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Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches, a Swineapple FAIL and Family


Despite the forecast, live like it's Spring.


Lilly Pulitzer

Did you miss me?

Did you even notice I missed a week? πŸ˜‚

The past 2 weeks have been filled with family, friends, and activity as it was… Spring break!

I am fortunate enough to have a BIL and SIL who are both teachers. Fortunate because we get to see them on almost all school breaks. Which means the Girls get to see most of their Cousins at least twice a year!

It was fabulous to see my Sis and my BIL! Even more fabulous to see SweetPea and CabbagePatch! It is so weird because the last time I saw CPatch she was a week old! She has change so much in just a short 2 months! Her little nose still wrinkles up into the cutest little cabbage face though πŸ’›. She is such a great eater and sleeper! She communicates so well and she is just such an easy baby! Unless of course you're the Auntie and you are left with all 4 girls and SBean wants to be a Butt Munch… Then she may cry a little LOT πŸ˜œ.




It was fabulous to see SweetPea as well! The Girls have not seen each other since last summer so there was a lot of catching up to do! They got along so well minus 2 cases of the "it's mine" and a little bit of bossiness πŸ˜‚. HBear really separated herself from the younger kids this visit. She didn't really have any interest in playing with the little kids and mostly wanted to help with the baby or sit with the adults. She's 4 years older than the rest of them and I completely understand as that was my place in the cousin chain as well. We went out for a Ladies night and included her and she was feeling very self-important LOL.

My SIL & JQ also came for a visit! We had not seen him since the summer either and man is he growing up fast! He is absolutely adorable and such a... boy! πŸ˜‚ SBean, SPea, and JQ you are all separated by 6 months… That seems huge right now but when they are all 15 and having a field day in our resort town each summer, I think the age thing won't matter at all LOL oh boy are we in trouble!

So, the weather was horrible and we had to spend a lot of time inside. However, this allowed us to just relax and catch up which sometimes is nice in itself. Of course the second night we were all having a few wobbly pops and my BIL mentioned the amazing Weber smoker that was still in its box in the garage. I reminded him that my MBesty and her family gave it to us for Christmas but we had not had a chance to test it out as of yet. As we had just purchased a side of pig the previous day and he noticed the smoker we came up with a great plan… let's smoke shit! Within minutes my Sis, the Queen of Crazy ideas, remember their last visit when we ended up in Seattle at a Blue Jays game after a night of bevies  
πŸ˜‚? 

Within minutes she had pintrested us up a recipe for a… SwineAppleWhat is a SwineApple you ask? Well let me tell you, a SwineApple is a pineapple hollowed out and stuffed with barbeque pork and then wrapped fully in bacon and smoked!

Doesn't that sound good?

Unfortunately because we sipped martinis throughout the day we did not get the SwineApples ready until way too late in the day. Therefore, Ninja and my BIL added extra chips to the smoker to try to cut the time down
 πŸ˜‚.  Don't do that. It does not work. Everything tasted like smoke! I can still smell smoke! The men had to take their clothes off at the door and hand them to me to wash because they reeked so badly. It was an epic SwineApple fail! πŸ˜‚

However, we spent hours on our SwineApples so I thought I would show you just in case you wanted to try it at home!







It was incredible;y HARD to hollow out the pineapples! That core is a bitch!

We used pork tenderloin instead of ribs.


 

My 1st attempt at wrapping it with the WORST bacon EVER!!!






So because that was such a FAIL I have decided to give you another recipe that turned out SOOOO much better than our SwineApples. This is the easiest and tastiest beef dip, EVER. Everything goes into a crockpot and then you add some crispy sautΓ©ed veggies and top a fresh bun with the whole shebang and then melt cheese on top! Easy peasy mac and cheesy!

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches
Adapted from Carlsbad Cravings

3lb stewing beef cup into small pieces
1/3 cup soy sauce
1cup Cola NOT diet
2 10.5 oz. cans beef consommΓ©
1/4 cup dry minced onions
1tablespoon beef bouillon
1teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf


6 French rolls or hoagie buns
1 1/2 cups cheese
1 tablespoon oil
1 pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped

Add top 13 ingredients to slow cooker.




