Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Indi Dog: The Time Has Come

Sad sad day. Very sad indeed. The following is a plea for help.

We've had our border collie Indi for 3 years now. When we first got her, she was hyper and undisciplined. We worked with her for hours to teach her commands, how to sit and stay, and how to catch a frisbee. She's made leaps and bounds from where she once was. We've had her in training classes, socialization classes, and have worked with her on our own to help her harness her energy and learn to behave.

Before we had Eli I would run with Indi every day. She did pretty well in the house but was never good with company. She jumps, licks, nips. Whenever anyone comes over now we just have to put her away.

Since baby birth things have gone from tolerable to absolutely unbearable. She's become completely out of control. She wines constantly, chases Eli around wherever he goes, nips, growls, and is generally agitated all the time. I try to give her exercise, but there isn't much I can do in the winter.

She's been progressively more aggressive over the last few weeks and yesterday we had something happen that tipped the scales for me. Eli was in a corner of the living room (out of my line of site) and Indi came up to him. I heard a snarl, a snap and when I got over to them Eli had a long cut on his face. I'm not sure exactly what happened, but that was the last straw. I can't have Indi around if there is any sign of aggression with Eli. It's a risk I'm not willing to take.

So it's come to this; we have to get rid of Indi, and we have to do it now. I can't have her in the house any longer. I've put ads up on KSL for about two weeks now but no real luck. I've called rescues and no kill shelters but all are at full capacity right now. If ANYONE out there knows of anyone who could use a good, behaviorally challenged dog, PLEASE let me know. She would make a great dog to someone without kids, who doesn't have other dogs around, and can give her lots of exercise. Indi would do best with someone with lots of land, lots of time, and a lot of patience. She really is a good dog.

Let me know please if you can help. Her fate at this point looks bleak and I have considered the possibility of having her put down. I refuse to take her to the pound or animal control where she would locked in a small kennel and eventually put down anyway.

Thanks all.

P.S. I'm past the point of taking suggestions for her behavior. We've really have tried everything. I just need to get her a new home FAST.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

BLTs: This is How We Do It

I was super tired on Monday. Taking dinner inventory, we had bacon, we had tomatoes, and we lettuce. It could only mean one thing; it was time to make some sandwiches. You've all made BLTs. Here's how I make them. Probably nothing ground breaking.

Step 1: Grill the bacon (no steamy bacon sizzling in a pan...NOW).

Step 2: Toast the bread. I like to lightly toast the bread. Not too crispy. Just a little toasty.

Then I do this. After a little mayonnaise.

Then I do this.

Served up with a few carrots. That's it!

Boring day. But yummy!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Chicken Verde Enchiladas

As noted before, my mother is an amazing chef. Not only does she cook extremely tasty food, but because of her health she cooks extremely healthy too. This recipe is a family staple, one my mom has made for years and one I love more and more every time I eat it. Its super easy, super healthy, and a treat to eat! (Am I sounding like the Barefoot Contessa yet?)

Here you go with the step by steps.

Step 1: Assemble the ingredients. Here's a list of things you will need

1 bag flour tortillas

***note, I sent Dan to the store to get my ingredients for this meal and he grabbed large white flour tortillas. I usually use the fajitas size wheat flour tortillas, because the whole wheat makes the enchiladas so much heartier and healthier. I cut these tortillas in half because they were so huge, but they worked just fine. (Thanks love for the grocery run)

1 can green chile enchilada sauce
1-2 cans canned cooked chicken (you can grill your own and shred it, canned chicken is just so easy to use)
1 large onion, diced very fine (I use a little chopper, helps with the tears)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
I mix things up and like to try new ingredients from time to time. Last night I added black beans and we have added olives in the past or bell peppers. Pretty much anything along the Mexican food line is pretty good.

Step 2: Before I start assembling the enchiladas I set everything out in a sort of assembly line. I put all my fillings in bowls and get out a large dinner plate so that I have a surface where I can roll up the enchiladas. Pour the chile sauce into a little large bowl for easy dipping.

Step 3: Take out about 8 tortillas from the bag. Once you get started your hands are going to be messy so make sure you have out your baking dish and all the ingredients you'll need. Now take a tortilla and dip it in the green chile sauce. Use your fingers to wipe off all excess sauce. You just want a thin layer of sauce on the tortilla, so wipe off as much as you can with your fingers.

Step 4: Place the tortilla on the plate you've given it it's sauce bath. Fill it in a vertical line with a little of everything; the cheese, the chicken, the onions, and anything else you want to add. To roll the enchilada, take your fingers and pull the line of filling towards you a little as you roll the tortilla away from you. Roll them pretty tight.
Step 5: Continue filling and rolling the enchiladas until you either run out of filling or run out of space in your baking dish. You should get 8-10 enchiladas. ***IMPORTANT NOTE*** You want to have a little green sauce left over after you've filled all the tortillas. Save at least a quarter of a cup of sauce.

