Tammy’s Top Ten (t3 report) to Carve Out More Time

I was talking with my friend, Tony Smith the other day. “I’m maxed out,” I said. ?He snorted a deep chest guffaw and said, “I suggest that maxed out is your preferred operating style.” Truth be told, he’s right but as I delve into a PhD program, I need plenty of tricks and tips in order to at least pretend to keep the balance.

Carving up the Schedule

Carving up the Schedule

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Chicken with Glory-Twig; One Common Plate

The kitchen should always remain the laboratory. Whether it is to reveal the essence of an earthy spice, the nutritional contribution of local legumes or simply to discover a new method of preparation, the cookery is where research and creativity marry in an unbridled dance. In the words of, the great Harvard Psychologist,?Boring (yeah, pity of a name), “anyone who knows the difference between work and play doesn’t belong here”.

Found in the 10th century Lacnunga Manuscript

Found in the 10th century Lacnunga Manuscript

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Chocolate and Sea Salt; One Common Plate

There is much written about how to fight the commercial engine of Christmas and simplify the holidays. Each year we take a couple more steps to resist antagonistic stress and embrace the good cheer of holding our families and friends dear. This December, I did the majority of my shopping at second-hand and consignment stores. We worked on a holiday greeting that we’ll send out as a New Year marker and for the Christmas baking, I embraced a low-involvement and no-sugar recipe that used the combination of chocolate and sea salt as directed by the efforts of 1Common Plate at slurrpy.com.

Simple Holiday Cookies

Simple Holiday Cookies

The notion of raw foods always captures my attention as I near the new year. It seems a terrific time to reset expectations, set goals and draw up plans?that I hope to accomplish. Near the top of my list in 2014 will be?a lighter, more enlightened diet as a food centric lifestyle has manifested results in?clothes that aren’t fitting well and a general concern for other health risks that follow. This recipe easily becomes raw with a different choice of almond meal and a replacement of the maple syrup with another sweetener such as agave. The result is a not too sweet treat that also doesn’t tax your time.

Nearly-Raw Chocolate Cookies with Salted Caramel
from the Sweet Life Online
yields 16 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw walnuts, soaked 4 hours
  • 1 3/4 cup almond meal (mine is from blanched almonds)
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 5-6 tbsp?Nearly-Raw Caramel Sauce?(see recipe below)
  • sea salt for topping

Directions:

Drain and rinse the walnuts and place in a food processor with almond meal and cacao powder. Blend until well combined. Add maple syrup, vanilla extract, and 1/4 tsp sea salt and blend again until a thick dough begins to form.

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Roll dough into balls about the size of a large tablespoon. Flatten each ball and press an indentation in the center of each with thumb. ?Place cookies in a food dehydrator set at 105 degrees Fahrenheit and dehydrate for 3-4 hours, until cookies are crisp on the outside but still soft in the middle. Unwilling to drag the dehydrator in from the garage, I used our warming tray for this and left the cookies for about two hours.

While cookies are dehydrating (or warming), make the?Caramel Sauce.?Remove cookies from the warming tray. Fill each indentation with about 1/2 teaspoon of Caramel Sauce and return to the warmer or dehydrator for approximately 20 more minutes.?Top with fine sea salt.?Store in refrigerator.

Nearly-Raw Caramel Sauce
yields 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Macadamia nuts, soaked 4 hours
  • 1/2 cup (about 6) Medjool dates, pitted and soaked at least 30 minutes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt

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Drain and rinse nuts and dates. Combine all the ingredients and process in a food processor or vitamin until very smooth. Process until very smooth.?Store in a jar in refrigerator for up to 10 days. (Good for many other uses like ice cream topping!)

One Common Plate; Fish and Fruit

Fish is not plentiful in the desert. Perhaps that alone is one reason why it is such a welcome meal. It is what we receive from relatives who come to visit from waterways across the country. Fruit however, and especially citrus fruit, is common place here. It is what we take to relatives when we go visit across the country. IMG_1950 IMG_1953

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One Common Plate; Cinnamon and Pear

One common plate is all it takes to bridge a gap. At least that is the thinking of the progressive folks at Slurrpy where during the month of December, they are highlighting 10 women across the globe who are blogging about food. We’re of different ilk. We work in different kitchens. We use different recipes. Yet, this month, we’ll collectively focus on the same ingredients to bring you a concrete example of the power of diversity to create a collective response.

Cinnamon and Pear

Cinnamon and Pear

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Two Wives Tale

“I am the second wife,” says my friend as she tells of the trepidation that she felt moving into the home where the first wife used to live with the man she’d just married. First wife legacy was still alive in the house with it’s beige and yellow walls and a bit of pink splashed in the bedrooms. It would have to be re-done – in time.

Flckr cc 2.o thepatrick

Flckr cc 2.o thepatrick

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She’s Quite the Tart

Is it any wonder that the English language is difficult to acquire? When I say “tart”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Is it a pastry or a woman?

Let’s go with this:?A pastry shell with shallow sides, no top crust, and any of various fillings. She may be a bit shallow and lacking upper crust but put on the lipstick and heels as this promiscuous girlfriend is worth the trouble.

Quite the Tart

Quite the Tart

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Happy Day Mrs. Jarvis!

She was specific about the punctuation. It should be singular possessive so that each family can honor their own mother. That very statement implied that it would not be a plural possessive commemorating all women in the world. And so, U.S. President Wilson used the singular possessive when he signed the law creating the official Mother’s Day holiday in 1914.IMG_0970

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D-Day

At a recent leadership class, I was asked to take the Gallup organization’s Strengths Finder. I like their practice of focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses as it truly a way of achieving breakthrough performance in both work and non-work activities. The feedback was plentiful with adjectives to describe me; adaptable, independent, connector, maximizer. Unfortunately, in the days that followed, I received another label.

Making up for Deficiency

Making up for Deficiency

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Full Circle

My parents can be proud of this. Not of me and not of my sister but of the evidence that points to the legacy of their own work.

My 8 year old niece’s head was bent over the craft table in full concentration. She was busy with some type of project. Tugging a phone book as large as herself across the room, she sealed an envelope and asked, “How do you spell Womens’ Resource Center?” My sister assisted and asked what was in the envelope. My niece couldn’t remember. A bit concerned about the phone call that might come from the Center or elsewhere, my sis took a peek.

The Gift? A Note and 5 Pencils

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