Faux (Recipe)

Sometimes faux means ‘kind of the same but not really as good as the real thing’.  In this case, faux means, ‘why would you ever yearn for the real thing again’.
Last night when I realized I had to pack lunch and dinner for today, I figured my pork loin on salad would be my dinner and I’d try and come up with something for lunch.
Enter the six portobello mushroom caps that I had on hand and a bag of spinach that had given me the ‘use me or toss me’ ultimatum.
Steam down the spinach, let it cool and squeeze out all the water.
Pop the stems out of your mushroom caps and chop finely.  Set aside.
Separate as many eggs from their yokes as mushroom caps (six caps, six eggs).  Mix the whites with a dash of coconut or almond milk and fork whip.  Squeeze in the juice of a quarter lemon. Add squeezed spinach, chopped mushroom stems and a blob of goat cheese (I’m not so much for measuring.).
Spoon spinach mixture onto mushroom caps and then create a small divot in the spinach and set the yoke of one egg onto each cap.
Sprinkle with seasalt and bake until spinach/egg mixture is set and mushrooms are soft.
Voila!  Faux Quiche!

Self Professed Pork Hater (Recipe)

Okay, so a lot of my life I’ve hated pork… I hate porkchops… the only reason to make them in mushroom soup sauce is to have the sauce on the rice… I’d rather throw my chop in the can.  I loathe bacon… Yep… LOATHE!
But I was at Costco with Sam this weekend and he suggested that I actually DO like pork, I just didn’t know it… that maybe if I bought a nice piece of pork and cooked it myself that I would like it.
So I bought a Boneless Pork Loin.  It was actually this super long worm like thing for $18… I didn’t take a picture of it, but I found this on the internet… I bought one and sliced it up into five roast sized pieces and threw four in the freezer.
Using Trent (my countertop Convection Oven), I preheated it to 400F (please note that this is convection, so if you’re non convection, please go online and do the calculation to convert).
It was insanely yummy and easy peasy!  Nothing to clean up except Trent’s baking pan and uses pretty much what you have in the house.
I ate my dinner slices with four baby dill pickles from Costco, but this would make a beautiful Sunday dinner with little to no effort… if you’re a Sunday Dinner kind of person.

Lime Crusted Pork Loin Roast
Use as big or small a roast as you want to eat… you’ll just need to adjust the cooking time… which I’m sorry I can’t give you… see that hole in the pork?  Wireless meat thermometer for the win!
Using your potato peeler, remove the rind from one lime.  Don’t worry if you get pith.  In your magic bullet or food processor, grind lime rind until it’s got the consistency of crumbs.
Squeeze the juice of rindless lime into crumbed lime rind, taking care to get some of the fruity flesh too.
Adding about 1-2 tbsp of Olive Oil, blend mixture until creamy.
In your baking pan, put 1/2 tbsp of olive oil in the center of the pan.  Add a splash of lime mixture and set your roast on top.
Pour remaining lime juice/rind crumb mixture onto the top of the roast and sprinkle generously with cracked black pepper and coarse grind sea salt.
Bake.  When temperature has been reached (I go for around 165F as the roast will keep cooking a bit when you take it out), place roast on cutting board and cover with tinfoil tent for 5-10 min.
Slice and serve.
Yum yum!

How do you Define Yourself

Being a woman is damn complicated!  I mean, aside from the obvious physical things like menstruation, child birth and our knockers, we have all sorts of social complexities to try and navigate through every day.
 
Women, in general seem to be in constant competition with eachother.  I just wrote a comment on my friend Tara’s blog about how judgemental people are when you stray from what they define as ‘the norm’.  In anything… food consumption, excersise, how you raise your children… if you even have children…
 
It’s difficult for me to relate, because I’m not the type of person that defines myself based on what others do.  I’m one, autonomous woman, in a world of millions of women.  If I was to define myself based on another women, what woman would I choose?  Those air brushed beauties on the cover of magazines?  Celebreties that have to go in the hospital for ‘exhaustion’ while the rest of us struggle with our real lives?
My sister?  My friends?  My collegues?
 
