Saturday, February 16, 2013
Today my son & I collaborated to make a Sparkrecipe, Thai Green Curry with Tofu and Veggies, & it was delicious! I've moved the link to the end; maybe my cut/paste was the problem with the earlier link.
Here in St. Louis where G. lives there are a couple of international markets, so even though I'm far from my very multiethnic Chicago neighborhood, we were able to find the green curry paste & lemongrass (actually frozen lemongrass pulp, easy to use). We did serve it over brown rice as suggested; the rice takes longer than the curry, even including the veggie chopping, so I recommend getting it going first. I used Chinese broccoli, which we found in the market; it's mostly stalks & spinach-like leaves, mild tasting. I stir-fried the broccoli stalks with the onion & saved the chopped leaves to stir-fry just briefly at the end. Here is the curry in the wok before we started snarfing it:
Not only G. & I loved it, but so did my granddaughter Bea, who isn't yet two!
And so did G.'s stepdaughter E., who is a high-schooler who loves McDonald's--her enthusiasm especially surprised me.
A great success! recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
Friday, February 08, 2013
I gave myself a break from tracking food this week. It has been emotionally VERY difficult, & I need to be kind to myself.
Here's the deal. Finally it's a good time to refinance my condo mortgage, to get ex's name off the title & loan; my neighbor has just sold his unit for a good price, which means mine will be appraised at a much higher value than it was last year, & my mortgage will no longer be under water. So Monday a.m. before work I stopped by the county recorder of deeds office to record the quit-claim deed my ex signed as part of our divorce settlement. Turns out I would need several other docs to go with it; two would be easy to get, but the third would require his signature.
The thing is, not only is he a very complicated paranoid narcissistic person, but he has just moved back to his home country. I knew it wouldn't be easy to get him to sign, even though it would just be confirming the notarized signature he provided on the deed itself. I would have to e-mail him, after avoiding contact for many months.
It happens that the next day, before I'd put together the message, HE e-mailed ME to demand that I find out why my employer's benefits office has not yet forked over the portion of my retirement funds that he was awarded in the divorce. I am not responsible for getting him those funds (his lawyer had to file a form, & did--the benefits office at my workplace is just notoriously inefficient), & I certainly haven't done anything to block them. But I responded pleasantly & let him know that if there was anything I could sign to move things along, I would . . . & by the way, I had just learned that the attached scanned doc was legally required & would he kindly sign, rescan, & return it?
Of course not. He fired back a quick refusal, saying that ultimately I'm responsible for getting him that $$ & until that matter is resolved he won't sign anything.
It was very distressing. I lived 7 years with this paranoia & tendency to blame/bluster/threaten, & I'm still recovering from it. It was horrible to feel that I was again at the mercy of this abusive person. I'm afraid I haven't been very productive workwise this week. And last night I lay for hours without being able to fall asleep--very unusual for me (my insomnia tends to be the early-morning waking kind). Between sleeplessness, anxiety, & the wintry weather, exercise has worked out only one day thus far this week. Sigh.
But things are getting better. Yesterday my mortgage broker talked to a real-estate lawyer, who assures him that we can work around that tax declaration that ex was supposed to sign. I should be able to just submit the quit-claim itself along with my loan application, & the title company's lawyers will record the change.
It has to be confirmed by the lender, I guess, but presumably this lawyer knows his stuff. And I'm feeling VERY relieved. Tomorrow a.m. I'll just focus on getting to work on time, but Saturday I should be able to get in some good exercise. And if the stress means that I've not lost weight this week, or maybe have gained a bit, I won't beat myself up. Next week should be much better!
Sunday, February 03, 2013
For round 1 I just commented in the thread, but now I'm going to do a proper review. Today (that is, yesterday, since it's now past midnight) I tried two new recipes!
Oatmeal Whole Wheat Quick Bread
It really WAS quick, even though I took time to whirl the oats in the blender to get them closer to a flour texture. I made a double recipe so as to fill a loaf pan. After 20 minutes of baking it was not yet toasty on top, so I added 10 more minutes, which proved just right. After it cooled I sliced a couple of pieces & put Brummel & Brown spread on them. It's delicious! And it slices nicely, so I can use it for an egg-salad sandwich for my lunch on Monday.
I also did my batch cooking for the coming week: Vegan Moroccan-Style Chickpeas!
This recipe would be very quick if followed as written. However, my housemate & I like to cook chickpeas & other legumes from scratch (dried), so I did that first. Chickpeas take the longest to cook of any: after soaking, I think I gave these a full hour & a half, & they didn't end up mushy at all. (It would be significantly faster to use a pressure cooker.) My other two alterations to this recipe:
1. instead of canned tomatoes that include green chilies, I used regular crushed tomatoes & added two jalapenos to the onions & garlic
2. during the final simmer, I added a handful of raisins, which always taste great in Moroccan-style stews
I haven't had a full serving of this yet, as I didn't need it for dinner. But I tasted it & like it very much. Next time I think I will use diced tomatoes instead of crushed, as I think I would like that texture even better in this dish. But it's yummy regardless!