Cook on LOW for 5-6 hours

Last few minutes add oil, peppers and onions to a pan and sautΓ©e for a few minutes.

When ready to serve, remove roast and strain fat from broth for dipping.

Split rolls and line the bottoms on a baking tray. Top each half with beef, onions, peppers and 1/4 cup cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F or until cheese is melted. Serve with reserved au jus.







HBear counted down the days until Spring Break. Not because she wanted 2 weeks off school but because she was so excited to have visitors! She decorated the whole house in a spring theme and made a list of all things she needed to do before they arrived. LOL I have no idea where she gets that from. πŸ˜³πŸ˜‚



The Girls enjoyed pottery camp on their first week of spring break. They also had some wonderful play dates! SBean had her PSBesty over for her very first play date with a school friend. HBear had her PSBesty over to make Girl Guide cookie sale posters and she also went on a fabulous bowling play date with one of her school Besty's 😊.



 

 






HBear got x-rays done at the dentist and it has been determined that she needs 4 teeth pulled 😬. SBean got a nice little bang trim and we had our first spring rainbow of the year! 🌈



Finally they got here! HBear fell in love instantly. This time SweetPea and SBean hit it off right away! When they entered the bedroom to play we were certain that we wouldn't see them for the rest of the week LOL.




 





We tried to get out as often as possible but the weather made it difficult. The first day that my SIL and JQ were here we all met at the park. The Girls had their stride bikes and their scooter out and JQ had no fear LOL he tried everything despite only having pink helmets to wear 😜.

 



 



 



 

 




Although I didn't do that much cooking, I managed to make a few of my favourites for our visitors. I made Sweet and Sour Chicken Thai Pomegranate Enchiladas and Thai Coleslaw, Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup, and I tried out a new recipe for Cheesy Beer Soup! It was phenomenal but I didn't take any pictures πŸ˜‚ so I will have to make it again I guess πŸ˜‰. The night I made enchiladas, Ninja also perfected his Sour Puss Martinis πŸ˜‚ it was quite obvious we were in trouble when my Sis tried to pick up the sour cream container… πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ in fact, I'm pretty sure that was the same night the SwineApple was invented πŸ˜‚


We also went to Tickleberries because when you are in the Valley you need to visit Tickleberries, it is a fabulous ice cream/fudge/local artisan shop in Okanagan Falls.




We played outside in between the downpours and spent a lot of time cuddling!

 





We also went to Jumping Beans CafΓ©! An indoor playground that the kids just love! It is a great space and all the adults can chat and have coffee while the kids play safely.










 



 

Seriously? Put the camera away! LOL

More cuddles and HBear became our official baby wearer πŸ˜‚.

 



 

I had a fundraiser for SBean's preschool planned and I invited my Sis, SIL and MIL to go with me to our Spring Paint Night! It was a ton of fun! It was hosted by the Nest and Nectar and they provided us with a fabulous poutine bar and one hand crafted cocktail on them! None of us are artists by any means LOL but it was a nice night out for a great cause!










While all of the ladies were out our men looked after the kids…



We took all the kids swimming and managed to poop them out even though they couldn't run and play outside.

 


We took our annual samesie T-shirt picture with the Girls. They just keep on getting bigger and bigger but cuter and cuter 😊. 




My BIL wanted to hit up the new brewery in town Highway 97 but the first time they tried it was closed so they went to The Cannery Brewing Company for a little taste test LOL. A few days later they finally made it to Highway 97!

 





Sis, SIL, HBear and I went to Beauty and the Beast! It was a total chick flick and HBear loved it!


One evening MBesty came over to play board games with us but apparently nobody wanted to take pictures πŸ˜‚. Telestrations and Taboo are 2 fabulously fun games if you are ever in the market for fun adult games!



The Girls woke up not feeling so hot one morning so we all just lazed around the house and decorated Easter egg cookies.





 

 


While we decorated cookies Ninja and my BIL decided to get in a quick round of golf! When they got home we played outside and did some bike maintenance.







For our last night together we all went to the Pasta Factory for dinner! The kids were super well behaved and we had a delicious dinner!





The next morning was time to say goodbye. I hate saying goodbye.




