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Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

There’s something about Sundays that hints at the promise of something new, something fresh. It’s usually a family day at my house, complete with a healthy home cooked meal. I like to try new recipes on Sundays, because I can generally take the time to somewhat follow a recipe. If you know me at all, you know that I don’t exactly like to follow directions, specifically when it comes to cooking. I much prefer making it up as I go along.  Today’s recipe is a spin on broccoli cheese soup of sorts…weight watcher friendly of course.

November 4, 2012

I’m thankful for the chance to have a fresh start. I’ve been in a slump with my self-care lately. I know I’m quite capable of achieving my goals, I’ve done it before. I woke up today knowing that today is the day!

I will get back on track!

It was a bit frosty outside, so I jogged in place in my living room for twenty minutes. It’s not much, but it’s the first step towards my fresh start. My hope is that I’m teaching my daughters that there will be times when you stumble, but there is always the promise of a fresh start to keep you going. Sometimes it just takes a little while to get the confidence to try again. It’s never too late to make a change.

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It’s my first day off since July 4th. It feels so good to know that the Social Worker hat is stashed away until Monday morning. That’s a bit of a lie. Sometimes I feel as though I have “I’m a Social Worker” tattooed to my forehead. Have you ever gone somewhere and random people tell you their problems or need help? That happens to me all the time. I don’t mind helping out, I just want to know if I’m putting off some kind of vibe that says, “I can help you.”

A beautiful almost six-year-old girl woke me up by jumping into my bed for a snuggle.  We were perfectly content with our snuggle time until Porky the Puggle starting whining to go outside. There was no choice but to let the whiner outside and begin our day. We skipped the Farmer’s Market  which I’m sure to regret later in the week when I have no fresh kale, Calhoun County peaches or red Russian garlic to cook with.

Piper and I decided that the morning wouldn’t be perfect unless we made french toast.  I love cooking with the girls because it gets their creative juices flowing, especially Zoe. She’s always coming up with wild ideas for cupcakes. One day we will try her goat cheese frosting.

I let the girls crack the eggs because that’s their favorite part next to stirring and taste testing. Then they abandoned me and traipsed to the garden to feed the egg shells to the rose bushes. Hopefully the neighbors didn’t mind my pajama clad children screaming at each other before 9am.

Zoe and Piper asked me to blog about their impressions of breakfast. Not only am I trying to inspire them to be healthy cooks, I’m also trying to inspire them to be creative thinkers and writers. It doesn’t take much prodding as they were both born with fantastic imaginations.

“It tastes good, and when you put the syrup and butter both on top it tastes like caramel and icing. I like the taste, it’s so good I could eat all of it. I helped make it. I cracked two eggs and my sister cracked two eggs. Mommy put the secret ingredient in it. It’s delicious!!!” -Piper

“It tastes like a sunrise;  the sun is a pat of butter and the maple syrup is the darkness fading away. It tasted like pure tastiness. I helped make it, I cracked two eggs and fed the shells to the rose bushes. I figured out the secret ingredient, but I’m not telling.”  -Zoe

I realize that this post is way past morning, but the girls and got distracted with other things. They get to spend the night with their Moo-Moo tonight. This mommy gets to have a night out with other grown ups 🙂 I’m excited to get out because it gives me the opportunity to people watch. A lot of the characters I create are born from people watching. You never know who you are going to meet.

I hope everyone had a wonderful morning!

I almost forgot, my nine-year -old is reading the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and wanted me to remind everyone that the answer to everything in the universe is 42.

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A full night’s sleep…what is that exactly? 24 hours in just one day may sound like a ton of time to accomplish things on your to do list. Sure, a ton of time if you don’t partake in sleep. Last night I chose to stay up writing until nearly 1:30am to hammer out the rest of the chapter in Free Fall I was working on. This was after I goofed around reading blogs, writing a blog, and talking to friends on Facebook when I should have been working on my chapter. Truth be told, the creative bug wasn’t biting until around 12:30am, so I wouldn’t have been writing even if I hadn’t been goofing around on the internet.

