June 30, 2010

Taste the doo-doo? (ahem)

I was reading the newspaper earlier this evening and came across an interesting article titled: What's for dinner? You may not want to know. (by Karen Youso)

Well, that's nothing compared with what you don't see in your strawberry yogurt or the sprinkles on your doughnut.

Crushed bugs. You've been eating them for years. You just didn't know it.

That's right.

The "color added" ingredient in some red, pink and purple foods is carmine, the dried and crushed bodies of the female cochineal insect. The cactus-loving insect is used to color ice cream, yogurt, fruit juices and more.

"They're harvested in Mexico, processed in large plants. I've seen them," said Gary Reineccius, professor of food science at the University of Minnesota.

You may not have known, because they were hiding under the "color added" listing on the label, but you soon will. Starting in January, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requiring manufacturers to switch from the "color added" label listing to "carmine" or "cochineal extract."

Consumers should know what's going into their food "to promote safe, healthy diets," said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and part of the effort to require manufacturers to change their product labels.

Ingredients such as carmine have come under fire because they have been known to cause severe allergic reactions in some people. Those allergic reactions, along with a few subsequent lawsuits, have led some manufacturers to stop using carmine.

Other people with dietary restrictions, such as Jews and Muslims, may not consider some products kosher if these ingredients are included. But even those without restrictions might be a little squeamish if they knew what was going into some of their food. The CSPI wants the FDA to go even further, labeling carmine as insects on packaging. After all, few people recognize carmine or cochineal as something that comes from bugs.

People would be disgusted if they knew crushed bugs were in their food, Jacobson said. "We urge the FDA to at least indicate these ingredients are of insect origins, but the industry opposes that because nobody would buy the product."

Using ingredients like carmine can be deceptive, according to Jacobson, because the color it gives to products makes it appear as though there is real fruit included when there often isn't.

Some other surprising food ingredients with an ick factor include:

Shellac: The secretions from the lac beetle found in India and Thailand are used to give confections such as Skittles and candy sprinkles a shiny coating.

"Nothing synthetic does this as well," Reineccius said, adding that, yes, it's the same shellac that's used to finish wood. Jacobson said it can also be used on fruits and vegetables to seal them.

Rennet: An enzyme taken from veal calves at the time of slaughter is added to milk to make cheese. At some point in ancient history, someone put milk in a bag made of a calf's stomach and discovered that it curdled, and cheese was born. A non-animal version is microbial enzyme. It sounds better when it's listed as "vegetable rennet" on cheese labels.
Honey: The sweetener that's been used for thousands of years is basically regurgitated pollen. Some prefer it because it's completely natural, but many might just want to forget where it's been.

Castoreum: It's a secretion from the anal glands of beavers, used mostly in perfumes and sometimes to enhance raspberry flavor in candies and fillings. How did it make the jump from beavers to perfume?

"Probably by accident," he said. "More than likely somebody was hunting and, guess what, they used all of the animal. They said, 'That's an interesting aroma, and how can we use that?.'"

If you'd never imagined ingredients like these being used in your foods, you'd be even more surprised by what Jacobson says your food would look like without these products: Not different at all.

"They'd use some other coloring," he said. "They need to give it some color, and it just gives it what they consider the right color."

June 29, 2010

Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman- Dinner & Movies

I love Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. I got the complete series on DVD for my birthday a few years ago. I decided it was time to finally watch them. I got Kristen into the show as well. I told her after she we were both done watching all of the episodes then we would have a Dr. Quinn dinner and watch the movies and that time came this past Sunday night.

DR. QUINN, MEDICINE WOMAN, a high-spirited, Western family adventure series. It's built around the exploits of Dr. Michaela ("Mike") Quinn, a refined woman doctor who moves from the highly civilized world of mid-19th century Boston to a rough-hewn frontier town in 1860s Colorado to start her own medical practice.

