Monday, January 31, 2022

Pizza at Home - Pesto and Basil Thin Crust Pizza

Time for another pizza night! And since my brother is visiting, I asked what pizza is his favorite. He said he likes Pesto on anything, so I suggested other toppings that might be tasty to go on top. Goat Cheese (yes), pineapple (yes), tomatoes (yes), basil (absolutely yes). 

What about the pizza crust? Regular or thin crust?
Definitely thin crust.
Of course it's thin crust. That makes 3 straight weeks of thin crust pizza.  

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Cabot Sharp Cheddar Cheese taste test comparison - Sampling 13 different Cheddars including a 15 year old cheddar!

Do you like cheese? Sharp Cheddar Cheese? Then stay tuned to what 3 people called "the best taste test I've done so far." I've done a ridiculous number of taste tests, so that's high praise!

Cabot is a big name in Cheese, and they're located in Vermont! While they don't give factory tours, they do have a farmers store with all the different cheeses they make! Theresa and I had thoughts to do one of our bigger taste tests here, and were amazed by all the different types of cheeses available. In the end, we decided to focus on Vermont and the Sharp Cheddar Cheeses. 

And this time, we're seeing so many people in such a short period, that we get to do this taste test with a whole bunch of people! 

Who knew how different all these different sharp cheddar cheeses could taste compared to each other. 

Saturday, January 29, 2022

A truly insane Skittles candies taste test comparison - 13 different bags and 56 different flavors!

Today it's time to Taste the Rainbow! There are a whole lot of Skittles flavors and today, we're going to try to taste them all!

My brother Patrick and his wife Megan have been gathering all the different Skittles flavors they could find, including some from overseas!
Actually, did you know that Skittles were originally invented in England? I'm glad we have 3 packages from the UK in this taste test too!

We're going to be trying:
1. Skittles Original - Strawberry, Lemon, Green Apple, Orange, Grape
2. Skittles Smoothies - Peach Guava Smoothie, Raspberry Smoothie, Strawberry Banana Smoothie, Mango Smoothie, Blueberry Smoothie
3. Skittles Wild Berry - Wild Cherry, Strawberry, Raspberry, Berry Punch, Melon Berry
4. Skittles Brightside - Kiwi Banana, Watermelon, Paradise Punch, Tangerine, Pink Lemonade
5. Skittles Darkside - Forbidden Fruit, Black Cherry, Dark Berry, Midnight Lime, Blood Orange
6. Skittles Tropical - Banana Berry, Pineapple Passionfruit, Mango Tangelo, Kiwi Lime, Strawberry Starfruit
7. Skittles Shriekers! - Citrus Scream, Shocking Lime, Rattled Raspberry, Spine-Tingling Tangerine, Ghoulish Green Apple
8. Skittles Sours - Sour Grape, Sour Green Apple, Sour Lemon, Sour Orange, Sour Strawberry
9. UK Skittles Chewies - Chewy Orange, Chewy Lime, Chewy Lemon, Chewy Blackcurrant, Chewy Strawberry
10. Skittles All Lime - Lime
11. Skittles Pride - Strawberry, Grape, Green Apple, Orange, Lemon
12. UK Skittles Giants - UK Strawberry, UK Lime, UK Lemon, UK Blackcurrant, UK Orange
13. UK Skittles Giants Sours - UK Sour Apple, UK Sour Raspberry, UK Sour Cherry, UK Sour Mandarin, UK Sour Pineapple

Wow! That is an insane amount of flavors!

Friday, January 28, 2022

Hanging out at the Orlando RV Resort - 2022/01/05-26

Catching up on some older posts. This is a long stretch for our time at the Orlando RV resort in Florida. 

It's time to head home from our New Years trip to Michigan! Home being Florida, now that we're new residents of that state. 

We love our Southwest pilots. As we were boarding, the kids walked up the cockpit to say hi, and Pilot Ed McDermott invited them to sit in the Captain's seat, push a few buttons, and get a picture! After everyone boarded, they got a special callout on the intercom too. "Thank you to Ian and Alli for coming up to visit with us. You can tell your friends you were in the cockpit of a Boeing 737 aircraft. And maybe you can write about it for school."

Thursday, January 27, 2022

National Chocolate Cake Day - January 27th - Ultimate Chocolate Oreo and Chocolate Cake comparison

Today is National Chocolate Cake Day! Oreo must have been paying attention because just a few weeks ago, they released a new flavor. The Ultimate Chocolate Oreo! 

On the packaging there is a picture of a chocolate cake, so like we do around here, we're going to make our version of the ultimate chocolate cake to compare it to. Let's get started with this taste test comparison!

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

December Animal Kingdom and Epcot - plus a visit with friends

Looking back to our Disney trips in December. 

Today we're visiting a couple parks, Disney's Animal Kingdom and Epcot, plus we get to meet up with friends!

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

A December Christmas Disney visit - 2021/12/13

Catching up on some older Disney visits. Today we're going to the Magic Kingdom. 

Monday, January 24, 2022

Pizza at Home - What's your perfect Thin Crust Pizza?

The family has started to mutiny on Sunday Pizza Nights. 

