in Michigan, I’m going to do a quick sightseeing stop post to catch up!  It’s a good thing we didn’t see a ton of things on our way back to Michigan! But there are some worth writing about!

Michigan Bound Road Trip Pitstops

The last thing we told you about was the World’s Largest Frying Pan! WOW! That was a minute ago!  We headed back to St Augustine, Florida to see my kids one last time before we headed north for the summer! So this is our journey down to Florida and up to Michigan!


Hold tight, it’s going to be a fast ride! From Florida to North Carolina in 4 quick stops!

 Along The Way Pitstops

Old Methuselah at Deleon Springs State Park, Florida

The Holly Hill Gnome Tree, Holly Hill, Florida

South of The Border, South Carolina

The Angus Barn Kicking Booth, Raleigh, North Carolina

It’s at this point in our trip that I had the bear hug re-injury to my ribs, so we haven’t done much sightseeing! We flew through the rest of our trip to get to our destination in Michigan early.

We were tired, I was in pain most of the time, and we just needed a minute to breathe.  I set up some appointments for us and did little else.

Finally Arrived in Michigan!

We plan on being in Michigan for the remainder of the summer, bopping around the state! We haven’t decided where to go from here, since we have to plan it around when the first snow falls and where we will (or won’t) be when that happens!

There are so many things on our Destinations Map! Click on the open box in the top right corner to see it larger! Once you zoom in on a location, the map doesn’t seem so busy!

We skipped a lot of things this time around. But, it’s only our first time around! So I’m guessing we have many chances to see these things, now or next time around!

I decided to make this post short and sweet! Having a rib injury has taken a lot out of me! And since I had to go through the recovery time twice, I lost tons of time being able to type ! I also have been trying to concentrate on building some of the pages, so that they are easier to navigate and have enough information! 

As always, if you have suggestions on things we would love to check out, feel free to comment! We’ll add it in to our list of destinations!! 

Kandy Kakes ~ TastyKake Copy Caturday

Kandy Kakes

Somewhere along the line, someone in Instagram-land decided to make Saturday into Caturday 😹 And while we love our cats, I can’t see making a post about them every single Saturday!

They pretty much do the same thing daily, judge us 😬


So I decided to do a play on that and do “CopyCaturday”. Every Saturday I’m going to find a copycat recipe and make it! See which we find closest, or most improved from the original! We don’t eat much fast food, but we do think there are some good possibilities out there for a good home cooked version.


Growing up, one of my favorite snacks was a Kandy Kake made by TastyKake. Copycat Kandy Kake RecipeSo this week, we decided to try our hand at them!


Let me start off by saying I know our chocolate work needs work! We have watched enough baking shows to know that tempering chocolate is key! 

We just haven’t ventured that far yet!

SO… 

The cake baked very well, tho I have to say I would have baked it just a little less! It got very dense with all the refrigeration, so maybe that would be the solve there?

We let the cake cool completely, just because we thought the peanut butter would melt if it was even a little warm! The recipe didn’t state how the cake should be cooled, in the pan or out, so we popped it out. Way less cooling time, but a little harder to spread everything on. 

  Kandy Kakes ~ TastyKake Copy Caturday

That part went very well! The peanut butter went on smoothly, and relatively evenly. Going over it more than a time or two pulls the cake with it! 

Kandy Kakes, here we come!!!????


Nope, let’s get to the ridiculously messy part…  

Kandy Kakes ~ TastyKake Copy Caturday

I thought it would be a lot easier to encase the cake in chocolate if I cut it into pieces.  The recipe does NOT call for that to happen, in fact you should just keep it whole!!

My brain needed these cakes fully covered in chocolate, because that is how they are actually made by the manufacturer. 

But….

Kandy Kakes ~ TastyKake Copy Caturday

I couldn’t dip them in the chocolate because it was simply too thick! I tried to pour the chocolate over the cake, and that was a fail! The pic is the pour over version! 

So I just stuck them all back together and put another layer of chocolate over them! 

Kandy Kakes ~ TastyKake Copy Caturday

And cut them back apart! 

Kandy Kakes…??

↘↘Nailed It!↙↙

Kandy Kakes ~ TastyKake Copy Caturday

But in reality ~ A very very very far cry from this ↙

Kandy Kakes ~ TastyKake Copy Caturday


Kandy Kakes

Print

TastyKake Kandy Kakes (Copycat)

Course Dessert
Keyword CopyCat, Kandy Kake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cooling 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 20 Servings

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups peanut butter
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp shortening

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Grease and flour a 10x15 baking dish.
  • In medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Beat with mixer until creamy.
  • Sift together flour and baking powder and add to bowl gradually, keeping mixer on low speed.
  • In a small saucepan, heat milk and 2 tablespoons butter, until it begins to bubble.
  • Fold milk/butter mixture into cake batter until combined
  • Pour batter into the prepared baking dish.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool to room temperature before spreading peanut butter evenly over the entire cake.
  • Refrigerate to set. Should be set in an hour.
  • Melt chocolate and shortening in a double boiler until smooth. Spread melted chocolate evenly over the peanut butter layer.
  • Allow chocolate to harden and set before cutting and serving.

Was it a Complete Copycat?

The tastes were there, mostly. It was obviously a more fresh version, which is a disappointment, but understandable.


Will we make it again?

Nope, Nope and once again, Nope! They were pretty much an utter disaster for us! And we made the concious decision to just leave it to TastyKake!


Caturday Recipes Aplenty!

