Friday, October 7, 2011

Recipe: Paleo Oven-Crisped Pork Chops

Last November, I started eating Paleo. So what does that mean? The Paleo diet, also referred to as the caveman or primal diet, consists of fresh meats (preferably organic, grass-fed animals), fresh organic produce, nuts and lots of chocolate. This, accompanied by exercising in short intense bursts, mimics the diet and lifestyle of our paleolithic ancestors. It's a fun way to exercise. I like to pretend I'm walking through the forest picking berries, minding my own business when suddenly, "DINOSAUR!" So then I run like hell until I can barely breathe. Which, lucky for me, is exactly the same amount of time that it takes to lose a dinosaur. But I digress.

For the last 11 months, I've not always successfully avoided processed foods, grains, gluten, dairy products, and cheese fries. I had also given up on one of my favorite recipes, oven-crisped pork chops. The recipe required flour and cornmeal - both mortal enemies of the protohuman. A couple of nights ago I decided it was time to club this recipe over the head and Paleonize it! I cut down on the amount of butter, replaced the flour and cornmeal with almond meal et voilà!

It was so delicious I decided it needed to be shared. If you like spicy, you will love this recipe. It definitely has a kick, but I promise it won't feel like you swallowed the sun or anything of the sort. Bon appétit!


4 tbsp of organic butter

1 cup almond meal

1 1/2 tsp paprika

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp salt

1 egg white

6-8 pork chops


  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Coat the bottom of a baking sheet with butter. 
  2. Combine almond meal, paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and salt in in a bowl and mix well until it's a light brown color. 
  3. Beat egg white in a shallow bowl. Dip pork chops in egg white mixture. 
  4. Coat pork chops with almond meal mix. 
  5. Melt remaining butter. Drizzle evenly over pork chops. 
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes, turning halfway. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

You Should Have a Blog...

I'm tired of hearing those words.  Yes, I agree - I should blog.  The problem is that I never know what to write about.  Sure, I agree with you guys; it's like my spawn likes to say, "Mom, you're really funny...sometimes."  The thing is that my humor comes to me spontaneously.  I don't think about half the things I say.  The words flow effortlessly when I don't have to think about them; like a reflex if reflexes were comedic, slightly sarcastic, and somewhat disturbed.   When I sit in front of this blank screen, I've got nothing.  In my fantasy world, I like to pretend the likes of Stephen King and  Anne Rice suffer from the same woes.  Then I realize that the last time Stephen King had writer's block he probably looked around his garage, found a giant hammer, and Bamm! he found Emeril.  No, he didn't really find Emeril, but he probably wrote Misery.  And let's face it, it would take Mrs. Rice, who I admire greatly, an average of 900 pages to describe how tortured her writer's block is.

So why can't I commit to this blog?  Is this just not my calling?  Will the world ever know? And why does Roland Martin insist on wearing ascots?  I always have something to say, except now when staring blankly at this screen where thoughts go to die.  There has to be a way to get motivated.  Maybe I'm just not getting it, like Twitter.  When I first started tweeting, I had no idea what to tweet.  It made no sense to edit my thoughts to 140 characters to share them with a bunch of strangers.  I honestly don't care what any of you had for breakfast, unless it was illegal and then I care a little, so why should you care about me?  And then one fine summer day, or maybe some other season (my perception of time is as lacking as my blogging skills), I got it.  The tweets were not for anyone else.  They're just a collection of narcissistic one liners to keep for myself, except of course for the occasional rant to Comcast, AT&T or US Air. It's a sort of character limited memoir.

What I need, is a plan.  What I'll do, is the following:  I'll move a few old entries that I've written elsewhere before, just to keep some activity here.  The next time that something interesting happens to me and I think "I should blog about this," I'll write it down so I don't forget.  I must do this; I need to tell my stories in a place where my right to unlimited character use is respected.  I'm going to make this happen and if all else fails, there's always the backup plan; we should buy a bar...we should totally buy a bar.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

No, I Don't Want To See Thor - An African Cats Review

Two nights ago, Marvel's Thor debuted in theaters.  If you know anything about me, you know this movie has my name written all over it.  Marvel involvement...check.  Doesn't star Ben Affleck or Eric Bana...check.  3D availability (aka the studio has faith in it)...check.  Superhero theme...check.  Hot Viking looking God of Thunder...check.  Elisabeth Shue as a gutsy babysitter taking on the big city and singing the blues...okay, so maybe not everything, but you get my point.  This movie probably won't change my life, but we're a potential match, and once in a while I want to watch something that doesn't make me think.  So, thinking my eight year old would appreciate the age inappropriate flick, I excitedly announced, "Get dressed, we're going to see Thor." But alas, my hypothesis was lacking.  Instead of rushing to get dressed so we could leave, the offspring declared that he preferred to watch something scientific in nature.  My weak "Thunder's scientific or something" argument didn't help my case.  "Let's go watch African Cats!" he said.  And so we did.

