Sunday, June 28, 2009

watermelon salad

This recipe is what I categorize in my food brain as "an explosion of flavors." It's got everything - sweet, salty, sour, spicy, and pungent/bitter. I read somewhere that in order to reach real satiety while eating, it's important to combine all those flavors.

But, if nothing else, this dish screams "SUMMER!" and is a welcome treat on a hot afternoon.

Watermelon and Feta Salad

1/2 seedless watermelon, cubed
1/4 lb feta cheese*, cubed or crumbled

For the dressing:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp Trader Joe's mango chili vinegar (this just happened to be what I had on hand - or you can substitute another mild vinegar - try champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar)
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme or basil
1/2 of a shallot, minced
a pinch of dried chili flakes

Mix all the dressing ingredients in a glass jar, and shake to blend. Pour over the watermelon and feta cheese. You can also add some salad greens if you wish (I like arugula).

*Please do yourself a favor and use the real sheep's milk feta cheese. It's so much better. :)

Pin It!

enjoy NOW

Here is today's "tea fortune" - what I find to be a more fun version of a fortune cookie - from the tag of a Yogi Tea bag:

"Whatever you are doing now is the most beautiful thing."

What a great reminder!

This weekend has been quite busy. I spent most of my time at home, sorting, cleaning, organizing... and somewhere in between, doing work for my online class. I'm getting a lot out of this class, but for the record, I would say it's at least 50% more work than being in a "live" class. And in all honesty, I haven't been feeling very "yogic" these days.

So I took a break and had a cup of tea. With sudden inspiration, I decided to work on a little project: hand cream!

I started with an 8-ounce tub of 100% pure shea butter from this market, for $8. I thought it was a great deal, though perhaps not the most attractive. Not that it had to be, but it was a mass of white, lumpy... stuff, for lack of a better word. However, shea butter is a really effective, natural moisturizer, and a little bit goes a long way. I work in a hospital and wash my hands so many times during the day, and in the evenings I like to cook/bake, so my hands end up feeling like the Sahara sometimes.

Anyway. I thought I could make it just a little bit more fancy with ingredients I have at home. I set up my makeshift double boiler, which is nothing more than a medium saucepan of gently simmering water reaching about an inch or so, and a heatproof bowl (I use Pyrex) that fits right on top of the saucepan, with the water not touching the bottom of the bowl.

I dumped all the shea butter into the Pyrex bowl, and let the steam from the water melt the shea butter gently. I used a spatula to break up the large lumps and stir it occasionally. Then when it was in liquid form, I added about a quarter cup (maybe a bit more...this is just a "guesstimate") of extra virgin olive oil and some extra virgin cold-pressed coconut oil. I decided to add the coconut oil because it is solid at room temperature, so I thought it would help the mixture set better.

And since I love all things lavender, I added several drops of lavender essential oil--enough for me to catch a whiff of it, but not too much that it becomes overpowering.

I breathed in the relaxing scent of lavender... aaaah.

I reflected on my "tea fortune" again.

"Whatever you are doing now is the most beautiful thing." And really, this can apply to anything - even mundane things like washing dishes, or the laundry. Ugh. I am reminded of the rising pile in my laundry basket. Okay, maybe not the laundry.

But back to my project. I just gave the mixture a gentle stir, then strained it through a fine mesh strainer (as natural shea butter may have some small dark particles in it from the nut) it as I poured it into small jars with tight-fitting lids, and placed them in the refrigerator to set.

That's how the mixture looks in liquid form, above, in the little containers. I wish I had fancier glass jars, but I happened to have those travel-size containers (probably from the dollar store).

I couldn't believe how easy it was!

I've been using it frequently today. It's lightweight, and absorbs easily into the skin... and it smells divine! I won't be using store-bought hand cream for a really long time.

Maybe next time I'll try different scents. I wonder if my bergamot essential oil would work well. Or vanilla....mmmm.

Until then, back to work...

Pin It!

Monday, June 22, 2009

the dancer

"The goal of my work is to reveal the transcendent through images which focus on the human body as a vehicle of transformation. I am specifically interested in finding a universal art which touches the evolutionary traces embedded in human experience and transcends the limits of nationality and gender, placed on us all in an aim of discovering what is truly universal about being human."

-Maureen Fleming, dance choreographer

Pin It!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...