Tag Archive: what is it?

Seven little turkey vultures all in a row.

Six little turkey vultures all in a row.



Talk about your strange sights that you see along the road. I have never seen these birds lined up on a fence row like this before.


Have you?


Every time I turn around, I hear someone talking about Chicken and Waffles.

People rave about this dish and I have never had it. I looked up a few recipes and knew I could do it so my last Sunday Supper meal was just that.

My central problem was my waffle iron. It is not a traditional iron with the square pockets.

chicken and waffles - Waffle Iron

My waffle iron is a Mickey Mouse design with the heads of the six main characters. That would be Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Daisy and Pluto. However, why let a little issue like that bother you when there is is chicken waiting to be fried.

Now, I did not use a recipe per sae. That’s right, I made it all up as I went along. This could bother some people and some times it bothers me because I like to time everything.

Instead, I took my chicken breasts and pounded them a little thinner so they would cook faster. After that, I prepared a dredging pan of flour, salt and pepper. I made a skillet get hot on the stove, put the oven at 250 and took out a glass dish to put my cooked chicken pieces in and keep warm in the oven.

chicken and waffles - ingredients

Meanwhile, my daughter made the waffle batter while the iron  heated up. But here is where our first snafu came up. I forgot to spray the iron with Pam before we started. The first batch stuck to the plates and would not come off. It would take practically burning the dough off of the plates in order to clean them.

However, once that debacle was over we were in waffle-making and chicken frying heaven. I put a little vegetable oil in the hot skillet before starting the chicken. The waffle iron was sprayed with Pam and all came out fairly well. What was made went into the low oven to stay warm without drying out and waited for all to be done.

Last thing that needed to happen – besides the steaming of broccoli – was to make the chicken gravy. I did a simple rue in the pan we used for cooking the chicken. Then I added chicken broth, let that simmer down for a bit to reduce before adding the milk. The husband oversaw the final part of cooking the sauce because that is what he likes to do best.

chicken and waffles - plated

Now some people make the layers with waffle on the bottom, chicken next and then the gravy. Others add syrup between the waffle and the chicken. Some pictures showed just the chicken on the waffle.

At our table, we had people eating the components separately with syrup on the waffles. I went for the syrup between the chick and the waffle while my husband choose to have only the gravy covering his stack.

I guess it does not matter how you eat it because the leftovers were minimal. The kids kept going back for chicken and waffle pieces.  The broccoli was eaten by some and the last of that became omelets the next morning.

chicken and waffles - components

This is one meal I was told to “add to the rotation.”

Are you trying any new recipes this spring?

Moroccan Meatballs on a Sunday

If I have not been as attentive as I should be, the truth is I just got over being sick.

Most of the time I get a stuffy head and power through because I have to, because kids and husband depend on me. I take something so I can sleep at night and keep going.

Bedside KahleBut this time was not that easy. I started getting the chills last Wednesday which came with a stuffed head somewhere on Thursday. I still had duties that included bringing the Youth Group to help with set-up for our church’s Pancake supper on Friday.

Friday morning came with a fever, stuffed head and the desire to stay in bed. But I sent off the kids who were not sick, comforted the one who was, and powered through one last errand run before calling another church member to take my place at the ticket booth.

I vaguely remember the Easter Egg Hunt the next day. I made it through a job interview and then went home. Where I went to bed and stayed there. Till Monday or was it Tuesday. I remember feeling much better yesterday. That is when I got out of the house although I did get out a little bit on Tuesday as well.

So now it is Thursday and in the last two days the 16-year-old has gotten the full blast. He has not been out and about since yesterday morning. The 8-year-old threw up yesterday but is looking better today.

But that is not what I came to share. I do look a others’ blogs, especially those on food and fashion. Some days that is all I can focus on.

I lightened the original picture

I lightened the original picture.

So the other weeks I knew I wanted make Moroccan Meatballs and knew that I had seen it recently. My sister-in-law has a good recipe I completely forgot about, so my apologies to her. My recipe instead came from the excellent blog of FrugalFeeding.com.

Maybe it is the picture of a handsome man in the kitchen or maybe it is the delicious recipes he puts up on a regular basis. I read his posts every time they hit my reader. I was inspired by his posts to make calzones although mine are not as pretty.

A few weeks ago, I decided my Sunday supper would include his Moroccan Meatballs recipes.

