MacroBars are better than kale!

Earlier this summer, I was talked into buying and trying a raspberry-chocolate kale bar from the local grocery store’s “natural” section. It was NOT delicious. I’d sum up the flavor and texture as dirty grass. After that experience, I was somewhat less excited about trying a new nutrition bar, but I took a chance on MacroBars, and here is my report.

I received a box full of mini MacroBars, and at first, I thought there was no way I’d ever eat that many bars — I was expecting them to be yucky. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Like all of the MacroBars, the minis are USDA organic, non-GMO project verified, kosher, gluten free and vegan certified. AND, they taste delicious!

Macrobars
MacroBars

My favorite flavor was the peanut butter and chocolate (surprise, surprise), but I honestly thought all of the bars were tasty. They had a nice chewy texture, weren’t too grainy, and there wasn’t a grassy or dirt-flavored bite among them.

The minis were perfect mid-morning office snacks for me. They provided a nice bit of sweetness, and the nutty ones even gave me enough protein to help keep me from feeling hungry before lunch.

Macrobars
MacroBars

I had planned to take a few more photos of the bars, but I ate them. 🙂

GoMacro is available online, and if you use coupon code BLOGGER, you will get 40% off your first order. If you’re looking for a nutritious snack to take to work or to send to school with the kids this fall, take a look at MacroBars. I recommend them!

About GoMacro
About GoMacro

Check out the links below to learn more about the family-owned company and their full line of products.

Shop: https://gomacro.com/shop/ (remember to use code BLOGGER for a discount!)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gomacro/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gomacro
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/gomacro/
Instagram: https://instagram.com/gomacro/

Many thanks to GoMacro for providing me the samples!

Stop calling things “Artisan”

On a recent trip through the McDonald’s drive-thru, I was in the mood for a cheeseburger, but convinced myself to go with a slightly less guilt-inducing “Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich.”

On my way through Window One, the polite girl at the register confirmed my order, made change for the ten, and waved me forward to Window Two. The boy there handed me my Diet Coke and then said, “I’ll go get your Artesian.”

Artisan vs artesian
Stop calling things “artisan!”

Seriously?

This prompted a couple of thoughts for me:
1. Stop calling things “artisan.”
2. “Artesian” and “artisan” are NOT the same.

Dictionary.com provides this definition of “artisan.”
Artisan: Adjective. Pertaining to an artisan or the product of an artisan; artisanal: artisan beer.

I enjoyed my chicken sandwich. It was pretty good! But I doubt anything about it was “artisan.” The bun didn’t appear handmade. I doubt the chicken was an artisan. The people who assembled it in the kitchen? The kid who handed it through Window Two? Nope.

And while we’re talking about that kid, he’s not the first person I’ve heard say “artesian” when he meant “artisan.” In case you’re wondering, here’s what that means.

Artesian: Adjective. Noting, pertaining to, or characteristic of an artesian well.

And if you don’t remember what an artesian well is?

Artesian well: Noun. A well in which water rises under pressure from a permeable stratum overlaid by impermeable rock.

My sandwich was tasty, but it was neither artisan nor artesian.

Stop calling things “artisan!” And if you call anything “artesian” that is not well-related, you sound stupid.

Thanksgiving Tip: Remove Guts from Turkey Before Roasting

Remove giblets before cooking turkey! Click to read source article.
How to remove giblets before cooking turkey! Click to read source article.

Here’s a story that we tell every year… Enjoy!

We’d been married about six months by our first Thanksgiving together as a married couple. We lived in an apartment with a small electric oven. I was so excited! You know… “Look at me! I’m such a good little wife cooking for my new hubby…”

I roasted a turkey, fixed up the trimmings, complete with cranberries from a can and Stove Top stuffing. When it was finished, he carved up the bird, my manly husband, and discovered something strange inside the breast. What the heck?! Did we get a defective turkey?!

We examined the pale, wrinkled, alien membrane, and figured out that I had forgotten to remove the bag of neck and giblets before I cooked the turkey. Yes, the bag of turkey guts was still inside, like an unexpected prize inside a cereal box. But instead of a super secret spy decoder ring, it was a baked bag of neck, gizzard, liver, and heart. Now, I’m sure that lots of people love to eat those parts, but we are not those people. I was quite embarrassed, especially when he told his mother about it. Fortunately, I have an excellent sense of humor. 😉 We still laugh about it!

failed turkey roast
National Lampoon’s Turkey Disaster

The rest of the turkey was delicious, and we are still married 17 years later!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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How to make edible Minecraft dirt and grass blocks

Hello, friends! Recently, I threw a Minecraft birthday party for my son, featuring dirt and grass blocks made from crispy cereal. Here is the recipe for those treats, which were delicious, and which scored highly on the Minecraft cred scale with the kids. Enjoy!