African Cats follows 2 lion prides and a family of cheetahs around the Savanna in Kenya.  It's an endearing tale of blah, blah, blah.  If you want to learn about the movie, feel free to tweet the offspring, @ThingsMikeySays.  He probably memorized the whole thing.  Moi, I get lost in narration, but that doesn't stop me from being observant.  So I'd like share with you, all three of you, possibly 4 (shoutout to Stephanie!), what I learned from African Cats:  

  • Lion is king.
  • Lions have elbow hair.
  • Flies and gnats are totally annoying.
  • Things don't bleed much in the Disney wilderness. 
  • The right set of drums can really build up tension in situations where there may not be any.
  • There's no greater love than that between a mother and her cubs.
  • Keep your cubs close and your enemies as far as feliny possible.
  • Get a pet elephant if you want to live. 
  • DON'T mess with the Cheetah Brothers, unless your elephant is near. 
  • If confronted by a crocodile, let your husband take care of it.
  • Not all crocodiles make ticking sounds. 
  • It's okay to bite your children when they refuse to listen.
  • There's a perfectly good reason turtles have shells; your children. 
  • Feline dentistry is not a common practice in the Savanna wilderness.
  • Rain doesn't help you sleep better when your home is in the center of a tall-grass field.
  • Independent lionesses don't need no stinking pride leader.
  • Stockholm syndrome is not uncommon in the animal kingdom.  (Come on lionesses!  Whatever happened to not needing no stinking pride leader?)
  • Kittus and Lucky are not the only droolers of their kind.
  • There is some major Lion King/Mexican Telenovela style DRUHRRAMA happening in the animal kingdom. 
  • Never get fresh with an ostrich. 
  • Even little dogs bite back.
  • Hyena's are bad...they are very, very bad.
  • Children like it when small things survive, as proven by the many "YESses!" and fists thrown in the air. 
  • If it's good enough for John Locke, it's good enough for an aging lioness.  #warhogs
  • If a new king takes over the pride, then your males will be booted to the other side of the river #RomanGrantstyle.
  • If you're happy to see someone, it's okay to jump on them #tiggerstyle.  After all, it's what tiggers do best.
  • If you're hanging with a herd of prey and suspect you yourself may be prey, BE THE in the actual center; not of attention.
So there you have it folks!  The movie kept me and all the miniature humans entertained at all times, had some astounding backgrounds (wow Kenya!) and, as you can see, it was quite educational. Go see it!  =^_^=

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hand me a Wand and Call Me Hera

Once upon a crazy Friday afternoon...

The day couldn't get much worse, could, but I was trying to get the opening scene from Lost out of my mind as I mentally prepared myself to be airborne.  The last day of vacation is always stressful and full of mixed feelings.  You can't wait to get home and you don't want to leave; it's hard to explain.  Little did I know that I was about to endure a surprise maritime adventure of the Perfect Storm kind disguised as a ferry ride.  I'd not ridden a ferry since that one time in Venice when I missed my bus stop and didn't realize it until the bus climbed on a boat, but that's a story for another day.  I admit that at first it was exciting.  Then it was cold.  And then it was windy.  Wind + ferry = bad combination.  Here's the physics behind it: If it's windy and the water below you is acting like it's auditioning for Cirque Du SoleiI "La Mere," I guarantee your entire world is waddling in a pregnant Godzillalike fashion; that is, if Godzilla has had one too many.  I'd dare say that anyone not holding on for dear life could easily be blasted off from the Barferry; I'm talking Team Rocket style.  It's funny how when you look out towards the horizon, it looks perfectly still and it becomes obvious that it's the surface you're on that's completely out of control.  Having never done this before, I alternated between being inside and outside until it just didn't matter anymore.  It was interesting how the rest of the folks there were acting like they were on a quite ride; going about their day, reading their paper, playing on their phones...nothing to see here.  Moi, I finally found a somewhat comfortable position, closed my eyes, and hoped for the best.  I don't think I've ever wanted anything to stop moving so badly.  I spent the next hour looking like a drunk Starbucks mermaid who had obviously angered Poseidon, Neptune, and every other variation of the ocean god in existence.  All the whozits and whatzits under the sea weren't going to save me.  Yes, I was green and poorly caffeinated.  

