PMRNMVIT

Happy National Celiac Awareness Day to all those with celiac! I hope you have a splendidly gluten free day!

Last night I was back at work. It had been a lovely 4 days off (I sometimes have a love/hate relationship with my schedule!) except that the New Yorker and I had been away all weekend and hadn’t gone grocery shopping. That meant one thing: Scavenge for food!

As I talked about here, it’s really hard to find nutritious food on a night shift. We had gone to Not Your Average Joes (more about that a little later) the night before, and so being the sweetheart that he is, The New Yorker gave me his leftovers. Then I hunted down some crackers, a banana, yogurt and cereal. Needless to say, it was less than a stellar dinner that had me heading for the Lays Potato chips at around 2 am. The even better story here is that I had been trying to make a milkshake for my Grandma, and didn’t realize that Carnation Instant Breakfast is so not gf! So I headed into work with no sleep, a boring dinner, and a super gluted stomach. Rough!

The shift wasn’t that bad, I survived and was ready to leave in the morning. Getting on the bus home there were a TON of open and empty seats! I plopped my poor tired body down in one and put my bag on the seat next to me. Not even 3 minutes later, with all the empty seats still available, a woman comes over, doesn’t say anything and just pushes my bag onto my lap and plops down next to me. Now, I love to talk to people, but after a 12 hour night shift on my floor, you don’t want to be on the same bus with me, much less right next to me!

I grumbled through the whole ride and shot grumpy texts to The New Yorker. When I got home and finished complaining about it, I hopped on the computer to check something before going to bed. That was when I saw this genius thing : PMRNMVIT!

Translation: Night (PM) Nurse (RN), MOVE IT! (MVIT)

Its so true! No matter how hard you try, people are not naturally nocturnal! Anyway, it made me laugh, and now I want a shirt that says it! 🙂

Moving back to the food part of this blog here! The New Yorker and I are getting married in a church, so we had to go to this (I don’t know what to really call it) counseling weekend. There were 60 couples there total, and it was LONG. Very informative, but VERY long.

They served pasta, bread, and caesar salad with croutons mixed in for lunch, so I had to pass on lunch. I was pretty hungry by the time we left, and we were on such a “we’re so close to being married” high that we decided to head out for dinner. I jumped on google on my iPhone (what did we do before those?!) and found Not Your Average Joe’s nearby. The New Yorker’s only experience with NYAJs was catering at work, and he just remembered that the mashed potatoes were to die for. Sign me up!

So we went in and they handed me a gluten free menu. 2 points!

Choices, choices!

The server came over and brought us bread and the cheesy, oil delight that they have you dip it in. As soon as he realized I had the gf menu, he ran off and came back with a gf roll for me, and a new plate of the cheesy delight for me to dip in. I was in shock! No one ever brings you separate dips.

Delish!

Amazing!

Then he asked what we wanted to drink. I asked what they had that I could have, and next thing I knew the manager was at my table. He told me he couldn’t guarantee any of the drinks on the menu were safe, so he wanted to create something for me specifically that wouldn’t make me sick. The New Yorker and I were both so surprised. We’ve been introduced to every manager at all the places we go (it’s pretty standard in MA that if you have a food allergy, the manager will deliver your food) and none had ever offered that. Usually they say “have some wine”, which is fine, but sometimes you’re just in the mood for something fruity!

After a few trips to talk to the bartender, check google, and come ask me what I liked, he whipped up a frozen vodka/fresh fruit drink that was amazing!

Frozen fruit spectacular! (excuse the iPhone photos!)

We ordered dinner, and talked about the weekend. When the food came, I was so hungry that I dove into my dinner and devoured it before I remembered to take a picture! Fail! It was baked haddock with garlic mashed potatoes and summer veggies. So good!

When we finished eating the manager came over again to give us a welcome packet (since it had been our first time there) that included $5 off our next trip, and 10%, 20%, and 30% off takeout orders. Again, super surprised! When they handed me the iTouch to fill out a survey, you can bet I gave a glowing review!

