Last post of the advent blog … because Santa don’t settle for no store-bought cookies!

Three varieties of cookies baked in the Sevener household this holiday season:

Better get these plated so that I can hit the hay and the big man can do his job… 😀

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Not to brag (totally bragging), but look what showed up on my front porch this morning!

Holiday snack preparations are progressing nicely, I see…  😆

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I also made up the season’s first batch of this stuff this evening, to aid me in my present wrapping efforts. I was a little surprised to see that the cereal boxes don’t actually have the oven-based instructions on them anymore – only the microwave instructions, which I’m not a fan of … I prefer to slow roast my Chex Mix into a sweet and savory, golden brown perfection!

Thankfully I was still able to find the original oven directions online. Granted I pretty much have most of it memorized by this point, but then again, I was about ready to pour the mixture over the cereal when upon thinking that it smelled a little funny, I realized that I had forgotten to put the Worcestershire sauce in … so instructions are good as I get into my old age of forgetfulness here… 🙂


Fans of my pumpkin blog may have noticed that my enthusiasm for pumpkinhood sort of dropped out a bit early this year. I might still post a thing or two pumpkin-related before the year is through, but I’ve just been really busy with other things … I’ve even got a whole pile of pumpkin stuff sitting here to review that I never got around to…

And that said, December is also a conflict for my pumpkin proclivities in that along with pumpkin, I also enjoy lots of other flavors that are associated with this season, like peppermint and sometimes even eggnog, but most notably gingerbread!

I’ve actually joked from time to time that I might start a new blog called Love Me Some Gingerbread! once I’ve officially said everything that there is to say about pumpkin, and I probably would’ve started it already if it weren’t simply for a lack of time, but the same thing amuses me about gingerbread when I start walking through the stores and see things like the Twix and M&Ms shown above dabbling in this flavor typically reserved for houses and men and other cookie-shaped forms.

Just for the record, the Gingerbread Twix were actually pretty good, but the M&Ms tasted weird to me … almost more nutty than gingerbready.

I also tried some Gingerbread Spice Tea a few days ago and that one is ok, but I think the best of all is the classic gingerbread cookies. A few years ago Sara & I made some Mickey Mouse shaped ones and then dipped the ears in chocolate to the point where the chocolate was too heavy and made the ears fall off, but they were SOOOO good!

So yeah … gingerbread … I likes it a lot.  :santa:


I love giant things. 

Food especially.

Now I’ve seen the Reese’s cups before, although I’ve never actually been lucky enough to receive them because apparently an entire pound of peanut butter is somewhat past my peanut butter-loathing wife’s tolerance threshold! But aside from the giant Hershey’s bar, which to my understanding comes in an even gianter version than the 1 pound bar shown, I had no idea that the other candy makers were jumping on these ultra-sized introductions to diabetes…


That said, as I piled all of these varieties as inconspicuously on the shelf as possible so that I could snag the stealth picture shown above at my local neighborhood Target, I couldn’t help but look at the back of each package to the calorie information, and oh my, was I singing a slightly different tune then!

(note: all are 1 pound blocks, sometimes split into two pieces when appropriate)

  • Giant Reese’s – 12 servings @ 190 calories each = 2,280 calories total
  • Giant Hershey’s – 8 servings @ 280 calories each = 2,240 calories total
  • Giant Snickers – 9 servings @ 230 calories each = 2,070 calories total
  • Giant Crunch – 10 servings @ 220 calories each = 2,200 calories total
  • Giant York Peppermint Patties – 12 servings @ 130 calories each = 1,560 calories total

Now of course, I’m sure they don’t expect you to eat the entire pound of chocolate in a single serving … although for what it’s worth, was I the only kid who hated the Kit Kat commercial growing up because I had no intention whatsoever to be breaking off ANYONE a piece of my Kit Kat bar??? I remember a place where I used to work where a guy brought in one of those ginormous 5 pound Hershey’s bars and pretty much became the most popular guy for the day as he doled out chunks of it until he still had a couple of pounds leftover for himself!

