Penny's Passion: July 2017

Friday, July 21, 2017

Five on Friday - July 21, 2017

Happy Friday!  I'm downright giddy to get this weekend started!  We have girls weekend in Kansas City and I can't wait to hit the town with my friends.  Before I get on the road, let me share my five for this week ~

1.  National Junk Food Day
It's one of my favorite days - National Junk Food Day!  Give me some salty snacks and I am one happy camper.  Ahhhh, junk food - you know, the stuff that is high in fats, sugars, salt and calories and contain very little nutritional value. I might grab some good ole' junk food to snack on for my drive to KC today.  What's your junk food guilty pleasure?  #NationalJunkFoodDayNational Junk Food Day July 21

2.  Lay's "Do Us A Flavor" Contest
Speaking of junk food, it's that time of year again -- the time has come to vote for this year's finalists in the "do us a flavor" annual Lay's contest. The three finalists are: Fried Green Tomato, Everything Bagel and Crispy Taco. Voting starts on Monday, July 24 and goes through Sunday, October 8 through Lays.com or with the hashtag #SweepstakesEntry and your choice of #VoteFriedGreenTomato, #VoteEverythingBagel or #VoteCrispyTaco. The winner is going to get $1 million!! I'm most excited about trying the Fried Green Tomato. What flavor are you craving?

3.  Luggage Bag Bungees
Have you seen these Luggage Bag Bungees?  If you are anything like me, I pile my carry on bag on top of my suitcase and try to maneuver through the airport.  My carry on is usually teetering precariously atop my other bag, sometimes toppling over causing us to stop in the middle of the walkway.  I can feel the other traveler's eye rolls as they try to dodge my luggage laying all over the place.  In an effort to alleviate that stress, I'm going to give these bungees a try.   A package of two is under $20.  Want some?  Click HERE.



4.  Dunkirk
Dunkirk opens today and it's definitely on my list of movies I want to see.  Here is Movie Insiders summary, "Miraculous evacuation of Allied soldiers from Belgium, Britain and France, who were cut off and surrounded by the German army from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk, France, between May 27- June 04, 1940, during Battle of France in Word War II."  This fact-based story is getting rave reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.


5.  Party animal.....

Damn dog ruined it for all the other  smoking and drinking, skateboarding dogs.

Hope your weekend is full of fun!  Hey - if you happen to be in Target and want a Starbuck's handcrafted tea beverage to cool you down, they are 1/2 off through Monday with the Cartwheel's deal.  

We have an action-packed weekend planned in Kansas City.  One of things we're doing is going to the Foodie Chick Event on Saturday night.  Well, that is, we're going if we find our way out of the Escape Room we're going to Saturday afternoon.  Can't wait!!  See you next week.

Linking up with:
Simply Sweet Home
High Five for Friday
5 on Friday
Oh My Heartsie Girl
This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Friday Favorites - July 21, 2017

Welcome to the weekend!  I can't wait to try my feature today - Mini Bacon Ranch Cheese Balls from Honey and Birch.  They will make an excellent appetizer for parties!  Enjoy all the features today and don't forget to check out the links.


Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:
Jerri at Simply Sweet Home - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Maisy at Becoming Alice - FB | G+ | Pin
Sheree at Stage Presents - Twitter | FB | Pin | Inst | Inst
Lisa at Condo Blues - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Penny at Penny's Passion - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Kelly at Under a Texas Sky - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL
If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!
You can show your love for this week's favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!
And if you love all of this week's favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week's linky party!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - July 20, 2017

Hey there!  Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  Glad you stopped by -- feel free to link up below and share what you are thinking out loud about today.

First let me just say that I'm so sad I didn't publish a weekending post on Monday (or Tuesday or Wednesday).  Eric and I had a great anniversary weekend and enjoyed going out for dinner a couple of times and seeing All Shook Up at the Muny.  It was definitely a blog-worthy weekend - just ran out of time to put in down in writing!

Some of the highlights were getting these beautiful roses for our anniversary.  Thanks Eric!!


