Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

To all my friends, my loved ones and everyone else in my life: Have a wonderful new year. I'm hoping that 2008 will be far better for us all!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hobbit Food

I've written about what we'll be doing on New Year's Eve for Disney and these are some recipes that go along with that post. I've also included a photo of what NOT to do when you're making Toad in the Hole.

Welsh Rarebit
Printable Recipe

4 T butter
2 t mustard
1 t Worcestershire sauce
dash Cayenne Pepper
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c beer or milk
8 slices toast

Melt together butter, mustard, Worcestershire, cheddar and beer. Stir until smooth. Add cayenne and stir. Top each slice of toast with cheese sauce and place under a broiler until bubbly and browning.

Mushroom Blanquette
Printable Recipe

I learned to make veal blanquette in school, and there is nothing else like it. I figured the way that Hobbits love mushrooms, I'd make it with just mushrooms and no veal.

4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 lb button mushrooms - cut in halves our fourths
2 T butter
1 egg yolk
1/2 c heavy cream
10 blanched pearl onions

Cook mushrooms in butter until tender. Add stock and heat to a simmer. Combine egg yolk and heavy cream until well blended. Temper this by adding a half cup of hot stock and whisking like mad so the egg yolk does not cook. Add the cream, egg, stock to the mushrooms in a thin stream, whisking all the while. Let simmer until thickened and add the onions. Salt and pepper to taste.

As for that Toad in the Hole - do NOT try to make food for a post at the same time you're trying to get dinner for 9 in an 8ft x 8ft kitchen! Things happen - bad things - and stupid things, like forgetting to heat the casserole dish you're adding the Yorkshire Pudding to. If you miss that crucial step, you don't get a pretty crimped edge around your sausages, you get a flat I-don't-know-what. It tasted fine, but looked bad:

Friday, December 28, 2007

Beans 'n' Cornbread

In between Christmas and New Year's we try to keep the food a little lighter here. Beans are not as heavy as you may think, but heavy enough to be filling, and more than that, comforting. There's nothing better on a cold day, I assure you.

When I was a kid, my mom made beans and cornbread often. She's from the Midwest in an area that was settled mostly by people from Tennessee and Kentucky, so most of the food that mom grew up with had a heavy Southern influence. Regardless, my mom never made beans and cornbread with pinto beans; she always used navy beans.

I don't have an exact recipe for these beans, but it goes a little like this:

Cover 1 pound of navy beans with water and soak overnight. Drain and rinse them. In a big, heavy pot, cook about 5 slices of diced bacon until crisp. Don't drain that bacon grease! Leave it where it is and add a chopped onion, one chopped carrot and 2 chopped celery ribs. Add the beans and cover by one inch with chicken stock. Cook this over a low flame for just about forever, or until the beans are soft and the stock has thickened a bit. Add a generous tablespoon of salt and a healthy dose of pepper. Don't add salt while the beans are cooking or they'll get tough.

While those beans are cooking for the last half hour or so, make your cornbread. Please don't use that boxed stuff, real cornbread is so easy to make that there's just no excuse for it.

Makes one 8x8 pan
Printable Recipe

1 1/4 c. flour
3/4 c. cornmeal
2 T. sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. milk
1 beaten egg
1/4 c. oil

Combine flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar and baking powder
and stir together well.
Mix in milk, egg and oil.
Don't over mix this, you want your cornbread to be tender,
not rock-hard! Mix just until moistened.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes in a greased 8x8 pan at 400 degrees F
or until golden brown.

Now, you can serve this in a big bowl with the cornbread tucked off to the side, or do what we always did; smother that cornbread with beans and eat 'til you pop!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

And the best gift this year is...

Yes, Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations had me giddy and squealing like a schoolgirl at the mere sight of the cover. He's crass. He's rude. He's genius. If you push your way past the grit you'll come to truly appreciate his writing, his humor and his very different and wonderful perspective on life. He's not living it from afar; from an armchair as I am left to do, but from the darkest depths to the highest heights and everything in between and this book showcases it in all its glory and grungy fabulousness.

I'm waiting with baited breath for the newest installments of No Reservations to be aired on The Travel Channel this January. I expect to be entertained in the fashion in which Mr. Bourdain has so deftly accustomed me to. Bring it on!

Monday, December 17, 2007

My eggs have been stamped!

Look at that ... what's next? I still say the best way to go about it is to collect them each morning from your own hens.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Of Birthdays and Cookies and Cakes

Today is my Erin Maureen's birthday--she's 11!

I made cookies for her to take to school based on the monogrammed cuties I posted about at I thought cookies would be a nice change from the usual cupcakes that everyone sends for birthdays.

I used royal icing for the cookies and colored them with a packet of unsweetened drink mix. I did this accidentally when I made the batch for Cookies to Caviar. I needed a really red color for the cookies and was completely out of red food coloring; way to plan ahead. I searched the cupboards and found a tropical punch flavored packet of drink mix and it was the PERFECT color. Not only was the color great, my kids told me the cookies tasted like SweeTarts.

So, knowing I would be making these cookies for Erin, I decided to go with the SweeTart flavor and used cherry and orange to color and flavor the cookies. It's a decidedly delicious difference that you really should try.

Here are her cookies and the cake I made with cheated store-bought letters.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Lightning Fast Update

Marty is getting better- slowly, but surely. He is on week 5 of his physical and occupational therapy--outside the home. He has been doing both since he came home, but the more intensive work has been going on for just over 4 weeks.

PT says he should be done with therapy for his hip at the end of 10 weeks, however, they are unable to say how long his hand will take. That's the same answer we get from the doctor. It was just damaged so badly that nobody can tell when he will be better--if ever. We do have to face that fact; that he may not ever use his hand as he once did. Marty is trying to come to terms with that and the fact that he may also have permanent nerve damage to his foot and have a "dropped foot" to deal with and possible bracing etc. to help with that.

He's having an MRI done soon (Christmas Eve, ugh!) on his right shoulder to see what the problem is there. They are thinking it's most likely from inactivity, but want to make sure there is no other damage there.

He also has lost part of a tooth that was laying directly under his cheek where his face hit and where his stitches are. He'll have that looked at Friday--it's most likely infected because even with the strong pain killers he is on, it's hurting him badly.

The kids all have colds running through them, and me, and slight fevers have made the rounds this past week, as well.

Christmas is certainly coming--I wish it were to be more festive this year, but things just aren't there yet--I'm hoping we have many years ahead of us to celebrate properly.

Our landlords are OK as far as the ebola virus goes. They are all home together (there are 10 of them!) and have had very bad colds and infections they are trying to deal with that seem to be antibiotic resistant. Send more prayers for them, if you would. All they are dealing with right now will make their holiday especially difficult.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Martha Stewart Living Radio Recipe Contest

Check this out from
SIRIUS Satellite Radio and Martha Stewart:

Send us your best main-dish Super Bowl party recipe and you could win a trip to the SuperBowl! That’s not all - the winner will also receive a set of Martha Stewart Collection cookware from Macy's, $1,000 to donate to the food bank of their choice, and the winning recipe will be published in an issue of Everyday Food!

Full details on how to enter:

**I totally love that the $1,000 prize is donated to a food bank! Get on it --these recipes are due by DECEMBER 10th--and send your yummiest recipe for your chance to win~who wouldn't love to see their name in Everyday Food?**

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Please Pray

Our landlords, very dear and patient people, are missionaries to Uganda. There has recently been an outbreak of ebola there that has claimed the lives of 3 health workers, and friends of theirs. This is such sad and frightening news. Please pray for their family and team.

