Thursday, December 31, 2015

For your New Year's pleasure: A Low Impact Christmas

Oh dear, it is nearly 2016 and I have yet to tell you of my Christmas.

As I was driving home from Christmas day with family, listening to a selection of favorite Christmas stories on public radio while the children dozed, I overheard my backup husband, Garrison Keillor (not David Attenborough, that is my other backup, but he doesn't write Christmas stories silly!)
Anyhow, BH rasped in his moist, jowly voice

"And we've never been satisfied with Christmas. 
It's always cost too much..."

Christmas is a holiday often celebrated with overabundance. So, how do you honor the culture of the season without going in debt and while still making the mortgage when you have made the decision to live the thrift life?

 This Christmas I did spend money. I always do. I love gift giving and it is one of my love languages. Well, it isn't really per the love language quiz I took, but it is one way I show others I care. Still my budget doesn't let me go overboard.

Let me recount a few ways we made Christmas happen.

What do stores do when a few flowers in a bunch go bad? Throw them of course! With everything else they waste of course! The Ogre was swift enough to nab a bundle of bundles of beautiful flowers, set in a bucket behind a nearby shop, which I promptly picked the beauties from, trimmed up, and arranged as a hostess gift. You just never know what this classy Thriftess will bring to your door!

This beauty was wrapped up and presented to us by The Ogre. Fumes had been wafting up for days and I was convinced he was mixing up a lovely batch of meth for his crew, but no indeed, it was the scent of wood glue. This coming year we shall be maintaining our lifelong meth sobriety and instead multiplying our brain cells with games of chess. My first game of chess with Mr. Boo was a blast, until we took a hot cocoa break and Ms. Moo turned them in to toy dolls that all tipped over, but we took it in stride and planned a rematch soon.
I need to turn this, but...

 My husband repurposed this metal sheet destined for the garbage by heating up the whole thing, removing the adhesive which attached a photo to its surface, and etching this lovely saying to it, from the Lorax. He clarified that the point was that I do care a whole awful lot (thanks dude, I got that).
Anyhow, I plan to hang this up at my work, to remind me not to let my heart get cold.
The Ogre had a pile of unraveling ties which had no life (as ties) left to them, but had once been the pride of his grandfather. I found a link to this on Pinterest and slowly turned them into a bowl for his dresser.

My family also made an assortment of cornmeal mixes, some with our home canned tomatoes and favorite hot sauces as chili sets. We also gave some pancake mixes with maple syrup (good syrup is a costly necessity).  

Boo made moo some play-dough with a box of Jello pudding the family had but couldn't eat due to dietary restrictions.
Moo made Boo and the Ogre winter hats with these easy directions I found in the Family Fun magazine (She was the creative director, selecting the fleece and painting the ties as I sewed).

I did go soft and buy the Ogre a gift certificate for bike fenders, even though I much prefered his DIY license plate fenders. He thought them too much work, so I suggested this instead and he just may put the certificate towards a much needed tune up

I had a couple more thoughts here, but it is time to get these kids to bed!

So long 2015!

Friday, November 20, 2015

How I threw a birthday party for 50 guests for $15!

Moo turned 3 yesterday. We had her birthday party last weekend, and after spending an embarassingly large amount on food (and printer ink... don't think that one missed me Ogre!) for a Back to the Future Party last month I decided I had my fun and needed to get back to my frugal ways. 


Guests lists are hard for me. I love having people over but more people equals more stress. I tried to keep the guest list limited to family and kids that Moo plays with. Still, the numbers easily add up and I always end up with a bit of anxiety over the possibility of EVERYONE ON THE GUEST LIST coming. Never happens, still, with less than half of the invited in attendance I was expecting nearly 60 to show. Add to that the late RSVPs (we are talking the night before!) and subtract from that the flus and the stomach bugs and you have a nice round 50.
So what to feed 50 mouths?


