Monthly Archives: May 2013

Potsticker Soup: Requested Recipe!

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If you love potstickers but hate all the long, tedious work that goes into making them, try this recipe instead.  Much simpler and tastes amazing!

Ingredients:

minced garlic (I use the kind in a jar, it’s quicker and easier)

leeks, shallots, and/or scallions (whichever you prefer)

medium to large yellow onion

minced bok choy OR 1/2 head cabbage

1 lb ground pork

wonton wrappers

soy sauce and/or tamari

hoison sauce (optional)

worchestershire sauce (optional)

16 oz. container beef broth/stock

salt & pepper

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1.  Mince onions, cabbage or bok choy, and leeks/shallots/scallions.  Add butter or oil to frying pan and begin to cook in a large frying pan.

2.  Add 1-2 tablespoons of minced garlic to pan (your desired amount, for flavor).

3.  Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, heat beef broth plus 3-4 cups water.  If you want to use more broth for stronger flavor in lieu of water, just add another 8 oz can.

4.  When veggies are mostly tender, dump into pot with broth.  Wipe pan if needed, then add more butter or oil to cook pork.

5.  Season pork with salt, pepper, about 2-3 tbsp soy or tamari sauce, dash of worchestershire if desired and dash of hoisin if desired.  (Each will add more flavor).  Mix well and cook until browned.

6.  Add pork mixture to pot.  Stir well.  Let cook on high for about 10 minutes.

7.  Meanwhile, cut up wonton wrappers into small triangles (you want them to be bite-size). 

8.  Reduce temp slightly and add wonton wrappers.

9.  Taste test!  Add more salt, pepper, soy sauce or other flavor-boosting ingredients if your flavor is too weak.  Hoison is strong so a dash will take you far.  Also feel free to drop in more diced scallions.  *Add more water in 1 cup increments if soup is too thick or most of liquid gets absorbed.

10.  Cook soup up to 30 minutes to increase flavor and thoroughly cook all ingredients.  Then enjoy!

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Finding Happiness–today’s post

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This post is one in a series, so please check out the earlier ones to catch up!

I wanted to talk more about the book Unstuck by James S. Gordon.  There are many profound ideas in here, statements that make one think.  And I hope that these posts have been helping you to explore how you think and feel–and helping you to get happier!

Gordon writes, “The journey through and beyond depression requires a balance of action and acceptance.  Sometimes, the emphasis has to be on action that moves you forward…Other times, action precedes relaxation and acceptance.”  Think about these statements.  What does this mean to you?

When I initially read and pondered it, it made me think back to the early days of my relationship with my husband.  Often we go into relationships with high standards or ideals, and become disappointed, frustrated or upset when the person doesn’t measure up (in our eyes) to those ideals.  Sometimes, that proves too much for a person to accept and the relationship crumbles, only for a person to move on to another relationship where–guess what? the same thing happens.  We have to learn to love someone for who they are, not what we want them to be.  So it is with our lives.  The series of actions and choices that we’ve made in our pasts have led us up to this very moment.  We can live in regret, being mired down in the past.  This will always interfere with and weigh down our present, and discolor our view of the future.  We shouldn’t waste the time that we do have obsessing over different choices we should or could have made.  Because our pasts have given us wisdom

So when I read these lines by Gordon, I think that what he’s suggesting is that we need to embrace acceptance in order to move from a state of unhappiness into a happier place.  We need to accept that we may have made some bad choices, that we may not have achieved all of our personal goals, that we may not be exactly where we want to be in our lives at this moment.  But then, subsequently, Gordon talks about action.  Instead of being stuck at this place where you are in mourning, once you begin to accept, you can start to move on.  You can begin to take action.  Or, even if you don’t take any specific actions, you are already taking action by just embracing the concept of change.

For me personally, I think it has helped me to think in terms of a “revision of goals.”  I considered some of the big regrets that I’ve held on to, and some of my major life goals that I was feeling I’d never accomplish.  I have been spending too much time ruminating about my failures, losses and having an irrational focus on “but there isn’t enough time left in my life!”  So instead I’ve been trying to re-work my list, or “update” it.  Let me share with you an example.  Since I was a teenager, I had this plan that I wanted to hit all the hot spots in Europe (paticularly London and Paris) before I turned 30.  But that never happened.  It makes me sad and at the same time antsy because I keep thinking “I have to get there soon!”  It didn’t help that many of the women I met in college had already done these things, and seemed to have led a much more glamorous life than I.  And of course I occasionally meet these single, child-less people who are flitting off to some exotic location or another.  I’ve found myself saying on a number of occasions, “Well, I had to let that dream go–because I chose to have children instead.”  I know, that sounds horrible (I don’t regret having chidlren!)!!  But part of my point here is exactly in that statement.  My choices.  This is what I’ve chosen, this is what I’ve done with my life, and I have to accept that.  Anyway, my daughter has developed a love of all things Paris.  I’m excited that she’s just as excited about me as seeing Paris.  So I decided that when she turns 16 (as sort of a 16th birthday gift) we should go to Europe together.  She’ll be old enough to enjoy and appreciate it, I’ll finally get to go, and it will also solve my dilemma of who to go with, since my husband is more of a tropical lay-around-and-relax sort of traveler.  And, in doing all this, it has also helped me to be so much more ‘in the moment.’  Before, I might avoid looking at pictures of Paris, or try not to think about it because it was just a reminder to me that I’d never gotten to go.  But now, I’ve been starting to vicariously share my daughter’s joy.  She wants to buy and collect anything that has to do with the Eiffel Tower, Paris, poodles (she associates them with France), etc.  And I’ve been helping her to do this.  We’re even planning on re-modeling her room in a Paris theme.

