A Grandma's spin on crafts, games, recipes & lifestyle

Tag: Pappy

Outdoor Griddle Fun for Father’s Day

IT’S NOT TOO LATE!!!!  Run, do not walk, to get Dad an outdoor griddle for this Father’s Day.  Maybe you are saying, “Mimi, I am not a procrastinator!  I already have Father’s Day covered!”  That’s ok, keep this idea in mind for the next time you need a great gift idea.  However, our family is definitely going to have some outdoor griddle fun for Father’s Day this year!

My son brought this perfect idea up about a month ago.  I casually mentioned it to my amazing chef of a husband.  I have to admit, at first he totally pooed pooed the idea.  Being the loving family that we are, however, we knew not to listen to him.  However, the joke was on us because exactly one week before Father’s Day, my loving husband decides he is going to go buy himself an outdoor griddle grill!  What?!?!

It’s Not Father’s Day YET! ~

Yes, you are correct!  He went ahead and bought it himself!  At first we were all frustrated, but seeing how happy he is made the frustration fade quickly.  The man is happiest with a grill and a beer!  Besides, we decided there are now a slew of accessories he will now need for this new type of grill.  So….many…..gift…..ideas!

Click here for a MUST HAVE set of accessories for the griddle!

Cast Iron Grill Press is another necessity!

Hard Lid Cover is a DEFINITE must if you purchase one without a lid attached!

All in all, I was personally glad that he went ahead and picked out the one that he wanted.  He purchased his at Cabella’s, however, you can find them at most home improvement stores and, of course, on Amazon.  As you can see above, it really didn’t ruin the gift idea for the kids as there are so many accessories available for the MANY different types of meals you can cook on this awesome grill!

Things to Consider When Purchasing ~

There are many features you will need to consider when deciding on which outdoor griddle you want:

  • Number of burners (Brad wanted 4)
  • Attached lid or not
  • Sturdiness of the whole unit
  • Drain hole in upper left front corner (for easy access to remove the grease)
  • Sturdy shelving on both sides

Pinterest Anyone??? ~

You can be sure that I will have a new Pinterest Board set up by the end of the day today.  There are so many fun ideas just waiting to be created on this grill!  The first night we did smashburgers (as you can see from the pics).  Wow!  Those were AMAZING!

Tonight we are doing breakfast for dinner.  We are huge lovers of the Waffle House (very low cal, I know! 😉).  Now Brad can recreate all of our favorites right here at home!

Do you follow me on Pinterest yet????  Mimi~A Great Name for Grandma Pinterest Ideas can be found here!  I am on Pinterest daily looking for new ideas from grandparenting to cooking to gardening and more!  Do you have a Pinterest account?  Drop your name in the comments below….I would love to follow you as well!

How Is This Grill Different?~

There are a lot of accessories available for the traditional gas and charcoal grills that allow you to do pretty much the same thing.  Believe me when I say, we own most of those accessories!  For instance, there is a griddle top that you can place on your  gas or charcoal grill.  If you do not do a lot of grilling, this is perfect!

Griddle top for Gas and Charcoal Grills

We bought him one of these a few years ago, and we have gotten great use out of it.  It was an earlier Father’s Day gift along with this fun breakfast set.  One of the things I love most about cooking breakfast outdoors is the clean up is SO much easier!

Check out the fun griddle breakfast set here!!!

Do We Still Love Our Traditional Grills? ~

The answer is definitely YES!  As stated earlier, Brad is happiest with a grill and a beer!  He has a deck, “The Penarve,” dedicated to all of his grills.  It got so crazy that we had to give it a name (thanks Kelly W 😉 for coming up with the winning name!)  My personal dream is that some day Brad will open a restaurant.  The tough choice is what name should he give to his restaurant?

  • Pappy’s
  • The Penarve

Cast your vote in the comments…I would love to hear your opinion!  Maybe you have a different name idea…let me know!

For now, he will keep doing his magic on the Penarve at the Latinovich homestead!  Stay tuned for some great cooking ideas because you KNOW he will be creating those wonderful meals and I will be sharing them!

