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Archive for the ‘A Little of This’ Category

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Jul
04
2014

WOOT! Gooseberry Patch GiveAway! WOOT!

Okay, here we go!  I am going to try my very best to revive this poor nearly dead blog.  I have seriously missed being out here in the blogging world.  I love connecting with people and seeing all the things we have in common.  Like a big ol’ online hen party with a few roosters who pop by every now and then.  Periodically life grabs us by the napes of our necks, spins us around and drops us in a completely, sometimes chaotic place.  Well, that’s where I have been for almost two years. So many changes.  The constants in my life were there and it seemed I was trying desperately to hold on in a whirlwind of changes. SO, here I am.  Hoping some of you will come back on a regular basis.  And hey, leave me a note and let me know you were here Ü

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What better way to get back in the swing of things than a giveaway?  You all know how much I love Gooseberry Patch.  LOVE LOVE.  I have been a friend of Gooseberry Patch for SO many years.  Likely from the beginning, truth be told.  Most of you know how these Early Bird Cookbook Reviews go and how to win your very own copy of  FOOLPROOF FAMILY RECIPES. Oh and a little something from me as well. But, that’s a surprise!

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I wish I could draw, paint, make art like the cover of Gooseberry Patch Cookbooks!  Anywho…here’s your first recipe. Brown Sugar Meatloaf - It was scrumptious!

  • 1/2 cup catsup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 – 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3/4 cup saltine crackers, crushed (I used gluten free of course)
  • 1 t  Worchestershire sauce

Mix together catsup and brown sugar in a small bowl and set aside.  In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients; mix by hand and form into a loaf.  Place in a lightly greased 9 x 5 loaf pan (I use a meat loaf pan – you can find one here.  In fact this is the very one I have).  Spoon catsup mixture over meatloaf. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for one hour.  Serves 8.

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What goes with meat better than potatoes?  These Golden Parmesan Potatoes especially!  Super simple is never a bad thing either.

  • 2 pounds new potatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 t. Italian seasoning
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large bowl, toss potatoes with oil, seasoning and garlic.  Add cheese; mix lightly.  Spread mixture in a lightly greased 15 x 10 jelly roll pan.  Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees  for 45 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.  Makes 6 servings.

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THANKS for stopping by! I hope I can keep you all interested enough for us to become old and dear friends again. AND if you will, I promise a few more recipes from this great Gooseberry Patch cookbook until we have the giveaway on July 18, 2014.  SO we have two weeks to get reacquainted and share some great recipes.

Now you know how this all goes down!  And of course as always, you can win a copy of this new cookbook.

To enter this Early Bird Review and Giveaway: All you have to do is leave a comment at the end of each post pertaining to this giveaway and Early Bird Review and consider yourself entered. I will be posting amazing recipes from this book over the next two weeks and then on Friday the 18th of July, I will draw a name from the trusty mason jar and announce the winner. You have a few chances to get your name in the drawing. And of course it would be nice of you to tell your friends if you have facebook or a blog of your own.

Find even MORE from Gooseberry Patch online!
www.gooseberrypatch.typepad.com
www.facebook.com/gooseberrypatch
www.twitter.com/gooseberrypatch
www.youtube.com/gooseberrypatchcom
www.scribd.com/gooseberrypatch

And if you like what you find here at my blog you can check out the right hand column and subscribe to my feed and follow me on twitter and facebook.

Jun
09
2014

The Best of…

I decided to get myself back in the swing/habit of blogging I needed to look back and see what it was that I had to say in days/months/years past.  What did I feel important enough to share with all who happened by?  So for the next couple of weeks I am going to be revisiting old blog posts, interviews, recipes…the things that brought you here in the first place and add a few new things as well  I hope I can find some inspiration and I hope will visit again soon!

From JUNE 2012 –

For some reason the last couple of days I have thought a lot about being a woman.  The unbelievable balancing act we all perform on a daily basis.  The times we are completely off balance.  Sometime falling flat on our faces, only to find ourselves at the top of the heap the next minute. Several conversations I have been a part of have turned to the very broad subject of women.  I have discussed everything from how hard women who are successful have to scratch and claw and live down their success to what a price a woman pays for such successes.

Don’t beat me up too bad for my views on this subject.  I talk myself in and out of things all the time!  I am very VERY capable of arguing both sides of many arguments.  Not that I am arguing but I tend to be a debater even in my own head!

I doubt there has ever been a man who has had to ask himself if he could juggle work and family.  Not to say their role is easier.  It is just different.  Women and men are as different as night and day.  Therefore how we react, what we want, how we get what we want, and how others accept us is different as well.

