The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2011-04-03

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Where clean and organized go to die.

I've been thinking.  Maybe I didn't lose my Filofax, Cross Pen, and Lamy Joy...

Portland filofax and cross pen

Maybe they staged a jailbreak  because lately with all the cleaning, decluttering and piles waiting to be dealt with...

clutter

My house is where clean and organized go to die.

I think my poor, orderly Filo had a nervous breakdown.  Perhaps couldn't take the chaos anymore and flew the proverbial disordered coop .   I guess the age-old question of Filo vs. Moleskine has been settled for me because I only ever had one Filo.

*PS - For anyone who thinks it's lost here, I can certainly understand that.   I lost it on vacation*

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Mrs. Dash's Lentil Salad plus a doozy!

I've posted several recipes using Mrs. Dash recently (Here and oh! An especially delicious one here).  Lentils are the culinary bomb.  I know some people hear - Lentils - and think of a dried out hippy-dippy loaf (Stop That!) but lentils have been sustaining people for thousands of years and they can sustain you through that  five o'clock and I don't have anything for dinner time thing...

lentils


Deliciously.

Lentils are quick cooking, cheap and I'm not kidding about the delicious part - The recipe I'm posting I serve at parties.  Last time I had one I didn't make it and three people asked, Hey! Where's that lentil thing?

Mrs. Dash's Lentil Salad is served at room temperature.   It's easy and you can use your favorite vinaigrette (I'll post a recipe at the end if you don't have a favorite vinaigrette). 


In a saucepan put:

1 cup brown/green lentils
4 cups water
2 (I use fresh) bay leaves
1 whole small onion halved
1/2 - 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Italian Medley to taste (I like this one with lentils but there are a lot of ways to flavor your legumes here....

See?

Bring to a boil and then turn down to medium.  Cook until lentils are just tender which will depend on your lentils.  Most will cook in about 17 to 18 minutes but check or you will end up will goo which is really unappealing.  The difference between cooked lentils and goo is about 45 seconds.

Drain in a colander, remove onion, and bay.  Put warm lentils in a bowl and toss with your favorite vinaigrette.

Leave to cool and dice up  whatever veggies are threatening to go bad first in the vegetable drawer.  My personal favorites are scallions or shallots, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, finely diced carrots and fennel. Add them to the cooling lentils.   I don't find amounts all that important, you can add a lot of veggies or not at this point.   It's really up to you.

Optional - 1/4 cup Toasted nuts.  This time I used 14 Pistachios  because that's all I had in the cupboard  but this is delicious with about quarter cup of toasted walnuts.


lentils

Serious yummage.

Last time I made this for dinner I put a little yogurt on top.  It got me thinking and...


yogurt1

I had to tell you about my imagination.


That is (thawed frozen) Strawberries with Greek Yogurt topped with Raw Sugar and.....



a sprinkling of Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper


The lemon picks up the fresh, tangy notes in the yogurt and the pepper compliments the sweetness of the sugar and strawberries.  I used the Raw sugar because of it's gritty texture which was perfect with the crunchy  Mrs. Dash. 


That was a delicious surprise.  If you don't believe me try Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper and yogurt on a savory dish first because the combination is a natural and see if you can imagine it sweet. 

If you can G'wan!  ....It's delicious, different, and a doozy of a dessert.  



Easy Vinaigrette

2 Tablespoons Champagne vinegar
6 Tablespoons Olive oil
A little less than a Tablespoon of Dijon  (didn't want to dirty another spoon.)
Pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Italian Medley

Whisk all together to emulsify.

“I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MrsDash and received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.” 

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hopefully, I'll be getting Slim-Fast....

 Day 2 using Slim-Fast bars and so far so ... Well, better then good.  I have a meal bar in the morning and one for lunch and the snack bars for snacks.  These...


 Nom. Nom.


These too.  Those are my snacks.

Haven't tried anything else; so far just those flavors because I didn't want a closet full of bars staring me in the face screaming, You failed again! In case it didn't go well but yeah. It's all really good at the moment.  For me, it's working I think because I didn't really rock the breakfast/lunch thing. Ever.  

Then I would get really hungry at  the pre-dinner Witching Hour which meant I was ravenous when I was cooking, and then eating dinner.  At best it was a drag.  At worst I ate a lot while cooking and eating dinner.  

With eating the bars during the day I'm not a beast at dinner time.   

I am eating a regular dinner.  I'm not packing it away but I at this point I'm just eating what everyone else does  because with the cost of the bars it's adding to my grocery bill; I can't add more by changing what I eat.

As an FYI and something random you don't know about me; if I get up in the middle of the night I go downstairs, into the fridge, and grab a handful of cheese.  Slices of whatever I have on hand which of late is muenster.  Hundreds of calories, I reckon.  But for the last few days I've been grabbing a snack bar at 100 calories and whoa! A huge improvement on the diet front .... And not nearly as binding.

...just sayin'

I'll let you know how it goes, guys.  Wish me lots of good thin luck!

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*  In case anyone was wondering - this post was sponsored by my muffin top, my arm flab and my back fat*

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

ADD Random Wednesday....

Okay, the title...  It's because I'm feeling especially unfocused today; make that lately.  I tried all day to come up with  cohesive paragraphs.  Not happening.  Today is more in a swirling format then paragraphy.

