Summer Mindfulness Challenge Results

Last month I challenged readers to "locate a food item you have never eaten before, photograph it, then explore it mindfully with all five senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste), write a few lines about what you discovered, and email me the photo/description". Four adventurous souls accepted the challenge and this is what they discovered.....

Dragon Fruit (both N.B. and K.W. tried dragon fruit)

"It’s shaped like an extra large egg – perhaps the size of an ostrich egg, and cuts easily in half with a knife.  It’s very much like a  kiwi in terms of texture and taste.  Like the kiwi it shares the black crunchy bits inside and tastes better cold (in my opinion), although not quite as flavorful.  The skin is tougher than the kiwi and once cut into slices you can easily peel it back and eat like an orange. Overall, very enjoyable and refreshing." ~ N.B.

Cricket Chips

Cricket Chips (Chirps) "Chirps Chips are the most delicious taco chips that I have ever eaten! They have a wonderful wholesome flavor. I was unable to finish my bag of Chirps because a friend disappeared with them."   ~ W.S.

(I also tried Chirps, and they ARE really good! ~ P.R.)

"A cross between a plum and an apricot. They are sometimes called Dinosaur Eggs. It was really good. Did you know there are actually four types of pluots?" ~ G.K.

Thanks for your mindful experiments during July, KW, NB, WS, and GK. All were so great that each of you will receive a complimentary copy of my CD Opening the Door to Meditation.

Day 9 Mindful Moments Challenge

Even when you think you think you "know" an object, there is always a new observation to be made, an opportunity for a mindful moment, and so it was for me with a clementine today.
Things I learned that I didn't know before:
  • You can't smell a citrus smell when the peel in intact, only upon scratching or opening the skin
  • Each segment is not the same size
  • There were 11 segments in my clementine, but 9 in one I ate yesterday
  • I found a seed in one of the segments but none in the other segments
What did you notice today?

Tomato Pie: Love at First Bite

More mindful culinary musing....Until two years ago, I had never heard of a tomato pie much less tasted one. Then my sister, Hilary Gould, shared a recipe with me for Tomato Pie, a southern delicacy. Since I had an abundance of heirloom tomatoes from our local CSA farm, I gave the recipe a try. It was LOVE at first sight and first bite. Tomato Pie has become a late summer favorite in my house and hope it will in yours....Enjoy!

Hilary's Heirloom Tomato Pie

 1 unbaked pie crust
3/4 cup plus manchego cheese (shredded)
2T EVOL(extra virgin olive oil)
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 1/4 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes
Kosher salt
3/4 c mozzarella cheese (shredded)
1/4 c mayonnaise
3T breadcrumbs
3T chopped chives
3T chopped parsley
1t chopped fresh thyme
Ground pepper


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees 
  • Heat 1T  EVOL over medium heat, add onion and cook, stirring until golden -- cool
  • Thinly slice tomatoes, toss with 1t kosher salt, place in colander and let drain for approx 30 min
  • Combine 3/4 c manchego, mozzarella, mayo, breadcrumbs, 2T chives and 2T parsley, thyme, 1/4 t kosher salt, 1/4 t pepper and the sautéed onion in a bowl.
  • Spread mixture in unbaked pie crust 
  • Arrange the tomatoes on top
  • Drizzle with the remaining 1T EVOL and season with pepper. 
  • Bake until the tomatoes are browned (about 50 min).
  • Top with the remaining 1T each of chives and parsley