Thursday, April 29, 2010

Clomid Day 2...err 3?

I take the Clomid at night so I will take another does tonight. I'm not sure if that makes today day 2 or 3. LOL. Despite my massive allergic reaction ALL day yesterday that landed me on my sofa at home with a slight fever, I took my meds. I was able to come off the reaction after about an hour or two at home so I figured if it was the meds, I could get through it and if it wasn't then I had nothing to worry about.

The interesting thing is that literally five minutes after walking into the office this morning, I started reacting again. I never had allergies until I started working here. My coworker has major allergy problems since working here. People walk into our office all the time and start sneezing and coughing. My job is killing me. In the past two years, I've progressively gotten worse.

I broke down and sent yet another letter to HR about the situation. Their basic air quality study they had done turned up nothing "significant." I have a confirmed mold and mildew allergy so even a non "significant" amount of mold and mildew in the air can be harmful. thank you very much. It's very frustrating. My boss said they may move me out of this office to upstairs in accounting or parts. Bigger desk of my own..which means more space. Either place would allow me to work around women instead of all men. I could start wearing nicer shoes as I wouldn't have to worry about busting my butt just to go to the bathroom on these armoralled floors. However, it would be quite annoying when I have to deal with parts and filing etc as I would still have to come back here to my current office area. I guess we will wait and see. I despise being difficult. I never want to put my job on the line but this is my HEALTH.

On to other news, I've been doing a lot of research about PCOS. I did a lot before when I got the diagnosis but I'm learning more about the actual insulin regulation correspondance to diet etc. I'm hoping to share some of this information with you over the next few weeks as well as change my diet to start reflecting it. I will probably coordinate my two blogs on this endeavor. Introducing PCOS to my food followers and linking PCOS friendly recipes over here. I'm not ready to combine the two blogs as my family and coworkers etc. do not read this one and I'm not ready to be bitchily honest about my lady bits to readers who just want recipes. LOL So for now, it will maintain seperate blogs. However if you do read both, please do not be surprised to see some duplicate posts. I apologize for that but I don't know how else to do it right now. They are both important to me. This one is my emotional outlet. The other one keeps me sane and focused on something other than my brokenness. I need them both to function at the moment.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Beginning Again and Infertility Awareness

This week is Infertility Awareness week. Something that has not been highly publisized or recognized despite the fact that it affects 7.3 million Americans. (I don't know the figure worldwide). It is not limited to women and is a highly emotional and often complicated process for couples. It is heartbreaking, devastating and all consuming in their lives.

As you all know, I know this. I've been struggling for over three years now to have a child with one pregnancy ending towards the end of the first trimester and one chemical pregnancy. But I am, unfortunately, not alone in this fight. There are others. Hundreds of others. Like the fun and talented Jenny. The ambitious and beautiful Mrs.S. The vivacious Johanna.. The Very zen and spirited American Tribal. The beautiful and amazingly strong Jeanna. And the sweet and hopeful Dee. These women are just a FEW of the amazing women I have met that suffer along with me.

Infertility hurts. The common comfort sayings that issue from people's mouths without thought such as "Relax" and "When the time is right" do not help. Telling me you had trouble getting pregnant when it took you two months, is not even close to being comparable. Telling me you have ADHD and understand what its like to go through life broken? Bitch please. You have no idea.

For everyone out there reading this, whether you suffer from infertility or not, please educate yourselves. Spread the word this week so that other women can have the support and understanding they need. Visit sites, read statistics. Hug your friends who are suffering.

I have an amazing network of women and bloggers who are supportive. Do we always say the right things to each other even though we KNOW what catch phrases are meaningless? Absolutely not. As a society we seem to be programmed with certain "comfort" phrases that vomit forth automatically. Faith phrases may be fine for one but a slap in the face for someone else. No one is perfect. Even those that suffer from the same issues can slip up with someone else, but you can tell when someone is sincerely offering understanding and comfort from someone who just has diahrea of the mouth and is clueless. No matter what though, they need understanding. Just shut up and listen sometimes. You can't fix it. Nothing you say will fix it or make it go away or make it easier. Infertility is a lonely dark road full of depression, excitement, and fear. It's often a long journey with crossroads, straying paths, and broken bridges. It's a journey that so many of us are forced to take without choice.

It is not my job as an infertile woman to provide a home for all the orphans out there. Could that be a possibility in our future. Yes. By all means it may be. But I will not adopt a child as a substitute for a biological child. I will adopt one because I want to. So please don't say "you can always adopt." Adoption comes with its own heartaches, struggles, budget and pitfalls. It's a beautiful and amazing thing but its not the answer for everyone and is not the responsibility of those of us who have trouble. Life isn't fair but we shouldn't be looked down upon as inferior because of a medical condition that we have no control over. Again, Educate yourselves and those around you. You never know who is going to go through this that you may know.

And with that, I will end by saying it is fitting in a way, that this week I finally stepped up to the plate. I took my medicine. Literally. Last night was the first night of clomid. We are TTC with medical help once again. So in this week, while I stand up and recognize Infertility for everyone and encourage you to spread the word for all of us, I continue the effort for that one thing that will complete us...a baby of our own.

All my love to all my girls and I pray that 2011 will be a wonderful birth year for our little ones.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Say: Grilled Cheese

There are a million ways to make grilled cheese grown up and still be that wonderful comfort food. Sometimes though, you want that memory of childhood to shine through. Sometimes you just want something quick, quirky or fun.

I think this grilled cheese is a nice blend of grown up, childhood and quick. It's fun and easy with a very adult taste and perfectly compliments the Tomato Soup.

Grilled Cheese
4 thin flakes of Parmesian Reggiano (about an inch square)
2 thin slices of Gruyere
1 tbs shredded mozzerella
1 tbs shredded cheddar
1 slice Kraft Deluxe American cheese
2 tbs butter
2 slices of bread

Thinly spread butter on insides of both pieces of bread. Layer all of the cheese on. Close sandwich and gently spread butter on outsides of bread. Place in heated/greased sandwich maker or pannini press. Cook for approx. 4 minutes or until bread is toasty brown and cheese is melted.

Tomato Soup

It's that time of year, where us Southern gardeners start dreaming of that first fresh ripe tomato. We envision tomato sandwiches, tomato pies, thick slices of tomato topping creamed corn and biscuits. mmmmm. Before we get to the summer though we have to make a mad effort to finish out our stores of food that we have stingely guarded over the long dark winter. We ration ourselves out to make sure we have an array good quality ingredients to last till spring and somehow, we always have an abundance left and chide ourselves every year.

This year, I have ONE jar of canned tomatoes left. I've actually had to substitute using cans from the store, but I found one quart I had missed hiding behind a casserole dish in the pantry. So I decided to give a go at Home made Tomato Soup. I looked at several recipes but decided to wing it with a loose inspiration from Robert St. John's Deep South Staples.

I did not get mine perfectly smooth and tomato-y like Campbell's. So please don't try this if you are expecting a home made version of the classic condensed soup. This a is light tomato creamy flavor. Perfect for dipping a Grilled cheese!

