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Whole30 Success Story!

April 21, 2015
Whole30 book cover

I’m going to be a Whole30 Success Story — in about 30 days. If you haven’t heard of Whole30 don’t feel bad, I just found out about recently and learned it’s been a thing since 2009. Basically Whole30 is cutting out all processed foods for 30 days. You can eat meats, fruits and vegetables and that’s about it. Which wouldn’t be that bad if you had been born a few hundred years ago, before super processed foods became a way of life for us.

The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom

I can give up carbs like breads and pastas. I’ve been living that way (for the most part) for decades. It’s the other things I’m going to have to give up that make me a little nervous about taking the Whole30 challenge. No crackers, no chips, no beans, no corn, no dairy (ouch!), no wine (really ouch!), no nuts and no soy. There are more things you can’t have like rice but I haven’t eaten rice since my second divorce and even then I didn’t like it.

I’m not going to chronicle each day of the Whole30. I’m not going to because we all remember my 30 days without wine and chocolate (and that they lasted for about a week if memory serves me). I do think giving up the wine is going to make this challenge successful. Even though I rarely have more than 2 glasses of wine that’s enough to help me make poor food choices at night, while watching TV and mindlessly surfing the net. It’s much easier to justify a couple of handfuls of goldfish crackers when you’ve had a little wine and you aren’t really focused on anything. So, I won’t post often about it (unless I need to complain), probably an update midway through and then at the end.

I’ve tried many diets before, and I know this isn’t billed as a diet so much as a way of life, but I usually give up or give in after a small success of losing a few pounds. I’ve been losing and gaining the same 5 pounds for the last three years. And that barely touches the baby weight I’m trying to lose that’s going on 13 years now.

Losing weight is hard. Eating healthy after a life of unhealthy eating habits is also hard. I know what I need to do but I’m not always able to do it. But, I was able to quit smoking by going cold turkey. I didn’t even plan on quitting I just decided not to smoke anymore and it’s been four years. I still think about smoking every now and then but I have gone so long without it it’s only a small tickle in the back of my brain. I suspect Whole30 is similar with regard to sugar and processed foods.

I’ve gone cold turkey with carbs before and had success but then life got in the way and well, here we are. I don’t know why this time is any different except it is. I’m not just doing it for the 13 year old baby weight but also because I have joint pain, I don’t sleep well, I have occasional anxiety and I don’t want to take medication for any of it. I’m also heading into menopause in the next few years and I’d like that ride to be as smooth as possible. Whole30 is supposed to make all of those things possible.

Wish me luck and stay tuned!

If you’ve done the Whole30 and want to share your success story, or not so success story, here I’d live to hear it.

Events Food How Did We Survive? People

Open All The Stores On Thanksgiving!!

November 19, 2014
Thanksgiving turkey

I love Thanksgiving. Let me just get that out there first. I love Thanksgiving. It’s the perfect holiday. No gifts, great food and wine, family and friends if you’re lucky (and sometimes if you’re not) and of course pie. It’s just like 4th of July but without the mosquito bites, sunburns and fireworks. I love Thanksgiving, I really do. So don’t hate me for saying what a lot of people (and big bad corporations) are thinking – Open all the Stores on Thanksgiving.

If you’ve been around the internet of late you’ve noticed a growing murmur of people trying to ban shopping on Thanksgiving, they even made this badge that you can post on your blog or share on Twitter or Facebook.


It’s a great idea and who doesn’t want a Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving? How could stores like Best Buy, Sears or Walmart ruin this image of family joy and togetherness? The thing is not everyone has a Rockwellian family. Some people don’t celebrate with family for all kinds of reasons. The rest of us just drink through the holiday, which can make it most enjoyable.

Forever people have had to work on holidays. It’s a drag if you have to but someone has to sell the gas, cigarettes and lottery tickets and someone has to man the emergency rooms across the country. That’s how it’s always been until maybe ten years ago when they started offering deep discounts on cheap TV and crappy laptops.

