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August 01, 2006

All That Jazz

So you wouldn't think that this would be a good idea, and I was doubtful myself - having first tried the Black Cherry - French Vanilla version - but this Pepsi Jazz stuff is AWESOME:


Yes, you read that right - Strawberries & Cream. It's reeeeeeeally good. It's the perfect balance of fruity, creamy (and I don't usually like creamy in a soda)(except I LOVE Cream Soda flavored Dum-Dums), and cola-y.

So far I've only seen Pepsi Jazz at Wal-Mart, in both the aluminum cans fridge pack and in small 20 oz. individual bottles.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 02:31 PM | Comments (15)

March 29, 2006

Official State Drinking

Today I received a package at work from a company in Newport, R.I. It was a small but somewhat heavy cardboard box, and inside it held three bottles of this:

You're thinking, Why did she order coffee syrup? Well, she didn't. Marcel did! He told me that he had sent me a "little something" this week and although I can't get him on the phone right now to confirm it, this has to be it.

You see, Marcel is from Rhode Island. He was telling me about a diner in R.I. that he wanted to take me to called New York Lunch, so I Googled it and I ended up on a website with information about things to do/see while travelling in R.I. I started looking through the site and eventually learned that Coffee Milk is the official state drink of R.I. I don't like coffee, but I lurve coffee ice cream, so I told Marcel that when he takes me to R.I. he'd have to get me some (and some Del's lemonade).

I guess he didn't want to wait, because I will be having coffee milk TONIGHT. Without him (for now).

Posted by Highwaygirl at 11:08 AM | Comments (1)

March 17, 2006

Towering Inferno

I like lasagna as much as the next person - actually, probably more - but this is a little excessive:

That is the new Layers & Layers of Lasagna entree at Romano's Macaroni Grill. Eat it and die!

Posted by Highwaygirl at 10:51 AM | Comments (0)

May 18, 2005

Nigella Lawson's Cappuccino Cheesecake



Recipe: Cappuccino Cheesecake

Time: 1 hour 10 minutes, plus several hours to overnight for chilling

For the base:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
3 tablespoons soft butter

For the cake:
1 pound (2 cups) cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup (packed) brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
2½ teaspoons instant espresso powder
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon Kahlúa or other coffee liqueur

For the topping:
¾ cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon cocoa.

1. Prepare base: In a food processor, combine graham cracker crumbs, espresso powder, cocoa and butter. Press into bottom of a 7-inch springform pan. Place in refrigerator.

2. Prepare cake: Heat oven to 325 degrees. Fill a kettle with water and bring to a boil. Wash bowl of food processor, and combine in it the cream cheese, brown sugar, white sugar, espresso, eggs, egg yolks and Kahlúa. Process to make a smooth mixture with no coffee powder visible.

3. Cover outside of springform pan with a protective layer of plastic wrap covered with a double layer of foil. Fill with cake batter, and place in a roasting pan. Pour boiling water into roasting pan to come about halfway up side of springform pan. Bake until middle of cake is set but not firm (it should still wobble), 40 to 50 minutes.

4. Remove cheesecake from water bath and place on a rack. Remove outer layers from pan and allow to cool completely. Refrigerate for at least a few hours, preferably overnight.

5. Remove cheesecake from refrigerator 20 to 30 minutes before serving. To remove from pan, slide a knife around inside edge of pan, then release sides. Place cheesecake on a platter.

6. Prepare topping: Whisk cream into soft peaks, and spread on top of cake. Push cocoa through a fine-mesh sieve to dust cake.

Yield: One 7-inch cake (6 to 8 servings).

