Sunday, September 16, 2007


I have had some conversations with friends lately on the need for rest. We are all so busy that no one seems to make rest a priority. Have you noticed that even when you get that three day weekend that you have been looking forward to for months, you really don't find yourself you find yourself fixing, organizing and working to get all of the other things in your life done that you never have time to do!

Work seems to be the number one priority in everyone's life. I understand it. I love my work and it is also provides for me. I just wonder if we would all be just a little happier if we would just step back a step or two? What would your life be like if everyday you were told to leave work on time? If you actually took a lunch? If you picked up some food or brought it from home and just sat outside reading for an hour? I find I never find this freedom. I don't pause. I hurry to the next thing so that I can find some relief from the pressure of deadlines. But-what I find is I never win. There is always the next set of deadlines. So-week after week I push myself to find that the next week brings the same struggle and the same rush.

All of this effects what I eat and what food I supply myself for nuriousment. Now that I have a baby on the way, rushing and forgetting to eat isn't working well for me. Let's not even mention the guilt I have for not eating for baby...but it just isn't good for us not to eat or hurry to eat. But-we all do it. We get busy and forget to eat and elminate the energy we need to work more effectively and have the energy to keep going.

I challenge you this week to watch your daily eating patterns and how work effects you. What can you do to help yourself be better at taking care of yourself and simply eating when you need to eat? I think by taking the steps to getting in touch with our basic needs to eat, we may find that we acknowledge our need to find rest too.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Food Bowl

My pets always find me. I have never bought one or looked for one. It was the same with "Shoo". She found us as a four month old stray. When she died this past Spring, I left her food bowl out. It was just something I wasn't ready to put away.

I knew that eventually I would need to put it away but in someway it has stayed in place as an homage to her. My cat loved to eat! We found that she loved lunch meat, tuna and she loved milk. She also had this liking to olive juice! She was insane for it. We wouldn't give her these goodies all of the time. On that special weekday lunch or that Tuesday night when no one else was looking...these were the times she would get rewarded for just being a great cat.

Recently, our next door neighbor got a new kitten. The kitten's name is "Sparks". He is hilarious, spunky and full of energy. Everything a little new kitten needs to be. We are the only neighbor that doesn't have a cat so Sparks has claimed our place for his afternoon naps. We keep the door cracked most weekend days. Sparks sneaks in and finds himself a spot under the coffee table or even recently curled up in a ball. After his nap, he will go into the kitchen and visit our cat's food bowl. Each visit this new kitten is gently removing a small amount of food from Shoo's bowl. I can't help but smile when I hear the "Crunch!" "Crunch!" coming from my kitchen corner. This little new visitor has not only given us new laughter and joy but is helping us with our healing process of cleaning out the cat bowl. I have always said that pets find us and they do!


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Your Last Meal...

If you had to choose your very last meal-what would it be? Take a look at this.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Guacamole Wars!

We had a Guacamole war! There were four of us and each made our own special recipe to share with the group. It was interesting because we each only used one avocado which for me made the recipe tougher as I am use to making a batch using 2-3 avocados. It was an interesting mix of recipes. All recipes were made by hand and used no "specific" measure. We made a guesstimate in the measurements below. One of the interesting things about making guac is how truly intuitive the recipes can be as all of these are really never made the same way twice! Even the variable of how fresh the avocado is really plays into the guacamole you will create. We voted only on the "Overall Best" but we listed all of the recipes below

The overall Best Winner:

Steven's Guacamole
2 avocados, room temperature
2-3 cloves super-finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup finely chopped purple onion
1 tablespoon (approx) coarse ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/6 ounces finely chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 to 1 full lemon (depending on size)
1 small red tomato

Always start with the garlic. You want to take your time with the chopping and make it as fine as possible. The best way to do this is to do it first when you have the most attention and energy. Peel and finely chop 2 or 3 cloves of garlic and place into mixing bowl. Repeat for the purple onion, but the onion may be a bit coarser for better texture. Add salt and pepper. It's best to use a peppercorn to provide the freshest grind of pepper. It should be sufficient to turn the peppercorn approximately 25 times per avocado used. Cut the lemon into 8 pieces. Use only half of the lemon first. Later perhaps use the other half depending on personal taste and variances of avocado and lemon sizes. Remove lemon seeds and use your thumb to plow as much juice and pith as possible from the hide. Pith is good. It will provide little pockets of brightness and variety to the dish. Next, pull the leaves from the cilantro plant and chop this into fine confetti. Add to mixing bowl.

Peel and cut the avocados to provide four quadrants per avocado. Take each quadrant and squeeze with your hands till the avocado meat is pushed through your fingers and into the mixing bowl right on top of the spice pile.

Now for the mixing. The right bowl and mixing tool is important, as you want control over the texture. It's best to use a high-walled metal bowl and a flat spatula to fold the ingredients together. You are not blending the avocado, you are combining the ingredients. Also note the tomato hasn't been added yet. Turn the mixture just till blended, as you would pancake batter to protect the texture. At this point, taste the guacamole for the noticeably present but subtle lemon. Add a few wedges of lemon if needed. Now for the tomato. Chop the tomato into 1/2 inch chunks which will likely become smaller during the mixing. Add chopped tomato to mixing bowl and turn 4-5 times simply to distribute the tomato.

The end result should have a texture more like thick mashed potatoes rather than yogurt. It should hit the palate sharp at first with the garlic and onion combination. The avocado should act as a vehicle for the queue of spices and allow them to take turns on your tongue. The lemon should be more of a scent rather than a real taste and should provide levity. The cilantro should be an afterthought component along with the lingering presence of the garlic. The salt should not be noticeable, but like a cookie, should offer its services as an incentive to take the next bite!


Next in line for overall simplicity:

Ben's Guacamole:

1 Avocado
Fresh Ground Pepper
Sea Salt
1 Whole Lime (Juiced by Hand)
One Medium Tomato
1/3 Minced White Onion

Mince onion to 1/8" x 1/4" Wide place into bowl.

Add salt and pepper (About 1 tsp each)

1 Medium tomato quartered and squeezed into bowl-discard skin.
Cut avocado in half (longwise) and add to bowl. Press halves with fork and blend pieces with other ingredients. Add lime juice-hand squeeze each half by hand.

Whip ingredients until blended without making the mixture into a paste. The avocado needs to be kept into pieces. Result should be a non-homogeneous mixture.

Let stand one hour before serving. Room temperature.

Ena's Guacamole:
1 Avocado
1/2 of a Lemon
1 Lime
Dash of Cayenne Pepper
Dash of Sea Salt
Dash of Fresh Ground Pepper
1 Finely Chopped Garlic Clove
1/4 White Onion, Finely Chopped
1/2 Medium Tomato, Chopped Finely
10 Leaves of Cilantro, Chopped Finely

Mash avocado with whisk. Place in all of the other ingredients into bowl. Stir and mash mixture together until well blended. Place in refrigerator for at least 10 minutes.

Fer's Summer Guacamole(I like to make different guac recipes for the seasons!)
1 Avocado
1/4 of Sliced Lemon squeezed by hand
1/4 Cup White Onion, Finely Chopped
1 Tablespoon of Chopped Cilantro
2 Green onions (White to light green part only), finely chopped
1 Peeled Tomato, Medium
2 Pinches of Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper-per taste

Chop onions and cilantro finely. Blot items with paper towel to remove excess water. The citrus juice will provide enough moisture. Add all of the above ingredients except the avocado.

Pull the avocado away from its skin and coarsely mix it into the ingredients. Leave clumps as bites of avocado should be throughout the mixture. Refrigerate until needed.