Ten Gallon Hat Winery

I finally went to my first winery! After attending multiple wine festivals and tastings, I finally went to a winery. My friend got me a gift certificate to Ten Gallon Hat Winery, and before I knew it, its expiration date was quickly approaching. Unfortunately, she was not able to go with me, but dad was happy, and more than willing, to substitute.

So, February 10th, after work and running some errands, we drove about 15 minutes over the DE/PA line to Ten Gallon Hat Winery. Its pretty well hidden. Despite how small the building looks on the outside, its a spacious beauty on the inside. Dad and I walked down the steps to a room with a bar and a bunch of high top tables. Each table and corner bar supplied with mini saltine and chocolate chip morsels, to compliment the wine.

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We were given a list, with a descriptions of each wine, and a pencil to check off our choices. We were able to each choose six wines to sample, so between the two of us, we covered the 13 options. While dad was more set on the reds, I was counting down to the fruit wines.

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First came the reds:V__DAE2

  • Merlot- This was so-so. Its pretty hard to mess up a merlot.
  • Zinfandel- I’ve had white merlot, but never a red zin. It was sort of dry like a zin, but with a deep flavor typical of a red.
  • Barbera- This, in my opinion, was the best red. Cedar was the scent that stood out to me. I don’t mean it was like sipping on bark. It was mellow and there was something calming about drinking this wine.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon- Dad’s a cab guy, so he was looking forward to this one, and wasn’t disappointed. He rated this as his highest ranking of the red and whites.

Followed by the whites: Admittedly, neither dad nor myself are much fans of white wines.V__55CE

  • Chardonnay- It just sounds so fancy, doesn’t it? But, unfortunately, it was much too dry for my liking.
  • Pinot Grigio, AKA “The Sheriff’s Daughter”- Based on the description, I expected a citrus and fruity wine with a bit of a dry bite. But, alas, still not my fancy…
  • Riesling, AKA “The Preacher’s Daughter”- We had finally hit a white wine that tickled my fancy with its mild sweetness.
  • Moscato, AKA “The Farmer’s Daughter”- I’m not a moscato chick, typically. But this and Riesling were the best whites, in my opinion.

And, lastly, the fruits:

  • Blackberry- This was a dark wine, deep with flavor, but no incredibly sweet. I feel like this would be a good wine for someone who is a Cabernet drinker…
  • Red Raspberry- This was the one I was looking forward to the most. After my girlfriend’s wedding two years ago, I fell in love V__08E7with raspberry wine. The bartender spooned some chocolate semi sweets on a napkin and poured us our wine. The first thing I noticed was the pieces of actual raspberries in the wine! Well, that’s a good sign… real fruit… I thought to myself. Dad thought this was the best of the fruit wines. Although, this was an enjoyable wine… what was up next, blew me away.
  • Cranberry- Although I enjoy cranberries and cranberry juice, I did not have high expectations for this wine. Its cranberries… I mentally prepared myself for a tart wine. Boy, was I wrong! After our first few sips, the bartender brought out a wedge of lime to squeeze into the glass. In a nutshell, I bought a whole bottle, and dad and I finished off 2/3 of the bottle that night. Wow, just wow! I can’t even explain how delicious this one is! It’s been months since we’ve had this wine, and I still rave about it!

The fruit wines stole the show for me!

As I talked with Sheryl, one of the bar tenders, I had mentioned I was curious about what was done with all the corks. She filled a whole bag with corks for me to take with me. (I have one of those iron cork holders to hang on my wall and in need of more corks.) Dad and I headed back up the steps to the entertainment room, where were heard music playing. With our wine glasses and an uncorked bottle in hand, dad found us a seat, and I ordered a bowl of Lobster Bisque and a cheesecake.

I had just gotten my first pay check from my new job and was too excited to celebrate with dad. With all the endorphin flowing, I introduced myself to the musician playing, Matt Santry, and offered to get him a glass of wine, while dad and waited for out order.

Matt sat down with dad and I, and the three of us, sipping our wines, discussed music, life, performing, wine, and more. It was pretty cool. My dad must have liked the guy because suddenly dad became my wing man, trying to find out all sorts of information about Matt’s relationship status, past, and so on! I have to say it was pretty cool and quite the bonding moment for pops and I. (But, sorry ladies, Matt’s engaged.)

As Matt  took the stage, our food arrived. The bisque was served with a few homemade croutons. The cheesecake elegantly served with a pool of raspberry syrup and a white chocolate swizzle.

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We left the winery in a great mood and a bit of cranberry wine left. Guess who’s got limes in the fridge, now? This chick!!!

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Salud!

