All bark and Bite RW

So now that the Christmas season is upon us, every blogger and their mother is making bark.  Most of them are making peppermint bark because peppermint is to Christmas as pumpkin is to Thanksgiving.

Channeling my inner SAT’s there for a minute.  Sorry.  No, I’m not really sorry, but I am sorry for apologizing when I wasn’t really sorry in the first place.

Moving on.

I have no problems with bark.  Unless it’s the dogs’ incessant barking, which I swear they do these days non freaking stop.

Anyway, moving on again.

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Like I said yesterday, today’s January Blog a Day challenge topic is meatloaf.

See, meatloaf.

Well, I guess it’s really Meat Loaf.

Okay, okay, technically it’s I would do anything for love . . . but I won’t do that.

Which is sung by Meat Loaf.  But since I run a “food blog” here (like so many other things, I use that term loosely) I chose to make this post about actual meatloaf.

So I cooked up some meatloaf for dinner Monday night. On Tuesday I topped spaghetti squash with roasted garlic spaghetti sauce, crumbled a slice of meatloaf on top and sprinkled the whole thing with cheese.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it every dang day till the end of the month, I am totally rocking (pun intended) this blog challenge.

This recipe comes from “The Food You Crave” by Ellie Krieger (page 216 – buy the book, it’s a good investment) with just a few alterations.

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I’m trying something new this year.

Food sculpting?  No, turns out hummus is a tricky medium.  Or maybe the tiny seafood fork I used wasn’t the best tool for the job.

Besides . . . the look of death The Husband bore into me while he was sorting through the giant stack of filing I gave him (when all he wanted to do during precious, and in recent days, rare toddler nap time was lie on the couch and watch The West Wing on Netflix) and I sat next to him with my tiny seafood fork molding the word “NEW” onto tortilla chips claiming I was “working” and would need him to listen for the boy to wake up so I could then take my hummussy, tortilla chippy masterpiece on a photo shoot in the newly fallen snow was, shall we say, less than pleasant.  Insert run on sentence here.  Oh wait. 

Perhaps I should just stick to describing hummus in a way that is nothing at all like how Melville described how white the whale was in Moby Dick.  That was a run on sentence too in case you aren’t a Literature nerd like me.

The hummus was orange.

But how orange the hummus was is really not the point I’m trying to make here.  I’m supposed to be talking about the new thing I’m trying this year.

Duh duh duhhhhh . . . .

I’ve decided to become a joiner.

No, no I haven’t hopped on the Kale bandwagon or started using the phrase I digress or bought stock in Chobani yogurt or stopped using the word moist or offered a fabulous giveaway open only to those who promise to tweet their first born child to me.  And I have definitely not started eating oatmeal and blogging about it like it’s better than french toast, pancakes, omelets or bacon.  It’s not.

I have, however, joined the BIC Bands bandwagon and bought me a sparkly new headband.   While still not technically relevant to this post, I am pretty sure Katrina would approve of the sparkles.

Ahhhhh, yes, finally a point in this mess.  Who is Katrina?  She is the fabulous chick I have decided to join over at the blog ‘Sota is Sexy.  Katrina is funny!  So funny I’ve learned not to read her blog on my cell while rocking my sleeping babe.  Laughter and sleeping babes do not mix.

Katrina and her pal Lindsey are hosting a blog challenge to post on a specific topic every day throughout the month of January.

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Now that Thanksgiving is behind us and you’re all deeply entrenched in the seasonal favorite of the moment, peppermint, I feel that it’s safe to bring up a topic that has been weighing heavily on my taste buds.

Pumpkin.

Pumpkin was last season’s “it-food” and nary a food blog neglected to cover it.  Pumpkin made an appearance on Facebook posts and Twitter tweets, Instagram and recipe after recipe after recipe.  Pumpkin chili.  Pumpkin rolls.  Pumpkin cookies.  Pumpkin oatmeal.  Pumpkin ice cream.  Pumpkin soup.  Pumpkin coffee.  Pumpkin smoothies.  Pumpkin bread.  Pumpkin pancakes.  Pumpkin pasta.  Pumpkin fudge.  And of course pumpkin pie.  Ugh.

