Having a little something to snack on when the urge hits can really help you stay on track when you are trying to eat healthier. I am the first to admit that I get tempted by the chips and cookies hiding in my pantry when I get stressed or bored. I’ve found that it really helps to keep a little stash of these energy bites in my refrigerator for an afternoon or post-workout snack. They couldn’t be easier to make and you can keep them in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. And unlike the candy bar they are inspired by they are vegan and contain no added sugars or preservatives so there is no guilt involved!
In my vast collection of books this one is the most special. It’s special for many reasons, it’s a Pulitzer prize winner, it’s a first edition and it’s signed by Walker Percy. But it’s really special because it was the start of me and my husband. We met working in a bookstore over 18 years ago and a group of us were discussing our favorite books and I picked this one. My husband perked right up and chimed in that it was one of his favorites too. He says it was that statement that got him intrigued enough to learn more about me.
Roasting a chicken has never been my strong suit. I’ve always felt they were a little rubbery, dried out or flavorless when I tried to make one. I’ve made a lot of roasted chickens, I’ve air chilled the chickens for 24 hours before roasting them, slathered butter underneath the skin, cooked them in a covered pot and they all turned out okay but I’ve always felt that all that effort really didn’t pay off in the end. I recently discovered the easiest and best method for roasting a chicken ever. The only catch like most things in life is that it takes time.
I spent five hours in my car yesterday chauffeuring my son and a group of pre-teens around the city. When I wasn’t driving, I was sitting in a parking lot. I don’t mind really but there are days when I ask myself how much longer do I have to dedicate most of my free time to taking care of others? I know I only have a few more years when my son will need me and I’m happy to do things that give him pleasure but sometimes I wish I had more time for myself to do the things that make me happy.
Here we are at lucky number 13! I don’t have any great story about this one, it’s just something that I love. It’s actually a candle but the nice thing is that once it’s been used you can store little bits and pieces in it. I think it’s becoming pretty obvious that I have a soft spot for ceramics that feature animals, I just can’t get enough! Do you have something that you like to collect or find yourself gravitating towards over and over again?
Our weather here has been all over the place lately. Last week we had hail storms on Sunday and temperatures in the 90′s by Thursday. It’s tough to figure out what the day will bring and while it isn’t summer yet I thought I’d share one of my favorite dishes for when it’s too hot in the kitchen to contemplate cooking. You do need to boil some water to cook the soba but other than that everything is oven free. This is a great dish to make ahead and it keeps great in the fridge for 3-4 days so don’t be worried about the leftovers.
I promised you a recipe that used the pickled onions I posted earlier in the week and here it is. The onions add the perfect bite and contrast to the delicate flavors of the rest of the ingredients. There is nothing like the first vegetables of spring. Bright, fresh and slightly fragile they just scream to be treated gently and respectfully. This salad is a tribute to all those lovely veggies that are just now showing up at your local farmers market. Here in Portland the spring comes a little later than most other places and it’s a sign that we are almost through our bad weather.
I hesitated including this painting in my list since I have no idea who the artist is or anything about it’s origin. It’s just a painting that I came across and liked so I purchased it. Not everything has to have deep emotional meaning and history behind it to make it something we’ll treasure. I always wonder what the story is behind all the figures in the painting and it makes me think of what we all look like when we are out and about, sharing the same space with those around us yet still isolated and alone.
I never thought I was a pickle person. I always had the vision of those sweet bread and butter pickles in my head and they just aren’t my thing. I’ve come to learn that I love pickles, they add such a nice sweet, tart punch to a simple salad or sandwich. I’m just very particular about the type of pickle I like, not too sweet with a nice bite of vinegar. I’ve gotten in the habit of keeping a jar of refrigerator pickles in the fridge so I can snack on them or toss them into my favorite dishes. They can keep indefinitely in the fridge and you can use the brine to pickle some of your other favorite vegetables like carrots, or green beans.
There are days when I question if parenthood is worth it. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my son but we have entered the teen years and suddenly he is no longer my sweet little boy but a petulant and irritated teenager. He is driving me crazy. It is my lucky week since he is going away with his classroom for a few days to camp on the Oregon coast. That leaves some time for me and my husband to plan a quick getaway for a few days. When our lives are centered and structured around our children it can be hard to connect and make time for each other but we try to make an effort to have time for just the two of us.