It’s been a dark cold winter, in a number of ways for me. It’s so easy to hole up and try and block out the outside world in the winter, and that’s what I did. As spring has been attempting to approach, I’ve been trying to work on me and my overall happiness. One of the ways I’m actively working on this, is by getting back into my yoga practice.
Years ago I used to do yoga at the gym. When I was in my early 20s, along with spinning 4x a week and being very lean, I yoga-ed in the AM. I didn’t learn good form but it did introduce me to the practice. It’s been a number of years, and I’ve done it here and there, but now i”m in the right place to advance.
A local studio opened up near us in Hingham about a year or so ago, and it’s lovely. It’s quiet, small, some days there are just 2 of us in the class (although if you’re local, get over there and support Dancing Crow Yoga at Derby Street!) So I’ve been going back there now, 1-2 times a week and working on it. Working it out. And I’ve been doing things I never thought possible…most notable Forearm Stand (as below). There are these few seconds of joy where you kick up, feeling your hips go over your head….it’s heaven. I’d like to be able to do it unsupported like below, and that’s a goal for the end of the year maybe.
My friend Leanna was a guest poster on a website and wrote this fantastic post. (And check out her videos at the end!). She’s made such progress over the past year and it’s been a delight to watch and is such an inspiration to this out of shape over weight almost 34 year old. She’s the reason I even attempted inversion in yoga class (I’m working on forearm stand….headstand hurts me…and I need to build up more strength before I attempt handstand!). She has also opened my eyes to the importance of a home practice, and this is something I am going to embrace more as the spring rolls on.
Ok, I don’t really use or write recipes. I’m sorry about that! But this one is a staple at our house, I make it every week almost….it was passed on from a friend’s Indian colleague. I’ve noted how much I use in () but feel free to alter to your taste. It is SO GOOD over brown rice, with naan, plain. And it’s meatless.
Stolen Eggplant Curry
1. Put some oil in the pan (I used 2 tbsp canola) heat to hot
2. Add split chilies (I used 3, split and deseeded…leave in big chunks to remove later). I cook for about 3 mins in oil
3. Add Onion (large, sweet, sliced)
4. Once onion is translucent add three cloves of garlic
5. Add 4 tomatoes, cut in big chunks
6. Once tomatoes have broken down and no solid pieces remain, add the cut pieces of raw eggplant to the pan. (I use 2 eggplants) Cover and cook for 20-30 mins to get soft
7. Once Eggplant is soft add 2 tbsp of cumin powder, 2 tbsp of coriander powder, and salt to taste. (Last night I used curry powder instead of coriander powder and it was very good too)
8. Once you see the oil on the side of the curry, time to eat!
I’m going to say it’s about 45 mins from start to finish…..you need the eggplant to really break down and get mushy. Last night I did 3 eggplant and did a can of diced toms too (just 3 tomatoes i used fresh) and it was GOOOOD.
Remember I mentioned my love for all things Beekman???
Well they are on tonight again on Planet Green! YAY!!!!! I may model walk down the office corridor just to celebrate 😀
One of my favorite publications, Edible South Shore, works in partnership with the Kingston Public Library to host a group of local folks who care about eating locally. There are a number of programs, one every month, focused on different topics. The February meeting was on Dirt Health, and as always I jumped at the chance to write about the event.
One of my favorite shows of late is Planet Green’s The Beekman Boys. This show details the lives of Josh and Brent, two city lads who bought a farm, make goat milk soaps and other products from their flock, and have a kickin raised garden. I love them. I want to be them. I want to drop everything, move out to the country, and raise animals and veggies. Alas, the closest I will get to that is watching the Beekman boys do their thing on Planet Green.
Their products look fantastic. I haven’t tried them yet, I really want to get up to their farm this year. (Hint to husband, again, awesome gift idea!!!) I want to meet the famous Polka Spot llama. I want to meet Farmer John. I want to dish with Brent and model walk with Josh. I’m sure it’s all in my dreams. *le sigh*
But they are teaming up with Williams Sonoma and offering heirloom seeds from the farm (which I have bought) and are working on the largest community gardening project in the world. They are having a contest and gosh darn it I want to win! They have an awesome offering coming out which is a free bi-weekly gardening checklist, personalized for your growing zone. Sign up for this newsletter, and say I referred you (Amy Ricketts) and that will get you on the way to awesome gardening tips and me on the way to some Beekman Swag (Hopefully!) 🙂
Even if you don’t sign up, check out the Beekman Boys site, they have some great stuff on there!
There is no greater comfort food to me than Italian cooking. I’m sure it stems from memories of my Nana, with her apron and flour all over, hand rolling pasta while the water boiled on the stove.
When my delivery from South Shore Organics had escarole on the list, I could not be more excited. I scoured the internet to find a similar recipe that might yield a dish like Nana had made for me years ago and found one that came pretty close.
Escarole and Beans
Adapted from a recipe off allrecipes.com
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 large heads escarole
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 clove garlics, minced
- 1 (16 ounce) cans cannellini beans, undrained (this is important, do not drain!)
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Toss in escarole, turning to coat with oil. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes, or until tender.
- Stir in garlic. Pour in beans with juices, and simmer until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in escarole and parsley; simmer 10 minutes more.
- Serve with a honking piece of awesome bread and ENJOY
Chef’s note: You may want to double this, or triple or quadruple. It’s that good, will last for days and will fill you up.