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Two blog posts in a day! Well, it is fun to share how things turned out.
I wore a dress (with fleece-lined tights--it IS winter!), a favorite scarf, tall boots, & my dress coat to my Jewelers' Row foray. I had no idea where to start, so I tried to enter the first jewelry store that I saw . . . & the door wouldn't open! Then the employee buzzed me in. I had never been in a store so fancy that they lock doors even in the middle of the day to keep out the riffraff!
The young woman working there told me they don't buy jewelry, but I should go over to 1 N. Madison & there were three different counters where people can sell their gold. "Just go to all of them & see who gives you the best price," she said. I left, but not before hearing her totaling up the purchases of the customers she had been working with--I'm not sure how many thousands it came to. Definitely those folks live in another world from mine.
At 1 N. Madison I located the three potential buyers by asking around. Interestingly, each of these counters was staffed by one or two young Asians. The woman at the other store was Asian too. It reminds me that the Cambodian pastor at my church doesn't draw any pay from the church because he makes a good living at his jewelry store in Little Vietnam. This sector of Chicago's economy seems to be dominated by Asians! Cool.
All three weighed my 14K gold ring very carefully. The offers were $130, $108, & $120. Of course I went back to the first counter, where I'd been offered most. I had to give her my ID; she filled in a little form with all my info, & I had to sign it to guarantee that this ring actually belonged to me & I had the right to sell it. Then she opened a safe & paid me in cash. It was a bit more than I had originally paid for the ring, so I was pleased.
As for my ex's ring, no one was interested. It's titanium, & they told me nobody is buying that. Interesting, because it originally cost more than twice what my gold one did! My husband had a penchant for avoiding cheaper items & choosing things that were more expensive & "cooler."
Of course I would rather have gotten good $$ for the titanium ring that my ex took off with a great flourish in our therapist's office 2 1/2 years ago, announcing that for him our relationship was over. But as I thought about it, I realized that it was quite symbolic of the relationship: his "cool" ring (bought with my $$) that ended up worthless, while my simple gold band, the least expensive wedding ring in the store, actually gained value. Made me laugh to myself! I've decided that I'm going to incorporate his ring into some kind of art piece--a collage that will symbolize the way God always redeems my pain.
I did take myself to lunch afterward--actually brunch at a nice restaurant on Michigan Avenue. I had my favorite breakfast/brunch food: eggs benedict & a mimosa. And fruit salad instead of potatoes on the side. And afterward a little pot of the most delicious gingerbread rooibos tea--mmmm!
The rest of the day was occupied with a meeting at my house. I was elected secretary of the Colombian women's organization that I joined in late 2011, & the other officers & I met to plan our annual work retreat, which will be Sunday 1/27. It was really productive & enjoyable; we all ended up energized & excited about what we're going to accomplish this year.
What a great day it has been!
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Just weighed myself--another 0.4 lb down. More exciting: I've lost 1.5 waist inches since I started my personal challenge two weeks ago! Since I didn't lose in hips & bust, I am now back to my normal pear shape, yay! My upper arm & thigh both shrank a bit as well.
This week was a challenge because our office was still littered with treats a couple of days, plus I ate festive food with friends a couple of nights & went out to eat last night. I tried to eat judiciously & tracked as well as I could. The average for the week is just barely within my recommended range. And when I finish my exercise today, I'll have completed my target 150 minutes for the week.
I still want to lose at least 13.2 lbs & several more inches overall. This coming week I don't have any dinners out on my calendar (yet). I'm going to try to bring down my calorie count in order to pick up my shrinking pace.
Dear SASSACAIA asked how I am, which reminded me that it has been awhile since I posted anything more personal than my thoughts about shrinking my debt & my weight/waist. I'm struggling against depression a bit this winter as I always do, but being more regular with exercise is helping a LOT. Also I was in a highway accident on 12/26 but seem unharmed & am going to receive reimbursement for most of what I paid to repair my car. I'm incredibly thankful to have survived that very dangerous event.
In December I learned that my ex has moved back to his native city/country. He will be returning to the apt. he shared in my neighborhood sometime this month to collect "his" stuff (I put it in quotes because he bought all of it with my $$!) & have a farewell party. But basically he's gone. His sister contacted me through FB to find out about his work history & living situation--her experience with him, like mine, tells her that she can't trust what he says. So I told her the truth, & she said it didn't surprise her in the least but she was very sorry I'd had to go through that. She & his other siblings are very concerned that he not mooch off their mom, who is in her mid-80s. Not my problem anymore! But I'm glad they're on it. This all helps my process of resolution of the trauma I lived with him for 7+ years.
Today is special: I've made an appointment with myself, once I exercise, eat breakfast, & shower, to go downtown to Jewelers' Row with the wedding rings. I'm going to dress up for it & make it an occasion. I'll stop by several jewelry shops & compare what they would pay me for the two rings. Then I'll sell them to the highest bidder & take myself out for a modest lunch! Whatever I make will, appropriately, go toward debt paydown.
Happy midwinter! (Or summer if you're in the southern hemisphere.) (We actually are having the winter with the least snow on record in Chicago . . .)
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