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Emergency in the Kitchen!

29 Jun

I seriously just saw my life (or, more precisely, the contents of every bank account from now until about 10 years from now) flash before my eyes.

I was cooking EGG WHITES on the stove (of all things) and threw some olive oil in the pan, since they’re stainless steel, and it ignited into flames. I foolishly thought it could be tamed with water (which is the worst idea ever evidently) so the fire grew and the flames were licking the ceiling. I thought, well, this is it! I’m going to burn this place down! On the hottest day of all time! And this is Oklahoma so the wind will sweep this massive fire down the plain and everything in all apartments everywhere will be lost!

Then the smoke alarm went off and by the grace of something larger than me, the fire died down and I was able to open all the windows, turn on all the fans, and call the front desk to tell them not to alert the fire department. Eventually the smoke alarm stopped and I was left shaking.  Although in time I was able to cook them, I could never bring myself to actually eat the stupid eggs.

Lessons learned today:

  1. Olive oil heated to a high enough temperature is extremely flammable (oil is combustible… who knew?)
  2. Water only makes the situation worse
  3. Under the influence of adrenaline, my brain is basically useless
So, here’s the deal. If an oil fire starts in the kitchen, the best option is the deprive it of oxygen. Smother it! Don’t feed it with panicky hot breath and a douse of water! Here are some ways to put out a grease fire (c/o my father and a quick Google search):
  • Cover it with a lid
  • Throw a good amount of baking soda, flour or salt on it
  • Use a fire extinguisher
Now I am going to spend the rest of the day on edge and paranoid that something in my apartment is going to suddenly burst into flames. Excuse me while I go study the instructions on our fire extinguisher for a few hours.
**Edit: After a thorough search of the dwelling, I have come to the conclusion that we don’t actually have a fire extinguisher. Perhaps this needs to be remedied.

Gettin’ Pregnant: Yer Doin’ it Wrong

30 Mar

Along with advice to just stop thinking about it so much (and let the baby juju come to you), researchers are now offering the IF crowd some new advice: During your next fertility treatment, lighten up and have some fun. And get a sense of humor, why don’t you?

I don’t yet have any experience with IVF per se, but I have had my share of US wands and various medical devices shoved where the sun don’t shine. Along with exhibitionists and ladies of the night, only those truly committed to their local public institution of higher learning can say they have gone full-frontal before half a dozen young strangers.

Perhaps the UMN medical school is ahead of their time. Encounter did I one particularly clownish young med student during my HSG (a right of passage for the infertile). As I sat in radiology, dressing gown agape and feeling the breeze, a young gyno resident stood awkwardly beside me. He explained the details of the procedure and, in what I can only assume was an effort to practice his beside manner, offered to hold my hand. Which was really nice (albeit unnecessary- I’m not really a toucher) apart from the fact that he went on to explain how very painful this procedure would be. So painful in fact, that some women cry out in pain- scream even, beg for this to be over. Afterward they feel crampy, spotty, and downright awful – for hours.

And then the team of MDs and their residents walked in, gowned, gloved and sterile. With needles and tubes and speculum, oh my.

The HSG was not as bad as I imagined it would be after this dude’s tale of pain and woe. To his credit, he may have been playing some tricky psychological voodoo on me. Who knows? I got to see my own fallopians and ovaries and as long as I end up pregnant someday, all’s well that ends well.


15 Jan

Classes have commenced and now that it’s the end of the week things are heating up. I have two exams next week, including one in Medical Terminology. I cannot imagine how nursing and medical students stay sane for 4+ years. I feel like I am beginning to eat, sleep and breath in Latin, Greek, French and acronyms.

I can’t even pretend that I don’t love it. Since I stopped working and started learning I have seriously never been more happy. I don’t even have time to think about babies or PCOS or adoption… and that makes life much more enjoyable. It’s also amusing to think about the possibilities of more school in the future (Master’s in Health Care Admin, anyone?). I feel as though a weight has been lifted. I don’t feel the same pressure I once did.

I have had quite a few conversations with other women who have experienced infertility over the last two years. The consensus has always been when you stop thinking/looking/trying- that’s when you get pregnant. And all of them will admit, that concept is inconceivable while you’re fighting the battle. When you are faced with the failure of your body to perform a basic biological function month after month- it consumes you. I have had (and still have) some pretty ugly thoughts about women who take their fertility for granted. It’s not good for me, for anybody, but it happens.

