Monday, February 10, 2014

More Low Carb Deliciousness and a Yummy Low Carb Valentine Day Delight!

Yes...I'm still living the Low Carb Lifestyle, although the last few days I have been suffering from either allergies or a cold but I've been miserable and my mom has been taking care of me. My mom's idea of taking care of me is feeding me nothing but carbs!!! I did gain a few pounds but I'm back on the straight and narrow and hoping I don't get sick again. Moms...gotta love them!

First a dish you can do as an appetizer or like me you can just make it and call it dinner. It certainly fit the bill for a light dinner last week. A Pepper-Jack, Avocado Quesadilla on a Low Carb Tortilla! Mmmm, makes me want one right now!

Super easy to make too, just heat a skillet, take a tortilla and on one half put whatever kind of sliced cheese you want, I used Pepper Jack but Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese would work just as well. Slice a ripe avocado and layer on the cheese then heat it in the skillet until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is browned!

A couple of weeks ago I made Turkey Burgers sans Bun! All of the deliciousness of a regular burger without the carb-laden bread.

The Turkey Burger itself is seasoned with a bit of Taco Seasoning and Salt Free Seasoning and just fried in a pan with a bit of oil. Then I placed the patty on a plate and melted a slice of American Cheese on it. I made an easy dressing with some mayonnaise, sugar free ketchup and a spoonful of Dill Pickle Relish which I mixed up and spread on top and then lettuce! I wish I had added some diced onion, but I forgot. This was so filling and satisfying! Not bad right? Definitely not diet food!

Yesterday I remembered I had two packages of cream cheese in the fridge that I had to do something with. I remembered reading in one of the low-carb groups I belong to on Facebook that you could make muffins by mixing 2-8 ounce packages of cream cheese with a 1/2 cup of Splenda, a 1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla and 2 eggs together then put into a lined muffin/cupcake pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Serves 12.

This is what you end up with...

For the photo I added a spoonful of sugar free strawberry jam, but you can eat it plain, it's sweet enough for that. I wouldn't say this is a muffin, more like a mini cheesecake and I think they would be perfect for a Valentines Day treat, don't you? It was delicious, I know because I always eat the props!

Looking forward to trying out more new recipes!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Humans of New York - Can I just say WOW!

It's Saturday morning. I'm not feeling too great so I've decided to spend the day in bed, reading, watching movies, blogging and checking up with facebook. Am I glad I did! I ran into one of the most entertaining, interesting, amazing,, I just can't come up with enough adjectives to describe the facebook page/blog called Humans of New York!

I am obsessed by the photos and the stories! This guy named Brandon in 2010 decided he was going to take 10,000 photos of random people in New York to post on a blog. Here's a short video describing why he decided to do this and where it took him. He tells the story much better than I could, because it's his story.

What a laugh this guy Brandon has! Right? I would love to meet him, he seems like such an amazing person and I love what he's done and his facebook page

I haven't seen all of his photos yet, but this one truly touched my soul and reminded me of my dad who passed away last year in July. 

Photo Credit - Humans of New York - facebook
Next to each photo Brandon types a snippet of the conversation he has with these people. What struck him as most important about his conversation with this man was this:

"I came from Mexico."
"Why'd you come?"
"Everybody comes for the money."
"Were you scared?"
"Everybody's scared."

I think of the stories that my dad would share with us about his struggles in coming to the United States from Mexico. How scared he was and how he many times had to sleep on trains, like a Hobo and how cold it was and how many times immigration captured him and sent him back to Mexico and he had to struggle to come back to the United States. I remember him telling us of nights he spent sleeping on the desert floor and hearing the sound of the coyotes in the dark and how they frightened him. 

And he did it all for love. Love of his mother and brothers and sisters still in Mexico. He wanted to make their lives better and send them money so they could survive.

Love for his future wife and children, so he could build a life in the United States where he knew that because of him they would have a better life than the one he had and struggled to leave behind in Mexico.

What Brandon is doing by putting these photos out there to move and touch us, to remind us of the humanity and innate goodness of people is just so inspirational. People like Brandon should be celebrated, he should have an Olympic Gold Medal for his excellence in his chosen sport! 


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Being a Jack of All Trades Can Amount to a Hill of Beans!

It is kind of great being a “Jack of All Trades and Master of None”! 

Photo Credit - Hello Beautiful 

Photo Credit - The Political Carnival

I know all kinds of little things that probably don’t amount to a whole “hill of beans”, but when I do need to use that one little bean it sure can be helpful to one or some people. 

One of those Jack of All Trades things that I know and store in my mind are quote. Quotes, I know quotes! They just stick in my head, like lyrics to songs, not leaving room for important things like Math and Engineering and Medicine! I know quotes, but not who quoted them, I know lyrics but not who sang or wrote them. 

But the true purpose of my story today is my knowledge of “How to Tie a Scarf”. 

 In November of 2011 I found this super cool video “25 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes”. I shared it as a blog post for Iwanna Wednesday, you can find that post HERE

I stored the information that I saw on that video in my mind. I didn't know it was there and I very seldom use that knowledge, unless I’m tying a scarf. 

