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Trying All Things Pinterest 

According to my Pinterest page I have over 2600 pins.  And while Emmy and her obsession with puppies in costumes, fancy cakes & Betsey Johnson is responsible for a lot of the pins- a bunch of them are on me so I figure it’s time to try some out.

1st- Getting Rid of Gunk in the sink.

The kids bathroom sink gets a little gross as they stink at rinsing after brushing their teeth.  I needed to clean it and looked to Pinterest for this solution.

http://askannamoseley.com/2011/07/unclog-sink-drains-remove-odors/
Have to say it worked like a charm.  Easy to do & did not need a hose or special equipment.

So now I only have about 2000+ more to check out so watch this space.

Paleo Without Pity: Gluten-Free High Protein Fudge Bites

I appear to be back.  With my recent downsizing I appear to have 5 free minutes on my hands so I thought I would dust off the old blog.   

I went to see a nutrionist a few weeks ago to help me lose weight and improve my performance at Cross-Fit, but if we are going to be totally honest, from my run times, to my pull up attempts, I would be a lot better at things if there was less of me to move around.  I am doing about 75-80% of her meal plan, and have been adopting the different components slowly to try and make them stick.  

I did the LuRong Challenge back in the fall, and I did lose weight but it was too much of a change from my regular eating patterns, too soon and too intense to be sustainable.

The two changes I seem to have gotten down is the veggie/protein/complex carb lunch, and the post workout recovery meal.  Post workout recovery food has always been a challenge because I am not a big fan of protein shakes.  Or to be more accurate, I do like protein shakes, but only when you doctor them to the point, where its a Frosty with Protein in it.

Once of my recovery options is to mix 4 oz of mashed sweet potato with 2 scoops of protein powder.  1st I made a fudgy-brownie thing with it, but then I thought I would pop it in muffin tins and bake it.  EUREKA!  This ends up being delicious, and since I use mini-muffin tins, its also easy to eat while I am cooling down or driving home from the 5:30am class.

This recipe gives me 24 mini-muffins, and I eat 4 as a post work out meal, so I get six days of post workout yummies from this.

Gluten-Free High Protein Fudge Bites:

12oz Mashed Sweet Potatoes

6 scoops UMP Chocolate Protein Powder

Water

Mix the sweet potatoes and protein powder together, adding enough water to make a thick brownie like batter

Spray mini muffin tins with coconut oil spray, drop batter into tins.

Cook on 425 for 10-12 minutes

Let cool and pop out.

I also think if you are really careful about mixing in the sweet potato you could feed these to a veggie hater and they would never know.

 

 

Paleo Without Pity- Pot Roast & Confessions

I decided to join the Lurong Paleo Challenge.  Why?  You could say because my sanity is in doubt, but really its because I am unhappy with how I look, despite the CrossFit, and I decided to step it up a bunch on the diet front.

And I like to be a Cheerful Carrie and not a Debbie Downer, but the past couple of days have been a real struggle for me.  I’ve been cranky, exhausted, and really fighting off the cravings.  The low point came this morning when I could not finish the WOD because I got dizzy.

I have been doing crossfit off and on for a year and a half and its the 2nd time I have not finished a WOD.  I usually don’t consider it as an option.

But thanks to my friends at the box for being supportive and Coach Carrie for making sure that I only saw one of her before I drove off, it was fine.

However, the morning was tough,  work was ultra stressful, and the little voice in my head said, “You know a nice calzone would fix everything.  Your headache would stop and you would be less tired, especially if you had a nice Coke Zero and a cookie with it.”

But I didn’t do it.  I felt like I would be letting myself down and my friends down, and I kept on thinking that if I make it through today, I will be fine, since this is the time I crashed and burned last time I went Very Low Carb.

So instead of the siren call of Calzone.  I had some pot roast I made in my crockpot on Monday.  I paired it with some grapefruit and avocado and all was right with the world.

