Thanks to the Girl Scouts this morning for sharing yet another way to enjoy their delicious Girl Scout Cookies!Â The Shout Outs Fudge Bark, pictured here, isÂ easy to make (and easy to customize to your family's taste!).Â Melt white chocolate chips for the bottom layer.Â Then melt chocolate chips for the next layer.Â Top with cranberries, golden raisins and crushed Shout Outs Girl Scout Cookies.Â Yum!Â For other Girl Scout Cookie cooking options, like the Thin Mints Pizza and the Fudgy Peanut Butter Balls,Â click here.
1. Preheat oven to 350.Â In a large skillet cook onion, chile peppers and garlic in hot oil over medium heat until onion and peppers are soft (about 4 minutes).Â Add chicken, oregano, cumin salt, cinnamon and cloves; mix well.Â Set aside.
2.Â Wrap tortillas in foil and heat in oven, about 10 minutes, to soften.Â Reduce oven temp to 300.Â Remove tortillas from oven.Â Work with one tortilla at a time andÂ fill each with about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture.Â Roll up tightly and secure with a wooden toothpick.
3.Â Pour 1 inch veg oil into a large skillet, heat to medium heat.Â Fry flautas, three or four at a time, until crisp and golden, turning once.Â Remove flautas from oil; drain oil out the ends.Â Drain on paper towels.Â Keep cooked flautas warm on the oven while frying remaining flautas.
4.Â Remove the wooden toothpicks.Â Serve with salsa, sour cream and guacamole!
A great combination sure to please even the pickiest of palates, pizza pastaÂ is an "instant classic" (love a good oxymoron, don't you?)!Â Â And you can changeÂ the recipeÂ to fit your family's pizza tastes, like adding mushrooms.Â
2 cups spiral pasta
1 lb ground beef (I use the lean stuff, 90%)
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 can tomato puree (15 oz)
1/2 cup diced pepperoni
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp onion powder
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Cook the pasta accordingÂ to package directions.Â Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook the beef, onion and green pepper over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink.Â Drain.Â Add the tomato puree, pepperoni and seasonings.Â Cook and stir for 5 minutes.
Drain the pasta.Â Stir the pasta into the meat mixture and heat through.Â Sprinkle with cheese.Â Remove from heat, cover and let stand until cheese is melted.
Â Â Â Â Threw together all the right ingredients last night for this satisfying stew.Â I thought we'd haveÂ leftovers but it was soooo tasty...my husband had two big bowls!Â Â One serving did make it to the tupperware (and I'll be lunching on that later!).
1 pound beef stew meat (seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder and dash of cayenne pepper)
3 red and 3 yukon gold potatoes, diced big with skins on
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot (or 6 baby carrots), sliced
4 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon cornstarch (blended with 1/4 cup water)
seasonings, like salt and pepper, to taste
Brown seasoned meat in a dutch oven,Â mix inÂ onion and potatoes.Â Add beef broth and bay leaves, bring to a boil.Â Reduce heat to low and simmer for an hour.Â Add carrots, simmer for another hour.Â Remove bay leaves and add prepared cornstarch.Â Stir occasionally and let thicken (about 15 minutes).Â Season to taste and serve with soup/oyster crackers.
When a recipe ends with "bake until golden brown and bubbly"...I'm in!Â Using canned peaches may turn off purists but, trust me, this dish is delish.Â Grab these ingredients and go!
For the "crust':
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, cubed
For the "filling":
2 cans sliced peaches
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
For the "topping":
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
5 tablespoons butter, cubed
For the crust, combine the flour, brown sugar and salt in a large bowl.Â Cut inÂ butter until crumbly.Â Pat into a greased 9 in. square baking pan.Â Bake at 350 for 15 minutes (or until lightly browned).
Meanwhile, drain the peaches and reserve juice in a small-saucepan.Â Stir in sugar and cornstarch until smooth.Â Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.Â Remove from the heat and stir in the peaches.
Pour mixture into crust.Â For the topping, combine oats, brown sugar and flour.Â Cut in the butter until crumbly.Â Sprinkle over filling.Â Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.
Â Â Â Â Two of my favorite things, together in one delicious dish!Â Cleanup is a breeze but I doubt there will be any leftovers.Â Recipe serves six.
3 cups rotini pasta
1 pound lean ground beef
2 cups chopped sweet red peppers
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 envelope taco seasoning
2 1/4 cups milk
8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
Top with torilla chips!
1. Cook the rotini according to its package.Â Meanwhile, inÂ a Dutch oven, cook the beef and red peppers over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink; drain.
2.Â Stir in the butter, flour and taco seasoning until blended.Â Stir in milk, gradually.Â Bring to a boil; cook and stir for about 2 minutes until it thickens nicely.Â Remove from heat.Â Stir in cheese and keep lightly stirring until cheese melts.
3.Â Drain rotini; add it to the beef mixture and stir to coat.Â Serve topped with crushed tortilla chips and a crank or two from your black pepper grinder.
Â Â Â Â So, I may not be able to enter and win but YOU sure can.Â The Big Cheese Cook-off is a grilled cheese sandwich contest from Madison Magazine and the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.Â It's finale will be at the Food & Wine Show, two weekends from now.Â After reading the rules carefully...I can't compete.Â But feel free to steal my grilled cheese secrets.
#1--english muffin bread!
#2--a smear of chive and onion cream cheese, on the inside of one piece
#3--a small dollop of mustard on the inside of the other piece
#4--a razor-thin slice of red onion, down on the cream cheese side
#5--one slice of Wisconsin Havarti, on top of the red onion
#6--one slice of Wisconsin cheddar,Â on the mustard side
Lightly butter the outside before cooking.Â You won't need much butter because theÂ english muffin bread toasts up so nicely!Â You're welcome and good luck.
Â Â Â Â Since the answer to today's Brain Strain was "mayonnaise", it got me thinking of all the things I love with mayo.Â Tuna tops the list!Â Here's a jazzed up tunafish sandwich--loads of veggies for crunch and served hot from the oven.
1 can water-packed tuna, drained
1/2 cup frozen mixed veggies, thawed and chopped
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ranch salad dressing mix
4Â small hamburger buns, split
Combine everything (except the buns) in a bowl.Â Spoon tuna mixture onto bottom buns and replace tops.Â Put each sandwich on a piece of heavy duty foil, fold around and seal tightly.Â Place foil packets on a baking sheet and bake at 400 for ten minutes (or until heated through).Â Serve with fresh fruit and chips!
Â Â Â Â Time for the Dane County Humane Society's annual fall FUNdraiser...Dogtoberfest!Â Happening Sunday from 11-5 at the Capital Brewery's outdoor beer garden in Middleton, Dogtoberfest is games, contests, live music and entertainment.Â Bring your nice dog and $5--that's what you'll be giving directly to DCHS for the care of homeless animals in our area.Â
Â Â Â Â The tailwagging contest is at 11:30, hot dog eating is at 1, costume contest is at 2 and musical squares is at 3.Â And there's live music from The SoapBox Project and Mighty Short Bus throughout the event.Â Don't worry Packers fans...the game will be on as well!
Â Â Â Â Seemed to be a record year for my friends who grow their own tomatoes.Â If you're looking for a way to use up your high-yield, try this easy (and tasty!) recipe.
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup grated parmesan/romano cheese blend
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon each salt and minced garlic
4 large tomatoes
CombineÂ everything but the tomatoesÂ in a small bowl.Â Cut each tomato into five slices and spread each slice with a tablespoon of the cheese mixture.Â Broil,Â 3 inches from the heat,Â until the cheese mixture is golden brown and the tomatoes are heatedÂ throughout (about 3-5 minutes).
Â Â Â Â My guy has been under the weather for almost a week--you know it's bad when I've made this soup for him twice already!Â Quick cooking, completely comforting chicken soup (with broken spaghetti), this recipe is sure to make you feel better fast.
4 cups chicken broth (I make mine from bouillon cubes and water but I only use two cubes with the four cups water so it's not too salty)
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 medium white onion, sliced and diced
about 5 baby carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced and diced (tiny pieces!)
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 serving spaghetti pasta, broken into small pieces, cooked according to package directions
spices (pepper, garlic powder and herbs) to taste
In your soup pot, saute the onion, pepper and carrots in oil for a few minutes over medium heat.Â Add the broth and bring to a boil.Â Drop chicken breast in soup, reduce heat.Â Simmer until chicken is cooked then shred chicken between two forks and put it back in soup.Â Taste the soup and add spices.Â Bring the heat back up to a slow boil.Â Put your cooked pasta in the bottom of the bowl and ladle the chicken soup on top.Â Serve with crackers and a hug!
Thanks to the lovely ladies of Maplewood Village in Sauk City for sharing this dessert with Scott, Adam and myself this morning.Â And special thanks to Jolene for also allowing me to share the recipe with you right now!Â It serves up to 20 in this particular portion size but feel free to scale it back and make less for a smaller get together.Â Here's what you'll need...
1 chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup Kahlua
2 medium cartons Cool Whip
2 packages chocolate instant pudding mix
3 3/4 cups milk
3 Heath (or Skor) candy bars
Make the cake in a 9x13 pan, let it cool.Â Poke holes over entire cake with a wooden spoon handle and drizzle the Kahlua in the holes.Â Refrigerate for 1/2 hour.Â While that's chilling,Â break upÂ candy bars into pieces and prepare the pudding mix with the milk.Â
Grab a punch bowl, trifle serving dish or other large crystal bowl and start layering!Â Cake, pudding, cool whip and candy.Â Repeat twice (you should have 3 layers with candy on top).Â Keep refrigerated.
Can be served with ice cream scoop or other large serving spoon...ENJOY!!
Â Â Â Â No one will say "No" to these crispy, delightful treats.Â And with only three ingredients, they are simple to put together.
1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/2 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnnamon (combine them)
Lightly flour your surface and roll out one sheet of pastry.Â Sprinkle half your cinnamon sugar over top.Â Roll up the dough, cut into 1/2 inch slices.Â Put on parchment paper lined baking sheet.Â Repeat process with another pastry sheet and the rest of the sugar mixture.Â Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes (until crisp and golden brown).
Â Â Â Â Got an overload of fresh veggies?Â Stir-fry them and add ramen noodles for a delicious dish that works well with grilled chicken for sure.
Â Â Â Â Thinly slice a small sweet red pepper, a yellow summer squash,Â a zucchini, 3/4 cup carrots and 1/4 red onion. Â (You can also add 3/4 green beans to theÂ wok if you've got 'em).Â Stir-fry all in 1 tablespoon of canola oil for about 4 minutes.Â Meanwhile, cook a package (3oz) of ramen noodles (but don't use the seasoning packet--discard it or use it another time).Â Add 1/4 cup chicken broth, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon fajita seasoning to the stir-fry--cook until veggies are crisp tender.Â Drain noodles, add to veggies and stir until blended!
Looking for an easy but also impressive meal?Â Four ingredientsÂ are all you'll need!Â Throw a green salad to the side of these stuffed shellsÂ to round it out.Â Â
1 package (12oz) jumbo pasta shells
1 jar (26oz) of your favorite spaghetti sauce
36 frozen fully cooked Italian meatballs (about 1/2oz each), thawed
2 cups (8oz) shredded part skim mozarella cheese
Cook the pasta; drain and rinse in cold water.Â Put 1/2 cup sauce in a 9Pam-sprayed) baking dish.Â Place a meatball in each shell and then put it in the dish.Â Top all with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with cheese.Â Cover and bake atÂ 350 for 35 minutes.Â Uncover,Â bake 5-10 minutes more untilÂ bubbly with cheese melted.
Â Â Â Â So, all the talk about apples on the air this morning hasÂ me craving 'em something fierce.Â This particular dip is fab for apples because the apples themselves are what you dip!Â Easy to prepare (and be prepared to make another batch 'cause your first one will go fast!).
1 package cream cheese (8oz)
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 jar (7oz) marshmallow creme
Assorted apple wedges
In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter and pumpkin pie spice until well blended; fold in marshmallow creme.Â Serve with a variety of apple wedges!
A man goes out and buys the best car available in the US or Europe, a 2011 Turbo BeepBeep. It is the best in the world, and it runs him $500,000. He takes it out for a spin and, while doing so, stops for a red light. An old man on a moped, both looking about 90 years old, pulls up next to him.
The old man looks over the sleek, shiny surface of the car and asks "What kind of car ya got there, sonny?".
The dude replies "A 2011 Turbo BeepBeep. They cost $500,000."
"That's a lotta money!" says the old man, shocked. "Why does it cost so much?"
"Cause this car can do up to 320 miles an hour!" states the cool dude proudly.
The old man asks "Can I take a look inside?"
"Sure" replies the owner.
So the old man pokes his head in the window and looks around. Leaning back on his moped, the old man says "That's a pretty nice car, alright!"
Just then the light changes, so the guy decides to show the old man what his car can do. He floors it, and within 30 seconds the speedometer reads 320. Suddenly, the guy notices a dot in his rear view mirror. It seems to be getting closer!
Whhhoooooooooossssshhhhhh! Something whips by him! Going maybe three times as fast!
The guy wonders "what on earth could be going faster than my Turbo BeepBeeP?" Then, ahead of him, he sees a dot coming toward him.
Whooooooooooosh! Goes by again! And, it almost looked like the old man on the moped! Couldn't be thinks the guy. How could a moped outrun a Turbo BeepBeep? Again, he sees a dot in his rearview mirror!
WhoooooooshhhhhhhhKa-BbbbblaMMMMM! It plows into the back of his car, demolishing the rear end.
The guy jumps out and discovers it is the old man! Of course, the moped and the old man are hurting for certain. The guy runs up to the dying old man and asks "You're hurt bad! Is there anything I can do for you?"
The old man replies "Yeah. Unhook my suspenders from the side-view mirror on your car!"
Â Â Â Â The 5th annual Dog Paddle at the Goodman Pool is coming up Sunday from 10a-4pm.Â Games, contests, prizes and paddling, of course, help raise money for the Madison Police Department's K9 Unit.Â Admission is $12 per dog...human friends are free!Â Your dog must be licensed and vaccinated, fyi.
Â Â Â Â I am a sucker for headlines like this one...so, of course, I checked out the 30 jobs that pay $30 an hour (or more in some cases!).Â Turns out, I am not really qualified for any of them with my degree in broadcasting.
Â Â Â Â How about you?Â Would you go back and change what you studied in school for a bigger paycheck ?Â Or are you doing just that now?
Â Â Â Â Have you heard of the wonderful work Badger Honor Flight does for our veterans?Â Badger Honor Flight is a regional affiliate of the national Honor Flight Network.Â The purpose of the Honor Flight Network is to ensure that WWII (and terminally ill veterans from any war) have the opportunity to see the memorials that have been erected in their honor.Â The Honor Flight Network provides all amenities to the veterans, including all transportation, meals, and lodging.Â Everything is freeÂ for the veterans.
