Sunday, November 29, 2009


Two years ago in November I began this it seems fitting to end it in November.

During out weekend trip there was much time for talking while we drove hither and yon, and during one of our discussions I decided that it was time to end my blog.

Thank you to the faithful few who read my blog and posted comments throughout the past two years.

The kids and I have enjoyed our journey on the food frontier - and though we'll no longer be posting - we'll be continuing our journey...

Happy Ending

Husband was feeling better Friday morning, so Friday afternoon we drove out to his aunt and uncle's home.

We had a fun time with dh's relatives...

The kids enjoyed the chickens...

The girl brought along her hermit crabs and they survived (and didn't get forgotten!).

The weather was beautiful...

The kids went to the creek and found some geodes (something the girl has been wanting to do for many moons)...

There was much good food...

Saturday we drove to Kirksville, MO to visit another aunt and uncle...had supper at hub's cousins' house...

Sunday we attended the church dh went to while he was in college and dh preached...

We enjoyed getting to see family and old friends...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Our Thanksgiving "Feast"

We sometimes like to do things a little different around here at Exotic Eating...

Instead of Thanksgiving Dinner at a relatives home...a dinner we were thankful for at Hardees (sure thankful it was open!).

Instead of turkey a Spicy Chicken Sandwich...

Instead of mashed potatoes some french fries...

Instead of green bean casserole with fried onions some onion rings...

On Wednesday we were packed and ready to leave for dh's aunt/uncle's home Thursday morning. Wednesday evening dh started feeling crummy...Wednesday night he got sick. Ugh.

By Thursday morning he was feeling some better but we certainly didn't want to chance bringing a bunch of germs to all our family (I doubt they'd be thankful about that!) ...and dh really just needed to sleep and we needed to see if it was going to turn into some long drawn out sickness.

We had nothing Thanksgiving foodish in the a cran-apple pie and some fall leaf cookies I was planning on bringing to our Thanksgiving celebration. Dh was not hungry.

I decided to take the kids out for lunch. Wasn't sure what kind of places would be open - I phoned a few restaurants but no answer. So I thought we could just get in the car and drive around and see what restaurants had cars parked outside.

We didn't have to drive far to spot a Hardees with a handful of cars. The kids thought Hardees sounded good.

We then went to pick up some ice-cream from Walmart - for the hub (well and for us too of course). While browsing around Walmart someone stole the girl's nice gloves out of our shopping cart! This was the first time she wore the gloves and they were sitting in the bottom of the cart...which sometimes was somewhat "unattended". The store only had a few shoppers . When we went to check out we noticed the gloves were no longer in the cart. Too big too fall through the cracks in the cart. There is a slight chance that at some point the girl took the gloves out of the cart and then left them somewhere - but we're leaning toward the thievery...pretty pathetic to spend your Thankgiving Day stealing little girl's gloves from a shopping cart.

Our supper meal was even more spectacular - Ramen Noodles :)

Hey - the girl said it's one of her most favorite foods ever and that she could eat it every day!

Even the dh had some.

Then we had root beer floats for dessert.

Everyone likes root beer floats!

You don't need to have a big Thanksgiving Dinner to celebrate Thanksgiving. You don't need to have a room full of people and food to be thankful.

In spite of sickness, in spite of a Hardees meal instead of a turkey dinner (I'm mostly sad about missing out on stuffing/dressing and gravy!), in spite of new gloves being thieved - we have so much to be thankful for.

"...And having food and raiment let us be therewith content." 1 Timothy 6:8

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fall Colored Leaf Sugar Cookies

This morning the kids and I have been working on these fall colored leaf cookies for Thanksgiving tomorrow.

They are super simple - I got the idea from a Country Living Magazine article (they "glued" the leaves onto a cardboard wreath) a few years ago.

I'm not too happy with the pinkish leaf color -was hoping for more burgundy-ish or red, but oh well. I added a bit of black to the red to alter it and still not happy...the girl said "that's what you did last time too!" I really like the orange color - wish I had made more of that one.

I just used a sugar cookie recipe I found online.

All you do is make your cookie dough recipe and then divide up the dough and add different food colorings to each batch. Roll out your dough - pressing two or more colors together. When cutting out the cookies - make sure you place your cutter in an area where two or more colors will meet. Then draw leaf "veins" on with something pointy (I used a cake tester) and sprinkle on a little colored sugar.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Easy Christmas Shopping

The other day I asked the kids what were three things they really wanted for Christmas. I made a point of telling them that didn't mean that they were going to get those three things - but I was just curious to know what they were.

Here is the girl's list:

Swiss Army Knife

Yes the third item is in fact a coconut. And she did stress that she was not joking - she really did want one. "I've been thinking about them lately...".

I'm sure it's true b/c the last couple of times we've been in the grocery store she has asked if we can purchase one. We had a bad experience with the last coconut we bought(it was rancid and nasty) so I haven't allowed her to get another one.

Well I guess I'll pass the list along to Santa and see if maybe he can pick one up when passing through Hawaii...

The Joys of Discovery

The other day the kids came running excitedly into the house to show me some unusual "critter".

The boy claimed to have seen some "legs" on it.

At first I thought it was just a bit of moss - but it did seem to curl up into a ball when we touched it.

Using a pair of wooden chopsticks - we prodded the little ball and if we looked super close we could see that it was some type of "critter"...maybe a grub or a tick or a ??? but it was all covered with a greenish mossy coat.

Whatever it was, it caused some excitement for about 10 minutes...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Snapea Crisps

Snapea Crisps from our friendly Trader Joe's Store...cost $1.49.

