Wednesday, April 27, 2011

for the love of strawberries

I've never been a huge fan of fruits and veggies.  I like them, I'll eat them, but they're usually not something I crave.  But, lately there are a few that I just can't seem to get enough of.  One of those is sauteed zucchini.  Yum!  Especially with a little Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.  The other is fresh strawberries.  They're in season now, which means that every grocery store I go to has huge displays and great prices for the berries.  My kids will occasionally eat them, plus they're super good for you.  The only problem I have had is buying too much, then trying to figure out what to do with the excess.  I have found a solution to that problem:

Strawberry Sauce  from!  Can I just say Y.U.M!  This stuff knocked my socks off.  I must have eaten five or six spoonfuls before I could get it put away.  I seriously wanted to pour it in a bowl and eat it like soup.  It's simple, quick and easy to make.  You could make it with Splenda instead of sugar and it would be incredibly diet-friendly.  I made it with sugar.  I'm totally at peace with that.  :)  I have great plans for strawberry shortcake, pancakes, ice cream sundaes, maybe even soup.  Why not? 

You can follow the link to , (though I warn you, stay away if you're watching your calories).  It is my favorite recipe site of all time- everything I have tried from it has turned out fabulous.  Or, if you don't want to end up spending hours drooling over recipes, here's the Strawberry Sauce:

Strawberry Sauce
1 pint strawberries
1/3 c. white sugar
1 tsp. almond extract (my favorite) or vanilla extract
Wash strawberries and remove stems. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can roughly chop the berries, but I say you’re already feeling ambitious enough by making your own strawberry sauce. So don’t sweat it.
Combine berries, sugar, and extract in medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for five minutes, stirring/breaking strawberries up with a wooden spoon constantly.

After five minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly (if you have a glass blender jar) and a lot (if you have a plastic blender jar). When cool enough, transfer mixture to blender and pulse until desired consistency is reached. 

I used a potato masher to squash the berries while they were simmering- that seemed to make it easier for the blender to process the sauce quickly, without making it too frothy.   Mine turned out thick and smooth, perfect.  I froze some of it, and put the rest in the fridge.  Seriously, if you even kind of like strawberries, try it. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Failure is not defeat until you stop trying.

I'm still here, still fighting the good fight.  I apologize for the lengthy pause between posts.  Sometimes inspiration comes frequently, sometimes not.  And, sometimes inspiration comes all the time, I just don't have time to actually get on the computer and blog about it.  Ya know- three kids, massage school, homework, substitute teaching, hubby, dirty bathrooms, dog, etc.  (Side note:  I like substitute teaching, but I have a really hard time actually using the word "substitute" ever since my six-year-old daughter pointed out that it has the word "toot" in it.  She then spent the next ten minutes saying "substitoot!" and laughing uproariously.  Classy little lady, she is. :)

I am proud to report that for the last few weeks I have gotten out to run at least three times each week.  I am averaging about a mile and a half per run, and working on going longer.  But, the real reason I feel inspired to post today was this article on the Runner's World website:

Wingspan by Kristin Armstrong  

I read her new article every week.  I don't really consider myself a "runner" (I suppose I probably should, since I do, in fact, run.)  But, her articles aren't really about running, they're about living.  And I love the perspective she has on life.  Here's my favorite part:

One night this week I took my kids out for Thai food and this was my fortune:
Failure is not defeat until you stop trying.
I smiled when I read it, shoving the cookie in my mouth and the tiny slip of paper into my wallet.  This one was a keeper.
How awesome is the idea that we are never defeated if we never stop trying.  We may stop and start again.  We may change our goal midway and soldier on.  We may retire and later re-enter the ring.  We may fail miserably and muster up the courage for a do-over.  We may let one dream go in order to make room for another, better dream.  Or we may realize that the dream we've held close all along matters now more than ever – and we approach it with renewed vigor.  We may take time to heal and then laugh again, trust again, love again, run again, start again.
If defeat is for quitters, then the victory remains in the try.