Saturday, February 28, 2009

What's So Great About Whole Foods?

Recently I invited a friend to go to Whole Foods with me and she asked "What's so great about Whole Foods?" Those might not have been her exact words but I had never been to Whole Foods myself so I didn't rightly know. What IS so great about Whole Foods? I had heard a lot about it and was in the market for some quinoa (say keen-wah) pasta and Greek yogurt (not together). I was going to be much nearer to a Whole Foods than I am normally so I wanted to stop in and check in out.

As of this week I am no longer a Whole Foods virgin. What I would LOVE to be able to tell you is so great about Whole Foods is their desserts because I tell you what...I have never seen such beautiful cupcakes or cakes in my entire life. And I've eaten seen a lot. But alas, I did not give in to the temptation. Here is what I do know is great about Whole Foods...their bulk items and their Nut Butter Bar.

I have never tried a dried (or otherwise unless it ended in Newton) fig or a date. I wanted to, but I didn't want to fork over the $3-$4 for a bag of them that I would taste and then find out I didn't like. So I paid $0.38 and $0.64 for a couple of dried figs and dates in the bulk food area. You can also buy a scoop of grits, whole oats, or various different kinds of rices.

Recently, at the suggestion of my good friend H (Rachel's sister, who coincidentally when I think about H going by simply "H" on Blogger I want to call them "H and Rach"...but I digress), I tried Smucker's brand all natural peanut butter. I heart peanut butter so much that you just wouldn't even believe me if I told you. I have tried and tried and tried to like natural peanut butter and never before have I been able to. Until, that is, I tried Smuckers. I not only can "handle it" but I actually adore it. And Mr. Steady figured out that if you refrigerate natural peanut butter the oil doesn't separate.

So now that I've taken down my "Natural Peanut Butter Need Not Apply" sign I thought I would really step out on a limb and try other natural nut butters. Problem is, a small jar of almond butter costs about $8. And that's one small jar. But, at Whole Foods, you can grind your own nut butters. And by "grind your own" I mean you stick a container under a shoot and flip a switch. It just sounds better to say grind your own. So I paid about $2 for a small amount of almond butter and about $1.50 for an even smaller amount of cashew butter. Just enough for the family to taste and see if we like it. By the way, LOVE the cashew butter...not as much on the almond. The almond is doable but the cashew is excellent.

I was also able to find 3 different shapes of quinoa pasta, which is 3 times the amount of varieties at Trader Joe's. I wasn't as impressed with their selection of Greek yogurt, Trader Joe's has almost the same varieties...the only thing Whole Foods has on Trader Joe's is the varieties of flavors of single serve Greek yogurt.

Oh yes and if you are looking for Green & Blacks Chocolate, Whole Foods is your hook up destination (I'm not even sure what that means but you get the idea). They had a terrific selection of chocolate. And I didn't even buy a single piece. Unbelievable. But don't think for one minute that I didn't lovingly touch and smell each bar. That was weird, wasn't it? Especially after I just said "hook up destination".

So all in all, Whole Foods is a pretty cool place. I wouldn't drive an hour to get there every week, obviously. But if you ever have the opportunity to check one out I would try it. And have a cupcake for me!

Friday, February 27, 2009

More on Presidents

So many of you have commented to me that you checked out What Presidents Are Made Of and, for the most part, liked it. Although I do agree with my friend Lori that it is a little bias on George W. Bush but it seems like these days most everyone in mainstream is.

Anyhow, I picked up The Presidential Book of Lists: From Most to Least, Elected to Rejected, Worst to Cursed mostly for myself and it is chock full of useless but fun information!

Everything you never knew you wanted to know about every President ever elected. Topics like who lived longest, who died youngest, the five tallest and shortest Presidents, who shared birthdays, who had the most children, most popular pre-Presidential jobs. Just really good stuff that will help you sleep better at night.

This is a must-have for all you teachers and homeschoolers out there!

We are still plugging through our Presidents but not as quickly as I would like. We have fallen behind schedule a bit but we are enjoying it. I am learning as much, if not more, than the boys are.

I would also highly suggest checking out the HBO documentary on John Adams. It should be available at your local library. I never knew very much about President Adams and now he runs a close second behind Abraham Lincoln as my favorite president. Adams did so much for the roots of this country and does not receive near the amount of credit he ought to. I'm off my soap box now...but do check out the movie. Laura Linney is fantastic in it as Abigail Adams.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sweet Potato Waffles with Walnuts

Image courtesy of

I had some leftover baked sweet potatoes last week so I peeled the skin off and popped them into a zip top bag. This week I decided to make some waffles to put in the freezer. The boys spied them and I am happy to report that only half of the waffles made it to the freezer.

