Archive: Aug 2011

  1. Good Ju Ju

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    Ju Ju means energy; the experience of positive and negative forces all around us that charge our lives and shape each unique day on this planet. You know Ju Ju. It’s that thing when you enter a space and get that “off” feeling in your gut telling you it’s time to leave, it’s the woman who smiled at you when you were crossing the street yesterday, the long, warm embrace of your loved ones, the sensation of sand between your toes walking on the shore. It’s the powerful stuff that we pick up on everywhere when we let our intuition take the reigns.

    We can give it, receive it, create it, share it, leave it behind, pass it on; you can even give Ju Ju a good kneading like homemade yeast bread. We need good Ju Ju. We need bad Ju Ju too though. The polar forces help guide our decisions, steer our relationships, and challenge us to think about life in new, interesting ways. It’s a balancing act; I think the potential for both kinds of ju ju live in us at once and can be used to direct people when we least expect it. Some people call it vibe, at yoga you’ve probably heard it referred to as Prana… but whatever name you give it, you know that it’s some powerful stuff.

    Despite the fact that each day I generally rise to the blessings of good health, supportive relationships, and an intentional purpose; my Ju Ju reserves can still get a little low from time to time. Life gets messy, our heads get fuzzy, and the spark within us can grow dim. When I need good Ju Ju, I call my Mom. She shares her wisdom and light and helps re-ignite my own to honor and pass on to others.

    This week my Mom was flanked with a host of givers. I received more good Ju Ju than I knew how to process all at once. Surprise coverage from The Kitchn, Food52, FoodieCrush Magazine, Food In Jars, an interview feature with Kaileen Elise, and the positive affirmations from readers and friends have been a needed nudge. Thank you. Thank you for sharing your energy with me this week. If I could bottle it, seal it with wax, and send it right back to each of you ten-fold I would.

    Too often we disregard the profound impact that our simple words, actions, and intentions can have on the world and one another. Don’t. Seriously. We carry each other; everyday we take turns by sharing our Ju Ju. Give it away and watch it grow.

     Chickpea Fritters with Tomato Jam 

    Slightly adapted from Whole Food by Jude Blearau

    Tomato Jam 

    • 2 tsp olive oil
    • 1/4 cup crushed ginger
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 3 cinnamon sticks
    • 5-6 large heirloom tomatoes, chopped and most of the seeds removed
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
    Heat olive oil in a saucepan over gentle heat. Add ginger and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add the vinegar and cinnamon sticks and cook until reduced by half. Add tomatoes, sugar, cumin, and cloves. Cover with a lid, and cook for 5 minutes over gentle heat. Remove lid, increase heat, and stir for 5-8 minutes to thicken. Reduce heat again and let simmer until thick.

     

    Chickpea Fritters 
    • 1 1/2 cup dried chickpeas, soaked for at least 8 hours
    • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves of garlic
    • 1 tsp ground coriander
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • pepper to taste
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 handful of parsley, chopped
    • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
    • 4 tbsp mint, chopped
    • 2 tbsp chickpea flour
    • olive oil, for frying
    Pour soaked chickpeas into a strainer, rinse and drain. Put soaked chickpeas in a food processor with minced garlic. Pulse for about a minute. Add the spices and pulse for another minute until finely ground, then place in a large mixing bowl. Add chopped onion, herbs, and flour and eggs and use your hands to combine. Form the mixture into small patties about 1/2″ thick. I started out thinking these would be chickpea burgers, but with half a loaf of bread on hand and no intention of running to the store, these became open faced sandwiches. Oops.
    Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, just enough to cover the bottom well. Place patties in the pan and cook over medium heat (with a gentle sizzle) for 5-7 minutes on each side. Jude warns “don’t rush the process, the insides take a while to cook.” Serve with grilled olive oil bread and tomato jam.
  2. Birthday Wishes

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    Today is my little brother’s birthday.