As soon as they pulled out of the driveway I opened up the Girl's bedroom door to get them dressed and realized that they had left SweetPea's pillow, cot, and favourite stuffy! πŸ˜‚


After lunch we went over to my in-laws for one last dinner with my SIL and JQ. We had a fabulous lasagna and it was so nice to get some one on one time with just them.




While everybody was here you would think it would've been easier for us to all compete in our step challenge against each other LOL but it turns out that when we're all together we are even more lazy than when we are all a part! I ended up somewhere in the middle of our challenge but I won my other one! Apparently if I'm not pushing them nobody gets pushed LOL. 


On our last weekend of spring break HBear and I sold Girl Guide cookies with her pack.



We also went to the park to pick Pussy Willows and up to visit Mom. I used to pick Pussy Willows for my Mom for Mother's Day when I was a kid. Apparently in Winnipeg, Pussy Willows bloom/blossom in May LOL but even with our terrible weather they are blooming here right now.

 

When we got home Ninja and SBean were in full outside cleanup mode. The sun was out and my sadness from my Sis leaving began to lift.


 


Even more so when we were setting up for podcasting that evening and SBean could not stay away from the microphone 🎀🎢. She took one look at it and said, "I was born for this!" πŸ˜‚. She sang the song she is learning for for musical theatre class, Put on a Happy Face. It is absolutely freaking adorable when a 4-year-old sings a classic 😊.




We put out our 9th episode of How Was Your Week, Honey? this past week! We got a ton of fabulous feedback from our two-parter the previous week. Who knew date night could be so much fun? 😜


As we all know it was April Fools' Day on Saturday. I am normally not a huge April Fools' Day jokester but apparently HBear is 😳. When I went to bed Saturday night I pulled back the covers and found this… πŸ˜‚


Sunday was the last day of spring break. We went to the park and went to Canadian Tire to buy Ninja a new bike. His got stolen at the end of last year so for Christmas he received a few gift cards to buy himself a new bike. He picked out a beautiful one! We are excited to get the family bike rides started!

 


To cap off our spring break Ninja took the Girls to Boss Baby. Apparently it was funny but I have to say, you would've had to pay me to watch it πŸ˜‚.




And perhaps the biggest news of the week is… the Edmonton Oilers made the freaking NHL playoffs for the first time in 11 years! We are so excited! Ninja is so excited that I honestly don't think he'll make it through the first round πŸ˜‚.



On a sad note one of my BFFs from my childhood lost her father this past week. It was very sudden and she is left with a lot to clean up. Her and I have not been close for years but hearing this was like a knife to the heart. I never know what to say in times like this. However, I feel is so important to know that there is help out there. There are people out there that know how you feel and are there for you. My friend is one tough cookie and I know asking for help has never been her strong point so I sent her a message. Normally I wouldn't post this kind of stuff but I think these are wise words for anyone who has lost a parent and is feeling alone. 

You aren't.

I "know" a lady in the Podcasting world and I mentioned that I had lost my Mom in 1 of our podcasts. Later she talked about The Club. I never thought about it that way but once I did I suddenly felt a bit better.

This is what I wrote…

Hey,

WpgBesty told me what happened. That is fucking bullshit.

I am very sorry to welcome you to the club. It's a shitty club to be in but the perk is that we all have each other's back. No one understands what it's like to lose a parent except for those of us that have. Those of us that will never get to say sorry ever again or make it up to them for all the shit we put them through. Those of us that will never get the apologies from them that we thought would come in time. Nobody will understand your anger, helplessness, and sadness like another member of this tragic club. We will understand you when you realize that one of the 2 pieces of history that made you you is no longer there. That one of the people, for better or for worse, that made you who you are won't be there to pass your stories down to your children. That your children will just know him through memories. I am not going to tell you a lie like everybody else will… It doesn't get better in time… More questions come with more time. It gets easier but it will never get better.

It's a shitty club. But there are a lot of us in it. Please don't hesitate to reach out to a member. Whether it be me or Dana or anybody else… We are at tight club and we understand each other. Even if you just want to rant, or cry, or throw questions out into the universe... please do it because we know some of what you are feeling.

Take care and please know that I'm thinking of you and your family and pushing healing thoughts your way. You guys are always in my heart and the thought of you dealing with all this shit makes me very sad.

L. O. V. E

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