Sunday, February 28, 2010

In like a Lion, Out like a Lamb

March definately came roaring in yesterday with beautiful blue skies and a biting cold wind. I took a walk around my yard yesterday morning and the daffodils are budding like crazy. I forgot that at this time of year, my "normal" allergies go a litle nuts. They are definately acting up.

At the Dr's office yesterday, she decided that we are going to treat these "food allergy attacks" that are most likely based on mold, just like anyone else who has daily allergies. She gave me a perscription for a pregnancy safe daily allergy medicine to try for a few weeks and see how I feel. Her hopes are that by reducing the antihistine's, my reactions will be less noticeable and therefore make me less anxious.

She also doesn't want me to fear trying to get pregnant or taking the Clomid and Metformin. Easier said then done but I'm going to try. She recommended Wii Fit, Yoga, and daily exercise as well as church to help work with my anxiety.

So I feel a little better that I have a plan. I'm really hoping the allergy meds help, even though I haven't quite gotten over my fear of trying a new medicine. She also gave me a nasal spray which I'm very nervous to take. I've never done a nasal spray before and honestly have a phobia of things touching my nose.

I'm hoping for some renewed energy and calmness soon because I'm ready to keep living with my gardening and TTC and friends etc. I'm tired of living clustered in my life centered on my failings.

Friday, February 26, 2010

So far, Today's Better

A little. My stomach is killing me but I'm optimistic its the last of whatever was in that sandwich making its way clear and hopefully life will once again return to normal.

I'm going to talk to my GP at Saturday's appointment and see if I can feel more confidant about my life with allergies and maybe get back on some level ground (without feeling like a paranoid hypochondriac that's going to stop breathing at any moment).

Despite the fact that I chickened out of taking the clomid, I'm not going to count this cycle out. The past two have shown thermal shifts and I have lost quite a bit of weight rather fast which can aid in triggering ovulation. So I'm going to move forward this month with the assumption that I WILL ovulate on my own again, and monitor my body closely, use the preconcieve to aid in CM.

I even broke down and bought the VIP version of FF. I KNOW! First time in a year and a half. I took the deal: 90 days for $16.95 plus I earned an extra 30. So 120 days (four months) for 16.95 really isn't a bad deal if it helps me plan a bit better.

Who knows, maybe it was meant to be and I'll succeed on my own which may make me feel a little easier about the pregnancy. Fingers crossed.

And I apologize for being so self absorbed, I haven't really said anything interesting besides ramblings about my pyschosis. I know I lost a few readers and I can imagine I've been pretty boring. For those who have stuck it out: THANK YOU.

My blogs and my chat boards are really my sanity. It allows me to get it out there without stressing my husband out because he's really really trying to understand but I know if I talked about this to him all the time, it would make HIM go insane and I need him sane at the moment. A big thank you to CB for bringing me icecream and being my shoulder to lean on, and to Isha, Rachel, and Steph for being my sounding boards and trying to kick my arse into gear. Sometimes a push in the right direction takes a few shoves to get me there. I'm an Aries, we're stubborn. What do you expect?

Love to ALL my girls, via blog and boards, I love you all.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I chickened out

I couldn't do it. I couldn't take the meds. Dh was dissappointed but I couldn't do it. I couldn't even bring myself to eat last night. I think it may have been easier had I not still been suffering allergy side affects but I don't know. I keep hearing about how uncomfortable people are for various reasons during pregnancy. Things they have no control over: numb arms, no sleep. Emergency C-sections, baby loss, m/c and frankly, I'm scared to death.

So many things have gone wrong in my own body over the last several months and outwardly in my life that I almost feel jinxed. It's irrational and it scares the bejeezus out of me that I have this insane fear that if I don't m/c again, I'm going to have no control over my body and be wracked with pain and complications and have to go through another loss or even die myself. The fear is there. I can't get it out of my head, and I couldn't force myself to take the meds.

I tried to explain it to DH last night. I even said, I want a baby but I don't know if I want to HAVE a baby anymore. He rolled away from me. He's so dissappointed with me but I feel out of control and that is not a feeling I handle well. I'm a very controlling person when it comes to aspects of my life. I'm trying to give up the burden and fear to God but its not working out so well. It's still there, lurking, waiting to catch me in a weak vulnerable moment. I'm not a weak person either under normal circumstances but I've felt myself sliding that way since the M/C.

What the fuck is wrong with me? This isn't like me. I've always been a take charge, burst forth, ride 'em hard through hell and high water kinda girl. Not a weak, hide in my house, afraid of my shadow type of girl. I don't know this new person and frankly I don't like her very well. She's holding up our family plans and making me doubt everything about myself and my life.

Do me a favor, if you see her, wrangle the bitch up, hog tie her, stuff a sock in her mouth, and shove her in a closet. I need me back. I need to move forward in life instead of fearing whats around the next corner.

I did lose two more pounds though. Total: 27.

German Chocolate Brownies

So one of my chatboard girls mentioned German Chocolate Brownies and I thought I was going to slip all over myself right then and there from the copious amounts of drool eminating from my mouth. Seriously? German Chocolate BROWNIES? I've never thought of such a thing much less seen it or made it.

Ofcourse, I immediately scavenged the world wide web for recipes. Most used boxed cake mix etc. That's not for me. Brownies are too easy to make from scratch to use boxes of the lord only knows what all they put in those things. I finally found a recipe from Taste of Home that fit the bill. They were so easy to make and so delicious. The great thing is, this recipe doesn't make a large amount either so its perfect for a small get together or family of four.

German Chocolate Brownies

*Pictures coming this weekend*

1 stick butter, cubed
4 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup Self Rising Flour

2 tbs butter, melted
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup shredded or flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tbs corn syrup
2 tbs milk

Melt butter and chocolate. Beat eggs and sugar in KA Mixer. Add vanilla and slightly cooled chocolate mixture. Add flour. Pour into an 8 x 9 greased pan and bake for 20 minutes at 350. Do not overbake. Let cool on wire rack.

Combine topping ingredients and mix well. Use a spoon or cookie scoop to drop topping on to slightly warm brownies. Gently spread.

I served them like this but the recipe recommends to broil for about 2 minutes and then recool. ENJOY!

Lemon and Garlic Roasted Chicken

I've been roasting chickens and turkeys for years using halved citrus fruit stuffed in the cavity but it wasn't until I watched INA GARTEN chop an entire garlic in half and stuff it in skin and all with lemon that I turly found perfection. For that Ina, I will forever be greatful! This truly changed my world of chicken.

The thing is, its SO EASY and so simple. I now roast one to two chickens on the weekend and debone and save the meat in portions in the fridge and freezer to use throughout the week. There really is no easier and quicker and CHEAPER method to using chicken for weeknight meals when you are on the go.

*Pictures coming this weekend*

Lemon and Garlic Roasted Chicken
One whole Chicken, washed and dried
salt and pepper
olive oil
1 whole lemon
1 whole garlic

Salt and pepper the inside and outside of the chicken. Cut the galric in half (through the cloves so they insides of all cloves are exposed) and place skin and all inside chicken. (both halves). Halve the lemon and place both halves in the chicken cavity.

Place chicken in roasting pan. Tuck winds underneath and truss the legs. Roast on 350-400 for about an hour or until thermometer reads 150-160. Take the chicken out and place in dish, cover with tinfoil and let rest for about 30 minutes.

TA DA, you are done! Serve slices fresh and warm, save diced chicken for later recipes, serve on sandwiches, make chicken salad, whatever you wish but the delicate infusion of lemon and garlic gives this chicken such a wonderful flavor its the perfect combination to use with vegetables of all kinds.

Roasted Vegetable Pasta with Lemon Vinaigrette

My second dish for Pasta week is a creation of my own comprised of reading SEVERAL recipes. There wasn't anything quite like I was looking for so I just made it up. It was a pretty big hit. Fresh and lively with strong flavors that tantalize your tongue. This healthy eating thing's not so bad after all! And it was QUICK. Just use leftover chicken from a Garlic Lemon Roasted Chicken and the rest of the recipe takes max 30 minutes! Enjoy!

