About me

I started this blog years ago as a way to keep track of my recipes and projects. Friends and family would ask me for recipes and I figured I could put it all in one spot for everyone to access, whenever.

If you like my page, find me on facebook, link to the right, I share my blog recipes, and blog recipes from blogs I enjoy.

Please be patient, as I am working to organize my recipes on here better, my page has gotten out of hand.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Meditation: letting go of the rules



http://reallifeglobal.com/

People think I'm crazy because I'm up at 4 am everyday. I recall a time in my 20s a woman told me she was up at 4 am and I thought old people were weird.

Let me tell ya, it's the most peaceful time of the day. I use this time to meditate and reflect. 

But you don't have to get up early to meditate. 
You don't have to sit Indian style and close your eyes, imagining seeing a light through your third eye. You don't need fancy beads, although they help some, to other's they are just clutter. 
You can meditate anytime, anywhere. You can meditate for 5 minutes, 20 minutes, 8 hours...
Don't let anyone tell you that you are doing it wrong.  They don't know you. 

You can meditate in your vehicle on your commute, washing dishes, vacuuming, at work, anywhere you have a moment alone where you can just be in the here and now. Your eyes need not be closed. You don't have to chant mantras. Although they work for many people, they may not be you. Everyone is different. The mantras are healing, so give them a try, but it's okay if they aren't your style. 
Below are some mantras. 
http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/morning-meditation-mantras/

When I go to the beach, I sit, and or sometimes stand, taking in the energy, listening to the waves, with my eyes wide open I watch the waves come in and go out...this is great, but I can't sit and listen to a recording of waves, I do not get the same effect. Other people can.  

Do what relaxes and calms you. I'm not saying drink a cocktail, and definitely don't smoke a cigarette. You need to breathe in fresh air for sure. 

Just take some deep breaths (they need not be animated and heard loudly by others). Be aware of your breathing and let go of anything that stresses you. 

Go somewhere that is beautiful, take in Mother Nature. Or close your eyes, if you aren't driving, and take yourself to a beautiful place. The sky is the limit. 


There are traditional guided meditations, but for some people, clearing the mind while someone is talking and telling you to clear your mind, is difficult. Your mind wonders. 

There are some guided meditations that take you on a journey, you listen to a storyteller that takes you somewhere in your thoughts. Visualizations. This could be easier for some.
Visualizations are my favorite form of meditation.

Here is a great pdf of guided meditations meant for children but great also for beginners. 


Record it so you can relax while following it. 

Every meditation style is not for everyone. You can't meditate wrong, as long as you are relaxed, and letting go. 

I took a course in teaching meditation through Ananda and it was great but I came to realize, their style didn't relax me. It wasn't my style. 
I looked further and found in my own, what worked for me. Always a student, never a master.We are always evolving.  

One of my favorite visualization meditations, I got out of one of my yoga books and darn it, I can't find the meditation right now.  When I find it, I will post it.  It takes you on a journey to an iceberg.

Just remember, you are not doing it wrong.  If anyone tells you that you are, you know not to take advice from them. Remember, everyone is always a student, never a master.  You can learn from someone, but their path is not the only path.

If you want to read a good book with visualization type meditations, a few are listed below and this is my go to.
To look inside of this book on Amazon click the book












For now, here is a guided meditation I found on you tube....this helps you if you can't focus on just silence and stillness.  Its a great morning meditation.  But again, if you can't relax with talking in the room, by all means, do what relaxes you.  

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Homemade English Muffins (who knew they would be so easy!)






Okay, watch this awesome Culinary Institute of America teacher make these before you think its too hard for you...I promise...its easy and you don't even turn on the oven!



I ordered the breakfast book from them online.  I have several of the CIA cookbooks, they are all amazing! I posted links below if you want to check them out.

English Muffins
(makes 12)

1½ c active dry yeast
1 c warm water
2 c all purpose flour
1 T butter, softened
1 t sugar
1 t salt
cornmeal
oil of choice for your pan

Place the yeast and water in your mixing bowl and allow to proof for about 5 minutes.  Then add the flour, salt, sugar, and butter to the yeast water and mix on low (speed one) with a dough hook, about 2 minutes.  (you can use a hand mixer, but a stand mixer is effortless..invest in one if you like to cook)

Increase the speed to 2 and let it knead for you for about 5 minutes...check out the consistency..it will not be quite as smooth as pizza dough but you don't want it real liquidy either. You may need to add a bit more flour here.

Pull the hook out of the dough and cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm spot for 1½ hours.

Sprinkle counter with flour and take dough out of the bowl and cut into 12 pieces (cut in four and each piece in three)  Roll each piece into a ball, rolling under and flatten slightly and dip both sides in cornmeal.  You can proof them here another 20-30 minutes or you don't have to.
The first two times I made it I didn't proof them. They were delicious but when I proofed them the third time I made them they were even fluffier and more delicious.