Â Â Â Â This entire Badger football season, you can support Badger Honor Flight by stopping by the WOLX Tailgate, 1124 Regent St. (Budget Bicycles by Mickey D's).Â We'll play games for prizes, eat good food from My Buddies and have a coldÂ Bud too.Â See you this Thursday, starting at 5pm!
Got a wild hair yesterday for homemade cookies but I couldn't decide between peanut butter and chocolate chip. Â What's a cook to do? Â Combine 'em! Â Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies--the best of both worlds, right? Â Not so fast, said my husband. Â He declared it "a waste of a perfectly good chocolate chip cookie". Â My son went in the opposite direction, wondering why I "didn't just make the peanut butter ones". Â Ugh. Â Good thing I love them--both my family and the cookies--haha!!
Here's the recipe:
1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar
1 stick of butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
two heaping tablespoons creamy peanut butter
6 ounces chocolate chips (and a handful of peanut butter chips if you've got them)
Cream together butter and sugars, beat in egg and vanilla. Â Add dry ingredients all at once, mix. Â Stir in peanut butter and chips last. Now preheat the oven to 375 and put the dough in the fridge while the oven heats. Â Bake 10 minutes, makes 2 1/2 dozen.
Â Â Â Â Meet me tomorrow (Saturday) at Ballweg Chevy Middleton for their annual Drive In Car Show!Â Classic cars to go along with our Classic Hits plus a free scoop of ice cream, you can't beat it.Â I'll be there between 10:30 and 12:30 giving away Red and BlueÂ Beatles Greatest Hits cd's, the Beatles Love DVD's and more...see you there!
Â Â Â Â If 30 minutes of exercise a day still isn't happening for you (and me but I try!), good news is here!Â New research shows even as little as 15 minutes of exercise a day increases your life.Â The study covers men and women in all age groups.Â
Â Â Â Â ButÂ you know this stuff, right?Â I mean, is there anyone who doesn't know exercise is good for your health?Â I guess the point is ANY exercise is better than nothin'!!
The Dane County Humane Society's Pet Pin Up contest is underway!Â TookÂ this cute snap shot of my dog, Sally, balancing her bone with one paw.Â You can vote for her right here.Â $1 a vote andÂ all the moneyÂ goes directly to the DCHS.Â Make sure you Vote for Sally (and not for J.D., Adam's dog, who is on the same page--grrrrrrrrr)!
Â Â Â Â I tend to go a little overboard when family comes to visit.Â The fridge is beyond stocked with their favorites.Â The house is as clean as it gets.Â The lawn is mowed and the trash is thrown out.Â The towels and linens are clean, folded and ready for service.Â Whew!
Â Â Â Â I like to have all this done because it actually helps me enjoy the visit more, knowing I did everything I could to make their stay pleasant!Â What do you do at your house when you know company is coming?
Why did the coach kick Cinderella off the team?Â Because she ran away from the ball!Â A little (very little, actually)Â baseball humor from yours truly.Â
Tonight at the Mallards game (first pitch 7:05), it is mini bat night (for the first 1000 peeps).Â Can we dub it Mallards Minibat Monday?Â Why not!Â There are tickets available.Â If you haven't caught a game yet this season, don't wait any longer.Â There are only 7 home games left this season.Â It will be the most fun you've ever had on a Monday, for sure!
Â Â Â Â Want fries with that?Â Or apples?Â How about both? McDonald's has decided to downsize the french fries portion and add applesÂ in every Happy Meal.Â Apparently, this cuts lots of fat and calories.Â Mickey D's Happy Meals have had the "apples instead of fries" option for a while now.Â 88% of consumers know this switch is possible but only 11% take advantage of the trade.Â Now, kids will get both fries and apples.Â And you know what, they are certainly kids who will eat it all.Â
Â Â Â Â Â But let's not kid ourselves.Â This is a Happy Meal, not a Healthy One.
Â Â Â Â Had a chance to visit Bluephies on Monroe St. for lunch yesterday with my son, Sam.Â Fantastic atmosphere--bright,Â cheery and loud (just like I like it!).Â With the awesome WOLX-style music playing overheadÂ and the staff's friendly smiles, we enjoyed ourselves immensely.Â
Â Â Â Â "Wanna play a game?"Â It was a seemingly innocent inquiry from my son, Sam, in the heat of the afternoon yesterday.Â I said sure and what followed was anything but two people playing a board game...
Â Â Â Â As he grabbed the game (Lego Minotaurus), he casually asked if I wanted to play the game by his rules instead of the normal rules.Â I said sure again, knowing where this was headed.Â In his rules, see, he is the Minotaur.Â And nobody gets by the Minotaur.Â Especially moms.Â Any time I made any headway toward the goal...BAM, the Minotaur found a new way (via a new rule) to drag me back down.Â He captured my first three guys straightaway but blessed me immediately with another three.Â That he promptly snatched up, of course.Â And so it went for the next three and the next.Â
Â Â Â Â I truly didn't mind.Â There are certainly worse ways to spend a hot afternoon than inside a cool house, taking my licks from a eight year old with a Minotaur complex!
Â Â Â Â The best tipÂ I know for getting cool quick is simple and easy to do...run cold water over each of your wrists for 10 seconds a piece.Â Instantly cools you down and the effect lasts an hour.Â You can also dunk your feet in a bucket ofcold water but since that might not be feasible at work, try the water on the wrist trick first!
Got an urgent note from our friend Gayle Viney at the Dane County Humane Society. Â As you may know, DCHS took in 15 Great Danes from Green County recently and the staff is stretched at the shelter with the extra cleaning their care is requiring. Â If you have a morning to volunteer, take a look the info below...
DCHSâs limited staff currently needs help with general cleaning and care duties for our animals.Â Temporary volunteers are needed immediately to assist in our animal care area.Responsibilities include committing to a set date and time (mornings) for cleaning animal cages and/or kennels according to DCHS protocol.Â Please note that this position does not include interaction or socialization with the Great Danes. This volunteer commitment is open to adults age 18 or older.Â To sign up to help, please contact Anna Kelton, Kennel Supervisor at (608) 838-0413 ext. 119.
Â Â Â Â Â My son Sam is cautiously testing his cat allergy at a buddy's house this morning.Â See, his buddy wants him to sleepoverÂ Thursday.Â But Sam has a mild reaction to cat dander.Â Well, since the arrival ofÂ a new puppy this spring, this particular cat has moved to the basement anyway.Â So we've got the kids playing together in the house this morning to see if Sam has any reaction.Â If all goes well, the sleepover will happen as planned!
Â Â Â Â How do you change your life because of allergies?
84.5 miles away, there is a free slurpee waiting for you.Â The convenience store chain 7-Eleven celebrates the calendar day 7-11 (July 11th, duh) with a free slurpee for everyone.Â No coupons, no gimmicks.Â Just stop in for a free slurpee.Â
Now, the closest 7-Eleven to us is over four gallons of gas away so it'll cost you over 15 bucks just to get there!Â I introduced my son to the awesomeness that is a slurpee just last week in Chicago.Â He says it's worth those four gallons but he ain't driving.
Â Â Â Â Pretty cool event you can win from us...Steak Out!Â On July 20th, the Wisconsin Beef Council and Scott Miller in the MorningÂ will deliverÂ lunch for 20, a Weber grillÂ plus a $50 gift certificate (for more beef!) to you, enter to win today.
Â Â Â Â I, personally, would use all 50 beef bucks to buy flank steak for these awesome steak tacos I make at home at least once a week!Â What beef will you buy???
Â Â Â Â Two new studies out show how diet soda drinkers pack on the pounds via their calorie-free consumption.Â If you kick back more than two a day, you could bust your belt size up to five times more than people who avoid diet sodas altogether.Â The thought is also that the aspartame (or artificial sweetner) in the diet drink triggers the appetite.Â But unlike regular sugar sodas, it does nothingÂ that willÂ squelch the appetite.
Â Â Â Â So, sugar-laden sodas are a no-no and now diet sodas are on the outs...what do these researchers say is okay to sip?Â Water, of course.
Â Â Â Â Sorry, no one comes between me and my Vanilla Coke Zero.
Â Â Â Â Spent a lot of time at the little league field this weekend as my son Sam played in his first tournament.Â It was double elimination with several nail-biting games.Â Friday night, they had a win.Â Saturday, lost the first one and won the second...which led us to Sunday.Â A heartbreaking loss, to Sam's best friend's team no less, put them in fourth place overall (his best friend's team ended up winning the tournament, by the way).
Â Â Â Â Â It was funny explaining beforehand what "tournament" meant.Â For some reason, Sam thought it meant it would be like a professional tennis match or golf--lots and lots of extra people watching.Â Once he got that it would just be more games packed into three days, he was way more comfortable with the whole thing!
Â Â Â Â Aretha Franklin had to hitÂ the hospital after a stiletto emergency.Â Seems the Queen of Soul stumbled over a pile of her own shoes in her hotel room and took a spiky heel to her left index toe.Â An x-ray showed a fracture and now the singer says she's just grateful it wasn't her right piano peddle foot.Â ButÂ the divaÂ is concerned, of course, how she is going to match her new Marc Jacobs designer gown with the wooden blue hospital shoe!
Â Â Â Â Last night, a new Miss USA was crowned...I can remember a time in my youth where nothing would have kept me from watching the Miss USA pageant.Â Or was it the Miss America pageant?Â Now, they blur and run together.Â Do you know the difference between the two?Â
Â Â Â Â The Miss USA pageant is the one owned by Donald Trump.Â Lots of bikinis and evening gowns.Â The Miss America pageant is the largest scholarship provider toÂ women in the country.Â It's the one with the talent portion.Â The one where the contestants now have a "platform", a cause to spread throughout their state during their year-long reign.Â
Â Â Â Â The Miss USA pageant came about in 1950 because Miss America of that year wouldn't pose for photographs in a swimsuit.Â Catalina swimwear just happened to be a major sponsor of the competition.Â So Catalina broke away from Miss America and started theirÂ own pageant (Miss USA) and the contestants happily put on their itsy bitsy teeny weenies.Â Â Â Â
Â Â Â Â Of course, Miss America contenders wear swimsuits in theÂ competition these days (evening gowns too) but pageant officials are quick to point out it doesn't count for the majority of the ladies' scores.
Â Â Â Â In my youth, that phrase meant slather on the suntan oil.Â Not anymore!!Â Now when I "oil up", I'm adding olive oil to my culinary creations.Â And, apparently, that is very good thing for my health as well as my tasty dishes.Â A new observationalÂ study shows cooking with heart healthy olive oil and using it for salad dressing may cut your stroke risk.Â Olive oil is a healthy monounsaturated fat that plays a big part in the Mediterranean diet as do certain nuts, nut oilsÂ and avocados.
Â Â Â Â Found exactly what I was looking for at the bookstore!Â There were actually a few choices but I think I picked the right one.Â My son, Sam, well...let's just say he was not as excited as I was.Â Because what I found was a well-rounded summertime workbook for kids heading into the fourth grade.Â
Â Â Â Â Â He is convinced he is the only child ever in the history of the universe who has to "do homework in summer".Â He didn't want to hear that it isn't homework, it's just a way to keep his mind fresh.Â Yeah, I got the eye-roll for that comment.
What do Bing Crosby's "White Christmas"Â and too much coffee have in common?Â Well, in a new study, over-caffeinated Cup o' Joes heardÂ Bing singingÂ when he wasn't!Â Subjects listened to three minutes of static and were told to press a button when they heard the song through the static (the song itself never actually played).Â But stressed out coffee guzzlers heard it, on average, three times.Â Hallucinations?Â Delusions?Â Just blame it on the java!
Â Â Â Â Should have known it was too good to be true.Â I suggested a family walk yesterday (so gorgeous, right?) with the final destination being an ice cream store.Â Great mile and a half walk there, chill out--eat ice cream and walk the mile and a half home.Â Everybody went...the kid, the dog and the parents.Â
Â Â Â Â Except once we got to the ice cream shop, we could not buy any ice cream.Â Apparently the machines had been worked too hard throughout the day and didn't have any ice cream left for us!Â All we got was water for the dog.Â So, we walked back home, got in the car and drove to another ice cream shop for a sweet treat that we ate exhaustedly in the car.
Â Â Â Â How much does it cost you to sleep until 9am on Saturday?Â Cost me $8 last weekend.Â See, I love to sleep in.Â Even after years of being on morning radio, I can still sleep late, late, late.Â My son,Â however, likes toÂ wake upÂ and not miss a minuteÂ of a "no-school" day.Â
Â Â Â Â So, the conversation Friday night went something like this...
Me:Â Â I sure would loveÂ to sleep until 9am tomorrow morning.Â Â Â Â
Sam:Â I was thinking more like 7am.
Me:Â Okay, what'll it take?
Sam:Â $20 bucks.
Me:Â Too rich for my blood, see you at 7am.
Sam:Â What about $15 for 8am?
Me:Â $8 for 9am, final offer.
Sam:Â Deal.Â Wake up is at 9am thenÂ we goÂ to Target.Â Had my eye on this Commander Cody action figure for a while now...
Meet Scott Miller, Adam Elliott and myself tomorrow at Bratfest!Â We'll be there,Â manning the registers, from 11a-1p.Â And since Scott says he is "horrible" at cashiering, I'll probably be doing the math for both of us.Â Â Always a pleasure to work this event, love giving my "paycheck" away (to my son's school, natch).Â And it's never a hardship to buy a brat once I'm done with my shift.Â All weekend, Willow Island--it's Bratfest 2011.
Never thought the finale of American Idol would be two country music loving teensÂ twangin' it out!Â Heck y'all, I'm surprisedÂ both weren't eliminated earlierÂ by splitting that country vote.Â Each contestant gets to sing three songs tonight, one of which was picked for them by their musical idols.Â (FYI, Lauren's choice comes courtesy of Carrie Underwood and Scotty's song is selected by George Strait.)Â
As to who I favor?Â Lauren, Lauren, Lauren.Â Girl can sing.Â And this is a singing competition, right?
Barely awake, staggering in the blinding sun while walking the dog, I couldn't help but notice the signs (actual and figurative)Â around me yesterday morning.Â Enterprising youths, already preparing for a hot day, were putting out chairs and mixing up their product.Â It was a perfect day for lemonade.
At least three different "teams" of kids on my block offered up the cool beverage for 50 cents a glass.Â And they made some cash for sure!Â One team made their lemonade stand mobile by loading everything in a red wagon and taking it on the road around the neighborhood.Â Estimates were close to $20 for their final haul.Â Wow.Â
My husband bought us both a glass while we were finishing up some yard work.Â Ahhhhh, so refreshing and fun!
