Where Have All the Twinkies Gone

Readers who know me, will have been waiting to read anything I post about Twinkies. Check in the archives, and you will find more than one reference to the gooey cakey glistening snack cake filled with sexy sugar cream.

I had to ask myself a very serious question. If I was asked to take an 8% pay cut in order to support my employer staying open, would I do it? It’s a fair question. If I was supporting my family, would 8% less money be able to take care of our needs? I think we could handle the change if we cut household expenses…snack cakes, for one. Cable television, leaving lights on when we go out, you know…make some cuts at home and you could still have your job. It would not be comfortable to take the pay cut. I would probably be tempted to look for other work, but that would be quite a risk in the current economic climate. In the end, I think I would have to accept it, particularly if I was supporting my family. (Thank God above, I am NOT supporting our family, DH is, and a damn fine job he’s doing, I might add.)

BUT, if I was part of a union, would that choice be mine to make? I can say honestly that I don’t know. How much leeway does a union member have when the question of employment arises? Seriously…if you have the answer, let me know.

So the rest of the story is the Union said, in very technical terms, “Screw. You. Hostess.”

And now instead of an 8% pay cut, 18,500 people got a 100% pay cut. Okayyyyy.

You would think, wouldn’t you, that a person with my proclivities toward Twinkie goodness would have already stocked up on Twinkies, HoHos, Ding Dongs et cetera. After all, I have 800 lbs of whole wheat. Twinkies would have rounded out our food storage quite nicely. But alas, I didn’t stock up. And now I face the question, if I was asked to reduce my dignity by 8%, would I join the ranks of panicked Twinkie-craving citizens to purchase every last box of Twinkies or Ding Dongs that I could find? It turns out, I am NOT willing to cut my dignity by 8%. I’m going to stay at home and write my grocery list, and include healthy-type food items for the storage: rice, and corn, and green beans and the like. I will look back with fondness at the times I was able to sink my teeth into a sweet snack cake and enjoy 100% of my memories and my dignity.

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Sweet Freedom

Just so you know, I’ve been walking regularly! Even if I’m not blogging, I’m on the treadmill working it.

Restaurant review: Salsa’s

A guy with a cart came by our table and offered to make fresh guacamole; he had a tip jar too. We were like, sure, fresh guac, I’m on it.

It was DELICIOUS! Was it eight dollars delicious?? (that’s how much the restaurant charged, so with the tip it was 9$) Hm. I would have to say, yes, it was worth it. He used three avocados; they were perfectly ripe, no brown spots, no overripe flavor. Fresh squeezed lime juice, fresh onions and tomatoes…it was divine and I had a ton of it. In fact, I might have to go back for more.

Sabbatical

Testing, testing, is this thing on?

So yes, I’ve been away for quite a long time. But look what we made:

Look what DH and I made

If I hadn’t been so busy with stuff, (read: food poisoning, a concussion[not me], overflowing toilet etc) than I would have loved to take photos of ALL THE FOOD that friends brought for my family. Here is a list of the meals we enjoyed:

Lamb stew with cornbread, salad and sweet popcorn

Shell pasta with creamy cheese and marinara sauce and Caesar salad

Marinara meat sauce with assorted cooked pasta noodles and bacon/vinegar green beans and brown sugar cookies

Hungarian goulash with seven layer salad, wheat crescent rolls and pasta

Tator Tot casserole with apple juice and salad

Lasagna with salad

Pizza Hut pizza (when I was in the hospital)

Chicken Pot Pie

And a shout-out to my friend RR who has brought me a steady stream of fountain Cokes for the past five weeks or so. God bless her.

Additionally, the folks who brought us food brought us enough that I haven’t had to cook for three weeks. Froze the leftovers, and then about 3:30pm every day I decide what sounds good, then put it in the oven to bake for an hour and a half (it has to thaw, you know) and ta-da! Dinner’s hot and ready to go to the table. This is the life.

Salad and Coke

A friend, a true friend, brought me a large Coke today. I was making myself a ‘Subway’ inspired salad, and it was the perfect complement to my lunch. My salad had shredded lettuce, garden tomato, pickles, shredded mozzarella, salt and pepper, pepperoni and turkey lunch meat. Oh it was divine. Also put a dash of red wine vinegar in the mix. Actually, it was so good that I am even now thinking about making another one. hmm. But having the sweet Cola nectar to wash it down was really special. Sending thanks to my friend for making my day! By the way, no baby coming out yet. Due on Saturday, and trying to wait patiently. ‘Try’ being the operative word.

