Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cheezy Cornbread

 In an attempt to recreate corn casserole, I came up with the following recipe. It wasn't as casserole-y because I didn't use Jiffy from a box (or an entire tub of sour cream) but I'd like to think my substitutions made this version of the recipe a hair healthier.

 Cheezy Cornbread
1 and 1/4 cup water
1 egg substitute. We used ener-G
2 and 1/2 cups cornbread mix. We used Bob Redmill's
1 cup cheddar daiya cheese
1/2 to 1 cup vegan sour cream
1 ear corn (I cut all the corn off it by slicing the knife down the side. I'm sure you could use canned corn or frozen corn as well)

 Mix all ingredients together

 Pour into baking pan and sprinkle with extra cheese if desired

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. I took mine out a few minutes early because I was deadly afraid it would become dried out.

 We paired our cornbread with a crock of navy bean soup, which was really delicious this time around.

 I forgot to take an after picture of the cornbread. We ate it and the soup for two days. I really liked the addition of corn and sour cream in the bread to make it not so dry. How do you like your cornbread?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

St Louis Weekend & Wedding

 I have returned from another wedding weekend. This one was in St Louis, and I was a bridesmaid in my good friend's wedding.

The day we flew in we had the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner,

 followed by some fun & drinking afterward.

The Bride-To-Be and myself

The next morning we got our hair done and got ready for the wedding.

And posed for lots of pictures

The bride and I:

The ceremony was beautiful. She had 9 bridesmaids! After the ceremony and before the reception we took more professional pictures and the bridal party drove around in a trolley car:

It was my favorite part of the day!

 It might have been hers, too!

 My favorite pic of the trip is this one:

 The next day we had some time to do some sight seeing and get around the city a little.

It was beautiful weather

and we loved seeing the parks and sights .

We even got to go up to the top of the arch!

 I didn't take any pics of food because the food we ate there was just okay. It was either lukewarm or had little taste to it. It makes us appreciate Charlotte, NC restaurants after traveling to Ohio, Colorado and Missouri and seeing that most places don't really have that great of food.

 This weekend some friends from work and I are doing the warrior dash.  It's a 5k run with 13 obstacles including fire pits, ropes to climb, hills to scale, and water to cross.

It should be a really fun time! Check out more about the warrior dash here. Hope the weather holds off.

 Any plans for your weekend? 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Im Alive & Quinoa Mix

 I am alive! It's been awhile, I know, but we knew this was going to happen. In a few short weeks life should be back to normal. Wedding Season 2011 has been busy, but so much fun!  I'm kind of enjoying the craziness of life right now.

Outdoor weddings,

Friends I haven't seen in years,
Family I love,

and lots of dancing

Add to that keeping up with these two adorable fur babies Sophie and Jake:

and the fact that I got an iPhone and can't stop playing with it:

AND trying to work full time night shift while traveling to other states on the weekend, and things have been less than boring around here!

 We did manage to make something yummy to eat, (we actually cooked once in the past two weeks) and I wanted to share it here. My Mom made it for us in Ohio two weekends ago and said she got the recipe from my aunt, whom I was named after. I wasn't too terribly impressed with it when we ate it in Ohio, but strangely enough I found myself wanting it again once we got home. We have made it twice since then, because we had the ingredients and it's so fast and easy!

Quinoa mixer
1 cup quinoa
1/4 cup nayonaise (or mayo or vegan mayonnaise)
green onions
garlic salt

 Cook the quinoa according to directions. Dice up avocado, artichokes, cukes, tomatoes and green onions. Sprinkle with a little cumin, salt, garlic salt, whatever else you desire. Stir in the mayo. Mix the quinoa in once it is done cooking.

I didn't really measure the spices, and we used veggies on hand. It is really yumm-o! Light yet healthy and filling, and refreshing! Hope you enjoy :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011


 I just finished four night shifts in a row. It was one of the most unpleasant stretches at work I have had there. It wasn't necessarily grueling work as much as emotionally draining. I had a patient who was dying and didn't want to be alone. At one point he asked me if I would simply sit with him because he was afraid to be alone.
 I'm still unsure why it was so hard for me to do 4 in a row this week. Last week when I worked four in a row it was effortless. Perhaps I am getting too old for this night shift life. I can't seem to sleep enough or function as a person on my days off. After getting home from work yesterday I wanted to only sleep for four hours and then drive up to Ohio to see my parents. Instead, I fell asleep and didn't wake up until 7 pm. When I did wake up, I went out on the couch and fell back asleep. I only woke up later to drink water something, realizing I had gone all day without eating or drinking. The Boyfriend put me to bed around 10 and I almost slept through the night, but I awoke at 3 am and am now plagued with the ever familiar insomnia.