So now I’m headed back to work in a few (I like to bring this full circle!) and I’m going to make the Kale salad again! No more crappy dinners!

I hope you all had a great day! Show some Gluten Free Love today!

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We Remember

It is more than I can wrap my mind around, that 10 years ago today the World Trade Center in New York City was hit by planes hijacked by terrorists. I always go back to my 14 year old mind, sitting in Freshman History class learning about Taoism when our principal came over the loud speaker to address the school and let us know what had happened.

I remember what a gorgeous day it was. Perfect weather. I remember thinking to myself, “how is it possible that on such a beautiful day, such a horrible thing could happen?” I remember watching the TVs that the school set up, and seeing over and over again the same pictures. At 14, it was more than I should have been allowed to see, but I’m glad no one stopped me from seeing it.

I remember watching in horror as people jumped from the windows of the World Trade Center. I remember watching the crowds of people running and screaming in the streets. I remember watching the countless heros – firefighters, police officers, EMTs, and random people on the street – running into the buildings to help, knowing they probably would never come out alive.

Most of all, I remember crying. I remember crying for the families of those in the Towers. I remember crying for the families of those on the planes, and in the Pentagon. I remember crying for the heros who had lost their lives, and the ones who had lost their brothers.

In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, a strange thing happened that I had never witnessed in my short 14 years. There was an immense sense of pride in the United States of America. There were flags everywhere. In windows, on bridges, on cars, on buildings. People had gone from being indifferent about America, to having a fierce love for our country. People would stop to thank a firefighter, or police officer on the street – just for doing what they did everyday. People would stop to thank anyone in our Armed Forces, as they should have been doing all those years before. The horror of the attacks on September 11th reminded us of what our country stood for.

So here we are, 10 years later. I still have a hard time wrapping my 24 year old mind around what happened. I still cry for the families, and those who lost their lives or loved ones. Even as I write this, I am having a hard time holding back my tears.

I find myself frequently looking at pictures of 9/11. Being someone who loves photography, I find it easier to think about the events in still pictures. It gives me more time to process what I am seeing. I’ve seen photos of the smoke rising from the skyline, with a beautiful sunset in the background. I’ve seen photos of a firefighter with a mask on, holding his helmet and crying. I’ve seen photos of the dust and the destruction. I have seen photos of the memorials to mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters and friends who will never return home.

I have also seen photos of the  American flag unfurled at the Pentagon. I have seen photos of the Tribute in Light. I have seen what I consider to be one of the most beautiful photos ever taken:

Thomas E. Franklin / The Bergen Record

(Source)

While out walking with The New Yorker yesterday, we found a small tribute in Boston. While it is by no means the largest, most grand memorial, I personally found it to be quite beautiful, and very touching.

On this 10 year anniversary of September 11th, make sure you take the time to stop and reflect, and to remember that day. Remember those who lost their lives, and those who are still fighting for our country’s freedom. And most of all, never forget.

This is a day when all Americans from every

walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and

peace. America has stood down enemies

before, and we will do so this time. None of us

will ever forget this day.   Yet, we go forward to

defend freedom and all that is good and just in

our world.   Thank you.  Good night, and God

bless America.

President George W. Bush

September 11, 2001

Tofu for lunch?!

I’ve officially reached a turning point in my life. I had tofu for lunch, on my own free will, and enjoyed every stinkin’ bite of it!

Tofu and I have recently gone from mortal enemies to BFFs. While the transition was slightly rocky, we are both standing here today (tofu in stomach, me on couch, so no one is really standing) in solidarity.

After my first adventure with tofu, I have to say, I was hooked. I had a little difficulty pressing the tofu (thank god for google, otherwise there may have been a disaster before I even got to try the tofu!). My sister and I were talking about tofu and pressing tofu, and she told me that she had finally found a use for all of her boyfriend’s law books. Insta-tofu press! So I took a page out of her book (see what I did there??) and used my Med-Surg book from nursing school this time around. The thing is a beast!