There is a site called Top Secret Recipes that has a ton of available fast food and restaurant copycat recipes. It is not a free site! You can buy recipes in different ways, individually or buy one of the books, there is also a membership that you get 8 free recipes a month, you get the picture! Click on the chef below to check it out!

Caturday

Another great resource is Copykat.com . Here you will find TONS of FREE recipes!! She also has a few books available on Amazon! Either way, it’s a win! 😋
       

 

 

 

 

 

 


Our Journey Continues … Finally!

In the last three months, we have done our fair share of traveling, but we landed in Michigan almost two months ago.  So while we are stationary, the journey continues locally! This area is one of our Home Bases, so we came up to enjoy the Michigan summer and give the bus (and us) a break from the road.  

We also had a lot of things we needed to get done in Michigan! Doctor appointments, dental appointments, eyeglasses, and work on our property.  Lots of things that can only be done while we are actually here! 

Bus and car maintenance,  continued work on the catio … so much to do, and so much easier to do when you have one location to be at! Lucky for us, we have some great friends who let us stay with them until we gain vehicle access to our property. As of right now, it’s walk in only 🙂  


Revamp Needed

I also wanted to do extensive work on the blog. I’ve rearranged the pages so they are easier to navigate.  

In the Stops on the Road dropdown menu, you will find the United States broken up into Regions! Plus a list of the unique repurpose stores we find!

Journey Continues

Just click on the region you want to visit, and you’ll be directed to a page that lists all the states in that region! Click on the state you are visiting and you can check out all of the attractions we have listed! 

We have also created a map of EVERY destination we have listed! 

Click the Map!

It looks cumbersome, but if you zoom in to the area you want to see, it becomes a lot less congested 😀 Just click on the little open box on the upper right side and it will pop up in Google Maps. 


We’ve also added in some great travel resoucers all on one page! Ways to save, places to stay, pet travel info, and anything else we could think of! It’s a work in progress, so things will be added frequently! Make sure you bookmark it if you travel!

Resources For Travelers


I’m working on a catch up on our destinations post, which will be a quick town by town, state by state list of cool things we’ve seen. Super short, and will catch us up. 


Catio News

We finally finished the Catio project! I have some videos that I need to take, but I’m at the mercy of our cats for that 😹 I want video of them going up the tree, all the way out the back cabinet! Plus, they can completely get in and out on their own now! How exciting for us! We don’t need to tend to their insane demands in the middle of the night!

Of course only 2 of them actually use that feature! The 2 littlest! Our “twins”, Heddy and Scabbers refuse! And I’ll tell you why! Heddy is SCARED to use it, and Scabbers is a creep and REFUSES to use it!  

Watch for the update on that! It’s super exciting to me that they can come and go on their own. I know our two older kitties are being silly about it, and it may just be a matter of time before they give in and use it! But at least Phil and Bean use it! Our hitchhiker Bean has it down to a science! I never have to let him in or out! EVER!  


We’ve had so many interesting moments since we last posted! 

Like our car fire! 

We were driving along and came to a left turn we simply should not have tried to make. I suggested just going straight and finding a safe place to turn around, but I don’t drive, so away we rolled…. to the left!

…. We didn’t make the turn .. 

And essentially jacknifed in the road. Zach had to drop the car and move it (We flat towed it since it was a manual). Then he had to move the bus, hook the car back up and get us out of the road. 

In the insanity of people just being inpatient in the road, he forgot to take the car back out of gear so it could be towed. A very easy to make mistake! 

About a half mile down the road, Zach saw smoke coming from the back! 

It was the car, on fire, from being dragged.

Journey ContinuesWell, oops !

We were so fortunate for the events that unfolded immediately after we pulled over.

→The vehicle behind us had already called 911 and the fire department was on their way!

→ He also happened to know someone who would happily come get our now useless car off the road, free of charge.

→ We were pulling away in under an hour! How is that?!?! 

Journey Continues

In the end, we lost our car, but the whole situation could have been much worse. As soon as Zach got down, he unhooked the car and drove the bus a safe distance away. The short time it took Zach to notice the smoke meant a considerably smaller fire! In fact, he had the fire just about out when the Fire Department arrived!

The Journey Continues, without a car!

But now we didn’t have a car. No big deal! We thought we could manage sightseeing in the bus.😃

WRONG!😂

Parking is hard in a bus, and even if we found a spot, walking to most locations was difficult. Plus, driving the bus is WAY more expensive than a car, so we really dialed down our sightseeing.

And that wasn’t working for us!

So that brings us to my e-bike.  The one that tossed me around like a rag doll. We discussed trading it for something with less power, since I was never going to utilize the massive power it had.  But we had put that on the backburner until we found the right bike for me. 

And then we found someone at a PEV event who would trade us a car for my e-bike! 

WHAT?!?!

Yup, we found some thrill-seeking peeps to trade the bike for a Honda! So now our journey continues, WITH a car!

Journey Continues

It’s not brand new, and it isn’t the prettiest thing, but we can roll into any weird attraction we want with it!  

And geocaching is now something we can do again! Really, really hard to stop every mile or so in a bus! 


While we are pretty much back on track, we are in Michigan for a little while longer! There are only a few things left to button up before we get back on the road! 

Plus, my parents are on a road trip of their own! So we plan on meeting up with them in the very near future! And then the journey continues with them! At least for a minute or two! 

Where in the World did We Go?

Where in the World did we Go?

