Thursday, October 27, 2011

No high fives for now...

As you may (or very well may not) have noticed I have not been blogging as much lately.  Some of that is due to the day job, some of that is due to travel (last month to see my newest niece!!) and some of that is due to the pain in my right hand/fingers.   So I thought I would just go ahead and give you a heads up and some info on that, should it become a bigger deal in the weeks to come.

I first started noticing a pretty severe pain in my index finger in  my right hand about 4 weeks ago.  I wrote it off as an injury or something, but before I knew it my whole right hand was just aching and really painful most of the time.  And especially while I was doing repetitive tasks at work. 

Of course before I went to the Dr. though I had done my research and deduced my hand pain down to two options:  Some sort of arthritis or some sort of overuse type injury.  So finally, last Friday I went to the Dr. for my hand pain. He did all sorts of looking at each of my hands and then he proceeded to pinch, prod and otherwise manipulate my hands' tendons, ligaments and bones into even more uncomfortable positions.  After that was done, he informed me that I have tendinitis in my right hand and fingers.  He also told me to rest my hand for two weeks, gave me a prescription for an anti-inflammatory medication and said if it wasn't back to normal in that time he was going to refer me over to Orthopaedic Surgeon. 

One week in and I'm finally being able to rest my hand during the day at work, and at night in this really great brace my hubby and I found at target.  I'm not too sure if my hand is really feeling any better...because it's still super painful...but hopefully by the end of next week it will be just a faint memory. very well might be off to surgery I go....I'm praying it doesn't get to that point though. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tempeh Tacos / Vegetarian Tacos

You first (and only) exerpeicnes with tempeh (until now) had been in the dorms in college.  I couldnt' 
stand, let along stomach much of anything they served us there...but I found a love in my heart for various forms of this vegetarian protein.  So, now I've finally busted it out at home and my hubby here's the recipe.  :) Don't knock these till you try them!  Quick, easy and healthy and you don't have to mess with raw meat!  Also a great meat alternative as well as vegetarian option for house guests. :) 

Start with something that looks about like this.....  You can find it a lot of places these days from Wally World to Whole Foods.  :)  It's usually (if not always) next to the Tofu.
 Break it up into tiny pieces or just shred it like cheese.  I know it looks odd at this stage...but again, just don't knock it will you try it!  :)
 Start by sauteing a small diced onion and the tempeh in about 1 T. of oil.  Stirring frequently.
 Then add about 1/4 c. water and your choice of taco seasoning(s). Stir until liquid is mostly vanished...
Serve in flour tortillas, corn tortillas or in crunchy shells!  Top with lettuce, cheese, sour cream or whatever else your heart so desires!  And enjoy!!  :)
Let me know what you think!  :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tomato Jake's ...

Wow.  This pizza was fabulous!  My hubby and I finally ventured over near Southpoint to try Tomato Jake's pizza.  We're sure glad we did!  :)  Check 'em out if you're in the area!  I don't think you'll be dissappointed.  Plus it's mobster themed menu is quite extensive to satisfy a hankering for a calzone, pizza, sandwich, wings, salad or "Garlic knuckles"...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Zorro: A sweet, savory and spicy turkey sandwich

 Do you remember Zorro? Swish, swish, swish and he'd mark his "Z" on anythign he wanted.  He was a good guy.  He was a hero.  He was notable, memorable and well just cool!...that's why I named this sandwich "The Zorro".

You'll need:
Kaiser rolls
Swiss cheese (or gruyere)
Cream cheese
Pepper Jelly
Split the kaisers open.

Spread cream cheese on one half and pepper jelly on the other.

Layer turkey on one side and lay the cheese on the other.
 Stick under the broiler for about one or two minutes or just serve chilled.  Enjoy!  :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Easy Caramel Corn

Here's an easy way to make homemade caramel corn!  You can make it for your friends, family or yourself. :)  The proportions I used are as follows, but feel free to add more caramel or more popped corn to your liking!  :)

Here's what you'll need:
15 unwrapped Caramels (Kraft or others)
~5 c. Popped Corn* (Air or oil popped, or homemade microwave)
1 T. Milk
Pinch of Salt

*Be sure to remove the "old maids" or unpopped kernels before you add the caramel.

