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04 Sep 13:12

Aitch’s Rebellion Against Academic Anatomy

by Vanessa Ruiz

Aitch Beautiful Us Blood

Aitch Beautiful Us Skeleton

Aitch Beautiful Us Head

Aitch Beautiful Us Skull

Aitch Beautiful Us Womb

Aitch Beautiful Us Torso

Aitch Beautiful Us Series

In the 7 years of running Street Anatomy I’ve had the pleasure of listening to and reading about artists’ motivations for using human anatomy in their work. It ranges from having parents with medical backgrounds, to dealing with a chronic disease, to a fascinating anatomy lesson in school, and beyond. Romanian illustrator Aitch, was not so impressed with her past encounter with anatomy. Aitch says of her experience,

“I chose to work on this project because i always had an issue with the human anatomy. All those years in college and at the university made me so bitter to the academic/strict ways of dealing with the human form in such a degree that, now, my whole style is based on avoiding realistic body shapes and embracing awkward proportions and weird-fun characters.”

Her series titled “Beautiful Us” puts specific anatomy on display in a storybook feel, isolating organs and crafting a magical environment around them. All created in rich watercolor on paper.

View more of Aitch’s stunning work at aitch.ro and Behance! She also sells prints of her work via Society 6, although none of her anatomy series is available yet.

 

 

11 Sep 15:00

Candle Attachments Turn Candles Into Mini Bat-Signals [Video]

by Amy Ratcliffe

bat-signal candle 1

Get ready to turn your house into the safest version of Gotham City ever with these small Bat-Signals. Made by Geekhex, the 3D printed Bat-Signals are built to be inserted into a candle with prongs; you’ll be able to summon a tiny Batman in a heartbeat. You can order the signal in various types of metal and choose from Bat-Signals over the ages including designs from 1992, 2001, 2003, and 2008.

See the other eras of Bat-Signals available and see them in action after the break.

bat-signal candle 2

bat-signal candle 3

bat-signal candle 4

bat-signal candle 5

Product Page ($35 via Oh Gizmo)








08 Sep 12:35

Orange Chicken

by Ree

DSC_5209I made this Orange Chicken on my Food Network show a few weeks ago, and I just realized yesterday that I’d never shared the recipe here on my totes cray recipe blog. So yesterday, as I whipped some up for lunch, I took photos and documented the step-by-step process. For I am a foodblogger. And that’s what foodbloggers do.

As I explained on the show, wherein I whipped up my girls’ and my favorite Chinese take-out dishes, every Friday when we go to Tulsa to our all-day homeschool co-op, one of the rewards the girls and I look forward to is a lunch from Panda Express. To three females who live on an isolated ranch, being less than 5 minutes away from drive-through Chinese food is enough to keep us going back to co-op week after week. My preferences can fluctuate wildly between things like Kung Pao Chicken and Beijing Beef—whatever I’m in the mood for—and Alex’s stay more in the Beef-and-Broccoli realm. But for Paige, it’s all Orange Chicken, all the time. She loves it and can’t get enough.

Here’s how to make Orange Chicken in the comfort of your own kitchen! It’s a very citrusy, very sweet chicken dish; Definitely worth trying if you’ve never had it before.

 
 
 
Orange ChickenFirst get the chicken ready. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs, because I love their texture and flavor—particularly in Chinese dishes. But chicken breasts will work just fine, too; just be sure to cut whatever chicken you use into small, bite-sized pieces.

 
 
 
Orange ChickenNow, for orange chicken (and other similar sticky chicken dishes), the coating for the chicken is key! It starts with 4 egg whites. I do the back-and-forth-between-the-two-halves-of-the-shell thing, but you can separate the whites however your heart, soul, or family tradition dictates.

 
 
 
Orange ChickenTo the egg whites, add some cornstarch…

 
 
 
Orange ChickenAnd whisk it together…

 
 
 
Orange ChickenUntil the mixture is totally combined and a little bit frothy.

 
 
 
Orange ChickenSo now, just throw in the chicken pieces…

 
 
 
Orange ChickenAnd smush them around so that they’re all coated in the egg white/cornstarch mixture. Just let them sit in there for 5 to 10 minutes while you get the sauce going.

 
 
 
Orange ChickenI used a nonstick skillet, which works really well, but you can use any skillet…or just a saucepan. The sauce starts with orange juice! Easy peasy.

 
 
 
Orange ChickenThen comes all the other good stuff: Soy sauce…

 
 
 
Orange ChickenBrown sugar (or you can use white sugar or even honey instead!)…

 
 
 
Orange ChickenVinegar (this is rice vinegar, but you can just use regular white vinegar)…

 
 
 
Orange ChickenSesame oil (there’s nothing like it in the world)…

 
 
 
Orange ChickenA little salt…

 
 
 
Orange ChickenSome red pepper flakes (the spice is very nice!)…

 
 
 
Orange ChickenSome garlic (I grated it in with a microplane, but you can just mince it if you prefer)…

 
 
 
Orange ChickenThe garlic is important in the sauce, so don’t skip it.

Sorry to be bossy.

 
 
 
Orange ChickenNext up: Fresh ginger, if you can get it. Just cut a piece, slice off the skin…

 
 
 
Orange ChickenAnd grate it or mince it, just like you did the garlic.

 
 
 
Orange ChickenFinally, a little orange zest.

Orange zest is so purty.

And so citrusy.

And so…zesty.

Yum.

 
 
 
Orange ChickenWhisk it around until it’s all combined and heat it over medium-low heat until it’s heated through and barely starting to thicken.

I’ll say this more than once, but it’s important: Be sure to taste the sauce and add more of whatever your tastebuds want. Some folks like more soy, some like more garlic or ginger, some need a little more salt. I think this sauce is highly personal…so just use my quantities as a guide.

 
 
 
Orange ChickenNow it’s time to fry the chicken: Heat some vegetable or peanut oil (I used the latter) over medium heat, or until it registers around 350 on an oil thermometer—not too hot, but not too cool! Then, using tongs, carefully drop individual chicken pieces in so they won’t stick together. You’ll need to do this in 4 or 5 different batches; you don’t want to crowd the pan or it’ll be a royal mess.

IMPORTANT: If you have small kids in the house, please ALWAYS put pots of hot oil on the back burner. Curious kiddos can reach up and grab handles…and terrible accidents can happen! So hot oil = backburner. Thank you for listening to Pioneer Woman.

 
 
 
Orange ChickenLet the pieces fry for 2 to 3 minutes for the first stage. They’ll be slightly golden, but not dark yet (if they browned really quickly, the oil’s too hot.)

 
 
 
Orange Chicken Take them out…

 
 
 
Orange ChickenAnd set them on a paper towel-lined plate. Keep going until all the chicken has been fried.

 
 
 
Orange ChickenThen comes the fun part. Grab a batch of the fried chicken from the plate…

 
 
 
Orange ChickenAnd plunge it back into the hot oil for another minute. This just “solidifies” the coating and gives it a little more structure…whatever that means. Ha. And truth be told, it would probably be fine just to fry the chicken all the way through during the first frying stage. This is just the way I do it, man. I’m old and set in my ways.

 
 
 
Orange ChickenWhen the chicken has fried for the additional minute, drain it on a new paper towel. Note that the coating isn’t hard and crisp as it would be if you’d used a batter; it’s very light. Just right!

 
 
 
Orange ChickenNow it’s just time to finish up the sauce: Combine a little cornstarch…

 
 
 
Orange ChickenWith a little water…

 
 
 
Orange ChickenAnd pour this into the sauce, whisking it to combine.

 
 
 
Orange ChickenTurn up the heat just long enough to let the cornstarch thicken the sauce…

 
 
 
Orange ChickenThen remove it from the heat…

 
 
 
Orange ChickenAnd throw in the chicken!

 
 
 
Orange ChickenQuickly toss it around to get the chicken all coated. There is not an abundance of sauce—just enough to coat the chicken.

 
 
 
Orange ChickenI really wanted to drive home the orange, so I grated up some more zest…

 
 
 
Orange ChickenAnd tossed it in. (You can see the benefit of the nonstick skillet here; all the sauce ends up on the chicken rather than stuck to the pan!)

 
 
 
Orange ChickenNow, of course, you can serve the orange chicken with chow mein or fried rice…but it’s absolutely lovely on its own. (One thing a savory side dish like fried rice or noodles can do, though, is provide a counter to the sweetness of the chicken. Food for thought.)

 
 
 
Orange ChickenA little sliced green onion adds a little extra prettiness…and flavor, of course.

 
 
 
Orange ChickenVery flavorful, very citrusy, very good! If you’re a fan of orange chicken, give this one a try sometime. Just remember that you can customize the sauce to your taste, adding more ginger, garlic, soy…anything that makes you happy in life!

 
 
 
Orange ChickenHere’s the handy dandy printable.

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Recipe

Orange Chicken

Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Difficulty:
Easy
Servings:
4

Ingredients

  • Vegetable Or Peanut Oil For Frying
  • Chicken
  • 4 whole Egg Whites
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs, Cut Into Bite Sized Pieces
  • Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup Orange Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Packed Brown Sugar (OR White Sugar OR Honey)
  • 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar (or Regular Distilled Vinegar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • Dash Of Salt
  • Dash Of Crushed Red Pepper, More To Taste
  • 1 clove Garlic, Pressed Or Minced
  • 2 teaspoons Minced Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Cornstarch (additional)
  • Zest Of 1 Orange (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 2 whole Green Onions, Sliced

Preparation Instructions

For the chicken: In a large bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and egg whites with a fork until almost frothy, about 1 minute. Add the chicken to the mixture and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

For the sauce: Meanwhile, put the orange juice, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, salt, crushed red pepper, garlic and ginger (and orange zest, if using) in a small nonstick skillet and whisk together. Heat until bubbling and starting to thicken, about 3-4 minutes.

Whisk together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch slurry to the sauce. Mix in and thicken for 1 minute. (If sauce gets overly thick, just add in another 1/4 cup water and whisk in.)

Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed pot until a deep-fry thermometer inserted in the oil registers 350 degrees F. In batches, carefully drop a few pieces of chicken into the oil (drop them in one by one to keep them from sticking together) and move it around, 2-3 minutes or until light golden. Let the pieces drain on a plate lined with paper towels for 2 to 3 minutes. Then drop them back into the oil for 1 minute to really solidify the coating.

Toss the chicken in the sauce and serve immediately with orange zest and sliced green onions on the top.

