not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Recap: Food with Friends

Food food food and more food with friends friends and more friends. Sunday night brad and Rochelle made mom and me an outstanding pork dinner.....pork loin with roasted squash and potatoes, with a delicious au jus....washed down with champagne, obviously, and then topped off with homemade caramels dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt. Boom.

Monday night Jim and Eileen bourgeois took mom and me to Red Sky Cafe for some kickass mexican, and all agreed that I won-- the shrimp and scallop fajitas were unbelievably delicious! It was great to hang out and catch up, and to enjoy some bubbles and beer along with chips and salsa.

Tuesday afternoon my friend and fellow yogi Becky took me to Jon and Pattys for a delicious veggie burger (really though, there constantly-changing veggie burger is outta this world!). And then Tuesday night I was fed by the culinary extraordinaire, Bill Young, and his beautiful sous chef (and girlfriend) Megan. He did a roasted pork loin stuffed with cornbread, roasted garlic, sage, and apples. He served the pork with roasted fennel and parsnips, and with homemade mashed potatoes that had fresh horseradish root grated into it!! Boom friggin' Boom. And the surprising treat was the gravy. I hate gravy....actually, I loathe gravy. It makes me gag. I don't know why, but I've just always despised it. Anywho, I'm finally starting to come around a bit, and the gravy that bill made is officially responsible for making me a gravy-loving convert. John and Bridget were also there to enjoy the delicious meal, and we sipped on cider and bourbon, Chablis, and an aged stout.

Last night ( Wednesday ) was a super fun evening of yoga, followed up by brews and bar food at the tried and true Tilton with the whole crew....Nicole, pammy, Erika, paisley, Brandon, and Jason.

Tonight is crossfit, dinner with my darling Rob, and then I'm giving a massage. The evening will end at the Dead Dog Saloon for some chips and beer. Damn, I'm gonna miss this town, these friends, and all this good food when I'm gone.... Thanks to everyone who has been feeding me this week!!!

Recap: Ray LaMontagne and Montclair

G and Me @ Wellmont.
The tiny stage.
Kara Kim and Me...College Roomies.
My Care Basket.
Lunch at Porto Alegre was outstanding.
I have been a bit behind with all of my rambling due to my scrambling to get ready. So, going back in time....

My bestest friend from college, Gina, bought us tickets to see Ray LaMontagne ACOUSTIC show @ the beautiful and intimate Wellmont Theatre in Montclair. Of course we ate at our favorite, Greek Delights, before the show. Greek Delights is the best, most authentic Greek food that you will get on the east coast, the only problem is that you smell like you bathed in garlic after eating here. The Wellmont is a suppppper old, very tiny unfortunately for those around us, they too got to enjoy a bit of Greek Delights.....

The show was outstanding. Rays piercing, raspy, wholesome voice cut right through you and down to your very soul. After the concert we headed to Just Jakes to meet up with my old college roomies Kara and Kim. We laughed over all the fun we had in college, and reminisced over all of the great dinner parties and festivities that I was always throwing down.

Later that night when we got back to Gina's, she had put together a basket for me of towels, soaps, and such. She is truly the most thoughtful person I know. The next morning we sipped coffee and enjoyed an early lunch at a new Brazilian bistro in town. A short, but much needed trip to my old stomping grounds...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Unconquerable Soul.

I have one week left at home...I'm scrambling to make preparations for things at home that will need attending to during absence, I'm scrambling to figure out what exactly I'll need for the upcoming 6 months, and I'm scrambling to love and hug and enjoy the company of all of the people that I'll be missing through half the year. I've never been anxious before a trip in the past, but this trip has my stomach turning in knots. I guess that I've put a bit of pressure on first big trip in over a year and a half, my first trip without my Dad at home to talk to, and leaving my Mom at home all alone. I'm trying to travel without expectations, because that's the only way TO travel, but there's definitely a part of me that is hoping that the travel will help take away some of the sadness I feel, and that the adventure will be enough to fill up the chunks of me that are missing. Anywho, anytime I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed I like to read "Invictus" by William Earnest Henley. It makes me feel okay. I'm the captain of my soul, let this journey begin.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
for my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance,
My head is bloodied, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishment the scroll.
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.
"Invictus" - William Ernest Henley

Monday, November 26, 2012

Greens on the Go.

