Is it just me or did 2012 fly by at an alarming rate?! Not that I am complaining - in fact, I'm happy to see it end - but hot damn, this year went by fast!
Tis the season for reflecting upon the past and setting New Year's Resolutions for the year ahead.
New Year's Resolution
A commitment that a person makes to one or more personal goals, projects, or the reforming of a habit. A key element to a New Year's resolution that sets it apart from other resolutions is that it is made in anticipation of the New Year and new beginnings.
Cyberspace is buzzing with sugar coated pep talks encouraging readers to set their annual New Years resolutions, which more often than not, pertain to lifestyle a change, but I know you aren't expecting to find that fuckery here. Not that I frown upon committing to the achievement to ones personal's goal, cause I don't. And its' not that I don't believe in you, cause I do. And I have total faith that you can achieve whatever it is you set your mind too, cause you can, but I am realist and thus calling it like it see it (and by it, I mean New Year's Resolution Success Rate
Disheartening statistics and anti-resolution speeches aside, it should be noted that I whole heatedly agree with the reflecting on the past aspect of the new year, as it serves as a means of re-evaluating ones needs and assessing whether or not the direction your headed in is complimentary to getting said needs met. Along with this, I'm all for setting personal goals, thus if the new year is when you would like to do your reflecting and setting then by all means ...
As for myself, I did my fair share of reflecting on the ups and downs of the past year, and while I wouldn't say 2012 was a bad year, it wasn't much to write home about either.
I won't bore you with a rehash of the gruesome details but it's worth noting that life slapped me around with several valuable - and much needed - life lessons along the way, one of which I seem to have had a diversion to initially learning. That particular gain is worth writing home about., or at least worth blogging about, as I can honestly say I feel good about it.
and on that note, I'm off like a prom dress!
| |It does a body good:
- proper vision
- immune function
- skin and hair
- digestive and urinary tract
- supports cell growth
- Loss of appetite
- dry, rough skin
- dry eyes
- lowered resistance to infection
Vitamin A deficiency is rare in the US.
- blurred vision
- joint and bone pain
- liver damage
- dry cracked skin
- irregular periods
- hair loss
- liver damage
What to eat:
| |It does a body good:
- supports bones & teeth
- proper blood clotting
- vascular contraction & vasodilation
- muscle function
- nerve transmission
- intracellular signal
- hormonal secretion
Hypocalcemia (low blood calcium levels) results from medical problems or treatments, including renal failure, surgical removal of the stomach, and use of diuretics. Symptoms of hypocalcemia include numbness and tingling in the fingers, muscle cramps, convulsions, lethargy, poor appetite, abnormal heart rhythms. If left untreated, calcium deficiency leads to death.
- rickets in children
- soft bones
Toxicity of calcium is rare.
- kidney stones
- calcuim deposits in tissues
- hinders absorption of iron & other minerals
What to eat:
December * January * February
Year - Round
It's Gluten Free
KNOCK - YOUR - SOCKS - OFF
O M F G - this dip is amazing, and by amazing I mean make this IMMEDIATELY!
I stumbled upon this
recipe for White Pizza Dip on La Phemme Phoodie
and it was love at first sight. I used to adore white pizza and even made a few vegan pies post-break up with dairy. However, white pizza in dip form was a new deliciousness that I had yet to explore and to the top of the kitchen adventures bucket list it went. I hit Trader Joe's later that day for vegan cream cheese (Note: Joe's brand is, in my opinion, better than most of the other vegan cream cheese brands. However I would describe it as good not great) and was indulging in what's now my new favorite dip before sun down.
I halved the original recipe (which can be view here
on Veggie Converter) and made it slightly more complicated via incorporating a homemade vegan cheese sauce AND I made a small pizza dough, which I used to make a batch of fresh bread sticks. Well worth the extra effort in my opinion. However, you can skip the cheese sauce and instead increase the mozzarella and cream cheese as well as dip with store bought crackers/bread of choice. Along with this, I added more kale than the original called for as I really needed to use up what I had. If you hate kale - or don't have any on hand - instead of omitting it out entirely, substitute it with a different green vegetable.
