Search This Blog


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Life after Whole 30

  So the end of 30 days without all those things has come and gone. By the time it was day 30 I had in fact stopped counting and just ritualistically gone about my day. It is truer than true that old saying about a month to make or break a habit. And I broke so many. How do I feel? Amazing still. How do I look? Less boated, more energized, not puffy eyed in the morning, skin clear, sun shining birds chirping yadda yadda yadda the whole 9 ( pun intended). The major point I would like to make is that all these whole 30 survivors have the same end story to tell. And we all can't be wrong. There is something in our processed foods that is seriously wrong for us to put into our bodies. Sugar does not need to be added to every single solitary item of edibles. We can aim for a much healthier life. Period.

 My husband the carbavore has been changed too. He actually told me with his own mouthparts and no gun to his head, that he would like to do whole 30 a few times a year and also to eat mostly paleo from here on out. I was in awe. But that shows me he really felt the changes too. He and I started this challenge with our own personal goals and hurdles mapped out and I think that is the best approach. Personal strides in a group of people trying the same approach. My team of friends and strangers were amazing because we were all on the same mental road cheering one another on and giving tips and feedback freely without risk of judgement. All encouraging and not even an ounce of all knowing behavior. Celebrating all the scale and non scale victories and trouble shooting the mysteries. Some ahead on the calendar and some later made for a great balance of timeline prediction in human form not just the actual whole 30 timeline on paper. Every personal story celebrated.

 The journey is real. The sugar dragon is real. The weight I lost is secondary to how I feel. All the same things you are reading from blogger to blogger that has taken this challenge. It's all real. Real food is the best thing for any person. That should never even be a question but just a simple fact. If you want to simplify your habits, try it. If you want to stalk my food pics, that's cool too.

 Reintroduction Captain's log: My body wants nothing to do with grains. My joint pain that went completely away at week two? It came on back with a vengeance. So I do know what to avoid and my suspicions were spot on. I have had soy, cheese, and legumes with no problems at all. I will enjoy these in light moderation as I have in the past. Grains however can kiss my much smaller ass.

 Wine and I are seeing eachother again as well. Distance did make the heart grow fonder. Though we wont be going steady again any time soon, we both know my love is unconditional.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Whole30 - A spoonful of sugar does NOT make the medicine go down.

  The last week has been odd. I am so very sick with a sinus bug that has literally invaded my whole face and now my chest a bit. I get really death and dying sick about once every one or two years. I have a healthy immune system and my family does as well. It would seem this is the killer right on schedule and I think I can thank my current eating habits for the way I am feeling. Yes, this is kicking my ass and I have a porcupine in my throat ( remember that commercial? So classic) but I still have energy. So Tigers Blood has really come in at the clutch moment I needed it. I am a solid week from day 30 and I feel great even while sick as hell. Crazy awesome. We have made it through Superbowl, Bunco and I think it's safe to say Valentines Day will be easy peasy. We normally take the girl child out to a fancy Italian restaurant and have our family Valentine's date night but she is at her bio Moms for the holiday this year and we can celebrate the following weekend just fine. And at day 35 and into the reintroduction stage, heavy pasta dishes sound like a nightmare so I will be doing some picking and choosing carefully but I'm sure it will be wonderful.

 One thing that has blown my mind totally is that amount of sugar in medicine. This may be next level Whole30 shit but I just cannot justify a stupid cold being the ruin of all my hard work. Have I mentioned this is hard work? Oh ok cool. Anyway I was sitting cross sit on the floor of Safeway like a weirdo reading package after package and just completely in awe of all the different ways you can say sugar, for one. But for two, just the sheer quantity of it in medicine. Most sad the fizzy instant fix I have come to relay on and sadly I will go back to in the future because it really works for my sinusitis I tend to get sick with. I found three maybe four out of what seems like hundreds of remedy options. How sad. No wonder our kids get jacked up and wild every time we give them a simple syrupy cough does of that grape stuff, it's actually a simple syrup base! I do tend to go homeopathic for Aidan because he responds fine to that and he takes it no prob.

 So, update is: Hella sick. Avoided any added sugar in my cold medication choices. Eating all the spices to burn this off. And feeling really healthy happy and good. Mind, body and soul. Life is Aiiiiiiiiight.

