Monday, February 28, 2011

My birthday boots!

The Infamous

There are two zippers, one is the calf extension

Again, these are from Aerosoles, The Infamous boot.  I love their shoe names.

Let me explain my absolute love affair with these.  I have muscular calves, even when I was skinny and starving my calves did not fit into tall boot like these, I could only zip them up half way and then I had to put them back on the shelf and walk away.  I read on line about others having this issue, and these boots fitting them.  So, I went to the outlet store here to try them on, and of course they were on sale, and the zipped up! So I begged DH to get the for my birthday for me!  He did the little sweetie.  I didn't want to take them off, but I did so he could wrap them and give them to me.
Now, to give you a bit more of an explanation, these are still tight to zip up, but they will stretch a bit with wear, bit even then I'm not expecting to be able to put my jeans or slacks inside and zip these up over pants and my calves, but that is okay by me.  Others on line mentioned that the ankle was not slim enough to look all trim, I can see where they might feel that way, but looking in the mirror these boots looked great on, not saggy in the ankle, although there is room.  Maybe I'm just not that picky since these are the first I could wear, but Aerosoles did have another boot that fit, and I still did not like the look of those.  The second zipper I though might look strange, but curiously it hid well and did not look all strange and noticeable.

So here they are, the first knee high boots that I get to wear, and I get to share the story with you!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Day and my birthday celebration

 The Birthday Cake I made - GF and LC

My hubby's family celebrates pretty good.  We all get together, have a great meal, there are lots of presents, and we always have fun.  I thought these poppers were cute and brought these for the first time to our party.  We will try these again, but through a different maker.
The cake I made was another variation of this one I had been contemplating Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese

I doubled this cake:

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake 

  • 1/2 cup almond flour, firmly packed
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour, firmly packed (usually this amount is doubled if sifted instead of packed)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp  baking soda
  • 3/4  cup  honey
  • 5  eggs
  • 1/2 cup  butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4  cup  strong brewed coffee, hot
  • dash of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Whisk together wet ingredients, except coffee.
  3. Add dry ingredients. Combine well.
  4. Whisk in coffee.
  5. Pour into greased pans or cupcake tin lined with wrappers.
  6. Bake 20-25 minutes for cupcakes or until cake tests clean with toothpick.
  7. Remove from pans, cool completely before icing.
* This recipe can also be used in a 9×13 pan, 2, 8-9inch round cake pans, or 1 dozen cupcakes

With Cherries on top
I used the canned cherry pie filling to layer in between each of the layers, and home made whip cream.

Dinner - a Crab Feast! This is my favorite birthday of the year, and it is my brother-in-laws favorite as well.  I hope that we can do a crab feast every year to celebrate my birthday!

a Balloon bouquet from my mother-in-law
I love Star Gazers
My niece decorating her uncle, He's so patient with her

presents and the cake
The cake looked better before our drive to my mother-in-laws house, in this picture it just looks like it's bleeding to me. My sister-in-law also brought a Boston cream cake, another favorite.

The Family

The Birthday Loot
I received lots of wonderful things, and have been having a great time putting all of these to great use.  That is a real Wizard of Oz lunch box, the metal kind large and pretty.  I had to take it to work to show it off. 

On my birthday, I did have to work.  Luckily my boss believes in celebrating birthdays.
My office was decorated and the party was set for lunch.

My office space decorated

Birthday lunch Celebration, the pink hat is mandatory for the festivities

along with my gift, I was presented with this and the compliments that are pasted on the board now.

My weekend of celebration was wonderful.  We had a great time with family, I had a lovely work party, and we got to spend the night dining together to celebrate both my birthday and our Valentine's day together.  Everyone celebrates holidays and birthday's in different ways, but what ever your celebrations look like, enjoy them.  Savor every moment, life is to short not to enjoy these moments.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pear & Cranberry Crisp

Pear & Cranberry Crisp

4 pears cut into pieces
1/4 Cup of craisens
Dash of Nutmeg
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
splash of lemon to coat the pears
1 Tsp of vanilla

Combine in a large bowl, stirring to combine. Add pears; toss gently to coat. Spoon pear mixture into a shallow 2-quart baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray.

Top with favorite Crisp recipe

  • 1/4  cup  all-purpose flour ( I did not use my coconut or almond flour, next time I will)
  • 1/2  cup  regular oats
  • 1/4  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/8  teaspoon  salt
  • 3  tablespoons  chilled butter, cut into small pieces
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle flour mixture over pear mixture.
Bake at 375° for 35 minutes or until topping is lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes.

Mine was loosely based on this recipe from Cooking Light, I had forgotten where to find it and did the first portion by memory, before finding another recipe with a crisp topping and used it.  Gingered Pear Crisp.

