Z is for *Zucchini- A-Z Challenge

I found a neat little recipe in a book sometime ago using Pastina, those wee little pasta stars that are just SO DAMN CUTE! The dish is really simple and comforting but entirely delicious and worthy of adoration.

So sweet! I just want to hug them.

It goes as follows:

Bring one cup of water to a boil and add 1/4 cup of pastina and pinch ( or two or three) of salt.

Reduce heat slightly and cook until most of the liquid is gone.

Remove from heat and pour one – slightly mixed- egg over the whole mess, cover and let sit for a minute or so.

Add some butter, a tsp or so ( I am the QUEEN of “or so” ) and some parmesan cheese, about 1 tbsp…again I always add more. Season with salt if it needs it and pepper , “e ecco” you have a beautiful tasty bowl of love for yourself.

I am not one to leave well enough alone, so as soon as I made this dish’s acquaintance, I was thinking of all the variations I could try.

Here is my Zucchini Pastina!

Chop half a zuke into fine dice:

Not an good example of “fine dice”.

and sauté in butter, until golden but not brown. Set aside.

Bring one cup of water to a boil, add your pastina, 1/4 cup, and salt.

Cook until most of the water is absorbed.

Stir in your sautéed zucchini, and removed from heat. Give an egg a quick beating and pour over pastina, giving the whole mix another stir. Cover and let sit for a min or two.

Throw in some butter 1 TSP , and some Parmesan cheese, 1 TBSP- stir, check for more salt and add some pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

And there you be!

And there WE be. At the end of our A-Z journey.

I’ll do a wrap up post, for sure, but I really want to say THANK YOU!, right now, in this moment, to each and every one of you.

❤ Love and Squishy Hugs.

Y is for *You. A-Z Challenge

Hello You!

How are you doing today? I want you to know you are amazing.

You’re not perfect?

Yeah, neither am I.

Nobody is, just so you know.

Anyway, this is just a quick little note to say YOU are awesome and I wish you nothing but the best in life, death and whatever happens after all that.

You really are.
I used to find Mr. Rogers so CORNY now I appreciate and value his love and kindness. Mr. Rogers really does like YOU, just the way you are.

Love, Me.

X is for *Xoompin. A-Z Challenge.


Along a narrow, winding road that passes through blueberry farms, small homesteads and a rambleshackle trailer with the nasty words, misspelled of course -Turbin Twister- spray painted across the door, lies a bridge. The bridge passes over a wee creek that my daughter almost drowned in when she was two years old and in her “sneaking out” stage. The bridge and road and racism and farms and cows and fields are hemmed in on all sides by mountains. The road is the road to Grandma’s house and the bridge is the lift off to the Whoopty Doo!

We pass the Hatzic Prairie store and the kids start chanting ” Speed up! Speed Up! Speed UP!”

On good days, the Hubs does just that. On bad ones he grumbles something about the undercarriage and there are disappointed groans all around.

But today is a good day and so he floors it as the road leads us up over the bridge and then suddenly drops away leaving us flying over the dip! We land on the Whoopty Doo, a section of road that undulates and takes us for a bumpy ride for a few seconds before flattening out again into a wicked hairpin curve! What we are is a xoompin. Driving over bumps in the road. We’re left gleeful and laughing with squishy sensations in our tummies and hearts.

It’s a family tradition. Even now, with the kids grown, we all eagerly anticipate the bumpy ride. 🙂

This word and thinking about that road reminds me of my son’s favourite song as a toddler, in his words “The Bumpy Road” In reality it’s:

So many memories, so much silly fun!

Do you have a favourite bumpy road you xoompin over?


W is for Wacky Cake.

I’m sure everyone who bakes has heard of Wacky Cake!

It’s a neat little cake that can be whipped up IN IT’S OWN PAN, using economical ingredients and it comes out fabulously rich and moist. There are no eggs, milk or butter and I know what you’re thinking “Gross. How is THAT a cake?” That’s the whole point of it! No eggs, milk or butter and its still amazing! How wacky is that?!

It was born during the Depression era out when rations for milk and eggs were scarce and the recipe and its variations have survived to this day.

I enjoyed this growing up but up until this year had never made it myself. When I finally did, I added my own touch and am pleased as punch with the results!

Cinnamon Chili Wacky Cake with Chocolate Ganache

  1. 1.5 cups flour
  2. 1 cup white sugar
  3. 4 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 1 TSP baking soda
  5. .5 TSP salt
  6. 1 TSP -well rounded- cinnamon
  7. .5 TSP cayenne powder
  8. 1 good glug vanilla extract. It’s actually 1 tsp but ya know…
  9. 1 TBSP cider vinegar. I used good old ACV.
  10. 6 TBSP Vegetable oil. I used Olive and it was fine.
  11. 1 cup water

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

Sift your dry ingredients into an 8×8 inch ungreased cake pan.