Pot Roast

  •  2-3 lb chuck roast
  • salt and pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic,
  • 2 yellow onions, cut into rings
  • 6 carrots (use more- lots more) chopped into big mouth pieces
  • 1 Cup Beef Broth
  • Splash of Red Wine
  • Splash of Balsamic Vinegar
  • 8oz mushrooms

1. Season your roast with salt and pepper. Sear in a hot pan until browned on all sides. Add to a crock pot.

2. Add olive oil once around the pan, add onions, carrots and saute for 3 minutes, add garlic and saute for another minute, dump in crockpot.

3. Using the wine and a little of the beef broth to loosen up the yummy meat and onion bits at the bottom of the pan and pour over roast.

4. Add remaining broth and the splash of wine and balsamic

5. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.  If you are going to eat right away, add mushrooms for last 30 minutes of cooking, otherwise, add them while you are letting the roast cool.

 

 

 

 

 

2012 in review

I did not know WordPress did this and it is fabulous.  My blog has been in existence for less than a year, and with a blog-o-versary coming up and the end of the year, it is time to reflect.  Upon reflection it seems I need to blog more and get better about sharing the blog so people actually see it.

I am taking advantage of a quiet New Year’s Eve at home to get ahead on writing and scheduling some posts, including more recipes.  I figure I can post the recipes now, and then after I make the food, take some pictures and insert and then post.

I am also going to participate in the BlogHer NaBloPoMo prompts for January.  The theme is energy.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

So, Happy New Year to my family and friends old and new.  I hope that 2013 finds you full of joy and peace.

The Administravia of Adulthood

heard the word administravia on a job interview, and I am sure that this has been a popular term for years and I am hopelessly behind.  For those of you just as behind the times as me, administravia refers to annoying paperwork and forms that are a necessary evil as part of your work.

When I was in College, I did not have a lot of administravia, with the exception of homework. Twice a year I would fill out some paperwork, once a year do some taxes and fill out a financial aid form and occasionally attempt to balance my checkbook.  (Confession-I almost never did-Thankfully I kept enough track of things to almost never bounce a check.

Then Dave and I got married and we shared the paperwork responsibilities.  This was before the debit card and online banking was big so we wrote lots and lots of checks for everyday use and paying bills.

Now of course, if I write more than 3 checks in a month its a banner month, since not only can I set up for the bank to electronically pay the majority of my bills, I can set up Quicken to automatically record the payments.  In reality, with the exception of tax time, and open enrollment, we should really have a minimum of administravia in our lives.

Our move had lots of administravia with turning utilities on and off, and address changes and dealing with changing the cars over, but it was in a burst of work and we hopefully won’t have to go through it for a few years.

But we have children.  The administravia starts small, with some papers to get a birth certificate and a social security card.  Then if they go to daycare, there is some paperwork you fill out once a year to keep your information updated.

Then you have a second child, and they both hit school age.  Now it feels like we are constantly dealing with dittos, permission slips, multiple school registration forms, health forms, pick up and drop off forms.  There are fundraisers and school newsletters, school menus and other bits of paperwork that floats in and out of our house.

One year I saved all the catalogs I got between November 1st and Christmas.  It was 250.  I wonder if I saved every piece of paper sent home from school for a two month period, how much there would be.

What really amazes me is that with the internet and the prevalence of email, that I can’t receive all of this information electronically.  Why I can’t get a log on and password and fill out all of the paperwork online instead of trying to cram information into teeny tiny spaces.

However, since I have a few years before Dave and I have to deal with SAT sign ups and financial aid paperwork and college applications, I should probably enjoy the small administravia that I deal with now.

What about you?  Are you amazed by the amount of paperwork that you deal with?  Do you find that most of it is child and school related.  Does anyone have handwriting tiny and neat enough to fit in the little spots on the forms?

 

Why My Mom Should Have A Cooking Blog….And Yours Should Too!

