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A good morning…

August 31, 2010 1 comment

A pumpkin spice latte and a dream kids…

Random thoughts for today:

1. My legs hurt. I only did 2 miles yesterday. hmm. not impressed with myself so much right now.

2.  Trader Joe’s has a reduced calories “Primavera Pizza” 250 calories and loaded with veggies! I bought three. One note: too much garlic!

3. Pumpkin spice lattes are back! I have flashbacks to college, sitting in Starbucks with the roomies and studying our butts off. Ahh, good times.

4. School was rough yesterday. Just one more week! I can do it!

5. I have an oral exam Friday for my psychopathology class and must study. oy. Personality disorders have not been good to me this quarter. Axis one disorders were much easier for me for some reason!

6. I have some cool people in my life. That is all.

7. As I am drinking my pumpkin spice latte I realize that my sweet tooth has either changed or I’ve killed or revived some taste buds – This thing is super sweet! I’m going to opt for a tall one from now on. If I can afford it. These things are treats. Four dollars a pop is just too much. No wonder I was always looking for change to pay for these guys in college!

8.  I am doing Turbo Fire today. and I’m a little scared. haha.

9. Last night both of my roomies were home and it was nice even though one looked like he was on the brink of death from so much fun over the weekend and the other spent most of the time in the garage, trying to fix the garage door opener. I had wine and watched the David Hasselhoff. Gosh, we all sound so awesome don’t we?  🙂

10. I am procrastinating. I need to do Turbo Fire and instead I am writing.  Here we go!

Until later friends!

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Categories: Uncategorized

A Kick In The Butt From The Universe!

August 30, 2010 1 comment

Hey guys,

So yesterday, I slept too much, had the worst headache and felt flushed the whole day. Nope, not hung over. I really started freaking myself out! At the beginning of the year, for about a three-month span, I was sick. REALLY sick. I used up all of my sick days and then some at work, I had even less of a social life, and made friends with my pillow. I went to the doctor at least once every few weeks and kept getting different answers. I was told it was just a cold, I was overreacting, I must have a sore throat, strep throat,  an infection, an ear infection. They gave me anti-inflammatory meds and antibiotics. I actually wrote down a list of symptoms (and yes it was long) and the doctor I was seeing tore it from my hands and told me to pick three. She reminded me it was a 15 minute appointment. I was majorly fatigued and had a severely sore throat with swollen glands for almost 2 months at that point. I asked if I could have mono. The doctor rolled her eyes and tested me because I asked. I tested negative. I felt dumb. But I knew something was wrong. The doctor that told me I had an ear infection gave me antibiotics and the day after my last dosage, I woe up with rashes all over me. It was like a horror movie. I may have screamed a little bit.

I was watching The Golden Girls one day when I was home sick, and Dorothy was sick too. She went from doctor to doctor and was told she was fine. It turns out she had the Epstein Barr Virus (now I think they would give her the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome). I cried. I felt like that. I ended up going back to the doctor – a different one, with a better attitude and she tested me again for mono. I tested negative  – again. She felt the same way I did and got more blood tests done. I had the Epstein Barr virus. Damn, The Golden Girls had tried to tell me something. haha. It was a really weird coincidence though, wasn’t it? After some more rest and a nice dose of Prednisone (I did not want to take it, as my nonna took it and I knew it was a steroid), I felt better. By the time the doctor figured it out, I was feeling better. Within 2 weeks, my swollen glands, the sore throat, and the head aches subsided, but the fatigue stayed with me for a while. By the end of March, I was just about as good as new.

Other than my ED, this was the most isolating experience of my life. I was so sad. I had a good pal, in my friend Thor. She’s a complete germaphobe (I can be too, no judgment 😉 ) but she stuck with me. She and her dad (who’s a doctor) would be like, “You have  a fever? Do this!” I cannot tell you how helpful that was. My mom and I cried one day. I was so sick and she couldn’t do anything to help. We both felt useless I think. I appreciate her letting me cry and giving me the space to do that. The chicken soup didn’t hurt either. At work and at home I kept everyone at a distance. It was a pretty ugly time.

On a positive note, the whole thing helped me to get back to my gut. For years, I didn’t or couldn’t trust my gut. I always felt that my feeling were wrong( I think a lot of people with an ED suffer from this). For the first time in a while I KNEW something was wrong.

Why am I telling you all of this?

Yesterday, the neurotic in me came out. Not feeling well gave me flashbacks to those moments. Waking up this morning and feeling good was just the biggest blessing! I think I needed the reminder that I am a lucky duck. I cannot take my body for granted. I am off to the gym to work out some of that left over anxiety, but I seriously feel like yesterday was some kind of kick in the butt from the universe to get it together and take better care of myself. So I am going to do just that!


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Old Country Cooking – Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

August 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Hey guys!

