I’ve made this recipe a few times many times, with homemade tomato sauce, but I’ve never bought red cabbages before. I swear one of the happiest moment of my other day was the purple red cabbage juice that was produced by boiling the cabbages together. LOVE! Not great photographs, and not having light or a great table to work / photograph on. I DO two things from my single days, which just is a moment to be real about how the compromising works - I miss the SUN streaming over my Boos kitchen work table to create amazing photo sessions of my food. I probably would have kept Purple Jar out longer as decoration … Intentions intentions! Get that sun in our kitchen and pull out my Boos table. It WILL happen. Meanwhile, there is design potential in absolutely everything, and I can’t get over how gorgeous the purples are.
The recipe’s stuffing is sautéed onion and Swiss chard, soft red currants, spinach, apricots, pine nuts, ground turkey (optional), brown rice, egg, garlic and chopped cabbage from the very inside of the cooked cabbages. Lots of black and white pepper, a few chili flakes. Food for the week AND design inspiration.
I have recipe for White Miso Soup sitting in my collection from when I first moved to NYC and went to Angelika’s Kitchen for the first time and found their published recipe …. Today is the first time making anything with White Miso and I am in heaven. A long over due heart intention, truly. This dish also has (homemade) chicken broth, garlic and green scallions, adding to the miso broth, chicken, cabbage and using Mandolin slicer for the daikon radish … I love the the flavors, each one stands on its own, and the wispy look of the sliced circular radish … Also, it doesn’t take that long, which is a sneaky way for me to stay on track with to do lists, feeding us good healthy foods, and focusing into The Moment, this very grateful moment ...
I feel a tiny bit amused that it took me as many decades to find my dream granola recipe as it did my perfect-for-me-mate.Decades of trying, testing, dating other granola recipes, here I am. It’s important to test out small dreams before you go for the big ones … Thanks to Smitten Kitchen.com I completely in love with this Granola Bark. Irony is that she got the recipe from Tartine Bakery here in SF …. Will I get sick of this granola just like I have others before me? It’s a mystery of an answer, but I believe this one is just a keeper.
It’s made of oats and the usual granola pickings, but for me the main thing is NO BANANAS.. The two key ingredients that put it over the top for me is adding egg white to make it crispy and Chia seeds. Also it’s super easy to double the recipe and have a fabulously long supply of breakfast and snacking food … Great with Almond milk, regular milk, greek yogurt … A small piece of very tangible inspiration. <3
I wish I had taken this photo …. G has so many amazing natural gifts, sharing his picture … These days we are eating fiber from varied brown/red rice, our 14-veggie puree soup, tofu Penang curry, Thai green curry with chicken and veggies …. Sometimes all four. And the amazing part is, I had a memory from years ago saying to my parents that I would really love to start cooking more Asian foods …. So here is that long-ago-Intention coming to fruition …
As G and I continue to create, carve out, design our lives according to value and meaning, we are intentionally creating spaces for dinner parties. There can never be enough love to share and so for this large marker of his birthday, my younger boyfriend, I held my ground in creating two dinner parties for him. Hold onto that sacred space for us both, especially for him. Just a tiny bit managerial I asked everyone to produce love poems for him. This is mostly the same group of guy friends (and spouses) who are watching the super bowl with him now. :) In any case, I live with the super clear understanding that I only have this moment, aware of time and clocks, which maybe explains my energy sometimes … I don’t want to waste any moments. And honoring this guy in my life has to be done this birthday year, and the year past, these strange wayward soupy months, where feelings and the feeling of them seem to be the main healthy project.
It was suggested that the art of intimate dinner parties is totally lost especially in a region where going out to eat is so fabulous. Dinner parties is something I learned from my parents, one of my favorite memories of growing up with them, endless dinners like this, bringing all kinds of people together, holding hands to sing our Italian prayer Bon Appetito, having Mom roll out dinners far grander than I ever could, and lighting and Stimmung makes it all kind of sacred …
Our menu was sort of simple, just a lot of planning …. Beef Rouladen stuffed with mustard, slices of onion, pickle and homemade bacon bits. GRAVY!, even with GF flour, amazingly. Always Mom’s favorite Birthday meal, I felt it was highly festive and time for me to learn how to make them. Brussel sprouts sautéed in olive oil, steamed in some water and just with salt pepper. By the 2nd dinner I figured out the potatoes, kind of scalloped / baked with onions and cheese, and even GF white sauce! Chocolate (also gluten free) individual tart crusts filled with Crème Brûlée and then that sugar coating … And homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream.
I managed to finish scarf #7 for a dear friend who also had her birthday … The magic is in throwing loved ones together and just seeing what happens … How else do we form connection unless we actually show up?
