Sham Wow's and Mrs. Cleo and Friends Psychic Network.....

That big ole cup of orange cappuccino last night before bed may have not been the best of ideas.

There's a lot of info-mercials on between the hours of 3:00-6:00.

I may be the proud owner of a pink Snuggi,a Ginsu knife collection, an Aqua Globe, and SHAM WOW cloths (because they hold a gallon or more of water while cleaning your car)

I thought about ordering that really cool Fushigi. ( those 3 clear balls that float around the perimeter of the users hands so they can amaze, astound, win friends and influence people) But even at 3:49 I realized I'm just not that coordinated.

You don't have to be male to be a member of the Hair Club For Men

Mrs. Cleo's Psychic Friends Network is kinda vague on their predictions.

Now that it's time for the rest of the crew to rise and shine- I'm feeling a little sleepy. Thank you Starbucks.

During those over caffeinated wee morning hours I did do a little research into the worst possible foods in America for children to eat. Here's the top 10:

#1-Hot Dogs

#2-Soda

#3-Sticky Candy (sorry kids but gummy bears are a delicious goodness of corn syrup and glycerin)

#4-Doughnuts (say it ain't so)

#5-Pre-packages lunch kits (they're talking about Lunch-ables here but can't say the name for fear of the Oscar Myer hot dog hiring a lawyer)

#6-Sugary breakfast cereals (I'm guessing Count Chocula, and my best friend in college; Captain Crunch with Crunch Berries)

#7-Microwavable Dinners

#8-Juice Drinks (this would be anything that is green, blue, or a neon shade to include Hi-C, Tropicana, and anything Arizona tea company makes)

#9-French Fries

#10-Toaster Pastries (ie Pop-Tarts)

I wanted to show you some great substitutions that actually don't taste like cardboard or birch twigs.

#1-In the effort of 'keeping it real' I gotta tell you-there's not a great hog dog substitute that I have found. My kids aren't crazy about them anyway so I've not searched real hard. They do have some out that are all beef, and do not have nitrites and nitrates in them which is what you are wanting to avoid.

#2-I LOVE soda. Seriously getting off soda was the hardest thing I have ever quit. I still crave that carbonated bubbly nectar first thing in the morning. This helped: take Perrier water or Soda or seltzer water and add a little juice to it. It's not Pepsi but it helps with the shakes :)

#3-Sticky Candy.- Our beloved little gummy bears made of glycerin, artificial flavors and colors, and sweetened with corn syrup....gotta go. But never fear- your kids will love these especially if you let them help make them.

fruit

Ingredients:

Fresh,or frozen fruit - strawberries and nectarines work great. (grapes and watermelon.....not so much)
Blender
Non-stick baking sheet
Non-stick baking spray (e.g. PAM is a commercial brand)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Wash and prepare fruit.

2. Puree fruit in blender until it is very smooth. To make a leather that is 18 inches x 14 inches x 1/4 inches, you will need about two and a half cups of puree.

3. Add as little water or juice as possible when pureeing.

4. You may now add any sweetening or spices... but beware, the more liquid in your puree, the longer it will take to dry. You don't have to use processed sugar for sweetening; try honey, cane syrup, molasses, maple syrup, brown sugar, etc. (See below for more ideas on flavorings and spices).

5. Lightly spray the baking sheet with non-stick spray.

6. Pour the puree onto the prepared sheet. Slightly tilt the tray to spread the puree around evenly. You could also make 4 to 6 inch size pancake shapes instead of one huge sheet.

7. At this point, you make garnish your leather if you desire (see below for variations).

8. Preheat your oven to about 150 degrees (no higher as you will cook the fruit rather than dry it). Note: below is an option if your fruit leather dries too long that is really good.

9. Put your baking sheet in the oven and prop the oven door open. The drying is going to take a long while... the time depends on how much moisture is in your puree.

10. Remove the leather from the sheet while it is still warm and roll it up. Or, before you roll it up you could spread a filling on the leather and then roll it, this makes for a great variation and suggestions can be found below.

#4-There is probably no healthy way to eat doughnuts. (which breaks my Bavarian Cream Filled loving heart) but I'll give you a recipe tomorrow on how to bake them and make 'better'

#5- Alright- I have to confess my kids thought that the "COOL KIDS" in the lunchroom ate Lunchables in their Hannah Montana lunchboxes. My poor ole garbanzo stick and twig eating kids. They may be scarred for life.

I looked at great things to put in a lunch box, but sorry guys, some things you listed just did not make the "cool" cut

CHICKEN SALAD- YES

TUNA OR TUNA SALAD-NO (it's good for you but it stinks....like fish)-per the 3rd grader

KABOBS- UBER COOL

BOILED EGGS- again, good for you - but Moooooom, it really smells bad and the whole table can smell it. (confirmed and seconded by the High School senior)

PITA CHIPS and HUMMUS - were a go only because the other kids were curious.

YOGURT PARFAITS- YES, but only because they serve the at Mickey D's *you can put them in a plastic cup put wrap on the top and put a rubber band around to secure*

Red solo cup, you fill me up, proceed to party ........the utter nonsense that fills space in my head is SCARY

#6- Pintrest has a fantastic recipe crockpot oatmeal. It's all the food page and is delicious. I would search and post but the internet while I am here at Po-Dunk....STINKS!

7- I don't even remember what #7 was - I seem to have gotten side tracked with song lyrics.

#8-Here's a little secret (juice really isn't that good for you, calorie laden and no fiber) Pack a water cut up fruits chunks and tell them it's a Shirley Temple....worked for me

#9-Oh I love this one. Cut a sweet potato into french fry like slices. drizzle a little olive oil on. Salt and Pepper and Cayenne (just a little). Bake at 400 until french fry like consistency. SOOOOOO GOOOOOD!

#10-Pop Tarts (did the astronauts eat those or was that just TANG?) Another thing my kids can eat for breakfast and think they are REBELS are frozen bananas. Not just any frozen bananas but frozen bananas with peanut(or almond) butter and: dum dum dum CHOCOLATE! Slather some peanut butter on the banana and then put your chocolate in a zip lock - microwave for 2 minutes on (LOW). Cut a tiny hole in one corner of the zippy and squeeze on banana.

Have a great weekend - I'm off to try my SHAM NOW while wearing my SNUGGI. Fun for all.

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