Sunday, January 27, 2008

Shopping Cart

Since moving to NY I have switched from shopping on large grocery stores to shopping in the small organic markets and specialty foods stores. Surprised? Sticker Shock? Well, believe it ot not, for the kinds of foods that I purchase and eat, it's cheaper for me to go to these smaller markets. Don't get me wrong, I still clip coupons (pretty dorky for a 23 year, hunh?), but I have also devised a system for conquering the money pit that is New York. I have my list of 4 Markets where I shop. When I first moved here I did some price comparisons and made up a little chart of who had the cheaper stuff. Now, I rotate my markets by the week, stocking up when non perishables are on sale, and taking advance of what little storage/cabinet space my cozy Manhattan apartment provides.

This little experiment of mine reminds me of the posters hanging at the checkout lines of Trader Joes. It's amazing how much money you can save with a little planning. I've tried really hard to avoid the impulse of running to the market to grab something, becuase let's face it, one thing turns into two things, which turns into a $40 cart worth of stuff you really didn't need and inevitably you forgot the one item that you actually went to purchase. But I digress...

I've always found it very interesting to ssee what others are buying at the store. No, I'm not a crazy stalker, but if food says anything about the person who is buying it, you can learn a lot.

Just what sort of things will you find in my cart? Here's some of my favorites:

8th Continent Light Soymilk
Baby Carrots, Celery, Avocados, Eggplant, Tomato, Cucumbers, Baby Spinach, Poratbella Mushrooms
Apples, Navel Oranges, Green Grapes, Blueberries, Strawberries
Wasabi peas
Better'n'Peanut Butter
Orange Marmalade Click this link to buy fresh from the NY farmers market. YUM!!
It's SOY delicious
Kashi Vive
Frosted Mini Wheats
Just Veggies
Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cubes
Tofutti Chocolate Fudge Treats
Frosting (hey, I have a sweet tooth and there is nothing like a spoonful of sugary delight when you need a little *kick*)

So that's my cart. What does it say about me? And much like the Capital One saying, "What's in Your Cart?"

A Cowboy’s Wife is having a contest on her food blog! You can win a Hamilton Beach® Stand Mixer and she’ll ship anywhere so everyone is eligible! Enter to win at MyWoodenSpoonDOTcom

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Four Foods on Friday

#1. What is your favorite kind of cheese for snacking?
Laughing Cow Light Swiss Stlye cubes

#2. What is your favorite kind of jelly?
Orange Marmalade...the chunkier the better! The local farmers markets have the best stuff around.

#3. Yogurt. Regular or custard style?
Regular, with lots of fresh fruit added.

#4. Share a recipe for a stew or soup.
Caribbean Bean Stew from Vegan Village

15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups mixed red, green and yellow peppers, chopped
14 oz can chopped tomatoes
4oz / 100g mushrooms, sliced
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp oil
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 small sweet potatoes, chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 TB tomato paste
1 TB soy sauce
4 drops of tabasco sauce
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
black pepper
3 cups vegetable stock


Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the onion and garlic until softened. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and soy sauce and cook until pulpy.

Add all the remaining ingredients and stir well. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the bay leaves and serve. Delicious!

Friday, January 25, 2008

My Life as a Vegetable

So I am currently reading this book. It's not quite eloquent, as it was originally a blog, but it's "cutesy and quirky", a light read, and a welcome change from all the heavy books of my college years. About four chapters into the book, the main character, Julie, makes reference to her friend Sally as "the artichoke", referring to her lifestyle and datability.

I read it. Paused. Re-read it. Started thinking...Wow, that's so interesting; I wonder what me and all my friends are?!?!

Alas, for your reading pleasure, here are the highlights of my friends and I as vegetables...a mighty tasty salad,if I do say so myself.

LH- The Cucumber. Comfortable in her skin, but not afraid to shed it either. Calm and even tempered, mixes well with most groups. Rarely spoiled, a safe bet as a friend and constant; however, can be a little spacey and sometimes lacks kick...

NV-The Chili Pepper. Sassy and bold, this girl knows what she wants and will not take any sass. Occasionally gets under your skiin and you just can't quite get the taste off your buds. Can be counted on to spice any situation up and oh yeah, can make thos boys cry...

JS- The Potato. Think strong, versatile, and enduring. Able to balance it all and always even keeled. Complacent with all things familiar, holds on to past comforts...

EM-The Zucchini. Generally well accepted, mixes well with various groups, holds up under pressure. Just doesn't appeal to some. Ok in the mix, but sometimes scraped to the side...