Read about this at ParadoxUganda.

Wipe out!

No, despite Marty's prior fondness for surfing (when he lived in Cali during his USMC days), it wasn't a good wipe out. The bit of snow and freezing rain we got on Sunday sent Marty down the porch steps and off to the ER for x-rays. Thankfully, he's fine. Sore ... but fine.

We left the hospital just in time for me to return our oldest daughter to her college dorm an hour away.

The only excitement I want to see anytime soon will be the Christmas kind.

Monday, December 03, 2007

My Bread Towel

I love baking bread, and this is my beautiful bread towel covering dough for a Moravian sugar cake I'm making for another post. It's made from an old feedsack that my mother hemmed and added a tab to so it could be hung. It's getting old and worn thin from all the use it's seen over the years. I can't say it's a bread towel only, though-I use it to cover any yeast dough that I make and it's seen it's fair share of rolling pumpkin rolls and holding hot bread or rolls fresh from the oven.

I haven't found another print like it, and I don't expect to, but it will be replaced with another feedsack equally as pretty. I imagine when the time comes I'll wash it one last time and fold it gently to keep away in my grandmother's hope chest.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Lehigh Valley Wine Trail

We're not Napa, but the Lehigh Valley certainly has it's share of excellent wineries. The Lehigh Valley Wine Trail is full of information on the wineries here in Eastern Pa--sharing events, news and even a cookbook, covered HERE by CBS!

If you live in or near the Lehigh Valley, you'll want to check out this site.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges, Revisited

I've already written about the Blog, now let's get to the book.

This is another cookbook that I read like all the others, from cover to cover. I loved each and every page! The story of how Jean-Georges came to fall in love with Asian cuisine is wonderful and adventurous. The photographs are beautiful; full of color and very telling about life in Asia from a food-lover's view.

The recipes are fabulous; full of color themselves and complex in flavor without being difficult to reproduce. The directions for each were clear and easy to follow.

I made Chicken Samosas with Cilantro-Yogurt Dip, and I'd recommend this recipe very highly. The deep and spicy flavors of the samosas combined with the brightness of the yogurt dip was a perfect marriage and, like Jean-Georges, I would insist that the samosas be dipped before each and every bite. The samosas certainly stand alone, but the dip pulls them up to a whole new, and delicious, level.

The truest test was my 3 year-old son, who couldn't stop eating them! Yes, they are spicy, and he knew it-asking for a drink after each bite-but he had no restraint whatsoever, and I must agree with him on this!

I look forward to making many more of the recipes within the pages of Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges and urge you to get a copy of your own.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Chefs for Humanity

Celebrity Chefs to Offer Private Cooking Lessons, Meals Prepared in Your Home, Private Parties in Upscale Restaurants and More!

NEW YORK, November 8, 2007 - Put your money where your mouth is November 14 - December 10 and support Chefs for Humanity during an on-line, one-of-a-kind auction with Join some of the world's most renowned celebrity chefs as they offer their culinary skills and share cooking secrets to raise funds to help stop hunger around the world.

"We're thrilled to present this unique and creative way to help fight hunger and we encourage everyone to take part in this exciting fundraiser," said Diane L. Burstein, acting director of Chefs for Humanity. "Our chefs are planning some fabulous culinary experiences for you and your taste buds."

Celebrity chefs include Chefs for Humanity president/founder Cat Cora, Katie Lee Joel, Rick Bayless, Robert St. John, Ming Tsai, Christine Pirello, Dean Fearing, Charlie Ayers and Diane Henderiks. Auction items include:

- Cat Cora and Katie Lee Joel: Billy Joel Concert in New York and dinner at Bon Appetite.

- Charlie Ayers: In-home dinner with wine pairings for 20 people in the San Francisco area.

- Dean Fearing: Chef's Table for eight at his new establishment, Fearing's Restaurant, in the brand new Ritz Carlton in Dallas, TX.

- Christina Pirello: In-home cooking class for 10 people within the Philadelphia, New Jersey, Delaware or New York region (winner can pay for travel expenses if out of the region). The theme for the class is "Cooking to Relieve Stress and Tension," focusing on foods that make stress tougher for us and the foods that help us handle it with grace. The package also includes a signed copy of her newest book, Cooking the Whole Foods Way. The winner is responsible for food costs.

- Ming Tsai: Tasting Dinner with wines for six at Blue Ginger in Wellesley, MA. The lot also includes a meet and greet and four autographed copies of Ming's book, Master Recipes .

- Rick Bayless: Gift Certificate for dinner for two at Frontera Grill in Chicago, IL, a tequila tasting, products from the food line Frontera Foods and a signed cook book.

- Bobby Flay: Dinner for four at Mesa Grill and a signed copy of Boy Gets Grill, Grilling for Life and The Mesa Grill Cookbook.

- Diane Henderiks: In-home healthy cooking demonstration for up to 20 guests. An entertaining and educational experience, the winner and friends will learn all about healthy cooking and nutrition while sampling a 4 - 5 course meal with wine.

To participate, log-on to beginning November 14, locate the Chefs for Humanity auction and start bidding.

Your participation will help support Chefs for Humanity's vital programs, including "A Chicken in Every Pot" and the partnership with the United Nation's World Food Programme, which launches in December with an exploratory field visit to Nicaragua and Honduras.

Chefs for Humanity is an alliance of culinary professionals and educators working in partnership with United States and global organizations, providing nutrition education, hunger relief and emergency and humanitarian aid to reduce hunger across the world. For more information, visit

Match & Win Dreamhouse Game

Check this out: If you already purchase items from Goya, Tyson or Reynolds Wrap, you may be on your way to winning a $500,000 Dreamhouse!

The Match & Win Dreamhouse Game is simple; purchase participating products from the three aforementioned companies, look for game pieces, match two halves together, and win one of over 3,000 prizes--that's over $1,000,000 worth of loot--or a dream home worth $500,000. Fun!

A Culinary Vacation

Nathalie Delalande of Wine and Prestige has passed on information about fabulous looking culinary vacations in a chateau in France, featuring a chef with the Ritz.

Read about these here, and visit their website to learn more about the many types of packages, including wine tours, that they offer.

Now, if anybody wants to know what to get me for Christmas...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Veggie Wednesday: The Greater Reading Vegan Society

The Greater Reading Vegan Society, begun August 2007, has potluck dinners at least once a month, usually on a Saturday at 6 or 7 pm. We are also planning a number of events and small trips.
Founding members are Caroline Kligge and Neil Brantley.

Contact through Caroline at
carolinekligge (at) yahoo (dot) com orPhone 610-741-3972 to find out more info!

Vegetarians of course are welcome~~Everyone is welcome.
We're a fun, easy-going group wanting to share good food, and spread the word of plant-based diets.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

R,S,C! #36 Recipe

OK, all you chickens ... I played. I hate that I had to use the flash for this photo, but my camera wasn't doing the right thing without it--someday I'll have my own personal photographer.

So, what is this? Sweet Potato Fries on the bottom, a Turkey-Scallion Roll set on it and it's topped with a Tart Cranberry Sauce and Fried Scallions.

Do I have a recipe? Nope. Basically I peeled and cut up 4 sweet potatoes, fried them in hot oil and salted them to taste. The turkey rolls are turkey breast fillets that I pounded thin, seasoned well with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper and topped with sliced scallions before rolling up. I floured them, salted and peppered again and fried the same way as the potatoes.

