Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bacon Bash 2012...Dieter's Discretion is Advised

Bacon. Oh how I love thee, let me count the ways. I love you with my eggs, I love you deep fried, I love you covered in chocolate even when you make my bum wide.  Bacon. Oh, how I love thee.

Well as you can tell, this blog entry is about bacon!  I was inspired to blog about this because I was invited to a Bacon Bash by a friend of me named Becky.  She loves bacon more than anyone I know and to honor this food item that probably makes her go weak in the knees she held an adult only Bacon Bash at her home just hours after her 1 year old daughter's Yo Gabba Gabba birthday celebration.  It was her way of thanking her friends for being subjected to the likes of DJ Lance, Brobee, Toodee, Muno, Plex and Foofa for 3 hours.  But really I think it was just her excuse to have everyone show up at her house with a pack of bacon.  Those were the instructions but I decided that I would knock out my contribution ahead of time.  I decided on the way home that I would make bacon s'mores to go along with my chocolate covered bacon with sea salt and chocolate covered bacon with maple crystals.

The idea of the party was to come to her house and see all the different ways we could come up with to use the bacon.  When I showed up I realized with great delight and fake horror that they were deep frying the bacon! AWESOME!   I mean awful!!  Right?  Isn't that the politically correct thing to say? Anyhow, this is what we made and please note that all items were deep fried!  And we were all able to live with ourselves because we didn't each get our own dish but we made one helping and then we shared it.  The bacon filled evening was followed by a sweaty session of Dance Central.  Here it goes...The 3 previously mentioned items, bacon and cheese quesadilla, cheeseburger wrapped in a tortilla, wrapped in bacon and yes, deep fried, bacon fritters, bacon wrapped hot dogs and just plain bacon.  That's not so bad, right?  The next one will bring out even more bacon ridiculousness.  Well here are my recipes below.  As they say on Yo Gabba Gabba, "try it, you'll like it, try it, you'll like it."

Start with some thick cut bacon. Put it on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees until done.  You can also soak the skewers for at least 30 put the raw bacon on it and then bake. I baked mine first but next time I would skewer and then cook.  I lost a few pieces cooking it first because the bacon would break.

Spread with Marshmallow Fluff

Put graham crackers in a bag and crush with a bottle or rolling pin.

Sprinkle graham crackers onto Marshmallow Fluff (use parchment or wax paper to put it  on for easy removal).

Melt semi-sweet chocolate morsels in double boiler and spoon over fluff and crackers.

This is what it should look like.

While chocolate is still warm sprinkle with more graham cracker crumbles and put in refrigerator to set and chill.

I used a silicone brush to paint the dark chocolate onto the bacon and then sprinkled with sea salt on one and maple sugar crystals on the other.  Put in fridge to set and chill.

This is the what they look like after coming out of the "frig" and sitting on their platter for the drive to Becky's house.

Time to sample!!

Delish!!  Becky, the bacon addict, is the one holding the baby.

Deep fried bacon wrapped cheeseburger...make a cheeseburger, wrap it in a whole wheat tortilla, pin with toothpicks and wrap two slices of raw bacon around it.  Deep fry until bacon is crisp and the oil should be about 350 - 365 degrees.

Make your favorite pancake batter and add tons of chopped bacon, grab a tablespoon and drop into hot oil until browned.  Dip in hot maple syrup!

Just Bacon!!

These are the items I used so you know what to look for.  Now go grab a pack of bacon and have yourself a good time!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A day of Celebration and the beginning of a long journey...Scoliosis.

Scoliosis...curvature of the spine and curve ball in life.

On this very hot but beautiful day we celebrate the 11th birthday of my daughter Sydney who has waited for what "seems like ages" to turn 11.  One step closer to 13.  And yet on this day that we celebrate her life, we spent almost half the day in the Orthotics office so my oldest daughter could get fitted with her brace and begin her 3-5 year journey of 21-22 hours a day of wearing a TLSO brace.  To make a long story short, earlier this year I noticed her alignment seemed "off" when she got out the shower and when I took a really good look at her, I knew she had Scoliosis.  We went to the her pediatrician for confirmation and then to Children's Medical Center in Washington, D.C. for x-rays and testing.  She had two curves, 35 degrees and 23 degrees. No surgery but bracing was needed to try and prevent further progression.  Two months later we had our first visit to the Orthotist for measurements and an examination to make the brace and then 3 weeks later, today, we picked up the brace.

 Her Orthotist (is that right?) is great!  He is a very kind and godly man who has been in the business for over 25 years.  He loves what he does, it's his ministry, and he truly cares about the people he encounters.  He is patient and very knowledgeable about the different types of braces available from all around the world and he allows you to be hands on all along the way.  It's far too much for me to go back to the first appointment to explain the entire process but maybe one day I will have the time and energy to chronicle that.  For now let me just say that after some tears, some anxiety and fear my daughter is now officially in a brace.  She took it quite well and met another girl today her same age who traveled from N.C. to Virginia after her mom did research on the TLSO and searched far and wide for someone who would help her because she felt this was the best option.  I promise to share more but my mind is kind of all over the place right now.  Questions are welcome.  Here are some pictures from our visit today.

After several weeks of waiting, this is it!  This is prior to the adjustments.  She took a picture with her new "friend" who had just gotten hers as well.

This is after all the adjustments.  It was trimmed, holes were cut in it and some padding added under the arm.  This brace pushes back the protruding ribcage, brings the other ribcage forward and also aligns the spine.  Most braces just align the spine.

She got to help crank the handle that was trimming off some of the excess. He would have her put it on several time so that he could make it more comfortable and to fit properly of course.

Her little sister, the birthday girl, helping out while so lovingly spending time here on her special day for her sister's sake.

Smoothing the edges.

Onlookers! The equipment in this place was phenomenal.

This is her trying her best to stand "straight" and she has to practice keeping this position when not in the brace.

Using a blow torch to soften the brace so he could cut a hole in it.

Cutting another hole!

Trying it on, AGAIN!!

Little Sister trying on a brace used in France.  Yes, they really do use this in 2012. It's very heavy.

She was learning how to keep her schedule to show him in a few weeks and also got to look through profiles of other patients to contact for support and filled one out herself.  She has joined a local support group and is looking forward to a swim party this month.

Final results, again.  She will slowly work up to 21 hours over the next two weeks but will wear it through the night starting at 9pm until she wakes up.  She only had to wear it 2 hours today during the day and tomorrow she moves up to 3 and so on and so on.  I'm sure I will be giving her lots of massages.  Pray for my little sweetie. Thanks!