Family - Are you making Thin Crust Pizza this week? 
Family - You should make Thin Crust this time. 
Family - Your Thin Crust is better than the regular pizza you make. Can we have that this week? 
Family - We had a whole year of regular pizza. You should do a whole year of thin crust pizza too. 

See what I'm up against? I enjoy the regular pizza dough most, but it's 3 against 1. Well let's go ahead and make thin crust again this week. 

And since I'm making thin crust pizza, I asked everyone to think about their perfect pizza. What toppings would you put on it? Today's pizzas are each person's attempt at making something that will drive their taste buds to sing and dance!

Sunday, January 23, 2022

A December Disney visit - plus a visit from an old friend - 2021/12/10

A look back on a Disney trip in December. 

We're getting as many Disney World trips in before Christmas as we can. Our passes are going to be blocked out soon. 

Today we're going to start in Disney's Animal Kingdom, but we'll end our day at Epcot and get to catch up with an old friend!

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Nerds Candy Corn

Nerds makes candy corn? Who knew? 

My brother Patrick found these at a local Walgreens and picked them up, giving me an extra bag. I would have skipped right over these because candy corn is not my favorite candy at all. It's actually near the bottom. But today we're going to taste test these Nerds Candy Corn and compare them to the original Nerds candies. Let's do a comparison!

These Nerds Candy Corn pieces are such bright colors! With so many bright colors, we have to taste them along with a big box of Rainbow Nerds.
Nerds candies are delicious! I see the Rainbow Nerds often, and the little Halloween sized boxes, but what happened to those regular size boxes that have two different flavors in two separate compartments. I remember the Strawberry-Grape Nerds and they were my favorite! 
Theresa - My love for Nerds might stem from the fact that you get 1000 pieces of candy in a box. 

Friday, January 21, 2022

Magic Kingdom Visit - 2021/12/08

Catching up on old trips. 

Today's visit to the Magic Kingdom is just a short one. Our annual passes are going to be blocked out soon and we're getting as many visits in as we can. After the kids finished school, we hopped in the car and arrived at the Magic Kingdom by 3:30pm. We've got to leave early today too, so there's not that many hours to explore. That's okay. We'll do some fun things anyway. 

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Epcot at Christmastime - 2021/12/07

Catching up on some old trips. Yes we were just at Disney World yesterday. No reason we can't go again. 

This is our trip to Epcot!

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Hollywood Studios at Christmastime - 2021/12/06

Catching up on previous trips. 

Just a few days after going to the Magic Kingdom, we were all excited to go to a new park. Hollywood Studios! There's lots of rides here the kids haven't ever been on and we're excited to check them out!

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Disney World Magic Kingdom at Christmastime - 2021/12/03

I'm playing catchup on some older trips. Here's one from early December. 

Merry Christmas! We just got back from Colorado for Thanksgiving and this is our first visit back to Disney World! It's also a big for us because the kids are now fully vaccinated, and so we are going to do a few more things we wouldn't have done before. Like some rides!

Monday, January 17, 2022

Pizza at Home - Thin Crust Pizza in an RV

Happy Sunday! It's another day to enjoy pizza!

Since everyone likes it so much, there's one thing I really want to crack. Thin Crust Pizza. The whole family, except me, loves thin crust pizza. I got some pizza stones for my oven for Christmas, but I still need to figure out a way to get crispy crust out of them. Let's give it a shot today. 

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Doritos flavors taste test comparison

Who doesn't love Doritos! When I announced this taste test to the family in Michigan, many were excited to try them. 

But I myself was a little disappointed in how many different flavors I was able to find. I know there's over 20 different kinds, so being able to find only 11 was not my best work. It might be supply chain issues, because though I visited 8 different stores, I was finding repeats of many of the flavors, but nothing new. 

Today we'll sample Doritios Nacho Cheese, Cool Ranch, Ultimate Cheddar, Spicy Nacho, Flamin' Hot Nacho, Spicy Sweet Chili, Flamas, Dinamita Chile Limon, 3D Crunch Chili Cheese Nacho, and 3D Crunch Spicy Ranch. 

Did you know that Doritos and Disneyland have a history? In the 1960s, at the Casa de Fritos restaurant inside Disneyland (Rancho del Zocalo today) surplus tortillas were cut up, fried, and seasoned. They were so popular that eventually Frito-Lay released them nationally in 1966 as the first tortilla chip in the USA. 

Toasted Corn (1966) was the first flavor released, but it was not so popular because it lacked much seasoning. Taco flavored Doritos (1967) came next and were much more successful. Finally in 1972, the flavor I think about when I think of Doritos was born. Nacho Cheese!

Saturday, January 15, 2022

2022 Figment's Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt around Epcot - Live on Micechat

My latest article is LIVE now on Micechat

Go check out our journey as we walk around Epcot, completing the 2022 Figment's Brush with the Masters scavenger hunt. Part of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts! Like/Share/Subscribe and all that stuff to let them know how you like it!

Friday, January 14, 2022

SpaceX Rocket Launch

One of the awesome things about living in Florida is that Cape Canaveral isn't all that far away. For kids who love things that are space related, that's great! 