The cranberry sauce is 1 cup of fresh cranberries, 1/2 cup of apple juice, 1/2 cup of cranberry-pomegranate juice and 1/4 cup of sugar combined and simmered until thick.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I Love Good Mail

...and yesterday was one of those, "I need good mail" days.
Everyone needs a Southern friend to send them nuts they've grown themselves. Don't you think?
These are some of the prettiest pecans I've ever laid eyes on.

Thanks K. :O)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Very Expensive Pestilence

Looks like Serendipity 3 will need to sell quite a few of those $25,000 Haute Chocolate desserts - the New York Health Department has closed the shop ... STORY HERE.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Veggie Wednesday: Offerings at Balasia

This just in: Balasia is serving Thanksgiving dinner!

This is from a letter to Lehigh Valley Vegetarians:

For those of you who may not know, there is a vegan restaurant in Emmaus:

Balasia- A Green World Cafe
500 Chestnut St.

Emmaus, Pa

We specialize in , organic and locally grown cuisine.
Check out our beautiful web site for daily menus!

Healthy Holiday meals available now!
Please call: Balasia at (484)330-6405 for details

Here is part of the Holiday Menu:

vegan turkey
honey mustard tofu
cranberry ginger sauce
rosemary walnut stuffing
garlic miso mashed potatoes
wasabi miso mashed potatoes
thai mashed potatoes with coconut milk and cashew butter
vegan gravy
vegan mushroom gravy
basil and wild rice stuffed acorn squash
baby bok choi- steamed
cranberry and almond stuffing
sweet potato pie
pumpkin cheesecake
pecan pie

Vegan and delicious gluten-free also available!

ALSO-make your reservations for Thanksgiving day;
Seatings every hour from 12 pm -8 pm

Thank You-
Wendy Landiak, Proprietor

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ready, Set, Cook! #36

Click the icon above for complete rules. One change is that you can send your recipe to me to be posted here if you don't want to post on your own blog. I know it's not the first Tuesday of the month, but we haven't played in so long, I didn't want to wait until after the hectic holiday season to play again!

So, in honor of Thanksgiving coming up for us Americans, these three ingredients should blend together pretty well!

turkey breast
whole cranberries
sweet potatoes or yams

I'm all over this one!

See you next Tuesday with submissions!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Do you lead, or follow?

Recipes, that is?

When you find a recipe, do you follow it to the letter, make slight changes, or use it purely for inspiration?

I can say for myself, I almost always change recipes around, and most times I pop a cookbook open to get inspiration or have a rough guideline for a dish. Baking is not an exception for me--I still use a recipe for approximations rather than as gospel.

What about you?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Thursday, November 08, 2007

$25,000 Dessert

You have GOT to be kidding me.

Read this story about the recently developed Guinness World Record fetching $25,000 dessert invented by a New York restaurateur (Stephen Bruce, owner of Serendipity 3) and then tell me that you can actually stomach the thought of such a thing.

Think of it this way--I feed my family (8 during the week--9 on weekends) for about $500 a month. That means that the payment for just ONE of those desserts could feed us for 50 months--that's 4 years and 2 months.

I am definitely in the wrong business.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Veggie Wednesday: Lehigh Valley and Beyond Vegan and Vegetarian Friendly Restaurant Listing

Len Frenkel, fearless leader of the Lehigh Valley Vegetarians, sent out a list of veggie-friendly restaurants not too long ago, and I expanded a bit on what he sent. I've added addresses, phone numbers, and web pages where available so these fabulous places are easier to find. Give one or two a try and please let me know if there are corrections to anything so I can keep this list up-to-date for everyone!
If you are not aware of the LVV, sign up for their newsletter at:

frenkel (at) rcn (dot) com (add the appropriate @ and .)

and tell Len I sent you. Also, when I asked what was new with the LVV, Len had this to say: "...we just participated in our first Bethlehem Halloween Parade on Sunday, the 28th with great success. Signs, banner, costumes and LVV T-shirts all contributed to people becoming aware of our existence..." Awesome, isn't it?!

***I'm adding another resource here, theLVMenus--a site dedicated to Lehigh Valley restaurants with links by location or cuisine. Check out the site and click on Cuisines to find vegetarian and vegan locations.

Veggie-Friendly Restaurants of the Lehigh Valley, and beyond
Amazon Café

1894 Catasauqua Rd
Allentown, PA 18109
(610) 264-0996

Apollo Grille
85 West Broad Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018

Arnold’s Way
319 West Main St
Lansdale, PA 19446

Balasia A Green World Cafe
500 Chestnut Street
Emmaus, PA 18049
(484) 330-6405

Bay Leaf Restaurant
935 W Hamilton St
Allentown PA 18101
(610) 433-4211

Bethlehem Brew Works
569 Main St
Bethlehem, PA 18018
(610) 882-1300

129 West Main Street
Kutztown, PA 19530
(610) 621-2642

Blue Sky Café
22 W. Fourth St.,
South Bethlehem, PA

Bridgeworks Irish Pub & Grille4 New St
Bethlehem, PA 18017
(610) 868-1313

Café Origins
107 Broadway
Jim Thorpe, PA 18229
(570) 325-8776

Cali Burrito
3104 Hamilton Blvd
Allentown, PA
(610) 351-1791

Candle Café
1307 Third Avenue at 75th Street,
New York, New York 10021
(212) 472-0970

Candle 79
154 East 79th Street near Lexington Avenue
New York, New York 10021
(212) 537-7179

Carried-Away Café
3360 Airport Road
Allentown, PA 18109-9302
(610) 443-0850

China King Restaurant3033 W Emmaus Ave
Allentown, PA
(610) 709-0960

449 North 2nd Street
Allentown, PA 18102-3101
(610) 432-2036

Eastern Chinese Restaurant3926 Linden St
Bethlehem, PA 18020
(610) 868-0299

Essene Market & Cafe
719 South Fourth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 922-1146
fax: 215.922.5150

Everybody’s Café
905 Main St
Stroudsburg, PA 18360
(570) 424-0896

Expressly Vegetarian Café
7th Day Adventist , lunch only
8700 Germantown Ave.
(off of Rex Avenue)
Chestnut Hill, PA 19118

Fiesta Ole
1116 Chestnut St.
Emmaus, PA 18049
(610) 966-5522

Govinda’s Café
1408 South Street
Philadelphia, Pa 19146
(218) 985-9303

Grille 3501
3501 Broadway
Allentown, Pa 18104
(610) 706-0100

House of Chen
732 W Hamilton St
Allentown, PA
(610) 439-1330

Hunan Springs
4939 Hamilton Blvd
Wescosville, PA 18106
(610) 366-8338

Kingdom of Vegetarians
129 N. 11th Street
Philadelphia, PA USA
(215) 413-2290

Kow Thai Takeout1201 W Linden St
Allentown, PA 18102
(610) 770-9100

442 N 8th St
Allentown, PA 18102
(610) 820-7570

Mangia Italian Restaurant
2407 Mickley Avenue
Whitehall, Pennsylvania, 18052
(610) 821-8220
Fax: (610) 821-4570

