Southwestern-Style Caesar Salad

Caesar salad has been a popular side dish or main course for decades now. It’s a simple blend of romaine lettuce, cheese and croutons, topped with an olive oil dressing with anchovies for added zing. This Southwestern version gives it a bit of heat, with a blend of unexpected ingredients, and without using raw eggs. The restaurant-style presentation will surely impress your dinner guests. You can also turn it into a tasty lunch by just adding grilled chicken or shrimp.

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Torta Mexicana: That Other Quiche


In some ways this Torta Mexicana resembles quiche; it’s in a crust and combines egg, vegetables and meat. However, that’s where the similarities end. Flour tortillas form the crust and the roasted peppers & chorizo give it a texture and flavor combination that will delight your guests. For a hearty brunch dish serve as a main course with a salad. And for larger parties you can easily double the recipe using a springform pan.

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Eggs & Tortillas in Tomatillo Sauce


This easy recipe for eggs and tortillas in tomatillo sauce makes a great hearty breakfast. You can also serve it with salad and crusty bread as an alternative brunch option. Although the heat of the serrano chilies are tempered through the simmering process, it still has some kick. So if your guests require something milder you can easily substitute jalapeños. For larger parties you can double the recipe, and it’s guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.

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10 Best Ghost Towns of the West

Visiting ghost towns is a great way to give your kids a quick education about the history of our country during the days of the Wild West. Not all of these places have disappeared into the landscape. Some were revitalized into thriving towns again and been given a second life. I can’t guarantee you’ll actually encounter any ghosts here, but the more remote ones can be a bit spooky. Courtesy of Toyota I had a chance to check out some of these 10 that are by far the best in terms of preserved buildings and are fairly easy to get to.

In the Sierra Nevada Mountains straddling the California-Nevada border, this former gold town had 10,000 residents in the late 1800s. After the gold rush days it slowly declined, with its post office finally closing in 1942. Only a small part of the town survived, but Bodie still has a lot left to see, including saloons and a red-light district. Don’t even think of taking anything from it’s still stocked stores though or bad luck may come your way.

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10 Really Bizarre Things to See & Do in Texas

I recently had the chance to explore some of the more unusual sites in Texas. Being such a big state there are plenty to choose from, but they’re spread apart so you need to plan ahead. If you’re looking for something different from the normal tourist attractions, check out some of these really bizarre things to see and do in Texas.

Cadillac Ranch
Sitting out in the middle of a field are ten half-buried cars sticking up out of the ground. The Cadillacs are covered in constantly changing graffiti, which although not exactly encouraged, is not frowned upon either. So feel free to stop on by and leave your own contribution to this wild art installation.

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10 Really Cool Places to Stay in the USA


Tired of staying in those motels that all look the same and have no character? Then check out some of these unique, wild and cool places to stay. Courtesy of Toyota I had a chance to experience a few and believe me these are not your mainstream travel lodges. Most are family friendly but at some of these places to stay, you may want to sneak off to by yourselves for the weekend and leave the kids at home.

If you’re a dog lover, there’s a dog-shaped Bed and Breakfast in Idaho that may be just what you’re looking for. Originally the dog was meant to be just a solid billboard promoting their chain-saw dog art (yes, really). Luckily the owners saw its real potential and decided to make it into a guesthouse. If you plan on spending the night it’s best to call ahead, because this big puppy only sleeps one family at a time. If you don’t, you just might have to sit, roll over, and beg to get in!

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Fun Things for the Whole Family in Tucson, AZ

Are you sick of the long, cold winter? Are the kids going a bit stir crazy? Then come visit Tucson Arizona. Right now the weather is great, with temperatures in the 60s and 70s, and the sun shines almost every day of the year.

Whether it’s outdoor fun or cultural and educational activities your family is into, there are lots of things to see and do in Tucson. It’s a laid-back city with a vibrant history, surrounded by breathtaking scenery. And in this economy, it’s a truly low-cost vacation for the entire family.

I had the chance to explore some of the best places to go while you’re in town, and I guarantee the kids will love it! Whether it’s nature and outdoor activities, exploring the Wild West, or cultural diversions you crave, Tucson has something to offer for everyone.

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Route 66 is Still the Place to Get Your Kicks

Route 66, also known as the Mother Road and the Main Street of America, may have had its heyday years ago, but it’s definitely still worth a drive. Construction of the highway began in 1926 and it became one of the most famous roads in America. Connecting Chicago to Los Angeles and passing through 8 states, and covering over 2,000 miles, people came in droves to Get Their Kicks on Route 66.

Though long since bypassed by modern highways, Route 66 attractions still make it a road trip your family should take. Large sections are gone now, but cities, towns and individuals have preserved its charm and history along the way. Don’t forget to bring a camera and capture the adventure, giving your family something to truly remember for years to come.

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10 Big Things in Texas & How They Got There

Texas is a huge state and prides itself on being biggest at everything. Courtesy of Toyota, I had the chance to drive around and see some of these big things and find out why they are there. Not all are the “world’s largest,” but I guarantee you’re in for some really BIG surprises.

World’s Largest Cowboy Boots
Originally these giant boots were built to fill an empty lot in Washington, D.C. At 40 feet tall and 30 feet long they were promoted as the World’s Largest Cowboy Boots. That is debatable, as the cowboy boots in Seattle are probably bigger. A year later they were moved to their Texas home at a mall in San Antonio, where oddly enough, as far as I could tell there isn’t a shoe store in sight.

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