Friday, January 23, 2015

Spagehtti Squash Shrimp Primavera Recipe

We had such a great gardening season of spaghetti squash and I had so many recipes pinned on Pinterest I wanted to try but every time we made spaghetti for the family we used our spaghetti squash with our pasta sauce we canned.  This past week, I wanted to try one of the recipes I pinned and made some adaptation to the recipe and BOY AM I GLAD I MADE THIS.

My picture does not do justice for this dish. I also gave myself a smaller portion, so if I would have given the proper portion of serving, the picture would be better.  This mean was so good and we will be making this more often.  
Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Primavera


Ingredients:
  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • 2 handfuls fresh spinach
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • a couple of handfuls of grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 15 cooked shrimp
  • Parmesan cheese (to taste)
  • Fresh Basil (optional)
Directions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 375 and roast spaghetti squash OR with a knife poke several times through the rhine of the spaghetti and place on a microwaveable plate for 10 minutes. You may need to add a little more time depending on the size of your squash.  I just add a minute at a time. You will know when it is ready because it will be soft to the touch.
  2. Prepare shrimp by heating in a small pan with some olive oil.  Not too long because remember it is cooked shrimp.
  3. In a medium-size pot add oil, garlic, and onion and saute for for 3-5 minutes
  4. Add in spaghetti squash and mix well
  5. Next you will add in sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, tomatoes or any other vegetables of choice and mix well.
  6. Add in the shrimp and mix well to combine.
  7. Finally top with fresh basil if you wish and fresh Parmesan (optional) and serve hot; taste and add Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Enjoy!

Third Week In January, Currently...


 I have posted less than I wanted so I thought I would participate in this fashion to catch up with you all.

Currently...
 
Feeling great!  I have been doing a great job journaling my food intake.  I do better when I sit down and plan my entire day, I stay well within the numbers I want and if I do it by the seat of my pants, I go way over, so planning is my winner.  I lost 7 pounds last week by planning.  It was hard to get my water intake the past two days because near where I work a water main broke so that area had a water boil ordinance which made it difficult to get the amount of water, of course when I brought my water in the ordinance was lifted. (ha ha ha) Oh well, just go with the flow.  
Reading right now I am reading:
 Textbook: Brooklyn - ISBN 9781439148952
I am not very far into it and I hate when a book takes a little while to build the story line, this happens every time I finish an awesome book.  Maybe it is just me because I feel Wow that book was great and I did not want it to end already, I hope I find another good book.  I think this mentality makes any book hard in the beginning.  
Watching a few shows right now:
Parks and Recreation (2009) Poster
There is no way we are going to miss this.  We both love this comedy.
Image result for top chef
I think we have watched every season but the first season.
Marco Polo (2014) Poster
We just started this series on Netflix.  I think I like it?!  We are on episode three right now.
Writing all of next week's posts over the weekend.  I am going to try on my break this morning and afternoon to complete another recipe post and hopefully during my lunch finish my book review post but please, do NOT hold your breath. 
Listening to not much music right now. Matter of a fact, you may have noticed I have not posted Sunday's Songs in awhile.  I started to feel like I had to look for a song to post and that was not the purpose of my original postings. It was whatever song I was into that week or thought about, holding memories.  I do not want to force a blog post so I plan on posting Sunday's Song when it feels right.
Wanting to win the lottery to stay home and be a homemaker and Jolene caregiver.  However, I will settle on planing for an awesome Summer Vacation to Yellowstone.  Oh, the planning and planning I have been doing.
Needing to get rid of the rattling/wheezing.  I love the fact I am coughing less.  I just wish the other would go away because once it is gone, then I know the cough will be too, however I am on day 84 of the Whooping Cough, that magic 100 days hopefully is correct!
Hoping to have success with an interview.  Yes, you read that correctly. Now, do not take this hope wrong. I love my job and the company I work for. I am trying for the Team Lead position and will feel so great about myself to FINALLY have a degree position once in my life.  If I do not get it, I will be okay because, hey I have only been with this company four months in six days.
 
Oh, and I am still Loving Myself and baby this will never end!  No more neglecting me in my life.
 
