Well, hello there… long time no see….
I know, I know, I’ve been popping in and out for months teasing with the come back, but now, I am truly back – re-freshed, re-energized, re-designed 🙂
I feel as though I owe you an apology… life kind of gotten in a way, and blogging took to the sideways. The stress of life and changes trickled into every pore of my being, and I felt so overwhelmed, anxious, uninspired and unhappy. So I took some time off to re-group, re-evaluate, re-adjust, forgive, heal. For a long time I felt as though I have been living in a fog. The sadness and changes in my life took over happiness and I was in a constant battle over the reality I have created. I put such high price on happiness and in the process of change I lost my bearings and some resemblance of balance….and it was a struggle…until one day the fog lifted and I found the new version of me….and this blog. So both the blog and I are back – feeling inspired, energized and ready for a new beginning.
It’s funny how we set expectations for our life…we waste so much time imagining what life should look like, but the thing is we really don’t know until the day we open our eyes and see that if we let go and let the unexpected happen, it may be something more beautiful than we could ever have imagined.
Somewhere along the way of re-discovery, I read these inspirational quotes that literary became my Northern Star and showed me the way to the new version of me.
“When I let go of who I am, I become what I might be.” ~Lau Tzu
“Celebrate endings, for they precede new beginnings.” ~Jonathan Lockwood Hue
“Freedom is instantaneous the moment we accept things as they are.” ~Karen Maezen Miller
“She believed a great happiness awaited her somewhere, and for this reason she remained calm as the days flew by.” ~ Gyula Krudy
“Happiness is a choice. You have to choose it, and you have to fight for it.”
~ Drew Barrymore
Speaking of a new beginning – what do you think of the new header? Cute, no? I worked with a very talented Marina of Penny Lane Designs…she knew exactly what I wanted and was always one step ahead of me.
All right, so now that we have covered the “come-back”, let’s talk about the important stuff…FOOOOD. Though I haven’t been blogging much about food, or the weekly menu or my restaurant obsessions, or cookbooks, or not much at all….I’ve continued with the weekly menus. The weekly menu was definitely my saving grace. Kiki and I have gotten in a really good schedule when it comes to dinners. Having the weekly menu has been absolutely imperative, so I try to get the menu, grocery shopping and some light prep done on the days when Kiki is with her dad.
I’ve tried really hard to keep the meals simple, but I don’t think I know how to, plus Kiki’s pallet is definitely not simple. I must admit, I love having a gourmet loving toddler. It makes the time spent reading the cookbooks and recipes all that much more worth it.
So here is what my gourmet toddler and I are having this week:
Monday: Pan-fried tilapia with black beans and cilantro-chile salsa
Tuesday: Chicken Francesca with mash potatoes and broccoli
Wednesday: Rice & Bean Casserole with Guacamole [Meatless Wednesday]
Thursday: Chicken, cashews and red-pepper stir-fry
Sunday: …..haven’t figured it out, but it will be something from the crock-pot, my new best friend
So the gourmet toddler LOVED, LOVED, LOVED tonights dinner. And I must say, it was yummy.
I think these pictures say success. Fork in one hand and just in case, eating with her hand too….I mean, she is my daughter after all – she doesn’t want to miss a bite.
~ Pan-fried tilapia with black beans and cilantro-chile salsa ~
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
2 small bell red and orange peppers, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 15oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
4 6oz. tilapia filets
Salt to taste
Freshly grounded black pepper to taste
1. heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saute pan. Add the red onion and saute for 5 minutes, or until tender.
2. add the peppers and garlic, and saute for 5 minutes, or until soft
3. add the beans and the wine and bring to a gentle simmer, cooking for about 3 minutes, or until the beans are heated through and most of the wine has been reduced. stir in the parsley. season with salt and pepper, keep warm
4. to cook the tilapia: place in a large saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil into it. salt and pepper both sides of the filets. place them in the hot pan and cook for 4 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom
5. turn the fillets over and cook for 3 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through but still moist and juicy
6. spoon the beans onto the center of 4 plates. top with the tilapia fillets.