Yuck!

Last night I posted a blog with a recipe for Roasted Veggie Lasagna which I made for dinner.

It was terrible!

I made it last year when I did the Daniel Fast, and it was divine!  But I used different cheese and lasagna noodles this time and the pasta tasted like old shoes.

So, my suggestion would be to completely cook the pasta since there really isn’t enough liquid to soften it when it’s in the oven.  I would also reduce the oil by half and use a better non-dairy cheese like Follow Your Heart, Vegan Gourmet in Mozzarella style. I wouldn’t say it tastes great eaten alone, but used in cooking it’s delicious!!!  A word of advice – the smaller you shred it the better it melts.

I managed to salvage the roasted veggies and some of the pesto, so I fixed some brown rice and we put the veggies in a bed of rice and it was so much better!

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Fit, not Fat, by Fifty

Forgive me readers, for I have sinned.  It’s been 6 months since my last blog entry.

A lot has happened in the past few months and most were good!  I promise to tell you about that later, but one thing that changed for the worse was my eating habits.  I went from eating a pretty clean diet to sliding down the potato chip hill, drinking all the sugary, carbonated, caffeinated beverages I could find, and engaging in little to no exercise.  Unless you count the thumb movements I did with the remote control while catching up on Mad Men and all The Real Housewives.

Time for another change.  A permanent plan.  I’ve got six months until I hit the half century mark.  And I’m still young at heart, just slightly older in other places.

Let me introduce “Fit, not Fat, by Fifty.”

Day one – PURGE.  I emptied my fridge and pantry of anything that had chemicals or added sugar.  I threw away everything artificial or processed, as well as my Splenda and my loaf of bread.

Then I planned my menu.  Doing a fast or cleanse is time consuming!

Breakfast for me has to be fast and easy. Scrambled egg whites with some veggies like bell peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes with a side of fresh salsa works best.  It helps to have your veggies chopped in advance. Or, if you’re like my hubby, a bowl of oatmeal (preferably the old-fashioned kind) topped with a little pure maple syrup goes a long way.

Lunch would have to be a leftover from the night before.  It is important to plan ahead for lunch, especially if  you work outside the home, otherwise the tendency is to hit a drive through.

Dinner, day one.  Roasted veggie lasagna.  It’s so good you’ll want to eat this even when you’re not doing a cleanse!

Roasted Veggie Lasagna

1 package of whole grain lasagna noodles

1-2 sweet potatoes, skinned and thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, sliced

2 cups of slicked mushrooms

1 small purple onion, sliced

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp minced garlic

1 cup fresh basil

1/2 cup pecans, almonds, or pine nuts

3 cups rice cheese, or any non-dairy shredded cheese.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Boil a large pot of water for the pasta, even if it says it’s not necessary to pre cook.  After slicing all the veggies, put in a gallon ziploc bag with 2 T of the olive oil, 1 tsp minced garlic, salt and pepper and shake until everything is coated.  On a shallow cooking sheet, lightly oil with olive oil and spread veggies out, making sure that few are overlapping.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until soft to the touch.

While veggies are roasting, tear basil and put in food processor or blender.  Add the remaining olive oil, pecans, garlic and 1 cup of the rice cheese.  Blend until you form a paste.

Once pot of water boils, put pasta in the water to blanch it for 3-4 minutes.  This will make it easier for the pasta to cook completely since there won’t be a lot of sauce for it to cook in.

Once the veggies are roasted, the pasta is blanched and the pesto is blended, it’s time to start layering.

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Using a napkin or paper towel, lightly coat the bottom of a glass cooking dish.  Starting with the pasta, layer it with pasta, pesto and veggies until pan is full.  Sprinkle the remaining Rice mozzarella cheese over the top and bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Yum, yum!

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Blonde brain?

My brain has been on vacation for the past few weeks.  (I know, I know – let the blonde jokes commence.)  Although I don’t have proof that said brain exists, I’m working with the assumption that it’s still up there.   So this little blog has been on hiatus.  I was waiting to see if my readers would sign on for season 2 or if you were going to replace me with Betty White.

I first noticed that my brain was a little slower than usual when I started a 40 day fast.  Hmm, just saw the irony in that – slow fast.  For almost 6 weeks I deprived myself of the very nutrients I count on for daily survival.  Chocolate, sugar, caffeine, pop and butter – my 5 food groups – disappeared.  The grief was unbearable.  I missed my friends.  Coke and I had spent our days together for as long as I could remember.  And Double Stuf Oreos, my comforter – gone. That break up still brings a lump to my throat.

