Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Real groceries

Eli stayed home from school again today. Last night, I talked to his doctor on the phone (his "regular" pediatrician that I really like; he had to see someone else when he went in yesterday because it was a last-minute appt). The doctor told me that his ck (creatine kinase) levels were slightly elevated, which is what is causing the leg pain. He said the elevated ck level was due to a virus (flu).

It's just scary to see him unable to walk! He tries to, and sometimes he'll forget that it hurts--so I see him try to jump up and then he just falls because his legs hurt too badly to walk. Jessica told me today that this happened to her son when he was three. She said it was a few days before he could walk, but he had to get an IV in the hospital for fluids.

I'm going to keep him home probably for the rest of the week. I'm supposed to run with Jessica in the morning. Jerry is working nights, so I'll just have him stay awake until I get home in the morning from our run. We're just doing three miles of intervals.

This morning, I went grocery shopping for some "real foods". And just to clear things up, I am not doing a cleanse, or a fast, or eating "raw", or anything like that. Just good ol' REAL food for a month. While shopping today, I discovered a few things that I'm going to miss that I wasn't anticipating--salad dressing (I'm *still* on a salad kick! So strange. But I like lots of bottled dressing, and I am going to have to make my own "real" dressing); canned tomatoes (they have preservatives); and chicken broth (I usually use bouillon, because making my own broth is a pain in the ass--not to mention expensive).

I thought it was going to cost a fortune for groceries, but surprisingly, it was cheaper than usual. I spent $86, and that included cat food, plus groceries for Jerry and the kids (stuff I won't be eating).
Today's "real food" load of groceries
FYI, the Kroger brand whole wheat pasta has just ONE ingredient:  100% durum whole wheat flour. I also bought something I've been eye-balling for about a year, but I never buy it because it's $6.99! But today it was on sale for $4.99, so I just had to do it...
Celestial Seasonings has a tea called Sweet Coconut Thai, but I've never been able to find it again (I bought it once at Wal-Mart, and have been looking for it ever since). So when I saw this one, I REALLY wanted to try it, but haven't been able to spend the $7 for 22 sachets. Here is a pic of the Celestial Seasonings tea that I love and miss:
I wish I could find it somewhere!

My house REEKS right now. After reading so much about about "kale chips" that people make, I decided to give it a try. I've never tried kale, and I figured I'd try it out as part of my 30-in-30 list. I bought a bunch of kale today, and I found instructions online for making the chips in a food dehydrator. Well, apparently kale smells like shit. Literally.

I keep thinking that it's the litter box, but when I check, the litter box is clean... and then when I walk by the dehydrator, I get a huge whiff of it. Gross!  Hopefully the smell goes away once they're dehydrated? After they're done, I'm going to toss them with a tiny bit of oil and salt. I don't have high hopes, but I'm going to be open-minded when I try them. :)

67 comments:

  1. After smelling them you really want to eat them? LOL! It makes sense, snacking on fruits and vegetables and eating whole grains and good meats... what would I do without pretzel sticks, granola bars and coffee creamer? (I tried the recipe for the homemade kind and it's expensive!)

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  2. Your real food post the other day inspired me so when I was slicing my strawberries I sweetened them with honey instead of sugar :)

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  3. I just bought Kale today, I am going to try cooking mine in the oven. I say your picture of your dehydrated fruit, when you get a free moment can you tell us what brand it is. I have been tossing around the idea of that being my next big kitchen purchase.
    I hope Eli gets better soon, is he up to eating popsicles?

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    1. My dehydrator was actually recalled after I got it... so I wouldn't recommend it! ;) But it's called a Nesco Gardenmaster.

