November 30, 2010 § 4 Comments
Okay, so I’ve been listening to the Christmas music station in my car this week, and I don’t know if it’s because I’m not feeling well, or if it’s because I have PMS– come to think of it, it’s likely the combination of the two– but this song by freakin’ Josh Groban has made me cry two days in a row. While I’m driving! I’m like a blubbering idiot over here! When he hits certain notes I get chills and feel like vomiting. But in a good way.
I think this song is insanely, otherworldly pretty.
Have you started listening to Christmas music?
November 29, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Take the “wellness” out of purewellnessamy and you’re left with “pureamy,” which makes no sense. It makes as little sense as this cough that’s been rattling my bones and nerves for about a week. Nonsensical, I say!!
It pains me to admit this, but I am not well
I haven’t been seriously sick in 4 years. I remember this clearly because the last time I was seriously sick, I was apparently sick enough to trigger my first MS attack (that’s what “they” tell me, anyway). Since that time, I’ve been fortunate enough to avoid being really sick. Sure, I’ve had sore throats and little sniffles over the last few years, but this cough…this cough is effin epic. Ugh.
I went to the doctor’s on Saturday and saw an emergency care doctor whom I’ve never met before. After a brief examination she prescribed an inhaler. An inhaler. That contains steroids. I haven’t taken a puff yet. **
I keep eating my raw garlic, drinking Breathe Deep tea (once with a shot of whiskey), wheat grass juice, and orange juice. And chewing on Vitamin C tablets and sucking on Ricola Herb and Honey cough drops.
But it appears that my quasi-natural remedies are failing me. I’m at a loss. I’m annoyed and a little nervous. I’m praying that Pete and Peter don’t come down with it. I’m trying to look for an upside, but I don’t see one and I don’t think even Anthropologie can help me now. The inhaler and all the drugs within it are mocking me from inside the CVS bag on the kitchen counter. Bastards.
After taking it easy on Friday and Saturday, I thought I felt better yesterday. I felt well enough to go Christmas tree shopping and out for my husband’s lame birthday dinner. I’m so sorry dear. I realized late last night that you didn’t blow out any candles. What kind of wife am I to neglect your yearly wish making? First, I air your intestinal troubles on this blog and now I forget to light candles on your birthday. I should be tarred and feathered. Maybe even quartered. I’m sorry. I hope you somehow managed to have a Happy Birthday.
So, that’s where I am. Not feeling as well as I did yesterday. I hope to be in a better state tomorrow on Pretty Things Tuesday
On a lighter note, here are some pictures from our Christmas tree hunt yesterday!
(Yes, that is our tree. A potted tree that we can plant in the yard after Christmas, that is if we don’t kill it inside first. The tree hunting in the above pictures was just a sham. We knew we were getting a potted tree the whole time, but you can’t have too much fun running around and hiding in the tiny potted tree section of the tree farm. Pete and Peter had a ball hiding from each other among the big trees. So much fun that this happened in the car:)
**Updated to add: I am NOT advocating ignoring your doctor’s orders. I am most likely doing a very bad thing.
November 26, 2010 § Leave a Comment
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Are you taking part in the Black Friday madness? Not us — we got up early and headed out for a diner breakfast and now we’re home relaxing. It’s cold and drizzly here today, so it’s a perfect day for hanging out at home. I think I’ll scrub the house from top to bottom since my husband is home to play with Peter. Or maybe I’ll take a nap. TBD.
So, this week’s Mom’s Club recipes are from Shari:
The Gobble-Good Turkey Casserole was shared with my son by his kindergarten teacher, Mrs. T, last year and it was a hit with all of us, including the kids. It’s particularly easy and satisfying.
Gobble-Good Turkey Casserole
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 can of cream of celery soup
1 package onion soup mix
1 cup [uncooked] rice
1 1/2 cups milk
2-3 cups leftover turkey
[Preheat oven to 350 degrees]
Combine all ingredients in large casserole dish. Cover. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
The Turkey (or Chicken) Tetrazzini recipe is from Fan Fare cookbook (out of print now but published by the The Rochester Philharmonic League in 1981). My mom has made it for years after Thanksgiving and is delicious served with cranberry sauce. It’s not the lowest maintenance recipe but is worth the work.
