Staples- muffin tins and sunshine

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I am starting up this blog again.

It’s been several years coming but I am in love with baking again. I’m in the process of shedding and reexamining much of my present life. I have been gifted time to look closely at what’s important, and what perhaps I have been holding onto that isn’t so important. I took a month (an entire month) to visit a dear friend and quiet myself long enough to see what I need to see. Not to mention some downtime to laugh, dream and cook food.

 In one sense, I am overwelmed with what an opportunity this is, not only am I free from the distractions of bills, work and obligations. I am being taken care of and nurtured by community, sunshine, food, and deep rest. It’s amazing what something like freedom and space can do to a person– mostly I am slung shot back and forth between bliss and fear. With space comes more space, and with more space comes hearing and seeing the things I’ll say I don’t see and hear when I am so dam busy!

So I have a can of pumpkin and a muffin tin. This kitchen I’ve been cooking and baking in is well equipped and just lovely, but the muffin tin– is my staple this month. I’ve made two different types of muffins so far; blueberry almond flour and pumpkin chocolate chip coconut flour. Today we are moving into a whole new realm; vegan pumpkin cheesecake muffin bites.  I will tell you a  secret; I love that I am discovering a healthy, wholesome way to bake. I’ll tell you another secret, these aren’t actually baked, they are formed in the freezer. Enough said, go forth and lean into this day, nourish yourself with that which feeds your soul and body, and don’t forget to say thank you.

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Muffins More Than Ever

What? Muffins? On a morning like this?

I have not been actively following the election, but there’s a weight this morning so heavy it’s impossible to distract oneself. Despite the many distractions we humans have up our sleeves, it’s too heavy to resist. I cringe to say the word, but it feels like hopelessness. I can say for myself this is something I’ll do anything not to feel. Whatever it is it’s real, it woke me up in the middle of the night and told me I was not going to be celebrating like I so hoped to be.

I feel baffled, and even more lost than normal. We can all talk until we are blue in the face, and there’s no doubt in me that we will, but the truth is it won’t change any of this. What we resist, persists. I have been learning that lesson in the most painful of ways this past year.

So the question for me is in the face of fear and anger is. How can we deepen our faith and expand on love to get ourselves through this day? How can we embrace the divine mother goddess that nourishes and protects all things? I do know she is not on our TV screens. She’s on our yoga mats, she’s in nature, our community, our family, she’s in listening deeply to eachother, she’s in neck rubs and playing hide and seek in closets, she is making muffins.

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These muffins are not only delicious but they are healthy, they are made of almond flour. Basically, it’s a sweet protein burst with a few cacao nibs and some blueberries. It’s the kind of muffin you eat to muster deep down inside a glimpse of faith to stand up after gracefully having filled yourself with whatever nourishes you. As we stand alive in in the face of hopelessness, let’s love and trust like never before, and not in the saintly way, but in the fully human way.

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Here’s to longevity

I made myself a Birthday Cake. The next day I had a splitting headache and wanted to knock myself out with a spatula. Sad life lesson is I can no longer eat birthday cake. I used to eat cake for dinner, remember those days? I’d write to you about it and continue to eat it again for breakfast the next day following a 6 mile run. Yeah. . . I’m 28 now and those days are over. I’m choosing substitutes like brown rice syrup treats and long walks in the woods. Image

30 things I LOVE at this moment..

1.Green grapes. 2. New pajamas.  3. The mention of spring. 4. Creative endeavors big ones,small ones, leaps of faith into the unknown. 5. Confidence in these endeavors. 6. His smile. 7. Feeling lovable  . 8. Looking back at my life 1 yr/2yrs/3/yrs. ago and seeing I was exactly where I was supposed to be then which must mean that’s the case now. 9. Now. 10. My trip to Hawaii in a few weeks. 11. Having regulars- feeling regular- loving regularity for the first time ever. 12. Ilana and her babies. 13. Chekhov and his plays. 14. My hurum juicer and the delicious mornings we spend together. 15. My mother and our hikes. 16. Ordering only popcorn at upscale fancy restaurants. 17. This house and how it feels like my grandmother grayed haired, calm, quiet who has helped nurse me back to myself. 18.  Mondays with Jonathan. 19. Dreams that tell me what I need to see. 20. Flesh. 21. My brother and his newfound love for yoga. 22. My father and his pony tail. 23. Afternoons spent coming up with ideas for what you can put on a salad. 24. Standing on both feet instead of just one- the feeling of not looking- instead trusting in eventually finding. 25. Sitting in the sun on the porch. 26. Women who do the impossible. 27. The woods and how they are always there. 28. Pineapples. 29. Meeting people who want to work on projects with me. 30. Purpose. Patience. .

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tiramisu

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I am living in this old country house for the winter. I love everything about it- the creak in the floorboards, the blankets I have to pile on myself at night to keep warm. The open space and time for cooking and baking and listening for what quiet sounds like.

There are these ducks that come and circle the house in rounds they talk to each other and argue or flirt doing whatever it is that ducks do. I know ducks should have flown south by now but not these guys they stay here year round. The neighbors have built a house for them to live with insulated walls and heat lamps. They are some lucky ducks.