Refreshing Shake

So who’s ready for the first protein shake recipe of the year????

I’ve made shakes since the new year but, wow, was this one blog worthy! So much so, that I dropped everything I was doing to write this up!

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Outside the original Starbucks! Best Caramel Macchiato ever!

I was watching Unique Sweets, last night, and they highlighted a cheesecake business, The Confectional, located in Pike Market! I love Pike Market! I spent a week in Seattle a few years ago with Phi Theta Kappa at my first International Convention! Every morning, I walked down to the Market to get fresh produce.

Anyway, they mentioned this lemon white chocolate cheesecake and the gears started to turn… Dang, that sounds good…

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  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp cheesecake pudding mix, sugar free, fat free
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar free white chocolate syrup
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I used cookies n’ cream)
  • Ice
  • Water
  • 1/4 tsp xanthum gum (optional)

Blend everything and enjoy! Top with a sprinkling of cinnamon, if desired.

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I topped mine with some cinnamon and Fiber One bran cereal to complete that cheesecake feel! I loved it! It was refreshing and unbelievably fragrant!

I started thinking about the many ways you could make this using any combination of the following:

  • lemon pudding mix, sugar free, fat free
  • white chocolate pudding mix, sugar free fat free
  • lemon syrup, sugar free

Let me know how yours turn out!

 

September 13

Some pretty interesting things happened on this day in history:

1224 – Francis of Assisi is afflicted with stigmata.

1503 – Michelangelo begins work on his statue of David.

1788 – NY City becomes 1st capital of US

1948 – Margaret Chase Smith (R-Me) elected senator, 1st woman to serve in both houses of Congress

1963 – “Outer Limits” premieres on ABC TV

1965 – Beatles release “Yesterday”

1974 – Phillies set NL record, using 27 players in a game, St Louis uses 24, tying record of 51. Phils win 7-3 in 17

To make today even cooler… Its not just September 13th… And its not just National Peanut Day… Its Friday, September 13th!

Do you know what else happened?

1960– My daddy was born!

I follow a law in my head that I call “Experi-mentality.” Its another word I made up. I like to do that… Remember “Crock-Pot-It?”

Experimentality: ik-ˈsper-ə-mənt, men-ˈta-lə-tē

experiment: an operation or procedure carried out under controlled conditions in order to discover an unknown effect or law

mentality: a particular way of thinking

experimentality: the operation of thinking up procedures to be carried out to discover an unknown outcome

Sound pretty scientific, huh?

WP_003882With all of these things falling on one day, all of our shakes followed a theme. We’ll start with the birthday boy and his Birthday Cake Shake:

  • 2 scoops cookie n cream shake mix (1 scoop vanilla and 1 scoop chocolate will do)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free fat free white chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free fat free cheesecake pudding mix
  • 1 Tbsp jimmies/ sprinkles, more for garnish
  • water
  • ice

WP_003885I created a Black Cat Shake for Franks:

  • 1 scoop chocolate shake
  • 1 scoop cafe latte shake
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • Black berries (mixed berries will do)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free fat free chocolate pudding mix
  • 2 Tbsp sugar free licorice syrup
  • water
  • ice

I was expecting Franks shake to be much dark, but it turned out reminding me of  the color of red velvet ice cream. For myself, I call it a Mexican Jumping Bean. There were no peanuts to be found in the house, but of peanut butter, there is plenty…

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I got myself to eat some chips and salsa last night and with the pb being in reach, I’m  always one to experiment. What a combo! I would have never thought salsa and peanut butter would pair! It could be because I’m PMS-ing, but it worked for me. Frank tried it and WP_003886immediately said “No way…” I guess its a love it or hate it shake…  It reminded me of chili chocolate. So heres the Mexican Jumping Bean Shake:

  • 1 scoop chocolate protein
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free fat free chocolate shake mix
  •  3 Tbsp mild salsa
  • 1 tsp peanut butter
  • the slightest pinch of cayenne pepper (a little goes a long way)
  • water
  • ice
  • xanthum and/or guar (optional)

I kept busy for the entire day! I even ate! I made a seaweed salad for the first time, to surprise dad with one of his favorite foods. It turned out great! I spent most of my day cleaning the carpets, however.