Not ugh for pumpkin pie.  I LOVE pumpkin pie.  I even asked for it instead of cake for my birthday this year.  Of course what I got was cheesecake and I had to make the birthday pie myself a few days later, but no worries.  I love making pumpkin pie almost as much as I love eating it.  And that’s pretty much all the time.  I love eating pumpkin pie all the time.  Not just in the fall.

But I segue.  My love of pumpkin pie is not the issue here.  The world’s fickle love of pumpkin only surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday is.

That’s right, I’m calling you all out.

Because here’s the thing.  Here’s the thing that has been bothering me like squash bugs on a zucchini plant.

CANNED PUMPKIN IS NOT SEASONAL!

I’m sure there are a few of you out there who roast your own pumpkins to get your seasonal fix, but I’m guessing the majority of you bust open your can opener and crank open that store bought 15 ouncer to mix in with your morning oatmeal and grande extra gigante foamy latte frappe cappuccino spiced chai soy half caf coconut coffee.

So may I repeat.

CANNED PUMPKIN IS NOT SEASONAL!

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Before I get into the Unroasted Roasted Vegetable Soup,

I’d like to take a few paragraphs to talk about a fellow blogger, Aly of Fudging Ahead.

If your first thought was I must have won another blog award to be spreading the Blog Love, you’d be wrong.  I’ve won nothing.  Not by anyone else, that is.  I have seriously considered bestowing an award upon myself, though, to make this post legit.  Perhaps the I’m Awesome and I Know It award.  I even made my own crappy graphic that designer pal Calee will probably virtually kick my ass for.

Nah.  It’s not that bad.  As Cinnamon might say, whatevs.  Feel free to swipe it and award it to yourself if you please.  No reason not to give the ol’ self esteem a little boost from time to time.

But back to Aly.

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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’m a little hesitant to write this post.  You all know I am snarky.  I poke fun at things.  I question the bandwagons that bloggers hang onto for dear life.  Like kale (sorry Nikki) and the word digress.  Don’t get me started again on the word digress.  But I’ve segued.

I enjoy being snarky, but a blog needs readers and I’m afraid I may tick off a few of you today.  Except Abby because she already promised to like this post.

I’d like to talk about Chobani.

You all know Chobani don’t you?  Of course you do.  Practically every food blogger out there eats it, tweets it, cooks with it and gives it away.  Chobani is the “it” yogurt in the blog world.  Rarely do I go a day without reading about it.  Why is that do you think?  My best guess is that the Chobani people have a fabulous marketing team targeting the blogosphere.

I’m not saying the Chobani folk aren’t generous.  They have to be to donate so much product to bloggers for sampling, giveaways and retreats.  I’m not saying I don’t like free yogurt.  I do.  The Chobani folk could send me some yogurt and I would gladly accept it and eat it.  I’m not even saying I don’t buy Chobani . . . I have and I will again.  It’s good yogurt.

What I am saying, or rather asking is, would you all love Chobani so much if it weren’t for their blog presence?  The free samples?  Would you pick Chobani out of a lineup based on taste alone?  I decided to enlist the help of Supermom and her Superfamily to find out by pitting Chobani against other yogurts in a blind taste test.

The Plan

It’s been a long time since high school and the science fair, but I did my best to create a controlled experiment.  Armed with some rare baby-free time, I made my way to the local specialty grocery store and stalked the yogurt aisle.  My goal was to find a similar product in several yogurt brands.  Chobani is greek yogurt so greek or strained yogurt was a must.  I also wanted fat content and fruit flavor to be the same.  0% fat and blueberry seemed to be the most prevalent so I went with those.

Here are the participants I came home with for the official Midwestern Bite Yogurt Trials:

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Back on Wednesday when I was jabbering on about raspberries,

I mentioned I would be back on Monday to talk about Raspberry Chocolate Pecan Almond Flour Thingamajigers.  Right then, so here I am, true to my word.

You may be wondering why  I call them Thingamajigers.  What are they exactly?  A cookie?

A muffin?

Neither?  Both?  I considered going the cutesy route and combining names, like Brangelina or TomKat.  Okay, maybe TomKat’s a bad example because like Tom and Jerry, they just weren’t meant to be together.  The only cookie muffin combination I could come up with, however, was “coffin” and that just doesn’t sound yummy in a baked good.

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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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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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