Inspired by a recent invite to a 2-4pm party I decided to skip the meal (and skip the stress and cost!). I love feeding people but times have been busy and I have kept up with all the new Illness of the Weeks so I needed to go easy on myself

Moo wanted pink frosted cupcakes. I tried to do everything from scratch to save money. Now here is where I should explain that when I say the party cost $15 I am not including the cost of any consumable I already owned. After all, if I own it, chances are I got it for free or cheap. Now, I did need to pick up a few food items: milk (always cheap at CVS with an Extra Care Rewards Card), vanilla (this was super cheap because the Ogre bought it and he doesn't seem to be aware of quality), and powdered sugar (yuck, I just don't keep that on hand). Still we barely used any of the milk and the vanilla will continue to haunt our cupboard for months until we use it up and I can take the Ogre out on an educational field trip to the grocery store where I will teach him how to buy vanilla. Luckily when my attempt at making my own pink dye failed my good friend Pat gave me her stash from the co-op.
I borrowed muffin tins from two of my neighbors and a coworker and Boo and I mixed up 6 dozen chocolate cupcakes the night prior to the party, while Moo and the Ogre did the gf batch for the food snobs, myself included, in attendance.
Saturday morning the Ogre earned another week's stay by mixing up the frosting, then I frosted the cupcakes and did a quick googling of 'DIY Impromptu Cupcake Stand' before creating three stands out of my FiestaWare.
We did set out a couple bowls of snacks for the kids, mainly item from the back of my pantry: goldfish cracker medley. Along with the Ogre's several day long project of slicing and drying over 6 pounds of apples.

For drinks we had juice boxes we had been holding onto for when it made sense (juice boxes rarely make sense!) and leftover liquor from the Coors Light House Party we held, as well as water, that milk (no one EVER drinks the milk at parties) and some soda (already on hand).


If we just let the kids destroy the house, I would've looked really lazy, though they probably would've enjoyed themselves just as much, and honestly they did the planned activity after destroying the house, and then resumed said destruction again after the activity, but at least some of the parents helped get the worst of the areas back in order before their departure and like I said, it was FUN!

So, our $0 activity went something like this:

1.Find a giant box of small holiday village houses behind local store. (REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE!)

2.There is no meaning to them, YET, so get primer/white paint at the Hazardous Waste Site and paint them over, with children's "help" over several afternoons. (REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE!)
3. Gather all your paint supplies, crowd source more if needed, if you don't get enough go to Art Scraps, a local art recycling storefront. (REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE!)

4. Line crowdsourced tables with newspaper or old tarps (RRR!) dress the kids in old grubby shirts or men's button downs (RRR!) and paint away! 

NOW there is meaning to the houses!

The other half of the birthday expense came from goodie bags. That said, the goodie bags only cost roughly 50cents each due to some great clearance I found, combined with items I reviewed for my blog and a bit of product found while urban foraging. Full price the bags would've cost close to $8 each, but, using my thrifty methods, we were able to stuff the no-nonsense Ziplocs with sticker sheets, glow sticks, glitter bath gel, and the stamps and ink for only 50cents. Score!

THE AFTERPARTY!!!Now that the party is over, though Moo was totally confused why 50 people didn't show up on her actual birthdate!, we have been busy using the great consumable birthday gifts that Moo received to thank all those good friends that showed up.  
Thank you, big name party supply store, for the urban foraged decorations!

Time to take a breath... and start planning the next shindig!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

My diy food dye attempt

Moo wants cupcakes for her birthday. Pink cupcakes. And while I informed her that wasn't an option, her Nonna told her it was. 

Look at those 4 cute gluten frees nestled on top!
Now I could be the bad guy here but we are not throwing a big birthday party this year.  That is, it will only be a couple hours long and will center around the celebratory dessert, not a meal (we blew that budget with our Back to the Future party a couple weeks ago. Note to self: $100 WILL NOT cover eleven ginormous pizzas from Papa Murphy's, but sometimes it is worth it to skip the math! ).

So here I am left. I could buy natural food dyes, or, since I have the time (and the farm fresh beets! ) I could make my own. 

Since we are a dye free household (and happen to have farm fresh carrots in the crisper!) I decided to make extra. I even dreamt up making variety packs of colors for friends and family who could use it, but then I realized JUST HOW MUCH WORK IT IS! 

I thin sliced the beets and spread them on the dehydrator. I thin sliced the carrots and parboiled them (twice! The first turned to mush as I got caught up in various other multitasks, one of which involved The Walking Dead, the second I was smart and set the timer ). Then I spread the carrots out too. I ran the dehydrator over night (full, of course! With sliced bananas, tired grapes, and leftover dicings of tomato that were bound to become forgotten in the fridge).

The next morning the carrots had all but disappeared and the beets were pleasant circles, roughly a quarter in size. 

