Thursday, September 26, 2013

Celebrating the Feminine | My Best Summer Seasonal Bites

Wild Woman Adri

"A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform." -Diane Mariechild

Summer of LOVE 

What a year this is turning out to be! The Year of the Feminine Water Snake has been rockin' my world!  My inner Wild Woman Goddess/Lioness is breaking free + here to stay! I never imagined myself connecting with my feminine nature beyond skirts, makeup + aprons. That's just it, though:  I never imagined femininity to be a strength nor recognized it as a beautiful discovery of self that is both so powerful + special.   What I had thought was something concrete, something you put on or show off is now something I believe can't be touched or formed, but something I can feel with my mind, body + soul.  It comes from the food I eat, the people I engage with, my environment, what I do + how I see my life.
With the slithering water snake bringing sexuality and femininity to light, I've been able to shed my old skin and embrace the inner goddess within.

"Women are the greatest untapped natural resource in the world." -Mama Gena

Guides to Goddessdom

My quest to love myself + others began a couple of years ago + when I put that energy out there, the Universe answered the call slowly but surely.  As I patiently waited, many incredible books have found their way in my hands, to my eyes + through to my mind.  I transitioned away from the negative views of books like Why Men Love Bitches + into more positive, female empowering books.   The focus shifted from fixing yourself for the approval of others to loving yourself infinitely as you are.  My heart has grown so big thanks to these books!

"Mama Gena," author Regena Thomashauer, with her belief that all women are Sister Goddesses, Mama Gena helped plant the seed of my future femininity as I read School of Womanly Arts. Mama Gena introduced the idea that when you put your own pleasure first, the rest of the world will benefit.  Of course this makes sense, seeing that when you listen to what your body needs + you take care of that need, you are satisfied and happy.  A pleased woman in tune with her needs + feelings can be a pretty powerful energy.

I reunited with my inner creative through Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way.  By writing morning pages daily + having weekly artist dates I was able to feed my inner artist.  Anytime you express your creativity you are putting something beautiful and unique out into the world for yourself and others to enjoy.  You are giving a gift while setting your soul free.

Typical journal sesh.
Journaling my way through Succulent Wild Woman was an absolute treat for myself!  Author, Sark, is wild and free + you can't help but let go with her!  Her book is handwritten and includes her doodles + fun illustrations which resemble the way I structure my journals.  This book invites us to "live untamed, juicy and abundantly as women!"

I've recently picked up "The Wild Feminine" and "Women Who Run With Wolves" - both of which have already connected me to the natural world even further.  As my mind expands and I open up to a whole new view of life, I am able to see more and more of the beauty that surrounds us.  When you think it, you can see it.  When you can see it, you can achieve it!

foto_decadent: Bert Stern "Marilyn's Last Sitting"
"To all the girls that think you're fat because you're not a size zero, you're the beautiful one, it's society who's ugly." -Marilyn Monroe

Accepting Body Beautiful

Though I am still fixing my old views on what is beautiful when it comes to the human body, I know that I've come a very long way on the subject.  I continue to let go of past fears, societal expectations + norms.  I eat what makes me happy while keeping a healthy balance of diet + exercise.  I treat all ailments with food, herbal tinctures, herbal teas, water + rest.

I've returned to my au naturel hair color, wear very minimal makeup + gained ten pounds, but for the first time I truly believe I'm beautiful.  It's not easy to gain weight after a nearly two decade run with body dysmorphic disorder - viewing myself as much larger than I actually am.  The funny thing is, I've recently been told by many people that I look healthy and received so many compliments on my glowing skin.  I find my natural hair color is much more complimenting to my skin tone than any other color I've dyed it in the past (go figure!).

It feels good to be me; my actual self!  Hurting, stressing, starving + overworking myself to keep others happy has been replaced with embracing, nurturing, loving + treating my body + mind with kindness to keep myself happy.  I wear what I want, eat what I want, listen to what my body tells me + pay attention to how my heart feels.  I dance around strangers.  I decorate my body with friendship anklets + color.  I smile frequently.  I cry when I need to.  I let go + open up.  I'm not perfect, I'm still figuring it out, but I love myself + that is all I need!

