Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I will call it cilantro lime chicken

Last night I got home much later than expected, had nothing prepared for dinner and was hungry. I had chicken and a few other random things so I started in on it.

Put coconut oil (or your preferred oil) in a pan to coat
  • add the following
    • chicken breasts
    • some lime juice (I probably used about a 1/2 tbls)
    • garlic (2 cloves chopped up)
    • cilantro
    • basil
    • mushrooms
  • I let that all cook up until chicken was no longer pink
  • Add a little of your favorite shredded cheese (I used a vegan mozzarella) and let melt
  • Add spinach at the end and only cook just until it wilts. 
This would be good with rice or potatoes and took me less than 30 minutes. The lime added a nice flavor, especially with the mushrooms. This meal is void of the top 8 allergies, and could easily be modified to fit food allergy or picky eater needs. I think I will try a small amount of onions next time too. 

I hope you can use this when you are in a bind and need dinner quick. Please comment and let me know what modifications you make and how it turns out!


Monday, December 27, 2010

Grandma Griffin's sticky buns...Christmas tradition

This is a family recipe that is so good I just can't keep it to myself. I never met my Great-grandmother but I know all about her because of one Christmas recipe- Sticky buns. These are not your traditional cinnamon rolls with frosting. These are made with a syrup sauce and they melt in your mouth. 

My Dad said when he was little, his grandmother would make tons of these on Christmas morning and his whole family would just gobble them up. He has carried on the tradition and I think my sisters and I would riot if we didn't have them on Christmas morning. This year my Dad and I made them together and on accident used whole wheat flour. We decided to experiment and do one batch with regular flour and one with whole wheat to see how the new version measured up.We made each dough the night before and put them in the garage (it was cold enough and there was no room in the fridge). The next morning we woke up before my sisters and my mom and got started on breakfast. Dad made the sauce while I worked on the dough.

Once you pull them out of the oven, flip them onto a plate before they cool and let the sauce drip down the rolls so they are all sticky and gooey.

Grandma Griffin’s Sticky Buns

Ice box roll dough
1\2 cup sugar
1 Tbls. Shortening, or butter
2 cups of boiling water
1 Tbls salt
2 eggs
1 pkg yeast (in1\4 cup hot water with a pinch of sugar)
5-6 cups of flour ( more if needed)

Pour boiling water over sugar and shortening and salt. Cool to lukewarm.
Lightly beat eggs and add to above. Add yeast, mix lightly. Add flour and knead until the dough
is stiff but not dry. Cover and put in refrigerator overnight.

In the morning:
Preheat oven to 325

1\4 lb. butter
3\4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbls. Syrup
1 tsp cinnamon

Melt all of the above together. Pour into the bottom of 2 baking dishes, a cake or pie
dish works well. Roll out the dough thin. Brush with butter, sprinkle
with sugar, cinnamon and raisins. Cut in strips about one inch wide. Roll up and
place in topping. Bake for approx. 30 min. Remove and turn upside down on a plate.
Makes 2 plates.

Let cool slightly and enjoy!!! My Dad would probably suggest to enjoy them with some strong, hot coffee.

We decided that it doesn't actually matter which flour you use. Both tasted great and if it had been a blind taste test I wouldn't have known the difference. I plan to make these again with more allergy friendly ingredients so look forward to that in the next few months.

Till next time...

Friday, December 24, 2010

New Years Resolutions

I normally don't have New Years resolutions. I typically just pick one area of my life to focus on and improve as an overall goal. Needless to say there is never any benchmarks or control. This year I have a plan...to plan! I am putting all my New Year's Resolutions on the blog so that all of you can hold me accountable. I have 4 overall topics and then various "benchmarks" that I want to accomplish. A few of them may be limited by if I'm able to run again soon without upsetting my stomach. Here they are and feel free to ask me whenever how I'm doing with each of them.
  • Wedding
    • NO STRESS planning
    • Have vendors secured and set by end of August- little details don't need to be complete
  • Komen Race for the Cure
    • Establish twitter account (already done!!!)
    • Establish Linkedin
    • Optimize Social Media
    • Tweet live from each event
    • Market each event @ least 5 weeks prior
    • Have equally successful Race numbers or better as 2010
  • Fitness
    • Pink Bikini Stoll- End of Spring- Actually wear (confidently) a pink bikini!
    • Run entire Muddy Buddy running sections
    • Aerial= be able to perform 1 apparatus by Dec 2011 (probably hoop)
  • Blog
    • 1-2 recipes per week
    • review products 1/month
    • turn blog into something video
So there they are. Feel free to ask me how they are going throughout the year! I hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday weekend!

