Friday, July 27, 2012

14 minutes and counting...

14 minutes until the excitement that is the Olympics begin!  I am a total Olympaholic!  I'll watch anything Olympic fencing, badminton, synchronized swimming... anything and everything!  Actually the only thing I don't really like is wrestling.  Sweaty men in leotards rolling around on the floor grabbing each other.. it sorta creeps me out.  But... if there's nothing else Olympic on - then wrestling it is!  I can't wait gymnastics, rowing, equestrian...Bring it on!  Go America! Actually go Everyone...I wish everyone could win!  Gotta go... 10 minutes....

Monday, July 23, 2012

New Recipe Night - Reviews are mixed.

Tonight's offering...
Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin
It was suppose to look like didn't!
1 (2lb) boneless pork tenderloin
1 tsp grd sage
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup water

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
   2 Tbsp soy sauce

Combine sage, salt, petter and garlic.  Rub over roast.  Place in slow cooker with 1/2 cup water.  Cook on Low 6-8 hours.  About 1 hour before roast is done, combine ingredients for glaze in small sauce pan.  Heat and stir until mixture thickens.  Brush roast with glaze 2 or 3 times during the last hour of cooking.  Serve with remaining glaze on the side.  

I served it with Herb mashed potatoes and Parmesan roasted zucchini and squash.   Brenna and John both liked it.  Me, not so much.  

I love the idea of the crock pot.  Put your stuff in in the morning and when dinner rolls around it's ready to go.  What's not to love?   I am always cutting out "no fail" crock pot recipes to try.  Unfortunately, I have yet to find a "no fail" crock pot recipe.  (Chili and soup don't count).  To me no matter what I do the meat always turns out grey and dry.  Dry? You say?  I know it doesn't seem possible since Crock Pot is the epitome of slow, juicy cooking.  Not so much in the Hyzy house.  Just like always this meat looked grey, until I covered it with the glaze (which was yummy) but it still seemed dry to me.  So, while it got 2 out of 3 yes votes, I won't be cooking it again.  I think I just need to bid farewell to the crock pot and get it off the shelf where it just sits taunting me!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fit in 15!

Can't tell you how glad I am to be home.  Even with the unpacking, the laundry, the errands and the grocery store, I am still glad to be home with all my "stuff."  I do love my routine!  What I don't love so much, and what my food baby really HATED today was our Fit in 15 program!

This summer along with my Eating Awareness Program, I also started a Fit in 15 exercise program.  I found a 15 minute workout in one of my magazines and how can anyone say you don't have 15 minutes.  When I started talking about it, most of my girlfriends wanted in on the action, even Brenna joins us.  We've been meeting M, W and Fri at 745am and working out right in the front yard!  The first day I practiced by myself just to see how it would go... it went fine, but the next day and the next day...not so fine.  I was so freaking sore I practically needed help to pee.  I didn't think I'd be able to get up or down the stairs by myself.  The fact the Fit in 15 actually took me about 30 minutes because I had to stop and rest was completely embarrassing and humbling.  I had no idea that 15 minutes would make me sweat and pant so much, or that seeing the word lunge or squat would cause me to swear like a sailor, but all in all, I worked it out and it's been going well.

Actually, the combination of Eating Awareness and Fit in 15 has been working really well.  I stepped on the scale right before we left for vacation and I saw a number that I haven't seen in quite a few years.     My age X 3 - 7 = a number that actually made me smile when I got on the scale.  I might even have done a small happy dance in the bathroom.  I'm hoping as soon as my stupid Food Baby is delivered I'll be back to that happy number!

Today was my first day back to Fit and 15 after our Food Orgy Vacation.  I didn't mind getting back into the swing of things, but my food baby really HATED it, especially the Ab workout parts.  But, we did it and hopefully my food baby will go away and I'll be back to exercising singly soon.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I wish it had been as easy as clicking our heels twice and wishing for home...

