Sunday, July 31, 2011

Oven Roasted Corn

I bought a lot of corn. It was 6 for $2 at Safeway (of all places) which is pretty much the best produce deal in Hawaii ever, aside from picking mangoes in somebody's backyard. And it was Kahuku corn, so it is actually tasty.

The problem was that I usually like to grill corn, but didn't feel like firing up the coals. Can corn be cooked in the oven? I asked. Why yes, indeed it can, and here is a recipe for a complete vegetarian meal to boot.

Oven Roasted Corn and Potatoes
serves 2

2 ears corn, unshucked
4 or 5 red potatoes
1/2 onion
2 TBL olive oil
salt and pepper

Pre-heat oven to 375. In a large, cast iron pan drizzle a little olive oil. Place ears of corn in center of pan. Chop potatoes and onion and place them on either sides of the corn. Drizzle with some more oil and add salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 40-50 minutes, or until potatoes are brown and soft when pierced with a fork, turning the corn and potatoes once about halfway through, more if potatoes or getting "overly" browned. Enjoy!

P.S.  I finally tried making super healthy banana "ice cream", a recipe I'd seen floating around the web for a while now. You gotta try this! Check out Aubrie's recipe at Poiema Life or Gena's at Choosing Raw. We def took Gena's advice and made the "chocolate syrup" too. Yum. Thanks gals!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Philosophy of Sick

I've been sick the last couple of days. Some sort of flu bug began attacking my joints, then my head, then eyeballs, and then next thing you know even my clothes started to hurt. The worst is over now, which I'd like to attribute to my current Philosophy of Sick.


1. Medicine of any kind is not allowed unless absolutely necessary. For example, I popped some extra strength Tylenol before going to work on Wednesday (don't worry there were no children to endanger, just a teacher work day) so I could get through the day. The reason for this is if you have a) the flu, you gotta give your body a chance to burn it out of you, after all that's what a fever is doing* or b) a cold, taking cold medicines only suppress the symptoms, sometimes making them worse and pretty much always making your cold last longer than necessary. And yes, being sick without medicine is miserable, but worth it if it means I can get better faster.

2. Drink lots of clear pop. And fluids, especially tea with honey and lemon if you have a cold or sore throat type of illness. In case you were wondering, I've recently re-adopted the word "pop" in place of soda because I always said pop growing up and you now how I like to keep it real. Sugar is probably a bad choice, but my mom always gave us clear pop when sick, so I just gotta have it.

3. The Neti pot. Please, please try this if you have any sort of cold. It is a wonderful, natural way to clear your sinuses and nasal passages and really works. The best part is it prevents the whole green snot condition.

4. Rest. This one took me too long to learn and succumb to. But the reality is, you ain't gettin' better if you don't sit your butt down and take it easy for a bit.

*Since I'm not a doctor, please do your own research or consult your doctor before taking any of my advice, these are all just my opinions.

What am I missing here? What are your magical tricks for getting well?

What's your SSB?

Kristen Solecki

Sex and the City, Season 4, episode 14. Carrie and the girls talk about their Secret Single Behaviors, things they do when they are alone, but would never want their partners to see. For example, Charlotte details how she would sit and study her pores in a mirror for an hour each night. I'm married now, but still hang on to some SSB's, because that's totally allowed.

Clearly, one of my SSB's is watching old episodes of Sex and the City, and always, always crying. I recently watched the episode when Miranda's mom dies, and was seriously scared that I was not going to be able to stop crying. And now that we're on the subject, I think I've finally come to the conclusion that Miranda is my favorite character. I mean really, how can you not love them all, but Miranda just keeps it real for me.

Now for the real dirt. My SSB actually occurs in the car. With old mixed CD's. Mainly ones from old boyfriends or guys who tried to win me over in college with mixed CD's. When the mood strikes, I pop one of those babies in and obsessively try to decipher what the intention was for each song. Even though the feelings are long gone and the songs are embarrassingly '90s, I still get a kick out of trying to figure out why he included such hits as "Kiss From a Rose" or "Ramble On."And cringing over memories of my 19-year-old self can actually be pretty hilarious.

Time to dish! What's your SSB?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

7 Links

On her blog "Choosing Raw", Gena made a list of “7 links” that sum up her “most” posts. It’s a little game that’s been running through the blogosphere lately, and after you finish stating your 7 “mosts,” you tag other bloggers and request theirs. Here are my “7 links," and although I still feel like a baby blogger, it's fun to do a little self-reflection. 

1) My Most Beautiful Post

"Dream Days -and watermelon cocktail nights-"

Not only did the photos turn out pretty, thanks to the warm afternoon sunlight, but this post represented one of the best days ever recorded in my history. 

2) My Most Popular Post

"A Girl Can Dream, of the Pacific Northwest" 

I've done a small series of these "A Girl Can Dream," posts and this one happened to be my most popular post of all. I wrote it before taking a trip back to Oregon, where I grew up, and shared all the things I'd been missing about the area and couldn't wait to see again. I guess my yearnings struck a cord with all of you. 