    He is twenty years old today, twenty years of laughing, learning, growing, and thriving with every curve-ball thrown his way. He’s more than my blood, he’s my lifelong friend. It hasn’t always been easy, in fact sometimes it was downright hard. I was bossy. He was stubborn. We’ve both grown up a lot since the days of our backseat bickering, and our relationship has been in constant evolution to become something I cherish with all my heart.

    Austin, I love you so much! Your visit this past weekend was a much needed tonic.

    These are my birthday wishes for you this year:

    Trust your intuition. When everything is a mess, get quiet, and just listen. You know what to do. Take chances on love. Girls are confusing. They have no idea what they want. We’re all trying to figure this thing out. Love ‘em anyway. Choose Joy. Rugby. Trivia Night. Whatever. Life is short, keep doing the things that make you happy. Take a ginger or turmeric supplement. Okay, I’m trying to sneak this in here. They help with inflammation. For your back, (cough) rugby. Spend more time at the ocean. The cure to everything is salt water. This is coming from someone who spent four months on a boat. Trust me. Buy a journal. And use it. Write stuff down, get it out, no erasing. Trust the process. Invest in an ice cream maker. Seriously. Your friends will love you. Screw the system. You’re more than just a number. Get out there and experiment. Ask for help. Find a mentor. There are people who want to capitalize on your potential. Pray. Call it what you want, God, The Universe, Nature, Hayden, Hare Krishna, I don’t  care. They’re waiting. Ready to listen. Plan an adventure. Hit the road. explore. Go alone. Pack a Clif Bar. Don’t stop dreaming the big dreams. Remember underwater roller-coasters?  Let your mind wander and keep dreaming. Keep loving. “Intense love does not measure, it just gives.” You rock at this. Keep loving. Keep giving.

    August Birthdays call for something light and fresh. Alice recommends that leftovers be toasted the next day.

    Alice Waters’ Angel Food Cake with Fresh Whipped Cream and Orange Zest 

    • 1 cup cake flour
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 12 egg whites, at room temperature
    • 1 tablespoon water
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
    • 3/4 cup sugar

    Preheat the oven to 350 F.

    Sift together the flour, 3/4 cup sugar, and salt.

    In a medium bowl or in a stand mixer with the whip attachment, whisk the egg whites until frothy. Whisk in the water, lemon juice, and cream of tartar. Keep whisking until the foam is very soft, holds a slight shape, and has increased 4 to 5 times in volume. Whisk in the final 3/4 cup of sugar. Continue whisking until the mixture forms glossy, soft peaks. The mixture should not be stiff or dry. Sift a fine layer of the dry ingredients over the whites, and fold them in with a rubber spatula, gently and quickly. This is easier with four hands. Call a neighbor! Continue sifting and folding until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.

    Pour the batter into an ungreased 10- by 4-inch tube pan with a removable bottom. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. When done the cake should spring back when touched gently. Invert the pan to keep the cake from sticking or deflating. (If the cake pan has legs, turn it over onto them, otherwise invert the tube pan onto the neck of a beer bottle.) Let cool.

    To remove the cake from the pan, run a knife around the inside of the pan and around the center tube. Gently push up the bottom, using the knife to help guide the cake out, if necessary. Use a sharp serrated knife into water between cuts to help keep the cake from sticking.

    Whipped Cream

    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1 tsp almond extract
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • orange zest (for the end)

    With an eclectic mixer, combine heavy cream, vanilla, almond extract, and sugar on low. Increase speed to high and whip the mixture until it thickens to 2-3 times it’s size and is no longer a liquid. Top cooled cake with cream, strawberries, and zest of one orange.

     

Let's get in Touch

I wish I could make coffee dates with you all. In the meantime, feel free to drop me a line with questions, comments, concerns, or just to say Hi. I like that. There is nothing more uplifting than an email from a a fresh contact or kindred spirit.

I can be reached through this contact form and at happyolks [at] gmail [dot] com.