Archive: Feb 2012

  1. Looking in

    34 Comments

    Shaun hates it when I leave the blinds open when we’re eating dinner. People are watching, he jokes, it’s weird. For the most part I don’t mind if people are watching, we’re all watching something, waiting for something interesting to happen. Waiting to feel connected.

    Looking in, we find relief to see ourselves reflected in the habit and nuance of another. We see something that reminds us that we’re not alone. We’re not crazy. We get to be heroes for a brief moment, anonymously validating that small thing, that big thing, that thing that didn’t make any sense. Real heroism doesn’t involve fancy acrobatics. It’s surviving. We keep going. We keep laughing. We keep working. We’re still here and that is something to look at.

    Writing is like that. We leave the blinds open a little and share pieces of our humanity, that, hopefully, reaches a reader and holds them, even for a second, and whispers: you’re not alone. We write to liberate ideas and experience, we write to discover ourselves. We read to be validated we’re not crazy, we read to feel connected to something bigger than ourselves. There’s like this dance between the two that helps us not turn into a puddle on the floor. It’s amazing that a simple string of words can give us that connection, feed that longing for intimacy.

    Everyone leaves their blinds open, figuratively speaking. Looking out, looking in, walking down the street, sitting at the stoplight. It’s not just in the writing, it’s everywhere. “It” being that messenger, that thing that speaks to the core of you and honors exactly where you’re at along the journey. Keep looking. The teachers, the validators, the writing is all right there in the window if you’re looking in.

    Late Winter Salad adapted/inspired from Ottelenghi’s PLENTY 

    • 1 head cabbage (I used local green cone cabbage)
    • 2 heads radicchio
    • 1/2 cup dill, minced
    • 3 cara-cara oranges
    • 1 cup dried red sour cherries
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • salt/pepper
    In a food processor with the blade fitting, blitz the cabbage and radicchio to a fine shred. Dump into a large bowl. Sprinkle with a bit of salt to wilt a little. Mince fresh dill and toss into the bowl with the cherries. In a small bowl combine olive oil and lemon juice, mix together, then pour over the mixture. Toss together. Segment the oranges by removing the skin and pulp and cutting out slices between the fiber skins. The Kitchn has a great tutorial for segmenting citrus here. Lightly toss the salad with oranges and add a little more salt/pepper to taste.

  2. Blessed are the Flexible

    46 Comments

    Last week was a mess of skipped beats. I don’t know if there was something going on with the moon or if my tightrope is undergoing some growing pains, but man alive. Unanswered voicemail. Empty gas tank. Wrong books. Forgotten homework. Burned oatmeal. Molding oranges. Tardy client meetings. Parking tickets. Toothpaste explosions. I seriously was banging my head against the keys trying to write something wise, eloquent for the Beet Cake. Nothing.

    When we threw Tex, our new foster in the tub this morning after a long, wet walk through the park I couldn’t help but laugh as I watched a million little hairs fling from his back and cling to the walls and fresh towels. Oh dear. In the next few days I’m sure I’ll spot some white wisps stuck on the mirror and chuckle again at the beautiful absurdity of it all. Pure goodness. Pure madness.

    Weeks like these keep me humble. They keep me loose. Learning how to ride a bike with a rusty chain is the whole point of being young. You can’t really afford a new one but you make it work. You just keep peddling. Shaun and I have a pretzel shaped magnet on the fridge that reads: “blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.” It’s especially appreciated in times like these. I love how we both try to hold each other up to this standard when the circus rolls into town, announced or otherwise. He dragged me out in yoga pants, NorthFace hoodie, top knot, and rubber wellies at 9 pm to hit a bucket of balls on the fairway Saturday night and I tell you what, I’ve never felt more silly and more perfectly human. It was great.

    Embrace the skipped beats. Life is nothing, boring at best, without them.

    This weekend we took Sprouted Kitchen’s mini calzones for a spin, adding butternut squash, and lemon zest. So, so good. The fact that on my calendar I have “meetup / Sara (SK)” marked for friday makes me think that I’m on track to one day do lunch with Oprah Winfrey. Sara has been a constant source of inspiration as I’ve built and grown into this space. Her grace and encouragement has meant more than I think she may ever really realize.

    Keep Reading for Recipe…

    For more Happyolks videos, see 1, 2, and 3

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  3. Beet, Seed, and Blood Orange Cake

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     Even after all this time,

    the Sun never says to the Earth,

    “you owe me.” 

    Look what happens with a love like that.

    It lights the whole sky.

    – Hafiz

    The words can’t quite come together for this one. Better not to force it. Alas, there is cake. Beet Cake. A bit more on the earthy side then carrots are to carrot cake, the beet variety with the added texture of the seeds and sweetened with brown rice syrup makes a more lasting impression than the former. Add a drizzle of the orange-poppy glaze to make it dessert, or enjoy plain with coffee in the morning. Red beets immediately stain the batter, but once baked you’ll cut into a fabulous rainbow assortment of color and texture.

    Beet, Seed, and Blood Orange Cake 

    Adapted from Tender by Nigel Slater

    • 1 3/4 cups gluten free flour blend
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • scant tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 3/4 cup walnut oil
    • 1 cup brown rice syrup
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups raw red beets, shredded
    • juice of 1 blood orange
    • 1/2 cup golden raisins
    • 1/2 cup mixed seeds (flax, sunflower, pumpkin)

    Blood Orange, Poppy Seed Glaze

    • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
    • juice of 1 blood orange
    • poppy seeds

    Preheat the oven to 350′ and prepare a loaf pan with oil and line with parchment. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the oil and brown rice syrup. Mix in the eggs one at a time. Grate the beets and fold into the mixture, adding the blood orange juice, seeds, and raisins accordingly. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Slowly fold into the wet ingredients. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes. Test with a toothpick around 50 min to test for doneness. Let cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.

    For the glaze, simply mix together brown rice syrup, juice and a bit of zest of a blood orange, and a few shakes of poppy seeds in a small jar. Set in the fridge while the cake bakes to serve chilled and thickened later.

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.