Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Terrifying Tuesday: Yemiser Wat

First I need to conduct a little business here. I'm going to take a blog link off the side. I'm not sure why, but whenever I exit Megan's Munchies and try to get into another blog, I get thrown into this weird Internet Explorer loop. I don't even use Explorer! I use the AOL software! So I'm gonna take down her link. I'm a little scared to visit her site, and that's sad because it's a neat blog. But I need to figure it out before my laptop explodes.

Okay, so last night we went international. I got this recipe through a regular on Weight Watcher's. Who got this recipe from another regular, who got this recipe from a vegan website who got this recipe from a vegan cookbook. LOL!

This is the link to the recipe. http://www.fatfreevegan.com/beans/yemiser.shtml As you can see, it's Ethiopian. Which sounds so exotic!

This is the link to the lady who created the recipe: http://www.bryannaclarkgrogan.com/page/page/579094.htm I will post more about that after I review the recipe.

recipe notes:
First, don't be intimidated by the list of ingredients. They are mostly spices. I practically had to pull out all the spices out of my cabinet - or at least a whole lot of them! Second, the recipe called for you to saute the onions in a non-stick pan. The pan I used was not non-stick, so I opted to add some canola oil. And thirdly, the recipe has a flaw - it doesn't tell you what to do with the lentils after you boil them! So I drained them, and then added them when I added the tomatoes and broth.

verdict:
One thumbs up (me), two thumbs down (the kids), and a 1/2 thumb which turned into a 3/4 thumb from the hubby. It actually is pretty tastey, oddly sweet (but I think that's due to the spices like nutmeg and ginger). Gary gave it a better rating after he tasted it with the brown rice (like the recipe calls for). I think the kids didn't like it because they are kids. It makes a huge amount. It was fairly easy to make and not hot at all. (I only used a 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes) Actually, the more I ate it, the more I like it. But I didn't have the leftovers for lunch today because I had other leftovers to eat. We'll see tomorrow...

I don't know how filling it would be as a meal itself. Because I fixed it with pork chops. Is that wrong? To fix a vegan recipe with grilled pork chops? Shhhhhh. Don't tell anyone!

I am so very fascinated with the vegan/vegetarian thing. I love the look of some of the recipes, but often wonder if they would fill me. Sometimes I fix stuff with the fake meat, or with beans or tofu (which I love), but it just does not satisfy. If you add a little meat, then wah-lah, satisfaction. Yeah, I've been reading about umami - the "fifth taste". I dunno.

Anyway, I spend too much time on the internet reading vegan/vegetarian blogs - wondering what it would be like to eat like that all the time. I get stuck on the practicality aspect. It just doesn't seem to translate into MY life. And causes me stress just thinking about it. Plus I don't have the convictions against eating meat. BUT, if I get one more cancer - I swear something has to change. Drastically. (I do not think meat causes cancer, but I do need to eat more nutritious foods)

Meanwhile, I continue to experiment with meatless recipes. I also eat meatless breakfasts and lunches (for the most part).

One side benefit that I did not anticipate - Gary's reactions to the foods. He's pretty picky. There aren't a whole lot of fruits and vegetables that he eats. He's a meat and rice man. NOT potatoes! Before Terrifying Tuesdays, he MIGHT taste something that I made that was not normal. And then pick out the offending bits. But now, he WILL taste the recipe. He realizes that the boys really emulate him, so he doesn't complain or make faces or segregate bits out of his food. And he takes an honest taste test. And I believe he's loosening up a little. The man has the pallette of a child, but maybe we'll grown him up a little. :-) I don't know if I can wait for his taste buds to dull with age.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

walking again

Boy am I out of shape! For my "sport". My exercise of choice. Walking.

I have been wanting to do one of my routes for the longest time, but Saturdays have been too busy - so I chose to do it today. I wasn't really sure of the distance (didn't check it) but I knew I'd need to carry water. I'm glad I did because Mr. Sun decided to pay a visit and it turned out to be a two hour walk. It was 8.2 miles. So I guess my time wasn't all that bad considering I haven't done much walking in the last 4+ months. After about an hour my legs told me they were going to take a nap. Yeah, it's wierd how my legs talk to me. At 1 hour 40 minutes they woke up briefly. I really felt my stride - then lost it again when I was in sight of my house.