SO …. we haven’t posted in a few months. And there is a decently funny reason why! 

While we were in Georgia in March, I (Nancy) was out riding my e-bike while Zach was on his EUC! We were having fun, I was trying to get used to the throttle being on the handle of the bike instead of the thumb throttle like my scooter, and it was going fairly well. 

Where in the World did we go?

Until it wasn’t…

I went to turn around and by default my hand cranked the throttle, and I’m telling you … on that e-bike, it took little to no effort to make the bike take off with such force that a wheelie was the norm! 

And sort of lost control .. in the middle of the turn .. in deep sand …

…. went sailing through the air with the greatest of ease …. and folded in half, sideways upon landing …

I felt ok, just really got the wind knocked out of me .. so I got back on the bike and rode home …and was essentially fine!

UNTIL I SNEEZED 😳

I heard something pop loudly .. on my left side, the bottom of my rib cage. 

I was in pain, a lot … and that says a lot for me since I have a fairly high pain tolerance! But here I was, in so much pain I couldn’t breathe. 

Just keep going….

But we had plans to go see my kids, so off to St Augustine we went! They hugged me, picked me up, and ran around like teenagers do … all while I was nursing some kind of rib injury! We had fun, and no plans were canceled due to rib pain! I refused to let that bike incident get the best of me 

So after we left, the pain was still pretty bad. Another week of pain and we headed to the E.R. Where we were treated badly. Apparently, they just thought I wanted a prescription, when in reality all I needed for them to say was that nothing was broken and I’d heal in time. We have TONS of things on board this bus, but an X-Ray machine is not one of them 😂

In the end, they said I had nothing wrong with me. Nothing. They didn’t even give me the satisfaction of saying I bruised my ribs! Come on people, give me something to at least say “Hey, I bruised my ribs and still rode that bike home”.  

And the kicker, the doctor then asked ME if I wanted pain meds. Which I declined!

Rest…Just Rest 😑

About 2 more weeks pass, and my pain is GONE ~ I had finally healed! So the no coughing, sneezing, laughing, and mostly just sitting in bed routine was over! Typing wasn’t an option because my left arm was pretty angry. 😂 So I watched TV… and did a lot of loom knitting … good thing Zach taught me!

So now it’s almost the end of May and I’m ready to get back to our normal routine. We didn’t do much sightseeing because I couldn’t walk for long periods 🙁 So no botanical gardens, parks, trails, museums… so many things were out. 

BUT … we were back on track! I was feeling great, and could walk without issues! I was excited to get back to seeing weird things and beautiful flowers  🙂 

Then we were roughhousing with the doggos, and Zach went to pick me up and toss me on the bed.  He bear-hugged me …

And we heard a POP!

So, I was back in pain 😫 But it gave me some answers. I doubt I broke my rib, but dislocating it is possible! It felt like it popped, but then never popped back in. So maybe Zach finally popped it back in after the initial injury! I felt better more quickly than the first time, but it still took about 3-4 weeks before I could breathe deeply without pain! 

On the bright side, Zach did all the cooking, or most of it! Zach put me on bedrest, so I was at his mercy 😂

Breakfast in BedWhere in the World did we go?(Yep, I already redid the silverware and knives, because I couldn’t handle the clutter after seeing it in a picture!)

We did some sightseeing, and I’m planning on updating our travels up to now, but I wanted to say something about the radio silence! I write all the posts, so without my left arm, typing long posts was not happening! Now that I am feeling better, I have also been working on organizing Pages better! Better menus, and easier navigation. Slowly easing back into long typing sessions!

We are currently in Michigan and have big plans to meet up with my parents on their road trip from Virginia to Alaska!  My dad is the ultimate planner, and sightseer!

He has over 600 stops on their route!  

Goals!

Exciting things are coming! Updated pics of the bus upgrades, the catio and all of our wonderful plants on board! 

Part 19 ~ Family Time in The Carolinas

The Carolinas

It’s been a minute since we posted our adventures! We spent a lot of time visiting both of our families, and then did a LOT of work on the bus!

When we left the Winston-Salem area, we headed toward one of Zach’s daughters! We had no intention of sightseeing, or working on the bus.

Unless something caught our eye, or needed our attention!

We are always on the hunt for materials for projects, but unfortunately hadn’t found a really great repurpose store in a while! So that ended a lot of projects right there 😂

Harvest Hosts Across the Carolinas 😎

We stopped at a few amazing Harvest Host locations on our way!

The first was a very cute family farm ~ The Pint Sized Pasture ~ in Sanford, NC!

The Carolinas The Carolinas The Carolinas


The second Harvest Host location was a beautiful Lavender Farm! Purple Bloomers Lavender Farm 😊 Located in Lillington, N.C. We were not there during blooming season, but the farm is super cute and we were given an in-depth tour of the farm by one of the owners, Tammy! She was amazing! She explained all of the flowers that were planted, their care, and when and how they bloom! 

They also had amazing lavender products! Eye masks, dream pillows, wax molds, dried lavender sprigs, small houseplants, and more! And we were told that they didn’t have much available to look at in the shop! I’m telling you, there was a good amount in there! 

This was our view when we woke up! 

The Carolinas

Just beautiful! 😍


Stedman, N.C. was our next little pitstop! Just a quickie stop to take some pics of these guys in a cage! Not sure if they are in a cage to prevent them from completing their Mission from God or to keep people from damaging them! 

I’m going with preventing The Blues Brothers from completing their Mission! 😆

They could use some TLC, but they were pretty cool!

