Saturday, October 27, 2007

Cooking In Autumn

"One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating."

- Luciano Pavarotti

Day 9 Of The 13 Diabetic Days Of Halloween.

I love cooking in autumn. Desserts have been a favorite in past years, but this year I have been really interested in new main dish meals. Alan and I really enjoy hearty, home style type dinners like pot roast, stews and meatloaf. So, while we were discussing what to have for dinner one evening, a couple weeks ago, we decided to get our creative on, and expand on a basic meatloaf. There is nothing like a long drive in the country to make me feel creative.

After we both made a few suggestions back and forth, we finally decided on a ground turkey meatloaf, stuffed with Gorgonzola cheese, and spinach. It was really easy, and if I do say so myself, it was delicious. The cheese gave the whole meatloaf a nice flavor, and the cheese rose to the top of the meat, during cooking, which gave it a nice crust on top. I am going to play with the recipe a little more, and see if I can improve it, but for right now, it is pretty darn good. :) By the way, I figured in all the calories, and sliced a portion of 1/8 of the meatloaf. It came to about 375 calories, and had a nice green salad on the side. My dinner was under 450 calories. :) Good eating, and good for my diabetes.

Carly's Spinach Meatloaf
(Alan calls it GorGonGobbleLoaf)

2 lbs. Ground Turkey or Chicken
2 slices extra sourdough bread (chopped into crumbs)
1 pkg meatloaf seasoning, (Lawry's is what I use)
4 oz, chopped Gorgonzola cheese
1 pkg (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach (thawed to room temperature and drained if necessary).


Mix ground turkey and meatloaf seasoning in a bowl according to package directions. Separate the mixture in half, and set aside. Put half the mixture in a medium sized baking dish, and put the thawed spinach on top. Next, add the crumbled cheese and top with the remaining meatloaf mixture. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until meat thermometer inserted directly into the meatloaf reads 190, or until it is no longer pink. About 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Note: Different meatloaf seasonings call for different additions, such as milk or eggs. Any seasoning package will work fine for this meatloaf.

I will have more recipes later next week. :) Stay Tuned.

"Harvest Meatloaf"
Woodside, California
October, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #189: Amuse Me!

"It is a curious fact that people are never so trivial as when they take themselves seriously."

-Oscar Wilde

You know, I just had me a thought. I've been doing these Weekend Assignments for, what? Three and a half years now? Every Thursday, posting something to amuse you and give you something to post about over the weekend. And what do I get in return? Well, yes, I get paid. In cash, even. But where is the love? Where is my amusement? Where is my fun? Damn it, when do I get mine? Huh?

Weekend Assignment #189: Amuse Me, Damn It! Yeah, that's right. You amuse me for a change. Tell me a joke. Tell me a story. Show me a funny picture. Point to an good online video game. Suggest a good book or movie. Link me to a diverting YouTube or AOL video, like those soda/Mentos fountain things (but not that, I've already seen those). Anything, people, just as long as it's amusing. You know, something you think I would like. Like what, you say? Well, you know. Surprise me.

Extra Credit: Share your favorite pun. I love me a good pun.

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

Day 8 Of The 13 Diabetic Days Of Halloween!

Yep, I'm back from Nevada, and it is day 8 of my journey through the 13 Diabetic Days of Halloween. I wasn't sure how I might include the Weekend Assignment in with my series on how I am dealing with having diabetes during the Halloween season, but I found a away. And yes, at times it has been mighty amusing. I was actually chased by a good sized chicken the other day, while attempting to get in some walking time at a pumpkin patch. Having a chicken pecking at your pant leg will get you to walking at a moderate pace, I will tell you that!

It seems the chickens in Nevada are, well, let's just say, a bit temperamental. LOL. I don't think he cared for all the recipes I was talking to Alan about, which happened to have chicken as the main ingredient. I guess I was being a bit, "PI" or "Poultry Incorrect." I didn't get any photos of the red menace chasing me, because it is rather difficult to take a good photo, while a big chicken is stalking you... they aren't subtle about it... but I did get a number of other fun and amusing photos of the pumpkin patches I visited. So, here are the photos, and a few little Halloween themed jokes, which can be shared with the family, that I found on the Internet. John, I hope they make you laugh, or at the very least, bring you a smile. :)

Joke #1: why do witches use brooms to ride on?

Answer: Because vacuum cleaners are too heavy.

Joke #2: Why do mummies have trouble keeping friends?

Answer: They are too wrapped up in themselves.

Joke #3: What does a vampire never order at dinner?

Answer: A stake sandwich.

Joke #4: What do you get when you goose a ghost?

Answer: A handful of sheet.

Joke #5: How does a lady vampire flirt?

Answer: She BATS her eyes.

Joke#6: What is it like to be kissed by a vampire?

Answer: It sucks.

Joke #7: Why did the skeletin go disco dancing?

Answer: To see the boogyman.

