Can anybody tell me why in the world there are blueberries on this bag of sugar?

Sugar RW

No?  That’s what I thought.

This is what I HATE about marketing.

This is a bag of sugar.  It is NOT I repeat NOT healthy like, say, blueberries.

Blueberries are good for you.

Sugar is not.

There are no blueberries inside this bag of sugar.

There is no earthly reason to put sugar on fresh blueberries.

Can it with the crappy marketing, sugar manufacturers, we are wise to your game.

- Joanna

Question of the Day:  What marketing ploys drive you nuts?

    Occasionally I come across a cooking tip that’s too awesome not to share.

    Garlic Chicken RW

    Roasting a small bird for dinner?

    Don’t want to pull out the big roasting pan and rack?

    Love roasted garlic?

    Love roasted garlic so much you could eat it by the spoonful?

    Then this tip is for you!

    Instead of propping your bird up on a fancy schmancy rack that you’d just have to wash later anyway, prop your bird up on a few heads of garlic with the tops chopped off.  It’ll get your bird up off the bottom of the pan for more even cooking, provide aromatics to help flavor your bird and BONUS you’ll have heads of roasted garlic for dinner or just for snacking.  It’s genius.  Pure genius.

    For this bird I used four heads of garlic.  I stuffed the cavity with fresh basil from the garden plus a cut orange (I was out of lemons).  I brushed the bird with melted butter and sprinkled with salt and pepper.  Roasted for an hour at 375 degrees, then flipped the bird over and doused with more butter and seasoning.  Baked for another hour.

    So simple and so tasty. From this one quick and easy recipe I got ALL of the following:

    1) A four pound chicken to eat for dinner

    2) The most delicious butter sauce for drizzling or making into gravy

    3) Roasted garlic

    4) A chicken carcass for stock made in the crockpot

    So go forth and roast some chicken and garlic my internet friends, roast away.

    - Joanna

    Question of the Day:  What are your favorite roasted chicken seasonings?

      Remember that one time I talked about iguanas and alluded to a blog post I never shared?  Yes, well in that post I never shared I suggested I might mix things up around here and stop playing it so safe (aka not worry about ticking people off and just say what I want to say.)

      On that note I’d like to get something off my chest.  No, I need to get something off my chest.  Or out of my underwear. That really would make more sense if you’d read the post.  Sigh.  Let’s just move on shall we?

      I can’t believe I’m saying this, but . . .

      THERE IS MORE TO LIFE THAN JUST CHOCOLATE!

      You heard me.

      THERE IS MORE TO LIFE THAN JUST CHOCOLATE!

      Say it with me.  Let’s not scream it this time, just say it nice and matter of fact like.

      There is more to life than just chocolate.

      Once more, with expression.

      There is more to life than just chocolate.

      Specifically I’m talking to my husband and his folks.  Calling them out if you will.  Challenging them to broaden their horizons.  Take a risk, take a gamble, step out of their safe little cocoons and experience ALL there is in life to experience.

      Let’s set the scene.

      My in-laws came into town (with a ten foot yellow slide and a hideously framed fish picture but those are different stories entirely) for a visit the other day.  We had dinner one night and plans for ice cream the next.  There were three options for ice cream locations.

      Option A – The local dairy whip.  Yes, a town favorite but pretty basic soft serve and nothing distinguishable from any other dairy whip.  What it has going for it is location, location, location.  It’s five minutes from home and when you have a baby that gets the fuss in the evenings and a two a half year old that gets a case of the crazies in the evenings this really is a strong selling point.

      Option B – Fancy soft serve fro-yo.  Fun flavors and toppings.  The big selling point here (besides the points card which earns me free fro-yo) is all the options.  You can add as many different flavors and toppings to your cup as your hungry heart desires! The possibilities are endless (okay, not really endless but statistically really high)!  Option B is more like ten minutes from home.  Not too shabby.

      Option C – Local, French pot ice cream. It’s pretty much the all time best, stick to the roof of your mouth creamy goodness that is worth every dang pants tightening, cellulose inducing calorie.  Its only drawback . . . it’s more like 15-18 minutes from home.  Not bad, but go too close to bedtime and it’s the longest 15-18 minute car ride ever.  Plus it’s kind of on a busy road and Sweetey Petey is a runner.

