As the song goes, “Here we go round the mulberry bush.” It’s summer and our mulberries are ready to be harvested. Did you know that mulberries contain high amounts of both iron and vitamin C, as well as potassium and vitamins E and K? Mulberries contain several antioxidants and plant compounds, such as anthocyanins, chlorogenic acid, rutin, and myricetin. Deep-colored and mature berries are richer in these compounds than lighter-colored or colorless berries. They taste great on their own, even better in a bowl with plain Greek yogurt and extraordinary when paired with blackberries in a homemade fruit cobbler. So that’s what we did. We picked some mulberries and blackberries from our yard and decided to make a berry cobbler. It was delicious and super easy. Prep time was around 15 minutes. As always, I adapted the recipe to our personal preferences by using half of the butter and half of the sugar the recipe ask for. Even though baking is not my forte, it turned out great!
Roy, my little helper, picks the ripe fruit.
“If I can reach just a little higher.”
A beautiful bowl of ripe mulberries. Ready to eat.
If you want stronger and firmer arms, watch this video and learn my 5 favorite triceps exercises. Enjoy!
Five months ago I purchased a pair of fitness handles. These are different and better than any handle that I’ve used before. One of the main reasons is that the handles’ shape spreads out the pressure on your hands which improves pushing and pulling movements. For my personal review plus some exercise demos check out my 7-minute video. Enjoy!
Not sure what to get your spouse, relative or friend this Holiday Season? Give a gift that will make a positive difference in their life. Buy a package of personal training. Don’t stress standing in long lines or throw money at another electronic device that will be obsolete in a year or wonder if your on-line order will be delivered in time. A Personal Training Gift Certificate shows that you care about a person’s health and well-being. Personal training is an experience and not just another thing that you pull off a shelf. It’s a great way to help someone achieve their fitness goals faster, stay on track, and have fun along the way.
Contact me today (608) 395-4335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Printed or email gift certificates available upon request.
Happy Holidays from Eric & Bob. ❄️
The first time I recall eating farro I was grocery shopping at Willy Street Co-op. Next to the produce section they were offering samples of farro with goat cheese in little white paper cups. It had a wonderful chew to it. Nutty. Filling. I was hooked. Since then, it has found its way into our pantry along with quinoa, bulgur, lentils, chickpeas, split peas and several different types of rice.
At a recent potluck a friend brought a homemade Farro Salad. It was so delicious that her serving bowl was empty in under an hour. Below is the recipe which she got from Food52.com. Enjoy!
- 2 cups uncooked farro (or substitute barley)
- 1 medium red onion, cut in half
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 handful fresh parsley plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (add more if needed)
- 1 cup diced (about 1/4″ cubes) fresh mozzarella cheese
- 2 teaspoons minced pitted kalamata olives
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
- 1 pinch freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Add the farro, one onion half, garlic, handful of parsley and salt along with 2 3/4 cups water to a 2 quart pot. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off burner and let sit, covered, for 5 more minutes. Discard the onion, garlic and large pieces of parsley. Spread out on a rimmed sheet pan and let cool completely (do not skip this step or the mozzarella will melt into the finished dish).
- Whisk together the olive oil, vinegars and honey to prepare the dressing. Chop the remaining onion half finely. Add onion, cooled farro, mozzarella, kalamata olives, tomatoes, remaining tablespoon of parsley and basil to a deep bowl. Pour the dressing over the ingredients and stir well to combine, using a long wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Season with salt and pepper. The salad is ready to serve, but can also be made and stored in the fridge, covered, one day ahead.
Parsley and basil straight from the garden.
Here is the onion half, garlic and handful of parsley that we removed from the farro. We saved it for another dish.
Cooked Farro looks lonely without the other ingredients.
Chopped tomatoes, olives and red onion.
Olive oil, vinegars and honey.
Everybody in the pool. Ready to serve and eat.
Did you know that we have a desert here in Wisconsin? With cacti and lizards, sand dunes and dry grasses? And that it’s just 45 minutes west of Madison? Yup. It’s the Spring Green Preserve and harbors some of Wisconsin’s rarest plant communities. Known as the “Wisconsin Desert”, the preserve is a place where forest meets bluff, and bluff levels off into plains and dunes. A client of mine mentioned how he went on a wonderful hike there a few months back and thought that Heather and I would enjoy it too. This past weekend we put on our hiking shoes and went on an adventure. The views and scenery did not disappoint. We walked on some of the finest sand I’ve ever felt and were surrounded by oak barrens, sumac, blue stem grass and wildflowers. With camera in hand, Heather identified and snapped pictures of prairie plants and the landscape. At one point, she stopped walking, took a deep breath, looked around and said how much she enjoyed being there.
There is something both energizing and peaceful about going on a hike. Nature, fresh air, scenic views. For me, my mind relaxes. My eyes relax. My muscles relax. We didn’t have a specific time to return to the car or mileage we wanted to accomplish or particular views that we had to see. Just enjoying. Being in the moment. Step after step. Breathing. What’s around the next bend? We took a break every now and then to observe and to listen to the birds and grasshoppers. So if you want to get off of the beaten path, check out the Spring Green Prairie.
Starting out on our hike with the bluffs as a beautiful backdrop.
Prickly pear cactus.
Sumac turns red this time of year.
The temperatures are cooling down and the days are getting shorter. It’s what I call perfect soup weather. Yesterday I made a chicken lentil soup and it turned out great! Warm walnut sourdough bread was served on the side. Yum!
2 tsp grapeseed oil
1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken thigh meat cut into 1/2″ pieces
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 ribs of celery, chopped
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups lentils, rinsed
6 cups water
1 tsp chicken base
2 Tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
- To a pot add the grape seed oil and set heat to medium/high. Add chicken pieces and cook until done; about 10 minutes stirring frequently.
- Then add carrots, celery and onion. Once vegetables are soft, add thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Stir frequently.
- Next add water, chicken base, lentils and bay leaf. Make sure to stir occasionally so food doesn’t stick to bottom of pot. Bring water/broth to boil then reduce heat to simmer.
- Add halved tomatoes and cook approximately 60 minutes. Ready to serve and enjoy.