Why am I happy about this? Because last year when I made these The Thinker wouldn't touch them and even my usually extraordinary eater The Reader stopped eating them when he spied an orange speck identified as a sweet potato. Maybe it was the fact that they neither one ate much of a lunch and declined to eat what was served for dinner and were absolutely ravished. Or maybe, just maybe, these were the best waffles they had ever eaten in their lives.

Don't let this recipe overwhelm you. If you don't have wheat germ on hand, just add back in the 2 T. of white flour. If you don't have ground flax seed meal, use 1 T. unsweetened applesauce instead. And you can always use white sugar in place of the raw sugar. Next time you bake sweet potatoes, just bake a few extra and save them back for this recipe.

Sweet Potato Waffles

  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 c. MINUS 2 T. white flour
  • 2 T. wheat germ
  • 4 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. ground cloves
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 c. skim milk
  • 1 c. pureed cooked sweet potato
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 T. ground flax seed meal
  • 1 T. Sugar in the Raw
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped walnuts

  • In a large bowl, mix flours, baking powder, wheat germ, and spices.
  • In a separate bowl, mix eggs yolks, sweet potato, milk, oil, flax, and applesauce.
  • Pour wet ingredients over dry and mix only until moistened.
  • In an electric mixer beat egg whites with sugar until soft peaks form.
  • Fold egg whites and walnuts into batter.
  • Pour batter onto a heated, nonstick lightly greased waffle iron.
  • Cook until golden brown or until iron stops steaming. This will depend on your iron but the flax will make these brown quicker than not, my iron takes about 3 1/2 minutes.
  • These freeze well, lay in a single layer on a cookie sheet to flash freeze. When ready to eat microwave for 30 seconds then toast on a light setting.

The original recipe yields 12 servings but my waffle iron allowed 20 waffles. According to SparkRecipes and based on 20 waffles this is about 100 calories and less than 4 grams of fat per serving.

My new favorite pancake/waffle topping is a spoonful of unsweetened applesauce and sliced banana. Try it!

Thoughts About Lent

I have been observing Lent for about 5 years now. If you are unfamiliar with Lent, you can read more about it here. It is not a Catholic "thing" but I did first learn about it from some Catholic friends. Lent is about more than just fasting, it is also about becoming more disciplined.

You can fast from something physical such as TV or soda pop, or you can fast from something that will benefit your spiritual growth such as gossip, anger or pithy thinking.

I feel that Lent, and fasting in general, is something very personal. The Bible instructs us that when we fast we are not to look somber as the hypocrites do. What does this mean? It means don't be miserable about fasting so that everyone asks you what is wrong.

The same verse goes on to instruct us to keep our fasting between God and you. I think it is helpful, especially for women in Titus 2 relationships to share with close sisters about your fasting in an effort to uplift and encourage one another. And it is helpful to share with your family why you are not eating something. First so your children can see you observing biblical instruction and second so they don't think there is something wrong with your cooking :o)

I am burdened this year more so than ever to fast during this Lenten season. I am anticipating instruction from God and am desperately seeking His will and discernment.

I will be participating in the 40 Trash Bag Challenge along with my fast. Each year I discuss Lent with my children and invite them to fast from something. Some years they choose to participate and others they decline. This year the oldest two are joining in.

How about you? Do you fast? Do you observe Lent? Please don't share what you are fasting from, unless you are led to and feel it would be beneficial. I am interesting in knowing your thoughts on the 40 Trash Bag Challenge - I am excited about that one. I may even add a ticker to the sidebar.

Ash Wednesday is this Wednesday, the first day of Lent.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I Heart Oatmeal

This is my new favorite breakfast. Oatmeal (added in at the very beginning instead of as the box instructs makes a creamier cereal), 1 tablespoon of craisins for sweet, chewy flavor, 1 tablespoon of almonds for heart healthy fats, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar for sweetness, and a healthy sprinkling of cinnamon to help the metabolism. Add a splash of milk just because your mom always did and thank the good Lord for His provision. Yumm-o!

My Friend June

Have you met my friend June? Well, please go over and meet her and read all about her crazy proofreading, dog babying, Marvin eye-rolling, Topamax loving life. Mr. Steady and I meet with her every night before going to bed to catch up on her day.

Last night June came to visit me. She brought with her a semi truck full of framed artwork, every last one of them was about 4 feet by 4 feet. She lined them up in my backyard. I'm not sure if she was expecting to host an art exhibit or what but that's where she wanted them.

