Mother-In-Food

March 28, 2011

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Karen [my mother-in-law] had round 3 of 6 of chemo on Friday and requested we come over to cook today because Monday is usually her worst day. Thankfully after a pretty bad reaction last time, they switched her drug to a cousin of the last and she is doing MUCH better this time around. But she still needed a little TLC!

We started the evening with some POM seltzers (I’m trying to get more antioxidants in someone who doesn’t like fruit! But she still doesn’t love the POM!)

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Last week she requested mashed potatoes and some kind of homey meat meal to go with it. So Matt picked up a whole chicken from The Organic Butcher and we roasted it with brussels, taters and bread

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I don’t have any recipe guidelines for these – because I was busy helping Karen with her computer – so please just look up Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for any of the above and that’s probably about what Matt did to prepare them :) The chicken was smothered in rosemary, salt and pepper and was DIVINE!

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Brussels – roasted with bacon and bleu cheese (D’Auvergne!)

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And the taters had more rosemary, buttermilk, butter and more crumbled bacon

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Great Harvest Farmhouse White bread on the side

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It sure felt like a Sunday night with this down home meal!

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Afternoon snack: a perfect pair pear

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We are back home and working on a few projects – one for the Queen Room! Although I am fading fast. I think it’s time to read in bed! Just nibbled on one of my Aunt’s oatmeal cookies for a nightcap!

[Reading update: Still reading The Thornbirds! I am so slow. I only get through about 10 pages a night before a dose off. But I am happy to say that the book picked up a LOT at about page 300!! (Yes, 300!) I’m enjoying it a lot now. Just have to stay awake!]

Nite!

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{ 105 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jilly March 28, 2011 at 8:37 pm

You are so sweet! You guys have such a great family!

Feel better Karen xxx

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2 Holly @ The Runny Egg March 28, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Well I’m glad today is better than last week for Karen! Hopefully next week is even better as well.

That dinner looks delicious — I love using Barefoot Contessa’s recipes for roasted chicken and veggies — the woman knows what she is doing!

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3 Abby March 28, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Glad to hear that today was better for Karen! Dinner sounds divine! :) Such a nice take on a classic roast chicken dinner!

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4 Valerie @ City|Life|Eats March 28, 2011 at 8:48 pm

All the best to Karen. Glad you got to spend some time with her :)

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5 Stacy @ Every Little Thing March 28, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Yum, definitely a homestyle dinner! I’m a big jealous of your organic butcher too.

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6 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday March 28, 2011 at 8:49 pm

It’s great that she’s able to eat after her chemo treatments. When my mom had cancer she wasn’t able to keep down her food because of the terrible nausea.

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7 Heather (Heather's Dish) March 28, 2011 at 8:50 pm

anything the barefoot contessa makes i want to eat – it’s heavenly!

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8 Emma (Namaste Everyday) March 28, 2011 at 8:51 pm

a home cooked meal is the best comfort you can give a person, especially when the cooks are as skilled as you and Matt! I’m glad Karen is doing well today! my prayers are with her :)

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9 staceyhealthylife March 28, 2011 at 8:51 pm

That is a very nice down home classic country dinner. Everything looks divine. I hope Karen is doing well.

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10 Estela @ Weekly Bite March 28, 2011 at 8:52 pm

So glad Karen is doing well :)

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11 Kat @ Cupcake Kat March 28, 2011 at 8:52 pm

I hope Karen will feel better soon
Those mashed potatoes are making me drool!

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12 Kristi @ KristiAteIt March 28, 2011 at 8:52 pm

It’s so nice that you can be there for Karen like that. She is lucky to have such a great daughter-in-law like you! I LOVE brussel sprouts, but I’ve never tried making them with bleu cheese. Looks really good though!

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13 Mary @ Bites and Bliss March 28, 2011 at 8:53 pm

So glad she’s over the hump now, halfway done! She’s so strong for having such high spirits. My aunt recently went threough the same thing and it really brought her down. Go Karen! :D

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14 Jessica @ How Sweet It Is March 28, 2011 at 9:00 pm

I had brussels today too. So good!

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15 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) March 28, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Glad Karen is doing better with the new treatment!

Your dinner looks DEEELICIOUS! Love everything about it. YUM!

Concord grape juice, while not as many antioxidants as pom, has just as many health benefits as red wine and is a great source of antioxidants. Maybe she might like 100% concord grape juice. Dustin loves it! He guzzles it like crazy, lol.

