We've been exploring the difference between having an easy life and having ease in life. I remember when I was younger and thought about retiring. What I had in mind was an easy life. In my mind, I would have all the bases covered, money, friendships, health. I'd just sail through each day without worry or challenge. Everything would be covered. And with this idea I could relax. I would be comfortable with nothing that would surprise me and throw me off track. This was the easy life.
I see now what I'm really looking for isn't the easy life where everything is comfortable, familiar and no surprises, but rather a sense of ease in my life. Rather than comfortable, familiar things filling my life, I want to grow and expand into the richness that life offers in its newness, including the challenges that can come with that. It isn't the challenge or surprise I want to avoid, it's the anxiety and fear that I may not know what to do in the face of new and unfamiliar things. I actually enjoy a challenge when I'm not feeling scared of not being able to manage it.
What we've been seeing is that the easy life is one of familiarity and comfort, but not necessarily one of deep satisfaction and meaning. We're seeing that the richness and meaning in our lives comes with exploring fresh new ideas, relationships and activities. And these can bring complications and surprises. But when we rely on our inner intelligence to handle difficult situations, there's an ease and clarity leading us through it all. By relying on our inner intelligence and the clarity we have there, we don't experience a sense of anxiety and fear. There are actions to take, things to do, and the next step to take becomes clear and satisfying to do. It builds an ever-new life that we love.
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What do you think? Do you sometimes look ahead thinking an easy life is the life you want to have? We're so grateful now to recognize there's a difference between an easy life and ease in life and that it's really the ease in life, the ease that can come from relying on our inner intelligence that we access when our mind is quiet, that is what we're looking for. It's so much richer and more rewarding than staying in our comfort zone.
The recipe this week is a Cashew Pimento Cheese. Connie's sister mentioned to us that this was part of the Holiday fare that she used to enjoy and wondered if there was a healthier, WFPB version. Here it is. We really love this, as have the friends we've shared it with. And it comes without the issues that the saturated fat and cholesterol of the original dairy version brings.
To your Amazing Health,
Connie and Bill
Cashew Pimento Cheese
- 1½ cups cashews, soaked in boiling water overnight. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP
- 2½ tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce (substitute Hot Sauce if you don’t have Sriracha)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste (substitute salsa if you don’t have tomato paste)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons water
- 3 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup diced pimentos, drained
Soak the cashews overnight. (Quick soak methods are not advised as it can result in a grittier cheese.)
To prepare cashews: Add cashews to a bowl and pour boiling water over them by at least an inch. Cover and leave to sit overnight on your counter or 8 hours minimum. Drain them well.
Add the cashews and all other ingredients EXCEPT the pimentos to a food processor.
Process well, scraping down the sides, processing up to 5 minutes. It will seem gritty at first, but keep processing and it will become smooth and creamy.
Add the drained pimentos to the food processor and fold them in (do not blend them in), or add the cheese to a bowl and fold the pimentos in that way.
You can serve it immediately or store it in the fridge. Pimento cheese is supposed to be a soft, creamy spread, not a hard cheese so no need to firm up in the fridge before eating.
The cheese has a slightly spicy taste at first, but the flavors blend in and smooth out in a few hours.