My brain seemed stuck on pause.  While I realize that the very thought of blondes with brains is a lot like the idea of Jello with rocks, every once in a while I got a little hint that my brain is still up there. For instance, I actually knew 3 answers on Who Wants to be a Millionaire.  In the same episode.  But the next day I was signing a birthday card for my niece and wrote my first and last name, as if she had another Aunt Dene’ and I needed to clarify who I was.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, when I addressed the envelope, I sent it to my own address.

I’m trying to get back into the swing of things, but I want to take it slow.  I don’t want to cause a power surge and cause all the little light bulbs in my head to grow dim.

I suppose I could challenge myself to watch an episode or two of Jeopardy, but who am I kidding.

Yep, the Blonde is back.  Whatever that means.

Here’s a little something to see if your brain is still up there:

A family photo contained:

one grandfather, one grandmother,
two fathers, two mothers,
six children, four grandchildren,
two brothers, two sisters,
three sons, three daughters,
one father-in-law, one mother-in-law, one daughter-in-law.

29 people you may think, but no! What is the fewest number of people who could have been in the photo?

To see the answer you will need to stand on your head or turn your screen upside down.  If I could be a fly on the wall just to see how many of you actually do that!  Then we would all know who the REAL Blondes are, wouldn’t we?

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Inspired

I’m inspired.

I just finished reading 6 new blogs written by friends, friend’s kids, and cats.

This is supposed to be the year of the writer, the blogger, the twitterer and the pinterester.    And although spell check keeps signaling me to take the “er” off those words, it’s the truth. Time for the writer in all of us to break out and spread our wings.  Pin things to our boards, get people to follow us and repin – and if a hairless Pomeranian can get 42,569 people to read his twitters, then surely the rest of us can get a few people to notice us.

2012 is the year for my reinvention.  I just turned 49, and before I’m 50 I’d like to reconfigure, renovate, rejuvenate and reinvent myself.  I think the term used to be to ‘find’ myself.  I don’t need to find myself, I know exactly where I am.

Now I just have to figure out who I am.

Watch out Giggy – Reinvented Mom is coming.  Let’s just hope I can figure out Pinterest before it becomes a thing of the past…

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Clean Freak

I used to clean my house every day.  Seriously.  EVERY day.  I had a routine that included vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning the bathrooms.  I went through so much Windex my husband dubbed me the Windex Queen.  And it didn’t stop there.  My family had to endure countless times of searching for the glass they set down on the counter to refill because just as quickly as they set it down, I put it in the dishwasher.  On one occasion apparently my son fixed a bowl of cereal and when he turned his back to get a spoon, I dumped it in the sink and put the bowl away.  Truthfully, I never even knew I was doing it, it was just an automatic impulse.  My poor family – probably scarred them for life.

I LOVED to clean.  Not just clean, but organize.  I took great pride in the towels in the linen closet all lined up perfectly or the junk drawer being arranged by category.  Okay, I admit it, it is a little disturbing.

One of the best things about the chores of the day was the treasures I would find.  Laundry was the most financially rewarding.  Tom carried a money clip that he would often leave in his pocket and while it didn’t ever have anything larger than a few George’s, I stood fast in my belief of the motto “finders, keepers.”  A girl always needs a little cash for an emergency, albeit secret, chocolate craving, right?

Not all my cleaning discoveries were good ones.  When the kids were little, I learned the hard way that I needed to check their pockets before I washed.  It was during the early 90′s when some genius at Elmer’s decided glue should come in neon colors.  Stephen loved pockets and put his glue in a pair of white shorts.  (I know, why would I ever let a 5-year-old wear white?)  I spent the next year adjusting my shirts because they would get stuck to the hot pink splotches on my bra.

During that stage of life when the kids were little, I would find everything from Batman action figures, rocks, and Matchbox cars to crayons, pennies and Polly Pocket’s shoes in their pockets, their beds and what they thought were their hiding places.  One time I was cleaning and found a thimble in their secret playroom in the attic.  It wasn’t a real secret playroom – no Flowers in the Attic, I wasn’t that kind of mom, though a room with a lock was appealing at times (for me, for ME, not the kids!!) – but a playroom in the attic that could only be accessed from the secret door hidden inside Stephen’s closet.  Anyway, a THIMBLE.  I didn’t use them, but I had recently been to a fabric store with both of the kids.  Could it be that one of my kids had stolen the thimble?  And why?

Being the detective that I was (it’s one of the many Mom hats we wear) as we put them to bed, Tom and I told a story about a very bad little boy who stole things.  I’ll admit, we both assumed that it was Stephen because, after all, he LOVED his pockets and putting things in them.

