Cooking and eating outdoors, in the open air, is far more relaxed and mindful than exactly the same meal prepared and eaten indoors.
It really is high summer, a time for long evenings, barbecues, and alfresco dining. Chill the wine and the beer, and prepare to be relaxed and happy. This week we are going to concentrate on salads and vegetables to go along with whatever meat or fish you have on the grill. Unless you’re vegetarian or vegan, or just like vegetables, in which case a lot of these recipes will make a complete meal for you.
Personally, I just love salads.
From San Diego cook Averie Sunshine we have this dish of grilled vegetables with smoky honey mustard dipping sauce ~ looks fabulous. Averie says this recipe is easy ~ ready in 5 minutes ~ healthy and there’s zero cleanup. Grilling vegetables is so very good.
Grilled Vegetables with Smoky Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
The Bojon Gourmet has a very elegant looking dish, a summer vegan green goddess salad ~ avocado, crispy lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, seeds and a cashew herb dressing. I think this salad looks interesting, different, tasty, and refreshing. I also think that most of us could add our own little interesting twist to this recipe.
Summer Vegan Green Goddess Salad
The cool and together Jessica at How Sweet Eats has published a recipe for a 20 minute Thai avocado salad, and you have to admit this looks fantastic, filled with taste and texture. I guess it’s 20 minutes if you can use a chef’s knife.
20 Minute Thai Avocado Salad
Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes has found for us this dish by Summer Miller; lentil salad with summer vegetables. This should take you 35 minutes to make, and is a brilliant side dish, or as a light lunch. Make a lot and take some to work the following day.
Lentil Salad with Summer Vegetables
Heather Christo has a different kind of recipe for a warm summer afternoon, this tomato peach and avocado salad with cilantro vinaigrette. Heather says that this is a beautifully simple 30 minute salad that will totally blow your socks off. I tend to agree. Nice to take to work for lunch too.
Tomato Peach and Avocado Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette
I very much like the recipes from Cookie + Kate, and this one is no exception. Anyway, what’s not to like about colourful strawberry arugula salad with balsamic vinaigrette?
Colourful Strawberry Arugula Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Lastly for this week, from Chungah at Damn Delicious we have 15 quick and easy vegetable side dishes. This cool collection includes this 25 minute recipe for baked Parmesan mushrooms ~ I love baked mushrooms. Actually I often like side dishes and appetisers better than the entrée.
Baked Parmesan Mushrooms
Marmaduke also likes salads
The blue sky in July trembles like a butterfly.
It’s high summer. I have just returned from Turkey and the best vacation ever. The food in Turkey was fabulous, and went perfectly with their hot summer sunshine.
These recipes may not all be authentically Turkish, but they are all the kind of dishes you would get in the better Turkish restaurants in the tourist areas, and they will all go perfectly with our long summer days.
First up this week, found by Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes, we have 4 Great Add-Ins for Hummus. Hummus is almost an essential component of a Turkish banquet, and these ideas from Katie Workman are just brilliant. I especially like the roasted red pepper hummus, and Katie even tells us how to make perfect roasted peppers.
Now, from at How Sweet Eats we have summer BBQ Quinoa Salad, which is a perfectly Turkish inspired side dish, or a lighter meal to take to work.
Summer BBQ Quinoa and Chicken Salad
Well now, OK, this recipe for orozo stuffed red peppers with lemony basil tomatoes from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest is actually Greek, but I had an exactly similar dish when I was in Turkey. This is a very quick and easy 30 minute vegetarian dish, (other than it has cheese, but you can buy vegan cheese).
Greek Orozo Stuffed Red Peppers with Lemony Basil Tomatoes.
From lovely San Diego girl Averie Sunshine we have this wonderful looking dish of Peach Chili Grilled Chicken, just the kind of thing you could be served in the better Turkish restaurants in the tourist parts of the country. This damn easy 10 minute dish needs no cleanup afterwards ~ how cool is all that?
Peach Chili Grilled Chicken
I almost never feature the same cook twice in one Food on Friday, but here’s another Dish from Tieghan Gerard, at Half Baked Harvest. Turkish fried eggs in herbed yogurt. You could have these at breakfast, lunch, or dinner ~ and the whole thing takes only 30 minutes to prepare.
Turkish Fried Eggs in Herbed Yogurt
For desert, this is another sort-of Greek dish: frozen honey Greek yogurt dipped strawberries, shown to us by Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower. But, there is nothing to stop you from using Turkish honey and Turkish yogurt to make this guilt free desert recipe.
