The Latest from Lola's Diner

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday Stealing - Mixed Bag Meme

Welcome back to Sunday Stealing which originated on WTIT: The Blog authored by Bud Weiser. Here we will steal all types of memes from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent memes. You may have heard of the expression, “honor amongst thieves”. In that age-old tradition, we also have our rules. First, we always credit the blog that we stole it from and we will “fess up” to the blog owner where we stole the meme. We also provide a link to the victim's post. (It's our way of saying "Thanks!") We do sometimes edit the original meme, usually to make it more relevant to our global players, to challenge our players, sometimes to select that meme's best questions, or simply to make it less repetitive from either this new meme or recently asked questions from a prior featured meme. Let's go!!!
Welcome back to Sunday Stealing which originated on WTIT: The Blog authored by Bud Weiser. Here we will steal all types of memes from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent memes. You may have heard of the expression, “honor amongst thieves”. In that age-old tradition, we also have our rules. First, we always credit the blog that we stole it from and we will “fess up” to the blog owner where we stole the meme. We also provide a link to the victim's post. (It's our way of saying "Thanks!") We do sometimes edit the original meme, usually to make it more relevant to our global players, to challenge our players, sometimes to select that meme's best questions, or simply to make it less repetitive from either this new meme or recently asked questions from a prior featured meme. Let's go!!!


Today we ripped off a blogger named Cap'n Franko from the blog singularity He did not say who he got it from,  But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's a great way to make new friends! Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!



 Sunday Stealing: The Mixed Bag Meme


1. How many songs are in your library?  Close to 1,500

2. Do you like Christmas music?  I have to be in the mood for it.  Which lately it is very difficult to do.

3. What magazines do you have subscriptions to?  I don't have any.

4. What is your favorite scent?  Axe

5. Do you give money to charity?  Since I am having issues of my own with having enough money, I donate my time, rather than my money.

6. What is your theme song?  What do I look like?  The Greatest American Hero?  I don't have a flippin' theme song.  Seriously?
 

7. What's in your wallet?  To many Rewards Cards and not enough Ca$h.
 

8. Do you generally think before you act, or act before you think?  I always think before I act, and usually analyze whatever it is to death.
 

9. Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days?  To many things to mention here, but some of my close blog pallies know my situation, and my situation is not good.

10. Do you have a good body-image?  I think so.
 

11. How are you spending your holidays?  At home with my kids and my partner.

12. What have you been seriously addicted to lately?
  Christmas cookies.  I'm certain that's why I haven't made any this year.  I fear I would eat them all. 

13. Tell us a secret?  I can't..then it wouldn't be a secret.  Sheesh!

14. What’s the last song that got stuck in your head?  Oh no pleeez!  Not that!  Now I have "It's A Small World" stuck in my head.  Well...at least it's not Lampchop's "The Song That Never Ends".  Damn!  Now I have that song stuck in my head!  You people who write these are cruel and sadistic!
 

15. What’s your favorite item of clothing?  I total love my V-neck colored cotton t-shirts from Old Navy. 
 

16. Do you think Rice Krispies are yummy?  Of course!  And even yummier when mixed with Marshmallows and stuff to make Rice Krispy Treats.

17. Is Santa real?  Of course he is!  If he wasn't real...how could he be in so many holiday movies?
 

18. What should you be doing right now?   Something constructive.  But I just can't get up the gumption to do anything.


Lola's Diner ©2008-2012

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Review - 300 Sensational Soups By Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds

I received a copy of 300 Sensational Soups By Carla Snyder & Meredith Deeds for review.  I live in Illinois, so it's basically soup season here...except for the funky warm weather we are having as I type this.  Not that soup isn't good year round, it's just that when it gets cold out, a nice piping hot bowl of soup warms your soul.

I love soup!  

Contents:
Introduction
Soup Stocks
Chilled Soups
Fresh From The Garden Vegetable Soups
Beans, Beans, and More Beans Soups
Cheese Please Soups
Hearty Soups For Meat Lovers
Chicken and Turkey Soups to Comfort the Soul
Go Fish:  Fish and Shellfish Soups
Chow Down Chowders
A World of Soups
Just Dessert Soups
Gilding the Lily:  Toppings and Garnishes

Here are just a few of the mouthwatering recipes:
Coconut Curried Chickpea Soup (page 124)
Beef Stroganoff and Noodle Soup (page 149)
Texas Cowboy Soup (162)
Easy Chipotle Chicken Soup (page 220)
Ground Beef Soup With Chili and Cornmeal Dumplings (page 161)
Taco Soup (page 160)
Lasagna Soup (page 146)
Mac and Cheese Soup With Bacon Croutons (140)
Mulligatawny (page 292)
Hot and Sour Soup (page 329)

About the authors:
Carla Snyder is an artisan baker, food writer and accomplished culinary instructor.  She lives in Cleveland, Ohio.
Meredith Deeds is a well-respected cooking instructor and food writer.  She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
300 Sensational Soups By Carla Snyder & Meredith Deeds is available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Nobel.com and your local bookseller.