Â Â Â Â So there's a woman in California suing Chuck E. Cheese because she feels that many of the games for children are actually illegal gambling devices.Â And the restaurant chain is creating little gambling addicts.Â She (and her lawyer) say it isn't about money, per se, she'd really like to see the machines outÂ of the game rooms.Â Â
Â Â Â Â I first read about the lawsuitÂ here.Â Â In the article, they also talk aboutÂ aÂ game called The Claw.Â Â It has thatÂ metal hook, suspended above a sea of stuffed animals, dangling just so before plunging down toÂ grip your prize (or not, most of the time).Â Well, unless your my son.Â See my son is a savant when it comes to The Claw.Â He doesn't win every time but he wins more than anyone you know, I promise.Â He has grabbed toys and stuffed animals (both large and small) in stores, airports, roadside oasis' and restaurants.Â There is an entire closet shelf in our home devoted only to his Claw winnings!Â
Â Â Â Â But he's not becoming a gambling addict because of an arcade game.Â My personal rant on this frivolous lawsuit is simple.Â Don't take your kids there if you don't like what they do there.Â Period.Â End of lawsuit.
Â Â Â Â Been sitting here, staring at my computer for half an hour.Â Trying to come up with something witty to say or an interesting story to relate to you.Â But I'm sad.Â A friend of mine died yesterday, suddenly.Â My friend was funny and loving and wonderful.Â I'm sorry you'll never have the chance to know him because I am sure you would have liked him.Â He was the best deejay on the radio I have ever heard.Â
Â Â Â Â Reach out to a friend today, just to say hello, because you can.Â I'm grateful for all the times I smiled when he popped up in my chat window.Â Often it was too simply say "I got nothing but hello".Â That was enough.
In 1964, The Beatles were booked to play The Sahara in Las Vegas.Â They ended up selling may too many tickets and had to move the concerts to the Las Vegas Convention Center.Â But the Fab Four still stayed at The Sahara on that trip...in a luxury suite on the 23rd floor of the new tower, for free!Â
The Rat Pack, Mae West, CAry Grant, Grace KellyÂ and The King (Thankyou, Elvis Presley, thankyouverymuch) himself all spent time at the tables of The Sahara.Â But today the doors shut on the casino resort and while it is not known what will happen to the site, Vegas odds are on something new and fresh.Â Do you have an Sahara stories to share?
Â Â Â Â A day full of everything and nothing, just like I like 'em.Â Woke to a box full of donuts, chocolate milk and a giant Happy Mother's Day balloon.Â I can't remember the last time I got a balloon!Â
Â Â Â Â We took Sally to the dog park (over on Sycamore) for some four-legged fun.Â A persistent hound named Loki knew my husband had treats in his cargo shorts pocket and stuck to him like glue--it was a hoot!Â Â Met a husky/malamute/wolf beauty (Hi Maizie!) that was hands down the mostÂ spectacular dog I've ever seen.Â
Â Â Â Â Dropped the dog at home at we went walking State Street, hadÂ burgers and friesÂ at Five Guys with a DQ dessert before home.Â We skyped a call with my parents in Florida and then it was the big season finale of our favorite family show...The Amazing Race!
Â Â Â Â Couldn't have had a better Mother's Day...how about you??
In the official royal wedding photo, check out what the littlest girl is clutching in her tiny hand...it is a "wiggly worm" that Prince Harry carried in his pocket to distract her at the right time!Â He had pockets full of them apparently and doled them outÂ among the wee guests.Â Â But Eliza wouldn't give hers up, even for the photos!
Â Â Â Â With the news of Osama bin Laden's death, you've probably thought alot today about September 11, 2001.Â I was driving into work that morning when I first heard (on the radio) that a plane had struck the World Trade Center.Â My commute was a long one.Â The time I spent alone on that particular drive was surreal.Â By the time I reached the radio station, the second plane had hit.Â And then it was obvious that this was no accident.Â Â Once surrounded by coworkers, all of whom worked diligently to provideÂ current information, it sunk in what had actually happened and what it meant for our country.
Â Fun name game!Â How would William and Kate address their royal wedding invitation to you?Â Start with Lady or Lord.Â For your first name, pick one of your grandparents names.Â Â Your last name isÂ the name of your childhood pet hyphenated with the street you grew up on...my invite would be addressed to Lady Hazel Travis-Beaumont!Â What's your royal wedding guest name?
Â Â Â Â Any chance you watched The Great Food Truck Race on the Food Network last year?Â Â TheÂ food trucks started out in L.A. and they traveled to different cities together, set up shop and competed for local business.Â The trucks had to buy their food locally, which was way cool.Â The food ranged from burgers and hot pressed sandwiches to crepes and cajun.Â Great show and they are casting for season 2 now.Â
Â Â Â Â A the royal wedding reception Friday, guests mayÂ sip champagne and they may enjoy wine but they won't be able to haveÂ a beer.Â I could understand if it was an alcohol-free reception period.Â Lots of people have those.Â But to bann beer seems odd for England.Â I imagine they have tons of breweries that feel this slight quite acutely.Â A quick google search showed me 690 operational British breweries while I foundÂ only a handful of British wineries.Â
Â It's "Spring Break" and I'm headed to Florida with my son Sam!Â My poor husband has to hold down the fort here with snow expected.Â Ugh.Â ButÂ we'll bring back plenty of shells from St. George Island (pictured right).Â
Man, am I glad I live in America's Dairyland and not America's capital city?!Â Big debate raging in D.C.Â about chocolate milk in schools.Â People against serving it say it is too sugary.Â People for servingÂ chocolate milkÂ say it provides vital nutrientsÂ like calcium and vitamin D.Â Â
Â Â Â Â New study out has researchers naming maple syrup a "superfood", along sideÂ blueberries and green tea.Â ItÂ may actually keep blood sugar levels in check, thanks to polyphenols,Â and has beneficial anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds.Â Sweet.Â Yet another reason to fire up the griddle on Sunday morning!
Â Who will win the biggest basketball game of the year?Â Let's let the mascots decide it!Â Both dogs, one fuzzy and one wrinkly.Â One is an exercise fiend,Â the otherÂ is a lazybones.Â And according to Stanley Coren's "The Intelligence of Dogs" book...one ranks 33 places higher than the other.Â The husky ranks 45 out of 80;Â the bulldog is down the list at 78 out of 80.
Â Â Â Â The husky is a high-energy dog who does well with lots of exercise and activity.Â They like to pull sleds, hike with you and play games.Â On the flip side, the bulldogÂ doesn't need as much exercise (makes aÂ great apartment-dwelling dog).Â Bulldogs are generally friendly, good-natured and great with kids/other pets.
Â Â Â Â So, who takes it tonight in the canine championship?Â I think it's the husky, for the win.
Â Â Â Â On tonight's American Idol, the contestants perform Elton John songs.Â And according to the wikipedia page I just linked to...there are 166 choices.Â 166.Â What would you sing?
Â Â Â Â Elton John is coming to La Crosse April 19th.Â The show is soldout!Â However, if you want to go to the concert, we are giving away a pair of tickets with the WOLX National Championship.Â We're down to the last four artists.Â It's The Beatles vs. Billy Joel and The Eagles vs. Elton John.Â Vote for your favorites and register to win the tickets.
Â Â Â Â As the mother of an eight year old son, I would like to thank author Jeff Kinney for the entire "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series.Â His books, more than any others, hit my son at the right time.Â I know that Sam would not be as into reading as he is if it weren't for the entertaining novels by Kinney about Greg Heffley, hisÂ best friend Rowley and his family.
Â Â Â Â Â TheÂ Moore family wentÂ to the movies yesterday to check out "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules"--we'd all read the book together and the movieÂ was great too!Â Just like the first, it stayed true to the book.Â Â The acting was perfect for the film as well.Â Sam gave it five stars--he loved it!
Â Wyatt (pictured here) is ready, willing and able to be your new best friend.Â And he'll also help you get up and out the door!Â A new study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that regularly walking your dog hasÂ a "measurable impact" on how much exercise you get.Â
Â Â Â Â My family adopted Sally, a black lab, last month and I certainly agree with the study.Â My whole family logs more time walking outdoors now that she's around the house!
to a man from the Motor City has automobile advantages, that's for sure. Â My husband graciously took my vehicle out yesterday and returned it clean as a whistle (and full of gas too!). Â Seeing my freshly shampooedÂ mats, all shiny clean, almost makes me forget the salt and sludge that was stuck in them for months! Â I'll be rolling down my sparklingly windows this week and I won't be worried about getting my sleeve dirty when I prop up my arm to cruise in style. Â So hats off to my husband for giving me a gift that'll last until spring...and beyond!
Cool car but what kind of gas mileage does it get?Â To promoteÂ the new Chevrolet OrlandoÂ in England (and to appeal to the inner child in every parent), model makers spent two weeks making this car out of 1.5 tons of aquamarine play doh.Â It'll be on display for the next week.Â No word on what will happen toÂ the carÂ if it rains...
News outlets over the weekend reported "Phil Collins is retiring from music".Â Okay.Â Not quite sure why it was a newsflash since he's been talking about this for months (see this article for Rolling Stone magazine).Â What Phil Collins song is your favorite?Â Here's mine...Easy Lover by Phil Collins and Phillip Bailey (of Earth, Wind & Fire).Â Aren't cheesy videos awesome?!
The first time IÂ saw Charlie Sheen was in the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"...do you remember his role?Â He was credited as "boy in police station".Â He was handcuffed to a bench and Jennifer Grey's character Jeanie chats him up and they end up making out.Â He was The Bad Boy.Â And apparently, he still is.Â We should have known back then it would end up like this.Â He played the bad boy all too well.
Â Forget the glitz, forget the glamour.Â Don't care about dresses or tuxedos, shoes or gems.Â But that ponytail!!!Â I am absolutely IN LOVE with Reese Witherspoon's hair from the Oscars last night.Â It is pretty and stylish and fun and sporty.Â Oh, what I would give to have fab hair like that!Â I know she had a team of professionals with every hair product on earth available to them.Â But the simplicity!Â If you wonder why some women grow their hair long and then wear it up all the time...this is why!Â Because it looks amazing!Â Might not ever look this great but I am striving for a ponytail length hair once again...thank you, Reese Witherspoon, for providing me with some much needed follicle motivation.
Â Â Â Â Â Sunday night kicked off the midseason extravaganza of tv shows for us...The Amazing Race 18 (on CBS) has been anticipated by all the Moores.Â Past contestants, none of whom have ever won, compete again inÂ the race around the world!Â The episode started with a bang and ended, well, it didn't "end".Â To Be Continued flashed on the screen after an hour that flew by!Â
Â Â Â Â While doing time on the treadmill yesterday I saw another favorite show is coming back with new episodes next week.Â It's Anthony Bourdain's: No Reservations on the Travel Channel.Â He's a chef.Â He travels places and he eats but there is so much more to the show.Â
Â Â Â Â And, as much as I've enjoyed the American version of the British show Top Gear,Â I am through the roof excited withÂ new episodesÂ of the British Top Gear on BBC America.Â ItÂ is a show about cars but, again, that doesn't do it justice.
Â Â Â Â What new shows are you watching?Â Any you'd recommend to me?
Â Â Â Â Just found out my previously thought to be discontinued perfume is BACK!Â Turns out the manufacturer was haggling with a supplier over a crucialÂ ingredient.Â Negotiation over, problem solved!Â I never knew that was whyÂ the perfumeÂ went away.Â I just couldn't find it.Â Anywhere.Â Searched all over the web too.Â People started carefully hoarding it and parceling it out on EBay.Â Price went too high for me on one auction and I ended upÂ just going withÂ a different scent.Â Â But today I found out it's BACK!Â Ordered and shipped, thank you very much.
Yes, I deliberately did NOT tell you what fragrance it is.Â If you really want to know, email me at email@example.com.
If you are still stumped on what to do for your love on Valentine's Day, why not buy her a bug?Â Seriously.Â You can sponsor a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach at the Bronx Zoo.Â Name it after your sweetheart and see your love last forever and ever (and ever).Â Because as their tag line states...Flowers wilt.Â Chocoaltes melt.Â Roaches are forever.
The Moore family has been on the lookout for a canine companion for a while now.Â Even Santa Claus got in on the actionÂ and left my son Sam a brand new dog leash in his stocking at Christmas!Â Well, I've beenÂ constantly checking petfinder.com andÂ I believe I may have found "The One".Â Even went ahead and submitted an application to adopt with the rescue organization that is currently fostering him.Â Fingers crossed that the next update I give you will be his name and an actual photo of him lounging around his new home...MINE!
My fav commercial from last night was the VW/Darth Vader one but this Chevy ad made me laugh out loud!Â Hard to explain to my eight year old but then there were several spots that (thankfully) just went right over his head (Yeah, I'm talking about you Mini Cooper)...
Don't you just love the sound of snowfall? Or lack thereof, I should say.Â The prettiest part of any snowstorm (I think)Â is when you are safe and warm, inside your favorite room, looking out at the flakes and smiling at the silence.Â On the Wikipedia page devoted simply to "snow", the paragraph on it's acoustic properties is fascinating!Â Never knew that loud sounds, such as a pistol, can be used to measure snow cover permeability and depth.Â Or that movie makers simulate the sound of walking on snow by using cornstarch, salt or kitty litter!
I know this song doesn't fit our "format" (since it's a hip hop tune!).Â But follow along here...my son Sam's best buddy Brett has an older brother named Danny who's been bestÂ friends with one of the guys who made this video since they both were in elementary school a decade ago!Â Whew.Â I think it's pretty cool.
Â Â Â Â Of all the things I thought I mightÂ have in common with Jimmy Buffett, I never imagined it would be the fact that we'd both suffer a fall at the same time!Â The Son of a Sailor fell off the stage in Sydney, Australia--he misjudged where the stage ended due to the footlights.Â Bright blinding lights weren't my problem, just the opposite in fact.Â In the dark, I misjudged where the last step was on my staircase.Â Ended up doing a face plant into the wall but not before jamming up two fingers on my right hand!Â Jimmy's injuries were more serious although he's now been released from the hospital.Â We're both recovering well (withÂ a margarita or three)!
Â Â Â Â Can't believe it.Â I'm no Adam Elliott when it comes to movies.Â But I've actually seen 5 outÂ of the 10 movies nominated for Best Picture!Â The Social Network, The Kids Are All Right, Black Swan, Toy Story 3 and Winter's Bone (at right) are the ones I saw with True Grit, Inception, 127 Hours, The Fighter and The King's Speech being the 5 I still need to see.Â But I don't need to see the other 5.Â Because there is no way that any of them are better than Winter's Bone.Â I think about that movie all the time; it haunts me.Â So understated, so real.Â Here's a professional description of the movie...
Winter's Bone:Â Jennifer LawrenceÂ plays a teenage Ozark Mountains girl who defies her clan's code to hunt down her crystal-meth-making father after he's skipped bail and her family home is on the line. With a disabled mom and young siblings facing destitution, she redefines family loyalty and confronts her kin to bring her father home.
