sprinkles of faith

I took this photo when we were up north in July. I don’t remember what building it was on, and I don’t know what is behind it, I just liked the way the door looked painted red against a backdrop of crumbling, beige cement. And the truth is, I’d rather not know what’s behind it because not knowing allows me the opportunity to imagine whatever I want. Maybe there’s a trapeze school in the building, people soaring through the air, reaching out toward polished swinging bars, learning to let go and fly. Or maybe it’s the storage room for an antique carousel, a forgotten treasure of beautiful hand-painted prancing horses, leaping bunnies, and roaring tigers, waiting to be discovered and restored. Or perhaps it’s the world’s biggest ice cream parlor, a palace of stainless steel and white marble where colorful sprinkles and chocolate chips fall from the ceiling like rain into bowls overflowing with delicious, lactose-free ice-cream!

Of course, there could be something scary behind that door, something that might even break my heart. I know that too, we all figure that out sooner or later, don’t we? But sometimes we have to open the door anyway, say yes, when we really want to say no. No, not today. I can’t. I’m afraid, or maybe I’m simply too tired. Those are the days we have to take one small step forward, say a quick prayer for sprinkles and bunnies and the strength to let go, and have faith that we are not as alone as we feel.

“Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. An lo, no one was there.”

budding diva

When I saw this week’s theme on iheartfaces was, “Best Face Photo from Summer 2011”, I thought of this capture of my little niece right away. Olyvia insisted on keeping her binky, and wearing her warm and cozy Dora hat in the pool while she swam. She was head-to-toes pretty in pink on that hot summer afternoon, and we envied not only her fun fashion sense, but that innocent sense of freedom to be and act and dress any old way she wanted!

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” ~Pablo Picasso

friday eats


Candied Cashew and Pear Salad
Ingredients:
3/4 cup cashew halves
4 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Dressing:
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste
Salad:
1 (10 ounce) package mixed salad greens
1 medium pear, thinly sliced
1/2 cup halved seedless red grapes

Directions:
In a large, dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast cashews until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove cashews to a dish to cool slightly. Return skillet to medium-high heat, cook bacon strips until crisp on both sides, about 7 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, and soak up grease with a paper towel. Coarsely chop bacon, and set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together butter, rosemary, curry powder, brown sugar, salt, cayenne pepper, and toasted cashews. Set aside. In a small jar, mix together white wine vinegar, mustard, and honey, olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, cover and shake. In a large salad bowl, toss dressing with greens, pear slices, grapes, and bacon, and sprinkle with nut mixture. I made this for a family dinner recently and it was a big hit, toss on a little cooked salmon or chicken and you have yourself a meal!

“The colors of a fresh garden salad are so extraordinary, no painter’s pallet can duplicate nature’s artistry.”  ~Dr. SunWolf

summer sweets

My friend, Fab, gave me a recipe for simple blueberry jam. This morning, I smeared some of my homemade jam on a toasted, gluten-free English muffin and tasted summer in every delectable bite.

5 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

In a medium saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Mash with a potato masher or wooden spoon until the berries have released their juices. Cook over medium-high heat until the mixture has thickened for about 20 minutes. Transfer to containers and refrigerate for up to 1 month or freeze for up to 1 year.

pool time

Getting lots of use out of the pool during this hot, hot summer. That’s my sister’s granddaughter in the warm and wooly Dora hat. It was 90 degrees outside but she insisted on wearing it, even in the pool! I’ve been reading quite a bit this summer, doing some writing again, and working toward self-publishing one of my books. Favorite Aunt Janet keeps asking me about my novels and bugging me to, “put something in print so I can actually hold it in my hands and read it!” So that’s what I’m going to do, but don’t tell her, I want her to be surprised when she opens a package from Amazon next month and pulls out my book!