Dallas Mom Blog and Fort Worth Mom Blogger: Trendy Mom Reviews
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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Visit Central Market for a Cooking Class with Envy Apples! #BiteAndBelieve #CookingwithEnvy

Envy apples are in the spotlight lately because people love these apples! You may wonder what is so special about an apple. Once you taste an Envy apple, you'll know part of the answer. They taste delicious. The other part of the Envy apple equation is that they have a have a naturally higher citric acid content that prevents the ‘browning’ enzyme from activating. This means they are VERY slow to brown!  They are perfect for kid’s lunches, picnics, salads, charcuterie boards and party platters, especially since they will look great for hours! In today's post, I'll tell you about how these trendy apples work their magic, tell you about an upcoming cooking class with Envy apples at Central Market, and share a crave-worthy recipe.

As a Mom and an Engineer, I was curious about how these apples taste so delicious and why they don't brown as quickly.  Fortunately, the answer comes from Mother Nature and not weird science or questionable additives. According to grower Rick Derray, the EnvyTM naturally boasts higher levels of an antioxidant (citric acid) that prevent the enzyme polyphenol oxidase from reacting with oxygen, resulting in it’s slow to brown feature. Pretty cool, right?! 
Are you intrigued by Envy apples?  If you live in Texas, you are in luck because Central Market has classes across the state on this coming Weds, January 15, 2018 where you'll learn and experience trendy recipes that use Envy apples!  The classes are at Central Markets in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio.  Visit here to find a cooking class near you. (Register soon because some of the locations are almost full.)

Now that I've share information about Envy apples and the upcoming cooking classes, let me share a recipe!

Recipe: Apple​ ​&​ ​Bacon​ ​Corn​ ​Fritters​ ​with​ ​a​ ​Habanero​ ​Honey​ ​Glaze 
Makes​ ​about​ ​10​ ​corn​ ​fritters

For​ ​the​ ​fritters:
  • 6​ ​slices​ ​bacon,​ ​cooked​ ​and​ ​rough​ ​chopped 2​ ​cups​ ​apples,​ ​small​ ​diced
  • 3⁄4​ ​cup​ ​all​ ​purpose​ ​flour
  • 1⁄2​ ​cup​ ​cornmeal
  • 2​ ​tsp​ ​baking​ ​powder
  • 2​ ​tsp​ ​kosher​ ​salt
  • 3⁄4​ ​cup​ ​whole​ ​milk
  • 1​ ​egg,​ ​whisked

For​ ​the​ ​honey​ ​glaze:
  • 1⁄4​ ​cup​ ​honey
  • 1​ ​habanero,​ ​seeds​ ​and​ ​stem​ ​removed,​ ​cut​ ​in​ ​half

