Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Menu Monday

Gonna have to start calling this Menu Tuesday since I can't seem to get it posted on time :(.
I made a wonderful sausage/spinach quiche for breakfast this morning. It's after one and I'm still full. Think I will keep these made up in the freezer so I can just pour them in my pie plate and bake, without all the prep that goes into them.

Steak and eggs with sauteed mushrooms

Tortilla Soup with low carb tortilla chips, shredded lettuce, cheese and sour cream

Apricot porkchops
Sugar snap peas and cream peas for the carbivores
Broccoli or salad

Chili with all the fixings

Grilled chicken
Spinach casserole (eggs, cheese, etc)
Tomato slices

Chicken Potpie

Not sure yet but I'm hoping left overs If not an impossible pie with Carbquik

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Late for Menu Monday...

Seems I can't get my menu's posted most of the time, even when I manage to get them written out. But I'm beginning to think there is something genetically wrong with my biological clock. Not only can I not sleep on a normal schedule but I just can't seem to start the week on a Monday either.
So here on Wednesday, I remember to post my menu's and this time I'm going to go ahead and post them even if it's not Monday.

Pork Fried Rice
Take out, not what I planned but what we did.
Hamburger steak
chili beans
stuffed zucchini
Monterey Chicken ( Marinaded then grilled, topped with bacon, lc bbq sauce monterey cheese)
sauteed squash
black beans
Pork with orange glaze (last 3rd of the pork loin from last week, that I froze)
green beans
dream field pasta with sour cream and green onions
Moist Chicken legs (kind of a bbq chicken cooked in the crockpot)
cole slaw
cauliflower salad
Beef and chicken Fajitas
with shredded lettuce, sour cream, cheese and lc tortilla

Friday, September 4, 2009

Cooking for the week

I just love foods that will easily do double duty. So this week I made lasagna roll ups for dinner one night and made three extra with just the cheese to go with Parmesan pork chops later in the week.
I thawed a pork loin roast and cut the three pork chops I need off it then split it in half, rubbed with a bit of sage and roasted it. Half went in the freezer for later and half got chopped, along with all the veggies needed for pork fried rice. I went ahead and made a cup of brown rice and the sauce too. So that all went in smaller bags and then in a large zipper back in the back of the fridge until needed.
Tomorrow I'll be pounding out chicken breast for Monterrey chicken so I'll go ahead and pound out the pork chops and get them breaded in Parmesan. I do like getting a foot a head on the next nights dinner.
What do you do to get ahead?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Just a little something I've made for mom

With mom using a walker, she hasn't been able to carry anything. So I grabbed a bit of yarn, a set of needles and started knitting. This is what I came up with. So far it's worked very well for her. She can carry her meter, a book or two, a glass or most anything she needs.

I know it's not a great project as far as most knitters go, but it does the job and I think it's kinda cute too.

God Bless you and have a wonderful day,


What I've been up to

So I haven't posted in a while, but I wanted to give you a little update on life at my house. Cindy is working so many hours she's exhausted all the time, but other than that and some really achy legs she's doing great. Me, I'm trying to keep busy even with the kitchen in the state of hold it's in. Mom, well that depends on the day. Some are better than others. The shaking is as bad if not worse, the breathing is getting worse and now she's done something to her hip. But her spirits are pretty good and we pray alot for her to get better.

They came out Tuesday to start the reconstruction on the kitchen and finished up yesterday (Wed). It went very smoothly and they even removed some old paneling we hated from the laundry room for us. They were a fairly neat crew too, sweeping up and trying to put stuff back where it went when they were through. Nice bunch of guys too.

Today the floor guys is suppose to come out and let us pick the new flooring out. Not sure how long we will have to wait until they actually come out and put it in, but I hope it's pretty quick. It shouldn't take but a couple of hours to install and replace the little bit of padding under the carpet that needs it. Then the other group will come back out and put in the quarter round that goes over the flooring and touch up any paint that needs it and we will be all fixed up. They told us it could be up to two weeks until every thing was finished, including waiting on the flooring to be ordered, but I'm hoping they will have it in stock and we can get it all finished off by this time next week.

But even through all this I've managed to cook most nights and mom and I have eaten a lot of peanut butter. Couldn't get in the kitchen the last few days so had to be something shelf stable and peanut butter worked well.

I've also managed to get in a little extra cleaning while they've had things pulled out, mover and such. I mean I can't tell you the last time I cleaned under the microwave or the side of the stove that's next to the wall....Yeah! It's been a good time to weed out stuff we don't use too. Some things have gone in the trash and others are waiting for a new home somewhere else.

While I wouldn't willingly go through all this again, it has been good for us. We have a new paint job, cleaner kitchen and we have lots of really hot water ...giggle. The best part is we know there isn't any invisible mold growing under the surface making us all sick.

I hope all is well with you and your family, take care, have a wonderful day and may God bless you richly!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fans gone, work still to come

Well we finally got the roar of those darn fans out of our heads. They came a picked them up Sunday afternoon. Yeah!!!! It's funny, now everyday normal noises sound so darn loud.
I was so glad for them to be gone, I almost didn't mind the huge mess left behind. Unfortunately, they had to remove part of the insulation in the walls and well there were little bits of it everywhere, not to mention all the dust and mess from cutting away sheet rock.
But after a couple of hours it was livable. We can't put the stuff back in the bottom of the pantry because there is no wall there. I just don't feel safe putting food stuff where it is open into the garage, even if it's covered in plastic. The contractor came out to discuss repairs and he said to count on two weeks to get everything replaced, repaired and restored after the insurance signed off on it. So I guess we'll be in a little bit of limbo until then, but at least we can get into the kitchen for now! Warm scrambled eggs never tasted so good! I know me an eggs right.
Thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. We're trying to get back to as much normalcy as we can.
Mom's still not feeling well, but both Cindy and I are doing ok. I still have headaches but nothing unusual about that. But Cindy seems to be back to her normal self, except very tired. They're working her pretty hard at work this week. She's trying to get all the offices set up before the store opens next week. They are doing what they call a soft opening (not sure what that is really) this Friday, so they have her schedule to work all weekend. Bless her heart they had her work 20 straight, rather long days (going between the closing store and the new store) just before she got sick. Not sure she's up for another long stretch so I hope they give her some time off next week. She's not used to these long days after they had cut her back so far. Working 10-11 hours a day after being used to less than 30 a week is a bit hard to get used to when they don't give you a day or two off either.
Well enough whining from me, just wanted to report that we can hear again, and I'll be able to start blogging again, at least for a while. Not sure at this point when the construction part will start. But it will be nice to have a floor that doesn't ripple and puff and most of all WALLS. It's too weird looking a all the molding, foot boards, toe kicks and walls being gone at the bottom of the walls. It's only about 2 foot up but it just gives a rotting, dirty look to the whole place. Especially under the cabinets being all open. Ick! I'll try to get some pictures if I can get my camera to work properly so you can see what we're dealing with, or at least see the before and after shots when they get finished. I just hope this doesn't cost us a small fortune. With the $2,000 for the water heater and the $700 for the car and the $500 for the deductible, we're swimming in a hole already.
Take care, hope life at your house is less adventuresome!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Every had one of THOSE DAYS....?

