Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A BBQ get together

My aunt is throwing a party for my daughter and I when we get a chance to go home. This will give us a good opportunity to see all my uncles, aunts and cousins on my mom's side (and my mom as well). A taste of home usually means something smoked (my uncle loves to smoke salmon, I'm sure there will be some of that there), the BBQ will be raging with goodies like burgers, hot dogs, and such. The one thing I am sure will be there will be my Nana's kangkanin! It never fails, whenever I go home, she makes a huge skillet full of it (the sweet mochi rice with brown sugar/coconut milk), and when I can't eat a lot she always says, "Oyy, you did not eat enough!" I always joke with her and point at my stomach saying, "do I look like I need to eat anymore?" I love my Nana...

I can't wait to see her again (and everyone!).


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Everything in moderation, right?

Another problem I have during the summer is making sure I drink more water than iced tea. During the summer there's always a pitcher of sweet iced tea in my fridge, which makes it easy for me to go straight for that (since it's refreshing) instead of what I should be drinking more of- water. Typically speaking, I drink anywhere from 4-7 gallons of water a week, depending on my intake. During the summer it will dwindle down to 2-3 gallons a week due to the fact that I'm probably chugging more iced tea than anything else.

Also, I don't use aspartame sweeteners in my tea- I use sugar. Not that most healthy thing, but I'd rather use sugar than aspartame. I am anticipating the opening of Trader Joe's here in Bellingham so I can see if they have the Agave Nectar or Stevia so I can use that as a sugar substitute instead.

The main thing I have to remember is that moderation is key, but when it's a nice warm day and you're just relaxing, who doesn't want to go for something a little sweet and refreshing? Maybe if I keep my freezer stocked with ice this summer I'll drink more water. I always find that drinking water with ice makes it easier to actually enjoy drinking water and makes it easier to forget about the sweet iced tea.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Waving my Welcome Summer flag

The weather has already begun to change here. While it's not a glorious Memorial Day today, it is dry and warm yet cloudly. Next week our temperatures will edge up into the mid to high 70s. We've already dug out the fans we put away during the Winter and have them ready to go. I just need to purchase one more for my daughter's room. Air conditioning is not necessarily needed here because it never gets too hot or too humid. Although, in my opinion during late July to early August is when the humidity tends to peak and where you are up at 10pm and clothes are sticking to you. It's just uncomfortable, but bearable. Nothing a cool shower couldn't take care, basically.

My daughter has only a few weeks of school left, my sister is flying out on the 7th to visit us for a few days, there are birthday and end-of-the-year parties to attend, and things to get ready for. I think the one thing I am looking forward to the most is my sister visiting. I haven't seen her in a year and a half! We're planning on going out and going swimming if the weather is nice (which I am sure it will be), and maybe going out to Birch Bay and walking around there and having a picnic.

With the warmer weather I find myself unusually lazy in the kitchen, and waiting til later at night to cook supper so I don't heat our house anymore. A few days ago it was very warm and sticky and I waited til 8pm to cook dinner. There's only so much tuna salad sandwiches my family can handle, so I need to figure out better ways of cooking without turning my house into an oven or a sauna. I guess maybe we could grill meats over the weekend and then stick them in the fridge and reheat in the microwave- that's an idea. The funniest part about this? This is always such a challenge for me every year, despite asking people for ideas and everything. It's like I forget.

I will tell you another thing I am looking forward to- FRESH strawberries, cantaloupe, melon, peaches, and corn on the cob. What is summer without them? Thanks to Kristen of Dine & Dish, she posted this delicious looking Strawbery Cheesecake Trifle Recipe on her blog, and I can't wait to make this! Enjoy!