Find the Beauty in Everything

While explaining grammatical gender in my high school spanish class, my teacher mentioned that everything beautiful is feminine (words ending in -a,-as).  Las floras (flowers), la canción (song), la verdad (truth), la pera (pear), la piel (skin), la mañana (the morning), la naturaleza (nature), la montaña (mountain).  Leave it to a romance language to bring awareness to the beauty we experience all around us.  A constant celebration of the feminine, each word is a reminder that beauty always exists.  I have found ways to dance daily with the feminine.  My reminders are the lovely fuchsia, violet, maroon, yellow + pink flowers; drying herbs, living plants, candles, lights + hearts adorning my home.  As my environment has come to life, softened + brightened, I have experienced a similar shift in energy within.  Life, truly, is beautiful.

Happy Birthday to me!  Spent my day with my lovelies at Sweeney Todd put on by the Idaho Shakespeare Festival!
"Women always try to tame themselves as they get older, but the ones who look best are often a bit wilder." -Miuccia Prada

My Lady Tribe

Sexy Poet. Farmer + Gardening Goddesses. Wild Writers. Techie/Mrs. Build-It/Fix-It. Hot for Librarian. Skincare Crafter + Herb Forager. Hair + Beauty Fabulousity Experts. Artists of all mediums. Cyclists. Runners. Music Geeks. Mothers. Grandmothers. Listeners + teachers. I must say, I have one incredibly amazing circle of lady friends + family.

I have SO much love for all of my gal pals who never cease to amaze me with their talent, inspire me with their work + hobbies, love me unconditionally, show me the ways to grow + then give me the space, time + patience to do so.  Each one of these ladies has a very special place in my life + means the world to me.

I have learned to accept + love.  I have learned to forgive + forget.  I have grown stronger + wiser.  I have become brave + confident.  I have become aware + enlightened.  For this, I am forever grateful for you being a part of my life.

Finding My Yoga

Just for shits + giggles, I've gone to different yoga classes here + there over the past couple of years.  I'd catch a class before mimosas with a girlfriend, trying out a free class, checking out a studio for fun.  After a few, more serious, in-home sessions earlier this year with my lady friend, Jen, I was really ready to practice yoga.  With a recommendation from my yogi friend Megan, I popped into the Yoga Tree of Boise, my neighborhood yoga studio.  Very intimate + close to my place, I could see myself practicing in this little zen retreat.

Jen + I chillin' in sukhasana, rockin' some real smiles!
Days turned into months + here I am now, a member of the Yoga Tree since February.  It's rare that I can go a week without coming in for some downward dogging, goin' through my chaturanga flow, hip + heart openers, + my favorite part, completely letting go in savasana.  It has become my "yoga church," my go-to for good energy + a place to connect with positive people. My instructors have become amazing influences to stay strong, yet remain real.  They have become friends + mentors.

Colbie is my go-to instructor sistah when I need to shake it out + dance my bum off.  I also have Colbie to thank for one of my most intense guided meditation bringing me to the happiest tears of joy.  A moment I will forever cherish! The love and welcoming that I have received by Jen... nothing beats walking into yoga and receiving the biggest hug from the biggest smile at "the Tree." Bonds made with other lovely members + instructors make the environment so warm + homey.  MUCH LOVE to Yoga Tree!

My favorite ladies of Yoga Tree, Jen + Colbie!  SO happy to practice with the guidance of these beautiful women!

