Tumbleweeds: Recipe for chocolatey goodness

Tumbleweeds are: Chocolatey, peanut buttery, potato sticky, peanuty goodness.

Bite-sized and perfectly portable, you can make them with chow mein noodles, toss in butterscotch chips, and substitute almond bark. Ever hear of Haystacks? Same thing!

Here’s how I make mine. Cautionary Note: It’s only natural to sample each ingredient to make sure it’s okay; after all, you don’t want to poison people. Just don’t make these before dinner or the sampling rate may increase alarmingly.



12 oz can cocktail or party peanuts (optional)
16 oz can potato sticks or 2 9-oz cans; you won’t use entire contents
12 oz pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
10 oz pkg peanut butter chips

You will also need:
Double boiler
Waxed paper
2 or 3 Cookie sheets
Stirring spoon
2 tablespoons


1. Start the double boiler on the stove. Add the chocolate chips and peanut butter chips a little at a time until both bags are used up, stirring constantly to prevent burning or sticking to the pan.

2. When you have a nice thick unlumpy goo, turn off the heat.

3. Start adding the potato sticks and peanuts a handful at the time and stir into the mixture so they are saturated with the chocolate-peanut butter chip mix.

4. Stop adding the potato sticks and peanuts when the mixture will no longer cover all the pieces.

5. Lay waxed paper on cookie sheets. Using two tablespoons, scoop out small- to medium-sized clumps of the mixture onto the waxed paper.

6. Let “set” and dry. Full drying time can take an hour or more; look for the chocolateyness to stop glistening. Note: Sampling may be done earlier if you can’t help yourself, but the Tumbleweeds may fall apart. You may find this won’t matter to you.

Tastebud Satisfaction: Deep Indian Gourmet Spicy Lentil Samosas

I love me some samosas. I have a very unmacrobiotic habit of ordering them as an appetizer every time I set foot in an Indian restaurant. And believe me, I know where all the Indian restaurants are in my part of the state.

The samosas I’m used to are plump pastry triangles stuffed with potatoes and peas, and just like with my Snapeas discovery, these are not your ordinary icky peas. Loaded up with just enough spice, I could eat these peas all day.

champaign-taste.blogspot. It's good to know the price is the same!

But as I alluded to above, potatoes are something I shouldn’t overindulge in, which is my shady way of saying I shouldn’t eat them at all, so imagine my delight when my husband came home with a box full of frozen samosas–stuffed with spicy lentils instead!

Deep Indian Gourmet’s Spicy Lentil Samosas. Bake ’em. Use your toaster oven, use your regular oven. All it takes is 400F and 8 minutes. Out comes as a small slice of heaven, little fat triangles all crispy and golden-brown and ready to serve up their lentily goodness.

When you don’t have time to go to an Indian restaurant (or there isn’t one anywhere nearby) and you certainly aren’t going to make your own food because if you had that much time, you’d be at a restaurant, do yourself a tastebud favor and get a box of these. You get 24 in a box! How cool is that?

Of course, I’m assuming you have an Indian or Asian grocery nearby, but if you don’t, parent company Deep Foods graciously gives you an option in the guise of GroceryBabu.com (which is closed for maintenance at the time of this writing).

But a little search yields another (also untested by me) option at GingerFresh.com.

Go get ’em. And yes, you can microwave them too and they’ll still be delicious.

I’m all excited about Indian food now, so here are some recipes at the bottom of this page.

Tastebud Satisfaction: Kohinoor Tempting Lentils with Spinach and Steamed Basmati Rice

I’m really diggin’ Kohinoor.

I know, we’re not supposed to eat food out of a box, but let’s be realistic: We’re busy, we’re tired, we’re hungry, and if we can understand the ingredients on the back, well, I say go for it–but be as healthy about it as you can.

That’s why Kohinoor has become my go-to Indian food-in-a-box when I’m at the local supermarket craving a touch of spice.

These two together make one dreamy concoction:

Kohinoor Tempting Lentils with Spinach, and Rice Treat Steamed Basmati Rice.

Both are 100% vegetarian. Both take about four minutes on the stove, less if you’re using a microwave. Both are amazingly delicious for something unleashed from a box.

The lentils and spinach have a slightly peppy, mild spiciness that warms rather than fries your tastebuds with ginger, garlic, cumin, garam masala and turmeric powder among the ingredients. Yes, you may have to help it ooze out of the bag but it’s so good once it’s cooked.

The steamed basmati rice is a lovely way to get your favorite rice where it belongs, fast: In your innards! Using just water, basmati rice, refined sunflower oil and salt, this ready-to-go dish is gluten free and cholesterol free, and a perfect complement to the lentils & spinach.

Kohinoor is worth a trip to your grocery store when you can’t get to an Indian restaurant. Go for it!



Tastebud Satisfaction: Nature’s Path Sunny Hemp Chewy Granola Bars

Yes, you read that right: Hemp.

I’d never eaten hemp before this, but something about Nature’s Path Sunny Hemp appealed:


“Real, organic hemps seeds, sunflower seeds and raisins; all made with good stuff like whole grain oats. Packed with raisins, sunflower seeds and nutritious hemp seeds! This bar has flaxseeds and is an excellent source of Omega 3’s. This could become a cult classic.”

I think they’re right.

Nature’s Path granola bars are my go-to morning snack at work. Starving by 9 am, I’d rather nosh on something that has more than a passing claim to being healthy and doesn’t taste like pressed cardboard.

This brand in general, and Sunny Hemp in particular, are saving my starving innards AND my tastebuds every day.

Dietary note: This granola bar is not gluten free and contains soy. It also contains evaporated cane juice, tapioca syrup and invert cane syrup. For all that, I don’t find them too sweet, but tastebuds vary. I definitely recommend!

Klement’s Goes Gluten-Free


I don’t know how national Klement’s Sausage Co is, but if you’ve grown up in Milwaukee, it’s practically a birthright.

I grew up with them (so to speak) and even as a mostly-macrobiotic now, I still love a good hot dog or Polish sausage or brat every now and then. You know how you can grill them until they’re just crispy enough on the outside so that you feel your teeth break the casing, and the succulent flavor covers your tastebuds? Yeah. Good times.

Among the sausage love is the liverwurst love. Liverwurst on saltine crackers, liverwurst with a big slab of tomato on a sandwich…where was I? Oh yes: We noticed recently that their Milwaukee Liver Sausage had a new label, touting gluten-free and no MSG where you can’t miss it, but it wasn’t until this article in the Shepherd Express that we realized the change was a widespread healthy makeover.

How awesome is that? I can vouch that the liver sausage tasted really good. You sure won’t miss the MSG, or the annoying nitrates and nitrites. So good for Klement’s, and good for us!