Well I've been blessed I haven't had one quite as bad as today in some time now. God has been watching over us, keep us safe from days like this one.
So you all know I've been really working at trying to save us some money around here. Today I guess, I hope, I prayer, it paid off.
First off everyone here is sick. Cindy went to the doctor yesterday and he's running a test for streph throat but he's pretty sure that's what she's got. First week in the new store, new manager and she can't go back to work before Monday.
Mom's getting dizzy again, losing balance again and shaking like a leaf... yes again. These symptoms are usually followed by another stay in the hospital, though we're all praying it won't happen this time.
I've got a good old fashioned sinus infection that has my head killing me, and my sleep patterns are way way off again.
So this morning the kids are suppose to take mom to get some test run. They over sleep so Cindy is going to take her ( I can't drive). They get in the car, with some effort because mom looses her balance and Cindy barely caught her. The air is so hot and humid neither of them can breath. Then the Car won't start! David (nephew-in-law) comes over and says he thinks it's the battery. Bless his heart he has an abscessed tooth and he's sick as a dog. But there's no telling him no when it comes to helping Grandma (mom). So it loads it up, takes it to have it checked and finds there are other problems with the car. Expensive ones. While they are out with the battery, the run a few errands for us, picking up a few groceries, some scripts and some syringes for mom (insulin). Aren't we just blessed with the best family???
Anyway, just after they bring in the groceries, Krys (my beautiful wonderful niece)has a doctors appointment and she drags David in with her so the doctor can take a look at him too.
While they are out and about, we find water all over the kitchen floor. The hot water heater has ruptured and it's spewing HOT water and flooding the kitchen, pantry, laundry room and garage. It's in a tiny closet in the garage and we can't open the door because it's spewing hot water at the door (you can hear it in the house). We are not able to turn the water off, so we call the plumber? It will be at least an hour until anyone can get here. OK try the City and see if someone can come turn off the water for us....? They will get someone out when they can.
Just when I think we're going to have to get boats, my niece walks in the door. Praise God! They get the water cut off. Our new linoleum floor is already rippling from the hot water under it. So we call the insurance company to see if they will help pay for the new hot water heater and continue to try and get all the water up. Nope they will not pay a dime on the water heater but they will set up and pay (after the $500 deductible) a restoration crew to come out and clean up all the water and check for damages. So we have 5 very nice men running around pulling sheet rock and molding off the walls, pulling up carpet, moving appliances, sucking up water, spraying anti-mold spray, and setting up ginormous, ear shattering fans and humidifiers. Thankfully only a little corner of the carpet had to be pulled up. The carpet was dry but the padding was wet and had to be removed in that corner. Most of the sheetrock that has to be replaced is inside the pantry and behind the fridge, and washer and dryer.
The smell of the chemicals they had to spray were making us sick and the deafing roar of the fans is enough to make you want to scream (but no one would hear you). So we called the insurance company again and explained we are without hot water, unable to acess the kitchen because of all the drying equiptment, we're all asthmatics and the smell is killing us, and besides that we can't hear the person right next to us, much less the phone. So they agree to put us up in a hotel for the night. Except when mom and Cindy pile out to the car to leave, ( I didn't want to leave the fans running with no one home and my room is the fartherest back and the sound isn't bad back here at all), the car won't start!
So here we are, $2,100 for a new water hearter and to bring it up to code ( new ones in place since our last heater 11 years ago), $500 going for the deductable plus anything else we'll be out getting the repairs done, and whatever it ends up costing to get the car running.
I didn't save that much, but with God's help, we'll get it all taken care of.
But it's been one of THOSE DAYS!
Hugs, take care and I hope your day was a good one.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pinching pennies

I've done a lot of searching on ways to save on my grocery bill in the last year. One of the things I have found is that cutting the cost of drug store items has saved me more than anything. I gave up my shampoo and began using the same one mom and Cindy use. Though my hair is far more oily than theirs, I can just wash it more often and only wash it once each time and get the same clean hair and don't use any more shampoo. I just wash it in the sink every other day (if I shower everyday, my skin drys out way too badly).
I've found if I make my own foaming facial cleanser I save a few pennies and I don't waste as much cleanser. I found this article quite a while ago, but didn't put it to use until 3 months ago. I used advice I got here. While this article is about hand soap I use it to make my own foaming facial cleanser using a cheap store brand general facial cleaner. In fact this Walgreen's cleanser, it's a gel style cleanser and hard to rinse off and I end up using to much. Now that it's foaming I use far less and get the same clean face. I've been using it for about 3months now and I just opened my second bottle of Walgreen's cleanser last week.
I use about about a tbsp. of the Walgreen's cleanser in the 6 oz bottle I recycled. Since I wash my face no less than 10 times a day (extremely oily) this has kept my skin from drying out and saved me tons of $$$.
I also recycled an old liquid hand soap bottle and put my dish washing soap in it. Now a few pumps of soap keeps me from using to much for a sink full of dishes.
I've started scrubbing out the sinks with baking soda and I keep a spray bottle filled with 50/50 blend of water and vinegar by the sink. I give it a spray down every time I use the sink, this cuts down on cleaning products. The vinegar water is the perfect cleaner for the fridge too!
These are just a few of the things I been doing to cut the grocery bill, what are some things you do that helps cut that every higher total at the check out stand?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cowboy Stew

One of our new favorites and go to meals is cowboy stew. Why it's called that I don't know it's not stew like at all...giggle but it's my version of something they served the children at school. It's tasty, filling and very quick and easy to make.

In my every continuing need to cut cost, I've gotten into the habit of cooking a pot of beans every week. I like to make my own beans so I can control the amount of salt and flavor them like I like, but you can use canned if you want. You can also use whatever kind of beans you like or have on hand.

Cowboy Stew
  • 1/2 lb ground meat
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • green or red onion, chopped
  • med can of tomato sauce ( we use salt-free)
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 cup cooked Dreamfields Pasta
  • 2 cups or more beans ( I make chili beans from scratch and have on hand)
  • Optional: grated cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions and olives.
  1. Brown ground meat with onions and peppers and put on pasta to cook
  2. Add tomato sauce and season with chili powder and cumin and let simmer a few minutes
  3. Mix in beans; drain pasta and add it too
  4. Taste for seasoning and serve with cheese, sour cream, green onions and olives or whatever else you might like. I normally just add a little cheese in mine.

Since I keep ground meat with onions and peppers in the freezer and I usually cook a pot of beans at the beginning of each week, I can get this on the table in the amount of time it take to cook the little bit of pasta.

This is a good for those nights when you just don't feel like or don't have time to cook a whole dinner.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Great Disappearing Act

It's been a long long time since I've posted. Truth is I didn't have anything to share. With mom in the hospital yet again and then when she came home she was in such pain, I simply didn't feel like watching what we ate. We ate too much take out, too much junk and too many nights of everyone scrounging for something to eat. Even when I could get myself in the mood to cook and feed us all better, another bout of depression would hit and I just couldn't do it. With mom out of commission, and me unable to drive that left Cindy to buy groceries and in this heat it's been hit or miss. More just picking up what we had to have for a few days and unfortunately that included a great deal of convenience food (something I've never liked).

She had dr. appointment after dr. appointment, test after test and no one could find out why her legs hurt her so badly. Her home nurse visited 2x a week and her PT 2x a week and neither of them could figure it out either. She got to the point she was sleeping all the time and was very very restless, talking and moving a great deal in her sleep. I urged and fussed until she agreed to get an appointment with her primary doctor to talk about having another sleep study done. But before she could make the appointment, Vickie (her home nurse) came for her visit and found she'd gained 7 pounds in one day. (Hmmm why didn't she tell me that?) She called and got her in to see the Dr. 20 minutes later. Back in the hospital she went. She had fluid around her heart and they put her on a lasix drip immediately. After a couple days they got her balanced on oral meds and then after only 4 days (sarcasm), she got to come home. Guess what? No more leg pain. She's doing very well now. She's still on the walker, but she's walking a great deal more and getting out of the house a little. She feels better and has been taking on cleaning projects, buy groceries (if someone takes hers, still can't drive yet).

Now she's on a strict sodium reduced diet along with fluid restrictions to keep the fluid from building up again. Now I need to learn how to cook salt-free. Boy you wouldn't believe just all the things that have sodium in them!!! I mean even ketchup and mustard have salt. So I have another challenge on my hands.

It's been nearly two years now since this all started. Since the first diagnosis that she needed to get the valve replaced immediately, finally getting it done in January, all the complications and setbacks since. We're really hoping this last trip to the hospital, is just that, her last trip. Seems every time she comes home she's doing so well until suddenly she's not, and then she ends back in the hospital. We counted it up and she's spent nearly twice as much time in a hospital or one rehab center or other than she has at home this year.

We've all been under so much stress for so long, that I think we've all forgotten how to just relax. My sleeping patterns are worse than ever. I'm having awful bouts of depression and all this rain we've had has had my allergies in full swing.

