Hello, hello, hello!

It’s that time again . . . FOODIE PEN PALS TIME sponsored by The Lean Green Bean. But what does that mean exactly?? I send a box of edible goodies to a lovely pen pal, and a lovely pen pal sends one to me.  In the past it’s also meant I’ve embarked on my toughest challenges to date, duking it out against myself to win the Chopped Challenge. Twice I might add. Yeah, I’m awesome like that.

But what does it mean this month?? Sadly I will not be going up for round three just quite yet. The Pete is concerned that May’s competition and narrow win was a bit too harried and stressful and I need another month to unwind.  Also, my pen pal package was a little too good to be true, competitively speaking that is.

My pen pal Emily is a southern girl and sent me Creole seasoning, Wild Rice, Bayou Magic Cajun Jambalaya Mix and Caramel Apple Butter.  All perfectly coordinating ingredients.

So, this box seemed a little too easy. With the Jambalaya Mix the work has already been done for me and you don’t need to add more rice to a rice dish. The seasoning would be great on chicken and the caramel apple butter a nice sweet glaze in contrast to the spice. Easy. Too easy. So I decided to give myself a break this month and do something different instead.

May I present to you all . . . Foodie Pen Pals and the Copy Cat Challenge!

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29. June 2012 · 7 comments · Categories: Humor, Man Cave · Tags:

** Editor’s note: Please enjoy another guest post from the Father-In-Law . . . this one is a bit more controversial than the last post as he does poke some fun at females as well as elderly male drivers. Don’t worry though, I’ll get him back for it… **

Here we go again dear readers.

I was underwhelmed with requests for another post, so here it is. I chose the topic “If I Were King”. Now that I’m retired I have the time to notice all of the things wrong with the world – and the time to fix them. Maybe you have some of the same thoughts and we could start a mini revolt in our mini kingdom. Just no thoughts of over-throwing the king!

I spend a lot of time behind the wheel these days. Most of our traveling is to destinations involving beaches or visiting our little grandson. For that reason I have at the top of my list IDIOTS WHO DRIVE ONLY IN THE LEFT LANE! Sorry for the shouting.

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Raspberries. The Pete and I were at Sam’s Club last week picking up five items that somehow managed to total 70 bucks when a tub of Raspberries impulsively called my name. I try to buy organic berries but I let my guard down and into the world’s largest grocery cart they came.

I segue – as a side note, a giant cart with a listing wheel is way worse than a regular sized cart with a listing wheel and this is all compounded even further when you have a Pete strapped to your front in a sling. You may ask, why not just get another cart? Well, I had already sanitized the handle and had successfully made it past the all important woman checking my card to ensure I was allowed to enter the store. Clearly it’s an exclusive club.

Back to the berries. I’m pretty boring when it comes to fruit consumption. Usually I just rinse and eat. If I feel like cleaning the blender, I’ll make a smoothie. On a wacky day I add them to yogurt or oatmeal (yeah, I do eat the stuff, I just don’t like to talk about it).

So, I like raspberries. They are not my favorite (hello strawberries) but I like them. And they are pretty which nowadays, much thanks to all of you, is a bigger consideration when grocery shopping. Even the Iron Chef’s are judged on presentation so pretty is important in the food world.

The problem with all of this is that if you have a “food” blog (although if I had to classify myself I think “satire” is more appropriate) you are expected to make some crazy and new concoction with your raspberries. I’m not a chef. I just like raspberries. I also just really like photographing raspberries.

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23. June 2012 · 18 comments · Categories: 23 Paws, Humor · Tags:

If you’ve been following along with me these past few months, you know I have a poodle named The Snoops. If you haven’t, well, you should first check out my all time favorite post The Poodle and the Haircut. In this post I provide convincing evidence that the poodle is a human rather than a dog and then proceed to embarrass her with pictures of her bad haircuts throughout the years. Yeah, I’m an awesome pet owner.

Did you go there? Did you laugh? Yes? No? In any case I find myself hilarious so let’s just move along.

What I failed to mention in that poodle centered post is that my pet has a pet. Had a pet. Pets actually. They’ve passed on (bless their fuzzy souls).