We woke up this morning and decided...12 hours... YES WE CAN!  So we piled into the car, buckled up and headed out!  We did it!  We made it!  No one cried, no one whined and the cranky pants stayed packed away!
The only issue was that since I've given up soda and caffeine, my only real "stay awake" crutch was food.  I pretty much ate to keep myself awake.  There was biscuits and gravy to start the day off, followed by pretty much anything I could get my hands on.  Jack in the Box tacos, beef jerky, chewy sprees, veggies and dip,  french fries... do I really need to go on.  I'm lucky I didn't eat myself into a food coma, but I sure tried!  My food baby should be ready to be delivered at a moment's notice!

The kids were great travelers!  Brenna even drove for a little bit for me.  Sadly riding in the back of the van made me car sick so she only got to drive for about an hour, but it still helped me out.

We're all so glad to be home - the puppies were hysterically happy to see us and if it didn't make John sound like a sissy I'd say he was hysterically happy to see us as well.  I am hysterically happy to be back with my own things, in my own bed and with my whole family.

Great Vacation and Great to be home.  Isn't that the way it should be!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Never-Ending car eleventy-one!

We're back on the road and it went on forFREAKINGever today!  First of all, I was happy and sad and that's sort of a crappy way to start the day.  I was glad to be heading home, but I was very sad knowing I'm probably not going to see any part of my family for at least another year, and that's if we're lucky. :o(  I love visiting and hanging out because we all get along so well, but it just makes me realize how much I miss them.  I think on a day to day - live your life basis, you don't always think about not being with your family, especially if you grew up in a military family.  That was pretty much the status quo.  It's always so great to get together and see everyone, but it makes me miss them even more.

Pretty much the only "rest stop" in Arkansas
Anyway, we had to leave, it was time to go and so we did.  But then it became the never-ending road trip.  First of all let me say that I always believed that Texas had THE WORST rest stops.  All their rest stops consist of are a metal picnic table and a metal trashcan.  No shade, no bathroom - basically no nothing.  I always figured it was because it was Texas "a whole other country" and they didn't want you to rest long, they wanted you to get the hell out of their country.  But then I drove through Arkansas and they don't have ANY rest stops, they don't even want you to stop. Their motto must be "Just keep on driving and get the hell out of our state."  I kept promising everyone we would stop at the next rest stop, little did I know that it would be in Tennessee.  Then when we got to the 8 1/2 hour mark and stopped to get a hotel room - the ENTIRE town was sold out for the Softball World Series... but not just the whole town... the whole 3 MORE TOWNS down the road.  We had to drive another 90 minutes to find "room in the inn."  Almost 11 hours driving... that's too much even if you are having a Lord of the Rings marathon!

Although, we drove so far today and nobody really got too cranky (except me-and I held it in) that I'm considering pushing it tomorrow.  12 more hours and we'd be home!  I want to be home!  Stay tuned... for the continuing saga!

Oklahoma Visit - Final Days

We are finishing up the Great American Road Trip and Oklahoma visit.  It has been an all-around success! Sunday,  we hit the bookstore ( a family tradition) and then just mainly hung out at Aunt Linda's house eating!  Seems to be the theme of this visit.  We finished up our tie dye shirts, chatted and and the kids did some swimming at the hotel.  It was really the best way to spend the day. Uncle John is still in the hospital and seems to be making slow progress.  After dinner we headed over to the Oklahoma City Memorial.  It was sort of a somber way to end the day, but at the same time the actual memorial is beautiful and since Brenna was 3 when it happened and none of the others had even been born, it sparked a lot of good conversation and I think made quite an impression.

Laney, Aunt Linda, Pam, Risa and Kipp

Ian, Cari and Zain
The Oklahoma City Memorial at Night
Yesterday, Pam and Kipp and the girls headed out - they were starting their great midwest road trip.  Ian and Cari hit an Auto Parts Store and JoAnn fabrics.  I guess when you live in Columbus, Mississippi it's important to hit the stores you don't have.  I totally understand.  I remember when we lived up in the U.P. - which use to live for our weekend trips into Green Bay to go to the mall.  The kids and I and Mimi drove over to OU to check out the campus.  We'd seen a totally cool naked lady statue and lots of old fashion phone booths that reminded Brenna of Doctor Who's Tardis so we went to take pictures.