Lola's Diner Disclaimer: I was given the cookbook 300 Sensational Soups By Carla Snyder & Meredith Deeds to review. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this book review. 

Lola's Diner ©2008-2012

Monday, December 3, 2012

Review - Joanne Weir's Cooking Confidence: Dinner Made Simple

I received a copy of  Joanne Weir's Cooking Confidence: Dinner Made Simple to review.  "So many of us have the idea that whipping up a fabulous dinner during the week, but when it comes to putting the pan on the flame, we lose confidence.  Do I have the skills to pull this off?  Do I have the time:  The answer is 'yes' when you have Joanne Weir's Cooking Confidence: Dinner Made Simple at your fingertips"

That is so true.


The cookbook has many photographs, and lots of tips and tricks, even a list of Basic Pantry Items to make everything simple.  This book is fabulous just for the Basic Pantry Items list!

Table of Contents:
1. Eat your vegetables.
2. A grain of truth.
3. Beans the miracle fruit.
4. Not your average chicken recipes.
5. Beyond fish sticks,
6. The meat of the matter.
Some of the delectable recipes included are:
Eggplant Parmigiana
Pepperoni Pizza Strata (kind of a savory bread pudding.)
Grain Filled Summer Bell Peppers
Tuscan Sausage Stew With Tomatoes and Cannellini  Beans
Green Curry Chicken With Thai Basil
Tuscan Pot Roast
Tortilla Soup With Pork Meatballs, Tortillas, & Cheddar
...and so many more.
One of the recipes that brought me back in time is Cheesy Spaghetti Pie.  My Grandmother cooked pasta for every holiday...enormous amounts of pasta, so she always had leftovers.  One day we were over there early while my Dad did some work around the house.  Grandma cooked up some spaghetti pie for us kids.  (Because if you're Italian, you know Grandma has to cook for you when you come over, doesn't matter what time you come over, she has to feed you. Manga!)  I am definitely going to make this for my son with Gluten Free Pasta (he has an allergy to Gluten).

About the author:
"Joanne is the host of her public television series Joanne Weir's Cooking Confidence and has written 17 cookbooks, including James Beard award winning Weir Cooking in the City.  Joanne is the consulting Editor-at-Large for Fine Cooking and has contributed to Bon  Appetit, Saveur, Cooking Light, Food & Wine, Gourmet Sunset, and Better Homes & Gardens.  Joanne also teaches cooking classes in her home studio kitchen in San Francisco, hosts culinary journeys around the world, and is executive chef of Copita Restaurant in Sausalito, CA.  She has also just launched her own wine label - Joanne Weir's Wines."
Joanne Weir's Cooking Confidence: Dinner Made Simple is available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com and your local bookseller. Fine Cooking.com currently has FREE SHIPPING & 25% off!

Lola's Diner Disclaimer: I was given the cookbook, Joanne Weir's Cooking Confidence: Dinner Made Simple to review. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this book review.

Lola's Diner ©2008-2012

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday Stealing - The Not So Manly Meme

 Welcome back to Sunday Stealing which originated on WTIT: The Blog authored by Bud Weiser. Here we will steal all types of memes from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent memes. You may have heard of the expression, “honor amongst thieves”. In that age-old tradition, we also have our rules. First, we always credit the blog that we stole it from and we will “fess up” to the blog owner where we stole the meme. We also provide a link to the victim's post. (It's our way of saying "Thanks!") We do sometimes edit the original meme, usually to make it more relevant to our global players, to challenge our players, sometimes to select that meme's best questions, or simply to make it less repetitive from either this new meme or recently asked questions from a prior featured meme. Let's go!!!
 

Today we ripped off a blogger named CV Rick from the blog CVRick Ninja Writer. He states that he got it from Alan, via Mrs. Chili. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's a great way to make new friends! Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!


Don't let the title fool you, it is Gender Friendly. 

