Tag Archive: garlic

  1. Shiitake Bok Choy Dumplings

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    Happyolks | Shiitake Bok Choy Dumplings

    It’s 2 am and I just ate the last piece of molasses cake leftover from the New Years Eve gathering we hosted a few days ago. I never saw anyone eat a slice, but the next morning I found the bundt half gone on it’s stand, covered by a dish towel. I like that people can expect a treat when they’re at the house. I’m often asked why I cook and my answer has evolved and simplified over time: to love, to nourish. It’s a small thing, on my list of big things, of ways to say I love you.

    In any case, there is a vent beneath the counter that warms a patch of tile on the kitchen floor and I stood on it, camped out in my bare feet, eating, listening to the creaks of the house and sorting through a stack of mail beside me. I turn over what appears to be a credit card offer and start scribbling a shopping list. Cauliflower. Horseradish. Greens. Coffee beans (!). Chemex filters (!!!!!).  Toothpaste. Chocolate chips. Goat’s Gouda. Dates.

    I love January and it’s everyday-ness. I’m glad for a regular pulse again. The holidays are great but it’s the stillness that I crave at the end of it all. We took our little evergreen out to the curb promptly when we returned from California and I filled the house with white ranunculus and put my Dad’s Neil Young album, Harvest, on our new record player to fill the house with something… normal.

    Happyolks | Shiitake Bok Choy Dumplings Happyolks | Shiitake Bok Choy Dumplings Happyolks | Shiitake Bok Choy Dumplings

    New Years resolutions have never been my bag. Not on the 1st, at least. I want to cover my ears, close my eyes, and shout la la la la la la la la la la la when “goals for 2014″ comes up in social conversations because here’s the deal: A new year starts whenever I say it starts. You guys know me, I’ll preach intentionality ’til I’m blue in the face, but, erase the numbers on the calendar and the year restarts fifty times, even one hundred times in 365 days, if we want it to. I like the idea of resolving and revising my life, intentions, goals, and boundaries throughout the entirety of the year.  My blueprints look nothing like they did a month ago, and I’d wager they’ll look different next month. Without grandeur or pomp or circumstance, there are always occasions that beg a breaking down and rebuilding the foundation. Fate and free will do their dance, and we are presented with, or choose, change.

    That’s the beauty of this human life we get to live here on planet earth. We get to revise. We get to shift lanes. We can stop what we’re doing at any point of the day, month, year and say hey, you know, I think I’m going to to try doing things differently from here out. We are constantly being called to look in and look out at they way we treat people, how we  spend our time, how we think about ourselves, and the respect we show our bodies and our planet. Instead of cramming in all that self-reflection and goal setting for the sparkling brevity of a ball-drop, I’d ask you to consider celebrating a new year, a new you, whenever you can. And those days are worth celebrating. The Thursday in March where you wake up, put your feet on the floor, and say to yourself: today will be different, today I will… (fill in the blank)…  that’s gold right there. There will be no confetti or champagne. But it will be perfect, and you did it all on your own.

    Happy New Year, today, and every day.

    Happyolks | Shiitake Bok Choy Dumplings Happyolks | Shiitake Bok Choy Dumplings Happyolks | Shiitake Bok Choy Dumplings Happyolks | Shiitake Bok Choy Dumplings Happyolks | Shiitake Bok Choy Dumplings Happyolks | Shiitake Bok Choy Dumplings

    Shiitake Bok Choy Dumplings

    It’s cold out! If you live in a winter-y climate, skip the juice fast and feed your Qi with warming, nourishing foods. My acupuncturist, Anna, says it’s an order.  For the wonton sheets… I could only get my hands on the itty-bitty variety, which, if you have fingers that aren’t on the dainty side like me, folding can be a bit of a challenge (albeit a worthy one). If you can find wrappers that are bigger, i.e. 3x3in,  I’d suggest doubling the filling for this recipe.

