September 27, 2013

A little lifetime...



Today after posting on Facebook, a little note about the memory of my little Jack, who we lost at 9 days old 14 years ago, I was met with some of the kindest words from some of the kindest women I know. 
I am so humbled by the women I have met in my life...so much strength and love and perseverance and fortitude.  We have to support one another. 
But a thought came to mind of what I was going through back then... I had this immediate need to 'fix' it ... We weren't getting a new brother in the family....how was I going to 'fix' this? 

We want to fix things...as women, we hate to see our loved ones suffer, so we will go to whatever means necessary to 'fix' it .... who hasn't taken the forgotten permission slip to school?  Or the forgotten lunch?  Those are the simple things...but how was I going to find a brother? 
I know, it sounds nuts...but it's how I felt. I didn't want to let them down. But he was gone...this was out of my control. 
Acceptance for a mother who likes to 'fix' and 'rescue' and 'make it all better' was difficult. 
And then after a year of numb, another 6 months of grief that eventually made an appearance, and finally getting an unexpected job as a hostess in a nearby bistro, I realized that I needed to quit looking in and begin looking out.  I couldn't live 'inside' myself anymore. Because honestly, it just wasn't about me.  Jack's death among other very difficult events that took place at that time were, in fact, more about finding the life outside of me. 

I only had Jack for 9 short days....not 9 months, not 9 years.  Jack lived his full life in 9 days.  His life was never a promise to me.  And I learned that none of my children were born with promises...
There is no guarantee that our loved ones will live long lives, be without disease, make all kinds of money, go to college....no...we get them for moments. We just have to embrace these moments. But we also have to let them go...take risks...fly airplanes...yes...so while we embrace their moments on earth, we also have to set them free. 
How much time do I spend planning for the future?  It's an odd thought when I really dig into it.  It shows me how little I embrace each day... rather I have been looking at everything BUT today! 

Obviously, we can't live without some planning...money for college, a vacation, when I'm getting my next cup of coffee....  But what about the people?  Do we really look into the eyes of our kids or our spouses when we have a conversation?  Really...just look right into your little boy's eyes when he speaks to you...he's talking to YOU...He wants YOU to hear him....He picked YOUR ears for his important words. Now stop what you're doing and look at him!

What can we 'fix' BECAUSE we are here...because we are alive and breathing...because we have second chances....
I realized that there is no time to sit idle....I need to be looking for all the things I can fix within my power.
I will run the lunch money to the school, I will get those homecoming clothes, I will go 10 miles out of my way while in KC to get a hug and a short visit, I will bring you Gatorade when you're sick and its way out of my way, and I will sit with you and listen, really listen to you...since you chose me to hear your big idea. 

I know these words of mine are the ideal and I fall short big time! I know on many occasions I have not engaged while being spoken to. But it's in my heart to do better. It's in my big {future} picture to take better care of myself so I can be at the ready when I'm needed.  Kids, family, friends...I'll go where you need me because I don't have any promises that I will have you for even one more day.

I love you
xo
me

July 21, 2013

Mom...Why did you cook?

Dinner tonight is late...as usual in the summer.
Three of my kids have been lifeguards for the past several summers and they always work until 7 or 8.  Plus who isn't taking advantage of the nice summer evenings? Who has time to be inside cooking?  Oh...me I guess...well I post recipes about as often as I cook these days.  I'm not sure if it was owning my little cafe, working as the fraternity chef or managing a failing restaurant that really makes me think...
"Why does food have to be a religious experience?"
But I'm talking about the mundane, day to day food...Not the awesome recipe or the fantastic restaurant .... it's the daily stuff... just get some food in your belly and be on your way.
But today...Sunday...it's an extravaganza!!!
Whoop Whoop! Roasted Tomato & Basil tossed with bucatini pasta (hollow spaghetti), Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Grilled Chicken, spinach strawberry salad, & Texas Sheet Cake

Oh..By the way...My daughter just came in the door from work.  I quote..."Why did you cook today"
I try but seems they have me figured out...I'm not kidding when I say I really dislike the mundane day to day task that is required to simply fill a belly for about 3 hours.

Sweet & Salty Pecans
These pecans are delicious on salads...
Oven 350
2 cups pecans
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt

Bake until the sugar liquefies, but STIR OFTEN or the pecans will burn to smithereens like mine did ... OOPS!
They still taste okay...but me and the nuts...I burn them almost every time.
Almonds, pecans, any nut...burn burn burn.





Rustic Roasted Tomato Sauce
Super Easy!
Oven 450
6-8 very ripe roma tomatoes cut in half lengthwise
(homegrown are best if you can get them in the summer.)
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh oregano
1 onion quartered and separated
5-6 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1 shallot, quartered
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp each -  kosher salt, sugar, fresh ground pepper(not in photo)

Prep all the veggies and place them on a baking sheet. Placing the fresh herbs on the bottom will keep them from getting too dried out.
Drizzle the olive oil over everything, then the salt and pepper
Bake until the tomatoes begin to get dark on the edges and the garlic cloves are smooshy. 20-30 minutes.








Remove from the oven and pour everything into a food processor.  A blender will work but pulsing in a processor is ideal.  If using a blender, use the pulse setting if it has one. If not, just try to stir in between blending because this sauce should not be smooth.










Toss the sauce with warm pasta. 
Garnish with a sprig of oregano or basil.

Serve with a salad and some garlic bread if you wish.
Enjoy!



Don't forget the chocolate!













Cloudy with a chance of Happy!