Will​ ​need:
  • A​ ​slotted​ ​spoon
  • 1​ ​large​ ​container​ ​canola

How​ ​To:
  1. Heat​ ​a​ ​medium​ ​sized​ ​pot​ ​of​ ​canola​ ​oil​ ​to​ ​350​ ​degrees​ ​and​ ​heat​ ​your​ ​oven​ ​to​ ​250​ ​degrees​ ​to keep​ ​batches​ ​of​ ​fritters​ ​warm.
  2. In​ ​a​ ​small​ ​bowl,​ ​microwave​ ​honey​ ​and​ ​habanero​ ​for​ ​15​ ​seconds.​ ​​​Allow​ ​to​ ​steep​ ​while​ ​frying​ ​off fritters.
  3. Stir​ ​together​ ​all​ ​ingredients​ ​for​ ​fritters​ ​until​ ​well​ ​combined​ ​and​ ​no​ ​clumps
  4. Using​ ​a​ ​large​ ​spoon,​ ​drop​ ​a​ ​dollop​ ​of​ ​batter​ ​into​ ​the​ ​oil​ ​and​ ​allow​ ​to​ ​get​ ​dark​ ​golden​ ​brown​ ​on both​ ​sides.​ ​You​ ​can​ ​do​ ​a​ ​tester​ ​to​ ​make​ ​sure​ ​the​ ​batter​ ​is​ ​cooked​ ​all​ ​of​ ​the​ ​way​ ​to​ ​the​ ​center. Remove​ ​fritter​ ​to​ ​a​ ​paper​ ​towel​ ​lined​ ​plate​ ​to​ ​drain​ ​excess​ ​oil.
  5. Repeat​ ​with​ ​rest​ ​of​ ​batter​ ​and​ ​keep​ ​first​ ​batches​ ​of​ ​fritters​ ​warm​ ​by​ ​placing​ ​on​ ​a​ ​sheet​ ​tray​ ​in​ ​the warm​ ​oven.
  6. Once​ ​all​ ​fritters​ ​fried​ ​off,​ ​drizzle​ ​with​ ​spicy​ ​honey​ ​glaze​ ​and​ ​serve​ ​immediately.
  7. Batter​ ​can​ ​be​ ​kept​ ​in​ ​refrigerator​ ​for​ ​1-2​ ​days,​ ​but​ ​make​ ​sure​ ​to​ ​stir​ ​batter​ ​well​ ​each​ ​time.
We hope that you have the opportunity to try Envy apples! We also hope that you visit Central Market for a cooking class with Envy apples. If you happen to attend the Dallas location on Weds., January 15, 2019, we will see you there! Of course, all of the locations are fabulous and will offer a memorable experience.  Learn more here.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Recipe: Cacao Cashew Chia Pudding

Recipe: Cacao Cashew Chia Pudding

1. Soak the Navitas Organics Cashews in water overnight. 

2. Drain the cashews and then add them with all of the other ingredients to a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth.

3. Refrigerate for a few hours and then serve.  

4. Optional: Sprinkle with  Navitas Organics CashewsNavitas Organics Maca Maple Cashews, and/or Navitas Cacao Help Almonds.

Notes from the Chef: We love this vegan recipe for Cacao Cashew Chia Pudding because it is thick, creamy, and satisfies our chocolate cravings while providing a good source of fiber and protein.  You'll also notice that we featured Navitas Organics products.  This is because good quality ingredients make a big difference in this recipe. Thanks to Navitas Organics for sending us sample products!

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Thursday, January 10, 2019

The 2019 Girl Scout Cookies are Here & We Have the Details!

The 2019 Girl Scout Cookies are here! This is one of my favorite times of the year because it's wonderful to see people supporting the entrepreneurial spirit of young girls, especially here in Texas! In today's post, I'll share some details about the benefits of supporting the girls, tell you about the 2019 Girl Scout Cookie lineup, and share a link so that you are able to search for a Girl Scout Cookie Booth near you!

Let's start with the benefits.  The Girl Scout Cookie Program provides financial support to Girl Scouts. When you buy cookies, you help to support their activities which may include a variety of things such as STEM activities, leadership activities, or other skill-based activities with their local troops. In some cases the funds even support sending the girls to camps!  Of course, there is so much more to it on a personal level. Girls view themselves as entrepreneurs. They may think about their business strategy and put many hours into their cookie sales which may provide confidence and foster their interests in business pursuits. They see outcomes!  Hard work translates to success which is a real motivator for many girls.  When you buy a box of cookies for just $4, you add to their numbers and contribute to their success.  Many small acts of kindness to support the girls add up quickly! I read that over half (53 percent) of female entrepreneurs and business owners are Girl Scout alums – like local business owners Andrea Meyer of Bisous Bisous P√Ętisserie and Nina Vaca of Pinnacle Group – supporting Girl Scouts as they make sales and learn essential business skills is imperative to ensuring our country has a strong workforce and economy.   

The 2019 Girl Scout Cookies include:
  • Trefoils
  • Do-si-dos
  • Samoas
  • Thin Mints
  • Savannah Smiles
  • Tagalongs
  • S'mores
  • Toffee-tastic (gluten free)

If you would like to support Girl Scouts in Texas,  find a local cookie booth near you by visiting https://www.texascookietime.org/ or use the official Girl Scout Cookie Finder app, free on iOS and Android devices. 

