Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Looking Forward To The Iowa State Fair

Every year I look forward to the Iowa State Fair!  The food, the fun, and all the great entertainment.

This year I have another reason to look forward to it.  I’m going to be competing in the Celebrity Division of the Mystery Sack contest.  I don’t really consider myself a “celebrity” but since I’m on the radio they’re letting me in.

I’ve taken part in the Governor’s Charity Steer Show and the Celebrity Cow Milking Contest before.  I’ve even emceed the Mom Calling Contest… but of all the contests at the fair the Mystery Sack contest is the one that I’ve wanted to take part in the most.

Mystery Sack Letter

Here’s how it works: each contestant brings a spoon and 3 fresh or dried herbs or spices.  You’re given salt, pepper, an electric skillet, a sack of mystery items, and 30 minutes to make a dish.

Fifty percent of the judging is on the taste of the creation and the other fifty percent is based on the best use of products.

To some people this might sound frustrating but to me it sounds like fun.  I pride myself into being able to whip up creative dishes.

Telling me “we have nothing to eat in this house” isn’t a statement. It’s a challenge!

That’s why I’m really looking forward to the Iowa State Fair.  The good news is it’s less than a month away!

If you could enter any contest at the fair which one would it be?

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Changes In The Kitchen

I realize that by writing this post I run the risk of showing my age. Not in a cranky old man, “get off my lawn” kind of way.  More in a “that’s not how things were when I was a kid” way.

For supper tonight we decided to make a big pan of nachos for the family.  Seasoned beef, cheese, and refried beans piled high on top of tortilla chips and warmed in the oven.  Then everyone can top them however the want with salsa, sour cream, and jalapenos.  It’s really good and really easy to throw together quickly.

Pan of Nachos

The thing is, tonight we we didn’t have a bag of shredded cheese so we did it the “old fashioned” way.  We used a cheese grater to shred cheese.

Our cheese grater usually only makes an appearance once a year around my birthday when my wife grates carrots to make me a carrot cake.

This caught my youngest off guard.  She walked in the kitchen and exclaimed, “Dude!  You made your own shredded cheese”!

That’s when it hit me how shredded cheese, which I’m guessing was once considered a luxury, has become common place in our house. Growing up neither my wife or I ever remember having a bag of shredded cheese in the refrigerator.

If our families were making tacos or homemade pizza… or anything that called for shredded cheese meant you shredded it yourself (and hoped you didn’t nick your knuckle or fingertips in the process).

Single serve fruit cups, microwave popcorn, or microwave anything weren’t available when I was really young.  Now they are common place.

How have the foods you use and the way you prepare them changed from when you were a kid?

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Looking For Things To Appreciate

There’s a lot of negativity in the world.  If you’re not careful it’s pretty easy to get caught up in it.  I, myself, have been guilty of this from time to time.

There is also a lot of good in the world too! If you open your eyes and look for it.

“If all you did was just look for things to appreciate you would live a joyous, spectacular life.” – Abraham-Hicks.

Seems like a good idea to me.  For the next week every time negativity tries to creep into my thinking I’m going to look for twice as many things to appreciate.  That should stop the negativity.

One thing I always appreciate is spending time with my family.  Even if it’s just hanging out on the deck blowing bubbles.

Blowing Bubbles

Think about your day… what are 3 moments from it that you can appreciate?

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