“Vegetarian?”…. “Occasionlly.”

Hummus w/ Pita

Healthy eating in my opinion should really be referred to as “healthier eating”. Very few of us are going to hit 100% in our attempts at super-dieting.

While the ultimate goal may be to turn into a lacto-octo-vegan overnight and never stray, I tend to support a gentler, more user-friendly approach.

Instead of cutting out meats entirely, try substituting a veggie meal a few nights each week. You will be leaving less of a carbon footprint…improving your health as well!

This week I made some spicy homemade hummus, paired it with pita and arugula salad, a rich tomato soup + a great Cabernet… and no one noticed that it was a meat-free meal. In fact, I think it was preferred!

 Hummus

Combine:
2 Cups cooked Garbanzo beans (Prepared dried & cooked, or canned) 1/2 cup liquid reserved
3/4 Cup drained Tofu (cubed)
2 Tablespoons Tahini
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Teaspoons Organic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
5 cloves freshly pressed garlic
Sea salt to taste ( usually about 2 Teaspoons)
Fresh hot pepper to taste
1/4 Teaspoon Cumin
1/4 Teaspoon Coriander

Top with:
1/4 Cup fresh Parsley
Serve with:
Whole grain pita bread
Fresh vegetables

In food processor, combine ingredients, blending until smooth. Add reserved liquid as needed. Hummus should have a thick, peanut butter-like consistency. Taste, and season accordingly. Serve topped with chopped parsley –  tucked into toasted whole grain pita bread with vegetables of your choice. (English cucumbers and roasted red peppers are especially good!)

Tofu adds a great protein boost to this terrific meat substitute. It is “de-lite-ful” change of pace!

“No meat…still a treat!”

Advertisements

Heaven awaits…

Plant #12

Everyday is exciting when tomatoes are in my garden. From the moment they enter the soil, until the tragic last day of the season when the final vine is pulled from the ground, life is good. The staking. The tying. Such fun.

I stare at my tomato plants all throughout the day. I worry about them while at work – discussing them incessantly with my co-workers trying to get tips. (Strangely, they seem to share in my obsession…) I lay on the straw mulch beneath them searching for an undiscovered blight or blemish. Sometimes a flashlight is used. On Sundays they are fertilized after  sundown. Suckers removed daily. Weeds obliterated.

The tomatoes are photographed, with each picture dated to chart their progress. The plants are numbered. Number four is presently the weakest and I plan on doing something about that, but can’t figure out what.

I will share their beauty with all who care to look. And everyone should care to look. They are spectacular!

Love me, love my tomatoes.

“Good things come to those who wait.” 

What a Difference a Month (and a little Miracle-Gro) Makes!

Up-Close and Blooming!

Tomatoes at 1-Month

The temperature is hovering around 100 degrees today. My tomato plants are holding  steadfast with their heavy layer of straw mulch, generous watering, and thorough daily dustings.  Miracle-Gro is administered weekly. All suckers removed on sight.

At one month, nine of the twelve plants have marble-sized tomatoes – all ample bloom. So far, no signs of disease or dying.

It will be interesting to hear what the report will be one month from now. Will it be delicious tomato sandwiches, or pulling up the vines?

“Ah, sweet mystery of life…”

Why Today is Good

Newly Planted

Tomatoes, Day 2

It is day two for my tomato garden. After surrendering last year to the urgings of friends and farmers not to plant – that the tomatoes would be attacked by insects, rot, be stolen, shrivel, contract “black bottom” (whatever that is) or “die on the vine”, I said, “What the heck,” and planted them anyway. So what if they get “black bottom”? Nobody is going to die. Hopefully.

As for today, I gaze at my 12 little plants. Better Boy. Big Boy. Bigger, Better Beefy…something. All beautiful. All healthy.

Nothing good comes without struggle. I expect Stinkbugs, and I expect Starlings. Weeds will happen. Drought will occur. And my tomatoes will triumph.

Come August, I’ll be preparing BLT’s.  They will taste a thousand times better while looking at my garden through the kitchen window.

(In the South, every “old-timer,” when speaking of tomatoes, says, “I just sprinkle a little salt on them, and eat ’em just like an apple.”
Most claim to carry a shaker of salt in their pocket during summer months!)

A Love Story (Prescription for Romance!)

Shopping bag, circa 1989

Such a homage to my old love…

A few days ago, I needed an acceptable-looking shopping bag to transport a few small items to a local consignment shop. While rummaging through my drawers, I discovered an old Prescriptives Cosmetics tote that had been carefully wrapped in tissue paper and tucked safely away. Inside was a sales receipt from long ago. It evoked a flood of memories.

The sales slip showed a charge of $74.55. The purchase was made at Bullock’s department store in Westwood, California – October 7, 1989. Almost 22 years ago. One eyeshadow and two lipsticks. Preparation for an  important event.

The date that night was very special. My eyelids had to have an elegant, soft shimmer – nothing glittery –  and my lipstick,  an expensive “taste”, just in case he kissed me (sigh). Two tubes were required, should I have a last-minute desire for a deeper or lighter shade. Everything had to be perfect. Price was no object.

On this day of reflection, I think about the wonderful teenage excitement anticipating my “big date” years ago, but then have to face the reality that I was 29 years old at the time.

Now I have a better understanding of why I am still single.

“Forever I will remember the sweetness of that first kiss” 🙂

…and, yes, I still love him.

Super-Easy and Elegant Dessert

The secret ingredient

2-Minute (or less!) Dessert

Sometimes simplicity is the key. You can’t go wrong with understatement…as long as everything is absolutely perfect.

For a can’t-be-beat, never-fail dessert – one that can be whipped up (literally) in minutes, and allows variations according to tastes and seasons – this is one to remember!

All you need is some plain Greek yogurt (full-fat for the richest flavor), homemade, whipped heavy cream with an ample shot of natural vanilla extract, fresh fruit of your choice, and pound cake, shortbread cookies, or macaroons.

Mix equal parts of the whipped cream and yogurt until fluffy, assemble in a chilled parfait or dessert glass – layering or topping with cake or cookies and fresh seasonal fruit. Raspberries, strawberries, peaches…whatever you like and what ever is in season, and preferably local. Sprinkle generously with Confectioner’s sugar.

Serve with coffee or espresso. Amaretto optional!

“The best things in life aren’t necessarily free,
sometimes they’re just easy.”

Capture the Scent

Don't let your fragrance escape!

One of the great modern inventions easing the lives of homemakers and travelers,  is the zip-lock plastic bag. Even while trying to keep my use of plastic to a minimum, I’ll have to  admit, these convenient little carry-alls  have me in their grip. (Although I try to re-use as many as possible!) Here is another reason they’re indispensible.

As we all know, dryer sheets tend to loose their Spring-like fragrance shortly after opening…but, by sealing  tightly in a zip bag, the last sheet adds just as much freshness to your laundry as the first!

                                        
“Signed, sealed, delivered…”
No.  Just “sealed”.

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: