Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Living Authentically...and Grapefruit Mint Salad...

I have been very fortunate these days. The world is opening up for me pretty fast and I've been doing my best to hold on and move with the current rather than let it take me down.

My thoughts today? Life is amazing.

Today, I walked to the Subway in the sun listening to Freddie Stevenson's music and felt so blissful...and thought, "This is my authentic self."

Truly. Every molecule of my being was smiling.

That's how I am trying to attack life these days.

Last week, during a particularly stressful time, I came out of the subway to see the words "I Love U" painted on the reminds me every day that I'm okay.


And now...

Grapefruit and Mint Salad

It's been a while since I posted a here goes!

This particular photo shows canned pink grapefruit...but I have a fresh grapefruit at home waiting for the same treatment...

Take the grapefruit segments, add some roughly chopped fresh mint and honey to taste.

That's it! Easy, right??

It's a wonderful spring/summer salad.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Knit One, Pearl...Well, You Know...

To add to my Domestic Goddess skills...yes, I knit. :)

It's a wonderfully meditative thing to do...and so old school! Anyone who knows me well, knows that if I had the space and time, I'd be baking all my own bread, making soap, and brewing mead and beer in my name it. I'd probably even give churning butter a go.

I became fascinated by the thought of being able to knit my own sweaters, socks, washcloths...etc! I thought I'd never have to go to the store again! Unless is was a yarn store, of course. That wore off after a time (I tend to get into things full blast and then they even off into a more realistic obsession...ah, past-time...) In the early days of my knitting frenzy, I bought a drop spindle to spin my own yarn (warning: it's not as easy as it looks). Someday, I'll have a spinning wheel!

Things I've made (after the chaos of knitting all my Christmas presents one year...note to self, "Never do that again!"):

  • Numerous sweaters from Stephanie Japel's "Fitted Knits"
  • An iPod Cozy
  • Socks (for my Mom)
  • A hip purse (also from Stephanie Japel)
  • Coffee Cup Cozy
  • Quite a few scarves
  • Kick Ass Gauntlets
  • Washcloths (to wrap around handmade soap)
  • A strapless summer top (Fitted Knits)

In production:

  • Orange neck warmer (pictured at beginning of blog)
  • Cabled, wool coffee cup cozy!
  • Felted slippers in Scottish Rowan Tweed:

Felted panels

I think it's important to note that you can make some very stylish and fun things!

I love listening to my iPod and knitting on the Subway...then you get a dual distraction ;) and it makes the trip fly by.

There's something about yarn, wool in particular, that really calls to me. The coziness of it...I've had an affinity for all things wool for a long time...and cables? Swoon. :)

I'm going to be putting some knitted items (such as coffee cup & iPod cozies and yoga mat bags) up on Etsy, as soon as I get my page back in stay tuned!


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ah, Beer...

I'm typing this while enjoying the penultimate stout in my fridge (pretty soon I'll have to switch to something lighter for the summer...)

I never thought I would like beer, forget about how much I have come to love it...good beer, that is...

I basically have it in my fridge at all times these days (currently left? 1 bottle of Brooklyn Brewery's Black Chocolate stout).

I have vivid memories of sitting on my Dad's lap as a kid while he gave me a little sip of whatever beer he was drinking and recoiling in horror at the flavor...and then in college, sitting on my friend Ron's lap at Bowlmore Lanes urging him to finish my Guinness because I couldn't take anymore (clearly, by that point, I'd had more than one sip...LOL).

Now a days I wouldn't dream of giving up one drop of my Guinness!

I have developed a deep love for all things earthy...and to me, beer is just that (Whisky too...but that deserves it's own blog).

When I was in Edinburgh this past August I discovered the delight of the half pint. By the end of my first week I worked up the courage to have dinner alone in a few pubs on the Royal of my favorites being the Steak and Guinness Pie at the Toll Booth Tavern...and a half pint of Deuchers. Sigh. My good friend Krissy and I spent a lovely dinner with some friends there just learning how to properly pronounce it! ("It's like a Duke and your bottom" [arse] or so said the waitress at the Tollbooth, LOL). The thought that I will be back in Edinburgh enjoying it's beer and becoming one with Arthur's Seat again in the fall sends me over the moon. Seriously...tears come to my eyes as I think about it.