Happy Father’s Day to all you wonderful fathers!  Enjoy!

Mimi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grilled Caramelized Onion, Apple and Canadian Bacon Flatbread

When it comes to pizza and flatbread, Pappy and I definitely have different opinions on which ingredients make a great pizza.  Traditional toppings are wonderful, but sometimes I like to get adventurous.  Sunday was a perfect day for grilling pizzas with Pappy on the Penarve.  The weather was crisp, the tv was roaring with football games and fun ideas were rolling through our heads of our upcoming creations.  My final outcome was grilled caramelized onion, apple and Canadian bacon flatbread…..AHHHmazing!!!!

The wonderful thing about flatbread pizza is that everyone can create their own masterpiece.  They are just the right size for one…or two if you decide to share.  However, the only one I was sharing my grilled caramelized onion flatbread with was a nice glass of Chardonnay!

THIS RECIPE IS SO VERSATILE!!!

Caramelizing onions is a must for this yummy recipe.  However, you may wish to alter the recipe a bit after you prepare the onions.  Maybe you wish to use only onions and no fruit.  Apples were used in this recipe, but peaches or pears would be just as delicious.  The trick is that whatever you choose to add in, you must cook them over low heat for 25 to 30 minutes to get the caramelizing to take place.

The flavors mixed very well with Canadian bacon, but maybe you prefer no meat….it would still be fantastic!

While the onion mixture is cooking, you will need to prepare your flatbread. Brush it with a thin layer of olive oil then layer fig spread over the top of the oil.  Add the caramelized onion mixture on top of the fig glaze.  Top with fresh spinach or other greens of your choice.  Next will be your choice of cheese.  We prepared this with blue cheese.  Goat cheese, brie or feta would work wonderfully as well.  Lastly, top it off with some toasted walnuts and dried cherries.

IT’S TIME TO GRILL ~

Slide a pizza board or pizza peel under the flatbread to transfer to the grill.  If you do not have a pizza peel, it’s a good idea to add it to your cooking arsenal….once you taste these babies you are definitely going to be making more.  Here is a link to one of my favorites.   I absolutely love this pizza peel with a foldable handle for easy storage!

Once you have transferred the flatbread to the grill, close the cover and grill for 8 to 10 minutes.  Check on it after 5 minutes to decide the correct amount of time for the level of crispiness you prefer.  Then top it off with balsamic glaze….perfection!

KID FRIENDLY~

Now you are looking at me like I am crazy!  Kid friendly you ask?  What child likes blue cheese?  Well, I know there are some kids out there that do eat different cheeses, but if they don’t, substitute mozzarella.  Easy peasy!

The really cool thing about flatbread pizzas, is you can have a small layout of different toppings and let everyone make their own.  Psst…..kids are more apt to eat their dinner when they take part in the process of preparation.  So let them dig in and have fun!!!!

 

Favorite Books to Read to Kids

I LOVE READING!

I love reading to my grandchildren, I love reading to myself, I love reading to anyone who will listen!  Reading takes you anywhere you want to be.  In fact, I am known in my family for not enjoying travel very much.  I believe that is because books take me anywhere I want to be while allowing me to stay put  in my own home.  (Plus I don’t have to face that daunting task of packing–yuk!)

There is nothing better than snuggling with the grandkids and listening to them laugh.  You know the kind of laugh I am talking about…that deep down from the belly laugh.  I bet you are smiling right now just thinking about it!

There are so many great books out there, however, I have 3 favorites that I truly enjoy reading to the children.  None of them are particularly new books….just tried and true favorites!  These books require interaction and crazy voices, which make the reading experience even more fun.  They are outlined below (along with a link to check them out):

  1. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury & MIchael Rosen – This fun book takes you through several different landscapes all while searching for a bear.  Do they find a bear?  I will leave that for you to find out, but I will tell you it sure is a lot of fun to make all of the landscape noises (stomping through mud and swishing through tall grass)  with the little ones as you journey through the pages.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (Classic Board Books)       

 

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2.  The Monster at the End of This Book  by Jon Stone & Michael Smollin – Who doesn’t love Sesame Street characters?  This book completely engages the children by trying to keep you from getting to the end of the book.  The children laugh with delight as they try to quickly turn the pages….even though Grover tries his hardest to stop them!