Gordon tells readers that they need to “relax into the experience, to accept the guidance that comes.”  He also talks about how we need to surrender, to let go of control so that we can move ahead on our journeys.  I love how he clarifies between submission versus surrender.  He states, “Submission means giving up, resgining yourself to the limitations that are holding you back or keeping you down.  In surrendering, you’re opening yourself up to the current of your life, which is always moving, always changing.  And you’re inviting and embracing the deep changes that are starting to work inside of you.”  I want you all to think about this–really think about it.  Think about what this means to you.  It’s an excellent journaling prompt.

More to come soon–so check back!!

Quirky Band Names

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Earlier today I made a post asking you to submit to me your ideas for cool, unique, and interesting band names.  I was going to start making a list.  However, upon googling this topic I discovered that someone else has already been doing all this work, and really his list is just so comprehensive!  So I’m going to paste the website here for you to check out:

http://brightlightsfilm.com/weirdbandnames/#p

I think, so far, he has around 1,700 bands listed.  Here are a few silly ones:  Pissed Jeans and Pants Are Overrated. 

Hope you find it as amusing as I do!

In honor of our rainy day…some poetry about rain

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Spring Rain by Elise Stein

Wetness, like tears,

But it can bring life, bring flowers and newness.

Fresh, the smell of earth

I breathe deeply and feel renewed.

It falls on me, damp and dripping,

Like tears, but welcome.

 
Souls And Rain-Drops by Sidney Lanier
 
Light rain-drops fall and wrinkle the sea,
Then vanish, and die utterly.
One would not know that rain-drops fell
If the round sea-wrinkles did not tell.

So souls come down and wrinkle life
And vanish in the flesh-sea strife.
One might not know that souls had place
Were’t not for the wrinkles in life’s face.

 
Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me by Mary Oliver
Last night
the rain
spoke to me
slowly, saying,
what joy
to come falling
out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again
in a new way
on the earth!
That’s what it said
as it dropped,
smelling of iron,
and vanished
like a dream of the ocean
into the branches
and the grass below.
Then it was over.
The sky cleared.
I was standing
under a tree.
The tree was a tree
with happy leaves,
and I was myself,
and there were stars in the sky
that were also themselves
at the moment
at which moment
my right hand
was holding my left hand
which was holding the tree
which was filled with stars
and the soft rain –
imagine! imagine!
the long and wondrous journeys
still to be ours.
 
 

Book Review

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I’ve been trying and trying to force myself to keep reading this book…I tell myself “but maybe the ending is good,” or “don’t you want to know how it ends?” But it comes to a point where one has to decide: do I care enough about how this book ends to keep wasting my time reading it, when there are so many great books out there?  Finally, I decided that I was going to be done with it, despite reading over 200 pages.  This book that I’m referring to is Life Among Giants by Bill Roorbach.  First of all, he writes back and forth between different periods in the main characters life with no distinction between these periods–so the reader can’t figure out what time period the author is even talking about until reading several paragraphs (or more) in.  What is even more irksome about this lack of division is that he often ends a particular time period before you get to the (potential) good part, which you’ve been reading pages upon boring pages waiting to get to.  And I suppose that hits the nail on the head right there–the book is just sort of boring.  There isn’t a great plot, and the plot that is there isn’t really ever explained very well (e.g. the main character’s sister is finally, after probably 100+ pages, alluded to as being mentally ill but you’re never sure and don’t know exactly what is wrong with her…maybe she’s just eccentric?).  There’s a lot of ‘stuff’ about football and ballet which, personally speaking, I’m not into and so that bores me as well.  Well, I suppose I could go on.  But my point is, that I’m giving up on this one.  I decided this the other day and I’m already 100+ pages into a new book that was recommended on here by a friend: Oxygen.  And so far it’s great!