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Food and Wine Top 100 Tastes – #65 Freeze Dried Flavors

When I decided to undertake the Food and Wine 100 Tastes to Try in 2007 challenge, I didn't anticipate how hard it would be to obtain some of the items. Maple Flakes, for one, aren't found in the US. They are sold only out of Canada and they don't have an online store. Some wines, like a wine from the Tasmania region, seems to be next to impossible to locate (I still need to talk to my trusty wine guy about this one). I thought for sure in this day and age of web stores and online shopping, finding anything and buying it would be a breeze. Since we are into month two of 2007, I'm looking over the list and realize I need to get busy! Unlike Rachel and Kate who are full speed ahead on this little venture, I'm taking a slow and steady approach. Why? Time, for one. With work, the three kids, and Mommy Brain, I keep forgetting to sit down and order items. Second reason? Finances! Some of these things are expensive to ship and we are still feeling the crunch from the holidays. Even so, I will persevere. I'm having a great time discovering new tastes and I am having an even better time being able to "shop" in the name of research.Taste number 65 on the list is Freeze Dried Flavors. When I think of freeze dried food, I think about the dried ice cream that my parents brought back to us kids after a trip to NASA one year.  To find freeze dried food, I went to the Honeyvillegrain website. They have an enormous selection of freeze dried food. I decided to go for a can of … [Continue reading]

Snicker What??

Have you ever heard a 3 year old say "Snickerdoodle"? Apparently, it is the funniest word in the English language because when I made Snickerdoodles today and mentioned the name of the cookie to Kelly, she went off in a fit of giggles. Then she tried to repeat the name..."Schneekerdoodie", in a high pitched voice, resulting in another fit of giggles. Not quite sweetie, but close enough. In fact, I think I may like the name "Schneekerdoodie" with the giggling better.Snickerdoodles or Schneekerdoodies... either way you say it these cookies speak comfort to me. They are perfect for a day like today, when the temps are freezing and staying in with some hot chocolate and a warm fire seems much more inviting.We love Snickerdoodles in our house. Some people prefer their snickerdoodles to be crunchy. At our house, we like them to be very soft with a slightly crispy outer edge, and with a dash of extra cinnamon.  If you like your snickerdoodles this way, the key is to take them out of the oven when they look like they may need one minute more. They may look a little underdone, but take them out anyway. Let them sit on the baking sheet for 2 minutes to firm up and then move them to a wire rack to cool. If you are looking for a bit of comfort, and are craving something sweet, give our favorite "Snickerdoodie" recipe a try!Snickerdoodles3/4 cup shortening … [Continue reading]

Happy Birthday Kansas!

In case you missed the news, the great state of Kansas turned 146 yesterday. That's really not very old... I hear that 146 is the new 30, so Kansas is still a young spring chicken. My son came home from school pumped full of Kansas information. He quizzed us all on what the state flower was (the Sunflower), what the state bird is (the Meadowlark), etc, etc. When my 3 year old found out it was somebody's birthday she said "Mommy, we need to make a cake for Kansas. He'll really like it and we can have a party for him." I am never one to turn down an opportunity to bake, so I set out to find what kind of cake to make for Kansas. After a little research, I settled on Kansas Dirt Cake. It really isn't a cake, but it is still good! The cake was made, a few neighbor kids came over for a little party, and we celebrated the birthday of Kansas. Kelly kept waiting for the guest of honor to arrive, very confused as to why we were having a party for someone who didn't even have the courtesy to show up. In the end, I think she was glad because that just meant more cake for her.Speaking of parties, have you heard about the Ultimate Blog Party being held by the folks over at 5 Minutes for Mom? It is going to be quite the shin dig, with tons of great prizes for those attending! This is a party for all bloggers, not just moms. Make sure to check it out. Hope you can make it!  … [Continue reading]

Meet Daredevil and Chicken Little

We went to a birthday party on Saturday afternoon for our old neighbors daughter who was turning one. The birthday party was at a fun little place called The Elite Gym. The Elite Gym is full of trampolines, inflatables, slides, big rope swings, foam pits to jump into, etc. Anything a child would need to let out some energy and have some fun is at The Elite Gym. We've been there several times before for birthday parties and for their open gym time on Friday mornings. This was the first time we've been though where Kelly has really been old enough to climb the things and set out on her own.The only thing is... Kelly wasn't on her own. She was the leader of the pack. She was the first one of all the kids (most of them were a good 1-2 years older than her) to try out the most daring things. She stood on top of a platform and held on to a Big Bird trapeze and jumped off holding for dear life. She was swinging back and forth while the other kids watched nervously, not sure that they wanted go there. She was the first to jump off of a giant vault horse into the foam pit. She was the first to make it all the way through the inflatable climbing up to the very top and going down the huge slide. Jacob, on the other hand, was so cautious. He never did the trapeze or rope swing. He was happier just running around with his buddies playing up in the treehouse. He didn't want to have anything to do with jumping off high platforms or swinging back and forth over a big foam pit. He had no … [Continue reading]

I finally did it!

I know that grocery stores aren't the most glamorous places to buy bread, but our Kroger bakery has the best rustic Italian Loaf I have ever tried. Since I enjoy baking bread, I don't usually buy artisan or homemade style bread from stores, but I have yet to be able to duplicate the goodness of the Kroger Rustic Italian Loaf. When I am hungry for that specific loaf, I head to Kroger and purchase one to bring home.I had given up on trying to find a recipe that would result in a loaf as good as Krogers. I still tried different Rustic Italian Loaf recipes, but I never anticipated that these attempts would end up being a close comparison to the Kroger loaf.Yesterday I promised my husband I would make some bread. I asked him if he had a particular kind in mind and he said "Surprise me.". I did the easiest thing that came to mind and logged on to Recipezaar. I wanted to try a new recipe, and I had a meeting for a few hours in the afternoon so I wanted my bread machine to do the dough work for me. I came across a recipe for Rustic Italian Bread by andypandy. The recipe had high reviews from the previous chefs and it had some lovely photos along side of it.  From all angles, it looked like a winner.The result?? A winner it was. It had a soft, yet crusty outside and a soft and chewy inside. My husband and I agreed, it was better than the bread at Kroger! I am so excited to finally be able to produce something better than the Italian Loaf at Krogers bakery.  For … [Continue reading]