Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I noticed this the other night, across the living room.
Her face is buried in the couch cushion as she's sleeping.
I couldn't make this up if I tried.
Monday, October 25, 2010
It is no secret that I have food issues. Ask anyone who knows me pretty well and they'll agree. I want my food to be hot when it is supposed to be hot, cold when it's supposed to be cold, and properly prepared as it should be.
As a consumer, I shouldn't have to request that food be sent back to the kitchen.
As a consumer, I shouldn't have to check the expiration dates on food at the grocery store.
But let me tell you.
I HAVE HAD IT WITH CASH WISE & COBORN'S.
Know someone who works there?
Know someone who will read my blog and do something about it?
Want to contact them to say, "someone wrote about you"....GO FOR IT.
Give them my blog address.
Here's the story.
On Saturday I did my normal errands (Wal-Mart/Target, grocery, etc). As I was going through the aisles at Cash Wise, I came to the dairy aisle. I needed the normal stuff: milk, cheese, yogurt.
As I was making my way past the case with the cream cheese I grabbed what I needed and then thought about picking up a tub of onion & chive cream cheese. The Big Guy loves that stuff on an English muffin. I love it on a baked potato. As I grabbed one to put it into the cart, I flipped it over to look at the expiration date.
Now, normally folks don't do this because they trust that their grocery store is going to rotate their stock. Sadly, the dairy department at Cash Wise is hit or miss. It has been more than once that I've gotten home and items have been either expired or will expire by the next day or so.
Wanna see what I saw?
This was the first one I picked up.....
The photo is fuzzy as it was taken with my cell phone. The date?
MARCH 20, 2010.
So, I grabbed another one.
Here it is.....
JULY 8, 2010.
So, I started to dig through the onion & chive cream cheese.
I PICKED UP AT LEAST 6 TUBS....ALL WITH EXPIRATION DATES OF THAT WERE SEVERAL MONTHS OUT OF DATE.
I'm tired of being a consumer who spends, on average, $75 a week at this store. I drive at least 30 miles ROUND TRIP to visit this store because the Coborn's in our town is just as bad, if not worse. I shouldn't have to check expiration dates while at the store. I shouldn't have to bring up arm loads of expired food to the customer service desk to have the staff (who are very nice, by the way) say "oh my word!!" and call people to come clear the shelves.
I don't even want to imagine what would happen if I bought this, the Big Guy ate it (or worse, I ate it) to become ill. What if we became so ill that we were hospitalized? Would it be my fault as the consumer because I didn't check the dates? Or is it the stores fault? Or both?
Either way...it shouldn't even be an issue.
Pass this onto whomever you want.
I doubt this will do any good....but at least I got to vent.
(yeah, I know I was shooting for $60 a week at the grocery, but produce is out of this world expensive. I tried. Our average is higher, but still considerably lower than what we were spending a year ago.)
Friday, October 22, 2010
I thought I'd wrap up this week of crockpot recipes with one of my favorite chicken recipes. I actually got this out of Women's Day earlier this summer and each time I make it, I want to lick the extra sauce out of the crockpot.
That's normal, right?
Anyway, here's the link to the Women's Day article. I also copied their photo as well. I mean, why reinvent the wheel. You can also read how I make it by following the recipe below.
Chili Orange Chicken
3/4 cup enchilada sauce
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
1 T chili powder
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or 4, bone in chicken breasts)
3 T orange marmalade
2 t grated orange zest
Place chicken in the crock pot.
In a small bowl, mix enchilada sauce, BBQ sauce, chili powder and cumin together. Pour over the chicken.
Cook on low for 5-7 hours or until chicken is cooked through.
Remove chicken. Whisk in the orange marmalade & orange zest. When well blended, spoon over chicken.
And if all the stars have aligned, the heavens parted and the angels have sung....your chicken will look like this.....complete with orange slice. (ha!)
(the photo I
stole borrowed from Woman's Day)
If not, don't worry.
It still tastes wonderful.
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
On Monday I shared with you my favorite soup in the crockpot. Today I thought I'd share with you a new "staple" in our fridge.
And before I go further, I had a lovely surprise when the author of Crockpot 365 stopped by my little corner of the internet on Monday and left a comment! Thanks, Stephanie!OK. Back to the apple butter, because honestly...you want to make this.
If you're not familiar with apple butter, it is sold in most grocery stores in the jam/jelly section. It's not like a jelly or jam where gelatin is involved. In fact, it's really just apples that are cooked down like applesauce and then blended until smooth.
I made this for the first time 3 weeks ago and have made a batch every weekend since. The Big Guy likes it on toast. I love it mixed into my steel cut oatmeal.
The Crockpot 365 site had this recipe, you can view it by clicking here and I've tweaked it just ever so slightly, mainly in the area of the sugar. As Stephanie says, "3 cups is a LOT." I agree. My version is below.
Note: if you don't have an immersion blender, you'll want to peel these apples before you put them in the crock pot. If you have an immersion blender, you can skip the peeling.
Apples: with it being apple season, you can really go with any apple variety that you'd like. I've used Harroldson's, Cortland's (my favorite) and Honeycrisp's. The choice is up to you. But you'll need at least 3 pounds or more. Depends on how big your crock pot is. I used 1 full bag and 1/2 of a second bag.
Cut up your apples. Fill your crockpot to the top with cut up apples. (I leave my apples in big chunks...).