 Recipe time. Here are a few of the most drooled over posted food items. Starting with one I have got to get out there and all praise my husband for the Mexican food whole30 hack success of all time.

Kelly's Taco Seasoning

  Besides seasoning 1 lb of ground meat of your choosing with salt and pepper, brown that and make this: 

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 tablespoons compliant ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon compliant yellow mustard 
  • 1/4 cup water 
Add to browned meat. Simmer for about 5 minutes. We make tacos with guacamole, and a zillion salsas on a fresh lettuce leaf and they are seriously inhaled.

That Beet Slaw Tho

This has been a family favorite which is shocking because if I juice a beet they all turn green and run. It's great with red meat but really it has worked with everything. I even piled chicken salad on top and ate it in a lettuce leaf and wowzers. I mean. Gah.

  • 1 medium green apple
  • 2 medium beets
  • 2 medium turnips (parsnips will do also)
  • the juice from one orange
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  cracked pepper to taste
  •  chopped macadamias, almonds or pecans
Use a mandolin or vagetti shred all produce and toss with remaining ingredients coating evenly. Chill until serving and to let flavors marry. 

I know I have been posting about food mostly and yes real life is going on behind the curtains. I have some major things with each kid to address in the next week or so and the drafts on both topics are in like the eight revisions. I mean, we have tween drama and Kindergarten planning. Yeah, there's your teasers. I promise it's coming.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Whole30- Day 10 ( alernative title: Everything is Stupid)

 This is the day most quit on. I get it. I am annoyed with the grocery store. Every aisle is jam packed with thinks on my "don't" list. I am losing ambition with my menu and the need for creativity feels exhausting to even think of. Staying positive today feels stupid. I have every intention of staying on plan because I am hella competitive with my own self and I am just far to curious to see if the hype fits my work. This is major work. Mental work. Because the junk on hand system was just easy and lazy and gross now that I think of it. I am avoiding shopping for food because it sucks and I swear I can smell honey greek yogurt through the package. What a mind screw. I am not however craving sweets in their candy form. It's that round about sneaky digestive form that my body is trying to trick me with. It fells very much like my mind and body are a bit at war today. And though I actually require ingredients for dinner I am not motivated in the tiniest bit to get my ass up and showered. OMG showering sounds harrrrrrrrrrrrrddddddddd you guys. Ewwww. This feeling could leave right meow and I would be thrilled. I am not a fan of the day 10 shit. I may go to bed at noon and sleep till tomorrow.

 I will attempt to give some good recipes in hope of enticing hunger pangs that will get me moving.

 Irish Nonsense

 Chicken Apple Aidells sausage has been a remedy for my boredom because I can add it to all kinds of stuff. But this was top notch!

 Brown the sausage in link form using a touch of olive oil or ghee. Brown really nice and crisp on all sides then slice into little meat coins. Place back the the pan to brown these sides now flipping accordingly until irresistibly. Set aside.  Chop half an onion of your favorite color and also a half head of cabbage. It seems like a lot but remember it wilts like mad and its packed with awesome nutrients. Get a hot pan ready with two tablespoons of melted ghee or bacon fat, add veggies and sautee on med stirring constantly to achieve even doneness and a nice brown edge on onions especially. While that cooks slice fingerlings into even sized chunks, toss with olive oil and salt/pepper. Roast at 375 for 15-20 minutes or fork tender. Plate all things in piles and devour!!!

The Latkes

 These are normally made with standard russet potatoes and regular flour. I have modified and tested this to be whole30 compliant. If you want to make them standard, those are the two swapped ingredients.

 Shred about 2 cups of zucchini ( about 2-3 med sized zucchini) any way you like. I used to do it with a hand grater and now I rock a sweet Cuisinart food possessor that takes a tenth the time because, impatient and probably hangry. Set your zucchini aside in a colander to drain access water off. BIG STEP because otherwise the "dough" will be runny and gross. The secret to getting most of that water off fast is sprinkling with a touch of salt to draw it out quick. And then you have also pre-seasoned the veggie part.

