A Little Bit of This & That

The Random Things We Love to Make and Do

St Patty’s Revisit March 15, 2012

Since we did so many St Patty’s Day projects last year (and I couldn’t finish my project for today’s post!), I thought I would show you some of those projects again. If you are looking for a fun last minute project, we have lots for you to try!

(just click the photo to see the original post with instructions)

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Make your own St Patrick’s Day shirt using freezer paper

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Make a leprechaun sundae

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Make a leprechaun trap

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Enjoy a St Patrick’s Day muffin tin meal

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I hope you found something you might want to try!

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Make sure to come back tomorrow for a special St Patrick’s Day themed Gluten Free Friday!

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Have a great day everyone!

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Lizz

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For you Pintrest fans out there, if you are loving what you see, click the link below to pin your favorite project(s):

 
Make a Shamrock t-shirt

 Leprechaun Sundae

 Leprechaun Trap

 St Patrick’s Day Muffin Tin Meal

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Gluten Free Wine Dinner w/ Celiac Disease Center and Wildfire November 9, 2011

Filed under: Food,Things To Do — Lizz @ 11:51 am
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If you live in the Chicagoland area, I have a great event to share with you!

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Last night I was fortunate enough to attend The 2nd Annual Gluten Free Wine Dinner fundraising event that is being put on by the University of Chicago’s Celiac Disease Center and Wildfire Restaurant.

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We were served a 4 course Gluten Free Dinner that was just amazing.  There was not a single item served that had that “gluten free” taste to it.  We had chicken empanada and bruschetta appetizers, swordfish with quinoa (both were a first for me), beef tenderloin with a sweet potato mash, and a chocolate chip cookie sundae.  A-maze-ing!!

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You could also purchase raffle tickets to win a Wildfire gift certificate or a football signed by Brian Urlacher.  Go Bears!! 

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We had a great time talking to the other attendees at our table.  It’s always interesting to hear other’s stories about their journey with Celiac Disease.  And, of course, we all shared some of our best restaurant and shopping tips.  I can’t wait to try some of them!  (Don’t worry!  I’ll share what I find out of course!!)

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We also got the opportunity to talk with management from the Wildfire restaurants, and get answers to questions that all Celiacs want to know:  How do you make sure everyone knows my meal needs to be gluten free?  How to you avoid cross contamination in the kitchen?  How do you train your staff to be knowledgeable?  What’s good on the GF Menu?

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I also learned that they make their own GF pizza dough, buns, and salad dressings.  If you like them, these things can be purchased to take home as well.

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So, do you want a chance to have a great Gluten Free meal at Wildfire, get some interesting information, meet others in the area who also eat a GF diet, and help raise money for the Celiac Center?  There are still 3 events this week that you can join!

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  • Wednesday, 11/9  at Wildfire in Glenview, IL 
  • Thursday, 11/10 at Wildfire in Schaumburg, IL
  • Friday, 11/11 at Wildfire in Lincolnshire, IL

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Registration and Appetizers start at 6:30, and dinner begins at 7:00

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The cost for this event is $55.00 per person without wine pairings, and $70.00 per person with wine pairings, plus tax and gratuity. For each reservation, Wildfire will donate a portion of the proceeds to The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center.

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If you would like to attend, you need to make a reservation by calling Laura Rosen or Shannon Ryan at (312)787-9000.

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For more information about the University of Chicago’s Celiac Disease Center, and to see their new and improved website, *Click Here*  You can also sign up for their email list to get all of their best up to date information.

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For more information about Wildfire, and to view their full gluten free menu, *Click Here*

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I hope some of you have the opportunity to attend this fantastic fundraising event.  Have a great day everyone!!

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Lizz

 

Apple Picking 2011 September 29, 2011

Filed under: Food,Things To Do — Lizz @ 7:12 am
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It’s official!  Fall is here!!

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And this year, we were determined to be on top of the apple picking.  We always seem to get there at the last minute, or even after the apples are already gone.  Not in 2011 my friends!!  We chose the first weekend of Fall to take care of business.

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We went back to an orchard we really enjoy called Woodstock Country Orchard.  We like this place very much because it’s simply an orchard.  It doesn’t have all the rides and games and petting zoos, ect.  Some of these other bigger places nickel and dime you to death.  They charge you to park, charge you to get in, charge you to ride said rides, charge you (a lot) to go apple picking… Sigh.  Pretty soon they are going to start charging for the bathrooms, and charging to leave.  Woodstock Country Orchard has free parking, and reasonable upick prices.  Plus donuts and locally made honey.  Love it!

