Saturday, March 21, 2015

My Gumption has Got Up and Went

...and I am not sure it is coming back!

I really don't know why I can't seem to focus or stay on task. I am going through the motions of life--work, home, and errands but can't seem to manage beyond that. I have been having memory issues. As a person who doesn't lose things, in the last few weeks, I have managed to lose my social security card, my phone and my keys. Yesterday, I put the wrong dog on the leash and ended up chasing down my runner dog, Frazzle. sheesh  Maybe the forgetfulness can be attributed to the time change and subsequent lack of sleep?

According to my blog list I have 22 draft posts I have not completed. Which at least half of those were related projects I had begun...and not finished.

Was it living in the frozen tundra this winter that has affected  my ability to complete tasks? Not just projects-- but simple chores such as laundry, dishes and grocery shopping seem to require a herculean effort. My cousin and I spoke about this at great length today while at lunch. She too, said she had little desire for projects. We both agreed cooking, eating, reading and sleeping were high on the list of acceptable activities.  At least I am not alone in this struggle. As the weather improves, so will my mood and my interest in chores, projects and hobbies---or so I hope! Because goodness knows I really have quite a long list of tasks to accomplish. And it makes me tired just thinking about it!

I have managed to acquire few new trinkets for the house.

Mason Jar Salt and Pepper shakers
$3 for the pair
My new absolute all time favorite chatke--A Mason Jar flower pot! squeeeee! I am thinking an aloe plant for my kitchen. What do you think?
Purchased from The Jam & Jelly Lady Shoppe

And this lovely little electric tart warmer. It is by Vern Yip and has retailed on  HSN for $29.95. I found it local at Meijer Grocery store for $11.99. The best part is taking the wax tarts, cutting them in half to personalize your fragrance. Mine is currently half Iced Lemon and half Lavender--because it reminds me of Summer. 
I love the design it casts on the walls when powered on to melt the tarts.
That is all the gumption I can muster for today. What about you? Are you winter weary? Time change tired? Or ready to go-go-go? Do tell...

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Carnivore, Omnivore, or Herbivore

I think when my daughter was around 12 or 13, she announced she was going to be a vegetarian. I was shocked- yet not. She had become increasingly picky over the years with what she would eat. She  was not  much of a meat eater...maybe some tuna, fish sticks, or chicken nuggets. I admit, I was annoyed at first. I am pretty sure my first statement was, "I am not cooking separate meals." I now know it was  pretty much a jackass move and put me in the running for the lousy parent award.

Her  dietary change, wasn't too bad for a while, actually. She was still consuming eggs and dairy. There would be moments of fussing when I made stuffing and used chicken broth. The phrase my daughter hated most was, "Can't you just pick out the meat?"  Looking back I wish I had been more supportive. Considering she already had food allergies--strawberries, shellfish, and basil--you think, I would have been more in tune with her needs.

I later learned there are several levels of vegetarianism. Although most are considered to be psuedo vegetarian and result in many heated discussions amongst the omnivores and herbivores.

Flexitarian- A mostly plant-based diet with the occasional meat item on the menu. 
Pescatarian-A mostly plant based diet, limiting  meat consumption to fish and seafood only. Pescatarians do not consume red meat, white meat or fowl.  
Pollotarian-A mostly plant based diet with meat consumption limited to only chicken/ fowl. No pork, seafood or red/ other meat types.  
Ovo vegetarian-is plant based but will eat eggs
Lacto vegetarian- is plant based (no meat) but will consume dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt)
Lacto-ovo vegetarian--is plant based (no meat) but includes the consumption of eggs and dairy products.

Then there is Vegan. Veganism is strict vegetarianism with absolutely no meat or animal by products. Vegans do not use products which are considered to be animal exploitation. 

Vegans do not use white sugar if it has been processed by using bone char. No honey or beeswax. No gelatin or albumin. No animal oils (such as lanolin). Textiles such as wool, leather and silk are prohibited. Carmine, which is predominantly in cosmetics, is comprised of the ground shells of the South American Cochineal beetle. 