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Friday, January 16, 2015

Book Review~The Pearl That Broke Its Shell

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell
The Pearl that Broke Its Shell
written by Nadia  Hashimi

This book was a hidden gem and my favorite book I read in 2014.  I think I found it on Barnes and Noble deal of the day and I am so happy I did.  The author is Nadia Hashimi and she did provide such a wonderful story and cultural influence of Afghan. 

The main character is Rahima and a second story within the book is of her great-great-great grandmother Shekiba who Rahima learns lessons from her life story told by her great-aunt.  The time of the book is 2007 in Kabul.  Rahima is one of five girls, no brothers of her siblings.  In this cultural no sons is a bad thing, the daughters have no rights and rarely leave the house, they cannot attend school regularly. Females are married off at a young age where a Father can earn a profit sometimes.  Rhaima's father has a drug addiction and combat fighter (most of the time the wrong side).  The only hopes of a daughter in this culture setting to be able to leave the home and to have an education is to be a bacha posh, this is an ancient custom where a female can be treated as a boy until she is of age to marry.  The daughter has to dress and act the part of a son.  Rahima's aunt persuades Rahima's mother and father to allow Rahima to be a bacha posh in order for one of the daughters to be educated.  The aunt shares the story of their great-great-great grandmother,Shekiba who was a bacha posh at one time nearly a century earlier.  Rahima is allowed to dress as a boy and attend school.  She is also allowed to run errands and go to the market.  Rahima enjoys this freedom and finds this new life very much enjoyable.  One day her father marries her and her two sisters to the same family.  Rahima is only 13 at the time.  Her life changes very much by oppression, she is abused, and lives in fear. During the time frame she was a  bacha posh time a seed was planted within her where she desired freedom and eventually assist Rahima to flee her abusive husband and family.

Within the story, you will read about Shekiba's life as well, the two stories weave within one another.  Shekiba is orphaned and ends up working as a girl-man guard to the king's harem. 

This book is full of emotions.  I highly recommend this book, be prepared for tears.  I found myself cheering for Rahima to leave.  It also made me feel so grateful where I have been born, where I have the freedom I do as a woman and the opportunity to be educated.  I simply loved this book.

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Crock Pot Chicken Marsala Recipe


We tried a new recipe for the crock pot.  Todd and I felt we needed something new, so I searched Pinterest and found several and decided to try Chicken Marsala in the Crock Pot, I did a little adaptation to the original recipe. I hope you all enjoy it as much as we did.

Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 5 ounces each)
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • ¾ cup Marsala wine
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
Directions:
  1. Coat crock pot insert with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the olive oil, shallot and garlic in bottom of slow cooker.
  2. In a small bowl stir together the flour, salt and black pepper. 
  3. Next pound the chicken to an even thickness and coat it with the flour mixture and add to the crock pot. 
  4. Scatter mushrooms over chicken and add the Marsala.
  5. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours or until the chicken is tender. 
  6. To thicken the sauce, turn the slow cooker up to HIGH. Combine the cornstarch with 2 teaspoons water and stir it into the chicken mixture. Cover and cook until the sauce has thickened 10 to 25 minutes. 
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
I added our Chicken Marsala on top of bow tie pasta.  I boiled the pasta while the sauce was thickened.  After draining the pasta thoroughly I added 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to my pasta and seasoned with Italian Season about 1/8 of a teaspoon.

Enjoy!

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

And His Diagnosis Is...


We received Noah's diagnosis last week, for the most part I was not surprised at some of the diagnosis one bit.   Here is what we found out:

Major Depressive Disorder, moderate  (Yep we knew that and he is being treated for it.)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, combined presentation. 
Oppositional Defiant Disorder, monitor for Conduct Disorder (Um...yes, this is a given by the way he does everything opposite as to what I say and so disrespectful.)
Monitor for Borderline Personality Disorder

I guess I did not understand ADHD entirely.  I would have never guessed Noah was ADHD because he can concentrate.  He spends hours in front of video games.  What I have learned is that ADHD people can spend hours or focus on things they enjoy, they just have a problem focusing or completing task they do not enjoy or do not understand.  Okay, to me that is lack of discipline with following through at least that is what I thought.  I looked at good ol' Wikiepdia for some more answers.
  
