Update

It’s been bitterly cold- not great weather for doing much of anything, really, but I’ve been kind of burnt-out on watching movies and browsing the internet, so, I cleaned.

There’s something about being… not shut in, but not particularly interested in braving extreme cold… that made it extra satisfying. Clothes got re-organized, dressers cleared off, drawers were gone through, laundry got laundered… all in all, it was a pretty respectable session.

I’m slowly reverting to my original form. Who am I when I’m not in crisis? I’m finding out. I barely remember, but my body seems to have this physical memory, and suddenly mid-task, I remember how much I enjoyed certain things- girly things, mostly. But those were among the first things to go.

I’ve been thinking about fitness. I stopped going to the gym during the hub-bub of the holidays, and then, brr… no thanks! But, I’m now thinking about it again. I’m also interested in working on my body again.

Girlfriend has been on a regimented diet for the past couple of months, and has lost a lot of weight doing so. She got me some probiotic + energy supplements to try, which I’m doing, but since it’s only been a day, I don’t have too much to say about it.

I’ve used protein powders in the past, and don’t mind going back to that, but my big problem with those is that they constipate me terribly. (*The More You Know*) I looked it up & it turns out this is pretty common. In order to not have it be an issue, I’d have to do yet another thing, (like eat prunes), in addition to the protein… and that’s a whole lot of nevermind, sometimes.

 

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Life goes on…

Happy Holidays! I don’t know about you, but I was very busy in the weeks preceding Xmas. “Busy, busy, busy…” So, here’s what’s been up…

The holidays have been great… I just haven’t seen everyone, so I feel like they’re not really over yet. I’ve enjoyed resting.

I’m trying to make the switch to otc for the last med. I realllllly wanted to be med-free sooner rather than later, but this reflux thing is no joke. It’s fine when it’s under control, but it has let me know, in no uncertain terms, that I can only use a certain type of treatment for it.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve gained a lot of weight. So, what I’ve been doing (aside from holiday-ing) is moving things around so that I can access anything in my current size. I didn’t have much. I’m not usually this big. I ended up needing to go shopping again, and I still need to go shopping… again. Shopping for my lower half is a nightmare. I like looking good, I love feeling better, but it’s just really annoying having to do all this several sizes up from my usual.

But, it is what it is right now. Part of it was/is my diet, which has not been ideal. Part of it is the result of all of this work done that has enabled me to resume life. So, that aspect of it is joyful. I mean, I’m doing it! I’m living! So when I complain, really, it’s just more about the day-to-day aspects of it. All in all, things are looking up, and if I get overwhelmed, I’m only human.

Update

Odie makes Garfield a present

 

I ended up with a lot of leftover yams this Thanksgiving. We were having oven troubles, and by the time we’d had them ready, everyone was full! I ended up making potato wedges with some, and mashed potatoes with the rest. I felt good about putting them to good use, as I really hadn’t wanted to waste anything. Most of the other leftovers are finished, though I do have some carrots that will pair with them. I figure I have at least another week’s worth of potatoes, and that’s fine by me!

I’m actually doing Xmas shopping for the first time in many years. I shopped during that time, but in the “I need to buy this $2.00 item, do I have a coupon to make it any cheaper?” kind of way. Mostly I made crafts from things I already had around. So, anything beyond that seems grand to me right now. Still, I am considering making some crafts this year that went over well last year.

The leftovers were the first in-depth thing I remember doing in a long time. My goal is to do more with that as time goes on- this was a cooking blog once, after all! Even that little bit was satisfying- to smell the savory goodness of the herb and garlic blend still permeating my clothes hours later… Yum! What a joy!

Life marches on…

Because it’s been ages since I’ve done one of these…

These types of survey-things used to be all over the internet. They used to make the rounds even so late as the early stages of this blog. I found this one on a blog, who found it on a friend’s blog, who…

So, sure, why not? I’m gonna party like it’s 2012 and fill one of these babies out!

“So, what am I doing these days?”

Making: Money, I guess? Not much, but it’s appreciated.

Cooking: Not a whole heck of a lot these days. Mostly I’ve been heating things up in the microwave.

Drinking: Too much soda, some coffee, and the occasional beer.

Wanting: More for myself than seems possible at the moment.