Yeah, go figure you can get out of shape for walking. I've reallly not given myself enough credit for what good shape I was in. But now I know. Plus, I was a lot thinner than I thought I was. Because when I put on the water belt - yikes it was tight!

But I'm back in the saddle. I have that want and drive to get back in shape. It's very self-esteem boosting to feel strong and fit. I will not let my stomach pooch get in my way. I cannot allow myself to think about it. You have to work out regardless of how you look (or SMELL!).

I came home starving and tired. I had planned to drink a chocolate milk (recovery food of champions!) - but I saw the tiramisu in the fridge and ate some of that instead. Yikes!

Took a shower and had to lay down before I could dry my hair. I was tired and crampy. Finally worked up the energy to dry my hair and tried to move to the kitchen to fix lunch but I was still satisfied from the tiramisu and took a nap. I just couldn't keep my eyes open. Then I made a salad and had a little leftover white chicken chili.

I really need to be reviewing the recipe for tonights terrifying dish. And I really need another haircut.

BTW, my scar is almost invisible. It's just a little raised, but not red at all. It's really quite amazing. Especially considering my history with keloids. You can see that the rash is all gone. I'm still numb above the scar line and tender at the scar.



There's the bad hair cut to deal with. My new hairdresser only works 2 days a week - so I need to get on the ball and call her. But it's time to go pick the boys up at school. I'll try later...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

my new present and the end of the movie


This is my beautiful new (and early) mother's day/birthday/anniversary present! Yippee! I talked Gary into buying it for me tonight. I knew he was going to get me one (I've been wanting one for years) and have been torn between the KitchenAid and Cuisinart. I'm sure they are both equally stellar products, but the KitchenAid comes in colors and we found this one in RED tonight. Had to snatch it up. Why wait? I'll just get to enjoy it now rather than later. My first attempt I think will be hummus. Hummus is reallly hard to make in a blender. Frankly, everything is hard to make in a blender that is not liquidy.
Today I took my kids to a birthday party and saw a movie by myself. Gary was planted in front of the tv because of "The Sporting Event of the Year". The NFL draft. *yawn* The kids went on the Atlantis, which is a "submarine" ride where you can view the wonders of the ocean right off the shores of Waikiki. Very cool, they saw a shark.
Anyway, to the movie part. I went to the Nicholas Cage movie "Knowing". I made the mistake of getting a large Diet Coke. I HAD to leave the movie at the very end. I just could NOT hold it in any longer. I missed the last 5 minutes. If ANYONE saw the movie and is willing to share the ending, PLEASE DO!!!! I left after the kids "departed" and Cage was driving through the city through the chaos. No major event had happened. Did anything happen??? I NEEEEEED to know.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Terrifying Tuesdays: BBQ Salmon

The Recipe:

BBQ Salmon
1 1/2 - 2 lbs. salmon
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. grated orange rind
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 lg. garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. pepper

Put the salmon in a large baking dish. Whisk the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl and pour them over the salmon. Marinate at room temperature for 45 minutes or in the fridge for 2 hours. Grill or broil the salmon for about 8 minutes a swide, or until it's as done as you like it. Serve immediately.

This recipe is from the cookbook "One bite won't kill you!" by Ann Hodgman. Love the title, don't you?!

We all loved it - but we all love grilled salmon anyway - yes, even the boys. Forget that fishstick business. But, but, but...... you couldn't really taste the marinade. So, what's the point? I usually just put a ready-made rub on my salmon and a squirt of lemon which is a thousand times easier. (probably could do without the rub too!)

We also had a new french fry, it's by Alexia and is organic and no trans fats. They were good. And since I don't do the french fry thing much, it's worth the higher cost. I had read in someone's blog that the tater tots were good, but the commissary didn't have any.

