Ft Worth Texas- Family – Zoo – Botanic Gardens – Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge – Dinosaur Valley State Park – Waco Magnolia At The Silos

Ft Worth Texas

We were was so excited to finally arrive in Ft Worth, to spend the holidays with our daughter, son in law and two grandsons. We arrived just before Thanksgiving and left 3 days after Christmas, we definitely broke our 3 day rule. But we got to be woken up almost every morning by a three year old who would crawl in bed with us, cuddle up and want his grandpa to go hide so he could find him. This was 6 am in the morning Texas  time and 4 am Bend, Oregon time and truly what great memories are made of. Well I could have used some (lots) of coffee and really needed to brush my teeth, but no this little guy just wanted to play, snaky, snaky, hiding rubber snakes all over the house. I will never forget the sound of the boys voices, their feet running on the wooden floors and getting to explore Ft Worth with them.

First thing we did was join the Ft worth Zoo and we visited a lot. Our two grandsons Cole and Bryce know every name of every snake, lizard, alligator, etc. The Ft worth Zoo has won many awards for being one of the best in the nation and for good reason. Founded in 1909 with one lion, two bear cubs, an alligator, a coyote, a peacock and a few rabbits. The zoo now is home to 5,000 native and exotic animals and has been named the top zoo in the nation.

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The holidays were amazing, with an elf appearing every morning in a different location around the house, a Christmas parade downtown Ft Worth and the most beautifully decorated neighborhoods. We even got to attend a TCU versus Baylor football game, thanks to our son in law. To much fun.

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Our next exploration with the boys was The Botanic Gardens a living museum. A beautiful self guided tour of groomed trails, featuring numerous native plants and trees. . This day we were in search of a snapping turtle which makes his home in one of the many streams and beautiful water features and per the boys -loves granola bars. To Funny!!

Next fun adventure with the boys was The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge. A natural area comprised of forests, prairies, and wetlands allowing you to step back in time and experience what the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex was like in the early 20th century. First stop was the visitor center because we just had to see the texas Alligator and numerous snakes on display. The very nice ranger on duty brought out a snake for the boys to touch, well I had to touch also. We then explored the groomed trails and had a fun picnic on the shore of Lake Worth. Now that the boys are fed its off to do some geocaching along the trails and lake. Fun day, lots of special memories.

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Dinosaur Valley State Park-Where Dinosaurs Roamed

Long ago, dinosaurs left footprints in the mud at the edge of an ancient ocean. Today, you can walk in their tracks in the bed of the Paluxy River. This long trip to the past is just a short drive from Fort Worth.

We packed a lunch, lots of water and set off for Dinosaur Valley State park, a meir 58 mile drive from Ft Worth with typical Texas scenery. (SNORE). Ok, sorry for the comment but when you are from Oregon you start to miss the color GREEN. What a fun day, the boys were in heaven trying to catch tiny fish in the Paluxy river overtop dinosaur tracks. If you like dinosaurs, you’ll love the 200 million-year-old fossil trackway. You can spend a whole day exploring the groomed, vista trails.

WACO-Magnolia, Chip and Joanna, need I say more. A 90 mile drive from Ft Worth and you are in Waco eating cinnamon rolls and Joanna’s famous cupcakes at Magnolia. There’s a little something for everyone and another fun day exploring the beautiful grounds and shopping, it’s definitely worth a stop. Everything has been carefully thought out for your comfort and pleasure, from a bite to eat, covered rest areas to a safe large play area for kids.

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Cheers From Just Around The Bend ♥♥♥♥ liz-logo-1

 

Jeff’s Favorite no bake 21 Day Fix Cookies

Valentines is upon us and keeping with our healthy regime, I have decided to make one of  Jeff’s favorite cookies and surprise him for Valentines. The last few times we have stayed with my sister in law (Vicki) she has made these cookies for us and believe me it’s hard to limit yourself, they are just that good and a breeze to make. Happy Valentines to all of my friends, family and all who follow my blogging journey. ♥♥♥

Ingredients

1 Cup Organic Almond Butter or Organic peanut butter (or better yet 1/2 cup of each)

3/4 Cup Organic Honey

1/2 Cup Olive Oil or coconut oilp1000970

2 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/3 Cup Chopped nuts (any kind you prefer)

2 1/4 Cups Old Fashioned Oatmeal (not instant)

6 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)

1/3 Cup unsweetened coconut

Place first three ingredients into a medium saucepan and slowly heat up over low heat, stirring to blend. Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients into the saucepan and blend. I use a small cookie scoop or a soup spoon and scoop onto parchment paper that has been placed on a cookie sheet.. Spacing each cookie a little apart. At this point be sure to hide from family, these are very addicting. Place in your freezer and freeze for an hour, now they are ready to eat. After the cookies are frozen I put them in the freezer in snack size baggies to keep me and my cookie loving husband from eating them all.