*Pictures coming this weekend*

Roasted Vegetable Pasta with Lemon Vinaigrette

1 large eggplant, diced large
2 straight neck squash, diced large
1 zuchini, diced large
1 small onion, sliced thick
1 shallot, sliced thick
4-5 cloves garlic, deskinned (either whole or halved)
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1-2 cups diced chicken
1 lb fusilli pasta (or penne)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
1 can diced tomatoes

Lemon Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice of One lemon
1 1/2 tsps of dijon mustard
1/2 tsp sugar
(I did not use lemon peel or shallot since I'm mixing with lemon chicken and roasted veggies.)

In a large bowl coat ALL the veggies with olive oil. Spread out on greased baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 15-18 minutes on 450 in the oven.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in salted water till tender. In large bowl, combine drained pasta, chicken and roasted vegetables (and cheese if you opt to use it).

Whisk vingaigrette ingredients together and pour over pasta mixture and mix well. Serve warm or cool.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Clomid Day 1

Today is supposed to be the day we start back on Clomid. I had decided due to recent financial strains, that we would put off TTC as much as I didn't want to. Then last weekend happened and my hopes were so high as were DH's.

He really doesn't want me putting off TTC, but I'm trying to be responsible. Honestly, all the things that can go wrong is scarying me to death on the tail end of a m/c and the allergy attack.

I had a mild allergic reaction last night, to my blessed Subway. Same sandwich at the Same location I always get. So there is one of two things that cold have happened:
1) They were busy and were not changing gloves between sandwiches so their gloves could have been contaminated by another food.
2) Something had mold in it (since I have a known mold allergy). This seems more probable to me.

The first thing I noticed was my lips went numb, and then the end of my tongue. My chest got blotchy red and then my face started turning pink. Then my stomach started rolling and my throat got a little itchy and I started coughing. I did manage to stay calm and took a swig of liquid benedryl which promptly knocked my arse out within 10 minutes. I slept through everything else.

This morning my face felt hot but wasn't red so I just drank A LOT of water and I feel okay now. Chest feels a little tight today but I stayed calm and the benedryl kicked it. So that's good.

Not so good when I'm thinking about taking Clomid. Does NOT help the decision. I've been putting it off because I know my husband doesn't want to talk about it. It makes him upset but its tonight or never. We have to discuss this.

I honestly don't know what I want to do. TTC and deal with it as it comes or wait. AGAIN. On one shoulder is a voice saying: You have waited over three years through your struggles of TTC, don't put it off now. On the other, You have waited this long, its not like its going to matter since you will never have a kid anyway.

What to do, what to do.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Penne with Asparagus and Tomatoes

First Recipe of Pasta Week! It was far different from most pastas I cook. Here in the south we smother everything with, creams, gravys, sauces, and cheese. Literally. If its not fried, its smothered in something. I'm trying to expand my horizons.

I'm not sure how you feel about Giada on the FoodNetwork but other than the fact that her arms are short and I feel like I'm watching a pretty little Tyranasaurus Rex (and I don't mean that to be mean in anyway, I have a lot of respect for her), the girl can cook up some pasta! So I have taken note of a few of her pasta dishes that incorporate veggies and barely any "sauce" to speak of other than some light broth and olive oil. So I'm kicking up our pasta palatte with the help of inspiration by Giada and so far, SO GOOD!

Unlike my love affair with all things spaghetti, I don't think I'll be making this dish once a week, but once a month? Yea, I can see that! Especially in the spring when asparagus is fresh! Definately worth a try and I felt NO GUILT eating it, AT ALL.

*Pictures coming this weekend*

Penne with Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes
8 ounces penne pasta
3 tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch thin asparagus (about 1 1/2 lbs), tough ends trimmed
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups cherry tomatoes (my cherry tomatoes had mold on them -1 DAY after buying them, stupid Aldi's- so I used two roma's diced from the farmer's market)
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup grated moneterey jack cheese (My addition)
1 cup diced roasted chicken breast (my addition)

(Giada calls for parmesan and fresh basil but I didn't do this).

Boil pasta in salted water till Just Tender.

Saute over medium-high heat the garlic in the oil for about 1 minute. Add asparagus and season with salt and pepper. Cook about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and peas and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and simmer about 3-5 minutes.

Add the chicken just to heat it up. (1 minute). Combine drained pasta, vegetables and cheese in a large bowl and toss well. Serve hot.

Simple, tasty and pretty healthy.

Monday, February 22, 2010

One thing, then another

On top of, The roof, the Taxes, and the medical bills, the putting off TTC because of the aforementioned items, we now have to contend with my car.

It's dying on me. All day, it was sputtering and stuttering and trying to cut off. I pray its only a fuel filter or bad gas. Because if its a fuel pump or transmission, I'm screwed. And thanks to the roof, the taxes and the medical bills, I no longer have my downpayment for when I trade this piece of shit in.

Cute? Why yes he is. Reliable? I thought so. A good car? I'm starting to question that.

Me thinks the stars are aligned against me. Every time, one brief small shining moment then POOF, its gone, here's a whole pile of manure to dig your way out of. Except one of these days, one small thing added to the pile is going to be too much, and I'll never dig out. I'll just give up.

I'm getting tired of fighting against these constant trials and odds that are stacking up against me. WTF did I do wrong to deserve this?

McFatty Monday Check-In

I was indeed, pleasantly surprised after last weeks 2 lb gain when the scales said down 6 lbs. So not only did I relose the 2 lbs (which I knew that last thursday), but lost an additional 4 lbs! I'm down a total of 25 pounds!

I'm so incredibly happy! Definately makes it worth dropping those pounds. This time, this time is different. I'm not following a diet plan or eating foods designed for dieting. In fact, I'm doing the opposite. I'm eating REAL foods. REAL BUTTER, HEAVY CREAM, PASTA, FRIED foods.

Blasphemous you say! Seriously. I think one of our problems in America is that we are so consumed with FAT FREE and Convenience we don't stop and look at the issues. We are filling our bodies with processed, engineered, chemical CRAP and our bodies don't know what to do with it.

So I said NO MORE. Plus that whole allergy thing forces me to eat natural foods so I know whats in them, and low and behold IT WORKS. I think I stumbled on to a breakthrough! So if you can't make it yourself using natural ingredients, don't eat it. Have I mentioned I cut out the caffiene because I cut out the coffee and soda? Yet even without exercising, I have MORE energy most of the time and feel LESS tired than I did before when I was a STarbucks JUNKIE! Coincedence? I think not.

I think my body can process these foods correctly and knows what to do with them, so it breaks them down and gives me fuel. Is it a tad more expensive, probably but the more I do, and experiment with recipes, the more I can trim the budget. I'm still working on this way of life, but I'm excited to continue and see where it goes. STay TUNED.

To answer Mrs. Blair's questions: (and honey, hang in there)
What are you most proud of with this journey? Is there anything you’ve done that you have never accomplished before, or been able to say?

I am most proud that I did this. BY myself. I am taking charge of my body. I don't think I've ever lost this much weight before, especially not this fast and on my own with honestly, VERY LITTLE effort.

Menu Monday

It's that time again. Monday. The most dreaded day of the week. I do look forward to posting those menues though. It makes me feel in control, prepared and organized. Three of my favorite feelings..LOL.

This week is being dubbed as "Pasta Week". I'm in the mood for pasta and want to experiment with a few ways of mixing pasta and veggies without the same old boring Alfredo or tomato sauce. So I'm mixing it up this week with some fresh flavors in Pasta!

Chicken Stew (we had this Sunday night -also my recipe for the Blog Challenge: Last week ladies!)

Fusilli wiht roasted chicken, spinach and asiago

Roasted Veggies

Baked Chicken & Pastini

Penne w/ Asparagus and Cherry tomatoes

I'm sure there will be something thrown in there to break up all the chicken and pasta. If you know anything about me, you can have a safe bet that Friday night will include Subway! LOL

My first Blog Award!

Okay, I know these are silly but they are so fun. And of coure my ego, being what it is, preens a little bit. I've recieved a few of these on another blog, but this is the first time the Garden Gourmet has recieved a blog award, and yea, I have a big fat smile on my face. (even though I'm a tiny bit late in posting this.)

So a huge shout out goes to my girl Valentine who is classy, witty, and a lover of all things cheese. MY KIND OF GIRL! Thank you!

