Sunday, September 27, 2009

What I Sent....Swap Package



I sent out my first package on Swap-bot. I was nervous about whether the recipient would like it. I was happy that I received a 5 and a heart (the highest combined rating you can get).

-----Current Texas Map...the person I was sending to lives in Texas. I had this because I enjoy travel and always order the Texas Travel Guide each year. I have plans for a trip to Texas....but have no idea when that will happen.
Among the things I want to do in Texas:
Attend SXSW (a music+film+interactive festival that takes place in Austin each year)
See Austin City Limits
Look for a historical record that I want to see (about relatives in Colorado)
Buy a yellow rose grown there and press it
Photograph yellow roses
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-----"Eighties Undead" Pin...this is a series about the fact that many things from the 80s are being revived to make money...but they are just not the same. This series makes me smile. I think it says a lot about the intentions of the people trying to make money by recycling the good things to come out of pop culture in such a careless manner.
-----Rainbow Blight Pin (from the "80s Undead" Series)


-----Rainbow Blight on Death Dancer Pin.

-----Fairy Pin (obviously not from the "80's Undead" Series). Pictured below is a print because I do not have a picture of a pin.

Business Card for Archaic Sculpture to go with the pins.
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-----Folded up the tissue paper left over after my attempts at wrapping the pins....stuck in as cushion/filler/one can always use tissue paper.
-----4 alligator clips. One of these was holding some organza ribbon wrapped around a package containing a plastic bread bag clip. Plus, another fairly long bunch of organza....both organza bunches a pretty blue color.
-----Long Life Stamp
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Thebluestbutterfly's Ramen Concoction Recipe
4 packs Ramen (do not add seasoning until some of water absorbed in noodles...i.e. mainly cooked)
1 can albacore tuna
Ground Black Pepper to taste (I only use McCormick's)
Thyme to taste
Can of Peas
Small tablespoon minced garlic
Garlic powder to taste

Put in water. Put in noodles...no hurry. Put in seasoning packets after noodles cooked some. Add peas,tuna and minced garlic. Season with garlic powder,thyme and black pepper...all to taste. Make sure stirring as do not want to stick.If starts making sighing sounds (getting ready to stick), add a little water but let absorb....I have to do this a couple times. Make sure peas and albacore are heated. Shortly before serve, add tiny pinch of garlic powder,pepper and thyme. Best served hot....but let cool enough so won't burn mouth. Serves 2-4.

I printed a recipe card template I found on the internet and then wrote it out. I thought about it and should probably add that it is chicken-flavored Ramen that I use.
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-----Black Currant Tea package....not sure I have tried this yet. I will refresh my memory on this tea soon.
-----Lady Grey Tea package. I like this better than Earl Grey....it doesn't have an aftertaste.
-----Fantastic 4 Valentines. Fun.
-----A few stickers.

-----Cartel's "Chroma" CD.


-----A whitefish recipe....I love whitefish.
-----A currant cheeseball recipe....I love currants.
-----A skein of red tapestry thread.



Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday 13......Taste of Home Cooking School

1. We took a trip to see a "Taste of Home Cooking School" show this past weekend. It was a lot of fun. I was a guest of Taste of Home/SheSpeaks!


2. There was a vendor show beforehand that mainly focused on local items. Since we had dinner with us Husband bought me a butterfly necklace out of the money that was originally supposed to go to dinner. Husband also bought some butterfly earrings that he is going to disassemble and make into some sort of jewelry piece....Husband is an artist. Husband got what I call "Husband Points" for this bit of sweetness. I wore the necklace to work on my first day back from the trip. :-)

Husband says that the butterflies are laser cut steel or aluminum...so, they are sturdier than I thought at first. The butterflies go all around the front and I like how one looked almost gold-colored in this photo. Also pictured is one of my fave butterfly items from a Goodwill shop and one of my fave amethyst geodes. The vendor Husband bought my new necklace from is an upscale consignment boutique called "Still Stylin'."

