Skip resolutions. Go for ‘goals’ instead.

What new routines have you vowed to start and keep this year? A healthy eating plan? Exercise regimen? House re-organization effort? The new year offers the promise of a clean slate, a chance to begin again or try for the first time something that will improve our health, our home, our world.

I tend not to make typical resolutions, but I know plenty of people do. Every year, when the first week of January hits, our YMCA becomes a bit of a zoo. You can’t find a free treadmill or weight machine no matter what odd hour of the day you show up. I asked a trainer once, “How long will this go on?” He said, “Hang in there until the end of February and they’ll all be gone.” (more…)

Foodie Friday: holiday edition

We’ve been bouncing around from state to state this Christmas holiday, so there hasn’t been a ton of cooking going on here, but I thought I’d at least share this lovely photo of an appetizer I made on Christmas Eve. Truth be told, the photo is better than the actual food result, but I think with some tweaking it could be totally awesome.

Take a small wheel of brie or triple creme cheese and grill it lightly or put it in a panini press until it’s warm and has light grill marks. (I opted for the panini press method since it was a little chilly for grilling at night.)
Meanwhile heat about 1/4 cup of honey over low heat with a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Turn it off when it gets near a boil and let it sit and steep a bit.
Slice up a few fresh figs (five or six)

Put the warm cheese on a platter, top with figs, drizzle with honey.

So I think our version could have benefited from better brie (I couldn’t get true French brie. Well, I could — and originally did — but it’s a long story.) I needed fresher thyme and more of it to infuse the honey. And it was my first time buying/serving figs, so I’m still not sure if I picked them at the right ripeness or if I should have done this when it was fig season. Anyway, I’ll try it again at a later date. If you give it a shot, let us know what happens.

This recipe, by the way, originally came from the website Not Without Salt. Check it out.

The world in silent wonder waits…

It’s Christmas Eve. The waiting is almost over, but not quite yet. Although the busyness of the holiday will probably push you from every direction today, try to find some time to sit in silent wonder of the One who was…and is…and is to come.

May your night and your Christmas be holy and happy and grace-filled. Merry Christmas!

The dark side of the moon

A perfect crescent moon was visible in the early morning sky today, ringing in the Winter Solstice with quiet but awesome fanfare. This was taken at about 6:30 a.m. from the end of our driveway, in between passing clouds that occasionally blocked the moon from view. What you can’t see in this photo is the clearly visible dark side of the moon, my favorite part of a crescent.

We tend to think of this day as the shortest on light, but I think I’ll focus instead on the longest night. Just think, more night than you know what to do with. Enjoy it. Put on some music you like. Sip a cup of cocoa while you stare at the night sky. Wrap presents by candlelight. Howl.

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