3750 Hamilton Blvd.
Allentown, PA 18103

Mary Margaret’s Kitchen & Tea Room
500 Chestnut St
Emmaus, PA
(610) 965-9988

Nan King
704 W Emmaus Ave
Allentown, PA 18103
(610) 797-7075

13 E 4th St
South Bethlehem, PA
(610) 691-0388

New China Carry Out501 2nd St
Catasauqua, PA 18032
(610) 266-8000

1101 Woodland Rd.
Wyomissing, PA 19610
(610) 898-0745

Olive Branch Cafe & Restaurant
355 Broadway
South Bethlehem, PA
(610) 814-0355

Oriental Gourmet
Black River Rd & Route 378
Bethlehem, PA
(610) 868-3333

Palace of India
302 Main St
Emmaus, PA, 18049
(610) 965-0466

Panera Bread
3301 Bath Pike
Bethlehem, PA 18017
(610) 866-9802
(610) 866-9804 fax

2418 Cherryville Rd
Northampton, PA, 18067

Petra Mediterranean
81 West Broad Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018
(610) 866-3901

161 Northampton St
Easton, PA

Pho Vung Tau
150 Union Blvd
Allentown, PA
610 433-3405

Pistachio Bar & Grille
341 S Cedar Crest Blvd
Allentown, PA 18103
(610) 435-7007

Singapore Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant1006 Race St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 922-3288
Fax: (215) 922-3288

SOGO Fusion Lounge237 Northampton Street
Easton, PA

SuTao Café
Great Valley Shopping Center
81 Lancaster Avenue
Malvern, PA 19355
(610) 651-8886

Syb's West End Deli
2151 W Liberty St
Allentown, PA 18104

The Café
221 W. Broad St.
Bethlehem, PA 18018
Tortilla Flat
500 Main Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018

Touch of Thai123 N 2nd St
Easton, PA 18042
Phone: (610) 250-0716

Vegan Treats
1444 Linden Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018

Water to Go: Diet and Nutrition Center
1315 Tatamy Road
Easton, PA 18045
(610) 438-2865

Wert’s Café515 N 18TH St
Allentown, PA 18104-5018
(610) 439-0951

Wildflower Café & Gallery
316 S. New Street
Bethlehem, PA
(610) 758-8303

620 Main St. Hellertown,

Zen Palate

Union Square Location
34 East Union Square
New York, NY 10003
Delivery (212) 614-9291
Reservations (212) 614-9345
Fax (212) 614-9401

Theatre Location
663 Ninth Ave. (at 46th St)
New York, NY 10036
Phone (212) 582-1669
Fax (212) 582-1708

Lincoln Centre Location
2170 Broadway (at 76th St)
New York, NY 10024
Phone (212) 501-7768
Fax (212) 501-7867

Monday, October 29, 2007

Product Review: Dawn Simple Pleasures

I recently received Dawn Simple Pleasures from Charlie Kondek at Hass MS&L to check out and review. Man, is this stuff GOOD! It really works, as I knew Dawn would anyway, but the air freshener really surprised me in it's effectiveness. There's an air freshener built right into the bottom of the bottle--little scent beads that don't melt (I worried about that when I first opened it) and scent the area for a LONG time. The kitchen smells so good, this Dawn is something I'll most definitely be purchasing again and again.
It comes in three scents:

Water Lily & Jasmine
Apple & Pear
Lemon & Tangerine

and each one is one I want to try.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Veggie Wednesday: New Potato Salad with Hazelnuts

New Potato Salad with Hazelnuts
6 servings
Printable Recipe

2 lb small new red potatoes (about 12 to 18 potatoes)
1 c hazelnuts
2 T chopped fresh chives
2 T chopped fresh parsley

2 T red wine vinegar
1/4 t Dijon mustard
1/2 t salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
4 T olive oil
2 T hazelnut oil

Preheat oven to 350'F Scrub but do not peel potatoes.
Steam potatoes until tender, 15 to 25 minutes, depending

on size. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
While potatoes are cooling, spread hazelnuts on baking sheet.
Toast at 350'F for 10 minutes.

Rub hot hazelnuts in towel to remove skins.
Chop nuts coarsely.
Cut potatoes in quarters or eighths.

In large bowl, combine nuts, chives, and parsley.
Whisk vinaigrette and drizzle over salad. Toss gently.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

To make Vinaigrette: In small bowl, combine wine vinegar,

mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk until blended.
Gradually whisk in olive oil and hazelnut oil in a thin stream
until blended.

Victoria Magazine - July 1993

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Pins are Gone

... and the plates and screws remain. We went this past Tuesday to Philadelphia (again) so Marty could get the last two pins that were left in his arm out for good. He still has plates and screws and the 15 cm (6") screw in his hip will be there forever. So, as a visual for anyone confused, I'm posting copies of the x-rays from his original pre-op breaks and post-op fixes. That should be fair warning enough-please don't look below if you're at all squeamish.

Not fun ... those smaller pins labeled "last pins" were the ones removed this last week and we were told they would come out so easily that it was even possible to accidentally pull them out---not for Marty, though. It took two doctors about 20 minutes to get them out and they do NOT give any type of anesthesia at all, so it was really awful for Marty.

Now that those are out he can start moving ahead with occupational therapy for the wrist and he is 50% weight bearing on the left leg, so he can at least put his foot down now. We're hopeful that he will be walking well by Christmas!

The car situation has worked out a bit, thanks for the prayers there.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Healing Goes On

I've been remiss in my updating duties, it seems, so I'll try and put in as much as I can here.

Firstly, my abilities to post, read e-mail, get any work finished, do laundry and shower have been limited, at best. The house and I aren't exactly grungy, but a little attention certainly wouldn't hurt.

That, I guess, will come later. The most important thing right now is to attend to Marty's needs and help him to rest, eat well and stay relatively happy so he can heal and to make sure the kids are well cared for.

Wednesday last was another surgery for Marty's arm, and although we really thought it would be the last, we found he needs one more small procedure before he can be considered "done" on that front. He had 4 of the 6 pins in his arm removed and was put in a soft cast. This will remain until October 9Th when we need to travel, yet again, to Philadelphia to have 2 very small pins taken out and then a decision made about casting or having a removable splint put on.

When he was under anesthesia this last time his wrist was manually manipulated to see if he will have movement at all. They got some limited range and we realize he will never have full use again, but it is certainly better than being stuck in a permanent position. He has several fingers that he is not able to feel yet, but they hope they will start to come back as he progresses in physical therapy. At this point he is passively moving his fingers and attempting some active movement. He has a long road to go with the arm.

His pelvis is healing well and we hope to hear that he will be 50% weight bearing on his left leg after the next appointment. It's not much, but it will allow him to put his foot down and get started on walking again. I was told this last time that the pelvic break was also one of the worst the doctor had seen, but the arm was so bad that the pelvis break was really secondary. I finally have copies of the films pre and post op and the breaks are very severe. It helps me to help Marty if I know exactly where he was hurt and how the breaks occurred.

Anyone bored yet? There are some issues from the pelvic bleed that need to be addressed and Marty has begun to fall into some depression--which is also being dealt with, but is very hard to see and deal with on my end. It's hard to not be able to help someone when they are hurting so badly. Prayers for Marty on all issues would be greatly appreciated!

I'm behind on all of life, it seems, and I could use prayers for myself, that I can get things accomplished and bills paid etc. I'm not able to leave the house during the day, which is when things really need to get done, since Marty needs care 24/7. He does small things for himself, but can't be alone at all. I walk the kids to school in the morning, and that's it. That takes about 10-15 minutes total and it's hard for me to leave him alone even for that short period of time.

