The second time I woke up this morning, Bob Marley greeted me with this sweet, sweet song. I woke up the first time to get a little cross-train in and it turned out to be a rest day for my workout buddies. No worries, this would have been an extra day on the training schedule so I happily went back to bed, giving myself an 'A' for effort.
Then, I had incredibly ridiculous dreams. The Black-Eyed Peas (the band, not the legume) were in my garden which had morphed into two gardens. Fergie was running her skinny little ass around trying to avoid signing autographs and I was wondering why the Mister hadn't consulted me about creating two gardens. Weird, I know. But then I awoke with this lovely and classic reggae song in my head.
Mr. Marley is the perfect mellow antidote for me this morning. I've got a busy weekend ahead with an 11-mile run on Sunday. I will take this subconscious music selection as a cue to gently step into my weekend. I'm beginning to feel the "commitment" they speak of when it comes to marathon training. It's taken a toll on me this week. I'm resting today, though, in a reggae state of mind. Happy Friday!
What kind of music do you play to ease your mind?
Photo Courtesy of Adrienneats blog
I know Thursdays are dedicated to all that is delicious and beautiful on the plate but, I just couldn't bring myself to make the bangin biscuits I was planning without being able to eat one, fresh and warm, from the oven (possibly slathered in butter and jam).
And just why can't I eat a biscuit? I'll tell you why. Mama's going on a cleanse!
If you know me, you know that cleansing is something I try to do at least twice a year. I think it's a valid way to hit the reset button. We Americans tend to pile the food into our digestive tract like a woman tries to shove 18 pairs of shoes into her weekender bag. It's often too much and the body needs a break from the intestinal traffic jam.
I'm not claiming to be an expert, rather, I'm more like a guinea pig when it comes to cleansing. I'll try anything once. Maybe twice. I've read lots of books and done alot of strange things (saltwater flush, anyone
?) all in the name of a good cleanse. I even wrote some blogs
On a serious note, I believe in a non-processed, mostly vegetable, sometimes raw and whole-foods based balanced diet. I stay away from fast food completely, do not drink milk and try to make most of my food at home with ingredients made by Mother Earth. That being said, I'm not perfect and extra pounds find their way onto my body, mostly my lower half, usually because I'm eating too much. Food and I have a rather torrid love affair. I love you. I hate you. I eat you.
This is why I exercise regularly and surround myself with positive people, like Kate Kester. Kate used to be my neighbor when I lived in suburban subdivision hell. Love her. Love her family. Hate the homeowners association.
Anyways, Kate used to be a college athlete and is now a wicked fit personal trainer. I meet up with her at least twice a week to take a beating in her makeshift gym, affectionately called The Garage
. She introduced me to P90X-style workouts and this Shakeology stuff that I will be using for my cleanse.
For the record, I'm not into chemicals and powders and nutritional science. I believe in making my own juices, smoothies and shakes from scratch. However, I got to watch a video about this stuff and it seems the Shakeology people go to great lengths to source high-quality organic ingredients made honestly. So, I'm gonna give it a whirl and, truth be told, I need to break through my plateau.
I've been sitting at the same blasted weight for the last several months. I'm training for a marathon, food journaling and still having trouble getting back to my baseline. My buddy Kate says the three day cleanse will help break the plateau and kick off my transformation efforts.
Did I mention I have a very important wedding to attend next year? MINE!
I'd prefer to slip rather than squeeze into a wedding dress next year, thank you very much.
My starting weight is 139.6. I drank a glass of green tea this morning before having a Shakeology smoothie for breakfast. I get to have two snacks before and after lunch, which will be a shake, and then a protein packed salad for dinner. Not too shabby and quite manageable. The Clean Program
, another cleanse I recommend, follows a similar menu. Two liquid meals and one solid meal for the day. They call them nutritional cleanses. I like them because you can eat a little something along the way.
Alrighty, I think I have blathered on enough for today. I'll let you know how the cleanse goes and we will resume our regularly scheduled Foodlove posts next week when I can actually eat what I cook. I don't have enough discipline to make something delicious and not eat it. Besides, what kind of foodie would I be. Happy Thursday!
Good Morning! I woke up this morning feeling a bit sluggish and physically tired from the demands of this past week(end). I slept in and then spent a good hour spinning my wheels. I have a list of things to do today but couldn't seem to get going. The video below was my solution.
It's the perfect injection of positive energy and helped to "restart" my day. A friend of mine shared this with me a while back and I actually posted it on one of my very first blog posts. I always get something positive when I listen to this song and today the message was "Own your moments."
It's a new week, people. Time to go for it, yet again. Own it!