Definitely a bizarre idea for a snack - baked peas??

They were wonderful! Nice and crisp - kind of melt in your mouth like Popcorn Puffs or Popcorn Twists. Salty.

If you closed your eyes, popped one in your mouth and didn't know what you were eating - you sure would not guess that it was a vegetable. I did not notice much of a green pea flavor.

The girl enjoyed them as much as I did...the boy says they were "OK" - not a ringing endorsement from him.

The ingredients are: green peas, corn oil, rice, salt, calcium carbonate, ascorbic acid.

As one cup of peas has about 120 calories and only about 6 of those calories from fat...and the snapea crisps (22 pieces) contains 150 calories and 70 of those from fat - you can see that this has moved quite from from the realm of a health food dish.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Lately the kids and I have started turning the t.v. on at 3:30 to watch Jeopardy!

We had the most fun last week when it was Teen Jeopardy (the questions were easier!).

And hey - it counts as school - right?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Taco Bell Kids Meals "Rip-off" - Kids Miffed!

Sunday after church we headed out to Taco Bell b/c I love Taco Bell.

We went to a TBell that we have been to many times before and I ordered what I normally order for the kids - a 2-soft taco kids meal...comes with, you guessed it, 2 soft tacos plus a small soda and an order of cinnamon twists (oh yeah and a lame toy - it was a Halloween themed toy and Halloween is long gone).

I brought the bags to the table and lo and behold the bags only consisted of one taco so I went up to the counter to inquire.

"The Kids Meal only comes with one taco now" the guy said. "It started a week ago."

I asked, "Well did the price change?" "It's a little cheaper" he said.

I'm sure there was a change on the overhead menu that stated that it only came with one taco but as it was our usual order I never thought to check that out.

I'm not sure how much cheaper the meal might be b/c I couldn't remember the previous price...but I know it was not reduced by the full cost of one soft taco.

The kids were STEAMED. They felt like they were totally ripped-off...even though it was MY money not their money :) Their reaction was that they don't ever want to go to TBell again!

Personally it would seem to have made more sense, if it's a money issue with TBell (and everything would be) that they should have just raised the price slightly on the 2-taco meal rather than reduce the price a bit and remove HALF of the meal!

The kids specifically asked me to blog about this so that other hapless families would not be caught unawares! :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Red Banana

Yesterday we made an impromptu trip to the world food store, on our way to the library.

The girl was wanting some "Happiness in a Bottle", the boy was wanting some "Ginger Beer" and after having re-read an old childhood favorite Enid Blyton book, I too wanted some "Ginger Beer".

Once we got to the store - the girl (perhaps also influenced by having read the above mentioned Enid book) changed her mind and bought "Ginger Beer".

We found some red bananas. They were small and plump and as the girl eats her bananas partly green - I figured it would have to be pretty nasty for her not to eat it.

This morning we cut open the banana and had a taste. The girl thought it looked a little pinkish and though I couldn't see that - I did read up on it later and it said that the banana ranges from a creamy color to a slight pinkish color.

The banana was sweet and tasted to me like a regular banana. The girl, who really loves bananas, thought it was yummy but tasted "different"...hmmm

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sesame Seaweed Rice Balls

The girl spotted these at Trader Joe's and asked if we could buy them. Can't say that I'm crazy about seaweed (and probably would be if I was) - but we went ahead and bought them anyway.

They were DELICIOUS! They remind me of popcorn twists...but they taste a bit sweet when you first bite into them and then you taste salty goodness. I sure didn't notice any odd flavors. Both kids liked them and we quickly gobbled them up.

They cost $1.49.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thick Ankles

This is one of my all-time favorite greeting cards...and with my ankle still swelling - I can relate to the thick ankles. I found a batch of them about 4 years ago at a used electronics store (??) . As I was paying for them the cashier told me that they were found in a dumpster behind a store...hmmm

Regardless - I did send some out (though hopefully I remembered to moisten the envelope with something other than my tongue) but kept one b/c I liked it so much. Sometimes I just have it sitting out on my desk.

I was not blessed with large hair like Nancy - though my husband might look similar to that if he let his hair go a few months without a grows up and out rather than down.

Treasure Exhibit - Missouri History Museum

Last week we visited the new exhibit "Treasure" at the Missouri History Museum.

It sounded like it was going to be pretty exciting...I envisioned an exhibit filled with unearthed (unsea-ed) treasures and pirate artifacts (Bluebeard's beard perhaps?).

I was disappointed.

The exhibit is more of an inter-active play area for children...which of course my kids enjoyed.

We went on Tuesday when the exhibit is free for St. Louis City and County residents...and free is about the price I'd expect to pay for what I saw.

The boy loved the "video game" where you shoot a cannon at a passing pirate ship and try to sink the ship. But I'm not sure I like the idea of taking my kids to the museum only to have them be sidetracked by playing a video game (which really had no educational value).

The girl enjoyed panning for gold and other precious stones (they are allowed to keep one rock).

The exhibit room was almost empty when we were there - Tuesday around 3:00 PM - so that was great. Being that there are not that many activities I cannot imagine how unpleasant it would have been with a group of 30 or so children in there at the same time...all trying to do the same thing.

There are a lot of write-ups on pirates and treasure hunting posted on the theory is that kids will rarely read those things, rather they'll race to the cannon shoot or the medal detecting area (problem the large items that set off the metal detector are not really hidden).

This exhibit seemed better suited for the Magic House than the History least from an adult perspective.

After visiting "Treasure" - we checked out the World's Fair Exhibit and Seeking St. Louis Exhibit...both are worth seeing.