The birth of Black Friday ushered in all kinds of craziness. People got up at the crack of dawn, or worse, never went to sleep on Thanksgiving, so they could fight crowds of people looking for a deal.

I’ve never been to a store on Black Friday. Usually on Black Friday I’m sipping coffee, watching Love Actually or It’s A Wonderful Life and getting ready to run another load of dishes through the dishwasher leftover from the night before. I may or may not be nibbling on some leftover turkey.

Before Black Friday became a thing there was the day BEFORE Thanksgiving. This was the big day for shopping. Grocery stores, hardware store and stores that sell things like linens, flowers, and anything to make the house look nice got a rush of business from those of us who waited until the last minute. You’d have to fight for the last bag of Pepperidge Farm stuffing and you’d be lucky if you got a can of jellied cranberry sauce.

Ocean Spray Cranberry SauceSome people refuse to eat the Jello-like, can-shaped mass of cranberries because it looks so fake. Not in my house, this is the preferred kind of cranberry sauce because it makes such a satisfying slllluurrrrrpp when it is finally released from the can and falls onto the plate. In recent years the Ocean Spray company has taken it upon themselves to change the design of the can. Now you have to open the can from the bottom because the top is really the bottom and is curved in such a way that it can’t be opened with a can opener. I don’t know who was asleep at the wheel when this engineering feat was implemented but it was a stupid idea. You can’t get the jellied cranberry sauce out of the can without venting the can. With the new design you have to stick a knife in it and it ruins the beautiful ridges created by the can making the sauce almost too mutilated to put on the table. It’s not even suitable for the cry table at this point.

But I digress.

The problem with Thanksgiving before Black Friday is that if you forgot something like butter or whipped cream you couldn’t just run to the grocery store to pick up some more. You had to go to 7-11 and get hosed for a pound of butter. And, if you were low on booze and aunt Helen was coming for dinner you were simply out of luck. You’d have to let her at the good stuff.

So I’m all for opening the stores on Thanksgiving but earlier, like the whole day. In fact, open the stores on Thanksgiving morning, all of the stores, and let people get their shopping jones on. Get it out of their system at the same time all the people planning on hosting a not so Rockwellian Thanksgiving can make one last trip for butter, eggs and some nog for aunt Helen. After they’ve gotten their TV, crappy laptop or the current years Cabbage Patch Kid they can sit down and eat turkey with all their friends and family.

We still live in America, a place where Freedom rings and Liberty sings, right? I know, having the stores open on Thanksgiving means people who work in those stores can’t be with their families. That’s not true, they can reschedule their holiday like all divorced couples have been doing for decades. Life isn’t fair, there are always people who have to work on holidays. If they really didn’t want to work on Thanksgiving they could look for a job that wasn’t in the service industry.  I’m sick of political correctness dictating everything we do in this country.

Why is this even being debated and boycotted? If you want to spend your Thanksgiving shopping then by all means have at it. You’re putting more money into the economy and probably more than you can afford – if that isn’t he American way I don’t know what is. If you don’t want to shop on Thanksgiving spend it with your family or on the couch binge watching episodes of Game of Thrones, that’s a nice family show, right?

Spend your Thanksgiving anyway you want. That’s the great thing about the holiday, it’s about being thankful, it doesn’t matter what you’re thankful for, just as long as you are. And if you aren’t thankful for being lucky enough to live in a country where you can afford to blow off your family so you can spend money you don’t really have on crap you don’t need I don’t what there is to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Stores that are open on Thanksgiving:





JC Penney


Best Buy


Toys R Us

Sports Authority

Staples (You know, in case you just have to get some paper clips or a three ring punch)

Stores that will be closed on Thanksgiving:

Ace Hardware

Barnes & Noble



Crate and Barrel

Neiman Marcus



Bed Bath & Beyond

Burlington Coat Factory


Dumb Shit I Do Events Food No Carbs Things I Really Like Things that piss me off

30 Days Without Wine and Chocolate: Day 2

February 19, 2014
bottle of aspirin, image of a bottle of aspirin, image of a bottle of aspirin from CVS

It’s been two days without wine and chocolate and so far it’s not so bad.