The rules of the Award:

Thank and link the giver of the award. (Who wouldn't do this anyway?)

Copy the award to my blog. (Well Duh, who wouldn't do that either?)

D. List seven interesting things about myself.

1. I am obsessed with cooking. (What, you didn't know that?)

2. I love gardening. (I'm really shocking you here today aren't I?)

3. I flirt with danger. No really, I still TAN, IN FULL SUN with OIL despite all those pesky skin cancer warnings. Come ON, you expect me to float in my pool for hours and not rotessirie myself? Please. I'm southern, I bake and fry everything including my own skin.

4. I love to mow the yard if I have time. It's a chore when I'm strapped for time (which is most often) but occasionally when there isn't much to do for some reaon, I love to mow.

5. I have an obsession with putting clothes on my dog. I've never been a little dog person or one to dress them up other than fancy colors and bandannas. But since getting my tiny female Doxie who shivers and loves sweaters, I'm obsessed with buying clothes for her. She has quite the wardrobe.

6. I LOVE to bake. LOVE. There is nothing more pleasing then popping a hot, fluffy cake out of the oven or biting into fresh warm, oozing cookies with a cold glass of milk. (Just don't tell my husband, he might be offended.)

7. If I could afford to, I would have fresh cut flowers all over my house, every day. I love candles and flowers but for some reason, I can't grow flowers. I can grow veggies, but not flowers. And I can't afford to BUY cut flowers. But there is nothing better than a southern ladies tea party with good girlfriends, fresh flowers, awesome food, and lots of gossiping on a spring afternoon. (I think I was born in the wrong decade.)

Now I have to nominate seven bloggers for this award. I'm sure some of them have gotten them before but I don't care:

1) FK. I love her new fashion blog and I'm hoping she will include some great garden friendly duds at some point just for little ole me *wink*

2) Isha's Scoreboard because I know what its like to struggle losing weight. Especially when she is faithfully trying my recipes almost every week! Love you girl.

3)Mama Bird, a new blog friend I found through the Lady Bloggers who has some great recipes and a charming personality.

4)Tracey, new to the blogging world, she's getting her writer's feet wet and ofcourse, she is required to rave about my cooking since she's my sister and all. *wink*

5)Mrs. Rootbeer, who I just have much love for.

6) Stephanie, ofcourse, as my co-conspirator in all things tasty, I love the recipes she leaves on this blog, like a kid on Christmas, I get so excited to see what Santa Steph has cooked up!

7) Jlee, my girl appreciates good food, good friends, and babies, all wrapped up in a sarcastic witty package. How can you not love her?

That's it! there are so many blogs I read, so many friends I have who blog, and I just want to tell you all, I love sharing your adventures, recipes, and life stories. Keep living, eating, cooking and sharing. Now go forth everyone and follow these rules for your blog award!

The Sunshine Award

I've been nominated for the SUNSHINE AWARD from two amazing women. The ever fashionable FK and the lovely and sweet Mrs. S. After everything, this award definately brightened my day.

Here are the rules:
1. Put the logo in my post or within my blog.
2. Pass the award onto 12 fellow bloggers. 12?? Jebus.
3. Link the nominees within my post.
4. Let the nominees know they have received this award by leaving a comment on their blogs.
5. Share the love and link to the person who gave you the award!

Man, 12! I have to work for this one don't I?! And forgive me if I don't leave you a comment right away..hopefully you will just find it! (and please don't feel left out. The only downside to these things is people feel left out, but I'm going to try to hit up some folks that aren't on the other girls lists but I'm sorry if I miss someone! I love you all, I do!)

In no particular order (and not quite 12)




4)Isha's Scoreboard


6)Mama Bird (because you are a comment ho! LOL)



9)Megan (I wish you tons of sunshine honey)

10) Mrs.Beth

Okay, so since I can't resend it to the awesome ladies who sent it to me, and I don't want to be repetitive and duplicate a bunch of people, I will end at 9. I love you all and i hope today brings some sunshine into your life.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

POAS 2010 is Over

I'm calling it this morning. BFN. I swear there was a trace of brown blood in my urine this morning but I tested anyway with the pink dye FRER. Nothing to interpret. Negative. Couple all that with the drop in temp and its over.

I honestly do not know what happened. There is no denying THREE faint positive tests, a thermal shift or the insanely long LP that should have resulted in a pregnancy. I don't know if you could call this a CP without a Dr.'s confirmation and I don't know if I want to know.

When I throw these peesticks away, I will also be throwing away our last dreams of a 2010 baby.

The best I can hope for this morning is to go to church and pray that god gives me peace with this, because right now, I'm not okay with it.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

subway cures depression

seriously. all I want to eat is subway for the past two weeks. LOVE IT. So despite the fact I've been in there four times already in the past few days, I went back tonight. AGAIN.

I didn't bother to change. Yep, I went in a holy black tank top under a cream baggy sweatshirt over pink capri yoga pants with Pink uggs. Hair in a messy bun and a chanel purse. ROFLMAO

It was a sight. But I dont' care because i have warm subby deliciousness in my tummy and I'm happy about it.

Plus I can procrastinate a tad longer about cleaning up my kitchen! LOL

Ultimate disappointment

It wasn't even three days ago I laughed at a commercial that said "1 in 4 women can mis-read a pregnancy test". Apparently, everyone I know, including myself can misread a pregnancy test.

I admit it. I took two last night. The uber cheap store brand pink dye tests. There was no mistaking a faint plus sign. We both saw it. I took pictures and texted it to several of my BOTB girls for second (third, fourth, fifth, sixth, etc.) opinions. They all saw it. Around me, there was giddyness and celebration while I tried to maintain some composure. My heart was leaping, I could hardly breathe. My head was still saying "PROCEED WITH CAUTION!"

I hardly slept. About two hours in, I got up and collected my pee and took my temp. My temp had fallen below the cover line and I cried. Then I realized I had not even been asleep for two hours or so. When I got up like normal this morning, my temp was 97.9 so I poured out the other pee and peed again.

I was on the way out the door but discovered my sick old dog had exploded her bowels all over my livingroom carpet. She hasn't used the bathroom in the house in over 12 years. She's a very sick girl. I spent the next two hours gagging and cleaning up poop and steam cleaning my carpets with Resolve. I still have work to do but for now, my carpet has to dry.

So I took a shower and raced to Walgreens. I got not only a digital but a regular pink dye FRER. I used the FMU and got a big FAT NEGATIVE with the digital. My heart fell to the floor and I thought I was going to stop breathing. I did the pink dye. Negative though I swear I could see a faint shadow of a line.

But you know what? A line isn't always a line. Sometimes its just a shadow. I'm like 18 dpo. There is no way a digital could not detect HSG in FMU at 18 dpo. I am not pregnant. And I just wasted $45.00 on what I knew to be true yesterday.

The lesson here, is do not buy cheap tests. Do not look at shadows and do not get excited until you see a fucking ultrasound. Listen to your gut. When you know what your body does, believe your instinct, not the little hopeful voices that say "there is always a first time for everything." No. Not in the world of my broken uterus.

Excuse me while I go back to cleaning up the dog shit that is both literally and metaphorically my life today.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Freaking OUT!

Cheap Tests do not make me feel any more conclusive. Getting a digital tomorrow. Dam these inanimate sticks you pee on.

Sick and Saddened

At 6:30am I stood in my yard in my pajamas, pink uggs, and my husbands big farm coat while my dogs joyfully bounded around doing their business. I stood there puking slimy bile and remembered many mornings I did the same thing when I was so happy and pregnant with Bumblebee and the thoughts were so overwhelming that it almost brought me to my knees.

Deep down, I know I'm not pregnant. The random pains in my stomach today are parading the red bitch in. Like Santa Claus, she will be here soon, I'm sure. Knowing all of this, I still can't keep myself from comparing every little symptom (that can be a non-symptom explained by a number of things) to my one pregnancy. And that just brings all the joy and the ultimate bitter pain back to me. And I can't do that again. I can't live through it over again, when for the most part I've managed to lock it away in my heart and head. Because even if I were, this wouldn't be Bumblebee. These thoughts are not healthy, so in that spirit, if AF hasn't showed her ugly face tonight, I will POADS (pee on a damn stick) and get the negative just so the thoughts will stop.