Click on the picture to see closer pictures of them! 🙂


Fayetteville, N.C. didn’t disappoint with something large in it! We found a replica of the Eiffel Tower, just waiting for a pic with me 😂

Eiffel Tower Replica

↗Click for a few more pics!↖


Oddities of The Carolinas 😯

Now here is something you don’t see every day! Or ever!

A half horse-half-tractor machine being driven by a seemingly crazy cat! 

This was in St Pauls, N.C.! They have normal metal wear but they were still amazing! 


Our last stop for a minute was in Rose Hill, N.C. to see the World’s Largest Frying Pan! 

It was behind a small fence, and covered! Why? Because they actually USE IT!! It’s a functioning frying pan! 

Just once a year  you have the opportunity to see it in use! During the North Carolina Poultry Jubilee! Local fire departments come together to cook a LOT of fried chicken for the event! 


On our way to the east side of North Carolina, we didn’t have great sunny weather! A lot of rainy or overcast days! Which makes the solar situation not so great!

We have a generator on board, and usually run it every 2-3 months regardless of need! It had been about 2 months, so we found a boat launch area that was empty!

We set up the generator (it’s super quiet!) and figured we would stay about an hour and charge up! There was only a parked vehicle in the lot (and it looked like it had been there a while)! It was a very dreary day, drizzling most of the day with periods of heavier rains.

Something Caught Our Eye 👀

While we were waiting for the generator to charge us up, Zach thought he saw a small kitten run under the bus!

Out we went to go investigate!

We saw nothing! No sign of a kitty anywhere. Zach looked under the bus in the tires where our kitties sometimes sleep, and I looked around the bus. Nothing! Zach figured the kitty went straight under the bus and back into the woods!

We were a little sad, because this place was in the middle of nowhere, and looked completely abandoned (I’m sure it was not fishing season, and that’s why!)

We checked once more before we left and still saw and heard nothing.

Our first stop was at Lowe’s for a lot of different things, so we were there for about 30 minutes. Then we stopped at a truck stop to fuel up.

Then we got to our next Harvest Host. Fifty miles away from the boat launch.  We parked. Zach hooked up the dogs for a walk and away they went.

30 seconds later, Zach was peeking his head in to tell me that kitten was indeed with us!!!

WHAT?!?!?!

Again, out we went to investigate!

And there was the little kitten! Sitting on the top of the fuel tank. He had ridden under there for the entire trip, FIFTY MILES, in the rain and wind! He had 2 opportunities to jump down and he didn’t!

We thought that he hitchhiked with us for a reason!

So I did a dumb thing!

I reached into where he was hiding behind the fuel door and grabbed him. Sort of by the scruff, but sort of not. I was so scared to let him go that I just pulled him out.

Somewhere in my head, I thought he would just be like “OH MY! I’m SAVED!” and snuggle into me!

He did NOT! HE TRIED TO EAT ME!!!

Run, Nancy, Run!

This tiny little kitten was trying to bite me in any way he could. Because of the way I had him, it was difficult for him! And I had gloves on since it was chilly! BUT !!!! Eventually, he bit down on my hand! Through the glove and slightly into my skin!

Now, you may be wondering where Zach was while all this madness was going on! And by madness, I mean me running around with this kitten attached to the end of my arm while screaming for Zach!

Well, he was racing inside to get a cat carrier! Because when we set out to rescue this kitten, we truly thought it would just give in and snuggle up to us!

 VERY UNPREPARED!

He wasn’t gone but a few seconds, and as soon as he opened the carrier and set it on the ground, this little kitten let go of my hand and launched into full kill mode on Zach!

He bit him multiple times, including through his thumbnail!

Eventually, we got him safely in the carrier! In hindsight, having a carrier already ready would have been ideal! That and perhaps a towel to wrap him in to safeguard ourselves. SOMETHING! Instead of the nothing we went rescuing with!

The Carolinas 

We left him in the carrier overnight and brought him to a vet in the morning to get him checked out! Actually, at this point, we really didn’t know if this kitty was a boy or a girl kitty! We couldn’t do much more than tap his little head through the carrier!

Turns out it was a little boy! We guesstimated his age at about 6 weeks old! He got his kitty shots, and we were on our way! 

Adding one more pet in The Carolinas 🐾

I was able to “pet” him through the carrier on the way home!  We let him out when we got inside the bus and all exits were closed. He ran immediately! 

A few days in and he was making his way into the cat family! I still wanted to pet him, so I was a little sad! But, we were hoping Phil would bring him around! And our girl Heddy is usually ok with the little kitties, so there was some progress there also! Our big boy, Scabbers, was MAD! MAD MAD! He hissed, growled, and smacked at this little guy every chance he got!

 

Pet-friendly Only ~ No Humans 😂

This little guy had totally consumed 2 full days of our time 😍 No complaints, but since he was still so skittish, we decided to just ignore him and allow him to acclimate! Plenty of food and water available, and he was shown the litter box. 


The Harvest Host we were staying at was amazing! The Old 30 Dirty Family Farm! They are located in Jacksonville, N.C. 🙂 They gifted us with a beautiful welcome basket of fresh produce from their farm! A lovely place to check out! 

I used these fresh veggies in multiple recipes! 


We also got a chance to meet up with my parents while we were exploring The Carolinas! I hadn’t seen them in four years, and that is a lot of years too long! So they drove down and met us at a cute little campground for the weekend! We got a site, and they stayed in one of their cabins! We got to catch up, and eat some good food!

