Friday, July 29, 2022

August Happenings

     August is here and there are still hours of summer fun ahead.  Don't freak out about back to school, you can continue to soak up that summer fun, until the very last minute.  Here are a few things we found in our area that are going to keep you in the summer mood, until school starts.

    August 4 - The Hopkins County Hospital Foundation is hosting their annual Designers Handbag bingo.  

    August 4-7 JetTribe is hosting the Mid-America Championship on Coleman Lake in Sulphur Springs.  Bring a chair and something cool to drink to soak in all the Jet Ski fun.  Be sure to check out the vendors and food trucks during the event.  All the excitement starts at 10 am.

    August 5-7 Shinning Star Productions is putting on Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the High School auditorium.  Show times are at 7 pm Friday and Saturday night.  With a matinee show time on Sunday at 2pm. 

    August 5 & 12 - Will be the last two movie nights on the Square.  Bring your blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy the shows.

    August 5 - VR Social is having a "Half Moon Rising" viewing on the square.  Stay for the movie and enjoy an evening with friends and family.

August 5 & 6 - Main Street Theater is celebrating Movie Month Friday's at 6 pm and Saturday's at 2 pm with movies shown in the theater.  Grab your tickets and come to enjoy a classic.  

    August 12-13 - the Hunt County Horseman's Association will host their monthly show at the Civic Center.  

    August 18 - VR Social is hosting their Glow ride at 7:30 pm.  Grab your bike and light it up for this great event.

     Every Saturday night in August, enjoy the Celebration Market on the Square.  Join friends and family as they shop the vendors and listed to the music that is Live every weekend.  

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Let's Eat ~ Sakura



     When we ask the kids what they want to eat for dinner, if we give them option to eat out, the choice is usually between two spots.  Sakura is one of those spots my whole family enjoys dining at.  Sakura is a relatively new restaurant to the Sulphur Springs area.  They feature sushi and hibachi style meals.  There is something for everyone in our group to choose from, and the portions usually work out that no one goes home hungry.  They manage to satisfy the voracious appetite of the 16 year old.  

    We dropped in for lunch late this past week and were not disappointed at all by our service, or food.  Since my group was smaller we did order a little more food so that we could show a wider variety for this column.  

    We started our lunch off with some appetizer, spring rolls and fried stuffed avocado.  You can never go wrong with a stuffed avocado.  The creamy texture of the avocado, filled with crab and then fried.  Who could ask for a better combination.  Their spring rolls are also fried, with a crispy outer shell and filled with a good mix of vegetables and pork. 

    Each visit to any sushi style restaurant we always order a seaweed salad.  The tangy flavor mixed with the subtle sesame flavor make for a great combination.  Even the kids will chow down on this dish, so we usually pick up a few so everyone can share.  

    We ordered a couple of rolls for our main course and a bento box the the oldest since he eat so much food, he needed that extra bit the box provides.  With just the three of us, we almost had too much food but we managed to make it all disappear.  Those boys mush have been hungry. 

    If you have not yet managed to make it into Sakura, be sure to check them out.  You can order online and go in to pick up your order.  They have a good amount of seating inside for your group big or small.  They also carry a selection of wine and bottled beer to drink as well.  

    We hope you will stop in soon to visit this great, local find and enjoy a meal other than Tex-Mex.  Sayounara! 

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Travel East Texas ~ Eastern Kentucky


The kids atop Natural Bridge

     I know you might be thinking wait a minute I thought this was going to be about Texas.  I decided to change things up for this week and give a little recap on our adventure to Eastern Kentucky.  My husband has three sisters, two of which have children and we all gathered together over the Fourth of July holiday for a family vacation in the Red River Gorge area of Kentucky.  

natural bridge

    We had so much fun as a family, that I will highly recommend you plan a trip with your family to the area.  There is so much to see and do that you could stay busy your entire trip.  First off we stayed with the Red River Gorge cabin rentals. We chose to rent two cabins and split up the cousins, boys and girls.  This worked out prefect for our crew.  Be sure to read reviews before you rent, on Travelocity or Google to make sure your cabin will feature everything you are looking for.  

    One of our cabins was positioned above a small pond, which was great for the boys.  They fished, canoed, and swam in the pond when we were "home."  They loved it!  The pond made the trip so much more enjoyable for the kids.  

