Flu and food

Don’t let the title worry you, all is well here at Casa de Hectic. Luckily I cooked up chicken and meatballs, sprouts, broccoli, and sweet potatoes earlier in the week so that has kept me well fed during lunches at work. Also NO sodas! Just water and tea. No artificial sweeteners, nothing chemical or yucky. So far I feel fine. Still obviously detoxing and getting the sugar and junk out of my system.

I went to get a checkup this week too, and will have blood drawn for all the usual labs. The doc and I talked a bit about this flu season. She agreed that its been a bad one already, with lots of folks getting hit HARD by the flu and other viral things.

It got me to really thinking about when I get sick. Usually I can tie my illness to two direct factors: stress and diet. Guess what happens when my stress level goes up? I eat poorly, or not at all. With my food allergy, that stresses my immune system and then WHAMMO! I’m sick. I know this sounds obvious and nothing new, but maybe writing it here will keep me accountable.

The next time I am overly stressed and I blog that I’m having ice cream or bourbon and cola for dinner, you have permission to yell at me. You have permission to remind me to NOT be stupid. Deal?

And if you are sick with the flu, I promise I will share my chicken soup recipe to make you feel better.

I think that’s a great deal, don’t you?

So thankful

Here’s the starting lineup during today’s feast for anyone who is interested:
Two turkeys – roasted using Chef Michael Symon’s cheesecloth method. Total weight: 31 pounds
One ham – cooked in the infra-red deep fryer – 20 pounds
Root vegetable stuffing (gluten-free!)
Orange-cranberry sauce
Creamy mashed potatoes
Green beans and bacon
Herbed creamed broccoli bake
Corn and Cauliflower bake
Sweet potato casserole
Watergate salad
Green tossed salad
Deviled Eggs
Macaroni and cheese
Cucumber and cream cheese canapes
Cotton Pickin’ Cake
Ice cream cake
Pumpkin pie (regular crust and gluten free graham crust)
Pecan Pie (see above)
Apple Cranberry Tart
White chocolate cheesecake

Twenty family members and close friends gathered together, prayed together, ate together, and then laid around on the couch wishing for yoga pants. We were joined by five others for dessert. It was a spectacular day and evening where we enjoyed full bellies and fuller hearts.

Oh and that win by my Washington Redskins was the best dessert ever.

I hope your Thanksgiving nourished you as well – body and soul.

What’s on the menu for Thanksgiving?

We’re having 22 for dinner tomorrow, and everyone is contributing. In my house we’re responsible for turkey, ham, stuffing, gravy, and my incredible cranberry sauce. I added the zest of one orange to mine tonight and it is a really great balance of orange and cranberry. Not super tart, not overly sweet, just a really great mix. I may split the batch and add some fresh ginger to half just for a little more zing. We’ll see. I also made a huge batch of creamy mashed potatoes courtesy of The Pioneer Woman.

Everyone is bringing something… we’ve got veggie dishes, sweet potato casserole, dinner rolls, mac and cheese, pies of every flavor, cake, deviled eggs, cheesecake, iced tea…. yeah, we are a family blessed with a bounty of food and love, and blessings. I plan on spending my day enjoying THEM. There will be no rushing out to stores, or being distracted by the dust bunnies that I will have inevitably missed. Tomorrow is a day to have my stomach and my SOUL filled with the gathering of family and friends.

I am thankful for so very much this year. November has just sucked so far, but I am still here. I am still alive and kicking, and learning things about myself and my own resilience. I have a wonderful support system, and I plan to surround myself with them this weekend.

Until then, enjoy what my stove looks like, as my root veggies are sauteed in preparation for tomorrow morning. They just LOOK like Autumn to me and the smell is something to be thankful for indeed.

I hope tomorrow provides each of you plenty of reasons for gratitude and thanksgiving. Have a wonderful day, my foodie friends.

It’s Turkey Time!

