Sunday, March 28, 2010

Back in October I made one of our favorite soups - Minestrone! Well, I made it again today, using the same recipe from my Cooking Light Annual Recipes 1998. It's a great soup day in the Midwest - rainy, overcast, just on the verge of spring. I also made a Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread. I think they both look pretty good.

It will just be Michael and myself for dinner tonight - and by the looks of how much soup I made, we'll be having this for a few days. I think I'll freeze some too. I don't know when I might be making Sunday dinner for Mom and Dad again.

Mom and Dad are staying at my sister and her family's house. Mom had a knee replacement last Monday. Whew - what a week! I took Mom to the hospital at 4:30 Monday morning and then "home" Friday afternoon around 3:00. In between time, I spent most of my time at the hospital taking care of her; and a couple of nights staying at their house with my Dad. The surgeon was very happy with the results, and I anticipate Mom will be very happy someday too! Right now she is involved with physical therapy and making sure her knee moves freely. It'll take awhile but hopefully she'll be ready to spend Christmas in Florida again this year. We'll see.

Monday, March 15, 2010

After Dinner Thoughts

Dinner was yummy! This recipe just makes 4 servings; so if you want leftovers or more than one serving you need to make more. Everyone enjoyed it, though. What a relief! Especially since this was the very first time I have ever cooked scallops. They were easier than I expected. I encourage you to try making some too.

Jazzi is doing well. After her blood draw we now know she does NOT have diabetes! Whew!!! That said, the vet wants a urine sample. Well good luck with that. Actually Michael will take her to the vet on Wednesday so they can capture that sample. He just needs to time it right so that she has a sample to get!

Jimi then gets to go to the vet on Friday. We somehow arrange our vet visits all together during a short time span. Jimi seems to be doing well, but since he's been on the prednisone for some time now they just want to check him out.

I don't know if I'm going to make anything for Sunday dinner this upcoming weekend. I'm taking Mom and Dad to a 50th wedding anniversary for some very good friends of theirs Saturday night. Mom's knee replacement surgery is scheduled for Monday morning; so Sunday will be spent getting ready. I'm sure I'll end up making something, but I may not do much as far as planning is concerned and it may just be something spur of the moment. Oh well, I'll let you know what we end up doing anyway.

Have a great week - spring has to be right around the corner!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Nursing Sick Cats

Journey, Jimi, and Jazzi
It seems as though our trips to the vet come all at once. We took Jazzi to see Dr. Sims maybe close to two weeks ago. Jazzi is just over 15 years old. She has arthritis pretty bad in her elbows and knees and receives pain meds twice a day for it. Luckily we have a local pharmacist willing to prepare her pain medication in a cream that we smear on her ears. A few years ago she had a bad bout of pancreatitis and she had to have a feeding tube for awhile and had been diabetic until we got things under control. Her pancreatitis still flairs up but we haven't had to give her insulin since she first had trouble. Well, recently she has been exceedingly interested in sitting at the water bowl drinking, drinking, drinking - a sign that the diabetes might be back. Michael and I spent some time this evening trying to test her blood (yes, we actually have an Accu-Chek diabetic blood tester for our cat). Poor baby. I pricked her ears probably four times on each ear and can't get enough blood for the test. She's not very happy with me right now. Michael is calling the vet tomorrow to take her in and have them draw some blood. We just need to know if we need to start the insulin shots again, and if so how much to give her.

And, as if that wasn't enough, Journey got to visit the vet last Friday. Seems like his intestinal lymphoma might be progressing. Funny thing is both Jimi and Journey have this cancer. Jimi was diagnosed in December 2005; Journey in 2008. Both boys have gone through chemotherapy and both are on prednisone. It amazing, though, how well they have done so far. Jimi is approximately 14 years old, and Journey is about 13 years old. News about the cats really doesn't have anything to do with Sunday dinner, it's just what we've had to deal with lately. I'm just grateful that they all are doing fairly well overall - they all will still play, eat, run around, and do their thing; they're just a bit slower these days (and maybe a bit crankier too).

When I was searching around last week, I came across this recipe that sounds absolutely fabulous to me. Mmm...I hope it's as good as it looks. Seared scallops with warm Tuscan Beans. According to the nutritional information on the recipe, this should be 6 weight watchers points per serving. One serving is 4 ounces scallops plus 3/4 cup bean mixture. I think my only change will be to use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

A gal that I work with, Julia, sent me a recipe for Weight Watchers Cobbler:
2 (16 oz.) bags any frozen fruit
1 (18.25 oz.) box yellow cake mix
1 (12 oz.) can diet white soda

Place both bags of frozen fruit into a 13x9 inch baking dish (do not thaw). Sprinkle dry cake mix over the top of frozen fruit. Pour entire can of diet soda over mixture. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and bake an additional 40 minutes.
12 servings
3 points each

I might try the cobbler for dessert. Come back after Sunday and I'll let you know how it all turns out. Keep your fingers crossed for our cats, if you can. They really are our babies and while we know they're really old and probably approaching the end of their lives, we are trying to make their remaining time comfortable.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

After Dinner Thoughts

Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm. The perfect protein comprised of brown rice and black beans. The Korean-Style black beans were dreamy! I soaked them overnight and then cooked them in the slow cooker for about 6 hours - they were perfect! I browned the vegetable dumplings in peanut oil for about 3 minutes, then added some water and steamed them for about 6 minutes. Tasty! Try them if you get a chance. I know there are recipes out there to make your own, but the frozen ones worked well for us.

Oh - and the devil's food cake muffins worked well too. I only have a six muffin pan, so I divied out the muffins six at a time. That meant the first six were way big and the next six were a bit puny. But they were easy to make and everyone enjoyed them. Mom and Dad have the bigger four that were left over and we kept the smaller four.

We have a few dumplings left over, some rice and a good amount of black beans. Guess what I'll be having for lunch this week?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Gyoza (Vegetable Dumplings)

So, at my Weight Watchers meeting this week, a couple told the group about a new international market in Edwardsville. They had picked up frozen vegetable dumplings, vegetable samosa, and other items. Well, the market is right on my path home from the meeting and I stopped and picked up those items too.

We're going to have the Vegetable Dumplings for Sunday dinner. I'll probably pan sear them with a tiny bit of vegetable oil. Five dumplings, by themselves, equal 2 weight watchers points; I'll need to add a point for the oil, but that's still a low point value! I think I'll also make a recipe that was in this week's food section of the St. Louis Post Dispatch: Korean-Style Black Beans (one serving = 5 ww points). I'll make a side of rice and some type of dipping sauce and dinner will be complete!

I think I might make the weight watchers devil's food cake muffins. You take 1 box devil's food cake mix and 1 (15oz) can packed pumpkin. Mix those two ingredients together and evenly place the mixture into muffin tins (you might want to spray the cups or use liners). Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes and you've got yourself 3 points per muffin.

Whatever dinner ends up being, I sure will let you know how it all turns out.