While the headstrong Michaela can be tough, she was never prepared her for such a rugged world where the people are as coarse as the climate and their ideas seem from another time. By having Dr. Quinn's sophisticated values clash with the considerably cruder mindset of her Western neighbors, the series is able to explore situations and issues that are very much a part of life today. Whether championing the cause of gun control, exposing environmental polluters, battling disease or sexist cowboys, or liberating oppressed frontier women, Dr. Mike, at great personal risk, bucks the conventional wisdom of the Old West and emerges as more than just a pioneering feminist.

In the tradition of "Little House on the Prairie," DR. QUINN, MEDICINE WOMAN is steeped in traditional family values and an understanding of the spirit and strength that built America.

For our 'Dr. Quinn dinner' we had fried chicken, mashed potatoes and biscuits!

And for dessert Kristen made a peach pie! MMMMM

I'm sad that the series is over but at least when I feel like I need some Dr. Quinn I can always pull out the DVD's and have a marathon. :)

FXBG Photo show

I entered my foot prints picture and sheepy picture into the FXBG photo show this year. On Sunday, we (Kristen, Dave, Nate and me) went to check out the show and to pick up our pics.

My foot prints picture got honorable mention! Yey, I got a ribbon. :)

My cute sheepy picture. :)


Saturday night, Nate and I played paparazzi for one of my sister radio stations. It was a birthday bash for one of my DJ friends Blaze.

Blaze steppin' out of the limo.

Tony B

Dora (Tony's wife)

Tony and Marion

The cake!
Tony @ work on the T's.

Marion @ work on the T's.

Sister Day

I had sister day with my little sister Ashley this past Saturday. We went to her townhouse apartment and checked it out and then we went to Martin's for some lunch and some hot dogs to grill later. We had lunch then got in our bathing suits and of course put on sun screen then went swimming. :) We swam all day. It was very hot out but the pool made it so much better. We grilled some hot dogs for dinner and then swam a little more. It was a nice day catching up and enjoying the pool. :)

June 24, 2010

Chocolate Covered Bacon

I'd been hearing about Chocolate covered bacon and I knew I needed to try it. I made a few strips of bacon, then let it cool while I was melting some chocolate morsels. Once the morsels were melted I dipped the bacon into the chocolate covering both sides. Then I put them on a plate and placed them in the fridge/ freezer till the chocolate has hardened. I tried it. It's the perfect little salty with sweet. LOVE! :)

Weekend Fun

This past Saturday, we met at Kristen's for a cookout and then met at the diamond to see a Richmond Squirrel's game.

Dillon watching the game! :)

Dave, the water boy! :) He was my HERO! It was so hot and the water was so good. :)

Funny billboard. Diaper butt baby! LOL

June 17, 2010

Blaze's birthday bash.....Hangover skit!!

If you love the Hangover then you have to watch this skit that some of my fellow DJ friends (John Blaze, Marion, Tony B, Geoff and a couple of our summer interns) made the other day as a promo for the upcoming Blaze's Hollywood Birthday Bash! It's funny!! :) And Marion's (DJ too much) shirt is way too funny once he turns it around and you see it!! haha

June 15, 2010

Cherries and Nectarines

I am totally in love with BING Cherries!! They are sweet, good and healthy. :)

I picked up some ripe nectarines yesterday. How cute is this one? It still has the little leaves on it. :)

Pictures for the show...

I've entered 2 pictures into the FXBG photo show. I decided to go with 2 pictures. This is my first year entering. I have my pictures matted and ready to go with the plastic hangers and label on the back. I'm excited. I'll be dropping them off later this week (along with Kristen's pics) and then next week I'll go back to see if they won. :)

June 14, 2010

For the next 5 days....

I've made myself a goal to drink 2 slim fast drinks a day and eat 1 meal for the next 5 days. My friend Jessica, got me the slim fast drinks and I'm determined to do this. A meal of veggies and fruits. Wish me luck!!! I know I can do this!!! :)

I'll edit this blog through out the week with my progress! :)

Day 1: Doing good. I had a shake for breakfast and lunch. I went to the store and bought a lot of veggies and fruits. I'll make a salad to take to work tonight along with some fruits. I also worked out for an hour at the gym this morning! So far things are good! :)

Day 2: Things still good. I've already lost 2 pounds! :) I had a shake for breakfast and lunch again today. For snacks, I have some fruit and a little bit of reduced fat peanut butter on a green apple. And for dinner I'll have some whole grain rice, fruit and some carrots and cucumbers.

