Valerie’s Collard Quiche – Recipe

Collard Quiche
Ingredients:
  • 1 pound Bacon, Diced
  • 2 cups Collard Greens, De-Stemmed, Cooked and Chopped
  • 1 medium sweet Onion, Diced
  • 6 Organic Large Eggs
  • 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 4 ounces Gruyere, Shredded
  • 4 ounces Sharp Cheddar, Shredded
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper to Taste
Crust

  • 1 Cup plus 3 Tablespoons King Arthur All-Purpose Flour
  • 6 tablespoons Cold Organic Sweet Cream Unsalted Butter, Cubed
  • 1 Large Organic Egg, Beaten
  • Pinch of Kosher Salt

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, combine the flour, butter and salt until the mixture is crumbly.-this should only take a few pulses. Add the egg, and pulse a few more times until the dough resembles little peas.
  2. Remove dough from processor and shape into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one-hour. When chilled, remove dough and roll out onto a lightly floured work-surface. Roll out the dough to be 2″ larger than the size in inches of your quiche pan.
  3. Fit dough into the quiche pan, remove excess and prick with a fork all over and then refrigerate for 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. In a skillet, over medium-low heat cook diced bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and drain. Pour out the bacon grease and add the diced onion to the same pan. Cook onions until soft and transparent. Add the bacon and collards to the onion pan. Toss to combine.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and add in whipping cream, nutmeg and salt & pepper. Add the bacon mixture. Stir to combine.
  6. Remove crust from refrigerator. Sprinkle shredded Gruyere and cheddar as the bottom (first) layer in the crust. Pour in the cream mixture and spread evenly.
  7. Bake quiche for 40 – 55 minutes until set. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

(c) 2013 Valerie Renèe

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Specialty Pharmacies – The 411

Specialty Pharmacies - The 411

The Specialty Pharmacy

A specialty pharmacy is a pharmacy exclusively dedicated to providing medications that require special storage, handling, or specialized knowledge of the condition being treated. These medications are usually high-cost, complex, and are not immediately available at regular retail pharmacies.

Because infertility treatment typically involves a complicated therapy regime, requires the use of medications that must be injected and/or refrigerated, and often necessitates close monitoring by a pharmacist or nurse, certain specialty pharmacies focus solely on patients with infertility. Of the more than 57,000 pharmacies in the United States, only about 125 specialize in infertility.

** Apply for the EMD Serono Compassionate Care Grant and get up to 75% off on your infertility treatment meds !

A Woman’s Place DC at Grubb’s NW Specialty Pharmacy

A Woman’s Place DC at Grubb’s NW Specialty Pharmacy is a warm and inviting place focused on serving the women’s health needs in our community. We are a team of caring and compassionate professionals focused on providing the highest level of service to our patients and providers. We are not a nationwide pharmacy, but rather a community pharmacy with the intent of providing unmatched fertility & pharmacy services to the communities we serve throughout DC, Maryland and Virginia. We are the ONLY fertility pharmacy located inside the District of Columbia. If you live near DC, MD or VA let us show you what service is all about. Start by visiting our website at http://www.grubbsnw.com. You’ll be happy that you did.

Ambulatory Care Pharmacy II

Ambulatory Care Pharmacy is the largest infertility pharmacy in the entire Washington-Baltimore corridor. Our pharmacy specialty has been infertility for the past 15 years and enjoys a close relationship with many local fertility specialists. Some of us have gone through the heartache of trying to become parents, so we understand your emotional needs and support you during your journey. We supply all patients with the following educational materials: internet resources, information about the medications, their uses, and relevant tax information for those paying out of pocket. We have the largest inventory of fertility medications in the area and do not have to special order any of your prescriptions. For more information please check our website at http://www.fertilerus.com.

Apothecary by Design

Apothecary by Design is a pharmacy that’s uniquely focused on the practice of, well, pharmacy. We’re built around the forgotten notion that you don’t just need your prescription filled, but you need attention, advice and individualized care. And with competitive prices and free shipping nationwide, you’ll experience more without paying more. Our unique Clinical Support Team is eager to help you through your treatment and available to you anytime you need them to answer questions. Our entire team has extensive experience in all aspects of pharmacy services, healthcare solutions, and patient management. Tom Madden RPh, our women’s health specialty team leader—is one of only 50 pharmacists nationwide and only three in New England certified by the American College of Apothecaries in infertility treatment. For more information, please go to our website at http://www.apothecarybydesign.com/Infertility.htm

Apthorp Pharmacy

Apthorp pharmacy has been serving the upper west side of Manhattan since 1910. We have been working with and serving fertility centers, their doctors, nurses, patients and support groups for over 20 years.
We understand the needs of patients being treated for infertility. We are open 365 days a year, offer free delivery via same day messenger service in Manhattan and free FedEx overnight priority to other locations. Medications are always in stock and we take most insurance plans. We offer very competitive prices for those patients who do not have coverage for fertility medications. Our pharmacists and support staff are ready to assist you any way they can with your fertility medications. If you have any questions or need price quotes please call us toll free 1.800.775.3582. For more information, please contact: http://www.apthorprx.com