Today in the ladies room I ran into a lady that works in this building. We always say hi and how are you but the other day I mentioned to her that I liked her scarf and she went into a long conversation on where she bought it. 

Today she had a different one on and again I commented on it and she told me she really liked the one I had on as well. Then she said that the one she had on today was too long and kept getting in the way and she wasn't sure she liked it. I then started showing her “25 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes”! She was amazed and tried a couple of different ways and found one she really liked and she thanked me and said “You’re so smart!” 

Being a Jack of All Trades paid off in a nice compliment! Plus it feels good to help someone find peace with their scarf!


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Mariachi Olympian and a Prince to Boot?

Football season is over!

The only thing keeping me from jumping off a bridge in utter despair is the fact that American Idol has started and that the Winter Olympics will be starting on February 6th! 

Yay! I love the Olympics! I love the Olympics for the same reason I love American Idol, I love to see talented, hard-working people working hard towards goals and achieving them! I admire them and live vicariously through them! 

There will be so many great things to see during these winter games, and we will meet new athletes as well as say good bye to older athletes that will be competing possibly for the last time. One athlete that I am going to be watching in particular is my age!!! Can you believe that? Wow!

Not that I'm old...definitely not. But normally people my age are on the sidelines coaching, not actually "living the dream"!

But one man is! One man is living the dream at the ripe old age of 55! He reminds me of the man that makes the commercials for Dos Equis, the Most Interesting Man in the World. 

This man is one of the Most Interesting Olympians in the world and I had never even heard of him. But...he's not only an Olympic Athlete, he's also a Prince! A German Prince! 

He is Prince Hubertus von Hohenlohe Langenburg! He's a very colorful fellow. From what I've read of him he's the son of a Prince and a Princess and was born in Mexico while his father worked at a Volkswagen plant. He has Mexican citizenship which makes him eligible to compete for Mexico. 

He is many things besides an Olympic athlete. He's a photographer and businessman as well as a pop singer!

He's been in the news lately for his fashion sense. He may just win the best dressed Olympian for his very original Mariachi motif racing suit! I have to say...I love it! And I can't wait to watch him, what a character!

So I may not be leaping off that bridge just yet. I may just stick around and watch this very handsome and very interesting Prince be the only competitor to come from Mexico! Viva Mexico!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Would you leave Comfort for Dirt Floors? - From Left to Write

I'm trying to start 2014 off by reading more since I did not meet my goals for the number of books to be read in 2013, see that post HERE.

I just finished a book for my online book club, From Left to WriteAs a member of this book club I don't actually do a review of the book but instead write a post inspired by the book itself. The book is A Well-Tempered Heart, a sequel to a book I read in 2012 called The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker

Most of the story in this book takes place in Burma, a country that I know very little about, which reminded me of a family vacation my mom and dad took us on when we were small children to Mexico, another country that I knew very little about even though it was the country of my dad's birth.

Here's a picture of my sister and I during that trip. As you can see, we were just little girls. The older one is me of course.

What I remember most about this trip was learning about how my dad grew up and where he lived and how he suffered and how hard he worked to make himself a success and to make a better life for us, his wife and children.

I saw where he grew up in a small two room house with a dirt floor. I remember his Tia Luz asking me to sweep the floor and handing me a broom and how I almost dug a hole to China trying to get all the dirt off of a dirt floor! The harder I swept, the dirtier it got!

I saw the well where my dad would go to get water and had opportunity to drink that water out of pottery called Botellon or Jarro. 

The water was so sweet and cool and had the underlying flavor of dirt. I know that doesn't sound good, but for some reason it was and I remember that taste to this day!

I remember using an out-house and squatting to urinate. That was one of the things that I really couldn't get used to. I've always been very finicky and don't like to be dirty and I never did figure out how to squat to pee without getting it all over my shoes!

I remember my dad taking us to go watch a cow being slaughtered, in the street...right there in front of our eyes! I don't know that my dad would have let his grandchildren see that, but at that time it still wasn't such a shock to him. 

I remember them leading the cow down the street and cutting it's throat and the blood flowing and women with pots and pans fighting to catch some of the blood. It was something that I will never forget, the sound of the poor cow as it was dying! And it took a long time for it to die!

I remember my dad taking us to a nearby river to bathe and watching the local women do their laundry in buckets at the edge of the river, some with washboards and some using the rocks!

This book inspired these memories because in the book the main character actually chooses to leave her high powered life as an attorney in a big law firm in New York City and all the amenities that come with the money she was making, to stay in Burma because of true love!?! I don't know that I could do that, could you? 

It made me really appreciate my dad so much more remembering how humble and poor he was growing up and how lucky I was to have born his daughter. He struggled so hard to make sure his children had a better life. Judging from the picture of my sister and me above you can tell that we were cherished and happy!

This post was inspired by the novel, A Well-Tempered Heart. Feeling lost and burned out, Julia drops her well paying job at a NYC law firm. After hearing a strangers voice in her head, she travels to Burma to find the voice's story and hopefully herself as well. Join From Left to Write on February 4th as we discuss the book, A Well-Tempered Heart. As a member I received a copy for review purposes.