Didn't quite know what to expect from American Idol last night...new season, new judges.Â It delivered!Â Specifically Steven Tyler.Â The Aerosmith front man is a bonafid Rock Star and it shows.Â And when he sang a bit with the contestants...pureÂ heaven.Â Â I knew he was cool though.Â At an Aerosmith concertÂ (about six years ago),Â I was lucky enough to get seats by one of the stage walkouts.Â The security guard told us we were "allowed to touch Mr. Tyler when he stood there, just not to grab or pull on him".Â Â Â That's Rock Star cool.Â He knew what the audience wanted, needed--a tiny part of his magic.Â And he let 'em have it, just so long as it didn't interfere with the concert.Â
It's early, I know.Â Only one episode has aired!Â But if last night is an indication of the rest of the season...count me in.Â What about you?
Actress Jennifer Anniston has come out publicly against the haircut that made her famous...yep, turns out she thinks "The Rachel" is the ugliest haircut she's ever seen.Â She wore the cut for the first two seasons of the TV show Friends.Â Wow.Â Oh, how I coveted that haircut!Â I wanted it so badly!Â My hair, bless its heart, is simply not thick enough to ever pull off "The Rachel".Â ButÂ I had a friend (haha)Â whose hair was perfect for the cut--same color, thickness, vavavoom-ness (I made that word up, sure).Â I loved goingÂ places with her because of all the compliments she received--women adored her hair!Â To find out the actress credited with the trend hated it...well, that just stinks.
Â Â Â Â We have a date, Bond fans!Â November 9, 2012.Â The 23rd installment of my favorite movie franchise will have Daniel Craig back as the blonde Bond.Â Sam Mendes directs and Judi Dench will play Bond's boss, M, again.Â I doubt the new film will have the continuity errors of previous films...take a look at "Bond Movie Mistakes".
Â Â Â Â Apparently, the rest of the nation is freaking out because of the weather.Â Snow in the south is shutting that chunk of the country down.Â Â And they're only expecting 6 inches!Â The northeast grabs a foot of snow this storm.Â We, however, will be receivingÂ a measly three inches, light and lengthy,Â stretched out over a day.Â Seems crazy thatÂ I would be complaining about a lack ofÂ snow but my son Sam did get a new sled from Santa...that he's yet to try out!Â Because there is not enough snow on the hill he wants to dominate!Â So, yeah, more snow would be great--sorry, with regardsÂ to everyone else in America.
Have you seen this video game?Â Played it?Â My son Sam is now officially obsessed with "Big Buck Hunter".Â He gets his game on at a local eatery we visit.Â Loves it so much that he now requests his allowance in quarters!Â Now, I do not hunt and neither does my husband (nothing wrong with it we just don't, never have).Â And we aren't caving into the pressure he's putting on us for an at-home version of this game--it's rated "T for Teen" and last time I checked 8 is not a teen.Â
Â Â Â Â What do you think of the ratings on video games?Â Good idea for guidelines or simply silly?
Â Â Â Â After 10 years, American Idol is shaking things up in a big way.Â About time I say, needs to be done.Â New judges and everything.Â The Hollywood Reporter has outlined the 8 Big Changes coming to AI.Â Of these eight, I'm most excited the contestants won't be limited solely to cover songs.Â They'll also be working with established producer/songwriters as mentors.Â And finalists will be able to get their songsÂ released while the show's still current.Â One of the hardest parts of Idol has been the wait (over the summer, into fall!) to hear the winner's new album.
Â Â Â Â What do you think of the changes to American Idol?
Â Â Â Â Ever heard of Ted Lapidus?Â Me neither.Â He's the French designer who custom made John Lennon's white suit for the Abbey Road album cover.Â The suit, along with other Beatles memorabilia, hit the auction block at the Braswell Galleries annual New Year's Day auction.Â An anonymous online bidder took the suit home, so to speak, for a mere $46,000.Â
Â Â Â Â Got me thinkingÂ about my most expensive clothing purchase.Â Certainly wasn't my wedding dress (I wore an off-the-rack number to our extremely low key affair).Â It might be my winter coat, retail price.Â But I got it end of season with major discounts and coupons.Â So, it has to be the Betsey Johnson designer dress I bought on a whim while on vacation many, many moons ago.Â What a splurge...but nowhere near $46,000, that's for sure!!
No surprise that Johnny Depp tops the list of movie stars!Â But this list is compiled a bit differently than your standard critics list or the box office performance angle.Â The list I'm talking about is from IMDb.comÂ , a comprehensive website for movies and actors.Â It's determined by actual search behavior and movie ratings (people rating the movies, not PG or whatever).Â Â
AndÂ Johnny Depp tops that list!Â The stars of those Twilight movies (Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson) were second and third. Then Leo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Robert DowneyÂ Jr., Christian Bale, Gerald Butler make up the menÂ in the middle of the list. Megan Fox and Zoe Saldana round out to ten.
The top ten YouTube videos of 2010 include a Justin Beiber video at #1, oranges saying whazzup, actual music videos and parodies of actual music videos, the new Old Spice man, the Twilight: Eclipse movie trailer and this gem, my favorite of the year, the Double Rainbow guy!
Didn't plan onÂ opening a Christmas present early but after a long weekend in the house with a veryÂ bored (but sweet!) eight year old, we caved and plopped a gift in his hands.Â It was a tackle buddy punching bag!Â Sam specifically asked for a Vikings one so he could "beat the crap out of it".Â We found the air compressor quickly in the frigid garage and minutes later...BLAM!Â The Vikings tackle buddy got creamed left and right.Â Upside and down.Â Over andÂ under.Â Â He played with that thing so much we had to refresh its air supply twice before bed!Â
HeÂ did ask if Santa was going to be mad that he opened a present early.Â I told him, confidently, it was alright with Santa!
So, a friend of mine has talked me into trying an exercise class with her.Â We're headed out tonight to trip the Zumba-light fantastic!Â I don't know much about Zumba (other than it's Latin dance based)and I haven't taken a class for exercise in years so I'm a little nervous.Â However, I love to dance!Â And I never seem to get to dance enough.Â I'mÂ prepared for a serious amount of fun, with lots of laughterÂ ready for what will be many missteps on my part.
Have you ever Zumba'd?Â What's the one thing I should know?
Â Â Â Â Love Mad Libs--they're a blast!Â Grab your office mates and have some fun with this one today.Â You'll need 5 adjectives, 1 plural noun, 1 verb ending in "ing" and 6 nouns...
Have you been dreaming of a/an (adjective) Christmas?Â Me too!Â But what do you do when there is a/an (adjective) blizzard and you and your (plural noun) get snowed in on Christmas?Â Here's a/an (adjective) list of classic Christmas movies that'll keep everyone (verb ending in "ing") for hours.Â
1.Â It's a/an (adjective) Life
2.Â Miracle on 34th (noun)
3.Â A Christmas (noun)
4.Â How the (noun) Stole Christmas
5.Â Frosty the Snow-(noun)
So just grab some pop-(noun), throw a few more logs on the (noun), and keep dreaming of a/an (adjective) white Christmas!
Â Â Â Â How cool is this?Â On Sunday, you can have your picture taken with live reindeer at The Bruce Company in Middleton!Â Scott and I will be there at 11am with the reindeer arriving for photos at noon.Â The Bruce Company is all set up with holiday decorating madness--trees, lights, wreaths and more!Â Not sure if it's Dasher, Dancer, Prancer or Vixen...might be Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen.Â I'll be the one with the red nose!!
Â Â Â Â What to watch?!?!Â This evening, CBS has "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer", ABC has "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" and "Shrek The Halls" and NBC has the lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Square with musical guests...and all three start at 7pm.Â Guess it's time for the DVR to earn its keep!Â
Â Â Â Â ABC is repeating the Grinch on the 23rd,Â fyi.
Â Â Â Â It's "Cyber Monday", supposedly the biggest online shopping day of the year.Â We're contributing in a big way by offering a Sundara Inn and Spa gift certificate at half price.Â Yes, $100 at Sundara for only 5o bucks!Â This one is a no-brainer, guys.Â If you think there's a chance she might like this, snag one (or two) today for half price.
Â Â Â Â Saturday it's the amazing âGingerbread Casas for CASAâ Event at Hilldale Mall for Dane County CASA!Â There is a Gingerbread Winter Wonderland, including a walk-through giant gingerbread house, for all to enjoy.Â Decorating teams will compete in a live gingerbread house decorating contest from 11a until 4pm.Â Come watch the excitement and bring the kids for sure--they will LOVE decorating their own gingerbread man cookie at the Gingerbread Factory in Hilldale Mall.Â
Â Â Â Â I am once again your emcee for the event--can't wait to see you there!!
Â Â Â Â or Yuletide Yes?Â I vote Yes!Â Bring on the Christmas music...want to hear The Christmas Song, Baby It's Cold Outside, It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year, Do They Know It's Christmas Time?, All I Want For Christmas Is You, Feliz Navidad, Happy Xmas, Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree, Let It Snow!, Little Drummer Boy, Santa Baby, Wonderful Christmastime and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, andmy personal favorite Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)!
Â Â Â Â Â What about you?Â Are you ready?Â For the holidays?Â For Christmas music?
Â Â Â Â Ready to see the #5 team in the nation take on Indiana?Â We are!Â The World Famous WOLX Tailgate Party hits South Rotary Park starting at 9 tomorrow morning.Â It's the closest tailgate to the stadium, right across Monroe St., next to the fire station.Â Madison South Rotary is pretty cool with the cash they make off sales of brats and steak sandwiches, beer and sodas too.Â They put profits back into our community through local charities!Â It's a win-win and a Badger win!Â See you in the morning!Â And Go Bucky!
Â Â Â Â Thank you.Â To every person who is or has ever served our country with the US military.Â My dad is a Vietnam veteran, served with the 1st Cavalry.Â He was awarded two bronze medals, one of which was for valor.Â The man whose life he saved recently got in touch with my dad to thank him yet again.Â My dad is most proud of his CIB--his Combat Infantry Badge.Â His tour in Vietnam included a full 365 days in the infantry.Â
Â Â Â Â Thanks again, vets, I so appreciate all you do!
Â Â Â Â An annual tradition for us here at WOLX, collecting food and monetary donations for the Community Action Coalition, is happening!Â Thanksgiving on the Mayflower is hoping to gather 30,000 pounds of food this year and YOU can help.Â With your donation of food, the shelves of local food pantries will be stocked for the holidays.Â With your donation of cash, the Community Action Coalition can use their buying power and turn your $1 into 8.75 pounds of food!Â
Â Â Â Â Collections can be dropped off at the Meriter Home Health store off Todd Drive at the Beltline.Â Look for the Mayflower truck and the WOLX RV.Â Thank you for helping us feed the hungry in our area!
Â Â Â Â How exciting is this?!?Â Tomorrow morning, four of the legendary Radio City Rockettes will be in studio playing their favorite Classic Hits and (hopefully) teaching me how to kick like a Rockette!Â Adam, I assume, will be virtually worthless.Â I mean the studio is a small room and he'll be basically surrounded by beautiful, leggy Rockettes.Â Can't count on him to do anything but drool!Â
Â Â Â Â The national tour of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes kicks off right here, in Madison, next Wednesday November 10th.Â To win your family a four pack of tickets to the show at the Colisuem, click here.
Â Â Â Â Time to turn your leftover Halloween candy into something new...how about flavoring vodka with it?!Â Found a great, easy recipe for candy corn cordials...
You'll need the following:
1/2 cup candy corn and 1 1/2 cups of vodka
2 ozs orange liqueur, juice of 1/2 lemon and one large egg white
To "infuse" the vodka with candy flavor...Combine the candy corn and vodka in an airtight container.Â Set it aside for at least 3 hours and then strain.Â To make the cordial...Add 4 ounces of the candy corn vodka, the orange liqueur, lemon juice and egg white to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds. Strain into 2 chilled martini glasses and garnish with candy corn!
Â Â Â Â So far, sooooooooo good.Â I'd like to say I have my Halloween candy waiting by the front door in a pretty bowl for all the kiddies on Sunday.Â But that would be LYING.Â I haven'tÂ purchased any treats to give away yet.Â Because I always eat whatever I buy before the big dayanyway!Â Â
Â Â Â Â In an effort to notÂ overeat the treats this year, I'm waiting until Sunday itself to buy the candy.Â But I did grab a bag of candy corn.Â Mmmmmm,Â did you know if you eat candy corn and salted peanuts at the same time it tastes just like a Payday candy bar?Â Don't say I didn't warn you!
Â Â Â Â Worked like a charm!Â One day last week my son really, really didn't want to do any homework.Â But I knew he needed to practice his spelling words before a test.Â Enter Pop Rocks.Â Yes, I used candy as a learning tool.Â
Â Â Â Â He'd dip a finger in the bag and lick it off.Â That was my cue to call out a word.Â Having to spell it while sugar exploded in his mouth was huge fun!Â And you know what, he aced the test.
Â Â Â Â A kindergarten teacher explains to her class that she is an Iowa Hawkeye. She asks her students to raise their hands if they are Hawkeyes, too.
No one really knows what a Hawkeye is, but wanting to be like their teacher their hands explode into the air. There is, however, one exception. A girl named Kristen has not gone along with the crowd. The teacher asks her why she has decided to be different.
âBecause, Iâm not a Hawkeye.â
âThen, what are you?â asks the teacher.
âWhy, Iâm a proud Wisconsin Badger,â replies the little girl.
She asks Kristen why she is a Badger.
âWell, my mom and dad are Badgers, so Iâm a Badger, too.â
âThatâs not a good reason,â the teacher says. âWhat if your mom was a moron and your dad was a moron. What would you be then?â
âThen,â says Kristen, âIâd be a Hawkeye.â
Â Â Â Â Happy couples will soon be able to celebrate fast food "McWeddings" at McDonald's in Hong Kong.Â You get a personalized menu, decorations and McDonald's themed gifts for wedding packages that start at $1000.Â Â Â Â Â Â
Â Â Â Â Apparently, big traditional Chinese weddings are a growing burden for many young Hong Kong residents.Â A table for ten at a posh hotel can run more than $1300 and Hong Kong families can easily host a dozen tables or more!Â A bit more economical, don't you think?
Â Â Â Â Newlyweds will both nibble on the opposite ends of a french fry until they kiss instead of theÂ usualÂ cherry.Â The wedding cake is a special McDonald's apple pie wedding cake!Â But the wedding parties won't have the place to themselves...you get a "cozy area" for the party and regular customers can still walk on in for a meal.
Â Â Â Â I went for a super small wedding myself but I don't know that I could a "McWedding"...how about you??
Â Â Â Â See you at the World Famous WOLX tailgate at South Rotary Park!Â It's the closest tailgate to Camp Randall, right acrossÂ from the entrance Monroe street.Â Madison South Rotary does a great job with beer, brats, sodas and steak sandwiches for sale at the tailgate.Â And the really neat thing?Â They put the proceeds from the tailgate back into our community through the local charities they support!Â
Â Â Â Â So before you watch the Badgers take on the Buckeyes, stop by the WOLX tailgate for a round of Name That Tune for fab gift certificates and sign up to win a Bret Bielema autographed football!Â Go Bucky!!!
