Thursday, October 29, 2009

Max’s Delicatessen

Daniel is going out of town tomorrow night, so tonight we went out to eat.  He has been wanting to try a new place called Max’s Delicatessen, and we have coupons for it, so we went there.  I will leave an official review to my friend, Amarilys, whose blog is devoted to her thoughts on food and restaurants, but thought I would leave a few thoughts here.

Max’s is a hometown restaurant locally owned and operated.  When we arrived, we were greeted with a smile and were quickly seated.  The children were given Crayola crayons and a color page.  (Parents of small children know that restaurants crayons rarely hold up to little hands, much less mommy’s and daddy’s hands.  Crayola crayons are the mark of a good restaurant, in and of themselves.)  Then a veggie basket was brought to us, which included pickles (these were slightly different – not dill), raw carrots, raw celery, and ranch dressing.  Our drink order was taken and promptly brought out, and we were given plenty of opportunity to order quickly or not, to our needs.

Daniel decided to order the beef brisket, and I decided to order the sweet and sour stuffed cabbage.  (This was a dish my parents both used to make when I was younger, and I’ve not had in many years.)  Princess decided that she wanted to chili, and Speed Racer shared with us.  The dinners included soup, and Daniel got Matzo ball, and I got Chicken and Rice.  They came out very quickly and were very large in portion even though a side portion.

Then, our dinners came – Daniel got mashed potatoes and spinach for his sides, and I got mashed potatoes and fresh fruit for my sides.  The spinach was uniquely sautéed with onions, was obviously fresh, and tasted delicious.  My bowl of fruit was huge, very yummy, and also fresh – grapes, pineapple, strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew melons, and some watermelon. 

One of the co-owners brought out Princess’s chili, and when he saw it was for her, he told us that we might to sample the chili first saying it was very unique – a bean-less chili.  He took it back, brought a sample, Princess tasted it, loved it, and he brought it back with some freshly shredded cheese.  (I could pick up the cheese and feel its texture and know that it was grated in house.)  The dinner portions were once again large and everything served was very fresh and delicious.

The waitress took the kid’s colored pages and hung them up on the wall.  When we come back, if their picture is still hanging up, they are entitled to a free cookie!

Max’s does not serve the usual fare, but has a variety of items on the menu.  I found everything to be so fresh and delicious that I wanted to recommend it.  When we go out, we often only visit restaurants that have coupons.  Many times these restaurants are new or are struggling to survive, thus the need for coupons.  Many times these restaurants are no longer there when we finally decide to go back.  Because the food, service, and environment was truly excellent at Max’s, I wanted to give you and opportunity to see for yourself in hopes that it thrives and that you enjoy it as well. 

Now, I cannot wait to try one of their sandwiches or their breakfast.

Windows Live Writer

If you are a blogger and you’ve ever thought that the blogger editor could be improved upon, here is the solution for you.  I am currently writing this post using a new editor, Windows Live Writer.  I got the tip from Shirley at Alabama Times.  She links to all the appropriate links so that everyone who suggested this fancy tool gets credit where credit is due.  I went ahead and left a link straight to the download, because you have to clink through a few links to get there.  Supposedly, this editor makes it easier to use fancy fonts, as well as makes it easier to post pictures.  If you’ve used blogger for very long, you know how difficult it can be to post pictures – including how they appear on the page as well as the upload time it takes.  Windows Live Writer is supposed to be the answer.  Let’s see… It looks as though DSCN4156it really is easier to add photos this way.  And, you can even edit your photo, crop, give it a fancy border, etc. all inside this editor.  Pretty nifty.  I’m pretty excited about this!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall Festival 2009

Today, we went to the Fall Festival at our church. Princess dressed up as Cinderella, and Speed Racer dressed up as Batman. We had a great time. The kids played games, won candy, bounced in the bouncy house, rode on a hay ride (Princess and me), ate hot dogs, hamburgers, and popcorn, and slid down the giant bouncy slide. It was quite a fun time.