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So, here’s a ton of pictures showing some of the things we did that day:

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We were surprised that they had raspberry picking, but took advantage and picked us some fine red berries!

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There were lots of bees milling around the raspberry bushes, but we also found some other friends.  Can you see him?

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Some of us got to sit back, munch, and take a ride…

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…while some of us did all the work!

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These kids were picking apples faster than we could get them into the bags!

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“Skylar, point at that apple again.  Don’t make it look obvious that I asked you to do it again.  Uh, okay, good job.”

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The best apples are at the top of the trees.  I recommend shoving a small child up there in order to reach them.

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We found lots of lovely (empty) nests.

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She had such a good time!

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My favorite shot of the day.

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After apple picking we found this random upick vegetable farm.  Check out all those peppers!

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I’m not sure I’ve ever held an eggplant before, let alone picked one off the vine.

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This was an amazing score!!  This whole basket cost a whopping …(brace yourselves)… $9!!!!

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These guys were so proud of all the hard work they did.

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Such a fun day.  I highly recommend doing any sort of upick adventure you can find.  Not only is it a ton of fun, you come home with so much fresh food and a new appreciation for how it gets to your plate.

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Have a great day everyone!!

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Lizz

 

Organizing Reward Cards August 18, 2011

Filed under: Things To Do,Tips — Lizz @ 9:59 am
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I’ve seen this done a few times, and have wanted to do this for quite a while.  My store rewards cards are a mess.  There’s so many of them, and I never seem to have the right ones with me when I need them.  I thought this idea would help me take advantage of all those reward programs, even when I make unplanned trips to the stores.

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Start by gathering all of your rewards cards.  You can have a mixture of full sized cards and key chain cards.  I prefer the key chain cards, when available, because they already have a hole in them.  You will also need a hole punch and a book ring.

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Take all of the full sized cards, and decide where you can punch a whole without punching through any barcodes, ID numbers, important info, or magnetic strips on the back side.  For me, it was to one side, close to the middle.  You will then need to punch those holes.  It’s a little difficult to punch through the plastic cards, so I actually used a pair of pliers to get my punch to work.  I also used an already punched card as a template for the next one, so they all matched up.

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Once all the cards have holes, use the book ring to keep them all together.

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Now the whole thing can be tossed into my purse, and pulled out when needed.  It takes up a lot less space than the extra wallet I was carrying them around in before.  Simple and Easy!!

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Happy Organizing!

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Lizz

 

Summer Bucket List Check-In #2 August 11, 2011

Filed under: Things To Do — Lizz @ 10:10 am
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It’s time again to check in on our Summer Bucket List progress.  .

If you don’t have a clue what I’m talking about (what’s a summer bucket list?), you can read the original post *here*. This is basically a to-do list for the summer. The idea and link up is from a lovely blog called Little Wonder Days.

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I think we’ve done a little better this time, so let’s take a look!!

(Items that are blue were checked off at our last SBL check-in.  Red items are newly checked off)

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  1. Go swimming at the pool
  2. Go to the beach – I’m definitely a pool person, so I’m glad a birthday party helped us make this happen
  3. Celebrate Skylar’s birthday at the park
  4. Go camping
  5. Roast marshmallows and make S’mores
  6. Make a complete meal over a fire
  7. Catch and release fireflies
  8. Go horseback riding
  9. Ride in a paddle boat
  10. Go miniature golfing – Fun Day at Kid Quest!
  11. Teach Skylar how to play baseball
  12. Teach Skylar earn how to ride a bike
  13. Go to a play – Skylar and I got all dolled up an saw Aladdin.  Theater in the round was so cool!
  14. Visit the Art Institute, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Planetarium, and Aquarium
  15. Ride the train
  16. Visit the Children’s Museum
  17. Visit the Zoo
  18. Take a bike ride to the botanical gardens
  19. Go on a scavenger hunt
  20. Play flashlight tag
  21. Visit a farmers market
  22. Make homemade ice cream sandwiches
  23. Make frozen bananas
  24. Make Popsicles
  25. Go to a “you pick” farm
  26. Go to a waterpark – Skylar’s camp has taken her to waterparks more times than I can count!!
  27. Have a water balloon fight – Again, a camp-related check-off
  28. Go to an outdoor concert – We saw Ralph’s World at Ravinia.  So fun!
  29. Make bubbles and a bubble wand
  30. Go to a parade – 4th of July Parade!
  31. See fireworks – In our car while driving home, but I say it still counts
  32. Visit a fair – Ribfest was amazing!  Read all about it *Here*
  33. Go bowling
  34. Go to an amusement park
  35. Have a family game night
  36. Take a walk
  37. Go to the drive-in
  38. Go to a baseball game – Skylar got to go to a White Sox game with camp.  I’ll count it even thought it wasn’t a Cubs game =)
  39. Read books outside
  40. Roller Skate – Skylar’s loving roller skating now.  I’m going to have to dig out my roller blades
  41. Have a no-tv day
  42. Organize the house/spring cleaning
  43. Have a wii night
  44. Plant something and keep it alive – Skylar and Grandma planted a tomato plant, and we just got to eat the tomatoes.  Tasty!
  45. Finally use our butterfly kit
  46. Try at least 10 new recipes – I’d say we’ve got this one covered.  It’s been nothing but new recipes around here lately
  47. Introduce a few new foods
  48. Learn to jump rope – I got a video to prove how good she’s doing!
  49. Visit both ice cream shops near us often
  50. Make lemonade like I saw on Diners Drive-ins & Dives (by grinding whole lemons!) (See below for a video of this)
  51. Donate Skylar’s hair to locks of love – You can read about this adventure *here*