It was so fun running into a friend I haven't seen in a long time at the Muny!  It was great seeing you Gail!



Now on to what I'm thinking out loud about today ~ the evening we experienced at Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant this week.  Do you have a Cooper's Hawk near you?  We have been wine club members for almost a year and love it!  Ian and Kayla are members also and it's fun to meet them at the restaurant to experience our monthly wine tasting that's included in our membership.  This week was the first time we participated in one of the monthly themed dinners and that's what I'm thinking out loud about today.

Cooper's Hawk offers themed dinners once a month with a set menu and wine paired with each course.  We had tried to go to the dinner in June, but it was sold out by the time we requested reservations.  So we immediately made reservations for July's Sip of Summer dinner and waited patiently for the date to arrive.

As the group of guests filtered into the private dining room, we were served a glass of red sangria and given our table assignments.  The chef described our first course and the evening began ~


The Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta was paired with a Riesling.  The bruschetta was magnificent!  The bread crunchy, the tomatoes fresh and the balsamic glaze was the perfect finish.

Next we moved to the second course - Zesty Summer Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho.  I have to admit, even though I knew the gazpacho was cold, every time I brought the spoon to my mouth I felt the need to blow on it.  Do you enjoy gazpacho in the summer?


This course was paired with your choice of Chardonnay or Rose.  My pick:


By this point of the evening we had made friends with everyone at our table and realized we actually knew some of the same people.  Small world!


The main course was "Fall Off The Bone" BBQ Ribs and Grilled Artisanal Sausage, accompanied by Mexican Street Corn, Smashed Potato Salad, and Summer Slaw.  Yes, those ribs were as good as they look and definitely fell off the bone!


The pairing for this course was Cooper Hawk's Cabernet Zinfandel - one of my favorites.


In between courses, the group of guests played a little game.  We had to put in order the top 5 most popular vacation spots in the USA.  I honestly don't know what the correct answers were, but the hostess did say no one got them all correct.


I, however, was the best guesser and won!!  Needless to say, I was thrilled to take home the prize bottle of wine.


Even though we were stuffed, when the Farmer's Market Peach and Berry Lemon Pound Cake was placed in front of us, we HAD to try it!


It was paired with Ice Wine.  Ice Wine is a bit on the sweet side for me, but did go nicely with the pound cake and makes a great dessert wine.


The evening was truly delightful and if there's a Cooper's Hawk near you I would highly recommend giving one of these dinners a try.

If you are in the St. Louis area and stop by the Cooper's Hawk at 1146 Town and Country Crossing Drive, ask for our favorite server Karly.  She's wonderful and will make your experience at Cooper's Hawk even better!


By the way, I'm not being compensated for this post.  Just wanted to share our experience in case you would like to try something like this too.  :)

Now it's your turn.  What are you thinking out loud about today?



Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at:

Friday, July 14, 2017

Five on Friday - July 14, 2017

Happy Bastille Day! This week flew by for me and here we are at Friday already.  Today is a special day at our house.  Eric and I were married 16 years ago today!  Happy anniversary Eric.  Love you!  Thanks for helping me with all my shenanigans!


Before we start our anniversary weekend, here are my five for this week ~

1.  Smirnoff Ice Orange Screwdriver
We were at our neighbor's house last weekend and I tried one of these Smirnoff Ice Orange Screwdrivers malt beverages.  Loved it!  It's going to be my new drink of the summer.  The fresh citrus flavor really hit the spot.  Have you tried them?  Smirnoff makes other flavors also if orange isn't your thing.


2.  The Big Sick Movie
This movie was kind of a sleeper to me in that I hadn't seen a lot of previews before this week.  It looks hilarious!  It opens today and is definitely on my list of movies I want to see.  Here's the Rotten Tomato summary, "Based on the real-life courtship between Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, THE BIG SICK tells the story of Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail (Nanjiani), who connects with grad student Emily (Kazan) after one of his standup sets. However, what they thought would be just a one-night stand blossoms into the real thing, which complicates the life that is expected of Kumail by his traditional Muslim parents. When Emily is beset with a mystery illness, it forces Kumail to navigate the medical crisis with her parents, Beth and Terry (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) who he's never met, while dealing with the emotional tug-of-war between his family and his heart. THE BIG SICK is directed by Michael Showalter (HELLO MY NAME IS DORIS) and producer by Judd Apatow (TRAINWRECK, THIS IS 40) and Barry Mendel (TRAINWRECK, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS)."


