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Category Archives: Food

Yesterday I went to Sonic twice. First, to get myself a tasty treat. Since the kids were in the car, I got them one, too. Bean is incredibly easy. She always asks for “water with ICE in it.” She thinks this is as special as Peanut’s super-fancy lemonade slushies. To keep up this cheap illusion, I always say “Wow! You chose water with ICE in it! Does it taste yummy?”

We also got a slush for Raylo since he was watching the girls last night & letting me go to Zumba. I called as I was on the way home and he said the girls had kept him on his toes & he never got to eat. So, I went back to Sonic to get him a cheeseburger, fries, and a blended coke float.

You’ve had a blended float, right? If not, I highly recommend them. They take the ice cream & the coke (or root beer or whatever) and then run it through the milkshake machine. The result is basically a Coke milkshake. A Cokeshake. (Good name!)

But, as I was hollering my order into the little box, there was a breakdown in communication. The result: They gave me a Coke float with lemon flavoring in it. Grody! While they were very politely fixing my order, I started thinking about all of the drink combos Sonic has. They claim there are 398,929 combinations. (I’ll believe their math.) When I heard the lady in line behind me receive her Strawberry Pineapple Mello Yello, I was positive that some of these combos have to be pretty wacky. I guess I’m just too boring. I either get a Cherry Vanilla Coke, a Orange Vanilla Slush, or a Vanilla Dr. Pepper. (What’s with the Vanilla? I never realized that before….)

So, this is what I decided: I want to know the wackiest combo you can come up with. Go for gross, go for strangely delicious… whatever. I’ll randomly draw one of your answers on Friday. Then, I’ll drink whatever you have suggested. And (this is the happy part for you), I’ll send you a $15 gift card to Sonic.

Here’s my rules:

1) Don’t be ridiculous. Well, be a little ridiculous, but don’t say that I should order an Iced Tea Dr Pepper Cherry Mango Ice Cream Slush with Lemon Lime and Pickle Juice in an Apple Juice Box. Let’s limit it to a maximum of 6 ingredients. That’s one base (such as coke) and no more than 5 additional flavorings.

2) It has to be something that Sonic can actually make. Need help figuring it out? Here’s a list of what they’ve got. Don’t forget all of the flavorings they offer.

3) You can enter as many times as you’d like. I don’t mind. But, each entry has to be a different drink. Since one comment = one chance to win, you would be wise to put your drink suggestions into separate comments so you have more chances.

4) Offer open to U.S. residents only. I would love to send this internationally, but there are no Sonics internationally…. so there would be no point in you winning. My sincerest apologies to my legions of fans down in Brazil.

Now, get to thinking & creating! I’ll be crossing my fingers and reeeeeeeeaaaaaally hoping that the winner has picked something actually decent to drink. Winner to be announced on Friday! Drink to be consumed and reported upon Saturday!

Want more to read on this? Here’s a blog of someone who tries a different Sonic drink every day. Here’s an article from a Wall Street Journal blog explaining the math behind the number of drink combos. According to him, there’s actually 688,133. Yikesies!

Disclosure: The Sonic employees at the franchise near my house may know who I am because I frequent their location, but the Sonic corporation has no clue about me. This giveaway is done without their knowledge & with no compensation.

I’m really not a terrible cook. I used to be better, but have fallen quite out of practice. Still, I can bake, cook a variety of foods, blah, blah, blah.

But I’m not so good at cooking dinner. It is too close to that hour of the day when all kids all around the world act crazy. Discipline gets in the way of good technique. This is my elaborate excuse.

So…. last night I was thinking about what to make for dinner. And, I remembered that I had bought corn tortillas at the store. Which meant that I could make Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Tacos! Yo!

These are fanatbulousatastic. I could eat them daily. They take a bit of time and do make a mess, but they are 10000000% worth it. But, make sure your children are very well occupied during their construction.

Mine were upstairs in the playroom & all was well. I cooked the chicken, got the beans & rice going, shredded the cheese, and got everything ready to fry those happy puppies up. (Yup. Fry. You make the tacos & then fry them. This exponentially multiplies the yum factor.) I put the oil in the pan & started heating it up.

Then Bean & Peanut got into an all-out toddler brawl. There was hitting. There was crying. There was screaming. There was one child hollering “NO!” when I told her to go to time out. Long story short: it took a rather long time to get the kids separated and to deal out appropriate punishment. However, on my old stove, the oil would barely have been warm. This new stove is a bit hotter & quicker!

I walked in the kitchen to see smoke everywhere. I immediately turned off the burner & moved the pan off. Then, I slapped the lid on to try to get the oil to settle down. But, something must have been on the lid…. some condensation or something dripped into the freakin’ hot oil and BOOOOOOM! (This would be where the alleged fireball may or may not have appeared in the pan….)

