Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Farewell, September!

The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze.
~John Updike~
And Congrats to our Tuesday Winner! Uncle Lynn selected Mrs. 4444 by Random Drawing. She wins her choice of two flavors of Pop'rs, the good-for-you seasoning that encourages everyone to Eat. Their Veggies! And their yogurt, their milk, and their tacos, too! Uncle Lynn wanted me to remind you that Pop'rs are only available online--they're not in stores yet! And, they come in eight delicious flavors: Buffalo, Butter, Chocolate, Colorbust, Cinnamon, Raspberry, Strawberry and Taco.

E-mail me your info, Mrs. 4444, and Uncle Lynn will get the Pop'rs you Prefer right on out to ya! And, Don't Forget: We'll be announcing three more winners this week, and a Grand Prize Winner on Saturday!

The pic above, BTW, is of The Wild One (third from the left, in the blue jacket and polka-dotted pants) on a pre-school field trip many Septembers ago. The poem is by John Updike, one of Veggie Mom's favorite authors. His Rabbit series won him two Pulitzer Prizes, and my undying loyalty, too!

Monday, September 29, 2008

And the First Winner Is...

...Channah, of Get a Grip, Mom! According to her Bloggy Profile, Channah has been blogging since May, which would make her a Newbie, just like Veggie Mom!

Uncle Lynn chose Channah yesterday, by Random Drawing! And what does she win? Her choice of two flavors of Pop'rs, that good-for-you seasoning, which really encourages everyone, young AND old, to Eat. Their Veggies! Remember, Bloggy Readers...Pop'rs are only available online from Uncle Lynn. And, they come in eight fanTAbulous flavors: Buffalo, Butter, Chocolate, Colorbust, Cinnamon, Raspberry, Strawberry and Taco.

So, Channah, shoot Veggie Mom an e-mail, and let her know what flavors you prefer. And remember: We'll be announcing four more winners this week, and a Grand Prize Winner on Saturday!

We'd also like to use our posts this week to showcase Fall, Our Family, and some Funny Stories we've be saving for ya. The shot above, an Aunt Julie Special, showcases Shark Boy, Uncle Lynn, Big Bear, and College Boy, who is hanging out in his Baby Backpack. They're in the Pumpkin Patch with their Newfoundland, Nelson. This photo was taken When the World was Very Young, of course, before Soccer Boy came along!
We'd like to leave you, Dear Readers, with a quote about Autumn. And, a Bloggy Reminder: Stay Tuned for more Great New Pop'rs Giveaway Winners!
Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower.
~Albert Camus, French Existentialist

Sunday, September 28, 2008

101st Post: An Explosion of Questions & Answers!

Today, we'll wrap up our Sweet Centennial Celebration: Day 2.

We have a few more questions from Faithful Readers, who are also in line for Our Great New Pop'rs Giveaway. Remember, Uncle Lynn starts handing out Pop'rs prizes tomorrow. We'll have a finalist every day until Saturday, when we'll announce our Grand. Prize. Winner! Uncle Lynn is fielding these questions, unless otherwise noted. Here We Go!

