Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sorry for the break!

Hello again! I am so sorry that I have been MIA for the past month or so. Just when Trinity was deemed healthy and "normal" (lets be honest, that horse was never normal), work and school all blew up! Work has been amazing. I have had a wonderful time learning and having a great time! We have been extremely busy and had our fair share of ups and downs along the way, but I have learned SO much and have an amazing supervisor, so it is all worth it in the end!

On the diet front, I have been doing AWFUL since my last post. While Trinity was sick I constantly ate out and ate badly, which has just carried over. The good news is that since I eat fairly well some times and  fairly bad others so I have actually maintained my weight. So much for loosing another 10 before Shane gets here, but I am happy where I am. Don't get me wrong...I would LOVE to loose 10 more pounds, but I am not lamenting that fact at this point. As long as I don't get above 140 I am happy for now.

I made Gumbo about a week ago with the help of my grandmother! It turned out REALLY good but a little bit oily for my taste. From what I have read that means I need more flour in my roux. Has anyone out there made gumbo? Advice? I put a ton of stuff in including the holy trinity (peppers, onions, celery), sausage, shrimp, crab, and chicken! My neighbors loved it. I also made homemade french bread. I have pictures, but they are on my home computer so I will have to post later!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Out of the Woods

I am so sorry for my lack of updates recently. All I will force you to suffer through on the horse front is that we are out of the woods! She is doing fabulously and is back to eating me out of house and home. The Vet's tech came by yesterday and said she looked like the picture of health!

So, on to the stuff you really care about...right? This past weekend was beautiful! I had my windows open, I cleaned the apartment, I suffered through the writing of not one but two papers that I had put off during Trinity's attempt to make me bald, and I made a delicious lunch! The true desire to make this meal started on Sunday morning while I was watching Hungry Girl talk about American Classics. I got to thinking about what one of my all times favorite fast foods is...ONION RINGS! Why are they my favorite? I honestly couldn't tell you! They are greasy and oniony and delicious! So, I looked up the Hungry Girl Recipe for deliciousness on a plate and there we went!

For those of you unaware with my underground secret love affair with Lisa Lillian (Hungry Girl), I will tell you, I have a HUGE underground secret love affair with Lisa Lillian! She does an amazing job of taking dishes that you adore and making them not only low fat, but even more delicious than you thought they could be...I first discovered HG on a shopping trip to Bed Bath and Beyond (BEST. STORE. EVER) with my lovely mother and sister. We saw a book entitled 200 recipes under 200 calories. The ever present dieters that we were/are, we picked up several copies. In the next 4-5 years I probably opened that bright yellow book a whopping 4 times. Each time I did, I enjoyed the recipe that unfolded; however, I have never been a big "recipe" gal. You see, I love to cook, however, my love for measurements and rules and ingredients is far less stringent (crazy seeing as though I am a rule loving fiend!..hmm go figure!)

Anyways, I set about making these onion rings by chopping a bright yellow onion in to rings:
Next I followed the egg bath principle. I dipped/soaked the ring in an egg bath mixed with a bit of hot sauce and then proceeded to coat the ring in ground up Fiber One Cereal mixed with onion powder, chili powder, salt, peper, and a little bit of parmesan cheese...

Due to one of my other favorite bloggers insights, I have learned to put my "baked not fried" items on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet. This allows air to circulate (meaning you don't have to flip the stuff...yeah for the lazys of the world!)

I cooked these beauties on 400 for about 25-30 minutes...While doing that I put together a beautiful deli sandwhich with Dijonnaise (best dressing EVER), Deli Ham, Pepperjack Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, and Pickle...Yummmms

Now THAT is what I call a delicious Sunday lunch break!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Poop Patrol

***Warning: Horse Poop Talk***...and a long post

okay...let me explain! My horse is one of the nearest and dearest things in my entire life. I love her so much, and she has helped me through a lot in the last three years. I would go to the moon and back for this horse if needed. And as much as the "outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man", these majestic creatures have some unique quirks in their physiological make-up. While I wont get to far on to my soap box, one of these quirks is a horses inability to throw-up. Now you might say...so? But think to all of those time you have been so sick and throwing up has been a welcomed release. Or, worse, think about those times when you were so sick and felt like you needed to throw up but couldn't...get where I am headed...? So, anyways, when a horse gets a stomach ache it can turn bad very, very, very fast due to another quirk, the 70 foot long small intestine coupled with a stomach that can only hold about 2 gallons of material (a human stomach can hold up to .8 Gallons and only has to travel 15-20 feet, Humans are also about 1/9th the size of an average horse)...weird right?  Anyways, because of this quirk, the smallest upset in digestive health can cause a horse to have an extremely upset stomach. These triggers can be a change in food, weather, cold water, stress, eating sand, worms, etc. This type of upset stomach in a horse is called "Colic".