I'm having a small situation with transportation right now--our van is very sick and needs more than $1,000 worth of work, so I have a car that I've been using. Suddenly, that's become an issue and the money it would take to purchase the car just isn't there. I won't go into details, but it's not something I'm comfortable with at all and feel very pressured about. I need a vehicle, there's no doubt about that--I am the one who takes Marty wherever he needs to go and there's not another option. Prayers there, too if you would!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Harumi's Japanese Home Cooking

If I were to use one word to describe Harumi Kurihara's second cookbook, Harumi's Japanese Home Cooking, it would be, "essential". It is 160 pages of bliss. Ms. Kurihara's writing is clear and concise, enabling even the most novice cook to delve into the realm of Japanese cooking with the greatest of ease and complete success.

Harumi Kurihara has become an icon in Japan, and it's easy to see why. Her detailed techniques and stunning photographs convey her love for cooking and draw the reader in.

The book begins with Japanese cooking techniques to help you get started, (and leaves me wanting a ginger grater) and is rounded out with a glossary at the end. Throughout the book there are Harumi's Hints, Ingredients Notes and Menu Planning tips as well as a full section on menu planning at the back of the book and a short, but very informative, section on Bento-or Japanese lunch boxes. There is nothing this book doesn't have to set you on your way to creating beautiful Japanese meals in your own home.

Beyond the miso soup variations, my personal list of must-makes includes Japanese Green Tea Risotto, Pork in Crispy Breadcrumbs and Grilled Salmon "Yuan" Style.

Harumi's Japanese Home Cooking is available in stores on October 2; don't miss the chance to pick up your own copy!

This is one of the many wonderful recipes you'll find in this book:


½ lb. fresh salmon, seasoned with salt and grilled until cooked
1 tablespoon sake
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
6 tablespoons of toasted black sesame seeds
1 ¾ cups hot cooked rice
Ikura (salmon roe)—to taste (can be found at Japanese grocery store)
Chopped spring onions or chives to garnish

Discard any skin or bones on grilled salmon and break it apart into small “flakes”
Transfer the salmon to a small pan and pour sake on top. Put on stove top on medium heat and cook until warmed through. Flake into finer bits and add the light soy sauce.
Turn of the heat and add the sesame seeds. You can either mix them in or just sprinkle on top.
Put the cooked rice into individual bowls and divide the salmon flakes on top of each bowl. Add a spoonful of sesame seeds and garnish with chopped spring onion or chives

Serves 2-4

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges

Jean-Georges, prolific restaurateur and cookbook author, has written yet another tome. His newest book, Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges, focuses on a cuisine that he has so well mastered and shares recipes from his restaurants--Spice Market, 66, and Vong.

I love the website devoted to his many restaurants; the photos are fabulous and each makes me want to travel the world simply to dine at these locations. Don't be fooled, though, by the larger-than-life image painted by his success; he is a self-proclaimed "country boy at heart"--just my type of person. He certainly hasn't lost himself to fame.

Jean-Georges' blog, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, chronicles his life, his work and his thoughts on food. It's a wonderful read so far, and I look forward to many more installments. Please give it a read, and don't miss his book, in stores on October 23rd and something I most definitely want to get my hands on.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Food Remembered

Nothing evokes memories for me quite the way that food does. It has the ability to transport a person to another time and place. The ability also, to resurrect loved ones long since departed.

Just the aroma of my great grandmother Barnes' Brown Sugar Cookies transports me to her tiny kitchen in her tiny house in Tipton, Indiana. Visions of her working at the table with her large stoneware bowl dance in front of me with surprising clarity.

A single bite of chili, the way dad made it, takes me back to the dining room in the house at Harbor Beach, and calls back my father to the head of the table.

Parmesan flavored popcorn, provided by my Uncle Joel and Aunt Sherry, belongs on Route 25 in Port Hope where I watched fireworks as a child on my summer visits to dad’s home .

Just the mention of Colby cheese puts me at the large oval table in my grandmother Sharp's kitchen with the sounds of locusts and crickets chirping outside the windows on a hot summer night as I sit, surrounded by my brothers, having a late-night snack.

Rice, plain old Uncle Ben's rice, whisks me back to the home of my Uncle Earl and Aunt Mary Jane on the south side of Allentown. Never have I had better rice, and I don't know why ... it must have been the atmosphere.

Chocolate and cinnamon, reminiscent of my grandma Foster's famous chocolate cake, sets me down in her small kitchen in Bad Axe, the scent of Sweetheart soap filling my nostrils and the sound of happy family filling the air. The smell of Tollhouse cookies baking transfers me to Harbor Beach where grandma passed off a just-baked batch to my father for our trip to his new home in Davenport, Iowa.

My mother's fried chicken is the taste of home. In an instant I am a teen again, filling my plate to the chatter of my loved ones and friends on Christmas Eve at mom's buffet-style celebration.

The enjoyment and satisfaction that comes from eating something I love is magnified when sharing it with someone else, and the memory left is a result of that sharing.

This then is my simple truth; food shared is food remembered.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Garlic, How I Love Thee

"Do not eat garlic or onions; for their smell will reveal that you are a peasant."
Cervantes, Don Quixote (1614)

Peasant I am, then!

When I was in culinary school, we were taught to start nearly every savory dish with the almighty trilogy: clarified butter, garlic and shallots. We would spend countless hours peeling and mincing garlic by hand, most often with our chef's knives. I would go home, reeking of garlic, and hoping my husband and two small daughters, wouldn't mind.

"No one is indifferent to garlic. People either love it or hate it, and most good cooks seem to belong in the first group."
- Faye Levy

Once our class took over running the restaurant, we would encounter specific requests from customers--no sauce, no salt, leave off the olives--and things of that nature. One night, however, the maître d' walked in and inquired of the chefs on the line which dishes were made without garlic. The normally bustling kitchen came to an immediate standstill as we all turned to stare, open-mouthed, at this ludicrous notion. Our professor looked confused for a mere moment then turned abruptly and started barking orders. Whatever this customer would get, it would be fresh--but sadly, to my palate--tasteless.

"There are many miracles in the world to be celebrated and, for me, garlic is the most deserving."
Leo Buscaglia

I cannot imagine asking for a dish without garlic; in fact, there is hardly a savory dish I make--no matter what the recipe states--without the addition of garlic, and when I realize it is absent from the recipe, I always wonder why. It is fundamental to cooking; it is both complex and simple, making it a truly indispensable food. Food? Yes, FOOD; not herb, accompaniment, spice or seasoning. Garlic is, in and of itself, a highly desirable and much loved food. Italian, French, and German food would be nothing without it. Aioli would cease to exist. The travesty that the world would be without garlic is unfathomable. A day without garlic is like a day without air…if you don’t agree, that’s OK, I’ll forgive you. After all, we can’t all be right, can we?

“It is not really an exaggeration to say that peace and happiness begin, geographically, where garlic is used in cooking.”
X. Marcel Boulestin

The history of garlic dates back to anywhere between 4000 and 6000 years ago, depending on which source you are using. I would love to think that garlic was growing right alongside the tomatoes and olives that I dream were the first vegetation planted by God. It may be a relative of the onion, it may not have been eaten at first (some wouldn’t touch it beyond medicinal purposes), and some may think it to be “stinking” (poor misguided Henri Leclerc). I, however am of like mind with Louis Diat.

“Without garlic I simply would not care to live.”
Louis Diat (1885-1958)

I’ll not bore you with details of the full history--you can find that for yourself in a simple Google search--I will, however, share a recipe and a few more quotes with you.

