When the Fork Became a Knife

 

As a teenager, I was more consumed with grieving the death of my father (who passed away when I was 15 years old) than I was in learning the basic life skills that I would need later on in my life. I’m referring to basic home economic skills here, people. The ones that some teen aged girls are overly excited to learn about and dig into: cooking, sewing, general house cleaning….

Whoa! Am I to understand that I wasn’t the only girl who had no interest whatsoever in learning the talented art of removing all bacterial deposits that exist in the bowl of a toilet, or mastering the skills necessary to remove wine stains from the collar of a dress shirt? Maybe that’s why I’m now in my mid 40’s and my apartment looks like a tornado went straight through the living room and up the stairs into my dresser drawers!

That fact causes me no worries, however, because I don’t spend much time in my living room anyway. For all intent and purpose, I’ve spent the past two years splitting my time equally between the FVTC classrooms and standing in my kitchen, learning how to wrestle with a 14 pound turkey on Thanksgiving morning, forcing it to comply with my wishes and sit gracefully in a roasting pan while I dress it up all pretty and send it on its merry way to a nice warm sauna in my oven. I LOVE things like that! It makes my heart smile to know that I’ve mastered preparing eggs so light and fluffy that Brian would rather eat them than have a bowl of cereal in the morning. I love seeing the smiles on the faces of friends and co-workers when I bring a tray of my Snickers cupcakes into a room. By the way, have you ever seen the movie “Swarm”? The visual is similar to that of my friends racing into that room…

It all sounds great in concept. However, the REAL art, as I’ve been learning the hard way lately, involves much more than just learning the prep behind the processes. It also involves mastering time management and organizational skills so that there is enough time in my day to learn, study, practice, care for my family, and work a part time job…or two…or three. Wait, I think I’m now working 5 part time jobs. Don’t yell at me. It’s helping to keep the bills paid. Anyway, I digress.

The time management skill is something that I’ve been failing miserably at lately. In fact, the kitchen fork that has brought me such great pleasure has now become a proverbial knife…and it’s stabbing me in the back. In case you have no life experience in the area and/were never warned of it by an overprotective loved one, a sharp knife flailing into your back hurts a lot!

I have 6 weeks of school left before the semester ends, and if I don’t get my organizational act together VERY quickly, I may lose my standing as an exemplary student on the Dean’s list. I’m falling behind because I can’t seem to prioritize my projects in an efficient manner. My heart tells me that the project I need to complete for sales and promotions class is far less important than practicing my cupcake decorating skills. Meanwhile, my head wakes me up at ungodly hours of the night to remind me that my heart doesn’t know what the heck it’s talking about. My head is really great at screaming at me whispering at 3am. It says wonderful things to me like, “Hey Bec, did you forget that you have a 3 page paper to write before your class tomorrow morning? YOU FORGOT?! You are a DOOFUS! Now get up and write it!”… and so I do, but I secretly wish that I could be writing that paper with a homemade cinnamon roll and a fresh cup of coffee.

Does this mean that my days of baking and cooking are over? No, no, no…HELL NO! It just means that I need to practice the “work before play” rule a bit more….and maybe do a load of laundry more than once every 2 weeks.

This week’s lack of domestic motivation caused me to whip up a batch of Sinful C cupcakes.

If you feel like being very naughty, you might want to throw on your stretchy pants and make a batch, too. After all, chocolate fixes most problems. For those of you who haven’t yet become believers in the “chocolate is life” doctrine, I’ll suggest an alternative recipe. It’s a proven fact that eating a healthy breakfast helps you to have a more productive day, and my breakfast strada is right up the healthy road.  ENJOY!

HEALTHY BREAKFAST STRADA

Yield: 8 servings


INGREDIENTS:

5 large egg whites
3 large eggs (with yolk)
1 cup skim milk
8 slices of french or vienna bread, crust removed, cut into 1″ cubes
1/2 cup shredded mozzerella cheese
1 small can of sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup diced onion
3 tsp minced garlic
1 lb. ground turkey sausage
parsley, salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Brown the sausage, adding onion and garlic after 2 or 3 minutes, so it doesn’t burn.
Place the bread into the bottom of a 9.5 x 11 casserole dish or a 9″ stoneware dish and then crumble the sausage mixture over the top. Add the mushrooms, then the cheese.
Whisk together the egg whites, eggs, milk, and seasonings. Pour over the top of the other ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but overnight is better!
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until eggs are set and cheese is melted.

NUTRIONAL INFO

TOTAL SERVINGS = 8
CALORIES PER SERVING = 286.5

Total Fat = 15.4 g
Saturated Fat = 5.3 g
Trans Fat = 0 g
Cholesterol = 118.1 mg
Sodium = 711.4 mg
Potassium = 142.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates = 19.75 g
Fiber = 1.5 g
Sugar = 1.6 g
Protein = 18.61


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