June 2012

Ahem…not exactly what I expected

One of my fellow Iyengar yoga teachers in Rockford, Illinois prompted me to ask myself this question.

What do I expect from my yoga practice?

Do my expectations help keep me focused?

Do my expectations keep me from experiencing the reality of the moment?

Hmmmm….probably a combination of both.

About 10 years after I started yoga, I had a new thought.  It was during a yoga class, and the teacher was having us do triangle pose for the umpteenth time.

I decided, “Maybe I will just do the next triangle pose without trying very hard and see what happens.”  When I got into the pose with my experimental attitude, I felt a lightness and lift.  There wasn’t as much strain in my legs.

It was my first tiny inkling that I just might be causing my own stress and strain because of a tendency to overwork.  Duh!  My teachers and friends had been telling me this for years but I could not hear them.

It took several thousand triangle poses, ten years of yoga classes, and a very patient teacher for me to even become aware of this one thing.

Was this what I expected from yoga?

Not really.  I expected a yoga butt.

Oh well, maybe in the next lifetime.  In this life, I am happy with the awareness that yoga provides.

To read Jennie’s article that inspired this post, click here.



Suh-weet Blackberri-ness

Yesterday I made a blackberry cobbler that knocked my socks off!  In fact we gobbled it up so quick I didn’t get a picture first, so here you see a photo of a half-eaten cobbler.

Oh well, it just lets you know it’s good.

Here’s the recipe:

Blackberry-Cinnamon Cobbler

  • 6 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk baking mix (such as Bisquick)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 cup chilled whipping cream
  • Vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss berries, 1/3 cup sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in large bowl. Let stand 10 minutes, tossing occasionally. Transfer to 9-inch deep-dish glass pie plate. Bake until berries soften, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine baking mix and lemon peel in medium bowl. Add cream, tossing until soft dough forms.

Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls over filling. Mix 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in cup; sprinkle cinnamon-sugar over top. Bake until filling bubbles thickly and tester inserted into biscuits comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Spoon cobbler into bowls. Top with ice cream.

We topped ours with freshly whipped cream instead of ice cream.  Out of this world!

Savory Summer Scrumptiousness

Plantain Crusted Mahi Mahi with Pineapple Salsa

Last week I saw this made on the Kathie Lee & Hoda part of the Today show.  OK, for those of you who don’t know it, I am goofy over this show.

While I enjoy the hot topics debated on The View, some days I’m not so into hearing any more debate on the political and social issues of the day.

On those days I turn to the 4th hour of the Today show with Ms. Gifford and Ms. Kotb.  Would you believe it these ladies drink EVERY day — at 10am.  Wednesday is “Wines Day Wednesday.” Thursday is “Thirsty Thursday.”  Etc.

While I’m no teetotaler, I save my celebratory drinks for the occasions I have something true to celebrate — and usually in the evening.

Anyway, Hoda & Kathie Lee are always up for a bit of fun, folly and general foolishness.  I watch online, whenever I have free time — usually while cooking.

And they always have great cooking segments — accompanied by spirits of course.

Last week’s recipe from seafood expert Ben Sargent sparked my interest.  Being a Florida girl, I love fish.

So yesterday I gave this fish dish a try.  And it is amazing!!!

I highly recommend you try it at home.

Here are a couple of notes:

Plantain chips may not be easy to find.  You can make your own (using green plantains, not yellow ones).  You can get them in the bulk section of Whole Foods (boxed in plastic on the shelves just beyond the onions), and they occasionally have them in bags on the chips aisle.

I cut the salsa recipe in half and had plenty of salsa — enough for at least 4 people.

And, a confession:  Due to a previous unfortunate pineapple-skinning injury, I used canned pineapple. It was organic, but not fresh.  So sue me…but it worked great in this case.

  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced and rinsed with cold water, drained
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 2 limes, 1/4 cup
  • 2 cups pineapple, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 tomatillos, cut into eighths
  • 1 large plum tomato, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 small green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 serrano or jalapeno, minced
  • Six 6-ounce mahi mahi filets, skinned
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup plantain chips, finely crushed with a rolling pin
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

In a large bowl, combine the garlic with a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the onion, lime zest and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the lime juice, pineapple, tomatillos, tomato, red and green bell pepper and the serrano and mix well. Season with salt.

Season the mahi mahi with salt. Put the eggs and plantain chips in separated shallow bowls. Dip the fish in the egg, letting excess drip off. Dredge the fish in the chips to coat well.

In 2 large skillets, heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil. Add half of the fish to each skillet. Cook over medium high heat for 1 minute. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Turn the fish and cook about 3 or 4 minutes longer. Serve the fish with the salsa.

To watch the segment on KLG & Hoda, click here.