April has been an exciting month in our Midwestern life. The Husband and I started this blog and I am pretty sure we have at least a handful of readers!! I made some chocolate cups and chicken salad (not together). Mowed the yard, celebrated Easter, shared some brownies, baked some peppers. The Husband offered some new fatherly humor and wisdom. The poodle got a haircut, albeit a bad one. Also, Sweetey Petey had quite the month. He now crawls, says Mama (I swear he does, even the Husband has heard it), started solid foods and grew out of even more clothes. This is all front page news here people.

This was also my first month in the Foodie Pen Pals program started by The Lean Green Bean.  As a kid, I had dozens of pen pals; there was nothing more exciting for this girl than getting mail! Nowadays the mail is mostly bills and ads, and most of the packages we get are diapers from Amazon, so a Foodie Pen Pals box sounded like Christmas morning! As a bonus I “met” two lovely ladies, Calee of life+running and Katie of Nutrition in a peanut shell. Both these girls have some spunk so check ’em out. Calee posted a peanut butter cup frozen yogurt recipe recently that there is seriously something wrong with you if you don’t try. Unless you don’t have an ice cream maker. Or are allergic to peanut butter. Or dairy. But otherwise you’re nuts cause it looks fabulous.

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I was fortunate to be featured as a guest poster for a lovely blog called Happy Healthy Mama.

 

If you are interested in my low sugar recipe for Mini Caramelized Banana Coconut Cream Acorn Squash Pies – 32 Ways, check it out here.

 

If you need to be persuaded . . .

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27. April 2012 · 1 comment · Categories: Humor · Tags: , ,

I would like to preface by explaining I am writing this post at the risk of sounding ungrateful. Which I’m not. It’s just gonna sound that way. So, cut me an inch of slack and bear with me for a bit. Okay? Okay.

When we found out we were having a little Sweetey Petey, our family and friends were amazing; little Pete was so loved before he was even born. Thoughtful gestures abounded! We had several home repairs in the works that needed completed before Pete was born and our time became limited. This included an entire basement spruce, as well as new flooring in the kitchen and dining room. My mom painted our finished basement. A close friend spent two days helping the Husband lay Pergo down there. Co-workers lent tools. My Father-in-law found us a contractor when ours flaked out and drove from hours away to replace baseboards and help install the floors in the kitchen to save time.

A friend picked up the crib for us in his truck because it wouldn’t fit in our car. Another friend helped carry the crib upstairs. His wife lent me maternity clothes and books and baby slings. They brought us food when the Pete was born.

There were gifts, thoughtful presents from close and far. My sister sent all her gently used baby gear as well as three years of clothes. We had two generous showers to help with the necessities. Many of these gifts were handmade with love!! To list just a few:

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I made the Husband Stuffed Stuffed Peppers the other day.

No, I didn’t stutter stutter. Well, there I did. Why do I call them Stuffed Stuffed Peppers you ask? Of course there is a story about that, and of course it involves my in-laws.

Visiting home we always get a call from my Father-in-law when we are a half hour away asking what local craving he can pick up for us. Pizza from the Husband’s favorite joint is dinner the first night 99% of the time. Snacks are provided and always include bananas, English muffins, homemade strawberry jelly, BBQ beef, lunch meat, cheese and the F-I-L makes a wicked garlicky salad. Jobs and commitments make our visits home fairly short, so there is rarely time for many home cooked meals. For YEARS all I heard about were the famous Stuffed Peppers my Mother-in-law makes. All the family gave rave reviews!  The Husband and I were easily married for at least three years before I ever had them. The anticipation had mounted. One fateful visit she finally promised to make the Stuffed Peppers; they were to be ready and waiting upon our arrival!!

The kitchen smelled amazing when we walked in! Hugs were had all around, the luggage was hauled in, and the dogs were fed and settled. We sat down for a home cooked meal after our long car ride.

I looked to the plate set before me and LAUGHED.

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The Loving Hut. It doesn’t exactly scream vegan restaurant to me. Based on the name alone, I would have guessed tropical. Pineapple. Coconut. Pineapple flavored coconut. Long red straws and teensy tiny umbrellas. Daiquiris. Buff guys in white shorts and sandals bringing me fresh towels. Sand beneath my toes. Aaaaaand now I either want a beach vacation or Hildi from Trading Spaces to come design a room in my home.

Sand in my living room? Why the heck not!

So, the Loving Hut. I was visiting relatives out of town and Mom suggested we try the new vegan place.

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I officially declare this Brownie Week here on Midwestern Bite. Somebody remind me next year and maybe by then I will have my own brownie recipe that doesn’t stink. Or, I can just do what I did this week and make other people’s recipes. I figured with all the brownie talk, I had better end the week on a sweet spot.

A lovely reader, Mavis, left me a recipe in the comments of the first installment of The Worst Food Blogger Ever. It’s my duty as a dedicated blogger to try it out. So try it out I did!