    Dumplings

    •  25 wonton wrappers
    • 4 bulbs bok choy
    • 1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms
    • 2 large carrots
    • 1 inch nub ginger
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/4 cup minced chives
    • 1 tsp orange zest
    • 1 tbsp tamari or Braggs liquid aminos
    • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
    • + extra bok choy to line the steam basket

     

    Orange Teriyaki Sauce

    • 1/2 cup tamari
    • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
    • 2 tsp water
    • 2 tbsp orange juice
    • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
    • 1 tbsp brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 2 tsp minced garlic
    • 1 tsp minced ginger
    • 1 tsp orange zest
    • 1 tsp cornstarch

    Happyolks | Shiitake Bok Choy Dumplings

    Get the sauce out of the way: Combine ingredients (except for cornstarch and orange zest) in a saucepan on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in cornstarch and zest last then remove from heat.

    For the dumpling filling: chop boy choy, shiitakes, chives and carrots into very small pieces. Using a microplane grater, shave garlic, ginger, and orange zest into the vegetables and mix together. Warm sesame oil over medium heat in a pot or sauté pan. Add vegetable mixture and the tamari and stir to soften for no more than 5 minutes. The veggies should be vibrant and al dente.

    Assemble the dumplings by placing one sheet on a flat surface. With a bowl of water near your dominant hand, dip a finger or two in the water and wet the perimeter of the dumpling so when you fold it all up it will stick together.  Place 1 heaping tablespoon of cooked filling in the center and fold together by adjoining the two opposite corners with a pinch and then repeating with the remaining corners, sealing the edges together as you go like a present. If your wonton wrappers are circular, you can see detailed instructions on how to assemble here. Repeat until all filling has been used.

    Prepare your steaming mechanism (pot with steamer lined with bok choy or lettuce, ghetto white girl style like moi… or by using a real-deal bamboo steamer as seen here). When there is sufficient steam generated, place as many dumplings as you can fit without touching one another. Cook for 5-8 minutes.

    Serve warm and dip as desired.

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  2. For Sarah, For All of Us

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    Dear Sarah,

    I saw your comment come through last week on my lunch break and I haven’t stopped thinking about you since. When asked, you  shared that you intend stand in your truth this year by holding fast to the understanding that you don’t need to have your whole life after college completely planned out, that you can just take it step by step. Oh Sarah, I wish I could stand sideline giving high-fives and waving my pom-pom’s about to cheer you on through this phase and in this truth. A year ago I stood in some version of your shoes, looking ahead to the future with confidence and eagerness and a whole lot of WHOA, WHAT NOW swirling in my belly. As you begin to close this big chapter of your life, here is what I want you to know… you’re not alone. This month and every month henceforth there will be women graduating college, giving birth to their first children, changing jobs, moving to different countries, suffering great loss, celebrating small victories, and will be, in sum, simultaneously in the process of discovering the person they are meant to become, the work they are here to do on this planet, and what in the heck it’s all going to look like.

    The truth is, plan or not, the next year of your life, and life after college at large, will look nothing and everything like you could possibly imagine. I had trouble sleeping the night before we started our trek in Patagonia last month so I got out of bed before dawn and sat on the floor in the powder-blue tiled bathroom of Maria’s Hostel, cutting my nails, counting and reflecting upon the memories and mistakes of the past year. I leaned against the door and stared at the fluorescent light overhead and wondered what God was thinking in that moment. Silence. Taped next to the sink a printed sign “no lave la ropa – do not wash the clothes.” I had to laugh. If someone would have told me a year ago that I would be sitting on the floor of a bathroom in Chile in the kind of mental, physical, spiritual state I found myself experiencing, I would have thought they were out of their freaking mind. This is to say, the next year will be more outrageously beautiful and thrilling and fulfilling than you could hope. It will also challenge you to dig in to the deepest, most sacred parts of your soul to stay true to who you are and to fight through all sorts of exhaustion, loneliness, and missed turns.

    You will meet many teachers. Some of them will come to you carrying the light. They are the universe’s way of telling you that you are powerful and beautiful and full of so much potential. They will hold you up like buoys when you get tired during the big swim. They will usher and encourage you to see and take paths that will help you stretch and grow and develop into the woman you’re meant to become. Some teachers will come into your life throwing big punches, they are, what an old friend used to call “the darkies.” They will make you wrestle with your idea of right and wrong and good and bad and test you, persistently, to hold on to yourself. You will duck and miss the blows most days but sometimes you’ll forget about the hook shot and you’ll be on your back seeing stars. It’s okay. This is all part of it. The toughest teachers will be the ones that look like they’re carrying the light, but are carrying something else. They will present you with some pretty sweet sounding opportunities and lifestyles. There will be a split-second lightning bolt feeling you’ll get in your chest when you first meet these teachers that sets you at dis-ease. Latch on to that! Remember this feeling. It is your intuition whispering to stay centered, stay true. Dig into those deep reserves of strength and surround yourself with those who love you unconditionally. They’ll remind you to not take the bait.