"A fruit is not afraid of its own weight.  It grows into its skin fully. It is whole, each part of its body equally alive." -Gayle Brandeis

Dishin' up the Best of Local Summer Seasonal Eats + Treats

Squash +  Heirloom Tomato Pizza w/ Rollingstone Chevre's Nasturtium Chevre
on Local Organic Zeppole Village Loaf

Drying Basil 

Dilly Beans + Dill Pickle Canning

Baked Eggplant Parmesan w/ Heirloom Tomato Sauce made by yours truly with my CSA veggies grown by Earthly Delights Farm

Sick Roomie Soup-Off w/ Sickly Roomate, Megan Inspired Mushroom Miso Chicken Veggie Soba Noodle Soup

I was ALL OVER the Avocado Heirloom Tomato Caprese w/ Earthly Delights Basil

Backyard Grapes in Idaho (reminds me of over-the-fence Avocados in Orlando!)

A special Shakespeare Festival dessert Ginger Mascarpone Cheesecake (sweetness thanks to Organic Coconut Palm Sugar, lower glycemic index)


Fresh Juiced Organic Pink Lady Apples

Local Smoked Trout Salad w/ Capers + Earthly Delights Shallots over my garden-grown Kale + Collards

Collard Greens via my garden, it doesn't get any more local than that!
Grilled Spicy Kale Philly with Earthly Delights Tomatoes, garden-grown Peppers + Kale with Mozz on
local, Organic Le Cafe de Paris Country Bread

Garden-grown Veggies in a Coconut Red Thai Curry Sauce

Indian Red Lentil Wrap with Turmeric-Spiced Potatoes, Tomatoes, Peppers + Peas with Greek Pro-Yo + Cilantro

Purple Majesty Baked Potato with sauteed Collards, Kale + Arugula, seasoned with Rosemary 

As I'm typing this, I'm in a sweater jacket + multiple layers of socks. Fall is here + so far, it is very rainy!  I welcome the rain, to wash away the old, to begin anew.  Now is the time to organize + apply all that we've learned through the summer.
New beginnings + organization are certainly occurring in my life with a move to a perfect new place, setting it up + getting rid of old things I no longer need.  Also, saying goodbye to my roommate + one of the best friends I could have ever asked for as I transition to bachelorette life, living alone + all the perks that come with that!  I pick up my last CSA share today + start my Fall Cleanse soon.

Cheers to new beginnings!  May you all enjoy the beauty and opportunities that Fall has to offer!


Monday, July 8, 2013

Pairing Pleasure + the Palate | My Epicurean Summer

Sometimes my body is craving some one on one with the sun (meow!).  Not only does this
extra heat give us warm bodies, but our muscles are a bit more loosened up as a result!
Is it hot in here or is it just me?! We all know "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."  Well, this lady lioness has been all about the turning the heat up (way up!) in and out of the kitchen.  What is life if we aren't treating ourselves here and there, am I right?  One way to fire me up?  Light my palate!

Food has always been pleasurable for me, but I always thought of it as a "guilty pleasure."  While interning at Earthly Delight's Farm last year, Casey explained soil as "seductive" + farming as "highly sexual."  The farm was oozing with sex!  (see No. 1 - Sex Ed in my Recap of my Internship Blog Post)  It was a euphoric experience all around to connect with the soil + play a role in the local food movement. How she portrayed the farm as being pleasurable to all of the senses was something I completely understood as that is exactly how I feel about food + cooking!  I found that there was no need for shame nor guilt in what I love most + as the season ended, my journey to please myself through the best food and drink began.

Read the inspiration behind all of this, an article linking Pleasure + Metabolism. It's quite fascinating!

Certain food aromas + flavor, like certain songs, words + images, can take you back to a certain place + time in life in an instant.  Food becomes bonded to memories that can bring you back to when you felt love at first bite.   While the heat takes over, I'm only warming up with creating summertime memories!  Let me fill you in on the best food, beverage + other life indulgences that has got this little mama feelin' so hot hot hot!

Breakfast Sensations
Because cold cereal is for the boring!  

