Sunday, May 20, 2018

Our Patient is Doing Well!




Dom is completely off of chemo.  He's back to blood work every 3 months.  He's getting around well on his rollator, driving, and going to physical therapy twice a week.  (He reached his Medicare cap, so joined their "wellness" program for $40 per month)

Meanwhile, our Mimosa Trees are in bloom and have been having gorgeous sunsets.

All is well with our world!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Gardens May 13, 2018







I cannot get over how wonderful Hay Bale Gardening is!  My tomatoes are planted in 2 hay bales.  I surrounded the bales with green beans and wax beans.  They're very happy.

Dom's banana peppers are flourishing in the soil.

I didn't bother taking a picture of his 2 hay bales.  His tomatoes are pathetic.  They're alive but wimpy.

I bought my 2 bales at a local feed/seed joint.  Cheap.

He procrastinated.  The only bales that he could find were "Premium" hay bales at the Tractor Center.  $$$$$   These things were so dense that we had difficulty planting.  I think that the roots are having problems growing.

So... we'll have plenty of cherry tomatoes, cheese and onion stuffed banana peppers wrapped with bacon and beans!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Dom's AMAZING Week

This week has been full of surprises.

On Monday he complained to his Slidell Cancer Center doctor about his neuropathy acting up again.  It's slowly creeping up his leg.  Also the backs of his hands.

Dr. C. canceled his chemo and asked us to go to see Dr. Safah at the Tulane Cancer Center in NOLA.  (These 2 doctors work hand-in-hand, but Dr. Safah calls the shots.  We've elected to get treatments in Slidell out of convenience)

We happily got an appointment with Dr. Safah on Tuesday morning.

She was puzzled about the neuropathy, saying that Kyprolis RARELY causes neuropathy.  We told her that we didn't want him back in a wheelchair.  She understood that.

I said, "Doc-  his numbers are great.  The radiation shrunk the lesion (Plasmacytoma) to 20% of its original size.  Does he REALLY HAVE to have more chemo?"

She looked at his most recent numbers.  No M-Spike.  And much to our delight gave him the summer off of chemo.  She did another M-Spike test and wants us to have another in 3 months.  Just keeping an eye on it.

(The only reason that he was back on chemo was that solitary plasmacytoma on his left hip)

So, we're hopeful that it'll be another 8 years of remission and that no rogue cancer cells create problems for him.

That was our Christine's last day here.  She had been carting us around in her rental car.  We thought we'd go to one of our favorite joints, Crossroads Seafood and Grill, on the way home.

Dom had gotten a fried pork chop there about a year ago.  He said, oh wouldn't it be great if they had a pork chop lunch special?

We arrive.  We walk in.  LUNCH SPECIAL:  Fried Pork Chops!

We told the owner our wonderful news before being seated.

Had a delicious meal.  When we got the check, it was for ZERO.  The owner picked up the tab.  She's done that now THRICE.  What a doll!

So... it was a VERY GOOD DAY. 

That night, I found out that I had $100+ in unclaimed dividends sitting in Louisiana. WOW!

The stars were aligned!

Monday, May 7, 2018

A Quick Four-Night Visit to PCB

Dealing with Dom's health had kept me from visiting the condo.  It had been over a year.

As his health has improved and he's getting around with his Rollator, Christine and I decided to bust a move to the beach.

The weather and water were both PRISTINE!



Front Beach Road is a mess.  They've torn everything up.  Surprisingly, traffic is moving, though.  This top picture is a rendering of what's planned.  This shows what it's going to look like at our condo when they finish.







Christine and I had our share of fun.  Thanks to generous family and friends who we trust with the condo, we ate out every night using gift cards-  Dee's Hangout, Carraba's, Saltwater Grill and the Firefly.  OINK OINK.

And, of course, happy hour every afternoon at the LIQ across the street.  One afternoon we went to a new brewery across the street for a couple of pints of craft beer with dear pal, Jimmy.  NIVOL BREWERY.  Nice place!  http://www.nivolbrewery.com/






We spent each day on the beach.  Heavenly!




Each night, Christine and I plugged in the "Disco Ball" and rocked out!  Girls just wanna have fun!




Saturday, April 28, 2018

Kentucky Derby- May 5th

Dom and I love to watch horse races.  When we lived in Slidell, LA, we frequented an off-track betting parlor.

I and 3 co-workers at a local newspaper bought a racehorse without getting the "OK" from our husbands.  What fun!  "Capetown Caper".  We broke his maiden.  Oh, the fun times!

