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Road Trip and Cheesy Corn and Smoked Paprika Risotto

There's an old saying in Tennessee, I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee that says, 'Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me... You can't get fooled again!’

George W.  Bush

Remember that time I took the kids on a road trip to Cochrane

Yeah, that was bad.

This year we decided to gang up on the Rugrats :) 

Ninja, Dad, the girls and I started our road trip with an AMAZING stop at The Enchanted Forest. I love that place! We stopped many times as children driving from Winnipeg to Penticton. When Ninja and I took our first trip out to BC, we of course had to stop as well, especially because Ninja had always wanted to go there :)

When my family stopped there when I was little, I actually got locked in the Jack & Jill outhouses on top of the hill! I am super serious. It was terrifying! LOL

When Ninja and I stopped I tried to get him to meet me on the hill for a little “tumble” LOL but he absolutely would NOT! LOL

This time there were no shenanigans at the Jack and Jill hill… just a ton of enchantment as the girls raced to each fairy tale! The rain held out until we were almost done but even when the skies opened and it began to pour, the HUGE cedars kept us dry. It was gorgeous!

After that, the kids were tired and ready to watch some movies and read some books!

When we got to my Sis’s house it was empty. The whole family was at my Cousin’s rehearsal dinner. My Cousin was about to marry her Prince Charming J We were so excited to travel to Calgary to see them exchange vows. Even more exciting. my Sis and SweetPea were in the wedding party!

At the Rehearsal Dinner
The next morning we were up early! We asked Ninja's Aunts to watch the girls for the night while we attended the wedding. We wanted to get in some  time with them so we stopped at Superstore to pick up fresh buns and lunch meat for lunch. It was miserable out so while I waited for Ninja to come get me. I sat inside. 

Now, I’m just going to say it… Some people are so inconsiderate.

I watched people leaving the store. 9 times out of 10 people walked out the door and stopped. Directly in the middle of the doorway! The next people would run into them and then glares would ensue. Each person leaving thought they were more special than the last. They all had to stop and get the car started, unlock the doors, check their phones! Pathetic, nobody thought about the people behind them. Nobody thought about anything but themselves. It was very disheartening to say the least. Thank goodness our visit was so nice that it quickly put this revelation out of my mind.

Ninja’s Aunts are really the most generous women I have ever met. Ninja's cousin DiamondDave even came out for a visit! 

After our lunch and visit, we were off to the wedding… sans kids!

****I cannot figure out what is wrong with my formatting!!! I apologize for this section :)
I have a very hard time buying myself clothes. For my Cousin’s wedding I knew I needed a dress, and not a pilly, faded, not quite my size dress from a thrift shop. We went to Winners tocheck out the selection. Honestly, people were avoiding us because my children are so loud LOL SBean has no concept of  indoor voice, even when she's trying to be quiet she is still loud.HBear was all like "Mommy can I help you?"
What a joke. 
Sure HBear. 
"Mommy I don't think pink is your color maybe try this one. Mommy what size are you looking at? Oh I think you're bigger than that, maybe you should try one over here pointing tothe larges." Thank you HBear are a wonderful help. Ladies around us were trying to hold in their laughter as my 6-year old daughter loudly critiqued my weight, acne and taste!
While I was there we decide to look for a few back to school clothes for HBear. When I got tothe dressing room I had 6 items and HBear had 6 items. Do you think that they would let us into the same stall? 
Not a chance. 
I know that I've been complaining about the service here quite a
bit lately, perhaps it's because of the great service we had in Vegas and Seattle? But, all
I know is that people here do not want to help you.
The lady at the fitting rooms didn't even offer me the family room I had to pick my 6 items up HBear, SBean, Ladybug, 2 water bottles, 2 pairs of shoes, and a Leappad… to take them intothe smallest dressing room. Ever. I had a hard time spending money at that place after that debacle!
BUT, I did.
I was quite happy with my pick and when I started feeling guilt for buying it, I quickly texted Ninja and asked what an appropriate amount was to be spent on a new dress. 
He quickly replied “I don’t know? $200?” 
I was giddy because my guilt of spending $70 on the dress almost had me marching back into return it!
After Winners we went to Superstore. I made the fatal error of saying that we could get a cookie at the bakery if the girls were good. For the entire shopping trip SBean yelled,
"I am a good girl! I want to cookie! I will say thank you! Please!" 
Then I had to deal with the age old question, do I give her a cookie while acting this way?You bet I did!
Bad Mommy :(

The bride looked GORGEOUS and her new husband was the dapper gentleman of her dreams!