Cook on a hot and lightly oiled griddle for about 5-6 minutes per side.

Fork Split and toast them in a toaster.

Wasn't that easy?  And they are the best tasting english muffins I ever had.













Saturday, February 14, 2015

Aprons. A little History Lesson.


I posted a post many years back into thousand eight I believe apron evangelism. 
I love aprons. I have three hanging in my kitchen I have been well used. 

Here is a cute ditty I can across on fb. 





I don't think our kids know what an apron is. The principle use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears. 

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven. 

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids..

And when the weather was cold, Grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. 

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls. 

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees. 

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds. 

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes. 

Send this to those who would know (and love) the story about Grandma's aprons.

REMEMBER: 

Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.

They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.

I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron - but love.


If you enjoyed this, perhaps you'd enjoy a previously posted Apron Evangelism post. 

****************************************

I saw this post on fb  and there was not a source listed.


I wanted to share it on my blog so that I would never to lose it. If anyone knows the actual source of this please let me know so I can give them credit.


 

Friday, January 16, 2015

5 Minute Cream of Broccoli Soup for One


Home alone? Don't feel like cooking?
This one is great for college students, teenagers, or anyone who is dining alone. 

Here is an easy mug of soup. 

1 c frozen organic broccoli
2/3 c organic chicken broth or use a bouillon powder and some water 
1/4 c organic Milk 
Handful of Cheddar cheese 


In a 16 oz mug:
Heat broccoli and broth  in microwave for two minutes. 
Pour into blender and add milk and cheese. 
Blend until partially or completely smooth. 
It will be a good eating temperature or you can heat it up if you like it hotter. 

This is delicious and simple and nutritious. 
If you're vegan you can use almond or coconut milk, and vegetable broth.  


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Nutty chocolate cherry hemp protein balls



Another set of power balls. 
In the food processor: 
1 cup of almonds and walnuts, mixed. 
Process until grainy
Add: 
1 c nut butter 
1/4 c hemp protein powder 
1/2 c cocoa
2 T honey
2 T bee pollen
2 T unsweetened unsulfured flake coconut
Process until fully combined. Check the consistency. You want this wet enough to be able to form into balls. Add more not butter if it's not wet enough. 

Add a handful of dried unsweetened dark sweet bing  cherries, and 2T chia seeds 
Process until combined and cherries are lightly chopped. 

Roll into balls and roll in more on sweetened unsulfured flake coconut
refrigerate about 24 hours before eating to allow to set up. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Organizing canning jar lids. Quick solution


A simple flange and 1/2inch x 18 inch pipe to tame my canning jar lids. 


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Reflections of.. My 2014 resolution. Simplifying successfully











My 2014 simplifying journey

I just wanted to reflect on my New Years resolution for 2014 of simplifying my life. 
Many joke that resolutions are for breaking. Not mine. 

I found the key to true happiness in simplifying my life. 
Being busy is overrated. 
Success is not about money or a job or possessions, it's about being happy. 
I'm happy at home. With my family. No plans. Just being at home with my favorite people. 

We turned our Sundays into family days a long time ago.
I highly recommend this.  We don't make plans. It's a rule. Very rarely we do break the rule. If there something special going on, we switch the date to Saturday that weekend. 

We have managed to shave $ 7780.00 from our yearly budget. No kidding!  
We eliminated cable, went with a cheap Internet home phone, and refinanced at an INCREDIBLE rate with a private lender. (I won't even get into that, our rate almost unheard of). 

I shut down social networks at 8pm. (There were a few days I hung out for a bit longer, but for the most part, my social sites went quiet at 8). I also removed cattiness from my Facebook page. Restricting and hiding from timeline and even some blocking.  I had one major drama episode recently but it's done and I wasn't the culprit so I can stand tall. 
It won't happen again. I'll just restrict unsolicited advice immediately right off the bat. No warnings. Poof! 

 My Facebook page has changed drastically since last year and will continue to change so it can be a place for fun, motivation, and silliness. 

I also got rid of clutter and unnecessary unloved things in my house. The goodwill shelves were filled with my unloved possessions. I sent at least a box a month there. Sometimes boxes! 
We keep a box in our upstairs linen closet so the kids can fill it with their unwanted items. When it's full it goes and a new box gets set in its place. It's so weird to say linen closet, my husband has been building closets, our home came with none!  After 16 years here, my home has a linen closet. 
My fav quote: if I acquire as much as a stone, it owns me, because then I have to dust it. 

And I'm not finished, I will continue this simplifying journey in 2015. 

My 2015 resolutions will be:

  • Drink more water (I'm not getting enough fluids) 
  • Have more family dinners at the table together. 
  • More walks, runs and workouts with hubby. 
  • No more delicious chips and salsa  at Chili's. (Gotta get back on my healthy eating wagon). 
  • Simplify more

And of course I will keep simplifying.