*Don't yell at me. I promise I've been taking pictures, but I've been trying a new trick of typing up the drafts while items are cooking so that I don't get terribly behind in posts AND pictures. I'm still figuring out the time tables of better blogging practises while living!

Tomato Soup
1 Quart Jar of canned tomatoes with juice
1 can diced tomatoes
4 tbs butter
1 vidalia onion
3 cloves garlic
1 large carrot
1 stick celery
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup flour
1 cup cream
1/2 stick butter

Melt 4 tbs butter in sauce pan. Add finely chopped onion and garlic. Stir. Add finely chopped carrot and celery. (I use a mini food chopper and do each item seperately). Cook for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Add chicken broth. Stir. Add all the tomatoes. Bring to a light boil then reduce to simmer for as long as possible to let the flavors blend. About an hour.

In a seperate sauce pan, melt the 1/2 stick butter. Add flour and cook until a smooth paste. Add cream and cook until blended. Add to tomato mixture. Pour entire mixture into a blender or food processer and pulse until tomatoes are well chopped and mixture is smooth.

Spaghetti with Spinach Sauce

Don't worry, this is not a variation of my Creamy pea Pasta. They are actually NOTHING alike. Last night I was planning on Asparagus and Goat Cheese Lemon Pasta. However, for the second time in a row, the asparagus I bought from a particular vendor at the Farmer's Market was molded inside the bunch. Given the fact that I do have a mold allergy, I have to throw the whole bunch away. (which last night was two bunches). That's $6.00 in the trash. I was highly pissed and scrambling for something to substitute for dinner. I pulled out one of Giada's recipes and let it inspire me to suit what I had on hand. It came out very well, though I believe next time I would prefer to saute off the onion's and garlic first. I will definately be making this again in the future. It's so easy and quick.

Spaghetti with Spinach Sauce
1 lb spaghetti
3 garlic cloves
1 small onion
4 ounces Goat Cheese
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Boil noodles in salted water till tender. Drain.

In a food processor, chop onion and garlic. Add spinach, salt and pepper and blend. Add Goat Cheese and mascarpone and pulse until mixed well. Pour mixture over hot noodles and mix until well blended. Top with Parmesan. This is a "dry" recipe. The "sauce" just coats the noodles but do not look for an actual sauce. You can add some pasta water to loosen the mixture up a little bit if needed.


I decided to make Popovers to go with the Rhubarb Strawberry Jam I made to send to my parents. I've actually never made Popovers before, so I turned to Ina Garten for a recipe. I followed her tips and they came out well but a little overdoneon the outside for my taste. I would recommend keeping an eye on them through the oven glass or if you can't get a good look because your oven light is dim like mine, crack the door at 25 minutes to take a peek. These are VERY smooth and light on the inside. Perfect for bites of jam.


1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups self rising flour
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup cream
1/2 cup 2% milk
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Preheat your muffin pan while heating the oven. When you take it out, spray it with Pam. In a KAMixer using the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, eggs, milk, and melted butter until smooth. The batter will be thin. Fill the popover pans about half full and bake for exactly 30 minutes. Do not peek. (I had some batter left over)

Monday, April 26, 2010

McFatty Monday

I think I beat Blair to the punch this morning so I have no clue what today's question will be and I doubt I will be able to come back and add as "the big boss" is in the country and my office for the next three days.

Last week was good on the weight front. As we know, I broke that stupid plateau last monday and then continued to drop over the next few days for a total of five pounds. This weekend I did a little emotional eating due to the appearance of AF which is always a bloat fest anyway.

I'm not terribly surprised to see I gained two pounds. This would not be out of the norm without some emotional eating as I typically bloat the first few days of AF anyway. So I'm not going to stress over it. I mean really..I'm still THREE pounds down from that darn plateau. Technically since Monday's are my official weigh-in days I've lost two pounds still from last monday. LOL It's all good.

And despite my beautiful chart and timing, I was right, AF showed up. I took my big girl pill though...literally. I started the Metformin on Saturday when I knew she was gearing up to sing. I could hear her going through her chords and tuning her voice. So I took the Met. Tuesday will be day 3. I will start the Clomid.

I've also got a bottle of POM in the fridge waiting and I'm going to start on the green tea. I am committed this month. (and by the end may have to be committed).

Old Wives Tales? Bring 'em on. At this point, I don't care. I'll try anything. I want to feel that peace again that I felt with Bumblebee. I want to feel that cozy love of laying in bed with my husband with his arm around me and his hand on my stomach knowing there are three of us. We felt like a family and its been too long wallowing in the tears and fear. I'm done with it. I will do whatever I have to do to get that back and move on even if it means standing on my head, while sucking a pineapple core and simultaneously chanting to sperm with a pomengranite shoved up my vag that would make a professional Karma Sutratarian cringe. Got it? Good.

Onward and upward: This week is a to die for Meal Plan, some housework and gardening and a round of pills. I may even try to work in some exercise! Have a great week!

Menu Monday

I am being a bit ambitious this week despite the fact that I have a garden that needs to be deweeded, a few more rows to plant, and a yard that needs trimming and countless flowerbeds to rework. MEH. I'm giving myself a pass since we have a "chance" of rain three days this week. It's a good excuse right? With all the gardening, I've missed my kitchen. So we got reacquainted this weekend.

I actually planned my menu yesterday morning so this includes Sunday's baking and dinner.

Rhubarb and Strawberry Muffins
Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam

Scalloped Potatoes and Fried Chicken

Meatloaf and Asparagus Goat Cheese Lemon Pasta

Root Gratin wtih French Onion Chicken

Fusilli with spinach & Asiago

Asparagus Frittata, Fresh Sausage and Popovers

Bread Loaf

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Muffins

I decided to try a little experiment this weekend. Instead of adding pieces of RAW fruit to the muffin mix or making plain muffins and spreading jam, I decided to add the jam to muffin mix. The batter was excellent. Fragrant, strong, pink. The muffins are a little bland though. Because the jam has so much sugar, I didn't put that much in the mix, so they are not very sweet and the fruit flavor is just hinted at after the baking process.

Not bad at all, but not exactly what I was going for. I even tried some butter cream icing on them but it overpowered the muffin no cupcakes either. If you are not sure about the flavor combination, try these because its very subtle. Or double the amount of jam or add some raw strawberries and these will be excellent.

Hey, not every concoction can be perfect on the first try right? I like them, don't get me wrong, they are just a light on the flavor for me.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Muffins
1 cup Prepared Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
3 cups Self Rising Flour
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 stick butter
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla

Cream Butter and sugar. Add sour cream and blend until smooth. Add eggs one at a time. Add Vanilla.

Add flour 1/2 cup at a time. At the end dough will get really thick. Add Jam. This will loosen up the dough and make it creamy. Spoon mixture into cupcake cups about 3/4 full. This rises but not too much. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

This weekend has been a whirlwind, but I love it. The Farmer's Market was packed yesterday but I have a nice array of seasonal goods to use for a week full of exciting recipes. (I'm feeling ambitious this week despite the desperate need to attack weeds in the garden). So what was so great that I bought? RHUBARB and STRAWBERRIES! I haven't had Rhubarb in YEARS but I distinctly remember my mama's rhubarb strawberry pies.