Posted by Ree | The Pioneer Woman on September 8 2014

10 Sep 08:07

Baking Bootcamp: Apple Pie Biscuits

by joythebaker

apple pie biscuits

Baking is all about sharing. Sharing recipes, sharing techniques, and most definitely sharing biscuits!

It’s time for our second challenge in the Baking Bootcamp series with King Arthur Flour!  You blew me away by baking the Triple Berry Braided Bread with me for our first challenge.  Hundreds of you participated and made the most lovely loaves of bread studded with summer berries.  I’m so happy you took the time to bake with me! It really means so much.  Let’s do it again, shall we!?

Apple Pie Biscuits

For this month’s Baking Bootcamp Challenge, we’re exploring King Arthur Flour’s Self-Rising Flour.  It’s a wonderfully light white flour combined with non-aluminum baking powder and salt.  It’s absolutely perfect for biscuits, pancakes, and muffins.  It’s a staple in my kitchen when it comes to perfectly fluffy, no-fuss biscuits.  Hop on this bandwagon and let’s get baking!  Below I’ll offer some alternatives for a DIY self-rising flour and a gluten-free option.  I want all of us in biscuit mode!

Here is a reminder of how Baking Bootcamp works:

Four Flours + Four Recipes Challenges + One Instagram #bakingbootcamp

+ Four Awesome Sets of Prizes!

The idea is simple!

• Make these Apple Pie Biscuits (they’re sooo delicious!) and take a picture of your creation!

• Follow @joythebaker and @kingarthurflour on Instagram

• Photograph your beautiful biscuits and post them to Instagram with the hashtag #bakingbootcamp

• When you submit a photo, you’ll be entered to win a one year supply of King Arthur Flour and a Baking Essentials box valued at $250!! Official rules and details can be found here.

I’ll be answering questions and sharing your photographs here on Joy the Baker. By entering the challenge you’ll also have amazing Apple Pie Biscuits in your kitchen, so… you really can’t lose.

Let’s get started!

Baking Bootcamp Essentials II

 1 • King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising Flour is perfectly soft and rolls out beautifully for these tender biscuits.

2 • I use this King Arthur Flour Bench Knife just about everyday in my kitchen. It’s perfect for scraping little dough bits from the countertop… something a sponge just pitifully attacks. You might also use the bench knife to slice though the center of the rolled dough. It’s sharp too! I love this tool!

3 • Kitchen fashion is important to me. Hedley & Bennett understands my needs for a functional, durable, totally chic apron. Not too frilly. I always want to be more badass than 50′s housewife-y in the kitchen.

4 • My Cast Iron Skillets are a staple in my everyday kitchen. Some are more successfully seasoned than others, but I try to keep some cast iron specifically for savory and other just for sweets.

5 • Having Colorful Mixing Bowls is the kitchen equivalent of having a great black dress in your closet. Necessary treat.

6 • Vegetable Peelers with good finger grips to peel apples in a flash!

7 • I inherited a Marble Rolling Pin from a family friend and now I don’t know how I’ve gone without one for so long! This piece has great weight and can be chilled in the refrigerator prior to rolling to keep our doughs more amiable.

8 • Don’t skimp on good Silicone Spatulas. The ones that melt along with the butter are just infuriating.

9 • Is it normal to have a completely mismatched set of Measuring Cups, or should I just treat myself to a matching set like this? Don’t answer that…

10 • Same goes for the Measuring Spoons… it’s nice to have a full matching set.

11 • I go through Paring Knives like I go through socks.  How is it possible to have them one day and then lose them the next? I don’t know.  Clearly I have an issue.

Apple Pie Biscuits

Let’s get baking!  #bakingbootcamp

photos in this post by Jon Melendez

Apple Pie Biscuits

 This super easy biscuit recipe features King Arthur Flour’s Unbleached Self-Rising Flour.  I encourage you to go buy a bag and experience just how convenient it is!  Self-rising flour has a lower protein content (8.5%) than all-purpose flour (11.7%) because it’s made using a soft wheat flour rather than the hard wheat flour that makes up all-purpose flour.  The lower protein content makes the flour extra light, creating wonderfully tender biscuits.

Self-rising flour also contains non-aluminum baking powder and a dash of salt so we don’t have to deal with measuring spoons and extra additions.

How to make your own Self-Rising Flour: 1 cup all-purpose flour + 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder + 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Of course, if using all-purpose flour, the protein content will be a bit higher. Whisk together until thoroughly combined.

How to make your own Gluten-Free Self-Rising Flour:  1 cup King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour + 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder + 1/4 teaspoon salt + 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum.

For more on flour, check out Baking 101:  The Difference Between Baking Flours.  

Apple Pie Biscuits

Cold butter is cut into small cubes and added to the flour.  The colder the butter the better!

Apple Pie Biscuits / joy the baker and king arthur flour

Measure out the cold buttermilk before your hands get dirty.

Apple Pie Biscuits / joy the baker and king arthur flour

Using your fingers, break the butter down into the flour.

Apple Pie Biscuits

Quickly press the butter and flour in between your fingers creating little bits of butter throughout the flour.

Apple Pie Biscuits

If you work quickly, breaking down the butter into the flour will take about 4 minutes.  The result will be butter bits that are the size of oat flakes and small peas.

Apple Pie Biscuits

Add granulated sugar.

Apple Pie Biscuits

And stir the mixture together.

If that seems easy, it was!  Baking powder and salt are already in the flour!

Apple Pie Biscuits / joy the baker and king arthur flour

Add the cold buttermilk.

If you’re out of buttermilk, you can make your own buttermilk substitute using one of these feisty tips.

Apple Pie Biscuits

Begin to stir the dry ingredients into the buttermilk.

Apple Pie Biscuits

The biscuit dough will feel rather fluffy and wet.

Apple Pie Biscuits

You’re on the right track!  Once all of the dry ingredients are worked into the buttermilk (you may need to add a splash of extra buttermilk), place it in the refrigerator for just a few moments while you make the apple filling.

If you’re using your own homemade self-rising flour or gluten-free self-rising flour, you’ll want to add the full 3/4 cup of buttermilk.

Apple Pie Biscuits

Using either a paring knife or vegetable peeler, peel an apple.  I like Fuji apples for this recipe because they’re both crisp and sweet.

Apple Pie Biscuits

This is how my grandmother slices apples (and everything else), and I wonder how old I’ll be when I finally feel comfortable with this move.  Don’t be like me, or my grandmother.  Slice safely.

Apple Pie Biscuits

Add the apple slices to a skillet of melted butter.  Add cinnamon.

Apple Pie Biscuits

Add sugar, too!

Cook the apples down for just a bit to melt the sugar and meld the spices.  The apples won’t be cooked all the way through, but they’ll finish softening in the oven.

Remove the skillet from the heat and allow to cool while you roll out the dough.

Apple Pie Biscuits

Back to the biscuit dough!

Generously dust a work surface with all-purpose flour.

Apple Pie Biscuits

The dough should be moist but not overly wet.

Onto the floured surface we go!

Apple Pie Biscuits

Knead the dough three or four turns.  We want to create a cohesive dough, but not overwork the dough at all.

Apple Pie Biscuits

Use your hands to shape the dough into rough rectangle shape.

Apple Pie Biscuits

Pat it down to a 1-inch thickness.

Apple Pie Biscuits

Sprinkle a rolling pin with more all-purpose flour.

Apple Pie Biscuits

Begin to roll the dough using a firm and even pressure.  Try to keep the rectangle shape as much as possible.

Apple Pie Biscuits

Roll the dough to a 1/2-inch thickness, about 7 x 10-inches.  Move the dough around the surface a bit to ensure that it’s not sticking; this will become important later when we’re folding the dough.

Apple Pie Biscuits

Time for the apples!

Apple Pie Biscuits

Spread the apples in a mostly even layer across half of the biscuit dough.

Apple Pie Biscuits

Gently fold the dough over the apples.

Apple Pie Biscuits

Use your hands to gently press the seams together.

Apple Pie Biscuits

Use the palms of your hand to nudge and suggest the filled biscuit dough  back into an 8″ x 6″ rectangle rectangle if the edges have rounded a bit.

Apple Pie Biscuits

Be the boss.

A friendly boss, but definitely the boss.

Apple Pie Biscuits

Use a large and sharp knife to cut 12 small biscuits.  Flour the knife a bit if it gets too sticky.

Apple Pie Biscuits / joy the baker and king arthur flour

Place the biscuits on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Apple Pie Biscuits

Beat an egg.  Lightly brush the tops of each biscuit, for browning.

Apple Pie Biscuits / joy the baker and king arthur flour

Generously sprinkle with granulated sugar and cinnamon.

Apple Pie Biscuits

Take a coffee break, but be careful that your rolling pin doesn’t roll right off the table.  The biscuits will bake up in about 12 minutes!

Apple Pie Biscuits

Now it’s your turn!  Take on the challenge! Share your beautiful biscuits with us on Instagram #bakingbootcamp. You have until October 11th  to submit your photos to be entered to win a one-year supply of King Arthur Flour and a Baking Essentials Box valued at $250.  Official rules and details here. Leave any questions about the recipe in the comments below and check back here for all of your baking photos!

This post is brought to you by Joy the Baker in partnership with King Arthur Flour.

Baking Bootcamp: Apple Pie Biscuits

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

12 biscuits

Baking Bootcamp: Apple Pie Biscuits

Join King Arthur Flour and Joy the Baker for a second baking challenge. Bake these delicious biscuits, post a picture to instagram with the #bakingbootcamp between September 10th - October 10th for a chance to win a year of free flour from King Arthur Flour and a gift basket of prizes worth $250! Thank you for baking along with us!