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup Cool Whip, thawed
4 tablespoons sugar
1 angel food cake, torn into bite-size pieces
2 quarts fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until fluffy; add sour cream, 1/2 tsp.
  2. vanilla and the almond extract; set aside.
  3. Fold the cool whip into the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Gently stir in cake pieces; set aside.
  5. Combine strawberries and sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
  6. Layer in a large glass bowl, starting with 1/4 of the strawberries, then adding 1/3 of the cake mixture.
  7. Continue layering; finish with strawberries.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap; and chill several hours.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Frosting

Last night I had a craving for some chocolate and some cake. I had one box mix of cake sitting in my cabinet for a while, so I pulled it down and decided to use the recipe on the back of my Hershey's box to go with it (it was the Butter Yellow Recipe cake mix). It's very easy to make, but after tasting it, it tastes almost like a mix between chocolate milk and fudge. It's quite sweet (which was fine with me), but overall was a very easy recipe and very good on the cake.

Hey, I've been good lately, lost some weight, and normally I don't really crave sweets anymore as it is, but last night I wanted something we all could have...that worked out perfectly, considering the box mix of cake was due to expire next month!! (I've had it for quite a while.)

Here's the recipe:


1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

NFB: I am so excited

My dad is booking a flight for my daughter and I to come visit for a few days in August to beautiful Monterey, California (my hometown!). I can hardly wait! My high school 10 year reunion is that weekend and I really didn't want to miss it, so I talked with my father (who has been wanting us both down there) and this is the best time to go. I am so happy! I haven't been home since July 2005. I could have gone home last summer, but I decided against it because of my schooling (which I did end up regretting).

I can't wait to see the OCEAN again. I can't wait to see my mom, sister, dad, my Nana, my's been so long. My sister is flying up to visit us in the next two weeks here, but this will be great to be able to see her and my mom twice this year.

I had to shorten the trip from a week and a half to 4-5 days total due to the fact that we have coinciding doctor appointments and my daughter's soccer season begins in August. I know my schedule will be jam-packed, but I can't wait. The weekend is what I'm hoping will work out somehow- my auntie wants to have a party so I can see all my uncles and aunts, my mom, my Nana and my cousins on Saturday day, I have my reunion that night, then Sunday I have a family picnic thing with my former classmates. I'm hoping to get a chance to see my Grandma as well (dad's side). This will also be the first time I get to meet my father's girlfriend/fiancee and her daughter (who I have been in touch with mostly via email but sometimes via phone as well). I'm a bit nervous, but excited.

California dreamin' here!

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Thank you Sac Bee

for the mention in today's paper! How cool is that? Garrett of Vanilla Garlic let me know and I registered and checked it out.

One question I get a lot is where did you come up with the name "Pie Is the New Toast"? Well, it was actually intended as a joke on a message board I frequent. Toast was a joke on a previous board I used to post on but is now defunct. On the other message board, there were a few posters who joked that every poll put up had to have the "PIE" option, so I came up with this name. What at first was meant to be a silly inside joke has blossomed into what has become my baby- this blog. I have bouts of writer's block, but if anything got me back into writing, it was this blog, and I can only express how grateful I am for that.

I was a writer in high school, loved to write short stories, poems and even enjoyed writing essays- so much that I entered the Upward Bound essay contest two years in a row at the Upward Bound Jamboree. I always ended up in second place and when I got that second place in my senior year, I was incredibly bummed out about it. Looking back, I think it was quite a feat. After high school I lost my love for writing and stopped. As soon as I started this blog I started up again and I push myself to continue to write. It's a love I have that with time was forgotten, but I'm slowly easing back into it.

Enough of that- and hey, Sacramento area bloggers- I am still trying to convince my husband to move to the Sac area in the next 3-5 years. Rent and the price of a house up here is getting to be too high, and property taxes are astounding in my county. Maybe someday I'll be able to join you all. (What I would give to be back in California, and Sacramento is only 3-4 hours northeast of Monterey- my real home!)

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Morimoto was ROBBED. Robbed, ya'll!