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16 rebecca lustig March 28, 2011 at 9:01 pm

love what you did with the… BRUSSELS! Have a wonderful night :)

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17 lynn @ the actor's diet March 28, 2011 at 9:02 pm

totally unrelated to your post, but have you seen “mildred pierce” the new HBO miniseries starring kate winslet? i have a feeling you would like it…

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18 KathEats March 29, 2011 at 7:50 am

I haven’t heard of that – and I don’t think we get HBO :(

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19 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey March 28, 2011 at 9:02 pm

I am glad Karen is doing better with this round of chemo – although no round of chemo is a walk in the park. Sending well wishes her way!

That looks like an amazing dinner!

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20 Chelsea March 28, 2011 at 9:03 pm

That looks like it was such a delicious meal! One of my favorite ones I’ve seen on your site!
Hope Karen continues to do well. :D

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21 Ashley @ Feeding Ashley March 28, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Go Karen! She’s so strong and amazing.
Your dinner looks great and I can’t wait to see the new projects!

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22 Cindy March 28, 2011 at 9:07 pm

I’m glad Karen is doing better (and about halfway finished!)

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23 Katie @ peacebeme March 28, 2011 at 9:11 pm

That meal looks so healthy and delicious. I love vegetables, but I don’t like fruit either, except for apples. I don’t like how it makes me stomach feel.

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24 Emily @ Savory and Savage March 28, 2011 at 9:13 pm

I am so glad to hear Karen is doing better.

Mashed potatoes + bacon? the ultimate comfort food!

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25 Courtney @ the granola chronicles March 28, 2011 at 9:17 pm

So happy Karen’s body is reacting better to the new drug. Good vibes being sent her way!

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26 Laughter-Loving Stacy March 28, 2011 at 9:17 pm

I <3 Barefoot Contessa! Though it can be hard to make healthier versions of her recipes, haha :)

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27 Baking 'n' Books March 28, 2011 at 9:18 pm

How many pages are in that book?!! I’m reading a lite “chick” flick now but not feeling it and debating if I should continue – but I’m only 50 pages in – not 300!

LOVE roasted chicken. Am so guilty of buying the Rotisserie chicken at the stores because they smell so darn good. I know it’s cheaper to just get one and roast it on its own..but oh the ease and comfort of just taking it home :)

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28 Lauren @chigallauren March 28, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Brussels + Bacon….love!!

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29 Justeen @ Blissful Baking March 28, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Mmm such delicious comfort food!

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30 Allie (Nutty FlexitALLIEan) March 28, 2011 at 9:25 pm

I’m glad they were able to switch Karen’s medication- I’m working on an oncology service right now and it’s amazing what a little switch can do to help side effects! Those taters look divine- perfect comforting sustenance :-)

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31 Deva (Voracious Vorilee) March 28, 2011 at 9:25 pm

That dinner looks divine – especially the mashed potatoes. I like POM, but it can be a bit tart for me – maybe blueberry juice would be another source to look at for antioxidants – or smoothies :-D

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32 Liz @ Tip Top Shape March 28, 2011 at 9:25 pm

That looks like the perfect comfort meal. Hope Karen is feeling better!

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33 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) March 28, 2011 at 9:32 pm

300 pages? I don’t think I’ve read that much since college…in 10 years combined :) Well, I kid. But not by much. Seriously, blog reading, magazine reading, my google reader, learning lightroom :) and everything i can about photography has taken over my life. lol.

Onto Karen. I am sooo sorry she has to suffer with her chemo. I have taken care of people who have had chemo and really have so much empathy for her. Major hugs to her and to you for helping her :)

xo

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34 Erin (Shortcut to Bliss) March 28, 2011 at 9:33 pm

My husband will crack open a book in bed and immediately start snoring…I however will read all night long. It makes for long days at work ;)

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35 julieloveslife March 28, 2011 at 9:37 pm

KATH! You have a good heart! This meal looks *delicious*! Hope your night was FAB!

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36 Natalia - a side of simple March 28, 2011 at 9:39 pm

So happy to hear Karen could get her medication switched around a bit. Please let her know she is in my prayers. I’m sure she appreciates all the help you and Matt give her.

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37 Julie H. (julieloveslife) March 28, 2011 at 9:40 pm

As far as the book thing goes, it takes me forever to get throug a book that isn’t ‘work’ realated. I’m a teacher so I read textbooks and books on teaching alllllll the time but to read for ‘fun’ is rare! Enjoy your book now that you are past 300! :)

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38 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) March 28, 2011 at 9:40 pm

My thoughts are definitely with Karen. I feel for her and am so glad she has you two there with her. Dinner looks perfect for healing the soul.

