Monday, April 25, 2011

Wow, I'm 50 Today!

Do you remember when we were young?   30 seemed so old.  Oh, we thought our parents were dinosaurs, let alone our 50 something grandparents - they were soooo old!

Today, I'm 50, and if you're looking for someone to complain about it, you're looking in the wrong place.  I love the idea of getting older.  Life and the world around me becomes clearer every day!   For years I've searched for the meaning of my life.  I want to make a difference.  I always thought making a difference had to be doing something huge, something that would draw attention.

Now, I realize it's the small every day things that count.  It's the person you hold the door for, the car you let in before you, the child you speak to, or that person you hug or smile at who may just be at the end of their rope.  It's the little things we do that truly make a difference.  I am satisfied with that.  I can look back at my life and feel like I've made a difference because I am kind to people - all people.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fruits and Veggies In Season

Looking for ways to save money at the grocery store and improve the health of your family members?  Look at what Fruits are in Season.

When selecting fruit, give each piece a slight squeeze and look for firm texture with a slight give. Smell the fruit, too—a sweet, fresh fragrance indicates ripeness.


·         Strawberries
·         Cantaloupe
·         Mangoes
·         Apricots
·         Pineapple


·         Cherries
·         Blackberries, blueberries & raspberries
·         Nectarines & peaches
·         Plums
·         Watermelon


·         Apples
·         Pears
·         Grapes
·         Pomegranates
·         Figs


·         Cranberries
·         Grapefruit
·         Oranges
·         Tangerines
·         Rhubarb

What Vegetables are in Season?

When scoping out the vegetable section, color is your biggest indicator of ripeness. Avoid pieces that are bruised, wilted or dull in their hue.


·         Artichokes
·         Tomatoes
·         Beets
·         Snap peas
·         Asparagus
Tip: When choosing asparagus, look for extra-thick, blemish-free stalks and tight buds. Be sure to cut off any wooden ends before preparing them.


·         Summer squash
·         Eggplant
·         Green Beans
·         Avocadoes
·         Corn


·         Swiss chard
·         Acorn & butternut squash
·         Mushrooms
·         Sweet potatoes
·         Pumpkin


·         Kale
·         Leeks
·         Radishes
·         Turnips
·         Cauliflower
Tip: In addition to veggies, there are lots of nuts that are especially ripe in the winter months, like sweet, starchy chestnuts.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sesame Green Beans

What a busy time of year for us!  We have lots going on right now, so finding time to update the blog has been difficult.  There are volleyball games to attend, graduation parties and a baby shower to plan, a basement to remodel, and lots of extra projects at work.  If postings are sketchy, please forgive.  Check back frequently for updates.

Today's recipe is a family favorite.  We actually discovered these green beans at a Chinese buffet, and loved them.  It took me several tries to perfect this recipe.  Hope you'll enjoy it.

1/2 cup sesame seeds (toasted)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
Kosher salt, to taste (add slowly so you don't over-salt)
1 lb trimmed green beans
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp sliced scallions
Dash of powdered ginger

Toast sesame seeds in a small frying pan over medium high heat for several minutes (until light brown).  Combine the sesame seeds, soy sauce and sugar.  Mix well and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the beans; cook until crisp-tender (about 5 minutes).  Drain the green beans.  Pour into a serving bowl.

Whisk vinegar, scallions and ginger.  Add to sesame seed mixture.  Pour over green beans and toss to coat.

This recipe serves about six.  For our family, I will sometimes double this depending on the other items on the day's menu.

Tip:  These are not good if they sit.  They should be served immediately.  Timing is everything.