Turkey (or Chicken) Tetrazzini
(from Fan Fare, The Rochester Philharmonic League, 1981)
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced green pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
2T Worcestershire sauce
6 whole chicken breasts, (I use about 3-4 cups of cooked turkey) cooked, skinned, boned and cut in bite-sized pieces 1/4 cup white wine
1 pkg. (8 oz.) spaghetti, broken and cooked
1/2 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
[Preheat oven to 350 degrees]
Cook celery, green pepper, onion and mushrooms in butter until onion is transparent. Blend in flour; add milk, stirring constantly. Blend in [cheddar] cheese, salt, pepper, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, chicken and wine. Stir until cheese is melted. Fold cooked spaghetti into mixture. Place in greased 9 x 13-inch casserole and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake covered at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour or until casserole is bubbling. 8-10 servings. (I would say 6-8!) Serve with cranberry sauce.
November 24, 2010 § 2 Comments
My sister Erin is hosting Thanksgiving, but we’re all bringing a dish or two along. Here’s what I’m bringing:
- Niblet corn (per my husband’s request)
- Green beans (per my husband’s request – he is very, um, particular about the foods he expects to eat at Thanksgiving)
- Dirty Mashed Potatoes (per my…you know) (don’t tell anyone that they’re actually High Protein Mashed Potatoes – sshhhh! I’ll be using butter and milk instead of Earth Balance and almond milk)
- Cranberry Sauce - at the last minute, Mama Pea swayed me from using Ina Garten’s recipe. It was the blueberries that won me over. Speaking of Ina, how about those “doodles” of hers that have been in the Google logo this week? Impressive!
- Pumpkin Pie with homemade graham cracker crust and homemade whipped cream. I was going to make a Roasted Pumpkin Pie that my neighbor told me about, but I’ve never made it before and I don’t feel like taking a chance. Pumpkin Pie is my 10-year-old niece’s favorite pie, so I’m just going to stick to the basic, back-of-the can organic pumpkin pie recipe.
- Apple Crisp with vanilla ice cream
And I think that’s it! My mom is making my beloved Herb-Roasted Root Vegetables. We still have some kale in our garden, so I might bring that along to saute with the green beans…
Finally, the health coach in me would like to tell you to:
Eat a protein-filled breakfast such as scrambled eggs and whole grain toast in the morning so you’re not starving in the afternoon.
Enjoy every bite.
Have a glass or two of red wine.
Play a pre- or post-dinner game of soccer or touch football.
Take a brisk walk around the block.
Above all be THANKFUL for just being here, for being able to spend one day surrounded by family and friends, eating delicious food, and hopefully having more than a few laughs.
I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. Savor each moment.
November 23, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Hello! I hope you had a good weekend (and Monday). I did. I had a girls’ shopping day on Saturday with my mom and sisters. On Sunday, we took Peter to see a community theater production of “Annie.” He loved the singing parts, but thought the talking parts were “boring.” Everyone’s a critic.
Well, we just got home from ”Feast Day” at Peter’s pre-school where I was a classroom volunteer!
It was so much fun. The kids are adorable, but I have to tell you — I have even more respect for his teachers now that I’ve seen firsthand what they do every day. It is NOT easy corralling 14 3-year-olds, especially after they’ve eaten brownies. Man!
So for today’s pretty thing I thought I’d show you the coupon organizer that I made yesterday.
My purse was stuffed with coupons and weighed, no joke, about 15 pounds. I think I’m crooked and maybe even hunchbacked from carrying it on my right shoulder for so long.
First, I looked on Etsy for a coupon organizer. I found many, but when I saw them I said to myself “Hmmph. I can make one of those.” Granted, I don’t have a crafty bone in my body and what I made isn’t as fancy as what I found on Etsy, but I think it’ll do the trick.
