Why Blog? Here’s My List.

5 Aug

I’ve been away from this blog for quite a while. Life.

I am always thinking about topics to post about. What direction to go. Is this a food blog? Not especially. I cook a lot, what with four kids and a husband. I’m not crazy about cooking. Of course I love it when my family is happy with a recipe that is successful and delicious. And there is a thrill in learning a new dish or technique. I’ve learned a great deal over the last couple of years about how foods, namely what kinds of foods, are conducive to mine and my family’s health and well being. The art of cooking and food prep doesn’t really float my boat though. Usually I’m a spaz in the kitchen with a control-freak streak and a hearty side of total bitch. Whenever I try out new recipes I’m usually on the verge of hollering, “That’s it! Screw this! Get the cans of tuna and a can opener. And will somebody please make me a damn drink!”. It’s a flaw. I own it.

With so many talented food and lifestyle bloggers out there, I’m sure my lack of contributing will not be missed. Although I do love swapping kitchen adventure tricks!

Is this a blog about family and parenting advice? Dear God Ya’ll, run for the hills if it is! I am by no means a perfect parent. Yet, somehow my husband and I have produced four amazing human beings. We can even “eat the pudding” in the raising of one of them, as she is a bona fide adult at 20 years of age. Granted, she is not yet completely on her own, as she still lives at home while going to college full time and working. But she is going to college full time and working. She has a good head on her shoulders, as does her 16 year old sister. Even when she disagrees with us, at times quite adamantly, about life philosophies, we know she is coming from a grounded and sincere place. As far as parenting styles go, I want to run wild in the streets with this one!

Dance and Fitness? I have a blog for that, misserindancefit.blogspot.com. I like to cross blog sometimes. What I like even more is having another blog that is a little more removed from extended family. We all need a place to complain about that one (or multiple) crazy family member!

Why even have a blog? A question I have often asked myself. I know why I have the misserin one. It helps me pass info to a lot of my Zumba, Balletone and ballet students. Show tutorials for dances or exercises and what not. But what about the random things that bump around in my head. I mean, really…who cares? Um…well, I kinda do. Sometimes I will come across something on Cracked.comJezebel.comBlogHer.com or a myriad of other sites that cross my path. There are articles that I don’t want to forget, or that I want to correlate with another idea, and I don’t want to forget that coupling. I know I am not alone. The internet is an amazing firestorm of ideas and notions. Perhaps the number one reason for me, and the one that I should stay keen on, is that I have always been fascinated about writing. My skills aren’t finely tuned, my technical knowledge rough at best. But the one thing I know for certain; To get better at something, you must do that something. So to explore my skills at writing I must write. Even if it’s just to entertain myself. Or aggravate myself.

So what are some of the most pressing topics on my mind these days? Well, since you asked;

The never-ending adventures of marriage and parenting.

The process of going through a foreclosure.

The process of waiting to find out if my husband will remain gainfully employed where we currently live.

Why it’s important for a woman to embrace her inner sensuality.

How to keep those amazing fresh herbs I buy at the local Farmer’s Market from rotting to shit before I have a chance to use them.

Keeping Gluten-Free sexy and fun for the whole family!

Exploring my spiritual beliefs.

Recovering from my upbringing.

Adventures with aging parents who are crazy (crazy was there before the aging).

My ever-increasing intolerance to dealing with my parents.

Please Dear God, don’t let me become my parents!

Zeitgeist The Movie.

Am I screwing up my kids?

Is the world’s decreasing birth rate a disaster in the making for individual countries?

What do I want to do when I grow up?

Welcome to my cave.

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Sausage and Beet Greens In Red Curry Sauce.

16 Apr
Beet greens.

Beet greens.

 

I love buying beets at my local farmer’s market. They are inexpensive and so nutritious. The beets are usually still attached to their greens. It’s a shame to waste them. I don’t know about your household, but they are a pretty hard sell to my hubby and kids as their own leafy green dish. This is where flavors become my saviors. I tried combining the hearty flavor of sausage with red curry and the richness of coconut milk.