Last night on Iron Chef: America, Morimoto was placed against some chef named Love ("Drunk Cowboy" is what posters on the TWoP Iron Chef: America forum call him). Granted I missed the first half of the showdown, but I saw the ending when they were finishing and got everything plated and then presented their dishes to their judges. Obviously, Morimoto was at a disadvantage, not having cooked with the secret ingredient (Chiles) before. However, despite that, I think he held up well under the pressure and created some beautiful dishes.

When it came to judgment time, I thought that Love was snippy and arrogant with the judges, getting defensive in their criticism of his dishes. Morimoto never shows arrogance- just humility, which is why I was completely shocked when Love won over Morimoto by one point. You would have thought that Love's arrogance alone would have cost him the competition. Pfft. Whatever.

Morimoto still rocks my socks. I'd eat anything he put in front of me! (That's the trust I have that whatever he cooks wouldn't be something Fear Factorish!)

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Bye bye Crockpot

My beloved Crockpot has just about had it. After it fell off the top of my refridgerator last November, I noticed one of the legs it stands on is busted and it seems to not want to function on LOW anymore. Last night I cooked my beans and pork in the crockpot and while it is better made in a regular pot on the stove, this saves me more time and energy.

Sigh, what a bummer, I love that thing...but it's to be expected, I guess.


Friday, May 18, 2007

Jennifer's Roasted Chicken recipe

I love roasted chicken- and I recently got some roasting pans, one with a rack, for Christmas. I put it to good use the other day and decided to make another roasted chicken. Everytime I decide to cook a whole fryer chicken I try to do it differently and play around with the seasonings and spices to see what tastes good. The one I tried the other night was a bit crazy, but it sure hit the spot.

Here's what I did:

1/4 cup of softened butter (for chicken)
3-4 lb Whole Chicken Fryer
Onion salt to desire
Ginger to desire (I only had ground but I do want to try grated Ginger someday)
3 cloves of garlic (whole)
Pepper to taste

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F, clean your chicken out and put aside gizzards, liver, heart, neck, etc (or in my case- throw it out!). Place on rack in a roasting pan and pat dry with a paper towel.

2. Get your softened butter and rub the chicken down all over (breast side up- don't worry about getting butter on the underside- unless you like it that way), put some of the butter in the inside cavity of the chicken. Wash your hands off good (with soap!) and put all 3 cloves of garlic inside the cavity of the chicken, spice up the chicken up with the onion salt, ground Ginger, and Pepper. Stick a meat thermometer in the thigh and put in the oven.

3. It took me about 1 hour and 45 minutes for it to cook thoroughly, if you don't have a thermometer, just follow this chart given by the USDA:

Approximate Chicken Cooking Times
Type of Chicken Weight Roasting
350 °F
Simmering Grilling
Whole broiler fryer+ 3 to 4 lbs. 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hrs. 60 to 75 min. 60 to 75 min*

4. Let cool down for about 15-20 minutes so juices settle and then cut up and serve.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A hot day deserves a cool treat

My pocketbook has been light as of lately, but I decided to pick up a couple of Slurpees from the local 7-11 before picking up my daughter from school. I figure that would be a cheap alternative to what I was craving- a Cool Coffee Cream from my favorite coffee stand- not having enough for two (one for myself and one for my daughter), decided to be fair about it and got us Slurpees. My daughter's favorite one is the Wild Cherry and I love the Pina Colada one, but I decided (stupidly) to mix the Full Throttle Energy drink Slurpee in it. Blech! It tastes like liquid Dayquil- looks like it too (no lie!).

The problem with having a smaller apartment-sized refridgerator is a smaller freezer as well, and I can't keep as much ice in the fridge as I would like. I'm the type of person who has to have at least 1/2 of the ice cube tray in her iced tea, so ice runs out quick with me. I would have made the tea, but we're lacking space in the freezer and have one tray of ice cubes in there- so I decided on a Slurpee instead. Even if the tea is cold and sitting in the fridge, it has to have ice cubes in it for me. I don't know why. I prefer my water with ice cubes as well but I've given that up for the most part. If I had my choice, I'd probably have one of those really cool refridgerators with the ice making machine, like what my dad had. By the time I left (I usually stayed for two weeks), he would have to reset his ice maker, because I had ice in pretty much every drink I drunk.