Reading: Articles and a book on money management.

Playing: Nintendo now and then

Deciding: Too many things

Wishing: For a better life

Enjoying: Doing nothing this weekend

Waiting: Always

Wondering: About my future

Loving: Fuzzy socks

Pondering: My future

Buying: The occasional coffee or lunch. I’ve been pretty miserly lately.

Watching: A movie I got on sale at the store the other day, so I guess that counts.

Hoping: Indeed, I am…

Marveling: At the beautiful morning sky.

Cringing: When bad things happen.

Needing: To start my life back up again.

Questioning: Why I chose to fill out such a long survey.

Smelling: There is a terrible smell in another room that I can’t identify or find the source of, and it’s driving me crazy. But at the moment, I’m tired of trying to figure it out.

Wearing: My pjs because it’s the weekend and I don’t have to try to figure out clothing- yay! 🙂

Following: Several blogs on here for entertainment mostly

Knowing: So much seems uncertain right now.

Thinking: I’m always thinking about something. Also, yes, that I liked reading this way more than I’m liking working on it.

Admiring: My Fall decorations.

Sorting: I was sorting my socks a few minutes ago.

Getting: Bored with this, to be honest.

Bookmarking: Nothing of particular interest.

Coveting: I deeply covet some people’s ability to live without struggle

Disliking: Idk

Opening: I just opened a bandaid wrapper to get the bandaid out.

Giggling: I still burst into giggles far out of reach of jokes/stories I’m told, as an after-effect of having been cooped up so long. People have looked at me and even said, “It’s not that funny.”

Feeling: Mostly, I’m fine, but I still occasionally feel out of sorts. Unless you’ve been there, it’s hard to understand what I’m feeling right now, and sometimes I still have the occasional moment of not adjusting just so.

Snacking: Yes, I’m snacking. I’d like to say I’m not, but every once in a while, I will grab the occasional donut.

Hearing: Nothing really at the moment.

Update

Yeah, I barely worked out this week. I went to one yoga class, which was a total bust. There’s nothing that can de-motivate a person like attending a class that’s supposed to be low-level, only to have the instructors be pushing it much harder than advertised. I can barely walk sometimes. I just want to get my stretch on. So, I don’t know about group exercise so far. Right now, it’s not working for me.

I also angered my injury the other day in a not-good way, and have been in pain ever since. I can feel it’s just angry- it’s not epically re-injured or anything… but yeah. And yes, I know to take it easy… was just in one of those can’t-win situations and whoop, there it is…

I’ve been re-watching GLOW and honestly, at this point, I’m pretty deep into it. I hope next season is just as good. There’s really nothing like it.

Despite being in pain, I am wavering on whether or not I want to go out today to get a few things done. Resting may win out.

I saw an old-ish interview with zelda williams, and man, she is a badass. She sounds like a person who has her shit together.

Oh, I’ve also watched interviews with many of the GLOW actresses, and the ones I saw seemed really intelligent. Though, there was this one interview I didn’t like as much because the interviewers took it in a kind of vapid direction.

I am not ready for fall. No, no, I don’t wanna, in the style of lego batman. I woke up from a sound sleep shivering. Not. Ready.

I bought some terrible coffee grounds the other day. So awful. I actually checked to see if they’d take them back. They did. Thanks, nice coffee-purveyors!

Hoping to be able to move in a few months or so, but even thinking about it is very stressful. I’ve been researching that and Other Things I Would Do If I Had Money. Even in the hypothetical, it’s kind of more stressful than fun to me. Why are cellphones so damn expensive? Why do they make them to only last a few years, when we are still basically in a recession? Blah. I mean, I’m not naive, I know these people aren’t in the business of charity… but it would look nice for their public images to have something accessible. Then again, they haven’t asked me…

Why do people not write you back when you ask them shit? Whatever. Just makes me not buy your thing. (In this case it was an apartment- which I’m not ready for yet, (just researching), but I was still put-off by people just ignoring my emails!). Oh look, I could’ve used the right kind of brackets. Oh well.

I’ve been getting coffee out now and then, which Girlfriend has given me shit for. In her defense, and if she’s reading this (she doesn’t usually), I do know she means well. But it just didn’t sit right. I mean, I’ve been so broke for so long… Coffee is a small treat.