I decided to go in a little bit different direction though and set out to make a small batch of jam to go with my PopOvers later in the week and experiment with some cupcakes. So far so good and my house smells wonderfully of baked strawberry. MMM

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
(adapted from Simply In Season)

4 cups diced Rhubarb
3 cups strawberries (decapped)
3 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water

Place rhubarb and strawberries in a large sturdy stock pot. Mash strawberry's slightly (I used the flat side of the measuring cup) Add water and bring to a boil. Add sugar and stir pretty consistently for 20 minutes. About 15 minutes in, you can lower the heat to medium for the last few minutes. This is when it is most likely to burn so lowering the heat is ideal as it thickens. Be careful because this will scorch on the bottom.

Ladel into hot prepared jam jars. Add seals and lids and place in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. I flipped mine upside down on a towel for about five minutes to really keep that lid seal hot, then flipped for a tight seal. This made 4 1/2 pints with about 1 cup leftover for use in my cupcakes.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Strawberry Lime Cupcakes

This recipe is from Food Network and they are oh so adorable and yummy. Another item baked up for my Easter dinner and they were a hit. (I know, i'm way behind on posts, as usual).

I've become a mega cupcake ho, because there is nothing better than a table set with wonderful food and a stand full of cupcakes. Perfectly portioned sweet treats for all ages. From the elegant fruity concoctions, to the liquor inspired, to the simple. And kids LOVE them. My nephews are all about the cupcakes and now I have the cupcake rep. Meh, I'll go with it. People expect cupcakes from me now? I'm happy to oblige! Cupcakes are my new passion!

Quick Note: I did not like the icing from Food Network's recipe. It was very thin and more like a glaze so I incorporated it into a Buttercream icing. Same lime flavor, fluffy buttercream topping. Perfection. (I had A LOT OF icing left over so you can half the recipe if you want or make extra cupcakes or a strawberry cake, up to you).

Strawberry-Lime Stuffed Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
2 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup milk

1 1/3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1 stick butter, room temp
1/2 stick crisco
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb powdered sugar

12 large ripe strawberries, hulled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until light and foamy, about 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the butter and then the vanilla.

Alternate Flour and Milk, starting and ending with flour. Take care not to over mix the batter. Batter is going to be super fluffy and it expands! One and a half cookie scoop per muffin tin is plenty because it will run out.

Bake about 30 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove. Cool on the rack completely.

For icing: Mix the confectioners' sugar and lime zest. Add the lime juice. Set aside.

Cream butter and crisco. Add vanilla and slowly add sugar. Mix until fluffy. Add Lime juice mixture. If it becomes a little thick, just add splashes of milk until a piping consistency.

To assemble: With a pairing knife, remove cone shape (the size of the strawberries) from the cupcake top/center, leaving about 1/2 to 1-inch of cake in the bottom. Stuff each cake with a strawberry (without the green stems. Pipe Buttercream icing onto cupcake. Top with a small slice or fan of strawberry.

Triple Lemon Cupcakes

Disclaimer: I'm not sure where I retrieved this recipe from. I saw something similar on Food Network and then a few more by browsing blogs. This was from a word document so I'm not sure if I yanked it from someone's blog or pulled a few pieces from various sources which I am known to do. Please let me know if this is your exact recipe and I will be happy to give credit. Thanks.

On to the cupcakes: These were to die for adorable. Seriously. A refreshing sweet tart taste perfect for spring time. I will DEFINATELY be making them again! It seems like there are a lot of stages and steps but they really do not take long and can be broken up over time (like oh you know, a trip to TJMAXX while the cupcakes cool).

I used a basic Sugar Cookie Recipe and Lemon Icing Recipe from the Joy of Baking for the cookie toppers. I also used about 5 large lemons for this whole process.

Triple Lemon Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups Self-Rising flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
2 ounces cream cheese, room temp
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 plus 2 tbs fresh squeezed lemon juice.
1/2 cup buttermilk
Zest of 1 lemon

Using a KAMixer bowl, gently mix lemon zest and sugar until fragrant with a fork or fingers. Ad the butter and cream cheese and cream with a paddle attachment for 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating till blended. Alternate adding the flour and the buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Add lemon juice and beat on low until smooth.

Fill each lined muffin cup about 2/3 of the way full (or two scoops with a cookie scoop). Bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven or until done.

Lemon Curd:
4 egg yolks
Zest of 1 Lemon
1/4 plus 1 Tbs Lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
5 Tbs unsalted butter, cold, diced

Whisk everything except the butter in a sause pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture coats the spoon (8-10 minutes). Remove from heat, Add butter a few pieces at a time, stirring constantly. Some people strain their's, I did not since it was VERY smooth and I wanted the pop of the zest to stay in there. I poured into a greased corningware dish and covered with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic into the top of the curd.

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
4 ounces cream cheese, room temp
1 tbs lemon juice
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp lemon zest

In KAMixer cream butter, cream cheese and lemon juice. Once smooth, add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. Add lemon zest and beat until smooth.

Using a paring knife, cut a cone shape out of each cupcake. Using a ziplock bag with the corner tip cut off (or a piping bag), fill each hole with lemon curd. Pipe a swirl of icing on top of each cupcake.

Top each cupcake with a sugar cookie chickadee for a spring party OR a ribbon of lemon rind.

*pictures posted this weekend! Come back to see them. They are adorable.

No Excuses

That is my battlecry this month. With the temperature drop this morning, I'm facing the music. AF is emminent (sp?). As if the two negative pregnancy tests hadn't already told me so. I don't know where this super long LP came from, but apparently its here to stay. Nothing I have found research wise has suggested that a super long LP is a bad thing so I'm not going to worry about it. (If you have information otherwise, please feel free to send it to me!)

I'm going to start the metformin tonight. On cycle day three after the red bitch sings, I will start the Clomid. I've been living with constant allergy symptoms (tight chest, red skin, itchy throat) for a week now. I'm sure its aggrivated by pollen though I know one trip to subway triggered a flair up, but I survived. My meds don't work the best but I don't have the nosebleeds, so I'll deal. The saline solution helps with short term relief and I have managed through without liquid benedryl. It's uncomfortable but so is knowing its been over three years without a baby.

It's uncomfortable to know how broken I am and that time is slipping away from me and I'm out of excuses. Our tax bill is paid and we have a tiny bit of savings left over. I have a permanent job now. My benefits start next month (I have Health insurance through DH but its a lot cheaper through my company) and now I've run the figures, if I get pregnant NEXT cycle, my due date will be AFTER my one year anniversary here (as an employee, I've been here 3 years) and I will qualify for FMLA. I'm four pounds away from the weight goal I set myself and I'm sure I can be there in the next few weeks. I'm out of excuses and my husband has been patient with me.