3. This was one of the inaugural voyages of using the sound recorder on my computer for an event. The sound recording failed miserably and one of my cameras (that has a sound recorder) also re-broke itself. In hindsight, I also should have brought my handheld tape recorder. This is the longest event I have ever tried to record. I wanted to go back through the recording when I was writing about this event. Luckily, I also took some notes on paper.

4. Another thing I need to practice for when I am writing about events is getting up. I was making live comments on various places on the Internet for a while....so I had the laptop in my lap. The presenter Jamie Piette called me up and gave me a new "Healthy Cooking" magazine as I am one of her new Facebook friends! The new magazine was exciting....and I need to master putting the laptop aside in a less awkward manner. In my efforts to keep the laptop safe, I actually crouched on the floor at one point before I went up to the edge of the stage.....*blush.*

Above is the magazine that I was given. I am excited because there are some recipes in here that are ideal for diabetics....my Mother is diabetic, has heart issues and Stage 4 Breast Cancer. I will be passing carefully selected recipes on. :-)

5.


10 recipes were presented and I liked that they were pretty easy to follow along....listed in the program and then illustrated in the recipes in the Official Publication of the Taste of Home Cooking School (a magazine cookbook done just for the shows). I will blog recipes from the cookbook as I make them.

I am definitely going to make the Caramel Apple Twist that was demonstrated....audience interaction got really fun here as the audience encouraged our presenter, Jamie, to put ALL of the icing on!

6. Among the recipes presented was Chex Snickerdoodle Mix.

More Chex recipes and some Rhodes recipes. It was mentioned in the show that Rhodes has a baking hotline....but I haven't been able to find the number yet.


7.

My friend asked me to bring back any recipes that I thought might be good for him to do. I am starting by looking through this book of recipe cards that was in the goodie bag. He seems to like a lot of comfort foods...so, I am sure that I will have some recommendations from here.

8.

I had been
wishing for new Ziploc containers on I Want Wednesday for a while. I got one and couple of bags. :-) I will blog about them as I try them out.

I also got a few measuring gadgets (not from Ziploc).

9.
-----I want to make "Garden Harvest Chili." I might end up doing it without the corn though.
-----Curried Tuna Sandwiches. My only experiences with curry have been bad (Chinese restaurants,Indian restaurants and one over-enthusiastic seasoner).....I want to see if I can fix this.
-----Sunflower Strawberry Salad. Looking at the photo, I think this might be really tasty.
-----Cucumber Shell Salad. I am absolutely planning on making this one. I am a big fan of anything resembling pea salad. This is the recipe I usually use for pea salad.
-----Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake. I love the picture of this in the recipe book I received...beautiful.

10.

I managed to bend this one up a little while we were still at the show. Doesn't the dish on the cover look yummy?


11.
A box containing a little pile of paper towels to sample from Viva. Wow...they are thick.

Wine Wheel from Gallo Family Vineyards. I placed it on the side of my fridge.

12. Husband was one of a minority of men at the show.

The two things that stuck out for Husband:
Liked the Harlequin cake....and plans to make one himself.
The Chex Mix Snack was pretty good.....he enjoyed that thoroughly.

Oh....and Husband is a sculptor. He wants to do molds for me so that I have a permanent way to use make chocolate leaves for garnishes (a technique for chocolate leaves was demonstrated at the show).

Husband REALLY liked the chair below.


13. Thank you, Jamie. It was wonderful to meet you. It was really obvious that you and your Husband are very much in Love.....and it is neat when that is really obvious.


Hell's Kitchen, Season 6. Episodes 10 and 11.