I might make some waffles this morning. I still have some leftover mixes from that time I temped at a kitchen store. It’s so crazy for me to think of that now, compared to what I’m striving for. But, stuff like that keeps you humble and helped me a little with bills for as long as it lasted. May as well see if the mix is still good.

____

Later…

Well, I’m out of that mix, but I found blueberry flapjack mix. I worked on teaching myself the whole pancake/flapjack making thing. The first one was lost to the pancake gods, the others were different experiments, but all good. Mostly, I’m just trying to find the right balance of heat.

Now, I have to decide if I want to get some pumpkin spice flavored waffle mix or not.

 

 

Update

I developed a UTI because of course I did /sarcasm/… I’ve been in touch w/the doctor & will go have it checked out. Usually, I can just take stuff & it goes away, but this one is particularly nasty.

Through some strange work of the world, I am travelling the same digs as my (long-ago) ex-girlfriend, and it’s super weird. Thankfully, we never travelled those digs together, but her shadow looms large. She was so different when we went out… now I see who she projects to the world and it just makes me angry in that “good for your success, but you didn’t have to step over me to get there…” way. It was a long time ago, I should just release that, but I’m only human.

Speaking of being human, my body was not really on-board with much this week. I skipped the gym most of the week. I went to a yoga class, which honestly kinda sucked, but I was trying to give it my all. It turned out I liked the fill-in teacher better. This one was acting like I was slowing down the class & was trying to redirect me to other classes. Such a pain because I’ve actually studied Hatha pretty extensively, so if I’m doing a modification, it’s bleeping intentional, lady! Yeah, yoga’s not supposed to make you angry, so there’s that…

…and because of the UTI and just feeling super run-down and awful, I skipped the do-it-yourself PT and the strength training. I might go over the weekend if I feel better. Haven’t decided yet.

More or less, my mind races at full speed while my body goes at its own slow pace. Sometimes I look like I’m mad at the world, but really, I’m just in pain so much of the time, it’s not great.

Inside, though, most of the time, I’m content, even happy.I just think maybe I tried to take on too much too soon, but for now, I’m just trying to get through it. Maybe I’ll feel better about things once I’m physically feeling better.

 

 

Blueberry Muffins: First Try!

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I’m slowly getting back into my groove. This is the first baking I’ve done in a while, excluding the boxed cake I mentioned a while back.

I’d never actually made blueberry muffins from scratch before. This recipe was quick and easy. I liked that. The muffin tops were flat because I’d tried a commenter’s suggestion to add sugar to the top mid-bake. Um, no. Don’t bother. I much rather would have tall muffins instead of the little bit of extra sugar. Live and learn.

Otherwise, the muffins are moist and chewy, and are now half-gone. So, it was a success. Next time, I’m thinking of trying a different recipe to see how they compare.

Enjoy! 🙂

Mac and Cheese 3

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In preparation for the big snow, I decided to have another go at macaroni and cheese. As I’ve said before, I have odd intolerances that result in a hybrid of dairy/not-dairy whenever I recreate this classic dish.

Here are my previous attempts: 1) is a crockpot version that was my first serious attempt at homemade mac. 2) is a baked version that came straight from a book, and provided some very loose inspiration for this third attempt, which is my original baked creation.

 

Mac & Cheese 3:

Ingredients

1 stick Aged Cheddar

1 ball Mozzarella

3 slices American cheese

1 handful pre-shredded “Mexican blend” cheese

1 slice Pecorino Romano from the block, about 2″ x 3″ x 1/2″

Table Parmesan from the shaker (about a teaspoon)

1 cup fat free Greek yogurt

A splash of rice milk

A box of pasta, I used tiny shells

2 3/4 stick of butter

Bread crumbs-about a tablespoon

Fancy Cracker crumbs- about a teaspoon

Dijon Mustard

 

Tools:

Casserole dish large enough to fit everything

Large metal bowl (conducts heat)

Large spoon

Small measuring spoons

Mini-chopper

Knife & cutting board

Spatula to serve

Lid or plastic wrap to store

Butter spray

Microwave & microwave-safe small bowl

 

Method:

