Thursday, July 31, 2008

Nothin' Better To Do



I know I've posted this picture before, but I've got nothing else to end July with, and I still have plenty of oranges on the tree in my backyard. It's a reminder to pick more oranges and make juice, or something.

Yesterday's song:
Fashion - David Bowie - Barbie2be

PEACE

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fashion


I'm a Project Runway geek. On Bluefly.com they're featuring last season's winner Christian Siriano's new collection. I thought I'd take a peek. I would LOVE to own the jacket pictured above. (I tried to get a close-up of it, but it didn't work -- computer issues.) Just for fun I checked if there was availability in my size. Bluefly.com had it retailed for $600.00, but "discounted" it, but not by much. It's still pricey. While I copied the above picture and posted it to my blog, the jacket sold out. I would never buy a singular jacket for that much money. I just can't afford to buy one piece of clothing for that much money. I can't justify it. I can see spending that much on a high quality purse that I would use for years, but not for a blazer that I'd probably wear a few times. Now I have a new project in mind, and that's to duplicate the jacket as closely as possible, and you can be sure it's not going to cost me as much as the one above. Heck, I have made a pirate coat, a prom dress, American Girl doll clothes,
and other clothes and items for the house, then I can certainly make myself a blazer. Sure, it will be labor intensive, but it's not totally impossible. This all remains to be seen, though. I have a running skirt pattern that I have yet to figure out and a serger that I've yet to use. Yeah. I'm getting ahead of myself. The words "what am I getting myself into" are going through my head, too. A part of sewing is sitting, and for a while it was difficult to sit for a long period of time. Now that I'm past that, I supppose I have no more legitimate excuses and I should get myself in gear and sew SOMETHING. Hold me to it. OK?

July is just about over, which means my daily babbling about food is almost up, too. I thought I was going to do more with the food thing but the food topics just didn't carry me like I thought they would. I had lost momentum, especially when dealing with a few of the medications I was taking.

Speaking about food...
I know I've mentioned before, but peas have to be my least favorite food. I can't think of any food I dislike more. The intense dislike of peas happened sometimes in childhood. There was no trauma associated with peas. Peas just smelled and tasted awful to me, and bring about that gag reflex. Blech. I must point out that I'm OK with snow peas and raw peas right out of the pod. It's cooked peas that are just so wrong to me, and canned peas have to be the worst. I've tried a lot of exotic foods that many people wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole, so I'm open to try new things -- meaning, I'm not a picky eater. I might eat cooked peas if I was paid to eat them, just like when they make contestants eat bugs on Fear Factor, but there's no guarantee the peas would stay down.



Yesterday's song:

No More Drama - Mary J. Blige - Katiefeldmom

PEACE

Photos from Bluefly.com, American Girl, Wikipedia.org, and me.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

No More Drama

I'm not sure why it never occurred to me to use the attachment pictured to the left to make banana bread. I've been using the wire whip attachment all this time, just because that's what I've always had out. Banana bread batter doesn't need to be whipped up, and it's probably better, texture wise if it isn't. The flat beater doesn't whip it up as much.

Oh yeah, I made banana bread today. I didn't measure anything and used dried cherries instead of cranberries.

It's rather quiet here right now. We had a little excitement with an earthquake here today, but I didn't feel it. I have a friend who works in a high rise hotel, and he mentioned feeling some wobbling.

No drama. Boring, but no drama. I believe peace negotiations are over and everyone has gone their own way. I hope.

Yesterday's song:
Sunrise - Norah Jones - Barbie2be



PEACE

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sunrise

A couple of months ago I was contacted by Schmap.com about a photo I had posted on Flickr from last year's AFC Half Marathon. They asked my permission to use the photo on their map page of San Diego, but it still had to go through their selection process. It wasn't a sure thing, so I didn't get too excited. I was contacted by Schmap.com today and found out that they are using my photo on their site. Now I'm excited! Woohoo!


This is the photo they've used.


This photo was taken on August 19, 2007 near the AFC Half Marathon starting area on Point Loma, looking east, towards the sunrise.

Last week I was feeling rather lack-luster, with little to no energy, and if I did have any energy it was quickly zapped with no rhyme or reason. I thought I might be coming down with a cold or dealing with an allergy -- who knows? This week I've decided to take a closer look at what I've been eating. Perhaps I didn't make the best choices last week. This week I'm making a conscious effort to eat more vegetables. I do eat a lot of salad, but perhaps I need to incorporate different vegetables into my salads, not just the standard green lettuces and tomatoes. It's not a huge stretch, but this week I'm adding more broccoli, carrots, celery and squash into my salads, or just steam a few of those vegetables together to have with my dinner. It's not like I don't eat vegetables, I just need to eat more. Of course, I am working on a balance of everything else, such as lean proteins and whole grains and fresh fruits.

