Maybe It’s Monday (Again) And We Need An Easy Dinner Idea: Fettuccine With Asparagus

This crazy family of mine. They want dinner. Every. Single. Day. Like I mentioned last week, we usually do #MeatlessMonday as a way to eat a little healthier and do something nice for the Earth.

Maybe today I’ll just post this super easy but elegant looking Fettucine With Asparagus recipe I found this weekend. This is what I plan on making tonight for my hungry family.

Maybe you’ll make it too, and come back to tell me how it was?

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Maybe It’s The Weekend And Weekends Were Made For Cocktails! The Rhubarbarita.

It occurred to me that maybe some of you might think that I drink a lot of cocktails every week, seeing as I’m so enamored with trying new recipes. Truth be told, I drink maybe two a week, so I’m sorry to burst your bubble. I do have a small glass of red wine most nights. You know, for the resveratrol. I’m a very compliant patient, and since Mayo Clinic’s website says red wine is good for the heart (in small doses) then I feel like it’s my duty to oblige.

Anyway, it’s the weekend, and for me that usually means trying a new cocktail recipe (or at the very least an old favorite). This recipe for a twist on the classic margarita enticed me. It’s rhubarb season in Minnesota, so naturally a recipe for Rhubarbaritas seem like just the thing.

It’s supposed to hit 84 degrees here in the Twin Cities today. A cold summery beverage is maybe (definitely) in order. Cheers!

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Maybe I’ll Finally Stop Multitasking

It’s possible I get distracted very easily. Maybe it’s actually very likely that on any given day, during any given task, I find myself checking texts, emails, Facebook, and Twitter far too often. Then I forget where I am in my task and it takes a while to get back up to speed. How much time am I wasting every day because of this? Probably hours.

I was on Twitter and saw a well known journalist mention the Pomodoro Technique for time management and I was instantly intrigued. So I did some research and decided to put it to the test the next day, when I had set aside a few hours to finish a school project.

It seems so simple and I’m kind of embarrassed that I haven’t used a time management technique in all the years I’ve been going to school and work. Real talk: my time management sucks. Well, it used to, anyway. So, here’s how it works: set a timer for 25 minutes (if that seems too long, start with 15). After the timer goes off, give yourself a five minute break to check email, read Facebook, make a cup of tea or check messages. After your fourth 25 minute work session, give yourself a longer break to take a walk, read a book, or watch a show on Netflix. Repeat repeat repeat as long as you have time.

If you sit down for a chunk of time without any sort of strategy, you might find yourself getting distracted too easily. When you have shorter chunks of time using the Pomodoro Technique, it’s easy to put off returning phone calls, texts or emails because you know you’ll have a reasonable amount of time to tackle those things. This strategy can even be used for household chores. For kids, break it down into five, 10 or 15 minutes depending on their age.

Give it a try, and let me know how it works for you! Maybe your life will be changed for the better! And if you like this post, please feel free to share with with family and friends!

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Maybe You Can Grow Your Own Scallions Super Easily

Maybe I will keep this post to the bare minimum today. 

Did you know you can plant the root end of a scallion with the roots facing down and a new scallion will grow? For real. 

It’s planting season in Minnesota, and I decided this year I’m not attempting to grow vegetables. Because let’s face it: I kill them all or the bunnies do and so either way it’s a total bust. I have a black thumb. But I WILL be planting the ends of my store bought scallions and maybe a few herbs and call it a day. I feel 100 lbs lighter just making that decision. Maybe I will do something amazing with all that free time. 

Happy Wednesday! 

Maybe Some Rice Noodle Salad For Dinner Tonight?

Maybe allergies are kicking my butt. I woke up yesterday with my ears completely clogged and everything sounded like I was underwater. I generally just didn’t feel great. So after I got home from picking up the 12 year old from school and it was time to make dinner, I was thankful I had planned on making this simple Rice Noodle Salad With Cucumber, Peanuts, and Basil. It took about 20 minutes from start to finish and there was absolutely no cooking involved. If you’re lucky, you have a kid that likes to cook and will make the dressing for you while you sit comfortably. This would make for a perfect summertime supper when it’s just too hot to turn on the stove. The recipe also fits with our Meatless Monday plans, which I would say we adhere to about 90% of the time. Going meatless once a week can reduce your risk of preventable diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce our carbon footprint. Plus, it’s generally cheaper to make a meatless meal. Win/win!

Asian Noodle Salad Meatless Monday

The original recipe came from Redbook Magazine but I made some changes to the recipe and adapted it, so here’s my version:

Rice Noodle Salad With Cucumber, Peanuts, and Basil

THE SALAD:

6 oz pad thai rice noodles

1/4 medium purple cabbage

1/2 sliced english cucumber

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

4 scallions, white and green parts sliced

1/2-1 cup fresh basil and cilantro, chopped

1 cup chopped peanuts, cashews or almonds

Sesame seeds

THE DRESSING:

1/4 cup lime juice (I love buying Santa Cruz organic bottled lime juice. It’s just so much easier)

3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

2 tsp soy sauce

2 tsp honey

1/2 tsp garlic powder

HOW TO:

Pour hot water over noodles to cover and let sit for about 5 minutes, until softened. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, cut all the veggies up into thin slices, place the nuts in a baggie and whack them with a rolling pin to “chop”, and whisk together the dressing ingredients. Assemble the salads, drizzle dressing over the top, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. ENJOY!

NOTE: If you want more protein in your salad, it would be very easy to add rotisserie chicken, tofu, shrimp or any leftover meat you have. Maybe it’ll become a new family favorite.

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Maybe I Need To Make Rosa Parks’ Peanut Butter Pancakes

Maybe this will be my favorite blog post of May.

