Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Start small

Making the decision to live well doesn't mean that you need to change your look or run out and buy a bunch of stuff to make your home look like a catalog. You don't need to dump your old friends for a whole new crowd or become a social climber. You just need to decide that you want to be happier. Couldn't we all use a little more of that?

Besides- what's wrong with your life? Sure your couch might have cookie crumbs between the cushions and your kitchen might still have an avocado appliance or two but so what? Who really cares? That doesn't mean you can't still enjoy your home! A perfectly roasted chicken doesn't care what color the oven was! Your favorite wine will taste just as great in a juice glass as it would in hand blown crystal stemware. Why wait? Pour a glass today and see! And by the way, any friend who makes it their business what's under your cushions probably isn't worthy of you anyway.

So, start small. You don't need to throw your back out putting a 5 course meal on the table tonight but maybe you spend a minute thinking of one nice thing to do for yourself. It could be as simple as calling a girlfriend or digging up your mom's recipe for those perfect carrots you used to love. You don't have to make them tonight but you'll be one step closer :)

The Modern Bon Vivant's Perfect Carrots

These carrots are so yummy that even the pickiest eater will like them!

1 lb bag of baby carrots
4 tbsp unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water and 1 Tsp of kosher salt to a boil.
Add the carrots and allow them to simmer until they are just tender. This could be as fast as a minute or two if the carrots are very slender.
Meanwhile in a 10 inch skillet, melt the butter over a medium low heat. If the butter is bubbling or browning, take the pan off the heat and lower it so that the butter melts slowly.
Once the carrots are just tender, drain them well and add them to the melted butter in the skillet.
Add 1 tsp of cinnamon (or to taste) to the carrots and butter and saute until the carrots are softened but not falling apart- approximately 2 to 3 minutes.


Serves 6.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Modern Bon Vivant

Who is the Modern Bon Vivant? Heck, what is a Modern Bon Vivant for that matter!

Well, the who is me, Christina and the what. . . that's a little more complex. Classically the Bon Vivant is defined as a person who enjoys luxuries- especially food and drink. OK, that's not too hard to understand because, who doesn't??

But these days most of us are so busy with work and kids and just generally trying to keep up that we've had to let a few things slide. Let's face it, today time is the greatest luxury! Everywhere we turn the 'experts' tell us to live our best life/make time for ourselves/find your bliss/put yourself first but what exactly does that mean? Pedicures? Bubble baths?

Honestly, I can't say what those experts mean but I take it that we need to step back and figure out who and what we love then cherish it. If you're like me then that list is pretty short. I love my family, my friends and my home. I'd rather spend the evening at home laughing with old friends over a simple meal than 'be seen' at even the most exclusive hot spot.

So, that's what I do. No matter how busy I am, I make the time to spend with friends and family and to make my house a home. I pay attention to the details without losing the big picture. I've learned some short cuts that make it all so much easier and I really try not to sweat the small stuff. For me, that's living well!