Journal

You can’t succeed if you don’t try…

Well I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while, but I’m not going to lie, my personal fears have held me back. Will I be good enough, will people want to read what I write, what will I talk about, and the list goes on and on. But today I decided to say “screw it”. How will I know if I never try. If I fail, I fail, but at least it won’t be because I didn’t even try.

First a little about myself. I’m in my early forties and happily married to my highschool sweatheart.  I work full time, struggle with the normal day to day stresses in life, but overall we have a pretty good life. We don’t have any children, but we do have 2 furbabies. A mixed breed dog named Rosco and a Dogue de Bordeaux named Brogan.

I love to cook, struggle with cleaning (it’s not my favourite thing to do), love photography, paddle boarding (or really anything involving water), animals (especially my dogs), reading, and most recently learning about essential oils and incorporating them into our day to day life.

My goal is to share some of my interests and ideas with all of you. Maybe some of my ideas, recipes or hints and tips will help someone else out. Or if nothing else give you a little escape from your reality.

recipes

Spicy Beef Broccoli

This is a fast easy meal that we have enjoyed for years.

Ingredients:

1 can condensed beef broth (aka beef consume)
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tbsp peanut oil
4 cups broccoli florets
1 cup white onions, sliced
1 lb boneless beef sirloin steak, thinly sliced

Instructions:

Thinly slice your steak (or you can use a roast if you are making a bigger batch). This is easier if the steak is partially frozen.

Once steak is sliced brown in a little oil. Add in broccoli and onions, fry for a bit and then add soy sauce and condensed beef broth and crushed red pepper. Can add more if you like it spicier. Once that has simmered for a bit thicken with water and cornstarch.

Serve over egg noodles, pasta of your choice or mashed potatoes.

Instant pot opinions:

Use your instant pot to saute your thinly sliced steak, once sauted add in your beef consume and soya sauce and pressure cook on high for 15min, then natural release for 10min. Add rest of ingredients and saute until broccoli is partially cooked and then thicken with cornstarch and water.

recipes

The best barbecue sauce

There are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, but trust me it’s worth it. My husband and I have searched for the perfect barbecue sauce for years and tried numerous recipes. We finally each found one that we thought was pretty good, just not perfect. Then we had the brainwave to mix them together. Success, the perfect barbecue sauce.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic minced
1 jalapeño finely chopped
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup beer
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup soya sauce
1/2 cup spiced rum
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp Chipotle sauce
black pepper to taste

Instructions:

Sauté onions and garlic in oil until caramelized, add jalapeño then add dry spices and brown sugar and mix.
add rest of ingredients and simmer until it reduces down to desired thickness.

You can refrigerate the remaining sauce if you don’t use it all. It’s great on ribs, chicken, pork and I love my sausage dipped in it. I also really enjoyed it mixed into my scrambled eggs.

Hopefully you enjoy it as much as we do.

dogs · Journal

Remedy Hemp oil

Someone is tired after our walk

I haven’t written for a while again… seems like I have the best intentions to keep my blog current and then the wheels fall off the bus, life gets busy and honestly a little bit of self doubt creeps in (after all what is so special about what I have to say). I am going to try to be more frequent with my posts again though. I still enjoy doing it.

Last time I wrote about Brogan trying out a fitbit to see if we could catch a dizzy episode or collapse with him, or even just a little insight into what happens when he gets excited. But we were lucky, or I should say are lucky, because the change in his heart meds has seemed to eliminate all his symptoms… hopefully for a long long time. I’m still not brave enough to let him cruise around off leash, but we do go for longer walks and we play in the backyard and he gets really goofy with Rosco and seems to feel good.

He hadn’t been doing a lot of that, even when he wasn’t feeling dizzy or having symptoms from his heart condition. We were noticing that he was sore and had a harder time getting in and out of the truck and definitely wasn’t cruising up and down the hallway and leaping in and out of the bed…then we tried hemp oil. Since then he is a big goof. Always wants to go further on our walks, but his heart still plays him out, just no more discomfort, so he thinks he should be able to go forever. It’s great to see my older guy feels so good that he is determined to go longer, and is always eager to go for a walk. It’s hard to see your furbaby age, but seeing him feel so good again makes me very happy.

He isn’t wearing his fitbit anymore because I think we have everything under control…for the moment anyway. And that is good enough for me…we will continue to do what we can to keep him happy and comfortable, and as healthy as we possibly can.

If you are interested in trying the remedy hemp with you furbaby, or yourself, or just want to learn more about it reach out to me at remedypawsitivevibe@gmail.com

dogs · Journal

Using a fitbit to monitor Brogan’s heart

I saw a post a while ago of a Veterinarian using an apple watch to quickly check a dogs heartrate and figured I’d give it a try with my fitbit versa and Brogan. It worked amazing, but I wasn’t willing to give him my fitbit versa…however I did have an old charge HR that was just sitting in a drawer. I charged it and put it on him…and it works

Now I’m going to leave it on him and hope it does a decent job of monitoring what his heart is doing. We did a holter monitor on him a while ago, but didn’t really find out a whole lot from it, probably because that was only for 48hours, and I don’t think he was very comfortable wearing it. This doesn’t seem to affect him at all. And its mine, so it doesn’t cost me anything for him to wear it or check it.