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39 Cara Craves... March 28, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Virtual hugs to Karen; hopefully she feels better soon.
It’s nice that you live close to do dinner together
like that.

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40 Angela (Oh She Glows) March 28, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Hope Karen is managing ok. I can only imagine how comforting seeing you both and enjoying the meal was for her. What a nice thing to look forward to!

And your reading updates always make me giggle!

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41 Kiran @ KiranTarun.com March 28, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Feel better soon Karen *hugs

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42 Laura (Starloz) March 28, 2011 at 9:57 pm

oh, you’re sweet. this meal looks delicious

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43 Hannah March 28, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Everything you make looks so wonderful, but most days I start thinking: “But where’s the chocolate?” :P

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44 Stacie @ Imperfectly Healthy March 28, 2011 at 10:03 pm

I’m so glad that Karen is doing better this round. As someone who’s had family members go through treatment, every little bit of that helps.

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45 Kelsey @ Clean Teen Kelsey March 28, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Aw, I bet she loved the dinner. How sweet!

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46 aimee March 28, 2011 at 10:10 pm

That chicken looks good! Oh man I could grub on some bacon mashed potatoes too…

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47 Alaina March 28, 2011 at 10:19 pm

I hope that Karen is doing well!

Those mashed potatoes look so good! I love it when the skins are kept in. :-)

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48 Cyndi March 28, 2011 at 10:20 pm

I’m sure your meal for Karen was a bright spot and just what the doctor ordered … don’t discount the power of love and TLC for healing!

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49 michelle March 28, 2011 at 10:28 pm

How nice of you, what a delicious meal to get too! Thinking of her, hope she feels better after this round.

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50 Namaste Gurl March 28, 2011 at 10:54 pm

I love Barfoot Contessa’s recipes– simple, whole, yet delicious :)
I hope to find a husband like Matt someday– so nice the man can cook well! :)

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51 Emily @ One Sweet Vegan March 28, 2011 at 10:54 pm

The same thing happened to me with The Thorn Birds. I just finished it yesterday and only really looked forward to reading the last half of the book. But, all in all, I enjoyed it.

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52 JenATX March 28, 2011 at 10:59 pm

As the Bafefoot contessa would say, “how fabulous is that?” that you cooked for Karen, ha. sending good vibes & strength to your MIL during all of this!

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53 KathEats March 29, 2011 at 7:50 am

Haha – love it!

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54 Ellie@fitforthesoul March 28, 2011 at 11:04 pm

hehe now all you need is a lil kath or matt jr. :P

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55 Maria @ Oh Healthy Day March 28, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Karen is in my thoughts and prayers! What a delicious and comforting meal! The only way I’ll eat brussel sprouts is with bacon in them :)

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56 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table March 28, 2011 at 11:46 pm

My best to Karen – glad she did a little better this time. I remember my dad going though treatments… it is definitely no walk in the park. :(

Those brussels lok great! Matt’s smart – Ina is a great go-to. That woman can COOK.

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57 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) March 28, 2011 at 11:52 pm

I hope Karen feels better! We are rooting for her :)

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58 Dimple Snatcher March 29, 2011 at 12:40 am

So so sweet how you love your husband and so so your MIL. Mmmm. In other news, the mashed potatoes just spiked my greedy! Thank Karen for that–and give her my kind healing thoughts.

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59 clara March 29, 2011 at 1:49 am

Hey Kath,
I don’t know if you and Karen are aware of this but there have been studies that show that animal protein leads to the growth of cancer cells. Here is one example http://www.medindia.net/news/view_news_main.asp?x=12180 but there are more! Maybe you two should look deeper into this and Karen could beat her cancer long term with a new vegetarian/mostly vegan diet! It’s definitely worth a try!

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60 KathEats March 29, 2011 at 7:51 am

None of us eat very much meat.

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61 clara March 29, 2011 at 1:50 am

http://www.thechinastudy.com/
I would also recommend this!

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62 Khushboo March 29, 2011 at 2:03 am

Grilled chicken with greens and mashed potatoes is such comfort food! I love how you guys took one of the most basic meals and turned it into a completely gourmet meal! I hope Karen feels better.

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63 Christie {Nourishing Eats} March 29, 2011 at 5:54 am

Sending Karen lots of love and healing.

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64 Lauren March 29, 2011 at 6:04 am

Awww, so glad Karen is doing better this round. I bet that dinner was just what she needed. :)

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65 Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living March 29, 2011 at 6:10 am

Glad to hear Karen is responding better to this new treatment – she’s such a trooper!

