Monday, October 31, 2011

Crunchy Green Goodness -Spicy Kale Chips!

I need more greens in my diet. I like salad, but it get boring quick. I never seem to have the right ingredients to make some awesome salads from a few of the other blogs I follow, like Leann's Cranberry Mango Millet Salad at Healthful Pursuit, and Gena's Sprouted Lentil Salad at Choosing Raw.

I have a hate/hate relationship with kale. I can't stand it raw, and my grandmother's recipe involves cooking it like collard greens until it's almost mush. I had high hopes for kale chips, but the last time I tried making them, it was a disaster. I had almost decided that I was never going to try them again. When I realized that the kale in my fridge was going to go bad if I didn't use it, and I was in desperate need of something crunchy, I gave in and gave it another go.

These turned out great. The ingredient list is really small, and it's a very simple to make. I started with Gena's recipe for Spicy Curry Kale Chips, and modified it to my liking. These certainly do not disappoint.


Spicy Kale Chips - Vegan, gluten-free, and can be made raw

> 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour
> 1 head kale, washed, dried, de-stemmed and cut/ripped into bite-size pieces - the drying is SUPER IMPORTANT. I didn't do this last time, and that's why they came out terrible. I suggest letting them dry on paper towels while waiting for your cashews to soak.
> 1 tsp chili/cayenne powder (I used hot chimayo powder from Savory Spice Shop)
> 1 tsp garlic powder
> 1 pinch sea salt to taste
> 1/4 cup water

Using food processor/magic bullet/blender, blend cashews, chili powder and garlic powder with half the water. If it is still chunky or really thick, add more water. I love Gena's description - you are looking for a nut pate, thin hummus, but not runny. I used a magic bullet, so I just did the water and cashews, then stirred the spices in with a spoon. Add more chili powder if it's not spicy enough for you.

Massage into kale. Get them good and smothered in the cashew sauce. Lay covered kale out on cookie sheet and bake at 325 for 20 minutes or until crunchy. (They took 22 minutes in my oven.) These can be kept raw by using a dehydrator at 115 overnight instead of an oven.

Thankfully I had enough kale to make two pans full, so I could take before and after pics :) And I apologize for my crappy pictures. Oh what I would give to have food pics as awesome as Leann's!

These will definitely be heading to the park with us this afternoon for our anniversary picnic! We've been married 2 years today :)

Before:
After:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What's Your Song? Thursday Link Up!

Have you read about my giveaway? You should! Find it here

It's time for Halloween! YAY! This is our favorite time of year, and for good reason. Saturday is our 4 year anniversary, and Monday, Halloween, is our 2 year wedding anniversary! Our apartment complex has lots of decorating competitions throughout the year, and I figured they'd have one for Halloween. I waited and waited for the flyer about it, but it never came. I gave up, and decided I wasn't going to worry about it since I didn't have any money. Then, Hubs took the dog out yesterday and walked back in with a notice about the decorating and pumpkin carving contests! The deadline to enter was TODAY. Yeah. One day to decide if I was competing. The judging is tomorrow. I decided that I needed to carve a pumpkin, and that's what I've been doing all day. The name - 'Blunt Force Trauma'. It's half face, half skull. I'm going to hit the face with a hammer to make the blunt force trauma, and take food coloring to bloody it up. We are adding a toe tag around the stem with his name, 'Lantern, Jack O.', and COD of blunt force trauma. I've got all the carving done, so now I have to beat it up and paint it. I'll be posting pictures when I'm done. I'm also going to be cutting silhouettes out of black trash bags to put in the windows - meat hanging in the kitchen window, and maybe a grim reaper on the patio door.

So as for a song - of course I had to choose a Halloween song. What would be better than This is Halloween from The Nightmare Before Christmas? That song performed by Marilyn Manson :) Enjoy!



Want to join the link up? Head over to Amber's blog, Goodnight Moon and link up!



Sunday, October 23, 2011

My First Giveaway!

