I know that there is really nothing to say about the bombings in Boston that haven't already been said, but I do need to get this out of my head a little.
Patriot's Day. Really? There is speculation, which is pretty much all we have right now, that this bombing was a political statement. Um, if you want to make a political statement in Boston there are other targets, surely. And on Patriot's Day the obvious targets are the historical landmarks. Patriot's Day, for those who don't know, is the remembrance of the 'shot heard round the world' that sparked our revolution against the British on 19 April 1775. So are these people trying to start something? Are they trying to make a point?
Like you, like all of us, I am horrified that they chose, instead, to inflict their own agenda on innocents. By their actions they showed themselves as absolute cowards.
People here kept looking at me like I was crazy when I kept saying, "the runners, the runners."
Like I said, this hit me on so many levels and one of them was certainly as a runner. I've run one half-marathon so far and I didn't have to compete for a spot in that, but I do know how it felt coming across that finish line : that sense of accomplishment, that all the training had been worth it, that I should have trained a little harder, that I can do anything if I try hard enough...and that was incredibly cruel of these fiends to take that away from the competitors.
But the running community certainly showed its moxie when so many of the competitors kept running; running all the way to Mass General to make sure there was enough blood for the victims.
Like many of us I will be racing soon, and you can be sure that we will be thinking of those in Boston whose strength of body, strength of spirit and strength of heart were so strong. And everyone of us who crosses a finish line will show these people that you can smack at us, but you will not keep us down! You will not make us afraid! All you've done is make us more determined to live life to the fullest.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
I don’t know who she was. I’ll never know who she was. But I will always remember her.
There we were, 3.75 miles into a 4 mile race. She was younger than 50, so not my competition as far as age group goes. And she was right in front of me as we turned the curve to the finish line. I picked up my pace a little; I wanted to sprint over that line, but I was pretty much at my limit.
Still, I managed to pass her. Barely. I felt her pick up her pace. I tried to do likewise, but there was nothing in reserve. I was falling behind. And then it happened : she slowed down. Not much. Just enough to stay right beside me. No words were spoken. None were needed. The encouragement, the c’mon! c’mon! was there in the act. She kept that pace until three paces before the first line, then she pulled away.
“GO!” I yelled! “Go, go, go!”
And she did.
Because of her, I was able to shave 21 seconds off my time from last year’s race. Because of her, I was able to push myself beyond what I thought I could. Because of her, I am reminded of the goodness of humankind.
It was just a little sacrifice. But it was made for me. And I will remember that always.
Monday, February 11, 2013
Well, whew! I’m back. Yeah, I know my one fan will be happy about that! I got the gunge that’s going around. I got a mild case of it and it still knocked me for a loop! But I’m feeling better. I’m feeling good enough to bake cookies so things are definitely on the up-swing.
Okay, I LOVE goat cheese. Just love it. I know a lot of people think they don’t like it, but think of it like cream cheese and I’m hoping I can change your mind with these amazing cookies!
What happened is this : our local market bought too much goat cheese, so they were selling it out at one third the price. Oh yeah! Goat cheese heaven! And special thanks to my daughter who alerted me to this. As a result of all this goat cheesiness, I used La Bonne Vie brand.
Thumb print cookies are also wonderful. This recipe from Land-o’-Lakes is my absolute favorite.
So I just changed it up a little. Made it more goat cheese friendly! If you can’t find goat cheese, then go ahead and replace it with cream cheese if you must, but I assure you, the tang of goat cheese is fabulous!
½ C Butter, softened
½ C soft goat cheese (I used Cranberry-cinnamon)
2/3 C granulated sugar
½ t vanilla extract
1 C whole wheat pastry flour (or all purpose flour)
1 C almond meal (Ground almonds)
Print filling :
¼ C soft goat cheese (Again with the cranberry-cinnamon)
2 T jam (I used black currant)
¼ C powdered sugar
½ t triple sec (or vanilla extract)
Water (if needed)
Combine softened butter and goat cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Combine A.P. flour and almond meal, add to butter mixture. Mix until creamy. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. This time is really needed because the dough is very soft.
