Road Tripping with Kia

Extra special thanks to Kia for giving us this opportunity to test drive the car for the week, it really made our vacation that much sweeter!
“We will never be a minivan family.”,  I’m pretty sure this was in our wedding vows. Fast forward nine years and three kids, and Tiffany and I have been happily  stuffing all five of our cute little asses into a four door sedan, until recently that is…

This summer we were finally able to take the kids on a long awaited trip to Legoland California. While we were preparing for the 9 hour journey in our own little car we were offered the chance by our friends at Kia to test drive a Sedona  for our trip instead! Now I will state this again, we have always been committed to being a no minivan family, but to be perfectly honest, I had no idea how dumb that was until we headed off down the coast.

I packed the van, installed the car seats, and we were ready to roll, with extra room in the trunk I might add, despite Tiffany’s twenty-nine suit cases she had to bring along. First things first though, music. There was a USB plugin located by the stereo that allowed us to control our iPhones directly through huge in dash touchscreen. We loaded up our favorite heavily edited hip-hop playlist and turned up. Tiffany and I were both immediately impressed by the sound quality, so impressed it took us a while to hear the kids screams from the back telling us to turn the music down.

Once on the freeway one of my favorite features, hands down, was the super intuitive cruise control. Now this wasn’t your basic “set your speed” cruise control, it actually controlled your speed up and down depending on the traffic around you! Not only that, you can set how far you would like to stay back from the car in front of you. I felt like I was driving a space ship; “Captain Michael-Cruise Control Badass”.

Now for most families going on a long road trip can be a real relationship test, especially in tight quarters. On this trip space was a plenty,  yet another thing the Kia Sedona rubbed in our van hating faces. “Oh your brother is being annoying? Just move to another seat.” “Whats that? You’re actually willing to share your snack? Move on back.” Not only did the van provide us with the space to move and get away from whoever was being annoying or farting too much, you could also move the front rear row forward, backward, and more importantly, side to side, making loading and unloading the kids the thousands times they had too pee that much easier.

While I can’t say with scientific certainty that driving the Sedona for our trip made our normally perfect attitude angel babies who never, ever, ever fight, argue, or bicker, act any better, I  will go ahead and say it was one of the most pleasant long distance drives we have ever had. There was nary a complaint, the kids had plenty of space when they needed it, plenty of USB outlets to charge tablets and phones, two moon roofs, sun screens on all the back windows for nap time, and to top it all off, air conditioned front seats so I avoided all the disgusting back sweat I normally get driving for hours on end.

To sum it up, thanks to the Kia Sedona, the Reeses are now true minivan believers. It looks like we’re gonna have to rewrite those wedding vows.

 

 

 

 

 

3 Summer Family Activities in Sacramento

Thank you to Sacramento Limousine Services for this guest post

 

3 Summer Family Activities in Sacramento

Summer in Sacramento is a magical time! It’s hard to describe the hustle and bustle when this season of heatwaves rolls around. It’s not uncommon to see triple digit temperatures, so it can be a bit tricky to navigate your leisure time, especially if you have a family. However, with a little bit of research, it’s actually quite easy to find some activities and destinations that are fitting for the entire clan, regardless of the age group.

Sacramento Children’s Museum

An indoor adventure is a great idea in the summer months! Heading to Sacramento Children’s Museum is a great way to spark some inspiration and creative thinking. This is generally suited for children from toddlers to eight years of age. General admission is under ten dollars, while members get in free. Plus, it’s air conditioned. Why pass that up?

Water Parks

This is an option that is friendly for all ages. When it’s sweltering outside, there is little better than getting submerged at a local water park, and there are several for you to choose from. Be sure to consider Raging Waters, Sunsplash, Velocity Island Park, as well as Wake Island Water Park if you’re looking to splash around for a day.

