What You Write About When You Don’t Have a Kitchen

Or, in other words, what you write about if you are me.

For the past month I have made things in a toaster oven, a crock pot, or on a griddle.  Or I have gone to my mother’s house and hijacked her oven. None of these options are ideal. But in the end, this kitchen transformation will totally be worth it (lather, rinse, repeat). It will! And just because I am such a sharing person, I am going to walk you all through each of the steps, so that you, too can share in the torture.


Just not today.

Instead, I am just going to share with you some things that have been on my mind – some food related, some not.

First up – BelVita. Jon brought home a box of BelVita “biscuits” several weeks ago. He intended for them to be his on-the-go breakfast, but…I stole them. Of the three flavors I’ve tried, Blueberry wins. Apple Cinnamon is a close second. Have you tried them? They are cookies, but healthy, and the fact that they are called “biscuits” (which I guess is a European thing) makes it A-OK in my book to eat them at any time of day. I fully intend to crunch some up eventually and make a pie crust with them. The only problem is that we eat them all and I never have any left with which to make a pie.

Not that I have an oven.

imageNext up – a contest. You know I love Johnsonville. I use it all the time. Johnsonville recently launched an Italian Inspiration recipe contest on the Johnsonville Kitchens Facebook Page. The contest asks participants to post a photo of their unique “Italian Inspired” recipe incorporating Johnsonville Italian Sausage. The grand prize is a culinary trip for two to Abruzzo, Italy courtesy of CookingVacations.com! Why don’t YOU enter the contest? If you DO, come back here and tell me, and we’ll get you some Johnsonville coupons that will net you some free sausage. What do you have to lose?

imageAre you crafty? A DIYer? Me too, or I like to think I am! I have become smitten with the new Lowe’s Creative Ideas App. Full of great ideas (so clever!) and the best part? It is FREE.

Free is my favorite price, though I would have paid for this little gem. I think you will agree.

imageGetting Lippy. You may have noticed – I have a lot of lip. (hahaha) But really, I do. I am a chapstick junkie, whether it’s coconut, or cherry, or medicinal – I have used it all, with varying effects. I just started using Aquaphor Lip Repair though (and their lotion too – nice!) – and while it doesn’t taste like anything, it WORKS. Softer, less cracked (even from the torturous hours spent at the theme parks in Florida last week) – so, I am a new fan. My lipstick even goes on better now! I love the stuff so much I am going to give a bunch of it away, I think. So, go on over to my Facebook Page, become a fan (if you aren’t already), and leave me a little note on my wall. I’ll choose, ummmm, 4 people at random to win, plus I’ll send some to the comment that makes me laugh. I’m not announcing anything over there yet, so, scoot on over and do it now to beat the crowds. (Man, I am cracking myself up. Crowds. That’s funny.)

This past weekend we celebrated Jon’s Nonna’s 89th Birthday. It was my job to create the cake. What do you make for an 89 year old Italian lady? Not cutesy. Not bright.

I fretted over it for weeks.


The night before we took it to her, I stayed up until 2 (at my parents, hello – no oven at home) and decorated. Hours and hours. I did two tiers. The bottom tier I hand painted in black and gold, in a kind of antique map print. I did the same on the upper tier, but added antiqued photos of her home town in Italy.Was it the perfect cake? I don’t know. But it was cried over, and got tasty reviews, so I will take it.

imageMy new computer. I can’t tell you how much I love it. It’s an HP Touchsmart 620. It’s an all-in-one. I can touch it. I can use the keyboard or mouse. It is armed with Microsoft Office,which means I am good to go in case anyone wants to offer me another cookbook (hint hint!). One of the first things I did is download Live Writer, as I honestly can NOT survive without it. Bloggers? You NEED Live Writer. Trust me…it’s a game changer. If you’ve got questions, ask me. I can’t recommend it enough.

But back to my new baby… It’s also a television, with built in DVR. Did I mention it’s a 23 inch screen? Did I mention it is also 3D? It even has a 3D camera! So, guess what has taken over the 7 inch TV in my kitchen? As for sound, it’s amazing. Computers rarely have quality sound, but this bad boy rocks. I listen to Pandora practically all day, and this HP has made it such a great experience.

I’m still learning about all it has to offer, and I swear I learn something new every day. Let’s just say, I’m already in love.

Speaking of Pandora – I’ve created the perfect station. “Someone Like You” by Adele is my ONLY input. The station has not failed me yet. I’m a moody chick, and the music suits me. A little bit edgy, a little country, a little Coldplay – it’s all there and I LOVE it.

Dance Moms. I don’t dance. I don’t have a child that dances. I don’t really even like reality TV. But this crazy show has lured me in. Between that and Mudcats, I’m one marathon away from becoming bipolar. If you catch me out in a muddy river up to my eyeballs in catfish bites, yelling at my noodling friends that I’m going to sue them or join the Candy Apples if they don’t stop talking about my engagement ring – send help.

I know you all will be glad when I am back to recipes and giveaway. I suggest you start a prayer circle now – the appliances are supposed to be here Monday! That will get me a long way in the process…followed by the additional cabinets, potfiller, sink, faucet, and finally…new granite.

I need a nap.

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