Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Morning Walk

Woke up to sun shine and snow-dusted cliffs this morning. This is our first snow storm of the season, and my first time seeing snow in the area first hand. It's breathtaking. :)

Rabbit tracks?

A good chunk of my walk this morning smelled of sweet desert sage that lines the road. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

There and Back Again or My Travels To and From Moab

Just arrived home from my third trip from Moab to Salt Lake and back in the past two weeks. This is not counting the day that we got back to Moab to discover that I had left my laptop at my mother's house and had to meet her half way that same day, but we won't get in to that. PS: my mom is the greatest mom in all the land. 

The drive isn't so bad. It's roughly 3 1/2 hours (counting the time it takes to drive down the river road in to Moab) which I believe is just enough time to feel like a real road trip, but just short enough not to feel insurmountable. It helps that my favorite part of the drive is the stretch from Wellington to Green River, which I have found is most people's least favorite part of the drive. I've heard it called "desolate" and "boring", but to me, that stretch of highway is open and free and easy as pie. It blows by in no time. 

In just a few short weeks, that drive has started feeling like an old friend, and I look forward to it more than anything. So today, on my trip back from my mom's 70th Birthday party this weekend, I stopped to take a few photos of some of my favorite land marks/spots along the drive. 

 Yes, that's a Filet-o-fish you see there in the passenger's seat. Don't judge.

Icicle-covered red rocks on the River Road

When I arrived home today, I turned the corner to make my final approach to the house when about 30 horses from the ranch next door all came running towards me. I pulled the car over and jumped out and said "Hi! Hi! Hello!" about a dozen times while they responded with several "pfbbbbp!" horse sounds like the ones little kids make - or that horses make. The dark brown one was the bravest and came the closest to me, standing to her side to get a good look at me with one eye. Notice the cute heart branding on her shoulder. Yes, I've decided she is a girl, and her name is Darla. Aah, it's good to be home.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Beans Beans the Magical Fruit! (A Tribute to Beans and a Salad to Remember)

I had one of those afternoons where nothing sounded good to eat, and it seemed as though there was 'nothing' in the fridge or pantry anyway. I wandered into the kitchen and started putting items in a bowl and came up with a Black Bean Salad that I would like to remember. It went a little something like this:

1 can of black beans rinsed
1 clove garlic thinly sliced
1 cup frozen corn defrosted
1/4 orange bell pepper diced
1/2 carrot diced
1/2 cucumber diced
2 cups red cabbage chopped
1 cup diced button mushrooms
1 cup chopped spinach
1/2 cup almond pepper jack cheese diced

Toss all ingredients together with salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, a dash of corriander, a dash of cumin, and 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar. I added what was left of my latest tomato tahini dressing, and the leftover juices from the tub of pickled mushrooms from Whole Foods that I can't seem to get enough of these days. Viola! It's a taste sensation.

The Sounds of Summer

OMD - Forever Live & Die by Far_q

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Good-Ass Gazpacho

There's nothing quite as refreshing nor quite as satisfying on a 93 degree summer day than a bowl of chilled gazpacho. I just made a batch of what I think may be my best yet. 

Here's what's in it:

Good-Ass Gazpacho (Vegan, mostly raw, gluten free)

  • 1 ear fresh corn, corn cut from the cob
  • 4 button mushrooms 
  • 1 hothouse cucumber 
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 4 plum tomatoes 
  • 1 red onion 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 avocados
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy cream cheese (I used Tofutti brand)
  • 32 ounces tomato juice 
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (option if you like heat with your chilled soup)
  • 1 hand full cilantro chopped

  • Chop all veggies in to bite-sized pieces and combine in a large bowl (all except the avocado, unless yours happen to be on the more firm side of ripe) Mix veggies together with salt, pepper, vinegar, olive oil, red pepper and cilantro. Add the tomato juice. Add cubed avocado and drop teaspoon-full scoops of cream cheese substitute into the mix. Stir gently and let chill for at least one hour. The longer gazpacho sits, the better it will taste. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


On a recent trip to Austin I was lucky enough to stop in at the raw restaurant "Beets Cafe" on 5th street where I was treated to a lovely kale salad, an "ELT" (smoked/dehydrated eggplant, lettuce and tomato) which I plan to recreate myself in the near future, and a raw brownie.

