Finding myself a bit overloaded this week has led me to take a look back and see what I was doing this time last year. Do you ever have those weeks where there’s not a thing wrong except your calendar is bursting with “to do’s”? That’s me this week!
Last year I look back and find that I was nursing a sick, sick kitty. Marley is doing great at this time and begging me to play cat and mouse with him, turn on the faucet for him to sip water, and scratch his belly, an all time favorite. I know many of you are cat owners – what’s your kitty’s favorite scratch spot?
It appears that we had my father-in-law for a visit at this time last year. He’s not keen on making the 6 hour drive this year so last weekend we made it to his house. That knocked off one day of this week for the drive home. This year he’s also eating lettuce. In fact he requested a green salad for dinner one night while we visited him at home. I mention this because one of the recipes I’m sharing is for a fruited broccoli salad I threw together last year when he wasn’t eating lettuces. Things change!
Tonight is my first night catering the food for “Enjoy! Nights”. Twice a month the ladies at Enjoy! Kitchen Frills and Gourmet store host a special evening. I’m so ready to do this. Tonight’s event is “Honey Honey”. They are featuring another bee keeper, who is on the commercial side. She’s got thousands of hives and I have 8. That is what makes me a hobby bee keeper. I plan on keeping my status as such. However, they are leaving the prep of the food, all with honey in the recipes up to me. On the menu: Chicken Bites with Chipotle Mustard & Honey Glaze, Hot Spiced Wine, Rosemary & Honey Shortbread, and Honey-Oat Apricot Bars. We’ll also be sipping Orange Bee Tea, (aka Tangerine Weight-Orade). Sound yummy? I think so.
Today I share Orange Bee Tea, Fruited Broccoli Salad, and Rosemary Goat Cheese Spread. The goat cheese spread is one of my favorites, in fact I think goat cheese pretty much makes everything it touches turn into delicious. Eating the raw broccoli with grapes, red onions and pumpkin seeds feels so healthful and drinking the tea revs up your metabolism and tastes invigorating going down. I think this could be classified as a meal for vegetarians or those looking for a dose of cruciferous veggies.
Later this week my adoring hubby and I will be hitting the state fair as empty nesters. I look forward to a leisurely day at the fair, holding hands and sharing a beer or two, eating tacos at our favorite vendor stand, Lupita’s, http://theorangebee.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/fair-food/, maybe even riding the “Love Bug”. Well, honestly we will not ride any rides – I can’t do it….just cannot do it. Do you ride rides, roller coasters, pirate ships, crazy upside down spin, flip, whip-lash rides? I’d enjoy watching you and will watch others in amazement…how can they step off of those rides and walk a straight line, keep the corny dog in their belly or see clearly? There was a day I could laugh with the best of you and climb on board all that craziness but not anymore. Let’s just say, “been there, done that”.
For a powerful metabolism-boosting drink, try Dr. Oz’s Tangerine Weight-Orade. It contains: green tea, shown to boost metabolism 12% by drinking just one cup; tangerine, with a chemical composition that increases sensitivity to insulin and stimulates genes that help to burn fat; and mint, a calorie-free flavor enhancer.
In a large pitcher, combine:
- 8 cups of brewed green tea
- 1 tangerine, sliced
- A handful of mint leaves
Stir this delicious concoction up at night so all the flavors fuse together. Drink 1 pitcher daily for maximum metabolism-boosting results. Add a spoonful of local, pure honey for added health and energy benefits.
photo courtesy of: The Kitchn
Fruited Broccoli Salad
4 cups fresh broccoli florets
3 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 cup seedless green grapes
1/2 cup seedless red grapes
1/2 cup chopped red onion *
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (sunflower kernels or mixed nuts)
In a large bowl toss broccoli, celery, grapes, and onion. In a small bowl whisk mayo, vinegar, and sugar. Pour over broccoli mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds just before serving.
Rosemary Goat Cheese Spread
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 oz. log goat cheese, softened
1 tbsp. chopped rosemary
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. coarsely ground pepper
3/4 cup fig preserves
Mix first 5 ingredients together in a food processor, stopping to scrape down sides frequently, until smooth. Spoon cheese mix into a 1 1/2 cup mold lined with plastic wrap. Cover and chill for 2 hours.
Invert on serving dish, remove plastic wrap. Spoon fig preserves over cheese, garnish with a sprig of rosemary. Serve with crackers.