What’s Making Me Happy: July 10

As I wrote on Monday’s post, because of his type 2 diabetes, Clif is embarking on a low-carb diet. And if Clif is eating low-carb, then so am I. While I might have toast for breakfast, and Clif might make an   an omelet, I am not going to cook two different meals for our supper. Too much work. And besides, it doesn’t do me a bit of harm to eat low carb and perhaps avoid future problems.

Therefore, we are venturing into new territory, and this week I made “fried rice” with riced cauliflower. I expected it to be good. After all, in the fried rice I usually make I often use either cabbage or broccoli, and cauliflower is in the same family. But, readers, making fried rice from riced cauliflower turned out even better than I expected. So tasty!

I love it when that happens. (Not always a given, that’s for sure.) We will probably be having this meal once a week or so. In fact, I could have some right now. I’ve also found other recipes for riced cauliflower, and the one I plan to to try next is a Mexican “rice” dish. I didn’t take pictures of the fried riced cauliflower, so all I can feature is the package. Next time!

The second thing that is making me happy is my bee balm. While it was a bad year for irises, it has been a glorious year for bee balm. My patch in the backyard is fuller and more vibrant than it ever has been. In the late afternoon, when I relax on the patio, I have that glorious spark of red to draw my eye. The flowers also draw hummingbirds. I will try to get a decent picture of one, but I make no promises. Those winged Will-o’-the-wisps are fast.

The third thing, as always, is music and another NPR Tiny Desk Concert. (Thank you, thank you, NPR, for bringing so much music into my life.) This week, for blogging friends who like country and bluegrass music, I’m featuring Mandolin Orange, a duo from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Their music has also been categorized as folk and Americana. Whatever it’s called, Mandolin Orange’s music is just plain good, and their songs certainly represent a strain of American music. If you like Mandolin Orange, be sure to listen to the last song, “Wildfire.” Released on the 2016 album Blindfaller, “Wildfire” is even more relevant today than it was four years ago.


57 thoughts on “What’s Making Me Happy: July 10”

  1. Those are all excellent things making you happy! Maybe I should try the riced cauliflower! So does low carbs mean no beans? Or just no flour type stuff?

    1. When comes to carbs, beans are confusing. This is from my husband, Clif: Basically the idea is “A diabetic should consume mainly a low-glycemic index (GI) diet, which includes foods with a glycemic index of 55 or less. These foods raise blood sugar levels slowly, and control insulin resistance and diabetes complications. The low-GI diet will also improve cholesterol levels, prevent heart disease and certain cancers, and help you lose some weight.”

      Peanuts = 13
      Lentils = 29
      White Rice = 89
      Cheerios = 74

      The core source for this thinking seems to be http://www.glycemicindex.com/ at U Sidney

      Best explanation I have found with some food examples.

      It sorta breaksdown to; Carbs tell you what is there – glycemic index describes how quickly carbs you eat from various sources impact your blood sugar.

      “A low GI diet focuses on the quality of carbs you eat. Good carbs (or low GI carbs) are more slowly digested helping keep your blood sugars stable, whereas bad carbs cause your blood sugars to peak and crash.”

  2. It seems like happiness abounds at the little house in the woods. 🙂 I’ve never tried riced cauliflower, but I think I’d like it so thank you. The bee balm is gorgeous. Happy Friday Mainers, and I’ll be you have that new AC. 🙂

  3. Cauliflower rice is delicious and so easy. A great start to your new regime, Laurie! And I love that bee balm. Mine is just coming out but my clump is still very small. It will grow!

  4. Thanks for sharing the cauliflower tip (we’re trying to reduce our meat and carb intake, too) and the NPR link. Nice sound!
    Your Monarda looks great. I just today noticed mine in the field were blooming and picked a few for a vase.
    Have a good weekend. Looks like we’re in for a couple of inches of rain from Fay. I just wish it would come down gently instead of a torrent.