I NEVER carried this to class!!

Then I used paper towels (not environmentally friendly, I know, but I’m getting there) and made my tofu press!

Tofu Press!

It was unbelievably useful, and way more efficient than me jumping up and down trying to get enough leverage on my counters! (Damn being 5 feet tall!)

I cut up the tofu in to small squares, added some oil and garlic salt to the pan, and once it was heated up put the tofu, onions and mushrooms into the pan to cook.

A little boring, don't you think?

It was all pretty much one color. I wish I had had some peppers to add to it. Oh well, next time!

While I was waiting for everything to cook, I had a glass of wine.

I love wine!

I’m totally putting a wine tasting on my bucket list!

Once lunch was ready I sat down with my tofu, veggies, and wine. It was a perfect lunch!

Boring color, wonderful taste!

The New Yorker and I are off for our marriage prep course tonight. I’m not really looking forward to it, but we have to do it so we can get married in the church. I’m trying very hard to keep an open mind, but if they show us the video of the guy on the donkey talking about natural family planning that my parents saw 3o years ago, it might be very hard to keep an open mind!

I also took a ton of pictures while out walking today, so I will do my best to get them edited and up here. One will 100% be up tomorrow, the rest might take a day or two.

I hope you all have a wonderful Saturday!

Baking Challenge

I have been home for a few days now in the rain. Being a nurse means you never have a normal schedule. Sometimes I work days, sometimes I work nights, sometimes I work 3 days in a row, sometimes I’m off for 7 in a row. It’s crazy. Since it’s raining I’ve been unable to get out and do as much as I normally would like to. So I decided to bake something today.

Herein lies the challenge. I couldn’t get to a grocery store (The New Yorker has the car), so I had to figure out something to make with what I already had in the house.

Challenge ingredients!

I figured I couldn’t go wrong with peanut butter, chocolate and sugar!

After a Twitter shoutout, I was directed to these from Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers, and these from Karina at Gluten Free Goddess.

I started with the Peanut Butter Cookies, because I had a pretty solid feeling that The New Yorker would HIGHLY approve of them! (When we first met he survived solely on Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Gatorade. Not even kidding!)

The funny thing about these cookies is that with all the ingredients that I had scavenged for in my house, I only needed 3 of them!

That's it!

My only problem is that I either need to grow taller, or have shorter counter tops. I just couldn’t get enough leverage to mix the batter!

Time for an upper body workout!

I rolled them into a ball and then flattened them out to get the cookie shape I wanted. My only addition to the recipe was that I sprinkled sugar on the top of the cookies before putting them in the oven.

Looks like snow!

Have I mentioned I love manual focus on my camera?!

Baking is more fun when you have pretty things to bake with!

I played around with it for a little while while the cookies were baking and then, voila!

Yummmm!

It took all of my will power to not eat one before taking the picture! These are amazing, and go right up there with the Vanilla cupcake from yesterday! I totally give them 5 stars!

Ready to eat!

At this point I was all ready to go on the cupcakes. Only problem? I realized I had to leave soon for the Team Luna Chix Have 2 Run Walk Or Run for Fun (what a long name!). My friend Kara is trying to get back into running and talked me into doing this with her. We’re in different pace groups, but its the moral support and push of someone counting on you to be there that makes the difference! I’m really looking forward to it. It’s supposed to a really fun and informative run, not to mention all the free stuff!

I’m planning on making the cupcakes on Saturday. It will also give me time to make sure I have all the ingredients. I wasn’t really happy with how much improvising I was going to have to do, so it worked out.

In other random news, 1 month from today I’ll be marrying The New Yorker! 🙂 I REALLY hope it’s not raining like it is today! Please keep your fingers crossed for us!

10/8/2011!

Dear god, we look so young in that picture! And it’s only a year old!

