Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring time in Alaska...and a severe irony

My family goes "outside" crazy when the temp is above freezing. This afternoon was a crazy warm of 54! So, we did what all crazy Alaskans do. We had a picnic on our porch, bare feet, shorts, and all. I used a tiny table cuz getting me on the ground is comical.
 Here is the irony. My very last memory before my stroke was a beginning of spring picnic, and my last blog post, is Here:
Blog post

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

An impasse

Today, we stopped by a greenhouse to check out the plants...even though there is still snow on the ground. I walked pushing a garden flatbed cart with no tone whatsoever. Then, we stopped at a much colder Home Depot, and I tried to walk pushing the cart there....I couldn't. I ended up back in the wheelchair. The difference was probably 10-15 degrees.

However, my hubby is in the Army. If we get sent back to the 48, he is #1 on the list to deploy. We even had a deployment scare up here til they realized it would shut down the ER to go to one doc. I'm selfish I know, but I sorta still need him....

So, here is my dilemma. I love it here. Yes, it gets cold, but we cope. However, I have proven twice now that my muscles are so much better,  and I walk so much better in a warm climate. Ugh....I am so beyond frustrated right now because in essence I have to choose between having a hubby stateside or walking better. I'm sorry, that just isn't fair and I'm gonna go pitch a little pity party for myself.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Pathetic...and a happy story

This is what Minnie begs for after she goes potty and gets a bit wet playing in the snow:

Today two of my daughters were in a tkd tournament (and brought home 3 trophies...not to brag ) and the other two kiddos stayed home with me and the puppies. We went to my favorite Mexican restaurant for lunch, and the manager recognized me and came out to say "long time no see". He was super kind, and the wait staff hovered as I transferred to and from my wheelchair into a booth. It made me feel special. Then, after an out of this world successful grocery trip, I stopped at McDonalds to reward my two big helpers with an ice cream cone. Princess Grace was having trouble unloading the wheelchair around the groceries. Some random lady came running over from across the parking lot to help her. I just love living in a small Alaskan town.  The people here are truly the most helpful yet not nosy people I have ever met. I guess you have to be a certain type folk to survive living in this area/climate. Anywho, I know I fuss a lot, but there really are great people in this town.

Favorite places to eat

We have discovered some of the strangest places to eat. Our two favorite places that serve the tastiest food: a drive through "shack" on the side of the road that serves Thai food with spring rolls I swear must have crack because I eat them at least once a week, and a BBQ joint that has taken up residence in a gas station but used to be a food truck that has brisket that will knock your socks off. Where do you like to eat? Any strange places?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pioneer Woman Scalloped ham and potatoes- made skinnier

I just adore Ree. Besides the fact that we share the same last name, both homeschool, both have 4 kids, both are active at church, both drive creeps me out how much it goes on....I love her show and her recipes. She lives on a working ranch and can therefore serve more decadent dishes without fear. Her family works hard outdoors all day. I, however, live in Alaska and my crew spends the majority of the day inside. We simply can't afford the calories. Her versions are awesome, but we have to make slightly less decadent versions here. If I knew how to get in touch with her, I would ask her to do a cookbook where she has decadent and lovely dishes and I did a less decadent but "lighter" version.

So, that being said, her most recent tv show sparked a bug. I wanted to make her scalloped potatoes with ham, but the calories blew me out of the water. While delicious, undeniably, we just can't eat that way.

I used her recipe as a guide. Here are my changes:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1 onion, diced (I used dried chopped onions cuz cutting an onion 1 handed is dangerous)
Salt and pepper
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups milk
5 russet potatoes, sliced on the mandolin
12oz Candian bacon, sliced and chunked
2 cups skim mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a baking dish well with Pam (sub for butter). Make a sauce by sautéing the chopped onion in evoo. Add in flour. Cook for about 5 min. Slowly wisk in the chicken broth, 1/4 cup at a time. Slowly wisk the milk in 1/4 cup at a time. While still cooking, add in salt and pepper to taste. Begin the layering process. Start with half the potatoes, layer on half the "ham", and 1 cup shredded cheese. Build a second layer. Pour all of the sauce over. Bake covered for about 40 min, uncovered for another 20 or so.
 Serves 6-8

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Why I never get a thing done anymore...

Notice, one puppy in my lap and one under my wheelchair.....rendering me totally immobile for fear of crushing a puppy and holding the other so that she doesn't fall.

Size comparison

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Dump it meatball soup

I so wasn't in the mood to cook dinner tonight. This took 5 min to throw together. In a pot I dumped one diced onion, half a bunch of chunked celery, two handfuls baby carrots, 1 bag meatballs, 1 bag ready to cook rosemary and garlic potatoes, 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 box chicken broth, 4 cups water, salt, pepper. I let it simmer until the veggies were soft. Dinner done. I didn't even play with spices.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Bday cake by Prinesses Hope and Joy

Layered strawberry and vanilla cake with strawberry shortcake icing and icing "roses". I think they did a pretty good job. 

...and a pile o puppies by daddy's feet as he helped make the bday feast.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Happy bday Princess Hope

This week she turned 11! I just am not ready for that. The kid is working in language arts at a 7th grade level, in math at a 6th grade level, who knows for the other subjects, can cook a meal with out any help, bakes like a champ, is quite adept at handling a wheelchair, and can make a mean cup of coffee. Yes, we have hit the pre teen mood swings that only daddy seems able to handle. But, all in all, I think I'll keep her ;)