I love crisp's and so does my husband, even when he's not a big fan of the fruit used.  This one turned out great even with improvising a bit on the fruit part.  I had to use the lovely pears that come in our Farm Fresh to You box, dear hubby loved it.

I'm not quite a food photographer, but I am having lot's of fun working on it.  I've also come to realize I'm not good at living on a strict diet.  I will get better, especially since I can tell now much more so when I've eaten things with gluten, it hurts.  I've never been one to visit the doctor much, but I may need to have this clarified a bit more, and see if I have an allergy, intolerance, or if it is just a sensitivity that I only need to partly reduce this in my diet.  I know that I feel better not eating it, but some of these things taste so good.  I will have to know for sure before I give them up entirely.

I wonder how many other people are like that?  I have some co-workers who are not willing to give anything up to have a longer life, they are older and I'm pretty sure they are set in their ways.  I personally would like a long and healthy life, if reducing things gives me a better quality then I'm game.

Well, tonight I'm finishing up a GF chocolate cake, I will be layering it tomorrow like this recipe, and having it for my birthday desert.  I will post pictures later and share the excitement.  This whole PCOS adventure has turned up the most interesting ways to cook, eat, and look at life.  One day I will look back at this and see all the progress I've made, and hopefully I will have accomplished all of my goals, and making new ones.

Friday, February 11, 2011

My dear, dear friend


Visit Guest Book

Leona Frances Davidian 1920 ~ 2011 Leona Frances Davidian, age 90, died on February 3, 2011 in Prescott, Arizona. She was born on July 18, 1920 in Akron, Ohio. Leona married Krikor Davidian in North Hollywood, California on June 30, 1974. Leona loved to be outdoors, hiking, biking, and walking on the beach with her husband Krikor, our Dad and Grand-father. When she was younger they could be seen riding their bikes throughout Salt Lake City. She also loved "her hummingbirds", and could spend hours watching them on her feeders. Another one of her hobbies was her "rose garden" in which she took great pride. Her grandchildren, Scott and Karin, remember the times they spent on the beach, camping in the mountains, fishing and eating the "most delicious trout" that they had caught. Leona loved to knit and crochet, especially making scarves for Krikor. Leona and Krikor were born again Christians, loved going to church and bible study. They read their bibles together, every day. She is survived by her loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Krikor. She is also survived by her daughter, Judy, son Edward, grandchildren, Scott and Karin, and eight great-grand-children, Max, Issabelle, Chloe, Rosie, Elizabeth, Mason, William, and soon to be born Ella. She was preceded in death by her son, Chad. Funeral services will be held in Salt Lake City, at the Redwood Memorial Funeral Home, 6500 S. Redwood Road, West Jordan on Friday, February 11 at 2:00 p.m., with interment immediately following. In lieu of flowers, Leona, would prefer donations to the Arthritis Foundation .

Published in Salt Lake Tribune on February 9, 2011

I found out today that my dear friend Fran passed away, which is just devastating to me.   I have known this beautiful woman since I was in Junior High.  Fran and Krikor opened their home to the youth that came in for Harvest Utah, and they housed my now husband.  That was when I met him. Krikor helped me with my french for school, and came to talk and share with my class, he won them over of course.  He could charm them all.  They were neighbors to my aunt and uncle, and were members of my home church, they were woven into many of my most precious memories, and have been an integral part of my growing up into the person I have become today.  Every moment of my life has include thoughts and prayers and memories of these two wonderful people. She and her husband both prayed for me daily since I was 21, and going through a difficult time in my life. I have only love and respect for Fran, and will miss her dearly.

Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I'm having an interesting revelation today.  I made these recipes yesterday, and loved them. I shared with my co-workers and they too loved them.  I know that sharing this cake recipe with you is something wonderful and you will enjoy this chocolate cake recipe as well.  My epiphany came when I was thinking of post it, I got the pictures and the recipe, but then I was not going to say much else.  I've noticed that I have been doing that lately, it's not that I don't feel the need to talk, but I do this every so often.  It seems that there are dark times that I go through, I'm not sure if others go through this in the same way, but I decided to share.   When I go through these times, I seem to grow silent, I'm sorry.  I will try to make these times few and far between.

I have another fun little tidbit for you all, I have lots of almond flour and coconut flour to use. I generally bake in between Halloween and Christmas, and then I only bake for birthdays and for guests.  I have 5lbs of almond flour to use! eek!  I've also wanted to make a moist lower carb gluten free chocolate cake, and this recipe looked like it would fit the bill.  I was not disappointed, in fact I was delighted with the results.  Keep in mind that gluten free baked goods do not rise like their gluten infused counterparts, so fill the cup cake things about 3/4 full, or a little more. 

