I am all about grilling in the summer. Any excuse to spend more time in my garden and outdoors is a plus here in Oregon. Since sunny days are such a rare treat I try to make the most of them by firing up the barbecue whenever I get the chance. This is one of my favorite recipes for grilling. Yakitori is usually bite sized pieces of grilled meat on skewers. It’s easy to prep it ahead of time and served with a green salad and some grilled vegetables it makes a super healthy and satisfying meal that everyone in my family will enjoy.
Baking for others increases my self worth. What can I say except that I love to please people and the best way I’ve found to do that is to bake for them. Baking can be a risky endeavor when you aren’t confident about your skills and most people don’t want to struggle through the learning curve needed to master baking. I owe my cooking education to Martha Stewart. I dedicated hours immersing myself in her perfect world of perfectly risen soufflés and labeled linen closets until I felt so inadequate that I had to try to replicate at least a small part of her exquisite existence.
It is officially strawberry season. I have been eating them every chance I get because there is nothing to compare to local, sweet, red to the core strawberries. I love to walk out into the garden and grab a few still warm from the sun for an afternoon snack. My favorite way to enjoy them is to slice them up and let them macerate in a tiny bit of sugar and toss them with some fresh mint or basil.
I have had a really terrible few days. Nothing big or life altering big, but annoying, aggravating and frustrating big. We just had a new roof put on and it took us a few days to realize that in the process the roofers managed to cut some electrical wires and didn’t bother to mention it. So yesterday I had an electrician tearing my house apart trying to figure out what they had done. Several hours later we hadn’t made any progress and I am now the proud owner of a large hole in my kitchen ceiling. Finally after calling the roofers and finding out that yes, indeed they did remember cutting through an old wire we managed to find the problem and get it fixed after we tore off part of the new roof.
I have a birthday weekend coming up and I have to say that I’m at the age where I’m just not that into the festivities. I would really like a little time to spend by myself in the garden planting the rest of the vegetable garden. I find I miss spending time by myself. Working with my husband means that we are together pretty much all the time and while it’s great to have a flexible schedule and spend time with each other I crave a little solitude once in awhile. I miss the ability to meander. I think you know what I mean, shopping with my husband usually entails me running in and making my purchases as quickly and efficiently as possible, no lingering.
Making something with your own hands is so gratifying. I don’t knit anymore but I do miss it sometimes. It’s one of those things that has fallen to the side as I spend more time with my photography and this blog but I do want to get back to it at some point. This is one of the first projects that I designed myself and I was really pleased with the result. It’s a felted bag with a knitted panel on the front and if you’ve never felted a project before it’s a blast. You knit this really huge floppy thing that looks like it could hold a dead body and then you put it into a hot washer and out comes this lovely seamless little bag that looks like it was custom made.
It’s nice to find time alone with your spouse occasionally and reconnect. Our day to day lives are so centered around our son and our business that it’s easy to lose sight of each other. Me and my husband were fortunate enough to get out of town on our own for our anniversary weekend. We spent three days hiking and exploring Bend, Oregon and had a wonderful time. We got to see one of my favorite bands, The National Friday night and ran into some dear friends. My husband would move there tomorrow if he could convince our son to relocate.
I have been eating terribly lately. I don’t know if it’s my age or just that I’ve fallen into some bad habits but my weight has really been creeping up in the last year. I hate to admit it but I think my metabolism is starting to go into the toilet. I’m going to be 44 next week and this is the first year that my age is starting to bother me. I feel like my body is starting to fail me. In the last year I’ve had to start dying my hair, get glasses and gained 10 pounds. That isn’t even mentioning the pre-menopausal systems that have plagued me.
Having a little something to snack on when the urge hits can really help you stay on track when you are trying to eat healthier. I am the first to admit that I get tempted by the chips and cookies hiding in my pantry when I get stressed or bored. I’ve found that it really helps to keep a little stash of these energy bites in my refrigerator for an afternoon or post-workout snack. They couldn’t be easier to make and you can keep them in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. And unlike the candy bar they are inspired by they are vegan and contain no added sugars or preservatives so there is no guilt involved!
In my vast collection of books this one is the most special. It’s special for many reasons, it’s a Pulitzer prize winner, it’s a first edition and it’s signed by Walker Percy. But it’s really special because it was the start of me and my husband. We met working in a bookstore over 18 years ago and a group of us were discussing our favorite books and I picked this one. My husband perked right up and chimed in that it was one of his favorites too. He says it was that statement that got him intrigued enough to learn more about me.