Then we met Mimi for one of the best lunches I've ever had.  We ate at a restaurant named InterUrban and I had what were  THE BEST fish tacos I've ever had.  I'm still thinking about those fish tacos!
Mimi hit the road back to Kansas and we all sent to the Oklahoma Science Museum.  We had a good time, speedy, but good.  I didn't realize the museum closed at 5pm, so we pretty much did the museum at a run, saw the movie Tornado Alley and headed for home.  The kids and Ian all got to try out Segwey's.. that was a highlight.
We headed back to the hotel, swam in the pool and then pretty much collapsed.  
Of course, don't forget we ate AGAIN and had ice cream!

We we first started planning this trip I was a little worried because it was 3 days of driving, 3 days of visit and 3 more days of driving and I worried that it wouldn't be a long enough visit.  But I must say, we've had a fabulous time but I am ready to get home and see my husband and my puppies and be in my own bed with all my own stuff.  Not looking forward to starting the drive tomorrow, but knowing that there's a Jack in the Box somewhere in Tennessee is providing quite a bit of motivation!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Oklahoma Visit Day #4

Yesterday was another great day.  We visited Bricktown in Oklahoma City.  It's a revamped area of downtown where they've put in a man-made canal thing, very similar to the RiverWalk in San Antonio.  We took a boat tour and ate lunch at Toby Keith's I Love this Bar restaurant.  My kids of course both ordered THE MOST expensive item on the list...Salmon!  Really? You come to Oklahoma and you order Salmon, that probably had to be imported overnight from Alaska!  Not a lot of Salmon fishing going on in Oklahoma.  But they both ate it all and any time Zack eats something beside Fruit Loops, Nerds or Eggo Waffles I'm a happy camper!

Then we went back to Aunt Linda's and hung out for most of the day.  We played with the dogs, tie-dyed shirts, celebrated Mimi's birthday and generally ate until we all fell into food comas! Seriously the amount of food we have consumed on this visit is more than enough to feed a mid-sized nation.  Aunt Linda keeps the food coming at programed intervals, we're at the point that we're eating just because it's there - I don't think anyone is even hungry anymore.  She just throws a new meal at us and we all belly up to the trough.  I'm going to be able to live off my food baby for weeks when I get home!

That's it in a nutshell... here's the day in pictures.

Awesome Bronze statues of the Okla Land Run

Happy 70th Birthday Mimi!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Road Trip Day #3 - Recap

Day 3 proved to be quite successful.  I woke up early and went down to breakfast in the hotel and let the kids sleep until almost 9am.  We only had a 3 hour drive so I figured the longer I let them sleep, the less likely they'd be wearing the cranky pants.  I truly believe the amount of sleep they get is inversely proportional to the amount of cranky the exhibit... which is why I think the truism "never wake a sleeping baby" should be amended to say...or a sleeping teenager!

We seemed to have avoided most of the cranky, but sometimes my kids just make me wonder... Zack chose to have french toast for breakfast.  So, he got his french toast, he buttered it, he poured syrup all over it and then he proceed to pick it up with his hands and eat it like a regular piece of toast!   And YES, before you ask, the syrup ran all down his hands and arms practically to his elbows!  Well... if you know anything about the Hyzy's then you know that we proceeded to immediately jump all over that shit and teased him mercilessly!  Observation.... the amount of teasing you do to a teenager is directly proportional to the amount of cranky they exhibit.   He was grossly offended and couldn't understand why we were making fun of him.   I'll let you be the judge!

