I’m on a quest this year to find the perfect hot chocolate.

Or at least a really, really good one!

I’ve since graduated from relying on Swiss Miss as my go to hot chocolate mix, with my current favorite being this Hershey’s hot chocolate that my wife picked up at Target around Thanksgiving.

I was looking forward to trying this fancy Starbucks Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate that I came across at Publix that just sounded fantastic, but apparently when you make your name peddling coffee, everything else that you make ends up tasting at least a little like coffee, too … which very much didn’t work for me!

That said, my new curiosity is this Oreo Hot Chocolate mix that I found at Walmart and am keeping set aside for our Christmas vacation next week – I figured it might be a good option back in the hotel room at night to sip on once the kids are finally (hopefully!) all asleep in their beds…

And it’s too bad because Disney themselves has a set of flavored hot chocolate mixes that you can also buy around this time of year, but we’ve already tried them and I actually remember them being a step below Swiss Miss … so no good there!

What do you think? Is there a great hot chocolate out there that you think I should try?

Epcot sometimes has some interesting ones with shots of liquor in them that I’ve enjoyed while walking around World Showcase, so maybe we’ll have to stumble over there in the name of my hot chocolate quest, too!

Dining with Kids

March 4, 2018 1:19pm
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Last night was the first night in a couple of months that we’ve taken the entire family out to dinner … namely because the last time we tried, it was absolutely terrible!

The three of them have just been at a bad age overall because Christopher isn’t as occupied by his iPad as he’s been in the past, and David & Matthew are starting to become wild in their own right. As much as we really enjoy eating out, it’s just not worth the hassle when you know that 90 minutes later you’re going to walk away cranky after paying so much for food you only got to half eat because you spent more time dealing with kids that didn’t want to be there than actually enjoying the atmosphere…


So last night wasn’t great, but it certainly was an improvement from last time. Still, there were a few points of note that I wanted to write about…

  • Why is it that servers act like they’ve never seated a table with kids before??? When you see me quickly whisking silverware and plates and anything away from the kids the moment you set them down within their reach, maybe don’t put anything else within their curious grasp?! Luckily we had a table that sat six with only four seats occupied, so there were some spots where we could “stage” everything, but even when they bring out drinks, it always shocks me when they put them right in the middle of the table when two seconds later that’s precisely what the kids go for…
  • Time seems to pass slower when you’ve got kids teetering on the edge of cranky. I don’t know if it was because we were one of the last tables of the night, but I swear we had one of the slowest servers in existence – frustrating when you’re waiting on those french fries to occupy the kids, or the check so that you can just get the heck out of there! It’s made me start to wonder if servers treat families like ours like the hot potato because we eat slower and they anticipate a below-average tip … although the second part is a misnomer because I actually try to tip more when my kids leave food on the floor that they have to clean up!
  • Don’t make me beg for water. This one has nothing to do with the kids, but one of my primary measures how I rate food service is how well they do at keeping my water glass full. At a good restaurant, I shouldn’t even have to ask for refills, whereas at a bad one I’m lucky to get a single refill all night … which sucks on nights like this when I purposely order something spicy… 🙁
  • Dessert is ALWAYS to go! As much as we would’ve liked to enjoy a warm dessert there at the restaurant, the kids had lasted about as long as we could possibly expect, and in fact Christopher had fallen asleep in the car before we pulled out of the parking lot. Sometimes you have to know when to cut your losses and call it a day!

All in all it was nice to somewhat get a meal actually served to us at a table as opposed to out of a window, and it’s encouraging to see that maybe the kids are getting to the point where they’ll let us score a bite to eat without the prerequisite that two-thirds of them have to be asleep and the third has to be in a really good mood!

Cookin’ Shrimps!

April 14, 2015 11:37pm
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Look at those things – cooking like they’re supposed to and everything!

Tonight I found myself unexpectedly cooking shrimp – something that I’ve never actually done before and admittedly was more than a little unsure of how to do.

The unexpected part came about because I had bought a couple of bags of uncooked shrimp at the store Sunday night for a dinner that Sara was going to help me make later on in the week, but then today I realized that I hadn’t kept them frozen – only in the refrigerator, which the wife said meant that I really needed to do them tonight or else they were going to go bad.

Between you and me, I totally would’ve just thrown them back into the freezer despite there literally being a warning right on the bag itself about not doing that, but this ended up working out ok, too!

So after letting them sit in the marinade that we had for about 30 minutes, I realized that grilling and broiling them like the instructions said wasn’t really an option, so as a last resort I just dumped them all in a frying pan and let them cook until they were all pink and not-raw-looking, and low and behold, it worked!!! 😀

I ended up giving Christopher a few cut up for dinner and ate a ton more myself, and so far both of us are still alive, so apparently I know how to cook shrimp now.

