September 30, 2009

Really? Just in October?

Dispose of your meds safely in October

GREENSBORO — Area residents can dispose of their expired or unneeded prescription medications safely at two locations on Oct. 16.
Full story

Shouldn't we dispose of them safely all year?

Information on PPCPs, including disposal, from the EPA.

Don't flush! I find it especially ironic that a quick review of Walgreens and CVS websites reveals an entire section (in Walgreens case, a completely separate website) devoted to environmental responsibility and includes things like recycling, energy efficiency, etc., but no mention of programs to dispose of unused pharmaceuticals. Would it really be that hard? At any rate, contact your local pharmacy or the drug company to see if they offer a take back service and if not, demand they do!

September 29, 2009

September 28, 2009

Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds

I've been hearing lots of chatter about the recession being over. Retail picking up, home sales increasing, cars moving even after cash for clunkers ended...

But based on this local mall's parking lot (7861 spaces, but who's counting?), I'm not so sure.

With the storm that had just rolled through tossing fall leaves around, I couldn't help but think it resembled something closer to this:

September 27, 2009

Once more with feeling*

Another yummy dinner on Sunday night to complete the weekend. I take 1/3 credit for this one, as mostly it was inspired by this Mayo Clinic recipe.

Drain, press, pat dry tofu, slice into 1/2" slabs. Soak in silk, teriyaki, cider vinegar, ginger and garlic powder concoction for a few minutes on each side.
Transfer to dish with sesame seeds, fresh grated black pepper and Mrs. Dash table blend and coat each side, pressing into tofu.
Pan sear each side on medium-high heat until golden brown.

Mix dijon mustard, cider vinegar, agave, ginger powder and a little teriyaki to make thick topping sauce. Serve over sauteed peppers, with asparagus and Near East roasted garlic whole grain blend.


*bonus points if you knew that this is the name of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode that TV Guide ranked #14 on its list of "TV's Top 100 Episodes of All Time"! Excuse the crappy video, this is all YouTube wanted to give me!

Possibly the worst ever

In a hurry on a lunch time grocery store run, I grabbed the on-sale variety of snack crackers instead of my usual. This might have been the worst tasting cracker I have ever tried. First, it is completely my fault for not reading the label. But all it took was one bite to know there was corn syrup, a lot of fat, and very little protein. Yet another example of "healthy-looking" packaging that doesn't turn out to be. YJDKIY finds it especially interesting that upon examining the Nabisco wheat thins website, no where could I find an actual ingredients list. It might be there, but I gave up looking before I found it. Coincidence? Not likely.

Also, the taste and texture are just plain ol' gross!

Recent Dinners

YJDKIY didn't get started on dinner until late on Friday night. Luckily it only took about 20 minutes to prepare. Pork tenderloin, with pierogies and fresh green beans, smothered in a balsamic reduction and topped with crushed rosemary.

Saturday night had a little more planning since it involved a new recipe from Whole Foods: Baked Chicken Breast & Spinach with Bleu Cheese. However, I substituted kale for spinach, balsamic for cider vinegar, and added pine nuts to the pear mix.

I also confirmed that YJDKIY really just doesn't like bleu cheese, although other diners thought it was tasty. Served with a side of homemade wheat bread, dipped in olive oil/balsamic. And, completed with the Wine Cube from Target, which ingenious marketing if you ask me, if not especially tasty wine. It's four individually packaged glasses of wine, instead of a whole bottle that never gets finished. On sale for $7.99 it was a pretty good deal.

And tasted even better in souvenir glasses from Shelton Vineyards and RayLen Vineyards, in the Yadkin Valley wine region.

September 26, 2009

Save the best (line) for last

This story is a few days old, but worth repeating, especially since it is NC homegrown.

Man's lung ailment caused by fragment of fast food spoon

  • North Carolina resident had two years of coughing, vomiting, pain
  • Doctor peered in with an endoscope and spotted bit of spoon
  • Man assumes fragment was in something he ate or drank
However, it's not until the very last part of the CNN article, does it really bring the laughs. For your lazy clickers, I'll paste.

"He explained that there was an object down there, and it had writing on it," Manley said. "It spelled out 'Wendy's' on one side and 'hamburgers' on the other, and I was a little floored."

So were his relatives, who, when they were telephoned with the news, were eating ... Wendy's.

(photo from

September 23, 2009

My grass doth groweth over

With no hope of being cut in the next 5 days. Did I miss fall and winter and now it is spring?