With all this deliciousness, the pièce de résistance for me was the locally-brewed Kombucha Buddha's Brew. I must have drank four of these in the two days I was in Austin. This was the first Kombucha I had tried and really enjoyed outside of GT's. The original flavor was sweet and tart and fizzy and everything that GT's original wants to be.

Tasting something so good gave me enough hope to push my desire to brew my own Kombucha into action. As soon as I got home, I began researching and found that it is actually quite easy to make your own 'boocha at home. All you  need is sugar, tea, and a mother Kombucha mushroom. Now to get your own mother, you have to either know someone who has one or order one online for a good chunk of change (average is about $40.) So I searched around some more and found some more info.

Like I always say, if you can't trust two hipster dudes, who can you trust? So I decided to give it a try. I put all the ingredients together in a gallon jar, and waited. The SCOBY (Symbiotic Collection of Bacteria and Yeast) seemed to be floating and moving around, but nothing much happened for the first few days. I'm sure this is typical, and I would have kept my experiment going, only my good friend heard I was making my own booch and offered to give me her mother. Oh mamma! I came home to find this on my porch one night:

This mother had a ton of strands and a grown baby booch mushroom already grown out of it, so I decided to start from scratch. I now have two batches going: one from the mother and 1 from the baby. Here they are at day 2:

The mother is on the left, the baby on the right. After two days, I already started to see the white 'looks-like-mold-but-it's-not' spots forming around the baby. If you actually do see mold, you have to throw the SCOBY out, but if it is bubbly, brown or doing any other strange thing, it is fine so long as there is no furry mold accumulating.

I plan to let my babies ferment for another week before I bottle 'em up and start a new batch. Now I just need to decide what flavors to add! If you're interested in brewing your own booch, I recommend the following web sites:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Double Dribble

I did two Bikram classes today. That's right. Two. I'm beat and I feel like I'm dribbling on my sweater.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

My First Successful Recipe Experiment WOOT! Spicy Cilantro Ranch Dressing

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I have been enjoying a change in lifestyle that includes eliminating animal-based foods and adding more raw foods. has become one of my daily staples for recipe inspiration, and so far 99% of Gena's recipes have been outstanding and only needed a little tweaking to suit my tastes for heat mostly. My current staples are the Quinoa Protein Bowl (sans squash if not available and topped with loads of Sriracha), the Banana Breakfast Sushi (substituting peanut butter and honey for almond butter and agave), the Blueberry Pancakes (adding a tsp of Nutmeg.)

I've come to the realization that eating a raw diet, not unlike any other diet, is all about sauces, only with a raw diet rather than a sauce pan, you are whooshing ingredients together in a blender including sauces, smoothies, and most of all dressings. Last night I decided to branch out and try to re-invent one of my old favorites and it turned out great!. Here's what you'll need to make it:

Spicy Cilantro Avocado Ranch Dressing
  • 1 Cup cashews (soaked at least one hour)
  • Juice of 3 limes and 1 lemon
  • 1/2 Cup cold water
  • 1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 bunch Cilantro - stems removed
  • 1 Jalapeño
  • 1 Avocado
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and drench leafy greens with this stuff! I tossed mine with julienned carrots, cucumber slices, romaine, swiss chard and sprouts served alongside swiss chard stuffed with curried cauliflower rice (the jury's still out on that recipe, but the raw marinara sauce on top was divine.) Slurp!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Spring has sprung, or at least it did for a few days last week. Here we are April 8 and it is snowy and shitty outside. You will notice I've changed to the ready-made grassy spring theme to try and will the sun to to come out. C'mon spring! What gives?!

My cats like to crawl on my head all night and all morning these days, so today rather than mumbling and batting them away, I decided to get out of bed and start writing. Not physically out of bed of course, this is more of an awake in bed type deal. Aah, sure do love the feeling of being wide awake at 6am with lots of blankets and no where to go but the internet.

Since my last thrilling post on how to make chicken stock, I have undergone some spring cleaning life changes. Towards the end of Feb, I decided to try out the Master Cleanse again. If you recall, my first attempt at the Master Cleanse was my original reason for starting this bloggy blog two years ago so it seems appropriate that I should give a full report seeing as how I actually finished ten days without solid food. Woo!

This time around I was in a much better place mentally. I have completed several 3-day juice cleanses over the last nine years or so, and felt like it was time to take it to the next level. First off I have to say how amazed I was at how easy it was this time compared to my last attempt. The first three days were like a breeze due to the relative lack of work it takes to make the lemonade compared to the three day juice fast which mostly consists of juicing, cleaning the juicer, juicing, cleaning the juicer, juicing, and so on for a good 12  hours.