So, while I am sure you are enjoying your morning equine digestive health lesson, I will get to the point. On Monday morning at about 6am, Trinity began to Colic. She started in very mild stages when I first noticed the signs. This vacuum cleaner of a horse was uninterested in her morning hay, wouldn't eat her favorite cookie treats, and hadn't drank any water from the night before. In checking her stall, she also hadn't pooped since the night before. She was also hanging her head extremely low, didn't want to walk, and just overall was moping. These are all early tell tale signs of Colic, but they aren't life threatening. Colic becomes an emergency if the horse lies down and begins rolling around. This motion can cause those 70 feet of small intestines to twist cutting off the horses nutritional outlet. This requires a VERY expensive surgery and increases the likelihood that this will happen again by 25 times (YOWCH!). So, she was only showing mild colic signs at 6:30 in the morning. Two of my neighbors also happen to be Vet Techs (so handy!). So I called one and got her out of bed. By the time she arrived Trinity had begun sucking her belly up, having muscle spasms, and had no gut sounds (due to a lack of gall bladder a horse is always pushing bile through and therefor has a low gurgling noise in the stomach at all times). This lack of sounds means that colic is progressing. When my neighbor tried to find a heart rate, she couldn't locate it (meaning it was beating very faintly). We made a very easy decision that it was time to get the vet out of bed!

Once the vet arrived he performed several exams (I will spare you the details) ruling out sand or worms as the cause. He then determined that she had developed a severe impaction (the food from the stomach was not being pushed through the rest of the digestive process and had gotten backed up. The solution, shove a ton of oil through the nose and in to the digestive track to hopefully get things moving. So, the vet gave her a severe muscle relaxer, a GALLON of oil, and a GALLON of electrolytes. Now remember, the horses stomach holds 2 gallons...hmmm...

Anyways, you know a horse is feeling better when they begin passing the impaction and then pass all of the oil. Until then, the horse is not allowed to eat, period. However, they do need to be watched constantly to make sure that they do not begin rolling, kicking their stomach, or biting their sides (signs that it is getting worse, not better, and that it is time for a trip to the hospital...)So, I took off work the first day to keep constant watch and to serve as poop patrolman!

By the next morning Trinity had not pooped at all (well we got maybe 3/4 of a full sized poop in 24 hours...not normal) and certainly hadn't passed ANY of the oil. So, the vet got out of bed again for round two...This time brought a POUND of Epson salt to act as a laxative and TWO more gallons of warm water...where the hell is all of this stuff going? As he said, at some point, it HAS to come out. My vet, while awesome, is also an exotic animal vet in California and was leaving on a trip that morning so he set an IV catheter so that in the unlikely event that she hadn't pooped by 6pm we could give 5 LITERS of IV fluids to keep her hydrated and to keep her digestive system working. Unfortunately I could not afford to take off a full day of work AGAIN, but luckily my neighbor had an impromptu day off. So, she kindly took over my position as poop patrolman. Did she poop? nope. Did we stand out side in windchills of 13 for 2 hours giving fluids? yupp. Do I owe my two neighbors my life? yupp.

So, we come to this morning. A full 48 hours after I noticed the first signs of Colic. There was improvement as she had two small piles of dry poop (part of the impaction). This is good, but it is not over yet. So, this morning my other amazing vet tech neighbor will be giving more fluids and will be taking over poop patrol for me. I am just waiting for the text message...and can only guess what it will say...

So there you go, a full morning of equine poop, digestive health, and my life for the past two days...If you made it this far then 1) I am impressed! 2) Thank you 3) I think you should rethink your morning reading habits...just saying...

I won't even get in to what I have eaten during this process...lets just say it includes beer, pizza, wings, queso...yeah you get the picture!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Busy Week

I know, I know, I know...I post like 52 things over the weekend and then fall of the face of the earth...Well, that is because this week has been slightly insane in the life category. It has been an extremely busy week at work dealing with some stuff from last week and then just plugging ahead! My boss is amazing and keeps giving me more and more responsibility, which I LOVE. My job could not be better. I have an awesome team (save some ridiculously immature boys...) and a great work environment (it will be better once the multimillion dollar library is built and we move in!).

On the food front (which I am sure is why you are here), I have been doing well. I am hovering around 138 and I don't like it. I really want to drop and get to 130. I know that my body hovers, hovers, hovers, jumps down, but that doesn't make it any easier. I looked at my WW graph today and it is depressing (even knowing that it was through the holidays). I will share it with you, but don't judge!

