Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Surfing for Sweet Treats

Sarah_Jamie_lovemadevisible-534I found this wedding cake on a website that apparently is run by a husband/wife photography duo out of South Africa. The photos of the weddings are extremely beautiful and well set. But I was just thinking how great it would be to have a Rice Krispies Wedding Cake like this couple. Of course, as addictive as those little treats are I’m afraid I’d make a fool out of myself and want to eat the whole dang cake. You would find me under the table just crunching away on the layers. I’d feel guilty, but I just wouldn’t be able to help myself.

Sweet Potato Creme Brle
As my husband was watching football on Sunday with my house quiet after all my guests left from the holiday I found this recipe that made me swoon. Sweet Potato Crème Brulee, yum. If I had found this last weekend, it likely might have been on my Thanksgiving table. But hey, Christmas is just a few short weeks away and I can definitely try it out then. So if you wish to check it out as well head over here

Monday, November 26, 2012

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday Shopping

After we’d eaten our fill of turkey, dressing and potatoes, it was time to relax.  I did not participate in the Black Friday madness on Thanksgiving evening.  I actually had to get to sleep early so that I could get up and go to work.  But apparently at midnight the Herald Square flagship store of Macy’s opened and had a crowd of 11,000 people waiting outside.  Really?  I cannot imagine being in this crowd.  How do you even move in the store with that many people.  It seems like a good place for a pickpocket to hang out. 
With so many people out of work and the economy suffering I just worry about those individuals that went out on Black Friday, shopped local on Small Business Saturday and who are sitting at their computers today clicking for Cyber Monday.  It is too easy to be caught up in the “good deals” and holiday excitement. 
However, I am not immune as my daughter and I did get to J C Penney at 6:00 a.m on Friday morning.  We had a little bit of time to shop before I had to get to work.  My daughter had looked through the ads and wanted to go here to check out some of the specials in clothing.  I thought I’d check out the $8 Toaster Oven, but I wasn’t desperate for it.  We walked in, checked out what we needed with purpose and walked right up to the checkout.  It was 6:15 when we walked out of the store. I didn’t get the toaster oven, but that’s okay as it might have ended up on the shelf with my crock pot trio from last year.  But we did score some nice scarves and a purse my daughter wanted.  We put our purchase into the car and went back in and watched the other shoppers.  People were standing around trying to figure out how to get their stack of 20 small appliances to the front of the store.  People were back in the shoe department with no place to sit and try on the specials, but many walked away with three or four pairs of boots.  I had to wonder if these shoppers had that many gifts to buy or if they were planning to sell the items on EBay or at a flea market.
By the time we left 20 to 30 minutes later the lines were to the back of the store. But we still had time to go to Nike and make a purchase in the empty store and then a trip to the donut shop.  Here is where we got the best deal of our time together.  We spent some time alone together sharing breakfast and discussion before I had to be at work at 8:00 a.m.  My daughter is growing up. She’ll be in her last semester of her undergraduate career in January and I love spending time with her and seeing the woman she is becoming.
So we had a few purchases that my daughter was thrilled about, spent some quality time together, didn’t lose any sleep, nor did we have to wrestle anyone to the ground. And because we were not caught up in overzealous purchases, we don’t have to worry about a bill next month that we can’t afford to pay.  So have fun shopping over the next month, but remember, if you don’t have the money to spend opt for simple pleasures like time alone together which forms memories and bonds you together more than a DVD player or cheap television.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Laughing Away the Darkness of Daylight Savings Time

The days are shorter now. My mood is lower now.  So I must find some funny now.  I have never been diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but my mood has always dropped to basement level whenever the sky is black by the time I get home from work.  So the past couple of weeks I have been trying to find positive and/or funny things to keep my mood up.
One of my easy go to things is to watch anything Sophia Grace and Rosie. These two young ladies were discovered by Ellen Degeneres and spend a great deal of time entertaining her fans with visits like the one below.

And spending time here in the workplace area just makes me laugh – I’d love to buy a ton of this stuff and put in my little cubicle at work, but I’d probably get fired.  So I just enjoy and sometimes share with my co-conspirator or b#*ch buddy at work.  But I’m sure you might enjoy these as well, unless you work at the perfect company.
Funny Workplace Ecard: Helen Waite is our complaint manager.If you wish to file acomplaint please go to Helen Waite!

And this one is for all the people on my team at work:

Funny Workplace Ecard: Thank you for sending me all those emails that I had clearly already been copied on.

