One of the things I love most about the change of seasons are the different foods that come into season. Yes, we’re lucky enough in our world that we can have an ingredient at any point in time, not just when it’s technically in season, but most fruits and vegetables are better when they’re officially in season. So today I thought I’d share a list of in season vegetables and some recipes that are kid (and picky adult) friendly.
In thinking about Daylight Savings Time that the US adjusted to this past weekend I thought we might talk about the idea of it being time to make changes. I never can quite remember which way the clocks are supposed to go when they switch, I’m very thankful for technology that does it by and large for us now. Sometimes change is like that: we just feel the need to make changes but we’re not really sure which changes to make. So today I thought we’d take a look at some changes you can make if you’re not sure what changes you’re in need of, and until you’re certain of what changes need to be made in your life.
Clean and organize: many of us are blessed to have lots of stuff and lead busy lives, but with lots of stuff and busy lives it doesn’t always leave a lot of time to clean and get organized. Many of us just do the minimal to get by each week and end up one day with a big pile of stuff that needs to be gone through and more dust bunnies than real ones hopping around. Cleaning and organizing is one way to clear out some of the old and make room for the new, a symbolic welcoming of whatever changes your life is bringing.
What you eat: there’s never a bad time to make a decision to eat healthier, and today is no exception. But you don’t just have to change to healthier food, you can choose to change and try new foods and recipes too. There’s nothing wrong with having some go-to foods that you love, but it’s often fun to try new foods and recipes and mix things up a bit. Maybe it will give you the chance to learn a new cooking technique or try an ingredient you’ve always wondered about but never really knew how to put it in a dish, and this would be the chance to do either or both.
Consideration for others: one of the biggest areas of our lives that could use some changes for most of us are the relationships we have and ways that we interact with others. Maybe you’ve gotten in the habit of being on your phone at the dinner table, you think or say really nasty things about the other drivers on the road, you talk with your mouth full, you don’t give your significant other much of your attention, you ignore employees under you or belittle them, or you haven’t made time for making new friends and relationships or learning about other cultures. It’s not about being best friends with everyone but about respect, learning to listen, being open to others being different than you, and doing better at sharing the space we all live in.
What changes are you feeling inspired to make in your life?
Today I thought that with many schools around the US being off for teacher related stuff this coming week and the kids being home more that it would be good to share something to do during those extra hours, like making nachos together. So today I’ve got some nacho recipes plus recipes for nacho components to try out.
Today I thought it would be fun to take a look at a little candy history. There are tons of great facts around the web so you can do your own research on your favorite candy, but here are some fun facts to get you started.
65% of candy bars were introduced more than 50 years ago including candy corn (1880’s), Reese’s peanut butter cups (1922), Milky Way (1923), Heath Bar (1928), Snickers (1930), M&M’s (1941), Mounds (1947), Dum Dums (1924), Life Savers (1912) and more!
-created in 1896
-named after the creator’s daughter’s nickname: “tootsie”
-Tootsie pops were created in 1931
-it might take 364 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop
-Solders in WW2 had lots of Tootsie rolls in their packs because of their ability to survive lots of challenging weather
-kisses came around in 1906-7
-kisses were given colorful wrappers in 1962
-chocolate bar started in 1900
-almonds added in 1908 to the candy bar
-miniature bars added in 1939
-the theme park comes around in 1973 and decides to offer nutritional information on the wrappers
Even more candy fun:
-Life Savers started as just peppermint savers
-President Nixon used to eat a Milky Way for breakfast
-Heath Bars were originally offered only by delivery, sold by dairy delivery men
-Snickers were named after the Mars family’s beloved horse
-M&M’s went into space in 1981
-in 1949 Smarties were created, and nicknamed “candy pills”
-the first Valentine’s Day was in 1868, started by Cadbury (not by greeting card companies!)
-yellow Peeps are most popular
-it used to take 27 hours to make a Peep, now it takes 6 minutes
-75% of Americans eat the ears before anything else on their chocolate Easter bunnies
-Christmas, Easter and Halloween are the big candy days, with Christmas being the biggest
-both Sourpatch kids and skittles started outside of the USA and came to the US in the 1980’s.
-the word Pez is actually from the German word for peppermint (Pfefferminz)
This month one of the topics we’ll be talking a lot about is patience. Sometimes it’s good and necessary to be patient, other times we should move quicker and/or let go of things quicker than we do. Today though I want to focus on that classic saying about patience: slow and steady wins the race. We’re all in a big hurry to get somewhere, get something done, meet someone or even be someone. It’s not a bad thing to have a goal that you’re working towards and be really excited about getting there. In fact, that’s a good thing. But sometimes when you’re excited about reaching the finish line you skip over essential steps in the journey, maybe even jeopardizing the end result you were hoping for.
Slow and steady means that first and foremost you’re taking your time to create and follow a checklist or list of steps. It means that you’re making sure you’re doing things right so that the end result is what you were hoping for. Cooking is a great example of the importance of slow and steady. If you do any cooking you’ve probably tried to rush a few recipes, maybe by throwing in a “splash” of milk instead of measuring the exact amount the recipe (or box) calls for. As a result you may end up watering down the recipe which could alter the other flavors you’ve added, causing you to either suffer through a not-great recipe, or try to fix it by adding other ingredients. Your additions may help the recipe turn out great, or not so great, but if you had only taken a couple of extra seconds to do the measuring it would have turned out as expected and no fixing would be required.
