Sunday, March 25, 2018

Digging Out of a Deep Freeze

In our house, we waste a lot of things...food, time, space and sometimes energy. I've been trying to purchase only items that I know we'll actually use and then make sure we use up what we have in the house. Doing this is not that easy for us, but my husband and I are a work in progress!

Today, I spent some time digging out of a deep freeze...going through the freezer and making tough decisions on what to keep and what not to keep. I use the term "tough" because I hate throwing things away -- despite my proficiency at wasting food! So, I took a hard look at all of the items in my freezer and asked: "Will we eat this?" and "Is it edible?" In some cases, the answer was clear -- not edible -- but for some discoveries, the answer was iffy. However, I decided that if we were not going to consume the items, we should not be wasting space in our freezer where we could save other items that we would actually eat.

Out of the digging came a discovery -- a bag of cubed frozen butternut squash that I socked away during the winter. I like to have soup for lunch during the week -- it's both healthy and easy to bring to work! The butternut squash provided the perfect solution for my lack of soup for the upcoming week.

The recipe is simple:

A bunch of cubed butternut squash
2 cups water or favorite broth
1 shallot diced
1 tbsp olive oil to saute the shallot
1 can of light coconut milk (or full fat or half n half)
Favorite seasonings -- I used salt, curry, garlic powder

Saute the shallot with your spices; add the squash and water; bring to a boil until tender enough to puree with a hand-blender; remove from the heat and blend away; then add the coconut milk after you pureed the batch.

The result?


I now have soup for the week and feel good about using ingredients I already had in the house. 

Thanks for checking in! I hope you have a souperior week (yeah, I can't help myself).

Lizzy


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Nothing like the taste...

...of the season's first strawberries from the Farmer's Market. Today, I went to the Brighton Farmer's market and walked out with a lavender plant, super sweet strawberries and little perfect carrots. I love fresh produce in general; I like it when the money that pays for it goes to a local business.

And while it's early in the season, there are still veggies to be had: radishes, turnips, lettuce and other leafy greens, green onions, asparagus...and now strawberries! What I also love about farmers markets is that the proprietors give you good cooking tips...and here was my tip of the day: use the greens on the top of the carrots; they can be used just like parsley.

Hmmm....so today when I was making my slow cooker Manhattan-style clam chowder - a simple recipe of clams, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, onions and some spices -- the recipe called for parsley, so I used the carrot greens...and it worked...at least it seemed to...just like parsley.

The soup is still simmering in the crock pot but I sneaked a few tastes along the way....yummy, healthy, low fat...all good!

Enjoy the early tastes of spring -- however you want to use the fresh produce -- and think outside the box to use all parts of a particular produce. I can't wait to see the produce at next week's market and get my tip!

- Liz




Sunday, February 24, 2013

All About the Experience




All About the Experience
For me, attending live theatre is not just for the play but for the overall experience. Last night, John and I went to opening night at GEVA for a new play called “The Book Club Play.” As a new play, our audience was the first official paying audience. There was some preview audiences through the week but our audience was the first paying ticket holders, subscribers.

The play was funny, entertaining….maybe a little too neat at the end…but it held my attention all the way through -- and made me laught out loud. I heard from some other audience members that they didn’t like it as much – maybe not enough substance, drame, a little too simple. But there are themes in the play that made me think. It was about finding some sort of meaning in your life, the thing that makes you tick. It made me appreciate the great books I have read and gave me the urge to write.
But it was the overall experience of the night that I enjoyed the most. The excitement of being the first audience to experience the play; the thrill of opening night; seeing friends I didn’t expect to; and the reception afterwards – all of that adds to the experience. And I always appreciate a play that gets me to think afterwards. I kept thinking of those books – as an English major in college – that influenced me: Bram Stoker’s Dracula; Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury; Jane Eyre.
It was great evening; and Rochester offers a wonderful theatre experience with GEVA, along with so many other local community theatres. It’s chock full and something I have learned to appreciate.

After a wonderful turkey dinner at my beau’s mother’s house today, it’s now time for the Oscars…the stars are arriving…thank god for DVR!