After this, she set up a wrapping station in my back porch on my washer and dryer. Then she went about my house saying how pretty things were, filling up her arms all the while. Next she starting wrapping all these things up for her mom and Marvin and Sleeping Beauty and that very gracious lady at work. She just knew they would love all of my things. And don't you know I started helping her wrap my things to take with her?

After all this she drank a little bottle of something and proceeded to take a nap on my ironing board. I noticed that she had tiny feet and couldn't help but take a peek at the size. She wears size 569 shoe, in case you ever want to buy her a pair, for her birthday or what have you. She already has a zoo sign so just stick with the shoes.
While June was sleeping I decided that Mr. Steady could fix our back door because I kept hitting my head on it. Upon taking a closer look at it I realized that I had in fact been using the wrong door, which was intended to push firewood from the garage into the house without a mess (similar to the cart doors at grocery stores). I am 5'3" and this door was about 2'6". I didn't notice that I had been *CRAWLING* through the door, only that I kept hitting my head.
About that time my alarm went off and my 7 year old was standing next to the bed asking permission to play monopoly. I sure hope June got a good night's sleep because I'm not so sure I did!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hymns for All Things

The Dentist's Hymn: Crown Him with Many Crowns
Weatherman's Hymn: There Shall Be Showers of Blessings
Contractor's Hymn: The Church's One Foundation
The Tailor's Hymn: Holy, Holy, Holy
The Golfer's Hymn: There's a Green Hill Far Away
The Politician's Hymn: Standing on the Promises
Optometrist's Hymn: Open My Eyes That I Might See
The IRS Agent's Hymn: I Surrender All
The Gossip's Hymn: Pass It On
The Electrician's Hymn: Send Out Thy Light
The Shopper's Hymn: Sweet By and By
The Realtor's Hymn: I've Got a Mansion, Just Over the Hilltop
The Massage Therapist's Hymn: He Touched Me
The Doctor's Hymn: The Great Physician

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine Pizza

Tonight for dinner we had mini pizzas made on english muffins. I simply took a pair of kitchen scissors, folded turkey pepperoni in half and cut it into a heart shape. It was a hit. And those are grapes, not giant peas or a really miniscule pizza.

Speaking of english muffins, I bought a package of crumpets the other day at the grocery store a) because I had never had them and b) because they have only 60 calories and no fat for one crumpet. No one else likes them but I do. If you toast them through two cycles the bottom and edges get crispy but the middle stays kind of spongy. With a sliver of butter and a dollop of spreadable strawberry fruit it's delicious! Try it!


Recently one of my best friends emailed me and asked me for some recipes for healthy after-school snacks.

Mr. Steady and I got a great kick out of this when he opened the fridge tonight. Apparently the condiment section of the door is overrun and the ReddiWip needed some space in the boys' snack area. Thankfully we caught it before the boys did...they know that anything in this area is fair game.

"Momma, can I have a snack?"

"Sure, how about half a can of aerosol cream?"

At least it's fat free and only 5 calories.


The winner of the Parent-Teacher Conference Kit is Jill! Her blog is so cute and so are her girls...go visit her if you haven't already!

And Jill, let me know if you'd like the Starbucks card or Grounds for Pleasure gift certificate.

Congratulations and thanks to everybody for entering and delurking! I had so much fun I'm already thinking up the next giveaway!

Friday, February 13, 2009


***This is a sticky post and due to the giveaway will stay at the top of the blog for a week. Please scroll down to see newer posts.
To celebrate my 100th post and to bring some of you out of hiding I am hosting my first GIVEAWAY! Now this is no Pioneer Woman or MckMama giveaway (which are both over, by the way, don't get too excited) but hey, it's something!

I know lots of people visit, I've had 1,999 visitors as of today. I can see your footprints and know you were here (hey you Myrtle Beach, South Carolina! Hi out there Zanesville, Ohio! How's it going Saratoga, California?) but most of you are lurkers. And let's face it...I need feedback. SO...

Here's what I'm offering:

Very similar to the Parent Teacher Survival Kit. You'll receive a super cuted-up (I think I just made that up) hand sanitizer, pretty tissues, chocolate, breath mints, pretty notepad, and a $5 gift certificate to Starbucks (or if you live near me I will sub out a gift cert to Grounds for Pleasure if you'd like - I have nothing against Starbucks but I would definitely choose Grounds for Pleasure). Your patterns will be vary slightly from the picture. You can keep this for yourself, give it to your favorite teacher, or keep it on hand for a quick birthday gift.

