Thursday, March 26, 2015

Maple Granola

I love having jars of homemade granola around the house both because it tastes good and because buying bags of it can really add up. Making granola at home is easy and affordable, and it's a good way to use up things from the pantry like flaxseed meal, sunflower seeds, chia seeds and various nuts.

This recipe isn't too sweet, and if you like a sweeter granola you can add more maple syrup. This recipe makes about two quarts of granola. I use this recipe as a base and the measurements are for reference, but when I'm making this I just estimate.

Maple Granola
From Smitten Kitchen found here

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut
1 cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg white, whisked until frothy
1 1/2 cups dried fruit, chopped if large pieces (I leave this out because I don't like it)

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees, and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Combine all ingredients except the egg white and dried fruit in a large bowl, tossing to coat evenly. Stir the egg white into the granola mixture, distributing it throughout. Spread it in a single layer on the lined baking sheet.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes. About halfway through the baking time, use a large spatula to turn over sections of the granola carefully, breaking them up as little as possible. Rotate the pan if granola is baking unevenly. When it is evenly browned and feels dry to the touch, transfer the pan from the oven to the cooling rack. Cool completely. Once it’s completely cool, break up granola into whatever size clusters you want. Sprinkle in dried fruit.

The granola keeps at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 weeks.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mélisse Bourbon Sour

I normally like to drink my bourbon neat, but this winter, I've experimented with some bourbon mixed drinks. This is my favorite - it's light and frothy from the egg white, a little tart from the lemon and just the right amount of sweet to balance it all out. An added bonus is that we almost always have all the ingredients on hand. It is made with bourbon, lemon juice, egg white, simple syrup and Angostura bitters. While it's easy to whip up, it feels like a special treat.

The recipe calls for Buffalo Trace specifically, which delights me because of its connection to our wedding, but I think you could use any bourbon you have on hand.

Mélisse Bourbon Sour
From Saveur

2 oz. Buffalo Trace bourbon
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
¾ oz. simple syrup
White of one large egg
Angostura bitters

Place bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Tap glass bottom to disperse air bubbles. Once foam gathers on top, garnish with 4 drops Angostura bitters & carefully swirl them into a design.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

February 2015 // Finding the Best in the Worst

Even though we are already more than half way through March, I feel like I'm still just coming out of the cloud of February. February is the worst. We have made a mental note to plan a beach vacation for February 2016. But even though it was the worst, a lot of wonderful things happened too.

I walked and explored, I started training for the Santa Fe Century, I wore loud leggings and even got Andrew to join in on the fun, I went to jury duty, I skied harder and harder runs, I cuddled and I forced Elsa to spend quality time with me by barricading her in the family room.

For the second month in a row, we ended the month with a powder day, and even though February was the worst, good snow is the best.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

January 2015 // Shine Bright // Taiyoko

January started with a late night/early morning dance party in the living room fueled by cranberry shrub cocktails and tapas and ended with an epic powder day on the mountain. It was a good month.

On the first day back to work after New Year's, Andrew texted me to tell me that the contractor working in his building had changed his name from Randy to Taiyoko, which, according to him, means shine bright in Japanese. I took it as a sign.

I started ski lessons on Wednesday afternoons with the women's program at Ski Santa Fe. We meet for eight Wednesdays with our instructor who has promised to push us hard. My goal for the season is to improve my mogul and tree skiing. I'm the youngest person in my class by about three decades so I'm known as the young, aggressive skier. Ha! I find it inspiring to be around older women who are active, independent and who have led fascinating lives. We have a surgeon, a scienctist, an art teacher - all retired, of course. Women who waited until their forties to have kids, and women who are learning to ski moguls in their late 70s. It's a wonderful way to spend Wednesday afternoons, and during this time of year when it's dark so much of the day, it's really boosting my spirits.

My mom visited us this month, and, as we always do when she visits, we indulged a lot. We took long lunches, short hikes south of town, skied all day, soaked at 10,000 waves and ate fancy dinners. It was tons of fun, and I'm hoping that now that both her and my dad are retired, we will get to see more of them.

