Sunday, March 5

New Recipe: Insalata Caprese

The kiddo is asleep and I'm up burning the midnight oil tonight. I WILL finish the vegetable chapter tonight. Anyhoo, here's a recipe that I just finished typing in, I thought you'd like a flavor of what's coming soon.

Insalata Caprese
2 Servings

This salad will remind you of a similar Italian antipasti dish but you'll get to eat more of it because this version is much lower in calories.


4 oz mozzarella cheese (made from skim), cut into small chunks
4 roma tomatoes, sliced (or 1 medium tomato, diced)
1 large head romaine lettuce, washed & torn
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Modifications: If you want to make this into a full meal, add a serving of sliced grilled chicken to the top of each salad.

Directions: Mix olive oil and balsamic vinegar together in small bowl and set aside. Arrange tomato slices across a bed of lettuce. Sprinkle basil and mozzarella over the top of the tomatoes. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

In Stella's Kitchen
Cooking with Fresh Herbs: Did you know fresh herbs release their flavors when they are cut? When using fresh herbs in a recipe, always cut them last and as close to serving time as possible.

Saturday, March 4

Treading My Field of Dreams

You know, I sometimes questions the amount of money, effort and time I have put into some things, but was thinking today how much I have never, ever, ever wished I'd done anything else from the years 1992-1997 than finish a BA. I wasn't born into a family that necessarily promoted or valued education, but something in me knew it must be pursued. Even when I was unwed and pregnant during my junior year at the University of Colorado and my family thought I should quit school for awhile. I'm so glad now I stuck it out.

I am not financially wealthy by any means, but I have a day job that I really love with great insurance and benefits and exciting people to work for that I couldn't have even applied for without a BA. I'm not always under the thumb of the boss because I am trusted to make decisions and take actions independently. I'll leave this job better connected than when I came to it and positioned for an even greater opportunity.

Am I any more intelligent than a person without an education? Not at all.
Someone once said "the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not." Maybe that's all I got out of it, not book knowledge, but the wisdom to research what needs to happen before I can get what I want and the disciplined tencity to hammer away at it a little bit every day.

My friend, dreams and goals are wonderful, but they mean nothing if your hands are in the clouds with your imagination. If you're treading a field of dreams, your eyes must be looking forward and your calloused hands must be on the plow.

If this practical understanding of how a harvest is yeilded is all I walked away with, then I am grateful for the doors that have been open to me and the freedom of choice that nobody can take away from me. I don't know what it is to have to depend on someone else to make sure I can take my kid to the orthodontist or buy good steak or brake pads. I've never had to stay with a man because I relied on his paycheck or health insurance. Oh, yes, it helps to get a little somethin' for child support, but if it never comes, I can still make it. I can quit a good job and move from Denver to California all by myself and have complete confidence that I'll get another good job when I get there. Getting some kind of higher educations doesn't make me any better, but it does make me free.

I did have to earn it, but my education is as much a part of my freedom in life as the gift of my faith. Education is your independence. Education gives you choices. And my sister, my brother, my friend, it's never too late to drop what you are doing and pursue your own freedom. For it is in that freedom that you are enable to pursue your personal greatness.

"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom." -- Albert Einstein