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January 14, 2021

The Surprising Truth about Eggplant, and a Recipe

A large eggplant. That is the vegetable size of a baby at week #28. Oh, but wait just a minute. An eggplant is actually a FRUIT because it grows from

January 7, 2021

My Least Favorite Vegetable and a Challenge

At week #27 baby is the size of… …a head of cauliflower. Most of you know that I do not care for this vegetable. I’ve tried. Truth is that cauli

December 31, 2020

Cheers to Scallions and a New Year

At week #26, baby is the size of a scallion. The first question that popped into my head is: What’s the difference between a scallion and a green on

December 24, 2020

The Hope and Excitement of a Baby

A bit of background for my new readers: I’m taking the produce journey along with my good friend who is expecting. As we track the progression, we l

December 17, 2020

Create Your Own Cookbook and Mr. Non-Compliant’s Favorite Vegetable

Those of us who attended the Zoom “Amazing Cookie Bake” had a delicious time baking our cookies. My cookie press was missing its piston—a critic

December 10, 2020

We’re Baking Cookies Together… Sort of

I’m baking cookies this coming Saturday morning, and I’d love for you to join me! Through the magic of ZOOM, we are all gathering to bake and soci

December 2, 2020

So, the Marshmallows Caught Fire…

Thanksgiving Day is but a faint memory, as we fast forward into Advent and the season of Christmas. It was quiet around the Slager home, until the mar

November 25, 2020

Cookies, Carrots, and Giving Thanks

Here it is November, and everything is still pretty weird. I find it hard to believe that we’ve almost blown through another year, even though it se

November 19, 2020

Are Bananas Good for You?

Bananas sometimes get a bad rap. The truth is, they have lots of redemptive qualities. They are among the most important food crops on the planet. Alt

November 12, 2020

What to Make for Dinner When the Power Goes Out

As I was writing this, my power went out. It wasn’t just a flicker. It was a full OUTAGE in our local area. Concerned that this could linger into th

Change Begins with a Meal

I find this to be an interesting statement, since most people have an aversion to change; yet most people enjoy a meal.

How does it resonate with you? (Pause, and consider this for a moment.)

I heard this because a radio station was giving listeners an opportunity to make a donation of any size to a shelter that feeds those who have nothing to eat.

A person who had experienced fellowship and meals at the shelter gave his testimony about how much better he felt on so many levels because of the food he was given. He felt healthier, stronger, loved.

Change begins with a meal.  

This is true on many levels as well. Think of the different ways you feel depending on who you share the meal with, the location, conversation, food, your state of mind, etc.

I take my food for granted. I have never been in a situation where I didn’t know where, or when, my next meal would appear.

There are those times when I choose to overeat, make poor choices, and don’t take the time to really appreciate all that I have. Ouch!

Today, I chose to focus on my meal in a more conscious way. I was truly hungry, the flavors were wonderful, and the conversation light.

How about you? What was your most recent meal like? Did you feel good when you were finished? Are there opportunities for you to make mealtime a more positive, joyful experience?

Our lives revolve around food. We need it to survive and it’s even better when it helps us thrive.

Scripture is filled with stories centered around food. Change began with a meal.

A couple things as I close out today’s post:

  1. If you have the means, donate to a local food bank. Since we’re between holidays, many of them are running low on food. People get hungry in the summer too.
  2. If mealtime brings more stress and anxiety than it does happiness and fulfillment, let’s talk. Let’s explore why you can’t lose the weight, have no time to exercise, and hate buying new clothes.

Change begins with a meal. And change begins with self-love.   

Begin today.

“If we really love ourselves, everything in our life works.”—Louise Hay

Just Do a Little Bit Better

In our journey to a healthier, happier life, we often get a bit overzealous.

We think we can conquer it all, all at the same time.

We work out everyday for an hour, give up the sugar and bread, eat massive amounts of fruits and vegetables, and drink only water.

We do really well and start feeling like a million bucks—for a week or two. Then it gets too hard and we quit.

It’s impossible to stay motivated for the long haul.

Here’s an idea. How about trying to do just a little bit better? Practice one habit at a time. ONE.

