Tammy’s Top Ten (t3 report) Easy Holiday Appetizers

I’ve had many comments from readers who thought the idea of knowing how to prepare one easy appetizer really well was a great idea. It’s that time of year when we’re invited out and it’s nice to take something along to share. So, I sat out to make a list for us with the rule being that I can’t link to a recipe. Rather if it’s truly simple, I can explain it in a few words and you can replicate it.

flickr.com/photos/ceanandjen/3133691882

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Tammy’s Top Ten (t3 report) Holiday Prep Ideas

The holidays are upon us. In part, I’m disgusted. The big chain grocery store has put up Christmas decor before Thanksgiving. There’s no need to rush unless of course we’re pushing for record retail sales. For some the holidays bring a certain measure of stress – a certain measure of how can I possibly get everything done and make this seem effortless like it was in my youth. First tip, this is not our youth.

Original image by D Sharon Pruitt - flickr creative commons

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Looking at the World through a Rose-Colored Glass

Optimism, joy, chuckles, bliss. It seems that so many places we turn, people are talking about the elusive concept of happiness. We can speculate at the reasons; a tormented economy, the sandwich generation, increasing social pressures.  I’ve read unfortunate tales about the increase in the use of antidepressants in adults and in children. Frankly, I think happiness is a difficult thing to calculate. How do we really know of its existence or its intensity unless we’ve measured it against sadness?

Rose Colored Smoothie

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Talking with Our Mouths Full

What a couple of weeks these have been! My middle guy just returned from a school trip. I was at a company meeting for three overnights. Upon returning home, my husband had an evening meeting and there was the annual dinner for our Economic Council. I hope it doesn’t sound like a complaint as we enjoy an abundant life but what do I really miss when our schedule fills up like this? Dinner time!

 

flickr.com/walkadog/3432071719

 

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Writing Down the Bones – or the Butt

You already know that Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones is a favorite book of mine. In it she speaks of filling spiral binders with her words consistently – one notebook per month. She writes that her efforts to get her thoughts on to paper actually translate to greater mental health for herself. I began blogging as a way to get myself to write more consistently and while it has done that, I also find myself spending an inordinate amount of time reading other blogs, commenting and analyzing traffic stats.

Sushi Ina's food journal

My friend Preston, a personal trainer, recently suggested that I begin writing something else down on a consistent basis. He recommends that I start keeping a food journal. All I have to do is write down what I eat all day long and add a few other ancillary comments about how I’m feeling after each meal or snack. That’s simple enough since I’m a healthy eater and of course I’m easily drawn in because it sets up a structured framework for me to operate within. (more…)

5 in the morning

There’s no denying that I’m a morning person. I love to rise early and if I’m well rested, it’s easy to do. Waking before the sun. Sneaking into the kitchen. Turning on the espresso machine and lighting a candle. It’s one of the quiet times in our busy household. I can spend a few silent moments reading and remembering what I’m thankful for.  Or I can take a walk during the time when the sky is the most amazing. Those moments really ground me for the entire day and I’ve come to depend on them. When I skip my morning ritual, I really miss it and I feel out of sorts. It’s one more form of structured framework that I live within and benefit from.

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The Girls You Wish You Knew

It’s Mother’s Day and even if you aren’t a mother, we all have a mother – a woman who blessed us into this world and for most, someone who has nurtured our very existence. Oh, I could write a long and sappy ode to motherhood but as I look around my house at baseball cleats, smelly socks and gum wrappers, I choose to use this day instead, to celebrate women.

I’ve been extremely fortunate over the last few years to meet extraordinary females. Some of you read my blog about meeting Sandra Day O’Connor. My early writing instruction came from Australian author, Kate Grenville. I’ve dined with Jay Parry, Esther Dyson, and Janet Napolitano and thousands of other women family members, friends, work colleagues, and amazing acquaintances.  So without driving myself into an analytical frenzy, I’ve compiled a short list of 10 living women I’d love to meet. I can tell you with certainty that the moment that I hit the publish button, I’ll think of 20 more but right now, these women regardless of their politics, their religion and what sometimes appears as ill-fated publicity are women I’d love to take to lunch.

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Why did the Democrat cross the aisle?

To eat the chalupa!

Let me explain. One of the highlights of my year was the opening of the O’Connor House. The 1950’s adobe was moved brick by brick to its new location in Papago Park. I’d been invited to have lunch but had no idea that the home’s previous owner, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, would be in attendance. Nor did I know that it would be the first time she’d seen the home since it was moved. And finally, imagine my delight (here we go again) in being seated next to her for the meal.

Sandra Day O'Connor and the O'Connor House

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Rain, Refresh, Renewal

I’m sure there has been another Arizona winter with this much rain but I don’t remember it.  Our ski resorts are boasting more than 300 inches of snow. The desert is green as I drive through the mountainous area known as the Dreamy Draw. My ocotillo are blooming or doing the rain dance as coined by one Southwestern artist. And I find that it affects me as well. I sleep better. I walk outdoors and smell the creosote fragrance and quickly remember what we love about the desert.

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On the Beeten Path

They say opposites attract and when I consider the relationships in my circle, it seems true.  Not for me however. My beloved and I are “two peas in a pod” sharing common interests like a love for the outdoors, good design elements, independent film and a love of food.  His comes from a mother with extreme kitchen talent.  I, on the other hand, find solace in dishes with deep spices that feed my love of travel even when I’m at home. And, we have common dislikes; poverty, mean people, lost baggage and beets.

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