Monday, June 30, 2008

The Magic Box Wants Me to Buy Things

Nothing like a weekend of severe thunderstorms complete with hail to make a family gather in front of the magic box and be bombarded with commercials. "You need those, Mommy!"

My top and bottom commercial picks:

This commercial for Benadryl Perfect Measure (click on "watch the TV spot") cracks me up every time. For YEARS I carried that very baggie filled with a leaking bottle of Benadryl, a semi-crushed, sticky measuring cup, and tissues and/or paper towels to soak up the drips. I can't tell you how many purses I baptized with Benadryl over the years. I know they are appealing to a very specific audience with this ad, but that audience is ME. And we do love the new perfect measure spoons so, so much. I can take one in my pocket or hand one to another adult who is watching K without getting medicine everywhere. I don't have to buy an entire bottle of Benadryl for each separate location (church, school, Gramma's house, etc.) When she gets a little older, she can keep one in her own pocket. They are AWESOME.

Have you seen the new T-Mobile commercial that makes fun of the Hatfields and the McCoys? I can't find a link to it. I know it's just a stupid commercial, but it kind of ticks me off. I find it interesting that in these days of extreme political correctness it's still Ok to joke around about feuding "hillbillys." Also, it's just weird to see an ad that makes fun of your husband's and children's family--with really, really bad Southern accents, no less. If you ever meet us in person, "Better make sure there aren't any McCoys around! Heh, heh," has been done. To death.

But enough about my weekend of TV viewing! You want to hear about more cereal! And the Pay It Forward contest! And my anniversary! I'm on it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


We eat a lot of cereal at our house. Hot cereal, cold cereal, just right cereal. Our two-year-old son greets me every morning not with "Good morning," but with "Cereal, Mommy-o? Cereal?" So trying out some cereals for Go Dairy Free seemed a natural fit.

Image courtesy of Cinnabon Cereal

Cinnabon Cinnamon Crunch

With its tiny cinnamon roll shape and lots of sweetener, this is what's known as "dessert cereal" in our house. But the sweeteners are turbinado brown sugar, fruit juice concentrates, and honey. Our son enjoyed it, but our daughter said it was "too spicy." It does pack quite a cinnamon punch that may be more suited to adult palates. (Too bad because these little cinnamon rolls are perfect for dairy-free tea parties.) Both Scott and Alisa will tell you that I am a salt addict (true, that), but Scott agreed with me that this cereal's flavor would definitely benefit from some salt.

Be careful: there is also a Cinnabon Caramel Pecan Crunch that does contain dairy and pecans.

Ingredients: Whole oat flour, whole brown rice flour, turbinado brown sugar, fruit juice concentrate (pineapple, pear, apple, peach), wheat flour, wheat starch, Makara (R) cinnamon, honey, canola oil, natural flavors, calcium carbonate.

This product is processed in a facility that uses dairy, soy, wheat, peanuts, and other nuts and seeds.

Suggested retail price: $3.49/12 oz. box.

This review written for Go Dairy Free.

Stay tuned to hear about Artisan Inspiration Granola!

Friday, June 20, 2008


"Spring turns to summer,
warm, beautiful summer,
and Sally sees the hay cut
in the fields.
She hears the cowbells
in the green pastures.
She smells wild roses.
She touches fat puppies,
and their fur is soft.
She tastes wild strawberries
warm in the sun."
--Tasha Tudor (1915-2008), First Delights: A Book About the Five Senses

Crisp Topping

1/3 cup dairy-free, salted margarine
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar

Cut ingredients together with a pastry cutter. Sprinkle on top of sweetened fruit. Bake at 350 degrees for twenty minutes.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Baby Quilt and Freezer Jam

Here's Helen on her new "banket," as Eli calls it. You could have one, too!

And here's a rather moody photo of the freezer jams I made the other day.

Karen at Avoiding Milk Protein sent me a very nice email mentioning the many dairy-free chocolate sources she lists on her site. She's right, of course. There is a lot of DF chocolate to be found; I just wish more of it was in my local grocery store with easily discernible labels. So I will continue to rant.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

It's Barbara Kingsolver's Fault

Everyone has given me such lovely post ideas, and what have I been doing? Running around town to the farmer's market, the grocery store, and the hardware store, not to mention signing up for vegetables from our semi-local organic farm. Our porch is filled with vegetable plants that I'm trying not to kill. (Hot tip! Shop ridiculously late in the planting season and all plants are 50% off! Also, 50% dead!)

Yesterday, I actually bought some canning supplies because I could hear our refrigerated produce rotting. (Freezer canning. I'm not totally insane. Yet.) I gripe a lot about our pitiful local grocery store's lack of dairy-free items, but they do have quite a supply of canning materials. (They're right next to the dog food, if you're wondering where to look.)

