Posts Tagged ‘sulfite free



07
Mar
11

I want to make out with an appliance.


(cue porn music here)

 

The Cuisinart CBK200 Bread Maker

Click on that hot little number and you can do a price check for the cheapest deal.

I make bread in that almost every day.

When I wake up in the morning, I can smell it wafting up the stairs.

The Barry White greatest hits soundtrack is running through my head as I float down to the kitchen and slither over to the machine, mouth drooling as I pull out the hot loaf that I had preset to cook overnight.

I leave the butter out the night before to be nice and soft and ready to spread on the hot, steamy deliciousness of homecooked, sulfite-free rosemary homemade yummernummerness.

No one talk to me until I am done.

Someone have a cigarette?

 

Seriously, this thing rocks.   In a world where I literally sometimes have to go two days without eating much of anything because I am too busy to prepare food, I can always fill up on some insanely amazing bread.  (I did not eat until 9:20pm last night after a crazy day of a kids birthday party, a lacrosse game and a 3 hour rehearsal downtown.  Wait.  Why am I not thinner?  Oh yeah.  Bread and Butter.) I have played around with different ingredients and last night I actually made the perfect loaf.  I not only have found the best flour, but the most amazing imported olive oil.

The recipe does not call for much, water, salt (I use sea salt, of course), dried rosemary (I used organic but in summer, I will dry out my own from the garden and use that), yeast, flour and oil.  The flour that I am using is Bob’s Red Mill unbleached flour, perfect for bread making.  I got mine at Whole Foods, but I am thinking I can probably get it in the organic section at The Jewel.  And the other key ingredient was this INSANELY OUTRAGEOUS amazing olive oil that I bought bootleg from my neighbor down the street, well call him Antonio (of course) and he has started to import goods from his cousin’s farm in Sicily.  He came over to our house with a basket of charmingly packaged items like olive pate, homemade marmalade, bruchetta, marinaded eggplant…I know SULFITE ALARM but I did buy the olive tapenade for Thor and one for my mom.  I got the bruchetta for me.  Yes, it has some garlic and onions in it.  Yes, I will risk it.   He was such a good salesmen, though…he was so cute with his thick accent too….he was like, “Oh-a, this, eh, marme-la-da, you pick-a da….orange?  And you pick it-a, PICK IT-A, (and he is acting it all out like little italian man charades) the orange-a and you-a, cut-a the orange-a and you eh, put it jar POOF!….”

Talking to Antonio, Thor and I were immediately taken back to our amazing Mediterranean cruise we went on two years ago and all hyped up with the reminiscent feelings of our magical adventure, were totally fooled and charmed, so we bought all this crap I can’t eat.  American suckers.

But we were smart enough to buy two bottles of the Piazza extra virgin olive oil.  You can’t get this anywhere but here and Sicily, the operation is very covert and a bit Ian Fleming.  If you want me to hook you up, let me know.  They are getting wines in 3 weeks and Limoncello.  It’s all very slutty.  They have a website that they are still working on and I will let you know when it’s up.

My point is, find a really organic, fantastic EVOO.  We have a place called The Olive Tap near us in Long Grove, Illinois that has a wonderful section of not only olive oils, but vinegars.  (Vinegar not good for us sulfite-nots)  It’s also really cool in there because they have gorgeous Italian-inspired items, knick-knacks, crap I don’t need for my kitchen.

Now, a cookbook came with my breadmaker and truthfully, I can’t make a lot of the recipes.  I do love making the french bread and my favorite is the Rosemary bread.  The machine has been a lifesaver for me and I do recommend that if you are handy in the kitchen, like MOI, and don’t have a lot of time, invest in one and you too will find that there might eventually be lipstick imprints all over the stainless steel.

And I can just bet that your favorite cycle will be “knead.”  Enjoy!

 

 

 

19
Feb
11

Goal of the day: Do not stroke out.


Oh yeah.
So I go on Enbrel and my RA is amazingly in remission.
Dude. I RAN up the stairs the other day.
Thor said, “Heather. You just ran up the stairs.”

OHMIGOD!
Cool!

But for some wack-a-doo reason, my blood pressure is freaking out. AlrightalrightalRIGHT.  STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT.  Ok.  I have been cheating, people. A teeeeeeeeny bit.  I admit it. I thought I would test out the waters since I have been on the new meds.  I got a little cocky and decided to shove some ion SO2−3 in my mouth.  See what happens.


Funny.  It didn’t look like this in the grilled cheese sandwich I shoved in my mouth.