Yes, I'm like 17 DPO IF IT WERE A REAL O. But look at last months chart. There should have been an "O" there too, and the two are very similar and it was negative. Yes, I'm nauseas as hell right now, but sinus drainage over night and a restless night can do that as well.

For a little while, I wanted to keep hold that small bit of hope. Especially in the face of not trying for a few more months. That little hope was all I had left of a 2010 baby and I clung to it like a plank of wood as the titanic sank. But like Leonardo, its time I let go. It's time to face the music, and go on with my life because I'm only making it worse when I know the truth.

I can take away one thing. My body may be trying to ovulate on its own. Maybe these past two months charts are not for nothing. Maybe the hope and disappointment are not for nothing. Maybe my body doesn't hate me and will eventually figure out what its supposed to do. Maybe THAT is the little bit of hope I am supposed to take away from this.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bacon Biscuits-for Fido

My dogs are my faithful companions and are often (okay ALWAYS) under my feet when I'm cooking. If you here yelps, obscenities, and other war like sounds from the direction of my kitchen? Yea, its my dogs getting stepped on, tripping me, or otherwise causing themselves or me harm. They are AWESOME floor cleaners when I make a mess though!

So to be fair, I decided to start making them treats. (and lets face it, I need to use that whole flour up for something because its frankly not that great in people food. LOL)

This is the first recipe I've tried and while the dough is a bit dry and the "biscuits" are not very pretty, my dogs think they are the greatest things on the planet and have not left my side in two days. I also find them staring at the green bowl on the table and drooling.

Bacon Biscuits
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 c. water
10 tbsp bacon fat
5 cups whole wheat flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray cookie sheet.

In KA Mixer with paddle attachment, mix ingredients to a thick dough. Use a small cookie scoop to create biscuit balls on the cookie sheet. Bake for 35 minutes till crispy.

Makes about 2 dozen.

Orange Chocolate Chip Scones

This recipe post has been a long time coming. Why you ask? Because I've been too busy making these decadent little darlings, to post. I've kept this recipe all to myself savoring the complete joy and utter bliss that are these concoctions. This by far, has to be one of my all time favorite sweet treats. The Orange Glaze I add is the PERFECT addition and I do not recommend you changing a thing. Seriously. Do not mess up my perfection. ;)

*Warning*-These little rascals have a tendency to jump into your mouth out of nowhere. I periodically wrangle them back into the cake plate but I find stowaways in my work bag, purse, plate and other obscene places (like stuffed into my cheeks) constantly. They are wiley little devils when it comes to disappearing into your tummy. Also, may cause eyes to roll back in your head, moaning and other embarrassing sounds to eminate from your body so be careful where you eat these.

Orange Chocolate Chip Scones

2 cups Self Rising Flour
1/3 cup sugar
6 tbs cold unsalted butter diced
1 large egg
1/2 cup heavy cream
4-5 tsps orange zest (two oranges)
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1 cup powdered sugar
Juice from two oranges (about 3-4 tbs)
1/2 tsp grated orange zest (should be enough leftover from the two oranges)
1/4 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 425. use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the sugar and flour (till pea size chuncks or smaller). Whisk together the rest of your ingredients and then add them to the flour/sugar/butter mixture. combine with wood spoon. When just mixed together, turn out onto a floured surface and kneed gently until smooth. Press out into a 1/2 thick square. Cut into 12 wedges and place on greased baking sheet. Brush top with cream. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Cool on wire rack. Blend together Glaze ingredients. When scones are cool, pour glaze over the top and let harden. ENJOY!

I'm a Procrastinator, In Case You Didn't know

Most people have to be talked down from POAS too early. 7 dpo, if their chart looks good, they are itching to cock their leg on a pretty pink stick like a dog marking its territory.

This very feminine response is somehow absent from me. POAS scares the bajezus out of me. I haven't ever used that many in my lifetime. One or two when I first started trying but in the past 2 years? TWO. Both were positive within a day of each other. The second one was because I simply didn't believe the first one.

Last month I had to pee at the Dr.'s office before I had the lung scans just to make sure. The nurse and Dr. were so callous towards me anyway and their delivery of the news that it was negative hurt me deeply. They were so flippant about it, but these were the most rude, uncaring dr.'s I've ever come across in my lifetime. Seriously. I guess being a lung specialist doesn't require you to care about anyone. But I digress.

So despite the fact that I'm 16 dpo, I continue to put off buying a pregnancy test. TCOYF says that if you go 18 dpo above the cover line, you are pregnant. Well, no discredit to you, TCOYF, but I'm not buying it until I see a positive test even though that's EXACTLY what happened to my last BFP.

Why you ask? Because not only am I a procrastinator, but I'm also a pessimist. Let me count the reasons I am not pregnant:
1) I have no clue if we had sex remotely close to the right time (DH thinks we did).
2) We didn't use Preconcieve and I have sucktastic CM if any at all.
3) I've never ovulated on my own
4) My body hates me.
5) My temperatures are hovering, not really rising

But to be fair, I'll recount why I COULD be.
1) I had INSANE, unexplainable back pain around my kidneys for several days which is identical to what I felt with the first BFP.
2) I'm having more gas than normal (and this morning the gas bubbles are hovering in my back and it hurts like hell).
3) Stupid FF is showing a tentative ovulation.
4) My temperatures are hovering which again, is reminiscent of my BFP.

I'm scared. I'm scared of seeing a negative after this hope. I'm scared of seeing a positive after what we went through last time. Therefore, I'm putting off POAS. If I put it off long enough, my head tells me AF will show up (but if miracle of miracles I AM PREGNANT, I know this isn't true.)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

1st Garden Gourmet Blog Challenge

I have recruited a group of bloggers to participate in a Challenge. The goal is to do one per month. I have some wonderful ideas on how to expand this and some future surprises in store. What I am hoping to gain from this for everyone is a lot of great cuisine and shared readership. (If that is even a word!) So if you would like to participate along with us, I welcome ALL PARTICIPANTS from a beginning cook to a professional chef!

1st Blog Challenge
After much thought, I think our first challenge will be a little loose in interpretation to see how everyone does. Here are the rules:

1) Make and photograph your favorite Crockpot Soup/Stew recipe. (This will preferably be one that has regional fair or traditional to your part of your country/family etc.)

2) Write up a post on your blog (or email to me if you don't have a blog). Link to my blog from yours. ( Link to this original entry).

3) Include a bit of info about the recipe (is it passed down in your family, from a cook book etc.)

4) I will post copies with links from my blog to yours or just your post (if you email it to me).

5) Entries must be submitted or posted by: March 1st

6) Send me an email letting me know that its done ( (if you post it on your blog) with a link to make sure I see it.

7) HAPPY COOKING and I can't wait to see all your delicious RECIPES!!

Biscuit Surprise a.k.a Stuffed Biscuits

I got the bright idea to play with my empanada stuffing using buttermilk biscuits instead of pie crust. I chuncked up the chicken in large dices to make it a little more substantial and whipped up some Buttermilk Biscuits. The beauty of this is that you can add and change anything about the recipe and still have a fabulous meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner that is perfect to reheat and on the go. For example, add some green peas and celery for a nice spring dinner. Add some bacon bits, cranberry and apple for a great fall breakfast. This is one of those PERFECT starter recipes that is delicious on its own but can be taylored for you and I'm very proud of this one. It was light, hearty, fluffy, soft, warm, cozy and satisfying all in one dish. A big hit amongst friends and family.

One of the few dishes my husband said "Mmmm, this is good, make this again!" He calls them Biscuit Surprise because when you bite into them, there is yummy filling in what looks like an ordinary biscuit. ENJOY!!

Stuffed Biscuits
Filling Ingredients:
1 tsp salt
5 ounces cream cheese
6 ounces colby jack shredded cheese
4 cups diced cooked chicken (I used leftover of the roasted lemon garlic chicken)
1 diced small onion
1 diced small shallot
1/2 tsp pepper

Biscuit Ingredients:
5 cups of flour
3/4 cup crisco
2 cups buttermilk

Mix your filling ingredients and set aside. Mix your flour and shortening with a pastry cutter and add in your buttermilk. Mix until moistened. Turn your biscuits out on a floured service and kneed gently to form a ball. Press out with your hands to about a 1/2 inch thick, square it up and cut into large squares (about nine pieces) (as if you were cutting for scones). The pieces will be about the size of your hand. Place a generous cookie scoop size dollop of filling in the center of each square and fold the endes up around it. Smooth into a rounded biscuit. (you should see no filling).