1.  I bought Slimfast meal replacement and snack bars yesterday.  The meal bars are supposed to "Control hunger for up to 4 hours".  And okay, I've been to all-you-can-eat-buffets that couldn't make that claim but...  I'll give it a shot.    I had to do something, I'm so fat my feet just went up a size and Hello! Those puppies were not petite little flowers.  If they get any bigger I'll have to shop where drag queens buy shoes.

And I am not being funny.

2.  The organizing is going well although (despite the fact that everything in the known Universe dating back to the 70's has turned up)  my Filofax binder, Lamy Joy and Cross pens are still missing.  The nausea I feel over that is significant and twisting.


3.  I'm rereading Sylvia Plath's Journals.  I don't reread a lot of things which, hmmm - Get's me thinking I really should get rid of some books but back to Sylvia -This is considered to be her unabridged journals.  Not so sure about that for a variety of reasons but this book...


...  is so worth the time it takes to read every one of it's 768 pages.   I wish there were more.  Above that it's fascinating, it's a trip into the mind of someone who knows how to describe.  Someone who takes words instead of paint and makes pictures.  

Every time I read it I feel jealous and petty and awed.


4.  And speaking of being too fat for shoes....



I can not even tell you how good this is; fudge covered potato chip clusters, salted caramel swirl in vanilla bean ice cream.    I hope they never make a light version of this because it would be wrong.


5.  My new sink arrived (Stainless, but oh well.) so this thing...

sink

... will soon be a thing of the past.  It's so bad I can't freecycle  it.   It's the first thing around here destined to be landfill for a long, long time.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday Round-up

Random bits of excess gray matter floating around today...

1.  My Filofax is still missing and it's taken with it my Lamy and Cross pens.  I'm awash with collywobbles, I tell you.

2.  Now my (backless) phone shuts off while in use; inconvenient to the Nth power.  That makes two broken phones out of three on our plan.  I've tried to resolve my issues with AT&T via many calls to the AT&T retention department,tweets with @ATTJohnathon , an email to Mark Siegel  and Seth Bloom (Unanswered. Nice.)  all outlined in a blog post (here) but nope.  No DM trying to resolve the issue despite the fact that the blog post  was seen.   


Hey.   Did you know AT&T is planning to buy T-Mobile and that will make them the biggest phone company and they say it will benefit customers - no really, they do.  Check it out here


So here's the thing - If they didn't feel compelled to respond while being smaller what in the world would make them feel the need to respond to a single customer if they were even bigger?  


That was rhetorical by the way.


3.  Walk away from the fridge, Tracy.  Just walk away.  I think I weigh about a thousand pounds.


4.  I just made a roast chicken, spaghetti with meat sauce, and egg drop soup for dinner.  I have no explanation. 


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Monday, April 4, 2011

The Taj MaHaul a.k.a My back is killing me

I'm overwhelmed.  

The amount of stuff I need to deal with seems to have multiplied exponentially over the weekend. I can't tell you by how much because it would involve doing  this...


And that's out.

Now, I know logically there's not really  more stuff- exactly - It's just that now I know what to do with all this stuff and oh my. Just my oh my palpating heart.  

What used to sit around in neat (and not so neat piles) that I ignored and occasionally railed against has become thousands of loose ends to deal with for example:

a.  There is a crapfest of papers that need filing in  brandy, new organized files.

b.  There is (was, I did that all today) a good three feet of papers waiting to be shredded.

And 3.  The five or so 20 pound garbage bags that sit waiting to go out because at the moment there is no room left in the cans.  They are a testament - A Taj Mahaul this stuff away, if you will - of what evil lay beneath the apparent neatness around here pre-professional organizer.  Oh, my aching back.

The good news is I know exactly where the Thermacare Heat Wraps are...

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Arthritis Foundation Screening for RA, New York area

 I was contacted recently by Arthritis Foundation and asked  to spread awareness about Rheumatoid Arthritis and help facilitate early diagnosis and treatment.


As a parent, we often put our children’s health above our own. But we must not forget to take care of ourselves, too. Did you know that approximately 1.3 million people in the United States are living with Rheumatoid Arthritis? 


RA is a chronic disease that can lead to long-term damage, resulting in chronic pain, loss of function and disability; however early treatment can stop joint damage.

Studies have shown that early aggressive treatment of RA can limit joint damage, which in turn limits loss of movement, decreased ability to work, higher medical costs and potential surgery. In fact, early diagnosis and treatment can help stop joint damage.

If you:

  • Have pain or swelling in 3 or more joints
  • Have stiffness in 3 or more joints
  • Feel pain in the wrists, fingers or toes
  • And have had this problem for less than 12 months

Then you might benefit from a screening to determine if you have RA.

Because Rheumatoid Arthritis is a serious disease, early diagnosis and treatment are critical to enable those affected to continue living productive lifestyles. Advancements in research and drug development, joint protection techniques and self-management techniques have made it possible for more people with RA to live healthier and more fulfilling lives."

For even more information, tips and resources, visit the Arthritis Foundation  and check out this special video Public Service Announcement here  with a toll free phone number for New York area readers.

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