Peace.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Local Produce is Perfect

After I’ve read the paper on a Sunday, had my coffee and played with Zakk, the wonderdog, one of my favorite things to do is to go to the Brighton Farmers Market, located in the parking lot of Brighton High School. What it may lack in quantity, it makes up for in quality. It runs the gamut of food and farmers, from young entrepreneurs trying to make it in the agricultural landscape to seasoned meat and poultry producers to local bakeries. There is even a local snow cone maker who makes them with 100% juice. Healthy snowcones? The best.

There is something about a local farmers market after which I feel like I’ve made a direct contribution to our local economy. It may be a false sense of security but isn’t that we keep hearing – buy local; support local business. How much more local can you get than the farmers who grow it and then bring it to a parking lot to sell it? Cash only; directly into the hands of the producers; no middle man.

Today I had breakfast with a friend first and then headed over to stock up on zucchini, corn, tomatoes and broccoli. And today one stand even had sour cherries -- my absolute favorite -- nature's candy. I’ve even started to become a little bit of a farmer on my own – with a garden full of tomatoes, cucumbers and soon to be peppers, along with a host of herbs. And of course, all of this has a healthy benefit as well. Somehow, I just feel better when I eat local, knowing exactly where it came from and what I’m putting into my body. So that is my shout out to Farmers Markets.

It doesn’t have to be the Brighton one. There are plenty of them in the various towns, as well as the large Public Market. But if you haven’t tried out a farmers market, try one out – they’re kid-friendly, family-approved. After unloaded my veggies, I cooked a yummy all veggie, super healthy soup to bring to work for lunch and tonight I making rosemary and lemon chicken with sweet corn and fresh broccoli and cauliflower. Now I’m off to chop, dice and get cooking. Loving the local life in Rochester!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Change…synonymous with growth

In the process of growing to spiritual maturity, we all go through many adolescent stages.
—Miki L. Bowen

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about my nieces. I’m going to visit them in Colorado in a few weeks – I can hardly wait as I always have so much fun. I’m continually amazed at the mind of my three-year old niece Anna – what makes her happy and what really ticks her off. Last April when I was there, she became very ticked at me at the zoo when I tried to eat part of a hamburger that she had claimed as her own – total meltdown. Afterwards, I recounted the story to my sister-in-law who wasn’t with us. She smiled a bit, nodded with a mother’s knowledge, and said “Yeah, sharing can be a little bit tricky when you’re that age.”

Sharing is tricky – actually a lot of “big concepts” can be tricky when you’re little – like having a new baby sister in her life – Chloe. It’s a big change – and one that requires some heavy duty sharing – of her mom’s time, her toys and her life. Thinking about this change; the change in my brother and Alecia’s life going from one to two children; and even the small changes going on in my life, I thought sharing is not only thing that’s tricky, change also can be a little bit tricky – no matter what your age.

I’m a reformed fighter of change – I admit it. For me, change used to be synonymous with suffering. There is an old saying (aren’t they all?) that “when you’re walking through hell, keep going.” But I had this habit of “walking through hell,” and then deciding to camp out there for a while and take in a few tourist attractions. I sat in it. Today, I don’t always like a particular change but I accept that it means growth and that I have to walk through it– somehow.

I’m putting all of this in writing today for a simple reason -- in my head, change equaling growth makes sense, but put into practice, I don’t always make it that simple and I don’t always move forward through in the best way. I’m getting better at it – practice, afterall – but I need to remind myself about the choices I have today and that how I react to change is a choice. I need to remember that I have luxurious gift of experience – unlike my three-year old niece. I can look back and recall changes that I fought with such fervor, so certain I wouldn’t survive them, until exhausted I finally had surrender to win – and to live. I see now how I came out on the other side of change – big change – so much better than I went in. I can look back and see progress – even though it sometimes feels like I’m crawling through quicksand and not making any progress.