 One egg beaten is added to drained zukes in a big mixing bowl. Coat thoroughly. Dust in 3-4 tablespoons of almond or coconut flour ( I found coconut a touch gritty but better flavor so it's a toss up of texture vs taste). Mix well again.

 In a large pan get a nice drizzle of olive oil or a tablespoon of ghee nice and hot. Make a patty shape with your late mixture and add several at a time to your pan. turn when the bottom is browned. Takes about 2-3 minutes on each side.

 Serve with fresh veggies or guacamole or an egg on top. But my favorite is with apple sauce and sour cream so now I need to attempt a whole30 rendition of sour cream to complete the makeover. 

Enjoy!! And Happy Day 10 to any of you in the trenches with me. And Yay!! to all of you further.

  Also, as I wrote this my gas stove went out, MY OVEN!!! MY STOVE! Heaven help the world. And the warranty call center. I may go all Brittney with an umbrella on this shit today.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Whole30 - So Far So Good

 While some life happenings are just raging out of bounds on the sidelines with all the teen angst in the world, I am focusing on the things I can control. Like my food. So I have joined the forces of Whole30-ers in a month long challenge. The details can be found here Whole30 Program. I had watched and learned from some friends who had already done a round or two of this and I liked what they had to say. How they felt was the thing that really got me. I would love to feel less logey and drag ass all the time. I would love to get back to food I know and love, mostly meat and vegetables. That's my jam anyhow. And I know that we as humans should be more aware and cautious about all the crazy unnecessarily added sugars in EVERYTHING. So I felt it was time to jump on board.

 So far we (my super awesome husband is doing it too) are on day 5 which for most unlearned folks may seem stupid to brag about. But since we are past a few of the hard parts I am stoked! We both had bodily reactions to total removal of sugar. But not bad. I have had less aches and pains in my joints which is awesome. Last night I slept great and though falling asleep has never been a real issue for me, I am falling asleep quick and feeling more rested in the morning. I am also not wanting to get out of my cozy warm bed as of today which seems right on track for what I read. After getting up I have had more energy to do things and I am feeling less ADD with tasks.

 I am posting this more as a journal entry with recipes more than a recruiting tool. I don;t claim to know everything about how this affects every person nor am I urging anyone to try it. Like any major change, temporary or permanent, it's a personal choice. If it sounds awesome to you, research for yourself like I did and then decide. For me it's a challenge more than it's a "diet" because I don't do the diet thing. This is for healthy body stuff and fitness will help my shape.

 So far I already have a few really yummy recipes that I pulled out of ideas. I know there are a zillion recipes out there but these are just some I came up with that worked well. And, as promised, the ranch, mayo and ketchup recipes I did not invent but found through tried and true praise of my whole30 internet family.

 The Meatball 
(over zoodles with ghee sauteed wild mushrooms)

One lb ground meat of your choosing, 3 tablespoons coconut flour and one large room temperature egg as binder, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, cracked pepper, kosher salt, italian seasonings if you want. Make equal sized balls and brown in olive oil and ghee till a nice dark brown on all sides. Cover and steam simmer for about 10 minutes on medium heat to cook through. Ahhhmazing. Also super good for cooking ahead and meal prep.

Full Pan Egg Foo Young

The Trader Joes mixed chopped veggies are my friends. They are really a great blend and also,duh, pre-prepped. I sauteed about a cup and a half of those along with thin sliced onion high heat in olive oil with a touch of sesame oil til the were all a touch caramelized. It's pretty fast. Then I pour a mixture of three eggs that have been blended with coconut aminos ( an awesome soy sauce replacement) and a splash of light coconut milk from the can so its frothy. I use either my blender or an immersion blender. Both work. Cook on med heat till you can peek at a brown underside and the flip and repeat. Doesn't even need a sauce. It's that good.

 And for Dawn. This is the Vegetti :) 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

10 things about a Mom-cation

 The reality of life is that we Mommas get the least high fives or thanks. Because we just do what needs to be done. We made little people and we care for them because we should. It's our job. It is a daily grind and joy all at once. It's a balance that is so often tipped in the favor of the most needy, which is always the kids and sometimes even the spouse. All the pumpkin spice lattes in the world can't compensate for a full blown Target tantrum at decibels dogs can hear followed by vomiting in the car. But we just get shit done. Because it needs to just get done. I am not saying husbands are worthless but fellas you have a way of passing the buck to the lackey. And at the end of the day, the month, the year, we have let our sanity go a bit and our pretty is for show.

