Happy Halloween

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Happy flying?!

On Saturday morning, I woke up at 6:00 am. I thought I would offer SpecialK the option of leaving home earlier, something I had pushed against previously.

He readily accepted and at 7:03, we were showered, packed land in the car. After a quick stop for gas, we headed east along the MA Pike. We were at the Framingham Logan Express bus terminal, tickets bought and car parked by 8:30 am. We hung out, waiting for the 9:00 bus.

We boarded the 9:00 Logan Express and by 9:30, we were approaching the counter, wherewe checked all but the backpacks we carried. The employee who checked our bags told us he wanted to put us on an earlier flight. There was rain in the area, and he didn’t want us to be delayed, so we accepted. We took the 11:11 flight to Philadelphia, arriving by 12:30. Then, the long day began.

Our flight out was scheduled for 4:30. By the time we landed in Philadelphia, we had already been informed of a 2 hour delay. I will save you all the minutiae, but at 7:15, SpecialK sent me a text to come up to the gate. I went up to the gate, listened as they said they were golf loing to pre board and one wheelchair passenger went down the runway.

It was a while before the other wheelchair passenger was loaded onto the plane. Finally, we all boarded the plane. After all passengers were seated, the pilot told us that he had no intention of taking us on a 9 hour flight with no flushing toilets. He asked us all to deplane.

We got off the plane, and an hour later we were notified the flight was cancelled. We were quick to respond and were given two of the last available seats for Sunday nights flight.

We waited another e stwo hours for our bags, because you know, they had other flights arriving and couldn’t do two things at once.

I apreciated the pilots words, and thank him as we all know hygiene is important. I also want to thank Oliver, as he made the best of a long day, and he appreciated my political hiumor.

Sunday found us waking up in a Philadelphia hotel. I was determined to complete my steps before I boarded another airplane. As we waited for the hotel shuttle bus that would take us to the airport, we were notified of a delay in our newly scheduled flight. Before you jump to conclusions, we finally did take off Sunday night at 5:42.

How is your week going?

Every 3 weeks

I told people that when I married SpecialK, I knew my life would be crazy, but I never anticipated this level of crazy.

We are traveling every 3 weeks this fall.

In August we flew to Chicago to say goodbye to Aunt Roz.  She passed away as we were driving home from the airport.  I am so happy we got to say goodbye, and tell her we loved her one more time.

In September we flew to FL, east coast.  My father moved, and I was offered my choice of what he had left behind.

Now it is October, and we are off on a vacation.  After we come back, we have 3 weeks before we fly to the West coast of FL, where I am accompanying SpecialK for a conference.

I am off to pack my bags, and get ready for more flight time.

Where do you go for vacation?

Chili

Do you like chili?  We don’t like a spicy chili, but rather a milder one with good flavor.

I made this recipe before, and it took some time to find it again.  I play with the spiciness, adding less chili powder and less cumin than called for in the recipe.

Regardless, we each cover our bowls of chili in cheddar cheese and I confess to masking the cumin with sour cream.

How do you like your chili?

Leftover, yum

I had cooked a chicken breast, and 1/2 of it was still in the fridge.  Looking to use up leftovers, I made this into a dish for SpecialK.

He only wants sweet onions at home, so I cut out last one (shopping alert) and put in a frying pan with light olive oil.  I added approximately 1/4 of a bag of Trader Joe’s (frozen) Mushroom Medley.  I then added a can of diced tomatoes, with basil, garlic and oregano.  I then realized I should have added more garlic, so I added 3 cloves of roasted garlic.  I cubed the remaining chicken breast, and added it to the pan.  Finally, I added one sliced green onion.  Salt and pepper were the seasonings.

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SpecialK topped this with shredded Parmesan cheese, and ate it over soy noodles.

How do you do leftovers?

In Memoriam: Our trip to Chicago

Early Saturday morning, we headed to the airport.  We were flying to Chicago, with plans with friends and family.

We landed on time Saturday morning and headed directly to our hotel.  Our first plans were at 1:00.  SpecialK’s aunt, who lived in Chicago, had recently been diagnosed with leukemia.  She had to have transfusions, to keep her alive.

SpecialK’s youngest brother (a nurse)  had been visiting his aunt, and had decided to stay with her, once the diagnosis had been made.

Roz was doing this on her own terms.  She took transfusions long enough to get all of her affairs in order.  She had her last transfusion last Tuesday.

We had lunch with her and SpecialK’s brother.  She was in good spirits, ate lunch, and we had a nice visit with her.  She had welcomed me into the family with open arms before we got married.

After leaving her, we went back to the hotel, and got ready for our dinner plans with Owen (age 3) and his parents.  Speaking for myself, a good time was had by all.

On Sunday, we walked around the loop, and wandered through the parks.  We found the bean, and played an 18 round game of mini golf.

Monday morning, I messaged SpecialK’s brother, and inquired as to the aunts comfort and his own comfort.  He shared with me that the aunt was resting comfortably in bed on Monday, pain free.

Our next plan was brunch, with my cousins.  Lisa and I grew up together, and Jeff (and Tracy) grew up in the Midwest.  A good time was had by all.

After brunch, we debated what we would do until it was time to go to the airport.  We had talked about taking an earlier flight home, but due to the storms, we were satisfied when we found out that earlier flight had been cancelled.

