Archive: 2012

  1. Cookies and Angels

    39 Comments

    Persimmon Breakfast Cookies Happyolks-2Persimmon Breakfast Cookies Happyolks-5 Persimmon Breakfast Cookies Happyolks-8

    My favorite view in Colorado can be seen through our North-facing upstairs bathroom window. In the morning, when it has snowed overnight, I sit on the counter and press my left cheek against the cold pane to watch the colors change to the East as the sun rises over white roofs and lawns. Snow, I have discovered recently, has the same sort of reverent, sweeping effect on my spirit that the ocean once had. It is snowing now as I write this from the bathroom and if I’m lucky it will stick through the morning. Shaun is on a work trip  for a few days and seeing that I have the day off tomorrow, and to myself, I will make a pilgrammage to the park and make snow angels again along the running path for the walkers and runners and lovers. They are strangers whose lives I will never know yet somehow always know. For the beautiful, radiant young souls who were taken from this earthplane too soon, I will lay my head back in the snow, next to my angels, your sweet too young angels, and look to the sky to say thank-you a million times for my full and undeserving life. I will blow out my candles for each of you next week with tears in my eyes for every painful, awkward, surprising, perfect moment I have been given and you have been robbed.

    “I closed the box and put it in a closet.
    There is no real way to deal with everything we lose.”
    ― Joan Didion, Where I Was From

    Persimmon Breakfast Cookies Happyolks-17Persimmon Breakfast Cookies Happyolks-27Persimmon Breakfast Cookies Happyolks-30Persimmon Breakfast Cookies Happyolks-32Persimmon Breakfast Cookies Happyolks-35Persimmon Breakfast Cookies Happyolks-40Persimmon Breakfast Cookies Happyolks-46Persimmon Breakfast Cookies Happyolks-48Persimmon Breakfast Cookies Happyolks-55Persimmon Breakfast Cookies Happyolks-58

    Persimmon Oatmeal Cookies

    From Margie, the mother of my childhood friend, Kelly, who grew persimmons and made the most marvelous and memorable cookies. Thank you, Margie, for graciously sharing this recipe with me and the world. Adapted from “Use and Enjoy the California Persimmon” University of California Cooperative Extension, El Dorado County.

    1 ½ cups Whole Wheat Flour
    1 cup Brown Sugar
    ½ Teaspoon Baking soda
    1 Teaspoon Salt
    ¼ Teaspoon Nutmeg
    ¾ Teaspoon Cinnamon
    ½ Teaspoon Cloves
    ¾ cup butter
    1 Egg
    1 Cup Hachiya Persimmon chunks
    1 ¾ cup Rolled Oats
    ½ cup chopped pecans

    Sift together flour, sugar, soda, salt, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon into mixing bowl.  Cut in butter.  Add egg, persimmon pulp, rolled oats, and nuts.  Beat until thoroughly blended.Drop by teaspoonfuls, about 1 ½ inches apart on ungreased cookie pans.  Bake in a moderately hot oven (350F) about 15 minutes.

    Persimmon Breakfast Cookies Happyolks-61

  2. Sweet Potato Samosas

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    When the moon is out and fog hugs the city limits, the trails of airplanes — the steam, smoke, whatever it is they leave behind — appears black against the night sky. Have you seen this before? It’s stunning. Haunting.

    Driving home from the movies a few nights ago, I motioned to Shaun to pull over and look at the moon in this state, the way the black line lingering up there in the sky divided it in two. We parked the car in front a dark driveway and stared, silently. “Do you think it’s an asteroid headed for Earth?” I asked. Shaun laughed, “I think it’s a plane, and, I think you’re beautiful.”

    It is December now, and I am reminded by the twinkling lights on houses that guide my bike rides home at night that life can be messy and confusing and still be knock-your-socks-off-magnificent. My life is so abundant, fuller and richer than any young woman could possibly deserve in a lifetime. Tough days seem selfish, trite, ignorant. I wake some nights gasping for breath, stunned at my blessings and overwhelmed with a sense of duty to repay the world with duplicate affection for all it has given me.

    A new friend asked me the other day, “seems like you’e working too hard at this stuff, is it all worth fighting for?” The answer was (and is) YES. Yes and always yes. The good is always worth fighting for. There isn’t much I feel like I know for sure about this world but this, fighting for the good stuff, I can assure. The moments parked in front of dark driveways discussing asteroids and planes and the moon and love and life and death and who we are and why we’re here and how desperately we just want to do it right – these moments will always be worth fighting for.

    Sweet Potato Samosas (baked, not fried!) 

