One of my favorite things to do since my receiving my new diagnosis is to cook. It's something that I used to despise simply because it was so physically challenging. I could barely use a can opener much less chop and dice all those veggies that taste so good. All that has changed and now I cook a homemade meal nearly every night for dinner, so when my daughter passed her summer school class (testing out of 8th grade math so she can take 9th grade math as an 8th grader), I knew I had to do something special.
Winona spent hours studying for the first six weeks of summer, so the least I could do was spend a couple hours making some of her favorite foods. I made lasagna (with a sauce I made from scratch and froze a couple weeks ago), Olive Garden's Zuppa Tuscana and Peach Cobbler! I know that this may not seem like a big deal to some, but to me this was huge, because Winona used to have to make ME dinner!
When I was at my worst, I physically couldn't move around the house in the late afternoon/evening and making dinner just wasn't an option. My sweet giving daughter would make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and we'd eat them picnic style in my bedroom as we watch Curious George and Dragon Tales. At the time, I felt terrible that I wasn't able to be the mom I so desperately wanted to be. These days, I'm able to be the mom I always desired to be and SO MUCH MORE!
Last nights dinner was a success! Yes, it took me a couple hours to prepare and I'll feel the knots in my back for a couple days, it was worth it! If I can make these dishes so can you!
Olive Garden's Zuppa Tuscana http://www.momontimeout.com/2011/11/olive-garden-zuppa-toscana-soup/
Peach Cobbler http://www.gonnawantseconds.com/2015/06/southern-peach-cobbler/
These are all easy to make, but are delicious as well. Happy Cooking!!!
So, it's cold outside. I live in Minnesota, so when I say cold, I'm referring to sub zero weather with a wind that freezes your face! The Gov of this fine state has called off school for Monday, something that hasn't happened since the mid 90's!
With the snow flying and my body chilled to the bone (after getting groceries), I decided that today was the perfect day to make homemade Potato Corn Chowder and Spaghetti Sauce. These are two things that I have never attempted to make. Oh, and don't worry, I don't plan on serving them together.
I couldn't help but smile as I chopped veggies and measured out spices for nearly two hours. Back in the day, it was all I could do to make Hamburger Helper! Plus, in weather like this, my muscles would become to spastic to do anything other than sit. I love that I enjoy cooking for my family.
Now that my cooking is nearly done, I can get started on the laundry that is waiting for me outside the bedrooms. It is a blessing that I can do what I want, when I want. It's colder than heck outside, but I grateful that it's cozy warm in here.
I'm not quite sure how I am getting it all done. My house is clean and homemade caramel rolls have just came out of the oven. I am exhausted from all the housework. but I am so grateful that I did it! Not long ago Steve and I had to pay someone to come clean our home and paid a neighbor to make our family dinners, because I phsyically couldn't do it.
Here I am 3 1/2 years later cleaning and cooking like a fool. Or should I saycleaning and cooking like a woman who loves her husband and children?
I will continue to give thanks for all of my abilities. I am able to contribute to my family and I will never forget where I came from. I would be fine if I didn't receive any gifts this Christmas, because my new mobility is a gift that I never thought I would receive. I love my life and the family I get to share it with.
It's hard to believe that another year has passed and it's Halloween already! Growing up, this day was bitter sweet. I loved creating a costume and getting a haul of candy, but I dreaded walking house to house at the most difficult time of day (afternoons and evenings were always a challenge). I was never about to give up time with friends or chocolate, so I used up the last of my energy and even borrowed against the next day just so I could experience this special day like every other American kid.
Now, I love Halloween. It's no longer bitter sweet. It's just SWEET! I was able to take my kids to the Goodwill in search of the perfect costume (disco girl, cat and dog) and I have invited friends over for dinner tonight. I wasn't ever able to make a nice meal for guests. Today I made two kinds of soup, homemade wheat bread and a Halloween cake that impressed my girls. The best part of this day will be tonight when I take my kids out trick-or-treating. I will get to see the look on John's face when candy is placed into his pumpkin for the first time. I never experienced that with the girls. A mobility scooter can't go up steps, therefore, neither could I.
As kids, Halloween is all about the candy. For me, it's all about creating more happy memories with family and friends.
Have a safe and happy Halloween everyone!
Last weekend we visited an apple orcahrd. I was able to walk freely down the rows of trees and even pick a few apples. It amazes me what I am able to do these days and can't help but feel blessed.
The girls and I made two pans of apple crisp. Can you believe that I had never made this popular american dessert before? I was never able to peel and cut this fruit. The best part was the Steve said it was the best apple crisp that he's ever had.