3) My Most Controversial Post

"Gotta Try This: Homemade Eggnog"

Not many of my posts are controversial. Maybe that needs to change. In any case, I'd written this post urging people to try making their own eggnog, which contains a lot of raw eggs. It didn't even occur to me that consuming raw eggs can be less than desirable for your health until a reader left a comment with a warning and helpful suggestion. This was actually my very first comment from someone I didn't know, so it actually felt pretty awesome to know that someone besides friends and family were reading this blog;) 

4) My Most Helpful Post

"Veggie Sandwich: Double Dose"

Choosing Raw image
The feedback I got after this post was really fun. Most people, including me, had never thought about putting squash on a sandwich. It's recipes like this that helps me stick with this vegetarian thing, thanks Gena

5) A Post Whose Success Surprised me


Still not sure why this one hit, I guess a lot of people enjoy the verbena smell, too. I just planted a lemon verbena by the way, can't wait to make some tea with it! 

6) A Post I Didn’t Think Got the Attention it Deserved

"Portland Love"

Maybe my sentimentality for Portland got in the way, maybe the photos just weren't all that great, (working on that by the way) this was a post I really loved putting together and was eager to share. Well I like it anyhow, and now I have a record of this fun Portland trip.  

7) The Post I’m Most Proud Of

"To Infinity...And Beyond!"

As I begin working, this time as a teacher, in the very same classroom the boy mentioned in this post and I spent two years side by side, pride fills my heart. I am so very proud to have known him, to have loved him, and because of him had the guts to go back to school and become a teacher. 

Well that was kinda fun, and mostly humbling, now I feel like I have a lot of blogging to do! Ever forward. 

Now I'm gonna tag some friends, and see if they'll join in the fun, too:

1. Becky (The Fab Miss B) 
2. L (Black and Blonde One)
3. Kristin (Camels and Chocolate) 
4. Sarah (The Stroller Ballet) 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Veggie Pasta

When I get the chance to make dinner just for myself (one of my guilty pleasures if you can believe that) I always make pasta. I love cooking only for me because the pressure to impress, or more simply to produce something edible, is gone.

Since I'm thoroughly obsessed with (almost) all vegetables, I threw this veggie-packed pasta together.

Only For Me Pasta v.2

1 cup dry penne pasta
small handful asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 TBL butter
2+ TBL olive oil
1 glove garlic
1/2 of a tomato, chopped
1/4 cup reserved pasta water
parmesan cheese
handful torn arugula
salt and pepper to taste

Boil pasta according to package directions, adding asparagus 2 minutes prior to removing from heat. Strain, reserving about 1/4 cup of the cooking water. While pasta is draining, add butter, oil, and pasta water to pot and allow to melt. Then add garlic and salt and pepper and saute til aromatic. Add the tomato, then the pasta and asparagus. Toss until coated and be sure to taste for the right amount of salt. After plating, grate some parmesan over the pasta, adding the torn arugula to the very top. Enjoy!

Want more vegetarian recipe ideas? Click here: Vegetarian recipes

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Back to School!

Leslie Peterson

Today was my first day back to school as a teacher. Our first day with students is on Monday, so I'm gearing up.

I'm thinking of doing an "All About Me" poster with the kids. We'll take pictures of them and have them write or draw about things they like and hang them up. Art activities seem to be a good place to start with kids.

We'll also be making a "Good Choices" board (thanks to my mentor teacher for the idea!) after a discussion about making good and bad choices. I'm hoping this will be a way to facilitate a discussion about my expectations without lecturing. You know like, "giving a hi-five is a good choice, punching is a bad choice." Ha. Special education is always (thank goodness) an adventure.

Here are some other great first day activity ideas: Kid Activities

I'm looking for some good learning type music to play for the kids. Ideas?

And because every teacher, parent, and student needs a good laugh: Happy Place

Sunday, July 24, 2011

`Awapuhi Kuahiwi -shampoo ginger-

Seen the Paul Mitchell `awapuhi products yet? I haven't tried them, but I do have 'awapuhi kuahiwi (shampoo ginger) growing right in my back yard. Shampoo ginger can be used for exactly that, an all natural shampoo. It's also great as a conditioner and body lotion.

`Awapuhi kuahiwi originates in India and was brought to Hawai'i by early polynesian settlers. The plant had many other medicinal purposes, which you can read about at Canoe Plants of Ancient Hawai'i.

I've seen wild `awapuhi kuahiwi growing in very wet areas, near waterfalls and streams, but my local nursery carries them also, so I planted several in the yard. They are a perennial, so they die completely back in the fall and winter, and make their reappearance in spring and summer. The stalks grow to about 4' tall and each plant produces many of the juice filled flowers. They are very beautiful and useful!

