Thursday, January 28, 2010

Iditarod 2010 - Coming Soon To a TV or Website Near You!

I can't wait for March 6th, 2010 as that will mean the start of one of my favorite sports - the Iditarod.  Though the great sled dog race has many lovers and haters on both sides, I think that in the modern world, the race is a testament to dog sports.  The mushers that I profiled in my hub below were selected because of their dedication not only to the fine sport of dog sledding/racing but because of their overall personalities and their love of their dogs.  I in no way mean to exclude or infer that other mushers do not have the same passions or compassion for their dog teams, but these are just 6 of my favorite of all time.  My choices were also based on an element that I always look for in people I have known or perceive to know from afar - sense of humor.  Also wrapped up in all of these people is a superb level of dedication - to their sport but also to life and all the parts of it that we hold dear.  All of these people seem to have an unsurpassed ability for survival as well or an ability to rise above and perform positively in the face of adversity.  For all those qualities and more, these 6 mushers are in my so-called 'hall of fame' and I wish them all well in whatever endeavor they are pursuing at the moment.  These 6 people have made the world a better place to be - not just in terms of mushing but in terms of the greatest race we are all in - that of life!

Iditarod 2010 - Mushers Past and Present

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sweet Potato Cheesecake Recipe

This is probably going to sound 'weird' but combining cheesecake with the words high fiber probably is! Not to worry though  - no one will know! Or they don't have to unless you tell them!!!

I recently was told to go on a high fiber diet and had been searching about for recipes and came across this recipe from a book I had out on library loan.  Unfortunately, I neglected to write down where I found this gem but it is so good.  It combines 2 of my favorite things - sweet potatoes and dried apricots.  I should throw in 3 things because I absolutely love cheesecake.

This little dessert weighs in with 2 grams of fiber as it capitalizes on Fiber One cereal as the crust - but in all truth, you could substitute any other high fiber cereal for the crust or homemade granola - or combine with cereal and nuts for the crust as I often do. 

I think it is marvelous to use these 2 entities together and can still 'delude' myself that I'm eating something healthy which in fact I am! Hope you enjoy it as well.

Cream Cheese Pie Crust and Tart Recipe

What else to do when the weather turns to snow and sleet and you have a bit of time to spare?  Decided to hit the cookbooks I had on hand (mine and what I have saved in my notebooks) and found this delightful recipe that I think may replace my tried and true pie crust recipe - or at least be an alternative. 

Anything with cream cheese catches my eye when it comes to pastry simply because it seems to hold together very well and be easy to handle - as well as delicious!  This recipe although a bit lengthy really seems to be practical and pretty easy to make though I know a lot of folks like the fail safe method of going to the supermarket, picking up a ready-made crust and calling it a day.  I prefer the challenge of seeing if I can get the pie crust to work and secondly to taste wonderful.  I can't say that I hate seeing the look of pure rapture on people's faces when they taste it and it is delicious! 

At any rate, I think this pie crust will do the job very well for tarts and pies and it is on my list for 'to makes' for Super Bowl Sunday - not sure if I'll use it for a savory pie along the lines of chicken pot pie or if I'll go 'all the way' and make a pecan pie or tart or a fruit pie.  Whatever it is, I think this pie crust will stand up and be counted! 

I especially like that you can refrigerate it for several days and/or freeze for several months.  Enjoy.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Super Easy Chicken Florentine Homemade Pizza

Last night, I was desperately behind in terms of all the chores I had to do because my helpmate and husband, Bob had had his wisdom teeth pulled a few days before and he had not been up to his usual level of shouldering the workload.  Between working, blogging, doing photography, keeping up with the house and the new puppy, I was surely a quart low and then some!

Since he was getting very tired of my soup de jour coming at him ad nauseum and puddings and ice creams constantly being thrown his way, he begged for something 'real' to eat.  Letting him have the last word on the matter so to speak with his poor mouth, I decided perhaps a thin crust pizza might be just what the doctor (or in this case the dentist) ordered.  Sure enough - it was a hit and it wasn't so thick as to hurt his mouth any more than it was already hurting.  I got rave reviews!

I had to improvise a bit to get it 'just right' but I was very pleased with what I concocted with some things I actually just had on hand so did not have to make a dash for the market which was another bonus.  I am thinking in retrospect of a million different tweaks or variations that I can do on this recipe and listed a few at the end.  It was so simple and I looked like a hero for coming up with something 'regular' for him to eat! Three cheers for pizza!

Painting Can Be Dangerous When You Are Not Athletic!

We are back to the problem yet again - my lack of athleticism.  Who knew that painting a stupid house could get me into so much trouble?  Who knew that painting a house would or could require me to know how to be an acrobat?  Whew - I'm very glad I've given it up in my 'older age'

I think they should really post warnings on ladders - oh wait - I think that they do.  Maybe they should have a couple more warnings that say for instance 'do not use if you are stupid' or 'do not use if you have no common sense'.  Of course, knowing myself, I would laugh and have a good chuckle over THAT one - as IF they were talking to ME!  You have to be kidding!  I'm the most intelligent person I know - except when it comes to doing something as terrifically simple as painting a house.

I have decided that the problem lies in my personality.  I am too quick to do everything, giving it little or no thought as to the consequences.  I would say I am impulsive but that would be insulting.  I am just a doer rather than a thinker - yeah, I'm sticking with that.  God forbid that I would actually think something through before I attempted it.  I always say though that I am a hands-on person rather than a read-the-manual type but as you can see by this illustration of only ONE of my many screw-ups, I probably should reconsider this approach to life and get a clue.  Too late in the ladder department as after a few mishaps like this one, I decided that ladders should stay far, far away from me - and vice versa.

Maybe I Could Have Made the Special Olympics

Okay, so maybe I wasn't the most agile of athletes nor the most proficient at any sport, but I have to say, what I lacked in coordination and skill, I more than made up for it in drive and perserverance.  Too bad I failed miserably as a child to come up with anything that even resembled athleticism!  I surely wanted to.

As a child brought up by a music teacher who lived and breathed music, literature, music, theater, music (did I mention music?), it was not very easy to excel at sports.  I was not even allowed to play sports as I might 'damage' something like my hands, which were only supposed to be used for playing piano, accordion, or the clarinet.  I have to insert here that I was NOT a willing musician by any means.  I had this longing to do sports and as you can see from my post, it did not go well.  Maybe in retrospect, I should have stuck to my musical endeavors after all (although I was most famous for getting my dress caught in my accordion rather than for my musical abilities).

The moral of my story is never quit - never say you cannot do anything! And even if you can't do it well, do it for comedy!  At least I could excel at that one thing.  If they had had Comedic Olympics or at the least Special Olympics back in the 1960s, who knows - I could have been very famous.

Monday, January 11, 2010