Â Â Â Â Another gorgeous day?Â Twist my arm, okay!Â Not quite sure what we've done to deserve this incredible stretch of good fortune...heard lots of grumblings from my "glass is half empty" friends that we'll be paying for this beautiful bountyÂ with mountains of snow and ice coming soon.Â But you know what?Â Don't care!Â
Â Â Â Â What are some songs that seem inspired by great weather?Â Good Day Sunshine, Heat Wave, Walking On Sunshine, Here Comes The Sun, Sunshine On My Shoulders and YouÂ AreÂ The Sunshine Of My LifeÂ are just a few that came to mind.Â What are your weather related favorites?
Â Â Â Â A Homecoming memory of mine from high school is one I'd just as soon forget...I actually went to the Homecoming dance with the quarterback of the varsity football team.Â I was a junior varsity cheerleader; what a picture perfect couple!Â But we lostÂ the bigÂ Homecoming football game.Â And most people thought it was my date's "fault".Â So, they boo'd us when we walked in the dance.Â
Â Â Â Â The 25th Farm Aid concert rocked out Saturday at Miller Park andÂ I was fortunate enough to be be there!Â Â John Mellencamp opened his set with "Pink Houses" and he just kept playingÂ the hits.Â Â The entire place was singing along!Â At one point during an acapella "Cherry Bomb", heÂ let the crowd completely take over.Â
Â Â Â Â The high point of Nel Young's performance was "Ohio".Â Until, that is, he was joined onstage by Dave Matthews, Jon Mellencamp and Willie Nelson for "Homegrown"--that was awesome.Â You could tell during Neil's set that the whole eventÂ means so very much to him.Â
Â Â Â Â I'd like to tell you about Willie's performance but by that time it was after 11pm and we hit the dusty trail back to madtown...
Â Â Â Â We all remember legendary circus performer Bobo the Clown (given name--Chester Barnett).Â Well, Bobo the Clown will be inducted into the International Clown Hall of Fame this weekend and you have the chance to meet his daughter, Bonnie, Saturday at CircusWorld.Â She'll be signing copies of her new book, Bobo's Daughter, from 10am until 1pm.
Â Â Â Â She certainly has an interesting story to tell.Â From meetingÂ her fatherÂ for the first time at age 4 to reconnecting with him later in life, Bonnie's memoirÂ recountsÂ the strugglesÂ of growing up as the daughter of a legendary entertainer.
Â Â Â Â How many servings of veggies and fruits do you really (really) eat a day?Â Do you get the two or more fruits and three or four (or more) veggie servings?Â I kept track yesterday, an average day for me.Â My three fruits were a banana, a pear and an apple--yeah fruit!Â My three veggies were red onion (on a sandwich), carrots (raw) and a very small avocado.Â
Â Â Â Â Ugh.Â I know I should do a better job of the fruit/veggie thing.Â It'll make me healthier and be a good example for my son.Â But I feel like sometimes no matter what I do it won't be good enough for the guidelines!
Â Â Â Â What about you?Â How do you add fruits and veggies to your day?
Â Â Â Â Ahhhh, the arrival of our favorite Monday of the year--Packers vs. Bears on Monday Night Football.Â I know they're both undefeated now but tomorrow only the Packers will be!Â High hopes for Aaron and the boys especially since I have Bears fans coming out of the facebook woodwork.Â Friends that I had no idea were Bears fans have changed their profile picture to reflect Bears-related nonsense.Â Â Go figure!
Â Â Â Â Since I expect us to win, should we play the "Packer Polka" tomorrow morning at 7:45?Â Leave a comment below, call us in the morning (281-1949) or tell us on facebook--search WOLX!
Â Â Â Â My son's first pet passed away yesterday.Â Freddy was a beta fish Sam got right after Christmas.Â He lived in a clear glass cookie jar on our kitchen counter.Â Freddy liked to watch meÂ make dinner (or at least he seemed interested).Â I know it was a hoot to lean a mirror against his aquarium and see him get all bowed up, ready to fight that other fish!Â
Â Â Â Â It really hit Sam hard right around bedtime last night.Â At the end of a long school day the thought of never seeing Freddy swim again brokeÂ Sam's heart.Â Which, in turn, broke mine.Â Dealing with the death of a pet, even a fish, is so hard.Â I hope I said the right things.Â Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Now, he's angling for a pet upgrade (hermit crab? turtle? hamster???) so I think it's going to be okay.Â Until next time...
Â Â Â Â Â Only one new show has captured my attention so far...HBO's new original series, Boardwalk Empire.Â Steve Buscemi is the lead actor and he's amazing, of course!Â But I was surprised to find I like his supporting cast just as much (particularlythe character Jimmy).Â
Â Â Â Â Tomorrow morning at 7:45, call in with your new season favorites!Â I want to know if there's anything else out there that I should be watching...
Â Â Â Â How long, exactly, does it take a beta fish to die?Â I'm not being flippant.Â No, I am just waiting and wondering.Â My son got Freddy the fish right after Christmas; Santa had left an aquarium toy under the tree as a sign that a fish was needed.Â Â
Â Â Â Â Well, cut to nine months later and Freddy is not the spry fish he once was.Â We've had scares before but he's always rallied, bounced back, surprised us.Â Not this time.Â He can now only use his tiny fins, his body is (sorry) warped.Â The altoids tin coffin is ready for burial.Â But because he still breathes (every now and then),Â my sonÂ can't let go.Â And he's so very upset about it.Â Â If you've never seen hot, fat tears slide down an eight year old's face because life is happening to them, trust me, it isn't easy to witness.Â
Â Â Â Â Here's to Freddy, the best first pet fish a kid named Sam on the eastside of Madison ever had.Â How did you deal with your child's first pet death?
Â Â Â Â Or The Deuce, we could call it!Â UW takes on ASU at 2:30...we'll tailgate beforehand at South Rotary Park.Â It is quite simply the closest tailgate to Camp Randall, acrossÂ Monroe St. by the fire station.Â Open to everyone!Â Beer, soda, brats and steak sandwiches--and when you buy 'em from the Madison South Rotary, they put your money back into the community through the local charities they support!Â Â
Â Â Â Â We'll play "Name That Tune" for hundreds of dollars inÂ gift certificates,Â register you to win a Brett Bielema autographed football and lead the cheer of Let's Go Badgers before the big game.
Â Â Â Â So, a restaurant in North Carolina is getting alot of press over a sign that is now placed inÂ the front window..."Screaming children will NOT be tolerated"!Â The owner says she just means customers will be asked to step outside with their kids who are misbehaving.Â She also mentioned that her business is booming since the sign went up.Â
Â Â Â Â Okay, I understand her point and I am perfectly fine with it.Â I think I would just word the sign a tad differently.Â Here are someÂ my favorites...
"Childrens Opera Auditions held anywhere but here"
"Quiet kids win aÂ scoop of ice cream"Â
"Great chair for time-outs...just past the front door"
Â Â Â Â Hope to see you at the World Famous WOLX Tailgate Party at South Rotary Park!Â It's the closest tailgate to Camp Randall--right acrossÂ Monroe street.Â We'll be playing Name That Tune for fantastic prizes in gift certificate form.Â See, Adam did a news story reminding us all not to bring a big purse or bag--your carry-in needs to be smaller than a sheet of paper.Â So instead of giving away gigantic-sized prizes, I decided to load you up with gift certificates that can be folded and tucked away in your pockets!Â Not responsible if you wash 'em later though.
Â Â Â Â And, remember, when you buy a steak sandwich, brat, beer or soda from Madison South Rotary...your money stays in Dane County, as the proceeds are donated to local charities!Â
Â Â Â Â Today is Teddy Bear Day!Â You know teddy bears are named after President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt. But do you know how the name came about?Â After an unsuccessfulÂ 1902 hunting expedition with the President, someone brought out a real, live baby bear and suggested that Roosevelt might like to shoot it.Â RooseveltÂ refused, of course,Â as he felt "it wasn't exactly sporting".Â The incident was illustrated in a newspaper cartoon called "Drawing the Line" - (which also referred to the political situation at the time). An enterprising New York toymaker saw an opportunity and brought out a cute stuffed bear named "Teddy's Bear".
Â Â Â Â I got my first teddy bear when I was two years old.Â My dad gave me the panda known as Pal because we had just moved (again) and I said sadly that I had no friends in the new place.Â Pal became my best friend and still comforts me to this very day!Â Sure, he's been sewn up all over.Â His white fur is more tan in color now.Â His pink tongue went missingÂ decades ago.Â But nothing makes me happier than giving my teddy bear Pal a big ol' hug.Â Pal--Happy Teddy Bear Day to you and thank you, truly.
Â Â Â Â It sounds funny, doesn't it?Â Redshirting,Â as you know,Â is the practiceÂ of athletes being benched for a year to prolong their eligibility. Â But the idea of holding a child out of kindergarten an extra year is one many parents choose, for a variety of reasons.Â This article talks about the kindergarten dilemma.
Â Â Â Â My son could have easily been redshirted.Â His August birthday makes him the youngest in class and, yes, the smallest in gym.Â But I know my son and he was ready for school.Â Both my husband and I have late birthdays as well (October and November!).Â We know the challenges he faces and we are ready to help him meet them head-on.Â
Plus, he'll only be 17 his entire senior year so we won't hear any of that "I'm 18 and can do what I want" nonsense!!
Â Â Â Â Adam and I talked about coupon clipping on the air this morning and it lead to an off air discussion (with various listeners--thanks for your calls!) about generic versus brand name products.Â
Â Â Â Â There are certain things you are not willing toÂ buy theÂ generic form of...like toilet paper, for instance.Â But a great number of you have found store brands and generics now regularly make it into your cart at the store.Â This article from the Today show gives great insight into what is just as good in generic form (their top five are cereals, prescription meds, over the counter meds, basic baking products and fresh fruits/veggies).Â
Â Â Â Â What about you?Â What do you buy "off brand"?Â Is there a brand nameÂ item you simply will not give up?
Â Â Â Â ABC has a new cast of contestants for Dancing With The Stars (Adam likes to call it Dancing with the D-Listers).Â Â Surprisingly, no one stands out as a shoo-in.Â The playing field is pretty level for singer Michael Bolton, singer Brandy, comedian Margaret Cho, ex-NBA star Rick Fox, actress Jennifer Grey, actor David Hasselhoff, actress Florence Henderson, actor Kyle Massey, political daughter Bristol Palin, MTV reality star Audrina Patridge, MTV reality star The Situation, and ex-NFL star Kurt Warner.Â
Â Â Â Â I mean, the only connection to dancing that can be made really is a reference to Jennifer Grey's big movie "Dirty Dancing".Â She laughingly said at the press conferenceÂ don't mistakenly connect her to a part she played in a movie over 25 years ago.Â But I say...Nobody votes Baby off Dancing with the Stars!
Â Â Â Â Three things happened to me this weekend on our family road trip that never happen.Â One, I got to drive!Â My husband is suffering with allergies really bad this season (poor baby) and had to take a pill that made him sleepy.Â So, I took over behind the wheel.Â Two, we challenged ourselves to not eat fast food.Â I packed a cooler with fresh fruit and cheese plus I stocked the car with pretzels and granola bars.Â Amazing how much better you feel when you're not bogged down with fried fast food.Â And three, I spotted a Rhode Island license plate.Â For our family, that's the Holy Grail in the license plate game!
Â Â Â Â What games do you play in the car?Â Do you take fresh food from home to eat healthy and/or save money?Â Where are you headed on your next road trip?
Â Â Â Â That was weird.Â I was watching HGTV the other afternoon, as I am wont to do, andÂ the show House Hunters came on.Â The city featured was near Orlando and the show had bumpers (the videos going into and out of the housing segments) that were hosted by Sea World trainers.Â
Â Â Â Â Well, one of the trainers was indeed Dawn Brancheau.Â She is the trainer recently killed at Sea World.Â I didn't know what to think.Â It was very strange to see her, hosting the show and interacting with the whales.Â I mean she had her hair in a ponytail like the one we now know the whale grabbed her by!Â I gasped out loud when it swung near the whale's mouth.
Â Â Â Â I expected at the end of the episode for there to be "Dedicated to" or "In Memory of" for her.Â There wasn't.Â And I was extremely dissappointed.Â Should HGTV recognize the tragedy?Â What do you think?
Â Â Â Â Last night I went to makeÂ the Five Minute Chocolate Mug Cake recipe (that my friend and co-worker, Kyla, shared with us here at the studio).Â I got the dry ingredients, flour-sugar-cocoa,Â together.Â Next step, before the oil and milk, was to add The Egg.Â So, I got my eggs out of the fridge...lo and behold, the 3 digit number on my eggs (195) fell within the range of bad egg numbers (136-225)!Â Out of the dozen, there were only three eggs left.Â Nine had been used/eaten/scrambled!Â Fortunately, I must have have cooked them all long enough.Â Here's the recipe I was so keen on making...I'll try again with brand new eggs today!
5 MINUTE CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug (Microwave Safe)
Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well.Â Add the egg and mix thoroughly before pouring in the milk and oil in.Â Keep mixing.Â Add the optional chocolate chips next and vanilla extract, and mix againâ¦Mmm, cake batter!Â Put your mug in the micro wave and cook for three minutes at 1000 watts.Â The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but donât be alarmed!Â Allow it to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.
Â Â Â Â Quick and Easy?Â You bet!Â Madison's Favorite Recipes showcases this simple one skillet dish with five ingredients (plus spices!)...
1/2 pound ground beef, super lean
1 red bell peppper, diced
1 white onion, diced
12 oz can of Spicy Hot V8
1 cup elbow macaroni
Brown the beef with the pepper and onion, drain if necessary (if you use super lean beef there's not a whole lot of fat to drain away!).Â Add a teaspoon of chili powder (plus a couple of shakes of salt and pepper) to the beef and veggies in the skillet.Â Pour in the can of V8 and bring to a boil.Â Â Stir in elbow macaroni, reduce heat to low.Â Cover skillet and cook 15-18 minutes (taste the pasta to decide when it's done enough for you).Â Top with shredded cheese, tortilla chips and green onions!Â
Â Â Â Â The recipe is for two servings...just doubleÂ it for a bigger family.Â Use regular V8 if you don't like it too spicy.Â Change the veggies to suit your family's tastes.Â Ground chicken and ground turkey are good subs for the beef or go all veggie.Â Very versatile recipe...adapt it for dinner tonight!
Â Â Â Â Didn't know Elvis was a firm believer in flying saucers!Â His lifelong connection to extraterrestrials started the very night he was born when his dad saw a blue light in the night sky of Tupelo.Â The doctor saw the blue light that night too...
Â Â Â Â Unsurprisingly, this information comes from a new book by a New York basedÂ UFO researcher and author of "Alien Rock: The Rock 'N' Roll Extraterrestrial Connection", Michael C. Luckman.Â He also spills the beans on other famous musicians (John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix and Michael Jackson) encounters with little green men.
Â Â Â Â What do you think?Â Were Elvis andÂ ETs like peanut butter and bananas?Â Or is the alien affliation all just a bunch of space gas?
