cooking, friends, friendship, garden, recipe

friends share zucchini

When we were young, my mother would constantly remind us to choose our friends wisely.   “If you hang around sailors, you are going to swear like a sailor”.

cracker jacksOnce a month, our parents would go out to dinner.  The babysitter would give us each a box of Cracker Jack’s.   The boy on the box was the only sailor I really “knew”. He had a dog and gave away a surprise.  He didn’t seem that harmful.

Enter a new friend I made a few years back.  She is Greek.  Thus my curiosity in Greek cooking and dishes and customs has increased 10 fold.

Is it any wonder that lately I am drawn to Greek recipes like a dog to a dripping ice cream cone?

I made so many Greek Green Beans last year, even I got a bit tired of that dish.  For a time, I added Spanakopita to the lineup. Awww, my love affair with Filo Dough is alive and well, people.

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A couple of days ago, a neighbor graciously shared some zucchini with us.  Goodness, it’s that season of an over abundance of that vegetable.  Everyone is “blessing” anyone they know or don’t know with that vegetable.   I will admit to not planting any in my garden.  I had a sneaky suspicion that someone would have an extra one or two they would share.

You know?…………it’s been ages since I rustled up some Zucchini Fritters.  Sounds really lovely for a nice summer dinner.  Slice up some cucumbers and tomatoes and onions………we were off and running.

I went to look up my recipe……….wait, what’s this?

Greek Zucchini Fritters?  Yes, please!

20170810_123041-1_resized_1Google can most certainly help you with a recipe.

Would you like two 20170810_182808-1_resized_2secret tricks to beautiful fritters?

Shred the zucchini, salt with some Rosemary salt and let it drain for a couple of hours. Then squeeze out all the moisture you can.  Go heavy on the dill.  No, add a bit more.  Okay, a touch more.  Ha, that’s about right.  Wait, maybe another sprig or two.  Geesh, you already have the cutting board & knife out on the counter.

You will need:

2-pound large zucchini, trimmed and grated (I used the fetafood processor), Rosemary salt, fresh ground pepper,  2 eggs, 1/2 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs, dill, mint, parsley ( you know I went heavy on the dill), 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 cup breadcrumbs or more if necessary, 1 cup of beautiful Feta (the really good stuff, with extra zip/tang, spend the money, go to the deli, I’m telling you, it’s worth it)

No, I didn’t deep fry those beauties.  I used a griddle and got them nice and crispy. So alongside those crispy edges and a warm, tender center, I served a luscious creamy tzatziki sauce, which is the combination we are all looking to create.

The very next time you come home and someone has “graciously” dumped 2 or 3 zucchini’s on your door step…………..instead of the “well, I guess I could bake some zucchini bread” which will never get finished…………………. Might I gently suggest a tasty alternative?

I offer up to you……………..TA-DA…….Glorious Greek Zucchini Fritters.

So easy, so flavorful, crispy outside, moist, “meaty” delicious inside.
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Oh, and in the choosing friends wisely department?

I chose wisely.

Chat soon.

 

 

gifts, good karma, good marriages, grateful, great marriage, great marriage secrets, haPPY, happy marriage, Uncategorized

Shower coffee

This morning started out a bit rocky.

As I prepared my morning elixir of life (coffee), I accidentally dropped my glass pint jar with beautiful homemade Cashew Cream on the floor and stove and oven and cupboard and my foot.

Hold on to your hats people, good news abounds!  coffee with cream

  1. I had already poured some in my coffee.
  2. The glass jar did not break.
  3. The newly painted cabinets wiped up very easily.
  4. I already have raw cashews soaking to make more cream.

Mr. Right had an early morning eye appointment, which I usually try and go with.  Today wasn’t going to happen.  sigh.

So off he went, alone.

I regroup and began to study (today’s continued topic:  riding the body of heavy metals) and drink my coffee.

I am always pleasantly surprised that somehow, someway, I learn something new every single day.  Today?  Today fact is:   Did you know that there is Mercury in contact lens fluid? Geesh.  Good gravy, you need to be a detective to get and stay healthy!

Moving on….. I made the bed and jumped into a nice HOT shower.  I’m lathering, I’m lathering, I’m singing….

KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK!!!!

Okay, we all know bad guys, robbers, and mass murders don’t usually knock, however, my heart did skip a beat or two.

Mr. Right zipped home from his appointment and brought me my favorite coffee…. an iced latte.  He handed it to me IN THE SHOWER, I got a smooch, and he was gone in a flash.

Holy Toledo!