His recipe calls for meatballs made your way and has a little discussion on what  makes for the best meatballs. I personally use a 1 1/2lbs. of ground meat, 2 eggs, about a cup or more of bread crumbs and some spices of my choice. Then I roll them into the size I want and bake in a covered pan for about 20 minutes in a 350 oven. If I am making meatballs for spaghetti, I put Parmesan cheese, oregano, and basil in the mixture.

While the meatballs were in the oven, I began to chop onions, green peppers, and red peppers  before sauting them in the fry pan. In the crock pot, I put in canned tomatoes, garbonzo beans, 3 bay leafs, the celery I forgot earlier, the raisens, spices, honey, sauteed pepper and onions. I left out the chilies because  my kids are not fans of  hot foods.

In the crockpot and ready to serve.

In the crockpot and ready to serve.

Once the meatballs were done baking, I put them in the crockpot with the sauce mixture to continue simmering for a few hours. I took out the bay leaves before serving.

When it was time to eat, I made rice for the base. I put pears along this dish to have something bland and soothing to eat with it.

While there were leftovers that night, they did nt last long. The kids enjoyed the meal with the exception of the garbonzo beans. If I had to do it again, I would have only put in half as much. They were tasty but almost too many in the pot.

The husband and the 16-year-old ate them the next day and loved them even more.


The Cinnamon Chips

Last week I talked about making cookies with Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips.

Apparently, they have been around for a while. One of my friends reported eating muffins made with these chips that were very tasty.

I need to find that recipe. In the meantime, I looked on the back of the bag and found a recipe for oatmeal, raisins, cinnamon chip cookies.

Now I know I should not recommend eating  dough because of the raw eggs but the dough was fabulous. Maybe it was the two sticks of butter.

The Batter

Or the cup of brown sugar.

I baked them up and the kids who claim to not like raisins were eating the cookies until I told them which cookies were the one with raisins and which had the butterscotch chips.
Let me confess that the kids liked those better. It might be the dash of orange flavoring I put in the batter of the butterscotch cookies. When my husband thinks I am not looking, he puts the butterscotch chips in his hunting gorp mixture as well.
Still, I really liked the cinnamon chips. So while I was at the Hershey website looking for muffin recipes I found this one for applesauce bars. It looks good and I might have to buy more of these cinnamon chips.

I would have a picture of the cookies but they have all been eaten. Maybe next time.

What new baking products are you trying?

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

Product Thursday

Do you have a boy crazy about Hot Wheels? When you go to the store does he beg for you to buy him a new car because after all they are only a dollar?

Does he have so many he can take his collection in for 100 day at school?

Then you understand my life. The thing is I find them to be pretty cool myself. And this week for Product Thursday we have a special product from the Hot Wheels Company.

It is “The Hammerhead.”  It is designed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and is seriously cool. The boy was excited when he found out we had a new Hot Wheel in the house.

Holding the package.

So here he is before gleefully ripping of the packaging (which was easy to do).

The next thing I know, he is trying out the car and doing all sorts of tricks with it. We had to see how fast it rolled on our wood floors and how fast it could fly in the air. Oh, and then there was the pile up it had to fly over. The car survived all of its trials and tribulations, which to me is worth it. Because when we visit Grandma, who is a big NASCAR fan, he will sit and watch races with her.

Then we had to line it up with the other favorite cars in his collection.

It moved with other cars with clear tops.



It moved with cars with cool side detailing.


It moved with other cool cars.

So here is the exciting wording from the company but Sam did not care about that.

Beware of the Hammerhead – no, not the shark, but the new dream car designed by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Hot wheels.

Just in time for back-to-school, Hot Wheels has teamed up with the NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to design his ultimate dream car (photos attached), along with a corresponding clothing line kids will love. It’s the first time that a  Hot Wheels Designed By program has expanded beyond toy to include a celebrity-designed lifestyle experience with apparel and accessories.

The “Hammerhead,” one of Earnhardt Jr.’s nicknames, features classic ’50s hot rod looks with edgy ’60s muscle car styling. The suggested retail price of the “Hammerhead” is $1.09 with the clothing line ranging in price from $7-$12.99, available exclusively at Wal-Mart stores nationwide.

His birthday is coming up and a new shirt might be in order to go with this great new car.

BTW, I have an extra car to giveaway. There are no special questions or hoops to jump through. Just tell Sam and I what special trick you will make this  car do once it becomes a part of your collection. You must do this in the comment section and Sam will have the final say as to which trick is the coolest.


Look at this car. Don’t you want it for your collection?


Every Thursday, I review a product or service. If you have something you would like me to review or a suggestion for an item to be tested by my team, please drop a note to bowmankaryn@sbcglobal.net.


