Thursday, September 26, 2013

No Baklava for You

Ron and I had a dinner party last night, featuring Greek food. It included a Greek Summer Salad, Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), Spanakopita (spinach pie), and Moussaka (baked layers of eggplant and ground lamb, with bechamel sauce and cheese on top). Not a low cal' menu, this. A special meal for friends.

Perhaps I should have tackled making Baklava. But, as Ron explained to our guests, with the other things I was making, if he had asked me to make Baklava, my head would have exploded. He's right. So I opted for this easier, lighter dessert. I found this recipe a few months ago in the Chicago Tribune, and highly recommend it.


Tart/pie dough or shell of your choice
2 cups Greek yogurt (preferably full-fat)
2/3 cup lemon curd
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 teaspon powdered gelatin
2 tablespoons water
Whipped cream (optional)
Garnish of choice

Bake pie shell and cool for at least one hour, to room temperature. (I used a store-bought graham cracker crust instead.)

In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon curd, honey, and vanilla. Put the water and gelatin in a small microwave-safe cup and let sit for 5 minutes. Microwave for 10-15 seconds, stirring once or twice, until the gelatin is dissolved. Do not allow to cool. Thorooughly whisk the hot, dissolved gelative into the yogurt mixture and pour into the pie shell.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours - preferably overnight. Garnish as desired. The recipe suggests fresh whipped cream and sliced citrus or berries. I just drizzled it with a little honey and scattered pine nuts.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Prescott Outdoors

The fresh air of Prescott lures me to throw windows open wide, and to spend as much time as possible outside. We've lived other places where we have enjoyed being outdoors...our patios in Sachse, Texas, evenings sitting by the pool in Vegas, visiting on our back porch in Chicago and walking by Lake Michigan...but Prescott has something special to offer.

This time of year there is a welcome bit of chill to the air in the early morning and late evening. It will become very warm later in the day, and we are luxuriating in these last days of summer. The air will cool as we sip cocktails on the new patio and watch the moonrise. Last night we were bathed in the late night brightness of a full moon. I had a shawl on my shoulders, sitting contentedly by a fire.

Golf is one way we make sure we spend time outside. The views are breathtaking. Talking Rock's course is as beautiful as I've ever seen it right now, after several weeks of rainy weather. The fairways look like green carpet, and even the desert grasses are green. Blooming flowers are everywhere - you might guess it's Spring again.

It's a great time to visit with friends in the evening around one of the club's fire pits, or to enjoy the view from the Granite Mountain patio during Happy Hour.

I'm not much of a hiker, but nature walks are a great way to explore the amazingly varied landscapes in the area. Desert, lakes, pine forests, granite dells, and mountains - we have it all, within a few miles. The scent in the air is unique to our high desert. Juniper, cedar, and Arizona chaparral are prevalent. This time of year, juniper berries have fallen from the trees, and they create a carpet of frosty blue on the ground. A local spice merchant, Spice Traveler* , has captured the olfactory essence of Prescott in a unique spice blend called "1864 Prescott". It's Prescott in a can!

At home, we invite the outdoors in as much as possible. They'll be less opportunity as the days shorten and our mild fall turns into winter. For now, we are enjoying our indoor / outdoor life in Prescott.

*Check out Spice Traveler online at:

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My Friend Hammy

This is Hamilton.
I call him "Hammy".
Quiet and unassuming,
with an air of gravitas.
Keen black eyes that never waver.
Beguiling pink nose and toes.
Hammy has a sense of humor.
His ways make me smile.
Always accepting of my mood.
He has dried my tears
while nestled under my chin.
A kiss on the jowl
is all he seems to need.
My furry, soft little buddy.
So patient and constant is Hammy.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

I Could Be Better

These days, I have plenty of time to think. Sounds like an odd statement, but there was a period during my professional life that true thinking time was a luxury. You acted, reacted, managed crises, used your lizard brain wits, and ran as fast as you could. Didn't leave any time for introspection and leisurely pondering.

Now I think about many things. How life will play out as I age, who my real friends are and why, the best ways to build a comfortable nest, how to balance fun with more specific constructive pursuits, and how to be better.

We all have weaknesses and ways in which we disappoint ourselves. Perhaps we find what we think are valid reasons to stop developing emotionally. I want to try to be a better me. It's not easy.

I write to explore my feelings and find clarity in our little corner of existence. My success on that score is inconsistent. Optimistic, I'm going to keep trying.

Like me / don't like me. Know me / don't know me. Those that matter to me will make their own decisions, and I am very comfortable with that. I'm just me, but I'm only getting better.