Maybe you let go of the before-bedtime snack a couple bedtimes a week.

Or you skip devouring the bread basket when you go out for dinner.

Or in my case, eat the ice cream only a couple times a week instead of five.

Whatever it is for you, remember that little things, over time, add up to big results and a happier life.

Patience, persistence, and understanding why any of this is important to you is key.

Life is delicious. Eat it up.


“To live well is to eat well.”—
Author Unknown

Keeping it Real, Recipe Included

I’m writing this after returning home from Julia Child’s birthday celebration. This evening, at Mrs. Dornberg’s Culinary Experience, we toasted to a wonderful cook, who would have been 106 today. 

There is much that we could celebrate about Julia and what she brought to American cooking. After viewing some television clips, what is quite obvious is that she was real.

She burned food, ruined recipes, dropped chickens, and kept right on going. Nothing stopped her from teaching us with great zeal and humor, as imperfect as she was.

I find that quite comforting.

Our birthday meal consisted of:

  • Gruyere Stuffed Mushrooms (Champignons Farci)
  • Eggplant Pizza
  • Salad greens with Basic French Vinaigrette
  • Poached Salmon with Cucumber Sauce
  • Buttered String Beans (Haricots Verts a la Maitre d’Hotel)
  • Chocolate Mousse topped with whipped cream

We toasted with a bit of champagne, and appropriate wine pairings were also available. Julia did lots of wine pouring and toasting, celebrating food and life.

As we continue to celebrate summer, kids going back to school, and beautiful sunsets, I offer you a recipe we enjoyed. It is from Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom, by Julia Child.

Basic French Vinaigrette
Makes about 2/3 Cup

  • ½ Tablespoon finely minced shallot or scallion
  • ½ Tablespoon Dijon-type mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ Tablespoon wine vinegar
  • 1/3 to ½ Cup excellent olive oil or other fine, fresh oil
  • Freshly ground pepper

Either shake all the ingredients together in a screw-topped jar or mix them individually as follows. Stir the shallots or scallions together with the mustard and salt. Whisk in the lemon juice and vinegar, and when well blended start whisking in the oil by droplets to form a smooth emulsion. Beat in freshly ground pepper. Taste by dipping a piece of the salad greens into the sauce and correct seasoning with salt, pepper and/or drops of lemon juice.

Vinaigrette is always at its freshest and best when served promptly, but you can store it in an airtight container and refrigerate for several days. The shallots and fresh lemon juice will eventually go off, spoiling the taste of the dressing.

*Add minced fresh herbs to dressing as desired after all the oil has been added.

A true French salad is simply mixed greens with vinaigrette such as this. It helps to cleanse the palate between courses.

Cheers to Julia, eating amazing food, and keeping it real.

“Remember, ‘No one’s more important than people’!” In other words, friendship is the most important thing—not career or housework, or one’s fatigue—and it needs to be tended and nurtured.” –Julia Child, “My Life in France”

 

Basic French Vinaigrette

Basic French Vinaigrette
Makes about 2/3 Cup

  • ½ Tablespoon finely minced shallot or scallion
  • ½ Tablespoon Dijon-type mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ Tablespoon wine vinegar
  • 1/3 to ½ Cup excellent olive oil or other fine, fresh oil
  • Freshly ground pepper

Either shake all the ingredients together in a screw-topped jar or mix them individually as follows. Stir the shallots or scallions together with the mustard and salt. Whisk in the lemon juice and vinegar, and when well blended start whisking in the oil by droplets to form a smooth emulsion. Beat in freshly ground pepper. Taste by dipping a piece of the salad greens into the sauce and correct seasoning with salt, pepper and/or drops of lemon juice.

Vinaigrette is always at its freshest and best when served promptly, but you can store it in an airtight container and refrigerate for several days. The shallots and fresh lemon juice will eventually go off, spoiling the taste of the dressing.

*Add minced fresh herbs to dressing as desired after all the oil has been added.

A true French salad is simply mixed greens with vinaigrette such as this. It helps to cleanse the palate between courses.

Recipe from Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom, by Julia Child