We arrived safely at my Aunt Linda's and all the introductions began.  The oohing and aahing, the "your so big," "your so tall," "you look greats." I discovered my niece Laney and I are long lost twins, she has blond strips in her dark hair to match my pink and blue stripes.  We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out and getting to know each other.  We ate like frigging pigs and played with the dogs.  Only kerfuffle, my Uncle John had a Dr. appointment and when he got there he was a lot sicker than they thought and they admitted him to the hospital.  Some sort of renal failure, but he's feeling better so we're hoping he'll get out today.

We took all the kids to the movies, they saw Brave and Ian and I went for a second serving of Avengers.  Oh how I love me some Avengers.

Today we're heading to Bricktown and then Tie Dyeing!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Road Trip Day #2

If yesterday was the honeymoon phase of our trip, today can only be described as the divorce proceedings!  There was good and bad.  It started out nasty, but as the day continued things smoothed out and ended on a good note.  We actually make it all the way to Fort Smith which is 2 hours past Little Rock!

Zack woke up in THE FOULEST mood I've ever seen him in. He woke up wearing the cranky pants and they were obviously tight and uncomfortable.  He didn't do anything but glower and ignore us.  Reacting rudely to the mildest request, so while nobody cried today... somebody certainly yelled.  Once we got on the road we relegated him to the far back of the van and followed the tried and true "No Touch, No Talk, No Eye Contact" rule!  He laid down and didn't resurface until about 2pm.  I'm not sure what he was doing back there, either sleeping or secretly eating as much candy as he could before anyone noticed.  I think his entire diet today consisted of pancakes, sunflower seeds, nerds and a grilled cheese sandwich.  Whatever... I didn't want to fight that fight today.

It was a quiet day in the car.  We all just did our own thing.  I listened to books on tape or my music.  Can I say that I officially LOVE. MY. IPhone4!  It's a phone, it's a music player and it has my books on tape.  One thing...does it all!  LOVE IT!   Brenna watched movies on her computer and listened to music.  It was a quiet day in the car, but that seemed to suit everyone.

The worst part of the ride was the rain! Oy Vey the rain!  It rained the entire time, except for the last hour.  But it wasn't regular rain... it was either "spit rain" which is too little for even the delay function on your windshield wipers, but too much to not use the wipers.  So you have to do it all manually or listen to the wipers scrap and skip across the windshield.  Or it rained so hard that even the highest speed couldn't keep up.  Oy Vey the rain!

We had two bits of very exciting happenstances.  #1 - I filled my car up for $2.99!  I couldn't believe it!  Less than 3 bucks... awesome!  And...We found the one and only JACK IN THE BOX in Tennessee!  Brenna and I were so excited we squealed like little school girls which woke Zack up and probably extended the cranky for a couple more hours!  Let me tell you we exited off the highway as fast as my little van would take us and raced through the drive through.  I gushed and gooed all over the drive through girl who probably thought I was all kinds of crazy.  I have loved Jack in the Box tacos since at least 5th grade.  Jack in the Box was the first place my BFF, Carol, and I were allowed to go by ourselves.  In the 5th grade, we would ride our bikes up to The Box and order our own food, pay by ourselves and eat.  We thought we were the shit!  And I think ever since then they've been my favorite. I can't tell you how many 2am "2 for 99cent tacos"  I ate on the way home from my boyfriends house to my dorm.  I know, I know, before anyone says anything... I realize they aren't "real" tacos, the probably don't have any "real" food actually in them. I understand that their whole texture is all the same... soft and mushy.   I. Don't. Care!  I LOVE them and I enjoyed the hell out of my 1030am tacos today.

So, while I did eat 1030am tacos and they aren't exactly part of my "Eating Awareness" program I didn't really care... I was totally AWARE of them while I was eating them.  The rest of the day, we actually ate out of the cooler I brought.  Brenna and I ate fruit, veggies, cheese and crackers and even a hard boiled egg (which didn't stink at all).   Go us!