I guess the children and I will be spending the afternoon planting flowers and vegetables! In the 90-degree heat! Ah, togetherness. (Darn you, Barbara.)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Moving On, With Lemonade

Good grief, Nowheymama. Snap out of it! It's summer! The Lutheran/Catholic VBS is entertaining your child for free this week! Babies are coming! And people are dealing with more important things than your sinus infection. (Go leave Sue a supportive message!)

Our local paper ran some summer beverage recipes today in honor of Father's Day. "Here's your made-from-scratch mojito, Dear." HA! However, one of the recipes is for homemade lemonade concentrate from the cookbook Slurp. No more will I purchase lemonade made with corn syrup or slave away over one measly pitcher of lemonade only to have it disappear in minutes. Let the summer of healthy healthier snacks begin!

Homemade Lemonade Concentrate from Slurp

6 organic lemons [I'll take what I can get at our local grocery.]
4 1/4 cups water
2 1/4 cups sugar

"Wash the lemons well and cut them into thick slices. Put these in a large saucepan with the water and sugar. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool. Keep covered in the fridge for 24 hours. Strain, pour into a clean jar, cover and refrigerate.
You now have a concentrate that needs to be mixed with water: one part concentrate to three parts water. Serve with lots of ice.
Yield: 20 servings when diluted according to directions."

Monday, June 09, 2008


I'm ill and also fresh out of inspiration. Please take a moment out of your busy end of school/ beginning of summer schedules and give me a topic or ask me a question. Or just say "hi." Whatever. I'm miserable, and I need some distractions. Is that pitiful enough?

Here's a reposting of Rhubarb Dump Cake to enjoy.

Rhubarb Dump Cake

2 cups rhubarb, chopped
1 package (4-serving size) raspberry gelatin
1 package yellow, dairy-free cake mix
1/2 cup dairy-free margarine, melted
1 cup water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 inch pan. Spread the rhubarb in the pan. Sprinkle the gelatin on top of the rhubarb and the cake mix on top of the gelatin. Pour the margarine over the cake mix and the water over the margarine. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

K is for Kiwi

At least, that's what we decided. Katherine had to bring a food that begins with the first letter of her name to the ABC Picnic at school today. She chose kiwi. Eli, Helen, and I stopped by to help K. make a plate of dairy-free foods. There were some fun choices, like Meg@n's mini marshmallows and Sp3ncer's Swedish fish. W1ll's mom made 22 individual watermelon fruit cups in tiny Ziploc containers. Go, W1ll's mom!

Eli was pitching a fit as we left, and our neighbor and good friend H., who is a kindergarten teacher, stepped out into the hallway saying, "That sounds like Eli!" Is our town that small, or is his fussing that distinctive? Probably both.

And it doesn't hurt my feelings AT ALL that I'm the only one who commented on my guest post at Mommy Daisy's. Glad I could up her blog traffic like that. Oy. Speaking of blog traffic, I deleted all of the NH pics from my vacation post because I'm tired of people coming here for Old Country Store images. Go to their website, dudes. Also, have fun with your Star Wars birthday parties, and quit sending me emails about how I can make my "weener" bigger.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Pieces of Nothing

I'm guest posting at Mommy Daisy's while she's on vacation. She offered me the chance to rant, but that doesn't seem to be in the spirit of her sweet blog, so I posted about vacation instead.

I won the Preeclampsia Quilt Raffle at Cerebral Palsy Baby! Whoo! Shannon really inspires me with all of her beautiful handiwork, DIY house renovations, and the way she raises awareness for such a worthy cause. Of course I will be giving the beautiful baby quilt to Helen. It's nice that not everything she has is a hand-me-down.

Has winning the raffle stopped me from entering giveaways? No.

We greatly enjoyed the program at Katherine's school yesterday, "The Year of The Very Busy Kindergartner." I had one of those loser parent moments when the kids were singing the ABCs (complete with dance moves) and I realized that Eli was singing along--correctly. When did he learn the ABC song? Did Katherine teach him? Sesame Street? I have no idea.

I gave Teacher and the two classroom helpers Borders gift certificates in their cards. (There is a Borders outlet at the outlet mall close by, so they won't have to drive far.) I figure they can buy books for the classroom or for themselves. I struggled with the notes I wrote, but I feel pretty good about them. I thanked them for seeing Katherine as a person, not just as "the allergic kid." I'm going to give her bus driver a gas card, which is a little lame, but it's for Sheetz, so he can use it for gas or coffee or whatever.

Our refrigerator is leaking water. We have someone coming to look at it today. Boy, do I not want to spend money on a new fridge. Or on fixing the old one, really. Scott told Katherine we don't need one; we'll just bury her soy milk in the backyard to keep it cold.