Most vegans avoid beer if they are filtered with isinglass (which is fish bladders). Vegans must be militant about reading labels because innocuous amounts of  ingredients which are on the banned list could end up in their food stream or consumer usage. 

Examples-lactose (derived from dairy products) could be in baked goods, candies or medication; Whey-innumerable uses in food production derived from milk production; Rennet--used in cheese production and is derived from cow stomach; Oleic acid (and it's derivatives)--derived from beef tallow; Castoreum--used in raspberry flavoring and derived from beaver anal glands. Yes--you read that correctly. A beaver's anal glands; Shellac-not the shiny stuff to seal furniture, but the shiny coating used on m&ms and skittles are derived the lav beetle; L-cysteine (or cysteine) can be used in bread production and is derived from duck feathers...or HUMAN hair!
I know some of you may be skeptical, saying I gather my information from the University of Google, but let me remind you...I worked as a chemist for 20+ yrs. Several of which were in food science and 15 years were in personal/ beauty care. So I have firsthand knowledge of of ingredients labelling and what is considered GRAS (Generally recognized as safe), what is natural and what is synthetic. 

My daughter has since moved back and forth between eating meat and not. For a while she even embraced the vegan lifestyle. She still doesn't use leather products or foods with gelatin. 

The point of this post is not necessarily to tout one lifestyle over the other, but to make people aware of reading labels and ingredient lists. Don't even get me started on the chemicals that are in our foods (which is another post), because...Do you REALLY know what you are consuming or what ingredients are in the products you use? Just remember my friends, KNOWLEDGE is POWER!

To learn more about ingredients and food labelling,  please consider the following links:
vegetarian & vegan food labeling
Food Labeling
Food Labeling 2
Food Additives

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Mason Jar Recipes_ Omelette Sammie to Go

How y'all doing? I am going a little stir crazy. the weather has been crappy for the last 2 weeks. Maybe longer. I don't know--all the days seem to blend together. I made it to work and back home this week but haven't done much else.

Today the hubbs and I were supposed to go shopping and to dinner to celebrate our belated Valentine's anniversary since he had to work last weekend. Then we had the big snow last night and today. And guess what?   he had to go to work ...sigh.  It is still snowing, so no chance of doing anything, ugh

Since I am stuck in the house I might at well find something for myself to do. Hmmm, what to do. Cleaning? Laundry? Cooking?

Cooking it is...sorta

I watched a video (Land O'Lakes) of an omelette in a coffee mug. My first thought was  "Why didn't I think of that?". My second thought was, "I can do it one better and make it in a mason jar"

Mason Jar Omelette
3 beaten large eggs (which is 2/3 cup) 
2 TBS minced pepper
2 TBS minced diced onion
2 pieces of ham (deli thin),  rolled and diced
1/8 cup of shredded cheese
salt and pepper to to taste
dash of tabasco sauce
 1 (straight walled) pint mason jar, sprayed with cooking spray

Combine minced vegetables, eggs, ham and cheese. mix well. Pour into a a well sprayed mason jar. Cover with plastic wrap. 

Microwave 2-3 minutes on high (depends on microwave wattage). The egg will "climb" the jar as it cooks--hence the plastic wrap.

Let stand for 30-45 seconds . Remove plastic wrap. Invert jar, use a potholder because the jar will be very hot. The cooked omelette will slide out and release with ease.

This is the perfect size to slice and fit on an a toasted english muffin for an on the go breakfast sandwich.
I assembled the remaining 2 sandwiches and froze 1 for the hubbs for breakfast later this week. I sent him to work with 2 of these wrapped in waxed paper.  I instructed him to zap in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds if needed.

The nice thing about the mason jar is you can pre-assemble your ingredients, put a lid on it, take it to work and microwave it there.

BTW--the hubbs LOVED these breakfast sammies. He said the eggs weren't rubbery and there was just the right amount of all the ingredients in each bite. Definitely a win! 

Seriously, I can not think of anything more perfect than a mason jar.