I created this recipe to have a go-to pie that I could easily change up just by changing the fillings. The main thing on which I wanted to focus was getting the texture/consistency right so that it would work with a variety of filling combinations. I didn’t want it to be as egg-y and custard-like as a chess pie but also didn’t want it to be brownie/cake-like. I think this recipe is the perfect middle ground.
The flavor possibilities are as limitless as you are creative. However, within this post, I have listed several different filling options that I think would be tasty.
First, the crust. I’m not about to make my own crust but I don’t like the frozen crusts either (I think they turn out too dry and brittle). So, my favorite pie crust to use is refrigerated dough such as this:
It is important to let the crust sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before you unroll it into your pie pan. If the dough is too cold, it will be brittle and will crack when unrolling.
You can pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare the pie filling while the pie dough acclimates to room temperature.
The filling base:
Soften a stick of butter (salted or unsalted). This usually means 30-45 seconds in the microwave if you don’t already have it softened to room temperature.
Add 1 cup of sugar.
Add 1/3 cup of brown sugar.
Stir. Your bowl of ingredients should look like this:
Add 1/4 cup of flour, 2 eggs, and 1 tsp. Vanilla extract.
Add 1/4 cup of corn syrup.
Stir to combine.
This is your pie filling base. You are ready to add flavors. Your filling should be about 1 1/2 cups, so fill your measuring cup to the 1 1/2 line with any or any combination of fillings you like. Here are some ideas:
White chocolate chips
Mint chocolate pieces
Here are some spice/flavor variations to consider as well. I would recommend adding up to 1 tbsp. of any of these:
You can also substitute any other flavored extract instead of using vanilla extract.
For my pie, I added cinnamon, chocolate chips, and chopped walnuts to the pie base and gave it a quick stir to combine.
Next, you simply unroll your crust over a 9 inch pie plate, trim the excess crust from around the edges of the pie plate, and use a rubber spatula to transfer the filling into the crust.
Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool at room temperature 30 minutes before slicing. This gives the pie time to rest and set up so it is the right consistency for slicing.
I lived in Bowling Green on and off for years while I was in college at Western Kentucky University during my undergraduate. I was also 17, had a boyfriend at home, and therefore, did not really embrace or explore the area. So, while I now am familiar enough with Bowling Green not to always need my GPS, I still feel like a stranger when I visit.
But I’ve been wanting to change that! I recently scored two tickets off a yard sale site to visit Beech Bend Amusement Park for $30 (over half-price off)! Regular priced adult tickets, as of the time of this posting, are $36.99. Kids’ ticket prices are $31.99.
Beech Bend Amusement Park. So it was Labor Day weekend and I decided to take the kids to the amusement park and also to explore some other attractions and restaurants, if time permitted. The events that followed led to my chronicling Three Family Day Trips in Bowling Green, KY.
Downtown Baseball and Mariah’s Restaurant
The first time I ate at Mariah’s was in 2003. I remember it was a Bowling Green favorite even then, according to my friend’s brother who took me under his wing to show me around before I started college in Bowling Green. Mariah’s is where he chose to break from the city tour for lunch. The food was good and the restaurant is in a historic building.
So I don’t like amusement park food and I think it’s overpriced. Hence my decision to stop at Mariah’s with my children for lunch before we went to the amusement park. Well, they were closed for Labor Day. 🤔. Strange, I thought, but ok, But anyway, even though they were closed, when I went to the restaurant, I noticed that the downtown area was looking really nice around the restaurant.
It looks to be newly paved and there are café lights strung between buildings. Next-door to the restaurant is a play area with a carousel. Also next-door is the Bowling Green Ballpark where the Bowling Green Hot Rods (minor league) play. Well we did not get to eat at Mariah’s and we did not get to take it manage of this area during our trip, I still went away thinking this would be a really fun evening of baseball and eating at a nice restaurant….not to mention the adorable play area to give the kids something extra to do.
