Day 3: Kitties and Salad

Review of The Clothes Make The Girl’s Merguez Meatballs

These were so delicious! A little spicy, definitely savory, and they are, without a doubt, going to be part of our regular “go-to” eats. The only thing that Adam and I found was that after baking in the oven, some of the fat drained out, so they were a bit dry and asking for a dipping sauce. I found that greek yogurt did the trick for me.

Adam, however, is not a fan of greek yogurt, so he has decided that next time we make it, instead of cooking the meatballs in the oven, he’s going to steam them in a pan to see if he can keep all the delicious juicy flavor sealed in the meatballs.

Did I mention that they were good? Because great googly-moogly, did we devour those bites! And, btw – we had a whopping 5 (of something like 30) left over, and I’m having them *right now* for breakfast. They’re even decent cold. (What? I had to try them that way for science.) 😉

Cutie cats!!!

Today, life for me is primarily about my foster kittens, Gandalf and Thorin. They’re 8 weeks old, and are adorable bundles of love and fur, and are, unfortunately, about half as big as they should be. They were born premature, and even though we freefeed them with dry food and supplement with wet food, they’re only about 12 oz.

Tonight, we have to take them to the veteranarian because they’ve got coccida and an upper respiratory infection, the poor babies. I want to make sure to give them baths and lots of cuddle time before we head to Romeoville to visit the vet. They’re probably going to be getting their first round of shots tonight too.

Today’s recipe: Double Bacon Ceasar Salad by Health Bent

This is what I’m having for lunch today (minus the parmesan cheese and Ceasar dressing because I do not like Caesar dressing.) Instead, I’m using their bacon fat honey mustard dressing.

Ingredients

For the Salad
2 heads of romaine lettuce
Parmesan cheese
1 lb chicken
1/2 – 3/4 lb bacon

For the Caesar Dressing
1/2 c bacon fat, liquid but cooled
1 egg yolk
½ lemon, juiced
1 garlic clove, finely grated
handful finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 t worcestershire sauce
¼ t anchovy paste or ½ anchovy (NOT ½ a can/tin)
s & p

We’ve also made a bacon fat honey mustard. It’s just as delicious.

For the Honey Mustard Dressing
1/3 c bacon drippings
2 T Dijon mustard
1 T honey
s&p

Preparation

For the Salad

  • It doesn’t really matter how much of any of this stuff you put into a bowl, so you don’t need to follow the amounts or anything, I’m just letting you know what we did.
  • What I do care about is the bacon. We want to get out around 1/2 cup of fat for the dressing and still have some left over to cook the chicken in.
  • So mainly concern yourself with: browning the bacon and then sauteing the chicken.
  • Add all that stuff into the salad, along with whatever else you’d like. (I’m adding carrots and cucumber!)
  • The dressing is the important part. Onward…

For the Dressing
This is a no stressing dressing! Combine all the ingredients into a jar with a screw top lid. Shake until everything looks creamy. Taste and make sure it doesn’t need any adjustments. Done.

A note about this dressing: Because bacon fat is mostly saturated, it will solidify at room temp and in the fridge. It’s best to drizzle the dressing only on the portion of salad you’re eating…not on the whole thing, unless you plan to eat it all in one sitting. Store the dressing in the fridge and reheat it in the microwave for a few seconds to get it nice and fluid again.

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Image Inspiration

Today for my post I was supposed to go to flickr/explore and use the first picture. I didn’t like it so I dug down to the popular pictures of the week for this beauty:

Stella

It inspired me in three ways:

1.) To remind folks that doggies can also get multiple sclerosis! It’s not something that’s talked about much, but it’s true!

Canine Degenerative Myelopathy is basically a mirror of human multiple sclerosis but in dogs. German shepherds, collies, Siberian huskies, Labrador retrievers, Belgian shepherds, and kerry blue terriers are most at risk for this, and is most common in older pure-bred dogs.

Currently they have no medications to help them, but they end up with weakness and poor coordination just like we do.

Click here for more information on Canine Degenerative Myelopathy.

AND

2.) To talk about the fact that no matter what, it’s always good to keep smiling.

Doggies can’t talk to complain or tells us what’s going on. They just keep living their doggie lives, making the best of it as they can. We treat them with as much compassion as we can: we give them whatever treatments we can, give them food and water and playtime, and they just keep going on having fun where they can, and living their lives!

It’s such a good example for the rest of us. It reminds us that we’re still animals, just like everyone else. We can still eat and drink and exercise and have fun, despite our need to rest a little more. But what’s most important is to keep smiling and taking the most out of life where we can get it.

AND

3.) To talk about helper dogs! Some dogs are out there offering help to those with Multiple Sclerosis and/or seizure disorder, and they’re not to be forgotten. My dog Brisco, before he got all ruined by treats and love, was a wonderful helper dog when I was having seizures consistently. He was great about getting me to the couch and warning Adam. (Nowadays, he just wants treats all the time and can’t be bothered… but that’s a whole other story!)

If you have MS or a seizure disorder and need help with basic things, like getting a phone in an emergency situation, or to help you with balance, you might consider getting a service dog.

Regardless of whether we’re loving them for reminding us to smile, being our comerades in the war against MS, or if they’re helping us out, one thing is certain: We love our dogs!

To All You Productive Motherfuckers Out There: I Salute You!

In Other Words: Happy Father’s Day!

My favorite pictures with my dad are the ones where we’re both smiling and flipping off Mom behind the camera.

