Mar 29, 2010

down with the sickness

Oh my goodness...... I feel like garbage.  Breathing is so much more challenging than it needs to be.  Nothing is helping.  I am so overly medicated right now.  I am definitely going to have to visit the pharmacy, sign away a child, and get the good stuff.

I just want it to end.

I am so minimally exposed to people, I can't even believe I caught this thing!  I am so disappointed!

I have a feeling my immune system is compromised by my state of mind.  I think this is how the stress is manifesting itself.

Hopefully all of it exits quickly.  Because I am so NOT down with the sickness.

Mar 16, 2010

delicious endeavors, vol. 2

There are some yummy yummy in my tummy ideas this week.  (Like these.......mmmmm.......)

Please stop by Delicious Endeavors and check out volume 2.  Challenge yourself to trying something new this week!

Happy Eats!

Mar 15, 2010

mushroom onion pork chops

I do not typically cook from a recipe.  Even when I do, I find myself not measuring, tweaking and changing things, and always adding extra spice.  With this in mind, I want to give you a "recipe" for a meal I made last week. 

It started with me having pork chops, and not knowing what to do with them.

I heated my frying pan and added olive oil. 
Added the pork chops to the pan.
Seasoned with salt, fresh ground pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and adobo.

As they were frying, I chopped an onion.  I flipped the chops when they had browned on one side, and added the onion to the pan.

When the chops were cooked through on both sides, I think I added a pinch of minced garlic to the pan, then removed the chops to a plate.  I put about a half cup of white wine to the pan, and used a whisk to deglaze the pan while the wine reduced.  I then whisked in a splash or two of half and half, and added a can of cream of mushroom soup. 

Once blended and heated through, I added the chops back to the pan, covered, and reduced the heat to med-low. 

Cooked a pot of white rice, and served the chops and sauce over the rice.  Add something green - this meal cries for a salad, green beans, steamed broccoli, etc.

Yum yum!!

And for something I threw together, it was a delicious dish that tasted complicated, but wasn't.  I will definitely be making this again.  I could see adding mushrooms or broccoli to the dish as well.  Play and have fun - that is the point after all.  Don't let a recipe bind you!


Mar 11, 2010

100 Books: A Million Little Pieces

Last summer I expressed my desire to try to become more well-read, and somehow I have actually managed to squeeze in some reading here and there.  I have been adopting the method of reading two books at once - one on the nightstand, and one in my gigantic purse.  Having that book on the go is great for me.  It is amazing how often one is idly waiting while out and about, and having the book handy fills these moments quite nicely.

First up was A Million Little Pieces, by James Frey.  This was already on my bookshelf from when it first came out.  In fact, it still had a bookmark in it from when I had begun reading it in 2006 when it came out, and then real life got in the way.  I just pulled the bookmark out and began again.

I breezed through it pretty quickly and easily.  It nicely coincided with a series of appointments and monitoring and dealing with doctors for surrogacy #2 (failed attempt #1), so I was able to appreciate his sterile and under the microscope existence in the rehab facility.

I related to his defiance to following the rules and insistence that he would succeed his own way.  I understood the powerful draw of addiction, and how it manifested itself in other things when the main source was removed.

And here's the thing..... I read it as a work of fiction.  I waited until I was through with the book before looking into the controversy surrounding it upon its release.  It seems that the mistake that was made was that the author/publisher categorized the book as non-fiction, and then everyone began challenging it's validity.  I'm not sure how it was ever possibly allowed to be that way, as there is no way that he would have been able to accurately remember or portray the first third to half of the book as he was still detoxing at that point.  I am quite sure he has no clear memories of that time, and there was certainly no mention of him keeping diaries through that time.

But he messed with Oprah.  And nobody gets away with making Oprah look like a fool.  So I suppose he had to pay.

Overall, I would recommend the book, as long as you take it as a work of fiction about conquering addiction, and not a non-fiction how-to guide.  And as long as the f-word does not offend you.

Mar 10, 2010

more open letters

Time for some more open letters........  Sometimes people just need to know.

An Open Letter To.........