I screamed. I dropped the pan lid and dented it. Fortunately the pan stayed on the stovetop. (That would have been BAD, right?) Bean came running in freaked out. I guess copious amounts of smoke + Mama screaming can freak a kid out. But, all was well. I took the pan out onto the back patio & left it there to smoke in peace. At that point, I realized that a long stripe of my arm hairs were singed off.

Did that make me throw in the towel & insist that we go out to eat? Nope. I went back in there, got a new pan, some new oil, and fried up a whole mess of those yummy tacos. But this time I told the kids to stay away from the kitchen & stay away from each other. I would not allow another distraction to get in my way!

And yes, the tacos were worth it. I ate myself silly. Then I wondered why I even bother to go exercise at Zumba class.

Wanna make your own tacos? Go here for the recipe.

Right after we moved here, we got our girls enrolled in summer Mother’s Day Out at a nearby church. It gives them a chance to make some friends & gives me a chance to come home and take a 5 hour nap. Uh, I mean “go to Wal-mart and buy all of the items our family will need for a week.” Yes. That’s what I mean.

But, I need y’all’s help. There’s a child at their MDO with severe peanut allergies. So, no peanut anything. I’m down with that. I fully support the prevention of anaphylactic shock, especially in small children. But, since we can’t have anything with peanuts, nothing that needs refrigeration, and nothing that needs heating up, I’m at quite a loss about lunch. What can I pack?

Here’s the same old stuff the girls get every week:

  • applesauce or fruit cup
  • piece of bread, biscuit, or bagel (they love the latter 2)
  • crackers (because they need more carbohydrates)
  • pretzels (because a bread item + crackers is *still* not enough carbs for them)
  • gummy snacks (because they need sugar + artificial crap)
  • juice box
  • cookie
  • maybe a cheese stick if I remember to stick it in the freezer an hour before they leave

That’s it. Soooo boring! I found some sandwich-sized insulated boxes this past week & thought, “Brilliant! I can make them sandwiches!” Then, I remembered that they don’t like sandwiches. They like cheese, they like bread, and 47% of the time they like sandwich meat. But, if you put it together…. as in touching… NO WAY.

So, help a mama out! I have very limited cold space to go in their lunch boxes and I don’t like Lunchables very often (too much sodium & they really don’t eat them very well anyway).

What other items would you pack in a preschooler’s lunch?

Tonight I was headed to a friend’s house and offered to pick up dinner for us all since she just had a baby. I’m not familiar with drive-throughs in her neighborhood and didn’t want to go in to a place since I had the girls with me. So, I got on the trusty TomTom and searched for places in the area. I saw one and decided to give it a try. FROSTOP Drive-In.

Now, how do you read that? I sure thought it was Fro Stop. I kept calling it that all night. I told Raylo that I ate at Fro Stop. I told my buddy that I got her burgers from Fro Stop. I couldn’t figure out why it was called Fro Stop…. Except that they sell good old greasy burgers and milkshakes that are FROsty and FROzen and you should STOP to get them…..???

So, I came home and was telling Raylo all about this new dive since he didn’t get to join us. I also told him about the giant root beer mug that is by the building. It used to be up on a pole, but it got knocked down during Katrina. Instead of righting the upside-down mug and putting it back on the pole, they just moved it back in front of the restaurant — still upside down — and kept it that way. I found a picture of it. And then I looked closer at the logo and realized….

It’s FrosTop… Like Frost-Top with only one T. Like… root beer that’s so frosty the foam on the top is a Frosty Top.

I think Frost Top is a much better name for a dive…. much better than Fro Stop.

These were a chain at one point and their root beer is still sold in some states. Have you ever seen one in your neck of the woods?

Jay Way tipped me off to a fabulous deal…. Right now if you go to and buy a gift certificate, you’ll get 80% off of the price. The thing is… you usually get a $25 gift certificate for $10 or $15 anyway. Don’t stress your mathless brains… I’ll break it down. I got $40 of gift certificates for our favorite Italian restaurant for $3.20.

Did you see that? Less than the price of our two iced teas…. and I’ll get $40 worth of food.

I can totally get behind that.

So, head over to, search for your city, and enter the code GOBBLE when you check out. Fabulous!

So…. a year ago I asked for side dish recipes. Many of you obliged. I was going to cook them all and declare a winner.

I made LDL’s broccoli salad. RayRay devoured it. Loved it. Begs me to make it.

As for the other recipes…. I have bought ingredients for them numerous times. I am ashamed of the number of cauliflower heads and eggplants I have thrown away. Not because I’m averse to eating these veggies (I love me some eggplant!), but because they never made it from raw ingredient to cooked, finished product.

The Cauliflower Mafia has ordered a hit on me. I’ve let too many of their brethren rot in my crisper. (Why do they call it a crisper? Nothing in there is crispy. It’s all mushy and in various stages of icky…. at least in my fridge….)

