2 points: The American West

Born and bred on the East Coast, we don’t have any memories of playing “cowgirls” when we grew up. Yes, there was the occasional western movie and vague recollections of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, but the one name that stands out the most – ANNIE OAKLEY. An American sharpshooter who joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, she quickly became an international star. We got to visit Annie during our recent trip to The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth. This is a beautifully designed museum, with unique displays, films, artifacts and art. (The Hermes scarves lining the staircase were stunning; did you know Hermes started as a harness making store?)

Plus, they have quite a few interactive exhibits for hands-on learning and fun: we posed with Annie (she looks quite disgusted by our antics), while Barbara let loose her inner cowgirl by riding the mechanical bull!

1 point: A+ Ices

We realize it’s a stretch to toss this in here, but we just had to give a shout-out to the AWESOME Ices at Steel City Pops. These pops, inspired by unique sweets called “Mexican paletas” are incredibly fresh and delicious, using all-natural, certified organic ingredients. We were able to design our own dessert by first selecting from a fruity pop, creamy pop, cookie pop or paleo pop and then choosing to dip, dredge, drizzle or dust our pop with all kinds of goodies, such as chocolate, pecans, pistachios, cookie crumbs, etc. We were with our friends from the Cowgirl Museum outing and we all were swooning and smiling over this indulgent but delicious treat. If you don’t have a Steel City Pops store near you, search for “paletas” in your town and you just might get lucky!

1 Point – Cooking with A

As part of our new ABC rule, we decided to do two recipes made with A ingredients. Since Laura has long been intimidated by the idea of using a fresh ARTICHOKE, that was the starting point of our search. However, after perusing many recipes we decided to let intimidation win and found a recipe for an Artichoke Tuna Noodle Casserole, which used artichoke hearts only. Part of what attracted us to this recipe is harkening back to the “olden days” when moms lived by Betty Crocker and regularly made tuna noodle casseroles. While our casserole didn’t taste bad, artichokes were really not the stars of the recipe and really – who wants hot tuna (unless it’s a tuna melt – Barbara’s personal favorite).

More successful was the APPLE BROWN BETTY, a recipe from the Pioneer Woman. Far from being pioneer women ourselves, we were nevertheless attracted to such a simple and sugary recipe. Laura wasn’t totally sold but Barbara loved it and will be making it regularly, so expect some Apple Brown Betty the next time you invite her over!

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