Here is a snapshot of her recipe:

I made a few changes based solely on unpreparedness (the Husband would not be pleased, though brownies don’t yet appear on his list of basic physical needs). I was low on brown sugar, so I subbed in white sugar and molasses. Also, I was out of chocolate chips so I subbed in a chopped up Lindt bar. I didn’t measure, just chopped and dropped.

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If you missed Part 1 of The Worst Food Blogger Ever click here.  If you caught it, but want to read it again to keep the flow going, click back there too.  If you didn’t catch it and don’t want to, but still what to know what the deal is anyway, here it is: I made bad brownies.  I fed said brownies to the Husband.  I hid said brownies in the oven.  I forgot about them and accidentally cooked them again.  And now you are all caught up.  It got worse…

At this point, I really should have just learned my lesson and chucked the brownies.

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* Happy Monday!! Hope you all had a lovely weekend!! This was the only weekend the Husband and Pete and I had scheduled all to ourselves within a six week period, so we really lived it up. I mean, the Husband and I stayed up watching Lost for a good half hour after Pete went to bed Saturday night. And we split a beer. Yeah, we party like that. It was glorious. Anyway, before we get into things, I wanted to preface this post by warning you I split it up into two sections. I realized after I typed it out that it was reaaaaaaally long and if your attention span is anything like mine, you’re gonna need a break. That and my house needs a little TLC (paint touch-ups and what not) that I have been trying to get to for months now. I hope you will find it worth the wait. My mom read it and she thought it was hilarious (and moms never lie to their kids to boost their self esteem) so I feel confident you will bear with me and come back for more this week. This first installment is also a little shy on pictures, but I more than make up for it later in the week – promise.  Without further ado, I present to you why I am the worst food blogger ever…

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My first post from the Man Cave was a quick and somewhat lighthearted look at the events leading up to, and then THE biggest event in our lives.  However, please don’t let my jokes fool you.  They’re cover.  Much of the time I was scared to death.  I’d never even really held a baby before they handed over our own in the delivery room. I  had no idea if all my preparation would work out now that the real thing was squirming in my arms.

For example, do you know babies need you to do everything for them?  I mean everything, up to and including supporting their head so it won’t roll and snap off their tiny little neck.  Yeah, even that.  Want to know something else about a baby’s head?  Each one comes with its own self-destruct button euphemistically called a “soft spot”.  Isn’t that just great?  No, that wonderful design feature is not hidden away somewhere under an armpit, it’s right up on top!

This new Dad obviously had a lot to think about, even though some of this mindset began forming a few years ago after getting married.  There was now a truly helpless family member depending on us… and unfortunately things don’t always go as planned in the real world.  Sometimes a water main bursts.  Sometimes a car crash takes out a power pole.  Each of us live somewhere sometimes susceptible to earthquakes, or hurricanes, or Midwestern tornadoes, or blizzards, or something.  Hopefully problems can be fixed by wonderful guys in white hardhats in no time flat… but sometimes they can’t.

While we all know it’s incredibly important to nurture the mental and emotional needs of our children, and many of us devour dozens of books on how to be “good parents”, I’d wager very few spend any time at all learning and preparing to nurture their kids’ basic physical needs.  I find it ridiculous that most households have a month’s worth of dog food in a big bag in their basement and only a couple days’ worth of people food in the fridge.

So I hope you’ll read along as I share some very simple things we can all do to make sure those we care about most can weather a storm.  Whatever that storm might be.

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13. April 2012 · 10 comments · Categories: Humor · Tags:

**edited to add September 23, 2012…I first posted this in April of 2012, about two weeks after I started blogging.  That means there is a chance only about five people, including myself, read it.  I must confess, I am quite proud of this one.  Seriously people.  I link it in as many of my posts as I can and I still chuckle when I think about it.  Hee hee.  Tee hee.  Hee.  Hee.  Anyway, due to the absolutely magnificent content here I am linking to Cinnamon’s September 23Paws party over at Eat Pray Tri.  I hope you will be kind to me and leave lots of nice comments letting my ego know this in, in fact, one of the best posts you’ve ever read.  Carry on people, carry on.**

I have been debating with myself over whether to post this. Let’s face it, a lot of us are sensitive about our looks. Maybe you have grandma’s chin and wished you didn’t. Maybe you want to be taller or shorter or fatter or thinner. Maybe you still have a few baby pounds to lose. Whatever slight insecurities we all have, one thing is for sure, most of us have had a bad haircut at some point in our lives.

The Snoops is no exception. In fact, her past is riddled with questionable style choices. I know, you’re all thinking “Why all the debate? She’s just a dog.  I stalk your blog for your amazing wit and humor so just show it already.”

Let’s back up for a second here. The Snoops is just a dog.

But is she?

Exhibit A:

I could be wrong, but she seems to have a human shadow here.

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