LINDSAY LOHAN:  Tell me that this lawsuit is all just some publicity stunt, and that you don't really think the e*trade commercial had anything to do with you?!  Because if you did, I don't even know where to start.  Crazy narcissistic fool.

MEDIA:  I don't care if Tiger cheated or not.  As long is he didn't cheat on me.  So stop chasing him everywhere.  Nobody cares.

SPRING:  Where the heck are you??  Let's do this thing already!!

TIM BURTON:  Stop making movies that make me pee my pants and have lifelong recurring nightmares.  And no, adding 3D doesn't make it better.  It makes it creepier.  Yikes!!

BANANAS:  No worries.  You will be yummy muffins in the morning.  Mmmm.

NBC:  Wow.  You really messed up.  But I would like to thank you for the fact that Conan's Twitter feed is now one of my favorites.  He's even funnier now than ever.

COMCAST:  I'm not buying it.  I think "xfinity" really means "we are charging you more for the same thing."

U-VERSE:  Any time.  Really.  Anytime you want to round the corner and be available in my neighborhood is more than fine with me.

AGAIN TO MY READERS:  Thanks so much for reading and commenting.  I appreciate you taking the time to stop by my little corner of the interwebs.

Mar 9, 2010

delicious endeavors, vol. 1

Welcome to the first edition of the Delicious Endeavors Blog Carnival.  Please visit the link, and enjoy the wonderful recipes and tips share by the amazing contributors.  Be adventurous and give something new a try!  And then let me know what works and doesn't.  Then we can use what we've learned to bless our families with some home-cooked love.  (My kids always want to know "What's in that?"  "Love," I tell them.  "I baked the love right in....")

Here are some that caught my eye:

Over at Goodies From Granny's House they are cooking up some pumpkin squares.  I can vouch for these - they never last very long around here.

Recession dining tips can be found here .  A lot of the standard meals in our family's repertoire are adaptations of the depression meals that my grandmother made.  They are warm, comforting, easy, and inexpensive.

And soon to be appearing in my kitchen, Upside Down Meatloaf.  I have not made meatloaf in ages as it is not my husband's favorite, but I am going to give it another shot.  Maybe this recipe will change his mind!

Go check out the carnival and don't forget to leave some comment love.

Happy Eats!!

Mar 8, 2010

ranch dressing

One of Outback Steakhouse's little secrets, is that they make everything homemade, fresh daily.  It is why, in my opinion, their bread, dressings, and croutons taste so darn yummy.  I love an Outback salad more than most salads (once I have scooped the yucky tomatoes onto hubby's plate, of course).  :)

My favorite is the ranch.  They serve is as a salad dressing as well as a condiment.  Mmm mmmmmm.  I suggest you make it, and then eat it with everything until it's gone.


1 tsp Ranch salad dressing mix (the kind in the packet - buttermilk recipe is best)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup mayonnaise
1/8 - 1/4 tsp (to taste) fresh ground pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp paprika

Mix all ingredients together until well blended.  Cover and chill (overnight if possible).


buttermilk and more

I have been on a cooking streak lately. 

I pretty much run hot and cold with cooking - I'm either into it or I'm not.  When I'm not, my family suffers.  Luckily, my husband and daughter are pretty good cooks on their own.  It is just easier on everyone when I am contributing. 

Furthermore, I don't particularly enjoy cooking for people outside my immediate family because it triggers my perfectionist tendancies, as I don't usually cook with recipes and I like to use spices.  It is hard for me to cook to appeal to the masses.  I already have one steady dissenter in my own ranks, I'm not sure if I could take any more than that.  

This past week I went out of my way to put food on the table every day.  I went so far as to dig out the cookbooks and try some new recipes.  It was like jumping through rabbit holes.... one recipe required buttermilk, and once I had purchased buttermilk I needed to find ways to use it up, which led to a whole slew of new recipes. 

In the end, we made two new main dishes, salad dressing, bread, chicken salad, pot roast and mashed potatoes (yummy comfort food), and used the buttermilk in four separate recipes.  Good eats for sure.

And since I am on a roll, I will be participating in the Delicious Endeavors Recipe Carnival.  Look for it Tuesday!