Sunday, June 30, 2013

Grocery Store Secrets

I know we all go to the grocery store and this carnal  beast within us takes over and $500 dollars and 43 different kinds of apples later we are thinking---UGH WHAT THE HAM.  Well, I have some tips for you. Not only do I love cooking, I love coupons.  But, alas, like many of you--AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FOR DAT.  So, I've compiled something I've learned over the last couple years to make your life easier.

1. Get a Store Card
I am not kidding when I say it takes less then 5 minutes to sign up and they hand you over a card.  So, stop being lazy.  It comes with several perks such as:  being able to access the sales,  being able to download and access the stores app, and most store have yearly promotions like "spend $300 this month and get your free holiday turkey".  Do I personally need an entire turkey?  Of course not.  What the hell would I do with a 12 pound turkey?  It doesn't matter what I'd do with it because it's free.  So--you take the damn turkey and you feel good that you now have a 12 pound turkey and if you wanted you could have 12 of your friends over for turkey!

2. Download the App
Just like everything else in the world grocery stores have technologically advanced.  Almost every store now has an app that you can download on your smart phone making circulars and coupons obsolete. Look:
Everything you ever needed to do is now at the touch of your fingertips.  You can look at the weekly ad and create your shopping list directly from it, or create your shopping list as you go.  Your looking at the coupons part aren't you?  Okay okay let me explain..

How many times have you seen a dude in the grocery store with his coupon binder?  Yeah, me neither.   Now, you can just download them to your phone and when the cashier swipes your club card BAM the coupons come off your total.  I have also found any coupon you can print off line or cut out from the paper is also available online on the app.
All you have to do is browse for the coupons you want and hit load to card.  Also,  look at the circular that week.  Generally the things they are offering coupons for are also on sale as well at that store.  Sometimes if your smart you can get something for free or almost free.

4. Understand the Sales
Grocery Stores are a multimillion dollar industry--so it's safe to say the owners of these conglomerates are no dummies.  It is our job as consumers to at least investigate their sales.  Here is a quick guide to understanding the sales available at grocery stores:

a.  Fish goes on sale biweekly---see below:
Week 1 Cod will be $5.99 a pound, week 2 cod will be $8.99 a pound
So, as a consumer you should be looking out for week 1 and plan to eat your favorite fish.  I can almost guarantee the following week that same fish will be more expensive.  The grocery store owners bank on you not catching on to that--but I just told you what's up.   
I've found generally week 1 is the first week of the month, and week 2 is the second,  week 3 is cheap again, week 4 is expensive.   See makes sense don't it?
b. Hardy or green vegetables go on sale bi-weekly--  Broccoli in week 1 is generally 99 cents a pound, and $1.99 cents in week 2.   Okay, now you got that--it's super easy to understand. The same thing will happen with different kinds of lettuce.

All you really have to do it check the circular and follow the sales.  I have it down to a science now so I know which weeks what is going to be cheap and what is going to be expensive. 

c. Do not fear the manager special
Generally in every store the manager will have the butcher create something they like and will sell it for cheaper.  Look in the meat section next time you are in the store and see how much cheaper that special is.  As far as chicken it's usually a thigh that's on sale, because its a cheaper cut of meat.  If you cook it right it's also much better.  Meat with a bone in it is always so much better. THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID. See. even the fish man will do that with a certain kind of special they created themselves--
I made them last week, amazing!! I made them with grilled pineapple and had my girlfriends over for dinner.

5. Don't Buy Pre-made
Be shopping smart by eating before you go and sticking to the outside of the store.  On the inside of the store you will not find any food you need.  When your hungry and you see it your like OMG This will make my life so much easier--nope, that's gross.  This picture refuses to turn the right way, which is annoying, but you get the point:

Meat flavored sauce? Really? What the hell is meat flavored?  Gross.  It cost 1/2 the price to make the sauce yourself and it won't suck.    It is so easy to make sauce, chicken stock, beef stock, etc.  There is no reason on this earth why you should be purchasing things with the words " flavored" on it.

