Monday, April 4, 2011

Antique Store Visit

My husband arranged for a caregiving-free afternoon for me and so I did one of my favorite things -- I visited some antique shops looking for needlework-related finds. I was very excited to find some pincushions! The largest one has a 5.25 inch diameter. The material is a lovely vintage cotton print, and it has a strap allowing one to carry it or hang it (cost $3). The smaller pincushion is made from wool fabric (cost $2). The scissors are US made, are 3" long, super sharp, and cost me $2! The cotton crocheted pineapple is interesting. There were 13 of them in a little bag for $2. Don't know what I will do with them, but I couldn't leave them behind! I saw so many things in this particular shop, but these are the ones that I couldn't leave behind. Some of the little antique shops in out of the way places are where I discover my little finds.

It was really nice to get away for awhile without any responsibilities. Dad had a seizure a few weeks ago and it seems to have impacted his memory and understanding even more. Of course, I am happy to help him during this time in his life when he needs me, but it sure is nice to get a breather now and then. I picked up a yummy veggie wrap at a funky little deli and ate it alongside a stream that was rushing and roaring from all the spring snow melt. So relaxing!

So now that I'm home much more, I've been playing around with recipes and it's been fun! I'm always on the lookout for healthy options, especially low-fat and low-carb because of the dietary needs of our household. I also enjoy finding tasty vegetarian options. I then enter the recipe into Spark Recipes, which will calculate the nutritional value per serving. So helpful!

So I thought I'd share some of my recipes. Here's one my husband and I call Mexican Pizza. This is not a low-carb option, but if you keep your portion within reason it's fine for a meal and makes a nice vegetarian option.

Mexican Pizza


1-1/4 C Southwest Style Salsa

1/2 C chopped onion

1/2 C chopped green pepper

1 C Red Kidney Beans

3 oz. shredded Monterey Cheese

1 Boboli

Nutritional Info: Fat: 5.8g, Carbohydrates: 34.6g, Calories:228.0, Protein: 10.6g

Top Boboli with salsa, then beans, onion, pepper, and lastly the shredded cheese. Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes. One serving is 1/8 of a pizza. Sometimes I like to saute the peppers and onions in a small amount of olive oil first. I don't always use a boboli either. Sometimes it's pre-made pizza crust, and often it's thin whole wheat pizza crust. What you use for the crust, obviously, changes the nutritional information. It can also change the baking time, too. Follow the directions that come with your pizza dough to make sure you bake it at the right temperature/time. After topping the crust with the salsa, I add the beans, peppers and onions. Last of all I add the cheese. This is a quick meal to throw together, and it's very yummy! We use medium strength salsa, but if you want a bigger kick, go for the hot stuff.

This past weekend I visited some of my family and it was so nice! I hadn't seen most of them since Christmas. My niece Lauren was visiting from FL, so that was a special treat. Everyone is doing great, and Dad enjoyed seeing them all so much.

The star at all our family gatherings now is my little great niece Mckenzie who is adorable and sweet beyond belief. At about 20 months of age her personality is really emerging. She loves the outdoors, playing mommy to her babies, helping Mom cook, playing dress up, and even playing jokes on her Pa-Pa (my brother). At Pa-Pa's house there is a gate that goes in front of the stairs to keep Mckenzie safe. Mckenzie knows that she's not supposed to go up there. One day when she was visiting and her Pa-Pa was in another room, she went over to the gate and fiddled with the latch to catch Pa-Pa's attention. Thinking he had left the gate unlatched, he ran into the room only to find Mckenzie up against a wall across from the gate waiting for him to come flying in! Mckenzie doubled over in laughter to see her little joke worked! Hehehehe....

Here's the little rascal peeking out after hiding from her parents behind a bookcase.

That is one very much-loved little girl!