Posted by Highwaygirl at 03:58 PM | Comments (3)

April 28, 2005

Monster Balls

Roo: I am eating pretzel balls and peanut butter
Roo: "brain food"
Roo: these pretzel balls are awesome
Roo: I don't even like pretzels
Me: pretzel ... balls?
Roo: http://www.taquitos.net/snacks.php?snack_code=1785
Me: oh my
Me: where did you find those?
Roo: but my boss got me this MASSIVE container of them
Roo: because I couldn't find them
Roo: she got them at Publix!
Roo: they're buttery and yummy
Roo: and healthy!
Roo: 1.5 grams of fat, 110 calories
Roo: for 30 of them
Me: well, I will have to go to Publix at lunchtime, then!
Roo: yay!
Me: to get the apple caramel popcorn, and look for those
Roo: they are REALLY yummy with a bit of peanut butter
Roo: I think it's the perfect snack!
Me: http://www.thepretzelpeople.com/pages/3/index.htm
Me: chocolate covered pretzel balls!
Roo: oh Lord, chocolate dipped peanut butter pretzel balls
Roo: *dies*
Roo: I love balls
Me: oh, me too
Roo: and I bet the balls filled with stuff will be of teh awesome
Me: Vive le Balls!
Roo: *holds balls*
Me: *raises balls*
Roo: *dips balls in peanut butter*
Roo: *eats*
Roo: hee!
Me: *licks balls clean*
Roo: tee hee
Roo: Vive le balls...hee
Roo: yes, clearly I am in need of more pretzel balls
Me: dammit, now I need these balls
Roo: yes you do
Roo: everyone deserves these balls
Me: why must you taunt me with your luscious balls?!?
Roo: the balls of goodness
Me: happy fun balls
Roo: I didn't even know I liked the balls! But then my boss brought them in!
Roo: and now I have a container of zee balls under me desk
Me: ooh, I see the big container
Me: http://www.thepretzelpeople.com/pages/4/index.htm
Roo: yes! those are mah balls!
Roo: except MINE have a yellow top
Me: hopefully I can find them
Roo: Yes you do!
Roo: Best
Roo: Balls
Roo: EVAH!
Me: I cannot be denied my fair right to these balls
Roo: we should add a new amendment to the constitution
Roo: "the right to bear balls"
Me: I will search far and wide for these balls
Me: like Lewis and Clark
Me: that's it!
Me: I will spend my lunch hour procuring these balls!
Me: no matter the cost!
Roo: Yay!
Roo: I'm like the ball guru!
Me: you are my ball pimp
Me: pimping your luscious salty balls
Roo: don't forget buttery!
Roo: and healthy!

Posted by Highwaygirl at 12:14 PM | Comments (4)

April 20, 2005

Light No Whip

I have never had a coffee-type beverage at Starbucks. It's true! I've only had the Caramel Apple Cider and the hot chocolate. But this afternoon, Cindy and I are going to skip down there and partake of the following:

Starbucks Caramel Mocha Frappuccino
Caramel Mocha Frappuccino® Blended Coffee

"A delightfully sweet combination of coffee, chocolate and caramel syrup blended with ice. Topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce."

We're getting it made "light" (with skim milk) and no whipped cream (because whipped cream is of the devil).

Posted by Highwaygirl at 01:00 PM | Comments (7)

November 17, 2004

Holiday Grog

This looks like a really bad idea:

pepsispice.jpg"Pepsi Holiday Spice gets its festive flavor from a hint of cinnamon and ginger. It's the perfect drink for sharing at holiday gatherings and celebrations or pairing with your favorite holiday treats and goodies."

I've choked down a lot of vile fluids in my lifetime, but I do believe I will take a pass on Pepsi Holiday Spice. However, someone else should try it and let me know if it's good.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 01:43 PM | Comments (3)

February 08, 2004

No-Chop Chili

This is one of the best recipes for chili that I've ever made, and certainly the easiest. It definitely lives up to its name.

I've made this with a variety of ground meats - lean ground beef, ground turkey breast, and today, a combination of ground turkey breast and turkey sausage. You're only limited by your imagination.

Use whatever heat level (mild, medium, hot) of salsa that you're comfortable with. I use medium even though I typically use mild salsa when I'm eating it with tortilla chips. In recipes I can safely go up a level.