You may already have a coupon organizer. In fact, you probably do. I’m always two steps behind everyone else. For instance, we still have a tube t.v. and cell phones that flip open. Just the other day I asked someone if they’ve heard of the cool new band the Buggles. I mean, my boobs haven’t even developed yet. Forget two steps, I’m decades behind on that one.
Humor a flat-chested old lady and admire my clever handiwork.
The bag was a bridesmaid gift from my sister-in-law (it was filled with tons of goodies, like personalized notecards and a pashmina shawl). It’s hand stenciled and so pretty. I wanted to use it for something a little nicer than groceries.
I simply stapled shut the sides of manila folders (so the coupons won’t fall out), wrote the store’s name on the tab, and stuck the files in my pretty bag. In alphabetical order, of course. Easy, and I think really useful… as long as I remember to take the bag with me when I go shopping.
Enjoy your Tuesday!
November 19, 2010 § Leave a Comment
This week’s recipe was submitted by Nancy:
Middle Eastern Stuffed Peppers
Can be prepared on the stove or in the crock pot.
1 lb hamburg*
1/3 c uncooked rice*
1 firm red tomato
3 tblsp tomato paste
2 medium onion chopped ( I only use one – [Nancy])
2 tblsp parsley, dried basil
1tsp salt (I use 1/2)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 c water
5 green peppers (cut tops off and keep, clean out inside season w/ salt)
- Mix above ingredients and stuff peppers, place tops back on.
1 can stewed tomato
1/2 tsp salt
1 c chicken broth
- Combine and pour over peppers.
2 tblsp melted butter, spoon over peppers
Bring to boil on stovetop, reduce to slow boil (simmer) for 2-3 hours. Use may also do this with your crock pot but extend the cooking time on high to 5-6 hours, the peppers should be soft not firm when finished. Serve hot with plain greek yogurt or sour cream on top.
This use[d] to be liked by all the family members until recently, my 4 year has decided it looks too “mushy” to eat. Great leftover too:)
[*Note from Nancy: The ground beef and rice are uncooked before being stuffed. The water added to the pot cooks it all together. I use a large sauce pot. I don't know the real name of pans/pots but some would call it a corn or lobster pot so large enough to fit 5-6 peppers in the bottom. Hope that helps. In the recipe it does say how much water and tomatoes to pour over them ("sauce") before boiling/slow boil.]
(I haven’t made this dish yet either! It’s on my list. If you can’t tell, my “recipes to make” list is very, very long. The one thing I will add is if you’re going to use ground beef, try to find organic, grass-fed beef – pwa)
November 18, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Have you ever had cabin fever? Gone stir crazy? I have! This week! And I’m feeling a little batsh*t crazy right now, to be honest!
In fact, Peter and I both feel a little like this:
(Except less happy and more crazy. Crazy, Crazy, Crazy.)
Peter’s stomach bug was the main reason for staying housebound, but for half the day yesterday we had no choice but to stay home since the Department of Public Works was working on the sewer right outside of our house. We had NO WAY to leave our driveway. They didn’t even knock on our door to tell us what was going on! Ugh!
It ended up being fine since Peter had a recurrence yesterday. All over himself and the living room floor. Double Ugh! The upside (there’s always an upside) is that I’ve been forced to Swiffer mop the house.
He seemed better on Tuesday, so when he asked for raisins and a waffle for breakfast yesterday morning I said “okay.” Big mistake. BIG. HUGE. (Pretty Woman is one of my favorite movies. Can you believe it’s 20 years old?!?)
Risking the chance of a recurring, uh, recurrence today, I shipped homeboy off to school this morning. And after school, we are going to the dry cleaners and the grocery store! Wahoo! We’re leaving the house! This is funny: this morning I told him that we are going to run “errands” after I pick him up from school and he got all excited thinking that I was saying we are going to my sister “Erin’s” house to play with his cousins. That’s funny, right?
