Let’s just cut to the chase here. If you’ve ever tried to blindly create anything with coconut flour, it’s highly likely you ended up angry, frustrated, confused, and most definitely hungry. Continue reading “Coconut Flour Pancakes”
I’ve been on blogger vacation (aka too dang busy to post to the blog).
Recently, I picked up a project that has been fantastically challenging, incredibly fulfilling, and friggin’ back-breaking.
I love it.
However, making #betterchoices has been a bit of a challenge — both food and life choices.
I’m happy to report I have not gone completely off track with the food. No weight gained — two more lost. (But, that may or may not have been due to my living off coffee and Cheez-It crackers for at least a few days out of the three weeks.) No major disasters though.
Life choices have also been tough.
Calculating time. Figuring out how to balance — especially in the midst of unexpected events. Grandma Ollie happened to have a hospital stay — all is well now. Our place had some issues. Bear’s schedule has also been nuts. Life has just been a little trying.
And, today, I got a huge dose of “ah-ha” by way of my nephew.
At noon, my brother called to invite me to eat lunch with the family. I was ear deep in work. (I’d live-streamed church earlier. Okay? THAT kind of caught up in work.) Completely misaligned and already in a “gotta get it done” rhythm.
At first, I was kind of irritated because I’d already communicated how busy I would be today. Then, he offered to bring me food. I hesitantly agreed — until he decided he and my nephew would pick up food and come eat with me.
I had two laptops up, papers blanketing the tables — not possible. I already knew I was leaving later to visit Grandma. Ain’t nobody got time for this! (I know. I’m a horrible person — I promise it gets better.) So, with one of my oldie-but-goodie classic teenager-y sighs, I huffed out a, “Fine. I’ll hurry up and get ready and meet you there. But, I have to hurry back!”
Rushed a shower. Slicked the hair back in a bun. Cat screaming at me to hurry up (even she knew I had a poor attitude). Finally, I get in the car and head over to Rock Fish in Plano.
In I walk. And, I’m greeted with a giant, Kermit the Frog-like, frantically happy wave from the back of the restaurant.
It’s my nephew.
He stands up, gives me a big squeeze, pulls out my chair, and immediately begins to fill me in.
He’s ordered my tea. He’s going to have catfish. Do I need any sweetener? His daddy (my brother) is drinking Dr. Pepper. And, French fries and applesauce will be eaten today.
Immediately, my hard candy shell begins to crack. He’s going full-speed, and like or not, I just have to catch up!
We have an awesome meal — Ahi Tower — perfect. Service spectacular.
And, then my brother, knowing I was on my way to see Grandma, tells my nephew he should go with me to see his Neny (the name my nephew calls Grandma Ollie).
Immediately, the tides change.
“Why!? I thought we were going to go to the comic book store first!?”
Knowing this kid and how much he loves his Neny and spending time with her, I said, “Hey? What’s going on here? What’s more important? People or things?”
After a few patient rounds, we got to a place where we were talking about finding balance and the importance of spending time with the people we love. My nephew is autistic but high-functioning, and his heart is so full of love and joy. All I had to do was find the right analogy of “always going to be there” comic books versus “not always going to be around” family and friends.
I told him that I also had made a choice that day.
He was more important than the work that had to be done that day. That’s why I’d stopped what I was doing to have lunch with him (which was immediately countered by a lecture about being responsible for doing my work so that I don’t lose my job and he doesn’t have to worry about me). But, he got the picture. And, in that moment, I realized I was actually speaking to myself. I needed a reminder.
Life is important. We only get one shot, and what we do with it matters.
The two hours spent eating, laughing, and visiting Grandma Ollie with my nephew by my side was necessary. It was like feeding my soul — my well-being — my life. Nourishment.
Then, it got me thinking about the earlier online service. “Talent needs a team to be terrific.” In other words, you need a team in your life to live it fully (your faith, your family, your friends, your hobbies, your passion, your purpose — balance in all things — a team to give you balance). Living fully is a culmination of many things, including connection, gratitude, forgiveness, knowledge, appreciation of other perspectives, worldly vision — that balance of all things is what gives importance to life.
And, I needed a reality check on that front. My nephew rocks.
I’m home now. Just got back and ready to dig back in with work with a fresh view. But first, I needed to share this with you.
I needed to share it because you are also important in my life.
I started this blog because of my love of food and my love of writing. And, you’ve been along for the ride the entire time! So, please forgive me for my absence. I promise I’ll have something more to say next week.
Have an awesome week, and make better choices — balanced choices. It’ll be on my radar for sure.
LET’S KEEP IT REAL: First and foremost, I do everything for the love of food. Most of what I write about is because I love it! If I don’t love it, I tell you about that, too. From time to time, I may receive monetary or product compensation for mentioning products, offering recommendations, providing endorsements, or including links to products or services when I blog. While that may be the case for some posts, it is not the case for all. When it’s sponsored, you’ll see #sponsored when I post. When I’m just sharing the love, I won’t use that particular tag or hashtag. What you need to know is that I only give shout outs when I actually use the product or love it so much it deserves a shout out, sponsored or not.
Let me start by saying that what I’m about to share with you is the easiest, most delicious bite of fabulous I have thrown together in a long time. And, I throw together bits of fabulous frequently. This one was practically perfect in every way. Eat your heart out, Mary Poppins. The. Bomb. Diggity. Continue reading “Garam Masala Grilled Chicken Skewers”
You hear it all the time.
You have to “layer flavors” when you’re cooking. Well, what the heck does that mean? Load up on ingredients? Add tons of spices? Continue reading “Roasted Garlic”
Stress is real, people. And, the truth is last week was a stress-filled week.
I didn’t post this weekend because I was out of town, and when I started to pull together my thoughts about posting, the only thing I could think of saying was that my better choices journey sucked this week, and I wanted to leave it in the rear view mirror. Continue reading “Stress and Better Choices”
Everyone needs a back pocket recipe. It’s that one impressive yet easy meal you can pull from your back pocket anytime you need a pass for dinner. Continue reading “Lemon Rosemary Roast Chicken”
By now you’ve figured out that I have a serious love of food.
Grandma Ollie used to hypnotize me with the movement of her wooden spoon, creating intoxicating aromas in the kitchen at the ranch with the simplest of ingredients. And, when I wasn’t at the ranch, my smoking, 500-pound, denture-wearing, narcoleptic, poem-reading babysitter (best. babysitter. ever.) would lovingly knead potato rolls then slather them with jewel-toned homemade jelly once baked, all while I sat on top of the kitchen table, anticipating the very moment she would hand over that pillowy-sweet treasure. Continue reading “Pollo con Calabaza”