Anyway… I am still committed to trying these recipes! For real! It will be the longest-running blog contest ever. Sigh.

In other news, I made my uber-fabulous Black Eyed Pea Shoepeg Corn Casserole (which was officially renamed LDL’s Pea/Corn Casserole in this old post) for our Modern Quilt Guild’s end o’ year potluck.

STOP IT. I saw you scoff at the phrase “quilt guild!” I did. We are NOT a bunch of calm, quiet old ladies sitting around discussing crops and recipes while sewing quaint quilts. We’re quite rowdy, you know…. but I am not sharing any stories lest the other members start sharing stories about me….

Anyway, a repeat of that recipe was requested. So…. here you go:

BEP Casserole (a.k.a. LDL’s Pea/Corn casserole, a.k.a. Black-eyed Pea Shoepeg Corn Casserole, a.k.a. The Dish)

1 can black eyed peas, drained

1 can shoepeg corn, drained

1 can 98% fat-free cream of chicken soup, not drained (just seeing if you’re paying attention…)

4 oz shredded cheese

1 can diced green chilies, drained

1 sleeve ritz or club crackers

Spray your casserole dish with Pam. Dump in the first 5 ingredients. Mix. Add a sprinkle of salt¬† & pepper. Crush the crackers & dump on top. Spray liberally with Pam. Bake at 350 until bubbly. (That’s about 30 minutes.)

Sounds crazy… tastes fabulous. And, if you make it this way, it’s actually fairly healthy. Well, healthier than deep-fried oreos, that’s for sure.

The night of the kek-kek cafeteria incident, we had a Meet-and-Greet social for my hubby’s department here on campus. I decided to bring cookies.

As I pulled the bag of cookie mix out of the pantry, I noticed an alternate recipe:

Yummy! And, bars are always easy to transport right in my pan that has a transporty lid.

Now, to insure the success of any recipe, you must:

1) Follow the directions (at least mostly). If it says to let the cookies cool before spreading the chocolate, please do that. If it says to make sure the chocolate is really melty before you spread it, please make sure it’s hot and melty. Don’t assume that the heat of the uncooled cookies will melt the un-melty chocolate.

2) Try not to have a toddler throwing a fit and refusing to take her nap although she’s clearly so tired she’s out of her mind. Also, try not to do this right after the cafeteria kek-kek lunch episode where her younger sister made you crazy.


I have decided to call this recipe Le Puup aux les Dirts. That’s my fake french way of saying “Poop on Dirt.” You could alternately call them Dog Poo Delights or CaCa Cookies. (Thanks to Spider Woman for that last one.)

Let’s do a side-by-side analysis of this recipe:

Needless to say, I sent Ray Ray a text and insisted that he pick up cookies on the way home.

The good news: My hub is so grossed out by the appearance that he won’t eat them. While they may look disgusting, they taste great. Viva Le Puup!

Here’s my only question: Should I turn in this recipe to The Pioneer Woman, Martha Stewart, or Rachael Ray?

After breakfast this morning the only food left in the house was pickle relish, ranch dressing, 2 eggs, and some out of date summer sausage.

Diapers were reaching a critically low level.

Something had to be done.

My wonderful hubby stayed home this morning with the kids and I took off for Wally World. There was NO WAY I’d be attempting this trip with any children. And it’s a good thing they didn’t come….

There wouldn’t have been room for them in the basket.

Let’s put it this way: When I left I was pushing one basket and pulling another one. I was being laughed at by the people in Wal-Mart.

And when the people who populate Wal-Mart at 9 a.m. on a Wednesday morning laugh at you, it’s pretty bad. The only thing worse is when the people who shop at Wal-Mart at 3 a.m. laugh at you…. (And yes, I know about the hilarious website People of Walmart. But I didn’t link there because the picture today isn’t family-friendly. Dangit! Now at least 85% of you just left my blog and Googled People of Walmart!)

Now we have enough food to survive an apocalypse, feed an army, or keep two toddlers fed for approximately 2 weeks. At least I don’t have teenagers. The food wouldn’t last 10 minutes.

The most amazing part of my shopping trip: I got all of it in 1 1/2 hours. Enough food to fill the back and the second row seats of my minivan…. in 1 1/2 hours. I should be a grocery shopping Olympian. (Do y’all remember Supermarket Sweep? I would so win that.)

In other news….

I sewed some hooded towels for my girls tonight using the on-sale bath towels and hand towels at Wal-Mart and some of my fabric. They’re $30 in the store. I made each one for about $8. Woo-hoo!

Bean has started sleeping on the floor. Not sure why. She says it’s “more comforble.” We convinced her to let us put some blankets down under her. I think the real reason she likes to sleep there: she plays with her toys until she falls asleep.

