Love Your Body Right Now

 

Your body is your home. It is the place your spirit dwells in this mortal existence. It is where you will spend everyday of your entire life! Why are some of us, many of us actually, so unhappy in our own bodies? Remember when you were a little kid and you loved your body? What happened? It’s the same body. Somewhere along the way a war was waged…and I am willing to bet you fired the first shot. I am also fairly sure you can’t even remember why. 

If you are fortunate, your body is healthy and it does everything you ask of it. It walks, sleeps, eats, bends, it scratches an itch, stands, sits, reaches, throws, catches, and it even creates life! It also does things we don’t ask it to do. The heart beats, the lungs breathe, the stomach digests food, the brain functions, hair grows, cells regenerate, and the immune system defends us diligently without any thought on our part. 

Like a selfless friend our bodies serve us daily and like an abusive lover many of us don’t appreciate what we have. In fact, many of us abuse our bodies with poor nutrition, lack of sleep, over exercise or the opposite, a sedentary lifestyle. But that’s nothing compared the the verbal abuse! We hurl insults at our bodies, criticizing, whining and complaining about their perceived ‘flaws’. I know because I spent my teens hating my thighs and my butt (oh to go back in time!) and my 20’s pregnant and nursing six babies with my weight in constant flux. In my 30’s I was happy with my body but not my breasts. In my 40’s I became a little fearful of aging and searched for (and therefore found) more ‘flaws’. BUT in my 50’s something fabulous happened…

I became grateful.

Really grateful, not that kind of grateful where I said “I am so grateful” but in the next breath complained about my love handles. I mean really grateful. Grateful enough to use italics when I typed ‘really’. And grateful enough that complaining about anything regarding my body seemed…well, ungrateful! And with gratitude came love and acceptance. I love my body. Not because it’s perfect by the world’s standards but because it is a faithful servant that has treated me well. Looking back, all those years of dissatisfaction seem so incredibly pointless and silly. I could have spent those years being happier. 

The irony is, many of us spend our lives being unhappy with our bodies until something goes wrong with our health and suddenly we are the repentant, devoted lover, promising our body we will be better, more attentive and kinder. We spoil it, pamper it and lavish it with love, begging it to come back because we are so, so sorry.

Love your body today.

So My Message Is This:

Learning to love your body doesn’t have to be a 53 year process. Admittedly, I was a little slow. You can love your body today. Right now, as is! Nothing has to change about your body for you to love it, because the fact is there is nothing wrong with your body.

Your Body is Not The Enemy: Your Mind Is

Here is a  favorite quote from the book Starve a Bully, Feed a Champion: “Your body is totally innocent, completely neutral. It merely responds to the story you tell about it.” YES! If you remove ego from your thoughts about your body and become less attached to how it looks and more concerned with it’s true purpose, life becomes a little sweeter. Once you accept the body for what it is, a glorious but temporary shelter for your spirit and the vehicle by which you serve others, you make peace with it and don’t fear the changes as much.

Your body is a loaner. Treat it well. It is your home. It is the place you dwell.  Fill it with beauty and love, like you would a house. When you are filled with gratitude and love it will emanate from you everywhere you go, and that is true beauty.

Practice Gratitude:

Every morning thank your body for it’s service. Instead of hurling insults praise it for all the good it does, it can hear you you know! Gratitude is a powerful thing. It can change your perception, and perception after all is your reality! When you are truly grateful for your body you will love your body. When you love your body, you are more likely to treat it well with good food, rest and the proper amount of exercise and in return it will reward you with improved health and wellness. Hating your body doesn’t change it, loving it does. If you truly need to change something, change it because you love yourself enough to change it.

Treat your body the way you would a good friend:

Treat your body with love, compassion, kindness, patience and honesty. If your best and most devoted lifelong friend were telling you how hard he/she worked this week and how exhausted they were, would you say “Well you better go to the gym and take a really challenging spin class!” or would you say “Go home, soak in a hot bath and go to sleep early”? Exactly. 

Speak kindly about your body. Think kindly about your body. Treat your body well. It is like a loyal dog. No matter how long you have neglected it, it will be happy and forgiving when you stop. It believes everything you say and is waiting for your attention and praise and when you give it, it will respond positively. Nourish it, love it, praise it, and give it a good belly rub once in a while. 