Sausage and Beet Greens In Red Curry Sauce is a fast and easy recipe.

It should easily feed a family of 4. Probably with leftovers!

Tips:

When you add the greens to the skillet, just lay them on top of the other ingredients in the skillet and cover with the lid for a minute or so. This will soften the greens enough to make them easier to mix into the sausage.

Mix the coconut milk, paste and spices in the coconut milk can, with about 1/3 of it poured out (into the skillet with other ingredients). This will make it easier to blend the curry paste and spices, and it saves you an extra dish to wash.

Well blended yumminess!

Well blended yumminess!

 

 

 

ingredients

2lbs. sausage, I used mild

1-2 bunches beet greens, washed well and chopped

2 shallots, finely chopped

1-2 red bell peppers, diced

1 can coconut milk

1 Tablespoon red curry paste, I use Thai Kitchens brand.

1 Tablespoon ground cumin

1 Tablespoon dried basil

Sea salt to taste

 

In a skillet brown sausage over med.-high heat. When sausage it about done toss in shallots and bell peppers and sauté for a about 2 minutes. Add beet greens (refer to tip above), lower heat to med.-low.

 

Prepare coconut milk, curry paste and spice mix (refer to tip above). Pour over greens and sausage and mix. Cover and simmer. Serve warm.

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You can serve it over rice or, one of my favorites, steamed sweet potato.

A quick easy way to prep. sweet potatoes is to wash taters, then cut off a one tip. Place taters on a microwave safe dish, I’ve done up to 5 small to medium sized ones at once. Cover with plastic wrap or a microwave safe plate cover. Cook on high for about 4 to 5 minutes. Just slice open a sweet potato, spread and mash a bit with a fork. Pour curried beet greens and sausage over.

Enjoy!

Homemade Tartar Sauce and Some Yummy Fish Bites.

12 Apr

I wish I could take credit for the recipe of the delicious fish bites I made to other night, but their yumminess makes me not really care where they came from, and just happy that I now have the recipe. Where I did find the recipe for fishy bites was at The Paleo Mama.

Easy, inexpensive and kid-tastebud friendly, I will be making these many more times in the future. In The Paleo Mama’s post she had made a honey mustard dip. I decided to go with a homemade tartar sauce. Earlier in the day I had whipped up some homemade mayo (mayo recipe towards the bottom of the linked post). I also had just bought a jar of Bubbie’s Dill Pickles. So between the Braggs Apple Cider vinegar in the mayo and the Bubbie’s pickles, my tartar sauce would be filled with “culture”. Rha-thar.

I diced up a dill pickle, very fine. I then added about 1/4 cup homemade mayo (I went with a small amount, just in case I got some turned up noses). I put in a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional, especially since there is cayenne already in the mayo). Mix.

8 year old Brian wanted nothing to do with, and ate leftover Chinese takeout instead. Caitlyn and Neil (16 and 12 respectively) dug in and loved them. DD and Daddy-Man were at school and rock band practice (respectively). I think they will dig them next time.

Yup, Fishy Bites and Homemade Tartar Sauce are in the rotation for the foreseeable future.

Do you have a favorite sauce  for dishes like Fishy Bites or chicken nuggets?

 

Boy Vs. Chicken!

9 Apr

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I am not good at sharing kitchen space when I am cooking. I’ve read wonderful accounts of blogging moms who patiently and graciously introduce their eager chitlins to the kitchen arts by having them help and explore during the preparations of the family meals.

I can usually be found barking and hissing at any and all who dare breach the threshold of our home’s hearth when I am in the thick of prepp’in grub.

There have been exceptions. When 16 year old Caitlyn was in 4th grade she had  an assignment to cook a meal in the fashion of the California missions. I think we whipped up something far fancier than what  17th century Franciscan monks ate. We spent the whole day together in the kitchen, and I remember it being fun, sociable and a great learning experience for us both. So I know I have it in me.

Occasionally Daddy-Man and I will co-chef. Often enough though, it’s him coming in to rescue a new recipe that I’ve taken off the rails. He will swoop in after I’ve hollered for the cans of tuna to be brought in and  “Will somebody make me drink. Stat!”