Avella Specialty Pharmacy

Avella Specialty Pharmacy is committed to helping our patients lower their out-of-pocket costs by uncovering and securing financial assistance. To learn more visit http://www.avella.com

BesScription

BesScription is a licensed specialty pharmacy dedicated to providing fertility medications, responsive customer service, and compassionate personalized support to women and men diagnosed with infertility. We are one of a kind because we treat each individual as a whole person (body, mind and spirit), instead of simply dispensing medications. We offer compounding capabilities for unique products and specialized dosages, and a wide selection of homeopathic, holistic and natural products is in stock to complement your fertility medications. From working with your physician and insurance company to delivering medications to your door, BesScription will be with you every step of the way, providing support and helping you on your journey 24 hours a day 365 days a year. BesScription is more than a pharmacy. BesScription is a comprehensive solution to your reproductive health needs. Contact us at http://www.BesScription.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-237-9419.

Freedom Fertility Pharmacy

At Freedom Fertility Pharmacy, we recognize the struggle that fertility treatment can present. It is with this in mind that Freedom has, for the last 20 years, committed ourselves to the advancement of patient services, education and support for each of our patients on their journey. Our team’s fertility-only focus gives you access to highly trained and focused professionals throughout your treatment. Additionally, our extensive educational and mobile resources ensure that you are always connected to programs designed to support and complement your treatment from start to finish. As a leader in fertility pharmacy, we recognize the importance of advocating and supporting not only current patients but also those who may be taking their first steps towards treatment.

We are proud to partner with RESOLVE in their unwavering commitment to increasing access to quality fertility care for all patients, leading the way for patient rights advocacy and their dedication to spreading awareness of infertility.

For more information on how we can support you, please visit http://www.freedomfertility.com or call us at 1-800-660-4283.

Mandell’s Pharmacy

The experts at Mandell’s Clinical Pharmacy specialize only in infertility care and take price in providing superior pharmaceutical service nationally to all of our Fertility Patients. Our staff is expertly trained to handle all of the needs of the Fertility Patient and we continually exceed our customer’s expectations. A pharmacists is available 24/7/365 to answer questions and address any concerns the patient or the physician may have. We are proud to partner with Resolve in order to achieve a common goal; Helping couples build families! For information on our services, please visit us at MandellsClinicalPharmacy.com.

MDR Pharmaceutical Care

MDR is YOUR Specialty Pharmacy for Fertility Medication. Patient care is at the center of everything we do. We are a nationwide provider and also experts in international shipments. MDR pharmacists, specialized in all aspects of infertility, are on call around the clock for emergency medication related questions. We offer competitive pricing and a comprehensive package of value added services. There is always a live voice on the phone and our staff speaks many different languages. We deeply care and strive to always provide patients with the highest quality of products and services.

Family is our inspiration. Fertility Pharmacists since 1989.
Call 1-800-515-DRUG (3784) – http://www.mdrusa.com

Metro Drugs

Metro Drugs is a full-service pharmacy offering specialized fertility care and support to our patients. Metro is a partner of choice for doctors and patients by providing expert skill with exceptional, compassionate care. We offer compounding and micro-dosing, competitive pricing, nationwide deliveries and pharmacy hours 7 days a week. Metro’s comprehensive care also includes field support for providers, customized egg donor/surrogacy services, insurance screening and advocacy, 24/7 nursing support and a multi-lingual staff. Our Metro family enjoys a genuine sense of pride and reward in helping our patients create their own families! Please visit our website at http://www.metrodrugs.com and get started!

Roxsan Pharmacy

Roxsan Pharmacy has over 40 years of compounding and 20 years of infertility experience with a highly-qualified staff to answer all your questions and take care of all your needs.

Our goal is to make sure all our patients receive high-quality service. Our team of experts provide one-on-one care and 24-hour live access to specialists trained in infertility care. Roxsan Pharmacy is committed to helping women and men build their families.

For more information, check our website or call our toll free number 1-888-371-9919.

Village Fertility Pharmacy

Village Fertility Pharmacy is a leading pharmacist-owned and operated specialty fertility pharmacy dedicated to providing unmatched service to medical professionals and their patients nationwide. With 25 years of experience, Village understands the unique nature of fertility treatments and is devoted to building committed relationships by providing compassionate support, competitive cash pricing, unmatched educational resources, and 24-hour customer care. For more information, please contact http://www.villagefertilitypharmacy.com/.

Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy

Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy’s comprehensive fertility services help patients fulfill their dream of having a baby. An experienced care team of fertility nurses and pharmacists understand the fertility process, the importance of timing, and the need for personalized fertility therapy. We are committed to compassionate care and support throughout your journey to conception. Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy offers:

Support from pharmacists and nurses 24/7, including holidays
Same-day emergency service
Insurance verification
Overnight shipping
Interactive educational tools
Complimentary medication materials

To learn more visit http://www.walgreens.com/pharmacy/specialtypharmacy.jsp or call 800-424-9002

And So It Begins…

In my quest to become a mother, I had a myriad of testing done my OB GYN.  Bloodwork, GYN exam and the most painful test I have EVER had in my life… HSG.  My OB GYN said that there would be a little discomfort with the HSG (a test done to determine if the fallopian tubes are blocked or clear and to check the uterus for abnormalities).  HE LIED ! lol.

Granted, I am a big baby when it comes to pain, that test has to be more painful than giving birth in an elevator on the floor with no meds !  I shook for HOURS after this test and swore I will NEVER do it again.  That was November 2012.   Now there is a chance that I have to do it again since I do not plan on having IVF until March.

All of my hormone levels came back normal and my HSG was normal as well.

Now it is time to research facilities with great success rates and one where I won’t pay the same price to get pregnant as I would to buy a new C Class Benz 🙂

I started with Google searches for Fertility Clinics for Women over 40.   I joined a few online support groups on Facebook and have learned a ton !

I ultimately decided on CNY Fertility Center and Spa in New York.  They have locations in Albany, Syracuse and Rochester. This facility has great success rates, an impeccable bedside manner, great reviews from current and former patients and even better, they charge $9500 for four IVF cycles (not including monitoring and meds- which most insurance companies cover) and if you pay 1/2, they will finance the balance in house by billing to your credit card or bank account.

I called the center, after learning about them from the ladies on a FB support group for infertility (https://www.facebook.com/groups/5687873518/) and the staff was very nice, patient and answered all of my questions without making me feel like I have to rush off of the phone.

The best part about CNY Fertility Center and Spa is that the consultation is FREE !  Not $375-500 like most fertility centers.  They even do phone consults with patients and have an online portal on which you complete all of your documents, are provided a list of testing your PCP or OB GYN must complete, and it provides any and all info you will need for your journey.  I was given a log in id and and appointment in just two weeks !

I shared the link to the center with my mom and sister and expressed my excitement to begin this journey with my closest friends.  Everyone is elated with my decision and has pledged their support and prayers.

I spent time over the past few days researching and learning all the abbreviations related to infertility, as everyone on the FB page uses them and the only ones I knew were IVF and IUI.  I felt like I walked into the twilight zone ! lol.  Last night I spent hours reading the success stories on the center’s website and scared myself when I read of one woman who had TRIPLETS !  Say what?   That is definitely “team-too-much!”   Twins will be enough !  I will be a little disappointed if I do not have twins because I really only want to do this ONE time !  Twins, a c-section, and a tummy tuck- in that order !

What Happened to Plan A?

Here I am, 43, single, feeling like I did something wrong; like I took some wrong turns somewhere.  Upon reflection, the majority of my friends married young, divorced, remarried, some divorced again.  They are single parents.

In 2011, I met a man, dated him and soon after got engaged.  In the midst of planning the “wedding of the century”, and three designer wedding gowns later, he got cold feet and called the wedding off.  As hurt as I was, in therapy, I realized that he was not the man I should have ever been married to because I did not truly love him.  Not the way a woman should if she is to spend the rest of her life with him.  I ignored his shortcomings and all the things about him that irked me, simply because I felt this pressure to hurry up and get married and do what every woman should be able to do- HAVE A BABY !

What do I do now?, I thought.  Here I am over 40, single, no prospects in sight, and conflicted because I am a Christian woman, a professional, educated woman, and I want a baby…twins, actually !   Who has a baby out of wedlock unless you are a celeb? But I am an up and coming celeb- IMHO 🙂   Do I just go have a one night stand with a date?  NO !  Okay… cryobank is now a part of my vocabulary.

Fast forward to 2013.  I decided that I no longer had to wait for “Mr. Right.”  Why?  I had to reconcile my faith with my choice and pray until I felt some clarity.  I was mad at God and felt that if He wanted me to have the wonderful husband I deserved, He should have sent him here by now.

My Plan A?  Build my career as an actress, vocalist, commercial print model, run my nonprofit organization, start a film production company and somewhere along the way, meet HIM ! I would fall head over heels for the perfect guy who’s love for me would mirror that of God’s love for me.  NOPE, NOPE and Hell NO !

So, even though my motto is never have a PLAN B because you will never go after PLAN A full gusto, I find myself in a place where I realize that I can live without being someone’s wife, but I was born to be someone’s mother.

I met with my OB GYN and we discussed my options.  My OB GYN and my Internist ran tests and also did a HSG to see where I was and to make sure it was not too late to for me to embark on this journey.  All hormone levels were great and my HSG showed no blockage of the fallopian tubes.

Now, I have to research to find a facility, doctor with high success rates and oh… the money to pay for this procedure since my insurance will not cover it !

So this is where I will begin this chronicle !