Snyder’s Wholey Cheese!

Yum! I’ve found a new snack to love! Wholey Cheesecrackers are crispy baked crackers and my current fav is the Swiss and Black Pepper variety. The package says the crackers are made with real cheese. They are crispy and peppery and I LOVE them! It’s a great salty snack. I can eat about 28 cracks for 120 calories. I usually don’t eat that many, so the package has lasted a while and what I like is that they stay crispy in the package! Nothing is worse than opening a package and taking a bite of a stale cracker or chip. Haven’t had a problem with these

Other varieties are Gouda and Mild Cheddar. I haven’t tried those yet, because pepper is my flavor option, if it’s available. Have you ever tried a peppered pork chop? I have and they are yummy. I’m not talking about shaker pepper, but cracked pepper. Standard shaker pepper is too fine and would be overpowering.

P. S. I’m trying to cut down on sugary snacks, and though carbs from crackers don’t help, it’s better than a few cookies. If that’s incorrect, let me know! I’ll go back to cookies.

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June 29, 2017 at 2:01 pm Leave a comment

Lotions and Scents

I’m a nut about scents. I can tolerate most, but there are some I LOVE! And, of  course, the lotions need to feel smooth and silky and not tacky or drying. My current favorite lotions are Lollia’s In Love (how fitting) and Rodan and Fields’ Essential Body moisturizer. Both go on nicely and smell great! They aren’t harsh like some fragrances. Did you ever talk to someone wearing a fragrance that’s soooo awful that you wanted to head the other way? Has someone wearing an offensive scent hugged you or shook your hand and you were stuck with the dastardly odor? We all have opinions. When I get in the car with my other half while wearing lotion (I no longer wear perfumes or colognes), he will often go, “Ewwww” and wave his hand in horror. He could stick his head in a gym bag and not say a word, but lordy, don’t wear a nice  scent or walk him past the fragrance counter at a store. I think it’s a primal thing.

In the past, I went through tubes or bottles of lotion pretty quickly. I retired at the end of February and what I’ve noticed is that my hands don’t feel dry all the  time. Why did they? Using sub-standard hand soap at work. At home, I use Method gel soaps and I don’t have that annoying dryness anymore. At work, trips to the restroom meant putting on hand lotion many times a day. And I’m sure that annoyed people, since I used scented lotions. I did try to pick something that didn’t have a cloying odor, like Bath and Body’s Twisted Peppermint or Pink Chiffon.

My sister is allergic to scents and I always have to remember not to use products around her. When she comes to my house, I wrap my potpourris in plastic wrap and put away the scented candles. I can’t imagine not being able to tolerate fragrances. When I walk in my neighborhood, I will often pass  something wearing a body lotion or perfume and I like it. Takes my mind of exercise. I think scent is my strongest sense and one thing is certain, I don’t like nasty ones.

My favorite fragrance right  now if Issey Miyake’s Pour Homme Sport. It’s a men’s cologne and I use it to scent the potpourri in my bedroom. The base of the scent is sandalwood and it has a calming effect. It’s woodsy and at night I will often walk over and inhale it before hitting the pillow. I first noticed I liked this scent when I was in a store in England. In fact, sandalwood was in a few stores. When I got back to the states, I went to a fragrance kiosk at the mall in search of a men’s sandalwood cologne. The person didn’t know of any. While at the movie theater one time, there was a man in front of me wearing the perfect scent. I should have asked him, but felt it was an odd thing to do. Then, as luck would have it, I got a Macy’s flyer in the mail with some of those scented samples pieces. That’s how I found Issey. And I love it!

 

May 29, 2017 at 4:31 pm Leave a comment

Granola

Wow…it’s been four months since I’ve updated this blog. I’ve been busy and especially in the last month due to the holidays. My daughter asked me, “Why is it the woman’s job to write the cards, buy and wrap the gifts, do the decorating, plan the meals, etc., when it comes to Christmas?” Good question. Once again, I’ve gotten sick after the holidays.