Total Time: 45 minutes

3/4 pound ground meat
Cooking spray
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn
1 cup bottled salsa
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (16 ounce) can chili beans, undrained
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

1. Cook the ground meat in a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium high heat until browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in the water and all other ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Yield: 6 servings (about 1 cup per serving)

Nutritional information (made with ground beef): CALORIES 254 (28% from fat), FAT 8g (2.8g sat), PROTEIN 18g, CARB 30.5g, FIBER 7.2g.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 02:57 PM | Comments (0)

January 19, 2004

Size Matters

Okay, here's my Petty Annoyance of the Day (PAOTD):

Recipes that give you the number of servings, and the nutritional information for each serving, but not the serving SIZE. I need to know the SIZE, people! I shouldn't have to measure out the entire quantity of the recipe and then divide it by the number of servings. That's way too much work.

I bought four cookbooks this week and only two of them bother to list serving size. And it? Annoys me (pettily).

In other news, I'm surprised at how much I like the new Diet Coke with Lime. I can only drink a li'l bit of it before it makes me feel sick, though.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 01:49 PM | Comments (4)

December 08, 2003

Into the Abyss

Otherwise known as Super Wal-Mart. But it's the only place I can get everything on my list:

shredded carrots
Canadian bacon
turkey pepperoni
Healthy Choice dinners
wheat bread
Crest Whitestrips - 7-day type
blue cheese
             Smuckers natural peanut butter
Ziplocs - Holiday version
wreath holder for door
cat food
Crest cinnamon toothpaste
chicken broth
cottage cheese

In other news, my Celtic knot bra is fitting so much better these days.

Posted by Julie at 03:48 PM | Comments (7)

December 06, 2003

Mission: Disoriented

I took a ... I don't know how long it was now, three hours maybe? ... nap, and I woke up thinking someone was shooting at me. I was the passenger in a truck where the passenger side door wouldn't close, and "Sean" wouldn't stop driving recklessly and throwing me against the door. Sean was not aka Pimp Diddy or P. Daddy or whatever the hell that guy is/was called, because in my dreams Sean was white.

Oh, the Potato and Canadian Bacon Chowder? AM GOOD. Read on for the recipe.


Weight Watchers POINTS® value | 2
Servings | 8
Preparation Time | 25 min
Cooking Time | 360 min
Level of Difficulty | Easy

2 cup potato(es), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large carrot(s), diced
1 cup leek(s), chopped, white part only
1 medium garlic clove(s), minced
4 cup chicken broth, fat-free
1/2 cup uncooked barley, pearl
1 tsp bay leaf, crumbled or 1 whole leaf
1/4 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 oz cooked canadian-style bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
2 fl oz fat-free half-and-half cream

1. In a slow cooker, combine potatoes, carrots, leek, garlic, chicken broth, barley, bay leaf, thyme, pepper and Canadian bacon. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until vegetables and barley are tender.

2. Stir in evaporated milk and half-and-half and heat through uncovered, about 10 minutes. Yields about 1 1/4 cups per serving.

I added a cup of frozen corn to this with 30 minutes remaining in the first stage of cooking time (so I bumped up the Points value in my tracker to 2.5 to overcompensate for the addition). I put a little bit of shredded cheese on the top of my serving and it added a nice bit of flavor. The barley helps thicken the chowder and really isn't noticeable as barley in the end product.

Posted by Julie at 10:37 PM | Comments (3)

November 19, 2003

Anywhere But Here

Thanksgiving is in a week! Well, almost. And in recognition of that, I'm going to be posting Thanksgiving-appropriate recipes and stuff on me little website here. First up, from NYTimes.com - Sausage Stuffing with Caramelized Onions.

And in other news - scary things afoot in downtown Palm Harbor, where I work.

When I left the office last night at 6, I noticed two sheriff's department cars outside of the Blue Coyote Coffee Company building across the street. Dave, the owner of the BCCC, was talking with a deputy. Obviously something was up, but it was 6, I was tired, and it was time to get the hell out of Dodge (if you know what I mean).