Frozen Honey Greek Yogurt Dipped Strawberries
Finally for this week we have a great collection of Turkish recipes from Delicious Magazine, including this fabulous Lamb Kofte Tagine. This is an easy 30 minute dish that would make a super mid-week meal, or something fast for a Saturday night in with friends. Buy Turkish beer to go with it.
Lamb Kofte Tagine
we sat in an outdoors restaurant watching the parasailors landing.
how cool was that?
To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the lunatic prisoner was you. ~ Louis B. Smedes.
There has never been much forgiveness in my life, and mostly I have been very unforgiving of myself. I expect to cope, whatever happens, and be a high achiever. At times I can act like a lunatic.
This has led me into a very disruptive pattern in my life. A pattern which others can often recognise better than I can. These words of advice were sent to me a couple of days ago, by a very good friend. This is how she describes my life.
- High on Life …… very optimistic….. on top of the world.
- Sexual buzz is strong.
- I forget all the things that were said when I tried to confront past problems and issues
- Minor irritation sets in when I don’t feel appreciated. I become resentful and mistrustful.
- I start looking for the hidden dark meaning in things said, or not said. Become more distrustful, and often angry ~ often very angry with myself.
- Get totally pissed-off when feelings, emotions, and thoughts that have no basis in truth fill my mind. Start to apply twisted logic to situations and conversations.
- Voices in my mind tell me to escape, say ‘Fuck It All’, and then I will have a drink or 10.
- Go missing from the world for days at a time, during which something very bad will happen.
That’s been the pattern of my life for a very long time. I need to recognise it, and cut it off at the neck when the darker, depressive thoughts begin.
I agree with my friend that I need to try to live with inner peace, mindfulness, and serenity.
Escaping into booze is no solution.
Marmaduke lives very peacefully
Insomnia turns an earthly paradise into a place of torture.
If you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes of getting into bed and turning off the lights, if you toss and turn and wake up several times in the night, if you don’t wake up feeling instantly refreshed and ready to hit the ground running, then you are not getting enough good sleep.
Scientific studies show that for good health almost everyone needs 7 or 8 hours of good sleep, every single night of their adult lives. Not getting enough good sleep does really bad things to you.
Just some of the bad effects of lack of sleep are; depression, diabetes, fatigue, heart diseases, heart attack, high blood pressure, poor immune system leading to illness, impulsive behaviours, irritability, paranoia, stroke, suicidal thoughts, and Death.
All of us know exactly that some of the things some of us do from time to time will prevent us from sleeping well at night; not getting enough fresh air and exercise during the day, drinking too much booze, eating late at night, using social media late at night, not going to bed at the same time every night, staying in bed late at weekends, having unresolved issues that prey on our mind, having an untreated mental illness, having our bedroom too warm, too noisy, and not dark enough, being in a dysfunctional relationship, hanging out in bars, casual sex…..
I’ve got a bad case of the 3.00 am guilts ~ you know, when you lie in bed awake and replay all those things you didn’t do right? Because, as we all know, nothing solves insomnia like a nice warm glass of regret, depression, paranoia, and self-loathing. ~ D. D. Barant.
Some things that most of us do will disrupt our internal body clock, our circadian rhythm, and prevent us from getting a decent night’s sleep, for night after night after night. Who knew that our internal body clock is so important to good sleep and good health? If you do stuff that
fucks up disrupts your internal body clock, resulting in a lack of good sleep, you will seriously damage your physical, mental, and spiritual health and fitness.
All the things that will help ensure that we will always have a good night’s sleep are so
bleeding obvious that a child of 5, or 6, or 7 already knows them, instinctively.
- Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends and vacations.
- Get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Get out and walk for an hour a day, (10,000 steps), but not too late in the day.
- Get plenty of sunlight during the day ~ tricky if you live in northern England like me, (or Canada, or Alaska, or Scandinavia…).
- Avoid caffeine later in the day. It’s a stimulant, and the caffeine in a cup of coffee will take about 6 or 8 hours to wear off.
- Do not smoke. Nicotine is a stimulant, smoking affects your breathing, you will get nicotine withdrawal through the night and wake up, you will have nightmares for years after you stop smoking. Smokers never sleep well.
- Booze. Don’t drink to much, especially late at night. A glass of wine / hard booze just before you go to bed will stop you from getting a decent night’s rest. Trust me, people who drink late at night, most nights, are three parts of the
smeggingway to being an alcoholic.
