Food, Surviving Chaos

5 Ingredient Honey Garlic Pork Chops

Honey Garlic Pork Chops

Honey garlic pork chops are a perfect recipe for our summer series! All you need is a cast iron skillet and 15 minutes and you’ll have perfect pork chops in no time for dinner. Keep this recipe handy, its a perfect addition to the busy school schedules for the fall.

Ingredients

  • Center cut boneless pork chops (1 pork chop per person)
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 gloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp chopped parsley
  • Honey Garlic Sauce
    • 2 1/2 tbsp honey
    • 2 tbsp warm water
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
    • cayenne pepper (optional)

Let’s Make It!

  1. Season pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides. Mix ingredients for honey garlic sauce
  2. Heat skillet on high heat then add vegetable oil and butter.
  3. Add pork chops to skillet and pan fry each side for 3-4 minutes or until brown. For thick pork chops, increase frying time for each side.
  4. Move pork chops to one side of skillet and add remaining butter. Add garlic and saute for 10 seconds or until light brown.
  5. Add honey sauce to skillet and cook to reduce the sauce to thicker consistency or until sauce is amber brown.
  6. Spoon sauce over pork chops, turn off heat and garnish with parsley.
  7. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Surviving Chaos

  • Skillet Options: If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, any non-stick or stainless steel skillet will work!
  • Sides: Mashed potatoes or carrots are the perfect side dishes for these pork chops.

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3 Reasons You Should Rent A Boat

Lake Travis Austin, TX

Since we’ve been under quarantine for the last 3 months due to COVID-19 and the orders were finally lifted, we were ready to get out of the house and enjoy the fresh air. But we still had to follow social distancing rules while outside. So, we all put our heads together to find an activity that was fun, inexpensive and still allowed for social distancing. Renting a boat was the perfect activity! This was a new adventure for us but we were up to the challenge. We rented a pontoon boat, perfect for families, from Just for Fun Watercraft Rental for a half day. Once we received our driving course at the marina (yes, its literally is like driving a car) we were on our way to the open waters. If you love the outdoors and are looking for a great family vacation, boating is right up your alley. I’ve listed 3 reasons why boating is a great family and/or solo activity to do and some surviving chaos tips to help you navigate the waters.

  1. Social Distancing Safe: Whats between you, your boat and the lake……nothing! Absolutely nothing…..there is no one standing next to you and the closest boat or ski-do is zooming past you miles away. This meant it was just us, the boat and the water. We didn’t have to worry about maintaining 6 feet of social distance because we were totally isolated. Additionally, you can find your own private beach or alcove hang out spot for your family. There are tons of alcoves on Lake Travis to choose; you can spread out your blanket and toys and have a good time. Boating is another way of getting away without going too far.
  2. Advance Your Skills: So previously, I mentioned that driving a boat is like driving a car…..but that’s AFTER you figure it out! A boat is like a moving target! You are steering one way but the current of the lake wants to take you in a completely different direction. Nautical terminology is also something you’ll pick up quickly along with water safety rules. Also, you’re also trying to find your balance while driving which is no small feet! By the time you’ve learn how to drive, balance yourself using muscles you’ve never used before, kept the kids from going overheard due to a big wave and learned how to navigate a lake using Google Maps you’ll be exhausted…..but skilled! You’ll definitely come out of the trip with some MAD skills and an imaginary gold medal. Did I mention….that I parallel parked our boat? Yep, I did that. Score 1 for mom!!!
  3. Family Time: We had so much fun on our boat! But for me, the best thing was seeing the kids faces light up as we speed through the lake. Hearing their giggles and full laughter every time our captain (my husband) hit a big wave. Our son educating us on the geography, animals he saw and other nature facts was wonderful. His binoculars definitely got a work out! Watching grandma and the kids have their own concert and sing-a-long to the Trolls 2 soundtrack was quite entertaining. Seeing my husband steering our boat with an air of confidence like a true captain but look of nervousness on his face was priceless. This was by far one of our funnest activities we did as a family and we created a TON of memories.

Surviving Chaos

  • B.Y.O.F – Bring your own food: Pack some sandwiches, chips, fruit, juice and water and you’ll be all set. With your own meal you stop literally anywhere and have lunch. Plus you’ll save money as some of the restaurants can be expensive. And don’t forget the snacks, nothing worse than h-angry kids!!
  • Beach toys: Bring some beach toys or stop by your local dollar store for some inexpensive items. This will keep the kids entertained while on the beach our while on the boat while your traveling around the lake.
  • Sunscreen: I can’t stress how important to slather everyone down in sunscreen. When we started our boating trip it was cloudy but it quickly heated up once the sun came out. Please protect your skin during all your outdoor activities sunscreen and remember to re-apply.
  • Reserve Early: Beat the rush and reserve your boat early at the beginning of summer. Boat rental reservations start the first warm day here and companies get booked all the way to late summer. The best boat for families are pontoon boats which seat up to 16 people.