Here's what I need from you:
COMMENTS! Just leave me a comment about what kinds of posts you'd like to see in the future. Sometimes I blab about my family (my second passion, after God), sometimes I blab about books (my third passion) and sometimes I blab about my house or other nonsensical things. What do you want to read more about? If you don't have a Google account and I don't already have your email address, make sure you leave your email address for me!

And if you'd like to be entered twice, write a post on your blog sending people over, then come back and leave another comment with the link. My goal is to get 100 comments before Valentines Day!

Contest ends at midnight February 13 and winner will be announced February 14.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

See What I Have Get to Live With?

See what you miss when you don't read the comments? This was in the comments section of A Yummy and Special Treat but due in part to a snafu it is no longer there. Now for your reading enjoyment:

A hungry reader somewhere in North America asked:

"This looks so good!!! Is it possible for Mr. Steady to fix me up some food?"

Mr. Steady was so kind to sit in for me and answer:

Dear Hungry,

Please let me apologize that Mrs. K is unavailable to answer your question. She is currently taking a few hours off as per the agreement of her "Blogtract" to spend time with her family.

Also to keep all of her faithful readers informed, her current "Blogtract" which is set to expire at post 110 only requires her to spend 40 minutes a day blogging. Under the PROPOSED "Blogtract" she will be required to blog for 24.5 hours per day. We ask that you boycott all products that contain High-Fructose Corn Syrup in hopes this will help the renegotiation.

Back to your question Hungry, this is the type of question that arises very often; "Can Mr. Steady paint my light?" "Can Mr. Steady fix my sink?" "Can Mr. Steady fix me up some food?" As with all questions in the past, yes it is possible for Mr. Steady to "fix you up some food"
or as we like to call it "prepare a meal for you."

Mr. Steady is available for parties of 2-63, with a menu that is as diverse as page numbers in the Bible (I haven't an idea what that means). He currently prepares meals about three times a week for a nightly dinner party in North America, however his delightful creations only a tongue can be pleased with have been tasted in places such as; Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Florida and through the local area.

If you are planning a dinner party Mr. Steady comes highly recommended by many famous people no one has ever heard of. He is willing to work with any budget from $2 a plate to $200 a plate. I hope this gives you some information you could use Hungry.

-Sitting in for Mrs. K,
Mr. Steady

This is why I always come to your mind with a prick of your conscious that says "Pray for strength for Mrs. K". Just kidding, I love that Mr. Steady dearly.

The Shoes Have It

I am in so much trouble. I have wanted three boys for as long as I can remember. I even have a letter that I wrote to a friend in 1992 that said "I want to marry a nice man and have three boys." When I was little I wanted a baby brother. A lot of my friends were boys. I have never once regretted not having a girl.

(I wanted to add a disclaimer here that I have nothing *against* girls. I love each of you girls and appreciate you! I just think God designed me with a heart for boys. If God were to bless us in the future with a girl I would be tickled pink. But I do love my boys.)

When my brother-in-law and his wife found out the twins they are expecting are a boy and a girl I was thrilled for them. But I never thought that being an aunt to a little girl again would affect me very much.

Enter the shoes.

I said "Oh my stinking heck" out loud! I said that! Then, without batting another eyelash I plopped them into my cart. Actually, that is a lie. There was another, equally adorable, pair that I considered for a second.

People, this little girl is still in uetero and I have already bought her two pairs of shoes! The other pair are raspberry colored mary janes. And the child is not even mine! I do not know how you mommas who actually have to shoe your girls stand it. How can you not buy every last pair of mary janes?

I do not have this problem with girls clothes. I look at them, admire them, and then I walk away. But man, oh man, those shoes. I am not allowed in any girls shoe department ever again.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Yummy and Special Treat

That was such a great dinner, wasn't it? You *did* have Seafood Alfredo with mussels, Our Favorite Salad, and garlic bread for dinner last night, didn't you?

The Thinker made the alfredo sauce with Mr. Steady's help (I was in my late 20's before I ever attempted an alfredo sauce!). They used Mr. Steady's mom's alfredo recipe changing out the heavy whipping cream with fat free half-and-half and a little cornstarch. Then they added salad shrimp and crab meat. The Thinker also made the garlic butter.

The Reader buttered the bread and all this mom had to do was make the salad. It was such a treat to have this waiting for me when I came home from class yesterday!

I will admit that Mr. Steady and The Entertainer were the only two brave souls who ate the mussels. The Entertainer was more interested in opening the shells and removing the mussels than actually eating them.

