Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Terrifying Tuesday: recipes!

I tried a few new recipes yesterday, so I thought I'd share them.

Kath Eats Real Food is a blog I like to visit and I have it in my favorites. It always comes up on the page that has her BBQ tofu. I've been wanting to make this for about a year now. So I finally made it yesterday for lunch. I made it exactly as she described. It's a little bit sweet. Little bit, lotta bit. I still have 1/2 slab of tofu, so later this week I'll try it with the leftover KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce that I have in the fridge. Oops. I'm making BBQ chicken tonight - so I'll figure out a different way to make the tofu. No biggie.

For supper I made a new recipe that is family/kid friendly. I get these Betty Crocker Dinner Made Easy emails and they sent this recipe - Healthified Mexican Pasta Skillet. It's kinda like a hamburger helper (blech) deal. Ground beef (or ground turkey), salsa, tomato sauce, water, macaroni noodles. Super easy. Really. And tastey. I used whole grain macaroni, 93% ground beef and everything else they say, just not the specific name brands.

Good stuff. I need stovetop recipes for when grill season comes to an end. This will work.

Now, for Terrifying Tuesday. I made Artichoke Toasts. The recipe came from a cookbook I got from the library. It's called Sneaky Veggies by Chris Fisk. This book came out right before the Desperately Delicious and The Sneaky Chef books came out (but not as widely publicized). This cookbook isn't full of purees. It has some interesting recipes in it that I'm looking forward to trying. The artichoke toast recipe could not be any easier.

2 slices whole grain bread, toasted
1 4oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
2 Tbsp grated parmesan

I used my hand blender to puree the hearts. Divide evenly and spread on the toasts. Sprinkle with the parm and broil for a minute or so.

It did not get met with the best reception. An acquired taste. I think the marinade was a bit too sour for our palates. I guess the marinade is supposed to be like an italian dressing or something. Maybe a different brand would taste better, or different. It's worth experimenting, I think. I will not give up on artichokes. This was our first foray into this vegetable. It's high in fiber. It deserves another shot or two.

I've got a bunch of recipes flagged in this book. I'm gonna try a few before it's due back in the library. I'll keep you posted on what does/doesn't work!
As you know, vegetarian/vegan blogs are a favorite of mine. Also, weight loss television is a favorite too. I discovered a show on BBC America called "You are what you eat". Fascinating - but she does talk about poo, so you may not want to eat while you watch it, depending on how sensitive you are. I really perked up at some of the foods she gets them to eat. She mentioned some smoothies concoctions and something called "haricot bean loaf". What is a haricot bean? Turns out it's navy beans. The guy tasted it and said it was tastey. This was before he started her regimin - so it must actually be good. So I started cruising the handy dandy internet and found several websites that feature her and her books/recipes. Her name is Gillian McKeith. I was getting all excited until I started reading book reviews and looked at her recipes. She puts them on a basically vegan/macrobiotic diet. Really strict. It amazes me that the people can go from one extreme to the other and really stick to it. But it seems they do! I don't think I have that will power. One of her smoothies called for 6 pieces of whole fruit - 1 to 2 servings! I'm not talking about berries, I'm talking pears and mango and such. Big fruit. Sounds pricey. Plus some recipes were for quinioa (plain, just made with bullion) for breakfast. Blech. Anyway, it was hugely interesting and the show is great.

I'm gonna try that haricot bean loaf. LOL! Really. We may have to follow up with a trip to McDonald's (gasp). :-)

One last bit of food talk. I've been keen on trying some new fish recipes. I cannot stand baked fish or stews or soups. I like it grilled or fried. Not fishy. So I'm gunning for a fish taco recipe. I found an interesting one on you tube. By a chef in a restaurant. It looks simple and tastey. I hope it works. I don't know how else fish can be fixed, so I feel a bit desperate. I really want to try to get to that two servings of fish a week. I'm open to ideas!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Terrifying Tuesdays: Ranch Dressing

You may be thinking, what's so terrifying about Ranch Dressing? Not much. But this is homemade, and is supposed to be vegan if you follow the recipe. I got the recipe from the book "Skinny **itch in the Kitch" and since I made a few alterations, I'll put the recipe here.
Makes about 2 cups
1 cup vegan sour cream (I used low fat sour cream)
1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 cup safflower oil (I used canola)
1 Tbsp agave nectar (for real? I used honey)
1 Tbsp granulated garlic powder
2 tsp chopped dill
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp tamari or soy sauce (I used low sodium shoyu)

In a blender or a food processor, combine all ingredients and process until smooth. Set aside in the refrigerator overnight to allow the flavors to bloom. Store refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Gary said it was mild, but he gave it a thumbs up, as did I. The boys did not. It has a bit of a bite to it if you get a good dose of it. I think it must be the dijon. But it's good.

Rats. I forgot what I was going to post. I'm sure it was good. LOL!

Oh, I guess I'll talk about making friends and this new move. You know, I've lived with myself all my life (duh) so I know me. But how much and when do you reveal stuff to new people? In Hawaii, bc happened to me there. It just kinda was made known. You go in for multiple surgeries and organize a Komen walking group, people figure it out. (the one flat side was a huge givaway! LOL) But it's different now. I went in to the doctor last week for my cough and began answering the nurse's questions (basic medical history). She asked me to list the surgeries I've had as an adult. I look at her like "brace yourself" and started rattling them off (the gist of them really). When I finish I'm like "that's basically it" and she says "that's a lot". Which surprised me a bit because she's a nurse and I figure nurses hear it all. Really, it sounded ridiculous to me too as I was listing them.

I dunno. I'm sure it's all moot. As the topics come up, things will come out naturally.