AT- Corn. Sweet and energetic. Enjoyed in various situations and forms, really can't go wrong choosing it. Can get stuck in your teeth and can never quite be done with her...

LR- The Carrot. Sweet, spunky, adds a little crunch to any situation. Comfortable plain, or all dressed up. Usually a baby carrot, when you don't have to peel off the tough skin...

SS-Sweet Potato. Basic enough on the outside, but warm, fluffy, and sweet on the inside. Can be sweet or savory, a timeless classic. Skin is hard to peel off initially...

VH-Jicama. Oddly intreaguing. External appearances can be deceiving. Once you get past the oter skin, the inside is sweet, crunch, crisp, and makes you say, "hmm....". Always keeps you coming back for more. Some don't want to make the effort to get past that yough outer skin...

AZ- The Tomato. Senstive and delicate. Delicious raw or artfully made baked up. Can complement any group or dish, but sometimes is quite sour and makes you pucker...

KK- The Mushroom. So basic, yet so complex. The layers of personality and flavor alwyays revelaing themself. Prefes to stand alone and doesn't like to blend into the background. Dominant in all situations...

KH- The Pea. cute and petite. Always there, tested and true. Just enough sweetness to tide one over. The one your mom nags you to try. Maybe tried by just a few too many...

LC- Spinach. Strong and full bodied. So many uses, able to withstand the heat, even if it does take a slightly different form. May taste a bit too gritty for some...

and finally,

ME- The Eggplant. Soft, tender, and versatile-enjoyed by vegeterians and meat eaters alike. Give the outer skin a little time to soften and inside is all that goodness waiting to emerge and be enjoyed. Maybe a little too intimidating for some to try.

And there you have it. Salad is served.

What about you? What's your veggie style?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

And I Thought He Wasn't Listening

"R? I'm going to change J. I'll be right back."

No response as he continues to watch the PBS info special about saving water and recycling.

3 minutes later as J and I come downstairs...
"R?...........R?..........hello?!?!?" I look all around the downstairs and then I hear that little "devlish" belly laugh.
"He'z down da stairz Nurse Miss Kew-wee"
"Yes, J. He is. Let's Go!"

I turn the corn and what do I see?
****R, standing on the top of the stool, peeing (or at least trying to aim) into the trash barrel.****

"R! What are you doing?"

"I'm peeing into the barrel . I'm saving water Nurse Miss Kelly. Just like the TV said."

Now folks, how do you argue with that?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

4 Foods Friday. Better Late Than Never

#1. Bacon. Chewy, crispy or burnt?
Um, none for this vegerterian, but I do LOVE the way it smells when it's snap, crackle, and popping away on it's way to crispness

#2. Mayonnaise or miracle whip?
Wow, really striking out this week. Neither. Nasoya

#3. What green vegetable is used in Italian Wedding soup?

#4. Share a recipe that you use Italian sausage in.
I made this once for my family...they licked the bowls clean

Sausage Soup

1 pound Italian sausage (mix sweet and spicy)
2 TB minced garlic
2 (14 ounce) cans beef broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
1 cup sliced carrots
1 (14.5 ounce) can great Northern beans, undrained
2 small zucchini, cubed
2 small yellow squash cubed
1/2 each red and yellow pepper
4 cups baby spinach
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a stockpot or Dutch oven, brown sausage with garlic.
Stir in broth, tomatoes and carrots, peppers, and season with salt and pepper.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.
Stir in beans with liquid and squash & zucchini.
Cover, and simmer another 15 minutes, or until zucchini is tender.
Remove from heat, and add spinach.
Replace lid allowing the heat from the soup to cook the spinach leaves. Soup is ready to serve after 5 minutes.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

F.Y.I....the don't's in life

1. serve peanuts on an airplane...even if it's equipped with an AED, intubation box, and an RN & MD
2. east tuna fish on a train...PLEASE be considderate of your fellow travelers
3. try to text message while running at 8mph on the treadmill
4. wear your cashmere coat to the playground
5. rub your eyes while working with chili peppers
5. assume that becuase a kid is potty trained that they will tell you they NEED to go the bathroom....get very good at picking up on the "pee pee dance" and/or winkie grab
6. settle for less than your deserve
7. forget that just becuase you are an OCD, anaile retentive, perfectionisit who like order and organization that when you are tired it' OKAY ro drop your dirty clothes on the floor and just go to bed
8. wear low rise jeans and a high rise thong...REALLY not flattering
9. put aluminum in the microwave
10. try to put on nylons if you haven't filed your nails
11. tell someone on the first date that you are madly in love with them, can see the cathedral length train of your wedding dress, the white picket fence of your future house, and hear the screaches and pitter patter of the children you are destined to have
12. go for an 8 mile run after a 20 hour work disaster
13. apply eyeliner while walking down the street
14. go to st*rbucks without your wallet...even if they know your order by heart and say it'sOK for you yo pay next time.
15. shave your armpits dry...ouch! the chaffing

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Four Food Friday (I stole the meme)....

