Monday, June 28, 2010

Long summer days, laughter and frozen Pop-Tarts!

This is a compensated review by BlogHer and Pop Tarts.

During the summer months, many of the families in our tiny town of Smythe, Oregon, take their children to a place called Sawyer’s Dam. It’s only about 6 miles east of town, right off the main road. After you make the turn and follow the original wooden sign, you have to travel about a mile and a half through the deep woods (along a very muddy, rocky and windy dirt road) to the special spot.

It’s a public park, with plenty of picnic tables; a few pavilions; public restrooms; a small snack bar and some boats that are available for rent!

The most compelling feature of Sawyer’s Dam, of course, is the beautiful water and fake sandy beach! On a beautiful summer’s day, it’s not hard to imagine that you are just a breath away from heaven.

I was remember all those summers past when B, Sassy and Golden Boy would all invite friends and we would have weekly “meetings” at the damn. Last week when I packed the Boy up with several of his friends, I remember the one thing that has accompanied us for these last 15 years of summer fun.

Frozen Pop-Tarts. I am not kidding!

A friend that I teach with here at Smythe Elementary School introduced me to frozen Pop-Tarts. She had spied our pantry shelves on day when we had arranged a play date for the kids.

“We love Pop-Tarts, too!” she said, “But we love to freeze them!”

Well, I’ve been doing it ever since, and taking them in a cooler with us when we make our treks to the Sawyer’s Dam.

So this summer, as I volunteer to drive the kids to the Dam for what will probably be the last season that I’ll be needed, I will remember the frozen Cherry Pop-Tarts for the Jack and Sam, and the frozen Brown Sugar Cinnamon for The Golden Boy.

And the smiles on their faces as they open the cooler and dig in? It takes my breath away every single time.

What’s one of your family’s Pop-Tart summer activities? Go over to BlogHer and share for YOUR chance to win a $100 gift card.

Now, where’s that cooler?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Pop-Tarts pop into the classroom!

This is a compensated review by BlogHer and Pop Tarts.

The kids were overjoyed when Frank brought in the snack last week. “Pop-Tarts!” they all yelled in unison. “We LOVE Pop-Tarts!”

It’s the little things that make five and six year olds happy; and things that have even the TINIEST hint of sugar are one of them.

“Do you know why they call them Pop-Tarts, Mrs. Smythe?” asked Susie. “Because when they’re done warming up, they POP out of the toaster!” And with a big grin she bit right into the Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tart that she held lovingly.

“I think Pop-Tarts are so healthy and a great snack because they have a healthy crust! That’s the healthy PART.” Michael shouted to me, shooting a mouthful of healthy crusty crumbs across the table as he spoke.

“Mrs. Smythe, do you think you could make a sandwich out of Pop-Tarts? I mean, you could put a Pop-Tart on one side, and then lettuce and turkey and cheese and ANOTHER Pop-Tart and eat it!” Jenny said enthusiastically!

The discussion about Pop-Tarts had me laughing all night, and it made me wonder about what we COULD do with Pop-Tarts and a little imagination.

Tightwad and The Golden Boy were on cloud nine when we received a shipment of Pop-Tarts in the mail to sample. In their hearts and minds, Pop-Tart is one of the MAJOR food groups.

“Mom, you know you can have them for breakfast, a snack, or lunch or a snack, or after DINNER for a snack. You KNOW they work anytime.” We decided to try to come up with something awesome for our annual Fourth of July party, and I was to experiment with them.(Pretty brilliant on THEIR part, I might add.)

After discussing the various possibilities with my two “boys” and the enthusiastic children at snack time, I was convinced I had to try my own experiment. There were many recipes for me to think about, but on the advice of Alec the boy wonder, I made “Alec’s Pop-Tart Sandwiches.”However, I used my own twist.

I started with two of the Vanilla Ice Cream Shoppe Pastries, put some softened vanilla ice cream between them, and put them in the freezer overnight. The next day for an after dinner treat I took them out, cut them in half, and served them as an ice cream sandwich.

I am now considered not only the best mom in the world, but the all time dessert maker. I’m still waiting for my tiara.

Blogher is offering a great opportunity for you from Pop-Tarts! If you have a great idea, a recipe or simply a favorite flavor, let us know. This chance to win a $100 gift card is too good to pass up!