Thursday, February 2, 2012

My First Dream

I blinked and came the new year.

I blinked again and it's February!  Time, why do you sneak up on me? 

Meanwhile, nothing much has changed around here. Not much accomplishments since the beginning of the year... or the last ten years it seems.

What the heck did I do with my time?

I look at my daughter and think, where has my baby girl gone?  Really, nothing can make you more aware of how quick time flies than a growing child.

Then I started wondering at where I'm at now in my 37 years of  life.   My initial thoughts were--  how much money do I make?  How much stuff do I own? 

The assessment made me sad.  Career wise I felt such a loser.  Then a more profound question crossed my mind... "where you are in life, are you happy?"

My answer was clear.  Heck yeah!

Now going back to the previous question of what I did with my time,  my answer is that I have spent my time tending to my family.  Below is a photo of my husband and the little girl we have been nurturing  in the past three years.

Parenthood is no joke.  It takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice but it also is the most rewarding investment of all. There are small accomplishments in each day, like when you get to feed your child vegetables without bribing them with ice cream afterwards. Or when they finally use the potty for #2 after many months of potty training! Ok, that last one is actually a big accomplishment.  {At least for me it is.}

What I am saying is that having a family sometimes make our professional dreams take a back seat.  It's a tough trade off for parents.  In reality though it means we are prioritizing the dream that make up who we are.  It would be a lie for me to say I didn't dream of becoming the most successful among my peers.  I wished to own the biggest house, the fanciest car, and to travel the whole world.  But if I were to really examine my heart, my first dream was to be loved. To be happy.  To journey through life with the comfort and joy that comes from family. 

That said, I see no time wasted.  I simply lived my ultimate dream.

As part of this 'tending to my family' thingy I have been cooking a lot.  I have been researching and doing trial and error on many recipes online.  I want to build my repertoire of meals I can quickly prepare.  I want to add to my rotation of dishes so we don't get easily bored.  I had a couple of flops this week which I definitely won't bother to post here.  But this recipe that follows is a keeper.  Husband loved it.  Daughter liked it (and it's a vegetable!).  We all win.

Sesame Snow Peas & Mushroom

8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 lb snow peas, trimmed
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon canola or grape seed oil
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
kosher or sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Blanch snow peas.  Bring a large pot of salted water into a boil.  Add snow peas and cook for 1 1/2 minutes.  Drain and set aside. (You don' need to do this really but  like mine to cook uniformly. If you skip this step just make sure you saute it longer later).

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the mushroom.  Dry saute the mushroom, just on their own, no oil or other liquid with it.  Stir often, it will squeak, then it will release its  juices.

Keep cooking, then when it has softened, add 1 teaspoon canola and add in the garlic.  Cook for one minute then add the the snow peas into the pan.  Cook for one more minute or until done to your liking.  I like mine crisp-tender and bright green.

Remove from heat. Add the sesame seeds, sesame oil, salt and pepper to taste. Toss and serve.

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