I know you, you are so tempted when you see these signs:

Unless you are feeding John and Kate Plus 8--why would you need 3 bags of spinach?  It's always on sale like this so don't be sucked in.  I have a secret for you--you do not have to buy the full amount unless it says so!!! If there is a sign that says MUST BUY 3 or MUST BUY 2, then duh you have to.  But, if not--DO NOT BUY3 BAGS OF SPINACH.  THAT'S SILLY.  This is even sillier:
 Really? Four bags of cole slaw?  What are you throwing a graduation party?  If the answer is no--buy 1, or 2, and still get the sale price per each one.  You do not have to buy 4 (unless specified).   A lot of times when soda is on sale it will say you have to buy the amount specified. 

And, I know this looks like such a steal: Whatever this picture won't go the right way either!! UGH I GIVE UP

Sometimes a box of 6 is on sale for $4.99, so buying 5 for 5 dollars is not a steal.  I know I know, I love cliff bars too.  I buy them all the time when they are on sale.  I have a stock pile--ask my girls.  I have an assortment of different protein bars because I am too lazy sometimes to make breakfast--and by sometimes I mean all of the time.

6.  Lastly, bigger is not necessarily better
 Sometimes the larger version of something will be on sale, but when you compare the two smaller versions of the same thing it's cheaper to buy 2 small then 1 big.  The store wants you to believe the bigger container is better, even though it's really not MORE.  Look...

The larger one on the left is $7.99 for 28 oz, on average.  A smaller can is $2.88 for 12 oz. on average.  So two small cans equals roughly 48 ounces and only costs $5.76.  OKAY OKAY OKAY it doesn't seem like much, I know,  but it will add up.  The store will do this will all sorts of foods and goods so just keep a look out.  A big deal isn't always the better deal.

Now, I am not saying go all coupon crazy cat lady nuts.  I am saying be careful about what you purchase and just keep an eye out.  There is no reason to go all nuts and buy a heavy duty printer for all of the coupons you expect to print, just be mindful!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I Am A Medical Anomaly

I Am A Medical Anomaly.  What do I mean do you ask?  I am an anomaly, meaning I don't fit under any classification.  Anomaly is defined as:  a·nom·a·ly  (-nm-l)n. pl. a·nom·a·lies
1. Deviation or departure from the normal or common order, form, or rule.
2. One that is peculiar, irregular, abnormal, or difficult to classify.
 So, my issues don't fit under one specific diagnoses.

You remember like 2 weeks ago I told you I have Lyme's Carditis? Well, I was told tonight I don't.  I went to see someone who specializes in Lyme's disease.  She says well "I think I am going to make your night, I don't think you have Lyme's disease. So you don't have to keep taking that medicine that makes you sick.  When your heart doctor called me he said I don't want to put a pacemaker in a 26 year old."  WAIT, STOP..WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?  PACEMAKER PACEMAKER PACEMAKER She kept saying that word to the point I had to cover my face and tell her that word is upsetting me.  She then said "What word, pacemaker?" 

Remember when you were a kid and the really annoying kid kept repeating the same word or phrase and you told them it was annoying and their response was exactly what she did..."what (insert word/phrase here)?". It's like being taunted by a professional who your paying to give you answers.  Almost as if she thought this was coming.  So I asked her why is my heart like this then?  "I don't know".  Well, who does know?  The heart doctor said I have Lyme's disease in my heart.  WRONG. 

DD says we need to get a second opinion.  Well, technically, and you know I don't like to be technical, but isn't this my 6th opinion?  And my 12th copay?  What do these medical professional think, I'm made of copays?  No one told them but I don't work in the summer.  How can I buy alcohol or pay for my crossfit membership if I am constantly paying them co-pays?

So,  6th opinion 12th copay and I think I have found a way to resolve it.  Let's get all of my doctors together in one room.   I will hand each of them a $20 copay and they can hash it out amongst themselves.  Maybe I can bring like a speaking stick to and only the person with the stick can talk.  I can yell at them and say "One copay speaks at a time...rebuttals when it's your turn to have the stick". It will probably end like Magic Mike (which is on in the background right now). You pay someone all this money hoping for an epiphany and then 2 hours later you realize you want your money back.

Stay tuned...6 more days with the heart monitor on.  I can share with you more of how I forgot the monitor when I was in shop rite.  I was walking down the vegetable aisle and I heart SIRENS SIRENS SIRENS coming from under my shirt. DAMMIT I FORGOT THE MONITOR.  In the middle of the vegetable aisle I decided I didn't give a shit who saw--I put my hand up my shirt and removed the battery and went on my merry way through the store.  Take that faulty heart.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Lean Chicken Empanadas with Avacado Spread

Okay, seriously so easy..and awesome.  Make with some guacamole and your set!  You know how I feel about making things in my crock pot---so easy!!!!  I am one of those people who sometimes when I get home from work expect dinner to be already done, even though I am the one cooking it.   Don't be afraid of all of the steps, it's so easy--I just made it idiot proof.

