Easy and Delicious Peach Cobbler

This evening I was looking for a little something yummy to make after dinner, when all of a sudden I realized I have all the ingredients to make my mother’s delicious Peach Cobbler. I have enjoyed this quick and easy recipe since childhood, so I thought I’d share it with you.


Ingredients

1/4 cup of butter
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
3 (15oz) cans of sliced peaches

Directions
Pre-heat oven to 350F degrees; while pre-heating oven, place butter in the 10″X13″X3″ baking pan and place in oven to melt.

Mix dry ingredients in bowl, then add milk and whisk until smooth.


Remove baking pan from oven, and pour the batter over the melted butter in pan. Place sliced peaches over batter, and then pour 1/4 cup of remaining peach juice on top.

Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake for 45-minutes to 1-hour at 350F until golden brown.

Serve warm (alone or with vanilla bean ice cream)

Enjoy!

Getting to know Me again

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my life, and one that I will now always remember, is that I can’t continually put my ideas and dreams on the back burner for someone else – no matter how much I love them. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that relationships are all about compromise, but there are some things that just shouldn’t be compromised. And the things that make you “you”, definitely shouldn’t.

Looking back, I’ve done this periodically throughout my life. I want to make my partner happy, and sometimes I didn’t think about what I wanted or what I enjoyed; but instead I hung out with “his” friends, went where “he” wanted to go, listened to “his” type of music, and did what “he” wanted to do in an effort to have a happy marriage. Soon enough I didn’t even recognize myself in the mirror.

This September marks the 5th anniversary of being single, again, following a 7-year marriage; and I have to tell you I am really enjoying getting to know ME again.

I’m writing. I’m traveling. I’m singing. I’m hanging out with MY friends again. I’m doing all those things I neglected.

In listening to this beautiful song by Mandy Moore, it seems she has been guilty of this as well.  She and Chantal Kreviazuk wrote this incredible song about taking the time to get to know yourself again. You can really hear the emotion in her voice.

Take a listen – you won’t be disappointed.  I’ve also posted the lyrics below.

Gardenia
Well, I put so much thought into getting ready
Now I know that was the best part
It’s so easy to get caught up in what I’m regretting
Forget what I got from a wounded heart

I’m the one who likes Gardenia
I’m the one who likes to make love on the floor
I don’t want to hang up the phone yet
It’s been good
Getting to know me more

I’ve been seeing all my old friends in the city
Walking alone in Central Park
Doing all the things that I’ve neglected
Traded ’em all in
To be in your arms

I’m the one who likes Gardenia
I’m the one who likes to make love on the floor
I don’t want to hang up the phone yet
It’s been good
Getting to know me more

Well, I hear my own voice
Sounds so silly
Keep on telling my story all around
Everything I lost seems so different
Well, this is how everybody gets found

Couch to 5K to Couch ~ OUCH!

Couch to 5k to Couch ~ OUCH!

You may be wondering why I haven’t posted anything lately about my 5K Training. Well, I’ll tell you …

After my last run of week 2 training (last Saturday morning), there was a little tightness in my calf and my ankle felt a little stiff, so I stretched a lot and went on with my day. But overall  I felt great! I was invigorated and ready to start week 3 following a 1 day rest, as the program recommends.

However, later that evening I couldn’t walk.  My ankle was swollen and throbbing in pain. I don’t even know what I did. I iced it, I took Motrin and rested it all day Sunday, hoping that I would be able to get back on track by Monday.

I woke up Monday morning and it was still a little sore, so I decided to take one more day off from running to make sure it healed. No such luck, after a long day at work it hurt worse, and by Tuesday I could barely put any pressure on it without a lot of pain. So I decided to call my doctor.

He said I was doing everything right, and just keep doing what I was doing: icing it, taking the Motrin and keeping it elevated as much as possible. Well, I have a job, so unfortunately I can’t just stay home and pamper my ankle, so I continued to hubble on it all week, and it continued to hurt and swell.

my new friend
Since this last weekend was a three-day holiday from work, I decided to cancel my plans, and just stay off my leg as much as possible. I watched a lot of movies. I kept ice on it (well, as I could handle), and kept it elevated… popping Motrin like M&Ms.

By Monday it started to feel a little better and today I am not limping at all. I still hurts a bit (more as the day goes on), but I’m hopeful that I will be hitting the trail one day this week.

Side note: After talking with a few of my runner friends, it sounds like I need to purchase a new pair of running shoes, as my 5-year-old cross trainers probably aren’t giving enough support.

Fake it ’til you make it!

Pain au Chocolat

Pain au Chocolat

We’ve all heard the expression “Fake it ’til you make it!” and that’s what I intend to do – live like I’m living in France, until I can make the move.

For me, the French/European lifestyle is all about working to live, and not living to work.  Taking time to enjoy life’s pleasures. Being an artist. A writer. Dining outside. 

Parisian Cafe

Parisian Cafe

When I’m in Europe, I take the train to visit different cities. I walk more. I eat bread (*gasp*). Spend hours, sometimes entire days in Museums AND Cafés. Drink Champagne. Enjoy Crêpes and Pain au Chocolat (chocolate croissants)  – a lot! So why not do this now?