Fortunately, our kids get time with Daddy-Man in the kitchen. He is, by far, the more patient and industrious between the two of us.

So I was delighted to hear about B-Town, our soon to be 9 year old, helping with the cutting up of the oven roasted chicken last night. Three nights a week I teach dance classes until about an hour or more past dinner time. So I usually will have something cooked ahead of time, needing just a bit of prep to get it table ready.

I guess the back story was that B-Town wanted to kick the soccer ball around with Dad, just as Dad was getting dinner ready to serve. Not wanting to completely reject his offer to do something together, Dad invited him to cut up the chicken. Fortunately DD had her camera phone at the ready.

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Daddy-Man showing him the ropes.

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B-Town definitely getting the hang of it!

Some of the cuts were a little funky. But hey, not bad for his first time! Teeth and fingers have to be good for something, right?

This is great news for me, because a). they are learning to help in the kitchen, and b). I hate cutting up chickens. Now I can pass the task off with confidence.

Do you like to enlist the help of family in the kitchen? Or do you like to cook as a soloist? What tasks do you have your kids do?  

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow {What I’m Doing About My Thinning Hair Patches}.

28 Mar

Okay, I know, uber-lame title. But seriously, my hair is thinning! It started about 2 years ago. I had eased into the paleo/primal way of eating. While I was enjoying a list of benefits, my hair got a little cranky. My hair is somewhat fine, but I have a lot of it. Combined with natural waviness, I’ve always had a pretty decent head of hair. I don’t do much to it past washing and air drying. For about the last year and half I have been DIY coloring it, damn grays! I noticed the thinning before I started coloring regularly.

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While it’s not atrocious, it is noticeable to me. As well as unwelcome. As you can see in the picture, it is two patches on my hairline.

Maybe I could rock the Sonya Tayeh look. I LOVE HER!!!

At forty-three, it could be something hormonal. Although having removed gluten from my diet and reducing the amount of non-gluten grains and refined sugar has given me great benefits for other hormonal issues. At thirty-five I was pretty certain that I was perimenopausal. What with the night sweats, fatigue, weight gain and mood swings. The mood swings changed when I went on anti-drepressants. I started low-dose Prozac in my late-thirties after realizing that I had been in denial of my problems with chronic depression and anxiety for 20 years. I have been off of them for about 2 years now. It is a subject that I plan to write about in more depth in the near future. One of the things I had been researching just prior to starting anti-depressants was PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder). I pretty much matched all the symptoms. Pregnancy seemed the only break I got from being on the crazy PMDD roller coaster. The hormonal storm of pregnancy usually came as a welcome relief. Now adays though, I feel very even keel. And, for me personally, being off of an SSRI makes me able to cry at sappy commercials a few days leading up to my period. I like getting choked up at sappy commercials.

I want to add here that I am in no way advocating that anyone should self-diagnose potential mood or depression disorders. And the decision to go on anti-depressants or off of them is a very important one that should be discussed with a profession.

Anyhows, what’s up with my hair? Back in the 80’s when I was dangerously under weight and amenorrheic (abnormal absence of menstruation), my hair was limp and thin. But it was restored back to it’s regular fullness once I started mending my health. My hair has survived 4 pregnancies and bouts of breast feeding. I lost all my ringlet curls, but still, my hair was evenly full.

A couple of years ago when I noticed my thinning hair patches I popped onto the web to see what I could find. I found a lot of words as long as my arm. But basically, the things that matched up to my situation, having made a major change in diet, but overall healthy, said not to worry overmuch. Hey, hair loss happens, fuhgeddaboudit. Also, that hair individual follicles are constantly going through phases of growth, death and regrowth all over the scalp, all the time. Sudden changes can cause some follicles to do a “groupon” move, thus the patches. One piece I read even said something along the lines of by the time you notice the thinning you are on the road to regrowth. This is due to the new hairs starting to push the old hairs out in their new “Spring” of regrowth. I don’t know. I still have these bothersome patches. Grrrrr.