When I first got diagnosed with bc, I wanted to wear the pink ribbon type shirts. But I don't any more. But the other day I ordered a SPI belt that was a Komen edition. It's black with two pink ribbons embroidered on it. Is it weird that I want it out there, but in a subtle way? Not as a badge of honor or anything. Because I know that I got off so easy. But I don't want to talk about boob jobs and I don't want anyone to be taken by surprise if I get a recurrence. (I'm still waiting for that other shoe to drop)

I'm finding it hard to concentrate with the tv on right now, so I'll leave off right here. Weird blog I know.

UPDATE! I went to Walmart today and guess what I stumbled upon? Agave Nectar! It's expensive, but I bought a little squeeze bottle of the stuff. Who would've thunk?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

feeling better

I've not been in the best of health lately, but I'm taking a turn for the better. I think it's my lungs needing to adjust to the Atlanta air. Hawaii air is so pure and clean, my lungs have been on a 3 year vacation! Now it's back to work. Actually, I feel pretty good today. I've walked for an hour, did the Wii Active, vacuumed, mopped, scrubbed toilets, cleaned windows - yeah, I'd say I'm doing pretty good - a little tuckered, but good! And I still have an hour before the boys come home.

Let's see, on the school front - busy, busy. The homework is not very stressful so far. It's still early though. But they keep coming home with papers and they want to join EVERYTHING! They have the opportunity to join band and the boys want to. There is also an after-school art club that Jake wants to join. See, if they do band, then they will miss art classes during school. Plus, there is a reading invitational, and the boys are so good at reading that I think they should try. wow. And this doesn't even include cubscouts or anything else. They really want to do a sport. So I have to figure that in somewhere.

We still haven't settled on a church. I had a good online chat with a friend and she helped on that front. I think we need to just pick one and give it a good shot.

This is fantasy football draft weekend. Gary is heading out to Williamsburg tomorrow and spending the weekend there picking players for his team. Then he comes home and Sunday night he's in a phone conference picking players for his other team.

I miss Hawaii. Even our little ghetto house. I'm trying hard to settle in here - but I can't help but miss certain things and people. I can tell I'm trying to recreate the same life here, but it's just not the right fit. I need to find a new way of being. One that fits here. I don't want to, but I think that's how it's gonna have to be. Isn't it always? You'd think I'd be used to this...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

school starts tomorrow!

I finallly finished filling out all the papers, signing all the forms, writing all the checks - basically selling my soul to the school and the PTO. My boys backpacks are stuffed with shiney new school supplies. All that's left is making lunches and picking out tomorrow's outfits.

The bus picks them up at the bus stop at 7 am. Ack! That's early. We are early risers, but that's early to get it all together. The good news is that gets me out and about early.

PLUS! School lets out later. So mama's got a little extra time every day.

I wonder if I'll still get that lonely feeling that comes with the first day of school? Hmmm. I doubt it, because I have plans to SHOP! It'll be the first time in a LONG time. Mama needs some clothes!

Off to find the camera...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Terrifying Tuesdays/marathon and moving musings

Yesterday's TT was dedicated to my mom. Technically, it doesn't fall under the guidelines of TT in that my mom fixed this dish for me and the boys - but Gary hadn't had it and frankly, I haven't unearthed my TT recipes at that point. It's a very simple stir-fry of cabbage. You simply shred cabbage, heat up a large fry pan and put some oil in it, about a tablespoon, you can probably use less. And throw in the cabbage, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. It's yummy! If you can get a little brown on the cabbage, then that's even yummier! It's just better than boiled cabbage.

Of course, no one else liked it. But who cares? All the more for me!! :0)
I am considering signing up for the Nashville Country Music marathon. It's supposed to be walker friendly, not too far away, and it's not until April, so I have time to get back in shape. I can't wait for next week to come so I can get back into the walking groove!
Yesterday I finally got the boys registered for school. We had their school screening at the health department in the morning and then ran right to the center to get them registered. There was a line out the door! I was so surprised! The line got even longer after we got there. It took a good hour and a half - mostly waiting. Then we stopped by the school and dropped off paperwork and they will assign the boys teachers. This is the first school to give us the option of whether or not to put them in the same class. I asked for different teachers, but the same team (so their homework would be the same). I think they would just behave better and pay attention better without each as a distraction to the other.

Tomorrow we "meet the teachers" and get all signed up for stuff and find out the bus schedule and lunch money business. The fun stuff.

These boys need school to start. *I* need school to start. They are fighting a lot, getting sassy with me, and they miss their old buds. While we were waiting in line yesterday, I just started reviewing the times tables with them - I reallly wasn't going to do but one, just for grins, but when Jake couldn't give me the answer, I started firing more at him and then spelling words. Boy, they've really lost a lot over the summer. I really , reallly need to work with them on their handwriting. It's just awful. I had bought one of those summer bridge workbooks, but just never got started beyond 2 worksheets.

*sigh* bad mama
We have not got the house put together yet. It's come a long way, but we're not there. Gary's philosophy is "get it out of the box". If you do that, then you can declare yourself unpacked. So he opens up box after box and pulls stuff out and just sets the stuff down within reach. MY philosophy is "it's neater in boxes than laying out everywhere". I like to unpack and put away as I unpack - one box at a time. The visual clutter of what the unpacking has created is so chaotic to me. I get so overwhelmed. Needless to say, while I'm doing my thing, Gary did his thing. He got all the boxes open on the second day. (we had over 300) I can't work in this mess! I don't know where to begin. But, to his credit, Gary has a very good work ethic and is a hard worker. he can get more done in one day than I can do in a week. So we should be able to get this knocked out in a few more weekends.