EPISODE 10


-----I like Sabrina a lot. She strikes me as very talented.....despite portrayals of her on the show.
-----The venison thing had some humor to it...but I would have said something. Usually if you persist in saying something emphatically enough and backing your point, people will take a look at your statement.
-----I would think that by tasting, like a chef is supposed to, venison could be identified. Indeed, on my second viewing I noticed that Chef Ramsay asked if anyone had tasted the venison.
-----I was very upset with the lying that was done to Chef...competing with integrity makes you feel beter in the end.
-----Araxi. This restaurant has a live tank.
-----I admired Ramsay's choice of judges for the challenge.
-----Campanile. Of the items on their menu, I am most interested in the Blood Orange Salad and the Strawberry Cobbler.
-----Grilled Cheese sandwiches are my favorite food.
-----I am tired of restaurants being described as "cute"...two times was two times too many.
-----I have never smelled pigs up close.
-----Lemongrass Sauce that sounds good. I have actually had Lemongrass Sauce but it was at a Thai restaurant that managed to make it burnt and kind of like lumpy gravy. My lemongrass sauce was at a restaurant we will never go to again....Husband's dish was not lemongrass and he got sick.
-----I have never cooked with Swiss Chard either...I usually substitute fresh spinach.
-----I was surprised that a chef did not know what parsnips are.
-----Frozen pork...REALLY not good. There have been two restaurants that we have never come back to for things like this....one had raw chicken and the other raw fish. Husband is sometimes very protective of me.....and there was raw chicken in my stir-fry both times we went (a Mongolian place). The second time only some of the chicken was completely raw....the first time it was all of it. Husband does not want me to get sick as I have a tendency to do from the least bit of undercooked from things like chicken and pork....thyroid problems and IBS can make for getting pretty sick. The other place we are not going to again had REALLY frozen fish and is not worth the risk of wasting that much money.
-----Dave's determination impresses me.
-----Speed is important.
-----I have never cooked halibut.
-----They are cooking fish from frozen? Is it frozen or almost all the way thawed. I thaw my fish....and it does take a WHILE.
-----Wow...dinner service was disappointing. It was disappointing even for being at home.
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EPISODE 11



-----I would definitely have studied Ramsay's dishes before coming on this show.
-----I liked Dave's "autopsy" method.
-----Presentation counts when imitating a dish, too. Imitating a dish is really imitating a dish.
-----I like Christina so much.....very intelligent.
-----I would like going to dine at Hell's Kitchen if I had a seat where I could observe some of the interactions.
-----Thinking ahead
-----There was clearly more of a sense of competition in later episodes this season. Some of the competition was was efforts to cut down self-esteem leading up to the ever-crucial Services.
-----Nice portions. That is what I hate about dining out....paying more money than eating at home, sometimes getting a better meal.....but often being hungry at the table or shortly thereafter.
-----The sync with others might be hard...unless you had co-workers who were consistent or only had workstyle patterns that you had seen from them before.
-----I would fight straight out based on talent and not try to get rid of stronger competitors...that's how I am though. I would more concentrate on improving my own skills.
-----I was proud of Van at the very end of this episode.
-----Tonight was one of the few times I was disappointed in Dave...really disappointed. I am not cheering for Dave anymore.

I DON'T KNOW WHO I WANT TO WIN
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Recipes I found that have Lemongrass Sauce:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What I'm Wishing For.... :-)

This week the question we were to answer what it is that we want to know.
-----I want to know why dramatic people never seem to stop. I want to know why they don't mind when people resent the havoc they wreak. I want to know WHY?
-----I want to know why things I try to do for several years usually fall through at the last minute. Why my plans and dreams are dispensable....and why others see no problem in making this clear.
-----I want to know why many people don't see me as a human being due to my eye problem. I want to know why people pretend that this treatment is horrifying....but do the same thing to me. Also, why I can put on a pair of sunglasses and the same people are nice to me and don't recognize me...why they see the eye problem and not me. I want to know why people mistake me for anyone else they have seen at my work who has an eye problem or is less than conventionally pretty.
-----I want to know why other people choose to vent their childhood issues on me.
-----I want to know why Doggie only gives kisses for the most part when I get in the car after being at work. The kisses-after-work are a ritual with Doggie. :-)
-----I want to know why men are naturally better at video games and role-playing games (like Warhammer 40K) and there are games that I can't get no matter how I try (like some parts of Warhammer 40K).
-----I want to know why some people spend their every day thinking about how they can make their life better and how they can control the lives of those around them. I want to know why you would want to be like this and why you cannot see that it makes all involved unhappy. I want to know why I cannot figure out a way to not be in pain over such behavior.
-----I want to know what my newest niece will be like. :-) I love doing the Christmas presents for the little ones in my family. So far, I have found one curbside item and have stockings that were a gift from a friend (I used some of them last year and the kids loved them). I generally put a lot of effort into holiday presents....and a lot of hunting and gathering. :-) Seeing the smiles is one of my favorite parts of being an aunt. :-)
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Other things I want:
-----To get a working record player. Also, to collect more records. I go to a lot of thrift shops and rarely find an unscratched record. I must find a way to travel to record shops more often...yes, I have to travel to find a record shop (groan). I plan to make some sort of turntable...and hope that I will not ruin records using it.
-----To buy a graphic novel called "Nixon's Pals." It is about a man who is a parole officer for super heroes. Imagine the training one would have to do for a job like that.
-----To get a big thick chopping block like they use at the CIA (Culinary Institute of America). I would also like to have a set-up where a large amount of my countertops are chopping blocks (like Julia Child's kitchen).
-----The series "The Chopping Block" to have another season. For what it's worth, I agreed with the choice that was made for the winner of this show. I could not make up my mind what I thought of the second place couple and I really liked the third place couple. I really learned a lot from this show. I think that I might eventually like Marco Pierre White more than Gordon Ramsay.
-----I would like Trader Joe's to post more of their products online. It is hard when they only talk about 3 or 4 products at a time. I went to Trader Joe's for the first time this past weekend....and found a lot of interesting items.