September 22, 2009

Fast Food

But not THAT kind of fast food. YJDKIY hasn't been to the grocery store yet after a long weekend away, so tonight was completely from the pantry (and the freezer, and the fridge).

I'm pretty picky about soups....I don't like creamy, it has to be hearty and chunky, and typically the sodium (especially in canned kind) is way over a healthy limit. So, this package (what is it? It's not a can, not a box, not a jar...) of Pacific Natural Foods Creamy Butternut Soup has been in the cabinet for a while (they do make a low sodium version, but not in the small 2 serving size).

It's creamy, it's not hearty and it has 550 mg of sodium, which is kinda high, but manageable. Otherwise it's pretty decent. I love that I know what all the ingredients are (negative points for overuse of the word organic though!):
  • Organic butternut puree
  • Filtered water
  • Organic soymilk (filtered water, whole organic soybeans)
  • Organic evaporated cane juice
  • Sea salt
  • Organic expeller pressed canola oil
  • Organic rice flour
  • Natural flavor
  • Organic onion powder
  • Organic garlic powder
  • Organic ginger
  • Organic nutmeg
  • Organic cinnamon

To remedy this situation, I added black beans while heating, and topped with a little feta. Yum! Served with a side of frozen vegetables seasoned with lemon juice that I ended up saving for lunch tomorrow because I was so full from the soup! :)

Total prep time: 8 minutes!

September 21, 2009

Marketing Genius

I have to hand it to the folks at the Grove Park Inn. We've heard daycation, mancation, staycation, naycation, oblication...and now they've give us: procreation vacation!

Get away from the stress of every day life, and into the mood for baby-making at our historically romantic resort. Our Little Package of Joy includes just the right ingredients to help fan the flames of love!

I think it's a little weird given the upscale nature of this resort, but it might just be aimed at the perfect, younger version of their target audience.

This does leave me wondering, much like how Nintendo missed officially calling the Wii remote a wiimote, why there isn't a shorter name for this?!?

September 16, 2009

THIS is America

There is something about waking up early, the airport and a rainy Wednesday that makes YJDKIY think it is ok to make a fast food run. It's certainly not good for you, but MMMMM it was good!
We're going to ignore the nutritional content this morning, to focus on some interesting nutritional values at work here.

I pull up to the drive through window: "I'd like a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit, please."

Drive through person: "We have 2 for $2"

YJDKIY: "No thank you, I just want one."

Drive through person: "But that will be $2.19 plus tax."

YJDKIY: "No thank you, I just want one."

Drive through person: "Are you sure?"

YJDKIY: "Yes, I just want one."

Drive through person (sounding confused and annoyed): "Well, ok...."

So for $.30 LESS, I could have gotten double the fat, calories, sodium. Gee what a deal. This is exactly what is wrong with America! Way to use the economy to cost this country more health care dollars McDonalds.

Calories Calories From Fat Total Fat (g) Saturated Fat (g) Trans Fat (g) Cholesterol (mg) Sodium (mg) Carbohydrates (g) Dietary Fiber (g) Sugars (g) Protein (g) Vitamin A (IU) Vitamin C (mg) Calcium (mg) Iron (mg)
Biscuit (Regular)
260 110 12 7 0 0 740 33 2 2 5 0 0 60 2
25 15 2 0.5 0 5 95 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0
Folded Egg
90 50 6 2 0 220 90 2 0 0 6 290 0 35 1
Pasteurized Process American Cheese
50 35 3.5 2.5 0 15 230 1 0 1 3 230 0 70 0
Total : 420 210 23 12 0 235 1160 37 2 3 15 510 0 170 3
% Daily Value ** : - - 35 59 - 79 48 12 7 - - 10 0 15 15

September 15, 2009

Perhaps they are not stars

I went to a memorial service for a twenty year old today. A beautiful talented twenty year old whom I only knew through her father. There were hundreds of people there, something of a who's who if you cared to look around Wait Chapel.

Elena was killed at 8:30 p.m. on September 11, 2009. She was murdered by a gentleman, a doctor sworn to 'do no harm', who had too many drinks and stuck the keys in his Mercedes anyway and plowed into her at 85 mph. To me that's the same as had he used a gun.
Winston-Salem Journal story
(Photo by Steve Davis)

Elena Bright Shapiro Scholarship at UNCSA

For all the times I've said 'drive safe' or 'call me when you get there' it doesn't make a bit of difference when an arrogant, stupid, inebriated driver takes to the road. There wasn't a thing in the world Elena or her family could have done differently to make the situation have a better outcome.