 Then something magical could happen. What if through the gripes and snark of the interwebs you found other like minded females who had all the same carry on luggage as you. By that I mean the bags under our eyes. But they also have the same laugh lines. Impossible? Not for me thank god. I met some of my soul mates in real life last weekend and it made feel so stupid for not thinking of taking a trip like this sooner ( all praise to Jenn for the idea and follow through). It was my saving grace for a fresh new year. That, is certain.

 I know most of these ladies from the web, one is my real life bestie and half I met a bloggy event a while back. But in this dynamic things were different and way better for relaxing fun. We had no fucks to give because of some silent code we all simultaneously adopted as our own. No judgement, just love and actual admiration for each others strengths and struggles. I can honestly say I didn't know 16 moms around my age who would treat me with such love until last weekend. Just for example, no one gave me shit for being the first one asleep each night! For one we aren't in college, but also for two, all of them know I never sleep. So the actual happiness I got from a few full nights uninterrupted was celebrated by them too. Because they get it. I am so grateful for the people in my life who get me. Because I am a weirdo. And let me tell you last weekend being a weirdo was basically the name of the game.

 If you are a Mom, and you assess your momlife balance and you realize you need a getaway, do it. I cannot promise the level of awesome that we managed to achieve. But I can guarantee a fresh feeling of calm probably up til the minute you pull into your own driveway again. If you're family is like mine all hell either broke loose while you were gone or the very second they saw your face and you may want to get back in the car.

  Anyways, here are my suggestions should you choose to want a good, wait, great time.

  1. Pick a spot off the beaten path. The less civilization, the more in your own world you can be. So what if you and 15 ladies in matching sweatshirts infiltrate the one tiny cafe for breakfast with mild dazed champagne hangovers. So. What. Also, then it's basically your cafe.  
  2. Do not dress to impress. Just be comfortable. Make it a rule that no fucks will be given and leggings are pants for the weekend. Because if you are busy worrying about what someone thinks of your outfit you are going to miss something way more fun and important for your soul.
  3. Bring LOTS of food. To the legit access. Because a hangry group is a bitchy group. But also because then the kitchen is where it's at and food is an easy ice breaker. Everyone eats ya'll. 
  4. Bring games. As juvenile as it seems, it's a big slumber party right? So what did you do back in the day to bond with your childhood girls? You played truth or dare, or Mall Madness. I know you did. So grab Apples to Apples or even Cards Against Humanities if you dare be bold like us, and prepare to cry laugh. It hurts so good. 
  5. Bring your vice. Let it all hang out. This is your weekend away. If you smoke ten cigarettes like me* because it's an oldie but a goodie when you have drinks in hand. And for the best worst reason sometimes it feels like old times of youth and fun. Bring it with you. You would be shocked at who may join you. Everyone's got their somethin.
  6. Don't call home 50 times. We naturally left it all at home. But I know some of my friends that didn't go that would have been constantly checking in. You just can't. What is the point then? And on that same note, tell your spouse to cut you a break with the pictures of the kids crying.
  7. Bring awesome pjs. You end up getting in them earlier and earlier and perhaps just the whole last day you live in them.
  8. Let your derp flag fly. Some of the best moments are because of a silly joke that keeps going wayyyyyy too far. Or an app that everyone starts taking crazy pictures with that continues long after everyone gets home. It's the minutes and seconds of crazy that blend with the lazy. That is the magic. 
  9. Don't get out of hand and be "that girl". I say this because no one did. Not a single crying puker out of 16 chics. I know! Impressive. And so perfect. Everyone was grown up enough and I think it's a sign we were all comfortable enough to relax the right way. And in our own moderation. No fights, no drama, no nonsense. I feel like shots are a direct link to bullshit like that in this setting so maybe that's the key right there. We did no shots.
  10. Don't mourn the trip till you are safely in bed at home afterwards. Then cry. Sort of kidding. I just mean don't waste a minute of good stuff wishing it wasn't over when it isn't over till that last person on the carpool chain drives away. Then sadness. But the great part even in that, it means it was so amazing you cannot wait to do it again. But seriously there is fun to be had even in the cleanup and packing cars. Don't miss a thing.