  1. Tracey P. is a Minnesota Vikings Fan. They like to taunt their Green Bay Packers Bretheren, across the Mighty Mississippi: I would like to know who is Uncle Lynn's favorite player on the Minnesota Vikings! :-) Anyone who gets beat for a Packer’s touchdown!
  2. And also for Uncle Lynn, from Tracey P.: When is he planning to come out with a matched set of purple and gold pop'rs (I'm thinkin' butter and cheese flavors) for us to put on our popcorn while we watch football? 'Cuz that would totally rock! Think green and gold!
  3. Tiffiney wants to know: What is the best flavor of Pop'rs you have tasted? :) Love them all!
  4. Gombojav Tribe is kinda silly, but has a point: Can Pop'rs make brussel sprouts taste like truffles? :-) Hmmm–chocolate truffles? Maybe not, but only Pop’rs can make brussel sprouts SING!
  5. The Tribe has another question, too: How long have you been using Pop'rs? Pop’rs are brand new!
  6. And The Tribe weighs in with one more: What's your comfort food--the one you will eat without any Pop'rs needed? Carrot Cake!
  7. Tiff, she of no Linky Love, has a question, nonetheless: OK, I'd like to know which Pop'rs flavor makes the best tasting drink! Now, that is a neat idea for us to work on. Should we make one to change water?
  8. And, here comes Tiff again: Can you tell us some fun Pop'rs cocktail recipes? Meaning, which two or more Pop'rs can you mix together to make an awesome flavor? That is a tough one–I am not sure any of them improve by mixing together. But, thinking about it, I think we may introduce a “plain” Pop’rs so that you guys can have some fun trying out different things to mix in and shake on–you would have to share your ideas with us, though.
  9. Simply Anonymom, who's also celebrating her 100th Post, asks: What was your inspiration for Pop'rs? Kids!
  10. She's not trying to be very anonymous in her questioning, is she? Can I use them on my popcorn? Yes, I especially like the Butter Pop’rs! Popping popcorn!
  11. Anonymom has another: Can I put the Pop'rs on my vegetable soup and will it still work? Very cool. The hotter the soup, the quicker the noise will be gone, though. We do this all the time. We are playing around with a formula which will last longer in hot foods, and will keep you posted!
  12. And, one more from Anonymom: Can I use Pop’rs in place of salt? Pop'rs are a good-for-you seasonings, but they don't taste "salty." They'd be a good option to "wean" you off of salt, though!
  13. Tiffiney was all about Marla's Poppin' Video! Very cute video! How often do you use Pop'rs? Every day!
  14. Z's Mom, a previous Giveaway Winner, has another question: Hey, any plans for vanilla or banana-flavored Pop'rs???? Yummy!!!! We do now! How about this one: We just started adding Pop’rs to Chocolate and making popping chocolate candy bars!
  15. Vicki, our Bloggy Friend who also happens to be the proprietress over at Best Posts of the Week, asks a poignant one of Veggie Mom: How are you enjoying your empty nest? I think I've mentioned before, I can't wait until I'm at that stage :) It’s pretty lonely around here. And awfully quiet. But Moker and I talk more, and get to watch the TV in the family room, so we can get used to it!
  16. Tabitha Blue sounds like a gal who doesn't necessarily stick to the everyday life: What are some of the more “exotic” (not everyday) veggies you've served to your family that they like and that aren't too hard to prepare? Veggie’s kids love artichokes and acorn squash!
  17. Angela has a great question: What is your favorite recipe of those you have posted to use Pop'rs for? Veggie thinks Taco and/or Buffalo-flavored Pop'rs would taste good in Oven Stew.
  18. Melissa B. has a thought: Do you recommend eating Pop'rs straight from the container like that, or are they better on food? Oh, it's FUN to fool around with the Popping Part of Pop'rs, but we prefer them on food! BTW, Lula, one of our Giveaway Winners, recommends the Buffalo flavor on baked potatoes!
  19. Marrdy wants to know: At what age did you become a Packers fan? We are all born that way!
  20. Nissa asks a question that actually comes up quite a bit in our family: Do you prefer your drinks with or without ice? :) Veggie Mom is an ice-lovin’ gal! But no ice-crunchin’ around Aunt Julie!
  21. Channah, every the curious sort, throws this out: Has there ever been a Pop’rs flavor that didn't make the cut/make it past the family taste testers? Well, this wasn’t Pop’rs, but we made a carbonated hard candy once in BACON flavor that was particularily nasty! The jalepeno was pretty bad, too!
  22. Nik asks: Was there a different name that was considered that almost beat out Pop’rs? Sparkling Spice–we still use that to talk about the product, but just decided Pop’rs was best. It has more POP! to it, don'tcha think?
  23. KKJD1 must really like spicy food! What do you think the Buffalo Popr's would taste like on hot wings? Awesome!
  24. Always thinking of family dinner plans, KKJD1 also wants to know: Do you have a certain flavor for chicken or other meats? Taco and Buffalo are great on chicken and also on tacos, sausage pizza, and burgers!
  25. Kally comes back with a thoughtful question: Buffalo...hmmm very interesting. Wondering what this tastes like? Just like the seasoning on Buffalo Hot Wings--nice and spicy!
  26. Sarah, a curious reader who didn't Share the Linky Love (at least with us, anyway, has the first in a series of questions: Are there any health benefits to using Pop'rs? Every Pop’rs seasoning contains kid-targeted vitamins as developed for us by our friends at Fortitech –check them out, they are outstanding at this stuff! Also, the whole idea of Pop’rs is to make Pop Rocks relevant–soooooooo...Pop’rs are designed to bring the same popping excitement, but applied to GOOD foods to make the GOOD foods more fun and interesting to your kids.
  27. Sarah has another one for Uncle Lynn: How did you come up with such a fun name--"Pop'rs"? Thank you very much for the compliment–I wanted to have something that had the word POP in it, be simple to say, simple to make into a logo for our products, and maybe shirts and hats, but still be totally unique so we could begin to build a following; we think we got it right!
  28. Sarah also wants to know: Are you going to come out with a Pop'rs recipe book anytime soon? It'll be fun for both adults and kids! Wow–We will need some help with that one, since the best laboratories and kitchens are the ones that belong to our customers.
  29. Always thinking about Eating Healthy, Sarah asks: Are your Pop'rs flavors vegetarian/vegan friendly? Of course–just don’t shake them on the wrong stuff!
  30. Sarah's also up for the challenge: Please tell us how you went about creating these flavors. Was it a challenging process? We work with some really good companies to help us with our ideas, like Fortitech for the vitamins, and a really cool company named Van Druenen Farms for the real fruit flavors. We, our kids and their friends, come up with ideas, then we get samples of the flavors and materials we need and Aunt Julie, our lab “cook” Lori, and Uncle Lynn (me) all play around until we think we have it right–then we let Soccer Boy share it with his friends to see what they think. For instance, the boy shaking Pop’rs on the Broccoli in our Giveaway photo at the top of the blog is Soccer Boy's friend, Eric.
  31. Here's Sarah with another quick question: How did you first react when you were featured in Rachael Ray's magazine? Scared, then excited, then scared–it is a big responsibility when someone like Rachael notices you!
  32. OK, Sarah, give us another one: How would you describe Wisconsin in one word to someone who has never been there? Friendly!
  33. And one more question from Sarah: What are Veggie Mom's, Aunt Julie's and Uncle Lynn's favorite Pop'rs flavors? Veggie Mom’s faves are Taco (natch; she’s a Native Texan!) and Colorburst, 'cause it tastes so good and is so pretty! Julie also loves swirling color changing in yogurt, & Lynn. of course. luvs them all!
  34. Simply Anonymom has a couple more questions: Did you like vegetables before Pop'rs? Some of us did; others, well, now you know part of why we invented Pop’rs!
  35. Simply Anonymom also wants to know: What is the best combination of Pop'rs and vegetables? The very first one we ever did was Butter Pop’rs on a nice warm bowl of cut corn–nice.
  36. And the Lovely Mannequin, a previous Giveaway Winner as well, asks our final 100th Post Centennial Celebration Question: Any plans of adding even MORE great flavors? Maybe a holiday edition? Yummy. YES! Watch our site, and we will of course let Veggie Mom know, so she can spread the word when we are ready–we won’t have this one in time for this year, but I promise next year we will have a Pumpkin Pop’rs! Shaken on vanilla ice cream–there goes my diet again!