My Sis and the bride’s sister (my other cousin) were beautiful Maids and my SweetPea was a delightful little flowergirl :)

They got married at an elegant boutique hotel in downtown Calgary across from the Bow River. The staff was amazing (except for the Manager, she was horrible!) and they turned the main room into a timeless ceremony venue, a chic cocktail room, a fabulous dining room and a fun reception area to end the wonderful night!

My Aunt embroidered their Monogram on every table runner
All the flower were grown in my Aunt's garden and put together by family and friends
The menu was out of this world. Even the canapés were to die for! We started with beef tartar, salmon rolls and stuffed Caprese tomatoes!


For dinner we had amazing choices and EVERYTHING was delicious!

Their first dance was incredibly romantic. They did not take lessons. They sang to each while gazing into each other’s eyes! So beautiful J They have ridiculously great taste in music and they made the playlist for the entire night. Their first dance was a rendition of The Black Keys.

All in all it was an amazing way to start off our week long vacation. I was able to visit with family I hadn’t seen in years and family that I just don’t get to see enough. The food, the venue, the details and the company all made for a day that we will all remember and look back on as day of love and happiness J

While we were partying it up… the girls were having a BLAST with the Aunts! SweetPea joined the girls after the ceremony and pictures. They had dinner, fed River, watched a movie, did crafts AND baked cinnamon buns! When we picked them all up in the morning they were given Goodybags with the crafts they did, the baked goods they made, and a new book to savor. Really? Truly!

We are so blessed to have such amazing women in our family. We cannot tell you or them how thankful we are for their help and for making their evening such a great time!

All of the wedding guests stayed at the hotel and some people enjoyed coffee on their deck while gazing out at the Calgary skyline.

I was not 1 of those people! I spent my night hanging my head in a very elegant toilet bowl. Honestly. I had 4 glasses of wine, that’s all! Boooooo I so wanted a chance to bathe in that amazing tub L Well, there is always next time LOL

The Bride’s family, my Uncle & Aunt had the entire family for brunch, although we had visited the previous night, it was great to see everyone under less formal circumstances. HBear had been quite perturbed by the fact that she wasn’t allowed to go to the wedding PLUS she had set her sights on the Groom many years before and was quite heartbroken by the fact that he had married another LOL so being invited to the brunch satisfied her need to be included LOL

And that is just the beginning Folks! This week I will have stories from the rest of our trip, getting ready for school AND yummy recipes so STAY TUNED!

We had 3 cobs of Taber corn left from the Cochrane Market so I made a delicious Risotto!

Cheesy Corn and Smoked Paprika Risotto

1 cup arborio rice
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 cup grated Italian cheese
2-3 ears of corn, roasted and cut off the cob
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
salt, to taste

Heat the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan, then lower the heat so that the stock just stays hot.

In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the chopped onion and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until it is slightly translucent.

Add the rice to the pan and stir it so that the grains are coated with the oil and butter. Sauté for another minute or so, until there is a slightly nutty aroma. But don't let the rice turn brown.

Add the wine and cook while stirring, until the liquid is fully absorbed.

Add a ladle of hot stock to the rice and stir until the liquid is fully absorbed. When the rice appears almost dry, add another ladle of stock and repeat the process. *It's important to stir constantly!

Continue adding ladles of hot stock and stirring the rice while the liquid is absorbed. As it cooks, you'll see that the rice will take on a creamy consistency.

When you have used ¾ of the stock, add the corn and half the paprika.

Continue adding stock, a ladle at a time, for 20-30 minutes or until the grains are tender but still firm to the bite, without being crunchy. 

Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, and the cheese, season to taste with salt and remaining paprika.



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