For the first time since the surgery, I've been able to do push-ups. I was able to do one set of 10 - knees up, then 3 sets of 20 - knees down. Before all of this hip stuff, I could whip out regulation knees up push ups with no problem, probably about 50 to 75 reps at a time. I tried doing push ups a few weeks ago and it was way too difficult and stressful on my hip/leg and core. I couldn't even do one. I used The Bean to do push ups, which helped to keep everything going, but those are way too easy and only use the upper body. Today I could do 10 reps -- it's better than 0 reps.

Yesterday's song:
No Sympathy - Bob Marely - Run-DMZ

PEACE

Vegetable photo from Wikipedia.org

Sunday, July 27, 2008

No Sympathy

In yesterday's blog post I had talked about how someone asked me if I missed running. I really wasn't looking for sympathy. I was surprised that I didn't get a lecture about the dangers of running and how I should start checking out other sports, (and then they go light up a cigarette...) Seriously, though, I was just surprised that someone I hadn't seen in a while would think to ask if I had missed something I had enjoyed doing. I know I have the support of my blogger friends, and heaven knows I wasn't fishing for sympathy. I guess I was just taken back a bit. I know I'll be back to running. I may have different goals when I do get back to running, but I'll be there.

Keeping all that in mind, check out this 92 year old woman. I wanna be like her when I grow up.



"Said she started running twelve years ago after she broke her hip."

Amazing.


Food stuff...
cranberry juice
I know some people say that juice is loaded with added sugars, etc, and that is true, but I still like my cranberry juice.

Other stuff...
I've been having computer issues over the past week. We've been plagued with some sort of virus or trojan horse, and it's just wreaking havoc on everything. This is the second time I've written this blog post, since I'm having issues trying to save it. Yes, we've run Norton and Ad Aware, and did a disk clean up, BUT... since a certain 5 year old figured out how to get on some kiddie game sites, it has been something new with computer problems, each week.

Yesterday's song:
Dream A Little Dream - Mamas and the Papas - Barbie2be

PEACE

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Dream A Little Dream

Yesterday my husband and I went to a social work function for his office. We went out for an afternoon at the (horse) races at Del Mar. I'm not much for gambling, and my husband squandered away about $6.00 on a couple of races, but we still enjoyed ourselves. This is the only thing his office does all year long where you actually get to talk to people. The Christmas party is usually noisy and it's hard to recall what anybody talked about since 75% of the staff gets smashed. Any who... It was still fun to scream and yell when the horses went by. I met a few of the newer employees and caught up with a couple of the long time ones. One lady doesn't really work at their office, but she works on a town council with one of the partners. I always see her at these events. She's also a runner and has participated in a few of the same events I've been in. She asked about my injury and I filled in the gaps to the second hand info she received. She asked me if I missed running. It then occurred to me that she has been the only one who has ever really asked me that. I know I've said that I miss running a couple of times, but it was interesting that someone asked if I missed it. I'm not sure why that floored me, maybe because I wasn't receiving a lecture on how dangerous running is. Of course, I answered her with a resounding "yes" and added feeling kind of wistful when I see someone else running on a gorgeous day, wanting to do the same. *SIGH*

THEN...
Before awakening this morning, I was deep asleep in dreamland, actually having a great dream about running. In the dream I was running some place like Point Loma, through the college area and some of the well-kept neighborhoods. It was a beautiful and clear morning. I was running with a bunch of people, perhaps the track club, and I was also running with my husband. In the dream it occurred to me that I was actually running. I even said to my husband "hey, I'm really running!" It felt good. Then I was jolted out of my sleep to "Mimiiiiiiiiiii... I'm hungry."

In food happenings...
My daughter picked up a package of Veggie Patties at Costco last week. I had forgotten all about these because I sort of went on a Veggie Patties buying spree a long while back and became tired of having them every day. After a long hiatus, I had tried one again, and it was pretty good, and better than I had remembered. I've never grilled one, but they're good for breakfast, cooked in a pan and browned. This is not a low carb food item, but better than some other veggie burgers I've had.

Yesterday's song:
Cake - The B-52's
PEACE

Friday, July 25, 2008

Cake


I've really been stretching for food topics over the past few days. It has been a long week, my mind is fried, and my computer has some sort of virus that is preventing me from really searching the net for food information. Here's a photo of a dessert we had on the cruise back in December. I honestly can't remember if I ate any of it, but the cruise was a lot of fun. :)

Yesterday's song:
Apples and Pairs - Slow Club

PEACE

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Apples and Pairs

Yes, it's a song title, and it is spelled correctly. :)

I had my share of Art History classes in college. It's time for a trip down memory lane.



