Pico de Gallo

Fresh-made Pico de Gallo

My son made my day today when, at the grocery store looking for quesadilla fixings together and after me saying, “why don’t you pick out a jar of salsa that you’d like” he says, “why don’t we just make our own pico de gallo instead?” Wow, what a great idea, and how awesome is it that he knew to think of that as an idea! I’ve been trying over the years to encourage him to be a part of making foods (one of his favorites has always been desserts) and at least showing him this by making various things from scratch for him to eat.

For example, I found a recipe for a basic pancake mix that we now put together and leave in the freezer for later use. Much better than the box mixes that can also include hydrogenated oils (unhealthy trans fat), preservatives and a bunch of other ingredients. We’ve also discovered making a birthday cake (and the frosting) from scratch is far superior in flavor. So I was delighted that he suggested we make our own pico de gallo salsa. It’s this dietitian-mom’s delight!

So we got some tomatoes, fresh cilantro, some sweet onions and some sharp cheddar cheese. Once we got home I got him on the task of grating the block cheese while I cut up the tomatoes and onions. He pulled several sprigs of cilantro and washed them and then opened a can of diced green chilis that we had and drained them.  Then we combined the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, some chilis and a squeeze of half a lime and let that set a bit.  It was fun and quite easy to make these cheese and pico quesadillas, and the best part (in my opinion) besides the taste, was that they were so fresh-tasting with that crunch of fresh onions and the fresh cilantro. And beyond the fresh food – the ultimate best was that my teenage son was with me in the kitchen and we were spending this time together. This is wonderful.

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Swim crazy

Swimming takes on a whole new light when you decide to train for a triathlon for the first time. Sure, I know how to swim and have fun in the water; but open water swim for 1/3 or 1/4 mile? This is something I’ve challenged myself to get ready for and do (and eventually follow that with a 15 mile bike ride then a 5K run!)  So with the winter still upon us I have made good use of a Master swim class (once per week for 8 weeks). This has been an eye-opening experience thus far. It’s one thing to be breathing hard during a workout in your own living room but with your face in the water it’s a whole different experience!  As I keep learning through the swim sessions I find gratitude in many things:  for goggles and a swim cap (keeps all this long, curly hair in check and adds boyancy!). I’m learning proper drills to help my body flow more efficiently in the water. Wow, what a workout this swimming is; and this is just the beginning. At this point I still can’t even imagine what it will be like to swim for 1/3 mile all at once – – but it sure will be sweet when I do accomplish it. As soon as the weather allows I’ll try another new task: open water swim, and a wet suit. I love all these new things!