An individual with inattention may have some or all of the following symptoms:
  • Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things, and frequently switch from one activity to another  Hmmm....sometimes?
  • Have difficulty maintaining focus on one task  Totally if it is something he does not like.  (Again, who does not?)
  • Become bored with a task after only a few minutes, unless doing something enjoyable  Does not any human being?  You just have to plug away. Awh...maybe that is the issue, they do not have the connection or whatever it is in the brain to make them keep plugging away?.
  • Have difficulty focusing attention on organizing and completing a task or learning something new  Oh, his lack of organization drives me nuts but I thought that was a boy thing.
  • Have trouble completing or turning in homework assignments, often losing things (e.g., pencils, toys, assignments) needed to complete tasks or activities  I have seen this a lot with Noah.
  • Not seem to listen when spoken to  I thought this was tuning someone out or ignoring?  Wow I guess I am so out of touch.
  • Daydream, become easily confused, and move slowly  Nope, not Noah
  • Have difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as others  I am learning Noah is having difficulties here.  He is more of a person who relies on his memory and with school becoming more challenging this is where the distractions and difficulty of focusing is coming into play.  Hmmm.... maybe there is something to this.
  • Struggle to follow instructions  He has always had difficulties with verbal instructions.  I just thought it was because he is the baby.
An individual with hyperactivity may have some or all of the following symptoms:
  • Fidget and squirm in their seats  I do not see this in Noah.
  • Talk nonstop  OMG!!!!  Yes, this kid has never stopped talking the day he learned.  Well if you do not count this past year when he has been full of hatred.
  • Dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight  Dash around, no but touching or playing with anything and everything yes.
  • Have trouble sitting still during dinner, school, doing homework, and story time  I never noticed this with him.
  • Be constantly in motion  Again, I never noticed this with Noah.
  • Have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities  Yes, this is Noah.
These hyperactivity symptoms tend to go away with age and turn into "inner restlessness" in teens and adults with ADHD.
An individual with impulsivity may have some or all of the following symptoms:
  • Be very impatient
  • Blurt out inappropriate comments, show their emotions without restraint, and act without regard for consequences
  • Have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turns in games
  • Often interrupt conversations or others' activities  Noah has been all of the above and has been very dominate since he became a teenager.
What does this mean?  Well the doctor has now prescribed the lowest dosage of medicine for the ADHD.  When Noah becomes 18, he will be off medication and then retested.  One third of children do not need medications once they are 18.  If Noah needs medication still, he will go off again at the age of 23 and be tested.  This is when the brain has completely developed according to the doctor and another one third of people do not need medication for ADHD.  This means only one third of the people who have ADHD need to stay on medication as adults.  The doctor, feels treating the ADHD will also treat the Oppositional Defiant Disorder, which is common with ADHD (50%-20% ADHD has ODD as well.)  Again according to Wikipedia ODD is characterized by antisocial behaviors such as stubbornness, aggression, frequent temper tantrums, deceitfulness, lying, and stealing.  I think you all can understand why this disorder did not surprise me from what I have posted about Noah's behavior last year.  

As for the borderline Personality Disorder, his psychiatrist and therapist are on different pages.  The psychiatrist feels it is way too early to diagnosis him with this but his therapist stated she totally sees this with Noah but stated with therapy he can be treated. 

I shared with Noah his diet will change some to assist with the ADHD.  He needs to stay away from red and yellow die food and less sugar.  The boy has a major sweet tooth. I explained he still can have some, like diabetic but it will have to be with moderation.  I also shared other ideas for snacks for him which will be available more often now.  As for the diet here is what I found out.  He should have more protein in the morning and after school snacks, like eggs, cheese, beans, meat, and nuts. He should have less simple carbohydrates such as: candy, corn syrup, honey, sugar, products made with white flour, white rice, and potatoes without skin.  He should have more complex carbohydrates (which will also help with sleep at night) such as: veggies, some fruits (like oranges, tangerines, pears, kiwi, grapefruit, grapes, and apples.) and more Omega 3 fatty acids, this will be impossible, he hates all forms of fish. I might rely on the vitamin for this increase.  

Hopefully we all will see a difference with the new addition of medication and diet in Noah. I really want to see this child succeed, he used to be fun to be around and he is a bright person.  I know he has the potential, now he has to keep making good choices.  It may be more of a challenge for him but if he wants this, he has to work at it.  He has been making good choices since the week after Thanksgiving. We have had only minor melt downs but to me, this is more the norm when you have a teenager. 

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