The count down has started. In just a few weeks I will be a nuerotic time bomb of bitchdom and hot flashes, irratic behavior and whiney. You have been warned.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I should Know better

I really should. Testing every day isn't going to solve anything. I received some free test strips in the mail so I figured since they were el cheepo's it wouldn't hurt anything. My temp was still pretty high this morning so I tested again.

yea, NO. Even a microscopic strip screams big fat NEGATIVE and it does hurt. FF doesn't help when they say "73% of positives are recorded before 13dpo". Everyday reduces the chance of me getting a positive. I know, deep down, that I'm not.

But that damn chart.

I need to face the music that there is no 2010 baby in my future and that I have no choice but to start the clomid next cycle. Even my bodies attempt at ovulation is not enough. My body is not good enough to produce or carry a child...even with medical intervention. I may be fooling myself but I guess I have to try again with the meds.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Last night I got really nervous about testing today. So this morning when I took my temp and it shot up, i just KNEW I would see a positive. WRONG. Clearest BFN you've ever seen.

I was so disgusted. My DH has been so good this week. My old dog tore the CCL in her knee and can't really walk (she has arthtritis in her hips) and DH has been getting up early every morning to carry her outside and he carries her in and out three times a day despite his hectic work and school schedule.

This morning after the BFN he asked about my temp and aske what the percentage was for positive tests at this DPO. He says "we're still in the game, don't get discouraged yet, its not over then". I get that, I do and I want to still believe because my chart is pretty as a picture, but I just don't have much faith.

A girl on the bump got a BFP yesterday. She "thinks" she ovulated on the 10th, which is a day after me and she's on a 40 day cycle. Now granted, she doesn't chart so she doesn't KNOW so she could be a week offbase and her body has nothing to do with mine but its still discouraging. Everyone who was testing with me this week got BFN's and I'm just so down trodden today.


I guess my body feels bad with screwing with my head though because randomly I jumped on the scales this morning and was shocked to see I had lost TWO more pounds. WTF. That's FIVE pounds in three days. (My ass really WAS CLOGGED! LOL)So I've lost 43 pounds since Jan. 1st. I'm 4 pounds away from my first goal now! Atleast that's exciting right?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 McFatty

I know I just posted this morning but....I was finally able to go.

For shits and giggles I weighed again today not expecting much since yesterday. I lost another two pounds in one day.

That must have been one hefty poo. LOL

I have officially lost 41 pounds. Six pounds away from my first goal.

You MUST be kidding me

Constipated...AGAIN? Same day of the damn week? Are you SERIOUS?

I have had a traumatic evening. My first born, my lovely Ms. Tedda, 13yo Chow/shepherd mix that I have had since she was a pup and I was 19yo, went running down our front steps last night and fell. It was awful. I thought she broke her hip. I finally managed to get her in my car (I had to pull the car up next to her and lift her into it) and to the ER-VET.

They think she ripped her CCL (equivilent to our ACL in our knee) but its compounded by the limited arthritic movement of her hips. she may have a fracture as well. They gave me pain meds for her and told me to limit her mobility at all times and if it doen't get any better, go back in for more indepth exam and xrays. Only real fix is surgery and they aren't sure she would be a good candidate for it due to her age and arthritis.

So a sleepless night, I'm exhausted and barely functioning. DH has to CARRY her out to the yard because we have steps in and out of the house. She just lays down. She doesn't move, she doesn't use the bathroom. This morning she didn't eat or take a treat.

You can see why dealing with more constipation is beyond me at the moment. I just can't deal with my own body and my sweet fluffy girls too. Do you hear me intestines? I AM NOT IN THE MOOD FOR YOUR SHENANIGANS so get it together!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Menu Monday

This week has been a little tough for me. I've been so focused on getting the garden planted that I've let my cooking AND blogging slide. (which I warned you about so don't blame me! LOL)

So far for the week's menu:

Grilled chicken, rice and limas

Something with Hamburger: pasta or meatloaf

Baked Chicken with Butternut Pasta

There will probably be a Spinach Quiche along the way

and a Chicken Pot Pie.

what's on your menu this week? Maybe you can inspire me (and I'll have all the ingredients to do it *fingers crossed*)

McFatty Monday

Good news: I lost a pound. I finally broke that plateau. Considering my very bad weekend, I'll definately take it! (I'm pretty sure it was solely from the massive poop exodus of 2010)

I got a craving this weekend for a burger. This is bizarre because I haven't been able to tolerate red meat in four months. (Coincidentally it is also what I craved with Bumblebee but we won't go there today). So I got a Frisco burger from Hardees. Trying to maintain some level of self control with portions, I cut it in half and ate one half for lunch and the other for dinner, no fries...that was all I ate. That is still a massive amount of fat and calories in one day but I guess it helped spreading it out. In between, I worked in teh garden and hopefully counteracted some of those calories. I also, over did it on the cream pasta this weekend. Shrugs. Anywho, I'm ecstatic that I broke the plateau and hopefully this week will be much better.

I'm making a concious effort to eat more often again. So far today I've had Special K for breakfast and Half a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese for snack. Lunch: Creamy pea Pasta.

For now though, I'm extremely pleased that I finally lost SOMETHING after three weeks stuck in the same spot.

Blair asks:
So what is your plan for making this long-term? Will you keep counting calories, points, or will you simply be taking the lessons learned? Will you be weighing your food, using your hand as a guide for measurements, or simply watching the number on the scale? What makes you KNOW that you’re making a lifestyle change instead of just a quick fix?

I find myself slipping sometimes, with portion, especially with pasta but not so much on the meat and veggies. But on other areas, I'm not slipping, like drinking my water. It's ingrained now and I can't imagine giving it up for soft drinks again. I tried to drink a soft drink this weekend, and I like the fizzy sensation but it seemed overly sweet and syruppy. I think I'll get some sparkling water and treat myself to some fizzy juice every now and then.

For long term, I'm going to continue to experiment with healthy eating, local/organic foods, monitoring portion, trying to eat throughout the day as I slipped back to the two time a day thing the past few weeks without realizing it. It is a lifestyle change, completely. I also completely agree that if you take the lessons offered to you with your success, whether that be Nutri System or Atkins etc. you can make it work for you. Also, monitoring the if you go up a bit, you catch it in time.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Big Garden

Since I briefly introduced the newest gardening adventure this week, its time to show the tranformation. (and frankly, this has been consuming my life lately and my cooking/posting has suffered but we are almost done with the worst time consuming part --I'm deluding myself right now, work with me.)

As you read in the previous post this piece of our property was part of our horse pasture and has recieved quite a lot of manure over the past several years along with a lot of trampling so we have fertile hard packed dirt (and a lot of crab grass).

Since I do not have my beautiful horses to stare at anymore, I wanted to try and go larger scale on my gardening efforts so I could can more and feed more people (elderly neighbors etc.). So with the help of my parents and the loan of my neighbor's (Uncle Bill) tractor we begin the process of turning this fallow filed into a thriving garden again (the way I remember it from my childhood).

Here are the beginning stages to what we call "The BIG Garden": plowing the field to break it up-letting it freeze to kill grass roots. Will bring you more pictures soon (as they are still on the camera and we are finishing the planting today!).

My Dad (isn't he the cutest thing?)

Cutting the field:

Freezing the cut field: (thank you weather for cooperating!)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Let me introduce you to my new BFF:

Mr. Enima. Never met him? well I was cordially introduced during a meltdown on Isle three in Food Lion today. Milk of Magnesia? Could Not Find it. There was Liquid Lemon Magnesium, and other Magna stuff but no Milk Of. There was more Colace and ExLax than I could shake a stick at but no MoM.

As I sat there, in tears, clutching my box of frozen spinach to my stomach, trying desperately not to shove it between my butt cheeks to soothe my sore bum with its icey goodness in front of the stock boys, I started to hyperventilate silently. After all, I have lost all dignity in the internet world by talking incessently about the state of my clogged ass for days, I'll be damned if I lose my Southern Lady rep at my local grocery store.

There, on the bottom shelf, winking up at me, was Mr. Enima. My mother had referred me to him earlier but I blew her off. Why would I possibly want to stick SOMETHING ELSE UP MY BUTT. I want things OUT OF MY BUTT.

In complete and utter desperation, I grabbed him (and went through the self check out line so as not to further my humiliation of waddling through the store with my ass cheeks tucked up under my spinal cord by having some teenager ring up my enima and then gossip about me when I walked out the door.

For two agonizing hours I procrastinated. I tried once more on my own, but it gets to a certain spot and becomes so painful that I know I can push it out. Quite frankly the enima terrified me though. I finally gave in. I was miserable and could not stand it (or sit) any more.

Now if you are like me and wonder how that thing is going to go up there, let me comfort you now, IT's PRELUBED! genius. I won't gross you with the details or the fact that I was so clogged I had to try twice. Fortunately, this thing is almost instantaneous. Maybe 1-2 minutes max and I was ready to go...with very little pushing. Was it wierd? OMG yes, but RELIEF. Sweet baby jesus, thank you lord, relief!

And with one little enima and bowel movement, I clogged the toilet. Why? WHY? Why should I have to deal with that TOO on top of this crap (literally?).

Anyway, it was quite impressive to say the least, and I now have NO FEAR of using an enima should the need ever arise again because those few moments of uncomfortable humiliation curled up on the bathroom floor with a gushing plastic bottle up my butt? (and the extra few moments retyping this?) are SO WORTH not walking around for four days with a painful cork.

Get thee an enima ladies. I promise. BEST FRIEND FOR LIFE! Now we can resume staring at our pretty charts and not discussing poop. YAY!

Day 4

of the poopless wonder (who knew I could talk for DAYS about the ability to poop?). Colace last night? Ineffective. I'm taking more tonight and moving on to the milk of magnesium.

Because I can not walk correctly and I'm at the point I'm afraid to eat because how can anything else possibly fit anywhere in my body. It's FULL. Nothing has come out since I can't remember when and my ass has hurt for four days.

Please stop reading because I'm fixing to WAY OVER SHARE HERE.

What makes it worse is you can feel it and you push and you sit there with your muscles clenched as far as they will go waiting for the log to break off and give you some sort of accomplishment and relief. You pant tiny pants until you have to let go and you feel feel the entire thing slide back up in there and nestle in. And you cry because you don't have the strength to push anymore.

so you hang your head and go back to your desk and sit there tilted onto your hip bone because your butt hurts, praying for an assplosion of epic proportions to find some release of this toxic cornicopia of all the crap you have eaten for a week. And you try to get up the courage to try again the next time you go pee (which you are doing quite well every hour on the hour like a three dicked dinosaur.

and you know that with one blog post and the click of a mouse you have just lost any internet dignity and class you ever had because you can not deal with your own poop problem quietly so you go stare at your chart again praying it was all worth it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Food and Faith Challenge: Week 2

I'm going to go about the Call to Action a little bit different this week.

•Walk slowly and mindfully through a piece of land that’s important to you.

I'm going to start with a picture. This is part of my land:

I walk through my land on a daily basis to watch things grow. Everyday I walk through my gardens to monitor my plants, pinch a leaf, water here, pull a weed there. This land is important to me. It's been in my family for decades and multiple generations. It has been split, inherited, sold, parceled etc to a form unrecognizable to the original piece but I still have part of it. Most of my neighbors are still family. And this land still grows food for us and noursishes my soul.

The portion you are seeing used to be a fantastic garden when I was a child, feeding several families. Then it was converted to horse pasture for a decade, which is how I used it when we first moved in. We sold our horses last fall for several reasons and this year, we are turning it back into a large garden. I've watched it go from a garden, to green pasture, to snow covered, to barren land and now to rows of seeds and plantings that will soon be food. It's an amazing process and quite frankly more than I can deal with but I'm doing it anyway.

I'm connected to this land in so many ways and I will continue to watch it change and grow and do my best to work with it as much as possible. I don't have a tractor so I had to borrow this one that you see from family to return it to a garden as 3/4 acre is a bit much to do by hand but all the tending? It will be by hand. And I will raise my children here and teach them to watch things grow.

Walk out on a piece of property, even if its a townhome patio and find the simple beauty in nature.

And this? This is good NC red clay with horse manure.

Calling Colace

I'm trying not to complain because I neurotically hope that this horrid constipation is a symptom of pregnancy and not directly related to my love of cheese (as I really haven't eaten any more cheese than normal). However, its all I can think of.

This feeling of a giant cork up my ass that refuses to pop out, is taking up important brain cell energy. I have other things to do (like obsess over charts) than to worry about pooping.

I may have to bite the bullet and go ahead and invest in some colace as I can't stand going to the bathroom. It hurts. It hurts to strain and push and pant and prop your feet up on the walls and hold the handrails and push some more like you are going to give birth to a redwood log that has not been de-limbed.

If this is the price I have to pay for pregnancy, I will gladly pay it. I would just like to know that its not in vain, that there really is something in the front part that is causing the pain in the back part. That's all I ask, because if that were true, I could atleast make my blog somewhat amusing again and relish in the fact that "YAY, I'm constipated, BECAUSE I'M PREGNANT!". That would definately be nice and make the pain just a little less.

Tax Day

I hate Tax Day. I really really hate tax day, because no matter what we do, how much we pay in, we always get hit for some reason. Even taking a loss last year, we got hit. We had our taxes done two months ago but I refused to send that money off until today. I wrote the check last night, stuffed the envelopes and have them with me today to stamp and send off which I will do in just a few minutes.

Here's the thing though. I feel free. There's nothing hanging over my head anymore. That dread, the fighting with myself over money issues. We can pay what we owe. We aren't happy about it, but we can pay it. We can pay all our bills and put food on the table. We have insurance. We have jobs. We have a nice house even though it needs a new roof. We don't have to touch our pitiful savings and I was even able to add to it this month. We are blessed in so many ways.