Add 1 T of vanilla
Cook apples on low for at least 6 hours. After 6 hours, take a wooden spoon and see if apples are easily broken apart. If you can break them apart into a chunky applesauce, then the apple butter is ready. If not, continue to cook on low for another hour. When apples are easily broken apart, add:
1T of cinnamon
2-4 T of brown sugar
stir until well combined.
Use your immersion blender to blend apples until very smooth (or scoop apples into a blender and blend until smooth). Apple butter will be a dark brown color.
Spoon into containers and store in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for 6 months. I spoon apple butter into a small container and use that during the week and then freeze the rest in smaller portions.
Monday, October 18, 2010
It is no secret that I love to cook with my crockpot. In fact, I use my crockpot at least 2 times a week, sometimes more. Unless we are out of town, I make at least one dish in the crockpot on the weekends.
So, I thought that I'd share with you some of my favorite recipes for the crock pot.
Embrace the crockpot, my friends!
One of my favorite websites is Crockpot 365, where the blog author used her crockpot everyday for a year. I get a lot of my recipes from there and this one is no exception! You can find the link to her recipe here, or you can read it below.
Butternut Squash Soup
1 butternut squash, peeled & cubed
2 apples, diced (you can leave the skins on)
2 small onions diced (or 2T of onion flakes)
4 cups of chicken stock
1 1/2 t of salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t cloves
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t coriander
1/4 t cinnamon
Toss all ingredients into the crock pot.
Cook on low for 6 hours.
Using an immersion blender (or a "stick blender") to blend the cooked squash, apples and onions until smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender but please be careful!
Hot liquid + covered blender = a big mess if you're not careful!
Once blended, you're done! Serve with warm crusty bread and enjoy.
This soup? Lord have mercy. It was divine!
It was awesome.
I'd show you a photo, but there is no soup left as I ate the last bowl for lunch on Sunday.
Friday, October 15, 2010
I think the photos and the blog title speak for themselves....
(that's Tracy...the one who commented, "Oh Crap.")
(I swear...hand to God...that we did not pose her for this photo. She did this all on her own without any coaching or posing!)
(yes. That's my husband. God love him.)
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Can someone please explain this to me?
I do not understand how someone in the fashion industry, got all the other fashion designers and all the people who live and eat and sleep fashion, to buy into the fact that skinny jeans are a good thing.
What were they thinking?
I swear that if someone takes away my boot-cut jeans I'm going to have hurt someone.
photos from Google Images
Monday, October 11, 2010
Recently on one of the local new stations they did an opinion piece on why, of all the cancers and all the cancer movements, why is it that breast cancer gets the most attention.
Think about it.
You can donate your yogurt lids to raise money for breast cancer.
You can buy Cheddar Sun Chips and donate money to Susan G Komen.
You can find various pink items on end caps at Target & Wal-Mart.
Other cancers have months for awareness as well.
Can you name them?
Don't feel bad. Neither can I.
And until 3 years ago, I was one of those people who said, "Why in the world do we focus so much attention on breast cancer." But 3 years ago this week, I received an e-mail that changed my perception of pink ribbons, the month of October and doing charity walks.
That e-mail was from Amy.
That e-mail told me she had cancer.
Do I wish we focused on other cancer causes? OF COURSE! I am a firm believer that research done for one cancer helps another.
I also don't believe that other cancer causes have been overshadowed. I just don't think they've got the "umpf" behind them like breast cancer does. Hate the idea that the cancer that had an impact on you doesn't have a month behind it? Then do something. Stand up. Fight back. Make a difference. Stop complaining & start doing.
So, when people ask me, "why such a focus on breast cancer?" my reply is simple.
Because someone stood up and shouted "OH HELL NO!" loudest.
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Monday, October 04, 2010
As we were driving up to Nisswa last weekend, we saw two signs that I had to take photos of and post on the ol' blog.
As you drive into Nisswa, you pass this sign:
Every time I see it I smile because only this tiny, tourist town can have a sign like that. And if you're wondering...yes! The shopping is pretty good.
Finally....a campaign sign for the local county sheriff.
Yes. It says "Aho for Sheriff". I know...it's hard to read due to the rain
Interpret as you'd like.
Either way, what an unfortunate last name!
(says the girl who's new last name is the same as a fictional character from a 70's TV sit-com.)
No I do not endorse this candidate...but I did want to prove that he is for real!
Friday, October 01, 2010
If you're new to this blog, you might want to read this post first before going any further.
If you're not new to this blog, and are wondering, "What post is that again", you might want to take a moment and refresh your memory.
I decided that at the reception the Big Guy needed a grooms cake. We didn't have a cake at all. In fact, we asked certain friends and family members to make a pan or two of bars or cookies to then create a dessert buffet!
It was delish and we got lots of compliments on the idea.
So delish that I've been on a sugar high for the last week from all the left overs.
Ok. Where was I?
Oh yes....the grooms cake.I decided I wanted to do this cake as a surprise for the Big Guy. At a wedding show back in February of 2009 (yes! 2009!) I came across a bakery that does custom cakes as well as wedding cakes. The grooms cake was done by a bakery called Cocoa & Fig and we cannot begin to tell you how amazing they were to work with as well as how amazing the cake itself tasted.
Here is the cake! How awesome is that! Thank you Tracy for taking the photos!
Isn't it awesome?!?
Of course, my cousin Karla asked us to smash the cake into each other's faces. We refused and instead, fed ourselves.
Fitting, don't you think?
Have a good weekend!
I'm off to walk 15 miles to burn off all this sugar.