Monday, January 30, 2012

Mt. Tabor Happy Fun Time.

On Saturday, my mother in law surprised us by showing up and watching the kids so we could go out and wander around as adults. We had a pretty good day, and spent part of our time at Mt. Tabor, which was good, because before that, we were bad, and ate a cupcake. So... big hill, with lots of stairs, it was!

I will admit that the damn thing felt like a brick in my belly, and getting up those stairs was not easy, but we love it up there. It is so gorgeous, and the views are fantastic. I only wish that it wasn't such a hazy day, as the pictures I took of said views, turned out pretty faint.

But still, a very good time!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

What I love about winter in Portland

Last night, after a day of running around, I was feeling quite amorous about my city. I don't really know how anyone could not. It is so beautiful here. The sky is magic, and the buildings, with the way they are lit? Holy hell, they are just gorgeous.

I love Portland through all of the seasons, but lately, I have really learned to appreciate winter. There is just something about the sky here, and the show that it puts on. It really does deliver on the drama, and make for an amazing backdrop for living.

I feel so fortunate to be able to witness this on a daily basis; especially after growing up in a place where you could drive over a hill, and on a good day, you could see buildings that were about a mile away.

On a bad day? Nothing.

But every day, regardless of good or bad, it looked as if someone had poured iced tea over the sky, and it just sat there, suspended in a strange layer, about to drench you.

I really don't miss LA. I will always prefer Portland, even with the rain that seems to go on, and on, and on.

Sorry LA Peeps. That's just the way it is. Can you blame me?


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Paleo-Friendly Brunch Quiche

Yes, it's true. It is possible to make crust for quiche that is gluten-free, and very low carb. My whole family loves this damn crust so much! I made it again this morning, and everyone went off about how good it was. What's nice, is that it's a cinch to whip up. SO much easier than conventional pie crust. That's an art.

You don't have to be really that great at anything to make this crust. You really could train a monkey, lemur, or well, any creature with opposable thumbs, to make it.

I'll get to the filling, as well, so you aren't baking just a crust, with no goodness. Don't worry!

Mise en place:

Flat surface, like a large cutting board.
Rolling Pin (I use a marble one, but a wooden one would suffice.)
2 decent-sized strips of parchment, or foil.
2 Medium-sized mixing bowls
1 small bowl for lemon zest
9-inch pie plate. (I used a tin one. A glass one heats differently, and may scorch the almond meal, just... be aware.)
Small amount of olive oil, for pan lubification.

Citrus reamer
Microplane for zesting
Strainer (not to be confused with colander, unless you enjoy your lemon seeds.)
Silicone, or rubber spatula


1 egg
Juice from 1 lemon
1 tbsp Greek Kalamata olive oil
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp granulated garlic
2 tsp rosemary
Zest from 1/2 a lemon
1 bag Trader Joe's Just Almond Meal (I say one bag, because I never measure this. I just add until the consistency is correct, which may vary, depending on the size of your egg and your lemon. Don't you hate it when people give exact measurements for things calling for one of something that is never uniform? I know I do.)

For Filling:

6 eggs
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp granulated garlic
1/3 pound of your favourite sausage
Zest from 1/2 a lemon


Start by zesting your lemon completely into a small bowl. Be sure to only zest to the light yellow portion, to avoid getting any bitter, pithy portions in your mix.

Slice your lemon in half, and ream the juice, over a strainer into the first mixing bowl. Once all the juice has been collected, add the oil, then the egg. Whisk the hell out of the first three ingredients.

Next, add salt, and garlic.

Add baking soda.

Add 1/2 of the zest, and the rosemary.

Once that is incorporated, you are done with your whisk. Switch to a fork at this point, and begin slowly adding the almond meal, until it starts to feel like a solid piece of dough. Scrape the sides of the bowl with your rubber spatula until you no longer have to.

Gather up the dough in your hands. What you want is dough that sticks to itself, but not to you. At all. If it does, it will stick to the parchment, or foil. You will end up with a mess, and you will have to start that part over. So listen up!

Once you have the right consistency, and the dough is formed, and no longer sticky, roll into into a good ball, and set that down on your parchment, or foil.

Set another piece of parchment or foil on top of that, and roll it out to about 1/2 an inch in thickness; doing your best to keep the round shape, since it's going into a round pie plate.

Oil your pie plate! Whee!

If you got the consistency correct, you may need to smooth out any cracks in the sides of the dough with your fingers, but once you have done that, invert the crust onto the pie plate, then remove the paper, or foil, from the top of it.

At this point, you may need to do some slight finger shaping to get it to fit the pan. That's fine. Just do it evenly, and remember it doesn't have to be absolutely perfect.

Now that the crust is in place, move on to the filling. Super easy!

Break 6 eggs into your other mixing bowl
Add lemon Zest, garlic, and salt
Whisk like hell.

