Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Strawberry Scones

I made this back in the beginning of July for a graduation party. I think some guests were expecting something a little sweeter, since they were on the dessert table, but I thought they were just the right amount of sweetness. My brother absolutely loved them and I saw him sneaking a couple extra. I think this recipe would also be wonderful with blueberries!

Recipe adapted from Family Fun


* 1 cup hulled and finely diced fresh strawberries
* 2 cups (8.5 ounces) flour
* 1/3 cup (2.333 ounces) sugar, plus a little for sprinkling
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* A lemon, for zest
* 6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
* 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon light cream (I used half and half)
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Heat your oven to 425ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, using a few spots of butter or cooking oil to stick it in place. Set the baking sheet aside. I used my mini scone pan.

2. Place the diced strawberries on several sheets of paper towel to absorb their juice. Meanwhile, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Zest half of the lemon into the ingredients, taking care to remove just the outermost skin and not the white part.

3. Cut in the butter with two butter knives or a pastry blender until the flour-coated pieces are the size of peas. Add the strawberries, tossing them gently with a fork to coat them.

4. Make a well in the mixture. Blend the 1/2 cup of light cream and the vanilla extract in a measuring cup and pour them into the well. Using as few strokes as possible, gently stir the dough until it forms a ball. Let the dough sit for 1 minute.

5. Clean and flour your hands and dust your work surface with flour. Place the dough on the floured surface and knead it gently three or four times. Transfer it to the large baking sheet and pat it into an 8-inch circle. Using a lightly oiled pizza cutter or a serrated knife, cut the dough into 8 wedges, as you would a pizza. Use a small spatula or pie server to carefully separate the pieces, leaving at least an inch between them. Since I used a scone pan, but just put it in the wells.

6. Brush the tops of the scones with the remaining tablespoon of light cream, then sprinkle the surfaces with sugar. Bake the scones until the outsides are crusty and starting to brown, about 18 minutes. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then slide the parchment and the scones onto a wire rack to cool for another 20 minutes before serving.


Monday, July 26, 2010

The Last Olympian

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5)The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great ending to an enjoyable series.

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Black Bean Corn Salsa

Wonder where my recipes have been? Well, I've been just a tiny bit busy with intern year and family life. I made this dip for a July 4th party and it was a hit! I didn't get a chance to take a picture though. I ended up doubling the recipe below and I'm glad I did, just because there were 30-40 people at the party.

Recipe from CDKitchen

Serves/Makes: 5 cups

1 (15 oz.) can black beans ( rinsed and drained)
1 cup frozen corn kernels (thawed)
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons lime juice
8 small green onions - chopped ( use some of the stem also)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
** Optional **
1 small green chili chopped or have used crushed red pepper - go lightly

Mix all the above well. Refrigerate over night to let flavors blend.

Hot Stuff

Hot StuffHot Stuff by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm learning I really like Janet Evanovich. Hot Stuff was a nice quick read. The love story at the end got a little melodramatic, but it was still nice. Evanovich does a great job weaving comic relief into a fun mystery.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Fix It Friday - 63

Here's the original, already a pretty darn good picture!

And here's my edit. I added a lens flare to the top right corner and used Nelly Nero's Poisoned Peach action. This a little more dramatic than editing I'd do with my own photos, but it was fun to be a little bold today.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Gathering

The GatheringThe Gathering by Anne Enright

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I could not get into this book at all. I listened to about 30% of it and finally gave up. I'm not a prude, but I really don't like reading, yet alone listening to, a narrator describe her dead grandfather's erection and graphically imagine her grandparents getting on.

My sole reason for picking up the book was because it was set in Ireland. Ireland or not, too much vulgarity for me.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Moloka'iMoloka'i by Alan Brennert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think I'd say historical fiction is my favorite genre of literature and what a treat this one was! I find that a lot of the historical fiction novels I pick up deal with hierarchies in Europe or the American Civil War. It was so nice to read about the not-so-distant past of Hawaii. Before reading this novel, I never knew there was a leper colony in Hawaii.

Brennert did a wonderful job illustrating the life of a single leper, while incorporating small bits of what her fellow peers encountered. I found myself "googling" characters and was thrilled to see how accurate Brennert's descriptions were to actual individuals and events.

I'm too lazy to write more, but if you want to learn more about Hawaii and read a great story about love, devotion, and overcoming life's obstacles, go pick up this book!

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Oh the Joys of Poo...