-----One of my things on this list was to go to a zoo. I am planning to visit in a couple of days. I doubt they will have kestrels....like I want to see...but you never know. I am going to practice my photography skills. For obvious reasons, I hope not to see animals in environments like the one below (albeit temporary....and yes, I know that turkeys can fly).

-----This Iron Butterfly Baseball Cap. I would also like to see a video that actually looks like Elvis singing Inna-Gadda-di-Vida.....I think he would have been awesome at singing this. I wrote an e-mail to Iron Butterfly telling them that they should do this. I enjoy having Husband do an imitation of Elvis singing Inna-Gadda-di-Vida.
-----To attract a lot of bees to my yard (fairly safe bees only). I am trying to do my part to fight Bee Collapse. We are going to take up beekeeping....wanted to start this summer but a lot of other projects got in the way.
-----To attend the BlogHer and SXSW Conferences within the next few years. BlogHer is within my price range next year....I hope...if I use the student rate. When I do SXSW, I want the full package...and that is going to take some saving up.
-----To try many grilling recipes next Summer....especially marinades. I have been collecting different marinades whenever I see a clearance or sale at the grocery (of course, I won't be saving these until next year). I like Newman's Sesame Ginger and have a Merlot Sauce in the pantry that we are going to try. Over the winter, I will collect up recipes to try.
-----To avoid catching the Swine/summer Flu. Despite concerns over outbreaks, I see so many people that still sneeze and cough on others. I have several co-workers that come to work knowing they are contagious...and every time I catch something I have to stay away from visiting my mother (due to her being weakened from Stage 4 Breast Cancer). I understand needing the money...but I once got a viral illness so bad from a co-worker who had been ordered not to work that I had to sleep sitting up to avoid choking in my sleep and came very close to a trip to the ER that I could not afford....and no one at my work cared about how sick I was or how I got that way (or that the effects lasted for a few months).
-----To own "Dragon:The Bruce Lee Story." If I could ask for things that weren't possible...then one of them would be for Bruce and Brandon Lee to have not tragic-and-premature deaths. I also wish that tragedy hadn't befallen Lennon and JFK, Jr. I watched a good movie based on the life of JFK, Jr. recently....I will have to find it and post a link (it is up on Hulu).
-----More farm-fresh eggs. I have found someone to buy them from and need to call to start arranging pick-ups. The info is on the side of my refrigerator...I just need to call and get this started. Maybe I will tell people I am subscribing to farm-fresh eggs. :-)
-----To visit Dollywood. I want to go on their SkyZip ride. Multiple ziplines in the Smokey Mountains. I also want to safely see a bear in Smokey Mountains National Park...and have the knowledge of how to photograph it (relatively) safely.
-----To visit Graceland. I want to make leaf rubbings of the Fall leaves there...a souvenir that would suit me.
-----I would love to have the sewing talent to make a Elvis-style jumpsuit that suits me. I saw the VMA's on TV recently.....and did not really like Katy Perry's outfit or performance.....her outfit looked like Elvis' Aloha from Hawaii jumpsuit cut-up and I was not impressed with her idea of covering "We Will Rock You."
-----To have Hogan's Heroes remade into a movie. I would want it done in a way that was not offensive to Germans/other people in WWII.We have the complete series that we have been slowly watching....and then passing on to my Mother (who is very ill and likes them to pass the time). TVLand.com has a rotating schedule of episodes that you can watch for FREE.
-----More storage containers....lots more. I am especially longing for refrigerator and closet containers. I do not like Tupperware that much....it just gets weird after a while. I would rather buying Ziploc containers every so often.....and am glad that I got a new one in my Goodie Bag at a recent Taste of Home Cooking School show.
-----A dehydrator.To make different kinds of jerky. I am intrigued by jerky made out of salmon.