Nutella and Banana Crepe

Before I leave for my French Adventure, I plan on doing the following things right here in the Good Ole U.S.of A.:

1. Take the train to another State (perhaps Denverto visit my bestie Heidi; or Chicagoto visit my brother; or just maybe travel to a city I’ve never visited).
2. Finish my novel.
3. Relax in the park with a loaf of French bread, a bottle of wine and a good book.
4. Start drawing /painting again.
5. Enjoy the local museums and galleries.
6. Dine outside as much as possible.
7. Host a French Dinner & Movie Night –  complete with French music, a French film, Champagne, Hors d’oeuvres and Crêpes!
8. Speak French daily.
9. Cook French cuisine.
10. Sit in a local coffee-house for hours and people watch.

I better get started tout de suite!

This post is also posted in my new blog: The France Project 

I have a dream

The France Project ~ Dreaming My Dreams in French!

I have a dream.

I’ve had this dream for quite some time now.

My dream is to live in France for a minimum of 6 months, but would prefer a year if I can swing it.

I’ve had a love affair with France ever since the first time I visited, back in 1996. I’ve been back a few times and each time I love it all the more.  I enjoy the people, relish the culture and feel more artistic when I’m there.

I have set a goal: Move to France by March 2013.

This may seem like a long time off, but I think it’s realistic. There is a few things I need to do to prepare for the move.

First, I need to brush up on my French. (Hello Rosetta Stone!)

Second, I need to figure out how to finance this 6 month to 1 year sabbatical. (PayPal donations?!? – LOL)

Third, research and work out the details of the move, i.e., extended stay visa, a place to live, part-time work, etc., etc.

Fourth, put my belongings in storage and get on the plane!

I’m sure I will add to this list along the way, as I learn more about making an International move, but for now it’s a starting point. If you have any experiences you’d like to share, suggestions or advice, I’d love to hear (read) it.  I will be documenting my journey as I prepare for and embark upon this new adventure; for all the details and updates, please see my new blog The France Project at: http://thefranceproject.wordpress.com/

Until next time, Merci and au revoir !

Got a case of the Mondays? Play This…

Monday evokes different feelings for different people. But for many, Monday is the most dreaded day of the week. Some Mondays (especially Monday mornings) can be hectic and you may have a difficult time getting back into the rhythm of your work/school routine, especially after a weekend of staying up late and sleeping in. 

Many cartoons have been made about hating Mondays; in fact, in the Garfield comics and shows, the title character hates Mondays, and is frequently harmed during them.

 

In the film Office Space (1999), character Nina says to Peter “sounds like someone’s got a case of the Mondays” suggesting Peter is not having a good day.

For others, Monday might stir warm and fuzzy feelings upon the reflection on a wonderful weekend spent with someone you love (or are beginning to love), and make you long to see them again.

In the spirit of Music Monday, I dedicate this “Monday” playlist to all of you who are muddling through your Monday.

Hey Monday, Stafford
Goodbye Blue Monday, Jeremy Fisher
Monday, ALO (Animal Liberation Orchestra)
Monday, Monday
, The Mamas and The Papas
(They Call it) Stormy Monday, Les McCann, LTD., & Lou Rawls
Come Monday, Jimmy Buffett
New Moon on Monday, Duran Duran
Monday, Wilco
Monday Morning, Death Cab for Cutie
Blue Monday, New Order
Long Monday, John Prine
Monday Morning, Fleetwood Mac
Stormy Monday Blues, Long John Baldry
Manic Monday, The Bangles
Monday, Monday, Monday, Tegan and Sarah
Happy Monday, Melissa Reyes
I don’t Like Mondays, The Boomtown Rats
Except for Monday, Lori Morgan
Blue Monday, Johnny Lee
Rainy Days and Mondays, The Carpenters
Come Next Monday, K.T. Oslin
Permanent Monday, Jordan Sparks
Every Monday, Marvelous 3
Weekend in New England, Barry Manilow

Couch to 5K: Week 2 Day 1

“Ouch” is the word of the day for Week 2 Day 1.

Yesterday I started Week 2 of my 5K training program – using the Running Mate Media podcast as my coach. Again, following a 5-minute walking warm up, I started my first jogging period. However, in Week 2 the program increases the jogging/running time from 2 minutes to 2.5 minutes, and decreases the walking time from 3 minutes to 2.5 minutes.  You wouldn’t think that would make that big of a difference, but let me tell you – it does!

By the 2nd jogging interval, my calf muscles were really tightening up and starting to hurt. With the encouragement of the coach telling me I only hade one minute left in this segment I tried to keep jogging, but soon the pain was so strong that I had to stop and stretch for a minute or two in order to continue. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it through the next jogging interval; but I persisted and thought, perhaps if I increase my stride a bit  it might help the muscle ache. It seems counter intuitive, but it actually helped. My pain went away, I was running faster and I was able to finished the full 30 minute session.

Increasing the amount of time running also increased my distance from 1 mile (week 1) to 1.5 miles, in basically the same amount of time (in week 1 the program is 27 minutes).

I stretched more when I returned home and drank a lot water the rest of the day –  two pieces of advice I received from a friend who regularly runs half and full marathons.

I felt fantastic the rest of the day – I was in a great mood and I had a ton of energy.  I’m really loving this program!  Thanks 5K101.com !!