1. Boxers? Briefs? Boxer briefs? Thongs? Bikinis? Commando? Boxer briefs.


2. What’s your fussiest personal care routine?  Probably my hair.Today I'm sporting a faux-hawk, because that's what my hair wants to do today.  Lol!.
3. Do you have a favorite tool? Power or manual?  In the kitchen...definitely my KitchenAid Mixer.  Outside the kitchen, my sawzall.  I haven't used it often, but when I have used it, it was the perfect tool.
4. Can you change your own oil? Do you?  I could, I watched my Dad change his oil all the time.  I know how it's done, but I choose not to because I don't feel going through all that trouble is worth my time when Jiffy Lube can get er done in under 30 minutes and there is much less swearing.  Lol!
5. What’s the “manliest / 'womenliest” thing you do on a regular basis?  I have no idea.
6. What’s something “manly” that you never learned how to do?  I have no idea.  I've done many diy projects around the house that probably most men have never done.
7. Do you ever cry? If so, what’s your trigger?  Duh!  Sorrow.  Duh!
8. Do you have a chivalrous streak? How does it manifest itself?  I always open doors for other people.  I just think it's polite.
9. Do you have a chauvinistic streak? How does it manifest itself?  I don't think so.
10. What’s your favorite movie?  Casablanca
11. What’s the dumbest, testosterone-inspired thing you’ve ever seen?  Evil Knievel.  Nuf said.
12. What quality do you think makes a good man good? Do you have that quality?  Empathy.  Yes.
13. Toilet seat up or down?  Down.
14. If your significant other is away, do you cook for yourself or eat out of cans and boxes (or rely on local drive-throughs and delivery)?  I cook for myself, or have my kids cook.  They love to cook.
15. What societal expectation of being a man / women do you most resent?  Women...that we are delicate flowers.
16. What’s the best part - societal-wise - about being a man / women?  Never thought about it.
17. Will you stop to ask for directions?  Hell no!  I have a GPS and if I'm still stumped, if I'm alone, I will drive until I figure it out, or ask my gf to get directions.  Lol!
18. What’s one thing about your significant other that you just cannot understand, no matter how hard you try?  Can't think of anything.
19. What do you need to have in the shower?  Of course.  Daily!
20. Do you burp/fart/scratch? Do you do anything stereotypically male?  I don't care what anyone else says, everyone does it, women just try not to do it in front of anyone else.  Hell, if you have to pass gas and you try to suppress it...you'll esplode!
Thank you for playing this week on Sunday Stealing! Please leave a comment or link when you have posted. Stop back and visit other player’s posts. That is really what this is all about, making new friends! Have a great week. See you next Sunday!

Lola's Diner ©2008-2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cookbook Review: Taste Of Tremé - Creole, Cajun and Soul Food From New Orlean's Famous Neighborhood of Jazz, By Todd-Michael St. Pierre

I received a copy of Taste Of Treme - Creole, Cajun and Soul Food From New Orlean's Famous Neighborhood of Jazz, By  Todd-Michael St. Pierre.
Taste of Tremé captures all of the amazing Creole and Cajun flavors of Tremé, the culturally rich New Orleans neighborhood that was the birthplace of Jazz and is the subject of the critically acclaimed HBO show of the same name.

If you've been to New Orleans and are missing the flavors, you've got to get this cookbook. 

Creole Tomato Jambalaya (photo from Louisianaboy.com)

Table of Contents:
Introduction
Things You'll Need
Breaking The Past
Getting Da Taste Buds Goin'
Entreés
Desserts
Cocktails
You'll find mouthwatering recipes for Po' Boys, Muffulettas, Gumbos, Fried Catfish, Hushpuppies, Crab Nachos and more!

About the Author:
Todd-Michael St. Pierre, a Cajun and Creole foodie and New Orleans native, is the author of several popular cookbooks and children's books.  he has served as a judge for the Reading Rainbow young Writers and Illustrators Contest and has developed recipes for Cooking Light Magazine.  His boks have been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Denver Post, and on AOL Food.  His is also a contributing writer to elementary and middle-school textbooks published by Oxford University Press.  For more, visit his website Louisianaboy.com.

Taste Of Treme - Creole, Cajun and Soul Food From New Orlean's Famous Neighborhood of Jazz, By  Todd-Michael St. Pierre is available at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com, and your local bookseller.  It is also available on Kindle and The Nook.


Lola's Diner Disclaimer: I was given the cookbook Taste Of Treme - Creole, Cajun and Soul Food From New Orlean's Famous Neighborhood of Jazz, By  Todd-Michael St. Pierre to review. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this book review.

Lola's Diner ©2008-2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cookbook Review: "Modern Flavors Of Arabia - Recipes and Memories From My Middle Eastern Kitchen" By Suzanne Husseini

A while back I received a copy of Modern Flavors Of Arabia - Recipes and Memories From My Middle Eastern Kitchen By Suzanne Husseini.

Modern Flavors of Arabia: Recipes and Memories from My Middle Eastern Kitchen

I love Middle Eastern food, but in the area where I live, there just aren't any restaurants in the area.  This book solved my craving for all my favorites.  It offers the secrets of creating perfect falafel, shawarma, hummus, tabbouleh, spinach filled filo triangles, baklawa and so many more dishes I can't wait to try.  Just flipping through the book looking at the fabulous photographs will make your mouth water.

Recipes are arranged by Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Dessert, and Mezze.  Mezze translated from Arabic means sharing.  Small plates, similar to Tapas.  There are also Conversion Charts, a dictionary of Arabic ingredients and tools.  The book is full of the author's stories and ideas about how to serve each dish.
The hummus and tabbouleh recipes were fantastic.  I can't wait to plan an entire meal.
 