Cindy bless her heart has not only had all the stress of dealing with mom's health but work as well. It finally got to be too much for her and she had to take off for about a week and "run" away from home. She just needed some time to not worry about anyone or anything but herself. Now if she could have just stop calling home to make sure we were ok, she might have relaxed a little more…giggle. He knees and ankles are giving her problems again.

Mom feels so bad for having put us through this, not that there is anything to be sorry for. But we all live with guilt when it comes to the way our life effects others, even more for those closest to us.

I'm so not posting this for sympathy; it's why I didn't post it while it was all going on. But I did want to explain why I seem to have just abandoned both blogs. Sometimes life just takes all of our attention!

Hopefully, I can get refocused, re-energized, and inspired to get back with it. I just need to figure out how to cook low carb, cheap, and salt free…giggle so the focus is going to have to change a little, but I'll do it. God's been with us all the way through this and he'll guide me through this latest hurdle too. One thing is for sure, canned foods (not that we use them often anyway) are almost all out of the question at this point. No more canned beans, I'll have to make sure I always have cooked beans on hand. On the plus size they're much cheaper anyway!!!!

That's where we are now and I promise to try and post more often. Adding recipes, but with fewer pictures, I still don't have a camera and my phone is iffy at best…giggle

I hope you're all doing well, that your summer is going well and the heat isn't too horrible where you are.

Take care until next time,


Sunday, June 7, 2009

How hard can you pinch a penny?

With the economy what it is these days we are all scrambling to find ways to save a few pennies anywhere we can. I've been learning so much by reading money saving blogs, and let me tell you there are a wide variety out there. One of my favorites is STL Mommy. She teaches you how to use coupons, shop wisely, where to pick up a bargain and even list on line coupon sites.

Right now she has a $25 Target Gift Card giveaway going. Who couldn't use a Target gift card? So run on over and get yourself signed up here, and maybe you'll be the lucky winner. Of course then you owe me half...giggle

Hugs and have a great Sunday,

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Just what I needed today

I found this on one of the budgeting blogs I read, Mommysnacks.net and I had to share it with you. It says it all about how I've been trying to fill my voids with food instead of God. I hope you enjoy it and it speaks to you like it did me.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mom's finally Home!

Well after over 2 months in a rehab center to receive daily blood work and antibiotic therapy to treat the blood disease, she's finally back home. This has been one rough year so far in our family, especially for mom. Starting in January when she had the valve replacement surgery.
She been in and out of hospitals, care facilities and rehab centers with very little time in between. Best we can figure her longest stay at home was just shy of three weeks. That was just before she developed the bacterial infection in her blood, which too longer to recover from than first thought.
We are so thankful she's home and we're praying she will stay healthy and grow stronger and not have any more trips to the hospital for a very long time.
Thank you so much for all the prayers, happy thoughts and emails. We are all so thankful and appreciative to you all. God has been with us and with your prayers he has helped us through this tough time.
Now if he will just help me out with my budget and getting us back to eating decently.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Menu Update - Tuesday

Not too badly again today. However I plan to take the stove apart tomorrow and do a thorough cleaning from top to bottom so I might be taking something out of the freezer for dinner tomorrow, that is if I get it all clean in time to use the oven. Otherwise it might be eggs or the night we pick up KFC's new grilled chicken.
Breakfast: breakfast cookie with iced coffee
Lunch: tuna salad with pork skins (didn't feel like making pita chips)
Dinner: fish with bacon & broccoli frittata ( I wanted broccoli instead of the salad)
No snacks, my meals were plenty and I wasn't hungry.
Two days down and so far sticking to my menu pretty well. Not exactly but pretty darn close.

So who wants to join me and start posting their menus? As we all know to succeed we need to plan, plan and then plan again. This is my way to make sure I plan and then follow through.

Have a good week and Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Menu Challenge -Monday update

Yesterday I did pretty good. I had Scrambled eggs for breakfast
Cheese burger sans bun for lunch
And made Cranberry Roasted Pork Loin for dinner with baby snap peas with sesame
1/2 cup yogurt with a spoonful of cranberry sauce for am snack
and a breakfast cookie for pm snack because I made them today and I couldn't resist...giggle
All on my menu, all as planned not to bad for the first day.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Menu Planning

Menu planning is never easy, unless you have a good system in place. I'm still working on mine. my goal is to be able to plan out a full weeks menu using up food item I already have on hand and only having to buy a few things at the grocery, plus restock. So far I haven't gotten this down to a science, but I'm working on it.
My biggest obstacle in this challenge is me. I love to cook whatever floats my boat at the time. However, that can be very very $$$$ and wasteful. So I'm working on changing my bad habits in this area.
In order to help me plan and FOLLOW said plan I'm going to start posting my menus for each week and then do a follow up to see how well I did. Remember I'm just getting started and I'm terrible at following rules, even the ones I set for myself. But I'm trying to do better.
So here are my menus for this week.

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs w/ green onions and bacon ( which I had but no green onions)
Lunch: Bacon Cheese Burger (sans bun) with pork skins
Dinner: Pork Fried Rice and salad (I already know there will be no salad I don't have any lettuce)
Snacks: 1/2 cup yogurt with cranberry sauce

Breakfast: Toasted Flaxbread with cream cheese and tea
Lunch: Tuna Salad with pita chips ( I bake my own with lc pita)
Dinner: Cranberry Roasted pork roast, snap peas w/ toasted sesame seeds, sliced cucumber
Snacks: peanut butter and celery or just a few peanuts

Breakfast: Blueberry breakfast smoothie with flax seeds
Lunch: Left over tuna in lettuce cups
Dinner: Mexicali Chicken, refried beans and small salad
Snacks: Boiled egg and/or an oz. almonds

Breakfast: Breakfast cookie and iced coffee
Lunch: Pizza Dip and Chips
Dinner: Parmesan Crusted Tilapia, cucumber,onion and tomato salad
Snacks: 1/2 pear and peanut butter sauce

Breakfast: Salsa Eggs with crispy ham strips
Lunch: Meatballs with veggie sticks and cheese dip (homemade not the store bought stuff)
Dinner: KFC Grilled chicken (everyone needs a night without cooking), sausage cheese stuffed zucchini ( will post recipe on my other blog later)
Snacks: Cheese stick or almonds

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and bacon
Lunch: Left overs
Dinner: chicken legs, chili beans and squash with onions
Snacks: 1 cup cheese popcorn (homemade) to go with a good movie

Breakfast: Breakfast smoothie with kale and strawberries

Lunch: Chicken salad pita sandwich with cucumber slices
Dinner: Taco salad or tostadas
Snacks: Breakfast cookie or 1/2 yogurt with a spoon of s/f orange marmalade

I've made my grocery list with these foods as my goal and for the most part I have almost everything I need except veggies. I made a heavy menu so I had options in cutting it back making lighter meals and still stay within my menu. I am not going to be strict about which day I have which menu, just as long as I stick to these meals, no going to the store to make something else.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

What are you doing for Mother's Day?

With mom still in the hospital we had to plan something portable so we could carry it to her. We decided at the beginning of the year, that this year there wouldn't be any birthday or mother's day presents this year.

We decided on Cranberry Porkloin with snap peas. I went ahead and made the cranberry sauce and roasted the pork roast tonight. Tomorrow I will just need to toast some sesame seeds for the peas, saute off the peas and do the final roast on the pork with the cranberry sauce on it. Then pack it all up and get it carried over. Thankfully the hospital she's in is close and allows food to be brought in and have a little family room with tables so we can be comfy while we eat. So even with her "away" we will still be able to all enjoy Mother's Day together.

So what are your plans for Mother's Day, if you have any at all.