I started working on this posting about an hour and a half ago. I’ve finally made it to the second paragraph, which is progress in itself. My eyes are heavy, and I find myself dozing off here and there.  My body is craving sleep. My mind keeps trying to convince itself that I have enough energy to write another chapter before I allow myself the comfort of a soft pillow  beneath my head. Mmmmmm….soft pillows. There. I relocated from my couch to my bed where I am relaxing on soft pillows while I continue to compose this post. I would be angry at myself for falling asleep before it’s done, so I will deprive myself a little longer while I finish. I’m sure to be slap happy before I finish, which will lead to some creative juices, I hope.

Ultimately, sleep will always come last in my world. There’s little to no time for writing during a normal day when I must wear the Social Worker hat on top of the mommy hat. Speaking of the mommy hat, I missed it! My girls were gone for three whole nights! I didn’t have anyone to cook for, which is preposterous. I always have people to cook for! Tonight I made homemade pasta sauce. Sauce in a jar can’t compare to homemade. Seriously, try it. You just throw some fresh garlic and olive oil, mushrooms and onions if you desire in a pan. Add in your garden fresh tomatoes, a little basil, salt pepper etc to season it and  let it simmer until you have the perfect sauce. We put ours on rainbow colored pasta because what kids don’t want to eat rainbow pasta? I topped it with slivers of fresh mozzarella and basil from the garden. I wish I had photographed it. You can’t beat beautiful and delicious.

So after a day as Social Worker, mommy and master chef comes a night of writing. I’ll have plenty of time to sleep when I’m finished with Free Fall.  Ohhh, but then I could finish Purgatory, Overeater Anonymous, Finding Forgiveness, and My Musical Life. I’ll have plenty of time to sleep when I’m dead. For now, I choose to write.

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I’m not much of a follower when it comes to any formal  writing process. I’ve tried outlines, the snowflake method, spreadsheets and character sketches. I can see the usefulness in all of them, but I’m not dedicated to any one tool thus far. This is probably why I’ve been flitting from one WIP to another over the past couple of years. It’s just the way my creativity has been flowing. I’m not one to succumb into forcing myself into a prescribed way of doing things.

Actually, I write kind of the same way that I cook. I love, love, love to cook! I’m a rebel when it comes to following recipes. I may look through cookbooks and recipe databases for inspiration, but I tend to make things up as I go along.  Baking, however,  is another story as it’s not really my forte.  I don’t have a lot of patience for baking  things other than pies (I take hold of my creative license with pie baking). I did make my dog homemade cupcakes for his birthday this year. Even my kids loved them! They weren’t crazy delicious, but they were a baking success. I can’t forget my husband’s birthday- the homemade carrot cupcakes and cream cheese frosting were, I’ll admit, pretty amazing and weight watcher friendly. If only I wrote my recipes down…

I have basic ingredients selected prior to meal preparation just as I have main characters floating around my brain as I begin a new WIP. In both cooking and writing I have a pretty clear end result in mind. The fun really starts when you begin spicing things up; adding flavor to something ordinary and making it extraordinary. Tofu is an excellent example of  food that can take on any flavor you want it to. The idea of tofu can be a little intimidating at first, but once you get over the texture (I use extra firm to avoid consistency issues) you will come to find that it’s an  amazing and versatile protein.  I’m glad today is grocery day, because now I have a hankering for tofu and kale!

The idea of writing a complete novel is even more intimidating than a little bit of harmless tofu.  80,000 plus  words seems almost insurmountable when all you have is the first several chapters and a desired end result. I don’t fear the middle- the guts of the story. I enjoy watching the characters I’ve breathed life into take on a life of their own through the pages of my WIP. I just wrote the last several paragraphs of Free Fall, and I couldn’t be happier with the result. I predict that I’ll be missing a lot of sleep in the weeks to come while the guts of the story splatter themselves across the page, aka my computer screen.

If you are feeling froggy, and decide to tackle tofu while I’m busy tackling the middle of Free Fall, I’ve got a couple of ideas to share with you. I can’t call them recipes when they never make their way onto paper. I also have this little problem where I never make something the exact same way twice. There is one magic ingredient that I will share with you as long as no one laughs. The magic ingredient I put in everything I cook is love. Yes, it’s sappy, but I am a momma. Remember, don’t be afraid to add spice, it pushes  us  through to the end result we desire.

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