My grandma Mary (so was my grandma Rose) was a wonderful cook, and while she made a wonderful Sunday gravy  (pasta sauce) and a tender pork roast, her most memorable dish was the Antipasto tray that she would do for family parties.  For those not Italian, a family party could be counted as any time you had more than eight related people in a room at one time, which could me a weekly event.

Anyway, I remember that  she would always save some olives for me to put on the tips of my fingers and then eat them of, after watching them glisten on my fingertips, like fake nails.  She would also have salami, tuna packed in olive oil, tomatoes, provolone cheese and…..  I can’t remember.  No one really can remember everything that was in the dish.  We also apparently never took a picture of the dish, and my grandmother passed away without telling us.

My mother is a fabulous cook.  Actually, all of the women in my family are fabulous cooks, and most of the men were not too bad either.  I remember my dad made awesome baked ziti.    I led such a sheltered existence that I didn’t realize that everyone did not know how to cook, until my parents took us to the house of one of their friends and we were served spaghetti with a sauce that tasted like ketchup and american cheese melted on the pasta. (Its been a few decades since I was served that and I still shudder at the memory)

But back to my mother.  Night after night she would put wonderful meals on the table.  In addition to pastas and sauce she would serve breaded fish fillets, chicken, pork chops in applesauce gravy,  homemade chicken soup, pot roast, sloppy joes in pita pockets and a hundred other tasty meals, that she would conjure up quickly each night.

Once I was married and cooking dinner, I asked her what cookbook she got her recipes from.  She looked at me, sniffed and said, “Recipes are for people who don’t know how to cook.”  And for her this is true.  She is an intuitive cook, using a recipe as a starting point for proportions perhaps, but usually went off on her own.

And this is wonderful, until you want to re-create that wonderful dish at home.  And she is a very generous and willing to give cooking advice.  However, when you ask her for the recipes, she starts with “Get a bunch of chicken cutlets, and the chicken broth in the can”  and you are sitting there thinking, ‘How many is a bunch, what sized can?  Low Sodium broth?  Will the world end if I use the stuff in the box?

And I find that after years of watching my mom cook has led me to be an intuitive cook.  I have cook books and recipes pinned and recipe cards, but unless I am baking, I very, very rarely make the recipe as it is written.  Sometimes its because I get distracted while cooking and I leave something out, but usually its because as I am tasting and smelling as I go, I adjust things.  Including recreating my favorite recipes of my mom’s even though they never taste exactly the same.

However, my love for intuitive cooking makes it difficult for people who like my cooking and want my recipes. I am happy to share, but when I started to discuss the process, I find that I give guidelines as opposed to specifics.   So, I now record the recipes on the blog and force myself to measure and time things.   I am hoping my kids appreciate this later on.

For me, a lot of my family memories are tied up with food.  I remember wonderful meals growing up.  And the funny thing, that even though a lot of popular Italian foods contain the same basic ingredients, I can’t pick up an Italian cookbook and recreate my family’s sauce.  Heck, my mom and her sister don’t even make the same sauce.

Now that I am getting older, I want to have those recipes to make for my children, and hopefully my grandchildren (way in the future) and have stories to tell them about my cousins, aunts, uncles and assorted relatives.  My mom’s bout with cancer 5 years ago, and the fact that several of my aunts on my father’s side are hitting their 80’s remind me that my time to collect these recipes/memories are slipping away.

Which is why my mom needs a blog.  This way her recipes are there for me and my brother, and the other people who love her food.

If you are reading this and it sounds familiar to you, then perhaps your mom should have a cooking blog too.

One thing I do have, and I am eternally grateful for is a video of my mom, aunt, daughter, cousin and brother all making Cavatelli.  My mom is the one in the purple apron.

It Gets Better…..But….

Logging into my email the other day, among the Linked-In Board notifications and job search related emails was a request from a member of my graduating class who wanted me to follow her on Schoolfeed.

This surprised me.  We were not friends.  We were not even friendly.