Monday, May 14, 2007

The countdown to summer begins

It's almost June...which means kids getting out of school, vacations, camping, holidays, etc. My neighbor Jen and I were discussing ways to keep these kids occupied this summer since my daughter plays with her youngest son. Last summer we first moved in here and I met them and felt comfortable once I got to know them, so my daughter had a blast last summer. Due to the fuel costs, my goal this summer is to have my husband drive my truck (ironically enough, our most fuel-efficient vehicle) to and from work on the days I don't have doctor's appointments or engagements. For the most part we decided no summer activities due to the fuel costs, except for soccer, which starts up in mid-August and runs into fall.

Another thing about summer- we were planning a camping trip on the Fourth of July but it is not doable at this point in time, so I compromised with my husband and we are going to try to get into a campground somewhere nearby (but not TOO close by) for Labor Day weekend. Unfortunately, the one place we looked at (Birch Bay Campground/State Park) is pretty much full to capacity, so we eliminated that one. I haven't been camping in a long time and am looking forward to it. Here's a question though- what to take food-wise? I mean, there's the usual food fare- burgers, hot dogs, pop, chips, etc. What else could we do on 1, a meager camping budget, and 2, not a lot of cooking equipment (enough to last us 2 nights, 3 days)? I'm thinking beans, but that seems a bit blahh too. How well does milk hold up for a few days if stored in a cooler full of ice? I feel like such a novice when the fact of the matter is, we used to go camping every summer when I was a child. However, the planning was left up to my parents (obviously). I just got to sit back, relax and enjoy the fun. Now I am the one who is planning this (well, with my husband's help, of course!). Should be interesting.

Another culprit of the summer is the summer heat- and that nagging lack of desire for wanting to cook. How many days can one go on eating sandwiches or cold foods without getting sick of it? My thought is to make more crockpot dishes considering it doesn't let out a lot of heat. If you have any other suggestions, I'm open to them as well.

I don't know about you- but I am looking forward to the summer, mosquitoes, heat, children home and all!

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

The three P's- Pork, Peppers & Pasta

Friday night I had a huge pot full of leftover pasta and I decided to get creative and do a little something different using pork loin chops this time. Mind you, I was finally able to eat real food again and I wanted something to play with my taste buds. I don't really have a name for my dish, but I'll call it "Pork, Peppers & Pasta" (yeah, how original, eh?).


3 thick pork loin chops, cut down into bite sized pieces
1 white onion, chopped up
4 cloves of garlic, smashed (not diced)
2 green bell peppers, cut into thin long strips
Onion salt, as desired (cover pork with)
Ground Ginger, as desired (cover pork with)
Italian Seasoning, 1/2 tsp (cover pork with)
Any type of pasta will do, but I used spaghetti with my dish
EVOO for sauteeing veggies- to your discretion

1. Cut up all of your veggies and add onion & garlic to a frying pan with enough EVOO to cover the bottom. Cut up your peppers and put in a bowl off to the side. Chop up your pork loin chops into bite-sized pieces (I did it by slicing the pork loin diagonally into semi-thick strips, and then chopped those up into bite sized pieces so it cooks faster), add your spices and set aside. Start your pasta if you don't have day-old pasta (start boiling water). If you have day-old pasta in a pot, cover it up and put on low heat so it heats up nicely.

2. Sautee the onion and garlic til translucent, add peppers and cook til they start to "wilt" a bit (not too much! You still want a little bit of crunch). Add the pork and cook til thoroughly cooked. You can also set it on a lower heat to let it simmer down a bit and cook on its own.

3. When both the pork & peppers mixture and the pasta are all ready to be served, serve in a bowl or a plate together and there you have it! Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


Saturday, May 12, 2007

Foodie Movie Reviews

While I was sick I watched three foodie movies that I was recommended.

