In the summer, when it’s too hot to move and too hot to cook, I like to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible. So if there’s a healthy summer salad recipe that takes all of 5 minutes to make, I’m all in. This watermelon salad has feta, arugula, lime and coconut to keep things interesting. As I was making it, I couldn’t help but think that minus the feta and arugula, it would make a really knockout summer cocktail too! Lime, coconut, watermelon – these are the tastes of summer!
Taking my mother camping was high on my list of goals for 2019. In fact, I’d been eyeing this goal of mine in my Living Well Spending Less planner for months.
I know it might sound funny that something as straightforward as camping required so much goal setting and advance planning to accomplish but my mom is 86. Camping with her involves more than just loading up the car with sleeping bags, a tent, and a bag of trail mix; a few creature comforts are required.
Besides, while we both love the great outdoors, at this stage of life neither Mom or I are really interested in roughing it. Glamping is more our style. Much more. continue reading
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about change. Though it’s the one constant in everybody’s life, it’s also the thing that many of us dread the most.
I have a kind of love/hate relationship with change. A piece of me craves order, constancy, and security, the comfort of knowing what will come next. But when things get too predictable, another piece of me craves adventure and the unexpected.
I know I’m far from the only one who feels this way. Such is the irony of the human condition. continue reading
Sheet pan dinners are all the rage these days. It’s easy to see why.
What cook doesn’t love a meal that requires no more cleanup than crumpling up a sheet of foil and tossing it in the trash? Especially if the resulting recipe is loaded with healthy ingredients and full of flavor?
My Sheet Pan Chicken Marbella with Garlic Rosemary Citrus Sauce fits that description to a tee. It’s a delectable, hearty, easy to prepare dinner that makes weeknight meal making a breeze but looks and tastes good enough to serve to company. In fact, I particularly like preparing this for company because once it goes into the oven I don’t have to do a thing until the last few minutes of cooking, leaving me lots of time to visit with my guests.
I love an old-fashioned hamburger as much as the next red-blooded American. The mustard, the pickles, the American cheese, the juicy goodness, the buttery bun, the familiar char in the air billowing from the grill. It reminds me of summer. And happiness. And time with family.
Side note: I’m making myself very hungry.
In the midst of my daydream about hamburger heaven, I remind myself that it is not all about the beef. Burgers aren’t the friendliest in the Weight Watchers life I’m living in right now, and while they are worth an occasional splurge, I like to bring leaner proteins into my life whenever I can.
That’s why it’s so great that burgers are delicious in all sorts of ways! In Oregon, we eat a lot of salmon burgers, homemade veggie burgers, and now that I’ve discovered this jewel, the best chicken teriyaki burger recipe has found its way into our weekly menu! I love to sneak in herbs from my garden whenever I can. Healthy, fresh, and seasonal on a bun.
What’s not to love? continue reading
I’ve been standing out on the deck in my bathrobe this morning, cheering and clapping for a long line of runners who have been streaming down the bike path near my house. The Pacific Crest Endurance Sports Festival is taking place in my community today, the same event that, two years ago, inspired me to try tackling my first sprint triathlon.
In honor of that anniversary, I decided repost this blog I wrote in February of 2018. I don’t know what challenges, crazy notions, or comfort zone smashing ideas might be tugging at your sleeve right now, but I hope reading this will inspire a few of you to dive into the deep and take them on.
It’s okay to be scared. It’s not okay to let fear prevent you from living ferociously and fully.
You can do this.
In the fall of 2017, I began swimming twice a week as part of my triathlon training. Like a lot of novice triathletes, this was the part of the race that made me nervous. It wasn’t that I couldn’t swim, just that I didn’t – at least, not very often and not very far.
Finding a race that required a swim of just 300 meters in a pool was what made me decide to go through with it. The security of swimming in a pool, where lifeguards would be on the watch, made the whole thing a lot less daunting. Three hundred meters was still farther than I’d swum in a long time but it seemed doable.
For the first session of training, my goal was to swim 50 meters. That’s just two complete lengths of the pool, up and back.
I didn’t make it. continue reading
Last week was the summer solstice, which across the Northern Hemisphere means the longest day of the year. Which technically means every day between now and December 21 has a littttle less sunlight. But it also means that the days we are having right now are some of the loooongest of the year. And yes, the days are probably kind of hot. But it’s that beginning of the summer hot that still feels novel. And we still have clothes in our closet that aren’t drenched in sweat.
Remember being a kid, when we were out of school for the summer and how much possibility and opportunity lay in those long days? We might build a tree fort. We might invent a whole new game and teach it to the other neighborhood kids. We might turn on the sprinkler and run through the spray for hours in our swimsuits, laughing and giggling with no regard for time. After all, there was no homework nor other responsibilities that required watching a clock.
A couple of weeks ago my husband and I went to a long table dinner at Rainshadow Organics, a local farm.
The long table in question stretched along a wide, shady porch with a gorgeous view of the farm. After a glass of wine and some appetizers, all the guests were given a tour of the twenty-five acres by Sarahlee, the farmer who has spent the last eleven years of her life cultivating this land.
It took me about five seconds to develop a complete girl crush on the fascinating and colorful Sarahlee who – wait for it – is married to a professional rodeo rider. No kidding! She’s an organic farmer married to a cowboy. How fabulous is that? She could have walked right off the pages of one of my novels! continue reading
Last week, I had my entire family in town: my three sons, three daughters-in-love, and six very, very advanced grandkids (I’m obviously not partial). It was a constant whirl of activity. The whole crew made a homemade slime recipe together. We visited the fire station. We paddled down a river. Some of us rode horses. We ate loads of ice cream. It was such fun and I’m still soaking up the sounds of their laughter and little voices.
Having the family around one table just made my heart so happy. But now, they’ve all travelled back home and we will have to rely on the fun photos to keep the memories fresh. continue reading
In my post on Hospitality 101, I pointed out that creating a fun and memorable experience for friends and family does not require you to go all out in the food, drink, and décor department. But sometimes it’s fun to do exactly that. A dinner party I recently gave for new friends from church proves the point.