You Pick Two with a Side of NOBODY!

February 18, 2015 7:21pm
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paneraThis isn’t an advertisement … I wish it was … but I’ve got to say that I’m kind of loving Panera’s new Rapid Pick-Up service, and I think my recent orders reflect that because lately we’ve been eating out from Panera at least once a week as opposed to maybe once a month or whatever in the past.

The biggest selling point by far is simply put – I don’t have to interact with anyone to get food anymore!

I order on the app, pay on the app, drive to the restaurant down the street from me, and without fail every time there’s my order just waiting patiently on the pick-up shelf for me! No stupid pagers, no haggling with the cashier to see if they’re willing to make the sandwich that I want on a given day – just in and out.

Anti-social Scott LOVES Panera Rapid Pick-Up!!!

It also doesn’t hurt that parking at my nearest Panera absolutely sucks. It’s in an outdoor mall where apparently people getting to the mall was an afterthought and so even if their own parking lot was actually big enough for the store, you’ve got people from eighteen other mall stores bogarting spaces when they’re not even eating at Panera in the first place!

I seriously used to spend so much time circling parking lots that I’d be absolutely fuming by the time I finally made my way into the store … not exactly getting your customers started off on the right foot! But as for the Rapid Pick-Up spaces up front, surprisingly I’ve yet to see people really abusing them yet and there’s always been at least one open when I pull up … I’m literally in the store less than a minute, so if they can keep those spots dedicated for pick-up only it’ll be a godsend…

And lastly, I’ve also been enjoying the new program because it seems to give me a little more elbow room to experiment with their menu, whereas when I’m standing there in line and there are half a dozen soccer Moms behind me, I kind of feel obliged to just pick something off of the menu and get out of the way! But the app gives me all the time I need to browse and consider my options … I wonder how many people realize that not only can you pretty much get your sandwich on any kind of bread that they have, but you can also swap out sauces, cheeses, and even meats.

Lately I’ve been doing their Steak & White Cheddar, but I get it with BBQ sauce instead of horseradish and a different kind of bread, too. It’s nice to actually have options when there are so many things on their menu that are almost, but not quite what you’re in the mood for eating! 😉

So anyways, we ended up ordering from there tonight and I felt compelled to write a bit about a company actually doing good. It’s nice to have an option that’s as fast or faster than fast food, but considerably healthier.

Now if Red Robin next door could jump on the same bandwagon… 😀





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A brief Slush Puppie review…

December 7, 2014 2:44pm
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Saw these at Walmart the other day for a mere 88 cents, and being that it was nearing midnight it was one of those purchases that you just make – no questions asked.

Turns out, I probably should’ve asked a few questions, such as how does this thing actually freeze?!

The instructions on the back were pretty simple – just freeze and enjoy – so here I assumed that there was something in the composition of the slush that keeps it at that slushy, non-frozen state that we all fondly remember of our beloved Slush Puppies, however that was totally not the case because after throwing it in the freezer over night when we got home, the next day I found that it was basically … solid as a rock.


Next attempt was to toss it into the fridge, but by the time I circled around to it again, it was cold and completely liquid again.

I finally drank it last night by putting it in the freezer and timing it in 15-minute increments until it was kinda starting to freeze, but not out of an otherwise drinkable state, and that worked, but it was way too much work to ever actually do again. The cherry flavor was spot on from my childhood memories, but preparation was a pain in the ass. Truth be told – I have no idea how Slush Puppies are kept slushy … maybe it was because the machine was constantly churning or some other magic…

Either way, let it be confirmed that said magic cannot be replicated by an 88-cent pouch one purchases at Walmart. 🙁


I’ll admit that I’m kind of a sucker when it comes to holiday foods, whether they be peppermint or gingerbread-flavored or even just colored up all red and green for the season! Above is but a wee sample of what I expect to try over the next couple of weeks … cheeses and chocolates, cookies and crackers and sugary confections of all shapes and sorts…

Boy, I really do sound like a hobbit, don’t I?! 😕

This is awesome!!!

November 28, 2014 5:32pm
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I’m not normally one to try and get celebrities’ attention online or anything, but apparently yesterday I got an @reply from Marc Summers on Twitter for Thanksgiving! Neat!!!  :mrgreen:

This is brilliant and I hope this guy makes some truly amazing potato salad!


Perfectly Peppermint!

January 27, 2014 2:38pm
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What can I say?! I’m weak when it comes to delicious, novelty ice creams, especially when they’re seasonal leftovers that surprisingly haven’t been cleared out of the case yet…

Christmastime can be over as soon as I finish the container that’s now sitting in my freezer – until then, don’t even think about asking me when the Christmas tree is coming down! 


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