There’s very little for me that is more inspiring than being in the presence of a human being who whole-heartedly loves life, and chooses to see the brighter side of things in this often-tumultuous experience we call “existence”.
The kindness, the joy, the love, and the gratitude that such a person exudes is utterly contagious, and tends to bring out the best in those that have the pleasure and the privilege of being in their presence.
And I thank God for these beautiful people, and admire them very much!
There’s a wisdom behind the soft eyes and the warm smile of a sweetly-spirited person, a sort of “deep well” of knowledge and understanding, complexity and tenderness, just below the exuberant surface.
And what it does is remind us that compassion and mercy still exist between us, and it implores those of us exposed to that glittering beauty to dig out those same (perhaps a bit hidden) qualities within ourselves, and then share them with others, as well.
When kindness and light are coupled together and are put out there for all to taste and behold, they are like a delicious and enveloping glaze that cascades over and seals in all of the delectable flavors—those very best, most tender things—that are found within us.
Joy and love flow over our complexities and our “soft spots” in a glossy and sweet coating that makes for a wonderfully flavorful and sweetly-crisp exterior that holds everything together perfectly.
And what a divinely delicious thing that is!
A sweetly-spirited person is not afraid to share the truth, and to bare their soul; and for this wonderful example of love in the midst of life’s many challenges I am grateful and inspired to do the same.
May we cherish and hold dear the kind, compassionate, and sweet gems among us; and may we allow them to touch our hearts and show us the way to be sweetly-spirited and tender examples for others.
Taste what’s good and pass it on.
Bourbon-Glazed Salmon with Dried Cherry and Pistachio Rice Pilaf
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves about 4
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon black pepper
• ½ teaspoon granulated onion
• ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
• ¼ teaspoon paprika
• 1 pound skinless salmon fillets
• Olive oil
• Cherry-Bourbon Glaze (recipe below)
• Dried Cherry & Pistachio Rice Pilaf (bonus recipe—recipe below)
-Preheat your broiler, and line a baking sheet with foil.
-In a small dish mix together the salt, black pepper, granulated onion and garlic, and the paprika; set aside this seasoning for a moment.
-Place the salmon fillets onto a large plate, and drizzle with a little bit of the olive oil; next, sprinkle the seasoning evenly over the fillets, and allow them to marinate for 10-15 minutes.
-Place the fillets onto your baking sheet, and broil the salmon for 9 minutes; then, remove the salmon and brush a generous amount of the Cherry-Bourbon Glaze over each fillet, and place back under the broiler for about 1 more minute to caramelize the glaze a bit.
-To serve, brush a little bit more of the glaze over the salmon fillets, and serve with the Dried Cherry & Pistachio Rice Pilaf (if desired), and/or veggies, with some additional glaze on the side.
Cherry-Bourbon Glaze Ingredients:
• ½ cup bourbon
• ½ cup tart cherry juice (100% juice, not from concentrate)
• ½ cup honey
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
• ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
-Add all of the ingredients up to and including the dijon mustard to a medium-small sauce pan, and whisk to combine.
-Place the sauce pan over medium-high heat, and once the mixture begins to vigorously simmer, reduce the heat to low, and allow the glaze to gently simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes (it will have reduced and will be slightly thickened).
-Pour the glaze into a bowl, and chill in the fridge for about 45 minutes (the glaze will continue to thicken as it cools); once cooled, add the apple cider vinegar and stir to combine; store covered in fridge (when ready to use, allow to come to room temp), or use immediately.
Dried Cherry & Pistachio Rice Pilaf Ingredients:
• Olive or canola oil
• 1 clove garlic, pressed through garlic press
• 1 cup jasmine or basmati rice
• Black pepper
• 1 ½ cups water
• 1/3 cup dried tart cherries
• ¼ cup pistachios, chopped roughly
• 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
-Place a medium-size pot over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 1 tablespoon of the oil; add in the garlic clove, and stir.
-Once the garlic begins to become aromatic, add the rice to the pot, and stir, toasting it in the oil and garlic, for about 2-3 minutes; add a couple of pinches of salt and pepper, as well.
-Once the rice has toasted, add in the water and stir, and bring to a vigorous simmer; then, cover, reduce the heat to low, and allow the rice to gently simmer/cook for about 17-20 minutes, or until fork tender.
-Allow the rice to sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork; add in the dried cherries, the pistachios, and the chopped parsley, and stir those in to combine.
-Check to see if any additional salt/pepper is needed, and serve.