Monthly Archives: September 2012

Koko’s Southern-Style Green Beans and Homemade Spaghetti with Garlic Bread

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Today I am writing how to make my grandma’s (Koko) green beans and homemade spaghetti with garlic bread. I am such a foodie. I love food. It is very surprising that I’m not 500 pounds by now, probably because I know how to limit myself….sometimes. Anywhoo, let’s get started!

Koko’s Southern-Style Green Beans

Tools you’ll need:

Pot with a lid

Wooden cooking spoon or even just a fork

Ingredients:

Green Beans-duh (I use a mixture of 1/2 a bag of frozen green beans and 2 cans of fresh-cut style green beans

Lard or Crisco vegetable shortening (yep, lard. I recently read an article on yahoo stating that lard is actually better than butter-go figure)

1 slice of bacon (doesn’t matter what kind)

Salt

Pepper

Water

I will be speaking to you in plain-speak now. You put the green beans in a little bit of water, add a spoonful or two of lard or Crisco vegetable shortening and a slice or two of bacon. Add however much salt and pepper y’all would like.  Have the temperature on medium low and just boil it all day and stir occasionally. The water will pretty much evaporate (add more if needed). This dish goes great with the fried chicken recipe I posted earlier. Enjoy! (Sorry, this is the only picture I had with the green beans on it.)

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Homemade Spaghetti with Garlic Bread

Spaghetti:

Tools you’ll need:

Pot with lid

Pot without lid

Strainer

Wooden spoon

Can opener

Ingredients:

Pam olive oil cooking spray

Olive Oil

1/2 pound Spaghetti noodles

1 Large can of diced tomatoes

1 Regular sized can of tomato sauce

1 pound of Beef (optional)

Salt

Pepper

Garlic Salt

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Sugar

Italian herbs

Since the spaghetti will take longer than the sauce to cook, cook the spaghetti first. In the pot with a lid, add water and pour a little olive oil, salt, and garlic salt in it. Next, add the 1/2 pound of spaghetti (I normally break the spaghetti in half). Bring to a boil. The spaghetti is done when it’s tender. Drain in the strainer and add back to the pot. For the sauce, if you’re going to have it with meat, first brown the beef and season with salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Once the meat is done, add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, then stir. After that add a little more salt, pepper, and garlic salt, but also add a couple of shakes of garlic powder and onion powder. Then add a couple of tablespoons of sugar (more may need to be added, depending on your taste buds) and two pinches of Italian herbs. Whenever the contents of the sauce are hot and it tastes how you want it to taste, add it to the pot of spaghetti and mix it all together.

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Garlic Bread:

Tools you’ll need:

Foil

Knife

Ingredients:

Pam olive oil cooking spray

Butter

Garlic salt

1 Loaf of French bread

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the cooking spray on the foil. Slice the bread into equal slices (doesn’t matter how big they are, it’s whatever portion size you would like) and spread butter on the bread. Add garlic salt. Put the bread into the oven whenever it’s done pre-heating and leave it in there until the edges of the bread start to brown. Set it off to the side to cool and then it’s done! Enjoy!

I hope you guys like the recipes! What variations do you have for these recipes?

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Living with P.O.T.S.

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Your heart is pounding. You can feel it with your hand. You can hear it in your head. Your whole world is going black. Then nothing. You have fainted all because you stood up. Life with P.O.T.S. is no easy task. Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome is an autonomic nervous system disorder that can pop up anywhere and at anytime. A car wreck could cause it, an infection could cause it, being pregnant could cause it, growing could cause it (teenagers), or (as is the case with me) you can have no known cause of why this happened to you. It can pop out of nowhere. Or it could start over a period of time and take decades for doctors to figure out that you have P.O.T.S. and still not even know what to do to help you (it took me moving to another state and finding a cardiologist experienced with this to get my medications settled).

Many people won’t believe you, I’ve even talked with someone before whose own spouse didn’t believe she had anything wrong. People will stop liking you, won’t believe you, think you’re faking it. I had someone I once worked for tell me that he thought I was psychosomatic (I wanted to be sick like that so badly that my body made it happen), yes, because I had so much knowledge of this before it happened and I want to feel like crap all the time. Not. Your own family could have problems believing you or accepting the fact that this may be around for your whole life and that there is no cure. Stuff happens. Several people can have a hard time believing in something that is somewhat rare and not well-known, at least in the U.S.A.