This is a picture of TRUE LOVE20170810_101956-1_resized

Right there before your very eyes.  (Okay, ignore the not so pretty shower tile.  Another project for another day.)  Just cast your eyes upon that beauty.  No, not the amazing organic, chemical free shampoo and conditioner……….

The gorgeous, beautiful 16-ounce iced latte.

……..and just like that, the day took on a whole new color.

May I gently suggest you surprise someone you love with a beverage in the shower?

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

 

cooking, haPPY, healing, health, wellness

life of the party, hello parsley

Parsley.

Yesterday, I shared a picture of one of my herb gardens.  A friend asked, “what on earth are you going to do with all that Parsley?  I answered, ” We are going to eat it.

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You know, that itty bitty piece of sad green on your dinner plate?  That’s parsley.

Hello!  Nice to meet you.

When you went to aGerman Schnitzel with garnish restaurant in the 90’s more often than not you got your meal presented with a flourish.  As a last minute garnish, one cherry tomato or slice of lemon was getting friendly with the 1 inch or smaller piece of limp looking parsley.

Last night, I took a picture of just how much parsley I eat every single day.  I put a pen in the picture for scale.   We pick it fresh and it is put into my daily juice routine.  Beyond daily juice, I also pick and cook with as much as I can.

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The under celebrated herb called Parsley (Latin:  Petroselinum) is filled to overflowing with beneficial nutrients, essential oils, and antioxidants – to the point that it’s often called a superfood.  Along side freshening both you and your dogs’ breath, parsley helps with inflammation, acid reflux & arthritis, this marvelous herb can clean out your liver, kidneys, and gallbladder.

Popeye would have been twice as strong had he known that Parsley has TWICE the iron as Spinach!

Dr. Mercola gently reminds us, eating parsley is an excellent way to detoxify our systems of harmful compounds like mercury.

Do you want strong bones?  If you want to be impressed by parsley, take a look at its vitamin K content – a whopping 574% of the daily recommended value.  This is BIG news, friends!

Parley’s vitamin C content is 3 times more than in oranges, and the vitamin A augments the carotenes lutein and zeaxanthin, helping to prevent eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration.

Dr. Axe is a smarty pants and here is what he has to say about parsley and the “c” word:

Parsley contains unique elements in its oil known as volatile oil components — myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene. These powerful oil components benefit the body’s immune system and help fight cancer-formation, in particular, slowing tumor growth, neutralizing oxidative stress and fighting off carcinogens from harming the body. (7)

Parsley is sometimes called a “chemoprotective” plant because it helps protect DNA from damage, stops cell mutation and helps induce apoptosis, or the death of harmful cells. One of Parsley’s beneficial compounds called apigenin has been found to “inhibit progestin-dependent synthesis of human breast cancer cells, significantly delaying the development of, and decreasing the incidence and multiplicity of mammary tumors”, according to research done in 2013 by the American Association of Cancer. 

There are several good sources (those sources are at your finger tips, people) to learn oodles and oodles more about the glorious plant called Parsley.

Time to add some life to your party!   Tonight when you cook those stunning fresh green beans, toss in a handful of parsley.  Tomorrow when you make a gorgeous vegetable soup, again, toss in some beautiful green.  That Shrimp & Grits you are going to serve?  Freshly chopped parsley will add a little somethin’ somethin’.  That ice cream sundae?  Just toss on…….ha, I was just checking to see if you were paying attention.

Here’s to our health and wellness!

ps.  The home school mom came out in me today. haha  Now,  I want us all to do a watercolor painting or chalk drawings of parsley.  I want my chef helper to pick, wash & chop parsley for dinner tonight.  Let’s use parsley in a sentence……

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

 

cross stitch, haPPY

bee happy

Two weeks ago today, I fell in love with a piece of 28 count linen in a beautiful color called, Buttermilk. (fyi, 28 count means that there are 28 threads per inch)20170727_153913-1_resized

I adore this pattern.  It was a quick, happy stitch.  The designer’s name is Annie Blecher and she is Annie Beez Folk Art.   I had a hiccup mid-week, as I ran out of that lush gold color.  52 cents later, I was back in business.

Sharing/teaching is a beautiful, happy thing.

Sometimes in the work place, folks don’t want to share information?  They feel puffed up and important by not sharing knowledge.  The “I know something you don’t know” game is very uninspired and sad.

Sharing makes you feel wonderful & it is very uplifting. Everything about it is HAPPY!

I am passing on the goodness, the happy.  Over the years, I have taught a couple of people how to cross stitch.  I am doing it again.  Next month, I am teaching two young tween girls the art of counted cross stitch.  Who know’s, it may be the beginning of a beautiful hobby they enjoy in which they pursue happiness for the rest of their lives?  I could have a hand in that!  How exciting and wonderful and uplifting!