So what does that have to do with granola? I’ve been not feeling well enough to make any more. But, today, I will. Why make my own when there are so many good ones out there? Mostly, so I can control what goes into it. I never used to care, but as I’ve gotten older, I’m trying to watch calorie intake, especially when it comes to sweetener, since I don’t do artificial ones.

Back in the day, I used to eat Nature Valley granola. I’d eat a larger than I was supposed to eat serving and it would last the better part of the day, at which point, I’d bake cookies and eat half the dough. Gee, maybe that was more of the reason I was starting to gain weight than the granola. Hmmm, food for thought.

A year ago, I was visiting a friend and her husband was making his own granola. If he could do it, so could I, so after searching for a good recipe to try, I found this one. I LOVE it and if I wake up in the night with a hunger pang or two, think about this granola sitting in a jar in the pantry, my hunger pangs grow and I usually have to go and drink water to fill my stomach enough to go back to sleep.

If you haven’t tried making your own, you should!

  • 4 cups Old Fashioned rolled oats (I use Quaker)
  • 1 1/2 cups raw nuts and seeds (I use 1 cup pecan pieces and 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds)*
  • 1 teaspoon salt (I leave it out)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I used Penzey’s Vietnamese Cinnamon)
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil or melted coconut oil (I prefer the olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey (I use 100% maple syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup dried fruit

Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the liquids together in a measuring cup and pour over the dry ingredients. Blend together and pour on a lightly greased  rimmed cookie sheet (I use a silicone mat instead of greasing the sheet). Spread into an even layer.

Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from over and stir. Bake another 10 minutes.

When cool, add the dried fruit of your choice and store in a sealed glass jar or tin. You can add the dried fruit when you’re ready to eat, instead of adding to the jar/tin. I think it stays more crisp that way.

*You can also add flax seeds, if you want more health benefits.

Play with this recipe and jazz it up by adding chocolate chips, coconut flakes, etc. Up to you! It’s great on yogurt, dressed up with M &Ms, peanuts, etc., as a trail mix, or just served with milk. LOVE IT!

January 8, 2017 at 4:19 pm Leave a comment

King’s Hawaiian rolls

I just finished eating dinner. This summer, we’ve been eating a lot of salads, mainly because it’s been hot. What goes well with salads? Rolls! And I’m not talking any old rolls. kingsI like King’s Hawaiian. They remind me of the sweet dinner rolls my stepmother used to make. Warm, they were amazing and King’s Hawaiian are the next best thing.

Apparently, in Hawaii, people like sweet rolls. Not the sweet rolls you are probably thinking of that have a fruit filling and frosting, but yeast rolls with no topping, like the meat-filled manapua rolls they sell Hilo’s  farmer’s market. I’ve even had the purple sweet potato-filled rolls, but they also have no frosting, just a somewhat sweet dough. Yum! Though I’m trying to watch calorie intake, a little butter on a warm roll is almost like dessert!

September 10, 2016 at 5:33 pm Leave a comment

Pens

If you’ve read through my posts, you know I LOVE office supplies! Every time I go to Staples or even walk by the office supply section at Kroger, I get a bit excited. I’m always hoping to find some little thing that I don’t have, but positively need! I’m drawn to anything colorful, like Post-its, paper clips, binders, and something simple, like a pen. Good pens are hard to find.

For Christmas, the little man got some new pens and he has been kind enough to put them in our shared stash. You may think, “Pens are pens.” There really are differences and I’m talking merely about inexpensive ones, not Mont Blancs. Usually, I use a standard Bic, which I’ve been using since they started making them, but I often buy new brands and styles, just to try them out, like Paper Mate. My better half got a package of Paper Mate Profiles and let me tell you, it writes like buttah! It’s soooo smooth! It glides across the paper like Dorothy Hamill on skates.