But today is the first day in over a week I have given the baby-makin’ any thought. And it feels so good to not feel frustrated or sorry for myself. In this moment I can say, maybe I’ll get pregnant this year, maybe I won’t. If I have to wait to be a mother for another year or two, what difference will it make?

Hello and Three Recipes

3 Jan

Mini Bio: For the last year and a half I have been putting in time as a manager at a locally owned craft supply store. How I fell into this job is a story in itself. I certainly never planned on working in the crafting industry, but personal choices and circumstance dictated otherwise. I’ve been fortunate to have a set schedule (which is a gift in retail): I work Tuesdays through Saturdays and am off Sundays and Mondays. Sundays are my days with the husband (L) and Mondays have become my own day of week planning and cooking.

I call these my Mondays in the Kitchen.

After a holiday season full of gravitas and activities I am attempting to get back into some more constructive habits: Planning ahead, staying organized and learning how to cook for myself and my husband. I am moving on- from my pit-stop in retail management to a career in healthcare- and doing some time at the VoTech along the way. My last day at the store is Wednesday and I start school next week. The great life shift is upon me.

This isn’t a sob story, but it’s an important aside: L and I are experiencing infertility issues and I am trying to overcome PCOS. Health, infertility and allergies have been a catalyst for many recent lifestyle and career changes. I slip up though! My hope is that this blog will keep me honest and focused on my goals.

Confession: I’m a novice in the kitchen and have been intimidated by most domestic endeavors the majority of my adult life. Mondays in the kitchen I cook for the entire week. This helps me to avoid takeout and other unhealthy pitfalls (but I still make mistakes!). By the weekend L and I are tired of the food I made at the beginning of the week so I try to have a somewhat extensive recipe collection to rotate. I don’t eat beef or pork, so meals revolve around chicken, ground turkey, fish and vegetables.

Today I experienced two successes and one failure in the kitchen. All recipes are new to me.

Recipe 1: I love-love squash, but L has never been a fan. Since I’m the one in the kitchen I can usually cook up an item he deems suspicious and convince him to eat it for a meal or two. In an attempt to cut down on processed simple carbohydrates- and initially inspired by this blog post (or, mainly the photo), and this suggested recipe, I decided to roast my very first spaghetti squash.

After wrestling with the squash and my brand new knives I finally got it cut in half lengthwise. Those suckers are tough to split. I cleaned out the seeds (I must save the seeds to roast next time! Has anyone else tried this?), drizzled both halves with a tiny bit of olive oil, sprinkled some sea salt on them, and tossed them in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes.

These are so easy. You guys, I even forgot about the squash for about 10 minutes after the timer went off on the oven and it was still great. The results? Delicious. Sweet, squashy, savory. Even L agreed. SUCCESS! I froze half the squash for next week. This week I will eat it plain and in place of pasta with spaghetti sauce.

Suki Pug

My sidekick waits patiently for a taste of squash.

Recipe 2: L and I are way into meatloaf because we crave something hearty during the frigid Minnesota winter months. I have been searching for the perfect recipe for months and stumbled upon this Turkey and Quinoa Meatloaf from I followed the recipe carefully, but skipped the tomato paste and hot sauce (out of laziness- we’re out and I didn’t feel like trekking to the store) and replaced it with ketchup and Famous Dave’s bbq sauce.

The results? This recipe is out of this world! This may be ridiculous, but I’ve never purchased or used Worcestershire sauce- and it is good. I can see myself dousing meat in it for months to come. Best turkey meatloaf I’ve ever made. Amazing.

Recipe 3: I really enjoy quinoa as a substitute for pasta and rice. It has an interesting texture and a decent amount of protein per serving. I had a few pieces of chicken in the freezer and a new box of quinoa, so I searched “quinoa + chicken” at (I use this site quite a bit). I found this recipe for Chicken with Peas and Quinoa. Peas are one of my favorite veggies and the combination of ingredients sounded intriguing. I followed the recipe exactly.

The results? Puzzling. Maybe the problem is the paprika, or the peas, or the fact that I used red quinoa (the recipe does not specify whether to use red or white). Or maybe these ingredients just don’t work well together. In any case, I am not a fan and won’t make it again. Very very odd taste.

Two out of three… Not bad! Until next time.

Today’s kitchen soundtrack selections:

  • “A Punch Up at a Wedding” by Radiohead
  • “I Believe” by Sophie Ellis Bextor
  • “The Suburbs” by Arcade Fire