Saturday, June 30, 2007

Chocolate Caramel Slice

I had to come out of hiding to share this bit of deliciousness. This was in the May 2007 issue of Bon Appetit and when I laid eyes on it I knew that we would be instant friends, it was love at first sight. I just got around to making them today and boy howdy are they good, good enough to break my vow of silence in the blog world. Think Twix candy bar but 10x better, maybe 20x even. This is the recipe that I used, but I wasn't crazy about the crust. There are better recipes out there for a more buttery crust. The caramel and chocolate were perfect together, how can you go wrong with those two? They are a match made in heaven. I did a Google search for these babies and found a lot of variations, some with coconut in the crust, some use crushed cookies, plus I learned about Copha (a shortening derived from coconut)but most stay true to the same ingredients. Bring these to your next barbeque and you will be the most popular person there. Really, I don't know where these have been all my life or how I have managed to get this far without them in my life. I do believe my life is now complete. Now I will resume my hiatus, I've got more important things to do, like watch So You Think You Can Dance.


Friday, June 01, 2007


I need a good bottled salsa recommendation. I have been on a lifelong quest for THE perfect "go to" salsa that I can keep on hand. I have tried a number of mediocre jarred salsas in my lifetime, but none of them are worth keeping around. It used to be Pace Picante, but it lacks that certain something, then Goya Pico de Gallo, but either they changed or I changed. I've tried the Desert Pepper brands and they are good, but not knock your socks off good, Newman's, Chi Chi's, Frontera Grill to name a few, I think I have tried them all. I recently tried an Archer Farms brand that has promise, but I continue to search. If you have found your true love, your soul mate in salsas will you please share the love? I am sure I am not alone in this search.


Thursday, May 31, 2007

Pecan Squares

I don't know if I have posted this recipe before or not, but it definitely is worth repeating. Awhile back The Food Network aired a short lived series called The Cookworks, loved it, but it's gone, curses! One episode had the participants making these. My mouth was watering and I could not stop thinking about these until I finally made them. I normally don't eat pecan pie because it is way too sweet and rich for me(if that can be believed). These are great for the pecan loving bunch because they are caramel-y, gooey, sticky, and buttery, but not overly sweet or rich like their pie counterpart. You can even taste a little bit of the honey. I don't dip mine in chocolate like Ina does in this photograph, but it's not a bad idea at all.


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Mom and her Nose

I have had this cold for some time now. I can't smell when to change the baby's poopy diapers. My son will come home from school and say, "Mom, you have to change his diaper, he really smells." I wonder how long he has been sitting in it, poor thing?! I have almost burned the house down twice now. I go to put something on the stove and walk away only to come running for all of the smoke billowing out of the kitchen. I nearly poisoned my family one was I to know the meat was bad??!! I couldn't smell or taste it, looked good to me! Thank goodness my husband came home from work AFTER we had all eaten the tacos and he asked, "what's wrong with this meat, is it bad, I think it's bad?!" Nice. So, I used to think that losing your sight or hearing would be the the most frightening sense to lose, but I would have to say, as a Mother, losing your sense of smell/taste is by far the most hazardous. A Mom needs her nose. I will say that it is an optimum time for cleaning out all of those things growing fur in my fridge and changing said poopy diapers.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I thought these were cute for little girl feet. Guess where you can find them?? Target, of course.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Mississippi Mud Cake

The photo of the mint brownie cake below was reminding me of Mississippi Mud Cake, so I had to share the recipe that I love. There are a lot of recipes for Mississippi Mud cakes, pies, bars, all worth a try, but this one in particular does take the cake. I figure if I blog about all of these decadent desserts, then maybe I won't be tempted to want to make them and eat them all in one day.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

White Chocolate

With my recently inherited assortment of chocolates, I made Grasshopper Squares, a mint brownie done up. The mint filling is a white chocolate and mint ganache. I left out the creme de menthe and just added a little extra peppermint extract. If you have some white chocolate that is just sitting around and you don't know what to do with it, you could also make these White Chocolate and Lime Blondies. I've made these without the filling part (too much fuss) and put the white chocolate in the bars and then made a glaze with powdered sugar and a little lime juice and they are great. Thanks for all of the lovely recipes and photos, this photo is actually the Chocolate-Mint Brownie Cake, it was much prettier to look at than the grasshopper squares in that sweater!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Bunny Cakes

