Peach Pits

I thought I had it this time.

I woke up feeling good.

Like a winner. 

It was tried, tested, and approved.

The peaches were good.


The recipe was good.


The feedback was good.


The bars were good.


This was it.

Third time’s a charm.

I was going to win this damn peach recipe contest.

Or at least place.

Or at the very least, drop my peach bars off and walk smugly out the door.

None of those things happened.

When I went to cut the bars, arrange them painstakingly perfect on a platter, and drizzle them with the tart lemon glaze, I had to slap the smug right off of my face.


The bars were mush.

I don’t know if it was the heat, the humidity, or the fact that I’m pretty sure I forgot an ingredient, but the bars were clearly not going to win any contests.

So I did what any pinteresting person would do.

I shoveled that mess into some mason jars.


And then I took I nap.

Well first I ate 70 million spoonfuls of peach pie mush.

And then I took a nap.

And then I ate a bunch more.


And then I named them peach crumble jar bars.

And then I took my sister’s advice and drank some peach shnapps.

Except I left out the peaches.

And the Schnapps.

Ok, it was vodka.

I drank vodka.

And I felt just peachy after that.


I also looked at this a million times.

cooking fail


Because other people’s failure makes me feel better.



I learned that lesson the hard way.

Save yourself and read this post brought to you by my sweet, loving sister.

She’s a teacher.

So let her teach you some crap. 

Well, I don’t know about you, but I am spending my summer on a tropical island, enjoying the sounds of the ocean, the breeze, and the sway of the palm trees. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and I couldn’t imagine a more serene way to spend my summer ‘vacation’. Here’s a pic of me…..soaking up the rays! 
By now, I hope you know how far fetched that introduction was! Ha. That’s just a terrible picture using the effects on Photo Booth! Notice the long sleeves and pants? It’s rainy here in Michigan today, and I now feel like Richard Simmons…so let’s get on with what’s really going on over here. 
 Here’s how I’m really spending my summer: taking kids to/from sports camps, day camps, friends houses, boating, reading, soaking up the sun, gardening, meeting up with my friends and teacher-friends, hosting family gatherings, lifeguarding at the backyard pool, cleaning my house, doing lots of laundry, and more! It truly is a great summer. I’m looking forward to our ocean side condo vacation coming up in August (for real!). Know what else I’ve been doing? Sneaking in WORK! 
Today was the last day of all camps for my 3 kids. It’s raining, and I didn’t want my laminator to get too out of practice, so I thought I’d fire it up today! I’ve been busy making products for my classroom and TPT and TN stores, as well as downloading great products from others. I decided to print and laminate it today. Here’s my huge stash. 
As I’m sitting here laminating things, something in my brain begins to nag me about how much time is spent SITTING while I search, download, and put page after page through the laminator….which snacks and TV in front of me. After I’ve spent some time trying to change my eating and exercise habits the last few months, SITTING around too long felt all wrong. 
So—-I decided to combine my work with exercise and I found out I could get 13 squats in per page from the time I put it in the laminator till the time is rolled all the way through. Once my muscles got warmed up, I sometimes hit 17-20 squats. I did 23 pages today (lots more to go)—-but I’ll just go ahead and average 13 squats/page and multiply that by 23 pages for a total of 299 squats!!!! 
I’m happy to have gotten two birds with one stone today….and thought I could easily incorporate different exercise while I’m waiting for those pages to slide through. 
I’m excited about this new multi-tasking opportunity. I mean, that’s what moms/teachers/women do best anyway, right?! Of course, I have no idea why I didn’t think of this sooner…..I bet I’d be a lot more fit if I combined my work with exercise a looooong time ago….especially since I seem to spend a lot of time on work and not enough ‘ME’ time. Although, playing geeky nerd on the computer is ‘me’ time, and I like it a lot. But being a thinner, in shape, geeky-nerd would be even better!! 
Now do the homework unless you want to see the crazy come out!
Thanks sister!
You can catch up with all my sister’s craziness on her blog

Word of the Day



Beer-sis-tense: [beer-sis-tuh-ns]


1. The act of drinking a beer to aid in otherwise mundane activities such as cleaning the garage, washing the cars, or taking an excruciatingly long online boater’s safety course. As in, this job is going to require a little beersistence. 



Helping you get things done ever since you turned 21.

Crush Me

Don’t tell my husband,

but I’ve got a crush on Dave Matthews.


Although, I’ll make exceptions for cute boys holding craft beer.


But I still have a giant crush on Dave Matthews.



2 cups ice

2 oranges + zest

2 tablespoons agave syrup

2 oz. vodka

Zest and peel the oranges.


Add ice, oranges, zest, agave, and vodka to a blender.




Blend until smooth.

Serve immediately.


Red Solo Cup optional.


I think I just saw Dave’s tour bus drive by.


Is this real or am I dreaming?

Blue Up

If your belly doesn’t hurt after a day of blueberry picking, you’re doing it wrong.


It took about an hour to pick six pounds of berries.

It took about 20 minutes until I felt like my stomach was going to explode.

