Snack Time #42 – Oreo Thins Salted Caramel Cookies

On our recent trip across the border, Mrs. Sip found this Oreo Cookies release. I can confirm, the Oreo Thins Salted Caramel Cookies did not last long in our snack cupboard, as they we very tasty and you didn’t feel so guilty about eating them.

Mrs. Sip and I were discussing Oreo Thins the other day and we thought it was funny that when you’re a kid, Oreos are all about the filling. When you get older, you are looking to snack without doing too much damage to the body, so the Thins are a perfect option.

Oreo Thins Salted Caramel Cookies.jpg

We found the Salted Caramel Cookies at Target, but I assume they are available at a number of grocery chains. Other Thins flavours include Chocolate, Mint, Lemon, and the one Mrs. Sip was hoping to get her hands on, but they were sold out, Coconut.

No company comes out with more intriguing flavours than Oreo. Every time Ma Sip is in the U.S., she finds a new variation or holiday limited edition to bring home. Recent discoveries have included Jelly Donut, Apple Pie and even Mystery.

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Snack Time #37 – Sweet Shoppe Jelly Beans

The Sip Advisor is a jelly bean fan, but I’m also quite particular about which types I enjoy. Among those I prefer are these candies from Sweet Shoppe, which are satisfyingly tasty and the right consistency, in my humble opinion.

With five different colours, flavours include cherry, blue raspberry, lemon, orange and apple, all of the sour variety. In a serving, I typically have two of each colour, unless Mrs. Sip has removed all the blues and reds, her favourites.

Sour Jelly Beans.jpg

The product can be found at Dollarama stores for the low, low price of $1. I can’t seem to find much more information on the product online, but if the Sip Advisor’s word is good for anything, it should be for jelly bean advocating.

A trip to the dollar store doesn’t go by without a jaunt past the candy aisle. Superb deals can still be found on these products. While some dollar store items can be suspect, name brand treats shouldn’t cause any concern.

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Flavour Revolution – Papaya

Slang Bangers

Somehow, the papaya has become slang in Costa Rica for a statement lacking truth, as well as in Cuba for a woman’s downtown lady parts. Here is some other fruit-based slang that will change the way you look at melons, berries, and citrus:

Apples

In this category, you can become a bad apple, be the apple of one’s eye, be an apple that didn’t fall far from the tree, polish one’s apple with a flattering comment, be a Jackson 5 song and spoil the whole bunch, or be compared through the apples and oranges argument. So, how do you like them apples?

apple mcdonalds

Bananas

I’m not a big banana fan and I certainly wouldn’t want to live in a banana republic, which means crazy stuff is going down in an unstable country… and yet a clothing store took the name. On the other hand, I’ve often enjoyed the work of second bananas on TV and in movies. And in all honesty, Mrs. Sip would probably tell you I went bananas many years ago and somehow she still puts up with me… perhaps she drove me there!

Cherry

My life is pretty damn good. One might say that it’s a bowl of cherries. I work hard to maintain my relationships and keep everything in cherry condition. I’m very careful in making choices and tend to cherry-pick. Although, in sports such as hockey, I’ve never been one to cherry pick offensively and have always had a mind for the defensive end and a complete game.

Lemon

Perhaps best applied to cars – some U.S. states even have lemon laws to protect used car buyers – this term is used to describe items that are constantly in need of repair. In a completely different realm, adult-oriented Japanese comics, known as Hentai, are apparently called lemon in the western world.

large lemons

Melon

Running the complete gamut, the noble family of melons can be used to describe everything from someone’s head to a women’s ample bosoms. If you were trying to decide the best melon for either of those body parts, I’m sure the answers would be quite varied.

Grape

I think some of the worst people out in the world are those who have sour grapes because they are envious of what others have, not appreciating what they themselves have been blessed with. Also, if you go to the vine where grapes are grown, you might become a player in the spreading of a rumour and these folks might not be much better than those with sour grapes.

wine-grape-depression

Pear

When something takes the shape of a pear, you know trouble is coming. It means that plans have backfired and some serious improv is needed to get things back on track and save the mission. There are many theories on where the term originated, from human bodies as we age to World War I and II happenings and even ship construction.

Peach

As described above, most of my life can be described as being peachy. Mrs. Sip plays a large role in this, as she’s a peach. I suppose if you hated peaches or were allergic to them, you might be hesitant to use the term to define anything good.

Flavour Revolution: Compadre

It seems like so many of these fruit slangs can be turned sexual. Even the innocent apricot is used to describe a man’s cajonies, while the cherry can be referenced for a number of different adult-oriented ideas.