But really, what is progress? According to one definition, to make progress is to “advance towards a higher or better stage.” If someone from the “outside” were to look at my life from two years ago versus today, that person wouldn’t see too much change or even so much advancement: I work at the same place (ok, I have gotten a promotion); I’m still friends with many of the same friends (and have made some new ones); my family also is in the same locations and continues to be healthy (with a few additions here and there); and I have many of the same hobbies and outside interests. Yet, from my perspective, my life has changed quite a bit – my spiritual life has changed; my emotional life has changed; and my outlook upon life has changed.

I’ve watched friends’ marriages end along with jobs, and I’m grateful for what I have. I’ve seen friends battle cancer – some have won, some have lost, and some continue to fight for their life – so grateful that I have a healthy one. I’ve watched my friends lose their parents, knowing with a certain reality that my parents are getting older, so I value my time with them even more. My traveling has been to see my brother and his family in Denver -- not to Europe or other far off places – but so grateful that I have a family who wants to see me. Yet, oddly, I feel like I’ve traveled great metaphorical distances over the last couple of years– with a fair amount of honesty and grace.

The simple fact is that with any change in my life, there is always going to be the other side I have to get to– that metaphorical chasm that I need to cross. But, it’s up to me to decide how I want to get there – I can crawl on my hands and knees, or I can walk tall. Either way, I’m eventually going to get there, so I might as well choose the easier, softer way. And when I do get to the other side, I can look around and know that I’m exactly where I am supposed to be today; I can look at where I came from with perspective, realizing that my current location is transient; and I can see with clarity that it is the journey through these changes -- not the destination they bring me to -- that is the ultimate reward. This, I know for sure.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

BLACK SHEEP THEATRE PRESENTS ITS THIRD ANNUAL IMPROV-A-THON FUNDRAISER ON SEPTEMBER 18

“Don’t Feed the Actors” Improv Comedy Troupe to Headline Event

ROCHESTER, NY – Rochester's Black Sheep Theatre Coalition announces its Improv-a-thon 2010 fundraiser on Friday, September 18, at 8:00 p.m. at Black Sheep’s Theatre -- 274 N. Goodman Street, Suite D-313.

In its third year, the event will feature “Don’t Feed the Actors” Improv Comedy Troupe (www.dontfeedtheactors.com) as its headline group. In addition, Rich “Loopy Rich” Hughson -- mime, clown, juggler, comedian -- and traditional burlesque dancer Lola Goetz also will be performing.

Tickets are currently on sale: $12 in advance; $16 at the door. There will be food, door prizes, and a 50-50 raffle.

Please call the box office at (585) 414-3927 for tickets or visit www.blacksheeptheatre.org for more information.

About Black Sheep Theatre Coalition
Rochester's Black Sheep Theatre Coalition is a group of artists promoting community service and education through the visual performing arts. Located at Black Sheep's Theatre, Suite D-313, 274 N. Goodman Street, the group performs several full productions each year in their space, along with hosting guest performances and events. Emphasis is given to new and emerging playwrights as well as works of an interactive or experimental nature. Through its partnerships with other not-for-profit organizations, Black Sheep encourages and embraces individuality, risk, inclusion, and even non-conformity to arbitrary social norms. For more information about Black Sheep Theatre, go to www.blacksheeptheatre.org or call 414-3927.

About Don’t Feed the Actors
“Don’t Feed the Actors” is Central New York’s own touring Improv group. Specializing in audience interactive improvisation, we pride ourselves at bringing our unique show to locations all over Upstate NY. The group is made up of a dozen of Central New York’s finest local comedic actors. With different actors and different games in each show, and of course different suggestions the audience, guaranteeing a new and exciting show each time. A DFtA show is a unique blend of audience interactive improvisational comedy. Our show runs approximately 2 hours with a 15-minute intermission. Roughly 14 games will be played nearly all involving suggestions, shout outs and sometimes the participation of the audience, DFtA was formed in early 2008 and has performed to audiences in Syracuse, Oswego, Alexandria Bay, Fulton, Baldwinsville, Utica, and is now coming to Rochester for the first time. For more information, go to www.dontfeedtheactors.com.

Digging Out of a Deep Freeze

In our house, we waste a lot of things...food, time, space and sometimes energy. I've been trying to purchase only items that I know we&...