                                             😊


Next Harvest Host was the Highway 21 Drive-In Movie Theater! Located in Beaufort, S.C.

It is pretty amazing that we got to watch 2 movies from the comfort of our home, while in a drive-in! They had a radio we could borrow to listen in!

Bonus! Popcorn 🍿

We watched Puss in Boot and then proceeded to fall asleep for M3GAN!   😳  but at least we were already in bed! 😂


We couldn’t be in Beaufort, South Carolina, and NOT go to the Kaboozie Kazoo Factory for their tour.

Hmmm…

We called ahead and they told us that the first few tours also had a class of first graders on it! We didn’t want to wait till late afternoon since we were getting back on the road right after the tour!

So we opted for the first available tour, even with the first graders!

And I am telling you now, I am so glad those little kids were on the tour with us! They made the tour a lot more fun! And they were really well-behaved! I believe I had to keep my eye on Zach the entire time 😑

↗Click the Wheel of Kazoos to see more tour pictures!↖

What next? Bus maintenance, projects to wrap up, projects to start, and whatever else in between! But we needed a place to go for more than a night or two, so we headed to Georgia! Find out where we think is the ideal place to get so many DIY projects done in our next post!


Missed a few parts of the story?? Catch up here!!

Parts 1-10 Part 11 Part 12 Part 13 Part 14 Part 15 Part 16 Part 17 Part 18 

Chicken Lettuce Wraps ~ P.F. Chang’s CopyCaturday

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Somewhere along the line, someone in Instagram-land decided to make Saturday into Caturday 😹 And while we love our cats, I can’t see making a post about them every single Saturday!

They pretty much do the same thing daily, judge us 😬


So I decided to do a play on that and do “CopyCaturday”. Every Saturday I’m going to find a copycat recipe and make it! See which we find closest, or most improved from the original! We don’t eat much fast food, but we do think there are some good possibilities out there for a good home-cooked version.


This week we decided on P.F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps! For one reason, Zach suggested it when I asked 🙂

I haven’t had Chicken Lettuce Wraps at P.F. Chang’s before, so I was relying on him to give me the review of this recipe!

I found a few I liked, and kind of merged them based on what Zach said was and wasn’t in the actual restaurant version! 

Here is what I came up with!

First, my ingredients …

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I loved this recipe since the only things I had to buy were the lettuce and the ground chicken! We had used some water chestnuts out of a can a few weeks ago and I froze the other half (they were still pretty crunchy for having been frozen!!), so those were used in this recipe. We always have green onions frozen as well (now I have to say if you are looking for a crunch in your green onions, freezing them is not the way to go!)

First things First

I always make my sauces first so that they have a chance to really meld together! 

This is a pretty standard sauce for me! I am a very big fan of Asian food! The soy sauce is from an Asian Market because I love the flavors of the sauces I find there! Lots less salt, lots more flavor! 

Lots of choppy choppy!

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Onions, ginger, garlic …

The ginger was a gift from one of the Harvest Hosts we stayed at! We put that in a ziploc and froze it! Then when we need it, we simply take it out and grate what we need! 


I’m going to pause here to say how much I love that white prep bowl!! I was looking for something to measure out multiple spices into and happened upon these! And I just love them! The clear ones are also from Walmart, but I prefer the white ones! It’s a 6oz bowl, so just large enough to hold my spice mixes when cooking! I prep everything ahead of cooking so I’m ready! Pretty sure I need more of them 😃 At $1.25 each, that’s a steal for the convenience they bring!


Chicken Lettuce Wraps + White Rice 😋

It’s at this point that Zach starts the white rice in the InstantPot! It’s the easiest way to make rice! If you haven’t tried that yet, check out my post (Can We Revisit The InstantPot?) on the basics of cooking rice (and potatoes) in the InstantPot! 


So all the prep work was done, and all I had to do was cook! 

                                                                              ☺        Chicken Lettuce Wraps  Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Sauté the onions, garlic, and ginger, add the meat … cook! Done! Finally!

Now it’s at this time I realize that getting Iceberg Lettuce was NOT the way to go! The leaves literally ripped apart as I was trying to VERY CAREFULLY peel them away! It was not pretty! But I made it work because there were no other options on board! 

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Despite the iceberg lettuce debacle, they were delicious! Messy, but delicious 😋

P.F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Print

P.F. Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 3 garlic cloves mince
  • 1 tbsp ginger freshly grated
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1/2 can water chestnuts drained, thinly sliced
  • 2 green onions sliced thin
  • 1 lettuce large, sturdy leaves. washed
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk the hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil until well blended
  • In a large skillet, over med-high heat, heat olive oil. Add onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in ginger and garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add ground chicken and cook until just done, about 5 minutes. Break up the meat as it cooks.
  • Pour in the sauce and cook for an additional 2 minutes, until the sauce reduces slightly and the chicken has finished cooking completely.
  • Remove from heat and add in water chestnuts and green onions.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper
  • Build wraps by placing lettuce leaf on a plate. Add a scoop of white rice in the center, then top with the chicken mixture. Repeat with remaining lettuce leaves.

Notes

Prepare white rice along with this recipe  🙂 


Was it a Complete Copycat?

Zach said YES! It was!  😊😊😊 


Will we make it again?

