Isaiah Quotes

I am currently in Virginia visiting my daughter while my wonderful neighbor is holding down the fort at home. I awoke this morning by having a cute 2 year old come into my room and crawl in bed with me. He brought his side kick Bucca who is his tuxedo cat with him.

We are having horrible flooding and snow storms in WV and the snow came to Virginia today but it is very light. Isaiah kept looking out the window hoping he would get enough snow to go sledding in. He does love the snow.

Throughout the day Isaiah cracked me up. I love the innocent things that a child can say to melt your heart. These are a few of those conversations.

#1. During lunch we had the following conversation.

Isaiah- I want strawberries

Samantha: You have to eat 3 bites of your grilled cheese sandwich before you can have strawberries.

Isaiah: 2

Samantha: No 3.

Isaiah: 2

Samantha: No 3. This is not negotiable.

Isaiah: 4

Samantha: OK you win!

He ate 4 bites and then had strawberries. hahaha

#2. During dinner. Samantha has horrible morning sickness that strikes in the evening instead of the morning. She struggled through dinner eating tiny bites at a time.

Isaiah: Mommy I am so proud of you for putting food in your tummy for the baby! I love you!

Samantha: I love you too Isaiah! hahahaha

#3. While playing hide and seek with me. He was the one hiding this time.

Me: I will count to ten and then come to find you. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Isaiah: (from under the kitchen table) what comes after 10?

Me: 11.

Isaiah: OK

Me: 6. 7. 8. 9.

Isaiah: (giggle)  you won’t find me. TEN!!! (giggle)

This kid had me cracking up today.

For dinner I made Pepper-Crusted Roast Beef, Cauliflower Au Gratin and Steamed Broccoli with butter. Isaiah loved all of it but he ate every single bite of the Cauliflower Au Gratin. He kept calling it mac and cheese. We didn’t tell him otherwise. :)

He promises to play with me again tomorrow and I had better rest up. I know I will be very busy! Life is good!


Handbook for an Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata and My Crazy Mother, and Still Came Out Smiling (with Great Hair)

It is time for another book review. This is an autobiography written by the actress Rosie Perez. This book was amazing. I took my time reading this book and read about 2-3 chapters each night so that I could stop and think about what she had experienced in her childhood.

This is what is said on Good Reads regarding this book.

Rosie Perez first caught our attention with her fierce dance in the title sequence of Do the Right Thing and has since defined herself as a funny and talented actress who broke boundaries for Latinas in the film industry. What most people would be surprised to learn is that the woman with the big, effervescent personality has a secret straight out of a Dickens novel. At the age of three, Rosie’s life was turned upside down when her mentally ill mother tore her away from the only family she knew and placed her in a Catholic children’s home in New York’s Westchester County. Thus began her crazily discombobulated childhood of being shuttled between “the Home,” where she and other kids suffered all manners of cruelty from nuns, and various relatives’ apartments in Brooklyn.

Many in her circumstances would have been defined by these harrowing experiences, but with the intense determination that became her trademark, Rosie overcame the odds and made an incredible life for herself. She brings her journey vividly to life on each page of this memoir—from the vibrant streets of Brooklyn to her turbulent years in the Catholic home, and finally to film and TV sets and the LA and New York City hip-hop scenes of the 1980s and ‘90s.

More than a page-turning read, Handbook for an Unpredictable Life is a story of survival. By turns heartbreaking and funny, it is ultimately the inspirational story of a woman who has found a hard-won place of strength and peace. (less)

One of my favorite parts of the book was her telling of being at an event with Brooke Shields and Oprah Winfrey. The woman on stage asked all women in the audience who had been either physically or sexually abused as a child to raise their hands. First Oprah raised her hand and then Brooke raised her hand. For the first time Rosie shyly raised her hand to publicly acknowledge that she too had been abused as a child. At that point Oprah said to her, “You are a survivor too! Oh Honey you are a survivor!” Rosie broke into tears and Oprah hugged her and allowed her to shed her tears to heal.

This book is amazing and I have even more respect for Rosie Perez than I did previously. She has done so much fundraising for AIDS research and helping people to get treatment. Please read this book if you get the opportunity. This book reads as if Rosie is sitting there just speaking with you. She doesn’t hold back when telling her story. There is bad language in this book so if that offends you you might want to skip this book. This is her story and growing up in the system and in the projects in New York she was surrounded by people using bad language. To tell her story you will have to get the good with the bad.

Sausage Cauliflower Soup

I mentioned yesterday on Facebook where this recipe came from. This recipe belonged to one of my clients who passed away a few weeks ago. I met with her husband and their 9 year old daughter and they were sharing with me how much they missed her. She had spoiled them rotten and they were having to learn how to do things on their own. They were a great source of strength for each other.

Their daughter was telling me how she had made her Mom’s soup the night before and it was so good that she had 2 bowls. She said it tasted very close to her Mom’s but something was missing. Her Dad lovingly put his arm around her and said that they would figure it out together.