Beech Bend Park and Splash Lagoon
I considered not including this recommendation because we did not enjoy our time here enough for the ticket prices. If we had not gotten the tickets extremely discounted from a yard sale site, I would have been quite disappointed.
However, we did not have that great of a time because we did not know what to expect and did not come as prepared as we could have. Here are some things you should know about Beech Bend Amusement Park…
It is small. Very small. On a scale of 1 to 10, one being your small town carnivals that pop up, and 10 being Disney Magic Kingdom, I would rate Beech Bend a zero because at least your small town carnivals typically have most of the rides open and someone manning them. There were maybe seven rides that my youngest could ride, and she is five years old.
If you want to get your moneys worth, plan to stay the whole day and attend both the amusement park and the waterpark. During our visit, we did not bring swimwear. A lot of amusement park/waterpark combo places we have visited do not leave room to do both parks in one day. This one does. You cannot possibly fill up your whole day by visiting the amusement park alone.
ring a picnic lunch. Parking is free and you get a hand stamp if you leave the park so I recommend, while you are staying the day, to bring a picnic lunch. I think your lunch experience will be more enjoyable if you bring your own food. We ordered soft pretzels which we saw them microwaving and the chili for the hotdogs was being spooned out of a crockpot, which leads me to believe they do not serve a high-volume of food. Food service seem to reflect that this place was small. But I still think the food could’ve been better.
here is a cute “petting zoo,” which is basically a barn full of goats. But, hey, what kid doesn’t like to pet ANY furry and cute animal?
Lost River Cave and Chaney’s Dairy Barn
cause we weren’t prepared, and because Beech Bend Amusement Park was so much smaller than we thought, we ended up only staying at the amusement park about three hours total. And I felt like we had driven too far to leave disappointed. I remembered Lost River Cave, one of the places my college roommate and I did adventure out to on a whim one day.
I remembered we went on this really cool underground boat tour through a cave. So I went to their website and it appeared you have to book in advance so I gave them a call to see if we could get on a boat tour same day. Unfortunately, the water level was high and underground boat tours were on hold. 😥
This was not looking like our day for fun. Luckily, I remembered another place I had heard about and wanted to try.
Chaney’s Dairy Barn is a farm/restaurant with burgers, sandwiches, and homemade ice cream. They also have a nice play area for kids.
I was thinking we still have a good part of the day left and it was getting to be dinner time. So, we consulted Google Maps and headed that way. While driving, I noticed the signs for Lost River Cave, which was nearby. So, I thought when the caves do become operational again, this would be a good pairing for a day trip.
Best deal of the day. Their food was great and very reasonably priced. I got an ice cream cone for $1.69 (tax included!) and the kids got free ice cream cones with their kids meals. I also got the homemade pimento cheese, which was delicious. Three meals, drinks, AND ice cream for under $20. 😐
After we ate, we went out back to their FREE playground.
The kids played for at least an hour and had a blast. Definitely a place we will return to if in Bowling Green. I also noticed that they had a sign promoting free movies they show outdoors periodically. Fun on the cheap!
I hope you can take away from our experiences and have fun with your family if you are around the Bowling Green, Kentucky area!
Here’s a recipe I made with this local raw honey from the Amish. I boiled some spaghetti noodles and threw them in with some stir fried vegetables and then added the sauce.
1 part honey
1 part tomato ketchup
1/2 part soy sauce
Just stir ingredients well and add to your food. I had some sauce left over so I just stored it in a jar in the fridge.
You can make as little or as much as you want. I was thinking it would be great on sautéed potatoes as well. 😋. Also, a little sauce goes a long way so I recommend starting out with a small amount and adding more to taste. I have not tried the recipe with any other type of honey.