It's no secret that I love Motown records and singers with soul. For me, old soul music and R&B captures the essence of love and happiness in a way that modern music cannot. It's why I usually choose old songs for my Friday posts. They make me the happiest.
One of the exceptions to this rule is Raphael Saadiq, a soulful contemporary with an old soul. His latest album, Stone-Rollin, is an homage of sorts to the old Motown sound. Saadiq collaborates with the legendary Stevie Wonder and other talented musicians like Joss Stone and Yukimi Nagano of Little Dragon. If you read last Friday's post, you know that this makes me squeeeeeeeal with delight!
If R&B isn't your thing, you might not know that Raphael Saadiq headed the acclaimed late 80's R&B group, Tony! Toni! Tone! which I happened to love. You may be familiar with this song
by Tony! Toni! Tone!
Anyways, today's song brings the love and good joojoo to my ears. I can't help but clap my hands and smile. Plus, the first line of this song caught my attention right away because my name means "love child" in Hawaiian. Happy listening!
The 2011 Heat Wave has officially arrived and nothing says summer like this delicious blackberry-maple compote spooned over a bowl of vanilla ice cream. The compote is a simple concoction of blackberries and teensy amounts of evaporated cane juice, ginger juice, lemon juice and maple syrup.
I got the recipe from Heidi Swanson's most recent cookbook, Super Natural Everyday
, my summer obsession. If you didn't know this already, I've been tearing through her recipes at warp speed. This recipe, in particular, became an instant favorite. I've made three batches already, all which never last very long.
Blackberry-maple compote was etched in my brain before blackberries were in season so, when summer showed itself at the Farmer's Market, I was on a mission. My purchased pint had a destiny and did not disappoint. It was everything I dreamed it would be.
The recipe calls for a hit of ginger juice mixed in with the berries and maple syrup. Mad genius! It is the perfect wake-up call to the recipe, brightening and balancing all the flavors.
Of course, my first thought was to put it over ice cream. The creaminess of the ice cream is a perfect canvas for the compote which is tart and sweet and bright. The ice cream melts with the compote juice and makes a delicious slurp-tastic berry soup at the bottom of the bowl, my favorite part.
The compote is much more than an ice cream topping. It can go over pancakes, biscuits, oatmeal and Heidi suggests, goat-cheese slathered crackers. I still have my mind focused on dessert (big surprise) and think it would be sublime over basil ice cream
or a bowl of peaches.
Here's the recipe:Ingredients
2 cups blackberries, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons maple sugar, natural cane sugar, or muscovado sugar
1 teaspoon fresh ginger juice (if you don't have a juicer, push freshly grate dginger through a fine strainer)
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Combine one-third of the berries along with the maple syrup and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Gently simmer for 3 minutes. Drain the syrup through a strainer into a bowl, pressing on the berry solids to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the solids and combine the syrup with the remaining cooked berries. Stir in the ginger juice, lemon juice and salt. Taste and adjust with more lemon or ginger juice (I like mine with more ginger juice), if needed.
The compote will keep up to one week in the refrigerator.
What a perfect way to enjoy the fruits of summer. What are you doing to beat the heat? Send me your beloved summer recipes. I'd love to hear from you!
Sarah Waiting for the Tide by Laura Bell via 20x200
Good Morning! I hope you all had a restful weekend or at least, a fun one. Another week is upon us and another new beginning. This week is exceptionally busy for me. I am juggling a full work schedule, personal projects, marathon training, pet sitting for two separate people, wedding meetings, court date (for a stinking speeding ticket) and preparing to see the Mister off on Wednesday for five days. Things could get hectic.
When I have a full schedule like the one I have this week, I can slip right into feeling overwhelmed which, in turn, leads to fear. How am I going to get this all done? My mind races from one task to the next and I become paralyzed with indecision not knowing where to begin. When that happens, my default setting is procrastination- somehow the junk drawer needs cleaning or I find time to go through old stacks of paper or, worse, I get tangled in blogs and social media for a good long time. Escapism at its best.
It took me a while to recognize this as fear. When I speak of fear, it's not the boogeyman kind or turning the lights off at the bottom of the basement stairs kind- it's a fear that I'll lose something that I have or that I won't get something that I want. This pretty much covers all circumstances, doesn't matter what it is.
What if there's not enough time? What if I can't do that "thing" I want to do? What if this doesn't get done? What if, what if, what if....?
You can see how this spirals into one gigantic mindfuck. Maybe some of you can relate. In order to combat that fearful voice inside my pretty little head, I give you this mantra for the week....
I have everything I need right now.