And my chart is looking fantastic and for some unknown reason, I can't help but be optimistic this cycle. Am I destined for depression in one week? Maybe, but for now, I'm going to be absolutely positive and enjoy a week of hope. Even paying taxes today can not damper my mood.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Testing DPO

Fertility friend is telling me to wait and test on day 18 dpo, probably because of my freakishly long LP's the past few months but I'm going to go with the plan of 12DPO if my temps look good.

I feel I need to have progesterone etc checked immediately due to the CP. So testing will begin on April 21st.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Menu Monday

This week is going to be a fly by the seat of my pants kinda week. Why? Because my allergies (the sinus ones, not the food ones) are killing me, I'm exhausted, and I have a ton of yardwork and gardening to do. Garden updates to come soon but the "big" garden is finally being put in. After all the cutting, tilling etc. its finally being planted and lordhavemercy did I bit off way more than I can chew. I did not realize how big this thing is. ::whimpers::

so this week will be throwing things together that are quick and easy so I can spend my evenings outside. (Not a rain cloud in site ya'll).

Turkey Parmesan Burgers with Homemade Brioche rolls (don't be surprised if this gets put off!)

Potato Gratin with Goat Cheese


Chicken with Asparagus

Grilled Sweet Potato Souffle

and who knows what else. For reals. It may be a Week inundated with Subway. For real. Fortunately, I still have a lot of posts because I'm behind so have no fear that the blog will be suffering. (If it does, its because of lack of time, not material!) LOL

McFatty Monday

Once again, the scale didn't move. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to complain too much since it didn't go up either. And its not all together a bad thing because I wasn't exactly a good girl this week.

Granted I busted my tail every day when I get home dragging hoses, and moving sprinklers, pulling weeds, watering plants and garden, cleaning etc. After all that, there's not enough time to exercise before I crash. It's hard enough keeping up with the land in the spring much less doing it on top of mad allergies thanks to insane pollen counts.

It was also my birthday and i made cupcakes. I had ONE the night of my birthday and one the next day. I gave the rest away. then this past weekend I made MORE cupcakes. Cheeseburger Cupcakes! These were for my Nephew's Birthday party and were a huge hit! I didn't eat one. Talk about will power. I can't lie though, I did keep licking my fingers while making them AND ate a few of the brownie scraps when I cut them out! LOL

Yesterday I grilled steaks on my brand spanking new lustworthy grill DH gave me for my birthday. I also grilled sweet potatoes and corn on the cob (with butter!) I didn't eat. Mostly because half my throat is insanely swollen from sinus drainage and I didn't want to swallow. LOL

All of that on top of an insanely busy on-the-go weekend and I didn't lose anything. All the activity only combatted the few treats I allowed myself. That sucks kinda. But is also a good thing. I know I can maintain my lifestyle and allow myself some treats...I just can't LOSE and allow myself some treats! LOL

This week: I'm determined to break this plateau darn it! Even if its just by one pound! But don't count on any videos of me doing anything. I'm not that brave Blair. Congrats on your OWN rockin' hot bod though! Good girl! YOU ARE AWESOME!

O.M.G.-heart palpatations

I know, I'm trying not to get my hopes up. This morning when I took my temp, my heart dropped with my temperature and I knew it was over this month. Anovulatory.

I plugged in my temp to FF though and BAM. SOLID CROSSHAIRS with GOOD TIMING indicators. And even this morn's low temp is above cover line.

And at the very bottom (after all hopes of a 2010 baby were gone), EDD if I concieved this cycle: December 31st, 2010.

::heart beating out of my chest::

this is going to be the most torturous 2WW (and biggest let down in history)

::chews nails::

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Grilled or Baked? It's a CUPCAKE BURGER

These little boogers have been surfing the net for some time from Blog to Blog in various forms. I chose to incorporate items from three different sources and use my own recipes instead of boxed mixes (because I'm difficult like that). It's really not as complicated as it looks. Messy? yes, a bit.

But well worth it. These were a big hit at the Birthday party yesterday!

Buttermilk Cupcakes and Cream Cheese Icing (just eliminate the chocolate from this recipe for white icing)

Scratch Brownies

What you will need:
A Round Cookie Cutter
Gel Food Coloring
White Fondant
shredded or Flaked coconut

Bake cupcakes and brownies per directions. Cool overnight (or several hours). Make icing per instructions leaving out chocolate. Seperate icing into three bowls.

Lettuce=Shredded coconut, icing and green food coloring (add a little at a time until your color is the way you want).

Ketchup=icing plus a few drops of blue food coloring and quite a bit of red (to get a deeper red.

Mustard=yellow plus icing.

Cheese= Fondant kneeded with yellow, roll out on floured board to very thin and cut into small square.

Cut cupcakes in half, pipe on some "lettuce", place a circle of brownie, pipe on "mustard", place fondant "cheese", pipe on "ketchup", and top with the cupcake top! TA DA! Easy Peasy.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

I had two lemons and an extra container of Ricotta cheese leftover from Easter. What a perfect way to use both items but to create these light as air cakey cookies? The taste is fantastic and would actually make an excellent cake but because I can't leave well enough alone, instead of icing them, I cut them in strips and used them as "fries" to go with my Cupcake Burgers, so I don't really have a good picture for you.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies
(Inspired by Giada)
2 3/4 cups Self Rising flour
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 container ricotta cheese
3 1/2 tbs fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
Splash of Vanilla extract (maybe 1/4 tsp)
Sugar to dust

Cream butter and sugar in KA Mixer until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Add the ricotta, lemon juice and zest. Slowly incorporate the flour.

Spoon onto a greased cookie sheet (or mini muffin pan would work well too). Sprinkle with sugar. Bake in a preheated oven (375 degrees) for about 15 minutes and cool on a wire rack.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Screw You Fertility Friend

You are no friend of mine.

Stats: "Cervical Position and CM are at your Most Fertile. Green Light."

But they throw the disclaimer in there "You are probably not fertile."


You don't need to state the obvious btw. I'm not stupid you piece of shit software.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Going Without

I got married at 28 yo. We started the before my 29th birthday with the hopes of having a child before 30yo. Then it became hoping to be pregnant before my 30th birthday.

Then I got desperately plastered on my 30th birthday.

I turned 32 yesterday. I still don't have a baby nor am I pregnant.

Life sucks a big fat donkeyball sometimes. People ask me what I want for my birthday and I can't tell them because no one can give it to me and it just makes it awkward for them.

No one understands that its awkward for me every day of my life because I can't unthink the things that I do.

Buttermilk Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing

So I took a hiatus yesterday even though I have quite a backlog of entries because it was my birthday! Happy Birthday to me. (Not really, I'm not one who enjoys getting older at this stage of my life...oh to still be in my 20's and not care).

Now, I'm one of those freaks of nature that as a child, the one thing that made me happy for my birthday was grilled hamburgers and yellow cake with chocolate icing. Out of all the elaborate cakes etc, I always wanted yellow with chocolate icing. (I vaguely remember a strawberry cake one time but I think that was during my Strawberry shortcake doll phase). As an adult, my leanings are for coconut cake but I digress.

