National Coffee Month

August is National Coffee Month and why not keep it simple. I love a strong black coffee brewed via French press for 6 minutes. Enjoy your coffee your favorite way today!

National Watermelon Day

20170506_131632Watermelon is wonderful just as it is but if you want to do a little something different for National Watermelon Day, Emeril Lagasse’s My First Watermelon Granita can be a fun change of pace. This is one of my favorite summertime treats. This time when I made it, I used a yellow seedless watermelon that had a bright, citrus-y flavor on it’s own. The recipe intensified the citrus-y element, which makes for wonderfully bright and light taste.

My First Watermelon Granita

  • 5 cups peeled and seeded watermelon chunks (from about a 3-pound slice of watermelon)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  1. Place the watermelon chunks in the bowl of a blender or a food processor, replace the top, and blend on high speed until very smooth. Turn the blender off.
  2. Transfer the watermelon puree to a mixing bowl and add the sugar and lime juice.
  3. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Transfer the mixing bowl to the freezer and freeze for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the bowl from the freezer and use a fork to scrape any ice crystals from the sides of the bowl. Stir to incorporate the crystals. Return to the freezer.
  6. Repeat this scraping procedure every 30 minutes, or until the consistency is “snowy” when scraped with a fork or spoon, at least 4 hours. Then scoop into bowls or dessert glasses and serve.

Bon appetit!

Debra

“Wrong Way” Corrigan Day

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On July 17, 1938, Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan made a transatlantic flight from New York to Dublin. The flight was made after a flight plan was denied due to a navigational error, per Corrigan, thus earning his nickname. Whether the flight was intentional or truly due to an error, Corrigan ended up doing what someone told him he couldn’t. So today, take a chance to do something you’ve been told you couldn’t do (either by someone else or yourself). Look at whatever the result is as an accomplishment because you were brave enough to try.

You got this!

Debra

World Snake Day

July 16 is World Snake Day. While snakes may seem a bit scary, they play a vital role in our ecosystem. Indiana, where I live, has 33 native species of snakes, four of which are venomous. If you’re afraid of snakes, learning about them can help dispel your fears or at least teach you how to avoid them. If you love snakes, celebrate them by doing a little cobra pose.

Cobra Pose

Getting into it

  • Lying on your stomach, bring your hands under elbows (or under your shoulders for less intensity) and hug your elbows in to your sides.
  • Engage the legs so that all toes are gently pressed into the floor; the feet will stay on the floor in this pose. Engage the abdomen. Lengthen the spine and, on an inhale, begin to lift the head, neck, and shoulders as one unit.
  • Press into the hands without straightening the arms all the way and keep your neck in neutral.

Benefits

  • Helps reestablish the natural curve of the lumbar region
  • Helps relieve lower back pain and stiffness
  • Tones the spine

Happy yoga-ing!

Debra

National Simplicity Day

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July 12 is National Simplicity Day. There are many ways to practice simplicity, including bringing awareness to our daily actions. Practice kindness, even when it’s hard.

xo,

Debra

Happy Birthday: Mavis Staples

The gospel & R&B great Mavis Staples was born on this day in Chicago. If you’re not familiar with her work or that of the Staples Singers, you really should give her a listen.

 

 

 

Peace & love,

Debra

National Horseradish Month: Lemon Horseradish New Potatoes

I’m not sure whether it’s because July has a lot of food celebrations or if it’s because I’ve been craving the creativity of trying new recipes, but we’ve got a lot of posts about recipes this month. Today we’ll be celebrating that zesty root: horseradish. I like for my food to have a little kick, so I will often use horseradish on sandwiches in lieu of using butter or mayo. So here’s a recipe to take the flavor of some of your summer side dishes up a notch or three.

Lemon Horseradish New Potatoes

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, unpeeled
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Melt butter in a 2 quart casserole dish in the oven. Stir in salt, pepper, horseradish and lemon juice. Place potatoes in dish and toss to coat with butter mixture.
  3. Cover and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until potatoes are tender.

 

National Blueberry Month: Blueberry Boy Bait

20170702_204916Despite the rather sexist/silly name of this coffee cake, it is a super tasty way to celebrate National Blueberry Month. I did a take on the version by Cook’s Country, substituting some coconut oil for the butter and mixed berries for the blueberries.

Blueberry Boy Bait

Cake

  • 2 cups flour plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup brown sugr
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup berries, fresh or frozen*

Topping

  • 1/2 cup berries, fresh or frozen*
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

*do not thaw frozen berries

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9 x 13-inch baking pan
  2. Whisk together 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. With electric mixer, beat butter, coconut oil, and sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until just incorporated. Reduce speed to medium and alternate dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  3. Toss berries with remaining flour. Using rubber spatula, gently fold into batter. Spread into prepared pan.
  4. Scatter berries over top of batter. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and then sprinkle mixture over batter.
  5. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes.
  6. Cool in pan 20 minutes, then turn out and pace on serving patter (topping side up)
  7. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Bon appetit!

Debra

 

Independence from Meat Day

Summer grilling is a great way to get together with friends and family to enjoy each other’s company and spend some time outdoors. Outdoor grilling can seem like a challenge when it comes to vegetarian options, but these grilled Portobello burgers can be great for those who don’t eat meat or are just looking for a change from the usual burgers. Unfortunately, I didn’t note where this came from.

Grilled Portobello Burgers

(serves 4)

  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Portobello mushroom caps
  • 4 roasted red pepper halves
  • 2 Kaiser rolls, toasted
  • 6 ounces mozzarella, sliced

Balsamic glaze: Simmer vinegar, sugar, water and rosemary sprigs in small saucepan for 12 to 14 minutes, or until reduced to 2 1/2 tablespoons. Remove rosemary sprigs and allow the glaze to cool.

Garlic rub: In small, covered microwave-safe dish, microwave garlic and oil at medium-low power for 45 seconds, or until garlic is soft. Mash garlic and add broth, chopped rosemary and salt.

Burgers: Preheat grill pan or grill. Brush undersides of mushroom caps liberally with garlic rub. Grill 3 to 4 minutes. Brush tops, flip, and grill an additional 3 to 4 minutes.

Place roasted pepper halves on the bottom halves of the rolls and drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon of balsamic glaze. Top with Portobello caps and mozzarella slices, drizzle with remaining glaze and ser.

Compliment Your Mirror Day

July 3rd is National Compliment Your Mirror Day. Many tips for the this day involve doing something to improve your appearance or update your look. But today should be about looking beyond the surface and seeing the truly beautiful essence of the pure self. You are strong, you are unique, you are enough just as you are. Remind yourself of that today.

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