The biggest foodie day of the year is tomorrow, and I like many of you have been shopping and preparing, and researching. For those of you who are looking for the perfect turkey on Thanksgiving Day, I thought I would share:


I thought this sounded good! Here is a turkey recipe that also includes the use of popcorn as a stuffing ingredient — imagine that. When I found this recipe, I thought it was perfect for people like me, who just are not sure how to tell when turkey is thoroughly cooked, but not dried out. Give this a try.

8 – 15 lb. turkey
1 cup melted butter
1 cup stuffing (Pepperidge Farm is Good)
1 cup un-popped popcorn (ORVILLE REDENBACHER’S LOW FAT IS BEST)
Salt/pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush turkey well with melted butter, salt, and pepper.
Fill cavity with stuffing and popcorn. Place in baking pan making sure the
neck end is toward the front of the oven, not the back.

After about 4 hours listen for the popping sounds.

When the turkey’s a** blows the oven door open and the bird flies across the room,…. it’s done.

NOTE: This recipe isn’t for turkey, it’s for LAUGHS. Please don’t try this at home. If you’re unsure on the best path to a delicious turkey, please see any of the pros on Food Network, or call the Butterball Hotline, or make RESERVATIONS instead of dinner.

And now I’m off to make my cranberry sauce, and prep the vegetables I’m using for my root vegetable stuffing. Two turkeys are thawing, my ham is thawed, and I still have to find more chairs…. More later!

Post Sandy

What’s the first thing I consumed after Sandy left town?


Chai Latte. Nectar of the Gods. All is well. My prayers are with all of those adversely affected by the storm, and my irreverent banter will return once I finally get the family to finish all these leftovers!

Just a quick check in

Sandy is pounding those north of us but we are holding up ok. Haven’t lost power (and even if we do, I have a gas stove and fireplace). We are all warm and snug and eating everything in sight. At this point, once the storm clears I may need to turn this into a diet blog!

In all seriousness, I hope that everyone reading this is holding up ok. My prayers to everyone in Sandy’s path, I hope she treats you as gently as she has treated us. I’ll be back to irreverent food blogging soon, I promise. For now thought it’s more important to be a little serious and keep others in my prayers.

God bless us, every one.

Storm Prep

Hurricane Sandy is going to batter the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast over the course of Sunday night/Monday/Tuesday…so I had to do some storm prep in advance. Would you like to know how I prepare for a huge storm that is likely to knock out power and keep us housebound for 48 hours?

Well spouse and I put the deck furniture away, and moved the grill close to the house. We made sure to have two full propane tanks, and moved the generator into the garage, having it filled up with gas. Extra gas cans are at the ready. Cars are fueled up, phones are charged, and I pulled out the emergency kit with flashlights, LED lamps, batteries, candles, and glow sticks!

We also went to the store… we always have cases of bottled water, but we made sure to add a few just in case the power goes out (no power = no pump from the well) and we stocked up on supplies.

Chips, dip, brownie mix, popcorn, soda, bread, lunch meat, wine, and toilet paper.

RIGHT. Storm time = junk food time here at the casa…I need to at least have mindless eating to take the place of worrying about flooding and high winds. Currently I have a pan of “everything” brownies in the oven. That’s gluten free brownies studded with caramels, marshmallow, and almonds… I’ll sprinkle some coconut on the top just before they’re done. Basically, these brownies have everything left over from my other dessert projects added to them. If it’s sweet and yummy and mixes with chocolate, it’s going in there.

Because if I’m going to be housebound with my children, I need fuel.

Tonight we had roast chicken, parsley potatoes, and sauteed cabbage. I swear I LOVE sauteed cabbage. I used bacon grease, and thinly sliced ribbons of cabbage in skillet. I seasoned those ribbons with a little mustard powder, onion powder, salt, and half a lemon before finishing it with parsley compound butter (the same stuff I put on the potatoes and under the skin of my roasted chicken). Dinner was delicious, satisfying, and if we have no power, I can make cold chicken salad, and a skillet bubble and squeak on my gas stovetop.

Now I’m just relaxing, praying for my friends up and down the coast, and hunkering down with the spouse, the kids, and the pooches. I’m confident that our preparations will see us through the worst of this storm.

Because NOTHING wards off a hurricane like “everything” brownies. Stay safe y’all!