Friday, August 26, 2011

Good Bites {1}

I recently got into PINTEREST......{anyone who knows what this is knows the next comment} ENOUGH SAID! Yep it is highly addictive. Anywaaaaaaaaay.... I saw this recipe yesterday and had to try it. I wanted to make it last night, went to the store for the fresh produce, but knew I was running last night and decided to wait for today where I had a bit more time to spend in the kitchen. Well, it is so good I had to share it with you! From what I can gather it comes from a cookbook {Sara Foster's Southern Kitchen}. It is very easy to make and because the presentation is so beautiful it would be a great company appetizer or side dish.

I made it true to the recipe but I did change a couple of small things. I guess then I really didn't..but the adjustments are very small :)

1} I did not use Ranch Dressing as the finishing sauce (YUK) I made a basil sauce (recipe below) instead and it was great, after all there is basil in the corn cakes.
2} I added a small amount of chopped roasted jalapeno peppers in the relish. Probably 1
pepper. Mark likes heat!
3} I seeded the tomato

I served it with grilled chicken BUT it could be a total veggie meal (Mel, here is one for meatless Monday)

Corn Cakes with Tomato Avocado Relish (makes 12)

For the corn cakes:
3 large ears of corn, shucked
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cornmeal
¼ cup red onion, finely diced
¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. buttermilk
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Canola or vegetable oil, for frying

Ranch dressing, for serving (optional)

For the relish:
1 large tomato, cored and chopped
1 scallion, minced
1 tbsp. minced fresh basil
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice of half a lime
1½ tsp. olive oil
1½ tsp. white wine vinegar
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 ripe avocado, pitted and diced

Cut the corn kernels off of the cobs and place in a large bowl. Place 2 cups of the corn kernels in the food processor and pulse several times, until the corn is slightly pureed but still chunky. Scrape the mixture into the bowl with the remaining corn kernels. Add the flour, cornmeal, onion, basil, baking powder, and baking soda to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to mix well. Add the eggs, buttermilk, and butter, and stir just to combine.

To make the salsa, combine all of the ingredients except the avocado in a medium bowl and mix well to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 2 days. Just before serving, mix in the avocado.

Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add just enough oil to barely cover the bottom of the pan and heat until sizzling hot. Scoop the batter into the skillet a heaping tablespoon at a time, cooking the cakes in batches of 4 or 5 so that they are not touching. Fry 1-2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Transfer the cooked cakes to a wire rack and repeat with the remaining batter.

Serve immediately topped with the relish and drizzled with ranch dressing, if desired.

My Basil Sauce

I cup of fresh basil

1 cup of sour cream or plain greek yogurt


Pulse the basil in the food processor to chop, add yogurt and S & P, pulse together. Chill till serving time.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Gandhi said

"Poverty is the worst form of Violence"

Don’t ask: “Why does God allow this to happen?”

Pray: “God… give me the wisdom and strength to do what I must to stop this from happening?”

This image chills me to my soul. Life has shown me that this is real, it not a dramatization or an exaggeration. It has also shown me that children die from poverty and they die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and conscience of the world.
They die as mothers watch and are helpless to help. They die because they were born poor in countries of no resource.

Should this life position mean this harsh reality? I would say no.

One thing I know is that God did not make a mistake and create too many people and not enough stuff. The problem is there are far too many of us taking and keeping more than we should, using and wasting more natural resources at the expense of others. The reality is we are responsible and need to remember what we all learned in the sandbox "You have to share"

Thursday, July 07, 2011

The box is open

Let's face it Jillian scares me, don't let that smile on the DVD box fool you...she is a tough cookie. I bought this video a long while ago and I had yet to open the box, cause I was scerrrd..but fear lost when my fear of not burning calories was bigger and WON the head battle. A calf injury forced my hand. Sooooooo I opened the box and finally started what I knew I needed to do..some strength training. I started this video this week, have done it twice and it kicks MY BUTT. I mean really..tonight while struggling in a plank position I had sweat dripping from my nose.
It will be a work in progress, I am a little short of the entire video..BUT I surprised myself with how much I could do. I can for sure get stronger through all the circuits but hey I'm doing mountain climbers for heavens sake, and these crazy plank/hold.. oblique twist thingys, I KNOW last summer that wasn't happening!
Here is what I am looking forward to with this added dimension to my fitness program;

muscle and core strength that I believe will make me a stronger runner
loss of more inches in more places
continued weight loss

So here we go....

Sunday, May 29, 2011

There are milestones and I noticed one recently in my mindset about health and well being.
There was a time, most of my life actually, if there was an excuse to {not} exercise I would take it...didn't take much to give me a reason not to exercise.
Recently a couple of experiences told me my mind set had changed.
1) rain ...I headed out to run in a drizzle. It certainly would be safe to say that a light drizzle would have kept me in doors and totally justified not to exercise. But as I was running the rain began coming harder and harder. I had water running of the end of my noise but I was determined to finish a certain amount of time in spite of the rain. I did draw the line at thunder and lightening with fear of actually dying out there!
2) Time....It certainly would be safe to say that a schedule conflict would have kept me from exercise. But recently I found myself making the decision to head out for a run when I only had 1 1/2 hours between getting home and a dinner engagement. I ran, showered and had a perfectly lovely dinner.
I like that I am increasingly less likely to want to make excuses to exercise. Not because my will power has gotten stronger but because there has been a shift in my mind. I have said before that I am aware that this is all a head game for me. So it stands to reason that if my{head} is in a different place then there will be change in my actions and reactions. I have grown accustomed to how good I feel when I am moving and how moving removes the power food has over me. I actually think about food and exercise less than ever before BUT am managing my weight and fitness better than ever before. Funny how that works out.

