My yoga teacher is pretty inspirational, she is constantly trying to beat positive thinking into our heads with her little “isms” that she throws out during an intense pose. I like it because I need the positive reinforcement to keep me at it. Of course, I show up to get rejuvenated, but most of the time I leave enlightened.
This last class, two of her statements stuck out to me that I thought was pretty cool. In the beginning of class after basic stretches, we normally go through a couple of sun salutations. On that particular morning, it was pretty overcast and she said, “Remember guys, you may not see it, but the sun is shining behind the clouds.” It made me smile, because it was an updated version of my mother’s “And this too shall pass…” It is true, each storm in our life will move on and the…
Last year’s resolution was to figure out what makes me happy and to incorporate those things into my life. Last year at this time, I did have a few things in place, such as being married to my best friend and we had recently come to live in a community that we both agreed was perfect for our personalities at this point in time in our life. Those things, I recognized as being okay. Where I felt I was lacking was finding a daily purpose that seemed to fit me, so I focused on that and by the end of last year, I had attained my goal and found a job that truly fits me.
The funny thing about pursuing happiness, is that the more you get things into place, the more things change. It is definitely a moving target and so as I had figured out by the end of last year, this year’s focus needs to be on my health. And so as I joined the millions of others, readying their sights on the cliche of a healthier year, I understand just as every resolution before, that it will be a work in progress. I will fall down, I will get tempted to take the easy way out and I will not always be happy or comfortable. That’s life, the learning process is full of growing pains and boy have I had those over the years.
The great thing about having a resolution, is having a yearly focus and I am always astonished at the end of the year, what the outcome is. So many things not accounted for, but adapted to, it really is amazing when you look back on it. In so many ways, the results aren’t what I expect but in a way, so much better, because it is truly what I wanted and what I am capable of. When you are blazing a trail, you can’t always foresee the obstacles or envision what the end product will look like and certainly not what it will feel like. So I enter this new year, as always, with hope and with a focus, knowing I have quite a journey ahead of me.
This week in my CSA box, I received quite a few leeks and potatoes, so I decided to make leek and potato soup. Nothing quite tastes like a leek, just such a beautiful flavor. If you have never had one, you should put it on your “to taste” list. This is an adaptation of a soup that I saw Jacques Pepin make on one of his programs. To make it a little healthier, I used olive oil, in place of butter during the saute. However, I kept the butter addition at the end to keep some the smooth richness that it lends. I switched out the cream that I normally add at the end for low-fat milk. The potatoes already lend the soup a silky, creamy quality and the low-fat milk just adds the subtle dairy flavor that my taste-buds are searching for. Enjoy everyone! I hope your new year is working out marvelously for you.
With the fourth of July coming soon in the United States, I wanted to post our families’ classic potato salad recipe. Perfect to bring to a covered dish get together. Just make sure to bring a bag of ice to immerse your serving dish into, to keep the salad cold for the duration of the party.
I will definitely be celebrating an extra day off , as my schedule at work has changed and I have been trying to rearrange and acclimate to this, so an extra day to get a little extra rest will be a welcome respite. I wouldn’t change it for the world though. I enjoy my job and that feeling of peace that comes with a purpose driven day. Anyway, I hope everyone has a wonderful week. Enjoy!
When it comes to food, I am pretty carnivorous. The other night, I had a rope of smoked sausage waiting for supper. Since smoked sausage takes hardly any preparation, I decided it would be a good night to focus on creating a really nice side dish. My kitchen was full of cabbage and potatoes, as I had over thought the whole thing when shopping for my corned beef and cabbage meal, buying twice the amount of provisions needed. Chopping and slicing and sauteing, I set out to make a casserole-y, gratin-y side dish while “using it up.” Waste not, want not, right!? What I ended up with was something that could be served as a completely vegetarian main dish, completely fulfilling, even to this meat eater. I was pretty impressed.
Most of you know that I am of Irish descent and I have been on a quest to find authentic Irish recipes to add to my repertoire. You can read more about that on my Colcannon post.
My husband, who is of Slovak descent, really pushed me to find these roots because his family held on to parts of their cuisine. These traditions really made him and his family feel unique and created strong ties between them. While I do have my Southern roots and am very adept at those flavors, he has helped me find traditional Irish-American recipes to further me on my journey.
What I understand from my research, corned beef is one of those recipes that has been adulterated a little since coming over the pond. Corned Beef and Cabbage is an actual recipe that was served in Ireland a long time ago, but it has waned in popularity and is viewed more as an old person’s meal. However, it flourished here in the states almost as a snapshot of the Irish cuisine at the time that the Irish immigrants started coming over. There is a debate over the cut of meat that was used in traditional Irish corned beef. This Irish-American will use what is available, corned beef brisket.
When picking out a brisket, you have the option of a point cut and a flat cut. I prefer the flat cut, because as suggested, it is an even piece of meat, which in turn means even heat distribution and cooking times. Anyway, this corned beef is delicious as is and will provide me with lots of yummy leftovers to play around with for a few days. Happy St. Patty’s Day, Everyone!