DRAFT TODAY, POST TOMORROW: Some posts may be in draft status until I (aka procrastinator extraordinaire) get around to posting them.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

I ate SweetTarts. (safe but artificial...) That's all I'm saying.
front patio fire pit; waiting for trick or treaters

Thursday, October 24, 2013

It is new. It is shiny. It is Whole Foods.

Whole Foods opened a new location near my office recently. I made my first visit tonight. I'm heading out of town so I only got a few produce items for tonight's tacos.

Daiya (no dairy, no soy, no gluten) gave me my biggest excitement and my biggest disappointment. They have a new product: cream cheese! I don't even know what I'm going to use it for yet but I could not make myself put it back. Even at $5.99. I haven't had cream cheese in two years. I am tempted to just eat it with a spoon (it's not like I can put it on a bagel!) but I'll probably make some frosting.

The disappointment came soon after when I saw that Daiya has a frozen pizza. I've seen it before but I forgot. It had yeast of course so I can't have it. But for just a minute there I was really hopeful.
Stuff I got!
Update: I didn't like the frozen sausages but the Andouille is pretty good. I liked the Sunflower version better but it's not around anymore. The Lundberg rice and pasta boxes are great convenience side dishes!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Chicken Meatballs

I made barbecue chicken meatballs. They seemed a little dry but the flavor was quite good. Yep, I used gluten-free tortilla crumbs; I think I got them at the Country Store or Whole Foods. I've seen ideas to add mashed cauliflower or squash. Maybe I'll try again...

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Yogurt DIY, Part One

My goal this weekend was to make a different pancake recipe and to make yogurt in my new yogurt maker for the very first time.

I forgot to take photos (there may have been bacon involved) but the pancakes turned out...okay. They use buckwheat and rice flour which seems like a nice texture and looks more like "real" pancakes. (The last time I made my teff pancakes, I did something wrong and they were what Mick affectionately now calls hockey pucks.) I substituted applesauce for the banana. But the recipe was for blueberry pancakes and those seemed to have trouble cooking through and also they kept sticking. When I didn't add the blueberries, they came out better but they didn't taste as good. I think the recipe needs granulated sugar in it for texture. Or maybe the applesauce was not a good substitute. I'm not sure yet if I'll play with it or start with another.


The yogurt seems time consuming so I was worried about this being unrealistic this weekend.

I also was worried that my yogurt starter had arrived by mail when it was still too warm out so I'm not sure it's "active."

I started by reading several recipes I had saved. I decided to try this version. Well, it's not so simple as it sounds. Or maybe I got it mixed up with other versions.

First, you have to cook the milk, but only to a certain temperature so you have to keep checking it. Then you have to cool the milk, but only to a certain temperature so you have to keep checking it. Then you add some stuff to it and put it in the jars. Except I got confused and added all the stuff to it instead of some of the stuff; the gelatin doesn't go in until after the next step. Since I added the gelatin, I had to strain it again to remove the gelatin lumps.

The next step is to let it warm in this device for 10-12 hours without disturbing it.

So I can't find the manual and I can't figure out how to turn it on. Grrr, mumble, curse. It has a timer except that it blinks "HR" while it's on so it seems like it's not. Then if you get it to stop blinking, it's off. But we finally got it going. Yes, I did make Mick help me. I was getting really frustrated. I even looked for a manual or instructions online and everything/everyone just says "set the timer." Jerks.

And then I waited. All day. Stayed up late waiting. Here's the finished product. I don't think it's supposed to look like that.

It's done. Or is it.
So the verdict? Yeah, that totally did not work. It's basically coconut milk. I just spent an entire day cooking coconut milk to use it as coconut milk. Bugger.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Caffe Boa revisited and other Saturday things

