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Monday, March 26, 2012

Almost Time

For this boy 

to celebrate 2 years of life.  

It seems like yesterday he was this tiny little thing:
 I just can't believe it's almost been 2 years!  On Friday, March 30, 2012 we will be putting two candles on his cake.  He will sing along with us instead of being a tiny, confused bystander.  He will blow out his own candles and clap along with us when they're out.  He asked for Lego Batman this year, and a basketball, football, helmet, hockey stick and puck...he really likes sports.  Of course I and eager family members are happy to oblige this simple wish list.  I even got him a sister to his "baby ittle broder". 

He still cries for me when I leave, usually needs my help to climb into his seat at the table and needs a stool to wash his hands.  But he's growing up so fast and is hardly my baby anymore.  Last year I could look back and see him grow month by month.  Now it's measured more in 3-6 month increments and soon it will be yearly progress.  Henry has come such a long way from his wobbly, mumbling 1 year old self.  Now he says, "please" and "thank you", speaks in complete sentences and loves to sing songs to and with us (he even makes up his own songs).  When I tell him I love him he usually says, "I wuv you too, Mama".  He reads books and tries to tell me the color of his toys (he's usually wrong).  This little boy who still needs at least 1 nap per day and can't pour his own drink (well...he can but it usually ends up on the floor) can shoots basketballs with amazing accuracy, climbs rocks like a pro and has an uncanny ability to remember names.

Friday will be bittersweet and the cake will be chocolatey.     

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bzz: Dr. Oetker Pizza Ristorante Review

Recently, Bzz Agent gave me the opportunity to try Dr. Oetker Ristorante Pizza.  This was the first time hearing of the brand so I was curious to see if the pizza would be available at my local grocery store, which is notorious for not carrying a lot of variety.  To my surprise when I checked there were 4 of the 6 varieties.  Apparently Dr. Oetker is the most popular frozen pizza in Italy and they produce more than just pizza, including baking mixes.  

Dr. Oetker Pizza is thin crust, gourmet-style pizza that is available in the following varieties: Pizza Spinaci (Spinach), Pizza Mozzarella, Pizza Funghi (mushroom), Pizza Vegetale (tomatoes, peppers, onions and chilies), Pizza Quattro Formaggi (four cheese: mozzarella, Edam, Emmental and blue cheese) and Pizza Speciale (Pepperoni and Ham).  Each pizza contains 3 servings and costs about $6.  You can get complete ingredient lists and nutritional information for all of the pizzas by clicking the above external link. You can also find stores near you that sell their pizza.

Using the coupons provided by BzzAgent I purchased the Pizza Vegetale for the adults and the Pizza Speciale for the kids.  I really, really wanted to try the vegetable and mozzarella pizzas but I knew my kids would hate me forever if one of the pizzas didn't have pepperoni.

I got a picture of the Pizza Vegetale box before throwing it away.  I don't have any photos of the Pizza Speciale.

You might notice that my pizza is on foil.  That is not how these pizzas are supposed to be cooked- they should be placed directly on the oven rack, but I HATE doing that, so I didn't.

The directions were as simple as any other frozen pizza and it only took about 10 minutes to cook in the oven.    

Ta-da!  Looks pretty close to what's on the box.
It is what it promises- a thin crust, crispy pizza.  The veggies were really good and they were large pieces, not tiny chunks of barely-recognizable vegetables.  On the Pizza Speciale, the pepperonis were the same as any and the ham pieces were large.  I don't like ham on pizza but I ate one for the sake of reviewing and it was good.  Again, it was much better than the pizzas that use tiny chunks of meat.

A few years ago I gave up on all but the Giant brand frozen pizzas because they were too much money and not good.  Giant's was the only one I actually liked and it cost less than Domino's or Little Caesars (until recently, anyway).  Dr. Oetker Pizzas were good, but kind of expensive.  On their website it says the suggested retail price is $4.99-6.99.  $4.99 I would pay for one for myself if I felt like eating something a little better than big-name pizza place would provide but I would make the trip to Little Caesars for the kids, for a much larger pizza for the same price.  Unfortunately the stores where I live charge a higher price of about $6 for Dr. Oetker pizza.  More than likely I would wait for a coupon or skip them and buy a cheaper pizza and fresh veggies to put on top while cooking it.  It doesn't make much sense to me to spend $5 or $6 for a pizza that I have to go to the store to get then cook too, when I can get one hot and ready for the same price.  Either way I have to drive!  But if delivery or driving to a cheap, local pizza shop isn't an option and your typical frozen pizza is getting boring I suggest trying one of these gourmet pizzas.