Yes, Yes we will!! Of course, we usually have the ingredients on hand at all times! I would definitely go with fresh green onions just because I think the crunch would be an added bonus! Also, more sturdy lettuce 😂! It was a challenge to eat just by picking it up, and not much easier with a fork! So those would be our changes! But the flavors were amazing! 


CopyCaturday Recipes Aplenty!

There is a site called Top Secret Recipes that has a ton of available fast food and restaurant copycat recipes. It is not a free site! You can buy recipes in different ways, individually or buy one of the books, there is also a membership that you get 8 free recipes a month, you get the picture! Click on the chef below to check it out!

Caturday

Another great resource is Copycat.com . Here you will find TONS of FREE recipes!! She also has a few books available on Amazon! Either way, it’s a win! 😋
          


Game Night with UnboxBoardom ~ Sagrada

Game Night!

Game Night

A while back I wrote about a unique subscription box ~ UnboxBoardom Subscription ~ and I wanted to share our experience now that we have gone through the process and received our first game! 

Once I signed up for the subscription (which was super easy to do!!), I patiently waited for the email on the 1st of the month to choose my game! 

The email arrived on time, on the first of March! I signed up in February, so March was my first month!

Here were my game choices 🙂

I logged in and we chose the Station Master game! A few days later I received an email that I hadn’t chosen our game yet, so I logged in and checked! My game choice was in there, Station Master 🙂 So I figured it was a fluke email and didn’t think about it again!

Game Night Excitement!

Game Night

We weren’t expecting the game to ship until the 15th, just as it states on the website! We were pleasantly surprised when it arrived earlier than that ~ on the 11th!

However …When our game arrived?


It wasn’t Station Master!

But this game looked so amazingly interesting, that I decided that there must have been a reason we got this one 😀

And we were not disappointed! The instructions are long, and really need to be read thoroughly! We played a few “rough” rounds to learn the rules and how the game is played with 4 of us! Because we were all learning together, there were some forgotten rules that we would have to go back to read! Of course, that probably made us learn the rules correctly!!

Game Night

While we were in St Augustine, we had lots of free time to play this game! At the same time, it is not a game that takes a long time to play! 

We got lots of things wrong at first, mostly because we were so excited to play that we weren’t paying close enough attention! But after the second or third game…

Overview of game

Players will take turns drafting glass pieces, represented by dice; carefully choosing where to place each one in their window. Windows have unique color and shade requirements, and similar dice may never be adjacent so placing each die is more challenging than the last. 


Game setup was easy!

Place the Round Track near the center of the
play area.
• Shuffle all of the Tool Cards and place 3 face up
in the center of the play area.
• Shuffle all of the Public Objective cards (Blue
die on the back) and place 3 face up.
• Place all 90 dice in the Dice Bag.
• Randomly select a player to be the Start Player
and give them the Dice Bag. One suggested method
is whoever most recently visited a cathedral.
Set aside all remaining Objective, Tool and Window
Cards, they are not used during the game
Note: Setup is the same for 2, 3 or 4 players


Here is a rundown of Gameplay!

Each game of Sagrada is played over 10 rounds.

Each round, the Start Player (the player with the
Dice Bag) pulls dice out of the Dice Bag at random
and rolls them. The number of dice pulled depends
on the number of players:
2 Players – 5 Dice
3 Players – 7 Dice
4 Players – 9 Dice
2 per player, plus 1 additional die

Once rolled, these dice form the Draft Pool.

Beginning with the Start Player, each player takes a
turn in clockwise order. On a player’s turn, they may
perform each of the following actions in any order

• Select 1 die from the Draft Pool and place it in
an open space on their Window. This is referred
to as Drafting a Die.
• Use 1 Tool Card by spending Favor Tokens.
Each action is optional — A player may choose to
perform both actions, only one action or pass their
turn taking no actions.

Turns proceed clockwise with each player taking
a turn or passing. Example – Emily takes a turn (1),
then Ben (2), then Mari (3)

Once the last player has completed their first turn,
the round continues in reverse order (counterclockwise). Beginning with the last player,
each player takes a second turn (selecting a second
die from the Draft Pool, etc.)

Example

Mari takes
her second turn (4), then Ben (5), then Emily (6)
Once the Start Player has taken their second turn,
proceed.

All remaining dice are placed on the Round
Track, covering the number space for the just
completed round. If multiple dice remain (due
to players skipping a draft action) these do not
cover additional number spaces.

The Dice Bag is passed clockwise to the next
player. This player is now the Start Player —
players then begin another round. Example – Ben is
now the start player for the second round

If this was the end of the 10th round, it is the end of
the game.


Scoring, Game Cards and More

I won’t go into scoring, but there is a point system based on different criteria! Points for not using Favor Tokens, points for dice of a certain color, etc! 

There are a few more rules, an explanation of the different cards, and when they are used! It seems like an overly complicated game, but it is definitely not hard to learn! 

Don’t let the ease of learning the game deceive you into thinking it is an easy game! It always starts easy, but as you fill up your board, placement becomes a challenge! 

The longer we played, the better we got at the placement of the dice!

We are game players, and while we mostly play card games, we caught on fairly quickly! 

Game Night Success!

It is really great for Families and for players of all ages!  We played with my 14 and 16-year-old kids and they liked it! But it is really ideal for any game night! 

Now, as an added bonus, you can also play this game SOLO! I cannot specifically think of any board game that is also a solo game! But that can also be great for younger kids who are just learning the game, as well as older kids who want to hone their skills to beat the adults! 😆 

Post Game Night Review

It is very easy to sign up for this subscription service! All you need to do is answer a few questions, 2 to be exact! After that, you simply wait for the email on the first of the month and click on the game you would like! Alternatively, you have the option of allowing them to choose! Either way, it’s a win! 