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    Try new things. Put yourself in environments and situations that push on the tender spots of your heart. Look hard. Listen hard. Watch the way people live and love. Be an observer of everything around you and all that you feel. When you are paying attention, the right paths and the “plan” for which you were put here to charge will be revealed to you. Try to block out the noise of “shoulds” that society or your tribe has prescribed for you. It’s your journey. Write it in YOUR pretty colors. As for a career, you very well may find yourself graduating with a degree in International Politics or Advanced Mathematics and taking a job at a grocery store stuffing tortellini in plastic cups for ten bucks an hour. It’s okay. That phase will be part of your becoming. In those places you will learn the dignity of hard work, the true meaning of community, and expand the breadth of your compassion for all people and all things.

    You will laugh a lot. There will be days when all it takes for the wind to blow across your face a certain way and you will be moved to tears with gratitude for all that is. You will cry a lot. There will be nights where the questions and the confusion and the unknown will completely swallow you whole. You will make great choices, you will make really shitty choices. They all matter. When you find yourself in situations or relationships or places that in your gut you know to be pulling you away from who you are, find the courage to leave them. When you find yourself in situations or relationships or places that you know in your gut to be right and whole, find the courage to stay. Even if you’re scared to death. Joan Didion says, “we have to choose the places we don’t walk away from.” Sometimes it will be easier to run than it is to stay. It’s up to you.

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    If you want to see the world, do it. Nothing is stopping you. Go out and hear the bells ring on steps of Spanish Cathedrals, meditate in a Shinto temple, offer flowers and your secrets to the River Ganges, ride a bike in the rain through the farms of central Vietnam. If you feel called to go then go. You must. Remember too, though, that you don’t need to fling yourself across the globe to shift your perspective. A new place doesn’t change your life. You change your life. You will, at every moment of the next year, have the extraordinary gift of choice to redirect your sails. I will not look back on the past year and see our pilgrimage to Patagonia as the catalyst for closing chapters and starting new ones. I will see a girl sitting in the shower, weeks before mountains and rivers and glaciars with no tears left to cry, letting the water rush over her shoulders and taking the responsibility, FINALLY holding herself accountable, and deciding that she wanted things to be different in her life. Once I truly believed myself capable, a million answers to the million questions I had asked for months on end seemed to appear on the tub ledge, mine for the taking and making. Patagonia didn’t give me that. I gave me that. And you can, and will, too.

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    I quit my grocery store gig when I got back from Chile, almost a year after leaving San Diego and playing my first hand. I am grateful for what was, but time that I set intentions in my heart and to the people I love to be a better partner, better friend, and to set free alllll the lessons and teachers and triumphs and setbacks to make space for new ones. My truth, today, is different than it was last year and I know it will be different in six months, a year, and every year for the rest of my life but like you, I know that I can take it all step by step. Today if I meet someone at a coffee shop or the lobby of the DMV and they ask me what I “do” I will say I am a writer. I have no idea what that means, really, at least in the tangible sense, but I know just saying it out loud will help manifest my truth. I know that when you are brave and you are honoring of yourself and others, the world gets all sneaky and wonderful on you, wrapping you up in it’s arms to celebrate and support you to keep on. Hold on to those moments. Lap them up. Roll around in them and know that YOUR plan, and the kind of earnestness and passion it will take to discover, is perfect.

    Go get ‘em Sarah. You’re right, you don’t need your life planned out after college. Stand in your truth and know that I am here, we are ALL here, doing cartwheels for you and the journey ahead.

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    Roasted Spring Vegetable Quinoa Salad

    Serves 4-6

    • 1 ½ cups quinoa (dry)
    • 6 small beets
    • 6 radish bulbs
    • 1 large head fennel, fronds reserved
    • 1 bunch parsley, roughly chopped
    • 1 small red onion, diced
    • ¼ cup minced chives
    • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 plump lemons
    • ½ cup + 3 tbsp olive oil
    • salt & pepper to taste

     

    Bring 3 cups and a few extra tablespoons of water to a boil. Cook quinoa over medium heat for 15-18 minutes or until water is absorbed and the seed has germinated. Set aside to cool.