Oh, how sweet the sight of land was.   I wanted to kiss the ground but it was dirty, so I didn't want to kiss it at all.  Following was an hour long drive.  Oh joy!  More movement.  This was followed by a hurried good bye and the realization that I had to wait for another hour before being presented with the task of surviving a two hour flight.  Alright, I'd made it this far; I could do this.  The airport was empty.  I guess not that many people fly out of a party city on a Friday.  There were probably about 8 people there including myself and a bored TSA crew of 7.  What to do?  What to do?  Read?  No way, my head was throbbing.  Eat?!  Play on my iPhone?  My phone was dead as a doornail.  Now you see, iPhone and I have a very special relationship, and when iPhone doesn't respond....well...I feel a little dead inside.  So I scouted the entire perimeter of the boarding area carefully until I found a place to hook up to the wall.  Minutes to my ears.  

A day prior, my friend  Tussi, pronouced 2C, had left me the following message on my Facebook wall, "Oye, when you come down to earth give me a call....please! Thank you, you may now resume to your cloud 9 activities!!!!"  Now was as good a time as any.  We chitchatted about what I'd been up to for a while, but  I knew she needed something.  I silently prayed that the gods of pyramid schemes would spare me, just this once.  I had endured enough for one day.  The mere thought of a PartyLite/Tupperware show made me feel arsonistic <--(Not a word.  Let's write is off as poetic justice.)  No, that was an irrational assumption; that's not Tussi's thing.  Help  on an art piece?  Maybe.  I wouldn't mind that.  And then, just like that, she popped the question.  Nooo...not that question.  "We talked it over with Joe and we think you're the best choice.  Will you be Dimitri's godmother?"  I can't really explain what happened next.  Just an array of feelings expressed in the form of a watery substance flowing down my cheeks.  These people, who I adore, were willing to trust me with the care of their most priced possession.  I didn't hesitate to reply.  These are friends who have been there for me time after time.  Dimitri is precious and I've loved him from way before he was born.  I was expecting him to call me Tia Ronnie one day anyway, but this is different; it has a sense of formality.   So I'm sorry if I made you read all of this for a simple announcement, but I wanted to remember this day as it was.  I'm going to be a godmother!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The One Where I Couldn't Let Go of My VHS Tapes

I looked over at my movie collection today and realized I still have a hefty collection of VHS tapes.  I'll probably never watch them again.  It'd make sense to trash them or try to sell them to some poor eBayer.  The mission of posting, selling, and shipping the items mixed with a dash of nostalgia won't let me do it.  I mean, one of the box sets makes a pretty picture when you stack the tapes next to each other.  It may be the world's poorest excuse for a  puzzle, but who would want to let that go?

This got me thinking about how easy it is nowadays. With DVDs, BluRays, and digital copies, why would anyone choose to watch anything on VHS?  My son will never know a VCR. I'm not completely trashing them.  We enjoyed them for years and at one point they were the coolest accessory our TVs could hope for.  The two devices were like Forrest and Jenny.  We liked them together so much, we decided to join them in holy matrimony with the help of Reverend Sony.  "I now pronounce you TV/VCR Combo.  You may now play the movie."  (You'll have to excuse my Ally McBeal moments.  I warn you; they happen a lot.) 

The TV/VCR Combo.  Voted most popular and most likely to succeed by the class of 1992.

So anyway, yes, VCRs were great in their time.  How else would my stepmom have recorded the featured Disney flick for us every Sunday?  One day, I'll tell the munchkin all about how I had to record my shows on a book-sized tape while climbing uphill in the snow and how his grandparents had a hissy if my darling siblings or I dared to use the rewind function.  I mean, seriously children, you wouldn't want to wear out the $800 RCA by submitting to Blockbuster's plea for kindness.  The rewind button was there for aesthetic purposes.  The sweet ying to the fast forward button's yang.  If you wanted to travel back in time to 10 minutes ago, the highly recommended gadget of choice was the red convertible that made the annoying eh-eh-eeh-eeh-eeh sound.  

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the car shaped tape rewinder.   
I brought this up in conversation the other day.  The  parental units maintain that not allowing the VCR to live to its full potential by using all of its talents was not a decision they made lightly and they did so hoping that the spoiled, lazy little toaster could have a better, longer life.  You know how they say pick your battles?  Well, I dropped it.  Ten minutes later the maternal unit calls out to me frantically.  In her hands, she holds the old tape rewinder.  My reaction?   I'm so glad you ask.  "But mom, we don't own a VCR anymore."   And then it hit me. (*Cue light bulb over head*)  We DON'T own a VCR; there's no purpose in keeping my movies. 

The story has a happy ending.  As it turns out, my stepsister collects AND watches VHS tapes.  She is now the proud owner of many classics, including the two tape Titanic box set; because sometimes one tape just isn't enough.  And by sometimes, I can pretty much narrow it down to Steven Spielberg and James Cameron flicks.  It's like I always say, "Decluterring, like cleanliness, will help you stay off Hoarders."  <--That's actually the first time I say that.