The first one I watched was Big Night, starring Tony Shalhoub and Stanley Tucci as Italian brothers struggling to make their Trattoria stand out. I think part of it may have been my illness, but I was not fully enthralled with the movie. It was a great movie, it made my stomach grumble, for sure, and I do love me some Tony Shalhoub (all the way back to his days as Antonio Scarpacci on the TV series, Wings). I think I will give it another shot, but for now I give it a 3.5/5.

Eat Drink Man Woman is also known as Yin shi nan nu and was filmed in 1994. It's a movie about a father who sees his daughters growing farther and farther apart from him, and his only way of keeping them together is by requiring that they come and enjoy his Sunday dinner (despite the fact that they live with him). He creates Chinese dishes that look tempting and tantalizing, but the fact of the matter is, he can no longer taste what he is cooking, and it's starting to show in his dishes, which were one prized for their abundance in taste. Ang Lee, the director of Brokeback Mountain and The Ice Storm, directed this and the movie I watched following this (The Wedding Banquet). Ang's visionary sense is astounding to me- I think his films are absolutely lovely and atmospheric/moody. I enjoyed this one and gave it a 5/5. There's an unexpected twist at the end, so watch out if you read reviews online!

The last movie I watched I had seen before on either Bravo or the AzN network before Comsuck (Comcast) decided to make that a digital channel only (BOO! HISS!). It's called The Wedding Banquet, also known as Hsi yen, and is about a Chinese man who lives in New York City and is hiding a major secret from his traditional parents (who are still in China)- he's a gay man. When his parents continue to try setting him up with Chinese girls in America, his lover comes up with a plan- to have their tenant, a young Chinese immigrant woman facing deportation, pose as his fiancee. When his parents arrive, all hell breaks lose and culminating in a huge lavish wedding banquet. Another tasty morsel from Ang Lee and while heartbreaking, there are some rather hilarious moments in the movie as well. I give this one a 5/5 as well.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thanks everyone

for the emails and the kind thoughts posted below. I just wanted to hop on quickly today to express my gratitude for those of you who sent emails and sent prayers/PTs my way. I am feeling a lot better, the swelling in my throat is going down and I'm able to eat, drink and swallow now! I'm still having a bit of trouble with sleeping, but overall I am doing better.

I just never thought a virus could suck so much life out of you!

Thanks everyone, I hope to be back writing by Monday! :)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Did you know

that if you are dealing with a sore throat that causes obstructive breathing problems, like sleep apnea, or drooling for no apparent reason that you should go to the ER asap? It's called Tonsillitis and I'm pretty sure that is what I have (the ER doctor was positive that is what I have as well). Last night I could not sleep at all. I woke my husband and daughter up at 5:30am and had him take us to the ER. Turns out my right ear is infected (it's always the one I think is okay), I have an upper respiratory infection, and possible Tonsillitis or Strep Throat. I got home and took a look at my throat and the doctor was right- it's swollen. Almost swollen shut. I am on antibiotics and will be using Vicodin for the pain.

I just hope to god this swelling goes down because it's seriously making my life miserable- can't swallow, it hurts, can't drink or eat, because it hurts, can't sleep because I can't breathe. At least we caught it.

I scheduled a follow up with my GP, who is no longer with the practice I go to! I'm so bummed too, but I guess I'll be seeing their male doctor now. I've never had a problem seeing male doctors to tell the truth, one of the best doctors I ever had was a male. Hopefully with the antibiotics, rest and everything it'll get better soon.

Off to rest!

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Apple Cider Vinegar home remedy uses

WARNING: This post is just FULL of TMI!!!!!