Brush biscuits with cream or butter.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until biscuits are lightly browned. Enjoy a warm flaky gooey biscuit and be sure to come back and tell me how much you love them because I know you will! And the only reason I added this dark blurry picture is because Cody is in the bottom corner begging which I didn't notice until I uploaded it. Hillarious.

Ode to My Sanity

My temperature stayed the same. No further drop, no continued climb. I guess that means I should buy a pregnancy test. I told DH about the possibility last night. There was a twinkle in his eye. I also, told him if it were negative, I wasn't trying again until the roof issue was solved. There was a deep sigh. He didn't argue with me or try to change my mind. He knows its right too.

It breaks my heart, but we atleast have a plan. A dear friend of mine's husband has offered to take my supply list to someone he knows to see if he can get us better prices on material. If we can pay for the material and do the work ourselves, we might be able to pull it off in a few months if we live really really lean while saving for it. My husband is not happy with that option because he fears he will be doing the entire thing himself and it is a daunting task in that aspect. I know my Dad will be there. I'm scared of heights so the best I can do is cut wood pieces to measurement on the ground and haul up shingles and nails and ofcourse do what I do best: feed everyone.

I'm plotting a giant chicken stew to entice some co-workers and friends to come assist to try and get it finished in a weekend. When I say giant, I mean giant. I have in the barn, a 25 gallon chicken stew pot that you hook a propane tank to for outdoor cooking. The guy who had it, used it professionally for catering outdoor events but found it too small, so my dad built him a new one. The guy gave the 'small' one to my dad. Here in the south, we know how to do a chicken stew. I can feed a small roofing army with 25 gallons of chicken stew, some sour dough bread, and homemade pies. Think it will work?

So, my goal is (depending on cost) to have the money saved by May and get the roof done before it gets to be an outdoor oven on top of my roof (I have no shade trees). (and pray my current roof doesn't leak through the rainy spring). Once that is done, we can begin trying for an early 2011 baby as I can replenish the savings in a few months more of living lean. The summer months aren't that hard to live lean: we have a huge garden with fresh foods and any spare moment we spend in our pool so our reduced food budget due to garden is balanced out by purchasing pool chemicals. What else do we need? Nothing. EAch other, good friends and a sunny day to float in the pool and stare at my pretty new roof (hypothetically).

Now to keep my sanity and stay on track. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


My temperature dropped today but not much and is still "above the supposed cover line." Do I buy a test or wait another day to see what it does tomorrow?

If I didn't ovulate, then this length would not be abnormal for one of my anovulatory cycles. If I DID ovulate, then this would be the longest LP ever.

Because I still don't think my body did what the temps say it could have done, I'm very confused by this all. Part of me hopes I succeeded on my own (and dont' have to make this decision) and the other part of me panics both for a negative or for a positive.

Why? Because last night my husband informed me that our roof is shot. When he patched the shingles that the high winds and blown off he discovered that half our roof is "spongey" which means all the plywood has to be replaced as well all new shingles. Which means we are screwed. We can't turn it in on HO because a) the roof is old and B) we just switched HO companies a week ago so they would freak if we turned in a large claim like this.

Our roof is a whole mess that has a big long backstory with it that I won't get into but needless to say it was one of the things supposed to be replaced when we moved in..but it wasn't.

So DH is in a bad mood because he has to put off buying his computer AGAIN. Honestly, since he downgraded the one he wants, I really don't see where 320.00 is going to make that big of a difference because its not like I can save up 8000.00 in the next month anyway. I do see us having to put off having a baby which makes me sick. We have pushed through despite the medical bills piled up and despite that for a long time I didn't even have a guaranteed job.

Why would we make that decision when we are logical people? Because the fact is, I'm almost 32 with PCOS. I do not ovulate on my own and we have been trying for 3 years. It doesn't get easier with age and we ultimately wanted atleast 2 children. I may feel the pressure of not having the perfect financial situation, but I feel the weight of my age and Infertility more. So we made the decision together, that we would deal, whatever happened.

We have a lovely home (with previously only mild fixer upper issues), we have Health insurance, and an okay income. We would make it work. DH went back to school so that he could provide a better income that would hopefully allow me to stay home by the time we have a second child (two years after the first) alleviating day care costs for two. His goal was for me to be a SAHM mom and work on getting my Master's Degree online or with a few night classes so that when both children were in school and I went back to work we would both be making higher incomes that would afford college educations, retirement accounts etc. While the first few years would be lean, we had a plan.

However, after my still unexplained medical issues last month, the m/c, and now the roof, the financials are weighing just as heavily as my 32nd childless birthday. I can feel myself slipping into depression because my brain is telling me: You can't do it all. You can't TTC now.

I don't even think DH has thought of this. As much as he didn't want to tell me about the roof, I don't want to tell him, I'm not going to try for a baby. Part of me wants to throw in the towel and say FUCK IT. The world is conspiring against me, I'll give up. We'll be childless forever, but that just makes me want to curl in a ball and die.

So, I think the greatest part of me, would love for me to already be pregnant. The decision would be taken away from me and we would find a way. I don't want to make this choice because either way, its not going to make either of us happy. I just don't know what else to do. If I could get a second job at a retail establishment or even burger joint (which there aren't any of those jobs available right now either), the hours I could work really wouldn't help us save up faster because the checks would be so small.

I've got some depressing days ahead and I dont' know what to do.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Menu Monday

I am going to take a break from cooking much this week and maybe next, simply because I'm so far behind on my posting. I've been doing so much cooking the past few weeks that I can't get caught up recording my recipes.

Not only that, but there are "housekeeping" things I need to do with my blog, a book to finish reading so I can review it for you guys/gals, and sometimes, even the best cook needs to get out of the kitchen and breathe life so she doesn't go stale.

So this weeks menu looks a little pitiful so far:

Turkey Meatloaf with rice and broccoli

Chicken salad over wedges of iceburg lettuce

Baked potatoes with grilled/baked chicken and green beans.

Leftover chili from the freezer

Frozen lasagna

I do think I will make some dog treats. That is the one thing I didn't get around to this weekend and I NEED dog treats. I'm almost out of the store bought ones.

What does that mean for the blog? Catching up on recipes, articles, reviews, ordering seeds and planning planting calendar.

McFatty Monday Update

Scones. Sweet, delicious wedges of orange flavored biscuits with a touch of chocolate chips. Ode, to the decadent scones of goodness that abide on my cake plate on my counter. One scone for breakfast daily is my down fall. And yet I made more. Despite the weight hovering on my hips that taunts me, I looked at the pile of oranges slowly going bad because i can't eat them fast enough, and decided to make more.

No matter how much water I drank, nothing I did counted out those scones completely and I'm up two pounds this week. ::whimpers::

I was hoping my constant starvation, my rearing of the sweet tooth, and the bloat were signs of AF but apparently it was just the fat girl taking back over.

So for Blair's questions:
did you do anything new this week?? Maybe get in all your water, or pick up weights for the first time, or try a new recipe?

I don't think I changed anything this week for the better. I've been continuously getting all my water in though and I'm still proud of that. But now I need to get more veggies in and cut out the scones.

Do I test?

Today is such an off day for me. I had a super busy weekend, little sleep and my husband was an ass. I didn't even get a "happy Valentines Day" from him. I think we spoke 10 words all day. It makes my heart ache.

I waited for AF to show up as every morning my temps were dropping, but this morning it shot back up. So now I am possibly 13 dpo and despite not knowing if we had timed sex right and if I truly ovulated, I'm wondering if I should test.

This day sucks. My heart hurts, I'm tired, and now I don't want to face a negative test and another drawn out cycle.

The Lady Bloggers

The Lady Bloggers is a new blog group taking the web by storm. They just recently started but via twitter have already expanded to over 100 members. Someone found my twitter and blog and added me via twitter. I checked them out (as I do all new twitter followers) and joined up.

