Friday, February 27, 2009

Serenity Now!

I made that phrase my status on Facebook this morning.

I have had one of those weeks where enough little things go wrong that they begin to build up and stress you out. Nothing earth shattering, but stressful nonetheless...

Luckily I had a lot of little good things happen to even these out (getting to the supermarket right before it closed last night and finding they had one six pack of Bellhaven Scottish Ale left) ...but to tell the truth, it was the moment I laughingly uttered the above status phrase...and put it down in virtual ink, that my week turned around.

I try very hard these days to turn negatives into last night I started stressing about a seemingly lost Urban Organic order ( and it continued on this morning as I ran out the door to do an errand and go to work. The errand left me with a heavy bag, so I returned home...and as I was walking away from my building, again, I called my Super and found out he had the box! Huzzah! I decided to go home again and get the box so my beloved produce wouldn't perish. I was rewarded with gorgeous beets, red onions, carrots...etc.

I was, at this point, running late (running could describe my whole morning :)

I chose to be grateful that:
a) It is a gorgeous where the weather makes you want to run around outside
b) I got my veggies (and they are gorgeous)
c) I chose to wear sneakers this morning

I certainly don't have to worry about not getting any exercise today LOL.

After all this running, the Universe lined up about 3 relaxing Waterboys songs on my iPod as I finally made my way to the subway.

Serenity now, indeed...

And now...because he makes me smile...Hamish the Highland cow...

Have a wonder-full weekend everyone! XOXO

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Farro with Carrots and Maple Sage Butter..

This particular piece of culinary delight came from reading various recipes and then merging bits of them in my, voila...this is what I came up with:

Farro with Carrot Ribbons and Lentils in a Sweet Potato and Sage Maple Butter Base.... (anyone want to come up with a clever name for this to shorten it up? I'll be taking suggestions... LOL)

1.5 cups of farro
1 can sweet potato puree
1 can organic lentils
About 6's really up to you
Pure maple syrup
Fresh Sage
Organic butter
Vegetable or olive oil

Cook the farro according to the package.

In a large skillet melt about one tablespoon of butter and add the sage and carrot ribbons (use a peeler and just peel away into the pan). I added some olive oil to the butter so as not to use a crazy amount of butter but still have the butter flavor, then drizzle with maple syrup. Cook carrots until tender. Add the farro, sweet potato and lentils and drizzle with more maple syrup (if you like) and sprinkle with sea salt to can add a little water if the mixture seems too thick for your liking.

It's a wonderfully earthy dish...with the oat-y farro and aromatic sage....

Friday, February 20, 2009

Leonard Cohen is Magic

I went to see Leonard Cohen last night at the Beacon Theatre, and it has put me in a reflective mood. The man sings his words gently, passionately and as if he's praying...even going down on his knees at times. He's 74.

His music and voice saturate my heart in such a pure and uncomplicated way...suffusing me with both mellowness and pensiveness. I am profoundly grateful for all these feelings.

So today I am re-grouping in a way and feeling very thankful for the magic that is Leonard Cohen.

by Leonard Cohen

The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.
Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
of every government --
signs for all to see.

I can't run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up
a thundercloud
and they're going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring ...

You can add up the parts
but you won't have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.

And Leonard did last night (before skipping off stage)...I bow to, and thank everyone in my life who has helped me during my journey. I hope, at 74...I'm still skipping :)

*My good friend, Krissy, has written a lovely blog on last night's concert:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Vacation Hour...

I got really good at "wasting time" when I was in Scotland. I had to readjust my body clock in more ways than quote John Lennon...Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted. Good Man.

I realized, especially when I got up to the retreat B&B in Forres, that I really didn't know how to relax! I arrived and thought, "Oh my goodness...I won't have anything to do for 4 days...what am I going to do!!"


So what did I do? I spent time with me.

I read, drank tea, walked in the forest, walked on the amazing beach, practiced reiki on myself, wrote in my journal...went to sleep when I was know, had a vacation!

In Edinburgh I structured my day of walking and exploring around tea and cakes and writing in my journal...sigh.

Today I had some extra time before work, so I took a page out of my Edinburgh experience: I found a cafe, bought a cappuccino and bagel, and sat down with a book for about 30-40 minutes. When I was finished I leisurely popped into a couple shops. If it was warm outside I would have settled into a chair at Bryant Park.

I think we all need to take time out like this for ourselves. No, it's not's sensible...and necessary. It can be as sinful as a stop in a cafe for chocolate cake or as simple as closing your eyes and listening to your iPod on the train.

We all deserve a little vacation time during our day.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

When Life Gives You Lemons, add Lavender...

Most of my next blogs are going to focus on the idea of using what you have on hand in your pantry...or using leftovers from a in that spirit:

Lavender Lemonade

I made a batch of Limoncello around Christmas time, and since you only use the peel...I turned the rest into a lovely lavender lemonade.

8-10 large organic lemons (I'd use 8 if you don't like it too strong)
Small sachet of dried lavender
Honey to taste

Squeeze all the lemons into a large pitcher, add small sachet of lavender (about 1 tablespoon in cheesecloth) and raw honey to taste. Fill the pitcher with ice cubes and put in fridge. When the ice melts...add cold water to fill the pitcher.

It's a delightfully soothing lemonade....

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pret a Manger to the Rescue!

I have to write about one of my favorite lunch spots...Pret a Manger. They have delicious sandwiches and salads all made with natural ingredients...even their beverages (my favorite is Yoga Bunny) are awesome.

Today, I cheated on Pret by getting a pre-made chef salad at a cafe/deli near my office and I regretted it immediately upon opening the salad.

Not to get bogged down in negativity towards the deli (their salads are tasty when made fresh), because this blog is only to be used for good, but the salad had processed cheese and dressing...and it started to make me feel less than good...

After trying my hardest to eat the salad (since I paid for it), I tossed it and went down to Pret. I bought their roast beef on a baguette, a blueberry/pomegranate yogurt drink and a "Love Bite" (dark chocolate with coconut & walnuts).

The difference between the roast beef in the salad and the sandwich was disturbing...the color and taste...Pret's reminded me what it should taste like.

One thing about eating well/ will forever taste the chemicals in the food you used to enjoy...sometimes it can be a mixed blessing, like when you go to eat candy you loved as a child and now all you taste is red dye #40.

Thank You Pret a Manger for saving my lunch today...I'll never stray again...


Happy/healthy eating everyone!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Yoga and The Waterboys

I have been away from here for too long!

For my first blog of 2009 I am deviating from the recipes to talk about another of my loves...The Waterboys...and feeling well. :)

I had an epiphany the other day...

I want to start doing yoga more regularly because it makes me feel better, but I don't always have time to do a whole routine (I have a couple nice DVDs), nor do I always feel like doing some stretches in silence or to "yoga music." While it can be relaxing...I'm not always in the mood for that type of music (unless I'm getting acupuncture or reiki).

So...last week I had the idea to put on the current Waterboys song I'm obsessed with, "Too Close to Heaven" because it's mellow, moves me, and it's long. I put out my yoga mat, took a deep breath and lost myself in the music...doing as many rounds of Sun Salutation as would fit within the song's wonderful 12:39 running time.


Using a song that moves me opens up my heart and really makes the yoga mine. As a Leo, I re-make things as my own all the why should my yoga routine be any different!

I'm sure I'm not the first person to do this...but boy did I feel like a genius!

So thank you, again, Mike Scott and The Waterboys for putting a smile on my face and peace in my spine thanks you too!

Next up for the yoga...selections from Universal Hall... ;)

*I also love cooking to Waterboys music...just to steer this blog back to food... ;)