Everyone who showed up for G and slathered him with love, singing, humor, videos, phone calls, texts, amazing cards and letters … what can I say. Both our hearts are full. I love nothing more than seeing / sensing G’s happiness, but with this huge outpouring of love, my heart is full too.
And we aren’t done yet … One more weekend of two more events for his birthday month. Comments of “God when will it ever end” and “You love it” … and deeper moments of “God, let’s do this MORE, it’s sweeter than sweet.” Thank you one friend for just saying point blank, “Invite me to more dinner parties!”, indicating ja, this is something worth forming …
So, food and friends and family … this is my family tradition I know G and I are going to bring into our lives. We are so excited and grateful.
As usual the most beautiful things happen in life because of a mistake. I set out to finally make the V8 juice that G and I have been wanting in our lives, a cooked variation of my mother’s recipe now that I got the old fashioned veggie strainer for Christmas. Also to get past G’s ever present Chron's disease … Hilarious to learn from various family members that the main ingredient of their recipe is tomato which my PA family members had by the buckets full from their gardens. I still haven’t figured out tomato gardening with our weird light angle in our garden or the fog, even if they were in season, and in any case we wanted more than the base recipe of tomato, celery, green onion, carrot, onions, so I bumped it up to 12 veggies, organic to boot, more dark greens (kale spinach Swiss chard) cooked them down adding very little water, no broth, and the flavor is amazing …. So were the colors. Yellow beets = happiness indeed.
So our V8 juice turned into Veggie Soup, aka, adult baby food.
And then G spontaneously tried it with sautéed beef and onions, and just sort of calmly said how delicious it was, but really, it was an understatement. It a power vegetable sauce that holds limitless combinations - ginger, garlic? - and could be the bed-base for so many things. Quinoa cakes, almost any meat and it stands alone beautifully. And it’s really easy to make.
Just like designing really … You have a thing and you work with it work with it and it’s just kind of blah, until there is a moment when you know you really nailed the design. I love how this happens probably in all areas of life, not just design … It’s probably what is meant when I hear ‘trust in the divine order of things’ that everything is constantly forming and that beauty always arrives … But of course we have to actively guide it and participate and ask for it … xoox
For anyone who loves gingerbread as much as I do, but doesn’t happen to have time or patience to deal with cookie cutters, which normally I do, this is such an amazing winter Christmas dessert solution. The flavor is just as satisfying and delightful as a Gingerbread cookie, but it’s a cake. Furthermore, it’s gluten free. It called for Guinness Stout beer but I used white wine instead, to heat with the molasses, and to make it gluten free. Substituting in red mill GF flour was a non issue, maybe the cake is more dense? but the flavor is gorgeous and it is gorgeous …. So happy to be figuring out how to make emotionally satisfying desserts with new ingredient restraints. It’s all kind of a forced Meditation, this baking thing: hands on, it’s physical, getting out of your head, making something with your hands, and always something to design into, too, for me … Shapes, colors and patterns to work off of. As I take note …. :) xo
Well Baby’s, my Homemade V8 Juice turned into a 8 Veggie Non-Broth-Pureed Soup. The old fashioned strainer which I got for Christmas is now officially our applesauce maker. Nice save there. I still love my gift. It was G in my little cooking team who suggested the presence of a red flag before I did, “this is an experiment right?”, trying to mitigate my expectations. My mother’s, American Grandmother’s and American Aunt’s recipe, I stopped to get my Aunt and Uncle’s advice. With this many veggies and not enough tomatoes, puree it and add a bit of sugar, and so I did and it’s AMAZING. G and I decided to eat it as soup, and not bother straining … Another sneaky way of both of us getting veggies, fiber and minerals … Does it have to be brown green?? I’ll have to work on the look of this …. Meanwhile so happy about this dish and the creative collective solutions!
So I’m in this household of Heart Lovers, even the men, by association to us women heart lovers, and I went into this new Cranberry Tart recipe with the full intention of creating a powdered sugar pattern on the top with a complicated intricate snowflake kind of a pattern, which I was going to shape out of parchment paper. Something To Impress. It’s Thanksgiving, after all. Knowing that my mother can kick things like this out with zero effort. While it is true in my defense, I’ve been prepping so many other things, that I waited until the last minute to get to the pattern, and felt deflated in the moment …. G, my dream boyfriend, comes to the rescue with the suggestion of this Heart shape. And it was all him, then, who pulled the final touches together, not me. I wanted to record his sing-songie Aww-noises that he made, because they are sounds from him that make my world 101% okay, need nothing else. It’s a lovely story of how we can’t do it all alone, we just can’t. And to find people who just WILL help you solve a thing, big or small, like this cake design …. Am grateful more than I can say, as the two of us plod along with our Intentions lists …
The gluten free crust of roasted hazelnuts and butter and rice flour is AMAZING, the cranberry orange curd is AMAZING and even the cranberries that get strained out of the recipe can be used as part of the recipe, optionally … The color didn’t get nearly as red as the NY Times recipe advertised, but every part of this cake was beautiful flavors …. Happy belated Thanksgiving …. :)
On this day today when it’s just AMAZING to be alive, I found another living metaphor … Somehow my friends suddenly want this recipe from a post I did two years ago of this Thai Coconut soup recipe. I fell in love with this soup flavor eons ago but it wasn’t until 2 years ago that I did yet another recipe search and found The One. This is the perfect recipe - even if I DO take out the fish sauce, and now also the mushrooms to work with G’s pallet. It’s a little inflated, this metaphor, but just like I found this amazing life parter after so so so so so so much searching, I found THIS Thai coconut soup recipe, and …. I feel the interview process for My Dream Design job is very similar. Why NOW, do my friends suddenly want this recipe when I posted the thing two years ago. I know when MDDJ arrives, I will also ask Why NOW, when I wanted it sooner ...