Because we ate out of the cooler and Zack didn't resurface until 2pm we made great time.  We actually hit Little Rock about 330pm, which was where we were originally going to stop, but we all decide it was too early to stop so we pushed on to Fort Smith.  Found another Holiday Inn Express, my new favorite, and settled in.  The good news is we only have about a 3 hour drive tomorrow... seems easy enough, we should all be able to survive that....she said hopefully!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Road Trip Day #1

We've survived our first day on the Great Pilgrimage to Oklahoma!  The kids and I left this morning about 8am and stopped about 530pm in Knoxville, TN.  We're driving to Okla for a mini family reunion for Mimi's 70th birthday.  We're all (Ian + family, Pam + family) meeting up at Aunt Linda's house to hang out and celebrate Mimi. We had to leave John at home to save the world.  It's going to be a lot of fun especially considering my kids have never even met Pam's kids and Pam has never met Zack and believe it or not Aunt Linda and Uncle John have never met Brenna or Zack.  It's a shame that's what it is.  So we're going to make the most of the visit.

Today was good, we had a little bit of bad weather and one brief stoppage on 81S.  We sat for an hour at a dead stop, but then got moving again.  The kids were great,  they watched Zombieland, read, slept and generally entertained themselves.  I made them both travel fun bags and I think they really enjoyed them despite the fact that when they are 14 and 19 it's not real easy to find "cool" stuff to put in their bags.  So instead I pretended they were about 8 and I made "retro" bags.  They got sticker books, bubbles, activity books, markers, candy, new headphones and stuff like that.

We found a really nice hotel in Knoxville - Holiday Inn Express.  Came with 2 queen beds and a fold out couch, so NO ONE HAS TO SHARE A BED!  Best news ever!  It has a pool so they swam and played together.

It was a good day... no one fought, no one cried and no one even wore the cranky pants.  Let's hope my luck holds for 2 more days in the car!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

New Recipe Night - Asparagus Magnificence

Tonight it's a side dish that is vegetable awesomeness!!  Not only is it a vegetable that I have only just begun to eat,  but Brenna ate it too!!!

Bacon Wrapped Sesame Asparagus
1 bunch of asparagus, about 20-25 spears, stems removed
4-5 slices bacon
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 Tbsp (or more) toasted sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil and place a wire rack on top.  Spray the rack with non-stick spray.  In a small bowl, whisk together oils, brown sugar and garlic.  Set aside.
Bunch together 5-6 asparagus spears and tightly wrap a piece of bacon around the bundle.  Place on the wire rack seam-side down. Continue with all asparagus spears.  Using a pastry brush, a spoon or even your hands, brush the spear bundles throughly with the oil/sugar mixture.  Give each bundle a hefty sprinkle of sesame seeds.  Roast for about 30-45 minutes or until bacon is crispy.

These should just be called Asparagus Awesomeness!!! They were really, really good and they looked very pretty.  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New Recipe Night - Green Bean and Potato Salad with Skirt Steak

I'm still cooking and John actually got to eat this dinner fresh out of the oven instead of warmed up.
Green Bean and Potato Salad with Skirt Steak
1 1/4 lbs skirt steak 
kosher salt
3/4 lb thin green beans, trimmed
1 large shallot, diced
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp olive oil
2 lbs small Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and halved
fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup black olives, rinsed and halved
2 Tbsp rough chopped parsley
2 Tbsp chopped chives
2 handfuls arugula
*** I substituted whatever steak I had in the freezer.  I also used Gnocci instead of potatoes***

Quick boil green beans for 3 mins.  Set aside to cool. In a small bowl combine shallot, mustard, vinegar and pinch of salt.  Set aside and let rest for 5-10 minutes, then whisk in 1/2 cup olive oil.  Meanwhile boil potatoes until fork tender, transfer to a large bowl and top with half vinaigrette.  Gently fold together and set aside.

Season steak with salt and pepper.  Heat skillet until very hot, add olive oil and place beef in pan without overlapping.  Cook for 2-3 minutes or until nicely browned.  Turn and cook another 2-3 minutes until desired doneness.  Transfer to cutting board and let rest for 5-10 minutes.