I bought new pens for work, since we only get horrible standard issue varieties, and they basically scratch the paper as I write. Never a good thing. My penmanship is bad as it is and an inferior pen makes it worse. So, what did I do? I bought more of the Profile pens for me to use on the job! Signing my name has never been easier! Way better than the old felt tips, that I used to think were boss and certainly better than the old Bic sticks.

Do I have a slight obsession with writing materials? Perhaps. Actually, I use a pencil more than I use pens and believe me, some pencils are way better than others, just like pens!

My roll top desk has three small drawers, perfect for my hordes of pens, pencils, and markers. Can you really have too many?

June 12, 2016 at 3:33 pm Leave a comment

Pioneer Woman’s Housewares Line

Have you seen PW’s line? Sad to say it’s not at Target, because I do shop there. It’s at Walmart. It’s homey and cheerful and will certainly make being in the kitchen more pleasant. And I really like that it’s so colorful and has the mixed and matched look that reminds me of my family’s cottage from my youth.

Back in the day, people didn’t outfit a cottage with new anything. The beds had mattresses that were no longer worthy of home use (I am talking sooooo saggy that it was like sleeping in a boat), furniture that no doubt from an earlier era, bedding and dishes were mismatched leftovers people were no longer using at home, and even reading materials were things that had been read already and at least 20 years old. But, from the old flannel robes that hung on hooks for all to use to the enamelware bucket and dipper, that cottage still brings back cozy, wistful memories. This housewares line evokes those heavenly days.

What’s in PW’s line? Everything from dishes and cutlery to bakeware and rugs. You can find cute serving pieces, a cookie jar that looks like her Basset House Charlie (a friend who has a basset hound filled it with dog-shaped cookies for her daughter as a gift), kitchen towels, placemats, and a super cute measuring cup set. Her line is perfect spruce up a dull kitchen. I can imagine it as perfect picnic ware on a summer table. Looks like you’ll have to head to Walmart to see it in person or order it online.

PW housewares

June 5, 2016 at 1:02 pm Leave a comment

Toast

Yes, it’s a very simple thing, but I do love it! I wasn’t feeling well this morning and it’s the only thing I wanted, besides a cup of plain, black tea. Toast with butter. Plain white. It helped get over that not so great feeling. It’s what Mom used to make for me and one of the best comfort foods. Mmmm, crispy toast spread with soft butter.

Which bread makes the best toast? There are soooo many options. Raisin bread, whole grain bread, cinnamon bread, and good old white bread. All you need is a toaster and some butter. And heck no to margarine. Butter is the way to go. No chemical or artificial substitutes need apply. I grew up in Dairyland and I likes me butter! Oh, and my butter sits in the cabinet in a butter dish. I know, I know, “Shouldn’t it be refrigerated?” Well, I haven’t died yet and I’ve been eating it this way since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. My house is generally cool enough to keep it in stick form.

Want to dress it up a bit? Momma would add a small amount of cinnamon and sugar and then cut the toast into “fingers.” It made it seem like a decadent treat, when all it was just buttered toast with a sweet sprinkling, cut into four pieces. You can also butter it and add your favorite jam. What’s the best jam? Homemade freezer jam. Haven’t had freezer jam? Read my previous post. You will NEVER want any other kind. Summer is coming and it’s the perfect time to make it, because ripe fruit works best. And you don’t need anything more than fruit, sugar, a box of Sure Jell Low-Sugar Fruit Pectin, and eight 8-oz. containers. It’s a no-brainer.

Get a little protein with your toast by adding a thin layer of softened cream cheese with your jam or fresh fruit, thinly sliced. You can also butter a slice on both side, cut a hole in the middle with a biscuit cutter, drop it in a fry pan, crack an egg in the hole, dust with salt and pepper, top with the buttered cut out, flip and when the egg is cooked, enjoy. You will not see me do this, because I do not like eggs.

I could eat toast anytime of day. If you use whole grain bread, you’re not just getting a bit of comfort, you’re getting fiber, something we all need.

 

 

April 24, 2016 at 3:24 pm Leave a comment

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