Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Tales of The Traveling Totes #27



Welcome to our June 2021 Tales of the Traveling Tote adventure. 
Join all of our lovely ladies to see where there totes 
have gone in the past couple of months.  It is summer, and it 
comes and goes so quickly, so I hope you have some fun things planned. 


 
As you know Miss Madi K and I have traveled back and forth 
to Cabo quite a bit this past year, as our house down there 
got finished, so this was the first trip we did besides Cabo.

Our 42nd anniversary was coming up in May and we 
decided to return to the Atlantis in the Bahamas to celebrate.  
As my Lunch Bunch friends and I were planning out our year 
of fun, someone mentioned going to the Atlantis. 
 Not everyone had been, and one lady 
had only stopped there on a cruise, so we decided to 
join our trip with theirs.  One of the five couples couldn't 
make the trip because of a death in the family, so we 
were a party of 8. 


We think the place is just magical in every way, inside and out, 
and they had a bonus of newly remodeled rooms in the 
Royal Towers.  Miss Madi K and I are checking out the 
reception area, which just takes your breath away.


Looking down from the foyer you can see window after 
window of their aquariums, which are called The Dig.  


You enter The Dig and are transported in a 
Disney-style experience as if you are part 
of the archeological dig to uncover the 
lost city of Atlantis, complete with sounds 
of archeologists digging.  



The aquariums are massive and you can even arrange 
for an opportunity to snorkel in them.  The tunnels of 
The Dig  are fun to walk through both day and night, 
and on occasion you may see a diver in amongst 
the fish.  


This iconic temple at Atlantis houses several slides.
Two of them go through shark tanks.  Don't worry, 
you are well protected in a plexiglass tube. 

The pools are open every day, but with Covid, the slides 
alternated days, except on the weekends.  
We were there for a week so that worked well for us.  
We weren't sure about how many restaurants would 
be open, but there were plenty to choose from between 
the resort and their Marina Village.  


We all love the ocean, pools, slides, sun and good eating, 
so the Atlantis is a perfect place for us.  

The weather looked like we might have thunderstorms 
every day, but we ended up having perfect weather.  I 
threw in a couple of decks of cards because I was 
worried about the weather, and we ended up playing 
King's Court every night.  We also ended up at the 
Ben and Jerry's store every night.  


They have a beautiful beach beyond their multiple pools.  
The water was incredibly warm so we were able to 
have fun playing and swimming in it.  I am cold blooded, 
so I don't like to play in the ocean if it is too cold. 


One of our favorite things was eating poolside.  These 
amazing shrimp were a dish they served at the pool.  Again, 
we didn't know if they would have food at the pool, as 
my friend had gone to Hawaii and their pool and hotel 
had no food.  They went across the street to an ABC 
store for breakfast and lunch!!  We were thrilled with 
the food and variety that were available.  Of course, we 
didn't know for sure, so we all brought snacks in our 
suitcases.  


Behind us is the Royal Towers section of the hotel.  We 
were on the 18th floor, the top floor of our section and 
had amazing views of the entire property and ocean. 

Because of Covid restrictions we ended up not leaving 
the resort.  We were required to get an additional 
Covid test at day 5 free of charge, but that wouldn't 
cover our required test for our flight home.  The kind 
lady at reception said they would give us a one day 
grace period, so we used that and were able to use 
that test for returning to the United States.  To leave the 
property and go into town you needed a current negative 
test which we had the last two days of our trip, but 
everyone said the town was only half open with no cruise 
ships coming into port, so we didn't mind staying on the 
property.  


Give me sun, water, food, friends and of course my 
dear husband and I am one happy lady.  And that 
Miss Madi K is sure one spoiled lady - she gets 
to come along everywhere!

Happy 42nd anniversary honey.  


All in all, it was a marvelous anniversary with 
wonderful friends in a very magical place.  

The Bahamians are some of the friendliest 
people I have ever met, and they were so thrilled 
to be able to work again.  They made us feel so welcome.  

We all agreed we will have to make this trip again.  

Now for the MacKenzie-Childs giveaway:


Ricki Jill and the Countess de Monet
at The Sketchy Reader are giving away this adorable MC 
light switch.  The giveaways are always so cute, 
I always wish I could win.  

Visit the rest of our ladies to see where they 
have been off to this quarter.  I know a lot of travel 
has been opening up, so it should be fun.  

Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 

Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box  
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader
Cherry Kay and Carrie Ann Hall @ Entertaining Women 

And then see how we enjoyed those short summer months, 
when we have another edition of Tales of the Traveling Tote 
in September. 