-----To buy a case of Blu Frog (energy drink). I like the flavor much more than Red Bull. Unique. I was hoping to buy some for Summer guests but they did not stay long enough.
-----To find if the song Judd Nelson sang about wanting to be an Airborne Ranger is a real song. If so, I want to learn the lyrics.
-----To find a medieval-looking dress that coordinates with my green Marvin the Martian fisherman's hat. "The Very Merry Seamstress" seems like it might be a good choice.
-----Purchase a mosquito trap called a "Mosquito Magnet" for the grill area. The Mosquito Magnet traps the mosquitos for 200 feet! Right now we have citronella oil tiki torches that we use for get-togethers....and they are beautiful (looks like a Hawaiian lua or fire poi show).
-----To try linguini with clam sauce. Both the red and the white sauce.
-----To take a cruise to somewhere warm. Cliche but true wish. I also plan on a whale-watching cruise to New England/Alaska.
-----To play Bossaball. I do not know of anywhere in the United States that offers this game. I hope I am in better shape the first time that I play.
-----To find ways of eating meat that cause less strain on the environment.
-----To have a complete lapidary equipment setup. I have picked out what I think will be our first rock saw and now must save up. I have BAD hand-eye coordination due to an eye problem....so, I will have to ask Husband to complete anything I design for me (same with the bee-keeping).
-----To finish our bathroom remodel.
-----A new stock pot set. I want to make sure that this set is made better (last did not take to prolonged periods of heat...I kid you not). I also want it to be the correct width/height proportion to not have soup evaporate quickly. I have done some reading on this and found that my original pots were likely not thick enough.
-----A claw-foot tub. We have considered putting in an enclosed bathhouse outside. :-)
-----A rubber duckie. I have told Husband that they have rubber duckies at the dollar store. I am going to drop this "hint" to Husband again. The rubber duckie and the claw-foot tub would go perfectly together. :-)
-----To learn both freehand and string glowsticking.
-----Replace several necklace chains that I am allergic to.Repair a couple that have broken.
-----Purchase and board a horse. Or at least go horseback riding with the same horse on a regular basis. Learn how to saddle/care for a horse. There is an equestrian school that I really want to attend.
-----To make another Kiva investment (micro-business loans to third-world countries). I am on my second Kiva investment and it seems to be going well for the small business that I am lending to.
-----To open a coffee shop....obviously from the title of my blog.
-----More home barista equipment. We need a coffee grinder....oddly enough we do not own one (have to take beans to someone else's house and borrow theirs).
-----To go Zorbing.
-----To go on a hot air ballon ride. Every time I have tried, the weather has thwarted me.
-----To get more intense w/my urban farming efforts.
-----To get a truck....because we have to borrow one a lot when hauling manure and the like.
-----To get my Phd. I will be getting very intense with my urban farming...to the point that in the end I will technically be an Environmental Engineer. Another want, unfortunately, is for me to be better at math...I have to pass several higher level math courses at some point.
-----Finish paying off this laptop. I need to get all the stuff off my old laptop as I am going to let Husband use it...a process that is taking me a very long time.
-----Get the proper set-up and repairs done for my guitars. Then learn how to play them. I need a boogie bag for all but one. I also need guitar straps and stands.
-----To watch every video on FoodTube.
-----To put down tiles on the floor of the kitchen sink cabinet...we always seem to be breaking the same pipe and this would be better for the wood. I got this idea from "The Itty Bitty Kitchen Handbook" by Justin Spring.
-----People to keep my Mother in their thoughts and prayers. She has Stage 4 Breast Cancer, Diabetes, Had a Heart Attack and has a host of other health problems. She is supposed to have a surgery but is not strong enough right now. Please think/pray about her if you can.