Just put the caramels and milk in a microwave safe bowl.  The microwave it until it melts checking every 15 seconds.  It will only take about 1.5 minutes, be sure to check frequently and stir though!  Then put the popped corn in a large bowl, pour the melted caramel over it and stir.  Then stir in the pinch of salt. Viola!  Super easy, right?!? :)
 Serve warm or room temp.  I personally love it warm though! :)
 Place into muffin cups for an easy way to serve to kiddos or give as treats!  :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pumpkin Muffins

I have a hard time believing that it's already October again, but with all the cool weather and rain we've had here in NC lately...I should believe it!  You know what that means though, yummy, warming food!  So here are my favorite pumpkin muffins!  They are easy to whip up and you can add chocolate chips if you'd like, or they are just fabulous without them too!  Happy Autumn!  :)

Pumpkin Muffins:
2 c.  Flour (You can really easily use completely whole wheat without anyone knowing, btw!:)
1/2 c. Sugar
1 c. Pumpkin Puree (canned or homemade)
2 Eggs
1 T. Oil
1/2 t. Baking Powder
1/2 t. Baking Soda
1/8 t.  Allspice, ground
1/8 t.  Nutmeg, ground
1/8 t.  Cloves, ground
1/8 t.  Cinnamon, ground
Dash of Salt
Optional: 1/4-1/2 c. Chocolate Chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350degrees.
2.  Mix together all of the ingredients until well combined.
3.  Evenly pour the batter into lined/greased muffin tins.  (Should make 12 muffins.)
4.  Bake for ~20 minutes or until done.
Enjoy warm or room temperature! Yum!  :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chocolate Drizzled Pretzels--An Easy Sweet and Salty Treat

 I don't know about you, but I love sweet and salty things.  Chocolate covered pretzels, kettle corn, you name it...  So when I felt like something sweet and salty last night I thought of this simple treat!

All you need is:
2 c. Pretzels (Rods, sticks, etc...)
3-4 oz. Chocolate (Dark, Milk, White or combo of any/all of them)

1.  Start by lining a baking sheet with some waxed paper (or parchment).  Lay out a thing layer or so of pretzels.
2.  Melt chocolate(s) in the microwave 15 seconds at a time, stirring in between.   Then place melted chocolate carefully in a zippered bag and cut a small hole out of the corner.  Drizzle over pretzels.
 3.  Repeat step 2 with other types of chocolate if desired.
 4.  Once the pretzels are desirably drizzled with chocolate place in refrigerator for about 15 minutes to set.
 5.  Break apart, place on serving dish and enjoy!!  Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.  But I doubt you'll have any leftovers!  :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mummies on sticks and Ninja Mummy Cookies

Here are some easy treats you can make just in time for Halloween and fall! :)  All you'll need is some:  White chocolate or Candiquik, Marshmallows, Pretzel sticks and Sugar Cookies.
  For the mummies on sticks you just stick some marshmallows on the pretzels....
 Then dip them in melted white chocolate/candiquik....
 And drizzle some more to make it look like a mummy...add eyes (either peppercorns or pieces of chocolate) and let cool.

Mummy or Ghost?  
Then for the Ninja Mummy Cookies just grab a round (or other shape) sugar cookie, and dip into the melted candiquik/white chocolate.  Drizzle some around to make it look "mummy-like" and add some additionally to the chin area like in the pics.  Add "eyes" and let cool.

Ninja Mummy Cookies.

Orecchiette with Sundried Tomatoes

Orecchiette is this very interesting little pasta.  Giada refers to it as "little ears" because that's what it looks like, and because that's what it means in Italian.  Since it's something I am going to eat though, I refer to it as little bowls....that's just me though.  :)  I found mine as a steal of a deal at Trader Joes, and I will definitley be buying more.  They are deslish!  Pair it with sundried tomatoes, EVOO and garlic and viola!  Dinner!  :)

Here's what you'll need:
Orecchiette (Prepared as package suggests)
Sundried tomatoes, sliced
Garlic, minced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Parmesan Cheese
Basil for garnish

1.  Saute garlic in about 2 T. Olive Oil until just browning.  Quickly add in sundried tomatoes and 2 T. water stirring for about 1 minute.  (If you keep it on the heat too long they tomatoes may you may see by a few of mine that are a little over done looking...although they still tasted great...)
2.  Toss the pasta together with the tomato mixture until coated.
3.  Plate and shred some parmesan on top and garnich with fresh basil if desired.
4.  Enjoy!  :)

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