That’s a lie. It is bad but not because I can’t have wine or chocolate but because I have learned that I use wine and/or chocolate like I did cigarettes. I can handle the stresses of the day because I know at the end of the day I’m going to have a glass of wine and a few pieces of chocolate and that makes getting through the stress possible. I don’t need to wine or chocolate during the stress but knowing they are going to happen makes the stress bearable.

It’s bad because I have to deal with the stress and because I’m not having the wine I’m actually not eating the extra calories so I am hungry. Not real hunger, mind you, but hunger that my body uses to get me to eat junk.

I’m tired and cold and I have a headache and I know if I were to eat something sweet (like chocolate) I’d get rid of all those side effects of not eating garbage. The ironic thing is that I don’t feel hungry in my stomach. It’s all emotional and psychological.



Dumb Shit I Do Events Food No Carbs Things that piss me off Winter

30 Days Without Wine and Chocolate: Day 1*

February 18, 2014
Valentine's Day chocolate in the garbage, image of red heart Valentine's Day candy in the trash bin,

It’s been a whole day without wine and chocolate. I feel ok but it’s winter outside and that makes me want to carb load. Yesterday was worse because I had to shovel 4 inches of wet snow (my neighbor was kind enough to do the front but I still had to do the back – I have awesome neighbors!) but it was the beginning of this 30 days without wine or chocolate so I was able to get through it easily.

I don’t have to shovel today but it’s still winter (which sucks the big one) and it’s dark outside and it seems like school has been out for three years.

(I’m sorry, this wasn’t supposed to be a complete bitch fest the first day)

I went through the house and threw away all the chocolate. We just had three birthdays and Valentine’s Day so there was a fair amount of chocolate in the house. I also threw away the leftover Halloween candy which I had stuffed into the china cabinet last November, though everyone had forgotten about it.

I’m not throwing away the wine. I’m committed but I’m not insane.

It’s only been one day but not having the wine made not having the chocolate (or any other carb) much easier.

29 days to go.

*I can’t tell you how long I struggled with that colon in the title. In fact I’m still sure I am using it incorrectly but I’m so crabby I don’t really care. If I’m using it wrong please correct me.

Contests Food Things I Really Like

Celebrate National Coffee Day with Gevalia K-Cups

September 27, 2013

National Coffee Day is this Sunday! If you have a Keurig (and if you don’t you should really get one) you can celebrate this day with a cup of coffee that tastes like you got it at the corner coffee shop. Gevalia Coffee has released a revolutionary two-step single-serve café-style coffee beverages – made from real milk – to empower coffee lovers to enjoy a Cappuccino, Caramel Macchiato or Mocha Latte from their Keurig K-Cup brewers at home.

The process is simple – you brew your coffee like you normally would but you add the contents of a packet included with your K-Cup before you brew. Simply add the contents of the packet to the cup and then brew as you normally would.

The first one I tried was the Mocha Latte. I have to admit I didn’t have high hopes for the actual coffee. I figured it would be powdery or grainy and was delighted to find it was neither. The Mocha Latte was actually as good, if not better, that the one I had at the big name coffee shop the day before. It was actually better, didn’t taste bitter at all and it was a whole lot less expensive.

I was surprised at how frothy the coffee was. It was rich and smooth, just like I’d expect if I paid $4 for it. And at 80 calories a serving it made a perfect treat without spoiling my diet.

The other two flavors Caramel Macchiato and Cappuccino were just as tasty, though my favorite is the Mocha Latte.

Taste for yourself — visit for more information and a free sample of Gevalia Mocha Latte starting on National Coffee Day, September 29.