Now I’m just counting down the hours until a paid day off for Thanksgiving:

Funny Thanksgiving Ecard: How you feel the morning of Thanksgiving Day!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Demise of the Ding Dong Dealership

Today there was a terrible incident that caused the death of Twinkie the Kid, King Ding Dong, and Captain Cupcake – all registered trademark friends of Hostess Brands, Inc.  These were iconic characters from my youth and yours.  And that’s likely one of the reasons that the company had to fold.  While I enjoyed these items in my youth and when my kids were packing lunches for school it has been years since I’ve purchased these treats for  myself.  I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I’ve had a Hostess or Dolly Madison product in my house.  Oh that’s a lie, I just remembered that they make the donettes that my husband and I pick up at the store every two or three weeks – Crap, what will we do now?
In their official announcement of closing here, Hostess Brands, Inc. stated on Friday, November 16, 2012 that it was winding down operations and requested permission from the U. S. Bankruptcy Court to begin selling off assets.
In news reports the company has stated that it will likely sell the brands, so our favorites might be back, but will we buy them?  Hoards of people are rushing to the stores to pick up the product before it sells outs.  I’m not sure if it’s because they wish to savor the products or if they will be trying to off-load them on internet auction sites or at flea markets. 
I have memories of the brand from my youth going with my mother to the production bakery in Wichita, KS.  With the aroma of fresh baked Wonder Bread in the air, we’d pick up bread and some treats and always Hostess Fruit Pies for my dad.  I can remember those being packed in his lunchbox all the time.
Back then when you bought Ding Dongs they were wrapped in thin aluminum foil.  After you unwrapped the product, you could make designs with the wrapper or you could ball it up and throw it at your classmates.
The product everyone is talking about in the news are Twinkies, but I was never a big fan.  My preferred choice was the Raspberry Zingers.  That mix of raspberry flavor with the coconut covering was delish.  But it has been over five years since I’ve bought a box of Zingers and now they are gone – perhaps forever.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thanksgiving Already

Sweet Potato CasseroleWith Thanksgiving hitting on the earliest day of November it possibly can (the 4th Thursday in November with a November 1st Thursday starting off the month) I’d like to tell you that I am already thinking about what to fix.  Although in my family it’s pretty much the standard menu of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green been casserole, pumpkin pie and anything else we decide to fix in.  We’re hosting some family this year and it will be the first year without our son who will not be coming in from his job in Washington State.
So while perusing recipes online, I did come across this set of unusual recipes from Cooking Channel that I thought I might share:  Some of the mashed potato recipes look yummy.  And some sweet potato recipes look good, but I may have to stick with my favorite on this and just cook the yams with brown sugar, butter, and melted marshmallows on top.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans Day

November 11th is Veterans Day.  The date comes from the fact that an armistice was declared during World War I between the Allied Nations and Germany on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. For more history – please see the following link -
All that we hold dear as Americans is a result of our veterans and their service to our country over the years.  Remember our veterans today.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book Review – Where We Belong

In Where We Belong Emily Giffin introduces us to 36 year old Marian Caldwell and 18 year old Kirby Rose. Marian is a television producer living in New York City ready for her boss/boyfriend to propose and start their life together full-time. Kirby has just turned 18, is in her senior year of high school, and is not sure she wants to attend college as her parents hope. The story reveals how these two women are connected and takes the reader on an exploration of their lives and what results from their meeting. I found myself much more invested in Kirby than Marian.  I kept reading the book to find out how things worked out for Kirby and would be interested to read another book that follows her into the future. I’ve not read Giffin before so I cannot compare this book to any of her others. I know her name and recognize the cover of her books because of the way her publisher has kept the designs consistent. I read an excerpt from this novel that was attached to a short story that was available for free download on Amazon to my Kindle. I downloaded the short story, but was more entertained by the excerpt from this novel. When I finished the excerpt I turned off my Kindle and logged into my local library website. The book was not released yet, so I put myself on the reserve list. The book was a quick read and the last four to five chapters kept me turning the pages to find out the ending. The book was entertaining and as my first Giffin book, I may give her another try in the future.

The book is available from Macmillan and is available in audiobook format as well.  To hear an audio clip click here:

This is the same excerpt that I read on my Kindle download that hooked me to get the book to read in the first place. If you have difficulty getting the clip to load from the blog, copy and paste the link to your browser.

Let me know what you think.