And, to feed into my cookbook addiction, I went to Target today and bought the new "Hungry Girl 200 under 200" book. I'm not sure why I bought it, since there is the website, and a lot of the food is "fake". But sometimes you just need a fast to fix recipe that isn't fattening. It takes time to make everything fresh and sometimes you run out of fresh stuff at the end of the week. (I'm trying to justify buying yet another cookbook!)
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I go to get my stitches out tomorrow. I'll be glad. I think he did a great job and it'll heal up beautifully. The rash on the other hand, it's a mess. You can literally see the rectangular area where the bandage was. This picture was taken just now. So it's 6 days after the surgery. Oh, well. You can also see where they cut my hair. LOL! not a big deal. could've been much worse.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

moving dates and still itching...

First the whining. So I called the derm. office - I knew the doc was out of town. Well, the nurse said that I didn't need to wear a bandage anymore - I'm not! Then, get this gem of wisdom, "use vaseline, maybe it will help soothe the itching". I take it she's never had an itch before. Then she said something about not being able to ask the doc since he was out of town for the week. ?? Don't you think the doctor would want to know when the patient is having problems? Of course, I didn't say that to her. I can't afford to alienate the person who is going to pull my stitches. She asked me who my dermatologist was (weird question since her boss is my derm!) - oh, she wanted to know who did the biopsy. My pcm. So I'm supposed to call my pcm. Not likely. Every time I think about what I'm going to say, it just sounds ridiculous. Hello? My derm. nurse asked me to call YOU to help with a derm problem. Yeah, dumb. So, I'm not doing anything. I've been putting on benedryl cream when the itching is unreal, and I may take benedryl after lunch. If I don't touch it, and pin my hair back so it doesn't tickle it, then I'm okay. That's about all I did for my itchies from my other surgeries. But I expect better info from the people who specialize in skin ailments!

vaseline, unreal!
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Now to the fun/sad stuff. Gary had his transportation appointment yesterday and we have dates. Packers come June 15/16 and moving day is the 17th. We fly out the 21st. We have the few days in there to say our goodbyes, clean the house and ship off the van. They estimate our household goods arriving in Atlanta on Aug. 13. So the boys might have started school by the time our stuff gets there.

It's becoming more real. Hard to keep denying it. I need to do something with my friends so we can say a good "goodbye" and not let the date come and go. I don't have any ideas yet.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Itching, chore charts and wedding memorabilia

Augh!!!!

I totallly forgot about my adhesive allergy and so I didn't mention it to the doctor. So naturally, by Saturday night the itching began. Just a little bit. By this morning, the itching started to be sincere. I took the bandage off before my shower. I itched all through church. You can see how red my ear is in the picture. The bandage was stuck to that little corner of my ear and it's paying the price. The rectangular perimeter where the sticky parts stuck are the itchy parts. It's also raised and bumpy. You can kinda see that in the picture. Looks like I have an acne outbreak (I've never had an acne outbreak like this!) I've been putting on some benedryl cream. I don't know if that's okay, but I've used it before for itchiness from adhesives. It kinda temporarily halts the major itching frenzy. I'm going to call them in the morning to find out what he recommends. So anyway, you can see what the stitching looks like.

I have to think of a good story to go with it. We ate at a little place we go to fairly often and the waiter asked me about the stitches and I just sat there speechless. I'm not fast on my feet and I was trying to think of something appropriate for the general public. I didn't want to say it was skin cancer, Gary suggested I say I had a little something removed - ew, that sounds gross. I'm thinking either a tragic surfing accident or an encounter with a shark. Make it outlandish enough that it's intentionally unbelievable. I figure a good laugh would alleviate any awkwardness.



Do you see those two pictures (to the left of my huge nose) that are kinda wonky? Yes, those are the same two pictures I showed here over 2 years ago when the earthquake hit and made those pictures crooked. I keep them like that just as a reminder. That earthquake happened the day before my mastectomy.
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We have set up a chore chart for the boys. They have been begging for an allowance, and it's my philosophy that they need to do chores to earn it. They sorted through books today - a keep and a 'get rid of' pile. We might have a yard sale and they will keep the proceeds on them. The living room looks a lot better! Why didn't we think of this before?
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Also in the process of sorting and tossing, I went through a bunch of old wedding stuff. I read all the cards we got and read some of the letters I wrote to Gary before the wedding. We had a long distance relationship the 2 years before we got married. (dated 3 years total - 1 year of that was engaged) I feel like a stalker because I wrote him every week. I think he wrote me every week too though. His letters to me are stored somewhere else.

