Month: April 2012

Special Needs Ryan Gosling-How I Got Here


Before I get into my Ryan picture today, I realize that no one knows why I participate.  I’m working on getting my blog up and running and haven’t gotten into the rythym of posting yet, so my story has yet to be told.

I’m not just here because I love Sunday and I think she is made of awesome-(she is!).  My son was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome last year at age 11. It took me the better part of a year and I don’t even want to think about how many phone calls (55-according to my spreadsheet) to get the insurance to approve a neuropysch to do the testing, but it got done.

I had hoped that I would just be told that my child was simply so brilliant that his issues were due to boredom with his peers and school work.  I am still working on getting my arms around everything.  Honestly I am still not sure if I’m even spelling Asperger’s right most of the time without the aid of the spellcheck.

I do have to thank Sunday, and the rest of you.  I enjoy reading your stories, and I especially enjoyed DM’ing Sunday when I was at an Asperger Parent Meeting about transitioning schools and having her send me a link to the Maryland IEP rules in seconds.

I am learning and trying to appreciate the journey.  There are more stories to come as I am ready to tell them, but for now, onto the Ryany goodness.





Paleo Without Pity-Slow Cooker Roasted Artichokes

Artichokes are super good for you, with a whole (very filling) medium artichoke having 64 calories, 10 whopping grams of fiber, with no fat and 3 grams of protein.  However, ordering the “Fire Roasted Artichoke” from the Cheesecake Factory is a caloric nightmare, and even the “Light” artichoke is not good for you either.

I usually roast artichokes in the oven, throwing it in to slow roast with some meat.  If you do want to use the oven, its 75-90 minutes at 425.  However, with the warmer weather approaching I don’t want to have the oven on heating up my kitchen.  The slow cooker can be invaluable at times like these.

Artichokes are in season now.  When at the grocery store you can pick the freshest artichokes by squeezing the “leaves”  Really fresh artichokes will squeak when squeezed.

Since I am the only person in the family who eats artichokes I used my smallest slow cooker (I have 3-don’t judge).  However you could make this for a crowd and it would not take a lot of work.
2 cloves of peeled garlic per choke
1/2 lemon per choke
olive oil
sea salt (Optional)

To Roast:

1. For each artichoke, cut off the stem and 1/3 of the top.  Trim the tops of the other leaves with a scissor
3. Shove the garlic cloves inside the top of the garlic clove
4. Oil or spray the foil with cooking spray, place the artichoke in the middle
5. Drizzle oil on the choke, sprinkle with salt and squeeze the lemon 1/2 on it.
6. Wrap the choke in the foil, sealing the foil and place in the oven
7. Cook for 4-6 hours on high 7-9 hours on low.
8. Remove and when the foil is cool enough to handle, remove foil and serve.

When you roast the artichokes they come out tender and delicious and you do not need any butter or garlickly mayo sauce.


Paleo Without Pity-Mango Curry Chicken and Tostones

I saw this recipe in Clean Eating Magazine with Beef and Peanuts, but I subbed in chicken and almonds, since I sometimes find stir fry beef to be a little chewy.

This meal is delicious and pretty easy to prepare.  With the exception of the plantains, I had everything in my freezer or pantry already.

Mango Curry Chicken and Tostones (Serves 4)

Mango Curry Chicken

1 teaspoon of olive or coconut oil.  (Add a little more or cooking spray if the pan looks dry)

1 large or two small yellow onions chopped

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces

3 Gloves Garlic, minced (I use a press)

1 C Frozen Mango

2 teaspoons curry powder

2 T sliced almonds

Sea Salt and Pepper to Taste


1 T olive or coconut oil

2 yellow plantains cut into 1/4 in pieces



Heat oil in pan and cook onion for 5 minutes or until translucent

Add chicken and garlic cook for 5 minutes or chicken looks mostly cooked through

Add curry and mango, cook for five minutes or until the mango is warm

Remove from heat and add almonds, taste and adjust salt and pepper, cover to keep warm until serving


Heat oil in separate pan, place tostones in pan with room for them to breathe and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Using Tongs, turn over, careful not to touch the hot tostone with your fingers, there by teaching your six year old new and exciting words.

Cook for another 2-3 minutes, please on paper towel to blot gently and serve with chicken.

Note: If using beef, drain in a colander before adding the mango.

This was a great dish.  I had it done from start to finish in less than 1/2 an hour.

Next time I make it I might serve it with a spinach salad or a touch of avocado to mellow the curry.

I did not attempt to serve this to my kids as they are not big curry lovers.  I also find that while I love and appreciate the value of a full family dinner, once a week its nice to feed the kids a little earlier and have a peaceful meal with just my husband.  Its nice to eat at a relaxing pace without having to worry about correcting table manners or watching people make faces when unfamiliar food is served.







Special Needs Ryan Gosling-Double The Ryan

Happy Friday Everyone!  Or for me its an Uber Friday since my sweet boy has spring break next week, and I have a three day weekend.

So- in honor of that, its double the Ryan for your viewing pleasure, plus a special friend.

Not only is Ryan thoughtful, but he has his priorities straight.

And because some weeks, we all need some extra help….

A little extra back up never hurt anyone.  Amirite?

Happy Friday everyone!

Paleo Without Pity-Spicy Hungarian Beef Stew

We have been Paleo for a month now, and still working on finding yummy dishes to have for dinner, that make nice leftovers for me to have for lunch, since salads will get pretty old, pretty soon for me.

While persuing Stephanie O’Dea’s More Make it Fast, Cook it Slow, I found lots of great recipes, that with minor adjustments could be Paleo. (She also has an awesome blog, A Year of Slow Cooking.  Since her family follows a gluten free diet, her recipes have done a lot of the heavy lifting, Paleo wise.  You just have to work around the dairy (if you are dairy free paleo) and the suggested sides.

I made this awesome beef stew the other day, with just a few adjustments.  It was easy, made the house smell WONDERFUL, and best of all, delicious and very microwavable the next day.

Spicy Hungarian Beef Stew (Serves 6)

3 lbs stew meat

2 chopped, seeded green peppers

2 onions, peeled & rough chopped

4 peeled garlic cloves

2 chilies in adobo

1 6oz can tomato paste

2 teaspoons kosher salt (optional)

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup water

Place stew meat in 6qt  slow cooker

Combine all other ingredients in food processor or blender (do in batches if you have to) and pulse until well mixed and a sauce forms.

Pour sauce over meat

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until meat can be cut with a spoon.


Hubby and the kids loved it and it microwaved really well the next day.  It took  me less than 1o minutes to get it into the slow cooker and the house smelled AMAZING.

Also, no one had any clue that there were green peppers in there.