Ingredients

    For the Apples:
  • 1 Fuji apple, peeled, cored and sliced very thin
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • For the Biscuits:
  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising Flour
  • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup cold buttermilk
  • For the Topping:
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. To make the apples, place butter in a medium skilled over medium heat to melt. Add the apples, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Toss with a wooden spoon until all of the apples are coated and the sugar is melted over the apples, about 2 to 4 minutes. The mixture will be warm and glossy, but the apples won't be cooked through. That's right! Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. To make the biscuit dough, place flour in a medium bowl and add cold butter cubes. Use your fingers to quickly break the butter down into the flour. Some of the butter bits will be the size of oats, some the size of small peas. Stir in the granulated sugar.
  4. Create a well in the center of the butter and flour mixture and add 2/3 cup buttermilk. Stir the mixture together until it is well moistened and holds together well. Biscuit dough should be soft and moist. Add the remaining buttermilk as needed. If you're using your own homemade self-rising flour or gluten-free self-rising flour, you'll want to add the full 3/4 cup of buttermilk.
  5. Use all-purpose flour to generously dust a clear work surface. Spoon dough onto the floured surface and use your hands to gather it into a ball and gently pat it into a small rectangle. If you're using gluten-free self-rising flour, the dough will crack a bit as you shape it into a rectangle, and again as you fold it over the apples. That's OK; just keep patting it back together.
  6. Use a rolling pin to gently roll the dough into a rectangle 1/2-inch thick, about 7-inches x 10-inches. Arrange cooled apples in a single layer over half of the rolled out biscuit dough. Fold the bare side of the dough over the apples and gently press the edges to seal in the apples. Use the palms of your hand to pat the dough into a 6 x 8-inch rectangle if the edges are looking a bit rounded.
  7. Use a sharp knife to slice the dough into 12 squares. Use a spatula to place each biscuit onto the prepared baking sheet, about 2-inches apart.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar for topping, cinnamon, and salt.
  9. Brush each biscuit top with beaten egg and sprinkle generously with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  10. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until the biscuits are risen and golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve warm or cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Biscuits are best enjoyed within two days of baking.
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The post Baking Bootcamp: Apple Pie Biscuits appeared first on Joy the Baker.

08 Sep 23:52

SNAP Challenge: Week 1 Summary

by Beth M

Wow, one week of the SNAP Challenge is over and I can’t believe how many thoughts I’ve had so far. I could write a ten page paper on my feelings, experiences, and observations already… but I’ll try to keep it short (yeah, right). I also want to thank everyone for their insightful comments and support while I take on this challenge. You’ve helped me dive deeper and discover more.

Before I begin the summary, I want to discuss one aspect of the challenge. The SNAP challenge rules state that you shouldn’t use any food purchased prior to starting the challenge. I’m not following that rule because I don’t feel like it’s very realistic or a responsible way to eat on a budget. Sure, some SNAP recipients will start out with no kitchen supplies, but maybe some do. Each person’s SNAP experience will be unique and involve several variables. I can’t replicate anyone else’s experience, so I have to try to mimic what my own would be. I’m approaching this challenge as if I had to suddenly go on SNAP and will definitely utilize some of my pantry staples. Those staples will not be counted as free and as I replenish those pantry staples throughout the month, I will have to do so within my weekly budget of $30. A good portion of what I bought during week one will actually be spread out and used during the following weeks, so it only makes sense that I also would have had some things left over from previous weeks. And hey, this challenge isn’t perfect, but it’s still incredibly insightful. My goal isn’t to get every detail perfect, but to draw attention to and start the conversation about food insecurity, as well as recalibrate my own spending and food consumption habits to be less wasteful.

What Did I Buy?

SNAP Challenge Week 1 Groceries

Here is everything I bought during my shopping trip for week one. Not a whole lot, right? I bought some pantry staples from the bulk bins at Whole Foods (rice, oat bran, chickpeas, almonds), and picked up the rest of my fresh and canned goods at my neighborhood grocery store. I stocked up on some frozen greens because that’s a super easy and inexpensive way to add veggies to your meals. I splurged on feta because it ads a lot of flavor, but only used 1/4 of that block this week. The rest will be used in the following weeks.

SNAP Challenge Week 1 Receipts

Here are my receipts (with a couple notes on volumes that I made for the bulk items. I had to measure them when I got home for correct calculations).

What did I use that was already in my pantry? Admittedly, more than I planned to. I did not plan very well this first week, so I found myself scavenging through my fridge and pantry just looking for something to kill my hunger. I used soy milk, eggs (I’ll have to replenish both next week), a couple tortillas, butter, peanut butter, tea, brown sugar, cinnamon, hot sauce… well, a lot of things. Week one did not go well.

What Did I Make?

Soy Dijon Chicken Meals

My main meal throughout the week was the Soy Dijon Chicken with Sweet Potatoes, plus 1/2 cup of Seasoned Rice, plus 1/2 cup of frozen broccoli florets. I pre-portioned them out so that I could grab them and go without thinking twice, or giving myself an opportunity to think about eating something else. Each one of these bowls cost $1.49.

Slow Cooker Chickpeas

I cooked one pound of chickpeas from dry in my slow cooker (1 lb. dry, unsoaked chick peas plus 6 cups water, on high for about 5 hours). I only used half of the batch this week and froze the second half for use next week.

Curried Chickpeas with Spinach

My secondary meal throughout the week was Curried Chickpeas with Spinach. I used frozen spinach this time, less olive oil, and the chickpeas that I cooked from dry, so the total batch came to $4.25 and I got about 5 servings, for a cost per serving price of $0.85. Unfortunately, I got so busy and had so many unexpected things pop up this week that I wasn’t able to even cook this recipe until day 4.

Feta Slaw

Cabbage is super cheap and I wanted some more vegetables in my plan, so I made a half batch of this Vinaigrette Slaw with Feta. I used only red cabbage this time (half head) and halved the other ingredients as well. Luckily, I had the bottom of a bottle of Caesar dressing left over in my fridge that was waiting to be used up. This batch cost me $2.28 and I got 4 servings, for a cost per serving of $0.46.

Cut Melon

After I got home from the grocery store I realized that I had NO FRUIT in my plan for the week. I had used up all but a few dollars of my weekly budget, so I turned to this melon that had been sitting in my fridge, uncut, for almost a week. I had let the melon go and it was already starting to have that over ripe sweet smell, like it was on the brink of rotten. I was determined to not let it go to waste, so I cut it up, divided it into 8 portions, and froze almost all of it. I eat the frozen portions while still frozen, like a frozen treat, because once they thaw they are not very good. Ick. But, you have to do what you have to do. The melon cost me $2.99 the week before, or $0.37 per portion.

So, that’s what I made the first week. I realized about mid way through day two that I did not plan well and this week was going to be really awful because of it. Add to that all the drama of the home buying process and trying to show my apartment to prospective new tenants, and I had a complete disaster of a week. I didn’t get a chance to make the curried chickpeas until day 4, so I ended up filling in my meal gaps with pita, peanut butter, and eggs. It was not good. I would consider week one a FAIL.

What Did I Eat?

As I just mentioned, week one was a disaster, but it showed me how much planning and how meticulous you have to be to actually make a budget like this work. Is that level of dedication realistic? Not very much so, especially if you have a family to take care of or are working two jobs (although some people DO make it work, and I applaud you!). Even with my well stocked kitchen and all of my background with cooking and portioning, I still needed to put in more effort to make this work. There were many nights of the week that I just fought off my hunger with a pita and peanut butter instead of a real meal. After only a few days I was so hungry that I was looking for calories everywhere and anywhere. It was bad. So, here is my daily breakdown with relfections:

Day 1

  • 1 small flour tortilla $0.16
  • 1 large egg $0.21
  • dash of hot sauce $0.05
  • pinch of salt and pepper $0.05
  • 1 tea bag $0.13
  • 1/4 cup soy milk $0.09
  • 1 Soy Dijon Chicken meal bowl $1.49
  • 1/2 pita $0.17
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter $0.23

Daily Total: $2.53

Reflection: Having to keep a tally of the total cost of my groceries as I picked items from the shelves brought me back to the early days of the blog, when I had to eat on a budget like this. I felt more responsible doing so, but wondered if people saw what I was doing and felt bad for me because I had to be so careful about every penny. I still have a positive outlook and am feeling good about the challenge.

Day 2

  • 1/4 cup oat bran $0.19 (1/4 cup oat bran + 3/4 water cooks up to be a 1 cup bowl)
  • 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.02
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp sliced almonds $0.18
  • 1 cup Cabbage Slaw with Feta $0.46
  • 1 portion melon $0.37
  • 1 Soy Dijon Chicken meal bowl $1.49
  • 1 small flour tortilla $0.16
  • 1 large egg $0.21
  • dash of hot sauce $0.05

Daily Total: $3.22

Reflection: This is the day that crazy stuff started happening with the home buying process. I was stressed, busy, and didn’t have time to calculate my daily food costs to know where I was coming in, or to make the curried chickpeas. I ate an egg in a tortilla for dinner and was hungry most of the day (except the hour or two after lunch). If I had time to calculate my daily cost, I would have known to eat more, but what? I didn’t have much in my fridge and no time to cook.

Day 3

  • 1 Spinach Rice Breakfast Bowl $0.64
  • 1 tea bag $0.13
  • 1/4 cup soy milk $0.09
  • 1 portion melon $0.37
  • 1 cup Cabbage Slaw with Feta $0.46
  • 1 Soy Dijon Chicken meal bowl $1.49
  • 1/2 pita $0.17
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter $0.23

Daily Total: $4.11

Reflection: By today, my brain was screaming “FOOD!” at me all day long and seriously affecting my concentration. No, more accurately, it was screaming, “CHIPS, WENDY’S, PIZZA, CAKE!” My body wanted calories and in any form it could get them… and it’s only been 3 days. Imagine going a whole month, finally getting your SNAP benefits replenished, and finally going to the grocery store. Do you think you’d make healthy decisions? I can honestly say that I wouldn’t. My body was now in control and health was not even on the radar. I just wanted calories. I still didn’t have time to make the chickpeas today.

Day 4

  • 2 large eggs $0.42
  • 1/2 pita $0.17
  • dash of hot sauce $0.05
  • 1 portion melon $0.37
  • 1 cup Cabbage Slaw with Feta $0.46
  • 1 Soy Dijon Chicken meal bowl $1.49
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter $0.13
  • 1 portion Curried Chickpeas with Spinach $0.85

Daily Total: $3.94

Reflection: I still hadn’t had time to calculate my daily food costs, so I had no idea where I was coming in. I did, however, finally have time to make the curried chickpeas and I was so happy for a change of flavor, plus they were super filling. Finally a little relief. I had woken up so hungry that I ate two eggs for breakfast. That might have been the first day that I didn’t feel like I was going to die waiting for my lunch break.