The problem is that even tho I am not a woman that is defined by the thoughts and actions of others, it doesn’t make me immune to the exchange.  Other women judge me… potentially define parts of themselves by me.  You can always be the ‘blond thin one’ if I’m the fat one.  You can always be ‘the smarter one’ as long as you’re one course credit ahead of me in your continuing education.  You can always be the ‘demure quiet ladylike one’ as long as I’m funny and boisterous and kooky.
 
But herein lies the problem.  Because you’re basing your ‘definition’ on something (me) that is not within your own control, what happens when that changes.  And that’s where the judgement comes in.
 
If I stray off the ‘beaten path’ of nutrition in order to attempt to better myself, where does that leave you?  If I lose weight and become healthier (than myself now, or even than you), your definition of yourself has got to change.  Either intentionally or unintentionally, women who define themselves based on another person have a tendancy (so it seems) to attempt to derail you.
They make it clear that what you’re doing won’t work.  That your parenting choices are wrong.  They offer you chocolates and junkfood… maybe not even intentionally. 
 
The problem with all of this is that my choices of nutrition have little to no impact on anyone else.  My choices of how to parent my fictional kids have little to no impact on anyone else.  And yet we’re judged constantly. We’re told we’re being silly, that we’re making poor decisions, that someone else has done it better or more right.  Everyone’s ‘right’ is different… and everyone should be able to choose their ‘right’ for themselves, free of judgement.
 
I prefer to surround myself with women that are only interested in my choices so far as it makes me happy.  And I’m only interested in their choices so far as it makes them happy (and they’re not harming themselves… think drugs etc…)
 
We each were given a life to lead.. perhaps those that judge us should spend more time living their own lives and less time worried about how someone else is living theirs.

Simplify

 
The theme word for the next few weeks is ‘Simplify’.
 
I stopped taking my anti-depressants… even tho I was warned not to.  I effectively and accidentally weaned myself off them by only remembering to take them every couple of days or so… I feel better.  I feel clear headed and rational.  I feel as if I can take action on things that I want to do. I think they were starting to do more harm than good, and I feel fresh and clean without them circulating through my body.
 
I cleaned out my cupboards and donated all the items that had wheat or grains in them to the food bank.  Soup cans (third ingredient, wheat!), pretzels, sauces, crackers, pasta, gnocchi (boy I was sad to see that go!).  I threw out the last of my easter bunny and half a bag of frozen perogies.  I can now eat anything in my house and it’s 100% on the ‘approved list’ for grain free!
 
I went to Costco with Sam and purchased perishables.  My fridge is stuffed with produce and fish and pork.  I don’t need to spend money between now and next grocery shopping trip.  Everything I need is in my house.  What a nice feeling!
 
I decided to knit again last night… Instead of fooling around digging through my stash, I walked into my office and picked up two skeins of yarn that I had originally wound for our San Fran trip. With that yarn and my needle case, I wandered back to the living room, found a pattern and started knitting. Simple garter stitch in a shocking stripe.  It’s perfectly simple, perfect…
 
 
I did two loads of laundry this weekend.  Not a huge deal to some, but having lived in an apartment for 11 years and having to cart my dirty laundry back and forth to a laundromat was kind of a pain.  Having it in my building and being able to putter around and knit and clean and watch tv while it was washing and then drying was a beautiful thing! Simple… easy… perfect!
 
Every dish in my house and article of laundry in my house is clean and put away.  My stack of washable swiffer cloths are out in plain view to be used daily.  Simple to clean your house when you sweep the globs of cat hair daily!
 
I’ve taken to reading the ingredients on packages of cosmetics and body care products and circling in red the items that I wish weren’t in them.  The further down the list and the fewer of them there are, the more likely I am to consider keeping them till they’re done and then replacing.  The idea of having simple food to fuel my body and simple ingredients to care for the exterior, the better.
 