Make three wells in dry ingredients and in add: oil into one, vinegar into another and vanilla into the last one.

Pour water over it all and mix it up really well with a fork. Scraping down to the bottom and sort of whisking it all together to incorporate it all together.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool. Frost with your favourite topping (Or not. This is good without it!)

Lazy Chocolate Ganache

Heat a few TBSP cream and a couple of handfuls of good chocolate chunks in the microwave for about a minute. Stir to melt and incorporate chocolate and cream together. Pour and spread over top of cake. Let set for a bit then eat.

YUM!

Photo by Rafel AL Saadi on Pexels.com

V is for *Vulnerability. A-Z Challenge.

Gah! Just typing the word skeeves me out.

Vulnerability.

You might not be able to tell at this present time but I have used to have a hard lacquered shell over my heart.

I grew it myself over the years in response to:

A. Being born a highly sensitive person.

B. Experiencing both ongoing and sudden trauma.

My hard shell has served me well. ( POETRY!) It was a necessary tool I used to protect myself. It gave me a feeling of power, control, comfort and safety.

It helped me as I built resilience and courage. It helped me as I cultivated my fierce sense of honesty, authenticity and integrity.

And then it started working against me and cut me off from intimacy and truth , truth. Connection and freedom.

It be like that sometimes.

Lucky for me, my hard shell was actually a fragile thing. It was smashed to the ground and shattered a few years ago.

That event left me shocked and reeling. Unable to hide. Exposed.

Completely vulnerable.

It was awful.

But it was also awesome because I kind of “levelled up” if you will. I grew exponentially within myself. Something that would have never happened had I been wearing that really tight and limiting shell.

I was forced to finally admit that I while, yes, I am still a bad ass. I am not all that tough. I actually do have feelings. LOTS OF THEM.

I have a very squishy heart. My insides are full of marshmallow fluff.

YES!!!

Most people saw through my tough act anyhow. I wasn’t really hiding anything. Mostly I just made a fool out of myself, ha ha.

I was as human as anybody else!

So, I’ve had to learn how to allow myself to be vulnerable. I’ve had to learn how to show my heart, how to live through my heart and how to protect myself as needed, by other means. (Boundary setting and lots of self love)

This whole blog is an expression of living through my heart!

Being vulnerable still scares me of course and it still takes lots of work to stick with. That’s where really where my strength lies. That’s really where my toughness is. Because while my heart is soft and marshmellowy, while it’s squishy and silly, it is also stubborn and fierce and brave.

My hero!

What are your thoughts on vulnerability? Is it easy for you? Do you cringe too? What does vulnerability mean to you?


U is for *Underpants. A-Z Challenge.

Yeah, that’s right. I said it!

Underpants!

Sometimes I pass easily as an adult. I can keep it together just enough so the grown ups have no idea what lurks within my brain.

But say the word UNDERPANTS just one time … and I’m done for.

At best, I’ll smirk. Worse? I’ll outright guffaw and say it a few times, giggling like a maniac.

It’s a funny word!

Underpants!

Underpants. Underpants. Underpants!




What words make you giggle?

T is for *Tea. A-Z Challenge.

Tanzanian style tea!

I enjoyed many vibrantly spiced cups of tea whilst in Tanzania last year and of course I just had to go and fall in love! It’s like chai only so much more. A true cup of beauty! Rich and spicy. Warm and comforting. Like nothing I’d had before.

I’ve been trying to recreate it ever since to no avail, even though Grace, our lovely friend and guide so generously gave me detailed instructions. The spices I have aren’t as fresh, the water and milk are different, the tea is not even close to being as fragrant…boooo! I got the sugar down though, ha ha. That’s one thing! I’ve been driving myself nuts with the process but have still come up short. I guess it’s just one of those things.

ANYhoo, I do have a version that comes close and while not exactly “right” it was made per a Tanzanian’s instructions and it’s good!

Ready? This recipe serves one.

Smash up:

  1. 1 cinnamon stick
  2. 7 cardamom pods
  3. 5 cloves

Grate 5 slices of ginger.

Add one mug’s worth plus a touch more of water to pot. This mug holds 1.5 cups of water. You’re adding a touch more because some water is going to boil off in the process.

Add your spices to the water along with a good couple of grindings of black pepper.

Yeah,yeah. I didn’t grate the ginger. I am lazy. You should though!

Bring to a boil and boil gently for 5 min.

Turn heat to low and add your black tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Bring back to a simmer. If you’re not having milk, strain and serve. If you are having milk, you have to use canned milk. Seriously. It’s a must. Just trust me. Add your canned milk to the pot and heat through. Strain into mug.

Add sugar if you wish-I do- but the sugar must be the unprocessed kind:

Et voila, Tanzanian style tea.

I highly recommend you actually go to Tanzania and enjoy it authentically there! My version is good but there is nothing like the real thing. Report back here if you do!