Friday, September 30, 2011


Just open yourself to the possibilities and you will be amazed at where you can go and what you can do. It sounds so cliché, but when you truly believe it in your heart is when the world opens to you. Yoga has brought me to this place and I can only dream where it will take me. I was contemplating this last night after my yoga class. I had one of those nights where everything felt ‘on’ – whether it was or not really didn’t matter as much as how it felt to me (and that is one of the things that makes yoga so awesome!).

A few weeks ago I was in Florida and practicing yoga at American Yoga in Deerfield Beach when at the end of a long tough class I tried for wheel – and got it! I seriously was almost in tears during savasana I was so happy. I always swore it was not enough upper body strength (and secretly thinking I still weighed too much and maybe in another 10 lbs I’ll be better able to lift myself, etc). Teachers told me it’s all in the legs. They said don’t think, just do it. I got tips on different ways to try to make it work. Legs closer in, arms wider, arms closer, try a strap, the list goes on. Well all it seemed to take was a bit of exhaustion and a ‘what the hell!’ attitude and I just went right up! And the next day I did it again. O. M. G.! Talk about feeling like I could take on the world!

So I returned to Michigan and for one reason or another didn’t have the opportunity to do wheel in class for at least a week. I knew to not set myself up to be disappointed if I didn’t get it again, and so earlier in the week when wheel didn’t happen and felt like a struggle, I gave myself a pep talk that it would happen again, I just had to be open to it and confident. Last night I went up into wheel not once, but twice! Interestingly, after class I was talking with my teacher about it and she commented that she saw me pause and really think about it before going up into wheel – what I realized later was that I was actually pausing to talk myself out of thinking too hard about it and to just give it a shot and try to be confident that my body now remembers the pose. I was so excited, I felt like I could conquer anything after that! Taking that feeling away from my mat I’ve had just a fantastic day today. Who knew a simple yoga pose could mean so much and deliver so much? What a freeing feeling it is.

Pumpkin Date & Walnut Bread

This chilly wet weather has put me in a Fall baking mood. I suppose being the last day of September, you could say it’s about time! I do try to find somewhat healthier recipes, and while this may not be the healthiest, it is fairly wholesome and terribly delicious! mmm! the house smelled so delicious I could hardly wait for this bread to be done. (shhh! it was so good I even had two pieces!).

This recipe is from

Pumpkin Date & Walnut Bread

makes 1 loaf


  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour, unbleached
  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cloves
  • 1/3 cup milk (I used coconut milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup chopped dates


  1. Mix all the dry ingredients (including spices) together in one bowl. Mix the milk and the vanilla together in another bowl or container.
  2. Mix the sugar and the canola oil in a mixer until it is completely blended. This will take about 2 minutes on medium speed.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the pumpkin and blend well.
  4. Add the flour mixture in thirds alternating with the milk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just blended. Stir in the nuts and dates.
  5. Place in greased 9 X 5-inch loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until done. Test for doneness with a toothpick, when it comes out clean or with just a few crumbs the loaf is done. This is a very moist bread.
  6. Let the loaf rest in the pan for 10 minutes or so. Remove from pans and place on cooling rack for 30 minutes before slicing.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fresh Zucchini Tomato Herb Pasta

As what happens often these days, this recipe started with one ingredient and a Tastespotting search. My starting ingredient was Pappardelle pasta, and I looked for anything with fresh tomatoes – after all I ended up with a mini crop of heirloom tomatoes in the garden upon my return from Florida last week! It took a bit of time to chop all the fresh herbs and prep everything, but it all went quickly once I started. The result was delicious! Recipe originally from
Fresh Zucchini Tomato Herb Pasta
serves 4
  • 1 1/2 lb heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1/2 bag pappardelle dried pasta
  • 1 1/2 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 cup chopped fresh herbs (I used rosemary, thyme, oregano and italian parsley)
  • 1 cup italian basil leaves, chopped/shredded
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • ricotta cheese (about 2 TB/plate)
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place tomatoes in pan for about 30 seconds, remove with slotted spoon. Allow to cool. Remove skin and chop. Set aside.
  2. Trim ends of zucchini. Use a vegetable peeler and shave zucchini vertically until the seeded core appears – discard core. Set shaved zucchini ribbons aside.
  3. Cook pappardelle pasta until al dente. Drain with cold water. Toss with 1/2 TB olive oil and zucchini shavings. Set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm 1 TB olive oil. Add onions and green bell pepper. Saute until onion is translucent. Add garlic and crushed red pepper, stir for 30 seconds – do not let garlic brown or burn.
  5. Add chopped tomatoes and their juice, red wine and 1 cup of fresh herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce to a low simmer for about 10 minutes. Then add in the basil and turn heat off.
  6. Place zucchini/pasta combo on plates/in bowls. Spoon tomato sauce on top. Place ricotta cheese on top of each.

Dancing the night away!

Friday night Thad and I went to a wedding in downtown Detroit at the historic Book Cadillac Westin for my coworker Robin. She was beautiful (as I knew she would be!) and the reception was lovely! Our tablemates were all coworkers and their husbands – a fun group of 60 and 70-somethings who drank wine and danced the night away along with us to the best wedding band ever!


I loved my dress and my shoes!! You can’t tell here too well but they were sparkly heels – and unbelievably comfortable all night too. I’ll always look for the Kelly & Katie brand in the future – I had another pair of heels by them that were great too (another DSW find).

robinswedding2Here’s my coworker Sue and her husband Ron. While these ladies are my coworkers, we really don’t often work together as we are all Sales Greeters – if Sue isn’t working, I am. It was so nice to get to know them better! Sue and Ron offered us their season tickets for Saturday’s Michigan football game and we made plans to go out soon.

Detroit made such a beautiful setting for wedding photos for Robin and her husband Joe. This one in front of the Fox theatre is my absolute favorite!!

Thad and I missed the ceremony since we were both working, but I love this photo too.

What a great evening!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Spicy Zucchini Pancakes

Zucchini from the farmers market has been sitting in the fridge since Wednesday – one reason or another our grilling plans kept getting pushed off. Thad suggested making zucchini pancakes when I told him they were kinda past their prime to be grilled. So I went searching for some recipes. I found two recipes and merged them to make my own. Delicious!


  • 4 sm/med zucchini (4 cups shredded)
  • 1 large red potato (2 cups shredded)
  • 2 eggs (or 3 egg whites)
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper & Spike seasoning to taste


  1. Using food processor, shred zucchini and potato. squeeze between paper towel and roll in paper towel to absorb moisture
  2. Mix together with remaining ingredients and combine well. Add more breadcrumbs as needed so mixture is not too wet and holds together.
  3. Using a cookie scoop (I used my pampered chef large cookie scoop), drop onto a sprayed griddle pan at medium heat, and spread flat with back of spatula. cook each side 1-1 1/2 minutes.
  4. Enjoy! We had with black bean burgers and fresh corn on the cob.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Blueberry Pancakes

In my morning blog reading I ran across a recipe for healthified blueberry pancakes. With a bunch of fresh blueberries in the fridge and a little more time this morning, I decided to whip some up and surprise Thad. They were yummy! Recipe adapted from a recipe posted by a guest blogger, Katie, on the Eat, Live, Run blog.

Blueberry Pancakes

Serves 2

1 cup blueberries
2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 T agave
2/3 cup almond milk
2 T unrefined coconut oil (You can omit, if you like the taste of fat-free pancakes)

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, then add wet. Mix, but don’t overmix. Cook on an oiled (or sprayed) pan, on low-medium, flipping each pancake once.