While the dough is resting, Stir the ¼ C goat cheese and put it into a sandwich bag and put it in the refrigerator.
Measure out the jam into a small cup and stir it to soften a bit.
Stir the Triple Sec into the powdered sugar, add water if necessary to make a thin glaze. Put this into a sandwich bag and set aside.
When your hour is up, heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Roll the dough into 1” balls and place about 2 inches across on an ungreased baking sheet. Use your thumb to make an imprint in each ball. You can use the back of a spoon. I found that my thumb, damp, worked best. The cookies may crack a bit around the edges.
Clip the corner off the bag with the cranberry-cinnamon goat cheese and squeeze equal amounts into each thumb print. You may have to pull or cut off the goat cheese blob.
When all the cookies are full, top the goat cheese with ¼ t of the jam.
Bake in the middle of the oven for about 14-18 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Let cool on pan for about a minute, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Clip the corner out of the glaze bag and drizzle glaze over cooled cookies.
I did some of the cookies with just the cheese and some with just the jam, and some with both. The cookies with both were the absolute best!
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Okay kiddos, first attempt at writing a recipe in a cohesive manner. Good luck to me!
As the title implies, this is a quick and easy facsimile of a Tom Ga soup.
I had the chicken breast and rice already prepared so this went together in a flash! I am giving the recipe for two, but it is easy enough to double, or halve as you need. You could use mushrooms or tofu in place of the chicken, or even some shrimp. You could also use prepared rice noodles in place of the rice.
I have a lot to learn. I didn’t think to check how long it took me to prep this, or how long the actual cooking time was. Gulp. I’ll get there, folks, I promise!
I use the Trader Joe’s lite coconut milk and think the taste is fabulous. You can certainly use the full fat coconut milk but your nutrition levels will be different than what I calculated. If you don’t have fish sauce just adjust the amount of salt, and get some fish sauce next time you go shopping! It adds another dimension to your cooking.
Prep time guesstimate : 10 minutes
Cooking time guesstimate : 15-20 minutes
Total time : about 30 minutes
Serves 2 as a meal
2/3 C lite coconut milk
2/3 C broth or water
½ t fish sauce
1 inch fresh ginger root
2 pieces of Star anise
1 C frozen peas
6 oz. cooked chicken breast, cubed
1 ½ C cooked basmati rice.
½ t lime zest
1 lime, quartered
¼ C chopped green onions
¼ C chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
Sriracha hot chili sauce
1. Mix the coconut milk, broth or water, fish sauce, ginger root, and star anise in a saucepan over medium heat.
2. When the mixture comes to a boil, lower to a simmer and stir in the lime zest and the frozen peas. (While this simmers I usually chop my onions and cilantro, and quarter the lime.)
3. When the peas are warm, about three minutes, add the chicken, stir and simmer five minutes until the chicken is warmed through.
4. Remove the anise stars and the ginger nob.
5. Warm the rice (I usually throw it in the microwave for about 50 seconds, just to get the chill off)
6. Pour the soup over the rice.
7. Serve with the cilantro, scallions, a squeeze of lime and a few squirts of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce.
One of the things I love best about Asian soups is that addition of fresh at the table! Everyone can add as much or as little as they like. I think this would be amazing with some Thai basil chopped in with the cilantro, and I will try that this summer when I have some growing.
Note about using Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce : If you are not used to using Sriracha Sauce in a soup, be warned that the heat increases as the soup decreases!
Ha! I stopped shoveling this in long enough to take a picture of the lovely pink color you get from the Sriracha Sauce. It was not easy!
I hope you will give this delicious soup a try! Enjoy.
My nutrition calculator put each serving of soup (using lite coconut milk and water) at
6.5 grams fat
50.8 grams carbohydrates
26.5 grams protein