Rerouted

September 22, 2010

The other day my train to New York from New Jersey was rerouted unexpectedly. I usually take a train that goes directly to Penn Station, but signal problems caused all trains to instead be routed to the World Trade Center stop.

No longer does that stop take you to a financial building, but instead you are let off in a construction site, one that even 10 years later has a somber tone to it. You step off the escalator and find yourself in an empty space, or what simply feels empty, even in the midst of a hundred fellow displaced New Jersey Transit passengers.

I hope no matter what gets built there they never change the name of the stop. I know that for myself, I will always think of it as the World Trade Center station.

I stumbled across a recipe for burgers in a recent issue of Clean Eating Magazine and I just HAD to adapt it for my non-beef eating self. Try this out, you won’t be disappointed!!

Inside-Out Cheese Sliders

1 lb ground turkey or chicken

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 oz cheddar cheese cubes (approx 1/4 cup of cubes)

3 tbsp whole-grain mustard

1 tbsp honey

8 small whole wheat dinner rolls

1/2 cup packed baby spinach leaves

Combine meat with salt and pepper and divide into 8 equal meatballs. Divide cheese into 8 equal portions. Insert cheese cubes into each ball and flatten into a small patty. Make sure meat covers cheese to prevent leaking.

Grill up the pattys. While grilling combine mustard and honey and brush on pattys before serving. Top with lettuce and a bun and enjoy! No ketchup needed!

When I got her 12 years ago, I had high hopes my dog Ginger would be not only a great family companion animal, but also a protector. As a rescue, she had some “issues”. The list of things she is afraid of seems to still grow daily.  Candles, matches, cell phones, answering machines, the dryer, the vacuum, dustbuster, broom, fly swatter, fireplace, fireworks, any loud noises, any semi-quiet noises…..the list is endless. Still, I always thought she had the animal instinct in her somewhere in her 50lbs of Irish Setter.

My parents are preparing their house for moving and needed to have some workmen come look at some water damage. Ginger was laying in her usual spot on the couch when the doorbell rang and my dad went to answer it. A man entered the house and Ginger barked from her perch. He looked at her, but kept moving farther in the house, so she STOOD UP on the couch and barked. He looked at her and laughed.

Never in her “protector” state did she ever get down from the couch.  So much for her surviving in the wild.

Unless the “wild” now comes furnished.


Anyone who knows me knows that I have been plagued with sleep issues for over half of my life. I have issues falling asleep, staying asleep, sleep extremely lightly, toss and turn frequently, tend to sleep only in 2 hour increments, have wacky dreams and tend to hold my breath when I sleep. For awhile my sleeping pattern was that I only slept every OTHER day, then it was I slept 2 hours after work from 7-9pm, then again from 3-8am, and these days pretty much anything goes. I sleep, but not restfully or deeply.

Lately on the rare occasions I do sleep, I have been experiencing extremely vivid and strange dreams. I’ll dream about people I haven’t seen or heard from in years, have dreams where my coworkers are “extras” and flow in and out of the background and have “panic” dreams where I am in upsetting situations. My REM state is much like flipping through the TV channels with a remote whose batteries are nearly drained.

But hey, at least I don’t snore.

What I’m Making v8

January 6, 2010

I indulged a bit over the holidays and the scale reflects it! Now it’s back to regular life, but that doesn’t mean you have to have food that doesn’t taste good. Tonight’s dinner was turkey meatballs over greens with apples and cranberries and it was AMAZING! I just had to share the recipe!

I got the Turkey Meatball recipe from The Perfect Pantry! Definitely try this one out. It’s a keeper!

TURKEY, CRANBERRY AND BASIL MEATBALLS

1/4 cup dried cranberries
1-1/4 lb ground turkey (93% fat free)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1 large egg
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place cranberries in a one-cup glass measuring cup, and fill with water to the 1-cup mark. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine turkey, yogurt, breadcrumbs, basil, egg, salt and pepper. Drain the cranberries, and add them to the turkey. With your hands, mix just until the ingredients are combined; do not overmix.

Form the meatballs and place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a Silpat (silicone mat) or parchment paper. You should get 17-18 large meatballs.

Bake for 18 minutes. Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold. A salad of greens dressed with balsamic vinegar makes a perfect base for the meatballs.

*Note, really do use a mat or parchment or spray the heck out of your pan. I had a bit of stickage when I made these!

Real Men Rock the Pink

October 5, 2009

I am so loving the pink the NFL is rocking for Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

bc_ribbon

Advice

August 30, 2009

I’m having some problems in the bedroom.