I bought a shower caddy so that I don’t have to balance my body products on a 2″ ledge that sits at a 30 degree angle… It makes showering much more enjoyable.  I also fixed my face wash bottle so that it actually pumps face wash out without having to fight with it.  Another simple thing that makes me feel more in control and less agitated.
 
All of these things may seem silly and… well… simple to some, but for someone whose life has been out of control for a while, it’s a warm cozy swaddle.  It feels comfortable and soothing…
 
Here’s a picture of the beginning of my shawl… the colors are pretty accurate!
 
 
Here’s a picture of my fridge after it’s cleanse and Costco trip. What you can’t see is the fish and pork
 
 
Here’s a couple pictures of Saturday morning when we went around the Seawall (10km).

 
 
Here’s a gratuitus kitty picture… he decided to lay beside me in the morning… it made me smile because he’s not a cuddler!
 
 
And here’s a picture of what happens when you try and change the sheets and you have a feline cannonball… pretty hard to make the bed with a 13lb lump with claws in it!
 
 
And finally, here’s my chicken salad from last night… Greens, tomatos, radish, green onions and a blob of chicken salad.
 
 
 

Cavemen Didn’t Eat Bagels

 
For years I was a prisoner to a bad and unpleasant relationship.
 
Even after it ended… for months of dealing with the emotions and fall out from being mistreated, I felt that my heart and soul were weak and damaged.
 
Now I realize that I’m keeping myself a prisoner in that old life… chaining myself to it… allowing it to be ever present in my physical appearance and wellbeing…
 
Everything comes with time… My friend Tara said on my blog many months ago that I should just keep doing what I’m doing and when it stops working for me, then and only then will I change it.  Well, it hasn’t been ‘working’ for me for some time… but everyone has their own tolerance for things that don’t work… Or how deeply their head is stuck in the sand.
 
My very astute and healthy plan of emotional self care has gone well… I moved into a new apartment, I’ve removed unnecessary stress from my life and now it’s time to get my physical wellbeing back in shape.  I already am removing toxic chemical laden cosmetics and body products from my regimen… No more of the ‘dirty dozen’… don’t get me wrong, I haven’t gone wild and thrown everything away, but the stuff that isn’t TOO bad gets used up and never replaced and the really awful stuff gets tossed.  If you want to learn more about this, go to THIS LINK.  And if you want a handy dandy wallet card for when you’re out and about shopping, download one here  
With that done, the next thing to consider was my diet.  I think what pushed me over the edge was how tired I am all the damn time and the weird skin condition that I am getting on my hands… which I suspect is from using so much hand sani now that I take the bus everywhere, but is probably not being helped by my diet.
 
SO!
 
I’m giving myself a gift of 30 days to try a new (to me, not in general) eating routine.  What I’m doing now isn’t working to make me feel like I’m caring for myself, and since I’m an adult, the only person that can take the lead on caring for me, is me. 
 
I’m not posting pictures or stats… but I will let you know what I’m doing and most importantly if it’s helping me to feel better or not.  I’m not alone on my journey as aforementioned Tara and my gorgeous Sister have been successful in this particular eating habit.  It’s not that complicated.  Cut out grains, don’t eat junk.  I believe the community calls it Paleo… I call it, Cavemen Didn’t Eat Bagels.
 
Stay tuned.
 
Oh and thanks for all the feedback about me being a responsible adult and not dragging home a new kitty… even a kitty as cute as Cheerio… it means a lot to me… 😦

About being a responsible adult

Well, let’s be honest, it sucks.  And it sucks hard!
 
Having a good consience is a total pain in the ass because it means you can’t just go ahead with whatever you want without thinking about the affect it has…
 
As you may know, I decided to get a kitty companion for Mr. Fluffypants.  After my dad left, he seemed really lonely and his behavior during my dad’s visit was more engaged… probably because there was an additional person to pay attention to him.  So, since I’m only one person I decided that this fall I would take my holidays and get Mr. Fluffypants a friend.
 