Pour mixture into crust, then take your 1/3 pound of sausage, and break it into small pieces, adding it evenly throughout the mixture. Bake at 325 for 35-40 minutes, checking once at 20 minutes.

Serves 4-6.



Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Well, see that right there? That's one great big huge horizon, idn'it?

Much, much, much going on in the land of beans. I am declaring this "Winter Term", and considering it (self-administered-homeschool) college, all over again. I will be eating books. Many things in my life are budding from little sprouts, and I need to tend that garden, and feed it with instructions on how to do this.

I have a feeling it will be a good time, and nothing but good can come of it, since I seem to have manifested many potential amazements that have yet to reach fruition. But when they do? Look out! The sky? What sky? It's past the sky!

First, and foremost, will be a kickstart to good health. The entire family needs an overhaul here. We seem to have fallen into a rut of what most would consider a very healthy diet, but only by conventional standards. For instance, we don't eat fast food. We don't eat junk, but we do eat rice, potatoes, and probably too much fruit. So, it's time to do something about the propane flares on the metabolism, and move things down to a more even keel.

This is going to require a glut of research on my part, since you don't just blindly fall into the Paleo lifestyle. We are also going full boar, and removing all spiking carbs, which seem to still be somewhat present in the paleo diet. I think it will help us all a great deal. I am worried about my kids, and the traps they may fall into health-wise, as well as socially. It is not fun to be a fat kid. I have plenty of experience there.

But if that is their fate, I will shower them with compassion, because it's true. It is not fun to be a fat kid.

Personally, I have had considerable trouble in the past year, trying to get a handle on things, without a whole lot of success. I am in fantastic shape, and I feel really good, but I am still not losing weight in the way that I had hoped I would. There is a possibility that I have some insulin resistance going on, and we are going to be testing for that, and addressing it soon.

And the genes are just... like cards stacked up against me. I come from a long line of hardy individuals. I... don't know. I'll get it figured out, and I will do it under close supervision by my doctor, who may actually help me keep my health and immune system this time.

The other thing I will be focusing on, is nurturing my itsy bitsy spider of a business. This, I'm realizing, is going to take time, and the main problem I have had here is marketing. I will figure this out, and I will turn a profit at some point, but it's just going to take a lot of time and energy. I am glad I have a lot of supportive friends and family in my corner here. This shit 'aint for wimps, let me tell you!

And... lastly, but certainly not least, I will continue to focus on my oldest child's education. She is special needs, as some of you may know. Her diagnosis is: "Mixed expressive/receptive disorder", most likely caused by a head injury sustained when she was a toddler. Basically, she has trouble communicating, as well as learning what she needs to learn. We placed her in speech therapy over the summer, and she has been set up on an individual education plan for a while now, and it's been going well. She is retaining things, and it is looking positive.

It is also very nice to see new blood in the special ed department at the school; teachers with a passion for helping students understand, and learn.

But it takes a lot of our time, love, and focus, for sure. What I would like to see, even more than things learned, is just an understanding and love for learning, that she doesn't quite seem to have down-pat yet. So... yeah. Lots to focus on and nurture here.

And in general: lots to dream, lots to learn, lots to forge into reality.

2012 is going to be another amazing year. I can already feel it!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Resolution: Be a better bean. Or a butterbean. We'll see how it goes.

...but either way? Someone will keep loving me.

I am not too big on making resolutions, although I will say that I would like to work on a few things in the coming year.

1. I will play safe lawn darts in the coming year. This is paramount, because dangerous lawn darts are dangerous. I guess this would encapsulate well? Lawn darts in their conventional sense.


2. I will be nicer to people.

Sometimes? I can be a bitch. I am working on it. My husband is sitting here, reading over my shoulder, trying to interject things... like: "I should be nicer to my husband, who is the nicest person in the world."

To me. He is. It's true. And he's hot, too. But that's just for me. Don't you be gettin' any ideas, you other bitches.

3. I will fuck my husband's brains out. At least 4 times a day.

This is making him happy. I never said I keep all of my resolutions. But Mr. can expect a visit from me sometime... at work... for copy room antics. At least once. While he still works there. Probably this year.

And... just to keep count, I will carry a card in my pocket, where I draw hash marks.

4. I will work out more. I work out a lot now, but I will work out more. Being fat is lame. But please note here that I will not make this my absolute top priority, because in the past, that has lead to eating disorders, and unhealthy expectations re: working out, followed by not so great results, like hurting myself, because I would forgo things like sleeping, just so I could work out. So yeah.

Lawn darts! Fuckin' safe lawn darts are where it's at.

5. I will be more open to starting new friendships. Because there are never too many. People are pretty cool. They are my species. I should be around even more of them.

If I fail on all five of these? I will suddenly poof and become a butterbean. Someone will still like me, I'm sure.