I decided to grind the carrots first.  If a little orange got tossed in with the beets I figured it would go unnoticed, while the beets had the potential for a small flake to overtake the orange completely.
Moo quickly came to the rescue but these carrots were TOUGH to grind. So tough that the mill ended up busting :(

So, dear readers, what should I do next? I can attempt the food processor but don't want to bust that! Anyone have a high powered mill I can borrow? Or a circus freak living in their basement that wants to prove their machismo by grinding up my veggies mortal and pestle style? 

Monday, October 26, 2015

I have been BITT MAN! ... by the Kitchen Matrix
I like to picture my brain as a filing system. Filled with to-do lists, factoids, questions for the kid's teacher, scheduling that needs to be relayed to the spouse, books to read, things to Google...

At least my brain is like that. It gets a bit overwhelming and I find lists everywhere, written down in an attempt to close some of those file drawers. Slips of paper, post its, the backs of envelopes, even my phone has an app for my lists.

It is on one of those lists, the digital list on my SmartPhone, that you can find a reference to a cookbook I have been salivating over for years, ever since hearing about it on a public radio piece. Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything

Remember that name, Mark Bittman, you will start to hear it everywhere. Foodies, this man is a real world Michael Pollan, making good food attainable with suggestions and flexibility, rather than rules. 

I was more than pumped to FINALLY get my hands on a cook book of his for my very own collection.
His new book, Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix, will have you reducing your food waste and enjoying every bite. 
That is, most every bite... we'll get to that.
The first thing you will notice about this book is the wonderful pictures and layout, which nods to the clear, organized style of Real Simple magazine. 
I received the book in the mail the day before we headed out of town for a several hour road trip to Ely. We passed the book around the car. Everyone slowly paged through the book, even Moo, at age two paused and placed several menu orders with us. Boo, age 5, held a pile of cards, which he slid in between the pages of all the foods he wanted to eat. The Ogre, who lives his life through a camera lens, set his hunk of camera down to work his way through the book, commenting, of course, on the brilliant photography.

Once we returned from Ely it was time to cook.

My crisper was full of carrots so I looked for something to create with them. Planning on the Creamy Carrot Soup I started a day early, grabbing my bag of frozen veggie bits and chicken parts, tossing them into the slowcooker, and covering them with water to stew a broth out of. I was left with two large containers of golden broth, one of which I froze, the other which I used as a base, along with whole goat milk for the soup.

  I find it important to remind you of my love for the Flexipe. I am reviewing a cookbook here, but I did not follow the recipes to a T. He called for heavy cream and I had whole goat milk. However, his recipes do seem to stand up to these types of substitutions, if not to encourage them as we will get to later.
I pureed the soup in batches in my food processor (the sin! my immersion blender puttered out a couple years back) and added in some spinach that I had frozen (you can just crumple frozen spinach into soup, don't bother cutting or slicing prefreeze)
The soup's colors were beautiful. It did turn out more yellow than orange and I added dry parsley instead of the fresh (I dried it this past summer, if that gives me any points). The soup was yummy, though a bit thin. To use it as a meal I suggest a crusty piece of french bread with a gob of butter. But, alas, my gluten free self stuck to a stack of table crackers.
First recipe? Win. But not enough to run out and buy the book for everyone on my Christmas list.
Next up? GNOCCHI!

As I said I had a lot of carrots, but apparently gnocchi can consist of more than just potatoes, so I called over my friend Meghan for our first ever gnocchi making experiment.

Now, before I tell you how awful the gnocchi turned out, let me tell you we DID have three strikes against us.

1. I have never tasted Gnocchi before. Do I even like it? I don't know, but my friend Pat LOVES the stuff, so I had faith it must be good.

2. As stated, neither of us had attempted to make gnocchi prior to this experience

3. We used, sigh...instant potatoes. The Ogre had brought home a couple boxes this past summer and I never use the flakes, so I figured this would be a good way to clear them out...HA!
4. Cooking was secondary to gossiping and child care. We had to pause several times to nonverbally discuss whether or not the loud noises we heard were sounds of glee or sounds of concussion and respond appropriately.
5. Due to my gimptastic immune system, the flour we used had to be gluten free.
Okay, FIVE strikes. So here they are:

Potato Pudgies.
Hard to swallow, chalky orange turds.
What to do?

We tried frying them...

