Thursday, July 28, 2011

5 Ingredient Fix

I have a new favorite TV show... can you guess what it is? I'm sure you are either thinking it is food or crafting (based on the majority of my posts... it seems like)... it's FOOD! The show... 5 Ingredient Fix! It's genius I tell you... everything she prepares on the show has 5 ingredients or less (salt and pepper are not included in the count). So far EVERY SINGLE EPISODE we've seen has left us starving and desperate to try!

Well today I woke and decided that I could wait no longer! I spent some time on the recipes list trying to find things that I already had all or part of the makings for. Not a lot of luck. I had chicken... hmmmm, well, okay, what would I need to buy to make some sort of chicken? Oh, and we need a side dish...

What did I pick?

Citrus Garlic Chicken


  • 4 large bone-in, skin on chicken breasts, about 3 pounds
  • 4 large whole chicken thighs, about 2 pounds
  • 1/2 navel orange, zested, plus the juice of 1 whole orange
  • 2 limes, 1 zested, both juiced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • Freshly cracked black pepper


Put the chicken in a large nonmetalic bowl. Put the orange and lime zests in a small bowl and add the fruit juices. Whisk in the olive oil, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and a generous grind of black pepper. Pour the marinade over the chicken and toss until well coated. Marinate for 20 to 30 minutes but no longer than 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put a rack on a rimmed baking sheet. With tongs, remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and arrange them on the rack leaving space between each piece. Drizzle a small spoonful of the marinade over the top of each chicken piece; season well with salt and pepper, to taste. Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear when meat is pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Cool slightly before serving or let stand until room temperature before refrigerating for later use.

Nutty Greens with Bacon


  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound haricots verts, trimmed
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, cut into small chunks (recommended: Shropshire)
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted whole pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the haricots verts and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove the beans from the water and immediately place in a bowl of ice water. Remove the haricots verts from the ice water and set aside in a medium bowl.

In a large saute pan, over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon and place on paper towels. Add the beans to the bacon drippings and cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the blue cheese and toss just until it starts to melt. Break the cooked bacon into bite-size pieces and add to pan. Finish by stirring in the toasted chopped pecans. Season with the freshly ground black pepper and just a tiny pinch of kosher salt. Serve immediately.


I'm super excited for tonight... oh and I made chocolate pudding for dessert...YUM! I'll let you know how it all turns out!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

This means war!

Generally I'm not a confrontational person. I won't say anything, I will simply let things fester! Oh how I let them fester, until one day I can't take it any more and ... boom! Granted this is a character fault I've been working on, and it has gotten better over the years... but it is still a thorn.

Now, when I'm having to deal with businesses, this can be tricky. Years past, I simply burned bridges and damned things to hell, never to return to said businesses... but I've learned patience, and that generally the people I'm dealing with are morons whe have no clue and the IQ of my 8 year old and really can't be held responsible. So you have to find the right channel in order to get things done... CORPORATE!

Enter in my current issue... medical bills. Ever since the boys came home, this is a monthly battle for one reason or another... but it all boils down to dr/lab not billing the boys' secondary insurance! I end up spending HOURS per phone call trying to get it resolved... even though they take all the information the day of the appointment (or even before that)... even when we've been there before and all they do is make another copy of the same info... I still end up getting bills that were never filed correctly. It is infuriating. Usually I just make the calls... set my cell on speaker and keep on doing the boys school work, or cleaning house, or folding laundry... whatever, you get the picture. This year I decided to try a few new things.

I'm currently in a stalemate over an appointment back on the second week of January. Every time we use this office, and this lab we have this problem. I know, I haven't learned... but this is Bobcat's endo, and I just didn't want to switch because I knew that we would be tapering off the visits because he was seeing his gastro to take care of the CD. Now I finally resolved the bill with the office after 3 very long waiting phone calls, and then one very to the point email which made it to the director of billing who called to apologize. Sweet, taken care of. I used the same approach with the lab... but to no avail. This morning marked the 5th bill, and the 5th time I contacted them. The first three times were by phone. Each wait time to get an operator was well over an hour! So on the four time I went to their website and left a message on their inquiry form (June 15th) with my phone number and the list of dates I had already spoken to them. NO RESPONSE! This morning, I did the same thing.

