Sunday, December 28, 2014

QOTW 28 December 2014


"There are years that
ask questions, and
years that answer."
- Zora Neale Hurston

What kind of year will 2015 be? 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

QOTW 21 December 2014


A house is not a 
home unless it
contains food
and fire for the
mind as well as
the body.
- Benjamin Franklin

Sunday, December 7, 2014

QOTW 7 December 2014


"Nothing ever goes away until it
teaches us what we need to know."
- Pema Chodron

Sunday, November 30, 2014

QOTW 30 November 2014


"You are the books you read, the films you
watch, the music you listened to, the people
you meet, the dreams you have, the
conversations you engage in. You are what
you take from these. You are the sound of
the ocean, the breath of fresh air, the
brightest light and the darkest corner. You
are a collective of every experience you
have had in your life. You are every single
day. So drown yourself in a sea of knowledge
and existence. Let the words run through
your veins and let the
colours fill your mind."

Sunday, November 23, 2014

QOTW 23 November 2014


Raise your words,
not your voice.
It is rain that
grows flowers,
not thunder.
- Rumi

Sunday, November 16, 2014

QOTW 16 November 2014


Mountains
know the secrets
we need to learn.
That it might take time,
it might be hard,
but if you just
hold on
long enough,
you will find
the strength
to rise up.
- Tyler Knott Gregson

Sunday, November 9, 2014

QOTW 9 November 2014


Of all the paths you take in life,
make sure a few of them are dirt.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

QOTW 2 November 2014


Always find
time for
the things 
that make
you feel
happy to be
alive.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

QOTW 26 October 2014


An adventurous life
does not necessarily mean
climbing mountains,
swimming with sharks or
jumping off cliffs.
It means risking yourself
by leaving a little piece of you behind
in all those you meet along the way.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

QOTW 19 October 2014


Today is the oldest
You've ever been
and the youngest
you'll ever be again.
Happy Birthday tomorrow to 
my life partner and fellow adventurer!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Korean Style Beef Short Ribs

We have been trying a lot of new recipes which means I have some catching up to do in sharing the really great ones. Saturday we adapted this recipe from Michelle Tam and it was incredible! The sauce infuses the meat with fantastic flavor. It's pretty quick and easy to get into the slow cooker. Once it's in, all you have to do is wait!

Korean Style Beef Short Ribs

Ingredients:
6 pounds of bone- in beef short ribs
Salt
Pepper
2 Tablespoons of your favorite oil, we used coconut oil
1 medium pear or Asian pear, peeled, cored, and chopped coarsely (we used a medium-large Bartlett pear that was ripe and juicy.)
1/3 cup soy sauce
6 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
3 scallions, roughly chopped
1 hunk of ginger, a little bigger than the size of your thumb, cut into small pieces
2 teaspoons of fish sauce (we used Red Boat fish sauce as recommended by Michelle)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 cup chicken broth
Small handful of roughly chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
First, season the ribs on both sides with salt and pepper. Put 2 Tablespoons of oil in a heavy bottomed pot and turn the heat to medium-high. Then in small batches, sear the ribs on both sides:

As you finish each batch of ribs, place them in the crock pot. You'll see the crock pot insert on the left in this photo, starting to get filled up with ribs:

Once the ribs are seared, get out your blender and puree up the pear, soy sauce, garlic, scallions, ginger, vinegar and fish sauce. Keep going until it's smooth. It turns out green because of the scallions:

Pour the sauce over the ribs in the crockpot. Deglaze the big pot with a cup of chicken broth to get all the delicious bits up. Pour the tasty chicken broth into the crock pot.

Turn the crockpot on to low and let cook until it's ready. The original recipe says 9-11 hours. Our crockpot runs a little hot, even on the low setting, so ours were ready after about 6-6.5 hours.

When the ribs are cooked, take them out of the sauce and let the sauce settle for about 5 minutes, so you can skim some of the fat off. Our ribs were well trimmed and still released about half an inch of fat while cooking.

Chop the cilantro and scatter over the ribs. Spoon some of the sauce over the ribs and serve.

Notes:

  • This should serve 4-6 adults; it made enough for the three of us (T had his with hoisin sauce) and some leftovers. 
  • The butcher was Fresh Market was really great and cut and trimmed the ribs for me. I also found the recommended fish sauce there. 
  • Also did I mention it made the house smell great? 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

QOTW 28 September 2014


My to-do list for today:
- Count my blessings
- Practice kindness
- Let go of what I can't control
- Listen to my heart
- Be productive yet calm
- Just breathe

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Quote of the Week

The happiness of life is
made up of minute fractions.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Quote of the Week

If you retain nothing else, always remember
the most important rule of beauty which is:
who cares?
- Tina Fey
source

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Grilled Cheese... on the Grill

Ok so it's not regular grilled cheese but this fun recipe I saw on the Whole Foods website: Grilled Goat
Cheese and Artichoke Toasties. Except they weren't really grilling them. They cooked them in a grill pan on the stove. Bummer... because they are delicious on the grill. I even accidentally took a video! -->>>

Simple to make with a few pantry staples, this is a healthy app for a party and/or a nice lunch.


