Mean Elixir-ing.

The moment I saw it, I knew I had to.

I follow two sites of “I wish I’d thought of that” brilliance. Actually, there are more than that, but these two are specifically relevant. I screen-shoot them both daily. Most of the time I resist. But….

Coca-Cola with Coffee. 

Stop wrinkling your nose and keep your “eew” to yourself.

Coke didn’t create this concoction for me. There had to be at least some sort of wide-spread weirdo-appeal factor in play. You’d best believe it wasn’t likely to have been inside pitched as a mass-marketing loss-leader.

Are you my people?

My choice: Dark Coffee

OMG. Yes! 200%. Yum.

Two things the cracked tab called to my attention.

First, the fantastic smell of coffee.

Second, audibly less fizzy release.

Sip? Yup. Sip! Mmm & Yup.

Closed my eyes trying to place the taste.

Landed in New Orleans. Ah, dark cold-brewed, chicory-cut iced coffee with a touch of simple syrup. Sigh.

This isn’t that, but I like where it takes me.

The can claims ‘powdered coffee’ made from Brazilian beans. No chicory.

High fructose corn syrup. Not simple syrup.

I decided I needed more. More than my current four cans. Well, only three and a half cans were left on Monday morning, so I took the half with me to work.

Stop judging. I like my coffee cold and my soda warm and minimally fizzy. So, a half-sipped overnight in the fridge perched it on the perfect edge.

The original IG feed that caught my eye had a cautious comment. Paraphrased, “I saw it at Sam’s and I’d like to try it, but I’m not gonna buy a case of it.” In case it wasn’t liked.

Well, I liked it. And ‘by-the-case’ sounded suitable.

I checked Costco online. Nada. Not even a hint of it.

I’m not a Sam’s club member, but a friend of mine is. Of course, I asked the favor.

To my horror, it was declared sold out at Sam’s. Sold out? Sam’s, Target, Walmart. What?

What the heck happened between Saturday afternoon and Monday morning?

Was some subliminal advertising during the big, copyrighted (don’t dare use the word) football fan show, lost on me? Of course, not.

That’d have been hilarious, though. Attention redirection from Pepsi to Coke while TheWeeknd performed on the weekend. Yes, I enjoyed that.

Yeah, off track.

I kept scrolling. Angst was replaced with anger.

People are mean. Some rat-bassbird had actually listed a 4-pack for $120.00.

Ah, that special group of people who buy stuff they don’t want and resell it at outrageous prices. Yes, it’s a cycle of retail life. Yes, folks are free to be opportunistic. I suppose I could flip and offer to assess is it as a COVID-induced attempt to supplement restricted income. But, the cruel crafties existed way before this pandemic. And assess is only one letter away from a….

Oh, no. Uh, uh. I’ll just slid my finger over to Meijer and order me up another 3 four-packs for $4.89. Mm hm, mathematically: $1.295 apiece including MI deposit. Not $20.00. Yeah, I snapped that. Inwardly, not outwardly, because that would have been bizarre. -er.

Could I justify a $10 delivery fee for just Cokes? Nah. So, I bulked up my order with a cucumber, cat food, cream cheese and some fascinatingly interesting bake or no-bake Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough with Oreo Pieces.  

At that point a little bit of logic chose to lope across my front lobe. Do ya really need to do this?

Nah. X’d out my cart.

I shouldn’t be consuming the contents of any sugared, caffeinated soda on a daily basis. Not on a semi-regular basis, either.  Yes, there is a zero-sugar alt version. No, I’m not planning to go there.

Here’s the close.

I’ve got three coveted cans left. An emergency stash. Or a celebratory stash. Like wine, but with the opposite not-drowsy, super-hyped effect. (Hee hee.)

So, are you my people?

IBOTTA & Me & $ Cash (Really)

My 2019 IBOTTA cash-out was $193.00 (+change).

Cash: not gift cards. Here’s how it works:

Ibotta is a totally free, cash back, rewards app that I use to make real money every time I shop for groceries, online purchases, and more!

You’re going to buy stuff you need, anyway, right?

