Sunday, October 3, 2010

Out with a Bang

Well, it's here.  Today is the day I turn 50 years old.  After all is said and done, it feels great.

My wonderful husband completely surprised me last night with a fabulous birthday party.  It was so much fun - a terrific dinner at my favorite restaurant with a great group of friends and family.  We ate, laughed, talked and danced the night away in very un 50-like style - proving that you are never too old for a good party!

It was truly a night to remember.  I am blessed to have such fabulous friends who came out to help me celebrate this milestone.  As an introvert, I'm the one who doesn't want the party and usually prefers the quiet dinner, but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of last night - Thank you Bill for arranging such a lovely evening.

Thank you all too for following this blog over the last year. It has been an enlightening journey for me.  I've realized that I really am a writer, and will continue to write as I move onto the next phase of my life.  I love that I have this journal of my 50th year, and am looking forward what the next 50 years has in store for me.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Big 2 0

20 years ago today, Bill and I got married.  It was a great fall day in Upstate New York. We danced the night away and ate pie ala mode in fabulous company.

20 years seems like a long time - doesn't it?  Mostly it has flown by, two great kids, career ups & downs as well as many moves and changes along the way.  

I'm proud that we've made it to this milestone and have done the work to still be going strong into our next 20 years. We've certainly had our share of arguments and differences of opinion (Why he just doesn't agree with me - it would be so much faster!).  We've had countless happy times as well as the tough losses of siblings, parents and other loved ones while always being there for each other.

Now, you all know that this is about as mushy as I ever get. It has been fun today, though, to think back on the years feeling so good about being half of this couple.  I am also looking forward to the future - more laughter and tears to come, but great anticipation and excitement as partners and parents.


Monday, September 27, 2010

T minus 6

Well, it's almost here.  Less than a week from today, I will be 50 years old.  I've done a lot of thinking about this blog over the last couple of weeks.  I've enjoyed writing it and realized along the way that, like many things, it was easier said than done to keep up with it. 

I fancied myself writing everyday when I first started and quickly realized I didn't have that much to talk about.  Truth be told, there was a little laziness in there too.  

It has been a good journey for me though.  I've learned a few things about myself I didn't realize along the way - I'll share these throughout this last week.

The first is that I really love to write - I will keep up the writing, and in fact, am working on another blog to start next week that will incorporate my love for food, and my new found enjoyment of writing - stay tuned, I'm working on the title.

One goal for next year is to work on both my cooking and my writing.  I love to have something to go to "school" for, so I know I will enjoy finding some classes or workshops to help me learn.

I'll share more learnings this week and, as always, am happy for any thoughts or feedback too.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Closing In

It is surely closing in on that time.  A little over two weeks from now, I will be 50. It seems like a long year in some ways and in others it feels like it flown by.

I will take some time over the next couple of weeks to reflect on what I've done this year and what I still want to do going forward.

As the new school year has started for the boys, I am amazed at how old they are.  College is closing in for Jack and Charlie will be in High School before I know it.  Exciting and challenging times ahead, I'm sure

I'll try to write some on each of the areas and goals I mentioned earlier in the year and update you (and me) on how I'm doing on this journey.

More to come soon

Friday, September 3, 2010

One Month and Counting

OMG - The countdown has begun.  How can it only be one month away?  I'd better get moving if I'm going to accomplish all those things I've talked about over the last year!

Or... I could just relax and know that my 50's are going to be great.  I think I will spend this month on the blog reflecting a bit on my 40's.  What I've learned and what I hope to learn as I move to the next half of my life.

One lesson I've learned from my 40's is that it's OK to slow down sometimes.  I am really good a rushing - for kids, for work, for life.  I've gotten better at thinking with the end in mind (as Covey would say) and gaining a little perspective on the journey and realizing that it's easy to miss some of the fun and value by being so concerned about getting to the end in one piece.

Now, that's not to say my family would describe me as patient - I'm hoping for that to come in my 50's, but there is something to be said for wisdom coming with age.

More tomorrow - with 29 days left.....

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hop to It

Bill and I had a fabulous dining experience in North Minneapolis.  We had been to a meeting near DeLaSalle and decided to stop for a late dinner at a relatively new restaurant on Hennepin Avenue called Ginger Hop.  It's described as "East meets N.E." and has a wonderful menu of asian delights.

We met one of the owners, John, who recommended the Green Curry with Shrimp and the Almond Chicken Stir Fry.  Both were great.  The curry was spicy, rich and full of tender shrimp and fresh seasonal vegetables.  The stir fry was a nice compliment with a rich garlic sauce and toasty almonds.  All this with 2 glasses of a John suggested wine, Alexander Valley Temptation Zinfandel, for $43.00 - worth every penny, and then some.

We had a nice chat with John and learned that the restaurant has been there about a year.  They also own a nightclub downstairs called Honey where they serve up food, drinks and excellent jazz

I love to find a new spot and we are looking forward to going back soon with friends and neighbors. 

Please join us or stop by if you are in the mood for a terrific asian meal.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Can't "Beet" my moment of fame

I had a small (really small), yet fun, brush with fame today.  One of the cool features of my new Jetta is a free 3-month subscription to satellite radio.  I am enjoying many new music stations, especially as I drive to southern and western MN where the stations are few and far between - and let me just say not necessarily my political peference.

I am also, perhaps surprisingly, enjoying the Martha Stewart station.  It has good environmental, home and especially cooking guests and tips.  So this morning as I'm pulling into the Midway Target parking lot, the guest, Matt Jennings, executive chef from the Farmstead Restaurant in Providence, RI was speaking about farmer's market finds and recipes.  The host asked people to call in with great ideas or recipes using local farmer's market produce.  

So, in an extremely un-Maggie like moment, I called.  I have a wonderful recipe for a roasted beet and goat cheese salad that I make all the time.  I figured I would get a busy signal or be on hold forever, but in about 30 seconds I was on the air!  I shared my tip for roasting beets (see below) and using them in this terrific salad.  Matt also gave me a wonderful way to use the beet greens, which I've never done, so all in all a nifty (as my father would say) experience.

This "food" aura continues to swirl around me and I am pretty sure that in my second 50 years, I will need to incorporate it into my life in a different way.  I have no idea what that is, and I certainly have no plans to quit my day job - but the pull is getting stronger - stay tuned.

OK - now the fabulous roasted beet salad

Take a bunch or two of beets - ideally red & golden, preferably purchased at your local farmer's market. Cut the greens off and wash the beets.  Wrap them whole, separating the colors, in aluminum foil packets and roast in an oven @ 400 degrees for about 45 minutes.  Let them cool, and the peel them; the skin will come right off. (Remember the color is very bright, so you may want to use gloves).

Cut or slice the beets to the size you like.  Add them to your favorite greens with feta or other sharp, creamy goat cheese or blue cheese, if you'd rather.  Add a chopped handful of toasted pecans or walnuts and top with your favorite vinaigrette - I like 2/3 olive oil to 1/3 red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar, 1 tsp dijon mustard, a clove of garlic (smashed, whole) to sit in for a couple of hours, salt & pepper.

It's super easy, looks great, and everyone loves it - even the beet haters!