My last post was about my decision to start a bakery. I'm very excited about it, and have been getting some fantastic reviews from my taste testers! My menu is small right now, but I am continually working on new recipes to expand it. I'm currently attempting to make a really good gluten free sandwich bread that doesn't have corn, potato, white rice, or soy in it. I hope to have it done by opening day, Nov 1. I know it's weird to open on a Tuesday, but I plan to be very busy celebrating our 2 year wedding anniversary on Halloween by scaring little kids :)
I figured one of the best ways to advertise the bakery was to have a blog giveaway. So that's exactly what I'm doing! One lucky reader will receive a $20 gift certificate to I Can't Believe It's Good For Me. The giveaway is open until midnight, Oct. 31. The winner will be chosen by random.org and announced on Nov 1.

Here are the rules:
1 - You must complete the mandatory entry.
2 - Post each entry as a separate comment.
3 - Leave your name and email in at least one comment so I can contact you if you are the winner. 

MANDATORY

1-Follow my blog and the I Can't Believe It's Good For Me blog via Google Friend connect and leave a comment saying you have.


The first entry is mandatory, if you don't do it, I will delete your entries. I will check each and every entry before doing the draw. You need to do the first step for the extra entries to count.
_________________________

Extra entries (1 each unless indicated otherwise)

- Tell me what menu item you are most excited to try or suggest a new one, +1
- Subscribe to my blog by e-mail and confirm, right sidebar, +1
- Follow the bakery on Twitter, +1
- Like I Can't Believe It's Good for Me on Facebook , +1
- Blog about this giveaway on your blog and provide a link to your blog, + 3
- Post my button on your blog and provide a link to your blog, +2
- Tweet about this giveaway once a day, post the link in a comment, +1

  "I entered a giveaway for a new PCOS-friendly bakery, @ICBItsGoodForMe, here: http://bit.ly/pjKqwR"
- Post this giveaway on a blog giveaway directory and provide a link to the directory, +2 


Good luck!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Starting a new business, and I need help with a name!

I'm so excited about this. I haven't been this excited in a long time. I love to bake. I've wanted to start a bakery, but here in Texas, that's been difficult. In order to run a bakery out of your home, you have to have a completely separate kitchen and storage facilities for your business. I understand the reasoning, but dang, really? I'd have no problem with a health inspector visiting my kitchen. I don't mind the licensing. But to either add a second kitchen to our home or rent a commercial kitchen? That requires a large financial investment - which I don't have. Thankfully, the Texas Senate understands. They passed SB 81, a.k.a. the Texas Baker’s Bill or Cottage Foods Bill. As of Sept 1, 2011 you can run a bakery out of your home - no license, no inspection, you can even have pets. The restrictions? You can't sell online, you can't sell at farmer's markets, and you can't make more than $50k a year. No problem. I can deliver in my area. Now the text actually says ''Sec. 437.0194.  SALES BY COTTAGE FOOD PRODUCTION OPERATIONS THROUGH THE INTERNET PROHIBITED. A cottage food production operation may not sell any of the foods described in Section 437.001(2-b)(A) through the Internet." This is all it says about internet sales. Through my interpretation, I can't take orders via the internet. However, I do believe I can take phone orders and receive payment via the internet. However, I am going to continue doing research to find out, because it's not clear, and I want it to be. I think by the time I need to really start working on out-of-town sales, I hope to be in a commercial kitchen so I won't have these restrictions.

Anyways, I said all that to say this. I'm opening my own bakery. It will be PCOS-friendly, obviously. Once I nail down the recipes, I'll be offering cakes, breads, muffins and other pastries, most of which, if not all, will be gluten-free. I know that gluten-free bakeries are trending right now, but I'm focused on making women with PCOS happy. I'll be staying away from corn, potato starch, white rice, and soy. I'll use farmer's market fruits (as much as I can). Healthier sugars like succanat, stevia and agave.

But I need a name. I've never been really good at coming up with names. Do you have any ideas? I'll take any suggestions!

For more info about the new bill: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=82R&Bill=SB81

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What's Your Song? Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011

We got a couple of new games this week - Just Dance 3 and Karaoke Revolution: American Idol Edition. I blogged about JD3 a few days go, you can read it here. Hubs asked me if I wanted to sing for him tonight, so I played Karaoke Revolution again. I've been crowned American Idol twice now, lol. Next time we are going to see if we can get booted off :) Although I can belt out Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On or Rihanna's Unfaithful really well, my favorite song to sing is Hemorrhage by Fuel. Oh, and if you can keep from staring into the singer's eyes during this video, mad props to you!