 

I think all this evil sulfite compound is doing is shaving important hours off of my life. I called my loving, adorable and very talented Dr.Mike (and Facebooked him.  Oops. He might just kill me at my appointment on Monday. Stay tuned for the results.) and he is going to fix me up but good.
I also talked to my Rheumy nurse to rule out this as a side effect of Enbrel and she said no but she was concerned about my BP (it’s hovering constantly around 160/107) but she told me to just take it easy this weekend…“lie in a darkened room and relax all weekend until you can get in to see Dr. Mike.”)
Oh, that’s rich. HA.  HA HA.  Stop….stop making me laugh…snorting….my rock hard abs hurt from laughing so hard….milk spittake ensues.
There is no resting in a dark room.  Not over here at the residence of  666 Chaos Lane, in CrazyHeatherville, USA.
I am a mother of three wild children, a vocal recital to run today…overnight guests coming and and a lacrosse game, just to name a couple of things on my dance card for the next 24 hours.
DAMN YOU, Regal Theatre movie pretzel with a side of cheese!
I CURSE YOU, baloney sandwich on Wonder Bread white. (Oh, hot dayum, that tasted good.)

So I am medicating myself with advil and much later, in my darkened room, a glass or 2 of wine.

*********************************

Is my BP high from the food?

We will see. I am going cold turkey and see if it will come down.  Is my body just really pissed at me because I am taking Enbrel and it won’t let me swell?  So now it like, ok bitch ,that’s how you want to play it….ZAP!  (blood pressure spike HERE!  and HERE!….and just when you think it’s going down to normal…HERE!)

I do have a really swollen lymph node in the armpit of my….armpit….lovely, no?  And it really hurts.  I feel like crap so I might just have some little bug. Enbrel basically kills my immune system and kids have been sick all around me this week.   Seriously.  Like one kid at a Valentines party sneezed right on me.  It was all over my arm.  Gag.  That, and Alpha sneezed on the butter the other day.  I mean it.  For reals.

Wish me luck, wish me willpower, wish me to live through the day…happy weekend everyone!

04
Feb
11

Pump Fake (quite literally)


Today was my training with Thor for my first Embrel injection.

What we learned today:  I am a suckass wimp.

And so is Thor.

I had to go in to get my first shot shot today of this new biologic drug that is supposed to not only make me feel better, but basically make me symptom-free.  Which is just about perfect timing as yesterday I was calling friends to see if anyone had a cane lying around that I could borrow to walk around.  Jeez, Louise.

So we get there and because insurance is so annoying, they had to give me a sample.  They get me all prepped, (Thor was supposed to give it to me but he “assured” me that it was probably best and easier if I do it a.k.a.  Thor=pussy.)  Alright, so he’s not a pussy, he is very sweet,.  I am just trying to make myself  look better.

So I have to drop my pants

and get up on the table with Thor and Dr. Rheumy and Nurse Nice.  (She is very nice and helpful.)  Dropping trough in front of strangers is never fun.  And I wished that I hadn’t worn “that” underwear.

My rheumy is french and rather, well, hot.  And she is a very, very smart blonde and I have a feeling she can also really cook.  So she is trying to instruct me how to do it and I have to take the alcohol swab and rub it in a certain direction and then I do it but I bump my hand on it and I have “contaminated” the area we has just swabbed so we have to re-swab and well, there were a lot of disappointed french sounds being uttered but she was being as patient as she could be with a blonde trying to give herself her first injection.

And do I finally and do and it was cake! So Easy!  Didn’t hurt in the least!

Cause it was defective.

Total dud.  Absolute pump fake.  HEY!  Sue that pharmaceutical salesmen and let me kick his ass because now we have to wait another 10 minutes for the next sample to cool down and do shove it in my other thigh.

I put my pants back on and Thor and I stared at each other for another 10 minutes.

I know it worked the second time cause it freaken hurt.  And it takes about 15 seconds for it to all get in there so yeah, ow.  But I am a warrior and I plowed through.

“Oh Embrel, course through my body, heal all wounds and swollen joints, help me walk pup the stairs without tripping and falling into the wall.”
So far, so good.  I seem a bit more tired than usual, but I am not bleeding about the eyes and ears and that’s all that really matters.  The only really important thing is that I cannot get sick.  Really.  Like, don’t sneeze near me or touch me if you have an infection or rub on me if you are pussy or leaking anything.  And really just don’t ever really rub on me in any situation.

