Well, the worst thing you could do when you start a new blog is not blog for a whole month. Honestly, it hasn’t felt like a month. I guess time truly does fly when you’re having fun…or something like it. I’ve been pretty busy and had to stay late a few weeks at work, then I went on vacation for 9 days and last week I was straight up lazy. So now I’m playing ketchup…(You’ll get my clever play on words shortly).
So, where did I go on my vacation you ask??
Just kidding, I went to Roseville, IL – which is equally awesome. [That photo is from my Cali (specifically, La Jolla) trip a few summers back. ]
That’s more like it…but this photo is actually in Peoria. Close enough!! It was a good time, we had a fiesta for my mom’s birthday which included our annual cupcake war. Sadly, I was dethroned… by ONE point. I’d really like a recount. Apparently, my cupcakes didn’t look good, but they tasted amazing. Personally, I think taste should be the most important factor. But I am the all time champ, just saying…I made a caramel apple cupcake which was an apple-y flavored vanilla cake and a caramel fudge frosting. It’s based on a recipe I found while making a family recipe cookbook for my cousin Josh’s wedding last year. We also danced, grilled out, danced, saw some fireworks (it had like 20345 grand finales, according to Russell), danced, played some board games, and we did A LOT of dancing.
And of course, we had to make the trip to the Club for some of those “world famous” shoestring onion rings. Seriously, best onion rings ever. I decided to branch out and try something new but don’t even remember what it was, but I enjoyed it later because I was so full from the onion rings.
Club 41 also got some new menus a few years ago and it now includes cocktails, this is a shout-out to my China people – ZOMBIES!!!
We also did a little gambling in Bloomington, IA…They had “my machine”. Sadly, I didn’t win anything.
So when we got back, I decided to do a Whole30. For 30 days, you don’t eat grains, added sugar (artificial or natural, but fruit is okay), dairy or legumes (beans or peanuts). It wasn’t as hard as I thought…I support any kind of “diet” that lets you eat a boatload of avocados and olives. Those are 2 of my 3 favorite things… If cheese was allowed, I’d be set for life. We’ll see how it goes, I already feel like I have so much more energy…At 4PM, I don’t want to crash. And, my cravings for chocolate are pretty much gone, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still want to go to Chic-Fil-A everyday (i blame my co-worker Renee for that addiction 🙂 ) So now that brings us to the ketchup portion of this post, I decided to make my own ketchup and it was super easy.
Easy Homemade Ketchup
12 Oz Tomato Paste (look for something where the only ingredient is TOMATOES)
1.5 C Water
2 TBS Distilled Vinegar
1/2 tsp Garlic
1/2 tsp Onion Powder (I used Onion Salt, b/c that’s what I have)
1/4 tsp All Spice (Note, all spice is it’s own thing, it’s not a conglomeration of other spices as some often thing)
– Stir over low heat until desired consistency is reached. Then pour (hopefully you have a funnel, unlike me) into your container of choice. This stuff is good. Really good.
I got the recipe from here: http://notinmoderation.wordpress.com/2011/08/26/nailed-it-ryan-wilders-wicked-easy-paleo-ketchup/
I enjoyed a nice steak and some homemade baked matchstick sweet potato fries.
Travel Notes a.k.a “bitching”: The trip started off on the wrong foot, at 10 AM on Friday morning we got an email saying that our flight at 4PM flight to Chicago was cancelled so they rebooked us on a noon flight. Umm… what? So we called back and they couldn’t get us out until 530PM. Sweet, well the guy didn’t mention is was 5:30 PM on Saturday, a full 24 hours after we were originally supposed to leave. So I called back again, and was able to get an earlier flight. Everything seemed to go smoothly, we got into O’hare early and were able to stop at Starbucks because our gates were about 4 apart. Skip to me standing at baggage claim in the Quad Cities, slowly I realize that I’m the only one still waiting. I go to the service desk and the guy says my bag is still in Chicago and it won’t get there until the next flight which gets in a 430 (It’s around noon at this point). Ok, that’s fine, can you deliver it b/c I’m driving an hour away. Then he looks it up in his notebook and says that it’s going to be $68. Umm, no it’s not. I will say this, they ended up waving the fee and the delivery guy was super nice, but United SUCKS. I won’t even get started on the lack of empathy and just general lack of service provided by customer SERVICE. We did have flight issues that put us behind schedule by about 8 hours on the way back. Neither were weather related. Honestly, I understand that stuff happens, but when just about everything that can go wrong does and you don’t apologize that’s where I lose my patience. I can’t imagine how i’d react in this situation: http://abcnews.go.com/US/united-passengers-stranded-days-china/story?id=16784289