      My husband wanted Option A.  The in-laws tend to get Option C on their own when they visit.  So I pushed for Option B – moderately close to home and with loads of options.  The perfect compromise if you ask me.

      Here’s the problem.  Despite the fact that the frozen yogurt came in fun flavors like Orange, Pineapple, Peanut Butter, Brownie Batter, Coconut, Coffee, Cheesecake, Vanilla, Pistachio, Strawberry, Chocolate, Birthday Cake, Blackberry Greek, Salted Caramel and even pre-mixed smoothies . . . my husband and his entire side of the family only got chocolate.  Chocolate.  Just chocolate.  Mike added a few toppings to his chocolate, but his parents?  They were toppingless.  As in without any top.  No sprinkles or nuts or crushed candy or fruit or gummy bears or Swedish fish or marshmallows or coconut or iced graham cracker cookies or brownie bits or nerds or sauces of any kind.

      Just.  Plain.  Chocolate.

      I’ll admit I myself didn’t go hog wild with toppings, but I never do when I’m letting new to me frozen yogurt flavors shine though.

      Yes, you read me right, flavors.  Plural.  With an s people, an s.  That’s the point of these places, to try new flavors!

      In my bowl was a combo of cheesecake, coconut and pistachio.  I sprinkled some rainbow jimmies on top for funsies.  Because these places are supposed to be fun.  My fav?  The pistachio!  Followed closely by the coconut and coming up last, the cheesecake.

      Fro Yo RW

      That’s Sweetey Petey’s cup above mine.  The Husband *gasp* gave him some peanut butter as well.

      There was no plain chocolate in my cup.  Because plain chocolate at a fancy fro-yo place is just so vanilla.  I’ll admit the in-laws aren’t notorious for trying new things (remember the kohlrabi debacle) but if ever there was a chance for them, I’d like to think it starts with fro-yo.

      I know my M-I-L doesn’t read my blog but my F-I-L does and so do some of their friends.  I say we all band together.  We all band together and double dog dare them to get something other than chocolate next time.  And toppings?  At least one??  Maybe even *gasp* a sauce???  Can they do it????  With a little encouragement I do believe there could still be hope for them yet.

      - Joanna

      What’s your favorite frozen yogurt topping?

        My exciting life.

        Dad by day.

        Today’s chosen mode of transportation.

        2014.08.05 Scooter RW

        - Joanna

        What did you do to today?

         

          My exciting life.

          Day by day.

          August 4th 2014.

          Thanks to a $50 off sale and some Amazon associate rewards I finally bit the bullet on the Lensbaby Circular Fisheye Lens I’ve been jonesing for.

          2014.08.04 Lensbaby RW

          Notice anything wrong with that picture?

          Here, I’ll help you out.

          2014.08.04 Lensbaby RW Circle

          Le sigh.  I ordered a Nikon mount.  Because I have a Nikon camera.  I was sent the Canon.  Now I have to wait till Thursday for the replacement.  If I was a nail biter I’d be down to nubs by Thursday for sure.  But I’m not.  So I’ll just whine about the wait here instead.

          - Joanna

          Question of the Day:  What was the last thing you splurged on for yourself?

            Did you know that you can make zucchini pickles?  Yes, well, you can.  Who needs cucumbers?

            Zucchini:

            Zucchini RW

            Zucchini Pickles:

            Zucchini Pickles RW

            The recipe came from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.

            - Joanna

            Question of the Day:  Have you done any canning?  If so, what have you canned?

              It occurs to me as I start this post that today’s Throwback Thursday picture may not, in fact, be all that interesting to you.  Sorry if that’s the case but I’m running with it anyway.  It’s already scanned and PicMonkeyed and I’m here with a half hour to kill before I need my morning shower so it’s happening whether you like it or not.

              In the interest (gotta get “interest” in this post somewhere amiright?) let me present an ultra exciting picture  . . . of the living room in my childhood house.

              Ta da!

              First House Living Room PM RW

              Wow.  I know, right?  E.X.C.I.T.I.N.G.

              This is currently relevant to me for a few reasons.