Don’t Waste a Minute on Self Loathing: Call a Truce Today

Yep, your body is a loaner. Eventually we all lay it down. And unless you live to be 100 years old, chances are when the time comes you will think it’s too soon. You will beg your body to hold on just a bit longer and you won’t give a thought to your size or your thighs. Love your body now. Love yourself now. Be grateful now. Because now is really all you have. Life unfolds in the present, don’t waste a second.

~ Linda Spiker

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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Artichoke Heart Crostini ~Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana

 

Part 6 of My Favorite Restaurants Series~ Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana!

You may or may not remember that we went to Italy last year. That trip was my first trip to Europe and it was fantastic! Almost everyone I know that has visited that romantic, beautiful country dreams of going back. Brad Otton, owner of Settebello restaurants is no exception. Brad lived in Italy for two years. He fell in love with the people, the culture and the food.

After a successful career as a quarterback at USC and football coach at UNLV Brad and his wife Deanna decided to go back to Italy and learn to make the authentic Napoletana Pizza.  And from that experience Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana was born!

Artichoke Heart and Goat Cheese Crostini from Settebello Napolitana Restaurant

Pizza Napoletana is made with a soft dough and takes about one minute to cook in a wood-burning oven. Because of this, Pizza Napoletana has several distinctive characteristics. Pizza in Napoli is soft and foldable and can be considered “wet” by American standards, for this reason the people in Napoli generally eat their pizza with a knife and a fork. 

Dessert Pizza from Settobello Pizzeria Napoletana

Blackened char spots on the pizza crust are a tell-tale sign that the pizza has been cooked in a blistering hot, wood burning oven. Each pizza is an individual work of art. The owners and chefs at Settebello have a goal: to make the most authentic pizza Napoletana possible. First rate ingredients are essential in creating an authentic pizza Napoletana. Whenever possible the actual ingredients used in Settebello’s pizzerias are imported from Italy. When importing is not a possibility they search for the highest quality American products to complete their pizzas. 

Artichoke Heart and Goat Cheese Crostini from Settebello Napolitana Restaurant

 

Artichoke Heart and Goat Cheese Crostini from Settebello Napolitana Restaurant

After spending over a month perfecting his pizza making skills with Chef Enzo Coccia, Brad returned to the states and opened his first Settebello location in Henderson Nevada with his brother Tim Otton and friend Michael Brooks. That was in 2006 and since then seven more locations have been added. Lucky for me, four of those locations are in Southern California!

Artichoke Heart and Goat Cheese Crostini from Settebello Napolitana Restaurant

Settebello’s eight locations don’t just offer delicious authentic Napoli pizza, their menu also features mouth watering appetizers (recipe for this amazing crostini below)…

Artichoke Heart and Goat Cheese Crostini from Settebello Napolitana Restaurant

…a pasta dish or two…

Artichoke Heart and Goat Cheese Crostini from Settebello Napolitana Restaurant

…and decadent desserts!

Artichoke Heart and Goat Cheese Crostini from Settebello Napolitana Restaurant

 

So far I have visited four Settebello locations, Pasadena, Oxnard, Newport Beach and Salt Lake City. I have never left disappointed! The food and ambiance are are always on point. And my gluten free daughter is always very happy because Settebello restaurants have mastered a gluten free pizza dough.

Artichoke Heart and Goat Cheese Crostini from Settebello Napolitana Restaurant

 

Artichoke Heart and Goat Cheese Crostini from Settebello Napolitana Restaurant

Today the owners of Settebello are kindly sharing their recipe for Artichoke Heart and Goat Cheese Crostini with The Organic Kitchen.

Tips and what you will need: “speck” is a very thinly sliced Italian cured ham, similar to prosciutto but with more texture. It can be found in most deli’s and high end grocery stores. You can find Roman style artichokes with stalks here. Balsamic glaze is a thick syrupy balsamic vinegar. (affiliate links)

5.0 from 1 reviews
Artichoke and Goat Cheese Crostini
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Speck is similar to Prosciutto but with more texture. If you can't find it use Prosciutto.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • Italian loaf (or baguette) slice ½" thick
  • 8 oz soft goat cheese
  • 16 slices of thinly sliced speck
  • 8 Marinated artichokes roman style (quartered if they come whole)
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Glaze
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400, place rack in upper third of oven.
  2. Slice bread and brush the bread with olive oil, place on cookie sheet.
  3. Place in oven and toast till golden (five minutes)
  4. Spread each slice with goat cheese and top with 2 slices of speck and 3 pieces of the artichoke. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze. Garnish with parsley. Serve

Artichoke Heart and Goat Cheese Crostini from Settebello Napolitana Restaurant

If you would like to see my past “Favorite Restaurant Posts” just click!