So the 2017 Solar Eclipse happened. Our area in Kentucky received a lot of hype leading up to the event. Before, during, and after the eclipse, it was interesting (to say the least) to keep up with with all of the opinions and posts on Facebook. Reactions and opinions were….uh, mixed. Yea, we’ll go with mixed. I’ve compiled a list of my favorite FB posts about the eclipse and have taken special care to protect the identities of those I’ve featured. Enjoy my list!
When we started realizing all the hype may have just been, uh, hype….cue the sarcasm!
2. All this pre-eclipse hype is for the birds!
3. Don’t throw away those glasses just yet!
4. Should’ve used the bathroom beforehand.
5. Zombie Apocalypse still pending.
6. After it was over, they hype was gone faster than the moon blocked out the sun.
7. Some people missed it all together.
8. In all honesty, I was kinda thinking the same thing.
9. For those who have lived 100 years, it just didn’t compare.
10. Most importantly, this event gave us something to live for.
Everyone has unforeseen expenses and it never hurts to have a side hustle for extra cash. Our family’s biggest extra expense is travel. The girls and I like to vacation at least every six months. But for whatever reason you need extra cash, here is a list of ways I have personally made money and the pros and cons of each along with some tips about how to be successful.
You really need to visit all potential events before you commit to setting up there.
Marketing/merchandising is very important because there are several vendors with flashy signs/lights competing within a few feet of you.
Requires exceptional organization and planning and you will need to hire help.
3. Yard Sales
Pros: No investment except signage/advertising, extra money fast.
Cons: Only successful during good weather, unless indoors.
Price items reasonably. Your stuff is not new (unless it is, lol).
Put up plenty of brightly colored, easy to read signs.
Advertise your yard sale in the newspaper AND on social media.
Pros: Large market, potentially can get more money for items than at a yard sale or flea market.
Cons: Have to deal with shipping, items in auction may sell low.
Learn to accurately price shipping costs or you may be out more money than you make!
EBay also has some fees that are called “final value fees” that apply to items with a “buy it now” price. It is my understanding, though I am still researching and learning about fees, that you have to pay final value fees whether or not your item sells.
Ship your items fast and post several photos with your listings.
5. Cleaning Houses
Pros: Quick money, Flexible schedule.
Cons: Hard work!
Start with friends/family.
Advertise on Facebook.
Cleaning a business or church is a good idea too.
Actually be good at cleaning.
Ok, I’ve made a few side dishes for people and two wedding cakes, but it still counts.
Pros: Can work from home.
Cons: Hard work, not a get rich quick type of side hustle.
Actually be good at cooking/baking.
Learn to price your items accurately. Ingredients may be inexpensive, but baking is quite time consuming.
7. Selling Items for Other People
Recently I sold a trailer for my dad on Facebook (he’s in his seventies and not computer-savvy). All I did was take a few photos, post the item, and set up the meet and exchange. Sure I only got $10 out of the deal, but hey, that’s a half of a tank of gas for me!
Pros: No investment, Easy.
Cons: Not a lot of extra money.
Post to multiple groups when selling on Facebook. Most of the items I sell are actually to out of town individuals.
Family members who are not tech-savvy are great individuals to help out.
Pros: High demand, Not that difficult unless the kids are crazy.
Cons: Not a lot of extra money.
Ask for money in advance. I babysat for a girl who did not pay me and then, months later, had the nerve to message and ask me to babysit for her again. I believe her words were, “Would you be interested in watching ______ again? I can pay you what I owe you plus $50.” Really?
9. Extra Job
Before I had kids, I always had more than one job at a time. At one point I had three jobs. Every summer during college I worked at a factory that hired college students. I also waitressed, worked at a convenience store, and worked at a grocery store while maintaining the factory job. Sometimes I even worked a summer class into the mix. Now that I am older and a mother, well….not so much.
Pros: Pretty much guaranteed extra money, steady extra money.
Cons: Doesn’t give you a lot of free time, have to follow a set schedule.
If you work full-time, a second full-time job can be difficult. Part-time or seasonal work may be a better option.