Â Â Â Â When Taylor Hicks, American Idol winner and friend of Fletch & Heather, was on the show this morning, he dropped a bombshell about just who might be sitting at the judges table come next season.Â
Â Â Â Â He's heard rumors of being invited back himself, along with the other 8 winners!Â Kind of musical chairs-ish but who would know better than the very people who won the contest.Â I personally would love to hear what Kelly, Ruben, Fantasia, Carrie, Taylor, Jordin, David, Kris and Lee have to say at auditions, performances and beyond.Â What about you??
Â Â Â Â AÂ 10 year old stole the show on the tv show America's Got Talent last night...Jackie Evancho is from the Pittsburgh area and already has a night booked at Carnegie Hall in December.Â Watch the video and you'll see (and hear!) why.Â I don't understand a word she's singing but the hair on my arms is still standing up...
Â Â Â Â Rod Stewart is going to be a proud papa one more time...just announced, he and wife Penny Lancaster are expecting their second child together.Â The new baby will bring his grand total up to seven kids!Â Now his wife is onlyÂ 39 but Rod himself is 65.Â Can you imagine Rod going to this kid's graduation ceremony at the age of 83?Â Teaching them to drive at 81?Â We shouldn't be surprised, though, Rod hinted late last year that he would like just one more.Â
Â Â Â Â I've seen Rod Stewart in concert three times (and even got onstage with him once doing a conga line!)--what a great performer!Â If you get a chance to see him, grab it.
Â Â Â Â Some go to the State Fair for the music--this year's highlights are the Steve Miller Band and Three Dog Night.Â Some hit the carnival and rides (Hello to my eight year old son--I'm talking about you!).Â And some visit the barns and barns of animals, all the while holding their noses and breathing thru their mouths.Â
Â Â Â Â But the true star of the fair, the draw that brings the peeps coming back year after year is obviously food.Â Specifically "Food On A Stick"!Â New additions to this year's food on a stick lineup include apple pie, grapes (frozen and drizzled with chocolate) and cream cheese wrapped in bacon.Â Can't go wrong with a few classics either like chocolate covered frozen bananas and caramel apples.Â The unsung hero...corn (with its husk providing a natural stick once peeled back).Â I could go on and on but I've made myselfÂ so hungry I'm searching out a stick snack right now.
Â Â Â Â Yes, people imitate The Beatles crossing Abbey Road all day long...don't believe me?Â See it for yourself!Â Here is the Abbey Road crossing camera live right here.Â They've also saved a couple of the really great screen shots to gawk at as well.Â What fun!Â Remember--the time there isÂ 6 hours ahead of us.
Â Â Â Â Madison's Favorite RecipesÂ has a doozy of a breakfast dish for you...baked French toast with your choice of fruit--bananas, apples, cranberries or whatever!?Â It can also be put together the night before so you can just pop it in the oven the next morning.Â Start with these ingredients...
8 slices of cinnamon swirl bread
2 medium bananas, sliced thin
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup milk
3 tbsp flour
4 oz cream cheese
2 tsp vanilla
Heat oven to 350 (if baking that day).
Butter a square baking dish, place 4 slices of bread on bottom of dish,Â add sliced bananas and top with the other 4 slices of bread.Â In a blender, combine eggs, sugar, milk, flour, cream cheese and vanilla until smooth.Â Pour the mixture over the bread stack.Â Let stand for 5 minutes (or refrigerate overnight).Â Bake 40-45 minutes (or 50-55 minutes if cold).Â Let stand for 10 minutes.Â Cut into diagonal pieces.Â Top with powdered sugar and pure maple syrup!
Â Â Â Â The dog sitting weekend experiment went very, very well.Â So much so that I now want to keep Fletch's dog (Pip) forever and ever amen.Â She was such a neat canine!Â Chilled to the point of me forgetting she was there a bunch of the time but ready to play if I was game.Â She'll stay with us for close to two weeks soon and my whole family is totally excited.Â Sam liked taking her for walks, my husband liked playing with her (and her toys) and I enjoyed just petting and petting her.Â
Â Â Â Â I read an article a while back about two families who "shared" a dog.Â One was the primary residence but many days and nights were spent with the secondary family as well.Â I can certainly see how Pip can call our home her 'home-away-from-home' anytime!
Â Â Â Â So, I am dog sitting for Fletch this weekend...it's actually a trial run for his big vacation coming up in August.Â We are going to see if we like Pip and Pip is going to see if she likes us.Â I like dog sitting; we've done it few times this summer.Â Gives my son a chance to "have a dog" and certainly gets the family out for more walks together!
Â Â Â Â Visited Vilas Zoo yesterday with my son Sam--always a great timeÂ leading toÂ fantastic animal discussions.Â Like the giraffes.Â Seems they've begun to dust it up a bit.Â I believe the actual sign said they are currently separated because they've begun "to spar" with each other.Â We talked about it seriously at first then we just made upÂ funny reasons for them to fight.Â Â LikeÂ what to watch on tv or what to order on their pizza.Â
Â Â Â Â The whole timeÂ we walked around I sang the theme song to New Zoo Revue.Â Trying to explain that 70s showÂ to Sam was almost impossible.Â If you've never seen shows like H.R. Pufnstuf, Sigmund and the Sea MonstersÂ and The Bugaloos...well, it's hard to describe, isn't it?Â But here's the song itself, ready to worm its way into your brain today.
Â Â Â Â Finally discovered the secret to making a simple grilled cheese sandwich...GREAT!Â Last night, everyone in the Moore household got their own personalized version.Â For my husband, it was a slice of pepper jack and a slice of colby jack.Â For my son, it was two slices of colby jack.Â And for me, a slice of provolone and a slice of colby jack.Â (Think we like colby jack as a family or what?)Â Hand cut a loaf of italian bread and sliced a red onion for some inside the sandwich crunch.Â
Â Â Â Â But that isn't the secret.Â No, the secret is a simple smear of cream cheese inside the sandwich on one slice of the bread.Â I like to use a chive cream cheese--goes nice with the red onion slices!
Â Â Â Â Saw an article in Good Housekeeping magazine about what your favorite kind of nut reveals about your personality.Â Scientists from the Smell & Taste foundation down the road in Chi-Town did the study with 1000 volunteers.Â The participantsÂ got a personality test and then a choice between five nut types.Â Which would you pick...salted peanuts, almonds, pecans, cashews or walnuts?
Â Â Â Â Walnuts say you're competitive; Â cashews say you're dependable and easygoing.Â Pecans say you're generous and considerate; almonds denote high standards and show you're motivated.Â And salted peanuts say you're extroverted and charming.
Â Â Â Â Did your favorite nut match you??Â I am a cashew lover myself and I'm very easygoing (plus dependable) so it's right on target for me!
Â Â Â Â Madison's Favorite Recipes found out potato salad is "King of the Picnic Side Dishes"--it is the side dish you look forward toÂ the most at your summer gatherings!Â Here's a great recipe for a simple red potato salad with dill.
2 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed clean and cubed, cooked tender (10-12 minutes)
3 to 4 hard boiled eggs, sliced and diced
2 celery ribs, diced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
slice of red onion, diced
Mix 3/4 cup mayo, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 tbsp horseradish mustard, 1 tbsp fresh dill, plus salt andÂ pepper and other spices to taste--like minced onion, ground mustard and dried dill too!
Fold everything together, add more spices to taste...cover and chill until picnic time!
Â Â Â Â Okay, I am totally taking credit for the Rafael Lopez grand slam last nightÂ in the Mallards game.Â I was a complete geek when I met him before the game (Hi,I went to Florida State too and I am so glad you are here playing for the Mallards!).Â I even wore my FSU baseball hat, which I'm bummed I didn't think to get him to sign.Â And, yes, I did the Florida State war chant every time he came up to bat!Â Â Â Oh, he also had another RBI off a single later in the game, picked a would-be base stealer--he was on fire.Â
Â Â Â Â Did I mention Fletch's first pitch?Â He who can throw a strike every time?Â Well, he knew my husband, son and father were sitting behind home plate watching us so he threw it hardÂ and highÂ right into the backstop!Â What a riot this guy I work with is.Â It was a trip and totally fun--couldn't stop laughing.
Â Â Â Â My dad feels personally responsible for Florida State catcher Rafael Lopez playing in Madison this summer.Â See, last summer at a Mallards game, I introduced my dad to Mallards General Manager Vern Stenman.Â Ernie--Vern, Vern--Ernie.Â My dad told Vern then the Mallards should grab some Florida State players.Â A few weeks ago in the Tallahassee Democrat, my dad saw theÂ story that Lopez would be coming up to play at the Duck Pond.Â Viola!Â
Â Â Â Â Â So, it's pretty awesome that my dad will be here tomorrow night when Fletch and I throw out the first pitch...I'm hoping Lopez will catch for me!!
Â Â Â Â *Warning*Â These brownies will knock your socks off and they are a snap to make with only 5 ingredients!
1 box German Chocolate Cake Mix
1 stick of margarine
12 oz chocolate chips
12 oz caramels
1 can evaporated milk
Preheat the oven to 350.Â Mix the cake mix, margarineÂ and half the milk together--this is your batter.Â Melt the caramels and the rest of the milk in the microwave (check and stir often!).Â Grease a 9 x 13 pan, pour in half the batter and bake for six minutes.Â Take it out of the oven and pour on caramel mixture and sprinkle chocolate chips then top with the remaining batter.Â Bake for 25 minutes (or until the toothpick comes clean!).
Â Â Â Â On Madison's Favorite Recipes this week, we'll be taste-tasting a number of brownies from the staff of WOLX and Channel 3.Â Watch it live Thursday morning on Channel 3 around 6:40.Â
Â Â Â Â And we'll be hitting you up for your favorite side dish recipes!Â Got a powerful potato salad?Â A colorful coleslaw?Â Make a magnificent macaroni salad?Â Submit your recipe here and thanks for sharing it with Madison's Favorite Recipes!
Â Â Â Â That's why it's so funny.Â Comedian Steve Martin's tour rider "leaked" on his website over the weekend.Â And while the funnyman is only playing the banjo on his current tour (Overture July 27th), you can certainly tell his sense of humor will beÂ with himÂ as well.Â I mean, who else would ask for the sound check "instruments to be tuned by a wiry, sarcastic guy named Shorty, Lou or Lightnin'."
Â Â Â Â Great earning opportunity at Rhythm & Booms...volunteers are needed to help sell lightsticks/glow in the dark products.Â Your nonprofit group will be paid a commissionÂ based on your sales.Â All volunteers must be 16 and the hours are 6:30-9pm.Â Contact Mike Kelly at (608)833-6717 or email Fireworks3@tds.net.
Â Â Â Â That's the rating my son gaveÂ Toy Story 3...see, he knows Adam ranks movies on the Buckets of Popcorn scale (up to four).Â And he thinks that four is too few to rate a flick.Â So, on the way into the theater yesterday, he decided to come up with his own system.Â He would give Bars of Chocolate and he would base it on three things--Action, The Funny and Story (and that's how he put it, by the way, not me--The Funny).Â
Â Â Â Â I fell in loveÂ with the Ken character and, no surprise,Â Ken was voiced by one of my favorite actors...Michael Keaton!
Â Â Â Â My dad and I have two television series that we claim as our own; we spent quality time together just kicked back watching the boob tube.Â We share a fascination with how things work.Â So, it should come as no surprise that Macgyver tops our list of fun shows!Â
Â Â Â Â And somehow we ended up getting into the Star Trek: The Next Generation series when I was in college.Â I went toÂ classes during the day and worked nights at a radio station.Â But in the middle of my busy day was down time with dad--way cool to share that hour with him.Â We absolutely adored the episodes with "Q".Â And if you don't know who that is, well, grab the dvd's and watch 'em with your dad!
Â Â Â Â Every now and then, something new comes along that just blows me away.Â This time, it's three things...
Â Â Â Â What did I do before Kleenex Hand Towels?Â Disposable, convenient and sanitary.Â My son says it's like being "in a restaurant bathroom"--haha!Â The boxesÂ are designed to fit perfectly in a towel holder and theyÂ come in a variety of neutral colors.Â I hope I never have to go back to the wet, soggy breeding ground of germs that was my previous hand towel situation.
Â Â Â Â I am also totally loving the new M&M's with pretzels!Â All the crunchy saltyÂ goodness of a peanut M&M with a little less fat.Â Don't get me wrong, it ain't a diet M&M, just a little lighter.
Â Â Â Â And, finally, I am over the moon about the Capital View Farmers Market...Wednesdays from 3-7pm (just off Cottage Grove Rd. at the corner of North Star and Sharpsburg).Â Having fresh, delicious veggies mid-week is a luxury I'll now enjoy through October.
Â Â Â Â None of the above mentioned products, goods or services paid me to gush about them.Â Â I just did.
Â Â Â Â My high school class had over 400 kids...much to the dismay of my dad.Â See, my maiden name starts with an "A" and yes, I was the very first Lincoln High School Class of 1988 student to walk the stage and shake the principal's hand.Â Yippee!Â Then my parents had to sit there while all the other kids got their turn to trip the lights fantastic.Â Would it have been better if our last name was Zimmer?
Â Â Â Â You watch Charlotte Deleste on News 3 but you probably don't know what her life is like when she's not on TV.Â Charlotte has a special needs child.Â And Gio's Garden is designed to help her son Gio and other special needs children (and families) in our area.Â Read about Gio's Garden and how you can help here.
Â Â Â Â School's *almost* out for summer...are you prepared?Â Me neither!Â Sure, I have some vague ideas ofÂ what to do with my son (but I can't teach him to play tennis all day everyday!).Â However, that does top my list of things to do this summer...
#1--Teach Sam to play tennis.Â Exciting, as I've been waiting for him to play with me (sinceÂ my husband won't).
#2--Keep up with reading.Â It's an activity we all enjoy in my family.Â Watch out, Library, here we come!
#3--Involve Sam in the whole process of planning, shopping and cooking our meals...maybe that way, he'll consider eating something out of his comfort zone.
Â Â Â Â Since this weekend's forecast has rain off and on, I plan on cleaning my grubby house.Â Okay, it's not that grubby actually because I am one merry-maid.Â Yeah, I'm one of those people who like to clean.Â It's so satisfying to me...Â at the end of a good scrub session, things sparkle!Â So, I think I'll tackle the floors and findÂ three things to throw away from the basement.Â How about you??
Â Â Â Â We gotÂ our very own Farmers Market in the neighborhood--yesterday was the first exciting day!Â Sam noticed the tents set up on his bus ride home and was game for checking out the action (not so much the veggies).Â There was kettle corn and meats and cheeses plus baked goods and, of course, fresh veggies.Â I grabbed a bunch of onions, a bag of spinach and a cinnamon roll the size of my hand!Â
Â Â Â Â Love this time of year and can't wait for Wednesday.Â If you'd like to stop by yourself, it is Wednesdays from 3pm-7pm at the corner of Northstar and Sharpsburg--off Cottage Grove Rd. just after it crosses the highway.