Garlic Soup with Chicken

Ready In: 1 hour
Serves: 6-8
Printable Recipe

1 whole chicken - about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds, cut up
2 carrots peeled and diced
2 stalks celery diced
1 large onion diced
2 heads garlic - peel 10 cloves and set aside
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
Freshly cracked pepper and Kosher salt
4 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour

1. Put vegetables in the bottom of a large soup pot and add chicken, unpeeled garlic cloves (a little more than 1 head of garlic) and herbs. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Turn heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
2. Remove chicken and garlic cloves and set aside.
3. Strain broth and return to pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by about one-third.
4. When chicken is cool enough to handle, chop into bite sized pieces and set aside.
5. Squeeze softened garlic from skins and add 1 teaspoon Kosher salt. Mash into a paste (a mortar and pestle works well for this) and set aside.
6. Heat butter in a small skillet over very low heat. Add the 10 peeled garlic cloves and cook until cloves just begin to brown. Remove cloves with a slotted spoon and add to mashed garlic and mash these together as well.
7. Add flour to butter and whisk until a paste forms. Add mashed garlic to flour and butter and whisk until well combined. Add all to chicken broth. Heat until slightly thickened and add chopped chicken back into the pot. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

*(posted in several forms all over the 'net!)

“Provençal cooking is based on garlic. The air in Provence is impregnated with the aroma of garlic, which makes it very healthful to breathe. Garlic is the main seasoning in bouillabaisse and in the principal sauces of the region. A sort of mayonnaise is made with it by crushing it in oil, and this is eaten with fish and snails. The lower classes in Provence often lunch on a crust of bread sprinkled with oil and rubbed with garlic.”
Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine

"The rabble who had joined the people were overcome by greed, and the Sons of Israel began to wail again, 'Who will give us meat to eat?' They said, 'Think of the fish we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic! Here we are, wasting away, stripped of everything: there is nothing but manna for us to look at."
- The Bible (Numbers 11: 4-6)

“There are five elements: earth, air, fire, water and garlic.”
Louis Diat

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Home Again, Home Again ... and All That Jazz

Well, Martin has been home for two weeks tomorrow, and I haven't had moment one to breathe, eat, think or type. You'll have to excuse the absence and lack of updating. Marty was sent home from the rehab hospital for lack of rehab-ability--if that's a word. He was not really well enough to be home, but also isn't able to bear weight at all on his left leg, so there was nothing for the rehab hospital to rehab.

They sent him home without even 48 hours notice (I'm still fuming over that one) and to a hospital bed (read about that story over at my blog), walker, wheelchair, cane, commode ... you get the idea. Our living room is now Marty's hospital room for at least the next 8 weeks ... probably longer.

He has many needs since he's not mobile and I, of course, am the 24 hour nurse. This has proven rather difficult with all of the kids' needs and my own needs. We're not into a schedule just yet, but hope to be soon.

We spent the day in Philadelphia yesterday with Marty getting x-rays and seeing the docs about his progress. He currently has his wrist in a "beer can hold" position, which we were told was the easiest for an arm to be "stuck" in if he was to lose motion there. The bones in the wrist are fusing together since there wasn't anything large enough for them to pin together. He also can't feel a few fingers and we have no idea if that will be permanent or not.

He has severe neuropathy in his left foot at the present and it could be from a stretched or "nicked" nerve and the fact that they may be healing. Healing is great, but the pain involved for this type is nearly unbearable. So, there are medications (17 prescriptions to be exact, given at 6 different times throughout the day) for all of this, but nerve pain is so hard to get under control that we will most likely be off to a pain management specialist soon.

The kids started school, Cassidy is enjoying college, but a little scared about the recent murder there. Us, too. We're praying that she stays safe on campus.

That is not really all of what is going on, but all I have time for!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Happy Birthday To Me

I've been thinking about 39 for a while now. There are several ways to think of this age--I could be pouty and say this is my "last" birthday, never adding another number to 39 each year after this. I'm not so narcissistic as to be that way.

I could also say that I've been three years old 13 times. Not sure that's much fun, though.

I could be thirteen 3 times. Nope--teen years, *shudder*--I don't want to relive those.

I'm one less than forty. I'm one day younger than Rachael Ray. I'm now older than my sister-in-law (and she will most certainly stop by my blog to remind me!)

I was born in a year that was hugely pivotal for this country, 1968. I'm hoping I've had the same force of impact on someone else's life, in a good way.

Doing nothing today at all--same stuff, different day--it's all different when you get older, isn't it?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

On Her Way

Little girl...

...all grown up.

Just dropped her off at college today. That's 2 people gone from my home, but it sure feels like more. So many left to take care of, you would think the busyness of it all would help. Where did all that time go?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Coming Home and Public Service Announcement

Well, not home, but far closer! Marty is being transported back to our area today for physical therapy rehab. The trip there is so short compared to the one I was making--about 20 minutes. This will make my days far easier-and I really need a break about now, talk about burnout! Four hours a day on the road for hospital visits can wear a person down pretty quickly.

Let's talk about Public Service a moment, shall we? For the first few days in the STICU (Surgical Trauma Intensive Care Unit) Marty received quite a bit of blood. It most certainly saved his life. There was never hesitation about giving it to him, never a moment where they said, "Oops! All out of that type!" It was nice to know that blood was available for Marty at any time he was in need of it. It's also there for YOU, if you should need it. Now that I've said that, I'm going to hit you up for your own blood.

If you are able to donate blood, please do so. If you can't there are plenty of volunteer opportunities available during blood drives. You can be the cookie person, or the "Hi, how are you today?" person or whatever it is they need that day. Please consider it and know that even my 17 year-old daughter has given blood during drives at her school--and she's a big 'needle chicken'. If she can do it, so can you!

Check out the Red Cross site and look for a drive near you, or start a drive of your own! Believe me, the people who receive your blood will be more than appreciative, and you just may save a life.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Getting Better all the Time

So, Marty has been out of ICU for 3 days and he has absolutely no IV's, no tubes or breathing apparatus on him at all. He takes his medication by mouth, has been eating (very sparingly) and was up today on a walker and sat in a chair!

He can't put any weight on his left leg and his right arm needs a small armrest attached to the walker so he can hold himself up, but the bottom line is, he is slowly becoming mobile. He has a long way to go, but he's definitely moving forward.

I talk to him on the phone, which is so odd to me, he sounds a bit gravelly from the ventilator being in so long, and is fairly quiet, but that doesn't matter to me. I'm just grateful to be able to hear him at all.

We're still trying to get a line on when he will be moved closer, but it really is all up to Marty's body at this point. The Drs have done all they can and Marty just needs to heal enough and pass some milestones first before they will transport him here.

Here on the home front I'm trying to hold things together. My oldest daughter is moving to college on Saturday and we have an orientation on Wednesday. I still need to finish school shopping for the younger kids, the yard looks a bit forlorn, the laundry needs some doing and a sit-down dinner would be nice someday soon!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Getting Better

Good news all around: Marty is in a regular room--OUT of ICU! They took the ventilator off the night before last and I was able to TALK TO HIM yesterday! Not very much, and it was hard to hear him, but that didn't matter--just the sound of his voice at this point was one of the best things I've heard.

He has some memories that aren't real (from the meds), but I'm sure he'll be back to normal really soon. I don't know when they will move him back to the LV, but I'm hoping it's very soon now that he's no longer critical.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Forward, back, forward

Yesterday as I was getting ready to leave for the hospital I received a call from them that Marty's white count was up, he had a fever and some fluid in his lungs. They said they would do a CAT scan to see what was going on and possibly extubate (remove the ventilator) him later in the day.

