Pork Lemongrass Baguette and Dreaming Tree Wine

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I love to make different foods that we wouldn’t normally eat. And this Pork Lemongrass Baguette is right up our alley! We don’t eat a lot of pork and I have been trying to incorporate it a bit more into our meals. But you guys, this recipe calls for fish sauce and if you have ever smelled fish sauce you might be doubting my recipe planning. But I promise you, you won’t be disappointed! Don’t let the fish sauce deter you. I didn’t even say anything about it until after dinner and after I heard all about how delicious it was and then I told my husband to smell it! hahaha!

I also found the most perfect wine to go with our Pork Lemongrass Baguette. The Dreaming Tree Crush is a story of artistry and a wine from none other than Dave Matthews. It was inspired by the desire to make high quality California wines that are accessible to wine lovers everywhere.

The Dreaming Tree makes high quality, delicious wines that are affordable so that anyone can enjoy them. My favorite is the Chardonnay.

I started with using boneless pork chops. I know that might not be the typical meat cut choice, but I wanted something small and thin for a lighter meal rather than large chunks of filling meat. I also took each of those pork chops and cut them in half to make smaller pieces. Then I made my marinade and let them sit overnight in the refrigerator before having my husband bbq them.

While the pork was grilling I sliced some carrots, red onion and cilantro for topping and then put the sandwich all together.

Look at this Pork Lemongrass Baguette…. Are you drooling? Because I am. This was delicious!

The Dreaming Tree has an amazing commitment to sustainable wine making practices and is celebrating donating over $1M to environmental programs that protect tree and forestry programs across the country.

I bought my Dreaming Tree at a local wine store but I have also found it at my local grocery store and supercenter stores. To find where you can buy it- visit their website and type in your zip code… It is that easy!

Another great snack to pair with these wines would be something as simple as cheese and bread or even a popcorn like BoomchickaPop!  It really goes great with anything.

Needing more info about The Dreaming Tree? Find them on Facebook and Instagram

Ingredients:

2 lbs boneless pork chops
carrots
cilantro
(4) 6 inch baguettes
Marinade for pork (recipe below)

Lemongrass Pork Marinade:

1/2 C. chopped lemongrass
1/2 C. sugar
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp olive oil

1. Mix ingredients for marinade together, add pork and let marinade overnight.
2. Next, you want to grill until the pork is completely cooked on BBQ
3. Slice Baguettes in half the long way, adding grill pork, sliced carrots and chopped cilantro
4. Enjoy!

Now you know some of my favorite pairings with The Dreaming Tree Crush, what would you pair with it?

Summer’s Mermaid Birthday Party

Last weekend my little girl turned FIVE years old!

We went back and forth a little on what type of party she wanted, but ultimately settled on a “Mermaid  Birthday Party”.

Thankfully Pinterest is always my friend and guides me to the best of the best crafters with awesome ideas to create a great party.  Here are some shots from the day. And by “some” shots, I mean, I am sorry for an extremely picture heavy post.

Welcome Mermaid sign for the front door.

Summer helped me “design” her very own birthday shirt. She did a pretty good job.

One of my favorite things in our house has always been our chalkboard wall. The kids play on it all the time and it always gets used for birthdays and holidays.

Our party was mid day so we just did some finger sandwiches, and snacks.

I was going to make my own rock candy, but for real, after reading how to do it and that it can take a couple of weeks for the crystals to grow I decided to bag it and just buy them!

How fun are these marshmallow pops? They are super cute and the were really delicious!

The clam shells were also a big hit. It is just frosting in between two nilla wafers and a sugar bead for the “pearl”

Love my sweet birthday girl!

Everyone loves mermaids– What is your mermaid name? Mine is Mara Aqua Rain

I got these hula hoops on clearance a while back so I grabbed them for “party gifts” for the girls!

Last minutes I decided I didn’t want to make cupcakes myself. I was swamped with other things and was just running out of time. Walmart to the rescue and the colors were exactly what I wanted. I made these adorable little cake toppers to go with them.

A pinata was really the only “game” I planned and the kids all left with bags of candy!

Look at all these sweet girls (and one boy!)! I am so grateful for all of our amazing friends that gathered around my girl to celebrate!

After presents and some cake and lots of playing with friends it was time to wrap up our day of fun!

This little Mermaid was as happy as a clam! Happy Birthday sweet girl!

Back to School with Groupon Coupons

Disclaimer: I received a small compensation for this post, however, all opinions are my own.

It is back to school time- Who is ready?

I know that so many of you have probably already headed back. We officially start next Tuesday and while I love my kids…. I am counting down just as much as they are! But I am also stressing a little. At my son’s high school they don’t give out a supply list until the first day of school. Then they say “Have it by Friday” or next Monday, or whichever day they choose. Then Zach brings home the list and Mom goes on a mission to find everything on the list!

But that is where Amazon comes in. If you are an “Amazon Mom” like me, you get it. You hop on your computer or phone, add the items you need to your cart and check out. 2 days later all your supplies are sitting on your front porch.