Olé! Tacos for breakfast with fresh cilantro, rainbow chard scramble with cumin, smoked paprika + chipotle chili powder gives me the same pleasure as a chorizo + eggs breakfast burrito!  What a spicy way to start the day ;)
If you wake up feeling hot hot hot + needing something light, a smoothie is filling without being too heavy.  With greens, greek yogurt, almond milk, fruit + flax seed, this drink goes down nice + easy.  Great for getting your protein in, which keeps your hunger satisfied longer

For an extra special treat, warm up a slice or two of your fave pizza (pictured is Gorgonzola + Arugula) in the oven while frying an egg, you'll have gourmet in minutes!  In a hurry?  This doesn't take long to cook nor eat :) 
Outdoor Adventures 
After a light bite or sip in the am, I've found it's the perfect time to get out, bike, hit the trails or just soak up the sun. Breathing in the fresh air, letting it flow through your body - this is a guaranteed way to relax + feel incredible.

Hiking around Hull's Gulch provides excellent views + becomes an exciting way to build up appetite!
When hiking solo, I tune in to some awesome beats + let the music take me where I need to go!
Sweet view after conquering a great trail right around the Rattlesnake Station off of Highway 20. 

If in need of a break from the heat, grab your favorite snuggle bunny + surrender to the hammock!  Let the shade blanket your skin + the shadows of the leaves dance all around you.

My Sunday morning volley with my tennis partner brings us to courts all around North Boise. Great views + good games leading up to a yummy post-tennis brunch...yes, please + thank you!!

Chicka what?  Becoming quite comfortable with my backyard trails!
Embracing all the energy at the top of a hike with some powerful,
mindful meditation.
Take it in! The views on our ride out to Lucky Peak made it so enjoyable.
Bike lane up to Lucky Peak :)

CSA + Season's Eatings
If you haven't eaten a vegetable picked right out of the are missing out!  The first farm-fresh carrot I had convinced me that FRESH IS BEST!  Just-plucked out of our voluptuous organic soil at Earthly Delight's Farm, briefly-dusted, taste-tested + quickly-approved, this carrot was the most tasty root veggie I've ever had!
After my internship, I decided to support my farm by becoming a CSA member.  Money paid up front for the 2013 crops has gotten me many weeks of the valley's most sensational veggies!

Pictured with the second year of my Drunken Woman Frizzy Headed Lettuce
crop and a beet-brewed beer, not an uncommon scene on Thursday afternoons.
Every week at CSA Pick-Up-slash-Ladies Beer Social I take an hour or two
to kick back, catch up, have a cold one + collect/snack on my share with Casey,
Ron (the new farm dog) + often times, my CSA partner/roommate/better half: Megan!
Isn't she a beaut?!  I get huge satisfaction knowing this baby was grown from seed saved by yours truly from the crop
I grew last year!  It was love at first sight - Drunken Woman Frizzy Headed Lettuce, ladies + gentleman!

I fell for two greens last year:  Arugula + Sexy Mama Collard Greens.
Arugula is a little spicy with a bit of nutty.  This delicate leafy green sent me
to PleasureTown for sure!  Due to the extreme heat early on in our spring,
the arugula was pulled quickly + when a 4 lb bag of it was available for the
taking, I biked my buns over + swept it off of the ground to come home
with mama!  After a 2 hour bath + a good sorting through, I packed some away for
future meals + with the remaining heaping mound, I made this gem:
ARUGULA PESTO!  Holy heaven on earth!!

What I'm taking home:  Onion, Pea Shoots, Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Rosemary, Sorrel, Lamb's Quarters, Turnips, Bok Choy, Garlic, Chives + if you're as lucky as I am a silky smooth brewski!
What I'm whipping up in the kitchen:  Cold Soba Noodle Slaw

Also what I'm fixin' with my share:  Veggie Wraps with a creamy herb green dressing w/ Sunflower Seeds! Mama mia! 

Home Is Where The Heart Is 
...Also, where dietary restrictions are not!
It's like being on some sort of culinary temptation island whenever I visit.
I bring bags full of local produce, homemade oat milk, specialty items like beers, meats + cheeses.  I try to plan for simple eats, but in the end we end up feasting like kings + queens!