Southside Park

If it happens to be a milder day, you can’t go wrong with an outing to Southside Park in downtown Sacramento. It’s especially a must see if you have children that haven’t been here before. This space themed park is out of this world, and there is a diverse selection of playground equipment. There are bathrooms and picnic areas too, so it’s easy to spend a good amount of time here exploring with the little ones. If you come on a Sunday, it’s good to keep in mind that there is a Farmer’s Market a block away.

Using a limousine or a party bus is an option to consider if you’re looking to make an entire trip out of local summer activities! It’s also a fantastic way to celebrate a birthday. You can hop from one destination to the next without worrying about parking or finding directions. Plus, the whole family will enjoy the features that are found on limousines and party buses. There are things like neon changing lights, television screens, auxiliary capable stereo systems, hardwood flooring, tinted windows, storage for anything you might be bringing along, and cup holders for convenience. Professional chauffeurs from Sacramento Limousine Services know where all of the hot spots are and exactly how to get there in an efficient manner.

It’s so easy to have a great time with the family when the summer rolls around in Sacramento. You definitely won’t hear any exclamations of boredom if you decide to go with any of the suggestions we’ve listed above!

Sacramento Limo Bus

5538 Standish Rd

Sacramento, CA 95820

(916) 672-8218

The Queen’s Feast

The first part of planning any event in my family starts with one question, “What are we gonna eat?” And what’s the point of celebrating anything if there isn’t a massive amount of food involved?

The full spread, be jealous.

So as this past Mother’s Day approached I asked the moms in my life(Mom, wife, sister) what they would like to gorge themselves on for their day of days. My sister Nicole, replying first, said her “Wildest Mother’s Day food dream is an Italian spread. Like a Jersey Shore Sunday dinner where you have to unbutton your pants halfway through.”, followed by more graphic descriptions of being fed meatballs while laying down and being worshiped like a Roman Goddess. Being as she is the most recent mom in the family, breastfeeding, and therefore the hungriest, everyone else agreed that her idea was the best and I set out planning a feast fit for the queens these moms are.

Beef and Pork Meatballs in Marinara, Parmesan, basil, & parsley

Normally, I would just do all the shopping and cooking, then have my dad and brother-in-law pay me back, but being a new mom(read: Housedad) myself I decided to delegate some of the shopping and prep to them instead, and it couldn’t have worked out better.

Antipasto Tray!

It’s amazing how less stressful cooking copious amounts of food can be when you relinquish some control. But if I’m being real, it was just a little control, I can’t let that shit go completely or the whole world might fall apart. Right guys???

Penne with Bolognese, Spicy Italian Sausage, Parmesan, fresh basil

As most family holidays go at home, we ended up eating an hour later than planned, but as you can see the food was well worth the wait. My brother in law, Danny, brought some amazing hand-carved wooden bowls he picked up from a friend who was foolishly giving them away, which really added to the rustic, home-style feel of the meal.

Bowties with Roasted Garlic- Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce, mushrooms, Pecorino Ramano, Baby heirloom, fresh basil

Overall, the mom’s said they had a great day and a meal worth the carb coma that inevitably followed. The only thing missing was an Italian Grandma’s seal of approval, but I guess I’ll have to wait to check that off my bucket list.

Grilled veggies Papa cooked perfectly!
Marinara, Roasted Garlic- Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce, Pesto

*All pictures by Danny Offer. Follow his other work on Instagram

Asian Chicken Tacos

Asian Chicken Tacos by Chef Michael Reese

Of all the meals I’ve made for friends and family over the years, this is the recipe that has been requested over and over again. Though I have shared it with people over the years, I have never actually written it down.

I usually would respond with a half-assed text or a quick phone call describing how prepare the tacos. When word got out that I would be posting recipes on Lookie Boo, I was inundated with requests for this specific recipe. “Michael, I’ll give you anything you want! My firstborn, money, cars, diamonds, naked pictures, ANYTHING for that taco recipe!” Well Beyonce, your request has finally been fulfilled.

