Pears and Pomegranates

Do you ever feel like the path you have chosen in life is like an amusement park ride? You know, one of those roller coasters with the endless loop-the-loops. Trapped on a track, flying far too fast, forward, backward, ’round and ’round, then upside-down and back again. One minute you’re screaming Yay! Weee! Hooray for me! and the next you’re hollering Please no! Let me goooo! Finally, the track begins to level out, you slow to a stop, the safety bar lifts and you find yourself suddenly released. No longer trapped, you are free to step off that loopy track and back onto solid ground. Dizzy and reeling (and slightly nauseous), you stumble awkwardly as you struggle to gain your footing, get yourself oriented and pointed in the right direction. And as you stand there all wobbly and woozy, you ponder your choices…do I hop back in line for another wild ride or simply enjoy where I’m at?

Organic Pears

 

 

 

 

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Little Bits

Well, I am sorry to say I’ve got myself all wrapped up in my crazy chaos lately and I’ve been sadly neglecting this space. I have been missing you, it’s true. I started on a new adventure a few months ago, bravely stepping outside my box to explore an opportunity that just happened along my path. It seems that in stepping outside the confines of my comfort zone, the Universe immediately sensed my vulnerability, my openness to possibility and slyly set in motion a series of events, challenging me to extend the boundaries of my box. Needless to say, things are in disarray around here and I find myself more grateful than ever for the tiniest little bits of inspiration.

Little Bit of Sunset

 

 

 

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Milk It

Sometimes I get the greatest satisfaction from the simplest of things. I often have this experience with food. I love those moments when you create something beautiful and delicious and it fills your body and soul with delight. I have not been having many of those satisfying kitchen experiences these days. Lacking excitement and filled with frustration, my healthy food explorations have been uneventful and devoid of delightful discoveries. So, when I unexpectedly experienced one of those increasingly rare moments of culinary satisfaction, I decided I better milk it for all its worth.

Hemp Seed Milk

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Calm

Wow. It’s been quite a stretch of time with not a single visit to this little space of mine. Sorry about that, to those of you who faithfully visit. And thank you for coming back. I do so enjoy our little chats and I am trying to get caught up. Life has been a little chaotic lately and I seem to be suffering from, what I fondly refer to as, a busy-hangover. Too much busy time with the To-Do’s and the Need-You’s can leave a person feeling slightly out of sorts, you know? Yesterday, I woke up to my first free day in what feels like forever and I had no idea what to do. To be honest, I am feeling a little lost and very much out of control these days. My body is sluggish, my brain is in a constant fog, my inspiration and motivation seem to be on permanent hiatus and my physical space is in utter disarray. You know how that feels…blah. So, I sent my hubby packing yesterday and set about looking for a way to clear my system, calm the chaos and find my way through the fog. Whenever I find myself suffering from the negative effects of a busy-hangover, I turn to nature in one of two places: the kitchen or the great outdoors. Nothing revives the senses and calms the mind like a little visit with Mama Nature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spring Cleaning

Last Sunday morning I was so rudely awakened by the sound of my phone alarm. I stumbled out of bed and into the kitchen in a state of confusion, wondering why it was still so dark. It’s not a work day, after all, so what’s with the sounding alarm before the hour of dawn? I had forgotten about that “spring forward” thing, but my very smart phone did not. Sleep is a pretty precious commodity and I do hate to lose even an hour of it. However, this little shift in time does bring back those daylight hours for evening walks with clouds and sunsets that I long for during the winter months. This subtle time shift also triggers a seasonal transition in the kitchen, as the root vegetables begin to dwindle and the early spring greens begin to make an appearance in the weekly produce box. Having not been much in the mood for hearty winter cooking this year, I have been looking forward to this particular change. So, I have been doing a little spring cleaning in the kitchen lately, trying to find creative ways to use up the last of Winter’s roots and greens and make way for the lighter, brighter spirit of Spring. And though my project started out slightly uninspired, I somehow managed to clear a path to an unexpected adventure.

Winter Root Vegetables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lighten Up

We’ve been having some beautiful spring-like weather here in the desert, with unusually warm temperatures, an abundance of sunshine, blooming trees and busy bees all over the place. Mama Nature has decided to skip right over winter and head straight on into spring, it seems. The desert floor is a lush carpet of green and wildflowers and I am feeling the pull outdoors. I want to be out and about, climbing rocks, hunting flowers, chasing rainbows…I want to go play! Needless to say, I have not been enjoying the confines of my kitchen these days and I am certainly not in the mood for warming winter meals. I have to remind myself that it is still February, hence the over-abundance of hearty winter roots and greens. And since I choose to eat from the earth and cook with the seasons, and technically, it is still winter, I am stuck with this surplus of hearty seasonal bounty. Though Nature’s confusion has thrown me for a loop, I think it’s time to get creative, lighten things up and seek a little color in my dreary winter food palate.

Creamy Root Veggie Stew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Fresh Start

Now that we are a few days into this new year, the celebrations have ceased, the festivities have fizzled and you are struggling to get back into the swing of things. You are totally out of routine, having loosened your grip on healthy habits for the sake of “special occasions”. Too much pork roast and roasted chicken, buttered and smothered side dishes, sweets, treats and other such indulgences have left you feeling slow and sluggish, unmotivated, uninspired and well…just plain blah. It’s time to get back on track. So, let’s clean out the cupboards, prepare the pantry and get ourselves a fresh start.

Fresh Start Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Take Comfort and Enjoy

Sometimes this particular holiday season confounds me. For many of us, whatever our spiritual or religious stance may be, it is meant to be a period of pause. We are graciously granted time for reflection, celebration, family bonding. We are gifted the opportunity to reprioritize, think beyond ourselves, give to others. And yet, we run about, stressed out over what to give whom, how to get where, who’s going to pay for it all and get it done before the holiday comes. Personally, I always strive to simplify, to focus on the spirit of things and keep myself removed from that stressful materialistic energy. However, even I get sucked into that whirlwind of holiday hustle with a hectic schedule, shopping for gifts, to-do lists and that darn Time continually outpacing me. I am uncomfortable existing in such a state, but at times it is difficult to escape. Sometimes I literally have to tell myself to let go of expectations, slow down and heed the season’s tidings of comfort and joy. Sit down. Take comfort. Enjoy.

Spiced Persimmon Quinoa Porridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Savor the Moment

After desperately craving autumn for several torturous weeks now, we are finally beginning to experience our brief little fall moments here in the desert. It is still much too warm for cozy sweaters and comfy boots with midday temperatures still hanging out in the eighties. But when the sun goes down, that cool air creeps in and beckons you out to the back porch to sit awhile, breathe it in and savor a little autumn moment. Savor, isn’t that a great word? To give oneself to the enjoyment of; to perceive by taste or smell, especially with relish. It is the perfect word for this season, these few transient moments of fall. I shall give myself to the enjoyment of it, relish the flavor of it while it lasts and I will start with my favorite savory sauce.

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Craving Autumn

Autumn has always been my favorite time of year. There is something about this particular seasonal shift that triggers certain welcomed cravings as the days grow subtly shorter, the air begins to cool and nature’s color palette turns to warmer hues. It is that time of year when pumpkin permeates your menu plans, the crisp autumn air is infused with cinnamon and the golden glow of turning leaves is reflected on your dinner plate. Unfortunately, in my hot little corner of the world, it does not feel like fall at all. Summer is making her traditional last stand, stubbornly refusing to give way. And while my fellow foodies indulge their autumn cravings, I am still desperately craving autumn.

Autumn Abundance Bowl

 

 

 

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