Ingredients for Empanadas:  Servings--6
  1. Three large chicken breasts--about 1lb
  2. Mexican Everyday Green Chile Garlic Enchilada Packet
  3. Salt
  4. Pepper
  5. 6 wheat tortillas
  6. 1 can black beans
  7. 1 egg white
  8.  1/3 cup vegetable oil
  9. Avocado Spread (recipe to follow)
  10. Diced tomatoes and red onion if desired
I used the enchilada sauce I found in the Mexican cooking aisle, but you can use any. I really like garlic and green chilies so this one was a no brainer for me.   Also, I used Chilli's wheat tortilla, but you can use any you'd like. I am sure they'd be good with corn tortillas too!---I love corn torts.

  1. Spray crock pot with Pam or rub with oil to avoid sticking.
  2. Place three chicken breasts in crock pot side by side without overlapping if possible and sprinkle with a pinchie of salt of pepper, like so:
Okay, so a side note here--my brother last week wanted to know how to make chicken in the crock pot.  When I told him he told me he was going to trim the fat off to which I responded--NO!!!!
Let me give you reasons why:
1. The fat will decipate as the meat (pork, chicken breast, lamb) cooks on low, basting the chicken as it cooks and keeping it mositurized.
2. Cutting the fat off will cause the meat to come out dry like the Griswold's on Christmas Eve when they cut into their turkey. 
3. When you shred the meat there most likely won't be any fat left because it melted and basted the meat. If there is some, and it will be miniscule, you can remove it when you shred it. 

The lesson here is---NEVER REMOVE THE FAT UNTIL AFTER COOKING!!!  Funny cooking story--the first time I ever cooked for my family I made pork chops in the over and I cut all the fat off because it looked gross.  The pork chops, while still edible, came out like beef jerky you needed a saw to cut.  Everyone just chewed really hard and loudly while smiling at my 13 year old self.

Back to the directions:

3.  Pour enchilada sauce over the chicken.
Remember as the chicken cooks water will come out of it, so you don't want your sauce to end up too watery soooo try not to add water to it.
 4. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours (the time you may be at work!)
5. After 6-7 hours remove the lid and shred the chicken with tongs--that's the beauty of the fat being cooked with the meat, it will make the meat tender and just fall apart with a touch:
6. Let cook for 10 more minutes on low, stirring occasionally to really get the rest of that sauce left in the crock pot from cooking.
7. Turn off crock pot and take about 2-2 1/2 cups of chicken out and place in a separate bowl to cool. (use the rest for left overs for another meal!!)
8.  Open can of black beans and rinse in a strainer.
9. Dice tomatoes and red onions if you desire that in your Empanadas.  You can also add some low fat shredded cheese if you'd like too!
10. Crack egg, remove yolk, whisk well for 1-2 minutes.
11. Set up your work station:

14. cover a baking sheet with tin foil and set aside.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
15.  Begin stuffing your empanadas:  1/4 cup chicken, half handful of beans, half handful of tomatos, half handful of red onions, whatever else you want to add.  Just, don't over stuff.
That right there is just about enough.
16. Fold the right side up toward the left, covering the stuffing, like this:

Use egg whites to seal the edges shut. Hold down on the edges for 30 seconds pretty firmly so it doesn't come undone all loosey goosey like.
17.For the sides fold in the two corners like your wrapping a gift, like so:

