Easter Menu

Easter is upon us.

I am not ready whatsoever. Graduate school is kicking my butt, however I’ll be down to one internship in the summer so I should be less frazzled.

I have been racking my brain for the last few days about what to eat on the day the prodigal son rose. Bryan hates ham so the traditional Easter meal will never happen in this household.

I also wanted to make something easy since it’s just the two of us. Last year I didn’t even remotely got within the same room as what I had planned to cooked. It’s the overachiever in me.

Also, the gluten free thing makes things a wee bit harder. I have like 9 pie crusts and puff pastry in my freezer. So one of the desserts will not be gluten free.

So completely not traditional, and quick and easy,  and remotely gluten free. Sounds complex somehow.

Easter Menu

MAIN
Sausage, beans, and rice
Corn on the cob

DESSERT

Strawberry and creme pie – not gluten free
Greek custard.

Bridal Shower Menu

One of my best friends that I’ve known since sophomore year of high school is getting married in August. Her theme is the Avengers and Mumika is working on my Iron Man themed dress.

When Kim asked me to ask Mumika to host the Houston bridal shower, I knew Mumika would be quite happy to do so. That and because we come from the world of engineers, we know how to host parties that her mom and friends are used. That and I love party planning. It soothes me somehow.

My goal is to make this bridal shower epic and more a modern tea party minus the tea. Something classic with elegant food.

BRIDAL PARTY MENU

Savory
Bruschetta
Asian meatballs
Greek hummus dip
Cucumber bites
Cranberry Pecan brie crostini
Chicken salad in lettuce cups

Sweet
Lemon brownies
Fruit and nutella crepes
Tri melon skewers

Beverages
White peach sangria
Citrus water
Tea of somekind

I have figured out if we will do strawberry tea, regular sweet tea, or raspberry tea.

It took me about an hour to put it all together with the games, prizes, and favors.

Not bad at all.

I was having problems with the chicken component but thanks to Pinterest, I found an idea that could work. My hair stylist introduced me to Pinterest and this whole gluten free thing made me realize that I definitely needed to give in to it.

And everything will be gluten free so that I can eat it

Gluten Free Week Menu

Starting February 1st (Superbowl Sunday), I will be on a gluten free diet for a week.

Where is this coming from you ask? Good question.

I blame my husband.

Bryan has been on this build a better body be ripped quest and in this quest he’s been researching a lot about diet, how to gain weight, how to trim, food, and what have you.

In this quest with extensive research, Bryan found information pertaining to what a gluten allergy or insensitivity looks like. And the side effect described me to a T. If I have a gluten enriched day like eating at Fazoli’s, or an abundance of flour, my stomach disagrees with me and I’m running to the toilet every hour. I know it’s too much information about my bowels, but who knows, maybe your going though the same thing. I’m helping people here, damnit.

He also found out that this gluten whatever can imitate diabetes. This is major for us. When I was first diagnosed, after all the extensive blood work and tests, my endo informed me that beta cells were intact, however, they were inactive. He didn’t know what caused this and suggested I find a way to destress myself.

Why is this important? So with this gluten thing, what happens is that the gluten blocks the stomach from signaling to the pancreas to that it needs insulin. This causes sugar to get into the blood creating high blood sugar. The stomach tries to repair itself, but the more gluten you eat, the harder and slower it is to repair. I have beta cells. Diabetics don’t have beta cells, which means I’m abnormal. If I have beta cells and they aren’t working, it could be because they aren’t being signaled to produce insulin. Which means, I might have this gluten thing.

So the theory now is, if I go gluten free, it will allow my stomach to heal and be able to signal the need for insulin and this signal would actually reach the beta cells causing them to wake up and activate.

If this works, it means I will have to have a gluten free lifestyle for a while.

BUT!

It could mean that my husband CURED ME!!!!

I’m hopeful. But not looking forward to this new dietary restrictive diet. No more cake, cookies, brownies, bread, croissants, cupcakes, pasta, and what have you.

Gluten Free Menu

Meals:

Ground Beef and Hummus
Asian Beef with Mushrooms and Snap peas
Chicken with zucchini noodles and avocado cream
Fajita Style Chicken chili
Coffee rubbed steak with balsamic vegetables
Chicken Cacciatore RisottoSomething with polenta I’m sure

Desserts:

Banana and Berry Terrine
Flourless Chocolate Cake

We will see what happens.

The NEW YEARS EVE Menu

At the end of the year Americans gorge their faces out eating elegant food that makes them feel like all is not lost, even if they have had a bad year, they still have class.