When I got there they had just finished with the CAT scan and Marty was very awake (or as much as can be with all the medication) and when he saw me, he cried. I told him everything was OK. They still didn't have the results of the scan when I left and weren't ready to extubate him at that time.

When I called this morning, the nurse told me that Marty had an OK night, but was "complaining of pain", and a little light went on and I said, "Oh! You extubated him!" The nurse told me they had removed the ventilator last night at 9 p.m. 

I'm hoping the scan shows nothing and that he's just getting better and better and can be moved to our area soon.

Thanks for the prayers and well-wishes, again.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Long story very short--the surgery took 6 hours. The wrist is plated and pinned and the hip/SI joint has a 15cm (6") pin throughout.

He WILL WALK--his nerves are showing damage on the left to his foot so he may have a "foot drop" that will need therapy and possibly a lift in his shoe. The wrist will take at least a year before he can use it, and he will not be able to do ironwork ever again. It takes too much balance, which he will no longer have, and too much strength and flexibility in his wrist--which is gone, too.

Now we wait to see how his lungs are doing before they can remove the vent and send him WAY CLOSER for therapy. Maybe 4 days, maybe a week--nobody knows right now.

So, WHEW! Biggest hurdle over--NO MORE SURGERIES NEEDED--and we can move on--slowly, but ever so surely.


I got a 6 a.m. call to let me know that Marty's surgeries will be at Noon. They're doing some labs this morning to make sure everything is good to go and then they're off. They'll assess the pelvis in the OR--they have plans for everything, but they also know that things can look very different once you're in. They're doing both the wrist and the pelvis, so I'm sure it will be a lengthy procedure. I'll update when I can. Send up prayers, please.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Still the Same

For anyone checking for updates, there really is none at the moment. Marty is still heavily sedated, intubated etc. and unable to speak. I haven't been to see him since Thursday, and most likely will not be back until Tuesday. While I really hate not being there, I've had so much going on here that I can't visit and get it all done at the same time.

The nurse told me this morning that he responds (groggily) to basic commands when they "call his name", but that's it for now. The ventilator is still breathing 100% for him, and will continue to do so, until he has his surgeries. We're still hopeful for Monday, but the nurse said the schedule isn't posted until after midnight tonight.

She reminded me that he's being well taken care of and that he will really need me when he comes home. I'm trying to take everyone's advice and do what I must here at home, but I can't help but want to be there to check on him--after all, I know him better than anyone.

So, that's it for now--I want to pass a Thank You out to everyone who has been emailing and calling and donating, we truly appreciate it all so much!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Procedure and update

Marty is having an angiography right now-they will give him dye and feed a little camera up into the femoral artery and outward to check for blood leaking. His hemoglobin will not go above 5.5 and that is even after they give him blood. He's bleeding somewhere and they need to find out where that is. They called at 7:15 and said they were starting then-it's now 10:00 and I haven't heard back. I know it can take quite a bit of time, so I'm trying not to get nervous. I won't sleep until I hear that he is OK.

They brought in the x-ray machine today (I'm wondering why they didn't before) to re-check his breaks and see if there was one they missed or if the bones had shifted. They were as they had been, so they are checking to see if the bleeding is in the pelvis.

The problem with this is that his kidneys are already not doing well--his creatinine is at 3 and that's bad. The dye is not kind to kidneys and they are afraid this will ruin them. The alternative is to let him bleed or do a CAT scan, which would show where the bleed is, but then they would have to fix it in another way and this way they can check and fix all at the same time.

He is still in a medically induced coma, suffering ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) and will be that way until the bleeding stops.

The emergency the other night was a result of a blood thinner he was given--shortly after they gave it to him his blood pressure dropped, his O2 plummeted, and his heart began racing "dangerously so". The Dr thought they may lose him at that point, but obviously they pulled him out of that.

SO ... pray right NOW if you can, that he will pull through this angiography and they can find the source of the bleeding and FIX IT. I have great hope that once they find it he will begin to get better.

Tomorrow I am staying home to get some things done. I hate taking a day off, but I have so much to do that I can't see any other way.

UPDATE! They found, and embolized, a bleed in his pelvis--hopefully he will start healing now! They will call and let me know what his hemoglobin is as soon as they get labs back.

And more...

Sorry for cut-and-paste again ... someday I'll feel like typing more.
Marty is not doing so well. He had a respiratory emergency on Saturday night and the Dr simply said that they "lost a lot of ground" because of it. They put a line into his heart through the groin (like a cardiac catheter) with a sensor to monitor things better there. They also have him on a paralytic (a medicine that keeps him paralyzed) to give his lungs a better chance to heal. It sounded rather horrific to me, but he is also on Ativan and Fentanyl, so there really isn't any way he would know anything.

They checked yesterday for DVT's (blood clots) in his extremities and they were finishing up when it was time for me to leave, so I haven't hear yet if he was clear or not. He is too critical to move at this point, they are unable to do CAT scans or x-rays to check for clotting elsewhere. I contacted his regular Drs so they could fill in the Hahnemann team on what tests were done when he had the last clot. They would like to put an IV line in his chest, but can't do that either until they feel it's safe from clotting.

The fever broke and the cultures should be back today. They will treat him regardless--and act as if he still had the fever--just to be safe. It may be from the wrist surgery and the still-open wound where the external fixator is, or something else.

They gave him blood yesterday since his hemoglobin was low, his potassium is too high and they don't know why that is, either. He has a long way to go. I was beside myself not being able to talk to him, wondering if he will ever come home. I can't imagine that happening, but God knows my heart anyway, so I'm just going to put that concern out there and ask for prayers on that end.

The kids are OK, not fully understanding what is going on--Megan saw daddy for about 5 minutes and was very upset. Cassidy didn't want to go in at all, and I can understand that. The other kids are too young and so far I've only taken the baby and one older girl with me. It's such a long drive for such a short visit. It's very emotionally trying.

I'm calling this morning to see how he is doing, and if I can get there (I need to return the jeep I was borrowing today) I will go and see him again. I've still not been able to see the films of his many fractures, or talk to social services about the compensation etc. but hope to do that if I can get down there.

For now, please pray that he will stabilize so that they can operate and he can begin to heal. I'm trying to lean on God and finding that difficult at best with so much to do.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


This is cut and paste from other updates--I just don't have it in me to re-type it all!

This is from yesterday:

The first wrist surgery was done early Friday morning-all 6 hours of it! The ortho said on a scale of one to ten it is a 15. She's not seen many worse than this one. He basically switched around his radius and ulna and so they pinned one and put in a 'fixator' to keep it all open until he heals some and they can see how best to proceed. He most likely will not be able to rotate his hand anymore. The elbow is not broken-whew. The pelvis--broken at the sacral joint and both acetabulum are broken. The gash on his face is sewn and will heal-but scar.
From my trip to Philly today:
Marty has a fever-they haven't done cultures yet to know why--he's already on vancomycin, so I don't know what is up there, and neither do they.

His O2 sats are staying below 90 and they aren't able to get them up. This could be two things--a bruised lung (he has a huge bruise just under his right ribs, and may have bruised the lung, too) OR blood clots-since he is prone to those. I gave them Marty's regular Dr's # and told them that he treated the last blood clot and ran every test known to man to see WHY it developed to start with. They had a call in to them when I left. They need to know about the clotting since they want to put an IV line in Marty's chest. They can't do his neck since he is still in a brace because of the ventilator and stomach pump (which just goes hand-in-hand with being intubated since you would aspirate more easily then).

They can't do the pelvic surgery until he is stable-and that's just not happening.

