Tuesday, December 15, 2009


A couple times a year I like to forget that I am 33 years old and the ol' metabolism isn't as fast as it used to be. It's that time of year again. Dinner yesterday was crunchy peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich with Cheetos on the side. For dessert I had brownies and washed them all down with a tall glass of soda. Tonight, while sipping tea, my hubby and I shared a glass of milk for Oreo dunking purposes. Each moist cookie falling into my mouth and ravishing my taste buds. Suddenly, my mind is tempted to drown in the depths of guilt. Oh the calories! Oh the diet to come! My eyes do a double take and I realize that I used low fat peanut butter, real strawberry spread and weight watchers wheat bread a whooping total of 250 calories. The Cheetos were of the baked variety, my OCD self served the exact serving added a 150 calories. The brownies were made with applesauce and egg beaters which makes the treat a reasonable less 100 calories with diet coke. For splurging, not too shabby. The Crystal Light tea and reduced fat Oreos with half a cup of 1% organic milk shared, well, there is nothing to worry about. My bike ride tomorrow will take care of the rest!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fist Shaking at the Veterans!

On my foggy drive this morning, I listened to NPR and sipped on a cold low-fat Starbucks frappaccino (which are delicious) and followed my usual signs towards the maze of the Veterans Expressway. Now, a glorious 7 1/2 years of this gaunt you would image that there would be some routine involved. Some sort of passivity in my driving because it is too familiar. The dangers of nodding off or putting on a glimmer of chapstick may be tempting, but on this drive I dare not. One slight glance away from the road may lead to total mass destruction of self and others.

The whirlwind of the Veterans takes the driver through an adventure of shifting through sudden turns, abnormal veering to the right and the very next day it veers to the left at the same location, the speed limit changes 45 to 60 to 50 all within a quarter of mile. Today the roller coaster called commuting on the Veterans took me to a whole new world. Look out Aladdin, because my exit onto this roadway placed me in an alternate universe. The new ailment shifts all traffic from its normal I-275 entrance to the right. Now your previous trek can be viewed. You can view others changing in your old lanes, merging on your old road and exiting on your old exit. In the meantime, I cautiously followed the new path before me. Pulling a Robert Frost, the path less taken (not because of some sort of poetic tribute but rather it's brand new) directed me to the Memorial Highway exit. An exit that forces at least two additional street lights. An exit that prevents the short cut from Independence Highway. An exit that is so unfamiliar that is shakes one to the core, and dangerously adds the temptation of a 7-11. The coffee and morning treats this could provide! Oh no! The pounds I will gain! Damn you DOT!

And so I followed my proverbial yellow brick road towards the wizard of my employment. Shaking my fist at the Veterans, wondering Why God? Why?!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cooking Cubans Thankgiving!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. You sit with people that you love and eat together. You don't have to exchange gifts or hide eggs. There is no danger of blowing a hand off because of drunken fireworks or a need for pink and red hearts candies. Thanksgiving is just the one day that you are thankful. Thankful for all of the amazing people in your life. The ones that are there everyday, the ones that have slipped away and the ones who are no longer with you. The day to be thankful for the sacrifices that were made on your behalf and the opportunities that you have been given. It's a lovely day.

Thanksgiving is an American holiday. It didn't dawn on me until last week during class that my classmates in Mexico, Canada, Dominican Republic and India weren't celebrating the day. My family is a bunch of Cubans and we Cubanify the fixings for the holiday as well. The turkey is basted in mojo. The stuffing is meat based on bread based. Matter of fact, there is no bread-like product in the stuffing and sometimes we use pork meat to make it, because that is what real red blooded Cubans would do. No vegetables really and espresso for dessert. We add the spices of our heritage and I am thankful that we do. Some years we have thrown in the black beans and rice and fried plantains too because it tastes good. Every year, we swing by the Rohrs to see the other family and enjoy big hugs and warm smiles. This year Heather and Jeff joined us at the grandparents for our meal and it was so wonderful to have my whole family a part of the day. We are blessed people.

This year I was in charge of desserts! Not only did I feel like an grown up but it was fun to wow. I made a very moist Pumpkin Cream Bundt Cake, Cranberry Pear Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie and sugar cookies shaped as Turkeys for the kids. Though, there were some tasty treats, I also learned some important lessons. The next day, instead of fighting the Black Friday madness, I wanted to make a turkey and have some leftovers. So we recreated Thanksgiving with all the fixings for my folks and us. I made a bruschetta appetizer. Turkey made by me, mashed potatoes, yams, green bean casserole, corn, rolls and of course new pies! This time sugar free banana cream and my mom's sugar free pumpkin pie. Two full days of thankfulness and full bellies.

Later on I decided to make my own Christmas wreath! I have several crocheted projects that I am working on, those will soon be posted.