On Thursday morning, I was tracking a launch by SpaceX, and right at 10:25am they were ready! I called the kids to come watch on the TV and then showed them the area of the sky we might be able to see it.  

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Happy Birthday Theresa!

Happy Birthday Theresa!

When asked what she wanted to do for her birthday, Theresa said she wanted to go out and be active, and also get some treats. We've got a lot of fun things on the agenda today. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Hershey's Chocolate World Exclusive - All three Ice Cream Shoppe Bar flavors

Today we're tasting a Hershey's Exclusive. Something you can only get in one place. In Hershey Pennsylvania at Hershey's Chocolate World. 

These Hershey Bars are themed to an Ice Cream Shoppe and there's 3 different flavors. Of course we're going to have to find some ice cream to try this along with. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Leaving Colorado from Thanksgiving - 2021/12/04

Catching up on some old posts. This one is from our time in Colorado over Thanksgiving. 

Monday, January 10, 2022

Pizza at Home - Happy New Year - Grammy's Chicken Nugget Pizza and Tyler's Pulled Pork Pizza

Happy New Year! We're in Michigan celebrating with Theresa's family. One tradition I'll be looking to continue this year is making pizza. Everyone loves it and each week I try to come up with something interesting. This week I have access to a few unique ingredients that I don't get very often. 

Grammy made way too many chicken nuggets for dinner last night, and normally we'd have no problem finishing them all off. I think I can do something with those. And Tyler has made pulled pork that we enjoyed on sandwiches and there's leftovers of that too. Both will be great on pizza I think. 

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Happy New Years Eve Celebration from Michigan

Happy New Year! After everyone hanging out together in a rental house in Florida, then a trip to Missouri, we're all back in Florida and ready to celebrate the new year. Bring on 2022!

No celebration is complete without good food to eat. These guys did an amazing job putting everything together for the rest of us. 

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Fun in the snow in Michigan

Welcome to Michigan! One of the things the kids have been looking forward to on our visit to Michigan was the snow! We try to avoid that when we're in the RV, so we don't get to see it too often. 

We just finished a 9 hour drive from Saint Louis, the last 5 hours of it being in the freezing rain and snow. As soon as I parked the van, the kids hopped out and started throwing snowballs at me. After dinner, it was already dark and after 8pm, but the kids wanted to know "Can we go outside and play in the snow?"

Sure kids! Get some warm clothes on! 

Friday, January 7, 2022

A drive up to Michigan for New Years

Alli - It's still dark outside.
Ian - It's 7:30 in the morning. 

I know guys, but we've got to get up and get moving. We're in Saint Louis, but we've got to get ourselves up to Michigan.

We're in a 15 passenger van with the rest of the family on a 9 hour drive north to Michigan. It really reminded me of the scene out of Home Alone when Kate McCallister hops in the back of a Budget moving van with Gus Polinski (John Candy) to get home. And the reason we're on the road so early is because of the weather. Yesterday the weather was pleasant, but overnight it turned nasty. Rain storms rolled in and it was coming down hard. 
Rita drove for the first 4 hours in the rain, then it was my turn to take over. 

Thursday, January 6, 2022

A trip to Missouri

Our Christmas break in Florida is wrapping up a couple days early. It's been a bit hectic. A couple days ago, Richard got a phone call that his 96 year old mother wasn't doing well. He hopped on a plane and was able to get there 90 minutes before she passed away. After getting things prepared, the rest of the family came a couple days later. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Making 85C Chocolate Chip Bowls - At Home!

Today we are making something delicious in the kitchen. I'm really looking forward to it. 

When Aubrey would come out and visit us in California, one of her favorite places to stop for a treat was the 85C bakery. They had all sorts of delicious breads and pastries there, but her favorite of all of them is their Chocolate Chip Bowl. I've made their Garlic Cheese Bread and Choco Buns. I even made a very satisfying Cheese Bread that is filled with cream cheese.  

But the Chocolate Chip Bowl is a little different, but I'm excited to give it a try!

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress - Florida - 2021/12/23-26

We've got just a couple more days in Florida before we leave for the next part of our Christmas break. 

For the first 6 days of the vacation, we rented a house together, but the plan after that was always to spend a few days at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. It's a luxury resort with so many activities included. It's not quite as good as a rental house, but it'll work out just fine. 

Monday, January 3, 2022

Pizza at Home 2021 - Looking back at a year of pizza

In June of 2020 I started a quest to make pizza for the family every week. And not just any pizza. My goal was to make a unique pizza every single week for as long as I could, and in total I made at least 38 special pizzas in 2020. At the beginning of the 2021 I wasn't sure how much longer I could come up with different pizzas, but as the year went on, new ideas and new inspiration kept coming. 

This is my 2021 Pizza at Home year in review!

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Hanging out at the Florida House with family - 2021/12/17-23

It's Christmastime and this year instead of going to someone's house, all of Theresa's family is coming down to Florida! Normally we'd all get together in Florida over Spring Break, but this year Covid messed everything up. The house we're renting together was only available for the first 6 days, so we're getting hotel rooms together after that. And I was hoping this would be somewhat relaxing, but as you'll see, it got hectic. 

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