I finally gave myself permission to throw some things away. Gasp! I threw away the index cards I had made that listed a name/address/gift/thank you date on each. I threw away the little gift tags. And I threw away the rsvp cards. That's a lot! Particularly for this pack rat. But we've been married almost 21 years and really, I'm not keeping tabs on who gave us what. I thanked everyone, and have used everything to death. It has all been appreciated. The guest registries are there to list who attended what and that should be enough. I kept everything that had a personal note or was from someone special.

Everything made me smile. That's why I hold on to a lot of stuff. But really, those index cards did not make me smile. All it made me think of was writing those thank you notes! Good riddance!
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edited to add for Pam's sake that on Friday, my dermatologist also called my spot a tumor! At least I had prior warning by you, so I wasn't shocked.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Pictures! pineapple and other...

This is the latest photo of my little plump beauty. Very exciting!




I've included a picture that is set back a bit so you can see the whole thing. It's tilting at a severe angle because of all the winds we've had the past couple of months. One time I found the base OUT of the dirt, so I just piled some more dirt on top. It seems to be okay. I assume it'll be okay since I assume pineapples were designed to thrive in this weather.


Warning: exit now, ye of squemish heart.

I'm posting the pics I promised. Really, they aren't bad - the grey hair is quite horrible. And yes I have spotty, sun damaged skin along with the skin cancer.

Okay, first picture is a closeup. This is not a bad pic. It's practically healed compared to how it looked in January. Back then it was a bloody, crusty painful mess. You can see the cancer is the red round patch. That is the face of cancer. Remember it. Don't ignore it if you see the same on yourself or a loved one. The brown speckles are nothing.



This next picture is just there to give you reference as to size and location.




I had the procedure this morning. It didn't take long at all. They numbed me up really good, for which I am grateful. I didn't feel a thing. I had to wait about 20 minutes and then they came back and numbed me up for the next step (and cut more hair! yikes!). He said that he got it all the first time, so he was going to close me up. He had to make another cut in the "crows feet" line (I don't have crows feet!) (okay, I have one, I see it up in the previous photo) I was told that there'd be swelling and bruising and I have to come back in a week to get the stitches out. He said he disagrees with my squamous cell carcinoma diagnosis. He said he saw baso-squamous cell carcinoma. Which he said was like a hybrid of the two. But mostly basal. Which is good, because he can say the surgery cures the basal, while with squamous I'd still have a 5% chance of recurrence or spreading. At least that was my understanding.

So anyway, this is what I look like now with the bandage. I can see a little blue poofiness beside my eye - so that will become an ugly bruise.



The funny thing was when I walked out of the office, I had to go potty and I wanted to check things out. It felt funny, like my eyebrow was being dragged down by the bandage. Well, that's exactly what it looked like! It was so odd. I couldn't raise my left eyebrow because it had been numbed up. I always wanted to be one of those people who could raise one eyebrow! I feel much more normal now. But it's starting to ache a little. I refused a narcotics prescription and took a tylenol about an hour ago. I might just regret refusing that later on tonight. Hmmm. I might have some prescription strength tylenol left over from other surgeries. I'll need to dig through my cabinets.

Lordy, I need a haircut and color - can't do that anytime soon!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Terrifying Tuesday: East Coast Lasagna

I'm so lazy, this is so late. The good news is that we found a winner. Almost.

First, I'll start with the recipes. I got the recipes from "Skinny B**** in the Kitch". (Lord only knows what possessed me to pick up a cookbook, much less any book, that has a swear word in the title and then followed by thousands throughout the book - totally tacky and classless - can't believe I gave these women my money) I'm going to copy and paste these recipes in here, and my justification for that (since I haven't been doing it) is because there is a flaw in the recipe that I want to discuss and there are changes I made. So these are not exact copies of the recipes, at least the red sauce is not exact. And I'll discuss that too. I just want you to know that the recipes below may vary from what's in the book.

