Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

We do not celebrate Easter anymore. One of the main reasons is because we have no one but ourselves to celebrate with. The ILs are always busy with their families or work, and we don't have anyone else to get together with. The same thing applies to Christmas, but we celebrate that. I don't know why we don't celebrate Easter anymore...I think around Spring we start getting busy with activities and just forget that Easter falls on a certain day (not to mention you never know when it is because the calendar is so wonky). For example, at work on Friday, some of the providers I spoke with wished me a happy Easter, and I had totally forgotten that it fell on this weekend in March as opposed to in April, like we're used to it being in.

So I started wondering what we can do to start our own traditions for next year. Yes, three is a lonely number and we don't have anyone to celebrate with, but why not start our own tradition of going out to breakfast and getting dressed up in spring fare? I am wondering if my husband would dig it. You see, we are an Atheist/Agnostic family and our holiday traditions are more about being together as a family than anything else. We don't celebrate religion.

In any case, I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter holiday and I hope none of you get too sick from those delicious Cadbury eggs or Peeps!


Friday, March 21, 2008

NFB: Health and medical insurance

I finally got medical insurance through my new job and I have been taking full advantage of it. I just had a procedure done yesterday and will learn the results next week. I am also undergoing an Endoscopy on Monday as well. I am really nervous about it (because I will be partially sedated and I don't like sedation) and what it might find out. I have been dealing with Acid Reflux and Heartburn for 8 years now without much relief and I finally got myself to a Gastroenterologist. I just hope there is nothing seriously wrong with me and that we can figure out if it's my esophagus or if it's a gall bladder issue.

With that said, I have looked up the "GERD" diet (in short, GERD is Acid Reflux Disease) and boy oh boy, is it bland. Boring. My problem is I get so bored with bland food so quick. I know I can hardly handle anything that is acidic anymore- I typically stay away from tomatoes, oranges, pineapples, etc, and I really miss some of those foods. I'm trying to get my family back on the Low-Glycemic Index diet and that is not too hard, but following a GERD diet if I need to, will present a challenge to me. No more mint? OMG. I love mint. No more caffeine? Are you nuts! I gave up coffee almost a month ago- but to give up caffeine? Ugh! Stuff like pop, fatty meats, acidic stuff is not hard to give up because I rarely touch those things anyhow...but I will have to switch to decaf teas from now on and no more mint teas (that's gonna kill me. I love my Stash Moroccan Mint and Stash Peppermint teas!). Okay, we'll wait and see what the doctor says...

Wish me luck, please. I am a nervous wreck. And let me tell you- I am SICK of doctors, already. It's great to finally have medical insurance but the testing is getting to me, and the costs are going to present a future headache as well.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food

I am buying this damn book for my 8 year old daughter. I've had it up to HERE with the junk food habits. The other night, I made Sandra Lee's Pot Roast in the crockpot, and Miss Finicky whined about the carrots and potatoes. She was spoiled on Saturday night because she had her party, so we had pizza and cake, but I'm at the point of banning any and all junk food in my house, because I am so tired of hearing the whining and complaining about healthy food.

I don't think I should have to grind up cauliflower and hide it in her soup or meatloaf. I think that it needs to be out in the public so she doesn't end up hating it. Then I start second-guessing myself because my own father was pretty strict about the foods I ate when I was about her age. I don't want to perpetuate an eating disorder, but candy, chips and junk have to GO. The chips are her father's for his lunches for work, but he shares them with her. The candy is left over from her party. The idea of eating chewy chocolate chip granola bars for a snack does not compute. I will admit, I am guilty of allowing these things in my house (I don't do the bulk shopping, my husband does, and he does a great job by mostly sticking to the list, but I am responsible for allowing chewy granola bars in our house). I have healthy options in my house that she can choose from and at least she asks before eating her candy, but I swear, the holidays and birthdays are the absolute worst. I'm half tempted to go through her stash in a drawer her father designated to her and throw it all out!

That said, she is no couch potato. She loves riding her bike and running around outside. Now that the weather is getting nicer she is able to do so, and it's great to see her outside again. Now we'll work on the junk food next.

And a little bit off-topic but I just love the Berenstain Bears. They have great lessons in their books and I loved reading them as a child, and my daughter enjoys reading them now.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Few updates

I am currently in the process of trying to find a new look for my site and will be updating as soon as I do. It's just kind of hard to find the time to do it at the moment. I'm looking at revamping my entire site and even possibly changing the focus as well. It's mainly due to the fact that I don't blog a lot about food anymore, and I have always kept this blog up for both food and personal, but more so would like to just make sure that my readers understand that. It's kind of a rough time at the moment with regards to lack of creativity (both in the kitchen and blogging) and lack of time, and that is why I don't make promises I know I possibly won't be able to keep.