18. Fold in both sides, sealing with egg whites as you go.  Then fold that entire side in:
19.  Continue by folding the other side closed. Place on baking sheet until all are completed.
20. Once all 6 are stuffed and closed heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil over high heat until it crackles--about 1-2 minutes.  Why vegetable oil?  Because it has a higher smoke point than extra virgin olive oil.  Every try to make cutlets with extra virgin olive oil?  You will just end up smoking up your house and setting off the fire alarm.  If you don't have vegetable oil then canola oil works as well.
The way to test to see if the oil is hot enough is to place one corner of the empanada in for 1-2 seconds.  When you remove it see if the oil starts to crackle. If so, it's hot enough.
21.  Place 2 empanadas at a time seam side down in the oil to flash fry for 1 minute.
22. After 1 minute flip to the other side for 30 seconds
24. After 30-45 seconds remove from oil and place on baking sheet.
25. Wait 20 seconds and add two more to the oil.  Why wait?  If you place them in right away the temperature of the oil has not risen back to high.  Every time you place something in oil it lowers the temperature of the oil. So wait a couple seconds or end up with soggy empanadas.  Where did I get all of this knowledge? I don't know.
26. When all 6 empanadas are done place them in the over for about 20 minutes.  Flipping half way though.
Let cool for 5-6 minutes before serving. THE INSIDES WILL BE SUPER HOT
Avocado Spread:
1. 1/4 cup fat free sour cream
2. 2 quirts lime juice
3. salt and pepper
4. One whole Avocado
1. Place all ingredients in a food processor.
3. Process for 2-3 minutes until well combined.

Serve with Empanadas.

Look, a took a bite out of mine to let some steam out: GENIUS!!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Days 5-10--Monitored

So really I just want to tell you about Day 5, Friday.  Day 6-10 were uneventful, unless you want me to tell you how everyone morning I wake up with my heart monitor that hangs around my neck in my hands like it's a cell phone.  I didn't think so..not really that funny, but alas true.

Day 5: Friday (insert SVU music again)

So Friday, interesting day.  In the morning I was leaning over my one little tyke's desk and I kind of fell forward, moving her desk.  I then started telling a teacher in there that I felt funny, like foggy.  They, knowing about my heart issues,  told me I should go see the nurse.  While walking to the nurse I started feeling like the walls were moving and I was not.  Like every step I took I was on a seesaw.  Up and down up and down up and down.  It felt like the longest walk of my life in that moving hallway.

So I go see the nurse and she suggests I call my heart doctor. So I call--they say either go to the ER or come get your echo at 2:00 and you can see the heart doctor. So I say I'll hold out until 2:00.

While driving home I feel the same sensation, that the cars around me are moving but I am not.  Like I was in a tunnel.  So, I start to consider the fact that I might actually be insane.  Like, something is not right and I know it's not logical.  I kept asking myself "is this logical?" and the answer very clearly was "no, the cars and your car is moving idiot".  My brain said that to me...(so maybe I am in fact insane in the membrane).

Yada yada I make it to my echo and the electrocardiogram-ist comes in and takes my blood pressure.  She leaves and comes back and says "The nurse says if you still feel dizzy go to the hospital".  Wait, what happened to me seeing a doctor?  Hell, even a nurse?  Instead of the sent messages.  I would have preferred she write it on a note that said:  Do you still feel dizzy? Circle YES or NO.  Then we could have passed notes back and forth like third graders.  At least it would have been nostalgic.  I digress...

I get to the ER and my moms friend meets me there because she works in the hospital.  The lady behind the desk asks for symptoms and name.  My moms friend says "her mom is on her way" to which the woman responds with a confused look "why, how old are you?"  Ughh embarrassing--I need my mom to speak for me DUH.

So I leave after my echo and I call mom dukes, DD, who says just go to the ER.  I go--wait in the waiting room for 1 hour and 30 minutes probably.  Which is shocking, because I told them I had a heart monitor on--which I assure you no one asked or cared about in that ER (which shall remain nameless).  I am going to say the odds are in my favor that they didn't have any other 26 year olds that day with a heart monitor on.  SO MAYBE I HAVE A REAL PROBLEM AND YOU SHOULD CALL ME BACK TO SEE A DOCTOR.

So...eventually after DD requests it they call me back.  Sit on the bed for an insane amount of time until a nurse acknowledges my existence.    After, and only after, she finished her personal conversation we could hear about her pregnancy.  Great your pregnant, no I don't want to touch your belly, let's move on.

She comes in, DD (my personal speaker) gives her the scoop and tells her about my Lyme's Carditis.  She puts the EKG machine on and says my heartbeat is normal. DD says no it's not.  This goes back and forth for awhile.  Nurse prints out EKG and shows a doctor who also says it's normal--DD says no it's not (DD is the charge nurse in a hospital, she knows her EKG's).