1 (small batch) recipe Pizza Dough
1/3 pint grape tomatoes, tomatoes cut in half
salt & pepper, to taste
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
5 ounces mozzarella cheese shreds
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
Italian seasoning, to taste
4 ounces steamed and shredded kale
1 recipe Nutritional Yeast Cheese Sauce *recipe below
Begin by prepping the pizza dough and set aside.
While dough rises, preheat oven to 400F. Place tomatoes on baking sheet. Spritz with olive oil pepper, and salt, then roast until bursting (approx 20 min).
While tomatoes roast, mix cream cheese with roughly 3 oz of the cheese shreds. Prepare nutritional yeast cheese sauce and immediately add it to the cream cheese/shreds mixture, along with the seasoning, garlic, cooked kale & the roasted tomatoes. Stir to combine. Transfer mixture to an oven-safe baking dish, sprinkle with remaining mozzarella shreds, and set aside.
By now the pizza dough should be ready to roll out onto a baking sheet (depending on the side of the pan it will only take up half, thus allowing you to place the dip onto the empty side of the pan). Once the dough is rolled out, scour into sticks, place oven safe dish on the baking sheet. Bake dip for 25 minutes, or until top is golden and bubbly. and bake sticks until golden.
Nutritional Yeast Cheese Sauce
5 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
1 Tablespooon Brown Rice Flour
1/2 cup cold water
Pinch Garlic Salt
Squirt Spicy Brown Mustard
Combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pan and, while stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and continue cooking until desired consistency is reached. Use as desired.
Note: For the flour blend I used bobs pizza mix
Small Batch Pizza Dough
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 Tbs yeast
pinch of sugar
1/2 Tbs olive oil
pinch of salt
1 - 1 1/4 cup gluten free flour blend *
seasoning of choice, optional
Proof yeast in a measuring cup, add olive oil. and set aside. Add dry ingredients to a small bowl, add in the wet ingredients, stir until well combined (about 5 minutes). Cover with warm wet towel and allow to rise in a draft free area for 20 min. When ready, roll out onto half of a parchment lined baking sheet, scour, and bake until golden.
| || |
It's Not a Diet, It's a Lifestyle!
I'm grateful for
the herd ...
the genuine people & positive energy in my life ...
recent business opportunities ...
steady work ...
the roof over my head ...
snuggle parties ...
my blog readers ...
my list goes on, but I have to dash off as I'm working today at the Country Club.
Until next time, I'm off like a prom dress
Positive vibes & feelings of gratitude to all
The following is a list of items needed for various locations across LI that we are collecting:
Friskies canned cat food, pate - no fish please
non-clumping clay litter
Science Diet Dog food - canned and dry and paper towels
BROOKHAVEN ANIMAL SHELTER:
Canned cat food, pate, especially
HEMPSTEAD ANIMAL SHELTER:
Dog food/treats/clean bedding
Home for a 15 year old cat whose owner (a senior) lost his home. Cat needs medication once a day for epilepsy.
ALL ABOUT SPAY/NEUTER
Looking for a place to relocate to in the Massapequa, Wantagh, Merrick area—about 40 cats and kittens in need of relocation—their shelter has been flooded out by Hurricane.
Donations may be brought to the Wantagh Shelter
3300 Beltagh Avenue, Wantagh, NY.
Hours 9am to 7pm
If you would like to make a monetary donation to this effort, click here Please help us help the many animals effected by this devastating situation.
Please donate what you can
Become a location drop off site.
Every little bit counts.
Lets help our communities & friends in need.
Donations are for all for Gerritson Beach, Long Island, and Brooklyn SANDY VICTIMS. Drop off location spots in Shirley , Islip, Sayville and Rockville Centre!
Items we will be collecting include:
NEW OR GENTLY USED ONLY
Baby clothes and baby gear (high chairs, pack and plays etc)
Jackets and Coats
**BLEACH AND CLEANING SUPPLIES**
No cash donations.
If in any way possible, please have clothes separated into sizes or boy girl etc.
If anyone has larger items you're willing to donate, let us know!
