Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pilsbury Easy Frost Review

I think Pillsbury has a great idea here, but I'm not completely sold only because I think I could get more aesthetically pleasing results with my icing bag and knowing exactly how much pressure I'm applying. That being said, if I don't want to make my own icing, this is great. It's so fast to squeeze the icing on and I don't have to worry about spreading cake crumbs. Plus, it's one less bowl to clean up if I'm not making my own icing. Taste wise, I tried the vanilla dream and found it as sugary delicious as all other canned icing.

Joe loved the Easy Frost! He had a blast playing around with it and loved that his name could fit on a cupcake. Thank goodness the child will never die in at least one of us!

Chili's Enchilada Soup

Once again I failed to read the servings before making the recipe, and lo and behold, I made enough soup to serve 16-20 people! This wouldn't be as bad if Joe was willing to try it and eat some, but of course not.

I didn't read the recipe before hand, so I started in a large pot....umm...that wasn't large enough, so mid way I had to pour everything into the largest pot I had on hand--what'd I'd call my crab steaming pot if we could actually buy live crabs in Omaha.

Either way, I thought the soup was pretty close to Chili's and definitely worth making again, but perhaps only a 1/3 of the recipe next time. Here's the recipe with my adaptations.


1/2 cup Vegetable oil

1/4 cup Chicken base (I used 1/2 chicken stock)

3 cups diced Yellow Onions

2 tsp. ground Cumin

2 tsp. Chili Powder

2 tsp. granulated Garlic (I grated two cloves instead)

1/2 tsp. Cayenne pepper

2 cups Masa Harina (I used 2 1/2 cups)

4 quarts Water (divided)

2 cups crushed Tomatoes

1 can diced chiles (not in original recipe)

1 lb. processed American cheese, cut in small cube (Velveeta)

3 lb. cooked, cubed chicken


In large pot, place oil, chicken base, onion and spices. Saute until onions are soft and clear, about 5 minutes In another container, combine Masa Harina with 1 quart water. Stir until all lumps dissolve. Add to sauted onions, bring to boil. Once mixture starts to bubble, continue cooking 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. This will eliminate any raw taste from Masa harina. Add remaining 3 quarts water to pot. Add tomatoes; let mixture return to boil stirring occasionally. Add cheese to soup. Cook stirring occasionally, until cheese melts. Add chicken; heat through.

Makes 1 1/2 gallons or 16-20 servings.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Saw a miracle today

For the next four weeks I'm on pediatric cardiology. One of our patients today had a heart transplant at about 1 year of age. Before her transplant, she fell sick and her heart gave out. My attending physician said he performed CPR on her for 45 minutes. I really wish you could see this kid today and how normal she is. If you saw her in the mall, you'd have no idea she has a new heart and was almost dead.

Cases like above really challenge my thoughts on what I'd want for me and my kids when the time comes. Medically, this girl probably shouldn't have survived, but she did because the attending never gave up hope. My father-in-law likely shouldn't be around either (he has nine lives, I swear), but my mother-in-law refused to turn off the life support and he's now seen 12 years since then. Sometimes too much knowledge is dangerous and I hope when the time comes, my medical training will be pushed aside and my faith will kick in.

While I am extremely happy our patient today had a transplant and is doing so well, I can't forget another kid had to die so she could have a heart. Family, I am sorry for your loss and you did a remarkable thing by donating your child's organs. Thank you.

Donate Life

Monday, October 26, 2009

Let's hear it for the masks!

I'm back in Omaha and in light of the swine flu, the Children's hospital out here is mandating universal face masks for everyone. Even if we're not sick, whenever we see a patient, we need to wear a mask. The patients need to wear a mask. The parents need to wear a mask. Heck, if the kid brought a baby doll, they'd probably have to wear a mask too. Seriously though, I guess this is good and a necessary precaution, but I miss being able to see the social smile of the kids or trying to connect with them by making funny faces. I just hope they don't mandate universal gowning next.

(I feel like Michael Jackson always wearing a mask).

I think Joe likes BBQ...

I do 90% of the cooking at our house and I was gone for four weeks doing a rotation. While gone, I gave Joe a hard time about what he was cooking. I predicted lots of chicken tenders and pizza. Well, I think Joe had a chicken tender binge last week. Of the five plates in the dishwasher, all were covered with BBQ sauce. As Joe says, "BBQ makes everything taste good."