As a pediatrician I get paid to talk about poop. Yes, you read that correctly. For those who've never had a constipated kid, it's amazing how much discomfort and embarrassment constipation can cause children. I might need to find a new way to ask parents about their child's poop though. Today I asked a mom if her five-year-old's poop was pebble-like, snake-like, or pudding-like. Yeah, that 5 year old started cracking up. Mom knew what I meant though.

So, here's some information on constipation from one of my favorite sites, Healthy Children from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

How do I know if my child is constipated?

Bowel patterns vary in children just as they do in adults. Because of this, it is sometimes difficult to tell if your child is truly constipated. One child may go two or three days without a bowel movement and still not be constipated, while another might have relatively frequent bowel movements but have difficulty passing the stool. Or a child’s constipation may go unnoticed if he passes a small stool each day, while a buildup of stool develops in his colon. In general, it is best to watch for the following signals if you suspect constipation:

*In a newborn, firm stools less than once a day, though this can be normal in some exclusively breastfed infants
*In an older child, stools that are hard and compact, with three or four days between bowel movements
*At any age, stools that are large, hard and dry, and associated with painful bowel movements
*Episodes of abdominal pain relieved after having a large bowel movement
*Blood in or on the outside of the stools
*Soiling between bowel movements


Constipation generally occurs when the muscles at the end of the large intestine tighten, preventing the stool from passing normally. The longer the stool remains there, the firmer and drier it becomes, making it even more difficult to pass without discomfort. Then, because the bowel movement is painful, your child consciously may try to hold it in, making the problem still worse. (This is why it's important to catch it before pooping becomes too painful!)

The tendency toward constipation seems to run in families. It may start in infancy and remain as a lifetime pattern, becoming worse if the child does not establish regular bowel habits or withholds stool. Stool retention occurs most commonly between the ages of two and five, at a time when the child is coming to terms with independence, control, and toilet training. Older children may resist having bowel movements away from home because they don’t want to use an unfamiliar toilet. This, too, can cause constipation or make it worse.

If your child does withhold, he may produce such large stools that his rectum stretches. Then he may no longer feel the urge to defecate until the stool is too big to be passed without the help of an enema, laxative, or other treatment. In some of these cases, soiling occurs when liquid waste leaks around the solid stool. This looks like diarrhea or soiling on the child’s underpants or diaper. In these severe cases, the rectum must be emptied under a physician’s supervision, and the child must be retrained to establish normal bowel patterns. Consulting a pediatric gastroenterologist may be necessary.


Mild or occasional episodes of constipation may be helped by the following suggestions.

Constipation due to breastmilk is unusual, but if your breastfed infant is constipated, it is probably due to a reason other than diet. Consult your doctor before substituting formula for breastmilk. (Keep in mind that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding and avoiding cow’s milk for the first twelve months of life.)

For infants, ask your pediatrician about giving small amounts of water or prune juice. In addition, fruits (especially prunes and pears) can often help a constipated infant.

For a toddler or older child who is eating solid foods and has problems with constipation, you may need to add high-fiber foods to his daily diet.

These include prunes, apricots, plums, raisins, high-fiber vegetables (peas, beans, broccoli), and whole-grain cereals and bread products. At the same time, cut back on foods such as rice, bananas, and cereals or breads that are not high in fiber. Increasing the daily water intake also may help.

In more severe cases, your pediatrician—alone or in consultation with a pediatric gastroenterologist—may prescribe a mild laxative or enema. Follow such prescriptions exactly. Although some newer laxatives are over the counter and simpler to use than these products used to be, never give your child a laxative or other types of stool-loosening or -softening medications without first consulting with your doctor.


Because each child's bowel patterns are different, become familiar with your child's normal bowel patterns. Make note of the usual size and consistency of her stools. This will help you and your pediatrician determine when constipation occurs and how severe the problem is. If your child doesn't have normal bowel movements every few days, or is uncomfortable when stools are passed, she may need help in developing proper bowel habits.

You can. . .

*Encourage your child to drink plenty of water and eat more high-fiber foods.
*Help your child set up a regular toilet routine. (Yes, you may need to schedule "toilet time." After meals is always easy to remember.)
*Encourage your child to be physically active. Exercise along with a balanced diet provides the foundation for a healthy, active life.

If you are concerned about your child's bowel movements, talk with your pediatrician. A simple change in diet and exercise may be the answer. If not, your pediatrician can suggest a plan that works best for your child.

Last Updated 6/11/2010
Source: Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 (Copyright © 2009 American Academy of Pediatrics)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I got a dollar...

...I got a dollar, I got a dollar, hey, hey, hey!

