You all know what Foodie Pen Pals is right?  That fun program through The Lean Green Bean where I send a box of edible goodies to a new friend and a new friend sends one to me.  Then I create a recipe out of the entire contents, CHOPPED style.

Well, today is Foodie Pen Pals reveal day.  Actually, so is tomorrow because sometimes life gets in the way of blogging.  So stop back tomorrow (UPDATE: Read Here!) to see how this

DSC_1010 enh RW

and this

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I am counting my Not So Snaptacular Weekend as Part Six so technically this is Part Seven.  See, see, I can stick with things.

First up was a book sale!  Kids books for Sweetey Petey (although The Life and Times of the Peanut is actually for me cause I really don’t know how the tasty little suckers have come to be.)

Midwestern Bike Kids Books R

Cookbooks for Mama.

Midwestern Bite Cookbooks R

History and Gardening and Radio stuff for The Husband.  The Design book is mine.  It has a watery fish image I want to turn into a quilt someday made from old jeans.  I still don’t know how to sew, however, so this project is pretty far down on my to do list.

Midwestern Bite Books R

Outside projects.  While The Husband worked on the garden and planted some new trees and bushes he bought, I organized pots we had brought from the old house into a little container garden of sorts.  The paver stones and lava rocks were already there from the previous owners.  I’d like to replace the paver stones with large rocks from the creek someday.  Lugging around rocks and a 30 pound toddler is not sounding all that fun so this project is pretty far down on my to do list as well.

Potted Plant Project RW

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29. April 2013 · Comments Off on One Plus One Makes One But Really Three · Categories: Baby Robins

One plus one makes one but really three.

In continuing on my Baby Robin series, I present to you the result of the feathered love between Squawky and Sir Squawks a Lot.

Egg RW

Sorta.  There were actually three eggs by the time Squawky was done popping the suckers out, but I only managed to snap a picture of the first egg.  Cut me some slack, it’s not so easy getting pictures of a nest when mama bird flies at your head.  You have to wait for your moment.  Time it juuuuust right.  And have The Husband standing nearby as a distraction waving around a giant foam mat.  Yeah.  I should have at least taken a picture of that.

Previous Baby Robin posts can be found here:

Meet Squawky and Sir Squawks a Lot

Baby Robins in the House

Stop by later on in the week for more.

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  I think we should name the egg(s).  Suggestions?

This post has nothing to do with salad.  Many thanks to The Husband by the way because his recent Larry Dinolfo Tribute Garlic Salad Dressing post was by far the most popular post on this blog.  And by far I mean way far.  Like outer space far.  Like changed the entire scale of the vertical axis on the line chart in my Google Analytics account far.

Blog hits

I’m not at all jaded that he’s clearly more popular than me.


So, this post is not about salad.  It’s also not about food satire which is my normal modus operandi.  Unless you consider making fun of The Husband for drinking Dinolfo salad dressing straight from the bowl and feeling a little (okay a lot) sick afterwards food satire.  Then it kinda is my M.O.

Oh hey, don’t drink salad dressing.  Even if it’s awesome Larry Dinolfo salad dressing.  FYI.

So what is this post about then?  It’s about birds.  I promised you baby birds and I’m bringing you baby birds.  Besides, if I have any shot in hell of redeeming myself and getting my blog hits up to The Husband’s standards, baby birds seem like the way to go.  I mean, who doesn’t love baby animals??

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Some time ago, Dad introduced you to our favorite local pizza joint.  I encourage you to hit that up and read about the colorful history of Larry Dinolfo and his culinary hero status in our hometown.  Dad did such a great job there I can’t add much.  Needless to say, it was a very special kitchen in which to grow up. At one stage of my life, Larry offered candy necklaces and fun singalongs… colorful stories at another stage… then dirty jokes… and later some… *ahem*… wisdom on courting the opposite sex.

Who knew college was supposed to be like a doughnut factory?

Larry knew.

Today I’m here to share a tribute to Larry and his famous Garlic Salad Dressing. Prepare yourself for a life-changing event.  You won’t be the same after.

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I’m writing this up instead of Joanna because it might not be the healthiest recipe in the world.  Dad spent way too many hours after Larry passed perfecting this tribute and I refuse to allow The Wife to ruin it by attempting substitutes like tofu for pepperoni and condensed quinoa sweat or something instead of salad oil.

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23. April 2013 · 2 comments · Categories: Baby Robins · Tags: ,


I mean, on the house.  Technically they were on the house.

Enough of you expressed interest in seeing baby robins that I’ll be starting a new series that will last about a month.  The pictures were taken in 2009 and my plan is to start posting them approximately the same date they were taken in 2009.

The first egg picture I have is dated late April so it’ll be a few days before the series officially starts.

In the meantime here’s a teaser for you.