Some people with P.O.T.S. have low blood pressure, some have high blood pressure. You will most likely have a high heart rate (like 150bpm while just sitting down). You can have aches and pains with P.O.T.S. The common factor with people with P.O.T.S. is fainting or near fainting. You can have good days or bad days. You get tired more easily, and it is very hard to find friends that understand this. You can have difficulty even being in a car. Thankfully, I have an awesome husband and a few awesome friends that understand this and have helped me through it, especially my friend, Caitlin. She has picked me off the floor and taken me to the hospital more times than I can count (I have a slight tendency to hit my head on stuff when I pass out).

Thankfully, many people can manage their symptoms with the correct combinations of medicine, increasing salt intake, and drinking a lot of water. It may take a while to find how much you need to take of certain things and it could change over time. Even when you find a good medicine combination for you, it is still a daily battle. You have to plan ahead before you can go anywhere. Sadly, some are not so lucky. Some people, in combination with other health complications, pass away. Many of them very young women (P.O.T.S. seems to hit women more than men).

It isn’t easy to live with P.O.T.S., but you learn to live with it. You learn to accept it. What other choice do you have?

To better understand the energy level of someone with P.O.T.S. go here http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/ . For more information on P.O.T.S. http://www.dinet.org/pots_an_overview.htm ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltiiBysokUE

Egg Drop Soup and Fried Chicken Recipes

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Well, since I don’t have much time to write today (thanks to a certain little mess ball-no, not my baby, someone else…BABE) here are a couple of recipes for you guys!

Egg Drop Soup

Pot with Lid

Whisk (wooden spoon if you don’t have a whisk)

4 cups of water

4 chicken bullion cubes

Salt

Pepper

Self-rising Flour (you can use starch, but I just use flour since I normally forget starch at the store)

2 large eggs

Bring the 4 cups of water to a boil, then add the bullion cubes and let them dissolve. Add salt and pepper. Next, add half of a 1/4 cup of flour and stir. Put the two eggs in a bowl and briefly whisk them. Slowly pour the eggs into the pot and stir while doing so. Let it simmer a few minutes, stirring once or twice, and it should be good. Enjoy!

Fried Chicken

Pot or pan deep enough to pour in canola oil

Cutting board

Decent knife

Fork

Self-rising or all-purpose flour

3 Boneless chicken breasts

Canola Oil

Eggs

Milk

Salt

Pepper

Red cayenne pepper

Garlic Salt

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Pour the oil to about halfway in the pot and put on a medium high setting. Next, rinse the chicken off with water and cut off any excess fat (if so desired). After the chicken is washed, cut into either strips or nugget-sized pieces. Add 3 eggs to a bowl that you would use for cereal, and then add some milk to it and stir. In a separate cereal bowl, add the flour. Mix in all of the spices to the flour and stir. Dip each chicken piece in the egg/milk mixture followed by evenly coating both sides of the chicken pieces in flour. Once you dip a chicken piece and coat it, put it in the hot oil. A good way to tell when it’s done is if the chicken is floating, and the breading is an orange-type color. (The best way to make sure it’s is to slice into the chicken to make sure the meat is white or get a meat thermometer.) Place on a plate with a few paper towels so that the oil can drip off and it should be done. Enjoy!

Do you have any variations of either or both of the recipes that you like?

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Chili Recipes

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People who know me know that I like to cook and that I love spicy food. Just like how my son usually screams when I’m cooking, he’s screaming at me while I type about cooking. Of course he would. Right now he’s screaming at the T.V., at me, and at the air in general. He also keeps saying, “Oh.” Now if I could just get him to say, “Uh oh,” then that would be true awesomeness. Anyways, I have several different recipes that I would like to share with all of you.

Today’s recipes will both be chili with beans. There is a reason why I add, “with beans,” to that statement. Traditionally, chili is made with out beans. Go figure. It turned my world upside down the first time I heard that, too. I mean it was just like, “Chili doesn’t usually have beans? What? How is this possible? Next you’re gonna tell me that the sky is orange or that Santa Claus isn’t real!” I may or may not have been about 7 or 8 years old when I learned this about chili. Anywhoo, I will give you 2 recipes: spicy chili and sweet and spicy chili.