I decided we weren’t going to have a party this year because well, let’s be honest, it costs money. That and worrying about who is showing up and trying to figure out how much people are gong to eat is a wee bit stressful.

So instead, Bryan and I are going to have a nice classy dinner to end 2014.

New Years Eve Menu

APPETIZERS
White Wings
Bacon Wrapped Maduros

DINNER
Beef Wellington
Creamed Spinach
Boursin Stuffed Mushrooms

DESSERT
Lemon Crème Cake

TO RING IN THE NEW YEAR
Stawberries in Champagne Jello Shots

Every last day of the year should be rang in like this.

The Christmas Menu

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us and I have a little more time on my hands, I’ve been pondering the Christmas Menu.

Last year Bryan had been talking about cooking a brisket in the weeks leading up to Christmas. But then his sister decided to do the same thing and happened to invite us to her dinner. I’ll be honest, I was a little frustrated and felt it took the wind out of Bryan’s sails. However, it did save him from cooking all night and he had started complaining about the prices of the brisket he found. So maybe it was a good thing.

This year is different.

This year, he will be cooking a brisket. And it will be yummy.

I was also thinking about doing chicken BBQ kabobs. It just sounds amazing.

So, I’ve figured out the protein, which is the easy part. Now I had to come up with the sides. Bryan’s sister made her Christmas spread Texas BBQ themed with the potato salad, the cornbread, peach cobbler (I think) and broccoli with this rancid cheese sauce. This really irked me because it’s Christmas, you can do Texas BBQ any time of the year. I would have thought she would have done a few Christmas inspired sides or something. Which is why this menu is so hard. What goes well with brisket that doesn’t involve mayonnaise, chilled sides, or steamed greens?

The Christmas Menu

MAIN
Brisket
Honey Porter Glazed Chicken Skewers
Asparagus Bacon Bundles
Cheesy red potatoes
Garden Spinach Souffle
Panzanella
Texas Roadhouse Rolls

DESSERT
Chocolate Mousse Cake
Trifle

DRINK
Bellini’s

Oh it sounds so yummy, I can’t wait for Christmas now.

And the family Christmas is on the 27th, so there will be three days of insane yumminess. I better start thinking of ways to repurpose the meat….brisket tacos? pork buns? hmmmm…..

 

 

 

 

The holidays are upon us – The Christmas Eve Menu

Holiday season officially started two days ago. I am not ready. I am sooo not ready. I just need to get through these two classes and find an internship before I even remote begin thinking about Thanksgiving or Christmas.

At least Bryan already has a Christmas gift in mind for me. And I sort of have a Christmas gift or two in mind for him. As for the rest of the family, depending on when the in laws do their family Christmas will determine if I make a family Christmas present or not. If it falls around December 15th, I literally will not have time for life. Two 15 paged papers, a presentation, and two finals will consume me. And that’s not even taking into consideration everything I have to do to get ready for the conference in February. Which means, no presents. I really wouldn’t call it a present, it’s more of a snack for the ride home. Last year I made those cute little hot chocolate ornaments that despite being impossibly easy to make, took too much time. And I wasn’t even in GRADUATE SCHOOL last year.

But in all honesty, figuring out Christmas presents is not my favorite part of the holidays, it’s coming up with a menu. Ironically I haven’t figured out Thanksgiving which is less than roughly 3 weeks away. I did, however, come up with the Christmas Eve menu.

And it’s Puerto Rican to the core.

Bryan didn’t like the pasteles last year, so I’m going to make something different this year.

The Christmas Eve Menu

Pernil
Arroz con gandules
Arroz con dulce
Tembleque

Yep, that sounds perfect. I can smell the awesomeness already. One menu down, two to go. And Bryan might fight me on the Thanksgiving and Christmas menu all he wants, he’s still doing what I tell him to do. This is going to be our first holiday season where we don’t go to someone’s house. And I want to start traditions, like deep fried turkey on Thanksgiving, Puerto Rican Christmas food on Christmas Eve, and a brisket on Christmas or something.

Besides, after nearly being hospitalized last year for extremely high bloody sugar (It took a day for it to go under 750 – my first hospitalization I capped out at 750 before I DKAed), I just don’t trust anyone anymore. In reality, the person with my best interest at heart when it comes to food is me. And if I cook all the food, I know what’s in it. This way I won’t eat something that potentially has a sweetener without knowing it and I don’t have ask what is in the apple cobbler. I really hate doing that. Looking at the spread and having to ask the person that cooked everything exactly what is in it. I feel like I’m interrogating people.