I love this book. I love most all of the books involving Max and his overbearing sister Ruby. This book especially makes me laugh, but really makes me hungry for Red-Hot Marshmallow Squirters. I wish there were such a candy. I also love to have books with my children's names in them. I have one for all of them except the last one, anyone know a good children's book with a Christian in it? I think he is tired of us singing Onward Christian Soldiers to him.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Yummy Salad

Now that warmer weather is here, who feels like cooking? (Not that we ever feel like cooking, right?) I love this salad because it has so much going on, is really easy to put together and tastes SO GOOD. I love that it uses a rotisserie chicken, anything that calls for a rotisserie chicken has my name all over it. It makes a great presentation and impression. Here is the recipe for the critically acclaimed dressing from a cook in Kirkland, Washington (see reviews from this recipe). I love me a good asian chicken salad.

3T. rice wine vinegar
1 T. sugar
3T. soy sauce
1/2 t. dry mustard
2 T. sesame oil
1/2 cup peanut oil or vegetable oil
1 T. toasted sesame seeds


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Happy Birthday, Liz

Liz,over at backwardsattraction is having a birthday today...if my records are correct. Go on over and wish her a good one! Here's to you, Liz!

New shoes

I have been hunting high and low for a good pair of summer shoes that will go with everything. I think I have found them. They are very versatile, will match everything that I wear and are the right price. I am just worried that they scream "stripper" just a bit. What do you think? Find them here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Skin So Soft

I was stocking up on my favorite sunscreen/insect repellant and I came across this bit of information regarding Avon's Skin-So-Soft and all of it's many uses. It removes chewing gum from hair and gets out ring around the collar and repels bugs all at the same time? Who knew? Now that is a product I can get behind. I was never a fan of the stuff, until vacationing in Hilton Head, SC years ago and they sold the stuff EVERYWHERE as a bug repellant. It seems to do the job, so Avon has now marketed it as an insect repellant. I love that it now has sunscreen and can do double duty against that nasty West Nile Virus, plus it is DEET free, big plus. It's a good thing.

P.S. I do NOT work for AVON.



Sometimes prayers are answered in mysterious ways. My prayers were heard and answered for Milka chocolate the other day. I found a little package on my doorstep and what to my wondering eyes should I find, but this cute little purple cow and about a dozen different chocolate bars from said purple cow(and other varieties). How is it done, you ask? How did the blog gods know of my heart's desire? My dear blogging friends, just when you think you are too weary to blog anymore and want to give up the fight, keep on blogging I say, good things may come your way. Just blog your wishes and you MAY receive. It also helps that I have a friend living in Ireland and she happened to read this. It's nice to have friends in high places! Alright you win, Jodi!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Date Shake

Have you tried a date shake? I have to admit, I was VERY skeptical at first. I think I must have had a bad experience with dates as a child, I think they look a lot like cock roaches, don't they? My last issue of Bon Appetit had a recipe for a date breakfast smoothie that sounded pretty harmless, so I gave it a go. Not bad, even delicious I might say, so good that I had to blog about it. I think it must be a California delicacy, so Californians may appreciate them much more than the rest of us, but do try one.

For a shake, use vanilla ice cream instead of yogurt. You can also use a little nutmeg and cinnamon for extra flavor. Mmmmm.

photo: click here

Saturday, May 12, 2007


This is one more thing that I love from Target and then I will stop with the shameless plugs. Baby Hair & Body Wash is only 97 cents at my local Target, 97 CENTS!! I don't care if the kids dump the whole thing down the drain, squirt the whole bottle in the tub and slide around on it, or fill the tub with the entire bottles' worth of bubbles, it's only 97 cents. I've learned the hard way that the fancy, expensive stuff does the same job, doesn't smell/clean any better and I don't freak out when I find an empty bottle the same day I opened it.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Do my eyes deceive me?

Has anyone else seen Kiehl's products at Target?? Target, yes Target. I might have been dreaming, or it might have been a REALLY good knock-off. I really think I did see a small selection of these really good products there, a bit pricier than usual, but at Target nonetheless. Just when I thought I couldn't love Target anymore!