- Do not eat late at night. Don’t eat anything much for a couple of hours before bed-time.
- Don’t take a nap after three in the afternoon.
- Have a relaxing hot bath just before bed-time. Light some candles, play some relaxing music, turn off your racing mind.
- Have a dark bedroom, quiet bedroom, cool bedroom, gadget free bedroom, and no
fuckingblue light from your phone / tablet / computer shining all night.
- Forget all the bad things from the day, especially the ignorant
son of a bitchperson who cut you up on the freeway on your way to work.
- Finally, if you just cannot get to sleep, then don’t just lie in bed fretting. If you really cannot sleep, get up and do something else instead, (but none of the bad things listed above).
One thing that some doctors say will result in a restored sleep cycle and better sleep is using marijuana, pot, cannabis. There are some serious downside risks to the cannabis user, such as; anxiety, breathing problems, poor coordination, damaging a child in the womb, hallucinations, heart attacks, impaired thinking and cognitive functions, nausea, road traffic accidents, smoking anything is a known health risk, suicide, paranoia and schizophrenia, being arrested, losing your job, and Death. All other drugs you can take to help you sleep are worse than marijuana, especially in the longer term. (Anyhow, I would never sleep with anyone who uses drugs. Come to that, I wouldn’t have lunch with a drug user.)
Some say that going without sleep for night after night is dangerous. And, that eventually going without sleep will kill you, after 11 days or so. All I know is that not sleeping is very, very unpleasant.
you may be able to tell that I didn’t sleep well last night
one of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, and four of weak
And that’s how to make Planters’ Rum Punch, an Englishman’s preferred drink to go along with a summer barbecue. The strong is Caribbean Dark Rum, (or try Woods 100), and the sour is fresh lime juice. You can guess the rest ~ (simple syrup and iced water).
Well now, this coming Monday, the 28th of May, is Memorial Day in the USA. It’s also the Spring Bank Holiday here in Great Britain. For some of us this is the first real day of summer, more or less ~ although the weather in most of England and America hasn’t been very summery of late.
Particularly in the USA, this coming Monday is the time to clean the cobwebs of that old barbecue, dust down the patio furniture, invite some friends overs, and hang out in the yard eating, drinking, and shooting the
So, for this week’s Food on Friday I’m going to feature stuff that goes well with kicking back outdoors.
I know a very nice American girl who really likes cilantro and lime. So, first to the BBQ this week is Jessica Merchant from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and her blog How Sweet Eats. Jessica has this cool recipe for Cilantro Lime Flank Steak, and while it will only take you 20 minutes to cook in the broiler, you need to start marinading the steak on Sunday. Make plenty and take the leftovers to work on Tuesday, (if there are any leftovers).
Cilantro Lime Flank Steak
From San Diego we have the sunshine girl Averie with her Grilled Steak Kabobs, (funny we call these things kebabs in England). You will want a good top sirloin steak for these rich looking skewers. Again, these will cook very fast on the grill, but you want to allow at least 4 hours for the marinade to work.
Grilled Steak Kabobs
If you don’t like steak, then what about these Honey BBQ Chicken Kabobs from Chungah at Damn Delicious. Again this dish will only take you 20 minutes to cook on the grill, but you need to allow a couple of extra hours for the marinade to do its work. Looks tasty to me.
Honey BBQ Chicken Kabobs
To go with all this meat you’re going to cook on your freshly cleaned BBQ, you’re going to need some salad, and from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower, we have this good looking dish; Avocado Corn Caprese Salad, dressed with a honey balsamic vinaigrette. Looks so delicious and refreshing.
Avocado Corn Caprese Salad
From the Californian White on Rice couple we have a very different Grilled Romaine and Corn Salad, something you can make on your BBQ in under half an hour ~ while you’re grilling your other vegetables too. (If you’re cooking any vegetables…)
Grilled Romaine & Corn Salad
I know that most of you like the recipe collections I feature, and here’s another one. From Olive magazine we have the 32 Best Ever BBQ Recipes to help you enjoy the sunshine this coming Memorial Day. I particularly like this very quick and easy recipe for Miami-Style Blackened Fish Sandwich with Smoked Paprika Mayo ~ ready in just 20 minutes. Me, I’d use salmon, tuna, or swordfish to make a really top-notch blackened fish sandwich.
