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Archive for June, 2009

kidMy favorite holiday is this week! I’ve always loved the 4th of July – the parades, the patriotism, the fireworks, the flags, the friends…and of course, the food!

Typically, our Independence Day starts with our local parade, which anyone in our community who is not at the cabin attends. (Some people – myself notincluded – reserve their spots the night before.) When the veterans go by, I can pretty much guarantee Max will turn to me and say, “Mom, you’re crying aren’t you?” Yes, Max I am…can’t help it.

After the parade, it’s off to my friend Ann’s house for her family’s annual 4th of July party. (Ann is practically a party-throwing professional and also probably the most organized person I know. She will be making future appearances in this blog.)

Anyhow, back to the party: While you don’t have to bring anything to this event, most people do…so this year, I’m planning on bringing my super-easy, crowd-pleasing dessert. (It’s so easy it’s almost embarrassing, but like I said, everyone loves it so I take all the credit for preparing such a delicious sweet treat.) And because of my generous nature, I’m giving you – my loyal blog reader – the secret “recipe.” Let’s call it “Angie’s Incredible Independence Day Delicious Delicacies.” What? Too much? OK, how about “Brownie Bites with Berries.”

Here’s what you need to be the star of your 4th of July festivities:

  1. Brownie bites
  2. Cream cheese frosting (white)
  3. Raspberries and blueberries

Put a bit of frosting on each brownie bite and top with either a raspberry or blueberry. That’s it. Then, you put them on a cute red, white and blue plate and get ready to hear the most oohs and ahhs…until the fireworks, that is!

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izzysOur beloved Izzy’s Ice Cream, the one we cherish so dearly, has been named one of the nation’s nine best by MSN.com!

Ever since we started carrying Izzy’s, it has been a favorite among customers. My wife learned of its grandeur early on. Now at our customer Open Houses she bolts straight for the Izzy’s table, and yes, they know her by first name. Me, I’m a traditional ice cream kinda guy, and I have to say their vanilla is the best I’ve ever had. Is it bad to crave ice cream at ten in the morning?

Anyway, we love Izzy’s, they are one of our Local Favorites, and kudos to them for being recognized.

Read the article

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aliceI’ve always wanted an “Alice.” You know, like Carol Brady’s Alice. The Brady’s house was always clean, meals were prepared, bag lunches were made each day. But the beauty was that Carol still felt like she was contributing to the cause; she would tag along while Alice bought the groceries (or the meat from the butcher shop), or stir the spaghetti sauce (that Alice had made from scratch.)

It’s in this way that I’m like Carol Brady. It’s not that I don’t want to doanything. I just don’t want to doeverything. I like to cook for my family. I like knowing that I’ve given them healthy, fresh meal and snack options. I even like making the kids their bag lunches. It’s just that sometimes I’d like a little help.

Well, today my “Alice” arrived. No, Alice didn’t wear a frumpy blue smock. Alice drove a bright yellow truck…and his name was Brent.

My very first CobornsDelivers.com delivery arrived today!

Because I was home, Brent helped me unload the groceries from the bins (very Alice-like, if you ask me.) Had I not been home, no worries, because the bins are insulated and come with dry ice for the frozen foods – so even on a scorcher like today, my food would have been just fine.

Just so we’re clear, my house in no way resembles the tidy Brady abode at 4222 Clinton Way. Yes, my house could stand some cleaning, there’s still laundry to be done, but now there’s one less thing on my to-do list this week.

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Food recalls…not fun. As a consumer, they totally throw me for a loop: did I buy that product? What exactly were the dates? In the past, when in doubt I would throw it out.

With the recent recall of Nestle Toll House Cookie Dough – even though I haven’t baked a cookie in well over a month – I started thinking about that uneasy feeling you get when you’re not quite sure if your purchase was recalled.

Well, guess what? If you use CobornsDelivers.com, you do know if you purchased a recalled item…because CobornsDelivers.com tells you! How cool is that? They keep track of all of your purchases, so if you did purchase Nestle Toll House Cookie Dough recently, you would have received an email from CobornsDelivers.com alerting you that you should dispose of it.

So, even though this most recent recall didn’t affect my family directly, just knowing that food recalls don’t have to take up any of my (already-limited) brain space is a wonderful perk.

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bettysBetty’s Pies of Two Harbors, MN was recently featured in Gourmet Magazine! We love it when our Local Favorites get the attention they deserve. If you’ve never stopped into Betty’s Pies on your way up to Grand Marais or the Boundary Waters put it on your to do list. Not heading north anytime soon? You’re in luck, we carry them, and they’re on sale!

Shop Betty’s Pies

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I’ve taken enough ECFE classes to know that engaging kids in meal planning and preparation has many benefits – not the least of which is that they’ll be more likely to eat what’s served – and hopefully, try some new things. It’s something I know I should do, but until now, hadn’t.

So my big idea last night was to spend dinnertime with the kids talking about our new meal/grocery shopping strategy to get their buy-in on the whole meal planning thing. This is the kind of thing that they could get excited about so I was optimistic about this exercise.

It started out a little rough: My almost 10-year-old son’s food suggestions consisted mainly of candy bars and the occasional frozen food. The more outlandish his suggestions were, the more hilarious he became (in his own mind.) Yes, Baby Ruths for dinner…always a good choice.

So, I decided to move to the 7 year old: OK Maggie – what are somehealthy foods you’d like for lunch, dinner or snacks? Her response: “I love Scottish cheese. Can we order that?” Um…I don’t even know what you’re talking about and I’m pretty sure we can’t get it here in Minnesota. Well, in a matter of minutes we realized she was talking about cottage cheese, which led to some intense teasing from her brother: “I can’t believe you thought it was Scottish cheese!?!”

Hey – at least it’s healthy.

But believe it or not, we came up with a pretty good menu for the week – which included quite a bit of fresh fruit and veggies and even grilled salmon on tap for Monday night. Ordering was a breeze…I think I might just be getting a hang of this planning thing…

P.S. I did not order any Baby Ruths. I did, however, purchase the cottage cheese.

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By nature, I’m not a planner.  While spontaneity and flexibility can be fun, I’m realizing that now more than ever, I need to take the time to plan certain aspects of my life. One area that I know I can do better is with my meal planning and grocery shopping.

On any given day, the scenario in my house looks something like this: I get home from work, I’m hungry and the kids are hungry – and since I don’t have anything prepared or planned for dinner, we’ll eat out or run to the neighborhood grocery store and pick up some items for dinner. And again, every once in a while this can be fun, but as I started to take a closer look at my budget and how much my lack of planning was costing me, I decided to make some changes.

I’ve also found that just getting to the grocery store has become increasingly challenging for me – hence, the last-minute trips. I’m a new CobornsDelivers.com customer and I’m hoping that by shopping online, I will have to plan ahead and will save myself the time and money spent on those trips to the store. It means that I won’t be walking around the store hungry (with two hungry kids) grabbing whatever looks good. (Those impulse buys really add up!)

Signing up was a cinch…and I’m placing my first order today. Be sure to check in on future blogs to follow my progress as a meal-planning, budget-watching, trying-to-put-something reasonably healthy-on-the-table mom.

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