Thursday, June 14, 2012

Quick Pickles

Pickling Liquid 2 Large bay leaves ¼ tsp. allspice, crushed ¼ tsp. coriander seeds, crushed 1 Generous handful of cilantro leaves, chopped 3 Sprigs of thyme 3-4 TBS of Round Rock Honey 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt ¼ tsp. pepper Vegetables and Oil 1 Lb. peeled cucumber, sliced thinly, about ¼ inches 3 Medium shallots, sliced * thinly sliced onion will work too 1 Red bell pepper, sliced ¼ Cup olive oil 1. Place Cucumber Slices, Shallots, and Red Bell Pepper in heat proof bowl and set aside. 2. Combine first eight ingredients in microwavable dish and zap for 30-45 seconds. 3. Pour warm mixture over cucumbers, shallots and red pepper. Toss, cover for 3 minutes. 4. Uncover, and add olive oil. 5. Toss again and serve immediately or on the same day as preparation. Serve with Barbeque or Fried Fish.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The reason why I left the corporate world----

When people give me grief about the reason I left the corporate world and started my own company, they say that it is because of the big check I get as a business owner. But, it's not because of money, it's because of the smile I get when I have the opportunity to help a friend make career decisions that make a difference to them and their families, the fact that I connect with people I really love working with on a daily basis. And yes, I get a check every once and a while. And, on really great days, I get one like this one in a Dr. Seuss card covered in glitter with a hand-written note inside. Now, that is why I left corporate world!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Much "to do" at The Art Garage

It was great being at the Art Garage with the Soup Sisters, although we missed Holly and Peggy. We spent the evening catching up with celebrations, struggles and support. The soup was Chicken Tortilla (a bit bland this time), everyone pitched in veggies, fruit, chips, dip, cake, sodas and wine. Kelley, the owner of the Art Garage, was ever the professional and unconditionally supportive of all our artistic endeavors. There was no real lesson from the book we have been following, but I did reflect on the different approaches to art and the outcome of the activity. Some were into the process, painting for painting's sake. Some were taken aback by the inventory and choice that had to be made, BSO, Bright Shiny Object, Syndrome. Others wanted a specific outcome and to vet out what the product would look like in the end by studying the color samples, looking at finished pieces on display, and pulling up Google images. One came with a very clear idea and design in mind and barreled through with determined, precise and measurable steps to get the detailed design onto the clay. Wow, so many approaches to the event at the Art Garage. How do these approaches reflect our approach to life, to new experiences, to everything? Does how you showed up there reflect how you show up everywhere? Here is my confession: I am have BSO Syndrome. Peggy knew that already, right Peggy? LOL I went in with the goal of painting a soup bowl, then I was distracted by a little Kio fish dish that called out to me. Yep, that is pretty much how I am in my life. I have a plan, goals, even make a few steps towards these goals, then a BSO comes into my sight. Then, I have two competing interests! So, what do I do? • I put things on my calendar that are really important. • I keep a “to do” list on my desk. • I voice my intentions when I can to someone who will keep me accountable. • I cross out things on my “to do” list as I complete them, so that I clear the path and maybe even do a little victory dance to clear the path and keep my energy up. • I notice when something gets bumped to the next day's to do list over three times. Then, I ask myself what the avoidance is about. o Am I over-booking myself? o Is this really important to me? o Is there any deeper reason that I might be avoiding this task? o Can I drop it from my list, and feel good about it? So, what did I do? Well, the Soup Sister’s Night at the Art Garage was on my calendar, I made the soup, got to the Art Garage almost on time, and the Kio dish will look great with my Sushi and Sake set. I didn’t paint a soup bowl, but I connected with wonderful women in a meaningful way and that is not bland at all How about you? How do you show up? Do you know where you are going? Do you let yourself off the hook from time to time?

A Crappy Week

Are you having a crappy week? Try this story. Once upon a time there were two children, each was given a golden key and asked to make a wish. Then, they were led down a hallway where each child chose a door that they believed would match their key and grant their wish. Surprisingly, as the two children carefully chose a door turned the key the both doors opened. When the children looked inside they discovered that each room was filled 6 feet high with crap. The first child threw down the key, slammed the door, muttered and stomped back down the hall. The second dove right into the room and began digging away in the crap, hand over hand, flinging it over each shoulder and with excitement and glee. When asked what the child was doing, the child replied, “I thought that with all this crap, my pony must be in here somewhere!” What did you get from this story?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Oatmeal and Chamomile Bath for Allergic Rash

2 Cups Warm Water
1 Cup Oatmeal (Unflavored, just sayin')
2-4 TBS of Chamomile Tea (The Contents of about 4 Tea Bags)

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until creamy. Add to warm bath water, and soak for 15- 20 minutes to relieve itchy skin. Rinse skin afterward and pat skin dry gently with a soft towel.

Friday, February 24, 2012

If— By Rudyard Kipling

(‘Brother Square-Toes’—Rewards and Fairies)

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Napa Cabbage Salad Recipe

2/3 cup slivered almonds
8 cups (1 lb) coarsely shredded napa cabbage
12 ounces snow peas, strings removed, rinsed and thinly sliced
1 1/3 cups thinly sliced radishes
1 1/3 cups thinly sliced green onions (including greens)
1 1/3 cups lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
Dressing ingredients
3 Tbsp rice vinegar (seasoned or unseasoned)
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 clove peeled and minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Spread almond slivers out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in a 350°F oven for 5-10 minutes, until nicely browned. OR toast in stick-free or cast-iron skillet on medium high, stirring frequently until browned. Set aside.
2 Combine cabbage, snow peas, radishes, green onions, cilantro in a large bowl. Can make this step a day or two ahead.
3 In a separate bowl, mix together the rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, ginger, and cayenne until sugar has dissolved. Whisk in the mayonnaise.
4 When ready to serve, gently combine the dressing and almonds with the cabbage mixture.
Serves 14-16.

