Greenie Tahini

20150118_151012The recipe was originally named “very green, avocado, Tahini dip”.

boring and too long.  Not inspiring, dull.

Name change.   I tried Guacamus.  Then I moved to Tahinimole.  Urgh.

Thanks to the King and his famous, “Queenie Wahine” and Mr. Right………..  new name :

Greenie Tahini 

This is one of those recipes that was a HOME RUN, 5 GOLD stars! 5stars

This week’s football snacks are including this new dip.  So savory, lots of layers of flavor, smooth, intense………can’t stop dipping.

It is a gorgeous intense healthy green color.  No, I am not trying to convince anyone.  I love it.  Mr. Right love’s it.  Zero guilt and pure flavor.  Count us in.

20150118_151233Also tried out a brand new (to me) gluten-free cracker.  Well hello, beautiful. Where have you been for the last couple years?  Glad to meet you.  Breaks in half easily, flavorful, strong enough for dipping.  Nice flavor.

Here we go:

4-6 ounces spinach (rinse, place in skillet, cook just until wilted.  Remove.)

Into the Blendtec add the following:

1 large ripe avocado, 1/3 cup tahini, juice of one lemon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 2 Tablespoons cilantro, 1 teaspoon real salt & fresh ground pepper.  Add spinach and 1/4 cup water (or more for desired consistency).

Transfer to a pretty bowl (or I suppose you can serve it in the Blendtec container, not so fancy).  Add some great chips, crackers and veggies.  Say Grace (for the food, save some sports prayers for the intense fourth quarter).

Here’s hoping your team wins!

Happy Relaxing Sunday.

We are in this together.  Here’s to our health and wellness …. and Sunday afternoon HAPPY!

 

 

Oh, Happy Day!

Look around you.  Yes, right this moment.  Do you see any living human being in your general area?  If you are at work (are you really suppose to be reading someone’s blog while the boss is paying you?)  do you see a co-worker?  If you are at home, do you see family?  Ask yourself, what can I do to spread a little HAPPY?

I keep repeating myself over and over……….didn’t their mom ever teach them?  Okay, so if your mom was teaching you and you were tuning her out, I am happy to share a couple of words of wisdom.

You are an amazing person, we all are.  We just need to polish the apple, so to speak.  We need to think of others a bit more often.

One of the reasons you were put on this earth was to lift spirits.  Yes, you read that correctly.  No, you are not in charge of others happiness.  You are in charge of your own.  One of the ways to make yourself a bit more happy is to share that HAPPY with others.

“Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself. ” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Back in 1979, I gave an outdoor speech to about 200 people.  I used Ralph’s line.  Thanks Ralph!  What the heck did I know about sharing happiness with others?  I was flying through my speech and remembering planned gestures, I am not sure I really understood what I was spouting.  Okay, so maybe I did get “it” slightly.  I had figured out that being nice to others makes us happy and it is the right thing to do.

Everyone reminds me that they are “busy”.  They work.  Okay, heads up sweet friends, once and for all………..we ALL WORK!  Each one of us.  We cook and bake gourmet dog treats and type and sing and mow lawns and push papers around and fix boo boos ( with a kiss and a band-aid or with surgical instruments and stitches), we put squiggly lines and splashes of color on canvas.  We all work.   There that is said and done.

Now, for the extra hours in our lives.   Yes, do the math.  If we each work 40 hours a week, plus 56 hours of sleeping time…………. um, that leaves………72 hours to do with what you please.  Oh sure, some of you are going to tell me you commute or you have to volunteer 4 hours a week or you have to grocery shop for 2 hours a week………………….What are you doing with the other 51 hours a week????????????

Do yourself a favor and make someone happy.  Make yourself happy.  Do something for your better half.  Make him or her a loaf of home-made bread. (heads up, the recipe makes two loaves, give the other loaf to a neighbor or co-worker)  Iron one of their shirts while you are ironing yours.  Leave the car full of gas next time you use it.  Buy one fresh grapefruit and cut it up ready to go for tomorrow’s breakfast.

