Mammoth in California’s Sierra Mountains is best known as ski resort for California winters but it also has an abundance of summer activities like hiking, fishing, camping, mountain biking and horse back riding. Until last summer, we hadn’t been to Mammoth in over ten years, but this year we’ve visited three times already. The beauty of the mountains is awe-inspiring but we keep discovering great restaurants, excellent beer and delicious coffee (with plant milk options). Despite having car trouble (every time we go – ugghh), we’ve developed a fondness for Mammoth.
I’m eating two of these small batch flourless (GF) vegan chocolate chip peanut butter cookies as I write this and appreciating how rich and chewy they are. It’s impossible to eat just one (trust me….I’ve tried). My husband says the are decadent like a “brownie-cookie”. Sounds good no?
Unlike some vegan, GF cookies, which are crumbly or taste like cardboard, these delicious treats TASTE sinful but secretly use healthier ingredients like GF oats, unsweetened dried coconut, and peanut only – peanut butter while omitting oil, flour, eggs, and dairy altogether. They also avoid highly processed ingredients like soy lecithin, palm oil, etc.
Due to the Covid pandemic, we had to cancel 2 major trips to Europe this summer. With limited international travel options, we opted for a road trip to Durango, Colorado.
Durango is a small mountain town nestled in the San Juan Mountains in the Southwest corner of Colorado. It attracts outdoor enthusiasts like bikers, hikers and skiers as well as retirees. It’s home to the iconic Durango/Silverton coal train and Fort Lewis college. You can hike in the mountains, walk along the Animas river or sip beer at craft breweries. Several parks and hikes were closed due to the Corona virus but there are still fun things to do.
My friend Ann is a terrific cook. She uses exciting, high quality ingredients and has a knack for putting flavors together. Years ago, she served Broccoli Rabe (Rapini) with Orecchiette, an Italian dish that blew me away. It’s been my favorite pasta dish ever since. Typically, I avoid pasta because most dishes are weighed down with heavy sauces. But this classic dish from Puglia, home of the vegetable lovers, is refreshingly light and healthy. It has a ton of nutritious Broccoli Rabe and adorable ear shaped pasta. If you are looking for a bright, healthy taste of Italy for your vegan and non-vegan friends, this is it!!
My husband is now the chef of this recipe and rather than use strict measurements, he eyes the proportions. This is where your chef di cucina can emerge.
As the Covid Quarantine drags on (it’s now over 2 months), I feel like Bill Murry in Groundhog Day! My motivation to try new things is suffering so my kitchen routine doesn’t vary much. I go on autopilot and repeat the same ol’ dishes with slight variations. However, this everyday powerhouse steamed greens bowl with tahini dressing is just as fresh and tasty as ever! It’s ultra healthy (te quiero kale and broccoli) and served with an addictive tangy, umami dressing that makes it hard to resist (even if you don’t like broccoli). I crave this bowl so often that I sometimes have it for breakfast (shhhhh)…!
Yes it’s another bread recipe!!! I just found out that my month-long trip to Portugal has been canceled which is such a bummer. I planned it almost a year ago and was looking forward to experiencing Fado music, lingering in wine bars, and trying every cute cafe in Lisbon. Plus, I’m feeling stir crazy with the extended Covid quarantine. So, it’s no surprise that I’m craving comfort foods like my favorite: toast and tomatoes. I’ve been trying different breads, but this healthy, grainy slightly sweetened seed bread could be my favorite so far. The recipe is the genus work of Alanna, a former pastry chef turned full time blogger of The Bojon Gourmet. If you haven’t ogled her site yet, stop now and click over.
It’s been over 3 weeks since the Covid-19 shelter in place restrictions were announced in California. Our routines were uprooted overnight as we face a new uncertainty. Many are anxious and scared. Rather than focusing on fear we could use this time to go deeper. For example, meditate, keep a journal, stretch, read, cook, spend time with family and listen to podcasts. I’m using these 5 exceptional podcasts to get through this time.
If I were standing near a table filled with desserts (brownies, cookies, cakes, etc.) across from a table of freshly baked breads……. I’d go for the bread!! Bread could be my favorite food. I used to live on Baguettes, Multigrain, Olive, Sourdough, Bagels, Ciabatta and Pita. But not anymore!! (see why below). But, when I get bread cravings, I bake a fresh loaf using unique gluten free flours like buckwheat, brown rice and chickpea. This Yeast-Free Buckwheat Bread recipe produces a beautiful “German -like” bread that may surprise you.
Many gyms and fitness studios are closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a person who loves to exercise, this was a big adjustment for me. So, I’ve had to change up my routine and find other ways to stay active during the shelter at home quarantine. Here are the 5 ways to stay in shape and maintain your mental and emotional health during this strange time.
(photo by Julie Hammer)
We are in extremely uncertain and scary times with the COVID-19 virus and recent shelter at home quarantine orders. Uncertainty of this magnitude can easily overwhelm us with anxious energy (not good for the immune system). So, how can we forget the hysteria and emanate peace during this crisis? First, it’s important to remember that even the slightest amount of calm energy can balance the fear.
As Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh explains: “When the crowded Vietnamese refugee boats met with storms or pirates, if everyone panicked all would be lost. But if even one person on the boat remained calm and centered, it was enough. It showed the way for everyone to survive.”