Tuesday, May 21, 2013


This past weekend was a pretty big one for me and my family. I'm the youngest in my family, not just between my brother and I, but of all the grandchildren on both sides. I am also the last one to graduate college, which was accomplished on May 18th. I got my Bachelors of Science in Food Service Management to go along with my Associates of Science in Baking and Pastry. My Grandmother Jo was able to drive in from Utah to see me graduate, which put me over the moon on the happiness scale.

After graduation we had a get together with some friends and family. We of course celebrated with excessive amounts of food. Throughout the afternoon people milled around the dining room table snacking on a veggie tray and conversing about life, with a general feel of merriment.

If graduating from college wasn't enough I also turned 22 on May 19th. Again we had a small get together with just family this time, and was mostly to eat up the leftovers from the day before. I'm planning on going up to Blackhawk/Central City to go do some gambling with the money I got for my birthday. I figured this year I've had enough bad luck that I'm due for some good, so why not try it out there. Also at my favorite casino there they give you a present if you come in during your birthday month, last year I got a cup that I love.

My plans for now are to keep working at Tipsy Cupcakes and Desserts. Try to move out of my parents house and live life to the fullest.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Chinese food

I've had two recent experiences with Chinese food, and they were complete opposites. I ordered delivery from New Ya Ting and I went to Mr. Panda's Super Buffet.

Mr. Panda's Super Buffet was some of the worst food I have ever had, let alone Chinese. It included dishes like beef broccoli, and had a whole section of seafood, with crab legs. I love crab legs, in my mind it is pretty hard to ruin crab legs for me, and yet Mr. Panda's ruined them. First off they were served cold, which wouldn't be that big of a deal to me, but they were absolutely water logged. I got over that, but I couldn't get over the fact that when I poured what I thought was butter over my crab meat and took my first bite there was a taste that didn't belong. A feeling that this wasn't truly butter. I tasted it by itself and realized that it was butter flavored shortening, which completely ruined crab meat that wasn't perfect to begin with.

Let me compare dish to dish now,
Cheese wontons: Mr. Panda's were over done and there wasn't any cheese inside. New's were perfectly crisp and filled with delicious creamy cheesy goodness.

Beef broccoli: Mr. Panda's had tough and chewy beef with fall apart broccoli, not to mention it was a little on the cold side. New's was a little salty, but nice tender beef with broccoli that was still a little crisp.

Egg rolls: Mr. Panda's were not crisp and still drenched in oil. New's had a bit of excessive grease that dribbled down my arm when I took a bite, but the crunch was worth the dribble.

Orange chicken: Mr. Panda's was just spicy, no flavor or hints of orange. New's had a small kick to it, but also had a bit of sweetness and a wonderfully fragrant burst of orange.

Service (in a roundabout way, not the traditional sense)
Mr. Panda's staff was friendly enough but did not seem to be on point about what they were supposed to do. They were slow at clearing the discarded plates, and when asked a question they were very confused and could not give a straight answer the first time you asked. New's delivery driver was early with our food, and made sure that we got everything we ordered. He even came back up to the door when he realized that the egg rolls we had ordered were still in his car.

The same number of people went to the buffet as when I ordered delivery. For the buffet it cost us around $60 for four. The delivery was around $40-50 with delivery fee for four, and we were able to get multiple meals out of it for a couple of days. I would gladly pay for the delivery any day, on its worst day it is still better than the best day that Mr. Panda's could do.

Monday, May 6, 2013

GMOs: Genetically Modified Organisms

There is so much controversy about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that I thought I would jump on the chance to write a little bit about it.

The good
We are in a drought, but we still need to produce food. GMOs to the rescue. These plants are bred to survive in drought conditions, which is something that we need badly. They are also being designed to have a higher yield, enhanced nutrition, and other consumer benefits. We need to be able to produce the most amount of food with the highest nutritional value using the least amount of water. While it is not available at the current time these are promises for the future, which at the rate the population is growing is some places we might need to have those GMO crops sooner rather than later. 

The bad
 We don't know exactly how these modified organisms are going to affect humans. There could be a long term affect that we don't know about yet, such as an intolerance to certain food or allergies or our bodies weren't made to eat something like a GMO crop.
They are harming the environment because they are herbicide resistant and they use of certain herbicides does damage to the soil. It is also aiding in the production of super weeds and super bugs.
The GMOs are things that do not happen naturally and when they are introduced into the environment there is no controlling what might cross breed and what those cross breeds might be capable of.