Adorable little hush puppies.
Nice crunchy outside.
 Same yucky inside with a horrid tongue gunking aftertaste.

In the spirit of waste reduction we tried again. Frying a gnocchi latke and tossing on a square of the Ogre's idea of a delicacy: cheddar cheese with REAL bacon pieces (He really thinks this cheese discovery is stellar, though of course this was PRIOR to us finding out it is carcinogenic... one day late FACEBOOK! If I get colon cancer it is Mark Zuckerburg and the latke's fault)
We decided this creation, if nothing else, was finishable, though probably more enjoyable dipped in ranch.

Then Meghan, truly a waste reduction goddess, kneading the dough with furrowed brow, struck her finger into the air and shouted, "Eureka!" She had a golden idea. Pizza Crust!
And that, dear friends, is how we came upon:
Megan's Gluten Free Carrot Gnocchi Pizza Crust** 
Please note the DIY 3D Deloreans in the back. I simply had to show them off!
Seriously, I admit this crust is worth repeating. It is dense, so it limits the amount of pizza I eat (Beta Carotene AND appetite control! Told you this Meghan is brilliant!)
 I spread it out on the pan and baked it, then added the toppings and baked until the cheese was just to my liking. We had doubled the gnocchi recipe and I had enough to freeze a container to thaw for the next time I need a gluten free crust.
Second Recipe? FAIL!!!! Though perhaps our own fault, don't blame poor Mark because he is really going to redeem himself with 

Somehow Bittman has managed to make a Flexipe Recipe, which he terms a "Recipe Generator"
These recipe generators, my dear friends, are the reason you will want to get this book.

I tried the "Slow Cooker Beans +Recipe Generator" but there are several others I am eager to attempt/consume, including the dessert bar+, spring rolls+, grain salads+ and paella+.
With the recipe generators you choose the ingredients, but Bittman chooses the amounts and the category.

So for the Slow Cooker Beans+ it goes something like this:

1 lb dried beans
3/4 lb meat (optional)
2 lb veggies

Here is what it looked like for me:
I found a half lb of lentils in my cupboard, added on top of that some dried beans from my friend's lingering bean crop, and finishing up the pound with a bit of amaranth (or fish eggs according to Boo)
I added chicken thighs after removing the skin. Mark Bittman gives permission to go over the 3/4 lb which I did significantly per my family's taste. For seasoning I added garlic, curry and peppercorns.

For broth I went a bit out of the box and tossed in the creamy carrot soup with a decent swig of soy sauce to provide the umami, as allowed within Bittman's recipe.
I then added these beautiful end of summer Bok Choy, flowers and all, that I had purchased at the farmer's market the prior day. I did slice them. I also added peeled broccoli medallions from the stems, leftover from a broccoli salad I had compiled in the morning. 
It was pretty in the cooker and by dinner time the house smelled amazing! 

It was a little over-curried for the kids (hot!) but we balanced that with slices of watermelon and secretly rejoiced (MORE LEFTOVERS FOR US!). 

The verdict? This was a WIN!!!
And with so many recipe generators you could basically function for months without getting bored of the flavor combinations.
Bittman gives you permission to be creative with your food while using up what you have. And the result is spectacular.
How can you not get behind that?
*Meghan did come up with the pizza idea, though she did not strike the air in a brilliant Erueka*
*I received this book from Blogging For Books for my review*

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

We are helicopter parents... That is, we love to build helicopters!

My kids love building-type toys. Sometimes it's just a box of bricks, blocks, logs, or what-have-you,  but usually these units come with directions for creating a particular thing, such as a vehicle or structure. 

Recently they have received a new kind of engineering toy called Maker Studio.
I was happy to learn about these because they are more up to date than Lincoln Logs, more novel and way less genderized than Legos, and do they even make Tinkertoys any more?  Maker Studio sets are very welcome in our home, and trust me that we don't typically welcome more plastic pieces across our threshold. 

Each package has a variety of versatile pieces, such as rods, flat bars or girders, round gears or wheels, washers/connectors, and more. All the pieces have holes in them for the rods to go through. The wheels and washers can be attached to spin or be held in place. The girders have holes from one end to the other and come in different lengths. I like that at this smallest level there are choices and variables, because those choices just increase exponentially as you add pieces. 