I need new bedding and I just can NOT decide which of these to go with. I have dark wood furniture and white walls. Which of these do you like?

bluegreen

gray

green

What? You thought I had other bedroom problems? 🙂

What I’m Making v5

August 23, 2009

Kindra from Meal Planning 101 recently asked me to share my orange chicken recipe and, as this is one of my FAVORITE things to make, I was more than happy to oblige! (Definitely check out her link….she has one of the best food /meal plan blogs out there in my opinion! Real food for real people and budgets and minimal packaged/preservatives. Definitely my kind of cooking!)

Orange Chicken

Chicken;

2 chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces

3 tablespoons cornstarch

salt & pepper to taste

olive oil

Sauce:

1 1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons orange juice

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup rice vinegar

2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon grated orange zest

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons chopped green onion

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

cornstarch to thicken if desired

*I like a LOT of extra sauce so this makes quite a bit. You may need to play with the proportions/add more chicken for your own taste.

*I use fresh orange and lemon juice. It really adds to the fresh flavor I think.

– Throw chicken pieces, cornstarch, salt and pepper into a large ziplock bag and shake, shake, shake until coated.

– Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a deep skillet over medium heat and cook chicken until done.

– Remove chicken from skillet and wipe out (or use saucepan if your skillet isn’t deep enough). Add ingredients for sauce except for the cornstarch and bring to a slight boil. Add cornstarch to thicken if you like a thicker sauce (I always do this…it makes it feel more decadent and restaurant-like to me). Add chicken pieces into sauce and heat through, about 5 minutes.

– Serve over rice and garnish with green onion if desired.

I rarely voice my political opinion on my blog, mostly because I believe in a variety of viewpoints and in accepting the opinions and perspective of others, both political and otherwise. However, the current health care debacle has me digging in the closet and dragging out my soapbox.

I agree that this country is in need of a health care brainstorm session. Changes should be made to the current arrangement so health care coverage can be both accessible and affordable for everyone and there should be a illustrious debate in this country with a variety of sides and viewpoints so we can find the best reform. What is right now being called “the health care debate” is neither productive, informative or even what I would call a debate.

I am outraged that the Town Hall meetings that members of Congress have tried to do have turned into at best, theatrics, at worst fulmination. People have showed up to the meetings (sometimes even armed) not to become informed or to inform or engage, but to fear, harass and intentionally mis-inform. The media is fueling this fire and politicians on both sides are failing at explaining their stances by using dramatics and antics instead of facts and data.

I acknowledge there are legitimate anti-reform talking points, but the antagonizers attending these meetings aren’t using these valid points to sway opinion. They are using intimidating fallacies to sway public opinion and increase their anti-reform following. Current proposals do NOT call for “death panels” or encouraged euthanasia and are not, as Rachel Maddow of MSNBC puts it “a government plot to kill old people”. It simply calls for Medicare to provide reimbursement for consultations with your doctor regarding your end of life care. You do not have to have such a consultation if you do not want to. The proposal is simply paying for the appointment if you chose to have it. For those few rallying against government-run insurance programs, but who say they love their current Medicare/Medicaid plan, just an FYI – Medicare and Medicaid ARE governmental-run health insurance programs. Also, the proposals are not advocating a 100% switch to governmental health insurance plans, they are simply providing another option for you than your status quo health care plan. It does appear that there is a chance that some people may lose the option they currently have with their employer because some companies may end up choosing to drop their current offerings and I do think that is something that should be looked into further if you fear this may be the case for you. For those looking to fear monger the Veterans, rest assured, despite the sound bites, Veterans benefits are NOT diminishing in the new proposals. Also, sex changes are NOT mandatory in the new proposals (my personal favorite health care reform fallacy).

I’ve nearly given up hope that any kind of debate on this is going to be informative. I urge everyone to do their own research, form your own opinions and find respectful and productive ways to get them to your representatives if this is an issue you feel strongly about. Health care is undoubtedly a complex issue and one that affects everyone. I myself am not sure I find comfort in the fact that I can pretty much do what I want to my body and either my employer or the government will have my back.

Soapbox going back in the closet, but maybe not pushed quite as far back as before.

My Spa Experience

July 20, 2009

I do not like Spas…..I’m not a huge fan of strangers touching me….I don’t like being semi-nude in the presence of others…..I hate any and all attention focused on me. I am so NOT a spa girl. Lately I’ve needed to tame my eyebrows and I have an easy week at work since all the execs are out of the office, so I decided on a whim to try a Spa around the corner for work to get a quick eye brow wax at lunch.

I LOVED it. 30 minutes of being totally transported into a serene environment in the middle of a work day was SO worth having someone pour hot wax on my face and them rip it off.

If that’s not a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is.