3.  Fridge Monkey
We got a new gadget for the fridge this week and it left us wondering why we hadn't bought it years ago.  With summer here we seem to have so many more bottles and cans rolling around in our refrigerator.  This baby allows you to stack soft drink cans, beer bottles or wine bottles neatly so they are not rolling around all over your shelves.  It really maximizes your storage allowing you to maximize your space.  If you need one (or two), click HERE.


4.  SD Card Reader
One of these slick devices came with my camera bundle (which I'm loving!) and it is amazing!  The rest of the world might already know about these, but it was my first exposure.  You can just pop out the memory card from your camera, put it in this device, plug it into your computer and VOILA - your pictures can be downloaded.  No more hooking up the wires from your camera to the computer.  It makes downloading your photos so much easier.  This one happens to be on sale from Amazon for only $7.99.  Click HERE to check it out.


5.  Makes you wonder...
I see the single shoe on the side of the road all the time, and I can't help but wonder how this keeps happening. It's a real issue, apparently.

Hope your weekend is wonderful.  We are trying a new restaurant tonight and headed to the Muny tomorrow night.  Should be a fun few days!  See you next week.

Linking up with:
Simply Sweet Home
High Five for Friday
5 on Friday
Oh My Heartsie Girl
This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Friday Favorites - July 14, 2017

Hello!  Friday is here again and, boy, do we have some great features for you today.  My feature is the tomato tart appetizer.  The tomatoes in my garden are getting bigger and pretty soon I'll have an abundance of them.  Tomato tart appetizers are going to be served at my house when that happens!   Enjoy all the features and have a great weekend!

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:
Jerri at Simply Sweet Home - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Maisy at Becoming Alice - FB | G+ | Pin
Sheree at Stage Presents - Twitter | FB | Pin | Inst | Inst
Lisa at Condo Blues - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Penny at Penny's Passion - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Kelly at Under a Texas Sky - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL
If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!
You can show your love for this week's favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!
And if you love all of this week's favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week's linky party!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - July 13, 2017

Hello there!  Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday.  This week is scooting right along.  Summer has definitely hit St. Louis - we have had temps in the 100's all week.  It's HOT!  But that's how you know it's summer, right?!?

With our vacation fast approaching, I am thinking out loud today about one thing I want to make sure we do while we are away.  Isn't it funny how we plan and plan for a vacation, then in just a few short days it's over.  We will be spending seven days in Paris and my goal is to make sure each day is full of adventure (and the trip there and back is as painless as possible).  I don't want to come home and catch myself saying, "I wish we would have...".

One thing I want to make sure to do while we are in the City of Lights is send postcards to family and friends back home.  My friend, Tracy, sent us a postcard when she visited Hawaii early this summer and it was so great to open the mailbox and pull it out.  Her token from the tropic is still hanging on my frig and each time it catches my eye I smile.  I want to give my family and friends that same feeling!


Do you send postcards when you're on vacation? Years ago that used to be such a thing. It makes me kind of sad that something so sentimental went to the wayside. People - WE NEED TO BRING BACK POSTCARDS! They are so fun! If you are mailing a postcard in the US, the postage is 34 cents - well worth the smile you are going to put on the face of the lucky person plucking it out of their mailbox.

Click HERE to purchase
Back when my daughter-in-law was in college, she had a true love for Greece. She purchased a bundle of sent postcards off Ebay of Greek scenes and such to make a bulletin board collage. It was the coolest thing. Had I known then that years later I would be writing a blog, I would have definitely taken a picture of it to share with you!  Many had messages on the back and as she progressed through her Greek language classes, she could decipher the words and capture the essence of what the sender was sharing with the recipient.

