Monthly Archives: October 2012

Punkin Seeds!

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Of course I know “punkin” isn’t a real word, but that’s how my husband refers to pumpkins so this post title is dedicated to him.  Love you, even if you use language sometimes that would make me think you have fewer teeth than you actually do.

I would like to share with you a Halloween tradition for me since college.  Thanks to my roomies my sophomore year of college, I discovered what most people already know: that pumpkin seeds toasted with seasoning salt are the best.thing.ever.    I love carving pumpkins around Halloween, but knowing that you will ultimately end up with a tasty treat makes it that much more enjoyable!

First, of course: carve those pumpkins!!  Have fun with it!  What face are you making? Is it a character? A person?  An animal?  Go crazy!

Matt going to town on his punkin

Once you have all of the innards out of the pumpkin, separate the seeds from the goo.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  After separating, rinse all of the pumpkins seeds so they are free of “pumpkin film”.  Then put them on an ungreased cookie sheet.  It’s ok if they’re wet – the water will evaporate in the oven.

Now you will sprinkle all of the seeds with the seasoning salt of your chosing.  I prefer Lawry’s, but it’s totally up to you.

Put the seeds in the oven for about 10-14 minutes.  I recommend checking them at 10 minutes to do a taste test.  There’s nothing worse to me than a soggy pumpkin seed, but some prefer them soggy.
If you prefer them on the crispy side like myself, leaving them in for closer to 12 minutes is perfect.

Yummy!

Now you are free to enjoy!

Here’s what our pumpkins look like on the front porch:

I love this fall wreath!

You literally have to hoard your own secret stash of pumpkin seeds if you want them to last more than a day in our house.
Is this a Halloween tradition in your home?  As always, I love to hear from you!

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Cabo San Loco… Day 1

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Boy do I have some stories for you!  First let me say I am so thankful we were able to take a trip like this together, and overall our vacation in Cabo gave us the opportunity to connect in ways we could not have predicted.  We are blessed!

Tropical vacations for fair-skinned individuals like myself involve freckles populating my entire body to the point that, from about 100 yards away, it resembles a tan-like appearance.  Here I am prior to leaving Chicago.  We haven’t even left the country and this is the deepest tan I will have.  It’s a spray tan.

After getting through the maze of the airport and heaving our travel-weary bodies into a taxi, we made it.  The resort was good.  Not excellent, but I’m not going to be the booger in the punch bowl on this.
We were at a resort in Cabo.  Enough said.
Things were going great.  As soon as we checked into the hotel we made our way to the pool and immediately met 2 couples that were staying at our same resort.  They were also from Ohio and had that Midwestern warmth we love so much!  These Toledo-ians were Paul and Becky, and Dennis and Joyce.

Dennis and Joyce have been vacationing in Cabo for about 4 years now and had a lot of tips they were more than happy to share with us.  “SKY AUCTION DOT COM!” Dennis kept telling us.  It started as a mere suggestion, but soon became the topic of every third conversation.  Dennis was only trying to help us plan our future vacations, but this guy should seriously get paid royalties from skyauction.com for as much as he promotes it.  We found out later Dennis may or may not have gotten kicked out of a time share presentation because he talked about it so much.

After chatting with our new Cabo/Ohio BFF’s for a while, we decided to go to dinner with them at a local place called Maro’s.  It’s in downtown Cabo and is not someplace we would have ever found without their guidance.  At Maro’s we feasted on Mexican fare at a price suited for American tourists.  We also couldn’t resist getting their signature drink, a Beer-garita.  It was a great little place with an even better atmosphere.
Apparently we weren’t as “in” with the local crowd as we thought, because we discovered these hanging on the wall around the corner from our table.

So it may not have been as authentic as we thought…

After dinner we walked the streets, stopping to pet the lizard, and ended at our destination Cabo Blue.  Cabo Blue is an outdoor sports bar, complete with a projection screen on the side of a wooden building showing the current game/contest/fight.
Saturday night it happened to be boxing.

Paul and me meeting a new friend

The four of us found a large table and ordered drinks while Matt and Paul found a small cigar shop to peruse.  Matt and Paul returned with their purchases and Matt handed me my cigar.  We do not regularly smoke cigars, but it is a guilty pleasure that we enjoy from time to time.  And when is a better time to indulge in a guilty pleasure than on vacation?!
Light that thing, babe!
I wasn’t but 5 puffs into my cigar and zero sips into my beer when I knew I needed to stop smoking and drinking.  My head was spinning and I was most definitely out of it.  I excused myself to use the restroom, but as soon as I walked in, I turned around and walked back out.  That’s the last thing I remember until I woke back up to the sound of people yelling my name and asking me all kinds of questions at the same time.

