Archive for May, 2018

INSALATA PEPERONI AROSTITI (Grilled Pepper Salad)

So simple, so delicious, so colorful…….fire up that grill and enjoy!

ingredientsGrilled-Pepper-Salad

2 red peppers

2 yellow peppers

1 garlic clove, coarsely sliced, or 1 tsp. garlic oil

Sea salt

1 tbs. coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

4 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

directions

Blacken the peppers over a grill or in a very hot oven (425 degrees F). When the skin has blackened, remove the peppers and allow to cool.

After the peppers have cooled, remove the skin and seeds, retaining any juices, then slice into strips approximately 1 inch wide.

To the peppers and their juices, add the garlic or garlic oil, salt, parsley, and olive oil; mix well. Leave for a few hours to allow the flavors to develop, and eat as part of an antipasto.

Tip: To make this dish even more flavorful, add other fresh herbs, such as basil or thyme.

(Recipe found in Experience Life, June, 2017)

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THE MAGICAL WASHCLOTH

Over 12 years ago, when I was living in London, I loved listening to a radio station, that told a unique, yet true,  story once a week. Well, this story I never forgot.

A woman wrote in telling them about her recent experience at her annual download.jpggynecological check-up. The woman had put her two small girls on the school bus, when her phone rang. It was the doctor’s office asking her if she could come in immediately, instead of her early afternoon appointment. The woman said that she could and started rushing around to get herself ready.  She figured she didn’t have enough time for a shower, but could freshen up a bit. So, she took the washcloth,  that was sitting on her sink, and used it for the “crucial bits” and tossed it into the hamper. She made it to the doctor’s office on time. When she was being examined, her gynecologist said “Well, it looks like you made a special effort today.” The woman didn’t know what she was talking about and brushed off that comment. Later that day, she greeted  her girls from the school bus. Once inside the house, one of her daughters started screaming.  She wanted to know where the washcloth was that was next to the sink. Her mom told her that she used it and it was dirty. And then her daughter said “BUT MOM!!! That’s where all my glitter was!!!”

Putting aside how funny this story is, there is a lesson that we can learn. We are so busy working, taking care of someone, trying to figure out what to cook, when to exercise, and how to squeeze things in, that we wind up making mistakes and/or doing unusual things.  The crazy thing about this story is  not what the woman did, but how we can all relate to it.  I sure can!

I think we all need to slow down a bit. Aside from making mistakes, I notice that two things happen when we are spinning and rushing: 1. We wind up missing out on the present and 2. We hyper focus on the future. Both of these rob us of what’s going on today. For example, it’s easier to think about joining the gym next month rather than going for a walk today.

So, let’s take a collective deep breath, slow down,  and think about what we can do TODAY to make ourselves feel a little better. And who knows, we might find that this slightly slower pace will actually make us more productive AND happier!

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SEARED TILAPIA WITH SPICY MINT GREMOLATA

I LOVED this tilapia dish. Super simple and great flavors!!

ingredients1382539459115

2 pounds thin, tender asparagus, trimmed

3 tablespoons coarsely chopped mint leaves

1 small garlic clove, finely chopped

½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Pinch red pepper flakes

2 tilapia fillets (about 1 ¼ pound total), halved

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus 4 teaspoons oil for drizzling

directions

Put a steamer basket in a large pot over 1-inch of boiling salted water. Add the asparagus; cover and steam until it is crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

In a small dish, stir together the mint, garlic, lemon zest and pepper flakes. (*see note)

Brush the tilapia with 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper to taste. Add 2 tilapia fillets to hot pan; cook, turning once, until opaque throughout, 5 to 7 minutes total. Transfer to plates. Repeat with remaining tilapia.

Serve the tilapia with the asparagus; garnish with gremolata mixture. Drizzle the asparagus and fish with olive oil, if desired.

*NOTE: I modified the gremolata. I added a squeeze of the lemon juice into the mixture and then stirred in  some olive oil,  making a mini pesto. Delicious!!!!!

(Recipe found on http://www.foodnetwork.com)

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SWEET CURRIED EDAMAME CRUNCHERS

Oh boy…….here’s a new, and interesting way to eat edamame!! 

ingredientsedamame-crunchers

3 cups frozen shelled edamame

1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons coconut sugar

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon sea salt

⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

directions

Preheat oven to 300°F

Place edamame in a strainer and run under warm water for 30 seconds. Spread edamame on a paper towel and pat dry.

In a medium bowl, stir together edamame, olive oil, sugar, curry, cinnamon, salt, pepper and cayenne.

Spread seasoned edamame on a baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, until light brown. Stir every 15 minutes to ensure even roasting. Let cool before serving.

Cooking note: Line baking sheet with parchment paper to avoid staining from curry powder. Increase baking time by about 20 minutes.

(recipe found on foodandnutrition.org)

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FLOWERS ON FRIDAY

When my husband’s mom was alive, my father-in-law brought home flowers for her every Friday night. Unfortunately, this lovely gesture did not rub off on my husband.

The other day, I was in my local market and I saw tulips and bought myself some. I got IMG_0148.HEIChome, cut off the bottom stems, took out a pretty glass vase, and popped them in. My kitchen and my mood lit up. Coincidentally (or not), this was on a Friday. Well, I’ve been doing this now for 3 weeks so I can officially say that I’m in a habit!

It’s funny how small things can make a very big difference. And given that women, especially, are so hard on themselves, I think all of us should do something nice for ourselves. And often. Buy some flowers, plant some herbs, go for a manicure, walk with a friend, sit outside without your phone, read a book, watch a sunset.

Treat yourself  to something that will make you smile, because you deserve it.

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