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I am a happily married mother of 2 DS and am a special education teacher. I am also lucky enough to live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I love spending time with my family, traveling, reading, shopping, running, and I love to bake. (Especially for others!) Favorite things to bake: bar cookies, sweet quick breads, cakes, muffins, cheesecakes.
My favorite foods....it's probably easier to list what I don't like: black raisins, green olives, eggs, lobster (I know; I'm a cheap date!), oysters, asparagus, squash, and yams. Otherwise, I'm pretty open to trying new things, and come from a long line of die-hard chocoholics!
My absolute favorite restaurants:
My Neck of the Woods: The Ram. They brew their own beer on-site. (Their "Total Disorder Porter" is incredible with this subtle chocolate note at the end!) The Flying Tomato: They're Deep-fried Ravioli rocks, and their 'The Godfather' pizza was an offer I just couldn't refuse!
Carmel, IN: Strawberry Hill ice cream (Unfortunately, they went out of business some time ago.) However, they made the best ice cream on-site. There ice cream bars were TDF w/ a good 1/4" thickness of milk chocolate!
In Wisconsin: Nate's (in Viroqua) A long-time family fave for Friday night fish fry. Really good fried cheese curds, too!
The Riviera: The best German potato salad ever! (IMHO, natch.)
Kauai: Waimea Brewing Co. The best Kalua pork I've ever tasted, and this insanely good light Lilikoi (passionfruit) beer.
Sedona, AZ: Picazzos - Their motto: "Pizza is an art." A local gourmet pizza chain, they make this insanely good Chicken, Bacon, Gorgonzola pizza... White sauce with chicken, applewood-smoked bacon, crumbled gorgonzola, carmelized onions, and candied walnuts. WOW!
Surprise, AZ: Karen's Creamery - Hands down, the BEST ice cream I've had in a long time. Their Carrot Cake ice cream is TDF! Our oldest DS got his first taste of Blue Moon flavored ice cream, and wants to re-create it at home this summer.
My family loves it when I make my:
Rich & Gooey Pecan Pie Bars #158522
Mint Meltaway Bars (family recipe)
English Toffee (family recipe)
Brussel Sprouts w/ Pancetta & Balsamic Vinegar
Party Potatoes (a Grandmother-in-Law recipe)
Warm & Creamy Bacon Dip #131087
Creamy Crock Pot Queso Blanco #228024
Chinese Mystery Casserole #158524 (a MIL recipe)
My Grandma's beef stew with mashed potatoes