 I apologize for not blogging as much as I would like. If it were up to me, I would write more and work less, but these times call for me to work more, so work I must. I have faith that one day I won't have to work so much overtime and be so tired all the time. In the meantime, I'll post as much as I can, when I can.

 I was reading a fellow blogger's post about 50 questions and thought I'd reflect on some of them. These are thought provoking questions that have no right or wrong answers. I found them here and the questions are :

  1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
  2. Which is worse, failing or never trying?
  3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
  4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
  5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
  6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
  7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
  8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
  9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
  10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
  11. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire.  They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend.  The criticism is distasteful and unjustified.  What do you do?
  12. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
  13. Would you break the law to save a loved one?
  14. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?
  15. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
  16. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?
  17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?  What’s holding you back?
  18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
  19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
  20. Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?
  21. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?
  22. Why are you, you?
  23. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
  24. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
  25. What are you most grateful for?
  26. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?
  27. Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
  28. Has your greatest fear ever come true?
  29. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset?  Does it really matter now?
  30. What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special?
  31. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
  32. If not now, then when?
  33. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?
  34. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?
  35. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?
  36. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?
  37. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?
  38. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?
  39. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?
  40. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?
  41. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?
  42. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?
  43. What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
  44. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?
  45. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
  46. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
  47. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?
  48. What do you love?  Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?
  49. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday?  What about the day before that?  Or the day before that?
  50. Decisions are being made right now.  The question is:  Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?

 My favorite questions are 3, 11, and 24, so I will answer them now.

If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?   I think that we are taught from a young age that the ingredients of a successful life include certain things, and it's the never-ending attempt to achieve these things that make us unhappy. In order to live up to the expectations we put on ourselves, we become unhappy. We push ourselves to climb the ladder at work, meet someone (anyone) that we can marry, and then start a family.  This inevitably leads to great suffering and misery because we're not doing what we really want to be doing, only what we have been told is the practical thing to do with our life. In essence, we are living our lives for some stereotype or image, not doing what we truly want to be doing, just what we think we should be doing.

 You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire.  They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend.  The criticism is distasteful and unjustified.  What do you do?  This question immediately made me think of my Dad. One time many years ago my family was talking and someone brought up a person (I can't remember if it was a friend or other family member) and we started talking ill about them. My Dad said, "Well let's bring them in. Let's call them up and see what they have to say." Of course we were aghast at this idea and would never have called them up on the phone and let them know we were talking about them. He said, "If you can't call them up and talk to them about it, we probably shouldn't be talking about them. If they can't be here to defend themselves and give their side of the story, this conversation is one sided."  Whenever I hear gossip or rumors now, I think of that situation. I know the question states " you are having lunch with three people you admire", but it makes me think of just two weeks ago at the lunch table at work when I was eating with co workers. Someone brought up a new employee at work and everyone chimed in with what they've heard about her and etc etc. Being opinionated and a great storyteller, the focus was quickly shifted to me and they eagerly asked me to tell what I know about the new employee and tell the stories I've heard. I simply said, "no." They gave quick, nervous glances to each other and waited for me to say I was kidding. I said, "If you want to call her in here and sit her down and ask her to tell her side of the story, we can do that. Otherwise, I won't sit by and listen to everyone talk bad about her. She deserves as much opportunity and respect as anyone else here does." Well that shut down the conversation. It may not have made me any friends that day, but hopefully it sent the message not to gossip in front of me. 

Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?  For me, this is easy. I've moved states away from good friends and things have hardly changed. I still talk to them, visit them, and continue to make memories with them. On the other hand, I've lost a friend while still living in the same city as her. It was heartbreaking to lose a friend, and I cried more than I cried over a boy. It was as if someone had died, and it left a void in my heart that seemed impossible to fill. To make it worse, I continued to see her at college, work, and the gym. 

 What are your favorite questions? Any thoughts on them?