Saturday, August 10, 2013

Leader Enterprise - August 7, 2013 - Have a STAYcation!




The excitement is building! Before my next column is published,  my new cookbooks will have arrived."Love at First Bite"contains over 202 recipes--100 with '6 Ingredients or Fewer'. I do love quick and delicious recipes. I have a number of booksignings scheduled, so watch the Leader for more info. Look forward to seeing you then!

The summer zips past us so quickly. Soon it will be time for the kids to head back to school. If your family didn't get a long-distance trip in this summer, or you long for a fun day away, why don't you consider enjoying a STAYCATION? That's a vacation spent in one's home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions. There are plenty of nearby places to enjoy a day away. And you can always go online to get more details to find something to fit your family's liking.
Check out the Toledo zoo at www.toledozoo.org. Did you know there have recently been twin polar bear cubs born at the Toledo Zoo? Check out the Wild Walkabout, Wonders from Down Under. Lots of fun things to do at the zoo.
As a kid, I fondly remember taking a yearly school field trip to the Toledo Museum of Art. Admission is free; parking is $5. They are closed on Mondays. 
You can mix learning and fun by making a visit to the Toledo Firefighters Museum. Open on Saturdays from 12–4 pm {during the week by appointment only} in the old Number 18 fire house. It boasts a fire education center where kids can learn how to escape a fire, as well as a collection of old pumps, a ladder truck, and vintage uniforms. Perfect for kids who are intrigued by firemen.
If you've never been to Amish Acres in Nappanee, Indiana, be sure to check out their website at www.amishacres.com. It's a Historic Farm and Heritage Resort. Enjoy a relaxing horse and buggy ride, some tasty Amish cooking and much more.
There are many fun things to do in Ft.Wayne also.Their Children's Zoo is one of the top 10 in the country.You'll find impressive animal exhibits and hands on fun for kids. Go online to hunt down some coupons. It's a fun place for adults as well. 
If you've never been to the DeBrand Chocolate factory in F.W., you are certainly missing out. I toured their exciting shoppe with a group of church ladies and we had a rip roarin' time. They have the greatest chocolates! For only $5 per person, you can take a tour of the DeBrand Corporate Headquarters where you’ll see their chocolatiers in action! You’ll get to watch a short video of the history of DeBrand and then you’ll get a chance to view their kitchen and taste some of their delightful chocolates. When the tour is over, you’ll receive a coupon for $5 off a $10 purchase which basically makes your tour free  (because once you’ve tasted their chocolate, you’ll definitely want to buy as much as you can)!
If you’re looking for high-flyin’ fun, you can’t beat SkyZone. It is an indoor trampoline park featuring 25,000 sq. ft. of fun in the form of Open Jump courts, a Foam Zone, a SkySlam basketball dunk court, SkyRobics fitness classes, and 3-D Dodgeball!
Did you know that Ft. Wayne offers 7 great Splash Pads? They are all free and provide hours of entertainment on a hot summer day. Open 9 to 9 daily. What an fun way to cool down in the heat. Eat lunch out or find a shady spot to enjoy a picnic.
The Foellinger Theater is a part of Ft.Wayne Parks and Recreation Department. They are presenting lots of free and low cost family entertainment this summer. They have FREE Wednesday night movies, featuring family friendly movies at 9pm. Some of the movies showing this summer include MadagascarIII and The Lorax,as well as other fun family movies.
I find the Butterfly House in  Whitehouse, Ohio, (just west of Toledo) simply fascinating. We've taken our grandchildren and we enjoyed it too. Walk into the house with butterflies all around you. From May until September learn about the lifecycle of the butterfly and surround yourself with over 100 different species of butterflies. 
Did you know you can visit the J.H. Fentress Popcorn Museum, Holland, Ohio? Jim Fentress will tell you about the history of popcorn, let you wander through the large collection of popcorn memorabilia, and even pop some corn for you in an antique machine. The tour is free. 
Whatever you do, be sure to enjoy the rest of your summer with your family!
These tasty beans are what I served for Bean Days this year. We heard many wonderful comments about how good folks thought they were.


GERMAN BAKED BEANS


2 (15 ozs) cans pork and beans
(I substituted 1 can baked beans)
1 (14 ozs)can sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
1 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c. brown sugar 
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground mustard 
1/2-1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced
Preheat oven to 400*. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Transfer to a 2-qt. baking dish, coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake uncovered for 1 - 1-1/2 hours (or cook in crockpot on low for 4-5 hours) Yield: 8 servings