Came across this meme from O's post, thought I'd give it a whirl...

#1. What’s your favorite kind of crepe?
Sweet- apple, banana, cinnamon, honey & "BAM" of powdered sugar. You get the crunch of the apple, mellowed by the soft banana, the tang of the cinnamon, and the honey makes everything better.

#2. How do you make ziti?
I don't really eat much pasta, but I make a mean baked ziti with sun dried tomato and eggplant

#3. What is your favorite thing to put on toast, and which flavor if more than one?
Orange Marmalade. the chunkier, the better!

#4. When wok cooking, which oil burns the slowest? Peanut, vegetable or safflower?
Safflower. I'm a dork, I know. It smokes around 235 degrees. Thank you Emeril!! Peanut oil smokes at a lower point but is generally more well received for it's flavor....minus all those with the nut allergy.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Role Reversal

Today I was the patient.

As I lay on the cold crisp white paper with the fluorescent white lights shining down on me, me heart beating steadily in my chest, I began to this is what it's like.
No, I wasn't facing large surgery or death like many of my patients (thank God) but I was facing a few unpleasant minutes of being numbed up to have 2 suspicious moles removed.

Now maybe I have a jaded view of health care, but here is what I observed about my appointment today...

1. I was taken ON TIME
2. I was addressed as Miss S
3. I was properly instructed on how to wear the gown. *You'd be amazed at how many people leave the opening in the front*
4. I doctor washed her hands IN THE ROOM before and after patient contact

5. Despite being taken ON TIME, I was seen 45 minutes LATER
6. The consent for biopsy wasn't explained to me, but rather shoved in my face by the medical assistant while said she said, "Sign and date on the line. It's so we can 'do' your stuff"
7. The medical assistant had to come in and out of the room 4 times to set up for the procedure...
8. I was freezing lying on the table
9. What the heck is the point in knocking as you open the much for warning

All in all, my experience wasn't that bad. Actually, I think it was a good thing for me to experience. It helps keep me grounded and mindful of what it's like to be a patient.
Things I will remember...
-despite the long term stays of my patients, always check to see what the patient wants to be called
-if the curtain/door is closed, knock-PAUSE- enter
-don't just witness consents, ensure patient understanding, clarify, and obtain the doctor if necessary
-be prepared when you enter the room, it's annoying to go in-out-in-out
- for the love of noscomial infections, wash hands BEFORE and AFTER patient contact

I'd love to hear your role reversal stories and just what they helped you remember

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

All Grown Up

Despite having graduated from college, passed my boards, moved to a new city, and started a challenging new career, until recently I didn't really feel "like a grown up." However, after my biatching and moaning, and then lovely visit home after the holidays, I suddenly feel grown up. Weird?!?

Things have happened and I stayed calm. I've juggled new challanges and put myself out there.

Just what have I done so far in 2008?

-"De-decorated" after the holidays, and not liking the nakedness of the apartment, went out and bought new decorative "chachkis" and even some furniture.

- I booked a vacation (not a spring break!!!)...St. Maarten here I come!

- Set up appointments with new docotrs and specialisits,, clearly I need a PCP, dentist, dermatolosit, ob/gyn, etc.

-Obtained information about retirment, savings, and's NEVER too early to save for the future.


-Started scoping out some boys....2008 will not be as *dry and dull* as 2007

Maybe I just needed to leave 2007 behind, but so far, 2008 is off to a good start.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Random but True

1) Who is the last person you high-fived?

2) If you were drafted into a war, would you serve?
If I could serve as a nurse, then yes

3) Do you sleep with the tv on?
I know, it's a bad habit. Effects melatonin production

4) Have you ever fresh squuezed juice?

5) Have you ever won a spelling bee?
Let's just say I should have bought stock in "spell checking" software

6) Have you ever been stung by a bee?

7) How fast can you type?
still not as fast as my mind thinks, thus my frequent use of (...) to join my thoughts

8) Are you afraid of the dark?