My body is already accustomed to a three-day liquid diet, which made days four and five were a bit harder for me. Once I hit day six however, I was feeling amazing. I had more energy than I knew what to do with. I would jump out of bed each morning and I wouldn't stop until the end of the day. I was more focused than normal, more present, and more aware of the world.

I am a believer in the cleanse, and I strongly feel that everyone should try it at least once in their lives to realize the benefits and true power and energy that we all have within us.

Along with the Master Cleanse, I have recently discovered several things that I love and will continue to have in my life.
1. Saunas are the new (old) steam room. I have always been a fan of heat. Sun bathing, sitting in hot cars without rolling the windows down, sitting on heater vents with my shirt pulled over my knees, hot showers that go for way too long, and of course steam rooms. I worship all of these like the gods they are. During my time on the Master Cleanse, I discovered that I have access to a dry sauna  free of charge at school so I headed over to give it a try and I was smitten. It feels so fucking good to relax, soak up the heat and sweat your brains out the way you do when you sit in a sauna for an hour. You come out feeling refreshed, your skin is soft, and your head is clear. I can't recommend it enough, which leads me to my next favorite thing..
2. Bikram is my new yoga. By the time I eased out of the cleanse, I felt so energized and unstoppable I decided I was ready to try out Bikram which I have been interested in trying but putting off for a few years. For those of you who haven't tried it, there are three things I would like to note about Bikram:
- Bikram is stinky. When you walk into the studio, you are hit by a thick pungent wave of sweaty sock smell. I am not sure whether you ever get used to this smell.
- Bikram is sweaty. The rooms are heated to 105 degrees with 45% humidity so you are sweating before you even begin moving your body, and you will sweat buckets while in class.
- Bikram is the source. Through the sweating and powering through the difficulty of Bikram I have found the source to some kind of higher power. I purchased a year membership after practicing for only one week, because I can tell I am going to need this in my life on the regular.
3. Cutting out animal-based foods from my diet. I have been trying to introduce as many raw fruits and vegetables as possible into my diet, and have all but eliminated animal-based foods. It has been so much fun discovering new recipes that are delicious and 100% healthy. Who knew?  If you haven't checked it out, I highly recommend choosingraw (thank you Ruby for the link!) for some delicious recipes, thoughts and ideas on plant-based nutrition. The vegan ceasar salad dressing and millet yam veggie burgers can't be beat!

I'm pretty sure that's all I have for now. I have a list of lessons learned from the Master Cleanse and some photos of my first yarn-bombing project, but I will save that for next time my lovelies. <3

Until then, I will be worshiping the Gods of heat.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Taking Stock

I just plopped my first pot of stock of 2011 on the stove, containing mostly ingredients that we had laying around in the fridge and felt compelled to blog about it. Homemade stock is easy, elevates any dish that is lucky enough to be worthy, and beats the hell out of that Swanson bullshit.

I believe today's stock to be my best one yet! Here's what we got:

  • 1 Picked-at Rotisserie Chicken Carcass
  • 1 Small Red Beet 
  • 1 Large Carrot
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion
  • 1/4 Roasted Spaghetti Squash 
  • Several Cloves of Garlic
  • Fresh Oregano, Thyme, Sage
  • One Bunch Cilantro
  • 4 Blackberries
  • 5 Bay Leaves
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 a leftover Heineken

  • You can make stock with just about anything you have, but you want to have mirepoix at the very least. Here's how Alton Brown says to do it:

  • Place the chicken, vegetables, herbs and spices in 12-quart stockpot. Set opened steamer basket directly on ingredients in pot and fill with water. Cook on high heat until you begin to see bubbles break through the surface of the liquid.

  • Turn heat down to medium low so that stock maintains low, gentle simmer. Skim the scum from the stock with a spoon or fine mesh strainer every 10 to 15 minutes for the first hour of cooking and twice each hour for the next 2 hours. Add hot water as needed to keep bones and vegetables submerged. Simmer uncovered for 6 to 8 hours.

  • Strain stock through a fine mesh strainer into another large stockpot or heatproof container discarding the solids. Cool immediately in large cooler of ice or a sink full of ice water to below 40 degrees. Place in refrigerator overnight.

  • Remove solidified fat from surface of liquid and store in container with lid in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days or in freezer for up to 3 months. Prior to use, bring to boil for 2 minutes. 
  • Sunday, February 20, 2011

    How Do You Hold A Moonbeam In Your Hand?

