musings on this meandering journey called life --
the space between heaven and earth.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The Zen of Cooking
and a recipe to share.
Among my many, many hobbies are cooking and baking.
Over the last several years, since my husband and I became empty nesters (we adapted quite quickly as a matter of fact), I find that I cook less during the week. But I still enjoy spending hours in the kitchen on the weekends. I love cookbooks; they are books after all. And I love getting new kitchen "toys" - pots and pans, knives, mixing bowls, and gadgets of all kinds. I invested in a Gel Pro mat for in front of the counter where I spend most of my time chopping and slicing and mixing. It's worth every penny. And I have a TV in kitchen.
This weekend, for example, I made:
Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting - all from scratch. Pan-seared Trout with Capers (Trout caught by Hubby in Colorado) Fresh Lemon Rice Citrus Roasted Asparagus Chicken Salad (for lunches this week) Lavender Lemon Mini Muffins Bread and Butter Pickles
It's actually still very hot here to be spending so much time in the kitchen. But I needed it. I needed to clear my head of all the clutter and drivel from the last couple of weeks. Focusing on the weight and feel of the knife in my hand while slicing cucumbers, or really feeling the exhilaration that a whiff of freshly grated lemon zest provides really re-centered me. And then there were all those dirty dishes. They were all washed by hand. It was very soothing, if a little time consuming.
But the best part? Enjoying it all afterward. Hubby took cupcakes to work to share. I took muffins to work to share. And there were leftovers enough of the fish and the rice for at least one more dinner.
Lavender Lemon Mini Muffins (found this recipe on the Internet somewhere)
1/2 cup sugar 1 1/2 tsp. lavender 1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest 1 3/4 cups flour 2 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1/4 tsp. salt 2/3 cup buttermilk 1/3 cup vegetable oil 1 tsp. lemon extract 1 egg 2 tbsp. melted butter
Preheat oven to 400F and spray 24 miniature muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray. Combine sugar, lavender and lemon zest in a blender or food processor; process until lavender is chopped. Remove 2 tbsp. to a small bowl and set aside. Combine remaining sugar mixture, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir together buttermilk, oil, lemon extract and egg in a small bowl; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins and bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. While still warm, brush tops with melted butter and dip in reserved sugar mixture.
I am a seeker of beauty. And peace. And compasssion. I often feel the need to escape the craziness of this world. This is my soothing space.
I am a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend.
I am a reader, a gardener, a cook, a vegetarian, a writer, a poet, a crafter, a scrapbooker, a traveler, a neat freak, a hip tranquil chick, a romantic.
I am discovering new things about myself and this experience of life all the time, and I never tire of it.
In this blog, Are We There Yet, the terms "bastard" and "bitch" are (almost always) used as terms of endearment. Sometimes in a fit of jealousy.
This is your life. There are no do-overs. Just remember that.
Updates, Follow-Up, Very Short Posts, and Other Blah, Blah, Blah
however, if my husband ever leaves me, I'm going to marry Little Debbie and move into a Pottery Barn catalog. ------------------------------------------------ since my daughter saw the treats I have for the kitties on my desk, she's worried that some day if I'm ever alone, I'll be one of those "crazy old cat ladies." :) ------------------------------------------------- cotton candy clouds
a mix of pink and blue
"I have no special talents. I am passionately curious." -- Albert Einstein
Experiments in watercolor
"What if you slept, and what if, in your sleep you dreamed? And what if, in your dream, you went to heaven and there plucked a strange and beautiful flower? And what if, when you awoke, you had the flower in your hand? What then?" -- Deepak Chopra