Hobbies help our souls and mental health.  Yes, certain days our hobbies can aggravate the tar out of us, yet, for the most part, they help us create our own  “HAPPY”.

One of the things mental health counselors often ask right off the bat?  What are your hobbies?  (no, sorry, watching television is not a hobby)   Side note: I understand having a hobby will not “fix, cure” all mental health issues.  However, for me and many others, having a hobby brings us great personal joy and balance as we navigate life. 

Helping to cultivate a hobby is a beautiful gift. Both the student and the teacher garner so much happy.   We all benefit.   Our neighborhood, our world, heck our workplace is better when we are kind and share what we know.

For the class, I have gathered both pattern and fabric.  We will be starting with 14 count Aida cloth. (You guessed it, that is 14 threads per inch.  You are catching on. )  Each kit I make up will have the called for threads and of course a needle.  20170728_074813_resized (1)

Part of the lesson will also include a baking break.  Girls who stitch NEED to take a break to bake Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I thought everyone knew that!

I will give a gentle suggestion/life lesson:  After baking, we need to wash our hands (no one wants chocolate on their white Aida cloth, no one)

Love to hear about your hobbies.  I would appreciate hearing how you fit in and find time to make your hobby a priority.  Love to hear about you sharing.

I would really enjoy hearing about you sharing and teaching your hobby to someone else. Have you passed on the Happy?

In this together friends, here’s to our mental, happy health!

chat soon

 

 

 

 

 

before and after, fresh berries

door, floor & more

When I type a blog post, I am usually sitting at a table like any normal/sane/non-obsessed with a new door person.

Not today.

Today, I am sitting cross-legged on the floor, being grateful.  Still in my jammies, a cup of hot coffee with extra homemade cashew cream.  As background music for the little camp I have set up, I chose piano.   Sweet Liberty is snoozing beside me, taking a morning nap.  It is only, 7:14 am and she is quite happy to hit the snooze button.

20170725_165021-1_resizedI just noticed that my right thumb is bluish, purple stained color.  Oh, I guess it is from picking blueberries yesterday?  Goodness, this has been a prolific year for them.

I am in our master bedroom, sitting in front of the closed bathroom door.

Just goofing off on the internet.  I am actually looking for Christmas gift ideas.  My July 25th, “Christmas in July”, has spilled over into today.  Doesn’t everyone shop for and create on the 25th of the month?

Why am I sitting here, you ask?

The thrill of a wonderful Before and After, of course.  20170702_110956_resized

Before… we had a 1990’s oak finish, blah bathroom door with a very inexpensive mirror GLUED to it.  I don’t need to expand in detail about how much I did not care for that design feature.

After…Now we have a substantial, beautiful spa door with Rain glass.    Together we measured (3 times), crossed our fingers and ordered the door. It fits like it was made for it!  Mr. Right did an exceptional job installing the handle and the hinges.

We like it so much, we started another envelope to save up for a door just like it for the main bathroom.  Who really can be giddy & grateful over a bathroom door?  Me! Me!

 

I might sit here all day long, glancing up now and then to smile.

I might paint my toenails here.  It seems like a great place to read my library book.  I already know I can drink beverages here.  I can sew felt food by hand.  Not quite sure how I’m going to cook real food for dinner or start the washing machine from here……..

Just sharing goodness from my little indoor camp site.

I’ll be here all day.  Just whistle if you need me.

Just sharing the goodness,

In this together friends,

Chat soon.

 

good behavior, great marriage, haPPY, happy marriage

love can travel

Several years ago, one morning in church, our pastor asked us to pray for a dearsenior citizen marriage bed lady we all knew.  Her husband had been scheduled for an overnight stay at the hospital for a simple procedure.  Our pastor made a point of asking for prayers for her.  You see, she and her husband had been married over 52 years and she had never once slept a night without him.

Being a well seasoned Army wife, this concept was new to me.  Army guys are not known for being home seven days a week, 30 days a month…you get it.  I most certainly didn’t enjoy it, you somehow figure it out and muddle through it.

By far a big lesson for me in the art of empathy.  I wanted to show I cared and had sincere understanding for this gal.  Who, by the way, had so many visitors and calls that very one day and evening, she laughingly told us later she was exhausted and fell into bed and slept very well.

Of course, we lifted our prayers,  chatted with her and all was well.