First, you will need to gather some essential tools:

Heat source (you know, like a stove or some fire or something)

Cooking pot (as opposed to a non-cooking pot)

Wooden spoon (in all seriousness, try to use a wooden spoon, because it doesn’t taint the taste of the chili)

Can opener (get one that works, not a $16 one that will break the first time you use it-again, I may or may not have had this happen to me once…or three times)

Non-stick cooking spray (in order to be somewhat healthy, I normally use the olive oil cooking spray)

Spicy Chili

Food Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef (ground turkey works fine, and I’m sure tofu or morning star beef would work for my vegetarian friends)

2 McCormick’s regular or spicy chili seasoning (I use the spicy)

1 regular size can of spicy Rotel diced tomatoes (it’s always better to use fresh tomatoes, onions and peppers, but this is quicker)

1 tiny can of Hunt’s tomato paste (you’ll only use half of it)

2 cans of pinto beans*

1 can of black beans*

1 can of dark red kidney beans*

1 can of light red kidney beans*

*Again, it’s always better to cook these from scratch, but this way is quicker. You can use whatever bean combination you want. Sometimes I use more black beans, sometimes more pinto beans.

Salt

Pepper

Red cayenne pepper

Garlic salt

garlic powder

onion powder

Chili powder (I use the mexican-style hot chili powder)

Paprika

Ground sage

First, spray the pot that you will be cooking chili in. Next, I would go ahead and open up all of the cans so that you are prepared. Set out all of your spices as well. Brown the beef at high temperature. Add some salt and pepper while it is cooking (it helps with flavor). When the meat is just about finished cooking, add the 2 packs of chili seasoning and stir it. Once the meat is done, add the beans, rotel, and about half the can of tomato paste. You may need to add a little bit of water at this point. Next, except for the sage, add the rest of the spices. A good base to start with is by counting one-one thousand to five-one thousand for each spice. After that, add just a little bit of sage. Put a not even a pinch amount on your palm and scrape it into the pot. Stir all of the spices, lower the temperature to a medium setting, cover the pot, and walk away for about 10 or 15 minutes. Go outside to get your nose away from the smell. When you come back to the kitchen, smell the air to see if you missed anything. If smelling doesn’t work for you, just taste the chili to see what you need to add. I usually wind up adding generous amounts of cayenne pepper and some more salt. Once you get your chili to the taste you would like, it’s done! Enjoy!

Sweet and Spicy Chili

Food ingredients:

1 pound ground beef (ground turkey works fine, and I’m sure tofu or morning star beef would work for my vegetarian friends)

1 half pound of either pinto beans or black beans or a mixture of both (this will have to be made in advance. Put the beans in the pot you will use for chili, add water, bring to a boil. After it’s boiled for 3 or 4 minutes, drain the beans, rinse them off, and add them and some water back to the pot. Add some salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Cook until done-usually takes 2 1/2 to 3 hours.)

1 large size can of Rotel diced tomatoes (it’s always better to use fresh tomatoes, onions and peppers, but this is quicker)

1 regular size can of Hunt’s tomato sauce (get creative and use their different types of sauce)

Salt

Pepper

Red cayenne pepper

Garlic salt

garlic powder

onion powder

Chili powder (I use the mexican-style hot chili powder)

Paprika

Ground sage

Sugar

After your beans are done cooking (keep these on a medium temperature if you are going to be cooking the chili as soon as these are done), brown the meat in a skillet. Use salt, pepper, and red cayenne pepper to season the beef while it is cooking. Once the beef is done, and it to the beans. Next, add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.You may or may not need to add some water once you do this. Then add all of the spices except for the sage. You can add them by counting from one-one thousand to five-one thousand while adding them. When you add the sage, put not even a pinch of it on your palm and scrape into the chili. Stir everything together, cover the pot, and walk away for about 10 minutes. When you come back, taste to see what other spices you need to add. I usually add more cayenne pepper and sugar at this point. Once you get it to taste how you like it, then it is done! Enjoy!

You can add more meat, beans, or rotel if you need to for both of these recipes. What I’ve written here are more guidelines than strict recipes. Make it your own!

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P.O.T.S.

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There are a few reasons why I don’t work. One being that my husband and I decided that I would stay home with our baby until he is old enough to go to school. Another reason why I don’t work is because of something I was diagnosed with in August of 2010. P.O.T.S., or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, is an autonomic nervous system disorder. One of the most common traits of P.O.T.S. is fainting. Upon moving from laying down to sitting up/standing up, my blood pressure will drop and heart rate will go really high. I have to be careful when I get up, how long I stand up, I have to take medicines to manage this, drink lots of water every day, and eat lots of salt (I’m okay with this, I love salt). In addition to writing about life as a stay-at-home-mom, I will write about life with P.O.T.S. as well. It is not a well known condition in the U.S., but hopefully I can help bring more awareness to it.