Friday, March 16, 2012

Cold vs. Flu

I usually don't get the flu.  In fact I can't really remember the last time I got it.  Why?  Every year I get my flu shot like a good girl and escape the season unscathed.  But somehow this year I forgot to get my flu shot.  Worse than that, I forgot to get my kids flu shots!  And I forgot to harass my husband to get his flu shot!!  There we were, 4 souls in a sea of germs completely unprotected.  Walking around with big targets on our back.  It was just a matter of time.

Wednesday our grace period ended.  BAM!  We were hit with the flu and one by one we fell.  First my son (and he has pneumonia too), then I got it, about 10 seconds later Kevin got it, and our last little hold out succumbed to the virus last night.

Frankly, I had forgotten how bad the flu was. Isn't it just like a cold?  An over-hyped version of the sniffles?  Let me tell you now that the answer is no.  The CDC gives these differences:

But I don't think this truly captures it, so I have assembled some visual analogies for you:







 I think the biggest difference is you can function with a cold, while you can't with the flu.  But if you cohabitate with children, specifically small children, you have to at least somewhat function.  The doctor's advice to stay in bed, sleep a lot, and baby yourself?  Um, are you kidding me?  Those kids, who seemed like a great idea in your former non-infected life, are suddenly a very bad idea.  They are always wanting to eat, and drink, and go to the bathroom.  More than that, they want your attention, to settle arguments, to turn on stuff, etc., etc,. etc.  I am not exaggerating when I say it is never ending.  They don't understand that mommy is half delirious with fever, dizzy, and barely mobile.  They want their juice dang it!  And would it kill you to make them a peanut butter sandwich!  And don't you think about leaving that crust on!

All childless people are now thinking, but you have a husband to help don't you?  No, I had a husband.  The flu has turned the 6'3" man into this:
I only agreed to "in sickness and in healthy" because I had no idea how whiny "in sickness" was.

If you are married with children, you probably knew this already.  It is a well established fact among my mom friends that our husbands are the worst when they are sick.  Sorry if that offend all the guys who read my blog (my apologies to both of you) but you guys are beyond useless when you are sick.  I went from being married with two kids to being a single mom with three kids.  While I melodramatically said I was dying, he really thought he was.  All I wanted to say was, "Suck it up Buttercup, I'm sick too!"  In the end, I knew it would be pointless.  Plus I am collecting all kinds of bonus points for my sacrifices...and to be fair, he was/is realllllly sick.

There is  no bigger proponent of flu shots like the person who is currently suffering from the flu.  I implore you, if you haven't gotten one yet, GO GET IT!!!!  Learn from my stupidity.   I know some people are against them.  You know what I'm against?  Feeling so awful you actually pray for death.  Get the shot.

**  Update- Tricia gave me this link in her comments.  It is funny because it's true!  Thanks Tricia!

Flu Shots:  Feelings about them?  Did you get yours?  Feel free to rub it in.

Ladies: Is your guy a big baby when he is sick?  Fellas:  Did I judge you unfairly?

Moms:  Hardest thing about being sick with kids?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Things- The March Edition

Thing that took me away from blogging for a couple of weeks (again!):
This looks like I was just relaxing for a couple weeks, but actually I was planning for other people to relax.  I was in charge of planning Spa Day for my MOPS group.  It doesn't sound like it is a lot of work...that is why I said I would do it.  But actually it was so much work.  But worth it.  I will try to be a better blogger now, but really that isn't very likely.
Thing I just got:
Okay, so it wasn't the jeweled kind...but it probably cost as much.  Stupid cracked tooth.
Thing my daughter just got:
Right before age 3, my daughter gets her first pair of glasses.  That has my gene pool written all over it.