Let me ask you, just how happy would you be if you started off the day with a fresh 1/2 a grapefruit already cut and ready to eat?

While the potatoes are cooking for dinner, you have time to think of someone else.  While you wait for the laundry to finish drying, you can make a card.

You can start a batch of cookies to share with your family and a little plate full for the co-worker in the cubical next to you.

20150115_155922You can sew a Happy bib for the newly expectant parents that you know.

Seriously, I timed myself.  Yesterday,  took me 41 minutes to cut out and sew a bib.  I wrapped it up and tied a tag on it .  No, you don’t have to spend $4.00 on a card.  A happy little polka dot tag with the words, “CONGRATULATIONS on your HAPPY” will do nicely.   Secret:  I keep fusible fleece on hand.  I cut out two at a time, always.  I keep a steady supply of HAPPY fabrics to make a bib.  So no, I don’t have to drive to the store every time I want to share a sweet bit of happy.  20150115_163714

It made me happy to sew the bib.  It will make the parents to be, silly with happy.  It will make them happy one day when they actually use the bib.  It will make someone happy to see the little babe in the bib, maybe in a picture.  That folks, is a WHOLE LOT of HAPPY for 41 minutes of time and a few pieces of fabric. 20150115_163959

May I gently suggest, you do yourself a favor?  Look for ways to make someone else happy.  It doesn’t have to cost oodles.  It can be quick and easy.

It is the right thing to do.   Getting a little happy on yourself?  Well, that just happens to be a happy by-product.

Go ahead, YOU ARE WORTH HAPPY!

Your mother did indeed teach you to think of others every single day.  Maybe you had head phones on and missed it?

You deserve to be happy.  We each thrive on it.

Get out there kind people and make your day sweeter.

OH, Happy Day!

sweet pillow talk

20150115_122848Just as an accomplished chef likes to enjoy an easy sandwich and cup of soup on a cold Sunday evening, a seamstress sometimes like a quick, cheap, no sew project.

Once in a while, we are all looking for something that can be created lickity split and for a reasonable amount of money.  Here is the skinny, for $4.37 or if you need to purchase a 18″ X 18″pillow form $7.49 (with a Joann’s coupon), this sweet project is easy on the pocketbook.

Who knew Hobby Lobby sold pillow covers for $3.99 ($2.39 with a coupon….on your phone, silly)?   20150115_113314Seriously, this was news to me.  If you knew this and didn’t share………why the heck not?   Nicely made, with a zipper and they had oodles of color and pattern choices.  What an excellent find.  What I am trying to nicely say here friends, is for a very reasonable amount of money, you can recover, refresh, revive those stain covered, sad-looking toss pillows on your sofa or bed.  Yes, I am speaking to you!

I also picked up two pieces of peel and stick craft felt for .99 cents each.20150115_113836

Which means, if you have a day care worker you want to give a pat on the back to , or would like to mail a lightweight, unbreakable care package to your sweet daughter who could use a spirit lift, or surprise a co-worker or study group leader…………this is your lucky day.  Have I got a sweet idea for you.

Less expensive and just as sassy, stick the letters onto the pillow cover and pop it into a padded envelope and surprise your girlfriend who lives miles and miles away.  For less than $5.00 you can spread LOVE across the land. (I bet she has a pillow she could stuff into her brand new LOVE pillow cover.)

I have a couple friends who (GASP) do not own a sewing machine.  Strange and silly?  No, honest truth!  Girl Scout honor………..no sewing machine.  While you are gasping for air, let me just add I happen to know a couple of families that don’t own an iron?  WHAT?  yes, more truth.  So this craft is peel off paper and stick on. done. 

Yes, that easy.

Don’t ya think we all could use some extra LOVE?  It’s a win, win.  You make a quick project, you smile and are happy.  You give to someone else who is then happy.  They are happy all day and treat everyone they meet with LOVE and sweetness.  Yes, that easy.