9) What color are your socks?
tank, pink, and red cashmere argyle. Hey, they were on sale after Chrismas!

10) Have you ever made out at a drive-in?
Do they even have drive in's anywhere around here?

11) When is the last time you chose a bath over a shower?
When I was home over the holidays. Nothing like a jetted bubble bath to ease the stress and tension of the holiday season.

12) Do you knock on wood?

13) Do you floss daily?
(Mom, don't read this) *I TRY*

14) Do you wanna Fanta?
No soda for me

15) Can you hula hoop?
My hip swirling would make Shakira proud

16) Are you good at keeping secrets?

17) What do you want for Christmas?
A nice guy with reasonable fashion taste, a good sense of humor, who is close to his family and nice to his mom...I know, keep wishing

18) Do you know the Muffin Man?
Nope, but I have met Cookie monster

19) Do you talk in your sleep?
I am not accountable for anything that I say

20) Who wrote the book of love?
I don't know, but I'd surely like to have their knowledge level

21) Have you ever flown a kite?
Every summer on Cape Cod

22) Do you wish on your fallen eyelashes?

23) Do you whiten your teeth?

24) Can you tell by smell what's cooking?
Most of the time

25) Have you ever asked for a pony?

26) Have you, or would you ever, donate sperm/eggs?
I think that question is more complex than yes or no

27) Can you juggle?
HA, no

28) If you could enact any new law, what would it be?
wow, I need to think about this one

29) If you had only enough energy left in you for one last smile, who would you give it to?
To anyone who seemed deserving of one...a smile is contagious

30) Are you ready to rumble?
Bring it!

31) Have you ever been suspended or expelled from school?
No, but I did get detention in 6th grade

32) Have you ever crawled through a window?
Yes, I got locked in the bathroom

33) Have you ever eaten dog food?
When I was little, I was convinced it was yummy

34) Can you handle the truth?
It hurts, but yes

Saturday, January 05, 2008

No Title

Although I secretly thought that I would be better about my posting frequency, I’m not off to the best start. Oh well, hopefully the content will make up for the quantity.

Just to recap, I worked Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and then took a 6 am train home on the 26th. I had an amazing visit at home with my family and when I arrived back in the city, I was refreshed and recharged, ready to take on the world again.
Work this past week was GREAT. Staffing was the best I have ever seen it (it’s the beginning of the year, NO ONE takes vacation and there are NO restrictions on OT).

Despite the fact that I still had crazy patients (i.e. the lady who thought it was a good idea to smoke while wearing her oxygen, the person who tried ironing their clothes WHILE wearing them, and of course pt #1 from this post), my days were pleasant and enjoyable. Tomorrow, Sunday, I go back to nights. Ahhh, the bliss of working days is done, but I’m a big girl and need to get a grip about having to work nights. One day (night) at a time, right?

But okay, this all sounds too perfect, yeah?
So true.

My roommate is currently in L.A. traveling on business, so it’s just me in the apartment. I have been de-decorating from the holidays (so depressing) but really haven’t spent much time hanging around the apartment. I never wrote a post about what happened last time A was in LA on business, but pretty much I got locked out my apartment, the super was away on vacation, and the key cards that I had to get spare keys made in the case of a lockout WEREN’T for the current locks on our door. Main jest, we each only have 1 set of the apartment keys and the super doesn’t have any. A had just said before she left for L.A. that she was going to get another set of keys made, “just in case”…

Flash forward to Friday morning in the middle of burn care and central line changes…

“Kelly, pick up 60828.”
5 minutes pass, I can’t get out to the phone.
“Kelly, PLEASE pick up on 60328”
“I’m in the middle of burn care, can you take a message?” I yell out.
“No. It’s urgent.”
My pulse quickens and I bolt to the phone.
“Oh my God. It’s me….”
“Yeah, hey. What’s up. Wait, isn’t it like 6 am in LA?”
“ Okay, you need to go home. I keep getting these frantic calls from the super that there is a flood coming from our apartment and he doesn’t have keys. Clearly, I’m in L.A. and not much help. What can we do?”
“Umm, well, uh, sh*t, let me see if I can get someone to cover me and I’ll try and run home and drop off the keys. I’ll have to call you back. BYE.”

I hang up, clearly white with panic, thinking the worse, and ask a co-worker if they can cover my patients for 10 minutes (I hope) while I run home. Thankfully, Dennis agrees and I fly to the locker room. Yeah, I gave almost ZERO report on what was going on with my patients, I know that was not safe.