 




Monday, March 15, 2021

Chocolate Semifreddo and a Winner


If you have been with me for years and years 
you will remember that we went to visit 
my husband's cousin in Bologna, Italy.  

My daughter had just finished culinary art 
school and she came with us.  His adorable 
cousin set up an opportunity to have two 
beautiful ladies, one a countess, teach us 
some cooking classes in her home. 


(Me, Victoria, Kirk's cousin Tonya, Antonella and my daughter Amanda)

We began the adventure by going shopping 
at the small local stores with them and then 
on to cooking.  For dessert they taught us 
a semi-freddo, which is a creamy half frozen 
dessert, almost like a frozen mousse. 

Click here to see that post. 

I started that post by saying Bologna is known as 
"The Fat One" because foods from Bologna are 
rich, and semifreddo certainly qualifies for that.

I hadn't made it again until we recently 
went to a restaurant and ordered it for dessert.  Each bite was so creamy and delicious that I decided I hadto go home and make some.  


At the restaurant they offered a slice of white 
chocolate semifreddo and a slice of chocolate 
semifreddo.  I decided to make just a chocolate 
and to serve it in individual dishes rather than 
a traditional loaf pan since I didn't have one 
here in Cabo.

I found a fabulous recipe from Family Style Food
and we have made it three times now!  
(Covid pounds!!!)



I made a few slight changes to her 
recipe for ease and considering what 
ingredients I had.  I also divided it into 
6 individual dishes instead of 4.   This is the most 
luxuriant dessert ever and not difficult even 
though there are a few steps.  It also lasts well 
in the freezer so you can take one out later and 
indulge again and again.

Chocolate Semifreddo Recipe

Crumble one and a half Oreo cookies per small 
serving dish and divide into six dishes. 

2 T. plus 1/4 C. sugar
1/4 C. water
1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 T. cocoa powder (sifted)
4 egg yolks
1 C. whipping cream
3/4 C. mascarpone cheese

Place the 2 T. sugar and 1/4 C. water into a small 
saucepan and heat until the sugar has dissolved.  
Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips 
and cocoa powder.  Stir until smooth.  

Remove the melted chocolate to a large bowl 
and allow it to cool for about ten minutes.  

Place the egg yolks in a mixing bowl with the 
remaining 1/4 C. sugar and beat with the whisk 
about 5 minutes until it becomes light and forms 
a ribbon.  


Fold the egg mix into the chocolate until well blended.  

Wash and dry the mixer bowl and whisk and 
then add the whipping cream and mascarpone cheese 
and beat until soft peaks form.  Gently fold the 
chocolate mixture into the cream until it is 
well blended.  Spoon into your dessert dishes or 
a loaf pan, if you prefer. 

Freeze for at least 4 hours until firm.  Garnish with 
whipped cream and chocolate shavings and a 
little raspberry sauce if desired.  


It should be served semi frozen, so remove it from the 
freezer for a few minutes before you eat it. You can 
unmold it or just eat it straight from the bowl - we 
started to just eat it from the bowl - drawing a line 
through the center so we could share it - haha!  

Amazing - wow your friends and family or just 
yourself with this one.  

Now to the winner of our MacKenzie-Childs giveaway 

was chosen randomly and 
is the winner of the beautiful tea towel. 
 She told me she doesn't often comment, 
so it was a good thing 
she did this time!  Congratulations!

Monday, March 1, 2021

Another Tale of the Traveling Totes and a Giveaway


Miss Madi K and I want to welcome you on another 
adventure of Tales of the Traveling Totes as our 
group of MacKenzie-Childs loving women take 
you along with our totes to places near and far!
This is our 26th trip of fun.  I feel so lucky to 
be a part of this great group of women.  

Stay with me to the end to enter our 
quarterly giveaway.  Leave a comment on 
my blog to enter, as I am in charge of the 
giveaway this time!


Today is a real adventure as I take you out into 
the desert of San Jose del Cabo.  
Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo 
are called Los Cabos - two neighboring cities, 
and if you fly in, you actually fly into San Jose 
del Cabo and drive for 35 minutes to reach 
Cabo San Lucas.  Now we are heading back that 
direction and going out into the middle of 
nowhere - really - to have an amazing experience. 


We are headed to Acre (ah-cray) for a 
farm to table experience, and here the farm is, 
the cattle were just along the side of the dirt 
road on our way there.  (They have been 
wandering the roads by the airport the 
last two times too! 
I just love cultural experiences.)