Add green beans, olives, parsley, chives to the potatoes.  Drizzle half of remaining vinaigrette on top and gently fold.  Distribute steak on plates and spoon bean and potato mixture around it.  Scatter the arugula on top and drizzle with remaining vinaigrette.

*** While the steak was resting I added the gnocchi to the pan and sautéed gently for 5-10 minutes until puffed and golden.  Added it to the green bean mixture.***

For purposes of reheating, it might be better to keep the gnocchi separate so it can be warmed up and then added to the salad later.

This was very tasty.  Definitely worth keeping!  Yummy!

Monday, July 2, 2012

New Recipe Night - Dijon Chicken Linquine

It's been a long stretch for New Recipe Night.  It's actually be a long stretch since I've cooked.  With John's new job, he's working 14-16 hour days, 7 days a week - Zack doesn't eat real food and Brenna is here hit or miss so I haven't seen the point in cooking.  But, now that the new clinics are open and it looks like his hours may settle down a little I'm jumping back in with both feet.

Dijon Chicken Linguine with Mushrooms and Toasted Almonds
350 gram package linguine, cooked
4 boneless, chicken breasts
1 cup mushrooms
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves minced garlic
salt and pepper to season
1/2 cup toasted, slivered almonds
4 oz white wine
2 cups whipping cream
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Heat olive oil in large frying pan.  Add chicken breasts, garlic, season with salt and pepper and continue to cook chicken until done.  Remove chicken from pan and hold in a warm oven.  Add to the pan wine and simmer until volume is reduced by half.  Then add whipping cream, mustard, salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer until sauce thickens enough to coat a metal spoon.  Return chicken to sauce, add the mushrooms and simmer for an additional 2 minutes.  Serve over cooked linguine.  Sprinkle with toasted almonds.

John loved it, but I don't know if he loved it because it was really good or because it's the first time I've cooked in weeks.  I thought it was good, but I'm not sure it was good enough to counteract the fact that it has 2 cups of heavy cream in it!  I'll keep the recipe for now.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Garden Bounty?

I've come to a decision... I'm not cut out to be a gardener.  Much as I love the idea of tilling the soil, nurturing the little plants, watching them grow and produce and then reaping the just doesn't work out that way.  My garden this year has been... I wouldn't say disappointing, because it is trying... but it's been more of a chore than a joy.  Now only is it not doing much, but it's just another thing for my to feel guilty about.  I seem to forget to water it and then I am consumed with guilt.  Really?? Do I really need something else to feel guilty about??  My lettuce plants were a bust, mainly I think because we started hitting 90 degreed temps in May and lettuce much like myself wilts under all that heat and humidity!  My zucchini and squash still refuse to have sex.  It's like an abstinence zone in our yard.  They grow big and beautiful and promising and then nothing... the big teases.  I do have some tomatoes on my "grow yourself" tomato plants but they've been green forever and don't want to ripen and my peppers are definitely stunted.

No more home gardens for me... We have a brand new farmers market about 10 mins up the road where I can buy all the lovely produce I want.  I've also discovered a Farm Co-op program thing.  You pay for a membership, it's like $400-$500, and from June through October the farm DELIVERS a magical mystery basket with fresh fruit and veggies!  To.Your.Door!  I'm really excited about it.  Start saving my money now and by Jan I'll be able to pay up.  I love the idea of fresh, local produce delivered to my door.  Even more I love the idea that I won't know whats coming and so I'll be forced to be creative.  We've become quite adventurous on our New Recipe Nights, so I am very excited about the idea of getting veggies I've never had or tried before and having to figure out what to do with them. After all take asparagus as an example... always claimed I didn't like asparagus, until someone at a BBQ wrapped it in bacon and I tried it.  Now I've made a hugely successful New Recipe Night with it and I actually have some sitting in my refrigerator right now!

 My only harvest so far!
So, Goodbye dirt under my fingernails,  guilt inducing thirsty plants and frigid, sexless squash and hello fresh veggie delivery to my door!  Bring. It. On!