Tag Archives: mrs maki cooks

On my own terms.

It is 6am and I am awake with coffee, and ready to write.  I have not been feeling very much writing inspiration in a while, so this is a nice change.  I have the fire going, the house is silent, and I am lost in my thoughts.  The impending 46th birthday has me once again racing against time to place all my thoughts lovingly in this website so that my children will be able to read my thoughts when they need them.  If they need them.

If you go through the catacombs of this now 7 year old blog, you will see my journey, marriage, infertility, career choices, motherhood and my life in food.  I guess one thing about me is that I have done things my way, not to quote Mr. Sinatra, but he was onto something.  “Let the record show, I took the blows, and did it my way.”  So much truth in those words,  Powerful, and they are just about as true as you can get to how I have lived my life thus far.  On my terms.  I am not a follower, that bugs people.  I rarely “join”.  It is just not in my character to have anyone have any claim on my time other than the person who writes my payroll, and now my family.

While this has a lot of benefits, there are downsides as well.  Every style of personality has its own set of ups and downs.  I tend to be alone, but rarely lonely.  Don’t get me wrong, I have friends, but am I often out to cocktails with the girls?  No.

I had this realization when my pal was over.  We talked a lot about ourselves, as women,  I finally just let it out.  I am goal oriented, and I am a succeed-er,  I cannot balance too many peoples emotions and accomplish goals. You simply cannot do it all.  You can, however, take care of your family and yourself and stay focused on your goals.  Taking on too much more dilutes something and usually the dilution is the YOU.  The self care.  You want to have a happy family and a full life AND a busy social life?  Well, you need your job, your family mean the world to you, so bye-bye exercise and rest.  Does this make for a long and happy life  No.  So, I often say goodbye to a large portion of the fluffy stuff and focus on family, goals and health.

Here is what I have witnessed: Those who give too much of the personal self fail:  marriages end, careers stall, or they raise kids who fail to become accomplished adults.  I am talking about making it to every party, every cool event, being part of the “in crowd”.  FOMO (fear of missing out) is the killer of relationships and careers.  I am grateful for whatever gene I inherited that I do not have this, I actually feel embarrassed sometimes for not feeling this more intensely.  I simply do not tend to be jealous.  You can have whatever you want, and if you want it bad enough, you will get it.  Jealousy is ridiculous to me, and seems like the outcome of laziness.  Tough words?  Honesty usually is.

Here is what I know:  I do need to still own me.  I also need to teach my children to be okay with being alone sometimes and taking time for a deep, hot bath, to watch a  movie alone, to get a massage instead of a night out on the town.  You can be alone, and not lonely.  There is a difference.  Those who find themselves in good company when alone are more apt to take risks, make big changes, and create success around them.

I look towards my retirement there are 3 things that I know for sure:  1.  I will be holding Jason’s hand on long walks.  2.  I will see and travel a lot.  3.  I will write every day.  How do I know this?  Because I allow the space in my mind to think of the future, and not be scared of it.  I am learning who I am and I am not going to rat race myself into thinking that I don’t have time.  I also allow myself the time to think.  I don’t fill my life with clamor, and that is by design.

I have people ask me how I am doing the career-mom-wife-radio personality balance.  the truth is that there is no balance needed.  My life is organized and I expect that someone will get sick, and that I will miss something, and I allow life to be bumpy.  If you know it will be bumpy, then it is just funny.  My husband and I often say to each other “this is crazy, right?” and have a good laugh.  I think back to when we had the twins and our life turned on its ear.  It was a turning point for us: survival mode.  We were in the kitchen, each of us holding a preemie twin, no sleep, trying to hold it together, trying not to hate each other due to lack of sleep….. and I said to him “Wow, I really think having kids has made our marriage even better!”  We laughed.  So hard.  It is all about remembering what you want overall, and not getting caught up in the nano-moment.  THAT is how I do it.

I do have time, and I will invest it as I see fit, and no, I do not feel bad.Maki

 

Moments that define you.

I have a friend named Tami.  She is the person on my shoulder that  whispers in my ear what to do and what not to do.  My conscience.  She is actually  a real person as well, and actually comes in my office and lets me know when I am being too hard, or soft, but rarely that I am being to soft.  So, yeah….I guess I am what you would call a strong leader who needs a soft soul at her side.  That is Tami.  Why am I bringing this up?  Because I wanted to talk about moments that define you and these are moments that you do not have your Tami next to you.  When you actually make a decision, good or bad, and they define you.  The decision becomes a trademark, or an indelible memory that people will never erase and it will be always etched on you, like a tattoo.

