Monday, June 13, 2011

The Grind

When I was thinking of what I would title this post, I thought well it's the last night of my play-cation. My sister and a couple of her neighborhood gals come to visit us for a few days. We used every hour of day and night very wisely.
And now its back to work, back to packing lunches, back to washing laundry and back to my newly beloved blog, back to the grind. Blogging has been a wonderful new adventure for me though and is back to the grind in a different sort of way.

One of the simplest pleasures about a play-cation is getting up in the morning, putting the coffee pot into whrrring action and then sitting around the table with family and friends sipping cups of coffee and chatting until someone finally has the courage to get the gang moving. I will call this pleasure "the grind" and it's pretty hard to beat.

I came here tonight because I wanted to share a recipe that since Easter has been a joy in my life. And as I've mentioned earlier, using organic yogurt and even sour cream if you're feeling frisky, will make a world of difference in the smoothness of the flavors.

Tarragon-Poppy Seed Dressing

1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
2 teaspoons lemon juice (either fresh or minute maid)
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon poppy seeds, toasted
Kosher salt to taste

Combine the first six ingredients. Add poppy seeds and season with salt to taste. Toss with salad greens. My other favorite use for this dressing is to season salmon fillets and asparagus with salt and pepper and drizzle with some olive oil. Then arrange on a baking sheet and broil until the salmon flakes with a fork and the asparagus is tender. Place a salmon fillet and some asparagus on each plate and drizzle the fillet and asparagus with the dressing. Absolutely dinner perfection!

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Since I've been gone for so long, I also wanted to provide one other tip. Don't forget about oatmeal! It can be so decadent and warming for the soul. This morning for our company I prepared a batch and it's such a great way to start the day, along with a good grind of coffee and chatter, of course. For today's batch, I simmered the old fashioned oats on the stove-top adding some chopped dates during the last couple minutes of cooking. At the end of cooking, stirred in some maple syrup, homemade vanilla and ground cinnamon and served with walnuts, milk and sour cream.

If you never do anything else with your oatmeal, you must do these couple things. First, try cooking your oats in apple juice instead of water, provides a lot of flavor and no need for additional sweetener. Secondly, sour cream, sour cream, sour cream! A must try from Carol at the Fly Away Cafe, it really is a simple pleasure. The slight tang from the sour cream and a sprinkle of brown sugar are oatmeal bliss! And mix-ins go far beyond raisins; sunflower seeds, jam, almond butter, honey and a pat of butter, finely chopped apple or peaches, trail-mix, yogurt and unsweetened coconut.

It's time to prepare for tomorrow's grind, have a wonderful evening!

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