The Monster at the End of This Book     

 

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3.  Tickle Monster by Josie Bissett – You must buy this one as the kit….it is a MUST!  You wear the fluffy mitts and do lots of tickling as you venture through the pages.  Talk about deep belly laughs!  This one also makes a wonderful gift.

Tickle Monster Laughter Kit — Includes the Tickle Monster book and fluffy mitts for reading aloud and tickling!

 

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If you haven’t already discovered these books, I think they would be a great addition to your bookshelves.  I would also love to hear of any books you recommend as well.

Happy Reading!!!!

 

 

 

 

Let’s Go Camping!

Do you have a favorite camping story?  Maybe you have a story that you would consider more of a camping nightmare?  Regardless of whether it is good or bad~ if you have ever been camping with your family, you have some wonderful memories!

My family grew up camping…every….single….weekend!  You don’t see families camping  as much these days.  Sports and other summer activities have become more popular and occupy most of the summer days.  While I love all of these options for kids today, I sure do miss the family togetherness of a good ‘ole camping trip!

Well, if you are one of those families that has a summer calendar jam packed with summer camps, sports, and family vacations, maybe you can plan a “camping day” with your kiddos like my daughter did.

How to Create Your Own Camping Site:

She set up the kid’s tent along with their camping chairs, added a couple of logs with a battery operated candle nestled in them to create the “fire” and engaged the kids in their own camping experience….right in the middle of their living room!

They enjoyed s’mores (which she toasted over a candle)  and drinking juice from their own canteens.   Their Chuckwagon meal consisted of a frozen breakfast bowl set in a tin tray for the “camping look.”

The kids also enjoyed making their own binoculars (with a little help from mom.)  These were made from toilet paper rolls, construction paper, yarn and a little glue (the glue is definitely where help from mom comes in.)

You can even have a supply of stickers and crayons so they can decorate them to their liking (this can even help with arguments of which ones belong to whom!)

So why not have a little “camping” fun with your kids or grandkids.  A camper or tent is not in your future?  No problem!   Traveling to a lake or mountain does not fit in your calendar?  No problem!   You don’t even have to buy coolers and fill them with all the camping necessities.  You can still give your children the camping experience by setting up a fun-filled day right at your own home!

Tie Breaker ~ Grandbaby #3 ~ Boy or Girl?

The secret is out!  Grandbaby #3 is on it’s way to becoming a part of our little family, and it is due to enter the world on January 1, 2021.  I’m not sure who is more excited…Mom and Dad or Mimi and Pappy.

As you add children to your family, you originally wonder how can I possibly have more love for another child when my heart is so full already.  You quickly discover that the love inside of you grows as each child is born.  Then you become a Grandma, and it continues to grow even more.  Isn’t God amazing?  He takes this little organ in your body and somehow makes room for it to expand more and more.

Is it a boy or is it a girl?  It’s so exciting to have that discussion in the early months of the pregnancy, but as it turns out we soon realize it doesn’t matter…it is just another blessing!  Now, you can ask Addi & Max what they think and you get a totally different perspective.  They DO have very definite opinions of having another brother or sister.

Though this is Lauren’s third baby…and she CLEARLY knows about all of the pregnancy woes, somehow I still find it completely necessary to constantly instruct her about what she should and should not be doing to take care of this little bundle of joy.  “Don’t lift that Lauren–Lauren, you do know you should be careful in this heat–Lauren, are you staying hydrated–Lauren, get sleep whenever you can!”–and on and on I go.  What I love about Lauren during all of this craziness is that she stays level headed and just says, “Ok mom,” when I know sometimes she would love to just yell, “I GOT THIS…I’M NO LONGER A ROOKIE AT THIS PREGNANCY THING!”  That’s my girl…an amazing daughter and an amazing mom!