*Special thank you to our Brother-in-Law, Danny Offer for taking these spectacular photos. Follow his other work on Instagram

When I first started making these tacos I made everything from scratch, no shortcuts, no kids, and all the time in the world to do whatever the hell I wanted. As our family has grown and spare time has basically withered away into dust, I’ve had to pare things down to the essentials, such as buying the ten+ ingredient sauce I was just trying to clone anyway. Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki, this sauce is pure liquid glory and super cheap.

Whether you are short on time, don’t wanna buy all the ingredients separately, or maybe don’t really know how to cook at all, buying a quality, prepared item can be your best friend. Plus, once you have tasted the end result all your “not from scratch shame” will go away, so just chill the eff out.

The first step is marinating the boneless, skinless, chicken thighs. Grab your chicken, a ziplock bag, and the Soy Vay. Before you throw the chicken in the bag, make sure to check each piece to make sure the butcher removed all the bones, sometimes you might find little pieces that are not fun to bite down on.

Place the chicken in the bag, dump in the sauce and throw it in the fridge for at least 6 hours. You can use chicken breasts if you really hate yourself, but not only does thigh meat taste a million times better than its dry ass cousin the breast, it costs half the price too. You’re welcome.

About an hour before you are ready to eat it’s time to get the rest of the food ready. Full disclosure, the chicken is best prepared on the BBQ, but seeing as though i do not currently own one I opted to roast it in the oven and it still tastes amazing. Preheat your oven to 425° or light your grill while you start the next few steps.

Next it’s time to make what has come to be known as “Glory Sauce”. In a medium bowl whisk together mayo, Soy Vay, lime juice, Sriracha, and set aside.There will be extra sauce, so drizzle it on the tacos, take shots, rub it all over your body, whatever. Just try not to use it all before its time to eat, everyone loves extra sauce!

Slaw Time! If you really want to plan ahead you can cut it all up in the morning, but if you have decent knife skills it shouldn’t take but 15 minutes to prep. Contrarily, if you are lazy or pressed for time you can just buy a couple bags of precut slaw mix. Grab a large bowl, add in the cabbage, carrots, green onions, cilantro, then dress the slaw with 6-8oz of “Glory” and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

I usually make a giant batch of slaw and only dress about half of it so I can make fresh slaw for left overs. Depending on how thick you sliced the cabbage the slaw will reduce by about half the size, so scale according to your needs. This is where purchasing precut can be a negative, as it is generally cut super thin on a machine and makes for a more drastic reduction in size after dressing, often leading to a soggy and depressing finished product.

Once the slaw is in the fridge, pull the chicken out, place it in a single layer on a sheet pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a thermometer reads 165° in the thickest thigh. As I mentioned earlier you can also grill the chicken, so cook it according to your skills and convenience.

While the chicken is cooking take this time to prep all the toppings of your choosing. My personal favorites are sliced avocado, jalapeños, cilantro, lime wedges, and Tapatio Hot Sauce, but sky’s the limit so do you.

Pull the chicken from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes, heating your tortillas while you wait. I usually just warm them in a cast iron pan, but if you are cooking the chicken on the BBQ just quickly heat them directly on the grill. 

Now hurry up and finish, your guests are hungry as hell! Dice the chicken, throw some tongs in the slaw, grab your plate of toppings and let your guests build there own!

Recipe Copyright © Michael Reese 2017. The recipe and pictures may not be copied or reproduced without permission.

