Monday, July 26, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Recipe

I've been wanting an ice cream maker for forever. Our grocery store, Aldi, had one last year for $20. They are offering it again this summer. My best friend bought one and is keeping it at my house ( :) ). I try to have her and our other best friend over for dinner every few weeks. Everyone can use the ego boost those two women can give someone with the fawning they do over my cooking. Last time I made chicken cordon blue burgers and home made french fries. The burgers are simple I took my basic chicken burger mixture, ground chicken, grated zucchini, and a little salt. Made patties, and put them on the George Foreman. Once they were mostly cooked I added a slice of baby swiss, and a slice of ham. I bought crusty rolls from the bakery covered them with honey mustard and a slice of fresh tomato. They were good.
I like to cook but I also realize I need to make things I can do ahead of time or are simple. Tonight's menu will include a simple iceberg lettuce wedge salad with doctored blue cheese dressing, pork chops, and pesto risotto, and strawberry shortcake ice cream. The pesto was made and frozen a few weeks ago, the blue cheese was doctored Saturday night, and the shortcake was cubed and frozen then also. I just made the ice cream, yes at 4:30 a.m. The pork chops will be simple salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil and a frying pan. Risotto is easy too. Granted, I have to pull my stool up to the stove to stir it for a while, but it's simple.
Back to the ice cream maker, it is an electric one that doesn't require ice or salt. I have made chocolate, chocolate raspberry, vanilla with cherries and chocolate chunk, and now the strawberry shortcake. I have made most of them with splenda, except the chocolate. And, most of them I made for my cousin who just had jaw surgery, I haven't really eaten any myself yet. My husband tasted the strawberry shortcake ice cream before he left for work and swears it's better than sex. He, and my cousins, also swore the chocolate was the best chocolate ice cream they ever ate. Let me know if you want any of the other recipes.

Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream

16 oz fresh or frozen (no sugar added) strawberries
1 cup plus 1/2 cup splenda, divided
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup 2% milk
2 eggs
1 cup shortcake, cubed, then freeze

In a blender put the strawberries and 1/2 cup of the splenda. Blend to puree.In a bowl whisk 2 eggs, add splenda, cream, milk, and strawberries. My machine requires you turn it on and pour the ingredients in the spout then let the ice cream maker do it's thing for half an hour. After half an hour add the shortcake cubes. Stir the cubes in well then freeze the entire mixture to harden (ice cream comes out of the machine in a soft serve type consistency).


I think I may have finally found the doctor for me. I searched for someone who was top of their class and young. Young was important. In my experience older doctors, even those in their mid forties, and up are not the go getters younger doctors are, nor are they necessarily up on current medical. My last doctor was a family practitioner but also a, oh heck what is that word??? a doctor who specializes in senior citizens. The term will come to me eventually. In the meantime, I really like this doctor, she is determined to figure this mess that is my health out. And, she's not assuming everything is linked. Like my shoulder has been giving me problems for wow about 10 years, since before I was diagnosed with fibro.  But, every doctor, and me too, has always assumed the shoulder was part of the fibro.
In the next month she has me seeing a orthopedic doctor, a neurologist, a rheumatologist, a nutritionist, and a psychiatrist. Plus, a physical, and a mammogram. She wants me to have some test also, but I have to see if it will be covered for my insurance. It is the test for the genetic marker of breast cancer.
She did mention lupus, which this is not the first time I've heard a doctor say that word. I'm not losing any sleep over it. I had a few years ago and it was negative. Although, I understand from a few friends who have lupus it is not uncommon to have a negative test and still have lupus. I will have to let her know how sick I get whenever I spend any time in the sun. I rarely do so I hadn't realized how sick it made me. We went to a water park a few years ago, when I worked for Disney we had a work event one evening, it was such a blast! (not that I can do anything other than the lazy river or the shallow end of the wave pool) Anyway, I was in so much pain and fatigued afterwards. Then in the past few weeks I have been to the beach and a pool party. Both times I again got incredibly ill. I googled pain, fatigue, and sun exposure and up popped lupus. Plus I get a rash on my head, and lupus can cause swelling and pain in your joints, the first sign is in the knuckles. I am still not worrying about it. I probably sound like a hypochondriac, it's just a possible answer to this mess, I mean the RA tests are negative, 2 neurologists have said neuropathy, 2 have said not. There has got to be some definitive answers some where!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

email: Post Stroke Nerve Damage

I received a lovely email today from a man who I will only say his first name is Ray. I have received several emails previously, from other people, and today I wondered why I'm not sharing them with you. Ray writes:


I will be 60 next month and have had type 1 diabetes since 1 was 10. Up until 2 months ago my life had been fairly routine..well I had a heart attack in 1998 but fine since then. That morning was very routine.. but I passed out with no warning while turning on the TV and landed in a chair thankfully. Approximately 3 hours later I was conscious enough to know that I needed to call 911.. but I could not walk as my legs felt paralyzed. I crawled to the phone, crawled to the fridge to get some OJ while talking to the 911 operator and then had to crawl down 4 stairs and through the front hall to open the door for the paramedics.
They treated me for low blood sugar and by the time my blood sugar was up I was able to stand, although my calves felt like hard bricks.  I should have gone to the hospital then, but I declined, assuming it was a blood sugar related incident.
When I went to my doctor the following week he said it could have been a mini-stroke ( a TIA ).  I got a CT scan showed nothing. I am still waiting for the MRI results to confirm or deny the stroke aspect.
In the meantime I have been enduring an off balance sensation when standing and I do not walk the same as I used to. A tingling,burning,and well some pain too, mainly in my back but also in my left leg and foot. I have gotten some physio and it seems to have helped somewhat. I am self employed and play trumpet in 3 bands ( well I did until this ). My back aches terribly if I try to play.
Some days are not as bad as others but I do feel frustrated and a bit inadequate as my wife looks after most things around the house now ( I can still mow the lawn on a good day but just slowly ). I still drive, work etc. but things are not the same. I feel as long as each day is marginally better that things will be okay."