As I’ve written about before, I love my nonna’s cooing. So I compiled a list of meals she made that make me think of her and home. Yesterday, I hightailed it to my mom’s house with a whole chicken, russet potatoes, carrots, asparagus, broccoli and zucchini. I originally planned to make this on my own, but that dang whole chicken scared me! My mom is only second to the nonna when it comes to cooking, so I knew she would be a good teacher! Nonna loved herself some olive oil; my mom goes a little lighter on the stuff, which is healthier and still delicious, but nonna’s chicken and potatoes would be GOLDEN from her use of it. Yum!

Nonna used to make chicken and potatoes in her old school, noise making, outlet burning, convection oven. The skin was crispy and the meat moist. The potatoes were firm and crusty, sprinkled with rosemary, salt and pepper. It was kind of like an anytime meal. She made it for every season.

So obviously, I didn’t want to butcher this. That’s when my mama entered the mix!

We started with potatoes and carrots. I now wish we did more carrots because they were AMAZING! Note to self: roast carrots more often!

3 potatoes and 3 carrots sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper

Nonna always did her chicken and potatoes together, but my mom wanted to use a rack for the chicken, so we did them separately. Still good!

We spread them out of one of nonna’s old roasted pans! We added some paprika to the mix.  We preheated the oven to 375 degrees and let them cook for 25 minutes. Note turn those guys over! I was in charge of that, and let’s just say they were extra crispy.haha.

STILL DELICIOUS!

While those guys were cooking we prepped some zucchini, broccolini and asparagus. These were in the oven longer d we actually took them out in stages. The broccolini only took 20 minutes, while the asparagus took more like 25-30. We ended up leaving the zucchini in there to get all firmed up.

look at all that GREEN!

Olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, red pepper

It looks like we grilled it, huh? The flavors were so good!

and then there was the chicken!

My mom took the helm on this guy. This cooked for about an hour and a half on 350-375. It literally fell off the bone after. The chicken was (is- I have sooo much chicken!) so moist. Love! We use lemon(there was half of one in the chicken and half of one’s juice on the chicken), garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and extra virgin olive oil!

woo hoo! Although I have to say, not a fan of looking at a raw chicken. I was a happy camper after it cooked!

My mom cut the chicken up for me and sent me on my way.  This was definitely a mama-helmed meal, but I helped!

And now I have meals for days!

Toodles kids!

Categories: Old Country Cooking

The anticipation of it all…

August 26, 2010 1 comment

I’m on Fire!

TurboFire that is! After reading about The Fitnessista’s experience, I knew I had to try it! Of course, I am not where near being a personal trainer and I think at times in my life I have been a personal trainer’s nightmare (ha!) I know I need to spice things up.  What’s great about TurboFire is that if you aren’t ready for the High Intensity Interval Training (that would be me!), they have a prep schedule. I put it on the back of my door to remind me to do it! haha.

Day one was really intense! I definitely felt the burn from the kickboxing and speed work the next day! I also like that they had a 10 minute stretch afterward as I always skip it and will totally injure myself if I don’t stretch! It kind of gave me flashbacks to Tae Bo! Wayyyy back in the day I was a Tae Bo junkie. Billy Blanks was my boo one minute and the next I swore I would kill him! I was fit though, so even though his yelling made me crazy, I dealt with it. I really do like the gym if for nothing other than the change of pace and the treadmill, but as for classes I’m less impressed. I have no attention span and get super self-conscious in classes. I would rather be in my room laughing at myself in the mirror, attempting to keep up!

I forget that I CAN be flipping fierce. I also forgot how much energy I have when I workout. Like with almost everything I do, the anticipation of things is what gets to me. This works in pretty much every facet of my life. That tests is going to be sooo hard! I am going to be in pain and out of breath when push myself to work out! What if I look dumb wearing that? yikes. I do believe the phrase “getting in your own way” was created for me!  I’m figuring it out though.  That’s all we can do, right?

In other news, Old Country Cooking Part II will go down tomorrow! Due to the salmonella scare, even though I bought eggs, I may put the frittata idea to rest for the week and do a roasted chicken with potatoes and veggies. There is something about roasting a whole chicken that totally intimidates me! I have to just do it!

Have a great day guys!

Categories: Uncategorized

Success tastes like tomato sauce :)

August 20, 2010 3 comments

Well guys,

My lunch/dinner (Linner as I like to call it) was a complete success!

I used what I had available…

Trust me, I did not use all of that garlic 🙂

Here’s the recipe I used. Do what feels right for you 🙂

1-2 cloves of garlic

1 shallot (or a small onion – your choice)

Green Beans!

1 can diced tomatoes

1/2 cup tomato purée or sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

Red pepper and salt to taste

I began with sweating some  garlic and shallot in the olive oil

The smell at this point was kind of beautiful.

As they began to turn a golden color I added the can of diced tomatoes

Then I added the 1/2 cup of the tomato purée, red pepper and salt. It needed about 10 minutes so….