That's all, Folks! We did get a few Giveaway Questions after the deadline had passed. We're sorry, but rules are rules, and we have to stick to 'em, or we would incite a Bloggy Riot! Tune in tomorrow, for the first Giveaway Prizes of the Week. Remember, we'll be awarding Popr's Prizes all week, culminating in our Grand Prize Winner Giveaway on Saturday! Thanks to everyone who helped me celebrate my Sweet Centennial, and Good Luck!

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Centennial Q&A. Or, Happy Hundred to Me!

Today's Veggie Mom's 100th Post, everyone! As you well know, Uncle Lynn is offering a 2-Part Giveaway in celebration of this Sweet Centennial. Part 1 culminates today and tomorrow in an exciting fashion. Yup--you Asked, and We're Answering! Thanks for being so Doggone Curious! Your questions are answered by Uncle Lynn, the Pop'r King, unless otherwise indicated. And, Readers Beware: We tried to weed out duplicate questions. If you don't see yours today or tomorrow, don't worry, 'cause you're still entered in the Giveaway. So, bring on the Q & A!

  1. Melissa B. has a pressing question: In which season do Pop'rs taste the best: Fall or Spring? In whatever season, since they are SEASONINGS!
  2. Lula, one of our recent Giveaway Winners, wants to know: Are there any new Pop'rs flavors coming out anytime soon? I'm thinking something cinnamony would be fabulous. We have a cinnamon flavor already, and it is great on toast. Just ask Rachael Ray; you know, OPRAH’S friend! It’s her favorite!
  3. The Pink Potpourri asks: What is YOUR personal favorite Popr's flavor? I like color-changing on yogurt the best!
  4. Kamewh is curious: You have such a wide variety of flavors, but I was wondering if there were any plans to have any cheese-flavored varieties? We have made a cheese flavor (this IS Wisconsin, after all) and it’s great on all veggies. However, it is not available to you yet! Good suggestion!
  5. Mannequin, who has played this Pop'rs Game before and won, has a sports-oriented question: I've a question for Soccer Boy if you don't mind please. It's easy to see that you are a dedicated soccer player! What are the chances of your playing professionally? More important, is one able to get a scholarship to college on their soccer playing skills? Soccer scholarships are available, but we lost last weekend 10-0, so I don’t feel too great right now about my chances of turning pro!
  6. Ritch in Love has a regional query: What do each of you love the most about living in Wisconsin? I've been there one time and I loved it. I thought it was beautiful! Gotta love the changing seasons! There is a saying in the Dairy State: “If you don’t like the weather in Wisconsin, just wait a half-hour. It’ll change!”
  7. Imanoptomisticbeauty is concerned about the natural order of things: Is there any artificial coloring in your products? Or artificial food additives like msg? There is some artificial color in some, but we work hard to keep everything natural–see the back panels of the jars for the full ingredients–for example, we use real fruit in the strawberry and raspberry! Natural chocolate, etc. BUT, if you need to stay away from artificial colors, you will want to stay away from one of my favorites, the color changing. We thought we had to include it since it is such fun, but it is the only one like that
  8. Ever the optomist, she also asks: Your containers seem on the small side; any plans to have bigger containers in the future? Great idea. We will ask Veggie Mom to run a contest to pick what flavor should be introduced in a "Giant Pack." Maybe one of those Zip-Lock bags?
  9. The Purloined Letter is a Poe fan, so we totally understand where she's coming from with this one: I feel a little uneasy about adding processed ingredients to my family's diet. Can you talk about why Pop'rs are a good choice? Pop’rs are designed to make GREAT FOODS interesting and fun for kids, so I think we are on the same page!
  10. Bookworm wants to know: How do you decide which flavorings to use in the Pop'rs? My favorite part of this is to come up with new flavor ideas and try them on everyone I can find. I also listen to what everyone says they want us to try, and look forward to adding more and more. Kind of like the Ben & Jerry’s of kids' seasonings!
  11. Angie, one of our previous Giveaway Winners, has a good one: What's your personal favorite flavor? Cinnamon! But Aunt Julie has made a new one we have not introduced yet–LEMON. I know everyone will go crazy for it on everything from yogurt to chicken!
  12. Kate Coveney Hood is wrassling with Kids and Veggies: I'm not having much luck getting my kids to fall for the pureed additions/substitutions. If you think that they're great - do you have any tips to make the recipes, um, sneakier? Just before serving, sneek in some Pop’rs; they will start to SING right away, and should make the kids curious enough to try
  13. Lisa wants to know: What is your best selling Pop'r? They are all sold in the 8-pack mixed cartons, so the best seller is all of them!