I tripped over this brilliant idea by Ann over on her blog called,  “On Sutton Place”.  http://www.onsuttonplace.com/2015/01/diy-no-sew-valentine-love-pillow-cover/  May I gently suggest you go there now.  Snoop around.  She seems like one of those great people you want to sit and have coffee with and chat and laugh.  Or someone you want to hang out with in their craft room and soak in the good vibes she puts out there.  I tell ya, just by going to her blog, you can feel the goodness oozing off her page.  Heck, she shared this great quick craft idea for free………..she must be one sassy lady.

“I woke up in love this morning, went to sleep with you on my mind.”  The Partridge Family

 

right, right, wrong

In an effort to stay fresh, motivated, moving forward……….this month, I am trying 6 new food products.

Here are the first three reviews:

20150111_150554Peace Cereal. I chose the Baobab Coconut.  On sale at the Health Food Store for under $4.00.  While, I do not eat cereal out of a box for a meal (nor should anyone), I will say, around 3:30 pm when it is time for  another glass of green juice & a piece of fruit, a couple handfuls of this crunchy, yummy snack hit the spot.  A nice crunch, everything organic, didn’t leave any weird taste, the different textures was a bonus and you know I loved the coconut.  They had 5 or 6 other flavors to choose from.  Mr. Right gave it a thumbs up.  The dog munched away.  (this is the same dog that will not eat a pretzel or piece of cucumber, but years ago, would scarf down a half a pop tart, so take her opinion for what it is worth) yes, it contains wheat, honestly, I did not check to see if they had a gluten-free option.

I would say this was the right choice.  I can actually see myself, getting a mini (that means 1/2 cup) bowl of this treat to have in place of popcorn some evening.

I would certainly buy again.

 

Next up, was a HOME RUN.  This company is called purely elizabeth.  I found it at the Health food store, however, they also sell it at Albertson’s.    I paid $5.49 for a 1020150111_151023 ounce bag. (alert, Health Food/Co-op Health Food prices can be a tad high)  I tried the Ancient Grain Oatmeal.  (Thank you SO much to Debbie and family for the suggestion.)  Don’t “cha” just love folks who share great finds?  I know I do and I really appreciate the help in seeking out and finding new goodies to try.    I made a bowl this morning for breakfast.  Quinoa, Amaranth, Flax, Hemp and chia.  Gluten free, no sugar, quick to cook.   I used Almond milk to make mine.  I put it over a bed of bok choy.

Note:  one of my new choices is to add one more servings of raw greens to my daily life.  I decided to add a layer to my hot cereal bowls, each morning.  You KNOW I get oodles of greens all day long, just wanted to add one more element of health and wellness to my life.  This means instead of buying 8 bunches of leafy green goodness a week, we now buy 9.  

Mr. Right was long gone this morning and I saved one little bite for the Sweet dog.  She lapped it up and licked her bowl.  So I am taking that as a two paws up!

I would have to say this was a very good choice.  I can promise you, I will finish this bag this week.  So good, such a perfect blend of flavors.

I would certainly buy again and again and again.

 

Into every life some rain must fall.

back story:   For 50+ years, come the middle of February,  this girl has gotten a heart-shaped box full of sweet treats.  Okay, a couple of years ago, Mr. Right filled a jaunty red tea kettle (not a heart shape) with some delicious goodies.  You know what I mean, sweet girls like to receive sweet treats.  It is a fact.  Even if a certain sweet girl no longer does the sugar thing, she still likes a treat now and then.  So I have been looking for and trying new sweet things.  Fingers crossed I will find the perfect Valentine treat.