Day 5

  • 1/4 cup oat bran $0.19
  • 1 Tbsp almonds $0.18
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter $0.08
  • 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.02
  • 1/4 cup soy milk $0.09
  • 1 portion melon $0.37
  • 1 Soy Dijon Chicken meal bowl $1.49
  • 1/2 pita $0.17
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter $0.23
  • 1/2 pita $0.17
  • 1 large egg $0.21
  • dash of hot sauce $0.05

Daily Total: $3.25

Reflection: I really can’t believe how delicious every single commercial for food looks. Things I never would have been tempted by before, like Wendy’s or those nasty looking cappuccino flavored potato chips, I could seriously devour and love every second of it. It’s fascinating how hunger can change your tastes and perceptions. My body was still screaming at me for calories and blocking out most every other thought. I’m still relying on eggs/peanut butter in pita because it’s fast and kills my hunger.

Day 6

  • 2 large eggs $0.42
  • 1/2 pita $0.17
  • pinch of salt & pepper $0.05
  • 1 cup Cabbage Slaw with Feta $0.46
  • 1/2 pita $0.17
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter $0.08
  • 1 serving Black Bean Soup $0.79
  • 1/4 cup uncooked popcorn kernels $0.09
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil $0.04
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.15
  • Cajun seasoning $0.05

Daily Total: $2.47

Reflection: Today I really started to lose it. I thought about sneaking a bag of chips from the store. No one would know, right? Ack. I can’t do that. I needed calories so bad that I ate butter in pita bread. I started scouring my cupboard and freezer for something different to eat because I was sick of the same ‘ol food. I found one last frozen serving of my Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup and ate that. It was SO. GOOD. That made me feel like I broke the rules, but OMG, I felt full and happy for a minute. I had my favorite snack for dinner: stove top popcorn with Cajun seasoning (and butter because apparently I want that on everything now).

Day 7

  • 1 Spinach Rice Breakfast Bowl $0.71
  • 1 tea bag $0.13
  • 1/4 cup soy milk $0.09
  • 1 portion melon $0.37
  • 1 serving Curried Chickpeas with Spinach $0.85
  • 1/2 pita $0.17
  • 1/2 pita $0.17
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter $0.23
  • 1 oz feta $0.43
  • 1 cup soy milk $0.36

Daily Total: $3.51

Reflection: I broke into my stash of feta today because I NEEDED CHEESE. I realized that dairy goes a really long way towards filling me up and making me feel satisfied because I’ve been craving cheese and yogurt for a couple days now. I’m definitely working that into next week’s menu. I CAN’T WAIT to go grocery shopping and try a new approach next week, because this sucked. Oh, and I finally got a chance to sit down and start calculating my daily costs and saw how low I was coming in. ARG. I could have been eating more all week. *sigh* Failure.

Final Reflection

Total Consumed: $23.30

Grocery Total (incl. tax):  $28.13

This did not work at all. I’ll try again next week with a different approach. Even with all the advantages working in my favor (pantry staples, cooking equipment like a slow cooker, cooking skills, food knowledge, easy access to grocery store(S), etc.) this just did not work and was not sustainable. I wanted to eat fast food every day. I wanted to go splurge and spend 2-3 days worth of food budget on a pizza or burger. What would I do if I had children? I am full of a mix of emotions—gratitude, guilt, and sadness.

The post SNAP Challenge: Week 1 Summary appeared first on Budget Bytes.

04 Sep 16:00

New Toppl Toy from West Paw Design

by Katherine Becker

New Toppl Toy from West Paw Design

West Paw has recently introduced a new member of their Zogoflex line of durable toys: the Toppl, a stuffable puzzle toy designed to entertain clever and curious pups. The bouncy, chewable Toppl can be stuffed with treats and tasties, and dogs can roll, wobble, and bounce it to retrieve the treasure. Here’s the special twist: small and large Toppls interlock to make an even more challenging game. Check out (recyclable, BPA- and phthalate-free) Toppl over at West Paw.

New Toppl Toy from West Paw Design in toys


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© 2014 Dog Milk | Posted by Katherine in Toys | Permalink | No comments
05 Sep 18:00

Amazing Charlie Brown Nerdy Mash-Up Fanart

by Amy Ratcliffe

charlie brown guardians of the galaxy

The characters from Charlie Brown fit right into any environment, and the art featured in Dorkly’s list of the best Charlie Brown mash-up pieces proves it. The illustrations feature Charlie Brown, Linus, Snoopy, and the rest of the gang in well-known television series, comics, and movies. The above image by Matthew J. Fletcher putting Charlie Brown into the role of Star-Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy is perfect.

See a couple more of our favorites after the break.

Charlie Brown game of thrones

by Adams Pinto

charlie brown hellboy

by Zio Adams

Check out the entire list at Dorkly.








02 Sep 19:41

SNAP Challenge: Seasoned Rice

by Beth M

For the entire month of September, I’ll be participating in the SNAP Challenge and attempting to eat on $4.50 per day. Read more here.

If there’s one thing I knew right away, it was that I was going to have to bulk out my meals considerably with inexpensive beans and grains to stay under $4.50 per day. Instead of using plain old rice, I made a big batch of seasoned rice the first day, which will be used as a base for multiple meals throughout the week (and maybe the whole month). 

I used brown jasmine rice for this recipe for two reasons: jasmine rice has way more flavor than regular white rice and whole grain rice is way more filling. That being said, it can be made with plain white rice if desired. Just adjust the cooking time and water to rice ratio to compensate. This recipe can also be made in a rice maker.

I got my brown jasmine rice from the bulk bins at Whole Foods, which is a luxury that most people who rely on SNAP benefits probably don’t have. There aren’t many Whole Foods Markets around and even though my regular grocery store has bulk bins, their prices are higher and selection is more limited. That being said, you can do the same thing with plain white rice, if needed. My rice was $2.69/lb. and I bought about 3 cups, which came out to be $0.61 per cup of uncooked rice (or about 3 cups cooked rice). This is more expensive than plain white rice, but I was able to work it into my budget, so I did. Stay tuned throughout the week to see how I used the rice in my meals!

Seasoned Rice

Seasoned Rice

5.0 from 3 reviews
Seasoned Rice
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Total Cost: $1.36
Cost Per Serving: $0.22
Serves: 6 (1 cup each)
Ingredients
  • 2 cups brown jasmine rice $1.21
  • ½ tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • ½ tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper (optional) $0.02
  • ¾ tsp salt $0.03
  • 4 cups water $0.00
Instructions
  1. Combine the rice, garlic powder, thyme, red pepper, salt, and water in a heavy bottomed pot. Give it a brief stir to evenly distribute the ingredients.
  2. Place a lid on the pot and place it over high heat. Allow the pot to come up to a full boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest with the lid in place for 20 minutes more.
  3. After 20 minutes without heat, fluff the rice and serve, or refrigerate until ready to eat. Extra rice can also be frozen for quick meals later.
Notes
You can use any mix of herbs that you like, this just happens to be my favorite combination.
3.2.2708

 

Step by Step Photos

Rice and HerbsIn a heavy bottomed pot, combine 2 cups of rice, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, 3/4 tsp salt, and 4 cups of water. Stir briefly to evenly distribute the ingredients.

Fluffed RiceCover the pot with a lid, then place it over high heat. Allow the pot to come to a full boil, then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn the heat off and allow it to rest and continue to steam in the residual heat for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, fluff the rice and serve. 

Seasoned RiceIt may not seem very revolutionary, but when working with a limited budget, it’s important to make sure every meal is as satisfying as possible. I plan to eat pretty much the same thing throughout the week, so I have to make sure it’s damn delicious so that I keep coming back! Ha!

Stay tuned to see the different ways I use this rice throughout the week.

The post SNAP Challenge: Seasoned Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

06 Sep 15:35

SNAP Challenge: Soy Dijon Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potatoes

by Beth M

For the entire month of September, I’ll be participating in the SNAP Challenge and attempting to eat on $4.50 per day. Read more here.

Whew. I meant to post this days ago, but this week has been out of control! More about that when I do my SNAP Challenge week one summary on Monday.

I loved the Soy Dijon Pork Tenderloin that I made ages ago and have wanted to use the same marinade for chicken for quite some time. Chicken thighs are cheap, so I figured that it might be a good cornerstone meal for the first week of my SNAP Challenge. The sweet-salty marinade was just as delicious as I remembered!

To add a little extra flavor, nutrients, and bulk, I cubed a sweet potato and layered that in the roasting dish before adding the chicken and the marinade. The sweet potato added a nice sweetness to the dish and definitely helped keep me full. That was a good decision. I also doubled the marinade to provide plenty of sauce to cook the potatoes in, plus drizzle over the rice and vegetables that I served on the side.

Soy Dijon Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potatoes

Soy Dijon Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potatoes

5.0 from 11 reviews
Soy Dijon Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potatoes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Total Cost: $8.31
Cost Per Serving: $1.19
Serves: 7-8
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard $0.48
  • ¼ cup soy sauce $0.40
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil $0.10
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.04
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • Freshly cracked pepper $0.05
  • 2 lbs. chicken thighs (8 pieces) $5.65
  • 1 medium sweet potato (1 lb.) $1.43
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, stir together the Dijon, soy sauce, vegetable oil, brown sugar, minced garlic, and some freshly cracked pepper. Add the chicken thighs to a large zip top bag or shallow dish, and then pour the prepared marinade over top. Refrigerate the marinating chicken for at least 30 minutes (can be prepared in the morning and refrigerated all day).
  2. When you’re ready to cook, begin to preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel and cube the sweet potato into ¾ inch pieces. Lay the cubed sweet potato in the bottom of a casserole dish. Lay the chicken thighs over the sweet potatoes and pour all of the marinade over top.
  3. Cover the dish with foil and roast in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, removing the foil after the first 30 minutes. After baking, spoon some of the liquid from the bottom of the dish over the chicken and serve. Use the extra juices from the bottom of the dish to spoon over rice and vegetables.
3.2.2708

Soy Dijon Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potatoes

 

Step by Step Photos

Soy Dijon MarinadePrepare the marinade by stirring together 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 cloves minced garlic, and some freshly cracked pepper.

Chicken ThighsI used about 2 lbs. of chicken thighs, which was eight pieces. Two of the pieces were pretty small, so I counted those as one serving, for a total of 7 servings for this dish. Depending on the size of the thighs, you might get about 8 servings.

Marinate Chicken ThighsAdd the chicken thighs and prepared marinade to a zip top bag or a shallow dish. Refrigerate the chicken thighs as they marinate for at least 30 minutes. If preferred, you can mix up the marinade before work and let them marinate all day so it will be ready to cook when you get home.

Cubed Sweet PotatoesWhen you’re ready to start dinner, begin to preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel and cube one sweet potato (about 1 lb.) and lay the cubes in the bottom of a casserole dish. Cut the cubes into no larger than 3/4 inch pieces so that they cook through completely while in the oven.