From under the hen herself!  Farm-fresh eggs don't get any fresher than this!  What a delicacy!
A visit to the family ranch means Adri is bringing a goody bag with my favorite local beer!  Payette Brewing for the win!
Not pictured is the ultimate Payette Beer:  Mutton Buster! MMM MMM!
Speaking of mutton...mouthwatering Lamb Burgers with sautéed morels, garlic + gernika peppers made by yours truly! Yum-A-Rum!! 
My Grandpa's turn on dinner duty:  One decadent Cornish Hen garnished with local thyme plated over a bed of local sautéed greens + paired with a fantastic glass of white. Well done, sir!
Not shown:  my Grandma's mashed potatoes (Paula Deen has NADA on my grandma's comfort food!)

All of these fancy meals make me one smiley gal especially when they fuel my incredible hikes!

Birthday Treats 
Birthday gifts are still my thing, but with much, much less sugar (none - if you don't count alcohol!) :)  It's a gift to myself to give gifts to the people I love most of all!

As I knew I couldn't attend Robin's Saturday night birthday bash, I put together a seductive little setup for the next morning!  I pampered the birthday gal with a "Hair of the Dog" birthday gift bag!  This little queen bee received:  a fabulous 4 pack of Sofia Coppola Sparkling, the BEST Raw Coconut Water to boost them electrolytes, fresh strawberries (to pair with the champy), gouda cheese + exotic black rice crackers.  I put the plate together for her (live show!) as she sipped on some sparkling + we danced + laughed the morning away!  What hangover?!
Boy did I go out of my way for this one!  I was avoiding a sugary assault like the last "gift" I brought to the farm (the dirt cake!).  I made Raw Vegan Gluten + Grain Free  Mini "Oreo" Birthday Cakes.  Dates, raw cacao, cashews + vanilla made up simply sugarless layers with a coconut butter frosting colored with an all natural carrot coloring! Alongside the guilt-free cakes I made banana oat shakes made with homemade oat milk + frozen bananas! MMM! As this was for Casey O'-Birthday Girl-Leary, I paired it her favorite IPA made by Sockeye Brewery, Dagger Falls!
We cheers-ed while looking each other in the eye knowing that if we looked elsewhere we'd have 7 years of bad sex (oh my!).
Coming soon:  My birthday treats!

Farmer's Market
My Saturday morning revolves around the new Boise Farmer's Market (the real farmer's market in town as I see it) + what I'll be making with these lovely specialty items!  As my CSA share kicked in, the need to get all of the greens + veggies from the market became lesser + lesser, but it's become more of a fun Saturday morning routine to walk around with others that are there to support fresh Idaho food + the farmers that provide us this luxury!

This little Adri went to the Boise Farmer's Market! Fiddlehead Ferns, Parsley, Chard, Asparagus, Dill + Spinach!
All from Purple Sage, Sweet Valley Organics + Morning Owl Farm.  Hells yeah, supporting local farmers! :)

Yes, PLEASE, Cheese! Pictured is the Bleu Agé by Rollingstone Chevre.  I am one dedicated customer to Rollingstone Chevre because their product is absolutely supreme + I feel so lucky to have the best cheese available right here in Idaho!  They have my full support, as you'll see throughout this post!  
Purslane from Purple Sage!  Purslane grows like a weed, you can harvest it while weeding in your own garden!  I had no idea what it was until I made my usual stop at Purple Sage for some specialty herbs.  I bought this succulent plant to try it out.  The next day, I picked Purslane out of my friend's tomato patch for 4 hours because that's how it goes, right?! Ha!
Head over heels for seasonal Frittatas!  

One of my savory Frittatas...Arugula Pesto (Adri-made), sautéed Greens + Morels with fresh eggs from my family's Ranch, oven-baked in a cast iron skillet. This makes it SO easy to please me!

My first year of growing food after my year at Earthly Delights Farm has had it's ups + downs, but my green thumb pulled through to deliver some tasty treats. Home grown + fresh out of the that's where the flavor is!  Here are some Before + after shots of my sexy veggies!