 Here is a montage of pics of our trip that you more than likely are tired of seeing if you follow any number of us on instagram because how nauseating were all our matching pics right? Sorry not sorry.

 Photo credit to everyone but I will add links as soon as I sort out who took what. We have some amazing photogs who do this for a living and their shots are of course the best ones.

 * I am so nott telling everyone to start smoking so chill the fuckout.
** Also, I miss you all so very much.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

When life gets real low, it's still going to be ok if you stay awesome.

  So many unhappy people filling their baskets with expensive shit they have to have. Watching those types shop where I work makes it all the more important for me not to let the season of consumerism get me down this year. I normally hold my head really high and refuse to admit defeat. But, I am going to admit she is winning. Voldemort has crushed the gift giving part Christmas for the Felti house. It is official. But I am not going to let greed win or even matter. I still have the feeling of love that the holidays give. I am spending my time doing good for others instead of having that Gimme Gimme attitude that can just invade your soul during the shopping red tag everything madness. And I know I have instilled that in Hallie. When she and I sit and look at what we can make for our family, friends and teachers, my heart is full. No one really needs a 900$ kayak. Wants and needs are so super important to set right with our kids these days.

  It's all ok. All of it. I have no hate in my being today even as I write this. I have pity but not hate. I gave myself the gift of letting go last Christmas and this has been a year of focus on good things. I have more to be grateful for than I do to be sorry for. Because all the golden goblets in the world can't bring back moments missed, or love not shared or peace and calm family time. Those are the things Christmas means to me. I can watch Aidan or Hallies eyes light up just the same when the open my expertly wrapped Pinterest fail. It just doesn't matter. And even as I wonder if the Grinch's heart will grow three sizes when she sees what Hal made for her, I still encourage Hal to make it. Because she asked and I would never say no. Even if it lands in the trash like years past at least both the girl and I know what is right in the world.

 My crisp honesty here lacks details because they aren't worth dwelling on anymore. We will be ok. Anyone who has been thinking of us or worrying,  just know we will be ok. I promise. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and life keeps moving. Even when I write about stress and real life please don't feel sorry for me. I especially am ok. I'm awesome. I mean that. My heart is full and damnit I have the most beautiful ability to just go and do. It will all be ok. All of it.

  This really is the season of miracles. Not even because we want them so badly. Good things really truly do happen to good people. I believe that more now than I ever have.

P.s. You are awesome too.

I will leave you with the cutest thing ever. I feel like Groot is my spirit animal.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cha-cha-cha-cha-cha -changes

  This morning I cracked open the laptop for the first time in god knows how long. This old beast has been crashing on me lately so I choose my time spent interwebbing wisely if I need anything without mobile ease or accessibility. While I can do a nice long blog entry via voice text on the apple contraption, this feels like blogging. Also, I am currently here in my sweet new space called the Mom Den. A redecorating project of love and joy and also sadness because it was the room my sister lived in for the last few years ( since we bought the house ) and I miss her something fierce. She didn't die, she moved to Nashville which is exactly 1,976 miles away. This room had to change immediately because a cold empty void probably would have depressed me to no end and Aidan would have been a wreck. Thus, the Mom Den was born out of so many needs. One being my own zone which I truly feel is important to a Mom. We can't even pee without company. So any area of escape if possible just for a few moments of silence and alone time is like the most cherished treasure. Not even joking. Moms you feel me right?