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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

We Visited ICE! at the Gaylord Texan and It's Amazing! #VisitICE2018 #ChristmasAtGaylordTexan

ICE! at the Gaylord Texan is now open for the holiday season. In today's post, I'll share a quick glimpse into the trendy activities that are sure to create happy family memories. I'll also share a 40% off coupon for ICE! at the Gaylord Texan!  (Don't worry, I'll only share a couple of photos from ICE! to give you an idea of what to expect, but I won't share too many that spoil your experience.)

The Gaylord Texan is located in Grapevine, TX.  Grapevine is known as the Christmas Capital of Texas because there are many over-the-top holiday activities.  Of course, the Gaylord Texan is an iconic part of the Christmas Capital of Texas. Let's start with some stats - Christmas By the Numbers at the Gaylord Texan:

  • 12 lanes of snow tubing
  • 19,500 gingerbread kits
  • 9-degrees inside of the 17,500 sq. ft ICE! tent
  • 2 million twinkling lights
  • 75 Christmas trees
  • 15,000 sparkling ornaments
  • 5,600 feet of garland
  • 40 ice carvers from Harbin China to create the ice sculptures for ICE!
  • 10 ice carvers from Harbin China that maintain the ice sculptures for ICE! throughout the holiday season
  • 2,000,000+ pounds of hard-carved ice
The numbers tell part of the story of Christmas at the Gaylord Texan! Experiencing it in person and immersing yourself into the holiday spirit with your family will create happy memories that you'll always treasure.  Their attention to detail on everything from decorations to activities will make your experience extra special. 

These are the Gaylord Texan holiday activities with prices for 2018:

ICE! at the Gaylord Texan featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 

  • Value Days - Adult $22.99, Senior $20.99, Child (4-11) $13.99, Military ID $19.99
  • General Admission - Adult $29.99, Senior $27.99, Child (4-11) $17.99, Military ID $26.99; 
  • Peak Pricing - Adult $32.99, Senior $29.99, Child (4-11) $19.99, Military ID $29.99; 
  • Children 3 & under - Free throughout the season. 
  • Coupons - See the exclusive 40% off coupon for our readers below.

Note that ICE! also includes a trendy slide area that is included in the price! This ice slide rocked my toddler's little world. 

Santa's Snow Throw ($9.99 per bucket of 12 snowballs)

Gingerbread Decorating Corner (Family Kit $29.99, Snowman Kit $29.99, House Kit $49.99, Combo Kit $68.99)

Mrs. Claus' Christmas Traditions ($19.99 per child)

On the Blocks ICE Bar ($15 per person, plus upgrades available)

Reindeer Games Scavenger Hunt ($12 per booklet)

Ice Skating ($17.99 for skate rental & unlimited skate time)

Rudolph's Holly Jolly Breakfast (Adults $39.99, Children (4 to 11) $24.99)

Build-A-Bear Workshop (Price varies based on items selected)

Photos with Santa (Packages start at $30)

Holiday Escape Rooms (Adults $25, Children (9 and under) $15)

Christmas Carousel ($4.99/person)

Christmas Brunch (Adults $75, Children (5-12) $29)

Mardi Gras New Years Eve at the Glass Cactus Nightclub ($35 General Admission, plus VIP tables available)

Snow Tubing (Starting at $19.99 for unlimited rides; peak pricing applies on certain dates)

As you may see from the Christmas By the Numbers and the list of activities, the Gaylord Texan is the ultimate Christmas destination.  Their elaborate set of activities and attention to detail is truly amazing.   We hope that your family is able to visit this holiday season!  If you book your visit early, take advantage of this 40% off coupon for ICE! at the Gaylord Texan. Use code TRENDYMOM as shown below.

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It's Summer Year-Round at Epic Waters in Grand Prairie!