Yes, I am well aware that vegan, high quality, organic, fair trade, blah, blah, blah………..cost a fortune.  I am looking for a mini box of sweet treats that do not contain toxic chemicals, flavorings, colors or sugar.  Maybe a small heart-shaped box with three or four pieces of pure goodness.  What I have done, is try out different companies.  NOTICE how I have not shared any great companies with you ? Still searching.   While I did receive some mighty tasty chocolate covered almonds (they had evaporated cane juice) in my Christmas stocking, I was looking for something a little more fancy.

20150111_150808I found a very expensive mini bar of chocolate at the Health Food Store.  Score!   Righteously Raw. They sold a small 2 inch square as a sample of the same chocolate.  It cost .79 cents.  Perfect.  We saved it until late in the evening Saturday night.

We had planned on sharing.  The wrapper looked so lovely.  I was so excited and happy.  I tore open the pretty little package.  I took the first bite of ……………wait for it………………………..I ran to the kitchen and actually spit out the little “piece of heaven”.  BLECH.  URGH, WIPE MY TONGUE.  GET IT OFF.  VERY UN LADY LIKE TO SPIT OUT FOOD IN THE GARBAGE CAN.

Mr. Right was chuckling.  It couldn’t be that bad?  He took his bite.

Yep, the girl sitting next to you, was one smart cookie to SPIT IT OUT.

It was the weirdest texture, sandy, crumbly, bitter, oodly cool, brittle, funny tasting piece of yucky waxy brown stuff I have ever tried.

(dogs cannot have any chocolate of any kind, no she did not get offered any)

While it did indeed “only” cost .79 cents, I would have been better off throwing the .79 cents into a wishing well, wishing I had spent my money on something that tasted better.

I would say,  Righteously Raw, Righteously Wrong!

So there you have my review round up for today.

We are in this together.  I would love to hear about a new product you have tried this month.

 

the “good” stuff

It’s foggy, outdoors and inside my brain.  It is still early and dark.  It is morning time.  It takes me a while to get moving in the dawn of a new day.

I  let the chickens out, fluffed and puffed their condo, gave them fresh water and I found them still snoozing.  Hey!  Early bird catches the worm…. and all that? geesh.

I was wearing Mr. Right’s big black, nothing about these are fancy boots.  I marched back into the warmth of our home and got our day started.

20150108_100922With the dog fed & scratched behind the ears, my oatmeal cooking, I wrap my hands around a huge warm mug of coffee.  I turn and spy with my little eye, short, stubby, burned down taper candles.  I smile.

Short, stubby, burned down taper candles in our home means there must have been a fancy meal on that table last night.

Indeed there was.

The table was set with our best china.  We used our finest crystal and it was sparkly before we poured in the sparkly water.  The flatware was out of the good silverware box.  Fine linens and crystal salt cellars added the right touch to a perfectly set table.  Dinner music swirled in the background.  (side note, every single night, it was one of the boys “job” to choose our dinner music.  Some teen choices were less than soothing, haha)  The final act before saying Grace………..lighting the 12″ taper cream-colored candles.  They were secure in tall crystal candle holders.  Their glow cast the perfect light on our plates.

You can find a package of 12 cream-colored, non scented candles at Trader Joe’s for a very reasonable price.  I keep a box in our refrigerator.  Helps them burn slower.  Yes, please, USE the candles.  Don’t save them for “good”.  Yes, even if you have a high chair pulled up to your table.  Set the tone, make the meal calm and feel of importance.  Will it always turn out calm and smooth and perfect?  Heavens, no.  But oh, it is so worth the effort.  No matter our age, we are all worthy of a fine meal.

We dined on the best grilled wild Sockeye Salmon we have had in a long time.  The herb rice was perfect.  The stuffed mushrooms were so flavorful and ever so slightly crisp on the very tops.  The broccoli had been peeled and was steamed to a delicate bite.  Just enough garlic and butter to make it the perfect side dish. Dessert helped us linger at the table, chatting.

Ah, January 7th.  A Wednesday.  The day we celebrate…………nothing.  Yes, you read that correctly.  We have no special birthday or anniversary to celebrate.  We have no huge announcement, no raise, no new little person to celebrate.  No special day plate was used.  The calendar had nothing penned on the date.

