Monday, April 21, 2014

India

I have an affinity for Indian culture. It started in 6th grade, when we studied it and I wrote a report on the languages of India. I became fascinated with the culture, food, medicine and especially the yoga of India. I have to confess that I am a bit of a hippie, so the whole yoga/meditation/vegetarian thing is right up my ally.
As I morphed into a teenager, I began to pursue my studies of foreign culture. India still fascinates me to this day. A few years back, there was a documentary on one of the cable channels with Jeremy Piven (pre-Entourage) visiting India and exploring the country. I personally don’t like him, but the visuals were quite scrumptious.
My love affair with Indian cuisine is quite legendary too. I could probably make it my primary food group without any issue.

Christ The Lord is Risen Today

The Little Man isn't so little anymore. He's 11, in 5th grade and finishing up elementary school. It's amazing how fast time flies with raising children. 

This year, we had a much more low key Easter. Quite honestly, it snuck up on me. Lent started with the Big Man in the hospital, 


and ended with my mother hospitalized.

 In between, we've had lots of cold and snow, and more stress than I thought humanely possible. 


Easter is a chance for new life. It's a do-over. In church yesterday, instead of preaching solely on Jesus' resurrection, the pastor put a different spin on it. 

But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. (Romans 8:9-11 NLT)



We have been given new life.


Yesterday was a chance to pause and reflect on our new life in the resurrection.

It was a beautiful, warm spring day. Warm enough to wear a sundress. 


Warm enough to hunt eggs in shorts.

Warm enough to bask in the sun.


Welcome, new life

Cucumber Mojito juice

There are 2 definite camps in regards to juicing: either you love it or you hate it. I am in the love it group. For me, it replaces soda-sometimes I even add it to carbonated water for that kick. Most mornings I make fresh juice in my juicer. It's a great addition to the breakfast table, and it encourages me to try vegetables that I don't normally eat, like beets. 


After I do my weekend grocery shopping, I peel my veggies for juice. I keep them in a container in the fridge so it's easy to get my morning going. If I know the next day is going to be crazy, I will make my juice the night before. My juices all have a basic formula:
Ginger
Lime or lemon
Celery
Pear or apple
Kale or spinach 
Carrots

After that, I go a little crazy. So,stones it's beets, sometimes it's cucumbers. Many times it's both.

This morning, I wanted something a little more jazzy. I tried cucumber Mojito juice.


My basic juice recipe (I used pear, lime & kale)
1 cucumber
Handful of fresh mint

I ran everything through the juicer. 


Then drink up buttercup.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Clicker

HLast year, a friend of mine told me about a you tube video I had to watch. It was from Hilary Weeks, who is best known as a Mormon singer. I said I wasn't interested, but she was insistent. I had to watch this video.


So I did.

It was profound.

The concept behind the clicker is pretty simple. You click it whenever you have a happy thought. It's a little awkward at first. 

I didn't realize how much stinking thinking I really was doing. I thought I had happy, positive thoughts. And I do, but not as much as the negative ones. One the basic precepts of manifesting is to think positive, and to always phrase your intentions in a positive light. You attract what you think, so if you have a negative mindset, you are going to attract negativity.


As I began to click I did notice a subtle shift. The little things weren't getting to me as much. I smiled more. I was more patient. I began to look for the bright side. 
I had returned to my natural state.

I had always been a positive person, and always looked on the bright side of life. I have been called Pollyanna, because I tried to see the good in everything and everyone. It worked for me for most of my life, but then I had a run for the last 5 or so years that have challenged me on so many levels. I lost some of my positivity and felt my light get dim. The unfortunate part is, once you open the door to negativity (you know, if you give the devil a foothold) it just multiplies. 

Being happy is hard work. It's so easy to complain. It's easy to be rude, mean, nasty, etc. being happy takes a conscious effort each and every day.

Clicking is a physical reminder that I am choosing joy over negativity. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Broccoli rabe

One of my favorite vegetables is broccoli rabe.

 In New Jersey, you can find it everywhere. South Dakota, not so much.

It's like broccoli, only less flowery. It's got a slightly bitter taste, like chard. I don't think it could be eaten raw (it wouldn't taste good anyway). 

I blanch mine first, then the magic begins. 

Next I sauté it in olive oil with garlic, then I serve it with either polenta or pasta. Or plain.


I added roasted tomatoes & red peppers, over polenta.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Naked Burrito

I love burritos. The love affair started at Bonneville Junior High, in Salt Lake City in the early 1980's. Sometimes, I'd get off my bus with my friend who lived at the other end of 6400 South, near 11th East. There was a 7-11 on the corner, and I had my first taste of a burrito.

It was love at first bite.
I still love them, even though they aren't the healthiest thing for me.
I've tried to find a way to make them healthier, but I hadn't had much luck.
Until now.
We've had some crazy weeks lately, between the Big Man being back in the hospital earlier this month,
Pinewood Derby 
and piano recitals
and competitions.
Then I got sick, causing an asthma flare.
As a result, lots of takeout and junk, which means feeling bloated and just plain yucky. In addition, grocery shopping was on the back burner, so cupboards were lacking the good stuff.

was throwing together a quick dinner the other night, and didn't have anything jump out and scream cook me. It was like an episode of Chopped.  I had a sweet potato, some cooked kidney beans, a can of Rotel tomatoes, green onions, cashew cream, avocado, and some daiya shreds. 

Challenge accepted.
Time to make a naked burrito bowl.
What makes it naked is no tortilla. 
I cooked the sweet potato, then sliced it. I sprinkled some chili powder on it.
I reheated the beans with the tomatoes. Diced some green onions, added them. Heated them through. 
Diced some avocado and topped it all with cashew cream.
It was so good. 


more snow!


Its been a horrible winter on the plains, and I think that





We have a gentle snow falling here on the plains. The Little Man is currently playing Lego Star Wars on X Box and the Big Man is playing against him. I'm up in the living room with the puppy dog, watching Nat Geo
all about Mary Magdalene. My day has been consumed with the fact that my sister has decided to drive from New Jersey to West Virginia in a blizzard. So somehow I've been entrusted with managing her trip...don't know why its up to me, being 1300 miles away from all that, but it is. So I've been getting phone calls & having to look at traffic cams, and dealing with verbal abuse. Basically, if she doesn't pull off the highway soon, it can be life or death but she doesn't see it like that at all. Nor does she understand what she's doing to our mother and how upset she is by this little sojourn. I mean, common sense its a blizzard you don't drive if you don't have to let alone go 900 miles in it. But thats not for me to decide. And getting yelled at by a 20 year old is not my idea of fun.
Basically my plan for today was to take a nice, cuddly nap under a warm fuzzy blanket and maybe bake. Instead my blood pressure has been sky high all day because of my sister's trip and I can't relax. Believe me, I've tried to just let it go and be done with it, but that's not happening. Everytime I've tried to lay down, the phone has rung and I've been stressed out even more. Frustrating, yes. Everyone has their role in their family and mine is to be the fixer. Its my job to make everything better and make things right for all. I am the caregiver and caretaker. My role has its perks sometimes, but for the most part its a pretty heavy burden. I just want to enjoy life but there's always some sort of drama that needs to be fixed.
I don't know if a lot of other people have the same issues in their families (feedback anyone?) but I would love to be the wallflower for a change. I just want to be the wife and mom for a little bit and not have to deal with all the auxiliary stuff that seems to land in my lap.
I wonder if this is why I feel so drained and tired all the time. I think it might have a lot to do with it-I'm carrying the load for so many other people.