Life is a gift and I intend to really appreciate all the good things that God continues to send my way.
This evening Sharon asked me, "Mom, do you remember when we used to have microwave popcorn? That was when you couldn't make it on the stove."
I love that she remembers the challenges that we had together. Before she went off to Kindergarden, I wasn't able to play with her in the yard, take her to the Y to play ball, bake with her or even put her to bed at night. Now, I can do all of those things and even more. It's the little things in life that matter most...even to a ten year old.
I have to make this a quick post because John is getting into everything and I don't have the girls here to help watch him.
It's hard to believe that I have done so much this morning at it's only 9am! I just took banana bread out of the oven and my carmel rolls are almost done rising. It still amazes me that I can phsyically measure and stir ingrediants to make homemade baked goods. Plus, I'm doing it while stopping to get John out of trouble (he's one and into EVERYTHING). I love that I can take the time to enjoy all the sweet things in life. I am so blessed.
I feel like this may be turning into a cooking blog and that is not my intention. However, the new thing I did today did involve food. With that being said, I made homemade cinnimon rolls today!!! They are beyond delicious. I was a bit hesitant to try making this because I didn't know if I'd be able to roll the sticky dough after I had flattened it out and put the sugar and cinnimon on it.
Even though it's been three years on my new medication, I still second guess my abilities. I'm not sure how long it will take me to get over the "unknown" I'm like a big kid and I'm okay with that. Like I have stated in previous posts, when I successfully complete a new task, my reaction is very similar to that of a five year old who has tied their laces for the very first time. I'm okay with that too. Life is too short to not fully appreciate all the little things I can do. I am thrilled that I can share these experiences with my parents, daughters, husband and of course all of you. I truely appreciate the support.
While we were at the cabin celebrating the Fourth of July, Steve and the girls picked Strawberries (I watched John). When we returned to the cabin, Winona and I spent nearly 2 hours washing and cutting the Strawberries. When we started the process, I thought that I would only be able to do it for a half an hour. I wasn't sure if my hands would begin cramping or if my feet would get too sore standing for a long period of time. Winona kept saying how much fun she was having and that she could "do this all day." Her positive energy kept me going and I was happy to be working by her side. I do need to admit that Sharon filled in for me so I could take a 15 minute break. It is so rewarding to be able to participate in my families activities.
We cut up two pallets worth of Strawberries
Winona and I cutting while Steve sugars the Strawberries
With all of these strawberries, I had to make Strawberry Shortcake. I have to admit, I didn't have a clue how to do it. Sure, I only used Bisquick for the cake cake, but I had never made whipping cream from scratch. I grew up in a household where we used Cool Whip. :) Since there were no instructions on the heavy whipping cream, I had to ask Steve how to make it. It turned out quite well and I'm thinking that there will be more Strawberry Shortcake in the very near future.
There are a couple lessons here:
1) keep a positive attitude as it will surely rub off on others
2) No matter what you do together as a family, a memory is being created.
3) Strawberry Shortcake is really yummy and there is no substitution for "whipping cream"
I hope you will go out and enjoy the little things in life and see that they are the most important.
Even though I have always tried to keep a positive attitude, I hated to cook! In the past, it would take me double to triple the time to make a classic Minnesota Hotdish ( a can of creamed soup, meat and noodles). Plus, the end result wasn't as good as what most people could make. Mine would often be over cooked and dry. In fact, Sharon would use Ketchup at nearly every meal to mask the taste. Through the years of struggling to cook I became very unsure of my abilities and doubted myself a great deal. Therefore, we ate frozen lasagna and other entree's weekly.
One year ago, I decided that enough was enough and I was going to teach myself how to cook! At first, I wouldn't change a single thing about any recipe that I found online, fearing that if I did it would turn out terribly. In the beginning, I'd often call my parents or e-mail Steve at work with questions such as, "how do I know when the pork chops are done?" to "why should I use fresh garlic over powdered garlic." It's been quite the journey. My cooking has improved a great deal and I even feel comfortable cooking for those who are not in my family.
After I try making a new recipe, I often feel proud of myself. In fact, yesterday I made two loaves of white bread. After 3 hours of prep and baking, I pulled the pans out of the oven and all but jumped up and down with gratitude because it looked just like it was supposed to. The kids and I took a taste and their expressions told me that I exceeded their expectations. I think the girls were just as happy as I was that I succeeded in my baking. I can't believe how far I have come in this last year and am so excited to continue creating more delicious meals for my family, without it feeling like such a chore.
Oh, and I must add that there is only 1/4 of a loaf left!