  14. Nina asks Veggie Mom to do a long-term Blog Assessment: Of the 100 posts you have written what has been your personal favorite and why? I love writing the personal posts about my family. Of the 100 posts I’ve written so far, the Empty Nesters struck closest to my heart.
  15. Corgidogmama is all about origins: How did you come up with the Pop’rs idea??? Can I say, "You need to buy the book"? I am writing the Pop’rs story chapter by chapter as a Guest Blogger for Veggie Mom! Please click on the links to check out Chapters 1 and 2!
  16. Z's Mom, who, as one of our September winners, has turned adorable little Zander on to the Perfection of Pop'rs, asks: Is Uncle Lynn planning on selling other sizes of Pop'rs? Let's say I fall in love with Cocoa ('cause I did) and I just want one big jar of that.....is that something that might be doable in the future? Working on it–maybe a big bag so you can refill the jars?
  17. Kally is getting anxious about availability: When, When, When do you think Pop'rs might be sold in stores? Stores are a part of the big plan, but right now we feel we are in better touch with our customers selling online. Click here for more info
  18. Channah wants to know: What new flavors are coming out? We are working on several: Lemon, chamoy, cheesy, catsup, salty, peppery. No timetable yet–but the fun part for me is thinking up new flavors and seeing what new surprises I can bring.
  19. Along the same lines, Joy in the Burbs is curious: Will these be coming to a retailer near me soon? Working on it, but for now, Pop'rs are always available on online.
  20. Dawn, who is such a Dear, Dear Bloggy Friend, AND just redesigned her blog, BTW, asks Veggie Mom about Keeping Current: How do you keep up with all the questions/commenters? As a famous Civil War admiral once said, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”
  21. Dear Dawn also asks Veggie who's Going to be Accountable in Part 1 of the Grand Giveaway: Will someone (one person) be answering the questions? It depends. Most of the time, Uncle Lynn will. Sometimes Veggie will.
  22. Dawn also is Concerned About the Future: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Veggie says on a beach somewhere, preferably in The OBX!
  23. OK, Dawn, what else is on your mind? Is Aunt Julie starting a recipe blog? Uncle Lynn says he has too much fun working with Veggie Mom to start another blog. Aunt Julie says she's way too busy, developing new flavors of Pop'rs and all. But what Veggie wants to know, is: If we start a recipe blog, do you wanna run it for us, Dawn?
  24. And then Dawn Asks the Obvious: Do you know that I want to win??? Veggie can tell you’re stoked, Dawn!
  25. Moving on to another reader, Blue Violet wants to know: Will Pop'rs be available in larger sizes? We're still working on this. As they say in the Corporate World, that idea is "under development"!
  26. Probably because Halloween is knockin' on the door, Blue Violet also asks: Do you have seasonal-flavored Pop'rs? Not yet, but if you served Taco and Chocolate during the course of the same meal, would that be considered a Halloween Theme?
  27. And One More from Blue Violet: Do you think you might have some Pop'rs designed for topping ice cream in the future? If so, what would they be? Got them right now: Try chocolate, raspberry, strawberry, and maybe even cinnamon?
  28. Keeping the Centennial Celebration in mind, Mrs. 4444 offers a choice: Okay, 100th post. If you could have 100 hours of massage or 100 hours of free housework, which would you choose? Veggie will take that one. Definitely the free housework. Then, I wouldn't need the massage!

That's all for today, Dear Friends! If you didn't see your question today, we'll have it up for you tomorrow, in Veggie Mom's 101st Post! We'll finish up the Pop'rs Q&A, and then move on the Most Important Thing (MIT): The Prize-Giving! And remember: We're starting Six Days of Giveaways on Monday, so stay tuned!

It's Friday! And THAT Means...

...it's time for Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Fiesta Finish, and that the Pop'rs Polls close tonight at 11:59 p.m. EST in our Great New Pop'rs Giveaway! If you haven't entered yet, or you want to enter again, click here. Or here. Or here. Or even here! Enter as many times as you'd like, and help Veggie Mom celebrate her 100th Bloggy Post!

Today's Friday Foto is one Aunt Julie, my Gifted and Talented SIL, snapped the last time she and Soccer Boy went tubing on Lake Winnebago. I love the composition. And the contrasts. And the colors. Heck, I love the Whole. Darn. Thing!

We've got a Big Blowout planned for tomorrow. Saturday is my 100th Post, and we'll kick off the celebration by answering your Bloggy Questions. It's a 2-day Pop'rs Extravaganza, so stay tuned!

On Monday, I'll start announcing Giveaway Winners. We'll have one winner each day next week, culminating in the Grand Prize Winner a week from tomorrow. Big Doin's around Eat Your Veggies! I'm. So. Psyched!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Oh, Give Me A Home...