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    2. I was just researching that brand on Amazon (maybe diff style) great reviews. Thanks~

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  4. I make homemade broth regularly, and it is super simple. I will put a chicken quarter or two into the crock pot (I take off the extra skin and fat first), with a little water. I cook them on low until done, then pull off the meat to use in a dish like chicken salad. Then, I add the bones back into the crock pot, along with anything like celery tops, onion skins, etc that I have as scraps. Fill up the crock pot with water and let it cook on low for another 8 hours or so. Then I simply use cheesecloth to strain out the solids while I pour the broth into jars. I either store the jars in the fridge and use within a few days, or put the jars in the freezer if I don't have immediate soup plans.

    All in all, it takes only a few minutes of actual effort. And tastes amazing. I very much encourage you to try it out.

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    1. I'm exhausted just READING all that work! ;) No, I agree--homemade broth is so delicious! I do make it homemade when I make chicken noodle soup, but otherwise, opening up a bouillon cube is a million times faster and easier, so I just take the easy way out.

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  5. We make our own chicken stock. I use this after doing a whole chicken in the crockpot. I use whatever veggies we have on hand. Not sure if this part is in the directions or not, I pour the stock into muffin tins and freeze. Once frozen, I place under hot water till they pop out and through them in a freezer bags till I need them.

    PS- I love your blog!

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    1. So interesting to use a muffin tin to freeze! I bet an ice cube tray would work good for that too.

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  6. Sounds like a great challenge.

    I hope your son feels better soon :-(

    The teas looks awesome. I'm so looking for that celestial seasonings one on my next shopping trip - if I see some, I'll pick it up and send it to you.

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  7. Hope Eli is better in no time. OMG Katie, I laughed out loud at the stinky kale chips. A friend loaned us her dehydrator, and I've been on a REAL kale kick lately....but when I make them, you're right, it DOES smell like our cat's litter box. Trust me, the smell DOES go away and they're pretty tasty. (I actually posted on my blog about it, the title was "the downside of kale". Funny. Have a great Tuesday.

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  8. My friend Megan makes kale chips all the time and LOVES them. I have not been so brave...and now that you said they smell like shit, I'm not so sure I will be! (She never mentioned that fun fact!)

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  9. So funny...I've been bombarded this past week with practically every blog I read raving about kale chips so I made some. My DH and I are obsessed. I've made them for the past 3 nights. We can't stop eating them. I put cajun seasoning on them. OMG so good. Hope you like them too. They do smell a bit funky while they're cooking but I don't notice the smell after that.

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    1. You're right, the smell was gone once they were done cooking!

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  10. Hope you like the kale chips, I think they're delish! Plus you don't feel bad eating a handful of them like you do with greasy potato chips.
    Also, I love Celestial Seasonings tea, and have found different flavors for pretty cheap. Did a quick search and they have your decaf sweet coconut thai as well :) http://www.amazon.com/Decaf-Sweet-Coconut-Thai-Seasonings/dp/B000WR8BV6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1328055652&sr=8-2

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    1. Thanks! I don't know why I didn't think to look online before. Maybe I'll add this to my Favorite Things page :)

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    2. Katie, you can also buy it directly from Celestial Seasoning's website...

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  11. Hoping that Eli feels better soon. Will he drink water or Koolaid if you tell him it will make him be able to walk, or is he too young to understand the correlation? Poor little guy.

    As for salad dressing, do you eat the fatoosh salad when you go to La Pita? I've figured out how to make the middle eastern salad dressing with the little red bits. It's SO good. I swear by it when I'm on a real food kick as it's super flavorful and filling. Here's the recipe: http://whenonedoorcloses.wordpress.com/2011/07/27/my-weight-loss-secret/

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  12. You will LOVE the tea!!! When I was home for the holidays, a family friend introduced it to me. I have been drinking a cup almost everyday! I think we will buy the huge pack from the companies website... that is how much we love it!

    I have also tried making kale chips (in the oven) and they didn't turn out well. I was disappointed.

    And I hope Eli feels better soon.