Let's Talk About My Traps

My trapezius muscles, that is. Everyone carries her stress somewhere, I carry mine in my trapezius muscles, the green in the image above. As much as I try to stretch them, they are almost always tight, I mean painfully tight to the point my shoulders are contracted forward. Yesterday I had a massage and the therapist said, "So, are you a nurse or a doctor? They're usually the ones who's muscles are as jacked up as yours." Close enough--med student. Unfortunately, she's not the the only therapist who's noticed how tight my traps are, especially as compared to my other muscles. Fortunately, massage helps loosen the muscles, but here lies the problem, massages aren't cheap. This year I enrolled in Massage Envy's membership, which gives me discounted massages, but it still adds up and it'll be one of the first expenses to go. I might just have to insist on Joe learning how to give me a shoulder massage :p

And some more rambling...although my traps get painfully tight, I'm fortunate they don't cause headaches. Thank goodness for small blessings.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Baltimore Gas Prices

For the most part, gas prices in Baltimore are about the same as in Omaha, but I can't get over the range of prices around the area. I usually expect the stations near the highways to be 10 cents more, but I've noticed that's no longer the case. Just driving about 6 miles to the Chick-fil-a today, I saw a range of 15 cents, with no real correlation with the highway. Come on gas stations, it's one thing to be a couple cents different, but 15 cents?!?! That just doesn't make sense and shows how much some people mark up gas.

And yes, I had to get one last visit to Chick-fil-a before going back to Omaha who hasn't been blessed with the yumminess of the establishment.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Displaced Ravens Fans

I think this might be my new favorite photo of Joe and me. I've been in Baltimore for the past 4 weeks doing a rotation at a local hospital. Joe flew in two weeks ago to visit and we were fortunate enough to go to a Ravens game while he was here. I was trying to correct the colors and somehow made the purple pop. I think I desaturated all of the colors but red, and somehow ended up with this picture. I really don't think I could do it again, but either way, I love this effect. Too bad the Raves lost that day. Oh well.

All things must end

So it seems my time in Baltimore has come to an end, at least temporarily. It was nice being back in the neck of the woods, but I realized I don't miss Baltimore. Don't get me wrong, I miss my friends and family in Baltimore, but not the city itself. I don't miss the pot holes, the traffic, the crime, the cost of living, and I'm sure there's more. I never thought I'd be sad to leave Omaha, but I think I will be. I'll get over it quickly though, don't worry.

I'm excited to fly back to Omaha tomorrow to get back to our home we established. I miss seeing Joe everyday and our little lifestyle. I'm doing pediatric cardiology next, so I'm hoping to have some more time to catch up on baking and reading. We'll see.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sorry Bella

I'm staying with my parents while I do my rotation in Baltimore. When I arrived home today, I was greeted by Bella, the family shitzu. My brother's shin guard hung from her mouth and I immediately started reprimanding her for chewing our stuff. I attempted to pull the shin guard out of her mouth, but it wouldn't budge, so I pulled harder. Then I realized she wasn't biting down on anything--the velcro of the shin guard was stuck in her fur! I felt so bad! I didn't mean to try to pull her fur out. After calming her down enough to realize I wasn't going to try to pull her hair out again, I was able to cut the fur. Poor girl. I really thought she was chewing it and just wouldn't let go.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Funny Swine Flu Photo

One of my dear friends sent this to me and I just had to share. It's no lie that Swine Flu is hitting us hard, but at least we have the resources for this pandemic. I loved how this picture had masked on the other characters, because it's so true. We isolate all of our flu patients and I feel like I'm gowning for almost every patient on the floor. I wouldn't be surprised if stocks in hospital isolation gear have gone up.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ravens Gnome

I don't know why, but Joe has an affinity for gnomes. I think it all started when Travelocity used a gnome as their mascot, but I could be wrong. Either way, when I see gnomes I automatically think of Joe. While I was at the mall this past weekend, I ran across the Baltimore Ravens gnome. I had never seen it before and I knew I had to get it for Joe. I thought, "what a perfect Christmas gift?!" The thing, it's football season now and I didn't think I could wait for Christmas. So, I ordered one and sent it to him as an early Christmas gift. He loved it! He says right now it's currently planted on our kitchen table looking over our tickets for the Ravens game this week. Let's hope the gnome is a lucky gnome!

96 hours?

Also known as four 24 hour days. Or, the amount of time I spent at the hospital this past week. Of my first 7 days, 4 of them were on duty. Needless to say I haven't seen anybody in Baltimore other than my parents and brother yet. Now, you might be thinking, "Isn't that illegal?" Nope. The ACGME has duty hour requirements for residents--maximum of an average of 80 hours a week over 4 weeks. The kicker, these guidelines apply only to residents, not med students. No fear though, I chose to work that many hours last week so I can have time off this coming weekend. Joe is coming to visit and we're going to a shrimp feast and Ravens game. And, even as a resident I could work 96 hours in 7 days as long as it averages out over 4 weeks. The joys I have to look forward to next year as an intern. However, in all honesty, it's not as bad as it sounds. I love working with the kids and learning how to manage their illnesses. As long as I'm busy, the time pretty much flies. That's not to say I'm not exhausted at the end of the day.
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