I had a rough week, y'all. So I'm looking for the good spots. Here we are. Wildflowers on the corner.
So pretty.
Mick and his helpers had worked in the yard during the morning while I was attacking my indoor to-do list. We went to Five Guys for lunch on our way to run errands. They put Mick's Cajun seasoned fries (who knows what is in that seasoning) with my awesome lettuce wrapped burger. Sigh. I love that the helpers ordered the regular fry instead of the little one and then commented about how much they got. I guess we haven't been there enough times yet.
We went to Arizona Iron for some outdoor furniture. It's a huge expense but it's made to last and actually is cheaper than anything (good) we have priced since we need a giant table. We ended up spending a ridiculous amount of time there because only one guy was working and the store was busy so he was helping multiple groups at the same time.
The good part is that he felt bad and kept shaving off numbers for us. The bad part was that it took a long ass time and I was exhausted by the time we left.
I was concerned about the time because we were meeting friends for dinner. But Mick seemed totally unconcerned. It made me a little aggravated like he cares when it's his friends but not mine.
So we went to the nursery to get plants and order a replacement tree. I was trying so hard to make everyone hurry up but I'm the only one that was stressing out.
We finally made it home and got ready and left. We left around when we were supposed to be arriving at dinner. It makes me feel like a terrible friend. Plus it is extremely stressful.
We met at Caffe Boa. I've been there a few times and really liked it. I had suggested several places and R chose this one.
They had drinks already since we were super late. In fact, we managed to arrive on Mill as the ASU crowd arrived. What a mess. I'm too old for that parking nightmare. Anyway.
We got drinks. They had Dripping Springs potato vodka from Austin instead of Tito's. Interesting.
Mick and the friends decided to get a cheese and meat plate. I asked if they still had the mussels and fries, could I get the mussels without butter, are the fries still the only thing they fry, are they gluten-free, just potatoes...Yep, I asked all the questions. And had the yummy mussels and fries.
They no longer have the awesomesauce puttanesca. That made me sad but they had pasta with rabbit that sounded quite good and she said they could make it for me, just leaving the cheese off.
Our meals came out and I had some quick thoughts that I didn't listen to, mainly, I thought I got pasta, not rice. But I started to eat it.
Dinner 1
Well, first I pulled the meat off the bones, so that did save me some bites. I had a couple of bites and then someone showed up with another plate. Apparently the first plate should have gone to the next table; it was Osso Buco. It had butter. I'm going to have diarrhea. Because I wasn't paying attention.
My actual dish was very good (it could have used some vegetables) but I probably didn't enjoy it as much as I would have, now that I am second guessing myself and pissed off at myself and pissed off at them but mostly pissed off at myself.
Dinner 2
The manager came out to make sure I wasn't going to die. He said they would offer me a free dessert but they don't have one I can eat. I was surprised when we got the bill that they didn't comp us anything, a drink or something.

I kinda really wish the friends had stuck with our original plan to come over to our house for dinner. Yeah the house was a mess. And it's work for us to cook. But at least I know what the hell I'm eating. I'm pretty sure that was just their cover; they didn't want to drive that far, but still. I'm really trying not to be that person, the one that doesn't go out because of food issues, but this is so discouraging.

Friday, October 18, 2013

This week is stalking me into next week.

I thought I could break up with This Week and be done with it.

But then I got a call confirming my doctor appointment on Tuesday. With the doctor I wasn't able to see this past Tuesday because she isn't there on Tuesdays.

W. T. F. Are you kidding me? I must be mishearing this message.

I called back to find out if I misunderstood since my appointment is scheduled on Thursday and I was told that whoever told me that was wrong. I'm pretty sure I was talking to the same person but who knows.

Anyway. I now how an appointment in Tempe on Tuesday followed by an appointment for a blood draw in Scottsdale. Then I have another doctor appointment on Thursday in Tempe. AND I'm supposed to schedule an appointment with my primary doctor. How am I supposed to get any work done?

So I stayed later at the office than I wanted or meant to but we have had some technical problems with our time tracking system and I knew that I would probably lose all my entries thus far if I didn't actually finish and release my time. But since I already lost a bunch of entries (that I shouldn't have lost but it's being all wonky), I had to recreate what I have done for three weeks. I'm so frustrated with this ridiculousness.

(To be fair, there are some women in government too. But we all know the men did this.)

I went to the neighborhood Bunco, just taking some leftovers for my dinner since I was running so late. And Mick made me a large tasty beverage. When I got there, everyone was still eating and chatting and hadn't started playing so I felt better about being so late.

Then the host, who eats somewhat restricted due to her husband's food sensitivities told me she had made a gluten-free carrot cake and would go through the ingredients with me. I know she doesn't do dairy so I thought we might be okay but I was doubtful. The frosting checked out! And then there were four eggs in the cake. Oh well.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Books: Canning

I borrowed several canning books from the library in addition to the one I bought with my canning equipment.

I read the purchased book first, Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving, where I learned that canning is not quite what I thought. That big black pot is only for some canning; I need a pressure cooker for a lot of it too. Huh.