I was worried because I have heard that the quick pen version of how my meds are injected has preservatives in it but so far, so good.  I have read where some sulfitenots use the version of the drug where they have to mix it themselves and shoot it that way and that is just a little bit too Sid and Nancy for me, so I hope this one works…

I still have to stay on my steroids for now, and i think they mask a lot of my sulfite reactions, so I will continue to gain weight as I have been cheating and sneaking some little things here and there.  Like blonde oreos…cause…well…you know…

Happy weekend to all!
XO

Heather

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31
Jan
11

When in doubt, post kale.


Well, hello there.

I have been an absentee blogger.  Bad blogger, BAD BLOGGER.

I have mostly been trying to wrap my head around this whole business of my rheumatoid arthritis, which has hit me like a mack truck.  And, what to do with this blog.  LOL

I mean, I definitely have an allergy to sulfites that makes my RA worse.  But this site seems to be geared towards sulfitenots and lately all I really want to focus in is the RA crap and I don’t want to bore anyone.  More than I usually do.

So I thought, I would just re-invent this blog to meet both needs.  And the RA peeps are gonna have to deal with the sulfite stuff and the sulfitenots are going to have to deal with the RA crap.

And the sharks and the jets are gonna have to play nice at the park.

I found a recipe that involves kale because it’s sulfite-free and the antioxidants are huge in helping to fight RA.  Will post it in the recipe section.

I feel like I have gotten into a pretty good routine with my no-sulfite eating lately.  I definitely am not getting the major attacks as I used to, partly because I know how to check everything now and also, friends and family are being really supportive.  Everyone has been really conscious and caring about what I can and cannot eat and it has made a huge difference.

There is still the pink elephant in the room question looming around all the time though:

Do I truly have this allergy or is it just my RA?

My Rheumatologist kind of doesn’t believe me.  LOL  Like, I love her, she is so cool and doing an amazing job with me, but when I bring it up, she looks like this

And in her cute french accent, she looks at me with a slide glance and says, “I don’t know about all of that.”

but I DO!  I DO know!  I eat something and 4 hours later, something bad happens.  OK, so there is no test.  But that should be enough, right?

We need to find someone, somewhere, some dr or allergist who will hurry up and make a test so we can all take it!

Let’s go one step further, people!  We need our own ribbon!  But instead of it being pink or red, white and blue, or yellow, maybe it should look like this:

Wear it proudly, sulfitenots!  (Don’t stab yourself putting it on.)

 

ok, I have to run.  But I also wanted to tell you that I got a Cuisinart breadmaker for my birthday and it’s AH.MAY.ZING.

Before I got it, I had bread pimps out there in the world for me…minions who would grab the Breadsmith bread that I can eat that you can only get Whole Foods or stores that are not near me and I would have to have them store it in their freezers.  But now I can make my own and it’s sooooo easy!  Who would have thunk that this blonde can make hot, succulent, steamy rosemary bread?

That’s it.  Have to go make a batch right now.

Huge snow storm coming to Chicagoland tomorrow…Stay warm!

 

 

06
Dec
10

I Lerve Groupon


ORGANIC CHAT

So, hi.

How are you?

I’m fine.

Just got back from doing some shows in Wisconsin.

I had an omelette Saturday morning and it virtually killed me.

But it was fricken TASTY.

What else is going on with you?

So, check this out…

ORGANIC FOOD DEAL

Organic food for cheapy cheap!

If I had any money, I would get it for myself, but I don’t, so you get it!

I try to buy as much organic food as I can, especially produce, but it breaks the bank, know what I mean?  Plus, there are some fruits and veggies that you just don’t need to bother with in my opinion.

Here is my DO buy list:

Peaches, apples, cherries, bell peppers, celery, strawberries, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, raspberries, carrots

and my DON’T BOTHER list:

avocado, corn, pineapple, mango, asparagus , eggplant, all melons, broccoli, bananas, cauliflower, squash

I mean, if I could, I would buy all of these things.

If I could, I would also take a bath made entirely out of butter, but we can’t afford these things, can we?

Check this out…I ran across this somewhere, don’t ask me, I have 693 window tabs open right now…

all these organic foods are actually made by the same people that make Heinz canned baked beans and chicklets.  CHICK-EH-LETS!  CHICK-EH-LETS! CHICK-EH-LETS!

It’s all complicated.  The organics game. Too complicated at least for this blond.  Like, for example, these organic companies HERE are actually owned by Hain Celestial who are in some cahoots with Heinz.

I mean, would I rather grow everything in my backyard and then have some cows and goats and chickens and make everything myself?  Well, I would not mind the garden.  But yeah, not ready to deal with the other stuff.  If I think about the fact that chicken pops an egg out of it’s ass, then I can’t really get the gumption to put an egg in my mouth.  And I am NOT going to touch anything that just came from a chicken ass.