Chicken ThighsLay the marinated chicken thighs over the sweet potatoes and pour ALL of the marinade over top. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil after the first 30 minutes to let the top brown.

Baked Soy Dijon Chicken ThighsAfter it bakes, spoon some of the yummy juices over top of the chicken.

Soy Dijon Chicken Thighs with Sweet PotatoesDon’t let that delicious juice go to waste! I used mine to moisten and season the rice and vegetables that I served with the chicken. It’s SO good.

Stay tuned to see how I worked this into my SNAP Challenge meal plan!

The post SNAP Challenge: Soy Dijon Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potatoes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

05 Sep 20:35

Homemade Stroopwafels

by noreply@blogger.com (Heather Baird)

I've always wanted a waffle cone maker, but admittedly, there's very little space in my cabinets for one to live. I've talked myself out of buying one many times, but the desire came back anew when I walked into my favorite ice cream parlor. I can testify that the warm fragrance of freshly made vanilla waffle cones is strongly persuasive (not that I needed much arm-twisting in the first place). So, I got one.

I fully expected the machine to be single purpose (waffle cone iron = only waffle cones) but I've found it has a second, and maybe even better use for making one of my favorite coffee time treats - stoopwafels!


For those not familiar, stroopwafles are thin cookie-like waffles with a chewy caramel syrup in the center. They hail from the Netherlands, and recently my friend Darla (who happens to live in Nederland) sent me a care package with all kinds of delicious Dutch treats inside. To my delight, authentic stroopwafels were included. They were better, more dense with filling, than the ones I can find locally. That made me curious enough to seek out a stroopwafel recipe. Until now, I'd never dreamed you could make them at home. I'd pondered their thinness while eating one, and figured it defied any tool that inhabited my utensil drawer. To my great surprise, scratch-made stroopwafels are achievable.

Continued, click to read more...
05 Sep 00:29

Stick Figure Death

by Fizzy
Circa 1998, there was a little fad on the internet called STICK FIGURE DEATH THEATERS....

The basic idea is that you animate little scenarios of stickmen dying in creative ways. Always one to get sucked into internet fads (in college), I immediately downloaded some animation software and made my own stick death site.

I made about a dozen or so animations. I showed them to everyone. I was very ghetto and low tech about my animations, but I got a lot of hits initially because I came into the game early. I was on the top 20 site for a while and I was an early member of the stick death ring. The animations on other sites quickly became pretty elaborate and my site got pushed out of the mainstream, but I will always carry a piece of that site with me (on my harddrive).

Here's a sample:



For the next month I'm going to keep posting these intermittently. Because it's my damn blog and I want to.

---

Like this blog? Buy my book The Devil Wears Scrubs

01 Sep 21:53

Hyperrealistic Animal Illustrations and the Tools Used to Create Them

by EDW Lynch

Hyperrealistic Animal Illustrations by Karla Mialynne

Artist Karla Mialynne has created a series of hyperrealistic animal illustrations that she presents along with the various pencils, markers, and other tools used to create each image. She has more illustration work on her Instagram account. Some of her works are available for purchase at Original Urban Style.

Hyperrealistic Animal Illustrations by Karla Mialynne

Hyperrealistic Animal Illustrations by Karla Mialynne

Hyperrealistic Animal Illustrations by Karla Mialynne

Hyperrealistic Animal Illustrations by Karla Mialynne

photos by Karla Mialynne

via reddit, Bored Panda

25 Aug 13:17

Organ Donation: The Real Power Is In You

by Vanessa Ruiz

Marcel Fukuwara Brasil Anatomy Heart Ad

Marcel Fukuwara Brasil Anatomy Heart Ad 3D

Marcel Fukuwara Brasil Anatomy Lung Ad

Marcel Fukuwara Brasil Anatomy Lung Ad 3D

Brazilian digital artist Marcel Fukuwara helped shape these ads for the government of the state of Ceará in Brazil. The ad’s message, “The Real Power is in You,” encourages people to donate their organs to save lives. I think it’s a fun concept for a serious topic and very well executed to top it all off!

Credits:
Marcel Fukuwara – Moderler
Sandro Grasset – Render
Marcus Vinicius – Art Director
Ad Agency – Propeg
Studio – Z-axis

View more of Marcel’s incredible 3D projects on Behance!

 

 

23 Aug 17:02

Finger Hands, Creepy Tiny Human Hand Finger Puppets by Archie McPhee

by EDW Lynch

Finger Hands by Archie McPhee

Finger Hands are deeply unsettling finger puppets shaped like tiny human hands. They come in a set of five, allowing the wearer to perform a creepy “high twenty-five.” Finger Hands are available for purchase at Archie McPhee.

Finger Hands by Archie McPhee

Finger Hands by Archie McPhee

images via Archie McPhee

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips

21 Aug 17:52

Why haven't you had kids yet?

by Matthew Inman
20 Aug 13:42

Krisztianna’s Eerily Exquisite Muertitas

by Vanessa Ruiz
Krisztianna Autumn Muertita

April Blossom Muertita

Krisztianna April Blossom Muertita

Krisztianna April Blossom Muertita

Krisztianna Winter Muertita

Winter Muertita

Krisztianna Winter Muertita

Krisztianna Autumn Muertita

Autumn Muertita

Krisztianna Spring Muertita

Spring Muertita

Krisztianna Summer Muertita

Summer Muertita

Krisztianna Muertitas collection

Krisztianna Muertita at work

California based sculptor, Krisztianna, creates these eerily exquisite Day of the Dead inspired mounted female heads after coming home from her day job as an Art Director at an advertising agency. She calls the heads Muertitasrecalling the importance of the Day of the Dead culture to her and her family when she was growing up.  Kristztianna says, “Birth, death, and rebirth are all fascinating concepts, and the the art of the sugar skull is a powerful visual that helps me express my joy of life and respect of finality.”

Driven by a fascination with storytelling, each Muertita represents a season captured by the crowning floral arrangements surrounding each face. The sculptures are made from a mix of styrofoam, paper maché, wire, clay, wood, acrylic, synthetic flowers, twine, pins, glue, sealant, screws, and as Kristzianna says, “lots of love.”

View more of Kristzianna’s work and information about the Muertitas at krisztianna.com. Photographic prints of the pieces featured above are available on Society6!

 

[Photography by Chris Rigg. Spotted by medical illustrator, David Cheney]

 

 


 

Day of the Dead Sugar Skull wallpaper available at the Street Anatomy Store store.streetanatomy.com

If you’re interested in the Day of the Dead head over to the Street Anatomy Store to see the wallpaper by Anatomy Boutique featuring the iconic sugar skull in gold on emerald and charcoal. 

 

 

19 Aug 17:33

quinoa puttanesca

by bridget

quinoa puttanesca 1

Based on whether it leaves a bunch of half-used ingredients leftover, this may not be the best single-person dinner, but it’s one of my favorite meals for when Dave is out of town anyway. For years, Dave didn’t like anchovies or olives, so those were the things I ate when he traveled. He’s come around to both, but the tradition has stuck, and this has become a treat for myself while he’s gone.

quinoa puttanesca 3

It’s very similar to the pasta version, but I like to think quinoa is a little healthier than pasta. Certainly, quinoa has a stronger, earthier flavor, which required adjustments in the other ingredients. More briny olives, more salty capers, and more bitter parsley were all necessary to stand out next to the quinoa.

quinoa puttanesca 4

Even if it doesn’t fulfill my no-leftover-bits-of-ingredients rule for single-person dinners, it meets the rest of my criteria – easy, healthy, minimal dishes. Fortunately, I like it so much that I’m willing to make it twice in one week while Dave travels, which is the perfect way to use up the half cans of tomatoes and tuna leftover from one serving. That puts this back on the list of great meals for cooking for one.

quinoa puttanesca 2

Printer Friendly Recipe
Quinoa Puttanesca (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated’s Spaghetti Puttanesca)

4 servings

I use the higher amount of anchovies, because I love them, but I understand that not everyone shares that opinion. The tuna is not at all traditional in puttanesca, but it increases the protein of this one-pot dish.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
6-8 anchovies, minced
8 ounces (1⅓ cups) quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, coarsely diced in the can with scissors
2 (5-ounce) cans solid white tuna in water, drained and flaked into bite-sized pieces (optional)
¼ cup capers, drained
1 cup kalamata olives, finely chopped
¼ cup minced parsley

In the medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil, red pepper flakes, garlic, and anchovies until sizzling and fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add the quinoa, tomatoes with their juice, and tuna (if using). Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Once the mixture simmers, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir once, then replace the cover, remove the pot from the heat, and let set for another 15 minutes. Stir in the capers, olives, and parsley; serve immediately.

14 Aug 10:00

R.E.B.E.L. ECG of the Week: Wellens’ Syndrome or STEMI

by Salim Rezaie

Wellens' Syndrome or STEMI

A 52 year old female with a past medical history of type II diabetes mellitus and tobacco abuse presents with a chief complaint of chest pain.

According to the patient she had about 2 – 3 months of stuttering, substernal chest pain without any radiation.  She described the pain as pressure-like, with activity, but that it would typically resolve after a few minutes of rest.  Today she awoke with substernal chest pain that never resolved and continued in the emergency department.  She quantifies her pain as 7/10 and not relieved with 2L nasal cannula of oxygen, 325mg PO aspirin, and SL NTG x3.

BP 127/89     HR 76     RR 20      O2 sat 100% on 2L NC     Temp 99.3

Awake, A&Ox3, appears uncomfortable
Mild JVD on examination
RRR w/o m/r/g
CTA B
2+ pulses in her extremities, no edema

ECG is shown (No prior ECG for comparison)…..

Before reading on, try to come up with your own interpretation of this ECG before moving on to the final impression

Wellens' Syndrome or STEMI

Rate: 68
Rhythm: Normal Sinus Rhythm
Axis: Normal Axis
QRS: Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
ST/T Waves: Biphasic T- Waves in Leads V1 – V4, but there is also ST Elevation in Leads V1 – V3
Final ECG Interpretation: Anterior STEMI

Wellens' Syndrome or STEMI

Although this is a case of Anterior STEMI, lets discuss Wellens’ Syndrome….

History of Wellens’ Syndrome

Wellens’ Syndrome was first described in 1982 [1] in which 75% of patients with t-wave inversions in V2 – V4 went on to have an acute myocardial infarction.  This was again discussed in 1989 [2], and showed that all patients with this morphology had a > 50% LAD stenosis.  In the United States, 10 – 15% of unstable angina patients admitted will have this ECG finding.