Places like restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, and retail stores are usually always hiring or accepting applications.
10. Rental Property
I remodeled my grandmother’s trailer after she passed away and decided to rent it. Not my cup of tea.
Pros: I really can’t think of any except sometimes people pay their rent.
Cons: Too much to deal with if renters aren’t good people, Large initial investment if you have to purchase or remodel a property.
Require a deposit. People will destroy your home in ways you cannot understand.
Take photos of your property prior to tenants moving in.
Have tenants sign a written agreement; consult an attorney if needed.
Sitting with Elderly/Being a Caregiver
Renting an Extra Room in Your Home
Blogging (Trying this one out!)
Learning a Trade (Painting, Wallpapering, Yard Work, Sewing, etc.)
Post in the comments your favorite “side hustle” or ways to make extra cash!
They grow up so fast! One day you’ll look back on all the memories of them growing up and, with that wistful endearing fondness sweeping over you, you’ll exclaim, “Why’d I take a picture of that?!?!” We’ve all been there….going through the photo albums, camera rolls, cloud back-ups, maybe an old shoebox….photographer’s remorse does not discriminate among the various platforms. You think to yourself, “Did I really need 150 photos from Junior’s 2nd birthday? Who’s that? Where is that?” Great questions. Unfortunately the answer is all too often, “I’m not sure.”
First of all, you should know that I am NOT a professional photographer. I have not taken photography classes, earned certificates, or joined any groups relating to photography. In fact, I do not even own a camera. Sudden realization: hey, I don’t own a camera. Short pause.
Anyway, should you decide to proceed further into this post about photographing your children, please understand that I am just a mother with an iPhone who came to know a few things worth sharing. AND, this post is not about lighting, shutter speed, um…..and that’s all the terms I know associated with photography….anyway, its not about any of those things. This is about the general chronicling of memories with your children. I have taken a lot of crappy and unnecessary photos to be able to share this wisdom with you, but someone had to do it. Hence, the following lists of tips for chronicling photo memories of your children
1. Don’t Be Papparazzi
I came to this realization after my kids routinely complained, “We don’t wanna take another picture!” And I’m all like, “Just stand over there; it’ll only take a second.” Then they’re giving me this evil look instead of smiling and it doesn’t make for a good photo. So I thought to myself, “You are being a paparazzi and your poor children are the fleeing celebrities trying to hide, covering their faces, snarling at you.” Children want to enjoy the moment, and they want you present for the fun also, which is hard to do if you’re too focused on capturing the moment in digital format. So, the first tip is put down the camera! Enjoy whatever is going on with your kids or it won’t really be a moment worth remembering anyway.
2. Focus on Frame Worthy
This realization hit me after I was going through some photos from a trip to the zoo. I had all these photos of random animals like an alligator, maybe a seahorse, some bugs…. Now this all seems great in the moment because you’re like, “Cool!” But five years down the road, its like, “Oh do I really need to reflect on this alligator? And then ten years down the road when you’ve visited maybe three zoos and an aquarium or two, the animals are strikingly similar and, unless you’re going to scrapbook side by side comparisons, you really don’t need all the animals in the entire zoo on film!
Instead, what I like to do is something I call “focus on frame worthy. Take three to ten photos that really capture the essence of a trip, for example. And focus on photos that you potentially would frame. Mr. Alligator on the mantle would make for interesting conversation, but you’re going to be talked about if you decide to frame that one.
Here is an example: We went on a cruise in 2015. This photo really captures the essence of the “We went on a cruise!”
3. Capture the Moment Instead of the Pose
You can capture memories incognito and not annoy your kids if you snap a few photos without saying, “Hey, look at the camera!” Some of my favorite photos are when the kids are just engaged in the moment and they have no idea I’m photographing them.