I raced to the locker room grabbed my keys and cell phone and flew down the 8 double flights of stairs (in my clogs) and out the back entrance. It was all of 20 degrees here in NY, but I Didn’t zipper my coat, put on my gloves on tie my scarf. Instead I RAN down York Ave, all 6 blocks, in my blue scrubs, blue clogs, coat flapping in the wind, and oh yeah my surgical cap. Yup, completely forgot to take it off….I must have looked absurd to all those out and about yesterday morning.

I made it home in 2 minutes, I really don’t know how I made it that fast!

I buzz the super and he grabs my keys and bolts up the stairs. He is so flustered that he can’t open the lock and I do it. We go in, expecting the worst, but only see damage in the bathroom. By some miracle, the “flood” was over the bathtub and draining down the drain just quick enough to smei control the outpouring from the tub.

Seeing as the plumbers needed to come, and I HAD to get back to work, I left my keys with the super and he said that he would let me in when I got home from work. This was only after he gave me a hassle about not having a copy of the keys. I profusely apologized and said that we would take care of it come Monday.

I raced back to work, and threw my stuff in my locker, slammed it shut. Oh crap! My coat is caught in the hinge and isn’t going to open. Oh well, deal with that at 8pm.

My day just sort of went by. I was in a fog and distracted about what was going on in my apartment.
Finally, after giving report and prying my locker open with a screwdriver from the “environmental services” person I leave. I call the super, to get my keys but he tells me that he won’t be home for 30 minutes because the plumbers just left. GRRRRR
I try and kill time but cannot focus. I attempt to grocery shop, but all I buy is a bottle of ketchup, a green pepper ,and 2 oranges. Yes, that will not make any semblance of a meal.

I finally get let in and here is what I learn…
There was a leak in the wall pipe that sort of affected my apartment, but that it collapsed the ceiling in the apartment below me. I currently have ½ a bathroom ceiling, the rest is plastic and tape, and no water. WTF?!?!?! Supposedly, they are keeping the plastic up for a week, to see if it leaks again, then they will fix it. The water was in the process of being turned back on.
I go up to my apartment and look at my bathroom. There is dirt, dust, and grit EVERYWHERE. Everything that had been in the bathroom is thrown on the floor in the hallway, including my toothbrush. GROSS!

Thankfully, the water was turned back on and I hopped in the shower to cleanse myself after work. Ehhh, that wasn’t the best idea. The drain must have been filled with the grit because the tub filled with gross brown water and was up to my ankles.
When I got out, I scoured the bathroom from top to bottom, and then went to the store to buy a new toothbrush.

11:30 pm and I’m finally trying to sleep. “RING. RING. RING” I picked up my cell phone. It’s N. Now if I thought I Was having a rotten day, hers was worse. I talked to her for 30 minutes and then finally fell asleep.

2:55 a.m. “Chirp. PAUSE. Chirp. PAUSE.”

What the heck? I’m not at work, that’s not an IV pump, and it’s not my alarm.

Oh my G0d, that’s the Carbon monoxide detector! I jump out of bed and race into the living room. I look up at the detector.

Okay, I don’t think it’s “alarming” but it’s definitely making noise. Oh crap, what am I going to do? I really didn’t want to do it, but I picked up my cell and called the super.

“Hi Charlie, it’s Kelly in 7f…I think my carbon monoxide detector is going off?”
“Is it alarming or just beeping?”
“It’s been beeping like once a minute.”
“Oh, ehh, that’s just the batteries! Take it off the wall and take out the batteries, we’ll replace it in the morning.”
“Umm, well. I would but it’s up at the ceiling and I can’t reach.”
“Sh*t. I’ll be right up.”

He comes up and takes it down. I thank him and go back to bed.
Not 10 minutes later the chirping begins again. WTF???? AGAIN??!?!

I go back to the living room and follow the noise. I look up near the bathroom, behind the sophet and there is another detector. Gotta love quality assurance. The batteries were put in at the same time and now they are dying at the same time. Knowing that I can’t call the super again, I drag out a step stool, put a phone book on top and REACH on my toes to take the damn thing down.

Mission Accomplished.

Finally back to bed.

I woke up this morning at 8am and went for an amazing, de-stressing, 7 mile run.
Upon returning, I was ready to once again face the world.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Happy New Year All!

Here's the new motto: "2008 is looking GREAT".

Stay positive, stay day at a time.