8-10 ounces goat cheese
1 (14.1-ounce) can artichokes, packed in water, drained and chopped (I like big chunks you can taste!)
1/2 cup jarred pimientos, drained and finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano
4 green onions, trimmed and finely chopped (this was way too much - next time we might leave it out altogether or cut back to just one.)
8 thick slices whole wheat hearth bread (Publix bakery makes a nice round loaf of multigrain bread)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat a grill to medium-low heat. In a bowl, mash together goat cheese, artichokes, pimientos, oregano and green onions. Spread evenly on one side of each slice of bread. Arrange on the grates and cover (with the grill lid). Grill until bread is deeply browned on the bottom and cheese is warm, about 5 minutes. Top with parsley and serve.

Original recipe here.

In the spirit of the Summer of Salads, can this be considered a spreadable salad? It's full of veggies... and would also be good on crackers or as a dip with even more veggies.




Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Grilled Coconut Lime Chicken Salad with Quinoa and Tropical Fruit

This recipe was a real experiment. I took parts of different recipes and adapted them to what I envisioned.
Thomas had requested a salad with pineapple (and cantaloupe... but that part will have to wait!). Lime coconut chicken sounded like a good complement for pineapple. I hoped to add quinoa but wasn't sold until I found a recipe for lime quinoa. Add some mango and viola! We had this for dinner Monday night and it was amazing!!

Grilled Coconut Lime Chicken Salad with Quinoa and Tropical Fruit

Serves 4.

For the marinade and dressing:
5 Tablespoons peanut oil
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
Grated zest of 2 limes
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons ground coriander
4 Tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
3 teaspoons kosher salt
4 Tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons curry powder
1 cup coconut milk

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, pounded out to an even thickness, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick

Whisk together all the marinade ingredient in a medium sized bowl. Place the chicken and 3/4 cup to 1 cup of marinade in a gallon ziploc bag. Squeeze any air out of the bag, then continue turning the bag to make sure the chicken is coated in marinade. Place bag in refrigerator for at least two hours. Reserve the remaining marinade as dressing for the salad. Cover and refrigerate. Grill the chicken approximately 5 minutes per side over high heat, or until cooked thoroughly. Remove from grill; allow to cool and then slice for the salad. 

For the lime quinoa:
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock, or even water
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 lime, juiced and zest freshly grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Add the quinoa and stock (or water) to a saucepan over high heat and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the coconut oil (you can swap butter), lime juice, zest, salt and pepper.

For the salad:
Romaine lettuce, chopped, about 5 ounces
Spinach, about 8 ounces
Prepared chicken
Lime quinoa
Mango (we used 2 nice ripe ones; one would be enough for 4 people)
Pineapple (we grilled half a pineapple the day before and chopped it for this salad; would be fine raw as well)
1 red bell pepper (we used left grilled red and green pepper and onion), sliced
4 carrots, cut into match sticks (or whatever shape you like!) 
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1-2 limes, cut into wedges

To assemble the salad, make a bed of lettuce and spinach on each plate then add each of the toppings. Sprinkle cilantro on the chicken, or the whole salad. Serve with the reserved coconut lime dressing (which is especially delicious on the lime quinoa!). 

Lime coconut chicken recipe from Fine Cooking here; came to me via pinterest from this adaptation from Chaos in the Kitchen here. Lime quinoa recipe found here on How Sweet It Is.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Grilled Ginger-Sesame Chicken Salad

I found this Curtis Stone (remember Take Home Chef??) recipe on pinterest, posted by Menu Musings. It's easy and delicious! We adapted the recipe a little, including adding mandarin oranges.

Marinade, chicken and dressing
¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
3 Tbsp very finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
3 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp sriracha
¼  tsp kosher salt
2 (9-oz) boneless, skinless chicken-breast halves
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup minced red onions, white and green parts

Salad
2 lb napa cabbage, halved lengthwise, very thinly sliced crosswise
5 carrots, shredded or cut into matchstick-size strips
3 green onions (white and green parts), thinly sliced on a sharp diagonal
⅔ cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
½ cup sliced almonds, toasted
2 tsp white sesame seeds, toasted
1 can (11-ounce) mandarin oranges, drained (we used the kind packed in light syrup)

1. Marinade: In a medium bowl, whisk soy sauce, ginger, canola oil, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, and salt to blend. Transfer 4 Tbsp of the marinade to a gallon ziplock bag, add chicken, and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes.

2. Dressing: Whisk vinegar and green onions into the remaining marinade. Set aside.

3. Heat the grill to medium-high. Remove chicken from marinade, add to grill, and cook about 4 minutes per side, or until chicken shows no sign of pink when pierced in the thickest part with the tip of a small sharp knife. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes.

4. Cut chicken crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices.

5. Salad: In a large bowl, toss chicken, cabbage, carrots, scallions, cilantro, and half of the almonds with enough dressing to coat lightly.

6. Mound salad in center of 4 plates. Re-whisk dressing and drizzle a little over and around salad. Sprinkle with the mandarin oranges, remaining almonds, and sesame seeds.

See Curtis's original recipe here, and Menu Musing's post about it (step by step photos!) here.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Music: Never Mind the End by Tei Shi


Found this version of the song to share (original here is super creepy, which doesn't negate the greatness of the song but does detract...). Via This is Our Jam.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Pool Time

Things are looking good out by the pool. We love the new liner!
new table and new cushions for the chairs.
(burger Friday last week)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Southwestern Salad

Summer of Salads continues: Southwestern Salad
It's the dressing that makes this salad really sing and for that we have the blog Damn Delicious to thank for this recipe

Salad:
8 ounce package romaine hearts, cleaned and chopped
6 ounce package baby spinach
2 ears sweet corn, grilled, kernels removed from cob (we had corn the night before so I just prepared a couple extra ears)
1 14.5-ounce can seasoned black beans, drained and rinsed
2 avocados, pitted and cubed
1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half if large
1 portion of chicken of your choice per person (I used frozen chicken tenders we had in the freezer, cooked them ahead and let cool before serving - or omit the meat if you prefer!)

Cilantro Lime Dressing
1 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (we used Fage 2%)
2 cloves garlic
juice of one lime
2 pinches salt
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 Tablespoons olive oil

The original directions used the food processor for this, but T loves the blender so we tried that. Put the cilantro, yogurt, garlic and lime juice in the machine of your choice. We added the vinegar as well so there'd be enough liquid to get the contents going. Once it's smooth, with the motor running, slowly add the olive oil. No need to make it in advance, but I'd recommend making it first and then assembling the salads. Letting it sit just that 10 minutes brings the flavors together. It stores well in the fridge too.

Serves 4 (or the 3 of us plus leftovers)


Monday, May 19, 2014

Summer of Salads

Mothers' Day keeps on giving .:)
I order Cobb salad a lot at restaurants and it never occurred to me until last year to make it at home. Crazy, right? It's super easy and just as delicious when you assemble it yourself.

Last Monday night we had Cobb salad from our Mothers' Day leftovers - some applewood smoked bacon (from the BLTs we had from lunch) and steak from dinner. Add some grape tomatoes, blue cheese and hard boiled eggs on top of romaine lettuce and dinner is done. Even Thomas ate it all (with a healthy amount of blue cheese dressing).

It was so tasty that I thought, hey, this should be the summer of salads. Keep the kitchen cool. Experiment with some new recipes. Eat a lot of veggies... It's a win-win. And I'll plan to share the best recipes here on the blog.

For inspiration, I set up a group pinterest board (let me know if you want to join!)

Follow Amy's board Summer of Salads on Pinterest.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Quote of the Week

You're only human. You don't have to have it
together every minute of every day."
- Anne Hathaway

Friday, May 16, 2014

More Quiche!

Here are the recipes for the two delicious quiches we had for dinner Thursday.

Tomato Asparagus Quiche with Goat Cheese

12-15 stalks asparagus, partly cooked (I used Trader Joe's frozen Grilled Asparagus Spears, defrosted)
a handful (7-10) grape tomatoes
1 prepared pie crust (Publix is our go-to brand)
3 eggs
1/2 cup skim milk
1-2 Tablespoons grated Gruyere
1 - 1.5 ounces goat cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375. Prepare a heavy baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper (just in case the egg spills, this will help it make less of a mess).

Prepare the veggies: Slice the asparagus into one-inch lengths. Cut the tomatoes in half (or smaller) so each piece is about the same size. Place the tomato pieces on a paper towel and roll them around to remove some of the moisture. Season the tomatoes lightly with salt and pepper.

Next prepare the custard. Beat the eggs well then fully incorporate the milk. Season with salt and pepper.

Assemble the quiche. Pour about half the custard into the prepared pie crust then scatter most of the asparagus around evenly. Add about a quarter more of the eggs then the rest of the asparagus and all the tomatoes. Sprinkle the Gruyere evenly then add dots of goat cheese (around 1/2-inch or so in size, depending on how big a goat cheese hit you want in a single bite) over the entire top. Finish by adding the remaining egg mixture.