    Tonight my VCR ate Tape 1 of The Sound of Music just as I was about to re-watch the scene when the captain hears the children singing for the baroness. Right after this, my VCR died and I think I died a little too. I love my VHS/DVD combo deal. It's been real good to me for the last 3-4 years. I guess that's about how long you can expect one of these things to last anymore. Boo hoo hoo!

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    NOte To Self

    This blog is starting to become more and more of a journal for me all the time, which makes me feel weird and more attached to it at the same time. I realize that there are a total of three people who actually look at this page (I recently found out that Jamie looks from time to time. Hi ladies!) so I still feel mostly like my posts on this thingy are more notes to myself and sometimes Niki, Angie and Jamie than a broadcast to the world.

    With that said, I have been thinking a lot the last few weeks about changes I would like to make and I've decided that if I put them down on virtual paper, I might actually take some sort of action, or at least give them the thoughtful processing they deserve via a list of new year's resolutions. (Yes, after reading Angie's blog I was inspired.)

    Resolution #1: Stop texting.

    I'll be the first to admit that I would rather send a text or email when I need to get out of something, or if there is a conversation that could potentially be unpleasant, or even when I'm making a decision about what to have for lunch. This stops happening from here on out. Expect more phone calls from me in 2011.

    Resolution #2: Spend less time on Facebook

    Facebook, that good old, bad old waster of precious time. Sometimes it's entertaining, and I admit I have random bursts of wanting to blab to everyone about everything that I see scroll across my screen, but I really want to break the weird anti-social tendencies that I have developed as a result of using FB.

    Resolution #3. Stop the growth of flub that has seeped around my mid-section, armpits, arms, thighs, ass, calves, etc.

    Maybe it's part of getting older, or maybe it's me being lazy, but I have never been so sedentary in my life. I believe that all I have to do is set my alarm for an ungodly time where I am still too out of it to be fully aware of where I am or what I'm doing and revisit my old pal Cher. By the time I am awake, I will have completed 1 hr. and 45 min. of aerobics, abs, and lower body awesomeness and somehow I will regain control over my body.

    Just look at her. How could anyone with a heart and soul not be inspired by the encouraging words of early-90's Cher in a tutu? Has she got a gift for me or what?

    Resolution #4. Drink More Water (a life-long challenge for me that I will continue to work on in 2011)

    Resolution #5. Take lots and lots of photos

    The End

    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    Our Lady of Arty Farty

    In my 3D class we have what my professor calls "the every day assignment" where we bring in an "every day" sort of object, do something to change it and take a picture every day. I chose my lovely Guadalupe candle. So far she has been Sharpied, Exacto'd and collaged. I think I will paint her next, and take a hammer to the candle at some point.

    We will be making an animation from the photos at the end of the semester, but I just had to test it out. Here is where she is at today...

    make avatar

    There was a really cool synchronicity that I experienced tonight. The day I cut Guadalupe's body out of the halo glimmer shield that surrounds her (seen in the 3rd slide in the gif above) there was this dude in the metal shop diligently painting some chunks of wood, some of which reminded me of Guadalupe's glimmering halo.

    Tonight, when I entered the metal shop again, I saw this:

    Isn't that Ca-RAZY?!?
    Kindred spirits man. 

    Sunday, January 16, 2011

    Sktech Books From Olden Times

    I've been skimming through some of the few sketch books I kept over the last ten years. Here are some of my favorite doodles...

    Couch Self Portrait (using my reflection from the TV) 2002

    I like my list of priorities on the left. 
    Couch Self Portrait (drawn from reflection in TV screen) 2005
    May Fly (one of my favorite insects)

    Self Portrait taken from Niki's photo at a bus stop on the way to Oaxaca

    Mexico Taxi Cab Ride
    Trax Talk (a conversation I overheard on the ride from Sandy to Downtown SL. Needless to say, this guy was a total douche.)


    Uhuru Squee

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011

    My Unabashed Love for Living

    I am not ashamed to admit that few things bring me more joy than a fresh issue of Martha Stewart Living arriving in the mail. January's issue was a true delight to read from cover to cover, and the Feb issue looks to be the same.

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    I Must Be A Fucking Wizard!

    According to Jill Cooper and, folding a fitted sheet is one of the biggest challenges you will face in life. I mastered it in under 5 minutes. Zinnnnng!