Artist
Paul C├ęzanne (French, 1839–1906)

Title
Still Life with Apples and Pears

Date
ca. 1891–92

Medium
Oil on canvas

Art work and photo from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.




Yesterday's song:

Crumbs From Your Table - U2 - Barbie2be

PEACE

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Crumbs From Your Table

I don't normally watch a lot of daytime TV, but this morning I had the Today Show on, mostly because I missed the news last night, and I had a few mindless chores to take care of. I don't normally watch the Today Show, but it runs later than the other network news shows and I can catch the local news. I happened to catch a segment that featured Sam the Cooking Guy. Surprise, surprise... I used to catch Sam's cooking show on local public access TV, since he lives in San Diego. He makes interesting dishes using some foods we normally have on hand, such as seared ahi tuna made with Cap'n Crunch cereal. I haven't tried it YET but I'm highly intrigued. I also like his Margarita recipe - Check out THIS video. I haven't tried that one yet, either, but it's right up my alley, or at least my backyard -- and if I'm in my backyard I don't need a designated driver... He offers one time cooking classes held at a near by restaurant, and I'm so tempted to sign up for one. I almost forgot to add (which is sort of the point of this blogpost), on the Today Show segment he had a use for old bread. Throw it in the food processor and make bread crumbs to use in other recipes/dishes. I'll have to do that with at least a couple of packages of those hamburger and hot dog rolls I have in the freezer. (Wow, it took me a while to get to that bread tip, which sort of solves part of my leftovers dilemma.)

Yesterdays Song:
Superhero - Jane's Addiction

PEACE

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Superhero

This morning my son had mentioned that the next big food thing would be the breakfast salad. He said he went out for breakfast this morning and that's what he had. I was intrigued. He said a breakfast salad is, basically, a salad with a fried egg on it. That didn't sound too appealing to me, but I did a Google search for a breakfast salad. The breakfast salads that came up weren't much of a stretch, and not unusual from anything I've ever had, such as a spinach salad with bacon and hard boiled eggs and some sort of oil and vinegar dressing. One breakfast salad did come up that seemed interesting to me, and I might have to try it.



Breakfast Salad
By Cindy Burke, from the Cindy Burke collection
Serves 2
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 12 hours
Introduction

Salad for breakfast might sound strange, but don’t knock it until you try it. Cindy Burke recommends prepping the vegetables the night before to minimize the time it takes to pull together breakfast in the morning; read the author’s inspiration for this salad on her Culinate blog.

Ingredients
1 cucumber
1 bell pepper (any color)
2 medium tomatoes, chopped, or a handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
~ Salt to taste
1 Tbsp. flaxseed oil or extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. rice-wine vinegar
2 cups salad greens, washed and dried
¼ cup crumbled goat cheese or whole-milk ricotta
1 Tbsp. toasted sunflower seeds
2 large farm-fresh eggs
~ Freshly ground black pepper

1. The evening before you plan to serve the salad, peel the cucumber. Cut it in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Cut the cucumber lengthwise into eight equal strips and then into medium dice. Place the diced cucumber into two salad bowls.
2. Remove the seeds from the bell pepper and cut into medium dice; add to the bowls.
3. Chop the ripe tomatoes (or, if it’s early in the summer, substitute a handful of halved cherry tomatoes) and add them to the bowls.
4. Add a sprinkle of salt to the vegetables if you like. Add the flaxseed or olive oil to each bowl, then add the rice-wine vinegar (not too much — remember, this is for breakfast). Toss the diced vegetables with a spoon.
5. Next, tear a handful of greens into bite-sized pieces. Place the greens on top the diced vegetables, but do not toss with the greens yet (the oil and vinegar will wilt the leaves).
6. Crumble a little soft goat cheese on top. Finally, sprinkle toasted sunflower seeds over everything.
7. Cover and refrigerate the salads overnight. In the morning, take the salads out of the fridge.
8. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and gently set the eggs into the water; cook for 6 to 8 minutes. Once the eggs are cooked, drain the hot water and peel away the shells under cool running water.
9. Plop an egg on top of each salad, cutting each in half with your fork so the yolk can ooze out a little, then add a grind of black pepper. Toss and serve.

Other stuff...

When my kids were of grade school age, and it was my week to handle the carpool, the kids would often discuss being superheros. The question would be "If you were a superhero what would your superhero name be, and what are your superpowers?" I caught this Blogthing on Smartypantz's blog:



Your Superpower Should Be Mind Reading



You are brilliant, insightful, and intuitive.

You understand people better than they would like to be understood.

Highly sensitive, you are good at putting together seemingly irrelevant details.

You figure out what's going on before anyone knows that anything is going on!

Why you would be a good superhero: You don't care what people think, and you'd do whatever needed to be done

Your biggest problem as a superhero: Feeling even more isolated than you do now



Well, that's a stretch... NOT! Being a mom , wife, and having a boss at work, I have to read minds sometimes. Sheesh.

