Hump Day Wednesday: Summer Abundance


Our raspberry patch is alive with color! Early in the morning, I go out and pick fresh raspberries, which I add to my breakfast cereal or smoothie. Such a lovely addition, and so tasty! Sometimes I make jam. It’s so easy, and small batches work well. With small batches I can skip sterilizing the jars and simply refrigerate what I make for eating now. But if you want to make a large quantity, sterilize your jars first.

raspberry jam

Easy raspberry jam

Use equal parts sugar and raspberries. Turn on the heat to high and pour raspberries into a heavy saucepan. Mash slightly with a masher or a fork. Add sugar. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Lower heat to maintain a soft boil and cook until mixture thickens, approximately 5 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching. Pour into a clean glass jar. (If making a large quantity of jam, make sure the jars and sterilized and hot. Use canning lids to seal.) When cool, refrigerate your small batch. If you use the sterilize method, store your jam in a dark, cool, dry place.


Until Friday, and wishing you fabulous raspberries,


Motivational Monday: Recipe

green beans

Fourth of July will soon be here, and I wanted to share my new favorite green bean salad recipe. This is so easy and delicious, and pretty too!  Make several days ahead if desired, and store in refrigerator. Great served at room temperature, but cold is okay, too.

Green Beans with Red Onions and Olives


1/2 cup minced red onion
3 teaspoons balsamic or red-wine vinegar
3/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Additional Ingredients:

1 1/2-2 pounds fresh green beans, washed and cut in half (or frozen–but the whole bean kind if possible).

7-10 black or Kalamata olives (how many and what kind depends on your tastes, but I prefer Kalamata), pitted and chopped into about 8 pieces/olive

In a bowl, stir together dressing ingredients. Let sit while you cook the beans and chop the olives.

Steam beans until just tender. Don’t overcook! Pour on dressing while the beans are still hot. Stir in olives, mixing well. Cool to room temperature.


Until Wednesday, and happy cooking!


Motivational Monday: Take A Walk

burke gilman june

Photo: A section of Burke Gilman Trail, Seattle (developed from an old rail trail)

I love summer, and here in the Pacific Northwest, there is so much to see and do and enjoy. One of my favorite activities is walking in the great outdoors. My preferred walk-time is late afternoon or early evening, when I’m tired and muzzy-headed from a long sit in front of the computer.

As soon as I start moving, my mind and body wake up. It’s great to listen to the sounds of summer: kids laughing and playing, birds calling, dogs woofing. And the smells–the sweet scent of clover and other flowers or freshly cut grass. The slanting sun feels good on my arms and shoulders, and the breeze is light and warm. What a lovely way to end a day of writing. As I write this, I can hardly wait to get out there and go!

Until Wednesday, and wishing you a gentle unwinding at the end of a long day,