Monday, April 23, 2012

We had the honor yesterday to attend a dear, dear friends wedding. Everything was just perfect, I mean, absolutely freakin' perfect! So welcoming, no pretention, and thoroughly enjoyable... everything you want in a wedding! My husband got a beautifully lit shot of the cake... I think it is stunning!  Congratulations to my lovely friends, and thank you for including us in this most special day. Love you both.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

French Onion Soup... apparently, too many onions...


French Onion Soup
Simple to make, elegant presentation, and divinity in a cup!





Nah, no way. The Onion count was absolutely perfect (despite what my peasant husband says!)

Had a small harvest this week of onions, so it isn't odd the craving for French Onion Soup popped up!




Ingredients:
5 medium onions
3 Tbsp butter
1 tsp flour
6 cups beef broth (homemade would taste best, but any will do!)
1/4 cup very dry white wine or vermouth
3 Tbsp sherry or cognac (optional... although I don't recommend leaving it out!)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 Tbsp grated Gruyère cheese
French loaf, toasted (sliced or torn) Or used croutons or whatever bread you have on hand! Tonight, I used toasted wheat slices.


Heat oven to 400º or broil.
Slice the onions very thin.

In a large pot, sauté the onions in the butter until lightly browned.


Mix in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Stir in the beef broth, wine and Sherry or Cognac. Season to taste with pepper. Gently simmer the soup for 15-20 minutes.

Ladle the soup into oven safe crocks. Top with toasted bread or croutons. Place cheese (sliced or shredded) on top of bread. Put crocks into a roasting pan and place in oven as high up as possible near coils. Keep an eye on it, checking it every 1-2minutes. If you have it on broil, you can't peek too often! When cheese topping is bubbling and starting to brown, remove pan. Let the crocks cool down until you can touch them safely. DIG IN!

This was absolutely exceptional!

Makes 8 servings. 5 net grams of carbohydrate per serving.
This is a tweak of several recipes... it has taken me a few years to get it exactly where I wanted it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Bon Appetit!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Grilled Cheese a la Teddy

In my house, the unfamiliar is just scary when it comes to food and my kids. My oldest especially finds comfort in repetition. Since he is a big fan of toast, we call grilled cheese sandwiches "cheese toast". We have toast, cheese toast, french toast, garlic toast... you get the trend here, right?

Tonight, grilled cheese a la Teddy. Somehow, if one of the kids has their name in the dish, it makes it much more pleasing. Today, we start out with a mixture of mozzarella, colby-jack, cherry tomato's and some greens. Both the tomato's and greeens were fresh from our home garden. I used beet tops, but spinach, kale or any green would do.




I can hear some of you right now, "grilled cheese??", yes, grilled cheese. With the addition of fruit (tomatos) and veggies (greens) it is a great way to get the extras into your kidlets! Now, I don't go crazy with the veggies, because son number 2 will have a cow if he finds too much stuff mixed in his grilled cheese.




I am lucky, to have this eager guy to try out this creation... and he loved it! Son number 1, not so much, but he ate half. Husband gobbled it up! Over-all... a big success!



Next time, maybe I will shove some brussel sprouts in there... or not!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The time is always right to do what is right. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

When do you stand up and be brave, and when do we step back and let someone else take control, or responsibility? Wed night was one of those moments for me, and I stood back and let someone else take control. Now, I am questioning if I should report an incident to campus police.

During a film in class Wed night, when the Professor was out making copies, a student decided to answer her phone. Loudly, she held an extended conversation with a coworker, interrupting everyone's film experience. After not hearing the man across the room asking her to take it outside, he elevated his voice and added some profanities. THAT got her attention, and she let the fullness of her fury rage verbally into him. After demanding he treat her like "an 'effin lady", threatening to take out her mace, and hurling multiple insults at him in regards to HIS rudeness, she stormed out of class to finish her "important" phone call.

The young "lady" came back after a few minutes, hurled a few more insults and light threats, and then the Professor returned. No one said a thing. No one informed the teacher of the very uncomfortable incident that had occurred seconds earlier.
No one reported the inappropriate behavior with her verbal threats to campus police either.

I feel WE the class, and myself personally, have let the bully win. Why was I too afraid to report this incident, or at the very least try to speak some common sense to this girl? Perhaps she didn't realize how loud and intrusive her conversation was? How have I become what I cringe at when I watch the news, that is, a onlooker, afraid to get involved?

The most ironic thing is we were watching a documentary on Charles Hamilton Houston, a black lawyer who helped play a role in dismantling the Jim Crow laws, a role model for one and all on "doing the right thing". Houston put right before his own safety & comfort, and led the way for others to have the courage to follow. In my fear, I didn't see the lesson right in front of my eyes.