We ended up hitting up an outlet mall, mere miles from the airport.  A few new pieces for each of us, and we headed to the airport.

With all the road flooding, it took quite a while for us to get to the airport, but we finally landed there 2 hours before our 7:01 pm departure.

7:01 departure became 9:30, became 10:15, became 11:20.  We landed approx 2:15 am, and got home at approx 2:45 am.  SpecialK went right to sleep; it took me about an hour.

I awoke at 7:30 his morning, and saw a message that had come in during the night.  SpecialK’s aunt passed away in her sleep, while we were driving home.

She did it her way, and was ready to go.  I respect that about her, and hope I have the same opportunity for myself.

Goodbye, Roz, you will be missed.

Lettuce-less salad

I was playing in the kitchen again!  Cheryl gave me some green onions, and we discussed my desire for a bean salad.

1 Cucumber seeded, 2 tomatoes seeded, 2 green onions, sliced.  When I finished chopping, I realized my cannellini beans were oversized, so I cut them in half.  2 T each EVOO and white wine vinegar, 1/2 T apple cider vinegar.  Salt and pepper.

Sounds so easy, but it does take time to chop fresh veggies.  I am thinking to cook some brown rice to make a complete meal.

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What have you made lately?

Review: Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Pizza, pizza, pizza!  SpecialK decided he loved the cauliflower crust pizza we tasted the Costco.  It has peppers on it which I won’t eat.  I found this pizza at Trader Joe’s and decided to give it a try.

SpecialK won’t let me make a cauliflower crust pizza, because he knows I won’t put enough starch in to make him happy.  (Yet he denies that his taste buds are programmed for sweet and starchy.  Ah, but I digress!)

Sitting snugly on a freezer shelf, I decided it’s residency had ended and it was time to bake it up.

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I preheated the oven, and put this pizza on a sheet of parchment paper onto our pizza stone and baked it.

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Their photo looks more red,   I like this picture, showing their artfully created version versus my cooked version.

It tasted like the frozen pizzas I ate as a teenager.  I tried to think of how to doctor it up, maybe some ricotta cheese?

The interesting note here is that it did not taste like cauliflower.  It tasted like a frozen pizza.

Final verdict, I would buy again.

What have you tried lately?

 

 

 

Magic sweetener

I have shared before that I am going to inherit diabetes.  I am fighting that inheritance with every fiber of my being, but the writing is on the wall.

Growing up, my Mom had a cup of instant coffee every morning.  She put a saccharin tablet in, some milk, and that was how she became human in our craziness.

Saccharin was vilified in the nutrition world, then it t was declared ok, again.

SpecialK has been encouraging me to use substitute sugars sparingly.  We have lower sugar jams here and he has discouraged me from using any sugar free products.

I know I can’t have sugar, and walk daily to counter my inheritance.

Imagine my surprise when my general practitioner recently talked with me about sweetener choices. After a brief conversation, during which my head spun around, she asked me if I was willing to stay with one group of sweeteners.  I said yes, so here’s the lowdown.  No more purchases of Maple Grove Farms sugar free maple flavored syrup.  No more baking with Xylitol.  She wants me to use maple sugar and maple syrup as our sweetness.  She told me that maple syrup/sugar is absorbed by the body slower than white sugar, and has vitamins and minerals that white sugar does not possess.

I contacted my nutritionist and she echoed the same statement about vitamins and nutrients.

I will be going back for more bloodwork in the beginnning of November, and will assess the impact to my blood sugars.  We buy maple sugar from Amazon, and get maple syrup often at Costco.

SpecialK was happy to kick Xylitol to the curb.  Will you try these changes with me?894A6B7C-E71B-4F0E-9017-3E452B535DD4

Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil salad at home

True story time.  I went shopping earlier this week, knowing we had fresh mozzarella in the fridge.  I had promised SpecialK a tomato mozzarella salad, so I bought a couple of pints of grape tomatoes and a package of fresh basil.

We had purchased a bottle of Trader Joe’s Balsamic glaze, and SpecialK asked that I used that.  I did, and made the salad leaving the basil out.

We finished it off, and while SpecialK was traveling, I made it again, remembering to use the fresh basil.  Honestly, I was heavy handed with the balsamic glaze, lesson learned.

I had made this salad earlier this year, before we had the balsamic glaze.  Use 4 part oil on the tomatoes to 3 parts balsamic glaze on the mozzarella.

Want to grab fork and join me?

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To make this salad:

tomatoes

mozarella balls or sliced mozzarella

fresh basil

extra virgin olive oil

baslamic glaze or balsamic vinegar

Salt

Directions:

1) Wash and dry the tomatoes, add them to a large bowl.

2) Place mozzarella in a small bowl, cutting into bite size pieces if necessary.

3) Add extra virgin olive oil to the tomatoes , and toss.  Add salt and pepper, to taste.

4) Add balsamic to the mozzarella, and toss.

5) Rinse and dry off the basil.  Roll the leaves together and cut into thin strips.  Add to the tomato bowl, carefully mixing with the tomatoes.

6) Add the mozrella to the tomatoes bowl, and toss together carefully, so as to keep the mozzarella bite size.

Add serving spoon and enjoy!

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