    1. Thanks, Eliza! I thought it was going to bucket in Maine, but I think most of it headed in your direction. Hope there wasn’t too much of a torrential downpour.

      1. Surprisingly, we only got about a half inch, I think NY/PA/NJ got the most. We did lose a small tree that broke along a weak point, but not a big deal. We got 2″ in the Tstorms the day before that came from the NW.
        However, it is SO HUMID now, it is hard to breathe!

    1. So true! What a wonder those Tiny Desk Concerts are. Gives me a little hope that our country can produce something so fine. Not a lot to be proud of nowadays.

    1. Thanks, Tootlepedal. Right now the bee balm is the star of my garden. Of course, with all the green that comes with living in the woods, there’s not a lot of competition.

  5. Here’s something else that may make you happy: a link to my friend Nikkipolani’s blog section that contains recipes. She’s the first person I knew who used mashed or riced cauliflower, and she has many, many wonderful recipes that would suit your diet. I don’t think they’re vegan, but they tend toward vegetarian, and since she’s Vietnamese, there are some interesting recipes in that vein.

    She’s quite the gardener, too, so be sure and look at her roses!

  6. Thanks for suggesting Olafur Arnald last week, Laurie, we really enjoyed their music, and realised they did the music for the British TV series Broadchurch…which is very moving. ….
    So the Tiny Desk Concerts are making us happy!

  7. Cauliflower is one of my favourite vegetables, but I have never seen it riced. I did like Mandolin Orange, and agree with your comment about its relevance.

  8. Lovely pictures! No hummingbirds here, but we did get a humming bird moth today – and that was incredibly hard to try and get a focused photo from 🙂

  9. Glad to hear that you are getting to grips with the new diet and finding some tasty recipes.

  10. Sauted some cauliflower last night, with onions, mushrooms, and beans. Our bee balm is up too. And, after years to trying to get chicory established (you know that blue flower that grows in the gravel along the road in mid-summer), I have “bushes” of it in several places. The bee love it now and the goat will get their share soon. Flox and black eyed Susans are adding more color to the garden too. – Oscar

  11. We have one bee balm plant here, but it needs to move to a sunnier location.

    Listening to Mandolin Orange now and enjoying them. Thanks, Laurie!

  12. Your bee balm is lovely. Mine is finishing and looking done for the year. I have not tried riced cauliflower, but I may now. You should try spaghetti squash, too. Same sort of thing! Wow, these Mandolin Orange folks are amazing. In that first song where she leans in and sings harmony–wow! And I like that I see more fiddlers and fiddlers singing. I’m going to check out the album.

    1. Glad you like Mandolin Orange. We have tried spaghetti squash. Not a favorite, but maybe we just need to eat it more often now that we are both motivated to change our habits.

      1. Well, it’s one of those things that gives you expectations it can’t meet. I sure isn’t anything like spaghetti, but I imagine adapting it with a different sort of sauce could get away from that–or a completely different prep.

  13. I love the collection of Birds Eye Steamfresh items and never would have thought of trying those recipes and it’s good to know it was tasty. Your sign looks beautiful among the bee balm and another great choice of music for the week!

  14. The bee balm looks beautiful Laurie and I like the idea of cauliflower rice – I’ll see if it’s available here. Thank you too for introducing me to Mandolin Orange’s music, what a wonderful duo! 💜 xxx

  15. The bee balm is lovely under your new sign. I have wondered about cauliflower rice, but not taken any action so far – hopefully you will have prompted me. I like roasted cauliflower too. Cauliflowers were relatively rare round here at the start of the crisis. We have the joys of ‘full’ brexit to come later this year, which could have further impact on our food supply.

    1. We have become huge fans of riced cauliflower, and it is now a staple in our house. As for brexit…oh, Lord! As if a pandemic isn’t enough chaos for one year. Sigh.

  16. The idea of riced cauliflower sounds awful to me, but maybe now I’ll try it after reading your recommendation. Bee balm is making me happy as well these days!

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