So this morning Suzanne went over to Dave's (no one really calls the place by its real name) to get some tea, and she got the scoop:

All day yesterday a scraggly-looking man had been hanging out in and around Dave's. He had long, ragged blonde hair and scruffy facial hair. He was also, apparently, obviously mentally ill. He was talking about strange things and pinballing from topic to topic with no sense of order. Crazy talk, if you will.

Dave only works in his store in the mornings/early afternoons. In the late afternoon, he has high school kids that take over. Apparently this strange man made them nervous, so they called Dave to come back to the store. He did, and he got the man to go outside onto the sun deck with him, where he calmly explained that the man was intimidating his employees and that he needed to leave. And if he didn't leave, Dave would call the police.

Now, let me tell you this - Dave is a very soft-spoken, kind-hearted man. I'm sure he talked to the man as nicely as would be possible, under the circumstances.

The man did not leave, so Dave did call the police. They came and it was obvious that the man was mentally ill, so they handcuffed him and put him in the back of a cruiser. They were going to Baker Act him (basically an involuntary commitment to a mental illness treatment program in jail; a person can be Baker Acted for three days if the police believe the person is a danger to themselves or others).

Once the man was in the cruiser, Dave went inside his store to get the man's backpack. He brought it out to the sheriff, and the sheriff opened it and looked inside. He found a loaded Glock handgun.

I am stunned. I am so thankful that the situation didn't escalate into something absolutely horrible, which it so easily could have. If Dave had been a different sort of man, with a more angry and confrontational temperment, I think the situation might have played out in an entirely different way.

And now I'm left here thinking, Are we ever truly safe? I don't think we are. Because this little area, downtown Palm Harbor, with its 4 blocks of little shops and antique stores, is the last place where you'd ever expect to be shot.

Posted by Julie at 10:16 AM | Comments (6)

November 04, 2003

Dirty Old Men

Oh mah god, turkey pepperoni is just the best food on earth, ever.

I meant to write about this last night. So I went to the grocery store last night (and dammit, I just found out that I picked up the wrong kind of cottage cheese. Dammit!) and while I was in the checkout line the man in front of me started making smalltalk. He was about 60, rail thin, orangey-tan, with white hair and wearing skin tight blue jeans (ergh). Our conversation went something like this:

Dirty Old Man: That looks like it would be good. *points to spaghetti squash*
Innocent Young Me: Well I don't really know, this is the first time I've bought one.
DOM: I wonder how you cook them?
IYM: You split them in half, bake them cut sides down for an hour, then scoop out the seeds and shred it with a fork, like spaghetti.
DOM: That's a lot of work!
IYM: I guess so!
DOM: That's too complicated for me. If I wanted to eat food like that I would have stayed married ... the two times I was ... *big smile*
IYM: *blank stare*
IYM: *narrows eyes into glare*
IYM: Okaaaay.

I've got two sweet potatoes baking in the oven. I yam addicted.

HAHAHAHA. Get it?? I *YAM* addicted?!!?

Oh, go away...

Posted by Julie at 07:23 PM | Comments (2)

November 03, 2003


I will be stopping by the grocery store on my way home from work tonight and I intend upon purchasing the following foodstuffs:

Lowfat cottage cheese
Lite Jarlsberg cheese
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese (hmm, I sense a theme)
1/2 gallon skim milk
Egg Beaters egg whites in a carton
Sweet potatoes
Spaghetti squash (a leap of faith in Ka Ching)
Spray butter
Tarragon and/or dill
Healthy Choice Jumpin' Java ice cream
Hillshire Farms deli turkey (NOT SMOKED)
100% whole wheat bread
Fat-free bologna
Fat-free hot dogs
Hormel Chili with NO BEANS
Hot italian ... turkey sausage
Ziploc bags (snack size)
Diet Sunkist soda

Posted by Julie at 05:24 PM | Comments (4)