The Reagan Presidential Library

Today (March 30) marks the 36 anniversary of President Reagan’s assassination attempt. While this might be a rather dark way to start a travel review, I believe it is the perfect time to shed some light on one of the most interesting Presidents the United States has ever had.

Did you know, after the assassination attempt, President Reagan’s policy towards the Soviet Union pivoted? This pivot ultimately led to his famous Berlin Wall speech and resulted in the (brief) repair of relations between the Soviet Union and the United States. It is interesting to consider – would the wall have come down if President Reagan hadn’t endured that experience?

If you live in California, a visit to the Reagan Presidential Library is a MUST. My husband and I had the opportunity to visit during a reunion of mine with other former Capitol Pages (another blog for another day). Not only is the location in Simi Valley beautiful, but you can, and likely will, spend an entire day at the Library.

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Posing outside Air Force One

The Library has several exhibits for everyone, including an entire technology exhibit aimed at entertaining kids. And of course – the tour of Air Force One is impressive. What you might not know, is the Library also contains a Marine One, which you can also tour. The history exhibits will satisfy the biggest history geek, and for those wanting a more relaxing tour, there is an authentic working Irish pub that President Reagan visited during his tour of Ireland.

Overall, you will have a wonderful time touring through the history of the 80’s, reflecting upon surprising similarities between the challenges we faced as a nation then, and now. But don’t take my word for it – go visit and make your own opinions!

Have you had a chance to visit the Reagan Presidential Library, if so, what did you think? Also, if you remember when the attempted assassination happened, and you recall what you were up to, feel free to share your experiences below.

Easy Enchiladas

I’ve tried several enchilada recipes. Most of them take at least a few hours, and who really, has the time to even bother with that?? I mean, when it takes about the same time to drive over to the local restaurant, order, and get my food, I don’t have time for those recipes.

This recipe aims to keep all the deliciousness, without taking all the time of other recipes for busy weeknights. Feel free to try any substitutions, and let me know how it works out in the comments below!

I hope you enjoy this recipe that makes a favorite into an easy weekday dinner.

-HM

What you will need:

  • 8 x 12 glass casserole dish
  • 1 lb. 80% lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup of sweet white onion
  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese (I prefer sharp, but any cheddar will work)
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning (mild or spicy according to your taste)
  • 6-8 Large flour tortillas
  • One 10 ounce can of red enchilada sauce

 

Heat the oven to 350. Prepare a glass casserole dish by coating with cooking spray. Set aside.

To make the filling, brown the ground beef in a large skillet. Finely dice half of a sweet white onion, about 1/2 of cup, and add to the ground beef skillet.

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Since I use 80% lean beef, there is no need to drain any little fat that is left in the pan. Cook until onion is transparent.

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While the onion is cooking, grate 1 1/2 cups of cheese. I really like cheese, like a lot… so feel free to rein it back a bit, if you like. Once the onion has finished cooking, add the taco seasoning to the skillet and add water according to the taco seasoning directions. Simmer for a few minutes.

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I can typically fit about 6-8 enchiladas into my casserole dish. It is very important NOT to overfill the tortillas with filling, as they might break once baked in the oven, which can make a mess. To assemble the enchiladas, I add a sprinkling of cheese in the tortilla and add about a 1/4-1/3 a cup of the meat filling on top. Once you roll them up, tuck them into the casserole dish seem-side down. After filling the casserole dish with enchiladas, pour the entire can of enchilada sauce evenly over the enchiladas. Add the remaining cheese to the top of the dish.

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Pop into the 350 heated oven for 20-30 minutes, just until the cheese is melted, and the sauce is bubbling.

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Now it is time for my favorite part – tasting the finished product! These are great with a bit of sour cream, or a wedge of lime, as seen here. YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Spring & New Beginings

The excitement of spring is upon us!

Growing up, I always looked forward to trips to the grocery store with my grandmother during this time of year. Those cute, fluffy, gooey, sticky, and brightly colored marshmallow birds (Peeps) called my name. Since my parents detested the mess these delightful treats presented – usually ending in my sticky fingers which got all over EVERYTHING – I had to beg my grandmother to buy some and she always bought them for me. After a few years, this became a clandestine tradition with my grandmother, usually carried out during stays at her house. I still think my parents don’t know about this. . . Hi mom!

The point is – we all have traditions we associate with spring and the Easter season. It is a sweet time of promise, with the first few blushes of blooms and budding trees. This is also a great time to take on projects: crafts, home renovations, spiritual reflection, and for me, launching this blog.

It is my hope this blog will bring inspiration to many, maybe through a recipe, travel tips, movie reviews, or just to lift your spirits. There is too much bad news out there right now and I want to focus on all the good that is happening.

Lets make the world a bit brighter, starting this spring! Please add my blog to your reading list, add it to your RSS Feed, bookmark it, and get ready for some good news.

Thank you for visiting and I hope to see you here again very soon!

-HM