Can you tell I haven’t talked to many people in four days? Let’s see, what else can I tell you? Well, there was that one time? In band camp? Just kidding. I never went to band camp.
Seriously now, as I mentioned yesterday I haven’t been to the grocery store in a while because we were away last weekend and I had no reason to go this week since Peter hasn’t been able to eat much. (My husband is on his own. Tap into those hunting and gathering instincts, buddy.)
I was dying for a healthy lunch, though, so I went through the fridge and cabinets to create what I’m calling my “Stir Crazy Rice Bowl.”
I had a container of cooked rice leftover from the “rice broth” I made for Peter on Monday, so that was going to be my base. Next I was on the hunt for mix-ins and I managed to wrangle up these things:
Stir Crazy Rice Bowl
3/4 cup cooked brown rice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 celery rib, sliced (the ONLY fresh vegetable I have in the house! What to the WHAT?)
2-3 tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
2 tbsp. kalamata olives, chopped
4 artichoke hearts, quartered
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
salt & pepper, to taste
1. Heat oil in pan. Add chopped onion and saute until onion is translucent.
2. Add celery (and some salt and pepper) to oil and onion and saute for 5-10 minutes.
3. In the meantime, put feta cheese, olives and artichoke hearts in a bowl.
4. Add rice to onions and celery, and cook until heated through.
5. Dump rice mixture on top of feta cheese, olives and artichokes, add oregano, and mix together.
6. Salt and pepper to taste.
Easy, right? And it was really good, too. So when you say that you have “nothing in the house” to cook, look again. You may be able to wrangle up a meal that’s easy, moderately healthy, and delicious.
I’m going to go run around the outside of the house now until I have to pick up Peter.
Have a great Thursday!
November 16, 2010 § 5 Comments
We had a rough night. Peter is not at school this morning and I have plans to buy a new comforter for our bedroom. You do the math.
Right now, I’m sitting on the living room floor, listening to Dora endlessly repeat herself, and Peter is sitting on the couch behind me playing with my hair. He seems better this morning, so hopefully he’s on the mend.
This will be a brief post, but I did want to show you that even though he was sick yesterday, he was super productive and built many beautiful castles out of his wooden blocks (which were in fact his Dad’s blocks when he was a little boy. Many of the blocks are decorated with pictures of Humpty Dumpty, courtesy of one of his younger sisters. I’m not sure which one went through the Humpty phase…anyone want to ‘fess up?):
The budding architect in action:
I’m not a child development expert, but I think this castle is pretty impressive for a 38 month old!
The book is written by Tsh, aka “Simple Mom.” Somehow, I hadn’t come across this blog before. I’m very happy to have found it. All I can say is that the title of the book and its cover art speak to me. In fact when I saw the cover, I may or may not have screamed “Yes! Yes! Yes!,” just like Meg Ryan in “When Harry Met Sally.” My husband is going to be so jealous of this book.
I crave organization and simplicity. It’s a craving that goes unfulfilled in a small house packed to the ceiling with a 3-year-old’s paraphernalia (you’ve seen our dine ‘n playroom, right?) and a packrat husband’s prized collection of
crap “heirlooms.” Actually, he is getting better at letting things go.
Here’s the book’s description:
Organized Simplicity‘s aim is to convince its readers that simple living is the absolute best way to live. Be it with house cleaning, family schedule management, personal finances, and managing the “stuff” you allow within your four walls, the only way to live well is to do so intentionally and simply. The first half of the book delves into the why behind realistic simple living, giving the reader a nail to then hang the how of living simply discussed in the second half. And by redefining the too often-used phrase “simple living,” a busy home manager living in the real world can then make practical changes that work for the whole family. There are chapters for cleaning and organizing the home room-by-room, and future project ideas will inspire readers to turn their house in a haven they love.
Published by F+W Publications.
Doesn’t it sound great? This may very well end up on my Christmas wishlist…
Enjoy your Tuesday
November 15, 2010 § 1 Comment
Not. It’s not funny at all. As you may have inferred from the title, I’m talking about diarrhea, folks.