So these big corporations that say that they only deal in organics are actually hanging out having big boy drinks and rubbing elbows with the “bad guys” who make chipped beef in a can.

Then I ask myself, why do I care?  I mean, I should.  I have children.  I make them put all this food in their mouth.

Do you?

And now I have to go clean my house and make dinner, do the homework and get Alpha to lacrosse practice.  So i’ll blow off thinking about this for now.  It’ll pop back into my steroid scrambled brain at 3:47am.  Mark my words.

13
Oct
10

Raise the towel or throw in the towel?


…and now here I sit with no sense of humor.

It’s a dark place, the land of “nothing is funny.”

Most people don’t like it when I visit this ridiculous world of doom because I am not entertaining.  So the people who want nothing to do with any Heather except funny Heather, please move along, as there is nothing to see here.

This post is for me and for the people who feel completely helpless with this allergy i.e. feel like no one can help us.

Today, I am glad I can use my hands and type.  I couldn’t move either one of them since Sunday, so this is a nice change.  I was able to henpeck a few things here and there, but mostly, I could hardly make Alpha and Cracker’s school lunches, go to the bathroom, put my hair in a ponytail, brush my teeth, put the straw in a Capri Sun for Bambi, drive my car, sign my name on the ambulance release form…YUP.  YUP, YUP.

Ya heard me.  Ambulance release form.

Because I made a fool of myself swooning and dropping to the floor of my local library.  Here I am, limping from swollen feet, one hand immobile and wrapped, the other swollen like a blow-fish trying to hold a newly released novel… and I drop. It’s a long story and I don’t feel like telling it again.  Let’s just say that they blamed it on my allergy that no one seems to not be able to tell me anything about and gave me instructions to follow up with my doctor.

I am like, done.  Every other day I think I can do this.  I feel empowered, that I am going to be able to deal with this.  This nut I can crack.  I can’t EAT it, for the love of God, but I can try to crack it.  I can figure out things that I can eat and I can trust that a label is telling me the truth and I can find a few moments in my day when I am not taking care of the entire free WORLD but myself, but I am failing.  I am bad at it.  I am defeated.

FRICKEN’ CRY BABY.

I have wads of kleenex around my keyboard because I was just blubbering like a baby to try to call Chicagoland allergy doctor’s offices to see if they know anything about a sulfite allergy.  The problem is that I just can’t seem to get past the uncaring, bitchy, rude and uninterested, crass, annoyed and unfeeling people that answer the phone.   I don’t need to here one more person making me feel like shit.  I want no more long pauses after I state my case and then a very unexcited, “hold please.”  (And I KNOW they are doing this)

Annoyed, "WTF are you talking about and you are bothering me" eye-roll.

"What the hell is a sulfite."

I get that no one knows what this is.  I understand that I need to breathe and smile at every eye-rolling waitress when I divulge my true food allergy doesn’t contain the words “gluten” or “peanut.” I understand that no one has heard of this or doesn’t know what the hell it is.  I GET IT.  But, unfortunately, I am LIVING it and if people think it’s a hard pill to swallow, imagine me actually having to swallow the pill every day.

I call allergists offices to see if I can possibly find someone with a heart to inquire with a doctor if they have ever heard of a sulfite allergy.  Is it something that they can treat?   Do they know of someone that might know someone that might have any kind of clue as to what this is?  Because I can say, with all the determination that I can muster, this is ruining my life.  Can they help me with that?  Anyone?   Anyone?

KNOCK IT OFF

I will now leap off this pity party of a soap box.  I have a lot of blogging to catch up on.  I will remove my sense of humor hat that is crushed under my shoe and put it back on.  I will try to regain my vigilance in helping myself and others through this horrible disability that we have to live with and so that we can move on.

But I have to put my mark out in the world for all 4 people who will read this and say that I know what it’s like to not be heard, to have no one to listen to you and to not be understood.  Life is swirling around all of us with everyone living theirs so I guess the best thing we can do is hug ourselves and try to protect ourselves the best we can.

This is a society that doesn’t know the dangers of sulfites or what they are probably doing to them and their children.  I mean Jimminy Crickets, do you know how annoying it is to type the word sulfite all day and spell checker has to point out that it doesn’t even know what the hell it is?  My screen is constantly aglow with squiggly angry red lines!

OK, so back to work.  We have holiday parties coming up that we need to chat about and prepare for and more food options and recipes to find.  We need some serious “turn-this-frown-upside-down” action around here STAT.  So let me end this post on a high note with a food allergy joke.  I am giving credit to another blogger that I lifted this from because I thought it was cute and I like that they were trying to find some humor from the insanity so here is her link

Q) Did you hear about the Frenchman who could only count to seven?
A) He had a huit allergy.

