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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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May 6, 2021

The Gluten Thing: Fad or Fact, Final Week

Today I’m going to wrap up this topic. Not because I’ve covered everything that there is to know about gluten, but because there are other topics

April 29, 2021

The Gluten Thing: Fad or Fact, Part 2

How do you know if you have a gluten issue? It’s possible that you may eat foods containing gluten and not experience any significant digestive issu

April 23, 2021

Veggie Stuffed Turkey Burgers

(The following recipe first appeared in the September 2020 issue of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times.) Ingredients: 1 tablesp

April 22, 2021

The Gluten Thing: Fad or Fact, Part 1

What are your thoughts on gluten? Do you eat it, or not? Why are so many people talking about it these days? Just this week I received a call from a f

April 15, 2021

Anchor Habits, Being Still, and My Resident Rabbit

It almost feels as though our world is sort of opening up again. For now. How very indefinite. At any rate, prior to everything shutting down, perhaps

April 8, 2021

3 Reasons Why Losing Weight is Hard

It seems like such a simple concept. Expend more calories than you eat, and BOOM. Off go the pounds. Not so fast. There are lots of reasons why it’s

April 1, 2021

He’s Here, and He’s Adorable

This is week #39 of baby, and guess what? He arrived! Little Angelos is perfect and looks like a little angel—well-dressed in monogrammed attire wit

March 26, 2021

Leek, Potato and Zucchini Hot Cakes

Ingredients: 1 medium potato 2 cups sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only)                                             

March 24, 2021

For the Love of Leeks, and Hot Cakes

It’s the week of the leek. From the looks of the leek I have in my fridge, it’s a good thing that at week #38, baby is about to make his grand wor

March 18, 2021

Swiss Chard, Your Refrigerator, and Advice from Julia

As we close in on this journey at week #37, baby is the size of a bunch of Swiss chard.  Swiss chard falls under the extremely nutrient dense umbrell

Are You Ready?

Are You Ready?

Or are you waiting for the perfect time to…                            

…learn a new skill?

…write the book?

…eat better and feel great in your body?

We often think that the timing must be perfect for us to begin something. We’ll start eating better after the weekend. We’ll start moving when we find the right exercise program. We’ll start making healthier meals when we’re not so busy.

Someday. Tomorrow. Never.

I heard a really good song this week, “Getting Good,” sung by Lauren Alaina and Trisha Yearwood. It speaks of life getting good once I fall in love, get the money, buy the car, have the house. Finally, the realization: “Once I learn to soak up every moment, I’ll realize my life’s already good!”

Give it a listen. I think you’ll like it.

There is no perfect time to do what matters to you. Take the moment of now. It’s risky. Waiting allows you to avoid possible failure.

It also keeps you from living a full life. When is your life getting good?

Whatever you’ve been putting off, it’s time to start. Take some kind of action. Find out how you can begin learning that new skill and sign up.

Plan one meal you can make this weekend and get the necessary ingredients. Put on your sneakers and get moving.

You may feel some resistance. You may forget your grocery list or misplace those sneakers. Keep forging ahead.

It takes time to go from “start” to “habit.” Give yourself grace.

Put it in your calendar. Do what you can with the time you have, even if it feels imperfect. Make a plan and simply start. Get support if you aren’t able to get started on your own and feel stuck.

Here’s an idea to help you try something new. Join me on Zoom and we’ll make tomato pie together! (If you’ve got tomatoes, you can make this with me.) Today, August 27 from 11:00am to 12:30pm central. Send me an email to reserve your spot and get the Zoom link. It’s my summer gift to you.

Sending you love,
Carol

I’m thinking, once I learn to grow right where I’m planted, maybe that’s when life starts getting good.”—Emily Weisband

Gluten Free Pie Crust

This recipe yields two 9-inch pie crusts.

  • 2 cups Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend (Namaste and King Arthur are brands I’ve used) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 Tablespoons butter, well chilled
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 8 to 10 Tablespoons ice cold water

In a large bowl combine the gluten free flour blend and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until crumbly and the particles are the size of small peas. (You could use a box grater to shred the butter into the flour or cut into small pieces, then mix using a pastry blender, fork, or your fingers.) Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the beaten egg. Gently work it in with your fingers until the mixture is crumbly. Be gentle and work quickly to keep the dough as flaky as possible. Overworking your pie dough results in a tough crust.

Add the iced water to the center, one tablespoon at a time, working it in by hand until you have a moist, crumbly dough. The crumbles should stick when squeezed together. Gluten free crust should be made with more liquid than a traditional pie crust, or else it will become very dry.

Shape the dough into a large ball and cut in half. Place each half onto a sheet of parchment paper that has been sprinkled with a bit of gluten free flour blend. Form each half into a smooth disk. Sprinkle with more flour blend and cover with another piece of parchment.

Roll each disc between the parchment paper until it is 2 inches larger than the pie plate. Carefully peel off the top layer of parchment. Pick up the rolled pie crust by the under layer of parchment, center it over the pie plate, and quickly flip it over onto the plate. Carefully pull the bottom layer of parchment off the pie crust. If the crust breaks in a few spots, and it probably will (so don’t panic), pinch the dough back together in those spots.