Minecraft treat ingredients
Minecraft treat ingredients

Ingredients

1/2 stick margarine

Large box of chocolate Rice Krispies or Cocoa Pebbles (about 8 cups, I think)

2 regular-sized bags of small marshmallows

1/4 cup corn syrup

1/2 cup chocolate chips

green icing in a can

green sugar sprinkles

chocolate sprinkles

Pam or other cooking oil spray

13 x 9 inch cake pan

Dirt blocks without frosting.
Dirt blocks without frosting.

Instructions

In a large nonstick pot, melt the margarine and marshmallows over medium-low heat, stirring so the marshmallows don’t burn. Mix in the corn syrup and keep stirring. Once the mixture is smooth, turn off the heat and stir in the chocolate chips until they’re completely melted and combined.

Add most of the cereal and fold it into the marshmallow mixture. I think I used about 8-10 cups of the cereal, which ended up being the whole box. You want the treats to be chewy, but not so squishy that they won’t hold a cube shape.

Grease the cake pan by rubbing the margarine wrapper all over the inside of the pan, or spray with Pam. Then pour the cereal mixture into the pan and spread it out evenly. It might help to spray some Pam onto your spoon or spatula, and use that to pack the mixture down into the pan. You want to press it down pretty well so there aren’t any big air pockets.

Allow the “cake” to cool to room temperature.

One Minecraft dirt and grass block.
One Minecraft dirt and grass block.

Decorating the treats

Place a cutting board over the top of the cake pan. Hold it in place and flip the whole thing over. Set it on the counter and tap on the bottom of the pan until the whole thing falls out onto the cutting board. Remove the cake pan and use a knife to cut the treats into squares/cubes.

Use your fingers to squeeze the treats into cube shapes and then roll the sides into the chocolate sprinkles. Don’t put sprinkles on the top of the cubes, because we’re going to put frosting on that part.

Use the green icing with the serrated tip (it looks like zig-zags) to make pointy tufts of frosting on top, to look like grass. Sprinkle some of the green sugar on top of the frosting for a little extra sparkle.

Arrange the finished blocks on a plate or tray, and add Creeper face picks if you want to (get free Creeper printables here).

I hope you enjoy these treats. I posted the recipe the way I made them, which was without a recipe, so that’s why the measurements are approximations. Cheers!

For my foodie friends! Recipe contest!

fudge photo“Stick a Fork in It” Food Blogger Contest
Sponsored by Top Recipes Android App

I enjoy cooking, but I know some people that are adventurous, creative, and passionate about food. This contest is for you guys! It’s called the “Stick a Fork in It” competition. And there’s money to be won!

Submit your best original recipe with a photo of the completed dish and you could win:
· First Place: $500 Visa gift card, award-winning designation within the app, plus a “virtual ribbon” to display on your website
· Second Place: $250 Visa gift card, award-winning designation within the app, plus a “virtual ribbon” to display on your website
· Third Place: $100 Visa gift card, award-winning designation within the app, plus a “virtual ribbon” to display on your website
· Editors’ Choice: $25 Visa gift card, award-winning designation within the app, plus a “virtual ribbon” to display on your website

Who can enter: Food blog owners/writers and contributors.

It looks pretty easy to enter. You need to submit an original recipe and an unmarked photo of the finished dish. Enter by February 17 and then tell your friends to download the app (from Google Play) and vote!

Get the full contest information and rules here, and start cooking! Good luck!

Reviews: Grapples and Petite Treats

photo of GrapplesHello, friends! I have tried some great new things, and you might like these, too.

First, my family tried some snappy new flavored apples. They are called Grapples (pronounced grape-lz), and they are real apples, but they smell like grapes. That might sound like a strange combination, but you should try these Grapples.

They start out as regular Fuji apples (my favorite kind of apples), which are crisp, juicy and sweet. Then the growers use some kind of proprietary magical process to infuse the apples with grape essence, which gives the fruits an extremely fruity fragrance, and a slightly grapey flavor.

It’s hard to describe, but it’s delicious. If you enjoy a crisp, sweet apple with a fantastic aroma and a sense of novelty, give Grapples a try.

photo of Petite Treats bookThe second new thing I’m sharing is this cute little recipe book, called “Petite Treats.”

From the authors of “Mini Pies” and founders of the Seattle-based Mini Empire Bakery, “Petite Treats” shows you how to miniaturize everything from tiny fruit scones and mini pies to bite-size brownies and cutesy cannoli —sweet satisfaction guaranteed.

This book includes dozens of full-color photos and easy-to-follow recipes, as well as decorating and presentation tips.

I haven’t had a chance to make any of the recipes in the book yet, but the pictures are drool-inducing. I’m looking forward to trying the tiny doughnuts and mini whoopie pies! You can order “Petite Treats” from Amazon.

Starbucks and Big Fish Give Away Games

Going to Starbucks? Help yourself to one of their Free App download cards! Starbucks and Big Fish Games have teamed up to give away free iPhone and iPad game downloads.

The free games change every week, so stay tuned to the Pick of the Week page for the latest news.

So next time you’re spending way too much on your caffeine and whip fix, pick up a free game while you’re there!