Then I read Put 'em Up! This book is nicely arranged as a resource for any type of preserving and using produce. The step by step instructions for processes range from traditional canning to freezing and even making infused alcohols and vinegars. When I saw several pages for an "obscure" item like rhubarb, including how to freeze it, I knew this is likely to be a book I go buy. I did not learn kitchen skills growing up, so this could become a great resource.

I also read/skimmed Canning for a New Generation and Canning and Preserving. They both seem like useful books. I would consider picking up a used copy of either but Put 'Em Up was my favorite, then Canning for a New Generation and then Canning and Preserving.

Update: I decided to order Put 'em Up! on Amazon. I am a little baffled by why I would buy a used version. It appears cheaper but when you add shipping, it costs the same. Wha...?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I am a boss.

I don't think of myself as "the boss" but someone on my team does! She got me an AJ's gift card for Bosses Day because I go get ice tea there. That is a very thoughtful gift.
A gift! For me!
I forgot to take photos but I had a weird experience at Beckett's Table. I like that place and my friend B wanted to go so we went and had something we've had before. We split a salad and each had the cast iron chicken. I have it with vegetables and no butter and she has it with the standard stuffing. I also have a lovely Tito's drink.
The salad comes out and my first bite has a weird crunch. So I look closer. We're sitting outside so the lighting is not great. There is some kind of brittle on our salad. Huh. I don't remember that. It is a seasonal restaurant so I guess we should have asked more questions. B points out that it usually doesn't have lettuce either; she is picking it out as she has been having some trouble with lettuce.
We flag down our guy and confirm the brittle has butter. I really debate picking it off or having a new one made (he had already run off) but B encourages me to do what I know I should. So they had to make me a new salad. I don't think we'll get that again for a while. The chicken was fantastic though. Even without butter.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What appointment?

The more I do, the farther behind I get. That doesn't sound right. Let me try again.

As I check things off my list, I get to add several more items. Huh. That didn't sound better.

When I think I'm almost done with something, it gets rescheduled. Well, now, this just isn't working at all.

Last night, Cassi had discharge coming from her hoo-haa. Like dripping, trailing, snotty looking grossness. Poor baby. I added vet to my list. That would be schedule vet, go to vet. Then Mick said he thought that wasn't necessary. Hmm. Okay. I'll leave it on my later list.

I had a big Paleo breakfast of meatballs, sweet potato, apple, almond butter and pumpkin pie coconut butter. So I wasn't all that hungry for lunch. I had a doctor appointment at 1 so I thought I'd eat after.

I did not have a doctor appointment. Well, I did, but I didn't. When I go to the naturopathic college, I pay, then schedule the next appointment if needed. I write it on the receipt and read it back to confirm. When I get to my office, I put the appointment on both my calendars before putting the receipt in my current medical file. This is my ritual since I am not the best at remembering things.

Apparently, Dr. H only works on Thursdays so they wouldn't have scheduled me for a Tuesday appointment. Let's just note here that my last appointment (less than two months ago) was on a Wednesday.


Yeah, I am rescheduled. I'm guessing they cleared her schedule without checking all the appointments.

So now I'm pissed, I've wasted my time, I'm not really hungry but I know I have to eat since I have class tonight and won't really eat dinner first. I'm near ASU and think there is a Bombay Spice around there. Well, I find it but it's on campus so there is only metered parking. Never freaking mind. But around the corner, I see Thai Basil. I'll try that.

The waitress confirms that the curries are all wheat-free, soy-free, and dairy-free.
red curry with chicken
I like it.

Monday, October 14, 2013

This post is bullshit.

This post is whiny. And there is a LOT of cursing. Feel free to skip it.
O. M. F. G.

F. F. F. F.

I love my job. I love my job. I love my job.

So we have this five hour annual meeting, mandatory attendance for all employees in all of our offices. Of course, since we have multiple offices, I thought "I can work at home and video conference the meeting." That totally makes sense given that we will be having a videoconference meeting.

Or maybe it doesn't and my idea of what makes sense is totally off base.

There was a menu sent around for the lunch order. For Paradise Bakery. What the goddamn fuck. Like I could possibly eat anything from there.* I replied that I was planning to work at home. I got a response back that it would have to be okay with the person copied on the mail. Since he didn't say no, I thought it was a yes. Oh, my word, I am such a fucking idiot.