Friday, May 8, 2009

MS OneNotes and getting organized

Life here is moving on in what has become the norm. Mom is still in the hospital with 2 and a half weeks still to go. Cindy gets up heads to work, comes home changes and the heads to the hospital with our without me in tow to visit mom. Me if I'm honest I've gotten very lazy lately at keeping the house clean. I'm trying to get myself re-organized so I can better take care of things without over doing in one day and then letting it slide til I can't stand it... which is what I've been doing.
I'm using MS Office OneNote to set myself up a cleaning schedule along with keeping my menu's with recipes and grocery list to go along with it. I just started it last night but it looks like it will be very helpful.
It also has this great little onenote window that I can jot down notes, recipes or ideas I find while reading my blogs, favorite websites etc. It's just a little window where you can jot down anything you need, then it saves it for you . So cool.
I don't know about you but I get dozens and dozens of recipe newsletters in my email everyday. I belong to freezer groups, have some of your wonderful blogs e-mailed to me and I get swamped with ideas, recipes, and thoughts while I'm reading then promptly forget all of it by the time I have pen and paper to write it all down. This is perfect. I can jot down where to find the info I might need later, recipes I want to try, things I need to pick up at the store, errands I need to run, whatever I remember or think about while I'm online. EASY PEASY as they say these days.
I can also keep a baking schedule so I can keep breakfast cookies, flaxbread and crackers made up without heating the house up everyday. If I make them all in the same day or two whether I'm out or not I can cut way back on cooling bills. Same goes for roasting meat and chicken or veggies. I can pick one or two days a week to use the oven and the rest of the week everything is stovetop.
Of course as it gets hotter oven use will more than likely come to a complete halt. But that's ok, since I'm making a baking schedule I hope to get a pretty good stash of baked goods in the freezer for summer.
I already did my big "Summer's coming" beef and chicken sessions. I have taco meat, meat with onion and garlic, hamburger patties, meatballs and stuffed pepper meat in the freezer along with a ton of roasted chicken, both dark and white meat (found a great deal on bl/sl chicken breast and roasted about 8 lbs worth.
Now I just need to roast a couple of pork loins, slow braise a couple of london broils and maybe a brisket. Then I should be in great shape for the summer heat.
Well there you have it. My newest goals for keeping organized, now if I can just stick with it. I'm so so bad about not following through after the newness wares off. Hopefully this time it will be so convenient I'll keep it up.
So how do you keep yourself organized? Do you have a plan in place or do you just wing it?
I sure miss the good old days when you just took a full weekend and everyone in the house did Spring cleaning. But somehow that just doesn't work anymore, at least not for me.
Oh yeah I nearly forgot, part of my organization plan is a surface a day. I have to de-clutter and clean one surface in my house everyday, WITHOUT moving it to another surface...giggle man it's going to be hard, this is a tiny house. But I'm up for a good challenge. First surface, kitchen table. I've been better but it's still a cluttered mess so it's the first to get my attention. Wish me luck!
Have a wonderful weekend everyone, we in for yet more rain, so Patty heads up, if you haven't gotten it yet it's heading your way. Donna I guess y'all are getting it as snow, at least I saw your video where you were. Yikes sure glad I'm down here.
Hugs to all and may God bless you richly.

Monday, May 4, 2009

What I've been up too

As most of you know, mom has had a really hard time since the valve replacement surgery in January. She came home very imbalanced with severe left side weakness. On a walker and not looking all that great. They had sent her for a week of rehab after the surgery but it wasn't enough to help her take care of herself. I spent every night up so I could help her get up to go to the rest room. She couldn't get out of bed by herself and when she walked, even with the walker she would start falling towards the left side.

First the two sides of her heart managed to become out of rhythm (arrhythmia) and had to go back in the hospital about a week after she came home. She was there for a week or so before they got it corrected. Meds didn't work they ended up having to shock her to get it back in rhythm. They put her on some new meds and sent her home. This was in February just a few days after the surgery.
Not to go on about everything, we had to take her back to the ER for the 4th time on Easter Sunday. She was so weak that morning when she got up, after having been doing much better, that I had to go help her get dressed and walk to the kitchen. She was shaking so badly I had to poor her coffee and fix her breakfast for her. Then when trying to help her walk into the living room so she could get into her chair, she fell. I just couldn't get around the walker to get in front of her in time and I couldn't hold her up with the hold I had on her from the wrong side. She fell, hit the couch , all tangled up in her walker and my crutch. I don't know what happened but when we went to help her up she couldn't move her legs or help us get her up at all. I called the kids (niece and her b/f) and they ran over and helped us get her up. She couldn't walk at all at that point or sit up without falling over. I had to sit right behind her and hold her up. She couldn't stop shaking and was freezing to death. She had been shaking and getting more unbalanced for the last week or so but nothing like this.

When they first got her into an exam room they immediately told us she had some kind of infection and the first thought was kidney. She had them before and had kidney stones removed. But even with the worst kidney infection she had never been this weak and sick and never this fast.
After 4 days umpteen test and dozens and dozens of blood test they found she had a staph infection in her blood. The major concern was that the bacteria would grow on her new heart valve and it would have to be replaced. Bless her heart she was so so sick and getting weaker all the time. They finally put in a PIC line (which is a catheter that goes from just above the elbow to just over the heart) to deliver antibiotic straight into the blood line. She has to have hour long antibiotic treatments everyday and have blood work done several times a day to monitor bacteria levels. She has to be weighed several times a day to make sure she's not gaining any fluid. Since she needed all this for the next 6 weeks she was moved to a speciality long term hospital here in Mesquite where they could care for her and monitor her progress.

She's been there for almost 3 weeks now and she's doing wonderfully. While I know you can't kill a staph infection, her blood is now bacterial free. She still has 3 weeks to go, but she's getting so much stronger. She is still on the walker but she gets an hour a day of physical therapy and an hour a day of occupational therapy.

She's just bored and being a hospital instead of a rehab center we can't check her out on Sunday to take her to church or to dinner. Everyone came to see her the first few times she was in the hospital so now no one going to see her and Cindy and I can't go everyday (most but not all). They won't let her get up and walk down the halls so she has to sit in her chair most of the day and she's bored out of her mind.

I've been trying to cook cheap and easy so not doing so well on low carb at ALL. But I'm getting back with it. No more pasta and rice (both cheap meal stretchers) but I'm keeping the beans. I just believe they have to much nutrition and fiber to stop eating and they are cheap! So the beans stay and I have a box of brown rice to use very sparingly in small amounts. Not sure I'll replace it when it's gone, but for now I'll use 1/4 -1/3 cup in a few things to help stretch them a bit farther.

Another thing I've learned over the last month is that things like rice and pasta fill me up while I'm eating much much faster than protein. I know the reason, they break down and digest much much faster than do the proteins. But in an hours I'm starving if I eat the carbs and I'm full if I eat protein. I'm hoping adding beans will help make me full faster and keep me that way. Not that I would ever want to eat beans every single day, but I have stocked up on 4-5 bags of dried beans.

Well that's what's going on with me. I'm trying to get new recipes together so I can start posting them on my other blog and get back to blogging about my day to day here.

Have a wonderful day, take care and thank you for reading!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I'm still without a computer but I hope to get a new one in the next week or two, Lords willing and the creek don't rise, as the old folk say. We've had car trouble, plumbing issue and lots of medical bills lately so $$$ has been tighter than ever.
I'm also going to cut our carbs back again. Mom's blood glucose levels and both of our weights have not appreciated the need to cut the grocery bill. So I'll have to figure out a way to keep the grocery bill lower and still be able to eat lower carb. How I'm not sure, but I have no doubt God will show me how to find the right balance.
I'm sorry I haven't posted anything in so long. I did post on my other blog that I had lost my computer, but I never got it posted on here. I forget sometimes that everyone isn't able or just doesn't visit both. Sorry Jennifer!
I hope everyone is doing well, I've missed you all so much, and God willing I'll be back with you soon.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Can you feel Spring in the Air?

This is Texas and we tend to do things early.  Here it is the beginning of March and already we are having 80+ degree weather, the smell of fresh tilled earth is in the air from people prepping their gardens and flower beds.

Lawns are being scalped in preparation for beautiful green grass.  Daffodils are popping up everywhere.

The Mesquite Parks and Recreation is gearing up for another season of outdoor activities starting with our first festival of the year coming up next month

Real.Texas. Festival.  It’s a big thing here.  The rodeo grounds (after all Mesquite is the Rodeo Capital of Texas) will be transformed into a wonderland of rides, a bbq cook off, face painting (all ways a must at any family entertainment in these parts), and of course the rodeo! 