This past weekend they held their first Saturday Tea party and while I missed it, many girls discovered my blog and left me lots of lovin'. So to The Lady Bloggers, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and I'm very happy to be a party of this new group.

I can't wait to join you for a Tea Party and catch up on some of YOUR lovely blogs as well!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Busy Weekend

I am behind in posting recipes. I have several, I promise. Being a wife, a corporate woman, keeping the house up, the garden, the pets, budding author, the cooking and the blogging, get to be an overloaded experience sometimes. There are not enough hours in the day and I'm always on catch up mode! How on earth am I going to fit being a MOTHER in there one day?

This morning, the pups woke me up at 6am (on a SATURDAY-they are SOOO grounded). We walked out to a fresh coating of powdery snow. The winter olympics have none and little ole southern NC has it EVERY.FREAKING.WEEKEND? Gaia has her axis twisted in a bunch huh?

Hopefully, this snow won't stop my plans today. Between the SUV and the high of 37, I'm pretty sure the roads will be okay soon and I HAVE to go to the Farmer's Market today.

I'm planning on remaking a few of the newest recipes, maybe doing a photoshoot of the kitchen, grocery shopping, doing our Valentines venture tonight and sometime this weekend visiting my family if I can. The high winds Wednesday took some shingles off our house so my husband has to patch the roof this weekend and I won't leave him up there on his own while I galavant off to the folk's house.

So needless to say, in all that indecisive rambling above, its going to be a packed weekend but HOPEFULLY I will find some time to post some recipes, an article and get caught up again! Hold tight to your fry pans guys and gals, this garden gourmet has a lot in store.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award

Sweet Jeanna nominated me for a Beautiful Blogger Award. Thank you! She's such a sweet person and amazingly strong and wonderful. I admire her greatly and hope I can meet her one day as we are both NC gals.

The instructions that go along with this award are as follows:
- Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
- Copy the award and place it in your blog.
- Link the person who nominated you for this award.
- Tell us 7 interesting things about you.
- Nominate 7 bloggers
- Post the links to the 7 bloggers you nominate.

About me:
1) I'm a gardner and farm girl
2) I used to trail ride and compete in Charity Shows.
3) I was heavily involved in Horse Rescue and Seizure for about 7 years.
4) I'm addicted to Scrabble
5) I love Nora Roberts and Emilie Loring books
6) I have mini Dashchunds
7) I know its bad for me but I love to Tan.

I nominate:
1) Jlee
2) Stephanie
3) Rachel
4) Alyssa
5) American Tribal
6) Beth
7) Mrs. S

::Stares at My Chart::

I glared at my thermometer this morning when it cheerly beeped at me as I was bleary eyed. I blinked hard and stared again. 98.3. WHAT? I've never gotten a temp that high...even when pregnant.

I plugged my temp in and now I'm staring at my chart. Because if it were anyone elses' chart I would get probably get excited. However, its mine and it can't possibly be right.

I had HORRIBLE stabbing pains in my left lower side since yesterday. You would swear they are ovulation pains or another cist rupturing. According to my chart and temps, I've already ovulated though, which is hard enough to believe in and of itself.

To top it off, I didn't track our sexual activity this month and I have to admit, its been rather sparse. We've been too exhausted to do much. And 9 or 10 days ago? I can't tell you if we had sex or not.

This is confusing, mystifying and crazy all at the same time. I feel that AF is on her way and the crazy back pains and lower cramps are her preparing to be a royal bitch. But that chart. It almost looks like a normal girl's chart!

::cries silently::

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Baby Aidan

I knew that yesterday they took sweet Aidan (born at 28 weeks, and only 8 days old) off life support. Somehow I blocked out the inevitable because I've cried for so many babies lately.

This morning, I know, its over. Aidan has past and a family who fought for so long cries. Aidan was a fighter and he left his mark on so many people just as so many babies in our "set" has before.

His passing reminds me of the twin boys that passed just one month ago and Jillian who passed just two months ago. I feel like an ass for being pissed off at my chart and body when these are so much more tragic events that break my heart.

I try to think that there is a special place in heaven that this souls all come together to play and watch over the families they left behind and that my little Bee is with them but mornings like this are hard because I don't understand it. And I'll never be okay with it.

FF is F'n with me again

I have tentative crosshairs on day 19. Did we have sex? No. Do I think I'm in the 2WW? No.

BUT I'm scheduled to start Clomid when AF arrives. I have it sitting on my counter at home beside the coffee pot glaring at me every morning. So for FF (and my body) to make it appear that I could have ovulated on my own this month (and missed the opportunity to concieve) is cruel and unusual torture.

Likewise, the extreme low back pain and kidney aches that remind me so much of the beginning of my pregnancy with Bumblebee, are just a kick in the teeth when I see those broken crosshairs pop up.

::bangs head on desk::

To top it off, my mini humidifier at work broke so I won't be able to breathe today.

Screw HUMP DAY. I want to go back to bed.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Here in NC, we have had quite a hard winter. We don't get those very often but we have been getting repeatedly traumatized with snow, freezing rain, and cold temperatures week after week. I KNOW many of you get WAY more than what we've been dealing with but darn it people, I live in the south for a reason! Besides the fact, that my family was among the first settlers (and natives!) and my butt is rooted here in tradition I LOVE living here where our climate is mild but we still experience ALL the seasons for a decent length of time.

Winter, we've experienced you for several weeks now. You are welcome to depart ANY TIME NOW!

My quaint little brick ranch:

My sweet Scarlett trying to climb my legs to get out of the snow:

Our Barn (now empty of horses) buried in a sea of snow:

Our driveway: (It took us a few days to dig my little mustang out!)

The steps going 'UP' to our inground pool: (I thought with the sun shining down this looked very heavenly and ethereal...just me?)

Deep Fried Mozzerella Balls

Ahh my attempt to make HOMEMADE Fried Mozzerella balls. Was a complete Failure. They only tasted good hot out of the grease but they exploded and so they were a cheese mass of breaded oozing cheese that when cool, held on to the grease!

I'm glad I only breaded and tried about a dozen so I didn't waste all that mozzerella! I think I got TWO that came out like they were supposed to! (Since its a failure I'll show you the pile of greasy cheese to prove it and NO we did not eat it. We ate the two good ones and that was it! LOL)

Fried Mozzerella Balls:

3 eggs whisked
12 fresh Mozzerella balls (use a melon ball scooper and a fresh round of mozzerella)
Bread crumbs
1 cup of flour
salt and pepper

Dip dried mozzerella in egg, then flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Drop into a preheated Cast Iron Dutch oven with about a 1/2 inch of 300 degree oil for about 45 seconds, or until crispy and golden brown. Drain.

Hot Artichoke Dip

I can't take credit for this recipe. It is straight up from Paula Deen ya'll. I'll post it below to save you a click but I made it almost identically to her's so I can no credit for this at all. I barely changed a 'thang'!

I can tell you this, the guys at work wiped out one whole dish in 10 minutes and were testifying to its orgasmic qualities! (I heart you guys and the ego boost you give me over my cooking skillz!)

Hot Artichoke Dip

1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 green onions, sliced thin
1 (14 ounces) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (8 ounces) block cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded Mexican Blend
2 dashes Texas Pete Hot Sauce (My dashes were on the timid side..LOL)
dash Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand held electric mixer until smooth. Then beat in the mayonnaise until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and beat together until combined. Transfer the dip to gratin dish. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown and the dip is bubbling. Serve hot with tortilla chips.

Stuffed New Potatoes

I found several new recipes that were pleasing to my know, the meat and potatoes guy? Well, ofcourse this was a potato recipe. He liked it so well, that he asked if I could add the potato filling back to the sauce and make it in BIG potatoes as twice baked. GO ME! I think this is a much better plan since using a tiny melon ball scooper to dig out baby Red potatoes was a pain in my ass anyway. But they sure were tasty (if a little messy since my filling was more like a sauce..whoops.)

*And I profusely apologize for my picture quality lately. They look good and then I download them and they are blurry. I don't know WHAT The deal is!

