Cranberry Saltine Cool Whip Dish

Just before Thanksgiving I was listening to talk radio (local) and people were calling in on a casual discussion of listener’s Thanksgiving menu choices. I listened, hoping to catch an idea for something new and different to add to our menu. Since I was in the process of driving around town running errands, whatever “new idea” sparked my fancy needed to be something very, very simple that I could retain in my brain until my next stop so I could write it down.

A lady called in and gave a recipe for a family favorite, “Sounds kind of grouse, but everyone loves it,” she said.

Prepared Cranberries
Small carton of Cool Whip
Sleeve of Saltines (crushed, or not)

Layer the three items in a glass dish. Simple, pretty, yummy.

I figured – why not?

I doubled the recipe. I made cranberries by taking 1 bag whole berries, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water (directions were on the bag), boiled, smashed, cooled.

This I layered with the other 2 ingredients, then covered and put it in the fridge overnight (the lady on the radio recommended this).

I did not like it. I think if I had used pound cake or even bread instead of the Saltines, I would have been OK. But the Saltines rendered a texture and taste I wasn’t fond of. I was hoping for the “sweet, salty, cake-like melding” that was spoken of on the radio, but it turned out with a texture of something in a day-old lunch box – to me. Everyone else seemed to like it.

It is a simple base idea, though, that could be used with another fruit (blueberries) or, like I said, a bread or cookie instead of the Saltines. So, though I might not make it exactly like the recipe says (or if I did, I would make it for a potluck or something), I will keep it in my “back pocket” of tricks to use creatively another time.


Every year, come Christmas (or the month prior to), you will find at least one carton of eggnog in our fridge. The kids like it, I like it, hubby likes it (although I like it best with a little brandy in it). I prefer the organic eggnog variety, and can’t handle more than a serving at a time. My husband could probably chug an entire gallon by himself.

I’m considering taking a try at making homemade eggnog. But then I read the ingredients and change my mind, opting for grabbing a carton from the grocer’s cooler.

Eggnog was never a part of our Christmas tradition growing up. Somehow, though, it became part of our family tradition now. Last year, I substituted eggnog for milk in a pancake recipe. Though it sounds good, I don’t recommend it.

Winter Snow

Christmas is right around the corner. I am ready for the holiday, I just haven’t started shopping. Figure that one out. I haven’t been able to mentally (or monetarily) wrap my brain or checkbook around it – neither is quite capable of it right now.

So I instead turn my attention to the white blanket of snow covering the ground, which is always a welcome addition (in my opinion) at this time of year.

A Christmas without snow feels out of sorts to me. I’ve always lived in a part of the country where there are seasons, and in Winter, there is snow (sometimes LOTS of it – see Buffalo NY Blizzard of ’77). Yes, snow is par for the course.

Bundling up with snowpants, mittens, boots, hats, and scarves – building snowmen, sledding down the tiny hill in our front yard, making snow forts… but hating having to put a jacket on to go to school – the kids have a love/hate relationship with Winter. As do I, to some degree. Putting 30 gallons of gas into our van while the wind whips at your legs and face like a schoolyard bully is no fun. Having to get into a vehicle that feels like a deep freezer when you’ve hardly finished your morning coffee? Again, no fun. But, as they say around these parts – the snow makes the cold worthwhile.

VTech KidiArt Studio Review


Sal, last year, asked for the VTech Learning Laptop for Christmas after playing with one at a friend’s house. Wait – maybe it was his birthday? I don’t remember, and it doesn’t really matter. He wanted this laptop, and we were able to fulfill that wish. I’m glad because he loves it and thinks himself quite the cool dude, playing away with it.

Well, VTech also has this cool KidiArt Studio that they boys played with the other day when their cousins came over. Now, you can read the review on it over at Amazon – about the brightly colored plastic and all the bells and whistles. But I’m just simply going to tell you that my kids had a ball-o-fun of a time playing with it.

My twins are 9; boys. Their cousins, girls, are younger (like 4, 6 and 7). They all had equal amounts of fun snapping pictures and superimposing them onto goofy pre-drawn bodies using the tablet and viewing the results on our television screen (you can hook it up to your TV or computer if you want to be real crafty, printing out pictures and such). The size of the desk and stool was more tailored to the 4-6 year range, but the activities seemed a bit more suitable for the 7-9 year old range. As a multi-aged group activity, it was perfect.

Set-up was relatively simple. It took me less than 10 minutes from unpacking to plugging it in. Figuring out how to use it was simple, too. The only complaint I have with it is the batteries drained faster than a water balloon riding a porcupine. If there were one thing the toy missed a home run on, I’d have to say it was that it didn’t include an AC adapter (it did come with cords for hook-up to the television and computer). I couldn’t find anything to hook an AC adapter up to, either. So, be warned – if you buy this for Christmas, stock up on batteries, ’cause it is NO fun when your spanky new toy poops out on you 10 minutes into a good time.

Bottom line: My young boys, and their cousins, thoroughly enjoyed the KidiArt Studio – fun toy, easy to use – great activity for a small group of young kids to gather and giggle with. Easily transportable (the desktop snaps off for easy portability). Again, though – adapter would have been really, really nice. I put a “-” after the three stars as a 2.5 or a would be 3-star if it came with an AC adapter.


Pictures of the kids using the KidiArt Studio…

President-elect Obama Citizenship Questioned

What do you think? There is more information on the website.

The three main examples of questioned citizenship of Obama (link to full PDF):

Exhibit A: The Grandmother’s tape
Barack Obama’s own grandmother said he was born in Kenya. While politicians are known for it, grandmothers seldom lie. It’s recorded on tape: “I was in the delivery room in [Mombosa,] Kenya, when he was born Aug. 4, 1961.” – Sarah Obama, Obama’s paternal grandmother

Exhibit B:
No Original Birth Certificate
Experts have called the Certification of Live Birth posted online a forgery. Berg reported “It’s clearly been altered,” which invalidates it, according to the document itself. Add to this the Hawaiian law at the time which allowed people to register for this non-hospital short form certificate (without a doctor’s signature) up to one year from the date of the child’s birth.

Exhibit C: Indonesian citizenship
Only Indonesian citizens could attend Indonesian schools at the time Barack Obama attended the Indonesian school where he was registered as Barry Soetoro. His citizenship was listed as Indonesian, his religion as Islam, and his father as Lolo Soetoro, M.A. There was also no dual citizenship at the time. If he was adopted by his Indonesian stepfather, he would have forfeited any U.S. citizenship he may have had, just as when a child is adopted in America, he or she becomes an American.

What do YOU think? Does it hold water, or is it hogwash? I’ve heard a few bubbles about it before, but am hearing about it more and more. If it is untrure, can’t he just show his birth certificate and get it over with? I don’t understand.