Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Path is the Goal

                                                WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD!

I spend a lot of time thinking, especially now as I grow older about my life...why and where I'm going...and about choices I've made along the way.  I like to believe I have gained some wisdom on my journey.  And this journey is surely my own...I can see the path behind me, yet what is taking place now at this time in my life is making up the path below my feet and where I'm headed.  Now is the time to open my heart and mind to what is taking place this moment.  Now is the time.  The path is the goal!

Monday, January 28, 2013

"The roses are sleeping"

This past weekend I ventured out to one of our urban lakes for a walk.  As I neared the part of the lake area that is a rose garden, I passed a young mother with her son as he was saying, "Look Mom, the roses are sleeping!"  And sure enough they were....tucked under their blankets of straw, plastic and snow.  I loved thinking about the roses resting until spring....happy in their beds.  Soon to awaken from their nap to bloom.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Is there anything better than homemade brownies on a snowy Sunday evening?  This is a recipe I whipped up with what I had on hand....and I have to say turned out fabulously!  Not quite as sweet as the norm and the cream cheese frosting adds a twang!

1 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup flour

Butter a 9x13 inch pan. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Then add cocoa.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Stir in the vanilla.  Stir in flour mixing just enough to blend.  Spread into prepared pan and bake for 18-20 minutes.  Cool for 15 minutes then frost with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting.  Store in the refrigerator.

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
8 oz. cream cheese, softened 
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Beat everything together until very smooth.  Spread on top of brownies.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Because it has been so COLD and GRAY this week in Minnesota, my thoughts have been returning to our glorious summer vacation in beautiful Sonoma, California.  Aaaahhh, the cool misty mornings that became sunny perfect afternoons and then on to crisp clear evenings with a zillion stars.  The ability to bike easily from one end of town to the other. The lavender lined sidewalks, hydrangeas, and grapevines. The gorgeous local wineries, restaurants, and farmers market...heavenly dream!  Aaaahh, SONOMA!  My talented son took these photos during one of our outdoor dinners.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

     We are having a true winter here in Minnesota!  Finally temps in the single digits, a coating of white snow cover, and the fabulous northern light.  I adore it!
      To warm our insides I made a delicious, healthy no-noodle chicken soup for dinner last night.

Chicken Vegetable Soup
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large red onion, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 garlic clove, diced
bunch of kale, chopped
handful of parsley, chopped
3 chicken breasts
4 cups of chicken broth
2 cups of water
1 can (15 oz.) aduki beans, drained

In a large pan heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion, celery and carrots.  Stir and cook for about 8 minutes, then add the garlic.  Cook for 1 minute more.  Add 1 tsp of kosher salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper along with the broth, water and chicken.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cover for aprox. 20 minutes. The chicken should be cooked through at this time.  Take the breast out to a cutting board and slice the meat, then place back in the soup. Next throw in the kale, parsley and beans. Continue cooking, uncovered, for 5 minutes more. This soup is wonderful with a grating of parmesan cheese on top and served with whole grain bread.