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Food, Surviving Chaos

Summer Series: Watermelon Sorbet

Watermelon Sorbet

Looking for a cool treat for the hot summer days?? Try this quick watermelon sorbet as a fun desert or cool snack. With 4 ingredients its easy to make, tasty and a kid summer favorite.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of banana
  • 1/2 lime
  • 6 cups of watermelon
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)

Let’s Make It!

  1. Slice and freeze fruit (except lime) for prep.
  2. Add watermelon and banana to blender.
  3. Next add lime juice and maple syrup to ingredients in blender.
  4. Blend on high speed until smooth. (You made need to push down the fruit during the blending process).
  5. Spoon mixture into freezer safe container. Freeze overnight or 3-4 hours until solid.
  6. Allow to thaw a few minutes before serving.

Surviving Chaos

  • Add-Ins: Consider adding mint, basil, ginger, or other fruit to add more flavor.
  • Creamy: For a creamier texture, add more banana.

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When in

International Travel Adapters

If your traveling internationally, you will definitely need a travel adapter. The plugs and voltage in the U.S. are not the same in every country so you’ll need a good power bank with multiple adapters in order to charge you electronics once you reach your destination. Here we have provided a guide on the common plugs, associated country of usage, and voltage for your future travels.

Common Plugs

Plugs, Electrical Info & Countries

Family, Surviving Chaos, When in

The Exotic Resort Zoo – Johnson City, Texas

If your looking for some family fun, something that is social distancing friendly and you happen to be in Texas, then check out the Exotic Resort Zoo! Located in Johnson City, Texas the Exotic Resort Zoo is the perfect getaway for the whole family. This is a full scale zoo with exotic animals and safari cabins available to rent. Before the pandemic, you could hop on any one of the numerous guided tours for a trip around the zoo. While on the tour, you can feed the animals and visit the petting zoo which is a ton of fun. Also, if you wanted to spend more time at the zoo, you can rent a cabin…..even during the pandemic! These cabins are a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city with panoramic views of the Texas Hill Country. Each cabin can sleep 4-8 people and features basic kitchen appliances to a full kitchen depending on the cabin of your choice. These cabins are perfect for couples or the whole family.

Currently, the zoo has switched to a drive-through safari which is perfect for social distancing. You get to experience the zoo right from the comfort your car and still get the chance to feed the animals! First up on our drive-through safari was the petting zoo full of goats, fallow and axis deer. Although we couldn’t go inside, we were able to toss some feed to the animals which the kids loved! Following the petting zoo, we encountered all types of deer. From Sika to Axis to Fallow they were all eager to get some food right out of your hand. These guys definitely weren’t shy and came right up to car…talk about up close and personal! And of course they were accompanied by their friends the antelope and sheep.

Up next we entered the camel pen which was crazy! When you see a camel from far away you don’t truly understand the magnitude of how big they are. But once they get to your car and stick their WHOLE head and neck its a whole new perspective. And whats a camel without an llama or 2. These animals have no fear and enjoy every minute of their visitors.

My favorite part of the safari were the Zebras. They were absolutely beautiful and stunning and we spent the most time their feeding them. You definitely have to be careful with these guys because they bite! Be sure to drop the food on the ground so you can keep all your fingers. On our way out, we visit the Ostrich pen and encounter some Buffalo. To be honest, the ostrich and emu look very mean to me or maybe just angry….. These creatures are gentle giants but are very aggressive when it comes to food. Be prepared to keep your hand sanitizer handy or at least a towel because the buffalo loves to lick the food from your hand. Their tongues are long and EXTRA slimy, it was definitely a gross out moment for the kids.

The Exotic Resort Zoo is a perfect getaway for the whole family, especially now during these unprecedented times. If you plan on making the trip, here are some surviving chaos tips to make the trip smooth, stress free and fun:

  • Buy Ahead: Purchase tickets and at least 2 bags of feed BEFORE the day of your visit online. If your going on a holiday, buy your tickets at least a week in advance. This place sells out quickly.
  • Snacks: Be sure to pack some snacks and water for the road trip! Nothing worse than cranky kids stuck in a car.
  • Restrooms: Due to social distancing, the restrooms at the zoo are closed. Be sure to stop at the nearest gas station, about 4 miles north of the zoo, for your families pit stop.
  • Hand Sanitizer: Be sure to bring plenty of hand sanitizer and wipes since you will be feeding the animals. Their tongues are slimy so you’ll want to have clean hands when your finished.

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