Robins Teaser RW

Yes, I am the freak who took a picture of her pictures.  And I wasn’t even blogging then.

– Joanna

Question of the Day: Do you have a favorite bird?  I have a few . . . Great Blue Herons and Indigo Buntings are top on the list but I like Red Wing Blackbirds and Swallows as well.

19. April 2013 · 15 comments · Categories: House

I like art.  No, I love art.  I tweeted the other day that if I were rich I’d be an art collector.  Not of Picassos or Rembrandts, just of original works of art.  Watercolors are by far my favorites but I have a soft spot for silk paintings, linocuts and photography as well.  I find so much inspiration in the vision of artists that I’d line my walls floor to ceiling if I thought I could get away with it with The Husband and The Budget.

Let’s be honest here, it’s more The Budget since I think I could sweet talk The Husband with a bag of Oreos and a case of PBR.

Last year I stumbled across Diablo Willis Fine Art and Graphic Design at an art festival.  I immediately fell for her work and was especially drawn to a set of train shots.  Here’s a screenshot of her store, but you can also find her work on Etsy.

Three Trains R

She was selling photography prints as well as metal prints and while the metal prints were a steal at (if I recall correctly) fifty ish dollars each, I decided I preferred prints and I could frame a photograph for cheaper than purchasing the metal print.  She didn’t have the print of the train I wanted in the size I wanted on hand so I ordered it online for about $25 with a coupon code.

In comes The Father-In-Law.

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I know I told you yesterday I wanted to chat at you every day, but I also said I wouldn’t bother you unless it was important and . . . I have nothing to say today.

But two days ago Abby put up a funny, I mean punny, post that if you haven’t read already, you should.  It’s a series of “perishable personal ads.”  Be warned though, if you’re gluten-free you might not want to respond to “Born and Bread in Coloradough” as you probably won’t be compatible.

So go ahead and do that if you want.

If you really need something from me to tide you over, here’s a picture of my kid holding a pinecone.

A Pinecone RW


– Joanna

Question of the Day:  I got nothin.  What?  You think if I can’t come up with a decent post I’d be able to come up with a decent question of the day? Pshaw.

So I haven’t blogged much this week.  I had every good intention of doing my new usual Snaptacular Weekend post, but frankly, I didn’t take many pictures.  At least not many good pictures.

We had family visit on Saturday and I took not even one measly picture.  You all know me well enough by now to realize I probably wouldn’t have posted those pictures here anyway.

Sunday involved a lot of prep work on the hallway I was preparing to paint.

Hallway RW

I painted it alright . . . and immediately hated it.  I hated it about three swipes into it, but The Husband convinced me to keep going and live with it for awhile.

Hallway Color RW

I lived with it till Monday morning at which time I decided it had to go. It’s the same blue as our dining room, but in the artificial light looks more seafoamy than blue.  Friday morning marks the start of Sherwin Williams 40% sale and I have a new color picked out and ready to be purchased.  By this time next week hopefully I won’t hate the hallway anymore.

The Fam and I did take a lovely walk on Sunday.  I had been itching to get the camera out for a stroll along the lane as so many trees and spring plants were blooming.  But the pictures were just okay, not great.  We have a saying in our house that goes a little something like this . . .SniffIt stems from the miniature poodle stopping every two feet on a walk to sniff something.  I blame the fact she is so low to the ground.

So every time I stopped to take a picture The Husband gently reminded me we were on a walk not a sniff.  I was rushed.  Rushed pictures are just okay.

Looks like triny roses RW

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12. April 2013 · 10 comments · Categories: Humor · Tags:

Ugly Food Deserves To Be Loved Too . . . Or Does It?

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This is the question I asked myself on Wednesday, March 20 at 10:01 a.m as I spotted these lovely cupcakes at the local chain grocery store.

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Midwestern Bite Ugly Food 2 RW

Midwestern Bite Ugly Food 1 RW

My first thought was of the blog Cake Wrecks . . . where professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong.  If you haven’t checked out Cake Wrecks before, it’s a fun place to shake your sillies out.  The premise is simple.  Folks like me and you spy an ugly cake.  We laugh.  We whip out our camera phones.  We snap a bad picture.  We e-mail it to Cake Wrecks.   The Cake Wrecks team turns the bad pictures into a hilarious blog post.  We read.  We shake our sillies out.

It’s awesomesauce.  Or awesomefrosting in this case.

So naturally when I spied the above cupcakes I whipped out my camera phone and snapped a bad picture and at that moment decided to start my Cake Wrecks submitter career.  I’ve always secretly wanted to be a Cake Wrecks submitter, traveling the city in search of the ugliest cakes imaginable and discretely capturing their affront to cakeries for all of internet eternity.  I could be famous.  A famous Cake Wrecks submitter.

It was settled.  I would do it.

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