Product Thursday

Today is the tale of a bit a packaging that refuses to open willingly.

The box of crackers.

I hate that there are some food products in plastic bags in their box that refuse to open. These plastic bags are heat-sealed and do not separate – even if you are a strong man – at the seam although they are happy to tear elsewhere, eventually.

I have noticed this problem with cereal boxes. The husband makes the comment that it is worse with store brand packaging.


I am noticing with the major brands as well. Our dog has happily snarfed up the flying remains of cereal many times.

When my daughter came to me the other day to ask if I could open a package of graham crackers, I knew I had to detail our attempts to open it.

We started with pulling the sides, finding the

No success pulling open.

two sheets and pull in opposite directions. The did not work so I went below the seam and pulled.

No luck.

I pulled on the side seam, went back to the top seam and the packaging would not budge.

I am sure that somewhere is a proud inventor saying “see, now those crackers will stay fresh.”

But they are not. You know why?

Finally Open

I had to resort to scissors, that’s right, scissors to open this stupid bit of packaging. Which means the package does not close up properly.

Which means if I leave this package out on the shelf, it is open to humidity and bugs. Instead of the protection envisioned by the creator, I will have stale and buggy graham crackers.


15 minutes later, we finally get a cracker.

We might love graham  crackers – spread with cream cheese – but we hate the packaging. I would assume there is a better way to package stuff.

The latest plastic material being used is simply bad. It is too tough and almost always requires scissors. When something goes against the ease of consumers, a redo is in order.

What packaging foils you every single time?

The packaging, my enemy

Product Thursday

About a month or so ago, my friend Holly told me about the new flavors of marshmallows over at Wal-Mart.  Flavors such as toasted coconut and caramel swirl. I had to see them, I had to find out. If there was ever any product that needed to be written about on Product Thursday, this seem to be one destined for the honor.

Look at the flavors!

I could not believe my eyes. There was German Chocolate and Chocolate Mint. Who could resist Cinnamon or Rich Chocolate? I immediately began to think of what tasty treats and main dishes I could make with these.
Sweet Potato Casserole topped with the Taosted Coconut Marshmallows, Chocolate Rice  Crispies combined with the Cinnamon. Hot Chocolate made with chocolate/mint or caramel swirl. S’mores in so many combinations!

But wait, there's more!

The combinations are endless and making my head spin. Or is that the left over motion-sickness from last nigh – a story for another day. Anyway, I made my decision, picked out the Chocolate Mint and grabbed a box of store brand rice crispies.

The Rice Crispie Treats - Yummy.

Tuesday, my daughter and I found the rice crispies recipe. Of course, we taste tested the marshmallows and found them to be delicious. We combined the marshmallows with butter, melted them in the microwave, mixed with six cups of crispies and patted them into a greased pan.

All I can say is that this pan is empty now. One problem is that the mint flavor did not stay as strong as we would have liked. That problem did not stop us from eating the treats.

What great new product have you discovered lately?

Every Thursday I review a product or service. If you have a suggestion for something to be reviewed or are the inventor of a product, you can reach me at bowmankaryn@sbcglobal.net.

Licorice with Something More

Product Thursday

Last week we needed to take a break. Sometimes life can get stale in the cottage and  you need to break away, see new things and get new ideas.

One of the new ideas came while we were at a soccer festival in the city. Our friends’ daughter is in AYSO and they were having a mini festival. There was food and bounce houses and a climbing wall.  We brought cookies to share.

picture by J Durham

Side note: I recently read a story about bounce houses being dangerous. It seems so sad that everything that kids can have fun doing is nothing more than a lethal object ready to kill them at a moment’s notice.

One of the things that the group doing the meal handed out to every one was this package of candy. Kazoolzles from Wonka Candy. Of course, I was skeptical. Of course, I was afraid it would not be tasty.

And then I ate nearly one package by myself.

Most people know the strawberry or cherry flavored licorice ropes. Those are tasty. I could eat them all day. But Wonka thought “What if we put some sort of flavoring in the middle of the rope? A flavor like fruit punch?”

And here is the picture...

In the middle of this tube of red licorice (so much better than black), there is blue stuff that has a bit of a tang but not too much. Once I started eating it was hard to stop. The kids liked it too. It was called food stuff but lets face it there was nothing healthy about Kazoozles.

As I was looking around for where to buy this wonderful candy, I found out its origins were the SweeTart ropes which have been discontinued. The Kazoozles are the replacement candy.  You might have to look around for it or buy it in bulk on The Candyland website.