Ugh, I know, I’d honestly prefer not to have to write about this, but my husband has been sick off and on since Thursday night, and Peter just started with it last night. I’ve been spared so far, but I can only imagine that my misery is right around the corner. (And right about now my husband is probably planning to divorce me for discussing his intestinal disorders on the internet yet again. Sorry, dear.)
We were away this weekend to take part in my sister-in-law’s utterly magnificent wedding (congrats Ange & Brian!) (Pete got through the weekend as best as he could, poor guy). We got home late last night, so first thing this morning I hit the books to accumulate a list of natural remedies for fighting this most unpleasant illness.
Since my boys aren’t the only ones in the world battling a stomach bug, I thought I’d share what I’ve found with the hope that one or more of the tips might relieve you or your loved ones who are plagued with a bug:
From Food and Healing, p. 279, by Annmarie Colbin
“There are two very effective old remedies…
- cooked white rice;
- grated apple with skin, allowed to turn brown”
From Healing with Whole Foods, Third Edition, p 383, by Paul Pitchford
“General remedies for all types of diarrhea:
- rice or barley broth (this would be the water in which you cook the rice or barley. Boil 1/2 c rice in 3 cups water for 45 minutes. Drain rice, reserving water in a bowl or cup. Drink throughout the day. Also eat the rice. - pwa)
- blackberry juice
- garlic (especially good for diarrhea from bacterial contamination) (I am currently eating a clove of raw garlic as a preventative measure – pwa)
- string bean
- sunflower seed
- umeboshi plum
- crab apple*
- aduki bean
- sweet rice
- button mushroom
*These foods are considered “obstructive” and tend to retard the flows and movements in the body.”
From the above list, you could make a tasty, beneficial soup from rice broth (maybe mixed with vegetable broth), minced garlic, cooked rice, cooked aduki beans, diced carrots and button mushrooms.
From Prescriptions for Nutritional Healing, Third Edition, p. 327, by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC
- “Do not drink apple juice, as this can make diarrhea worse.
- Avoid high fiber food, which may stress the digestive system. Instead, stick to foods that are easy to digest, such as cooked potatoes, rice, bananas, applesauce, or toast.
- Do not consume any dairy products (except for low-fat soured products.) They are highly allergenic. Moreover, diarrhea causes a temporary loss of the enzyme needed to digest lactose (milk sugar). Limit your intake of fats and foods containing gluten, including barley, oats, rye and wheat. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods.”
And from the purewellnessamy department of common sense: STAY HYDRATED. Sip water, warm herbal tea (ginger root or peppermint are good choices), carrot juice, or rice, chicken, and/or vegetable broth. I hesitate to add flat soda to the list because I am staunchly anti-soda, but I do realize that the old-school flat ginger ale remedy appeals to a lot of people. So, if it will make you feel better, go ahead and drink it.
Peter has gone into the refrigerator twice this morning to take out his container of plain yogurt. I respected his body’s request for this and gave him two small bowls along with some grated brown apple. I think it’s kind of amazing that he is craving yogurt — a food rich with healing probiotics. It is a dairy product, but it is a “soured product” that was said to be acceptable in Prescriptions for Nutritional Healing.
Generally, diarrhea simply needs to run its course. But if you or your child is sick for more than 3 or 4 days, you should call your doctor. Call your doctor immediately if you or your child has:
- a high fever (over 101 degrees)
- blood in the stool
- stool that looks like black tar
- severe rectal or abdominal pain
- signs of dehydration, such as wrinkled skin, excessively dry mouth, or if there is no urination in any 8-hour period.
If your baby has diarrhea, be safe and contact your pediatrician immediately. Babies quickly become dehydrated and should be closely monitored.
Finally, if you’re feeling a little sore in a certain area, try using moistened wipes instead of toilet paper.
I now have to go attend to my sick little buddy. I plan to administer this old remedy: lots of Mommy cuddles, hugs and kisses. Along with a cup of rice broth.