I salted some water (Nonna always did that… it seasons the green beans?) and after it came to a boil I added these bad boys

Meanwhile the tomato sauce simmered…

I only let the green beans boil for about 4 minutes and then added them to the tomato sauce to let them finish (about 3-5 minutes on low heat)

So pretty. I could not wait to eat!

ta da! It wouldn’t be complete without a little cheese!

This was so easy! And I don’t mean to toot my own horn here, but it tasted soooooo good. If you don’t think you’re a fan of green beans, try them this way!

Old country cooking success #1 🙂

Old country cooking

August 20, 2010 3 comments

Hey guys,

While I was driving to school to do some work and drop off my schedule (I get to see clients in the fall –  woohoo!) I was thinking of ….

FOOD!

Duh.

Anyhoo, I was thinking of what I wanted to eat for lunch and suddenly I started thinking of all the things my nonna used to make.  The more I though about it, the more I realized that what she made was delicious and for the most part, relatively healthy. The woman loved bread and cheese, but cooked veggies like nobody’s business. So I have compiled a list of the meals nonna made (both the healthy and not so healthy) that I will try to cook and adapt. I am already more than sure these won’t be even half as good as hers, but even stuff that is half as good as hers is probably pretty good. 😉

1. Green beans in tomato sauce.

2. Cabbage rolls (I am a punk and didn’t want to try them until the last time she made them… they were AMAZING)

3. Biscotti with almond (ps.  you pronounce is as BIZ-COAT-TEE)

4. Veggie Pizza

5.  Rice and peas (She was sneaky… we’d see her making rice or pasta and get excited and then – BAM she snuck peas in there! It was still great)

6.  Tomato sauce – both pomodoro and meat sauce

7. Mineststrone (I feel good about this one… I’m a soup maker at heart)

8. Spaghetti with meatballs

9.  Stew aka spezzatino di Manzo… That should read beef stew 🙂

10.  Chicken cacciatore (my mom makes this  – I have to include this because it’s so flippin’ good!)

11.  Frittatas (like an omelet)

12. Cannelloni (I think of it like an Italian enchilada)

13. Gnocchi!

14. Roasted chicken and potatoes

15. Pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans)

16. Pork chop sandwiches.

That last one still cracks me up. When my brother, cousins and I would get home from school, we had a pre-dinner waiting for us usually. My favorite was her pork chop sandwich. I don’t know if I will ever forget the smell! Rosemary, olive oil, pork… She would wipe the oil out of the pan with the french bread she would use for the sandwich. DELICIOUS.

So I may add more to the list as I go. Being that I am trying to be relatively healthy here, I may adapt some of the recipes. I’m excited for this new project!  Today I am going to try the green beans in tomato sauce. I’ll keep you updated!!

Categories: Old Country Cooking

On being where you need to be…

August 19, 2010 3 comments

Good afternoon all!

I have had a busy few days! School, projects, and friends have gladly occupied my time. I find it so interesting that even though I am not working I still feel as busy… BUT I get more sleep, I’m in a better mood, and feel like a better student by leaps and bounds. I can’t believe I taught and did school FULL TIME for a year. If I ever try to do that again, you can slap me. I do hope to sub at the old school I worked at, as there are some great kids and adults alike I miss already! Yesterday I caught up with two of my kids who graduated in June. I had the best time catching up and tried my best to not be in teacher mode. I was helping one of them with her résumé and had to remind myself not to grade her. Haha, I kid, I kid. I knew I had to leave work because school was simply all-consuming, but when I look back, I am so grateful that I spent that time there. I don’t talk about my faith much, and I definitely think it’s a “to each his own” kind of issue, but I believe, for me, God puts you where you need to be.

After an ill-fated attempt to be in journalism school (I didn’t last long… At the end of the day I wanted to help in a different way), I ended up back in town and had almost four months to kill before going back to teaching. I got to spend those four months seeing my nonna all the time.  Whether it was divine or a simple, heartbreaking coincidence, those were four of the last five months of her life. She wasn’t alone.  We were like kids in a candy store some days, drinking coffee, being bad asses, and eating like kings every time we went out.  Today is the anniversary of her death. I am watching cooking shows and think about her. The shock fades, as does the heartbreak. I never thought I could laugh again. I never thought time would keep going without her. It does friends.

So where am I supposed to be now? Right here. Writing, learning, loving, fighting (I get that feisty stuff from my mom ;)).

Annnnyhoo, I am off to get ready for this mixed up evening. At school we have a “community meeting” … none of us know what this means. haha. Then we’re hitting up a comedy show tonight. It should be fun! Tomorrow it’s back to Cinderella, pre-ball… I’m spending the day cleaning, cooking and being all kinds of domestic. I am working on a project for the blog as well!

Love you all!

Categories: Uncategorized