Another hour passes and a doctor comes in. HALLELUJAH, and I'm not even religious.   So, maybe it was dress down day at the hospital.  He had on black jeans and a cheesy short sleeve button down.  I expected someone from Gray's Anatomy, or at least as hot as a cast member, to walk in with their scrubs on and a scrub hat surgeon deal.  You know those scrubs where I could see their muscles underneath because after a 12 hour shit they workout and are impeccably sculpted and hot.  No--not this guy.  Not this doctor in his black jeans and stupid short sleeve button down.  Disappointment flooded my face, and my heart monitor. 

DD, my personal speaker, starts telling him all of my ailments.  He starts saying the word "allegedly" a lot.   "Allegedly you have lyme's disease"  "Allegedly you have Lyme's Carditis"  BOT BOT BOT.  (bot bot bot is the Italian way to say yada yada yada).   I wanted to say sir doctor man, what is it your alleging?   So black jeans orders a bunch of tests and a scan of my cat.

They tell me pee in this cup, were going to take some blood, your going to get an IV which will leave a huge bruise like a heroin addicts track mark,  and you'll get your cat scanned.

1 1/2 more hours pass.  The nurse passes by often but doesn't acknowledge me.  Talk about customer service.   She didn't even pop in and say "you're next on the list honey, can I get you some water or crackers?"  At this point I've been here since 2:00pm and it's 8:00pm now. Some graham crackers would have been nice lady--I KNOW YOU GOT THEM SMALL PACKS WITH MINI GINGER ALE CANS FOR THE DIABETICS!  I know this because my mom also works in the hospital so when I would go visit her at work she'd give me some of those goods.  It's the shop rite brand ginger ale but I still like it anyway.  Cheap date.

So black jeans comes back around 9:00pm, my cat's fine, they scanned it.  He says you can get a spinal tap to  see if you have Lyme's Meningitis in the brain, allegedly,  but it's going to be treated with the same medicine you are already on.  NO THANK YOU.  Let's keep my spine untapped. I think I saw that on My Sister's Keeper and it looked painful.  I don't do well with pain.  Or being hungry apperentaly because my mom said I was a whiny patient.

Have you guys seen DD yet?  She's my rock, and through my health issues she's also my personal assistant.  Here she is:
This picture is way too close. Looks a little funny.  But that's okay.  Look at how white my teeth are? My friends will get that because sometimes when I drink I show off my pearly whites.  Look how big my sunglasses are too.  One day in college a frat guy told me one day it'll be one big lense that just covers my entire face to keep the sun off.

This my dad, in case your wondering how I got so hot:

Obvi the person, not the dog. The dog is a lil menace we like to call Jackson.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Summer Squash and Tofu Noodles

I did tell you Summer squash was our cooking inspiration this week right? It's so cheap.  So, run with it.  When something is in season take advantage of it.

Also, do not fear the TOFU NOODLES!!!
If you make them right you will never feel the need to eat regular pasta again.  They smell funny before you rinse them, but so do people before the bathe.  Run with it.

Ps..there is cheese in this and prepacked ingredients so I have no right calling it Paleo.

  1. 1 Medium Size Squash, skin on and sliced thin
  2. 1 Small White or Yellow Onion, diced
  3. 1 Cup Baby Carrots (or big ones, I just happened to have baby carrots) diced.
  4. 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  5. 2 gloves garlic
  6. 1 Package Tofu Noodles like this picture to the left <------ or right, if your dyslexic. I use the Fettuccine ones
  7. Spices--assorted like Parsley,  Salt, Pepper, Crushed Red Pepper
  8. 2 cups tomato sauce (your preference or homemade)
  9. Basil and Parmesan Cheese (if desired)