So the menu went out again today for those of us who haven't ordered. And I say that I'm working at home. And I can't eat anything from there. But thanks. And then I get the "you can't work at home unless it's approved." And the "approver" emails "people can work from home another day, they should be in the office for this meeting." [Yes, I know there should be a semi-colon but that is how he wrote it.]

While I am sending a response that I misunderstood and I'll bring my own lunch, I get ANOTHER. FUCKING. EMAIL requesting my order. From the same person. The one I have already told at LEAST twice that I can't eat that crap. Are you fucking with me? Holy hell, what is wrong with you? If you were in this office right now, I would probably have to leave to keep from smacking the crap outta you and calling you names.

This bullshit is bullshit. Every damn day is hard enough for me without this bullshit. Fuck you all. No, really. FUCK YOU.

Then she says that "If there is a place you can grab takeout, please do so and give the receipt to [office manager] for reimbursement. Every employee should have a meal regardless of their dietary restrictions. :)"

YES SHE DID. Yes, she did say that bullshit. And! Yes, she did put a fucking smile face emoticon. Every employee should have a meal regardless of their dietary restrictions? REALLY?!

Really. Where has this policy been for the last year? Or two.

*Our Friday "lunchtime learning" where they order lunch every other week and I have been able to eat ONCE gets on my last goddamn nerve. Last week, when I was going to be out of town, they ordered from the ONE. PLACE. THEY. ORDER. FROM. THAT HAS FOOD I CAN EAT. What the fucking hell, people? I even asked if they could get something else and order that next time and they just smiled at me like I'm some little kid they don't want to upset so they won't say no but they aren't going to give me what I want either. I fucking hate people. All of you. Hate you all. Fuck off.

So I asked if I would have time to leave and come back without missing anything. And under my breath in my inside voice I said since it is so fucking important for us to be together as a group in only three locations and not four.

Yep, there is a whole half hour that people will be eating lunch while I can go GET MY LUNCH. AND COME BACK. But "people will continue eating" when the presentation starts back up. Yeah, as long as the trough has food in it, people will keep mindlessly eating. (Sorry, feeling a little judgmental right now.)

I know it's not her fault that I'm a freak pain in the ass freaky McFreakster, but still, this whole thing is fucking bullshit. I'm tired of feeling singled out or left out. Why does everything have to center around food all the damn time anyway?

Maybe I'm overreacting but fuck. Fuck this bullshit. I'm over it. Or whatever.

Oh yeah. I have four pimple or rashy things on my chest where I keep breaking out. I also think this is bullshit. I need a new wardrobe of only crew neck or higher neck shirts. It will take weeks for these to disappear. It's bullshit.
I'm so gross. FML.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

San Diego travel notes

We drove to San Diego for the weekend with Mick's friend R to meet up with another friend doing a 10 day brewery tour. Yep, I was the DD. Thankfully, we only went for the weekend.

The Westin is under construction. Jackhammer construction. Boo.

We met the friend and wife at Tipsy Crow for drinks.

I had Chopin (potato vodka), cranberry and lime.
We went to some brewery I've already forgotten the name of and had dinner from a food truck. They made tacos and fries for me. It was actually pretty good but also light. We 3 went for second dinner later at Hopping Pig. I had a beef and pork burger which may have been one of the best burger patties I've ever had. Plus caramelized onions. Yes please. And another Chopin and cranberry. Apparently no one has Tito's but they have Chopin.

We didn't stay out nearly late enough for R but I was wiped from this week and Mick was about to pass out from the ridiculous amount of beer they already drank so we called it a night.

The next morning, we met the friends at Coffee Bean where I got coffee to go with my almond milk I brought from home. The friend's wife tells us on the way to breakfast that she had seen a place with gluten-free and vegan options but decided on this place instead. A creperie. Mick and I almost started laughing. That has to be the epitome of what I can't eat. They were able to give me some fruit and bacon. And I had a yogurt I brought with me.

We split up since they were picking up another friend so we wouldn't all fit.