So now we are at the stage of what do we still have around the house for when they visit, and what do we need to buy?  We try to have as many items as possible at our house so they don’t have to carry all of the baby seats, high chair, baby toys, bibs, formula, baby food, etc. with them every time they come to visit.  *Note to new grandparents, this ensures they will come to visit more when you make this process easier! 😉

Interestingly enough, we never made that jump to buying a crib, which I am shocked we haven’t done.  Instead, we use the Pack ‘N Play, and this has truly turned out to be a good substitute.

But as we all know, baby products just keep getting better with time, so I am currently researching to see just what I need to add to the “Mimi arsenal of baby gadgets.”  One item I am completely impressed with is the Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock.  Wow, does this make life much easier.  There is room for baby and yet still room for groceries…AMAZING!

So when you offer to give the new mom some quiet time and you take the kids, little junior (or little princess) included, for an outing…Voila!  You will never look at shopping with a baby the same way!  Plenty of room for groceries AND all of those little toys that the other grandkids sneak into the cart.

BINXY BABY Shopping Cart Hammock | The Original | Holds All Car Seat Models | Ergonomic Infant Carrier + Positioner

I’ve provided the link above for you to check it out….something compact to keep in your car and have whenever needed.

It is fun to see what new, trendy items are out there, so I will continue the search and share any fun products I learn of.  After all, us grandparents need to stay in the know!

 

 

Secret Treasures

Evidently there is some secret character that comes and drops coins in the landscape when Addi and Max come to visit.  Even more curious is that it seems they all are found in the general vicinity of Pappy’s grilling area….hmmm!

When the kids first get to our house, there is flurry of activity with very important decisions regarding snacks, drinks, and what toys they want to play with.  Meanwhile, Pappy will scurry off outside to start the firepit and grill for the evening.

Once all decisions have been made, we all head outside, with little hands full of all the goodies they have collected inside.  However, even better treasures await them outside.  Pappy announces, “Addi, Max~get over here quick!  It looks like secret treasures have been left yet again.

They run over by Pappy, already forgetting those items that were oh so important just a few minutes ago…and the search begins!  Quickly, Addi eyes some silver and copper coins (she is the master egg hunter just like her mother!).

However, they know there are still more goods to uncover in the rocky path, so they continue on~each trying to find the most coins to add to their piggy banks (or pockets if we are discussing Max).

This continues on until the every inch of the area has been combed.  They make sure to put their new finds in their own secret areas to save away for a rainy day.  Leave it to Pappy, he has always been the one to help us all understand the importance of saving….all while making it fun!

                               

 

Let’s Dance!

Dance:  the movement of the body in a rhythmic way, usually to music and within a given space, for the purpose of expressing an idea or emotion, releasing energy, or simply taking delight in the movement itself.

How long has it been since you danced?  Really danced–letting go of all stress and just taking delight in the movement itself?  For Brad and I as a couple it has been a while.  We used to love dancing!  We would go every single weekend when we were dating.  When I sit and reminisce about those days I am filled with pure joy!  So why did we stop?  Life got in the way I suppose.

Enter Addi & Max….they have brought that fun back into our lives!  Every time we have an overnight–after dinner is done, one of the kids yells “Alexa, play <insert their favorite song of the moment>, and we all dance around the kitchen like crazy.  Thus the sign that is now a focal point in our kitchen.  We play new music that they are obsessed with and then we play old music that Brad and I are obsessed with…and we abandon all cares and just have FUN!

           

 

 

 

When the evening is over and jammies are put on and teeth are brushed, we snuggle in with movies.  Only to wake up and…..DANCE AGAIN!  Isn’t it amazing that with all the toys and gadgets out there, that you can have so much fun just dancing.

            

It is a must that all members of the family join in on this family fun!  Afterall, this is a great activity that is sure to bring smiles but also is a great form of keeping active with the whole family.  More fun can be added in with the addition of this awesome game…. Check out this entertaining family dance game!  This will be sure to have the kid’s often saying, “let’s dance!”

I ask again, how long has it been since you danced?

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