I'm almost positive that what I have is a viral/sinus infection. After doing some research online last night, my husband ran to the store to pick me up a bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar, and I decided to drink the 3 tablespoons it called for and then chug down a lot of water following that. Let me tell you- drinking Apple Cider Vinegar is not very pleasant at all. I did it three times last night, the first and last had no real effect but the second seemed to clear up a lot of the gunk that was in my sinus cavity. I am still trying to clear it out completely so I can use Sinu-Cleanse (a Sinu-Douche, as I call it) to clear out my sinuses. I tried last night and it still wouldn't work (no water coming out of the other nostril).

I found another website with home remedies for Apple Cider Vinegar and my next plan of attack is the following:

-For excess mucus in the nose, throat, or sinus cavities (post nasal drip), try a solution of warm water and 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Place a small amount in the palm of your hand, block one nostril, then place the other nostril into the vinegar solution and sniff hard. You'll experience the disinfecting and mucus-cutting benefits of apple cider vinegar deep into your sinus cavities. Let the solution run down the back of your throat then spit it out. After that, repeat with the other nostril.

Oh, today is going to be a FUN day. And my left ear is clogged (you know that feeling you get when you reach high altitude on an airplane?) too. I can't yawn too wide-opened due to the fact that my throat is still raw and it's just not doable. Killer, is more like it.

Hopefully between the Day/Nyquil, Colloidal Silver (has anti-biotic uses, is natural), and Apple Cider Vinegar, this thing will be out of my system by Wednesday. I hope.

One warning: If you do decide to use Apple Cider Vinegar, beware that it can wash away the enamel on your teeth due to the high amount of alkaline that is in it. Sometimes to counter-attack that, rinsing your teeth with cold water may be able to help prevent it a little.

Hey- you can't say I didn't warn you about the TMI nature of this post!

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

A Taste of Yellow

I told myself come hell or highwater I was going to do this blog challenge. I came down with the flu this weekend and have pretty much been sleeping, coughing and taking a ton of Day/Nyquil.

A Taste of Yellow was brought to my attention by the lovely Kristen of Dine & Dish and was pioneered by the owner of the Winos & Foodies blog. To get a better idea of what A Taste of Yellow is, here you are:

LIVESTRONG Day is the Lance Armstrong Foundation's (LAF) grassroots advocacy initiative to unify people affected by cancer and to raise awareness about cancer survivorship issues on a national level and in local communities across the country. LIVESTRONG Day 2007 will occur on Wednesday, May 16.

The theme is a yellow colored food, and while I had something a bit more tantalizing in idea (I was in between a Cheddar Cauliflower casserole or even the Pineapple Banana Bread I've been dying to try), but due to being sick, I had to come up with something that I could work with and wouldn't require a lot of prep/cooking time. I recently checked out Sandra Lee's 20 Minute Meals from the library and found a recipe for a Carmelized Banana & cookie/ice cream dessert, so I took what she had there, minus the cookies and ice cream and added some butter poundcake instead. It was fairly simple to make, except I let my bananas ripen a bit too much, so the bananas were mushy.

So, in the end, here is the recipe I used:

4 underripe bananas, diced on a slant (quarter sized pieces)
1/8th of a stick of butter
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/2 tsp of Cinnamon
Ready-to-eat/serve Butter Poundcake
Ice cream or Cool Whip for garnish (optional)

1. Allow the butter to melt in a skillet. When it's melting and bubbly, add your diced bananas and allow to cook up in the butter sauce.
2. Add the Cinnamon and Brown sugar to the skillet and stir and incorporate it in all together, allow to simmer down.
3. Slice poundcake to desire and spoon the banana mixture on top. Add vanilla ice cream or cool whip on top if you desire.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

NFB: Blog challenge

Think about the many issues you frequently see in the news.

Which of these issues or platforms would you put a gag order on, not only for the next debates and elections, but the entire 4 years of the next sitting president (or prime minister, etc), at both the federal and state levels.

That would mean that the issue chosen would remain completely static.

Gahh, I think if I had to choose which issue or platform I would put a gag order on, it would be the No Child Left Behind act. I have to admit that what I know about NCLB is limited, but what I know about it is no good. I would also stop standardized testing at the elementary school age. As much as we want to know what our children are being taught, putting pressure on them to "do good" on standardized testing does not help the situation either. I believe there is far too much pressure on kids these days.

