I’ve got a fever…

I've got a fever...

I have been daydreaming about spring all day today. Oh spring, the things I would do to you. If only you were here with me now. I want to smell you and take you all in. I can’t wait until the day we meet again.
I took this photo last spring from the National Bison Range in Moiese, Montana. It was an absolutely perfect morning.

Cruciferous Crusade

I never liked brussels sprouts until about a year ago, and kale was never anything more to me than a bitter, inedible garnish that cheap restaurants use on their dinner plates to fancy them up. You know, like the green stuff in the lower left of this picture:

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photo: http://www.zazzle.com

Imagine my delight all these years later when I decided to jump on the cruciferous bandwagon and discovered that, when cooked and seasoned right, kale, bok choy, brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage can be incredibly delicious.

Kale and its cruciferous friends are veggies that have numerous health benefits. When eaten in the recommended servings of 1-1/2 to 2 cups 3-5 times a week, kale can help decrease your cancer risk. Not only that, but it also helps support body detoxification and can help lower your cholesterol. Kale is truly a super food!

For all the great nutrition information on raw kale, click here.

Tonight, I made a simple and flavorful kale slaw with lemon and parmesan.

Ingredients:

  • Kale
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Grated or Shredded Parmesan
  • EVOO
  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Garlic
  • Salt & Pepper

My local grocery store had BOGO bags of kale/chard/baby spinach, so I cheated and got that. Otherwise, just pick out your favorite kale. And if you don’t have a favorite, just choose any variety. They’re all good.
If you buy a head of kale, wash it thoroughly and dry it well. Then, cut the thick stems away and chop up the remaining leaves. Use the whole head!
Next, wash about 10 small brussels sprouts. Cut the ends off and peel of the first few outer leaves. Then just slice them up and throw them in the bowl with the kale.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together about a 1/4 cup of EVOO, the juice of a whole lemon (or less if you want it less tart), 2 smashed and minced garlic cloves and some kosher salt. Then a pinch of pepper. Pour it over the kale mixture and sprinkle with a little parmesan. Toss it all together. Let it stand and soak up the flavors for at least 5 minutes. I prefer to put mine in the fridge for about 15 minutes before serving.
Before serving, toss with a little extra parm, and voila! A lovely, healthy cruciferous salad. Enjoy!

photo 3

Cheers!
Jessi

The Year of Forty

This is my year of forty. I never thought I’d see the day to be perfectly honest.
Nevertheless, here I am, the minutes counting down the hours until the big 4-0. How could this be? In my mind, I don’t feel a day over twenty nine. In fact, through my entire thirties, I turned 29 on every birthday.IMG_0817

On the outside, though, I can see the subtle effects of an aging body. Fine lines and creases have appeared on my forehead and just in the last few months I’ve started noticing grey hairs sprouting around my temple. It’s nearly impossible to lose five pounds, but I could easily gain it in a day. Too much pizza all of the sudden gives me epic heartburn and I’m pretty sure I have a case of mild arthritis in my hands. Perfect timing. BOOM! Old. Just like that.
The twenty-something me loved partying. She was on the go all the time, never tired, never worn out. She was fashionable and thin (even though she constantly complained about how fat she was). She got any job, any man, pretty much anything she wanted. But she chose the wrong things, lousy men and friends.   She wasn’t good at making good decisions.  She liked to live on the edge and defy authority.
When I approached thirty, I saw a need to change. I had come to a standstill and things weren’t so good in my life. It was a tough decision, but I quit my job, moved to a different state and shortly after met my current partner in crime. Throughout the last decade, we’ve added two children and a dog to our family.
Besides adding two beautiful, smart, healthy boys to my life by becoming a mom, another really cool thing that I did in my thirties was decide to go back to school. A college degree was something that I always felt ashamed of not achieving. I was tired of the dead end jobs and I wasn’t doing something career-wise that I loved. Or even liked, for that matter. So here I am, almost forty and a senior in college. I’m rocking it, though. Making the Dean’s list every semester. Soon I will be an Anthropologist/Archaeologist/Historian, and with that, hopefully a reliable and enjoyable career to spend the rest of my working years doing.
In the meantime, I am discovering my soon to be forty year old self. I am realizing how important my health and well being are. I discovered that I really am creative, even though I’ve told myself all these years that I’m not. This blog is an extension of that desire to be creative. I have an urgent longing to do, see, and experience as much as I can with the resources that I have available. I’m starting to realize that life really is short, and I’ve got lots to do yet.
I’ve decided that no matter how much it bothers me deep inside, that I’m going to really try to embrace turning forty. I need to make it a positive experience and not let it bring me down. I need to make the rest of my life a happy journey, because damn, I’ve reached half my life expectancy already.
I’m going to share tidbits of my life on this blog. Photographs, discoveries, art, food, interests, places, thoughts, ideas. Hopefully you’ll find it interesting, entertaining, enlightening and inspiring.

Signing out for now…..
Jessi

*photo by me