Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Was inspired by this post for dinner last night. This African Pineapple Peanut Stew was inexpensive, quick to prepare, and delicious to eat! It's definitely going into our regular dinner repertoire. We served it over jasmine rice although it would go with almost anything, or would taste great by itself. I think next time I'll add more kale and perhaps some other vegetables. I had to add a good amount of extra salt while cooking but depending on the type of peanut butter you use you might not have the same experience. Had the leftovers for lunch and want to make it again for dinner tonight. We'll see if Matt will go along with the plan.

African Pineapple Peanut Stew (adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home)

4 servings

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch kale or Swiss chard, large stems discarded, leaves chopped coarse
1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
½ cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup peanuts, chopped
1 scallion, sliced

1. Heat the oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, until just browned at the edges, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2. Add pineapple to the pot and bring to a simmer; add the greens, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until just tender. Stir in the peanut butter and hot sauce and simmer for another 5 minutes, until the flavors are blended. Stir in the cilantro just before serving and add salt if necessary. Serve over rice or couscous, garnishing each serving with the peanuts and scallions.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday crafting and yellow kitchen in afternoon sun.

Matt was inspired by Julia Child and made omlettes at 9pm. BEST OMLETTES EVER! It's all in the wrist..... and butter.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Letters to a Young Therapist

Spent the past couple of days reading Mary Pipher's "Letter's to a Young Therapist: Stories of Hope and Healing." This is the type of book and advice I have been searching for over the past year. As a new therapist I feel compelled to read and discover the wisdom veteran practitioners bring to their craft. I was struck over and over by the simplicty of her messages, meaning through hope, connection, and love. I feel compelled to incorporate the use of metaphor into my work more often as well. Just this week I used the metaphor, "elephant in the room" (or is it an idiom, I have no idea) with a client and it struck a cord with her.... she had never heard the phrase before but quickly identified with its meaning. Pipher's continual message of self-care and life development resonated loudly with me as well, specifically using the usual "homework" concept to encourage exercise, afternoon walk, reading a book, going to a potluck, or chatting with a friend. These homework tasks are not just for the client but for the therapist as well. I feel refreshed reading this book, a gentle reminder of the slow development of the self as therapist and the simplicity of approaches that can be truly healing.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Finally got my crafting mojo back. A couple of weeks ago we moved from our apartment to a larger unit upstairs. Love the new place and will post pics of it sometime soon. I finally felt settled enough to set-up my sewing machine. It makes sewing go so smoothly. I've tried my hand at two envelope-style pillows. I followed this really basic tutorial to be sure I got the backs right. One quilted and the other plain. I love how both of them came out! Can't wait to make a matching set and possibly a quilt.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Today is the third day of 90-100+ degree temps here in Seattle. It was so hot that my sunglasses cracked. So, while purchasing a 6" fan from the neigborhood drug store I got a new pair of shades:
Life is good.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Beautiful poem, read after a beautiful weekend.... I can't believe I have never come across this before.


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrman

Friday, July 3, 2009

Mom's Visit

I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago but was waiting to upload pics before I published it. Alas, still no pics!

My mom left earlier this week after being here for two weeks. It was so wonderful to see her after being apart for 11 months. We both suffered for a bit from a cold but once everyone was healthy it was a blast! I mentioned going to a bachelorette party but I never wrote about the appetizer I made. I made some baked brie and it was a hit! I definitely think I'll be making it for other gatherings. I omitted the raspberry jam and maple syrup. I really liked this recipe because there is a ton of flexibility for adding different flavors, types of brie, and things to dip etc!

Last week I took Friday off and my mom and I left for an island adventure. The night before we decided to go to the San Juan Islands. I did some quick research and ended up finding a cute place to stay the night. On Friday morning we drive up the Washington coast and took the Anacortes ferry to Friday Harbor, on San Juan Island. The views of the ocean, islands, and mountains along the route were stunning!

After an hour we were driving off the ferry onto the island. Our hotel was super cute and a great price for a summer weekend. It felt like a really upscale european hostle. We spent the next two days exploring the island and soaking up the intense beauty.

The highlight for both of us was watching an Orca whale pod swim just off shore. We had waited for a few hours at the normal viewing spot, reading our books, soaking in the sun etc. From our perch we could see Victoria, B.C. in the distance. The pod ended up heading south again before making it to our area so we decided to go searching. We hopped into our car and drove to the first south location on the island and parked. We were the only ones in the parking lot and started walking down a long path. My mom spotted a dorsal fin way off in the distance and we took off running. It was so hilarious and fun! We ran the .75mi to the coast and had about 15 minutes of watching the whales before they descended.

Back in Seattle on Sunday we wend downtown and took my mom to Dim Sum for her first time. The food was delicious. We tried to make it to a mass moon-walking celebration but lunch went a little too long. We did end up seeing people doing some tribute dancing and singing to Michael Jackson though.

My mom's back home and life is getting back to normal. Hosting a visitor is a blast but really exhausting. I miss my mom and we're already planning our visit back east for Nov. or Dec.
Not sure what this holiday weekend is going to bring but hopefully lots of relaxing and time spent outdoors in the beautiful weather!