This is a blog that contains: struggles, triumphs, crafts, recipes and stories to brighten your day and make you smile, laugh, and say well things aren't all that bad!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Recipes Part 2: Chicken mushroom surprise

The ideal recipe for me is quick, not alot of ingredients and tastes yummy. (Don't you agree.) Here is another one of those. It is not gourmet but to my husband's discerning (wink wink) palate it is heaven. It was actually first my mother in law's recipe so Koodos. Thank you for this life saver recipe.

Chicken Breasts** (in my case 2)
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup or Cream of Chicken
or you can do half and half Cream of Mushroom and Cream of Chicken (but only if you have something to do with the other half) I have an enchilada recipe I will post that will help you use those two left over cans.

Serve with Rice or veggies.

1. Butterfly the chicken breast, I like to do this so it cooks faster. If you are like me the first time you will have to you tube butterfly chicken so you can watch how to do it. If you are more evolved than that aren't you just the iron chef!

2. Heat medium size skillet over medium-heat heat and prime with some olive oil or a little pam so your meat won't stick. Pan-fry the chicken approximately 8-9 minutes on each side until done.

3. Turn heat to low add the cream of mushroom or chicken soup over the chicken and cook for a couple more minutes.

Mr. Likes it over rice but to make this meal more healthy add some veggies on the side.
**You can also substitute pork chops for chicken breasts

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Crowd pleaser recipes Easy and Quick Weeknight! Part 1

I need more recipes on my site, I cook alot but hardly ever sit down and right out the recipes! My good friend Lauren is excellent about this and we were sharing recipes for quick meals the other day and it was soo helpful! I love having quick, easy, things I can whip up on a weekday. So I decided to post a couple and try to be better about it.

Homemade Pizza
This is one of Mr.'s favorites. He took these pictures while we were making this one night, he loves to help with this recipe. It takes 15 minutes cook time and probably 30 minutes total with prep. You can do alot of the prep while the dough is cooking though just read on!

What you need:

1.Refrigerated Pizza Dough (I get pillsbury thin crust because I've found it works the best. Of course you can make your own but that's not as quick!)
2. 1/2 Small 8 oz can of Tomato sauce (or you can use some you have left over from spaghetti making just save like 4 oz)
3. 1-3 types Cheese chunked that you shred or preshredded (we have used lots of different ones, cheddar, mozzarella, colby jack)
4. Pepperoni (buy a package and it will last you lots of pizzas depending on how heavy of a hand you have for the toppings)
5. 1/4-1/3 a package of Breakfast Sausage, browned (when I have this on hand I use it, it really adds yumminess)
6. Flour a couple handfuls if you are using a wooden paddle and pizza stone
7. Italian Seasoning (just whatever you have in the pantry)

Optional equipment: We have a pizza stone and a paddle so our cook times and techniques may be different but you will make this enough you will master the technique for your own equipment. You can make this on a cookie sheet as well!

1. Preheat oven to 400. If you are using a pizza stone make sure the stone is in there to heat up as well. I generously flour my paddle and the pizza stone at this step. If you had cookie sheet you were cooking this on follow the directions on the package (it says grease with pam)

2.Open the pizza dough. Once the dough is flat on the paddle or the cookie sheet, sprinkle some italian seasonings over the dough just a light sprinkle all over.

3. Here is the secret. Bake the dough first until it gets golden brown (8-10 minutes). This helps it not to be soggy in the middle. *if you are using a paddle make sure you have generously floured the paddle and the stone to allow for easy removal of the pizza. It will require a quick push to get the pizza off the paddle and onto the stone but you can do it.

4. While the dough is cooking, get all your toppings out. Remove the golden brown dough from the oven and add the tomato sauce and toppings. We like sauce, cheese, meat, and then another layer of cheese.

5. Return the pizza on the oven for the cheese to melt )3-5 minutes or as long as you can stand to wait!

Easy and fast dinner!

Saturday, February 26, 2011


I had to have an eternity ring as my wedding band. The jeweler said you will loose diamonds and I said but that's what I wanted... today I look down and ahhh! I am sans one diamond! Time for a trip to my jeweler (hope he doesn't say I told you so).

If you want to go for a diamond hunt I think I lost it at the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens today Good luck!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Reflections on Oprah...

Yesterday I was watching Oprah and David Arquette was on talking about his life and separation from Courtney Cox. It made me think about something. I remember the summer after I graduated college living in Fayetteville, Ar with roomie over the summer. Spending our summer working, drinking wine on tuesday nights, smoking and tanning in the swimming pool. It was a peaceful, simple, ridiculous summer but also one where I remember thinking and committing to myself that my twenties was a time of self improvement knowing and learning and discovering myself. Somewhere in the hustle and bustle of Graduate school and meeting a love of my life and finding myself a Mrs. I forgot about that commitment to myself.