I hope you all have a great afternoon!

Power Outage

**HINT** KEEP READING! THERE IS A PICTURE OF A CUPCAKE TOWARDS THE END!!  🙂

Apparently I have super-sonic ears. Not only can i hear what people are saying 3 floors below me, but I also wake up in the middle of the night when noises I’m expecting go away. Let me elaborate.

This morning at approximately 1:30 our power went out. How do I know this? I woke up because our air conditioner shut off. This happened once before, except the power hadn’t gone out, the a/c had just gone into power saver mode. After waking The New Yorker up in a panic only to find out that everything was fine, I got a bit of a lecture. I learned my lesson and this time waited until I was positive the power was out to wake him up.

Normally power outages are a pain, but not a huge problem. We live with my elderly grandmother who sometimes gets up in the middle of the night to “hit the ladies room”. She relies on a nightlight to guide her through the hall, and then another small light in the bathroom so she can see. I was pretty nervous that she was going to get up and fall, so I put in a call to NSTAR on the spot.

That in and of itself was an adventure. We had determined at this point that some of our outlets worked (read: our fridges, coffee pot, and computers worked, thank god!) but that none of the lights turned on. I called and got this crazy automated answering service that couldn’t understand me. You know the kind –

Machine: “please state your problem”

Groggy me: “Power outage”

Machine: “please state your problem”

Grumpy me: “POWER OUTAGE”

Machine: “please state your problem”

Totally pissed off me: “YOU!”

Machine: “Ok! I can help you with that….”

The New Yorker finally ripped the phone out of my hand and pressed 0. Low and behold I got in touch with a person. He felt the need to ask me if we really were having a power outage. I almost lost it at that point. Who calls at 1:45 in the morning to report a fake power outage?!

After going through some basic trouble shooting it was determined that were were experiencing a “Partial Power Outage” and that someone needed to come check things out. Genius. The New Yorker and I were both laying awake in bed, and finally around 3:30 our doorbell rang. The New Yorker ran downstairs to let them in and took them down to see the circuit breaker. Then they went to check out the manhole outside the house. Guess what! There was a car parked on it. (Not shocking in the city) so they had to wait for a truck to come move the car.

They seriously moved it about 2 feet backwards

Once it was moved the climbed down only to find out that the problem was in the uncovered manhole on the corner. Typical.

By this time The New Yorker had to get to work (he’s on a day trip to upstate NY) and I had to decide if I was calling out of work. With the NSTAR guys needing to get into the house, and grandma by herself in the dark (not to mention she couldn’t hear the doorbell to save her soul) I called work and told them I’d be in when the power was restored. Then, naturally, I called my mom.

Yesterday in a nearby town there was a jewelry heist that ended with 3 suspects fleeing the scene after shooting a police officer. While the officer is (thankfully!) expected to fully recover, the rest of the force has yet to locate the 3 armed and dangerous suspects.

So what happens when I call my mom? “Are your doors locked? They’re looking for the 3 suspects in your neighborhood!” Stellar. Now I have crazy armed lunatics running around my neighborhood, no power, and strange men needing to get into my house. Did I mention that my coffee pot was one of the only things in the house working? It was a total godsend!

After my amazing Dunkin Donuts coffee from my Keurig coffee machine (favorite gift to myself EVER), I was off to find breakfast.

When the power is out, and you’re trying to sustain yourself (gluten free of course) in case you need to fight off armed robbers, what is your first breakfast choice? OBVIOUSLY a delicious gf cupcake from Glutenus Minimus!

Glutenus Minimus

I was on Newbury Street in Boston yesterday with a good friend and we swung into Sweet Bakery (you HAVE to go if you haven’t yet!) and picked up some cupcakes. She got some amazing looking ones (red velvet, pink lemonade, caramel frappuccino, and some other delights that I can’t quite remember) and I got a pack of vanilla gf cupcakes.

Cupcake delight!

