Saturday, August 21, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
It was the second week of May when I received the email...
Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz was hosting a contest looking for the best picnic friendly recipe, and contacted me to announce that my Mango Chile Chicken Pita Pockets was the grand prize winner of their adorable picnic backpack. You know the kind I'm talking about, the ones that hold the plates, utensils, napkins, wine opener and insulated section to hold your favorite wine and picnic fare.
My beloved and I have been wanting to celebrate, but our busy lives have pushed it to the back burner
~ and ~
now that I've purposed it in my heart to begin
streamlining our schedules,
and making time for more "time,"
And so, I'm making plans.
.....a lover's picnic.....
.....a handful of the favorites
(Augustine, Lord Byron, CS Lewis).....
(Augustine, Lord Byron, CS Lewis).....
.....a glorious afternoon......
Mango Chile Chicken Pita Pockets
4 Whole Wheat Pita Pockets
2 Cups of Cooked Chicken, Shredded
8 oz of cream cheese, softened
4 heaping tbsp. chopped green chile
1 tsp. garlic powder
4 tbsp. shredded Parmigiano Reggiano
4 Roma Tomatoes, diced
1/2 Purple Onion, diced
2 Diced Mangos
1 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp. of fresh italian flat leaf parsley
salt to taste
black pepper to taste
1) In a medium sized bowl, mix Cream Cheese, chopped green chile, and garlic powder.
2) In a separate bowl, mix tomatoes, onions, olive oil, mangos, parsley, parmigiano reggiano, and salt/pepper to taste to create garnish mix
3) Slice Pitas open and spread 2 oz. of chile cream cheese spread onto the bottom of each pita.
4) place 1/2 cup of shredded chicken evenly over cream cheese spread in each pita.
5) spoon even amounts of “garnish mix” and spread evenly over chicken in each pita
6) cut each pita in half, wrap to go, and place in picnic basket –
Sunday, August 1, 2010
"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak."
~ Hans Hofmann
spent some extra time in the "dome of silence" today
a.k.a. "the prayer vault"
a.k.a. my shower.
As the steam rose and the water ran down my body, drowning out the noise of the world around me, I reminisced over some of the tranquil moments from our camping trip that we had just returned from while celebrating my husband's birthday... and I couldn't help but feel so exceedingly fortunate to have had the opportunity to take a break from the tyranny of appointments and schedules...and to be surrounded by the glory of creation and beauty of such variety and abundance.
My "mental vault" had been overflowing, and this trip was exactly what I needed
Every day that we spent in Jemez Springs felt like a Saturday....a quintessentially lazy Saturday - the kind you hope for but never plan for.......There was a richness in the air, a vibrancy in the mornings that I reveled in as I laid awake in the early hours of each day listening to the resonance of the river running outside my canvas abode. My thoughts were quiet, my mind was at rest, and as I stretched out beneath cozy layers of blankets atop a surprisingly firm air mattress, I could hear the sound of my own heart beat above the cricket symphonies that permeated through my zippered window. Refreshing.
What a glorious weekend it was. Hands wrapped around disposable cups of coffee with irish cream sipped ever so leisurely, fellowshipping with friends, whipping up tasty nibbles, starting a new book, sitting around the campfire with kindred spirits night after night, contemplating under starry skies, dreaming outloud, listening to great music, smiling alot, laughing even more.
I have once again been reminded of the splendor of simplicity...and I am longing for those placid moments once again, because it's those moments that allow the yearnings of my inner man to rise up, that allow me to inhale the quiet rousings of my soul.
And now that I've been home trying desperately to "catch up" (is there really such a thing?) on work, household responsibilities, returning emails, calls, responses to threads, posts that I'm behind on, and a variety of other commitments...I've come to realize that the noise in my life has risen to a louder decibel (and I'm not talking about my children). I've resolved that I simply don't like being bogged down with too much busyness - and - I am prompted to be very intentional from here on out about making more time to UNPLUG and to purpose it in my heart to spend much MUCH more uninterrupted, undiluted time getting out amidst creation and letting my soul breathe.
It was Laura Ingalls Wilder who said "It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all."
So, Sweet Bellas, in the spirit of simplicity, I'll close by sharing my recipe for an effortless summer salad that is equally as easy to make as it is to pack up and take on a picnic or some lovely rendezvous in the great outdoors.
And I hope you do.
Edamame, Raspberry & Walnut Spinach Salad with Manchego Cheese &
Honey Lemon Mint Vinaigrette Dressing
4 Cups of Fresh Baby Spinach
1 cup of shelled edamame
1 cup of fresh raspberries
6 tbsp of chopped walnuts
slivers of shaved Manchego Cheese to desired amount
Honey Lemon Mint Vinaigrette Dressing:
3 tbsp of lemon juice
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp of honey
2 tbsp of fresh mint leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of olive oil.
In a blender, add first 5 ingredients, blend for 4 to 5 seconds, take lid off and add 1 cup of olive oil while blending appx 10 seconds more, pour over salad.