There’s also plenty of stuff you don’t need, too, but I actually take advantage of IBOTTA to try new things.

IBOTTA combines the amounts of your friends’ savings $ together with yours to add up to extra bonus cash. (You don’t get all of your friends’ cash – but you could get $1.00, $5.00 and even $10 on seasonal, special, and goal opportunities.)

Just use my referral code “vuodlbm” at registration. Sign up at → https://ibotta.onelink.me/iUfE/8cc13c64?friend_code=vuodlbm

And, yes, I do get a little cash-back for you signing up through my link.

And, yes, it’s a little bit of work. I think it’s fun.

I didn’t count them all, but there’s at least 750 participating online retailers, hotels, art supply stores, ticketmaster. It’s worth checking out the list before you buy.

I like to get the biggest bang for my buck, so I cross-save.

I’ll see what I need, check my weekly Meijer ad for sales, check my MPerks for coupons and then go to IBOTTA and add the offers I want cash-back on.

Meijer Kellogg cereal was on sale – 3 for $5.00 with MPerks – bought 6 for $10

I had .50 coupons for Kellogg Cereal. Each coupon was for one of 3 types: either Special K, Cornflakes or Raisin Bran.

I had 2 of each in my coupon stash, so that took off $3.

Ibotta was offering .50 cash back on Kellogg Cereal – up to 5 boxes – that gave me back $2.50

So, the final cost of six boxes of cereal was $4.50  (.75 cents each)

You don’t have to be weird like me, though. You can shop normal and still save $.

Free Thanksgiving Dinner from Ibotta & Me!

Here’s the deal – I’ve been using IBOTTA for two years, now.

My 2019 Cash Pay-out was $173.00 (+ change). Really, in cash.

My 2018 Cash Pay-out was $190.00 (+ change). Really, in cash.

To get your free Thanksgiving Fixin’s just use my referral code vuodlbm at registration.

Sign up here: → https://ibotta.onelink.me/iUfE/8cc13c64?friend_code=vuodlbm

Please remember to enter my referral code “vuodlbm“!

(Why? I get some cash back, too!)

What is Ibotta? A totally FREE cash back rewards app you can use to make real money every time you shop for groceries, online purchases, and more.

I Didn’t Have Any of That So… (Sweet Nothing but Something; Desperation Dessert.)

I giggled because… yes.

You may have never heard about this COVID Cuisine adventure, but a friend FB posited: what is one of the weirdest food combinations that you’ve eaten during sheltering?? (be honest. lol)

I’ll tell you what I told her. It’d be completely dishonest for me to claim my COVID cuisine concoctions differ from my regular, um, creative cooking.

Honestly, though. About a week ago, I stared longingly into my cabinets of mostly health. My general rule is – if I don’t have it, I can’t eat it.

In any case, my jumble of left-over baking bits was mostly from Christmas. 2019.

I had to bring up the stool to reach the high shelf where I put all the should-be-inaccesible temptations. I found partials of: graham cracker crumbs, marshmallows, semi-sweet chocolate chips, vanilla, brown sugar, self-rising flour, regular flour, a box of vanilla pudding, a1/2 bar of Bakers white baking chocolate, two different types of cocoa powder and three different types of sprinkles. 

Among the rediscovered hidden treasures were Tastefully Simple brown sugar salt and blueberry vanilla salt. I was also in possession of an overripe banana, cream cheese, almond milk, butter, two baby apples, honey roasted peanuts and sour cream.

Considered seemingly viable choices lead me to a dismal Google exploration conclusion.

I had almost all the ingredients to make something. Unfortunately, these particular ingredients made nothing. (Nothing normal, anyway.)

Banana Pudding? No wafers

Banana Bread? Not enough bananas.

Cheesecake? No eggs or heavy cream or any type of cream.

Chocolate chip cookies? Sigh, no eggs.

Apple cobbler? No white sugar. Besides the pitiful apples might not even make a cup, leaving more cobbler than apple.

S’mores? No graham crackers, but I did have a couple cups of pre-crushed crumbs.