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  13. I've made kale chips a few times -- always in the oven with a little olive oil and sea salt. Some batches have smelled worse than others. But I agree -- they pretty much smell like cat butt. However, they taste fantastic and I love the crunch. And they are so good for you. Hope yours turn out. Would be a bummer to marinate your whole house in stinky cat butt only to have to toss 'em.

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  14. My mom and I tried to make kale chips once, and the attempt failed. Horribly. Sauteed kale, on the other hand, is a favorite :) Definitely something to try if the chips don't work out.

    Also - I find that celestial seasonings tea at the Target near me! (In Georgia - not sure how much Target stock varies regionally). They're sold out sometimes (everyone must like it!) but it's there normally.

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  15. I love kale chips, I just put them in the oven! I've never smelled poopoo when I made it, but I'm for sure going to smell poop now HAHAH!

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  16. Usually you add the stuff before and then bake them at a super low temp. I have never made them in the oven, only in a dehydrator...And I'm kind of horrified that they smell like poo. What is that about?!?!?

    So many easy wonderful dressings you can make yourself, just be sure to make them STRONG, VERY flavorful, because it'll get very diluted when you it on salad or rice/quinoa.

    Speaking of expensive (to me) teas: The Republic of Tea makes a whole bunch of "cocoa" teas that are so freaking good, but $10 for 36 bags, ouch.

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  17. I roasted brussel sprouts last night and talk about a nasty stink in the house! YUK. Maybe I will try the kale when the weather allows me to open some windows.

    Hope your little man, Eli, gets well soon.

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  18. Hmm I've made kale chips (a fav of my husband's) in the oven and never noticed a bad smell. Maybe you are making a lot more since you are using a dehydrator?

    Oh and I just saw this recipe for cauliflower poppers the other day. Haven't tried them yet but it looks good!
    http://www.delightedmomma.com/2012/01/baked-cauliflower-poppers.html

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  19. Kale chips are nasty. I don't understand the hype. I'm wondering about the sugar thing, though. What made you decide to exclude using sugar as an ingredient in something homemade (like on strawberries, etc)?

    Oh, and I'm jealous of Carlyoleo. She got a sparkgoodie COOKIE from SlimKatie. What do I have to do to get one, too?

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  20. OMG! I got tricked into making kale chips by someone who swore they were delicious. Never again is all I have to say!

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  21. Hi Katie! I'm a 28 year old nurse from California, and I love your blog!! You have a balanced, healthy, and realistic attitude about weight loss and maintenance-- I enjoy your posts!! If you haven't found a natural sweetener, I suggest Agave Nectar. I buy the one infused with natural maple....HEAVEN over strawberries!! Tastes like brown sugar :D And for salad dressing: balsamic vinegar and olive oil yum!

    I just did 30 days of natural food (today is day 30!). More energy, less moody. But it is a lot of cooking, and I have two boys under 2 yrs old so it's too challenging right now to do ALL the time....but I can certainly commit to part of the time ;) I followed the Eat Clean way of eating by Tosca Reno-- good recipes with only natural food. Best of luck this next month!! ;)

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    1. Thanks Lisa! (kinda feels weird like I've been eavesdropping while you were talking to Katie)
      Anyways:
      Agave Syrup (as it's called here) is all the craze in organic supermarkets here and I've always wondered what it tastes like. As I love brown sugar, I'll surely try Agave now.

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  22. Yum to the Coconut Chai! Can't wait to hear how that is <3

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  23. Great grocery haul! Lately my bf Dan and I have been on a tea kick, enjoying a hot mug in the evening. I'm having trouble finding one I like. I usually stick with Lemon Zinger. That must be so scary seeing Eli fall down and struggle! Hopefully the week will go by quick and you two can put this craziness in the past! :D

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  24. Dying laughing over your kale post. I made some chips at home the other day and kept asking my 2 year old if she needed a new diaper while they were cooking because I thought the smell was HER! Poor kiddo. I was pleasantly surprised at how good and un-smelly they were though. I hope you liked them as well!