The Coca Cola Made Me Do It

We had a ‘staycation’ wherein it was promised to the children that we would eat out a lot, because that is what families do when they go somewhere. At least, our family does that. We’ve never been the kind of family that packs a cooler with PB&J and juice boxes. No, we go for broke. So, the money we saved by NOT going to hotels was squandered on an assortment of fast food restaurants and sit down restaurants. Let’s rate them according to quality:

Applebees: Good service, kids menu was pretty typical, nothing special, other than the fries which were actually quite amazing. And then there was my entree: Lemon Garlic Linguini. Oh. Em. Gee. It had artichokes and spinach in the cream sauce. It was out of this world delicious, and a truly generous portion which I managed to get two meals out of.

Chick Fil A: Yummy good chicken. Maybe we should have splurged on the peach shakes, but we didn’t. I really really like the pickles on their chicken sandwiches. Excellent service and surprisingly FAST service too. We had a big order!

Burger King: Really, kids menus don’t tend to amaze anyone. Dale, DH and myself all had the Carolina BBQ whoppers and boy, were they scrumptious! A super good burger.

And then there is the fact that pregnant lady has not had the inclination to cook and is suffering from intense cola cravings. I’m ruining the kids because we have eaten out SO MUCH recently, just because I didn’t feel like cooking anything. Plus, we didn’t make it to the grocery during our ‘vacation’.

Steak n Shake: Never have any complaints about their food. My personal fave is the Chili 5-Way. I’m crazy about it. DH loves the Cheese Fries. Tried their .99 breakfast tacos yesterday, and those are pretty tasty too, and the tiny salsa cups that come with the tacos are so cute. The salsa is HOT. I’ll probably enjoy that more when I’m not plagued with heartburn that feels like molten lava climbing up my throat. Have enjoyed their diet Caffeine free coke with cherry syrup!!!

Wendys: Today’s burgers were pretty greasy. Can’t go wrong with the Frostys though.

McDonalds: The thing with McDee’s is that you always know what to expect. Personally, I think their any size beverage for a 1$ is a brilliant marketing strategy.

Bottom line: The more fast food you eat, the more you crave it, and the less satisfying it is. It’s just so stinkin’ easy to order food then to stand and make it. I had a happy thought today, though. We have sweet potatoes and beer brats in the fridge…so dinner tonight will be tasty and much cheaper than eating out. I think I will just bake the sweet potatoes and let family members dress them however they want. And I will use the Nuwave to cook the brats. Good stuff, especially with lots of mustard. An easy meal to make that won’t make me feel incredibly guilty.

15 Minutes and Puma Kola

I said I would write about Puma Kola later, so here it is. Sprecher out of Wisconsin is a brewery that also happens to make some really tasty pops. Er, sodas. Depending on what part of the country you were raised in. Anyway, they make Puma Kola and Cherry Cola, among other more traditional pops such as grape and orange. They also have a cranberry flavored one. Believe me, it’s all good. The benefit of their colas is that there is NO CAFFEINE in them! Truly!

I must ask myself, why am I then addicted to them if there is no caffeine…

The thing is, I am crazy about Coca Cola. I can’t really purchase coke regularly and keep it at home though, because my little cuties turn into ravening wolves when there is pop in the house. They won’t eat dinner and won’t drink anything else, and practically breathe the stuff in. So we try not to buy it. Also, there is the whole cola thing. I didn’t drink caffeinated drinks for decades out of respect for my religion, which advises not to drink coffee or tea. Many LDS people extrapolate that to mean caffeinated sodas as well. And then, I just had to have a fountain coke somewhere, and it has been downhill from there. Ha ha. Not really. Well maybe sorta…

I have maybe two fountain colas a month, so it’s not too bad. There is just something about the fizz and the syrup and that caramelly cola flavor. I will even have Pepsi on occasion. So discovering the Puma Kola was great, because it is that wonderful cola flavor without the guilt. Plus, it’s not like I need the caffeine. Clearly that’s not the reason I’m drinking it. If restaurants would just carry caffeine free cola then I would be home free. I have gotten the caffeine free diet at Steak n Shake before. Trading the caffeine for aspartame. yum. Not.