One of the Fall Comfort Classics....
Taste of Home Cooking School 2009




Above is the snack that we were served at the Taste of Home Cooking School show that I attended. It is called "Snickerdoodle Chex Mix" and is supposed to taste just like the cookie. I can't say that I have ever had a snickerdoodle.....but this tasted good.

It originally came in a little baggie with a gold twist tie. I would say that there were about three cups there....a very generous snack. My snack even got me through waiting for dinner the day after. "Chapin's," the restaurant that prepared the snack mixes for the evening and jumped to the rescue when the propane for cooking wasn't working, has definitely won points with me.

I received this recipe (and many more) in the cookbook magazine that is the Official Publication of the Taste of Home Cooking School.

Besides the perfectly blended taste ( I won't give away the ingredients as it is available only to subscribers on the website), what impressed me about this recipe was the ease that it took to make. The recipe was demoed with the help of a nice young man (age 12, if I remember correctly) who liked to bake and stated that Top Chef is his favorite show.

I think this would be a great recipe to do with children. Depending on the age of the child, all of the steps could be done. It does involve microwave/hot item supervision.

I will be making this frequently. I would say that it only takes about 15 minutes or so to make...that's awesome for actually putting together a snack.
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Some of the Chex recipes I found on the Taste of Home website:
-----Chex Muddy Buddies (otherwise known as "Puppy Food" or "Puppy Chow")
-----Seasoned Snack Mix. This was submitted by a Taste of Home field editor.
-----Barbecue Muncher Mix. Says it makes a nice addition to a gift basket.
-----Cereal Crunchies. Have a slightly sweet vanilla coating.
-----Healthy House. A fun recipe for children....and, if I read correctly, the recipe was created by a child. This could help get younger children interested in trying recipes....or at least eating some of their food. :-)
-----Almond Snack Mix. I am interested in this one because I have never had almond extract in a food (I have had it, I'm sure....but not knowing it was there).
-----Cheese Ball Snack Mix. The recipe was tested with Planter's Cheeseballs. If I can get this to taste mildly seasoned but still flavorful, I am going to make this for some of my nieces at Christmas.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

In My Life.....

-----Going to a zoo on Friday to practice taking photos. I have an extensive list of the animals I want to photograph. I will just have to be very organized so that I know which is which when I get home. We are taking a picnic lunch...that will be romantic.
-----I got to use a wrap that my brother gave me for Christmas last year. It is one of my favorite pieces right now. We went to a Taste of Home Cooking School Show and my wrap kept me warm for a good majority of the weekend's trip. My wrap also got a lot of stares....it is beautiful. The wrap is a dark red and black reversible piece from Kohl's....fringed, long and warm. A perfect thing to keep one's arms warm when out on the highway or about town on a breezy day.
-----I sent off my first Swap-bot package today. As soon as it is recieved, I will blog more about this. The next project for me on here is a journal exchange.
-----Somehow or other the "Volcano Coffee" that we got from Trader Joe's did not make it into our bag. There is little that we can do about this as Husband thinks it may have dropped when he was putting the groceries in the car.....and we would not want to have them replace something that wasn't necessarily left on the counter. It is really too bad because that was something Husband really wanted to try....but we have resolved to replace it at some point. We have a friend who lives in Portland and says there are Trader Joe's everywhere.....sending him the money should do the trick (then he can bring us a replacement when he visits).


Monday, September 21, 2009

Give Me 5 Meme.....