I intend to use this in moments when I feel overwhelmed and starved for time. I will use it when I start to worry about whatever it is that my mind wants to worry about. I will make this my first thought. This busy week of mine is a blessing. The hustle and bustle, my human obligations, are a miniscule part of the big picture. I have everything I need right now. Always have.
Feel free to leave your comments. I always appreciate your feedback and updates on the trials and successes of the week. Have an awesome one!
Happy Friday peoples!
Today's song is by one of my most favorite groups at the moment, Little Dragon
. I actually thought that their new album, Ritual Union
, was being released today (don't know why??) which is why they've been on my mind. My plans this morning were to blast the new album all morning and pick my favorite song for today's post. Alas, the album doesn't get released until next week, so I've chosen the first single, Nightlight,
from the new album. Nightlight
is perfect for a little Friday shimmy-shake.
Before that...a little story about how I fell in love with LD... I literally stumbled upon Little Dragon when I first moved to Charlotte and was looking for a fun show. I found a longstanding hole-in-the-wall called The Milestone
and caught a glimpse of the lovely Swedes on the website. Their group photo had a distinct look that made me think they might know a little something about electronic music. Turns out, Little Dragon combines my absolute favorite genres of music including R&B, electro-pop and synth-tastic sounds that are right up my alley.
The Mister and I went to the show last February not knowing what to expect. What we got was a super intimate show with Little Dragon (less than 100 people) that made for a newfound music crush and very happy feet. After our first encounter with the band, Little Dragon has been turning up everywhere. The lead singer, Yukimi Nagano, can be found adding vocals to tracks for bands like The Gorillaz
We got our second dose of Little Dragon in June when we attended The Roots Picnic in Philadelphia. They played a short set to a crowd that wasn't all too familiar with the band just yet. Not to worry, they have been steadily gaining popularity and I am starting to hear the name Little Dragon in wider circles, for good reason. They're the jam!
Yukimi Nagano doing her thang at the Roots Picnic in Philly
Can't wait for the release of Ritual Union, the group's third album. Check out Little Dragon, the debut album and Machine Dreams to catch up on all the Swedish goodness. Wow! That's a whole lotta talking about music. I didn't know I had it in me. Enjoy today's track- it makes my feet happy.
I've got zucchini and tomatoes coming out of my ears. Seriously, it's hard to keep up. Besides sharing the wealth with family and friends, I have been making various soups, curries, salads and this savory tart I found while on one of my trips down the rabbit hole of food blogs.
I came across the Bojon Gourmet
, written by a lovely lady in San Francisco named Alanna who seems to live a life much like mine pursuing her passions and living the good life. The recipe was exactly what I was looking for and I was pleasantly surprised when I read through her musings and found out she was funny too.
So, I wanted a savory tart complete with a homemade crust, cheesy goodness and the ability to bear the incessant layering of tomatoes, zucchini and squash. This recipe called for a simple crust made with cornmeal, flour, butter and salt. She calls it a cornmeal pate brisee
which, I think, is the fancy french word for cornmeal pie dough. Maybe I'll use that word in public later.
Dough:1 cup all-purpose flour1/4 cup cornflour (finely ground cornmeal) or cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2" chunks
1/4 cup ice water
Combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Scatter over the butter chunks and work in with your fingers until some pea-sized chunks remain. Sprinkle in the water a tablespoon at a time, tossing with your hands, until the dough just comes together and no floury bits remain. Gently press the dough into a ball, flatten into a disc, and stick in plastic bag. Chill in the fridge until firm, 30-45 minutes.On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an even 14" round. Fit into a 10" tart pan, fold over the edges and trim flush with the pan. Chill 30 minutes.
I had the smallest bit of trouble getting the dough to come together. It seemed really crumbly and I feared it not being able to stick together. I chilled the dough for about 45 minutes and had to work it out with my hands. When it came time to roll that sucker out, I had a brief moment of panic thinking I might have to start over, but was able to make it work with a little patience and effort.
You can see some of the imperfections in the photos. I had to take small pieces of dough and fill in some of the edges. No big whoop. It was all getting covered with layers of cheese, herbs and veggies.
First, the mozzarella cheese (80z.)...
Then came two ounces of goat cheese and fresh basil from the garden. The recipe calls for one cup of cherry tomatoes halved, but I just grabbed an assortment from the garden and sliced them thin or cut them in half depending upon their size. I had an heirloom tomato, some romas, black cherry tomatoes and a few baby cherries.
I layered the tomatoes first and then the zucchini and squash which I sliced with my new mandolin. What a fantastic tool! I have no idea why I ever waited so long to get one.
