Monday, January 19, 2015

It's winter everywhere but here

Miss me?  I can't believe it's been over a year since I blogged.  Life took over, but I have no real excuses.  It's a new year, and it's, obviously, time to get back in the groove.  That said, let's start with the weather... It's winter everywhere but here.

You've seen the maps; you know it's true. For those who love the cold, this is your time of year - no sweating, just clean, fresh air. We won't talk about the snow, frigid temps, and ice. That would just irritate the situation, especially because it's only January.

Things that are currently making me smile, or, as Arsenio Hall used to say "Things That Make you Say 'Hmmm":

1)  A good yoga practice (class) makes me as sore as weight-lifting. It was a surprise to me! I love a good weight workout, but I haven't needed a chiropractic adjustment since I started yoga. It really is all about alignment.

2)  Why is it when I walk past the Publix Bakery, someone walks toward me pushing a cart with an ad for gluten-free something? It's happened more than once, and, trust me, I get the hint. Sadly.

3) Why is the Publix Bakery next to the produce section anyway?

3)  The fact that eating real food is now a fad makes me smile - sort of. How did we ever get to a place where eating real, fresh healthy food, would be the exception and not the norm? As they say, stay on the perimeter of the grocery store; avoid the aisles.

4)  I currently have 22 reams of printer paper that Staples paid me to take out the door of their store. If you're not taking advantage of their little giveaways, you're missing out on one of the best freebies around.

5)  People in the little town of Stuart, Florida, just north of us, are complaining about "all the traffic", because it's the "Season". The Season, in Florida-speak, is the time of year when people escape the cold up north and come to FL for a few months. My commute to class yesterday took me 15 minutes instead of 12. I don't see the problem...

Hmmm... what makes you stop and think?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

I'm addicted

Many of you know of my 'slight' addiction to tabouli made with quinoa… I cannot stop eating it - breakfast (gasp!), lunch, snack time, with dinner. The addiction is so bad that I now make it every week. Who would've thought I'd trade chocolate for this? I know what you're' thinking: "But what about Reese's Peanut Butter cups?" Sit down… I'm about to say… I don't eat them anymore. (Wendy - get up off the floor.)

So many have asked for the recipe that I thought I'd blog it for posterity. If you make it and don't like it, which I think is impossible, then call me. I'll come get it and eat it. (Denyc - this is not to be used as a trick to get me to Oregon.)

For all my GF sisters - you know who you are - and especially for Jen and Lejla, here it is:

You'll need:

quinoa (any color or flavor) - super food, high in protein, iron, fiber, magnesium (eat it all the time!)
tomatoes - your favorites or whatever is freshest - high in Vitamin C, low in sugar, anti-carcinogen
cucumber - I use 'seedless' English - high in B vitamins, fights insulin, good source of silica
parsley - mix it up - very high in Vit. C & K, and crazy high in iron
garlic - high in Vit. C & B6, helps absorb iron, lowers blood pressure
lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
olive oil

Cook the quinoa (2 parts water/1 part quinoa) for 15 minutes, let it rest, covered, for 5 more minutes, then cool it in the fridge. (Don't you just love these healthy little suckers?)

Halve, then seed your cucumbers. (Why do we call it 'seeding' when we are actually de-seeding?) I use a spoon to just scoop down the center. Easy.

Next, chop the cucumbers any way you'd like. This is not about accuracy, my friends. This about getting everything in the bowl so you can eat it.

Next, start cutting your tomatoes. I prefer to seed them so the mix isn't too wet before we add the dressing. However, when I use grape tomatoes, like I did this time, I regret this extra little step. About halfway through, I remember why this step is so tedious. Using larger tomatoes makes this so much easier, but, alas…

…They're so gorgeous, and juicy, and healthy, and cute. I cave every time.  Just chop them and add them. Easy shmeezy (is that a word?).

Chop and add the parsley. I use whatever kind of fresh parsley I have on hand. This is a simple, no fuss, no measure recipe.

And, now for the dressing… fresh, citrusy, tart, garlicky - yum.  Pour 1 part EVOO (or any light oil, if you're not into heavy dressings) to 2 parts lemon juice. If you're using fresh lemons, you'll want to squeeze them first to see how much juice you have before adding the oil.  (Remember - no measuring here. Just eye ball it into a Pyrex bowl. Lastly, crush your fresh garlic into the bowl and mix.

Pour it on, mix it up, and voila! Done! Ready to eat!

I'm showing you the finished product in a little serving bowl (of which I ate 3 helpings), but I confess to having to taste it, a few times, right out of the mixing bowl. What can I say? I told you I'm addicted…

Enjoy! And don't blame me if you eat too much of it - it's all good, right?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

From LAS to DTW to IAD to ADD to DTW to FLL but not back (yet)

Friends like to give me a hard time about traveling so much. I, honestly, don't know how all the travel happens, but I'm glad it does. If you really know me, you know I am the Queen of Cheap when it comes to travel. I have a certain price in mind whenever we book, and if I can't get that price, we don't go. We try to plan in advance, and, because of that, trips often collide when an opportunity comes up quickly. 

Two weeks ago, we enjoyed a free trip Las Vegas compliments of Hilton. We appreciated their offer and hotel and used the location to visit Red Rock Canyon, the Hoover Dam, and the Grand Canyon. Watching the expression on my engineering husband's face when he looked over the Dam was priceless... And that Canyon is still Grand. Deciding to stay on East Coast time meant we were awake later than usual and up before anyone else in Vegas except those still coming in from the previous night out.  We're just too old for that...

Our next scheduled trip was/is Oct. 11 to Florida. Canadians celebrate their Thanksgiving on Oct. 14, so we're taking advantage of the long weekend and Spirit Airlines dirt-cheap fares. Don't mock me; their pilots are amazing flyers, and their planes are new. If you don't carry luggage, it's a deal! (Best price we've gotten: $57 round-trip)

Last Tuesday, I left for Africa. Ethiopia, to be specific. This trip came about in a matter of weeks, so if you didn't know about it, don't feel left out. I'm not sure what time zone my body thinks I'm in, but it didn't matter once I 'started' my day in Addis Ababa at 11:30 PM EDT (body time) - or 6:30 AM local time. This Addis trip wedged itself right between the other 2 planned trips, so as of today, Oct. 15th, I have traveled 20 straight days.

Did someone mention Operation Christmas Child Collection Season? Yes, there's that, too! In 5 short weeks, we finish for this year, and, yet, I hate to see it go so quickly.

Time stands still for no one.

I'm up for the challenge!

*A special thanks to United Airlines' computer glitch for my $5 round-trip ticket to and from DC from Detroit. I love a deal but hadn't planned on one that good...