We'll be enjoying these libations from SPARKLING ICE:

Peachy Mint Julep

INGREDIENTS

1.25 ounces Bourbon
2 ounces Sparkling Ice Peach Nectarine
6 Mint leaves
Half a Peach

DIRECTIONS

Muddle mint and peach in highball glass.* Add crushed ice, bourbon and Sparkling Ice Peach Nectarine. Stir ingredients thoroughly
*(If possible, muddle mint and peach, add bourbon and leave overnight in fridge)

Triple Crown Lemonade

INGREDIENTS

2 parts Anejo Tequila
4 muddled Basil leaves
Teaspoon Agave Syrup
2 parts Sparkling Ice Classic Lemonade
 
DIRECTIONS

Shake and pour over ice into Highball glass. Top with Sparkling Ice Classic Lemonade. Garnish with Basil leaf

Friday, April 27, 2018

May is Celiac Awareness Month

Explore Cuisine is known for its protein-packed plant pastas that are high in fiber, naturally gluten free, simple to prepare, organic, and delicious.

Explore Cuisine is a leader in innovative cooking using organic ingredients of the highest quality. All Explore Cuisine products are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and jam packed with nutrients.

Organic Bean Power: One Ingredient.  ORGANIC BEANS – that's it.  In only seven minutes, your family can indulge in a delicious, healthy and satisfying meal, power-packed with high protein and high fiber. Varieties include Black Bean Spaghetti, Edamame and Mung Bean Fettuccini, Soybean Spaghetti and more.

Italian Signature Selection: Made from organic lentils and chickpeas, these pastas are high in protein and a great source of fiber and iron. Vegan, organic, and gluten free- it's a perfect dish for everyone at the table. In just minutes your family will be enjoying fresh pastas made in Italy. Varieties include Red Lentil Penne, Green Lentil Penne, Chickpea Fusilli, Green Lentil Lasagne, and more!

Celebrate Celiac Awareness Month with these nutritious recipes that everyone can enjoy!

Roasted Cauliflower Alfredo Spaghetti
Ingredients:

4 cups of cauliflower florets
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper
8 oz vegan cream cheese
1 t smoked paprika
garlic cloves (optional, see info in post)
2 c vegetable broth
1 box of Explore Cuisine Organic Edamame Spaghetti
Fresh Parsley, for garnish
Order Ingredients

Instructions:

Toss cauliflower with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes.
In a blender combine roasted cauliflower, vegan cream cheese, smoked paprika, garlic (optional) and vegetable broth. Blend until smooth.
Warm sauce in sauce pan on stove.
Prepare spaghetti per directions on box.
Combine sauce and spaghetti. Gently toss to coat.
When ready to serve, place spaghetti onto plates, top with more smoked paprika and fresh parsley.
ENJOY!

Pesto Spaghetti with Seared Tuna


Ingredients:

8 oz. Explore Cuisine Organic Edamame Spaghetti

Seared Tuna:

1-pound center cut ahi tuna
1-teaspoon ground coriander
1-teaspoon mildly spicy red pepper (Aleppo or Marash or just black pepper)
Dash of vegetable oil
Salt
Kale-Walnut Pesto:
2 cups baby kale
½ cup basil
¼ cup walnuts
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lemon, juiced
½ cup olive oil
Pinch of mildly spicy red pepper (Aleppo or Marash or just black pepper)
Salt

Garnish:
½ large carrot, peeled
½ hot red pepper, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon lemon zest
10 tiny basil leaves
Flaky sea salt
Mildly spicy red pepper (Aleppo or Marash)
Olive oil

Instructions:

Make pesto: Place kale, basil, nuts and garlic into food processor. Sprinkle with salt and pepper liberally. Pour ¼ cup over the greens. Blend by pouring the rest of olive oil in a slow stream, until pesto is nice and chunky. Squeeze lemon on top, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Sear tuna: Pat tuna dry with paper towels. Season tuna with salt, red pepper and coriander. Drizzle with olive oil on top and rub spices with oil into its flesh. Heat medium size stainless steel sauté pan until very hot. Pour just a dash of oil and place tuna in the pan. Cook on all sides for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, until it releases easy and all sides have a crust. Slice tuna against the grain into ¼ of an inch slices with a sharp knife.

Slice carrot into ribbons with vegetable peeler, and then make thin long strips with a sharp knife. Set aside. Cut hot red pepper into thin slices.
Cook Explore Cuisine Organic Edamame Spaghetti according to packaging instructions, transfer to large bowl. Add ribbons of carrot, hot pepper slices and 5-6 tablespoons of pesto to the pasta and toss to combine. Drizzle more olive oil if pasta looks too dry.

To plate, divide pasta between bowls by twisting it with a folk. Drizzle lightly with good quality olive oil, sprinkle with salt and red pepper. Top with 3-4 tuna slices, sprinkle with salt and red pepper again. Scatter some lemon zest and tiny basil leaves over each bowl. Serve at room temperature.




Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Dust Off Your Sombrero!

Here are some fun ideas for Cinco de Mayo-


SLIM AND TRIM SKINNY MARGARITA

Whether throwing a themed fiesta with the amigos or looking for some tasty ideas for a Mexican-style dinner, the Slim and Trim Skinny Margarita is the perfect complement to your Cinco de Mayo menu.

INGREDIENTS
2-3 parts Skinny Margarita Mix (15 Calories)
1 part Tequila
Salt and Lime Wedge Garnish

INSTRUCTIONS
In a cocktail shaker, combine Margarita Mix and tequila with plenty of ice. Cover and shake vigorously. Pour into a salted glass and garnish with a wedge of lime.