Yoga, massage, CrossFit, yoga....running around, in my car, outta my car, back in my car. Oye. It's great, but it leaves little time for eating properly, and healthy. I usually have a hard boiled egg in my glove compartment at all times so I can fuel up in between jobs and workouts, but lately that hasn't been enough. This morning I whipped myself up some antioxidant packed sautéed greens, and protein filled white beans.

  • Small head of kale (rinsed, de-ribbed and chopped)
  • Small head of Swiss chard (rinsed and chopped)
  • One can of cannellini beans, rinsed
  • One clove of garlic, grated
  • One small chunk of fresh ginger, grated
  • Cumin
  • Salt
  • Coconut oil

This whole recipe, prep and cook and all, only takes about 5 minutes. So while my coffee was percolating I whipped it together. It can be enjoyed warm or cold and is super delicious.

Put coconut oil in a skillet. Add ginger and garlic and cook for a minute before adding in the greens. Sprinkle with cumin and salt and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the beans to the mixture, toss and then cook for another minute. Boom. Brunch/lunch/snack of champions!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Power Cleans...then Party Time.

I joined in on the Girls WOD at Living Well CrossFit this morning, which is a weekly "girls only" event. It's followed up by brunch at Bonefish, which I won't lie, was the inspiration for me to get my butt there! We ran and did hand stand push-ups, along with cleans (power, hang and squat) and some great movement workouts. It was super fun to workout with some of my favorite ladies, and it was even more fun to enjoy brunch with them after!!! Endless mimosas and brunch for $19??? Yes please!!!!!! We drank and drank and laughed and picked oracle cards. A lovey Sunday indeed.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

T-Day Top Secret Recipes

We have been surrounded by family and friends constantly for the past 3 years, so this Thanksgiving when my Mom asked me what I wanted to do, I replied "Nothing. You and Me, I want to cook, and I want to be at our house". So...that's what we did. I made a dish that was inspired by a meal that my friend Emily and I had at SALT in Boulder, Colorado...but the recipe is 100% original. 

Roast Duck Breast over Goat Cheese Lentils 
with a Blueberry Vinegar reduction and Creamy Kale. (P)

Blueberry Apple Cider Vinegar Reduction: (P, V, VG)

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1/2 pint of blueberrys
  • fresh sage, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary...two sprigs each.

When you reduce vinegars, you get rid of a lot of the acidity and you heighten the reduced vinegars are great on everything from salads, to fruit, cheeses, meats, and even ice cream! I usually do balsamic reductions, but I felt that apple cider vinegar would be the best fit for the Mallard duck breasts. I infused the vinegar with fresh herbs, which simply means that I added a bit of fresh sage, thyme and rosemary to the pot. You cook the vinegar down over a medium heat for about 30minutes or so (you want it to reduce to less than half). I also added a half pint of blueberries to the mixture, and the end result was a bright purple reduction that was out of this world. Be sure to remove the herbs from the pot before serving. 


Creamy Goat Cheese Lentils: (VG)

  • 1 small log of goat cheese
  • 1 cup French Lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 clove
  • vegetable broth

Cook the lentils as you would....and if you're new to lentils, don't be intimidated. Simple rinse them and then put them in a skillet and cover them with water and bring to a mid-high to high heat. In about 5minutes you will have pre-cooked the lentils and the water will be gone. Add to the skillet the bay leaf, clove of garlic (whole, unchopped!), and the clove. Cover the lentils again, with vegetable broth, and bring back to med-high heat so it's simmering for about 25minutes. Depending upon how creamy you'd like the lentils you'll use anywhere from 1/2 the log to the full log of cheese. Simple crumble it over the warm lentils and it will start to melt into them. 


