A New Favorite Quote + What's On The Menu

" Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes."   ~ Maggie Kuhn

I just saw this quote on a blog and now it's one of my favorites. I've also just added Maggie Kuhn's autobiography, No Stone Unturned, to my list of books to read. As the founder of the Gray Panthers, I'm sure she had a lot to say.

According to the website, she said that by the year 2020, the year of perfect vision, the old will outnumber the young. Quite a statement and something to think about. 2020 is so close and 20/20 is perfect vision. Or at least the vision that most of us strive for.

2011 was filled with a lot of turmoil. A lot of it based on us finding out the truth about many things. Lies aren't sturdy and don't give us solid footing. We can't make things better until we know the truth. Until we can see clearly. Maybe by 2020, we will get there and see more clearly. Hopefully that will bring more peace too.

Thinking about the rights of older Americans, it makes me think about a post that I just read. Not only does it have gorgeous pictures and delicious recipes, but there are some interesting points made and questions posed. Here's an edited excerpt below:

"I’m curious about what wisdom you have to share. What have you done for yourself to strengthen who you are and where you’re going? ... If you could go back in time and offer your younger self at least one piece of wisdom, what would it be?"
How would you answer these questions? Here are a few things that I came up with.

  • Write more. Really. Write more.
  • Be more brave and self-confident. 
  • While you're at college, enjoy more of the arts available on campus. 
  • Consider joining your high school and college newspapers. 
  • Consider being a journalism, marketing, or communications major.
  • Try and work part-time during high school and save the money for travel. In general, save more money for travel. Travel! Really. You have wanderlust like you wouldn't believe!
  • Even though you are thin now with absolutely no effort, it will not last. You need to develop a solid exercise routine now, so you won't have to in your 40s.
  • Keep considering not going to law school. Really. The loans are truly horrible and you already have nagging feeling about it.
  • You'll be okay, but listen to your father and don't buy the car until Spring. He's right. You will get into an accident.
  • Don't worry so much. Oh, and you really are pretty cute.


Quite a list. And doing one or two things would have changed a bunch of other things as well. And some things seem kind of contradictory. The whole time travel and Sliding Doors thing has always fascinated me.

What one thing that I could have changed would have changed everything? I don't know. And actually the way things are now, I wouldn't want everything to be different. Some. But certainly not all.  Not even most.

Well, what's done is done. All any of us can do is work with what we've got now.

As I mentioned before, one thing that I'm working on is building a new menu of healthier dishes. I've added a separate Menu Page to this blog where I'm keeping track of my experiments and getting inspired.

The picture above is a Mixed Greens Pesto Tart with Pears + Cheese. I made it for the second time today. The first time I used manchego cheese. This time I used feta cheese, used four small pears instead of two, added cardamom, a bit of chopped onions, and my own homemade lemon pepper seasoning instead of Trader Joe's brand.

Since I was sick and drinking a ton of honey lemon tea over the past couple of weeks, I've been saving the lemon rinds. I zested a bunch of them. Microwave the zest for a couple of minutes. Let it cool. Chop it up.  Grind the zest in coffee grinder combined with whole black peppercorns. Pour ground lemon zest and pepper in a spice jar with some salt. Ta da! Easy and cheaper lemon pepper.

I still don't have a real written recipe for the tart, but I used Stop & Shop's brand of frozen puffed pastry and topped it with a mixed greens pesto that I made using greens instead of basil. Since I'm trying to incorporate more greens in my diet, I was thinking of new ways to use them. I love pesto, which is mostly made from basil.

Trader Joe's has a Southern Greens Blend made of mustard greens, turnip greens, collard greens, and spinach, that is already cut and cleaned. I still wash it again, then dried it and filled up most of the blender with it. Blend with walnuts, grapeseed oil, chopped garlic, and parmesan cheese for 10-15 minutes or until liquid and looks like pesto. Not sure if I used anything else. The recipe is still in development. After you spread some pesto onto the puff pastry, add the other ingredients mentioned above and back at about 425 degrees for half an hour.

It tastes much better this time than the first and was a nice Saturday brunch. Enjoy the rest of the day. Tomorrow is World Nutella Day and I still have to come up with a recipe. Wish me luck!

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