From Amazon.com:
About the Author
Suzanne Husseini was the host of one of the most popular Arabic cooking shows in the Middle East. She is a regular contributor to several publications around the world and frequently travels internationally as a featured food presenter. Suzanne lives in Dubai and Ottawa with her husband and three children.
You can find Modern Flavors of Arabia at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com and your local bookseller.  It is also available on Kindle.  This would make a great stocking stuffer for your favorite cook.
 
Lola's Diner Disclaimer: I was given the cookbook Modern Flavors of Arabia to review. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this book review.

Lola's Diner ©2008-2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gluten Free Thanksgiving Feast

I had a very labor intensive menu this year, and since I did it virtually by myself, I had to pare it down as it got later and later, because I just didn't have the time, and I was fading fast.

This was the planned menu:
Pre-cooked Turkey courtesy of the local food pantry (sadly no giblets for the stuffing.)
Gluten Free Stuffing made with Udi's Gluten Free Bread
Mashed Potatoes courtesy of the local food pantry (lumpy, definitely not my Mom' Mashed Pototates
Lola's Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole
Cranberry Sauce (whole berry style.)
Lola's Gluten Free Macaroni & Cheese
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Lola's Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie
Lola and Mom's Gluten Free Pineapple Cheesecake

The 2 items that got scratched were Lola's Gluten Free Macaroni & Cheese and the Roasted Brussels Sprouts because the stuffing was very time consuming.

Lola's Gluten Free Stuffing
3 loaves of Udi's Whole Grain Bread (that's all Meijer had, so I had to go with it.)
1 loaf of Udi's White Sandwich Bread (from my freezer)
Diced Onion
Diced Celery
2 large cans of Chicken Broth
Cooked and diced giblets (the turkey had none, so this year's stuffing was no meat and it was missed.)
As usual I skip the butter my Mom used to add to save on calories.  I also skipped the eggs that most stuffing recipes have, but I think next time I will use eggs because the stuffing was very dry and grainy.  I think the eggs will improve it greatly.

Lola's Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole
Progresso Vegetable Classics Cream of Mushroom Soup (Gluten Free)
2 pounds of frozen green beans
1 onion sliced and caramelized
Sprinkle of Crushed Tortilla (Gluten Free) (or crush your own corn tortillas)

Defrost the green beans, dump in a casserole dish or aluminum baking pan.  Dump in the entire can of Progesso Vegetable Classics Cream of Mushroom Soup (Gluten Free) (do not add anything, the soup is complete in the can.)
Mix.
Add carmelized onions (reserve part to add over the top of the casserole.
Spread the mix evenly in the casserole dish or pan.
Sprinkle reserved caramelized onion over the top.
Sprinkle Crushed Tortillas (Gluten Free) over the top for some crunchiness.
This turned out fantastic!  (I couldn't take a photo before everyone dug into it!)  The Caramelized Onion was my son's idea.  The Crushed Tortillas (Gluten Free) added just the right crunchiness missed by not having the Fried Onions.

Lola's Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie
1 small can Libby's Pumpkin Pie
Honey Nut Gluten Free Chex Cereal (pulverize in your food processor or blender) About 3 cups worth after pulverizing.
Gluten Free Bisquick about 1 Cup.
2 tablespoons melted Butter
2 eggs

Mix ingredients together.  The dough should be slightly moist and clump together.  Press dough into 9 inch pie plate.  Press dough up the sides of the pie plate and even out the dough.  Prepare the filling according to the Libby's label and pour into pie plate.  If you have any excess dough and filling, grab a few ramekins and press dough into the bottom and add filling.  Bake according Libby's label instructions.  Be sure to use a pie ring to prevent the top of the crust from burning ( I forgot this part.)
Lola's Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie was a big hit.  The Gluten Free crust tasted cookie like and was the perfect match for the pumpkin filling.

Lola and Mom's Gluten Free Pineapple Cheesecake
1 Box of Jello No Bake Cheesecake Mix (remove the Graham Cracker crust packet and toss, or save for a recipe for the members of the family who are not allergic to gluten.)
Honey Nut Gluten Free Chex Cereal (pulverize in your food processor or blender) About 3 cups worth after pulverizing.
6-8 Tablespoons melted Butter
1 small can Crushed Pineapple (squeezed and drained.)

Mix the pulverized cereal with the melted butter and press into 9 inch pie plate.  (Just as you would have done, had you used the Graham Cracker Crust Packet).
Prepare Cheese cake filling according to package directions.
Add the drained Crushed Pineapple and mix to distribute evenly throughout the filling.
Pour filling into prepared pie plate.  Smooth out the top of the pie evenly.  Add whole Chex Cereal pieces on top for decoration if desired.
OMG!  Was this a hit!  Everyone loved this.  Just the right amount of pineapple, and just the right amount of sweetness in the crust.

I will be preparing Lola's Gluten Free Macaroni & Cheese sometime over the weekend, and I'll put the recipe up then.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! 

If you have any Gluten Free recipes to share from your holiday, please put them in the Comments.