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake 
  • 1/2 cup almond flour, firmly packed
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp  baking soda
  • 3/4  cup  honey
  • 5  eggs
  • 1/2 cup  butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4  cup  strong brewed coffee, hot
  • dash of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Whisk together wet ingredients, except coffee.
  3. Add dry ingredients. Combine well.
  4. Whisk in coffee.
  5. Pour into greased pans or cupcake tin lined with wrappers.
  6. Bake 20-25 minutes for cupcakes or until cake tests clean with toothpick.
  7. Remove from pans, cool completely before icing.
* This recipe can also be used in a 9×13 pan, 2, 8-9inch round cake pans, or 1 dozen cupcakes

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 Cup butter, softenend
1 Cup confectioners Sugar (more can be added if you want it sweeter)
1 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New sleeping masks

The Dreamer & Opulence

I Previoulsy posted about Masks in  Sleep Masks and Hot Water Bottles since then my mask decided to wear itself out.  I then decided to go ahead and get two new ones, one because I wanted to see what the other masks were like, the ones without the comfort straps but with the ear plug holder, and of course to get the one I love.  One will have a permanent residence in my travel bag, so I can sleep on the road without any issues.  I am a very very very light sleeper, all sounds wake me up.  My husband breathes heavy, and it keeps me up, my dogs get up and settle themselves in the night and I'm up, the neighbors dogs bark, wind, rain, general creaks, faucets drip, well you get the idea. I wake up easily.  

I'm not sure if any of you suffer from the same sleeplessness that I do, but I found that masks that block the light and keep your eye lids shut help a lot, and the earplugs assist as well.  

Well, I do remember people mentioning others with PCOS having issues with sleep, and so it seems a good thing to review.  Getting a good nights sleep helps, 

I love this poem, and haven't shared any poems lately.  This is one that I love to think on.  I also like to listen to a particular song some nights when my mind is racing, the song calms me and reminds me to let the little things go.

Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod
Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod, one night sailed off in a wooden shoe;
Sailed off on a river of crystal light into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going and what do you wish?" the old moon asked the three.
"We've come to fish for the herring fish that live in this beautiful sea.
Nets of silver and gold have we," said Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod.
The old moon laughed and sang a song as they rocked in the wooden shoe.
And the wind that sped them all night long ruffled the waves of dew.
Now the little stars are the herring fish that live in that beautiful sea;
"Cast your nets wherever you wish never afraid are we!"
So cried the stars to the fishermen three - Winkin', and Blinkin', and Nod.
So all night long their nets they threw to the stars in the twinkling foam.
'Til down from the skies came the wooden shoe bringing the fisherman home.
'Twas all so pretty a sail it seemed as if it could not be.
Some folks say 'twas a dream they dreamed of sailing that misty sea.
But I shall name you the fisherman three - Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod.
Now Winkin' and Blinkin' are two little eyes and Nod is a little head.
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies is a wee one's trundle bed.
So close your eyes while mother sings of the wonderful sights that be.
And you shall see those beautiful things as you sail on the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three - Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Strawberry Bannan Icecream

Strawberry Banana Ice Cream

Strawberry Banana Ice Cream

1 1/2 Cups Fresh Strawberries and banana (I used two banana and the rest strawberries)
3/4 Cup Almond Milk (Original recipe called for whole milk)
2/3 Cup granulated sugar
Pinch salt
1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream (this can be substituted for other forms of milk if you wish)
1 1/2 Tsp pure vanilla extract

1- Put the banana's and the strawberries into the bowl of a food processor (or use a hand held blender, or magic bullet etc.) Pulse fruit until rough/finely chopped (depending on preference). Reserve in bwol.

2- In a Medium bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed or whisk to combine the milk, sugar, and salt until the sugar is dissolved. stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Stir in reserved fruit  with all the juices. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or overnight.

3 - Turn on the Ice cream maker, pour the mixture into the frozen freezer bowl and let mix until thickened, about 15 - 20 minutes. The Ice cream will have a soft creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in the freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 min before serving. (I don't wait that long, I use my Ice cream scoop from Pampered Chef which makes it easy to scoop.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

New Year's Eve, a bit late in posting

The three little girls, one of which is a part of our normal crowd and I've known since she was born.

not a great picture of me, but it was the better of the two.

My darling friends and family, here is the crowd we spent New Years Eve with.  We had a great time, the ladies talked, and the guys got some rest.

there was one lonely little boy, but he got to play video games

Later in the night there were naps taken, but no pictures were taken of those.

We wish you a blessed New Year.  I've posted my thoughts for this new year already, here: New Year's Resolutions....  So you can take a look and see if you have similar thoughts or not.  In any case it's a new year with new possibilities.  I hope your celebrations were wonderful and filled with fun.

Superbowl Snack Ideas

James Carrier
Roast Chicken-Chipotle Nachos with Cilantro-Avocado Crema

Notes: Purchase a roast chicken from a deli; a 2-pound bird produces about 3 cups shredded meat. You can make the chicken-chipotle mixture (step 1) up to 2 days ahead; cool, cover, and chill. Use cold; bake nachos in a 425° oven for 6 to 8 minutes. You can make the crema up to 2 hours ahead; cover and chill.