If you were affected by Sandy and are in need of something in particular, contact GIna at GINAZZ@aol.com
Interested in helping as a volunteer?
Contact Gina @ GINAZZ@aol.com
Note: I am the drop off point contact for Rockville Centre and can be reached by phone at 516 399 0418 or via email at DKraljic@DeliciousExistence.com
I already know what you're thinking.... Between my sporadic (at best) postings and then an unannounced two month hiatus, it will be a miracle if anyone is still reading this blog. I'm not sure what to say about the last few months, but I do apologize for the lacking enthusiasm and piss poor commitment I've demonstrated. Life has a sick sense of humor at times... Fortunately I' weathered the storm, repaired the damage, and hauled my sweet ass back to blog-land with ample time to celebrate this magically delicious (and oh so Zombilicious!) time of the year with you.
Autumn is - and always will be - my favorite season and October in particular has always been my favorite month of the year. However, neither have been very festive the last few year. This October marks the two anniversary of dad's passing and Halloween this year will be my first one without Lucy (Meow!). Yep, it's safe to say Autumn and October are permanently scarred... However, doing nothing exacerbates the sense of loss and the last thing I want - or need - to do is drown in misery, thus this year is also the year I resume celebrating.
Grains Not Brains: Go Vegan!
I purposely chose today to resume posting as today is The Secret Recipe Club's Reveal Day for Group C and my assigned blog, Steak N Potatoes Kinda Gurl
the perfect recipe to kick off the festivities: White Chicken Chili
. Interestingly enough, I was unaware that a white chili even existed but then I stumbled upon a picture a day or two before the October assignments were sent out. Intrigued, I commented to the herd that I must sample this white chili and added it to my mental kitchen adventures to do list. In the spirit of "nothing is by chance - there are no coincidences", it's safe to say this white chili kitchen adventure was ment to be and I excitedly informed my coworkers that I'd be bringing white chili to work!
Vegan White Chili
Adapted from: Steak & Potatoes Kinda Gurl
Note: I veganized the original recipe as I really really really wanted to eat some and I made it in a 2.5 quart crockpot instead of on the stove.
1 (14.5oz) can cannellini beans, undrained
1 (14.5oz) can small white beans, drained and rinsed well
1 2/3 cups cooked chickpeas
2 cups white corn
1 small yellow onion, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 - 2 cups Vegetable broth*
Cayenne Pepper, to taste
Fresh Cilantro, to taste
Optional Toppings: Sweet Potato Chips, Sour Cream, and Cheese Shreds
Place all the ingredients except broth in Crockpot and stir to combine. Add vegetable broth (I used roughly 1 3/4 cups) and stir again. Cover with lid and cook on low 5 - 6 hrs.
The Verdict: EPIC!!
I've made this twice now for lunch with coworkers and on both occasions it was devoured.
Big thanks to Desiree for the AMAZING recipe (more of her deliciousness can be viewed here
) and for the SRC as a whole for fun!
Positive vibes to all for a fantastic week ahead!
Once again reveal day is upon us and as usual I am super excited to share another winning recipe with you! Secret Recipe Club!
My assignment for August was the super fantastic and oh so delicious blog, Our Eating Habits
. A quick scan of the recipe indexes affirmed the "tasty recipes in and out of the home" tagline and Jaime, the sites author, summed it up perfectly when she brilliantly wrote "Why waste time and calories on bad food?"
Our Eating Habits is chock full of recipes, which further fueled my already ridiculous level indecisiveness. However, I wisely viewed the cooking index
first (had I clicked on the baking index - German Chocolate Cake
, Chocolate Mousse Crunch Cake
, Clone of Cinnabon
, Toffee Crunch Blondies
- I'd still be trying to decide). Slowly but surely I narrowed it down to the Potato Pancakes and the Roasted Tomato (& Barley) Soup, and unable to choose between the two, I decided to make both. Noted Notables
Jaimes potato pancake recipe calls for breadcrumbs, which are generally not gluten free and egg, which is not vegan so I made the following tweaks to the recipe accommodate my
(humor me folks, it's Monday!)