JORDAN'S SKINNY MARGARITA MIX NUTRITIONAL FACTS
Mix is lightly and naturally sweetened with a blend of real sugar, Stevia and erythritol.
1 liter/33.8 fl oz
15 Calories. 5g Carbs. 3g Sugar.
No Artificial Flavors. No Artificial Sweeteners.
Gluten Free and Kosher.
Made in the USA
 For more information or to purchase Jordan's Skinny Margarita Mix, visit www.SkinnyMixes.com.

I know that the new rage is owning a wood-burning oven.  Here are a couple of fun recipes:
OVEN NACHOS 

Here’s an easy recipe we’ve all done before, but perhaps not in a wood fired over. Grab these ingredients and celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a hot bowl of tasty oven nachos.

INGREDIENTS

Bag of your favorite nachos
Jar of salsa
Jar of jalapenos
1 chili, finely chopped
Grated cheese

DIRECTIONS

1. First, put your nachos on a baking tray that will fit into the Uuni or whatever wood-fired pizza oven you're using.

2. Cover with salsa, cheese, chili, and jalapeños.

3. Put in the Uuni, cook for 1 minute.

4. Enjoy with your favorite Mexican-inspired cold refreshment.

TEX-MEX WOOD FIRED PIZZA

Spice up your traditional Cinco-de-Mayo themed menu with this Tex-Mex Wood Fired Pizza recipe from Uuni. 

INGREDIENTS

Classic Dough 
Classic Sauce
Salsa
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
Handful of grated cheddar, or shredded mozzarella
1/2 of a small red onion, sliced into rings
1/4 tin of mixed beans, or refried beans
1 small avocado, sliced
1 small gem lettuce, finely chopped

DIRECTIONS

1. First, light up your Uuni or whatever wood-fired pizza oven you own.

2. Next, flour your pizza peel and spread the classic dough over the top into a pizza base shape.
3. Spread a couple of spoons of classic pizza sauce over the base and (if you’re feeling daring) sprinkle the chili powder and cumin over the top.
4. Now you can add your cheese of choice, followed by the chopped onion and beans.
5. Using the peel, slide the pizza into the Uuni and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.
6. Remove from the heat and cover the center of the pizza with a bed of chopped lettuce and some avocado slices.
7. Season to taste.



Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Cancer Fighting Cook

The publisher just sent me this beauty, knowing that you guys would find this of particular interest.  Personally, I'll be using this.  A LOT! 




The Cancer-Fighting Cook cookbook features a variety of recipes and heartwarming stories from chefs around the world. Each flavorful recipe includes a specific cancer-fighting ingredient to help provide patients with the necessary nutrition they need before, during, and after treatment.

As a cancer survivor himself, Richard Lombardi has created this cookbook to help patients and caregivers prepare nutrient-rich recipes that combat the symptoms caused by treatment and enhance the recovery process.

Each delicious recipe includes a specific cancer-fighting ingredient and provides nutritional information. We've also included helpful hints, kitchen basics, and a removable list of beneficial ingredients for quick reference.

All recipes included in this cookbook come from Richard's own collection and professional chefs from around the world. They have shared these recipes and stories in hopes of providing savory meals that truly help the healing process and to encourage patients throughout their cancer journey.

The spiral bound, lay-flat book is packed with:

-Helpful shortcuts

-Kitchen basics

-A removable quick-reference list

-A 75-page pad of printed cancer-fighter grocery lists

-10 kid-friendly recipes that the whole family can enjoy

-Recipes from professional chefs and celebrities that have joined the fight against cancer including Jay Leno and Mark DeCarlo.

Helping families be happy

 About the Publisher: Familius is a family and parenting media publisher devoted to creating content that helps build strong values and happy families. As a digitally savvy, multi-media publisher, we share our family-driven content in multiple formats, including print, e-books, videos, articles and apps.

Through Familius.com, we also provide an online community where parents can seek out and share advice and access a wealth of contemporary parenting content, tools, and resources rooted in traditional family values. Let’s Talk Family. http://www.familius.com


Get it HERE

Thursday, April 19, 2018

2018 Gardens

We're all planted!  We have 4 raised beds.  This is my 2nd year of hay-bale gardening.  Dom's first.


In my two bales, I have 3 Sweet Million cherry tomatoes, 6 Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes, Greek oregano, and lemon thyme.  I have these surrounded by 3 different types of bush beans.



Dom planted a lot of peppers in the soil.  Hot banana, sweet banana, jalapenos and something new for us this year...garden salsa peppers.



In Dom's hay bales he planted 6 tomatoes.  3 Goliath and 3 Better Boy.  Next to them, I planted a first for me...  Multiplier Onions




The fourth garden contains 50 Italian Heirloom garlic plants.  100's of years old.  These were given to us years ago by a dear friend, Lor, in Ohio.  We replant 50 cloves every Fall.


So Far- so good!