Thing that I need to fill out ASAP:
Any other March Madness fans out there??  Love it!
Thing I am wagering on the bracket:
Hey big spender!!!
Thing I am never going to see again:
I have the worst luck.  You wanna know who to pick??  I'll send you my bracket and just do the opposite thing.
Thing I am probably having next Friday:
I'm becoming the Bionic just kidding, I am thinking about having LASIK surgery.  Looks totally gross...hmm, I'm starting to have second thoughts.  Actually, I was all ready for it but my husband is having a bit of sticker shock so we'll see if it really happens.
Thing I have to wear until then:

Boo!  I hate wearing my glasses.  And I can only imagine how running in them will be.  Blah!  Oh and my daughter took this picture.  I should have taken a better one but I was too lazy.  At least it is better than the picture she took of my husband:

It cracks me up and scares me.  He would be pretty mad if he found out I used in on my blog.  Since he doesn't read it he'll never know...Mwahahahaha!!!
Thing I got addicted to:
Who knew early 20th century Brits could be so entertaining??  If you haven't watched it, I totally suggest it!!  And Maggie Smith, as always, is divine!
Thing I just finished reading:
I would recommend this book with a warning.  The first 30% drags on because it is all background and no plot.  The last 70% I devoured.  It was a crazy story and I couldn't stop thinking about it for a little while after.  Plod through the first part and I think you will be happy you did. 
Thing I just started reading:
What should I read??  I'm stuck!
Thing that hasn't moved since my wetsuit incident:
I'm pretty sure I'm broken.
Thing I didn't get any of last night:
In case you are wondering, the perfect combination for no sleep is as follows: 1 very sick son (pneumonia), 1 dog sick from/hopped up on stolen chocolate (I will let you guess which dog that was), and coughing attacks from yourself.  By the way, pediatric cough medicine with codeine will work on adults.  There is a chance I stole some from my very sick son....which sounds so horrible when I type it out.  In my defense, I was/am very tired. 
Thing I have to say good-bye to this month:
My best friend, Susan, is moving to Alaska at the end of the month.  I cannot even begin to tell you how sad I am.  She will be neonatologist extraordinaire at an Anchorage hospital.  It is suppose to be for three years...but you never know...Joel stayed in Cicely a lot longer than he was suppose to.
From the Urban Assault ride last year
Thing my husband and I decided to do this June:
We are thinking of going on a Caribbean cruise.  Any suggestions on cruise lines, destinations, etc??

Thing I can't stand:
These new captchas on blogger are horrible.  They are impossible to read and really long.  I know others have complained about them and I will too.  Please, I implore you, disable your captcha for comments.  I don't have one and I have never, ever gotten spammed!  Oh wait, I think I just jinxed myself.
What things do you have going on?

Quick, who do you have going all the way this year??  I need help!

Suggestions on books, cruises, laser eye surgery (I read all the comments on Miss Zippy's blog so that helped).

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A poorly written recipe for pinto bean and quinoa burgers

My introduction to the veggie burger came my freshman year of college.  It was the fall of 1997, I was away from home (a whole 40 minutes!) and began eating in the school cafeteria (or The Caf, as the cool kids called it).  It was The Caf, in fact, that made me step completely into the realm of vegetarianism.  I had never liked or eaten much meat and now, without a mother worrying about my protein intake, I was free to say good-bye to flesh for good.  Having never been keen on the stuff in the first place, cafeteria "meat" was super easy to give up.  Aside from sampling iguana in Costa Rica (it really does taste like chewy chicken!) and a sad attempt at actual chicken when I was pregnant, I haven't touched the stuff...or missed it.  I am very happy to be meat free.

Although I was quite content to be a vegetarian, 1997 was still a bleak time for my people.  Choices were limited, restaurants were unaccommodating, and people were constantly asking, "How on earth do you get protein?"  By the way, why are people so obsessed with that macro-nutrient??  Tofu and eggplant based dishes were the go to substitutions (oh barf!!!).  And The Caf held very few options for me so I just made due.  (Don't worry, I didn't starve.  I have several photos to prove it.)

 One of the constant options was a veggie burger...a Garden Burger to be exact.  The pioneer to all proceeding veggie burgers, and like most things pioneer, it is a little rough around the edges.  A Garden Burger, in case you have never had one, is slightly bland and its texture can be described as "not too offensive."  I have heard it described as a hockey puck, a rabbit turd, and an assault on the taste buds.  I rarely eat Garden Burgers now, but at the time it was the best substitution around.