Miami-Style Blackened Fish Sandwich with Smoked Paprika Mayo
Should you want to make a dessert for your guests, then Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes has found us a collection of 9 Crowd-Pleasing Desserts for Your Memorial Day Party. I particularly like the look of this Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake recipe by Cindy Rahe.
Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
And finally this Friday, for those of us who aren’t content just to suck back beers, we have another collection from Wide Open Eats, 20 Best Big Batch Cocktails for Backyard BBQs and Lazy Sundays. As a very practiced consumer of alcoholic beverages I particularly like the look of this Pitcher Hurricane Cocktail. this recipe is to make a gallon of the stuff. Personally I’d just tip in a whole bottle of both dark rum and light rum, (and I’d also miss out the metrosexual umbrellas), but that’s me for you.
Pitcher Hurricane Cocktail
the English version of Memorial Day is observed on Remembrance Sunday, as near as possible to November 11th
It’s a solemn occasion.
Good food is as welcome as the flowers in May.
It must be a couple of months since I last wrote a Food on Friday post so for today I originally decided that I was just going to choose some recipes that I really like the sound of, rather trying to stick to a theme.
Well actually, there will be a bit of a theme, I wanted to feature dishes which are pretty easy, don’t take so long to prepare, and will taste really good on a warm, early summer day. But, quite by accident there’s a lot of avocado this week. Must be something to do with some Mexican festival that happens tomorrow.
First up this week, from Tieghan at Half Baked Harvest, we have these cool baked egg crepes with spring herbs and avocado. You should really make your own crepes, but you can buy crepes at stores like Trader Joe’s, and just assemble the fillings. This 25 minute dish will make a great brunch on any nice early summer’s day.
Baked Egg Crepes with Spring Herbs and Avocado
From Chungah at Damn Delicious we have a nice recipe collection; 8 fast pasta dishes for busy weeknights. Here in England we don’t go much on Mac and Cheese, but from this collection there’s this super looking creamy broccoli mac and cheese. Qucik, easy, healthy, and nutritious.
Creamy Broccoli Mac and Cheese
Joy the Baker has this dangerous sounding dish; mango and jalepeno guacamole. I suspect that you’d want to accompany this with beer, rather than tequila.
Mango and Jalepeno Guacamole
Averie Sunshine at Averie Cooks has this nice and very easy dish; taco stuffed avocados ~ and you couldn’t get much more Cinco de Mayo than that. (Actually, I’m English and I know damn-all about Mexican food, or Cinco de Mayo.)
Taco Stuffed Avocados
And now for something completely different; Heather Christo has this brilliant idea which should appeal to all American men ~ the DIY guacamole bar. (At least it should keep the guys out of trouble for a while.)
DIY Guacamole Bar
And now, to celebrate National Guacamole Day, we give you 10 amazing guacamole recipes, brought to you by Shape magazine. This collection includes the amazing celery-spiked guacamole with chiles from bon appétit.
Celery-Spiked Guacamole with Chiles
Finally for this week, and realising that for those of you in the USA the 5th of May is a bit of a holiday, with a slight Mexican touch. From Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes we have 8 ways to show your love of avocados this Cinco de Mayo. Leaving aside a great recipe for guacamole, this collection also includes this interesting chicken posole salad ~ what a smashing idea, and wouldn’t the leftovers be good for lunch at work the following day?
Chicken Posole Salad
Just in case you’re not already satiated with avocado, check out 52 genius ways to get your avocado fix, from delish magazine. This also has lots of guacamole recipes, including BLT guacamole ~ and how cool is that?
Marmaduke is not a big fan of avocado
Cauliflower is nothing but a cabbage with a college education. ~ Mark Twain
Most will regard the humble cauliflower as a boring side dish ~ at best. Perhaps something not to put into one’s shopping cart on a regular basis. But, as I hope these smashing recipes from some great cooks will show you, there are a lot of exciting dishes you can make with this cruciferous vegetable. Cauliflower is from the same plant family as broccoli, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts and is said to be even better for you, in some ways, than these green vegetables.
First this week we have these cool cauliflower rice carne asada bowls with mango salsa, from Teighan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest. This whole meal will take you an hour to make, but you can do so much with the leftovers afterwards. Lunch at work, tacos, burritos, topped with a fried egg…
Cauliflowere Rice Carne Asada Bowls with Mango Salsa
Cauliflower cheese is a classic dish, but this creamy cauliflower gratin from Chungah at Damn Delicious is just a little bit special. Again this easy dish will take you about an hour, and again this is something that you can reheat in the microwave at work. Or have with a nice steak for dinner later in the week.