My husband and I have a healthy respect for the role each of us plays in our marriage.  I have seen his job (from a good distance) and I want no part other than to support him.  And he says the same of mine.  Though I don’t think that is completely true really.  I don’t do anything that he can’t do and some times better than I can.  Honestly, together, we make one hell of a force to be reckoned with.

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I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.  ~Anaïs Nin

At times I have felt somewhat inferior to my husband.  But I can honestly say I have never felt inferior to men in general.  And believe me, my husband has never made me to feel inferior.  Anytime I have been in that horrible place, it has been my own doing.  Likely some sort of “hysterics” as some like to refer to our moody, hormonal crankiness.  In fact Jerry treats me quite the opposite.  It seems sometimes he honestly believes I can do anything I set out to do.  Not always true but that is one of the many things I love about him.  He has always treated me as his equal – or more.

Much of my thoughts on women and roles in family, work and society have been the result of far too much time spent watching seasons 1-3 of Mad Men.  After one episode  I just blurted out “We had to burn our bras!   They gave us no other choice.” Of course I meant it figuratively.  I pay too much for my bras to set fire to them ;)

And then it brought to mind another example and how quickly it was forgotten the role women played in the successful outcome of our armed forces during WWII.  Rosie the Riveter is an Icon – based on real women, who stepped up to a task and accomplished things that frankly seem to have been forgotten by many. Women not only had to hold down the fort, but they had to provide the ammunition.

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I suppose being raised by fairly liberal parents,  it was even more absurd to me that we had to fight to vote, to work, to be educated, to have dominion over our bodies and very likely the reason I have no regrets for my choice to be a wife and mother instead of another profession. I have never felt like I had to apologize or feel inferior because I am less educated than some and my payment “for services rendered” doesn’t come in the form of a check.  But the payment far exceeds anything I could have hoped for, had I known what to hope for.  I always believed I could do and be anything I set my mind to.  And I am happy to report I have been successful so far.  There have been rough patches, disappointments, hardships – but whose life hasn’t had those things and more?  Yet, I always knew I was doing what I was meant to do.

Alas, times have changed.  Some good changes, some not good.  Women still get paid 70 cents on the $1 for the same job as a man. That might never change. Women still have to run as “the woman candidate” instead of just “the candidate”.  Science/Medicine/the pharmaceutical industry have spent untold money and man hours on “THE little blue pill” and we still have to have fundraisers for breast cancer research.  Why? I have my theories, but won’t subject you to them today.

So as we walk the tightrope that our lives become sometimes, and teeter on the brink of one disaster or another, it is ever so difficult to meet the demand of the situation and still remain feminine.  What would be seen in a man as strong in the face of adversity, likely would be seen as overbearing or aggressive in a woman.  Double standards will always exist I suppose.

What can we do?  Support each other.  That’s one thing we CAN do.  Women could see their commonality rather than their differences.  Women, of all people, should be able to see past color, religion, creed, sexual orientation, politics.  We have the capacity to influence so many.  We are strong.  We are capable.  We, so many times, hold the future in our arms.  It is an awesome responsibility to be a woman in the free world.  It is also an amazing privilege.  In all that responsibility and privilege comes an obligation to all other women.  Support women owned businesses, read women authors, educate ourselves about women in history and the sacrifices they made.  Study the plight of women who don’t know freedom from oppression and fear of harm.  And if you can, get involved. Teach yourself about how other women, in other parts of the world live. Then teach others.

And whatever we do, be true to ourselves.  Be proud. Respect ourselves and raise our daughters to be the same.

There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women.  ~Madeleine K. Albright

Feb
03
2014

The Winds of Change

Well as some of you know I have become one of those bloggers. The kind where you come here and the post you see is at least two months old.  Shame on me!  But an apology would seem pretty ridiculous now.

Many of you already know a couple of years ago when I found myself still sick after doing all the things my allergist said to do, a gluten test was the next step. Well lo and behold…go tell it on the mountain!  I was gluten sensitive.  Who knew?  It’s a pain in the butt and initially I gained weight because I bought and ate EVERY SINGLE gluten free cookie, muffin, bread, baked good I could get my hands on.  I wanted to try them all.  I wanted my days as a foodie not to end in a battle with gluten.  I have learned a lot since then.  A. Lot.

But the battle broke my blogging spirit.  I couldn’t feel sorry for myself, gorge myself on processed gluten free baked goods and find the energy and “want” to write for my blog.  I don’t know if I am back there as of yet.  BUT after my plunge into the gluten free world, my daughter found her psoriasis was tremendously better when she removed gluten from her diet.  So there you have it…I had a real reason to learn more, develop and change recipes to suit not just me.  Honestly, it is just too hard to cook another whole meal for one person.  But give me a kid of mine needing a special diet and that is a different story.  OF course I can cook two meals at once. Absolutely.