 So, I opened up my social world this morning and saw three different messages that caught me one after the other and sent me into a full blown ugly cry of overwhelming love and appreciation. I do not cry. But the words from these few, perhaps even in the order I read them, touched me so deeply I had the lump in my throat and the hot tears flooding my face. I am always a bit proud when it comes to my kids. And Aidan especially because of all his issues and um.......facets? He is multifaceted. Let's put it that way. But a fellow Mom from the trenches of special needs parenting was one of these voices and she full on fucking gets me. I send her all the internet high fives today because she has dealt with her grab bag of bullshit mixed with joy for 20 years!! I applaud that because Aidan being 20 years old seems like eons away right now. You are my hero too. Another friend from IG sent me love and kindness this morning after reading my blog, which led me to check my blog which led me to the above gal which made me want to update my Facebook status and I was left without a proper set of words to describe feelings which led me to a FB message of love and kudos which made me come back and blog it out. ::sigh:: I feel like I really needed this right now at this exact point in time. I keep swimming and keep up "normal" as best I can. I don't expect any pats on the back for doing what I am supposed to be doing. That is life. You just get your shit done and live. But every once in a while if somebody says "good job" it does make me weep because this is really fucking hard you guys.

 I have not done the lists in a long time but I think it's a day for it.

 The Shitty Stuff
  •   I miss my sister so much.
  •   My Dad is sick again. Worse than last time.
  •   I wish I could buy Aidan age appropriate imaginative toys for a 4-5 year old instead of sensory toys to combat stimming.
  •  Some lady in our HOA is trying to make us get rid of our Chickens.
  • I put a few stress lbs back on 
  • Money is the root of all evil.

The Good Stuff
  • My sis is with the love of her life and her awesome future is in full swing.
  • My Dad can still wrestle Aidan
  • I am the wizard of craigslist and my redecorating project for the whole downstairs cost me less that 50$ 
  • I am healthy. My Husband and kids are healthy.
  • Most people are still generally good inside with good intentions. Most. 

 Also, I will be damned if anyone has a say in my chicken keeping. Good luck to anyone attempting to change my awesome Feltifarm. My flock, my business. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Indiscriminate Omnivore

  That's me. It has been this way a very long time and I am A-O-K with it. I am a food pusher and a huge fan of the "just one bite' method of food conversion of a nay sayer. I love to cook because I love to eat. And because my ways of communicating with new people or helping in a crisis always involve providing sustenance in the form of comfort delights. My kitchen is often a wreck. My pantry is busting at the seams with items most would never buy. But we have strange and unusual go-to recipes around here that call for buckwheat flour or nori or water chestnuts. I am a recipe hoarder which I will attempt once again to rectify by sharing another gem with you. But first let me tell you I am only a bit sorry but still sorry none the less for being one of those people. Those Bacon pushers. I am completely unapologetic about my long time love of cures pork rendered down into the absolute candy bar of meats. But, I do have to be more aware of those who do not share this romance. For example my quickness to assume that everyone is on board led me to thoughtlessly bring a jar of my amazing bacon pickles for the authors of a vegan cookbook at their signing last night. I think I just forget that bacon is meat. I dunno, my point is that was dumb and though I salvaged my stupid by instead giving them the jellies and jams I had also brought which are totally vegan goodness, I shook my head all night and this morning and honestly as I type this confession.

 I am forgetty and human and not perfect. So I sometimes forget that  a few friends I have are vegetarian. Because though you are all lovely and special, you are the cool and sane ones who don't wear your food title like a banner daily. I however, in my pig butchery diagram t-shirt still offer you bacon inventions. And you forgive me and tell me it looks delicious but no thanks, reminding me oh so smiley that you are anti-meat. Thank you for that btw.

 I am basically saying I will eat anything. And I appreciate all kinds of dietary restrictions be it because of health or religion or just moral compass. I will still probably eat your food too and buy your cookbooks to better my food knowledge. I value all your culinary awesomeness. Keep making me a better, more diverse cook so that I can eventually have the common sense to offer you hummus........without baconing it.

 Much love to my cooks of all kinds. Now here is a recipe that has eggs and stuff  in it. Sorry vegans. Love you, mean it.

 Shannon's Pumpkin Pie recipe! Minus the secret family ingredient but I swear on Halloween it will be fantastic. 

  First decision is the Pumpkin itself. I have used canned and it was just fine. But if you do not want just fine and you want praise form relatives and anyone doubting your culinary prowess, use real pumpkin. Trust me. It's worth the effort.
I use Cinderella pumpkin as a favorite and Sugar pumpkins as a backup if I can't get my hands on the first. Cut up the pumpkin into large chunks, remove seeds (Cinderella seeds are awesome for roasting) and roast for 30-40 minutes at 325 or until the flesh is soft. I say fork tender is an excellent test for doneness.