"We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, March 4, 2011

My local bux

Went into my favorite Starbucks today. I worked there a few years ago, when I returned to the company after a small leave. I returned as a part-time barista after being a manager for 13 years. It is a great little store, in a great neighborhood.
BUT... the store is not (according to the manager) performing as well as it should. They are currently number 94 out of 95 stores.
I can tell you one reason... today, I went in and purchased a Grande Americano and a Cheese Danish, warmed please.
Do you want to know what it cost me? $1.38 or something really close to that. Why? The manager likes me, and gave me his discount. Now, I always try to refuse, but he just waves his hand and ignores me. The problem is, several of his shift supervisors do the same thing, and a couple of the baristas too. Now, if they are doing it for me, they MUST be doing it for others. These things add up, not to mention, it just isn't the right thing to do...Sigh...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

You Are What You Eat.

You Are What You Eat

I have been thinking a lot about the food we eat.
How many times have we been told "you are what you eat". Well, the afterthought today comes in two different forms.
It is either, "yes, you are what you eat, except when it comes to adding hormones or genetically modifying foods" or "yes, you are what you eat, and everything out there will kill you!!!!".

Now, I like to think of myself as a level headed kind of person, I can be very skeptical about the "cause du jour".
However, with all the increases in obesity, autoimmune disorders, diseases, learning disabilities and Autism, it is hard not to look at food, and the changes in it from one generation to the next, as a possible (and I stress POSSIBLE) cause. Is it really a stretch to think that something we put inside our bodies on a daily basis, several times a day, could be causing some of the problems many, dare I say most of us are confronting? Also, I don't think proposing solutions to return to a more natural way of eating is radical.

What I do know is we have an entire generation of parents asking themselves did I cause this ________ (insert you or your childs issue here) to occur in my kid or in myself? Am I just a weak person / parent? What am I doing wrong??? Why was it so much easier for our parents?

I have begun the process of educating myself to what has happened to our food, since food is one of the easiest things to control in our families lives - if we have a spine, that is! ;)

This month, I have been trying to focus on hormones that are added to our chicken, beef and pork, to increase the amount of food that comes from each animal.
We have the food industry and federal gov't on one side, assuring us these hormones are safe, both for the animal and the consumer (um, that is you and me).
On the other side, we have doctors, vegetarians, animal rights groups, child advocates, etc. etc, all telling us it is not safe for human consumption.

Interestingly, the Pill, a hormone used to prevent pregnancy, has a warning label all over it. We know it wreaks havoc on women's bodies. Other hormones, whether used to minimize the effects of menopause or to increase masculine features in men, also have warnings all over them. Logically, how can I come to any other conclusion, that these hormonal additives must not be good for us? I know medicine and hormones can be transferred through breast milk, because I was not even allowed to breast feed either of my sons, due to medications I was on. Am I to believe that these hormones are not transferred through our foods to us? If I am missing something, please tell me. I know I will get arguments that the "evidence" just isn't there to support my conclusion, since the FDA says it is safe. I wonder if the FDA thinks that it is safe or just safe ENOUGH? The second thought I have is "is it necessary?" For me, it isn't necessary to increase production ( and therefore profit ) when it may be causing harm to humans. A conflicting concern I have heard is this: removal of hormones will decrease production, which will lead to less people having access to animal protein? That is something which requires more research, but raising bountiful and healthy animals was occurring before the introduction of growth hormones, so I don't see this as a realistic concern. I would not want a result of any campaign to be more deaths of humans, as in the case of the banning of DDT and the rise in Malaria deaths in Africa, and all over the world.

I have a simple proposal. Lets work together, and pick one type of meat: chicken? ( I am open to any suggestions ) Get our friends and neighbors to write letters to Wal-Mart, Safeway, Costco, Kroger, etc. expressing our concern and unwillingness to continue feeding our families chicken with hormones. This is exactly the type of action that led Wal-Mart to remove rbST from its Wal-Mart branded milk. Other dairy's (not all) soon followed suit, PROVING, you can be profitable and give customers what they want. For me, this is NOT about destroying Corporations. I want Corporations to be successful, I want shareholders to earn, but I do want them to earn responsibly.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Back to School... not just for the kiddo's

Today, I registered my oldest for kindergarten.
Then, I went down to the local Community College to finish up my registration to return to college. It was a slight euphoria mixed with a bit of fear. Dang, I felt old! lol
I found myself lost a couple of times, but mustered up the courage to ask for help a couple of times. I am definitely a different person this time around.
Felt a bit better when I was able to assist someone slightly older then me!
Can't wait to reach my goal, well, once I figure it out.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I officially turned into "my mom" today...sigh...

