Monthly Archives: May 2011

Stress Cooking

So I met with my surgeon yesterday. If you follow me on Twitter, you probably already know it wasn’t the greatest.

You see, I’ve made leaps and bounds in physiotherapy recently. The bone I broke in my elbow is the same bone responsible for twisting my wrist. In the last month, I’ve gained about 60 degrees of rotation. In other words, I’m just a mere 30 degrees from having my palm face the ceiling. Big deal. You don’t realize how much you twist your hand around doing just the slightest things. What I would give to be able to twist my left fingers to my mouth again…

Anyways. Me and my physiotherapist have been all excited about this. My surgeon in Moncton gave me five weeks to progress my movement, and yesterday was the day he would tell me if it was enough to proceed without any further operations.

Well, I guess I misunderstood. Because he took one look at my latest x-ray, saw that my bone still isn’t healing, and said he still wants to take the whole radial head out. Regardless of the progress I’ve made in physio.

The difference between any upcoming surgery and the original surgery, is that this time I have a choice. My last surgery was done in an emergency situation and I had no idea what to expect. This time around I can choose to either stay on my current path of recovery, which may not give me 100% mobility back. Or, I can have a piece of my skeleton removed and possibly get more movement back.

I’m sending my latest x-rays and CT scans to the surgeon who performed the original surgery in Ottawa. He’s a hand and upper-extremity specialist and I value his opinion. Even if the current mess of screws in my elbow are his doing.

In the meantime, I’m going to research the repercussions of living without a radial head. In the past three months since my skating accident, I’ve learned that I can live without being able to fully bend and straighten my elbow. But I can’t live without being able to twist my wrist or hold anything heavier than 5lbs. As things are now, I can’t even close the front door and hold my purse at the same time, because both actions can only be done with my right hand.

So, to sum, it’s all very stressful.

And when I am stressed, I want to do one of two things: drink whiskey, and cook.

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This time, I chose Eat Live Run’s Chana Masala. I tried chana masala for the first time a couple weeks ago at an Indian restaurant here in Moncton and fell in love. How have I gone so long without??

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I followed her directions exactly, but changed some of the spices with fancy ones I bought in Toronto’s Little India. It turned out divine!! Not quite as “creamy” (for lack of a better word) as the kind I had at the restaurant, but a definite make-again.

And because I am a non-traditionalist, I ate it with quinoa and fiddle heads.

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I bought two pounds of Miramichi fiddleheads off the back of a truck last weekend. I just couldn’t help myself. For those of you who are wondering, fiddleheads are a young fern that grow like weeds in the Northeast and are usually in season late-spring to early-summer. They taste like a cross between broccoli and asparagus – the perfect green veggie! I ate them here steamed with just salt and pepper. The best way to have veggies in my opinion!

Now I just need some whiskey.

Vanity Pounds

I have found myself in a bit of a pickle.

Remember when I proclaimed I would lose my Toronto Ten pounds? I was all gung-ho to get back down to the smaller version of myself before I left the Maritimes.

Well, I haven’t. Not a smidge. I’m definitely eating better and exercising more regularly. But because I haven’t really done anything drastic or been very strict, it hasn’t translated into any form of weight loss.

I have to say, I’m not really that hung up about it. And it’s the lack of emotion about it that really confuses me.

I mean, my body is actually in a very happy place right now. It’s at that size I always was throughout high school and university before I gained a bunch of weight in third year, then ended up losing even more weight.

I am now asking myself… Are those 10 vanity pounds really worth it??

I don’t hate the way I look now. I’m 5’7” so my frame can handle it. If anything, I just wish I could lift weights again and get my muscle tone back. I love being able to brunch on the weekends, have drinks with friends, and not worry about maintaining my current weight. It’s really nice to skip the gym sometimes and not feel anxious about the calories I’m not burning. 

Now that I’m no longer a personal trainer, I also no longer feel the pressure to look the part. It is such a heavy burden off my shoulders. It’s nice to be in a place where I know my paychecks don’t depend on how I look.

But if I’m being honest, the real reason why I still think about losing those 10 vanity pounds stems purely from the fact that I’m a single girl. Plain and simple.

But knowing the choices I’d have to make in order to lose those pounds, I know I’d then become a pretty boring single girl as well.

At this point in my life, especially considering that I am overcoming an injury, all I can ask is to be healthy. That’s getting my green veggies, staying active, and enjoying some of the best pleasures in life. You know I’m talking about cookies here.

I’m not saying I’m giving up on losing those 10 lbs. Especially considering I no longer fit into my summer clothes from last year. But I’m still not committed to living in a calorie deficit either. So I’m stuck somewhere in the middle here and just don’t know which way to go.

Ugh. Weight loss. What I’d give to just not have to think about it ever again.

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Me, as a morbidly obese baby, back when rolls were acceptable.

P.S. I’m off to see my surgeon this morning to get the surgery verdict. Wish me luck!!

Adventures in Baking

Goooooood Monday morning to you!

As promised, I have a gazillion recipes to share.

Working a Monday-Friday leaves me with all this spare time on weekends to try out the recipes I’ve been collecting in my bookmarks bar. I LOVE spending an afternoon puttering around the kitchen. Especially because I now spend my days sitting on my butt at work, I like being on my feet on weekends.

Even if being on my feet includes baking. Which may or may not help the whole “sitting on my butt” thing throughout the week.

No matter!

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First stop on the recipe tour are these Rosemary Rice Krispie Treats from The Cilantropist.

It’s no secret that I have a deep love for rosemary. I bookmarked this recipe as soon as I spotted it, then inadvertently found myself with all the ingredients on hand over the weekend!

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The rosemary and marshmallow are actually a fabulous pairing. My little sister said it reminded her of tea. I didn’t add the lavender extract, but I definitely will if I make these again. My only complaint is that my batch turned crunchy because I packed the mixture into the pan too hard. Don’t do that. A little extra marshmallow wouldn’t have hurt either.

While we’re on the topic of squares…

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I also made Anna Olsen’s Date Squares not that long ago. I had really high hopes for these as I consider Anna Olsen a dessert-making pro!

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But I found the “crust” to be too crumbly. There were oats falling everywhere. I wouldn’t make the again. I would however like to point out that date squares are dead simple to make. SO quick and easy. If anyone has a stellar date recipe, please share with the class!

Next up is something I knew I’d be disappointed with, but had to try anyway.

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Mediterranean Olive Bread from Food 52, but really an adaptation of the olive bread in the Joy of Cooking.

You see, I’ve been dreaming of this olive bread I had at my aunt’s house in Toronto a while back. My mom and I still talk about it all the time.

You can buy it in these parts, but I’ve been so desperate to recreate it! Light, airy, greasy, and packed with olives.

I knew this quick bread wouldn’t come close, but it did turn out pretty good all things considered.

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We’ll call this attempt #1 at creating the best olive bread in the world. More attempts to follow.

Last, but certainly not least, something for the boys!

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And by boys, I mean these boys:

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I used this recipe for Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats. I have a whack of pumpkin puree taking up room in the freezer. So I figured I’d give it to the dogs.

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I need to buy bone-shaped cookie cutters. Buddy was by my side the whole time I was making these. I think he knew I was working on a treat meant for him. The doggies gobbled them up!

So that’s what’s been going on in my kitchen lately, but what about you? What are some of the best recipes you’ve tried lately?

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