Hey-O.  It’s Foodie Pen Pals reveal day where I show you all what masterpiece I created with my entire FPP box.

After reading through Foodie Pen Pals reveal posts last month I realized everybody says “It’s that time again.”  So I vow never to say that.  Or type it.  Or even think it.

Actually, I kinda wish it wasn’t that time again.  Time always always always gets away from me and while I have my posts all planned out in my head weeks in advance, sometimes I don’t execute them till the last second.  Take this month.  I knew exactly what I wanted to make using the contents of my FPP box, but waited till Thursday morning at 5:00 a.m. to do it.  That’s the morning before reveal day. This little fact will be important later.

My box this month came from Jessica, a fellow Midwesterner!!!!  Thanks Jessica, you are awesome and I was SO excited when I opened it.  I’ve loved all my FPP boxes but this one was particularly great.

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I don’t have a title for this post so I’ll just jump in.  It’s going to be kind of a quick one.

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving.  The Husband had some time off around the holiday which was much needed after the hectic move that seemed to last forever.  And a day.  It’s been good to simply concentrate on being a family of three again.  I think in times of upheaval and throughout pressures of the holiday season that can be overlooked.

Our Turkeyday plans were altered a bit as Sweetey Pete caught his first cold preventing us from traveling to see Mike’s family.  Turns out some Moms aren’t aware of the universal rule of keeping your sick kid at home.  So I will reiterate . . . if your kid is sick, stay home.  Do not take her to the library to infect all the other kids.

I didn’t take many pictures of our holiday eats . . .

. . . and by many I mean any.  It was a damn fine tasty herby brined bird though.  Thanks mom!

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John is back for Part II of Spooktacular Halloween Parties!  If you missed Part I and his insanely cool Pirate Ship, you can find it here.  Next year John promised to allow me to post progress pictures as he works on whatever his next theme will be.  Maybe zombies?  No, that would require Twinkies and you can’t get Twinkies anymore.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you must watch Zombieland stat.  And read a newspaper.  Aaaaaand, here’s John!

Plan easy dishes

I remember my first Halloween party in my new home about 4 years ago. After looking over the menu, I realized I didn’t have anything ‘meaty’ or substantial for people to munch on. The day before the party I went to GFS and bought the ½” meatballs and put them in three crockpots (oh man, crockpots are the best for parties, aren’t they?) with three different sauces. They were a hit!  People loved the taste and the simplicity and it took me about 15 minutes to prepare them. Sure, they weren’t exactly in the “Devil’s Lair” theme but with a little creativity the sauces became “Dirty Mud” (gravy), “Bloody Mess” (marinara) and “Heaven and Hell” (sweet and sour). If you can, have a few of these easy to prepare dishes for your party. It helps keep the guests happy (meatballs do make me happy – the secret is grape jelly, shhhhh) and your sanity intact while you’re busy preparing all the other dishes. This year, for the pirate theme, I broke my own rule and instead of buying the sauces for the meatballs, I made them. The “Cannonballs” were still the ½” meatballs and I had a Caribbean Flavor (Jamaican spiced sauce), Island Flavor (Pineapple), and Italian Sailor (Marinara) selection. Still easy to prepare but I added my own touches. (John clearly does not have a one year old around, hence the homemade sauce.  I’d be lucky these days just to make it to GFS.)

Go wild

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20. November 2012 · 11 comments · Categories: Giveaways · Tags:

It’s Halloween Week here on Midwestern Bite and I’m here to announce the winner of the Free Chocolate Giveaway.

But first I’d like to illustrate how the winner was chosen.

By the Easter Bunny.

Nah, just kidding.  Sweetey Petey actually chose the winner, but it was out of a toy drum full of Easter Eggs stuffed with all of your names.

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19. November 2012 · 4 comments · Categories: Holiday · Tags:

If you’ve been visiting here long, you know I am fairly nontraditional.  I won’t sing the praises of the latest food fad.  I won’t obsess over oatmeal or kale chips.  I won’t dump Fourth of July recipes in your lap on the Fourth of July or wish you Happy Halloween on October 31st.  What I will do is wish you Happy Halloween on Thanksgiving though.  That’s right, in my continuing effort to amuse and surprise you I officially declare it Halloween Week here on Midwestern Bite.  During Thanksgiving.  Yup.  I am certain plenty of other bloggers will fill your Thanksgiving quota, but how many will be discussing Halloween?  Probably just me. 

In celebration of Halloween Week, I’d like to present a guest post from a good friend, John.  He is the KING of Halloween parties and is here to provide you with some useful information.  Yup.  Useful information.  And you thought I was all snark here.  See, see, I can still surprise you!  Before I leave you in John’s capable hands, please note the drawing for the free chocolate will be done today and posted up on Tuesday.  I believe Sweetey Petey will be choosing the winner so blame him if your name isn’t drawn out of the hat, er, toy bin.