Join us on this great link-up from Amber at Goodnight Moon!

Monday, October 10, 2011

The new game I love dancing to!

Every few weeks I try a new workout game. If I don't keep switching games, I get bored and just quit. Today I tried Just Dance 3 for the first time, and I really like it!


What's great about JD3 is that they just took JD2 and improved on it. It wasn't a total overhaul, it was just some extra features. As you play, you gain 'Mojo', which in turn unlocks new songs and dance modes. I like games where you have something to work towards. JD2 didn't have that. The song list is fantastic, with a wide variety of speeds and styles. It also has some songs with 4 different dancers, to make things more interesting when playing with friends. My favorite song so far is 'Beautiful Liar', which was originally performed by Shakira and Beyonce. Of course it was a fun, booty-shaking good time :) And you know that song by Cee-Lo, called Forget You? It's on here too. Oh, and I was sweating like crazy after just a few songs - but it was fine with me because I was having so much fun! I can't wait to unlock some more fun songs!

And here's some Cee-Lo, just for the heck of it :P (This is the un-edited version, so be forewarned)



Disclaimer: I am not being paid for this review. This post is solely my opinion.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Had to rant, yet again.

There's been something eating away at me lately. Although I want to be excited for all the ladies in my support groups getting preggo, but it's hard. A lot of them have been getting preggo without 'trying' - they took their focus off getting pregnant and it happened. But instead of being happy for them, it just depresses me even more. We don't get that opportunity. We will always be 'trying' to get pregnant, because we have to use a donor.

It sucks. It feels as though we are worse off than a lot of other couples going through infertility. In a way, we are. We are, without a doubt, 100% not able to have a child that is biologically related to Hubs.  (Unless we use a family member as a donor - and that's just creepy to me. The thought of having to tell my child someday that Dad is really a brother or an uncle is a conversation I never want to have.) We don't have the options for him that I do. I can help improve my fertility with supplements, exercise and diet change. He can't. He might be able to get his issue surgically corrected, but that doesn't guarantee that he'll actually have functioning little soldiers. He could take supplements if he had a low count, but there is a big difference between low count and 0. We have 0. Zip. Nada. Nothing.

It's situations like this that further deepen my belief in the lack of God. How could something all-knowing, caring and loving put two people together, who so desperately want to be parents, only to throw multiple infertility problems our way? If God was out there, listening to the thoughts in my heart, He'd know that I've wanted to be a mom since I was 5. I have literally always wanted to be a mom. And Hubs, he really wants to be a dad. I know he's wanted kids for at least 4 years now. Please, if you disagree with me, good. You have your own opinions. But don't try to tell me that this is all in God's plan. Saddling us with something that causes debilitating and crippling depression is not His plan. Fuck that. It's not in his plan to make drug addicts ridiculously fertile. To watch thousands of children get placed in foster care, hoping for a family to love them.

And yes, someone is thinking 'Why don't you just adopt?'. My response - I would if I could. Adoption fees are outrageously high. Like down payment on a freakin' house high. We are excluded from international adoption because Hubs will always have to rely on a mobility aid. A diagnosis of bipolar disorder and depression also excludes us from qualifying. We are too young to adopt in the States. Granted, we only have a year and a half before we qualify age-wise, that's a lifetime to us. Finding a pregnant woman that wants to have an adoption plan is difficult when you have a small circle of friends/family. It's not like we have a church full of people to ask for help in spreading the word. In all honesty, I'm fairly certain that even if any of my family or friends knew of someone that wanted to give a baby up for adoption, they aren't going to pass along our information.

I know I shouldn't expect other people to care about our problems. I have friends I've known for years, who I've told on many occasions about our issues, that still don't remember the next time the child subject comes up. I can't tell you how much I hate the questions like 'Do you have kids?', 'When are you planning to have kids?', 'Do you want to have kids?' If I wouldn't get in trouble for it, I'd probably punch someone. Sometimes I feel the need to wear a shirt saying 'Warning: you will regret asking me about children.'