Let the roasted chunks cool till you can handle them safely and the scoop all that squishy goodness out of the skin and puree with a blender or food processor till smooth. You can freeze extra puree for future pies and a large Cinderella can yield mass quantities.

Now you are ready.


  • 2 cups of pumpkin puree
  • 1 12 oz can of evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cardamon

( the above spice combination can also be found in roughly 3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice if you want to cheat)

  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 2 good pie crusts

1. Preheat oven to 425

2. Mix sugars, salt and spices plus the very important lemon zest in a large bowl.Beat the eggs and add to the bowl.Mix in pumpkin puree then the evaporated milk. Whisk together until completely incorporated.

3. Pour into UNBAKED pie shells and bake these at 425 for 15 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 350 and bake for an additional 45-50 minutes. The pies are done when a butter knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

4. Cool for 2 hours if you can wait that long. Served best with whipped cream.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Dating advice from a married person.

  My anniversary is approaching this month which makes me do that thing where I re-live our first date and feel lucky that a series of sort of messed up events brought us together. Sure it was all magic and butterflies but the real truth is that our first date could so easily have never taken place. Not any dramatic "against all odds" crap or anything. Just the run of the mill stuff you see in movies where there are like 45 parallels and near meetings before two people get together and it's almost stressful to watch. Like, Jennifer Aniston could play me. 

 Our story was and sometimes is still complicated. We met almost ten years earlier than our first date. I dated his very best friend, my upstairs neighbor when I was very newly twenty-ish. Those idiot boys upstairs apparently called me "hot tub girl" because I would swim laps after work and then read my book with a beer in the hot tub. I had called my now husband "the married guy" because of all of them he was the only married guy. So, I dated neighbor guy and after a lame six months of blah we broke up, I moved on and away, and I cut ties like a pro vanishing into the world. Really I just moved downtown for a few years to whoop it up in my twenties. Life moved on.

 Hot tub girl grew up a lot over the years and found herself single a few times over after investing way too much in men that don't matter. The internet was becoming a serious place to be cruising for dates and I hated it. I am not a match dot commer. I loathe it. Always have. Not judging those it has worked for. I am just saying it has never been for me. That being said, I did go though a very comical dating phase with my awesome roommate that solidified my man-hater-monday drinking phase completely. Had I not dabbled in the adventures of The Mercury Personals I would not have been open to a blind date a dear friend insisted upon. I mean really, I had played a drinking game called "count the beards" while surfing "potential soulmates" who had profile pictures with horn rimmed glasses and seven kittens. It was the perfect storm for an open mind.

 I am grateful for a failed marriage. I can be honest. Married guy became divorced guy and I suppose I should thank the crazy bitch who left him like a thief in the night because she made a humbled man mine. A very appreciative, eyes wide open yet jaded man. That would never have been my match before because he had married fresh out of high school. I strongly advise against this for so many reasons. When some ladies happily say "He was the first boy I ever kissed" all I hear is "I don't know any better". I am a bitch, I know. But seriously like 2% of that works out ever.

 My life is a happy accident because two formerly super happy people had life beat them up a little, then a great person said "geez you would be perfect for my friend. You both are pretty much in the same place right now" and it turned out we were. We commiserated about how other people suck. And had re-learned the things that made us happy so we totally had cool shit to bring to the table instead of being all "I don't know, what do you wanna do". It was the imperfect perfect first date when Hot tub girl realized Married guy was actually Divorced guy and when he realized she was Hot tub girl ten years before and got a little weirded out. It was complicated already but still ok because it was a really good time. Basically after petting street kids dogs and walking around talking till like 4 in the morning life would never be the same. Which was great because single life was dragging on too long for both.

 That saying about love finding you when you least expect it is ok. Cliche but pretty true. You just have to live your life and not be so hard on yourself. You will meet tons of people who love you. That is what matters. You can't even predict what will work out. Just live life like you want and be happy. Even if you are perfectly happy being a man hater cynical bitch for a while. Because that worked out fine for me. ;)

P.S. Thank you Melissa.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What if you don't have anything nice to say for a really long time?