What good Texas festival would be anything without music.  Not just any music but Texas bands.  Not to be out done by anything Dallas can do this three day festival has 30+ band performing.  Mostly Country and Tejano music, the bands run from Los Lonely Boys and James Otto to locals like Jolie Holiday and Paula Nelson (yep that’s Willies Daughter)

Then to top off all that great music there will be a battle of the bands, open only to local “garage bands” which is going to be a lot of fun.

Yep this fair city, small as it might be is in high swing to be ready for warmer weather.  Heck even the squirrels are all a tizzy.

Spring is definitely  in the air here, how about your neck of the woods? 

Are you seeing signs or are you still in the grips of winter?

How does your city or town celebrate the coming of spring?  Do you even know all the things your city offers?  

We have Easter Egg hunts set up, the Rodeo Parade, Movie in the Park, swimming lessons and even Doggie Splash day, where you can take your best canine pal swimming with you.

Why not take a little time to do some research and see just what you city does have planned.  You might just find they offer the perfect out door activity for you.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Peanut Butter Dipping Sauce

I realized a long time ago, that many low carbs have given up all fruit.  I too tried that but found I really missed fruit.  I tried adding in just a few berries like so many suggest, but what I found works best for me is half a fresh crisp Gala, Fuji or Granny Smith apple.  I’m not a fan of the Delicious varieties.

A nice firm crisp Pear is even better, but harder to find.  Most of the pears I find at the grocery are a bit mushy or a soft variety.  The pears I grew up on came straight off my grandfathers trees.  We had pears with peanut butter for an afternoon snack everyday during the fall.  The perfect after school snack.

Well I’m not a kid any more, but I still love pears or apples with peanut butter. 

Peanut butter as you well know is a wonderful low carb food, if you are careful with it.  It can get carb pricey very quickly. 

So this is my solution. A half a piece of fruit is plenty. Just rub the other half with a little lemon juice (even the bottle kind will work)before wrapping tightly in plastic wrap.

peanut butterFirst you need a little peanut butter.


Then add in  equal or a bit add cream cheese and pop them both in the microwave for about 10 to softenmore  Cream cheese and pop them in the microwave until warm and melted together

tsp or two of cream Thin with a little cream, only takes a couple of teaspoons.


Stir it all together  a little sweetener I used Nuva one of the stevia-erythritol blendsand add a little sweetener to taste.  I used Nuva a stevia/erythritol blend.

All that’s left is to enjoy!

serve with sliced apples, pears or celery!

Freezer cooking helps me save $$$

If you know much about me you know I’m a big fan of freezer cooking. But how can it save me money? Well actually there are lots of big and little ways to save a few Abes (you know Lincoln=pennies)

First and foremost, is the ability to eat at home and not flake out and run through the drive through. If I have meals I can thaw and put together in minutes and with little effort, then why go out for a burger?

A slightly more subtle side effect of that is less Dr. bills, by not eating all that unhealthy junk food and in mom’s case less $$ on insulin.

Second, I can buy meat and veggies on sale. Stock up while they are on sale and not have to worry about buying meat weekly. Ex. This past week our local Tom Thumb (Safeway/Randall’s in other parts of the country) had boneless chuck roasts on sale for $1.96. That’s boneless baby. So I picked out 2 of the prettiest roasts you ever saw, I already had 2 in the freezer, so I didn’t need more and had 20 lbs. ground.

Yes that’s a big cost this week, but I won’t have to buy ground meat for months.

Being a freezer cooker I now I have 5 lbs. browned off with onions and garlic ready to pull out to make pizzas, lettuce wraps, poor man’s stroganoff, or anything else I want.

I also used 5 lbs for taco meat, which come summer I can thaw, warm and have taco salad, skillet dinners, Mexican casserole or stir-fry on the table in no time.

I still want to make up a few bags of spaghetti sauce, pepper stuffing and some meatballs. I already have a couple of meat loaves in the freezer and well, frankly it will be too hot to cook them before too long. I do need to work up a pound or two into burgers (we like ours with bacon, onion and cheese mixed in) and then I’ll just freeze the rest for whatever I might want it for.

Since I pre-cook and freeze most Sale finds like this, it not only saves me money, I have quick meals ready to assemble all the time. Which is especially helpful during the long hot summers we have here.

If I forget to take anything out to thaw for dinner, we’ve all done than a few times. Then instead of picking up burgers or heading to some restaurant, I can pull out a bag of chicken or ground meat, throw it in a sink full of warm water or in the microwave and it’s thawed out in a few minutes… now you know one of the reasons I flatten all my bags before freezing…giggle. They stack better and take up less space too.

Which leads me to yet another subtle $$$ saver. Not only will those bags of pre-cooked meat and poultry save me time, take out $$$, but I save on my electric bill. A full freezer is cheaper to run. It doesn’t pull nearly as much energy because it stays colder.

I won’t have to turn the A/C up during the hot summer trying to cool off a house after it heated up after the stove or oven has been on for an hour or more. I can grab a bag of cooked chicken or ground meat toss it in a skillet to heat with a few veggies and have dinner on the table and the stove turned off in 15 minutes.

I roast my chickens in the fall and winter when I need the house heated anyway…giggle. Then simply pick the meat off the bones, measure out into dinner portion size, freeze in zippy bags. I take all the bones and add appropriate vegetation and make stock, why buy when homemade is better?

I also cook pork roast, brisket, ham and any other meats that likes to hang out in the oven for a nice long time, while the weather is cooler. My goal is to never turn the oven on between June and October.

Freezer sides are not as easy, when trying to stay as low carb and healthy as possible, but there are some that work well, such as stuffed squash. I can buy them in the summer when they are plentiful, gorgeous and cheaper. Do all the prep and assembly and then thaw and bake during the cooler months when nice produce is harder to find.

By cooking meat in advance and freezing in meal sized portions I don’t waste food. Left overs don’t get pushed to the back and thrown out next time you clean out your fridge.

Unlike your freezer your fridge is more efficient when there is plenty of room for air to circulate so keeping it cleaned out is important. Though mine is usually full to the brim with veggies and the food well be having that week.

All it takes is a little planning, a little effort and of course a little organization. But the results are more than worth the effort. Talk about convenience food. How much easier can it be, if I want stuffed peppers I pull out a bag of meat and pop it in the fridge to thaw. Dinner time rolls around, I cut the peppers and blanch for 5 minutes, heat the meat in the microwave. Stuff peppers top with cheese and pop under the broiler to melt the cheese ( I use the toaster over or make in the crockpot during the summer) A bag of steamed broccoli cooked in the microwave and wha-la dinners on the table in less than 20! I can’t pick up junk food that fast.

There are several ways to do freezer cooking depending on your personal preferences. Some folks do OAMC (once a month cooking). They plan a day or two to prep, assemble and/or cook meals for a whole month. I'm not that organized nor do I have that kind of energy, but it works great for some folks. I have done it for a week at a time however, that’s not only worthwhile but lots of fun too.

Some people just double or triple recipes their families really like. I do this sometimes. It’s just as easy to prep and clean up after 2 or three meatloaves as it is one. Then simply wrap and freeze two and bake off the third. You can do the same with casseroles, meatballs or soups too.

Or like me some folks do bulk cooking when they find good sales. We prep and/or cook one type of meat at one time.

How you choose to fill your freezer is really a personal preference, the important thing is to plan, organize and only cook and prep foods you know you will use.

Take advantage of sales, seasonal foods and cooler weather to get your freezer stocked before summer gets here. Believe me, you will be so so happy you did.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Making this real quick

Hi guys, no I didn't fall off the end of the earth, though to be quite honest it kind of feels like it.
Mom is home and doing wonderfully. They put her on lasix in the hospital and she has lost all the built up fluid caused by the leaky valve, the surgery and as a bonus, it's keeping the fluid off a glad in her neck she normally has to have drained ever few months!

The looked at her cat scan and did another while she was in the hospital this last time and determined that either just before, during or right after the surgery she had a small stroke and that is what has caused the left side weakness. The bad news is there isn't really anything they can do about it. The good news is that it only seems to bother her at night and early mornings. During the day she fine for the most part.

