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Archive for the ‘Home Flow’ Category

My journey to a healthier lifestyle has taken several twists and turns over the last year. The first changes came with diet. First to go were soft drinks. Next I tackled processed foods. My philosophy now is to prepare meals with fresh, whole foods with lots of veggies. Along the way, I lost a stubborn 8 pounds and re-discovered the enjoyment of creativity with food.

When I talk to friends and colleagues, I hear the same lament. “I want to eat more healthy foods, I just don’t have time to cook.” It seems that we are all looking for fast, easy, and delicious recipes. With that in mind, I’ve decided to post a fast and delicious recipe every Saturday.

Today’s simple supper is Cheddar Melt with Smoked Salmon. I’ve served this for lunch, dinner, and brunch. It’s one of my favorite breakfasts too. Since it is made with full fat dairy, this recipe is not appropriate for anyone on a low-fat diet, but low or no-fat dairy can be substituted – it just won’t be as delicious. I usually serve this cheese fondue in individual ramekins, but it is fun in a fondue pot for a party. By adding lots of fresh veggies for dipping, the dish is actually quite healthy and oh so yummy.

Cheddar Melt with Smoked Salmon

1 (3 oz. package) cream cheese, room temperature

1-1/4 cup sour cream

10 oz. extra sharp white cheddar, shredded

½ tsp. snipped chives

1 tsp. Whole grain or deli mustard

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

4 oz. smoked salmon

 Dipping Foods

Whole grain toast points

Steamed green beans

Steamed cauliflower

Steamed broccoli

Steamed asparagus

Small roasted potatoes

Blend the cream cheese and sour cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat. When melted together, stir in the shredded cheddar one handful at a time and stir until melted and smooth. Don’t let it boil or simmer or it will curdle and separate. Stir in the chives, mustard, and Worcestershire. Mix in the smoked salmon. Serve warm in individual ramekins or a warmed, ceramic fondue pot with dipping foods.

Cooks Notes:

Extra sharp white cheddar gives the best flavor, texture, and color. Other types of cheddar are perfectly acceptable. I prefer the smoked salmon filets rather than the thinly sliced lox style, but both types work well. If using the filet, just shred it into the fondue. If using the thin-sliced, chop it with a knife before adding.

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Serendipity in the Closet

I’ve been working on my morning routine – paring choices to ensure smooth sailing to getting to work on time. Simplify; start my workday with a calm, centered presence that is conducive to finding flow. No more frantic mornings.

 

Standing in my closet faced with another day of too many choices, it struck me that I have several clothes in my favorite colors. Hmm… It looks like I could wear the same color every day for one week. And so the experiment was launched. I busied myself with sorting by color groups; white, brown, green, blue, black, pink, red, and the oddballs. I found that I could indeed wear a single color scheme each week for eight weeks. Immediate liberation! Now I would only have to choose between 5 tops instead of 40 since all my pants and skirts are neutral.

 

So far I’ve had white week, pink week, blue week, and brown week. This week is black week. I’m surprised by the results so far. Reducing morning choices is brilliant. In fact, I found that I had already planned my outfits for the entire week on Sunday and I just went to the closet each morning and got dressed – no struggling over what to wear. The best part of this experiment was unintended. By challenging myself to wear all of the clothes in my closet, I confirmed the clothing that makes me feel beautiful and those that make me feel frumpy. I discovered clothing that doesn’t fit well anymore and clothing that fits better now on my menopause-induced curvy body. At the end of this experiment I’ll donate the flotsam and keep those items that inspired personal confidence in my appearance.

 

Conventional advice about closet cleaning asks you to pack away items you haven’t worn in the last six months. I found that treating this as a mental exercise did little to thin the herd. By wearing everything, the weeding becomes a joyful activity, leaving only those items that flatter and that you truly love. Who thought that you could find flow in the closet? One step closer to a simple, uncluttered, present life. Try it.

 

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