Month: February 2012

Going Paleo

I have started doing Crossfit, and while part of me is enjoying it, I have wondered at least once per workout if I need to up my life insurane and update my will, just in case I don’t survive the work out.

As part of the class they are sponsoring a three month Paleo challenge, which my Sweet Husband and I will be taking part of.

I am hoping this will really help me knock off  the fat sweater I am using to keep my abs all nice and cozy.  I am also hoping that I can go without cheese or bread or sugar for the greater part of three months without my freaking out in the bakery and lying on the floor of the artisan bread section of my local Wegmans holding a fresh baked Boule and weeping.

I have to admit a little skepticism about the whole paleo and clean eating and other low carb diets.  I just can’t suspend belief enough to buy into the fact that a simple baked potato is evil, yet I am encouraged to drink protein shakes, which seem to be as much of a science experiment as a tub of cool whip without the deliciousness or creamy texture.

One thing I will be doing for at least the 1st month is to plan out the entire month’s worth of meals and snacks to make sure that I don’t get bored, and that I have the food in the house, do I don’t default to dinner rolls or cereal.  I am debating whether or not to give myself a weekly cheat meal or two, or if I should go totally hardcore for the 1st month.

However, I want to encourage my Sweet Husband and by cutting out breads and sweets we should both be able to lose weight.

Maybe though I should consider some nose plugs for the grocery store to block out the smells of the bakery.

Wish me luck.  Hopefully there will be less of me by the end of May.

Happy Valentine’s Day

I am not one to make much of a fuss for Valentine’s Day. The whole Holiday kind of got ruined for me in High School. Every year some organization would be selling flowers to deliver at homeroom and every year, despite having a boyfriend three out of four years on Valentine’s Day, I would get nothing, while some girls would get tons of flowers.

And while I am married to a man I love more than my I-Phone, we still don’t make a big fuss about Valentine’s Day.  There will be cards and maybe some chocolate, but nothing extravagant.

Most guys claim to not care about Valentine’s Day. Or say that you should show love all year round, or that it is a commercial day designed by Hallmark, Godiva and 1-800-Flowers to part a man from his money.

And honestly most women feel the same way. Valentine’s Day means that its hard to get into a restaurant, and that they are most likely to get underwear that may require a manual to get into.

However, for women there is a competitive spirit to the Holiday that harks back to those High School Flower sales.

Now instead of watching the popular girl in homeroom get tons of carnations you watch the flower parade go by at work. And whether you are single, dating, or married you spend Valentine’s Day either trying to one up the other people at work, or swearing that you don’t care about the Holiday.

Either way you find yourself mildly annoyed by the day, and looking forward to the 15th.  I know I am.

Book Review-Journal Of Best Practices

This was an excellent book. As the mother of a son recently diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, I have found myself consumed by the following:

1. Learning how to correctly spell Asperger’s without having to look it up;
2. Learn more about the syndrome and finding strategies and best practices to help my son thrive in the demands of a neurotypical world.

David Finch proves himself to be a very likeable subject and I found myself rooting for him, and could easily see my son in parts of Finch.

While I did enjoy the whole book, I found this section alone to be worth the price:

“Prior to my diagnosis, such a revelation would not have been possible. Perhaps that’s what a diagnosis does: it helps you to understand that you have unique operating parameters—unique limitations and preferences. Knowing why you don’t naturally fit in alleviates the shame and embarrassment. (That’s my brain, folks. Can’t help it. Who wants more champagne?) My diagnosis gave me an explanation as to why I was relatively alone in my circumstances whenever I went places, and that knowledge somehow made me feel less lonely. Best of all, I wouldn’t have to use a persona anymore. I could just be me. ”

Finch, David (2012). The Journal of Best Practices (p. 211). Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Keeping this in mind when I work with my sweet boy, or work with the school to make accommodations is priceless. Reminding myself, my son and others that there is nothing ‘wrong’ with him, just that he operates a little differently, takes the shame and the pressure off of the work of helping him thrive in a world where people are programmed differently from him.

Whether or not your life is touched by Asperger’s Syndrome, it is impossible to read the book and not be touched by David Finch’s journey.

Dessert Without Drama-Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake

Many of you that know me, might know that I love my slow cookers.  All three of them.  I typically use them to make sauce, chili, or beer and onion chicken, but I keep seeing slow cooker desserts online and decided I had to try one.

I picked Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake from Recipe Shoebox, who found it in a Betty Crocker Book.   This cake was very easy to make, and super delicious.  The hardest part was waiting for the 30 minutes after cooking to end so we could dig in.  Vanilla ice cream is essential to this dish.

The only thing is this is an ‘eat it the night you make it recipe’ as I am not a big fan of nuking cake.

I made this in my 2qt slow cooker.  You need to use the small one for  the recipe as printed, otherwise the cake will be dry and you won’t get the sauce.

Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake

10-15 minutes prep time
2-2 1/2 hours cook time

The Cake
1 c flour (I snuck in whole wheat flour & I bet Gluten Free would be fine)
1/2 c sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c milk
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 package chocolate chips (6oz) I added more
1/2 c chopped nuts (optional)

The Saucy Part
1 c brown sugar
1/4 c cocoa powder
2 c hot water (If I was making this for adults, I would probably swap out a little water for kahlua)

SUPPLIES: Cooking Spray, 2 QT Slow Cooker, Mixing Bowl, 4 Cup Measuring Cup, Spatula, dry ingredient measuring cup, measuring spoons.

How To

1. Spray the inside of your slow cooker with non stick spray or rub butter all around inside the bowl.

2. Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

3. Stir in the milk, oil, vanilla until smooth. At this point you can add chocolate chips/and or nuts.

4. Spread the batter evenly in the crock pot.

5. Meanwhile, heat up the water in a microwave safe measuring cup (4 cups size or bigger). [Takes 3-4 minutes]

6. Add the brown sugar and the cocoa powder and stir until smooth. You may need to use a whisk or fork to get out the     lumps of sugar.

7. Pour the liquid mixture carefully and evenly over the top of the cake batter in the crockpot.

8. Cover with the lid and turn the slow cooker on high for 2-2 1/2 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean. Then turn off the slow cooker. The longer you wait to serve this, the thicker the sauce will get.

You MUST serve this with the sauce.  Its completely essential.