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  25. I am drinking Celestial Seasonings coconut thai chai tea RIGHT NOW. It is at my local Target, and I lovelovelove it! E-mail me if you would like some and I will hook you up, for sure! :)

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    1. Thanks so much! I actually ended up ordering some online. I can't believe I didn't think to do that before ;)

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  26. Didn't find the tea in Stop & Shop, but I have 3 more grocery stores and a Target I can check for you! Anhd I never found the Sugar Plum one you mentioned. :(

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    1. Thanks for looking, but I ended up ordering some online. You can find the Sugar Plum one online too! http://celestialseasonings.elsstore.com/view/product/?id=50225&cid=

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  27. lol - last September we took all the leftover garden veggies and put them into the dehydrator to turn into crackers. It made our house smell like whatever is the opposite of delicious. From now on, we just make fruit leather ;)

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  28. Sorry to hear the lil nugget is still feeling bad. Hopefully he's up and running again soon! Ugh, we've tried to jump on the kale bandwagon but can't do it. We've tried them in salads, chip form and in smoothies and I think the Mr will go all mutiny on me if I try to buy it again. Hope the fecal smell goes away soon!

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  29. Good morning Katie,

    I've made kale chips too; in the oven, using olive oil and sea salt - they weren't bad although I used too much salt. I didn't notice a bad smell though. Hmmm.

    Eli's symptoms concern me. I had similar symptoms when I was in the first grade. I woke up one morning unable to walk; my legs hurt and they simply wouldn't hold me up. After my mom was finally convinced that I wasn't B.S.ing her (I was a notorious sick / school skipper) she took me to the doctor. I had Rheumatic Fever. Here is a link to some information provided by Mayo Clinic. http://www.bing.com/health/article/mayo-MADS00250/Rheumatic-fever?q=rheumatic+fever&qpvt=rhuematic+fever
    I don't want to alarm you, but his symptoms sounded too familiar.

    Congrats on your Eating Clean journey!! I eat clean. Love it!

    Kelli

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    1. Thanks Kelli--I checked out the link (because that scared me when I read your comment!) but fortunately, he doesn't have the other symptoms. He's doing better now :)

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  30. LMAO at the shit smell! You are a much braver woman than I am!

    Have you tried the Kitchen Basics brand of stock? I buy the vegetable stock all the time. It's organic and has no preservatives. I would think the chicken stock is similar.

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    1. I used to buy the Kitchen Basics stock before I started using bouillon cubes (I switched just to save on cost). But I'll check it out when I go to the grocery store--from what I remember, there weren't any "fake food" ingredients in it, so maybe it'll work!

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  31. We also make our own chicken broth by just boiling a whole chicken, which is pretty cheap and lots of water. It does pretty good for a chicken broth!! And again super cheap!!

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  32. I make my kale chips in the oven and they don't smell. They are soooo good! I eat them with my cheese dip now instead of regular chips!

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  33. Hi! I've been reading for a while but this is my first time commenting =) I had never tried kale before until I made a Sausage, Kale and White Bean soup that I absolutely love. It's really simple too- I just use some hot sausage (either spicy italian or chiorizo), cook it in the pot with some onion and garlic, add chicken broth, 1 can white beans and my finely chopped kale. Most of the flavor comes from the sausage, so you want to get a good one.

    Just thought I'd share this, since I'm new to kale too!

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    1. Thanks for commenting! :) And I LOVE SOUP. This sounds really good.

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    2. Here's the recipe I adapted from: http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2008/01/cannelini-bean-soup-recipe-with-roasted.html

      I've played with it a bit, and I've never been able to find escarole so I've always used kale. So tasty!

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  34. If you go on the Celestial Seasonings website and look up your tea they have it where you can type in your zip code to find a store near you that sells that particular kind.