Who needs an expensive restaraunt when you can have this?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have "not" been doing this week.

I am NOT currently hosting a giveaway on my blog in an effort to get more comments and to bring some of my readers into the light. I do not find any worth in my blog and could care less if anyone reads it.

I am NOT secretly thrilled that The Entertainer will *finally* sit through a 30 minute video, allowing me to actually leave the room and come back to find it in the same condition. My 2 1/2 year old did NOT learn how to use the remote control this week.

That same two and a half year old does NOT have a touch of OCD when it comes to the character on his diaper. He did NOT refuse to wear a diaper because it didn't have Blue from Blue's Clues on it. And not just any Blue...artist Blue.

I did NOT blush at all the gushy, nice comments you all have left on my giveaway.

I did NOT bake a batch of banana muffins and forget to put in the egg or the sugar. It did not take me eating two mini muffins before I realized this mistake.

I did NOT take a test in my ED 210 class last week on a book that I had not read even one chapter of. And of course, because I did not do that, I did NOT get a bad grade on the test. I did NOT get the same grade that just two weeks before I told The Thinker was "not acceptable in our house".

I did NOT keep my 2 1/2 year old out of the house and out of bed until 11:30 Friday night while Mr. Steady and I shopped at Meijer. People should never have their children out shopping in the middle of the night. My children are always bathed, pajama clad and in bed by 8:00 every night.

**For any readers who are not familiar with MckMama's Blog Carnival "Not Me" I, of course, DID do all of the above things (and countless more that I either am too embarrassed to say or just plain forget) this week.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


This is my official 100th post. I thought about all the clever things I could do to entertain, enlighten and educate you today.
I could tell you 100 random things about myself. I could give you my list of 100 things I hope to do before I die. I could give you the titles of the next 100 books on my list to read.
But I won't. I will tell you that I took over 100 steps today. I ate more than 100 calories today. I spent more than 100 minutes with my children today.
Thanks for still being here and reading along. Here's to another 100 posts, Lord willing. Be blessed!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Parent Teacher Conference Survival Kit

Parent Teacher conferences are being held at the boys' school today. I wanted to put together a little gift for their teachers because I know how much time and energy they spend getting *ready* for PT conference and then how long of a day it is for them on the day(s) of the actual conference.

I had in mind several things I wanted to put in their kit: breath mints, pretty tissues, notepad, chocolates, a bottle of water/favorite drink (not pictured) and a small gift certificate to the local coffee shop. Then came across Chris' tutorial and knew that would be just perfect so I added it too.
Mr. Steady accused me of being a brown noser and for some odd reason, that didn't bother me at all. Teachers work so very hard and spend so much time with my children I want them to know how much we value them.

Don't forget to come back tomorrow to see how much I value YOU!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Spark People

Have you heard of SparkPeople? Do you know you can go to SparkRecipes and enter your own recipe and it will calculate the calories, fat, carbs, protein, etc. in your grandma's butterscotch pudding (just for you H and Rachel).

Oh and if you join, tell them coverednpraying (note the spelling difference) sent you!

Come back on Friday and bring your friends!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Do you like it shaken or sprayed?

At first I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me when I saw Batter Blaster in the refrigerated section at the grocery store, right there above the cream cheese. I couldn't figure out why they had a picture of pancakes on a whipped cream can. But then I saw that it was, in fact, pancake/waffle batter. In a spray can. I picked up the can, thoroughly convinced it would be full of junk. To my surprise it was organic! I could pronounce all the ingredients and at 112 calories and less than 1 gram of fat per "blast" I had to try it. If for no other reason than to show it to Mr. Steady.

Last night we had pancakes a la Batter Blaster courtesy of Mr. Steady, who was as amused with the novelty as I was. The first batch was ho hum but then Mr. Steady turned up the heat to 400* like the can suggested. The next batches were nicely colored and adequately flavored. The can didn't so much spray the batter, not even remotely blasting batter, as much as squirted batter.

Our final analysis was that it would be great for a single person or a short order cook. But we prefer the "old fashioned" way or as the advertisement on the Batter Blaster website says "For years and years, people have made pancakes and waffles the same old fashioned way...with milk, eggs, flour, mixing bowls, measuring cups...and all that mess." Oh, the horror of it all. To think people actually still use milk, eggs, flour, mixing bowls and measuring cups. Sure, I don't make pancakes every morning but it's more for our health, not the mess.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Heads Up, Seven Up

This is my 94th post. Sometimes people do crazy and wacky things for their 100th post. So you might want to check back in a few days...or 6. Just saying.