However, my favorite part of this series of toy sets has to be that all the creations in the instructions have a base platform of trash. You read that right. They ask you to find discarded packaging like yogurt cups, toilet paper tubes, or pasta boxes and plug in the aforementioned plastic parts. 

I'm impressed and was very surprised to learn that each set has multiple things to make. The first set of these our kids acquired was this Winches Set, and had instructions for making a tow truck, jeep, well, or crane out of the provided pulleys and gears and one's own recycling bin offerings. The more recent set the kids got was this propeller set which guides them to make a plane, biplane, helicopter and windmill. I dug into this set with them at the home of some family members. We thought we had brought what we needed, that being the pop bottle fuselage. Once we opened the kit I realized we needed tape, some cardboard and scissors, too. While it was frustrating at first, I guess it shows how ubiquitous these craft supplies are because my aunt had them. Still, I wish they had described these needs on the Maker Studio box rather than only inside in the instructions. The one other criticism is that there was just a diagram showing to cut out cardboard wings, but I had to guess how long and wide they should be. 

So when this toy tow truck or airplane get all banged up from rough play (because it's fun to crash airplanes and trucks have to go on rough roads sometimes), do I have to lecture to be more careful with their toys? Nope. Rip the Maker Studio parts out, and send the kiddos scrounging in the recycling for a brand new model to build. 

**I received this wonderful product in exchange for my unbiased review**

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Doing the Grind

Sometimes you need to grind. You know, grind your coffee (it's so much fresher and tastier), grind your herbs (any leftovers in the garden? Dehydrate and grind), grind your grains (homemade flour anyone? Not me. ..yet).
I was so pleased to receive this free grinder, intended for coffee but capable of more. (See it at )I was doubly pleased when I found  out my five year old son could assemble and use the grinder independently.
Check out this video ( ) of him grinding up the basil we dehydrated when we heard frost  was predicted (thanks to Erica for  the basil transplant! )

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Three Ways FitBit Misses the mark big time for Attachment Parents

I have wanted a FitBit forever. Actually, I have wanted a FitBit since before FitBits were around. Back when Jawbones had just come out, Self Monitoring was something strange only heard about on NPR features, and I was trying to beat my old records on Daily Feats with my first edition smart phone. 

When The Ogre asked me what I wanted for my birthday this year, I spelled it out and lo and behold this is what I unwrapped: The FitBit Flex.

I have worn it for a slight twelve hours and so far this is what I have to say:

FitBit DOES NOT Understand Attachment Parenting!

1. We Carry Our Kids
Fit Bit tracks how many steps I take and adds calories burnt. I had to put in my weight and height in order to assist FitBit with this function. It is ten A.M and I am about 40% through the recommended 10,000 steps for the day. However, FitBit fails to recognize that a good 3,000 of those steps were done while carrying a child. And while my toddler may fall low on the charts, many API babies are roly poly butterballs of breastfed goodness, which leads me to my next complaint:

2. Yes, They are STILLLLLL Breastfeeding
Have you been around Attachment Parents? There is a lot of boobage going on in this crowd! I would love to see some breastfeeding stats for this group but, suffice it to say, full-term breastfeeding is the norm. Breastfeeding tends to continue through the 2nd, 3rd and even up to the 5th year (and beyond in some cases). Which means we need extra calories to maintain our weight, something FitBit doesn't seem to consider. Oh, and breastfeeding doesn't stop for anything! Which leads me to the third failure:

3. We are already Sleep Hacking Experts
We have been hacking our kid's and our own sleep since birth! FitBit, you may think I am sleeping, but what you don't know is I have learned to wake without moving. There is a toddler under my arm, my spouse is sandwiched up to my back, the cat is on my head, and another kid could be using my leg as a pillow. As I am not a glutton for punishment I will never be the first to move. Those 13 wakings you tracked last night? Though the number surprised me (last night was what I would call a "good" night of sleep) I know, based on the times marked, you missed several of my non-stirring wakes, but that's okay, so did everyone else in the bed!

****Please note, while I did notice these incongruencies for how the FitBit FITS with my lifestyle, I do like the device overall. I don't really expect the device to take all of my lifestyle choices into account and figure, no matter what your lifestyle is, the FitBit probably exhibits some faults. Well then, time to go log some more steps, Goodbye!*****


Thursday, September 24, 2015


Many of you ask how to get high quality, organic food for a good deal, complaining that coupons often don't pertain to organic food.

The answer? Many different ways. A little here, a little there.