TIll next time...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Major Update: Hospital stay, new foods, and no diagnosis

I was hospitalized for 5 days the week after Thanksgiving. I had been holding off on posting this on my blog because I was waiting for a diagnosis of what landed me there, but since that hasn't happened (and may not for a while) I figured I would share with you all. So here is an overview.

Stomach pains and headache began Thanksgiving night but figured I ate too much (even though I was really good and didn't stuff myself). Friday morning I was supposed to go wedding dress shopping with my future Mother-in-law and one of my bridesmaids. I was just too sick to even get out of bed. Later that day I was convinced to go to the urgent care where I was given antibiotics and told to go to the ER if anything got worse or I spiked a fever.

Long story short, after 2 ER trips, a fever of 103 for more than 2 days, 2 types of CT scans and an ultrasound I was admitted (with no diagnosis). The pain was severe and sharp at the top of my abdomen, and if I moved it was worse. Then 5 days later, after a lot of pain and nausea medicine, tons of antibiotics, no food, a scope down my throat test (Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) ), and a ton of blood work I was allowed to go home.
Results showed that I have a stomach full of ulcers, a lazy stomach (gastroparesis- my stomach doesn't empty properly) and a lot of inflammation in my stomach, duodenum, and intestines. The bigger problem is "what is causing all this"? 

While I wait for diagnosis (which I'm sure will include more testing) I am on a ton of pills each day to help my stomach heal the ulcers and "re-train" it to pass food normally. I am feeling so much better but can tell I'm not back to my normal self. 

There is a huge silver lining....I am not allergic to wheat, dairy or corn!!!!!!!!! So my food options have opened up enormously! I am still avoiding all nuts, seeds, oats and rice until further testing can occur. The doctors are thinking that I was never really allergic but rather all the stomach pain after eating was actually from the gastroparesis. It's good because I can eat more foods and eat out easier but not great because I need to know why I have gastroparesis. 

I want to thank each of you for sending emails, facebook notes, texts, phone calls, and tweets while I was bored. A big thanks to my parents and future in-laws for my pretty flowers and all their support, my 2 girlfriends who came to visit while I was all drugged up, my friend who sent me music to keep me occupied, my nurse friend who always checked on my status (even while she was on vacation with her man), and my 2 DU girls who sent tons of texts and emails. A huge thank you goes out to my fiancée who was by my side as often as I let him and who continues to take care of me. 

As this "saga" continues I hope I will get good news and it will be very short lived. In the mean time I hope everyone has a wonderful and relaxing holiday season.

Till next time...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tropical Tradition's Coconut oil in my Grandma's sugar cookies

My first "official" review. Also my first experience with coconut oil. Here was my initial thoughts that I wrote in an email to a friend who wanted the recipe:

This is my grandmother's cookie recipe that I modified. My changes are in red. Coconut oil was different than working with butter but I really liked it. Must be melted first but if it's too hot it cooks the egg.

1 C. butter- used 1 cup of melted coconut oil
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
4 C. sifted flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
8 tsps. milk- vanilla soy milk

Cream sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients in a seperate bowl. Add milk and stir. Combine with sugar mixture. Chill dough. Roll out until 1/4" thick. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.

1 lb. powdered suger
1/2 C. melted butter- 1/2 cup of coconut oil
capful of coconut extract- didn't actually use this
water to make spreadable.

The cookies turned out great and the 4 dozen I have brought to work this week have all disappeared. People who like coconut really liked the flavor. Next time I use coconut oil in baking I will let it cool a tad first, without letting is congeal again, before mixing it with eggs. Sorry I didn't take any picture of them but they are your basic sugar cookies with white frosting. You can put candies or sprinkles on the tops after frosting them. My Grandma used to put red hots and Hersey kisses on top! 

I will definitely use coconut oil on a regular basis. Any recipe suggestions welcome!

See below for some information from Tropical Traditions which is where the coconut oil came from. Thanks to them I was able to try something new in my kitchen that will probably become a regular item. 

To acquire your own complimentary copy of Virgin Coconut Oil book visit the following site: 
Choose “Referred by a Friend” and enter the User ID: 6711882 on your first online order, the book will be automatically added to your order and you will receive a coupon good for complimentary products for each referral made. 

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review in return for the free product.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thanksgiving update: a tad late

Thanksgiving has come and gone and I am late to update the blog due to poor health. I am on the mend and back up and running and here is a quick run through of how my Thanksgiving meal went.


The only things that were not allergy friendly were the rolls, gravy and stuffing. I am not a huge fan of any of them anyways so it turned out to be easy for me!

Here are some pictures of how it all turned out.
Such an easy and yummy recipe!

Uncooked- so good the fiance wants me to make them again!

Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving!

Till next time...