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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

MmmmMmmm... Delicious!

This is one of our family's favorite recipes!
(modified version of a Kraft Foods'

Bruschetta Chicken Bake

Prep Time: 10 min.
Total Time: 40 min.
Makes: 4 servings, 1 cup each

1/2 can (8 oz.) diced tomatoes w/ garlic & basil, undrained
1/2 pkg. (3 oz.) Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1/4 c. water

1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
3/4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray 9x9 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Place tomatoes in medium bowl. Add stuffing mix, water and garlic; stir until stuffing mix is moistened. Set aside.
  3. Place chicken pieces in baking dish; sprinkle with the Italian seasoning and cheese. Top with stuffing mixture.
  4. Bake 30 min. or until chicken is cooked through.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Want to know when SPRIK SPACE is updated?

Over in the right column of the page, there's a new feature that allows you to subscribe to SPRIK SPACE. Simply input your e-mail address and complete 3 simple steps on the FeedBlitz site (you will automatically be taken there). FeedBlitz will send you an activation e-mail - just click on the link within that message and you're set! (Be sure to add FeedBlitz as a safe sender to your e-mail if you use junk mail filters.) Weekly, you'll receive an e-mail when there are updates posted. Now you'll never miss any of the exciting action on SPRIK SPACE!!

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Hookers Nook in Deerfield, IL

We had lunch in the same strip mall as this place yesterday. I think I would have chosen a different name...

Our WILD Wisconsin Adventure!

Yesterday, we decided to adventure into Wisconsin for the day to check out the Prime Outlets in Pleasant Prairie (Restoration Hardware, Under Armour, etc.). We had heard there was a Jelly Belly Center not far from the outlet mall, so we decided to make this our first stop - after all, they offered free tours!

Sweet sensations and a world of delight await you at the Jelly Belly Center, a mouthwatering stop located off the I-94 Milwaukee/Chicago corridor,near the state line. The Center is designed so visitors can take a tour of our warehouse (really, it's fun!) and taste the magic of "the original gourmet jelly bean," Jelly Belly.

You'll start from Jelly Belly Junction, and hop on board the Jelly Belly Express train for a tour inside the large warehouse and distribution center. The 30-minute ride makes stops at a variety of Stations with large screen videos showing the company's century of candy making and how we make candy corn, jelly beans, taffy, gummies and more.

Fun sights make the Center a destination for family fun. See a dancing chorus line of Jelly Belly characters and be surprised by "Candy Alley" with its six-foot giant jelly beans suspended from the ceiling. In the large retail store hungry fans can taste samples of the 100 candies we make, or shop for sweet gifts. Visitors can also stop for hot dogs and drinks at the snack bar.

Hmmm... See, at the beginning of the tour, after we had climbed into the "train" (modified golf cart trailers), told not to take any pictures of their trade secrets, and asked to wear paper Jelly Belly hats for the duration of the tour, we thought we were going to see Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. But alas, we literally rode in a large circle around the WAREHOUSE, stopping at VIDEO SCREENS every 10 yards or so. Should have probably noticed all the crabby kids in the train that unloaded before us as an indication that we were in for the time of our lives! Oh well. To Jelly Belly's credit, they did offer large amounts of free samples both at the end of the train ride and in the company store. And, we couldn't resist buying one of these:

Sounds like where I work...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sunday, July 22, 2007

We love this show!

"The Office" NBC, Thursdays

Dryz Family Reunion 07.21.07

Bernard, Jerome, Gregory, & Clare Dryz later became the parents of these first cousins.

Last night we attended the Dryz Family Reunion at the Grand Bear Resort in Utica, IL. Nearly all of Mom Sprik's first cousins on her father's side were in attendance. We really enjoyed meeting and getting to know all of our extended family... it was quite an event!

Nauvoo Pageant & Carthage Jail 07.14.07

Last weekend we headed down to Nauvoo for this year's pageant. The drive down there is actually not too bad (about 4 hours), if you don't mind looking at thousands of acres of corn and soy. After our visit to Nauvoo last fall, we decided to stay outside of town during subsequent visits (there's only so often you can eat at Grandpa John's Cafe). So we stayed in Keokuk, Iowa this time, just across the Mississippi. We headed over to Nauvoo just in time for some of the pre-show activities - they had pioneer games, singing & dancing, and pioneer crafts set up at various stations on the green. The Nauvoo Pageant was much more than we expected it to be - very well done and entertaining. The set design, music, and acting were all very impressive. The next morning we drove to Carthage, IL to tour the Carthage Jail and Visitors' Center. Despite the high humidity and ferocious mosquitoes, we had a great time!

Colorado Vacation 2007

We had such a fabulous time on our vacation to Colorado this past Memorial Day weekend! Our trip to the Denver area – which we're considering our official first vacation – gave us the opportunity to visit old friends and some of the places we didn't get an opportunity to see before we left for Chicago. Here are some of the highlights:

After spending time visiting with the Butterys on Thursday, we headed out to Boulder and the shops at Pearl Street Mall on Friday. The town was abuzz with energy with the Bolder Boulder race coming up on Monday. Tons of people were out and about, and Brian even got heckled by a very entertaining street performer (at least I thought he was entertaining!). The next morning, we headed out to Estes Park. This drive began our safari adventure – over the course of the weekend, we saw tons of elk, bison, bighorn sheep, and even a chipmunk. Traffic was a little heavy going through town, so we headed up to Rocky Mountain National Park. Once inside the park, we found a shuttle lot and took a ride up to Bear Lake. There were plenty of people up there, but it was still so serene and absolutely gorgeous. Snow and ice made it too difficult for us to hike all the way around the lake, but we made it about 2/3 around. The rest of Saturday afternoon we spent in downtown Estes Park, visiting the shops, a craft fair, and the Stanley Hotel (inspiration for Stephen King’s The Shining). On Sunday, we checked out the Downtown Denver Arts Festival at the 16th Street Mall, and had dinner with the Lopez family. Monday morning started with the best wakeup call ever – a fire alarm in the hotel at 5:20am. After trudging down 10 floors of stairs, we made our way to the lobby and were told it was a false alarm. Needless to say, we crawled back into bed! Later that day, we drove to Dillon Reservoir, passing through the Eisenhower Tunnel. Once again, serene and gorgeous. On our way back to Denver we stopped at Lookout Mountain and Buffalo Bill’s Grave, and then drove over to Red Rocks. Unfortunately, we couldn’t tour the amphitheatre because of the Stevie Nicks concert that night – but, we did see some very interesting fans to say the least. We headed out Tuesday and thoroughly enjoyed our 8-hour delay at the airport (we won’t get into that… too painful!).

All in all, our trip was wonderful! Colorado is a beautiful place – one we hope to be able to enjoy as residents someday.

Click anywhere on the slideshow to view it full-screen. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Strawbana Frozen Delight

Here's a delicious, light and refreshing recipe for summer, courtesy of Mom Rogers, but now a favorite in this house!

Strawbana Frozen Delight

1.5 quarts pineapple sherbet
1 tub (box) frozen strawberries (in syrup)
4 large bananas (just barely yellow), cut into bite-sized pieces

Thaw frozen strawberries and let pineapple sherbet soften. Stir together in a large bowl. Add cut-up bananas. Spoon into glass 9x13" pan. Cover and freeze for several hours. Once frozen, cut into squares, serve, and enjoy!

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