She's still on her walker but getting around on her own for the most part, I'm still on night duty because she can't seem to get out of bed without some help and night time is when she has the most trouble falling over. So I'm up all night, sleep during the day after Cindy gets home. So I'm having to figure out meals I can cook or prep at night that mom can finish off or just cook then next night. So far I'm doing pretty good. I just need to find time to post all the darn recipes...giggle
This last week we had lasagna roll ups with fresh salad, Pork chops with broccoli and squash, garlicky chicken rolls with broccoli slaw, we picked up dinner one night, we had eggs one night and stuffed pepper with broccoli. Except for the pork chops and eggs I had everything ready to be popped in the oven, reheated in the microwave or just tossed together at the last minute. Mom cooked the pork chops but I had the broccoli in the fridge ready to go.

I'll get my recipes posted as soon as I get time. I can't believe how busy I've been. But I miss you all, I hope your all doing well and for all my fellow bloggers, I'm so so sorry I'm so behind on reading and keeping up with you guys. Take care, until I get another few minutes to chat again.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mom in hospital again... sigh

We had to take mom into the emergency room on Sunday morning. Her breathing had been getting worse and worse since she got out of the hospital on Wednesday. Finally she got to the point where she was gasping just sitting in her chair, without having to exert herself at all. Come to find out her lungs were filling with fluid.
They have put her on lasix and it seems to be helping, but we still don't know what has caused it.
I'm sorry this blog is turning into the Mom journals but that's what is going on in my life right now. They are talking about letting her come home tomorrow but I'm not so sure that's a good idea. If she comes home without knowing what went wrong, will we ever find out?
Other than that we've been doing good. While I haven't lost any more weight (boo hoo) I haven't gained any either, which I was terrible afraid I was going to do.
I've also not bloated up like a balloon, so I'm thinking with a little more tweaking to my menus I just might be able to lose some weight and save some $$ at the grocery at the same time.

I went to the store this morning and stocked up on some lower fat/lower carb foods. I got a couple jars of roasted red peppers, some frozen spinach, corn (I know but it's good for fiber and just a little added here and there into casseroles or soups shouldn't be too bad and I got the smallest bag. However I forgot the black beans I wanted to go with it, so I guess the corn will be hanging out in the freezer a bit longer than expected.
I found some really pretty produce, wonderful dark leafy kale, the small zucchini and summer squashes that I like so much. A few vine ripe tomatoes and I even splurged a little on a couple of really pretty red peppers.
I've got stuffed pepper meat in the freezer for tonight so I grabbed a couple of nice green peppers for that. I got some Dijon mustard so I can make Dijon pork this week. All and all not to bad a trip. I even scored some fish... yum!
Well I hope your all doing well, we're keeping it going here, just hoping and praying mom will get better and our lives can get back to something resembling normal again.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Life on a budget

I've gotten a good start cutting our grocery bill, but I still have a long way to go. I'm trying to get the stuff together to plant a small container garden in the back yard to help with veggies this summer. I want to start an herb pot too.

I've priced the stuff to make a shelf to set the pots on and it shouldn't cost more than $15.00. Since I can't get on the ground and will need to tend to them in my wheelchair, I need the pots up off the ground a bit. The biggest cost is going to come in buying big pots, soil and plants. I'm hoping to find a good deal at one of the home building stores or nurseries around here. I have a few pots that might works for smaller plants, but nothing big enough to grow much. I just hope I can grow enough veggies to make it worth the cost and that it helps with the grocery bill.

I've picked up a few bags of beans I can cook to help stretch things. Though techniqually fairly high in carbs, beans have something called resistant starch that works rather like fiber, and doesn't cause insulin surges. I've eaten beans in moderation every now and again on my low carb diet, now I'll just be eating them more often. I also have several cans of beans on hand for when I don't have time to cook dried beans.

I've got chicken fajita's cut, seasoned and ready to cook for tonight, along with a big bowl of salad and some low carb tortillas.
I have stuffed pepper meat ready to stuff some peppers tomorrow night, I added 3/4 cup of rice and 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms to stretch the meat. I should have enough meat to stuff the peppers for us tomorrow and freeze enough for another night. That way I can get two meals from one package of ground meat.

The flax bread still works for breakfast, and I need to make up bowls of tuna and egg salad for lunches over the weekend. We can eat them on lettuce leaves or a few triskets. At least I think there is some triskets up in the cabnet. All in all I think I have a fairly good handle on it. At least for this week.
Wish me luck for next week.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What I’ve been up too

Well mom is still in the hospital, we had hoped she’d come on on Monday but that didn’t happen.  Her heart was still out of rhythm and the meds weren’t correcting it.  So they put her under and shocked her heart.  The good news is her heart is back in rhythm and her pulse is back down in the 60-70 range where it belongs.  The bad news is,  it didn’t help the breathing issues.  So her cardiologist,  Dr.  Jessen has set up a meeting with her pulmonologist to see what they can figure out. 

The pulmonologist (super doc), Dr. Torres came in to see her this afternoon and he said his advice was to let her go home tomorrow and then have her come into his office.  We don’t know if Dr. Jessen will discharger her or not, but we’re hoping and praying he will soon.

I on the other hand seem to be getting inspired to get us on a budget.  I think I have it figured out so I can get our credit cards paid off, actually it’s just one that needs help. Some how we managed to let this one get out of hand.

I’m trying to do what is called pantry shopping, which is planning menus from the food you have on hand.  So far so good, but I have to wonder what on earth I was thinking when I bought some of the food in there.

This week we bought a few fresh veggies, eggs of course, and a few house hold things like laundry powder and toilet paper.  Not too bad.

I’ve also, decided that I’ll continue with my recipe blog.  I’ve found the whole time I’m cooking I’m telling myself how to make it lower carb.  So maybe I can post recipes with both versions.  Anyway, I think I’ll give it a try.

So that’s what I’ve been up to.  I hope once mom is back home I can post more regularly.

Monday, February 16, 2009

What did you have for Breakfast?

I was chatting with my friend Jennifer Eloff from Low-Carbing and General Health News this morning about things we eat for breakfast. I was telling her I'd had a wonderful cup of yogurt this morning for breakfast, and I decided it would be a good "recipe", more like technique than recipe, to share with you.
You can use either store bought plain yogurt or home made either one. What I happened to have was Dannon non-fat plain yogurt. I spooned 2 cups of yogurt into my strainer, which I had lined with a couple of plain old paper towels. You can use cheese cloth if you have it, but who doesn't have paper towel, right? Put the strainer over a bowl and let it hang out in the fridge over night. The next morning you will have a bowl full of whey and a strainer full of yogurt cheese. I've never found a use for the whey so I pour it down the drain. If you use it for something PLEASE, PLEASE drop me a comment and let me know what. I hate pouring it out, but I don't know what to do with it. Place the yogurt cheese in a bowl and it will keep for 2-3 weeks easy.
When you want yogurt, spoon a couple spoons of the cheese into your bowl, add a couple tbsp. of liquid to your bowl and mix. This morning I used a couple tbsp. heavy cream and several drops of Capella Graham Cracker drops, sweetened with a little sweetzfree and thoroughly enjoyed this thick, rich, creamy treat. Some days I add a little sugar free DaVinci syrup to thin, flavor and sweeten. Berries are wonderful in this and so is low carb granola.
This morning I sat back with a bowl of creamy graham cracker yogurt and a class of iced chai latte and totally enjoyed myself. What did you have for breakfast?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Just a heads up

Due to financial and family medical issues, I'm going to have to change the way we eat. We will be following a much more moderate carb, budget friendly plan from now on. I haven't got all this worked out yet, but I will either change the focus of this blog or create a new one to match our new health and budget friendly way of life.
To all my fellow low carb bloggers... keep the fires burning and I wish you the greatest success. To my readers, I hope I'm not letting you down, but for now, this is what I have to do. My family comes first and that means meeting their health and our financial needs.
While I love my low carb lifestyle and it really works for me. Having meat as the center of our meals has become more than I can afford just now. So I'll be adding beans, more veggies and some pasta and grains back in. We will not be eating packaged, highly processed frankenfood, we will continue to eat whole, real, fresh foods. I've just got to cut the budget and the grocery bill is the last thing I can cut back on.
So I wish you all well, I wish you great success and I ask that you keep us in your thoughts and prayers to make these adjustments as easily and healthily as possible.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mom is finally coming home!