Want. Mick said yes. :)
We met at BNS Brewery where they drank a lot of these little glasses--I think a dozen or more each.

want those glasses, too
We had lunch at a sushi restaurant they wanted to go to.
the clock
The waitress was pretty good about helping me order but the guys also ordered sushi/sashimi for the table to share. I had a rainbow roll with shrimp instead of crab. This was my favorite thing I ate but I miss soy sauce. A lot. I should have run over to Von's to see if they had coconut aminos or chili sauce.
half my rainbow roll with shrimp sushi
The shared plate had a couple ponzu items in the middle and egg items as well so I watched carefully what was touching what. When there was not much left, R asked me to have some more but I couldn't. Mick actually knew what was going on and mentioned that the remaining items had contaminated items dragged across them (I would have just said they were touching, but he was right). I think it was just a defensive thing, since he felt bad that I couldn't eat it and he didn't think about what he was doing, but he kinda made some commentary about us being ridiculous. In reality, maybe I would have had more if there was sauce or something but the large pieces of just fish were not that appetizing to me after a few pieces.

The friends took off and we went to Seaport Village. I got some awesome stuff for my sister, and Mick and I got a few things too. He kept me from buying more for my sister. Voice of reason and all that. We stopped at Ben and Jerry's for a snack and they had 3 non-dairy sorbets so I had the berry and lemonade. They were very good together; separate, the berry was better.
Almost ice cream
That evening we met at Stone brewery with a couple more couples. I thought we were going to a garden but it was a beer garden. In case you don't know (I'm probably the last person in the world to figure this one out), a beer garden is a patio where you drink beer.
beer garden for real yo
We sat for dinner and the waiter helped me out with ordering. Since the rest of the table was ordering appetizers, I got ceviche without the chips. It was good.
I bet those quail were good...
They also had Brussels sprouts. The ladies who ordered them thought they were burnt. I thought they looked roasted but I couldn't eat them. So R and Mick tried them and said they were good. YES! Mick ate Brussels sprouts. And not just one. He thought the ladies were being ridiculous and tried to explain they could take the outside layer off and it's green inside. I pointed out the pancetta to him and he liked that too of course. Now he's a little excited that we're growing the Brussels sprouts.
dinner is served
My dinner was a prosciutto wrapped rainbow trout with brown rice and pan roasted carrots (in oil) topped with arugula. The fish was very good. The prosciutto was great except that I didn't want to eat the fish skin so I was peeling the prosciutto off the fish skin--messy. The carrots were surprisingly good and Mick had a few.

Since we were there to celebrate the friend's birthday, there was dessert ordered all around. And they had one the waiter was certain I could have and another he thought I could have. (One said g/f on the menu and the other didn't but we weren't sure why it wouldn't be.) So I ordered the safe one, a tapioca pudding with mango chutney.
I love coconut milk.
The friends were done but we knew R wouldn't want to call it a night, so we took the earlier suggestion of the owner of a shop at Seaport Village and walked from our hotel to the Top of the Hyatt. It was not a party scene but we had drinks and hung out for a while before heading back.
our view of the water
Today, we were going to Kono's for breakfast at the suggestion of Mick's friend we had dinner with last weekend. While he stood in line, R and I got coffee, then joined him. The lady behind us was certain they would be able to feed me. At least a fruit cup. Ha-ha. They use bananas so no. But the bacon was way better than the creperie. So I had about the same meal as yesterday but no fruit. And it was on the beach.
See his giant burrito?
We headed down to Mission Beach, stopped in some shops, then they sat at the bar at the Wave House while I walked on the beach. Because it's San Diego. And the beach. And sand. And awesome.
I'm no Beyoncé.
Before leaving, I had another ceviche. The waiter said it's local cod and he gave me veggies with it. Pretty good stuff.
In case it looks like I ate pretty healthy the whole time, I also snacked during the whole trip on a bag of Way Better Sweet Chili chips that I finished on the way home.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Research update

I went for my monthly monitoring and L says I still have a low grade fever, for the second month now. She said I should go to my primary doctor to see if I have a sinus infection. Add it to the list. We're about to head out of town and I am so swamped, I would be behind even if I had a few clones.
On our patio

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I am a frog in a pot.

I went for my follow up appointment with the eye specialist. Since it was away from my office, I went to lunch at Nourish (gluten-free, soy-free). I noticed they had an "Asian shredded chicken" as one of the choices now so I got my "usual" teriyaki rice bowl but had that instead of the grilled chicken. Um, yum.
I eat it all.
I was going to get dessert (since I can!) but realized I was running short on time so I headed to the doctor's office instead.

