New York is a “fruit basket” – I’ll never be without work.
Mental Health in a nut(fruit)shell:
I’m in a complete scatterbrain mode yet again – probably because I’m just coming off a crazy week and entering yet another nutty one, just too many things happening at once. I had to deal with a heart issue and spend a couple days in bed (I’m fine, this is something that pops up once in a while in my post-cancer world). The kid is in the middle of SATs, college applications and other high school senior related stuff – and trying to manage a 17 year-old boy to keep him organized and on schedule is like a pushing a pound of cooked spaghetti up the hill, your spaghetti is running all over but none on the hill. I also had to finish the article about aging and relationships for the November issue of Russian Health magazine where I’m a psychology consultant. A dear friend’s birthday coming up this week so of course a birthday cake has to be made (that Red Velvet Cake with Limoncello Buttercream I was talking about in the previous post). And another gathering with my girl pals next week that I have to bake for (I think I’ll make French Apple-Rum Mini Cakes), which usually works like this: I stir the pot and tell everybody we need to get together, and say I’ll bake something, then I create a poll to choose the best day for all, and once the day is chosen, I drop it (bad bad Diana) and let the rest of them figure out the nitty gritty details like which venue and what to do, but then I show up with dessert so everybody forgets I let somebody else do all the dirty work. I now have 11 people to put into a “forgetful” sugar coma next Friday.
Oh yeah, and there was a trip to urgent care with the kid this morning – just because Sunday needs to be more exciting!
Also, somehow, all these managed to appear this weekend too:
And how was your weekend?
What else is there to do at 8 am on a rainy Saturday, after you sent your nervous 17 year old to take his SATs?!
Some people, to combat their own anxiety, read, exercise, go for a walk. Me? I bake. (Yes, I know, I’m weird, we are not disputing it).
I hope the kid does well on the test today, it’s his 2nd round, he got a decent score in the Spring, but there’s always room for improvement. And then there are chemistry and trigonometry subject SATs to take next month too. I mean, I feel for the kid! He’s got a great 3.7 GPA at school, but he HATES all standardized tests, he just doesn’t believe in them (I wonder where he got his “out of the box” thinking…). So to go there and work your ass off on something you don’t believe in… I hear you kid! But this is life! Get used to it!
And hopefully then you get to work on something you DO believe in and passionate about. Just find your path, kid! And stay on it, no matter what! You will be rewarded. With the results you’d be proud of. And life you DO want to lead.
What’s Cooking This Rainy Morning
Baked goods. Always on a menu. Healthier version of course, it always helps to use whole grains and good fats. This is a variation of a bread I bake often as I try not to eat a lot of grains (even gluten free ones) as I’ve noticed I started getting some cross-reaction from rice, corn and oats. So grains are now more of a splurge rather than an everyday occurrence. Yes, I’ve had plenty of shit fits over it (it limits my eating even more so), but what’s the alternative?…
No step by step pictures for the recipe below. Yeah, I forgot. It was 7 am on a Saturday, people! I’m happy I remembered to at least take a couple after I baked them.
Blueberry Yogurt Biscuits
2 cups of flour (I used Cup4Cup gluten free mix)
2 6 oz containers of Greek blueberry yogurt
1/2 cup of milk (I used almond)
1 Tbsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp of salt
2 tsps of sugar
1 tsp of vanilla sugar (or vanilla)
1/2 6 oz container of blueberries
cinnamon sugar to top
This is a simple and quick recipe, you can also skip the berries and use plain yogurt to make regular biscuits. They have a crusty outside and soft inside, perfect to cut and spread jam or butter.
Combine milk and yogurt separately. Mix together all the dry ingredients. Incorporate dry and wet ingredients, dough will be sticky. Quickly knead it a few times on a lightly floured surface, roll it out to about 3/4 inch thick, cut biscuits out of the dough and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place several blueberries on top of each biscuit and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 425F for about 15-17 minutes or until the tops get slightly brown.
Have breakfast. And wait for the kid to come home and tell you about the test.
I had a small impromptu girls night in gathering this past Sunday. Don’t ask why or how we ended up looking at wedding dresses. Nope, nobody’s getting married, but that didn’t stop us. If I follow the reverse breadcrumbs trail of thoughts, we had some of those “BFFs” pictured above, and there were Sex and the City reruns on TV (pretty much almost any time you turn on the E channel, you’re bound to catch SATC, which is fine with me), then I mentioned that the Vera Wang two-tone white and blush dress Carrie wore for her wedding photo shoot in the first SATC movie was my absolute favorite, and if I ever get married again, I’d want some similar dress (I better start saving for it now, just in case it does happen, Vera Wang’s dresses are usually in a range of $10-25,000). Then of course we had to find that dress from the movie.
You can’t see it in a sitting position, but it’s actually a mermaid style dress with a gorgeous blush train. Yes, I know, this is a LOT of dress! But I’m tall, I can pull it off! :)
And then we found the Vivienne Westwood dress Carrie did end up wearing for her wedding in the movie.
Beautiful too, but a bit too “cupcake like” for my taste. I’d rather just eat them.
And then we found another 100 dresses that each of us liked…
Why or why are supposed to wear a wedding dress just to your wedding?! Why can’t there be like a grown up wedding dress prom?! Or at least a Halloween party just for beautiful wedding dresses?!
Anyway, that’s what happens when you OD on those “BFFs”…
In a more reality-based news, lots of different foods were produced (and eaten) last weekend.
And this mini cake was not eaten (or even shown to anybody, as it’d have been devoured for sure). It was made for a special birthday celebration this week. I did post this picture on Facebook after that and received a ton of “death threats” of “who the F*** ate it as none of us did?!” – they got over it, eventually. The cake is Paleo red velvet with creamy limoncello buttercream, I only made a tiny portion to assemble this mini 4 inch cake, and I did taste just a morsel as not to disturb the perfection of cake layers, but I think it came out great, you can hardly notice it has no flour whatsoever. Limoncello buttercream was a great companion too, a bit of indulgence on top of a healthy option. I’m planning to make (and fully taste) a regular cake size version of it later in a month for another friend’s birthday. So stay tuned for the recipe.