Showing posts from November, 2012

Oh my.....

So yesterday I had to go to yet another government office to get paperwork filled out, approved and sent back to another government office. And all the government offices that I have been to this month have security that rival TSA. What the hell has happened to this country??? I mean really, why would terrorists take out the SSA?

But anyways, as I was waiting for my number to be called--this gem (and a few others) popped up on the screen. Patty Duke and George Takei in a PSA. I couldn't decide if it was cool, corny, or creepy. What do you think?

Watch all of them here.
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29 Days of Thanks

All rolled into one.

A few things are coming together and I can breathe a little easier. Being on the verge of an anxiety attack for almost two weeks, I could feel some of the tension leave. And then I literally took a deep breathe after a huge "Whoosh!" from holding it. I thought that kind of stuff only happened in books.

I'm not out of the dark yet, but there seems to be a light at the end of this very long and very dark tunnel.

Wordless Wednesday: Stress Relief


Menu Plan Monday: Clean out the Fridge

Well, the first holiday feast is over, the leftovers are almost completely gone (enough turkey left for one more sandwich) and I have $40 left in my grocery budget. It's going to be interesting this week.

Luckily, chicken and fish come in big bags, so I have breasts, thighs, salmon and pollack. And my daughter doesn't mind a little variety. It's easier to make sure the food doesn't go to waste when I have her input.

Monday: Chicken Curry with potatoes and spinach
Tuesday: Cajun Salmon  with rice pilaf and steamed veggies
Wednesday: Baked Parmesan Alaskan Pollack
Thursday: Chicken Broccoli Casserole
Friday: Leftovers (if there are any, I've gotten better at cooking the right portions). If not, Quesadillas
Saturday: Chili (beans only)
Sunday: Breakfast for dinner

Thanks to for hosting

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Sick with worry

Chronic, dull low back pain.
Lack of focus. I really need to get my mind off my situation, but I feel that if I don't work tirelessly to solve it, I will have failed myself and my daughter. I know there comes a point where you can't do anymore than what's already been done, but I'm not sure if I've reached that point. I have this nagging feeling that I missed something, overlooked something, didn't do something right. It's extremely stressful. And distracting. And emotionally draining. Or maybe I feel like crap because I'm coming down with something. Time for some tea.

Really getting inside my head

I've been asked, "What is your inspiration for blogging?"

To be honest, sometimes there is just so much in my head that I need an outlet before it explodes (or I do)--and writing is that outlet.

I've always wanted to be a writer. In third grade, I wrote a sequel to The Secret of Nimh and tried writing my own version of the Laura Ingalls Wilder stories. Turns out I'm a better editor. But I still need to write to get my voice heard, even if it's just by me.

I've been journaling since age 12 at the recommendation of a counselor. I wasn't adjusting well to my parents' divorce, puberty, and everything else a 12-year-old introvert goes through. My father saw that since I wouldn't actually talk to someone about what was going on in my head (If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all!), I needed a constructive outlet before I did something drastic. I still have that journal and the many others that came after.

With my first co…

Who Says?

In reality, I'm the only one who says.

Sometimes I need to make the voices in my head shut up. They are stressing me out and making me focus on the negative instead of the positive. And I really need to focus on the positive right now.
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Chef Mickey Parmesan Potatoes

My daughter declared these the absolute best mashed potatoes she has ever had. So of course I had to get the recipe. I think these will replace garlic mashed potatoes as the Thanksgiving staple.

Chef Mickey's Creamy Parmesan Mashed PotatoesRecipe from Chef Mickey's Official Photo folder

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Yield: 8-12 servings

8 cupspeeled and diced Idaho potatoes1.5 cupsheavy cream (or half & half)1/2 cup butter1 cupgrated Parmesan cheese1 tablespoonKosher salt1/2 teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper Cooking Directions
Boil potatoes until fork tender, about 30 minutes. Drain potatoes and place in large mixing bowl (or reuse pot) Heat cream and butter in saucepan over low heat until butter is melted and warm. Add warm cream and butter mixture to potatoes. Add Parmesan cheese. Mash (or beat with a mixer) until all ingr…

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Not everyone in my immediate circle is a fan of sweet potatoes, though I am slowly wearing them down. As a compromise, two years ago I made my first cheesecake -- pumpkin flavored! At the time, I took lots of pictures because I meant to blog it.

Well, I'm finally getting around to that.

