Finally, I am back in action! Since getting home late Sunday night, I have been cooking up a storm, but simply haven’t had time to blog about it. To get back into the groove of things, I started by making a recipe or two from magazines. When creativity is lacking, there is no harm in looking to other’s – I assume that is why y’all read my blog after all! If you think about it, starting a blog is quite an egocentric activity. Unless you keep it completely private, you are assuming that people want to read what you have to say. Part of why I haven’t been blogging much lately is because I want the content I post to have meaning and value to you. I don’t want to just slap up a recipe or ramble about school. Providing useful recipes, workouts, and information about health-related topics is my primary goal for this blog, but sometimes it is hard to make the time create more meaningful posts.
Anywho, the reunion was wonderful. Just like last year, the entire family stayed in a house on Lake of the Ozarks and each day was filled with tubing, BBQ, fancy schmancy Wii games (that I can’t figure out how to play), ice cream, and swimming.
Spending time with my family brings me back to my roots. The stress of school, personal demons, and the daily grind melts away and I am left with my core self, which is both good and bad. Without all the distractions of daily life, the flaws that I see in myself become unavoidably clear. I need to be more patient, more agreeable, and more giving on other people’s terms. It is not challenging to be agreeable, patient, and giving on your own terms. What really counts is when you can be those things at the most inconvenient of times. I also want to be more vocal about my thoughts and feelings for others.
I really love people.
Instead of seeing the negative or irksome qualities in a person, I always see their best qualities first. And if I finally do notice someone’s lesser qualities (which is usually pointed out to me by another), I typically spin it in a positive light. For example, if a girl is a bit over the top and dramatic, instead of labeling that as obnoxious or self-centered, I would say it is because she is very confident and has highly developed social skills (and can work a room like no other). Or, I can justify a negative quality with something positive that outweighs it. For example, I have a friend who flakes on me often, but instead of thinking of it as rude, I simply think it is because she leads a very busy life and handles it with insane dedication and work ethic. It is nothing personal, she just wants to please (by saying yes to plans), but simply doesn’t have the time.
Usually, this way of thinking is good. For the most part, I think it enhances my relationships with others and lets them grow when others would cast off a friendship prematurely. Very rarely do I justify wrong behaviors or qualities to the point of getting myself hurt in the process, although it has happened. Anyway, back to the point, I have all these positive thoughts and emotions tumbling around in my head about my family, friends, and even people I don’t know very well, but I usually don’t express them. Half the time, I am probably walking around with far too stern of a face. I should probably smile a bit more and speak up a bit. Who doesn’t want to know how fabulous they are?
Moral of the story: Spend time with your family. Remember the truly important things in life are love, relationships, and one’s happiness and health. Notice things you want to improve about yourself and hop to it!
Im going to end this crazy tangent right now and present to you the recipe that got me back into cooking.
Watermelon and Tomato Salad with Basil Oil
Recipe: makes 3-4 servings
adapted from Martha Stewart
3 cups watermelon, cubed
1 cucumber, cubed
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup basil leaves
Directions: Blend the basil and oil in a blender until just combined, so there are still a few chunks of basil. Set aside. Slice the tomatoes, cucumber, and watermelon and place in a bowl. Toss with lemon juice and goat cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with basil oil.
Watermelon * a great source of vitamin A, C, B1, and B6. The antioxidants derived from the vitamin A help fight inflammation which contributes to many ailments, including heart attacks, diabetes miletus, and arthritis.
Tomatoes * also contain a LOT of vitamin A and C. Vitamin A is a potent antioxidant that has been shown in studies to reduce the effects of smoking. This does not mean it is okay to smoke, but if you do, it is a VERY good idea to make sure are getting lots of vitamin A daily. Tomatoes are also rich in lycopene, which has been proven to halt the growth of cancer cells!
It was even better the next day!