I've been complaining about the cold weather, but something EPIC just happened -- I found an 86-degree oasis in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro where it is summer year-round.  This fabulous oasis is called Epic Waters and is located in Grand Prairie, TX.  Epic Waters completely understands me -- this indoor waterpark is 86-degrees (right now - in November!) and includes a combination of energetic activities such as the Flow Rider where you get to boogie board on an everlasting wave and more relaxing activities such as a lazy river. There is something for everyone! Let me share an overview.

I think that the term oasis is appropriate here, because the Epic Waters facility is the largest indoor waterpark under a single retractable roof in North America. 

During winter, the interior is climate-controlled. For instance, I learned that it was 86-degrees today. It hasn't even been opened for a full year yet, but the park has garnered accolades from the Travel Channel, USA Today, and the World Waterpark Association, as well as visitors from around Texas, across the nation and around the world.  

As a Boy Mom, I was excited to start Thanksgiving break with activities to promote physical activity. My children played hard and then came home and took a nap. It was sweet to see them exhausted from their fun day!  Here are some of the fun water attractions.

Let's start with the Rio Grand - a 600-foot lazy river which happens to be the longest indoor lazy river in Texas! My children went around the lazy river multiple times. It was fun to hear them exclaim, "Let's go around one more time!"

The Rascal's Round-Up is a children's area that is equipped with an aquatic fort, geysers, a giant tipping bucket, water guns, slides, and more.  Racal's Round-Up rocked my toddlers little world!

There are plenty of water slides for older kids and adults. Epic Waters offers three "first in industry" slides, including The LassoLoop, the Yellow jacket Drop, and the Aquanaut. Thrill seekers will have a blast!

We had a blast (pun intended!) on the FlowRider® surfing simulator. It was a good workout and a lot of fun.

We enjoyed lunch in our cabana. They have a variety of items at the Hungry Wave Cafe. For instance, our meals are shown below. We recommend ordering a few different meals and sharing with each other in order to enjoy the variety.  There is also a full-serve bar - Longboards.

Everything was delicious, but the pulled pork was my favorite.

After lunch, we enjoyed the 45-game arcade. It was the perfect ending to our visit!

While we visited as a family, Epic Waters is also available for birthday parties, church youth group events, overnight events, corporate events, and more. Holiday activities are planned throughout November and December - including a Breakfast with Santa and a family-friendly, all night New Year's Eve party! 

Now that I shared our highlights, let me share a few more details with important things that you will want to know before you visit.

Epic Waters is located at: 2970 Epic Place/Grand Prairie/75062. You can find driving directions here. Nearby landmarks include a Restoration Hardware distribution facility and a police/fire facility.  Epic Waters is owned by the City of Grand Prairie - learn more here.

Parking is free: that's right - FREE! In fact, an enthusiastic employee drove us from our car to the facility in a golf cart. He also picked us up to return us to our car.  

It's free to borrow life jackets and inner tubes: parents are sure to appreciate that there aren't hidden fees!

Cabanas are available for rent. We had a lovely cabana that overlooked the lazy river!

Lockers are available to rent. They are a generous size. 

No hotel stay is required. Most indoor waterparks in Texas are at hotels and require you to stay overnight at the hotel in order to use the waterpark.  Those of us North Texans who can't take the cold anymore are in luck because Epic Waters allows day pass visitors!  They even sell season passes for locals.  Of course, if you are from out-of-town, there are also nearby hotels.

Let me conclude by telling you about EpicCentral. Epic Waters is only one part of a development known as EpicCentral Grand Prairie, which is also home to The Epic, a 120,000 square-foot fitness, arts and entertainment destination with programs and features for the whole family, including a million-dollar fitness facility, an interactive teen center, a theater (sponsored by Texas Trust), arts classrooms, a teaching kitchen outfitted by Ikea, private event areas and an outdoor concert space.  It just opened, so you'll definitely want to check it out. They offer both day passes and annual passes. 
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