Unless something changes, mom will be coming home Thursday.  She’s done so well in rehab, that they think she is ready to go home.

They have set up a therapist to come to the house to work with her for a bit longer until they determine that she’s back to normal or there about. 

I’m still a little worried about the left side weakness, it still comes and goes.  I’d feel much better if I knew what was causing it, but since they haven’t done any more testing, I guess getting and answer isn’t something we can expect.  

Once she’s home and gotten some rest and healed a bit more, we can start investigating on our own.  Not sure which doctor to start with, but maybe her primary could lead us in the right direction.

If this year long journey has taught us anything, it’s that you have to take your health into your own hands.  If we had excepted what the first doctor told us, she would never have gotten the surgery and I’m not sure how much longer she would have been with us. 

So we will just have to handle this new challenge when she’s up for it.

Thank you to everyone that has kept us in your thoughts and prayers.  Believe me, it helped.  This has all gone way to well not to believe God had his hands all over it. 

So thank you for the prayers and Thank you God for all you’ve done for us.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lip conditioner/cuticle cream; Just another miracle of Coconut oil

This one is for Donna aka sadekat.  We were discussing the benefits of coconut oil on her blog one day and I mentioned how well it worked on my chapped lips.  Next thing I know this smart and sassy lady had melted down some coconut oil and filled an old chap stick tube.  Tell me your not impressed!

I’ve used it for a long time for both my lips and an all over body moisturizer.  But I recently found out just how good a cuticle cream it is too.

So Donna here is you a twofer and you can even make it cherry if you want.

Here’s what you will need:items you'll need

  • 1 empty mint tin – hopefully it’s from sugar free mints
  • coconut oil
  • 2-3 vitamin E capsules
  • essential oil- I used orange because it’s my fav (make sure it’s food grade)

Melt enough coconut oil to fill your tin half way (if it melts you don’t want it to spill). add essential oils this is orange Add essential oil and poke and squeeze the oil out of the vitamin E capsules.  squeeze in a couple vitamin E caps Stir to mix, pour into your mint tin and chill ‘til set. stir to mix pour into a clean tin

Now I haven’t carried it around in my pocket so I don’t know how  quickly it would melt if  you did, but I keep  one beside my bed, one tucked in my armchair caddy and one in the kitchen.  If I carried a purse I might put one in there too, until Summer gets here.

Now I have it handy anytime I need it and it only cost me a few cents to make.

If you try it, let me know what you think. I enjoy  the fresh orangey smell and taste every time I use it, and my cuticles never looked better.

Ham and Swiss Panini

serve with veggies and ranch

We all love sandwiches from time to time, they are easy to make and somehow very satisfying.

Finding a bread that is low in carb and makes a good sandwich can be difficult.  There are Cleo’s oopsies of course which are wonderful, and you know how much I like Joseph’s Lavash bread, but sometimes you need something hardier.  Enter Laura Dolson’s Focaccia -Style Flax Bread.  I love this bread recipe just as written, but I just have to play around with everything.  I’ve made many, many sweet versions and several savory ones as well.  My favorite has got to be Jalapeno.  It’s this recipe that I’ve used for my Panini.


  • 2 pieces Jalapeno Flaxbread( I cut mine into 18 pieces)
  • 2 slices thin sliced ham
  • 2 slices Swiss cheese
  • mustard or mayo
  • butter


  1. Slice both pieces of Jalapeno bread horizontally so you have 4 slices of bread
  2. Cut ham slices in 4’s, dry off if needed.
  3. Cut each piece of Swiss into 2 pieces
  4. Melt butter in small frying pan, 7260ad4750aftoast the “inside” of the flaxbread
  5. Add mustard or mayo to the inside of the bread
  6. Add cheese to 2 slices , then ham, and remaining slices of cheese.
  7. Top with remaining bread.
  8. Place in frying pan and weighd63487051fea down with something heavy.  I used cans. Flip and toast other sides.

Serve while hot, with fresh veggie sticks and dip, or nice hot bowl of soup. 

Once you’ve made them once you will find yourself playing around with all kinds of flavors.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Update on mom

It's been a week since my last post I know. I'm sorry I keep saying I'm going to get better about blogging on a regular basis, and then some how, I don't.
Well a quick update on mom. They moved her over to rehab (same hospital different building and set up) on Saturday. She's doing very well. The physical therapist comes and works with her three times a day. They are working on building the muscles back up in her legs and teacher her how to get up and down without pushing, pulling or putting any pressure on her chest.
The occupational therapist is coming twice a day to work with her on getting dressed, personal hygiene and other such things, without straining, pulling or stretching her arms and shoulders (so she doesn't put any pressure or pull on her chest)
Then there is another activity therapist that comes once a week, he's got her playing games while doing physical activities. Such as playing dominoes but when you don't score you have to hold your feet up until you do, or raise your arms over your head or some such thing. Sounds odd but it's actually kind of fun.
Every Tuesday the doctor, therapist and anyone else that works with her, all get together to discuss her progress with her and set goals and projections. Only having been there a few days when this Tuesday (yesterday) came round, there wasn't too much to discuss, but the projected day of release is set for Feb 5th as of now. It could be sooner or it could take longer, but that's the goal right now.
The left side weakness is still coming and going, which is very worrisome to me. But the doctor and therapist keep saying she just needs to strengthen the muscles on that side more. That with therapy she will recover. I sure hope they know what they are talking about.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I'm addicted to iced coffee drinks again!

With mom in the hospital, my aunt (her sister) has been staying up here with us so she can go to the hospital every day to see her. She lives about 67-70 miles away and at nearly 80 she doesn't need to be making trips like that very often.
Anyway, her first morning here she forgot she wasn't making coffee for her and her son and she made a great big pot. Not wanting to waste it she pour the left overs in a pitcher and popped in in the fridge for me. I tried to resist honest I did, I even let it sit in there over night. But I kept hearing it sing to me, and oh what a song it sang.
Well, as you can guess I finally gave in, and darned if I didn't drink nearly the whole pitcher at one go. I'm so bad.
So in case you have more control than I do and would really like to enjoy an after dinner treat you might enjoy my favorite iced coffee.
  • 1 cup coffee
  • 1/4 tsp. dark cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup hood milk or cream
  • 1/2-1 cup crushed ice
  • Sweetener to taste I use a couple pkg. stevia

Pour into plastic jug with tight fitting lid (yep I'm to lazy to pull out the blend and beside the jug is quieter) give it a good shake and pour into a tall glass and enjoy! I like mine with a straw.

Variation on same drink:

  • 1/2 tsp espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup hood milk with a splash of cream
  • a good spoon of Walden farms chocolate syrup
  • sweeten to taste
  • 1/2 cup crushed ice ( sometimes I just use ice cubes)

Pour it in a jar and shake.

I swear I'm hooked again. I haven't had any coffee in I don't know how long. When drinking it hot, I'd just a soon have tea, but nothing beats the sweet richness of iced mocha!

i.am.jenn's low carb kitchen: Bacon Maple Quiche

If you haven't tried this recipe i.am.jenn's low carb kitchen: Bacon Maple Quiche from over at Jenn's new place you best run over there as fast as you can and give it a try. I'm talking amazingly good. And if you haven't checked out Jenn's new place what the heck you waiting on? See you there.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Chicken Noodle Soup

I roasted another 5 lb bag of leg quarters the other day and then made a big batch of stock.

I saved back the stock and part of the chicken so I could make a big pot of soup.  I just wasn’t sure what kind I wanted to make I thought about Tuscan Chicken Soup  but I didn’t have any kale and without the kale it’s just not the same, then I was thinking Tortilla Soup but I didn’t have any Rotel.  Then I remembered we never had our traditional after Thanksgiving Homemade Chicken Noodle soup.  Something my mom has been making for use since we were kids.  So I decided that Chicken Noodle sounded wonderful.

