Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Casting on Spring

Lots of beautiful new yarns for a new season of knitting and crochet

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Baked Apple Pork Chops

I used to make a version of this recipe that was not quite as healthy, called Caramel Apple Pork Chops, which can be found here.  This version is not nearly so syrupy.  Much lighter and healthier.

Baked Apple Pork Chops:

4 thin to medium sliced pork chops
1 large granny smith apple
salt, pepper, cinnamon
about a 1tbs butter, divided, (or in our case dairy free, soy free butter substitute)
about 2 tbs brown sugar
drizzle of olive oil

Preheat the over to 400.  coat a 9x9 baker with a little bit of olive oil.  arrange your meat in the pan so that it doesn't over lap.  sprinkle salt and pepper to taste and about half the brown sugar.  Slice the apple up thin, and layer the apples on top of the pork chops, it's ok if they overlap a bit.  Add another sprinkle of salt, the rest of the brown sugar, and some cinnamon.  divide up the butter evenly on top of the apples.  cover with foil and bake for about 20 minutes.  take the foil off and let it continue to bake until the liquid is *almost* gone, probably another 10 minutes.  You don't want to let them get too dried out, there needs to be a little liquid left in the bottom of the pan.
Serve with whatever side dishes you desire.  I paired these with my 'dirty rice' and some green peas.  They would also be really good with mashed potatoes.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Saga Continues

I needed some headspace before I could blog about this.  Wednesday I was pretty upset, but tonight I'm feeling more positive.  

We learned at our last allergist appointment that there are at least two or three things going on with B right now.  #1-She is allergic to quite a few foods.  Eggs, Peanuts, Soy (and several other types of legumes), Dairy (mild), Strawberries, Tomatoes, and Citrus.  Mostly she breaks out into hives, but with some foods also has eczema, runny nose, swelling of the lips, and possibly some internal itching.  #2- For some reason she is having auto-immune reactions to a large number of other foods.  The symptoms are the same as an allergic reaction, but the cause is different.  Dr. V. says her auto-immune levels are high for someone her age.  I don't know what this will really mean in the long run.  This is huge, scary, gray, unknown territory for me.  #3- There is something going on with her gut, which may or may not be wheat related.  We/she will be seeing a GI to investigate the cause of her chronic constipation and the malabsorption of fats (both of which are still a daily issue).  Dr. V. basically passed the buck.  He says he doesn't think it is wheat.  Her blood work indicated a very, very mild reaction to wheat.  He says wheat intolerance or allergy would not be causing the constipation.  I still think wheat is the culprit, and I am very interested to see what the GI thinks.   

Right now, the game plan is to give her Zyrtec daily, and reintroduce the foods that her auto-immune system is reacting too, and continue to avoid the foods she is actually allergic to.  Yay for fruit!  He thinks the Zyrtec will help treat the auto-immune symptoms and allow her to get the nutrition she needs to be healthy.  We've got an Epi-Pen Jr. in case of an ana reaction to peanuts.  In 6 months we can do another trail with dairy.  In a year, we can try reintroducing some legumes- for now we have to avoid ALL legumes and lentils.  

So even though she hates liquid meds, we're doing the daily Zyrtec.  3 days in and so far she's taken it with minimal fuss.  Tonight she ate and enjoyed mango with no hives.  She had not previously eaten mango, so I thought it might be a good starting place.  I also offered her cooked carrots, which she put to her mouth, but did not ingest.  No hives, however, I don't consider it a real test since she didn't actually eat it.  

So, that's basically where we're at right now.  We see Dr. V again in 6 weeks, and have to wait til next week to get the referral from her pediatrician for the pediatric GI.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I quit the internet

Ok, not really.  But that's what I feel like tonight.  Ever have a day when the dumbshits of the internet just get you down, or piss you off?  That would be me on this day.  I'm just over the stupid and the judgmental 'you're doing it RONG'.  Days like today, I hate facebook and message boards and social media.  

B had her allergist appointment today, I need more sleep and space and time to process emotions before I write about it much.  Maybe in a day or two.  

Friday, February 15, 2013

Terminal Leave

Today was J's last day before his terminal leave begins.  He'll still get paid up through April, but as of tonight, he doesn't have to report to work anymore.  He is signing up with the Air National Guard.  It's 1 weekend a month, and 2 weeks a year, and we would retain our current health and dental insurance, and he would still be able to work towards his retirement.  And of course he is looking for something full time in the civilian world.  It's sort of nerve wrecking and exciting at the same time.  Something sort of ironic... he's scheduled to be promoted 3 days before his terminal leave ends.  I hope he finds something full time soon, because I think I will go nuts if he's at home with us all day everyday for too long.

Lots of other thoughts whirling around my brain this month.  I feel like I've been doing a lot of navel gazing.  Which doesn't have to be a bad thing, necessarily.  I can never decide how to put my thoughts in order for a blog post though.

B goes back to the allergist next week.  Since last time, we've discovered she can't eat spinach or red bell peppers.  She is doing well with broccoli and squashes though.

R's doing pretty well.  Finally beginning to make the connection between letters and their sounds.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

B's Sweet Tater Bars.

Sweet Potato, Zucchini, and Oatmeal Bars

This was my first attempt at these, so the recipe may need some tweaks.  Trying to get B to eat more veggies and sweet potatoes.  

1 large sweet potato, cooked until soft (I microwaved mine)
1/2 zucchini grated (you could easily use a whole zucchini, I only had a 1/2 in my fridge)
1/4c coconut oil
1/4c brown sugar
dash cinnamon 
dash salt
couple of tbs flax seeds
1 to 1.5c rolled oats.  (I added gradually and stopped when I felt like I had a good consistency)

mix together in a bowl while the sweet potato is still hot (this will melt the coconut oil).  spread evenly into a pan, sprinkle a little brown sugar on top.  bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. 

UPDATE:  Made them again today, but I milled the oatmeal and the flaxseed into a flour, and the consistency was much better.  About like a brownie.  Way less crumbly than the first time.