And then. I waited an hour in the waiting room and then had a pretty slow visit too so I was there over two hours. Grr.
Since the last visit, I've been happy to not have eye pain. I can look to the side without mentally wincing. I didn't even realize that it hurt so much and so constantly until it didn't hurt! I'm like the proverbial frog in the pot of water, not realizing is getting warmer and I'm boiling to death.
I took my "bandage" out of my eye and he said that the "skinned knee" looking injury had healed very nicely. Although he compared it to the stuff that accumulates on ice when people are skating. Either way it healed nicely. Yay for that, right?
I don't have to use the medicated drops unless I start having issues again like redness in that eye. I do still have to use the eye gel and tape my eyes at night. And he gave me some eye gel drops to use during the day.
As we were talking I tried to ask good questions. I may even remember some of it!
I asked about the surgery the other doctor had told me about. He confirmed what I was guessing from my limited research. The other doctor is talking about a surgery for protruding eyes. While common with Graves disease, I actually don't have the protruding eyes. My kids are pulled back. There is a different surgery to correct that. He expects that I will need it but he only wants to do it once so he is waiting for my Graves disease to "run its course" and stabilize. It is just surgery on the eyelid, nothing to do with the bones.
I was a little annoyed that this condition is commonly seen in Graves disease but I wasn't warned. Or even told that he was watching for it once he started the process of elimination. I guess they can't warn about everything that is associated with what I'm diagnosed with but it seems like I get everything that is commonly associated with what I've already got. It's annoying. Scary. Anger inducing.
I try not to say why me but it sure is hard to avoid that attitude when things keep going the wrong way, one thing on top of the next. It sometimes feels like, when it comes to my health, if it can go wrong, it will.

I needed new tires and the Toyota dealership is reminding me. We have a good relationship with Discount Tire so I decided to go there. The price wasn't better but they do warranty and I was exhausted, unsure I would get into the dealership before our trip, etc. So I proceeded. But they only had 3 of the 4 I needed; they had to bring one from another store. I asked about Wi-Fi and he told me to go over to McDonald's and they would call me.

I was at McD for about an hour and decided to go back to wait. It was really busy so I sat and continued to wait. And then it cleared out. And I was still waiting. Reading, but waiting. So I asked when my car would be ready and it apparently had been done for a while. They called and left a message on my home phone and claimed that they called my cell but it didn't show up at all, not as missed or message or anything. Argh! I just wasted at least an hour of time while I'm all stressed out about the zillion things I need to get done. And it's my fault for not checking when I came back.

Delta Machine

Last night was the Depeche Mode concert. I was originally going with my girl A but she had some work travel come up so I found a replacement; my girl J wanted to go. Of course, after I tell her she can have the ticket, I find out our friend D is a HUGE fan. Oh well. My husband also offered to go. If he had to. I'm glad he didn't have to; I think know he would have hated it.
J and I decided to meet at Carrabas for a drink and dinner first. Since it wasn't far, we rode together to the venue. On the way, she expressed concern about how late the concert would go. I had heard that they shut shows down at 11 and she thought that was late. We should have gone back for her car then. But alas...
She was sniffling and hoarse, said it was allergies but she had been sick last week. Hmm. Of course she was miserable the whole time and I felt guilty but I wanted to see the whole show.

The opening act was...not good.
It was a beautiful night and I could look up at the stars when I wasn't looking at the stage. The weather was absolutely perfect for an outdoor concert.
My friend T's photo
Depeche Mode was great. I didn't really know a few of the early songs but then I knew them all. At about 10:45, they had done a couple encores and J thought they were done. We knew they weren't since the lights hasn't come on but I finally gave in and left. As we did, they started a slow song.  I'm certain they played one more awesome song after that. I'm a little sad I missed it. But I had a good time.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Horchata Chia

When was the last time I had horchata? I don't even remember. But at least a couple years!
What is going on outside that door...
So I made this horchata chia seed pudding. It is reminiscent of tapioca.
dogs enjoying the pavers and fall weather
I added blueberries so I could call it breakfast. Or healthy. Or whatever. Not bad but the consistency varies--some of it is soupier, but some of it is very thick globs. I'm not sure if this is a keeper or not.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook

I think it has been a while since I posted a book review.

I just returned a book to the library this week since I ran out of renewals. Here is my Goodreads review of The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook by Cybele Pascal.

The information provided in the front was concise and relevant. I tried three recipes before I had to return it to the library. I'm reluctant to rate the book at this time because of a couple things.