Pumpkin Cheesecake
Recipe by Adapted from Pillsbury Classic Cookbook #344 pg. 73
Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total time: 8 hours 40 minutes
Yield: 16 servings
Calories per serving: 440
Fat per serving: 28g
2 cupscinnamon graham crackers1/4 butter, melted Filling 4 (8oz) packagescream cheese, softened1.5 cupsgranulated sugar4eggs1 cupcanned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)2 teaspoonspumpkin pie spice3/4 teaspoonground cardamom or allspice Cooking Directions CrustHeat oven to 300 degrees F. Butter (or spray) 9-in springform pan. Warp foil around pan to catch drips. In a small bowl, mix crust ingredients. Press mixture into bottom and up the side to 1-inch…

Sweet Potato Pie

This isn't quite the recipe that I made growing up, but it's pretty darn close. And I get to use less sugar than the original. 
Sweet Potato Pie Ingredients 1lb sweet potatoes (orange flesh not yellow, might be labeled yams) 1/2 cup butter softened 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed 1/2 cup milk 2 eggs 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (or to taste) 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (or to taste) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 (9in) unbaked pie crust Directions Peel sweet potatoes, cut into large chunks and boil for 30 minutes or until soft.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Drain sweet potatoes, then break apart. Add butter and mix well. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, spices, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.  Pour filling into pie crust. 
Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool before serving. Whip cream is optional. Pin It

Menu Plan Monday: Fall Foods

Well, it's autumn here in SoCal, and that generally means that the weather can't make up it's mind from one day to the next. Rainy and cold, rainy and warm, almost 80 ... I long for the days where I can wear boots and sweaters without wondering if I am going to create a personal sauna by being overdressed.

This past weekend was on the chilly side, so it got me to thinking about fall foods. I usually make a lot of soup and casseroles this time of year. This being Thanksgiving week, I get to cook less, and more. This Thanksgiving will be the smallest I have ever cooked for. Ever. Just two people. It seems ... wrong. Onto the menu!

Monday: Broccoli Cheese Soup
Tuesday: Baked Salmon or Chicken Chili
Wednesday: Alaskan Pollak with Black Bean Compote
Thursday: Thanksgiving! Turkey, Bacon Roasted Potatoes & Aspragus, Cranberry Apricot Relish with Ginger & Orange Zest, biscuits, sweet potato pie -- the turkey and sweet potato pie will be my usual recipes (I'll post those…

Time to Kick My Ass

I came across this on Pinterest, and since I have a yoga mat, a jump rope, and lots of time on my hands, I might as well work on dropping 40lbs (I'm down to 176 as of last week!).

For those of you who lost count, I started getting serious about my weight when I hit 200 lbs. It's been a long and arduous trek getting to my goal weight, with many stops and starts. Oddly enough, I lose the most weight when I am unemployed, I'm still trying to figure that one out.

The Workout Pick a form of cardio you can do for two minutes at an all-out pace. Rich's preferred activity? Jumping rope. It's an incredibly effective cardiovascular workout that can be done almost anywhere, plus it's a killer calorie burner (according to the National Institutes of Health, jumping rope can burn up to 750 calories per hour). It also helps the routine move fluidly—it's faster and easier to drop the rope and hit the mat than wait for the treadmill to come to a complete stop, walk back over…

LEGO® KidsFest Announces 2013 Tour Dates

Southern California just isn't cool enough it seems. But for the rest of the U.S. -- get ready, get set, BUILD!

Giant Family Expo Kicks Off Fifth Year of National Tour Richmond, Virginia:  February 15 - 17Louisville, Kentucky:  April 5 - 7 Houston, Texas:  May 17 - 19Phoenix, Arizona:  July 12 - 14San Jose, California:  August 30 - September 1Portland, Oregon:  October 11 - 13 Hartford, Connecticut:  December 6 - 8  Ready your building skills! The LEGO KidsFest, a nationally-traveling giant LEGO expo, is coming to a city near you!  This interactive LEGO extravaganza brings all of the creative hands-on, minds-on fun of LEGO building and experiences together in an activity- and entertainment-packed family event for children of all ages and builders of all skills and interests. Among the many LEGO attractions, families will find: LEGO Model Gallery: dozens of life-sized models made entirely from LEGO bricksLEGO Master Builders: live demonstrations and activities from the crew who get p…

Happy Halloween!

Groovie Goolies Monster Mash Music Video - YouTube: ""

My daughter refused to be photographed this year, but she was a ninja. Her best friend was Katara. She had fun trick-or-treating and is back in time to get a decent night's sleep. Part of me wishes that California could have rescheduled it like New Jersey. But it's over and done with and she's happy.
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