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Hmm…Looks like we’ve still got some work to do on this list!

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Did you make a bucket list? Feel free to share it in the comments area. Is there something special you did or want to do this summer? Tell us about it!

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Have a great weekend everyone!

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Lizz

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***Did you stick around for that Lemonade explaination??***

For those of you that are not familiar with the gloriousness that is Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives (Triple D), allow me to explain. It’s a show on the Food Network, with Guy Fieri. He travels around the country finding little hole-in-the-wall places with amazing food. This show makes me drool every time!

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The specific episode I was talking about is one where Guy goes to the Gold ‘N Silver Inn in Reno Nevada. They make a dish there called Baked Lemonade Porkchops. (For that amazing recipe, Click Here) I was most intrigued with the way they made their lemonade. They ground up whole lemons, and then strained out the pulp. I want to try this so bad!! I found a video of all of this, so if you are drooling like I am right now, check it out…

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Sometimes I’m “That Mom” July 6, 2011

Filed under: Things To Do — Lizz @ 3:09 pm

There are times that I get a little crazy.  Sometimes it’s over something small, and I start to question my sanity.  Right now, my mind is on school supplies, and I can feel the crazy bubbling to the surface.  We’re not even half way through summer, and already I’m thinking about school shopping….

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Last year, for Skylar’s Kindergarten school supply list, I gave myself a challenging $10 goal, and totally nailed it.  I didn’t have a blog back then, so you’ll just have to take my word on that.  I must have gone to 7 or 8 different stores to get everything I needed.  If you had boxes of pencils for 1 cent, I was there!!  It was exhausting, but I was proud of myself.

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This year I’ve decided to give myself the same challenge.  Our school will provide all of the children’s school supplies for a price.  For first grade, it’s $76.  I don’t think so.  The list is quite a bit longer than last year’s so I’m going to up my budget to $20.  Here’s what I’m going to try to get for that price…

  • 2 boxes of crayons – 24 count
  • 2 boxes of washable Crayola classic color markers (1 wide, 1 fine)
  • 8 Elmer’s glue sticks
  • 1 pair of 5″ pointed scissors – Fiskar’s brand
  • 2 boxes of 12 #2 pencils
  • 1 box Crayola colored pencils
  • 2 Pink Pearl erasers
  • 2 boxes of tissues
  • 1 roll Scotch tape
  • 1 plastic pencil box
  • 1 box of quart sized slide-lock bags
  • 1 box of gallon sized slide-lock bags
  • 4 dry erase markers – Expo/fine tip
  • 6 pack of highlighters – chisel tip – yellow/blue/green/pink/orange/purple
  • 3 plastic, 2 pocket folders with prongs
  • 1 hand sanitizer/foaming
  • 3 plastic folders, 2 pocket, red
  • 3 plastic folders, 2 pocket, blue
  • 3 plastic folders, 2 pocket, green
  • 1 envelope, poly, top load, letter sized, velcro closure

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I’m a little apprehensive about this goal, but I’m going to do my best.  When well planned, I should be able to get most of these items for a dollar or less.  Where I know I will have trouble is when they ask for something very specific, like by brand.  Or that last one? Not even sure what they’re talking about, so that one’s going to be interesting.