Some recent learning lessons;

I need lots of rest otherwise I suck to be around.

Before reacting to anything- drink some water, eat a sandwich and breath real, real deep.

You cannot force readiness- especially someone elses.

Sadness is all around and there is no avoidance/explanation for it- it is heartbreaking and yet still here we are the human spirit is so powerful.

I can’t fully accept that sugar is not the best thing for this body of mine.

I appreciate solitude.

I believe in the stillness being okay more than ever.

I actually prefer the quiet country to the cities these back roads that have never known traffic, the shorter lines, and smaller yoga classes.

Hiking is magical.

Tattoos can be regrets I’m grateful mine is not- it reminds me daily of what I am doing here.

I like this living in southern Berkshire County and getting to know farther south of here.

As for baking I am learning to bake with healthier sugars like maple syrup, agave, and honey. I notice this theme in my life where I have an idea that becomes a need and then a time lapse in which I think about it, pray about it, wait for it- and then what I am asking for comes along to help me in form. So in this case I was given a chef. This chef is a tiny Japanese man who wrote a book called- Chef Satos all Natural Desserts. He has begun teaching me how to bake without using sugars (dairy or eggs.) I’ve taken his lessons home and attempted my very first tiramisu. It came out good- good enough to admit I have eaten for my last two meals. You may not believe what interesting ingredients are in this cake but they are delicious.

Happy Boxing Day.

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pecans

Sometimes there is nothing to do to make a situation better sometimes you just have to feel how horribly sad it is until it’s ready to go. Sometimes that can take days, months, years and meanwhile there is life and the moments we have in between this time it takes.

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Sometimes you have to bake a cake and maybe just for a moment forget your troubles and forget how much it can hurt to be an active member of this thing we call life.

When I was in my first year of acting school I fell in love with this guy named Max he was in my class and we would hang out together after class and drink or eat while wandering the Upper East Side. We were misfits so we hit it off quick. He smelled like sweat and he wore these big hats even when it wasn’t cold outside. His face was so beautiful and he was so tall. After our first year of school he went back to Canada and I stayed in New York. We were in class one day and Max was working on this scene in front of the rest of the class. He was struggling really badly. The teacher asked him to pick the person in the room he trusted more than anyone else and he said Sam right away he didn’t even think about it, it just came out my name. I was shocked that anyone felt that way about me. I didn’t consider myself to be this safe or trustworthy person at least not towards myself. But despite it- I went up and held him there. We never spoke of it again.

Today I honestly do not know if there is anything better in the world than being the person who can be there to love another person when they need it. I spent the weekend in North Carolina with Katie and Eric all I can is how ridiculously proud I am to love you both. We baked ourselves a Pecan Cake because life demanded it.

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Lately I sort of feel stunted. I have always felt a bit different. I have often wondered why I don’t seem to float easily along with the rest of the pack instead beating to the sound of my own drum, while dancing out of tune.

You see I don’t know and I struggle with those who think they do. Those who seem to have their ducks in line and have made it.

Since I have back here (the land of my birth) I see lots of diamonds of hands and babies in bellies. I see people I have known for most of my life. I see movement and I wonder if I am moving in that direction too? I wonder how much we perceive each other’s growth by what we see on one another’s outsides. If we do perceive this growth by our outsides then ut-oh…

I had two interactions simultaneously yesterday I’d like to share.

I will start by saying I am waitressing- not the most fulfilling of jobs but I am grateful for the money and I get to feed people healthy food. Yesterday I had these two separate tables both people I know and have met numerous times- both did not remember ever meeting me. Both of these people are involved in the performing arts. I served these people their sushi and tea and the woman didn’t even look at me. She was in a conversation and engaged in her own thing. The man was pretentious and made stereotypical snide comments. My point; both of these people are successful and creative in ways I would like to someday be- but they suck at being nice.

Why is that? That we are successful and have this drive but lose sight of what is around us? We lose sight of the people waiting on us & cooking our food that is helping us sustain this growth. Can we simply take one moment to lift up our chins and say thank you?

Lesson that these lovely folks taught me; smile more and say thank you more. I never want to be so busy being important that I don’t see all this around me working in union to keeping me alive.

At this moment..

Inspired by: partlyitstheboots.wordpress.com

What I’m lovin …. Fall, colors yellow/orange, eating squash, the flavor; pumpkin, the woods, tofu shoga, bola granola with greek yogurt, feeling home, feeling strong.

What I’m reading…. Be Here Now By: Ram Das, Courage By: Debbie Ford plus some menus, bills, food blogs, e-mails.

What I’m thinking about…. The past, forearm stands, the future, how cold it’s about to get, friends who are far away, the life that I want to have, sushi, solitude, change, here vs. there, New York, going back to school, escape routes, diamonds over rubies.

What I’m stressing about….taxes, car payments, trusting myself, this job, again more sushi, Japanese, my knees, my butt, my feet, if I made the wrong choice.

What I’m looking forward to…. it getting easier, being 27, my Saturn return, having a home of my own, theatre, clarity, working with kids, enough money plus some extra, snow, fires, new relationships.

What is making me happy…. this dog at my feet, a full belly, a morning of yoga, having plans, 5-dollar movies.