Stuffed New Potatoes

5 oz softened cream cheese
1 lb New Red Potatoes
4 tbs butter, softened (mine was melted thus the liquidy texture)
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/8 tsp of garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes in salted water till tender. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop cooking process immediately and cool down enough to handle. Cut the tiniest sliver off the bottom so potatoes "stand up" and use a small melon ball scooper to scoop out the tops for filling.

With electric mixer combine the rest of your ingredients and whip till fluffy. Pour into a pastry bag or ziploc bag (twist and clip the end for a makeshift pastry bag)and pipe filling into potatoes. Chill.


Menu Monday

Let me start off with my cooking orgy yesterday for the SuperBowl. Holy Cow so much food and it was just the two of us! I'm thinking "finger foods" but even those recipes make a ton! The guys at work are happy and the Hubs is super happy with his leftovers for lunch today!.

SuperBowl Menu: (recipes to be posted soon)
Hot Artichoke Dip
Chicken Quesidillas
Boccincini (aka Fried Mozzerella Balls)
Stuffed Baby Potatoes
Orange Chocolate Chip Scones

This week: (It's clean out Pantry and freezer week)!
Potato Tien
Turkey something or other (maybe meatloaf)
Chicken Noodles Soup
Fried Cabbage and Pinto Bean Casserole
Grilled Eggplant Salad
Probably a Frozen Lasagna in there somewhere (of the Schwann's variety).

McFatty Monday

EDITED NOTED: I lost a pound! so I'm even happier...after all the superbowl food too! (The scales in the shipping department weren't calibrated right this morning so I didn't think I had lost anything..but they recalibrated and I weighed again and I lost a pound!! WOOT.) (and yes I use the shipping scales at work because its digital and so much better than the crappy ones at home.)

Let me preface this post with: "This was a good week for me." I felt so much better this week. Physically. Which means...I consistently ate this week. I TRIED to be good. I TRIED to watch my portions carefully. I had a 1/2 of a softdrink. THAT'S RIGHT. a 1/2! and for anyone who knows me, knows that is equivilent to quitting smoking. (and yes I mean it and can say it with authority, I can say this as an ex-smoker). I am a Mountain Dew Junkie. And Coffee Junkie. It's been a month since I've really had either and even when I feel much better, I have not resorted back to my old ways.
I'm still a WATER JUNKIE! Praise be to God.

On the downside, because I felt better, I also cooked more. And I admit, very few things I play in the kitchen with, are good for you. However, I'm very concious of what is IN MY FOOD now, and make pretty good decisions about how much I can have.

How did this all translate on the scales this week? Plateau. No pounds lost, no pounds gained. Which I am actually happy about. Because as I ate this week, I jumped on the scales a few times and watched the number climb, but it leveled back out. I REALIZE that my massive weight loss is mostly because of being sick. When you lose weight that way, you gain it back (which I did and then relost it). So a plateau when I start eating is super exciting because I'm maintaining the weight loss. Now I need to kick the workouts back in to start dropping again. And other than some spice (and caffiene) I'm not depriving myself of anything. So I think that is GREAT progress in my life.

So for Blair's questions today:

What is your end goal, & where are you measuring it? In pants size? Number on the scale? General feeling? Miles run? Ability to bench press Ol’ Arnold himself? My end goal for now is 26-30 more pounds. I don't want to go too long term because I'm going to TTC again and dieting to lose a lot of weight isn't an option if we are successful. At the point of conception the goal will be to stay healthy and not GAIN more than 15 lbs.

So does skinny feel better than food tastes to you? Or do you have things that you would willingly cart around an extra 5-10lbs if you don’t have to cut them from your repertoire? This is a loaded question. Skinny feels better than fat thats for damn sure but there are some things I doubt I could ever give up: burgers, pasta etc. But moderation definately feels better than fat/food.

Friday, February 5, 2010

French Onion Soup

This is my adapted version of French Onion soup. There are many out there and some use more herbs and flavors but I'm still being careful what I eat (due to previous allergy attack). This recipe is simple, hardy and good and really, there is no reason to try to add to it too much. Let the onions, sourdough bread and gruyere take center stage because really, you can't beat that combination anyway. It's Heavenly!

French Onion Soup

1/3 cup olive oil
6-7 LARGE Yellow onions, sliced
2 tbs garlic, minced
3 tablespoon flour
8 cup beef stock (two boxes)
salt and pepper to taste
1 loaf Crusty Sourdough bread
1 cup Mozzerella blend shredded cheese
Thinly sliced Gruyere cheese

Saute onions in oil over low heat until tender and golden yellow. Sprinkle flour over onions, cook a few minutes more, browning the flour well. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently for 20 minutes or so. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, slice bread into 3/4 slices and butter both sides. Toast slices on grill pan until golden brown. Ladle soup into an ovenproof bowl, add toasted bread and cover with a sprinkle of mozzerella blend and then gently place slices of gruyere cheese over top. Place ovenproof bowl on a baking sheet lined. Bake at 350 degrees for about five minutes (or use the broiler and watch super close).

A Valentines Dinner Spread

My sister and I have been doing girl's night once a week while DH is off doing his School thing. It's been a blast and gives me a chance to experiment with food and have a captive audience other than my husband. Since she is the Make-up queen it usually grants me a free facial and experiments with new masks, exfoliaters etc. She blogs about life as a fashionable country girl here.

Because I know my sister well, I know what her favorite meal is. Whenever we go out to eat and the entire way through her pregnancy, this girl can put away some Fried Chicken Tender Salad with Honey Mustard and a bowl of French Onion Soup. So to celebrate Valentines (a little early) I endeavored to make her favorite meal, topped off by Red Velvet Cupcakes.

All recipes will be posted on my blog today! I hope you enjoy and let me know how they turn out for you!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I've always wanted to try Red Velvet and Valentines is a perfect time for Red. It was far easier than I thought and this recipe courtesy of Paula Deen, came out moist and fluffy. Now, I will be the first to admit that I've always had issues with cupcakes for some reason. Muffins, no problem. Cupcakes? They are the Murphy's Law of my kitchen. They never come out perfect and are a pain in my rear to make pretty. (and NO, you do not get to see the hole batch because it looked like a bloody warzone of cake carnage on my counter.)

I will caution you to be careful about what food coloring you use. There is some disturbing information out on the web about Red Dye 40 and how people can react to it etc. There are organic substitutes that will give you the rich red color such as beet powder. I see no reason that you can't change the color or leave it out completely (subsitute water).

Red Velvet Cupcakes
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla. I used the paddle attachment and my KA Mixer on low. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
Chopped pecans and fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish

In a KA Mixer (or with an electric mixer), beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

I put the cream cheese in a sandwich bag and cut the corner off so I could "pipe" it onto the cupcakes.

Fried Chicken Tender Salad with Honey Mustard

This is SUPER EASY and super yummy and can be made anyway you like. Sometimes the simple is the most comforting.

Fried Chicken Tender Salad

Cook your chicken tenders just like you would Fried Chicken. The only thing I did different was to add some breadcrumbs to the flour mixture to give it extra crispness since it didn't have the skin.

Toss your salad ingredients together and serve with Honey Mustard Sauce.

Honey Mustard Sauce
1/4 cup mayonaise
1 tbs Prepared Mustard
1 tbs honey
1/2 tablespoon Lemon juice ( I used half of one lemon)

Whisk ingredients until smooth. Serve.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

All Systems Are Go...

Except my brain. Dr. called in perscription for Metformin and Clomid. So everything is set to begin when AF shows up.

I should be ecstatic, elated, excited and any other e word for happy you can think of.

Instead I'm sitting at my desk scared shitless. I'm past the M/C but not over it. I'm scared of the changes to come, both with Clomid and pregnancy and even a baby. I'm scared to death of going through a Miscarriage again. I don't know if my heart can take it.

I want a baby this year, but I'm truly apprehensive about doing this whole thing again.

And the little devil on my shoulder is taunting me with my recent health issues on top of it.

::curls in a ball and hyperventilites::

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My Nod to FastFood

I try really hard not to eat Fast Food. My husband is a Fast Food junkie and for a long time I followed in his footsteps because it was convenient.

You know what though? The more I cook the less taste I have for it. I gave up on Pizza years ago. I'm not a pizza fan. I'm good with a gourmet pizza now and again or a home made concoction of gooey cheese but I am not a pizza person.

