4.2018

Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

Yellowstone Guided Imagery

From me to you, a gift of quieting relaxation, shared from my recent experiences in Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone guided imagery

In your busy life, I invite you to consider relaxation as medicine. Taking a few moments each day to quiet the mind and the body will beneficially alter brain chemistry as well as physical metabolism. In addition, the spiritual self is nourished…you will come away refreshed, pleasantly balanced, and ready for whatever else comes your way that day!

May you find as much delightful quieting in the practice as I did in the creation.

I AM what is right with the world — and so are YOU

That might sound a bit grandiose, so let me explain…

While on our Sunday morning bike ride, I was filled with a deep pleasure of being outdoors. The terrain changes, taking us by pastures with goats and horses, rolling hills with gardens and orchards; forests of mature oaks from which I can hear the woodpeckers calling; quail and wild turkey alongside the road; barking dogs and waving neighbors — all of this being shared with my sweetie as we rode together.

Along side the road, nearly at our turn-around spot, were 3 old tires in the ditch. On purpose. Those tires were not there on Friday, my last riding day, and were incongruous to the scenery and to the pleasure I was experiencing, so much so that I felt twanged. A thought came to me then: “What’s wrong with those people”?, meaning of course, the person who left those tires there–then right on top of that–a jangly feeling, not-so-pleasant, and I recognized the vibe with which I was putting out that thought and energy.

The Universe opened up just then and I immediately was able to let that negativity go and hold compassion and acceptance for the tire-leaver (TL). It was apparent to me that this person does not hold the same reverence and appreciation for nature and being outdoors, hence the lack of stewardship and responsibility; I held the TL in empathy for not having that connection to the planet, and put out an invitation to the TL to open his heart, to accept his place in the world in regards to sister & brother-hood, and to have the opportunity to be outdoors, somewhere quiet and lovely, to be in the right place at the right time, and then, then, the shift will occur.

Ah, in the writing as well as in that moment, I felt grateful and relieved. The feelings I am referring to are In reference to the documentary, I AM, which my husband and I watched a few weeks ago. A very awakening film, reminding us of the opportunity to be our best selves and that what we put out into the world is what comes back into our lives. Corny? Maybe. What I can say though, is that this morning, when I consciously chose positivity, acceptance, and understanding, I felt so uplifted and that is undeniably so much better than choosing resentment or righteousness.

Doesn’t that make sense?

Bring on the Tomatoes!

Our local co-op has recently begun to offer organic heirloom tomatoes that are simply too gorgeous to pass up. I became tantalized with the many ways I could enjoy them and opted for this start-of-the-season favorite: Butter Basil Tomato Pasta.

Ingredients:                                                    

  • tomatoes!
  • butter
  • fresh basil
  • pasta

Preparation:

  • melt a stick of butter (gasp!) over a low flame
  • add the tomatoes, coarsely chopped, cooking them down until they become somewhat soft
  • add torn basil leaves (there’s no such thing as too much basil…)
  • simmer on low, stirring occasionally, until the delicious aroma overtakes you!
  • while this masterpiece was simmering, you have of course, boiled the water and cooked the pasta until it reached the perfect al dente texture.
  • drain the water from the cooked pasta and mix it into the sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and ENJOY!

DISCLAIMER(S):

1. Yes, of course you can use olive oil in this sauce, as I have done many times. I’ve also made this sauce with a half-stick of butter and added 1/3 cup of olive oil. Let me tell you though that using just the butter gives this sauce a divinely rich flavor that is superior to the flavor of olive oil alone. Trust me. And knowing what I know about fats, cholesterol, and nutrition, I am personally giving you permission to use butter for this meal — organic, sweet butter. Your life will be forever changed…

2. Sigh. I cherish a free-flow cooking experience and rarely measure any ingredient when cooking, which is reflected in the recipes that I share. This might be challenging or even frustrating for you, which believe me, is not my intention.  This is the moment to liberate yourself from the rigidity of following a strict recipe and enjoy the flow of cooking confidence. This may mean that no meal will ever tastes the same way twice, but that each one is uniquely delicious!

3. No garlic or onion are used in this recipe, although I love both flavors and regularly use both in most of the other creations that come from my kitchen. Not this dish, though. The simplicity and full richness of the tomato, basil and butter is so intoxicating that it would be a totally different meal with a shadow of garlic or onion. Again, trust me on this.

Bon Appetit!

"The Holiday Survival Cooking and Eating Class exceeded my expectations. It was so enjoyable to learn new ideas for healthy snacks and meals, taste the delicious treats we created and leave with an inspired hope that this will be my healthiest holiday season yet! I am impressed with the knowledge and care that Robin (and Wendy from In the Kitchen) both possess and I look forward to taking more classes in the future. Thanks again!"  --Rose M.   “What a wonderful, yummy class! Not only did we participate in creating several easy-to-make, delicious, nourishing dishes for the holidays and every day, we also learned strategies for surviving and enjoying the upcoming holiday season. Both Robin & Wendy were delightful and imparted their cooking and eating knowledge with love, humor, and enthusiasm. I highly recommend their classes to anyone who is interested in developing a better way to look at food, using thoughtfulness with mindfulness to learn some very valuable strategies for eating any time of the year!” --CAM   “I found the class delightful with great ideas for the holidays. In the Kitchen is a warm and welcoming place and you and Wendy were great teaching collaborators. Good new recipes. I appreciate your healthy eating information. I recommend this class to anyone wanting to enjoy the holidays without stressing over food. Actually, the information isn’t just for the holidays. I want to stay healthy all year and eat well.” --Pat B.   "I’ve participated in several classes at In the Kitchen, enjoyed them all immensely, but it is always a special treat when Wendy teaches a class. The recipes offered in The Holiday Survival class were easy to make and so delicious. And what a plus to have Robin co-teach the The Holiday Survival class with Wendy. Thank you, Robin, for all your great information on healthy eating, which was delivered so professionally, dovetailing beautifully into Wendy’s presentation. Hope you two team up again for more classes of scrumptious, healthy recipes. What a fun evening!!" --Carol B. _______________ I love this positive feedback! How gratifying it is to touch the lives of others in a meaningful way…and to be able to do so around a topic that is so dear to me, is just the icing on the cake (right—pun intended!). Wendy Van Wagner and I will continue to offer seasonal cooking classes in addition to the occasional specialty class…stay tuned!
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