Â Â Â Â Of all the casserole recipes we here at Madison's Favorite RecipesÂ received (pasta, tuna, even green bean!), the humble potato was clearly the most included ingredient.Â Â And often with it's best pal, cheese.Â This particular recipe has both, plus some delicious taco meat!Â I also loved thatÂ you can add veggies, like peppers and onions, to the recipe.Â Use a lean cut of ground beef and low-fat cheese to cut the calories a smidge.Â Â Top with tortilla chips, salsa and sour cream ifÂ desired.
Prepare julienne potatoes according to box (preheat the oven to box temperature).Â Brown and drain a pound of ground beef.Â Use taco seasoning packet with the beef, according to directions.Â Stir taco beef into potatoes and bake.Â With five minutes left, top with your shredded cheese of choice (I went with taco cheese!) and bakeÂ untilÂ bubbly.
Â Â Â Â There are a number of vacation options with Bid for Booms...overnight stays at Great Wolf Lodge in the Dells and entire trips to Las Vegas, Orlando andÂ Sonoma Valley.Â When you Bid for Booms, you support Rhythm and Booms, the Largest Fireworks Festival in the Midwest!Â Take a look at all the items here.
Â Â Â Â Wouldn't a massage be great right about now?Â Bid for it on Bid for Booms!Â RZ & Company has a full body massage up for auction.Â And Kneaded Relief Day Spa is offering an express facial.Â Yoga will relax you; grab yoga classes from Kaivalya Yoga in Madison.Â To keep looking good, bid on Ultimate Salon and Spa's cut and color auction item and Rejuvenation Spa's full makeup application offer.Â
Â Â Â Â By supporting the Bid for Booms auction, you are supporting Rhythm and Booms--the Midwest's Largest Fireworks Festival!
Â Â Â Â Wow, so easy to plan your kid's (or grandkid's) next birthday party with Bid for Booms.Â Up for auction...birthday parties at KEVA SportsCenter, BowlÂ A Vard Lanes andÂ UltraZone (lazertag).Â By supporting the Bid for Booms auction, you are supporting Rhythm and Booms, the Midwest's Largest Fireworks Festival!
Â Â Â Â You know you're going to eat pizza soon.Â And you can probably bet on eating it again next month.Â And the month after that.Â Why not plan for the year ahead while supporting Rhythm and Booms?Â Two different pizza joints, Pizza Hut and Rocky Rococo, are offering you a large pizza every month for a year!Â The $144 value has an opening bid of just $48.Â Wait, forget IÂ told you, I'm going to scoop these up for myself.
Â Â Â Â My current three favorite things on Bid For Booms...an Apple IPAD 16GB, Chocolate Shoppe ice cream for a year and a trip to Vegas, baby!Â Where else can you bid for fantastic trips, delicious goodies and tech gadgets all while supporting a great free local event, Rhythm and Booms--the Midwest's largest fireworks festival?Â Bid For Booms auction is now live!Â The site is safe and easy to navigate--you'll love it!
Â Â Â Â Madison's Favorite Recipes first request was for your cookies recipes...thanks for all the awesome entries!Â Â We'll be featuring WOLX listener RoxAnne Amble's delicious No Bake Cookie recipe on News 3.Â What I loved about this recipe was that it was easy to follow, fast to prepare and great for summertime since it doesn't heat up your kitchen with a hot oven.Â So, here it is, your No Bake cookie recipe...
In a dutch oven, over medium high heat, combine 2 Cups Sugar, Â 1/3 cup cocoa, Â 1 tsp salt, Â 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup butter
Boil (gently)Â the above ingredients for 2 minutes (no longer!), turn off heat and then add: 3 cups oatmeal, Â 1 tsp vanillaÂ and 1 1/2 cup Peanut Butter (plus 1 cup coconut if desired)
Drop by teaspoon on waxed paper or parchment paper. Let the cookies set for an hour and enjoy!
Also, RoxAnne wants you to know that Elvis impersonator Tony Rocker and the Come Back Special will be performing at Deb and Walt's Sandbar Sports Arena on Saturday May 22nd from 7pm to 10 PM.Â Tickets are available for $10.00--contact RoxAnne Amble @ 608-753-2354.
Â Â Â Â So, the final four perform "songs from the cinema" on tonight's American Idol.Â It's an interesting time in the contest because tonight, for the first time, each contestant sings two songs instead of just one.Â But the twist is each perform one song solo and then they team up withÂ another contestantÂ for a duet.Â Can't wait to see (and hear) how they are paired!Â
Â Â Â Â Actor/musician Jamie Foxx is the mentor tonight and I remember thoroughly enjoying his time on last year's Idol.Â He is quite larger than life and unwilling to accept anything less than contestants' best.Â I like it when the mentors really push 'em to greatness!!
Â Â Â Â Had a great Mother's Day as usual.Â Got smooched awake by a pint-sized snuggler.Â Went out for lunch and a walk on State Street--what a beautiful day!Â Then it was off to the store to get my new iphone.Â Yep, got an iphone for Mother's Day.Â Apparently, my son and husband couldn't deal with myÂ old pink razor phone any longer.Â Okay, my son only disliked it because it was pink but my gadget-obsessed hubby...well, he tookÂ the opportunity to upgrade!Â
Â Â Â Â We had some more lazy family time in the afternoon and for dinner slurped up delicious chicken tortilla soup I had made the day before yesterday.Â Just when they thoughtÂ the Mother's Day ExtravaganzaÂ was all over...I demanded a trip to Culver'sÂ for a concrete mixer!Â We settled back in the house and watched the season finale of The Amazing Race.Â Our favorite team may not have won the million bucks (sorry Jet and Cord!) but the Moore TeamÂ had a fantastic day together.
Â Â Â Â Finally.Â Talked to my mom last night and pinned her down on a mother's day gift idea.Â Not that I don't have great gift ideas of my ownÂ for her.Â She is very easy to buy for--books, clothes, pictures, jewelry (costume and real)Â all make her happy as a lark in the sunshine.Â
Â Â Â Â But my mother is also specific.Â When asked outright what she would like as a present, she will tell you.Â Exactly.Â In detail.Â She'll say it casually but I know she's been thinking about it and waiting for it and excitedly looking forward to a time she can ask for it.Â Like this year's idea.Â New perfume.Â Now, she's worn the same fragrance for at least 15 years.Â ButÂ she smelled a magazine sample that caught her nose and viola--anotherÂ successful Mother's Day Gift!
Â Â Â Â As you get ready for Cinco de Mayo, here's a link to the Taste of HomeÂ Cinco de Mayo recipe page.Â I'm a huge fan of Taste of Home recipes.Â I've got a well-worn chicken recipe magazine that I constantly pull ideas from!Â So, saltÂ your margarita glasses, roll the tamales and say ole!
Â Â Â Â See you Sunday on the Capitol Square with the PGA!Â It's a free family golf day from noon-4pm.Â There'll be games andÂ challenge events for PGA merchandise and tickets.Â Kids can play one of two mini-courses--36 holes total(the 10 and older course is a wee bit harder than the shorter course for the younger kids is).Â And guess what?Â Participating families will be entered in a grand prize drawing for the 92nd PGA Championship Premier Family Package.Â It all sounds like great fun; I'll see you there starting at noon!
Enjoy this video of Einstein, the *new* world's smallest horse.Â He was born five days ago, tipping the scales to a whopping 6 (six!) pounds.Â My son was biggerÂ at birth but he sure wasn't walking around the same day like Einstein does!!
Â Â Â Â Elvehjem Elementary did it!Â They broke the world record for largest plastic bag sculpture with 22,688...way to go!!Â The first video has the kids snaking through the sculpture and the second shows the giant Earth being moved to the middle.
Â Â Â Â They're breaking a world record at my son's elementary school tomorrow...and by "they", I mean the school's kids, teachers and employees.Â Also,Â add the efforts ofÂ parent volunteers and everyone who donated plastic shopping bags to the cause (I've beenÂ able to recycle all my shopping bags throughout the school year to this project!)!
Â Â Â Â A chain of 20,000 bags will be snaked around a huge labyrinth with an enormous "world" suspended over the center.Â The theme of the project is "FindingÂ our way to a more sustainable world".Â Check back later in the week for video and pictures from theÂ event!
Â Â Â Â Launched Madison's Favorite Recipes on the air with Rob and Charlotte atÂ WISC-TV this morning.Â What fun!Â Here's the recipe for the Most Delicious Oatmeal Cookie in the History of the Universe...
1/2 cup butter (softened), 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg, 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp each allspice, ground cloves and ground ginger
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
6 oz baking raisins, 4 oz crystalized ginger chips
Cream butter and sugars together.Â Add egg and vanilla.Â Mix in flour, soda, salt and spices.Â Add oatmeal.Â Fold in raisins and ginger chips.Â Put finished batter in the fridge while you heat the oven to 375 degrees.Â Bake 8-10 minutes.Â Makes 24 amazing cookies!
Â Â Â Â What will American Idol be without him?Â No, I am not talking about Simon Cowell this time.Â It was just announced American Idol musical director Ricky Minor will be the new band leader for the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.Â He'll be Leno's third band leader, following the outgoing Kevin Eubanks and Brandford Marsalis.Â First day on the job is June 7th (conveniently after the Idol season finale).Â Ricky's certainly got the chops--he'sÂ served asÂ musical director for the Grammys and the Superbowl!Â
Â Â Â Â Will he up the level of coolness on the Tonight Show?Â Does this add another nail in the Idol coffin with Simon Cowell leaving after this season as well?Â Can't wait to hear his musical choices of playing us to the commercials...
Â Â Â Â When I saw the video of Fletch and Adam enjoying the gut bomb also known as the new KFC Double Down, it reminded of another monstrosity I read about last month.Â The Land, Sea and Air burger from McDonalds has a beef patty (land), fish fillet (sea) and chicken patty (air) sandwiched together between a bun.Â Now, it's not currently on the menu--it is known as an "off menu" item.Â And doing a little research, I found other examples of popular chains "off menu" delicacies...
Â Â Â Â At Burger King, orderÂ 'frings' and you'll recieve a french fry/onion ring combo.Â Or get the veggie whopper--all you love about the Whopper just minus the meat.Â Potbelly's will sell you a Wrecking Ball, which is the meatball sandwich and the wreck sandwich combined.Â Subway may have taken the pizza sub off their menuÂ board but you can still order it!
Â Â Â Â For more secret "Off Menu" items at other popular places, click here.
Â Â Â Â I've certainly seen every episode of "Designing Women"--the show about the interior design firm of the Sugarbaker sisters.Â Dixie Carter played Julia Sugarbaker (and her nickname was The Terminator).Â Every show, I always looked forward to Julia's tirade and this is one of her finest.Â Â Dixie Carter passed away this weekend;she wasÂ 70.
Â Â Â Â Here's a "fly on the wall" video viewÂ of Stevie Nicks, getting made-up for a photo shoot with Rolling Stone magazine back in the day.Â The song Wild Heart starts playing and Stevie starts singing.Â The song is beautiful, she's beautiful.Â Enjoy.
Â Â Â Â You may be getting your Paula fix by watching NBC soon.Â The news is Paula is in talks with the Peacock Network to headline a reality series set in the world of flash mob dancing.Â What is that you ask?Â Watch the video below from Oprah's street party thingy last year.Â Pretty cool.
Â Â Â Â Â "It is 80 minutes of jaw-dropping wonder. The great thing about babies is you can never direct them. They never do something fake."Â
Â Â Â Â Take a look at the trailer for the new documentary "Babies".Â The nearly dialogue-free feature film is being comparedÂ toÂ "March of the Penguins" (the Oscar-winning documentary from a few years back).Â
Â Â Â Â It's due date (pun intended) is Earth Day, April 16th!
Â Â Â Â There is talk of an "Oscar Curse" for best actresses...seems 8 out of the last 12 Best Actress Oscar winners have split from their partners following their gold statue win.Â Wow.Â Certainly a high percentage but don't Hollywood relationships always have a shorter shelf life?Â
Â Â Â Â Â Sandra Bullock just won her first Oscar and a woman has crawled out of the wood work, making mistress claims onÂ Sandra's husband Jesse James.Â Last year's winner Kate Winslet has just split from her husband director Sam Mendes.Â Reese Witherspoon divorced actor Ryan Phillipe soon after her 2005 win.Â And Hilary Swank ended her marriage to actor Chad Lowe following her 2004 win.Â Halle Berry left husband Eric Benet after winning in 2001.Â Julia Roberts and actor Benjamin Bratt broke up in the wake of her 2000 win.Â Gwyneth Paltrow ('98) and Helen Hunt ('97)Â 's relationships with fellow actors Ben Affleck and Hank Azaria fizzled following Oscar wins as well.Â
Â Â Â Â Â Nicole Kidman ('02) had already split from Tom Cruise when she won the gold guy.Â Charlize Theron ('03) took longer but herÂ long term relationship with fellow actor Stuart Townsend has gone caput.Â Only Helen Mirren ('06) and Marion Cotillard ('07) are still in their pre-Oscar winning relationships (Mirren is married and Cotillard is dating).Â
Â Â Â Â So I'm giving up my dreams of winning the Best Actress Oscar...I'd like to keep my hubby forever, thanks!
Â Â Â Â And I don't mean just drinking beer while you are cooking dinner!Â Although that is certainly an option.Â Nope, I meanÂ incorporating beer into your recipes.Â On St. Patrick's Day specifically, GuinnessÂ beer in your braised beef sounds delightful, doesn't it?Â How about Guinness' malty, toasty flavor enhancing your chocolate cupcakes?Â Yes, really!Â And throwing some Guinness inÂ to make a tangy beer sauceÂ for a warm German potato salad sound de-lish to me...how about you?Â Â
Â Â Â Â Â Yes, here is a recipe page to end all recipe pages--click here--every single one calls for Guinness beer.Â (And it's not even the Guinness website, go figure!)
Â Â Â Â Paddy Irishman, Paddy Englishman and Paddy Scotsman were doing construction work on scaffolding on the 20th floor of a building.Â They were eating lunch and Paddy Irishman said, "Corned beef and cabbage! If I get corned beef and cabbage one more time for lunch I'm going to jump off this building."Â Paddy Englishman opened his lunch box and exclaimed, "Ham and English mustard again! If I get ham and mustard one more time I'm going to jump off, too."Â Paddy Scotsman opened his lunch and said, "Haggis again. If I get a haggis sandwich one more time I'm jumping too."
Â Â Â Â Next day Paddy Irishman opens his lunch box, sees corned beef and cabbage and jumps to his death.Â Paddy Englishman opens his lunch, sees ham and English mustard and jumps too.Â Paddy Scotsman opens his lunch, sees the haggis and jumps to his death also.
