Field Notes

10 . 22 . 13

Autumn. FINALLY. My bones have ached for this season. I do believe the leaves on the trees that line our street now match the hues of my heart, and for a few brief, palpable moments over the past few days, I’ve been reminded that I belong in this human skin, this temporal world.

Offline life owns any and all coherent bits of my lexicon right now, so today I give you a film, doughnuts from Ashley’s super fun new cookbook, and a few notes from the field, as follows: 

(1) Tell people you love them while they can still hear you (2) Get over yourself. Self-consciousness robs us of being fully present to others (3) Pay attention and everyone is the guru — especially the 6 year old boy next door (4) Celebrate the people who keep you company. Thank them, daily, for their grace, patience, and wisdom (5) Beautiful things don’t just happen, you make them happen. Work hard. Keep your chin up (6) We belong to the earth. Lie in the leaves on the ground and pray like hell you’ll learn how to burst and bless and move on like they do (7) Change your toothbrush more often and buy new underwear. It’s the little things (8) “Nobody looks stupid when they’re having fun” – Amy Poehler  (9) Date pits do not go in the garbage disposal (10) Sparklers in place of birthday candles make a mess, but are always a good idea. 

Gluten-Free Apple Fritter Doughnuts 

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 2/3 cup cane sugar
  • 6 tbsp almond meal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup + 4 tbsp buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup peeled, diced honeycrisp apples
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar + 2 tsp cinnamon for coating
  • 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil, melted

Preheat the oven to 350.’ Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, and mix well. In another bowl, whisk together liquid ingredients and eggs. Pour wet mixture into the dry and stir gently with a wooden spoon until just combined and there are no more flour streaks. Fold in the diced apples gently.

Spoon batter into standard doughnut molds, before the top of the basin. As you can see in the video, I struggled with this. If they look wonky and overflowing they still turn out good, I promise. Bake for 15-18 minutes until lightly golden brown around the edges. Let cool before tackling the cinnamon sugar coating.

Ashley’s instructions for the fritter effect are for stoves with a broiler situated at the top of the oven, mine are for a lower oven/drawer-style broiler and instructions are shared accordingly. In an assembly line, place bowl of melted oil/butter in the middle between the cooled rack of donuts and a bowl of cinnamon sugar mixture. Dip tops of baked and cooled doughnuts in the oil/butter for a millisecond, then roll around in the sugar mix. Place on a baking sheet, cast iron pan, or sheet of tin foil beneath the broiler to caramelize the sugar for 2-3 minutes, careful not to burn. Repeat until doughnuts are coated. Serve warm.

** Leave a comment with your field notes of late and I’ll pick one winner to receive a copy of Baked Doughnuts for Everyone by October 29, 2013. Winner will be announced on facebook and via email! Cheers!

Nori Rolls with Edamame Wasabi Spread

04 . 09 . 13

Happyolks Nori RollsHY_Hand Rolled Seaweed Sushi-6

“Everything is so alive, that I can be alive. Without moving I can see it all. In your life I see everything that lives.”

― Pablo Neruda 

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These puppies are adapted slightly from The Longevity Kitchen, the latest release from Rebecca Katz — one of the kindest, most authoritative voices in health and wellness I know. You’ve seen me cook from The Cancer Fighting Kitchen and One Bite at a Time over the years, and I’m just thrilled to share her third nourishing gift to the world. The Longevity Kitchen is packed with healthful, accesible recipes to help readers combat chronic disease and lead healthier, happier lives. It may not get the blogger pony-show like Vegetable Literacy (which is amazing, too), but it is of equal importance and measure in our conversations on cherishing the good things growing and how they heal us inside and out.

Rebecca wrote “stand in your truth, Kelsey” in the front pages of the copy she sent me while I was away in Chile. It is a prayer that has permeated and punctuated my days lately as I begin to make significant changes in my life. With that… I’m giving away one copy of The Longevity Kitchen to a reader who can tell me how they plan to stand in their truth this week, this month, or this year.

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Nori Rolls with Edamame Wasabi Spread

  • 8 sheets toasted nori
  • 1 peeled daikon radish 
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 cup sunflower sprouts
  • 1 small mango
  • 2 small avocados
  • 24 sprigs mint
  • handful cilantro
  • (optional) 6 oz smoked wild salmon OR tofu
  • ——–
  • 2 cups edamame
  • 2 + teaspoons wasabi powder
  • 2-4 limes
  • 8 sprigs of cilantro
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • dash of water
  • sea salt

To start, prep all of your veggies and working ingredients. Julienne the cucumbers and radish. Thinly slice the avocados and mango. Peel apart salmon, or cut tofu into 1 inch by 2 cm strips if you’re making these vegan. Create an assembly line of the proteins, veggies, and herbs then begin to prep the edamame wasabi spread.

In the bowl of a food processer blitz together the edamame, wasabi powder (adjust measurements to match your affinity), lime juice, olive oil, water, and sea salt. Mixture should be just barely chunky, but not a total paste.

Place nori sheet on a clean work surface. Spread 1/4 cup of the edamame spread onto the sheet leaving a bit of uncovered nori for grip while wrapping. At the bottom edge of the spread facing you, begin to build your roll, filling it with strips of cucumber, radish, mango, salmon or tofu, avocado, and topping with bits of sprouts, mint, and fresh cilantro. Wrap with your hands from the bottom around the filling until completely sealed. If you use an excessive amount of spread, like me, you won’t need to seal the edge shut with water and your finger. Cut each roll into 8 pieces with a super sharp knife. Repeat.

HY_Hand Rolled Seaweed Sushi-55 Happyolks Nori Rolls

Cookies and Angels

12 . 15 . 12

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

Sweet Potato Samosas

12 . 02 . 12

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.

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.