Yield:  Makes 24 nachos; 8 servings

1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 to 2 canned chipotle chilies, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 cups bite-size shreds skinned cooked chicken (see notes)
24 corn tortilla chips (2 3/4 in. wide)
1 1/2 cups shredded jack cheese (6 oz.)
Cilantro-Avocado Crema (recipe follows)
24 fresh cilantro leaves

1. In a 2 1/2- to 3-quart pan over medium-high heat, frequently stir onion in olive oil until onion begins to brown, 4 to 7 minutes. Add cumin seeds and oregano; stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chilies, tomato paste, vinegar, and 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring often, to blend flavors, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and stir until hot.
2. Meanwhile, arrange tortilla chips in a single layer in a 12- by 17-inch pan. Sprinkle equal portions of cheese on each chip and spoon about 1 tablespoon chicken mixture on top.
3. Bake in a 450° regular or convection oven until cheese begins to bubble, about 3 minutes. With a spatula, carefully transfer tortilla chips to a platter. Top each with 1 teaspoon Cilantro-Avocado Crema and garnish with a cilantro leaf. Serve warm.
Cilantro-Avocado Crema. In a small bowl, mix 1/3 cup finely diced firm-ripe avocado, 2 tablespoons sour cream, 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, 2 teaspoons lime juice, and 2 teaspoons milk. Add salt to taste. Makes about 1/2 cup.

CALORIES 219 (58% from fat); FAT 14g (sat 5.6g); CHOLESTEROL 55mg; CARBOHYDRATE 6.7g; SODIUM 227mg; PROTEIN 16g; FIBER 0.9g

Sunset, JANUARY 2002

Soft Pretzels

Yield:  12 servings (serving size: 1 pretzel)

1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided (about 14 1/2 ounces)
1 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray
6 cups water
2 tablespoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cornmeal
1 teaspoon water
1 large egg
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water in a large bowl, and let stand for 5 minutes.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 3 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt to yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes). Add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel slightly sticky).
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 40 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425°.
Divide dough into 12 equal portions. Working with one portion at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), roll each portion into an 18-inch-long rope with tapered ends. Cross one end of rope over the other to form a circle, leaving about 4 inches at end of each rope. Twist the rope at the base of the circle. Fold the ends over the circle and into a traditional pretzel shape, pinching gently to seal. Place pretzels on a baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 10 minutes (pretzels will rise only slightly).
Combine 6 cups water and baking soda in a nonaluminum Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer. Gently lower 1 pretzel into simmering water mixture; cook 15 seconds. Turn pretzel with a slotted spatula; cook an additional 15 seconds. Transfer pretzel to a wire rack coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining pretzels.
Place pretzels on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Combine 1 teaspoon water and egg in a small bowl, stirring with a fork until smooth. Brush a thin layer of egg mixture over pretzels; sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes or until pretzels are deep golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

CALORIES 141 (12% from fat); FAT 1.9g (sat 0.2g,mono 0.6g,poly 0.6g); IRON 1.8mg; CHOLESTEROL 18mg; CALCIUM 8mg; CARBOHYDRATE 26.8g; SODIUM 541mg; PROTEIN 4.3g; FIBER 1.1g

Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2005

Mini Frittatas with Ham and Cheese

Bake these bite-sized frittatas in a miniature muffin pan. They taste great hot or at room temperature, so you can make them in advance.

Yield:  8 servings (serving size: 3 frittatas)

Cooking spray
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2/3 cup chopped reduced-fat ham (about 2 ounces)
1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 large egg whites
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350°.
Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add ham; sauté 3 minutes. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Add ham mixture, stirring with a whisk. Spoon mixture into 24 miniature muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until set.

CALORIES 39 (30% from fat); FAT 1.3g (sat 0.5g,mono 0.2g,poly 0.1g); IRON 0.2mg; CHOLESTEROL 32mg; CALCIUM 80mg; CARBOHYDRATE 2.3g; SODIUM 121mg; PROTEIN 4.4g; FIBER 0.4g

Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2001

Here is a link to Some gluten free snacks Elana's Pantry Super Bowl Recipe Roundup

I began this post by trying to incorporate the recipes and then type above them to add in my comments, but the pictures didn't move along with the recipes, so I gave up trying to figure it all out and just started my little thoughts here instead.

I'm not one to watch the Super Bowl for the football, but I do love to watch the Commercials, and sometimes I'll even watch the half time show.  I really like getting together with friends and family, but this year it seems we will be celebrating by ourselves.
It means a bit less on the snack type of things, and more of a focus on dinner.  But I still like to make snacks to have anyways.
I will have to post pictures of our spread later. Have fun watching or eating, or just gathering with friends.

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