I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know if this product is currently on the market or not, because I found it in my “snack bin” when I was unpacking after the move. (More on that later). So today at lunch, I was still hungry, even after a yummy sandwich. So, I decided to have some popcorn. This was the selection that was right on top, I love ranch, so I thought – “Why the heck not?”
Well, I’ll tell you why the heck not. Because if, like me, you enjoy breathing while eating, you will spend the majority of your time eating this product not actually chewing or swallowing, but rather coughing, due to inhaling some of the too-fine “dust” that makes a shakeable, well, shakeable.
The flavor itself is a pretty intense ranchy-style flavor and isn’t bad at all. It’s just that I don’t like to cough because of some clumsy product researcher. Seriously, I don’t know how this got out of the test phase at all, since most people I know don’t want to feel like they’ve just inhaled chemicals while eating.
All that being said – yay for the popcorn popping completely, yay for the flavor. NAY for the horrible side-effects. In my personal opinion … stay the heck away.
One of my new features this year on my blog will be, essentially, to profile my cookbook collection and provide a review for each. Hopefully this will be helpful to you.
For Christmas this year, one of the things I mentioned to my family was that I wanted new cookbooks. And I got them! Lots of them, in fact.
The most precious to me is one that my mother has been assembling. It is essentially a 4×6 photo album with handwritten index card recipes. This is a VERY good thing because I can use it in a moveable, changeable way … and it includes all the recipes I loved as a child and growing up. Family “heirloom” recipes, as it were.
Second, the Blue Ribbon Country Cookbook, by Diane Roupe:
This is a great cookbook, chock-full of easy, tasty recipes. I have yet to try it, but it has some tasty-looking options, and there are a lot of them. The only disappointing thing about this cookbook is that there are no color photographs (which I find to be – usually – VERY appealing in a cookbook).
Finally, the Best of Amish Cooking, by Phyllis Good:
Having grown up in Amish country, eating Amish food, has spoiled me a little. Down here in McAllen, authentic Mexican is available on every street corner … but authentic Amish food? Not likely to be found – anywhere. So this little cookbook offers a wide selection of Amish-oriented recipes. There are some color pictures, but I really wish there were more. Another thing to be aware of is that Amish recipes don’t take shortcuts (no cake mixes or bisquick here). So some of the recipes may be time consuming.
That’s all for today, folks. Hope you get a chance to try out one or more of these cookbooks … if you do, let me know what you think!
So, the day after Thanksgiving (aka Black Friday), we decided to skip the overly crowded malls and head for Mexico to shop for a few Christmas presents we knew we wanted. Along with several hundred other similarly-minded folks (oops), we crossed the river armed with a wad of cash and a shopping list. We got just about everything on the list … plus a few extras, the most notable of which is shown here.
Malvaviscos Marshmallows – $2.10 for 30 at our favorite Mexican tourist/grocery store. See on the package where it says “Super Gigante”? They aren’t kidding – these are quite possibly the BIGGEST marshmallows I’ve ever seen.
What? You say the bag looks “normal”? Well, check out the following photo for verification of size:
Yes, that’s TWO marshmallows in an 8-oz low-ball glass. Your typical “short” glass. We were joking about putting one in the microwave to see how big it’d puff up, but that makes me nervous – I might end up cleaning marshmallow off the inside of my microwave!
Here’s a photo of 1 marshmallow in a cup of hot chocolate:
Also, these marshmallows are quite possibly the tastiest and freshest I’ve had in quite a while. The bottom one is vanilla and the top one is strawberry. And they do have flavor. Three cheers for Mexican Marshmallows!!
So, the other night we were looking for a dessert that I wouldn’t have to fix and Rob would want to eat. And we both wanted something warm. One trip to WalMart (and $3.19) later, we were the proud owners of a Mrs. Smith’s Blackberry Cobbler. I followed the directions on the box, baked as instructed (and then baked about 5 minutes extra to get the crust a little “brown-er”). After it rested for 1/2 an hour, it was DELICIOUS!!
Rob gave it an A, I gave it an A-. My reason is that I don’t normally care for pie crust and there was nothing special about this one. The crust on the cobbler was actually a little too “rubbery” for me. But the filling more than made up for it. It was the perfect combination of sweet and tart and had real berries in it (which is important to me). I could eat the filling all by itself and be perfectly happy.
Either way, it was an easy option, made about 8 servings (smallish, but enough), and didn’t break the bank. A good easy dessert option for busy nights!
Well, as you can see, I haven’t been doing much cooking this week. Beyond the leftover chicken fajita meat, we’ve been eating a lot of sandwiches, etc. So, I thought I’d do an update on a couple of my favorite kitchen things.
Kapoosh Universal Cutlery Block
As you can see, this is possibly the most unique knife block I’ve ever seen – and possibly the most useful. When Rob and I got married, we had to combine two very random knife collections – mine, consisting of a number of Wusthof knives and some cheapo steak knives, and his, consisting of a whole set of cheapo knives, plus two VERY nice Santokus by Anolon. Altogether, we had about 15 knives that we didn’t want to part with. Now, honestly, have you ever seen a normal-size knife block that would hold 15 knives? I didn’t think so. But this block by Kapoosh – which has no slots at all, but rather nylon/plastic “rods” – will hold that, plus some. It is dishwasher safe, the knives won’t dull from hitting the rods (like they would if you accidentally hit a wood block), and you can arrange them however works for you. If I were only allowed to choose one thing to receive for our wedding … this would have been it. No kidding.
Pampered Chef Bamboo Spoon Set
Oh, wow. These spoons look so simple. And they are. But I love them. As you can see, they come three to a set – 2 round spoons (one with a long handle, one with a shorter handle) and one oval spoon. So far, I’ve never found a reason to like the oval one. But the ROUND ones??? Oh, I could write a sonnet. They’re perfect for mixing or stirring anything in a round container – because of their shape, they fit right into the curve of the bowl. Because they’re wood, they won’t scratch a non-stick surface, and they go right into the dishwasher. I have 4 round spoons (having given the oval ones to my mother) and wouldn’t trade them for anything!
For those of you who know me well, you know that I LOVE pampered chef. I’d sell it, except that down here you have to be bilingual to be successful. All that being said, I have a slightly older version of this … mine is white and not the “new and improved” version (which has stronger ball bearings).
I love this tool caddy because it keeps the tools from getting all tangled up in a drawer. I put it right next to the stove, which makes grabbing what I need really easy when I’m cooking. No more stuck-on sauce while I’m hunting for the right spoon!