Rhododendron flower

      Each day we were away, we hiked one of the many trails available to hike.  The area is filled with native trees, plants and wildlife.  Since the area is formed around natural springs and rivers, there are rock formations that are pretty cool to behold.  Many natural bridges, caves and stone steps, can be found along different trails.  These stone arches are different than what you might find in Moab or Zion, since they are surrounded by forest, and not desert.  But they are just as beautiful to explore. 

In the Limestone mine

    We splurged on a group kayak tour in the underground, limestone quarry that filled with water when mine workers bored into an underground spring.  Kayaking around the abandoned and filled mine was a great experience.  Our guides were marginally entertaining but worth the experience.  The kayak company placed rainbow trout in the water to amaze the guests.  They also have certain areas of the mine lit underwater for guests to see just how deep the water is and so the trout would not go blind.  Be sure to grab a hoodie or pull over before hitting the water, since the mine stays a cool 55 degrees all year round.  

    If you don't want to be under ground you can also zip line through the gorge and see the forest from the sky.  Our cabin company provided a coupon code for both the zip line and the underground kayak tour, so be sure to look for those discounts where you can find them.  Both are amazing experiences, you just have to decide one or both.  

Hickory Tree Leaves

    We really enjoyed the Kentucky wilderness.  All of the trails we hiked were easy to follow and entertaining to walk.  I think besides the height and grandeur of the natural bridges, the kids really enjoyed our hike to Creation Falls.  The 1.5 mile loop, was the perfect distance to hike and the kids had a blast playing in the water.  The water was great!  Nice and cold, and moving at a pretty good pace.  They had recently had some rain which made the river flow faster.  This hike is worth the trip.  We packed a lunch and made a day of it on this trail.  

Creation Falls
    Overall if you are looking for a little outdoor family adventure, be sure to check out Eastern Kentucky.  The drive is worth the trip for a few days in the hills, exploring and hiking.  Be sure to check your hike guide to make sure everyone in your group can make the trek. Our easiest hike by far was Chimney Top.  This hike had little to no elevation change and was mostly paved.  This was in no way a drawback from the beautiful sight when we arrived at the end of the trail.  We would all go back again! 

This is the view of where we stood on Chimney Top

This is us at Chimney Top

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Herb Infused Cocktail ~ Strawberry Basil Lemonade


     This month we wanted to feature a drink that brought out a bit of the American spirit.  What shows that more than a Lemonade.  This light and easy summer drink can be made for one or twenty.  So grab your friends and blend it up, everyone is sure to like this cocktail.

    You can customize your drink to fit your taste.  How you make your lemonade will determine how your drink is flavored for you.  We like our homemade lemonade to be a little bit more tart than sweet, so we add a little less sugar than maybe you would like.  Customize your drink to your tastes, we give you the starting points and you can work from there.

    If you enjoy the taste of strawberries, add a few more to your drink to really bring out the flavor.  It is pretty easy to make it what you want for you and your guests.  The simplicity is the best part of this drink, but the flavor and easy of creation, it a crowd favorite.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade

3 Lemons

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup warm water

4 strawberries

1/8 cup fresh basil

2 ounces Vodka

    Squeeze your lemons directly into a pitcher or blender.  Add in the sugar and warm water.  Stir till the sugar is dissolved.  Add in the strawberries, basil and vodka.  Mix until everything is well blended.  Pour over a sugar rimmed glass of ice for a added touch.  Garnish with a small strawberry, and basil.  Or a small slice of lemon and basil.  Enjoy with friends responsibly.  

    I felt liked we over blended ours, I should have stopped a little sooner.  The use of an immersion blender could also help reduce the "foam," but I really wanted to have that basil broken up.  Although I was disappointed with the froth at the top of the cup.  I should have strained it better to get a prettier cup, but did not think of that until later.  Either way the drink was smooth and refreshing.  You could not really taste the vodka in this drink, so you know it was a good mix.  

    As always, you can make it a mocktail, by eliminating the vodka and just using the above ingredients for your strawberry lemonade.  I would say, this recipe could easily make for two people so make your adjustments for the number of people and enjoy!  Always have a designated driver.  Cheers!