Patience, and the concept of slow and steady, doesn’t mean that you have to stop. It is more about being more intentional about the steps you take and how you do them than waiting and not doing anything. If you’re waiting around patiently for things to happen, make sure that you’re not supposed to be doing things at a slow and steady pace, or that there aren’t other things you could be doing. For example if you’re patiently waiting for a job (and filling out applications on a daily basis whenever possible and going on interviews), there are probably lots of things that you’ve been putting off doing around your home or in your life like balancing your checkbook, cleaning and organizing or exercising or hobbies, or even super relevant activities like learning things that can boost your resume. So in between patiently doing and waiting for applications and interviews, get going on those other things because you’ll feel better about yourself and better care for yourself, and won’t feel as frustrated about not working because you’ll be using your time well.
The holidays are officially here, and to celebrate the Christmas type I’m sharing a post a day on my creativity blog. For those who celebrate Hanukkah I’ll be sharing some ideas next Friday right here. Whether we’re talking winter, spring, summer or fall, just about every get-together involves people, food and fun. I love how the holidays bring people together and give us a chance to enjoy special treats and share those treats with each other.
That’s really what I love about holidays, sharing different foods that we’ve discovered over the last year, bringing back foods that we haven’t had for a year, making foods that remind us of family and friends who aren’t with us anymore and food is usually a safe way to bring us all together without fighting over what’s on TV, where we’re going or who is hosting. Yes, all of those things come up, but the pleasure of the whole experience is getting the chance to sit down and enjoy and share food together.
One of the foods I love the most (but aren’t eating this year with my new diet unfortunately) are cookies. I think they’re one of the best foods because they’re so universal, they’re small, they’re easy to share, you can create a big variety and everyone can have a favorite without offending anyone else. That’s not something you can say about too many other foods or gifts, right?
Of course, those same reasons that I love cookies are a really good reminder of what the holidays show us: that we may all be people, but we’re not all the same and that’s to be celebrated. Celebrate your differences this holidays season, rather than fighting over them.
“I think cookies are sort of the unsung sweet, you know? They’re incredibly popular. But everybody thinks of cakes and pies and fancier desserts before they think cookies. A plate of cookies is a great way to end dinner and really nice to share at the holidays.” Bobby Flay
Just a few days remain between us and the celebration of Thanksgiving. I’m already working on my list of things I’m thankful for, and I am so thankful that the list is so long! I know that there are many people around the world who cannot claim that, so that makes me extra grateful. In thinking about Thanksgiving this week and the topic of being thankful over the past month I’ve shared that thanksgiving is about receiving and giving thanks. What I’ve found is that those who are most grateful aren’t those who have things like being alive (without relationship to serious illnesses), having a job (which they hate), or having people in their lives (who they can’t stand) on their thankful lists. No, those who are truly able to experience the fullness of Thanksgiving are those who have worked hard to achieve the victories they’re celebrating this Thanksgiving.
It’s true that most good things take work to achieve or attain. The shallow victories and accomplishments that some chalk up as great can’t deliver the feelings of pride and satisfaction that those who worked very hard to make happen experience. Knowing that you worked with your bare hands to create that amazing project or contribute to someone’s life in that way is rewarding in and of itself.
But as I said before, Thanksgiving, much like Christmas, is an action-oriented celebration. Thanksgiving is about giving (expressing) thanks for all you’ve been blessed with and about blessing (giving) others with even just a little of what you’ve received, often through an invitation to join you for Thanksgiving dinner, a Box of Love or donation to a charity.
This Thanksgiving I would encourage you to not wait for the good stuff to find you, but to go out there and bless others and give them a reason to be thankful.
I am not the type of person to go out there and try new things if I don’t think I’ll like them, or if I’ve had something similar and didn’t like that. But I usually will try it, especially if it comes in a small enough package or portion for me to try without buying a ton. I tried a new hummus this week and I was definitely not a fan. So I’ve portioned it out to add to soup that I make over the winter rather than eat it with carrots or celery. So as I was thinking about this and it being Columbus Day this past Monday, it got me thinking about what it means to try new things, and why it’s so challenging for us.
All parents have the challenge of getting their kids to eat something different, something other than what feels like the same 4 dishes and snacks, when you’d really like to cook or make something else, not just for your sake but because just eating the same 4 dishes can’t be balanced nutrition. I know that cooking things differently and seasoning them differently, not to mention correctly, can make a big difference to liking or disliking something. So don’t be afraid to try some different versions.
Unfortunately, we are all different with different palates and different preferences. What tastes good to you won’t taste good to someone else. If they try it and don’t like it you can’t blame them. But don’t let their fears of trying something new stop them from trying. All of the stories of Columbus tell us that he had a really hard time convincing people of his beliefs on the true nature of the world and that there was more land to be found. Columbus didn’t give up just because others had tried and failed, he kept trying.
So this weekend, don’t be afraid to try something new for dinner, go with your partner on a different date than you usually do, pick out different clothes the next time you go shopping, or try a different approach for handling things at work. As Columbus discovered trying new things can have great results.