FRIDAY FISH: Skillet Lentils and Tuna for Dinner

Flexible is this meal’s middle name. Change out the vegetables, broth, protein, and/or herbs to make it your own.

I don’t remember eating lentils as a kid. Even lentil soup — on many tables this week as it’s such a pantry-friendly meal — came to me in adulthood, albeit from a much-loved friend and oddly enough during a hot week at the beach on the Outer Banks. If I ate it earlier, I have no memory of the meal and more’s the pity. The “Lentil” I knew was the Lentil of Caldecott Award- winning author Robert McCloskey (MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS) fame since I’m a lifelong avid reader and also trained and worked as a school librarian at one time in my life.

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Split Pea Soup with Ham — Putting One Foot in Front of the Other in the Fog

Fog along the Front Range in Colorado isn’t terribly common, but we have it. What we have more often are low-hanging clouds over the mountains. This last week, though, there have been days of it along with rain, wind, and snow…obscuring views and sadly forcing people indoors even more than usual. In such weather, I need some extra grounding and daily take my “centering” walk–a slow amble around the house, counting my steps up to 1,000 or more, stopping at each window to make myself aware of three things outdoors that I don’t usually notice–or even stopping in a room to notice three items. In my office, I leave out a prayer book and stop there to read the same prayer each time I pass through the room. By the time I’m done, I can breathe and even see better.

Grounding Techniques from

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FRIDAY FISH: Oyster Po’ Boy with Horseradish Blue Cheese Sauce + Sweet Pepper Slaw

When you travel all over the gorgeous United States of America, it’s simply part of the journey to sample the local fish or seafood sandwiches. Think about going to Maine without eating a Lobster Roll or to Maryland and missing a Crab cake Sandwich? How about Minnesota or Wisconsin and skipping that Walleye Sandwich? You can’t do it. I mean, it’s just nearly a great big part of the trip. Let your mouth water over Fried Catfish Sandwiches, a big Shrimp Bahn Mi, Gravlax with Dill and Capers or even Apple and Kale, Smoked Fish Sandwiches, Lox and Bagels, Tuna Wraps, or my favorite thick crispy Fish Wiches — an outgrowth of the Midwestern Lenten Friday Fish Fry and served up at many a local bar and grill. I mean, if you live and/or work in the midwest, you send someone out for a bag of them for the office or house, right? Everyone waits all year for that to happen. These sandwiches have a cult following–maybe because they’re not available all of the time. (FISH/SEAFOOD SANDWICH HONOR ROLL HERE.) Even here in Colorado, I’m pushing for my Southwestern Grilled Fish Sandwich with Green Chile Goat Cheese and Jicama Slaw to soon become can’t-live-without-them standard fare. (Insert tongue in cheek.) And you know we have stellar trout we smoke and eat as is or in a spread or fry up for breakfast? Even though Colorado isn’t the first to come to mind when you think of fish, you might be surprised at our bounty and book a fly fishing trip for the summer. Could you make a sandwich with a Colorado trout fillet? Of course; let’s just dream about what it might be… … …

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6 Easy Pantry Meals if You’re Stuck at Home

Original recipe and post here for EASY CHICKEN-BLACK BEAN SOUP. Pantry version below.

Spending years as a working mom, I knew the value of pantry meals and we happily ate a lot of them. Still true today as I don’t always feel like running out to the store when it’s snowing, right? Today, for instance, I’m making Hold My Beer Slow Cooker Chili. My husband knows: I never get tired of chili.

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