Scottsdale, AZ June 2017
Since coming back home to the US exactly two months ago I have embarked on some firsts in my life. I am currently living in Arizona, the first southwestern state past Texas that I have ever visited.
Then last week I ate my first plate of chicken and waffles (mundane I know but it is a clever way to throw in I am eating meat again, but in moderation) -and lastly and most interesting enough, I will finally (fingers crossed) be meeting my first favorite bird of them all-FredBird- of the St. Louis Cardinals. I learned about this mascot on a week long trip to visit my cousin Dierdre in 2005. She wanted me to take a pic up there but the team,along with Fredbird of course, was at an away game.
The moment will happen when I attend my first ever baseball game at Chase Field here in Phoenix. This is technically four firsts but two are intertwined-just like my first hot dog and singing of the national anthem. The local team are the Diamondbacks and although I will root for them, my heart will be in taking the picture with Fredbird.
By the way if you haven’t noticed, I am still eating my cauliflower religiously, AND I have a new wig. I also haven’t had much occasion to vlog on my youtube channel-Tales from the Vlog- but expect some footage from my ‘tryst’ with the bird…smile.
chicken & waffles and eggplant with quinoa and roasted green beans-yum
Once again I have found a simple concoction of ramen noodles and a whole lot of goodness and tastiness. I boiled the ramen noodles as per the package and place some miso paste,
chop suey, sriracha, and soy sauce in a bowl. When the noodles are finished I place them along with the water from the pot into the bowl and mix together. The flavor reminds me of hot and sour soup with soy sauce (which is how I always eat it). This is another easy and healthy enough meal for those who may not want to slave in the kitchen for too long.
For lunch I made sesame noodles, krautchi, and a coleslaw mixture with sesame seeds and sesame oil to replace the napa cabbage mixture this week. Thanks kiddos.
If you didn’t know sauer kraut or even fermented napa cabbage is a great snack for pets. While making the krautchi this week I gave my babies a wonderful snack and they loved me for it. Also, if you have never heard of chop suey, it is a mixture of chinese vegetables such as bamboo shoots, carrots, bean sprouts, minature corn, and a bit more things I am not sure of. It tastes great in the soup though.
Since coming back to Zagreb I have tried to continue eating on the right path for my palate and health. I started out eating glass noodles, but at about six dollars equivalency for two portions it was becoming an expensive delicacy. I have found an alternative in ramen noodles. Instead of using the spices included in the package, which is a lot of salt and sometimes not very tasty, I just boil the noodles and drain them, then lightly coat them with sesame oil and sesame seed. The flavor is wonderful. It is light and refreshing, and when coupled with my krautchi (which I now use sriracha instead of chipotle sauce to flavor) and some napa cabbage and nori mix, the meal is one worth catching. Eaten alone it is also a quick and easy meal if you really don’t have a taste for anything really.
What does one do when left with a whole case full of apples but no desire to eat them the way they are. Make apple sauce! I usually enjoy eating granny smith apples due to their tartness but was gifted with a 5 pound bag of others (the ones that are greenish, yellowish, and sometimes reddish) with no appetite for consuming them. After that sat around for about a month I was considering on throwing them away or heading to Maksimir Park (in Zagreb, Croatia) to feed them to the birds, when I considered turning them into sauce. It turned out superbly. I never knew how easy it was to make apple sauce. I just cut the apples (about 15) into little pieces and boiled them in a few cups of water until the water was soaked up and the apples easy mashable. It took about 30-40 minutes, and then I added a few cinnamon sticks after mashing and let it set on the stove for another hour to blend the flavor. Then I refrigerated it. It definitely tastes like the homemade apple sauce that I have purchased in the grocery stores, especially with the chunky texture. If you prefer smoother apple sauce then just blend it down in a mixer and voila. No added preservatives or sugars and it tastes awesome. Yeah me!
I have found an unusual method of clearing up darkened skin from under the armpit. While in Montenegro I started applying a simple mixture of about seven drops of wild oregano oil and coconut oil under both armpits to assist in controlling odor due to the deodorants in the area not working as well as they should. It did the trick as well as started clearing up the dark patches under my arm from irritation of deodorants and shaving. If you have extra sensitive skin and would like to try an alternative to conventional deodorants, plus clear up some irritations try this concoction. I have now been using it for 2 months and almost all of my darkened skin has cleared up. If it works for you please comment down below, thanks.
For the past 6 months now I have been travelling Europe more thoroughly than not, and my travels have ended me back in the country where I received my first ever visa. Before this I had only lived and visited a limited number of countries within a year and a half, France, Italy, Slovenia, and of course Croatia. Since August though, I have had the opportunity to travel or live in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, and now again Croatia. These frequent movements taught me how important it is to travel lightly and flexibly.
No matter how good a plan it is, there will always be twists and turns. Mine began while in Montenegro, when I had assumed that there would be a train that connected this country to the next. Unfortunately it didnt and I had to backtrack to Serbia, where I learned again of the lack of train connections, which seemed to had been confirmed online. Luckily I learned of a wonderful and cheap alternative in GEA tourist travels, where they drive you from Beograd to many locations for as little as 15 euro one way. They are based out of Serbia so there is no way of getting around going into Beograd, but if you have the patience and the time this is the cheapest way to travel in between countries where the train system has lapsed. My travels to and from Bosnia was only 30 euros, and from Beograd to Zagreb was only 25 euros. This beats a train ride any day, as this company uses small vehicles or vans to transport. The bonus is that they allowed my pets to ride free, of course they were secured in their travel containers.
I have learned how to travel more efficiently and economically while living abroad, and I do plan on using these skills when I finally do arrive back home. I also have learned how to eat more cleanly. The food in these pictures have become a staple in my home. I love my krautchi, as well as steamed rice and miso with lettuce. I also tried a new concoction of my own, I steamed napa cabbage (where luckily konzum on Britanski Trg carries it-although I am still looking for Korean flakes), and then tossed it with sesame oil, sesame seed, and toasted seaweed. I threw in some fresh carrots and voila! Eating this way gives me more pleasure in the taste and textures of the veggies that I am having. I am also trimming down on the pounds which was not a part of the plan, but is a pleasant side effect.
I also made some spring rolls since Spring has finally rolled in. Yeah me for expanding my horizon and trying new and exciting things.
I have to admit that before this experience I had never, to my knowledge eaten a cauliflower before. It always looked weird. Boy was I wrong. I saw a recipe for baked cauliflower drenched in buffalo sauce and decided to try it. This is what I came up with.
Head of Cauliflower
Chipotle Hot Sauce
Cut off as many pieces as you desire to eat, rinse well. Place in oven and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt on top. Let it bake for about 10 to 15 minutes or until you start hearing it sizzle. Take out and dip in hot sauce, then return to oven for a few minutes.
When done place on plate with sliced carrots and cucumbers. Mix a couple of spoonfuls of mayo with the leftover hot sauce from the dipped cauliflower. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon and mix until blended well. Place on the plate with the cauliflower and veggies. Enjoy.