As I am embarking on this new journey. I am compiling and reworking all our favorite recipes to be gluten and allergy free.  Sound like fun? Naw.  Not to me either. Sounds a lot like work.  But it is necessary and useful and someone out there who finds my blog may actually be able to use some of my findings.

Many of my recipes will be vegetarian as well since I am sensitive/allergic to many meats. Yep, you can be allergic in a dangerous way to meat.  Crazy?  Yep.  I think so too.  But it is so.  And as of late have felt really compelled to cut out all meat. I know, I know, I sound a bit like a bandwagon jumper on-er.  But that really isn’t the case.  I am trying to get well. There won’t be recipes with “meat substitutes” made from soy products because even if I weren’t deathly allergic to soy, I have many other reasons why I wouldn’t eat it.  If you are interested, just google “soy dangers”. You will find stuff on both sides of the argument so you can draw your own conclusions.  But even if I didn’t have my reasons for not eating it and even if it wouldn’t kill me, in my opinion,  it looks and tastes disgusting.

The blog may continue to be boring for a while but I am going to do my best to get back to writing some, sharing some and making things fun around here again.

So NotQuiteJuneCleaver is going GLUTEN FREE. All my old GLUTEN FULL recipes will be archived and available.  Eventually.  Catching up takes way more time that just hitting delete and starting over!

I am going to leave you with a list of my food allergies so you will sort of know what to expect.  And I am  going to try to prove to all of us that it is possible to eat well, make food that tastes great and not kill yourself in the process.  We’ll see how it goes.

How does this happen that a person becomes allergic to so much? My body hates me.  That is my only explanation.  Be prepared to be wowed.


Things that should never pass my lips, in no particular order:

GLUTEN – absolutely NO gluten Period.  The End. Forever.  And Ever. Which makes the listing of grains redundant but I will add them to the list anyway.

  • whole wheat
  • buckwheat
  • rye
  • barley
  • peanuts
  • watermelon
  • soy
  • almonds
  • shellfish
  • cantaloupe (one of the things I miss the most)
  • beef

Things that should be avoided or not combined with other foods that are on the list so as not to pile it all together and cause a reaction.(vegetables on this list are less likely to cause a problem if cooked/nuts – I try to never eat them)

  • green peas
  • lemon
  • orange
  • grapefruit
  • coconut
  • white potatoes
  • tomatoes – fresh
  • sesame seed
  • walnuts
  • hazelnuts
  • celery
  • cottonseed (Crisco)
  • mushrooms
  • yellow squash

And I can have these things but must I watch for reactions – sometimes the first reaction is my ears and face get really red and feel hot – fun fun fun:

  • corn
  • oats (can have gluten free oats – oats processed in a gluten free facility)
  • chicken
  • strawberries (I have noticed a real reaction to these lately)
  • peaches
  • sweet potatoes
  • tomatoes cooked
  • green beans
  • onion
  • garlic
  • cashews
  • sunflower seeds
  • seedless grapes
  • mustard
  • lettuce
  • rice
  • cow milk
  • eggs
  • cauliflower
  • broccoli
  • cabbage

How am I still so round you ask??? I can have all the chocolate my heart desires! And I can also gorge myself on tuna (I hate tuna), pork, apricot, pear, raspberries,  apple, pineapple, black pepper, vanilla, baker’s yeast (if I can find a grain I can eat), coffee (YAY), cinnamon, pecan, turkey (I don’t care for turkey), lamb (not a big fan but a good fresh lamb chop is okay – just okay), avocado, oysters, plums and olives. And by carefully reading labels tons of gluten free baked items.

AND – big news – my thyroid has turned it’s back on me now.  Could explain some of the weigh but not all of it I am quite sure. Oh yeah, and I was spayed a few years back and that certainly hasn’t helped matters.  Add to ALL of that fibromyalgia and RA and that is a cocktail of obstacles to weight loss that is hard to swallow.


For someone who loves food as much as I do, it is very difficult not to eat whatever I want that won’t actually kill me. But I always pay and swear I will never eat it again – just ask my kids! It’s a sort of joke…”There she goes. Watch, in 30 minutes she will swear she will never eat that again.” LOL


Okay, enough about me – I have to get busy.  I promise you though, with all my might, I will try to make this a fun place to visit again and again and again.  Just give me a little time to get it together.  Keeping it together may be a bigger task but I will do my best.


Namaste!

Susan

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