    Adapted from Saveur

    • Dough:
    • 1½ cups flour
    • 8 tsps water or buttermilk
    • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
     
    • Filling:
    • 2 tbsp coconut oil
    • 1 sweet onion, minced
    • 2 tbsp. minced cilantro
    • 1 (1″) piece ginger, peeled and minced
    • juice of 3 fresh lemons
    • ½ tsp. ground coriander
    • 1 tsp. garam masala
    • ½ tsp. ground cumin
    • ⅛ tsp. cayenne
    • 2 medium sweet potatoes cut into ¼” cubes
    • 2-3 cups veggie stock
    • sea salt, to taste
     
    • Chutney:
    • 3½ cups tightly packed cilantro leaves, finely chopped
    • 1 cup tightly packed mint leaves, finely chopped
    • 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
    • ¾ cup greek yogurt
    • salt to taste

    Preheat the oven for 450.’ In a large bowl with measured flour, cut in shavings of butter using a paring knife. Rub together flour and butter until the dough becomes crumbly. Add in water or buttermilk and mix with hands until the dough starts coming together. Transfer to a floured surface and knead until elastic. Cover and set aside.

    For the filling: Heat oil in a  skillet over then add onion, and cook until lightly browned. Add sweet potatoes and 1 cup of broth and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add lemon juice, coriander, garam masala, cumin, cayenne, salt and a cup more of broth. Simmer for another 10 minutes until potatoes soften, adding more stock as needed as the liquid evaporates. Remove from heat to cool.

    Divide dough into 10 golf-ball sized rounds and cover with a towel. On a lightly floured work surface using a rolling pin, roll 1 dough ball into a 6″ round. Cut in half. Here’s the part I’m going to quote from Saveur, the instructions are just too good: “Gather straight edges of 1 half-round together, overlapping them by ¼” to form a cone; moisten seam with water and press to seal. Spoon 1 heaping tbsp. filling into cone. Moisten inside of top edge of cone with water, press edges together to close top of cone, and pinch along top ¼” of seam to completely seal filling in dough cone. Pleat length of seam by folding over about ¼” of the dough and pinching it together in about ½” increments. Repeat process with remaining dough and filling to make 20 pastries total. Set filled pastries aside.”

    Bake Samosas for 15 minutes on one side, turn and bake for another 5. Remove when both sides are lightly browned.

    For the chutney: Place cilantro, mint, lemon juice, and yogurt in a blender. Purée until smooth.

  3. Let’s Be Warriors

    51 Comments

    Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad from www.happyolks.comShaved Brussels Sprouts Salad from www.happyolks.comShaved Brussels Sprouts Salad from www.happyolks.com

    “What are you doing here?” He asked.

    “I was waiting for you,” she replied.

    He noticed that despite the passing years the woman looked the same; the veil hiding her hair had not faded with time.

    She handed him a blue notebook full of blank pages.

    “Write: A Warrior of the Light values a child’s eyes because they are able to look at the world without bitterness. When he wants to find out if the person beside him is worthy of his trust, he tries to see him as a child would.”

    “What is a Warrior of the Light?”

    “You already know that,” she replied with a smile. “He is someone capable of understanding the miracle of life, of fighting to the last for something he believes in – and of hearing the bells that the waves set ringing on the seabed.”

    He had never thought of himself as a Warrior of the Light.

    The woman seemed to read his thoughts. “Everyone is capable of these things. And, though no one thinks himself as a Warrior of the Light, we all are.”

    He looked at the blank pages in the notebook. The woman smiled again.

    “Write about the Warrior,” she said.

    Paulo Coelho Warrior of the Light, A Manual

    Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad from www.happyolks.comShaved Brussels Sprouts Salad from www.happyolks.comShaved Brussels Sprouts Salad from www.happyolks.comShaved Brussels Sprouts Salad from www.happyolks.com

    Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Lentils, Bacon, and Pear Salad 

    Inspired by the Brussels Sprouts Chapter in Nigel Slater’s Tender

    • 2 lbs. brussels sprouts
    • 2 Comice Pears
    • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
    • 1/2 cup cooked bacon
    • 1 cup De Puy Lentils
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 2 heaping tbsp  dijon mustard
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar
    • salt/pepper to taste

     

    Bring two pots of water to a boil. One for the lentils, one for blanching the brussel sprouts. Cook lentils for 20-30 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, shred brussel sprouts by hand or in a food processer. Set aside. Cook bacon to a crisp and lay to rest on a paper towel until cooled. Chop and set aside.

    Roughly chop hazelnuts and toast in a dry pan for 5 minutes until browned but not burned. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, dijon, honey, red wine vinegar, and salt/pepper. Set aside. When all accessory ingredients have been prepped, toss shaved brussels sprouts into the boiling water and blanch for no more than 1 minute. Pour into a colander and rinse with cold water immediately. Dry with a salad spinner-dude or with towels. In a large bowl combine sprouts, cooked lentils, chopped bacon, and toasted hazelnuts. Cut in the slightest slivers of pear over the salad. Toss lightly with your hands before mixing in the dressing. Taste test for extra salt or dijon.

    Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad from www.happyolks.com

    Hey, did you notice we got a facelift!? Thanks to the wonderful Megan Gilger and Aaron Wade for their savvy, kindness, and patience. Pardon the dust as I tidy up new bits and pieces of the site. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

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.