The Past: I may have left Colorado behind, but the memories of clear skies and long drives will never leave me:
I really should start asking other people to take my picture.
… at least until my next visit.
I started THIH nearly a year ago. I now have man hands from the strain of prolific typing. But, reflections on the origins of THIH must wait another three weeks(!) For now, I am reminded by Nicole to check out the top search terms leading to this blog. I won’t be tailoring my posts to the search results in the future; instead, I’ll be having a hearty guffaw at some of the more obscure search terms in the present. From March 15, 2010 to December 30, 2010, exempli gratia:
* The top search term: “thehappinessinhealth”. Thanks to the 900+ visitors who found my site this way!
* “Why does my foot roll when I walk” – I’m guessing the 124 people who searched for this phrase found this post, although I’m sad to say I never actually found a solution to foot rolls. Great job giving your readers what they want, Jessie! I hope the readers were at least impressed by my on-the-fly calculation of running force.
* “Saratoga Peanut Butter Company” – I’ve never made a secret of my love for this company’s peanut butter. Now the 122 people who found my site through Google know it, too.
* “Should I eat one brazil nut a day” – various incarnations of this phrase appeared countless times. I hope the searchers found the information they wanted in my Brazil nut post. I’ve also received the most emails about this post. Maybe people REALLY like Brazil nuts?
* “zucchini cartoon” – to those 20 people, don’t let your veggies get lonely!
* “Happy Jessie” – 52 people :D
* “how to shave a reluctant cat” – 8 people. Does the first picture in this post satisfy?
* “dietitian awesome” – to those 6 people: I agree!
The Present: while I eagerly await my copy of Denise‘s Quickies: Morning, Noon and Night, I decided to try one of Denise’s recipes that I’ve had bookmarked for a long time: Apple, Bacon and Onion Galette.
I’m not sure why I decided to use my old camera to take the pictures above. Notwithstanding its appearance, this galette was DELICIOUS! I made two and ate both in as many days. Just picture me standing above the stove, shoveling spoonfuls of syrupy apples and browned onions into my mouth, and you will understand how much I loved this recipe.
The Future: I’ve never been much of a resolution maker. Instead, I’ve always felt as though I can make positive life “adjustments” all year ’round. A few of the ongoing “adjustments” in my life:
* Spend more time with family and friends.
* Enjoy (almost) every bite (no pressure, mind).
* Take a cue from Peter and R-E-L-A-X. Chill, yo.
* Live more by the phrase “what would you do if you knew you could not fail?”, a.k.a. have COURAGE.
A few more tangible items:
* Write blog posts ONLY when I want to.
* Increase my exercise repertoire: more strength-training and other forms of cardio (besides running).
* Have fun with my new camera!
Usually, I encourage people to incorporate time frames into their goals, such as “do blah-de-blah 3X per week to achieve blahblahblah goal within blaaaah amount of time”, but I find that I do best with looser goals that allow me to be flexible, rather than controlling. Feel free to take your time and find the goal-setting method that works for you.
Happy New Year! Peace Out.
Q: Do you have any New Year’s Eve/Day plans?
Any goals for the new year?
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Hi everyone! I LOVE being home! I had a great time exploring Beijing and Hong Kong over the past six weeks, but there’s nothing like Western-style toilets and home-cooked food (yes, I mentioned them both in the same sentence).
Oh, yes. And Peter.
(Screenshot from one of our countless inter-continental Skype sessions.)
I had a fantastic time in Hong Kong! I’m planning on devoting a few posts to my time in HK, but not yet. For now, I want to relish in the feeling of being home :) I’m so excited that I’m able to access all of your blogs again! No banning here in the U.S.!
In the meantime, remember this picture I took before I left for China, and how I was going to fit everything into that leetle teeny roller bag on the way back?
Yeah, well …
Not so much. Hey, I was bringing back lots of gifts, okay??
My checked roller bag didn’t make it the last leg of my three-part return flight extravaganza, so the airline delivered it to our apartment the next day. This is what I found outside our apartment when we returned from a grocery shopping trip.
Good thing the bag was cheap.
Speak of grocery shopping, I was eager to get myself into the kitchen again. After recovering from a mild bug and partially recovering from jet lag (I’m writing this entry around 4:30 am), I decided to throw together an old favorite for yesterday’s dinner. I can’t take credit for this delicious dish – all the credit goes to Almanzo Wilder‘s mother in the Laura Ingalls Wilder novel Farmer Boy.
Almanzo’s Apples ‘n’ Onions
4 large onions
4 large apples, any kind (although firmer apples are best, like Gala or Granny Smith. I used Golden Delicious here.)
1 Tbsp veggie oil
Chop your apples into rough bite-sized cubes. Cut onions in half, then slice. No need to make them pretty!
If you are including sausage (because you crave it from being in China for 5.5 weeks … or whatever), saute in large frying pan over medium-low heat until cooked through. You can also cook chicken or tofu or some other protein. Once your protein is cooked, push it off to the side, add veggie oil and saute apples and onions until soft but still with a “bite“. If you like your apples and onions mushy (I won’t judge you), then cook for a looooong time.
Oh, induction burner, how I have missed thee.
Finish with salt and fresh-ground black pepper and serve immediately. You can drizzle a little honey on top if you like your dishes sweeter, but I find the slightly-caramelized onions to be just the right amount of sweetness for me.
Due to the wicked hot weather we are experiencing in the Northeast US right now, I was craving something cool, with a kick. I decided to try replicating this exquisite mojito my classmates and I ordered every time we went to Cafe Sambal, a great Malaysian restaurant in one of Beijing’s hutongs.
Drinking one of those mojitos on a hot day in Beijing was like drinking a class of pure ice water (of course, that could be due to the fact that it was pretty much all ice water and lime juice). To replicate the experience, I decided to try this recipe, leaving out the club soda. We have two types of rum in our plastic bin of liquor (yes, you read that right): a coconut rum and a light rum. I decided to try them both … what? What’s wrong with that? :D
First step was squeezing my limes *pause for effect* I’ve found the best way to help limes release the juice is to roll them on the counter for a minute. Microwaving them for 10-15 seconds also helps.
This coconut rum is so good, you could sample it straight up. In THEORY, folks. Geez.
All together in the cocktail shaker:
Light rum (with raspberries for a little color):
Don’t worry, I didn’t drink them both. I sampled each and decided the coconut rum version possessed a tropical flair that the light rum couldn’t match. The coconut rum was mine and the rest went to the dogs.
Just kidding! I would never do that to little Maddles. I was just looking for an excuse to insert an adorable puppa picture.
It sure is nice to be home again :)
Q: What’s the first thing you do when you return home after a long time away?
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