East Coast Lasagna

6 qts. water
about 3 tbsp. fine sea salt
1 lb. whole wheat or brown rice lasagna noodles
5 cups Basic Red Sauce (see recipe)
4 cups Tofu "Ricotta" (see recipe)
12 - 14 oz vegan ground beef (if frozen, no need to thaw)
10 oz vegan mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350* F.

In an 8-10 qt stockpot over high heat, combine the water with about 3 tbs. salt. Bring the water to a boil, add the noodles, and cook according to the pkg directions. When the pasta is done, drain it, briefly rinse it (just to make it cool enough to handle), and drain it again. Separate the noodles and lay them on foil, waxed paper or parchment paper to keep them from sticking together.

Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 13X9 Inch pan. Top the sauce with some of the lasagna noodles, overlapping them slightly. Top the noodles with 1/3 of the Ricotta, 1/3 of the ground beef, and 1/3 of the cheese, spreading each layer of ingredients out evenly. Repeat the noodles, ricotta, beef and cheese layers 2 more times (you may not need all the pasta).

Place the pan of lasagna on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the tip of a knife inserted in the center of the lasagna comes out piping hot, 60 to 75 min. (check on it periodically to make sure the cheese isn't burning. If it seems like it might, cover with foil unitl the final 15 minutes)
Remove the lasagna from the oven and let it sit 10 to 15 min. before cutting and serving.


Basic Red Sauce

2 tbsp. oil
1 onion, cut into 1/4" dice
8-10 cloves garlic, minced
2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1/4 cup fruity red wine (optional)
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. hot sauce, like Tabasco (optional)
1 Tbsp. agave nectar (optional)


Heat the oil in a 4-6 qt stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender. 6-8 minutes (adjust heat, if necessary, to avoid browning). Add the garlic and cook stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato paste, increse the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the wine, if using, along with the basil, oregano, salt and hot sauce (if using). taste, and if the sauce is too acidic, stir in the agave. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 2 months.


Tofu "Ricotta"


14 to 16 oz extra firm tofu, crumbled
3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried oregano
3/4 tsp fine sea salt

In a food processor, combine the tofu, garlic, olive oil, oregano and salt and pulse to puree. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
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Recipe notes:
  • The Skinny B gals like to use refined coconut oil, and they give their arguments for it. I'm not quite sold on the idea, nor do I wish to experiment with my health since I do have high cholesterol and can somewhat control it through careful watch on my diet. So on the red sauce recipe where I have "oil", they call for the coconut oil. Where there is evoo on the ricotta, they call for evoo.
  • On the lasagna assembly portion of the recipe, they only call for the use of the sauce one time, in the beginning before you put down the first layer of noodles. Obviously this is a mistake, since the recipe calls for 5 cups of sauce and lasagna needs it's sauce. So, you need to remember to include a layer of sauce each time. This is the one recipe mistake that I caught.
  • I used white lasagna noodles because I don't have access to whole grain noodles
  • I used regular part skim mozzarella cheese because we are not vegan and soy cheese just doesn't melt or taste as good as real dairy cheese. Why mess up a good lasagna?
  • The mistake I made when I typed out the recipe is that I forgot to include the vegan ground beef. I didn't realize that until it was time to cook. I happened to have a 1/2 pound of ground beef and just 1 Amy's hamburger patty - so I nuked the beef, thawed the patty and made do with that.
  • I used canola oil to saute the onions
  • 8-10 cloves of garlic is a LOT, it's good, but be warned that it's an odor that will be hard to shake
  • We don't drink so I didn't use wine
  • I didn't have fresh oregano, so I used dry, 1 tsp
  • I used Cholula hot sauce because that's what we had
  • I used sugar because that's what my mama uses! (instead of the agave)
  • the tofu they sell around here comes in 12 oz tubs, so I bought two and used 1 and 1/4 pkgs.
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The results were really good. Thumbs up all around. I do want to make it sometime with just the faux hamburger. Next time I will give myself more time to make it. It took about an hour of hustling (before baking). Either I need to make the elements ahead of time, or start earlier. Also, I need to remember to check it earlier to make sure the cheese doesn't get overcooked. And be more generous with the sauce. It was a little on the dry side. When I assembled, I did not measure out 5 cups, so I don't know how much I used.