Dinner looks fabulous. I especially love the bleu cheese on the brussels – great idea. Well done, Matt! I think my husband could learn a few things from yours ;).

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66 alison March 29, 2011 at 6:17 am

I’m glad Karen is doing well this week. She’s lucky to have such good care takers in you and Matt.

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67 kaila @ healthy helper! March 29, 2011 at 6:27 am

Tell Karen to hang in there! She seems to be a true fighter! That meal looked so comforting and yummy…perfect for a the end of a challenging day.

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68 M March 29, 2011 at 6:44 am

All the best to Karen ! I can’t imagine having to go through all this treatment the same
year she moved to a completely different city and preparing for a new job, etc.
That really shows that Karen is a tough cookie (woo hoo for strong women!!)

“A woman is like a tea bag.You never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water”
Eleanor Roosevelt

Hope you feel better day by day Karen. We enjoy you immensely on this blog and are thinking of you!

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69 mom March 29, 2011 at 7:12 am

Love those Eleanor Roosevelt quotes!

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70 Amy March 29, 2011 at 6:47 am

Woo hoo, Karen is halfway there! That must feel good.

Dinner looks amazing – roast chicken is one of my all-time favorites. Mmm. Must try brussels with bleu cheese and bacon too!

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71 Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope March 29, 2011 at 6:47 am

Karen is lucky to have such wonderful cooks in the family! :) Dinner looks fantastic, and I’m sure she appreciated the extra hands a lot. Hope this round goes MUCH better for her!

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72 Allie March 29, 2011 at 7:03 am

My heart goes out to your mother-in-law, chemotherapy is rough on the body and the mind to say the least (my mom had breast cancer and my grandmother is currently going through chemo for lung cancer). Ginger type things help … eating ginger, ginger supplements, or ginger ail (the oncologists have probably already relayed that though …)

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73 Rachel March 29, 2011 at 7:07 am

Aw, I will be thinking of your mother in law, I hope everything ends up ok!

I am very puzzled by people who don’t like fruit. I just don’t understand.. :)

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74 Elizabeth@The Sweet Life March 29, 2011 at 7:14 am

Poor Karen–what a trooper! Sending her wishes for a speedy and thorough recovery.

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75 Toni March 29, 2011 at 7:17 am

Glad Karen’s treatment was a little less rough this time! I know how awful it is – I took care of my father during his chemo and it really does a number on the body! :(

The chicken looks great! I have such a hard time roasting poultry. I either under or over cook it and it always comes out dry. Do you have any suggestions for keeping chicken moist while it cooks??

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76 KathEats March 29, 2011 at 7:43 am

We tend to pull it out of the oven JUUST when it hits temp – or even a few degrees less because it cooks more while it rests

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77 Kate @ NaturaStride March 29, 2011 at 7:39 am

You are such a great daughter in law for being so supportive! My thoughts go out to your family.
Dinner looks fabulous – nice to have a nice, hearty, yet nutritious meal now and then!

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78 Jumanah @ Healthy Living in the Middle East March 29, 2011 at 7:47 am

Those mashed potatoes look so good! A little bacon and cheese make everything better! So glad to hear that Karen had a better time with the chemo this round.

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79 Erica March 29, 2011 at 7:51 am

Looks like a fantastic meal! Especially those mashed potatoes. I’m sure Karen really appreciated it. Hope you two are doing well

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80 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin March 29, 2011 at 7:51 am

I’m so glad that Karen is doing better this week! She is still always in my thoughts. :)

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81 Hope March 29, 2011 at 8:01 am

I hope Karen feels better soon! It was so nice of you and Matt to prepare her a special meal. Dinner looks so good! Chicken and mashed potatoes are the total comfort foods!

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82 Reka March 29, 2011 at 8:14 am

Kath,
The “pear picture” is definitely my favorite one!!! Very professional looking. You’ve become quite the photographer! :)

Reka

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83 KathEats March 29, 2011 at 8:16 am

Thanks!

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84 Lucy @ The Sweet Touch March 29, 2011 at 8:17 am

I’m glad to hear Karen is doing better on this round. Thankfully she has an awesome family to help out!

I was going to check out the Thornbirds for my last trip until I saw how HUGE it was at the library – I did not want to lug that all the way to England and back!