Onward and upward.

XO

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14
Jul
10

I’ll Trade You One Onion and a Garlic for…


I am really missing stuff that makes my breath reek.


Along with some surprising veggies that have high contents of sulfites like mushrooms, olives and beets, onions and garlic are also two things that effect me very severely.  I am still doing research on all of this, but I did find some useful information on the topic…check ‘er out.  This is from About.com

Cooking Without Onions and Garlic:

Onions and garlic are two of the most commonly used alliums, a group of closely related plants in the lily family. (Leeks, scallions, and shallots are other alliums with culinary uses.) While they are not among the more common food allergens, there are reported cases of IgE-mediated food allergies to alliums. In addition to those who avoid garlic due to IgE-mediated food allergies, many people find that these foods irritate conditions like irritable bowel syndrome or that they have food intolerances that can be triggered by these foods. Cooking without them can be difficult. Here are some strategies.

How Garlic and Onions Are Used in Cooking:

Garlic and onions are often used in cooking as aromatics — foods that add a savory aroma and flavor to other dishes. They’re found in cuisines from around the world, making it difficult to avoid them by sticking to foods from a certain geographical area. Often, garlic and onions are added at the very beginning of cooking to mellow their flavors before building a sauce, soup, or other complex dish.

Leaving Garlic and Onions Out:

Can you just leave the garlic and onions out of a recipe? Sometimes. You’ll usually get acceptable results — it’s not the same as leaving eggs out of a cake. However, most people would find some recipes unacceptably bland. Consider adapting the recipe with a substitute rather than simply dropping the alliums if:

  • Onions or garlic are the only flavoring in the recipe;
  • Onions or garlic are a major part of the recipe; or
  • Onions or garlic are used raw or lightly cooked.

In these situations, the flavor of onion or garlic may be critical to a delicious dish. Most of the time, though, you can find a good substitute.

Aromatics Beyond Onions and Garlic:

No unrelated vegetable has quite the same taste as onions or garlic. But some aromatics that may be safe for your allergies are good options for cooking:

  • Fennel has a licorice-like taste but onion-like texture. Try it with chicken or fish.
  • Celery is among the most common aromatics.
  • Bell peppers are often used in Cajun cooking. Green peppers and celery are a good base for rice dishes or savory stews.
  • Carrots are used as an aromatic in French cooking in combination with celery.
  • Celeriac, or celery root, is the knobby root of one variety of celery. Peeled and diced, it can be used as an aromatic in sauces or stews.
Herbs and Spices for Onion and Garlic-Free Cooking:

Garlic chives, an herb with a garlicky flavor, are an obvious substitute, but be careful if you’re managing a true food allergy: chives are in the allium family. Ask your allergist before eating them.  I don’t know if I can do chives or not.  I have not tested them out yet.

HERBS AND SPICES

Captain and Tenille

Peaches and Cream

Siegfried and Roy

I am pretty sure I am allergic to all of them.

Yes, we all know I am new to cooking, blah, ditty blah, blah…so my experience with using spices is limited.  I am really branching out, Blanche.  In my garden and/or in pots on my back stoop, I am growing the following:  basil, dill, cilantro, sage, rosemary, thyme, can’t stop thinking about Simon and Garfunkel, mint and what I thought was parsley, but I now I think it’s a weed.  (Still using it anyway.)

I am actually finding ways to use everything!  Nana Toad even reminded me that I can dry everything by leaving it out on the kitchen counter overnight and store it for winter.  BRILLIANT!

These are some of the ways I am finding to use the spices.  Please feel free to add onto this post if people have any other ideas.

Basil: salad dressings, marinades, pasta dishes, avocado mayo

Cilantro: beans and rice, chicken tacos

Rosemary: homemade potato fries, marinades

Mint:  Heatherita drinks, ice water

Dill: marinades, tilapia flavoring, sandwiches, salad dressings, my Heather of the hour de vourz (recipe coming soon.)

Sage, Thyme and the Parsley that is really a weed: seasoning to make my weekly chicken and broth….

My project for next week is to take a bunch of the herbs and start drying them for winter.  Maybe I can freeze some of them?

I have questions:  (Tracy!!! Oh, Tracy!!!)

HOW LONG TO THEY LAST?

How the heck do I get my hands on spices that are sulfite free, like cumin or cinnamon and nutmeg?  I need help with all of that.  I am going crazy without cumin.  That word looks dirty.

Over and out.

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Heather Moran

Crazed sulfite-free woman.

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