Mr. Goodbar – not so good anymore!!!

I’m about ready to go off… you just can’t get good chocolate anymore and now the latest victim of the economy is the once high quality Hershey’s Chocolate. My favorite candy bar -was- the Hershey’s Mr. Goodbar. It was simple… salted peanuts and high quality Hershey’s milk chocolate. That was before Christmas when I got one out of the work vending machine and was horrified by what I got… the Chocolate did not melt and when I looked at the label it now says "Made -with- Chocolate. and peanuts"… and they shamefully shrink the words made with so that the unsuspecting consumer won’t notice. This one noticed as soon as it was in my mouth!

newgoodbar.jpg

 

Being diabetic… I occasionally splurge for a candy bar and the peanut’s protein kind of balances the carbs and makes it just slightly (enough that I don’t feel guilty) better for me than the straight chocolate bar… and I just -like- peanuts.

 

Upon calling Hershey’s they stated that the coco-butter is removed and replaced by a high quality vegetable oil product. However when they do this the mockolate just will not melt … and when it does it’s waxy and not creamy. They also stated that in consumer tests the new formula was liked better because the peanut flavor came through stronger than the chocolate flavor. Well… the old candy bar stated "Peanuts in Milk Chocolate" you would think it would taste like milk chocolate… now it’s more like peanuts in Choco-wax.

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Oh The horror of it all… Goodbye goodbar… now you are just a memory… another casualty to the bad economy.

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Monster Kitty

Elvis on Mr. Suck-SuckI can’t believe how my little Elvis Kitty has grown… let’s just say that Little is not the word for the cat. When i first got him he was just a ball of fluff… and was so loving (he’s still loving but he’s a ball of something else). He was a kitten that we rescued and I never knew what a handful Elvis Sleeping on Couchhe would become… actually he was just a handful at that time… but my how times have changed.

Elive has grown steadily since I got him… but I will never forget what a cute kitten he was. The picture at the right was at his smallest… left he had grown a bit. Always was curious about the vacuum cleaner.

cats 039.JPGHe grew pretty quickly for a kitten… and filled his skin well… like most oriental breeds he was born light and continued to darken as he agedcats 045.JPG and bow did he grow and grow. Elvis in his adolescence was a hefty 14-16 pounder…. right now he weighs in at about 29 pounds but has been as heavy as 31 pounds. I feed him weight controlled food, but if I don’t keep food down Priscilla starves.

At least he’s not getting any fatter.PICT1484.jpg It’s hard to believe that the big boy at the bottom right is the same cute little kitten at the top… but that’s the bruiser. And the vet still thinks he is growing.

Animals are like our children… and believe me when I pick this one up I feel like I am lifting up a child.  As you can see from the picture to your right, Elvis lives up to his name… he’s a fatty.

I have had to put him on a restricted diet… but it doesn’t seem to be doing any good.

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When the passing of a friend really sinks in.

This Saturday I lost a dear friend… someone whom was a confidant… someone who listened and never judged… someone who I really cared about. I know this friend had many health problems and take comfort in the fact that they are no longer suffering and held down by the challenges their body placed on them.

But that does not lessen their loss… it really sank in last night at work when I usually get a call from her. I work third shift and usually between 3-5am she would call me when nature woke her up and say… “I’m awake are you?”

It really sinks in when you look at your cellphone’s history and see where she called you all last week… and the calls just stop. If I were to delete her phone number from my dialing directory it would remove all her history… I just don’t have the heart to do it… and I don’t know if I ever will.

I will miss you Carol

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Pumpkin Bread Recipe

pumpkin_bread There is absolutely nothing quite like fresh baked pumpkin bread… the smell is absolutely wonderful and it really makes the home feel like home. My family enjoys baking all kinds of goodies in the winter… it makes our kitchens warm and our hearts warmer.

It is very important to use good quality spices. Please purchase your spices from a place where purity and strength are guaranteed. In Louisville there is a store on Brownsboro road called Nature’s Magic or one called Nuts and Stuff on Preston. They sell loose spices and will weigh out that you want from their bulk pantry. If you can, smell the spices when they open the jar… this is your greatest indicator of freshness… you will see the difference in quality over the grocery store mass packaged, warehoused and shipped spices… plus they are usually 1/4 the price.

Another option is to use Watkins spices. Wal-Mart now sells Watkins spices in the classic metal tins. All Watkins products are unconditionally guarantied for purity and strength pay attention to the dates on the tins.