Makes 24 or more depending on the size of balls you scoop. Lately I have been using my littlest scoop and getting 36 cookies.

Note: I also like to add toasted coconut, little mini chocolate chips, etc the possibilities are endless.

The original recipe is from No Bake-21 Day fix Cookies. I have changed it up a bit and added items we feel make it healthier and more organic, which is very important to us..

CHEERS UNTIL NEXT WEEK THE FEATURED RECIPE IS JOSH’S CREAM OF CELERY SOUP-YUM

Yes, these photos are mine. Good, bad, and let’s be honest, some aren’t even worth stealing. But they’re still mine. My photos may be used on Pinterest or Facebook with a link back to my page. All other uses of my photos are strictly prohibited.
Thank you for visiting and please feel free to leave comments or email me at http://www.justaroundthebendoregon@gmail.comliz-logo-1

Peppernuts (Pfeffernüsse)

Peppernuts are another of our family traditions. It began with Gramma Iler in the 1800’s, handed down to her daughter Kathryn (Iler) Thompson and on down to our Thompson Family. Kathryn Thompson always made a very large batch of peppernuts for her youngest son Jeffrey as he was born on Christmas Eve .Jeff can’t remember a Christmas without a special tin from England filled with the special little cookies. Before (Kathryn) mom passed on she handed down to Jeff her special tin she stored her peppernuts in. Now as tradition would have, we store our peppernuts in our special tin from England and share the little cookies with all of our family.

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Original Family Tin

RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 6 cups flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Madagascar Cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Grenada Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp.salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup white corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice or white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. ground Anise seed

Directions

Sift flour, dry spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In a separate bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add rest of ingredients to creamed mixture in the following order, mixing to combine after each addition: corn syrup and honey; egg; lemon juice and milk; and anise oil. Stir in dry ingredients to the wet mixture, about a cup at a time. The dough will be stiff. Split into four portions, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour. Roll each quarter with hands into long ropes about the diameter of your finger. Splitting each quarter in half or thirds may make the dough easier to work with. Cut ½-inch pieces and place on a baking sheet with some space between each peppernut. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 min. or until golden brown. Cookies will crisp up as they sit. Store in an airtight container.

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea to experience the full deliciousness of these wonderful little cookies.

Yields

100+ little cookies

Notes and Thanks

This recipe was adapted from Suzanne at Window on the Prairie. This recipe makes a lot of peppernuts, but you can freeze the little cookies to bring out when you have guests!

Thanks to Julie Harvick for the fine china

Savory Spice for the finest spices

Bob’s Red Mill for the best products

 

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HISTORY

Pfeffernüsse are tiny spice cookies, popular as a holiday treat in Germany, Denmark, and The Netherlands, as well as among ethnic Mennonites in North America. They are called pepernoten in Dutch (plural), päpanät in Plautdietsch, pfeffernuesse or peppernuts in English, and pebernødder in Danish.

The name peppernut (Pfeffernüsse, peppernoder etc.) does not mean it contains nuts, though occasional varieties do. The cookies are roughly the size of nuts and can be eaten by the handful, which may account for the name.

I love these old recipes and it turns out perfect everytime

GRAMMA THOMPSON’S ORIGINAL RECIPE

IN A MEDIUM SAUCEPAN place next 9 ingredients to heat and melt

1/4 Cup Crisco

1/4 Cup Butter

1 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Dark Karo Syrup

1/2 Cup Sour Milk

1/2 teaspoon soda

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp. powdered cardamom

1/2 tsp. powdered anise

COOL

Add 4 cups more or less  flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder   – mix well will be thick.

Roll into long fingers, sliced into 1 inch pieces, place on a baking sheet and bake 11 minutes at 350 to 375 degrees

FROM OUR TRADITION TO YOURS – ENJOY FROM JUST AROUND THE BEND ♥