Thai-spiced squash soup

Makes 4-6 bowls of soup
Adapted only a little from 101cookbooks

2 squash– I used an acorn & a butternut squash
Drizzle of olive oil & pinch of salt for squash while baking
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 teaspoon (or more) red Thai curry paste
water

Roast squash in oven at 400 degrees until you can stick a fork through the flesh without resistance. In my oven, this is about 30 to 40 minutes.   Scoop squash from the peel & toss into blender. Add water & some of the coconut milk to the blender. Blend until smooth.  Add the blended mix to soup pot. Add rest of coconut milk (if any) and red curry paste to taste. Heat through & enjoy! 

This soup was great last week when I was sick. It spicy enough to clear the sinuses a little, thick enough to fill you up, but not too heavy that it is unappetizing when you aren’t at 100 percent. And it keeps well for lunch the next day. Yum!

Notes: First, the squash can be roasted & kept with or without skin in the fridge for a few days. Second, if you have an immersion blender this soup is even easier. Scoop squash directly into soup pan, add liquids, & blend away.

rePERpoSING your mind: Focus

Leo Babauta of Zen Habits has a new ebook out, Focus: A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction. I read his free version this afternoon (with only 2 distractions!) and it was a great read (as almost all of Leo’s stuff is). Focus & more peace in life is something everyone needs. This book is the perfect place to get started.

For me, I have made the committment to myself that I will forego the news (checking nytimes.com & lifehacker.com are my go-to procrastinators) & checking email constantly next week (have scheduled email for 10am & 3 pm every weekday next week). I picked these 2 items because they are my procrastination tools & because they are the things most likely to derail my focus. I am hoping that by not checking email & reading the news, I will have more energy & focus to tackle the projects & to dos I lay out in my Monday morning meeting.

Download free version here (a pdf download).

Read the table of contents.

Things I just learned that I love

image from travelblog.viator.com

I am nearing my 28th birthday and this year I had several revelations about things I love. (Other than cartwheels & handstands as a workout, that is).  Things I didn’t know that I loved. Until now. 

1. Warm hard boiled eggs just slightly undercooked in the very center of the yolk. I can pack 3 away no problem. On the other hand, hard boiled eggs at work is disgusting.

2. Chocolate chips & butter microwaved as a cheater’s chocolate sauce when I have a serious chocolate craving. It’s not classy, people, but it does the job!

3. Cabbage is one of my favorite vegetables. I never knew!  I love cooked cabbage! In noodles, in soups, in Asian noodle soups. Yum.

4. Informercials & sometimes, QVC. The cheesier, the better. Bring it on. To be fair, I have known that I love these for a few years.

5. Documentaries. While I can’t really deal with the sad or gory versions of this genre, pretty much everything else is fair game!

6. Glazed donuts. I know the pressure is to like the fancy pastries (Oh I could just die for a French chocolate croissant!) or the season specific sweets (fresh apple donuts from the orchard, anyone?) but I love the simplicity & pure deliciousness of a glazed donut. Don’t get me wrong… I won’t be turning down a Boston creme donut or homemade pecan roll anytime soon. But my tastebuds melt for glaze. Just glaze.

What about you?  Anything you “discovered” later than you feel like you should? Any brand new contraptions or fads  that make you swoon? or giggle? or launch into a sililoquy?

PS. Bet you wonder why this is posted under Purpose & Goals, doncha?  Because finding what we love IS the purpose, IS the goal. Find yours! Then tell us about it!

Handstands & cartwheels

image from sodahead.com

A few days ago, we were in Boston for my sister in law’s wedding (YAY!) and the afternoon after the wedding we were all looking for something to do. Nine or 10 of us ended up at the park down the street, playing frisbee, napping in the sun, and eventually doing handstands & cartwheels.  There is just something about the fall air & a big stretch of grass that makes it easy to play like a kid…. no matter how old of a kid you are!  After my first cartwheel, the hubs wsa super surprised… “wait.. you can do that? We’ve been together for over 5 years & I’ve never seen you do that!” I have more surprises up my sleeve still Mr E Persing!  After 30 min or so of handstands, my abs were aching!  Funny how things you took for granted when you were 8 years old that really kick some major butt nowadays.  Now, two  three days later, my super stiff arms, shoulders, abs, and legs are finally starting to mobilize again.  Who knew regular ol’ playing could be such an amazing workout!?! It was so much fun to goof off & I was so sore the next day that I know there will be more handstands & cartwheels to come…maybe it will become the new Saturday workout? 3 reps of 15… go!

Do you have an unexpected & fun workout routine? Do tell!

Making It All Work

David Allen of Getting Things Done (GTD) fame has a new book, Making It All Work. I am a huge GTD fan & have nothing but praises to sing of the methods in the book, but have not devoted my life to it (just google GTD & you’ll see what I mean).  Lately, I have been feeling a little blah about our systems & the why behind what we are doing. Maybe Making It All Work  (does it not remind you of this “make it work”?) will offer some of the guidance & perspective I have been seeking. My favorite quote (via The Simple Dollar which is where I saw that Allen had a new title & is a fantastic read for anyone who makes, has, or wants money) is:

Approaching work is a game, and one that’s fun to play, as long as we know the purpose, the boundaries, the contents, and the rules. When any of those parameters are unclear, we develop unnecessary stress and are ineffective.

This exactly describes the blah– otherwise known as the “What am I doing?”– I have been feeling lately.  I will be putting Making It All Work on my “Must Read” list immediately!