Yesterday's song:
Buns O' Plenty - Isaac Hayes - Step Away From The Cake

PEACE

Photo from culinate.com

Monday, July 21, 2008

Buns O' Plenty

Earlier last month, I had discussed receiving the July 2008 issue of Runner's World, and this particular issue was published *just* for me - not really, but it seemed like it was. I had also mentioned an article that I would talk about later on, about music and motivation. It's more than a month later and now it's time to (somewhat) go over the article. The article discusses the perfect running songs. Studies have been done, and there was actually a guy in a lab who listed four songs because of their upbeat tempo, but "upbeat" is in the ear of the beholder. Great running songs share the same traits, which are simple beats, simple chords, simple messages. I wasn't exactly sure how to cite the article, since there was so much to the article, plus a lot of subtexts. Just read the article for yourself HERE. (Sorry, I was going to use several quotes from the article, then I realized I would be quoting the entire article.) There's even a segment on how to build a playlist. I have about 100 songs on my running playlist on my Ipod. The very first song is "Gimme Shelter" by the Rolling stones. That song has been first on my playlist since I've owned either an Mp3 player or Ipod. That song starts of slow and builds up to get me going. I also have a few quirky, sort of funny songs like "Baby's Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-lot, and "Girl All the Bad Guys Want" by Bowling For Soup. There's a couple of songs that I had on my Ipod (and are no longer on my playlist) are "Hey Ya" by Outkast" and "Breathless" By The Coors -- nothing wrong with the songs, they just became stale on me, and when I would get to those songs I'd have to skip to the next song. I'm always looking for new songs to add to my running playlist, even though I'm not running right now. The songs are good for vacuuming (with headphones), working out, and gardening. Here's part of my playlist:

Gimmie Shelter - The Rolling Stones
Lose Yourself - Eminem
Kryptonite - 3 Doors Down
Bring Me To Life - Evanescence
Livin' On A Prayer - Bon Jovi
Where Are We Running? - Lenny Kravitz
The Road and the Sky - Jackson Browne
Running Down A Dream - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
To Be A Lover - Billy Idol
What Is Hip - Tower Of Power
Respect - Pink
Celebrity Skin - Hole
Hash Pipe - Weezer
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood - Kill Bill Soundtrack
Short Skirt/Long Jacket - Cake
Battle Without Honor Or Humanity - Kill Bill Soundtrack
Cliffs of Dover - Eric Johnson
Hot For Teacher - Van Halen
Out Here All Night - Damone
Mental Hopscotch - Missing Persons
Break - Heart
Girl All The Bad Guys Want - Bowling For Soup
Steady As She Goes - The Raconteurs
Handlebars - Flobots

Back when I used a Walkman, I often listened to Mozart for the Morning Commute when I pounded out the miles on the gym treadmill. I'm planning to add that into my Ipod and make a classical or instrumental running mix. I like diversity.

I like most genres of music, however I do like some songs more than others, and songs that I flat out don't care for.

Itunes has an interval running download that my husband likes: Lance Armstrong - Run Longer. You can have Lance in your head telling you when to speed up or slow down, OR just listen to the music separately without Lance in your head:

Island In The Sun - Weezer
Dance Inside - The All-American Rejects
Love It When You Call - The Feeling
Woman - Wolfmother
3's & 7's - Queens of the Stone Age
Yesterday to Tomorrow - Audioslave
Move Along - The All-American Rejects
155 - +44
Is It Any Wonder - Keane
Say It Ain't So - Weezer
Everybody's Changing - Keane
Loser - Beck
Sewn - The Feeling

In food news...

My daughter bought way too many packages of hotdog and hamburger buns for the party this past weekend. I'm not sure what to do with them all, and I personally don't eat a lot of bread, and when I do it's whole grain. These buns are just standard, the white bread type. Right now, what ever freezer space I have is filled with all of those buns. Any thoughts on what to do with all of that bread besides art projects of glue flowers or recipes for French toast? Right now we don't know any starving college students who would give anything for a few bags of buns. Everyone is home with their parents right now. I don't want to toss out the buns, either. What would you do with all of those buns?

Yesterday's song:

Addicted - Kelly Clarkson - Barbie2be

PEACE

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Addicted



This stuff should be illegal. I could eat the whole bag (the large Costco sized bag) all by myself.

In other happenings, without saying too much, my husband and I feel like Geneva, Switzerland. Don't worry, it has nothing directly to do with us. Long story, but let's just say our house is neutral territory, and peace negotiations are pending.

Yesterday's song:
Left Overs - No Doubt - Run-DMZ

PEACE

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Left Overs

Leftovers from the party? Uh huh. A lot of left overs.