What is Wellens’ Syndrome?

  1. History of Angina
  2. ECG Changes (T-wave Inversions/Biphasic T-waves in leads V2 – V4)
  3. Normal to Minimally elevated Cardiac Enzymes
  4. No pathologic precordial q waves
  5. No loss of precordial R wave progression

What are the Types of Wellens’ Syndrome?

Types of Wellens' Waves

 

Why does Wellen’s Syndrome Matter? [3]

  • Signifies a critical high grade proximal LAD stenosis
  • Myocardial infarction occurs within a mean of 6 – 8.5 days after admission
  • Myocardial infarction occurs within a mean of 21.4 days after symptoms

What is the Specificity of inverted T waves (V1 – V4) on EKG for proximal LAD stenosis?

Study Number of Patients Outcome Sensitivity Specificity
Haines DE et al (1983) 118 New T Wave Inversion Correlation to Significant LAD Stenosis 69% 89%
Kojuri J et al (2007) 130 T Wave Inversion Correlation to Significant LAD Stenosis in Patients Without MI 49.3% 96.6%

Remember: T-wave changes may be transient or resolve with medical management

What else can cause t-wave inversions in the anterior ECG leads?

  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
  • Pericarditis
  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy
  • Electrolyte Abnormalities
  • HOCM
  • Pancreatitis

R.E.B.E.L. ECG of the Week: Wellens' Syndrome or STEMI - T Wave Inversion in Anterior Leads

Why should we not perform exercise stress testing in patients with suspected Wellens’ Syndrome? [4]

The only evidence for this is case reports, not large randomized control trials, but stress testing can prove fatal as there is minimal collateral circulation to the proximal anterior myocardium (i.e. “The Widow Maker”).

How do you treat Wellens’ Syndrome? [2] 

Oxygen, aspirin, nitroglycerin, and heparin or enoxaparin are the mainstay medical treatments of unstable angina, which is what Wellens’ Syndrome is, but in this specific case cardiac revascularization is also important. Specifically, how important is early revascularization vs medical management or delayed revascularization on morbidity and mortality?

R.E.B.E.L. ECG of the Week: Wellens' Syndrome or STEMI - Treatment of Wellens' Syndrome

  •  180 patients with Wellens’ ECG admitted and managed with either: Early Revascularization vs Medical Therapy
  • Less likely to die with early revascularization vs medical therapy and/or late revascularization (2.6% vs 17.9%)
  • Less likely to have AMI with early revascularization vs medical therapy and/or late revascularization (8.0% vs 30%)

Now Back to Our Patient… R.E.B.E.L. ECG of the Week: Wellens’ Syndrome or STEMI?

The reason our patient’s case is a STEMI and not Wellens’ Syndrome is….

Since the patient was having active symptoms and no old ECG for comparison, we activated the cath lab and the patient was found to have a 60% Left Main (LM) Artery lesion and a 100% ostial Left Anterior Descending (LAD) Artery lesion. First troponin before heart cath was 30. This turned into an evolving STEMI….or more eloquently stated a subacute anterior STEMI.

In summary our patient has:

  1. Having ACTIVE Chest Pain
  2. ST-Segment Elevation (STE) in V1 – V3
  3. Sensitive Troponin I of 30 is not minimal
  4. Absence of R waves in precordial leads

Clinical Bottom Line for Wellens’ Syndrome:

  • Wellens’ Syndrome signifies a high grade proximal LAD lesion until proven otherwise, but be sure to rule out other causes of ECG changes
  • The ECG changes of Wellens’ can be transient, so you must have a high index of suspicion
  • Stress testing, based on case reports, can induce a massive anterior myocardial infarction
  • The treatment of choice to improve both morbidity and mortality in Wellens’ Syndrome is early heart catheterization

For more on Wellens’ Syndrome Checkout:

 

 

References

  1. C. de Zwaan, F.W. Bär, and H.J. Wellens, "Characteristic electrocardiographic pattern indicating a critical stenosis high in left anterior descending coronary artery in patients admitted because of impending myocardial infarction.", American heart journal, 1982. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6121481
  2. C. de Zwaan, F.W. Bär, J.H. Janssen, E.C. Cheriex, W.R. Dassen, P. Brugada, O.C. Penn, and H.J. Wellens, "Angiographic and clinical characteristics of patients with unstable angina showing an ECG pattern indicating critical narrowing of the proximal LAD coronary artery.", American heart journal, 1989. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2784024
  3. E.B. Hanna, and D.L. Glancy, "ST-segment depression and T-wave inversion: classification, differential diagnosis, and caveats.", Cleveland Clinic journal of medicine, 2011. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21632912
  4. N. Sowers, "Harbinger of infarction: Wellens syndrome electrocardiographic abnormalities in the emergency department.", Canadian family physician Médecin de famille canadien, 2013. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23585602

The post R.E.B.E.L. ECG of the Week: Wellens’ Syndrome or STEMI appeared first on R.E.B.E.L. EM - Emergency Medicine Blog.

13 Aug 06:01

Frozen Herb Starters

by Sara@Our Best Bites

Fresh Herbs introFresh herbs are one of my favorite things about having a home garden, but they’re also one of the hardest things for me to keep up with.  They need quite a bit of trimming and pinching back to really stay viable and they can get out of control really quickly.  I use a lot of fresh herbs in my cooking, and I still can’t keep up with my own plants.  I started making these little frozen herb cubes years ago, (long before the idea went viral on Pinterest!) and thought it was about time I shared it here because it’s a great way to preserve the fresh flavors of summer and then enjoy them all year long in lots of different recipes.  It’s so quick and easy, you can feel really productive with your preserving skills.  And I’m all about easy things that make me feel productive!

Fresh Herbs

Continue reading: Frozen Herb Starters

The post Frozen Herb Starters appeared first on Our Best Bites.

11 Aug 20:36

Magician Levitates a Sausage Weiner in Front of a Few Dogs Just to See How They’ll React

by Lori Dorn

Jose Ahonen, the Finnish magician about whom we’ve previously written, performs a magic trick in which he levitates a sausage weiner in front a variety of absolutely adorable dogs, just to see how they’ll react. While some of the dogs weren’t exactly sure as to what what happening, it was all in fun and, as Jose says, “everyone got to eat the weiner in the end!”

12 Aug 18:14

‘Flower Power’, A Photo Series That Shows the Softer Side of Pit Bulls In Soft Light and Floral Halos

by Lori Dorn

Sweetheart
Sweetheart

Photographer Sophie Garamand, whose work we’ve previously posted, has a new series in which she portrays adoptable pit bull dogs in soft light and floral halos, giving them an angelic hippie look that is in stark contrast to the usual gritty urban environments in which these dogs are usually portrayed. Dogs from three different New York City shelters, Sean Casey Animal Rescue, Second Chance Rescue and Animal Haven, participated in the shoot.

This project started as an excuse for me to discover more about pit bulls. Like many people, I admittedly had prejudices against them. But as an active volunteer with many rescue groups, I often came in contact with pit bulls and was slowly warming up to their sweet nature. I decided to confront my apprehensions and explore their soft side in a visual way. I realized pit bulls were always portrayed in very urban, gritty photographs. The imagery associated with these dogs is often harsh, very contrasted, conveying the idea of them being tough. In my opinion, this feeds the myth that these dogs are dormant psychopaths.So I decided to take the other route and portray them like hippies, soft fairy-tale-inspired characters, feminine and dreamy. The idea of Flower Power blossomed.

Cali
Cali

Rex
Rex

Jellybean
Jellybean

Lucy
Lucy

Minnie
Minnie

photos by Sophie Garamand

via My Modern Met

12 Aug 18:37

Adorable Photos of a Couple Posing with Their Dog As If She Were a Newborn Baby

by EDW Lynch

Doggy Newborn Photos by Jamie Clauss

Photographer Jamie Clauss — a specialist in maternity and newborn portraiture — recently created this ridiculously adorable portrait series of a young couple and their “newborn” dog Snuggles.

Doggy Newborn Photos by Jamie Clauss

Doggy Newborn Photos by Jamie Clauss

Doggy Newborn Photos by Jamie Clauss

Doggy Newborn Photos by Jamie Clauss

photos by Jamie Clauss

12 Aug 19:40

‘My Drunk Kitchen’, A Book Featuring Hannah Hart’s Inebriated Cooking Misadventures

by Lori Dorn

My Drunk Kitchen

Hannah Hart, the star of the very popular web series “My Drunk Kitchen“, has released her new book My Drunk Kitchen:A Guide to Eating, Drinking, and Going with Your Gut, a collection featuring many of the recipes that she created during her inebriated cooking misadventures.

My Drunk Kitchen includes recipes, stories, full color photos, and drawings to inspire your own culinary adventures in tipsy cooking. It is also a showcase for Hannah Hart’s great comedic voice. Hannah offers key drink recommendations, cooking tips (like, remember to turn the oven off when you go to bed) and shares never-before-seen recipes such as:

  • The Hartwich (Knowledge is ingenuity! Learn from the past!)
  • Can Bake (Inventing things is hard! You don’t have to start from scratch!)
  • Latke Shotkas (Plan ahead to avoid a night of dread!)
  • Tiny Sandwiches (Size doesn’t matter! Aim to satisfy.)
  • Saltine Nachos (It’s not about resources! It’s about being resourceful.

The book is currently available on Amazon and through other booksellers.

Hannah and My Drunk Kitchen

images via Hannah Hart

08 Aug 01:43

New Whovian Etsy Items

by Kitty B


As you know, Kevin and I operate a thriving Etsy shop. You may also recall that we love Doctor Who. We were approached by Buildasign.com to review their products, and jumped at the chance! It took us a week to think and determine what Kevin would be designing for the shop (and for our own personal use) and we came up with this:


We love every single one of these. My personal favorite is the fridge magnets. The price on these were great, and I could see so many cool opportunities for fridge magnets. I envision brides using them as save the dates, or it'd be a great way to show off your business instead of business cards! 


Kevin LOVES how the decal looks on his blue jeep too! So fitting seeing as how its a big blue box (and bigger on the inside).

Our items arrived just when they were supposed to, arrived safely and looked great
Great product, great website, great prices! 






*this is a product review request. I received product compensation in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

07 Aug 07:21

The Single Pancake

by joythebaker

The Single Pancake with blueberries and lots of chocolate

One of life’s small pleasures:  sharing breakfast with someone.