So what brought this on you might wonder…

He has had more dizzy moments in the past month and I am a little concerned that his condition is getting worse. I managed to catch him before he collapsed 2 weeks ago and his heart was racing so fast I couldn’t count it. For those of you that are new to Brogan’s ongoing heart mystery the racing heart (tachycardia) was what got our initial diagnosis. He was put on a beta blocker to help control that. However it was very obvious that it was happening again. I talked to my Veterinarian the next day and we decided we would try increasing the dose of his beta blocker to see if that would help him out or not. He is now 1 full week into his increased dosage and seems to be doing okay. So now we will go back to more activities and see how he handles them.

I sure hope the fitbit works well enough that we can get a good baseline heartrate for him, and also see what happens when he is excited or when we are going for a walk.

Actually I kinda hope we don’t see any episodes and the fitbit doesn’t need to do anything.

In the meantime we will leave the fitbit on him and see what happens one way or another…

main dishes · recipes

Brined turkey

This Easter we tried something different with our turkey, we didn’t just roast it in the oven, or smoke it on the smoker, we tried a brine instead. I have to say it was one of the most flavourful and moist turkeys we have had. It’s pretty easy, just needs a little extra prep time. We actually put the frozen turkey in a cooler with the brine and it was perfect. We put it in Friday at noon and put it in the oven Sunday at noon.

1 gallon vegetable stock
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup salt
Fresh thyme bunch or 1 Tbsp dry
Fresh rosemary or 1 Tbsp dry
Boil for a few minutes

Then add 1 gallon ice water to whatever container you are going to put the turkey in and soak 24 hrs.

Roast as normal in the oven. We always stuff butter under the skin and did that again with this one.

They say you can also do it with a chicken, you just soak it for less time. I haven’t tried that yet. But when I do I will be sure to share.

dogs

Brogan’s heart mystery

Brogan has beaten the odds, no one had expectations of him making it for more than 4 months after he was diagnosed. We smashed those numbers and he continues to do well. If I’m doing math correctly it’s been 2 1/2 years since his diagnosis, which is amazing and we are so grateful that he is still with us and doing relatively well. He is now starting to show old dog symptoms, so we have added CBD oil to his morning ritual. It’s amazing how big of a difference that has made for him. He has the puppy “zoomies” more often than he has in a long while. It’s a fantastic thing to see him be such a goof again. I didn’t realize that he had slowed down until we see him act like a puppy again.

His heart still gives him a bit of grief (and a little stress for those that love him). He still has had random dizzy spells when he gets excited, but overall we seemed to have it under control. Then this past weekend he had a bad collapse, this one seemed a little different than the ones in the past. He got dizzy, but then when he collapsed and lost consciousness he lost control of his bladder and also went very rigid. It was more like a mini seizure of some sort than his normal faint. I don’t know what to think about that. He’s rarely lost control of his bladder (but it has happened) and I’ve only seen him go rigid once before and that was right before we diagnosed him. So now the neurological link possibility fits a little better. The cardiologist thought there might be a neurological issue that was a contributing factor to his collapses, but no one was really sure how to test that or if it was all a heart issue. Not that this has confirmed anything for anyone. It is just another piece in the complex puzzle that has become our life with Brogan. His most recent collapse makes me realize that we do really need to enjoy every minute we have with him.

main dishes · recipes

Spring/egg rolls in a bowl

I’m sure by now you have all seen the instant pot recipe for egg rolls in a bowl…I had looked through numerous versions, but none of them seemed like they needed the instant pot, and they didn’t sound as appealing as my sister in laws spring rolls (she is from Thailand and makes the BEST springrolls). I have helped her make springrolls a few times, and I suck at it. They are a lot of work and I’m too slow at rolling them. By the time I’m done making them we would have caved and ordered something 🙂 So I figured I would take her recipe and just make it into the egg roll in a bowl that everyone is sharing on social media. We had them last night, and they were amazing. I also think they are much healthier because nothing is deep fried.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb ground beef or pork
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup broccoli slaw
  • 2 small packages of rice vermicelli
  • 2 small pckg of beef oxo
  • 2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 pckg egg roll wrap

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. put vermicelli in a big bowl with warm water for 15min and drain
  2. fry ground pork or beef until no longer pink
  3. add all remaining ingredients (minus wrappers) and fry until vegetables are tender, once veggies are tender add the vermicelli noodles in and mix well
  4. while that is cooking slice the wontons into wide strips, brush with oil and bake at 350 for ~10min until crispy
  5. serve with your favourite spring/egg roll dipping sauce.