              One.  The desk on the far left and the curio cabinet in the bottom left corner are going to my sister.  This is mostly relevant because as I type this I’ve been discussing with mom and dad how to get those pieces the two hours to my sister’s house.  We are all scheduled to head that way for my niece’s 8th birthday this weekend (don’t forget I prescheduled these Throwback Thursday posts so don’t bother wishing the tike Happy Birthday because it was months ago.  If all goes well I’ll have done a quick birthday recap on the blog already and if I’m not too lazy I’ll go back and link it here.  Is the “here” in a different color and underlined?  If so- GO ME!  If not – well, I suck and my niece had a birthday.)  so it seems like a good time to formulate a plan on how to get the furniture there.

              Two.  Above the desk is an old style metal world map.  I recently ran across a similar piece at the local consignment store and came *this close* to shelling out $50 for it.  My folks no longer have this map to pass on to me and I like to have pieces around the home that remind me of something.  My only hesitation was (aside from the price) I have no place to hang it.  I already have a pile of art that needs a home, some with much more sentimental value than a metal map.  So I passed.  Still, for some reason, I always liked that map.

              Here’s what I find so interesting about this picture.

              The decor, obviously.  Dark maroon carpeting?  Drop ceiling?  Paneled wall?  Wallpapered wall?  Fake flower arrangements in those rusty brown tones you only see in old photographs?  Yes please!  Fun stuff.

              Also, there are encyclopedias on the bookshelf.  ACTUAL ENCYCLOPEDIAS!!  Does Wikipedia know these used to exist?

              The furniture piece on the right is a credenza . . . I just learned the other day that my Father-in-Law doesn’t know what a credenza is.  If he’s reading this post, now he does.

              Supposedly my dad built the bookshelves and closet you see at the back . . . and was told under penalty of death they had better be done right.  I think they look nice, don’t you?  Dad also painted the fall scene that is hanging above the credenza although you can’t really see it here.

              The last interesting thing to note was that this room was an add-on and for years took in water like a toddler sucks up juice.  That’s a lot of water for all you folks without kids.  As a kid myself I recall it was kinda fun to walk around barefoot on the squishy carpet after a torrential downpour.  I’d imagine the folks thought it was less fun.

              And that’s all I’ve got today!  Since I have about four months of these Throwback Thursday posts prescheduled, I’m going to take a break and start scheduling some Random Picture of the Day posts for a while.  See you on the flip side.  Did I really just type that?

              - Joanna

              Question of the Day – So tell me, have you liked the Throwback Thursday series?  Be honest, I can take it.  Try not to judge the whole series on one boring photograph though mmmm K?

                WHY am I still calling my Grandpa “Gramps” on this blog of mine?  I have no idea.  So for my Throwback Thursday post this week, I shared an old picture of my Grandpa and a few facts about him, including tales of an old rusty desk he worked at in the basement.

                I managed to find some pictures of that desk!  These were taken when my Grandma entered a care facility and we cleaned out her house.  Grandpa had passed away quite a few years before that but his desk remained largely untouched.

                Here’s his desk, rust and peeling laminate and all.

                Gramps Desk 5 RW

                And a few close ups of the shelf contents.

                Gramps Desk 1 RW

                Gramps Desk 3 RW

                Gramps Desk 2 RW

                Gramps Desk 4 RW

                The husband was proud Grandpa loved himself some Pabst, even if it was the non-alcoholic kind.  Personally, I only remember Grandpa drinking O’douls beer.

                - Joanna

                Question of the Day:  Do you have sentimental items you’ve kept from loved ones that have passed away?

                  I have no idea why I titled this Throwback Thursday post “Gramps” . . . I don’t recall ever calling my grandpa that.  He was always just Grandpa (insert last name here which is my maiden name which unless we went to grade school together – Hi Mavis! – is totally irrelevant.)

                  So here’s my Grandpa.

                  Grandpa PM RW

                  I have a pretty sweet picture of him in his uniform from his Navy days, but I don’t have the time right now to dig through the external hard drive looking for the scan.  I like this pic of Grandpa mostly for the cool old car.  That makes, what, three Throwback Thursday car posts now?  I also like the fact that people dressed better back in the day.  We weren’t all running around in jeans or yoga pants all the time.  The Husband often comments he longs for the days when people wore hats everyday.   And not baseball hats or even gentleman farmer hats.  Hats like fedora’s.  I can get behind that.

                  At the job I loved before Sweetey was born, all my coworkers wore suits each day to work.  There is something so traditional and fabulous about coming to work and seeing all your friends in suits.  There was something also pretty fabulous about seeing said suited men cleaning the bathrooms when it was their day too, but we can talk about that some other day.