For some it is something that sends them to prison.

For some it is something that wins them a Nobel Peace Prize.

I think we have many of these, and sometimes you have defining moments that erase all of the old feelings, or ideas about you.  Think of, perhaps a leader who was racist, until they did some sort of a grand gesture, switched sides, then spend decades working on equality – that person would have had a defining moment and then would always be remembered for the good they did, and perhaps the 20 years prior of hate and pain they caused is erased.  Is that fair?  I guess that is up to you.  These are large scale items.  What I am writing about are the small ones.

I am not sure if you ever know when your moment is coming, so the idea is that you live a life based on making good decisions so that you are defined as good.  I wish I had that to offer.  44 years of great decisions.  Popular choices.  Staying on the right side of the tracks.  I don’t and I will not even try to kid you about it.  I am pretty damned average and have had moments of splendor and moments of weakness.  Both are acceptable in my book, and frankly my book is the one I live from.  The weak decisions shape me, and the splendorous moments lift others, and perhaps the opinion of others in the process, which I am told we are not supposed to care about.  Confusing, right?

I have had many moments.  I decided to move to Portland.  I married Jason.  I decided to switch jobs 4 years ago.  I decided to have kids.

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Yes, decided because I am infertile and I had to pay a lot of money to have my children.  Yes, I am infertile.  I am okay saying that.  I started trying to have kids when I was 34 and after we went through all of our treatments and achieved pregnancy my Dr told me “we do not like to tell women this, but we are confident that you would never be able to have kids naturally.  You made all the right choices so we did not have to address this, but I think you should know for the future.”  Did this hurt?  Hell no, it justified 50 thousand dollars. (no insurance would cover my treatments)  So, cash money was well spent.

So, to sum it up, my moment that defined me was:  Choosing to be a mother.  

Not everyone’s life changes when they have kids.  We get a lot of comments from people about how much time we spend with our kids.  I think it is sweet, but I am always surprised, maybe embarrassed. Do we seem obsessed with them? ( yes) Are we over the top with family time? (likely) Do we both run home after work and have all sorts of plans every night for what we will do as a family? (always).  But, here is the thing:  I am average.  But maybe, my moment that defined me was not the same as others, and that is okay.

As I wrap up the year I am humbled by the fact that I was given the opportunity to have a family and children.  That my life is easily and clearly laid out in front of me now.  That my priorities are all lined out and I do not have to rely on Tami to keep me in line anywhere but at work.  I have the rest of my life’s greatest work of art in process.  What a privilege to already know what the picture I am painting will be.  Now to focus every day on my greatest work, my priority, my moments that define me.

Happy Holidays dear friends.  Happy holidays indeed.

Oregon Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies with Raspberry Filling

 

 

I love cookies that are made from local items.  These cookies are a wonderful treat highlighting the bounty that Oregon has to offer – what better way to celebrate the holidays?

Oregon Hazelnut Thumbprints filled with Raspberry Jam

(makes 36 cookies)

1 ¾ cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¾ cup butter – softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup crushed hazelnuts
Raspberry jam

Whisk flour, baking powder & Salt together. In another bowl cream the butter and sugar for 5 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until just combined. Slowly beat in the dry ingredients.

Make 1 inch balls, roll in hazelnuts, then press a thumb into the center of each…not too far in – 2/3 way is enough. Fill the centers with jam but not too much, it will overflow in the cooking process if you overfill and they will not be as pretty.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until just golden brown. Enjoy!

Easy Roasted Nuts for Snacking

I like to make our snacks from scratch when I can. If you have been anywhere near any type of health news, you have heard that nuts are an excellent source of vitamins, protein and roughage. Nuts are also very satisfying and slow digesting so they “stay with you”. Perfect for the 10am or 2pm hour. The big key to keeping them healthy: Portion and Ingredient Control. This is also a great treat to serve during the cocktail hour warmed!

