Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mini Monkey Bread

Monkey bread has long been a favorite in our house, so when I saw a recipe that used a muffin pan to make mini ones, I knew I had to try it. I think these actually work out better than one large batch of it. They are easier to eat and the biscuits cook up just right. Definitely a keeper!





Mini Monkey Bread
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cans(7.5 oz each) biscuits

Spray 12 regular-size muffin cups. Mix butter and brown sugar, spoon 1 tablespoon in each muffin cup. Mix sugar and cinnamon in ziplock bag. Separate dough into 20 biscuits and cut each into 6 pieces. Shake pieces in bag to coat. Place 10 pieces in each muffin cup. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute, then turn upside down. Serve warm.

Source: Pillsbury

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Do The Tornado Twist!

This is what happens if you shine one of those laser pointers on the floor in front of Bo. He goes absolutely nuts! We've coined it as the Tornado Twist. His little brother Moose gives it a shot, but he kind of just hops around in a clumsy circle. I'll have to try to catch a video of his later.

video

Monday, March 14, 2011

Baked Zucchini Sticks

These are so good! I remember my Granny making fried zucchini and I loved it. This is a healthier baked version that is pretty amazing. This is one of the many recipes I have bookmarked from the Skinny Taste blog. I am looking forward to trying many more!



Baked Zucchini Sticks
3 medium zucchini sliced into 3" x 1/2" sticks
1 large egg white
1/3 cup seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs(I used Italian because I couldn't find whole wheat)
2 tbsp grated Romano cheese
cooking spray
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt
pepper

In a small bowl, beat egg whites and season with salt and pepper. In a ziplock bag, place breadcrumbs, garlic powder and cheese and shake well. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

Dip zucchini sticks into eggs then into bread crumb and cheese mixture, a few at a time and shake to coat. Place the breaded zucchini in a single layer and spray more cooking spray on top. Bake at 425° for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Source: Skinny Taste - If you follow this link there is also a marinara sauce you can make for dipping. I chose to just dip them in light ranch.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Totaled Car

I think everyone knows by now, but if not, I was in a rollover accident Sunday morning. Aside from a few cuts and bruises I'm OK. My Mountaineer on the other hand, is totaled. We went to clean it out tonight because the insurance is taking it away tomorrow. I took some pictures of the damage before we left. I really don't think it is that bad, but I think the side airbags and engine(it ran on it's side) were what put it in the totaled category.






Pinterest Rave!

I am now addicted to Pinterest! I'm not quite sure how to explain it, but you can set up boards that you can pin things on from around the Internet. It's like a really cool way to save anything that catches your eye. For example, this totally awesome spice rack is pinned to my "For The Home" board:

Source: etsy.com via Jennifer on Pinterest



I can't count how many times I've seen something I thought was awesome, and then couldn't find it later. You need an invite to join Pinterest, so if you want to try it out, let me know and I will send one out!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Margaritaville

This is how one spends a Saturday night after finding out their hopes and dreams are dashed(OK, that's a bit dramatic).



Margaritas = Love.

I also broke my less caffeine rule and had 3 cans of Diet Coke today, because I just don't give a crap. Now I need to go chug some Pepto because as the bottle politely puts it, I've "over indulged in food or drink". I think Pepto should change their label to loosely quote Vinny from Jersey Shore. It should say something like "Take 2 tablespoons, you gluttonous asshole".

Friday, March 4, 2011

I'm Outing Myself...

I guess the depressing news we got today makes me feel like I should just throw this out there. Justin and I have been undergoing fertility treatment. We had our first Intrauterine Insemination Feb. 21st, and found out today that it did not work. I'm tired of hiding what we are going through. Infertility is something that affects so many couples, and so many of them suffer in silence. Here's our story, thus far...

I am diagnosed with hypothyroidism and Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease(commonly called PCOS). Basically, I have a really bad hormonal imbalance and a crappy thyroid. I rarely ovulate on my own. Our original plan was to go through ovulation induction, but before we could do that, we had to complete a semen analysis just to make sure we were in the clear there. We never dreamed we would also be dealing with male factor infertility, but the analysis showed agglutination. Agglutination is basically where the sperm clump together, most likely preventing them from reaching the egg. We were told the only way to correct this was to do Intrauterine Insemination(IUI). The sperm are put through a washing procedure before being inseminated, and this completely corrects the agglutination problem.

The original plan was to use the most affordable option, Clomid, to induce ovulation, but unfortunately an ultrasound showed that I had no response whatsoever to Clomid. I was crushed by that because it meant that we were an even more difficult case than I thought, and this was not going to be cheap. The fertility doctor decided the best option would be something called a hybrid cycle. I would take the pill Femara for 5 days, and on the 5th day I would start injections of a drug called Menopur. If follicles grew(when mature, follicles rupture and release an egg)I would give myself a a "trigger shot" of Ovidrel, which forces ovulation within 24-48 hours.




Here is how it went:
February 7th - Cycle Day 1.
February 9th - Cycle day 3, blood work and ultrasound to make sure we were ready to start meds. Started Femara.
February 13th - Last dose of Femara, first injection Menopur.
February 16th - Ultrasound shows two follicles growing. Things look good.
February 18th - Ultrasound shows follicles grew like crazy and are almost ready. One more day of the Menopur injection.
February 19th - Ovidrel trigger shot.
February 21st - The insemination procedure. We had two mature follicles and 45 million motile sperm, post wash. Those numbers were fantastic and we were optimistic.

Today we had a blood test done, and learned our IUI wasn't a success. It's on to round two. I am hoping that being able to speak freely about our treatment will make it a little easier to go through.

"The English language lacks the words 'to mourn an absence.' For the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child or friend we have all manner of words and phrases, some helpful, some not. Still, we are conditioned to say something, even if it is only 'I am sorry for your loss.' But for an absence, for someone who was never there at all, we are wordless to capture that particular emptiness. For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent, ephemeral shadows over their lives. Who can describe the feel of a tiny hand that is never held?" - Laura Bush

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Super easy mac & cheese...and it's not too bad!

I tried the Mexican Mac & Cheese, which is another one from the same cook book as the last two recipes. I was really skeptical because it only includes three ingredients. I gave it a try, and must say that it's not bad at all! If you are looking for the baked, creamy comfort food, this probably isn't one for you to try. If you are looking for something super quick and easy, with a little Mexican kick, give it a try!



2 cups elbow macaroni
1/2 cup salsa con queso
1/2 cup Mexican blend cheese

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain well and return to pot. Add salsa con queso and Mexican cheese, stir until combined and all cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Source: I Can't Believe It's Not Fattening