The Propylaea of the Acropolis in Athens
The postcards were written in a variety of languages, which made the bundle that much more precious.


Just think, someday it might be my postcards people are reading!  My future great grandchildren, nieces and nephews can read about that crazy old Penny's adventures.  

So that's what I'm thinking out loud about today.  What's on your mind?  Link up and share your thoughts.



Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at:
This is How We Roll
This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Let's Make Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

A few weeks back I mentioned I wanted to share this awesome cauliflower recipe with you.  Well, I'm finally getting it together and am sharing it with you today!

I don't know about you, but my Facebook feed is always popping recipes my way.  This cauliflower recipe from Shawn over at I Wash You Dry flashed by and cause me to do a double take.  I immediately printed it and gave it a try as soon as I could get the ingredients.  I followed her recipe exactly and it did not disappoint!

Here's What You Need
7 cups cauliflower florets, cut to bite sized pieces
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese


Here's What You Do
Preheat the over to 425 degrees F.  Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray liberally with non-stick cooking spray.  Set aside.


Combine the cauliflower and olive oil in a large zip close bag and shake to coat.


Add the remaining ingredients to the bag and shake until coated, pressing slightly to help the breading stick.


Pour onto the baking sheet and spray the tops of the cauliflower with cooking spray.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Stir the cauliflower and continue to bake an additional 10 minutes.


Serve hot.

This is one of those recipes that makes fixing dinner so easy.  I can walk in the door from work, turn on the oven and prep the cauliflower while the oven is preheating.  Pop it in the oven and have 30 minutes to get the rest of the meal together.  The cauliflower pretty much fixes itself once in the oven!


Hope you love it as much as we do!  And don't forget to pop over to I Wash You Dry and Shawn's other fabulous recipes.

Linking up with:
Pint Sized Baker
Let's Be Friends Blog Hop with The Dwelling Tree

Friday, July 7, 2017

Five on Friday - July 7, 2017

Well, well - happy Friday!  With only working three days this week, Friday got here pretty darn fast!  That's not a complaint by any means.  We are always ready for a weekend around here!  Hope you enjoy my five for this week ~

1.  Pier View Canvas Sperry Sneakers
So last Friday one of my five was my new Converse shoes.  This week I'm sharing my other new pair of comfy casual shoes - my new Sperry's!  I'm seriously considering picking up a few more pairs in different colors.  Sooooo comfortable, not to mention adorable.  Their memory foam insole makes me feel like I could walk for miles.  You can check them out HERE.  


2.  Crush Pineapple Singles to Go
I'm not a fan of plain water, so I'm always searching for things to flavor it up.  My new favorite are these Crush Pineapple singles to go.  Just add the packet to a bottle of water, shake and you have a sugar free tasty drink on the spot.  I hear they are also a great addition to protein shakes for a boost of flavor.  If pineapple isn't your thing, Crush makes other flavors also - grape, strawberry, orange.


We've been gearing up for our trip to Paris next month.  My friend Tammy highly recommended getting one of these travel rolls for our long flight.  It zips up so you can use it to support your lower back or neck.  Lay it flat for a seat cushion or pillow that contours to your body.  Two of them are on their way to my house!  I'm planning on just leaving them in the car after our trip to have on hand when we take a road trip someplace.  Do you have a trip coming up that one of these might come in handy?  Click HERE for more info.
4.  Spider-Man Homecoming
You gotta love a good Spider-Man movie and a new one is hitting the theaters today.  Here's what Rotten Tomatoes says about it, "A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine--distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man--but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened."



5.  Just sayin'...

30 humor Quotes about Husband

Hope you have a great weekend.  We have zero plans.  Eric has to work on Saturday and Sunday, so we'll probably just hang out and keep things pretty simple.  I'm reading a great book (A Paris Apartment) so I sure don't mind having a little down time to finish it!  See you next week.

