Calgary restaurant rewards well behaved children

Yesterday I heard a news story about a Calgary restaurant that rewards its patrons for well-behaved children. The discount is $5.00 and is taken off of the bill, so it is discreet, it’s not like it’s announced to the entire restaurant. The reviews on this have been very mixed. Some say it is a wonderful idea and they applaud the restaurant. Others say how do they decide what a well behaved child is, while others ask what about special needs children. Is it fair to say they are not well behaved? One person’s comment referred to her brother who is a special needs child that doesn’t look like one would expect and so he would be assumed to be a child who is misbehaving and that is not fair. I am divided on this, when I first heard about this I thought that sounds great, but the one comment about special needs children made me divided. Is it fair to those children’s parents to not be considered because their children will be considered to be misbehaving? Then I thought maybe I am thinking about this too much, I mean if that is the case the restaurant would be understanding no? I mean it is insensitive not to be. The other side of me likes the idea, I mean I would appreciate the discount. $5.00 off of my total bill would be nice, I mean who doesn’t like a discount. And this whole concept then led me to consider how my own children behave in restaurants and in public as a whole, I mean would I qualify for the discount? I remember when 2 was younger about age 2 and under, taking him to a restaurant was truly a skillful endeavour. We would enter the restaurant 1, 2, myself and their father. We would sit and immediately ask for bread and order salads, and his entrée because if he had to sit for more than 60 seconds trapped in that high chair without any food he would start to get fussy. See, the outing would only be effective if he was constantly eating. So he would get his bread and then we would keep his food consistently coming. Unfortunately as he was only 2, his little stomach could only hold so much and by the time his stomach was full we would have only made it through salads and appetizers. So the entrée was always to go and that is how eating out was for those two years. But after that I cannot recall it really being an issue having my children in restaurants. Yes there were many a dinner where I was eating, while balancing a child on my knee breastfeeding. Or taking turns holding the baby so that the other parent was able to eat. But my children were never screaming in a restaurant or running around….for me that just didn’t have a possibility of happening. I am fully aware that this is an experience for many parents as I have seen it many times but I personally have never experienced that. Also in public my children don’t usually act up, sure there are times when they do something questionable but it is momentary and from the stories that I have heard about children acting up I don’t really know the meaning of the concept of children acting up. I have never had to leave a destination because of my child’s behaviour, nor have I ever had to look at strangers apologetically because my child has been crying or screaming for so long that I am getting uncomfortable stares. So I suppose that I have been lucky in that regard and I am very sorry to all those parents that can relate to those scenarios but I am happy that I am not a part of that club. From what I have heard it’s not a very fun club to be a part of. I have received many compliments on my children’s behaviour actually and I take the compliments graciously even though for me I don’t see it exactly the same way. I see some of the things that my children do in public as acting up but others tell me that it truly is not. So in the end I am very grateful that I have well behaved children and only wish that the wonderful behaviour that they exhibit in public, they would carry over when they are at home. But I guess one can’t have everything and it is better that my child has a tantrum in the confines of my home then in the middle of a department store, restaurant, or some other public place. Just another day in 7th heaven. Until Next Time, Be Well.

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Tasty Tuesday

I wanted to share a chicken recipe today, it is one of my favourite recipes. It is so very delicious and I make it for my children frequently. The issue is that I no longer make it with the recipe, I prepare it with my intuition at this point. I have tried to locate the recipe but I have been unable so, this week I will not be able to give it to all of you but I will try to figure out what the measurements are for it and in the future I will give it to all of you to try and let me know what you think. So! Instead I have decided to feature another favourite of mine. I tailor this recipe for myself as well, I add more seasonings to the meat but in the end, I love this dish and hope you enjoy it. And just an FYI this dish pairs very well with a nice Merlot.

Chicken Fried Steak with gravy

Total Time:1 hr 25 min
Prep:45 min
Inactive:10 min
Cook:30 min

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

2 pounds beef bottom round, trimmed of excess fat

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 whole eggs, beaten

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Directions

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Cut the meat with the grain into 1/2-inch thick slices. Season each piece on both sides with the salt and pepper. Place the flour into a pie pan. Place the eggs into a separate pie pan. Dredge the meat on both sides in the flour. Tenderize the meat, using a needling device, until each slice is 1/4-inch thick. Once tenderized, dredge the meat again in the flour, followed by the egg and finally in the flour again. Repeat with all the pieces of meat. Place the meat onto a plate and allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking.

 

Place enough of the vegetable oil to cover the bottom of a 12-inch slope-sided skillet and set over medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the meat in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook each piece on both sides until golden brown, approximately 4 minutes per side. Remove the steaks to a wire rack set in a half sheet pan and place into the oven. Repeat until all of the meat is browned.

 

Add the remaining vegetable oil, or at least 1 tablespoon, to the pan. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of the flour left over from the dredging. Add the chicken broth and deglaze the pan. Whisk until the gravy comes to a boil and begins to thicken. Add the milk and thyme and whisk until the gravy coats the back of a spoon, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Season to taste, with more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve the gravy over the steaks.