Zip.

Nada.

Nothing.

A couple of times a month, we pull out all the “good” stuff and we dine.  We are mighty grateful, but there is no big celebratory feel in the air.  It was Wednesday for goodness sake, sort of ho-hum.

We each had weird enough days that coming together at 6:30 pm, sitting down to a glorious meal, with a table set for company, that our conversation filled the entire meal time and spilled into the doing the dishes time.

Do you use your “good” silverware?  Do you put out your good linens to use?  Do you save everything for the Thanksgiving meal or for only when company comes over?  Really?  That is an awful lot of “good” stuff taking up storage space to only bring out once or twice a year.  I guess I am much more practical.  I want to get my money’s worth.  I want to use the “good” stuff.  sunday feast

We are so worth it.  Yes, we are all worthy of a lovely, well prepared meal, shared with someone you adore.  Or WAIT!  We are each worthy of a fine meal eaten alone.  Not in a sad, I am going to go eat worms kind of way.  No, no.  A true high quality, well prepared, nourishing meal, beautiful table set for one.  Um, yes…. we are each worth it.

You are an amazing person.  We each are people of value.  You are worth more than some processed food, warmed in the microwave, eaten in front of Wheel of Fortune on the television. I know Mr. Right and I are worth more than a meal bought in the frozen food section of the grocery store.

Seriously.

If you don’t value yourself and your health and well-being, who will? We each deserve to be nurtured.

If you don’ t value and honor and take care of your Mr. Right (or Mrs. Right) what is the point?

At the day’s end, we are each worthy of a lovely meal in a place we call our sanctuary.    We each need a table laden with goodness to fill our spirit as well as our bellies.

We each need nourishment to help our souls thrive.  Taking the time to bathe ourselves in Goodness and Grace is certainly a fine use of our skills.

Maybe one day this month, you can plan a meal of high quality, set the table with the “good” stuff ?   And please, don’t forget to light the candles.  They cast the most becoming light on just about everything.

bon Appetit

 

color me Happy

I belong and follow a quilt group on-line.  Last week the question of the day was, “who is our oldest quilter and how long have you quilted?”  With over 3,500 followers you can imagine how many comments were offered.

One comment caught my eye.  She was 65 and has been quilting for 11 years.  (I bet you thought I was going to comment on the 81-year-old woman who has been quilting over 70+ years?  fyi, I LOVE that she is on Facebook!)

Anyway, back to my favorite quilter.  She said she was in a horrible car accident 11 years ago, her doctor said, he had done all he can do.  Go home and surround yourself with color, it will help you heal.  She actually didn’t have to put she was from Norway.    We could have guessed.

20141230_130549Here is the quilt that covered me the last time I was in the hospital.  Yes, I brought my own colorful quilt and colorful healing pillow case.  Somehow, in all my turmoil, I had convinced my surgeon to write it on my chart that I was “allowed” to have my own quilt and pillow case.  Did you read that?  “allowed”.  Haha  (fyi, we had to remind people to wash their hands before entering my room and they were worried about the germs on my brand new healing quilt.)

They ended up being more worried about my shockingly colorful quilt and pillowcase than they were about the HUGE red sign above my bed telling everyone what I was allergic to.  Sigh.

The beginning of the year, I hung this quilt up in our hallway.  Every single time I walk by, I run my hand over the stitches and feel the healing fluttering over me.  20150105_121827

A friend was feeling rather “blue” yesterday, so I went to my sewing machine and made a pair of shoe refreshers!  Cheery teal with little bits of orange sprinkled on the fabric.  I chose a jaunty orange ribbon to make the little pull.  Of course it wouldn’t be perfect without a happy polka dot tag!20150106_164555

I am fascinated by this idea of healing with color.   Oh sure, there are doubters.  Let them doubt.