Today Bean got the markers down (She’s gotten too tall! She can reach my too-high-hidey-places!!) and she and Peanut started coloring. On each other. And somehow she found the kind that’s non-washable.

Peanut fell down a few stairs yesterday and banged up her nose. She looks like she’s been in battle. With her unruly hair and the blue marker on her face, she actually resembles someone who led people into battle…

My Mama and Daddy are up in Hershey, Penn right now moving my bro. He’s headed to Chicago for the next stint of his medical training. I think he’ll finish with all of his residencies, fellowships, internships, and trainingships sometime in the spring of 2020. (That’s what you get for choosing to be a surgeon, Bubbie! Perpetual school!)

Ahem. I digress.

A few weeks ago I got to go visit my fam while RayRay was on a trip overseas. My girls love Chick-fil-A. So, I knew we’d go there at least once for them. Sure, we have a Chick-fil-A here in NOLA, but that doesn’t matter to them. They’d do a cross-country tour of Chick-fil-As if they could.

There’s two CfAs in my hometown. One in the mall and a freestanding one. We had to go to the mall one. Why? Because Bubba Hen (my bro) had a coupon for a free Spicy Chicken Sandwich that was only good at the mall. Sure, my dad would be paying for us anyway so it would be free no matter what, but there’s one thing you need to know about the Hen family: If you have a coupon, YOU MUST USE IT. Or a rebate. Or any kind of DEAL.

To make up for us going to the mall that did not have an indoor playground, we let the girls take their strollers and their baby dolls. It was rather adorable. Wish I had my camera. But didn’t.

After we sat down, Papa Hen (my Daddy) said that if we ate a good lunch, we could get ice cream.  But, we had to drive 15 minutes to the freestanding Chick-fil-A to get the ice cream. Why? Because he had some coupons that were only good at that one.

Yes, we were going to drive across town to another franchise of the same restaurant to get $1 ice cream cones for the kids because we had a coupon. We could have gone to that establishment in the beginning, but we had to go to the mall first so my brother could get a free sandwich. After all, he had a coupon.

We ended up skipping the ice cream because Bean had an absolute kicking-and-screaming-on-the-floor-tantrum in the arcade across from CfA. *sigh* Next time, we will get that ice cream. And, we will not be going to the mall first.

So, I haven’t posted in awhile. This is for a few reasons:

1) I was making the Grand Pilgrimidge through Louisiana and Texas (a.k.a. the Promised Land) to take Bean and Peanut to see their grandparents. My hubby was on a trip and there was no way I was staying home alone with two toddlers. No way.

2) Since I didn’t check e-mail, blogs, my shops, or anything while I was gone, I had over 1,000 things to read in my Google Reader, about a bazillion e-mails to deal with, and 2 sales on my new shop that isn’t even officially open yet. (Woo-hoo!)

3) The L key and space bar on my computer are freaking out. I have to hit them double hard. It drives me nuts. This is the real reason I’ve used my computer only for Google Reader, Hulu, and reading e-mail for days on end. For real, it’s time for a new computer.

4) Good thing my hubby just got a new job! (Ok, this isn’t a reason why I haven’t blogged…. but I’m in list mode. Can’t seem to get out of it.) Now, in addition to actually having disposable income, I may be able to save up for a computer that doesn’t type correctly spaced and L-ed sentences without me banging! See, he’s a grad student. I’m a SAHM. I like being a SAHM. And, I can’t even afford to be a working mom. Decent childcare is so freaking expensive that my take-home pay each month would be less than our rent. And we live in cheap on-campus housing. Not worth it.

So, the trip to the Promised Land was sooooo worth it. Great Mexican food, two Chocolate Extreme Blizzards, ice cream from Braum’s, and even Thanksgiving Dinner. (Aside #1: Yes. It’s all about food. With mab, everything is all about food. Or fabric. Or crafting. Or napping. And food.) (Aside #2: My brother was in town to visit. He wanted turkey & dressing. So, on Memorial Day while y’all were all grilling out, we were eating Turkey, dressing, & all the trimmings. I told the fam this was fine as long as we didn’t decide to grill hot dogs and hamburgers next Thanksgiving. That won’t fly.)

I spent a lot of time working on two new quilts and would like to post pictures. However, all of these quilty and crafty bloggers are intimidating with their stellar photo skillz. I’m actually not terrible myself, but it’s the lighting that’s an issue. See…. I have limited time with natural light when there aren’t small children messing up my gorgeously staged tableau. I may have to resort to poorly-lit-flash-photography. But, I think this is some type of Craft blog sin.

Ok, to end my randomness, I’ll say that my bro suggested I pop off the L key and space bar and clean them. It might work or it might break them. We shall see…. if I don’t post again for a few weeks then it’s because I broke my L key and space bar….. or that I couldn’t take the deprivation any more and drove to Mississippi or Texas for another Chocolate Extreme blizzard.

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