Waiting out some rain with a pint in Edinburgh

I wish everyone that amount of bliss.

The last few weeks have been stressful here in NYC, but I look forward with joy and gratitude for all the gifts and opportunities I'm being gifted with. And, of course for (good) beer.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Is My Inner Child Resurfacing?

I just got back from my lunch break, which consisted of me laying on the grass in Bryant Park and finishing the latest Sookie Stackhouse book (Dead and Gone).

The smell of the fresh lawn came up and enveloped me...practically bringing tears to my eyes. There were moments I wanted nothing more then to lay my head down and and surrender to the simple things in life.

Along with this feeling came memories of me as a little girl out in my yard, with the smells of Spring and Summer filling my senses, and completely taking for granted the bliss of it all.

So today I have gratitude for the sun, the breeze that touches my face, the grass that was my bed for a lovely hour, and time and sense to appreciate it all.

Oh, and I'm also grateful for the fact that when I ran back to the park because I realized my scarf (which my Mother knit for me) was was waiting for me...still enjoying the sun.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Re-Arranging My Approach

One of my Happy Places...Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh

So. After being excited over earning some income with blogging...It's not happening anymore. I'm trying to look at this situation in the following, more constructive, ways (rather than wallowing and eating massive amounts of Cheez-its):

1. This is a challenge to figure out another, better way
2. This is a lesson in how to do it better next time, and with gratitude over greed
3. When you hold onto something too tightly or focus on the wrong aspect of something...The Universe can make you look at it differently.

That's how I choose to deal with this. Which I suppose is the most important part. I spent Tuesday through today gettting to this place. I allowed my pity party and negative self talks...

Now, I'm moving forward. I'm sure I'll have my darker moments until I figure this out because a part of me is livid at how black and white others are being. I acknowledged my wrong-doing but I think second chances are important.

Maybe my second chance will come in a form wholly unexpected...and better! Let's hope for that.

Happy Weekend everyone...and Happy Mother's Day!


Monday, May 4, 2009

Lavender Shortbread

Yup, I've made shortbread. It isn't traditional, but neither am I ;)

*iPod playing: "Room to Roam" by the Waterboys (1st cd of collector's edition)*

I swear, I do listen to other bands...earlier in the cooking day I had on The Beatles...(that recipe will be blogged eventually).

Lavender Shortbread

1 1/2 cups of flour
1 1/2 tbs dried (organic) lavender
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
juice of 1 (small, organic) lemon
1 cup softened butter

Mix ingredients together (with a wooden spoon) to form a dough, put on wax paper and roll into a log and chill for 30 minutes.

Slice cookies and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and bake in a 325 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Let cool and store in sealed tin :)

*I think the music helps the put all that energy into whatever you cook and it comes out in the flavor. To quote Lafayette from HBO's True Blood: "You put a little love in your food and the folks can taste it...."


Friday, May 1, 2009

Late Night Kale Affair

Happy May Day everybody!

Wednesday night I decided to cook all the kale I had in my this is what I came up with:

Kale with Tamari and Tofu

2 bunches of kale
1 container extra firm tofu
Tamari, or Soy Sauce
Half a lemon
Ground Ginger
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 large red onion
1 clove (minced) garlic
About 1 cup chicken broth
Celtic Sea Salt

Cooking/prep time= Almost the whole second CD of The Waterboys' "Room to Roam" collector's edition :) I think I'm going to start timing all my recipes to album's much more fun than "30min."

Cube the tofu and put in a bowl. Sprinkle a little of the tamari over it and set aside.

Chop onion and sauté with garlic and a sprinkle of salt in a large pot...then add the (washed, torn) kale to pot and simmer in chicken broth until the kale starts to cook down. Add a dash of ground ginger and crushed red pepper, the juice of the half lemon, and tofu.


*I accidentally over-salted when the cover of the Celtic sea salt flew to make up for it, I added some brown rice and it was a nice addition, though still a bit salty*