I wish these rants made me feel better. It feels good to get everything out in the open, but it doesn't make the thoughts or the pain go away. I don't feel one iota better now than I did when I started writing. but maybe, this may help just one person more sensitive around me. Maybe I wouldn't get text messages of sonograms announcing pregnancy (which really drive me crazy when the father has been home less than a month out of the entire year and still manages to get pregnant. If the friend I'm talking about reads this, I'm sorry. I'm not mad at you. I'm just really depressed that you are getting something I really want without even trying. That's why I don't ask about the pregnancy when we talk.) Maybe someone will stop and think before asking me about our future kids. Maybe my dad will stop telling me he's too young to have grandchildren. Maybe my mother-in-law would stop saying she doesn't care if we have kids or not because she 'already has grandchildren.'

Or maybe life won't change at all, and I'll just continue ranting when I feel I'm about to explode.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Meet Spike!

 We went to visit Hubs' aunt after the 5K was over. She had just recently picked up this cute puppy, Spike, to keep her company, since her last one died a year ago. Spike is a black lab/Pomeranian mix. Wild, right? He's small, soft and fluffy, with an adorable lab face. He's rambunctious and has a little bit of a biting problem. Like all puppies, he thinks everything is edible. He has a tiny white line of fur that goes right down his forehead, hence the name Spike. It's not my choice for a name, because it's so common, but he knows it so it stays. My mom asked me last night if we could give him a middle name so she would have something to call him because she didn't like his name either, lol.


The 3rd day we were there, he stopped being able to keep any food down. Hubs' aunt freaked out, thought he was going to need surgery, and started looking for a no-kill shelter she could take him to. He was still happy and playful, so I wouldn't let it happen. I did some googling (and made calls to the vet) and determined that since he wasn't lethargic, we needed to give him a day without food to clear out his system. Hubs' aunt was still certain that she could not keep him anymore, so I decided that he would be coming home with us.


The next day, he kept his food down just fine. It turns out that he had been left outside, ALONE, for too long and stuffed himself on hackberries and dead leaves. Hubs' aunt was still certain she no longer wanted to keep him, so it was official. He became one of our clan. We bought him an id tag with a jack o' lantern on it. It's been decided that he's our anniversary present to ourselves.


I was worried about bringing him home to the birds, but so far, all is well. He doesn't wake up when the birds are singing/screaming, and he doesn't bark in response. THANK GOODNESS! We're working on basic potty training and no biting. He's great on the leash, and I can tell he's going to be a great workout partner! Because he's such an odd mix, we have no idea how big he is going to get - this will prove interesting :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Barking AHHH

Guest post from: Steve Delaney

For some reason lately, my dog has started barking more than ever. The bark isn’t just a regular bark, it is a shrill. I swear it is loud enough to set off the HOME SECURITY SYSTEMS in the neighborhood! I am just waiting for a knock on the door for my neighbors to complain. When we first started barking like that he was doing it because he wanted in the house. Being an idiot, I let him in a few times when he barked. Now, he wants in the house all the time and barks non-stop. I have been trying to break him of the habit by not opening the door when he demands to get the house. It is so hard though. Eventually, I just give in because his barking drives me absolutely bonkers. I also get anxiety just thinking that the next random phone call is going to be from my neighbors complaining about his barking. I just don’t know what I am going to do! I really don’t want to put a barking collar on him, but I think I may just have to!

PCOS Awareness 5K - Houston TX, Sept 25

I've been gone for the past week and a half, so I haven't done any blogging. I've got so much to talk about! For the sake of my sanity and yours, I'm scheduling several posts to release throughout the week, instead of posting them all at once :)

Two big things happened this past week: PCOS 5K in Houston TX and... we got a dog! His name is Spike, and he's a black lab/pomeranian mix. Pics and more details to come tomorrow!

As for the 5K, hosted by the PCOS Foundation, it was fantastic. To be honest, I didn't think I was going to make it. I don't usually make it more than one lap around the pond at the park, and it's only 4/10ths of a mile. This was over 3 miles!

The walk was along the Sabine-to-Bagby Promenade in downtown Houston. It was a beautiful location, and I enjoyed taking pictures as much as I did walking. There were over 100 runners and at least 150 walkers. I was not expecting such a huge turnout, but it was fantastic! Can't wait to try and get one going in Dallas!