So now you want to sweeten that deal? That is where we add Groupon to the mix!

Right now check out Groupon Coupons before heading to do your shopping and find some awesome Amazon coupons to get up to 50% off of selected school supplies!

Not only coupons for Amazon, but tons of other stores too! Make sure to check it out!

Redneck BBQ

A while back we were sitting around with friends, talking about the summer months ahead and somehow we got on the subject of a Redneck BBQ. Travis and I had talked about how fun something like that might be, so when we were talking with friends we decided we needed to do it!

I headed to Pinterest and did some google searching and found tons of fun ideas. I took ideas from several invitations and made one of our own to fit what we were looking for.  How fun is this invite??

We wanted to make a fun photo booth but was struggling on what exactly I wanted. I thought about making a “mugshot” back ground so people could each hold their own sign for why they went to jail. We also thought about using a piece of plywood and stringing up tin cans, etc. But ultimately just decided to use a backdrop that looks like wood and make some fun signs. Cardboard signs and sharpies make everything a little more redneck.

No redneck party would be complete without “Redneck Win Chimes” and a “Redneck Dream Catcher”

Games really keep a party going so I made “drinko” which is a fun drinking game. Who doesn’t want to Take a Shot or Give a Shot? I also did a Ping Pong toss, an antler ring toss (not shown but we did attach actual antlers to the side of our house and threw rings at them) and a toilet paper toss (also not shown but we used a toilet seat that was attached to a metal bar and we tossed toilet paper rolls  into it.)

When we first decided to do a Redneck BBQ we started talking about what we were going to wear. I immediately knew I wanted to have a “pregnant belly”, cans in my hair, a black eye and a fake cigarette. I also wanted to get a fake ankle monitor but they were $20 on amazon and I didn’t want to spend that much on it!

We found Travis’ wig right away and knew he was going to do cut off shorts, an armband tattoo and another tattoo with names crossed out, but the shirt was a late edition the week before the party. We just had a do it! Thanks Pinterest for that one!

We really weren’t sure if our friends were going to dress up, or to what extent, but when they started showing up at our house it confirmed why these people are our friends!

These three ladies here with me are some of the best of the best. And this picture makes me laugh every time I see it.

Almost everyone dressed up! And it was 95 degrees that day so we were all on fire. That belly I was wearing was a heat magnet!! And my beer can rollers weren’t staying in after a while so I finally had to just take them out!

How awesome does my husband look!?! I can’t stop laughing over his look!

When my friend and her husband showed up we couldn’t believe it. Travis and DJ had never met, but they dressed almost identical! We told no one what we were wearing so it was awesome that they were twinning. Right down to the same wig, cutoff shorts, arm band tattoo and a tattoo with names crossed off. One of the funniest parts was that on their name tattoo, DJ had the name “Daisy” crossed off and Travis had Daisy as his uncrossed off name!

It was such a fun day! Even though it was so darn hot we all had a great time!

Everyone voted on the King and Queen of trash. And Dalton and Faith won! Dalton won a “weener kleaner” and a back scratcher made with beer bottle tops. and Faith won dual back scratchers!

I think everyone had a pretty great time! We eat a ridiculous amount of food, ate twinkies, ding dongs and zingers for dessert, drank Coors light, margaritas and juice for the kids, of course! And visited and played antler ring toss late into the night.  It was a party for the books!

Packing a Smile with Pepperidge Farm Goldfish

 

 

Back to school will be here before we know it but right now we are trying to make the most of our summer time and making all the smile worthy moments that we can.

This school year my kids kids will be in 10th grade, 1st grade and Pre-K and until we have to get back into our school year routine we are enjoying all the lake, river and pool time we can. We’ve had lots of play dates, runs through the sprinkler, played on the slip n slide and of course tons of BBQ’d food.

One of my favorite summer time activities is watching the kids play in the sprinkler while I lay on a blanket reading a good book. There is just nothing better than listening to your kids giggle as they get hit with the cold water on their run through!

And one of the kid’s favorite things to do is any outdoor activity that involves snacking on Pepperidge Farm Goldfish® crackers.  Any of our activities we do have to involve snacks because these kids think they are hungry 24 hours a day.  So Goldfish® are our go-to snack because they love them and I feel good about the kids eating them.

Some things I love about Goldfish® crackers:

  • Always Baked with Real Cheese
  • No Artificial Flavors or Preservatives
  • Colors Sourced from Plants, such as annatto extracted from the reddish seeds of the Achiote Tree
  • Baked with Whole Grain Cheddar variety has 12 g of WG per serving
  • A snack you can feel good about serving your kids

Once we are back in school I see our afternoons going much the same way full of homework, after school play dates and Goldfish® snacks.

Want to leave a fun little note with your kiddos after school snack? Print these out or feel free to make your own. I know Tyler loves to find these notes, especially as he started learning to read it was so fun to watch him sound them out!

 

What are your favorite ways to make smile worthy moments?