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  35. A super yummy meal (if you like pork and parmesan) is to set your oven to 400 degree F. Cut a BUNCH of kale like 10-12 cups, toss the kale with olive oil, s&p, and a bit of parmesan cheese. Put the kale mixture on a cooking sheet with sides (it should seem like a lot but it cooks down). Then put 4 pork chops on top of the kale. Cover the pork chops with a little olive oil, s&p and a sprinkle of parmesan. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes. The kale soaks up the delicious taste of pork and parmesan & the pork is super tender. It is sooo good. Best way to eat kale and SUPER easy.

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    1. I'm always on the look-out for new pork chop recipes. I tend to use them for the same meal over and over again. I'll give this a try--thanks!

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  36. Also, the gypsy tea is DELICIOUS. It's my "birthday" tea. My husband buys it as a special treat on my birthday. :-D

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  37. I was 95% sure I saw the decaf coconut tea at Target this morning. After seeing the pic in your blog I am 100% sure! Check Target!

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  38. You can buy the Celestial Seasoning Sweet Coconut Thai Tea at amazon.
    http://www.amazon.com/Decaf-Sweet-Coconut-Thai-Seasonings/dp/B000WR8BV6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1328140024&sr=8-2

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  39. Hey Katie,

    I've found your blog the other day (through Pinterest - the usual) and it's addictive! I really like your style and that you're so open about everything. I spent hours this weekend browsing through your old posts.

    My favourite salad dressing:
    1 teaspoon of honey
    1 teaspoon of mustard (does that count as 'real'? - hope it does)
    1 tablespoon of olive oil
    2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
    salt + pepper
    (if you don't like or allow yourself mustard, just leave it out - still a great dressing)

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    1. I think I'll try this one out today! Some people say mustard counts as real food, some say it doesn't. But I checked out the ingredients on my mustard, and it looks real to me--so it counts :)

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  40. Do you need a special machine to do "air popped" popcorn?

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    1. You can actually use a paper lunch bag and about a 1/4 cup of popcorn in the microwave for about 2 minutes. It is much much cheaper than the microwave kind. This works the same as a air popper machine. The machine's don't usually cost a lot though if you are interested.

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    2. I use a container that is made for doing popcorn in the microwave (but you don't have to add anything to it--just plain old kernels). I'll put a link to it on my "Favorite Things" page. When I was losing weight, I'd have popcorn almost nightly--I like that you get a large volume for not a lot of calories.

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  41. You can try the Celestial Seasonings website too. They have tea finder on the website, just type in your zip code and it pops up the stores in the area where the tea should be located. It is pretty accurate, I've used it to find the gingerbread seasonal and the Coconut Chai. I picked up some more of the Chai at my local Target (in Michigan) just last week after I ran out. It is soooo good!

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  42. We boil chicken breasts in water and then make something like shredded chicken tacos with the meat and then you are left with the best chicken broth ever!!! It's amazingly easy and yummy. I'm excited to see how your adventure for February goes! I've wanted to try that but it's always the excuse of the rest of the family not liking it.

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  43. They have celestial seasonings tea in that flavor at my local Target!! It's not a super target or anything, just regular ole target!

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  44. Katie! I'm a reader of your blog, and beginning my own weight loss journey. I don't think I've posted before, but I wanted to let you know-- I saw that CS decaf Chai Coconut near me (NYC). Do you want me to send you a box? I'm happy to do it if you'd like. Let me know- I could always send it to a PO box or something, so you don't need to give out your address.

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    1. Thank you so much for thinking of me, Andrea! But I ended up ordering some online. I don't know why it didn't occur to me ages ago to do that! ;)

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    2. Oh okay, I'm glad you found them! You mentioned in one of your posts how vita tops are expensive, and I found this online: http://www.amazon.com/Vitalicious-VitaMuffin-Chocolate-12-5-Ounce-Packages/dp/B002MB2JC2/ref=sr_1_23?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1338664543&sr=1-23. I think it would work out to be cheaper than buying them already made. I think I'll try it out- if they're as good as the real thing, I'll definitely let you know!

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)