The Things One Can Do with Cauliflower….OH MY!

I am working on a project for kids and cancer. A lovely woman over at Children’s Hospital arranged with childhood survivor’s of cancer to speak with me about their experiences. It was deeply moving to talk to these courageous people, who fought so hard under such difficult measures to beat this nasty disease. They were ALL so energetic, bright, mature, full of life and hope and they all spoke of the silver linings that they got out of such a horrific disease. It really makes one pause and take notice of what is truly important in the world.

Those conversations are so diametrically different from my experience at Car X for an oil change. I found a coupon for $17.99 + I was to bring in canned goods for the homeless. My printer was not working so I couldn’t print it. I called to see how long it would take and they told me no more than 30 minutes. When I arrived and handed them the keys they told me to come back in an hour or MORE! I told them about the coupon and the printer. They told me they could not pull it up for me. Really? In 2015, you don’t have the Internet and access to it? Really?

I went for a walk and came back an hour later and they still were not ready. The mechanics found a WHOLE host of things wrong with my car that could be fixed for high prices. One of which is a procedure that my mechanical friends had NEVER EVER heard of. Flushing the brake fluid for $80. So, I pushed them on the coupon and suddenly they have Internet but can only find the $19.99 coupon. BUT they ask me why would I want that when the oil change is $34.99 and they already gave me $10 off that! I said I want the $19.99 coupon if you won’t honor the $17.99 coupon. Fine he said and …wait for it…with tax that is $24.99. You know…I may be mathematically challenged but I know NOT even 6% tax doesn’t equal up to 24.99 from 19.99. More like $21 and change and I know it may seem silly but I felt SO taken advantage of and don’t go there. And the next day, I get in the car and they didn’t reset the oil light. Bastards.

So, here is the juxtaposition of two polar opposites. These saintly kids that are amazing and have gone to hell and back and turned out remarkable versus these piece of crap car people who will screw you over for a dime. I understand the one but not the other.

Karma, people. Karma.

I went to see my doctor and she practically bounced in the room with excitement seeing that I had lost 15 lbs. She was more excited than me. Probably not a good sign. Again, I do not think I was that big! Jeepers! All pictures to the contrary.

However, you will love this…like doom and gloom and a Stephen King horror film she said to me. “You know you can never go back. EVER!!!!”

Let me clarify the context here. I can never go back to bread and sugar. The way she said it made it sound like I could never go back in time! As if I hopped into Marty’s time machine car in the film BACK TO THE FUTURE and I am now stuck in 2015 and there is no going back.

By the way, I lost another pound! I am now 16 lbs. down and 19 to go. I am literally three pounds from the halfway mark! SO EXCITED!

Confession. I have slowly integrated sugar…not a lot…back into my life and let me tell you. A little does NOT go a long way! A little makes me want more…so some days I have peanut butter (has sugar) and some days I don’t. Some days I eat the honey Greek God’s yogurt that I love and other days I need to stay away. Sugar is like a drug. It is insane!

Last time I blogged I was looking at my sodium intake, which seems to be okay now that I am eating fresh everything. So, I decided to look at my fiber intake. We as women should eat 25 grams of fiber a day. Do you have any idea how hard it is to do that and stay within a calorie restriction? I tend to hit 13-15 grams daily. I eat an apple for breakfast, 2 clementine oranges for an afternoon snack. Veggies with lunch and dinner and grapes for desert and I am still 10 grams below where I need to be? That is a lot of fiber!

Sadly, I went to a funeral. At the funeral, I saw my absolute favorite of all-time babysitter’s parents. They told me there daughter was coming to town and I must come see her and be her surprise. At 8pm on a Monday evening they called me to come over. They were there, she was there and her little brother that I in turn babysat and he was cute as a kid, little more than cute as an adult but I tried to pretend to not notice that since after all I babysat him.

So, this babysitter I am convinced played a crucial role in my wanderlust. My sense of adventure. She said she just brought it out in me, but I think I learned from her. She stayed with me when my mom went out of town. So, one day she is dropping me off at school and says she will pick me up after school when she is finished skydiving.

I said I want to go skydiving with you! She said call your mom and if she says yes, you can go! I waved goodbye and told her I would see her after school. There was no way my mom was going to let her kid jump out of a plane. I knew it.

Another time, she met some hot Spaniard who invited her to the Bahamas for two days. So, she took me to her parents’ home. I didn’t even know these people. Never, ever had laid eyes on them and she left me with them for 2.5 days. “Bye Erin, see you in a few days! You will be fine!”