* I processed a slice of my own homemade gluten free high protein bread in my magic bullet, thus making homemade high protein gluten free bread crumbs.
*I replaced the egg with a nayonnaise water mix because thats the only thing I had on hand. I've used this technique in the past (to breading my jalapeno poppers) and it once again yielded deliciousness.
* In regards to the soup, I replaced the barley with a mix of quinoa and millet.
Adapted from Our Eating Habits
2 medium/large potatoes, peeled & shredded (approx 2 cups worth)
1 heaping Tablespoon gluten free bread crumbs * see notes
1 heaping Tablespoon Nayonnaise (or 1 egg) ** see notes
1 Tablespoon Mrs. Dash Onion & Herb Seasoning
Salt & pepper, to taste
In a shot glass, mix nayonnaise with a little water so that it mimics the consistency of an egg. Set aside.
Add remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, pour in the nayonnaise and mix everything together until well combine.
Heat a small amount of oil in frying pan and scoop spoonful of mixture use back of spoon to spread it out. Flip when first side is browned and cook second side.
Serve with sour cream and/or applesauce.
Roasted Tomato and Quinoa-Millet Soup
Adapted from Our Eating Habits
(14.5oz) can diced tomoatoes, undrained
1 large onions, diced
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Trader Joes Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
1 stalks celery, diced
1/4 cup uncooked quinoa millet mix
1 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Drain tomato juice into a soup pot. Place tomatoes, onions and garlic in baking dish. Sprinkle with olive oil. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.
Add tomato mixture to juice in soup pan. Add broth, celery, and grains. Bring to boil, reduce to low and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Stir in parsley. Eat and enjoy!
Yay, Reveal Day!!
Making Memories .... One Fun Thing After Another is written by Erin. Erin described herself as "a single Mom to two amazing kids, ages 6 and 8" and in her about me section, states that "in her spare time" she is a full time Middle School Counselor. *chuckles* As the name of Erin's blog implies, Making
Memories ... One Fun Thing After Another is a good time. I'm in awe of Erin's creativity and her fun food
section had me wishing Erin was my mom when I growing up.
Octo-Dog & Shells
Mini S'Mores Hand Pies
Root Beer Float Pops
Angry Birds for Dinner!!!
Eager to see what my assignment entailed but no near an actual computer, I logged onto Making Memories ... via my cell phone. The first recipe I clicked was for S'Mores Mini Hand Pies
, which linked me to S'Mores Stuffed Brownies
. Both recipes profoundly spoke to the former S'more addict self and I quickly came to terms that I'd be falling off the wagon at some point over the upcoming weekend. Miliseconds after texting Darin, my always willing partner in crime for throwing dietary caution to the wind, my S'Mores intervention transpired via this
recipe for Homemade Butterfinger Candy Bars.
I followed the recipe as written and the end result was everything I hoped for and more.
Family and friends gobbled these up in record time.Note
The recipe for homemade butterfinger candy bars requires only three ingredients, however one of those ingredients is candy corn. Rite Aide sells candy corn all year long and their brand candy corn does not contain High Fructose Corn Syrup. The ingredient list, which includes egg white and gelatin, as a whole is nonetheless suspect, so proceed with the usual label reading caution and as always enjoy in moderation.
Homemade Butterfinger Candy Bars
From Making Memories .... One Fun Thing After Another13 oz candy corn
(I used Rite Aide Brand)*13 oz peanut butter
(I used a natural, no stir kind)15 individual squares Trader Joes 72% Cacao Chocolate
Line an 8 x 8 pan with enough parchment paper, so that the paper drapes over the sides.
In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt candy corn. Be sure to stir the candy throughout the melting process. Once fully melted, add peanut butter to the sauce pan and continue stirring until well combine. Once combined, dump mixture into the parchment lined pan and spread evenly with back of spoon. Allow to cool completely.
When candy has completely cooled, cut it into rectangles (or squares if you prefer) and set aside. Melt chocolate in double broiler. Then dip rectangles into the melted chocolate and place each on sheet of wax paper to cool. Your butterfingers are ready to be devoured once the the chocolate has set :-)
Thanks for the awesome recipe, Erin. You rock!!