There is an eloquent tale about the difference between Heaven and Hell. It is said that in both places, the occupants are presented with opulent tables laden with exotic foods and given four-foot long utensils with which to eat. In Hell, people are miserable and starving because they cannot imagine how to get food to their mouths with such long forks. In Heaven, the people are joyful and well fed. They use the same forks to feed each other.
- Epilogue from Leo Buscaglia's "Love Cookbook"

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"Back of the pack" runner's gift.....

I used to feel shame, not good enough because I am slower in these races and triathlons that I do than many.  But today it was different.

I finished my 7th Seattle Half Marathon this morning. And I tell you, there is such beauty in being a "back of the pack" runner, if you look for it.....it shows me so clearly that the strongest muscle of the entire body is the HEART. The amazing people I chatted with while running....a cancer patient proudly displaying her head without hair, a disabled man who was almost done with the "50 states marathon club", many elderly people, and then just people wanting to see what we've got inside.

It took me 3 hours to do 13.1 miles.  And I enjoyed every moment.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Festa di San Martino Cookies

I just discovered that my birthday falls on the "Feast of San Martin" in Sicily tomorrow.  You can find out more here:  http://www.mydestination.com/sicily/usefulinfo/6183594/festival-calendar-of-sicily# Interesting that I was dreaming up Sicilian cookie recipes to make while running today.  Why I make up recipes when I run, I will never know.  But its alright with me, because working out is inspiring, and usually things come out pretty well.  Today was about orange, and marzipan.  Anyone could do this.  And may I say they are absolutely delicious!  Happy San Martino day!

1.  Cut out a circle or medallion shape of your favorite butter cookie, shortbread, or sugar cookie 
     recipe.

2.  Put a dollop of marmalade in the center of each medallion.

3.  Either make or buy some marzipan (it's easier to make that one might think!).  Push it through a 
     potato ricer or garlic press to make small strands of marzipan.  Cover each cookie with marzipan 
     strands.

4.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 11 minutes.  Time will vary, depending on the      
     thickness of your cookie and your oven.  Don't let it get too brown.  My first batch were too hard 
     and not good.





Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Seriously enough!

So I'm comfortably back home from the fabulous BlogHer14 conference in San Jose.   Things never turn out the way I expect, but they always seem to turn out just the way I need them to.  It was perfect for me.

I know so many others have shared this feeling, but I truly feel inadequate when I go to BlogHer conferences (even though I love every minute, no gripes!).  The conference is swarming with phenomenal writers.  As for me, I'm more of a visual person.  I came to the blog world only because I like to work out, cook, take photos and I've traveled the world doing these things.  I wanted a place to document all this, in a blog & book, mostly with photography visuals.  However, I never once felt unwelcome or without inspiring sessions at BlogHer.

A highlight for me over the weekend was doing the magic mirror set up by the Mrs. Band  www.enoughsong.com .  Every woman in the world, if given the chance, should do this mirror.  Or buy the song "I'm Enough", or watch the video on their site.

I was so inspired by the conference that after todays gardening,  I moved a load of furniture to create an office for myself.  Because I've wanted one for so long.  And I'm writing this post from my new office.





Saturday, June 21, 2014

Carrot Nut Loaf


While most people are laying in bed thinking of their day's events or the next day's events, I'm laying there creating recipes in my head.  Two nights ago I wanted to make something to satisfy a carb/sweet craving without setting myself up on a cycle to eat everything in sight and feel bad about myself.

Almond meal is always my favorite "go-to".  However I've just recently discovered Nutiva coconut four, and adore this!  For this recipe though, I thought it would be best with almond meal/flour.  I used Bob's Red Mill.  I'm loosely giving you the measurements.  I stink at math and rarely measure, which I know is unheard of in baking.  Once I perfect the precise amounts, I will post them again.  But for now, this is my estimate:

2 c. ground carrots (you could use zucchini as well)
1 c. chopped nuts (any kind)
1 c. dark chocolate mini chips
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2-3/4 c. melted coconut oil
1/2 c. molasses
1/2 c. maple sugar, agave, or other sweetener if desired
2 c. almond meal
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp allspice or nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda

Mix the dry ingredients, then stir in the wet ingredients with a wooden spoon (do not beat)

I baked it in a 350 degree oven, approximately 30 minutes (depending on your pan).  Let it cool slightly, it will stay together better.  Enjoy this......there is some high protein here.  But don't be deceived, there are calories too.  So easy does it.

The Last Thing I Ate.....


Dragon Fruit.  It actually WAS the last thing I ate on my recent trip to Kona.  It was a fresh-picked gift from my new friend, Chef Hubert.  I've had plenty of dragon fruit, having lived in Singapore and Japan, but this one from Hawaii was the best one I have ever eaten.  I split it with my husband, it was huge.  I tried to capture the taste in a photo?  Couldn't be done.  Tasted like the freshest, red strawberry, combined with a pear.  And deep magenta juice bled all over the table.

So I have to visit Kona to enjoy dragon fruit like this again.  In the meantime, here we are, summer in Seattle.  Plenty of local fresh fruits abound.  And my herb garden is overflowing.  I'm feeling inspiration.  Stawberry sorbet?  Off to the market!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Cooking with the Hawaiian Executive Chef!

It's a wrap!  A wonderfully exhausting and inspiring trip to Kona......

My husband and I did the Kona Half Ironman Saturday.  We celebrated our 20th anniversary.  And THEN I had the priviledge of cooking with 3 incredible people at the Fairmont Orchid in Hawaii.  The extremely talented and gracious Executive Chef Hubert, the two equally talented and warm chefs, the Sous Chef, Kalani, and Pastry Chef, Daniel.  All organized by such an impressive Concierge Team, led by Darlene.

Chef Hubert started by taking me to his glorious garden that he created, on-site.  



Chef shared with me some incredible stories of herb origins, and how he uses them still in his creations today.  We picked some to use in the dishes we would cook this morning.


When we arrived back to the kitchen, Chef Kalani was waiting and prepared to teach me a bit about Poke and a steamed Opakapaka with yucca.


I will share the recipes on a post coming up.  I want to try it at home first!


Then Chef Daniel had me help him with our equally healthy and delicious dessert, chopped local fruits with coconut custard cream, in a coconut shell and orchid garnish.  WOW!


Fascinating!  The entire Hawaiian culinary experience was complete with historical relationships to the dishes.  My husband was fascinated.  We are hooked on this glorious cuisine.  Healthy, cultural, artistic, sensual.  I'm an Italian cook.  But I know this experience is going to create some sort of fusion in my repertoire!  Thank you to all of our new friends in Hawaii.  Your hospitality is unequaled!!!!