Where my mind went after about an hour of recipe search:

I can almost make a cheese cake. I don’t have eggs, but I do have an overripe banana. Didn’t I read somewhere once that bananas could replace eggs? Hmm. Suppose I mashed the fruit to replace the eggs? Mashed banana has a tighter consistency than eggs, so it seemed logical to me. Plus, banana cheesecake didn’t sound too bad.

Suppose, I added some chocolate chips? Ooo, banana chocolate chip cheesecake! “Now, we’re getting somewhere,” I announced to Blu. I received a yawn and a “why-did-you-disturb-me?” slow blink of indifference. “Maybe not,” I thought.

“Well, how about a S’mores pie?” If I used the vanilla pudding and powdered cocoa, made a graham cracker crust and plopped some chips and mallows on top? Maybe. Then, I had second thoughts about making a pie because I’d have to eat it. All. By myself.

Aha! I can make mini cakes in my 6-cup pan. There’s some portion control, right there. So, that’s what I did, sort of.

I made graham cracker crust cupcake shells. While those were baking, I slid back to the cheesecake idea. Yeah. That was it. The perfect tasty experiment. I mean, you know, all the pieces were yummy, so…. Banana Chocolate Chip Almost No Bake Cheesecake.

On my quest, I’d come across a tip that indicated using marshmallow fluff in a cheesecake batter helps it firm. I didn’t have any of that. I did have some humidity-melded marshmallows and the forethought to halve the closest recipe I could locate.

Crust (from the box): 1.25 cups graham cracker crumbs, 4 tbs butter

Filling (adapted): 4 oz cream cheese, 1 mashed overripe banana, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 tsp vanilla.

Topping: 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. (Because that’s all I had.)

I placed each graham cup in one of 5 Pampered Chef small prep bowls. Remember, portion control. I planned on eating the 6th.

Flopped some filling in each, sprinkled chips and considered. Seemed to be lacking something. I still had a hankering for s’mores. So, a glob of mushy marshmallow landed on top.

When I was done assembling, a 15-second microwave run heated the taste-test. For some ridiculous reason, I saw the bowl of gooey goodness and decided to  mix it all up. It wasn’t baaaaaddd. There just weren’t any clear-cut flavors, and the brownish, lumpy presentation was lacking. I ate it.

I tried being a bit more reasonable on Sunday. Heated for same 15 seconds, let cool for a minute and spoon scooped through the layers. There’s no logical reason why it tasted so much better. In fact, I ended up eating two on Sunday. Not back-to-back, though. Portion control.

I’ve got this one on the counter waiting for me to nuke after I finish blogging tonight.

Quote for the Week:

I didn’t have any of that, so… Tzimmes

I made a beautiful tzimmes on Saturday.

Not traditional; although, traditional depends on personal experience.

This is important because the recipe I sort of followed garnered an obnoxious commentary on the blogger’s use of the word ‘traditional.’ “This isn’t a traditional recipe,” the troll wrote, before remarking it wasn’t worth trying.

Consider mine a non-traditional, necessity-adaptive Corona Virus edition influenced by market avoidance.

A generation or two from now, we’ll be able to pass down 20/20 2020 wisdom in the form of a common-sense key: use whatcha got.

Honestly, my love for tzimmes is wholesome. As far as I can remember, my mother only  made it once – for tradition. Somewhere around 45 years ago, I was enamored by this sweet stew of root vegetables, dried fruit and beef.

Used to be a read-the-recipe then throw all in a crock pot gal, but Jeff & Alton Brown.

Since I was using my stock pot to caramelize onions, I decided to meat sear in the same.

Stock pot because my larger non-stick enamel saute pan has taken to consistently sticking. 

Since I was using my stock pot to sear, I decided stovetop instead of oven.

Step-by-Step, soon. This is not that.

It’s just a little ‘Use Whatcha Got’ somethin’ to think about, while you’re staying at home.

2020 04 21 2 tzimmes i didn't have any jakorte

Quote for the Week:2020 04 21 every recipe starts with science and grows with jakorte