Rainy Days & Mondays

Todays forecast and reality

Life doesn’t always go as planned. The recent incident in Virginia was evidence of that (which makes this paltry lil’ post seem inconsequential), but it’s true. Every day we’re faced with situations beyond our control. Sometimes they’re the result of our own doing and/or decisions, but more often than not they’re the result of senseless acts — or “life.” How we respond to those events is key.

My plans this past weekend included watching the Perseid meteor showers (ditto on inconsequential…), but we had ten inches of rain with thousands of lightning bolts thrown in for good measure. Clear skies were not in the plan. (Here’s a link to The Carpenters’ song for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, or with my post title.) Contrary to the lyrics, I don’t let Rainy Days & Mondays — or “life” — get me down. In fact, my favorite line from the song is “Run and find the one who loves you.”  Great advice.

I believe those who perished or were injured in that senseless attack were loved by folks “who ran to find them” — or vice versa. Life is too short and unpredictable not to LOVE others and let them know it. Like them, Karen Carpenter experienced an untimely demise — a brief flicker of hope intended to bless the cosmos — cut short by other’s opinions or actions. (She died of anorexia.) Who will YOU listen to? Who will YOU love and “let know it?” Every day you’re given an opportunity to shine!

Recently I watched the movie Shine (re: pianist David Helfgott) and remembered why I cried the first time I saw it. So much potential, so much damage inflicted! Whether loss of life — or talent — world events seem to be repeating that trend. While we can’t control the senselessness, we can rise above it — gradually, gracefully, and gratefully. How could we possibly be grateful for any of it? Because someone cared enough to show up for what they believed in, no matter how briefly. And, love prevails.

By the way, I did get to witness one ‘beaut’ of a meteor at 4:30 a.m. Saturday morning before the cloud cover took over — a shimmering ball of fire that streaked across the lake. Keep an eye out for brief but brilliant shining stars. Their impact is eternal.

You can shine, too, whenever and however you decide to participate. Show up! Do YOUR thing and do it because you can — and because you love doing it. Make the most of your time on this planet and share your experiences. Don’t let differing opinions (or “life”) deter you from pursuing your path. You never know when you (or your existence and commitment) will be a blessing to everybody.

That said, here’s a sunnier view of my “writer-ly attire” (most days.) Dance with LIFE — even when it doesn’t turn out as planned.

Sunshine Shadows and A Sneak Peek at my Daily Attire

Enjoying celebrating those who show us “how it’s done” with grace,

~ Kim

In My Kitchen ~ August 2017

I’m delighted to be In My Kitchen again. After three cross-country and out-of-state-trips in two months, I came home with lots of memories. And a few goodies, too!

Utensils 2

In My Kitchen… is a set of Acacia wood cooking utensils, a gift from my cousin Barb. They’re beautifully crafted and a joy to use! She also surprised me with Coconut Infused Black Sea Salt and Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt.

 

Last weekend I grilled shrimp marinated in Champagne Orange Balsamic glaze with coconut-infused salt, and a pork loin seasoned with the smoked salt. Goodness!Grilled Goodness.JPG

In My Kitchen… are a pair of potholders crocheted by my cousin Jeanne. Their diagonal design is appealing and the thick layers protect my hands and counter tops. I admire folks who do needlework and I can never have too many potholders — especially ones made with love.Potholders

In My Kitchen… are a set of plates for smaller servings, found at a thrift store for a mere pittance. The bubbles in them inspired me to pick up a bottle of bubbly, too. (Prosecco in this case.) Homecomings and thrift store finds are meant to be celebrated!

 

In My Kitchen… are a few things I made between sojourns. A girl’s gotta eat, ya know! (So does The Man Of Few Words.) He doesn’t mind me cooking separate meals. If Mama ain’t happy… :) Take care of yourself while you take care of others.

Blue plate special on a white plate

“Blue Plate Special” for him

Lime Chicken

Pan-Seared Chicken with Makrut (dehydrated lime leaves) for me

Cookies

Cookies for him

Gluten free Dairy free chocolate cake

GF/DF Chocolate Cake for me

Salad

Heirloom Tomato and Romaine Salad (for both of us!)

This post is linked to Sherry’s Pickings. Once a month Sherry features fun reads and cooking ideas from around the world. Click on the link to see for yourself! (You can add your own kitchen antics by the 10th, too.) I’m blessed by ’em all.

Enjoying being In My Kitchen again,

~ Kim

Sealed With A Kiss

My kids’ n’ I finally got within hugging distance last week. I’ve traveled to see each of them (separately) and they’ve seen each other in between, but this was the first time we’d been together in three years!

These photos were snapped outside Four Daughters Winery. The food and wine were fantastic, as always! I ordered three dishes to share: Baked Brie & Garlic with Pecan Pesto & Seasonal Berries on Grilled Focaccia; Smoked Chicken Flatbread with Shitake Mushrooms, Roasted Tomatoes, & Freshly Grated Mozzarella; and Crab Rangoon Flatbread. Oh, and Smoked Brisket Tacos with blue corn tortillas for me. :)

Do I look a lil’ bit happy?

Enjoying Proud Mama moments,

~ Kim

Sushi Break

 

Tom's sushi.jpeg

(Sushi & Saki photographed by my son)

Some folks love Sushi and others can’t stand the thought of it. How do you feel?