After I hit send, my blood was boiling and the wheels in my brain where just a' spinnin! I think a new plan of attack needs to be waged... THIS IS WAR! Since they won't listen, or respond to my once a month calls/emails... I will now log on to their site EVERY MORNING, and send the same inquiry simply adding on the new date to the list. Surely this will get some response, right?

If I had a nickel for every minute I've had to spend on the phone for insurance billing issues in the last 7 years with the boys... I would be able to buy the beach house of my dreams!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tryin' somethin' new!

I'm stepping out on a limb this summer, and trying something new... there is little risk (I guess), and the opportunity to have a little fun. Well, fun for me that is :-).

First, I've started up a second blog. Why??? Well, this blog really is meant to chronicle our life... not my ever growing need to sit behind a sewing machine! So, I've decided to carve out a little world of crafting next door at: Sewn Escape! This way for those who come here to find out about adoption, homeschooling, our Catholic faith within our family... all the normal stuff we write about here... that's what you will find. If you aren't interested in all the crafty stuff, you won't be bogged down by weeding through the posts that aren't for you.

If you like that sort of thing... come on over!

My second project, which sort of goes hand in hand with the first, is I've decided to open my own Etsy shop, Honey Bee's Shoppe.

So there you have it... Momma Llama's summer o' fun!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

One Eye Open

After the shocking (but somewhat completely expected, after the initial accusations in March) news broke on (ex) Fr. Corapi, I didn't think the day could sink any lower... WRONG! Food, glorious food, strikes an unhappy note in the house.

If you've read this blog for any length of time you will know that Bobcat has Celiac Disease. The long of the short of it is that he can't have gluten (a protein found in wheat primarily). Back before he was diagnosed, we had no idea. He didn't have the most common signs, at least to our untrained eye, and his long time suffering was something that he thought was just normal. Even after the initial diagnosis before the biopsy I was quite skeptical that he had it... to me it just didn't make since.

Here's the thing about CD, it just doesn't seem real on paper. Every symptom could easily be associated with something else, and no two CD suffers are the same (regarding symptom presentation). Even though we now live in this world of gluten-free eating, I can totally understand outsiders not understanding the struggles or even the need for it. And in some ways the fad to be GF just because (while it helps with labeling food) takes away the seriousness of it for those who actually suffer.

So what's the biggest problem for CDer's needing to be GF? Contamination (or cross-contamination)! Here at the house, obviously, we are able to control the environment and be very selective about what we buy and how I cook. I would say that 99% of the time when I serve a meal it is ALL GF. There are occasions when this isn't the case, and last night was that sort of situation. We were having sloppy joes. I bought regular buns for everyone else, and had GF bread for Bobcat. When I went to fix Bobcat's portion, Daddio thought I went a little heavy on the sauce, and so I scooped some out and put into another boy dish. Well, when I did that some of the GF bread ended up in the other dish... along with the wheat bun... so at a glance you saw GF bread, not the bun (we do ours "open face" style and eat with forks...).

You see where this is going, right?! While I was busy working on getting cups filled and other plates made, I wasn't the one passing out the food dishes, and never saw that Bobcat's dish didn't end up in front of him... I also don't sit across from him, so I didn't notice his dish while he ate.

So what happens to a boy with Celiac Disease who eats a regular bun????? When it hits his digestive track his body freaks out! Poor kid was SICK! And we're not talking the "my tummy doesn't feel well because I ate too many sweets", oh no, it is more like the "MUST GET RID OF ALL TOXIC MATERIAL UNTIL THERE IS NOTHING LEFT THAT COULD POSSIBLY HARM ME, AND THEN SOME MORE JUST IN CASE!"

The lesson here for us is that he still has CD, and he does have a violent reaction (it's been two years since the last time he contaminated himself... vanilla wafers can be a really strong temptation when no one is looking)... To anyone stumbling on to this post, when someone says they have CD and need to be GF, BELIEVE THEM!

As for me... today is going to be low key. When a mom has a sick kiddo, we sleep with one eye open listen for the horrid sound... which means I've had little sleep! Bobcat is a little on the dehydrated side, and his stomach hurts (all those muscles are currently on strike, and I know how he feels having had that sort of a reaction a few times in the last few years due to medications it turns out I'm allergic to). So he will most likely be spending time on the couch snoozing, reading, and hydrating. The other two knuckleheads are going to try their best to stay calm for the day... TRY being the operative word!

Fun times...