Allrighty then, I’d like to introduce John and his Spooktacular Halloween Parties!

I was honored when Joanna asked me to be a guest blogger. The original topic was local dining fare in Columbus, OH. However, it was late summer and I was already preparing for what has become a yearly tradition, my annual Halloween Party. The reason I now host the neighborhood party is two-fold. First of all, I love Halloween. It has always been my favorite holiday and since freshman year in high school, when I stopped trick-or-treating, I’ve dressed up to pass out candy to the kids. No small candy packages here. My parents taught me to do it right, full-sized candy bars (yay!) for everyone! Second, I throw a killer party. I learned this again from my father: if you’re going to throw a party, throw a party! It may sound self congratulatory, but isn’t that what writing for a blog is about?

So, instead of writing about the local Columbus eateries I frequent, though that may be another guest blog if Joanna allows (I do, by the way), I’m going to write about my most recent Halloween party and the lessons learned from it and several years beforehand. That said, here are my guidelines for hosting a successful Halloween party, which could be extrapolated to any party really, but let’s not lose focus.

1)  Themes – Give your party some Focus

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Raspberry Marshmallow Peanut Butter Waffles. With Barbecued Banana Bacon!

Let’s not get confused, this post is actually about books.

Seriously.

According to Supermom’s Superblog, today is Kids’ Reads.  Participating bloggers post about books their kids are reading.  Hence the name.  Kids’ Reads.  Right then.  We’re all up to speed.

My little fellow is one and currently his favorite thing to do with a book is either to slam it shut or to crawl all over it.

So I’d like to discuss a book that might be best suited for a slightly older child or even two children.

Cooking with Henry and Elliebelly

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I’d like to talk about free chocolate today and how you can get some.

But first I’d like to talk about giveaways.  Because that’s really what’s going on here.

I’m giving you something.  But why?

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I promised you a Cheese Ball and here it is.

Despite some protests (ahem, my sister, ahem) my Pops is more than happy to allow me to post his recipe.  I have to share any royalties with him, but considering my blog domain name costs me $80 a year and Foodie Pen Pals costs me $27 a month, I’d say it’s a good bet my father will end up owing me money.

Before I get to the recipe itself

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Today’s installment in this musical series is thanks to some recent Social Mediating between Calee (over at life+running), the Wife, and yours truly.  I interrupted their conversation to publicly ask Joanna the degree to which she is physically attracted to Eliza Dushku.

 

Then something awesome was proposed.

 

 

 

Since that exchange (and because Calee is a fellow choir geek from back in the day) , I haven’t been able to unstick:

 

MTV’s The State – Porcupine Racetrack

 

I was going to post up a recipe today for my Dad’s Cheese Ball . .

. . . but now I’m not.

I decided you’d all be too hopped up on election results to appreciate it or give it the attention it fully deserves.  It’s good Cheese Ball after all.

I don’t choose to focus my blog on current events or politics. Yes, I am sorry for the Sandy victims.  No you don’t need to read about it from me.  Yes, I voted.  No, you don’t need to know who for.  Though if you know me and my husband at all, you know who for.

I do not choose to shove my political views down your throat.  I suppose this approach does not make the politicians happy as they need people to rally around them in order to win.  I suppose I had hoped that their words and actions should have been enough to guide the voters into making the correct choice.  Seems I have been wrong about this a lot in the past.  I do not, however, believe that my small blog or 200 plus Twitter followers could have affected this election.  Again, this is probably not the right attitude, but if a truly amazing candidate ever showed his or her face perhaps I would change my stance.

With that, nothing aggravated me more last night and this morning than my Twitter feed.  Yes, we may disagree on some things.  I am cool with that.  No, you don’t need to shove it down my throat.

To the person who Tweeted “Yay for the world!” . . . don’t you think you are being a tad over dramatic?

And now I’ve discussed politics on my blog.  This was intended only to be a quick post teasing you all with Dad’s Cheese Ball before the little one woke up.  And I just heard the first morning squeal.

Can’t wait to greet my son this morning!  It’s going to be a good day.  As long as I stay off Twitter.

– Joanna

P.S.  If you want a fun election day post not centered around convincing people it’s important to vote (it is by the way) or cramming how great a certain candidate is down your gullet, check out’ Sota is Sexy’s post Voting in Style.  Except Abby.  Abby will not like this post.

Question of the Day:  Do you like Cheese Ball?  Except Abby.  Pretty sure Abby does not like Cheese Ball.