  A friend asked me the other night why I don't blog anymore. I told her I was trying really hard to practice the old " if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all" thing. When life has been pretty negative I feel like I can get trapped in a pattern of just bitching my verbal vomit out here. So, looking back I now see that I lose followers and my dear friends start to worry when it's been more than a month between posts. Because I tried something new. Being quiet. For the record I hate being quiet. And for the record her reply was "Why? Just go back to being you. I people can't handle it. Fuck em."

  Though I rant plenty I don't air all my dirty laundry here. There are novels I could write about voldemort and yes she has reared her ugly head bad nose job and seriously questionable hairstyles a lot lately. But I am sort of tired of dishing out that same poop with a different scoop. So I don't. And really when it comes to her, I can ignore the things she does to antagonize me personally. That shit is laughable and sad. When it's the lashings out against my children I dig in with no remorse. I do draw the line there and for the most part she has been somewhat less than toxic on that front. (knock on wood that continues)

  Most of my frustrations have been with Aidan. My emotions about him have been right under the surface and without even trying friends have brought me to tears with just an inquiry. That isn't me. Or the me I like to wear out in public every day. It's not a me I care to share with the world right now in brief encounters that make me self conscious as hell. Afterwards I worry that perhaps I will be seen as not having my shit together, or weak. I don't admit it often and frankly most of you can see it clearly, I rarely have my shit totally handled but damnit if I don't take all punishing blows with as much strength as I can. Weak is something I refuse to be. I hate it. I can be sensitive and not weak. Except the last few months have me feeling helpless and in fact weak as I've ever felt. I feel small and alone. Even in a team called marriage I still feel alone. My thoughts are my own and I don't share some of the important ones enough. I don't throw out cries for help or posts for back pats. But I do need to write my feelings more than I have been about this topic especially.

  I am wholeheartedly afraid for my sons future. I am sad to think he may never marry. That he may not reach high levels of education that fulfill his happiness. That he will remain so simple. That he could possibly live at home for a very long time. I fear that I cannot keep him safe. From himself and his stupidly brave innocent choices more than any outside source of harm or manipulation. I have horrid dreams about this. His great leaps in development have also continued to show the vast pits. That divide widens every day. The contrast breaks my heart. I don't have to compare him to his peers anymore because he doesn't have any. He is his own animal of mixed ages. Regression is still present and though we celebrate the shining moments, the darkness in the corners collects all the cast off skills that may never come back but haunt me because I documented the fact that he could at one point do them. Let's just say I can't use timehop without feeling depressed 5 times out of 10.

  The stimming and humming has reached nearly intolerable levels and I crack after 6 hours of incessant sound and running. I shout now. Because I can't break through into his world otherwise. I yell "STOP!!" at him. And sometimes he will stop. Just sometimes. It makes me feel like a terrible parent to yell at him. When he is being a "regular" child and acting his social age (which is barely 2 and 1/2) I can laugh at the naughty behaviors because THAT I can handle with grace. It's Autism that is breaking me. Yes it has been difficult to live through these terrible twos for so many more years than normal. Yes it will be a relief when he starts acting 3. But my hearts hurts to wonder when that will be. Will he be 6 in body and motor skills when he is 3 in communication and social interaction? Or 8 or 9? Right now I have a 2 1/2 year old with the build of a small 5 year old and he can read and do simple addition as well as rote count to 200. But he can't understand traffic safety and would gladly stroll into oncoming traffic as you scream STOP.

  This life is currently too unpredictable on the spectrum and I am in the trenches having a hard go of it. It's hard to work. It's hard to be home. I am holding on really tightly to the things that bring me joy but I find myself shying away from interactions that could scrape the surface and make me cry. So most of my moments are solo. Which makes for a ton of deep thinking and soul searching. I know I am a tough cookie and that some people I love would like nothing more but to force social interaction to heal me but that's not my jam. And bless their heart most of them know that. So those of you that feel like your hands are tied and you can't help, trust that I understand how you feel and I love you. You weirdos who leave jars or wine on my porch are the reason I smile. Even if I don't say it the texted memes of crazy random shit are important to me. I really do have some of the best friends. I am fully heart eyed emojis all day for you.

 I do need to write more because this was therapy. Just saying words helps.