Just breathe

I am trying to become really in tune to my breathing while I run. I am finding that [this] exercise is such an important part of the run. It is the element that will make me or break me. When my breathing becomes "off" my run become labored and difficult. I often have to stop re-group and restart. I think this is why I struggle more when I run in hotter tempts, for whatever reason when it is hotter I struggle to keep my breathing paced and consistent. I have read and heard many different approaches to breathing and running..this is what I know to be helpful
1) Breathe through your mouth AND nose. This provides the amount of oxygen to the body it needs to run. When I have tried the "in through the nose out through the mouth" practice I struggled because I constantly felt winded.
2) Take full and complete breaths. I like for my breaths to feel deep but comfortable
3) Exhale completely as well, use your lung capacity.

So I am trying to count to 3 on the intake and exhale to a count of 2. This seems to be a good ratio for me. I have learned that breathing is a great self regulator to your pace. I want my runs to make me sweat.... But, also to be comfortable enough that I can maintain for some distance. Sometimes I find I have to adjust my pace to keep my breathing body speaks to itself, I just need to listen. Not that I always want to..mind you. I want to be better than I am but my body tells me the truth! HOWEVER, if I do listen and adjust.... my body will progress and so will my ability.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My relationship with food

is a complicated and lovely issue. I grew up with a mom who was a wonderful cook, she loved it and she put her heart and soul into everything she made. She LOVED to feed you and nurture you with the goodness from her kitchen. Most of my fondest memories are visions of my mom in the kitchen. I remember the first thanksgiving after she died taking a bite of "her" turnips and carrots and crying. Tastes and smells are very strong reminders of things past. Growing up in New England our kitchen was a very important room in our home. It was big with lots room to hang out and be together. It was always the coziest room in the house especially in the winter when it was frigid cold outside. There was always something cooking on the stove and something to nibble on. To this day when I am "down" I will cook a "mom" recipe because I know it will comfort my soul. Food feeds my soul as well as my body and I find much comfort in food. If you know my family at all it is ALL ABOUT THE FOOD and we LOVE that about us. In other words it is always a good time to eat!

Flip the coin....In this equation I also learned to use food as medication for pain, sadness, fear, and frustration. This..... I do not love. For years food has been my drug of choice, probably longer than I am even aware. This is something I am trying to change. I am trying to build a healthier attitude toward food and its role in my life. As an example last week I got home from a day out in the field and due to a few different things I was very frustrated...I was in the door 5 mins and I had consumed 2 packages of fruit snacks (we had bought for the grandkids who are coming), some goldfish and one other thing I cannot even remember. It was mindless! I pretty quickly was aware of what I had done and was not happy. I knew the only reason I add those things was because I was so frustrated. Now granted that was not a crazy amount of food, let me assure you there were times that would have been waaayyyyyyy worse. But even with that recent event I think I am making progress. I have found the shift in my thinking goes hand in hand with my physical activity. I really am finding that my emotions are in general stronger, more in check. And now when I am feeling a bit of frustration, anger what ever, I look to get out and run. In this choice I find I think, think about what is under my skin try to come to some understanding whereas mindless eating it just that..mindless and serves not long term purpose. Now, I know there is a danger in replacing the and exercise can both become drugs..but it is not that. It is a balancer...and it works because we need it for all things to function properly. Exercise does make you mentally strong along with physically strong. I know there is science behind that but I am not going try to explain yeah...not that smart. I just dream about being a Sheldon or a Dr. Reed

Now back to loving food..I DO and I don't want to not love and enjoy food. Since weight has been a struggle for so has always been an enemy...thus the abuse of it I guess. Use to be a constant item of thought,, much..etc. When you are always thinking about it, it takes a much bigger place than it should. This too is changing....I feel so much more at peace with food. I don't stress about it, I eat things I love and not feel guilty. The way I eat is changing because my mind is changing..what I want, when and how often I want all seems to sorting itself out. You become more in tune with what you need to feel good , which takes on a different meaning too! Eating "crazy" as I like to call it really does become an occasional thing.
I love and want food to feed my soul. I think that is a lovely thing.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Community living

God creating us as he did knew how very essential this would be in our journeys, something we could not do without. He created this need, this craving within us to draw us to himself and to others. Just as He, The Christ and The Spirit are in perfect community our spirits long for the same. This has become very real to Mark and me over the past 3 years living in Honduras. As time passes we are more acutely aware of the void that is in our our our souls. We so miss the community we shared with in our church, our friends, our work places. Each of these circles of community fed our souls and without them the feeling of isolation grows.

We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community. Dorothy Day

I'm not at all sure what is to be done, it is what it is, as my husband would say. We throughly love our life and our life's calling. It is simply a part of that life and that calling.
It is like any experience that brings you to new understandings..... deeper understandings about life, God and yourself. Growth comes with some discomfort.
I try to look for the benefits of this season in the midst and I do see them..Mark and I continue to grow closer.... we took up running together which we both enjoy the shared interest and these things are good, very good. It is fighting feelings that cause us to focus on loneliness, discouragement and the wandering thought of "can we do this"
But this I know.... we can and we want is just that the journey is sometimes hard. It is bizarre when you are experiencing your best dream and worst nightmare all at the same time.

Sunday, May 08, 2011


It's going good, thank you for asking.

So lately I have been noticing that toward the end of my runs my back begins at ache. It is not pain just a dull ache. I guess I should put into practice what I have been reading, strength training really should go hand in hand with running. So adding sit ups to my exercise routine will begin this week. Core training seems to be essential to running. I was kinda hoping that everything would just spring into shape "from" running however that apparently is not how it works. I just can't seem to catch a break for heaven's sake.