Our task this week was to list 5 of our favorite drinks.

1. Lemon Juice and Water. This actually has a lot of health benefits.

2. The milk after I am done with Fruit Loops or Raisin Bran. Obviously, not for my health. :-)

3. Manischewitz Kosher Blackberry Wine. Tastes good and usually VERY reasonably priced.

4. Maker's Mark. I am a Maker's Mark Ambassador.

5. Cherry Kool-Aid. Being the recipe collector that I am....I had to find some recipes that used Cherry Kool-Aid.
-----Cherry Kool-Aid Meringue Pie
-----Super-Sour Cherry Kool-Aid
-----Cherry Kool-Aid Mulled Cranberry Warmer
-----Kool-Aid Cherry Cranberry Punch
-----Cherry Vanilla Kool-Aid Malt....the color is pretty.
-----Kool-Aid Hair Dye

Participate in Give Me 5 Meme #52.
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I did not have a bottle of the blackberry wine to post...but I did have an empty bottle of Manischewitz Cream Red Concord. This is the inaugural use of the Halloween backdrop that I bought on sale last year. :-) The line down the middle is the glare....this is what I did to the photo to offset that. :-)

Trader Joe's Stop


A great grocery market...with many things that they make themselves.

We got:
-----Pecan Pralines.....recommended by @ocicat_bengals.
-----A coffee called "Volcano Coffee." It is supposed to be intense and super dark. Husband found it. Husband feels that it has to be good because it is called "Volcano." :-)
-----A 6-Pack of Joseph's Brau Dunkelweizen. Joseph's Brau is one of the Trader Joe's brands.
-----A 6-Pack of Trader Joe's Bavarian Hefeweizen
-----3 bottles of the legendary "2 Buck Chuck"....Charles Shaw wine. We got two of the Cabernet Sauvignons and a Merlot. I read that 2 Buck Chuck tastes fairly good....onlike our experiment in bum wines. If you want to sample various bum wines, I certainly would not recommend "Mad Dog 20/20" as it tasted nasty and made my tongue go numb.
-----A 6-Pack of Kennebunkport Pumpkin Ale. We are saving this for Halloween....though the temptation not to is great.
-----A Wild Maine Blueberry sauce. I really want to try East Coast specialties....and Maine is known for its blueberries.
-----Maple Agave Syrup. I have no idea what this will taste like.
-----Trader Joes Peanut Butter. All Natural. We got Creamy Salted. It was only $1.79 and that is WAY cheaper than any natural peanut butter we can get where we live.
-----Kona Coffee.....something I really like.
-----Organic Blackberry Preserves.
-----Lemon Pepper Pappardelle. Pasta. They look like egg noodles.
------Sun-dried Tomato Bruschetta. I have actually never had bruschetta.
-----4 packages of good chocolate chips for baking. 3 of these are gifts.
-----Shallots. To my frustration, we can not get these where we live. I bought two big shallots and we will make a bistro-style steak with them (something we have done before).
-----Orange Muscat Vinegar. We bought only 1 vinegar....the most interesting one. We already have so many vinegars already. I am not quite sure how to use Orange Muscat Vinegar...but will figure it out, :-)
-----2 cans of Cuban Style Black Beans. I read online that they are very good. I am going to study these and try to make something similar.
-----A garlic and eggplant spread. It can be put on toast and in soups.
-----Irish Breakfast Tea. Husband wanted green tea at first....but I stipulated that all purchases had to be something interesting (I am blogging all that we use after all...and don't want my readers to be bored). Looking at the receipt after, I noticed that the Irish Breakfast tea was a really good buy...80 bags for $2.99.
-----A red and white cloth reusuable bag for me. It was only 99 cents. I hope that I can keep it fairly clean. The store really tries to encourage re-usable bags. There was a sign outside saying not to forget your re-usable bags. There was an array of bags that one could buy....including a nice, big insulated bag that looked perfect for picnics. I have read that some Trader Joe's give some sort of discount if you have re-usable bags. Our attendant, beautifully dressed like a lady pirate for "Pirate Day," was smart and packed a goodly amount of our items in our new re-usable bag. "Happy Pirate Day!" It was actually International Talk Like a Pirate Day. :-)