We have enough food left over for another party.

Since we still have some cleaning to do, I'll just leave you with this sunset from a couple of weeks ago. (My husband's point of view.)



Yesterday's song:
To Be A Man - Boston

PEACE

Friday, July 18, 2008

To Be A Man

Today my grandson says he's a man.

Today is his 5th birthday.

His mommy made his favorite breakfast of pancakes loaded with fresh blueberries (mmmm... fresh blueberries!) and we spent the afternoon playing with his new Hotwheels Crashers set his great uncle and aunt gave him this morning.

Tomorrow is the birthday party.

Yesterday's song:
Everyday - Rascal Flatts, Dave Matthew Band, Buddy Holly, etc... - Katiefeldmom, Barbie2be

PEACE

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Everyday

Since I had mentioned my breakfast of Cocoa Krispies yesterday, I'd like to interject something about my breakfast choice and portions.

Have you ever read the nutritional facts on a box of cereal? Each serving size is a little different from cereal to cereal , but a serving size of Cocoa Krispies is 3/4 cup, which is 120 calories, and 160 caloreis with 1/2 cup of vitamin A & D fat free milk. I eat the recommended serving with plain soy milk, and that's about 50 calories for a 1/2 cup, making it 170 calories.

170 calories for Cocoa Krispies cereal (with soy milk), and a large mug of coffee with soy milk and sweetener, perhaps a half/whole banana or other fruit, and we're looking at around 300 to 375 calories for breakfast, which is not too bad. It's not perfect, but not bad. I get to have something crunchy and chocolate is involved.

On the left is an average sized bowl from my dish set and can fit at least 4 cups of cereal. On the right is a 3/4 cup Pyrex bow, the recommended serving size.


It's not hard to figure out that most of us probably eat cereal out of a bowl from our every day dish set. My son does. Some bowls are probably smaller, but they are still not as small as the 3/4 cup sized bowl. Most of us are probably unaware of the extra calories we're getting just by not paying attention to portion size. Do the math. By using the larger bowl, we're getting in at least 3 to 4 times more calories than what the recommended serving size is. That could be around 800 calories just for a bowl of cereal with milk. That's a lot.

I often hear "I don't eat breakfast" from many people. Not eating breakfast isn't great, either. You're more likely to over eat later on in the day if you don't have breakfast.

I've been eating my cereal out of the 3/4 cup sized Pyrex bowls for about 8 years. It's not just the cereal portions I watch, it's the portion sizes of just about all foods that I eat. I don't need to physically measure out every thing I eat, but I visually know what a portion size is. In the beginning, I did measure, but after about two weeks I was OK with eyeballing everything.

I'm not limited to Cocoa Krispies. I like raisin bran, Rice Krispies, Cheerios (plain), corn flakes, Chex, etc... I like most cereal. I'm not a big granola fan, but I'll eat it if that's what we have. I'm also not limited to cereal and do not have cereal every day. I adore breakfast foods in general, but I'm careful to watch the carb/fat/protein ratios as well as caloric intake. It's super easy to go overboard with the fat content of a lot of breakfast foods. I also eat breakfast EVERY DAY. It's a great way to get those carbs in about an hour prior to running.

I had PT today. I'm slightly more flexible today and I practiced walking. My PT also put me on a recumbent bike, with a tiny bit of resistance for 5 minutes. I still have so far to go.

Yesterday's song:
Late At Night - The Iguanas, Buffalo Tom - Barbie2be

PEACE

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Late At Night

Late yesterday afternoon, my husband called to inform me that he was given a ticket to see Journey, Heart and Cheap Trick in concert, but just one ticket from a work colleague. It didn't bother me that he was going without me, but it did seem a little weird that he was seeing Heart in concert without me. We're Heart geeks from way back in the day. I've lost count of how many Heart concerts we've been to. We've also seen Cheap Trick several times, but not deliberately. They were either opening for other bands or played at one of those all day music festivals. When we first started dating, my husband's 1960-something Pontiac behemoth vehicle did not have a working radio and we used to sing "Surrender" at the top of our lungs as we motored down the road. Amazingly, we've never seen Journey together, and the song "Open Arms" was our song for a time when we were dating. I swear, we burned a deep groove in that vinyl Escape album. My husband called me from the concert while Cheap Trick was on but I honestly couldn't tell what song was performed. Then he called back when Heart was on. He called 7 times during Heart ~ once to tell me the were on, and one time for 6 of the songs. It was almost like playing Name That Tune. I got all of the songs correct, even "Love, Reign O'er Me." (Originally performed by The Who.) Then he called several times during Journey, but the connection was choppy and cut out. I figured he couldn't hear me say "stop calling," so I finally sent him a text message to stop. Around 3 am he calls and wants me and my son to go pick up his car because he's driving his drunk work colleague home in a different car. If there is any consolation, is that my husband was the designated driver and there's absolutely no traffic at 3 am. Good times.