Upadate 2012 – Nuts and Stuff and Natures Magic are no more.  I have had good luck buying spice at Trader Joes and Whole Foods Market.  My last batch had spices from Trader Joes.  I do prefer watkins, Wal-Mart sometimes carries Watkins but no longer carries the organic spices and I’ve noticed that what they carry is no longer as potent as the organic spices from watkins.  There is a new Penzy’s store in the same shopping center as Trader Joes and their spices are premium, but I’ve never been able to catch them open.

Awesome Pumpkin Bread Recipe
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Always smell your spices and if the smell is diminished use a touch more than the recipe calls for. I always use more cinnamon and nutmeg than what the recipe calls... adjust for your taste.
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Cups Sugar
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • ⅔ Cup Filtered Water
  • 2 Cups canned or prepared pumkin
  • 3⅓ cups all purpose white flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (use more if you like)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg (use more if you like)
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
Instructions
  1. Mix first five ingredients together beat until smooth.
  2. Sift all dry ingredients together in a large bowl making sure that it is well combined.
  3. Add dry ingredients slowly to the wet mixture mixing until very smooth. Fold in Nuts to this mixture and place in three medium greased / floured loaf pans.
  4. Bake at 350 for one hour and check at approximately 45 minutes to see if done... check every 5 minutes remove when a toothpick inserted in the loaf comes out clean.

 

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Cold in Louisville

cardinalintree.gifThe other day we had a little snow … not much to speak of… it did not cover the roadways or cause any traffic problems… but it was pretty snow none the less.

It came down in the big, wet, sloppy, gobs of snow that cling to the trees and plant life.

snowbird My friend caught this beautiful cardinal out in the wood line behind her house and I thought I would share the picture with everyone. It finally snowed in Louisville.

As it seems that we have had consistent cold this winter, I am finding it hard to believe that we are actually having climate change. I can’t seem to feel warm this winter… and trying to cut back to save money by not heating my home as warm as I like it sure makes the joints hurt.

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My Trip to the Farmer’s Market

Zephyr Squash I have wanted to go to our new southwest farmer’s market for the past month, unfortunately I have been sick… or out of town to our family reunion. This Saturday, I actually made it there, and oh how wonderful it was.

Of all the things that I picked up, I found the most unusual squash called Zephyr Squash… half of it is yellow, the other half of it was green and they had the classic gooseneck of yellow summer squash. I bought a pound of it and for dinner I had Squash and Lima Beans.

What impressed me more than the squash was the farmer, I met Ralph and Kathy Packard who own the Misty Meadows Farm in Meade County. Two delightful people who are not shy at all to tell you about everything they have growing down on the farm. I have been to far too many “farmer’s markets” and seen boxes that were labled “California Organic” and people who were selling produce that they obviously purchased from a commercial vender. Ralph and Kathy are the real deal though… and everything I purchased from them was delightful.

The squash looked better than what I have pictured… I wanted everyone to see what Zephyr squash looked like… so if you see it at a farmers market buy it up. If we truly want to make an impact on our oil usage we should start asking where our food comes from. I have decided it’s not just in my best interest to purchase food that was grown or raised 50 miles or less from my home.

For more infromation about Misty Meadows farm… take a look at their website. http://www.packardsmmfarm.com I am definately going to be a repeat customer.

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Two Kitties in the Window

Windowkitties 002These are my two kitties… it got cool enough last night to open the window and enjoy the fresh air. Of course the little clowns had to climb in the window and get some fresh air.

In Lul’ville we have had near 100 degree heat now for a month straight. It was quite refreshing to be able to o Elvis in the window pen up the windows and air the place out last night.

One of the perks of Home Ownership now is that I can have pets… and all the benefits that come with it like a fat cat that likes to lick my leg to get me to pet her. (It’s annoying and she gets an instant reaction since it instantly gets my attention. Then there is my incredibly fast growing Kitten Elvis. He’s only five months old now and is almost as big as Priscilla (who is a 3 year old Tonkinese). He was lounging in the window this morning cute as a button.

For those who have never had pets in your life… you don’t know what you are missing. They love you unconditionally… greet you at the door and are a never ending source of entertainment.

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The American Dream…

The American dream for many is to own your own home… where it’s yours free and clear and you can do whatever you want with it.

Today I am a home owner… I am approved for a mortgage on my first home.

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Dental Dilema!

For the past month I have had a tooth that had become increasingly painful… every time I chew it was like a knife being stuck into the back of my jaw.  Finally I had enough last week and went to the dentist.

Turns out that I had a CRACKED tooth… one that cracked from side to side in line with the Gums… the worst kind to have.  I had to wait a week, but today managed to get in to get it fixed.  I was quoted two prices… one for $22 if I only needed a filling and one for $600 if I needed a crown.

Lucky me… I only needed a filling… fortune smiled on me today.  I guess you can say I hitt the Tooth Lottery.

Allen

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