Saturday, October 19, 2013


It was a long and glorious summer of lazy eating for this girl. Raw vegetables, salads, and bread with good cheese probably made up the bulk of my diet...and protein? Hah, I ate lots of yogurt?
I have found that hot weather really dictates what you eat, especially when you don't have central air in your house and live on the upper level (aka the kitchen is heat box). Just thinking about turning on the oven (or even the stove) made me sweat. Honestly, I was probably sweating to begin with. So I didn't do it. I ate things out of the fridge instead. I hardly was strange. I thought there was something wrong with me--like I'd somehow lost it. Lost my will to spend time in the kitchen, scheming, tasting, experimenting...

But I realized, on the first cool night of the year, that it was simply a seasonal phase. As soon as the air ceased to be hot and sultry, it was like the desire to work with food hit me square in the face. So I've been doing it, beginning to once again sauté garlic and onions, bake cinnamon-spiced things, and roast root vegetables.

The seasons do funny things to us, and I think this is one of the most profound effects they have on me; the ability to both strip and re-introduce my love of cooking. Despite the impending snow and cold that are on the way, I couldn't be more excited for soup weather. And for bread. And curry. And pie. And at least we have this lovely, colorful season to enjoy for now, before the snow flies and the world gets dark. At least we have autumn.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

simple granola, revisited

I've gotten into making my own granola again lately, and with this cold we've been having, there is nothing quite like the warm, cozy smell of butter and honey wafting through our little apartment. Baking is lovely any time of the year, but I find it to be especially comforting in these bleak wintry months that presently stand between us and the springtime.

This is my favorite recipe. My favorite. There are countless granola recipes out there, and I am picky...very picky when it comes to this stuff. But this one is great. Not too sweet, toasty, crunchy, and infinitely adaptable. Plus, I can put coconut in is one of my latest obsessions--putting coconut in/on everything. Perfect. I also added a little orange zest to this last batch I made, and oh goodness it was delicious. Citrus zest is fantastic, and it adds so much. So I think you should make some granola, or just bake'll warm you right up, body and soul. All I need now is a fireplace...

Simple granola 
This is just the basic recipe...a blank canvas for any kind of creative spin you want to put on it. use your favorite spices, nuts, and dried fruit--make it your own.

4 c. old-fashioned oats
1/2 c. raw almonds, chopped
1/3 c. raw pepitas
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1/4 tsp. orange zest (optional)
1/3 c. flowery honey
4 tbsp. butter or coconut oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. shredded or flaked coconut
dried fruit, etc.

Preheat your oven to 325 and find a large rimmed baking sheet

In a small saucepan, melt the butter/oil and honey together over medium-low. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and orange zest, if using.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, pepitas, salt, and any other spices you're using. Pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients and stir very well to make sure everything gets coated with the sweet goodness.

Spread your oat mixture onto the baking sheet and put in the oven. After 10 minutes, remove the pan and stir the granola. Place the pan back in the oven and stir every 5 minutes after, until the oats are fragrant and lightly toasted. It should take between 20 and 30 minutes total. Also, if you're using coconut, add it when you think there's about 10 minutes of baking time left, so it doesn't get too dark. You can also just stir it in after the granola is done baking.

Remove from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack. Stir in dried fruit and whatever else you want to add. Enjoy! creative!

pistachios & cherries
macadamia nuts & dried papaya
pecans & dates
hazelnuts & chocolate chips
crystallized ginger & cranberries
dried figs & apricots

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like the fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars."
--Jack Kerouac

Sunday, January 13, 2013

almond pancakes

Oh it was cold this morning. Cold enough to nearly freeze my eyes by the time I was done with my 45 minute run, and also cold enough to frost every one of my eyelashes...which did look kind of neat, but it wasn't worth it. Not fun. We were reasoning, as we ran, what God's purpose for such cold might be...surely it's not necessary?

At the very least, most of the pavement outside is more or less clear and dry, rather than covered with a layer of snow, and the morning sun today was beautiful. There were big, glittery snowflakes falling from somewhere, and it was so pretty to see them glinting in the sunlight. Going out in such cold makes us really appreciate arriving back home, too, and getting to be where it's warm. Thinking about it now, maybe that is God's reason for the cold--to make us appreciate warmth. Slippers, fires, cocoa, oatmeal, know, all of the things we forget in the summer.

Lazy Sunday breakfast is good any time of the year, but it was especially nice today...pancakes? This is a bit of an unusual recipe for pancakes, but it is so simple, so healthy, and, most importantly, delicious. It takes less than five minutes to throw these together, and you can play with proportions and add-ins to fit your taste or mood. I know the recipe sounds impossibly easy, but trust works. And it's worth it, especially on a bitterly cold morning when you need a little more than usual to warm your belly.

almond and banana pancakes

1/2-1 banana, mashed
1-2 eggs, slightly beaten
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp almond butter (or other nut butter)

any add-ins you'd like...

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and mashed banana. Add the salt and whisk well to blend everything. Finally, add the almond butter and mix well until the mixture looks more or less uniform. Stir in any add-ins you'd like, and fry on the stovetop in a little butter, just as you would any other pancake. Be sure to be gentle with them as you flip them over--they tend to be a little delicate. They do still taste good when they're broken though, so don't worry too much!

These are nice and sweet because of the banana, so my favorite way to eat them is topped with plain yogurt and granola or berries. They would also be lovely with more almond butter, peanut butter, and some good maple syrup. Enjoy!

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant:  if we did not sometimes taste adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."
--Anne Bradstreet

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Well, somehow the end of another year has come, which means it's time to slow down, take a step back, and think about what life has brought over these past 365 days. There's something so beautiful about the way the years of our lives are made up of cycles...the seasons, the ups and downs, the joys and the sorrows, the lessons learned. We begin every new year thinking we know who we are and what we're about, and somehow believing we have an idea of where we're headed, but things never turn out the way we expect. It's really almost a little ridiculous that we even have the audacity to try and see into the future with any kind of certainty. Looking back on the things I was anticipating, planning, and dreaming about one year ago, it makes me smile...I had no idea what 2012 was going to bring. No idea.

And gosh, it's been quite a year. So much I never expected...but it's been so good.

I'm just so thankful...for so many things. I don't even know how or where to start. The blessings I see every day are more numerous than I could even begin to acknowledge.

So I'm going to relive and reflect on these last seasons of my life through pictures. Some of my favorites from this last year. Here they are.

 And finally, I can't even express my gratitude to all of the wonderful people in my life, just for being who they are. I'm surrounded by such fantastic people...I love you guys. 

Bring on 2013. I'm ready.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, 
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths."
   Proverbs 3:5-6