I just have this nagging feeling, deep in my soul, that color can and does help us heal.  I am quite sure those that be, do not teach a class on healing by color in American medical schools.  Something tells me it is out there, in the universe.

Have you ever seen the face of a veteran who was just covered in a richly colored quilt?  Have you ever seen the smiles on little grandgirlies swirling in pink head to toe?

20150104_123843Over the weekend, Christmas got put away in boxes.  Our home was albeit very clean, yet shockingly dull of bright cheerful reds and greens.  Mr. Right brought home some jaunty yellow daffodils early, early Sunday morning.  Perfect splash of color!

You have to wonder.  90-year-old ladies quilting with color soaked fabrics, 80-year-old gals knitting with gorgeous saturated colorful wool, artist surrounding themselves with tubes of rich pigment.  Maybe, just maybe those folks may have found “the” secret.

On this dull, foggy, gray Pacific Northwest day………………I am surround myself with color.

Oodles of saturated, rich, vibrant healing color.

We are in this together friends, here’s to wellness and health.

May you surround yourself with amazing colors.  I hope it tickles your fancy.

 

 

good vibe grandma

They each had tattoos on their neck, face, head and hands.  Two men, each had on dark-colored hoodies and jeans.  Well built, shaved hair, strong necks and I felt like they could probably take care of themselves in any situation.   They did not give me a “warm and fuzzy” feeling. One of them had a very thick chain attaching his belt to what I guessed was a wallet inside a pocket.  One had hands and fingernails that looked like he worked on cars or in my imagination, cleaned guns for a hobby.

For some wackadoodle moment, I got the shiver down my spine.  I thought, I better be in the moment, be alert.

As you can guess, my kids will not be that thrilled with reading this blog so far.

 

I met them yesterday, and I was alone.  Not one single other soul in sight.  How did I get into this pickle?  My alert signals were all flashing red in my head.  Pay attention.  Look them in the eye.  Be strong, don’t be an airhead, greet them as you would any other stranger.

canned vegetable isleNo, kids, I was not alone in an alley.  No, it was not dusk in a bad part of town.  It was 11:30 in the morning and in a brightly lit big grocery store.  I had forgotten to soak beans overnight for the soup I was preparing, so I was in search of canned Northern Beans.  I was in an unfamiliar grocery store and I was looking for the canned vegetable isle.

As I ran out of the house, I was wearing polka dot pixie pants and cute cowgirl boots with a jaunty scarf, an intense beautiful teal colored winter coat.  My new little, run to the store, cross body purse matched my coat perfectly, a jaunty shade of aqua.  I thought I looked okay to run to the store.  Actually, I thought I looked hip.  Well, maybe not exactly hip, however with my new anti-aging essential oil serum, I thought I was looking pretty good.  I liked how my hair was.  It was all curly and bouncy.

Just by looking at the three of us, you could tell that we didn’t exactly hang out in the same quilting circle.

Then I saw them.  Two little kids, one sitting, one standing, both in footie pajamas, there in the grocery cart.  I smiled and waved.  One of the kiddos smiled back.  Then one of the “gentlemen” said, “It’s okay, she’s a grandma, you can smile at her”.

WHAT?  A grandma?  How the heck did he know I was a kind, nice, (under the hair dye) gray grandma?  How did he know I was “safe” to smile at?  How did he know I was a cookie baking, stuffed animal sewing, post card sending, hug giving kind of nice grandma?

Hey, wait a minute, maybe I give off good vibes?  Just maybe it is a feeling I give off when I meet new people? Just maybe, when folks run into me, they get an instant feeling of kindness and nice?  Maybe, I don’t make shivers run down people’s spines?  Maybe I make people happy and feel safe?

Heck, if rough and tumble, tough guys think I am okay for their kids to smile and say hi to, then I guess I am good.

People often ask me where I get all the ideas to write about.

Here is my answer.  I pay attention. I look for good.

I think it was one of the nicest compliments I have received in a very long time. 

Thank you very much.

Smiling.