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85 jenna March 29, 2011 at 8:34 am

what a beautiful dinner! I hope that Karen is doing better!! I’m sure its hard for her to have just moved and now is dealing with being so sick!! She’s very lucky to have you both! :)

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86 Stephanie @ LiveCookLove March 29, 2011 at 9:19 am

Feel better Karen!!!!!! I’m so glad she is doing better this time :)

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87 Joy March 29, 2011 at 9:22 am

OMG, that dinner is gorgeous!! It def. looks like something the wonderful Ina Garten would make :)

Wow, I must really be clueless; I thought Karen was a close family friend, I didn’t know she was actually your Mother-in-Law! Well that just makes the relationship that more special :)

Please give her all our good thoughts and prayers for everything she’s going through. Your family is def. in my thoughts.

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88 M. Carter @ the Movies March 29, 2011 at 9:26 am

My thoughts and prayers are with Karen and with her family. I’m glad she found a drug that can combat some of chemo’s nasty side effects. Unfortunately I understand what you and Matt are going through because my father was diagnosed recently with extended-stage small cell lung cancer, and he’s had two rounds of chemo so far. The human body’s abillity to handle such powerful drugs and keep going astounds me.

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89 KathEats March 29, 2011 at 10:16 am

So sorry to hear of your father

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90 Parita @ myinnershakti March 29, 2011 at 9:51 am

I hope your mother-in-law continues to feel better. It’s nice that you and Matt are there whenever she needs you. I’ll keep y’all in my thoughts!

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91 Katie G. March 29, 2011 at 10:02 am

Looks delicious, Kath! Hope the mother-in-law is doing better after the rough patch directly after chemo treatments. This past fall when my friend was going through chemo (at age 25!), we took turns making her dinner/bringing carryout during the toughest days. I think your dinner has defintely topped any of mine that I made for her!

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92 Gena March 29, 2011 at 10:33 am

Kath, sweetie!

I’m sorry I’ve been behind on blog reading, but I just saw that Karen is in chemo and wanted to offer my support. I saw my own mother through chemo for breast cancer seven years ago. It was very hard. The best thing you can do — as you already know, judging from this post — is to offer support in small, everyday ways. And anything you can do to incite laughter is good.

Also remember to take good care of yourself — caregivers can often forget that, and it’s crucial in order to keep up energy and focus.

The great news is that my Mom has been in solid recovery/remission with no sign of the cancer returning for over 6 years now, which is huge. So I know about the light at the end of the tunnel. Email me if you have any questions. <3 you!

G.

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93 KathEats March 29, 2011 at 10:33 am

<3 Glad your mom is in remission now!

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94 Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) March 29, 2011 at 11:19 am

What a wonderful dinner ! I need to make som b-sprouts with bacon… that looks SO yummy.

My thoughts and prayers are w. Karen and your whole family. My husband’s Father was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 and passed in 2009. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through and my heart goes out to you all.

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95 KathEats March 29, 2011 at 12:14 pm

So sorry to hear that :(

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96 Becca @ bellebottoms March 29, 2011 at 11:25 am

Those brussels look UH-mazing!! I can’t figure out the best way to roast them….how long do you normally keep yours in for??

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97 KathEats March 29, 2011 at 12:14 pm

20-30 mins?

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98 Becca @ bellebottoms March 29, 2011 at 12:28 pm

sweet, thanks :)

I’m going to roast them with a little maple syrup tonight!

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99 Sarah March 29, 2011 at 12:01 pm

This looks like a very delicious dinner. I am glad Karen’s treatment was a little easier this time!

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100 Erica March 29, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Karen is such a lucky lady to have you and Matt so close and willing to help! And you, Kath, are an amazing daughter-in-law. And YAY for being halfway done with chemo! I did a little happy dance at my halfway point, and celebrated bigtime when I was finished. Tell her to hang in there…she’s almost done! <3

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101 Kate@fittingintothewindycity March 29, 2011 at 1:32 pm

You are such a nice daughter in law. My mother in law is going through chemo right now as well and I’m sure you’re support is doing a world of good!

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102 Christine @ Merf In Progress March 29, 2011 at 1:56 pm

I love whatever that is that you put the pear on. Such a neat picture! Glad Karen did better this time. :-/

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103 Mandie March 29, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I’m not a huge fan of brussel sprouts, but will eat almost any other vegetable. Are there any fruits or vegetables you don’t like?

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104 KathEats March 29, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Onions!!! I won’t touch them with a 26 foot pole

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105 Jennifer White March 29, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Yum! I love brussel sprouts and enjoyed them (roasted) for dinner last night too!!

I tell everyone they have to roast them in the oven with some olive oil and s+p and a little paprika and it is life changing! Sometimes, if you don’t mind really cooking your veggies, it helps to steam them a little before baking. It really makes them delicious.

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