WP_003889Frank began to whip up a seafood gravy, and its always delicious! But I haven’t eaten it since he used sooooo much olive oil! With his weight loss goals, he has been cutting back on a lot of fattening ingredients in his cooking. Frank said it could be dads birthday dinner. I pulled out the last box of Paul Sorvino’s spaghetti. I’ve been saving it for a special occasion. I figured dad’s birthday would suffice. I wanted to to be able to eat dinner with my dad, so I sucked it up, cooked up a bag of Spaghetti Tofu Shiratki noodles, and topped it with a bit of seafood sauce. Frank was happy that I ate his cooking. He knows I enjoy it. Dad’s plate looked like a tour around the world. I had prepared the seaweed salad for him earlier in the day, and Frank made the pasta. I finished his meal off with a birthday drink of Diet Rum and Coke.

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up, I’ve always been a daddy’s girl! Pretty much every childhood memory involves my dad. My first memory of music is my dad popping in the cassette to Locomotion in the stereo, and us dancing around the living room. Music has always been one thing that always has tied us together…

If you couldn’t tell by our matching tattoos… Haha

No matter the song, no matter the situation, my dad would always come up with a song, or a spoof off a song with my name in it. One song he still sings is “Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie… I kiss Sammy Bundo’s eye!” Its silly, I know, but it works.

In honor of the birthday boy and in honor of our daddy-daughter bond over music, I created a special birthday surprise for him:

Apple Peaches Pumpkin Pie

serves 8

The Crust:

  • 1 cup Fiber One bran cereal
  • 2 sheets (8 crackers) low fat cinnamon graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup Brummel & Brown
  • 3 Tbsp granulated Splenda
  • 2 Tbsp water
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The Apple Peach Pie:

  • 2-3 Fuji apples (enough to yield 2 cups once sliced)
  • 2 4oz NSA peach snack cups, like Del Monte (do not drain)
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp plus 1/2 tsp Splenda brown sugar (not packed)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 Tbsp plus 1/2 tsp granulated Splenda
  • 2 tsp apple pie spice
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

The Pumpkin Pie:

  • 3/4 cup pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 3/4 cup evaporated fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 Tbsp granulated Splenda
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar-free pancake syrup
  • 1/2 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine butter with 2 Tbsp water. Microwave until just melted. In a blender or food processor, grind Fiber One and graham crackers to a breadcrumb-like consistency, along with the Splenda. Once its ground, pour the melted butter and blend well.

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Spray a 9-inch pie pan with nonstick spray. Evenly distribute crust mixture, using your hands or a flat utensil to firmly press and form the crust. Press it into the edges and up along the sides of the dish. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 425 F.

Meanwhile, prepare the apple and peach filling. Peel, core, and thinly slice apples to produce 2 cups full. In a large nonstick pot on the stove, combine all ingredients for the filling except apples and peaches.  Add 1/3 cup water and mix until ingredients have dissolved. Bring to medium-high heat stirring frequently. Add apples and stir. After about 5 minutes, empty the peach cups, undrained, in the pan and stir. Lower the heat to medium low and stir occasionally until sauce thickens for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and  set aside, while making the pumpkin filling. Combine all the pumpkin filling ingredients and set aside.

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Carefully transfer the apple and peach filling into the cooled pie crust and evenly spread. Top with the pumpkin mixture. Bake for 12 minutes at 425 F. Lower the oven temperature to 375 F, rotate the pie 180 degrees and bake for 25 minutes. Rotate the pie 180 degrees, again, and finish baking for a final 15 minutes, until the center has just set. Remove the oven and allow to cool.

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Slice and top with whipped cream and pecans (optional).

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Nutrition: (1/8 of recipe)

Calories: 165, Fat: 3.1g, Sat. Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 259 mg, Carbs: 33.3g, Fiber: 5.1g, Sugars: 17.8g, Protein: 3.8g

WP_003902My kitchen smelled amazing! It took everything out of me not to cut into this baby! “Can’t we sing happy birthday, today, dad???” I said yesterday.

We apparently didn’t have a number 3 candle! But we all loved this pie! It was mildly sweet, the flavors went well, it was light, and the crust was crisp….

We finished this wonderful day with playing Apple, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie, doing a birthday jig, and watching the new Star Trek movie on DVD!

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I loved  seeing dads face as I ate my dinner, and hearing him talk about how happy he was to see me in such a good mood! I am so blessed to be one of those lucky girls in the world that gets to be so close to her dad.

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Refrain Running

Last night, dad and I watched another Redbox called Not Fade Away. I picked it because it was about music and it had James Gandolfini in it. I dug the music but the movie, itself, was so-so.

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Also making an appearance was the Chocolate Peanut Butter Arctic Zero with fat free whipped cream, jimmies, broken fat free pretzel sticks for a salty crunch, and a sprinkle of  Chocolate PB2. I love that I can eat this and not have an anxiety attack about it! Arctic Zero, you are a blessing to all those in eating disorder recovery!