Before Collards
After! Look at those pretty ladies!  

Before:  my delicate kale starts freshly transplanted into the ground!
After:  These mighty dudes have grown into some big, strong kale plants!

Before:  Carnival Carrots - my second time direct seeding these guys after my first batch failed to grow in another location.
After:  SUCCESS!! My second batch is lookin' real nice + lively!  Though I have yet to get in there + harvest one of these for a snack, I am enjoying watching them grow up!

Before:  Little Teeny Tiny Lettuce!

After:  Full-Bodied Beauts!

Before:  10 Cilantro plants IN.

After:  Sad turn out for the cilantro!  Only ONE lone cilantro plant!  I'll take it! :)

Tomatoes are growing as the temperatures are rising!

I've got three tall ladies workin' on providing me with the goods for salsas + sauces! 

My first harvest out of my garden!  Lettuce, Collards, Cilantro + Kale!  What good lookin' greens I have!  The take after me!

My freshly-harvested + sautéed Collard Greens + Kale with Brown Rice, cumin-glazed Carrots + Red Lentils, seasoned with turmeric + cumin.

                            Dinner Parties + Lady Dates
The quickest way to my heart is through my stomach!

Dinner party with former neighbors of mine.  They know I love decadent everything + boy did they spoil me! :) Pan-seared fish - perfectly done, lightly coated + nicely seasoned with Potato Gnocchi with a sage sauce, an incredible kale salad, bread, supreme olive oil + a knockout glass of red! 
Gnocchi takes me back to a special dinner date with one of my aunts in
New York, where as a little girl I discovered gnocchi for the first time.
I gain that same satisfaction to this day when I bite into a velvety pillow
of potato pasta. 
Dinner left me one happy guest!
I had two dinner parties at the same place I mentioned being a dinner guest.  My former neighbors had me housesit for them while they were away for nine days, and with a stellar home + garden like theirs, how could I resist? 

My first dinner guest was my favorite wild woman of them all, my Grandma!  We ate, drank
+ remained merry all through the day, starting with this pictured glass of Moscato!  This was
only our breakfast booze! :)

How do you go through a day with 3 bottles of wine?
You get a lot of cheese!

My city is celebrating it's 150th birthday + for the special occasion my favorite local chocolatier, Dream Chocolate is making a SAGE bar using our local sage, + well, I had to support that smooth-sagey-chocolatey goodness!!!

Dinner first!  Made one of my grandma's favorites!  Pizza Naan!
Hers was a meat-lovers.  Mine had mushrooms, mozz + wilted arugula.
Both were graced with my homemade tomato sauce which my grandma is
now addicted to!

I like to describe her garden as the "Willy Wonka Factory of Vegetables."
I was their housesitter + arugula goat!
Arugula, my favorite green grows like a weed in their garden,
so I was harvesting arugula like wonka bars!

My second dinner guest was my big sis!

For her I made (for the first time!) Lamb Loin Chops.  Jen reported that
they were cooked perfectly!  I made a Carrot Salad w/ Arugula + a Shery
Cumin Vinaigrette.  Paired the meal with a Pinot Noir!  Perfecto!

Remember my Farmer's Market favorite Rollingstone Chevre? Yep, this is their yummy work!  Nasturtium cheese I picked up for the next day's special lady date with my roommate!

Reunited after 9 days of housesitting, Megan + I packed up all the cheeses,
carrots, figs, strawberries, crackers + bread + headed out for Ste. Chapelle
Winery for their Summer Concert Series with the amazing Marcus Eaton.
We wined on their Gewürtzraminer (one of my faves), we dined on our fave
cheeses, enjoyed live music in the sunshine overlooking the rolling hills of the
Vineyard under a clear blue sky.  It was the ultimate in pleasurable experiences!
Whatever it is that you find yourself happiest, truly enjoying the moment, giving you pleasure, tune in + take note!  This is your life + your chance to live it to the fullest!  Indulge a little!

xoxo, Adri Baby