Bake on the prepared tray for 25-30 minutes or until set up. I recommend the bottom rack of the oven - that'll help keep the crust from burning around the edge. Remove from oven and let cool five minutes before slicing.

Potato Cheese Quiche

This one is almost exactly the same as Ham Potato and Cheese Quiche

3 small potatoes (I used Yukon creamers)
1 prepared pie crust (Publix is what I like; they're in the freezer section)
3 eggs
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup grated Gruyere
2-3 Tablespoons grated cheddar

Preheat the oven to 375. Prepare a heavy baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper (I baked these two together on the same tray).

Stab the potatoes, then microwave for 2 minutes on high under a paper towel. Leave them untouched for 4-5 minutes then take them out and peeled and dice them. I like to cook them ahead and let them cool. The skins won't hurt you so skip that step if you want. I dice them into about 1/2-inch cubes. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper.

Prepare the custard: Beat the eggs well then fully incorporate the milk. Season with salt and pepper.

Next, assemble the quiche. Pour about half the custard into the prepared pie crust then scatter most of the potatoes around evenly. Add a layer of Gruyere, then more eggs, the rest of the potatoes, the rest of the Gruyere, all the cheddar with any remaining egg mixture last.

Bake, on the bottom rack, 25-30 minutes, or until set up. Cool for 5 minutes before slicing.

More Quiche Recipes from me:
Ham, Potato and Cheese Quiche (one of my most popular posts!)
Butternut Bacon Quiche (love this!!)
Crustless Quiche (with spinach, tomato and three cheeses)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Quote of the Week

Nobody has ever measured, not even poets,
How much the heart can hold.
-Zelda Fitzgerald

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Quote of the Week

Take criticism seriously,
but not personally. If
there is truth or merit
in the criticism, try to
learn from it. Otherwise,
let it roll right off you.
- Hillary Rodham Clinton

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Quote of the Week

In every walk
with nature
one receives far more
than he seeks.
-John Muir

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Music: Five emerging Austin artists

I missed a few Saturdays and I'm making it up to you with a great playlist shared by World Cafe. You can visit soundcloud to download all five tracks too. #free

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Quote of the Week

"Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but 
a manner of traveling." - Margaret Lee Runbeck

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Quote of the Week

"Life is a series of natural and
spontaneous changes.
Don't resist them.
That only creates sorrow.
Let reality by reality.
Let things flow naturally forward
in whatever way they like." - Lao Tzu

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Quote of the Week

"Look past your thoughts so you may 
drink the pure nectar of this moment." - Rumi

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Quote of the Week

"Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat,
 and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive 
with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, 
get good and angry. Try to be alive. 
You will be dead soon enough. - Ernest Hemingway

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Quote of the Week

"I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment,
while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished
by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet
 I could have worn." - Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Quote of the Week

"Art is a way of recognizing oneself, which is why
it will always be modern." - Louise Bourgeois

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Quote of the Week

"Strength shows, not only in the ability to persist,
but the ability to start over" - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Go W/ The Flow

A week ago Friday, Chris and I went to the most intense yoga class of our lives. It was super cool even though it was super hard!


Tori and Ben pace the two hour session on the skill level of everyone in class... which happened to be about half yoga teachers! The music is amazing and breathing in synchronicity with twenty-some other people is transcendent. We were wiped out physically afterward - in a good balanced way. Slept great that night!!

Go w/ the flow at Hot Yoga Tallahassee!
Official description: Created by Tori Reynolds and Ben Rivet, GO W/ THE FLOW is an immersive collision of music and movement that is designed to get you out of your head and into your breath. Tori’s powerful but playful vinyasa sequence is scored by Ben’s acoustic guitar and vocals, paced by looped beatboxing and dictated by every breath in the room. Improvisation prevails, reminding us the strength of human connection and the benefits of a #gowtheflow outlook on your life and your practice.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Quote of the Week

"Don't be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs.
Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger.
If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend
to take care of themselves." - Dale Carnegie


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Be Inspired to be Kind!

On March 1st, Alpha Chi Omegas celebrate Hera Day, a day of service to others. Many of us choose to make this a day of kindness. Be inspired by this video to make your day about kindness too!


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Music: Thursday by Pet Shop Boys

Happy Thursday! Through Friday (tomorrow, Feb 28th) you can download this and 19 other songs from World Cafe. Check it out here: https://soundcloud.com/wxpnfm (scroll down to "20 Free World Cafe Downloads To Get You Through February!"


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Quote of the Week

There are always flowers for those who want to see them - Henri Matisse

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Quote of the Week

Sometimes you read a book so special that you want to carry it around with you
for months after you've finished it just to stay near it - Markus Zusak
source

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Quote of the Week

In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Quote of the Week

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. - Aristotle
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