In food news, I had Cocoa Krispies for breakfast this morning. Yay me! (Oh, come on, now, it's food and I'm blogging about it.)
Photobucket

Yesterday's song:
Ready To Run - Dixie Chicks - Diary of an Aspiring Loser

PEACE

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ready To Run

Not really.

I'm so not ready to run yet. Someone left the front door open, and I was rushing to close it, as a couple walked by with their dog. My dog knows not to go outside if the front door is open, but if another dog is near by she has to run outside and defend her street and confront the other dog. It's not fun. As I was saying, I was rushing to close the front door, and sort of, uh, made like I was going to run for it, but I was quickly reminded that I need more time to heal. My right leg felt lead-like and twinged a little. I suppose it's a good thing that I forgot about my injury for just a moment, and no drugs were involved. I still have a long road of recovery ahead.

Exercise wise, I'm lacking this week. I'm doing the exercises my PT gave me, but that's it. No upper body anything this week, unless I count throwing the ball to the dog, and I did a side-out soccer type of throw, just so I could pretend like I was doing something workout like. I suppose every movement does count, but it wasn't a true workout. My dog burns out before I do, so it's not as if I did a zillion repetitions of those throws.

Thank you for the flavoring suggestions for my dairy free potato leek soup. My Husband came home late last night and had a bowl. I asked him what was missing and he replied "an entire ham," but that comes from a guy who puts salt on everything before tasting. I had a small bowl of the soup for lunch today and it had more flavor than it did yesterday. Perhaps the ingredients needed time to mingle. It had more garlic undertones today. I will experiment with some of the suggestions later on. I still have a huge Costco sized bag of red potatoes to go through and my grocery store always has leeks.

Speaking of Costco, I did the Costco trip first thing this morning. Bananas have returned, but almost double of what they used to cost there. My son found dried cherries and we stocked up on typical barbecue fare for this weekend's birthday party for my grandson. I was thinking of channeling my inner Martha Stewart for this weekend, as I used to creatively make/prepare everything. I honestly don't have it in me to do all that work, so we're sticking with the basics and buying almost everything, ready to grill or ready to eat. I also discovered that Costco brought back Cytosport lactose free Muscle Milk in the 24 pack of individual serving sized cartons, but right around the corner was Cytosport Evopro, the large 2.25 pound cannister, also lactose free. The Evopro was a better deal per serving, and cost way less than if I bought it at a regular vitamin store. So far, the lactose free Cytosport products agree with me. I'm looking to build back some muscle and I need to fit a higher protein ratio in my diet, which is why I'm looking at protein supplements. I just hope I'm able to snag another container of the Evopro before Costco sells out. PS: This stuff is good after a long run or after a hard workout.


Yesterday's song:
Come On In My Kitchen - Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton - Barbie2be

PEACE

Monday, July 14, 2008

Come On In My Kitchen


Today I made a dairy free, healthy version of potato-leek soup, but I can't quite pin-point what's missing. Actually, I know what's missing, and it's an entire 12 ounce package of bacon that is part of the original recipe, but I'm trying to make a healthy, low fat soup and using an entire package of bacon would defeat the purpose by totally jacking up the fat and sodium content.

Tip:
After slicing the leeks, place in a large bowl of cool tap water and swish them around a little, and let them sit for a minute or so. The leeks float to the top and the sand sinks to the bottom. Lift out the leeks and blot dry in a couple of paper towels, if they need to be dry. Leeks are grown in very sandy soil, and there's always sand stuck inside.



Irene's attempt at Dairy Free Potato Leek Soup

Ingredients:
6 cups peeled & diced potatoes (Yukon Gold, Sweet White, or Red New Potatoes work best)
6 cups vegetable broth
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 medium sized leeks, thinly sliced
olive oil, about 2 tablespoons
1 cup of soy milk
salt and pepper to taste

bring vegetable broth to a boil in a 4 quart pot (or larger)
add diced potatoes and garlic. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the leeks. Saute' the leeks in the olive oil until the dark slices yield slightly to a spoon or spatula. Cover and allow to steam for 2-3 minutes, or until the dark slices cut easily with the edge of your spoon or spatula.

Add the cooked leeks to the potatoes.

