I ended up cooking for some vegetarians this summer and expect to again so I have been experimenting with tofu.  Today's experiment wasn't too bad:
very firm tofu, diced, lightly fried
water chestnuts, sliced
dried coconut
dried currents
broth (some wine included to add a little sweetness or add a little honey to a savory broth)
turmeric
rosemary
allspice
bring to a boil and simmer about ten minutes
The perennial new year activity is reviewing life and getting it going again with a fresh start or two, with new or old activities. an old activity was blogging and I'm trying to get back to doing that on a more regular basis, if only so I can keep on my e-mail. For older blog posts, you can check out my links to Explorations and Essentials, but it is difficult to impossible for me to continue posting to those at this time and their decline did not help me keep to a regular blogging schedule. Paying work also got in the way and is likely to again, but we'll see what we can do to work around it.

It is said that telling people your goal sometimes helps you achieve them so I thought I would put a few of them here. (I always have more than I can achieve, but if I have less, I tend to achieve less, so more is better and maybe extras will get done along the way)
  • Cook and bake more - My sister does most of the cooking, especially when I am working long hours, but she deserves a break when I can give her one and there are some recipes I want to try
  • Submit at least Red Squad to a large publisher (TOR seems the most likely candidate presently but I need to do some renewed searching in that regard) and maybe submit some other books to other publishers - which requires going through my workshop notes and making appropriate edits.
  • Finish Green Squad and draft Seven Divided (third and fourth books of the space fiction series We Are Seven that starts with Red Squad)
  • Quilt at least three of the quilt tops I made last year and this (I already finished three quilt tops this year, all of them started last year, but the quilting part takes longer so I have probably a dozen tops waiting, plus a few more nearly done, waiting for a border fabric or applique work or some other bit of thing to be done)  One is due in March, one is due in November.  The rest don't have deadlines or destinations, yet.
  • Figure out how to submit a quilt for sale on Etsy.
  • Find a new house.  (Well, that's more a hope than a goal; we already found a house but zoning and such fell through, and unfortunately, the ones that are readily fixed up to be like we want are being picked up by flippers who ruin them and want us to pay more for the privilege of rebuilding them, or they aren't for sale.) 
  • Organize and clean out at least one filing cabinet
  • Gut and revamp the bedroom.
  • Blog at least 52, preferably 100 times this year.
Fresh Eats - Diets are heard to keep up, but a periodic fresh start or a diet-for-a-day now and again can still improve health.  My current "fave", and so far most successful diet is to simply eat 25% less (and eat better) two times per week.  Like many diets, it is still easily undone by the holidays and weeks of neglect, but better to lose now and regain than to gain first and have to lose even more later.  Here are a few fun ways to cut back for a day:
  • Replace morning toast with grapefruit or yogurt
  • Wrap your favorite meat salad in a couple of large lettuce leaves spread with a little ground horseradish instead of bread and mustard or mayo
  • Cut your meat serving in half and put it on top of your potato instead of butter or sour cream
  • Prepare your chopped vegetables for putting on rice (steam with soy sauce and vinegar, stir fry, or whatever you normally do), then spoon them over a row of steamed broccoli (or better yet, asparagus) instead of rice
  • Use parsnip or celery root instead of potatoes for mashing (but this treat is an expensive substitution, so not a ready replacement for regular use unless you are more successful growing them than we have been or you are willing to increase your food budget for the health benefit)
What is your fresh start for the year?

February 2017

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