...where the Buffalo Pop'rs roam? Well, that's what my Friend from FLA, who Blogs under the pseudonym Does Anybody Hear Me? says!

Anybody, who makes her Bloggy Home at Don't Get Married...You Won't Like It!, purchased some Pop'rs earlier this month from Uncle Lynn, The Pop'r King. You know, the only place you can buy Pop'rs right now is online. Click here to find out how!

So, back to my story. Or, I should say, Anybody's story. Here's what Anybody reports: "Uncle Lynn and Aunt Julie have come up with a wonderful product called Pop'rs. They POP in your mouth and make veggies so much fun to eat!! I have tried them myself and love the Butter flavor. And the Buffalo is terrific on popcorn!!"
Thanks for the Positive Vibes, Anybody! And remember, all you Pop'rs Fans out in Cyberland. You, too, can pick up your very own Pop'rs by clicking here to find out how. Or, you can win them by clicking here. Or here. Or here! It's that easy! Remember, the Pop'rs Polls close at 11:59 p.m. EST tomorrow night, so you'd best get crackin'! Help Veggie Mom celebrate her 100th post, and win some Pop'rs in the bargain!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bling and a Bloggy Giveaway

You know, don'tcha, that we're right in the middle of a 2-part Giveaway. You can read about it here. And here. You just need to remember to get your questions (the sky's the limit, and one question=one Giveaway entry!) in to moi by Friday at 11:59 EST. If you're reading this now, you can just leave a question or two in the comments section of this post. So, Get Poppin'!

I'd also like to give a quick but thoughtful Shout Out! to Blogstalker, who--and I'm sure we can all agree on this one--gives all our Bloggy Lives new meaning. With incisive--and sometimes mysterious--analysis, Blogstalker cuts through the Cyber Chatter and Gets. Right. To. The. Point.

Which brings me to my point, which is this. Blogstalker recently bestowed some Bloggy Bling on my little ol' head. And I'd like to thank my Bloggy Friend from the bottom of my Digital Heart!

The honor, deemed the Arte y Pico Award, literally translates to "Art Peak." The Stalker, it seems, thinks my little ol' place is "creative and interesting." Well, thank ya kindly! And in the tradition of all Good Things, I am required to pass this precious piece o' hardware along. Here first, though, are the rules:
  1. Choose 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award based on creativity, design, interesting material & overall contribution to the blogger community.
  2. Post the name of the author & a link to his or her blog so everyone can view it.
  3. Each award winner has to show the award & put the name & link to the blog that has given him or her the award
  4. The award winner & presenter should post the link of the "Arte y pico" blog so everyone will know the origin of the award.

So, I choose:

Thanks for making my Bloggy Life, at least, both creative AND interesting!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pop'rs in Action

Marla was one of September's Great New Pop'rs Giveaway winners. She and her family recently tried out her new prize, and guess what? They got Poppin' right away!

Let's let Marla, of Pak Adventures, explain: "Remember a few weeks back...I was on a winning streak... I won Pop'rs from Veggie Mom! Well, check out the reaction I got from some 7-year-old boys... they first tried it on pizza (taco flavor) and then wanted to try a fruit flavor... I let them do a shot...which is NOT what it is intended for... but it made for a good video..."

Marla's enjoying her 8-pack of Pop'rs, and You. Can. Too! Just enter October's Great New Pop'rs Giveaway. It's really easy and fun to play along, and we'll have Six. Winners. This. Time!

What do you win? Five Bloggy Friends will each win their choice of two flavors of Pop’rs, the good-for-you seasonings that make eating veggies fun! One Bloggy Friend will win the Grand Prize—a complete set of Pop’rs, that tasty and fun seasoning that really encourages kids to Eat Their Veggies! Pop’rs, which come in eight flavors, add great flavor, and fun, to just about any kind of food, from applesauce to yogurt and beyond. Pop’rs, which are only available from Uncle Lynn online, have an added kick--as the name implies, they go POP! when you eat them.

Remember, friends, this is a 2-parter. We're also celebrating my 100th Post, which occurs on Saturday, so here's what you do:

  1. To enter October's Great New Pop'rs Giveaway, readers must post questions that they want to ask Veggie Mom (That's Me!), Aunt Julie, Uncle Lynn, or anyone else over at Eat Your Veggies! This is Phase One of the Giveaway. Readers get One Giveaway Entry for every question they post. There is no limit to the questions you may ask! Veggie Mom will collect questions from today through 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, September 26, so make sure to get your questions in! I will answer all readers’ questions on Saturday, September 27—which happens to be my 100th Blog Post—and Sunday, September 28.
  2. Starting Monday, September 29, Phase Two of the Giveaway begins! Uncle Lynn, The Pop'r King, will award Giveaway Prizes to One Giveaway Finalist Each Day, through Friday, October 3. He will announce the Grand Prize Winner in a post right here on Saturday, October 4. Giveaway Finalists will each receive two Pop'rs flavors of their choice. The Grand Prize Winner will receive a complete set of Pop'rs--all eight flavors!

So, there you have it Pop'rs Fans! No, you don't have to make a video--but it makes for an extremely interesting post, doesn't it?

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Bloggy Celebration and a Great New Pop'rs Giveaway!