I love when places make sure to take us gf people into account. Who doesn’t love a cupcake?! (Speaking of cupcakes, if you want some amazing examples of cupcakes, check out my sister’s blog here for her recap of my bridal shower. The theme? Champagne and cupcakes! Win!!)

Anyway, back to the cupcake. I need to do a little more research on this place, Glutenus Minimus, but so far I give them 5 stars on their cupcakes. The frosting is to DIE for, and the cupcake tastes EXACTLY like a cupcake should! It was perfect!

So I while was writing this on Pages on my laptop and enjoying my cupcake, things start to escalate on my street. We started with one truck at 3:30 this morning:

One Lonely Truck

Then magically, 4 trucks! (you can’t see one behind the tree)

Truck Party!

The nice man named Billy told me that one of the transformers under the street blew, and that they needed to find a generator. Once they found the new generator it would only be 45 minutes until the power was back. About 90 minutes later, the power was back on. Its crazy just how disconnected I felt without it, which leads me to believe I rely way too much on the internet!

I hope everyone has a great and productive day! I’m going to spend my surprise day off cleaning, getting wedding to-do’s checked off my list, and maybe making something delicious 🙂

The case of the missing blogger

I work as a nurse on a VERY busy, and kind of rare unit. This was one of my weekends to work which is why there have been no posts the last few days. I haven’t had time to eat, much less blog! I have one more 12 hour shift left, so hopefully tomorrow I’ll be back on schedule. I hope everyone is having a safe and happy holiday weekend!

20110904-060432.jpg

Accidental run

This morning I went out for a quick 3 mile run. Or so I thought! When I got to my usual turning point my eye was caught by a runner on a boardwalk across the way from me. It hadn’t dawned on me before that Boston’s Harborwalk would be an awesome place to run. So I creepily followed the runner in front of me for another few miles until I realized that if I didn’t turn around, I would never make it home in time to shower before heading out for the day.

This afternoon I googled more information on the Harborwalk and found this:
“The HarborWalk has a changing character as it winds through the city’s waterfront neighborhoods and downtown district, stretching from Chelsea Creek to the Neponset River, through East Boston, Charlestown, North End, Downtown, South Boston and Dorchester. Part of the richness of the HarborWalk is its variety, reflecting the various activities and urban texture of adjacent land. The HarborWalk’s design guidelines allow for the expression of diversity and a variety of active and passive uses.”
(Source) 

I took the Harborwalk through South Boston, Downtown Boston, the North End and Charlestown on my route today. It’s crazy to me how close all these neighborhoods are when you follow the water instead of trying to get through traffic! I definitely need to get back out there with my camera. There are so many gorgeous places along the walkway.

Part of the route takes me right by the New England Aquarium. I have always loved the aquarium, it’s my first choice of things to do when it rains! One of the best things (in my opinion) is the free outdoor harbor seal tank. They always make me smile!

Giggles!

I think they usually make themselves smile! 🙂

Anyway, my run ended up being 6.2 miles and took me an hour almost exactly. It’s hard to run fast when you spend so much time looking around!

Breakfast and lunch today were so rushed I’m not even sure I actually ate meals. I just grabbed leftovers from yesterday (Baked Tofu, and Chocolate Rum Truffles) and ate what I could on the fly.

Dinner on the other hand was amazing! I made another one of my gluten free pizzas. It always starts out with some art:

Oil Art!

Then it becomes a pizza crust:

The New Yorker had a hand in it!

Then I add the toppings:

Please note the cheese only section!

And voila! Pizza!

All done!

The New Yorker had the cheese only section, and I had the section across from that. Next thing we knew, we were left with this:

Bowtie!

Needless to say, pizza tasted gooooood!

I’m headed back to real work tomorrow, and this will be the perfect leftover lunch.

Has anyone tried those new barre classes that have come out? I’m dying to get back into ballet again, and I feel like this would be a good re-intro. Let me know if you have!