While I am not a big fan of this cookbook for personal reasons, they do have an excellent pizza sauce recipe.
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And so you won't think that Tuesday is the only day I experiment with food, I made a quinoa recipe on Monday that I saw in the newspaper. I couldn't resist. It was okay, could have done without the orange segments in it.
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Tomorrow is the day I go in for my little surgery to remove that spot on the side of my face. I've become quite the spokesperson for sunblock ever since I was diagnosed with skin cancer! I've already offended a couple of people, I do believe! Not that I mean to, but you'd be surprised how resistant folks are to the idea of using sunblock. But this is the tropics and the sun is very serious here. That reminds me, I want to take before and after pictures. At least a before picture, now that it's not gross and bloody. It's just red. It would be educational.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Terrifying Tuesday: Pecan Crusted Fish with peppers and squash

We finely have a winner folks! Something edible! I'm not sure where I got this recipe, so I'll post it anyway.

Pecan Crusted Fish with Peppers and Squash

12 oz. fresh or frozen catfish,
whitefish, orange roughy
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp. onion salt
1/4 cup a-p flour
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1 egg
2 sm. red/orange sweet peppers, quartered
1 med. zucchini, bias-sliced 1/2" thick
1 med. yellow summer squash,bias-sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/4 tsp seasoned salt

1. Line a 15X10X1 inch baking pan with foil. Lightly spray; set aside. Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish; pat dry. Cut fish into 4 serving-size pieces; set aside. 2. In a shallow dish combine pecans, cornmeal, and onion salt. In another shallow dish combine flour and ground red pepper. In a small mixing bowl whisk together egg and 1 tbsp water. Dip each piece of fish in flour mixture to lightloy coat, shaking off any excess. Dip fish in egg mixture, then in pecan mixture to coat. Place coated fish in the prepared baking pan, tucking under thin edges. 3. In a large bowl combine sweet peppers, zucchini, and sqash. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil and seasoned salt; toss to coat. Arrange peppers and squash around fish, overlapping vegetables as needed to fit into pan. 4. Bake, uncovered, in a 425 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork and vegetables are tender.

per serving:
302 cal, 15g total fat (2g sat fat), 98 mg chol., 367 mg sodium, 21g carbo., 3g fiber, 21g pro.

I pretty much made this recipe as stated. I used catfish. I wanted to use orange roughy, but the commissary didn't have any. I'm not a big fan of vegetables cooked with fish, but I did it anyway. Next time I'll grill the vegetables or cook them somehow, but separately. The vegatables got a little burned and the squashes were downright slimey. Yuck. But the fish was great. I'm sure you could use any nut. It's not a recipe that's far out there, but it's something I haven't yet tried on the family.

It got 3 thumbs up (Gary gave it a 3/4 thumbs up) and 1 thumbs down. Ryan ate it up anyway. The only other things on his plate were the vegetables and purple sweet potato. He had to eat something!
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On the food front, our commissary finally got that Truvia stuff. I've been dying to try it, so I snatched up a box Sunday. I dunno. This stuff tastes more fake than the fake stuff, to me. If you take a little taste of it straight out of the package, I get hit with what I think is going to be bitter, but then it disappears. It's kinda weird. Almost like how the sugar alcohols disappear on you - you know in those sugar free hard candies. Since it said that one packet was the equivalent of 2 tsp of sugar, I put one packet in my hot tea. Just not quite sweet enough. Hey, I usually like 2 packets of splenda in my tea, so I guess I like it pretty sweet. I've been using 1 packet in my oatmeal - I'm still not sure about the bitterness factor. Too reminiscent of sacchrin - yuck! So this stuff is still up in the air for me.

I'm not sure why I want to change anyway. You hear all those negative nellies going on and on about the evils of Equal and Splenda - I like them! I don't think either have aftertaste and they haven't affected me physically, as far as I can tell. But I'm really not the one who can say, "I've been doing it all my life and I'm fine!" Because I've had too many major illnesses to get away with that. I've NOT been fine. Maybe it's my water bottles, maybe it's my toothpaste, maybe it's because I was bottle fed. Who knows? But I like me sweets.