After dropping Barry’s dinner off to him at work, I arrived home not being able to take my eyes off the last fuji apple. I sliced it up and enjoyed the slices with Be Well Nutella sandwiched between them.

Utter Frustration

Despite all my yawning and being in bed by 10, I did nothing all night, but lay there- completely awake! I tried counting sheep, deep breathing, stretching, and even massaging pressure points to relax. Nothing worked! I was too tired to study, too tired to talk or open my eyes… I was so frustrated I wanted to scream! But I was too tired for that too.

Eventually I gave in and whipped out a pad if paper and worked on a few new recipes. By 4 am, my belly was growling! I tried to ignore it but now I know what time my food is digested by and why I’m hungry in the morning.

I mosied into the kitchen. My immediate reaction was to head to the MagicBullet, but since it was 4am, I thought that might be a bit inconsiderate to others actually sleeping! I grabbed a granola bar, which I enjoyed. But suddenly, I was hit with eating disorder anxiety. Just peachy!

I hate laying down after eating, but I became overwhelmed with fatigue after eating my Kashi and passed out until being awoken 3 hours later by a serious of noises. First, Bunny was meowing incessantly, so I got up, made sure he had food and fell back asleep… briefly, that is, until I was awoke by a claw scratching at my foot…

Next came a wake up call… apparently my little brother over slept and Frank was yelling to his room  to get up! Well, I’m up!

I text dad to see if he wanted to take a shake to work so I threw half a banana in with a  scoop of almond butter and Be Well Nutella, and 2 scoops of Herbalife Cafe Latte. Very tasty!

Around 11am, I whipped up brunch for Frank and myself. Franks shake included Cafe Latte Shake mix, chocolate shake mix, Be Well Nutella, Almond Butter, and sugar free Torani coconut syrup to make a Pseudo-Almond Joy.

After Barry’s fascination with the Blueberry cheesecake shake from our Denny’s Breakfast menu, I was in the mood for a cheesecake shake, myself. Returning to the good ol’ shakes, I threw together a coffee and a Mixed Berry Cheesecake:WP_003304

  • 1 Tbsp sugar free fat free Cheesecake pudding mix
  • 1 scoop vanilla shake mix
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup Welch’s Antioxidant frozen Mixed Berry Blend

WP_003305I like to add fat free graham crackers to my cheesecake shakes, but this morning I added about 1/4 cup multigrain Cheerios on top to give me a crunchy aspect. It worked out great! I always feel so much more satiated when I eat my shakes with a spoon… its probably all in my head…

In an ultimate procrastination mood, I did a few things around the house. I finally decided to call work and see what the unit looked like and was told I would be on the desk. Well, after my mini anxiety about the granola bar, and the recent knowledge that I would be sitting for 8 hours, I decided I needed to feel somewhat accomplished.

Frank found an old picture of his dad and some family friends. The edges were starting to brown and get tattered-looking, so I grabbed the picture and took a little brisk walk, about 1 mile round trip, got a copy and enhancement made, and returned with it framed. He really liked it!

I’m always happy when I can make others smile:)

FYI: August 1st began National Sandwich Month. I’m kicking it off with a left over meatloaf sandwich! Holla! I grabbed the last slice of Honey Mustard Crusted Poultryloaf, threw it on a slice of multigrain with BBQ sauce, and headed to work with my NCLEX book in hand. I must say, the loaf was even better the next day!

As I arrived at work, I stopped by the caf to grab a drink, only to be greated my blueberry pies. Proud that I kept I walking, I came onto my unit to find a pile of temptation in the break room…

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Look away! While at the desk, I could only think of the mini blueberry scone… I cut a little piece off and walked away. Thank God! My plan was to drink lots of fluid and chew gum to keep my mind off the thought of a pastry! I ran to the caf to grab dinner for some busy nurses and grabbed some cucumbers and the like, along with a SF chocolate pudding. I love chocolate pudding with crumbled grahams! So far so good.

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One of the girls had brought peppers and cherry tomatoes in from her garden so I grabbed a few tomatoes to snack on. Finding some salsa, I decided to snack on the peppers. They looked like habeneros…

I guess I was feeling pretty ballsy or that the salsa what act as a coolant, because I bit into that thing like a champ. HOT PEPPER!!! I had to grab a drink and blow my nose… not ssuch a smart decision on my part.

With my good intake for the day, I cut a 1/4 of one of the Devils Food Crumb donuts as a chocolate treat. Damn it, Entenmanns! Why do the crumbs taste so good?!!?

I’m a really crumby person…

I have a problem with crumbs! Like I’ll be that weird person that eats thecrumbs left in the donut box, just so I can feel like I ate a donut…. Despite, still being 500 calories under what I alot myself, I still was having major calorie anxiety!