Gevalia café-style beverages come in three delicious varieties, all made from real milk:Gevalia K-Cups

  • Mocha Latte — A creamy, perfectly balanced blend of cocoa and coffee topped with a velvety layer of foam
  • Caramel Macchiato — Creamy and smooth, with the indulgent flavor of caramel, topped with a velvety layer of foam
  • Cappuccino — Smooth, mildly sweet with subtle roasted coffee notes, topped with a velvety layer of foam

Gevalia café-style beverages are available for purchase in six packs ($8.49 SRP) and nine packs ($11.99 SRP) at grocery, drug and mass retailers nationwide, as well as online at

If you’d like a chance to win a free box of your favorite flavor of Gevalia café-style K-Cups coffee leave a comment telling my your favorite flavor and I’ll choose one at random. The winner will be chosen October 4th. Like my book Minnesota Nice on Facebook for an extra entry.

This post is brought to you by Gevalia Coffee from Kraft Foods and The Motherhood. I received a sample of Gevalia Coffee and I’ve been compensated for my time. All opinions are my own.

Advice Food Things I Really Like

Shelf Safe Milk: Easy and Convenient – Tasty Too!

August 6, 2013
milk unleashed logo

Even though I haven’t written about out trip to the Badlands yet it would have been challenging to find healthy meals on the go, at a reasonable cost, if it hadn’t been for shelf safe milk.

I am participating in a Milk Unleashed review of shelf safe milk in an effort to get the word out about how safe, convenient and tasty shelf safe milk is. I purchased my shelf safe milk at Costco but you can find it in most grocery stores these days. I’ve found it in the refrigerator even though it doesn’t need to be there.

We packed the car up with a couple of coolers but those were mostly meant for my beloved Diet Coke (yes, I am off the wagon – again) which can only be consumed ice cold. The coolers were also the place we kept the corn suckers from the Corn Palace and the shelf safe milk.

how is shelf safe milk produced, process of shelf safe milk

I knew I didn’t have to keep the milk in a cooler. I knew that the milk, chocolate in this case, was perfectly safe to drink at room temperature because of the way it is processed and the way it is packaged. The only problem was that I chose to take this vacation during the hottest week of the year and South Dakota has no trees. That might now sound like a big deal but for those of you who come from places with trees — it means they had no shade. Shade is a good thing, it keeps things less hot.

So I knew I didn’t have to keep the shelf safe milk in the cooler but I also knew that no one wanted to drink warm milk on the hottest day of the year.

So in the cooler (really just a large container of ice water) it went.

Let me just say this; the juice boxes didn’t fare as well as the shelf safe chocolate milk. The juice boxes were soggy and difficult to puncture with the straw. The shelf safe milk was just as sturdy as before it went into the cooler, even after hours of swimming in ice water.

how shelf safe milk is packaged, how shelf safe milk is prepared, packaging for shelf safe milk

The reason for this is due to the packaging as you can see in this really cool illustration.

Before this trip I’d never tried shelf safe milk. Okay, that isn’t true, we bought some once in Mexico years ago where it’s quite common to buy milk not from the refrigeration section. It wasn’t bad and I remember thinking how convenient it would be to have milk that could be stored in the pantry instead of the fridge. Unfortunately the U.S. has been really late to the shelf safe milk party.

The milk was not only good but it was great. Now, that may have been the chocolate milk that was so good but I am pretty sure the white milk is good too.

I’ve not been much of a milk drinker since I discovered dieting in my teens. I made the mistake of replacing the milk in my diet with Tab because I thought I was saving calories. I was but not many and the cost is probably pretty high. Thankfully I replaced most of the food in my diet with cottage cheese so I was still getting calcium. Another reason I stopped drinking milk was because milk was an iffy thing. We got our milk from the milkman, like a lot of people did back then, and you never really knew how long it sat outside.

You only have to drink out of the carton once, take a huge swig of sour milk, and decide maybe there are better things to drink.

I forgot how much I actually like milk and now that I know, for sure, that it isn’t going taste all nasty sour, I can enjoy it any time.

