Wednesday, April 15, 2009

ups and downs

I've been a bit down lately. Nothing serious, just general life stuff... taxes and rainy, cold weather are not helping the situation.

An impromptu trip to Central Oregon proved an immense help. Just over the mountains, sunshine and warm air greeted us last weekend. A peaceful hike through the Painted Hills at sunset definitely cleared my head. Nothing like a road trip to put things in perspective and give one a sense of calm.

Painted Hills, Oregon

dead tree

Girl and dog at Painted Hills

We made it back in time for Easter, but ran out of time to paint eggs. I did manage to find time to bake a fresh blueberry pie...


A pity party took over my world today after writing checks with very large numbers on them. So after dropping off all those envelopes filled with tax papers and checks at the post office, I decided what we really needed was some healthy food and maybe a libation to make life a bit more palatable. A celebration of the fact that we can actually pay the large tax bill that came our way this year. After all, isn't the reason we're paying more in taxes because we made the money in the first place? Too many are unable to pay their monthly bills right now. The unemployment rate in Oregon is up to 12.1%. We need to count our blessings and stop whining!

Susan Boyle also disrupted my negative thought processing. She put a smile on my face and a lift in my step. If you haven't seen the video of this amazing woman on the reality show, 'Britains Got Talent' (the British version of American Idol), by all means watch it... with a kleenex handy. Unfortunately, YouTube would not allow me to post it here, so you'll need to google her to find it.

So with that lightened heart and a hungry family to feed, I'm cooking up some yummy dishes using fresh ingredients. Here's what we'll be feasting on tonight: corn chips and mango avocado salsa; basil pesto pasta (made with locally grown basil); green salad; fresh baguette; and homemade strawberry ice cream (made with local berries still in the freezer from last season)... oh, and a cold Oregon microbrew. The mango avocado salsa is my new favorite salsa. Delicious scooped up with corn chips, atop shredded beef and cheese on a corn tortilla. It's also capable of turning a boring sandwich into a sensation. Get ready to chop, chop and chop...


Mango Salsa
Printable Recipe

2-3 peeled mangos diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red onion, diced small
1 ripe avocado, diced
1-2 jalapeños, minced
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients and season with salt to taste.

strawberry ice cream