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Mother of the Year

I've lost the battle, given up, thrown in the towel. My fight to keep white bread out of my kids' diet is over. I am surprised I have succeeded this long. They have known about white bread and have bemoaned the fact that I would NEVER cave and actually buy it. They've had it enough to know that they were really missing out on an important rite of childhood. So when my son kept coming home from school with his uneaten sandwich day after day, I had to do something or the poor boy would starve. We tried other menu items for awhile, even different brands of whole wheat bread, but to no avail. I searched the grocery store shelves high and low for the "healthiest" white bread possible. Satisfied with my all-natural, organic choice, I took the leap. I grew up in a house where the bread was always homeade and always whole wheat, so you can understand my anxiety about bread. This was the last stitch of the few healthy foods in the lunch department, so you see why I agonized over this decision. The sandwiches are being eaten with great gusto now. White toast with butter in the morning is such a treat! I might get the Mother of the Year award this year! Well, maybe not quite, I am sure she would never down grade the quality of her bread . Hopefully I will advance to the rank of "Fancy Mom" at the very least. You see, "Fancy Moms pack things like Doritoes, Fruit Roll-Ups, Dunk-A-Roos, and Capri Suns" said my son. It's a slippery slope, but I think I'm headed in the right direction.


Friday, May 04, 2007

Save Our Chocolate

I normally don't get politcal on this blog or anywhere, for that matter. However, I make an exception when chocolate gets involved. It appears that our beloved chocolate is in trouble and needs our help. Apparently, the USFDA is threatening to tamper with our chocolate, using sub-par ingredients like vegetable fat to replace the quitessential cocoa butter in chocolate. Ugh! In my opinion you can't have chocolate without cocoa butter. If you want to get involved click here. To see my favorite chocolate blog (and how I learned about this impending issue), click here. Really, it's a whole blog about chocolate.

Photo: Guittard Chocolate Company

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Give Peace a Chance

When Dorie Greenspan came out with her latest book, Baking: From My Home To Yours, one recipe, in particular stood out to me, World Peace Cookies. With a name like that, how could you not be tempted? I had to make them, Pronto. They are a bit of an obsession, one of my many. You just have to make them for yourself. They are not your ordinary chocolate chocolate chunk cookie. They are a sable (SAH-blay)meaning sand like in texture, they are crumbly and buttery and salty and chocolatey, you'll see. Grab a glass of milk.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Chalazion, I have a Chalazion!

I will spare you the picture of MY chalazion, let alone any old picture from the files. What is a chalazion you might be asking? I know, I had never heard of a chalazion before today. Isn't the thin skin around the yolk of an egg called such, but spelled differently? I could be wrong there. That's not what I have (the thin skin surrounding an egg yolk). I have a lump on my eyelid called a chalazion. Who knew??!! It's been with me for a few weeks and in typical Jenni fashion, I have not consulted a doctor yet. Who needs a doctor when you have WebMD?! Right? So, it's been there for awhile and I had a new tube of Erythromycin, so I used that for a bit thinking it was some kind of infection. Not an infection. Then I started thinking that maybe it was a sty, but it didn't have all of the characteristics known to a sty. So, I consulted my trusty WebMD today and faster than you can say, "Chalazion" I had my diagnosis! How is that for speedy? All the while my husband is rolling his eyes at me because I won't make an appointment with a "real doctor"!! Phooey.

If you would like to know more about my chalazion and others like it, click here, but don't scroll down to the bottom if you have a weak stomache.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Get it right

Dear Fruit of the Loom, Hanes, Children's Underwear makers of the world,

Would you please put the large character on the front of the children's underwear so that my child will not have to wear his underwear backwards anymore. I would think that with the technological advances and progressive thinking in the underwear industry today, you would have figured that kids want to be able to see who they are wearing. Until then, we will continue to wear them backwards so we can see Spiderman, Batman, Lightning McQueen, Superman, Hulk, Power Rangers, and Scooby up close and personal.

Thanks so much.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Chicken Divan

Every once in awhile I find a decent recipe from she-who-shall-not-be-named in this household. This recipe makes two dinners in one, but I have only made the Divine Divan part, so I will list it here. It's really just a chicken and broccoli casserole, spiffed up.