With Cindy and my aunt Val at the hospital most of the day I needed it to be something that would easy have hot and ready to eat whenever they straggled in. So instead of cooking the pasta in the soup I cooked it and let everyone put what they wanted in their bowls.  Makes it easier to freeze left overs too.


  • 4 cups chick stock (home made if you have it)
  • 3-4 cup water
  • 2 cups pre-cooked chicken
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 4 gloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper (a good shake of red pepper flakes adds a nice kick if you like)
  • Pre-cooked Dreamfield’s Pasta (we use the linguini)


  1. Saute veggies in a tsp. pork fat or butter
  2. Add stock and water let simmer until veggies are tender.  Don’t over cooked, remember you stock is already flavored
  3. Add chicken and season well.
  4. Serve with pasta and crackers for your carbivores. 

Some folks find that Dreamfields Pasta cause them blood glucose spikes, mom and I are among them, so we only use just a little pasta.  I think I had about a 1/3 cup of cooked pasta or about 1/3 a serving in my bowl, if that.  Of course you could use shirataki, or simply skip the noodles all together.

Don’t skimp on the garlic or it won’t be nearly as good, even though this is not a garlicky soup by any means.

Since pasta doesn’t freeze well and get mushy when reheating, having the pasta separate makes left overs much better or you can just freeze the left overs for another day.

(I didn’t get a picture today, but I’ll try to get one tomorrow when I have left overs)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thank you for all the Prayers

We as a family we would all like to express our gratitude to all those that have sent up prayers on her behalf.  Prayer is a very very powerful thing and it not only blessed my mom, it made us all feel better knowing that so many people were praying on her behalf.

Mom came through the surgery like a trooper.  The surgeon said her pressures were already going down when the surgery was over and that she will feel so much better now that she’s had the valve replaced.

Our pastor and one of the elders of our church came out and prayed with her before she went in to surgery and that made her and us feel better too.

I can’t even begin to explain how happy and relieved I am.  I was so worried.  I knew she was in God’s hands, that I had no doubt of, but what his plans were, well that part I worried about. 

I’m so very thankful that God answered our prayers and brought her through the surgery so well.

So again thank you so much for all the prayer and for those praying for a speedy, easy healing.

A very grateful Vikki

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Peanut Buster

One of our favorite on the go meals is a peanut butter roll up.  Which is nothing more than peanut butter and cream cheese mixed together (lower carb and creamier that way) spread on a low carb tortilla, drizzled with imitation honey and rolled up.  It’s filling, portable and doesn’t need refrigeration so it can go anywhere.

I was making a few for mom and Cindy to carry to the hospital in the morning ( 4 hours of pre-op) and decided that if I added a little Walden Farms chocolate syrup and a tsp or two of cream  to the left over peanut butter mix it would taste like a peanut butter cup.

What I found was that instead of a peanut butter cup it tasted like the Peanut Busters I remember as a kid, even without the ice cream.  I was thrilled.  Had I added more than just a drizzle of chocolate syrup it might have tasted more like a peanut butter cup but I liked it much better with the stronger peanut flavor.

  • 1 tbsp all natural crunchy peanut butter (2.5)
  • 1 tbsp. softened cream cheese (.50)
  • 1-2 tsp. cream (depends how  creamy you want it) (negligible)
  • 1 tsp. Walden Farms s/f chocolate syrup (0 carbs)
  • sweetener- to taste I added a couple drops of sweetzfree to the cream

Mix everything together and grab a spoon.   This could easily be put in the freezer for a frozen treat, I couldn’t wait that long…giggle

Monday, January 12, 2009

Vikki Does a Happy Dance

Turn your head and run away it's not going to be pretty! I was talking to my good friend Patty yesterday and telling her how I hadn't been able to break through my lowest weight in the last year. I'd dropped down before Christmas of '07 and I've been up and down anywhere from 5 to 20 lbs over the last year. Well, when I got off the phone with her I went and weighed, I hadn't yet and Sunday's are my weigh in day AND I LOST 6 lbs and I'm now 4lbs under my lowest! Yeah {Happy Dance} I'm so happy.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cabbage soup with Sausage

As you know I'm the queen of short cuts. I love all things that make getting dinner on the table quicker. I like to precook veggies so they are ready to go with whatever protein I cook for that night. While all veggies don't keep well, things like cabbage, turnips and squash all work wonderfully for this.
So today mom decided she needed to add a little something to her egg fast and boiled a whole head of cabbage. Boiled cabbage is something we both really like and it goes with most any meat you cook, so we like to keep it cooked.
But tonight I wasn't feeling great, it's this changing weather, and I wanted soup. This is the quick and easy soup I managed to get in a bowl in less than 3o minutes.

Quick and Easy Cabbage Soup with Sausage
  • 8 oz. sausage cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 med. onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 3-4 cups cooked cabbage with cooking liquid
  • 1/2 cup cooked turnips or thawed frozen would work
  • 1/4 cup of cream
  • dash or two of salt
  • 2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper (can use less but I love cabbage with lots of black pepper)
  • Optional: fresh grated parmesan to sprinkle over each bowl

Add sausage to a hot pan and cook until brown, deglaze pan with just a little chicken stock and add onions and turnips and saute until tender and starting to caramelize. Add cabbage, the remaining chicken stock, spices and cream. Heat until just bubbling. Don't boil with the cream in the soup. Serve immediately with a nice sprinkle of fresh grated parmesan and a piece of Jalapeno Flaxbread.

It made a very warm, comforting and super easy dinner and boy has it kept me full!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Winter weather and other breaking news

First off, we were under a freezing rain warning last night (Sunday) and I heading out to the doctor this morning I was created with the most amazing trees. While thankfully the roads were clear the trees, grass and shrubs were coated in a thin layer of ice. The day was gray but the trees made it very magical. The glisten even without the sun. Pine trees looked as if they were made of velvet, because of the sheen the ice gave them. Cedars looked as if they had all been frosted. Dormant trees appeared to be made of glass. Even on gray dreary days, God shows us his beauty.

Also, a quick not about my doctor visit today. She told me I was definitely wheezing, to which I told her I could hear. Said my throat was starting to become infected and that I was running a low grade fever. She prescribed 2 inhalers until my asthma clears up and then just the Advair for a month or so to keep it clear. She wrote me a script for the z-pac and told me if I wasn't better by Friday or had any more trouble call her and come back in.

So I should be all fixed up soon.

Mom's surgery on the 16th is quickly approaching and it has left us all with mixed feelings. We're very happy the end is finally in sight and that she will finally regain her strength and stamina, not to mention just feeling all around better. But we're also very nervous, she's high risked and even with both doctors being so confident, it still leaves that little doubt in the back of your mind.

We're turned it all over to God, or at least we're trying and know in our hearts she will do wonderfully, but if you'd send up prayers on her behave, we would all be very grateful!

Well that's all the breaking news I have, I hope all is well with each of you and that you have happiness, health and Love!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Just a quick note

Well guys I did great sticking with plan until the week of Christmas. I was so busy trying to get ready that I fell into the old habit of picking up dinner. It's really been very hard to pick up and get back in the saddle again. But I'm getting there. Also, I've got a terrible bronchial infection and with my asthma it's a tough fight just to breath.

I've been symptom free for so long I had forgot had scary an asthma attack really is. You gasp and struggle just to get a tiny bit of air in your lungs. I didn't even have a rescue inhaler any more, since it's been several years since I've had any asthma symptoms at all.

Anyway, my point to all this isn't to gain sympathy from readers but to let you know once I've bounced back from this I will be back to blogging. I've been so slack at it lately I hope there are still a few of you checking in. For that I'm really sorry. But it's just terrible hard to think when your lungs will not inflate more than just a tiny bit.

My new years resolution is to jump back in with both feet and get really strict with myself and get all this inflammation out of my body! I know from experience eating low carb will reduce the inflammation and thus help with the asthma as well. Also I'm off dairy completely for a week or two to help reduce phlegm production. Which will help cut carbs as well, so for at least the next while dairy is a huge no no for me.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas an enjoyable and safe New Years. I'll be back soon.