Food

Buffalo Chicken Wraps

Here’s an alternative to sandwiches for your next picnic, park trip, work or school lunch: Buffalo Chicken Wraps! These wraps are easy to make, healthy, and a family favorite. This recipe takes 5 minutes to make so some of the ingredients are pre-made and ready to eat. They make the perfect travel snack and/or lunch no matter wear you are going. You can check out our more recent adventure to the park here. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2-3 Iceberg lettuce leaves per wrap
  • 1 slice sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 grilled chicken breast, sliced and warmed
  • 2 slices of bacon
  • 1 tablespoon buffalo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ranch dressing

Let’s Make It!

  1. Cook bacon slices based on number of wraps you will be making. Set aside to cool.
  2. Place 2 lettuce leaves on a clean surface so that they slightly overlap creating a barrier.
  3. Add 1 slice of cheddar cheese in the center.
  4. Top cheese with sliced chicken, bacon and drizzle with buffalo sauce and ranch.
  5. Wrap ingredients tightly like a burrito.
  6. Slice down the center when ready to eat. Note: Add a toothpick in the center if needed to hold wrap together.

Surviving Chaos

  • Switch the Cheese: Switch out the Cheddar cheese with Swiss or Pepper Jack to change up the flavor and add a bit more spice.
  • Tortillas: If your really hungry, swap the lettuce wrap for flour tortillas. This will keep you fuller for longer and won’t make a dent in your daily carbohydrate count.
  • Warm it Up: Cook your bacon 30 minutes before you put together your wrap.
  • Ready To Go: Put wraps in insulated cooler so they will stay warm until you get to your destination.

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Brushy Creek Lake Park, Texas

Brushy Creek Lake Park, Texas

If your looking for place with fresh air, wide open spaces and supports social distancing, then look no further than your local park. Our most recent adventure brought us to Brushy Creek Lake Park in Cedar Park, Texas. This park is absolutely beautiful! There are a ton of hike and bike trails to follow in this 90 acre park and plenty of picturesque landscape views. You’ll definitely need a map to make sure you don’t get lost. Our kids pretended to be wildlife rangers and loved discovering and exploring all the different flora and fauna withing the park. They had a ton of questions, of which we had to consult Google for answers, about all the things they saw. They even created their own sketch book of the flowers they discovered. If you want to get wet, you can rent a kayak and/or canoe to explore they lake or visit the splash pad to cool off. This by far is the most popular activity at the park. If your looking for more fun, check out the volleyball courts, playscape, fishing pier, exercise stations and much more. If your looking for more ways to tour your own city, check out my blog post here for more ideas.

Surviving Chaos

In order to make the most of you time at the park and prevent kid meltdowns, I’ve provided some surviving chaos tips. Have fun exploring at the park.

  • Sunblock: Be sure to put on lots of sunblock to prevent sunburn. This is the first rule of thumb for any outdoor activity.
  • Early Morning: Best time to visit the park is early morning. It’s cooler, less crowded and your kids will have energy to burn. A fun filled morning at the park makes for a well rested and relaxed afternoon (I hope).
  • Backpack: This is the perfect place to keep water, first aid kits, sunblock, snacks, portable potty seat, etc. What ever creature comforts you need. Remember to keep it light weight since you’ll be doing a lot of walking and/or biking.
  • Snacks: Don’t forget the snacks! Apple slices, carrot and celery sticks, granola/protein bars, goldfish or whatever your kids like. You don’t want food meltdowns and HAN-gry kids in the middle of your hiking journey

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Family, Food, Surviving Chaos

DIY Strawberry Banana Ice Cream

Strawberry Banana Ice Cream

Who wants ice cream??? How about DIY strawberry banana ice cream? This 2 ingredient non-dairy ice cream recipe is a perfect addition to our summer series and is a great activity to do with the kids. #kidfriendlyrecipes

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • Plastic or reusable freezer bags
  • This recipe makes 1 serving; double recipe for each additional person

Let’s Make It!

  1. Peel the banana and slice into smaller pieces. Remove tops from strawberries and slice into smaller pieces
  2. Place fruit in ziplock bag and freeze for at least 4 hours. For firmer ice cream freeze fruit overnight.
  3. Add frozen strawberries and banana slices to food processor or high speed blender.
  4. Blend the fruit until smooth. Fruit will initially look like crumbles during blending process, just keep blending. Stop the machine at least once to scrape the sides.
  5. Once smooth, serve and enjoy.

Surviving Chaos

  • Save Time: To skip the freezing time, use frozen fruit from the freezer section at your local grocery store.
  • Texture: For soft serve, serve the ice cream right after blending. For firmer texture, freeze the ice cream an additional 2 hours.
  • Change It Up: You can interchange the fruit or add different fruits to this recipe for a nice twist. Example….pineapple!

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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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