And even though he’s on the opposite side of the country (which may as well be the other side of the world), and we’re not talking to one another, I have to say, rather proudly, in fact: I came my attitude honest.

This Father’s Day, I am grateful for the gifts of Pat Benetar, Jethro Tull, Styx, and Boston being consistently played in my father’s car stereo. For hours of giggling uncontrollably at a toy purchased at Spencer’s Gifts called “The Final Word” that taught me the phrase, “Eat Shit and Die.” which was, of course, only to be used in traffic (with closed windows!), and for his bleeding-edge tech geekery, which meant that I was privileged to learn on top-of the line equipment from such a young age, I never knew how special and amazing a gift that it was until I was an adult… which lead to me thinking, for a little while there, at least, that my shit didn’t stink. (Good thing I grew up! Nothing stinks like unacknowledged privilege.)

To all the fathers out there, taking care of of your children: remember, they’re only kids for so long! Take an interest in who they are and what they want to do. You’d be amazed how one afternoon can make a lifetime memory. Your children are not actually interested watching you play video games. They just want to spend time with you. Interact with them! You can make all the difference in their world.

Recipe Of The Week!

Ok, so one of the things that drives me NUTS about having my condition is that I *love* to cook, and sometimes, it’s just not happening. Fatigue is a bitch, and you DON’T want to be handling sharp knives while you’re really tired. It just isn’t a good idea.

So here’s my first MS Friendly Recipe:

Awesomely easy near-authentic tacos

Take some meat, however much you want to cook and put it in a crock pot. I cooked about a pound of the cheapest steak meat I could find. (Sirloin was on sale for $2.99 a pound!) I know you can make the same recipe with chicken, pork, and any good cut of beef. Even London Broil ought to do.

Cover it in your favorite salsa. Dump the whole bottle in, at least 12 oz. per pound. For beef, you can use red or green.

For pork, I recommend a salsa verde (green). For chicken, I recommend red salsa. Keep in mind, this is the primary ingredient that’s going to flavor your meat, so if you want a mango-peach salsa, it’s gonna make your meat sweet. You can also use ranchero sauce or taco sauce if you prefer. I just like salsa better for long-time cooking b/c the aromatics get the chance to really flavor the meat.

Add enough water for everything to be submerged by about an inch and set the crock pot to high for 4-5 hrs or on low for 8-12 hrs.

When you’re ready to eat, take out the meat, shred it with a couple of forks, and serve on tortillas (flour or corn) with whatever you like on your tacos.

Of course, this also goes great on salads, in burritos, or wherever else you’d want to use taco meat.

Easy, cheap (under $10 and will feed 3-4!), and better than just making a regular old taco kit. It lets you cook when you have energy, and is always yummy. 🙂 That, and if you make it with lean meat, it’s also good for you! Oh, and I’d recommend forks and not spoons. 😉

Boobs and small animals

Yes, that’s right, boys and girls – this is, in fact, a post both about boobs and small animals. No, this is not a cheap ploy to get readers.

Ok. It’s a cheap ploy to get readers… but it’s also true!!!

First thing’s first: BOOOOOBS!!!!

Alright, you granola mommas out there – if you needed one more reason to pimp the benefits of breastfeeding, here it is. Exclusively breastfeeding your babies for at least 2 months after pregnancy lowers the risk of MS relapse/exacerbation after pregnancy by more than 50%. (Story here)


Random internet propaganda booby baby says,
“Join the fight against MS! I’m doing my part!” 🙂

Today, I’m doing really great. Day 2 of no steroids, and some of Adam’s good friends are in town from Chicago. We went out for dim sum, and I even had enough energy to go walking around Chinatown. I can’t say I’m that surprised, though – last night I walked for a half hour around the neighborhood. I’m really feeling great! And I feel even better about feeling great. 🙂

And now, cute animals! (And your picture of the day!)

That’s Brody (upside down) and Piglet, two of our first fosters, adopted out in January. I love renting cute and then giving it to other people to enjoy. I wish we had some babies right now! Soon, though – it *is* kitten season in March, afterall. If anyone’s interested in learning more about kitten fostering, please let me know!

Happy Caturday, everyone!

ProVigil ain’t no lie.

It’s seven minutes to 1 am, and I am *wired* still. Obviously, this means that it is tea time! (What? Don’t give me that look! Tea fixes everything!)

In all seriousness, I’ve tried tons of sleep-aids in my ripe old 28 years, and I have to say that Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Plus Wellness tea is by *far* the best for me. No awful next-day fog, no need for a prescription, no nothin – just 2 cups of tea and 30-45 minutes. I love that stuff.

Other things I really love: 3 days of no seizures at all!

I’m also stoked because it’s exactly 2 months until the 2009 MS Walk. I’m still looking for people to join my team, and I am totally pimping this site out to get members. I don’t care if you walk. I don’t care if you are in the same country! I just want all of us — all of my friends — to join together in this year’s fundraising effort.

I’m going to be headed to some local stores to see if they’ll do a “Give a dollar to MS” for a sticky note that goes somewhere, or for a small raffle or something.

Did I mention that I’m feeling better? Because I’m feeling *better* – and I mean it in that kind of “I actually feel like myself” kind of way. It’s been *so* long since I felt like this that I don’t trust it.

Of course, yesterday I also managed to fall in my neurologist’s parking lot. I didn’t even get all the way out of the car before my foot went out from under me. Wanna see my strawberry? Cut for the squeemish