In fact she had made 7th grade a living hell for me. She was a Queen Bee, and I sadly was not even a Wannabe.  Slightly chubby, with my bad haircut, thick glasses and complete lack of knowledge for trendy fashions for 12-year-old girls, I might as well have had a bullseye on my back.  However, it was usually a kick me sign.

I was a friendly girl, and really naive and this was used against me.  I had my home ec projects mocked, and was pushed off the stool in art class.  I was shoved into lockers, tripped, pushed,  and my backpack was tossed into dumpsters.

Now she never laid a french manicured finger on me.  She did not have to.  She had her friends and the people who wanted to either curry favor or more likely, avoid being her next target do her dirty work for her.

Sometimes I was lucky and she and her friends would ignore me.  And more often I was not.  This girl would explain to me in detail how I was a loser, I was ugly, my friends were losers and that my social standing was so off the chart, that I wasn’t even on the chart.

The worst was when the time they pretended to be nice to me, and grateful for the friendship and the break in the teasing, I returned the friendship, only to have the things I told them used against me.

And this went on for a whole year.  I thought I would get a reprieve, after one of my friends told her mother how I was invited to a slumber party for a friend of mine and how my friend blindfolded me and the girl and her friends fed me dog food.  And then the following Monday in English class, she had written about it in her journal and read it aloud to the class.

My mom tried to help.  My parents offered to take me out and buy me the right clothes and get me the right haircut, but I knew that a pair of Guess Jeans from Lonny’s and a Bennetton rugby were not going to save me, (and I couldn’t imagine spending so much money on a pair of jeans) so I bought a Sweet Valley High Book and desperately imagined myself as a Wakefield Twin, even though I knew that I was really Enid Rollins, just without the substance abuse issue.

I don’t blame my teachers for not stopping things,  since the kids were good at hiding their tracks, and  there was not the hypersensitivity about bullying that there is now.

I just told my parents I was fine, and went about my business and never, ever complained. I knew that however bad they treated me, it would be worse if I said another word.  I immersed myself in drama club and stayed in my room, listened to records and read.

And now I am mostly grateful that the internet and Social Media did not exist back then.  I hate to think what cruelty and technology would have produced.

However 7th grade ended, and I was never in a class with that girl again.  Once I got to 8th grade, tormenting me seemed to have lost its fun, and I was left alone to hanging out with my friends at Hot Skates and listening to Madonna and Duran Duran.

I went through High School, and though I was never elected Class President or Homecoming Queen, I had a great time in the drama club, plenty of good friends to hang out with at lunch and on the weekends and usually had a boyfriend.  I went to college, met a wonderful man who after 20 years, two kids and more than one failed attempt at Weight Watchers, still grabs my ass every time it goes past him,  got a master’s degree and even achieved a decent level of success in my field.

I have friends and family who love me, and by any objective standard, I have a pretty good life.

It did get better and it does get better, but does it ever get better enough that you really, truly forget?

Yet when I see that name, I am transported back to the sad 12-year-old who couldn’t understand why people were so mean to her, when she never did anything mean to anyone else.

Her follow request sits unanswered in my mailbox, and while we had been friends on Facebook, I unfriended her, since I did not want to see her name on my wall. This might have been partially due to the fact that she did not end up as a lonely, bitter person with a miserable life, as I had been told by several well-meaning adults.

I debated writing this, because really what could come of it.  If I told her how mean she was to me, what was she going to do?  Apologize for something that happened nearly 30 years ago that she probably has no memory of?  Possibly tell me the compelling reasons she had for her cruelty?

Which also leads me to wonder, did she know what she was doing was wrong?  Did her parents know what kind of things she did?  Did they care?  So many questions, I do and don’t want the answers to.

To be honest, I’m still actually  kind of embarrassed that she still has any kind of power or influence over me.

I can her saying, “Poor widdle Maryrose, with her hurt feelings from things that happened back when Madonna was still relevant.”

After all, what happens in our middle school years is something we are supposed to get over.   I mean, we were kids and being cruel was just something we outgrew like neon socks and spiral perms.

