Saturday, December 17, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
- If I managed to put on pants this morning, so can you, and
- If your jeans are really that uncomfortable and hard to put on, try buying the next size up.
Monday, November 7, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
I've made an early New Year's resolution. I'd like to produce more and less of a consumer , but first I need to acquire skills to allow me to do that. So for the next year I will learn skills like sewing and food preservation.
Three weeks ago I started my first sewing class and last week I finish my first project! I made an apron! Now I'm working on pajama pants. Next I'll make a simple tote bag. The best part of my sewing class...the school is called the Finishing School...I'm finally getting finished.
I will post more sewing projects soon and I'll keep you posted my journey from consumer to producer over the next 12 months.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
J Dawgs has been a fixture in Provo since it open in 2004 in a tiny little shack adjacent to the BYU campus. Since then they’ve had to move into a larger location (just across the parking lot) to accommodate their growing crowd of customers.
As a hot dog lover, I had to know what all the fuss was about, so yesterday, I met my friend Denise (who live in Provo) for lunch......and it was worth the trek. It may have been the most delicious hot dog I’ve every had. At J Dawgs they keep it simple. None of those gourmet dogs with fancy toppings. Just a choice between a polish dog and an all beef dog, and your basic toppings. But these dogs are so good, they speak for themselves...even with no toppings. Look at the beautiful meat...
This place is good...real good. (There was a line out the door the whole time we were there.) I would definitely recommend it. My only complaint was the special sauce, which was basically just a sweet BBQ sauce. It was delicious, but not on the dog.
P.S. It turns out Provo is a pretty nice town. I like it there.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Last weekend was my birthday (I turned 28 for the 8th time) and Charley and I celebrated by having a big crowd come over for a BBQ. Charley cooked his famous BBQ ribs and I bake a beautiful coconut lime cake. Fun was had by all.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Yesterday, after several hours working in the yard, Charley and I decided to take a break to take the dogs to the dog park. On the way to the dog park we stopped at Maggie Moo’s for some ice cream. I ran in while Charley waited in the car with the dogs.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
As you can see, it’s gorgeous…constructed of redwood and complete with surrounding brick patio (which isn’t quite done yet, but it's pretty close). Last weekend I helped him lay some of the bricks and install a drip irrigation system before planting the leggy, gangly tomato plants I’ve been attempting to keep alive indoors. We don’t get very much direct sunlight in our house so it’s been a challenge keeping them healthy…only time will tell if being outside will improve there condition. But there’s always tomato plants at Home Depot, so they’re easily replace, I suppose.
I also planted zucchini, patty pan squash and beet seeds. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the squash plants mature in time to harvest before the first frost.
Friday, May 27, 2011
The 300 Plates Fundraiser and Exhibition is a great event and it was lots for fun to attend. This year 102 established and emerging Utah artists participated (including Charley)…some contributed more than one plate. Each artist created work on an 11- by 10-inch recycled metal printer’s plate. The plates were hung in a large grid pattern – the plate in the first square of the grid was priced at $75, and the prices went up in $1 increment from there – the last plate was $375.
When we arrived at the event we received color coded wristbands (I’ll explain in a minute) and the gallery was open for 1 hour for everyone to view the plates and make a note of which one they might like to purchase.
Then the gallery was only open for three minute intervals – here’s where the colored wristbands come in. So, wristbands were pulled at random from a hat (and actual top hat) and the colors were called out. When your color was called you’d have three minute’s to go through the gallery and place a sticker with you name on it below the plate you wanted…if someone else hadn't gotten to it first. My color was called towards the end, but I was still lucky enough to get one of the plates that both Charley I liked…and great little shadowbox with a robot in it (artist, Derek Mellus, used the plate to form a 3-D box). Charley wasn't so lucky. His color was called dead last and everything he like was sold by then.
There was also live music and food from the Himalayan Kitchen…yum! It was a really fun evening.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
The HIDA scan is used to map the flow of bile from the liver to the gallbladder and from the gallbladder to the small intestines. It shows if there are any leaks or blockages in the bile dusts or if the gallbladder is sluggish or malfunctioning.
I had the HIDA scan on Monday, and it was one of the more unpleasant tests I’ve undergone, but it wasn’t horrible. First I was injected with radioactive tracers into my bloodstream, then I had to lay on a table inside a huge gamma ray camera. As soon as I lay down I could see an image of my liver on the monitor above my head. The image was basically just tiny white dots clustered together on a black screen…my liver looked like a bean shape cluster of stars in the sky.
I had to lie there completely still until the tracers reach my gallbladder, which took an hour. Once my gallbladder show up on the scan the second part of the test began, and that’s where it got uncomfortable. Next I was injected with a hormone called cholecystokinin (CCK) that makes the gallbladder contract. This triggered the painful symptoms that brought me to doctor in the first place. The purpose of this part of the test is to map how quickly bile moves out of the gallbladder into the small intestines. For me it seemed to go fairly quickly and the test was over in about 30 minutes.