Today I want to tell you how to get FREE organic food (I just placed my order, my gluten free baking cupboard will be stocked with garbanzo bean flour, corn meal, and buckwheat flour soon!)

First, if you don't have an account on Gilt use my referral code (this will give you $25 to spend)

Then go to the "City" tab. This will take you to Gilt City. Select "National" and the deal for $15. With this deal you will get a promo code for three months free membership and a $30 credit to shop with. (Fyi, all membership is free on at this time, but the $30 credit you can not beat!)

Some notes about Shipping is free for all purchases through the end of the month and purchases over $35 in general. Prices are EXCELLENT for food. The products I bought were all significantly cheaper than Whole Foods (including bulk bins) and Amazon (including Subscribe and Save). Also, often times when you order two of a product the price goes down (and continues to go down as you order more multiples but the items I have looked out go down most significantly at the 2 item mark)

You will get the voucher within a couple hours. I filled my cart right away and then just waited for the code to come through then applied it.

I plan to use Jet to price compare even without this deal, especiallly with that free shipping!

Please let me know if any of this does not work as stated. I did not have a referral code for Gilt but I think this should work. If you already have a Gilt account use the code "Welcome30" as I did to get 30% off your purchase.

One more note, this is only for first time users!

Any questions? Holla!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Corn for your pie hole

Corn out your ears???

I was going to title this post, "Put that in your corn hole!"
Luckily, I double checked the definition of corn hole and found out, GASP, it isn't quite the same as Pie Hole! 
Thanks for the save, Urban Dictionary!
So, without further ado, here follows my post on what to do when you find yourself overloaded with corn.


August in Minnesota, and September too, means lots of fresh corn. 

There is nothing like a fresh cob from a roadside stand or farmer's market. And nothing like boiling, roasting, grilling it up that first night. As the clock ticks those sugars quickly convert into starches making the kernels bland and boring.

No worries though, you can trap your that fresh corn flavor with a quick, easy FREEZE!

There are many techniques but I have tried two this season. 


1. Freeze the cob whole. If you have a chest freezer you can seal it in a bag and toss it in. I don't have a deep freezer so I saved some room by cutting off the ends and peeling off the outer leaves. Want fresh corn on the cob once the snow hits? Plop the frozen ears in a pot of boiling water add on a few extra minutes.

2. If, like me, you have limited freezer space, you can cut the corn right off the cob and freeze it. Of course you can do a quick blanch first, but if you like to cut corners it isn't ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

How to cut all that corn off? Here is a hack for you:


One use? Just heat it up for a quick side. The other night we were entertaining and I had made cabbage rolls for The Ogre to bake as I would be arriving home from work at the same time as our guests would be arriving.

A less than picturesque photo of the corn and bell pepper leftovers (from the fridge a day later, but you get the idea!)
The Ogre had the cabbage rolls ready for us to eat, but had forgotten to make a side. He was able to create a fresh-tasting side by cooking up a batch of kernels with a dash of another of our freezer staples, diced pepper.

The batter
Ahh, but you see now we have leftovers of the corn. Again, what to do? Luckily I found this SUPER YUMMY corn bread recipe which calls for frozen corn. I substituted this corn and bell pepper concoction and was super pleased with the results. The Ogre thought them the best corn muffins ever. Of course I substituted gluten free flour. I also used a bit of maple syrup as the honey ran out. 

(Side note: I recently heard about the excessive amount of sugar in American recipes and a suggestion to 2/3 the sugar in recipes. I have been doing that, including with this recipe, to no detriment thus far!)

Is it just me, or would my mom's face look lovely in butter?
I also used this new Land O'Lakes European Style Butter which may have had an impact on the rich flavor of the corn muffins. (Disclosure: I did get the butter for free as a member of BzzAgent. Let me know if you would like a dollar off coupon to try it yourself! Lot's of baking opportunities coming up)

Muffiny Goodness
**Beware, a corn heavy diet can take quite a toll on the CORN HOLE.... hmmm I think it is all coming together now.... teeheehee  

No corn but a hankering for the flavor? Try this delicious cornmeal pancake recipe, as pictured in the foreground. Super yummy even heated up one and two days later. Note: I did add a bit of Xanthan Gum to the gluten free batter which worked wonders. Though The Ogre (excellent pancake flipper that he is) also took over at that time so who knows which made more of the difference)