    (I'll teach you how to make homemade sauce one day, but today is not that day)
 You will notice that I am showing you a picture of the vegetables after I diced them. I did this before Crossfit to save time when I got home at night and was making dinner. Plus, if your reading this I want to believe you have some basic knowledge of cooking and I don't have to show you how to cut vegetables.  If you don't I suggest you want a tutorial on youtube.
  1. Heat one tbsp olive oil in a medium depth sauce pan (ie my Sunday sauce pan) over medium heat.
  2. Throw in your sliced vegetables and cook until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes or so like so: 
  3. Peel and dice both garlic cloves.  Saute with vegetables for 1-2 minutes or until garlic begins to become translucent, but not brown (brown means burnt which is bitter garlic--no one marries the woman who gives them bitter garlic in their food). 
  4. Add salt and pepper.  I don't know how big your phalanges are so I won't tell you tbsp or tsp--just pinch it dammit.
  5. Reduce heat to low and add 2 cups of sauce. Continuously stir and add pinches of spices--remember you are already added salt and peppa (not the singing group from the 90's). Pinch of dis, pinch of dat.  Monitor your pinches--one thing about spices is once they are in they can't be taken out.. 2 pinches of parsley, and a half pinch of red pepper flakes-a pinch of both should do it. Look at my pinchies:
  6. Allow sauce to cook on low and covered, adding small amounts (1/4 cup) of water if needed for 20 minutes.
  7. While that's happening read the back of the Tofu Noodle Package--it warns you about the "natural aroma".  No, I'm not kidding..look.
  8. While cooking the sauce cut open your Tofu Noodle package and throw your noods in a strainer in the sink.  
  9. Pinch your nose,I AM NOT KIDDING.  If you don't you won't want to eat the noods, but that's the best part!  So what they stink, remember my reference earlier to stinky people? 
  10.  Wash the tofu noodles for 2-3 minutes in hot water in the strainer.  Use your fingers to mix them up as you wash:
11.  After rinsing shake out the water.  Sometimes I dry them with a paper towel but it's not really necessary for this.
12.  Add the noodles to your sauce and mix in well with tongs.  Cook for 1-2 minutes
13. You are done! And so is dinner.  Add parsley and cheese for garnish if you would like.  One package of tofu noodles feeds two people typically, especially with all of these vegetables. Really, you can use any vegetables but Squash is in season and I had carrots.  Use what you want, but def don't shun the Tofu Noodle.  One time and you will become a believer.  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Monitored--Days 1-4

I thought I'd add some humor to having this heart monitor on.  At first, it wasn't funny.  I cried--a lot.  Mostly to my mom, DD. Let's just call her DD. I tried to be civilized and keep saying mom but anyone who knows us knows we call her DD, and she likes it that way.  She doesn't even want to be called nanny or mom-mom by her future grandchildren, she wants to be called DD.

Wow, what didn't I cry about? I am not even sure exactly why I cried. One time it was because it was too big and I couldn't hide it, another time because my roommate (Chad, yes I live with a dude, no it's not weird for us) said "wow" and BAM waterworks started.

So, it's important I make this funny then.  Let me give me a run down of the first 4 days to make you laugh or cry with me--whichever emotion you chose.

Sunday Day 1 (insert Law and Order SVU music here)
The monitor went on at 8pm--and 4am the transmitter on the charger started going off. LIKE CRAZY.  In my sleep I thought it was the fire alarm and anyone who knows me knows I have OCD and constantly believe the house may burn down.  Even if I blow out the candles before going to bed I have to get up and check that I actually did blow out the candles probably 12 times.

Have you even been driving and in your own world and all of a sudden an ambulance is coming up behind you 90 miles an hour siren blaring.  That's what this was like.  An ambulance with it's siren's blaring--but in my bedroom.  It is the most annoying noise you can imagine.  Well, there went sleep for the night.

Monday Day 2
Since I am an itinerant vision specialist I travel all day long.  One of my little cherubs is in Elementary School and totally blind, but also independent.  She was taking way too long in the bathroom and was missing something in class so I walked out of the classroom and down the hallway.  Halfway down I hear this loud beeping noise and again what do I think--fire alarm?  Side note, I am 100% sure I have never been in a fire, but I am terrified of the possibility of it.   Nope, it was the monitor under my shirt. I forgot the transmitter and the monitor can't be more than 40 yards away from the monitor.  I had to run back and get it--and by run I mean casually walk and keep hitting my chest to make the noise stop momentarily.  Another side note--who the hell measures in yards anyway? Tell me 40 feet, I can probably figure that out.  40 yards? No. I only know what a yard stick looks like but not really sure what a yard is.
So Monday night, it gets better have no fear....I go to WOD.  It's cleans and I do one and what comes out of my shirt and hits me right smack in the face---my monitor from under my shirt.  I drop the weight and am like what the hell was that?  No worries, just something which came flying out of my cleavage and smacked me in the face.