And so can you. Below is a list of all the different shelf safe milks, some you’ve probably already tried.

Resources for moms:



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Kicking the Diet Coke Addiction: Day One

March 11, 2013

It’s been over 24 hours since I had my last Diet Coke.

I’m feeling pretty good about it so far. I’ve had a low grade headache but so far I’m not as irritable as I thought I would be. I’m extremely tired but I think that may have more to do with the recent change to Daylight Saving Time.

Why did I give up Diet Coke?

I gave up Diet Coke and other diet pop, because it didn’t prevent me from gaining weight, I drank way too much of it and I didn’t even like the taste of it. I also have a sneaking feeling that all the Diet Coke is contributing to my muscle aches and joint pain. I don’t know this for sure but since I can’t seem to find any other cause it might be the reason.

I’ve been drinking diet pop since my grandmother gave me my first Tab when I was in 3rd grade. The addiction was swift and easy. She thought she was helping, I was a little on the chunky side and diet pop seemed to be a good idea.

I’ve read and heard over the years that Diet Coke actually makes you gain weight because it makes you crave sweets. I’ve heard that too much of it can cause headaches. And, I’ve heard too many stories of people who say they are addicted to it.

Here are just a few of the 92 different side effects associated with Aspertame:

  • Tinnitus – ringing or buzzing sound in the ear (I occasionally have this happen)
  • Paresthesia or numbness of the limbs (I have carpal tunnel so sever it wakes me in the middle of the night)
  • Fibromyalgia (in the last year I have all kinds of unexplained pain. Not severe but it doesn’t feel good)
  • Hypothyroidism (I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism when I was 20, 4 years after Diet Coke was introduced)
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (I’m always in need of a nap)
  • Increased craving for sweets (Chocolate is one of my best friends. Chocolate with Diet Coke is like crack)
  • Excessive thirst, fluid retention, leg swelling, and bloating (Attributed this to the chocolate and fatigue)
  • Aggravated low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) (If I don’t eat I get really bad low blood sugar)
  • Gradual weight gain (The scale seems to only go in one direction)

Those are just some! Click here to see the full list of Aspertame Side Effects.

I don’t know if all of my maladies are caused by over consumption of Diet Coke but I know I drink too much of it. The problem is I can’t cut back. I could’t do it with cigarettes and I can’t do it with Diet Coke. I have to quit cold turkey or I will never be able to give up my 5 can a day Diet Coke habit.

I don’t even like the taste of it!

So, I’m giving it up…again.

I’ve tried this before. Just read the comments on this post to know that I am not the only one addicted to this stuff.

Keep your fingers crossed that I make it longer than I have in the past which has been about 3 days. Even as I type this I am having trouble concentrating and making tons of mistakes. You might notice I have little sense of humor. All I really want to do is curl up under my covers and take a nap until the Diet Coke Withdrawal goes away.

I know I can do this, I’ve kicked the smoking habit cold turkey so I know I can give up Diet Coke.

Have you managed to give up Diet Coke or any Diet soft drink? Do you notice any of these side effects from drinking too much of it?



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Events Food Things I Really Like

National Pancake Day and Free Pancakes at IHOP!

February 28, 2012

We’re a waffle kind of family but that’s only because my kitchen is so small there is no place to put a pancake griddle. A waffle iron is much smaller and easier to store. Not today, today we are going to get our Pancake on. Today is National Pancake Day and you can celebrate by going to IHOP and getting some free pancakes.

IHOP has been celebrating National Pancake Day since 2006. On February 28, 2012, guests from around the country are invited to celebrate National Pancake Day at IHOP and enjoy a free short stack of Buttermilk pancakes. In return for the free pancakes, guests are asked to consider leaving a donation for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals© and other designated local charities.

The goal this year is to reach $2.7 million.

Use this handy IHOP locater to find your nearest IHOP.

Blogging Food Kids Things that piss me off

Is Macaroni and Cheese the New Cupcake? And Does That Mean The Economy is on the Upswing?