Baking has really taken a backseat since I have been working these past 6 months, and I really miss it. Part of it has to do with the fact that I absolutely HATE my kitchen and how small it is (no counter space, etc). We were considering moving, but right now with the way the economy is, we figure it's best to stick it out where we are currently, not to mention despite some differences I may have with my daughter's school administrators (not teachers, but others), I really do love the school and don't want her to have to say goodbye to her friends.

Speaking of my daughter, she just turned 8 on Friday and we just celebrated her birthday party. Once again, I went through a local vendor, Barb's Pies & Pastries, and she made my daughter's cakes and cupcakes for her party. She does such a wonderful job and I was really impressed with the Pikachu cake she made for my daughter:

Not only was it cute and adorable, but the cake itself (which was a banana cake with cream cheese frosting) was so moist and delicious! If you are in Whatcom County and are interested in ordering a cake (she does 1/4 sheet cakes for $20, I believe. Mine was higher because it was a specialty but WELL worth it!), you can call Barb's Pies & Pastries at 360-312-8978. My daughter happened to have one cupcake left over from her party she had at school and it was delicious! We've had other cakes done by Barb in the past and I've always been a fan!

More to come soon, hopefully. I am looking at trying Bayou on the Bay in downtown Bellingham next, if I can talk my husband into trying some Gumbo. We've never had that type of food, so I am interested in trying it.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Restaurant Review- Chihuahua's Mexican Restaurant, Ferndale, WA

I have heard so much hype about this restaurant and how awesome it is. It's so awesome it's always packed and I have never ventured in there because of that fact. We decided to go real early before the Friday night dinner rush a few weeks ago and surprisingly enough, it was not even packed. Anyhow...I had been dying to find another good Mexican restaurant in Whatcom County to try out, and for the past few years I have been trying to get to this one. I will say it was definitely worth the wait, and we'll be back, but definitely before the dinner rush!

We were seated and given our drinks (I ordered a HUGE frozen Margarita- let's just put it this way- it was loaded with Tequila or whatever it is that they put in loaded I had a major buzz going home- of course I had a designated driver!), and they gave us some chips with their homemade salsa- two different variations. One was a chunky salsa with no liquid, and the other one was almost very liquidy. I really liked the chunky salsa, and knew that I would pay dearly in the end for it (which I did, but I can't help myself, it was so good. TUMS are your friend, people). We decided to order an appetizer of their super nacho plate and put our orders in. I absolutely love Carnitas (shredded pork), so I ordered the Carnitas dinner plate. Miss Finicky (aka my daughter) had the Enchilada plate, and my husband ordered a Carne Asada plate.

The nachos were absolutely delicious, tons of cheese, meat, fresh guacamole and sour cream (and the accompanying tomatos, onions, and olives). By the time our plates of food were served to us, I was almost stuffed. I ate about maybe 1/5th of my plate and ended up taking the rest home (we all actually took most of our dinners and the nachos home). It was absolutely delicious though- depending on your order, you get fresh corn or flour (your choice) tortillas. Now, I will say that only one person up to that part had won my heart with her freshly made flour tortillas, and that was one of my BFF's from high school, Lucy's mother. Lucy's mother passed away on May 10th, 2006, and I'll never forget her as long as I live. Not to get too off-topic, but her mother was like a mother to me, and to win my affection in terms of homemade tortillas, it takes a lot- and this restaurant did just that. Now, no one makes them like Lucy's mom did- but it was still so very delicious. Anyhow, back on topic- my Carnitas were DELICIOUS and they were served with a salad, pinto beans (not refried or pureed) and the tortillas. I believe my plate alone was $12.95, but it was a fair price for such a huge serving.

In the end, we were most pleased with the service, the atmosphere (very vibrant colors in the restaurant which my daughter loved), and the food, of course. After all was said and done, we spent about $70 (including tip) on our dinner. The prices are the same as you would find in any other place in Whatcom County in a Mexican restaurant, but the servings are huge, large enough for left-overs for the next night. I give Chihuahua's a 5/5!

You can find Chihuahua's at:

5694 3rd Avenue
Ferndale, WA 98248
(360) 384-5820

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