I mean… if you can find someone who will order the savory breakfast, but then let you pick at their hash browns… I’m pretty sure that’s a love for life.  The ultimate breakfast situation involves sharing an eggy-hash and then sharing a totally over-the-top pancake.  If you can find the human that wants to embark on this sort of breakfast endeavor with you, marry them or give them one of those BFF friendship necklaces.  Either way.  Shared breakfast is a big deal.

Breakfast isn’t always about a pair.  Heeeeck no!  The solo pancake expedition is just as important as the coupled pursuit.  This pancake recipe makes one giant pancake filled with fresh blueberries and chocolate pieces.  Just one!  Just one mega pancake with way too many fresh blueberries and a little too much chocolate.  It’s perfect for one hungry belly, or two bellies to serve after eggs as something I like to call… breakfast dessert.

The Single Pancake with blueberries and chocolate

This recipe comes together in little bits.

Little bits of flour and oats.  A little bit of sugar, cinnamon, and soda, powder.  A little bit of butter.  A lotta bit of fresh blueberries and chocolate.  Too many blueberries and too much chocolate… that’s really what we’re going for.

The Single Pancake with blueberries and chocolate

Dry ingredients frist.

Flour, oats, cinnamon, sugar, and the baking soda and baking powder.

It feels strange to mix together such small amounts.

The Single Pancake with blueberries and chocolate

Buttermilk because it’s nice, thick, and tangy, too!

If you don’t have buttermilk you can add dash of milk to yogurt and go with that!

The Single Pancake with blueberries and chocolate

Handfuls each of fresh blueberries and chocolate chips.  If it feels like too much, it is… and that’s exactly right.

The Single Pancake with blueberries and chocolate

The batter rests while the griddle heats.

You can make this batter as one single pancake (which is a monster and terrifying to flip) or as two small pancakes (which is civilized and easier to flip).  I went with one giant pancake because I like to be scared in the kitchen.  Next time (and there will be a next time), I’ll go with two small cakes.

The Single Pancake with blueberries and lots of chocolate

It’s Breakfast Dessert!  The most coveted meal / non-meal of the day!

The Single Pancake with blueberries and chocolate

As if sweet blueberries and melted chocolate weren’t enough for breakfast dessert… maple syrup and powdered sugar, too!?  Out of control.

The Single Pancake.  It is restrained in portion and totally bonkers in every other way.

The Single Pancake with too many blueberries and lots of chocolate

makes one large or two small pancakes

Print this Recipe!

1/3 cup all-purpose flour (a multi purpose gluten-free flour also works well)

1 Tablespoon dried oats (quick-cooking or old-fashioned)

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

1 tablespoon unsalted melted butter

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

splash of pure vanilla extract

handful of fresh blueberries

smaller handful of dark chocolate chips

a bit of vegetable oil and butter for coating the griddle

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a separate bowl whisk together melted butter, vanilla extract and buttermilk.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir to combine.  The mixture will be thick.  Fold in the fresh blueberries and  chocolate chips.

In a small non-stick frying pan or a griddle  heat a teaspoon of oil and a dab of butter over medium heat.  Pour in the pancake batter and spread some with the back of a spoon.  Cook over medium heat until blueberries begin to bubble and the bottom of the pancake is golden brown.

Flip.  It’s ok if it doesn’t flip perfectly.

Cook until golden brown on both sides.  Remove from pan and onto a plate.  Top with maple syrup and powdered sugar.  Enjoy immediately.  

 

The post The Single Pancake appeared first on Joy the Baker.

05 Aug 19:00

How Fox Reacted To Guardians Of The Galaxy [Comic]

by Geek Girl Diva
Alisa.wray

awesome.

firefly guardians

(via Reddit)








05 Aug 21:01

Lights Out In 71 Seconds

by Brinke

Mr. Man here has no intention of going to bed at the beginning of this clip, and is quite vocal about it. At the 1:11 mark, he’s toast.

As seen on the @CuteEmergency Twitter.


Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: frenchies, Prolly an Encore Presentayshe but I can't find it
04 Aug 13:00

Basic Airway Assessment: It’s as easy as… 1-2-3?

by Rob Woods

In medical school, many multiple-choice questions in the setting of an acutely ill patient have an option of “managing the ABC’s” and it is always the correct answer.  Unfortunately, saying “I would manage the ABCs as my first priority” is very different from actually knowing how to assess an airway, let alone managing abnormalities during a trauma resuscitation.

If you think this is going to be some crazy airway blog post, think again.  This isn’t a sexy topic on cool, cutting-edge airway interventions…. It’s a bread and butter BoringEM topic that deserves attention. Read on for an approach to basic airway assessment.

Misconceptions about the “A” of ABC

The biggest misunderstanding is around the A of the ABC’s: Airway. In the trauma room I regularly hear the statement, ‘They are talking, so their airway is patent’.  This is inaccurate.  Patency is our primary concern in airway assessment, but the patient who can talk does not necessarily have a PATENT airway.  Think about a patient with bad airway edema from a laryngeal fracture, or a patient with an inhalational injury.  They can talk, but their airway may be closing nonetheless.  The ability to talk usually implies a PROTECTED airway, not a patent airway.  Lack of airway protection is a less urgent matter than patency.

PATENCY is assessed through the presence/absence of obstructive symptoms (stridor, secretions, snoring, etc.), or findings suggesting an airway that may become obstructed (singed nasal/facial hair, carbonaceous sputum, stab to neck with risk of expanding hematoma).

Managing the Airway

The next issue is that the indications for definitive airway management involve both airway and breathing, so just because the airway is patent and protected, it doesn’t mean the patient won’t need to be intubated.

In general, the indications for intubation are (Walls et al., 2012):

  1. Failure to oxygenate
  2. Failure to ventilate
  3. Failure to maintain airway patency
  4. Anticipated clinical course: going for imaging/OR (airway or breathing)

1 and 2 relate to breathing issues, 3 is about airway patency, and 4 is about airway protection.

Look before you Leap:  Assess the airway for difficulty of potential interventions

From here, there is confusion about assessing the airway for PATHOLOGY (patency and protection issues) versus INTERVENTIONS such as: Bag-Valve Mask ventilation (BONES or BOOTS), difficult Laryngoscopy & Endotracheal Intubation (LEMON), difficult Laryngeal Mask Airway (RODS) and difficult Surgical Airway (SHORT).

Deciding that something is wrong with the airway SHOULD be the easy part, and simple interventions will deal with the most immediate airway issue of obstruction. (These simple interventions being:  suction, jaw thrust, oral-pharyngeal airway, supplemental O2).

Deciding if a definitive intervention (i.e. intubation) is required and how to go about that takes a lot more experience and training. The table below contains mnemonics for assessing a patient for intubation, bag-malve-vask ventilation, LMA placement, and cricothyrotomy.

Airway mnemonics modified from the STARSTM Manual & Walls et al. (4th edition)

Difficulty Endotracheal Intubation Difficult Bag-Mask-Valve (BMV)
L   Look externally
E   Evaluate 3-3-2
M  Mallampati*
O  Obstruction/Obesity
N  Neck Mobility**
B Beard
O Obstructed/Obese/OSA
N Neck Stiffness / Neck Mass
E Expecting (Pregnant)
S Stridor / Snores (OSA)**
Difficult Laryngeal Mask Airway (LMA) Difficult Cricothyrotomy
R  Restricted Mouth Opening
O  Obstruction
D  Distorted airway anatomy
S  Stiff Lungs / Neck
S  Surgery
H  Hematoma, Have Infection (Abscess)
O  Obesity
R  Radiation
T  Trauma, Tumor

* this is of limited use in non-elective intubations (e.g. Trauma)
** technically, can add an extra “S” behind all these mnemonics, since Stiff Lungs always makes any positive pressure ventilation strategy more difficult.

A suggested approach to basic airway assessment

My approach to airway assessment for PATHOLOGY is to assess the “S’s” in 3 steps:

The S’s of Airway Pathology

Step 1: Is there evidence of airway OBSTRUCTION now – is it complete or partial?

Complete Obstruction:
Silence without chest rise or
See-Saw Chest movement (chest down, abdo up with attempted respiration – resulting from diaphragmatic excursion with a closed glottis/obstructed tongue)

*Complete airway obstruction needs immediate intervention – cardiac arrest is likely within seconds to minutes of complete airway obstruction.

Partial Obstruction
Stridor – airway swelling/compression by hematoma
Secretions – saliva, blood
Snoring – tongue relaxation
Smash – risk of teeth/blood in the airway

Interventions:
SIMPLE = jaw thrust, suction, OPA, supplemental Oxygen, BVM
ADVANCED = Definitive airway management

Step 2: Is there a risk of ANTICIPATED airway obstruction?

Singe or Sputum (carbonaceous) – risk of delayed airway swelling from inhalational burn
Stab or Swelling neck – risk of delayed airway compression from expanding hematoma or neck mass

Interventions:
Frequent re-assessment, early intervention (if skilled), early consultation with experts

Step 3: Is there a risk of Aspiration from failure to PROTECT their airway?

Sleepy (low GCS)

Interventions:
Definitive airway management if decreased LOC (impaired gag reflex) is going to be prolonged, is not easily reversible, is deteriorating, or if intubation will facilitate further investigations (ie CT Scan).

The level of consciousness can always change and along with it the ability to protect the airway from aspiration, however aspiration is not an immediate event the second your GCS hits 8 or less.  GCS < 8 is not an absolute indication for intubation.  Many intoxicated patients and post-ictal patients live with a GCS or 5 or 6 and wake up a few hours later.  They don’t usually aspirate, and can be managed without definitive airway protection. Alternatively the head-injured trauma patient with a GCS of 12 at presentation that is a 10 now probably needs definitive airway management.

Conclusion

Always assess the S’s of the Airway.  If they are all normal, you can be confident that you are NOT dealing with an immediate or impending airway issue of patency or protection.  If there are abnormalities in the S’s, simple airway interventions will temporize the situation until more experienced providers can assist with definitive airway interventions. The table below summarizes the three steps and nine S’s. This approach is illustrated in 3 cases below.