Creamy Cauliflower Gratin
Next, from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower there’s this cool dish to think about; zucchini lentil pasta with mashed cauliflower. Made with mushrooms, squash, and grape tomatoes ~ with a side of creamy mashed cauliflower. It looks very delicious for a midweek dinner.
Zucchini Lentil Pasta with Mashed Cauliflower
Yvette’s Gourmet Kitchen has this brilliant looking recipe for roasted cauliflower with almonds and capers. I think you can have this dish ready in 30 minutes. It’s vegan if you use a vegetarian substitute for the Parmesan cheese.
Roasted Cauliflower with Almonds and Capers
Here’s something exotically different and up-market from Petra at Food Eat Love; cauliflower soup with beetroot and gin cured salmon. This dish is something for a really posh dinner party ~or be even posher than that and serve to your house-guests at breakfast. The dish only takes 10 minutes to prepare, but you have to cure the salmon for 36 hours before that.
Cauliflower Soup with Beetroot and Gin Cured Salmon
A blog-post of cauliflower recipes wouldn’t be anything without a soup. Ergo from Alanna at the Bojon Gourmet we have cauliflower and yellow split pea soup with turmeric and curried ghee. Both cauliflower and turmeric are supposed to be very good for you. This is a great soup to make a lot of, to take to work later, as it will keep for about 5 days in the refrigerator.
Cauliflower and Yellow Split Pea Soup with Turmeric and Curried Ghee
And finally this week we have our list, this time from delish. So, how about 70 crazy creative things to make with cauliflower???? These 70 cool recipes include this loaded grilled cauliflower by Lauren Miyashiro, which should take you about 20 minutes to prepare.
Loaded Grilled Cauliflower
cauliflower is easy to grow, even if you only have a small garden, it’s pretty decorative too.
No person is free who is not master of themselves.
Self-discipline and self-control aren’t easy ~ these admirable character traits are not something we are born with, and usually most people don’t really develop self-discipline and self-control until they are well into adulthood. Some sad people never learn any real self-discipline and self-control at all. They are doomed to live meaningless, unfulfilled, unhappy, and unenlightened existences.
The exercise of self-discipline and self-control is difficult and complicated, needing willpower, flexibility, and judgement. To live fully rewarding lives we must continually be completely honest with ourselves, yet at times withhold the whole truth from others. To be free of disappointment, pain, and suffering we must assume total responsibility for ourselves and our own actions. It’s no good breaking our abstinence from alcohol or cigarettes just because some other people seem to having a good time smoking and drinking. That is just giving the power to control our lives to others whose own judgement is very suspect.
We must also have the self-discipline and self-control to reject responsibility that is not truly ours. I am not my brother’s keeper, nor are you responsible for what your sister does with her life.
True self-discipline and real self-control means being organised and efficient, living wisely, and living in balance and harmony with yourself and the Cosmos.
A key part of this is the ability to delay gratification ~ don’t always stop at the pub on the way home from work, don’t always get angry when questioned, and don’t always eat that last sandwich even when you are not hungry. Keep an eye on the future, think about what your actions are going to mean tomorrow, next week, next year. Do you want to be an angry and overweight alcoholic? Well, by the sound of it that’s where you’ll be heading if you don’t learn some self-discipline and self-control.
Let hunger sharpen your awareness. Abstain liquor and frivolous recreation, which dull the mind and weaken the body. ~ Laura Joh Rowland.
It’s all about replacing bad and self-destructive habits with good habits that will enhance your life in the longer term. Instead of stopping off at the pub on the way home from work, three or four times a week, go to the gym instead. You won’t get the immediate buzz of getting drunk, but you will get the long-term buzz of being a fitter, healthier, much better person.
Either I’m lucky, or I have a lot of willpower, because I seem to have more than my share of self-discipline and self-control ~ (and even I self-destruct from time to time). I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t pick up cheap women in bars for meaningless sex. I’m fit and healthy, I walk at least 5 miles every day, exercise, and I do yoga. My weight is right where it should be, my blood work is excellent, and my heart is strong. I don’t go to work at all, and yet I’m wealthy enough to do what I like when I like.
And nobody has ever given me one damn thing. Everything I have I have earned for myself through hard work, self-discipline, and self-control.
The answer is easy. Stop pissing your life away like a fool, and start really living instead. Replace your bad and self-destructive habits with good habits that will enhance your life in the longer term.
If I can do it, anyone can.