2 c. chicken stock or broth
4 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless
1 shallot, chopped
2 t. olive oil
1T. butter
1 1/2 t. flour
1/4 c. heavy cream
1/8 t. nutmeg
1 lb. broccoli spears
8 oz. gruyere cheese- shredded
salt and papper to taste

Bring stock to boil, add chicken and poach. Remove chicken and reserve stock in separate dish. Saute shallots in oil and butter for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and cook 1 minute, stirring. Ladle in reserved chicken broth and whisk in cream. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low. Slice chicken and add to sauce. Meanwhile cook broccoli. If using frozen, microwave a few minutes. If fresh, simmer in 1 inch of boiling water 2-3 minutes. Place cooked broccoli in 9x13 size dish. Layer 1/2 the cheese over broccoli, top with chicken mixture, then add rest of cheese. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling. That's it.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Happy Monday

Did you miss free cone day like I did? Blast! This is the flavor I would have chosen if I would have remembered to go. It is one of my favorite flavors that B&J make. I think Baskin Robbins may have their free scoop day coming though, or did I miss that too? If I haven't missed it, I will choose German Chocolate Cake if it is in that day. Most days it is not. Have you ever tried Graeter's Black Raspberry Chip? I hear it is tasty tasty. Maybe someday I will splash out and get the 6 pints for $50 smackerooos. Or better yet, I could probably just drive/ fly to Ohio for that price! Afterall, Cleveland is in Ohio and ever since 30 Rock last week, I've been aching to go to Cleveland. "If the whole world moved to their favorite vacation spots, then the whole world would live in Hawaii, Italy, and Cleveland." -Floyd

What is your favorite ice cream?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Will It Float?

Apparently my toddler has been sneaking out of bed at night to watch David Letterman do his Will It Float? bit. Almost daily I walk into the bathroom to find a few new items added to the toilet. Most of them do NOT float. Do you want to know what they are? Legos, do not float, Hot Wheels cars do not float, neither do bagels, toothbrushes, cell phones, shampoo bottles, toothpaste tubes, pencils, hairbrushes, granola bars, etc. etc. Almost everything we own, if it is big enough to fit into the toilet bowl, has been put to the test. While some of the items may float upon initial dive into the toilet, by the time I find them, they are safe and snug at the bottom of the can. Don't worry, most of these things flush down quite well with no adverse affects(so far). As for the cell phone, it has survived, but there is not enough disinfectant in this world to get it clean enough for me to use it!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Lemon-Blueberry Cake with White Chocolate and Cream Cheese Frosting

I love this cake. I love the frosting, it's not too sweet, great consistency and compliment for the cake. Do make this frosting for this cake, they were made for each other. I love blueberries and lemon together, it is such a Springy combination to me. The nice thing about this cake is that the whole thing freezes well. I have wrapped individual slices and frozen them and taken them out of the freezer whenever I needed a little cake, which is about everyday. I really didn't need to freeze this cake because it was gone in no time, but do keep it cold in the refrigerator and do use cake flour. Next time I make this cake, I think I'll make it into cupcakes. Maybe Spring would come at last if we all made this cake and joined hands and did a little dance!


Friday, April 13, 2007


Waiting for the mall to open today, I wandered into CVS. I must have done something right in my life because there was one box of these See's Lollypops and one box of the little pops on the shelf with all of the Easter clearance candy! The bonus is this: $3.50 for the Lollypops(regularly $13.75 plus shipping for me) and $1.49 for the Little Pops($3.30 a box). I couldn't quite figure out why CVS was carrying these, but I didn't ask, I just ran to the checkout quickly before anyone realized that there must have been some mistake! I don't think anyone knows what a good thing they had there. And the extra bonus is that my little Russel Stover Coconut Nest's are only 33 cents a pop now! That, my friends, is sweet serendipity.

Chili Friday

I made this chili the other day, but was not crazy about it. It has potential, but needed a lot of work. I added garlic and that helped tremendously, but it still needs a little something. I have tried many a chili recipe only to keep going back to my faithful stand-by. It has a whopping 1/2 cup of chili powder, which is way too much for me, I use about 1-2 tablespoons. I also leave out the stout. Besides those 2 changes this chili is delicious, I love the smokiness of the chipotle peppers and the lime crema makes it extra deliciousness.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Grace - Part 2

You need to click on this and check out this fall. It made me feel less clumsy to see that even people who get paid to walk, still have a little trouble sometimes, okay, a lot of trouble in her case. And to see my runway debut, click here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