However, I really wanted to learn and understand empathy.  Not feel sorry for her.  I wanted to figure out how I could lend an ear or a gentle pat on the shoulder.  Maybe a simple phone call would help?

Last night a friend sent me a note.  Being married around the 16-year mark, her husband was going out-of-town for business, for the first time, EVER.  With two teenagers and several planned activities over the course of the upcoming weekend, I am sure she will do fairly well.  We promised to send messages, call & check on her and the kiddos.  We invited them to our home and for dinner.

I got the call!  This time I was ready.  I had empathy to share. With two teenagers and several planned activities over the course of the upcoming weekend, I am sure she will do fairly well.  We promised to send messages, call & check on her and the kiddos.  We invited them to our home and for dinner.

Mr. Right retired from the Army 17 years ago.  His current job takes him away on business now and then.  It is yucky and I don’t like it one bit.    Don’t get me wrong, it’s not dreadful. I don’t sit and pine for him.  Do people pine?  Do people even use that word anymore?    I do stay busy and over plan.  I  plan trips to craft, gardening, gift, quilt shops and spend oodles of time looking at everything.  I eat food that I really like.  I just miss him something awful.  I always feel at loose ends when he is gone.  I know how nice it is when girlfriends and family check in on you.  I always appreciate those folks in my life that call me and make sure I am distracted for a bit.

So to my friend who will experience something different, awkward, feels odd sleeping alone…….

We are all in your corner.  We are all sending oodles of good karma your way. 

May the weekend slip by uneventful and by Monday morning you will be exhausted from all the worry, fretting and the restless couple of nights you had.  Not to mention you two crazy kids texting, phoning & talking to each other way more than had he been in the same town!

In a rather lovely way, I’m secretly glad it is bothering you.  I am happy for you that your marriage is so strong and steady that having the love of your life not beside you is going to be tricky and feel funny.   The love affair you are having with that man of yours is beautiful to behold.  You two have built something so strong, it will most certainly withstand a two-day business trip.  distance

In this together, friend.

It is going to be okay.

 

 

 

Uncategorized

jam jams

I sent a text this morning to our “baby”.  When did time slip away?  Today, he is 32.  Yikes. That went fast!  When he was little, if you asked him when he was born he would reply, “a hot, hot day in July”.  haha, he was born in Alaska so you have to ask yourself, how hot is “hot, hot” for that area of the country?alaska

When did I become one of “those” people who casually sip their morning coffee while looking online for “proper” pajamas?

Oh, yes, I have a wonderful array of beautiful, luxurious lingerie.  Simply gorgeous stuff. Some of my pieces are so pretty they would make a grandmother blush.  Oh wait, I am a grandma!   I am fortunate to have a lovely selection of lingerie.  Really beautiful items, that yes, I do wear.

However, I am talking about everyday grown up, jam jams.  The kind of article of clothing that you would wear on a late to bed Wednesday night, pack in your suitcase or wear when company is visiting. No need for Doris Day slippers, just pretty, well made, lovely jammies.

Here’s another question:  When did it become appropriate to wear pajamas out of the house, to the store, driving kiddos to school, and apparently to district court?  There was obviously a reason this sign needed to be posted.  pajamas

It seems like the right time in my life.  I am going to make an effort to stop wearing the stretched out faded hot pink, extra soft “Arizona” t-shirt paired with the stretched out periwinkle polka dot, well-worn pajama pants.  It’s time girlfriend, it’s time.

This pair by Ralph Lauren has my interest. pink pajamas

I, like apparently, over 1 million other people, listened to a TED talk by Jennifer L. Scott. She explains the 10 piece wardrobe idea.  The idea is WONDERFUL and freeing.  I am starting with her gentle suggestion of a lovely pair of grown up pajamas.  If you find you have an extra 10 minutes in your day, I highly recommend listening to her talk.  Eye opening for sure, you know my brain is swirling.

I’ve already started on her suggestions.  I am purging.  I am the one girlfriend you have that loathes clothes shopping.  I really get anxious ( that’s a nice way of saying I throw a fit when “someone” gently suggests, “it might be time to look into buying some new clothes”) and hold onto stuff much too long.   I love the idea of just buying excellent quality items that surpass trends and are just nice.  I am tired of buying things just because the sale tag caught my eye.  I am tired of not knowing what will go with other stuff and spend my time on that.   urgh, just not my cup of tea.

coffee cupToday is an overcast, gray, raining day.  The perfect morning to sip coffee & shop for pajamas online.   I click the button to purchase a Christmas gift, and oh the perfect birthday gift………down the rabbit trail I go………….

The pajama struggle is real people!

In this together,

Chat soon.