This past Friday I received my first ever real full-time job paycheck. Now I've received paychecks equivilant to 40 hours a week during summer jobs, but I've never had a long term full time job before. Due to circumstances over the past week, I wasn't able to pick it up until Monday and hopefully I'll be able to deposit it today. It's not a lot and it's always disappointing to see how much taxes are taken out, but it's something.

I'm so proud of my first real check, even if I'm earning it at the age of 26.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Dr. Snickerdoodle?

Joe's father loved snickerdoodles. I really wanted to make some for the reception after the funeral, but I didn't have time. One of Mr. Joe's neighbors also happens to love the snickerdoodles I make and has taken to calling me Dr. Snickerdoodle. I don't know when I will get the chance, and I hoping it's some time this week, but my next baking project will definitely be some snickerdoodles in Mr. Joe's honor.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

On being an Intern...

I am in my third week of intern year, the toughest and least flexible year of residency, and my father in law passes away. I feel torn in so many directions. When we learned about Mr. Joe on Monday, I called my chief residents and told them I couldn't come in. They called in back up to cover my shift, not a big deal. I worked last night and I'm working tonight. The viewing is Thursday and the funeral is Friday, so I'm not going to be working tomorrow night and the chiefs have already arranged back-up.

I've always said family comes first, and here I am working. I really don't know what to feel. When I was at Joe's house with him and his mom, I felt there wasn't much I could do. I helped answer the phone, talk to visitors, and such, but a lot of the time I was sitting there. I know being there is very important, even if I'm not actively doing anything, and that's why I feel bad for being at work right now. I personally need to be busy to not think about Mr. Joe's passing. The drive from Baltimore to Wilmington yesterday was the worst. It was the first time I was alone since Mr. Joe's death. I held myself together to drive and all, but about 5 minutes into the trip it just hit me. Then I stopped by my parents to get a couple of things and my brother was there. I just hugged him and cried. Joe doesn't have any siblings and doesn't have anybody else to lean on during this difficult time. Robby and I both told each other how thankful we were for each other. And then I collected myself again and got back on the road.

And then there's the fact that I'm an intern. I have a responsibility to my program and the sick children. Unfortunately, residencies aren't like offices where we can call in a temp to cover our work. We have a back-up system in place for emergencies, like Monday night and tomorrow night, but I really couldn't bring myself to call in back up for the whole week. If I do that, it takes someone from another rotation everyday and leaves that team short. Hospitals run on the work of residents and as residents we have to meet so many requirements in such a short period of time. Pulling back-up has a ripple effect and effects so many teams and not just that person.

So here I am, a brand new intern trying to balance being a wife and daughter-in-law at the same time. Joe says he understands why I came back to work, but I'm constantly thinking about him and my mother-in-law. I'm focused on the patients and their care, but if there is down time between patients, my mind is constantly drifting to memories of Mr. Joe, or wondering how my Joe is doing. My mother-in-law is taking Mr. Joe's death extremely hard, which is to be expected, and Joe's main priority has been to support his mom during this time. That's what sons are for, but I want Joe to be able to grieve too. I am only an hour away, but I feel so distant. I'm doing what I can from here and Joe says even if I was physically there I wouldn't be able to do much more, but it just hurts so much that I'm not physically there with Joe and his mom.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

We have sad hearts.

December 27, 1945 - July 5, 2010

My dear husband, Joe, lost his father Monday to a heart attack. He had a very bad heart and was given 5 years to live 14 years ago. While this was sudden, it was not completely unexpected and we are so thankful for all of the "extra" years we had with him. Either way, it's a rough time for us right now. I am so thankful that we're only an hour away now and no longer 20 hours.

While I haven't been the most religious or faithful person lately, my mother-in-law could certainly use some prayers right now. We are still waiting for him to walk back through the door.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Missing my hubby...

Mom was going through some old emails and found this one, dated 5/13/2008.

Yesterday was our last marriage prep session. We filled out a survey of things we've learned, etc. This was on Joe's: "I will love this hottie for the rest of my life as long as she allows me to watch StarWars and football on Sundays."

I'm so happy I get to see him tonight! It's been weird knowing that he's been in the apartment, doing his thing and all, but we haven't crossed paths since Sunday night. He's on night shift next week too, so at least I'll get to say hi to him

When my shift's over today, I'll have put in about 68 hours this week. Oh the life of a first year resident. Honestly, though, other than not seeing Joe, it's manageble. I mean, of course I haven't had any time for my hobbies, but at least I'm doing something I love.
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