I have been eating "allergy-free" for a couple years and have just ventured back into baking. I am not doing well at it. I don't know yet if it is me or the recipes. I think it is extremely difficult to bake without wheat, eggs, AND dairy. I want my recipes to taste like the real deal. I'd generally rather go without than have something subpar.

I prefer recipes that just include measurements for the types of flour but she uses a flour mix in many of the recipes. That isn't a big deal to me but should be noted.

The first recipe, morning glory muffins, were edible but not good. Perhaps I over-baked them. I threw most of them out.

The second recipe, blondies, was not what I expected but I really liked it. They weren't really that brownie-like consistency. They were more like chocolate chunk cookies in bar form. My husband who eats "normal" was not a fan of them. On the one hand, that could mean they are only good to those of us who "have" to eat that way. On the other, more for me!

The third recipe I tried, buckwheat apple muffins, did not use the flour blend. They smelled fantastic and were pretty good out of the oven but the flavor was kind of bland and I found that I didn't really want to finish eating them.

I'm also allergic to yeast and bananas (among other things) so there are a number of recipes I can't try. I would consider this a decent resource for those struggling to bake allergen-free, but know there will be some hits and misses along the way.

I have a stack of books to read, return, give up on...

Thursday, October 3, 2013


So on my way home after the appointment with the eye specialist yesterday, I was supposed to go to Walgreens to get my medicated drops.
But I totally forgot. Not only did I forget--I went to JCPenney to exchange something and buy bras in a bigger size (I've been wearing the wrong size since I gained this 20 pounds) and I forgot about the exchange. Alright then.
So today I had my appointment with Dr. Q for my adjustments. It was a weird appointment. The "work" was the usual but... First, I waited about half an hour and they took his NEXT appointment so I had to ask if I got skipped and I had so they had to kind of push me back into the line-up.
Then he and his students talked about some shit going on with the school's administration and I learned way too much about how the doctors and students are used and abused. For example, if the students arrange (as is encouraged) to have hours at the doctor's office, the doctor doesn't get anything at all--money, acknowledgement, whatever.
Apparently, a few doctors were fired very publicly and it seems in quite bad taste but also could be damaging to their reputations although it sounds as though it was more over disagreements than something that should damage them. Anyway...
When I left, I went to Walgreens near my office so I wouldn't drive all the way home without getting my medicated eye drops again. I went to Pita Jungle for lunch while I waited. When I returned, someone was getting a flu vaccine and was asked about being allergic to eggs. Ah yes, I can always use that as my reason for not getting the vaccine. Thank the Lord I never got one. I can't imagine how sick it would have made me.
Well, the Walgreens did not have the drops! They called another Walgreens for me to go pick them up at. In the opposite direction of where I was headed. Nice. But I got them and got home. That was almost a waste of a work at home day. (Since I was in the office neighborhood, it didn't save any drive time; I did still manage to put some hours in...)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Eye bandage

I went to the eye specialist today.
My right eye scarring is in the typical location for Graves' disease, at the bottom of the cornea. That has healed since my last visit; he called it an "old scar."
The abrasion on the upper left eye is still there plus there is now redness/irritation above the cornea. He asked if my eye is suddenly beet red but not that I've noticed.  It's just red irritated, not really beet red.
So taping my eyes at night was his process of elimination: the right eye is better but the left is worse or not better, different.
He says I have SLK (Superior Limbic Keratoconjunctivitis), something common in Graves disease. (The link says 3% of Graves' disease patients so I don't know if I would call it "common" but okay.)
It is treatable! I was given a bandage lens, like a contact lens. It stays in at all times and I must take medicated eye drops 2-3 times a day. To get the lens into my eye, the lady who does that had to give me a numbing drop. Wow, my eye feels fantastic. It doesn't hurt--at--all!
While using the drops in the left eye, no gel in left eye at night. But I still tape both eyes. I go back in a week and he says that I could need surgery if I have no response to the medication. Boo.
Did I mention that my eye feels NO PAIN?! :)
Those numbing drops are awesome. But she told me that they are addictive and actually do long-term damage if you use them all the time. (Apparently welders have issues with overuse after damaging their eyes.) But it feels good today! I can look left and right, without feeling that, I don't even know what to call it. I'm just getting used to having it.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


I ate my weekend leftovers today at the office...some for lunch and some for dinner. I had Fajitas grilled veggies and shrimp with Tortilla Factory pork verde.
Good combination