blak is the new … vault?

so coke has put out this drink that is self-described as “coke effervescence with coffee essence.” it’s more like “cream soda that tastes a little off…only not pink…and with caffeine.” the first few sips were enough to turn me off, but when it’s the only caffeine in the house, you push through.

if coffee’s going to be cold, it needs to be made of cream and sugar, and while the sugar is definitely there, the “cream” doesn’t really show up until your mouth is coated with sugar to the point you don’t notices it’s missing.

apple bread

to help celebrate apple-picking season, i offer up a family recipe that i’ve spice-tweaked and garnished because that’s what i do (can’t leave well enough alone). it’s called bread, but it’s so soft/sweet/tasty that it don’t even need butter. more like a loaf-shaped brownie-cake thing.

Apple Bread:

In a large mixing bowl (i highly recommend a kitchenaid upright mixer) combine the following:

2 cups sugar
1 cup veggie oil (canola works fine)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
3 (yes, 3) eggs

sift together the following and add slowly to the bowl:

3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
any spices you want (see note below)

once that’s all done, stir (probably by hand) in the following:

2 cups diced apples (size depends on how apple-obvious you want your bread)
1 cup chopped nuts (i skip the nuts and +1 cup apples)

pour into two standard sized loaf pans (see note) and bake for 50-60 minutes. may need more time. freezes well (so they say, but mine never last that long)

spice note: i cannot give you exact amounts, because i do not use them, but i can give you what i’ve found to be a good flavor ratio.

2 units ground cinnamon
1 unit ground ginger/nutmeg/allspice (any or all)
1/2 unit ground cloves

this basically turns into “some” of the 3 single units, “a bit more” cinnamon and “a bit less cloves.

pan note: i use disposable aluminum pans that come with their own lids. makes it really handy for cooking/cleaning/giving away. also, i found that garnishing the tops with sliced apple wedges makes it pretty. make sure you use two rows down the length, otherwise it splits funny on top.

this recipe only needs about 3.5 apples, so you have to bake several loaves to really make a dent in your apple-day pickings. i suggest the following supplemental recipe which still tastes mighty good even when the apples have aged a little.

chunky applesauce

8-10 medium apples peeled and cut into chunks (a bit bigger than the bread size)
1-1.25 cups water
1ish cups of sugar (to taste/tartness of apples)
“some” cinnamon and other spices (about 1tbsp of cinnamon is decent starting point)

put the apples and the water in a crock-pot on low. simmer about 8 hours or so, stirring when you feel like it, until it’s cooked down to a brown mush. feel free to leave this overnight.

dump in the sugar. cook for another 30 minutes or so.

sprinkle in the spices (don’t slow-cook with the spices-makes them bitter) and serve/store.

if i’ve got the straggler ingredients left over from christmas, i might just replace the raisins in my spicy oatmeal raisin cookies with apple bits and see how that works.

too many bunny butts

yesterday i bought a bag of animal crackers from the vending machine, and i’ve been munching on them in waves since then. i was disappointed at how many of the pieces were broken. there were very very few whole-animals in the first 2/3 of the bag. i also noticed that there was an overwhelming number of bunny-tops. i assumed that when i got down to the last serving, it would be almost *entirely* bunny-butts, but i was wrong. not a one in the bag.


now, considering i bite each cracker in at least half before ingesting, and i don’t spend too much time contemplating the animal i’m eating (it’s not like the bears taste different than the penguins), this probably shouldn’t bother me. but it totally does! where are the bunny-butts? how does this sort of thing happen? i can understand a few pieces getting broken before going into the bag, but seriously, we’re talking 8 or so heads and no butts! the ratio of bunny to other animal in the bag alone was odd, but for it to be just heads?

a part of me is tempted to raid the machine for the rest of the animal cracker bags to see if the ratio rights itself, and to find the missing bunny-butts.


we went to schnucks today (cuz hans said propel was on sale) and guess what we found?!


and it’s sour(er)…ish. i didn’t even know it was ever going to come back ever, but it has and it’s still oh-so-tasty. i stopped in the middle of the aisle and just stared and hugged myself.

and then we got some. and it was tasty. still so sugary-sweet that you need someone to share the 20oz with you, though.