Note: If you plan to have the dough sitting out in a ball while you are preparing the filling, keep it covered with a lightly dampened paper towel, as it tends to dry out quickly. Gluten free pie dough is fragile, so a little cracking when transferring it to the pie plate is normal.

 

It’s Tomato Time

As I was caring for my tomato plants, I had the memory of my father teaching me about cutting off the suckers–those shoots that show up between the main stalk and a branch. The purpose of removing them is so that they do not suck nutrients from the main plant, thereby giving you larger tomatoes.

One of the sucker branches was loaded with cherry tomatoes. I had to decide whether it should stay or go. Do I forfeit a nice yield for fewer, larger tomatoes?          

I ask the same questions now when it comes to my daily priorities. What shall I spend my limited time and energy on? What “suckers” would I be wise to eliminate? Great life questions…

Back to tomatoes! Now is the time to make tomato pie. I am of the opinion that homegrown tomatoes are a slice of heaven, here and now. If you’ve never experienced tomato pie with homegrown tomatoes, you have not yet fully lived.

I first learned about tomato pie from Laurie Colwin. Laurie was a novelist and short story writer who authored some great books about food. I love to read books about food, so she became my buddy and mentor, even though I never had the pleasure of meeting her.

For those of you who have dietary restrictions, you may alter this recipe in any way that suits you, with one exception—you must include tomatoes. I made it with a gluten-free crust, and it was delicious. I have even made it with…canned tomatoes, when one very cold winter, I was in desperate need of a summer fix. Making (and eating) this brings me great joy, along with an abundance of happy memories.

I am sharing Laurie’s recipe so that you may experience a bit more of summer abundance–and a slice of heaven. If by some remote chance tomato pie is not your thing, go for the traditional tomato sandwich-tomatoes, mayo, white bread. It too, is a winner.  

 

TOMATO PIE

The pie has a double biscuit-dough crust, made by blending:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 stick butter
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • Approximately 3/4 cup milk

Blend by hand or food processor. I like to use a pastry blender, since I once over- processed my pie dough and had to start over. Roll out half the dough on a floured surface and line a 9-inch pie plate with it.

Pie ingredients:

  • 2 pounds peeled fresh tomatoes or 2×28-ounce cans plum tomatoes, drained
  • Basil, chives, or scallions, depending on availability and your mood
  • 1 and ½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Slice the tomatoes thin and lay the slices over the crust. Scatter them with your chosen seasoning and sprinkle one cup of the cheese on top of the tomatoes. Over this, drizzle the mayonnaise that has been thinned with the lemon juice. Top this with the rest of the grated cheese. Roll out the remaining dough, fit it over the filling, and pinch the edges of the dough together to seal them. Cut several steam vents in the top crust and bake the pie at 400 degrees F. for about 25 minutes, or until bubbly and the crust is golden. The secret of this pie is to reheat it before serving, which among other things ensures that the cheese is soft and gooey. It can be made early in the morning, then reheated in the evening at 350 degrees F. until hot.

Recipe taken from More Home Cooking: A Writer Returns to the Kitchen.  

Sending you tomato love,
Carol

 P.S. Join me on Zoom and we’ll make tomato pie together! Thursday, August 27 from 11:00am to 12:30pm. Send me an email to reserve your spot! It’s my summer gift to you.

“It is hard to describe how delicious this is, especially on a hot day with a glass of magnificent iced tea in a beautiful setting, but it would doubtless be just as scrumptious on a cold day in your warm kitchen with a cup of coffee.” – Laurie Colwin

Enjoy a Bit of Sabbath Today

Today, take some time to lighten things up a bit and do something you really enjoy—for about an hour. Warning: this may take some discipline.

Monks refer to this as practicing Sabbath. (Yes, honoring Sabbath one day a week is on the list as well.)

Practicing Sabbath is one of the secrets to thriving in the monk environment—which we have all sort of been living since the pandemic began. Between working from home, staying away from others except those we live with, and having minimal contact with the outside world, all we need are the brown robes.  

The idea is to do something in your day, everyday, that you really look forward to. It’s the break from the grind that keeps you from breaking.

Taking some time to truly enjoy yourself helps ease tension and stress, which in turn makes you easier to live with.

And by the way, when you’re under stress, hormones get out of kilter and it’s tough to shed excess pounds.

Most people brush off stress like it’s no big deal. It IS a big deal and plays a critical role in your health and well-being. Practice letting it go.

Practice Sabbath daily.

Ideas: watch your dog watch the world go by, take a nap, enjoy a glass of wine, read a magazine, watch a favorite TV show, bake a cake, garden.  

I’m currently reading The Mists of Avalon. It’s the saga of the women behind King Arthur’s throne. I think I’ll spend some time outdoors today and hang out in that magical world for a little while.

What will you do? Hit reply and let me know!

Sending you love,
Carol

“If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.”― Thich Nhat Hanh