  • On average someone is killed by a drunk driver every 45 minutes.
  • A first time drunk driving offender on average has driven drunk 87 times prior to being arrested.
  • About three in every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some time in their lives.
Updated story on charges against the driver
(who has a previous DWI charge)

September 13, 2009

Brace yourself

YJDKIY knew it would happen eventually! Perfection! Everything I always wanted. I think I could even use the conditioner AND shampoo. I'm generally in love with most Aveeno products, but this one might take the cake.

Two in a row

It's a cakey kind of weekend.

2 cans of fancy white crab meat, drained
1 t olive oil mayo
7-10 crushed low salt saltines
1/4 c egg beater
3 T dried chives
some chopped sweet onion
a hefty shake of old bay
fine breadcrumbs

Mix ingredients except breadcrumbs, form into patties (about 5), and sprinkle lightly with breadcrumbs, pat into place. Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes to firm up. Heat Pam in pan. Saute 5-8 minutes on each side, or until heated and golden brown.

Served with baked sweet potato fries (chopped, olive oil, cinnamon, coarse salt, pepper) and asparagus with lemon juice!

Tonight might be zucchini latkes to complete the theme!

September 11, 2009

Salty Chihuahua

Can someone please tell YJDKIY how this:
can equal this:
That's $87.25. At the lower priced store no less! I need some grocery budget tips, apparently. About 1/16 of the contents of those four bags went into dinner tonight.

Dinner, which started out innocent enough, almost became a disaster.

Black bean cakes over southwestern salad was the menu. To save time, I pulled out the Cuisinart Mini-Chopper.
Unfortunately, I haven't mastered the art of chop/grind and everything ends up more like blend/puree. This happened when I tried to make salsa too. So anyway, the recipe was good, but I recommend hand mashing the beans and hand chopping the pepper, onion and garlic finely. Normally you'd get a nice pastey cake to sear in a frying pan on med-high heat for a few minutes on each side. Instead I got a watery, dip like bowl of stuff. I even tried to add flour/bread crumbs and egg to help. No luck. While I contemplated how to fix this, two salty chihuahuas disappeared.

The salad turned out beautiful. Shredded red lettuce, cucumber slices, corn, red pepper, olives and avocado slices. The dressing is garlic rice vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, agave, pepper, garlic powder and cumin. Don't measure, just guess.

The bean dip patties worked out ok after I turned the heat down and let them cook for about 10-15 minutes on each side to get out the moisture. Contents, again not measured, are smashed black beans, sweet onion, green pepper, fresh garlic, and cumin.

Place hot cakes on salad, top with grated jack and chopped tomatoes, served with a side of Near East Spanish Rice that I ended up mixing in my salad. Yum!

Hello Right Arm? This is the Left Arm.

Other agencies were not notified of the exercise in advance, including the U.S. Secret Service, which protects the president.

CNN story on the "scare"

Seriously? It's 9/11. It's a training exercise. This kinda happened already just a few months ago, and someone resigned. Can we really not get it together? Having worked in an institution of the state government, I understand things move slowly and there is a lot of red tape, but apparently these branches of the federal government need to hire some people to think before they act (and talk before they think!).


The current North Carolina anti-litter law, General Statute § 14-399 (2001-2002), includes both fines and community service time for both intentional and unintentional littering.

(a1) No person, including any firm, organization, private corporation, or governing body, agents, or employees of any municipal corporation shall scatter, spill, or place or cause to be blown, scattered, spilled, or placed or otherwise dispose of any litter upon any public property or private property not owned by the person within this State or in the waters of this State including any public highway, public park, lake, river, ocean, beach, campground, forestland, recreational area, trailer park, highway, road, street, or alley...

(c1) Any person who violates subsection (a1) of this section in an amount not exceeding 15 pounds is guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100.00). In addition, the court may require the violator to perform community service of not less than four hours nor more than 12 hours

YJDKIY Addendum
Any company/brand/organization whose name is found to be on litter is guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars for each piece collected.

Perhaps that would make retailers and fast food chains rethink their environmentally UNfriendly packaging.

Read the full Senate bill

(did you notice the typo in my photo? yeah, I'm too lazy to fix it this morning!)

September 9, 2009

Who knew?

YJDKIY just didn't know it yet! Apparently, salami is good. But not good for you*, at all, so we'll just pretend this fact was never learned. In fact, it is kind of embarrassing.

*good thing I just posted this today, too.


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