I was skeptical at first.

In The Land of Ten Thousand Lakes where I grew up (Minnesota), the “catch of the day” was generally fried in butter with a mound of sliced potatoes (sizzling in butter) served with toast on the side (slathered in butter.) Goodness, I miss lake breakfasts! (And butter.)

Maybe it’s the buttery texture of Sushi that I love? I haven’t tried making it at home yet — and I don’t recommend that you do — unless you have top-grade fresh fish, razor sharp knives, and your kitchen is as antiseptic as a surgical suite. Sushi is not only an art, it’s a matter of strictest hygiene. I admire well-trained chefs who inspire confidence in both.

My first taste of that delicacy was at a sales convention in Baltimore many moons ago. I wanted to appear hip with my “foodie notions” — plus, I really wanted to try it! It was love at first bite.

Ironically, my son & I never did get to take a Sushi break on my last trip home. We had bigger fish to fry — so to speak. :) More on that in a subsequent post.

 

In the meantime, I enjoy making and eating “wanna be” Sushi-style seafood. The fresher, the better. Gotta love the fishermen in my life. :)

I still love every bite.

Wishing you a flavorful summer. Try somethin’ new! And, let me know your thoughts on Sushi.

Enjoying buttery recollections,

~ Kim

Why Life Is Like A Sandwich

sammich-close-up

Life’s been a tad squishy lately. Ever feel that way? Just when you think things are set in stone, black ‘n’ white, and/or definite, fate throws you a curve ball. I tend to compensate for the chaos by constructing sandwiches.

Sandwiches are solid, dependable, infinite in variety, and as creative as your imagination and fridge contents (immediate, too, not counting toaster time) and things feel slightly more “predictable” with a self-made Dagwood in hand. You may not be able to control your circumstances, but you’re in charge of what goes into your mouth.

Pictured above is a flavor combo I fabricated awhile back: sun-dried-tomato turkey with avocado, Dijon mustard, and martini olives on gluten-free toast with sweet pickles. The Pastrami was an afterthought. (Who says you need bread to enjoy a slice of Pastrami?)

The appeal of avocado slices paired with savory turkey felt apropos. Spontaneity won. Take charge of your life — and your food — when things don’t go as planned.backwards-olives

Why is life like a sandwich? Because there are more choices than you realize at times. Make decisions (and sandwiches) that make YOU happy. Even when they’re squishy.

I’m gonna be off the grid again (second trip to Minnesota in two weeks) and I’m looking forward to reconnecting with you a lil’ more regularly when I get back. In the meantime, go make yourself a sandwich. :) Let me know what you come up with, too!

Enjoying the unexpected,

~ Kim

Happy Places

My New Happy Place

In this chaos-filled world it’s important to find or create Happy Places to feed your soul. Somewhere to step back or away. A hopeful point of view that renews and regenerates.

Today it was as simple as splurging on a pot of flowers.

(Okay, two…)

Posies

I’ve been looking at that burned up ol’ stump long enough. Time to add some color to it! The end result made me happy.

I was also tickled to be grilling out this Memorial Day weekend. Thank you to every soul who contributed to such unabashed freedom. (Feeling blessed.) Your sacrifice has not gone unnoticed, nor unappreciated.

Grill Full of Goodness

Make the world a happier place, beginning with yours. Do whatever you need to do to give… thank a Veteran… and remember the fallen. We owe them so much.

Enjoying a peaceful (and tasty) weekend at the lake,

~ Kim

Fun Stuff

 

Life’s been in a bit of a lull lately (blessedly and gratefully so) and inspiration oft arrives when and where you least expect it.

This morning as I sat outside with my clipboard on my lap awaiting profound thoughts ;) I sipped on a cup of java listening to birdsong. I also had to grin at my “Crocs and sox” — me ‘n’ Mario Batali, woohoo!

Yup, I finally traded in my cowboy boots. (I do keep a pair at the ready for snake season… a different kind of “fun”… gotta love life at the lake.) Praise God for comfortable footwear and amenable places to “think thoughts.” Here’s the view I was contemplating.

The View

Speaking of “The View” (as seen on TV), its foodie counterpart is The Chew . I’m not a regular TV-watcher, but I do brake for cooking shows now and then.

A thousand pardons… I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Michael Symon. I’ve long admired him (his 1,000 mega-watt grin continues to light up my life) and the banter between him, Mario, and their affable cohorts — not to mention their incredible edible inspirations — are such fun!

Meanwhile, back outside…

My flower beds are finally weeded and the wildflower seeds are planted. Does anyone know what that vine is? I tend to err on the side of “purdy” vs. horticultural, thankfully without a rash so far. (Please let me know if it’s a weed!)

Other fun stuff: music and food.

I’m sorting through a plethora of recipes and regulating music rehearsals as we speak. These days I have to meter out my time and attention span. Balance is key.

Food and Music

Oopsie daisies! (Don’tcha love that line by Hugh Grant in Notting Hill?) I nearly forgot to include food photos. I’ve also been known to sputter similar meaningless aphorisms… “holy cow”, “what a hoot”, and “that’s hilarious.” C’est la vie! Never hesitate to express yourself, even if it sounds silly… make that fun. Your thoughts matter! I love ’em  all.

And you!

Enjoying a lil’ fun at the lake,

~ Kim