Lola's Diner ©2008-2012

Sunday Stealing Social Meme

Welcome back to Sunday Stealing which originated on WTIT: The Blog authored by Bud Weiser. Here we will steal all types of memes from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent memes. You may have heard of the expression, “honor amongst thieves”. In that age-old tradition, we also have our rules. First, we always credit the blog that we stole it from and we will “fess up” to the blog owner where we stole the meme. We also provide a link to the victim's post. (It's our way of saying "Thanks!") We do sometimes edit the original meme, usually to make it more relevant to our global players, to challenge our players, sometimes to select that meme's best questions, or simply to make it less repetitive from either this new meme or kwizgiverrecently asked questions from a prior featured meme. Let's go!!!
Today we ripped off a blogger and one of our players named Kwizgiver  from the blog What if this is as good as it gets. It's 33 questions, we did edit it to make the right amount of questions. She states that she got it from Bev. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's a great way to make new friends! Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

1. Where was your profile picture taken?  For facebook?  In my room in front of my computer, using the cybercam.

2. Name someone who made you laugh today.  My son always makes me laugh.

3. Do you believe exes can be friends?  Yes!  But not if the person in the new relationship is too insecure and jealous.  Unfortunately, speaking from experience.  This is how I lost my bff.

4. How do you feel about Dr Pepper?  I like it.

5. Who was the last person you took a picture of? Probably my son.  He's always goofing when I start taking pics with my phone.

6. Are you upset about anything?  Yes, money and lack of it for Christmas.
 
7. Do you think relationships are ever really worth it? Yes, always.  I've learned that people that come into our lives come into it for a reason, and I've always found this to be true.
 
8. Are you a bad influence?  Oh yeah!  I definitely can be!
 
9. Night out or night in?  It's been night in for as long as I can remember because we don't have the funds to go out.  Last weekend we had an opportunity to double date with friends of ours, but had to cancel because I had $700 in unexpected car expenses which really killed an already sad budget.
 
10. Has anyone ever called you perfect before? Hardly.

11. What song is stuck in your head? I don't really have one right now.

12. Someone knocks on your window at 2:00 a.m., who do you want it to be?  A friend.

13. Do you think too much or too little?  I think way too much.

14. Ever been kissed under fireworks?  Oh yeah...cuz I'm cheesy like that.  Fireworks show, moonroof, gf sitting next to me in my SUV...fireworks!

15. When was the last time you cried really hard?  Earlier this week when my gf's Mom cancer was diagnosed.

16. What items could you not go without during the day?  Cellphone, SUV.

17. How do you feel about your life right now?  Sad...profoundly sad.

18. Name something you have to do tomorrow.  Go to work.

19. Wanna have grandkids before you’re 50?  Noooo!  I'm already 51 and my kids are still teenagers.

20. Do you smile a lot?  Around my kids and gf, yes.

Thank you for playing this week on Sunday Stealing! Please leave a comment or link when you have posted. Stop back and visit other player’s posts. That is really what this is all about, making new friends! Have a great week. See you next Sunday!

Lola's Diner ©2008-2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

3 day Black Weekend

Or should I say 4 day, if you count Thanksgiving Day?

It really is a Black weekend.  Very depressing.  I have not stepped foot in a store, except for a trip to Walgreens on Thanksgiving to pick up Dishwasher Detergent.

As it stands now, I don't see any way possible to do any Christmas shopping.  I'm behind on my mortgage, and have a payment agreement to make one and a half payments each month, which leaves me no money for even food.  Any spare money goes for utility payments when I get shut-off notices and for medical co-pays that are supposed to be paid by someone else, but they are not paying them, and they are not answering their phone.  Hmm...who could that be?

I've had depressing Christmases before, and I've been able to pull something off for Christmas, but this time it seems different.  It seems much worse.  The reason I think it seems much worse is because I have 2 kids now with a mental illness.  Almost every night my son asks if he can open a Christmas gift early.  He seems fixated on it, and each time I have to say I don't have any Christmas presents now.  It's like a dagger in my heart every time.  The other reason is that my gf's Mom just got diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer that has spread to her liver, on top of that she has a very bad flu (one that there isn't a vaccine for this year) and pneumonia.  Her Mom is very weak, so weak that she cannot begin the aggressive chemotherapy that is needed for this cancer.  My gf's Mom is at peace with the prognosis, "when God says it's your time, it's your time", but it's very hard on my gf, she has never lost anyone close to her and she's in the anger stage now.  Why, with all the doctor visits and blood tests in the last year, was this not caught sooner?  I can understand the anger, but it's not doing anyone any good and it's just adding to her stress level.  I've told her how lucky she is to have this opportunity to spend this time with her Mom and say goodbye.  I never had that chance with my Mom, as she died suddenly with no warning of illness, nothing.  I know it's not much consolation, but when the news is bad, you have to find a positive and hold onto that.  Please send prayers and positive energy to us at this very difficult time.