How I feel
 I have mixed feelings about GMOs. I feel that they are going to be necessary in the future but I also don't like the idea of not knowing what harm they could do to human beings. We already know that they are harming the environment since they are designed to be herbicide resistant, which means that we are having to find more harmful substances to destroy the super weeds that the GMOs created. I'm not really for or against GMOs, I am for more research into the subject. I will be for GMOs if they turn out to do more good than harm, but for now I am sticking against them until we know more about them.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Hospital Food

Disclaimer, I talk about being sick to my stomach. Not in a gross detailed way but I do say throw up a few times. Also at the end is a picture of my stomach post-operation.
I have been in many different hospitals, never the patient though, until this year. I would go visit my mom while she was working. I've visited my sick friends, to give them moral support. Since I was just there for a few hours at most, I never felt the absolute need to eat from the cafeteria, I could just leave and find some place that had a place in my mind as being better. Most recently I can recall being at the hospital with my best friend while she was giving birth and when the support team got hungry we went down the street to Panera instead of eating at the cafeteria.

A few years ago my dad was hospitalized for weeks and I remember going down the street to Jimmy Johns instead of the cafeteria for lunches because it was quick and a little bit of a break from the hospital. During that time it was hard during meal times because I would be the only one making meals and I don't know how to make much. I do know how to make a few things from scratch but I never seemed to want to and when I did I would make the same things over and over again until I was tired of them. I would make my mom dinner on nights that she would come home from taking care of him and that would be scrambled eggs and toast. I remember one day that my dad was allowed to have pureed food and it looked and smelled disgusting. They had liquefied eggs and hash browns, I'm sure there were other items but I just remember those two, and I thought to myself "who purees eggs?" and "if I'm ever hospitalized and put on a soft foods diet I would never order pureed eggs."

This year has been a pretty rough year for me. At the end of December I was diagnosed with mononucleosis (mono) or the "kissing disease", not a huge deal, I could live with that. I was told not to go snowboarding because the spleen can become enlarged and if it gets hit really hard while enlarged it would rupture and I would most likely die from internal bleeding. I was fine with that, I could wait a year to go snowboarding. Toward the end of January, I was feeling pretty good, didn't have any symptoms that persisted and I went snowshoeing with my brother and his wife. I got a sore throat and was pretty sick with that for about a week, it just felt like the flu. Thursday the 14th of February I started to feel funky, I was running a fever and my tonsils had swollen up. By Saturday I was unable to swallow anything and went into the ER. They re-hydrated me, gave me some pain meds and steroids to help with the swelling, and sent me on my way.

A few days later I went in to see an Ear Nose and Throat doctor to see about getting my tonsils out. That was really hard to get scheduled, during the course of scheduling it was set up for three different days. They ended up taking my tonsils and adenoids out on the 28th of February. I recovered better and quicker than anyone thought I would. After recovering from that I started to have some left side abdominal pain, my primary care doctor thought that it might still be mono related and that my spleen was enlarged. She ordered an ultrasound to check. My spleen was fine, but they found that my gall bladder was full of gall stones and would need to be taken out at some point. I wanted to wait until after graduation to do it so that I wouldn't have to worry about taking any days off from school.

Saturday morning on April  27th I started to get some pain after eating, but didn't really think anything of it. I went about my day, even going into work and working a full shift. I was in a bit more pain when I came home that evening, but I went to bed and woke up with no pain on Sunday. I ate something and the pain came back, again I ignored it and went to work. It got worse throughout the day. My mom debated taking me into the ER, but consulted a friend that is stomach doctor. He said that it could wait and I should consult my primary care doctor in the morning. Monday morning I went in, and they drew some blood and felt my stomach. They sent me on my way and told me that if the pain got worse to go to the ER. I ate some food and the pain got worse. I ignored the pain and went to class. While in class the pain started to shoot up to about an 8 out of 10. I went home. That is when things took a dive for the worse, I started to throw up anything that touched my stomach. I was starting to run a fever, my mom decided it was time to take me to the ER.  By 1:00 am Tuesday morning I was admitted to the hospital and told that I would be having surgery to remove my gall bladder later on that day.

2:30 pm Tuesday afternoon I was in surgery.  I don't remember much after that until about 6:30 pm when I was finally allowed to eat. I ordered some chicken noodle soup with crackers and apple juice. The soup came in this heavy duty black bowl with a flimsy plastic lid to keep the heat in. It was much like the Campbell chicken noodle soup in a can, it might even have been out of the can. All I know was it was some of the best chicken noodle soup I have ever had, maybe that was just the fact that I hadn't had food in over 24 hours. Those pureed eggs might have even tasted good, who knows. The hospital discharged me because I was able to eat and keep the food down. I got to sleep in my own bed without being woken up every so often by nurses checking on me. I am doing pretty well, in some pain still but that is expected after surgery.

I really wanted to see my gall bladder after they took it out, but the surgeon wouldn't show it to me... oh well it probably would have grossed me out anyways.