After years of pondering (and then months of waiting for my appointment), I dyed my hair for the first time in my life and I LOVE it. My hair is now ombre with light, BRIGHT blond ends. What fun to make such a dramatic (for me) change!

Andrew and I did a three day juice cleanse in which we only drank juice for THREE.WHOLE.DAYS! I'm so glad it's over. A new juice shop, actually the only juice shop, opened in Santa Fe. Their juices are like special treats and taste amazing. Three days was a little much though. We decided to give it a try to set us on a good path for doing another Whole30, although this time, I'm not going to be very strict and I'm going to cheat on the weekends so I can ski and when I want to go out with friends. I don't like the social aspect of the Whole30, and I want to be able to say yes to invitations without worrying about avoiding a glass of wine or what I can eat. We're calling it the Sorta60.

Even though skiing is still in full swing, I am dreaming of biking season. We signed up for a training class at our local community center to get us in shape to ride the Santa Fe Century in May. We've been wanting to ride the Century ever since moving to Santa Fe, and somehow six years have gone by without actually doing it. We want to do some bike packing this summer and fall so Andrew is planning and scheming for bags and racks and maybe even a trailer for the dog girls.

These feet can't carry my girl as far as they once could, and I think she would appreciate a cushy lift.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2015: SHINE

In 2015, I choose SHINE as my word. I want to shine bright and big, embrace the light and fill up with joy. I want to go all in for the little things and the big things.

A year of choosing in 2014 meant a year of clearings. Deliberately choosing how I live meant clearing out a lot of junk - literal and figurative. Without all of that junk weighing me down, it was easier to thrive and not just survive.

The biggest clearing in 2014 was emotional - the act of choosing to let go of negative energy, control, worry and anxiety. This clearing allowed me to own my life in a way that I haven’t in a long time and to embrace my authentic self. I’ve been more spontaneous and had a lot more fun this past year. It also let me surrender in many ways. I’ve improved my ability to focus on the NOW and be in the present instead of looking forward to the next thing. I’m learning to trust in the journey and truly believe that the universe will provide. Everything happens for a reason, and I have everything I need to live a happy life. These have been profound shifts for me over the last year. Shifts that have freed up an amazing amount of energy to SHINE and laugh and play and just be happy.

In 2015, I will SHINE by

* finding joy in everyday life

* laughing and smiling often

* embracing my excitement and enthusiasm

* having more dance parties in my kitchen

* nourishing my mind, body and soul

* being generous with my spirit

* being more spontaneous

* nurturing creativity and passion

* being curious, having adventures, learning new things

* being bright and giving out that light!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: I CHOSE

A year ago, I picked the word CHOOSE as my word for 2014. I wanted to focus more on recognizing the agency I have and not let myself get caught up in feeling like things are happening to me. This is my life, this is it. It's not happening to me. I'm in the driver's seat.

I think I've done a good job of choosing and being aware of the results of my choices. One thing that has helped me is phrasing my decisions as priorities. Taking a culinary class in the spring was more of a priority than having my evenings free. Traveling for pleasure, family's and friends' huge milestones and work was more of a priority than taking a summer or fall class. Improving my mountain biking and spending as much time outside as possible this summer was more of a priority than planting a garden. Et cetera.

This year, I chose

adventure and travel

to pursue hobbies that make me healthier

to take it easier on myself and others

to have more fun

to be more generous

to worry less and let go of more

to take better care of myself

and to do things that I never thought I would do.

I made a lot of solid choices this year, and I'm happier, healthier and more focused than I was last year at this time. I'm looking forward to 2015!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas 2014 in Photos + Christmas Dinner Menu

christmas morning
holiday cheer
stockings hung with care
lola realizing that there are treats in her stocking
ready to bury it in the back yard
pre-christmas zabars dinner
christmas chile
more red and green
braised endives with prosciutto 
squash and onion galette
pretty pomegranate
staying warm
lots of snoozing

and lots of lots of eating...

Christmas 2014 Menu


Radishes with Fancy Salted Butter

Main Course
Pan Seared Duck Breast

Veggie Sides
Braised Endives with Prosciutto
Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette

Arugula Salad with Fennel and Pomegranate

Lemon Sabayon with Grapefruit
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