Mar 7 2015

Right Place. Right Time.

I saw someone die today.

It’s something I see nearly every day. It’s a normal part of the cycle of life, and within the hospital we have so many tools at our fingertips to keep it at bay. We can allow it or we can fight it. We regulate it.

Outside of the hospital… is where things get scary, we don’t always have everything we wish we did. Death is not regulated, it’s messy, it’s brutal.

11024636_10100310680795281_3078368369315217540_nI love my job, I love the skills I have learned and the years of training I have gone through. But using these skills off duty always leaves its mark. I saw someone die today. And there was nothing I could do. Nothing. Which burns a hole in my heart and brain. What could I have done differently? Could I have prevented the loss of another soul?

I saw someone die today.

But I also helped save the lives of many. I witnessed this accident. Actually, if my car was only 2 cars ahead of where we were stopped, it would have been our bodies laying in the morgue and not his.

The second I saw it my EMT brain took over, and I jumped out of my car, yelling for sawyer to call 911, immediately accessing the scene and triaging within my head. I found myself running towards the red Vibe, the first vehicle that was hit, and the one with the most visible damage. I saw many others running to the silver Malibu, that had hit the car I was nearing. The driver, a middle aged male was slumped over, I braced his c-spine and felt for a Carotid pulse. None. Radial. None. Femoral. None. Shit.

I hear screaming. “What do we do next?” Over and over again, it’s repeated. I suddenly realize they are asking me. My brain untunnels. I quickly scan the scene and see smoke coming from the vehicle that took this mans life. I direct all the others to check for breathing and consciousness of everyone in all of the other cars as I run towards the smoking car.

Thankfully, two gracious souls had already began to extricate the elderly couple from the car. The passenger has a gnarly head wound and looks like he’ll pass out any second. I yell for more hands to come help. The driver is a larger woman, for which I am thankful that adrenaline give you super powers, and that she had a seated walker in her car that miraculously was not crushed. It took what seemed like forever to remove her from the vehicle, she kept grabbing the seat belt, almost as though she though we were kidnapping her.

Eventually, we got her, and her mangled legs out of the car, as we quickly as possible, wheeled away to safety. She kept mumbling that she “couldn’t find the brakes”, and that “Peanuts” was in the car. I turn around only to see the engine compartment spewing flames. And thankful to see a young woman carrying a shaking poodle walking towards us.

Taking a quick traumatic assessment of her mental status and injuries, I noted a slow pulse, her hyperventilating and pinpoint pupils. Great, she’s going into shock, and I don’t even hear sirens yet. About 2 questions in, just to keep her talking, I finally hear sirens.

Praise the good Lord, Hallelujah!

I begin breaking down the situation for the Police, and that I believe this lady should be transported first. She continues to panic. Do you know how hard it is to calm am elderly woman going into shock is?? We get her ready for transport and she refuses to let go of my hand, stating I can’t leave her. I finally convinced her that she will be ok, and I can’t come.

We wait, for what seems like hours for the humane society to come retrieve their dog, and to give our eyewitness statements to the police. Which is when the officer tells me that my actions kept many alive today. My actions. My situational awareness. My directing of responders.

Regardless of training, isn’t it something anyone would do?

If it was me in one of those affected vehicles, I hope someone else would have done the same thing.

Oct 22 2014

GF Thai Chicken Pizza

During the school semester, pizza night strikes all too often around this house, with bustling schedules torn between work, the bakery, school, homework, and a social life (a rarity around these parts!); take out is a love of mine. But have you gone to purchase a gluten free pizza at a take out (Domino’s and Papa Murphy’s – I am talking to you), paying $12 for a plain 1 topping 12 inch gluten free pizza (hello, cross contamination!!) while the rest of the family enjoys their family size 18 inch over the top packed to the brim with goodies for $10?


Tonight was a much needed pizza night, and I was mad craving some Thai Chicken pizza, loaded with sweet and savory flavors. I wandered over to the local pizza shop and I price checked what the gluten free version of this pizza would cost, as I was picking up my darling husband his all-time favorite, pepperoni on garlic white sauce. A whopping $18… For a 12 inch pizza? Sorry, I will pass the plate, the rest of you can enjoy that, while I make my own, which I KNOW will taste good, and cost much much less…

I quickly mentally noted what items I would need to make this delightful dish and rushed to the grocery store to acquire the needed supplies. IMG_7932

I used this crust

a thin layer of sweet chili sauce

uber thinly sliced cucumbers

diced chicken

diced red onion

diced green onion

very thin layer of cheese (mozzarella and sharp cheddar)

baked at 425 for about 20 mins, and sprinkled with red pepper flakes.


Oct 8 2014

GF tempura with spicy orange sauce

I was mad craving some good, like hella good spicy orange Asain chicken today. The good crunchy kind you just can’t get from oven baking or grilling. So, after searching the Internet for far too many hours I comprimised and created my own recipe, and it tasted the same as I remember! *Cue heavenly sounds*

1 1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup water

Juice and zest of 3 oranges
2 Tbsp gluten free soy sauce
1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup diced green onions

2 tsp corn starch

4 large chicken breasts, cubed

In a large pot heat oil {we used vegetable} to 375* farehneit and begin dredging the chicken in the batter until the oil is to cooking temperature.  Add the chicken piece by piece until there is about 1/2 the pot width covered. Allow to bake for about 5-7 minutes. Carefully remove each piece with tongs or a metal slotted scoop and place on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Mix with the sauce and serve hot. I served with a side on Benihanna style fried rice.

Aug 21 2014

GF Veggie Soup + Chicken Avocado Quesadillas

Tomato soup and grilled cheese are so old school. Try this new combo to add some excitement to your favorite comfort food.

GF Veggie Soup

1 large head cauliflower – chopped

1 large onion – chopped

2 cups carrots – shredded/chopped

3 red bell peppers – chopped + roasted

3 lbs tomatoes – roasted

2 cups pesto

2 cups half and half

32oz chicken broth

In a large soup pot, sauté the cauliflower and onions with a small amount of oil. Once sautéed, add the remaining veggies and the chicken broth. Allow to simmer for about 30mins, with an immersion blender, blend the soup into a texture that is palatable to you, I enjoy mine very thin with few chunks. Reduce the heat and add the pesto and half + half and mix well.

Best served with quesadillas for dipping! Freezes well.


GF Chicken Avocado Quesadillas

Grilled chicken breast – chopped

Avocado – sliced

Pepper Jack cheese

Cheddar cheese

Green Onions – diced

Rudi’s Fiesta Tortillas are my all time favorite go-to for tortillas. A necessity in any Celiac home. Trust me. Mix all these goodies in together on top of your tortilla and allow the cheese to melt. I suggest dipping into Veggie Soup!


May 4 2014

GF Gouda Mac and Chives

GF Gouda Mac and Chives16oz gf pasta – el dente (I love shells for mac and cheese)
8oz smoked gouda (cubed)
2oz white cheddar (cubed)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup diced sautéed onions
Small handful of diced chives
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

In a skillet bring the milk to a low boil, add cheeses, mix well until melted, add onions and chives. Toss in the pasta, and enjoy!