I know that if I had reached out to Unbox Boardom about the different game, they would have made it right, without a doubt! But since the game intrigued me, I decided to just keep it and play!

I am definitely glad I did!

UnboxBoardom Signup Process

First ~ Choose your board game subscription plan

Second ~ Choose your board game subscription billing frequency

Third ~ Check out!

It is a quick signup process! There are so many great reasons to subscribe to UnBox Boardom!

Check out the post I did explaining the signup process! Just click HERE 😃


Our Readers Receive FREE Shipping at UnboxBoardom.com with Code ~ USFAMILY


Thanks to FloodGate’s Sagrada Board Game our Game Night was a complete success!

Game Night


We received one month of UnboxBoardom in exchange for our honest review.

Affiliate Disclaimer

Meal Plan Shopping List

Meal Plan Shopping List

Being on the road poses a challenge when it comes to planning meals and making a shopping list! I do all the meal planning and I like to plan 2 weeks at a time so that we don’t have to worry about shopping as much. This has become an issue when it comes to fresh fruit and vegetables!

Our game plan is always so great! Buy meat in bulk (we are Sam’s Club members 😀) and then break it down into portions for each meal. Get all our veggies at once, because so many times they repeat in recipes (onions, garlic, peppers, etc).  Dairy, frozen, I want the whole 2-week meal plan in one shopping trip!!! 

Here’s where that goes really, really wrong!

The veggies have a shelf life of about a minute! I swear we buy them a little under-ripe so that I have a day or so to use them! But they go from under-ripe to the Lomi in no time!

So we threw sooo many veggies in the Lomi, and while I love the fact that we have a tabletop composter on board that these “bad” vegetables can go in, I’d much rather eat them!

The solution?

Shop for fresh fruits and vegetables more often!  Unfortunately, that makes my current meal-planning software a bit more challenging! Mainly because it wants to batch things together, or separate them in a weird way that my brain cannot wrap around! Plus, I needed to break it down by days to buy, not by recipe!

I searched the internet for something printable that would work for me and found nothing! There are some great templates out there, but I would need more than one of them to get all I wanted!

Another Solution!

In walks Microsoft Excel, to solve all my problems!

I haven’t used Excel to a great extent, so I’m not an expert! BUT!!! In the end, I created EXACTLY what I wanted in a shopping list!

I learned so much from creating this template! Like color coding! WHAT?!?! My OCD just did a happy dance! I made a pretty comprehensive list in each “department” of the things we use the most, but also left blank spaces for random things that pop up in new recipes! Plus an entire blank section!

I also added in a section for our herbs and essential oils needs since we make most of our wellness products (everything from room spray to tinctures to pet care needs).  And of course, an Asian Market section, because their vegetables and sauces cannot be beaten for flavor!!!

Printable Shopping List

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It’s 6 pages long, which is a lot, but the way I set it up it’s a blank canvas. I wanted to put it in by date, because some weeks I get a late start, and skip days! So I left the numerals out and just put the /Forward Slash/. That way I can simply use a pencil and erase each week! 

Shopping List
/Forward Slash/

Reusable Shopping List ?

Now I realize that the erasing will eventually make the paper thin and holey, but if I can use it for a month before that happens, then printing out 6 pages won’t hurt as much! Or better yet, we can laminate it and just reuse it that way! Win! 

And best case scenario, I don’t even need to print it! I can add in our current needs by date and then simply email it to myself from my laptop and then open it on my phone! It’s smaller, but I’m able to zoom in easily! Also, it is fully editable, so once I’m done with that week’s shopping, I can change the quantities for the next week!


There are plenty of vegetables that we can buy in two week supply, like onions, garlic, potatoes, and the like! But so many that we cannot, like green onions, peppers, celery and so much more! So how were we going to do this? For now I just placed another column at the end for a total for the week. That way I can add up certain veggies like onions or garlic and have a weekly total.  The others that need to be purchased closer to their planned meal dates could be tallied under them.

Shopping List
Weekly Total

I understand that I can blanche those vegetables, but there are times when I’m using them in dishes where we want them to have a little crunch, so blanching them takes that option away!

Shopping List Made Simple

I’m quite new to Microsoft 365 and am very excited to explore more both in Excel and their other products!


Key Features I Love

 Color Coding

 Alpha Order Options

Page Break Preview


I have to say the page break preview is something I am still working with! My OCD needs the color-coded categories to fall on one page, not be broken up! And I tweaked it to look perfect, but then when I hit the page break preview, it was a mess!

I plan on trying the phone option when we’re shopping (I’m a pen and paper list girl, so this is a super challenge!!), I’m not worried about the fact that it would probably print a little off 😂

And there are a ton of options that I haven’t even discovered ~  I can tweak this one over time with my discoveries!

Think of all the organization that can be accomplished with this!


Here is the 411 on the different packages available! I’m sure there is one that suits your needs!

 

 


Want to learn more?

Simply click on any of the above pictures to go directly to that product! Whatever your needs are, there is a package that will work! I love what little I have learned so far, and am looking forward to exploring more and sharing what I’ve come up with! 

Zach and I are list people! If it isn’t on the list, we aren’t doing it, getting it, or thinking about it! This is a game changer for the Household Notebook!  We call the book BABS ~ Big A** Book Silly, who knows where this even started, but I’m sure it came out of my mouth first! So BABS will be getting a makeover soon!