Print Recipe
Asian Chicken Tacos
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Asian, Fusion, Mexican, tacos
Prep Time 30-60 Minutes
Cook Time 30 Minutes
Passive Time 6-8 Hours
Servings
People
Ingredients
Slaw
Glory Sauce
Garnish
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Asian, Fusion, Mexican, tacos
Prep Time 30-60 Minutes
Cook Time 30 Minutes
Passive Time 6-8 Hours
Servings
People
Ingredients
Slaw
Glory Sauce
Garnish
Instructions
Make ahead Chicken Prep
  1. Place chicken in a gallon ziplock bag and pour in the sauce. Marinate in the fridge for 6-8 hours.
Creamy Teriyaki Sauce
  1. Whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl.
Slaw
  1. Dump all the slaw ingredients into a bowl, toss it with your desired amount of sauce and hold in the fridge while you cook the chicken
Chicken
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F
  2. Drain and place the marinated chicken on a sheet pan and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 165°F
  3. Once cooked let cool for about 5 minutes then chop the chicken into strips
Recipe Notes

Time to eat! Warm your tortillas with your preferred method and place 1-2oz of chicken in each one. Top with Slaw, a drizzle of extra sauce, and whatever toppings your taco loving heart desires!

Share this Recipe
 

#HouseDad

Dearest Lookie Boos,

Michael here, the slightly lesser half of Tiffany Reese, (creator of Lookie Boo & Baby Mama).  I’m excited to announce that I will be joining Tiffany on this blogging adventure!

Recently, our family has gone through some major changes and as a way to introduce myself, I thought I would share a little bit of our craziness with you.

If you would of told me a few months ago that I would now be a stay at home Dad, I would of told you that you’re crazy, and maybe sprinkled in a few expletives for good measure. Yet here I am, seven weeks in, driving the kids to and from school, cleaning, cooking, attempting to keep up on the laundry (sorry babe), and about a million other things I am trying not to forget.

HOW
THE
HELL
DID
WIFE
MY
DO
THIS?!?

You see I was a “regular” working Dad, Head Chef at a popular local pub, grinding through 12+ hour shifts  5, 6, 7 days a week for over eight years. Basically, I lived there.

As the kids have gotten older they have only become more aware and inquisitive as to why I was always working. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve disappointed them because I had to work. But we needed money for rent, groceries, health insurance, a car, blah blah blah, you get it. To be perfectly honest, I don’t know how anyone can have any semblance of a family life when working so many hours. Unfortunately, putting family first meant spending very little time with the people I love most.

But then my amazing, talented, beautiful, independent, determined, badass of a wife somehow found time to apply (and go through what seemed like a million interviews) and land her DREAM JOB! A “real” job with “real” hours and almost unlimited growth potential.

The caveat was I would need to quit my current high-demand job, in order to step in and support at home.  Tiffany’s job requires commuting & traveling (lucky!)…..and we have three kids under 7. Who wants to work a job just to give all of your income to childcare?

So now I’m here, Michael Reese, House Dad…

To say that being a stay at home parent is hard is an understatement. Moreover, there is a learning curve I’m still trying to to crawl my way up. Parenting isn’t even the hardest part, I feel like that has always come natural to me. It’s the weird, no-rhythm multitasking that hasn’t quite clicked in my head yet.

Ask me to cater a dinner for 100 people tomorrow and I’ll have it for you by noon. But tell me I need to do the laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, pick the kids up, do homework, and put dinner on the table all roughly at the same time, how exactly does this get done? Oh, and someone pooped their pants? Ya, I’ll get right on that…

Father Daughter Dance, on a Friday night!

Am I struggling? Yeah, completely falling on my face half the time. Is it worth it? Every second. I’m the luckiest man alive! Tiffany thanks me for “letting her” have the chance to fully pursue her passions and desires, but really I should be thanking her for giving me the chance to be home with our kids, the chance to really get to know them and hopefully have a positive influence on their lives. Not just be the overworked, tired dad, who falls asleep as soon as he sits down. I know I’ll get the hang of this, and for laundry’s sake, hopefully sooner than later.

So what kinds of posts can you expect to see from me in the future?  I will mostly be focusing on content related to Food (of course), Men’s Fashion and #HouseDad life. Have a recipe request? Let me know. I look forward to joining Tiffany on this ride and continuing to build upon Lookie Boo’s 5+ years of awesome content.

-Michael