Thursday, September 9, 2010

Keeping Busy

I've noticed that the older I get them more I need to be in constant motion.  Always doing a little something, usually something like cleaning off the counters or sweeping the floor.  Keeping busy helps keep my stress at bay.  It helps keep me calm.  And when I need to keep my mind still and quiet, I love to turn to cooking and baking.  Needless to say, in our most recent life transition, I have been doing a lot of cooking and baking.  It's just the right controlled, successful process for me to engage in to keep me feeling balanced.  And it just so happens that while we're staying at Andrea's parents' house I have access to an amazing kitchen and a stocked pantry.  So, yes, for many reasons I have been doing a lot of cooking an baking.  Here's a little glimpse...

This delicious roasted beet salad with dried cranberries, pine nuts and goat cheese was inspired by one of my last meals in Portland with Dr. Judy at Laurelhurst Market.  I took one bite of that salad at our dinner and interrupted her story to tell her I felt like I was rolling in a field on a warm summer's day as I ate this most delicious bitefull of salad with a slight burst of fresh mint exploding in my mouth (it was seriously so good).  Well, my version was really really good, but the mint flavor didn't come through at all.  I'm not sure if I needed to add more of it or if I needed to crush it more to release the flavor.  Regardless, the sweet roasted beets (fresh from the CSA farm) mixed with the creamy chevre and the balsamic dressing was absolutely delicious.  

I don't have pictures of my other recent yummies, but I would recommend them equally as highly as the roasted beet salad.   
  • One were these amazing Crispy Baked Zucchini and Summer Squash Strips (also from the CSA farm--when the zucchini comes in, you've got to figure out how to use it all!).  These strips were so good.  So easy.  So healthy.  We dipped in marinara instead of the sauce the recipe calls for.  The perfect accompaniment to our hot dog extravaganza!  Yumm yum!
  • The second, Peach Shortbread, was the yummiest, easiest, quickest dessert treat to make if you have just one fresh, juicy peach lying around.  I halved the recipe but still used a full egg, and I didn't brown the butter so I followed her suggestion for a bit of extra flour.  I baked it in a round cake pan and cut it into wedges when it cooled.  It came together so quickly and easily, and was gobbled up just a quickly and just as easily!
  • The last and yummiest of all are these Salted Butterscotch Cookies.  So easy.  So yummy.  I'm sure you have everything you need to make them in your cupboard right now.  And don't pay attention to the description that says they're crispy.  Cook them for just 10 minutes and they are pure soft, salty, butterscotchy goodness.  Mmmmm...
So, clearly, my hands and mind (and belly!) have been kept extra busy lately.  I love having a creative outlet to turn to when I need some balancing.  And, of course , it helps to have a great space to work in and a happy and willing audience to share my creations with.  I wonder what I'll make tomorrow....??  


Andrea said...

only thing you'll be making tomorrow is sounds of happiness because it's YOUR BIRTHDAY (in case you forgot)!!!! Happy happy birthday!

Sara said...

Birthday cake balls.

Sandi said...

How about a Rocky Road Birthday Cake?!?!?!?
Happy, Happy