Ok, so some of those are clunkers, but humor really is good for the soul. Thank you John, for lowering my blood sugar levels by encouraging me to get in touch with my silly side. Laughter is the best medicine. My glucose reading today, 2 1/2 hrs. after lunch was, 101! :)

Why did the vampire subscribe to the Wall Street Journal?

He heard it had a great circulation. :)

Extra Credit: "When she told me I was average, she was just being mean."

"Mr. Happy Pumpkin"
Half Moon Bay, California
October 21, 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007

Off To Nevada

"Who is more foolish, the child who is afraid of the dark, or the man who is afraid of the light?"

-Maurice Freehill

Day 5 of the 13 Diabetic Days Of Halloween.

Well, Alan and I had a lovely Family Day. It was sunny, and warm, and when we looked out over the Pacific Ocean, we could see forever. :) As you can see, we stopped in at one of our favorite haunts, the Pigeon Point Lighthouse, which sits half way between, Half Moon Bay, and Santa Cruz, California. Earlier in the day, we hopped between 6 different pumpkin patches and farms. We purchased 9 pumpkins for cooking, and one good sized Jack 'O Lantern. It was a fun day, but a very busy one. It's going to be a very busy week coming up as well, and I am getting tired just thinking about it, but it will be a good kind of busy.

Tomorrow, we will be off to Reno, Nevada. We go there each year to kick back, and enjoy the fabulous Sierras, and the nightlife and casino's of Reno. This will be my first vacation as a newly diagnosed diabetic, and to be honest, I am a little nervous about balancing cutting loose and having fun, while keeping up with my diabetic needs. The nutritional values of restaurant foods isn't always available, and I like to keep close watch of how and what I eat. I think it will be ok, I have educated myself well on my nutritional needs, but still, I seem to be ultra aware of my new condition. Does that make sense?

The other concern I have is about Elvis. This is his first time, since he was diagnosed with diabetes, that I will be away from him. He won't be alone, he is staying with "Dr. B." He adores the "Dr. B" and the nurses at the clinic, and they are fond of him as well, so I know he won't get lonely, but as for me, well, I am a wreck! LOL. How can I possibly get any sleep, without my kitty sleeping at my feet? How can I wake up, and enjoy my day, without being touched by paw pads and kisses? He is my sunshine, and my best little friend. He is my Elvis. :)

You don't know what being ignored is, until you have been ignored by a cat. LOL. I am sure when we pick Elvis up on Friday, he will be in full ignore mode. Sigh. We drop him off later today, and I am already feeling separation anxiety. LOL. I know, I know, he will be fine, so why do I feel like I am abandoning him? Will he understand I will be coming back for him? Will he fall in love with the nurses and bond with them? Will he get so mad at me that he never pats my face again? Yikes! I know, I know... I am just being silly. He will always love me. After all, we have been together for over ten years now, but just in case, I think he and I will have some serious Elvis and mommy time when I get home. LOL. :)

Ok, I am officially on holiday. I will be back on Friday, October 26th, with lots of photos, and updates about how I spent days, 5, 6, and 7 of my "13 Diabetic Days Of Halloween." The adventure continues, so stay tuned.

"Pigeon Point Lighthouse"
Pescadero, California
October 21, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Family Day 2007 (Observed)

"Once in a young lifetime one should be allowed to have as much sweetness as one can possibly want and hold."

-Judith Olney

Day 3 of the 13 Diabetic Days Of Halloween :)

It's Family Day! Well, for our family it's Family Day. LOL. Actually, the date we traditionally celebrate Family Day is usually, October, 23rd, but like last year, Alan and I will be in Nevada, so we are celebrating our made up holiday on the Sunday before. Complicated? Yes. But is it still fun? YES, MOST DEFINITELY! We will stick to all our traditions of the day, the same steps we took 17 years ago, when we made up the holiday. Of course back then we were newlyweds, and we thought we would have children one day to share it with. Alas, that was not to be, but we kept the day for ourselves. A no pressure day to just celebrate that we are not just a married couple, we are a family. :)

We will start the day in Half Moon Bay, where will choose the official pumpkins for the year. The cooking pumpkins, the carving pumpkins, and the pumpkins for my garden, but most importantly the protections pumpkins that will sit at our front door, our back door, and the one for my desk. I love walking around the pumpkin farms, looking over the little orange souls until I find just the right one. It's magic. This year, we are taking a long ride along the coast, to enjoy the sun, and the amazing beauty of HWY1. The camera will be getting quite a workout. :)

I am looking forward to picking out just the right pumpkins for cooking. I made my very first sugar-free pumpkin pie yesterday, and it came out wonderful. I simply followed the directions on the Libby's canned pumpkin label, and substituted Splenda for the sugar. I wanted to try an easy diabetic recipe to start, but now I am ready to try making a pie from scratch. I love to cook, so this year I will probably be sharing my hits and misses here on my blog. I have two new recipes to share this coming week, although it will more than likely be late in the week, after I return from Nevada. Stay Tuned!

Sugar-free Pumpkin Pie... It does a diabetic body good! :)

"Family Day"
October, 21 2007
Half Moon Bay, California