One of my assignments right now from S. - which I am completely blowing off today - is to design something along with my blog post. Oh, just a few more days of blowing this brilliant idea off. She’s making me up my game. Dammit. This question, of why now, is something I could illustrate somehow … It’s an example of my head vs heart. Things don’t make sense, things are not linear. I WANTED to have that sharing recipe experience two years ago. Why now? It’s truly bizarre to me.
The answer is because I had to learn a zillion things first. A zillion valuable things that kept me busy, because to read about them or to know them is one thing, but to practice them is a whole other ball of wax ... A zillion things to learn that I will have to write about and design into, because I will never forget them. You can’t learn about Surrendering when your life is perfect. You can’t learn about letting go when you are succeeding at controlling all the life-moves. You can’t learn about feelings and having all of them and feeling all of them and letting them move through you. And then adding on a boyfriend who has his feelings. There is a spiritual teaching lesson in everything … Every single thing.
Today, I have a tiny fan club over this recipe, and the sharing makes me happy.
Today, I have a boyfriend who is feeding our house with the soundtrack of Ratatouille, as a way for ME to connect to my heart, since I was being grumpy and reactive, an impromptu gift from him, because this music is not his heart-music …
Today, I have the request from my Mom-In-Love (G’s Mom) for me to make this for our upcoming Thanksgiving feast …
Apparently the assignment on my life adventure, was to pick up all these heart nuggets first … I know that along the way heal myself, not because I was broken, but I needed to really know who I am, what I can be …
I have no idea how to end this post …. Something about the value about always believing that life can get better. By which I don’t mean perfect or successful. I mean the things that you really value, like amazing soups, or lovely reconnection with a boyfriend through music (now cello floating in the background), like sunlight in a MORE beautiful office that I never thought I would have, like MORE love in my life in the shape of G’s parents, family … And the tiny tiny steps every day that it takes to keep directing your life towards the positives, when plenty of negatives could have taken me down … Which is why it’s almost life changing to find that ONE gorgeous thing to photograph every day because after 4 years of that you actually have 4,000 photos of something gorgeous. This is how you build that life of beauty … And one that keep spreading … All of which I realize I learned from my parents, when I think of the life they built together and how their love spread … But that will have to be a whole different post … And shoot, I’ll probably have to design into that one … :)
A long time favorite cold weather soup because if its simple flavors: butternut squash, leeks, white pepper, garlic, tons of ginger, cut into thin strips, and veggie broth. Adding grated ginger at the end of simmering is an invitation towards another kind of true love.
Gardening in this sandy earth is proving more difficult than I expected, so I am, we are, loving every little piece of veggie that comes out of our little space. Color wise, I’m in love with these Black-Green tomatoes and flavor wise the verdict is still out … The first taste, G claimed Amazement, and I claimed A Little Mealy, and the 2nd day he claimed Meh, and I thought it was Lovely. Maybe there are just days when the look of the thing does actually win. In any case it’s all about the learning experience … So I love this trajectory too … xoox
Chanelling my mother! I don't know what that means exactly, but I love being a minister's daughter and using language like this. :) The Nutella cake from Nigella Lawson's How to be a domestic goddess is one of my favorites and I can't make it anymore if I want G to enjoy it with me, so finally, I found a gluten free version of the crust and filling so amazing that you would never know it's gluten free. This is exciting. :)
The Spinach Cheese Balls are a long time family favorite and the cupcakes from Nigella Lawson's "How to be a domestic goddess" somehow were not all that goddessie. So not a recipe I would use again, although SO fun to make. A quadruple recipe of Beef Chili was amazing ...
