Our house came with a wooden bird house on the fence outside our kitchen window. About a year ago we started putting bird food in the bird house. I have to tell you it has provided endless moments of joy and wonder. We all eat breakfast around the island. Hudson sits directly across from the window, and loves to see the birds coming to have their breakfast too. I have seen birds that in all my time living on the West Coast I don't ever remember seeing. There is a woodpecker that comes often and likes to give the fence a little hammer just to make sure we know he came for a visit.
When I realized how much enjoyment I was getting out of the bird feeder and it's visitors, I questioned if I had turned 85 overnight. It then became clear that these little moments of happiness made day to day life more joyful. Of course I love holidays, vacations, parties, weddings, births. But these big moments of joy are not a daily occurrence. I find my daily joy in the little things: birds outside my window, drooly kisses, Sawyer's wildly messy bed head, clean sheets, surprise bursts of sunshine, blog comments (hint, hint), warm egg nog lattes on cold mornings, watching old Arrested Development episodes on Netflix while eating popcorn (oh, Buster) and watching my family dance wildly in our post-dinner dance-off. So maybe I am not 85. But maybe I have found a little wisdom to enjoy the moment for what it is. I try to avoid looking ahead to the next big joy, so I won't miss the little joys along the way. I can't lie thought, I know our Maui trip is only 45 days away ;)
I must also add that this recipe for Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Pasta brought some joy to my life. I have always wanted to try roasting my own peppers, and no need to say why goat cheese would be appealing.
3-4 whole red bell peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fat free creamer
4 oz. herb goat cheese
1/2 cup grated parigiano reggiano cheese
1/2 lb. whole wheat pasta, cooked to al dente
salt & pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place red peppers on a foil lined baking sheet and bake 20-30 minutes until peppers are charred. Remove from oven and cover with foil 10 minutes. This can be done ahead of time.
In the mean time, saute onions and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes or until tender. Pour in creamer and goat cheese. Stir to melt goat cheese into sauce and keep warm over low heat.
Uncover peppers, peel off skin and remove stem and seeds. Chop into large pieces and place into sauce along with parmesan cheese. Stir to melt cheese and remove from heat. Pour sauce into food processor or blender and puree, or use an immersion blender. Place back into hot pan and toss with cooked pasta. Taste and adjust seasonings. Top with more parmesan cheese, pepper, salt and parsley, if desired. Adapted from here.
The roasting of peppers went really well and they were super easy to peel. Don't be afraid of black spots. Of course this was amazing. Very rich and creamy without the cream. Both kids ate it up. I am sure it looked enough like mac and cheese to lure Hudson in.
If making a meal the whole family likes doesn't bring you some level of joy, then maybe you need a bird feeder.
Tiffany McFadden, RD