“What’s in the apple cobbler?”
“Apples, cobbler mix, milk…..um”
“How much sugar did you put in it?”
“I didn’t.”
“There’s no sugar in this?”
“Not added sugar.”
“Ok, is there any sweeteners in it?”
“Yes.”
“Why didn’t you tell me that in the first place?”
“Because it’s not sugar.”
“So.”
“Well, you’re diabetic and sweeteners are better for you.”
“Really, are you sure, did you do all the research needed on diabetics and sweeteners, where did you get your source?”
“Um….”
“If you knew anything about sweeteners and sugar, you would know sweeteners are just as bad if not worse for certain diabetic. I mean, seriously, have you ever seen me with any sort of diet beverage?”
“Um…..”
“No, you haven’t. Why? Because my kidneys can’t filter that shit. Are you trying to kill me?!?!?!?!”

I think I’ve actually had something remotely like this conversation I just made up with someone.

See what I mean though. It’s just frustrating and in the end I feel like a douche who just schooled someone on something that doesn’t even relate to them. And of course they don’t care because it doesn’t correspond to their personal lifestyle. And if I choose not to ask questions and just eat it and then get sick it becomes my fault because I know better than to eat it.

“Michelle got really sick last night, we think it might be something she ate here.”
“That’s not my fault. She’s an adult, she didn’t have to eat that apple cobbler. Besides, she’s diabetic, she should know better.”

I think this conversation is why I’m a food Nazi and ask what exactly is in things. So that I don’t get blamed for the eating the food put in front of me when I’m eating at someone’s house. After all, it’s merely human nature blame other people for anything and everything.

Kimmikins And Jimmy are coming to visit!!!

A few weeks ago my awesome friend that has been part of my life since sophomore year of high school called stating she wanted to visit this coming weekend. Of course, Bryan and I said yes. Out of all my friends, Kim has been the only one that has visited my house since we moved to Central Texas. She was also the only person that visited me in Boston during undergrad. A few weeks after my first hospitalization, she spent her birthday with me just to make sure I was okay. She’s one of those kindred spirits that if you run across one and they want to be your friend, you can consider yourself one of the luckiest people in the world. And her fiancée is awesome to and get’s along with Bryan so well, which is always an added bonus. You rarely find friends who are part of a  couple that gets along with you and your significant other.

And it gives me something to look forward to and inspiration to clean my house. Which so far still looks like a hurricane went through it, but that’s only because I’ve been boggled down with insane amounts of reading and 2 assignments due in each class this week. Grad school feels chaotic half the time and I am definitely not a fan of the 8 week mini semesters. They are stupid and I want to stab the person that thought they were an idea and convinced colleges across the nation to implement the idea.

I have been struggling with the menu a little. Kim is lactose intolerant, so cheese is a no do along with dairy. As a person that has special dietary needs, I tend to go a little crazy over menus when I know there’s someone coming over that can’t eat certain things. I was very adamant about this at my wedding and made sure everyone had something they could eat. Last thing you want is someone going hungry at a wedding, party, gathering, get together, or what have you.

I want to do lemon drop martinis or pineapple margaritas, as part of the drinking, but the citrus vodka Bryan bought is horrendous. Which means I need normal vodka. And tequila, and maybe triple sec.

So on to the menu

Saturday
Dinner –
Stuffing stuffed pork chops with roasted asparagus, potatoes, onions, and bacon.
Dessert – a strawberry chocolate dump cake
After dinner drinks – Pineapple margaritas or Lemon Drop Martinis

Sunday
Breakfast –
Pancakes of some sort. I originally want to do German chocolate pancakes but I seem to remember that Kim isn’t too fond of pineapple. I could do an apple praline pancake, or a chocolate chocolate chip pancake. Hmmmm…..

And that’s as far as I have gotten because I have no clue how long they are staying on Sunday.

What I do know is that it will be all kinds of fun as usual. And they are bringing their rescue with them for a puppy play date. Kim and I have been discussing puppy play dates for the past 3 years, way before I got my puppies. Kim and Jimmy adopted a cute rescue a few months ago. Yay for dreams becoming a reality. I just hope they all get along.

 

 

 

Mumika is coming! & an anniversary! & new hair!

My life has been taken over by graduate school. My life is study, study, write notes, write a paper, write a discussion board post, reply to a discussion post, go to class, do assignments and then cook, attempt to clean, and go to work…sometimes.