It was all meant with Love of course, and these foods became a behavioral learning curve into and within a relationship. I suppose I always knew that I don't play the role of wifie very well - which is not meant to criticize those who survived the 1950's and the strict gender roles - but this food was me and G figuring out how I can support him to throw a huge party. My role as dinner party hostess I can do "better", but with that I felt like I could control everything. Daunting is this new kind of party where I knew two weeks ago, control was not something I was going to have. And isn't that just the thing that always pisses me off the most. Lack of absolute control AND my introvert self just caved, and it is in fact true to learn in action, he has more extrovert in him, especially when it comes to his favorite hobby, which is not mine. This is where the rubber hits the road when we talk about 'fake dealbreakers' ... Me sort of being there for him doing one of his favorite things ... What I value in him is not his ability to throw 9 hour parties (which have to do with his favorite hobby), although I see how it is a kind of Joy he is creating for adults, when adults already have a hard enough time playing. Ultimately this is me working on myself and how to expand myself ... I'm in new terrain and I could have chosen to stay the same and safe from growing pains. This day was filled with so many ingredients, but the main one is my/our sense of imperfection ... Almost like a vulnerability hangover, - as Brene Brown calls them ... To put ourselves out there in different ways wholeheartedly and kind of totally failing - me, not him ... And having that be just okay, trusting that deep down the attempt to be amazing was seen and understood more than the things that could have been better. Just another lesson on earth school .... I suppose I am grateful. But I still think I prefer being perfect. Sigh.
OMG sex and cabbage rolls. What can I say, cuties ... make sex and food your base. There are variations on this, of turning all of life into one big sensual moment. Follow the feel goods I've been advised from my Spiritual Guide, which I thought was what I do, but I can crash it too. How magnificently we turn our bodies down. And then there is Love, which is more complicated than even the most delicious of easy-energy-fitting-people-connections ... Love involves communicating and voicing needs and not always in the most cute and adorable ways. Grrr. It's not like I stop to read Thick's lessons in the middle of all my exploding feelings around needing down time and creative time and at the same time having a huge to do list before my week sucks me in ... Cooking is always the best way to be in the moment ... Slow me down.
What I love about this recipe is the dried red currants, apricots, pine nuts, parsley from the garden. I'll call it Currant Apricot Cabbage Rolls instead of rice stuffed cabbage rolls because there is so little rice compared to everything else. I love the Swiss chard, the Spinach and the center of the cabbages chopped into little pieces to add to the stuffing. I added red hot pepper flakes, white pepper because G is trying to up my tolerance for hot, a taste bud goal that's easy for me to avoid. I love adding ground turkey to the tomato sauce cooked from scratch. I love how translucent they look as a roll ...
So this is my ode to the things that grounded, inspired and grew me today. xoox
Recreating that domestic bliss I grew up with .... House chores, being present at home ... Cooking a new favorite that can work with his crohn's and celiac, a dish that is healthy and has amazing flavor - sautéed chicken meatballs with spinach and tomatoes over spaghetti squash ... Also a huge emotional find, two kinds of real German bread (for me) in our grocery store and the bakery in Mountain View near us ... Very similar to the box that Ikea sells of Swatzbrot with very similar few ingredients ... Loving the view of the dense fog from the 2nd floor, it feels like an East Coast winter, cozy and loving life at home with G ... xo
What is it about men and imitating Julia Child's voice? G and I are starting to watch all Julia Child shows we can get our hands on, and tonight I spent listening to G recreate her sing-song beautiful voice, while he made this ice cream ... Strangely, a memory of my father too, imitating Julia Child ... The latest ice cream of ours is a Spicy Chocolate Ice Cream. Like a frozen mousse with raw eggs, amazing chocolate the usual creams, plus cayenne pepper and cinnamon .... This and watching G be happy and the infusion of taking things lighter with a pleasure factor, I think it's one of life's perfect happinesses ...
Diana, the sheltered warrior princess who becomes and is Wonder Woman, is introduced to ice cream for the first time as an adult and her response is:: "It's wonderful" (she melts, and turns to the vendor to convey) :: "You should be very proud ... "
The most perfect moment, words, feelings for ice cream ... :) I'm adding this to fit the theme ...
A beautiful red ice cream maker as part of my birthday month, our first mint chocolate ice cream made by G, for us. This gift even more amazing because G didn't grow up with Northern German love of the color red ... Although Swedes love it too, so I'm not sure why his Mor Mor didn't connect to red-love ... Anyway. Doesn't joy and happiness start with food? The answer is yes, silly. Remembering an old family friend who for years juiced her diet in an attempt to avoid surgery on a cyst on her spine ... It worked for the longest time and then surgery was still needed, and she did heal from this. After it all, she came to the deep rooted feeling (!) that a pleasure factor with food is so valuable, and so she stopped the juicing regiment and let in desserts and fish soup (pleasure for her). I remember being relieved. I'm not totally ignoring health and science here, just being careful to push back against rigid rules around diet ... This one sits well with me, Grossmutti's phrase alles in Maßen, everything in moderation ... This one is amazing for the senses ... We recommend eating it by candlelight.