Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Where are the Wintertime Blues?

Usually by this time in the year I'm just deeply yearning (imagine me stretching and reaching far out into the distance with a real look of yearning in my face-almost to the point of desperation) for the Spring to arrive, with its beautiful buds, warm bright sunshine and the sound of birds chirping the day away. I even wish for the Summer to hurry and skip over Spring. The Wintertime Blues are very well known to me. I try to pretend they haven't arrived, when in fact they've already moved in and unpacked the suitcases.
This year, however, is different. Very. I guess those Blues didn't get the address change and couldn't make it this year. Living in Florida has been phenomenal! I know its Winter; I get it. When we moved here people told us that we would love this season's Winter and that next year we would be more acclimated and freeze our little (or big) tushies off just like the rest of the Floridians.
Not so!
I am already freezing my little (big, really) tushie off! I'm a wimp, I guess. But this 50's weather is COLD! And then I laugh about it when I talk with family elsewhere in the country. They are in ranges of the teens to the 40s. Disclaimer: I'm not complaining!! I've got it good, and I know it!
So on a day where the temperature is 54degrees, I will wear my sweater, my scarf and my coat. And I feel kinda silly, because back in IN or NJ I would be celebrating that I only have to wear a jacket. But here, I can get away with it because lots of people do that. I like to be warm. I love to be warm.
The sky is still blue and the sun shines through, even if it is really cold out. Not so many gray, dark, cloudy, ugly days here. There aren't mountains of dirty snow that won't melt away, either. The trees aren't pretty (yet), but everything else makes up for it. I've been feeling pretty good! I'm still excited for the Spring, but I'm not desperately reaching for it.
Goodbye Wintertime Blues.
Hello Florida! I am falling for you, fast!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Papas Rellenas

Last week, on the first day of the new year, I decided I was going to make something really yummy and out of the ordinary for dinner. The problem was I had no idea what I was going to make. So as I stood in the kitchen thinking about things I enjoyed eating that I hadn't had in a long time I remembered the fabulous and delicious CubanInTheMidwest. Ivonne's blog is pretty much the epitome of the food I ate throughout my childhood. Growing up in urban NJ we had a true melting pot of Latinos from everywhere and I had a lot of the things she posts about. She is fantastic, with great recipes and pictures and directions for making delicious Cuban or Cuban-inspired food.
So I remembered that she made PapasRellenas or Meat Stuffed Potatoes. I already had garlic parmesan mashed potatoes made from scratch that had been leftover from dinner the other night. And I also had some picadillo (cooked ground beef) that would be enough for the potatoes.
I didn't follow her exact recipe since my "ingredients" were leftovers. And I used Panko bread crumbs, instead of regular. Here are a few pictures from my cooking.
Potato Ball already stuffed
Already breaded potato balls

In the frying pan!

These were soooo good! We scarfed them down before I realized I never took photos of the finished product. We made a yummy dipping sauce with ketchup and hot sauce (Cholula brand hot sauce is the best!) Please visit Ivonne'sRecipe to see how EASY this is and so worth the time! She says its quite messy, but my mess wasn't bad at all. Mmmm, so good!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thank Goodness for Insurance?

Monday night, jammies are on and shortly it will be bed time.
Ezra cuts his left middle finger.
Lots of blood.
Inside "meat" is exposed. (thats what they called it while at Urgent Care. Yeah, real professional)
We bandage it and decide it's pretty bad we need to take him to said urgent care. They close in about 20 minutes.
We make it 5 minutes before closing time. We get told he needs to go to the emergency room at the hospital. Ben thinks they were brushing us off because they wanted to go home sooner than later.
We wait at the ER waiting room for almost 3 hours.
Come midnight thirty the nurse cleans the wound, adds a numbing cream, dressing, and gets the finger bandaged, pretty much the same way I bandaged it at home.
We get a couple extra of the above and are told we should change it daily.
We get discharged.

No X-rays, no stitches, no cast...

Our bill is over $2600.

Yeah, we've got insurance, but we still have to pay close to $500 out of pocket.

For pretty much a bandaid.