Another option in the primitive years of "non-meat burgers" was a Boca Burger.  This burger, unlike the Garden Burger, was trying to taste like meat.  For me, this is the worst.  I don't like meat.  That is why I don't eat it.  So if I wanted something to taste like meat, I would eat meat.  But I do get the audience that Boca is targeting....the forlorn former carnivore.  However, I think Boca missed their mark.  A Boca Burger pretty much tastes like meat mated with raw sewage and gave birth to a barf baby.  Too much??  I didn't think so either.  Oh, and this is the burger that all meat eaters pick out for you at BBQs.  Gastric torture.

The first time I had a veggie burger that I actually enjoyed, nay savored, was at Chili's of all places.  They introduced me to the Spicy Black Bean Burger.  This was not made of twigs and sawdust, it was not trying to taste like meat.  It was flavorful and had a pleasing texture.  At that moment my mind was opened to a whole host of possibilities.  Veggie burger could be delicious!  And from then on I became a veggie burger connoisseur.

Thankfully, things have greatly improved in the veggie burger department.  There are endless options at the grocery store and in restaurants.  I still love spicy black bean burgers (these make great tacos by the way).  Other great choices are Sunburgers (made from sunflower seeds) and Costco has fantastic burgers from Don Lee Farms.  Restaurants are stepping up their game as well.  I recently read this article in the Denver post about the so-called veggie burger renaissance.

One of the burgers mentioned just so happens to be a new favorite of mine.  City O City and Watercrest (same owner) serve an amazing pinto bean and quinoa burger that I may or may not dream about on a nightly basis.  It is spicy, nutty, flavorful, and it also has a great texture.  Can you tell texture is a big thing for me?  The only problem with this burger is the fact that it is located 35 minutes away from my mouth.

So what is a girl to do?  Try to recreate it of course!

And thus began my veggie burger making adventure.  I must also add that I am completely ill equipped to embark on such an adventure due to my utter lack of cooking skills...but I tried all the same.  What follows are "instructions" and the resulting "recipe."

  1. Google "pinto bean and quinoa burger."  Start clicking on all the recipes.  Realize that you don't have all the ingredients for any of the recipes.  Curse yourself for not being a proper cook who stocks her cupboards with common ingredients.
  2. Check your odd collection of spices, most of which were probably left by husband's former roommates.  Google, "do spices expire."  Decide you are in the clear.
  3.  Get frustrated and decide to just throw things together in a bowl.  Things picked: 
    • A can of pinto beans (mashed up)
    • 3/4 cup...or maybe it was a cup of cooked quinoa.  I cooked mine with a veggie bullion cube. 
    • Bread crumbs (amount unknown)
    • Sauteed onions (good choice).  How many?  1/2 cup but more would be good too.
    • Salsa (a couple of spoon fulls)
    • Cumin- because you remember seeing it in most of the recipes.  You have no actual idea what it is or what it tastes like or how it got into your house.  Google "do spices expire" once more.  Add it anyway.  
    • Garlic Pepper, because it is delicious.
    • Crushed red peppers.  Just go ahead and add too much.
  4. Mix it all together and form a patty.  
  5. Cook with some olive oil in a pan.
  6. Taste it and decide to add more spices.  Add too much.
  7. Decide that you should add cheese to your patties (good choice).  How much?  Who knows?
  8. Change up the cooking arrangement and bake them at 350.....then change it to 400.  Cook for 15-20 minutes or until you get bored with waiting....or they are browning.
  9. Give them a taste.  Pretty good, albeit a little spicy.  Do they taste like City O City's burger? Nope, not even a little.  But are they still good?  Yes.
  10. Top with guac and put it on a bun.  Dinner is you.  No one else in your house will touch that has something called quinoa in it for heaven's sake.
  11. Finally convince husband to taste it.  He says that it is okay, but missing something.  You ask him "what?"  He thinks and smiles and you say "meat" before he can.  
The Burgers before they went in the oven
The end result

Overall, I think they turned out great.  One of the beautiful things about veggie burgers is that you can just throw stuff together.  I think I would pump these up with some corn, zucchini, maybe even chopped jalepenos.  But overall, I would recommend googling a recipe since my instructions pretty much suck!  Give them a go....and don't listen to my husband because they don't need any meat!

Thoughts on veggie burgers?  Yea or nay?