Despite me telling Mumika that she would be more welcomed in mid – october because my course load goes from three classes down to two, she decided she was going to come visit. Her reasoning – I have winter clothes for you. Who am I to say no to free clothes?

Saturday is my “anniversary” so of course I have to make something special. And I’m marking this new year of marriage by doing something drastically different with my hair. Mumika has perfect timing in coming up because she likes to do photo shoots whenever I do something new AND I am hoping to get puppy and mommy pictures. I have been photographed with the puppies since last thanksgiving. Maybe I can convince Bryan to do a one picture family pic of us with Shadow and Akira.

SO it’s a big weekend in which I have to make time for even though me and time are in a furious debate of what courses of actions are the most proficient use of said time. AKA – I don’t have time for this but I’m being good and makin time even though I am still writing notes from last weeks Ethics readings. It’s a 50 paged chapter and the chapter I just read for the same class is also 50 pages. I’m up to my eye balls in reading. And I still have a paper, an interview, a powerpoint presentation, and a discussion and reply post to do this week.

But I figured out the menu for this Friday and Saturday and that’s all that matters.

Anniversary weekend menu:

Friday dinner – Greek burgers with Tzatiki sauce and sweet potato fries
Saturday dinner – Chicken Piccata
Saturday dessert – apple dumplings

I know it’s not much. But it’s a lot for me right now. That and Mumika is leaving Sunday morning so I don’t have to cook as much.

4th of July Menu

Happy Father’s Day!!!!

As we celebrate dads everywhere, alive and dead, fathers of furbabies and angels, I am reminded how close Independence Day is.

4th of July is about two maybe three weeks. Last year I made an apple brown betty for the family which only Bryan and I ate. We did have fireworks and amazing friends over though.

Bryan’s family really doesn’t do much for the 4th. I find it odd considering my father inlaw used to be in the army.

We also weren’t fully in the house as we are now.

So in a way, this is our first real 4th in the house. And if it rains, at least we have covered areas to grill under.

Because it will only be me and Bryan this year, I decided to do a simple menu that’s more than hot dogs and burgers yet very Americana.

The 4th Menu

Grilled bacon avocado and cheese brisket burgers
Potato salad
Cherry Tartlets
Adult Lemonade

Bryan has requested peach cobbler so I’m going to try to make his grandmother’s recipe.

This is going to be fun.

Hopefully we will get some fireworks also!

Mumika’s Birthday of Yummy Food Delights

That’s right. I’m going to be in town for Mumika’s birthday. Actually I’m leaving on her birthday, but that’s not going to stop me from cooking awesome yummy food delights.

Last year I can’t remember what I cooked dinner wise, but for dessert I did this mascarpone cheese stuffed strawberries which were so amazing, I made two batches. I have no clue how to outdo myself.

My sister in law is supposedly coming over to visit Mumika and go to Hancocks to look at fabric so I might do a tea time little set up. Something quick and tasty. Make Hibiscus Lemonade or Lavender Lemonade or something.

Yummy Food Delights

Monday dinner – Beef Stuffed Shells
Tuesday breakfast – Eggs over asperagus
Tuesday tea time – Hibiscus Lemonade (let’s be daring) with chicken salad on top of avocado
Tuesday dessert – fruit tarts
Wednesday breakfast – Lemon Parmesan Angel Hair Pasta with a fried egg and bacon
Wednesday dinner – Steak with creamy broccoli and cheesy corn quinoa
Thursday breakfast – Red Pepper and Baked Egg Galettes with fruit salad
Thursday lunch – Club Grilled Cheese with tomato and mozzarella salad
Birthday Dessert – Strawberry and Rhubarb tartlets.

She told me she wanted something rhubarb related for her birthday. Although her strawberry and rhubarb crumble is absolutely amazing, it’s not new. So for no it’s the tartlets….mini pies of tart amazingness.

As for the rest of the menu, I’ve become more daring and adventurous in my cuisine when I’m at Mumika’s. Why not have pasta for breakfast? Or asparagus? Why bloody not. I live in America, we are known for doing what we want and not giving a fuck.

So let’s strip away the preconceived notion about what breakfast is and innovate it to the point that people start eating breakfast again. Because we all know that not only is breakfast the most important meal of the day giving our bodies the fuel to get through our day making us smarter, brighter, better, but it also helps us lose weight. And we all know how America is at war…..with obesity.