 

Oh the lists we can make 😍

 

 

This post was sponsored by Microsoft 365!

Shopping List

Affiliate Disclaimer

Crunchwrap Supreme ~Taco Bell CopyCaturday

Crunchwrap Supreme

Somewhere along the line, someone in Instagram-land decided to make Saturday into Caturday 😹 And while we love our cats, I can’t see making a post about them every single Saturday!

They pretty much do the same thing daily, judge us 😬


CopyCaturday 😺

So I decided to do a play on that and do “CopyCaturday”. Every Saturday I’m going to find a copycat recipe and make it! See which we find closest, or most improved from the original! We don’t eat much fast food, but we do think there are some good possibilities out there for a good home cooked version.


This week we decided to try Taco Bell’s Crunchwrap Supreme! It’s the only thing Zach says he will eat at Taco Bell (we never go to fast food places, so I have no reason to doubt that info 😆) 

Crunchwrap Supreme

Print

Taco Bell's Crunchwrap Supreme

Copycat recipe of Taco Bell's Crunchwrap Supreme
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword CopyCat, Crunchwrap
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 29 minutes
Servings 6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 small onion, yellow chopped
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic minced
  • 8 ounces queso cheese dip warmed
  • 6 flour tortillas large, burrito size
  • 6 tostada shells
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups lettuce shredded
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1 cup mexican cheese bllend shredded
  • cooking spray or olive oil

Instructions

  • In a large, heated skillet, cook ground beef and onion until beef is cooked through. Drain grease. Stir in taco seasoning, water and minced garlic. Continue to cook until it starts to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Warm the queso cheese dip in small pan on stovetop just until creamy.
    Warm tortillas in oven preheated to 200°.
  • Lay one tortilla on a flat surface. Spread about 1/2 cup of taco meat onto the center of the tortilla. Add a few tablespoons of the warmed queso dip on top of the meat. Top meat and cheese with one tostada shell. Spread a thin layer of sour cream on top of the tostada. Top with lettuce, tomato and cheese.
  • Cut a small piece of tortilla to cover layered taco. Fold the bottom tortilla over the center, folding the edge over the center as you go around.
  • Repeat process with remaining tortillas and fillings. There will be a total of 6 crunchwraps.
  • Spray a large, non-stick pan with cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. Place one crunchwrap, seam side down, into skillet. Cook for 2 minutes or until golden-brown. Flip over and repeat on other side.
  • Serve with sour cream, queso or any additional toppings.

We made this together. I was in charge of getting it to the pan-frying the assembled crunchwrap stage and Zach did the frying 🙂 


Prepping was easy 🙂

The prepping and cooking parts of this recipe were identical to making a regular taco!  I had some taco seasoning that I had made (quite a while ago)  so I used that up in this recipe. 

Just like the recipe says, brown the meat and onions, place it on the tortillas (again, we were using up what we bought last week, instead of the pack we had purchased this morning!) 

Oops!

It’s at this point we realize those tortillas were not nearly large enough to fold over the middle! They weren’t even large enough to fold over the sides.  Fortunately we had purchased large tortillas! So we took the meat and cheese off the smaller tortillas and transferred it to the larger ones! 

So when buying tortillas for this recipe, check the size against some tostada shells! 

I warmed up the queso on the stove, and then spooned it over the warm beef mixture. And it pretty much disappeared! I know that Taco Bell uses Nacho Cheese Dip, but we wanted the queso dip instead, so maybe next time ~ nacho cheese!

🌮Layers, Layers, Layers🌮


Tostada Shell & Sour Cream

Lettuce & Tomato topping

CHEESE!

Zach took the smaller tortillas and cut them for our center pieces for the top ~ so no waste!


Crunchwrap Supreme Perfection!

Zach did a great job pan frying these things! The top folded tortilla just wanted to unfold! Pretty sure that there was some opening and then re-closing of them! I tried to “glue” it together with queso, but it was a no on that! 


Crunchwrap Supreme 😋

Finished product!  It was pretty good! I felt as if that taco seasoning I made quite some time ago may have lost some flavor! So next time I’m going to make it fresh! I could have added a lot more tomato, since it seemed to be lost in the mix! 

Crunchwrap Supreme

Zach suggested Pico de Gallo instead of the tomatoes, and while that isn’t the way Taco Bell does it, it sure can be the way Nancy & Zach do it! I make some pretty good pico 😁

CopyCat Crunchwrap Supreme ? 

Was it a complete copycat? No 🙁 

Mainly because of the taco seasoning! I did not use a copycat of Taco Bell’s seasoning (or buy it already made in the store). So the taste was a bit different! Of course, the rest was spot on! The building of the crunchwrap was just as remembered, and the crunch was perfect! 

Will we make it again? Yes!

Definitely a WIN recipe! Just a tweak on my own seasoning 😂


So what’s the plan for next Saturday? I have no idea just yet! 


Caturday Recipes Aplenty!

There is a site called Top Secret Recipes that has a ton of available fast food and restaurant copycat recipes. It is not a free site! You can buy recipes in different ways, individually or buy one of the books, there is also a membership that you get 8 free recipes a month, you get the picture! Click on the chef below to check it out!

Caturday

Another great resource is Copycat.com . Here you will find TONS of FREE recipes!! She also has a few books available on Amazon! Either way, it’s a win! 😋
          


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