Thai Slaw

Prepare slaw and dressing one day ahead, and store separately in the refrigerator.

Photo by: Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
YIELD: 10 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup)
COURSE: Salads

3 cups thinly sliced napa (Chinese) cabbage
1/2 cup (1/8-inch) julienne-cut yellow squash
1/2 cup (1/8-inch) julienne-cut zucchini
1/2 cup (1/8-inch) julienne-cut red bell pepper
1/2 cup (1/8-inch) julienne-cut yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup (1/8-inch) julienne-cut seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup grated radishes
1 minced seeded jalapeƱo pepper
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon chile paste with garlic (such as sambal oelek)

To prepare slaw, combine first 11 ingredients in a large bowl.

To prepare dressing, combine juice and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until sugar dissolves. Drizzle over slaw; toss well to coat. Serve immediately.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cookies Remorse Discourse by DeAnne Pearson

Boxes of Girl Scout Cookies up to the ceiling,
My swimsuit this summer won’t be too revealing.
Oh, what a delight I find in the coconut,
I am sure to develop a great big butt,
From relishing the shortbread, devouring the peanut butter,
And those Thin Mints aren’t exactly a calorie cutter.
So, watch out co-workers, relatives and friends!
We must sell these cookies before the month ends,
Or, I will have to write a big check to the Girl Scout Leader,
Because now I have gone from cookie seller to cookie eater.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blackberry Muffins

2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon milk
2/3 cup sugar
8 Tbsp warm melted butter (1 stick)
1 teaspoon vanilla
11 oz of fresh blackberries, cut in half (often available at Trader Joe's)
(You can use frozen blackberries if fresh are not available.)
1 Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a standard 12 muffin pan or line with paper muffin cups. (Actually, with the berries you'll have more batter than just for 12 muffins. This batch made 18 muffins.)
2 Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

3 In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, milk, sugar, butter and vanilla.
4 Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix together with a few light strokes, just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Add the berries. (If you are using frozen berries, defrost them first, then drain the excess liquid, then coat them lightly in flour.) Do not overmix! Overmixing will cause the muffins to be dense, not fluffy. The batter should not be smooth.
5 Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of 1 or 2 of the muffins comes out clean, 17-20 minutes (or longer). Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes before removing from the pan. If not serving hot, let cool on a rack.
Serve as soon as possible, preferably within a few hours of baking.
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Stitches in Hearts by Haley

Recently after a family friend died, I told Haley that this has been a hard year, with my mom being in the hospital so long and so many surgeries, then the loss of our Mary Lou. I have had many tears. Haley said to me that she saw this past year differently. more about lasting love. She wrote it out in a beautiful story called with her own perspective:
Stitches in Hears
We all know we have close friends and those that are family. Some friends are so close they are like family, but there are some people who disrespect your ways. But, ignore them, they don't get the way your inspiration works. Your family and friends get the way you think. Sometimes they can put imaginary stitches in your heart...Like when you give something like a get-well card, a thank you note or a present. It just tells them the important thing about them.....but you should work on this. It tells them you were nice, and keep using the gift you got. And those that have died, they will still have those stitches you put. But somewhere nice, they are still alive to you. Dead or alive, they will still have stitches. These stitches feel good to have. Then she drew a little quilted heart.....
Somehow, this made all the difference to me as she told me all about the stitches that don't hurt, the little acts of kindness, thoughtfulness, time and gestures that seem to brighten someone for just a moment....They last a lifetime really in the hearts of the ones you love. She is so wise for 9 years old, and she keeps me in stitches.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu


  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded or filleted to 1/2 inch thickness
  • 6 string cheese sticks
  • 6 slices ham
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Ritz cracker crumbs
  • Dash pepper
  • toothpicks


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. Lay out the pounded chicken breasts on a clean surface. Place a slice of ham on each piece, then one stick of cheese. Roll the chicken up around the cheese and ham, and secure with toothpicks. Dip each roll in melted butter, then roll in cracker crumbs. Sprinkle with pepper. Place in a shallow baking dish.

3. Bake for 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is browned and juices run clear.

Nutritional Information

Easy Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu

Servings Per Recipe: 6

Amount Per Serving

Calories: 423

Nutrition Info

Aromatic Lamb Meatballs

Recipe courtesy Nigella Lawson(Copyright 2004, Feast, Hyperion, All Rights Reserved)

Add Timer


· 1 pound ground lamb

· 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions

· 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

· 1 teaspoon ground cumin

· 1 teaspoon ground allspice

· 1 teaspoon salt

· 3 tablespoons semolina

· 1 egg

· Vegetable oil, for frying


Put the lamb into a bowl and add the scallions. Sprinkle over the spices, salt, and semolina, and then beat the egg adding to the bowl. Work everything together thoroughly with your hands, and then cover with plastic wrap and leave in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap and scoop out a scant teaspoon of the mixture. Roll in your hands to form the meatball and place on the lined baking sheet. Have a bowl of cold water beside you to dampen your hands with; this helps them not get too sticky for rolling the meatballs.

When you are ready to cook them, heat about 1/2-inch of oil in a frying pan. Line another baking sheet with kitchen towel, and when the oil is hot, fry the meatballs in batches without overcrowding the pan. Cook them for about a minute a side, or until golden brown all over.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Practice Makes Perfect, Well Almost

Why am I struggling with technology today?