For the mac base, I…

Set the oven to 350F

Sprayed the casserole dish & set it aside

Boiled the pasta water & added pasta when ready (followed box instructions)

Cut the cheddar into blocks, then pulsed them in the mini-chopper

Dropped the cheddar into the bowl

Diced the mozzarella & added to bowl

Tore the American cheese & added to bowl

Diced the Pecorino & added to bowl

Melted butter in micro-safe bowl in microwave, about 35 seconds

Added a tablespoon of mustard (was a bit too much for me, fyi)

Poured butter into bowl with cheeses

Added yogurt, then a splash of rice milk

Drained pasta

Poured pasta into bowl

Stirred

Filled casserole dish & packed down

 

For the crust, I…

Sprinkled the fancy cracker crumbs over the top of the cheesy pasta

Then sprinkled the bread crumbs on top of the mixture

Then added a layer of “Mexican shredded cheese”

Then sprinkled Parmesan on top of that

 

Baking:

I baked it for about 45 minutes, checking after the first 30

 

Serving:

Obviously, it’s best if you can wait a little bit for it to set, but I ate the first portion almost immediately. I use a flat spatula to portion it out into card-deck shaped pieces… although the depth is about 2 packs!

 

Storing:

Then, I just put plastic wrap over the casserole dish, wait for it to cool down, and keep it in the fridge. I usually finish in about a week. I wouldn’t recommend keeping it past that.

 

Enjoy! 🙂

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds- First Try!

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There are a thousand ways to roast pumpkin seeds, and pretty much every way is the right way, as long as you like them when you’re finished. The recipe I used was published years ago by a friend of a friend, so I would feel bad violating the copyright, if only in spirit, by reproducing it exactly as written. But, the basic ingredients are worcestershire sauce, butter, salt, pepper, and a lot of patience.

This was a new experience for me. I have these seeds every year, but in the past, my only part in their creation was designing the jack-o-lanterns and de-gooing them. Although I don’t have it down to a science just yet, I still had a nice time working on them.

Once the seeds are de-gooed/separated, they are soaked in water. (I soaked mine overnight in Tupperware). Then, they need to be dried. I sandwiched them in between paper towels for about 3 hours. (You don’t really need to wait that long. I set them up after lunch & de-toweled them after dinner, because, you know, life…)

Once they are somewhat dry, they go into a bowl with the seasonings & sauce, while the oven preheats on low. I lined two lasagna pans with aluminum foil, spread out the seeds in one even layer & topped them with pats of butter. Once they are in, they are supposed to be checked and stirred every 15 minutes. I checked & stirred them every 30 and they were fine. They are done when they are completely crispy- not chewy.

It was a pretty successful first try. Apparently, I went a little light on the seasonings. Mine were also slightly chewy, but I still enjoyed them by the handful. I think this would probably make a nice Thanksgiving/Autumnal snack, before the Winter season is upon us.

Happy Harvest! 🙂

 

Ravioli and Peppers

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…That thing where someone brings over something yummy (in this case, peppers), but you don’t eat all of it, and it’s not really a meal all by itself.

As far as I can tell, the mixture was originally sliced bell peppers and white onions that were sauteed in a lot of olive oil. I was looking for something that would absorb the oil, while providing a little balance to the dish. I had frozen ravioli- large or small to choose from. I went with the smaller ones, based on my desire for balance. This is not all that complicated, but here goes…

 

I…

…Removed the container with the leftovers. Btw, olive oil coagulates like woah in the fridge. Some say it hurts the taste, some say it doesn’t… but so far, no one has said it can hurt you. I will tell you it looks very funky, but don’t let that deter you.

…Started up the pot of water to boil.

…Put the peppers & oil into a metal mixing bowl. (Metal conducts heat. Science!)

Once the water was boiling, I dropped in the ravioli. They took another 5 mins or so to cook.

…Strained the ravioli & then placed them on top of the peppers.

…Let them sit like that a minute while I rinsed off the pots & pans…

Which made the oil melt- more science! Then, I stirred them,

…and that was it! It didn’t require any seasoning (but feel free to jazz it up if you like, you know I skew bland!)

 

You can’t beat leftovers that turn into 4 more meals. Yum!

Enjoy! 🙂