While I was waiting for results of the HIDA scan I went in for a hydrogen breath test. The hydrogen breath test is used to test for Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). SIBO is an overgrowth of the good bacteria, which is supposed to live in our large intestines, in your small intestines – it is not good to have it in the wrong part of your digestive tract and can cause many of the symptoms I’ve been experiencing. I was actually excited for this test and hopeful I would be positive for SIBO. SIBO is curable with antibiotics and I found a study linking it to Rosacea, which I also have. In that study, 47% of subjects with Rosacea tested positive for SIBO, compared to 4% of the control population. Of those with SIBO, 95% experienced remission of their Rosasea symptoms with the eradication of the SIBO. Hooray! Maybe I could cure two health problems that have plagued me for years with one ten day course of antibiotics.
And I did indeed test positive for SIBO…I’ve never been so happy to receive a diagnosis in my life. But that’s not the end of the story. Yesterday I receive a call from a nurse in the GI clinic. He told me my doctor had reviewed the results of my HIDA scan and she has referred me to a surgeon. Apparently, my gallbladder is not functioning properly and I my need surgery after all. But here’s the catch, I still haven’t been able to speak with my doctor, so I don’t know exactly what the results of the HIDA scan where or what might be wrong with my gallbladder. When I tried to get a hold of her again today, a different nurse told me I would have to wait to speak with the surgeon. Someone is supposed to call me to set up an appointment with a surgeon on Monday…hopefully I’ll be able to get in soon to see him. This has dragged on long enough.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
Mastering the Art of French Cooking was intended to make French cooking more accessible to American home cooks, but this recipe was definitely the one most complicated recipe I’ve ever tackled, with many individual steps…and a big mess to clean up after a full afternoon of cooking.
First, cook the bacon and set aside, then brown the beef and set aside. Cook the vegetables, then add beef back in and place in the oven. Cook the mushrooms separately. Cook the pearl onions separately…and so on. (Full recipe)
Was it worth all the effort? I’m not sure. Charley thought it was delicious, but I didn’t think it was that great…maybe it was too soon after my gastric empting test for me to be eating what is essential beef stew again, so I didn’t get to fully appreciate it’s flavor.
But I did have a lot of fun cooking it, and I gained a lot of confidence in my cooking abilities (it’s an intimidating recipe to try), so I think it was worth it.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
Ever since then I’ve want to eat goat cheese brownies and last night an opportunity arose to make them…I had some girl friends coming over for a chocolate themed dinner. After a brief internet search I found several recipes, but my time was limited and didn’t want to mess with making them from scratch. So, here’s what I came up with on the fly:
4 ounces chevre, room temperature
Preheat oven to 325 (or whatever the brownie mix package says). Mix the brownie batter as directed on the box and pour into a lightly greased 8x8 baking dish. Then, using electric mixer, beat chevre and butter in medium bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add honey and beat until well blended. Beat in egg. Mix in flour. Pour the cheese mixture over the brownie batter and swirl with a rubber spatula. Bake for 45 minutes (or as directed on the brownie mix box).
I got the recipe for the toping from Pink Apron blog. You can get the full recipe including the brownie batter from scratch here: http://pink-apron.com/2009/08/fromage-friday-deep-chocolate-brownies-with-chevre-swirls/
Enjoy! They are delicious!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
For many years Mark Bittman has had a regular column in the New York Time called the Minimalist that ended last week. His last Minimalist column listed his 25 favorite recipes from the column. One of them was Pernil, a Puerto Rican recipe for pork shoulder slow roasted for hours.
I thought, “pork shoulder, perfect, you can’t go wrong with pork!” But it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be…
First lesson – There is more than one cut called “shoulder.” Apparently there are two kinds of pork shoulders, picnic shoulder, which is the lower part of the shoulder and the top of the leg, and the “Boston Butt,” which is the top of the shoulder and back. And each of these areas can be cut several different ways – steaks, roasts, bone in, bone out…it was all very confusing. I stood at the meat counter for several minutes looking at all the things labeled pork shoulder (they all looked radically different from each other) and had no idea which one to buy. I finally ask one of the butchers for help, but he didn’t speak English very well. By then I had it narrowed down to two and he keep pointing at them and saying “This ones the butt shoulder and this one is the front shoulder.” Ummm…the butt shoulder??
I ended up purchasing the one that look the most like the picture, which the butcher call the “butt shoulder.” Now I know it was probably a Boston Butt roast (which is not from the butt at all), and a picnic shoulder roast might have been better for this recipe.
Second lesson – If your going to do a slow roasted pork shoulder, make sure you start it early enough in the day to roast it sufficiently. I started the roast at 3:00 and it wasn’t ready until almost 9:00, and I think it would have been tastier if I could have left it in another 45 minutes or so.
Third lesson – Pork shoulder has a lot of fat on it! It’s very tasty, but it’s very rich. When making pork shoulder, plan light side dishes.
All and all, it came out pretty well. The Pernil rub was delicious. I think I would make it again. Here is Mark Bittman’s column about it including a link to the recipe and video: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/02/dining/02mini.html