Linking up with:
Simply Sweet Home
High Five for Friday
5 on Friday
Oh My Heartsie Girl
This post contained affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase.  Thanks!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Friday Favorites - July 7, 2017

If you've lost track of days this week - today is Friday.  With the holiday falling on Tuesday, it's been a bit of a challenge for me to know what day it is!  So happy we have another weekend at hand!  Enjoy the features today!

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:
Jerri at Simply Sweet Home - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Maisy at Becoming Alice - FB | G+ | Pin
Sheree at Stage Presents - Twitter | FB | Pin | Inst | Inst
Lisa at Condo Blues - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Penny at Penny's Passion - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Kelly at Under a Texas Sky - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL
If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!
You can show your love for this week's favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!
And if you love all of this week's favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week's linky party!

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - July 6, 2017

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  It's hard to believe that July is here already and the Fourth of July is behind us.  Eric and I took a few days off  and were able to do some fun things - one of which is what I'm thinking out loud about today.

Monday night we were sitting on Art Hill in Forest Park waiting for Fair St. Louis's fabulous fireworks show to begin and started talking about what we were going to do the next day.  The St. Louis Cardinals were in town and we both were interested in watching the All-American pastime on our nation's birthday.  Then it hit me -- let's try to get some First Pitch Tickets.

     

The St. Louis Cardinals and KMOX 1120 AM have a program called First Pitch Tickets where you can get 2 tickets for $11.20.  That's right - 2 tickets for only $11.20!  We have been talking about giving this program a try for years, but have never taken advantage of it.  Tuesday was our day.

Here's how it works ~
Every game day during the regular season, the first 275 customers at the Busch Stadium 8th Street Ticket Windows, located near Gate 3, will be able to purchase a voucher entitling them to two (2) tickets for that day's game for just $11.20. (Please note: all fans purchasing the First Pitch Tickets voucher will be asked to show a picture ID at the time of purchase.)


First Pitch Tickets voucher sales begin at 9:00 am on the day of the game, and continue until 2 hours before scheduled game time, or until all vouchers are sold (whichever comes first).
Limit one (1) voucher per game

The tickets - a virtual grab bag of locations returned to the ticket office by Cardinals players, the visiting club, sponsors, groups and others - may be anywhere within the ballpark, from Field to Terrace level or Standing Room Only.

We arrived at 7:45 am to get in line.  There was only one person in front of us and others started showing up closer to 9:00 am.  Since the tickets are a total grab bag, it's not necessary to arrive early.  I was just paranoid about not getting a voucher so we were early birds.

Ten minutes before game time, (ie. 7:05 p.m. for a 7:15 p.m. game) fans will be asked to produce their picture ID along with their voucher at the "First Pitch Tickets" sign - located at Gate 1 on Broadway - to claim their tickets. Tickets will be in sealed envelopes and distributed on a completely random basis. Exchanges will not be permitted.

Fans must immediately enter the ballpark through Gate 1 once they have received their tickets.  Tickets will be distributed at the First Pitch Tickets entrance until 15 minutes after scheduled game time.


Only 275 ticket pairs - or 550 tickets total - will be available for each home game throughout the 2017 season.

Fans purchasing First Pitch Vouchers are not guaranteed to receive any promotional items given away at the gates.

We were lucky enough to get the promotional pair of socks that were being given away!


Our tickets were in Section 132, Row K.  Great seats!!  We had access to a separate concession stand in an air conditioned room with a private bathroom.  Jackpot!

View from our seats!
In an addition to having a great time at the game, I was pumped that we tried something we had been talking about doing for some time.  Honestly, one of my major pet peeves in life is when people talk about doing something forever and never make it happen.  I'm thrilled to say we tried this ticket program and can move it from "talking about doing it" to "getting it done".

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, sunglasses, closeup and outdoor

First Pitch Tickets is something we will definitely do again!  If you're visiting St. Louis and are looking for an economic way to see a baseball game, I'd highly recommend trying this program.

So that's what I'm thinking out loud about today.  What's on your mind?   Link up and share your thoughts!