I did love Hardees but the past few times, I've noticed they have no flavor, just salt. I make a mean hamburger and Hardees just can not compare.

The one Fast Food that still holds my heart though? Subway. I know that I can always go in Subway and get a Grilled Chicken breast on Wheat with all the veggies my little heart desires and I don't even feel guilty!

Plus I watch them make it RIGHT there so I can truly get it my way.

I may be a little snotty about my cooking skills but I don't think I will ever go completely NO FAST long as there is Subway.

I did it

I called the Dr. I'm waiting on a return call.

I'm trying to get my life back on track. It's been derailed several times but I refuse to give up. I refuse to let all of it keep me from my dreams of a family.

I WILL PREVAIL damn it. I will hold my baby in my arms and I will make my husband a father.

I will have a cherub cheeked youngun' running rampant through my garden and being chased by my Doxie's. I WILL listen to childish squeels in a splashing pool and I will complain about lack of sleep during the first few years.

A phone call to the DR. and some medical bills will not keep me from this. I REFUSE to give in.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I'm a chickenshit.

I'm on day 18 or so of my last cycle of TTA. (which requires nothing more from me than not taking fertility drugs.) If we are going to TTC, I need to call the Dr. and get back on Met and get the Clomid ready. Every day I put it off for another day. Before too long, it will be too late.

I'm feeling better physically. I'm hoping I am moving beyond the crazywhateverthefuckitwas thing. DH is ready to try again and I would love to have a baby before the end of 2010.

So why can't I make my fingers dial the freakin' phone to the Dr.? Someone Kick me.

Chicken Empanadas

This post was a long time coming. I "southerned" up some Chicken Empanadas and reduced the spice. What this did, was make the pie crust seem a little salty in comparison to the filling but they were still good. I will make them again, with a homemade crust and add some green chili's for kick.

Chicken Empanadas (Mild Southern style)
1 tsp salt
4 ounces cream cheese
6 ounces shredded mexican blend cheese
3 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1/4 tsp pepper
1 package Pillsbury Roll out pie crusts

Mix all of your ingredients together. Roll out pie crusts on a floured surface and use a biscuit cutter or large glass to cut out circles. Dab some filling into the center of one, wet the outside edge and cover with another circle. mash edges together and seal with a fork. Brush the tops lightly with butter or cream. Bake at 400 on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 15 minutes.

I loved the crispy shells and the softy gooey centers. This dish was fun to eat and would be great for parties.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Simple Chicken Soup

On a cold blustery winter day, there is nothing more comforting then a pot of soup, stew or chili. Many people go after bread, milk and eggs. Not me. I'm going after soup fixings. When bad weather strikes, I made a big pot of soup. If we lose power, I can heat it up on the grill and if you are stuck in a cold house, you definately want something WARM to eat, not cold sandwiches! This recipe can be done in the crock pot or on the stove. I at least start it in the crock pot.

Simple Chicken Soup

4 carrots, peeled and coined
2 ribs of celergy, finely diced
1 onion, diced
1 whole chicken
1/2 pint of cream
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 box elbow macaroni noodles, cooked just under al dente

Cook chicken in crock pot (covered in water) for 8-10 hours until it falls off the bone. Debone chicken and use 3/4 of the meat. (I save enough meat out to do a small dinner or make chicken salad for lunches) as this recipe will feed a family for a few days.

Use about 4-6 cups of the broth, and place all your ingredients (except cream) in a pot and simmer until noodles are finished cooking. Add cream. Serve hot.

Menu Monday

After a weekend full of SNOW (I'm talking 9" in the South, holey moley) it doesn't look like we will get much of a break from it this week. Calling for freezing rain on Tuesday and a possibility of another snow storm on Thursday and Friday.

Our roads are a MESS. For some reason, that is really throwing me off my stride. I've been dealing with rather bland foods lately to preserve my sanity and prevent more sick time. With the onslaught of cold though, the only thing I want to make is WARM, SPICY hardy foods, but those don't appeal to my appetite at the moment. I can feel myself trying to slide into a rut!

Chicken Empanadas (I'm going to try these but take some of the spice out of them and see what happens).

Girls Night: I'm aiming for some of my sisters favorites-
Fried Chicken Tender Salad
French Onion Soup
Red Velvet Cupcakes

For my company Chili Cook off, I'll be dishing up one of my chili's. I'm leaning toward White Chicken Chili just to throw a curve ball into the traditional line up of dark/red bean chili's.

The rest of this week is a mystery. Maybe Turkey burgers and Frozen Lasagna. (Yes, I do convenience foods every now and again).

McFatty Monday

I've lost another 5 pounds! Exciting Stuff. Okay, how does that stack up? That means I relost the other 4 lbs I had gained back plus an additional pound. I am now 21 lbs down from my starting weight. AMAZING.

Unintentional starvation works wonders! Seriously. After realizing that at the beginning of last week I was eating under 400 calories a day, I made a concious effort to eat more. Then Friday came and I didn't feel well and I didn't have an appetite. Saturday I ate less then 100 calories and barely drank any water. I felt like I was coming down with the flu almost.

Sunday morning, after hours in the bathroom, I felt MUCH better. I'm not sure what it was, but I surely made up for the lack of calories yesterday. Junk food anyone? I tried to be good..I really did. But a snowy weekend trapped in the house and feeling a gnawing hunger all day that never went away? Yea..not so great on the diet. I started out with some homemade chicken soup but the noodles had gotten over done and when heated were mushy. So after about a 1/2 a cup of that I moved on to a slimfast. For lunch? a bowl of chocolate icecream. For dinner? a bowl of Cheesy Grit casserole. OH yea, and enough water to drown a Great Dane.

Here's the thing, in the past few weeks of a wonky diet and crazy sickness/allergy/whateverthefuckthisshitis, I've lost a lot of my taste for things I enjoyed before like Meat and MountainDew. My husband and I literally lived off Mountain Dew. It's the necter of the South ya'll. Probably the last 40 lbs could be contributed to that crap (and Starbucks.) I could live off of a liquid caffiene diet and probably have for the past few years. Healthy? Not in the least.

But the past few weeks have freed me from that. Almost like a year ago, when I got bronchitis and quit smoking. I've never looked back and I hope I continue to stay on this path of being addicted to water. I CRAVE water now. Not flavored or hidden. Straight up water. The stuff I've had issues drinking for years now. I can't get enough. When I start feeling wierd, I guzzle water. Hoping that by hydrating my body and giving it something with which to flush out the harmfuls, it will help me get back on even ground. 64 ounces a day? No problem. I don't drink anything else anymore. I try and go for some hot chocolate or chocolate milk now and again because I feel I need the extra calcium. I'm trying to stay on top of my vitamins because I'm not eating a well rounded meal plan and I'm drinking approx. one slimfast per day as not only one meal replacement but because it too has added vitamins, calcium and protein which my body needs. But one of my biggest problems with dieting ever? WATER. It no longer is an issue. I'm addicted to it. Praise the Lord.

I think it has been my biggest help in the weight loss. Because even on a day when I had reasonable portions of icecream and cheesy grit casserole, I still pulled off a weight loss. But let's not miss what I said: REASONABLE PORTIONS. Yea, I'm kicking ass on that too. When I do eat? I'm being very concious of my portions.

And I'm proud of myself. People are starting to notice too. Family, co-workers etc. have all commented on the difference. The only person who hasn't noticed? My husband. LOL But he's the one seeing me on days like Saturday and constantly trying to force food down my throat because he KNOWS I'm not eating enough to keep a baby bird alive some days.

This too shall pass but I'm taking my lessons learned from it and the good things coming out of it because NOT EATING has never been an issue before..obviously. And I'll be darned if I gain back these hard earned 21 lbs. TWENTY SIX more and I'll have reached one of my long time goals.

So MissBlair: So…did you cheat this week? Or were you good? If you had one cheat meal, what would you choose? (I’m so mean, I know!)

To answer your question: I don't necessarily think I cheated this week. At all. I may not have chosen the best food options but I handled my proportions well and kept my calories under 1200. My one cheat meal? I'm not sure I have one. I've had all kinds of things this week that would probably be considered "cheat" to most people but I was just VERY Careful how much I ate of it.