Wednesday, June 2, 2010

If they play it…. You will come

There is something so fantastically fantastic about little league baseball. It is in my opinion, the heartbeat of childhood. I lived it once myself, a lefty by fate, a baseball player… well not too much. Oh, I wanted to be, believe you me. I had the swing but not the power. I had the eagerness yet not the talent. My best friend and rival across the street was better than I. She could throw a ball faster than any girl I’d seen. Hard fast, relentless. The green eyed monster for the first time in my life emerged, and it wasn’t over shoes and boys….it was over baseball.

A few weeks ago my son Samuel ( my baby ) played what I knew to be his last game. Last last game, as in “ Mom, I don’t want to play baseball anymore, I want to play soccer!!”.

I stood and watched this game nearing the end, Samuel up to bat. ‘How can I say goodbye to this’, I thought to myself?? The pain of letting that final memory go was so horrible, I wondered if it was obviously visible to others.

By the end of the game I wanted to burst out into tears, but instead I contained myself, walked over with the others, and made the tunnel. Children were running through joyfully, smiles on their faces, then my son ran past me smiling at me… I just stood there and took it all in…. it was almost too much.

It is my most precious baseball memory yet.

So Au Revoir old friend, until me meet again if I should ever be so blessed as to have grandchildren who play baseball.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Are you holding your own self up?

Boy how many times have I thought to myself, “if I would just get out of my own way I’d accomplish so much more“?? We can all be hesitant, afraid, or worried about something we want to accomplish or succeed at doing, but when you let those things be the domineering force that lead you astray from the very things that you should be doing, are talented at, and that bring you great pride and personal fulfillment…. I think you and I maybe selling ourselves short to a life less than what it could be.

I want to run that marathon, pass all my ARE exams, by that house in Southern California one day, put my kids through college… and all the other things on my bucket list……Is it possible to accomplish all these things? Yes, of course it is. Will I accomplish all these things? Happiness can be hard work…… I willing to do what I need to in able to become my version of happiness? That is the question that I need to ask myself. How about you? I will make an daily effort for my answer to be yes!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cilantro Butter & Garlic Chicken

I was playing around in the kitchen inevitably looking for another way to cook our feathered friend…the chicken… specifically skinless frozen chicken breasts which this single mother of two boys is famous for pulling out of the freezer at least once a week. My organic herb garden is finally plentiful and so I decided to try a new dish using cilantro. Cilantro is hard to grow by the way… I’m still crossing my fingers for the ones I have planted now. So, If all else fails and you cannot grow cilantro on your own, it is readily available in the produce section of most grocery stores. What I do not end up using, I wrap loosely in paper towels and place in a zip lock bag squeezing as much air out as I can without damaging the herb.

Enough of my intro, here’s the recipe that desperation & boredom one night brought to the pan:

Take frozen skinless chicken breasts or tenders and pan fry in a medium/medium high skillet with lemon infused olive oil. Add in fresh garlic, & black pepper to taste.
Pan fry until almost cooked, turning over as required. Add 2 handfuls of chopped cilantro in at the very end, and cook just to a wilted state.

In the mean time cook a box or bag of your favorite pasta…. This time I used penne… and cooked until al dente, drained and set it aside.

Take your pan of almost cooked chicken off the burner set aside, then move all the chicken to the center of the pan in a pile and top with 2-3 tablespoons of melted butter, more garlic, and squeeze a lemon. Put the lid back on… move it back to medium heat, just enough to cook the chicken through and infuse all the flavors…3-5 minutes tops.

Place your drained pasta onto a large serving dish or bowl and add in the chicken. I like to cut my chicken up a bit first. Toss all together gently.

Add in grated parmesan, kosher salt ( if needed) and crushed black pepper to taste. This dish has some rich elements but remains light with addition of lemon. Btw… it is fantastic cold, with Caesar salad dressing!


Turquoise is the new hot color

If you have not noticed…and it has been for a few months now… This strong and vibrant summery color mixes well with all the wonderful greens in the landscape as well as in contrast with other bright colors such as orange or purple or magenta…..

I have two new dark brown adirondack chairs on my front porch that are stylishly sporting new turquoise pillows with Japanese style embroidery and dark brown trim. I am using it as an accent color also in my back yard patio as well. You do not need a lot of this rich color to make a statement. Use turquoise in a candle, a piece of pottery, or in fabric selections. A little here and there strategically placed goes a long way and makes a huge design statement.