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Achieving Balance


Everywhere I go these days, it seems like I run into people who are trying to find balance in their lives. I am among those searching for the perfect balance between home/work/family/fun. I have to say, I'm not doing such a great job of it lately. Work seems to be taking on a life of its own, and balancing that with the family and fun stuff is taking a lot more skill on my part.

I have often wondered what the secret is to life balance. How do those of you who are really good at balancing do it? I have a feeling that part of it is being willing to say no to things, and I know that is something I struggle with.  I recognize that achieving it all is not possible, but figuring out what exactly I am willing to let go of is difficult.

There are certain parts of my life where balance comes easy and usually that has to do with cooking. When I am in my kitchen cooking, I feel balanced. I feel like I really have my stuff together when I make a meal. Because, let's face it... knowing what's for dinner and actually getting it on the table can be one of the first areas to go out the window when your life is out of whack. If I want to feel even just a tad bit accomplished, I cook.

My friend Candace called one time and asked, "What exactly is a clove of garlic?" As I was explaining to her that garlic comes in bulbs, and a clove is a piece of that bulb, she started laughing. "No wonder my salsa tasted horrible. The recipe called for 3 cloves of garlic and I thought a clove was the whole bulb, so my salsa had 3 bulbs of garlic instead of 3 cloves!!"  Ohhhh... talk about out of balance flavor! I love garlic and all, but I am not sure that I could even down something with three bulbs of garlic in it!

Balance is a tricky thing, even in cooking. Too much of one thing, no matter how tasty, and it can throw everything else out of balance. Just like life, with cooking, balance is important.

One of my favorite salmon recipes, Garlic Lovin' Salmon, takes the flavor balance just to the brink of over the top. This simple and delicious recipe takes on the power of garlic and combines it with lemon and pepper to achieve the perfect combination of flavors. If I could achieve perfect balance like this recipe, life would be good!

Garlic Lovin' Salmon

30 min | 15 min prep | SERVES 4

2 tablespoons butter
3-4 garlic cloves, pressed
2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning
4 (4 ounce) salmon fillets

lemon wedges
  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter.
  2. Stir in garlic.
  3. Sprinkle salmon fillets on both sides with lemon pepper seasoning.
  4. Place fish in the pan and cook on both sides for approx 3-5 minutes per side, until fish flakes when tested with a fork.
  5. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve.


Posted on Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 02:22PM by Registered CommenterKristen | Comments34 Comments | References2 References

References (2)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: bit.ly
    Dine and Dish - Dine and Dish Blog - Achieving Balance
  • Response
    Response: Christy R. Harkins
    It is just what I was looking for and quite thorough as well. Thanks for posting this, I saw a couple other similar posts but yours was the best so far. The ideas are strongly pointed out and clearly emphasized.

Reader Comments (34)

Sounds fabulous. The balance in life thing is something I'm always struggling with myself.
April 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKalyn
oh my gosh! you're killing me here. that looks and sounds fantastic! i hear you on the struggle to find balance...i feel like it's a never-ending quest. fabulous photo, by the way!
April 6, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterheather morrow
This is going to sound simplistic, but the secret to balance in all things -- life, cooking, fashion, travel, work, etc -- is practice. It's a myth that some people achieve balance on their first attempt!
That sounds like a brilliant recipe.
April 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSylvie
Kristen, that sounds delicious! So simple, yet very elegant. I have no idea what balance is right now, I hope to find it at some point though! :)
April 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLyB
I agree - if I ever feel like I need balance, I go into the kitchen because that is where I feel best about myself!

I haven't had salmon for awhile and this recipe is calling my name!
April 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah
That salmon sounds wonderful! Will definitely try it this spring.

Wish I could offer some suggestions for balance... I am not doing so well at it myself. Since we are in the midst of spring sports, I can't seem to keep up at all!
April 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPatsy
I love how simple yet delicious this is, Kristen.
April 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia Scarpin
Ah, Kristen, what a topic of conversation, finding balance. We were given a rock that had etched in it this saying, "We may not have it all together, but together we have it all." Maybe balance requires family teamwork with all on the same page and working towards the same goals. Mom
April 7, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpat/mom
oh your post has made me crave balance in life even more...my husband just got his PhD and we moved to the bay area this week, so life has been CAH-RAZY....our house is still a mess, half in boxes...I haven't cooked in weeks. I've been looking forward to the first night of me cooking and us all sitting down to a meal. your post really made me want to do that...perhaps it will inspire me to get these boxes unpacked even faster! Anyway, this was a good post for me to read today...thank you...and maybe that salmon will be our first real meal in weeks! :)
April 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJane
I certainly need some balance in my life.... but funnily enough I tried to balance myself with your salmon tonight (with some great fish I brought home vacuum -packed from vacation) and once the fish defrosted I realized it had went bad (probably in the cooler during the drive home!) Oh well, luckily I have some black beans from yesterday!
April 8, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterrobin
I'm struggling with balance these days, too. I think this salmon is a perfect first step!
April 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
What a beautiful, simple, balanced way to showcase the salmon, the garlic, and the lemon... I'm looking forward to adding this to a menu near me soon.

I'm glad I found you on the foodie blog roll...I can tell I'm going to like your style.
April 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDolores
Thank you for the salmon in garlic recipe. I'm going to try it and I think it would taste good with other varieties of fish as well, perhaps white fish.
I also appreciate your post about balance. Sometimes I think my balance comes when I'm clear about my priorities. Things low on the list, I try to forget worrying about. Some priorities change, others, usually the biggest priorities, are always there. My challenge is figuring out which are which.
April 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercristie
LOL! My younger brother did exactly that the first time he made chili - 5 bulbs of garlic!!!!
If you ever figure out the balance thing - let me know, will you please?
April 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkatiez
It is definitely not easy balancing... but some how we all manage.
April 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCynthia
Great post!
That salmon dish looks so professional!!! Are you secretly going to a chef school or something???
April 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa : )
its like the zn of salmon - balance i fail in life. extremes seem to be my calling card. some day...

this recipe is stunning!
April 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterarIA
Amen. "Finding the balance" in life is no easy task. That's for sure. I don't see how you mom's and working women do it. I'm thankful to have a passion for cooking so I can help be a balance in the kitchen for my soon-to-be wife. Thanks Kristen for this fantastic sounding recipe. I'll be sure to add this one to our growing list of recipes.
-Joseph from Louisville, Kentucky
June 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph
It look's to good to be through I am definitely going to try this
June 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSorina

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