What about me, what do I want, what makes me happy. It is easy to dismiss those thoughts as selfish and egotistical but think about it those are what we build life around. Deep wants and desires to be happy. But I literally woke up this morning wondering what is it that I want?

For so long I wanted to be happy, I wanted to be married (I think deep down, or maybe just to have someone beside me that would love me without condition). But now that I have that then what??

Why David Arquette, why did watching him send me into this self reflection. He was married to Courtney for 11 years. They have a six year old daughter. My parents were married 16 years. How could two people live in such close proximity to each other for so long but be mentally and emotionally growing apart? I think the answer is they let their marriage a passive process.

I have only been married a lil over 9 months and I can see how this happens. Life gets in the way. School, dogs, work, sleep, cleaning. Dinners become about eating. Being in rotations in PA school I feel like I am always getting through the rotation, just starting, back at the grind stone studying, or cramming for the test and then repeat. But really I need to rise above with a little of the peace and ridiculousness of the introspective twenty-one year old college grad. I need to realize there is something bigger than the monday to friday grind.

In my efforts to do this I am looking for materials books, activites, that Mr. and I can work through to facilitate self improvement and marriage improvement. Please reply if you have any helps!!

More reflections from the other side of the white coat...

Ms. H was not an unusual patient. She had an exacerbation of her systemic sclerosis. She needed a feeding tube placed on our service in preparation for a J tube. Her esophagus and stomach were so inflamed that Ms. H was unable to eat or even drink much without becoming nauseous and vomiting. She was on our service a short time but her case is similar to others I have had. These cases force me to struggle with a difficult part of medicine: treating symptoms to palliate the progression of a disease that we as practitioners cannot cure. I struggle with this because I want to study and learn and practice to heal people, not just help them cope with a disease. On my medicine rotation several times I came across cases like Ms. H’s where there was nothing we could do to cure her or reverse the trajectory of the disease. She asked me what to do one morning, what I would do if I were her and would not be able to eat again. I advised her to have the feeding tube placed and then the J tube when the surgeons thought she was ready. This, I told her would prolong her life. I said I didn’t know about being able to eat regularly again, but certainly not in the immediate future. I felt in that moment, we both wanted something more. I wanted to give her a better option. One that would let her go home and eat what she wanted again. Maybe she wanted the same.

It wasn’t the end of Ms. H’s life but you could call it the beginning of the end. I knew that, I think she did too without me telling her. In medicine today, we have so many cures for things. I am more and more thankful for those instances in the hospital because increasingly what my team seemed to be battling was chronic conditions like COPD or CHF or in Ms. H’s case Systemic Sclerosis. Medical management can in these cases elongate life, but not change the trajectory. It is in these instances that my education took a different path. Instead of learning about TIMI scores and maintenance fluids formulas or antibiotic spectrums and specificities, I was learning how to experience sorrow with someone at the loss of being able to eat.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

In true form: Internal Medicine in Review

Of all rotations, I was most apprehensive about Internal medicine at Scott and White. I was scared of moving to a new place, away from my husband and my dogs and the comforts of home, as well as the magnitude of knowledge required just to get by. Before the rotation, I was certain I would work in a clinic setting post graduation. I liked the 8-5 life and the comfort of always working with the same people and getting to know patients and families as they grow. After spending two months at Scott and White, I realized my preconceptions about this rotation were all wrong.

Instead of being something I just had to get through, Internal Medicine became my favorite rotation and the time flew by. I did not mind the long hours and would often be the last student on my team to go home because I wanted to take on more patients. Internal medicine is a unique rotation because you get to see everything in medicine. I was never bored and always curious. Above all, I learned to think on this rotation. I was a valued part of the team and became more and more able to put my plans into action.

This is also the first rotation I had experiences with death. I made an objective to hear and experience end of life issues during this rotation. I made an effort to go with my upper levels to hear the discussions with families. However, these experiences were nothing like the first experience with my own patient. I remember when Mrs. M. came in to the hospital for decreased energy. My differential was small, she was eighty-nine and had eaten like a bird for the past week. My plan was hydration, Ensure and a medicine to increase appetite, PT/OT and home. We found she had a UTI and treated it and she was getting more of an appetite and improving. She was going to go to a skilled nursing facility but could not go over the weekend so we kept her until Monday. On Monday she was constipated, we kept her a couple days to try and resolve the constipation but then it turned into a small bowel obstruction. KUB led to CT and we found a mass in her pancreas and addition metastases to her liver. All I could think about when that report came back was the first time I met her in the ER. Mrs. M died within the week. I did not realize this was going to be the last time she came into the hospital. I did not think we were going to be her last doctors. Waking someone up every morning for more than a week makes you feel a connection to them. I enjoyed being part of a hospital team. I got to experience so much with my patients and their families over a very limited time.

I have learned so much on this rotation about treating people and practicing medicine. It was bittersweet to leave. I enjoyed my time at Scott and White.