We had barely made it through the story when Courtney burst out “I did it!  I stole the cup!  It was for Polly Pocket!”

The following day we made a family trip to the fabric store and I made her return the thimble and confess to the store clerk.  Unfortunately, the clerk thought I was crazy for making her return a 99 cent thimble, but trust me, Courtney has strayed as far away as possible from anything remotely related to sewing!

Back to the topic of cleaning house, I would like to note that it has changed through the years.  When Stephen got his driver’s license and started carrying a wallet, I can tell you that his wallet was the cleanest wallet in town because I must have washed it once a week.

But now that Tom only uses a debit card, my cleaning days are less fruitful.  The kids are gone, so I think the most profitable day in laundry was the day I found 11 cents in the bottom of the washer.

I cleaned house Thursday.  Now I’ve gone from every day to once a month.  And only because the cat hair floating across the floors is overwhelming.  And I guess you could say my finds are, er, different.  This time I found 2 orange ear plugs beneath a sea of cat hair under the bed, next to a stale frosted mini-wheat.

Times have changed?  I guess this is what life looks like when your nest is no longer full of children and has been replaced by cats.  Welcome to my world.

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My Funny Valentine

Confession time…

I’m not romantic.

Today will be the 29th Valentine’s Day that I’ve spent with my husband.  My hubby, Mr. Fit Forever, spent his last dollar on roses for me for our very first Valentine’s Day in 1983. Sweet, isn’t it?  I, however, bought him some boxers with little red Cupid’s all over them, which, I might add, he opened during CHAPEL. AT A BIBLE COLLEGE. IN FRONT OF CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN COLLEGE STUDENTS!  NOTE: This may be a little too much info, but he still has them and I can guarantee that they will make an appearance tonight. *blushing*

When we were attending that conservative, Christian college, we used to write notes to each other. We didn’t have much choice, if we got caught holding hands we were subject to PDA (Public Display of Affection) demerits.  So it was either write notes or spend a lot of time in the “prayer room.”  I found out on our 25th anniversary that he had saved every single one and keeps them in a box in the attic, right next to the poster that was taped to our car the day we got married.  I love that man!

Today he will hand me a gorgeous, sappy card from Hallmark.  It will be one of those big ones, and I, well, I will turn it over to look at the price.  He probably saved up for weeks to be able to buy it for me by ordering the $1 salad from McDonald’s for lunch everyday.

Yes, I feel guilty.

I didn’t get him a card.  But I did send him a hilarious video I found on YouTube.  I won’t tell you what it is, but let’s just say it features something he made the mistake of telling me he had a phobia of – poor guy should have known better.  Money talks people, if inquiring minds want to know…

For all the other non-romantic souls out there, I found some funny Valentine videos for you to enjoy.

You’re welcome.

Okay, I may not be romantic, but I’ve got a heart.  If you’re a mom, you may need to grab a tissue before you watch this last one.

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A rude awakening

I was in shock.  I had just discovered that my son had not one, but TWO babies – both named Fred, and that he had dropped them off at a daycare on his way to work but couldn’t remember where it was located.  In the meantime, my parents had come to visit and I was trying to figure out how I was going to tell them about their new great-grandchildren when I felt a stabbing sensation in my derrière.

And then I WOKE UPLiterally.

Holy cow.

One miniscule, pointy, strand of straw from one Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats was stuck to my behind like a thorny sand spur.

That’s right.  Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats.

Did I ever tell you the story about being married to someone who eats in his sleep?  Due to the cold weather and the fact that I refuse to turn the thermostat past 64 degrees, instead of standing in the kitchen to eat he brings the food upstairs to enjoy in bed.

Yes, I said EATS IN HIS SLEEP.  When Tom enters the REM pattern of sleep he stumbles into the kitchen, opens the pantry door, and searches blindly for something he can eat.  He’s been doing this since he was a toddler.  After 26 years of marriage and the constant flow of crumbs through the house, I should have been prepared.

It was only a couple of years ago that I got out of bed, stumbled through the house doing my daily routine of chores, all the while feeling a heaviness tugging from the back of my pajama top.  I finally took the initiative to change clothes only to find a half eaten blueberry pop-tart stuck to the back of my top.

Do you wake up to a smorgasbord in bed?  What about finding cereal tucked neatly into your night stand drawer?  Seriously?

Tonight, as I lay myself down to sleep and pray the Lord my soul to keep, I get to cuddle with Mr. Fitness and I’m not complaining – have you seen him??

I’ll take him for another 26, 36, or 46 years.  Crumbs and all.

Now would someone call Kellogg’s?  I think this has internet viral video written all over it!

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