Well, I finally made the 'Cloud Bread'
I have changed my eating since May and have pretty much said Adios to Carbios!
Until now I've pretty much stuck to healthy low fat proteins, 30 carbs per day comprised of greens, veggies, and some fruit.  (or the occasional crumb of chocolate)

Anyway, I gawk at Pinterest like the rest of us and after typing in 'Carb Free', I came across Cloud Bread. I wish I knew who to give the credit to, but this recipe is the same in every blog I came across.
In the photos it looks like a puff of love just waiting to take me back to a good ol' PB&J.
What I have missed most about my decision to live without carbs is something to put my somethings in between...whether it be turkey and cheese, garlic butter, or pizza toppings...I miss the structure of real bread made with real flour and yeast.
What I don't miss is the 22 pounds I have lost, the world war that went on inside my gut on a daily basis, and the blood sugar roller coaster.  But we can talk about all that some other time...let's talk about this Cloud Bread...
First the recipe...
Oven 300
3 Eggs, separated
3 Tablespoons whole milk cottage cheese, greek yogurt, OR cream cheese-I used cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tsp of Splenda, Stevia, or your favorite sweetener-I used Splenda

You're going to need two bowls and a mixer.
Bowl 1 - 3 egg whites - don't get any yolk in there.
Bowl 2 - 3 egg yolks.
Bowl 1- sprinkle the cream of tartar over the egg whites and then mix until stiff peaks are formed...not wimpy bent over peaks...stiff, standing at attention pointy peaks.
Bowl 2- mix your yolks well with the sweetener and the dairy ingredient of your choice.
Gently using a rubber spatula, FOLD the egg whites into the yolk mixture.  Do this by first gently pouring the whites into bowl 2, then carefully bringing the ingredients up and over the top of the whites.
Basically, don't stir it to death or the air in the whites will be lost and it will become runny.
Once the mix is fully incorporated, it should look like a fluffy golden souffleish mixture.

Grease a cookie sheet
Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, drop spoonfuls onto the greased baking sheet.  I made mine bun size but they could be larger and shaped however you might like it...if you want to have a hoagie style sandwich then stretch out the drop on the pan.  Or make the round larger for a pizza.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown on top.
When done, set on a cookie cooling rack and let them cool.  It doesn't take long at all.
For the soft cloud bread, place them in a sealed container or Ziploc bag.
If you want something crunchy, keep them in the oven about 4-5 minutes longer and don't put them in a container or bag.

My Opinion...

THE GOOD...
1. SUPER EASY TO MAKE!
2. CARB FREE (may be a trace of carbs)
3. GLUTEN FREE 
4. IF PREPARED CORRECTLY, THERE ARE TWO OPTIONS.
5. THESE ARE TERRIFIC USED AS SOMETHING TO PUT YOUR SOMETHING IN BETWEEN!!!
6.THESE ARE AWESOME AS A PIZZA CRUST!

THE BAD
1. THEY TASTE QUITE EGGY...A LITTLE LIKE A CHOUX CREAM PUFF PASTRY .... IT'S A PASTRY MADE WITH EGGS! 



Cloud Bread Sammie...Does the trick!

Cloud Pizza...YUM!
Finally...as you can see...I've been in the clouds!
I enjoyed this as an alternative to bread.
I think I will play around with the mixture added to the egg yolks.
Also, when I made the Pesto Cloud, the edges got quite crispy, so I suspect that a light brush of olive oil and a sprinkle of Parmesan and Italian herbs might render a nice crunchy crouton that would be perfect with a salad!

Let me know what you think if you give this a try.

Christie

January 7, 2013

Prescribed

Good Morning!
And what good would it be without my morning medication?
Some folks may get their daily meds at the pharmacy...I conjure my concoction right in my own apothecary...my kitchen.
I'm not ashamed to say that I require at least 6 ounces of caffeine containing joy each and every day.
As my sweet Auntie Margarite would say, "I can't be good ALL the time". That is her response to the notion that we will be 'better' people if we quit our habits. This little prescription isn't a habit, it's a necessity.
I grind my favorite beans in my 1930's KitchenAid Hobart grinder, releasing an amazing aroma that even anti coffee folks love, and then brew up a hot pot of black gold in my $10 five cup coffee maker.
That's how Mr. Cady and I begin our day. We barely drink the 5 cups, so how bad can it be?
Let me tell ya, it's gonna be way bad for our loved ones if we DON'T drink it.
Today I'm celebrating!
Two out of the three kids (out of the five) that have been home for break are back in school! I love having them home for sure, but I also love my quiet time in the morning. Which had been hijacked by my ten year old who somehow has the uncanny sleep clock that awakes bright and early on weekends and breaks, but runs defective on school days...more research needed.
And what's this about college break lasting over five weeks? My grocery bill has doubled and since college son's job is back at campus....HELLO!!! He's bored to tears, eating us out of house and home and it's freezing outside!
Anyone have some dogs that need exercise? Let's get this kid back in the sky!

Well, back to my drug problem...I'm not apologizing.
Just look at the joy in my cup! How can anyone's day be anything but great if there's a tiny happy cup of love to begin it with?
What's your cup full of?
Have a 'cup full of joy' kind of day ❤

January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!


happy new year!


Tigger..."What's wrong with this picture?" Sasha..."Nothing"
don't worry...no cute kitties were harmed while making this blog.
this sweet kitty is Tigger.  he is our indoor/outdoor sugar booger, smoochie love, hugger bugger, love muffin kitty cat cuteness!  
there on the rug lies Sasha Marie, our snuggle buggle, furry burry, pupperific, pooches with the mooches doggie dulu lover pup.

by the way...tigger made his way into the warm house.


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!