A little comic relief for today. This past Sunday I was taking my son out of the nursery at church. There is a baby gate at the door, a new baby gate, a much taller than the old baby gate, gate. I am holding my toddler in my right arm. On my left arm are a few bags, coats, papers, etc. I proceed to step over said baby gate to make our exit so as not to let any of the little nursery people out. You can see where this is going...pencil skirt+high heels+big baby in arms+new, way too high baby gate =
It was all a blur to me, all I remember thinking is, "I'm going down and there is nothing I can do!" I only remember seeing my shoe dangling in the air above my head and my little one looking at me like, "What is wrong with you? You are NOT supposed to fall with me in your arms!" I quickly came to and made my graceful exit only to find my husband on the other side of the door, snickering! Of course, I burst out laughing with him, but I wasn't sure who I felt more sorry for, me, or the missionaries who happen to catch a glimpse!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Chicken Cacciatore

This is a really uncomplicated dinner to make. It only uses about 5 ingredients, which is what I love about it. It got a few nods of approval around here, so I think we will be seeing it again a few times. Oh yes, we will be seeing this one again. I have a tendency to get a little excited when I hit on a meal that appeals to all three of the little gourmands in this house, that is until I make it to death and then no one ever wants to see it again! I will try to exercise a little restraint with this one. I served it with egg noodles and it seemed to work out splendidly.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Animal Bag

Does your house seem to be overflowing with stuffed animals? I came across this solution for storing them awhile back, but haven't made the purchase yet. I am not sure if the animal owners in this house are quite ready to see their pets enclosed like this, but it sure would make a comfy seat, I argue. There are quite a few different shapes and styles to choose from. Find it here.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mom!

The one cake that my Mom makes that is most memorable to me is an angel food cake. She has a lot of variations on the theme, but this one stands out the most to me:

1 angel food cake

1 pint heavy/whipping cream - whipped
1 cup raspberry jam

Fold jam into whipped cream and spread over prepared cake. You may want to freeze the cake so that the cream will adhere more readily. She made this cake many times, and sometimes would substitute chocolate syrup in place of the raspberry jam. The raspberry was my favorite though, so fluffy and creamy. She used to make something similar, but would break up the cake into pieces and use strawberry jell-o and cream, and frozen strawberries. Another good one was her Rocky Road Angel Food Cake. I could go on and on about the delicious things that came out of my Mother's kitchen. If you want to see one more easy, yummy recipe of my Mother's, go here. Happy Birthday, to you!

April Fool's

My one April Fool's trick is this:

2 scoops of vanilla yogurt
2 peach halves or apricots (canned work well)

Place yogurt on a plate and flatten a bit to resemble the egg white. Place the peach or apricot cut side down on the yogurt. There you have 2 fried eggs, sunny side up. Easy. That is the extent of my excitement over this holiday. Of course no one in this house is fooled by it anymore, but they love it and request it every year.

Easter Goods

Nothing says Easter to me more than these Coconut Nests. I look forward to their arrival on the shelves every year. In the past, I would just throw the jelly beans away, but now I can pawn them off on the kids and we're all happy. These nests and I go way back, we have history, so I would have to choose these over Cadbury mini eggs(as much as I love them) as my Easter treat of choice. Get them while you can!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sterling Silver Bubble Wand

Who wouldn't love to get this sterling silver bubble wand in their Easter basket this year? At only $188, I am sure the Easter Bunny can deliver. Or at least I am sure he can come up with $30 for the pewter version. If you haven't received this catalog, make sure you check it out. I have too many favorites to choose from. Make sure you type in a hyphen between chasing and fireflies when searching for this website, something I can't quite figure out pops up otherwise.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Party Thaaang

Last night's edition of Party Thaaang was great, Senior Prom 2003. If you are not lucky enough to live in Rhode Island, then you are probably wondering, "What is Party Thaaang"? Party Thaaang (yes, there really are three a's in THAAANG) is a local cable program which features highlights from the lastest dance club scene, high school dances, proms, bars, etc. There is no plot, dialogue, or cast, just a bunch of people getting their groove on. My husband and I look forward to watching Party Thaaang every chance we get, in an attempt to better familiarize ourselves with the local culture. I guess there are more and more reasons for me to like living in Rhode Island everyday!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

More good stuff

Don't miss the giveaway today at LoveBoxes. DesignMom's guest mom, Lindsey, has featured Love Boxes on today's post. See it here.