Last night I took a trip down memory lane and made homemade buttermilk cupcakes with chocolate icing courtesy of The Neelys. Let me tell you, this is by far the best tasting yellow/chocolate combination I've ever had. My one tip: do NOT fill the cupcakes as high as you do with other recipes because these expand a great deal and overflow. So mine are not that pretty but I will be making them again (and again and again).

Excellent Recipe and so simple!

Buttermilk Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing
1 1/2 cups Self Rising Flour
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 sticks of butter (melted)
2 tsps vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 stick of butter (room temp)
8 ounces of cream cheese (room temp)
3 cups confectioner's sugar
4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, melted
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In KA Mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and yolks one at a time. Add vanilla and buttermilk.

Slowly add flour. Mix until smooth. Batter will be very fluffy.

Fill Muffin Cups 1/2-3/4 full and bake for 20 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

For Icing: Cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Blend chocolate and vanilla into mix and then slowly add confectioner's sugar. Pipe icing onto cupcakes. (I tried spreading and it makes a mess of the cupcakes; the piping worked much better).

As Promised: Picture! (Please ignore the bad icing job. I tried spreading icing first. Ended up piping the rest).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

As you can see

from my chart, I got on board with the baby train this month, non-medicated of course. I'm trying really hard to push the anxiety away and go with it and deal with my fears. I thought, despite the early O date, that we were going to catch it this time, but a temp dip tells me otherwise.

So maybe I haven't ovulated yet (or maybe I won't this month and I'm dreaming that my body will continue to operate) and the past few days of extremely painful sex will be for nothing.

Maybe its also true that my vag and sore cervix is now whimpering at the mere thought of having to continue with sex for a true O. (Yep, definately true.)

And maybe, just maybe, I'm almost willing to go with my husbands idea of "We've attacked it with sperm from one end, maybe we should try it from the other." *raised eyebrown and devilish smile from him* (Yea, okay, maybe not. Nice try honey).

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My Walk on the Crunchy Path: Part II

After a really bad 2009, I was really hoping for a good 2010. My hopes were high. I should have known better. 2010 started out with an explosion of unhealthy proportions...literally. Something happened to change my relationship with food and start me down the crunchy path.

January 5th, I made Sausage and Pepper Risotto. Approx. 45 minuts later I was in full blown panic as my throat was scratchy and tight, it was increasingly difficult to breathe, lips were numb, tongue felt swollen even after taking four benedryl and throwing up multiple times. With a red face and chest that felt like it was on fire, we headed to the emergency room.

I was given epinephrin, rehydrated, given steroids and monitored. Finally, in a dazed stupor I was released. For weeks I experienced scary episodes and lung/chest pain. I endured allergy tests, CT scans, meds, pokes, prods and treatments. I racked up quite a lovely medical debt despite insurance.

I became afraid to eat. I was tormented and panicked at the thought of putting food in my mouth. I lost 15 lbs in less than two weeks.

As I redeveloped my relationship with food, things changed. I started relying on fresh, local products, steering away from packaged items with things I couldn't pronounce. I introduced things into my system in their simplest forms without multiple ingredients in case I reacted so I could more clearly pinpoint what I could and could not eaten. My body was in turmoil and my stress and anxiety did not help.

I used smaller portions in case I racted so there wouldn't be as much of the "poison" in my system. Weeks were spent living in fear that I would die because of something I put in my mouth and no one could pin point exactly what the triggers were but they are more frequent with varying degrees of severeness. Some days I wouldn't eat at all. My husband would often remind me to eat and I would still refuse. Weight started falling off and I became fairly obsessed with it.

To be Continued...

Food and Faith Challenge: Challenge to Action

For the Challenge to Action question this week on the Food and Faith Challenge over at the Local Cook, the question is asked:

•Visit your local farmer’s market and let us know what’s in season right now. If your farmer’s market isn’t open yet, when does it open and what kinds of things are available from it?

I am an avid Farmer's Market visitor. I go every week (and even write the occasional article for the Examiner about them.) I'm very fortunate to have a year around farmer's market with an indoor market place that imports and uses local greenhouses and farms to supply superior produce at all times.

I prefer to shop the outdoor stalls of local farmers, but when the pickings are slim during the winter I will definately peruse the indoor vendors for better 'pickins' then I can find at the grocery store. Be careful though, many vendors don't always label everything giving you the impression its not imported from other countries. Even "farmers" can be deceitful to make a buck.

Many that I have come to know are pretty honest and straightforward though and I always enjoy an early morning with coffee and a stroll, conversation over the smell of fresh baked bread on a saturday at the market.

Currently in season is a wonderful display of cabbages, collards, sweet potatoes and cold tolerant root veggies. The occasional greenhouse tomatoe makes a bright splash of red and there is an array of colorful flowers and plants available for gardeners and flowerbeds. The meat providers are there in droves offering beef and pork. Fresh cheeses and breads are also appearing on the weekends when customers are plentiful.

A few weeks ago, there were one or two vendors braving the late winds of winter and now as the sun shines down the stalls are 3/4's full in both sheds. We have a large market and I'm so fortunate to be able to supplement my own growing with better options.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

This is the recipe I impressed my grandmother with at Easter. Seriously, poised older Southern baptist lady. Compressed smile, folded hands, peering over her nose in disapprovement prissy grandmother. I finally got to her through my coffee cake (and my spinach lasagna). SCORE!

This recipe comes from a fellow NCer (soon to be back in her native SC-Congrats on the Farm!) and horse lover Branny from Branny Boils Over. Check out her site, its lovely!

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
2 cups Self Rising Flour
1 cup Sour Cream
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter (room temp)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix topping ingredients together and set aside. In KA mixer on medium speed with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Mix in 1/2 of flour, then sour cream and then flour until blended smooth. Pour half of the batter in a greased and floured loaf pan. Sprinkle half of topping mixture and carefully spread. Carefully smooth the rest of the batter on top. Sprinkle the rest of the topping mixture and then bake at 350 for 55 minutes.

Make sure you use a large loaf pan or put a baking pan underneath. Mine went over the side a little bit.

I served with a choice of sides: sugared strawberries in juice, sweetened whipped cream and chopped walnuts. Everyone was able to make it their own special piece and LOVED IT.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Chocolate Fudge Pie

There is a war in my family over Chocolate Pie. My father and uncle have long fought over the chocolate pies at family dinners. One of the instances involved spitting and fingers. I believe it was my father (the younger brother ofcourse) who grabbed the pie off the table and took off with it. My uncle gave pursuit, grabbed it and stuck his finger in the center thinking that would prevent anyone else from wanting any. My father, never to be outdone, spit on it. He got the pie.

Please don't mistake that my family are trashy rednecks without manners (okay, they really kinda are), but they are extremely competitive and full of pranks in their hay day. Neither of these characters are up to the challenge of running much less chasing each other (though my dad would still probably give it a damn good effort) so I figure the safest bet is to never have the two of them at a family function or only one dessert.