Day 3: Today, I had a slim fast for breakfast and one for lunch. I also worked out for over an hour at the gym today. For some snacks, I'll be having a green apple with some reduced fat peanut butter, and some bing cherries. I haven't had soda since Sunday. I've only been drinking water, and lots of it too. :) For dinner, I'm going to have some baked beans, corn, and fruit. And of course, I'll bring fruit for snacks. I've thought about different foods that I love. Like, pizza or steak sliders from Red Robin but I know that food will be there next week. I'm still determined that I can get through this without indulging in a bunch of bad foods. :)

Day 4: Well it's now day 4. I continued with having slim fast for breakfast and one for lunch. I had a snack a while ago. My new favorite, green apple with reduced fat peanut butter. MMMM For dinner tonight I will have some left over baked beans and corn. And I'll bring the last of the bing cherries for a snack. Guess it's time to go to the store for some more cherries! :)

Day 5: My last day!! I'm so glad. Today, is actually the first day that I'm really hungry!! haha I had a slim fast for breakfast, and then again for lunch. I also worked out for an hour today. For a snack I had a green apple with peanut butter. For dinner I had whole grain rice. For snacks tonight I have a banana and an apple. By midnight tonight I will be done and glad that I made it. :)

June 11, 2010

Bravo Cucina Italiana

Today, Jessica and I went to lunch at a new place in the Village at Spotsylvania Towne Centre.
We went to Bravo Cucina (means Kitchen) Italiana. :) We sat outside. I ordered the Meatball sliders and Jess got the Grilled chicken sandwich. Everything was awesome!! I so want to go again. :)

June 8, 2010

Apple Blueberry Pie

I decided to make my first pie today. I filled the pie with apple and blueberry filling. :) At first I was just going to make apple but I only had 1 can of apple filling and 1 can of blueberry filling so I thought putting them together sounded cool.

I put more slits in the crust that I probably should have but I didn't care. I think it's cute!

After about 1 hour and 10 min the pie is done! :)

Look at some of the filling oozing out. Cool!!

I wanted to try a piece before I left for work so I cut a hot slice and added some redi whip. DELISH!! :)

Star Gazer Lillies

All last week I've been waiting for them to pop with beautiful flowers. Over this past weekend they finally bloomed. :)

June 7, 2010

World APS Day

I have Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome. For short it's called APS. ".

Wednesday, June 9th is proclaimed "World APS day". Please show your support by spreading awareness by wearing burgundy!!

For more info on APS you can check out apsfa.org.

Thanks!! :)

June 6, 2010

Sex & the City 2

Tonight Kristen, Melissa, Crystal and I went to Muvico and saw Sex & the City 2. I liked it! I didn't like the part with Liza Minnelli. I didn't get why she was in the movie. And she sang Beyonce's "All the single ladies". I mean really? LOL

Left to Right: Miranda, Samantha, Carrie and Charlotte!

One of my favorite parts was when the girls were doing Karaoke while in Abu Dhabi. They sang 'I am women'.

Overall, the movie was kinda cheesy but fun. I could see how some people would be offended by some of the things they did or said but come on people it's just a movie. It was fun! :)

After the movie we had a great dinner and great conversation at Firebirds. Love that BLT salad and Chicken Tortilla soup. :) MMMMM!!!

Virginia Renaissance Faire

Today, Kristen and I drove out to the Lake Anna Winery for the Virginia Renaissance Faire. Our goal this year was to try a scotch egg. (We went last year with Ashley but we didn't have the guts to try the scotch egg.)

Cute little sign...

Scotch egg.....A hard boiled egg, wrapped in sausage then deep fried. So good! :)

The Queen walking around the grounds.

The Queen
Alpacas! :)
A drunk pirate. :) (It was Pirate invasion themed)

Pretty blue hydrangeas.

Fun times!!! :)