Creamy Kale : (VG, P)

  • 1 very large head of Kale
  • salt and pepper
  • nutmeg
  • heavy cream (1/2cup to 1 1/2 cup)

First you'll de-rib the kale (simply pulling the greens off the dense bitter ribs of the kale). Wash it and then bring a pot of salted water to a boil, a ROLLING boil. You blanch the kale first, so a few minutes in the pot in the boiling water. Then drain it and in a skillet put your blanched kale and heavy cream and let it cook down for about 15minutes over med-high heat as the cream starts to thicken. I only used half a cup of heavy cream but if you want really creamy kale then obviously just add more! Season with a touch of salt and pepper (you really wont need much salt since you blanched the kale in salted water) and a generous sprinkling of *NUTMEG* <<< it sounds weird, but it's the finishing touch for sure. **This can be PALEO if you use coconut milk**


Roast Duck:

  • duck breast (we used Mallard)
  • salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Season with a touch of salt and pepp. Sear the duck breast on each side in a hot skillet...this seals in the juices. You only sear it for about two minutes or so on each side, so don't walk away from the stove. To finish off the duck put it in a pan in the oven for about 8minutes. Boom. LET IT REST for at least 5 minutes and then thinly slice it on an angle. 

This is thanksgiving recipe is PALEO if you leave out the lentils and cook the kale with coconut milk instead of heavy creamy*. This would be just as delicious if served over the creamed kale and was topped with the reduction.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Yesterday's, TONIGHT.

I'm super excited to be playing music at Yesterday's tonight, and also excited that they spelled my name properly!! WOOHOOO!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

HAM on Thanksgiving...

This will be my first Thanksgiving without my Dad. I miss the shit outta him. I think of him all day, every day...when I'm happy, sad, busy, tired... -- always. And as sad as I am today, wishing that he was here, that sadness is trumped by overwhelming gratitude. You know that feeling, like when you're throat tightens and your heart feels like it's taking up your whole chest? It's truly overwhelming. I've cried a few times today, but the tears were because I just feel so grateful that the energy had to move somewhere, somehow. My life has been so bountiful, and every day I encounter and experience more beautiful moments than I can count. I have the most outstanding, fucking powerful and amazing friends and I'm not sure what I did to deserve them, but I thank the universe for them every day. Hugging them and loving them, telling them how much I appreciate them - it still doesn't seem to do justice to the love and respect that I hold in my heart for them. So THANK YOU to everyone that lifts me've had a heavy load to help me carry this year with the loss of my Dad, and I couldn't have done it without you all. 

I'm grateful for Brookie and Lorraine, for our adventures and our friendship. I'm grateful for nights at the Dead Dog with Johnny DiGenni, and taco nights with Bill and Megan. I'm grateful for YOGA: for my practice, for my ability to teach and share, to the ZEN DEN which has become a home for me and has created a beautiful family for me, and I am grateful for Ari Green for loving me and believing in me, even on days when I didn't love or believe in myself. I'm grateful for Adam Green and his goofy text messages and emojicons, and his constant stoke. I'm grateful for my friend Rob, and his love and enthusiasm for my kitchen creations. I'm grateful for Meg McD and her pure love. I'm grateful for fucking Twilight, cause I love that shit: the books, the soundtracks, the movies. It's an odd addiction, which can't quite be explained, but goddamn it's good. I'm grateful for my Colorado adventures with my beautiful Coloradians Kelsea, Ryan and Emily. I'm grateful for my spiritual family in Encinitas: Gray, Breezie, Jak, Ev, Rachael, Nicole, Liz, Lauren.... it doesn't matter how much time passes, or how many miles separate us, their constant love is felt always. I'm grateful for Living Well...for Donny who has fixed my knee, to Crit Chris Sam and Ryan who have pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me to realize how fucking powerful I really am. I'm grateful for the crazy CrossFitters that I've become friends with, who I've sweat with and complained with as we challenge our bodies and our minds. Through Living Well I've met Penny and Lou, who always fill me up with laughter. I'm grateful for Toni...who has fed my Mom, Dad and myself all summer...who has kept our wine rack full...and who has spoiled my Mom when my Mom wouldn't do so herself. I'm grateful for Joe and Lori King who have taken care of us before Dad passed, and continue to do so today, we couldn't do it without them and I don't think that they'll ever know how we much love them. I'm grateful for my best friend Julisa, who may live across the country but she's never too far because she lives in my heart. I'm grateful for Gina, for her love of cupcakes and bunnies, for her epic crafting and epic friendship. I'm grateful for our weekly Family Dinners with Brad and Ro...we have shared so many meals around the dinner table, so many laughs, and a fair bit of tears. I'm grateful for my cousin Tierney and her bootylicious backside -- she always knows how to make me laugh, and shes one of the few who got to experience the back bay with my Dad and me. I'm grateful for Adena and Erika and dance partners, my friends, my support, my drinking buddies - they always know what I need and they take me in all of my forms. I'm so very grateful for Chris Paisley who I love fiercely - he has been my rock since day one: he is the person that I can always turn to, no matter what. Chris holds space for my sadness, my anger, my drunkenness, my happiness and my fears...and he does so without judgement and never asks for anything in return. I'm grateful for my Mom, who has shown me what it means to truly be a partner. She has shown me devotion, love, patience and perseverance through lifes darkest moments. She is the strongest woman that I have ever met, a true warrior. I have never seen anyone love another the way that my Dad loved her, it was a beautiful thing to witness every day. And finally, I'm grateful for my Dad. He was the most important person in my world. He was the inspiration for everything I've done...everywhere that I've traveled, everything I've accomplished, everything I've experienced in this lifetime has been fueled by him and in devotion to him. Making him proud has made me happier than any human being could be. It's been quite an adjustment losing my best friend, but I still am inspired by him and aspire to enjoy EACH.AND.EVERY.DAY to it's height and it's depth. Thank you Dad for lighting this fire within me for adventure and for sucking down each and every drop of nectar of this beautiful life. 
Thanksgiving 2011.
Mom and Dad, Thanksgiving 2011.
Dad's famous "plate" photo hahaha. Thanksgiving 2011.

