Sunday, February 10, 2008


I'm very sad to update this blog post with the news of little Giovanni's death... he died at age 5.. but his legacy lives on...  please keep his family in your thoughts/prayers.... he is the second child they have lost to this very unfair disease...
This is Giovanni.. he was born with an immune deficiency disease called NEMO. His only hope for survival was a bone marrow transplant or a cord blood transplant. He waited for months and months, but never found a bone marrow match, finally he was saved by donated cord blood. He is now 18 months old and slowly recovering. His parents started a foundation with the goal to register at least 100,000 people in New England as bone marrow donors.

Yesterday, I had the honor of meeting his parents and cousin and will be working with them to met their goal. There are so many misconceptions about bone marrow donation. Technology has come a long way and it is much easier to give this life saving nectar than it ever was in the past. Long gone are the days of "painful drilling into the bone". Today, the majority of donation can be done through a procedure very similar to giving blood. I strongly encourage all of you to check out the simple procedure and get yourself on the registry.

I know that there are quite a few people from New England who read me and it would be amazing if we could get together and set up some Bone Marrow Drives through your jobs, churches, community organizations and any other medium you can think of.

It is a simple cheek swab and 10 minutes of your time to fill out some medical history. That's it. 1 in 20,000 will be a life saving match, so the more people who sign up, the better. It doesn't cost a cent, but if you can donate anything, it would be VERY helpful to cover the costs of the testing.
Basically, we need space to set up drives. The foundation is insured, so there would be no liability to those who donate that space.

Please, if you can now or in the future help let me know. My email is

Giovanni sleeping soundly yesterday. Thanks to donated cord blood, he is alive and regaining his health. We can all make a difference.

It seems ridiculous to follow this up with a food post, but I will. First of all, I lost 2 lbs last week! I'm very pleased with that. I've pretty much been eating leftovers for the last day and half.
I really like oatmeal with soymilk, blueberries and flax meal. I am going to buy some steel cut oats and give those a try. I've had them before, but it's been a while.

I have mentioned dry frying tofu a lot and have people have asked how I do it.It's really easy, but a well seasoned cast iron pan is imperative. I have not done this in a non-stick skillet, so I don't know it if would work as well.
First, heat the pan to around medium-hi and spray with a thin coating of olive oil or cooking spray. Use a firm or extra firm tofu. This was a firm lite tofu. 7 oz of the tofu only has 100 calories. I slice it very thin, but don't bother draining or pressing it. You can if you'd like.
It's important that your pan is very hot. Lay the tofu in a single layer and sprinkle with some sea salt. Do not touch it. Cook for around 4 minutes, then turn over.
Cook the other side for 3 -4 minutes. That's it. Simple eh?
Here is the finished product. Now, it is fairly bland as is, so I usually marinate it at this point. The tofu will keep in a marinade for several days. It retains it's crispy mouth feel and soaks up the flavors.
It's almost embarrassing to post this sandiwch, but I really enjoyed it. It's lightlife "ham", nayonaise, light italian bread (this is a store-bought bread, 40 calories per slice), mustard, pickles and lettuce. Under 200 calories for the entire sandiwch.
This was some leftover cauliflower soup I blogged about last week. I froze it and wow.. I swear it tasted better than it did when it was first made. Unfortunately, this was a total clean out the fridge soup and I'm not sure if I can re-create the flavors, but I'm going to try because it was so good. 3 cups of the soup had 250 calories. A cooking goal of mine this week is to re-create this soup and write down the recipe.

So.... to end this... here is a schedule of the bone marrow drives in the next week or so. If any of my readers live near PLEASE go and get yourself on the registry. It is just a simple cheek swab and 10 minutes of your time and YOU CAN SAVE A LIFE.

If you don't live in New England and are interested in helping, please contact me. Drives can be set up all over the WORLD. They helped to create the first drive in Italy! How amazing is that?


  1. So wonderful of you to raise awareness about little Giovanni & bone marrow donation. I pray he finds a donor soon.

    Congrats on your weight loss! I dry fry (or rather, "fry" with a little cooking spray) in my non-stick pan with good results. I could eat tofu 3X a day and be happy. I even like it raw, just out of the container. (I'm weird!)

  2. Congrats on your weight loss! That must be very motivating.

    I am going to get tested to be a donor ASAP--I keep meaning to and your post was a great reminder. Do you think it is something they can do at a doctor appt? I have an appt this week so that would make it easy enough...Thanks for the reminder.

  3. That was a really touhing post, definitely makes me pause and think about what I can do!

    And congrats on your weight loss! And thanks for the dry frying how to. I keep meaning to cook with less oil... plus I've been looking for a good excuse to get a cast iron pan.

  4. If you can't help organize a drive, check out the National Marrow Donor Program to see if there will be a drive near you. If you can't attend a drive, check out the online registration process (which will cost you some money for the tissue-typing kit).

    The university I work at sponsors marrow registration drives at least once a semester (and I am registered!).

  5. Wow, what a touching story. He is so cute too!

    Congrats on the weight loss too. I think your sandwich is cute, since we all have meals like that, yet most of us choose not to post them! Kudos for being honest.

  6. Anonymous8:23 PM

    That fried tofu looked really good! I really want to check out some tofu(simple) recipes.

    Traci Lynn

  7. hello my dear. I couldn't access that other site you and I frequent, but I wanted to leave you a comment. I'm taking you up on the challenge to make those bagels. We will be using sugar instead of sugar substitute, as its what we have in the house. And I'll use my bread machine. I can't wait to see how they turn out, I am such a bagel snob! hehehe.

  8. I don't use my cast iron skillet nearly as often as I should, I'm going to try out your dry-frying method. That would be great to cut out some of the unnecessary oil and I hate when the tofu soaks it up!

  9. My daughter had a bone marrow transplant at 6 months...seeing that picture of Giovanni really tugged hard on my heart. Thank you for raising bone marrow awareness. There are so many misconceptions about marrow transplantation.
    Scarlet is doing well by the way, she is a little over one year post transplant now.
    Thanks again!

  10. I dry-fry tofu as well, but a great way to impart flavor without adding a ton of calories and/or salt products is to use a teeny bit of sesame oil! It is super-packed with flavor and tastes wonderful in tofu.

    Good luck with the weight loss!

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  13. I've never saw a child like him, I think he's gorgeous. I will love to do something about it, and I will love to met the parents too to offer my help. If you can post the number or the email, please let me know.