The recipe calls for sweating the zucchini and squash with a little salt to draw out some of the moisture and then patting them dry. I also patted the tomatoes dry to keep an excess of moisture out of the tart. I brushed the top with some olive oil and garlic and baked the tart at 425 degrees for about 55 minutes.
Once the tart was all bubbly, oozy and browned, I took it out of the oven and cooled it for ten minutes. I'm proud to say we didn't eat the whole thing in one sitting which would have been very easy to do. It was effing gooooood.
The tart had the addictive quality of pizza and we could've kept shoveling, but we didn't. Small victory for me, the Mister and our inner fat kids. We made two meals out of it and had the rest for lunch the next day. The crust actually came out perfect. It was light tasting and all crustified and never got soggy.
I'm already conjuring up ideas for the next tart. Maybe I'll do some potatoes and caramelized onions with herbs and blue cheese. I'll probably need to unload some more zucchini along the way too.
For the full recipe, check it out on the Bojon Gourmet here
. I'd love to hear what you're doing with your summer produce and, if you have a garden, what creative methods do you implement to use up your veggie surplus? I'm always up for new recipes.
Hope you have a lovely Thursday. I've got lunch with a dear friend afternoon. Can't wait to catch up over lunch at this place
. Looks delish.
I have been patiently waiting for the perfect time to share photos of my garden since I first dug a hole in the ground way back in May. You see, I'm the type of gal that ruins surprises because I lack the necessary timing and self-control needed to do such things, so this is progress for me.
Since moving to North Carolina a year and a half ago, the Mister and I have embarked on creating our own self-sustaining organic garden. It has truly been a bright spot on our lives and we've gotten so much out of every aspect of gardening from building the plot, planning the space, nurturing our soil, watching it grow and, of course, harvesting all the goodies. If you live anywhere close to us, you have probably already received a stash from our plot.
The photos I'm going to share with you today are photos of our 2011 garden, the second go-round with summer produce.
I don't mind saying that it's going swimmingly despite a few spacing issues that we'll remedy next season. Trial and error is an invaluable learning tool.
Also, you might notice CD's in the garden- they should be hanging on a string to keep the birds away. Apparently birds don't like bright, shiny objects but they love tomatoes. I was too lazy to string the CD's properly so they landed on top of tomato stakes and on the ground.
Anyhow, enjoy the photos and please feel free to share what you're growing with me. Send your photos to keia [at]the-sunnysideup.com or leave me a gardening tip in the comments.
Be on the lookout for this week's Foodlove post on Thursday- I've been whipping up tons of new recipes with all my delicious produce. This week, I'm sharing a lovely zucchini-tomato tart. Happy Tuesday!!
My pretty little seedlings
The Junior Garden- things are starting to take root
Full-On Garden Love
You've come a long way, Okra
Cucumbers reaching for the sky and the Mister doing manly things
All Grown Up and Over
Squash and Zucchini
Black Cherry Tomatoes and the rest of 'em
Bell Peppers and Roma Tomatoes
Baby Watermelon. Didn't know produce could be so effing cute.
Image via Love of Mantra Meditation site
Every Monday, I make a new beginning, a new resolution to do something just a bit better than the week before.
I pick myself up, dust myself off and find my big girl panties once more. I never know how, but somewhere between Thursday and Sunday, I trade my big girl panties in for the "I don't give a shit" ball cap or the all-purpose invisibility cloak.
Enter the Monday Mantra...a new addition to the blog schedule and positive way to start another week. It's my way to set my intentions on a higher plane so that when the alarm goes off at 6 a.m. for the next five consecutive days, I willingly welcome another week.
The Monday Mantra coincides with a whole pattern of new beginnings, not just Mondays. Last week, I rolled out a new set of goals
for the second half of 2011 and entered July feeling so fresh and so clean, clean. I am settling into a new blog schedule, another new beginning AND
I registered for my first marathon yesterday, a challenge that kinda scares me. With all this newness, Mama needs some positive reinforcements. Maybe you do too.
The Monday Mantra will be here every week. I intend to use it at the beginning of each day, to center myself in it and use it as a positive mental guide as I tackle the week. Feel free to use it in whatever way you like.
On a side note, I had this Calculus teacher in high school named Mr. Boggs. He was an odd southern gentleman of sorts that resembled a Galapagos turtle and had a love for calculus that was both unnatural and fascinating. He was quite funny too. He would often refer to himself as "self" and would begin random stories with "So I said to myself....self..."
So as I embark on the inaugural Monday Mantra, I say to myself...
"Self.... I DO ENOUGH
I HAVE ENOUGH
I AM ENOUGH
Get your big girl panties on, a new week has begun!!