So with all of that gratitude expressed, I have one more thing to be grateful for: Thanksgiving Eve. Sometimes you need to just go out to dance it out and drink it out with good friends, and last night was that night. I drank my body weight in dirty martinis and shook my booty on the dance floor all night with my great friends Erika, Pam, Paisley and Brandon. I woke up in their guest bed this morning with my boots still on and laced up, and with a wicked headache. Erika and I stopped at Starbucks our way to get my car, and despite brushing my teeth 10x I tried to refrain from was coming out of my pores and Erika and I both looked like we had been through the ringer. Coffees in hand, Erika turned to me and said sometimes you need to go "HAM". I responded with a "Huh?", and she said "HARD AS MOTHERFUCKERS". So cheers to going hard as motherfuckers on Thanksgiving Eve, cause it's just what I needed. Insanely hungover, cappuccino in hand, U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday " blaring through my speakers, I couldn't help but laugh as I drove home. HAM on Thanksgiving, overflowing with Gratitude....
Ham on thanksgiving.

Monday, November 19, 2012

...more MUSIC.

I lied.

Freezing and Fettuccine.

Rochelles large ice cubes for our Bourbons...quite frankly, they look exactly like boobies....nipples and all.  The more bourbon that you drink, the funnier this is...
It's a dogs life...atleast at our house. Here is Barley and Osa enjoying some cuddle time with mom. Osa is a wolf (our friend Jays dog), so she slept outside the night before. 
The picture does NOT do this epic meal justice. When it's cold outside, I want something warm and fresh. 

Barley and Bridget were last nights dinner guests. 

Lately it's been too cold for my liking. The only benefit is that I love my winter coat, but alas - not enough to enjoy this coldness. The blogs have been lacking lately as I scramble to make some money, organize visas and such for each country, and spend some quality time with friends (near and afar...hence being out of town a lot lately). I'm heading out to the bank now to do a bank transfer, then to the Zen Den to teach some yoga, and then up to Montclair for two days to see my bubby Gina. We are going to see Ray LaMontagne (solo acoustic show!!!) tonight in Montclair and then we are going to bop around NYC for a bit tomorrow. Can't wait, can't wait. As an apology for my lack of blogging, I will share with you the EPIC recipe from last nights dinner....