I wish I could figure out why? Is there something else manifesting itself as calorie anxiety? Am I nervous about the upcoming NCLEX? Is that why I’m not sleeping? What is going on with me?

Refrain Running

Not, refrain from running! Refrain Running. Music is very important to me. In fact, one of my first memories with my dad is him singing (he is a fantastic singer, by the way) and dancing with me. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a refrain is a part of a song, like the chorus… the part that gets repeated in between the verses…

On my brief, but most needed, run yesterday, I came up with the term “Refrain Running.” I know the right music sets the tone for my workouts. For instance, I have a difficult time running to slower songs, but some up beat songs have an off beat which throws off the sequence of my run. It sounds silly, but its true! Like Thrift Shop by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.. Ilove that song, it pumps me up, but I have a hard time running to it because the beat makes me want to strut down the street like I’m cool or something. Haha!

Anyway, with this in mind, I noticed that I run during certain parts of songs, and power walk during other parts, creating a great interval routine! Here are some songs I realized work well with this concept:

  • Pitbulll- Hotel Room Service
  • Rooney- When Did Your Heart Go Missing
  • Adam Lambert- If I Had You
  • Ludacris ft. Pharrell– Money Maker

I’ll add to this list as I come across these songs, but its a great way to coordinate intervals into running without using a distance tracker or an app.

Lastly,

WP_003306I have noticed that my hair has gotten so much thicker! And with my new hair growth, new bangs, well, fuller bangs! My mom was a hairdresser so I’m relatively savy on trimming my bangs, so snip, snip, and viola! I Love it!

This lead me to this thought:

With new health, comes new hair! 

Fitness Goals

“50 push ups.”

Thats what I woke up to this morning. The great thing about having a boyfriend in the military, is that you both want to stay in shape. He has two personal fitness goals: work on his pushups and run 2 mile in under 14 minutes.

While my personal fitness goals are no where near as as Barry’s, my fitness goals are to tone and to run a 5K. I am really happy that I have someone to help me achieve my goals, while I can help him achieve his.

What are your personal fitness goals?

We were supposed to be on the road rather early this morning so we decided on protein shakes. Hes a chocolate peanut butter affinity, like I do, so I made him a super chocolatey PB cup shake, with a banana thrown in. The same went for myself, although spinach was in mine, as well. After our cups of coffee, we headed to dads work to drop off the left over blueberry pancakes from yesterday. He was very appreciative.

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WP_002745After some time in the car, Barrys inner man set in, and we made a pit stop to Burger King. We continued our drive for another hour or so, as I stared out my window, watching farmers, and animals, and beautiful scenes, almost from a picture. After a final pit stop, we finally arrived at a hidden little house, with cats, chickens, and deer in the front yard. We arrived in Reading, where I was introduced to Barry’s grandmother. She was so welcoming. It may have helped that we came bearing sweets from a local shop called Sweet Street.

Barry mentioned this place last night, and after checking out their website, I needed to check this place out! We were greeted with three boxes, each containing a free sample. I immediately went for the cube of blondie, followed by the big apple pie. We picked up a slice of blueberry cheesecake for the boyfriend, a slice a snickers pie for his Pops (grandfather), a slice of triple chocolate cheesecake (which almost put Barry into a sugar coma), and a slice of the caramel apple pie (which was spectacular.)

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Barry’s grandmother was so funny, as she sat down with a fork and took a bite out of each one! Thats my kind of taste testing!

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She insisted Barry and his mom show me around, so I went out back with two bananas and fed the deer. Yes, I fed deer! It was so cool! I never thought I’d be able to do that! They even licked my hands~ Deer Kisses!

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We spent some time socializing before we heard some thunder, and decided to skidaddle before the storm hit.

We finally arrived home, with a growling stomach, I might add. Since dad wasn’t too keen on trying my Kashi Mediteranean pizza. Check this out: “spinach, fire-roasted red onions and sweet red peppers, four signature cheeses including feta and a zesty roasted red pepper sauce on our wood-fired crust made with whole grains…Made with our signature blend of 7 Whole Grains & Sesame with flaxseed.”

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Flaxseed crust? Feta? Spinach? Peppers, onions, and tomatoes? Sound delicious right? WRONG! I was so disappointed! I added some extra spinach when I realized how little there actually was. After the first bite, Barry and I tried to season up this circle of cardboard with garlic, red pepper flakes, even BBQ sauce! Nothing helped! I really hate to give bad reviews and I am always a fan of Kashi, but this was just no good.