Using a hand blender, blend the potatoes and leeks, slowly adding the soy milk.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot or chill and serve cold.

~~~~

On my first taste test, I was expecting a lot more flavor, but it was on the bland side. I added a little more salt and pepper, which helped a little, but still, something was missing. My solution to bland is always Tabasco Sauce, and a few drops of that, but directly into my cup of soup. The Tabasco Sauce helped, but I would like to make the recipe that's ready to eat without adding anything to it. I also added a a little squirt of lime. That helped, too. The tricky part is keeping the recipe healthy, so no cheese, bacon or gravy. I also thought about topping the soup off with salsa fresca and make that a part of the recipe, but I wasn't ready for that. I only had the makings for potato-leek soup by itself.

On a cooking note, don't think it would be necessary to saute' the leeks. As far as I'm concerned, they're all going in the pot with the potatoes, and will be mixed beyond recognition to a thick, creamy soup. If I make this again, I'm going to skip the saute' part and put the leeks and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil right in with the potatoes.

I'm open to suggestions to boost the flavor. What would you add? Keep in mind that it must be healthy and non dairy. Vegetarian would be a bonus but not necessary.

Someone was not thrilled that I was taking photos of food, and not him, so I obliged. He had to be sure to have a car in the photo.


Yesterday's song:
Oatmeal Cookies - Naomi & Christina (Wynonna) Judd, Pete Charles


PEACE

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Oatmeal Cookies

Last night's activity was baking cookies with my grandson. It has been a long while since I've made cookies, but something about having a kid in the house makes me want to do all of those homemaker-ish kinds of things that I've strayed from. Now that he's a little older, he wants to help crack eggs and stir, and baking treats (like cookies) has more purpose. It's the experience. The trick was to make cookies out of the ingredients I already had, and a batch of old-fashioned oatmeal cookies were created. The recipe came from the back of the package of generic oatmeal from Von's (Safeway.) The recipe is nothing unusual, other than their recipe version called for a half teaspoon of ground nutmeg. I can't recall ever using nutmeg in oatmeal cookies before. They turned out great, but when everyone else came home they asked "why are you making cookies?" Has it really been THAT long? The recipe is basic, right off the oatmeal cannister/package. Take a peek at your own cannister of oatmeal.

I miss running.

Yesterday's song:
King Of The Road - Roger Miller - Simplypink


PEACE

Saturday, July 12, 2008

King Of The Road

I haven't tossed out blogging about running.

Check out this San Diego Union-Tribune article about two ultra marathoners.

One of them came back after surgery.

Pain, Pleasure to the Extreme -- Two local competitors are the favorites to win ultramarathon torture test in Death Valley by Don Norcross

No, I have absolutely no aspirations to run an ultra marathon, however, Akos Konya returned to running 2 years after surgery, and that gives me a lot of hope.

"Running at a hard pace exacted a toll on Konya, and in 2001 he underwent surgery on his left knee. He said he didn't run for two years. Then one day he was in his Oceanside apartment, bored, and headed out for a three-mile jog. Running at a leisurely, nine-minute pace, his knee didn't hurt. Thus, an ultramarathoner was born."


On the blogging about food side, I made ice tea out Celestial Seasonings Mandarin Orange Spice herbal tea. I can't recall if the grandkid has EVER had tea, other than hot chamomile tea when he's been sick with a sour stomach. Today he couldn't get enough of the MOS herbal iced tea. Since we've sort of quit buying sodas and began drinking more water, I suppose this was a treat for him.

Yesterday's song:

You Can't Miss What You Can't Measure - Funkadelic

PEACE


Photo by CRISSY PASCUAL / Union-Tribune

Friday, July 11, 2008

You Can't Miss What You Can't Measure

I normally don't measure ANYTHING on this recipe. I just sort of know what it's supposed to look like as I'm mixing it up, and toss in what ever dried fruit I happen to have. I actually had to use measuring spoons and cups for this one I'm posting today. If you hand mix it versus using a mixer (like I did) the texture of the bread turns out more uniform and it rises more evenly, but I'm not trying to win a blue ribbon at the state fair or Top Chef. I just like to use any excuse to play with my red stand mixer.


Irene's Banana Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together in one bowl:
1/4 cup softened butter or margarine (not spread)
2 large eggs
2 or 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup of orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest, just the zest and not the rind.


Mix together in another bowl then add to the wet ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup of sugar

Then fold in:
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup dried cranberries or whatever dried fruit you happen to have - be sure and chop larger pieces of dried fruit, such as apricots, into smaller pieces.


Coat a bread pan with cooking spray, and dump the entire mixture into the pan.


Bake for about an hour -- It depends on your oven and which type of bread pan you use. My stoneware pan usually requires more time. I usually test for done-ness with a toothpick at about an hour, and add 10 minutes at a time as needed.


If I had planned things better, I would have started making this recipe earlier in the day. I ran out of natural lighting, and didn't take the time to plate my bread all fancy so it would look extra pretty. It's a good thing I even got this picture (below) last night. The banana bread is now history.



Yesterday's song:
Going Down - JJ Cale

PEACE

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Going Down

My internet was down during the time I was planning to post an actual banana bread recipe, so I called our internet provider for help. I spent at least 30 minutes on hold so I could speak with a real live person. Once I did speak with someone, it took about 20 minutes to fix the issue. I'm done with the internet for today, so I'll just leave you with a picture of what my bananas looked like before they became a part of my bread.


Yesterday's song:
What Is Hip? - Tower of Power - Be A Good One

PEACE

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

What Is Hip?

Today was my first physical therapy session. My physical therapist, R , called my name in the waiting room, and as I got up to walk toward her, she kept looking around. Apparently, she was expecting to see someone much less mobile. She was impressed with my progress thus far. Today was more of a Q and A session, and I had to go over my story once again, since the bare bones (no pun intended) are in the chart with preliminary information provided to R -- only that I had surgery on my femoral neck/head (in the hip). She did a few stretching tests, and I'm pretty flexible, considering everything. There's just a one area I really need to work on. I have a hard time crossing my right leg over my left leg. She gave me some stretching exercises as homework and told me to continue what I'm already doing, which is the high weights/low reps weight exercises, walking, and swimming. She did want me to continue to keep using my cane, just so I don't throw off my other hip. I see R again next week.

I've made a nice little discovery at our local grocery store. Garlic olives. I know that olives are one of those things that you either can't stand or really like. I've seen many people pick off the olives from their deli sandwiches or slices of pizza. I like olives, but they're not something I usually seek out. Black or green, they're usually a garnish or after thought to a salad, pizza or sandwich, or the green ones with the little red pimentos in the middle just for martinis. While I was waiting for my husband to order a deli sandwich, I happened to stroll near the exotic cheeses and the salad bar section. The sign for garlic olives just stood out to me, so I just had to purchase a container full. I didn't even test them. Once I brought them home and was able to eat a few, I was pleasantly surprised. I couldn't just sit there and eat a whole 16 ounce container full, but a few at a time are great.

On my honor, I promise to brush my teeth, use mouthwash and/or eat a stick of minty fresh, breath freshening gum after I eat my garlic olives.

Yesterday's song :
Yes, We Have No Bananas - Spike Jones and His City Slickers - Barbie2be

PEACE

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Yes, We Have No Bananas

...just a picture of some.

bananas

Yesterday's song:
Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy - Tchaikovsky - Simplypink

PEACE

Picture from Photobucket.com

Monday, July 07, 2008

Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy

Yesterday my next-door neighbor brought over a huge grocery bag full of red plums from his backyard tree. The plums were great fresh, but there were so many that they'd go bad before we could eat them all, so I decided to make jam. I checked out recipezaar.com and found a recipe that I liked, but adapted it to what I had on hand and made it my own.

Plum-Lime Jam

Ingredients:
8 cups (about 64 ounces) of of plums - rinsed, pitted and coarsely chopped with skins on
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 pinch of salt
2 teaspoons of vanilla
The juice of one lime
Three 2 inch strips of lime zest
~~~~~
For easier measuring, I just filled up a 64 ounce Gladware container with the chopped plums.



