Friday, January 25, 2013

Sweet Pepper Pesto Chicken Pasta

I was trying to think up a quick and easy recipe for dinner tonight.  We got back late yesterday afternoon from Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg Virginia and in less than 24 hours I have one sick teenager on my hands.  It has been just awful since 2:30 in the morning.  I got him to the doctor this morning and his blood pressure is low, body temp low and they suspect Norovirus.  :(  It has been a VERY long day.

While the punk kid probably won't eat dinner with the rest of us I did come up with a quick and tasty dish for the rest of us.  Sweet Pepper Pesto Chicken Pasta.  

Sweet Pepper Pesto
1lb bag mini sweet pepper medley (I used Pero Family Farms)
3/4oz container of fresh basil
2-4 garlic cloves (we LOVE garlic so I tend to go heavy on it in recipes)
1/2 c pine nuts
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
1/4 c olive oil (used a tad more for our desired consistency)
salt and pepper to taste

Penne Pasta (16 oz)
Tyson's Ready Grilled Chicken Strips (1/2 22oz bag) 

Prepare pasta according to package directions.  Defrost 1/2 bag chicken in microwave and then cut into bite size pieces.  Warm the chicken up in the microwave after defrosted and cut into pieces.

Once pasta is done, drain and place in large serving bowl.  Add warmed chicken pieces and sweeet pepper pesto and toss until well combined.  Top with a little extra parmesan cheese and serve family style.  

We had a Caesar Salad and oven toasted salt and pepper Italian Bread and it was definitely a winner!

I LOVE comments! Let me know what you think......

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Our Trip to Great Wolf Lodge - Meh....

Punk kid decided that he wanted to go to Great Wolf Lodge for his birthday treat this year. We had visited the one in Concord NC a few years back and had a WONDERFUL time.  This year we decided to go to Williamsburg VA.  I don't think any us will jump at the opportunity to go back to that particular one again.

Overall, the hotel was pretty run down, the staff (in all areas) was less than attentive, the life guards just seemed really pissed to be there and the food was absolutely disgusting and BEYOND expensive.

The waterpark was the reason for going though and the kids had a blast on all the slide and the FlowRider.  Magi Quest was a huge success as well as was Compass Quest.

If you are planning a trip to Great Wolf Lodge, any of them, keep in mind that they have mini refrigerators, microwaves and 4 cup coffee pots in the rooms.  Knowing that ahead of time, we loaded up of food to take with us.  As I had mentioned, the food at the hotel itself is outrageously expensive and just really nasty.  Here are a few things that we packed:

  • Instant Oatmeal
  • Prepared Microwaveable Items like Beefaroni, Ravioli, etc.
  • Jimmy Dean Sausage Biscuits
  • Deli Ham and Cheese for sandwiches as well as rolls
  • Microwave Popcorn
  • Tons of bottled water and Gatorade
  • Cups of Ramen Noodles.  We ran just water through the coffee pot to use as boiling water for the cups
  • Extra coffee and filters
Those are just a few of the items that we took and we are so glad we did.  The hotel had a Pizza Hut Express but it was only open on Monday.  We were there Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday so we thought it odd that it was only open on Monday.  They do have another pizza place on site which we did ended up using for lunch one afternoon.  We were able to get a 16in pepperoni pizza, 6 bread sticks (ew, they were awful), a prepackaged salad (which was the best part) and a 2 liter for about $30.  

The dinner buffet?  There was no way in hell that we were spending $19.99 for each of us for the buffet.  We perused the buffet and it looked just awful.  And, really, it is $19.99 for a 12 year old?  The kids really had wanted to eat in the hotel restaurant so we promised them that we would do the breakfast buffet instead.  What an incredible waste that was.  We spent $80 for the 4 of us to have breakfast.  Can you believe that?  Drinks were NOT included with the buffet which is what drove up the price.  The buffet was nothing more than frozen items thawed and placed on the tables such as danishes, biscuits (rock hard and VERY cold), mini muffins and mini doughnuts while most of the rest of the buffet was large industrial size cans of items like peaches, applesauce, pears, sausage gravy, hard boiled eggs and more nasty stuff that we were not going to touch.  It was funny, when we sat down for breakfast the server was apologetic for the price.  She asked how old the boys were and then asked, "Did they tell you up front how much the buffet costs?  Any child over 10 years is charged the adult price."  Then she averted her eyes and did the "I'm sorry" shrug.  They did have an omelette bar but no one was "manning" it the whole time we were there so I am not sure how long you would have had to wait to get an omelette.

The hotel also had a snack shack inside the waterpark.  Fries, Hot Dogs, Burger, etc were the main fare.  We were surprised to see that it closed early so if you were hungry you had no choice but to get the buffet in the main restaurant or leave the hotel for food.  Sneaky tricks, Great Wolf Lodge, sneaky tricks.  And one that REALLY cracked me up was in the shop that sold Starbucks and pastries they had a little side counter.  On the counter were bowls of candy - ie Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares selling for .75 a piece.  HA!

Again, the trip was fun for the two teenagers that we took - that was the point, right?  We are just SO thankful that we packed up so much food to take with us.  The three days and two nights that we spent at the lodge were just enough.  We couldn't see spending much more time there.  If you plan on going be sure to pack up some snacks and extra money - every little thing costs and it adds up quickly.  

I LOVE comments! Let me know what you think......