Princess saw her friend, CE, and helped cheer her for a little while. Elijah ran around with his friend, JP. Of course, Princess and Speed Racer had to dance to the folk music before we left, and I enjoyed some cotton candy.

We had a great turnout - there was a lot of people, and each year it is more organized and better than the year before. So exciting!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Things to Remember

Being a Mom is Hard. These are a few of things I hope I can remember when I get to be an older mom or a grandmother:

1. Potty training is extremely difficult - just when you thought it was over, someone has an accident or a potty problem. It takes a whole lot of time and patience. It may be extremely easy for some, but not for this momma. I hope I can remember something about how to help Princess train her kids when she is a mom.

2. Your kids are not young forever. I am only assuming that at some point they learn to obey and actually want to obey when they are asked. I need to cherish our time together despite how difficult it can sometimes be. It is important to remember humor in your day or despair may occur.

3. Despite the absolute joy of spoiling the grandkids, I want to remember how much extra work it was for me when they were spoiled, so that I aid not hinder my children when they are parents. I am sure I will forget this one as all grandparents seem to do, but with any hope I will not. I do not believe this is some rite of passage for both parties as seem think we all deserve this "punishment." And whatever rules mom and dad instate, I hope to abide by.

4. Parenting never ends despite what one would like to believe, even when you grow up and the relationship changes. I hope I will be there for young moms to mentor them and teach them from things and experiences I've learned as a mom as in Titus 2. I hope to always listen and be there for them, no matter how old or what kind of problems they have. I hope that at that point in time, I actually have some wisdom to offer.

I also hope to be like my granny and instill a genuine love of Christ in my grandkids. I will sing "Jesus Loves Me" all my days, and I hope they will see me serving others and passionately living for Christ. I will take them to church with me and support them at their church (hopefully).

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Prayer of a Child

For no particular reason, we don't do rote prayers very often at our house.

But the kids have plenty of opportunities to pray. We ask them if they would like to say the blessing. Tonight Speed Racer wanted to do the honors. This is what he said:

Dee-ah God,
Tank you for food. Tank you for dis (as he points to his hominy and cannot remember the word for it), dis is good. Tank you also for the gween beans (which are really peas) and my chicken too. Amen.

So simple yet so perfect.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Snuggling Up

"I so love you, brother"
Princess said to Speed Racer as they watched morning cartoons together.

P. S. This is my 300th post!! Yay me!
I am thinking of giving something away in honor of this. Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Halloween at the Zoo

We had th
ought we might go to the pumpkin patch today, but we decided to go cheaper this year and go to the zoo since we have a membership there, and the kids had already gotten 2 little pumpkins from the school trip to the pumpkin patch. We will just buy a pumpkin from the grocery store this year. Since it has been raining almost everyday for the past two months, we decided to get out even though it was the coldest day of the season so far because it was dry, and we were all tired of being cooped up in the house. The kids just enjoyed running around in the cold and looking at all of the Halloween decorations. They had an Auburn - Alabama gameday picture area, so of course, Daniel and I posed with our perspective team mascot.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Caramel Chocolate Apples

Today we made caramel chocolate apples. We made the caramel from scratch, and it was quite tasty. Even though it is an extra effort to make it from scratch, I think I will do it again because it was so flavorful. I am not a candy connoisseur, but the recipe I followed made it very easy to make the caramel. However, I did not quite get the chocolate right. You can see in one of the photos that it is starting to slide off of the apples. I'm not sure why. I saved them by putting them in the refrigerator to set. Of course, I will try it again, but I think it is because I got the chocolate hotter than recommended and there was not enough fat in the chocolate. I tried to temper it with no success. Whatever the case, I still think they look appetizing, and they are definitely quite yummy as well! According to Daniel, they cut nicely, and all of the caramel and chocolate stayed on instead of falling off.

The kids LOVED them! And even though it was a time consuming process that was not the kid friendliest, they loved loved loved eating the caramel as I dipped the apples.

Princess is very excited because she is sending one to her teacher, Ms. Melanie, tomorrow.

You can find the recipe I used here. For tips on tempering chocolate, you can visit here.


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