    Preheat the oven to 400.’ Rigorously wash the beets and radishes, as you will not be peeling them before roasting. Remove grimy tops and cut beets and radishes into fourths, then sixths or 8ths. You want large-ish, yet bit sized wedges. Cut fennel bulb in a similar fashion, top to bottom. Toss wedges of radish, beets, and fennel together with olive oil and salt in a parchment lined sheet pan. Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, turning veggies over to brown and soften on all sides.

    In a large mixing bowl, combine chopped parsley, chives, diced red onion with cooled quinoa. In a small jar prepare the dressing by combining ½ cup olive oil, juice of 3 whole lemons, salt, pepper, and minced garlic cloves. Shake to combine.

    Add roasted vegetables to the quinoa mixture. Stir in dressing to coat. Garnish with sprinkling of fennel fronds to finish.

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    To my complete amazement, Happyolks has been selected this year as a finalist in Saveur Magazine’s Food Blog Awards in the Best Cooking Blog category. It is humbling, thrilling, and outrageously affirming to stand next to friends and mentors in this. Truly. If you like an underdog story, head over and cast your vote for us by Friday, April 19.

  3. Chard Pesto Linguine

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    “I took you by the hand and we stood tall,

    Remembered our own land, what we lived for.

    And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.

    And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.

    Get over your hill and see what you find there,

    With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.”

    Mumford / Sons

    Linguine with Chard Pesto

    • 1 large bunch (or more) rainbow chard (lightly de-ribbed)
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1 cup pine nuts
    • Juice of 3 lemons
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • dash of salt
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano
    • 1/4 cup Parmasean Reggiano
    • One package dried pasta of choice

    In a large food processor, combine all the ingredients, except for the cheese, until completely pureed. Add cheeses last, and blitz together or an additional 1-2 minutes. Toss pesto with cooked pasta.

  4. Answer It

    38 Comments

    I stood there, in the cold of the morning, hunched over the kitchen sink with my hands gripping the counters ledge watching the leaves fall and collect on the deck. Trying to count my breaths, I silently beg each one to play it’s reverse card and go back to the tree, the life-force, that created it earlier in the spring. They do not stop. With each yellow sliver that drops, I feel myself being pulled down to the ground with them. Pieces of my heart and understanding lay there, wilting, disentigrating back to the earth. I wished for Autumn all summer long — for it’s first snow, cold sheets, fires in the living room. Now that it’s here, I’m not sure I’m ready to dig through the “basement” for all that needs supporting it. Things have settled, and suddenly the stillness I asked for has arrived with a pretty bow and a painful but necessary awareness to all that has really taken place from January to October.

    I’ve highlighted and bookmarked Tiny Beautiful Things to shreds during this phase. Is it a phase? Can we call it that when it hasn’t yet passed? Anyway, Cheryl Strayed’s words are both comfort and a total slap in the face right now. In one particular letter, a young woman writes to Cheryl asking “WTF, WTF, WTF?” She responds in sharing the bone chilling history of sexual abuse from her father’s father and how she came to realize that pressing against the wound, tackling it straight on, was the only way to get a grip on her life. She ends her response to the young woman, “Ask better questions, sweet pea. The fuck is your life. Answer it.”

    I share this passage not because I stood there staring at the leaves thinking, like the young woman who wrote Cheryl, “WTF, WTF, WTF.” But I realize that the leaves falling is my life. I need to answer it. Simple as that. I need to ask better questions about the why. Ask questions that shed light on what needs adjusting. So you’re feeling like “x” you’re acting like “y” and it’s causing a sour, hollow feeling in your gut. It’s not WTF. It’s your life. Dig deeper. Lean in. Throw yourself down the basement stairs and scavenge for as much as you can. You’re going to need all of it, everything you got, to make it to winter. 

