Alley's Recipe Book
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Campfire Breakfast in a Skillet - total time 30 minutes

Until this year, I thought everyone went camping when they were kids.  I just thought that was part of growing up, your family spending a couple weekends, some times weeks, at a campground having fun outside.  I remember organizing our family's "field day" competition one year complete with SkipIt and paper ribbons hand colored and cut by yours truly.

Maybe that's why I love to be outside, get my hands dirty in the garden, stare at the night sky, and why bugs really don't bother me (unless they're mosquitos, mosquitos bother me a lot).  While I'd like to think of myself as a somewhat technically savvy individual, I can also disconnect from the interwebs and be okay (unlike these kids).

Since it is summer time, it's the perfect time get off the grid and recharge your batteries, literally and figuratively!  :)  Time to go for a hike, sleep under the stars, and cook over the fire.

For me, breakfast recipes need to be easy.  I'm not fully awake, and if it isn't easy, I might accidentally cut off a finger or something.  This recipe requires very little effort and includes minimal involvement of sharp objects.  It is very similar to the breakfast in a bag recipe (that I forgot to post, so, coming soon), but no chance of the cooking vessel breaking or burning in the fire.  If you like breakfast sandwiches, but would rather clean one pan instead of three... this is the recipe for you.

Weekly Menu

It seems like everyone was camping, hiking, or doing something outside while enjoying the beautiful weather this weekend!  So many fun pictures while catching up on my newsfeeds while camping at Lake Hope State Park.  It was nice to have some time to unplug and get away from "the city" and all that city life brings (traffic, noise, light pollution, etc).  Plus, it is fun try to cook on an open fire. 

lake hope kayaking 
chicken fajita camping hammock camping sleepy snoop lake hope sunset
My husband wanted to take some star pictures with his new app that makes his phone a trigger for his camera.  So while he was getting fancy, I took some handheld star pics... which is sooo hard.  Definitely have more blurry or just plain darkness pictures than I have good ones, but getting any good ones by hand was better than I thought I could do!  Here are a couple... one with moon beams (which I'm almost as obsessed with as sun beams) and another with hope furnace slightly lit by the moon.

moon beams and stars hope furnace under the stars

We got home this morning, so I checked on the garden.  Squash are still climbing... and I got four strawberries before the birds or slugs did!  They were tiny, but soo tasty. Homegrown berries are the best for sure. :)  Then we cooled off and ended the weekend with some Jeni's ice cream...  My favorite is a trio of salty caramel, dark chocolate, and black espresso, but since Jeni's isn't at full production capacity, and therefore limited flavors, I tried the new root beer one.   Tastes like a fully frozen root beer float.  

butterfly garden blooming climbing squash vines baby berries jenis root beer float 

On to this week's plan...

cilantro lime shrimp with mexican rice
shrimp po' boys and sauteed zucchini
chicken sour cream enchiladas and cilantro lime corn
roasted tomato and garlic pasta
loaded shredded chicken nachos

Weekly Menu

Well, summer finally arrived with some scorching heat and humidity this weekend.  People were passing out from heat exhaustion and dehydration at Jazz & Rib Fest!  Unfortunately the weather is always unpredictable in the Midwest, but I try to keep a bottle of water in the car and one in my purse at all times because dehydration is the worst.  Headaches, grouchiness, cramps, fainting... not good.  And sometimes you just want some water... so it is always good to have around!

I don't eat ribs often... in fact... maybe twice a year... but I spent a good chunk of my weekend at Jazz & Rib Fest.  When the best in the world are in town, you might as well indulge a little.  After more meat than my body could really handle, I had a plate full of steamed green beans for dinner to hopefully restore balance.  :)

Jazz comes first in Jazz & Rib Fest because of how the event started (as a jazz music series in July on the Scioto River front), but also because of the rich jazz history in Columbus, specifically the King Lincoln and Olde Towne East neighborhoods.  The ribs just came along because people were hungry.  ;)  Even though the grass was a bit soggy and shade was a hot commodity, it was great to see Columbus enjoying the tunes.

columbus jazz and rib fest columbus jazz and rib fest
buckeye funnel cake downtown columbus
sunshine finally homemade pizza
Thursday was a perfect day with blue skies, sunshine, and just the right temperature.  Could use about 364 more of those days!

moonlight market its raining its pouring
balloon flowers floral ohio flag

Alright, enough about this weekend, how about the week ahead of us?  Here's my plan for the week...

summer harvest pizza
zoodles with turkey meatballs
biscuit pockets
roasted tomato and garlic bowties
shrimp fajitas

What are you planning to make?