From Heidi Swansons "Super Natural Cooking" (a cookbook that I highly suggest you add to your kitchen):

Kitchen Notes: You may need to season the puree with a little more salt and lemon than indicated. Just do so incrementally so you don't overwhelm the sauce. There will be plenty of leftover puree when you're done cooking. Heidi recommends slathering it on bread or as a topping for pizza. 
Straw and Hay Fettuccine Tangle with Spring Asparagus Puree
by Heidi Swanson
From Super Natural Cooking
Serves 4 to 6
1 bunch asparagus spears, trimmed and halved crosswise
3 handfuls baby spinach leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
1 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for topping
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
4 ounces dried spinach fettuccine or 6 ounces fresh
4 ounces dried egg fettuccine or 6 ounces fresh
Bring 2 pots of water to a rolling boil, one large and one medium. You'll use he large one to cook the pasta and the medium one to blanch the asparagus.
To make the asparagus puree, salt the asparagus water and drop the spears in the pot. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the spears are a bright green and barely tender. Drain and transfer to a  food processor (preferably) or a blender. Add the spinach, garlic, the 1 cup Parmesan, and 3/4 cup of the pine nuts. Puree and, with the motor running, drizzle in the 1/4 cup olive oil until a paste forms. It should be the loose consistency of a pesto; if too thick, thin it with a bit of the pasta water. Add the lemon juice and salt, then taste and adjust the seasoning.
Salt the pasta water well and cook the pasta until just tender; you'll need less time for fresh pasta, more fro dried. Drain and toss immediately with 1 cup of the asparagus puree, stirring in more afterward depending on how heavily coated you like your pasta. Serve sprinkled with the remaining 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, a dusting of Parmesan, and a quick drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Go ahead, judge me. I don't mind. That's what happens every time I confess to someone that I'm obsessed with Twilight. I've gotten a lot of criticism over the past few years for being a Twi-Hard, and now I just shrug my shoulders and move along if someone starts in on me about it. As I've said before, Twilight became an escape for me during a very painful, challenging and sad point in my life. It was a fantasy world filled with love, good morals and a happy ending. I read enough philosophy and literature that I don't feel bad about reading the occasional "beach read" novel (and PUH-lease, it's much better than the uber-trashy 50 Shades of Grey series). Today there was a Twilight MARATHON leading up to the 5th and final film, Breaking Dawn Part II. Hayley Huff, fellow Twi-Hard and Yogini, was my hot date and our epic day began at with a yoga class at the Zen Den. Thank god for that class because the food that we consumed throughout the day consisted of hoagies, chocolates, sour patch kids, soft pretzels, pizza and popcorn (side note: hayley and I purchased an apple and banana, alas they were the only two food items left untouched). We drank mimosas and a bottle of red wine, along with a KING sized club soda. Every movie was just as enjoyable as the one before, and it was great to enjoy my favorite series in a theatre full of people who love the story as much as I do. By the time we were on the 3rd film we had made friends with most of the people around us in the theatre, and had gotten cozy with the blankets and pillow that I brought along. The fifth and final film was way better than I thought or could have anticipated, and my full 12 hour-movie-theatre-marathon turned out to be one of the best days that I've had in a long time. Team Edward til my dying day!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy has created a change in my schedule. I leave in 3 weeks, and until then I am catering, doing Thai yoga massage, and teaching just 4 yoga classes a week. So...

...get your orders in for some delicious food for Thanksgiving. your Thai massage and the ridiculously-low-promotional-price of only $50!!
...come check out a class at the Margate Zen Den: the new class format is 90 minutes Vinyasa/Yin/Meditation. Classes are Monday 9:30am, Wednesday 5:30pm and Saturday 9:30am. Also, I'm still teaching Yin at Living Well in Northfield on Wednesday nights @ 7:45pm !!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Congrats to the O'Clishams


I'm playing at 4:30pm today at this great fundraiser, please come out to show your support!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Random Acts of Affection.

With That Moon Language

Admit something: 

Everyone you see, you say to them, 
"Love me."

Of course you do not do this out loud, 
Someone would call the cops.

Still though, think about this, 
This great pull in us 
To connect. 

Why not become the one 
Who lives with a full moon in each eye 
That is always saying, 

With that sweet moon

What every other eye in this world 
is dying to 


I came home to several random acts of affection. There was a beautiful card from Luther and Adena offering up love and support for our loss, there was a beautiful little message in a box from Julisa out in Oregon, and a text from Brianna -- a candid photo of my Mom and I dancing, with the message "I miss your butt!!!!!!! Woman you have one sexy motherfucking ass. Hahaha. No joke, I miss you girl. Come back. Love you."

Big booty shaking with my Mom in Lizs living room.
A beautifully painted, hollow egg....
...containing a beautiful message, from my darling Julisa.