I am so embarrassed right now. Getting ready for bed, peeling off the clothes for the day, and I just noticed armpit stubble. Now, ordinarily, this wouldn't be a crisis, but today, I went sleeveless!!! Also, I was with friends today. What are the odds that I didn't raise my arms ONCE around them??? Slim to none, right?
I wish I was Superman, so I could fly around the world to turn back time. Sigh.
I suppose, in reality, I would save my Superman power for something more important, like preventing a death.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dr's aren't always right! The photo evidence!


Of course, the Dr. found my little wall "amusing".

Dr's aren't always right!

So, took my 4 year old to the Pediatrician yesterday, for his 4 year check up.
At the end of the visit, she mentioned "well, he only grew 1/2 an inch this year". Ordered about a million tests for him, meanwhile, I am freaking out on the inside. Just thinking, omg, preemie, seizures, and now he is going to be a "little person".... on and on, you know, the way moms do.

Took teddy to school, and continued freaking out internally for the next 3 hours. When I finally got him home, I thought, well, let me just double check it, against the measurements I take every few months.

Well, it turns out, according to my records, Teddy grew 1 and 1/4 inch, and that was in 8 months, not a year...
so , I photographed the wall of markings, which I have been marking up for the past 4 years, when I remember... and emailed it to the doctor.

My friend just pointed out to me the Dr. probably is circulating this picture around her staff, saying, "look what this nutty mom emailed me." lol... she is probably right, but I am MORE right!

Always think, and rethink what your doctors tell you.
And try to find humor in everything.

Danielle

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pumpkin Carving, continued...

I have 2 pumpkins this year. One for the big kids and one for the little kids.
The big kids are having a Patriotic theme, and the little kids, well, a little kid theme.

Stars are done... Stripes are next!

To be continued.

Pumpkin Carving Day!

Wish me luck, as I really need it.
Every year, my pumpkins come out looking like the pumpkin that needs to ride the "short yellow bus".

To template or not to template? Seems like cheating to use a template, but it defintely seems better then being the laughing stock of the neighborhood.

I will post pictures when my "masterpieces" are finished.

Monday, September 28, 2009

What kind of blog is this?

I have contemplated for a while now, what to post, and what not to post.
Do I alienate friends and family by posting what I see in the world, or do I just keep it whimsical and lite?

Life hasn't brought me much whimsical and lite lately. Neither has the world stage.
Still, gonna try to keep it whimsical and lite, with the occasional outrage.

Unless...YOU have a better idea!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Order in life

So I have noticed some things as I prepare my daily cup of coffee. I have switched to splenda from sugar, and on certain days, I treat myself to their individual flavored packs, the mocha one being my favorite. What I have noticed is that it is very important I follow the same order, or my coffee doesn't come out right. The proper order would be to pour the coffee into the mug, add the splenda pack, finally add cream and stir.

One morning, I decided to start with my cream, add the splenda pack, then the coffee and stir. I got these little clumps of splenda throughout my coffee. Blech! I still drank it, but it just wasn't quite as good as it could have been.

Makes me grateful for how my life has turned out, ups and downs and all.
I am glad I followed a certain order to my life.
I think it has made it sweeter.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

It was a Disneyland PERFECT day!

Today was perfect.
I woke up for the first time in weeks and actually WANTED to get up!
No pain, no exhaustion. Energy has been a foreign concept to me lately.

My first words to my husband?
"Can we go to Disneyland today?"

We are fortunate to have passports, and the boys are still free admission, so off we went. Upon entering the parking area, you could feel the excitement in the boys.
They definitely knew WHERE we were.

First we rode the train, and somehow, we had diaper failure. Thanks Teddy. No matter, I was prepared, and we were off! The boys always eat well when we are at Disneyland for some reason (probably because it is soooo affordable!) and we don't discourage it. When you have one child with eating issues, you are always happy to see him eat well.
Today was no exception, and when you get a finicky eater to eat a carrot, well you know life is good then!

The weather was also on our side. Since the day started with rain, it is always a gamble to head down to Anaheim, but we took the chance anyway. We arrived to brilliant blue skies and a light breezy air.

After 3 hours of rides, snacks and lots of laughs we headed home.
No complaints, no crying.
Boys go to bed no problem. Mom & Dad head to church and even though the mass was in Spanish, everything was perfect.

I know this isn't the most exciting post ever, but I feel truly blessed to have such a fun and easy day. Thanks for the break, God!


Tomorrow, when it isn't so easy, I will have to remember to be thankful for today.