Kale Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette from 370 Common
The Secrets to Making the Best Burger Ever from The Rustic Burger
Pasta with Pea Sauce from The Foundry Grill
Citrus Stuffed Roasted Chicken from The Communal
Chopped Chinese Chicken Salad from Katsuya by Starck

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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Lemon Butter Halibut with Zoodles~ Another 15 Minute Meal

 

Why do I cook fish for dinner? Just for the halibut.

I know, I know… awful joke. But you didn’t come here for the jokes, you came here for the food! The delicious, healthy, colorful, amazing food.  

Grilled Lemon Butter Halibut with Zoodles: Another 15 Minute Meal


This is Lemon Butter Halibut with Zoodles and you can make this gorgeous dish in 15 minutes! Both the halibut and the zucchini noodles, or zoodles as they are called, take less than 5 minutes to cook. And the prep is about ten minutes. Super easy, no refined carbs, plenty of protein, and my favorite healthy fat, grass fed butter!

To make zoodles you will need a  spiralizer (affiliate link) and if you are going to get one you may as well get a cookbook (affiliate link) because once you start using a spiralizer you are going to get hooked! 

Grilled Lemon Butter Halibut with Zoodles: Another 15 Minute Meal

 

 

BEFORE WE GET TO THE RECIPE, LET’S TALK ABOUT BUYING FISH:

Halibut is in season from mid April to October. When it is out of season this recipe works really well using frozen halibut. 

1. It’s best not to buy fish wrapped in plastic. You should be able to smell the fish you are buying. I always buy mine from a fishmonger I trust. If he is handling it, cutting it etc… he will know if it’s not fresh.

2. Always buy fish the day you plan on making it.

3. When selecting fish, always point to the piece you want. In stores the freshest fish is placed in the front of the window, closest to you, and the fish from the day before is placed in the back, closest to the fishmonger. So when you are looking at the fish closest to you and ask for it, he pulls it from the back. It doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with that fish from the day before, it’s just not the freshest…and you want the freshest!

Now that you are an astute fish buyer let’s talk grilling fish:

You do not need to spray your grill with chemicals to get fish not to stick. Before turning on the grill just wipe down the rack with coconut oil (affiliate link). Coconut oil works just as well as spray without the toxins. You want to turn your grill on high heat (I use a Weber grill, affiliate link) this also keeps the fish from sticking. Once grill is about 425 degrees add fish to rack. The high heat makes the meat contract, making it less likely to stick. Fish, especially halibut, cooks very quickly and if you overcook it it will be dry. So don’t overcook it. That is really all you need to know. And if you do it right it will look like this…

Grilled Lemon Butter Halibut with Zoodles: Another 15 Minute Meal!

 

 

 

The Recipe: Lemon Butter Halibut and Zoodles

Tips and what you will need: sea saltcoconut oil for grill, a fish spatula for gentle turning of fish and a grill (I use a Weber grill) and by the way, we love our mini grill! We take it to the park and the beach.  Affiliate links

5.0 from 1 reviews
Lemon Butter Halibut with Zoodles
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Grilled halibut and zoodles with a lemon butter sauce. Both the fish and zucchini cook really fast so have all ingredients prepped before starting any cooking. I cook the fish and zoodles at the same time since they both take 4-5 minutes to cook. If you are not a good multi-tasker, cook the fish first and then the zoodles. If you cook the zoodles first they will end up soggy.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 skinless halibut filets (6 oz) Fresh, or frozen and thawed.
  • 3 medium zucchini, spiralized
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of one small lemon
  • 3 tablespoons chives
  • ½ cup roasted pine nuts
  • sea salt
  • pepper
Instructions
  1. Prepare all ingredients.
  2. Wipe grill down with coconut oil, turn on high heat.
  3. Pat fish with paper towel to absorb any extra liquid (especially if frozen)
  4. Generously season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
  5. Once the grill is at 425 degrees, turn heat down to medium, add fish. Close lid. Cook three minutes, turn fish, cook two minutes, remove from grill. (I cook the zucchini while fish is cooking.)
  6. Place butter, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice in pan, turn on med/high heat. Saute for two minutes.
  7. Pour half of the sauce into a small bowl, reserve for later. Add zucchini to pan and toss in butter garlic mixture. If zucchini seems a little dry add a bit more olive oil.
  8. Add about ½ of the chives. Toss. Cook for 3-4 minutes, tossing here and there. Don't overcook or zoodles will get mushy.
  9. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper and pine nuts. Toss.
  10. Plate zoodles and place fish on top. Spoon reserved garlic butter sauce over fish. Garnish with remaining chives.