If I am fortunate and receive any denomination of Visa gift card at my work holiday party, I will be spending it at GoodWill to make my money go further.

If you're fortunate this year and would like to donate to Lola's Diner, or would like to purchase an ad, please click on the link at the top of the blog. Anything would be much appreciated.

Thank you!


Lola's Diner ©2008-2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cookbook Review - Dadgum That's Good Too! By John McLemore

I received a copy of John McLemore's DADGUM That's Good, Too!  The only thing missing at my house is the Masterbuilt Smoker.  OMG!  These recipes are fantastic!  If you own any of MASTERBUILT's products, you've got to get this cookbook.  Even if you don't own one of their products, you can makeshift your gas grill with smoker boxes like I do.  I'm probably not getting as much smokey goodness as their smokers, but I'm working with what I've got, and the recipes are still mouthwatering good.  I'd love to do a review of one of their Electric Smokers.  Hint! Hint!
 
 Dadgum That's Good, Too!
I've seen Mr. McLemore on QVC many times, and every time I swear the whole family is drooling from watching him take his completed dishes out of the smoker.

This is the cookbook you want for smoking, grilling, frying, steaming and boiling.  It contains 135 mouthwatering recipes with full-color photos.  Most recipes even suggest which type of wood is best to use.  You're going to find recipes for some items you've never imagined smoking...Nancy's Smoked Mac & Cheese, Corn Chowder, Beef Jerky, and more.  The Smoked Boston Butt is delicious.  (Bad blogger!  It looked so good everyone was digging in and I totally forgot to snap a photo.)

The book's Foreword is written by Paula Deen. 

The Table of Contents is as follows:
Introduction
Meat and Seafood
Smoking Times and Temperatures
Direct Versus Indirect Grilling
Most Common Woods For Smoking
Dadgum Good Flavors and Such
Our Story
Smoked
Fried
Grilled
Acknowledgements
Recipe Index

John McLemore Bio
John McLemore is the co-owner and President/CEO of Masterbuilt Manufacturing, Inc.  Masterbuilt manufactures indoor and outdoor consume cooking products and automotive aftermarket accessories.

As a leader in the industry, John is not afraid to take risks and keep pushing himself harder.  With faith in God and a lot of hard work, he continues to face challenges without fear.  He has traveled the world over and learned a lot of lessons about life, and food, along the way.  Everywhere he goes, he has requests for recipes, tips and secrets for his meals.  Always a solution-maker, he knew it was time to share his family story and recipes in a cookbook, Dadgum, That's Good! is much more than just a Southern phrase and the title of his cookbook, it's the summation of a life's work in creating delicious food with world-class cooking products.

This would make a great gift!

Dadgum That's Good Too! is available at Amazon.com and Barnes And Noble.com, as well as your local bookseller.

Lola's Diner Disclaimer: I was given the cookbook Dadgum That's Good Too! to review. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this book review.

Lola's Diner ©2008-2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How to take time for yourself

This is always a tough one...taking time for yourself.  Whether you are a parent of healthy children, or a parent of children with special needs or, in my case, a parent of children with mental illness, or an adult who is a caregiver for a parent.

Taking time for yourself is key to staying healthy yourself.  Sometimes it can be the most difficult thing if you have no family members or friends who can be your back-up when you want to take some time for yourself.  Whether it's an evening out with your significant other, or with friends, a day to spoil yourself at the spa, or even just an hour of "you" time, it can be incredibly difficult to find that time.

Other than finding that time, you may feel guilty for taking that time.  Even though it may be difficult to not feel guilty, you have to understand that you need that time to re-energize yourself to be able to be a good parent or caregiver.

It's really sad that in most communities there is no respite care, that is someone who can provide you with a respite from taking care of your family member.  There are so many people that are in a position where they are a caregiver for an ill parent, or parent of a special needs child or someone with a family member with a mental illness.  One would think there would be, or SHOULD BE a respite care network where people in that position can trade off an evening to give someone else some much needed time for themselves.

I have a bit of a commute each day.  About an hour to an hour and a half each way, depending on traffic and weather conditions.  I use this time as my time for myself.  Sometimes I'm just pre-compressing before I get home.  Kind of a de-compressing in advance for what I expect when I get home.  Kind of a brain-storming session in my head to figure out how deal with what I am coming home to, depending on how the children are doing with their illness.  Other times, I will stick my bluetooth in my ear and phone a friend.  Sometimes it's a friendly chat, catching up on things, other times it can be vent session where I'm really hoping my friend can make a suggestion or two, other times, it's their vent session.  Lol!

My other time for myself is Sunday mornings, if I can get up early enough, I will watch Sunday Morning on CBS...by...myself and enjoy a cup of coffee before everyone else wakes up.  Occasionally one of my kids will walk in on my special Sunday Morning and I will shoo them back to bed, or let them stay if they promise to watch the show and not talk...at all.  Lol! 


