Some San Diego Perspective

I just spent the past four days at the San Diego NACHC CHI 2014 conference. A National Association for Community Health Centers, they focus on healthcare for the undeserved, often un-insured, population. A wonderful group of people commit themselves to this cause, often with little funds or resources. Needless to say, it’s always a great conference and this year I’ve taken away quite a lot of perspective.

Seaport Village San Diego Run

While there, I was able to get out early to run along Seaport Village (there’s something magical about running by the water!) and after long conference days, got on the floor and did some hotel yoga to stretch out my limbs.

Hotel Yoga

One of the sessions I attended really blew me away: Customer Service and Work Life Balance in Healthcare. It’s not a topic you usually hear about in healthcare – or in the corporate world. As one of my colleagues so appropriately pointed out: It’s a term that we like to throw around, but not necessarily implement.

In a nutshell, the presentation was delivered by a charismatic Dr. who had, throughout the years, become extremely passionate about providing good customer service to his patients, which in turn helped with his overall outlook on life. Treat people with respect. Live each day as it may be your last. Have fun and give yourself permission to have fun…and take that mentality to wok.

His energy, his passion for living! It was truly inspirational!

I tried to think of his day to day…seeing sick, tired, unhealthy, terminal patients who look to him for reassurance, medical advice, therapy, often a miracle. And he does it all with compassion, respect for those he works with along with his patients, and a thirst for life that is truly rare. He stressed living your dash – you can’t control when your dash starts (your birth date) or when your dash ends (your death) but what you choose to do to fill the space in between is under your control.

It made me think about how I live between my dash…since gathering the courage to move to Denver, I think I’ve filled my dash with the right things. Things I’m passionate about, things I enjoy, things that improve the quality of my life. What am I doing to inspire? To give back? To contribute to the things I’m so passionate about?

We’re all on our own path, but if everyone contributed more to their own happiness, filling their own ‘dashes’ with positive, fun activities, spreading positivity – what would that world look like!?

All-in-all an amazing conference….and I took away a fabulous lesson: Fill your dash with as much positivity, happiness, fun, excitement, adventure as possible!!!

Fun in San Diego for NACHC CHI 2014

Let me Entertain You: Simple recipes to feed a crowd

Entertaining is fabulous, something I absolutely love to do and cook for! I was recently asked by a friend,what to serve for a party – she didn’t exactly want to serve dinner, but wanted hearty enough appetizers, as the party was going to be held from 6-9pm .

Below is a list of hearty, simple recipes I’ve made in the past to entertain. I always try to have an array of foods, with different flavors, shapes and sizes, so the spread is aesthetically pleasing as well as delicious.

Happy entertaining!

White cannellini bean & Garlic dip

1 can of cannellini beans
2-3 cloves of garlic
Juice from Lemon wedge
Salt, Pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp of olive oil (try a walnut oil, will add a ton of good flavor)
Parsley, chopped, for garnish

  • Blend all together in blender or food processor, serve with pita chips.

Caprese & Pesto Toasts

Loaf of crusty bread (Baguette would work best), cut into slices
Fresh Mozzarella balls, sliced thinly
Bush loafs with a tiny bit of olive oil & toast at 350 for 5-8 minutes
Once toasted, brush with pesto, top with a slice of mozzarella & a halve of cherry tomato

Home made pesto

Handful of basil leafs, 6 tablespoons of olive oil, 2-3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese, 2-3 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts – blend in a food processor

 

Homemade pita chips

Pack of whole wheat tortilla wraps (the smaller ones)
1 tblsp of olive oil

Use a pizza cutter to slice into 4 pizza size slices – brush (lightly!) with olive oil. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes, until crisp.

 

Guacamole Mouse with a pepper salsa

1 large has avocado
1 lime
½ red onion
3-4 garlic cloves
olive oil
Tomato, diced
Green pepper diced
Red pepper diced
Kernels from a corn on the cob, cut off

Put whole avocado, half of a lime (juice) 2 garlic cloves, 2-3 tablespoons of veggie broth in a blender – whip! Scrape into a bowl.
Sauté red onion in a bit of garlic for 3-5 minutes, add peppers & corn. Sauté for 5-8 minutes, until peppers are a bit soft. Put into a bowl & add tomatoes. Serve side by side with tortilla chips.

Panzella Salad  

Summer Panzella salad
3 tomatoes cut into chunks
8 stalks of asparagus
2 tablespoons of capers
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1//2 loaf of bread (I’ve used sour dough in the past)
1 teaspoon Oregano & Italian seasonings

Cut bread into crouton sized pieces, toss in 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil & seasonings – bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Put into a bowl and cover – do not refrigerate.

Grill or broil asparagus – cut into ½ inch pieces
Put tomatoes, capers, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, balsamic, asparagus more of the seasonings in a big bowl. Mix together and put in the fridge.

Right before you serve, mix bread in with the wet mixture. Serve immediately.

 

White Pizza with Roasted Broccoli

3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
3 tablespoons Truffle Oil
½ head of broccoli chopped
4-5 leaves of basil
1 cup of ricotta cheese
Italian Seasonings
2-4 tablespoons of Romano cheese
Buy a pizza crust or frozen pizza dough – Sprouts has them in the freezer section

Toss broccoli in 2 tablespoons of oil and minced garlic – roast at 350 for 10-12 minutes, stir halfway through.
Roll out dough, brush with a bit of oil. Mix ricotta & Italian seasonings together then spread onto pizza crust. Mince basil, and sprinkle onto ricotta. Put broccoli mixture on top of the crust, sprinkle with Romano cheese & bake as directed. Slice into extremely thin slices (once cooled off) and serve.

Breakfast Crepes filled with smoked cheddar & asparagus scramble and

The World Cup has been raging strong at our household and it’s been extremely exciting to watch! Now, we don’t have cable (I’ll wait until everyone catches their breathe) but we’ve able to stream it through our Roku…have been hanging on every kick!

So, this past Saturday my sister, brother-in law, Mike and I gathered in our newly renovated kitchen/family room to watch the game and eat some good grub.

I was feeling inspired by the Argentine spirit, plus always like to pull out the big guns when company is over, so made Argentine-style breakfast.   After we filled up, we headed to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival to jam out with some Soul School (who were amazing!). Hope you had a Happy 4th of July!

Egg Scramble

 Breakfast Crepes filled with smoked Cheddar & asparagus Scramble

I served these with sweet potato & onion hash browns – simply diced up a sweet potato & 1/3 of an onion & sauteed in garlic.  Delicious!

Crepes

1 cup of whole wheat flour

1/2 cup of almond milk

1/2 cup water

2 eggs

2 tablespoons melted butter

Mix all ingredients together, butter being last, until lumps are out. Take 1/4 cup and scoop out the batter onto a heated skillet  (melt some butter in the skillet first). Spread the batter thinly in the pan – cook on medium for 2-4 minutes a side, then flip

Crepes

Egg Scramble

A handful of fresh asparagus, chopped

4 chunks of smoked cheddar, sliced in bitty pieces

2 garlic cloves, minced

6 eggs

a splash of coconut milk

1/4 of a small onion, minced

Heat oil, onion & garlic in a skillet for three to six minutes. Add the asparagus and cook for another 3-4 minutes, mixing frequently. In a separate bowl, mix eggs and coconut milk. Add mixed eggs to veggies – mix so egg scrambles slowly. When almost done, add the green onion & cheese. Stuff crepes with egg scramble & top with tomato & avocado.

Happy Breakfast!

 

Cherry Creek Arts Festival

 (This is my sister and I at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival!)