So yeah...depressing...My weeks are tough because I don't really have time to make delicious dinners and gourmet breakfasts, though that may be part of my downfall...who knows at this point. I do know that I am fairly comfortable eating at 26 points, so if that is what I take to maintain then it wont be too bad. I know my other downfall is my serious need for sweets lately. I am usually pretty good around sweets (not salty), but las I have described in the past, lately that has changed. My boss was so sweet and brought in donuts the other day so I had one. Oh MAN it was good. Did you know a glazed donut only has 6 points+? I sure didn't. I knew for sure that I was blowing a weeks worth of points. While it wasn't the best use of points, it was delicious. THAT is not my downfall. My downfall (I believe) is the bite sized Butterfinger, Dark Chocolate Godiva Squares, Lindt Truffles...ugh it makes me want one now...

So, to hopefully combat my need to eat processed food to avoid going to the grocery, I have signed up for Mile High Organics. This is a company that delivers fresh, organic, fruits and veggies to your front door every Friday. Now, I am hoping this means I will only need to go to the store one or twice a month to restock frozen fruit (for smoothies), frozen veggies, and various other quick meal options. This company will deliver everything from fruits, veggies, herbs, protein (though the protein is pricey), eggs, dairy, etc. So, I think that it will force me to eat fresh more. This is always a better option, in my opinion. If I know I have more coming then I will have to eat what I have...right? I think the items are slightly pricey (due to their "organic" rating), but it isn't too horrible and I think it will keep me within my grocery budget.

Do you have any secrets that help keep you on track?

Oh, an NO, this view never gets old! 

Sunday, January 15, 2012


At which point do I need to start paying royalties to Andrea of Can You Stay For Dinner?

I made another one of her recipes that keeps popping up on her blog this morning. Today was Banana Oatmeal. It was so rich, creamy, and decadent. PLUS it made a ginormous bowl. It seriously took me 2 hours to eat it all. It is now almost lunch time and I just finished breakfast! Although, a good portion of that time was spent with my Sunday morning chat/Bible study with mom! Anyways, this recipe is so easy: 3/4 cups of old fashioned dry oats, 1/2 cup of fat-free milk, 1 cup of water, vanilla extract, 3/4 of a chopped banana, 1/2 tsp splenda. Microwave for 2.5 minutes, stir, microwave for 2.5 minutes, stir, microwave for one minute intervals until it reaches your favorite consistency (I needed one more minute...but I have a baby microwave so it may just not be as hot as other peoples...). I then added one Tablespoon of Splenda Brown Sugar mix and the remaining bananas. The fresh bananas give a fun consistency and the cooked ones make the dish so creamy. Andrea claims not to need sugar, but I like the extra Splenda and Brown Sugar blend...personal preference I guess!

After cooking my magical bowl of oats, I sat down and prepared for Mom and my special Sunday morning time together. Don't you love technology? I have lived at least 800 miles away from my family for almost 6 years, but I can still have coffee and Bible Study with my mom every Sunday morning! I don't think I could ever live this far away without the amazing benefits of technology! Here I am with my computer, oatmeals, coffee, water, bible, bible study, journal...just waiting on Mom! We ended up using FaceTime on the iPhone instead of the computer, but the screen served as a fabulous way to prop up the phone! Wow this picture makes my kitchen look junky...I really did clean it all up yesterday and it looks nice!

This is how my other 2/3s spends their Sunday mornings (the other one is eating breakfast in the backyard, but I didn't get a picture of her!). My bed WAS made before the dog got a hold of it. Remy roots more than a pig looking for truffles! She roots and roots and roots and turns and turns and roots and roots until my nicely made bed looks like this...then it is an acceptable place to snooze away the Sunday! Kieren just feels the need to find where ever I placed a coat that I DO NOT want cat hair on...oh well...whatcha gonna do?


Have a WONDERFUL Sunday everyone! 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Relaxing Saturday!

So, I didn't do any baking today, but I did get all of my other chores done. This leaves all day Sunday (after Church and FaceTime coffee/bible study with Mom) and all day Monday (YAY MLK Day!!!). Without further ado:
I made these using the same method as the blueberry pancakes the other day. The only difference was that I  didn't mix in the fruit, instead, I strategically placed them in each pancake!

EPIC! They look as good as the ones on the box, don't they? 