I really admire Ray's positive attitude. To me, the tingling and burning sounds like neuropathy, but of course I am no expert. I have read though that 8% of stroke victims have nerve pain after a stroke, so post stroke neuropathy is not uncommon. 
I understand, and I'm sure if you are reading this and suffer from a debilitating illness you do also, Ray's frustration and feeling inadequate. Being unable to manage simple tasks you used to be able to do can cause severe depression and anxiety. For me, I have quite a hard time with anything that requires my hands, and let's face it EVERYTHING requires your hands, but especially fine manipulation. Things like removing the battery case from a cell phone, removing saran wrap from the roll, jewelry clasps, opening soda bottles are simply impossible. And, I drop a heck of a lot of glasses! 
As always, feel free to drop me a line at & I will try to find some more of these emails and post them so you know you aren't alone.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Strawberry Salad Recipe

This salad reminds me of a family favorite. My cousin Marlene made it for a family picnic and it became an instant hit. Her recipe had a crushed pretzel crust and no pineapple but I believe the rest is pretty similar.(oh her's wasn't in a ring mold either)

1 large package sugar free strawberry jello
2 cups boiling water
10 ounce package frozen strawberries, no sugar added
16 oz can crushed pineapple in it's own juice (not syrup)
1/2 pint sour cream

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add strawberries and pineapple, include juice. Fill a ring mold with half the mixture and chill for 30 minutes. Add layer of sour cream. Pour the remaining gelatin mixture on top. Chill until firm.

8 servings

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Feeling stupid

I'm going to tell you this as if it happened today when in truth it happened last Thursday, although the embarrassment and stupidity I felt still lingers. Thursday morning I had an appointment with my new neurologist, a rather important appointment, thus. I live about 1.3 miles from the doctor's office and had decided to take the bus, a mode of transport I have not yet used in my 42 years of life. I could have driven my husband to work at 4 a.m. (1/2 an hour from here), or borrowed a car from my mother in law, or even asked my best friend to take me, but that all seemed silly, I mean it's only a mile for goodness sakes, and I'm a fairly independent woman, or at least I used to be.
To say I have sleep problems would be saying that the fact I have not slept yet and it is 8 a.m. is normal. This normal occurrence, for me, is especially true the night before a doctor's appointment, as I am always afraid I won't wake up in time. This particular Wednesday night / Thursday morning was no exception. About 5 a.m. I realized I may be having more problems than the normal, and should have taken a xanax earlier. By 7 a.m. I was in full on panic attack mode at the thought of taking the bus. I'm only traveling on the bus roughly 5 minutes, but how do I let the bus driver know when I want to get off? The bus is not like the subway, it doesn't stop at EVERY location. My husband tells me there is a cord to pull. Ok, I can pull a cord, but when do I pull it? He tells me after the previous stop to when I want to get off. How do I know when I'm at the stop prior to the one I want?
Truthfully, I can't believe I'm writing this down, sharing it, putting it out there for the entire world to read. I was in one of the worst panic attacks of my entire life over a bus ride. I couldn't breathe, I started vomiting. I had to call the doctor and reschedule. Like I said I still feel extremely embarrassed, stupid, and even ashamed.
To make matters more absurd, and this may surprise you, I used to be a pilot. A single engine, and multi engine pilot. Not only could I fly, I was licensed to teach OTHERS to fly.
I have an appointment with my regular doctor this Thursday. Trust me when I say I already have my best friend lined up to take me and I also have my husband lined up for a "bus lesson". Yes, a bus lesson. He will take me on the bus, we will ride it to where I need to get off for the doctor's offices, then get back on where I will catch it home. I'm terrified. The funny thing is I was sooooo excited about the bus and the new found freedom I could have (I found the route to the mall and I don't even have to change buses :) ), oh well, maybe someday! (or maybe someday I can convince my husband I do have good enough balance for a pink scooter!!)

Chicken Spread Recipe

I found this recipe in a diabetes cookbook. It reminds me of a chicken spread my Mother used to make once in a while when I was growing up. However, she used a whole chicken and put the chicken in a grinder attachment to possibly her mixer, but in a grinder, nonetheless.Then, the mixture was put in a loaf pan and patted down.

Chicken Spread
1 lb ground chicken
1 small onion, minced
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp apple juice

Saute the chicken, onion, garlic, basil, and thyme in a medium skillet over medium heat, until browned. Cool. Add salt, pepper, and apple juice. Mix well, using food processor or blender if a smoother texture is desired.Cover and chill for several hours. Serve on bread, crackers, or toast.

6 servings, 2 carbs