Peace in Mistakes

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“Today’s menu has two options: Take it or Leave it!”

Today I tried baking in “not my own kitchen.” This doesn’t have to hang a person up much, but to a novice like me, I found myself totally lacking. I had different ingredients than usual. I used a different oven with various settings I wasn’t sure about. The baking trays were different, too.

Whelp, I’m sorry to say that my cookies looked nothing like cookies.

Nothing cooked right. 
The batter spread everywhere.
The oven was a mess afterward.
Maybe I over-softened the butter (meaning I put too cold butter in the microwave and made it runny. 
Maybe the ingredients didn't congeal enough.
Maybe the oven wasn't hot enough.
Maybe I just wasn't paying enough attention.

These are the moments just itching for peace. These are the times when I need to remember my breath and the bigger picture.

Messing up cookies is not a big deal. Eating flattened “cookie pie cake,” as LM2 dubbed it, is not a big deal. Needing to clean the oven after efforts gone awry is not a big deal.

I seek peace. I remember to breathe. I lower my expectations. Today, I found peace in my mistakes. And I was thankful.

What brought you peace this week? Share the peace!

Peace in Bok Choy

I picked up some bok choy last week at the grocery store without any knowledge of what to do with it. I’ve ordered dishes with bok choy in it and thought, “I like this! I can make this work!”

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There is nothing more peaceful than making space for focus. I fixated myself on finding something awesome to do with my bok choy, and OH BOY! What an adventure.

After scrolling through various recipes, I stumbled upon this one from The Forked Spoon, for an asian fusion kind of soup. I added a few ingredients of my own, like fish sauce, chives, and baby portobellos. The grocery store had some nice super thin rice noodles that cooked super fast (who knew?) making the dish feel restaurant quality in no time.

That’s what I tell myself (and Hubs) when something tastes really great.

“You could TOTALLY get this in a restaurant!” I say. “Don’t you just feel like we bought this off a truck somewhere in an asian market?”

“Do they sell a lot of food out of trucks?” he asks.

I have no idea. I just say weird things when I’m excited.

My afternoon in the kitchen made me think of Chef, the 2014 Jon Favreau movie about a chef who learns his passion is to cook out of a food truck– for a while, anyway. At some point my curiosity led me to watch some “behind the scenes” footage on the movie. I watched an actual chef teach Jon Favreau how to make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. He said something like, “this sandwich, this bread, this cheese, this is all that exists right now.”

Check out the scene from the movie if you’re feeling inspired by cheese and bread (who isn’t?).

Jon Favreau makes the perfect grilled cheese sandwich, but never reveals WHICH CHEESES!!!!

This all makes me think of focus. Anything is fun and peaceful and completely lovely when I allow myself to be fully present.

So, this week it was bok choy soup that got me there. What brought you peace this week? Share the peace!

Peace at Lunchtime

Today I tried something new with the littles. I eat lunch everyday with LM2 and LM3. It can get a little chaotic on days when my little people are HANGRY. Thankfully, today wasn’t that day. We were all in a good mood. We were all peaceful to begin with. In my world, that means there is extra room for creativity to sneak in.

“Let’s make ants on a log,” I said.

I always find we need to supplement the PBJ sandwich, otherwise everyone is hungry within an hour and a half. I hadn’t tried celery with the kids, outside of cooking it in soups and such.

“I don’t like raisins,” LM2 was quick to inform me.

“We don’t need to put raisins on them,” I said.

“What if we make frogs on a log?” LM2 suggested.

“What’s that?”

“M&Ms on celery!”

We still have mini M&Ms in the pantry from Halloween. We negotiated before agreeing 2 frogs per log would be ok.

LM2 was incredibly focused while he prepared our frogs. He informed me that the red ones were poisoned dart frogs. After a little research, we learned that the red, blue, and orange M&Ms would suffice for poisonous frogs. (LM2 knows what these little guys are thanks to Coyote Peterson, who is basically the coolest human on earth.

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We had a great time, filled our bellies, and found ourselves at a very peaceful luncheon. There was something to learn, something new to try, and something to enjoy. I recommend this!

What brought you peace this week? Please, share the peace!