Lola's Diner ©2008-2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Prepping for he holidays...it's completely different this year...

It just is.  This year, for the first time I have to be conscious of my son's Gluten allergy.  I'm going to have to get very creative with my menu in order to accommodate his allergy.

Traditional stuffing (or dressing, if you prefer) is out.  Yes, I could spend a fortune on Gluten Free bread and make my usual stuffing, but at $4 a loaf, it's just not in my budget.  I was thinking rice stuffing, but it's just not the same.  Sure, I could make a small batch of Gluten Free stuffing, but I know for a fact my son will sneak the regular version.  Even still, a small batch will require at least 4 loaves of Gluten Free bread (those loaves are damn small.)

Homemade Mac & Cheese (Paula Deene's recipe, YUM!)  Here again, I can buy Gluten Free pasta, but I will have to put the regular version under lock and key.  (If you think I'm joking, I'm not.  He's already learned what happens when he eats Gluten, and he just doesn't seem to care right now.)

Green Bean Casserole is probably out.  It could be doable, make a cream of soup using a Gluten Free flour and bread and fry some onions in Gluten Free breading.  It just sounds like sooo much work.

Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie could be done.  I'm thinking white corn tortilla's layered for the pastry dough.  I've also seen a recipe where you throw the white corn tortilla in a food processor and chop it up fine and use it with the other traditional ingredients for pastry dough.  I'm thinking layering them would be much easier and could work.

Popovers were a big hit one year.  I could make them with Gluten Free flour.

Turkey - Check...no issue there.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts - Check...no issue there.
Mashed potatoes - Check...no issues there.
Sweet potatoes - Check...no issues there.
Veggie tray - Check...no issues there.

It could be done.

Hopefully we will get out of work early on Wednesday (what wishful thinking....I will be slammed with work).  But it would help to get a head start on Wednesday.

So what is your Thanksgiving Menu?  Anything different this year?

Do you have any Gluten Free recipes to share?


 

Lola's Diner ©2008-2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

Calling BS on the post election nonsense

Whether you are happy with the outcome of the election or not, the trash talking and grim analysis of the economy is BS.

It's been how many days since the election? 7 days

The Fiscal Cliff... Why is it necessary to coin this nonsensical phrase to explain the current predicament our economy is in?  Did something change in the last 7 days that we aren't aware of?  I think we all know that the economy is in the toilet and that we may be heading for another recession.  Why do we need some fancy ass name for it?  Does that change our situation?

Ok, I get it, some of you are upset because your candidate lost.  It just as easily could have been the other candidate.  Why the trash talking?  Why the acting as if the election is over, DO SOMETHING?

Change takes time.  
With time and working together, America can do anything!
Get off your high horses and DO SOMETHING.  
If you are an employer, add some jobs.  
If you are a politician, put aside the differences across the aisle, roll up your sleeves and get something positive accomplished for our economy.


Lola's Diner ©2008-2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Advice for newly diagnosed mental health patients and their families

It usually comes out of the blue, sometimes without warning.  Maybe you notice a peculiar behavior your loved one has exhibited a few days before the first episode.  Typically the first episode is referred to is a psychotic break.  It's a break with reality.  Your loved one may be behaving strangely, seemingly not paying attention to you, or completely engrossed in what looks to you like just a corner of the wall.  They are hallucinating, seeing things that aren't there.  They may seem to talk to themselves, but in reality, they are hearing voices and having a conversation with those voices that no one can hear but them.  They may not want to do things they enjoy like watching television or listening to music.  This is because they may be seeing things on a television show that aren't there.  Music, they may believe has a coded message and when they listen to it, they intently try to decode the message.  In the car they may avoid looking out the window because they don't want to see license plates because they have to decode them.  They may rage, become inappropriately, intensely angry.  They may become very depressed.  They may become catatonic, eyes glazed over.  They may have poverty of speech, talk very very little or stop talking at all.  Your loved one may attempt suicide, or hurt someone else.

All of these things can be scary to the family, and to the loved one.  Their hallucinations may be terrifying, like scarier than the scariest movie they've ever seen.

It can be incredibly heartbreaking when your loved one exhibits these symptoms at an age as young as 14.

Three things you must do:
Communicate with the doctors, nurses and staff on the unit where your loved one is hospitalized.  If you don't understand the medications you are asked to approve, ask questions.  What does this medication do?  What are the side effects of this medication?  Can any of the side effects become permanent?  If they blow you off (yes, they are very overworked), persist.  This is your loved one and you need answers and the doctors, nurses and staff are the best ones to get them from.  They observe your loved one 24/7, and will see all the symptoms and notice any side effects.  Try to gain a good rapport with the Floor Nurse, she sees everything!  He or she may be the one who spends the most time with your loved one, especially if your loved one is having a hard time with their illness or adjusting to being on a hospital mental health unit.