I am not a big advocate for preservatives and MSG and all of those additives you see in packaged snacks. I like simple foods with simple ingredients. Therefore, here is my recipe for Easy Roasted Nuts for Snacking:

Easy Roasted Nuts:

Ingredients:

1 cup raw almonds

1 cup raw Oregon filberts or hazelnuts

1 T extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp cinnamon sugar (I like Penzeys, but you can make your own!)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper on your cookie sheet. Mix nuts, olive oil and salt. Toss until fully coated and pour onto the cookie sheet. Place in oven for 10 minute or until you smell “toasty nut” smell! Remove, cool and pour into a strainer (this makes sure you do not have excess olive oil on the nuts). Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the nuts and toss to coat. This will make 5 snack size baggies of nuts. I suggest you pre package them and that way you can grab and go! Enjoy!

 

Portland Food Cart Top 5

God Bless Foodcarts. They are kind to my wallet and they are even kinder to my tum-tum. As a gal-on-the-go, I find myself out picking up a quick meal to take back to the office, or stopping off at a breakfast cart for a filling brekkie often.  Here are MY top picks. I reserve the right to have an opinion, and change it at any time…..feel free to try and sway me!

5. Korean Twist – 10th and 11th on Alder – Korean food with a twist – Korean Burritos – Or “Korritos” FAVE – Bulgogi bowl (beef) an amazing sauce….Korean tacos, I mean, COME ON!  So delicious! – FIVE BUCKS! (May 2010).

4. BIG ASS Sandwiches – Corner of SW 3rd and ASH Street – Brian & Lisa Wood – a husband and wife team – opened in 2009 “the fresher the better” is their motto – they are in the sandwich face off on the Travel Channel show with Salumi of Seattle – my pick: Big Ass Breakfast Sandwich 8.50 – eggs, fries and breakfasts meats and bechamel sauce on a ciabatta roll- GLORIOUS times a GAZILLION!!

3. The Egg Carton SE Foster Road and 52nd (this area is cool) great coffee lemony eggs benedict…..probably the friendliest people on the planet.  Give them your money.  Good food and kindness in one small trailer gets my vote any day.

2. WHIFFIES! SE Corner of 12th and Hawethorne – Sweet and Savory Pies ….Meat or Fruit, they are 100% pure awesomeness. But frankly you can wrap anything in pastry and get me to eat it…Greg Abbott owns it and he is a DOLL!

LAST BUT NOT LEAST MY NUMERO UNO PICK!!

1. Nong’s Khao Man Gai – Another Alder Street cart betweet 10th and 11th. Nong, a gorgeous tatted up gal cooks up Bangkok vendor style food. It comes in these wrapped up paper packets: Sticky Rice, Poached chicken ( I hear the rice is cooked in the poaching water), and a Ginger, Thai Chile and Fermented Soybeans Sauce sauce that is so good you will forgive it coming out your pores at the office for the rest of the day. FEEL virtuous….a low fat meal that is incredibly healthy and inexpensive to boot!  It comes with a brothy soup $6.50. DON’T get me started on the “outfitted in a denim one-sie” guy who sells it weekdays at lunchtime……talking up frumpy administrative assistants, making them giggle and feel like Heidi Klum. 100% a fabuous experience – ALWAYS A LINE….entertainment factor is worth it! Nong is also kind of a celeb – been in a ton of foodie magazines so she is too legit to quit……(hey heeeeeey….)

BE A DAREDEVIL! TRY SOMETHING NEW! SEND ME YOUR OPINION! @missymaki

Simple Kitchen with Missy Maki is on Sunday mornings at 9am – 11 am on AM 860….KPAM!

 

Lemony Coconut Bread

A couple things about me: For starters I love to bake breakfast breads. The simple no-rise treats are immediate satisfaction, and offering people freshly baked goods shows that you care! Also – I LOVE LEMON AND COCONUT! You will see both of these running rampant like a teenager with a credit card on my blog! Love them! The whole process of making this easy bread is less than an hour, and most of that is spent on baking time! The prep is easy and clean up minimal! Enjoy!

Here is a simple lemon bread that I gussied up with some coconut and glaze! enjoy!

Lemony Coconut Bread

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar (I used organic sugar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel ( I used Penzeys dried!)
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • glaze
  • 1 tablespoon lemon extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, lemon juice, extract and peel. Combine flour, baking powder and salt and fold into the creamed mixture. Pour into a greased standard loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry from the center of the loaf. Combine glaze ingredients. Remove bread from pan; immediately drizzle with glaze. Cool on a wire rack. I allowed it to set over night, and served in the morning!
http://www.mrsmakicooks.com/2012/08/05/lemony-coconut-bread/