Monday, December 28, 2015

Snack Stories: Holiday Edition

I wish I had taken a photo of the delicious popcorn I took down during today's 12:10 showing of Road Chip (a surprisingly watchable film), but my fingers were too covered in butter to reach for my phone.  I paid for this pleasure with the inevitable popcorn hangover feeling wherein your stomach feels empty and queasily full at the same time.

Here are some of the culinary moments that I did photograph this holiday season.

I purchased these specialty Frito's at a gas station in Northwest Indiana on the way back to Chicagoland after Thanksgiving.  They were okay, but I doubt that I'll buy them again.  Note that it is not a single-serve bag.   

These are the Bacon Fondue Fries from Wendy's.  I treated myself to these (for the bargain price of $2.49) after a lunchless day spent crawling in traffic on North Avenue in an attempt to obtain twelve identical hooks between two different Menards.  I think it would be excessive to eat these as a side for a burger, but as a stand alone snack/lunch replacement on a frustrating day, these fries hit the spot.
I decorated these cookies myself, NTB.  Of course, I did so at a friend's house where she baked all the cookies in advance, provided all the decorating materials, and had a professional cookie lady on hand.  But still, I decorated them.  My kids were impressed!
A mom I know makes and sells these heavenly turtles.  I bought two boxes at a Christmas shopping event with absolutely no intention of gifting them.  I think my husband and I made the box last about two weeks.  So, so, so, so good.  (Also, please note my super cool vintage Christmas oilcloth tablecloth).
Driving from Chicagoland to Ohio the day after Christmas, we stopped for gas, snacks, and a break from the relentless rain.  I'm not sure what possessed me, but I chose these chips.  Every member of my family was disgusted either by the chips themselves or the very idea of them.  I kind of liked them and their tangy zip (to borrow a phrase) but won't actively seek them out in the future.  

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Ask and you shall receive

We have a trumpet player in the beginner band.  There's a big winter concert coming up in which the beginner musicians from all the Catholic schools in the area will join forces to perform "Hot Cross Buns," "Jingle Bells," and other signature pieces.  The practice for this event was late afternoon at a school in a neighboring town.

Most of the Fall, I've been operating on a "one day at at time" system, seldom looking too far forward, unless aware of specific conflicts or complicated logistics that will need troubleshooting.  That's worked out okay, except that it makes it difficult to ask for help because by the time I focus on what needs to happen or be done, it's nearing too late to seek assistance. 

My friend happened to look just a bit further ahead and asked yesterday if I could drive to band practice, and she'd drive home.  Perfect.  When I picked up her daughter to head to practice, she thanked me for saving her three trips to the neighboring town.  Now she'd only need to drop off her son (intermediate band), pick up our beginners, and then drive back for him later.  "You have over an hour," I said.  "Offer to give another intermediate band member a ride there in exchange for a ride home."  She thanked me for the "marching orders" and ultimately ended up with one trip to band practice instead of three.   

I know this story is boring, but it is a nice little reminder to take the time to ask.  What was a perfectly pleasant evening around here might have been miserable had I driven to and from band practice with the other two kids along for the ride. 

The bonus was that I actually enjoyed the drive.  The kids were all talking about the antics of their elves in a really cute way.  The city of Addison has some gorgeous Christmas lights going on, and the Big Guy delivered with an amazing sunset.  Fountain Diet Coke for me on the way home.

Life is good.


Monday, December 7, 2015

Too Kind, Too KIND

I eat a KIND bar for breakfast every morning.  The bars are quick, easy, satisfying, and tasty.  They pair well with Diet Coke.  My favorite is the Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt, but I am trying to force myself to mix it up.  If I overdo it on my favorite and burn out, I'm going to be a hungry, crabby girl.

I had breakfast with friends over Thanksgiving and one mentioned her love for the Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan.  Later that day, I was at the amazing Jungle Jim's International Market and was able to find one for myself, plus a couple of other varieties that were new to me.

Brief reviews:
Peanut Butter and Strawberry -- Has the flavors of a PB&J.  It wouldn't get me out of bed in the morning, but I'll definitely add it into the rotation.  I had it with a DC, but I think this is a KIND bar that would be better complemented by a cold glass of skim milk.

Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan -- I really liked it.  Can see it as an every third or fourth day option.

Almonds & Apricots in Yogurt -- I like almonds, apricots, yogurt, and the coconut in this bar (even with the dental challenges coconut flakes pose), but I found this bar too sweet.  If the almonds were saltier, I think this bar would be a real contender.  But they're not.

One of my friends brought up one of the logistical challenges of eating a KIND bar in the car, which we both often do:  chunks of the chocolate can flake off.  Next thing you know, you're walking around with a smudge of dark chocolate on your backside or near your crotch.  We discussed the possibility of using a tea towel or dish cloth on our laps to catch the chocolate crumbs and chunks.  You heard it here first.

The other thing I want to point out is that KIND bars are full of nuts.  I try to wash my hands after eating them, especially if I am going to be in contact with anyone who may be allergic.

Are you KIND?  What's your flavor?