They shared her soup recipe with me and I only had to make one change to it to make it low carb but I did decide to add cheese to it too. The cheese is entirely optional when you make this.  I replaced the potatoes with cauliflower from her recipe. It was so good that I had 2 bowls of this as well. :)

I have my thermos on the counter to use tomorrow when I go to work to enjoy some soup on the cold day. I am looking forward to sharing this with Caleb when he comes this weekend. :)

Sausage Cauliflower Soup

  • 1 pound sage sausage (breakfast type in a roll)
  • 1 stalk celery- finely chopped
  • 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large head cauliflower cut into small pieces
  • water
  • 3 Tablespoons Chicken Base- comes in a jar
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

Add sausage, celery and onion to a hot skillet and cook until onion is translucent and sausage is cooked.

In a large soup pot add cauliflower, chicken base and water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until cauliflower is soft. Add celery salt and sausage, celery and onions once cooked to the pot. Cook for another 5 minutes allowing flavors to blend.

Add cheese and stir until melted. Add black pepper and serve. Makes 8 servings.

Nutritional Information- Calories- 170.8, Fat 10.7, Carbs- 9.8, Fiber- 4.0, Protein- 10

Net carbs per serving- 5.8


Ice! Ice! Baby!

I am still ice bound here in WV. It is melting slowly after yesterdays almost 24 hour downpour of sludge ice. I was able to get my car door open and car started. My stairs are almost ice free but the porch is still coated in thick ice and my entire driveway is about 2 inches thick of ice. I was doing a wonderful job keeping the snow off all week but once the ice storm came there was no way to prevent it. :::sigh:::

Many of my neighbors have had water pipes freeze and burst. My neighbor Andrea is referring to this as plaques. We had snow, loss of power, ice storm and snow slides blocking people from traveling.

I am so excited to be going back to work after being off for a week. I have so much to do and people to meet with.

I was supposed to have had a dinner party last night but that didn’t happen. Instead I made the meal for myself and enjoyed knitting again. I haven’t been able to knit due to poor lighting in my new home but I was able to find a floor lamp that I dearly love so I have my knitting and embroidery  back again. I am making a scarf and will begin a baby blanket as soon as I am finished with it. If you knit it they will come! haha

Since this is a low carb blog I will tell you what I made for dinner last night.

Ranchero Onion Burgers

Mashed Cauliflower

Triple Berry Ice Cream

I have enjoyed my week of solitude and independence. I have had time to think and relax. I really needed this. God is good!

So Many Recipes So Little Time!

Does it seem like there are so many new low carb recipes out there that it is overwhelming trying to choose which ones to try first? I know that is it for me. I use Evernote to store my recipes that I find in so that I can make notes and share them with my sister Donna. I have more recipes stored in my cookbook folder than I can ever make in my lifetime. While I would love to make them all and tell you which ones I love I know it isn’t possible as long as I am single and cooking for one person. So I am sharing the recipes that I have NOT tried but would love to in the future. If you have tried them already please let me know.

Sausage, Spinach and Spaghetti Squash

White Almond Cake with Raspberry Filling

Cheddar Cauliflower Chowder

Chicken in Creamy Tomato Basil Sauce

Bacon and Smoked Gouda Cauliflower Mash

Breakfast Casserole with Spaghetti Squash

Bacon Extravaganza Deep Dish Pizza

Pistachio and Pumpkin Chocolate Muffins

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Enchilada Cabbage Rolls

Broiled Tilapia with Seafood Sauce

Creamy Chicken Cabbage Skillet Casserole

For now I am avoiding many desserts while I am working on losing weight and getting fit. I am doing well at the gym and maintaining my strict meal plans. I feel so much stronger and am averaging a 3 pound weight loss per week which is good for me. I hope to be sharing new recipes with you soon that I have tried. :)

Never Look Back

Yes it is time for another book review. I have actually read 2 books that I want to tell you about. Both of them have been written by Linda Lael Miller and are the second and third book in a trilogy.

The last book review that I gave on this blog seemed to disappoint a certain reader and I received a hateful private comment from her. I can not make everyone happy with this blog and I will disappoint people along the way. That is a given. This may sound cold but if you are so unhappy with my choices in literature that it leads you to send a hateful comment to a total stranger then you may want to consider following another blog. I have had enough negativity in the last two years that I will not tolerate anyone else passing judgement on me over something as silly as a book review.

So that being said here is my book review.

Never Look Back- Clare Westbrook is a defense attorney who has opened a store front office to help people pro bono. She has a knack for getting herself into sticky situations and with the help of her gorgeous boyfriend Detective Sonterra they are once again trying to solve murders. I really enjoyed this book.

One Last Look- Clare is now engaged to Sonterra and expecting a baby in this book. She has moved to a small town where Sonterra has been appointed the Chief of Police. Once again there are murders everywhere that Clare is knee deep in. You will see many changes with Clare and at times I was frustrated with her behavior of putting herself and her unborn child into danger. I think ending this trilogy on this note was a good thing. It was a good story despite my frustrations.

The current book that I am reading is an autobiography. I am expanding my horizons! :)

Avocado Tuna Salad

This recipe is quick and easy and made a perfect lunch for me today after going to the gym and working out. I can’t take credit for it. I found it over at Peace, Love and Low Carb. The only thing that I changed about it was that I left out the onion. I don’t like to crunch into raw onion but that is just a quirk of mine. If you love onion as most people do you will definitely want to add it too.

Avocado Tuna Salad- Peace, Love and Low Carb

I know that some people don’t like the fat that is in avocados but this is the good kind of fat. I am buying a couple of these a week and including them in my diet. :)