I've never made the infamous pie. I will have to remember to get my aunt to give me the recipe, but I did make a chocolate FUDGE pie for Easter that was a huge hit. I will definately be making this again (which is a good thing as it was the one thing I forgot to snap a picture of!)

Chocolate Fudge Pie
Inspiration taken from Paula Dean's recipe
Pie Crust
3-4 ounces of semi sweet chocolate chips
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten (plus one with water for eggwash)

Brush Pie crust with eggwash. In double boiler, melt chocolate and butter together, stirring gently until smooth. Turn off heat and add sugar. Stir until blended. Add eggs. stir until smooth. Pour the filling into pie crust and bake for 25 minutes (until just firm) in a 375 degree preheated oven. I topped with homemade sweetened whip cream and served chilled. EXCELLENT!

Easy Flaky Pie Crust

I admit to taking the easy way out...a lot! When it came to pie crusts I mostly just did Pillsbury roll out. Easy, tasty. Yum. In my new quest for health I decided to go the unpreserved route and finally conquer my own. So I turned to my trusty "Joy of Cooking" book and applied their basic recipe to the method I've seen on the food channel, because well, I'm still lazy. LOL It worked GREAT! Not complicated, flaky and delicious. I'll probably never go back to ready made again.

Easy Flaky Pie Crust
2 1/2 cups Self-Rising Flour
1 tsp white sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter (very cold and in small pieces-slice down center and chop at tbs marks)
1/3 cup plus 1 tbs ice water

In food processor, combine flour, sugar and butter and pulse until butter is covered and in pea size pieces. As you continue to blend on low, add icecold water. When balls start to firm it will only take a few seconds before you get one big dough ball.

Roll dough ball out onto floured surface. Gently smooth the ball and wrap in plastic. Place in fridge for atleast thirty minutes to make sure it is nice and cold. Roll out gently (don't mash it) and place in pie shell. Trim extra and place back in fridge to chill until you need it!

Menu Monday-After Easter

Well, my blog and online presence has been very quiet of late. I have a great reason though: lot's of new work to post. That's right, I have been busting my decreasing rear-end not only in the kitchen but in the garden and yard as well. Exciting new things: the big garden is coming along, little garden is being tended, new flower beds installed, and yummy holiday (or anytime) recipes.

Posts to look forward to: Strawberry Lime Cupcakes, Triple Lemon Cupcakes, Chocolate Fudge Pie, Homemade Pie crust, Sugar Cookies, Lemonade, Garden Updates, etc.

On the menu this week:

Biscuit Surprise

Paula's Garlic Cheese Grits

Turkey Something or Other

Butternut Squash Pasta

Veggie Pizza or Veggie Stuffed Pancakes (haven't decided)

Chicken Salad

Veggie Pot Pie

McFatty Monday-Easter Holiday Hazards

Dieting around a holiday is hard. Seriously. Dieting around Easter is not as long and drawn out as Christmas but its not the easiest thing that's for sure. Sweets EVERYWHERE. One word: Cupcakes

All things considered, I think I maintained some amazing self control despite my baking orgy that took place over the weekend: Triple Lemon Cupcakes, Strawberry Lime cupcakes, Easter shaped homemade Sugar cookies dipped in Lemon Icing, Homemade Chocolate Fudge Pie with a homemade crust and homemade whipped sweetened cream.

::wide eyed stare:: Yep, I made all that. along with a big pan of spinach lasagna and two roasted chickens. Everyone descended upon my house like a hoard of locusts, and yet there were still sweets leftover. I seriously ONLY had a serving of spinach lasagna and one cupcake. (But I can't lie and say I didn't like my fingers and the spoon repeatedly while making everything). Leftovers? Spinach lasagna and another cupcake.

My willpower is working so far. The only thing that remotely saved me was how much cleaning, gardening and running around I did this weekend. Seriously, cleaning my entire house is a major workout. I fully maintain even though its not a big house, it is way too big for the two of us. Between the shopping, the cooking, baking and cleaning, mowing, and planting flowers I was tee-totally EXHAUSTED every night to the point I could hardly move and slept like the dead. By the time Sunday rolled around I was done. But I worked anyway. We installed a new flower bed, complete with ripping out the ground (DH did that), installing black plastic, planting six azalea bushes and covering in cyprus mulch. We aren't done but it looks great and I can't wait to add in some hostas, tulips, mums and jonquils this fall.

So the good news is: I maintained some level of control during the holiday food parade. I worked my butt off enough to counteract the sinfully delicious cupcakes and did not gain a pound.

Bad news: I didn't lose any weight this week either. Which means I didn't get close to my goal. My goal was to be a certain weight for my birthday. (which is on Thursday). I'm still 9 lbs away and there is no way I can get there now.

I'm happy at how far I've come and everyone is starting to comment on the difference but I'm a little depressed at how far away I am from my goal.

Ms.Blair asks this week:
Have you adjusted any of your goals based on your success? Have you changed your approach to weight loss at all (ie started on one program, switched to another)? Have you ever taken a break & then picked it back up again? If so, what were your results?

I will be adjusting my goal this week for a new deadline and lower range as I missed this one. I have leaned more vegetarian dishes since starting this weight loss. I'm not sure why but possibly because I can get more flavor out of them and keep the calories down than with meat dishes. I have taken MANY breaks in weightloss and the results weren't good. LOL However, I think in the new lifestyle change, there aren't really any breaks. Do I focus on losing more than other times. yes. Like this week, I allowed myself some sweets because of the holiday but still maintained portion control. Thus I didn't lose. Like you though, now that I'm out in the yard more, I'm probably building a little muscle as I get back into shape so it may not just be the sweets. (I'll keep telling myself that any way).

Thursday, April 1, 2010


It's slipping away from me with every tick of the clock, page on the calendar.
It's already April. A quarter of the year down, no change in my life. Except I'll be another year older and see another year of my life down the drain. My dreams are becoming stagnant and I'm not doing anything to reach for them. I'm backing away.

Has it really been over 5 months since I lost my baby?
Five months since the pain and emotions were so overwhelming I wanted to crawl in a hole?
And now I continue day by day, pushing off TTC a little bit longer because I can't muster the energy to build myself up for another emotional ride.
I can't focus on all the good things that could happen, I only see horrible outcomes that I don't want to face.

I think my husband is getting frustrated but he doesn't say a word. I don't know what he wants and I don't ask anymore. I feel like any way I turn I can't give him what he wants. I can't give him a child when I try and I can't give him the trying anymore.

I have all these logical excuses now: FMLA after Jan. 25th. Too late to have it this year and get the tax deductions and not have to pay another deductible with insurance anyway. We could switch insurance to my company in June and have cheaper better insurance. I could lose more weight make it easier on my body. etc. We don't have the allergies and meds under control.

The reasons make sense but they also just push trying later and later and later till I no longer see a reasonable date and I'm starting not to care. It's like I'm taking baby xanax and am numb to it, except i still want one. Where's a damn stork when you need one? Can't the little bastard just drop off a bundle of joy like my momma said he would?