I don’t want to see a blueberry until, well, tomorrow morning when the bloating has gone down and I do it all over again.

The best part of blueberry picking is listening to all of the conversations happening around me.


Like the young mother taking the opportunity to turn sweet fruit into an even sweeter lesson about primary colors.

“The blue ones! I said the blue ones! Not the purple ones! Put the green ones back. I said put it back!”

Or the girl who found a bush with a “million” berries.

You would have thought she struck gold the way she was gushing.

Or the little lad who squealed excitedly when he “caught” a blueberry.


Its a quaint little memory that I’ll pack away until February when the only produce in sight is a russet potato.

But for now, I don’t want to see, smell, or even think about fruit, berries, and anything even remotely close to the color blue.

Because once again I’ve Violet Beuregarded myself on blueberries.


I’ll never learn.

And based on the girth of my stomach following dinner, I have the same problem with peas.

Especially when they’re fresh from the farm and coated in a tangy miso dressing.


Mayonaise based pea salads are so 1986.

Miso is so summer of 2013.


You might know miso in it’s more traditional soup form served at Asian restaurants.

But it makes a really great dressing for salads when combined with lemon juice and a little olive oil.

And little else.

What is miso?


Fermented awesomeness, that’s what.

It’s good for your gut and tastes good too.

Pass the peas, please.

Pea Salad with White Miso Dressing


1/2 pound shelled, fresh peas

3 tablespoons white miso paste

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 tablespoons of water

1/2 cup chopped herbs (a combination of parsley and dill would be nice)

pepper, to taste

Steam peas until tender but crisp.


Add miso to a small bowl.


Add lemon juice, olive oil, and water.


Whisk to combine.

Pour over peas.


Add 1/2 cup chopped herbs


Toss to combine.


Add pepper, to taste.

Serve chilled.




While I was at dinner last night, I heard the lad at the next table screaming to his dinner guest that he “wanted to go vegetarian but didn’t want to be an inconvenience.”

I wanted to spit my Blueberry Belch Beer in his face.

Your food choices, sir, are not inconvenient.

Your choice to yell them across the bar, however, is.

I think it’s a myth that its difficult to eat a vegetarian, vegan, or plant based diet.

It takes some time, some adjusting, and some pre-planning, but once you’ve set your mind to it, its not difficult to learn to love fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains.

Those are all healthy, veg-friendly foods.

Which leads to the next myth.

The myth that if something is vegan, it’s healthy.

With an ever expanding niche food market, there are plenty of vegan junk foods and many convenience foods that are “accidentally vegan.”

Here’s just a few:


Makes you wonder what is exactly in the cream filling, eh?



This is a surprise because most breads these days contain milk. Check your labels carefully.



I can make vegan frosting and yet somehow it surprised me that you could buy  vegan frosting from a major food company. It shouldn’t be surprising ,though, considering its much cheaper and more shelf stable to use hydrogenated shortening instead of butter.

Duncan Hines Frosting


Apparently “Cream Style” has nothing to do with real cream!

Cream Style Corn


My step-dad eats a steady diet of these peanut butter cookies. He’s half-way to being vegan and didn’t even know it!

Nutter Butter


A lot of candy has gelatin which is not veg-friendly. Licorice does not contain gelatin. Score for the vegans  horse hooves.



It’s not shocking that a potato chip is vegan. It doesn’t mean it’s healthy though.

potato chips


No “kreme” here!

krispy kreme fruit pie


“Big and Buttery” is plastered across the package and yet, no actual butter in sight!



Non-dairy ice Cream is one of the foods that people want to believe is healthier if it’s vegan. Its still fat and sugar, people. Eat it but be mindful that 1/2 cup can contain 250 calories and 18 grams of fat which is the equivalent of premium dairy based ice creams.

coconut ice cream


Become a label reader. Some sweetened non-dairy milks contain anywhere from 12-20 grams of sugar. There are 16 grams of sugar in a full tablespoon. It’s something to think about if you’re pouring it over a bowl of frosted flakes (which also happen to be vegan!) every morning.


The good news is that if you’re stuck in a gas station in Kentucky, you can probably find some vegan fare to tide you over. The bad news is that if you choose these foods on a regular basis, you’ll fare no better than your standard junk food junkie.

Choose wisely.

But don’t feel the need to scream your choices across a busy bar.

Nothing ruins a meal quite like the diner who preaches the evils of meat eating over a plate of pot roast.

Save it for the dessert course.

You know, the row of Oreos and Chocolate Soy Milk that you’ll be shoving in your face.

If you do get stuck in a gas station in Kentucky, check out PETA’s full list of “Accidentally Vegan” foods:

Hot Dog

I feel like summer came and just smacked me in the face.

Suddenly I want to do all the summer things.

Ride bikes.

Drink iced coffee from mason jars.

Go treasure hunting at the local flea market

Drink beer from mason jars.

Eat hot dogs.

Teach the (real) dog how to typewriter some corn.




Nothing goes better with grilled corn than some veggie hot dogs and all the fixin’s.