 

Happy grilling my friends! ~ Linda Spiker

 

 May I Please Ask A Favor?

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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Almond Butter and Jam Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

 

The PB&J sandwich…it’s an American standard. But I like to switch it up a bit with the occasional AB&J…almond butter and jam sandwich…in cookie form…stuffed with vanilla bean ice cream.  

Almond Butter and Jam Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches


Oh my. Homemade ice cream, sandwiched between two soft almond butter cookies and drizzled with your favorite jam. There’s only one word to describe it. Delectable. Decadent. Exquisite. Okay…there is more than one word to describe it.

The best part about this mouth watering dessert is that you can make these fantastic ice cream treats in advance, wrap them in wax or freezer paper and keep them in the freezer until you have guests over…or until you want one. Even if there are no guests, and you are alone watching The Bachelor. No judgement here.

The Recipe: Almond Butter and Jam Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Tips and what you will need: Use a good quality almond butter (I prefer Justin’s). You can find my recipe for simple no cook homemade ice cream here. If you would rather use store bought, I recommend Haagen Dazs vanilla. You will need a cookie sheet, a hand mixerunbleached parchment paper and wax or freezer paper.  I prefer vanilla paste to extract. I like to store my sandwiches flat in a glass baking dish with a lid. (affiliate links)

5.0 from 2 reviews
Almond Butter and Jam Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Make ahead, wrap in freezer paper and eat at your leisure!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12-14
Ingredients
  • For Cookies:
  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup good quality almond butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup packed white sugar
  • 1 cup butter, soft (room temp)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste (or extract, I just prefer paste!)
  • For filling:
  • favorite vanilla ice cream (my homemade recipe above)
  • favorite jam (I used no sugar all fruit raspberry and apricot)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center position of oven. Place parchment paper on cookie sheet.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl use a hand mixer to cream butter, almond butter and sugars.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, mix till well combined.
  5. Add vanilla paste. Mix.
  6. Add dry ingredients a little at a time and mix till well combined.
  7. Roll into 1½" balls, press with a fork to make a criss cross pattern.
  8. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
  9. To fill:
  10. Turn first cookie upside down, spoon ice cream onto cookie, gently pressing it towards the edges. Drizzle with jam and place second cookie on top.
  11. Wrap well in freezer or wax paper place in freezer safe dish with lid and store in freezer till ready to serve! PS the assembly process needs to be fast, a helper is beneficial.

 

ice-cream-sandwich

 

I also have a recipe for White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Ice Cream Sandwiches with Salted Caramel that’ll blow your mind! Happy summering my friends! ~Linda Spiker

The Organic Kitchen Ice Cream Sandwich

 May I Please Ask A Favor?

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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Party On Nora Jane

 

This one…turned one. Yes our little Nora Jane has made her first trip around the sun.

Summer Party Menu Ideas

 

So of course a celebration was in order. And since Nora’s mama, Mari, is a stylist, it was a super cute and creative celebration with loads of budget friendly DIY decor.

Summer Party Menu Ideas

Photography by Lizzyography.

Summer Party Menu Ideas

There was pink aplenty and ‘tables’ made of palettes that are the perfect height for one year olds.

Summer Party Menu Ideas

And since grandma is a food blogger, there had to be some fantastic food and drinks! Like fresh squeezed sparkling lemonade.

Summer Party Menu Ideas

 

 

And Lemon Mascarpone Strawberry Dip with Pistachios.

Summer Party Menu Ideas

 

 

And pulled pork sammys and slaw! Perfect for parties because it can be made in advance!

Summer Party Menu Ideas

 

Of course there was plenty of cuteness to go around! To get all the adorable details, the how to’s and DIY decor info visit Mari’s Blog.

Summer Party Menu Ideas

 

MAY I PLEASE ASK A LITTLE FAVOR?

We small bloggers need all the help we can get. Subscribing and sharing on social media is very appreciated!  

STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.