Â Â Â Â At the funeral Paddy Englishmanâs wife is weeping. She says, "If I'd known how really tired he was of ham and mustard I never would have given it to him again."Â Paddy Scotsmanâs wife also weeps and says, "I could have given him cheese! I didn't realize he hated haggis so much."Â Everyone turned and stared at Paddy Irishmanâs wife. "Hey, don't look at me" she said. "He makes his own lunch."
Â Â Â Â Nice to meet you Saturday morning, buying tickets for Simon & Garfunkel.Â Fletch and I stopped by with a couple of giant vats of coffee right before tickets went on sale at 10am.Â As it was a little chillier than some thought it would be, the hotness of the coffee was as appreciated as much as the caffeine was!Â Probably a good two or three hundred were there...the line snaked around the corner.
Â Â Â Â Saturday night was the big 1964: The Tribute show at the Barrymore and, man, were they awesome or what?!Â The crowd went wild; the band was great.Â They played super tight and had everything down to a T--hair, costumes, accents, banter, etc.Â Make plans to see 'em next year...I'm pretty sure we convinced the band to come back to Madison with the warm welcome they got Saturday night!
Â Â Â Â She says she's turned down hosting Saturday Night Live three times in the past, never feeling "New York" enough.Â But her agent finally talked her into it!Â Â The Emmy winning actress will the the sole host of the Mother's Day showÂ and producer Lorne MichaelsÂ has also booked former SNL players (Tina Fey, Molly Shannon, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch and Ana Gasteyer) to pick up the slack in case the demanding live show format proves too much for the 88 year old actress.Â I am only worried the show won't be able to keep up with Ms. White.Â
Â Â Â Â I haven't watched SNL in years.Â But I'll be watching May 8th, for sure.
Â Â Â Â Although Fletch did not give up meat for Lent, members of his family did.Â So he's kind of a vegetarian by default these days.Â And he's run through his repertoire of veggie-only dishes.Â Enter my Spicy Pepper Potato Soup to save dinner tonight!Â Here's the list of ingredients for a two person serving (just double up for a family of four!)...
2 cups diced potatoes
1 poblano pepper, diced small
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced small (no vein or seeds unless you all like it hot!)
1/2 white onion, diced
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp oil (olive or veg--your choice)
1 14oz can vegetable broth
1 cup milk
1 tbsp flourÂ
1/2 cup shredded cheese (again, your choice but cheddar rocks)
Toppings--more shredded cheese, chives, green onions, crackers
Heat the oil in your soup pot and add the potatoes, garlic, peppers and onion.Â Saute for a few minutes and season with cracked pepper and your spices of choice.Â Add the can of broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.Â Simmer for 30 minutes.Â Take a wooden spoon and smash the diced potatoes against the side of the pot.Â This soup is not meant to be pureed; it's a bit chunky.Â Simmer another 30 minutes or so.Â Continue seasoning with pepper, garlic and onion powder--whatever floats your boat.Â Put your flour in your cup of milk, stir to slightly dissolve.Â Slowly add milk and flour mixture to soup.Â Simmer another 15-20 minutes, stirring pretty frequently.Â AddÂ cheese.Â As soon as it melts, serve it up topped with what you like!
Â Â Â Â I'll just take Adam's word for it.Â Of the ten movies nominated for best picture this year, I've seen two.Â The Quentin Tarantino one, because I'm a huge fan of his (heck, my last dog was named Jackie Brown after his flick of the same name).Â And I saw Up, the only animated nominee.Â Loved them both but neither are getting the kind of talk, press,Â airtime that Avatar and The Hurt Locker are generating.Â Â
Â Â Â Â Adam, on the other hand, has seen ALL the nominated films and that's why I defer to his pickin' tomorrow morning.Â Â He'll tell us who should win and who will win ('cause sometimes those titles aren't the same).
Â Â Â Â Jim Carrey is a 48 year old grandfather!Â His 22 year old daughter had her first baby last week.Â Got me thinking about other young celebrity grandparents...Sarah Palin was a 44 year old grandparent, as was Priscilla Presley and Pierce Brosnan.Â James Brolin and Donny Osmond both got their granddad stripes at age 47.Â
Â Â Â Â But the winner of the youngest celebrity grandparent has to be Whoopi Goldberg.Â She became a grandmother for the first time at 34.Â Yes, 34.Â She was 18 when her daughter was born (who in turn had her first baby at 16).Â Whoopi's oldest granddaughter is 20...so she could become a great-grandmother anytime!
Â Â Â Â What does your wedding date say about your marriage?Â Find out here!Â My husband and I picked the 28th of March to get married, an Aries wedding date (March 21-April 19).Â Turns out that an Aries wedding is an "excellent time to get married because love thrives in the fresh atmosphere of springtime".Â Also noted is the fact that Aries anniversary getaways "show spring blooming in all its glory"--well, we're headed to the desert (Las Vegas) for a few days later this month.Â But I'll look for blooming slot machines for sure!
Â Â Â Â This weekend, we're counting down the top 70 songs of the 70s.Â And we have 70 reasons to love the 70s here.Â When I checked out the list, #15 popped out at me.Â "Nancy Drew" mysteries.Â
Â Â Â Â See, I'm a "Trixie Belden" girl myself.Â She's a little different from Nancy, a bit younger, at 13.Â Â Trixie and her friendsÂ Honey Wheeler and Di Lynch (along with Trixie's brothers and other friends)Â are in a club they formed called Bob-Whites of the Glen.Â Â Â There are 39 books in the series and believe me when I tell you I've read each one many, many times.Â Books 1 through 15 have been reissued--grab 'em for the girl who loves to read in your life!
Â Â Â Â So, headed to the airport today to pick up my mom and she's clearly bringing the Florida sun with her.Â Now, if we could just work it out to where she brought Florida temperatures with her as well...I don't know though, it's been chilly down there lately.Â I mean, we'd be wearing short sleeves here if we had temps in the 40s now.Â But Floridians are bundled up and complaining.Â I do think after a weekend of highs of only near 30, my mom at least won't be complaining that much anymore!
Â Â Â Â American Idol judges Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson have both openly admitted to wanting a girl to win this season's singing competition.Â But right now, on a betting site, the odds on favorite is contestant Andrew Garcia at 4 to 1.Â Â
Â Â Â Â But I am not a betting woman.Â Nope, not me.Â I champion contestant Crystal Bowersox.Â She is the calmest, coolest, most collected contestant I can ever remember.Â And when Simon mouthed off last night that she needed to be more original...Crystal calmly and quickly reminded him contestants can't sing original songs.Â Which just begs the question, how many original songs has she written and when do we get to hear them?!?
Â Â Â Â What an awesome idea!Â The only rules â bring cupcakes, share cupcakes, eat cupcakes. All for free.Â That's what happened a few years ago when a group of friends in San Francisco launched the very first Cupcake Camp.Â They expected 40 people and 300 showed up!Â NowÂ cupcake campsÂ happen all over the world but all with the same spirit.Â
Â Â Â Â Sounds like something sweet any set of friends could set up and enjoy.Â Bring, share and eat indeed!!
In this quick video, watch singer Adam LambertÂ askÂ an audience member to "get off the phone".Â He does it with grace and humor and style.Â What could have possibly beenÂ so important at that very moment that necessitated screaming into a cell phone during a live concert that was being taped as wellÂ forÂ rebroadcast?Â I sincerely doubt the offender was a brain surgeon dispensing critical care advice to his team back at the hospital.Â But Adam handled it so well...he didn't freak out or throw a fit.Â So many artists have been caught acting like total Divas in theseÂ situations, it certainly was nice to see a professional.Â
Â With respect to Animal and all the Sesame Street characters who are muppets (I'm talking about you Cookie Monster), my favorite muppet is, and has always been, Beaker. I love Beaker. This video is certainly contemporary, as you'llÂ see once the "comments" start popping up.
Â Â Â Â Wouldn't it be awesome if the star, the winner, the queen if you will, of all of the Sunday Superbowl commercials hosted Saturday Night Live??Â We've joined a fanpage on facebookÂ that hopes to make that happen.Â There's over 130,000 people on board with it and growing by the minute.Â
Â Â Â Â Betty White would kill on SNL!Â She would make up for every crappy host they've ever had.Â I'll even go a step further and suggest no musical act for that evening...just do more sketches with Betty White!!
Â Â Â Â Here's a fantasticÂ snack for your game day soiree on Sunday...Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip!Â I had it at a party over the weekend and I'm still thinking about it.Â Serve it with celery stalks, crackers and/or tortilla chips.Â
Â Â Â Â Heat your oven to 350.Â Grease a glass dish with nonstick spray. Â MixÂ a package of cream cheese together with half a bottle of your favorite hot sauce (like Texas PeteÂ or Moore's Hot Wing Sauce).Â Add two shredded, cookedÂ chicken breasts and half a cup of blue cheese (or ranch if you prefer) dressing to the mixture.Â Â Â Top it in the pan with grated cheddar cheese and pop it in the oven for 20 minutes.
Â Â Â Â It's best served warm (and it's unlikely you'll have any leftovers anyway).Â Enjoy!
Â Â Â Â Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning in Pennsylvania so it's six more weeks of winter.Â Or is it?Â Sun Prairie's Jimmy the groundhog did NOT see his shadow this morning so spring will come early.Â Right?Â According to organizers in Sun Prairie, Jimmy has an 80% success rate in guessing the winter/spring weather predictions.Â In Pennsylvania, The Groundhog Club says since 1887 Phil has predicted more winter weather by seeing his shadow nearly 100 times.
Â Â Â Â So, Jimmy or Phil?Â As I like to go local as often as I can and because I simply like Jimmy's prediction better...Jimmy it is!
Â Â Â Â Why is it that batteries in smoke detectors only go out in the middle of the night?Â On the weekend?Â Seriously, I went to my girlfriend's annual White Elephant party Saturday night andÂ ate/drank myself silly.Â Walked home from her house and settled in for what I thought would be a disgusting amount of great sleep that night.Â Then, at 5am, I heard it.
Â Â Â Â I actually tried to go back to sleep before it chirped the next time.Â Ha.Â Turned out to be the smoke detector in my son's room.Â Who didn't wake up.Â Ever.Â My husband slept through it all as well.Â Meanwhile, I'm on a chair in the dark with a flathead screw driver and a new nine volt battery.
Â Â Â Â That new batteryÂ turned out to beÂ a dud, btw.Â Repeated process.Â Then slept until 11!Â And promptly replaced every other smoke detector battery in the house.
Â Â Â Â So, as I prepare to watch the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards Sunday night, I realize I've got a lot more preparin' to do.Â Take the Best New Artist category.Â I don't know a single artist...even afterÂ I googled and youtubed 'em.Â For what its worth, nominee and R&B artist Keri Hilson certainly can sing and has had a number of hits this year.
Â Â Â Â For the big three (Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Record of the Year), I'll go along with what everyone else is saying.Â TaylorÂ Swift should sweep.Â She's super talented--not a lot of country artists write their own songs, you know.Â And she's super sweet and nice--the "awshucks" thing she's got going hasn't gotten old yet.Â And I get the feeling she'll be super grateful as well.
Â Â Â Â Quick, who is your favorite movie star?Â Guy or girl--dead or alive, doesn't matter to the Harris Poll.Â Their annual survey is out and a new name tops the list.Â Okay--maybe he's new to the top of the poll but he's certainly not new to the big screen!Â
Â Â Â Â Here's the final tally from ten to one...#10--Julia Roberts, #9--Morgan Freeman, #8--Meryl Streep, #7--John Wayne, #6--George Clooney, #5--Tom Hanks, #4--Sandra Bullock, #3--Denzel Washington, #2--Johnny Depp and at #1--Clint Eastwood!
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Â Immediately teared up reading the news actor James Mitchell, 89,Â had passed away...for 30 years, he played Palmer Cortlandt on the ABC daytime soap opera All My Children.Â The character was fierce and funny, mean and delightful--like only soap opera patriarchs can be.Â Married a million times (and divorced that many times too), I particularly lovedÂ Palmer and Opal together.Â TheirÂ dialogue and interaction was simply priceless.Â Zingers galore!
Â Â Â Â Looking forward to my first Flake Out Festival...an ice maze (with walls seven feet tall!), tubing hills and snow sculptures are just a few of things to enjoy all weekend in the Dells.Â There's a craft corner for kids, wagon and pony rides, an ice rink, Bingo! and an arts and crafts fair as well.Â I'll be there Sunday from 11a-1p, stop by and say hello.Â We'll play fun games for great WOLX prizes.Â See you there...
Â Â Â Â My husband slipped on the sidewalk in front of our house this morning and since I couldn't/shouldn't/wouldn't laugh at him...I laughed at these funny falls instead.Â It's five minutes long and, wait forÂ it,Â one of the funniest moments is at the end.Â On the beach.Â You'll know the one I mean.
Â Â Â Â So, the Shedd Aquarium was packed to the gills on Sunday (oh yes, pun intended!).Â My husband, son and I still enjoyed ourselves as we wound our way through the watery exhibits.Â Â Then we got to the Beluga whale tank. And it was all covered up, with a nice note on the front thatÂ said the whale "had had a baby in December and was currently enjoying bonding time" with baby.Â I mean, we got it, we understood.Â But we were still disappointed.Â Oh well, onto the sharks.Â Whose windows were also closed...with no explanation.Â Ugh.Â There were three things Sam really wanted to see--whales, sharks and jellyfish.Â Thank goodness for the tiny tank of moon jelly!Â Here's a minute long video of that actual baby beluga being born...
Â Â Â Â I shouldn't be surprised.Â Simon Cowell really does know what he's doing.Â Like when he predicted the biggest record sellingÂ American Idol winner would be Carrie Underwood...well, she has sold the most records.Â
Â Â Â Â Â This weekÂ on American Idol, Simon said he thought General Larry Platt's "Pants on the Ground" could be a hit.Â Granted he said he "had a horrible feeling it could be a hit" but a hit nonetheless.Â As I write this on Friday, the youtube clip of "Pants on the Ground" has been watched well over a million times.Â There are dozens of remixes and talk show host Jimmy Fallon did his fantastic impersonation of Neil Young covering the song on his late night show.Â (Check Fletch's blog for that video!)
Â Â Â Â It's a very, very catchy little tune...and Simon knew it, as always.
Â Â Â Â First impression of a Paula-less American Idol...perfectly okay.Â I didn't miss her a bit.Â But she wasn't a major factor in my decision to watch the show.
Â Â Â Â Nope, I'm a Simon lover.Â I appreciate his commentary when the singers are good.Â And, of course, I dig his snarky comments when the singers aren't up to snuff too.Â As far as "crushing kids dreams" goes, those said kids should clearly reach for the stars in other ways.Â Lots of Little League players dream of playing Major League baseball but usually know by the age of 16 (American Idol's age limit) that it ain't going to happen.Â
Â Â Â Â I am looking forward to the addition of Ellen to the judging panel.Â She'll be positive, like Paula.Â But unlike Miss Abdul, Ellen is quick, quick, quick witted.Â Clever goes a long way with me.Â Ditsy does not.