So that is my Kola story. The local Menard’s sells Puma Kola in cases of four. That would last me one day if I didn’t share…

The First Four Minutes

Were hell. And I’m not even making that up. Could it have been the handful of Doritos and big orange juice I had right before I got on? Nah. Here’s a new green smoothie recipe for you. It was okay, but the color was truly revolting.

1.5 cups loose leaf spinach

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup greek yogurt (Plain)

1 cup frozen blueberries

Plus it gave me heartburn, but that could just be me…

The .33 War

I could have called it “The Shortest War” or “I’m Not a Cold-Blooded Killer” also.

A mouse found our silverware drawer to be too tempting to pass up. Okay, yes, there might have been a few stray crumbs in there, but it’s not like it was a smorgasboard, really. But I digress. Little Mouse left its calling card every morning, requiring me to sanitize the drawer and its contents repeatedly, until I could get my hands on a trap. Finally bought a package, on sale at Menards, two for .33! Awesome!

The first night, I put a dab of peanut butter on the trigger, sat in the kitchen chair to drink my Puma Kola (Menards…more on the Kola some other time.) and waited in the dark for a snap. No luck, so went to bed assured that I would see a mouse corpse in the morning anyway.

Next morning: found mouse poop AND PEE in one of the spoons. Oh no he didn’t.

Every molecule of peanut butter was licked clean off the trigger.

I was royally pissed. Bring it on, Mouse. DH saw the look on my face when I reported my failure, and he said, “This is not going to end well.”

That night, I was explaining to DH and DSons how I had set the trap. They took one look and said, no no no no no, that’s not how you do it. I had set the trap wrong!!!

So “Dale” set the trap after I spread peanut butter liberally on the trigger, both sides. We set the other one too, just for good luck.

My husband adores me. He said, “Hey, this is perfect. He’ll think he doesn’t have anything to worry about now. Good job, Honey.” Can you see why I love my man? I knew it was going to work this time.

This morning, slowly pulled the drawer out. First trap, empty and baited. Second trap, TWO BIG EYES STARING AT ME. After I picked my heart up off the floor, I realized it was the death stare. At least he died happy.

The Blueberry Bandit and Other News

I FINALLY got back on today. Two days of back pain; will I ever learn? Anywho, ten minutes was all I could handle after my long absence.

This past week, we went to piano lessons and afterwards, the piano teacher offered all of us peanut butter br0wnies. They were divine, as you might have guessed. Of course, Tori, was not that interested in the peanut butter brownies. She wanted blueberries, which were spread out on the piano teacher’s kitchen counter. Piano teacher had picked ten pounds that morning, and was prepping them for freezing. “Tori” was a real bandit, and continually went back for more. She probably ate a pint all by herself.

I was impressed enough that I decided I must take the kids to go blueberry picking the very next day. Even though it is summer, and they would normally be sleeping in, they all got up at 8am and had a fast breakfast. Tori was at school already, so we knew it would be a more relaxing trip. We picked 7 pounds in 45 minutes (14$!) and came home and froze them. It is exciting to see that blue goodness in the freezer and imagine all kinds of fun things to do with the berries. Pancakes, smoothies, muffins, pie filling and so on. It makes me excited for the next item…strawberries? Peaches? Isn’t summer wonderful? My garden is going to have lots of yummy tomatoes! As ever, pray for rain.

Green Smoothie Reprisal

You just have to trust me when I say I cannot bring myself to get back on the treadmill. For whatever reason. Nonetheless, I am still concerned about my health, and still trying to make good choices. I work in the garden and climb up and down steps all day and so on and so forth.

In the first trimester, I couldn’t drink a green smoothie to save my life. Ew. But I have control of my appetite again, and I remembered to ask for spinach when DH went to the grocery store. Today’s concoction is amazing, which is why I’m sitting here blogging about it!

2 cups fresh spinach

1/2 cup of greek yogurt (plain)

1/4 to 1/2 cup of lemonade

1 frozen banana

1/2 cup frozen peas

ZING!

Super yummy sweet and tangy smoothie. Have a lovely day. Pray for rain. And Thank the Good Lord for Air Conditioning.