Flavour Revolution – Lemon

When Life Gives You Lemons

I find stories of people turning their lives around to be quite fascinating and inspiring. Going through challenges makes for better people on the other end and some of the greatest things we know today were created by those who took risks, defied protocols, and pushed through adversity. Here are some fine examples of folks turning lemons into lemonade!

Walt Disney

Had Walt Disney been one to easily give up, we wouldn’t have an archive of wonderful characters, shows, movies, theme parks, and experiences. Countless times, it was speculated that Disney would destroy his own company with new ventures. This included the making of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves – dubbed Disney’s Folly by the media – and the construction of Disneyland, which many believed had no chance of success. Disney had so much trouble raising funds for the theme park that he made a deal with the ABC TV network, exchanging programming for help in financing his dream. Everything worked out in the end, thanks to Disney’s risks.

Walt Disney Legacy

Henry Ford

The man who eventually brought the world the automobile went through a number of struggles before finally reaching success. Ford came from a farming family and was expected to take over the homestead, although he hated the work and lifestyle. Ford wanted a better life for himself, but simply leaving the farm didn’t guarantee anything. In fact, Ford was forced to file for bankruptcy twice, but he learned from his mistakes and gained a net worth of $188 billion. Ford was also one to look after his employees, offering them an unheard of $5 per day wage, allowing them to buy the vehicles they were making.

JK Rowling

The Harry Potter author, now raking in cash from her books, movie deals, theme park lands, etc. was once living off welfare and trying to complete her novel by travelling to various coffee houses, while caring for her infant child. Even when interest began swelling for her manuscript, she was advised to seek a day job, as it was unlikely she would make enough money solely on writing children’s books. While speaking for a graduating Harvard class in 2008, Rowling said: “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

Steve Jobs

Before he became the technological icon that we know him as today – creating devices such as the iMac, iPod, iPad, and iPhone – Jobs went through many hardships. Among them, he was an adopted child, struggled in school, dropped out of college course he could barely afford in the first place, and struggled to find his niche in the working world. Even running his own company would not provide smooth sailing. In fact, at one time, he was forced out of Apple, the company he created and would later bring back to prominence. Even in declining health due to cancer, Jobs never gave up hope or his dreams and kept working hard through it all.

Jobs Taking Over

Terry Fox

Fox was only 18 years old when he was forced to have his leg amputated due to cancer. The young man didn’t let that stop him, though, as he not only won national wheelchair basketball championships, but also embarked on a trip across Canada, running to raise money for cancer research. Fox’s Marathon of Hope lasted 143 days and 5,373 km, garnering $1.7 million in donations. Sadly, the journey had to be halted in Thunder Bay, Ontario, when Fox was too sick to continue, cancer returning to the athlete’s body. In honour of his campaign, the Terry Fox Run is done annually around the world and has raised over $650 million.

Rick Hansen

Sticking with Canadian content, the wheelchair-bound Hansen gave the opening address at one of my college convocations and his message really hit home with Mrs. Sip and myself. The crux of it was: “Failure is not having the courage to try.” Hansen is best known for his Man in Motion World Tour, an attempt to raise funds for spinal cord injury research by circumventing the globe in his wheelchair. Hansen had been crippled in an auto wreck at the age of 15, but that didn’t stop the man from raising $26 million over his 26 month journey. The song St. Elmo’s Fire was written for Hansen and his courageous expedition.

Oprah Winfrey

With a media empire that includes its own magazine, television network, and devoted fan base, one could certainly say that Oprah Winfrey did well for herself. When you learn of the broadcasting mogul’s humble and difficult beginnings, her success is all the more impressive. She had a strained relationship with her teenage mother, who was in and out of her life and was the victim of sexual abuse from family members. After running away from home, Winfrey herself became pregnant at age 14, although the baby died after premature birth. Once Winfrey entered the media world, it was a slow rise to the heights she currently enjoys.

Flavour Revolution: Floradora

Floradora Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Gilbey’s Lemon Gin
  • 0.5 oz Chambord
  • Top with Ginger Ale/Beer
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

The phrase “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” has been credited to two sources. First, Elbert Hubbard, a Christian anarchist writer, used it for the obituary of Marshall P. Wilder, a dwarf actor, who Hubbard wrote of: “He cashed in on his disabilities. He picked up the lemons that Fate had sent him and started a lemonade-stand.” Fellow writer Dale Carnegie has also been said to have invented the term, writing in his book ‘How to Stop Worrying and Start Living’: “If You Have a Lemon, Make a Lemonade.”