Monday, March 19, 2007

more notes to self

My friend, Kathryn reminded me that I too need to make a few notes to help me remember certain things. Today's note to self would be to check all pants pockets before placing them into the washer/dryer. You see, my son went on an adventure to Dave and Buster's on Saturday for a school function. He earned all of these tickets from playing video games and stuffed them into his pockets. He came home and announced that he was going to save them all and earn more tickets to win a really "great" prize! So me, being the brilliant Mother that I am, did not check said pockets (nor do I ever bother to check any pockets) before laundering them today. As I was pulling out ticket after ticket, and lint glob upon lint glob, I asked him, "Just how many tickets did you win on Saturday?" J: "129 Mom, why?" Me:"Oh, just curious..."

Do you know how much lint 129 tickets produces? I have yet to see the end of it. Three loads later and I am still pulling out tickets from the dryer, clothes, and lint trap and I haven't even folded the laundry yet. I know tickets aren't as bad as lipstick or gum, but how am I going to come up with 129 tickets??!!!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Giveaway City

Hey everyone, click on over to this site. My sister-in-law, Tiffany is having a great giveaway today and maybe something next week. Her boxes are hand painted with love, and you will LOVE the market bag in today's prize. It looks like there are a few other goodies to be had by the lucky winner. Get hopping.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Bombay Potatoes

My friend, Jamie Oliver gave me this recipe. It's really good as it is, but I've messed with it a bit, stealing the idea from a potato dish I had at Deepika's house. I think my recipe is WAY better than Jamie's because I use bacon. And we all know that EVERYTHING is better with bacon. Here you go:

6 potatoes, peeled, cubed -parboiled
6 slices bacon, cooked
1/2 t. ground mustard
1 t. chili powder
1 t. cumin
2 t. curry (or more)
1-2 t. fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 scallions chopped
2-4 tomatoes, chopped
handful fresh cilantro, chopped

Boil the potatoes, but not completely, they will finish cooking in the next step. Watch them so that they do not cook all the way through otherwise they will get a bit mooshy (which isn't a bad thing). Meanwhile, fry the bacon in a pan. Remove cooked bacon to a towel or rack. In the same pan you used for the bacon(leave all of the bacon fat in there) add the scallions, ginger and spices, let cook over medium heat just for a few seconds, don't let burn. Now add the potatoes to finish cooking, stirring to get the potatoes covered with the spices. If you need more spices, then add more. Crumble the bacon into the potatoes. Add salt if needed. Once the potatoes are cooked through, turn off the heat and add the cilantro and tomatoes. I hope I haven't left anything out. If you don't trust my recipe, you can always make Jamie's.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Look what I found!

Now you can buy the mix here. You provide the butter, eggs, and milk and they provide the rest plus those cute little dots that adorn the tops of their cupcakes. The recipe for the cream cheese frosting is on the can, so make sure you have all the ingredients ready. In the store you can buy an extra special gift set that includes a single cupcake case for a cupcake on the go. Wouldn't that make a great little something for the cupcake lover in your life?


This is one really good bar of chocolate. I could really go for one right now, but they are not so accessible in my world. Sometimes around Easter I have found Milka Truffle Eggs at CVS or Target, but they don't really do it for me. If I get desperate I may have to order it here. Maybe we should write letters, e-mails, phone calls, etc. to petition the Milka makers to sell their chocolate in our local stores.

Friday, March 09, 2007

2006 Rocked!

My eldest son was given this assignment in school:

It was a very good year because...

His response:

"I made new friends. It also was a good year because I got good presents for Christmas. One thing I got was some tasty cheese spray[in my stocking]. These are reasons why 2006 was a good year."

And to think I fretted and worried that he would be disappointed over not getting a Nintendo DS last year!

Why was 2006 a good year for you?

School Lunch

I hate making lunch in the morning for my kids to take to school. I don't so much hate actually preparing the food, I just hate thinking about what to pack EVERY STINKING DAY OF THE WEEK! It gets awfully old making turkey sandwiches for one and a bagel with cream cheese for the other, day in and day out (since PB&J won't even get a sideways glance) not to mention packing additional sides, drink, and a mid-morning snack. I know they tire of the same old same old as well and if I should run out of supplies I simply dig from the bottom of the barrel and at the end of the day, with looks of disgrace on their faces, I am met with,"Mom! What DID you pack in my lunch today??!!" Enter the Thermal Snack Jar, my life saver. My brilliant sister-in-law, mother of 6, food preparer extordinaire, told me about these gems sometime ago. This was it! The answer to all of my problems! I heat up a can of soup, and lunch is done. I throw in a little of last night's dinner and voila! I put in some cold milk, add cereal to a separate bag and bam! (Sorry for that annoying Emeril reference, it's just so exciting!) Macaroni and cheese, spagetti, hot oatmeal, the possibilites are endless. I now dread the morning lunch-making assembly line no more.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Red Balloon

Do you remember this? I have been searching for books that I haven't read to my kids yet and remembered how much I loved this one as a kid. I recall viewing the film in elementary school more than once and loving that too. There are hardly any words in the film, except Pascal calling, "ballon, ballon" a few times. I love the story of his friend, the balloon and its loyalty. The revolt of the balloons in the end of the story is especially exciting.