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to you all!! I hope that you all had an absolutely fabulous Mother’s Day filled with everything that you desired. I have heard from many different women about their Mother’s Day. Some sounded wonderful, spa days, days filled with their own decided activities, breakfast in bed, others not so….I was expected to make dinner, I was doing what everyone else wanted to do, I was given what they wanted but not what I wanted, one statement that I loved was that even though it was Mother’s Day I was still mothering. And I was thinking isn’t that so true. And it made me ask the question….what makes a good Mother’s Day? Well….from what I heard most of the mothers who gave me their input as to their Mother’s Day being good also did something that did not involve their children, therefore did not include mothering. So I naturally ask, is a good Mother’s Day a Mother’s Day that does not involve….mothering, the sole reason that we have the privilege of the holiday to begin with? And I use the word holiday on purpose because I would argue that while I surely love being a mother, truly I do but don’t we all enjoy a holiday from anything, even if we love it? Well…..I believe that mothers deserve a break too and on our day, the day named for us we should have what we want and if on Mother’s Day we decide that what we want is a break from mothering we deserve to have just that. With no repercussion or shame but gladly given with a smile. I know women who mothered on Mother’s Day and those who didn’t. And I am hoping regardless of whether or not you did that you enjoyed your day because God knows mothers deserve that recognition of their jobs well done.

My Mother’s Day was truly absolutely fabulous. Signs all over my house telling me Happy Mother’s Day each made by my children. Cards that we handmade and tailored towards my loves. One with a water scene on the cover and a sunset on the back and a pop up of my son, 3. The scenes on the front and back inspired by my two loves and the inside because I love him and he gave it to me. 4 gave me a book card that was filled with pictures of things that I love and poems and words to go with it. 5 gave me a card with a pop up angel, they also created why my mom is special statements. I got a plant that I barely even saw from 7, LOL, from the moment he brought it home he wanted to open it, I told him not until Sunday so as soon as Sunday came he wanted to take it and he promptly took it and opened it, forgetting everyone continually telling him that it is for Mommy. But that’s alright we all can understand the four year old that just can’t wrap his mind around a present found in his cubbie with his name on it not being for him. So I forgive him and understand it completely and remember his card, pictures, and sign. I even got to see and spend time taking in a beautiful sunset for Mother’s Day. My Mother’s Day was lovely, truly lovely, the outpouring of love that I received from my children warmed my heart and if I was the type it would have brought tears to my eyes as well. It almost made me forget how absolutely crazy my children can drive me at times. But believe me this morning I got a quick reminder, LOL. I can laugh about it now but this morning OMG! From the moment they woke it was on and I almost, almost forgot how wonderful my day was yesterday and how I felt.

Today I was watching the morning show on Global. Shannon and Sophie Tweed – Simmons were on. I watch as mother and daughter spoke about their upcoming new reality show and how they get along. Sophie having just recently turning 21 and the change in dynamic in their relationship now. Then they began speaking on Sophie’s current endeavours. She is writing a book she stated and then her mother chimed in about her singing projects, and then Sophie continued the list by saying she also just finished acting in a movie. And then Shannon as the proud mother she is began to speak on her daughter’s bravery for doing everything that she wants to, that she is brave for taking on everything and anything she wants without hesitation. When I heard that it gave me pause, it is interesting how some are able to live without any fear and I thought that that is something I wanted to speak on because to live bravely in pursuit of those things that you desire and that make you happy should be one of the tenets of any life. The show went on as I thought about bravery and life, the conversation between Shannon and Sophie continued with Shannon saying that she didn’t have the bravery her daughter currently had at her age and that with her in her corner as her supporter Sophie is stronger and braver as a result and that when she was younger she didn’t have that and she had to find her strength differently. Then the question was posed whether or not she believes that doing playboy ruined her life and her answer was no it didn’t ruin my life at all, ruining my life would have been staying at home and having seven kids. When I heard that I just paused…..huh? Now I know Shannon was not trying to offend me but I cannot lie I was offended. So she would see my life as ruined. On the heels of a Mother’s Day where my seven children gave me such a beautiful day I can hardly say that my life is or was ruined by my choice to have them. I just wanted to share that with you all because it was an interesting statement to make, I am sure she has her reasons but I think that it’s not just to offensive to us mothers who have seven but also us mothers who choose to stay home and have our children regardless of the numbers. Now I am not going to make a huge deal about this my skin isn’t that thin, I have heard so many comments about my having seven children. Granted I have never heard that they ruined my life, but I have heard I am crazy and OMG seven! You have seven children, the comments have been vast. Most in jest, some serious but regardless it doesn’t matter because in the end I do have seven and it is what it is. But I just wanted to make a note of what Shannon said because it did give me pause, it dampened my previous thoughts of bravery as I felt that her bravery comment couldn’t have been for me because I had ruined my life by staying at home and having seven children. I was unaware that that choice brought ruin to a life…..or maybe just Shannon’s…….Just another day in 7th heaven. Until Next time, Be well

P.S. I am sorry to all of you for my absence but as I am sure all of you can understand sometimes being a mom means that life truly gets in the way. And life truly got in the way of my ability to write daily. Life has thankfully calmed down some now and so I am back. Thank you all for your loyalty and your emails about my wellbeing. I truly appreciate it.