I think this makes a perfect beach  or camping or outing of any sort snack. The package is easy to open. You have to pull the individual pieces apart from the rest in the package like you do for other flavored licorice. There are several flavors so kids can trade back and forth.

Editor’s note: Picture to come later today.

Stop the Buzzing!

Product Thursday

Last week I wrote about how much we love going to the drive-in theater.

One thing that you always have to be on the lookout for is a good bug spray because once the summer temperatures cool down for the night, the mosquitoes like to come out for a snack. I mentioned BugBands and someone said “tell me more.” So here it is.

Bugs really like this mamma.

Picture from Bugband.net

A few years ago, when I was an editor and getting all kinds of good stuff, BugBands came across my desk. My rule of thumb on stuff like this is that I always try it out – always. I am not endorsing something that does not work.

I did the reading and found that the key ingredient is not deet but geraniol, an oil derived from geraniums. In the plants that are bred for oil production it is found that they can repel bugs. Like mosquitoes, no see-ums and other pesky things.

Planters of geraniums can do this on a smaller scale and explains my grandmother’s flower choices.

So on the fourth of July, I put these on my kids’ arms. Sam was a toddler so I strapped one on the stroller.  That was one firework outing where the bugs became less of an issue. I saved the bracelets in the convenient case and used them later on a camping trip by strapping one of the bracelets inside the tent.

Boom, it worked again.

Picture from BugBnad.net

I may be a farm girl but I really hate bugs. This product makes my life that much easier. And I saw it in stores last summer so I know it is beginning to take off. If you have not seen this product in your stores, you can order it online directly from the BugBand website.

The single band comes in seven different colors, including a glow-in-the-dark bracelet for $4.95 a piece. But go for the family pack of four bracelets that you can get for $14.95.  

When I was on the website for these products I noticed that BugBand now has diffusers and repellant beads.  That makes for various options in case you do not want  your child wearing a bracelet. I put the strap on my belt loop once and had excellent results. There is also a “bed bug” repellant spray.

So there is my testimony about BugBands. How do you keep the mosquitoes away?

Every Thursday, I write about a product or service. If you have a product or know about one, please contact me at bowmankaryn@sbcglobal.net.

Product Thursday

A Drive-in Marquee. Picture by Earl 35.

Every summer our family makes great plans to go to the drive-in theater several times. We go at least once a month and love it every time.

We don’t care about mosquitoes or chilly nights. We have learned what to pack and what to buy for the outing.

Picture by Karpati

Our car will be filled with blankets, snack foods, drinks and play items. Hello, frisbees and soccer balls.  We might bring baseballs and gloves as well. Bug spray comes along but I also like the new ‘bug repellant’ bracelets.

My favorite drive-in theatres have a number of great features.

First, a big green area in front of the screen. There does not have to be a swing set here for kids to blow steam before the movie but it should be big enough for at least ten families to throw a frisbee, football or water balloons.

Secondly, the sound system must be in working order. You can have the old-fashioned speakers or present day through-your-radio system. But if neither is working you miss out on the sound and that sucks.

Third, the gravel in the driving lanes must be gravel, not small rocks about the size of an egg.  Kids are going to throw them and run on it. Do not provide weapons or create potential accidents for children wearing flip-flops in the summer time.

Picture by Alvimann

Fourth, the concession stand may be the actual money-maker for the business but make it affordable. I might bring in snacks and drinks. But my kids want ice cream, popcorn, nachos and chilly willies. So I will pony up some cash if you will make it so I can still pay the mortgage.

Now, I know what is happening out there. You are wondering if there are any drive-ins left and if one is near you. If you are lucky, there is one less than 20 miles away. If you are like me, you are an hour or so away from a few good choices. 

One way to find drive in theaters by states is at drive-ins.com. Another site to try is driveinmovie.com. You might have to sift through many theater listings of gone but not forgotten theaters.

When you find one that is near you, look up starting times. Call ahead to find out current admission pricing and start time. Plan your trip and make a list of items to take along (including bug spray or repellant of some sort). Remember blankets or sleeping bags, fun games to play in the grass and fold up chairs.

Just remember that popular movies means lots of people. Get to your drive in early if possible or go on a less popular night so you are not left outside the theater.

Getting to a drive-in is one of the highlights of our summer. Do you have a favorite drive-in theater?

Every Thursday I review a product or service. If you have something of interest, please contact me at bowmankaryn@sbcglobal.net.