I completely passed out after coming out of the bathroom.  It’s ok though, luckily my skull took the fall for me.  Dennis told me later it sounded like a melon was smashed on the pavement when I fell.
Even writing that makes me nauseous all over again.

When I awoke, there were people yelling questions from all angles.  “WHAT IS YOUR NAME?! WHERE ARE YOU?! WHAT DAY IS IT?! WHAT’S YOUR HUSBAND’S NAME?!” Even if I hadn’t just suffered an excruciating fall I would want to punch all of these people in the face.  My current state made the later impossible, so I just laid there like the slug I was and thankfully blurted out the appropriate answers.

After a short time I asked to sit up.  This position lasted approximately 15 seconds before I needed to lay back down again.
I could hear ambulance sirens in the background.

The next thing I knew I felt myself getting strapped onto a gurney and a brace being secured around my neck.
And off we went!

I will spare you the details of my ultimately humiliating ambulance ride, as this must remain on a need to know basis.  Grin.

We arrived at the hospital to a very friendly doctor who spoke English very well.  His attempts to joke with us while I was in and out of consciousness were interrupted occasionally by his Metallica ringtone.  Was this really happening??
After receiving 2 IV bags of fluids, we were told I would be admitted for the night and given another bag of fluids.  So there we were.  Matt; our Metallica-loving, English-speaking doctor; the Spanish-only speaking, nodding and smiling nurse; and me.  Just the four of us.  In the whole hospital.

Just my bump and me

The next morning, after some outside assistance, we were discharged and released back into our Mexican paradise.

And our vacation resumed.

STUFF

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Happy Tuesday!  I just want to give you an update on our life right now…

It actually doesn’t look like this anymore, but I have to document the chaos. Grin.  Even if we don’t have these physical boxes of STUFF staring us in the face, don’t we all feel out of control and anxious at times?

Do not be anxious about  anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let  your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all  understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7

I will most definitely be reciting this verse on Saturday when we fly out of the country for our vacation!

Have a great week- GOD BLESS!!

Let’s Try This Again

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Do you remember when I posted a while back that I was done with wheat?  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to stick with it the first time around, but that decision has been kicking me in the stomach, if you know what I mean.  Sooo.. I’m officially committing to it this time.  Since moving to Cincinnati, my various sensitivities have been flaring up constantly and it’s a reminder that these issues aren’t going anywhere, even if the symptoms disappear for a period of time.  I did some research and have been reading a new book called Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis.  This book has opened my eyes to the fact that going wheat-free isn’t a short-term option for me, but in fact a complete change in the way I view food.  I still have a lot of reading and research to do, and I am not done with his book, but I’ve already started to incorporate this into my lifestyle.
Last week I felt very sluggish from being wheat-free, but this week I have a lot of energy!  Dr. Davis warns that the first 1-2 weeks people may have withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, low energy, intense cravings, and more.  His book literally goes through the entire body and discusses how the wheat that is produced today (all genetically modified and nothing like the wheat that was produced 50+ years ago) is damaging.  I’m not a medical expert so I won’t go into the nitty-gritty details, but if this topic interests you at all, I would highly recommend his book.  So as I promised in this blog waaay back when, I plan to share my wheat-free recipes with you and I would love yours as well!

I made a breakfast casserole last week that I just finished and I am a big fan.  It’s difficult to find wheat-free breakfast foods that are convenient so planning is key.

Ingredients
2 lbs ground sausage
8 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 small onion, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, diced (or 1/2 green pepper)
12 well-beaten eggs (season with salt and pepper)
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or mexican blend)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2) Brown sausage and drain excess grease. Press sausage into the bottom of pan.

3) Break cream cheese into pieces and evenly distribute on top of sausage. Sprinkle with onions and peppers.

4) Pour eggs over the sausage mixture. Add shredded cheese to the top.

5) Bake for 25 minutes, until eggs are just set. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before cutting

and VOILA!! A yummy breakfast casserole that reheats like a dream!

In other news, we are moving into our house this weekend (YAY!!) so I will have some fun decorating/moving posts soon!

GOD BLESS!