Tuesday Day 3
 I keep forgetting the transmitter when I go places. So in my office I am going to venture to say the bathroom is greater than 40 yards away.  So I'm in the potty and all of sudden BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP from under my shirt.   Someone else in the bathroom, rather understandably startled, asked "WHAT WAS THAT?!?" My response was "my heart calling me back to the mother ship".

Tuesday mid-work day the transmitter starts doing that ambulance thing again.  LOUD. It wouldn't stop.  Look at the screen and it says dead battery.  I haven't touched this piece all day..HOW DID IT DIE?  Well, I had no charger with me at work. Surely no one at the monitoring center was concerned about me not transmitting my heartbeat to them because still no one has called to see if I'm alive. Which, I am alive...duh.   I am sure they are going to add another day to the sentence for that.  Unless I can convenience them I took a two hour shower and that's why it was off.  Which, I have done many a hangover-ago in college.

Tuesday night I go WOD again. Somehow, I get my hands all caught up in the cords during pushups and rip two leads off.    THOSE BAD BOYS ARE LIKE SUCTION CUPS ON AN OCTOPUS.  Not only did the lead thingers come off, but my skin went with it.  I think I have sensitive skin.  It's because I'm delicate flower--yeah right. Or maybe my skin just don't work with the adhesive they use.  Look, I aint kidding---
I have two of them. One on each side. Looks like someone burned me with a cigar--once on each side for good measure.   Also, did I mention DD is a nurse? So you know she's on top of everything health wise with me.  She was watching the instructional videos on how to wear the monitor before I even knew the website name.  She informed you are supposed to remove the suction cups while in the shower--not just take them off dry or they will tear your skin.  Opps.  OCD comes with ADD so my attention span is limited.

So for anyone who saw me holding my chest during the WOD that night I am sorry if I scared you.  I was holding the lead and my skin on---I wasn't in pain. All wodders out there know you can't answer questions while wodding!

Wednesday Day 4
During the morning WOD I saw my buddy ol' pal Bob.  He informs me that I am lucky there is a nurse in the class, Rachel, because he has only done CPR twice and once was not successful.  I asked what not successful meant to which he responded it didn't work on one of the people.  I am going to venture to say this person is deceased, as CPR is a life saving measure, and it not working equals death.  He's so silly..and possibly crazy.

Also, guess who went all sirens and whistles again at 6:30am? You guessed it,  the transmitter.  Everyone was looking at me. It said "LEAD DISCONNECTED?"  I was checking--WHAT? WHERE? I CHECKED ALL THREE!!! After 5 minutes of it beeping and me hitting the silence button I realized that it meant one of the cord do-hickies wasn't plugged in.  Gesh.

Wednesday night, this is when SHIT GOT REAL. 10:01pm, trying to sleep---SIRENS SIRENS SIRENS.  I get up check the transmitter-- LEAD DISCONNECTED. So, I check every lead, push them in,  and Sirens stop.  Lay down--SIRENS SIRENS SIRENS LEAD DISCONNECTED. Get up, turn the transmitter off, turn the monitor off, unplug and re-plug leads, turn back on. SIRENS SIRENS SIRENS LEADS DISCONNECTED. Get up, push leads in,  stops. Lay down, move left arm, SIRENS SIRENS SIRENS.   FOR THE LOVE OF SWEET JESUS!!! Begin to beat transmitter with fist, scream at it,  (Chad didn't wake up? means if we are ever getting robbed I'm on my own), consider throwing it but know I can't afford to replace it. Lay down, move right leg or sneeze--SIRENS SIRENS SIRENS.  Unplug, rip off suction cups, skin goes with them, replug new ones, on and off on and off------Begin to text DD at 10:40pm screaming.

Thursday--alarm goes off at 4:55am....STAY TUNED FOR DAYS 5-8

I know I have been really funny about it until now, but as you can say by day 4 my patience is wearing and my normal jovial behavior is missing from my attitude.  The first person Thursday who asks me what's under my shirt is going to get an earful....

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Gluten Free Summer Veggie Flat Breads

I love Pizza. It reminds me of when I was in Italy.  That pizza is amazing.  If I ever raise $10,000 I'll go back and eat pizza everyday at least once a day.  But, that's not healthy.  Dangit.  So--let's make a pizza out of a gluten free flat bread.  Stick with me and I'll make it not suck. 