Thankfully, her older brother took me under his wing and was great! (her parents’ fabulous human beings) Also great was the fact that the football team was coming over for dinner. Me and a football team. Always a silver lining.

So, here is Kathy my favorite babysitter and now the mother of 5 kids of her own. And still so cool. And those parents’ she ditched me with….love them. Great, great people. Think about how your kids would deal with being dumped at a stranger’s house for 2 days.

My cousins were all back in town after venturing to Florida and Arizona and we met at a place in Madeira called La Petite Pierre. This adorable little French bistro that I have never noticed before that day with some yummy food. My cousin Pam and her mom, Aunt Connie had pizzas that smelled and looked great and I had a salad Lyonnaise with bacon, shallots, Lardons, sherry vinaigrette, poached egg and a Parmesan tuile on top. Highly recommend it for food and ambiance.

La Petite Pierre

I had a ball at the Cincinnati Zoo with my friend Mindy and her kids: Wagner, Ruby and Brady. They are home schooled and so they were learning things that I knew and forgot or just simply never knew. I love animals.

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I love Mindy and Ed’s kids. They are such great kids! They are such great parents!

What do you do on a Saturday night with nothing to do? You get two friends together and you teach them how to play RumiQ. The one I had taught the week before…and it was a lot of fun!

My sweet pool friend Mary Lou and I went to the College Hill Coffee House for breakfast. I ordered a yummy omelet with onion, spinach, cheddar cheese and ham and an iced coffee. Mary Lou and I are pool-walking buddies. We walk laps in the pool and chat so it was a treat to see her off-season.

Every year, the staff in my building hosts a St. Patty’s Day party for the building owners. One must wear green, which I had forgotten to do the night before for another St. Patty’s Day party. The night before party was with friends and the friend hosting is an amazing cook!!! She made the most wonderful corned beef. I love corned beef. Well, the party the employees did was a carb fest. Donuts and bagels. The only thing I could eat on the table was a spoonful of cream cheese. All in all, it was a fun party.

I am not eating the donuts and the bagels and yet I am ONLY losing one pound every 2 weeks. I know it is that damn sugar. I know if I go strict again it will continue off faster but I don’t want to be that strict. Next life I am coming back with an incredible metabolism!

Onto the food and cooking….

I made a pork chop with sautéed spinach, onion and garlic on top and drizzled béarnaise and crumbled bacon on top of that! Every bite was yummy!

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I saw somewhere where someone took yogurt and plopped it onto a cookie sheet a teaspoon size of yogurt and you freeze it. Once frozen but it in a container that can reside in your freezer and when you need a pop of yogurt or something sweet you can eat it like candy. It looks like white chocolate silver dollars. It doesn’t taste like that but it tastes like frozen yogurt.

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I made this amazing cauliflower bread. Yes, bread made out of cauliflower.

CAULIFLOWER BREAD RECIPE

Put florets in Cuisinart. Blend well, but don’t puree.

Heat in microwave for 8 minutes.

Stir in an egg and mozzarella cheese. This will bind it all together.

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Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. (DO NOT use aluminum foil it sticks to foil. Hard to get off of it.)

Spread olive oil and flatten the cauliflower dough onto it.

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Heat oven to 400 and bake 16 minutes or until it turns a little brown on top. Directions say 16 minutes. This took me 30-35 minutes…..to get it to look like it does below….

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Let sit for at least 10 minutes. This is a crucial step. If it doesn’t sit. It will fall apart when you cut it.

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The girl who has not had bread since DECEMBER….took a couple slices of the cauliflower bread and spread pepperoni and mozzarella on it and placed it under the broiler and made pizza. I put roasted leeks on another square and melted mozzarella on it. That night for dinner, I made grilled cheese sandwiches with it and the next morning I smeared butter on it and pretended it was toast. No, I have not missed bread at all.

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One night I turned it into a dessert. I rubbed mascarpone cheese on it with dates that I had pureed. It was yummy.

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Apparently craving pizza. I made an omelet and put tomato sauce, sliced yellow onion, oregano, basil and melted mozzarella on top. It made me happy!

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There really are ways to get around my lifestyle change in food especially since I can’t go back. (Insert scary laugh her while tossing your head back!)

Before I leave you…here is a sneak peek of where Peri is heading next…we are in the process of creating Peri’s very own blog….

Boston Peri  Paris and NY Peri Paris and NY Peri - Version 2Scrubs Peri

Until we meet again…

Enjoy! Eat, travel, laugh…often….

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