Happy First Day of Fall! Aunt Julie and The Pop'rs Boys--Big Bear, College Boy, Shark Boy and Soccer Boy, pictured above with Trouble Elizabeth and Moses--love the changing of the leaves, the dropping of the temperatures and, of course, the playing of the football games every Sunday. Fall also means the advent of Halloween, which is Soccer Boy's favorite holiday, since it comes so close to his birthday!

We have an extra special reason to celebrate this season. Saturday will be Veggie Mom's 100th Post! And what better way to commemorate This Life-Altering Event than with a little ol' Bloggy Giveaway?

This Great New Pop'rs Giveaway is a contest With. A. Twist. It features two phases. Here are the rules, plain and simple:

  • Giveaway Dates: Today through Saturday, October 4. In Phase One, contestants may enter as many times as they like, but all entries must be recieved by 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, September 26. Phase Two of the Giveaway takes place September 29 through October 4!
  • Giveaway prizes: Five Bloggy Friends will each win their choice of two flavors of Pop’rs, the good-for-you seasonings that make eating veggies fun! One Bloggy Friend will win the Grand Prize—a complete set of Pop’rs! Pop’rs are that tasty and fun seasoning that really encourages kids to Eat Their Veggies! Pop’rs, which come in eight flavors, add great flavor, and fun, to just about any kind of food, from applesauce to broccoli--all the way through the alphabet, to yogurt and beyond. Pop’rs, which are only available from Uncle Lynn at http://www.poprs.com/, have an added kick--as the name implies, they go POP! when you eat them.
  • Giveaway Rules: Veggie Mom is celebrating her 100th Blog Post and the changing of the seasons, by offering a Great New Pop’rs Giveaway in two phases.
  1. To enter the Giveaway, readers must post questions that they want to ask Veggie Mom, Aunt Julie, Uncle Lynn, or anyone else over at Eat Your Veggies! This is Phase One of the Giveaway. Readers get one Giveaway Entry for every question they post. There is no limit to the questions you may ask! Veggie Mom will collect questions from today through 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, September 26, so make sure to get your questions in! I will answer all readers’ questions on Saturday, September 27—which happens to be my 100th Blog Post—and Sunday, September 28.
  2. Starting Monday, September 29, Phase Two of the Giveaway begins! Uncle Lynn, The Pop'r King, will award Giveaway Prizes to one Giveaway Finalist each day, through Friday, October 3. He will announce the Grand Prize Winner in a post right here on Saturday, October 4. Finalists will each receive two Pop'rs flavors of their choice. The Grand Prize Winner will receive a complete set of Pop'rs--all eight flavors!

The changing of the leaves, the crisp Fall air, the NFL and a Great New Pop'rs Giveaway. You ask, we'll answer, and we'll both have Something to Celebrate!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

*Recipe Week*, Day #7: Pepperoni Bread and a Packer Party!

We want to end *Recipe Week* today with a great send-off for our cherished Green Bay Packers. They're playing the Cowboys tonite--*Boo! Hiss!!*--and Aunt Julie has a Packer Party planned!

BTW, that's Aunt Julie, Patty, and Joe pictured above at a Green Bay home game at storied Lambeau Field. Do ya think they're having fun? The game must've been a nail-biter--look at the guy over Julie Eliz's left shoulder!

Before we leave you with our Final Recipe of the Week, we'd like to clue you in to Big Doings 'round Eat Your Veggies! this week. Seems that Your Very Own Veggie Mom is about to celebrate her 100th post, come next Saturday! In honor of This Auspicious Occasion, Uncle Lynn has authorized me to host Another Great New Pop'rs Giveaway, starting Monday! We'll have more details tomorrow, so please stop by to chat!!

So, on to the Grande Finale of *Recipe Week*! We've told you how much we love The Green Bay Packers. We've told you how much we love QB Brett Favre, although He's a Jet now. *Sigh!* We've told you how We Love Those Packers soooooooooooo much that The Wild One has immortalized the Green & Gold in ceramic. Martha Stewart Would. Be. Proud! And, we've told you about Joe and Patty and Aunt Julie's Weekly Packer Parties.

Well, the Packers are 2 and 0, as of right this very second. We need to get Geared Up to Beat Those 'Boys, and give Our Team some Good Karma, right? So, what better way to round out *Recipe Week* and give The Pack some luck than with Aunt Julie's Pepperoni Bread? Here, then, is a Packer Party Favorite!

Aunt Julie's Packer Party Pepperoni Bread

Soften 1 loaf of frozen bread dough according to package directions.
Roll out to a rectangle. Brush with beaten egg and 1 Tbsp water. Sprinkle with garlic salt, parsley flakes, crushed red pepper, oregano, and basil in any combination you like. Layer with sandwich pepperoni slices and shredded mozzarella cheese.
Roll up from long end. Coil into glass pie plate. Brush again with egg and water. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and parsley or basil.
Bake 35-40 min. at 375 degrees. Serve with pizza sauce.
Veggie Mom, signing off. Hope you enjoyed *Recipe Week*!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

*Recipe Week*, Day #6: Moker's Poker Jambalaya

Here we are at Day #6 of *Recipe Week*, and we haven't asked you that All-Important Question: Are you having fun yet? We sure are!

Today we visit the Gulf Coast--specifically Dawn's Neck o' The Woods--and sample the culinary delights of the Great State of Louisiana! We came upon this recipe, though, in the oddest of ways.

