Friday, February 4, 2011

Vacation Time Again

At the beginning of the month Husband is leaving for sunny Florida to do 6 weeks of schooling for work. February in Florida, compliments of the US Coast Guard. Everything is paid for -- the plane ticket, hotel, car, food. Honestly, who wouldn't want to skip the winter cold and head off to 70-80° sunny weather? I know i would love it. And that has been the plan, for me to go with him :) We knew this training was coming up for him so we've been waiting for his official orders before we purchased the tickets for me to fly out with him -- we were waiting just in case they pushed back his schedule like they usually do. I've been dreaming about it for months to be honest. Palm trees and beaches, reading by the pool, maybe hit up Disney World one weekend and basically just enjoying a month long cheaper then normal vacation. I couldn't wait for February to get here. I've never been to Florida before either.
But our plans have changed. Instead of going to the warmer sun and tropics -- cuz lets face it, yes Sacramento doesn't worry about snow too much in the winter, just the mass amounts of rain -- I'm off to Idaho. Where they have snow. My goal this winter was to not have to see a single flake of snow. That would have been heaven to me if i could have pulled it off. But no. I get to go see this stuff instead. This snow. Snow has its pretty pictures. But to me it's all pretty much yucky. I like to dress up warm, sweatshirts and long sleeves and jeans and coats and scarves. I don't mind bundling up for some cold. My problem comes from the fact that I'm not a winter driver at all any more. I don't even like to be in the car when other people are driving in the snow. If we end up settling in a climate that has regular snow fall in the winter, i'm planning to become a shut-in during the winter. And i've looked at the weather forecast for next week.... there's snow and the lows will be in the teens. But I'm going to suck it up. We talked it over and we feel like the best thing right now for me to do is to go home to Idaho and see my dad. I haven't decided when i'll be coming back to California, but i know i'll be back by the time Husband gets home from Florida because about 2 days after he gets home, his parents and sister are coming to visit for their spring break (yea!).
If you haven't been following, my dad fell in his garage the other week and hit his head which has caused his having Amnesia now. I've been calling and talking to my step-mom Cindy a lot over the last two weeks to get updates on my Dad. She's doing everything she possible can to make sure he's taken care of and comfortable, but i think in the past ten years that she's been part of our family that this was the first time i've ever heard her cry. I know she has cried, but never to me. This is just one of those trials where getting all the family support that we can is so important. She's doing everything she can on her own and its hard. I would spend every day crying if i were in her shoes.
The Doctors are saying he should regain his memory, its just going to take some time. He seems to be the most comfortable when he's in Salt Lake -- where he grew up -- and when he was there last he was able to enjoy lunch with one of his uncles and aunt, and my step-mom said for that hour he was just like his normal self. The doctors are saying not to expect improvements each day, but we should be seeing progress trends on a weekly basis. He definitely still has his same sense of humor, which is really endearing to me, and he's still the same person despite the fact that he can't remember what and who all made him the person he is. My step-mom says he's kind of weak on his left side right now also, and it makes him unsteady on his feet. Thinking about my dad being weak is almost blasphemous to me. He has always been the Big Strong Man to me. But, he should get back his strength in time with his memory, so that's good too.
I'm just glad i'm able to go home right now. It'll give me a little peace of mind to see him. I'll be putting pictures into his book that he was working on so that he has references to go with his writing. Spending time talking with him will be good for him too. At least it has been on the phone, so i can only imagine it would be better face to face for him. And for me, seeing my mom, step-mom and little brother will be great too.
I want to tell everyone thank you for all the well wishes for my Dad and our family. All the offers for help have not fallen on deaf ears. We are so grateful for everyone in our families and from church. Its nice to have so much help and support :)

Low Carb Pizza Crust....w/ Cauliflower?

So, a while back i was watching TV in the afternoon at a time of day i don't ever watch tv. I couldn't find anything on -- which is probably why i don't watch tv in the afternoon -- and ended up watching Dr. Oz. Don't get me wrong, i have nothing against Dr. Oz, but there's just something about him that weirds me out so i don't watch him that often. But the episode was on weight loss secrets, and since that's a topic you can't go wrong learning more about, i decided to watch it. He had these 3 women sharing 3 of the things that helped them all lose a tone of weight, and one of the women said she cut out carbs (like we've never been told that one before!) and replaced

them with veggies. If you're like me, cutting carbs is H-A-R-D. I love white rice, pasta, sugars,

and any carb you can think of way too much. Yes, when we got married i switched us from

White to Wheat for our breads and pastas, and last year i mastered making a brown/white rice hybrid in my rice maker (the brown needs 2 cycles through the cooker so i do that on its own first then throw in the white with its water and mix it all up and turn it on again). But what about Pizza? I don't make my own bread dough like my step-mom Cindy. All the yummy pizza places use white dough. I've got nothing against thin crust pizza, but i never think to order it.

I make personal pizzas for myself with those wonderful sandwich thins.

I'll put some pesto on them, sprinkle on some fetta cheese, slice up a tomato to top it off and throw it all under the broiler. L-O-V-E it! I usually make it for myself on the nights when Husband has to stay overnight at work. It's one of those quick meals i didn't feel too guilty eating. But, this women on the show was saying one of the recipes she cut carbs with was with a Cauliflower Pizza Crust. What?? Who would have thought up such a thing? After hearing of it, i knew i had to try it. And guess what, its actually good. I kept telling Husband that i was going to make this pizza crust, and he would get this scared look in his eyes and i could see that he was hoping i would forget that i wanted to make it. But i didn't, and he ate it. I made 2 pizzas and got 2 slices of it before he ate the whole other pizza plus the other half of the one i had started eating. So, this is the recipe i found that turned out really good for us, and i figured i would share it with everyone on here.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust (<--linked)

1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower*
1 egg
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp fennel
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp parsley

pizza or alfredo sauce (Any jar of pizza or marinara sauce works great, or Alfredo if you want to do a "white" pizza)

toppings (make sure meats are cooked)
mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Farenheit.

Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray (i line all my pans with aluminum foil and then spray it so i can avoid scrubbing when i have to wash up).

In a medium bowl, combine cauliflower, egg and mozzarella. Press evenly on the pan. Sprinkle evenly with fennel, oregano and parsley.

Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes (15-20 minutes if you double the recipe).

Remove the pan from the oven. To the crust, add sauce, then toppings and cheese.

Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted **.


*I use frozen cauliflower prepared according to package directions in the microwave
without water. After cooked and slightly cooled, shred cauliflower with a cheese grater (i used my chopper, but if you have a food processor that would work too), and then measure for the recipe. (Don't pack down the cup with cauliflower. Just fill it with a spoon or the cup itself.)

** You can try re-baking the pizza at 450 once you add toppings if desired, but the crust is not quite as crusty. There is a minimal difference, so see what works best for you.

This is really good if you're going Gluten Free. It's delicious and you get vegetables and pizza for dinner. I mentioned this in home making (or what ever it is they call it now) and they've asked me to make it for them in March.