But *I* have no desire to share, being the greedy kid that I was raised to be, which is why I suppose in order to maintain my girlish figure, I’d better stick to the Peppermint Patties … as you can see, they are pretty much the healthiest giant chocolate bar money can buy…  😐


Being a fairly new tea drinker this year, I’ve been kind of looking forward to Christmastime because I knew that there were a number of fun holiday teas that I wanted to try. I actually sampled another peppermint tea earlier this summer when I stumbled across it in a sampler box that we had in the closet, but nonetheless when I saw all three of these lined up on the shelf in a row, I just couldn’t help but pick them all up…

I figured at $2/box, even if the teas were horrible, at least the box art is kinda fun! 😉

My thoughts:

  1. Candy Cane Lane – This one is the best, and probably most likely to get completely used up by the end of the season – the smell alone is a great reminder of Christmastime, and probably why I enjoyed its peppermint counterpart all the way back in August!
  2. Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride – Kind of sweet, which is a plus because I’m really trying hard not to put honey in my tea anymore because when I did, I was overdoing it and defeating the purpose. Sometimes it has sort of a strange, nutty aftertaste, but it’s never as bad as…
  3. Gingerbread Spice – Now admittedly I don’t not like this one, but it’s definitely my least favorite of the three and I wish there was a little more sweetness to this one so that it more closely resembled cookies than a pile of hazelnuts.

Nonetheless like most teas, all three of them have a great aroma to them that for me almost make them more enjoyable simply to lean over and smell than to actually drink, but of course, the flavors themselves are all fun in their own unique ways, too.

Thanksgiving, The Feast … 2013 Edition

November 28, 2013 9:37pm
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SO MUCH FOOD!!! We’re going to be eating turkey and sweet potatoes and butter shaped like turkeys for weeks! 😯







P.S. I got to carve my very first turkey that didn’t come pre-sliced by the HoneyBaked Ham store, so that was pretty cool!

And lastly, The 2013 Toast:

“For good food, for good health, and for the little baby boy who will be joining us around the table at this time next year…”

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I just cleaned that gigantic mess out of our kitchen pantry, where it had accumulated for several months.

My wife decided to try NutriSystem around November of last year, and for the first couple of months it worked great! She probably lost 20-30 pounds – we’ve got the Beanie Babies with the #s stitched into them around here somewhere to prove it, but the problem was, just like Weight Watchers or any of the others where they sell you food to eat, is that inevitably you eventually realize just how terrible the food actually is, and gradually you start eating less and less of it as you slip in just a bit of regular food here and there, and before you know it you’ve got shelves of this crap with new shipments coming in every 4 weeks that you don’t even have room for anymore!

Seriously, I think our last shipment before she finally put the thing on hold earlier this year probably stayed in the box for a good month and a half while we convinced ourselves that it was still possible to “catch up” and get back on track. even started eating some of it myself – at least the ones that I could stomach – but that only lasted so long because you can only eat so much of the same packaged, microwavable crap day after day. There are only so many choices that they can give you, and if you end up not liking a sizable number of them, you’re pretty much committing yourself to eating the same thing every. damn. day…

Of course, I don’t have a huge bushel of room to talk because I was trying to lose weight right alongside her doing my own thing and I wasn’t really very successful, either, but it just goes to show you that it’s really willpower that you need to lose weight – not some fad diet or books or a new workout routine. I never really cared for these types of schemes because the question always in the forefront of my own mind was “How am I supposed to switch back to normal foods after eating all of these meticulously-planned meals for month after month???” Sure, they tell you that they’ve got a graduated plan to ease you back into the real world once you’ve hit your target weight, but the truth of the matter is that most people probably never even get to that stage because they slip far before they ever reach their target weight and once they’re reminded what a hamburger not made out of cardboard tastes like, the food starts backing up like a clogged toilet. 🙁

I need to see if there’s a food bank nearby where I can donate all of this crap instead of feeling guilty about throwing two months worth of “food” in the garbage…

Apple-Chipotle Pork with Sweet Potatoes!

July 30, 2013 9:55pm
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When wives start cooking again, we all win! 🙂

…well, *I* win, anyways…

P.S. It was good.

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