You've met Moker, correct? He's my Hubz, Aunt Julie's Big Bro, and the one who introduced us to Texas's Banana Split Cake. Now that we've got that settled, let me explain about Moker's Poker Jambalaya.

We used to live in DC. As in Washington. Our Nation's Capital. Named for Our First President of the Good Ol' U.S. of A. While residing in The Capital City, we saw the sites, inhaled the ambience, and found lots o' fun things to do on the weekends!

One of those things, for Moker, at least, was playing poker. A friend of his introduced him to a game run out of a carpentry shop in suburban Maryland. And these craftsmen could cook! Moker never brought home much in the way of winnings, but he did bring home a few winning recipes! And over the years, we've taken those recipes, and tinkered with 'em a bit, and made 'em our own!

So, there you have it. Louisiana Jambalaya, by way of a suburban Maryland poker game, while we were living in DC. Got it? Well, get this!

Moker's Poker Jambalaya

1/4 cup cooking oil
1/2 lb. smoked sausage, sliced (we like andouille)
1/2 lb. ham, cubed
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
5 stalks of celery, chopped
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 16-oz. can tomatoes; do not drain!
1.5 cups of water
1 Tsp. thyme
1/2 Tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 Tsp. black pepper
1 Tsp. salt
1.5 cups rice
1.5 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
2 lbs. peeled shrimp

Sauté sausage and ham until lightly browned.
Add onions, pepper, celery, green onions and garlic. Sauté until tender.
Add tomatoes, with juice, thyme, papper and salt; cook 5 minutes.
Stir in rice.
Add water and Worcestershire Sauce.
Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, add shrip, and cook uncovered for about 30 minutes, until rice and shrimp are done.

Tomorrow, we've got a Packer Party Treat for ya, so stay tuned!

Friday, September 19, 2008

*Recipe Week*, Day #5: Grandma Vera's Cutout Sugar Cookies

Playing along with Candid Carrie today, and her Friday Foto Fiesta Finish!

Aunt Julie's *Recipe Week* is almost over, and what have we learned? A little of this, a smidge of that, and a whole lotta Kitchen-Friendly Concoctions! Two more days to go, but we're getting ahead of ourselves. Let's see what's cookin' today!

We've told you before that we're quite a tight-knit family. The Holidays, especially, bring out the best in all of us, but we're open to a celebration any old time! Treats that both Aunt Julie and I cherish, and bake year-round, are Grandma Vera's Sugar Cookies.

It's simple, really. The entire Pop'rs Clan enjoys life! And what symbolizes more of a sweet occasion than the All-American Sugar Cookie?

Julie, of course, has baked these yummy cookies--with or without frosting, depending on one's mood--all her life, because this recipe was handed down to her by her Mom, my MIL, Grandma Vera. Vera is Grandmother to all The Pop'rs Cousins. And in her hey day, she was known to turn out literally hundreds of Sugar Cookies at a time for all The Gang to enjoy!

We bake these Sweet Treats, of course, at Christmas. We also bake them for birthdays, anniversaries and just to celebrate the advent of summer vacation. Sugar cookies are an all-purpose dessert, and, in our family, can also substitute for breakfast, lunch and dinner! They're easy to make, and this recipe feeds everyone infected with a Sweet Tooth. So, let's get to it!

Grandma Vera's Cutout Sugar Cookies

For the cookies
Cream together:
1.5 cups of sugar
1 cup butter
3 eggs
1 Tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup whipping cream
Sift together, then add gradually:
4 cups flour
1 Tsp. baking soda
1 Tsp. baking powder
1/2 Tsp. salt
1/2 Tsp. nutmeg
Roll the dough out and cut the cookies in fun shapes, according to the occasion. Bake each batch at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool before you frost them!

For the frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 stick butter
whipping cream-you have to add gradually as you beat the other ingredients, until you get the consistency of frosting.
vanilla, to taste
food coloring-optional
Frost the cookies, and enjoy!

PS: Moker, who also grew up eating these treats, likes to lick the spoon after I finish making the frosting!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

*Recipe Week*, Day #4: Oven Stew

Are ya tired of us yet? We've got another cute story and another yummy, Fall-ish recipe for you to try! How many of you think Aunt Julie should start a Recipe Blog? Let's see a show of hands. I thought as much! If we get this thing launched, we'll call it Aunt Julie's Apron Strings. As they say in the Political Arena, the "ayes" have it!

This recipe, for Aunt Julie's Oven Stew, goes way, way back, to when Big Bear was about 8 or 9, and Soccer Boy had not yet entered the picture. Aunt Julie, Uncle Lynn and The Pop'rs Cousins came out our way for a Christmas visit. The Wild One was a Wee One, and College Girl about 4.

We were enjoying unseasonable weather for December, with temps in the high-70s. I know, quite a respite from the chilly winters of Northeastern Wisconsin that Julie and Lynn are used to! We even took the kids to the zoo a couple of days before Christmas. But, as all things will, this good thing came quickly to an end, as the thermometer plunged about 60 degrees overnight!

