Wednesday, March 14, 2012

DVT? what's that to me?

DVT? What’s that to me?

DVT is not a new form of cable or live TV recording or the latest all terrain vehicle. It’s a medical condition. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a serious condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein. The DVT usually becomes fatal when it travels from the deep vein and travels to the lungs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in the United States up to 600,000 people are diagnosed annually with DVT. One third of those diagnosed die (usually within a month of diagnosis), one third have a reoccurrence, and another third will have long term complications.

Can anyone get a DVT? DVT is not obsolete for any age but increasing age is a risk factor. Other risk factors include hospitalization for an illness, recent surgery or trauma such as a fracture or sprain, history of a clotting disorder, cancer and cancer treatments, pregnancy and the first 6 weeks after delivery, birth control or hormone replacement products, family history of DVT, extended bed rest, obesity, smoking and prolonged sitting when traveling.

How do I know if I have a DVT? DVT is often diagnosed with an ultrasound when commons symptoms appear such as recent swelling of the limb, unexplained pain or tenderness, redness of the skin, or skin that may be warm to the touch in a localized area.

If you have any of these symptoms, it is an emergency and you should seek medical attention immediately.

Regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle can help prevent DVT’s. When traveling, get up and walk around every 2-3 hours, wear loose fitting clothes, and drink plenty of water.

Research is ongoing to further define the cause, treatment and prevention of DVT. For more information, visit

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pantry Wars

Forget Chopped and Rachel Raye, Pioneer Woman and Bobby Flay.  My friends and I have created the next Food Network sensation.

Pantry Wars.

The week before payday (all us government folk, get paid once per month) when it's at least seven more days before you can go to the grocery store or more than a night before you can call in pizza - - - and whatever is left in the pantry is what's for dinner.  Usually it's the random ingredients that have escaped the normal cooking routines, maybe the cans of stuff that really aren't anyone's favorites.  Pulling off a successful dinner is often nothing short of the work of a magician. 

Enter Panty Wars.  The intro theme song starts with twitter like birds chirping in the bright sunshine and a day calendar marking the grand day of the month, pay day .... in cartoon animated style .... happy families are enacting bountiful meals and fun chatter at restaurants ......  then as the black and white day calendar flips .... the chirping eases, the theme song slows as does the countenance of the meal participants. By day 25 .... dinner time turns stormy as kids are pushing away plates of plain noodles and disappointed looks at another night of sandwiches or worse..... CEREAL!

The animated mom donning an apron and a weary look throws open the pantry to find three items staring at her - the personified non-perishables - hide their eyes as if its been months since seeing the light of day. 

And then the big words pop on the screen --- PANTRY WARS!

The challenge - use those few remaining food items to pull off a successful dinner.

Successful contestant and fellow Pantry Wars creator pulled off success a few days ago.  Cara Thomas with her ingredients ----- hamburger, rice, rotel and CHEEZ WHIZ.  She whipped them together into a casserole and all five of her kids voted it one of the best dinners she's put together.

I've participated in this game many a time, sometimes successful, sometimes disastrous.  Recently I had 4 tortillas, a can of kidney beans, half a packet of taco seasoning,  1 chicken breast, some minute rice and less than a 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.  I baked and shredded the chicken.  Warmed the beans mixed with the taco mix on the stove and cooked the rice.  The rice was a little sticky and of course I was out of butter, so I stirred in  a tablespoon of whipped creme cheese.  From this handful of mismatched ingredients I made "big ole burritos".  Layered all the ingredients in the tortillas and wrapped them up Chipotle Style.   Loved by all.

Contributing creator aka my BFF, Shannon says she often makes the aforementioned combo sans tortillas and pulls it off as "naked burritos".

So keep your eyes peeled and your DVR's ready - Pantry Wars just may be the next big hit!!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Gramma's Green Thumb

This Monday Morning I walked into my office and found an explosion of new growth on my "African Beauty" my affectionate name for the African Violet I rescued and revived.  A few months back - my colleagues and I "cleaned house" in our wing.  One thing we found was a near dead African Violet in the conference room.  African Violets have always been a sentimental plant for me.  My gramma used to always have several amidst her cadre of plants growing in her home.  So when I saw the sad office African violet - a twinge of emotion - probably a mix of the happy memories in my grandmothers home and the sadness I still feel in her absence - I volunteered to do my best to resuscitate it.

