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My Crazy Impulsive Night

 I can be an impulsive person. I come by it honestly because my parents are very impulsive. They would go out shopping to buy a gallon of milk and would come back with a new car. When I was a teenager, it wasn't a surprise to me to wake up on a winter Saturday morning to find a note on the table that would read "We went to find the sunshine!". We live in Kansas... usually finding the sunshine in the dead of winter would mean at least an 8-10 hour drive to Texas. When an impulse would hit, they would follow it. Last night I was a bit impulsive. No... I didn't buy a new car or take a jaunt to someplace sunnier. I did not even buy that iPhone that I have been so tempted to buy. Nope... at 11pm last night, I had a sudden urge to give caramel making a try. I have been wanting to make caramel for a long time. What made that want suddenly a must last night, I have no idea... but when the urge hit I went with it. Browsing the web a bit, I stumbled upon the blog of Chez Pim (who incidentally is the one hosting Menu for Hope...have you seen all the great prize donations??). Chez Pim has a recipe for Salted Butter caramels that tempted my taste buds the very first time I read the recipe. I decided that this recipe would be the one I use for my first attempt at caramel making.Of course, sometimes when you are impulsive, you run into obstacles.  One... I had only a half cup of honey. Two... my cream had gone bad. If you remember from any of my previous posts, one area … [Continue reading]

Traitor, Hypocrite…call me what you’d like

 I feel like such a traitor. We have the best little local coffee house in our suburb. It was the only little coffee house in our suburb.  The Country Club Cafe is a family friendly place that has a small play area for the kiddos to hang out at while the mom's sit around and chat and enjoy a nice cup of coffee. The owners of the coffee house give back to the community and seriously make you feel like you are part of a family right when you walk in the door. Well, guess who just went in right next door?  Starbucks. Seriously, they practically share the same parking lot and of all the places out here that would be ideal for another coffee shop to be, Starbucks had to go in right...next....door.I was really upset about it when I first heard the news and saw the building as it was being constructed. I did not want my little coffee shop to be shut down by a Starbucks! I just didn't get it.Well, it took about a month of being open before I was actually tempted to stop by. It was pouring rain, freezing cold and I had all three kids in the car. I needed something to warm me up and as I passed my neighborhood coffee shop, and then passed the Starbucks, the sign reading "drive thru now open" drew me in. Before I knew it I found myself ordering an eggnog latte. I felt a bit guilty as I drove out of the parking lot and looked over at my neighborhood coffee shop. Not so guilty that I didn't totally enjoy the coffee, but I did feel like a bit of a traitor. Two days … [Continue reading]

Menu for Hope

 Like every mother out there and every mother's mother, I can often be found spouting off the words "There are starving kids in <enter country/city/state on the tip of your tongue at the moment> who would love to have a nice hot meal. Eat your dinner!". Well, it is time that I put my money where my mouth is. There are starving kids all over the world. Kids who do not know when they are going to have their next meal...let alone a hot meal. Kids who have maybe lost their parents...kids who have to beg for a simple meal simply so they can survive.How many times do we look into our overflowing pantry and still complain that there is nothing good to eat? Well, these children do not have the luxury of overflowing pantry's or the ability to make a quick jaunt to the store to buy what they crave. They simply eat when the food is available, which in many cases, is on a rare occasion. They cannot afford to be picky... whatever they get is what they take. For the fourth year running, blogger Chez Pim is hosting the Menu for Hope. Last year Menu for Hope raised almost $61,000 to help fight hunger. I can tell you are intrigued. Keep reading to find out what Menu for Hope is and how you can donate as little as $10, earn the chance of winning some fantastic prizes (like the Breadman TR875 2-Pound Breadmaker, Stainless Steel I'm donating) and help a very worthy cause. What exactly is the Menu for Hope?  (Scroll down to the very bottom of this post to see how you can … [Continue reading]

A Very Humble Thank You

 I remember the Well Fed Networks Food Blog awards from last year. I was new to the food blogging world then, and recall being introduced to several fabulous food blogs through those awards. Right now the 2007 Well Fed Networks Food Blog Awards are taking place. I knew and was surprised that I had been nominated in the category for Best Food Blog - Family/Kids category. I was even more shocked this morning when I was notified that my blog made it to the final nominations...Dine and Dish is in the top five finals in the Family/Kids category with four other amazing blogs. I am completely  humbled, and want to thank you all for your support. I started this blog to stay connected with my family. It has turned into a passionate hobby... having readers that keep coming back and that get some joy out of what I write makes it the icing on the cake. I couldn't thank you all more.Make sure you head over to The Well Fed Network and vote for your favorite blogs. There are a lot of great categories and to even be considered a finalist among all of these talented writers is humbling. Thank you!To vote in the category for best Family/Kids blog, head here (click on the highlighted section): Well Fed Network Best Food Blog - Family/KidsTo see the entire list of food blogs nominated for different categories, click below:Well Fed Network Best Food Blog Awards   … [Continue reading]

The Gingerbread Man Hunt

 I love traditions. My husband cracks up at me because if we do something once, and enjoy it, then I make it a tradition to do that same thing every year! It seems like this time of year we have my made up traditions coming out of the woodwork. One tradition that got its start last year in our home, and will continue for as long as I can pull it off with my children, is that of the missing gingerbread man cookie. You may (or may not) recall last year that in this post (It's 2pm...Do You Know Where Your Gingerbread Man is?) I documented the start of this fun tradition. Based on an experience I had and remember vividly from Kindergarten and based on the story about the "run run as fast as you can" gingerbread man, we once again made gingerbread men cookies. In the oven they went... eight at a time. Out of the oven, much to my short attention spanned children's dismay(which in short means that they couldn't sit in front of the oven for the entire baking time), came 7 little gingerbread men. One gingerbread man from each batch got loose, and my kids went on a massive gingerbread man hunt to find them. It happened to snow on the day of the gingerbread man adventure and Jacob swore that he saw itsy bitty footprints in the snow, resembling the gingerbread man's footprint. Kelly was convinced that the gingerbread man somehow got flushed down the toilet. Either way, the hunt went on and on for several hours. The kids called Grandma so she could be involved in the hunt, … [Continue reading]