He is still fairly non-responsive, he's on heavy drugs--Ativan and Fentanyl (which is like morphine to the Nth)--so he will slowly turn his head, but not always, and won't open his eyes. When the nurse does dressing changes, etc. she is able to get him to squeeze her hand in response to questions, but nothing beyond that, yet. They don't really want him more aware at this point anyway.

They shaved his moustache so they were able to tape his lines down better, and he looks so different. The only response I could get from him was his respirations increasing when I would talk to him, which would cause his O2 to fall, so I just shut up and sat there--lost.

I uploaded photos to WalMart of the kids and put one in a frame and others in a book so he can see them when he is able and in case he 'comes out of it' when I'm not there.

I'm tired-I will go back down tomorrow-the ortho resident was in ER and then OR immediately so I couldn't see the films and the social services was out so I couldn't ask about financial stuff--all tomorrow, I hope.

All done rambling-my brain is a tad funky today-it's all catching up a bit after the initial shock kept my feelings at bay.

So, please pray--more--that this fever will go away and his lungs will get better and they can do this surgery on his pelvis that so badly needs to be done.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Prayers, please

My husband fell off the roof he was working on today--26 feet--and has fractured both the right and left acetabulum and several other spots throughout his pelvis. He has a compound fracture to his right wrist, a broken elbow and a gash on his face. His heart was beating irregularly (dipping to the 30's and 40's and back up to 90 etc.) so they did an echo cardiogram and found a small area of fluid around his heart. They think that is from the trauma of the fall and will be watching him during the surgeries he will need very closely.

He was airlifted to Philadelphia and that's 60 miles from me, so the commute will be hard. I'm sure he'll be gone for a month or more, I have no idea at this time, though. I'm sure this won't be easy by any stretch.
Please pray, if you would.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Veggie Wednesday: Earthbound Farms Cookbook

I recently received a copy of The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook, Food to Live By, by Myra Goodman with Linda Holland and Pamela McKinstry, from Lillian Margolin, an intern at . As soon as I had pulled the book from it's box, I started reading and couldn't stop. I even found myself reading it by candlelight that evening so I wouldn't disturb my infant daughter sleeping nearby.

I was captivated by the story of the young couple, Drew and Myra Goodman, living on a farm in exchange for property improvements, and selling raspberries to help pay the bills. Captivated because it's exactly the sort of thing I would do myself.

It's hard to believe that came from such meager beginnings considering just how large they are now. I think one of the most fun facts about them is that they were the first to introduce and sell pre-washed bagged salads. I don't know of anyone who hasn't purchased bagged salad, and it was neat to read that Earthbound Farms is where that idea was born.

This cookbook has quickly become one of my favorites, and I can see myself turning to it often. The recipes are fabulous--there is no ingredient so foreign that it can't be found--or at least a suitable replacement--nearby. The instructions are very clear and easy to follow and each recipe has a little history or fact written about it. That's something I truly appreciate, since the recipes in my own family cookbook all have a little something written about them. That extra makes the book very personal and also tells the reader that each recipe has actually been made, and loved, by the author, Myra Goodman.

The photos are beautiful and story-telling. This book is not just packed with over 260 delicious recipes, it's full of helpful tips and interesting facts; Myra's 'Four Food Choices I Live By' is something everyone should read, and heed. I also love that it's not just a cookbook, the story it begins with could easily stand on it's own.

A short time ago an acquaintance suggested I use 'X-Product' on my tomatoes, and I just nodded politely, all the while thinking, "WHY would I put a chemical on, in or near my food and then feed it to my family?" No thanks--garlic and marigolds planted near my tomatoes have provided all the protection I need. Reading this book has made me feel completely vindicated in my own gardening practices, which I didn't really see as organic until now.

This is one of the many, many wonderful recipes from Foods to Live By. I made this granola (which can also be purchased at the Earthbound Farms website) just before my oldest daughter took off on a camping trip. She and her friends loved it, as did the rest of my family. So we've eaten it straight up, as a cereal with cold milk, and as a hot cereal one morning. The only thing I did differently was to use chopped, dried apricots in place of the raisins; I love raisins, but I have a few 'raisin-haters' here.

Earthbound Farm's Famous Maple Almond Granola
Makes about 8 cups

4 1/2 cups (18 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
3/4 cup (3 oz) shelled, raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
1 1/2 cups slivered or coarsely chopped raw almonds
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups pure maple syrup, preferably Grade A Dark Amber
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup raisins

1. position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325° F.
2. Place the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds and cinnamon in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the maple syrup and oil and stir until all the dry ingredients are moistened.
3. Spread the granola on a roughly 12 by 17-inch rimmed baking sheet. Bake the granola until it begins to brown, about 25 minutes, then stir it with a flat spatula. Let the granola continue to bake until it is light golden brown, dry and fragrant, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Stir the granola at least once more as it bakes and watch it carefully during the final minutes because it can burn quickly.
4. Place the baking sheet on a cooling rack, add the raisins, and stir to combine. Let the granola cool completely. Transfer the granola to an airtight container. It can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 month or frozen for up to 6 months. You can serve the granola straight from the freezer. It doesn't get hard and it thaws almost instantly--just pour on some milk.

You can purchase your own copy of Foods to Live By from the Earthbound Farms website or at If you love vegetables, if you're striving for a healthier body and earth, please pick up a copy of this cookbook, you'll come to appreciate and love it as much as I do!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Veggie Wednesday: Fried Green Tomatoes

I adore fried tomatoes--green or red. My mom, being from an area of Indiana with a large Southern influence, talked about these often when I was growing up. Only thing that would make this better would be ham with red-eye gravy and grits.

1 egg
1 T milk
1/3 c flour
1/3 c cornmeal OR breadcrumbs (that's simply a preference thing)
1 t salt
1/4 t paprika
1/8 t cayenne pepper
1/8 t black pepper
3 firm green or under ripe tomatoes
oil for frying

Beat egg and milk together well. Mix flour, cornmeal or breadcrumbs and spices--(My own way is nothing but salt and pepper-add the other spices only if you'd like to). Core tomatoes and cut into thick slices-about 4 per tomato. Dip slices in egg and then flour mixture to coat. Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a large skillet (cast iron works beautifully for this!) until hot. Brown tomatoes on both sides and drain well. Serve immediately.

Now I'm going to see if any of my green tomatoes are big enough for this!

Friday, July 20, 2007

A Different Eight

Elizabeth over at has come up with a little twist on the Eight Things meme. She's listing her , and even though I did not too long ago, I'll do it again, 'cause I love food. I won't tag anybody since this , but feel free to list your own 8 in the comments!

I'm a bit of a food purist-definitely not a snob-but I do like just plain food, so not many of these will be anything pre-packaged or prepared.

1) Tomatoes. Tomatoes had to have been the first thing planted by God-no contest.

2) Olives. Those were second ;o)

3) New potatoes. Yum--I can eat these plain--cooked, of course.

4) Goat's cheese. What is the world without it?

5) Chicken. Just about any form will do. Nothing beats a slow roasted bird, though.

6) Garlic. No brainer. I know it's not really a food itself, but it's so necessary to the flavor of so many things. I know when it's there, I miss it when it's not.

7) New York Super Fudge Chunk. I've eaten a whole pint myself before. Not for some time now, but when I was pregnant with my third child, I ate a pint nightly for the last month of my pregnancy. Scary. She seems fine, though.

. I could probably eat this daily. I may not have anyone to talk to, but it's worth it.