We had heard about this farm to table experience from 
my friend's daughter, who had gone here on a 
business trip.  We looked it up and decided we weren't 
that interested, but residing here for quite a while 
this winter, hubby and I decided we wanted to try 
something new. 


So we got dressed up, and off we traveled 
to the middle of nowhere - only getting lost 
using GPS for a few turns - sometimes GPS 
can't navigate in undeveloped areas. 


We had been to a similar farm to table experience 
at Flora Farms, and had we known it was literally 
right next door, we would have had an easier time 
finding the place.  We wanted to arrive while it was 
still daylight so we could have a tour around the 
25 acre property. 


They kindly take you around the property in a golf cart, 
and imagine our surprise when after we have passed 
vegetable gardens, rescued animals, mango groves, etc. 
when we walk down paths to the restaurant that 
turns the desert into a literal jungle.  I felt we 
had been transported to a tropical botanical 
garden with palms and plants that I had 
never seen before.  


Tucked in along the path to the restaurant are 
tree houses that you can stay in.  You can barely 
see the treehouses with all of the lush vegatation - 
follow the path to the black poles and look up!


Now that sounds exotic!

We were told the property was purchased in 2012, and 
the lush jungle was planted in 2014 - so six years 
later it has gone from that sandy desert you saw in the 
first pictures to a dense jungle.


This is a huge upgrade from Flora Farms, 
where you sit at picnic tables.  It was so beautiful 
and lush and romantic. 


We started with sparkling limades.  We got the 
rose from a vendor at a stoplight before 
we got off on the dirt road.  He only wanted 
a dollar, so we bought one.  


I love the embroidered napkins - everything 
was just top notch. 


Everyone begins with this herbed bread 
that comes with a spicy eggplant spread.  
Talk about presentation!  


I also ordered their cheddar biscuits - 
literally a pocket of melted cheese inside. 
I probably didn't need that much bread, 
but we really enjoyed both. 


There are beautiful peacocks wandering the grounds, 
and he happened to pass right by our table.  


As the sun started to go down, Miss Madi K 
happily held my hat, my wrap and my rose. 


I ordered the burrata appetizer, but honestly, 
with the breads and the size of the burrata and 
fresh tomatoes and greens, I shouldn't have 
had anything else.  It was beautiful and delicious. 


Kirk ordered this pear and gorgonzola salad 
which was also huge and amazing. 


At that point we should have just moved 
on to dessert, but since we had more 
food coming....  We have both been taking 
photos of food long before I ever started blogging.  
It is such a big part of our life and adventures, 
so I thought this captured his love for food 
photos just as much as mine! 

I ordered brussels sprouts and they were topped 
with sugared nuts and seeds and it was more 
like a dessert than anything.  It was amazing.  
The beautiful girl who had taken us on our 
tour had recommended it, saying that she 
didn't even like brussel sprouts, but this was a 
must try.  She was right.


Although Kirk was full by now too, he had ordered 
a lobster salad.  It was so fresh and light and it 
was a piece of art, that we both enjoyed it  


Our peacock decided to get a great view of 
everyone enjoying their evening as he hopped
 up onto the roof.  It was magical seeing the 
lights begin to turn on creating an even more 
romantic setting.  


The evening sky was spectacular in one direction, 


while in the other direction we spied a 
full moon through the vegetation. 


I know, we were too full, but there is something 
magical about dessert - it just kind of fills in 
the cracks.  This Frozen Key Lime pie with a 
smidge of meringue was out of this world. 


Then it is more magical as you walk back down 
the paths to your car. That Miss Madi K was 
a lucky girl to get invited along on such a 
magical adventure!

I immediately texted my friend and told her 
we had made a mistake by not going there - 
next time!!!

Now for the fun giveaway! 
I am hosting the giveaway 
this month.  I always love the 
MacKenzie-Childs gifts we give 
each time and wish I could win - haha.



Leave a comment below and the winner 
will be randomly chosen and announced.  
Good luck!  I just love giveaways, and 
we don't have as many in the blogosphere 
as we used to! 

Visit all of our TTT friends to see where 
they were off to this quarter.  I love seeing 
a lot of the fun places they get to.  

Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 

Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box  
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader
Cherry Kay and Carrie Ann Hall @ Entertaining Women  

Join us June 1st for our next adventure of 
Tales of the Traveling Totes.  Hard to believe 
summer will be here that soon!


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