Here is the actual plant. You will want to give the bud a little squeeze and if juice comes oozing out, you got a good one. The buds will eventually turn a bright red, but I found they have more juice while green.

Close up of flower and bud. The juice is in between the "scales."

Even a light squeeze gives you lots of juice, don't be shy.

This is a very weird photo of my giant hand, but you can see the clear juice from the flower. It has a very nice, light smell.

Now the fun part! Rub in your hair or on your skin. You can do this while in the shower, and rinse off, or post-shower while still wet, or any old time, even when your hair is dry, it gives it a nice smell and makes your hair and skin smooth.

I hope you get the chance to try it out! 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I Believe in Fairies -how to find and help them-

Fairies don't often need our help. They are quite clever in natural disguises and creative use of found objects. Sometimes, however, they need to cross large bodies of water, such as rivers and lakes, and need a proper boat.

The best fairy boats (pictured above and below) are made of tree bark. Fill them with fairy treats such as pretty flowers, shells, stones, feathers, and any nourishment you can find for their trip (we found some berries). Place a candle in the boat, light after dark, and send it off. You'll know that a fairy has boarded your boat when the candle goes out.

We often made fairy boats while camping on Mt. Hood in Oregon. There are loads of fairies up there. They like to live near beautiful flowers,

Wild mountain rhododendrons

And bathe in mountain streams.

But their favorite place to flit around is a misty waterfall.

Fairy Falls - Columbia River Gorge

Of course, the best way to help fairies is to believe. Do you? 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Yummy Pacific NW Treats

Oh how I'd dreamed of seasonal fruit, local beer, and thick coffee before my trip back home to Oregon and Washington. Some dreams really do come true.

Maryhill, WA cherries

Perfect latte

Only one of many great beer selections found at local mini-mart

Peaches! Real live PEACHES!

Wild strawberries growing on Mt. Hood

They were very sweet and crunchy with seeds.

Headed back from a hike in the Columbia River Gorge, this stop in Cascade Locks is a must for swirl cones. 

Marsee Baking cookie

I can't even talk about how much I miss Trader Joe's

Fresh pasta - for $4!!

A credo to live by

Not pictured: Blackberry pie, blackberry milkshake, almond croissant, fresh salmon, scallops, elk steak, 15 year old freeze-dried cobbler, mole burrito, Columbia River Gorge (Washington side) wine tasting, dad's chili. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Journal Day

Here's this week's prompt (all prompts come from Sometimes Sweet):

The older we get, the more certain we get about who we are and what our purpose is.  For me, a lot of it is still unknown, but as I make my way down my own path, I have begun to realize that there are indeed some inevitable truths that I know for sure. On your own blog, write a post that talks about "the one thing you know for sure."

As an avid "O" magazine reader and Oprah fan in general, I've often wondered how to respond if Oprah asked me what I knew "for sure." Now that this topic has come up as the Journal Day prompt, my answer comes easy. The one thing I know for sure is that love is infinite. 

Love itself is a great truth, but for me, learning and then knowing that the love I have to give and receive never ends, is a truth that comforts and answers every question. Knowing that love goes on and on allows me to charge, unscathed, through this sometimes brutal and incomprehensible life. 

You see I've always gotten attached to people, all kinds of people, in ways that made no sense to me. If my feelings weren't reciprocated I'd feel abandoned and rejected. And I'm not just talking about boyfriends here, but friends, teachers, strangers I'd meet that I knew I'd never see again. In my little world, this can be explained as knowing and loving them in a past life...or something like that. So now when it happens, this random love, I can cope because I can love each person I meet deeply and it never depletes my ability to love again and again. Faced with rejection or circumstance, I'm doing ok because whatever happens, good or bad, love is something that cannot be taken away from me. 

I find this so comforting because I do not, as they say, have only so much love to give. I have all the love to give that ever was and ever will be. 

Be sure to share your journal entry with me by placing your blog link in "comments" below. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Portland Love

Just got back from a trip to the Pacific Northwest. I was able to squeeze in two half-days in my hometown of Portland, Oregon. And what a great city! Some highlights include:

Marsee Baking, where me and childhood friend AC used to get chocolate crinkles all the time. They don't make those anymore, but it was fun to catch up with the Sellwood neighborhood.

Please note woman in vintage-looking skirt, bicycle, and volvo all in the same photo. So Portland!

Then off to Hawthorne, my favorite Portland hangout. Fun shopping, gourmet foods, good coffee, and these days, lots and lots of hipsters, which makes for excellent people watching, some things never change.

I realize they have these elsewhere, but still my favorite!
Bagdad Theatre

Lucky for me, the International Rose Test Garden was blooming. I never miss a chance to visit such a magical place, as Portland is the city of roses, after all.

The peachy ones are my favorite

While wandering around downtown, we enjoyed a cultural treat. The Oregon Ballet Theatre dancers just happened to be doing a public dance rehearsal for all to enjoy. How lovely.

Portland, you will be missed!


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