Once you've got all the enchiladas in the pan, cover with the remaining green sauce, about a half a cup of cheese, and whatever else you've got left (beans, onions, etc.)

Step 6: Cover with tin foil and bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes. Remove foil for the last 5 minutes of baking. Make sure the cheese is all melted and the tortillas on the edge are browned a bit.

You're done! I like to serve them with a simple green salad.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Church Follies

Dan and I are church going folk. I usually look forward to the three hours a week when I can go and rethink my life. Lately, though, things have been a little challenging, to say the least. Having a child who A-never holds still and B- runs like a gazelle makes for difficult worship. Dan and I just kinda rotate following him around in the halls while the other one tries to sit in and get some churching done.

Today was a particularly bad day at the ol' meeting house. We made a pact when we had Eli that we would do all we could to stay to the closing prayer in our last meeting so we would be motivated to stick it out. Today that did not work. About ten seconds into sacrament meeting Eli made a mad dash for the pulpit. After chasing him down the isle twice, I handed him off to Dan who took him out to the hall. About five minutes after that Dan opened the door to the chapel and motioned for me to grabbed the diaper bag and come. That's never a good sign.

I went to meet him out in the hall and Dan pointed to a large blast zone of puke. Eli had expurgated his lunch all over the hall of the church, in such a way as I have never seen him do before.

Dan knows I am not a puke person. There are many things I can deal with, puke is not one of them. So I handed Dan the diaper bag and I went to chase Eli down the hall. As I was extracting him from a hallway garbage, an older woman walked passed and said "He has ADHD. I had six of them like that. Good luck!" and cheerfully waddled off. I lost it. I had tears running down my cheeks when Dan came back from his puke cleaning. My blessed husband took Eli into a nearby classroom, closed the door, and I sat in the foyer for the rest of the meeting and listened to the speakers.

Needless to say I am home now, Dan is still at church, and Eli is cleaned up and eating a little lunch. May next week be better.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Garlic Lemon Chicken with Asparagus: Good Stuff

I like chicken. I like it cooked in just about any form. Chicken breasts are the magic food for me. You can do so many things with them and its pretty hard to have them turn out wrong. AND, chicken is super good for you.

Our friend TJ Seintenbach sent me this recipe, said its one of his and his wife's favorites. And let me tell you...its pretty darned good. I added a few changed and it was mighty yummy. Here's a step by step for you.

Step 1: Sautee minced garlic in a frying pan with a little olive oil. You want enough garlic to cover the bottom of two large chicken breasts, so don't skimp.

Step 2: Add two boneless chicken breasts to the pan. TJ says they season the chicken with Cavenders Seasoning. I found some at our local Winco, but I bet you could get it at just about any grocery store, and it is good. Very good. Check that link so you know what you're looking for.

Step 3: Sautee the chicken on the garlic, turning each breast occasionally to optimize tenderness. I had on hand a few fresh Myer lemons (I have a blessed friend in California who grows them) so I juiced them on top of the cooking chicken. I added more lemon juice every time the pan looked a little dry and seasoned them liberally throughout cooking with the Cavenders. Yum.
Step 4: While the chicken is cooking, sautee the asparagus in olive oil in a separate pan. I added a little salt and pepper and, you guessed it, a little of the lemon juice. Dan likes his veggies nice and tender, so I grilled them until they drooped when I picked them up.
Step 5: Check the chicken to ensure done-ness by making a small cut in the thickest part of the breast. If the meat is white all the way through and the juices are clear, dinner is almost done. To keep this meal super healthy as well as yummy, I served it with warmed black beans to cut down on carbs. I heated them in a sauce pan with a little salt and pepper while the other things were cooking.
Ta da! Its done! This meal was quick to make and so very tasty. I will definitely be making it again.

Baked Ziti: A Meat(less) Lovers Fancy Food

I'm trying very hard to break myself of the notion that all meals have to have meat in them. There are so many great meatless dishes out there, I just have always thought a complete meal had to have a meat and at least one starch and one vegetable. My brother-in-law Sam sent me a recipe that has no meat, but looks super easy and has the potential for becoming a healthy, quick fix meal idea. I took the directions he gave me and tried to lighten up the recipe a bit. Here goes:

Bake Ziti

1 bag of ziti pasta
1 bottle pasta sauce (I love Ragu Old World Style)
about a cup and a half of water

Mix all ingredients in a casserole dish. Bake for about 45 minutes (I'd say at about 350 degrees). Sam suggests dumping about 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese on top, which sounds amazing, but to make it a little lighter I'd sprinkle about 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan on top. After cheese, bake for another 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

