recipes

It’s Getting Hot in Here

Has anyone seen the popular hot sauce commercials with the sweet old grandma who proclaims, upon seeing her favorite hot sauce brand, “I put that sh*t on everything!”?

Well, that’s me! Minus the grey hair and granny glasses! I LOVE hot sauce and I really do put it on everything.
Have you ever tried hot sauce on a mango? Delicious! Seriously! If you’ve never tried it, do yourself a “flavor” and give it a whirl.

Recently, I tried Sriracha for the first time. I know, I know, as a proclaimed “hot sauce lover,” I was late to the Sriracha party, but boy am I glad I finally got my invitation. Sriracha seems to have just the right balance of spice and sweetness and it pairs nicely with most meats (if you eat meat).

Since discovering the wonder that is Sriracha, I’ve started to put it on grilled tofu. Serve that up with a little rice and beans and you’ve got a stellar dish that is full of flavor.

A few of my others favorite hot sauces include:

Salsa verde – I ask you, “How can anyone go wrong with a mixture of roasted tomatillos, jalapenos, lime, and cilantro?” Salsa verde has a flavor that is smoother and I find, more refreshing, than traditional salsa. My favorite brand just happens to be Trader Joe’s, which I could really just eat from the jar with a spoon. Need a quick week-night dinner? Grab a fully-cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, mix it with a jar of salsa verde, a small can of diced tomatoes, and a box of chicken broth. Let it simmer about a half hour and you’ve got a delicious Mexican chicken soup.

Jerk sauce – My mom used to cook amazing Jamaican food at home and jerk sauce was always the key ingredient. Scotch bonnet peppers are the main ingredient that give jerk sauce it’s “heat” and it pairs nicely with other sweeter spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, usually found in baking. Jerk sauce is terrific on fish and shrimp, and certainly can be used on poultry or pork. Not a meat-eater? Me neither! I make a lovely jerk-flavored seitan with peppers. Just cook your seitan with some diced tomatoes, a small can of tomato paste, some jerk sauce and sliced onions and peppers. Serve over rice, or use it to fill a hearty, crusty roll for a spectacular sandwich.

Indian curry – Indian curry boasts one of my all-time favorite ingredients – Turmeric – which has been shown to be quite effective in relieving the pain of arthritis. Indian curry is wonderful with meats or meat substitutes and can also take a sometimes boring grain like rice and make it a rock star on your plate. For a quick meal, I cook a package of rice noodles and mix them with a bag of frozen snap peas and a jar of Indian curry sauce. Three ingredients and an explosion of flavors!

Well, there you go…Whew…I think I need to cool down. Maybe a nice glass of ice water will do the trick? And later…definitely a mango with hot sauce. Seriously, you gotta try it!

Be nice to yourself, take care of yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out!

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life, living

From the Basement to the Beach

I just quit my day job!

After 10 years of working at the same place I decided to finally live out my dream. I quit my job, sold a bunch of my stuff, and moved to a tiny little place at the beach to run my two business and write full-time.

It was a scary move!

I realized on the first day at my new place as I walked along the beach listening to the waves that I have spent the last 15 years in the basement. At my last job of 10 years and my previous job to that of 5 years I had spent the last 15 years working underground.

It wasn’t like it was a mine shaft or anything. My last office looked like a real office, but I was always acutely aware that I was indeed in the basement. On those lovely days when I actually left the office while it was still daylight, I would squint and wonder what the big orange ball was in the sky. I was totally “outside deprived!”

It’s hard to believe how different my life is now. I still work, but I work at the local library, which boasts a giant skylight, or I work from my living room or front porch, where I can soak up all the sunshine I’d like.

It’s a whole different way of living my life and I gotta tell you; it’s fantastic!

Maybe your dream isn’t to quit your job, move to the beach, and write books; that’s my dream, but I’m sure you have dreams of your own – follow them!

Do more of what makes you happy, what you are passionate about. Do the things that make you want to jump out of bed in the morning. Do things that get you excited and make you feel alive. Don’t postpone your happiness for one more second.
Take that class you’ve been putting off, write that book or blog post that’s been rattling around inside your head. Start that pet-sitting business on the side or start volunteering at that school tutoring students in math.

Nothing will make you feel more alive than actually living, so get out there and live!

And when you do, drop me a line and let me know about it. I’ll be waiting to hear from you from the beach!

Have you gotten your copy of Your Best Year Yet!? It’s available now @Amazon.com. It’s not too late to pick up your copy and get to living all those dreams!

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