                  But I’ve segued, this post is about Grandpa.

                  So, Grandpa.  I spent more time with my family on mom’s side than dad’s side so I didn’t know Grandpa as well as I could have.  He loved to play cards and we played Gin Rummy a lot, sitting on the creamy colored and creaky rusted old two seater swing on his front porch.  He also loved postage stamps!  I went through a phase where I wanted to have something in common with Grandpa and collected stamps for awhile there too.  To this day if I see a cool stamp on an envelope I cut it off and toss it into a wooden box and think of him.  Grandpa used to work on his stamps in his basement on an old metal desk with floor laminate curling up on the open shelves.  I wish I could have taken that desk for my garage, just for sentiment, but when we cleaned out my grandparents house I had no place to put it.  Besides, an old metal desk is an awfully large item to hold onto just for sentiments sake.  So I think it stayed with the house.

                  I did keep many of the contents of that desk though and I have them boxed neatly into a plastic bin.  It’s odd to think of every material possession and link to years of memories I have of Grandpa being stored into one modest bin.  Although I have no memories linked to the wooden gavel I found.  Why did Grandpa have a wooden gavel???  I guess this will always remain a mystery.

                  - Joanna

                  Oh!  One more quick thing.  My poodle, The Snoops, came into my life the day after my grandfather passed away.

                  Question of the Day:  What’s your favorite memory of your grandfather?  

                    Rural King is awesome.  It is literally astounding the variety of items you can find there.  I mean, the potato chip selection alone is worth the trip!  Yes, that’s a link to previous post I wrote.  Go read it if you don’t recall or are new here.  Or read it again just because.  Go on, scoot scoot.  But come on back because I’m not done.

                    I’m really thinking this might be a regular series.  We sure go to Rural King often enough to make it a regular series.  Okay, it’s decided.  From now on every time I go to Rural King I’m taking pictures for you; pictures of whatever I find of interest that day.

                    I can’t believe I didn’t notice this before but there are chicken foot prints painted on the concrete when you walk in.  Either calling or mocking (boock boock boock boock).  In other news Sweetey Petey does an excellent chicken impression these days.

                    Chicken Feet RW

                    More chickens.  And ducks.  This time in lawn ornament form.  My now duck obsessed husband seriously wanted the duck statue.  I threatened him with bodily harm, because, well, they’re ugly.  I have standards people.

                    Rural King Chx Statue RW

                    Chicken travel cups.   The Husband is actually in the market for a new travel cup but I didn’t quite get the joke.  It’s supposed to be funny right?

                    Rural King Mug 2 RW

                    I mean King of the Roost?  No.  Cock of the Walk is a classic but King of the Roost I just don’t get.

                    Rural King Mug 1 RW

                    More lawn decorations.  It got me thinking I might do something whimsical outside for the kids to enjoy, but not exactly like this.  Because, well, they’re ugly.

                    Flower RW

                    The best part of this trip was the clothing!  Camo overalls but with white ruffles for girls.  My daughter will wear this over my dead body because this may have been the ugliest thing in the store.

                    Outfit 3 RW

                    Wait, no.  This may have been the ugliest thing in the store.  No, no, the camo is worse I think.  Hard to decide, really.  There are both so very very bad.

                    Outfit 1 RW

                    All the clothes weren’t bad, though.  I’d let my daughter wear this one (after I cut the lace off the top of course.)

                    Outfit 2 RW

                    Possibly the most controversial item I found was a drunk Smurfette lounging sluttily in a cocktail glass.  Ummmmm aren’t Smurfs supposed to be for kids?  Smurfette – stop with the come hither stare, stop hiking that dress above your knees and join AA already!!!!

                    Rural King Smurf RW

                    It wasn’t all bad this trip.  Petey got to pet a bunny so that was totally cool.

                    Rural King Bunny RW

                    See you next time we walk through Rural King!

                    - Joanna

                    P.S.  Congrats to a friend who just had her baby!  You know who you are and he is absolutely beautiful!  On a selfish note I’m excited to have another new mom friend I can chat with in the middle of the night because babies don’t sleep.  That whole “sleeping like a baby” cliche is false.  False advertisement I say!

                    Question of the Day:  What, of all these items, would you be willing to buy?

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