Too expensive:
-----Cereal. I will have to look closer if we come again, For now, besides the price being too high for what we normally pay, I did not see any interesting cereals, I had heard of a chocolate cereal that Husband would have liked as an occasional treat....but that was discontinued.
-----Bread. There were several breads that I had never heard of and/or never tried. At one point I experienced a curious phenomenon....a woman picked out a loaf of bread that I had never heard of before and I felt like I should buy one to because she was probably more with it or knowledgeable than me. I sometimes have an urge to do all the things that "interesting" people do so that I can be interesting, too. My brain told me that her bread did look interesting....then my mind told me that all the bread looked interesting. I walked away from the expense bread and the curious social phenomenon. Today I was my own person. :-)

Disappointing:
-----No kosher food. We are still on a quest to try Manischewitz Cream Peach wine.
-----I could not make out what the associate was saying but I think the "Fearless Flyer" does come out in a paper copy. Apparently, it comes out quarterly....so we missed it.

Wow:
-----The price on bananas....19 cents a pound is a price we have not seen for YEARS!
-----The price on jugs of pure maple syrup were good. We have a jug at home....but we will keep this in mind when we attend another "Taste of Home Cooking School" event.

I told Husband that we had a ton of coffee left to get through at home. I cited the tin of "Chock Full O' Nuts" in the refrigerator. Husband informed me that tin is almost gone because he has been drinking it. :-) I am glad he compliments me by using the things that I pick out.
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The stop at Trader Joe's was made on the way to a Taste of Home Cooking School show.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Trip to a Taste of Home Show Cooking School Show

Taste of Home Trip
Well we are on the road. The prep was interesting. Those who know me in real life know that I have a tendency to end up wearing my food. The day started with a vigorous shower....to get a large amount of over-easy egg out of my hair.

There was lots of construction. Like an obstacle course.

This was the maiden voyage of our GPS system. Very thankful we have that. Also, glad that it recalculates when somebody won't let us in to catch our exit. Who doesn't let people in when exits are crucial? It was not like we were cutting them off....they sped up to cut us off.

So glad we had the GPS....it made it so we could actually figure out how to get back to where we got cut off. "When possible make a legal U-Turn." Ironically we have gotten lost heading out of town before when someone cut us off at the same exit.

Early in the trip we saw a Dodge Magnum and Husband and I agreed that we both like them.

Back to the GPS. It is a Magellan Maestro and we got it for $25 at the Salvation Army. We purrchased a $3 dollar car charger at Wal-Mart and we were good to go.

Spotted:
-----A car junkyard
-----A man driving a trike motorcycle. Husband really wants a trike. I refuse to ride in a sidecar that in any way resembles a clown car though....so, when the time comes, he will have to shop carefully.
-----A car carrier with 3 new cars.....two at least looked really new. I wasn't sure whether the Subaru Tribeca was new.
-----The mirage effect on the road.
-----A car with the word "wash" printed in the dust...but not in very big letters. I wonder when they will notice.
*By way of explanation, car junkyards, car carriers and the mirage effect are something I have gotten excited about seeing since my youth.

Also, I spotted two moving trucks (sure there were plenty more but I only took note of the two). Something I love on the highway is the sense of camraderie that I feel. When we travel, I think of the fact that most everybody out on the road is on some kind of adventure

Noted:
-----I am sure Husband appreciates that there is less chatter when I am working in the car (typing, etc.)
-----It is probably a bit unusual that when I need to wear both sunglasses and regular glasses (or even hats), they all get arranged together on my head like headbands....along with whatever barettes I am wearing. I think some of my little hair arrangements like this actually look fairly stylish.
-----Sometimes the rest stop just doesn't seem to be in sight. "Where is the stupid rest stop?"

Husband and I each paid for our own lunch today. It was no surprise to him what I picked. Chinese food.....likely because I scout out good Chinese food every time we travel. Even if I don't eat the Chinese food that trip...I remember that it is there for if we visit again.

End of transmission.....sent from a rest stop.
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:-)



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