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This is an interesting drink. I used my Dark Ginger Ale, but kind of wished I’d used some Ginger Beer, perhaps Crabbie’s orange or raspberry flavour. There’s a lot of different tastes going on here, but the end result works. And if it hadn’t, I would have made lemonade from the lemon experience!

June 9 – Sangria

Wine Time

Well, Wine Cocktail Week is finally here. I’m far from a wine connoisseur, but I’m willing to try some new recipes and see what the results are, which I’m pretty sure is how wine was invented in the first place. If I mess anything up in today’s lesson, don’t go all wine snobby on me. I accept you for your many faults, and you should forgive me for the one or two mistakes I make on a yearly basis. Capiche! On with the lesson:

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There are thousands of different types of wine, made up of hundreds of different grape combos. Some of the most popular wine varieties include: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris/Grigio, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Shiraz, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. My personal favourite wine is Francis Coppola’s Diamond Collection, Emerald Label Pinot Grigio. Damn, son, that’s a mouthful!

The Top 10 wine producing countries are: France, Italy, Spain, the United States, Argentina, China, Australia, South Africa, Germany, and Portugal. I have to say that I’m a little surprised Canada has yet to crack this list given we have a number of wonderful wine regions. Oh well, something to aim for in the future.

Despite tradition, the screw cap method of opening a bottle of vino is quickly replacing corked tops, thanks to the ease and simplicity of which a bottle can be opened. I can’t count how many times Mrs. Sip and I have been stuck on vacation without our trusty bottle opener, leaving us in a lurch when trying to crack open some wine. Perhaps Ma and Pa Sip have the right idea with boxed wine? Easy to open and a lot more alcohol to share!

funny-wine1

Wine is one of the healthier libation options, as it contains fewer calories than beer and is fat- and cholesterol-free. A glass a day (or more) will keep the doctor away… or at least we all hope!

Contrary to popular belief, many wines should be enjoyed within a year of being bottled and not left to “age”. If you are looking for a good wine to age, ask an expert. In an interesting contrast, as white wines sit, they gain colour, while their red counterparts lose colour the longer they wait to be served.

A number of celebrities have invested their money into the wine industry, including aforementioned film producer Francis Coppola; musicians Bob Dylan, Madonna, and Sting; hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky; race car driver Jeff Gordon; screen stars Raymond Burr, Dan Aykroyd, Emilio Estevez, Drew Barrymore, and Antonio Banderas; theme park heir Diane Disney; and golfers Arnold Palmer, Ernie Els, and Mike Weir.

Perhaps Zach Galifianakis will be the next celeb to invest in a winery!?

Perhaps comedian Zach Galifianakis will be the next celeb to invest in a winery!?

Now to the mathematics portion of the post… here are important grape-to-wine measurement ratios to remember: one grape cluster (75 grapes) equals one glass of wine. Four clusters equal one bottle of wine. 40 clusters of grapes equals one vine, which makes up 10 bottles. 1,200 clusters (30 vines) equals one barrel, which equals 60 gallons, which equals 25 cases of wine. 400 vines equals one acre of land, which equals five tons of grapes, resulting in 332 cases of sweet lady liquor. And you didn’t even need a calculator! If you find that math too confusing, just remember $10 equals one bottle of decent California or Okanagan wine, and what numbers do we really otherwise need?

When describing the smell of a wine, you have to be careful with which words to use, otherwise you could look like a buffoon. Bouquet refers to the total scent of the wine, while aroma is meant for the grapes. If you wish to combine both the bouquet and aroma, you would call that the nose. This is starting to make my head spin and we haven’t even begun to drink yet. Let’s get on with it then.

Drink #160: Sangria

Sangria

  • Sliced Strawberries, Orange, Lemon, Lime, and Raspberries
  • 1.5 Litres Red Wine (I used Peller Estates Merlot)
  • ½ Cup Triple Sec
  • Top each drink with Lemon-Lime or Club Soda
  • Garnish with Fruit from Pitcher and Wine Charm

Now you’re ready to open up your own winery. All you need is a cool name. I’d call my own winery Siparellio, giving it a hint of Italian heritage, while having absolutely none at all. Salute!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I really enjoy my and Mrs. Sip’s homemade Sangria (no dirty thoughts, fellas)! I’m not even a big wine fan, but with all the fruit we put in and when we top it all off with some Lemon-Lime Soda, you can’t go wrong with this very refreshing, perfect for summer treat!