Research online, in the library.  Find out everything you can about the illness your loved one has been diagnosed with.  Research the medications that your loved one has been prescribed.  Participate in any forums on the websites you view.  Read what the other people have contributed.  This can be an overwhelming experience, but you may find success stories that will give you hope.

Contact NAMI - National Alliance On Mental Illness.
  
NAMI has local chapter all over the country that have Support Groups, Discussion Groups.  Ask to speak to your Local NAMI's Director and explain to them your loved one's situation.  Be prepared to give their diagnosis and list of medications.  Ask the Director any questions you have, ask them how you can best advocate for your loved one.  Ask them when the next Support Groups meeting is and where they meet.

Find your Local NAMI.
After your loved one is discharged, depending on their age, have them sign a Medical Power of Attorney designating a family member or good friend to make medical decisions on their behalf when they become ill.  This trusted person then has the authority to approve medications and authorizes the hospital to share information with you about your loved one's condition.


Lola's Diner ©2008-2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

People posting on Facebook about their health or their family's health...

This is kind of a pet peeve of mine.  I don't need to hear all the minutiae about people's health.  Right now on my Facebook there is a Facebook Friend who is posting about her pregnancy...blow by blow.  Every doctor visit, every emergency room run, every midwife visit.  EVERYTHING!  I don't think I need to know about her issues with IV's.  That's not on my need to know list.  I also don't need to know about all of the emergency room visits for her children's allergic reactions.  Again..not on my need to know list.

I rarely post on Facebook about my children's health.  The few times I have were when I was at my wits end and needed help from a higher power.  I posted asking for prayers for my children when they were hospitalized and not doing well and being frustrated with the doctors' inability to figure it out.  They were single posts, with an update when they came home.  No gory details, just bare bones posts asking for prayers. Those prayers worked miracles and I have no regrets



 

Lola's Diner ©2008-2012

Friday, November 9, 2012

Ahh....memories...

Memories...as I age I find that sometimes it's more difficult to pull out those memories.  More so than when I was younger.  I'm only 52, but still...I find it difficult sometimes to recall some memories, especially when those memories are about departed loved ones.

I've been hooked on "Long Island Medium" lately.  I find myself being somewhat of a skeptic, but yet I am still fascinated.  I've read articles that say it's all hooey, but still, there are so many things that Theresa Caputo couldn't possibly know that she tells her clients in session.  Some of these revelations make me think about my parents and this brings back memories.  I've written about many of them in this blog.  Hit the archives and check them out.

When I was a kid my parents always did their grocery shopping on Fridays and brought my sister and I with them.  We never had a babysitter...well...just once my Aunts and Grandmother babysat us.  I think it was my Mom not wanting to impose upon people that made it just that one time.

My Dad begrudgingly took my Mom until I got my driver's license and a car.  My Dad would sit in the car and wait while my Mom shopped.  He did that so he could chain smoke and listen to really awful old people music on the radio.  Needless to say, my sister and tagged along with Mom in the store.  My Mom always had a list.  After shopping was done, we hit a fast food restaurant, either Sandy's or Burger Chef and got food to go.  During Lent, it was always fish sandwiches.  After the groceries were put away (which seems amazing fast compared to how long it takes my kids to help put away the groceries) we devoured our take-out treat.  Growing up, that was our only outside food, other than the occasional pizza my Dad got from Wanda's or the fish-fry from the Shamrock Inn.  My Mom was a stay at home Mom and she cooked for us.  One night a week we got this treat.

When the grocery taxi became my duty.  Sure my Mom made it worth my while and filled my gas tank, even though the grocery store was less than 5 miles from our house, but I was an 18 year old and Friday nights all I wanted to do was chill out after work and then hit the bars with my friends later in the evening (WI drinking age was 18 back then).

Looking back, it was extra time spent with my Mom, usually one on one time because my sister didn't want to join us.  It was a time where I heard more about her recipes and occasionally a few stories about her relatives.  I got to ask questions without getting shushed because Columbo was on the boob tube.  My Mom's been gone now 28 years.  It's hard to believe it's been that long.  I miss her dearly and I appreciate that one on one time so much more as I look back.



 

Lola's Diner ©2008-2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

How I choose to write about others on my blog...

Every day I wish I had the freedom I had when I first started blogging.  I blogged about my children's illnesses in detail, blogged about friends, blogged about relationships.  Since a certain person found my blog however, I feel the need to censor myself quite a bit.  It's a small price to pay for the ugliness I experienced at the beginning of that discovery.

I've never used my children's names, and I've used pseudonyms for some people in my life.  If you asked me, even in those early days, no one would know the actual identity of anyone I wrote about.  So now I pick and choose what I write about more carefully.  Often this causes writer's block, but in the end...I still love blogging and I love my blog.  When I win the lottery there will be a real Lola's Diner, a meeting place to catch up with friends and neighbors over coffee or a chocolate malt.  I can dream can't I?

 

Lola's Diner ©2008-2012
 
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