Slate Run Historical Farm

plow horses at slate run farm

It wasn't raining last Saturday, so we spent the entire day outside since these days have been few and far between this summer.  (If you need something to do when it's raining, check out this list.)  One of the things on our list was just outside of Columbus that peaked our interest when we drove by a couple weeks ago... Slate Run Historical Farm.

We are avid users of our Ohio Metro Parks... but a farm?  

It was pretty awesome!  :)  A great place to take children for them to see how a farm works and where their food comes from.  I was particularly obsessed with taking pictures of the chickens (one day... I'll have a flock of my own).  The baby piglets were adorable, although the mud around them was unbearably stinky, ick.

The farm includes cows, horses, sheep, chicken, turkey, bee hives, and pigs.  There is a large garden of beans, squash, tomatoes, herbs, pickles, and peppers.  Larger fields of corn and pumpkins.  A smoke house and root cellar show how farmers preserve food.  And inside the farm house there is usually something baking in the kitchen and demonstrations going on.  Also several barns for making flour out of grain, making brooms, blacksmithing horse shoes, and more.

If you're looking for something fun to take kids to on a nice day, pack a picnic (there is a nice shady picnic area right at the farm entrance) and go down the farm!  

pecking order at slate run farm chicken  at slate run farm
hen house at slate run farm hen house at slate run farm 
slate run historical farm cabbage at slate run farm 
piglet nap at slate run farm baby piglet at slate run farm 
oink oink at slate run farm 
turkey turkey at slate run farm sheep finding the herd at slate run farm 
broom making at slate run farm bee keeping at slate run farm 
curing meats at slate run farm canning vegetables at slate run farm 
barn yard at slate run farm heres lookin at you kid at slate run farm 

Lola and Giuseppe's Restaurant Review

lola and giuseppe's

Lola and Giuseppe's is one of those hidden gems of a restaurant find... literally hidden!  I have been driving by it for years and never noticed it.  Then when looking on Urbanspoon (so sad that the app is gone) I noticed this 5-star rated Italian place near us.  

Tucked back in a little shopping strip center, the restaurant is very inconspicuous.  When you walk in, it's a tight fit... 12 tables max.  Everyone seems to know everyone else and hugs are given out as you leave, likely with a pile of leftovers.  Lola comes to everyone's table to make sure everything is perfect.

Too bad they do not take reservations, because if you don't time it right, you'll be waiting forever for a seat or may even be out of luck altogether (like the first time we attempted to eat at Lola's)!  

The reason for such a long wait is that the food is excellent.  Our first time actually getting a seat at Lola's was right after our trip to Europe, so we were in the mood for some real Italian food after getting a taste of it in Rome.  This is as close as you'll get without leaving the country (maybe even better)!

Seafood, marinara, pancetta, noodles, cream sauce... you name it, doesn't matter the region, Lola has it on the menu.  So come hungry because you'll want to eat everything!  You can definitely smell, taste, and feel the Italian passion.

lola and giuseppe's lola and giuseppe's lola and giuseppe's lola and giuseppe's

Weekly Menu

It's summer, so I'm not spending as much time on the computer (at least I'm trying not to), so posts will come a little less frequently as everyone should be making the most of the season.  With that being said, we still need to eat... so meal planning and restaurant reviews will make it to the blog.

So a here are a few pictures from this past weekend, including trying Native for the first time and da levee, which took us back to New Orleans with one bite.  :)

army jeep jeep red white and boom
native sweet carrot da levee cajun chicken sandwich
pitabilities at crew stadium red white and crew

Snoop was being super cute when I asked him if he wanted to go for a ride in the kayak... he hasn't figured out the word kayak yet.  Just ride.  Being surround by water is not his favorite thing.  By the yawning in the picture, he would much rather be at home sleeping on the couch than going for a ride on Hoover!  And he's not doing any of the paddling!

snoop begging snoop yawning on hoover zucchini cakes stauffs breakfast 

Well, zucchini season has officially started!  I turned around and all of a sudden a couple small zukes had turned into monsters only good for one thing... chocolate chocolate chip zucchini muffins!  They're somewhere between a muffin and a cupcake... and soooo moist!  Yum... took half to work and regret it now since they are all gone.  :(

This week I made a mental note of a meal plan instead of writing it out.  So far, so good.

pan fried chicken with from-scratch green bean casserole
shrimp tacos
lamb burgers and grilled asparagus
grilled cheese and green beans
sloppy joes and sautéed zucchini
spinach ravioli with garlic bread


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