It all started one day, several years ago, when the Husband and I went to the pet store for dog food and came home with a little black and white hamster. The phone call to the Mother-In-Law (who had been begging for a grandchild) to announce a new addition to the family was easily worth the fifty bucks we spent on hamster gear.

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Of the various ways we can share every excruciatingly small detail of our lives with the world, Pinterest is pretty new to the social media scene. If you are still living in 2010 (this is for you Father-In-Law) Pinterest is a collection of image based boards that you add to by “pinning” a picture and adding your own caption. You can follow others and have followers just like Twitter (Father-In-Law is actually on Twitter so no explanation needed there). Aside from the legal issues that have been batted around regarding copyrighted content, I have a few issues with Pinterest.

Initially, I had no desire to join Pinterest. I did it on a whim after my friend, let’s just call her Supermom, sent me a few requests. Someone has to invite you after all. Pinterest became my candle party: I was invited so it was only polite to go, and while sure, I could find a use for a smelly candle, did I want to waste precious resources, aka money? Lots and lots of money. Have you ever been to a candle party?? Those things are expensive!! So, while the candle takes cash, Pinterest takes time. Let’s face it, Pinterest is an attention whore.

So, to be frank, I have a love/hate/wince relationship with Pinterest.

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I haven’t done much of a garden update since eradicating Brutus and planting the little ones. I’ll do a full post on that later if you’re all interested, but for now can I just say . . . Midwestern Bite readers, we have a problem.

A cute fuzzy problem, but still, a problem.

If you recall, I had mixed feelings about planting the Brussels Sprouts. Sure, they are flippin cute, but I wasn’t sure I liked them enough to warrant such prime garden space.

Turns out the old sayings are true, you appreciate something more when you risk losing it. Sigh. I dread writing this, but . . . we have worms. Cabbage Worms. Adorable worms almost as cute as the teeny Brussels Sprouts were when I first planted them, but worms nonetheless.

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What is wrong with the word moist?

Time and time again. Over and over again I read food bloggers complain about the word moist. So I ask you, what is wrong with the word moist?


Let’s review the definition of the word moist:

  • slightly or moderately wet
  • tearful
  • characterized by high humidity


Allrighty then. So I made some muffins the other day and called them moist.

Which they were. They were slightly wet and just a little tearful as I almost cried when they were all gone ’cause I was also out of almond flour and unable to make more. (Note to self: order almond flour.) The high humidity part doesn’t fit, but whatever. Recess can mean a break from class or a hole in the wall, but we all still liked playing four square just the same.

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So last weekend I ate a weed that grows along our back deck.

Yep, I did.

And it was glorious…

Meet my new best friend – Lamb’s Quarters:

I am sure what I felt as that wild leaf touched my lips for the first time contained the exact same depth and breadth of anticipation, exhilaration, and excitement Lewis and Clark experienced hundreds of years ago as they consumed unknown flora species.  Yessir, my adventure is exactly the same as theirs.

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So where did we leave off on Monday? Oh right . . . a muffin recipe or the Husband eating Lamb’s Quarters aka a weed growing in the back yard. Well, since no one weighed in I am picking the muffins. Don’t fret my pets, the Husband will still tell you all about his foraging adventure. I just don’t know when that will be. Feel free to bug him about it as I’ve already edited, resized and watermarked the pictures.

As much as I loved the donuts that tasted like muffins, I actually prefer muffins that taste like muffins.

Here’s the reasons:

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Thanks to all those who voted last week in The Midwestern Bite Choose Your Own Adventure.

The results are in and it was a close one. Not really, the donuts won by a donutslide.

No matter how hard I try to fight donuts, they always win. I mean, I was kinda looking forward to reliving a nice vacation. And those bird pictures always make me smile. And I wanted to share the Key Lime Study because I think the pictures came out pretty great. Of course there was no recipe because low sugar, Paleo friendly Key Lime recipes are awful so you all saw through me there.

So here we are at the donuts. The donuts that always win.

I’m going to tell you a little story. A story which I’d like to preface by saying that I truly love all characters involved. These are some of my favorite memories and I wouldn’t have things any other way.

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