Oh and remember last post I said squash was our summer inspiration this week for cooking--I wasn't kidding : )  I have another meal planned for this week with it--stay tuned. I love it because it's delicious, if prepared right, and it's dirt cheap because it's in season.  Get it local though, the supermarkets will jack up the price around this time. 

So, what you'll need.

  1. 1 Green Squash
  2. 3 tbsp olive oil--divided
  3. 2 Gluten Free Flat Breads
  4. 1/2 pound Mushrooms, I used Cermani but you use your favorite 
  5. 2 cups spring mix of your choice, I used arugula mix because I like the spice. 
  6. 1 Package Pre-sliced Pepperoni package
  7. 2 small garlic cloves, diced and divided
  8. Tomato or Pizza Sauce of your choice (I used our left overs from the cabbage rolls)
  9. Seasoning--garlic salt, crushed red pepper (if you like spice), oregano,  salt, pepper, etc.    Don't worry I'll talk you through that. 

    Also, did you notice my tbsp and tsp are kind of all over the place? I don't believe in measuring spoons--so I just write that so you guys don't freak out. When cooking, go with what your heart tells you will be good. Don't get hung up on measuring--unless your baking. It's apparently important for baking,  which I learned the hard way.
Here are the flat bread brand I used, but you can use any kind you like.   Wegman's has their own brand as well which is probably much cheaper than this one.  The bakery has it's own website  It's pretty cool, they have all Gluten Free products--they are located in Lancaster, PA.  They are also at the Collingswood Farmers Market every Saturday morning with all their delicious smelling goods. 
1. Preheat the over to 400 degrees while you prepare your pizza toppings.
2. Place one tbsp olive olive into one nonstick pan and heat on medium low.
3. Wipe off dirt from mushrooms (never soak and wash mushrooms) and slice in half.  Place 2 cups spring or arugula mix with mushrooms and garlic in the pan.  Sautee 10 minutes until the mushrooms get a little crispy and the arugula wilts to look like spinach.
4. As this mix is cooking add any spices youd like--I added 1 tbsp parsley, 1 tsp red chilli flakes, and 1 tsp garlic salt. It will look like this as it cooks:
5.  As this pan is cooking, if your stove is big enough, heat another tbsp of olive oil over medium low heat. 
6. Slice squash thin with skin still on.  Mix with garlic, salt, and pepper.  Place in second pan like this:
7. Heat over medium low heat for 5-6 minutes until squash starts to brown.  Flip as it browns.
8. After about 6 minutes add 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce or pizza sauce, mixing as it cooks so it does not burn.  Add 2-3 tbsp of water to the sauce as it cooks. 
Don't just walk away as this cooks for another 10 minutes. It'll burn and youll be stuck with goop.  GOOP I'M TELLING YOU!!!  Keep an eye on it.

9. As you are keeping an eye on your squash and sauce prepare the 2 flat breads with the one tbsp of oil left.  Pour half of  the tbsp on each flat bread on a lined baking sheet--like so
10.  Rub it in with your fingers. Don't be dainty about it, you can always wash your hands.  No need to act like a wuss in the kitchen.
11.  Add your toppings as you like.  I put argula and mushrooms on one and squash sauce mix with pepperoni on the other. I put the pepperoni on top because it's salty and delicious as it cooks and gets all crispy.
12.  Place in over for 10-15 minutes, keeping an eye on it.  Pull out and they should look like this:

13. The final step to crisp up the bottom is to throw them back on just the rack at 400 degrees for 2-3 minutes.  Make sure they don't burn.
Why didn't I do this from the beginning?  Well, I don't have a pizza stone.  Maybe someone should buy me one--HINT HINT GIORDANO'S!!  Also, they are a little flimsy before they cook.  So, if you try to pick one up and put it on the rack uncooked it will be flippidy flamming all over and will most likely just fall.  Then you'll be hungry. So you'll order a large pizza with pineapples and ham from Domino's.  You'll eat too much.  You'll hate yourself. Endless cycle. SO FOLLOW MY DIRECTIONS YOU HEAR!?!?!

14. Remove from oven and let cool for 1 minute.
15. Slice into halves or fourths. I am not going to tell you how to cut your pizza.  I don't know you so no judgie. 

Maybe make this for your next dinner party.  Your guests will be jelly (jealous) of your mad cooking skills.  Also, you can tell them it's healthy and locally grown--if you keep it real like I did.