So after an amazing breakfast, I cleaned my apartment, did a pile of dishes, and then ventured outdoors. I think that somebody forgot to tell Colorado that it is still Winter, because I had my windows open all day. did barn chores in short sleeves, and enjoyed one of the 300 days of sunshine that I was promised when I moved here. Days like this remind me why I fell in love with Colorado in the first place and wanted to go to school out here! It also makes me want to stay. If I can get through this winter, I can totally live here. Well, after being in such a good mood because of the weather and my now clean and organized apartment, I saw THIS: 

SO GROSS! So, I began what will be a three day cleaning process. Today was removing as much of the cakes on dirt as possible, unbraiding the tail bag to allow her tail to relax a bit, and getting all of the tangles out of her mane. I also was able to get a pretty good cleaning done on her hooves. Tomorrow will be a deep cleaning of the body and the Monday the tail will do back in to the tail bag, the mane will get braided, and the coat will get polished to prepare for our next snow storm (read mud bath)...I don't know how I let her get this bad. If anyone knows me in the horse world, they know what a clean snob I am when it comes to my horse. I like clean, combed out tails, shiny coats, flowing manes, kissable noses, and more! I love when people compliment how clean she is. It makes me feel good to know that all my love and care is paying off...Certainly NOBODY is complimenting this thing. 

So after night time feeding and bedding down, I walk around the corner to go back to my apartment and I am greeted by: 
My love bug, Kieren...sitting in the kitchen window, which he knows is not allowed! 

Anyways, for dinner I felt like having a ginormous salad! So, I did. I cut up anything and everything that could go in a salad, added some turkey and hard boiled eggs, and tossed! For dressing I used 2 TBL Kraft Free Caesar Italian, 2 TBL Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 tsp Splenda. Yummmm City! 
I hope that you are enjoying my new photo blog! I think that it adds some life and pizazz...don't you think? Let me know your thoughts proceeding. I got this idea from some other blogs that I follow. Whenever I find a new blog that I like, I go back and read from the very beginning. I like to see how people evolve and change as bloggers and people. I recently found Can You Stay For Dinner?, which is a fun blog about a girl, her shenanigans, and of course her food! She uses a lot of pictures and has some awesome recipes (thus my idea for egg whites in the pancakes AND the meatloaf burger recipe). I thought that it would be fun to copy her use of photos and also steal some of her delicious recipes! THANKS!

Meatloaf Turkey Burger!

Last night I had a delicious dinner! There were some problems that I would fix next time, but they were just because of my absent mindedness... This was a Meatloaf Turkey Burger with Butternut Squash Fries. I ended up not using a bun at all, which was fine because this 1/4 pounder was HUGE! I have been reading a lot of food blogs and so I felt the need to begin documenting the process I go through when I make delicious meals. I will spare you from my documenting the microwavable dinner process (which is my most common lunch/dinner! On the weekends, however, I enjoy having a good time cooking in the kitchen. I am REALLY in the mood to do some baking this weekend. I am not sure what I will make. I feel as though bread and some kind of sweet would be good. hmmmm...research here I come! While I do that, enjoy this decadent burger. Here is what I did/would change:

I began by combining these three wet ingredients: 2 TBSP Chili Sauce, 1/2 TBSP Dijonnaise, 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce.

I then used my Magic bullet and combined: One torn up piece of 45 calorie bread (a good use for the heel!), 2 TBSP grated Parmesan cheese, 1 TBSP Italian seasoning (just a blend of marjoram, thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, and basil), ½ tsp ground black pepper, ¼ tsp salt. I would cut these in half. I cut everything else in half, but I used full seasonings, because typically turkey has less flavor than beef. This was a mistake. The burger was too seasoned. It was yummy, but overpowering. Either double everything else (for 4 burgers) or half the seasonings (and keep with 2 burgers).

Combine all of the ingredients with 8 oz. of lean ground turkey breast (99% fat free). GET DIRTY! Use your hands and make sure everything gets blended well.

Place on a baking sheet (or Stoneware! If you don't have stoneware, please get in contact with me. I can help you order some. It will change your life!). Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 15-17 minutes. The wet ingredients keep this SO moist, turkey is known to dry out and this was not dry at all! I then placed a 2% fat Pepperjack Cheese slice on top with onions, tomatos, pickles, and jalapeƱos.

I then made the butternut squash fries. Beging by cutting the squash in half right above the bulb. Peel using a veggie peeler (if it is too hard, place it in the microwave for a minute of so). Cut the bottom half in half and remove the seeds. Slice into long fry strips. Place on a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet. This allows air to flow above and below and prevents you having to flip the fries.

Let the fries sit out for a while and dry for a bit. The sprinkle with salt, garlic salt, pepper, or whatever you like on your sweet potato fries. Bake at 425 for 40 minutes or so.

I hope that you enjoyed the journey through my dinner last night. The burger (half the recipe) with all the toppings was 7 WW points plus and the butternut squash fries are technically free! I only ate about 2/3 of the ones I made, so I have a burger and fries waiting for me in the fridge (warm the burger AND fries in the over to avoid drying out).

I'll be back later today to show you my awesome Strawberry Banana pancakes that I am eating as I type (yes, it is difficult). I will also figure out if I am going to bake today...decisions decisions...