So what am I doing about it? Besides trying not to panic. Well, I’ve been taking a skin, hair and nail supplement, Maxi-Hair by Country Life. While reading a post from one of my favorite blogs, The Great Fitness Experiment, the author mentioned a product that helped with her own hair-rific concerns. Nioxin was the name of the product. Some interweb research revealed that one of their product lines is a three part system, and it appeared that perhaps it was something available at the drugstore. I took a Saturday afternoon to hunt around my town for it to no avail. But what I did find, and have decided to try, is a product called B’iota Botanicals. Unlike OTC Rogaine type products that seem to only target what would be considered baldness patterns that start at the crown of the head (dear God! I hope that isn’t going on with me), as opposed to thinning along the hairline. B’iota seems to be designed to work on random patches. I bought the shampoo and the serum.

Hopefully this will do the trick. Or at least help a bit.

Dare I dream it…

 

or will I just have to settle for this big hare…

 

Thanks for hanging out and reading!

~Erin.

 

Do you have thinning hair problems? What do you do about it?

 

Crazy Easy Oven Roasted Broccoli.

20 Mar

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Last night was the basic “pull all the lefts overs outta the fridge and make a plate to be heated”. I was a little shy on the leftover veggies dishes, but I did have a bag of raw broccoli flowerettes. So I made oven roasted broccoli.

Preheat the oven to 350 °F. With your broccoli pieces in a large bowl, pour some olive oil or the broccoli, enough to coat the flowerettes. Add a few splashes of balsamic vinegar, or more, depending on how much you like balsamic vinegar. Toss the broccoli in the oil and vinegar mix. Since balsamic vinegar can work as a salt substitute, you really don’t need to add any salt. Spread the flowerettes on a baking sheet. Pop it into the oven for 15 – 18 minutes, or until tender and a darker green than when raw.

My youngest, who is 8, normally likes his broccoli smothered in mayo. He didn’t even mention mayo when he started eating the oven roasted broccoli.

So easy. So delicious.

~Erin

Cross-Blogenating Monday!

18 Mar

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Here’s what been going on over at my other blog Miss Erin’s DanceFit (misserindancefit.blogspot.com).

 

I’ve started a thing called Technique Tuesdays, where I give a short tutorial on one aspect or layer of ballet technique and alignment.

Technique Tuesday; Pelvic Alignment In 1st Position Plie.

This tutorial focuses on how the pelvis should be aligned throughout a plié in first position.

Technique Tuesday; Opening Up The Collarbone…

I was inspired to do this one because I have a pretty packed Beginning Teen/Adult Ballet class right now (super stoked about it too! They are a great group). Finding the proper alignment for the shoulder girdle and the ribcage, as well as the neck, can take a long time to settle into. And it can be somewhat frustrating as well for new students. So I wanted to create a preparatory exercise that was gentle, but also enlightening to how the shoulder complex can be held for ballet technique. I like doing the exercise myself.

While I don’t like to talk overmuch about my eating disordered past and my journey to overcome it, I think it is important to share wisdoms if ya got em. Especially since I work with young girls in a field sort of known for body image issues. And a great deal of time is spent in front of a mirror.

Who Is That In The Mirror?

 

More tutorials! And my Zumba wear affiliate code. Save 10% off Zumba wear by using it!

New Zumba Wear! Save With My Affiliate Code! And A Step Tutorial.

Savings and a fun dance step!

Look’in for some sexy moves? This post has some tutorials that I found. Booty popping galore!

Oh Yeah! We Be Twerk’in…

 

Currently I am busy choreographing a bunch of solos for some of the ballet students that I teach. They have a performance coming up in June. I can’t remember my choreography from day to day until I’ve worked with it for awhile. So I pretty much film everything I do. The storage on my Iphone can’t keep up! So I have started putting the videos up on Miss Erin’s. I’m looking forward to watching the progression of the dancers as we get closer and closer to performance time!

The first batches are here and here.

 

That’s all for now. Hope you have found something useful or at least entertaining!

~Erin.

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