  Step 1: Is there evidence of airway obstruction now? Step 2: Is there a risk of anticipated airway obstruction? Step 3:Is there a risk of Aspiration from failure to PROTECT their airway?
Signs Symptoms Complete Obstruction
Silence without chest rise
or
See-Saw Chest movementPartial Obstruction
Stridor – airway swelling/compression by hematoma
Secretions – saliva, blood
Snoring – tongue relaxation
Smash – risk of teeth/blood in the airway
Singe or Sputum (carbonaceous) – risk of delayed airway swelling from inhalational burnStab or Swelling neck – risk of delayed airway compression from expanding hematoma or neck mass  Sleepy (low GCS)

Cases

Case 1

44 y o male, assaulted to head/face with baseball bat.  Brought to ED in sitting position in c-spine precautions, normal Vital Sign, GCS 15.

Airway Assessment for Pathology:
Deformed nose bleeding into pharynx, difficulty opening mouth/sore jaw, spitting up blood continuously.  No trauma to neck, no stridor, no singed hairs or carbonaceous sputum, no see-saw respirations.

Q: What is going on with this patient’s airway?  What should you do immediately?
A: Partial airway obstruction from blood.  Awake and protecting airway.  Manage this airway with suction +/- supplemental O2, upright positioning.

Airway Assessment for Intervention:
History of Sleep Apnea, Obese, Beard, Unable to open mouth (likely from mandible fracture), and no neck mobility (c-spine collar).

Q: How should you proceed?
A: This person is a predicted difficult BVM, Laryngoscopy, LMA and Surgical Airway!  If you do need to intervene for a drop in GCS or loss of patency you would need additional airway experts to definitively manage this airway safely. 

Case 2

36 y o female single vehicle rollover on highway, brought in c-spine precautions.  GCS initially 15/15 by EMS, no signs of external head injury/trauma, complaining of abdominal pain.  Initial Vitals: HR 115, BP 92/68, RR/O2 sats normal.  On arrival to hospital, GCS now 11, HR 130, BP 68/40 with a distended abdomen (not pregnant).

Airway Assessment for Pathology:
Snoring respirations. No secretions, stridor, see-saw resps, singe or stab/swelling to neck.

Q: What is going on with this patient’s airway?  What should you do immediately?
A: This patient has a partial obstruction from her tongue due to decreased LOC and should be treated with jaw thrust/OPA/supplemental O2. Additionally, she may fail to protect her airway due to a low GCS secondary to hypovolemic shock.  Her ability to protect her airway is likely to correct with blood transfusion.

Airway Assessment for Intervention:
This patient has no predictors of difficult airway intervention except for a c-spine collar.

Q: How will you proceed?
A: Don’t just do something… Stand there!  Intubation comes with a significant risk of hypotension, both from the drugs given as well as the effect of positive pressure ventilation on pre-load.  You would NOT want to intubate this patient until their BP improved, or you might end up running a code.  If their BP improves, it is likely that their LOC will as well, so you probably won’t need to intubate at all.

Case 3

14 y o male flipped his quad, with quad landing on his head, brought in c-spine precautions.  EMS reports the helmet to be split in two.  GCS 12 (E4, V3, M3) with blood draining from both ears.  No visible trauma to chest/abdo or extremities.  HR 55, BP 177/94, RR/O2 sats normal.

Airway Assessment for Pathology:
Low and declining GCS. No see-saw resps, snoring, secretions, stridor, smash, stab, singe.

Q: What is going on with this patient’s airway?  What should you do immediately?
A:  This patient is at risk of failing to protect airway and has obvious signs of skull fracture for which they will need a CT scan.  Although the GCS is more than 8, it is deteriorating.  Also, the most predictive aspect of the GCS is the motor score.  As this patient is demonstrating flexor posturing and early Cushing’s response (hypertension/bradycardia), there is a high likelihood of intra-cranial injury.  This patient will likely need to be intubated.

Airway Assessment for Intervention:
There are no predictors of difficult airway intervention in this patient except for c-spine collar.

Q: How will you proceed?
A:  You need to get definitive control of this patient’s airway.  Hypoxemia and hypotension contribute to secondary brain injury, so management of this airway should pay close attention to these issues.  You would want to use apneic oxygenation as part of your RSI to mitigate the risk of hypoxemia, and choose a sedative agent that will maintain their blood pressure.

Case 4

56 yo female trapped in a housefire, no traumatic injuries.  Wheezy and SOB on scene once extricated from hospital, treated with Salbutamol nebulizer en route to hospital by EMS.  Wheeze/SOB settled upon ED arrival. Normal vital signs, GSC 15.

Airway Assessment for Pathology:
Black soot at the back of the throat, singed eyebrows.  No stridor, secretions, snoring, see-saw respirations, stab.

Q: What is going on with this patient’s airway?  What should you do immediately?
A: There is an impending loss of airway patency from airway edema.  Consider early intubation before airway before the swelling makes passing an Endotracheal tube difficult or impossible.

Airway Assessment for Intervention:
No predictors of difficulty for airway intervention.

Q: How will you proceed?
A:  Early definite airway management under the auspices of impending airway loss.  It’s impossible to know if she will swell in her airway or not, but if she does it could be life threatening.  Early management is the usual approach if there is reasonable suspicion for inhalational burn, although at times it is an unnecessary intervention.

Author information

Rob Woods
Rob Woods
Program Director at University of Saskatchewan
Rob Woods is the Program Director of the University of Saskatchewan Emergency Medicine Residency Program

The post Basic Airway Assessment: It’s as easy as… 1-2-3? appeared first on BoringEM and was written by Rob Woods.

31 Jul 14:00

Read Tom Hiddleston’s Thank You Letter To Joss Whedon For The Avengers

by Alan Kistler

loki

Loki - Norse god of mischief, lies and evil – is a sympathetic yet clear villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, arranging for people to die and war to erupt just to ruin his brother’s coronation, later robbing people of free will as he attempted planet-wide genocide. But we still love seeing him in action and a large part of the credit goes to Tom Hiddleston, a superb actor and all-around sweet guy. This Friday, Joss Whedon: The Biography will be released and it includes an e-mail exchange between Hiddleston and the director/screenwriter of The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. The actor was so overjoyed at Loki’s role in the script for Marvel’s The Avengers that he was compelled to write a thank you letter.

The letters can be read after the break.

Joss,

I am so excited I can hardly speak.

The first time I read it I grabbed at it like Charlie Bucket snatching for a golden ticket somewhere behind the chocolate in the wrapper of a Wonka Bar. I didn’t know where to start. Like a classic actor I jumped in looking for LOKI on every page, jumping back and forth, reading words in no particular order, utterances imprinting themselves like flash-cuts of newspaper headlines in my mind: “real menace”; “field of obeisance”; “discontented, nothing is enough”; “his smile is nothing but a glimpse of his skull” “Puny god”

Thank you for writing me my Hans Gruber. But a Hans Gruber with super-magic powers. As played by James Mason … It’s high operatic villainy alongside detached throwaway tongue-in-cheek; plus the “real menace” and his closely guarded suitcase of pain. It’s grand and epic and majestic and poetic and lyrical and wicked and rich and badass and might possibly be the most gloriously fun part I’ve ever stared down the barrel of playing. It is just so juicy.

I love how throughout you continue to put Loki on some kind of pedestal of regal magnificence and then consistently tear him down. He gets battered, punched, blasted, side-swiped, roared at, sent tumbling on his back, and every time he gets back up smiling, wickedly, never for a second losing his eloquence, style, wit, self-aggrandisement or grandeur, and you never send him up or deny him his real intelligence…. That he loves to make an entrance; that he has a taste for the grand gesture, the big speech, the spectacle. I might be biased, but I do feel as though you have written me the coolest part.

But really I’m just sending you a transatlantic shout-out and fist-bump, things that traditionally British actors probably don’t do. It’s epic.

Sweet, right? And here is Mr. Whedon’s reply:

Tom, this is one of those emails you keep forever. Thanks so much. It’s more articulate (and possibly longer) than the script. I couldn’t be more pleased at your reaction, but I’ll also tell you I’m still working on it … Thank you again. I’m so glad you’re pleased. Absurd fun to ensue.

Best, (including uncharacteristic fist bump), joss.

“Absurd fun” is an apt description of The Avengers. It’s good to see evidence that the folks behind the scenes had as much fun as the audience did watching the movie.

(via Collider)








29 Jul 13:10

Salmon Sandwich with Creamy Dill Sauce

by Meghan B.

Getting back into the healthy eating routine is not so easy…

Salmon Sandwich_3

I have been trying to get inspired with new healthy recipes and lately fish has been the only way for me to start climbing back up on that diet bandwagon. Salmon in particular has been a welcome healthy (re)addition to my diet. I never seem to know what to make myself for lunch, so I thought, why not make a fresh salmon sandwich? 

This salmon sandwich is the ultimate lunch, particularly because it test just as heavenly warm as it does cold. It’s perfect for me to take to the office or to have as a casual lunch. Deceivingly simple to make AND it makes you feel somewhat elegant/sophisticated when you are eating it!

Salmon Sandwich_2

Unless you are me and end up with oh-so adorable dribbles of dill sauce running down your face (I hope you heard the sarcasm dripping from “oh-so adorable” there…). I might not be the most elegant of eaters, but I can’t possibly begin to care when a sandwich tastes as gosh darn good as this one does!

I rub the top of my salmon with a simple mixture of garlic powder, salt, and pepper which pairs perfectly with the slightly tangy creamy dill sauce and the peppery mixture of micro greens.

Salmon Sandwich_1

If only I could pair it with a glass of chilled white wine when I am at work… ;)

Recipe Tip: Any leftover creamy dill sauce can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week. 

Salmon Sandwich with Creamy Dill Sauce
 
My favorite fresh lunch packed with light and summery flavors. Perfect for taking with you to work or enjoying on a leisurely weekend.
Serves: 2
ingredients
  • 2 salmon filets
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • Ciabatta
  • Micro greens
  • SAUCE
  • 1 cup light mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup reduced fat sour cream
  • ¾ tsp white wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup fresh dill
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tsp capers, drained
directions
  1. Turn your oven’s broiler to high. Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the salmon filets side by side on the lined baking sheet.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the ¼ tsp salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Rub the spice mixture evenly over the top of the two salmon filets. Place the baking sheet in the upper third section of the oven and broil on high for approximately 6 to 7 minutes, or until salmon reaches desired doneness. Remove from oven and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor, add mayonnaise, sour cream, white wine vinegar, dill, salt, and capers. Process until the mixture is well combined.
  4. Add approximately 1 tablespoon of the creamy dill sauce to one side of each slice of ciabatta. Add each salmon filet to the sauced side of two slices of prepared bread. Top with micro greens and the other slices of bread (sauce-side down). Enjoy immediately!
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