Not even this

Can you believe she doesn't even like this one? Of course she doesn't, I like it, therefore she does not. Maybe if I told her I hated it?? Should I get it and make her wear it, or do I risk scarring her for life, (as my husband says he is from being made to wear pink pants as a lad) and years of therapy??!!
Sigh. I know we can find a compromise out there somewhere. Maybe you have a girly girl who would wear this, then I can live vicariously through you for a bit.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Girly Girl

What little girl would not want to wear this ultra pouffy, pink, pretty, precious ballerina skirt?? I'll tell you who wouldn't want to wear it...MY little girl, that's who. I've been shoppping for Easter dresses and have had a difficult time finding something for my once- girly- girl- gone- all- too-cool-teenager on me! It doesn't help when a catalog like this comes to my door, either! If only they made a green or brown corduroy version of her everyday pants into a dress, then maybe she'd be happy!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Swiss Chard

This is the vegetable of the day. I should make it a point to highlight a certain vegetable weekly in this blog, but there are not many vegetables that excite me that much. I love vegetables, don't get me wrong. When prepared the right way, there are not many vegetables that I won't eat. It's just that I don't dream about them. Swiss chard, however, excites me enough to blog about it. I love this stuff. It's very good for you, a lot like spinach, but doesn't leave your mouth as chalky as spinach does. When we had that spinach scare, I used swiss chard as a substitute for most things requiring spinach. It's really pretty to look at too with those colorful stalks. I like to cook it this way:

A little olive oil to a heated pan
A clove of garlic, chopped
Chop up the stems and add to oil first. Saute a bit, then add the chopped up leaves. Saute until wilted sufficiently. Add salt and pepper. Yum-o! You can also add some balsamic vinegar to the pan to add a little zing.

Monday, February 26, 2007

My Sister's Granola

My sister makes the best granola that I have tasted. She's no granola, far from it, but she knows good granola. The recipe makes a HUGE amount, so I've reduced it by half here.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

4 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup coconut
1 cup nuts i.e. sunflower seeds, walnuts( I like almonds)
1 cup dried fruit, any kind(I like unsweetend pineapple, apricots...)

Mix all of the above in a large bowl.

1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup honey
2 t. vanilla

Heat oil and honey to a rolling boil. Turn off heat and add vanilla. Pour over granola mixture and blend well. Spread on a baking sheet.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes, stirring the granola every 5 minutes while baking to ensure even browning. Watch it closely as it can burn fast. For softer granola do not bake as long. This is a great basic recipe add or subtract ingredients according to your taste. You can use less sugar if you like, increase the amount of wheat germ, add flax seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, raisins, it's perfect for experimenting. I'm going to go make some right now.


Do Not Forget to Vote...

The contenders are in, it is time to cast your vote for the next Haagen Dazs limited edition flavor. Click here to cast your vote and see the 10 flavors vying for your consideration. ( The last contest winner, Sticky Toffee Pudding, showed up at my doorstep last summer, free of charge, because they felt so sorry for me that I had moved to podunk RI.) I am trying to decide between Ginger Cashew Crunch, Caramelized Pear & Toasted Pecan, or Lillikoi Butter & Macadamia Nut. Which flavor will you choose?

P.S. Lindsey, I suggest you get in on the next contest, you would for sure win.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Chocolate Sparkle Cookies

Here is the recipe for the cookies I've been promising Liz and Michelle. The recipe comes from this bakery in Vancouver, Canada. I've never been there personally, but I've made the cookies enough to know that it would be worth the trip. They are lovely and chocolatey and rich and you don't even miss the flour. I usually buy the almond meal at Trader Joe's, but you can easily do it yourself with some almonds and sugar and a food processor(just subtract the amount of sugar added to the almonds from the recipe). Make sure the almonds are really cold when you process them or you will get almond butter, which isn't such a bad thing really.