    Thai Carrot Soup

    • 3 sweet onions
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 2 tsp grated ginger
    • 2 tsp red chili flakes
    • 3 spoonfuls coconut oil
    • 2 tbsp cumin
    • dash of nutmeg
    • 2 stalks lemongrass, finely chopped
    • 1.5 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped
    • 1 can full fat coconut milk
    • 5-6 cups chicken broth
    • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 3 tsp salt
    • 4-5 thai chiles, de-seeded
    • handful fresh basil
    • 3 limes, juiced

    In a large pot or dutch oven, saute roughly chopped onions with grated garlic, ginger, red chili flakes, and coconut oil until softened but not terribly browned. Add apple cider vinegar to deglaze the pot. Add cumin, nutmeg, lemongrass, and carrots. Stir to coat. Add coconut milk and the broth. Combine. Simmer on low with a lid for 30-40 minutes or until the carrots are completely softened.

    Pour contents of pot into a high-powered blender in small batches with the fresh thai chiles. Blend until completely pureed. Add water or stock to adjust the thickness. Pour into individual bowls and top with juice of fresh lime and chopped basil.

  5. Bok Choy Noodle Bowl

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    The first few days after we say goodbye to a foster are a little funk. The house feels different. I would even call it melancholy if not for the memory of that one moment where the new family waves goodbye with the dog in their arms, new loving arms. There are few other  smiles more sincere I’ve seen that that moment. It zaps the emptiness in the kitchen immediately. I grind the coffee, I prepare the kettle, and I think of how different, how much richer the new family’s story will be with their new canine friend.

    People often tell me that they could never foster dogs because they’d want to keep them all. I’ll admit it’s tough. Shaun and I sat in silence for a bit when we drove away from Tex’s new house on Thursday. Wind from the open windows held back tears. We held hands and smiled. For what was, what all will be. My heart was so, so full. Honestly, I felt like it would burst. Words needn’t be spoken. It was a perfect silence. Joy filled the car knowing that everything was just as it should be.

    Each dog over the past year has given us a chance to practice love, patience, flexibility and prepares us, ultimately, for the inevitablity of goodbyes that the future will always hold. The whole process requires an accountability to truly live in the present. The dogs, just like most other people and things, come into our lives without much warning and we never really know how long they’ll stay. It encouarges us to let go of expectation, give all of our love with all of our hearts, stop holding back, and make everyday a new adventure because you don’t know how long you’ll have together. It’s amazing how a little creature that has such limited means of communicating can deliver such a profound lesson on life, on life and time.

    Here today, gone tomorrow. Fostering teaches how to absorb the waves of change instead of letting them knock us on our toosh. Nothing stays the same for long. Nothing lasts forever. The good stuff, the not so good stuff — it all comes and goes, as it should.

    Thanks Tex. You and each of your friends that came before you have loosened us up a bit for the big changes, the big excitements, and the big disappointments we’re destined for in the future. We’re better equipped to handle the waves because of you.

    Braised Bok Choy Noodle Bowl 

    serves 2-4

    • 1 lb baby bok choy
    • 1/2 lb shitake mushrooms
    • 1 cup green onion, chopped
    • 1-2 packages 100% Buckwheat noodles
    • 1/4 cup coconut oil, divided
    • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil, divided
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • thumb sized nub of ginger, grated
    • 1 lemon + 2 limes
    • 2 tbsp white or rice wine vinegar
    • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt

    Start with the noodles. Bring a large pot of water to boil with a bit of oil to keep noodles from sticking. Buckwheat cooks in 8 minutes so keep a close watch and remove from heat and rinse immediately. Set aside while you prepare the veg.

    Remove the bottoms of the bok choy and place leaves in a bowl of cool water to let the dirt and bits fall to the bottom. Bring a heavy pan (or wok, if you have one) to heat with 2-3 tbsps of coconut oil, 1 tbsp of sesame oil, and the garlic and ginger. Simmer to brown the garlic then add the damp bok choy leaves and braise in the oil for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set greens in a small bowl. There should still be a bit of oil in the pan for the mushrooms. Slice them into 1/4″ slices and sauté for 2-4 minutes, depending how hot the pan is. Remove ‘shrooms and set with the bok choy.

    Add a bit more coconut and sesame oil back to the pan with the juice of one lemon and vinegar and let simmer. Add the dried and cooled noodles until coated and warmed. Assemble the bowl with noodles as a base, layering the mushrooms and boy choy on top. Sprinkle with salt, a bit of lime juice, and the fresh green onion.

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.