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Most of the back-to-school sales will happen next month and there are definitely a few things I will wait to buy then, but I’m going to try to be ahead of the game this year.  I’ve got my list, and I’m scouring the sales papers.  Let me know if you see something good from my list! 

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So tell me…do you set a goal for your school supplies?  What’s your best pre-school shopping tip?  Are you as crazy as I am and go to 100 different stores for the best deals?  Tell me all about it!

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Happy Hunting People!!

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Lizz

 

Summer Bucket List Check-In July 2, 2011

Filed under: Things To Do — Lizz @ 8:00 am
Tags:

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I thought it would be a good idea to come back to our bucket list around the begining of each month to check our progress, and let you all know what we’ve been up to.  As many of you know, we’ve had a pretty crazy month, so I would have hoped to have done more by now.  Not to worry though; we’ll get movin’ soon!

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So, if you are reading this and don’t have a clue what I’m talking about (what’s a summer bucket list?), you can read the original post *here*.  This is basically a to-do list for the summer.  The idea and link up is from a lovely blog called Little Wonder Days. .

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So let’s get this list updated!!

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  1. Go swimming at the pool  – We still want to do more though…
  2. Go to the beach
  3. Celebrate Skylar’s birthday at the park  – This party was great, except that I forgot to take pictures. (bad bad blogger!!) If I find some, I’ll post about it.
  4. Go camping
  5. Roast marshmallows and make S’mores
  6. Make a complete meal over a fire
  7. Catch and release fireflies
  8. Go horseback riding
  9. Ride in a paddle boat
  10. Go miniature golfing
  11. Teach Skylar how to play baseball
  12. Teach Skylar earn how to ride a bike – It was amazing to see quickly she picked this up
  13. Go to a play
  14. Visit the Art Institute, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Planetarium, and Aquarium – Skylar went the MSI with camp, so I think that counts.
  15. Ride the train
  16. Visit the Children’s Museum
  17. Visit the Zoo  – A great day out with Grandma and Grandpa.
  18. Take a bike ride to the botanical garden
  19. Go on a scavenger hunt
  20. Play flashlight tag
  21. Visit a farmers market
  22. Make homemade ice cream sandwiches
  23. Make frozen bananas
  24. Make Popsicles
  25. Go to a “you pick” farm
  26. Go to a waterpark
  27. Have a water balloon fight
  28. Go to an outdoor concert
  29. Make bubbles and a bubble wand
  30. Go to a parade
  31. See fireworks
  32. Visit a fair
  33. Go bowling
  34. Go to an amusement park
  35. Have a family game night
  36. Take a walk  – We’ve done this a few times (to the ice cream stand!)
  37. Go to the drive-in
  38. Go to a baseball game
  39. Read books outside
  40. Roller Skate
  41. Have a no-tv day
  42. Organize the house/spring cleaning
  43. Have a wii night
  44. Plant something and keep it alive
  45. Finally use our butterfly kit
  46. Try at least 10 new recipes
  47. Introduce a few new foods – This was pretty easy to get to with Skylar’s new dietary restrictions.
  48. Learn to jump rope
  49. Visit both ice cream shops near us often
  50. Make lemonade like I saw on Diners Drive-ins & Dives (by grinding whole lemons!) (See below for a video of this)
  51. Donate Skylar’s hair to locks of love – This was one of the most amazing things I’ve seen my kid do.  What a heart she’s got!  I did a whole post about this adventure.  You can read about it *here*

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Oh Dear.  Well, like I said, we really need to kick it into high gear if we’re going to do some damage to this list.  This upcoming weekend is going to be crazy busy, and I’m positive we will cross off at least 4 items off the list.  But I’m not telling which ones yet!!  You’ll have to come back to check out all of our adventures.

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Did you make a bucket list?  Feel free to share it in the comments area.  Is there something special you want to do this summer?  Tell us about it!

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Have a great weekend everyone!

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Lizz

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***Did you stick around for that Lemonade explaination??***

For those of you that are not familiar with the gloriousness that is Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives (Triple D), allow me to explain. It’s a show on the Food Network, with Guy Fieri. He travels around the country finding little hole-in-the-wall places with amazing food. This show makes me drool every time!

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The specific episode I was talking about is one where Guy goes to the Gold ‘N Silver Inn in Reno Nevada. They make a dish there called Baked Lemonade Porkchops. (For that amazing recipe, Click Here) I was most intrigued with the way they made their lemonade. They ground up whole lemons, and then strained out the pulp. I want to try this so bad!! I found a video of all of this, so if you are drooling like I am right now, check it out…

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