January 24, 2012

Remember when cupcakes appeared on the scene? Suddenly cupcakes were everywhere. Stores opened up on the street selling just cupcakes (wtf?!) and reality shows were produced on a scale second to rednecks blowing up things on the History Channel. Cupcakes were everywhere. Pretty little things, too cute to eat.

Cupcakes a great investment

I attended an event for women entrepreneurs last year filled with nothing but young women (and young businesses) who made little cupcakes. Not even the standard sized cupcake but the mini one. What you missed, calorie wise, with little cake was more than made up for in frosting and fondant.

What a great ROI cupcakes provide. A box of Betty Crocker cake mix goes for about $1.50 with a tub of frosting often on sale for 99 cents. You could make two dozen normal cupcakes or 24 of the mini ones and sell them for a buck a piece.

It kills me that people will get upset when gas goes up a few cents per gallon but will throw down a green back for 1 mini cupcake.

Let them eat cake

Economists suggest that now that cakes, full size cakes or better, are making their way back in bakeries and reality tv, it means the economy has made that crucial turn for the better. If more people buy cake than cupcakes it obviously means the people are feeling more confident about the economy.

There have been rumblings on the web lately about Macaroni and Cheese. Suddenly the comfort food is everywhere; made with exotic cheeses, cream and (gasp) real butter. While Kraft has done everything to reduce the calories (and taste) from it’s iconic blue box of heaven others are making the dish that reminds us all of grandma with expensive and indulgent ingredients.

Boxed or Homemade?

Articles are appearing on the web about the cheesy goodness and in fact there have been a smack down or two started over which is better.

Bloggers Nicky (We Work For Cheese) and Margaret (Nanny Goats In Panties) got into a heated debate recently about the best mac and cheese recipe resulting in a yet to be determined cook off. My money is on the goat. Sure Nicky works for cheese and has a well developed pallet but she’s Canadian and they don’t know anything about comfort food, American comfort food that is.

Margaret isn’t the best of cooks but I bet even she can throw together a box of Mac and Cheese.

I suspect we will be seeing gourmet macaroni and cheese shops popping up along the trendier streets. These may or may not be sit down restaurants, more likely a take out kind of place where you get a fancy pan in addition to your mac and cheese. Of course tied with a ribbon. Trust me, you will be able to shell out $10 for a cooked pan of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

This is America, for crying out loud.

*This post was inspired by an article on a national news site about mac and cheese (along with all the bickering between Nicky and Margaret) as well as the fact that we Americans will pay tons of money for anything that is mini, wrapped with a ribbon or just packaged differently. We don’t consider how much the contents of that pretty presentation cost.

That rant was inspired by my trip to CVS yesterday. I had to switch pharmacies and ended up at a CVS with a Starbucks across the hall. Even though I had called in my prescriptions four hours earlier they weren’t ready when my daughter and I arrived. After being told there would be a 15 minute wait (even though they had signage all over the pharmacy proclaiming that prescriptions would be filled within 15 minutes – guaranteed) so we went to the Starbucks across the hall where I paid $1.95 for a cookie (which wasn’t finished) and $1.75 for organic chocolate milk (because that’s all they have though I will say the barista suggested, after the milk had been cracked open, that next time we ask them to mix a chocolate milk and save a whopping .50). I bought those things for my daughter because I refused to buy her the apple sauce in the squeeze container. Organic apple sauce for sure but I’ll be damned if I pay $2.95 for half a cup of applesauce. Apple sauce that is only being purchased for the novelty. 

Food No Carbs Things I Really Like

Let me eat cake!

January 17, 2012

(Do you have any idea how many people, when writing about cake, use the title ‘Let them eat cake’? Lots, so I changed the title of this post to something more accurate but less French.)

Today is my birthday and I am going to have cake!

I’ve never been so excited about cake before but that’s what happens when you give up carbs for New Year’s. For those of you who still eat carbs (you suck) you have no idea what it’s like to go a whole 16 days without carbs. Specifically chocolate.