Mind you - I have two plants in my home and one in my office.  All three of which my mom says are "easy" plants to grow.  I lack a lot in the green thumb department.  I nearly failed College Botany with our plant projects where we had to grow an assortment of plants.  EEK.  So for me to resuscitate such a delicate plant was nothing short of a miracle. 

With some assistance from a Plant Expert colleague, I trimmed two of the remaining green leaves, grew roots on them for a few weeks and then delicately planted them in some fresh soil.  For what seemed like FOREVER, it was just two old leaves stuck in a pot of soil.  Then one morning, I came in and two little leaves were poking their little green heads through the soil, like sleepy children early in the morning, peeking out of their covers. 

As much as I often dread Monday mornings, I like coming in to see the growth on my African Beauty.  It seems like the quiet always does her good. But this morning - wow! - she has really taken shape.  As I watered her with her special food this morning, I though my gramma would be so proud of me!  And then I laughed to myself - because I can just imagine me telling her and her with her typical nonexcitable self would spat "well, sis, that isn't hard to do, anyone could do that".  I loved that woman!  Oh... and today my African Beauty reminds me of how much I miss her.  But so happy for all that she has passed on to me. 

Grandma, if you can hear me now, I hope I have made you proud.  Love you and miss you so much!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

More Christmas Recipes Part Cuatro - Sticky Buns

Sticky Buns / Monkey Bread / Pull Aparts
--- Whatever you call them ----
But for Christmas Even Morning - They were a flop - see Above

So I thought they have to be better --- so I changed them up from the original pinterest recipe
I just put about 1/3 stick of melted butter, squirted syrup all over the bottom of a pie plate, threw in about 1/2 cup of brown sugar, a handful of pecans and sprinkled with a nice coat of cinammon.

Baked at 350 for 20 mins and got this....

Yeah - and when I don't measure exactly - it's way easier for me to calculate WW points -- this looks about like 3 points per bun.  :)

More recipes from Christmas - Pineapple Centerpiece

 Pineapple Centerpiece

My family loves fresh fruit - so for breakfast on Christmas eve morning - with my failed sticky buns (recipe to follow) - I cut up some fresh pineapple.  (BTW on sale at ALDI this week 99 cents)

I though what a waste of the pineapple top so I  stuck it down in the middle of my cut up fruit.

Parker came down for breakfast - first thing he said "I like what you did with the pineapple mom" - 
so I left it and got several compliments.

Recipes from Christmas Take 2 -

Crock Pot Scalloped Potatoes

This is my mom's classic recipe - however - I replaced ham with bacon and cooked in the crock pot.  And it was delish - USSS!!

 Wash and peel your desired amount of potatoes - these potatoes were perfect for my small crockpot.

Slice by hand or in your hand food processor ( I LOVE MINE)

Cube velveeta, grab a stick of butter, milk,  and bacon (I cheated with pre cooked bacon)

 *like my velveeta cuber?  It came with a random block of velveeta a few years back, Love it*

Alternate layers of sliced potatoes, cheese, butter, salt & pepper until you fill 3/4 of your crock-pot.

Fill with milk until you can see it about half way up your potatoes.
Cook on medium for five - six hours or until potatoes are tender ....

the result is yummy potatoes!!!

Not super pretty - but super yummy - I promise!!!

Recipes from Christmas pt 1 - Veggie Slaw

I never followed up from all my Christmas recipes....  So a month later I'll post a few. :)

After a long day in September tromping all over the Tulsa State Fair the kids and I took a load off our feet in the Oklahoma Building in front of the cooking demo.  You know the guy that is selling the $5000 cookware - but you get free samples as he demonstrates... Yeah, so he made a veggie slaw - no cook btw - so who knows why it was in the show.

ANYWAY - the recipe stuck and we have it now about once a week. 


Shred as much or as little of your veggies - any kind carrots, peppers, broccoli, squash, cabbage (i tried celery once, but didn't work so well) -  in your food processor. 

Then the magic ingredient, *drum roll*
an APPLE.  
Core and then shred in food processor with veggies.

Toss all shredded veggies and apple with raspberry vinaigrette
and for some extra texture I add a small handful of pecans. 

So YUMMY and Super Easy!! 

And my kids eat it! And they don't know it's full of all kinds of good veggies.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!