4. Think Outside the Box
A lot of opportunities for chronicling memories are overlooked because the event is not a birthday, vacation, or stereotypical photo opportunity. For example, in 2015, Macey had her first surgery. It wasn’t’ necessarily a “happy first,” but it was an event in her life.
5. Don’t Forget to Include Yourself
It can be easy to forget to include yourself in photos when you are typically the one behind the camera. However, remember, your kids are growing up with you and they are going to want to have memories chronicled with you as well. It can also be tempting to delete photos of yourself that are unflattering. As a mother, I know I speak for myself when I say the only critic harsher than the camera lens is myself. However, it is important to remember that these memories are for you and for your children to look back and remember one day. They are not for publication anywhere else unless you choose to post them. So don’t be so hard on yourself! Try to see yourself through your children’s eyes. I’m willing to bet they aren’t going to look back on a photo and focus on your tummy bulge.
6. Capture Memories in Context
I can’t count the number of close-up photos I have that tell absolutely nothing about what is actually happening. This is easy to do especially when you are snapping a photo of yourself with your child in a selfie. It is hard to back up and get the context of what is going on. If you are photographing your children only, however, don’t be afraid to zoom out a little. I took this photo of Kynlee in Honduras and the context is easy to see because it is not so tightly zoomed in. She is just walking down the street drinking an orange soda….so much cooler than a close up head shot where she could be in the bathroom for all the photo shows!
7. Schedule Photos into Your Event/Trip
We set aside a time to do photographs in weddings, right? Because they’re important. Setting aide a time to do photos at your events or on your trips lets your kids know to expect this. For example, if they know that as soon as you enter Magic Kingdom, you are going to take a family photo in front of Cinderella’s castle, they’re already on board with this and aren’t complaining when you suddenly spring this on them. Learned this one the hard way!
8. Capture the Realistic
Let’s face it. Growing up isn’t all parties, trips to Disney World, and significant happenings. It’s a lot of boring days at home, actually. Don’t wait for something magical or extraordinary to happen to occasionally snap a photo. After all, the routine and realistic is part of growing up too!
9. Accept Imperfection
You are going to get photos with eyes closed and some photos where your children’s face is not even visible. Sometimes, depending on the situation, this is the best you can do. It’s ok.
10. Apps are Good
With so many photos being captured on smartphones, take advantage of apps to edit your pictures, add embellishments, text, create collages, etc. The possibilities are really plentiful.
11. Social Media Isn’t Just For Bragging
Well it is cool to show your Facebook friends how much fun you had on vacation. However, I have come to realize that Facebook is a great way to chronicle and save memories, especially when I get lax in keeping up with them through other means. I have literally switched screens back and forth between Facebook and iScrapbook because Facebook photos is such an easy platform to keep up with your photos when you need them later.
However, I will say it is easy to simply upload a group of photos with a post. It is important to note that photos uploaded this way all go into the “Mobile Uploads” album. My mobile upload album has over 600 photos, which requires a lot of scrolling to locate certain photos. While it requires an extra step to create a specific album and add photos to that album, if you have several photos from a specific time or event, creating a specific album can make retrieving the photos you want easier in the future.
12. It’s OK to Delete Photos
Remember all of those animal photos from the zoo? Guess what? I don’t have them anymore. If you find that a photo really isn’t special in helping you remember the moment/event, it’s ok to toss it. It’s also ok to streamline the 500 photos you took down to 50. As long as you capture the essence of the moment, less is more.
13. Chronicle As You Go
It can be a daunting task to decide to organize all those photos when there are 1,000vs. when there are 10. This concept is similar to scheduling the photos. Schedule time to sort, edit, streamline, and chronicle photos. When you get back from vacation, you just want to rest, because you never REALLY take a vacation when you have kids; we all know that. But, within a week or two, schedule 30 minutes or so to chronicle your memories. The event/trip will be fresh in your memory and any captions you want to add will make sense. Trust me. I have actually looked back at photos and thought to myself, “Where are we? I think it was somewhere in Indiana?”