I should just tell myself what I tell my son, when he complains about teasing, which is; “Sometimes people are just assholes and there is nothing you can do about it.  Just ignore them as best you can, and eventually they will move on.”

And that is what I should do.  I should just delete the request.  Or I could block her, but I feel that I have given her enough attention already.

Although I know she has children in or close to middle school, and I can’t help but wonder if the little bees did not fly far from the hive, and I should tell her how her actions affected me, so if her children are treating others the way she treated me, she might understand better what they are doing.

Or perhaps, she wouldn’t care.

Either way I have probably given the matter way more thought than it deserved, until I saw a post from a middle school friend of mine on Facebook complaining how people who made her life miserable are trying to friend her, and she wants nothing to do with them, and I remember that I was not alone then and I am not alone now.

So, to my fellow dorkarinas who spend their Friday nights in Middle School devouring Anne of Green Gables, what do you do now when a former tormenter tries to friend you.  Do you:

A. Friend them back, but feel kind of bad about doing it?

B. Ignore them

C. Block them

D. Block them, but tell them why 1st

E. Friend them, but only if they have miserable lives

Paleo Without Pity-Detox Tea

In additon to breakfast, another issue I have always had with Paleo (or any diet) is the copious amounts of water you are supposed to drink.  I will be really good about the 64oz of water for a few days, but then I fall back into old habits, because I get sick of drinking water.

And when I write that I feel like the whiniest bitch on the planet, since so much of the world can only dream of having an unlimited supply of clean, cool water.  (Note to self-next week gratitude journal).

So I still need to get the water in because it keeps me hydrated, flushes the system, aids weight loss and the other 8 billion reasons a person needs water.  So instead of water, I make myself detox tea.

I have a Mrs. Tea that I use, and for the amount of iced tea that I drink, it was really worth the $15 investment.  However, if you do not have an iced tea maker, just buy tea and follow the directions on the box.

This tea is so simple, its barely a recipe, more like instructions:

1. Prepare decaf green tea according to manufacture’s direction.  (I have used other types of tea- but green tea has some special weight loss property I hear about)

2. When preparing the pitcher of ice, add,
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1 lemon sliced
1 citrus fruit of your choice, sliced. (If using a grapefruit, use 1/2)

And thats it. Its quick and really delicious. I make a 3 qt pitcher and often finish it in a day.  And if you want to skip the detox affect and add some Absolut Limon or Citron, I’m not going to tell on you.

Paleo Without Pity-Breakfast Salad for One

When I started the Paleo diet my biggest challenge was breakfast.  My usual breakfast was usually pancakes, waffles, french toast or oatmeal with fruit.  I would also like regular toast.  These are all not allowed on Paleo, and I tired the subsitiutes and found them seriously lacking.

This means that  I usually alternate between scrambled eggs with veggies or plain greek yogurt with fruit. (I am on the side of Paleo that thinks a little dairy is ok.  With the exception of the plain greek yogurt, I mostly use cheese or butter as a condiment).

That being said, this can get a little old.  So I came up with a yummy breakfast salad.  As made this is quick, easy and vegan.  Also since the hubby and kids don’t enjoy greens, I make this salad for 1.

Breakfast Salad

Ingredients
Kale (I usually fill the bowl I am going to eat out of with kale until its overflowing)
Tablespoon of coconut or olive oil
100 Calorie pack of nuts (I’m using the almond walnut combo)
Small Apple
Tablespoon of dried cranberries (I use the fruit juice ones)

Instructions
1. Heat oil in pan, add Kale, cook until Kale is wilted (3-5 Min)
2. On last minute of cooking-add nuts.
3. Chop Apple
4. Add Kale and nuts to bowl, top with chopped apple sprinke with dried cranberries

If you wanted to add more protein, you could cook some bacon and saute the kale in the bacon, or after you put the kale in the dish, use the pan to scramble an egg.  Also, this is good with some chopped chicken or sauteed shrimp.