Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Hodgepodge - Volume 192

This week's questions from Joyce at From This Side of the Pond center around the changing season/month, food trends, and responsibility.  Curious?  Read on. Then if you want to see what other bloggers have said to these same inquiries, click here: From This Side of the Pond.

1. Are the leaves turning color where you live? Have they begun to fall? Will you have to rake when it's all said and done? Is that a chore you love or loathe? 

Golden yellow Aspen trees at  Kenosha Pass, Colorado, 10,033 feet above sea level
Yes, the leaves are changing here in the foothills as well as in the mountains. The Aspen trees steal the show. We drove up to see them in all their glory this past weekend. 

We live in a brand new housing development, so there aren't any mature trees here yet. No, we won't have to rake any leaves; however, in our last house Beloved just went over them with the lawnmower and that wasn't a problem.

2. When did you last shake like a leaf?

In December 2008 I literally trembled with shock and disbelief immediately after a fall from a standing position on our kitchen counter that shattered my left shoulder. (I was decorating above the cabinets -- I don't do that anymore!) 

3. After 20 seasons with the NY Yankees, Derek Jeter played his last official game Sunday afternoon. Jeter has been described even by opponents as a 'class act', both on and off the field. The NFL is back in action this month too, with several players in that sport also making headlines. What are your thoughts on athletes as role models? Should a professional athlete be expected to act as a role model or is that going beyond their job description? What responsibility do the organizations these athletes work for have when it comes to dealing with off the field behavior? Discuss.

Whether we like it or not, we are ALL role models to somebody and that most certainly does not exclude athletes. As for the responsibilities of sports  organizations when it comes to dealing with off-the-field behavior, whatever their employees (the athletes) do reflects on the character and reputation of the organization. I think the sports organizations should be strict with off-the-field behavior and be swift in ridding themselves of the offending players. These people are getting away with crimes with relatively little repercussion for their actions. There are plenty of other players who can replace them, who would be grateful for the opportunity to fill those positions honorably. 

Why do they keep players who commit crimes but release fine men like Tim Tebow??? I will answer my own question.  Today in sports the theme is "win now" with thugs instead of developing the playing skills of good character players. (phrased with the help of my hubby, an avid Denver Broncos fan).

4. What season of the year is toughest for you in terms of your health? Why?

The winter season is the toughest. We love our cold climate, so that, combined with the germs of the general public makes anyone more susceptible to colds and flu.  I will say, however, that in the past nearly six years Beloved and I have been markedly more healthy since we lost weight, began eating even more nutritiously, added in exercise, and nicotine was ushered out of our home.

5. The top six healthy food trends of 2014 according to Eating Well are --

clean eating (more veg, less meat, less sodium, limit alcohol and processed foods)

trash fish (you know, those fish that get caught in fishermen nets and are thrown back?  It seems chefs are finding creative ways to make them more appetizing)

cauliflower (this year's IT vegetable)

kaniwa (essentially baby quinoa, so like quinoa only smaller)

fermentation (think pickling except with twists on flavor we're not accustomed to)

community supported food (farms operating with community support/membership).

Okay -- so how many of the hot healthy food trends for 2014 have you experienced, encountered, enjoyed? Any you're tried and said ewwww? Any on the list you'd like to try before year's end?

Of the choices given, Clean Eating best describes how we eat and it serves us very well. Trash fish just sounds disgusting; Cauliflower run through the food processor makes a wonderful, healthy and low-calorie substitute for rice*; I love quinoa; I drink about 2 Tablespoons of fermented Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar every morning with a glass of water; and community supported food is a great idea. I wouldn't mind giving kaniwa a try, as long as it's gluten-free (is it?).

6. In seven words or less, bid September adieu.

May September's blessings overflow into October! 

7. What's something on your October calendar that makes you happy just thinking about it?

There is not one single day or event that stands out for me in the month of October, but it is a fun time of year. This is the month when we often get our first snow on the ground.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I had not planned to share a recipe today, but since I mentioned Cauliflower Rice in my reply to Question 5, here is how to make it:

Cauliflower Rice, makes 2 servings

1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp organic coconut oil
1/2 head raw cauliflower
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp salt and pepper (to taste)

Rinse cauliflower under cool water and pat dry. Roughly chop the white portion of the cauliflower. Use a food processor to pulse the cauliflower to the desired texture (until it looks like rice; it won't take long!).

Heat the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute' the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion is relatively translucent. Add in the cauliflower rice and continue to sauté' for 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

I took this snapshot of my dinner plate one night last week when I served Cauliflower Rice under an orange chickpea recipe with a green salad. Look closely to see the white Cauliflower Rice. 

Cauliflower Rice is low in calories, healthy, and gluten-free


  1. I'm curious about the cider vinegar. Do you drink it mixed with the water, or use the water to wash it down?

    My husband won't allow me to stand on the counters if he's not right there to catch me : ) Enjoy your day!

  2. Joyce, thank you for your comment and question. I put 1-2 Tbsp of Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar in about 8 oz of water and slug it down quickly before I have time to think about the taste. Then I drink enough plain water to swish it around in my mouth to both get rid of the vinegar taste and also to rinse my teeth.

    I learned about this with my nutritional reading over the years. Some people say this is harmful to the tooth enamel, but a quick rinse with plain water should take care of that. Sometimes I use a straw to drink the vinegar/water mixture.

    I recently heard a nutritional speaker at our church women's group who said we all need to eat fermented foods and the Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar is good because it has the "mother" in it (that cloudy stuff at the bottom of the bottle).

    The vinegar is supposed to help keep the acid/alkaline level where it's supposed to be. I've been doing this for about 18 months and feel better for it.

    Yes, by all means, stay off the kitchen countertops! :o)

  3. We use cider vinegar too.

    Love the fall pics.

  4. Thanks for posting that cauliflower rice recipe, I think I will try it! I also try to drink apple cider vinegar daily. Acidic in the mouth but not in the body! Have a great week:)