When we were treasure hunting, we stumbled on some locally made hot and sweet pickles.


Half the jar immediately made it  into my mouth.

The other half made it into a homemade relish.



1 cup fresh pineapple

1 cup “hot and sweet” pickles + juice

1 bunch green onion, chopped

Add pineapple, pickles, and green onion to food processor.





Pulse until all ingredients are chopped very fine. 


Makes about 1 cup. 


Here’s to summer and all its



Cool as a Cucumber



It’s been too long.

I miss seeing you at regular intervals.

I also miss 90% of the pictures that I somehow lost while transferring the blog.

Don’t look.


Just stay here.

Also, a few weeks ago I was all set to rejoin the geekery that is taking pictures of my own food when my camera went all wonky.

The buttons stopped working and it wouldn’t turn on or off.




This was my opportunity to purchase a fancy pants new camera!

I almost had my husband convinced to let me buy a $700 new Canon and the $400 lens that would surely need to accompany it when he came over and started toying with the broken one.

A few minutes later he returned it to me in perfect working order.

“What did you do?”

“I changed the batteries.” 


Well then.

Next time I’ll make sure to drop it from the top of the refrigerator.

So, um, here’s some pictures of food.

From my crusty old camera.



2 (15 oz cans) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained

1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

1/2 teaspoon pepper

salt, to taste

Add all ingredients to a high speed blender of food processor.




Process until smooth.


Garnish with diced cucumber and olives, if desired


Eat it with some crusty pita bread next to your crusty camera.


Enjoy your Memorial Day-

Or as I like to think of it

“Hug the crap out of some soldiers and keep the fallen in your hearts”


The 5 Beer K

We have these things at work called “Peer Reviews.”

Well, I SWEAR my supervisor said “Beer Reviews.”

I’m SUCH a good employee that I volunteered to spend my entire Saturday completing the assignment.

I signed up for a 5k that started and ended at a local craft brewery.

The running portion was like a warm-up for the real event: the beer drinking review.

Slow and steady wins this race.

Entry into the 5k included food, music, brewery tours, and  5 free drink tickets.

I submit, for my supervisor’s approval,


Oak Barrel Stout

Review: One of my all-time favorite Stouts.  It’s slightly sweet with that true oak-y flavor that makes it feel like it has literally been fermenting in a barrel for the last two months. It’s dark, smooth, and kind of makes me feel like I’m biting into a fancy chocolate chip cookie made with the best vanilla beans on the planet. This could easily be my after school  work snack every day. 

Hop Mountain IPA

Review: I actually sampled this (as part of the tour) before it had completed the carbonation process. It was tart, citrusy, and exploding with grapefruit flavor. It was a nice palate cleanser. 

Double D IPA

Review: As someone who is still trying to love IPA’s, I was pleasantly surprised by how refreshing this brew was. It was super citrusy and there was minimal bitterness that IPAs are so famous for. Call me crazy but I still sort of hate that dry “grassy” flavor of too much hops. This was a nicely balanced brew.

Morning Glory Stout

Review: Hook me up to an IV and just shoot this stout through my veins. Maybe it was because it was before noon, but this espresso flavored stout was like sipping on  freshly pressed coffee beans.  It was dark, sweet, chocolatey, and had a huge coffee flavor. It was so satisfying to drink after some pre-race excitement gave me a 4AM wake-up call.  The 9% ABV, however,  made sure that I got  caught up on my sleep after having a glass of this!

The beer I want to try:


This brew is made with Michigan cherries.

I love me some Michigan and I love me some cherries.

It wasn’t on tap on race day, but it will be in my refrigerator this weekend.

Guess it’s time for another beer run!


All beer photos courtesy of

Spring Fling

Guess what showed up at the local orchard this weekend?

For only being the beginning of Spring, these strawberries were as sweet as a summer’s pie.

It seemed wrong to use them in a recipe.

Criminal, even.

When I woke up on Saturday the sun was streaming in through the kitchen window and blades of  fresh, green grass were beginning to break through winter’s barren ground.

It was going to be 50 degrees.

That’s like a heat wave around these parts.

Practically a dream come true.

It had me craving the bright, fruity flavors of spring and summer.

So I washed myself a bowl of super sweet berries and made a frosty dip for them.


2 frozen bananas, chopped

1 orange + zest

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Zest the orange and set the zest aside.

Peel the orange and chop roughly.

Add the frozen bananas, orange pieces, and vanilla extract to a blender or food processor.

Process until creamy, dreamy, and smooth.

Stir in orange zest.

Transfer to a bowl and serve with fruit.

Or just insert a straw and sip.

When I finally got myself together for an afternoon bike ride, I stepped out into the drive-way to say hello to Mr. Sun.

And then immediately turned around to get my mittens.

Fifty degrees is cold.

My little fling with spring was short lived.

I was a popsicle by the time I got off of my bicycle.

Which is exactly why I enjoyed a hot toddy when I got home.

Nothing helps with muscle recovery like a hot whiskey with lemon.

I’m still trying to recover from the whiskey, though.