Celebrating More Improvement - Celebrating Life with Paula Blog at Allrecipes.com - 323591

Celebrating Life with Paula

Celebrating More Improvement 
Mar. 13, 2014 11:42 am 
Updated: Mar. 14, 2014 5:30 pm

It's March and my sister and I are going on our third month of caring for our mother. I believe we're finally seeing some consistent improvement. For a while there she would be better, but then have days of worse pain and feeling bad for no reason we could figure out. It seems there are more good days now. (I say that with fingers crossed.) Since my last blog post, she has had her esophagus stretched. That has definitely helped with the swallowing issues. And the speech therapist has said she could stop the pureed foods and eat soft, moist foods. She is still doing her physical therapy exercises and gaining strength. 

While I was at her house, I fixed something similar to LADYBUG'S POPPY SEED CHICKEN CASSEROLE (minus the crackers, poppy seeds, and 1 can of cream of chicken soup - yeah, I know...but I did say it was similar). It's a favorite of hers. I did use the immersion blender just a bit to get the chicken small enough to go down. 

I also fixed SALISBURY STEAK WITH MUSHROOMS (minus mushrooms:) served with mashed potatoes, of course. I found that using regular ground beef, and not the ground chuck I usually use, makes the steak even more tender. She could actually mash it with her fork which gave her the assurance she could chew and swallow it. 

EASY CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS was on the menu as well. I was very surprised at how much she ate. She is definitely eating more now than she did in the beginning when she was experiencing so much pain. 

I took some BAKED TERIYAKI CHICKEN out of the freezer for one of the meals. I had fixed it another time I was there. She informed me that this was the best thing I had made her. 

One of my favorite veggies (and I discovered one of hers) is ACORN SQUASH. So good and so easy to fix!

The soup I made this time was BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP V. I must admit, I've gotten away from processed cheese, but I knew she would love this. I'm thinking I might make it next time using half shredded cheddar and half Velveeta and see how it turns out. I think the Velveeta is what gives it the smooth, velvety texture. 

She is strong enough now (and not dizzy) to get up at night by herself without waking me. Amazing how refreshing it is to just sleep through the night! Before, I would get up and then not be able to go back to sleep. So you can imagine how I felt by the time my week's stay was up. She's also able to bathe and dress herself. She could take the back brace off when I left last time, and I am thrilled that she has now learned how to put it on. I am so happy with the progress she is making. We are really hoping she will be independent by the end of the month. 

When I came home, I knew of one thing I definitely wanted to make. My daughter had sent me a happy in the mail...a spiral vegetable slicer by PADERNO, otherwise known as a spirooli. I've wanted to make yellow squash and zucchini "noodles" ever since I read BD. WELD'S BLOG about zoodles last year. While I've never been a fan of using spaghetti squash as a substitute for noodles, I can totally see using these types of squash, especially now that I've made them! 

I chose to make ZUCCHINI NOODLES for my first recipe. (The more garlic the better!) Then I made a garlic basil tomato reduction to try over them just to see if they would make a good sub for a spaghetti-type dish. I am pleased to report that I have found my new favorite vegetable and a low-carb substitute for noodles! They even heat up well for left-overs! 

I also made bd. weld's newly published recipe CHICKEN ZOODLE SOUP and loved it. My daughter had an opportunity to eat some of it and has decided she is putting a Paderno on her Christmas list!

Any other suggestions for my Paderno? 

Mar. 13, 2014 11:58 am
So very happy to hear of your Mother's improvement!
Mar. 13, 2014 12:24 pm
So glad to hear she is on the mend. I will be checking back to see what is suggested for your new toy!
Mar. 13, 2014 1:02 pm
This is wonderful to hear. I hope progress continues and you establish a normal no surprise routine. I know there are homemade Velvetta recipes on the internet. I've never tried them but perhaps something to consider. http://jcocina.com/homemade-velveeta-cheese-cheese-cake-cheesecake-sundaysupper/
Mar. 13, 2014 3:08 pm
It is so nice to hear your mother is making such good improvement! You really have had a long stretch. Make sure you take care of Paula too.
Mar. 13, 2014 3:29 pm
I'm happy to hear of the improvement. If it wouldn't be for you and your sister, your mother would have likely went backwards instead of forwards. You just can't beat having caring hands care for you.
Mar. 13, 2014 4:31 pm
Yay, Paula! It's so nice to hear some good news! I know you and your sister are relieved a bit, as well. You two have been so loving to her.
Mar. 13, 2014 5:26 pm
HI, Paula, glad to hear about your mothers improvement! sounds like you two are doing a great job taking care of her!
Mar. 13, 2014 5:55 pm
so glad for you and your family paula! you are feeding her some great chow!! i'll continue to pray for all involved.
Mar. 14, 2014 4:37 am
Wow- that is a great update. Love good Mother stories and am happy for all of you. Hugs!
Mar. 14, 2014 5:03 am
Wonderful news of your mother's progress. It must be such a comfort for you and your sister. Job well done.
Mar. 14, 2014 5:14 am
Paula, I a so glad to hear of your mother's progress. I hope she continues to get better! If I had a Zoodle maker I think I would like a nice salad with zoodles!
Mar. 14, 2014 6:48 am
Paula, such great news of your mom. She is so fortunate to have you and your sister. Enjoy your oodles of zoodles.
Mar. 14, 2014 7:39 am
Paula, thank you for taking the time to tell us all your good news about your mom and for sharing the recipes. I hope your mom knows there is a whole big group of people pulling for her on AR. (and for you and your Sis.)
Mar. 14, 2014 4:20 pm
Thanks to all of you. It's so nice to read your sweet, sweet comments and well wishes for my mother, my sister, and me.
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About Me
I'm a wife, mother of 2, and grandmother of 6. I love to cook. I especially like to cook new and different recipes. I don't like to have the same meals week after week. My husband has decided it really doesn't matter whether he likes a new recipe or not because he won't see it again for a very long time anyway!
My favorite things to cook
I like to cook entrees and desserts. I like preparing good, down-to-earth cooking. I also decorate cakes, mostly for the grandchildren now.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Holidays bring out the traditions: chocolate chip cheese ball; crockpot chicken and dressing; and broccoli salad, sweet potatoes and butterscotch pie handed down from past generations. Another thing that must be tradition in my family: we all make new recipes when we have company! My mother, sister, daughter, and I all do this. My daddy never understood why we would risk making something we had never made before. Actually, none of us has ever served company a new recipe that didn't taste good.
My cooking triumphs
Cake decorating: wedding cakes, bridal and baby shower cakes, birthday cakes: Little Pirate, Cinderella, Elmo, Strawberry Shortcake. My friends call me Betty Crocker. When my daughter got married, she had a bridal shower where the guests were asked to write something on an apron. My best friend told her if she needed a recipe or help in the kitchen to ask her mother. If she needed a good place to eat out, ask her.
My cooking tragedies
A 4 tier huge wedding cake that fell apart at 2:00am. Thankfully, I still had time to salvage the cake.
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