Then, pretending I’m not an emotionally driven person, I started looking at pictures of kitties… kittens and cats for adoption in Vancouver… Kittens and cats with sad stories and sad eyes and hungry for love and cuddles.  Kittens and cats that don’t deserve the twist that life handed to them.  I fell in love with plenty of them… searching the shelter websites daily… until I found Cheerio.  The moment I opened her profile page and her picture appeared, my heart was cooked… She was beautiful and only 11 months old… piercing green eyes and a look that melts your heart.  And she was orange and white, which I find insanely cute.  Her profile said that she had just had a hernia surgery that was likely trauma induced and that she loves to cuddle and be held.  I imagined her crawling into bed with me and snuggling… I imagined her and Charlie nestled up on the sofa together sharing a nap in a sunbeam…
 
So I emailed the SPCA to determine if she was going to be the right fit.  Also, since she was an hour away, I had to make sure that I could meet her and bring her home the same day…
 
I told Charlie all about his girlfriend/sister and how much he would love her… I emailed my landlord to get permission to have a second kitty (since the SPCA won’t give a cat to a renter without landlord permission).
 
I arranged for Sam to drive me up to Squamish to go and get her… and then my stomach started to tumble…
 
I thought of my existing kitty who started sleeping closer and cuddling more… I thought of how difficult it might be for him to have his routine disrupted, even tho eventually they would get along.  I thought about the fact that I hadn’t planned anything like getting a new litter box or setting up her little bed in her isolation room.  I thought about how dang hot it’s been in my apartment… and mostly I thought about my fear that my existing cat, who I love more than life itself might stop loving me…How he had been through so much change in the last two and a half months and how he didn’t really deserve to be thrown into a tumble again with more change.
 
Thinking about my existing cat and how hurt his little feelings might have been reminded me that I’m a responsible adult.  It wasn’t the right time… Having a gurgle gut in response to getting a new pet isn’t the right reaction… I knew that I should stick to my plan of adopting another kitty in the late fall when it was cool outside and proper preparations had been made.  When Mr. Fluffypants was better adjusted to living inside… when his recollection of all the change was faded and barely there…
 
So I called Sam and called off the trip to go get Cheerio.  And then I cried… all the way home on the bus… (that’s about 45 min).  And when I got home I poured as much love and affection on Charlie as he would allow…and I dragged him to bed for a snuggle.  (which was ineffective because shortly after that I started throwing up and that really freaked the little bugger out!).
 
He’s still sleeping close and cuddly on the bed and I’m still telling him that he’s getting a sister/girlfriend… but when the time is right… like a responsible adult…
 
 

What relaxation looks like

There are piles of toss cushions in the living room…
 
A sleeping bag, set of rumpled sheets and a few blankets are in a nest on the sofa…
 
Dirty wine glasses and rocks glasses litter the counter in the kitchen…
 
A mess?  No, I say!  An indication of the most relaxed and lovely time I’ve had in years!  I gave up my rules about shoes in the house and people sleeping on the sofa.  About doing dishes the second they’re dirty and fluffing the cushions the second they’re flat…
 
I napped on the sofa using a balled up fitted sheet as a pillow and the cat nestled in to a nest of blankets and sleeping bag.  There’s a bed pillow on the sofa (which is TOTALLY against the rules) and I have no desire to move it.
 
I’m high on the glow of spending three quality days with my dad… we walked and rode the bus and ate and drank (and drank and drank) and laughed our heads off… we made jokes and made fun of eachother… we talked about serious stuff… reminisced about the past, took a look into the future. We listened to live jazz and drank beers… laughing at the people around us… We were asleep early and up just as early…
We played with the kitty and laughed at his ridiculous antics
 
Every moment was divine and perfect.  I’m completely exhausted… not really used to having company for more than a few hours and not really used to having to be ‘on’ all the time so I’m tired and definitely will need a couple evenings of down time to recover, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
 
I’m going to go home tonight and make a Smashbook page for all the little bits and pieces that we collected over our three days…
 
For now I will drink gallons of coffee and attempt to stay awake until it’s time to go home.