I love this recipe because 1-Dan is a HUGE fan of Italian food and 2-it looks so easy. I also like it because there are about a million things you could do to it to change up the recipe. I was thinking how good it would be with a little Italian sausage thrown in (there's my meatyness coming out) or with some grilled bell peppers or onions.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Meat Loaf: It Can Be Healthy

Tonight's fare: Meat Loaf, boiled potatoes, green salad, cooked green beans

Meat loaf can be a surprisingly lean meal. Dan is a big fan of meat loaf sandwiches so I make a loaf for dinner and then he eats it all week for lunch. Here's a link to my favorite meat loaf recipe. Its easy, tasty, and pretty fast. I usually use lean ground beef for the meat, but have also used ground turkey or elk. If you do use a super lean meat like turkey, I might suggest mixing in a little beef just to make the end result more juicy. Turkey and elk meat can be pretty dry. If you're not a beef eater, add a little extra olive oil to your recipe and watch the oven closely so it doesn't bake too long and come out dry.

If you don't have Lipton onion soup mix on hand for this recipe, here's an alternative. I like the above link better, mostly because its so easy, but the following is pretty doable in a time crunch.

Italian Meat Loaf (from Progresso)

1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (you can use bb sauce if you don't have Worcestershire sauce)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard (or use actual mustard if you don't have ground)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic (I use 1 tablespoon minced garlic)
1 egg
3/4 cup bread crumbs (I like Italian, but the taste may be a little overwhelming for some)
1 small onion chopped (1/4 cup)
1/4 cup ketchup

1. Heat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients except ketchup.
2. Spread mixture in ungreased 8x4 or 9x5 inch loaf pan. Spread ketchup over top.
3. Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until beef is no longer pink in the center. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

*Makes 6 servings*

Healthy Food for Happy People

I like good food. I like eating good food and I love making it. I've never been a very fancy chef by any means. I have, however, always enjoyed cooking and have always had a knack for cooking healthy foods. This probably comes from my mother. Mama had a stroke when I was 8 and ever since then the meals in our house became very healthy, but were still always tasty.

Growing up with a mother who had extreme dietary restrictions taught me that you can cook healthy, yummy foods without sacrificing taste or your waist line. Here on Mumaday I've decided to steer things in a more culinary route. Most days, instead of random ramblings about my extremely exiting life I'm going to be posting recipes. I hope that is serves as sort of an answer to the question "what to make for dinner".

Again, I am not a culinary mastermind. I'm far from it truth be told. I have trashed more food than I've served. But I do love to cook, and I do cook healthy. My meals are simple, my recipes usually compromise of few ingredients and items that you probably have sitting on your shelve. Occasionally I branch out and make some exotic meal, but for the most part I cook simple, quick food that appeals to a range of pallets. If you have a recipe you'd like to share, send it my way.



Sunday, January 2, 2011

Waxing Personal

At the risk of turning this blog into something akin to a 14 year old's online journal, allow me to wax a little personal for a minute. I had an epiphany this morning, something that hit me in the head like one of Eli's carefully projected blocks. Let me share.

I am a person prone to moodiness. I can go from ok to on fire in about ten seconds. There are big factors relating to my drastic swings, mostly food related. As long as I have food in my system and a good night's sleep I'm usually pretty good. But get me hungry and tired...its bad all around.

On top of that I've been blacking out a lot lately, something about low blood pressure and heart irregularity stuff, at least that what my doctor brother said. I just get light headed and fall over. Nothing too worrisome, but a pain in the neck nonetheless.

So my epiphany? Here it is. Medically there are things I can do to help my crankiness and falling over. Eating, drinking plenty of water, standing up slowly, these things all help. But there is something else I believe is an extremely effective remedy. Taking three minutes, two minutes, even ten seconds to stop, relax and have a little moment of peace when the boiling point gets high helps more than almost anything else.

Its hard with an active baby to be able to stop and regroup, but it is possible. No matter what your spiritual or theological beliefs, I assure you that when problems get nasty, or your system just insists on having a melt down, taking two minutes to sit and relax helps truck loads. I don't mean I sit cross legged and say "OM" every time I get overwhelmed. I just mean taking a minute to sit undisturbed by electronic noise and other distractions, regroup, and start over.

Sounds simple...but I often struggle to grasp the most plainly laid out solutions.

Sorry for the ramblings...we will resume normal programing...NOW.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 Cities

A friend recently posted a list of cities he'd spent a night in or more in 2010. I thought that was a grand idea. Here's my list. Add yours.

*Orem, Ut
*Provo, Ut
*Bountiful, Ut
*Telluride, Co
*Arvada, Co
*Colorado Springs, Co
*Ojai, Ca
*St. George, Ut
*Moab, Ut
*Placentia, Ca
*Mesquite, NV

Wow...that looks really anemic now that I write it all down...worst traveling year ever.