sibling-ly sweet

BEING back East for the holiday felt like being back in the cocoon. I loved it in a way I haven’t had access to until now. Relaxing and taking it easy does not come natural to me.  Despite my lifestyle, despite my ache to treasure these moments and just be able to sit here clueless a majority of the time whilst still being okay ; I worry more than I want to, more than I need to. I once went to an astrologer who told me a lot of things I already knew. BUT, one thing she said that I remember so clearly was that; worry was a negative pray. I guess that means each time I worry, I have to double my prayer to cancel out the worry and from there add the prayer back on.

My time spent at home gave me some space to not have to mull over my future, my bills, what my days were going to look like tomorrow, where I’ll wind up, who will be there. I was just simply  home loving these people and having a holiday.

YOU remember how we felt as kids before the scar tissue began to build? That contentment, safety, harmony and freedom? .. I know, I need to get back there.

The choice to move 3,500 miles from all that is farmilar to me, makes it now my job to create that feeling for myself. I think it might be becoming more adult, taking on this role of making good happen for yourself. Grabbing hold of that  love and sparkle with everything you’ve got and taking it with you everywhere.

How I get there can be different depending on the day; some days it’s kicking my own butt into gear and getting a job even though I want to make my money working for myself. Other days it’s watching Ted Danson movies all morning just because I need to smile more. But whatever it is, it’s listening and becoming quiet enough to hear from the inside.

I wrote out some 2012 Resolutions but used words I like better Declarations…Spirits…Movements. .I made a vow to eat more greens and less sugar, especially before bed and to love myself daily, not just on my good days.

It’s a NEW YEAR magic is about to happen. I’m pretty excited about it when I’m not scared shitless.

Okay so as for  baking I did quite a bit of that while I was home, which warmed my soul and softened my belly. I made both of my siblings a cake; My baby brother who turned 20 , twenty years old– got a butterscotch cake  …He is my most favorite person in the world to watch eat.

My sister requested a red velvet cake  which came out so red, 1/4 a cup of food coloring later.. She is still finding red food coloring around her house ( I can be a messy baker).. It’s such an elegant cake, I highly recommend it if you wanna seduce someone. This case was purely a PG family cake. I’m just saying you could.

Nice Cake

There was a little solstice party at my new casa. There was what felt like endless amounts of food and dessert. There were candles and fires and cider.

Yesterday was about time for me to get back in the swing of my baking- mixing, pouring flour in bowls and watching magic appear in from of my eyes. I watched Charlie Brown Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life  grated carrots.

I got these carrots at the PSU farmers market from a farm in Hood River. They say the purple carrots are the best ones for cooking.

Frosting with orange zest.

This cake is nice.

It’s not just nice but it feels good to eat. I mean it has carrots in it, it’s good for your eyes. I just want you to see it.

oh, and it has a Carrot Bow.

On my way to the airport tonight to head back East I choked on gratitude.

I love when that happens.

Sometimes I can’t believe what I have; these people, this moment to moment stuff that I take for granted.  When I feel this intense thanks it feels like  too much, because I don’t know how to thank it back.

Then I think I saw it. I think it’s simply  to be nice,  that can be my thanks. I can go home and be nice, I can live life and be nice to it.

Merry Christmas. I hope it’s nice .

Make Space

I was given this classy soccer mom rental car, so it seemed fit that I road trip the hell out of Portland. I found some space for myself, until it soaked into my bones. I want a lot of things that I don’t yet have. But, what I’m reminded of again and again and again is MY freedom. It smacks me in the face and blows my mind out of my body when gifted with its sight. For most of my life I didn’t even know I had it. But I do, we all do. I forget I can be restored to my freedom at any moment. It’s just a choice, getting away helps.

Don’t let anyone take your freedom; it would be silly to let them. It’s all yours. It’s okay you’ll loose it over and over again.. But, when you loose it, do whatever you have to do to find it again.

 Walk, climb, run into the woods.

 Eat a spoonful of peanut butter.

 Sing, chant, scream along to lyrics you pretend not to know. Do it.

 Forgive that person you won’t forgive no matter what. Forgive them anyway.

 Make chocolate chip banana pancakes with honey on them.

 Take a bath with bubbles.

Hang mistletoe in your kitchen.

 Take a picnic in to the movies.

 Lay on the floor until gravity wins.

Santa Monica

Okay,  I’ve been slacking a little, but it’s only because I’ve been busy falling in love… I’m getting closer to finding a kitchen of my own. I can feel it, let me  say… I think I’m in love with California…

Enough about love ! !  Let’s talk cakes…

I got scared . Really scared. I am learning a lot in terms of baking. For example; self rising flour is not to be confused with all purpose. Our cake did not rise like a normal one would. What can I say? I was in love with the west coast, and my mind wasn’t firing correctly, I was distracted by pretty people and waves… forgive a girl just this once. I read that it doesn’t change the taste just the texture. It was a cross between a brownie and a rock… But I did like two things about this recipe, 1. blackberry jam 2. instant coffee… Yum, both go good in chocolate cake .

Los Angeles was a ball, and we were spoiled rotten staying with my beautiful aunt & uncle. I wish I could say my cake was mouth watering, but it was really just okay. Nothing to write home about.

My cousin Lucy here baked with me. She is adorable in an apron.

 

just as long as it looks pretty

Denver

I was getting nervous I might not find a kitchen …

But the KFG’s  (kitchen finding gods) are on my side. obviously.

I guess I should tell you what I’m doing.

I’m driving across the country with my best friend.

On the look-out for a new home. We are hoping to settle our tired wanderlust-full bones. Traveling the cities we like, or think we’ll like: Denver, Boulder, LA, Northern Cali, Portland and Seattle.

We made it to Denver. Spent a night with some circus performers, and then went to stay with Michelle. She is a fellow food blogger, and an amazing cook. Find out what we ate for dinner at:                   http://unconventionaltablemanners.tumblr.com

Denver is hot. HOT . I mean seriously though, it’s really hot here.

We wanted to bake, and cook dinner. But , it was just so hot. All the recipes I thought of were heavy, and I just imagined my cake melting all over her kitchen . I decided to keep it simple : Blueberry Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream. This is  the perfect July dessert. Not just in Denver, but anywhere in this currently boiling country.

I hired a blog photographer! My traveling compadre Randi. She took pictures of everything, even the crisp after I put it in the oven! Rule number one: No opening the oven during baking ! Regardless, she is on her way to baking photo-taking brilliance.

Blueberry Crisp: ( serves 8 )

The Filling :

3 pints of blueberries

1/2 cup of sugar

1 tablespoon of cornstarch

1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon of salt

The Topping :

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup of rolled oats

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

6 tablespoons of butter

1/3 cup of sugar

Preheat oven 375* Mix blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt in a bowl. Once mixed put into a 8- inch baking dish.

For the topping stir together flour, oats, baking powder, and salt. Cream butter, sugar in a mixer till pale and fluffy. Stir in dry ingredients . With your fingers squeeze the topping into clumps and spread over berries. Bake for 1 hour. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

In Pursuit of planting myself

I want my own kitchen. A kitchen filled with the best ingredients and kitchen-ware (like the fancy electric mixer that is attached to the bowl …) once inside this kitchen someone would request simply that I:  just bake .

and I would do just that…

..and have an excuse to eat lots of cakes.

MY ASSIGNMENT to bake at least ONE thing a week (I know, not difficult) BUT considering I am in a constant transit, and my baking supplies are as pictured below. I will need some help, and I will need some kitchens.