I’m pretty sure we weren’t meant to do that.

I’m not a huge cake fan, certainly not like Cardiogirl who lives for cake. In fact she knows that cakes often get thrown out over in this house and suggested I send the leftover birthday cake to her. I may just do that.

Deny yourself something and it starts looking really good. Who knew?

I have been thinking about cake, birthday cake, for the last three or four days. I’ve been so looking forward to my day with cake that I’ve been unable to concentrate on much of anything. I watched two episodes of Cake Boss last night and even Cupcake Wars. If you saw my Facebook status update last night you know that both Armageddon and Die Hard were on TV last night (my all time favorite movies and no I don’t have a thing for Bruce Willis {okay, maybe just a little leftover crush from the days of Moonlighting but now that he has been with Demi he’s kinda tainted in my book even though he seems really mellow}) so for me to watch shows about baking instead of the awesomeness that is Bruce Willis saving the world is pretty telling. I won’t even get started on what a waste of time shows about baking are. Is there really that much arguing and fighting going on in bakeries?

Even bad cake is good cake

I don’t know what kind of cake I am going to have but I can tell you that since I will be the one who has to bake it it won’t look like the cakes on those TV shows. It will be a bundt cake because I can’t find my other cake pans. Being a bundt cake means it will be all misshapen on the sides because cakes never come out of the pan without ripping apart. I don’t even care because cake is like sex. Even bad cake is good cake. I suspect it will be chocolate.

So here is to me and my cake on my birthday!


How Can You Tell When The Pasta Is Ready?

August 9, 2010
pasta on the ceiling, how to tell when the pasta is ready

Most cooking directions for pasta will tell you to cook the noodles for 7-10 minutes to get al dente pasta. Al dente pasta is pasta that is firm but not crunchy. Most of the time I end up with mushy pasta because I don’t use a timer, I will glance at the clock over the stove, so I know how long to cook the noodles, but then I go into my office where the clock is off by a few minutes.
I will pull out a piece of the pasta to taste it for consistency but it’s usually too hot to put in my mouth so I put it on a plate to cool off. By the time I remember about tasting it it has cooled down so much that it has actually lost it’s mushiness, meanwhile the pasta in the pot is still cooking beyond mushy.

The secret to knowing when the pasta is ready, and not burning the hell out of your mouth, is to fling a piece of it up on the ceiling, if it sticks to the ceiling the pasta is ready.

When the pasta sticks to the ceiling it is perfect. If it doesn’t stick you need to cook it longer. Ideally the pasta will stick for a few minutes and then fall off. If it doesn’t fall off after a few minutes you have overcooked your pasta but then it’s too late anyway and you are having mushy pasta.

We’ve been having a lot of mushy pasta lately.

Both kids love to test the pasta so it is a wonder there isn’t more on the ceiling.  Unfortunately they think you can test anything this way so they are constantly flinging food up to the ceiling to see if it sticks. Thankfully pancakes and cookies are too heavy and fall back down, whether they are ready or not.

I’m sure you are wondering why I haven’t gotten the stuck on pasta off my ceiling. I’m wondering the same thing too. I knew I had to take a picture of it for the blog so it stayed up for that reason but pretty much laziness and a mild curiosity to see how much pasta would be up there by the end of the summer. I like pasta salads.

I have to say this: The spiral macaroni is from Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, the spiral kind. I hate the spiral kind as much as I hate the cartoon character type of Mac and Cheese. They don’t taste any different but they cost more and you get less. I don’t know why this is, it can’t cost more to squeeze our Sponge Bob macaroni at this point. Maybe when they first started making Sponge Bob mac and cheese but it’s been several years that my kids have been begging for cartoon shaped pasta, I am sure they have recovered the cost of the new mold/play doh pumper thingy they use to make the shapes.

So there you have it, pasta is ready when it sticks to the ceiling.

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