We are making small motions towards our move. Gary's got to do some car stuff - I've made arrangements for dental records to be sent to me. I still need to call my eye doctor. My medical records will stay at the hospital until the bitter end, and then I will hand carry everything with me. This is VITAL. You've got to hand carry all your xrays, mammograms, EVERYTHING! Don't trust it to the mail.

I'm getting kinda sad about the move. I can see changes happening already. One of my good friend's has placed a bid on a house and is in escrow - it has a pool, so we'll miss out on many good pool parties. The neighborhood has become a reconstruction zone - they are doing new sewer lines. It's horrible. Our sweet, quiet neighborhood. There are a couple of other school moms who are moving this summer. One mom is currently having her house packed out. So things will be different here anyway. I won't be leaving the same place.

I've had a cold for over a week now. I've been sleeping on the infamous recliner. I keep hoping the moist night air will heal my cough. Plus I can't stand the thought of disturbing Gary's sleep with my coughing. I just want to breathe!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Terrifying Tuesday: Barley with Curry, Carrots and Almonds


(obviously I'm not a food stylist -sorry!)

I'll post the recipe for this one. It's pretty simple. I got if from a cookbook of mine "Superfoods, Cook Your Way to Health" by Jyl Steinback.

Barley with Curry, Carrots and Almonds

1 1/2 cups nonfat chicken broth
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup quick-cooking barley
3/4 cup chopped carrot
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp curry powder
1 Tbsp. sliced almonds, toasted

Combine chicken broth, water, barley carrot, onion powder and curry in medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 12 to 15 minutes until barely is tender. Remove lid and cook 3 to 5 minutes; stir in toasted almonds and serve.

Serves 4
calories: 153
total fat: 1g
dietary fiber: 6g
sodium: 361 mg

my adjustments:
I don't have or know where to get quick cooking barley. I had pearled barley, so I increased the simmering time to 35 minutes. I had slivered almonds on hand, instead of sliced and I dumped in the rest of what we had which was just over a tablespoon. The more the merrier! Everything else I kept the same.

The results: 3 thumbs up, 1 thumbs down from Ryan. I think this was Ryan's first time with the curry flavor, so it will take him a while to adjust. We will deem this one a keeper. Maybe not a regular, but I'll definitely make it again.

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In other news... today I had an MRI - my follow-up from my abnormal mammogram. Ugh! It had been a couple of years from my last one, and I'm already dreading next years! I did fine, but near the end I was getting close to a freak-out. I started getting warm and was breathing warm air. I was starting to sweat. Sweating will make you claustrophobic for sure! No, the closed in-ness didn't bother me a bit. It's the not being able to move for over an hour that gets you. Everywhere there was a pressure point, it hurt. My forehead, my right shin - well, those were the only two that bothered me. Then my left shoulder - oy! I was about to scream about that! They had me laying there in a superman pose - with my arms stretched out front. Which was fine for the first half hour. When they finally got me out of the tube, my shoulders were frozen. It was hard to get up. Our bodies just weren't designed to stay in one position like that. We are designed to MOVE!

Before the MRI I prayed that I would be given calmness, and He was faithful. I actually almost fell asleep a couple of times. But then the noises would start up or would change and almost startle me. I really don't know how long the thing took, but it was at least an hour. Let's see, I was changing clothes and looked at my watch and it was 10:38, and then after I walked out of the MRI place to the bathroom it was 12:18. You have to factor in a little time for waiting, not much, time to change clothes and time to get the i.v. and then get all situated. So I think that leaves at least a full hour for scan time.

Today I put the boys into a spring break "program" at the school, so I would have plenty of childcare time without worrying about them. They were going on a field trip to one of those places that has all those big blowup bouncy things. I'm sure they are having fun and I will pick them up in about an hour or so.

I have a dentist appointment this month (plus Ryan needs to get a filling) and also have the "thing" cut off my face on the 17th. Medical month. Blah. What I really need is to get my hair cut again.

***** edited to say my doc just called with MRI results - hey I wasn't supposed to get those for 3-4 days! this is same day! everything is normal - I've got simple cysts - yeah, we knew that - and my implant is intact! *whew* big sigh of relief! Next!