What to do, with five little kiddos (remember, Soccer Boy was not yet around to put Pop'rs in his milk!) underfoot, and the wind howling through a badly insulated old house? We did the only thing we knew to do: started cooking! We whipped up a wonderful Beef Stew, which was so warm, hearty and delicious that the kids asked us to make it again the day after Christmas. With all those yummy holiday leftovers lying around, too!

Without further ado, I bring you,

Aunt Julie's Oven Stew

1 15-oz. can tomatoes, undrained
3 Tbs. quick-cooking Tapioca, uncooked
2 Tbs. dried basil
1 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 Tbs. salt, or to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1.5 lbs. lean stew beef, cut into cubes
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 to 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths
1-3 Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 to 2 ribs of celery, cut into 1-inch lengths

In a large Dutch Oven, combine tomatoes with their liquid, tapioca, basil, sugar, salt and pepper. Add cubed beef, onion, carrots, potatoes and celery. Mix well. Cover and bake in a 350-degree oven for 2 to 2.5 hours, or until veggies are tender and meat is well-done. Stir occasionally.

Aunt Julie guarantees that if this doesn't satisfy your Hungry Crowd, nothing will!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

*Recipe Week*, Day #3: Banana Split Cake from Texas

Working on Day #3 of Aunt Julie's *Recipe Week*. How do ya think it's going, so far? Please make sure to Keep Sharing the Comment Love! And if you try one of these gems, please let Aunt Julie and moi know what you think!

Moker worked in Fort Worth, Texas, for five years. The gal who ran the office, answered the phones, listened to the *sob* stories of the younger employees, negotiated blind dates, and knew Everyone who was Anyone, was named, coincidentally, "Texas." And boy, Texas was Cookin' With Gas!

Texas's specialty, which she whipped up and brought in for her officemates to share every once in awhile, was a luscious, larripin creation called Banana Split Cake. It's funny that she called it a cake, 'cause it has no flour in it whatsoever, and you don't bake it. But is sure is sweet. Nothing was too sweet for Texas. And Texas was a sweetie, sure 'nuff!

We dedicate this recipe today to all those in the Lone Star State who have suffered in the wake of Hurricane Ike. Try this incredible concoction on for size, and let us know how it fits!

Texas's Banana Split Cake

1.5 sticks melted butter
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
Combine crumbs and butter. Press into the bottom and sides of a 9x13 pan.

2 sticks margarine
2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 eggs
1 Tsp. vanilla
6 or 7 bananas
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
1 container Cool Whip
lemon juice
chopped nuts
Maraschino cherries
Place margarine, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a bowl. Beat two minutes, and spread this mixture on the crust. Slice bananas lengthwise, dip in lemon juice and arrange on top of filling. Spread pineapple on top and spread with container of Cool Whip. Sprinkle with nuts and cherries. Chill overnight.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

*Recipe Week*, Day #2: May Williams Meatballs

Welcome to Day #2 of *Recipe Week*, perhaps a prelude to a New Recipe Blog called Aunt Julie's Apron Strings! Today's recipe is just right for the changing of the seasons, especially in the Upper Midwest, where nighttime temps are already in the 40s. We're gonna have a little story with this recipe, which comes from Your Very Own Veggie Mom.

When I was in kindergarten, we lived in an apartment house in suburban New York. Our next-door neighbors were an older couple named May and Ace Williams. My Dad was friends with Ace, and always talked about the beautiful photographs hanging in Mr. Williams' living room. I loved his wife, May, for another reason.

You see, both were very talented folks. Ace was a long-time photographer for National Geographic. He specialized in outdoor shots, especially in Alaska. He let me, a curious 5-year-old, look through the gigendous lenses attached to his cameras. He never seemed nervous that he was letting a kindergartener and her 2-year-old sister play with the beyond-expensive equipment.

May was a Talent in the Kitchen. She baked--oh, how she baked!--but her specialty was an interpretation of Swedish Meatballs, served over big, fat noodles. My Mom copied down the recipe, and forever after, this delish dish has been known in my family as May Williams Meatballs.

We moved away right before I started first grade. Mom and Dad kept in touch with the Williamses, until Geographic sent him overseas on another exotic assignment. It's been decades since last I played with Ace's cameras or scrounged a sweet sugar cookie or two from the ornately decorated plate on May's kitchen countertop. But I will, most of all, always remember her meatballs!

May Williams Meatballs

2 lbs. ground chuck
1/2 lb. lean ground pork
1 large onion, chopped fine, and sautéed in butter
2 beaten eggs
salt, pepper to taste
2 Tbs. parsley
1.5 cups Pepperidge Farm Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can Beef Broth
1 package Wide Egg Noodles

Mix together chuck, pork, onion, eggs, salt and pepper, parsley and bread crumbs 'til fully blended. Keep your hands wet while shaping small meatballs. Place the meatballs in a covered glass bowl overnight.

The next day, sauté the meatballs in hot oil; they should cook very fast, until they are light brown. Drain the meatballs. Place them in a greased casserole dish. Pour out the grease from the pan you used to sauté the meatballs. Return the pan to the stove, and turn the heat to medium. Mix together both cans of soup, undilluted, making sure to pick up the residue from the sautéd meatballs as you stir. When these ingredients are well-blended, pour over the meatballs.

Bake the meatballs, with the lid on the casserole, for one hour at 350 degrees. Serve over Wide Egg Noodles. Enjoy!