Not that long ago a treasure trove of mementos belonging to Rosa Parks was revealed to the public. Letters from Martin Luther King Jr., slips of paper, recipes written on bank envelopes, volunteer lists.

Back in the 1990’s I had the honor to be part of a team to greet Rosa Parks at the airport in Phoenix when she came to speak about the importance of instituting MLK Day. At the time, Arizona was one of the last holdouts in the nation. I remember she arrived in a wheelchair, and while no photo exists of me and and her together, the moment is seared into my brain. I’m lucky that as a teenager I realized how special that moment was. UPDATE: I went on Newspapers.com and found a photo of the moment. I’m somewhere in the periphery.

Rosa Parks Phoenix

As a person who loves to cook and try new recipes, I was ecstatic to see her handwritten recipe (on the back of an envelope, even) for “Featherlite Pancakes“. It reminded me so much of my grandma’s recipes, handwritten on worn scraps of paper. The secret ingredient: 1/3 cup peanut butter. The people of The Salt on NPR made the pancakes with Ms. Parks’ nieces and I can only say I wish I was in that room, too. I highly recommend reading the article to learn more about why peanuts were so important to African Americans in the south.

I will be making these pancakes and telling my daughter the story (maybe not for the first time) about the time I got to meet Rosa Parks .

Maybe I Need To Watch More TED Talks

I’ve watched only two or three TED talks in my life. I don’t know why I’ve resisted them all this time. 

I sat down to watch a TED talk this morning about girls and bravery, given by former San Francisco firefighter Caroline Paul. Now she pilots paragliders and travels around doing other wildly adventurous activities. 

I loved her talk on encouraging bravery in young girls. And I think almost anyone could gain some inspiration from it. 

One thing I took away was that my instinct to encourage my daughter Reese to climb higher and take risks on the playground when she was younger was a good thing. 

And just yesterday when she was the only girl to show up at flag football, she overcame her fear and played with confidence (and scored her first touchdown). She didn’t let overhearing boys saying “You’re gonna let a GIRL beat you?” scare her off. Sometimes bravery comes in the form of mental toughness rather than physical. 

So if you have a young girl in your life, whether it’s a daughter or niece or granddaughter or friend, watch this TED Talk. And then come back and let’s discuss! 

Maybe we will even become braver ourselves. 

Maybe We Ought To Stop Being So “Busy”

In our American culture, one thing is valued above almost all else: busy-ness. Business? Busyness? (I could look it up but it’s May Bee and I promised just to hammer out these blog posts and stop trying to be perfect. What? You’re not the boss of me.) Anyway, what’s the first thing you say when someone asks how you’ve been? Probably 9 times out of 10 the answer will some iteration of “SO busy!” It’s like a knee-jerk reaction that we don’t really even give much thought to. “Oh my gosh I’m so busy I don’t even have time to breathe!”

I’m guilty of doing this. And when I stop to think about it, the thing is I’m really not that busy. My life is full, to be sure. I do a lot of really neat things, like play golf and clean the toilets in my house on a regular basis. But I also have plenty of time to read and go on Twitter (which, reminds me, I really need to stop going on Twitter) and binge watch Netflix with my husband and walk my dog with my friends.

Sure there are a lot of people who are truly busy. They work three jobs just to make ends meet for their families and they have pretty much zero time to do anything for themselves. But the majority of us don’t have lives like that and so we race around making ourselves busy because we’ve convinced ourselves that it’s somehow shameful to have downtime. In fact, “New research suggests that we use a lack of time as a status symbol, bragging about our packed schedules,” according to this article on Headspace. Yikes. Makes me want to move to Italy where having a lot of leisure time is viewed as a status symbol.

Just some food for thought. If you’re truly crazy busy, there’s nothing wrong with that! But if you’re saying it because you think it makes you sound more ambitious or whatever, just be mindful of that. Maybe it’ll open up some actual space in your mind and your life for, *gasp* time to chill.

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Maybe I Want A Friday Cocktail: The Rosemary Greyhound

Maybe it’s been a long week and I am looking forward to a nice cocktail this evening. If you’ve read my blog you know I love trying new cocktails. And I provide you the recipes on Fridays so you can enjoy them with me.

I was at an event recently where I had a Rosemary Greyhound. It was deliciously refreshing. The Greyhound (fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and vodka served on the rocks) is like the Screwdriver’s sophisticated older cousin who lives in Chicago. Add some rosemary simple syrup and now it’s like the Screwdriver’s *other* sophisticated older cousin who lives in New York (before you send me angry letters about my lack of respect for Chicago, I LOVE Chicago. And also I live in Minneapolis so we are one step below Chicago in this analogy which would probably make us the Screwdriver).

I don’t have the exact recipe the bartender used for my drink, but this one seems very similar. I can’t wait to get to the farmer’s market this weekend for fresh rosemary.

Cheers! Maybe it’ll be a fantastic weekend after all.

ROSEMARY GREYHOUND RECIPE

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Maybe I Found A One Pot Meal I Love

Maybe sometimes I just don’t want to wash a lot of dishes or wipe up a bunch of splatters on the stove. For those nights I want simplicity, I love one pot suppers. Good ones are hard to find. 

Years ago we visited a friend’s parents in the south and they made us a simple Low Country Boil. Since it’s May Bee I didn’t do any research on what a “real” Low Country Boil entails. I found this recipe in Real Simple Magazine and it sounded just like what we had all those years ago. 

I made it last night and it was really good! A little spicy for the 12 year old but she still enjoyed it. Give it a try, maybe. Click here for the recipe. Doesn’t it look delicious!? That yellow platter really makes everything look yellow. Weird. 

Maybe this blogging every day thing will be a breeze!