My alternative would be to do a mandatory test at the end of the year for the mere purpose to see what kids have learned in school that year- however, not in the old-fashioned testing type of way. Make it fun, make it a game, and whatever you do, don't put pressure on the kids. I've heard horror stories of kids saying they needed to make sure they ate a good meal before the test, or getting themselves into crazed studying modes for the standardized tests (at the elementary school level, mind you!).

I hate politics.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I'll never live these moments down


When I was about 11 years old, my father took us to Chuck E. Cheese for some fun. Well, while we were getting ready to eat the pizza, I saw the jar of red pepper flakes on the table and yelled out, "ooh! Bacon Bits!", and proceeded to dump it on my pizza. A couple of bites later I was howling and my father, who heard me and didn't warn me, tried not to laugh. I ran to the bathroom to splash cold water in my mouth.

More recently, my husband took us out to Black Angus on a date and I ordered mashed potatoes which came with a tub of white cream I thought was sour cream, so I started piling it on my potatoes. I took one bite and started saying, MY MOUTH!!! OWWW! and my husband was just laughing at me- told me I put horseradish on my potatoes! Yuck!

I swear, there are some things we do in life that are so boneheaded you can't live them down. Frankly, I think it was a bit mean of my father to not warn me! To this day, he'll toss me a package of red pepper flakes if we're eating pizza asking, "Do you want some Bacon Bits?". Jerk.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Ground meat alternatives

About 5 years ago I completely cut ground beef out of our diet, I believe for about 6 months to a year. The reason? I have GERD (Acid Reflux Disease) and tummy problems (unfortunately there is some sort of stomach cancer that runs in my family, my aunt died when she was my age now (28) from it). In 2001, I started on a drug called Metformin for my PCOS and Insulin Resistance, at the lowest dosage. I was on that for a full year and eventually they figured out I could not handle it because it caused a lot of gastro upset, so they took me off of it. Currently I use Cinnamon and Chromium Piconilate for my Insulin Resistance/PCOS and it seems to be working (I haven't had my insulin levels checked in years however my blood sugars are still in the good limits and I do NOT have Type 2 Diabetes- which is what I am trying to avoid). Right now I prefer the holistic side of treating ailments, and so I also started on an acidolphilis probiotic, but I don't see any change. However, I do find that whenever I eat these Dannon Light & Fit yogurts, it helps calm my tummy aches down, so I am stocking up on those when we go grocery shopping this Thursday.

I talked with my husband last night and he seems to have forgotten that we didn't eat ground beef for about a year or so, and is against the idea of buying ground turkey or chicken instead. I told him that Costco's ground beef is fine, fat percentage wise, but with all the troubles I have been dealing with lately, I think it would be wise to cut it out of our diets and go with something that is a lot more lean. There is a ground top sirloin that is about 98% fat free from the local beef company we go to, but at $2.99/lb, I am not sure we could fit it in our budget. Granted, it's only $0.70 cents/lb more than the Costco stuff, but I'd prefer ground turkey. I mean, it's not like I'm asking him to eat soymeat! (Hee!) I will also add that we do eat a LOT of boneless, skinless chicken breast, but the ground beef is more versatile and basically it's one of the few cuts of meat we buy per month. I usually pick up two bulk packages of ground beef and chicken breasts from Costco and separate them into smaller portions for the freezer, and I'll buy a roast or maybe pork chops as a third type of meat for the month.

So what could I do to convince my ground turkey-shy husband that it's just as good as ground beef (I like it!)? Or should I suck it up and let him have his ground beef and when I cook it for him, cook myself something else? Also, I would think that ground pork may be harsh on a stomach too because of the fat content- does anyone happen to know if fat content is posted on ground pork packages?

What I'm trying to do is eliminate the culprit- GREASE.

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