Place all the ingredients in a large pot with plenty of room to allow for the mixture to boil. Cook over low to medium low heat. Make sure all the sugar is dissolved, and continue to keep scraping the sides as you stir.


Last to go in -- the strips of lime zest


Once the mixture appears to me more liquefied, take out the lime zest and mash the mixture. The original recipe says to use a potato masher and that the mixture should be chunky. If you like a little more chunky, well then go for the potato masher, however, I love to use my kitchen gadgets, so I opted for the hand held mixer...

...and ended up with a smooth mixture. Keep in mind that the pot is still on the stove on low to medium low heat.


The original recipe explains that the mixture should be the consistency/thickness of honey when cooled. It's not the same texture as honey, but it should be somewhat thick, well, like jam (duh!) To test it, I would spoon out about a tablespoon into a small bowl, cool.

My jam is tangy, and that's what I was going for, but you can adjust the tangy-ness by reducing the lime juice to taste. This recipe yielded just a little over a 2 pound jar of jam. Store in an air-tight container. Will keep in a refrigerator for about a month.




Yesterday's song:
Fast Cars And Freedom - Rascal Flats - Katiefeldmom

PEACE

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Fast Cars And Freedom

The pit crew


The cars
(This photo is by Evan)


Lining up at the start


On your mark... get set...


GO!
Woohoo!
There was drama, intrigue, suspense and a crash! We have a winner! The little black sedan, which is barely pictured at the center bottom of the picture, was so speedy, the others didn't have a chance. Who says you have to go to Indy to see the races? It was a great way to end the 4th of July weekend.

In food news, our next door neighbor brought over a huge plastic grocery bag full of red plums from their backyard tree. I made a small batch of plum-lime jam. I'll post that process, recipe and pictures tomorrow.

Yesterday's song:
Swim - Madonna

PEACE